• Published 28th Jun 2012
  • 30,301 Views, 2,546 Comments

A Novice Swordsman in the Canterlot Court - DungeonMiner



Some are born great, some achieve greatness, and others have greatness thrust upon them.-William Shakespear. This story is about the latter. Alan Williams, a man trying to take a peaceful camping trip, finds himself in Equestria. Greatness follows.

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1-A Short Drop and a Sudden Stop

Chapter 1

Alan Williams smashed his alarm clock as it buzzed. He hated that thing. Always had, and as usual, he decided to ignore it. Besides, he had ten minutes left until his phone went off with his “Ok, get up this time" alarm so he could—

Suddenly an overly peppy tone cut through the air.

Alan groaned. Why was his phone going off? He had always programmed it to go off ten minutes after his 7:30 wake-up call.

Alan’s hand went for the phone, and, grabbing it, he checked the time. 7:31.

“Stupid phone,” Alan grumbled from underneath the covers.

Why did he even set his alarms today? It was Saturday.

Saturday.

The Saturday starting a long weekend.

Alan sat up.

A long weekend that he had planned to go camping on.

Right. That’s why his phone was early.

Getting out of bed, Alan walked to his bathroom. There, next to the sink was a bag with all of the essentials—deodorant, toothbrush, toothpaste, soap, floss, etc.—still open, so that he could get to them that morning. After a quick brush of his hair, teeth, and armpits with their respective tools, he zipped the bag shut and headed back to his room.

Grabbing his backpack that he had sitting at the door, Alan stuffed the toiletries in it with a fair amount of sloppiness. He then turned to his dresser and pulled out five T-shirts, and five pairs of jeans. Rolling four of the sets of clothing into tubes of cloth, Alan stuffed those into the bag, dressing himself in the last pair. He thought it was a good idea to bring a couple of extra sets of clothes in case he fell into a mud pit or something. He was going into a very thick forest, after all—no idea what kind of mud puddles could have been sitting there.

With his clothes packed, Alan reached into his closet and brought out a belt of his. A thick, leather belt that had been tanned for exactly this kind of a trip.

As he began to loop the belt through his jeans, a song popped into his head. “Winter Wrap-Up, Winter Wrap-Up, Da-dum-dum-dum-dumdum. ” Alan had never really memorized the rest of the words, so he settled for the odd mix of alliterations and hums that came to his mind.

Yes, Alan was a brony. Admittedly, a relatively new brony, having not even reached season two, but a brony nonetheless.

He really needed to see those. He then berated himself for not having enough free time to dedicate to the show, but this camping trip was going to be awesome.

Slipping two sheaths onto his belt, one for a knife with a seven inch blade, the other for three throwing knives. It had been a while since he had thrown last, and this was an excellent opportunity to get some more practice in.

As he buckled the belt, Alan came down to the bottom of his mental checklist.

Water, food, flashlight, rope. Anything else?

Well, his flashlight was right there, next to his bed, a possibly oversized Maglite that could probably double as a hammer. Throwing that into the bag, he then reached back into the closet and brought out a coil of rope. 25 feet, to be exact. Tossing that in, Alan moved his bag to the kitchen of his four room apartment. Opening one of the cabinets, he proceeded to stuff four whole boxes of granola bars into his bag. That, along with two small bags of trail mix and some microwave meals. Finally, he opened the fridge and grabbed three plastic bottles of water as well as metal canteen.

He was honestly hoping for a spot near a creek, but those were a little hard to find in Georgia, so he had to make sure he had something. Going through the checklist again, he finally convinced himself that he wasn’t forgetting anything, grabbed his keys, and headed out the door. With a twist, the door locked, and it was finally just Alan, his bag and the great outdoors.

Once he got there anyway.

He walked through the apartment complex he lived in, going down the stairs and around the building until he came to the parking lot. There he came up to his car, a 2000 Ford Contour, and unlocked it. Throwing his backpack into the passenger seat, he pulled out of the parking lot and drove off. Pulling onto the main street that ran past his apartment, Alan realized he did forget something.

Breakfast.

With a growl of his stomach, Alan decided that he might as well begin his camping trip with a camping breakfast.

Opening his backpack with one hand while trying to keep his eyes on the road, he searched for one of the previously packed boxes of granola. Finding one without too much difficulty, he was now tasked with opening the box. Man, getting breakfast while driving at 50 mph was such a hassle.

Well, there was a red light up ahead, he could get it there. In the meantime, he needed something to do to keep his mind off of his stomach.

Music, that was always a good answer. Putting in a CD titled “Awesome”, Alan immediately went straight to track 5, and was greeted with a techno beat. Briefly wondering why he bothered putting those other 4 tracks on the CD, he began to tap the wheel as one of his favorite songs’ chorus came up.

“Luna won’t you cry for me?

I’m as lonely as I’ve ever been,

I am force-ed back into the start,

Is there any way to fix a broken heart?”

Arguably his favorite princess.

Speaking of the lunar queen, he did hope she would actually show up in season 2. He had always been a night owl, and liked to look at the stars and such. It was actually one of his many reasons that he decided he should go camping. It was just him and the wilderness, nothing to distract him except his iPod, which he kept with a battery-powered charger for an alarm clock, but that was it, no other technology.

Ah, there was the light.

Green.

Alan scowled, “Of course,” he muttered to himself. The one time you want a red light, and it’s green.

“Ugh. Need more music.”

<<<|Ω|>>>

After driving for two hours Alan pulled up to the woods. It was on a hardly used road, and had just enough space to fit his car so it neither took space in the road nor ran into any trees.

Reaching into his glove compartment, he pulled out a pen and post-it note, flipped the note and wrote under the adhesive, “To whom it may concern. This car is parked on public property and shall remain here between the dates of 05/26-28 of 2012. If this car is still parked in this location beyond those dates, send a rescue party.” Satisfied with his note, he pushed it against the windshield so that it stuck to the glass.

With nothing left to do, he grabbed his bag and headed out into the woods.

It had taken quite a while to find a public wood that he could go camping in, but this weekend would be totally worth it.

Going straight to the woods, the first thing he encountered was kudzu, the infamous “Vine that was Swallowing the South.” If he ever got his hands on the guy who brought this stuff, Alan might have to go to jail. Love and Tolerance could take a backseat to the hours he spent trying to get through no less than three root balls the size of his computer tower.

Luckily, this wasn’t his land, or his mother’s land for that matter, or his uncles, or anything. With that happy thought in mind, Alan reached for the seven inch blade at his side and used it as a makeshift machete, slicing the hated vine into more than five, tiny, sections.

He would have done more, but he needed to get a campsite.

Wiping the blade on his jeans, he cleaned the knife, keeping it out a little while longer before sheathing it, satisfied that he had a clear path.

The forest was a total mess, truly a botanist’s nightmare. Vines as thick as his wrist climbed to the green canopy above where old, broken branches clung to their living stumps, held only by the same vines that had killed them. There were vines that snaked along the ground with thorns just a little shorter than his thumb. There were vines that…well, actually there were just vines.

A terrible thing in Georgia, the vines.

Suddenly, Alan’s eyes spotted the telltale signs of a blackberry bush. Still a little peckish from his lack of a breakfast food, he was quick to take a quick stop by the bush. Admittedly, it was a little early for berry season yet, but Alan was not disappointed to see a small handful of early bloomers.

Picking a few berries, he was impressed with the sweetness in a few of them and surprised by the bitterness of the others, but it was all good food.

Taking quick note of the bush, Alan continued on his way.

Working his way through the trees and underbrush, Alan made his way deeper into the woods, hoping to get a least a mile in before lunch.

It wasn’t long before he came across a ravine. It wasn’t overly deep, nor was it so wide that he couldn’t jump across.

The thought of jumping across occurred in his mind as an epic movie scene, something with gunshots and explosions as he raced through the woods. Or maybe it was like that scene in the Skyrim trailer, where the Dovahkiin is running up to the edge of a cliff and stops inches away from plummeting to his death. Or maybe it’s closer to the trench warfare in the first World War, where the hero would have leaped over a German trench, lobbing a few grenades beneath him into the midst of the Germans and killing them all before they even had a chance to yell “Schnell.”

Of course, by the time those sequences went through his head, he had already dropped down into the ravine and was heading up the other bank.

Maybe he’d come back to this ravine later, but as of right now, he still needed a place to sleep.

He climbed up the red clay, looking for handholds in the bank, he couldn’t help but smile as he said, “I can’t carry it for you, Mr. Frodo, but I can carry you!” He then shook his head. I’m such a geek.

Actually now that he thought about it, red clay didn’t really fit Mordor. Mordor was more arid, rockier, drier, desert-eier.

Now at the top of the opposite bank, Alan paused for a moment to let his brain finish whatever fantasy was currently running through it. The thought took a little longer than he had previously judged, and was beginning to bore himself as he stood there.

Suddenly, the clay beneath his foot crumbled away, and he felt himself begin to fall.

His arms flailed wildly looking for something to steady himself. Grabbing air, his hands flapped madly, reaching for anything to hold on to.

A cry escaped Alan’s lips as he did his best to shift his body back onto stable ground.

No such luck.

Alan yelled as he fell backwards into the ravine, shutting his eyes as he braced for impact.

And he braced.

And braced.

Ok…

I’m no physicist, but I’m pretty sure I should have hit the ground by now.

Alan risked opening a single eye, and was greeted with a kaleidoscopic light show.

Oh, that’s not good.

Now, admittedly, this was not what Alan thought a concussion looked like, but he wasn’t sure what else it could be.

I must have fallen pretty hard for me to have not felt the impact. That probably means that I went straight into unconsciousness.

Wow. That’s a first. I’ve never been unconscious before. I’ve always thought it would be more like sleep, though.

The lights were a breathtaking mix of greens, blues and purples that spiraled around him with red bursts of light exploding at random intervals. A green shaft of light flashed by Alan as he continuously fall through this…whatever it was, hallucination maybe?

Suddenly, something that looked like a Delorean flew by, passing his field of view for the briefest second. The car was then followed by something that looked like a carriage, with a large clock face at its back, which was then followed by a hot tub of all things.

Ok…

Why are there a ton of time machines in my fall-induced hallucination? Well at least the TARDIS hasn’t made an appear-

An old, blue, British police call box spun across his view.

Nevermind…

The fall lasted for another few seconds like this, complete with lightshow and time-traveling movie references, but everything seemed to be slowing down for some reason.

It was so odd.

Suddenly, the lightshow and void disappeared, only to be replaced by a pastel ceiling.

Thud. Alan’s head snapped against the tile of the floor, sending a blinding flash of light and pain across his eyes. The cardboard in his backpack had been crushed underneath his weight, and he was sure at least one water bottle had also burst, leaving everything he had packed wet. He wondered if his flashlight would be ok. Speaking of, that was probably the thing that was pressing really hard against his spine.

Groaning, Alan rolled over, sliding out of his backpack, and getting a very good look at the tile floor. The floor, made of pure-white marble tiles, was exceptionally hard. To his right, now that he was on his stomach, the white gave way to a checkerboard pattern on the side as an accent to the walls, which, if this one he was looking at was any indicator, were both very tall and very ornate. This one wall had six windows which stretched from the floor to ceiling, and a very high ceiling it was.

Actually, that wall looked kinda familiar…

“T-Twi? What in the hay is that?”

Alan froze. He knew that voice. That was Ashleigh Ball’s voice, a voice actress, and this particular characterization was that of a down-to-earth farmpony named Applejack.

Alan slowly turned his head to the source of the voice and blinked. Not one, but nine ponies were standing in the middle of the room; Two guards, standing next to the near-all-powerful Princess Celestia, and the “Mane Six": Applejack, Rainbow Dash, Pinkie Pie, Rarity, Fluttershy, and Twilight Sparkle. Each one of them looked at Alan with a mix of shock and confusion on their faces, and even the guards seemed a little intimidated by his sudden appearance.

They all stood, looking straight at him.

Nine fictional characters from a TV show.

Fictional…

He sat up slowly, putting his back to the wall, looking straight into the eyes of the nine equines, each staring at him in bewilderment, a look Alan was sure he was mirroring.

The lavender unicorn that was standing in the front of the group, which Alan instantly recognized as Twilight Sparkle, blinked before replying. “I don’t know…”

Fluttershy, the yellow pegasus that had been at the back of the group, suddenly disappeared behind her friends, attempting to hide, even though her light pink mane and tail gave away her position.

Pinkie Pie, the pink pony that was in the middle of the group, went oddly silent, especially being the partier that Alan knew she was.

Rainbow Dash, the cyan pegasus with the namesake-colored mane, suddenly threw herself before her friends in a protective gesture. Alan noticed it wasn’t particularly hostile, but very defensive.

Rarity, the white unicorn, was dressed in a long, flowing gown of greens and blues. Alan imagined that she thought it was only fitting for getting an audience for the Princess, even though everyone else had come as they were, dressed only in their thick fur.

Applejack, the only other pony wearing anything, a Stetson cowboy (cowpony?) hat, merely stared at Alan before replying, “Well Ah don’t know either.”

Alan turned his attention to the guards. They both wore the golden armor that was standard for the royal guard, or at least, he assumed was the standard issue. They both had perfectly white coats, and stood at full attention, their faces being the only thing that had broken their discipline.

Finally, there stood the Princess of the Day herself. The immortal half pegasus, half unicorn being that was responsible for raising the sun each day. Her corona of a mane flapped eternally in an unfelt wind, and her single visible eye was wide with shock.

Fictional.

Alan laughed.

The ponies recoiled at the sudden outburst, expecting some evil voice or the like. Only Celestia remained silent, staring at him with her wide eye.

“Well looky here!” Alan shouted sarcastically. “I seemed to have stopped existing!” He laughed more. “Last stop, Insanity Station, all aboard!” Alan continued to laugh.

The ponies all looked at each other, searching for some sort of cue to take for an action.

All but Celestia, who stared at the human.

Alan's laughing died, and he began mumbling to himself. “Alright Alan, what’s happened? You were walking in the woods, you fell, and now you’re in a place that doesn’t exist. Equestria, at that. What, brain? Couldn’t get me to Middle Earth? Yes, I get it now, this is some sort of concussion-induced hallucination. Maybe I’m in a coma, and my brain is so bored it stuck me in Canterlot to see what I would do. Yes, that’s obviously it.” He laughed again. “Welcome to Crazy City, population: me!”

The mane six backed away just a touch, and the guards hesitantly took a step forward.

Celestia did not move.

Alan didn’t notice, continuing to ramble. “Well, well, well, I suppose this is my subconscious’ revenge for getting into the show to begin with,” he chuckled, smiling. “Probably should have played more Skyrim or something." He laughed again, before moaning, “Oh I am going insane!”

Twilight spoke up, probably driven by curiosity to ask. “Um…are you alright?”

Alan snickered. “Oh no, nothing’s wrong, I’m just in a cartoon! My sanity is dropping by the second and I’m actually having a conversation with a pony! Nothing wrong at all!” He whimpered. “I’m in a cartoon! I am in a stinking cartoon! A cartoon titled of all things ‘My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic!’” He dropped his head into his hands. “I’m crazy! I am so far gone if I ever recover from this coma I’ll need a straitjacket.”

Alan roared, slamming his head in the wall behind him repeatedly. “Why?! Why?! Why?! I just wanted to go on a camping trip!” Alan roared again, a tear threatening to leak from his eye.

His mother always said he lived in a fantasy world. She would yell at him while he RPG-ed online with his friends, well, he definitely was now. Was this what happened to him? Had he been so enraptured by fiction that his subconscious had no other choice than to place him here? Had the line between fantasy and reality faded so much that his brain had accepted it as such? Was he already crazy before he even fell into this coma? He had always thought he was a little weird, heck, he liked My little Pony, but he never thought he was full on crazy.

The pain in the back of his head got his inner survivalist working. If he could feel pain then that meant he could hurt himself, and that other things could hurt him, subconscious-hallucination-illusion pain or otherwise.

With that in mind, it might be possible for him to die, which of course meant he had to take everything seriously while keeping in mind any and all possible consequences of such an action or inaction. He couldn’t jump out of a window, because he wasn’t sure if the fall would kill him or not, and it was always best to err on the side of safety.

Yes, this really helped define the line between, didn’t it?

The word 'consequences' suddenly came to the forefront of Alan’s mind, waving a red flag. The word seemed to light up wires that had temporarily lost their meaning. He should be afraid of something right now. That is, other than the fact that he just showed up in Celestia’s Throne…

Oh crap.

Celestia, the most powerful being in this entire world, had been in the middle of a meeting, and he had just fallen in on her. True, everything he knew about the Princess screamed merciful and fun-loving, but she still had to be treated with respect.

His eyes snapped open and went straight to the alicorn. “P-Princess, Celestia, I-I am so sorry for this, I-I don’t know how this happened, I-I’m so sorry. This was one big misunderstanding, I’m a nobody and I don’t mean anyone any harm.”

Celestia blinked, probably for the first time since Alan had seemingly fallen through her ceiling. She blinked again before taking a cautious, but confident step forward. “How do you know my name, Human?”

Alan’s brain wasn’t working right. He knew that at that precise moment, because instead of doing the smart thing and answering the stupid question, he was more caught up in the idea that Celestia knew what he was.

Had the Fanfics been right? Had there been a lost civilization of Humans at one time or another? What had been their relationship with Equestria? Oh, I hope it was a good one.

Alan opened his mouth, to say, of all things, “How do you know what I am?” instead of answering the question like he should have, but was interrupted before he could get the first word out.

The two golden, ornate doors of the throne room flew open, and two ponies entered. One, a brown earth pony with an hourglass cutie mark, the other, a grey pegasus with crossed, yellow eyes. Alan instantly recognized them as the famous Dr. Hooves and Derpy Hooves, and was both overjoyed and shocked to see them.

Overjoyed, because they were both his favorite background ponies and shipping pair. Shocked, because Derpy seemed to be wielding something that looked like a bazooka.

“Eat muffin, Space Monster!” Derpy yelled, firing the weapon she held in her hooves.

Alan only briefly wondered what she meant by that. Of course, he understood rather quickly when a blueberry baked good smashed into his face.

The muffin hit surprising hard, even though it was very squishy and fresh from the oven. So hard, in fact, that he almost missed the Doctor say, “Derpy, stop! That’s not a Dalek!”

It was then that hell broke loose. The Guards, torn between the horror of this new creature and the sudden appearance of the muffin-based weaponry, threw themselves at the human and grey pegasus, one for each, and tackled them to the ground.

The Doctor, seeing the poor crossed-eyed pony pinned, galloped to the guard, throwing his weight against him in an attempt to free her. Twilight, being ever curious, ran to her mentor and began to ask the princess any question she could think of. “What’s a Human? Is that a human? Where did he come from? Is it, in fact, a he?...”

Rainbow Dash, seeing a fight taking place, instantly threw herself into the fray between the Guardpony and the human, smashing into Alan’s back with her hooves. Applejack followed suit, ramming the Doctor as he tried to free the pegasus. Rarity, shocked at the display, took shelter behind the princess, and was almost surprised to see Fluttershy already there.

Pinkie Pie, seeing this new chaos, did the thing that came most naturally to her—she laughed her flank off.

Somehow, in the middle of the fray, both fights met up and formed into its own battle royal. Hooves flew as six ponies and a confused human rolled in a fight to what seemed like death. Alan bumped against mane, wing, armor and fur as he was thrown about the melee, doing his best to keep from drawing his knife for fear of making things infinitely worse for himself. A hoof smacked him across the head, sending another blinding white flash of pain across his vision, before another smashed into his gut, threatening to make him eject his meager breakfast.

“Enough!” a royal voice yelled, and instantly the fight stopped. The cartoon ponies could only stare at their princess as her mane flared into an inferno.

Just as quickly, the flame died, and the calm demeanor returned. She then gave a polite cough, and everypony lined themselves up in some semblance of order, the guards returning to their post, while Rainbow, Applejack, Doctor Hooves and Derpy stood at attention before her, leaving Alan still on the floor, coughing up dust.

“Now, my little ponies,” Celestia began, “I want everyone to calm down and remain silent while I ask my questions. Understood?”

Everypony nodded.

“Good. Now, Human, since you already know who I am, perhaps you will do me the honor of introducing yourself?”

Alan, dazed, let a second of silence pass before answering, “Alan, your Highness, Alan Williams.”

Celestia nodded. “Wonderful. It is a pleasure to meet you, Sir Williams. It seems to me that you are experiencing an advanced form of culture shock, is that correct?”

“Well, your Highness, it is not incorrect.”

Celestia nodded again. “I see. Then as of right now, I would like to dismiss you until tomorrow, where I will have everypony explain themselves in full. Lieutenant Pauldrons?”

“Yes, your Highness?” one of the Guards asked.

“Please escort Sir Williams to the guest chambers, any one of them that has been reserved for the nobles will do.”

“Yes, your Highness.”

“Answer any questions he may have, no matter how trivial, and see that he has something to eat later today. He has full access to the royal kitchens, and I will not hear any complaints from Copper Pots. Am I understood?”

“Yes, your Highness.”

“Very good. Now, Twilight,” she said, addressing her student.

“Yes, Princess?”

“It seems you and your friends will be staying a while longer. If you wish, you may follow Sir Alan, but please respect his space, and do not ask any questions about how he got here. I wish to hear that first, and I wish for Luna to be with me when I do. Understood?”

“Yes, Princess.”

“I will have rooms made available to you as soon as I can,” Celestia said, before turning to the Doctor and the pegasus. “You two will also be given rooms. You will be giving an explanation of your behavior towards the human tomorrow, but as of right now, I do not want to hear it, nor do I think the human wishes to discuss it.” She then leaned very close to the two intruding ponies. “And I trust you will be on your best behavior.”

The Doctor chuckled nervously. “Yes, yes of course, your Highness, a simple misunderstanding is all. We’ll be on our very best behavior, won’t we, Derpy?”

Derpy rolled her eyes, aligning them, “I told you, you were overreacting. Yes, your Highness, perfect behavior.”

Celestia nodded. “That is good to hear. Now,” she said, standing her full height, and facing the entire audience, “you may leave, and please, enjoy your stay in Canterlot.”

--------------------------------

Well, there you guys go, the first Chapter of A Novice Swordsman in the Canterlot Court. This is the part of the story where I ask for criticism, comments and the-

“Psst!”

…uh…criticism, comments and t-

“PSSST!”

Oh no.
You know, Pinkie, It’s normally a policy of mine not to talk to my characters in writing.

“But I’m not one of your characters, I’m Lauren's!”

*sigh* Noted. Is there something you wanted?

“Yuparooni! Two things actually. First, why oh why are you writing a Human in Equestria story? Aren’t they overdone and boring? And B, Why haven’t I said anything yet or thrown a party or given somepony a hug or made Alan smile or eaten a cupcake or—”

Yes, Pinkie, I get it. To answer the first question, I’m writing this because I think that most HiE stories are too quick to fall into the whole “This is so Awesome!” stage without giving it a good job at the “Why did this happen to me? Why can’t I leave?” angle. There are 5 stages to loss, but everyone skips to acceptance anyway. I plan to change that with this story.
Secondly, you haven’t done anything yet, because I don’t want you ruining anything.

“…what?...”

Uh, no! Not like that, Pinkie, it’s just uh…you see, Alan’s read fanfiction and if you break the fourth wall and talk to me or the readers in the story, you’ll make Alan see that he’s a character, and that would…uh…make him feel bad?

“Really?”

Yeah, I just don’t want you hurting his feelings or ruining any surprises is all.

“Oh…ok…”

I just wanted to let you know that first before I unleashed you into the fic, so that everything goes by smoothly, ok?

“Okie-Dokie-Lokie!”

Here, have a cupcake to make you feel better.

And then Pinkie saw before her, a cupcake, but a cupcake unlike any before ever seen. It was perfect, with the perfect amount of frosting, the perfect amount of sugar, the perfect amount of chocolate. It was immaculate.

“…For me?”

As long as you don’t talk directly to me in the story, and always refer to the readers as the ‘audience.’ It will make Alan think you’re talking to people watching TV.

Pinkie looked at the cupcake, silent for a very long time, especially for her, before turning her head towards you.

“Tell DungeonMiner he has a deal, Audience, since I can’t tell him myself, now if you’ll excuse me, this cupcake and I have some quality time to catch up on.”

Yeah, so anyways, criticism, comments and the like, I would love your feedback, and please, all questions will be answered in the story (unless they don’t relate or if it’s supposed to be a mystery). Thanks for reading so far, bye!

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