• Published 29th Oct 2016
  • 2,348 Views, 287 Comments

Silver Shield - David Silver

Gaea Shield is a proud member of the guard. Despite being a pegasus, he has the bulk of any earth pony, matching mass with Big Mac. But brawn alone may not be enough as the political minefield he's stepped in isn't kind to those without finesse.

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1 - Reporting for Duty

A soft rapping on the door made Silver look up. His magic felt past the door, unseen by most in its silvery haze as he felt who was waiting for him. A pegasus, male, quite large... He knew that shape. Not with intimate familarity, but they'd met a few times. "Gaia?"

"Gaea, but you can just call me Shield," corrected the pegasus as he entered. "Sir. Prince Silver Watch, I'm here as requested."

Silver hopped down from his chair to his hooves smoothly, his wings ruffling on his back. "A pleasure, sorry about the name. No offense intended."

Shield respected Silver, as he did most of royalty. It was hard not to. You didn't become royalty without earning it, unlike the nobles... "I've been briefed."

Silver flushed at that. His weakness with names was famous enough to warrant briefing? He shook off the awkwardness. "Yes, well, you're aware of the changeling situation?"

Shield nodded quickly. "Public opinion is divided and running hot."

Silver let out a little sigh. "They're just ponies."

Shield raised a brow. "Not exactly 'just' ponies."

Silver pointed at Shield. "You're not 'just' a pegasus, but you are a pony, and deserve to be treated fairly. All thinking and reasoning beings do."

Shield wondered a moment, then dared to speak it out loud. Silver was known for being slow to anger. One could even say lenient, but he didn't have to serve under the soft-hearted diplomat. He was a proud servant of Luna. "Is this because of your aborted plans to wed the changeling princess?"

Silver darkened all over again. "It's... I was married to her before she became that. I miss her, she misses me." He turned to the window. "But no, it's not just that. That wouldn't be enough reason to upset things... We're both royalty. The country... has to come first."

Shield smiled internally. It was good to hear royalty acting like proper royalty. "What do you need done, sir?"

Silver turned back to him. "I need someone on the ground, ferreting out the sources of the worst rumors. I don't want anypony jailed or harassed, but gently?" He flashed a sudden smile. "I know the lunar guard isn't specialized in gentle changes."

It was Shield's turn to darken. "I can handle it, sir!" It didn't help that it was accurate. Lunar soldiers are trained how to act decisively first. "If you believe that, sir, why did you call for me?"

Silver pointed a hoof at Shield's flank, where changeling wings were spread behind a shield. "I trust you to handle this with proper respect for the changelings. They are trying to be good citizens, to be good ponies."

Shield glanced back at the mark and then at Silver. "I'll do my best, sir. Do you have any information?"

Silver's magic grabbed a folder and slapped it down on the desk. "Here, take it. The original source is... gone, but where the fire is gone, it all still smoulders, waiting to erupt in a fresh wave of resentment. They deserve better than that."

Shield nodded firmly. "They do, sir." He stepped up and snatched the folder with a dexterous wing. "I'll get on this right away."

Silver gave a gentle smile. "Thank you. If you hit any trouble... don't feel bad telling me."

Soft hearted. Shield nodded at the gentle royal and moved to depart, knowing he wouldn't be censured for doing so without being formally dismissed.

"Good luck," came Silver's voice before the door closed softly.

Night Watch, the lunar pegasus wife of Silver Watch, crept up on the door not far away from where she lived. She eyed that door as if expecting it to explode at any minute. Her body softly pulsed with quickened spiritual energy. Her grandfather was with her, in her in fact. She was ready for a fight.

There were... proprieties to observe. She let out a slow breath as she straightened herself. She couldn't just creep up on a foreign ambassador's room. She strode instead and rapped twice on the door with a clop of her hoof.

The door cracked open, revealing a figure that many might struggle to see, but was quite clear to her eyes. Night rolled her eyes. "Get Nefertari."

The jackal snarled at Night. "Don't think you can order me around!"

Night waved away the spirit's irritation. "We've already tested our mettle. Get her."

The spirit gave a loud grunt, clearly displeased with its status compared to Night. The door closed with a thump.

It was scarcely a moment before Night felt a hand settle on her withers and Nefertari's voice speak. "To what do I owe this pleasure, former student?"

Night backed away from the hand. "I have reason to believe you are in possession of something that belongs in Equestrian hooves. I'm hoping you will surrender it without trouble." The energy within her flared, ready for battle. "Let's remain civil."

Nefertari raised a brow. "My time has not been spent idle, concubine."

Night darkened with fury. "That is not my title!"

Nefertari rolled a hand slowly. "As far as royalty, that's as close as you come. Prince to the left, princesses to the right, and here you are... The question remains."

Night thrust a hoof towards Nefer's closed door. "Yes, will you give it up?"

"And if I do not?" Nefer raised her shoulders. "Will you send me home and threaten that stability over such a little thing, not to say that I do have whatever you are alleging."

Night grunted softly. "Let's not trade insults and threats--"

"That is half the requirement of my task." Nefertari's fingers crooked to display their sharp claws. "Speak what you want clearly."

A spectral figure appears, with fluffy hair and a green tone. "Give back my Charlie!"

Nefertari crooked a wicked smile. "Now it becomes clear. Hmm, he has spoken that name among so much rambling. Why would you want such a thoroughly damaged soul? He's a danger to everyone if he's set free."

Night fought her first impulses. She tried to take a different tack. "That will be our problem. He deserves at least a chance."

Nefer's expression turned to amusement. "Oh?" The jackal licked across her lips as her arms crossed under her human-like breasts. "You're ready to accept that responsibility, should it go into a wild frenzy? It may hurt many, kill some... Are you prepared to handle that?"

The green spirit scowled. "My Charlie wouldn't ever do that! Once you stop holding him, he'll calm down."

Night glanced between them. Trusting the word of a spirit of another spirit that knew each other in life? Chance... "We'll take that risk. Release him to me, and I will accept all responsibility."

"On your head be it." Nefertari clucked her tongue. "I've examined it as far as I will. He's too shattered and broken for much more." She leaned forward. "But first, a proposal."

Shield walked along with that folder. He pulled it open and began to skim it as he went along. There were mentions of some 'nopony', but it was also thoroughly noted that that pony was deceased. The initial cause of the trouble, it seemed. He had his work ahead of him.

"Gaea Shield," came a stern voice.

Shield snapped the folder shut and tucked it under a wing to see a lunar pony in proper lunar guard attire looking at him. "The Princess requests your presence." Among Lunar guards 'the' princess was always Luna.

He nodded at the fellow guard. "I'm on my way." He always got mildly touchy looks from true lunar ponies. They think they're closest to Luna. Shield rolled his eyes as he went, a wing adjusting his glasses. He was completely loyal, and competent enough to earn some rank. Luna saw his potential, even if the lunars were too busy playing racial purity cards instead of serving the country, and Luna.

Shield strode into the subtly darker corner of the castle that heralded the hallways that belonged to the Princess of the Night. He nodded towards each lunar guard he passed. He knew most of them by sight, even with that armor that made them all seem so similar.

One extended a hoof, barring his way. He knew that one. He smiled at Shield. "Did you really get called to Prince Silver Watch's room?"

Shield nodded. "I'm being sent out."

The guard shook his head. "He can give orders to lunar guards?"

Shield shrugged a bit at that. "He is Luna's husband, and they've yet to argue about it. By all accounts, he does want to make things better."

The guard shrugged. "So long as he remembers Luna is your mistress, not him." He darkened faintly as he realized how what he said could be taken. "Not that he can be, a, uh, mistress, being a... stallion and all."

The guard beside the first burst into laughter at the awkward words and slapped his partner with a hoof. "I wouldn't stress about him very much."

Shield had to nod at that. He doubted he'd get much static from Silver from what he'd seen. "Be that as it may, I plan to do it right. I have to go, Luna's waiting for me."

Both guard snapped to attention and didn't stop him from proceeding. Luna's desires were a high priority.

When he reached her personal room, the guards nodded to him as one turned and tapped gently. "Princess Luna, Gaea Shield has arrived."

The door opened moments later, and he was waved inside. He trotted past the guards into the room gently bathed with silvery light. There was Luna, radiant as always on a cushion, papers spread out about her. Luna nodded to Shield. "I trust my husband hasn't bothered you too greatly."

Shield quickly shook his head. "He gave me an assignment, Your Highness. I assume I should give it my full attention?"

Luna pointed to the folder tucked under Shield's wing. "What is that?"

"Intelligence, Your Highness, concerning the recent changeling activity and public backlash."

She frowned faintly. "Yes, do continue, but keep me appraised. I want to hear all that you hear." Her magic wrapped around the folder. He wasn't trained to see magic, so it was invisible to him, save for the effect of the folder lifting up and moving to her to browse. "I will read this first. Come back in an hour and it will be returned. Thank you, dismissed."

Shield gave a sharp salute at his mistress. "As you command, Princess."

Luna smiled gently. "You will be my eyes and ears in this. Don't let me down." She waved for him to depart, and the meeting was over.

Shield stepped out, minus one folder. He'd have to wait for its return if he wanted a full briefing, but he wasn't sure if he planned to do that. Time was an asset he didn't have infinite supply of, and he intended to do well by Luna and Silver.

Author's Note:

No author's note? The worst typo of all!