• Member Since 20th Dec, 2013
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David Silver


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Sequels1

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This story is a sequel to Putting on a Silver Robe and Wizard Hat


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.

Of course, he is but one part of an unfolding action. Can he play his part of the machine without getting caught in the gears? How will the others around him fare? Let us read and find out together.

Part of the Silver Verse.

Chapters (23)
Comments ( 287 )

Ohh new story! will def check it out latter tonight.

Yeah yeah yeah, flavor text. [click through] [check objective log] Talk to changelings. I can do that!

Time is of the essence, but knowledge even more so.

Action without Knowledge is where the pebble that strikes the rock that causes the avalanche that blocks the river that causes the flood that triggers the earthquake that makes the volcano erupt, go down teh side of the mountain which ends with the volcano being hundreds of miles from anywhere, and being under the middle of a city.

i hope people will like this fic :scootangel:

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

As a person who has had to prove they were sentient, not sapient, multiple times I do not approve of the just world hypothesis, the mythical norm, myth of arrival, or the myth of the middle class. Unfortunately, not everyone uses logic, common sense, calculus, or some other objective philosophy based on rules, laws, or facts to determine fairness. . . And then there is the matter of executive functioning and propaganda which makes an unfair justification seem reasonable, forgivable, or pitiable when it really isn't becasue relativism (in theory).

So, the night watch's jackal is like a fetch or like a silhouette of Peter Pan type thing? I realize this is a sequel, but as a fresh story some people might read cold and have no idea of the metaphysics or cosmology involved. I had no idea the one character wasn't alone until she was like "do this, do that, bla bla blah." And then her encounter with the 'harkonnan' (for lack of a better term) was just a whole bunch of meaningless posturing in my opinion.

What's this? A new Silver story, and one that promises political intrigue? :pinkiegasp: It's like I'm being explicitly called back! Let's dig into this and see if the fic can make good on its promises.

Okay, so the story seems to revolve around newcomer Gaea Everf-, er, Shield. I'm not sure how "Gaia" is pronounced differently from "Gaea," but apparently Silver has a habit of mispronouncing names that's bad enough to merit a briefing? That's...odd. But that's less noteworthy than how, right from the get-go, I'm not sure what "the changeling situation" is. Is the fic trying to tell us that the events of To Where and Back Again have happened in this fic? Or is this in reference to the (still relatively) recent happenings in previous fics where the changelings were accepted as fellow ponies and given a place in Canterlot? The story isn't making this clear, and that's leading to it stumbling right out of the gate.

I also have to protest Silver's saying that the changelings "are just ponies." No, Silver, they're not. I get that they (want to) identify as ponies, and that you and fellow sympathizers think of them that way - heck, even Spike identified as a pony at the end of Dragon Quest - but that doesn't mean that they actually are. That's because ponies, at least when they become adults, have an intrinsic aspect to them that differentiates them from non-ponies, that being their cutie mark. Changelings don't have cutie marks; the closest they can come is to disguise themselves as ponies that do, but that's just cosmetic. Changelings aren't ponies, the same way that Gabby and other griffons aren't ponies. They do deserve to be treated with the same level of dignity and respect, presuming that they don't betray that goodwill, but that doesn't mean that they're the same as ponies.

And then we come to the bomb that's so casually dropped in this chapter: Silver's "aborted" plans to wed the changeling princess? His aborted plans? What the hell?! Gaea had freaking better be showing his ignorance here, because last we heard Silver was planning on making things up to Fast Change as part of his plan to marry a representative of each of the races he'd helped - to say nothing of the fact that, you know, they're still in love with each other - and that seemed to be going forward. So if something happened to throw that off then there had better be a damned good explanation for it! :flutterrage:

It's after this point that the story begins to make it clear that newcomer Gaea is going to be a main character in this fic (notwithstanding the title, I mean). Again, I have to critique the way we're being introduced to him. It's not so much that Silver casually notes that they've met before without giving us any exposition to help make it clear how that was, but rather that we're casually told that he has a cutie mark that has something to do with changelings and doesn't then go on to explain this rather odd feature. I can understand him being a pony with a rather figurative cutie mark; after all, things like "magic" are hard to represent pictorially. I can accept that Gaea's name isn't (apparently) related to his special talent; names like "Rarity" don't expressly connect themselves to making dresses or being generous, after all. I can even deal with the fact that his job doesn't seem to have much to do with his cutie mark, though I think that we do need an explanation there.

Rather, what I don't like is that his cutie mark - and therefore his special talent - is so unusual (e.g. it specifically has to do with changelings, of all things) and yet it's casually thrown out there with no explanation or exposition. So it's intimated that Gaea has a connection to the changelings, but we're not going to be told what it is? Moreover, he quite clearly doesn't seem to have any particular affinity for them, so why does he have that cutie mark? There's simply too much that's being assumed here, with the audience being completely left in the dark. It's keeping us (or at least me) from being able to immerse ourselves in the story.

This has always been a staple of these fics, of course, but I find this frustrating for a fic that is promising political intrigue right out of the gate. Politics is not, as a rule, intuitive. The very nature of intrigue is that it deals with subtlety, subterfuge, manipulation, and quite a few other areas where the machinations are anything but obvious. In such instances, the story needs to walk us through the details, because the readers will almost certainly not be able to fill in the necessary blanks on their own. Even if you dislike narrative exposition, the background details and explanations need to be given somehow, otherwise they won't be made clear to the readers. This is why so many fics that deal with these often have a "Dr. Watson"-style character, so that they can function as a proxy for the audience in asking the main character to explain it to them, creating an in-story justification for why the person who's in the know would explain things out loud.

Ironically, the story then moves on to another area where it does start to get into political machinations, although I'm unsure if it realizes that it's doing it or not. Specifically, that's in Gaea's pointed observations of the tension between the lunar and solar ponies in Luna's guard. This is the sort of point of which a lot of hay (pun intended) can be made, because this is a point that can be a source of drama. One might wonder why it is that Gaea, a solar pony, is in Luna's guard to begin with, but that's not that hard to understand: if you revere a particular princess, it's understandable that you'd want to devote yourself to them, issues of "racial purity" be damned. I take that as Gaea's motivation, though that's an assumption at this point. I do expect, however, that there's a subtle bit of friction over the fact that, while Luna is the progenitor of the lunar ponies, she isn't one herself, which ironically may be a point that some of her solar guards mention when they're being less than completely polite to their lunar fellows.

Delightfully, the fic then moves on to another source of drama, and this time it's quite clearly intentional: that Gaea, as Luna's guard, answers to Luna first, and has no problem letting her stick her nose into her husband's business. Now this is an area that's rich with potential for dramatic conflict. Silver may be married to Luna and the other princesses, but there are still demarcations as to whose political authority extends where, and how much. While Silver and the princesses may freely mix the personal together with the political, those who work for them don't have that same level of informality between them, and so it's entirely plausible that they end up working as cross-purposes as the ponies they control struggle to figure out what to do when they're in the service of two masters.

All of this underscores what I see as being one of the outcomes of this fic: that Silver needs his own royal guards (or other agents), who are beholden to him first, rather than second. He might be too easy-going to care, but someone (probably Night Watch, since the princesses are less likely to see the problem to begin with; why would they be upset about guards that report to them above all?) needs to sit him down and explain to him that he needs to have his own political apparatus, rather than borrowing his wives' (even Twilight has her friends), and that there's nothing disloyal or disharmonious about that. It's just the nature of the beast. I can already see Night Watch volunteering for that position, since it would give her back some of the authority that she's had stripped away from her. If anyone's fit to be "captain of the Silver Guard," it's her.

This was made somewhat self-evident by her deliciously-tense conversation with Nefertari. I have to admit, I very much enjoyed their little tete-a-tete, particularly with Nefertari casually calling Night Watch a concubine. That's the catty, combative Anubian we've come to know and love! Particularly since Nefertari is on the roster to get married (and probably have that baby that her honor demands), which is quite the role-reversal from when Night was Silver's wife and was keeping Nefertari from attaining that same status. Now the horseshoe's on the other hoof (albeit not literally), and it's entirely believable that Nefertari would be rubbing it in every chance she had. It was almost enough to make me overlook the issue with her keeping "Charlie's" spirit. Don't get me wrong, I'm glad that that dangling plot-thread is being resolved, but at the end of the day that still relies on having read another series of fics that I haven't perused, and without any explanation given here, that remains well nigh incomprehensible.

Getting back to Gaea, I'm hoping that whatever's in that folder has something more concrete in it than what Silver said, since otherwise his job was "take the public's temperature, and let me know if you hear anything bad." That's rather vague, and not a lot to build a story on, since without something more specific it relies on him essentially stumbling around in the dark until he happens to find something.

For all my complaining though, I'm really happy to see Silver and the gang back! Here's hoping this fic goes on for a long time!

7683398 Phew, alright, done reading that. A lot of it kind of boils down to one simple fact. This is chapter 1. You know how my stories go, or should. Why are you even surprised that, at chapter 1, you don't have all the pieces yet. You've been given a few from the jigsaw puzzle. You know more's coming. Why bemoan the lack?

As for Charlie, you already know what needs to be known.

Surprise is dead. Surprise is a ghost beside Night Watch. Surprise clearly wants this 'Charlie' returned safely and has some feeling towards them. Night is clearly willing to help make this a fact.

That's all you need to know.

You're taking delightful mysteries being presented and lamenting you don't already have the answers. That's boring. Relax. It'll come, promise.

7683900

Phew, alright, done reading that.

Typo detected! You've misspelled, "It's great to have you back! Thanks so much for writing all of that; I really love reading your in-depth coverage of my work!" :derpytongue2:

You're taking delightful mysteries being presented and lamenting you don't already have the answers. That's boring. Relax. It'll come, promise.

If I thought that these were being deliberately presented as mysteries, I wouldn't be bemoaning them. As it stands now, several parts of this chapter didn't read like they were teasers of things to come (at least not to me); rather, they just felt unclear. I suppose that issues of how Silver knew Gaea, what Gaea's schtick is, and what happened with the changelings might be things that are being deliberately kept in the dark, but the presentation here doesn't abet that reading of things, at least not to me.

Also, on an unrelated issue, why is there no author's note at the end? That's rather unusual for you.

7683940 When have I ever held a sign over mysteries? If it isn't said, it probably will later. Asking the question, sure, but don't be sad that I didn't.

The story started in the middle of an action. Such stories rarely have all the pieces right there. They come up as the story goes on, with things happening and people talking revealing those missing clues.

7683954 Again, I don't have an issue with stories that start in medias res; I just don't think that it was entirely clear that that's what was going on here. For example, I wasn't at all sure whether or not "the changeling situation" was supposed to be a mystery to begin with, since there was no clarification as to whether that was in reference to To Where and Back Again or something else entirely - that creates a problem, since the former reading (e.g. that it was in reference to those episodes) would tell us that it's not a mystery, whereas the latter reading (e.g. that it was in reference to a heretofore unspecified incident) tells us that it is. Hence my confusion.

A mystery, when presented, needs to be obvious that that's what it is in the first place. It's one thing to have missing pieces; it's another to be uncertain whether or not they're missing at all.

7683978 You sure sound mystified.

I could be misreading.

7683978 Missed a part. I could be wrong, but Gaea, to me, is 'gay ah' while Gaia is 'guy ah' Subtle, but different. Silver's poor ability to remember names has been kind of a constant in the story, not to mention my RL :p. I know I've mentioned it a few times.

back after some army brake...
7683398 :rainbowderp: well wow... that is long
as for Gaea Shield, as my oc i can explain more about him, i posted his mark in the comments
he is from another fic (born in the fic verse and adjusted to more normal fics)
his mark is a Shild, Hammer and a pair of changeling wings, there is more to the story around it but it was downsized to the idea he protected a changeling because he didn't care it was a changeling he cared that it was (as david said in fic) just another pony to him, this is more of a general idea. he protected something he thought deserved it without caring who or what it was. this also made some trouble because as you said its a specific mark aimed on changeling. but again... long and a different story here.

the idea is he protects and defends those he deem worthy of it without the mindset of a normal pony that is more or less xenophobic

7692678 Long comments that (overly) analyze things are kind of what I do. :raritywink:

Thanks for the explanations about Gaea's character!

Yay. more stuff revolving close to the important characters!!!!

"My Charlie wouldn't ever do that! Once you stop holding him, he'll come down."

is come right or is it calm?
So Gaea is solar pony in the lunar guard with naturally dark coat (like my own avatar) yes?

This is not the jeanie you were thinking of.

Your jeanie is in another bottle.

Mr tufty acknowledges he is a changeling, Shield shows his training by not responding?

Cute alien bugs stealing things at random? Who Let The Clefairlings Out? Ot these days versions, Minion Rush. :twilightoops:

7695949 Hello, bronies, look at your oc, now back to my oc, now back at your oc, now back to my oc. Sadly, he isn't my oc, but if he stopped using ladies scented body wash and switched to Old Spice, he could smell like he’s my oc. :trollestia:
dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/11012971/MLP/Shield.s.png

7695958 When did he confess this?

7695949 Calm, fixed, also a reply came but in the wrong chapter, do look for that.

7695967 I like that advert, I was a granite boulder going back to when I was lava bombed out of a volcano oh, 2.6 million years ago. Worn down to a size small enough for Maud to carry me around for awhile in current times, Now I'm magically turned into a pony due to the ley line nexus under the rock farm. Is that 'Old Spicey' enough?:pinkiehappy:
pre13.deviantart.net/d91a/th/pre/f/2016/292/2/f/pony_was_a_rock_by_lynx318-daljgc0.png
Edit: Maybe my Nightmare Night avatar was more apt?:facehoof:
img10.deviantart.net/8b76/i/2016/284/a/c/nightmare_night_by_lynx318-dakmm16.jpg
(I'm taking this in fun as I assume it was meant, so my silliness I give back in comradery)

7695991 Hey are you in contact with Kiki? He seems to think we need to prod you like this...
fc00.deviantart.net/fs70/f/2012/338/5/3/soarinsfire_by_ajmstudios-d5n2xme.gif
...into goading you for updates in Silververse and I quote.

Author's Note:
Yay I got an update up! :pinkiehappy: New apartment has no wifi yet, and my phone internet is kinda clumsy, so keep hunting down those typos and I will kills ‘em as soon as inhumanly possible. :pinkiecrazy: I’m pony-wording from work right now though, so updates come first. :scootangel: Also everyone make sure to poke David with a stick until he updates his new Silververse story! :trollestia:

Don't know what he's getting at cause here we are? But anyway I'm sure you'll chat nicely(refer below image, snerk) to him now he has a new apartment and less troublesome co-tenants. Seems we all got problems *sigh* :facehoof:
ponybot.net/pix/1621.gif

7696050 We have each other on Skype. He was one of the first to see this chapter. Did you like it?

7696089 Yep, like it a lot, new character plus some closure with Nefer's shenanigans a bit more is all good, though I would be glad to see her stay involved as she plays a mean wild card for Night to deal with. Happy to see some more in this verse and still think it has a wide scope for plot progress ahead of it. If I can keep my mind on topic long enough I'll try thinking up some dilemmas for the cast of silververse to contend with and pm 'short' (don't want to annoy you at all, especially with TL:DR stuff) suggestions to you hopefully?

7695991

Shield pointed up at the pony's tufted ears. "I know at least one other pony that pretends to be what they aren't."

The earth pony turned a deep red. "It's... different." He shrunk a little.

Shield pressed a little. "And if a lunar was fooled, you wouldn't enjoy savoring their love?"

The blush spread down the poor stallion's neck. "I-I wish..." He seemed to realize what he had said. "Oh..." He sat up suddenly, looking less lost. "Is it really just like that?"

Um, Im Very sorry if Im mis reading this bit. I didnt do too well at school with languages. :pinkiesad2:

7696706 Shield called out the stallion on altering his appearance to attract the attention of lunar ponies, which is kind of contrary to believing changelings had to be evil for pretending to be what they are not.

Shield pointed up at the pony's tufted ears. "I know at least one other pony that pretends to be what they aren't."

The earth pony turned a deep red. "It's... different." He shrunk a little.

Shield pressed a little. "And if a lunar was fooled, you wouldn't enjoy savoring their love?"

The blush spread down the poor stallion's neck. "I-I wish..." He seemed to realize what he had said. "Oh..." He sat up suddenly, looking less lost. "Is it really just like that?"

I understand the parable that's being demonstrated here, I really do, but I found myself having to strain to prevent slamming my head onto the desk as I read this part. No, it's not "just like that" at all!

The problem with Gaea's line of reasoning (and I find it a bit confusing to use his last name like that. Admittedly, Rainbow Dash does sometimes get called "Dash," but for the most part the second part of ponies with two-word names isn't used on its own the way the first word is. Twilight Sparkle hasn't been called "Sparkle" by anypony ever. Neither has Pinkie Pie ever been called "Pie," etc.) is that the pony he's talking to is explicitly stated to be an earth pony, whereas the only lunar ponies are pegasi.

That means that no matter how much that stallion tufts up his ears, absolutely no one is going to be fooled, because he doesn't have the leathery wings that are the single most salient feature of lunar ponies. This means that anyone who looks at him will instantly recognize that he's a solar pony sporting an affectation, which is distinctly different from the changelings, whose ability to alter their appearance is so total that it's a deception.

In other words, this entire exchange is based on a presumption of "you're like them" which simply isn't true. That stallion should have immediately pointed this out to Gaea, rather than conceding a point that doesn't survive even casual scrutiny. No lunar mare would ever be fooled by how that stallion looks, and so he's not perpetrating a fraud based on a false identity the way that the changelings do.

Also, when did this fic change its name? Is that what's being referenced in the author's note?

7700503 Good thing Silver Shield never said anything about completion? Was that really the most interesting part of the chapter?

Of course he isn't going to pass as a lunar pony, but he is modifying his appearance to look more like one to gain the attention (and love, with any luck) of one. At best, he's just really bad at being a changeling. This isn't... even an advanced concept. Could you argue changelings 'go too far'? Sure you could. Of course you could. I'm sure many do. They didn't. That's... not much of a crime. The accused also buggered off to go chasing some lunar tail rather than continue that line of conversation.

7700508 Gaea Shield is being pulled back a little, hence the name change to make it less jarring.

Alright, boom chapter one and we have three threads! We have a feeling at least three months have passed, but not everything seems to align with that sentiment...

Oh Charlie, never stop being you. Humans and their determination, amirite?
So we have changeling pretenders? We wonder under whose authority it was determined that changelings were the source of the thefts. I find it likely some ponies are using normal robberies for fear-mongering, but it's possible the thefts have an organized purpose. We'll wait and see.
Speaking of, what was the boon Nefertari requested of Night? Hmmm. ...
Keep going! ;)

Hm. Time skip, or did I overlook a story between the coronation and this?

7704952 Nopony promised it wouldn't abuse time.

7705312 The Smart and Swirly beardpony says if you abuse time, time will abuse you.

So little is shown up front that many things happen out of sight, that are still canon, and then theres the rest of the realm, and world.

After all, Chrysalis had to take out the Alicorns, because even with the magic damping field, Isaac Newton is the biggest SOB there is. Lets see how bad a time they have with Science And Samantha. :pinkiecrazy:

I believe this is the point where Night goes Charlie Horse on them as well? :twilightoops:

Placebo test for Shield, if he was a changeling, desperation would have him change to something else stronger in order to escape.
7707405 Silver isn't out of it just yet, he's just biding his time for more information to fill in the details of what's going on.

Of course, he knew more magic than unicorn magic.

Night glanced between the hopeful green spirit and the raging red one. "You could be a force for goodness."

"Bullshit."

Yes, that is goodness for the garden, why do you have some?:rainbowlaugh:

pony she met before - pony she had met before

bit roughly in his shoulder - bit roughly into his shoulder

*****

You've done a good job of integrating this into the show canon without disrupting anything. I'm super curious to see how this all plays out with the big revelation at the season finale. :twilightsmile:

7708874

"There isn't any no forward to go."

"There ain't no any kinda forward to go."

Rambling Southernisms are typos all by their lonesome. :applejackconfused:

7708884 Typo is evolving! It's become... a different typo?

Yay! I think.

7708898
Dialogue is almost never a typo, so your words will be spared undue scrutiny. :derpytongue2:

7709319 Dialogue is frequently nothing but typo after typo before typo within typo above typos surrounded by typos within typos with little typo medals pinned on their chests by flashy typo ribbons.

7710174 But it still gets a pass as long as one can reasonably argue that it's the way the character talks. Nobody says "hte" for "the" in real life so that's easy to pick out, but "goin'" instead of "going" is a little more tricky.

:rainbowwild: 7710188 Weel, laddie-buck, if'n ye must git awl podantic aboot't, oi c'n sae wi' nigh surtenty 't'least one o'these acksents is jest a wee bit off.

yes, alternate faction it is.
Changelings detecting other changelings? Poor Fast, she's not in a favorable position...
Keep going! ;)

Is it wrong that I want Chrysalis doused with a can of raid. She is the perfect self centered villain who I hope never gets reformed and possibly killed, just like Sombra.

My favorite crazy scientist is back
i think of sam any the pony version of soul eaters Professor Stein

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