• Published 1st Jan 2018
  • 1,895 Views, 140 Comments

Between Arstotzka and Equestria: Papers, Please - A_Storyteller



The border between Arstotzka and Equestria opens. Will these two words be able to coexist? And...How much can the events be influenced by the decisions of a simple checkpoint's Inspector? - A crossover between "Papers, Please" and MLP

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All in a day's work

25 October, 1983 – H 13:00 to 18:00

“There you are! You creep!”

A sudden sentence took the inspector by surprise...a sentence that could mean only one thing: more trouble.

Hektor's attention was suddenly caught by a winged girl with an aggressive and determined expression. Clearly she was mad at him; why? Who could tell?

“You made my friend Rarity cry all through the night! We had to spend hours trying to calm her down and to convince her to not do anything crazy to get her sister back...even if I agreed with her plans, to tell you the truth!” What kind of monster could do that??? Splitting a child from her sister! That’s something...awful!!!”

<<Ok. Now I know.>>

Hektor tried to keep a professional behaviour in front of that volcano with a short haircut that gave her a boyish look...a look with hair that, who could tell why, had all the color of the rainbow.

“Please, keep calm and show me your papers, miss” he held his hands in front of him, trying to invite the girl to keep calm; after a short break he continued, posing as more authoritative as possible “A friend of Sweetie Belle and Discord, I presume?”

“Do not speak to me as I am a friend of yours, mister...I can't respect someone that brings so much pain to a friend of mine!”

She raised her wings, trying to appear bigger than she was, even if it was clear that there was no competition in terms of height and size, as she was tall enough just to reach his shoulders. With a few fast steps, the Equestrian winged girl reached Hektor's desk, slamming both her hands on it.

“Do you have a heart? Maybe the coldness of this place froze it? How could you do something like that?”

She looked at him straight in the eyes. Hektor, perfectly motionless, focused his look on the girl in front of him; he couldn’t not think that despite the angry expression, he was facing a fine looking girl.

“I applied the law, that's all!” Hektor replied without breaking eye contact with her, showing no weaknesses at all in front of her “Do you think that it was funny for me to leave in this hell, a child and a...strange...guy...in a place that they don't know?”

At those words, a little smirk grew on the girl’s face; he could hear her whispering to herself “Discord addressed as a ‘strange guy’...that's funny.”

Hearing the opening offered by the Equestrian, Hektor gained self-confidence and pressed further “I don't know what you think happened or why...but here, laws are strict. When I'm an Inspector, I have to follow the rules. It's to protect your world.”

“We can take care of our matters by ourselves, mister.” she replied while taking some steps back and putting her hand on her hips, facing the Inspector with a challenging attitude “After all the dangers I faced with my friends, I can say for sure that some bipedal creatures could not represent any harm to…”

“Problems?” Ian interrupted the conversation; for the umpteenth time, he was able to come inside the booth without making a sound.

The answer from the Inspector came quickly “Not at all...I was going to check her documents.”

The blonde soldier nodded silently; a moment later, he pointed his free hand toward the Equestrian “she's one of the two girls I mentioned early. The money you gave me was enough to find a decent guide for them, after all” he said with with his typical indifferent tone of voice.

Without giving the time to reply, he gave his back to the ones in the booth, opening the door to go out “There is not much time left before closing...you should speed up your work, Inspector.”

While hearing the door closing, Hektor checked the clock, realizing that there was just an hour left before 18:00.

“He’s definitely a strange guy” the Equestrian said out loud without even looking at the Inspector that, in reaction, just shrugged his shoulders.

“You heard him, miss” in that moment, his focus was all on the winged Equestrian in front of him “Please give me your documents. I'll check them as fast I can.”

“I can't say that you were fast in these hours” the girl replied with an apparent calmer tone while throwing her documents on the desk “Tank could do your job faster. We were left out there for hours!”

Who was Tank? There was no time to ask.

<<Rainbow Dash...Equestrians have such bizarre names>> A smile came out of his face while checking all the information on the passport.

“What? Is there something funny?” Suddenly the girl asked with a serious face to him.

“Nothing, nothing...I'm just happy that this story turned out well."

Fortunately, everything was in order. Hektor could not be more happy while printing the green stamp on her visa.

“Here you are, Miss Dash. You can pass” With quick moves, he closed the passport and gave it back to the owner.

“At least you were faster this time. You should always be like this” the girl said while taking everything back with swift moves “I could teach you something about speed. I'm the fastest pony in Equestria after all.”

The last words didn't attract Hektor's attention as she thought; he was staring at the entrance door “Are your friends the next in the line?”

“Yeah, they were right behind me. I think they will be the next to come in.”

The Inspector nodded, without saying any other word. Rainbow Dash swiftly reached the door to the portal “By the way” she suddenly said to the Inspector, focusing back her attention on him “even if this doesn't change my opinion about you, I wanted to tell you that you did a good thing, giving a roof to Discord and Sweetie Belle.”

“I follow the rules, but I'm not a monster.” Hektor told her the truth...a truth that clearly had little effect on the girl he was facing.

“You follow the rules too much...sometimes it's necessary to break them to do the right thing.”

She said before going out from the booth, leaving the Inspector alone with his thoughts.

<<You should know what happens here if rules are not properly followed, young girl>> Hektor bowed his head, looking at the desk, at his hands, at the Rule Book. Was he following it for the fear of the bad consequences of bad work, or to not face the fate that the ones who don’t do what Arstotzka orders meet?

It wasn’t the time to try to find an answer to that question...he had to stay focused.

“NEXT!”

The door opened and, with contained satisfaction, the Inspector smiled at the little group that entered the checkpoint. Few faces were well known to him, at this point.

Ian put his rifle on his shoulder while Discord, Sweetie Belle and another winged girl came in the booth “I thought it would be better to let them come in together.” His attention, as he did in previous similar situations, focused on the girl with the pink hair; he smiled a little, as various ideas involving that girl were making their way into his mind “Time is almost up” he added before turning back to reach the entrance.

“Do not make me beat you again, Mister Spirit of Chaos.” Ian’s voice could seem ironic, but it wasn’t.

“I would enjoy having fun with you, Mister ‘I am so strong and I have a cold heart’...one day you should come to Equestria. I would be reeeeeal happy to welcome you” It was clear that Discord was really displeased from the situation.

No reaction from the soldier who, as nothing was happening, closed the door behind him, leaving the group alone.

“I’m happy to see that you made it before closing time” Hektor’s word attracted the attention of the three Equestrians, whose expressions demonstrated all the fatigue of the day; especially Sweetie Belle’s face which was tired...even if there was something else, judging from the sadness on her face.

A question on the matter was needed, but Discord took the spotlight walking into the middle of the booth as melodramatically as possible; with his arms spread and a joyful expression on his face, he reached the Inspector.

“Sooooooo Hektor...Are you having fun with that stimping stomping stamping? Are you ready to stimp stamp the papers our friends brought here?”

There was a short silence while the Inspector looked at the unknown girl in front of him. Discord looked at them and snapped his finger “Oh that’s right. You don’t know her yet!” he underlined while swiftly taking the girl under his right arm “Meet Fluttershy, a great friend of mine.”

“H-Hello Mister Inspector”

“Can you repeat?” It was impossible to hear what she said.

“G-good day Mr. Inspector”

It was louder, but still hard to understand.

“Is there something wrong, miss?” Clueless about the problem, Hektor tried to remain as polite as possible, as he was sensing that the girl in front of him was somehow scared by him.

Her answer was a long silence; it was embarrassing to see her blushing for no understandable reason. The expression of Sweetie Belle wasn’t helping in making the moment less stressful; there was still bitterness in her eyes, something that was making him feel sad.

Discord broke the silence putting three passports on Hektor’s desk.

“This time these have to be good! My friends didn’t come here for nothing, after all!” He assumed an epic pose...or it was his intention, as it was more funny than epic “I hope they used a good photo for me. I didn’t open that document at all! I’m sure it will be splendid.”

In Hektor’s heart, he was hoping that everything was ok and, with a deep breath, he opened Discord’s passport.

It was strange...the photo pictured a strange monster head with an open mouth. Surely there was the beard that was very similar to the one Discord had, but it was as the photo was picturing a statue. The face had the same color as a stone and even the facial expression freezed in the photo was pretty comical. For sure, that photo had not the same requirement of the photos of the Arstotzkan passports, but in the Rule Book there was written that he was not to consider the Equestrian passport photos until new order so…no problem to solve.

Expiration date...Name...Equestrian stamp...everything was ok.

A little smile grew on Hektor’s face as he stamped the green ‘approval’ stamp on the visa.

“Cause no trouble” Hektor said with a sincere smile on his face.

“Me? The Spirit of Chaos? How could I?” he replied while swiftly taking back his passport from the Inspector’s hand. Discord slowly walked toward the booth’s exit “Be a gentleman with them...and remember: I have still to transform you into something, I will think about what in the coming days.”

Hektor raised the hand without the glove to salute him for the last time, but Discord couldn’t see him, as he was already turned toward the door. before opening it, he checked the photo on the passport. He smiled, but it wasn’t possible to understand if it was a pleased smile or not “Funny...a good move indeed...I have to find the one who had this nice idea.”

Those were the last words Hektor could hear before the exit door closed behind the Equestrian.

One gone, two to go.

With serious behaviour and with hope in his heart, he began to check the other two passports he had in front of him.

Sweetie Belle’s one was almost identical to the previous one, except that the expiration date that was correct. He looked at the little girl in front of him that, with her head bowed, wasn’t thinking at all of the situation, as her mind was in another dimension.

The Inspector smiled at her while stamping the approval stamp on her visa; he gently closed the passport before giving it back to her.

“I think that your sister will be happy to see you again”

The little girl raised her hands to get her passport back without enthusiasm. No words came from her.

After giving the documents to the little girl, Hektor smiled at her in a paternal way.

“I know you’re still disappointed by your sister’s behaviour and that now you’re sad because yesterday it looked like she thought just of herself and not of your problem...but I can assure you that she is really worried about you and that she wants above everything to see you again and to have you near her.”

Hektor was a swollen river; he had to let her recover the faith in her sister, it was the least he could do.

“The girl that came in before you told me that she wasn’t able to sleep last night...that she is sorry for leaving you behind and that she would have prefered to stay here in your place.”

“Then why isn’t she here, Hektor?” It was a founded question indeed. What could he answer to that?

Fortunately the other Equestrian came near Sweetie Belle and while putting an hand on the child’s right shoulder, she gave an answer with a voice that could tame even the angriest of the animals.

“Me and the others decided that it was better for her to stay at home. She was so shocked that she wasn’t able to stand from her bed for hours. It was dangerous to let her come here, even with us.”

Sweetie Belle looked sincerely worried from the news she heard “Does she really feel so bad for me? Then we have to go back as fast as possible! Poor Rarity.”

“It is clear that for her you’re the most precious person of the world. You’re lucky to have a sister like her. You can go, miss Sweetie Bell...you can go to check your sister now.”

A huge happy smile grew on Sweetie Belle’s cute face...a smile that could mend the sadness of even the most unlucky person in the world “I will, mister.”

Swiftly she tried to run out from the checkpoint; Hektor stopped her immediately “Wait a moment...I have to give you something before you go.”

She stopped at Hektor’s order and came back near his desk “Did I forget something?”

“Not really, but…” Hektor stopped for a moment to take the shapka off his head to put it on Sweetie Belle’s “I think you looked nice with my hat on your head, so I decided that it fits better on your head than on mine.”

He slowly put the fur hat on Sweetie Belle and he couldn’t hold back a smile while checking that maybe it was a little too big for her head.

Regardless, it was nice for him to see her happy expression for the gift; she was literally astonished “But...But...I can’t accept it, mister! How will you protect yourself from the snow and…”

“Do not worry. I will buy another hat later...I have to buy even another glove, as you can see” he added while showing her the bare hand. He smiled another time at her, pleased by the reaction he saw “Now go, your sister is waiting for you.”

Sweetie Belle nodded and took a step back, adjusting the had on her head; she saw in a moment that she could use her hair to lessen the empty space caused by the size of the hat. She looked at the man in front of her and smiled “Thanks for everything, Hektor. I hope you’ll come one day to visit us, as Discord said.”

“When I decide to be transformed into something by your friend, I’ll come.” The reply let the little child laugh a little; Hektor realized that he was having unprofessional behaviour, but for a laugh like that he would probably take 1000 citations. “Have a nice trip, little miss Sweetie Belle.”

The child saluted Hektor and the other Equestrian before running outside.

As there was nobody else in the booth, Hektor put his uncovered bald head between his head “She and her sister lived through a nightmare just because I decided to respect the rules...Maybe I made the worst choice...I’m a bad person.”

“You’re not a bad person, Mister Inspector” a soft, gentle voice interrupted his monologue; Hektor realized that the pink haired Equestrian girl was still there; when he looked at her, she suddenly changed her expression, looking almost terrified by the one she was facing. After a much too long silence, she tightened both of her hands in fists, as she was trying to concentrate and to focus “I...I mean...you protected her and my friend Discord from all the dangers...and he told me you let him sleep on your bed while you slept on a couch...”

At those words Hektor sighed, shaking his head a little while checking her documents “It was the least I could do Miss...Fluttershy.”

For a strange reason, it seemed that everyone in Equestria had a name linked to their particular features...maybe they were just nicknames? It wasn’t important, as he just had to check that the passports were in order and, fortunately, even that last passport had no problems.

Hektor stamped the approval stamp on Fluttershy’s passport, making a sound that let the girl in front of him jumping a little, closing it properly before giving it back to her; while doing so, he couldn’t not appreciate her stunning beauty and the wonderful expression on her face; she appeared gentle, calm, nice...something that was hard to find in Arstotzka.

“Is there any problem, mister?” While asking, she took some steps back from the desk and looked at the man in front of her as if she wanted to disappear from embarrassment “Am I...Am I bothering you somehow?”

“Ehm...nothing...I was just thinking about the situation. I’m just happy that everything turned out fine.” Hektor replied while adjusting the only glove left “You can go to the portal. Your documents are in order.”

“Thank you, Mr. Inspector” her calm and kind attitude was something that could warm even the coldest hearts “Please remember that you’re not a bad person...” She closed her eyes and smiled to him in such a genuine way that he couldn’t not smile back to ber.

The chat was interrupted from Ian “Sorry to interrupt your chit-chat, Inspector, but closing time has come and the last allowed traveller is waiting his turn outside.”

“Thanks for the information. I’ll call him as soon as I can.”

The soldier walked toward the exit and went out, not before giving an interested look to Fluttershy that, embarrassed by him, blushed a little.

Hektor enjoyed the scene before focusing back on the girl in front of him “Please Miss Fluttershy, I have to invite you to reach the portal; as you can see, there is still someone else that needs to come in.”

“Oh...It wasn’t my intention to cause problems. I’m...I’m really sorry” she answered sincerely “Thanks again for everything.”

Hektor raised his hand to salute and followed all of her movements. He saw her go out...finally everything was solved.

He breathed deeply satisfied and reached the microphone next to him.

“NEXT! THE OTHERS IN LINE CAN COME BACK TOMORROW AT 7:00.”

A deep sense of calm invaded his mind...he closed his eyes and lost himself in his thoughts before a known voice surprised him.

“Finally. I feared that I had to come back tomorrow, Mr. Inspector.”

That voice was familiar to him...He already listened it once. Memories linked to that voice weren’t good.

He opened his eyes and, with surprise, he had to see that he was facing the last person he wanted to see next at his desk:

Dari Ludum.

“It seems that I was lucky...it would be a pain to wait at the line once again. It’s really cold outside you know? And all those people in the line...it’s not so nice to stay outside your booth, Mr. Inspector”.

Hektor couldn’t understand if it was all a great façade or if Dari Ludum’s behaviour was just natural; the most obvious thing was that he was facing somebody self-confident of his skills and of his way of being...too self confident, something that was always dangerous to face.

Silently he continued to look at the Arstotzkan in front of him that, while speaking, was taking his documents from the pockets of his expensive jacket. He took them without focusing on all the words that were filling the booth; as a matter of fact, he was focusing just on one thing: finding a problem on the documents in front of him to kick out that annoying man from his booth.

“By the way, my friend, I saw the little Equestrian I met yesterday...and she was in good company too...it seems that she has ‘interesting’ friends”

It was not easy for Hektor to keep his calm...those were dangerous words...Dari Ludum was as dangerous as his words, because he was a vicious man even if he looked like a normal person.

“It would be so nice to meet them in the new world…” Dari Ludum’s voice became deeper, as if he was speaking with a close friend; suddenly, he leaned closer to Hektor “Maybe you could help me...maybe if you remember the names of those girls it would be easier for me to find them.” a malicious smile grew on his face “It would be a good occasion for them...and a good deal for you.”

“I’m not your friend, mister,” Hektor’s voice sounded hard like a rock “besides, I’ve checked a lot of passports...I can’t remember every name I hear or see.” It was clear that he was lying.

“Come on,” Dari Ludum smiled again, spreading his arms in the air “how can you forget the names of such beautiful girls?” His smile became a laugh “Well...that means that I’ll find them on my own. Maybe I’ll be able to find more beautiful girls in this Equestria...girls that would have success here in our world.”

That speech was tiring him...and to make things more frustrating, Dari Ludum’s documents were perfect: no mistakes, no questionable problems...nothing.

For a moment, he thought at the words of that strange, hot headed Equestrian girl he met before: Rainbow Dash. Maybe it was true that he had to disregard the rules sometimes.
He looked at the man in front of him for a moment, without saying any word; then, he slowly put the checked passport under one of the stampers.

...

*KACHUNK*

When he took back the passport, a clear, tidy green stamp was on the visa.

“Finally” Dari Ludum said with a satisfied smirk on his face “It almost looked like you didn’t want to approve my visa.”

<<It was my intention>> Hektor thought while closing his fists without letting his ‘guest’ noticing.

“Well Mister Inspector...it’s time for me to explore this new world.”

Dari Ludum took his documents from the desk before walking towards the door to the portal “I promise you that I’ll say hello to our little common friend, if I meet her.”

Looking at Dari Ludum that was closing the door behind him was a depressing thing for Hektor; more proof that, sometimes, following the rules could lead to dire consequences.

A man like him could bring trouble to the new world. <<Maybe I’m thinking too much about it>> Hektor thought while giving a glance to his hand without the glove <<In this new world they’ll be able to take care of themselves!>>

Hektor took his things before standing up from his chair with an unsatisfied expression.

<<At least Sweetie Belle and Discord where able to go back to their world>> Hektor though while leaving his position <<It could be a worse day for me…>>

The silence in the booth was interrupted by the sound of the stamping machine. An urgent message was going out from it:

M.O.A. URGENT MESSAGE
The cost of the lost equipment will be charged on your day paycheck
Glory to Arstotzka

An imprecation and the sound of a hand on a face were the last things heard in the checkpoint booth that day.

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