• Published 2nd Mar 2017
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Land of Equines - Daddy Joe



Who would've thought that being at the wrong place at the wrong time would bring something so surreal.

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Graduation Day/C.A.M.A Day Ninety Two

Graduation Day/C.A.M.A Day Ninety Two
March 8th, 2013

*dingdingdingdingdingdingdingdingdingding*

My eyes shot wide open to the loud ringing of the wind up alarm clock and I slammed my hand forcefully on the top. The alarm clock wobbled sideways before falling off the nightstand next to my bed. A loud crash emitted in the slightly dark room, waking Night Hunter.

"What was that?" he asked, wearily.

"What was what?" I asked.

"That loud noise that just happened." Night Hunter reminded.

"I didn't hear anything," I lied. "Must've been dreaming." I said.

"Or I may be losing my marbles." Night Hunter said as he got out of bed.

I looked behind the nightstand and saw that the back part of the clock had broken off, the glass on the front was cracked and the clock hands stopped working.

"What time is it?" Night Hunter asked.

I looked at the clock one more time.

"I'm pretty sure it was seven thirty." I replied, sheepishly.

"Then we're right on schedule. You have one hour and thirty minutes to get ready for the graduation, pack your things and then you're out of here." Night Hunter said.

"What are you going to do?" I asked.

"Get the podium and chairs all set for now, and also get into contact with that photographer." Night Hunter replied.

"Sounds good." I said.

Slowly, I got off my bed and headed into the bathroom to get ready for the day. While showering, I thought to myself how I will officially become a creature hunting agent. It would probably sound ridiculous to someone back on Earth.

"Yeah, you're gonna like my job. I get to drive around a dark forest at night, hunting wolves that are made out of sticks." I mocked.

But that is how an idiot would explain. My explanation would be a whole lot more clear and concise in order to make it sound somewhat believable.

After my shower, I went for my clothes that were rather casual: Yellow T-shirt and jeans.

"Hey, Night Hunter, you think these are a bit too casual for the graduation?" I asked.

"Yeahhhh, that's not going to cut it. I suggest that you wear your uniform for the graduation." Night Hunter suggested.

"I like your idea." I accepted, tossing the shirt and pants aside.

"But you'll need to take the uniform off before leaving." Night Hunter added.

"SInce i'll be entering civilian area?" I guessed.

"Yep. Can't take any chances." Night Hunter replied.

I then headed back into the bathroom and slipped on my uniform for the first time. I had to give the designers credit, the clothing fitted me pretty well and that's pretty impressive for ponies that have never made clothing for humans before, especially ones who are seven foot eight. If you could see the hat I had, it would most likely cover up the average person's head. Once I got everything on, I headed back to Night Hunter.

"What do you think?" I asked, spanning my arms outwards.

"Pretty good, Caleb. You look like a real C.A.M.A agent now." Night Hunter replied with a smile.

"That's what I wanted to hear," I said. "You still getting ready?" I asked.

"Yeah." Night Hunter replied.

"I'm heading downstairs for breakfast. I'll meet you there when you're done with getting the chairs and podium set up." I said.

I then walked down the stairs and into the kitchen to get my last breakfast MRE i'll have here. MRE's aren't the most tastiest meals in the world, but they're bearable. Almost similar to a high school hot lunch. Soon after getting my MRE all prepared for eating, Night Hunter came downstairs and got his own MRE. He pulled out the chair next to me and sat down.

"Other than inspecting your territory, what are you gonna do when you get back to Ponyville?" Night Hunter asked.

"Take it easy I guess before my first night out there." I replied.

Night Hunter remained silent as if he was thinking of something.

"Speaking of your first night, remember when I told you that the secret shipment will be arriving on your first night?" Night Hunter asked.

"Sure do." I said.

"It changed to Sunday night instead." Night Hunter informed.

"Why is it changed?" I asked.

"I figured that if the secret shipment were to arrive on your first night, you wouldn't be able to set up those mannequins or plan out any strategy since the Timberwolves lurk the Dovere territories at night." Night Hunter explained.

"Oh, right. Good call, Night Hunter." I said.

"No problem." Night Hunter said.

"What are you going to do once I leave?" I asked.

"Clean up around here and head out back to that decrepit building on the outskirts of Canterlot." Night Hunter replied, his eyes rolling at the end of his sentence.

"Oh, yeah, that dainty shack building or whatever. What exactly is that used for anyways?" I asked.

"Just a little cover up building for a few C.A.M.A branches," Night Hunter replied. "Ever since you first discovered our little secret 'hideout', C.A.M.A is planning on moving out of there and finding somewhere else to place our little base of operations." Night Hunter said.

"To where?" I questioned.

"Not sure at the moment. Maybe somewhere near the E.U.P training facility," Night Hunter answered, "but i'll let you know sometime later in the future." Night Hunter assured.

"Kay' than." I said.

Me and Night Hunter continued to eat for a while until Night Hunter brought up a certain dragon.

"That dragon friend of yours is named, Spike, right?" Night Hunter asked.

"What about the little dude?" I replied.

"You're sure he's harmless?" Night Hunter asked.

"Believe me, he wouldn't harm a fly. Heck, he was scared of me when I first met him," I said. "Why do you ask?"

"You remember how dragons from the volcanic plains are like?" Night Hunter asked.

"Yep. Big, and not the sharpest knives in the kitchen." I said.

"Heh, that's right," Night Hunter chuckled. "But still, you be careful if you ever come across one of them." Night Hunter cautioned.

"No kidding with you there. Getting burned to death would not be fun." I said.

"In fact, if you come across one and looks hostile, just point up in the sky and they might fall for it." Night Hunter said.

"They can't be that dumb." I said in disbelief.

"I didn't say they were that dumb," Night Hunter said with emphasis, "but it's worth a shot as a last resort." Night Hunter said.

"Thanks for the tip" I said.

After me and Night Hunter finished up our last MRE's, we headed back upstairs.

"What's, uh, what's the time?" Night Hunter asked.

I looked at my new watch and it read 08:35.

"Eight thirty five. Twenty five minutes left until the graduation." I replied.

"All right." Night Hunter said.

"You got all the chairs set up?" I asked.

"That I do. The podium as well," he added. "If I were you, i'd get your stuff packed right now so that you can get out here quicker, if you want to." Night Hunter offered.

"I think i'll get 'packin now. Not that I want to leave you quickly in anyway." I said.

"I understand. You've been through quite a ride here at the training program and a day without studying would be a wish come true." Night Hunter said, bumping his foreleg into my leg.

"You got me there." I admitted.

"That's what I thought." Night Hunter said.

I walked back into the bunks and pulled my duffle bag out from under the bed. I grabbed my books, medkit, clothing and all of that kind of stuff. I made sure to cover my medkit and camo outfit up with my clothing, just in case somepony were to get antsy about my belongings, but that probably won't happen. Never hurts to take precautions.

After packing everything and getting my backpack, I quickly made the bed and headed for the exit of the room, shutting the door.

"Done?" Night Hunter asked from the other end of the hallway.

"Uh-huh." I replied.

"Then just step right in here." Night Hunter said, directing his foreleg into the rec room in a polite manner.

I walked in and settled my duffle bag on one of the two couches.

"So, now I just wait until you give me signal to do my little speech?" I asked.

"Yeah, that should be in about... ten minutes." Night Hunter said.

He then peered his head through the doorway to check down the hallway.

"And it looks like some guards are entering the classroom right now for your little speech." Night Hunter noticed.

"How many?" I asked.

"Five," he replied. "I'll see you in a bit. Think about what you want to say for the past nine minutes." Night Hunter suggested.

"I already got it planned out." I said.

"Good." Night Hunter said, before closing the door.

As I sat in the room, I could hear faint muffled chatting since there was no door across from mine, but a wall. Unzipping the small pocket on the duffle bag, I took out the picture of me and the gang. Everytime I look at that picture, I feel a grin creep onto my face and the warm feeling of happiness fills me.

"See ya soon, guys." I said to the picture before placing it back in the duffle bag pocket.

Shortly after I put the picture away, the intensity of the muffled voices began to somewhat increase from the classroom. Once 09:00 appeared on my digital watch, I could make out Night Hunter's voice talking to the impending crowd in the room. He's probably bragging about all the good he did and how i'm was a successful student and all that.

I sat there for six more minutes until Night Hunter stopped rambling on. I anticipated for a knock on the door and sure enough, I got two knocks.

"Hey Caleb. You ready?" Night Hunter asked.

"I'm ready." I replied.

Putting the backpack on both of my shoulders and the duffle bag on my left, I opened the door and followed Night Hunter to the classroom. He opened the door with his magic, allowing me to walk into the room. When I walked in, everypony's attention was turned towards me and the sound of hooves clopping in applause filled the room. There had to be about twenty something guards and Princess Celestia and Princess Luna in the front row. They both smiled and waved at me as I came up to the podium. I did the same in response. After adjusting the microphone and clearing my throat, I began to speak.

"Hi there," I began. "First, I just want to say how gratifying it is to have all of you here just for my graduation speech and I truly appreciate it. This goes to the Princess Celestia and Princess Luna, all the royal guards, Night Hunter and even that little photographer pony in the back of the room." I said with a short pause as some ponies turned their heads to the photographer in the back. "When it was my first day here, the seventh of December, I had no idea what to do, but Night Hunter over there taught me the tricks of the trade real well. Now look at me, i'm a soon to be C.A.M.A agent who will be basically risking his life for the safety of others. But what I want to really say is that I promise that I will do my greatest utmost in protecting Ponyville from any creature that dares to advance anywhere near or threaten the village of harmony. And if they do, they'll be sorry for even trying. Princess Celestia and Princess Luna.... you've got my word on that. Thank You." I concluded. "Now is there any questions that would like answering?" I asked.

Nopony raised their hoof, but Princess Celestia stood up and asked me a question.

"Yes, Princess?" I asked.

"I'm very excited to see you reach such a life changing goal in your new life here, but I must ask... why did you choose such a risky job?" Princess Celestia asked.

"I was hoping somepony would ask me that question, Princess. You see, Ponyville was the one place where I was taken in and offered friendship as well as kindness from ponies. This would include your pupil, Twilight Sparkle, Spike, the other five and every other pony living in Ponyville. Another reason is when Twilight offered me a place to live and everypony gave me stuff without charge, I felt like a freeloader. So I just want to repay the favor and debt by protecting my new home here in Equestria and I hope to do this for the rest of my life here. And also, I just like to help others out. I hope this gave you clarification." I said.

"Thank you, Caleb. I can tell that your answer came straight from the heart with honesty and commitment." Celestia said.

"You're welcome, Princess Celestia. Now is there anypony else who has a question?" I asked again.

Nopony else raised their hoof.

"Anyone at all?" I asked one more time.

No response.

"Well then, I thank you all once again for coming and may Equestria continue to thrive in harmony. Thanks." I said before walking off the podium and down the wide aisle.

Everypony in the crowd began to clop their hooves and cheered as I walked. I waved and thanked to the praise until I reached the photographer pony at the end of the room. He had a black coat and a grayish-white mane. His cutie mark appeared to be a roll of film of some sort.

"Hi." I greeted to the stallion.

"Hey, how's it going?" he replied in an accent that had a heavy canadian descent.

"Going pretty great as you can see." I said.

"Sure looks like it. Big agent, huh?" he asked.

"Man, I still can't believe that this is actually happening," I sighed. "You got a name?"

"The name's Roll Developer." the stallion introduced.

"Caleb Barlow." I replied back.

"Never heard a name like that before, but I like it." Roll Developer said.

"Thanks. So how long have you been doing photography for C.A.M.A?" I asked.

"Not for long. About three years to be exact. Not many graduates nowadays from what I hear." Roll Developer said.

"Yeah, not many ponies take a job where their life is at risk." I noted.

"I suppose. But anywho, take a seat on that seat right there and we'll 'getcha 'goin." Roll Developer instructed.

I sat in the chair that was a bit small for me. A little uncomfortable, but i'm only going to sitting for a minute or two.

"Lower your chin 'der a bit." Roll Developer said.

I did as told and lowered my chin. For my photo, I didn't want to smile because that doesn't seem like a facial expression and serious agent would have one their ID. Instead I wore a straight face with my right eyebrow raised. A facial expression that says: "I don't take shit from no one." With that, Roll Developer clicked the shutter release. A flash of white blinded me for a split second and a photo began to emerge from the front slit of the camera. Roll Developer removed the photo.

"Ooh, I like that tough agent look." Roll Developer complimented.

"That's exactly what I was aiming for." I said.

"And we'll take one more for you." Roll Developer said.

"Where's the other one going to?" I asked, pointing at the photo of my face.

"This one goes to C.A.M.A. The next one goes to in your badge holder, which is what Night Hunter has right there." Roll Developer said.

I directed my attention to Night Hunter who was levitating a big, brown looking badge holder. It was pretty much like a wallet.

"In that case, take the picture, Rolls." I encouraged.

"Ha. Rolls." Roll Developer said.

With another quick flash, the next picture came out of the camera. Roll Developer took the photo to a table and cutted the white borders off with scissors. After he finished cutting, he placed my portrait on a ID card and began to laminate it. (Keep in mind that the card was pretty big and was meant for me due to my size. This is why picture was able to fit on the card easily.) Once he was finished, he handed me the ID card.

"There ya are." Roll Developer said.

"Wow! This looks great! Thanks!" I exclaimed.

"Anytime, Caleb Barlow." Roll Developer said.

I stared at my ID card that stated: "Agent Barlow" in awe until Night Hunter tapped my leg in order to break my trance. He levitated me the badge holder and I quickly grabbed it out of his magical grasp. I then opened the holder and a metal, golden, circular badge was attached to the right flap. The graphic image was the Everfree Forest in the middle of a cross. The acronym "C.A.M.A" was spelt with bold on the top of the badge while "Everfree" was on the bottom. I slipped my ID card into its slot holder and closed the wallet back up and slipping it into my pocket.

"Caleb." Celestia said.

I turned my head to her voice.

"Are you planning on leaving Canterlot at this moment?" Celestia asked.

"Kind of was. First I gotta get out of this uniform before heading out into any civilian areas." I said.

"I gotta do that to." Night Hunter said.

"Do you need me to do something?" I asked Celestia.

"Nothing of any sort. Me and my dear sister are offering a teleportation to the train station in order to save time." Celestia explained.

"Save time?" I asked, tilting my head slightly.

"The next train to Ponyville departs in nine minutes, does it not?" Luna asked.

I looked at the clock on the wall and it read nine-twenty one.

-"Oh, shoot!" Night Hunter exclaimed.
-"Oh, crap." I exclaimed.

"I take it that's a yes?" Celestia asked.

"Never teleported in my life, but i'll take anything at the moment." I replied.

"Me too. My magic is not that advanced." Night Hunter related.

"Excellent. Me and Luna will wait until you're done getting back into your casual attire." Celestia said.

"Alright, thanks!" I said.

I quickly ran into the rec room while Night Hunter simply stayed in the same position and removed his clothing since clothing isn't much of a big norm in Equestria.

I closed the door and changed into my yellow t-shirt and a pair of blue jeans. After burying my uniform under my other clothing, I opened the door and came up to Celestia, Luna and Night Hunter.

"Okay, i'm ready." I said.

"See ya, Caleb." one guard said.

All the others guards in the room began doing the same thing.

"You too, guys." I said back.

"Teleportation is safe... right?" Night Hunter asked.

"Sounds like something that I would ask." I thought to myself.

"I can assure you that it is one hundred percent safe, Night Hunter and Caleb." Celestia assured.

"Do we need to do anything specific for teleportation?" I asked.

"There is one thing. You'll see a bright flash, but I suggest that you both close your eyes before being teleported." Celestia suggested.

"Got it." I said.

I raised my wrist and exaimied the time on my clock.

"Okay, we have three minutes left." I notified.

"Then let us get a move on." Luna said.

Celestia and Luna both activated their horns and a high pitch magical sound began to fill the hallway. Celestia horn was soon engulfed by a yellow aura while Luna's was blue. The sound slightly intensified, signalling me and Night Hunter to close our eyes. I braced for the teleportation and everything went dead silent for a second before the wind from the outside blew into my ears. I immediately opened my eyes and just like that, we were at the Canterlot train station.

"Oh, wow, this is so... weird." I said with amazement, taking in my surroundings.

"I know, right? We were just at the C.A.M.A training facility and now we're here." Night Hunter agreed as he looked around.

"Did you feel numb for like a few seconds when we first got here?" I asked Night Hunter.

"I did, but it left me as quick as we got here." Night Hunter replied.

"Quiet a first for you, isn't it?" Celestia asked me and Night Hunter.

"Very." I replied.

Right after I replied to Celestia's question, I could hear a faint whistle of a train in the distance. Shortly after, I could see a silhouette of a train in the distance, approaching the train station. Me and Night Hunter looked over in the direction of the oncoming train. Our attention was broken by a *fwoosh* sound from behind us. We turned our heads and Celestia and Luna were gone and nowhere to be seen, leaving us to our farewell.

"Well, Night Hunter," I began, "looks like it's time for me to go."

Night Hunter replied by extending his right foreleg. I extended my arm and firmly gripped onto his foreleg with my hand.

"Caleb, it has been an honor," Night Hunter said. "I wish you luck on your ventures in the Everfree Forest and i'm looking forward to what you have to report to me. Even if you have nothing serious to report, I still have complete confidence that you will report something."

"Thanks, Night Hunter, i'll be sure to do that. My time at C.A.M.A has been very illuminating and a huge impact on my life here. I also thank you for teaching me everything that you know and honestly, i'm gonna miss spending time with you. Because in my book, you're one of the ponies here in Equestria that have shown me true friendship here. And like I said before, I promise that I will protect Ponyville and stomp on whatever the Everfree decides to throw at me. Wether it'll be Timberwolves, a Cockatrice, a Cragadile or even something new... they've got nothing on me." I said.

"Well, i'm glad. I'm very glad to hear that, Caleb." Night Hunter replied.

The train blew its whistle once again, much louder than before. The train slowed down and came to halt with a hiss as the brakes settled. The passenger car doors opened and few ponies began to emerge out from the car. Every single one of them noticed me and waved or said hi to me. There was one stallion that asked me for a picture, which I gladly obliged to. I guess Night Hunter was right, I am pretty well known now in Equestria.

Once everypony had exited the car, I began to walk towards the entrance, but Night Hunter had one last thing to say.

"Caleb." Night Hunter called.

"Yeah?" I asked, turning my head.

"Welcome to the agency." Night Hunter replied.

I slightly smiled to his welcoming.

"Thanks, Night Hunter. Bye." I said.

"Bye, Caleb." Night Hunter replied, tipping his brown cap.

With that, I inched my way into the passenger car and sat at an empty seat. A few other ponies began to enter the car and sat down in their own individual seats. Within a minute, the train whistle wailed once again, indicating that the train was about to depart to Ponyville. Shortly after the whistle blew, the doors closed and the train began to slowly move forward. I looked out the window and Night Hunter waved at me. I than waved back at him. Me and him made eye contact with each other before he came out of view. The train picked up speed and I was now on my way back to Ponyville.

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