• 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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The Gala

The Gala
April 21st, 2013

7:50 PM

I kept the Defender at a steady pace of 12 kilometers an hour as I drove up the mountain on one of the paths that were used as a way to reach Canterlot back in the old days of Equestria before the rail system. Anymore faster than that, and I would probably drive off the side mountain.

"At least they put some safety fences up." I said when I noticed the wooden fences bordering near the side of the drop off.

At the time, Spike and the others had to of reached Canterlot by now because I did not pass them up at all. I guess Spike took my advice after all, but I don't know how Caramel and Lucky Clover may of taken it. Probably not fond of it, but did it anyways.

Although my drive up the mountain was very tedious and a little tense, I finally made up to the top where the landscape was located, which had a path that led the way to the city. A colorfully dazzling display of fireworks exploded in the night sky, the cold and warm colors illuminating the interior of the vehicle, Canterlot, and the surrounding area.

"Hope I'm not too late or something." I said, worried if this meant the Gala was beginning without me, but still mesmerized by the display of fireworks.

I continued driving along the smooth stone pathway for a little bit longer until I approached the gateway to the first section of Canterlot, passing a few ponies who were also heading to the Grand Galloping Gala along the way. Before I could cross over the purple bridge that will allow me to enter Canterlot, two royal guards stepped forward and both stuck one of their forelegs out towards me, signalling me to stop the vehicle. Once halted, one guard walked over to the drivers window, which I slid open.

"How's it goin', Caleb?" the guard asked.

"Fine, fine. I'm just heading to the the Gala." I replied.

"Alright, good. Now, you're gonna need you to park your, uh, automotive carriage out here before proceeding forward, please." the guard instructed.

"Oh... Okay," I complied, reversing onto the grass, shutting off the engine and exiting the vehicle. "What's wrong with driving in Canterlot?"

"Safety purposes. For tonight, at least" he replied.

"Mm." I hummed.

"Therefore, we also need to search your carriage." the guard said.

"You got a warrant?" I asked.

"Yes, sir. Fair game here." the guard replied, showing me a document.

"Okay, but hold on a sec." I said, reaching into the glovebox to take out my C.A.M.A badge and signalled the guard to come towards me.

"Yes?" he asked, staring up at me with a straight face.

"Just so you know, I got a few major league toys under the seats. Heads up so that you won't get the wrong idea." I explained, showing him the badge.

"Oh, so you're with C.A.M.A?" he asked as he examined the badge.

"Yep." I said

"Okay, got it. I appreciate the heads up, sir." the guard said.

And so, after the guards did their little inspection on the Land Rover, they let me move along.

Navigating through the first section of Canterlot is a breeze because it's pretty much a straight shot up to the second section, which is the actual city, and I had some trouble navigating through the streets, to be honest.

I really like how the capital of Equestria isn't so complex . You got the entrance way section of the city, the actual city, and then you have the royal castle behind all that, which is what you can really see from five miles away. Also, there's this giant cul-de-sac behind the castle, but I have no idea what that massive amount of space would be used for. A party, maybe? I don't know. They should've used it for the Gala. Wait, why am I ranting about the capital of Equestria?

As I approached the castle, there was a long line of well-dressed ponies leading up the stairs to the entrance of the castle. It was fairly long, so I stood there for a while, waiting for my turn. However, the wait went by pretty quick from all the side conversations that I engaged in with other ponies waiting in line. I swear, almost every rich pony I talked to had this accent on them, but not all did.

"Ticket. Ticket, please." a fancy-looking stallion requested once I made it to the front of the line.

"Here." I said, handing him the golden gala ticket.

The guard examined the ticket for a moment before giving it back to me.

"Alright, you can go. Have a nice evening, sir." the stallion said.

"Thanks." I said, proceeding into the castle.

The sound of ponies chattering filled the entrance room. Like the last time I was here, the red carpet that covered the tiled floor led up the stairs in front of me, to the left corridor, and to the right corridor. My attention was brought to the stairs when I noticed another line of ponies, except they seemed to be lined up for meeting Princess Celestia and Twilight, who both stood at the top of the stairs.

"Might as well start with them." I said, lining up in a line once again.

I could easily tell that a lot of ponies in Canterlot have never seen me in person because their eyes scanned upwards and downwards along me while some pointed in my direction. I was quite surprised about this, considering the fact that I've been in Equestria for almost six months and my presence has been confirmed in the newspapers. But hey, I guess rich ponies have no time for newspapers.

Princess Celestia casted a quick glance and grinned at me before her attention was directed towards the next pony in line and Twilight gave me a small wave with her hoof while I patiently waited. After a few more minutes, I stepped towards Princess Celestia and Twilight.

"Hi, Princess Celestia. How are ya?" I said.

"I'm doing quite all right, Caleb," Celestia replied in her usual gentle tone. "I am happy to see you were able to make it to the Gala."

"Well, I just couldn't pass up the opportunity. And thanks again for the ticket." I said.

"You're welcome." Celestia said.

"Twilight, are you going to hang out around here for awhile?" I asked.

"That's what I was planning, but I'll try to meet up later." Twilight replied.

"Okay. I'm gonna walk around a little bit, check things out, and maybe meet up with the others." I said.

"Sounds good." Twilight said.

"Princess, is the ballroom down the left hallway or the right?" I asked.

"The right hallway, Caleb." she replied.

"My right when I walked inside, or your right?" I asked.

"Um, my right." Princess Celestia said.

"Kay. Thanks." I said before heading back down the stairs and towards the ballroom.

Upon entering the room, I immediately realized how great the room looked, considering that I've never even been in the ballroom. However, I was confused at first when nopony seemed to dancing, but I guess I should've expected that since this a gala.

"At least they have some nice, fancy music playing in the background." I said when I noticed the four musician ponies on stage.

But I didn't just go into the ballroom just to listen to music, I came in there because I knew right off the bat that Pinkie Pie would head here because she's a party pony. And just like I predicted, I had no trouble finding her from her distinct pink coat and colorful attire. But for some reason, she was sitting at a table all by herself, slightly slumping forward a little bit with sad eyes.

"Pinkie." I called out, causing her eyeballs to slowly trail up towards me.

"Hey, Caleb." she flatly replied.

I'm pretty sure that's the first time I had ever heard Pinkie sound depressed. Her girly, high-pitched tone was somewhat still there, but it just sounded very deflated.

"Man, you're not sounding too good. What's up?" I asked, planting myself across from her.

"It's just that I thought the Grand Galloping Gala was going to be really, really fun time, but nopony even wants to dance and party. All they really want to do is talk." Pinkie explained.

"Well, a gala is considered a social event, so that could be why." I said.

"No kidding," she replied, resting her head on the table and barely looking up at me. "What's up with you?"

"Not much so far. I just got here, like, thirteen minutes ago." I said.

Pinkie didn't respond at all.

"But anyways, do you remember where Applejack said she put up her food stand?" I asked, changing the subject.

"Somewhere outside." she replied, vaguely.

"Outside where?" I asked.

"Near the gardens, I think." she clarified.

"Oh, cool. Want to tag along with me?" I asked, hoping to get her spirits up.

"No, thanks. I have a bad case of the frowns." she replied.

"Okay. Want anything from there?" I offred.

Pinkie only shook her head, not uttering a word or sound at all.

"Damn, it's really that bad." I thought to myself while I walked to the exit of the ballroom

When I walked outside, Applejack's food stand was actually right near the entrance to the VIP extension of the ballroom, so that made the search real easy. When I approached the food stand from the side, Applejack was leaning over and looking the opposite direction. I snapped my fingers in order to get her attention and that really sprung her to life.

"Howdy there, Caleb!" she greeted, lively. "Come by to try out somethin'?"

"Oh, there's no way I can pass up your apple treats, Applejack. They're the best I've ever had in Equestria." I said.

"That's mighty kind of you, Caleb. What'll it be?" she asked.

"Uhh, get me an apple fritter and a caramel apple, please." I said.

"You got it. Three bits, please." Applejack said.

"Tell me, how much have you earned from the stand so far? You must be rich by now." I said, handing her the three coins.

"Actually, it's the complete opposite. It's terrible! So far, you're my second customer within a twenty minute span." Applejack exclaimed.

"Good one, Applejack. But really, how much have you made?" I foolishly said.

"No, I was being serious." she said, showing me her only four measily bits.

"Oh, wow. That's, uh, that's pretty bad." I said.

"Yer tellin' me. Seriously, what in the hay is wrong with these ponies? Don't they know somethin' good when they see it?" Applejack said with frustration.

"Well, maybe I could get another customer for you." I said before I approached some random rich-looking stallion.

"Hi." I simply greeted.

"Ah, the so-called 'first human in Equestria.' How do you do?" he asked, his accent filled the pure definition of somepony who knows what the high-end is.

"I'm doing fine. Say, y'know that food stand over that has some really good stuff. You should get something from there." I suggested.

The stallion moved his head to the left a little to examine the stand while Applejack smiled and nodded her head at him.

"I think I'll pass on that one. It's not the kind of sustenance I prefer." the stallion simply replied before walking away.

I then stared back at Applejack and shrugged with my hands.

"At least ya tried. Here's the food you wanted." Applejack said, giving me my succulent treats.

"Mmm," I moaned as I bit into the apple fritter and gave her a thumbs up. "Alright, thanks, Applejack."

"See ya around, Caleb." Applejack said before going back to her idle state, waiting for more customers.

I then began to walk towards the VIP section, but remembered, "D'oh, can't go that way." So I decided to just turn around and wander back into the ballroom again, but I was stopped by somepony shouting behind me in the distance.

"Did somepony just yell?" I asked Applejack.

"Sounded like Fluttershy. She's in the garden, but I don't know why she would be hollerin' for." Applejack replied.

"That was Fluttershy?" I asked myself, proceeding to the garden entrance.

I waltzed around the fairly spaced garden for a little bit before I found Fluttershy, and I was quite shocked on what I saw. Fluttershy was shouting in some sort of rage in the air and kicking up grass and dirt with her hooves.

"Holy frick," I whispered to myself before approaching her from behind. "Hey Fluttershy, what are you doing?"

Fluttershy slowly came to a pause, turning around with a somewhat intimidating smile with shrunken irises and pupils.

"I'll find a way. I'll find a way to get them." Fluttershy said in her calm tone, but it just didn't go well with her expression.

"Y'know, I think I'm gonna come back later." I quickly said before I ran back out of the garden.

Upon exiting, Applejack was trying to get another stallion to buy here products, but it was to no avail, causing Applejack to frown and go behind her stand once again.

"What was up with Fluttershy?" she asked.

"I think it might be because the animals she was talking about earlier are hiding from her or something. Just a guess." I replied.

"I guess that would make a lick of sense." Applejack said.

I walked into the ballroom again and headed for the door to the hallway, but I stopped when I noticed something I didn't at first when I walked in; it was Pinkie singing.

"Woah, I didn't know Pinkie sings." I said as I stood by the door, listening with great interest.

"You tilt your head in. You tilt your head out. You tilt your head in, then you shake it all about. You do the the Pony Pokey even though your date's a lout. You're better off without." Pinkie sang, causing me to humorously scoff.

"At least she's trying to liven things up." I said.

However, without warning, the door behind me swung open and nailed me right in back back, and it hurt like hell because that door was not made of wood at all. Thankfully, it didn't hit me in the spine or shoulder blades, but more in the lat area.

"Darling," Rarity exclaimed from behind, "are you okay?!"

"Y- yeah. Don't worry about me." I said, rubbing my sore spot.

"See? The human says he's fine." Rarity's date said.

Rarity slightly furrowed her brow at him before attending to me again.

"I'm so sorry! I had no idea anypony would be right behind this door!" Rarity apologized.

"And that was my fault, Rarity. For standing behind the door so close," I reminded. "But dang, you have some pretty forceful door-opening skills."

"Ugh, I'm just so stressed out and frustrated with him." Rarity said, quietly.

"Not the kind of Prince you envisioned?" I asked.

"Not one bit at all." Rarity said, rolling her eyes.

"Well, just wait it out. It's only 8:57." I said.

"And it hasn't even been an hour yet." Rarity mumbled.

"Yep." I said with a sigh.

"In that case, I guess I should get back to him before he cries the blues like the foal he is." Rarity said, causing me to chuckle.

"Alright, but try to stay calm." I said.

As I walked down the royal hallway, I began to think the current events for the night. All six of my friends are busy doing something and I've got no one to hang out with. Everypony else here is rich, so I'm kinda screwed if I try to affiliate with that social hierarchy. I'm also surprised that nopony wants to chat it up with the first human in Equestria, but with all the crazy mythical creatures that live in Equestria, I wouldn't be surprised.

"This sucks," I said to myself. "I wonder what Spike's up to."

So basically, I just decided to ditch the Gala and hang out with Spike, like I said I would. I took an exit that wasn't through the main entrance because I didn't want to offend Princess Celestia in any sort of way if she were to. I then walked off the royal premises and headed off into the city of Canterlot and went off to search for the doughnut shop that Spike kept talking about before we left earlier. He's gotta be there. If he isn't, then I'm really at a loss of what to do.

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