• 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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An Open Threat

An Open Threat
May 4th, 2013

As we approached the railroad entrance for Canterlot, the girls and I noticed the gigantic magenta colored dome-ball that seemed to act like a shell for the entire city. I'm not kidding, this thing towered hundreds of feet up and perfectly shielded the whole city, so it's a big dome.

"Are we going to hit that?" Fluttershy asked everypony.

"No need to worry, Miss. It is a temporary standard procedure and we will be entering through the shield." Stage Coach said.

The train began to gradually slow down as we closed in on the dome and penetrated through the shield. The outer of the shied then manifested into the train car. Even though Stage Coach said we were passing through, my first instinct was get out of my seat because I was so certain everypony was going to be squished. However, it passed through everyone, including myself, and it gave me quick jolt and shiver.

"We're here! We're here, we're really here!" Pinkie loudly announced as the train came to a halt at the Canterlot train station.

"We know that, Pinkie. And I'm pretty sure everypony else heard you before the last time we came to Canterlot. Oh, and there was also that other time, too." Rainbow inquired.

"Which other time?" Pinkie asked.

"Y'know... The other times we came up here." Rainbow said, sounding unsure of herself.

"You lost count, didn't you?" I said.

"Look, I didn't really think to make a Pinkie Announcement count, I just remember a few of the other times." Rainbow said.

"And why exactly do you do this, Pinkie?" I asked.

"Well, there's a saying I like to go by; If you do something once, you're bound to do it again." Pinkie said.

"Is that so? So if somepony takes candy from a foal, they'll do it again?" Spike asked.

"Depends on what kind of pony somepony is, but that's a big yep." Pinkie said.

"Hm. Interesting." I said, looking out the window and noticing a huge presence of royal guards on the platform and upper level of the train station. "That's a lot of guards."

"I was just thinking the same thing, too!" Rainbow said.

"I'm pretty sure it's just for safety precautions. Royal weddings are a big thing." Rarity said.

"Perhaps." I said.

As we exited the train car, I could see the guards eyeing us for a quick second before their heads darted in a different direction. It was weird. It was almost like they were uneasy, on-edge, or looking for something.

"Okay, so since this wedding is on such a short notice, we should get to our designated locations as quickly as possible when we get to the castle. Does everypony know what they're doing and which room to report to?" Twilight said.

"I know what I'm doing." Rainbow Dash said with a cocky grin.

"I know my spot." Applejack said.

"Me too." Fluttershy said.

"And so do I." Rarity said.

There was then a abrupt silence as everypony waited for an answer from Pinkie, but there was no response at all.

"Pinkie? Wait, where's Pinkie Pie?" Twilight asked.

"She left already. She hopped away right before we began talking." Spike replied.

"Then I guess that answers that question. And I'm going to go have a word with that brother of mine." Twilight said.

Applejack laughed to that statement. "Well, you go and do that, Twilight. Just don't go too hard on him and make sure to congratulate him, you hear?" she said.

"We'll see." Twilight remarked before trotting away from the group.

"What do y'all say that we meet up later this evening at the café?" Applejack asked.

Everypony then nodded their heads and chattered in agreement with the idea. Shortly after making our plans for later on this night, the girls dispersed to their locations, leaving Spike and I at the train station platform. Both of us turned our heads and looked at each other at the same time.

"Actually, I have no idea where I'm going." Spike admitted.

"Yeah you do. We both got reserved rooms in the castle." I reminded.

"Right, I forgot that. Y'know, that's real nice of Princess Celestia to lend everypony a spare room in the castle." Spike said.

"It is. And speaking of princesses, I really want to meet that third princess. Shining Armor's soon-to-be wife." I said.

"Princess Mi Amore Cadenza, you mean?" Spike corrected.

"Yeah. The princess with the complex name. But wait, I think she had another name, too." I said.

"How exactly do you know that?" Spike said.

"Like I said before, Shining Armor and I had a conversation about his wedding and it's all coming back to me in little tidbits." I said.

"What's her name then?" Spike asked.

"Ahhhh, I think it was Candice, or something like that." I said.

"Princess Cadance, to be exact, sir. Pink coat, fairly tall, an extremely pretty alicorn princess." A royal guard.

"Yep. Sounds dreamy." I said.

"Hey! Quit your talkin' and get back to watching the perimeter!" the guards commander ordered in a stern, demanding voice. At least I think that's a commander, or it could be another guard who's in a pissy mood.

"Yes, sir." the guard replied, putting on a straight face.

Spike and I then exited the train station, looking back at the guards a few times before we were met by even more guards at the exit and a few patrolling the streets in the first section of Canterlot.

"Man, that stallion seemed pretty serious." Spike said.

"I know, but the guards kinda have a big responsibility on their hooves right now, so I guess they have an excuse to be on edge." I said.

"There's that, too. But still, they can't even talk to somepony for ten seconds?" Spike said.

"Yeah, I didn't think there was any need for that. But I'm not one of those guards, so who am I to say that?" I said.

Spike only shrugged his shoulders. "I don't know. Let's just get to the castle and check out our room." Spike said.

When Spike and I arrived at our room, it honestly went beyond our expectations. We're just guests and we got a room with the marble-tiled floor, fancy curtains, drapes, windows, and we even got a balcony that looks out upon the entire city. I guess you can say we're really living in class now.

Along the way to the castle, we tried to get some answers from the guards on what the spherical dome was for, but they only told us that they were "busy" and were on the look-out for anything suspicious. If we couldn't get answers form the guards, then the city-folk should know what the high security is for, right? No. The ponies we talked to were alerted about the high security from the E.U.P Royal Guard, but were not given a reason. With all the security in the city, it's no surprise that the entrance to the Royal Castle itself is guarded by a battalion of royal guards. And obviously, Spike and I were stopped for inspection before gaining access to inside the castle.

So after Spike and I folded our suits neatly in one of the spare room drawers, Spike decided to run off in the castle to find Twilight. I myself decided to continue on my investigation to figure what all the high security and the gigantic spherical dome encasing Canterlot is for.

I tried my best to casually walk throughout the yard of the Royal Castle, but all the eyeballs of the guards staring down upon me made me feel a little nervous for some reason, prompting me to pick up my pace a little bit. Every other one of the guards were positioned up on higher levels of the castle, which is actually a pretty smart considering that it gives them a good field of view when looking out for anything suspicious. And believe it or not, I spotted Princess Celestia herself atop the highest tower on the castle with a telescope that had to be high powered for good magnification. I would've said hi to her, but I figured that she's a bit busy, as well.

I continued walking to one side of the castle, but couldn't find anypony to talk to, so I decided to just walk to the other side and couldn't find anypony there, too.

"Screw it, I'll just ask the guards at the front entrance." I thought to myself.

"Halt!" A guard yelled towards me, pointing his lethal spear at me.

"Hey, hey! I just wondering what the gigantic sphere is for." I retorted back to the guard.

"What is your business on these grou-" the guard said before he paused from somepony who got my back in the situation.

"Woah, woah, woah, hold on there! Put your weapon down, Third Class." Shining Armor demanded as he stood upon a two-sided stair balcony above the entrance.

"Sorry, Captain. Is he safe for entrance?" Third Class called back.

"He is a friend of my sister. Let him pass." Shining Armor replied.

"Yes, Captain." Third Class said, allowing me to pass.

I furrowed my brow at Third Class before proceeding further.

"Come on up here, Caleb!" Shining Armor invited.

I then proceed up the stairs. "Hey! Congratulations on the marriage, Shining Armor!" I said.

"Thanks a lot! Glad to see you were able to make it." Shining Armor said.

"No problem at all. I actually didn't recognize you in all that gear at first." I said.

"Well, if you're looking for me, just look for the stallion in purple armor." Shining said.

"I'll be sure to. So, tell me, what exactly is up with the sphere thing around Canterlot. I've been trying to get an answer all day, but I've haven't been able to get one." I asked.

"Nopony told you what it's for?" Shining asked, seeming surprised.

"No, that's why I'm asking you. Why? What's happening?" I asked.

"Well, apparently there has been a threat made against Canterlot." Shining Armor said.

"What?! From who?" I asked, absolutely shocked.

"Look, we have no idea at all who sent the threat, so Princess Celestia has had me amped up security for every section of Canterlot for any possible suspects." Shining Armor explained.

"So wait, the pony who sent the threat could be in the city at this moment?" I asked.

"There is a very big chance that they are. Also, that's why I've conjured up this protection sphere to protect Canterlot from a mass invasion." Shining Armor said.

"A mass invasion? What the hell did the threat say? Was there like a threat letter or something that was sent to Canterlot?" I asked.

"That's what it was. It was placed specifically right down there in a box," Shining Armor said, pointing down at the ground below us. "It said, 'Canterlot will be ours', so that means there are other accomplices involved here."

"Yeah, that sounds pretty bad." I said.

Just then, a squad of pegasi royal guards landed on the balcony next to Shining Armor and I.

"Captain, we have just returned from our patrol in the restaurant district." one of the guards said.

"Have you found anything suspicious in the area?" Shining Armor asked.

"No, Captain. We have nothing to report." the guard replied.

"Okay. A squad from sector one should be arriving back for report momentarily. I want your squad to move down there now and patrol there for another hour and report back to me ASAP. Got it?" Shining Armor ordered the guards.

"Yes, Captain. Let's move out." the squad leader said as they flew off to the first section of Canterlot.

"Sorry about that. Duty calls." Shining Armor said.

"That's all right." I said.

Shining Armor then quickly looked up at the spherical energy shield and squinted his eyes.

"Looks like the shield could use a little more reinforcement." Shining Armor remarked.

Shining Armor closed his eyes and his horn began shine brightly with a mix of white and rose. I slightly squinted my eyes and looked away, getting a sliver of view as a magical beam shot upwards at the shield. The shield absorbed Shining Armor's magic and became a bit more thicker than before.

"Ooh! Ow, ow, ow! Auggh, that one was not nice!" Shining exclaimed in pain as he tilted his head down and placed his right hoof on his helmet.

"What's wrong?" I asked.

"It's just a migraine. With all this spell casting and the stress of the threat against Canterlot, they just seem to be getting worse. Still, it's all worth it for making sure that me and bride's special day goes just perfect." Shining Armor said, removing his helmet and rubbing his head.

"Hm. That's a sweetly optimistic way of looking at it, Shining Armor." I said.

Shining Armor barely smiled through his grunts of pain. "Okay, I think I'm better now."

When Shining Armor opened his eyes, my eyes went wide.

"Oh, God." I said.

"Hm?" Shining Armor hummed.

"Do you have a lazy eye or something? Because your left eye is completely off center." I said.

I unnervenly stared at Shining Armor as his left eye began to creepily roll down to the bottom left of his eyelids.

"Oh. It's just a side-effect of a spell I've been taking to ease some of the pain. Nothing to worry about at all." Shining Armor said.

"Okay, but be careful with that spell. Your eyeball could probably get stuck." I said.

As Shining Armor said before, the next squad arrived from the first sector of Canterlot and awaited Shining Armor's further instructions.

"I'll be fine. Look, I'd like to continue this little chat, but I really should get back aiding the guards." Shining Armor said.

"I think that's a good idea. Oh, and before I go, have seen Cadance anywhere? I've been really meaning to meet her since she's the bride and everything." I said.

"You just missed her like half-an-hour ago. But, Cadance said she was going to check on the others progress. Check inside and you might be able to catch to her," Shining Armor informed. "She's heard so much about you, too, so you two should get along real well."

"Awesome. I'll be sure to check. See you around, you lucky dog you." I said.

"Alright, see you around, bud." Shining Armor chuckled.

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