• 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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Night Hunter's Briefing

Night Hunter's Briefing
May 31st, 2013

There was three knocks at the front door. I immediately shot up and headed for the door while Twilight laughed directly at me.

"I have never seen somepony so eager for the arrival of a letter before, Caleb." Twilight said.

"Well, it's a real important one." I said.

On the other side of the door was Derpy Hooves, wearing her Ponyville mailmare uniform. I then closed the door behind me to block out Twilight and Spike.

"Any letters for me today, Derpy?" I asked.

"Yes, actually. The envelope gave me pretty specific instructions to give it to you only and to nopony else." Derpy mentioned before giving me my mail.

"At least you followed them. Didn't you say that you can actually get fired if you tampered with the mail?" I asked.

"I would definetly get fired. That is a major no-no within our guidelines." Derpy replied.

"Oh, is that it? Anything else?" I asked.

"Well, there's also the investigation involving the ponies in suits." Derpy added.

"I suppose. But thanks for the letter again, Derpy." I thanked.

"No problem. Have a nice day!" Derpy said before carrying on with her deliveries.

Before opening the envelope, I quickly peered through the front door window to make sure Twilight and Spike were not checking out what I got. With the coast clear, I tore the envelope up and read the letter:

Dear Agent Caleb Lee Barlow,

I have recently been notified by Princess Cadance and Prince Shining Armor of the Crystal Empire that we both have been chosen for a secret assignment. However, I need you to meet me personally in Canterlot in order to get the details. I understand if that seems tedious, but this is some rather confidential information that needs to be discussed privately. I'd advise that you leave for Canterlot as soon as you get this letter. Meet me behind the former C.A.M.A HQ. Could've chosen a better location, but it's secluded and about to be torn down. Might as well put some use to it before it's gone.

Agent Night Hunter

"Hm." I hummed, folding the letter and putting it in my pocket. Twilight and Spike looked at my when I walked back inside empty handed.

"No letter?" Spike asked.

"No, I got the letter. I just gotta head up to Canterlot." I replied before I glanced over to Twilight.

Twilight noticed my glance and followed me up the stairs. I retrieved the fuel pump chip and turned around to head back down, but Twilight stopped me.

"What's going on? Is it the agency?" Twilight asked.

"How did you know?" I asked.

"You had that look on your face when you walked by and up the stairs." Twilight replied.

I remained silent for a moment before replying to her question. "Look, I know you're concerned about me and my job in C.A.M.A., but I really have to stop letting you in on so much information that should be kept quiet. And frankly, it's also none of your business, Twilight." I said.

"Oh, well, of course... I'm sorry that I'm so nosey about you job, but I can stop. And you're right, too. What goes on at C.A.M.A is you business and shouldn't be mine." Twilight said with a small smile.

"Thanks, Twilight. It's just that I've recently begun to fully understand the importance of keeping quiet. I mean, I really should've the day I signed up for the job, but the only reason I was so open to you is because, well, I trust you." I said, smiling back at her.

"I know you do. And I should've know better to not convince you that I would keep your secrets to myself, despite the orders you were given." Twilight admitted.

"Okay, good. So from this point on, no more information regarding C.A.M.A." I said.

"Absolutely. I'll do my best to not worry about you so much. So otherwise, I'm guessing I'll see you later on today?" Twilight said.

"Yeah. I shouldn't be gone all day long. I'll probably be back in a few hours or so." I said.

"What should I tell Spike incase he asks where you went off to in such a hurry?" Twilight asked.

"Just tell him that I'm heading up to Canterlot to have lunch with my old teacher from the history class." I said.

"Sounds believable enough." Twilight said.

"Good. If it sounds believable to you, then he should buy it. You're not easy to fool, you know." I said.

"Well, I can't say that you're wrong about that." Twilight said.

"I know. Okay, I'll see you later then and hopefully come back with good news." I said.

"But remember not to give away the super secret informational bits." Twilight said.

"Yeah, yeah, I know. Don't miss me too much," I said before heading back downstairs and to the front door. "See ya, Spike."

"Where are you go-"

I quickly closed the door before Spike could finish and wasted no time to drive off in the Land Rover and meet up with Night Hunter.

A lot of buildings on the outskirts of Canterlot have been torn down since the last time I was here. Most of those structures were either too decrepit or out of date for Canterlot's current architectural design. The C.A.M.A building is the one of last still standing, and that's where I arrived at. As I exited the Land Rover, Night Hunter was leaning up against the side of the building and signaled me to follow him towards the back. The back of the building had a ground patio with two chairs made with wood that seemed to be dead.

"Hey, kid." Night Hunter greeted as he sat on the chair, causing it to quietly creak.

"Hey, Night Hunte--" *CRACK*

As soon as I sat down on the dwarf-sized chair, it split into two and tiny splinters scattered the floor.

"That went well." Night Hunter said with snide.

"Hey, it's the chairs fault for being weak." I said.

"And a bit of your's since that chair was mostly for ponies." Night Hunter said.

"Pfft, whatever. Either way, it was way past its use." I said.

"Yeah, I guess. Stupid inanimate object," Night Hunter said as he levitated the debris to the side. "How are Spike and those six females of yours doing?"

"We're still getting along like friends. Twilight still stresses over my job too much." I said.

"Oh yeah? Say, I heard that you helped restore the Crystal Empire with those girls. I gotta give a lot credit to you for going up against the unicorn king in the arctic by yourself." Night Hunter said.

"So you heard about my bragging?" I asked.

"Yep. Is it exciting to tag along on those important adventures with them?" Night Hunter asked.

"Sort of. All you really gotta worry about is the bad guy and the fate of Equestria, but it usually involves a lot of teamwork and the magic of friendship. I kind of just tag along and help save the day." I said.

"Pretty cool stuff. You truly are cut out for C.A.M.A." Night Hunter said.

"Speaking of C.A.M.A., there was an assignment we got from the rulers of the Crystal Empire that you wanted to discuss with me? " I said, bringing the topic to hand.

"Yeah." Night Hunter said, his voice getting serious and leaning inwards at me. "So, I just wanna start off with a recap of what you might've heard from Shining Armor and Princess Cadance. Did they mention that this particular assignment was an expedition?"

"Shining Armor mentioned the assignment being an expedition the day I left the Crystal Empire, so yes, he gave me a two weeks notice. But what type of expedition is it?" I replied.

"It's something that is right up our alley. Princess Cadance and Prince Shining Armor want us to go out into and sweep the arctic north for any possible creatures that could be lurking near the empire." Night Hunter said.

"Monster hunting..." I mumbled. "Wait, do they want us to sweep the entire arctic?"

"Of course not. That would take an incredibly long time. For the expedition, they want both of us to patrol the arctic that is within the ten miles radius of the empire. Either way, there will be a lot of ground to cover, and that's where your Land Rover will come in handy." Night Hunter explained.

"That's what it was made for. I'm also assuming that we're able to use our weapons up there?" I asked.

"Defiantly. But both the Prince and Princess requested that to use them only if a creature appears to be hostile." Night Hunter replied.

"Okay." I understood.

"Oh, and I hope you like camping because we're sleeping out in the arctic." Night Hunter said.

"Really? We can't sleep somewhere in the Crystal Empire? Somewhere it's at least a bit warmer." I complained.

Night Hunter chuckled. "Don't worry, our tent will be the insulated type. Plus, we'll have plenty of food to eat, too." Night Hunter said.

"Does it have ample space?" I asked.

"Caleb, I always think ahead of situations like that, especially when I heard that you were chosen to be in the expedition." Night Hunter said.

"That's good news," I said in relief. "What do we do when we get there?"

"We have to report to Princess Cadance and Shining Armor. They want to get this done and over with as soon as possible." Night Hunter said.

"So they want us to work hastily?" I asked.

"No. They want us to work and sweep the area the best we can for the safety of the empire, but they just want to get the weight off their backs." Night Hunter said.

"Gotcha." I said.

"Y'know, it actually makes me wonder something." Night Hunter began.

"Wonder what?" I asked.

"The empire protects itself with the love and unity of the crystal ponies, right?" Night Hunter asked.

"Yeah, that's how it works." I replied.

"Wouldn't that protection also apply with hostile creatures, or am I just missing something? I was just thinking because I don't fully understand the empire, but you might since you were just there two weeks ago." Night Hunter said.

"No, the protection only applies to evil. An evil that is similar to King Sombra due to him being consumed by dark magic. The protection wouldn't apply to something physical or some creature. They would be able to just walk in uninvited and do what they please." I said.

"Oh. I see. And that King Sombra got blow into a bunch of pieces, right?" Night Hunter said.

"Yeah, he's long gone." I said.

"Dang. Maybe we'll find a foreleg, or something out in the middle of nowhere in the arctic." Night Hunter said.

"I highly doubt it, but that would be rather creepy and disturbing." I said.

"Blegh." Night Hunter shivered.

"Anyways... what's the plan for tomorrow morning?" I asked.

"I'll come to you tomorrow morning, but it'll be early. How fast can you get to the Crystal Empire in your Land Rover?" Night Hunter asked.

"For the first time up there, it took me about an hour and thirty minutes, but only if I step on it." I replied.

"That sounds just great. Meet me at the Ponyville train station at six o'clock so that we can load everything in the back of the Land Rover and get to the meeting with Princess Cadance and Prince Shining Armor on time." Night Hunter said.

"There will be a meeting, too?" I asked.

"I forgot to mention the details because of our side conversations, but yes. Both will give us a rundown on where we should go and what we should exactly do. They just had me do the short briefing with you, but they will be giving us the full course on what we will be doing tomorrow." Night Hunter clarified.

"I figured they would do something like that. I felt this meeting between us was a bit quick." I said.

"Hey, I'm just doing the heads-up, Caleb." Night Hunter said, getting off the chair.

"I know. Okay, I'll see you tomorrow morning, Night Hunter. Might want to leave before anypony actually comes along."

"Good idea. See you then."


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