• 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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A Discussion with Night Hunter

A Discussion with Night Hunter
February 17th, 2014

Night Hunter sent me a letter a couple days ago in regards to C.A.M.A. He didn't specify, but he wants me to come up to Canterlot and discuss a little issue, as he put it. The use of words and phrasing he used makes me worry that he found out I had been skipping out on patrols, but I'll have a full explanation if that's the case. Things haven't been going too well for me back in Ponyville.

After clearing through the security checkpoints, I pulled up and parked the Land Rover across from the newly renovated C.A.M.A center. No longer is the old house on the outskirts of Canterlot the home to the center, but now a more hidden location underneath the ground that is more secluded and isolated from the city. Once I made my way through the seemingly abandoned entrance hall, I walked down an adjacent, narrow hallway and up to a wall that would appear to be a dead end, but really wasn't.

"Caleb Lee Barlow. G.D: Three-eight-two-thousand three." I said to the wall.

There was the sound of a few gears shifting on the other side of the wall before the wall pushed forward and slid to the right, allowing me access down a flight of stairs and into the true entrance to the C.A.M.A center. The new center is similar to the older one, but has a few more advanced tweaks and upgrades, such as the extreme rarity in Equestria that is known as electricity.

"Hello, Caleb Barlow." Velvet Rose greeted.

"Hey, Velvet. I'm here for an appointment with Night Hunter." I said.

"Yes, I received a notification in regards to it. Night Hunter should be waiting for you in his office." Velvet said.

"Alright." I said.

I wandered through the office complex for a short before finding Night Hunter's room. I then lightly knocked three times on the door as a heads up.

"Its Caleb."

"Come on in." Night Hunter acknowledged.

"Hey." I said, taking a seat across from Night Hunter.

"Caleb," Night Hunter replied gregariously. "How are you doing today?"

"I'm doing okay; a whole lot better in quite sometime, actually." I replied.

"Excellent to hear. Hey, so I wanted you to come up here to discuss your attendance record in patrols. I've been tracking your absences that started on... the night of August 19th and persisted onwards throughout the week. You started going back to your patrols for the next week, but then you started randomly selecting the days for your patrol. I mean, I'm glad that you recently went back to your normal schedule, but take a look at this document of your absences for a moment and hand it back when you're done." Night Hunter scolded.

I took a good look through the list of my absences. I swear that I felt my stomach drop when I realized I had racked up seventeen missed patrols over the past four months. Leaving the Everfree Forest unattended and un-investigated can possibly lead to drastic future consequences for both me and Ponyville. I knew this all along, but I just couldn't bring myself to go out and continue my patrols.

"I see." I said, ashamed of myself.

"Not only did you neglect your patrols, but you also lied to me and turned in false reports." Night Hunter also mentioned.

Taking a couple seconds to think about it, I sighed to the truth. "Yes, I did."

"So, then what the heck happened with you for that amount of time? Did you stop caring about your position or was there something else going on?" Night Hunter questioned.

"Night Hunter, I was very depressed from August to January." I admitted.

"You had depression?" Night Hunter asked.

"Very bad depression. I just woke up one day and felt horrible." I said.

"It was that bad for you?" Night Hunter asked.

"You would have to experience it in order to fully understand how I was feeling and thinking. Some days, Twilight would have to encourage me to get out of bed just because of how late I was sleeping, which would lead me to have the sense I didn't have enough time to get everything done in a single day. Pretty soon, I just started becoming very apathetic over a lot of things, including my patrols, as you know." I said, pausing and looking up at Night Hunter.

"Well, I'm sorry to hear about your depressive state. You are feeling better though, right?" Night Hunter said.

"Oh, definitely. But those past months were not fun at all. The only times I would somewhat feel the slightest tinge of happiness would be around my friends or Bridgette, but it wouldn't las all day. I guess it would be hard for you to fully understand unless you had it, too," I slightly chuckled. "Either way, I'm deeply sorry for skipping out and lying to you for so long. I promise to you that I will not let it happen again." I apologized.

"Well, good, I'm glad to hear that," Night Hunter said, looking over me and at the door. "Look, since you're honest and a good person.... I guess I can let these slide and give you another chance. Don't get too excited because if you get another series of absences, you will be discharged and will have to give up your badge."

"Oh, thank you so much! I will not let this chance go to waste. So, we're all good now?" I said.

"Yes, yes, we are, Caleb." Night Hunter

Night Hunter's positive expression slowly formed and neutral stare and his ears slightly drooped down.

"I also had a big struggle with depression many years ago after Blazer got killed by the Timberwolf pack." Night Hunter revealed.

"Oh, right. Blazer.... How bad was it?" I asked.

"Along the lines of your severity. It hurt me when I found out that horrible news because I was his instructor, the one that taught everything he knew about C.A.M.A." Night Hunter said.

"A lot like me?" I asked.

"Yeah. Much like you, I became apathetic to the point that I almost didn't want to do anything with my day. But I managed to push through because, y'know, manager is an important position in C.A.M.A until I just came to terms with his death. I just kept thinking, I know you're sad he died, but you just have to move on with life and can't blame yourself for something you have no control over. So, I just eventually went out and got some counseling until I felt better. Did you get counseling?" Night Hunter said.

"In a way. On most nights, Twilight would like to sit down with me and just talk to me about stuff that went on through our days and gave me advice on how to build up my positivity, in regards to my depression." I explained.

"Dang. That mare really is a good friend to you. You're lucky to have her as one." Night Hunter said.

"I'm sure grateful for everything she does for me. You never did tell me that were depressed when you first mentioned Blazer." I said.

"Well, I didn't feel like I had to bring it up at the time, but your little story brought it out of me." Night Hunter said.

"I was glad to hear it. It was sad, but at least I know that you understood how I was feeling." I said.

"Hmpf. Just another thing we have in common." Night Hunter said.

"Yep. Experiencing the pain of depression. The weird thing is that my depression started a few days after I went inside the house with all the symbols." I brought up.

"You mean that rinky-dink house in the Batchu territory?" Night Hunter asked.

"The only one." I said.

"If that's the case, just stay away from the house. I might notify a deconstruction crew to take it down. That is if I get the time to." Night Hunter said.

"You do whatever you want with it. I always drive past it during my patrol and that shiny window is becoming an eyesore." I said.

"We'll see. I'll make sure they take down that oh-so villanous window for you." Night Hunter joked.

"Yeah, okay, Night Hunter," I said, heading for the door. "Until next time?"

"You bet. See you around, Caleb." Night Hunter farewelled.

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