• Published 15th Jul 2017
  • 890 Views, 57 Comments

The Black Sheep - Irrespective



How far are four Guards willing to go to ensure the safety of the Kingdom and the Crown?

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XIV - Final Thoughts

“Why do you not partake in the festivities, Lieutenant? Are not my hayburgers the most delicious thing you have ever deigned to indulge in?”

“The burgers were quite good, yes.” Pokey replied. His gaze remained out in the stars, however. “I just needed a few minutes alone.”

Luna gave him a knowing look and then moved to stand next to him. Neither of them said anything for a few minutes, but after those minutes had ticked away Pokey sighed.

“I was so sure.” He said to the stars. “So confident, so prepared. I thought I had it all planned out. I knew exactly how everything would happen. I knew how your sister would react, what she would say, what she would do. I knew what you would do, what Captain Armor would do, what he wouldn’t do. I was…”

He trailed off.

“…arrogant.” Luna finished for him. She looked out over the same stars with him. “Prideful, perhaps conceited even. Months of planning, all for naught. The best laid plans that any pony could have ever conceived, but then you find you’re completely wrong about everything once you put those plans into motion. You find yourself in the land of doubt, of darkness and of ruin. You find you’ve been so consumed with…with….”

She now trailed off. After a moment, Pokey inhaled deeply.

“It seems we were both wrong.”

“Your errors pale in comparison to mine.” She replied.

“In a way, they’re not so far apart.” He looked her in the eyes now. “The scale may be slightly different, but arrogance is arrogance.”

“Perhaps.”

“But then we emerge on the other side.” He turned back to the stars. “Humbled, perhaps a bit timid, unsure of ourselves. We want to undo what we’ve done, to go back and correct the mistakes that led to our downfall. But all we can do is move forward, make the most of what we’ve got left. Start anew somehow, and make the future what it should be.”

He then turned to face her again. “Princess, I need help. The one thing I see, more clearly than anything right now, is how little I really know, and how underqualified I am for the rank Celestia has bestowed on me. If I may be so presumptuous, I would ask if you might train me.”

“Me? Train you?”

“Before your banishment you were the finest battlefield commander, bar none.” He smiled a bit sheepishly. “I am something of an amateur historian, and everything I’ve ever read says that your troops were unequaled, even next to Celestia’s. If there’s anypony who has the qualifications, it’s you.”

“You really believe that?” she asked, a small note of pride in her voice.

“Completely. I can stay for a few hours after my shift each evening, if you’re willing to take me on as an apprentice. I will submit totally to your teachings. I just…”

He paused.

“If I am to remain as a Guard, I must be more than what I am now. I can’t achieve that on my own, I see that now. I am willing to submit, if it means I can improve.”

Luna looked him over dubiously. “You will submit to anything I throw at you?”

“Completely.”

“You are going to be one miserable pony.” She smiled menacingly. “Deal! I will teach you, and you will feel a pain you’ve never before felt in your life.”

“I welcome the challenge, General.”

“Good. There is a difference between pride and confidence, and we shall see how much of the latter you possess. For now, let us return to your squadron. They worry about you.”

“I couldn’t ask for a more loyal group of ponies.”

“They are exceptional.” She agreed, as they began walking back in. “I would even dare to say you four are destined for great things.”

“I would like nothing else, for their sake more than mine.”

Author's Note:

And thus this story comes to an end. Don't worry, a sequel is in the works as we speak; Pokey and Company will return for further adventures. :scootangel:
I debated for a while on including this in the last chapter, but it felt like we needed more than just a page break to get the right mood across. It feels more complete this way, for some odd reason. :pinkiecrazy:
Anyway, if you made it this far, let me know what you thought! What worked, what could I do better? I would love some constructive feedback so I know where to improve. :twilightsmile:

Comments ( 26 )

8342758
It's been a good and fun run. The writing is clean from any mistake. Great self edit. :ajsmug:

Something that I think have room for improvement is the dominance of the dialogue and scarce narrative in later chapter especially pertaining Pokey and friends. The story could use additional narrative here and there to help reader imagine the character reaction and scene better. So that reader be able to empathise more with Pokey and friends.

Overall very good writing.
Congratulation for successfully created two story without any blaring weakness. :pinkiesmile:
And as usual my opinion is of an amateur and a novice so take it with some much needed salt. :pinkiesad2: Try to consult with more experienced people or ask for review from group like Author help author.:twilightsmile:
Good luck with the sequel. Always remember have fun! :raritywink:

8346743
This is why I love feedback! :twilightsmile:
You are right, as I look over the mess I made: there's not enough of Pokey and Co. in the latter chapters. You also mentioned my chapters feel like they end abruptly, and that's probably why. Pulling the squad into the narrative would help to prevent that, I'd bet.
I'll try to watch the chatter in the sequel, too. That I'll blame on trying not to bore my audience with details: I personally find it distacting when someone decides they need to spend a paragraph describing a desk or a plant or something like that. However, I need to make sure I don't do the same thing by talking your ears off, too. :applejackunsure: All good stuff! :twilightsmile:

8346811

That I'll blame on trying not to bore my audience with details: I personally find it distacting when someone decides they need to spend a paragraph describing a desk or a plant or something like that.

I whole heartedly agree. That is why there is rule about conservation of detail. Keep the balance of detail that is up your style and able to carry your meaning across but not unnecessarily verbose.

Sometimes it's just a little thing to make your story livelie like.
Luna flinch a little near conversation about nightmare moon.
Twilight ears perked up a bit when she heard about new books bought by Dash.

Others need few more sentences as it is an important part of plot. Like Pokey first appearance.
Do you want to get some lunch? The new sergeant asked passingly. But his eyed betrayed his attitude and shows glint of vigilance and sternness. Light Hooves knows no matter the viewpoint of his superior he has to kept up guarding the damned J-12 till relieved.

Hope it helps.

8346871
I like that. I might just steal it. :trixieshiftright:

This was an interesting story, I liked it, not much to say aside the characters were interesting, I wished that the four of them trying to throw the guard off

8347591
Well, there is always next year's Em-Rads...:trixieshiftright:

8346918
A great author once said that "A good writer borrows idea, but the truly great one steals idea. He steals other's idea and make it truly his own."

I am a thief in training here. :ajsmug:

Of how good your recent fanfic, I have just put this on read later list. I will catch up on some other time; now the time to play some league. Doodles!

8455738
Doodle on! :twilightsmile:.

Fair warning, though: This story isn't as good as my other works. It's my very first one and you can totally tell it is. Hopefully you'll like it, but just be warned it may be a bit rough.

Awesome story! Now to kidnap Luna, Cadance or Twilight this time or another Celestia Kidnapping 2.0

8461041
Glad you liked it! Was there anything you saw that I could improve on with this one?

8461150
I don’t think so though I’m surprised that Twilight didn’t know and would have thought Discord could have fun with this

8461156
Thanks! I appreciate the feedback! :twilightsmile:

I'm still undecided if I need to do a total rewrite or just a tweak here or there. Right now I'm focused on No Nose (I can only do one story at a time for some unknown reason) but I would like to come back to Pokey and the gang at some point.

I love "No Nose knows" and this is as good, even as a first attempt. I would like to see the Black Sheep return perhaps as a unit dedicated to testing security and readiness throughout the guard. Or just being a pain in the plot during training sessions and war games. In any form I really would like to see more of them.

8604917
Thanks! I wish I had more time to come back to The Black Sheep, so I really should just get something going in between No Nose updates. I'm glad you enjoyed it, though. :twilightsmile:

Finally got around to reading this. Fun and interesting read, but I don't know why they were so surprised -- with the team they had -- that it worked.

Everybody knows that Light Hooves makes many work...

I only have 2 problems with this story, these many days after it has finished, and I finally found it.

1 - Twilight would have been there within the first week... and she might have gone for the confession spell LONG before it was put in place.

2 - What happened to Shining at the end.....wasn't there.... at least not that I saw.... no mention of him despite the fact that he used the confession spell, which Celestia saw as 'close to Sombra's tactics' I really wanted to know what happened, aside from a major dressing down.

9304029
Those are but two of many mistakes I make with this story. :twilightsheepish:

Your point about Twilight is spot on, and I have no defense. I think, at the time, I told myself that she was too busy doing whatever in Ponyville at the time, but if that was the case, I really should have mentioned it. Without that, she totally would have been shaking down every guard she could find, and probably some of the staff too.

As for Shining, I can't defend that either. I did have a rough outline going in my head that said Shining's court-martial would come in a sequel, but again, the set-up for it is missing.

One day, I hope to just rewrite this whole thing and make it much better than it is now. One day. :unsuresweetie:

Great story, I liked it! :twilightsmile: Was a little apprehensive at the Random tag when I saw this in my review folder, but it was a good read nonetheless!

My complete thoughts about the story will come with the review, though, so I guess you'll have to wait for whenever that gets done :trollestia: Rest assured I'm working on it though!

9791131
Thank you! I know this isn't a very good story but I eagerly look forward to your thoughts on how it could be better. :yay:

9791187
Hallo! I've (finally) reviewed your story here!

Hope you find it useful for something :twilightsmile:

Ohhhhhh that was a great read!!! Time to look for the sequel if it’s written!!

I enjoyed it! I thought the first chapter was really fun character-wise and would have liked to see more of Hooves' viewpoint throughout but I think it all tied together nicely... except for that J-12 corridor, which is getting way too much foreshadowing not to be sequel bait XD

I too rather enjoyed this, and am quite sad that it’s apparently not been read as much as your other stories. Is any kind of specific sequel coming for this? I know you’ve used Pokey and Clover (or versions of them, at least) in the Beanverse, but they’re cut rather differently than how they appear in this tale.

11012382
Maybe one day I'll do a sequel. I would like to, honestly. I had plans for this version of Pokey, and it'd be nice to bring them about.

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