• Published 15th Jul 2017
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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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VIII - The Calculating Sergeant

“Hey Sarge.” Light Wing called, as Pokey entered the room and crossed over to them. “You any good at chess? The princess is wiping the floor with me here.”

“I know how to move the pieces, but that’s about it.” He replied, as he looked the board over. “Never really had friends who liked to play.”

“A shame. Chess is a noble game, you should play more often.” Celestia offered.

“I’ll see what I can do.” He replied. “Wing, your time’s up. I’ll take it from here if you want.”

“Not a moment too soon.” Wing replied, as she stood. “I concede this match, your Highness. I think withdrawing costs less points then losing, anyway.”

“Depends on the league.” Celestia chuckled. “But I expect a better effort next time!”

“Right.” Wing rolled her eyes, but smiled. “Maybe I’ll bring my own game. Later!”

The two wished Wing a good evening, and then Celestia sighed as she gave the Sergeant a wary look.

“What?” he asked, as he placed his saddlebag down on the floor.

“I figured it out.”

“Figured what out?”

“Why you foalnapped me.”

“Oh?” he replied, as he sat down in front of her. “Do tell.”

“You’re mad. It’s pretty obvious, once I thought about it.”

“Mad?”

“Angry, upset, perturbed, irked, annoyed…”

“Thank you.” He cut her off. “Why am I mad at you?”

“You blame somepony for something, and you’re taking it out on me. The only variable I haven’t fully worked out yet is who.”

“Ah ha.” He said, as he idly looked over the chessboard. “Any suspicions on that? Theories? Hypotheses?”

“Thank you.” She cut him off now. “I’m thinking it has something to do with the Guard, something within it.”

“Like what?”

“Well, let’s see.” She moved a pawn out idly. “It must be a big axe you have to grind, that’s for sure.”

Pokey moved a pawn to match hers. “A very big axe indeed. What grudge could I harbor that would be that big?”

“I’m thinking it’s a disagreement with a superior officer.” She moved a knight now. “Thus it must be something with Lt. Daisy Chain or Shining Armor. They must have slighted you somehow.”

“Interesting.” He moved a princess out. “Keep going.”

“Perhaps you were passed over for a promotion. I’ve seen Sicks grow jealous before when others are picked before them. It’s a very high assignment, too.”

“I like the thought.” He replied. “That, however, is not it. Stone Spring has been a Lieutenant longer than I’ve been alive, I’m pretty sure, and Daisy Chain was promoted with Captain Armor while I was still a Corporal. I wasn’t even in the running.”

“I see.” She replied, as her rook took one of his pawns. “It could still be you feel that you are more qualified than them.”

“Why would I feel that way?”

“Happens all the time.” She shrugged. “I have seen plenty of cases where decisions made by the superiors are derided by the subordinates.”

“Mm.” he replied, as he idly moved a pawn. “What could they have done that would drive me to superiority?”

“Indeed.” She replied. “What could they have done? Perhaps a policy change?”

“It would have to be a pretty drastic policy.”

“That it would.” She took his pawn with a princess.

“And how would my actions bring about my advancement?”

“What do you mean?”

“How is what I am doing going to bring about my advancement? How does foalnapping Celestia get me to Lieutenant, or Captain? You will flat reject any such advancement if my motives are for personal reasons, no?”

“That is true.”

“So I have done all this for nothing, then.” He replied, as his Queen took a rook. “Months of planning, convincing a squad of ponies go along with my delusions of grandeur, all for naught?”

“Surely it isn’t all for nothing.” She replied, as a Princess took a pawn.

“What can I gain at this point?” he asked, as a pawn took her queen. “In the Formal Review, my personal agenda will be discovered, no matter how well I’ve hidden it. What can I gain when it is revealed all my actions were for personal, selfish reasons?”

“Perhaps it is not selfish, then.” she asked, as her Princess moved down the board. “But you still have something to gain in doing this.”

“Perhaps.”

She slowly lifted her hoof off of her princess, but her gaze remained firmly and sternly on Pokey. “It would be wise, Sergeant, to evaluate your moves.”

“I already admitted to knowing only how to move the pieces, nothing more.”

“Exactly.” Her gaze became harder. “And that will bring about a great deal of anguish for you. Be careful of where you move, and why. Your movements can not be undone, and if done in error you will find everything you are working for to be destroyed in an instant.”

He then glanced down at the board, and found that a pawn had put him into checkmate.

“You…?” he asked.

“Be sure that you are making the right sacrifices.” She replied to him. “It would be a shame if you are unintentionally condemning yourself.”

Author's Note:

I don't know how I feel about this chapter. Does it help the story, or is it just a waste? :derpytongue2: