• Member Since 8th Oct, 2016
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Dave Bryant

Ko-fi • I have a vocabulary and I’m not afraid to use it. • World-building is my passion.



This story is a sequel to Diplomatic Overtures

Cookie Pusher, recently appointed chargé d’affaires en pied to Equestria, travels through the portal to visit Canterlot during the Hearth’s-Warming season for a little cultural exchange. Where does he go? What does he do? Ideas and suggestions from the readers guide his foot—er, hoofsteps on this holiday junket.

Chapters (14)
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Comments ( 164 )

It's incredibly awkward to realize that you've been mugged. Especially when the mugger is a tiny filly who played you like a fiddle while she picked your pockets.

Cook should go to Pony Joe's, and hopefully meet a pony that can show him around Canterlot. I suggest Moondancer, Sassy Saddles, or Fancy Pants.

This made me snicker. :trollestia: I’m not sure it would work in the immediately upcoming chapter, but I’ll work it in somewhere, because it’s too good to pass up.

Ooh, good idea. By the time Cook reaches Canterlot, it probably would be mid-morning, a good time for a fortifying snack and coffee.

Getting something to eat upon arrival in Canterlot would be the wise course of action. Maybe sample a local newspaper?

Why not? It’ll go with the coffee and doughnuts. :moustache:

Make a note to get a softer 'catcher' than a pile of books set up.
Adding to get food, since I doubt nonperishable souvenirs will fly. Photos, if he brought the equipage?

Well, this should be fun. I wonder if Cook will run into any of Twilight's old friends. And how closely Twilight's hewed to the whole confidentiality thing. To say nothing of Pinkie Pie, close friend of Minuette that she is...

Hmm, good point! He may; one suggestion is to have Cook run into, say, Moon Dancer as a friendly native guide. As for the secrecy angle—I’m assuming Twilight can be discreet, and that Cook isn’t well known, or known at all, beyond a small circle. His plan is to pose as a simple tourist from somewhere else in the country, which is easier in a pre-radio, pre-television, pre-Internet society. We’ll see. . . . :trixieshiftright:

No camera, I’m afraid; I stick with Ms. Faust’s original world-building, which established Equestria’s rechnology as roughly equivalent to the 1860s–1880s in the real world. Photography at that point still is very much a studio affair, or at least not portable enough for tourist use—Photo Finish’s bellows camera is state of the art. You’re quite right about not being able to bring back distinctive souvenirs, though, which does distress Cook mildly, but is a known and established policy. Food and drink, however, certainly are part of the tourist experience, or at least should be; besides, a full day is a bit long to go without!

I suspect Twilight the bookworm may make all sorts of promises, but I’m not going to hold my breath that she’ll ever get all those loose stacks cleaned up. :twilightblush:

Walks into bar, tries to strike up a friendly conversation about the weather, ends up instigating a major row about unionization in the Weather Service.


Oh Celestia that made me laugh out loud! :rainbowlaugh: I’m not sure how Cook could manage that—or I would write it—but absolutely I’ll keep it or something like it in mind. Maybe when I reach the afternoon or evening. . . .


I was inspired by the idea of a conversation that goes:

"Nice weather we're having."

"Why, thank you."


This pleases me greatly. I must ponder it.

Moondancer must make an appearance.

A consensus seems to be emerging. . . . :raritystarry:

I want to see his interest in raven continued. He was definitly interested in her “poise and grace” the last time he was there. It would be nice to see two diplomats flirting while keeping things professional. She also kind of hinted at showing him around too in the last minor interaction they had. I just ship it, I’ll admit

A new challenger appears! I may not drop in Raven immediately, but she might show up during her lunch break. :duck:

I wonder if Cook might run into anypony touching up the weather as he arrives, just to make it extra perfect for the upcoming festivities?

Later on, he should totally catch the Hearth's Warming pageant. I hear the one in Canterlot has really high production value.

Oh, the pageant is a must—but that’ll be later in the day, possibly in the evening. As for the weather, he might see some pegasus crews working on it, but that’s likely to be a background element. He might run into some weather ponies on break, though. . . .

So good to see that Cook, who has trained his entire life to be a Foreign Service Officer, is finally getting to be of service in a foreign land.

I wonder if anyone tried to press a replica of Sci-Twi's magic-draining lockets on him as a means of personal defense, or if it is considered unforgivably uncouth for a diplomat to be armed.

8609456 "Everypony talks about the weather but nopony does anything about it!"

One of those lockets almost destroyed the dimensional barrier between realities. That would have been civilization ending bare minimum.

While Equestria may have contact with highly martial civilizations whose diplomats are always armed I doubt they allow them to carry WMDs on them.

8622913 The amulet fed Twilight Sparkle a bunch of magic after it absorbed 6 sources of magic, then she chose to start ripping dimensional barriers apart because the magic drove her insane. That's a good point though, it would probably not be a good idea to take an amulet into Equestria (my guess is they would just burst after about 5 seconds).

But still useful on the human side as long as you just use them once and then throw them in an underground vault.

Everyone, including Cook, has agreed it probably is better for him not to mess with magical artifacts on either side of the portal. There really isn’t any pressing need, especially since he’s a unicorn on the far side, even if he is a tyro at spellcasting.

8622913 Now I'm imagining Cook messing with a magical amulet and Starlight Glimmer saying "whoa dude, that is just too much impulsive use of magic right there."

Seems as good a place as any to strike up a conversation with somepony.

Since human and pony counterparts have similar personalities, drives and goals odds are that several people who work in the human government that Cook knows have pony counterparts who work in Canterlot. Has Cook given any thought to what he'll do if he runs into say pony Pin Stripe or heaven forbid himself?

I swear to god I would love it to see raven here picking up coffee and donuts for celestia and luna or even luna herself just hanging with joe. I’m sorry I just reall ship Raven and Cookie in this.

Hmm. I know Cook has some experience with pony taste buds, but I still have to wonder how many of the more exotic flavors he's sampled in his brief time in Equestria. And that's putting aside any other reader-familiar faces or government notables who might be partaking in some fried goodness or hot coffee.

Oh my gosh, that cabby was adorable.

I've promptly binged through all of your work between yesterday and today, and found it absolutely delightful. I could totally see Cook running into a visiting Lyra, or even a changedling tourist. So far, it's been all CHS and Equestria, but aside from Spike and mentions of the other species, the one that's been lacking has been a changeling of Thorax's hive.

Thank you for the compliment, and I’m pleased to be so entertaining! I hope to provide more entertainment in the future.

Excellent! He was intended to be, and I’m pleased I succeeded.

I didn’t have a good opportunity for that right away, but I’ll try to work it in.

Moon Dancer might suggest a museum or two. She grew up in Canterlot, she's got to have visited at least one as part of a school trip.

It's time to explore Moondancer's secret interest.... ALIENS.

Which will definitely not cause any problems whatsoever.

Awww, this was pleasant :twilightsmile:

Ah, but alien what? That’s the question. :derpyderp2:

That’s a thought. I’ll have to consider what kind of museum, though. :twistnerd:

Good! I’m trying to make it as pleasant as I can. :pinkiehappy:

I thought that was Lyra...


They did go to school together. Twiliclones each have their own quirks--Trixie's a showboat, Starlight's a sasser, and Sunset's a snarkfest. Why shouldn't Moondancer be a secretseeker?


Well, she wouldn't buy into Lyra's outlandish Human nonsense, that's CLEARLY fringe theory. No, she's one of the more reasonable sorts that assumes the variety of sapients on Equestria were refugees from an inter-world war, although she admits there are competing theories on how they all got there.

Cook would be very interested in that, methinks.

The question is, how much does she remember from the days before her hermetic house-and-library circuit? How much is still accurate? And how many places have her friends shown her since that she actually enjoyed?

Of course, before she can really offer suggestions, she's going to need to get a sense of the tourist. That means asking Cook just what he's here for, and that means subjecting his cover story to the scrutiny of a deeply curious and intelligent young mare.

I suppose.

This raises many good points. Still, I figured my suggestion was a decent enough springboard.

I hope Moon Dancer bring Cook to breakfast with her friends tomorrow. I bet Cook would recognize some of them as doubles of girls he has seen at CHS.

8657345 What about her interest in dancing? It's right in her name, and someone must have taught Twilight her... unique dance.

Seconding FoME. Somepony is bound to find out Cook's secret at some point, and I'd much rather it be one of Twilight's friends than some snooty, potentially xenophobic Canterlot pony.

That said, I really hope nothing of that nature ruins Cook's visit. Unless it's something that serves a greater purpose in the narrative and is properly handled, but I wouldn't necessarily expect that from a story that is written from the comments. (No offense)

I love the world crafting you've done with this series, particularly in that it feels very organic.

It certainly competes with or even knocks the stuffing out of whatever it is the rest of us do.

I know chargé d’affaires means charged with (in charge of) matters in English, but what does "en pied" mean in English?

Goodness! I’ve done my best, and I thank you very much for the compliment.

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