• Published 2nd Jan 2019
  • 3,852 Views, 85 Comments

Security Issues - Andromidus



Brandt is a human. Brandt is also the newest royal security adviser. He has his work cut out for him.

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1 - Purpose

Brandt stepped off of the carriage, eyeing the source of locomotion and the driver, which, much to his amusement, happened to be the same person. Or, to be technical, same pony. It seemed that the novelty of it had yet to wear off. Ah. Enough making fun of the man. He's just doing his job. Reaching into his pocket—in extension his wallet—he began grabbing the appropriate amount for the tip. They may just be tiny horses... but this was just common courtesy for a job damn well done. Satisfied, he brought it out.

Then proceeded to awkwardly hold it out once he realized there was no way for the earth pony to hold it.

“Er…”

“I usually nevah get tipped.” The carriage driver returned the awkward look. “Ther’s a pawch ah’n the front. Ya’ can just… put it ther…”

“Right,” he replied curtly. “You… you have a good day then.”

“Yeh’...” the stallion replied, quickly trotting away.

The man watched him disappear around the bend before turning to face his destination. It also seemed that no matter the difference in realities, people still prioritized escaping from those kinds of scenarios. He slid his phone out from a pocket and checked the time.

“Almost twelve…” he murmured.

That left him with fifteen minutes to do something before his meeting. He idly wondered as he walked to the front gate. Would they let him explore the grounds? Or would that be an issue? He tsked and shook his head. He was sure they could spare some time for a quick tour. Getting him speedily acquainted with his new place of work would be good enough of a reason. From his experience, there certainly was a big difference when it came to looking at the real deal and not a flat piece of paper.

Which wasn’t a bad thing—there were no complaints from him about the landscaping.

He sighed and rubbed his shoulder. Now that he really thought about it, they most likely already did have staff dedicated to tours. If…! And only if his experience at any other locale transferred over. The Disney-esque appearance of the castle certainly failed to convince him otherwise. They probably had children by the dozens aching to see this place. And to be quite honest, his inner child was also getting quite giddy at the prospect of getting such a chance. And I'll be seeing it again and again for the next couple of years.

He hummed… and stopped.

He… he should've hit a door by now. A really big door to be precise. He turned on a dime.

Behind him was the castle gate. Wide open. With no guards around it.

If that wasn't a glaring issue, then pony Jesus would descend from wherever heaven he resided in and bitch slap him. Tentatively, he waited for anything to happen. Best case, a pair of guards were just running late on their rotation. Worst case? He was in the middle of a subtle-not-so-subtle infiltration. Tensing up, his hand reflexively hovered over the holster. There was no way he was going to get himself caught unawares.

When he stood there for another five minutes and nothing happened, he narrowed his eyes. Was this a first-to-make-their-move-loses standoff? Because damned if it was, he was not planning on losing.

Another five passed and his reward was a gentle afternoon breeze.

Brandt made a face. “Look, if someone's there, just show yourself! I'm sure you've got me outnumbered or something like that.”

The wind buffeted his face again with its soft caress. Leaving him with no reply. Of course, there was always the chance nobody was even there and he was overreacting. Truly. it never hurt to be a paranoid SOB, but the small consideration regarding a non-existing foe was still seconds fresh on his mind. That made him feel slightly embarrassed. He was getting all riled up because of nothing.

Brandt blinked. No, wait. He had a perfectly excusable reason as to why paranoia was settling in. Why aren’t there any guards here? Patrolling or following their namesake?

His eyes darted around, scanning his surroundings. “Never really did like the quiet. Always meant something bad,” he said aloud.

Unnerved and uncomfortable, he switched to an elevated jogging pace and made his way down the path. Still, even as he moved deeper into palace grounds, there was no one present.

When he felt the unwelcome sensation of dread prickling the back of his neck, he took an immediate detour. His grip tightened around the briefcase as he leaped over a short shrub fence and slammed his back behind a marble statue. His breaths were quick as he exchanged the briefcase with the weapon that was strapped to his thigh.

He peeked around the corner and frowned. The trees waved menacingly—yeah, right. Nope. Not a leaf or blade of grass out of place. Still the picturesque landscape he walked into.

“I guess I'm just paranoid,” he said aloud, relaxing his stance. He flicked the holster cover open and slid the gun back where it belonged. Brandt turned and scooped the handle of the briefcase. Sparing one last glance, he checked his six. Nothing changed. “Yep. Paranoid as ever.” But still suspicious as hell.

Brandt’s stunt did get him to the front door of the castle much faster than he projected, however. So, plus for him. He brushed off his uniform and straightened the tie. “Right, okay. Just ask them about the front gate.” He stepped over the fancy little ankle-high fence and jogged the last portion of the journey. Why didn’t I just ask to be dropped off here instead? It looked like the entire place was perfectly capable of…

Ah, goddamnit. Me and my manners. He shrugged. Too late to complain now.

The castle towered above him, white and gold spiraling into the clouds. Buttresses tastefully designed with carved patterns of wispy strands of gold braced themselves along the walls. Regular and stained windows alike spread along most surfaces. All of this lead him to the grand double doors that served as the door to the inside. Standing in front of the entrance were two armored stallions, stoic and unwavering. Here’s my chance. Brandt held out his hand and waved hello as he neared. “Listen, quick question, but, uh, isn’t the front gate of the castle supposed to be manned?”

Their visages shattered instantly. Both of the guards looked at him as if he approached with his foot in his mouth. “What?” they replied in sync.

“Uh, manned? Guarded? Protected? There’s no one there,” he gestured to the end of the path. “Literally anyone could come in and none would be the wiser.” He paused and squinted his eyes. “Now that I can see it from here, there’s no one on the walls, either.”

The pony on the left froze, most likely processing what he had said. Half a minute later, he cocked his head. “I don’t see anything wrong.” He leaned in slightly, eyes drifting along the walls. “Yep. Nothing.”

“Yeah, me neither,” the other added, nodding his head.

Brandt stuttered. “I, but, what, huh…!? What do you mean that’s okay?”

The guard on the right stared at the man. “Well, there’s no double meaning here. Stalwart is pretty straightforward with what he says.”

“Mhm. I’m a simple pony. I say what I mean.”

Gently, Brandt let down his briefcase. Not so gently, was the slap to the face. He groaned from underneath his facepalm, exaggeratingly dragging it down. He whispered empty threats and swears to a higher power before he removed his hand. He took a deep breath and picked up his luggage. “Alright, that’s okay. Perfectly fine.”

“Yeah. ‘S what he said.”

The man sighed.

Rightie gave him a mean look. “If you’re just going to stand there asking weird questions… about… about ‘guards at the front gate,’ you can just go.”

“Yeah! Loitering isn’t allowed here.”

“You guys enforce that but not…” He took another deep breath, restraining his anger. “Well, I have a meeting with your Princess. And, I’ve already got my paperwork and ID right in here –” he lifted his briefcase “– so if you would give me a moment to take that out—”

“Ohhh! Why didn’t you just say so?” “Stalwart” raised a hoof to silence him. “We received a memo about a human coming to visit this morning.” He eyed him up and down. “You kinda look like what it said a human would look like, so come in!”

His partner helped him push the double doors open. The unnamed stallion guard on the right, beamed. “Princess Celestia’s office is straight down the hall, first door on your left. Has a giant sun embossed on it. Can’t miss it!”

Now this time, it was Brandt’s turn to shoot them dirty looks. “Alright. Either this is a test or I'm getting screwed with. This is basic protocol! Are you not even going to check my credentials? What if I wasn’t the human who supposed to meet with her today? What if I'm just random schmuck off the street? What if I was a terrorist or assassin?”

Unnamed stallion scrunched his face. “Well, are you a terrorist or assassin?”

“Well, no, but that’s not the point—”

Stalwart smiled. “Good enough for us! We were glad to be of service, sir!”

They both saluted and without another word, Brandt was pushed inside. He stumbled forward, sticking out his arms to balance or catch himself before he embarrassingly made intimate acquaintance with the floor. He turned around to see the door shut, his clothes and combed hair ruffled slightly from the force of the air ejected from the shutting escape. He blinked, still unsure if that really just happened. He stood still, staring blankly at the half-opened briefcase and dark-olive folder sticking out of it.

The only sounds that could be heard were the quiet breaths of the only man in the room.

“That did not just happen,” he whispered, both in anger and disbelief. Never let these guys have a job in the TSA. As he let the shock filter out of his system, he stiffly shuffled to face the corridor where Celestia’s office was to be found. “We have so much to talk about.”

Author's Note:

Here we go, my first attempt at "comedy."