• Published 2nd Jan 2019
  • 3,843 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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5 - "Changeling"

Brandt looked out the window, staring at the passing landscape.

Maybe one day when he’d rack up enough vacation days, he’d take a trip around Equestria. Exploring and experiencing what the new land had to offer. That sounded pretty nice.

But right now? He had a job to do. And that was to hit the good ol’ ponies of the Crystal Guard with a nice big bat called, “stop being stupid,” at the behest of its ruling monarch. Because apparently, this was what his job had boiled down to.

He turned around to face back into the passenger car.

Sadly, he made the one-in-a-while mistake of forgetting to charge his phone, leaving him without a source of entertainment. Equestria, sadly enough, had yet to completely integrate modern technology into their daily lives. So that meant no charging stations aboard this ride. Leaving him with nothing else to do besides observing the other commuters in a non-disturbing fashion or going through some light paperwork.

“Might as well get started,” he sighed, pulling out a pen and the briefcase, alongside some forms he believed would be good at passing the time. “Which one…? Agh, whatever is the least annoying.”

He tapped the pen against his stubbled chin, humming to himself. The car was awfully quiet. A confirming glance told him that the place was… empty.

Well, save for the one pony sitting at the far end of the cabin.

He blinked and leaned in to look at the only other passenger. Most ponies hardly ever had truly-black fur and those who came close were actually a very dark gray. This one, however, looked like someone had dipped them in ink and then sprayed them with a finish. Leaving their outer surface… shiny…

A bug shell. Yes, that was the word for it! Wait, hold up. He stood up. A bug shell? Pony-looking bug… “Changeling…” he whispered. He spun around to see if there was anyone else. “No one but me and them. I hope.”

They don’t look to be doing anything but sitting there. And they’re undisguised. Did they miss me or something? There was something sitting on their face. It was… a piece of paper with a drawing of a pony face on it. Oh for the love of god, does that thing expect that to work?

He walked over and sat down next to the changeling, his right hand resting on the holster. The startled bug snapped to face him. “How’s your day going?” Brandt greeted.

“Uh, iz good,” they replied, fidgeting. He forced back the laugh from how terrible the attempted accent was.

“Anything bugging you?”

“N-No, I... iz good.”

“Mhm,” he said as he crossed his legs. “You’re not a changeling, right?”

That immediately set them on the defensive. “NO! No! I am pony! Pony from Ponyville… EQUESTRIA! I from Equestria!” they shrieked. The obviously-a-changeling furiously waved their forehooves back and forth. “Not changeling!”

“Right,” Brandt chuckled, not bothering to hide his laughter. Ponyville? That’s got to be the stupidest fake town name for a backstory. Did he even try? “What’s your name, then?”

“Uh…” The changeling tapped their head, most likely trying to think of a believable pony name. They obviously hadn’t thought this out. “Uhm… I am… I am Hooorsseee?”

“Hooo-are-si?”

“Yes!, Yes, am Hoooaresi!” they said, nodding their head to the point where it looked ready to fall off. However, the rapid head movement was far too much for the simple string attachment keeping the mask secure to their face, and it flew off and smacked the back of their head.

“Mr. Hooaresi, your face fell off.”

“Wait, it did?” they asked. “Oh, er, I mean, oh, no! My face iz broken! Am need medikal assist!”

“You can stop now,” Brandt deadpanned. “You’re not very good at this, are you?”

He was lucky the changeling knew when to admit defeat. They sighed. “I’m supposed to be really good! I fooled three ponies on my way here.”

“And what’d you do? Only wave at them?”

“...yes.” The changeling shuffled their hooves.

I think this problem goes deeper than just the guards. I'm lucky I caught them before they entered the Empire itself. God knows what he'd do in there. “And you’re heading to the Crystal Empire by yourself?”

He looked away. “I am… by myself.”

Brandt couldn’t lie that he was mildly interested in their story. “I thought you guys always traveled in groups—a swarm, I think it was called. Can I ask why you're alone?”

They were silent for the longest time as they stared blankly ahead. “I’m… I’m an outcast. I was in the Invasion of Canterlot… but I couldn’t bring myself to fight… so I tried to desert. However, the squad leader caught me and broke my legs and wings so I couldn’t escape. She told me they would deal with me after they won.”

Brandt interlocked his hands and placed them on the upper knee. “That's... damn.”

The changeling made no indicator to acknowledge his comment and simply continued. “So… so when they lost and we were scattered to the winds, I landed near a town, bleeding, starving, and dying. If it wasn’t for this little colt who came by and helped me, I would’ve joined the Grand Hive,” he whispered, barely audible. “He helped me back on my hooves and even told me stories about this place that existed solely because of love! And so… so I wanted to see it for myself. And I wished that maybe I could join them, under this disguise I was thinking about.”

He pulled out another mask, this one with a shiny-white pony on it. He hoofed it to Brandt, who stared at the drawing before flipping it around to get a full examination. “So you made this up?”

“The little colt helped me out. I filled in the rest with the little infiltrator training I had. Together, we crafted this.” He reached for the mask and Brandt gave it back. The changeling stared into icy-blue eyes of the disguise. “I named them ‘Black Diamond.’ They’re actually based off of that new story that Scout told me, about these ducklings and a swan chick. So the pony was born far away from the Crystal Empire, left with an ugly coal coat, made fun of because of it. It was until they came across this diamond they managed to find. The latent power in the crystal unlocked their crystal pony heritage and their fur took on a beautiful, jewel pattern. With renewed vigor, they leave their hometown to rejoin their fellow crystal ponies.”

Huh. I guess some human stuff does get read. “I see…”

The changeling gave a sad laugh, waving his mask around. He looked up to gaze into the empty train car. “L-Look at me, telling the complete stranger who caught me my life story. This wasn’t even a real interrogation and I caved—heck, I couldn't even act properly to avoid this. I’m pathetic. Some changeling I am.” He bit his lower lip and sniffled, holding back his tears.

“...”

They shared another moment of silence, listening to the train clack against the rails. The changeling placed the mask down. “So are you going to report me? I understand if you are go—”

“No.”

“...what?” he asked in disbelief.

Not everything is so black and white. He sighed. “You’ve been through enough suffering as it is. You don’t live up to the expectations of the monsters I expected, either. Really, I don’t think you should be paying for the sins of the masses.” He placed both feet on the floor. “You’re just a broken soul, searching for something to fill the hole, looking to fit in a world that persecutes you for your appearance. And besides, I think my mother would have my hind if I turned my back on my upbringings. I can't hate a man who did me no wrong.”

“I… I don’t know what to say…” he choked, wiping a forming tear away. “I’ve… I don’t...”

Brandt raised his hand to stop him. “How about this? You can start by telling me your name.”

The changeling froze. “I don’t have one…” he mumbled, inaudible to the human, as embarrassment and shame crept on his face.

“Pardon?”

“I don’t have one…” he repeated, louder this time. “I’m just another number.”

That was completely fucked. There was always more to a story once you heard what the other person had to say... but... things should never be this bad. A fire burned in his heart. “Well, that won’t do.” The human brought up his phone, staring at the shiny black surface of the screen. He hovered above the home button but stopped. “Your Queen’s name was Chrysalis, right?”

“Yes… she was one of the few who were awarded with names.”

Brandt frowned as he walked down memory lane. He landed on a specific set of memories from his childhood, playing in the dirt amongst the critters. “Thorax.”

“Huh?”

“Thorax. That was the name of the bug friend I had back when I was a kid. It was cute little beetle, no bigger than my finger. I remembered coming home from school and playing with it. They were… good times.”

The changeling blankly watched the clouds pass by. He could see his wings flutter slightly, buzzing like a bug's. “I… I like it.”

He smiled. “Well then, nice to meet you, Thorax,” he said, sticking his arm out. “I’m Brandt.”

Author's Note:

And then fail spectacularly when the last part isn't comedy.

Damnit.

Comments ( 59 )

the ineptitude of the royal guards is pretty much a meme at this point.

These guards are ponified versions of the redshirts.

Eh... I was onboard with the concept, but making the guards into utter idiots instead of just naive and inexperienced killed it for me. There's plenty of comedy to be had with stuff like "why check your credentials if you said you're supposed to be here? Why would anybody lie about that?" without making them so dumb that a rubber mask fools them. That 'utter idiot' punchline can work for a short joke or comic, but a few thousand words of just 'these guys are dumb' got old.

9381173
Fixed! Thank you.

9381160
Really? Well, that's something for me to mull over—any advice regarding comedy would go a long way for me, especially since this is a new scene I've found myself in.

Is there a group for 'Human comes in and yells at everyone for being stupid'? because this and the equestrian checkpoint one are damn funny.

I'd love a sequel where the guards are now so paranoid, they don't trust anyone - including accusing everyone's credentials of being fake and the princesses of being changelings in disguise.

it's a masterpiece!

Four out of five isn't bad - have the thumbs-up, mister writer.:moustache:

And may I request more chapters for this one? I wish to see where things go with the Crystal Guard, as the other two were hilariously good.:rainbowlaugh: And the reactions of Luna and Celestia, my god! :rainbowlaugh::rainbowlaugh:

And poor Thorax - I'd like to read further about their friendly relationship.:fluttershysad:

Ultimate security: blow up everyone.

Then there's no one left to worry about!

Insane logic is best logic. :pinkiecrazy:

"And so, all your security sucks balls. HUGE balls. Like, blue whale balls, I'm talkin' here."

Celestia sighed, "Mr. Brant. Shoot me."

"Uhm... beg pardon?"

Celestia burst into explody flames and surged into the sky, "SHOOT ME, YOU PATHETIC MAN APE, BEFORE I REDUCE YOU TO A SOOT SMEAR!!"

In utter panic, Brant unloaded his entire clip at the flaming horror. Heh, flaming.

Celestia landed, unharmed, prodding a hoof and the liquid droplets of metal on the floor which were all that remained of the bullets. "You see, Mr. Brant. Anything that could harm me would crush my poor little ponies to a bloody splat on the ground in an instant. Soooooo, guards are pretty much pointless. Counterproductive, in fact, because most enemies would just use them as meat shields."

Brant blinked, "So this is basically..."

"DBZ, yes. And I'm one of the last remaining Saiyans... metaphorically speaking."

"God damned power gamers..." Brant grumbled.

:trollestia:

Luna is totally Vegeta. "BLAH BLAH BLAH, PRINCESS OF THE NIGHT BLAH BLAH!!"

9381297
Do you know where I can find the one you called 'equestrian checkpoint'? Thanks :twilightsmile:

9381477
From everything we've seen in canon, Celestia is not the all-powerful goddess we've been assuming for years.

9381517
Here you go! (If you haven't found it already, that is).

TEquestrian Border Checkpoint
To be able to live in Equestria, I have to perform a certain job. I have to be a checkpoint inspector. The princesses insisted that it’s because I’m good at it. I just think they know that I don’t like people/ponies/anyone that are stupid.
Yellowtail · 6.2k words  ·  1,120  29 · 16k views

I honestly don't think you failed in the slightest just because your ending lacked comedy! This story is wonderful!

9381160
Ah, but as we saw, the guards aren’t “utter idiots,” as you said.

Ponies are idiots, as evidenced by the fact that Thorax bluffed his way onto a train to the Crystal Empire with a crayon-drawing on a piece of paper taped over his face.


Hopping over to the author, you’ve done well with your absurd comedy: What we see happen either has to be so absurd that it shouldn’t happen, but not so absurd that it couldn’t happen, or has to be consistently absurd in the same way so that it doesn’t matter if it couldn’t happen.

That second one is especially important if the story has a straight man in it, as Brandt is here.

9381517
https://www.fimfiction.net/story/413458/equestrian-border-checkpoint Is a one-shot with a one chapter epilogue

https://www.fimfiction.net/story/414279/papers-ponies-and-attitude Is a rewrite by the same author with a good 14 chapters that is still being updated.

9382041
Somemore fun ones.

https://www.fimfiction.net/story/356276/1/death-comes-for-me/but-i-hide Grimm reaper comes for Anon, he acts like a kindergartner on the first day of school.

https://www.fimfiction.net/story/395453/1/the-challenge/im-not-trapped-in-here-with-you Anon gets fed up of being treeted like a baby and duels Luna, crack oneshot. Is rated M no lewds just innuendo.

Will there be a sequel?

9382145
That's... sorta up in the air right now.

But who knows? Anything could happen.

9381522 Neither are Saiyans. But having humans guard Saiyans would be equally pointless.

Got it?

About to read it. (read the comment it got based on though)
And this is what I decided to reply with:
https://www.fimfiction.net/story/413458/equestrian-border-checkpoint
https://www.fimfiction.net/story/414279/papers-ponies-and-attitude

9381679
See, but imo it wasn't absurd enough to be funny. Absurd comedy has to surprise you with how over-the-top or unexpected it becomes. You need that surprise to generate the humor. The first chapter was about as expected, then the Blueblood chapter that reveals ponies have a zero in Sense Motive was executed in a confusing way that didn't really sell the humor. After that it was more 'ponies can't even disguises' which was already established and not embellished to a surprising point. The batpony section was a really good and amusing bit because the 'LIGHT' thing was unexpected and hilariously absurd.

Humor is subjective and is really hard to dissect or explain. All I can really say is that none of the humor aside from the batpony bit worked for me and the rest is my attempt to explain why.

Ponies are stupid beyond reason. I don't want to find myself in that world.
Now tell me: How did Celestia not recognize Chrysalis during the wedding ?

Damnit! You can't just stop here! You need to show the crystal guards failing!

9382761
Fair enough. You are correct about humor, and I accept your reasoning.

Anyone else noticed the reference to good ol' CS:GO stupidity?

NO! No! I am pony! Pony from Ponyville… EQUESTRIA! I from Equestria!

Only me? okay.

Can we get other stories, but this time its with a Fire Marshall and/or a foodplace Health Inspector please?

9382953
The answer to that is in the next 2 chapters. You will not miss that answer, because it's a major plot point.

Sequel! Sequel! Sequel!

9382919
I didn't think anyone would actually get that!

9382725
I mean, we've been assuming their guards were pointless, but after eight seasons with these characters it's pretty obvious that Celestia and Luna are individually not that much stronger than Twilight. Hell their big "war between night and day" we assumed they had was one battle that wrecked one castle.

The guards absolutely need to be there, because an assassin absolutely could kill any of them, and they can be overpowered by a small group of normal ponies.

Comparing them to the saiyans is wrong. I'd put them more on early DB Yamcha's and Krillin's level. And that's not an insult to them. As much as "Oh Yamcha and Krillin are weak XD" is true in-universe, the powercreep in Dragon Ball was absolutely bullshit and Yamcha started strong enough to smash Goku through multiple layers of stone.

9384662 Yeah, but that still means the guards are useless. As kids, both DBZ fighters took out world-class fighters, and Krillin aided Goku against the Red Ribbon Army.

So, the guards need to be trained severely! I suggest they should spend a year in the Hypersonic Lion Tamer!

:trollestia:

9384415

Uh, you do realize that, for example, Changelings don't disguise themselves by putting a paper disguise on their face, right? Unless you're specifically referring to the ponies in this story, in which case apparently so. Though considering how utterly stupid and nonsensical this story's ponies are I'm surprised they even have a functioning society at all.

And then Thorax snaps Brandt's neck, having lulled him into a false sense of security with a masterfully crafted sob story. Guy might have looked competent in comparison to the ponies, but stood no chance against true professionals. Score another victory for the Changeling Infiltration Corps. :trollestia:

Well... it works for The Spy in TF2, so why wouldn't it work for this changeling?

It's not complete.

Definitely needs a sequel. It's not properly complete! We haven't actually seen him analyze the Crystal Empire yet, nor have we explored him fixing the security of Equestria. I'm curious whether you'd leave Thorax to go his own route, or have him accompany Mr. Human Person.

9381160
That would be better for a more serious-minded (though not to say it wouldn't have plenty of comedy) story I think, as opposed to the over the top comedy of stupid ponies. I enjoyed this story for what it was, but I do like it when various stories point out the gaping holes in security and logic that ponies have.

There was a fucking ad for this HA! I thought it wasn't true till I clicked on it. It brought me straight here. God damn I love the story.

Why is this marked complete?

9393574
Well, originally, I only planned up to the Solar and Lunar guards, based on the original post with the changeling tidbit thrown on at the end as a sort of "bonus chapter" (you can see how I break my chapter naming pattern). And so when I finished all five, I felt satisfied that I could end it there with what I already had.

9393708
But the story has an amazing concept, and you left it at another cool event. A story with him improving the guards would be something great. If you wont do it, then you should totally put something in the description about handing to torch to someone else.

9393731
I definitely see the demand for its continuation and my error in leaving the story the way it was. So, I'll probably end up doing a sequel or taking off the completed tag and begin adding chapters.

9393708
I am amazed by your work. Thanks for making my idea into something wonderful!

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