• Published 26th Jun 2019
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Always Vigilant - TheScotsman



A Solider Torn Away From Combat Duty Is Forced To Adapt To A World That Is Not His Own

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Chapter 6 - Lay Of The Land - Unedited

Canterlot Castle
Equstria, Canterlot
Unknown
1942

"You know for someone who claims to be brand new here you sure seem to know your way around the castle," I said. I had been walking down the many hallways of the castle with my new "friend" Luna. She had been pointing out all of the main attractions such as the servant's alleyways and important rooms that littered the castle.

"Whilst you were unconscious I couldn't focus properly on how you would react to me once you woke up, so I distracted myself by memorizing all of the places in the castle," Luna replied.

I stopped walking to look at her. "Wait, just how long was I out for exactly?" I had assumed I had been out for a day but for Luna to memorize all this, I must have been out for longer than I realized.

"Oh, well you were out for the better part of a week, once my sister's student and her friends defeated us they attended to you instantly. They took you directly here to Canterlot once they realized what kind of state you were in. They didn't even know if you were going to wake up at all," Luna explained.

"But weren't you hurt too? I mean the last thing I remember is shooting you with two burst rounds from my rifle before you shot me back," I asked looking Luna over for any sign on an injury that I hadn't noticed.

"Yes you did and you hurt me severely however when I came into contact with the elements of Harmony they were able to heal my wounds instantly," Luna said spreading her wings to her side to show that she was indeed free of any injury to her body.

"Well, that's lucky for yo... Argh!" I stopped mid sentence and fell to my knees as a sharp pain shot up towards my chest. "What the fuck was that!" I yelled towards Luna who was looking at me with concern.

"We believe we have just exited the range of the infirmary's healing ward," Luna summarised coming closer towards me obviously intending to help. When she tried to extend her hoof out to help I stopped her by raising my hand.

"No! Wait, I've got to do this myself, just give me a few seconds to adjust," I asked placing my hands down onto the floor trying to adjust to the newfound pain. The pain itself wasn't that bad, however, the way that it had hit me had taken me completely by surprise and had temporarily immobilised me.

After a few seconds of more rest, I began to stand back up to my full height. Luna winced as I painfully stood up. "We could always do this another time if you don't feel up to it?" She suggested.

"Hell no!" I replied. "According to you, I've been vegetating for the better part of a week and ill be damnded if I'm going to go back to that room without stretching my legs properly,"

Once I had stood up properly I took a moment to catch my breath before looking back down towards Luna. "Ok Blue, where to next?" I asked mockingly standing at attention.

"Um, we could always go to the throne room," She suggested pointing her hoof down the hallway.

"Well looks like we're going to the throne room then," I laughed as I began to slowly walk down the long tall hallway.


"So how come you don't look like your sister?" I asked looking back to Luna as we walked turned a corner towards the throne room.

"What do you mean?" She asked back stopping in her tracks behind me.

"I don't mean anything by it Blue but if you two are co-rulers then wheres your waving hair?" I asked smirking at her. However, instead of being met with a smile back I only saw a frown. "Hey I didn't mean to offend or anything," I quickly added.

"No!" Luna blurted out looking straight at me. "We, I'm just not used to ponies saying that," She said sadly.

"What do you mean?" I asked kneeling down slightly to match her height.

Sighing Luna spoke. "I haven't looked like this since I was a filly, before my banishment I did resemble my sister in her hair and stature, however upon my revival it appears to have dissipated along with much of my magic I once possed,".

Luna looked back down the carpet, appearing to sulk in misery about that prospect.

"Well it could always come back to you in time though," I suggested trying to put a nicer light on the conversation.

"We doubt it," Luna whispered back to me. "I don't even have the magic to perform my duties as guardian of the moon, even though I am back my sister still has to keep up the responsibility,".

"Look Luna, I don't know half of the words your saying right now, but I do know that this place has magic, something that my world never had apart from in fairy tales, and whilst I'm no expert I'm pretty sure magic can do anything," I tried to reason with her however the frown failed to leave her face.

"We are gracious for your attempts to lighten our spirits but we see no point in the endeavour," Luna replied looking up towards me her sad demeanour replaced by one of stone. "We should keep walking, the throne rooms just after the next set of doors,".

"Alright then, I'll let it go," I said defeated. Was it weird for me to say I felt sorry for this little pony that had lost her magic? Even though id only knew her for under an hour she seemed like a nice enough pony to me and she could be a friend to me whilst I'm stuck here.

Stop it, Danny, you don't know how long you'll be here. I reminded myself. Stick to the rules: no permanent attachment with the civies. I hated to admit it but in this case, I might just have to hold off on becoming too close to these ponies. It'll just make it harder to eventually leave this place.

As we continued walking we approached a large set of doors. They were huge and looked like they weighed a ton.

This must have been some construction efort I thought to myself.

The doors were guarded by two guards that were plated in golden armour from head to toe or hoof I guess. In addition, they both wielded spears.

So much for a peaceful race of cute ponies.

However, just as we approached the door the two guards tilted their spears across each other with one of the ponies shouting.

"Halt! State your business creature,"

"Fucking excuse me?" I said moving towards the guard that had just spoken to us. I swear to god all of the guards I have met so far have been complete arses towards me like I get I'm new but I'm not going to suck out there brains if they even have any which at this stage is debatable.

"We said state your business creature!" The other guard spoke up reinforcing his fellow guard.

"Call me a creature one more time and I swear ill shove my boot so far up your arse you'll be choking on leather for the rest of your fucking life!" I waned inching even closer the guards.

"Enough!"

The sound of Luna pulled me out of my tunnel vision as I turned back to face her. She was standing by my side as if to reinforce me or at least I hope she was here to reinforce me.

"You shall halt insulting our guest and allow us access to the royal hall and throne room,". Luna demanded in a calm yet assertive voice. I was actually quite impressed not only did she stand up for me but little Blue had some voice in her after all.

The Guards, however, did not seem to respond to this command instead of taking their attention off me and onto Luna.

"Does your sister know about your whereabouts and your company?" The lead guard questioned.

Are you fucking serious! I thought to myself. From what I had seen so far these golden boys seemed to kiss the ground the Celestia walked on, in some instances quite literally. However, when it came to addressing Luna they didn't bow, stand at attention or even address her with her title. It was if she was just a regular pony.

I'm not sure why, but that really pissed me off. Blue had been the first person to talk to me normally. She hadn't flooded me with questions like Twilight and her friends nor had she held some form of moral high ground above me, to me she had just treated me like I would expect anyone to treat me, normally.

Upon hearing these words Luna seemed to immediately shrink down, all of the confidence she had built up over the past half an hour had been completely shattered by this dick. Luna appeared to be the closest thing I had to a friend and id be damned if I was going to let some twat walk over her like that.

Quickly thinking I recalled my first interaction with the guard here and how I treated Celestia I quickly devised a little plan of my own.

"GUARDS!" I bellowed at my loudest volume possible. My shout seemed to catch not only Luna of guard but the guard as well who both repositioned their spears to point directly at my chest. Nevertheless, I pressed on now that I had committed myself.

"YOU! Are in the presence of the keeper of the moon, Princess Luna! You will show the appropriate respect she is due! IMMEDIATELY!" My rant had definitely caught the guards by surprise as they now exchanged glances with one another clearly trying to understand what game I was playing. Luna too was looking at me in complete confusion however she seemed to relax when I gave her a quick side smirk and a subtle wink.

Finally, after a few seconds of contemplation, the first guard appeared to tighten the grip on his spear and spoke up. "We don't take orders from you, creature,". As if to provide additional effect the guard jabbed me with the tip of his spear. Not so far as to injure me but definitely enough to make me recoil back.

Alright fucker, bring it on. I was just about to rip the face of this little git when a voice shouted out from behind me.

"Perhaps you should Corporal!" Upon hearing the voice I quickly did a 180 only to be met with a double column of guards dressed in darkish grey armour. The collum was at least 20 strong and was led by an older looking pony than the rest. I assumed he was the source of the voice I had heard.

Immediately the two ponies withdrew their spears and stood at attention. "What is the business of the Night Guard!" Both guards shouted as if reading off a script.

"We are here to relieve the day, the night has begun!" The lead pony shouted back.

"We stand relieved!" With that, the two guards stepped to the side and opened the doors with their magic. The aura surrounding the door changed quickly as two "Night Guards" took up positions beside the "Golden Guard".

"Guard relieve and adopt your posts!" The lead guard shouted side steeping to allow the collum to pass in the hall.

Slowly the Night Guards began to march into the hall leaving just me, Luna and the remaining guards outside.

"You're relieved," the lead guard said to the two dickheads now positioned alongside their night-time counterparts. The guards gave a quick nod and began to march off before the night guard stepped in front of them.

Without even having a chance to register what was going on the lead Night Guard pushed his face right into the faces of the two guards with a death glare that could kill. In fact, it kind of reminded me of my very first NCO.

"If you two ever disrespect our princess again I will personally buck your teeth out and throw you out of that castle window is that understood!" The Guard forcefully whispered into the faces of the two guards. Luna didn't seem to here the guard but I sure as hell did.

Wow, a nice guard. I suppose there is some hope after all.

The two guards frantically nodded as the lead guard continued. "Good and if you think Captain Armour won't hear about this then your dead wrong. Now get out of my sight before I buck you out of it," With that, the two guards marched away at breakneck speeds.

I was so focused on the two guards marching away that I didn't even notice the night Guard approached Luna.

"Your Highness,". He said with a bow "are you alright?" The guard asked as he rose up to all fours again.

"We are fine Captain, thank you,". Luna responded giving him a warm smile.

"Anytime Princess, and thank you too," I heard the voice change tone as it shifted in my direction. As I turned around I saw the guard looking at me with a hard smile.

"Uh, yeah no problem," I said back not sure exactly how to progress here.

"I must admit I had heard rummers that some of the day guards were acting a bit hostile towards the princess but to see it with my own eyes was horrible. I must thank you for standing up for our highness when we could not," The Captain said raising a hoof to me.

Raising my hand back I moved to shake his hoof. "No problem Captain...," I said completely forgetting I had no idea what this guys name actually was.

"Captain Steelhoof, Head of the Night Guard," he responded as he shook my hand. "And who might you be if you don't mind my asking I've never seen one of your kind before.

"Captain Daniel Peters, British Army," I replied.

My response caused the Captain to raise his eyebrows. "A fellow Captain, well that explains your actions then,". This new revelation only caused him to shake my hand with more force. "You must be the one that's causing all the ruckus down in the infirmary, the being from another world if I hear correctly?"

Well news spreads faster here than I thought it would.

"You do, I'm a human from Earth," I said finally releasing my grip of his hoof as he did the same.

"A Human!?" He asked a wonderous tone in his voice. "Well that is a surprise indeed, last time I checked Humans were only to be found in legends, not on other planets,".

"That's okay last time I checked Unicorns and Pegasi were legends too," I countered causing the Captain to laugh at me.

"Well let me tell you this Captain, after your actions, today you've made a few friends here in the night guard, ill make sure of that, although I suppose you've made a few enemies so it all balances out,".

I simply chuckled in response. The Captain seemed like a genuine guy and was definitely friendly enough to me so I suppose I could say that overall this encounter was going rather well.

Perhaps I could have made a diplomat after all. I thought to myself.

"Well id loves to stay and learn more about you sir but I really must get to work, is there somewhere you were going, your Highness?" Steelhoof asked as he straightened himself.

"I was just about to show the Captain the royal hall and the throne room," Luna said motioning to the set of doors that were still being held open by magic.

"Ah, you'll enjoy that Captain, it is truly a sight to behold ill tell you that for free," the Captain said motioning with his hoof. "Follow me and ill see you get inside with no more trouble,".

"Thank you, Captain," Luna replied walking up beside him.

"Of course Princess, I'm the first Captain of the night guard to serve the Princess of the night in over a millennia mind you, so I'll jump at the opportunity to make anything you command happen,". The Captain chuckled as we entered the long hall as the large doors closed behind us.

Whilst I was happy that the Captain had shown up when he did I was in a way disappointed that I never got to kick that other guards arse. Oh well, there's always tomorrow.

"So Captain, what's the deal with the different colour of guards I had guessed one for the day and the other for the night?" I asked as I walked alongside the Captain and Luna.

"Aye, the guard is split into many different sections, all of those sections have different aims and prerogatives but at the end of the day they are all under a central command," Steelhoof replied as I motioned for him to continue. "Anyway your pretty much spot on with your assumption, the day guard protect the castle and the city during the day and the night guard will protect it during the night,".

"Hmm, I suppose it's fair to say that the two departments don't get along splendidly then given that little demo out there," I mused as I looked at the stained glass art that lined the hallways.

"Yeah, you catch on quick, nothing we can do about it, just old rivalry is all," The Captain said as we approached the throne room door. "Well ill leave you two to finish your little tour and ill make sure to give all the guards the heads up so you don't receive and more trouble,".

"Thank you once again, Captain, for all of your help tonight," Luna said her smile and confidence slowly etching back onto her face again.

"Not a problem your highness, just doing my duty, if you'll excuse me, Princess, Captain,". With a quick nod of the head, the Captain about turned and began to walk back down the hallway.

"He seems nice enough," I thought out loud.

"Yes, the Captain has been most helpful in helping us find our feet in this new place," Luna affirmed.

"Still I can't believe how those soldiers treated you I mean surely you outrank them, right?" I asked looking down to her.

"Historically we would have been, however, our rank and title within the guard has not yet been established,". Luna walked over to one of the empty stained glass windows and rested her front hoofs on it. "With everything going on there simply hasn't been the time for any sort of formalities to be reestablished,".

"Well I'm sure everything will fall into place eventually, now I do believe you were going to show me the throne room?" I asked teasingly.

"Of course, this way," As we approached the door the night guards snapped to attention and the door swung open revealing the throne room.

"Huh, I kinda thought it would be bigger,"


"Well thanks for the little tour," I said as I sat back down into my bed.

"It was nothing it was good getting to know you too Captain," Luna replied as she stood by my side.

"Hey, just call me Danny, I'm not a Captain here and besides my friends call me Danny," I said chuckling a little to myself.

Friends with a pony, good god.

"Okay, Danny," Luna said testing the word with her mouth.

"Good, good. Well hopefully your sister can find a way to sort this whole mess out and we can get me home,". I was feeling a little more confident now that I felt better and had gotten a little walk around. I was still a little freaked out by the ponies presence but not as much now that I had spent some time with them.

Despite this promising news, I noticed that Luna seemed to deflate a little when I brought it up, but given everything that had happened today, it's probably just a little flux.

"Well we shall retire also, we aren't used to being up this early," Luna complained as she pouted all be it adorably.

"Blue it's nearly ten o'clock!" I stated as I looked to the clock to make sure I wasn't insane.

"Yes, we know the time thank you," Luna said and with that, she began to walk out of the room. "Goodnight, Danny,"

"Yeah, night Blue," Luna gave me a little glare when I brought up the nickname again. She had seemed to have grown accustomed to it throughout the day but I suppose it could get annoying after a while.

Well that sucks for her 'cause I ain't stopping.

As Luna left the room the lights went out leaving only the illumination of the city below as a light source.

After I made sure everyone was gone I whipped out my PDA from my trouser pocket and turned it on. To my delight, the PDA had pretty much mapped every room we had been in giving me an excellent 3D layout of the castle. I wasn't sure if I would need to use it but you could never be too sure and it was always handy to have as a backup if things with the ponies went south.

"Welp Danny boy time to try and get some proper sleep now," I said. As I stowed the PDA by my bedside I turned over and drifted back into the world of dreams.


Unknown
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"Come on!" A voice echoed throughout the empty warehouse. "I almost had it!"

"Come on Sparky give it a rest, even if you do get it to work its never going to replace scrolls or letters,"

"I can't just give up Skies, think of the impact this could have on Equestria. Not only Equestria try all of Equss! Youll never believe how amazing this is!"

"Your right I won't, look Sparky I love helping you with all this stuff but the weather teams got me doing a 12-hour tomorrow, we've got a big storm due next week," The female voice echoed through the building as she swopped down to the ground.

"Look, If you think this gizmo will do something amazing then stick at it, but I got to go,"

"Yeah, I understand see you later Skies,"

"See ya," The sound of a door opening and closing could be heard the left side of the warehouse the sound of a bustling city filtered in through the door until it was abruptly closed off with the slamming of the door.

"Argh, SKIES! Why do you always have to slam the door!? You've made my mess this whole crystal up!" The figure appeared to slump down on the desk in defeat.

"Maybe she's right, this just won't work,".

"Shzzz Shzzzz,"

"What in the name of Celestia," The box in front of the figure flashed with light and sound as the sound grew louder and louder.

"It's on," the figure whispered. "IT'S WORKING!"

"Shzzz Shzzzz,"

"Come on give me something anything,"

"Shzzzz Thi Shzzzz Is Shzzzz,"

"A little more finetuning aught to fix it, a lot of interference,"

"Shzzz A Shzz Priority Shz One Distress Call I Repeat A Priority One Distress Call

"What in the world?"

"This is Captain Daniel Peters Service Number 20102320 if anyone is receiving listen closely..."