• Published 11th Sep 2019
  • 9,133 Views, 1,915 Comments

Twilight's Nightmare - Nightsclaw

Twilight in her most desperate of moments, issues a cry for help. She was not expecting the Nightmare to be her saviour.

  • ...

PreviousChapters Next
CH 25 Attack of the Paperwork

It was not often that the Royal Guard Intelligence Services had all senior members attend the same meeting. It was unheard of for said meeting to happen in the throne room. It was unbelievable that said meeting was happening instead of the first half of day court.

Paper Pusher was extremely pleased that he was not anywhere near the front row. He was hoping his pale grey coat would do a passible job of blending in with the white of the throne room and his burgundy mane might possibly be mistaken for part of a banner or the red carpet.

Unlike many ponies here, Paper Pusher was only a glorified organiser, and he knew it. Ensuring the right paperwork got to where it was needed was part of his talent. The only reason he even had his job as he was one of the few with high enough security clearance even to see the paperwork he managed, let alone read it.

Princesses Celestia spoke in level tones with her usual calm and loving way, but somehow it did nothing to lessen the sense of dread he felt. Everypony in the room knew that she was not happy.

Apparently, a major threat that RGIS had confirmed dead over a decade ago had been found alive and well. Said threat also happened to be the one responsible for the near-disaster at Manehattan and an attempt on Princess Twilight’s life.

I wonder how many of us will be getting early retirements, He thought as he cast his eyes around his colleagues. Some were upset that they had disappointed the Princess; others were annoyed they were being held accountable for their predecessors' errors.

At least the room was still normal temperature. If the stories of how heated the Princess could get when she got annoyed with one of her previous students, that only recently got removed from a pony of interest list, were true, then he imagined it could get quite toasty in here.

In his mind’s eye, he could see the mountain of paperwork that would need to be gone through growing. The Princess was going on about how no stone could be left unturned and that every assumption, every conclusion for the past ten years needed to be re-examined in light of the Warlocks continued freedom.

No pony managed to catch even the slightest hint that Manehatten would be attacked, so presently nowhere was safe.

One bit of good news was the extra bits being allocated to RGIS, but they would need it. The Princess seemed to want field agents everywhere in Equestria at once. Currently, there were not even enough agents to do a quarter of that.

For an immortal being, she is rather impatient. He thought in the safety of his distant position.

Celestia’s gaze stopped on him, and he froze. It was like she was looking right through him. At that very moment, if he could have sunk through the floor, he would have. Her gaze moved on with nopony else seemingly any the wiser about his almost death by heart-attack.

Paper Pusher took a quick shower before making his way through the sea of panicked RGIS ponies. On his way to his office, almost everypony he passed dumped more and more files and folders on him. His mind was trying to work out how he could possibly sort all this paperwork and have it done by first thing last week.

Blue unicorn, number six, argued with green earthpony number four. White pegasus nine and yellow pegasus three, who had a commendation for valour in combat, both hovered nearby as they talked about the odds of it turning into a fight.

Paper Pusher knew it would not go that far because pink unicorn seven was on holiday this week. So he continued on his way.

He was not even halfway to his destination, and both his horn and his back were aching. Just the thought of the stairs was causing his legs to consider going on strike.

He paused, considering. There was only one mare who could process this much paperwork and get answers quickly. One of the few ponies of which he could remember their names without checking his files. He turned and changed direction. He was glad that her office was not up any stairs form where he was.

The unassuming door hid one of the strangest mares in all of RGIS. Being what appeared to be a hybrid of a pegasus and some large winged ancient pony or maybe a roc? But whatever her ancestry, she was very good at her job.

He knocked on the door and pushed it open, checking on her desk to see if the anti-Discord doughnuts were still in place. It even confused him, but for some reason, whenever they were missing or had changed into a different type of food, it meant Discord was somewhere in the building.

His safety from another immortal being confirmed, he called out into the office. “Candice, I think you might need to cancel your vacation for the next few years.” The first of several pony-sized stacks of paperwork floating into the room behind him.

Every time he looked at her, his mind paused. She did not fit in any of his mental boxes. He just did not know how to file her away. He could not help but take in every detail about her as if it was the first time he saw her. Today the first thing to catch his attention was her well-toned wing muscles and how they connected to her abnormally large wings. She had them spread slightly with the near fluorescent white glow of her magic around the first wing bones near her body.

Every time he saw her use magic, he did a double-take, checking to see if there was a horn on her head. Today’s check revealed that yet again, said horn was still missing. He actually still had money on her either being a secret love child of Celestia or part of some cancelled programme to make Alicorns that went wrong.

If it was not for the unicorn supremacists and the scorn that they levelled at hybrid ponies, her white coat and wings with silver tipping around her hooves, feathers and ears, would be the envy of many mares in Canterlot.

Her lemon-yellow mane and tail were styled long but naturally. Just a couple of hair clips holding it all in place, it could have been taken from a fashion model he thought. The fact she had tail feathers visible near the base of her tail would make ponies think she was some sort of primitive pony. One that hailed back from when flight magic wasn’t yet strong enough to stabilize flight without them.

He’s had to lose more than one request from the nobles who wanted her removed for being a poorly transmuted spy or other such rubbish. The most ridiculous one was that she was an alien from another world. If she were, she would have come through that mirror nopony was meant to know about, and that was far too well guarded for that.

Her fluorescent white glow of magic held several boards and various other pieces of equipment one would find in a classroom. As he entered, the floating items settled into place, ready for the next assignment.

Looking over her shoulder at him, Candice replied with humour evident in her voice, “It can’t be that bad. Let me see what you got there, Paper.” The look of amusement fell from her face as soon as she spotted the stack of paper that was as tall as she was. “Um, That’s going to take a couple of days at least.” She turned fully around and folded her wings across her back, the tips crossing just above her tail.

He did his best to smile, but he was fairly sure it came across as a sympathetic grimace. “That's just the index, the rest is still outside,” He said nodding with his horn through the open door.

“Well, bring the rest in. Let's see what we're in for.” She said with determination.

He nodded and set to work, bringing in the stacks one at a time. He was certain there were at least one and a half more stacks than when he set them down outside. He arranged the stacks in order. By the time he was done, it seemed like the room was being held up more by the paper than the stone.

Using his magic he added labels to each pile, commenting about them as he did so. “Here we have all of the financial records for the faculty at Celestia’s school for gifted unicorns. Next, we have all the applicants for said school and everything known about them up to this point. That stack is the basic reports for every dark magic incident RGIS have dealt with in the last ten years. The next few stacks each go back a decade at a time.”

He paused, looking unhappily at the last stacks marked with the Princess’s seal. He hated when things were not filed correctly. “And the rest of them are unsorted files that have been sent down from the palace that could be of some use… apparently.”

He saw her looking at each pile and chalk floated to one of the boards and started writing as he spoke. Notes about the contents of each stack being scribed onto the blackboard. “Thank you, Paper. I’m going to need some special accommodations for this one. How long do I have to filter all this?” she asked him.

He pulled out a note from one of the stacks. “Princess Celestia wants it completed by this time last week, and Princess Luna will be expecting a report from you in less than a week if you can manage it.”

He saw her take one more look around the stacks of paper. “Realistically I could have a report ready in a month or two. If they want this in a week, I’m going to need a small warehouse and a weeks supply of Stimulant Potions from Luna. Good thing I have temporal acceleration spells for this. This is going to burn me out, and I will have to take a day off just to sleep after. Then I will be able to deliver the report.”

He mentally paused as she called Princess Luna, just Luna. Should I bet on her being Luna’s child? Or is she just that distracted? He thought.

“I think we have some of the super-strength coffee that was confiscated from the Element of Laughter, in secure-storage,” He jokingly offered. Turning to leave, he paused for a moment. “Should I grab some zebra potions as well?”

“I’m not sure I could survive whatever Pinkie Pie has managed to concoct this time,” Candice replied, a look of seriousness showing that she wasn’t kidding. “Last thing I want is a caffeine-induced heart attack.”

“Well, at least it is not explosive like the batch before last.”

“I thought she was making charges for her party cannon that time. Was I mistaken?” Candice questioned.

“No, she just seems to be getting better at trying to get around the nationwide ban on her having caffeine,” He intoned.

“I also shouldn’t be risking the Zebra Potions. I need Alicorn level safety guarantees for this.”

He scribbled the requested items on a piece of paper, had her sign it. “If they have not sent the Quartermaster out on a mission and assuming Princess Luna approves, you should have it in a few hours.”

“Thank you Paper Pusher. I hope the rest of your day goes better than it has so far.” Candice said as he exited. Strangely she could always be counted on to treat him with respect. Maybe that’s why I don’t mind that she doesn’t fit in one of my mental boxes, or maybe she just needs her own. He pondered as yet another pony unloaded more urgent paperwork on him.

Author's Note:

Art by https://www.deviantart.com/kirillk

Join our Patreon to remove these adverts!
PreviousChapters Next
Join our Patreon to remove these adverts!