• Published 19th Nov 2012
  • 6,819 Views, 791 Comments

The Missionary - Radon18

Follow a man, surviving in equestria with nothing but his wits and his faith, oh and his own town.

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Chapter20: The Calm Before the Paparazzi

Chapter 20

(Reminder that I own nothing!)

“Words in a foreign language.”
“Quoting in thought”


Soarin slumbered quietly in his bunk at the guard barracks in Ponyville. He had been given one of the officer’s quarters, just one of the many perks of being a member of an elite group like the Wonderbolts. Thankfully the Princesses had allowed him to sleep in his own quarters after they had deemed the humans mostly-safe to allow into the kingdom. Of course Soarin was still expected to guard them during their day to day routine; his punishment still had to be carried out. In just a few hours he was to report to their residence and remain outside in the freezing snow and mud until the pair woke up. But for now he slept happily, content to remain so until he had to get up.


Sorin groaned and rolled over, unconsciously ignoring the annoying noise.

“PSSSSST! Hey Soarin, wake up already.”

The stallion rolled over and sleepily cracked an eye, feeling around for his alarm clock. When he found what he believed to be the source of the annoying racket that had awoken him early he quickly smashed the thing with his hoof.

“OWW! HEY! YOU JERK!” Came some mare’s indignant squawk. Soarin cracked both of his eyes and looked at the prismatic tuft of hair that was being massaged by a cyan hoof.

“You are a very brightly colored alarm clock,” Soarin mumbled, brain still mostly asleep. “Where did your bells go?” He looked around in groggy confusion before spotting his actual alarm clock, sitting innocently on the bedside table. “Hold on, I can fix this.” He drowsily fumbled for his actual method of waking before before yanking one the little bells from the top and setting it gently on top of his new alarm clock (that also happened to be shooting death glares at him). “There you go,” He mumbled before rolling over and quickly returning to sleep.

The prismatic alarm clock, not at all happy with the slumbering Soarin, grabbed Soarin’s sheets with her teeth and yanked them and the sleeping stallion onto the ground.

“What!? huh, AMBUSH!” Soarin cried, suddenly wide awake as he bucked wildly to free himself from the dastardly attempt to capture him in his sleep... Until his blanket slipped off of his head leaving him sitting in the middle of his floor, looking up at an amused looking mare with a bell on her head.

“Errr,” Soarin looked up at the odd mare as if thinking really hard about something. “What was your name again? umm ‘Double Rainbow’ or something like that right? What are you doing in my room?”

“Its Rainbow-Dash.” Rainbow Dash grumbled at him through her clenched teeth.

“Umm, right, Rainbow Dash... Why are you in my room again?” Soarin looking around, hoping not to find any more strange mares in his room, he promised Spitfire that wouldn't ever happen again and that mare was scary when she was angry.

“Look, I need your help,” Rainbow Dash said, eyeing the slightly goofy stallion with a critical eye.

“Woah, woah! Hang on. I promised my C.O. that there wouldn’t be any more ‘funny business;’ it gives the team a bad reputation,” Soarin said almost automatically.

“Ugh! This is serious, you jerk,” Rainbow groaned as she drew her hoof over her face in frustration. “This is about the ‘humans’ that you're supposed to guard,” Rainbow said. A look of realization, and a hint of red, passed over Soarin’s face as he rubbed the back of his neck sheepishly.

“Look, I think I have some evidence that the ‘humans’ aren't who they say they are and my friends won't listen to me. I’m not going to just stand around and wait for them to get themselves hurt. Or worse.” Soarin nodded, he hadn't had any suspicions that the humans were anything but what they claimed but he found himself hoping that what she said was true, it might just give him an excuse to get back at that pesky human male.

“What kind of evidence do you have?” Soarin asked, his face drawing into a serious frown.

Rainbow sat down on the stone floor of Soarin’s quarters and motioned for him to join her. “It might take a little while to explain.”

Soarin wondered for a moment if he should tell her she still had that bell on her head... ‘Nah.’


I, was awake. No, not just awake, wide awake. I had been for at least an hour already. In fact, I have no idea how I managed to fall asleep in the first place. The reason? The reason was a cute redhead with very ‘grabby’ sleeping habits. I had been staring at my reflection in a small mirror on the bedside table and the redness in my face was plain to see, as were the pair of slender arms wrapped around my shoulders and neck. I really needed to come up with better sleeping arrangements.

I didn't know how exactly I should extradite myself from the situation but ideas that didn't lead to waking Eleison up early were coming up short. So I laid there, horribly embarrassed and hoping what I learned yesterday was the truth and not some insane hallucination and that Celestia felt like raising the sun a little early. Unfortunately for me, no reprieve came and I ended up laying there for a few more hours until I felt Eleison stir. Once that happened I leapt up and with a franticly mumbled apology I grabbed my clothing I had set out for myself the previous night and ran to the bathroom, leaving a bewildered Eleison to blink sleepily at the door.

After a short and unfortunately ice cold shower, I got dressed. The cramped bathroom was difficult to move in but I still managed. I took a deep breath to brace myself and stepped out of the little bathroom. I looked around for Eleison and found her still sitting up in bed and blinking at me sleepily. “Umm, hey Elly, bathroom’s free. You want to get ready so we can head to Applejack’s for breakfast?”

“Nuuuu,” She said before grabbing the covers and throwing them back over her head, curling up and trying to go back to sleep.

I arched an eyebrow but couldn't help smile a little at her antics. “Come on Elly, I bet there will be all kinds of delicious things to eat.” I straightened my tie; if I was going to be forced to live here I at least wanted to at least try to make a good impression.

The lump in the fabric remained still for a few seconds as if pondering my words before erupting in a sudden blur of girl as Eleison grabbed her clothing I had helped her pick out and ran into the bathroom in a similar fashion to the way I had. I sighed with an exasperated smile before tugging on my snow boots and pulling out the two jackets we had worn on our first trip into town. I looked down at the thin material of my dress pants and frowned slightly, If I was going to be cold walking to Applejack’s then Eleison would be practically frozen, she was wearing a dress after all. I pondered the dilemma for a moment before shrugging and pulling out a pair of sweats she could put on under the dress if she wanted. It took a little while longer than it had taken me for Eleison to get washed and ready but we still had plenty of morning left to make it Applejack’s so I didn't try to rush her.

When we finally stepped out of the door we were greeted with none other than the Jerk, Soarin, waiting silently for both of us next to the door. Honestly I wished he had been standing on the other side of the door so I could have smacked his nose with it but sadly it wasn't in the cards. Without a word from either me or Eleison, we turned and starting walking to the farm house Applejack had indicated from the road last night. Unsurprisingly, the Jerk followed us with a scowl on his face. The trip only took about fifteen minutes and thankfully the tagalong stood next to the door on the porch without showing any interest in coming inside.

I knocked on the door and waited for a moment. I could hear people shuffling and yelling and hollering on the other side of the door so I contented myself with looking around while I waited for them to open up. Meanwhile Eleison busied herself with the porch swing, probably swinging a little bit too high for the worn down bench.

When the door opened, I was greeted with the most diabetes inducing sight I think I have ever seen. The little filly looked up at me with the most adorable expression of wonder. That plus the hair bow nearly, as cliché as it sounds, made me drop dead right there on the porch.

“Welcome ta Sweet Apple Acres, ahm Apple Bloom!” The little filly waved us in with excitement that was nearly boiling over, almost reminiscent of Pinkie Pie.

“Hello, my name is John,” I introduced myself, “and this here is Eleison.” I motioned to Elly, who had just come back from playing with the porch swing. “It’s nice to meet you Apple Bloom.” The Jerk made to poke his head into the room from his spot by the door, only for me to shut it in his face. I danced a little victory dance in my head to celebrate. “Did I see you in my town a few days ago?” I asked, partially for the benefit of conversation and partly due to honest curiosity. Eleison drew my attention by tugging on my sleeve and she gave me a nod, presumably to confirm that she had seen her too.

“Sure was! Ah even saw ya there, you was busy glarin’ at other ponies most ahtha time tho,” Apple Bloom said in an adorable mix of pride and uncertainty.

“An that’s why she’s grounded fer ah month.” Applejack walked into the room and shot us a smile. Apple Bloom sat back on her haunches and crossed her arms in a pout that had me unable to resist chuckling at such a familiar childhood tactic. “Its good ta see ya Chris, Eleison.”

“Its, ah, John actually I lied when I told you my name that first time.” I said, sheepishly rubbing the back of my neck.

Applejack’s face fell and she quirked an eyebrow in a questioning manner. “Care ta explain?” She asked in a slightly colder tone.

“Long story short, there’s an old superstition about telling a magic user your name, its not supposed to end well. So... I lied because I was more than a little scared at the time, ya know, learning magic was real and all of that.” I fiddled with my fingers a little as I explained.

“Whell, I'm glad yer tellin the truth but ah gotta ask why you’re tellin’ us now?” Applejack quirked her head in curiosity, the coldness already gone from her voice.

“Well it just struck me that I was being silly, I doubt the warning was meant to be about colorful magic ponies anyway.” I smiled a little nervously. “I already talked about it with Fluttershy and you’re the second per- pony I’ve told.”

The conversation was interrupted by Eleison tugging on my sleeve. “I’m hungry, when are we going to eat?” She asked with pleading eyes.

Apple Bloom giggled a little, followed shortly by Applejack. “Whell, at least tha mare knows what she wants, right?” She shot the two of us a wink that left Eleison blinking in confusion while I flustered. The entire situation soared straight over little Apple Bloom’s head. “Come on! I’ll intraduce ya to tha rest ah tha family.” Applejack waved for us to follow and she trotted off into what smelled like the kitchen.

On the way we came across an old lady, sitting quietly in a rocking chair. “This here is Granny Smith, say hi Granny.” Applejack motioned to Eleison and I before she seemed to suddenly realize that Granny Smith was fast asleep. “Oh tarnation, she went n’ fell asleep again.” Applejack poked the slumbering elder in the shoulder with a hoof. “Granny, wake up. Tha guests are here!”

The old lady, (mare?), just kept on sleeping.

“Hold on, I’ll get er up.” Apple Bloom walked up and puffed out her chest. Applejack, appearing to know what was coming clamped down on both ears, unfortunately for me and Elly, we didn’t.


‘Well, that girl certainly has got quite a set of lungs on her. The pony race should be proud.’

While Apple Bloom recovered, Eleison and I had to clear our ears. We were still standing there and moving our jaws around with our fingers wiggling in our ears when Granny Smith finally awoke. After a yawn and a smack of the lips she looked over at the pair of us and quirked an eyebrow. “Whut in tarnation er you sposed ta be, coupla skinny minotaurs?” Granny Smith almost shouted at the two of us. “Why, I remember tha last minotaur I met,” Granny’s voice grew wistful and she chuckled a little at whatever thought she was having before her expression snapped into a scowl at the two of us. “He was ah mean sucker! Are y’all mean suckers!?” She suddenly shouted waving her hoof at us.

I looked around nervously, glancing to where Eleison had been hoping for a little reassurance I wasn’t just going nuts. I found her over by Apple Bloom, having ignored the entire situation in favor of engaging in an impromptu game of patty cake. Finding no help there I responded with a hesitant “N-no ma’am.”

The old, green mare chuckled before looking over to where I kept glancing to check on Eleison. “Good lookin date ya got there, how long till ya make her an honest mare?”

I flustered and stuttered in surprise, completely unable to come up with any response. Thankfully I was saved by Applejack. “Granny, stop pickin’ on tha guests, were gonna have breakfast remember? Don’t go runnin’ them off before we even get to tha table,” Applejack admonished Granny Smith, apparently much to Granny’s entertainment. The elderly mare stood up out of her rocking chair and started shuffling to the kitchen, still laughing to herself.

To say the near constant insinuation that Eleison and I were some kind of item was frustrating would be a massive understatement. It must have shown on my face, judging by the apologetic glance from Applejack. I followed her into the kitchen where a large, hungry looking, red stallion tried and almost failed to split his attention between me and Eleison and the food laid out on the table. Eleison and I both locked eyes with him and the large stallion and I shuffled a bit with unease while Eleison quickly shifted her attention to the delicious looking food on the table.

Applejack interposed herself into our sudden stare-off with a smile, completely shattering the tension that had built in the short exchange. “This here is Big Macintosh, mah big brother and one ah tha strongest stallions in Ponyville!” Applejack proudly declared, much to ‘Big Mac’s’ embarrassment. “He is also pretty quiet, so don’t expect too much conversation outta him,” She finished before trotting over to see to any last minute preparations.

I glanced at Big Mac for any kind of conformation, only to be met with a sagely nod of the head and a hoof motioning to a spot at the table. I quickly accepted the offered seat, helping Eleison into hers beforehand, and glanced around to the others occupying the other spots in the quaint gathering. The Apple family had quickly taken their spots with practiced ease and I could feel a strong sense of nostalgia was over me as memories of my own family gatherings came unbidden into my mind.

Still awash in memories of reunions and Thanksgivings past, I hardly notice Applejack prompting everyone to ‘dig in’ and quickly piling a veritable mountain of apple based food onto everyone’s plate. I looked down at my food and felt suddenly voraciously hungry. I quickly bowed my head and began speaking out of habit before my mind had fully returned from its pleasant trip down memory lane. “Bless this food to the nourishment of our bodies, amen.” I grabbed a particularly tasty looking pastry and had it half way into my mouth when I noticed the lack of the cheery noise that had been prevalent until moments before. I looked up to see if I had missed anything important during my brief mental absence, only to find the Apple family all shooting me curious looks. Eleison of course was still chomping away with the happiest expression in the world, completely oblivious to the sudden silence.

Before any questions I wasn’t ready to answer were raised I cleared my throat and muttered a quiet “Sorry, old tradition.” and returned to my meal, hoping the awkwardness would pass quietly. Moments later Apple Bloom interrupted the quiet with a girlish belch that sent the Apple family back to their joking and conversations, mostly at the poor filly’s expense. I breathed a quiet sigh of relief when no one brought up the awkward moment, one day I might be ready to talk to these people about certain things but until then I could only hope that I wouldn’t need to deal with any prying equines. It was then that I noticed the Jerk looking into the kitchen from a window, doing his best be stealthy. I happened to notice his attention was split between watching Eleison and I and gazing longingly at an apple pie that was sitting in the middle of the table. Still feeling vindictive, I pulled my own piece of pie toward me and made a show of devouring it like it was the best thing I had ever tasted. I’m a little ashamed to admit just how much I found Soarin’s longing, almost tearful, expression entertaining. In my mind he was a long way from his penance being up and there was no way I was going to make it any easier on him.

After a hearty chuckle at the sad stallion's expression I turned my attention back to the food and the company. The Apples had been one of the few to really go out of their way to take care of Eleison and myself, inviting us into their home and doing so with no ulterior motives that I could spot. They seemed like honest, hardworking, and welcoming people and while I wasn’t about to hand over any deeds or trust them with human legacies, I was already beginning to place them a cut above everyone else I had met.

I sighed and leaned back in my chair, my stomach already full of more sugary treats than I had meant to eat. I started to relax into the oddly low, wooden chair and turned my mind to really thinking about what the rest of the ponies wanted from us, from me, from what remained of humanity.

“Ya okay over there John?” Applejack asked, noticing my pensive attitude and drawing most of the eyes at the table to me.

I looked up and smiled, though my heart wasn’t really in it. “Yeah, thanks Applejack. I’m fine, just thinking about stuff is all.”

“Just what kinda stuff?” Applejack pressed.

“It’s nothing, really,” I replied almost automatically.

“Oh now don’t go keeping a bunch secrets, we’ve had enough a’ that after yer name. I don’t want ta find out there was another big fight jus’ cause you got spooked and wouldn’t talk to anypony,” Applejack scolded me with a frown, apparently unwilling to let me keep secrets.

“Look,” I sighed, “Don’t try and force me, alright?” I gave her a pointed look as the rest of the eyes at the table tracked between the two of us. “I truly and honestly appreciate you allowing us into your home and sharing your food and company with us, it really means a lot, but there is a lot of things that I’m not sure about and it makes me more than a little nervous.”

“Well as happy as ah am ta hear that you appreciate what we’ve done, ah wish you’d just talk ta us about stuff that bothers you instead of trying to handle it all yerself,” Applejack said with a firm expression. “Friends help friends when they need it whether they like it or not.” She thumped a hoof down on the table in a gesture of finality.

I fiddled with my fingers for a moment, thinking before I finally settled on what to say. “I'm just thinking about the future. Eleison and I were never meant to be a part of all of this. We both have nowhere to go, other than where your leaders deign for us to go, there is no real place in the world for us,” I said feeling a little down at having to state the reality.

Applejack nodded in understanding “Ah understand yer worried about livin’ someplace new and with strange ponies ya don’t know but we will help ya all the way, won’t we Apples?” Applejack called to her other three family members who all nodded, cheered, or winked. “And the Princesses are trying ta make you a place, they won’t leave ya high and dry, no matter what!” She finished with a confident look.

I sighed and nodded at the Apple family. It was easy to believe their words, that they would help Eleison and I through the mess that was our life in this strange place, but in the end that was all they were, words. While I could believe the Apples the Princesses were a different matter. I looked over at Eleison in an effort to chase my lingering doubts from my mind and hoping she hadn’t destroyed something while I was occupied. Oddly, she was sitting quietly and was giving me an uncharacteristically calm smile.

I couldn’t help but smile back at her, she was my only real responsibility in this world, just the thought of leaving her by herself felt just… wrong. I probably couldn’t have left Eleison on her own even if she’d gone and bit me.

Lost in my guilt, I didn’t notice Eleison reaching out and claiming my arm and hugging it to herself, tell tale redness creeping into her cheeks.

I did notice when a loud, girlish, “Awwwwww.” broke the sudden silence.


My face was a raging inferno of embarrassment as I quick-marched ahead of Applejack, Big Mac, and the Jerk, urged forward by the suggestive looks I kept getting from Applejack. Eleison and I had beat a hasty retreat after the events at breakfast. She had hardly noticed the looks the Apple family had been sending us but they fueled my desire to get out of there as quickly as possible. Eleison was directly to my left, having no problems keeping up even though she was hardly paying attention, instead playing with a giggling Applebloom who had received a break in her grounding to attend the meeting the Princesses had arranged.

The town was already in full swing by the time we walked up the road. The crowd from the last few times I had been into town oddly refused to form but that didn’t stop various ‘townsponies’ from giving us cautious looks; one trio of odd mares even took off screaming the moment they saw us. Applejack twirled a hoof next to her face in a little circle, I got her meaning.

It didn't take us long to pick up the others and head for the small auditorium on the ground floor of the town hall. In fact, travel time probably dropped by half once we picked up the Princesses. With all the townsponies rushing to clear a path for us the road might as well have been deserted if you could ignore all the bowing ponies along the sides of the road. Actually, I think Celestia just might actually have ignored most of it; she kept her nose buried in a newspaper article for the entire walk while Luna huffed along beside her, looking irritated. I generally tried to ignore what Celestia was looking at but a picture of our group from the walk we took yesterday piqued my interest.

“Celestia, what is that you’re reading?” I asked.

Celestia frowned and folded the paper to take another quick glance at the front page. “Well, it would seem our little ponies have yet again fallen victim to baseless rumors and sensationalism.”

Luna huffed indignantly. “After thousands of years of rule you would think our subjects would have learned the basic principle of trust. Alas, the news industry is as vile as it ever was.”

I glanced around at the few ponies who were also headed to the conference, many of which shot us nervous looks. “What did they write about us that was so bad?” I asked concerned.

Celestia smiled but there was still a hint of disappointment in her eyes. “Oh, you know, alien overlords here to present your terms for the surrender of all of pony kind, and several scathing paragraphs about the ‘questionable calls’ I have made. They payed special attention to our refusal to release any information before today."

“What, seriously?” I looked at her like she was crazy. Rainbow Dash apparently found the situation pretty funny, based on the muffled giggles from ahead of us. “There are TWO of us! What the hell do they expect, for us to lay our eggs in your stomachs and make a horde of little human larvae?”

The entire group had stopped in the middle of the street and stared. A few of the ponies walking by audibly gasped and slowly inched their ways toward the closest cover. My eye twitched slightly as I watched their reaction. “That was a reference to a horror story from back home, my bad.” I gave Eleison a look and whispered, “I really should have seen that coming.”

With a short apology for probably giving them all nightmares, we quickly made our way to the auditorium. We took a side door that led to the stage behind a red velvet curtain. The mayor was waiting for us and motioned us over to a podium that bore what, I think, was probably some sort of official seal and a set of small bleachers. The six pony girls took their places and the Princesses exchanged a few short words with Mayor Mare, then the Royal Sisters walked to the podium. The mayor guided us over to the eaves where we would be safely out of the way.

The velvet curtain swished aside and revealed the auditorium filled to bursting with ponies. The loud murmur of voices instantly quieted when Celestia called their attention.


Runic Nexus blew a little bit of his sweaty mane out of the way of the protective goggles and returned his attention to the intricate device sitting on his workbench. His office was half that of a bureaucrat’s and half that of a senior enchanter’s workshop.

The object on his workbench, and by extension his current obsession, was one of the more advanced pieces of human technology that had fallen into the hands of the Canterlot academy and then been ‘acquired’ by the Guild. The scientists and professors on the Academy’s payroll were good but they had failed to determine the device’s purpose, frustrated by its complexity and enigmatic nature. Runic Nexus thrived on this sort of challenge, it was part of the reason he was now the Guildmaster despite all of the internal politics that weighed down the ancient organization, a holdover from the old unicorn aristocracy.

Runic Nexus’ current obstacle was that human technology was drastically different from his native school of enchanting. Every piece of human engineering seemed to have only a singular purpose, it was very rigid in what certain components did and what any combination of components could be made to do. It had taken him only a few hours to figure out that the entire thing, and by extension most of human technology, likely ran on the rarely studied phenomena called electricity. Pony society while having no use for electricity due to almost all of their needs being taken care of by magic still attempted to study the phenomena, citing great potential as the driving force behind several studies. The revelation that the machine used electrical current to operate opened so many doors for the Guildmaster to explore, still the principles of the device were almost frustrating in the way components had to fit together in such a specific way or the entire thing did absolutely nothing.

Runic Nexus eyed the pieces that made up the guts of the device that lay strewn out in front of him, a mess of wires, insulating materials, and odd, green panels; the featureless aluminum box and glass panel that had once housed the device lay against the wall, all but forgotten. He levitated one of the components of the machine, marveling at the tiny ribbons of conductive material printed onto the green insulator that led to enigmatic black stones that seemed to be of great importance to the device. While enchanting was far more forgiving than the human’s technology seemed to be he could definitely see the advantage of studying such intricate craft. He retrieved two large iron needles he had tied by crudely insulated copper wires to an apparatus he had developed himself just hours ago to help himself study the electrical ‘pathways’. It was a single crystalline device commonly known as a mana battery, linked to a cube of steel he had enchanted to convert magical energy into electrical potential. The copper wires were then attached to the intricately carved cube and allowed him to apply an electrical current to the tiny ribbons of material on the guts of the device. He frowned in concentration as he attempted to press the tiny points of the needles onto the path he was studying but for some infinitely frustrating reason the needles always shook slightly when he held them in his magical grip. He had long ago made the connection that electricity was to blame for the tremor but so far he was stumped for a way to solve the issue.

The Guildmaster took a deep breath to quiet his mounting frustration and instead decided to leave the project for later. He pulled off the pair of protective goggles that were a staple for every enchanter and made his way back to his desk. After a few moments of cleaning the sweat from his coat with a freshly laundered towel he started shuffling through the few various papers that littered his desk. Paperwork overload was rarely a problem for the head of the enchanters guild, mostly thanks to an extensive support structure of secretaries that handled all ‘low-priority’ messages and requests. This allowed him to concentrate on big problems and determine the best course of action for the guild. He was just about to begin reading a report on guild finances when there was a quiet knock on his office door.

“Yes?” Runic Nexus huffed, his voice still filled with frustration.

“Guildmaster, Sir I have a report from Bunsen Burner.” One of his secretaries called out from the doorway.

“Ah excellent, good news I hope?” Runic Nexus leaned back, thankful to have another moment's reprieve from his work.

“Yes sir, she has spoken with her professor and has acquired the timetables for the platinum shipments to Canterlot.” The unicorn secretary stepped into the room and up to her superior’s desk.

A large smile broke out on the Guildmaster’s face. “That is wonderful news; I assume you have notified our griffon contacts.

“Yes, they have been told to wait in one of the forested areas on the route to Canterlot. The shipments are mixed in with the other carts the Academy uses for their normal supply runs and are marked so our contacts will know which crates to acquire.” The secretary fidgeted slightly and it did not go unnoticed by Runic Nexus, the secretary had worked here for a while and was used to the way things ran in the guild, but this was the first outright criminal action they have employed in quite some time.

“Don’t worry, everything will go smoothly and we don’t have anything to worry about. The griffon bandits I hired are professionals and they know their place well enough not to betray us to the sisters.” The Guildmaster spoke in a reassuring tone to assuage his subordinate’s anxiety. The secretary smiled at him in return and quickly made her way out of his office when he dismissed her with a wave of the hoof.

After the unicorn mare made her way out Runic Nexus turned to the large window and looked out at the sunny winter morning that Canterlot was enjoying. He could see for miles, the castle of the sisters magnificent in the morning sun. It’s tall spires and turrets gleamed and its position, hanging out over the platform Canterlot was built upon gave it the feeling of floating in mid-air. He smiled and mock-saluted the castle in the distance.

Author’s Note: Well writing this chapter was a bit like running down a sidewalk blindfolded and tripping over every misplaced “writers block” that could possibly be dropped in front of me. It was terrible!

Anyway, I like what we managed to do here, its good setup for the next chapter, which I hope to deliver without so long of a delay. Admari has finally started college which is great for him, but it puts an even greater strain on editing so we will have to figure out a new schedule for that. I’m still very enthusiastic about this fic so don't worry about it being abandoned any time soon.

Co-Author’s Note: *Secretly plots to write every member of the Enchanter’s Guild as an Italian lobster*

Author’s Note: “Lobster” ...Wat?