• Published 22nd Apr 2013
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Snickersnatch - SpiralWriter



Oddjob awakens to a much different Equestria . . .

  • ...
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V - Oddjob's Quest

[Snickersnatch]

By: Quisky


Chapter Five:

Oddjob's Quest


Goldguard (still giggling to myself about his name), lead the two of us through the elaborate and sufficiently huge castle. With four items completed on my list and only two left, I found my day winding down to a close. In the meantime, Legion and I chatted it up.

"So, what have you been doing these past few years?" I asked.

"Surviving." Came the many voices of the Legion.

"Care to elaborate on that, Scooby?"

"Hunting. Eating. Sleeping. Avoiding capture."

"Capture?"

"There are many seekers out there who would wish to hang our head as a trophy."

"Sounds rough, but glad you've stuck it out."

"And how was your time in stone, Alpha Oddjob?"

I paused. Even though it had just happened this morning, I didn't want to go back a relive that purgatory. I shuddered despite the warmth offered by the coat and the sun shining overhead through the windows.

"It was . . . unpleasant."

"We sense you do not wish to speak of this."

"Bingo."

"Very well. What other topics do you wish to speak of?"

"Mind if I cut in, gossip girls?" Goldguard interrupted from ahead of us, turning a corner down another long hallway. "We're just about to enter the main throne room, so keep your heads low, mouths quiet, and stench far away."

"Why are we heading to the throne room?" I asked curiously.

The guarder of gold who had the same namesake did not reply, only opened the door and lead us in. It was as spacious as ever with grand pillars holding it up and banners proudly displaying Equestria's royalty. Down the throne room, seated regally upon the throne, an alicorn of ivory gazed at us with calm eyes, but these eyes judged.

"Greetings." Princess Celestia stated as we approached. Goldguard bowed, as did Legion, but his motions were much more forced. I followed suit, then almost mentally facepalmed myself. I didn't bow to Luna earlier. I didn't bow to motherfucking Princess Luna earlier. God I hoped that wouldn't get me executed.

"Your majesty, I bring you Oddjob the Jabberwocky." Goldguard said from his kneeling state.

"Rise." She commanded, and we did so. This situation definitely reminded me of a certain pegasus who's ego was too big even for all of Las Pegasus to hold. But there were many differences between the King and Celestia herself. First off, she didn't even emit any sort of . . . danger at all. The day alicorn seemed to hold an air of a serene beauty about her, but something mysterious as well, as if not all the puzzle pieces were on display. Her tone was much kinder, and her bodyguards didn't crowd around her and threatened to stab you if you looked at her funny. Plus, there was the lack of suffocating cigar smoke.

"Oddjob," She turned her head to face me, and I nodded at my name. That's what you did right? Or was there some sort of code to follow? Somebody really should've prepped me before doing this.

"It has come to attention that you have been freed from your prison of stone. Do you know why?"

"No . . . your majesty. No." I tried not to stutter and rattle my fangs as I spoke. Damn this anxiety. I shoved my hands into my pockets to keep from fiddling with them.

"It is because you are needed. There have been disturbances within Equestria, and I need a suitable . . . creature to fulfill the role of investigator."

"I'm sorry your highness . . . but why me?"

"You have crimes against the kingdom that have gone unpunished. Even though you did fight Discord and stall him long enough for the bearers of harmony to arrive, there are almost one-hundred and twenty accounts of you breaking Equestrian law. I'm giving you a chance to redeem yourself from these crimes."

Okay, the bitch meter just went up a smidge. I fought Discord, and what do I get? Ten years as a lawn ornament, and still I'm guilty. I held my tongue, calmed the fire building up. Not the best of ideas to explode on one of the most powerful beings in the land, especially one who was considered a goddess and commanded an army. I needed to play it cool. Even though it was bitter and I hated the thought, Celestia must've had a fucking reason to do this.

Keep calm, keep cool, and let her finish talking. I nodded.

"You will go to the places in which these happenings occurred, accompanied by Goldguard for accountability and your pack."

At least it was nice she recognized Legion, though one dog with a thousand voices in his head didn't really make it as a 'pack' to me. Plus, I wasn't a diamond dog, so the term didn't really mean anything to me.

"Any questions can be taken up with Miss Inkwell, you will meet you outside in the lobby. Dismissed."

We all bowed one more time before leaving. As we neared the exit, Legion leaned over and whispered to me. "We hate her so much."

"Don't be so har-" I was cut off by a low growl from him.

"Gentlemen, I'd like you to meet the best secretary, receptionist, and second most busy pony in Equestria, Nibsy Inkwell." Goldguard lead us into the main lobby of the castle, probably the only part civilians were allowed in, seeing as how some browsed around, waiting their turn for a chance to speak with their ruler.

A small, jade green earth pony greeted us with a nod of her head. "That's Miss Inkwell, Mr. Guard." She corrected him, adjusting her pointy librarian glasses. She turned and nodded at me and Legion respectively. "Mr. Job, the Legion, it is an honor to meet you, especially you, Mr. Job. I was there when you were freed, quite the spectacular sight, seeing a legend of our lifetime be given a chance again."

"Nice to meet you too, Miss Inkwell." I nodded at her with my most gentlemanly smile. Legion simply stared at her. I really needed to get them to work on their people skills.

"I believe you were told of your duties, correct?"

"Just the gist of 'em. I'm to . . . investigate something?" Huh, just saying that made me feel like Sherlock.

She nodded curtly. "Correct. Across Equestria, there have been reports of changeling sights all around, though none have actually been confirmed. Some in Manehattan, Neighagra Falls, the nearby village of Hollow Shades, and the Everfree Forest as well."

"Changelings are always in the Forest, we can avoid that one." Legion stated.

". . . Other than that, there's not much more for you to work with, Mr. Job. All we need you to do is find out if and why they're happening, and report back to Canterlot upon your findings."

"Sounds . . . easy enough."

"I've compiled a list of witnesses and evidence you will need to inspect upon arrival."

"Okay."

Inkwell nodded.

". . . Aren't you going to hand me the list?"

"Check the scroll the Princess gave to you this morning."

I reached into my pocket and pulled it out. unfurling it to find that not only had it grown in length, but more words of magic ink had filled the new space.

"Princess Twilight Sparkle always thinks of making life so much more efficient." Inkwell chuckled.

Amazed at the simplest of magics, I rolled it back up and placed it back in my pocket, I would have to check it out later, I still had that final item of the schedule to check out, but it was vague, as almost all the others were. Twilight had grown into her role as a douchebag overseer.

"Umm . . . you wouldn't happen to know what I was supposed to do for the final item on my to-do list, would you?"

"Head to the Armory, then the Stocks. Goldguard can show you to both. Afterwards, you may rest, then begin your duties tomorrow morning." Another nod from the pony before she turned around and trotted off.

I looked over to Goldguard, and he nodded his head in another direction, the signal for me to follow him yet again. Legion and I quietly padded behind, each lost to our own thoughts. I was supposed to do some 'investigations'? I could hardly find the remote, let alone figure out why changelings were spotted. What, did Celestia believe I had some detective skills or something? Give me a Rubiks cube, and I just tear off the stickers and move them around. Give me a puzzle in a video game, and I looked up a strategy guide on how to get past it. She really picked the wrong guy for the job.

Eventually we arrived at our destination, the Armory still on castle grounds, but outside the main building. It was nestled in a small building just near the guard barracks, as I could see several squads of all three pony races doing drills to shouts and whistle-blowing.

We all entered, rows upon rows of shelves containing various weaponry and armor greeting us. I could make out blades, maces, shields, and just about every other weapon imaginable upon the wall. I was confused as to why the guard didn't incorporate firearms into their stock, but that was a question for another time.

"It's back here." Goldie pointed to a chest in the corner of the room, angling us past several mannequins that had elaborate armors upon them. "Metal Storm spent weeks crafting it," He said, unlocking the chest and flipping it open. "Took him a couple of tries to get the wood to warp right, arcanite is a real tricky substance to work with."

Within the chest, a stave about as long as a baseball bat greeted us. The handle was wooden, curving in some places, to end in a metal point. A leather grip had been built in the center, and at the very tip, it curved thickly into a somewhat draconic shape. I picked it up, feeling the weight in my hands, tracing my claw along it. It felt sturdy, lightweight, but something seemed different about it. If I listened closely, it almost hummed with a rhythmic sense, as if it emitted a sort of power.

Underneath it came a holster with a lather strap. I swung it around my shoulder, placing the stave in its carrying place.

"That my friend, is one of Metal Storm's finest staves ever produced. It's made specifically for hitting stuff hard, and for conducting magic, considering the sheer amount of arcanite put into its core." Goldguard explained words to me that I didn't understand. All I knew is that I had a cool new toy slung over my back. I looked to Legion, and he nodded.

"Arcanite is magic made physical." He explained. "The more you have of it, the better spells produced. The only downside is that too much contact with it deteriorates the mind."

"Which is why it's made with thick oak!" Goldguard interceded before I could throw the big stick down. I eventually released my grip from the handle, eying him steadily. I can't go crazy again, already dealt with that shit.

He breathed a sigh of relief before gathering himself with a cough. "Well then, looks like you're done for the day, Oddjob. We have a room prepared for you in the castle, and you can ask the castle staff for anything you might require. Don't get used to the comfort though, we're up and leaving at o' seven-hundred tomorrow morning." Goldguard stood rigid, saluted at the two of us, and marched off in the direction of the barracks.

"What are you going to do?" I asked as I turned to Legion.

The dog shrugged, never blinking those white eyes that almost blended in with the coat. "We will leave for now. Spending the night in the castle is . . . unnatural to us. We have a den located nearby, so when the time comes, we will meet up with you and the Guarder of Gold, Alpha Oddjob."

"Fair 'nuff." I said, nodding. "It was good to see you again, Legion."

"And you as well, Fiery One. We believe this new quest with you will be . . . interesting." Legion gave a quick bow of his head before sprinting off, every muscle made for speed. He was over the castle wall quicker than the guards who stood stationed there could blink. I chuckled, then looked towards the castle. I did have a quest ahead of me.