• Published 24th Jan 2013
  • 21,228 Views, 1,878 Comments

My New Life in Equestria: Helping Has Its Ups and Downs - HAZESHIFT

Waking up in a tree usually doesn't mean its gonna be a good day...today on the other hand I find it to be the opposite...at least in the short run as i find myself in a world of ponies

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Chapter 22: Hooray for pony cuteness!!!

Chapter 22: Hooray for pony cuteness!!!

Reveille sounded once again to start the morning and for some reason I could find anything against it to get annoyed at after hearing time and time again. Since today I didn’t have to wake up and discover that my armor was sort of alive I found it easier to fall into a normal routine. I suspected that if I slipped up though Jarvis would immediately tell me.

I cleaned myself up as quick as I could, grabbed my armor mittens and earpiece, had breakfast, and headed out the door with the rest of the squad. The only thing that was different was that Swift Gale banned Flintlock Spark from having coffee in the mornings to help him with his training.

“SO what’s on the menu for today Lieutenant?” I asked.

“Are you going to ask me that everyday Private?” he said giving me a deadpanned look.

“Well I have only been here like 3 days…and there’s no schedule written up in the barracks.” I said back.

He opened his mouth to say something while we walked on but closed it to think for a second in thought. “Hmm you got a point. Well first up today us earth ponies and pegasus ponies get to take it a bit easy for training. It’s archery practice today so mostly the unicorns do the training. Others are allowed to participate but it’s kinda hard to work a bow with just tow of these.” He said waving a hoof in my face. “But you got those watchamacallits so I think that you’ll be fine if you wanna try.”

“You mean fingers?” I said seeing where applejack got here language skills from.

“Yeah those things. Do they help you with weapons or do you humans have some kind of fancy schmancy mind weapons?”

I laughed at Jonagold’s words it was hilarious; I could see how they could think that. “I guess you’ll just have to see at the range.” I said as we walked towards what I assume was an archery range. As the group and I got closer I could hear the rhythmic tune of bows strings letting lose and the “thwack” sounds of arrows hitting their targets. We came within view of the range and stopped at a fence. I had remembered the same type of setups at camps that I went to when I was younger.

But instead of politely asking the range master permission to enter Jonagold instead started shouting. “HEY SIX CAN YOU GET YOUR FLANK OVER AND GIVE US PERMISSION TO GET IN ALREADY!!!” His shouting was loud enough to disrupt everyone at the range. From the earth ponies and Pegasi ponies taking a break to the unicorn ponies who were actually shooting. I saw a couple of arrows go veering off in a bunch of different directions. I heard a couple of groans as well as what I think was at least one scream of pain.

Jonagold simply stood there with a straight face as silence reigned for a couple of seconds. And then from the back of the range came more shouting.

“JONAGOLD APPLE!!! HOW MANY TIMES HAVE I TOLD YOU NOT TO DO THAT ON MY RANGE?” a mare came walking down to us from the far end of the range. Her fur color was a nice red, less the how Big Mac was but definitely not pink. Her armor looked like a ponified version of a typical archer from a fantasy movie, not plate like and bulky but more light with protection where it counted. It also had a hood which was down so anypony would clearly be able to see the anger on her face.

“YOU MAY BE A LIEUTENANT BUT YOU ACT LIKE SUCH A COUNTRY BUMPKIN SOMETIMES I SWEAR IF IT WEREN’T FOR THE FACT THAT WE’RE COUSINS I WOULD PUT A QUIVER IN YOU AND TELL THE PRINCESSES AND YOUR WIFE THAT IT WAS A WEAPON ACCIDENT!” she kept screaming even as she got within an in of Jona’s face. Jona just stood there like a statue as the mare finished yelling at him. He gave her a chance to huff, puff, and collect her breath.

“Does that mean we got permission Six?” he asked.

“Yeah your squad can go in...Except for you big fella.” She pointed at me. I watched as everyone left Jona and me to our fate. The mare walked up to me and proceeded to look me over. She could see that I was a bit surprised and scared since I didn’t have my helmet up. She was also one of the first ponies to just stop looking at me and start poking me as well.

“So I’ve heard some things about you. I also saw your fight with the Princess. I have to saw there are some here that think that you should be punished for trying to fight with the princess. There are also some nobles that heard about it and kind of want you to be hanged.”

“That seems kinda harsh. Let me guess Blueblood is the one leading the charge?”

“Don’t you mean Prince Blueblood?”

“No, no I don’t” I hadn’t liked him since we met at the gala and I sure wasn’t going to use some title for a vain and pompous asshat.”

“Well in any case your right. Oh and by the way; Dan is it?” She asked me. I nodded yes to give her an answer. “Right then since it’s your first time here and also the first time me; as well as everybody else here is gonna see someone besides a pony shoot a bow I think you know what’s going to happen.”

“You are going to make a big scene and I’m going to have to go along with because I have no choice?” I said knowing that was probably what she meant.

“Oh Jona you did wonders picking this kid up he’s smarter than a lot of recruits.” She said to Jonagold before turning back to me. “The name is Six Shooter by the way if you were wondering. Now come on in and follow me let’s get this over with.

I managed to look at Jona before Six started shouting again; this time at everypony at the range. “Well Well Well Everypony it looks like we are gonna get a little show today. We all now get to see how Equestria’s first human does with one of our fine weapons.” As usual all the heads in the vicinity turned to face me. I wish that I had my helmet up just incase I was accidently blushing. I kept following six as she basically led me to and empty lane.

“Here’s your bow and you get two practice arrows to get your bearings. After that we start counting points.” She then pointed to a board where a list of everypony who was shooting was labeled and points were being tallied for their shots.

The bow was a simple recurve bow; I hadn’t expected them to have figured out the compound bow yet. It was about the right size for me; I picked it up and found the right grip to hold it. I could feel many pairs of eyes on me as I set my feet and held the bow in my left hand. I grabbed my first arrow and knocked it on the string. I drew up my bow and pulled back on the string with two of my fingers. I was focused on my target ahead of me; although I couldn’t quite tell how far away it was. Out of the corner of my eye I could see Six Shooter taking notes on my posture and form. I held the sting back as I aimed. I inhaled one last time and slowly exhaled holding my breath from that point. I simply let go and watch the arrow go.

It flew pretty well for my first shot but still ended up landing a bit short of the target. I heard sighs, oohs, and laugh coming from all around. It didn’t bother me really. I said nothing as I thought about it for a second and quickly picked up my second arrow.

“Are you sure you wanna do that so quickly there Dan. You don’t want to miss a second time now do ya? Oh by the way I forgot to mention we set the targets today out around 50 feet so make sure you…” she said as I made a quick adjustment and let loose my second arrow.

This time I hit the target; it wasn’t a bull’s-eye but I managed to hit the eight ring. I let the bow fall to my side. I looked around; many ponies ha varying expressions on their faces. From what I could see of my squad they had looks of approval. Others were in disbelief, and I thought for a second I saw a group that was frowning at the fact that I had succeeded.

“So did I do well?” I asked Six. She returned my smirk and then punched me in the leg.

“Ok I think we all get it Mr. Smartass. Now let’s get you some arrows and see how well you do.”

“The next couple of hours flew by as I shot with what I cam up with as the term, a “barrel full” of arrows. And by the time we were told to stop I had somehow managed to wrangle myself into tenth place. Almost everyone else in my squad who participated was behind me in terms of rank except for Flash Bang and Flintlock Spark. After the time was up everyone made sure to make sure the area was spick and span or else punishment would come from Six.

The squad and I made our way back to the barracks afterwards but we all stopped when we came across another squad. We stood there for a second as one of them made their way forward. It took me a second to notice that he was glaring straight at me.

“Hey you.” He said just to make sure you had my attention. And just to be a smartass I did the funny thing and looked behind me to see if anyone was there.

“Ha ha very funny now pay attention you freak.” I was ready to dismiss him until he said that last word.

“Ok it seems I got your attention. Now listen up; you happened to knock me out of the top ten in archery today. Do you know what squad I belong to? We are Omega squad; we are the best squad in the guard; and we don’t take to kindly to anybody breaking “the rules” around here. Now I don’t care if your squad likes you as a freak but that doesn’t mean you can come in here and start showing us normal ponies up.”

“So what are you going to do about it?” I said finally deciding to make my move.

“Excuse me?”

“You heard me. Listen I don’t care if you call me a freak but don’t go insulting anypony in my squad. As for your squad; I’ve only been here a couple of days so no, I don’t know the whole squad power hierarchy whatever you want to call it. And if you got a problem with me then let’s find a way to settle it man to stallion.” I moved around my squad and straight up to the unicorn until I was looking straight down at him. Although I had to give him some props for not flinching or anything as I towered over him.

“OK then how about we just have little match? First one to give up or go unconscious?” he said.

“Lieutenant you got any problem with this?” I turned my head slightly so I could see Jona in the corner of my view.

“None as long as you don’t make us late for palace duty. You can fight your own battles.” And with his words the unicorn and I got ready. Our squads formed a circle around us.

I brought my full armor up thinking that it would be better to error on the side of caution just in case this was one of the ponies that didn’t approve of me in the guard.

“Someone give us a countdown or something?” I asked the ponies around us.

“Allow me.” Swift volunteered. She raised her hoof in the air to signal to get ready. Both I and the unicorn readied as we waited for the signal.

“And…FIGHT!!!” Swift yelled bringing her hoof down.

“The unicorn was the first to move. I hadn’t exactly thought of a plan yet. The unicorn charged at me and I could see that he was charging some kind of magic with his horn. I decided that defense would work the best for the moment. The stallion plowed into my stomach horn first and fired his spell. It felt like getting hit by a moving wall and it managed to knock me off my feet.

I flew backwards a couple of feet and slid on my back with the unicorn still on my stomach. A dust cloud settled over me and the unicorn as I finally came to a stop. When it settled he was now standing on top of me.

“Well now I hope you can see the power of Omega squad. Did this little exercise teach you anything?” I could literally hear the smugness in his voice. But unfortunately he forgot some things.

“Yeah it did.” I said as I threw my arms around him as quick as I could; catching him off guard. “I learned that you’re incompetent when it comes to checking if your opponent is actually unconscious. And I also learned that you let you defenses down way to early.” I said as I gave him a head butt to disorientate him. I then turned him around, put one arm around his neck, and then clasped my hands together to put him in a chokehold.

“Now this move in my world.” I said out loud for everyone to hear “Is called a chokehold. One of the good things about them is that they are great submission moves.” The unicorn struggled in my grip, I slowly cut of his oxygen supply and within ten seconds he was unconscious. Afterwards I laid him down slowly and let his squad take care of him. Meanwhile the squad and I headed to the palace in silence; we would talk about it later.

“I remember once hearing one of the ponies in my squad saying that they would prefer to be on town patrol over palace duty any day. And after the first hour or so I kind of agreed. We had the “honor” as the nobles liked to say to keep watch over the throne room. We were greeted by Celestia and Luna sitting on their thrones. Shining Armor and Cadence were also there but the Lieutenant left with them as soon as we got in to room. That left eight of us to guard the entire throne room.

We got there right in the middle of the day court. Many ponies were lined up to ask something of the princesses. And usually they took care of it in the way that they saw best. And in most cases it meant turning down some nobles request for something that would make them seem more grandiose. It took awhile but eventually the princesses heard all the requests. After the petitioners had filed out everything got a lot more peaceful.

“Oh finally a break, I swear there are more petitions from the nobles every day.” We all heard Celestia say as she and her sister rose from their thrones and took a well deserved stretch. “Well how is everyone doing today?” she asked all of us. Red Star and Shadow Fire moved past her to see if Luna needed anything. From where I was I think I could see Luna chuckle a bit as they sort of fawned over her.

“Well from were I was standing Celestia I think somebody need to ask you the same question.” I said to her which in turn cause most of the ponies in the squad to give me a confused look.

“Dan you don’t just call her Celestia. It’s either Princess Celestia or just Princess, now apologize!” Swift Gale started to chew me out but stopped when Celestia intervened.

“It’s quite alright Sergeant. After Dan’s heroics at the factory he and I came to an understanding about things. I have allowed him to call me by my name only.”

“And she won’t admit it in case she offends you but she would also like it if her subjects; including her guards also just called her by her name so she can feel more normal.”

“Dan!” Celestia gaped that I gave away something she had told me.”

“Well you never said it was a secret and you should admit that it’s true and start being more open. It’s true just like the fact that you and most ponies like to get scratched behind the ears.” I stared at the room of ponies who were again staring at me in shock which now included one princess. I simply nonchalantly stared back until Luna trotted up to my side.

“He is right you know Tia; I’ve told all my night guars to simply call me Luna if they feel like it. Oh and right about the scratching thing too. Speaking of which Dan do you mind?” she said tilting her head towards me.

“Oh sure thing.” I said retracting one of my gauntlets. I lifted my hand to Luna’s head and started scratching her behind the ears. I could tell that Red Star and Shadow Fire were giving me intense looks of jealousy and Luna moaned a bit at my scratching. Celestia moved towards me to say something but was interrupted by Swift.

“Um princess?”

“Oh yes Sergeant Gale?”

“Is What Dan said true?” Celestia was taken aback a little by her forwardness.

“Um well…yes I guess I have to say that he is correct.” She said admitting defeat sinking down and sitting on the floor. “It has been so long and I’ve always been referred to in a royal way and even if just for awhile it would be nice to feel normal to more than just my sister and Dan.”

“Oh really that’s all? Well that’s easy; if you would like us to do that I think we can manage Celestia!” Flintlock seemingly came out of nowhere to appear between Celestia and Swift Gale. Celestia just stared at him for a second; he was smiling out of both idiocy and concern.

Celestia stared at him for a minute before she shut her eyes and smiled. “Thank you Flintlock. I guess I forget sometimes who easy something simple can be.”

“See I told you that was the right answer.”

“Dan would you like to have another little spar?”

“Oh I think that would drastically cut into Luna’s scratching time.” I said looking down to the princess of the night.”

“Oh I agree with Dan that’s not a good idea.” Celestia looked like she was about to retort when there was a knock on the throne room door. It opened slowly and another guard popped his head in looked at the scene. Choose to disregard what he was seeing and spoke.

“Um Princesses there are two ponies here that would like to ask something of you.”

“Well the court has ended for the day and I don’t believe that we have any appointments.”

“Um it is a filly and a colt your majesty and the colt said that he was told that he could come here and ask you a question…” the guards voice faltered a bit.

“Oh children? ...ok then send them in.” she said to the guards. “Luna get up you don’t want children to see you at the mercy of a relaxation treatment do you?”

“Ooohhh...fine.” She said as I stopped my scratching. Both the sister made their way to the middle of the room and waited for the kids to come in. It took a minute but after the door opened again two heads popped out past the edge of the door. And I recognized one of them because of the hair. After the heads retreated the two walked in; one of them was Ziggy the colt I had met the day before and helped with his guitar problems; but I didn’t know who the little filly was. They slowly entered; Ziggy was carrying both his guitar and amp and the filly seemed to have saddlebags that had stuff in them. The looked t the princesses in awe as the finally came up to them.

“Why hello my little ponies. What brings you here today?” The princess gave them her warmest most serene smile like she gave all ponies. The two just stared for a second before the filly snapped out of her daze. She looked at Ziggy and after seeing that he couldn’t speak gave him a nudge in the side. That was enough to wake him up.

“Oh uh hi princesses you both look very nice today!” he said all of a sudden. Now being in a room full of adult the rest of the squad and I all tried hard to keep a straight face…for about five seconds. The room burst into laughter as Ziggy realized what he had done; his face turned almost as red as his hair.

“Oh why thank you. Now please tell me your name and why you have come here please.” It wasn’t a command more of a plea so she wouldn’t scare the little ponies.

“Well ma’am I MEAN PRINCESS!” he quickly corrected himself earning a chuckle from Celestia. “Well it started yesterday when…” and he went on for awhile explaining what happened. The whole room listened at the tale being told. I looked over to Swift noticing she had a smile one as if remembering something nice. “And then he told me to come here and ask you if I could get guitar lessons from him. So I guess my request is princesses. Can Dan teach me to play guitar and be a cool musician like him?” and with that sentence he did something I had seen the Cutie Mark Crusaders do a bunch of time. His lower lip stuck out just enough and his eyes widened very much.

Luna was the first to react to it; her hoof immediately went to cover her mouth and it looked like her eyes were watering up a little. Celestia eyes widened a bit as her mouth hung open slightly. They both stood motionless until Ziggy dropped the look at which it took Celestia a couple of second before she spoke again.

“Oh well I don’t see any reason as to why that would be wrong. But are you sure this isn’t just a way for Dan to get off his guard duties?” she asked Ziggy.

“OBJECTION!” I shouted throwing my arm out forward an pointing to Celestia. “This is clearly for education purposes; I should make sure that the future of Equestria knows how to rock.” If I had a couple of bits every time I had a room of ponies stare at me I would probably be rich.

“…Well that…is at least somewhat of a suitable answer. Ok then I’ll allow these music lessons for you Ziggy.” She said after haring my objection. Ziggy face lit up with a wide smile. “but only if they are done here in the throne room; I think my guards could use some music to relax while they wait for their shift to be over. Don’t you think so to Ziggy?” Ziggy was happy at first but when she said that he had to perform for the rest of the guards he became nervous. He looked around the room at the other guards and then back to me. I gave him a shrug and waved him on as if to say “What have you got to lose?”

“Ok then princess I think I can do that.” He put on a face with as much determination as he could muster.

“Well then my sister and I will take a seat and let you two have at it.” Celestia said turning around to head back to our throne. I broke off from my post at the wall and walked over to Ziggy.

“See Ziggy that wasn’t so hard you did everything I told you to.”

“Easy? Maybe for you; your tall you can stare eye to eye with the princesses. It’s different when you’re small.”

“I guess that’s true. Oh by the way who’s your little friend here?”

“Oh this is Jett Note. She’s a friend of mine from school. She wants to be a songwriter so I brought her along thinking that maybe she could help with something…if that’s ok?”

I looked down at the filly and saw that she basically looked like a punk rocker. Her fur was a dark bubblegum pink and her mane was black; it was cut short and hung around her face.

“Sup.” Was the first thing she said to me.

“I’ll think she’ll be a fine addition. Now come on lets see what you got.” I said as we basically sat down in the middle of the throne room. It turned out that Ziggy had a pretty good handle on the guitar. He wasn’t that fast but he could still fret nicely even though he had hooves. I left it to one of those “ponies can still do things with hooves that they technically shouldn’t be able to” mysteries. The throne room was filled with the sounds of the guitar from basic melodies to major riffs.

“Well Ziggy I think you got a pretty good handling on it. Maybe we should try out a song or something to see how well you do overall.”

“Oh oh you can use the one I wrote.” Jett said speaking for the first time in awhile. She had mostly watched us and a few times I had seen her scribbling something in a notebook.

“But that one is kinda weird.” Ziggy seemed kind of uncomfortable with it.

“What’s weird about it?” I asked.

“Well she kinda made a story about me…not me know like a weird rock star superhero version of me. And the title of the song is my name. it’s just…”

“Ziggy listen to me for a second.” I said cutting him off. “In the world of music there are no boundaries. Heck back where I come from there are songs for just about everything you can think of. Even if the subject is weird, scary, or otherwise. What matter though when you think about if you like the song is if the pony playing the song is doing it right and making it sound like something people will enjoy. You never know what people will like. But at the end of it all you also have to enjoy what you are doing. Do you get what I’m trying to say?”

“Ziggy looked at me for a bit before looking at his hooves and concentrating for awhile. He mulled my words over before finally saying “Yeah I guess your right Dan.”

Jett jumped at his answer. “So you’re gonna try my song?”

“Sure Jett I’ll play your song. But I need some other ponies to play with.”

“Oh I believe I can help with that. Luna said after overhearing from her throne. Her horn glowed and a drum set as well as two guitars popped into existence and settled on the floor. “It’s a unknown fact that I actually like playing the bass from time to time.” Everyone looked in surprise at Luna; including her own sister. “What? I learned after I got back from the moon. Now are we just going to stand here and talk or are we going to jam?”

We snapped back to reality after that. I took up the drums, and Jett knew how to play guitar a little decided she would be on rhythm guitar.

“Well Ziggy you ready? Got the lyrics down?”

“Yeah I think so. I hope I don’t mess up though…”

“Oh just stay positive and let the music do its work. Now get ready. One Two. One Two Three Four!”

The song started of with Ziggy playing the guitar for a bit and we joined in after a coupe of seconds. Ziggy seemed really into it and it showed in his voice. He tried to sound a little adult like and it felt like it fit the sound of the music. He was right that the lyrics Jett Note wrote sounded a bit weird although from what I could tell it was like the song was part of a larger story.

We finished playing and everything was silent for a bit. Ziggy looked around to see how people would react to it. I was smiling; I liked the song. After looking at me he looked to the princess. She was sitting at her throne and her eyes were closed.

“Um Princess…” Ziggy squeaked in here direction. Her eyes opened slowly like she had just awoken from a good nap. “Didja like the song?”

“Oh I thought it was wonderful. I haven’t heard something that different in a long time. I think you should keep that one; in a couple of years I think you could make it a hit.”

“Really!!! You mean it!?!?” Ziggy’s face lit up with happiness.

“Yes I do. Do you have any other ideas for songs like that?”

“Well it’s not a full song yet but I had an idea for a song about a pony in space.”

“Well I can say that I would certainly like to hear that seeing as I know what that is like.” Luna said causing everyone in the room to laugh. It was a good way to end everything for the day.

Author's Note:

Well i finally got it up...sorry after more than 20 straight weeks of doing this i'm getting a little frustrated and bored...not that i'm going to stop i just mean that i'm a bit tuckered out....oh and btw the way no one picked up that i just named a colt Ziggy Stardust REALLY???....philistines...

well anyway again i'm going to promote my youtube channel http://www.youtube.com/user/BravestGaming because i freaking can...yeah

Well that should be all i think...yeah i think thats all i got for now....TOODLES!!!!

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