Ik'thik the Diplomat

Jan 5th, 2016
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  1. Ik'thik the Diplomat
  3. >You are Ik'thik, changeling drone, forward operating scout of the swarm.
  4. >Atleast, that's what you did before a nasty accident brought you into the custody of the sister princesses of Equestria.
  5. >Now, you are prisoner, and personal advisor to pony royalty.
  6. >Twilight Sparkle speaks with you on an academic level, curious about what makes you tick, and how your world outlook differs from her own.
  7. >To Celestia, you are an occasional advisor on matters of court, and an barometer on how various visiting dignitaries are feeling during state functions.
  8. >Luna... You haven't interacted much with Luna.
  9. >Her general operating hours don't mesh up well with yours.
  10. >She has been generally friendly... Never any strong negative emotions coming from her.
  11. >You get plenty of those from the guards.
  12. >At first, you wore a gaudy prison jumpsuit, but Celestia granted you the ability to travel the castle in clothing of your own choice.
  13. >Too many awkward questions from visitors about why some convict pony was seen so often in the castle.
  14. >You were also granted more freedom of movement within the castle.
  15. >Initially, you were kept to your quarters except when called upon by the princess, and 1 hour daily where you were escorted around the castle under armed guard.
  16. >Because of your cooperative behavior, you were granted freedom of movement, except during several hours each day where you were on direct call to the princesses.
  17. >The enchanted shackles you wore kept you bound to the castle anyway.
  19. >All in all, it's an improvement over the deepest dungeons of the castle you were initially held in.
  20. >Especially because of Lavender.
  21. >Your special somepony.
  22. >She loves you, despite the fact that pretty much every other pony looks at you with disgust and hate because of what you are.
  23. >In their eyes, some kind of horrible monster.
  24. >On this afternoon, after having finished your courtly duties, disguised as Pine Fresh, you decided to go pay a visit Lavender while she performs her work.
  25. >Stepping outside into the gardens, there is a distinct chill to the air.
  26. >Spring will be arriving soon, the ponies celebrating Winter Wrap-up.
  27. >On the far side of what must be a well tended garden in better weather, there is a large structure fairly well hidden behind hedges and trees, sunken slightly into the ground.
  28. >The royal garden's maintainance shed.
  29. >You walk to the entrance, down a small ramp, and enter the building.
  30. >Still kinda chilly compared to the castle proper, but definitely better than outside.
  31. >You're still kind of a baby when it comes to cold, though.
  32. >At the very least, Canterlot wasn't as cold as...
  33. >Cloudcrop.
  34. >You sigh as you walk towards the sound of equipment being worked on.
  36. >The sound of working brings you to Lavender, working on a large lawn mower.
  37. How you doing today, Lavender?
  38. >She stops working, and looks to you.
  39. >You feel the warm glow of Lavender's love as she smiles.
  40. >"Almost done with getting this thing all ready for heavy use once spring gets here. How was your day?"
  41. Boring. Just stood around the side of the throne room as ponies brought thier various problems to Celestia.
  42. >Lavender steps over to you, and wraps you in a loving embrace.
  43. >"Well, when I'm done with this, I won't have all that much more to do before spring. Then I'll probably be pretty busy again."
  44. It'd be nice if we could do something since your not busy...
  45. >Lavender sighs.
  46. >"We are a bit limited here with the kinda stuff we can do, but I'm sure we can figure something out."
  47. >She pauses for a moment, about to continue her work.
  48. >"Oh, and something odd that happened this morning... Somepony came up and gave me a letter and said to give it to Pine Fresh."
  49. >She nods her head over to a sealed scroll, sitting on a nearby cabinet.
  50. >You use your magic to pick up the scroll, unseal and unroll it.
  51. >To any pony this would appear to be a blank piece of parchment.
  52. >However, to your changeling eyes, it contains a message.
  54. >"Ik'thik; Hopefully this message finds you. We lost contact with you in Cloudcrop, and other agents were able to follow up rumors of what might have happened to you."
  55. >"Further rumors led us to believe you were being held in Canterlot castle. An agent spotted one Lavender August, and further observations noted she had a companion which matched a disguise you where known to use."
  56. >"Your Pine Fresh disguise was also observed in the court of Celestia, shackled and kept to the side of the throne room"
  57. >"Should this message come to you, tell Lavender August to say the following to a blue pegasus mare that approaches and asks how her day is; 'The day is altering, buddy'."
  58. >"This will inform the swarm that you are present without you directly interacting with the agent. Further instructions to follow."
  59. >Holy shit.
  60. >Your family has found you.
  61. >"Uhhh... Ik'thik? Is everything alright?"
  62. >You look around the room.
  63. Is there anypony else out here today, Lavender?
  64. >"No... What's wrong?"
  65. It's a letter from... my family.
  66. >"T-they found you?"
  67. Us. They say that should a blue pegasus mare come and ask you how your day is, you should respond 'The day is altering, buddy'.
  68. That'll let them know that it is in fact me here with you.
  69. >"I... Think I can remember that. What do they want?"
  70. They probably want to know what happened. I don't know if there's much they can do for me, but I might be able to do stuff for them, being in the castle all day.
  72. >"Alright... If you let me finish up here maybe we can go have a romantic dinner in the employee cafeteria tonight."
  73. Sounds alright... Also, does that thing run yet?
  74. >Lavender looks back to the lawnmower she was working on.
  75. >"Yeah. Still needs a few little tweaks here and there, but it runs."
  76. Can you start it up?
  77. >"... I guess?"
  78. >Lavender moves over to the lawnmower, and turns it on.
  79. >As she does so, you take the piece of parchment, and using your magic, throw it under the large piece of lawn equipment.
  80. >With a satisfying *grunch*, the letter is torn into thousands of shreds of paper.
  81. >The sound makes lavender jump, and give you a dirty look before she turns the mower off.
  82. What? It's the perfect way to get rid of it.
  83. >Lavender then rolls her eyes.
  84. >"I guess so. Can you atleast sweep it up and toss it over in the refuse pile over there?"
  85. Yes, my love, I can do that for you. I think I'll leave you to your work and go spend some time in the library...
  86. >That's about all you really can do to entertain yourself here in the castle.
  87. >Walking back across the snow covered garden, you arrive back into the castle proper.
  88. >The guard standing just inside gives you a dirty look, and you can feel his disdain for you.
  89. >All the guards know you are some kind of convict paying their pennance working directly for Celestia and Luna.
  90. >A very select few know your true nature.
  91. >Mostly those who guarded you in the depths of the castle, and those who guard your chambers.
  93. >The fellows you stand guard outside your chamber are actually pretty OK ponies.
  94. >Guarding your chambers is one of the easiest, cushiest jobs in the palace.
  95. >They just gotta keep track of the comings and goings of yourself and Lavender, and guard one of the least traveled hallways in the entire place.
  96. >You get generall nice vibes from them, and the occasional short conversations with them are quite pleasant.
  97. >The fellows who were your keepers down in the depths of the castle dungeons...
  98. >They still resent the extra work that came from having to travel down to the depths for the singular prisoner it held.
  99. >Having been relieved from that duty, they work scattered around the palace.
  100. >You know when you pass them in the castle, because the emotions that flow forth from them are particularly bitter and angry compared to the other guards upon seeing you.
  101. >Upon reaching your destination, you step into the large room containing the stacks of the royal library.
  102. >The royal librarian smiles as you step in.
  103. >"Ah, Pine Fresh, how are you today?
  104. >The older unicorn mare smiles, happy to see one of her regulars.
  105. >"Looking for anything in particular, dear?"
  106. No... Just going to spend some time browsing today. Thanks though.
  107. >You nod at her as you continue into the library.
  108. >Paying a visit to the magical theory section, you find the most advanced texts held outside of the secure portions of the library.
  109. >Maybe you can find something new and interesting to learn while waiting for Lavender to finish up her work for the day.
  111. >You find a decent sized tome dedicated to shield spells.
  112. >That's one particular area you've never gotten very far in studying.
  113. >You lug it out to quiet table to one side of the main hall of the library.
  114. >After reading the intro, this looks to be a good tome for you to start looking at shields.
  115. >Some time passes, and enters the library, and heads straight for you.
  116. >You always sit here, so its easy enough for her to find you.
  117. >"So, what have you been reading while I was working, my sweet?"
  118. Just a magical tome covering some spells I'm not entirely familiar with... Semms like as good a use of my time as any.
  119. >Lavender nods.
  120. So, about that romantic dinner, my love?
  121. >She smiles, and you can feel the positive flow of her emotions directed at you.
  122. >Between standing in front of Celestia a good chunk of the day, and the love you recieve from Lavender, you are one well fed changeling.
  123. >"Well, it's a bit early, but maybe we can go grab a good spot at one of the small booths along the walls, rather than getting stuck at one of the big tables."
  124. >There is logic to her words.
  125. >You pick up the book are reading, and carry it with you as you head towards the entrance of the library.
  126. Miss Lightray, could you hold onto this? I'll be back to read more of it tommorow?
  127. >"Yes, dearie, that's fine. I'll have it set aside for you for tommorow afternoon."
  128. >You smile at her as you leave the library, following Lavender to the cafeteria.
  130. >When you arrive at the cafeteria, the smell of food fills the air, and no ponies are here for dinner yet.
  131. >Smells like hay and daisy jumbalaya.
  132. >Lavender leads the way over to a nice, relatively private booth along the wall of the staff cafeteria.
  133. >She takes a seat, and you grab the opposite side.
  134. >Its good you get here early.
  135. >The booths along the edge tend to fill quickly during the busy times.
  136. So, Lavender. You wanna go grab your food first? I'll stay and guard the table.
  137. >"I suppose so. Be back soon."
  138. >Lavender heads towards the serving line.
  139. >Other ponies begin filing in.
  140. >Some wearing guard uniforms, others wearing maid outfits, and yet others wearing simple civilian clothing.
  141. >This is a popular place in the castle for the staff, and one of the perks of working here.
  142. >Shame you don't have much choice in the matter at the moment...
  143. >Soon enough, Lavender returns with a large steaming plate of food.
  144. >"Alright, Piney, your turn."
  145. >You nod, and step up into the still very short food line.
  146. >Using your magic, you pick up a plate as you walk through the door to where the lunchmares serve the food.
  147. >You were correct.
  148. >It is hay and daisy jumbalaya.
  149. >They do a pretty good job cooking that here, so it's always something to look forward to.
  150. >First, you make yourself a little side salad, before moving to the old mare serving the main hot dish.
  151. >"So, you still starving yourself, Pine Fresh?"
  152. Sorry, ma'am, I'm just not all that hungry. A little scoop of the jumbalaya is all I need.
  153. >"Whatevah."
  154. >She scoops just a little bit onto your waiting plate, and you move down the line, past some of the other hot food laid out for the day, and get to some fresh fruit.
  155. >Can't go wrong with a few grapes to round out your meal.
  157. >Sure, you dont REALLY need to eat all that much, but it can be nice sometimes.
  158. >It also keeps your true nature hidden better when you are seen eating atleast something with the other staff.
  159. >With your plate finished, you grab a glass of juice, and carry it all back to your waiting special somepony.
  160. >You set it all down, and take your seat, as Lavender looks to you, lovingly.
  161. >"Shame we don't have a candle to make this like a real romantic dinner."
  162. >You shrug.
  163. Such is life, I guess. I don't think the princesses would let me out of the castle for something as silly as a romantic dinner.
  164. >Lavender lowers her head and sighs, before proceeding to eat.
  165. Hopefully the... news from today might make for things improving in the future.
  166. >Lavender smiles a little bit as you say that, and you get a light breeze of extra positive feelings flowing towards you.
  167. >Now thats a great way to top off a meal...
  168. >You proceed to dig into your 'regular' food.
  169. The family was a bit worried after I left, but they managed to track me down. You and I are recognizable enough, it seems.
  170. >"So... what do you think is going to happen, really?"
  171. Contact could... help out. Maybe find a way to leave. Can't say for sure. Ideally, they will contact you again soon, and something more permament can be worked out.
  172. >Maybe they can broker a deal to se tyou free...
  173. >or perhaps they can figure out how to get these shackles binding you here off.
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