In Changelingia (West Equestria), Brie gains the support of a Changeling queen for his endeavors. Spark is doing his best to help an ill Wolf spiritual leader.
In Free Equestria (East Equestria), Iron is trying to intimidate a group of criminal griffin interlopers. Fantasy Play is helping to shut down an Anarchist press. Silver is helping his new household. Amber Sunset is walking through the city, and Dark Star has just finished helping the orphans.
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It's a bit of a challenge, but eventually
enough food is made for almost fifty soldiers. It takes several bags and full pots of potatoes though.>>138843
She scrunches at the lamp. But it's Melon Mangrove's problem now
Amber returns to the entrance, hoping to herself that the other customers haven't grown too impatient.
An older stallion in a military uniform takes off his hat, and says:
"Yes, I'm here with the meet up. I'm a little late, so they should already be seated"
>>138846"Oh, of course. They should be in the front here,"
she says, gesturing with a smile.
Silver wipes his brow after baking the last of the potatos, those for himself and the cooks. He thanks and congratulates the other cooks on their hard day's work, and takes his own potato to a table to eat.
It's a simple potato, but it'll do. Butter is almost used up. Silver is joined by Amber Grain, Saltlick, and Firm Heart. Brisbuck is at the table as well, though he has long since finished his tomato soup.>>138847
"Thank's, ma'am." The stallion nods to her, and joins his fellows.
Are the three ponies remaining still there?
Silver licks his lips at the sight of his potato, but instead turns to Brisbuck while he waits for it to cool somewhat.
"I am surprised you are still here. What is up?"
They have yet to go to a different restaurant.>>138851
"Nothing. I had the stallions move the cart off the main road. Nothing new to report otherwise."
"We're together" the mare answers. It's a stallion, a mare, and a colt who is at least old enough for a cutie mark. They aren't dressed fancy
, but they are at least wearing clothing.
>>138854"Certainly, right this way!"
She takes them to a booth/table combination operated by De Sew.
Silver shrugs, and pokes some small holes with his fork in the potato to help it cool faster.
"What about you? You have not talked much about yourself personally."
They take a moment to figure out which side of the table they want to sit on, but they take their menus and sit down.>>138856
Normally, the commissioned officer in a platoon is older than the privates, and sometimes older than the non-commissioned officers. But with this new group, so many of the recruits of higher and diverse ages that Bisbuck isn't much above the median of the group. He begins to answer Silver's question
"Well... an ancestor of mine was a knight, who saved the life of a particular nobleman in battle. So Celestia rewarded him with a grant of land, and a minor noble title, and that is how the Brisbuck family became important in the region of Fillydelphia. Another ancestor sold the lands for royalties on coal mines. One younger brother took his minor share of the inheritance and left to the Dominion, where now the "Brisbuck" name is even more influential, because he used that money to buy up land for sheep farming. Anyways, my father is a councilman in Fillydelphia. He believes in Progressive Harmonism, and has gained fame for challenging the power of the Unions there. I thought I would go to school and become a teacher. You know, teach Equestrian Literature at a high school level. When the Changelings attacked, they started the draft. But I got a deferment because I was in college. But I decided to join the ROTC to become an officer. Then they changed the draft, so I was drafted, and went to Officer Cadet School. I just graduated that, and now I am sent here, to lead a platoon in the 23rd in the Cascadian Front."
Amber breathes in and out. It must be getting late; she certainly is starting to feel the wear of the day and hopes it will conclude soon.
It isn't entirely
over, as a couple more ponies come in for the bar, but the evening is unambiguously winding down. It's at least 9 PM now. The lone stallion in the booth leaves, as does a couple or two, and other patrons Amber can't always recognize.
Silver takes a bite of potato, now that it's cooled somewhat.
"Mmm...I can believe that. You were very intelligent in officer school, from what I heard of you. I also suppose that makes you noble, sort of."
He smiles, one of few times his expression has changed.
"Only Gentlemen or Patrician rank. But owning a coal mine or sheep ranch in more modern times... You could say that is nobility of a sort. Anyways, that is my family."
The air in the room is colder than would be preferred indoors; raised by the the cooking and the presence of so many warm bodies in a room, but no proper heating. At least the wind is closed out. The ceiling above is wooden with exposed wooden rafters and lights attached to ceiling fans. On the wall of the kitchen is a poster to buy war bonds, on the far wall near the bathrooms is a large wooden symbol belonging to what must be some ranch or other local institution. It's of a Buffalo. Hanging from the ceiling by the windows are two fags - the light blue of sun and moon, with two alicorn sisters in the sky surrounded by starts, and a dark blue, white, and green striped flag with a scene of a river, forest, and mountains in a circle in the center.
Amber makes sure to tell them she hopes they have had a good experience and wishes them a safe trip home.
Some just leave, some wave or nod, and some say "Thank you. You too!"
Silver looks at the wall and ceiling decorations while enjoying his potato.
"There is not much to say about my family. We primarily hail from Severyana. My father was Royal Guard quartermaster, and as far as I know most of my family dating back as far as Severyanan Empire has been in military."
“So you’re upholding family tradition?”
He looks down and then back up
“Are you caterer military?”
Now it's just a matter of waiting, though the cold, hunger and constant standing is wearing on her mood a bit.
"More like I felt calling to help Equestria in her greatest time of need. It is my first time in military, but I have seen combat before."
After a maddening 30 minutes, and two more young adult stallions who come in to try be seated at almost exactly the time Amber’s shift is over, Amber is done at 9:32. The restaurant is not closed yet, and the bar is still open.>>138867
“The calling I can understand.” He nods, but then turns his head.
“But... where have you seen combat before?”
He swallows a bite of potato, and looks at Brisbuck.
"I was bit of adventurer and sword-for-hire in my younger days."
Amber almost wishes she could stay around and chat. Almost. She goes to the kitchen and, if they're not too busy, asks if she could have some leftover food.
He has a smile that is almost a wince, showing off his upper row of teeth.
“Why would you fight for hire?”
The zebra colt in the back bites on his lips, then offers a sandwich that was sent back because it was the wrong order.
>>138872"Thank you kindly, but I have hardly had anything to eat all day. May I please have some more?"
She looks practically ashamed to be asking this.
"Heh" He seems to find the scene entertaining, smiling
"You want some soup? We got some soup left over?"
The zebra smiles, and with a spoon carefully empties out what remains of a large pot into a bowl. He takes out some bread and adds it to a plate under the bowl.
"Here ya are, miss."
>>138876"Thank you, you are too kind…"
, she says, gratefully smiling. She finds a place to sit down where she won't be in the way.
He turns his body to show his flank...before realizing that it's covered by his fatigues.
"My cutie mark is of sword. That combined with my desire for adventure as young stallion pretty well determined what I would do with my life."
He smiles back to her.
Presumably, Amber goes out back into the restaurant, finding the bar is still busy (busier, if anything), though ponies are starting to go home.>>138878
He gives an awkward smile
"I have a pen." He says
"Adventure, but a very different type. More... safe
Amber will enjoy this meal at the restaurant before setting off back home.
The cook-colt in the kitchen comes out and looks over at amber from the door frame, viewing a far from over the bar. Salt Mixer converses with a new set of patrons. The two giggling mares that Amber seated at the beginning of the night are still here, now moved into a booth where they cling on to the two pegasus stallions who came in earlier. The two fancily dressed mares have up and left. The large party of a couple families have long gone, and the reunion of veterans is leaving only now. The trio of business ponies is starting to leave. De Sew takes up payments, Melon Mangrove cleans up tables, and Mustard Trim sits down at a table, not evidently doing anything besides reserving time to himself.
A soft tune plays on a phonograph.
Silver gives him a grin.
"You know what they say: pen is mightier than sword."
“Heh. Indeed they do. I hope it holds true...”
Silver finishes his potato, and waits for the others to finish their own meals.
Though they continue talking amongst themselves, they promptly finish eating
Silver looks to Brisbane.
"Unless you have already assigned group to it, last task should be telegraph lines."
“Yes, there is the matter of the telegraph lines...” he answers
"Then I will take small squad and investigate, unless you have need of me here."
“That should do nicely” he says. “Make it happen”
Silver salutes his Lieutenant.
"Sir, yes sir."
The unicorn looks to the three other occupants of the table.
"What of it, soldiers, interested in joining me?"
“I can join. But it may be wise that I see to it the stallions are orderly while they are in town.”
“I can join, no problem.”
“Repairing lines is.. not quite my specialty.”
Silver nods to Saltlick first, then addresses Amber Grain's concern.
"I am certain Lieutenant can keep troops reigned in during our absense."
He then turns to Firm Heart.
"I figured as much, but thought it would still be prudent to ask. I will find another."
“He seems more interested in the 332nd.” He smiles to him. “But... surely he can. Can’t he?”
Firm Heart nods and smiles sheepishly