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The Anonaly

By QoC
Created: 16th July 2021 09:31:33 PM
13th January 2021 12:36:56 PM

  1. > Carefully, you slide into your harness without a sound, securing the straps and hops to your body.
  2. > A quick glance over the neighboring railing shows the nighttime Canterlot cityline.
  3. > A brisk chilly winds flies through the landscape, and passes over your grey coat, rustling your mane, hiding your horn.
  4. > You figure this is a good as any time to begin, and you secure the rope around the nearby pillar.
  5. > Drawing in a deep breath of nighttime air, you lean over the railing and begin your downwards trip towards the plateau bellow.
  6. > The only telling sound of your sneaky entrance is the squeaking of your harness and ropes.
  7. > The windows adjacent of your destination is pitch black, any potential visitors having left hours ago.
  8. > As your decent, more of the glass façade is revealed, you spy your target.
  9. > The Desert Stone.
  10. > A two hundred eighty carat diamond, hailing from the deep, rich mines of Saddle Arabia.
  11. > Gifted to Princess Celestia herself by the visiting Queen and King of Saddle Arabia on their last visit, the stone has been exhibited in the royal castle for curious visitors to see.
  12. > A priceless stone, which will surely net you enough bits on the grey market to last you the rest of your days in a nice suite in Las Pegasus.
  13. > Finishing your decline, you silently untie the harness, and leave the robe hanging, planning to make your esca-.
  14. > The dull sound of approaching hooves disturb your trail of thinking.
  15. > Reacting more by instinct than thought, you dive behind a large vase on the plateau.
  16. > With bated breath, you identify the source of the sound to be from a guard patrol. Two guardmares turn on the lights and enter the diamond exhibition room.
  17. > You can not hear what they’re saying, the glass is too thick. After looking around the room for a minute, one of them, an earth pony, begins talking to her partner.
  18. > The partner, a pegasi, smiles at her, seemingly acknowledging the silenced statement of the mare. Turning around, they both leave the room again, shutting off the lights as they exit.
  19. > You sit in your hiding spot, contemplating. Your informant told you that the castle guards would perform checks on the diamond every thirty minutes, in pairs of two.
  20. > It looks like she was right.
  21. > With silent haste, you cross the plateau, and press up against one of the glass doors connecting the exhibition with the outdoor plateau.
  22. > The plateau most likely function as a place for serving refreshments for the large amount of guests on hot days.
  23. > Eyeing the huge doors, you decide on a small piece of the large glass, close to the locking mechanism of the doors.
  24. > Standing up on your hind hooves, you rise up and position your horn horizontally against the vertical glass face.
  25. > Drawing upon your concentration, you begin conjuring a heat spell to melt the glass.
  26. > But just as quickly as you begin to let loose the spell, it fizzles out, shooting small sparks from your horn.
  27. > Cursing under your breath, you come to the realization that the stone is guarded by more than guards.
  28. > They must have placed a weak anti-magic field around the exhibition room when they closed it for the public. Usually, ponies can feel it, but too caught in concentrating on making a silent entry, you did not notice.
  29. > Pushing your head against the frame next to the glass, you sense it.
  30. > A faint, void-like feeling, emanates from behind the glass doors.
  31. > Scrunching your muzzle in irritation, you reach behind your back, and draw a small black cloth bag.
  32. > Carefully laying it down, you open it up, and find what you need.
  33. > A small suction cup, a headlight, and a small glass-cutting knife of gryphon steel is hoisted from the bag.
  34. > You will have to use your hooves for this one. You strap on the headlight, and move to the targeted glasspiece.
  35. > After having placed the suction cup on the glass, you begin scratching a rough circle in the surface, large enough for a hoof to pass through.
  36. > Finishing your cut, you carefully tap on the edges of the circumference to knock the shard loose.
  37. > You push your hoof through the hole, and unlock the door. Smiling, you stow away the glass piece and your tools back in the bag, leaving the headlight on.
  38. > The large doors open without problems, no sound coming from its well-oiled hinges.
  39. > As you enter, you notice that the anti-magic field seems to become stronger as you get closer to the diamond.
  40. > Must have placed the field on the pedestal the diamond is sitting on, you muse.
  41. > Taking a closer look on the Desert Stone, you find your eyes multiplied in the endless curves and sharp edges inside the stone.
  42. > Carefully, you lift up the glass montre protecting the diamond.
  43. > Placing the polished piece of glass down, you do not hear the soft ‘click’ coming from a hidden door.
  44. > Rising up again, and looking at the diamond, you ever so softly pick up the diamond from its small stand.
  45. > You do not hear the silenced steps from the black armor-clad biped, as it moves towards you, sneaking up on you.
  46. > Putting the diamond in your bag, you retrieve a cheap glass copy, sold in the castle’s giftshop. Setting the copy in its place, you do not sense how the feeling of magic nullifying grows.
  47. > Blowing air through your nose, you bend down to pick up the display case.
  48. > A strong armored claw dives down on you, snatching you up in its strong grip by the scruff of your neck.
  49. > Uttering a – marely – “eep!”, you are hoisted up effortlessly.
  50. > Turning your face to look on your assailant, you come face to non-pony face. Lighted by your headlight, the cold glare from the small hard eyes set the creature apart from anything in Equestria.
  51. > Hard sharp facial features as if cut from stone. A full beard gives its – evidently male - face a staunch facade of authority. His nose looks like it hails from a hawk.
  52. > Your gaze trails from the beings face downfards, past the neck, and spy a small insignia placed on the left side of the chestpiece.
  53. > “Hi, my name is Anonymous”, it reads. A small smiley face stands beside the happy message in stark contrast to the owner’s clear lack of amusement.
  54. > Anonymous the humon…
  55. > The princess’s newest study and addition to the royal guard.
  56. > If you concentrate hard enough, you might be able to kno-.
  57. > Feeling your spells slip away from your grasp, like beer on a coated bar table, you come to the realization that his armor is enchanted as well.
  58. > No, not the armor. He is. The rumors really are true.
  59. > How his very presence exhausts even the staunchest grandmages, suffocating their magics.
  60. > You gulp.
  61. > His raw power being second only to the princesses themselves, lifting more than the even the strongest minotaurs, hitting harder than the biggest earthpony can buck.
  62. > You need an adult.
  63. > His ebony mithril armor forged by the best smiths in Canterlot, engraved with 9th tier runes by Grand Magus Twilight Sparkle herself.
  64. > … You need a second adult.
  65. > A chilling sensation passes through the fur on your face as the crea- Anonymous exhales. Sighing?
  66. > Seeing him raise his second claw up towards you, you shy back.
  67. > The claw moves towards your face, and with a soft ‘click’ from the headlight, the statue in front of you is bathed in darkness again. Only the pale moon outside offers a bit of lighting.
  68. “U-uhbu…?” is all you manage to stammer.
  69. > “You are a bad pony.” A condescending baritone voice sounds from the armor-clad behemoth.
  70. > N-no, you’re not.
  71. > Drawing in air to voice your disapproval, you are interrupted.
  72. > “Who’s your informant?”, he asks. His deep tone sounded faintly like a stallions. If a stallion weighed two hundred pounds, that is.
  73. > Now, you ain’t no snitch. Trying your luck, you turn up your marely charm, puffing up your chest and do the eye thingy all the colts down in the bar loves.
  74. “I-uh… I’m a-alone”, you stammer, putting all your marely fashion to show.
  75. > Top job, filly.
  76. > It was pathetic. A feeling of almost palpable annoyance flows from his eyes.
  77. > The giant stands up straighter and [spoiler]boops[/spoiler] you hard in the chest, deflating your tuft. He continues.
  78. > “You knew the guards schedule.”
  79. > You raise your eyebros involuntarily.
  80. > “Why else would you have entered so shortly after the passing of the last patrol”, he continues.
  81. > “I ask again. Who. Is. Your. Informant?” His deep voice echoes throughout the room, as he accentuates each word with another poke in your chest.
  82. > You’re screwed, you want to go home.
  83. > This was like back in the day, when your dad was disappointed in you for failing a math test. Only a hundred times worse.
  84. > All your faults, mistakes, successes and victories were laid bare in front of the commanding snarl from this spooky creature. His icy sight peeling away any shred of hope or chance of escape.
  85. > Gathering up your wits, you open your mouth to answer.
  86. > Before you utter a single word, the golem starts rattling you up and down, clearly impatient by your hesitance.
  87. > “I want the truth, missy.”
  88. “Y-yes sir”, You blabber. “I got my info from G-Gilded Tome. Met her in The Washed Carriage, d-down by the docks.”
  89. > Grumbling, Anonymous seems to consider your answer.
  90. > “What’s your name, pony?”, he finally asks.
  91. “I’m Lily, Lily Pond.” You answer automatically.
  92. > “You’re coming with me.”
  93. > Oh dear.
  94. > Anonymous begins dragging your butt across the room, and opens one of the doors to a brightly lit hall.
  95. > You spot half a dozen guards nervously eyeing you.
  96. > No, not you.
  97. > Him.
  98. > “I found this one inside the exhibition; trying to leave with the Stone. Replace the center glass in the left door to the terrace, refresh the anti-magic fields, and place two pairs of guards inside the room at all times.”
  99. > “Y-yes sir!” a guard shouts, giving a staunch salute.
  100. > “Replace the guards at a one hour interval”, he continues. “I want this place locked down on security from tonight and onward.”
  101. > “Even in the d-day times, sir?” another guard asks.
  102. > His head, having been standstill the entire time, turns and looks at the questioning mare.
  103. > “E-Especially the day times, got it!” she quickly answer herself.
  104. > His eyes narrow a fraction of a degree.
  105. > “SIR!” the mare nervously shouts.
  106. > Grumbling an acknowledgement, Anonymous begins marching down the hall with you in tow. As soon as his eyes left the guards, they begin franticly running around carrying out his orders.
  107. > Following the eyes of some of the guards as they run around, you see them steal small glimpses of Anonymous. Either filled with downright fear, or hesitant longing, they all fall upon his broad hulking form.
  108. > Having been dragged for a couple of minutes now, you nervously take your chance and ask the black geared humon.
  109. “S-sir?”
  110. > Hearing a grunt to let you know he has heard you, you proceed.
  111. “Can I please walk on my own hooves?”
  112. > Stopping for a second, he seems to ponder this. He places you down in front of him, and looks you in the eyes.
  113. > “You walk in front. You follow my directions. You try anything funny, I leave you in the [spoiler]naughty fillies corner for fifteen minutes, before taking you to the princess.”[/spoiler]
  114. > Gulping loudly, you nod.
  115. > “Good. First turn on the right.”
  116. > Following his instructions through the castle takes you deeper into the old halls, than you have never been before on any school tour.
  117. > As you walk, you notice how the tapestry and banners lining the walls begin shifting in motive.
  118. > Moving away from bright colours and landscapes, the new motives share a darker hue, with more omnious depictions.
  119. “W-where are we going?” you ask.
  120. > Turning his head and giving you a small smirk, Anonymous replies.
  121. > “To the halls of the lady of the moon, Princess Luna, of course.” He says nonchalantly. You swear you see a fraction of a canine peak through his small pale lips in a grim smile.
  122. “Oh”, you reply.
  123. > Turning down to the left, you enter a large hallway. Down the end of the passage, you see a pair of large double doors, each imprinted with a lunar insignia.
  124. > Four heavily armed thestrals stand guard outside the doors. A series of pale magical lights a placed down the walkway, bathing the halls in their blue light.
  125. > Walking down the hall, you notice how the intensity of the lights begin to fade. As you come within proximity of one, it shuts off entirely. When you pass, the light begins spluttering back to life.
  126. > Anonymous…
  127. > The threstrals, all looking sharp ahead, begins taking nervous glances as the human comes closer.
  128. > One of them steps forward, clearly their superior officer, and commands, “Halt”.
  129. > You stop. Luckily, so did Anonymous.
  130. > “I am escorting a would-be thief to Princess Lunas court for interrogation and judgement. Let me pass.”
  131. > From the looks of things, Anonymous answer seems to confirm a suspension in the thestral. You spy a faint smirk in the corners of her lips.
  132. > “Ohoho, seems we have a strong independant stallion on our hooves, ladies. Now big guy, let’s talk about you. Why is a pretty piece like you walking around this part of the castle? Especially at this time of the night.”
  133. > Another of the guards chirps up, “Yea, ditch the loser and hang out with us instead.”
  134. > r00d.
  135. > Despite having been looking stiffly ahead of you, you still feel the renewed annoyance emanating from Anonymous.
  136. > These girls has evidently not met him before.
  137. > “I am Anonymous Incognito, Major Vanguard of the Rejoined Celestial Sisters, Blessed Anointed, and Lost Son of the Void. I demand you announce my presence at once”, he says in a voice that clearly states that he has repeated his titles more times than he would like a long time ago.
  138. > The officer, sensing that the guy isn’t interested in her advances mumbles a half-assed excuse about the court being busy.
  139. > “Announce my presence to Princess Luna”, he repeats.
  140. > “Now now, what’s with the hurry, love? We are just having a bit of chatting.” You swear you see one of the other thestrals cast a nervous glance at her colleague on the other side of the doors.
  141. > Moving past you, Anonymous steps in front of the officer. Bending his left knee, he kneels down in front of the mare. Still, his imposing height buys him at least a head and a half of height above the thestral.
  142. > Ever so carefully, he removes a gauntlet, revealing a soft claw similar to a minotaurs. Instead of the common three burly fingers, his is equipped with an extra two extra appendages. Long and slender. Delicate.
  143. > He reaches forwards with his claw and caresses the mare’s ears. A soft sigh escape the staunch guardmare. Her eyelids slowly closes.
  144. > “Now sweetie…”, he says in a sickly sweet voice. Gone are the underlaying threats of a full court martial and a public beating. An entrusting voice of gratitude, completely unrecognizable from before. A soft smile dances across his jaw.
  145. > His hand slowly reaches from her head back to her mane, gliding elegantly through her hairs.
  146. > Ever so nonchalantly, his fist closes around mane, gripping the thestral in a steel grip.
  147. > “Please let Luna now I am here”, his voice barely above a tender whisper. “Before I use your friends as a doorbell, and have you trialed for obstruction of royal decree.” His innocent smile reveals not a shred of malice, still maintaining its soft tone.
  148. > The thestral, clearly not expecting this answer, locks eyes with his. She casts a frantic look at the mare on her left.
  149. > “You heard the stallion. Announce him.”
  150. > “But ma’am, the court already has an ac-“
  151. > “I don’t give a buck, do it!”
  152. > The mare all but vanishes behind the heavy doors.
  153. > Looking on from the sidelines, you see Anonymous features has remained the same all the time. Only his eyes shines with a hidden complacency.
  154. > You notice his claw move to the officer’s scalp and firmly grab her head, and turns it to follow his as he rises from the floor again.
  155. > He smiles a broad grin, revealing an impressive range of teeth, with the occasional canine.
  156. > The mare, clearly scared out of her mind, only mutters a small “Huh?”
  157. > “Thank you”, he says.
  158. > “It w-was my p-privilege”, she stammers autonomously in response.
  159. > He turns back up to you, grabbing you in the scruff with a claw and moves you to stand patiently besides him by the door. None of the guards dares to look at him, only casting you the occasional curious glance.
  160. > The times snails past. You sitting still as a statue, the officer shaking faintly and the remaining guards standing at attention.
  161. > Anonymous rumages with his armor. He casts a lazy gaze down on a small pocket watch fished out from a hidden pocket.
  162. > After a few more eons of awkward silence, the doors open wide.
  163. > “A mister A. Incognito?”, a mare asks professionally. Her attire an obvious tribute to her works as a secretary.
  164. > “Yes, that is me,” Anonymous answers, moving away from the wall.
  165. > The secretary gives him a clear elevator look, indicating that an armored juggernaut would be the last of the expected visitors tonight.
  166. > “The uh-… the princess will see you now.”
  167. > “Perfect. Look alive, Lily.” As he steps over the doorstep, he turns his head around. “By your grace of course, ladies”, he says in mock gratitude at the guards.
  168. > No one answers.
  169. > A dark giggle escapes his lips. “I love my job”, he mumbles.

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