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Quiververse Bonus Reel - Vignette TwelveVignette #12 – Princess Luna Micro-Comic / The Day Shift Princess Luna found herself…perturbed. Things had started off well enough. She had just finished her duties for the evening, which thanks to the guidelines set in place by the treaty with the Nyx had recently been streamlined in regards to her dreamwalking. Thus, the evening had been spent on patrols with the Night Guard warding off dangerous creatures in one corner of Equestria or another, and she hardly found herself exhausted come the morning. How much of that was due to the coffee she’d consumed remained a question for another time. Still, when she had reunited with Celestia to transition from the Court of the Night to that of the Day, her elder sibling had started going on about bureaucracy and meetings and delegates. Such challenges were, of course, trivial compared to fending off owlbears and bugbears and lumber bears and assorted other ursine derivatives, and Luna had declared she would handle them. She was, after all, her sister’s equal, and some months had passed since her return, so if ever there was a time for her to prove she could carry her sister’s duties, it was now. If Celestia could handle the duties of day and night for a thousand years, then she could carry the burden for twenty-four hours. She hadn’t quite reckoned with Kibitz, however. Competent as he was, the stallion was an insufferable killjoy, rushing her from one place to another. Still, compared to that… “And then, we’re going to polish our armor to a gleaming shine!” The pegasus guardstallion before her had an eager smile on his face alongside a fuzzy mustache that looked more like a caterpillar than anything else. “And after that, we have an appearance at a bake sale…!” He then noticed the befuddled expression on his sovereign’s face. “Ma’am?” “Polishing armor? Bake sales?” Luna turned to Kibitz with disbelief. “This is how the Royal Guard is attending to its duties?” “We are going through a peaceful spell, your Highness.” “We were attacked by a horde of changelings but a mere fortnight ago! Patrols should be heightened, our security measures re-evaluated! Whilst I am in agreement that we should be attempting to reassure the population that we have returned to normalcy, we should not be letting our guard down!” “Well ma’am, we do plan on patrolling the Everfree Forest!” the cheerful stallion reported. “Ah! Proactive thinking if ever I have heard it!” “Thank you, ma’am!” The stallion fought back a snicker as he reported, “The last time a patrol went, we thought…” Another guardstallion approached, this one more familiar with orange-yellow fur and blue eyes. “Captain Hot Fuzz, I don’t think we need to bore the princess…” “Nonsense!” The first pony continued, “The lieutenant here thought that he saw a monster, but it was really an opossum!” Luna raised an eyebrow at the second stallion. “Lieutenant Flash Sentry?” The stallion was clearly embarrassed as he explained, “In my defense, ma’am, the marsupial in question was in shadow and had very sharp teeth.” Her newfound companion yawned, and thus displayed his own impressive dental work, which prompted a nod from Luna. “Tiberius raises a fair point. Dismissed, all of you.” She watched them return to their rounds, then turned to Kibitz. “Has my sister not done anything regarding our national security since this most recent incident?” “Princess Celestia has brought up what happened with Minister Blacklight, ma’am, and steps are being taken to prevent another invasion.” Luna frowned, and found herself wishing that she’d been awake for the invasion now more than ever. “What’s next, then?”- “Paperwork. Award ceremonies. Disputes that are better left for the courts to resolve. Appearances at school openings. Lather. Rinse. Repeat. All with a smile.” Luna gave the mustachioed unicorn a most regal frown as she amended, “And all that he allowed me to eat were bran biscuits. Bran. Biscuits.” “One must look after one’s colon, your Highness.” “Our colon can look after itself! I needed sugar! Protein! Proper sustenance! At least a cup of decaffeinated coffee!” As Luna whumped forward in exhaustion, Celestia sighed. “Kibitz, has everything for the day been resolved?” “Of course, your Highness.” “Excellent. You’re dismissed.” As her aide went on his way, Celestia approached her sister. “Not quite as easy as you thought it would be, was it?” “No,” her sibling answered with a groan. “And I shall be having nightmares about those children noticing my forced smile.” Luna raised her head and asked, “Why must there be multiple meetings with the same delegation? Can you not have one meeting, and resolve all of their business at once? And maintaining a smile the entire day! How do you do it?” “Not easily.” Celestia wrapped a wing around her younger sibling and explained, “That’s another reason why I’m so glad that you’re back. I have someone that I can let my defenses down with, and not have to present a constant queenly mask.” The younger sibling glared, and the elder rolled her eyes at her gaffe. “You know what I meant.” “Still, one does not enjoy being reminded of how you looked after this nation for a thousand years whilst I was… unavailable.” “Not alone. And if it helps, Luna, I doubt I could do anything that you do nearly as well.” Her sister turned to her in surprise as Celestia elaborated, “You monitor the dream realm for threats and dangers. You help to keep all those things that go bump in the night at bay, which is much more difficult than dealing with the daylight terrors. And I think after everything you’ve dealt with today that you’ve earned a night off.” Luna sighed. “Perhaps the exhaustion will prevent those feared nightmares from coming.” She stood up and asked, “But why address the disputes? As I said, the courts can easily deal with such things.” “And they do, at least the vast majority. But there are some cases that I find the need to look into personally, otherwise we risk someone getting lost in the system and forgotten.” Celestia smiled. “And it helps me to feel like I’m doing something for the citizenry directly. I can’t enter a dream and soothe their spirits, after all.” The younger of the two allowed herself a grin. “No, but even I can’t do that whenever I please.” She then made her way to her chambers with an opossum riding upon her back and waving goodbye and promised, “I shall check in at breakfast. Good evening, Celie.” “Good evening, Luna. Rest well.” Celestia watched her sister go with a sigh. She’d gotten a day off, and now it was Luna’s turn to do the same. Experience taught her that it was always wise to get rest while you could, before things got exciting again. Which reminded her, she needed to check with the northern patrols. For all she knew, some brave yak had crossed the frontier seeking to renew ties with Equestria....
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