by Jay David

Chapter 1: Aid

Boredom was not something that Griffons dealt with easily, as Gilda and her companions now proved. An office in an Equestrian building was, admittedly, hardly the location one expected to find them, and yet, here they were, looking out at an impressive view of Manehattan beyond. Gilda, along with two others of her people, walked about impatiently while a nearby earth pony secretary simply sat at her desk typing away. However, it was clear that having a trio of large and dangerous-looking Griffons was far from an ideal circumstance for her. For a time, the only sounds in the room were that of her typing and the "tick-tock" of the lock upon the wall, but the silence from the Griffons themselves was soon broken when one of Gilda's companions, a female, finally let out a grunt of irritation.

"Ugh! We've been here and hour already! When is this guy gonna talk to us?!"

Gilda looked to her with a frown.

"A guy like this gets pretty busy, Greta. We're lucky he could squeeze us in at all."

Her other fellow Griffon, a burly-looking male, also grunted.

"We don't need no pony to help us!"

Gilda turned to him.

"Yes, Grunt, we do. Remember, these are Lunars we're up against. We need all the help we can get."

While her companions looked as though they'd have wanted to speak further on the matter, their talk was interrupted when, at last, the door of the nearby office opened, causing them to turn in unison towards it. There, a pink earth pony mare with a purple mane stepped out, giving them a quick bow of her head before speaking to them.

"Greetings. My name is Suri Polomare. Mr Morgan regrets making you wait for so long, but he is ready to see you now."

Gilda nodded back, then gestured to her friends, before then starting to follow this mare into the aforementioned office. They walked together in silence, with the door closing behind them, and one on the other side, they saw a much larger room, ornately decorated with a number of what appeared to be family portraits of some kind. Nobody said anything, but they soon found heir way to the end of the room, where an elderly-looking stallion was sitting at his desk, slowly writing on a few pieces of paper. Soon though, after Suri cleared her throat, he looked up to them, smiling a little.

"Ah! Welcome to Manehattan! Please, sit."

He gestured to the three chairs that had been assembled in front of the desk, and before long, all three Griffons had been seated, with Suri walking around that desk and standing beside her employer. For a few moments, Morgan simply continued his writing, leading to a deal of impatience on the part of the Griffons. But, when he was finally done, he set his quill aside and looked to them.

"Now then...how can I help you?"

Gilda looked to both of her companions before answering.

"You probably know already, but our home recently got taken over by the Lunar Kingdom."

Morgan nodded.

"Indeed. An unhappy state of affairs. The Princess herself is gravely disturbed by it, I can tell you."

Gilda leaned forward.

"My friends and I are part of a group that hopes to take our land back. To drive the Lunars out and make Griffonstone what is was before."

Morgan raised an eyebrow.

"Rebels? I see."

Greta spoke next.

"We know it'll be hard, but that's why we came to you. We're willing to fight, but we need resources."

Hearing that, Morgan sighed, looking down to his desk.

"Ah...you need funding for your fight?"

Gilda nodded, and for a time, their host said nothing, simply thinking over this proposal. But, after about a minute or two, he looked back up to them.

"Let me be honest with you all. I'm not happy about the Lunar Kingdom being in control of Griffonstone. Nopony is. It's something that has caused more talk and worry amongst its leadership than anything else at the moment."

Grunt smiled.

"So...you'll help us?"

Again, Morgan sighed.

"Princess Celestia has been made aware of the presence of an armed rebellion by your people for some time. However, she's made it clear that involvement on our part could seriously jeopardise our own relationship with the Lunars, however delicate it may be."

Gilda frowned.

"If she wants the Lunars out as much as we do, she should help us!"

But Morgan shook his head.

"I understand your frustrations. But consider. If we get involved, it may well lead to outright war with Queen Moon and her forces. Should we lose such a fight, all of Equestria could find itself under her banner, just like your home."

He narrowed his eyes.

"And that...is not something I'm willing to risk."

Greta spoke up again.

"But we can win this fight!"

The old stallion looked to her.

"How many Griffons do you have in this rebellion of yours?"

Though taken aback by the question, Greta soon turned to Gilda, who gave her a nod, which silently gave her permission to answer the question.

"Um...about twenty?"

Morgan considered that before continuing.

"How much territory do you have that can safely be said to have been kept out of Lunar hooves?"

Greta thought on that.

"We have our base...a cave system in the mountains far to the East of Griffonstone."

Morgan paused briefly.

"Just one cave system?"

Greta nodded, prompting him to continue.

"And how many victories have you won against the Lunars since your rebellion began?"

As before, Greta looked to Gilda, then back to Morgan, looking slightly embarrassed as she answered.

"Well...we broke Gilda out of her imprisonment."

Morgan nodded.


Greta hesitated briefly.

"And...that's it."

Hearing her friend's words, Gilda sighed. She already knew where this was going, and from the look on Morgan's face it appeared her instincts were correct, especially when he spoke in a rather tired tone of voice.

"So, in truth, you've accomplished no real victory against them. You're hidden from them in a place far from anywhere of any real importance...and your forces are so small that they couldn't actually defeat your enemies in even one battle."

He frowned.

"Is that assessment correct?"

Greta paused, as though this was the first time their situation had been so bluntly laid out in front of them. She turned to Gilda, who was now not even looking to her, before turning her eyes back to Morgan, shoulders slumping as she spoke.


For a time, the elder stallion kept silent, and even Suri, who had said nothing during this whole meeting, looked to him, curious to see what he'd do or say next. Slowly, the stallion's eyes drifted over every Griffon assembled before him, before finally settling on Gilda.

"I...I appreciate that you want your home back. But you must understand...this is not something I can help you with."

Gilda opened her mouth to speak, only to be halted by a raised hoof from Morgan.

"As a Minister of this country, I am not willing to defy my Princess' command that we not get involved with your conflict. And even if I was willing, it's clear that, even if you had my help, it would do you little good."

Slowly, his gave Gilda his undivided focus.

"Your fight...is an unwinnable one."

Gilda stared at him, shocked at what had been said, seeing him exhale deeply and lean back into his chair.

"I'm sorry...but there's nothing for you here."

That was the last thing he said to them, and Gilda looked to him, then to Suri, before settling back on the old stallion. After a time, she gave him a look of both disappointment and anger, with her two cohorts looking to her for what to do next. But, instead of retorting, Gilda just got up from her chair, never saying a word and heading back where they came from. Greta and Grunt followed, and before long, they were back out in the reception area outside Morgan's office. As she heard the door close behind her, Gilda let out an irritated groan, then walked over to the window, looking out at Manehattan below.

"I should've seen this coming."

Greta walked beside her.

"So...what now?"

Gilda frowned.

"The Equestrians...may still be able to help us."

Grunt raised an eyebrow to that.

"How? Your heard Morgan. He can't get involved."

Gilda nodded.

"You're right, they can’t get involved in our fight."

Slowly, she turned to the two of them.

"But we're not the only ones unhappy with the Lunars being around."

Hearing that, Greta's eyes widened.

"You...you mean...?"

Again, Gilda nodded.

"Yes. I didn't want to...but if we're going to make sure we're not in this fight alone...then it might be time to go elsewhere in Equestria..."

She looked back to the window, narrowing her eyes once more.

"...and help them start a fight of their own."

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