A Super Important Meeting

by RunicTreetops

Chapter 1: A Super Important Meeting

A Super Important Meeting

You let out a quiet, shaky breath as a bead of sweat slowly trails down the side of your face. You can feel your hands tremble in your lap, clasping tightly to the extremely important objects of interest that you were made responsible for. If somepony were to look at you, they would probably notice your unfocused eyes darting around the room, anxiously looking for signs of aggression from any of the individuals present.

The room is almost completely dark, save for a single light illuminating the large wooden table. If it wasn't for how nervous and sweaty you currently are, it would probably be chilly. Other than your own strained breathing, the room is completely silent. This is a secluded underground room near the back of Canterlot Castle. Few civilians know it exists. No civilians know what occurs within.

As Equestria's only human, you're used to being larger than most creatures you interact with. And yet, here, in this room, you've never felt more small. Seated to your right is Princess Twilight Sparkle, her barely illuminated face beneath her bangs appearing nearly as anxious as yours. To her right sits Princess Cadance of the Crystal Empire, wearing a well-practiced poker face. Next is Prince Shining Armor, Cadance's husband. His furrowed brow and piercing glare makes it clear that he means business, even if there is currently no discussion happening. After him sits Queen Novo of Hippogriffia, her beak curled upwards into an ominous sneer. Next to her is her daughter, Princess Skystar, a look of bewilderment belying her confident nature in situations such as this. Next to her, directly across the table from you, is Prince Rutherford of Yakyakistan. His thick coat makes it impossible to read his facial expression, but he is also typically not one to sit still or stay quiet for long. The fact that he is currently doing both does not ease the tension in the air. To his right is Dragon Lord Ember, looking as angry and unapproachable as usual. Every so often a brief puff of smoke floats harmlessly out of her nostrils. If looks could kill, you'd have died long ago. In the next chair sits King Thorax, leader of the Changeling Kingdom. He clearly does not want to be here right now and looks like he is doing his best to hold back tears. Next to him is Rain Shine, the Kirin elder. After years of complete silence, it seems that she has mastered the art of stoicism, showing no emotion whatsoever and making you even more uncomfortable. After her comes the now-retired Luna who, despite no longer being a princess, was still invited to this meeting out of respect. She looks nearly as angry as Ember and seems to be glaring across the table at Shining Armor, who is refusing to back down from her gaze. Finally, in the seat between yourself and Luna sits the mare that used to rule Equestria, Celestia. Much like Luna, she holds very little political power anymore, but she was still invited due to her close connections with many of the other individuals currently present. As nice as that is, you feel like she may have been pushing her luck when she dragged you, her spouse, along with her. Forget Celestia's retirement, you've never held any sort of political power at all. You really, really don't fit in with this crowd.

And you probably shouldn't be invited to super important meetings like this.

You attempt to nervously swallow but find your mouth woefully dry. As you glance around the room at the other creatures present, you can't help but wonder if these might be your last moments. Your next moves could very well be your undoing.

Sitting atop the center of the table is a pile of other objects, extremely similar to the ones you are holding. In fact, everycreature at the table has at least one of these objects. After all, these are the crux of this meeting.

The objects are all the same size, and you can easily fit many of them in one hand. They seem to come in four main colors, though there are a few that deviate from this. The patterns transcribed on them vary greatly, but you've noticed that most patterns are repeated on at least a few of them. You had things just like these back in your old world, but any interaction you may have had with them then would have nothing on the sheer pressure mounting in the room right now. It is clear that this meeting has placed a great deal of importance on these objects, and the various powerful figures around the table are extremely interested in them.

While the meeting was, at first, cordial and polite, the tone quickly changed as each member surrendered their objects, one at a time, clockwise around the table. No one has surrendered all of them yet, but as the numbers started to dwindle, the atmosphere became less and less inviting, with upbeat banter and discussion slowly devolving into arguments and cold shoulders. That too eventually devolved into the complete silence that you currently find yourself in. You look down at the objects in your hands. You only have two left. With the exception of Cadance, who only has one, you have the fewest remaining. Thanks to your skittish glances, you have picked up on the fact that as your hands become increasingly empty, you receive more and more stares from those around you. It would be appreciated if Ember would look at someone else, though.

Ah, she just redirected that fiery stare at Cadance. Phew, a moment of respite.

You probably shouldn't keep them waiting for too much longer. After all, in spite of your mounting stress, it is currently your turn to surrender another of these coveted objects. Sometime during the meeting the surrendering order was changed, so now everything is going counterclockwise. You briefly roll your shoulders, letting them pop as you prepare for what might be the last words to ever leave your mouth. It is in this moment that you notice your wife, Celestia, looking at you with a smile. However, this is not her typical warm, inviting smile. This smile is a challenge. A warning. A threat.

And yet, you have no choice. Judging by the patterns that you've picked up on throughout the course of this meeting, there is only one action you can really take. With your face now absolutely drenched in sweat and all eyes on you, you slowly raise one of the objects towards the table and meekly toss it into the pile. You tremble a bit as you turn towards Twilight.

"Umm..." You try to lick your lips, but your mouth is uncomfortably dry. Your words are shaky and, in any other context, would be barely audible. However, thanks to the dead silence of the room, everycreature hears as you stutter out your next words. "Uh... Uno. Draw four."

All at once the silence turns into a cacophony of hoots, hollers, yells, groans, and everything in between. The table shakes a little bit, causing the not-so-neat pile of cards at the center of the table to become even less neat. Thankfully, Rutherford has been pretty good at holding in his "smashing" tendencies, but that isn't stopping him from yelling at nothing in particular as he violently begins rocking the table harder. Meanwhile, there is an outright argument breaking out between Ember and Shining Armor.

"I TOLD you it was a draw four!"

"What do you want me to do about it? There are two seats between us!"

Cadance and Rain Shine simply stare at the events unfolding before them, both completely expressionless as the room becomes more chaotic. Thorax and Skystar recoil in their seats, seemingly trying to avoid confrontation. Luna and Novo watch each other closely, apparently having some sort of silent conversation that only they can understand. Your lovely wife just giggles at the madness you have caused. Finally, Twilight stares back at you. You were expecting her to be upset, but she instead looks at you with the cockiest grin you've ever seen. Just what is she up to?

You watch her take one of the three cards held in her hooves and levitate it towards the unkempt pile of cards on the table.

"You're not the only one with a draw four."

She gives you a wink as you look past her. Cadance finally drops the poker face and is instead getting quite flushed with anger. The one card remaining in her hooves looks as though it's about to get crushed. If that pristine card gets bent, you might have to start causing some problems.

"You can't play a draw four on a draw four! You have to skip your turn! It's in the rules!"

Across the table, you hear Rain Shine chime in, her voice still as stoic as ever.

"House rules, Princess Cadance. We covered this before we began playing."

"That's ridiculous!"

Novo butts into the conversation, her voice seeming much more confident than earlier in the meeting.

"You sure didn't seem to have a problem throwing down a plus two after Twilight played a plus two on you earlier, and that's against the rules too!"

"Yeah, but... but... ARGH!"

This is perhaps the angriest you have ever seen Cadance, but she reluctantly begins drawing from the pile, easily giving her the largest hand at the table.

And luckily for you, most of the attention from the resolution of those stressful, silent moments is directed towards Twilight and Cadance rather than yourself. You breathe a sigh of relief as you relish in the fact that you might live to see another day after all.

The rest of the trip around the table was much less stressful. At the very least, the room isn't silent any more. There are several angry ponies that could vaporize you in an instant, sure. But really, you're in danger of that happening every time you accidentally wake Tia up too early, so you're kind of used to it. Twilight sets the color, Cadance skips her turn, and Shining Armor, Novo, Skystar, Rutherford, Ember, Thorax, and Rain Shine each play uneventful cards, with both Rutherford and Ember excitedly yelling "Uno" before they can be called out. Finally, Luna silently plays a green six card. She turns to Celestia, who fails to hold back her laughter, drawing the attention of everyone at the table. When she finally stops laughing, you feel her wrap a large wing around the back of your chair. Is she trying to comfort you, or is she trying to mock you?

"I'm sorry, sunshine. I know that you must be getting really excited about winning the game. After all, I know your last card is a green nine." She confidently slams one of her three cards onto the table. A yellow six. "But I am afraid I'm going to have to change the color. Enjoy drawing more cards, darling!"

The room is filled with raucous laughter. Amidst the noise, you notice Skystar try to hold back her joy as she looks at you.

"Sorry, but that's just how it goes at these meetings!"

She returns to her laughing fit as you look around the table. It seems that the tension from earlier has finally melted away. Even Rain Shine can't help but crack a smile at the sudden joy filling the room. Despite you being the one getting laughed at, you feel a sense of peace start to wash over you. Maybe these meetings aren't so bad after all. And what do you know? It's your turn again.

"Sorry, Tia, but you're mistaken about one thing."

You give a genuine smile to no one in particular as you place your final card onto the table. Another draw four.

The cocky smile on Celestia's face suddenly disappears. All at once, you feel your feet go cold, with the hairs on the back of your neck standing up. The entire room falls back into silence. You don't even need to look up to be able to read the room. You let out another quiet, shaky breath as a familiar bead of sweat slowly trails down the side of your face.

Meetings are the worst.

Author's Note

Thank you so much for reading! As always, I appreciate any and all feedback!

Return to Story Description


Login with