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[Saraneighvo] Plans in the Library (Closed; EPIC HQ Team)

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Joining the REA was a big choice for Dexter. Choosing to relocate for a top secret team after being accepted for it by the princesses was even bigger. Now he was elected to be the leader? Dexterhad no idea how his life lead to this, but if he could take down threats to Equestria from the shadows, he'd be fine with it, but still... leader for a griffon whom barely had any combat training? Sure he was smart, logical, exacting... but he knew very little of combat and knew everything about science and cornering opponents... OK... perhaps he was the right choice to lead... He had hoped that the first meeting of the new team would well... be with the whole team as small as it was... But alas he was given two pieces of intel by the princesses who had chosen him and had sent out orders to other team members to chase down the leads. Sending out two teams, one to Maretonia and another to Whitescar was rather difficult especially since he only had dossiers to work off of to make his choices... he could only hope his insight was effective. All in all, including himself, only six members were left for the first official meeting of EPIC.

A coded message with a cypher was sent out. The latter by word of mouth from agents so that it would not be easily broken. It went out to all members of EPIC detailing instructions on how to get to the HQ which was hidden in the Saraneighvo branch of the Equestrian Library. Entering through the back entrance and opening up a secret stairwell in the floor using a rather ingenious mechanism, which was apparently set up during more troubling times... Still it made for a good hidden base. On paper Dexter had been re-stationed in Saraneighvo's base, and the head librarian was a former REIN agent who was given a briefing. All loose ends were tied and all Dexter had to do was hold a simple meeting to discuss what the team was, and discuss any pertinent matters, including determining positions within EPIC itself. Dexter was smart enough to know that he was ill equipped to lead the team to full competency. 

At the center of secret basement room was rather large round table with a map of Equestria and the surrounding lands on it. To the back of the room were filing cabinets that had any information the REIN and the Princesses had on any enemies of Equestria, including WRAITH. There were several non-designated rooms, and a fully stocked kitchen as well. 

Dexter looked at the odd collection of members in front of him... "Welcome to EPIC Headquarters. I am the appointed leader Dexter Silverbeak, REA Investigative Specialist. You have all been chosen or volunteered to be a part of this organization to prevent enemies of Equestria gaining the upper talon...or hoof." Dexter made a basic introduction. "I trust you all have read the materials given to you so we can keep the introductions brief and get down to business quickly... After all... Time is our most valuable commodity, and it is not to be wasted."

Edited by starswirlthebearded
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Zecoralux_zps9639adbb.png

 

It wasn't a decision Zecora took lightly, leaving the safety of her home for extended periods of time and joining a previously unheard of group. But after experiencing the invasion of the Crystal Empire and seeing one of her dear friends, Princess Twilight Sparkle, injured and almost captured things changed. Not to mention the fact that she barely made it out of the crumbling spire herself unscathed. Near death changes a pony or in this case Zebra as she realized that it didn't do well to stay in her hut in the Everfree Forest and hope that the monsters would go away. She had to face the monsters head on. And so she resolved to lead a double life, the kindly sage and potion maker who ponies visited to treat their ills, and a tactician and adviser at HQ. While she wasn't a fighter she hoped her skills could be of use. 

 

Now she was in a city miles away from Ponyville in a secret base beneath a library. 

 

Welcome to EPIC Headquarters. I am the appointed leader Dexter Silverbeak, REA Investigative Specialist. You have all been chosen or volunteered to be a part of this organization to prevent enemies of Equestria gaining the upper talon...or hoof." Dexter made a basic introduction. "I trust you all have read the materials given to you so we can keep the introductions brief and get down to business quickly... After all... Time is our most valuable commodity, and it is not to be wasted."

 

Zecora merely nodded, not wanting to waste much time either. Looking at her fellow members, she only recognized one pony, a blue unicorn mare, from the gala turned escape from the spire. At least that's who she could remember from all the chaos. 

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Only a few weeks had passed since the incidents of the Crystal Empire had transpired and the caribou had attacked them during what should have been a routine fair. Little did Ice Storm know that during that routine fair, she was going to be stuck on the top floor of a collapsing tower with one of the princesses unconscious on her back as she tried to get out of the tower as quickly as she could. She remembered the day like it was just yesterday and she thought back through the events that followed. Many things have been amiss recently and she didn't know how well things were going to be progressing now, one thing that she did know though, she was now some member of a secret organization.

 

She heard about the organization through something that she had received from the postal ponies in an envelope labeled extremely urgent. She'd gotten things like this all the time in the mail from various spam mail providers wanting her business, but this one caught her attention. Primarily, it was the fact that this envelope was sealed with the Equestrian Seal that caught her by surprise. When she opened the envelope she found some sort of form, and a brief message telling her to fill out the provided form and send it back and they would get back with her, and that she was to talk to no pony about receiving this letter. At first she thought it was a hoax or a ploy or something of the like, but she also thought that it would take a lot of work on somepony's part to replicate that seal. She filled out the form and sent it back as requested and here she was now after receiving an encrypted message that she was supposed to report to the library in Saraneighvo through a secret entrance.

 

She was skeptical at best but she was also given word that she had been accepted into the program and that she would be meeting up with other agents at the headquarters to begin briefings immediately. Once again, this had the Equestrian seal on it. Without a second thought, she got onto the train and made her way to the designated meeting location after making sure she was properly stocked on all of the supplies that she would need, as she was sure this was going to be a multi-night endeavor. She got off of the train and made her way towards the library. "Okay... I'm looking for a back entrance... and some sort of stones...." she said to herself spotting the back alley. "Aha!" she blurted.

 

She galloped down the alley until she reached the door at the end and made her way inside. She found the stones that she was supposed to be looking for thanks to a small note that she had reminding her of the order that she had to activate them in, she activated the entrance. Once open, she began making her way down the spiral staircase until she reached the bottom and flowed out into a large room with many others branching off of them. She went back to set things down in one of them before reporting back to the main room that had a map on a table as well as a few other ponies, including the zebra that she had seen from the Faire. She remembered the numbing salve that she applied to her and how it helped her relax through the stinging from the wound that she had received until she could get to the Crystal Empire Medical Center for proper treatment.

 

She then listened as the commander, or at least whom she presumed was the commander spoke to them. He told them that they were either chosen to be here, or volunteered to be here and to be a part of the organization to help. He trusted that they had read the materials given to them so that they could keep the introductions brief to salvage as much time as possible as it wasn't a commodity that they had to spared. She nodded. She had read it a few times, but paper trails can only cover so much in such a small amount of time. She had a vague idea of who the ponies were, but the only one she truly remembered was the Zebra. Perhaps the others weren't actually at the Faire when everything went down, so that would make sense. She had also gathered from the readings that there were more ponies supposed to be here than this. There was brief mentions of two other missions that were going on at the time, but thankfully Ice Storm had been called to the HQ. If it could be avoided she wasn't a pony that liked to go into scenarios not knowing about anything to expect. "So, what's on the table for today's meeting?" she asked following suit with the commander, not wanting to waste any time before getting to work.

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Three months. Three short months since the attack on the Crystal Empire and yet it seemed like it was even less. Swift Squall of the Noble House of Squallcoast was busy, even more so then usual. For example, how many ponies could say that they had opportunity to visit their own grave? Not many that's for sure. It was operation time consuming, that required pulling the strings of not only Squall's own numerous contacts but also those of Princess as well. But if one would ask what was the most difficult, unicorn would answer it was necessity of placing the burden of sorrow on shoulders of his friends. In the end only eight were informed about the ruse. His parents, his grandfather, his own butler Oak Branch, Princess, the appointed leader of the EPIC and...Fire.

It's true, Squall extended pressure on Her Highness, this being his condition for joining. Sadness of his friends was one things, but Swift Squall neither would allow nor bear making his sweetheart cry for him. Fortunately she was appointed as the member of the formation as well.but still.

So only eight. Only eight were informed of this ruse, as Squall disappointed into the wildness of Equestria, in search of his old teacher and bettering of his own skills. The savage fight at the Crystal Heart made him realize that his skills weren't as sharp as the used to be. That he became sloppy.

Being the pony that he was, Swift choose one the most harsh environments of Equestria for his training, the scotched deserts of Pinto and mountains surrounding it. And while he himself worked to once again turn his muscles to iron, and his reflexes to lightning, his contacts slowly gathered the materials and equipment that he predicted could be useful.

 

And so after murderous training here he was, in the underground depths  of Saraneighvo library, his face covered by cloth and his now reforged body wrapped in robes. Moving around the city was hard for a 'dead' pony, especially if he wanted to stay 'deceased' in the mind of public opinion.

Squall found it ironic that right now they used a means probably not unlike those who they were formed to oppose. For once it indeed seemed that the best method to fight fire was with fire itself.

 

After the griffon finished his introductory speech, unicorn proceeded with words of his own.

"And yet we must take it, for haste is a bad advisor." said the stallion, his face still covered by hood.

"Dexter Silverbeak. A prime example of the gifted member of Aquelian noble family. REA leading expert on forensic science and criminology. Multiple graduate Magna Cum Laude of Talonopolis Univeristy of High Sciences totaling in seven degrees. First served in Talonopolis Investigative Division but left due to lack of work. Joined Royal Equestrian Army about two weeks after moving in before moving up the ranks. Present one currently classified. Also discoverer of AR Particles and it's application in criminal science." summed up the stallion.

 

After which he removed his hood.

No doubt to the shock of many present, bar the Dexter himself. After Swift Squall's passing and funeral was on the covers of all Equestrian titles, so appearance of unicorn who by all means should be dead was at least a little unexpected. How many noble and heir of billions bit worth wealth kicked the bucket?

"It's refreshing to see that government isn't shy when it comes to gathering the best specialists. I look forward to see the visible application of those skills Mister Silverbeak." nobelpony complimented the griffon, apparently completely ignoring the reaction of others at the sight of suddenly 'resurrected' unicorn. At least for the time being.

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The elder Ironwing said nothing as Dexter first introduced himself, having met with the new commander of the task force just hours before the meeting proper.  The new recruits moved in, clustering at the table as Dexter began his briefing.  The group was multifarious, consisting of all species, and all of them were obviously intelligent and trustworthy enough to have found the safehouse entrance in good time.

 

By a quick headcount they were still waiting on one more, but the colonel was sure that she would show soon enough.  He'd never known the Crystal Guard to balk at a challenge, especially considering their history with combating tyranny and oppression in the past.  In his head, Ironwing checked off the rest.

 

Ironwing was glad that the administration still saw fit to assemble task forces according to immediate need.  While it did not substitute for a proper SOF unit with rapid response capabilities, it was far more agile than attempting to muster guard forces for investigations or area lockdowns.  The latest case had been presented to him via courier prior to the meeting, but he’d prefer to have Dexter brief the team.  After all, he was merely an advisor, lending years of military expertise to the cause.

 

The elder stallion remained silent and stoic, standing next to Dexter with writing pad in hoof and pencil tucked behind his ear.

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In returning to the world from the abyssal curse placed upon her empire, Alexandrite Titlt had found herself at something of a loss. She had twice failed her empire when it needed her, allowing Sombra to take control and failing in her attempt to free him. To have the empire restored in a new era, with a new princess--it had felt empty to her. Had they really deserved to have their shadows erased? Did they deserve Cadenza mi Amore when not a one of them could protect the prior empress? Somehow, a part of Alexa had long felt she more deserved to be in that dark dungeon where the king had placed her, weakened and bound, free of hope.

 

That had all changed in one day. The resurrected Sombra's invasion with the caribou, it had come to her as a deep reminder of what it meant to be a Crystal Pony. For a crystal pony, love was their magic. it was the love and the light within them which powered the Crystal Heart, the radiance of which could be felt all across Equestria. What she was was not small and not hopeless. Against evil, the power of the crystal pony, was perhaps in fact, more precious a thing than could ever be accounted for.

 

Lilac had showed her that. She had met the dancer not long after Sombra's curse was lifted and had been fascinated by her ever since. It was a cliche, Alexa knew, but truly it had been a love forged at first sight, though long had Alexa avoided admitting it to herself. Then on that day, for Lilac and her love she had been forced to stand strong and fight with everything she had to protect what it was that was important to her. In the process of warding off Sombra's invasion, the two of them had fully realized their love. Now, fuelled by the dances she had shared with her partner, Alexandrite found her spirits soaring and her attitude greatly changed.

 

The light and love within the world to which the crystal pony was shepherd was too precious a thing. Alexandrite was no longer contented to be merely a guard, standing poised and ready for those who would seek to threaten it. Instead, any who might seek to make themselves and enemy of love needed to be rooted our and dealt with. Sombra nor any vile beast like him needed never to threaten the empire again.

 

it was in expressing thoughts like that to her that Princess Cadance saw fit to recommend Alexandrite to join EPIC. For the opportunity, Alexa was nothing but grateful.

 

She was somewhat late in arriving at the location that was to be EPIC headquarters. She had never been to Saraneighvo, and like so many of the cities of this strange and foreign era, it in part confounded her. She had gotten somewhat lost en route to the library, but not incredibly so. Where once she might have been early, she found herself instead a couple minutes late in her arrival. Inside, she strode with confidence to her seat and joined the others.

 

"I apologize for the lateness of my arrival," she said slowly, looking at the others gathered there, none of whom she was personally very familiar with. "I am Alexandrite Tilt of the Crystal Empire. It is a pleasure to make your acquaintance. I look forward to working with you all."

 

She went quiet after this and studied the faces. She had read the materials the princess had provided her with regarding the assignment and as a result knew who her companions were supposed to be, though she could not yet place names with faces.

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"You are fine Miss Tilt. You have not missed anything, assuming you have read everything sent to you as well. If so we can skip any formality and get down to business."

 

As the last of those summoned to HQ entered into the hidden basement. Dex knew he said to keep the introductions brief but the almost complete lack of introductions was somewhat odd. Dex supposed that the rest of them felt the same about wasting time, and there was much to discuss the matters at hand. Probably the first of which would be discussing the roles of everyone present. At least two present were almost purely support members, those being Zecora and Ironwing. Still, Dex supposed the first real order of business, at least for him, would be to exercise his position of leader to bring down Swift Squall a bit. He read up on him, a talented warrior, and from an affluent family so he was used to a certain treatment, which he would not be getting from Dex.

 

Dex glanced at the 'deceased' Swift Squall... "I thank you for your introduction...of me...Mr Squall... However if you are going to introduce someone you would do well to get the information correct. I graduated Summa Cum Laude, and I have eight degrees not seven, having recently completed the course work for criminal psychology. Also... what in the world are AR Particles? Actually, no, don't answer that. I've done much research and discovered many things that have been integrated into the forensic sciences. But now is not the time or place for that." Dex didn't enjoy doing that, but it needed to be done. Now that that was out of the way he saw fit to answer the next question from the pony known as Ice Storm. "As for what is on the docket for today's meeting, determining everyone's role, discussing our greatest enemy and target WRAITH and other relevant information for threats against Equestria." Dex looked around at those present. "Naturally the first order is determining what everyone here will be doing. There are three main positions in EPIC, Strike force, Informational Gathering and General support. Most will be in the strike force, but that does not mean those are locked into that position, I am willing to accept anyone who can contribute to any team. For instance, I'm quite intent on having Zecora, our resident Zebra, be of the support team. She has great aptitude for alchemy and potions. This would be a great aid in creating usable potions for our purposes. As it were it would also allow her to work largely from her home in the Everfree, however she too may be called to service in the field from time to time. Consequently, Zecora, you may take any room to make into a potion room here at HQ. I would also like to appoint a member to be a field combat adviser. All things will be discussed, and we will likely be much delving into those files back there. If anyone here has talents that may not be outlined in their dossiers, please speak now so we can better determine positions."

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Zecora watched as the others filed in after her. True to her expectations Ice Storm appeared after her looking ready to get started. The mare had been through much more than most ponies and recalling those events she was clearly one who helped lead the evacuation of those from the Spire. Sometimes it took a jarring event like that to change one's mind as Zecora also knew, and this mare had the look of making sure none of her friends would have to experience that again. She gave a reassuring smile to the mare as she entered, hoping to allay any worries. 

 

The strangest thing by far came when a hooded figure started to praise the leadership of the group before revealing his identity to the others. Was this pony one with a taste for dramatics or was there a reason for his introduction? Clearly there was something that was missing from Zecora's mind about this pony, but one thing was certain, the group's leader didn't look like one as a griffon who needed to be introduced in such a way. 

 

Then there was an elderly pony who clearly had the battle hardened look of a pony in the military. He said nothing but merely stood there with his piercing eyes, examining everypony or zebra as if to determine their worth in this group. Lastly there was a Crystal pony who also was from the military. She of all ponies the Zebra knew had the hardest time having seen her homeland reduced to ruin. Clearly Alexandrite had a mission to prevent those events from happening gain, but there was something else, a look like she didn't want to repeat some past events. 

 

With the members assembled it was time for the business to be started. Dex explained her position quite clearly, being a support group to EPIC. She had no qualms being support as although the Zebra was able to show her physical strength, she was more apt to guiding and making potions. She was also thankful to have mentioned that she would be largely working out of the Everfree Forest where most of the plants necessary for her potions were. She had yet to see what the climate of Saraneighvo was in perhaps cultivating them also here and she dared not disrupt the ecosystem here, especially given the nature of the Everfree Forest. 

 

"Thank you for your explanation Mister Silverbeak. I certainly agree with what he did speak. I am as he said Zecora, a humble potion making Zebra. I was born in the lands of Unyasi and now make my home in the forest known as the Everfree. There much of the herbs and other notions are gathered to make my potions. I have to see if these plants can grow in the climate of Saraneighvo and if they can be done safely being from the wild Everfree. I will be happy to offer guidance on potions true, but also of lands that I have been to. I am certain there will be a room for me to test grow plants and make potions easily." 

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Really? The commander just told them that time was of the essence here and that everypony should have read their dossiers on everypony else and this hooded pony comes in out of nowhere and gives this long spiel about the commander? Ice Storm rolled her eyes. If he was trying to impress anypony here, he certainly wasn't doing a good job in succeeding. In fact, when the commander told him that he was wrong on a few accounts, it took every bit of Ice's restraint not to smirk. They had more important things to worry about than who did what in the past.

 

As both him and the commander finished speaking though, another pony came into the room. Two more actually, one of them a Crystal Pony that introduced herself as Alexandrite Tilt, and the other kinda remained silent. Ice gave the both of them a nod as the commander addressed her question about what was on the agenda for today's meeting. He informed everypony that today was going to be primarily about finding out everypony's roles, and addressing WRAITH and any other relevant threats towards Equestria in general. He added that as for what ponies would be doing here, he said that there would be three different roles that a Pony could have; strike force, Informational Gatherer, or General Support. Ice Storm nodded and tried to think of which role she would fit more in. With her magic, she could be offensive, but she was good at gathering information as well, and analyzing situations quickly.

 

The commander also added that he would very much like Zecora to be on the support team with her innate ability to create potions and remedies that would undoubtedly prove to be useful for everypony involved. Ice Storm nodded in agreement as she knew this first hoof from the salve that Zecora had placed on the wound that she had received from the battle originally. The wound itself was now completely gone, and that salve probably had a lot to do with it. Zecora then spoke up, and while it was somewhat difficult for her to understand exactly what she was saying, she caught enough and understood enough to get the point. "I have the utmost faith in your abilities in knowing what's safe and what is not after first hoof experience with your work after the escape from the spire. I'm pretty sure I'd have a nasty scar by now if it weren't for that starting the healing process on it when it did," she smiled to the zebra.

 

"That said, speaking of myself, given the nature of my magic, I believe I could easily dual purpose as a strike force unit and a support unit. I can be pretty good at discerning information and making quick decisions based on the information given. I can just as easily help with an assault as I can creating a line of defense for us as well, or perhaps giving those who get trapped in a situation that they can't get out of a way out. That's what I did when the situation went south in the Spire," she told them. "As far as WRAITH itself goes, unfortunately the events of the Crystal Empire have been my only encounters with them, so I don't really have a whole lot of information to add on anything with them. I was actually hoping to find out more information about them here so that I'd know what I was looking for and what any particular warning signs might be that something would be about to occur. Anything that I can use to protect others from being hurt," she stated firmly.

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Squall gave a chuckle upon hearing Dexter reaction, although it appeared it wasn't any joy in it. After all situation was serious.

"Well, dead pony don't really deserve to do it for himself isn't it?" he said "And my informations are not up to date as I would like them to be, so forgive me for that Mr. Silverbeak. Three months in wildness is a long time, and it isn't like I was observing government employees carefully before then either." unicorn added. Surprisingly there wasn't a hint of sarcasm in his words - it appeared his apology was sincere.

 

At that moment another pony choose to enter Squall turned his head to see...a Crystal Pony? Well that was unusual. Considering the latest events in the Empire nobelpony thought that the crystal realm would need every set of hooves for repairing and making sure that wouldn't happen again. Was she volunteer? Or did the Princess Mi Amore saw fit to add her to the formation roster? And add to that Squall yet again felt that feeling of familiarity that he had many many times before. Where did he met that mare?

 

 

"I apologize for the lateness of my arrival," she said slowly, looking at the others gathered there, none of whom she was personally very familiar with. "I am Alexandrite Tilt of the Crystal Empire. It is a pleasure to make your acquaintance. I look forward to working with you all."

 

She went quiet after this and studied the faces. She had read the materials the princess had provided her with regarding the assignment and as a result knew who her companions were supposed to be, though she could not yet place names with faces.

Well that introduction cleared everything. Squall had excellent memory for names, and it was hard to forget a pony who was a comrade on the field of battle.

Alexandrite didn't seem to recognize Swift, but he surely did recognize her!

 

"You...I remember you. You Miss, was one of the guards that fought at the Crystal Plaza...." he said quietly. It weren't nice events to mention but it had to be done. After all, that was the reason why all of them was here.

 

When Dexter mentioned a topic of positions Squall felt silent for a moment. How to answer such question? Squall was and fought all around the world, from the sands of Saddle Arabia, lush jungles and dry savannas of Unyasi, high peaks and deep canyons of Aquelia, to the frozen wastes north of the Crystal Spire. But that was something that Dexter apparently already knew.

"Our foe...is a dangerous one. WRAITH knows about us but we ourself have a little knowledge about them. It may be enemy wrapped in enigma but it is certain that this organization has a lot of resources..." swordpony started slowly.

"As such we can't settle for half-measures. We need to bring the best resources ourselves. And if that proves to not be enough develop stuff beyond that." Swift Squall continued.

"I may be a 'dead' for the world but I can still provide us with such equipment. The group is small, and we need every edge we can get. Our group is small and as such nothing short of custom stuff, made for each individual member would suffice." orange pony paused before picking up.

"Weaponry or scientific gear, it doesn't matter, as long as it involve money I can get it if anyone would ask. However such things still have to be made so and errr order have to be made in advance." Swift finally finished. Or it seemed so.

"Since we already at it, I know Equestria has a black budget but it would be better for us to not rely exclusively on it. There is always a possibility that...our foe has eyes in financial department."

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Finally they had arrived.  Ironwing silently checked off names one by one and flipped to the next page on his writing pad.  Note to self: remind Squall that theatrics are not part of the logistics budget.  Everypony else seemed eager to get along to their assignments, whatever they might have been.  Ironwing had left that decision to Dexter.

 

“It is good to see you all,” the former colonel said, bookending the introductions.  “If you’re wondering why I’m not in uniform, it’s because I’m now retired.  Still, the REA decided it would be a good idea to attach a veteran in support.  Dexter will be handling strategic planning, but I will remain on board to advise and assist with management of our logistics chain.”

 

"Our foe...is a dangerous one. WRAITH knows about us but we ourself have a little knowledge about them. It may be enemy wrapped in enigma but it is certain that this organization has a lot of resources..." swordpony started slowly.

"As such we can't settle for half-measures. We need to bring the best resources ourselves. And if that proves to not be enough develop stuff beyond that." Swift Squall continued.

"I may be a 'dead' for the world but I can still provide us with such equipment. The group is small, and we need every edge we can get. Our group is small and as such nothing short of custom stuff, made for each individual member would suffice." orange pony paused before picking up.

"Weaponry or scientific gear, it doesn't matter, as long as it involve money I can get it if anyone would ask. However such things still have to be made so and errr order have to be made in advance." Swift finally finished. Or it seemed so.

"Since we already at it, I know Equestria has a black budget but it would be better for us to not rely exclusively on it. There is always a possibility that...our foe has eyes in financial department."

 

 

Ironwing adjusted his glasses, emitting a barely audible snort.  Squall was eager, but eagerness would not substitute for precise and careful maneuvering.  This was a game of intrigue, not a fraternity midnight bridle raid.

 

“Mr. Squall, I appreciate your offer, but your rather high profile demise and the nature of your estate assets makes them highly vulnerable to signature analysis.  If any WRAITH accounting sleuths get wind of liquidated assets or investments moving around in a dead pony’s accounts, we’re all in trouble.  I believe I have a safer route.”

 

He continued.  “We have been provided our budget and an official cover via the Royal Archives.  As far as anyone knows, we’re researching old coinage for the Canterlot Historical Society.  If that’s not boring enough to fly under their noses I don’t know what is.  I have personal contacts with REIN and the Aquellian Agency of Strategic Intelligence as well as some friends outside the usual channels.  All of these include extensive counterintelligence assets.  So long as we don’t stick our noses out too far, we will be well-protected.”

 

Ironwing scribbled down some notes before looking back up at those gathered around the war table.  “Does anypony have anything else to add before Dexter continues?”

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