Recap: Lunaverse S 1 E 15 W 1 Greengrasss Night
As the night begins, a pony named Builder Brick requests to the Court that a certain construction grant be given to Vicereine Puissance, as opposed to Archduke Bobbing Fisher. From his booth, Duke Greengrass complains to his personal assistant Notary about the pointlessness of the meeting, since Fisher has locked up the grant, and had done so over a month ago. The two joke about how pointless a lot of the Court politics are. When the meeting is over, someone slips a message under Greengrass's door, requesting that he meet them in a disused wing of the library. Greengrass is bemused by the spy-novel style secrecy, but decides that he'll see what they want.
Greengrass enters the library, flanked by his two bodyguards Ox and Bear. Builder Brick meets him there and begs him to get the grant switched to Puissance; Puissance has threatened that, if Fisher gets the grant, Brick's husband will be incarcerated for crimes he committed, but she'll have him let off if she gets it. After securing a promise for substantial discounts on construction in the fiefdoms of himself and his allies, Greengrass says that he'll do it. When he tells Notary about this, she's skeptical that he can pull it of, but Greengrass says that it will be fun to try.
Greengrass goes to speak with Puissance, an ancient politician who is rich beyond measure. She doesn't want his help, but he's able to play upon her fears of being upstaged by the younger Fisher and looking weak and frail in front of the Court. She agrees that she will support Greengrass's plans at the Grand Galloping Gala if he helps her now. He verifies that he needs to change three votes so that Puissance wins and asks her who she thinks he should try; she tells him that Blueblood is flaky, that Fragrant Posey has an 'apolitical' faction that only cares about the economics of the grant (and so might be swayed by bogus number studies), and that Archduchess Nobility relies on the soldier Captain Lightning to tell her how to vote, and that he's been away for so long that it's unlikely that Fisher's shored him up properly. She also threatens to ruin Greengrass if he betrays her or hurts her; he takes this with grace and aplomb.
Blueblood will not speak to Greengrass until after he gives a presentation later in the night. Greengrass moves on, sending Notary to set up a big scam to fool Lightning, and he himself arranges for a Duke Sand to be unavailable; Sand is Fragrant Posey's chess partner, meaning she'll need a new one. Greengrass volunteers when she comes to complain to him about Sand's absence. He plays bughouse chess with Posey, Fancy Pants (whom he suspects of being more than his fashion-obsessed nitwit personality suggests), and Fleur de Lis (whom he thinks is exactly the bimbo airhead she acts like). Posey won't be swayed, but does let slip that a new politician, Mounty Max, is the least sure pony of her faction. They also discuss the farming competition, and Fragrant Posey thanks Greengrass for having Flim and Flam moved to solitary confinement after they sent her threatening letters (which were actually forgeries by Greengrass). Greengrass confirms that no one can talk to them, which means they can't tell anyone that Greengrass had hired them to obtain Carrot Top's services.
Blueblood gives his presentation, which is telling the Court to buy chariots from a company he owns. Greengrass ridicules the idea to Notary, pointing out how useless the chariots are — especially as they are purported to be for an early-warning Corona scout unit, and Corona could easily obliterate them. Nonetheless, he determines that appealing to Blueblood's pride and vanity will be the way to sway him, so he intervenes and keeps Blueblood's bill alive by playing up to the listening press that any one who goes against it clearly doesn't care if Corona burns them all. He later approaches Blueblood and succeeds in getting his vote.
Greengrass then goes to Mounty Max's chambers and bamboozles him, using forged financial documents, into thinking that the grant will be better in Puissance's domain than Fisher's. He also agrees to change his vote.
Greengrass meets with Notary to verify that all the preparations for Lightning are ready, and then says that he's going to his 'private residence.' This turns out to be a vibrant garden in a basement that is hidden away from the rest of the Court. Greengrass reflects on how he was a terrible gardner as a youth, with his plants invariably dying, until he discovered his special talent — weeding. After he built up his power base, he took over the basement and carefully 'weeded' everything that might hurt his plants, and now they grow fine. He uses his weeding talent to determine the weaknesses of the Courtiers and other ponies he deals with, be they emotions like pride or fear, injuries, dirty secrets, or anything else. He muses on his own ambition, how he wants to rule Equestria one day and turn it into his own garden, which he can carefully nurture and cultivate. Though he knows that taking time out of politicking to garden is risky, as he could miss things, he also reflects on his father, who sacrificed everything and served the Court selflessly for fifty years but got nothing out of it. He doesn't want to end up like his father, and so he makes sure to frequently take some time to indulge in his enjoyable hobbies. He resolves that he won't end up like his father — he'll rise in the Court, have fun doing it, and one day win the 'Game' and rule the country.
Lightning arrives in town. Notary has paid actors to wear clothes from his district and wander around in shock like they're refugees. She has also used one of Greengrass's agents, a newspaper editor, to print fake papers announcing some horrible attack near Lightning's base. Lightning is convinced of the attack by this and other evidence. Greengrass convinces him that the Court won't send out the army for a few days, but he'll send some of his personal militia, provided Lightning fliips Nobility's vote. Lightning clearly hates Greengrass but is convinced to do it.
At the Court meeting in the morning, Puissance wins the grant.
In his chambers, Greengrass receives first a furious Lightning (who threatens revenge, which doesn't worry Greengrass because he's sure that Nobility will torpedo his career for basically selling her vote to Greengrass), a pleased Puissance (who nonetheless urges Greengrass to be cautious lest he screw up and fall hard), and finally Fisher. Fisher demands to know what Greengrass was thinking. Greengrass tells him that he just wanted to get Fisher's attention, as he has some plans that could benefit them both. He offers to let Fisher take a bigger share of the reward in those plans as payment for the grant. Despite himself, Fisher is impressed by Greengrass's political ability, and agrees.
Greengrass goes to bed just as the sun is coming up, pleased with that night's activities.
- Note: first appearances of Vicereine Puissance, Archduke Bobbing Fisher, Viscount Prince Blueblood, Baron Mounty Max, Ox, Bear, and Notary.
This fic contains the following tropes:
- Corrupt Politician: Most of them, including Greengrass, Fisher, Puissance, and Blueblood.
- Day in the Limelight: Greengrass, up to this point a nebulous antagonist with only a single scene, is the star of the show.
- Green Thumb: Played with. Greengrass is an earth pony, and so is supposed to be a good farmer, but he can barely grow grass normally. It's only once he discovered his talent of weeding that he figured out how he could grow something — by killing everything that might get in its way.
- Heart Is an Awesome Power: weeding doesn't sound like a terribly useful special talent for a politician, but Greengrass can use it to find the weaknesses of other ponies, just like he would a stubborn weed, and then remove them.
- Hidden Depths: Fancy and Fleur.
- Hyper Competent Sidekick: Notary, who sets up some of the Duke's scams and does a lot more than most personal assistants.
- Magnificent Bastard: The Duke.
- Manipulative Bastard: The Duke.
- Massive Multiplayer Scam: How Lightning is fooled
- Mook: Ox and Bear.
- Na´ve Newcomer: Baron Mounty Max, who knows little of politics got his seat after a heroic rock climbing incident in which he saved several foals. He'd rather be back on the mountain.
- Obfuscating Stupidity: Fancy Pants and Fleur de Lis. Greengrass sees through Fancy's, but not Fleur's.
- Servile Snarker: Notary. The Duke as well, a little, when talking to the nobles who outrank him.
- Smart People Play Chess: And bughouse chess, none the less.
- Take Over the World: The Duke's ambitions are boundless.
- Upper-Class Twit: Blueblood.
- "Well Done, Son!" Guy: Averted; Greengrass seems to have only contempt for his father.
- What Kind of Lame Power Is Heart, Anyway?: Averted, see above.