Trope A Day-The Ponies In Black

The Ponies In Black-There is no such thing as the Ministry of Ghosts.

There is no such Ministry in the Equestrian government run by Princess Twilight Sparkle, Princess Sunset Shimmer, and Princess Starlight Glimmer.

This Ministry-that does not exist-does not handles dangerous Precursor artifacts, magical devices that should not be used by anypony, and anything else that would be a direct threat to any intelligent being.

And, they are especially not behind you with a stun gun and a memory redactor.

Really.  Honest.

Just don’t look behind you.

Trope A Day-Secret Government Warehouse

Secret Government Warehouse-The Ministry of Ghosts maintains one of these, called the Silent Library.  Where it is and how it works is kept a very, very strict secret [1], but for the very few that know about it, it does the job of keeping things stored very, very well.  To the best of anybody’s knowledge, there hasn’t been an accidental release of anything from the Silent Library since it was built.  Considering some of the things that are stored there (one of which is a zombie plague), that’s saying a lot.

The Griffin Moot’s Special Working Group maintains the Ghost Floats-under the theory that a moving target is better than a stationary one, no matter how secret or well protected.  It’s known that the minotaurs and zebras maintain their own depositories, but what these depositories are and how they work are so secret that they might not even know what they do or how they work.  All they know is that things are kept secure and that’s all they need to know.

What happens when changelings get ahold of dangerous artifacts…usually requires somebody else to deal with the problem.  Often by a saturation bombardment from orbit.

[1]-The Silent Library is basically a Earth-sized huge ball of metal orbiting a pulsar in an orbit that sweeps it through the radiation bands every 10 hours.  Dug very deeply into the planet is the Silent Library, which incorporates all sorts of additional security systems, from AI-driven guns to massive physical separation of dangerous artifacts from anything that might come in contact with it.  Oh, and several very large anti-matter weapons to make sure nothing ever gets out.

Getting to the archive is tricky.  You have to come out of Tunnel Drive from one of only three or four stars that gives you a trajectory that doesn’t slam you into the radiation bands.  Then, you have to get your ship into dock on the planet before the planet itself goes through a radiation band (this limits you to ships of less than 100,000 tons, since anything larger can’t use anti-gravity).  And, you have to get through the automated defenses that will shoot first, shoot again, and interrogate the remains if you don’t identify yourself properly.

Trope A Day-Covert Group

Covert Group-While the intelligence agencies of the various powers may count as this, who really remains covert are the organizations that handle magical mistakes, Precursor artifacts that should never see the light of day, and any other mistakes of technology that could eat unfortunate innocent brains.  How it’s handled really depends upon the nation involved.  The Ministry of Ghosts is the Equestrian answer to this problem, a whole ministry (and the only ministry run by three alicorns) that operates covertly to deal with these problems before they become noticeable.

The Griffin Moot has the Special Working Group, which operates inside of the Imperial Intelligence Service (more Declare than the Equestrian Laundry), agents operating in a manner that short-circuits most conventional operations.  And, they have to justify this to the ultimate masters of the Service and the Group when it happens.  For the Senate and Minotaur Republic, this is Unit 999 that does some very…uncomfortable things when dealing with such technologies.  For a nation that has a vicious paranoia about mental manipulation and mind alteration (even when voluntary), that Unit 999 can do what it does-and has the authority to do so-is an extremely worrying thing.  The only justification that they can point to is the scale of the threat they face.

For the Zebras…what little is known in the structure of their nation is the enigmatic group only known as “the Silent Ones”.  And, even this is believed to be an operational handle, not what the group is truly called.

Trope A Day-Black Site

Black Site-Where all the really dangerous things are kept.  Precursor artifacts, dangerous technologies, scary magical artifacts, and anything else that shouldn’t be allowed out to play with others gets put here.  The Ministry of Ghosts runs quite a few, with all the usual accessories (like a good self destruct mechanism, two-to-four key locks, and self-destructing security systems), and a few additional ones that nobody knows or talks about.  The Special Working Group, supposedly, maintains a number of ships who’s job is to keep all this dangerous stuff away from anything that could try to get it or use it.  Other groups and organizations maintain sites for the same purposes.

Trope A Day-Precursors

Precursors-Whomever created the five races, created Equestria, and then left them at least ten thousand years ago…were complete about cleaning up, to say the very least.  What little is known about them is-

  1. They didn’t think small.  The smallest known Precursor artifact is the so-called Silent Cube (a perfectly formed cube exactly 1.1 meters on each side that perfectly absorbs all energy except for visible light, which it perfectly reflects).  The largest is the massive Splint, a huge disk surrounding a M-class star, fifteen kilometers thick and 10 AUs wide, spinning in a retrograde orbit around the star itself.  The disk has a hole in it barely larger than the safe entry distance for heavy cruiser-weight starships coming out of Tunnel Drive.
  2. They make the artifacts that the five races can analyze out of computronium, and whatever is being processed inside the computronium is still going on.
  3. They liked base 10 mathematics.
  4. They considered Ragnarok Proofing to be the minimum standard.  Active nanomachine repair systems have been found on some Precursor artifacts, some just can’t be damaged by any tools ponies have.
  5. They seemed to think that 10,000 years was a “short period of time”.
  6. Artifacts seem to come in two categories-working perfectly or gone horribly wrong.  It’s the second that keeps the Ministry of Ghosts, the Special Working Group, Unit 999, and the Silent Ones busy.  Especially the Ministry of Ghosts and the Special Working Group.

Hunting for working Precursor artifacts and securing them safely is something that all of the major powers do.  Some are safe enough for anybody else to look at them-and some have to be stored away because they’re too dangerous.