Chapter 20- Firepower
King Aurelius was looking over his changelings and monitor their attitude. High on his rocky throne, he kept his gaze low and his eyes closed a bit to keep his gaze unreadable. Another rule of royalty- Don't let your subjects read your emotions. Makes you predictable. Still, the King was proud. It was not even lunch time yet, and his changelings had produced more results than they ever had after a plan that took weeks of planning.
The next phase of the plan: Training. His changelings were tough, but like the ponies- Were peaceful. King Aurelius inwardly cringed at the similarity. The ponies were peaceful for their ideals. The Changelings were peaceful due to using treachery and subterfuge to take out an enemy and whittle down their numbers slowly. Then it just came down to a battle of numbers and confusing the enemy.
But now, they had to train. "He who knows when he can fight and when he cannot will be victorious." At least, another proverb from the good doctor. Learn how to fight as Otacon put it. Throw a proper kick. Use their head as a ramming objects. Dodge attacks. Use their changed forms to their advantage. Do not underestimate the enemy. Go into battle knowing they can beat an opponent instead of hoping to beat them. His changelings were not busy mock fighting, they were learning to take out ponies.
Let the ponies throw parties and have fun. Let them relax in a false security. They would train. They had nothing better to do anyway. Otacon had to read books to study resource spots and use the metal. The human was a doctor, not a smith afterall. The Changeling King turned to look at Otacon, who was making plans to travel. Otacon had requested to take Trixie, saying he needed a magic companion to help him work.
Fine. Its not like Trixie made tasty meal, and her magic lessons were less than informative. She would carry the books and tools the doctor needed. The light blue unicorn was being tied with saddle bags to help carry things. A few Changelings would go ahead and escort them, make sure Trixie didn't do anything and make sure they stayed safe from the creatures of Everfree.
A flapping of wings made them all stop working, turning to look at an albatross land. The messenger changed into its normal black form and present letters to the king. Otacon walked away from his supplies and walked to the side of the king. While Otacon knew various languages, Changeling was not of them. The King read through the letters, which it looks like they were three.
"My King?" Otacon asked, blinking once.
"So far, we have good news. Our agents have managed to get a few allies to agree and join the cause. We have a few minotaurs, griffons, and the Changelings in other towns are getting letters to tell them to meet here as the main assault force. We will at least have my Generals back," King Aurelius said, turning to look at Otacon.
"Something else?" The engineer asked.
"Yes, it seems my Queen is pleased. She was alarmed that our forces were discovered, but she is also glad that we were able to muster a counter offensive," The King read. It was mostly a lie, but the King had to make sure Otacon felt secure. The letter mostly read "Make this plan work, or its your head!"
"Oh, I am glad to hear that. I didn't want to press our luck with going over your Queen's head," Otacon said, releasing a sigh.
"She does express concerns. She does not like the idea of placing our forces in one spot. But with our gambit exposed, it seems we have no other choice but proceed with your plan," King Aurelius said. He put the letters away and nodded to his messenger. "What will you do now?"
"I think we will have to do the aerial battle. It seems that the humans cannot fly, and the only fliers in the enemy camp are pegasi..." Otacon said, moving his hand to rub his chin. Griffons? Minotaurs? Really? The world he was in was more based in myths than he thought. Not very original in his opinion. Seemed like more of an American animation than Japanese one. "Even if they fight back, a single bomb getting through will do a lot of damage."
"Yes, you are right. Are we wasting our time training then?" King Aurelius asked. Otacon shook his head to the sides.
"No, as always, the attack plan will be three fold. Depending on how many troops we have, we will have three main forces. One will be the flying brigade. The next will be the main ground force. The ground force will lead the attack. Distracted by the ground attack, the fliers will step in with bombs. The final force will either flank the enemy or block their retreat. It is a gambit, and I would rather come up with a better plan- But the enemy knows we exist, so there will be no more element of surprise." Otacon explained.
The King nodded, turning to look back at his Changelings. It was a simple plan, one so obvious that few would think to put into action. But it was efficient. And who knows? Maybe by the time the full force of the armada of griffons and other allies will proceed as a meat shield and let the Changelings sweep in for the victory. Lets see what Otacon could come up with weapons and armor by then. Plans could always change.
"So what do we do now?" Rainbow Dash said. She hated waiting and doing nothing. The entire group of heroes were siting down on the ground, saying nothing. While they were free to do whatever they wanted, they still had to wait to see what Princess Celestia could do about supplies. Soma had Fluttershy on his lap. Somehow, she had convinved the teen to give her a massage with his "magic" fingers. She cooed, making Soma feel weird about this. Did she coo because she was part bird? At least she seemed to enjoy it.
Phoenix had once agin moved to Peewee and hold the baby firebird in his right hand. The other hand moved to pet the little phoenix. It seemed to have a calming effect. Peewee said nothing, merely enjoying the soft attention. Dovahkiin sat on the ground next to Applejack, though they said nothing either. Only Nate and Rarity spoke, tring to decide what to do for a date. Pinkie Pie was happy though. Dan had made Twilight and the Mayor furnish their new home. For free of course. Soon enough, Spike perked up his head.
"Incoming!" Spike said with a hop. He leaned his head back and then moved his upper body forward to release green dragon fire. The Dovahkiin picked up his head, woindering if he should learn that trick. A scroll came forth with the fire, landing Spike's claws.
"That from the Princess?" Nate asked, turning to look at the weird display. Just how did that work?
"Only Princess Celestia or Luna know how this spell works, so I am guessing its from one of them," Spike said with a nod. Twilight walked over to her assistant and used levitation to open the scroll up and begin reading to herself.
"Oh come on already!" Dan said, picking himself to stand up. "You would think to have the common courtesy to read it out loud!"
"Oh right, sorry. Here goes. Dear Twilight Sparkle, your news is gave indeed. Of course, I will have the Canterlot laborers provide tools and supplies. As soon as they are collected, they will be shipped to Ponyville. The fact that the Changelings are changing tactics makes me worry as well. My military advisors say that in addition to the diversion attack, these attacks are also playing mind games with us. As if the Changelings are mocking us, saying "We can do this at any time." In light of events, Princess Luna has decided to summon more champions. Good luck, and know that all of Equestria is behind you. Sincerely, Princess Celestia." Twilight stopped reading, lowering the letter to look at the others.
"Wait... More human champions?" Rarity asked, raising her eyebrows.
"The letter doesn't say. It could mean that Princess Luna may in fact try to summon the original pony champions they had in mind," Twilight said. "I couldn't imagine who else they could summon, considering we already have our Element partners. Least, most of us," Twilight said, lowering her head and ears to close her eyes.
"Aw, Twi. Don't fret. I am sure your champion is alive and well," Applejack said to walk over to the purple unicorn and nuzzle against her.
"Well, more allies couldn't hurt. Its just easier knowing that we won't fight alone and that the country supports us," Nate said. He lowered his journal and turned to look at Rarity.
"But if they summon the originals- Does that mean you will no longer be our partners?" Rarity asked, turning to look at the others. Nate closed both eyes a little.
"Would that mean, we could get to go home? Do we even want to go home?" Nate asked. Pinkie turned to look at Dan, getting a slight sad face.
"But... But they just got here!" Pinkie Pie said. Dan shrugged, not sure how to feel about this. Applejack turned to look up at Dovahkiin, biting her bottom lip. Rainbow Dash narrowed her eyes, deciding to go fly and lean against Phoenix. Phoenix in turn, lowered the baby firebird in its nest to pet her.
"I don't care. So long as our first partners stay, its alright with me," Fluttershy said. She moved her head to nuzzle against Soma's hand. Nate turned to look at Soma and made a "whipcrack" noise with his mouth and the motion with his free hand. No one laughed at Nate's attempt to lighten the mood.
Meanwhile in Canterlot Castle inside one of the magic rooms...
"Are you sure about this sister?" Celestia asked, turning to look at Luna. The dark alicorn was standing in the middle of a magic array on the ground. It was rather elaborate, with over three rings with runes on seals. "Once you bond with your knight, it will be forever."
"You have your own Champion Tia. I think its only fair I get mine. And if it will help, even just a little bit, it shall be worth it," Luna said with a nod. Celestia took a few steps back and nodded to her. Luna shut both her eyes to focus, and begun chanting. The magic array on the floor begun to glow in a blue light. The light in turn, begun to illuminate Princess Luna and spread out. The array spun in a slow circle, gathering in brightness as Luna's horn got brighter and brighter.
The room begun to shake a bit, books and tables shaking a bit. The array was spinning faster and faster, the lines floating up from the floor to surround Luna. The night princess kept her eyes closed, still chanting. The room was filled with a suddenly flash of white so intense it could blind anyone. Princess Celestia Had moved her head back, eyes closed. The spell was over.
Princess Luna opened her eyes, looking around. The room looked normal, as if nothing happened. "Where's my Champion?" She asked, moving to Celestia. Princess Celestia was able to open her eyes and look around. He raised her hoof, pointing behind her sister. Luna turned around and raised her eyebrows.
A human stood, a bit young. He wore a red jacket with a shirt that had an anime girl group on it. His hair was black and spiky, and he wore a large pair of yellow sunglasses. The human looked around, lifting a strange device that looked like a baton. Princess Luna blinked twice, wondering who this human was.
"I don't know where I am, or who I'm fighting. All I know is that my partner is gone," Travis Touchdown said, flicking on a switch to turn on his beam katana. "But I am making my way to the top as the number one! Now then, who wants to see paradise next?"
Lyra Heartstrings was beyond happy! Humans, at long last, had come to Equestria! She wasn't crazy! All those neigh sayers and ponies that made fun of her could eat their words! She had a large smile on her face, walking towards Twilight's library. She had treats to introduce herself, and couldn't wait to speak with the humans. That morning's detour with the dam and rock slide wouldn't worry her anymore. She came to a stop though, lifting her head to look at a tall figure.
This human had a single black wing coming from out its right shoulder. He had long gray hair that flowed with the wind. It was dressed in black, with even boots and various straps to match. His collar bone and chest was slightly exposed. Large metal shoulder pads rested on top of its coat shoulders. Lyra couldn't recognize this human from yesterday's feast.
"Oh! I wanted to meet the humans for a long time! And I finally get to see one of you up close!" Lyra said, stepping up to the winged human.
"How ironic," the figure said, turning to look down at the small pastel green unicorn. "That a creature that wants to meet humans so badly would meet one that wants to kill all humanity," Sephiroth said.
Lyra suddenly lost her smile and gulped.
With Ponyville safe, Cherilee was humming a low tune inside the school house. True, school and work had been given the day off to make sure things were ok. She had come in to inspect the school though. Good thing too, various writing supplies had been taken, along with other things. The pony that had done this too left a mess. She had cleaned most of the morning, glad it was almost lunch time.
That was, until she heard a desk break. She quickly turned around, looking at a human that was holding its head, laying down on a broken desk.
"Ow! What happened?" The human said, slowly moving to stand up. The heavy human was wearing a pair of green cargo pants, a green shirt, and a dark blue combat vest. A red bandana with green pattern on it was worn over his dark brown hair. What struck the school teacher pony odd though, was how muscular this human was compared to the others. "Sorry Teach, didn't want to-" Ralf Jones stopped talking, spotting the most ridiculous color on a horse he had ever seen in his life.
"Did I get a concussion?"
A human had suddenly dove under a bush for cover. Dressed in dark blue sneaking suit, the figure looked around quickly. No signs of danger, but something about this place made his hairs stand on end. This forest- It just wasn't natural. It smelled wrong, not to mention the trees didn't look right. Things didn't make sense. Just a moment ago, the human had been standing inside a oil tanker. Now it was knee deep in a dense forest. Just what happened? The human moved his hand to tap against the side of his ear.
"Otacon! This is Snake..."
Author's note: Solid Snake. With any luck, I don't have to explain where he is from. Ralf Jones has appeared in lots of games, but is primarily known from the King of Fighters franchise. Travis Touchdown is from No More Heroes. And if you need me to explain Sephiroth, just look at Final Fantasy 7.