(A.N: The horrible spelling was intentional for the ork scene because, let’s face it, orks are so stupid that even the writings about them need to be brutish. I myself am a grammar nazi, and it hurts me to write the ork scenes. Not to mention it makes the whole page orange thanks to spell check, but enough of that, for the orks shun the proper English language!)
Everything was dark, Twilight could not move, not breathe, not do anything. “Is this what it is like to be dead?” she thought.
She was mistaken, she was not dead. Everything rushed back into reality, only everything seemed much more calm. She looked around, everypony had a dumbfounded expression on her face, it seemed that every resident of Ponyville had thought that they had been living their final moments. Twilight looked behind her to see a moving wall of blackness coughing up the landscape as it rolled on.
She looked up at the sky, everything seemed the same there too. The moon loomed up in the sky, looking rather unharmed as well.
Rainbow Dash was the first to find her voice, “What the hay just happened!?” she screeched, her voice cracking as she did so.
“I-I don’t know.” replied Twilight.
Fluttershy slowly regained he awareness. “Th-th-that w-w-was awful!”
Rarity stood up and looked her mane in the reflection of the mailbox Twilight had hung onto, her mane was in shambles. “Eeeeeep!” squealed Rarity as she saw herself, “Fluttershy’s right, whatever could cause this much damage to my wondrous appearance is truly awful indeed!” Immediately, the disgruntled pony magically retrieved a brush from the saddlebag she carried and set to work on her hair.
Pinkie bounced out of nowhere, “Well THAT was a doozy, let me tell ya. Gosh, my pinkie sense never fails!” she said, “Hey, what’s the problem AJ?”
Applejack stood rooted to the ground, her gaze fixed on the sky. “There’s, there’s no sun in tha sky.” she said, her voice barely a whisper.
The eyes of the other five ponies all shot up, what the farm pony had said was true, there was no sun shining in the sky.
“That’s right, the sun didn’t get sucked through the portal like the moon did.” said Twilight.
“Then why is it that it’s still day, and we can see the moon?” said Rainbow Dash, on the verge of panicking.
“I can’t explain that either, but I bet something in the library has to have something on this.” said Twilight, trying to reassure herself. Then a horrible realization hit her like a ton of bricks. “Spike! I totally forgot, I left him at the library, I need to go get him!”
“It’s okay Twi, I am A-OK!” a familiar voice pipped up as if on cue. The purple baby dragon emerged from around the cobbled street corner.
Twilight let out a deep sigh of relief, “Spike! I am so glad that you’re OK. Weren’t you at the library though?”
“I was, but then I saw that big black hole in the sky and tried to find you, I didn’t get here fast enough. I’m just glad it’s over now.”
“Yeah that sure was super duper crazy huh, in fact it was almost as crazy as when- woah!” Pinkie Pie stopped talking as her tail began to twitch so violently that it nearly fell off.
Twilight’s eyes widened and looked to the sky. Hundreds of large objects began to rain down on Equestria, each leaving a fiery contrail in their wake. Then, braking through the clouds, three massive shapes rapidly approached the ground, each looking like a garbled mismatch of spare parts to a steam engine.
“What in Equestria are those things!?” asked Spike.
“Beats me,” said Rainbow, “but look, there’s more of ‘em, but these ones look different.”
She was right, new objects began to rain down from the heavens, only in organized patterns, some looked as if they were flying on their own, albeit difficultly given their rate of descent. Then, another trio of massive forms broke through the clouds, each pony gasped as they saw the shapes, one much larger than the others, it looked as if it was the size of a city. Elongated with an armored prow jutting out at its front, the surface of the object was strewn with spires as large as buildings. The one next to it looked similar, only somewhat smaller, with the armour at the front being slimmed down, the surface of it as a whole being much smoother. The third, while not nearly as large, caught her attention the most. The entirety of the object, from its pointed front section to its blocky rear, was covered in ornate carvings and pillars that reminded her of the ramparts of Canterlot.
Her observations were cut short as the trio of objects flashed overhead. What happened next almost caused everyone in Ponyville to collapse from sheer surprise. The organized masses of objects slowed before reaching the surface, landing about a dozen or so miles away from town, into the Everfree Forrest. Even the massive vessels acted as if they fell into molasses upon reaching the last three hundred or so feet, settling down on the horizon. The same could not be said of the separate mass of flying hunks, as they crashed into the ground on the opposite side of the town, though this was an understatement, as the main body of the first group had fallen at least 50 miles away from the town, but to the residents of Ponyville, the shockwaves of the impact of the crash felt very close.
“I think the library can wait Twi, in fact, you might just want to clear it off your schedule all together, cause THAT needs a bit more investigating!” Rainbow Dash gestured to the three massive structures of metal on the horizon.
“I think you might be right on that one, Rainbow.” said Twilight, “We should probably head for the organized crashes due to them being the closest, plus, i saw one of those rock looking things land in that direction too. I believe we should investigate immediately.”
Everypony, plus Spike, saw the fire in Twilight’s eyes now and knew that her inquisitive nature had overruled her other thought processes. There was no stopping her when she was in this mindset.
“You can count me in.” said Applejack
“Me too.” said Rainbow.
“And I as well” chipped in Rarity.
“Hooray! Adventure time!” shouted Pinkie.
After a pause, all eyes turned to Fluttershy.
“I’m very sorry girls, but the animals at my house surely need some attendance after that whole incident, I would think the poor things would be terrified.” said Fluttershy timidly.
“Alright Fluttershy, I won't try to convince you and that is a good reason to stay.If everypony is alright, we set out straight away.” said Twilight.
“All right! Let’s go!” smiled Spike, before being stopped by Twilight’s outstretched hoof.
“”Hey, what gives Twi?” he asked with a hint of irritation creeping into his voice.
“Sorry Spike, but I don’t think it’s safe enough for you. Plus, I need you to head back to the library to send a letter to Princess Celestia. I need you to explain that we went to check out the situation, I’m pretty sure that she’s noticed those.”
Twilight motioned over to the now stationary objects on the horizon, just barely touching the ground at their lowest points. Spike looked at her, dejected, his ears drooping to the side of his head.
“But...”, he began to plead.
“No buts. Look Spike, I really need you to do this, I need to get a grip on this situation, and that means investigation.”
Out of seemingly nowhere, Twilight produced a safari hat and placed it on her head.
“... Alright, I’ll do it, even if it’s boring...” Spike sighed dejectedly.
“Thanks Spike, there will be an extra few rubies for you for this.”
The little dragon perked up at the thought of gemstones and began at a frantic pace back to the library, calling back to her.
“Just be safe then!”
Twilight sighed and spoke under her breath, “You can count on it Spike.”
The six fillies set off towards the Everfree Forrest, not realising that it was infinitely more dangerous now that a few new species inhabited its dark recesses.
The Landings had exceeded all expectations a hundred fold. Gabriel looked on with relief as he watched the other drop pods, Thunderhawks, and Valkyries, as well as the other various landing craft touch down on the surface of the world, not one suffering any mishaps. This turn of events was a unbelievable as it was fortunate.
Earlier, when the order had been given to abandon ship, Gabriel, Jonah, Captain Ideus, and the Fifth Company’s primary tactical squad had boarded a thunderhawk gunship to escape the strike cruiser, Tiberius, having spent over a century commanding the vessel, opting to stay at the helm to allow the greatest number of Imperials to escape. Not wanting his then thought sacrifice to be wasted, the fleeing gunship had sped down to the planets surface, preparing for a crash landing.
As they plummeted, one of the marines spoke up. “Look my lords, there appears to be some form of a civilization here.”
Gabriel turned to one of the view ports and found the observation to be correct, several cities dotted the landscape, small towns scatted about as well.
“Well now this is quite unfortunate.” said Gabriel, “We appear to now be crashing on a warp imbued world facing orks and either warp touched humans or some other xenos race. This does not bode well.”
The grim mood in the thunderhawk turned to one of shock, then confusion, then finally relief when the gunship had suddenly slowed to a lazy pace, sinking slowly towards a clearing in what was now visible as a large temperate forest. The Chapter Master looked over the landscape, his mind taking in every last detail of the terrain, noting any tactical advantage that could be used if a conflict arose. His eyes narrowed in fury as he saw hundreds of ork roks as well as the three Kroozas descending on the world, though not nearly as slow as they were going.
“Lords of Terra! What happened?” asked, Ideus, unable to keep a dumbfounded tone out of his voice.
“I am unsure, but i sense a strong warp energy that acted up just before we slowed.” said Jonas.
“How we did not crash is not of our immediate concern, now we must asses the situation.” Gabriel keyed his vox to match the frequency of the control seat of the thunderhawk. “Pilot, I need you to make a run over the area, so that we may find any advantages in fighting the orks.” Said Gabriel.
“I apologise my Lord, but something is preventing the ships thrusters from firing properly at this altitude, at best, I can only guide it somewhat at this moment.” replied the pilot, frustration evident in his voice.
“Very well then, land us in the clearest area you can find.”
A deafening roar sounded overhead. It struck Gabriel that the Imperial starships were still landing! Through the view ports each marine saw the trio of enormous ships pass overhead at breakneck speed, landing craft spilling from them as they fell. Then, without any reason to support it, each ship slowed to a near halt, coasting along until the lowest portion of each ship just brushed the treetops before resting soundly.The vox set at the cockpit of the thunderhawk buzzed frantically.
“Chapter Master, am I insane or did my trillion ton vessel that was never even rated fr atmosphere just go from a hurtling crash landing to a precise landfall in ten seconds flat?” asked Tiberius over the small speaker, his voice laced with an incredulous tone.
“I am unsure Captain, but it seems to involve some sort of warpcraft, according to the Master Librarian.” said Gabriel, “For now however we must focus on what to do at this moment, and how to fight the inevitable ork attack.”
“It seems that they are already not faring as well as we are.” said Ideus.
The Captain was right, Gabriel looked on as the ork roks and kroozas impacted against the hard earth, leaving large shockwaves behind them and carving large tracks into the landscape about sixty miles away from where the thunderhawk floated.
“Well it seems that whatever caused our safe landing did not seem to like the orks.” mused Gabriel, “I am beginning to take a liking to this world.”
Now Gabriel watched over the clearing in the forest as more Imperials gathered from their drop locations, the dropships and transports managing to scrape over the treeline to get to their destinations. He let out a sigh of frustration in knowing that none of the ships had been able to take off very high off the ground, the larger ships being unable to move whatsoever. Furthering his frustration was that all long range communication past two hundred miles was disabled, the techmarines and tech priests claiming atmospheric conditions were to blame. The sky had been clear for the few hours they had been here, there must be another cause, they were on a world that had just been spat out of the warp, after all.
Gabriel now looked over the map that the Imperial Guard scribes had drawn based on the initial views of the area during the crash and scans from the Carrier. Next to him stood the commander of the Guard Forces; Colonel Maximilian Grant.
“Have your men been deployed to the specified areas Colonel?” asked Gabriel.
“Yes My Lord, the perimeter has been established and swept, the area is now secure.” the colonel responded.
“Very good. Continue with your men then.”
Grant bowed and left the Chapter Master alone by the map. Gabriel had added a graph overlay to the map with individual sectors lined out. A red line dictated the now securely held area of the Imperials, about ten miles across in a circular pattern, the center being where the fleet had come to a rest in a wedge pattern, the carrier situated between the grand cruiser and strike cruiser.
Gabriel keyed his vox, “Scout squads, begin outer perimeter sweep, set up motion detectors as you go, make sure to look for any ork activities as well as any local wildlife. If sentient life other than orks ore encountered, contact me immediately before taking action.”A series of acknowledgements sounded over the vox channel.
Master Librarian Jonas approached Gabriel. “All seems to be going well my friend?” he said.
“Much better than the first landings on Aurelia” replied Gabriel, recalling how horribly wrong the mission to investigate the warp-laden planet had gone.
“I am uneasy.”
“As you have been since our arrival, you are not telling me something Jonas, what is to blame for your anxiousness?”
“It is this planet My Lord, it is saturated with pure warp energy.”
“It does not seem as such, the laws of nature still hold sway here, our strange landing was the only odd thing I have found so far. On the other worlds touched by Chaos, it has felt much different, the land is malevolent, physical constraints are not viable. If anything, this planet is the opposite of a chaos world.”
“That is what troubles me, My Lord, the warp is everywhere here, but no chaos is to be found, it is not that I am being psychically suppressed in any way, for that matter, I seem to be more powerful here, in fact I actually am having some trouble in controlling the amount of power that is flowing into me, and I have been a librarian for three centuries now. I just simply cannot find any trace of chaos taint here. It s as if this is almost an aspect of the powers of the warp that humanity has not yet discovered.”
“You speak of things that seem impossible, the warp has never once bettered mankind, it was the warp that was responsible for the Heresy of Horus. If what you claim may be true, then I dare to think of how much knowledge might be gleaned from researching it at a later time, and knowledge is power.” Gabriel recited the ancient motto of the Blood Ravens.
“Yes my Lord... but it is not just that that troubles me. A librarian by the name of Zacchaeus was lost. His last transmission he managed to send explained that he separated from the main scattering of drop pods during the evacuation.”
“How is it that only he was lost, and not others? Surely he must have left in a group, and not taken a whole drop pod for himself? There should be at least a squad’s worth of marines with him.”
“Normally that would be the case My Lord, but after he found that his designated drop pod had left, he opted to take one of the experimental single man pods meant for infiltration missions. I worry how this worlds energy might be effecting him if he did not perish upon landing.”
The vox crackled urgently, cutting short the marines’ conversation.
“Report” said Gabriel.
“My lord, this is Scout Sergent Lentor, we have encountered orks, a stray rok it seems. Report at least forty orks and a nob.”
“Very good, I will send a tactical squad and three Guard squads to eliminate them.”
Gabriel prepared to cut the line when Sergent Lentor spoke up. “That is not all my lord, we have just encountered sentients.”
Gabriel jaw tensed. “Do you have any information on them?”
“Yes My Lord, I apologise, but you may not believe me.”
“I am sure I will.”
“Very well, they appear to be... horses, ponies to be exact.”
Gabriel paused, he certainly had not been expecting this. “How is it that you know that they are sentient?”
“They are speaking, My Lord... Low Gothic in fact.”
The fact that ancient Terran life existed on this planet stunned the Chapter Master, let alone that they were sentient and speaking in Low Gothic.
“Continue with your description, Sergent”
“Yes My Lord. It is a group of five, each having a different color scheme, unique insignias also adorn the flanks of the creatures. Judging from how they spoke it appears that this group is all female. The first three have no differences from a normal pony,but two appear to be wearing some form of head ware, so I cannot confirm as of yet. One has a pair of small wings on its back, and has demonstrated an ample ability to fly, the last one has a spiral horn sprouting from its forehead but has shown any use for it as of yet, it is unknown if the other two with the head ware have horns or not. Also, the route that they are taking will lead them straight into the orks.”
Gabriel thought for a long moment before speaking. “Change of plans, I will now be taking a thunderhawk with my retinue to your position to engage the orks, if these... ponies make contact with the orks, engage the greenskins only from long range. I will be there shortly.
Gabriel strode quickly over to a group of Imperial Storm Troopers milling about.
“Men, you will be coming with me immediately for a mission of utmost importance, we leave in forty five seconds.”
Leaving behind the now panicked troopers, Gabriel called out. “Librarian, come with me immediately to my thunderhawk, First tactical squad, join as well.”
Jonas joined the Chapter Master at the ramp of the Thunderhawk thirty seconds later, the five tactical marines and twenty or so storm troopers already in the dropship.
As the two walked in, Gabriel turned to the Librarian. “Now we may soon find more information about this world.” he said as the ramp sealed behind them.
The five ponies walked along the rough trail that weaved around the packed trees of the forest, catting as they did so. The goal that they intended on reaching towering in the distance, despite being so far away.
“Are we there yet?” asked Rainbow Dash for the umpteenth time, looping lazily in a circle several feet off the ground.
“No Rainbow, we are not there yet.” said Twilight, her patience running thin.
“I still don’t see why i can’t just fly right to to those things.” said Rainbow, gesturing to the three objects on the horizon.
“We told ya sugarcube, Twi thinks that we should be keepin’ a low profile.” said Applejack.
“Plus, we don’t know if anything else is going to fall from the sky, and I don’t want you getting hit.” added Twilight.
“Fine fine, I just hate being stuck on the ground. No offence!” Rainbow blushed, forgetting about her friends’ ability to fly.
“Oh, don’t worry yourself dear, I just wish I had a pair of wings so I could avoid getting my hooves on this dreadful dirt trail.” sighed Rarity, gesturing to her once pristine fur around her legs now covered in dust, “Oh boo, and I had just gotten my hooves done. Oof!” she gasped as she bumped into a rigid Applejack.
Twilight looked at her friend. “Applejack, what are you...” her sentence trailed off as she saw what the farm ponywas looking at.
A huge creature stood in front of the orange earth pony, a massive jaw with two large tusks gutting from its lower lip, the creature had no snout, only a snub nose not unlike that of a pig, beady eyes in a large set forehead looked on in a stare of surprise. The creature stood in its hind legs, very similar to a diamond dog, the forelimbs being slightly shorter, but heavily muscled. Its forelimbs also ended in paws with five digits on each. it was using these digits to hold what looked like a wicked axe in one hand, in the other it held an odd box-like object with a slight hollow cylinder emerging from the end. Tattered clothes draped over its frame. It looked terrifying, like it was made for violence.
Applejack did not move, she looked slightly closer at the still figure, then breathed a sigh of relief at what she found.
“It’s been turned to stone.” she said.
Everypony let out a collective held breath.
“It looks like it came across a cockatrice.” murmured Twilight, “I don’t know if it would be best to unfreeze this one though, even if we had Fluttershy and her stare on hand.”
“Agreed.” said everypony simultaneously.
“Wait, where’s Pinkie Pie?” asked Applejack, a tinge of panic in her voice.
“Right here, silly!” said the pink pony, seeming to materialize out of nowhere.
“Holy apple tarts!” yelped Applejack, to be greeted with a collective “Shhhhh!” from the group.
“Pinkie, where were you?” asked Twilight.
“I was just playing hide and go seek with the guys following us.” replied Pinkie, “They were REALLY good too.” I didn’t manage to find ‘em once!”
A chill ran up Twilight’s spine, “Pinkie, did you say that somepony was following us?”
“Not somepony silly, nope these were something else, but I didn’t get to see them because they were so good at hiding!”
The color from Twilight’s face drained. “Girls,” she said, trying to seem calm, “I would suggest that we run, because I really do not want to meet one of these.” she gestured to the frozen monstrosity.
At that, the group made a break for it, going along the path that they had been taking. In a panic, the group emerged into a small clearing, upon seeing the sight before them, they concluded that they had chosen the wrong action to take.
At the clearings center was a large crater, sitting in the center of the crater was a large chunk of rock and metal. Clustered around the rock was at least forty of the creatures that they had seen earlier. Now that she could see them as they were in their natural state, they were all the more terrifying. She could see now that their skin was green, their eyes a deep black with no apparent irises or whites. Globules of saliva dripped from the maws of the beasts as they let out guttural roars to one another by what must have been a form of communication. A small portion of the beasts clustered around a fire near the center, seeming to be arguing.
“Oh no...” squeaked Twilight as she saw what they were fighting for.
A cockatrice was impaled on a spit over the fire, the largest of the orks watching over it expectantly, his face set in an expression of hunger. It was now apparent what they ate.Then it went from bad to worse, one of the orks reared up, its stubby nose pointed skyward, and sniffed the air suspiciously. It then turned its head slowly to see the five fillies there. It was like a nightmare. Everypony stood in shock, so scared that their legs refused to respond. The creature surprised the ponies further by speaking.
“Hey boss!” it yelled, its gaze not leaving the stricken equines, “Look over there!” it pointed towards them.
The largest creature raised its head lazily, but snapped into focus when it saw the five.
“Well lookie here boys, don’t they look good ‘nuff ta eat? Maybe weze goin’ to get a better fight out a these ones than we did this.”
It picked up the spit and ate the cockatrice whole, sickening crunching noises escaped its mouth as bones snapped. Rainbow Dash wretched as she heard this, her weak herbivore stomach not being able to take it.
The horde of creatures let out a loud “Waaaaaagh!” before they charged, the largest laughing as they did so.
The first of the creatures raised a crude axe above Twilight, poised to deliver a killing blow. Then its head exploded.The five ponies looked on in shock as the creature’s blood and brain matter splattered the grass near them. Over the heads of the ponies flew a group of baseball shaped objects that scattered in front of the horde. A ripple of explosions went across the front of the mass of green skinned brutes, turning seven into piles of steaming meat. The horde continued on, undisturbed by the loss of eight of its number.
“W-what did THAT?!”, said Rainbow Dash, snapping out of the trance-like state and bringing the others out as well.
A deep rumble resounded above the trees as a large, stubby winged object soared low above the ground. Bright fire jetted out of its back in narrow cones. The craft landed, the nose lowering what looked like a jaw to the ground.
“Humies!” yelled the large, green monstrosity.
From the ramp strode a figure as big as the largest greenskin, its physiology was similar to the greenskin in that it walked upright on two legs only straighter, its forearms ending in five digits. His head was smaller though, his skin was pinkish, and its body was encased in a huge suit of deep red armor, the shoulder pauldrons white, a raven with a drop of blood centered in it was painted on one shoulder, the other pauldron was gold and in the shape of an eagle. Any other features of its face were indistinguishable from the distance they saw it from other than the patch of snow white har that rested on its head. In its hands it held a massive hammer, the square head of the weapon sparked and glowed with energy as if alive.
As he stood in the doorway he spoke, “Come xenos scum, and feel the wrath of the God Emperor, and the Imperium of Mankind!”
The “humie” then let out a roar before breaking into a run toward the line of monstrosities.