The Conversion Bureau: New Tactics Part II
By: no sh*t sherlock
Prologue (You can skip if you read the first story)
In 2021, the humans of Earth were silent as a landmass emerged in the North Atlantic Ocean. The island was 24 miles from the southernmost point of Nova Scotia and countinued down 16 miles above Bermuda. Satellite images captured pictures of a green beautiful land. When they were shown on T.V., the land immediately enticed people. Imaginations went wild and people came up with many outrageous theories, although the one most people believed was that Atlantis had rises from the depths.
Driven mostly by thoughts of discovery and riches, many people tried to go and explore this unknown land. Corporations dreamed of natural resources and sent workers and equipment. However, every ship, plane, submarine or unmanned drone to try to get to the land was destroyed about two miles from the island's shores, by an unseen force. Many lives were lost trying to reach the island. Countries foolishly assumed that it was the work of their enemies and tensions between them were once again high.
The U.S. believed that another country had already occupied the land and was destroying any craft bound for it. No country had yet claimed responsibility. President Russell Collins held a meeting with the Secretary of Defense and the Joint Chiefs of Staff about the security issue the island posed if it was occupied by an enemy nation. President Collins gave the go ahead to launch more than 50 cruise missiles at the island, mostly to see if a nation would retaliate. However the missiles would never launch because when President when back to his office there was a creature standing next to his desk.
The Creature was white and slightly resembled a horse. Major differences were the horn, wings and the fact that it could talk. The Presidents security already had guns drawn, but the president was intrigued and let her speak. She called herself Princess Celestia and she explained that she came in peace and that she ruled along side her sister, Princess Luna. They were rulers of the island call Equestria.
She apologized for the lives lost by her force field around the island, but she told him no human or man made object can ever reach Equestria. She said the only way to live in Equestria was to get turned into a pony. She knew the world was in a bad state and asked for the Presidents permission to repeat her words to the nation and also to open a building for people who wanted to undergo the conversion to a pony. He agreed to both and her message was given as a Presidential address to the United States.
When people saw it they had mixed reactions. Most were scared out of their minds and refused to believe it was real, while some wanted the conversion as soon as possible. The video was put online and translated into almost every language in the world. The planet now knew of this race of sentient ponies.
After that ponies started leaving Equestria and moving about to areas of the Earth. They told stories of how much brighter and happier Equestria was than Earth. The way they depicted It made more humans hungrily await the opening of the first building for conversion.
The first site opened in New York City on January 16, 2022. There was a crowd of over 2 million people that took up side walks and blocked city streets to undergo the process. The thought of a peaceful land where everyone would be cared for attracted people. It was so different than the world they knew. It was also a free process, that really got people interested. Especially from poor homes who could barely make ends meet. The President saw the attraction that people had toward conversion and allowed for more sites to be constructed. He gave the official name of the sites "Conversion Bureaus".
The next three Conversion Bureaus to be built were in Washington D.C., Atlanta, and Los Angeles. Princess Celestia insisted that Conversion Bureaus be operated only be ponies originally from Equestria. President Collins didn't see this as a problem and approved.
The rest of the world showed extreme interest in conversion and built sites of their own after having Celestia's permission. She said "Conversion is not just for your people, but a choice for all humans who want it".
After that there was a conversion bureau in almost every city around the world. Two major things happened that year; The first major wave of Conversion and the formation of the Human Liberation Front.
The first major wave of conversion, from 2022 to 2026, dropped the worlds population from 7.5 billion to 4 billion. It was a an eye opener to most people that this was reality. With over 2 million less humans in the world daily, it was hard to not to accept the fact that it was really happening . Many people found themselves in the same situation and had no choice but to go through the process. Their employer would undergo conversion and fire all the workers or the people who used to buy the products got converted and business went down the shitter. Another reason people wanted conversion was to save their own lives. Terminal illnesses were cured with conversion. For people diagnosed the choice was either to wait and die and get converted and live.
As the Conversion grew in popularity, the HLF also picked up speed. What started as a group of nonviolent protesters outside of the first Bureau in NYC, they rapidly evolved into a violent hate group. They resented the ponies and humans that could so easily abandon humanity. They would attack people going into the Bureaus and the new ponies that would come out. Sometimes they would take things would go to far and a lives would be lost. Because anyone could claim to be a member of the HLF, it appeared as though they were unorganized and scattered. No one yet knew just how organized they were. There were only little more than 1000 real members of the group and they were lead by Daniel Breman. This was a very intelligent and patient man whose had plans would take his movement to new places, just not the places he wanted.
The second wave of Conversion, from 2026 to 2028, reduced to population to under 2 billion. This was the time the everything started to shut down. Electricity was slowly cut off, running water was ceased to flow. Bottled water was now desperately needed. But there was not much need to rush to the store to buy it, even 2 billion people spread out across the globe made the chances of running into another human at the grocery store very low. Even the largest companies couldn't stay operational with the lack of business and the CEOs would go through conversion. Small towns, devoid of humans, were ideal places that ponies would pick to repopulate. Ponies now outnumbered humans on the planet and what the remaining governments didn't realize is that ponies are longer citizens of their countries and thus not subject to their laws. All ponies, converted or not, are under Princess Celestia's and Princess Luna's rule.
November 7, 2028, This was the day that Daniel Breman choose to attack. His members had placed bombs in nine chosen Bureaus around the world. The Bureaus in London, Beijing, New York, Los Angeles, Tokyo, Sydney, Johnannesburg, Dubai and Rio de Janeiro were all destroyed . Over 25,000 human deaths and 6,000 ponies lost. This was the first simultaneous attack on Conversion Bureaus around the world. With some places not getting electricity, most were unaware of the attacks until they got word by mouth.
This was the day that the ponies started to adopt new tactics. The bureaus had all been rebuilt by late summer 2029, but they were much smaller. Two new bureaus began construction the same time as the others were being rebuilt. The new bureaus were in Paris and Hong Kong. These Bureaus were at least six times bigger than the others. The previous Atlanta Bureau was demolished and moved to another site and construction started at the same time as the other two. Because the three new buildings were larger, they were to be completed in early spring 2030.
Conversion slowed dramatically during the time of reconstruction. People were scared of another possible attack by the HLF and stayed away. This is what Breman wanted, for the time being his planned had deterred people from the Conversion Bureaus.
From the time of the bombings until the new Bureaus were completed, remaining humans began seeing changes in the way ponies acted. Humans, that weren't members of the HLF, would leave ponies alone and ponies would do the same. But now ponies, ponies all of the sudden, seemed very interested in talking with humans. Many ponies would follow, pester and basically harass humans, asking questions like: "Where do you live?" and "Why haven't you gotten converted yet?" As many as 15 ponies would follow a single human around. The sudden interest in their lives was ominous and being alone in the middle of a different species that was just as smart, if not smarter, than your own was scary.
On March 31st, 2030 the three large Bureaus were completed and the next day countless ponies around walked up to humans and told them they were going to be converted. Many humans just laughed, thinking it was one of those old April fools jokes. That's until they were hit with the darts that would temporarily paralyze them from the neck down. These humans would then be carried off to either the Atlanta, Paris or Hong Kong where they would wait their turn to be forcefully converted.
The next day when the sun rose Princess Celstia's voice could be heard in the mind of every pony and human.
"I thought we could exist together in harmony, but I now realize that there is no peace to be found in Humanity. When you destroyed my Bureaus, who killed more of your own kind than you did ponies. You humans are most dangerous to each other and will destroy each other. Because of this I have decided that its best for me to take full control of the Earth. To save you from yourselves it is best that you all get converted as soon as possible. Please for you own sake don't waste your time by hiding and resisting. A better life awaits you as a pony!"
Terrified humans thought their governments would retaliate, but they were now too weak to be of any help. What drove the U.S. to silence was when President Colston was converted. It The superpower that had once been The United States was now over. This dampened the spirits of many people and drove them to go into hiding or surrender, except the HLF. They made their final stand out side the Washington monument, one by one they were all paralyzed until only Breman was left standing. He was surrounded by hundreds of ponies all ready to shoot their darts and he had only a pistol left. For a while no one shot anything and Breman kept his gun pointed at the ground.
Princess Celestia appeared in front of him and moved close.
"Daniel Breman, leader of the HLF, you are responsible for the deaths of many innocent people and ponies. Truthfully you should be allowed to live as a pony or a human, but I am forgiving and will allow it. Now are you ready to be converted?"
The broken leader just sighed and looked her right in the eye.
He then put the barrel of the gun in his mouth, smiled and pulled the trigger.
Daniel Breman took his own life to avoid become a pony on April 18th, 2030 in front of more than 300 ponies, including Princess Celestia. The ponies looked down at his body and slowly they all just left. Celestia was the last to leave after she pondered for hours on why he would rather die than become a pony. She could come up with no logical reason and then turned away and left him there to decay.
Two years later in 2032 ponies have been searching for the last of the humans. Now with less than 200 million left, only the most skilled can remain hidden. Jacob Sanders is one of them.
He is rescued in his home by a resistance leader named Hudd and joins his group. Jacob decides to stay behind in New York City.
He takes refuge in a well supplied, abandoned hotel. The hotel overlooks a pegasi base camp in what used to be Central Park. Hudd gives him a weapon and charges to disrupt the pegasi as much as he can.
He is able to acquire cans of gasoline and makes bombs from the charges. He spends the next nine months bombing the ponies base camp. He realizes that he doesn't have to kill lots of pegasi to disrupt them. Through his bombings he becomes someone they fear. There are only four deaths from the 13 times he bombs them.
However, on his 13th bomb, he unknowingly uses a more powerful charge that results in two of the four pony deaths. It also gets him spotted.
He gets as much supplies as he can and gets into an electric car. He drives a couple blocks before he blows the charges he had earlier placed on the foundations of the building. The hotel topples over onto another build, but is not completely destroyed.
He drives onto a one way street with pegasi still chasing him. He punches it and the car speeds up, leaving most of the ponies behind...Except two.
Spitfire pulls, the leader of the camp, pulls up on his left and Rainbow Dash on his right. Its Rainbow who takes the honor of paralyzing him.
He is carried back to the base that he had terrorized so many times before. His situation is explained to him by Spitfire and he is then led to the New Atlanta Bureau and kept in holding cell until the time of his conversion.
While he waits he decides to write down his story for future generations. He is graced with supplies by Twilight Sparkle who is interested in reading it when he is finished.
He completes his story moments before he is to be converted, but then the unthinkable happens.
Hudd and his resistance group blow up a side of the bureau and save Jacob and all the other humans from a forced conversion. He tosses his story to Twilight, before running off into the night.
This story begins 12 seconds after he runs out of the Bureau.
Chapter 1: A Plan?
It was a chaos like I had never seen before. Hundreds of us, of humans, had taken to the streets of Atlanta and were running in every possible direction. There were so many cheers and yells from us. We all were thankful at what had just happened. I was still in disbelief that Hudd and his group were. He was a true hero. They all were.
He had risked his own life and the lives of his group to save me from a four legged fate. Coming to the bureau was a huge gamble. But he had went all in and still came out winning.
I stuck like glue to him as we ran. I was part of his team again and we all ran together. We were a tiny ship of order in a stormy sea of chaos. Some of them tried to cling to us, strength in numbers and all. Hudd didn't reject, mostly because there was simply no time.
"Don't stop, keep moving!" Hudd shouted. It wasn't just to us, but to all who could hear him. He was trying to rekindle hope in our hearts. That we still had a chance against the ponies. In a way, he was right. We had all been handed a second chance. It was up to us what we did with it.
I looked up to the sky. The moon was full and shinning bright. Its beauty was only marred by the black figures that quickly streaked across it. I looked closer and could see wings.
Oh god. I thought.
Suddenly I saw people near me started to slow down and then stop completely. They would look at their limbs and then crumple to the pavement. Others took notice and started to watch the sky. That's when they came down. Dozens of them descended from the buildings around us.
"PEGASI!!" I shouted as loud as I could. The cheers stopped and were replaced by screams of terror. I didn't think it was possible, but the running became even more disorderly. I ducked and covered my ears as darts whizzed past me.
I crouched low, but still tried to keep up my pace. I jumped over the paralyzed members of my species. They cried out for my help and I desperately wanted to stop for them, but I knew if I did, I would get hit. I will never be able to rid their faces of abandonment and horror from my mind.
Guns were fired randomly in the air and a couple pegasi dropped from the sky. I looked around me and saw fallen bodies all over the street, both human and pony. I turned around and witnessed a human put his hands up in surrender, only to be tackled by a mass of earth ponies. Three humans tried to rush inside a building and were swiftly followed by a group of unicorns. It was all terrible, I had to leave it behind me.
Our groups situation looked to be improving. Those who had guns were dropping ponies like flies. I could see most of them had dozens of darts in their chests and arms, yet they kept moving. It had to be body armor, and a thick layer judging by the amount of darts they were deflecting.
Why didn't I think of that? I asked myself.
It eventually got to a point where there were no ponies in front of us. It was a straight shot, we could make it. It looked to good to be true and as it turned out, it was.
I rose to my normal height and kept running. I noticed that the moon looked much brighter for a moment then went back to normal. It was sending down something for us.
A dark, sinister looking chariot came down from above. Right before it impacted with the ground, it disappeared. Everybody stopped running and looked around, but there was nothing. Hudd stepped back cautiously, then tossed me a hand gun and a couple clips. That's when it happened.
About 30 feet in front of us, there was a small black orb. We all watched, group members and non members, as it spun rapidly. It suddenly enlarged to about 10 feet in diameter. The sudden change prompted many of us to back up a couple more feet. It kept spinning, but even faster than before. We foolishly kept watching as it got smaller again. After it reverted to its original small size, it exploded.
The blast sent about 70 people, including myself, flying backwards. There was no fire or shrapnel, only the force. It busted windows out of nearby buildings and put cracks in the pavement. It reminded me of what I had done to the ponies weeks ago. I landed on my ass with a thud. It hurt like hell, but I considered myself lucky. Some people were thrown into sides of buildings or just sent straight up into the air. I saw one person tossed threw a shattered glass window. Half of him entered the building and the other half fell to the street. It was horrible so I looked away, but what I had laid eyes on wasn't much better.
It was a dark purple pony with both wings and a horn. It was larger than a regular pony, but also smaller than Celestia. She had a flowing blue mane, that sparkled as if it were the night sky. On her flank was a Crescent moon. She would have been pretty beautiful, if not for the look on her face.
"LUUNNAA!!!!!" Someone's shout confirmed my fear. The immortal Princess of the Night had come for us.
"Shoot her!" Hudd shouted. We all began to empty our clips at her. I was still on the ground and was shooting her while I was down there. Bullet casings from members automatic rifles rained all down all over me.
Our bullets hit her, but only seemed to make her angry. They harmlessly streaked across her body and she turned towards us. She shouted something I couldn't understand and spread out her wings. Hundreds of darts rocketed away from her. If I hadn't been on the ground, I would have been hit multiple times. Hudd and the group and been hit, but they had been pushed back by the force of the darts.
She closed her wings, then reopened them. That's when the bats came. Thousands of pitch black bats spread out from her body. They were everywhere, I couldn't even see a foot in front of me.
I waved my hands around and tried my best to clear them from my vision. When I had gotten rid of most of them, I saw Luna running straight towards us. I tried to raise my gun, but it was too late. She knocked into us like we were bowling pins. Hudd, a familiar looking resistance member and I all slammed into the side of a building. I was dazzed and my vision was out of focus so I blinked a number of times. When it cleared up I saw Luna standing next to me with her sliver hoof raised.
Oh my god. What is she going to do to me?! That was the only thought running through my head. I looked at her face and saw an almost evil looking gaze was plastered on it. It was something I had never seen on a pony.
I thought it was over, but then I heard a crack and broken glass rained down from the back of her head. We both turned around and saw a large group of people throwing rocks and bottles and whatever else they could get their hands on. She forgot about me and turned towards the group that was rapidly disseminating.
"Lefty, DO IT NOW!!" Hudd shouted.
I rolled over and saw a tall, built white guy throw what looked like a small rock towards Luna. It stuck on her flank, but she didn't seem to notice it. Most likely because she was busy tossing people around.
"Come on lets go." Hudd said. We were helped up and started moving again, using Luna's thrashing to our advantage.
"Alright now." Hudd said. All the members except me grabbed a cylinder shaped item from their belts and threw it behind them. A thick, heavy cloud of smoke was quickly produced behind us as we made our escape.
"Lefty, blow it." Hudd commanded calmly.
Lefty nodded and squeezed a detonator. We walked away from the explosion and heard Luna scream behind us. It hadn't killed her, not even close, but it did buy us some time.
"Lets move people." He calmly said again, as he picked up his pace. Damn he was a good leader.
I just couldn't understand it. Those humans had just appeared out of nowhere and taken 2/ 3 of our humans. I knew we had guards watching outside, but we were given no warning at all. I was a lucky one and was spared from the gun fire, while my kind dropped all around me. It was horrible what had just happened, but I was still kind of excited.
The human, Jacob, had tossed me his story and I was very much looking forward to reading it. However, I wasn't about to leave without helping out first. I quickly fixed the wall using the same spell I had used to fix a dam years and years ago. It was difficult the first time, but through practice and experience I had learned to perform it with ease.
"Excuse me, Miss Sparkle?" The voice of the Chief Guard came from behind me.
"Hmm?" At the moment I didn't really feel like talking.
"Rainbow Dash and Spitfire will be here in a matter of minutes.
I could tell my eyes had lit up with happiness. "Really, shes coming here?!!?" I ran up to the chief and asked with my eyes wide.
"...Yes." He said it almost nervously.
"Yay!!" I was so happy that I would get to see Rainbow Dash again. It had been so long since I had seen any of my best friends. I hopped around the room while the chief just watched me. I didn't care how I act then, I was much too excited.
I quickly finished assisting, then went outside to wait.
I could see Rainbow coming from a mile away, she was the kind of pony that was hard to miss. She and Spitfire landed in front me and I could hardly contain my joy. Spitfire knew it had been a long time, so she continued on into the Bureau.
"I'll let you two catch up, but remember that we do have a LOT to talk about inside." She told us, as she walked by.
I waited until she was fully out of sight before I ran to Rainbow. She was much faster than me, so she met me first.
I embraced my friend in a tight hug.
"Its so good to see you again!" I didn't want to cry, but I teared up anyway.
"Likewise." She said.
"Have you seen the others?" I asked.
"Fluttershy was with me up North. Shes coming down too, but you know her, it might take her a while."
We both laughed a little.
"I know that Applejack was way out west. Her family had started a small settlement and she was helping them out with it." I conveyed the information in the letter that I had received almost a year ago.
"What about Pinkie and Rarity?" she asked, hopeful.
I could only shake my head. I hadn't heard from either of them in quite a while. Rainbow just shook her head and looked around. She took noticed of all the activity and wounded guards.
"What the hay happened here?" She asked.
I gave a small laugh and pulled her hoof towards the entrance. "Come on, Dash, we do have a LOT to talk about.
We had ran through the night and it was exhausting. It seemed to take forever, but eventually we had made it out of the city into more wooded areas. I had just woken up from about eight hours of very uncomfortable sleep. After all we had done, I welcomed the rest, but I still missed my comfy bed. In the bureau holding cell, I at least had a flat mattress, but now in the woods I was reduced to sleeping on my shirt.
I walked around our makeshift campsite and saw many faces, both known and unfamiliar. Farther away from us, were other people. It was only a couple of them and they made sure to give us our space. I knew that all they wanted was some protection, but we were not bodyguards.
I continued to walked around the perimeter of the camp, mostly just to waste time until the others woke up. It must've been close to two hours that I was away. I finally could start to see activity happening in the camp. I started sprinting towards them as I thought I should be included in any decisions made.
I got closer and closer to some guy who was turned around, getting something from a bag. My foot steps were loud and I was approaching him from behind, I should have known better.
When I got within 15 feet of him, he quickly turned around and pointed a pistol at me.
"Don't move!" He yelled.
I could do nothing, but raise my hands up. I didn't know who this new guy was,but he looked pretty young, probably only a couple years out of high school. He also looked scared, people who are scared tend to be unpredictable. So I made no sudden moves.
"Wh...who are you?!" He stammered.
"I'm-" My response was cut off.
"Jason, is a part of this group." Hudd walked next to the young guy and pushed his gun down so that it was pointed at the ground. "And he is also the reason that many of us still have two legs. So just chill out, kid" He smiled and nodded at me with gratitude. I gratefully returned it.
Other members started gathering around us in a semi circle. They were all giving small chuckles.
The "kid" moved towards me, with regret all over his face. This guy was young, but he had a look about him that showed he had been through a lot.
"I'm sorry about that, Mr. Jason. I'm just...Cautious." He said as he shook my hand.
"Mr. Jason?! I thought. Yeah this guy was definitely just out of High school.
"Its fine. These days its good to be a little...Cautious." I accepted his apology and he backed up again, next to Hudd. I could tell he was self conscious about being the youngest one among us. I'm sure the nickname "Kid" didn't help too much either.
"Well since were all here, I guess I should introduce everybody." Hudd moved outside the half circle and walked around it. "You already know, Lefty, Ice and Mint." When he passed them, they smiled and nodded. "These our are newest members." He put a hand on their shoulders. "This here is Rain and Raymond Maye, but we just call him Kid."
Even though Kid was ready to shoot me a couple minutes ago, I paid no attention to him. I was staring at Rain.
I had previously been married with a daughter and I had never once questioned my sexuality...Until Now. This guy was beautiful, he had amber eyes and such soft facial features, almost like a women. He had a black beanie on his head and his body armor was still on him. I loved it and loathed it at the same time. How could I be having these feelings at a time like this? And about a guy no less?! I didn't want to be gay!
Hudd looked back and forth between us a couple times and gave a good, hearty laugh. He grabbed the top of his hat and Rain brought his hands to try and keep it on. However, it was already to late. The hat came off and brown hair flowed down from the top of his head. He sighed with a very feminine tone and undid his body armor. It fell to the ground, revealing a pair a healthy sized breasts and curvy female body.
"Ok fine, the jig is up. I'm a female, but keep it to yourself, ok? Most of these guys haven't seen girls around here in while and would do anything to satisfy their...urges."
YESSSS!!! All I really heard was that he was really a she, which meant I was still straight. Right?
"You get me?" She asked.
"Yyyy...Yeah of course. Soooo um... do you all have nicknames?" I asked, desperate to change the subject.
"Yeah, mostly. Real names are just too hard to remember. Plus what would really sound more badass to you?" Mint answered.
We all laughed, except Raymond. The kid had to have been fucked up big time. He stood slightly away from us with his hands in his pockets, looking down. It reminded me that we had some much more serious business to talk about. I walked back to my shirt and sat down. Lefty, Ice and Hudd brought over some stumps for us to sit on. He intentionally positioned Rain's stump closer to my own and shot me a quick wink. We all seemed to have a good attitude, despite last nights events.
"So, whats the plan now?" I asked. I didn't want to be a wet blanket and ruin our current mood, but it turns out it wouldn't be me.
We all looked to Hudd who was was about to speak when he was cut off.
It was about 1:00 in the afternoon and no one had noticed that the sun was positioned almost directly overhead. All our faces grew dark and grim, as a message from Celestia filled our heads. Things were about to get much worse for us.
End Chapter 1
AN: Ok thats all I got for now. If you liked it please give it a thumbs up, it makes me feel good. :)
Chapter 2: Not Friends
A human death, many pony lives lost; both sides had casualties last night, this cannot continue. So after much deliberation, my younger sister and I have come up with a solution: we must make a deal. We are prepared to order a cease fire of all paralysis on humans, but this being a deal, we must receive something in return. We want seven humans. Lefty, Mint, Ice, Rain, Raymond Maye and the two apparent leaders, Jacob Sanders and Hudd. I unfortunately do not know the true identities of most of them, but I do have their faces. These humans travel together in a group and are extremely dangerous and responsible for the deaths of many humans and ponies and causing harm to my sister. If they are brought to the Atlanta Conversion Bureau still alive and in good health, all paralysis will stop. 30 days will be given to comply."
I just stared at the bookshelf on my wall. I didn't want to believe what I had just heard, it didn't seem like my teachers words. I had never heard her lie as blatantly as she just had. I knew she was angry, but her tone hadn't expressed it. I was supposed to meet up with Fluttershy, but knew I had to see the Princess.
I left my room and weaved my way through the maze of corridors in the bureau's private underground section. Celestia had put a teleportation barrier down here, so that meant I had to walk everywhere. It was designed as a maze to confuse humans, should they find their way down here. This section had our living quarters, science labs and the Princess had even thrown in a decently sized library.
I followed the winding path towards the Princesses rooms. Their rooms were in the most secure part of the maze. Only a few ponies were allowed to get anywhere close to them. The guards smiled and nodded when they saw me, I was cleared to go anywhere in the bureau.
I had just passed the guard post when I spotted my first royal pony.
"Twilight Sparkle." Luna smiled when she saw me. She didn't look too good. Her usually flowing dark blue mane was now ragged and straight down. Her coat was littered with black marks and streaks, the biggest of which, was a blast mark on her flank.
"Princess Luna...Its good to see you again." I thought it best not to mention her current appearance.
"Likewise. I'll assume you're looking for Celestia to...discuss her latest message." She said discuss with a slightly angry tone.
"Yes, I would definitely like to discuss it with her." I replied, nodding.
"Well shes on the roof. She been up there since last night."
"Thank you, Princess." I said turning. Her voice sounded... weaker, whatever the humans did to her, it some how had an affect.
I quickly made my way up the stairs to the main level of the bureau. As soon as I opened the door, I used my spell to teleport me to the roof.
I brought a hoof up to my eyes, I had forgotten that it was the middle of the day. When my eyes adjusted, I could see Celestia staring off into the distance.
"Hello Twilight. I knew you'd come, once you had heard my message." she said, without turning around.
"Why would you do that." I tried to keep my tone as respectful as I could.
"Do what?" she asked as if she had no clue what she had done.
"Why would you lie about stopping paralysis? You told me when I had completed it that you would never stop."
Princess Celestia turned around and walked up to me.
"I haven't lied about anything, Twilight. The paralysis darts will stop, but only to be replaced."
"What do you mean?" I asked cautious.
"Follow me to the laboratory, there are somethings you'll really want to see."
"WHAT THE FUCK WAS THAT?!!" Raymond screamed.
"Calm down, Kid. We all need to talk about what to do." Hudd said a bit softly. I could tell he was nervous about Celestia's message, but he remained cool and collected, unlike Kid. He was shaking uncontrollably and it looked as he was on the verge of crying.
"If...If...If he finds...me ..again." He whimpered.
"That pony is not going to find you, so just-"
"She just put our fucking faces and names in everyone's mind! Of course he'll find me!"
I tried to stop him, but Mint was already upon him. He picked him up by his shirt collar and raised him above his head.
"Look Kid, we really have to talk about our game plan, so now is not the time to break down. Now you go sit over there and cry or do whatever you have to do, just do it FUCKING QUIETLY!" He let go of his collar and he dropped to the ground. He crawled over to his makeshift mattress and laid down.
Thank god.I thought.
"Now then, about that message." Mint gestured towards Hudd.
"Its a smart move, I can see why she did it." He said.
"You're right. She knows the biggest threat we can pose to them is together as a group. So it makes sense that she would try to steer other humans away from us. She fears us uniting, so she'll want to keep us isolated." Mint explained.
I was usually more of a quiet guy, but I just couldn't stay silent when false information was being spread.
"Its not isolation...well not entirely." All their attention was turned on me. Hudd nodded and gave a gesture for me to continue.
"Didn't you hear her? Shes offering to stop paralysis if we are turned in, and she wants people to do it. She doesn't want to isolate us, she wants people to come after us."
"Why would she want them against us?" Rain asked
"A lot of reasons. She no doubt pissed about last night's pony blood bath. She lost a considerable number. Our weapons trump her darts in landslide, no doubt about it. She only has her numbers on her side. Ponies outnumber the seven of us something like 20 to 1, but her weapons are so weak, that she'll want to avoid any kind of direct attack. That's why shes using false hope and the desperation of people to try and subdue us. If she can't hit us head on, she'll have people who are close to us do it." I answered.
"That makes sense, but why would anyone believe her lie about stopping paralysis?" Rain still was unsure.
"You have to understand, these people have resisted conversion at every turn, both as an option and forced. They have been on the run as long as we have. They're tired and desperate and just looking for a way to end it. They're not bad and they're not our enemy." Hudd's tone was back to its normal, confident level, Like he knew something the rest of us didn't.
"What are you going to do if people come after us?" Raymond had calmed down and rejoined the conversation.
"We can't kill them so we'll use intimidation." Celestia doesn't want them to hurt us either, so we will leave them alone."
"So where do we go now?" Jason asked.
Hudd looked down and sighed. "Well Lefty made a good point; we are heavily out numbered. So I guess we have no choice, we have to head back into the city. We need some more numbers"
My heart dropped. I had figured out Hudd's new plan. "No... We can't. We can't go see them again! You know what they'll do!" I protested.
"I know, I know, But we have very limited options now. There aren't many people we can trust now."
"You would trust them?!" I asked him.
"No, but I know that they would never turn us in. Now come on, its time to see some old friends."
"Oh my... What is that?" I stared at the bright green liquid in the test tube. I knew exactly what it really was, I just couldn't believe it.
"Don't act clueless, Twilight. You worked on this years ago, you know what this is." Celestia moved around to the other side of the table.
"Yes, but we scrapped it and I created the paralysis darts. There were just too many problems with the original."
"Yes that's true..." She trailed off as she magically lifted the tube up and got a closer look.
"How long have you been working on this?" I asked. I was disappointed that I wasn't brought on the project.
"A little over a year. I'm sorry I didn't bring you on, but you were so busy running the last of the bureaus." She sensed my anger.
I sighed, now that the serum was done, there was no need to get angry.
"It's fine. But how did you work about the development problems?"
"Well Its was thick that if was shot from a dart gun, it would just stay in the dart. This problem was fixed by warming the serum up to about 110 degrees. But to do that, we had to develop a new kinda of way to inject it. So we had to make a new kind of dart gun." Celestia moved over to a cabinet and pulled out a large, grey metal...thing.
"What is that?" I asked
She levitated it up for me to see. "This is the new and improved dart gun. It can warm up the serum so that it is actually effective and can shoot multiple vials in a much shorter amount of time. It can also shoot either the paralysis darts or the new conversion liquid."
"This looks like its ready for war." This new device scared me, it slightly reminded me our old guns, but resembled humans guns almost exactly.
Celestia sighed and turned around. "I don't want it to come to that, but I fear it may anyway. A large shipment of these will be ready in about 25 days and another three or four to distribute them."
"What is going on. Was your message this morning only to buy time?" It sounded like we were preparing for some kind of battle and I didn't like that idea.
"I must say that I do not expect them to come forth with the seven I asked for. Twilight, I cannot allow a repeat of last night. The humans are getting bolder, the paralysis dart are losing their mental effectiveness. They are not as scared as they once were. These new darts will skip the process of paralyzing them and convert them directly. "
"I know, but a battle with them just seems..." Celestia interrupted me.
"Twilight, there is actually more. Follow me." The princess put the gun down and walked out the door.
I was annoyed about being cut off. but followed her. On my way out, I saw a small, red pegasus standing in the doorway. We made eye contact and he quickly looked away. I could tell there was something...off about him, but I didn't think much of it and continued to follow Celestia.
We had been in one of the labs in the basement and we twisted through a couple hallways until we reached a plain brown door. Celestia opened it and inside was a huge, black, vault door. It wasn't Equestrian or magic, but still looked pretty secure.
Celestia stamped in a long code on the hoof sized buttons. It took the door about two minutes to swing open. When it did Celetia slipped inside and gestured for me to follow. I quickly stepped in beside her. There was only one small object in the middle of the vault. My eyes widened at the sight of it.
"Is that what I think it is?" I asked, both amazed and horrified.
"Celestia gave a short simple answer. "Yes."
It took us about two hours to get back inside the city. I thought it was foolish that we were going back to the area we had just escaped from, but Hudd reassured me that it was the best option.
He said that he knew a "friend" who set up some kind of operation in one of the buildings around here. I doubted any of us could still call people friends.
Lefty didn't make me feel any better, he seemed very reluctant at the idea Hudd had. Whoever we were about to see, they must have met while I was in New York.
People, even ones that had been rescued from the bureau, followed us constantly. I ignored most of the threats and insults they threw at me, but they did make me start to think.
What if they we're right? I thought. What if we turned ourselves in and ended the hardship for the others?"
I knew that even if we did, Celestia would not stop the conversion, but the comments they shouted did start to get to me. They made me feel guilty, like it was all my fault.
A couple times they tried to get more violent with us. A couple of them would try to approach us with chains, 2x4s and pipes. A gun raised towards them usually sent them away running. It wasn't too hard to avoid people, but then again no one had threatened us with a firearm yet and I thought it was only a matter of time.
After about another three hours of walking through the city we came up on the target building. It was wide and had about 12 stories. From the outside the building looked like it might have at one time been a business.
"This is it." Hudd announced. Lefty gulped, but said nothing. I had a feeling that this was going to be bad. I raised my pistol towards the door, but Mint grabbed the barrel and pointed it down. He shook his head no and pointed towards every else who had already put their weapons away. I followed suit and did the same. Hudd walked up to the door and pulled it open.
It was unlocked, but didn't seem very welcoming. Hudd led the way through the first floor. It was dark and was cleared entirely of furniture. Hudd walked with confidence, but I was partly crouched. I could hear a noise up stairs, but I couldn't tell exactly what it was.
We walked to the opposite end of the building and found stairs. On the way up, Hudd gave us some last minute info.
"Ok so she may slightly have anger issues, so its best for now that you all do as she says."
"Slightly?" Lefty muttered.
Hudd didn't respond and put his hand on the second floor door. I could see a small amount of light coming from it.
"Most importantly, no guns, no matter what." Hudd added. He breathed in and out then pulled the double doors open.
All seven of us stared at the sight beyond the door. Dozens of people were spread out on the second floor of the building. Unfortunately, the closest ones had the barrels of assault rifles pointed directly at us. We all raised our hands and Hudd tried to speak up.
"Look I'm here to see- Unhgh!" Hudd was struck in the stomach by the butt of a gun. He crumpled to the floor and cable ties were fastened on his wrists.
"Wait a minu- oohfgm" I started to protest before I too was hit. I fell to my stomach and my hands were tied behind my back. While on the ground, I saw the other five in the process of being bound. I thought we were going to Celestia, I couldn't believe that it was going to be over that quickly.
To my surprise, we were not carried outside, but further in to the building. This was either really good or really, really bad and seeing as our hands were tied, it was probably bad.
We were dragged up a couple more flights of stairs to the 9th floor. There had been dozens of humans waiting to see us on each floor and the 9th seemed to have the most.
How many people are in here?! I thought as the crowd split. We had stopped before a short figure who was turned around, looking at something on a table. As soon as the crowd's noise died down, Hudd spoke.
"Hey Friend, haven't seen you in a while. I'll get right to it, I need a favor." Hudd sounded as if he hadn't minded being struck and tied.
"God Damn it, Hudd. I told you before we're not friends." The person's voice was serious and scratchy, yet still soft and light.
"I also said never to come by here." The person turned around walked up to us. It was a female. She had loose fitting jeans on and a black tank top. She wore no armour, unlike the people with guns who were covered from head to toe.
"You're not very good at listening. Now is really not a good time for you to show up." She knelt down next to him with her knee pressed against the side of neck. She pulled out a hand gun and rubbed it around his forehead.
"Stop it!" We turned to Ice. Who had just spoken his first words in a long time.
"Oh do you want some too?! You know shooting you would probably be a better end than whatever Celestia wants you for. Maybe i'll go to the bureau and tell her who I've caught..." She pointed the gun over towards Ice for a moment, then went back to Hudd.
"Ice, I've got this." Hudd still spoke with confidence, although I couldn't see why. "And you wouldn't turn us in to the Bureau, because you know that her whole "I'll stop paralysis" thing is a steamy pile of ponyshit. Although paralysis wouldn't bother you too much, would it Rebecca?"
"What?" I asked confused
"Rebecca here seems to think that she's immune to the effects of the paralysis darts."
"Shut up Hudd, I am immune."
"Well what if they were to stop using paralysis?"
Hers eyes widened with interest.
"What do you know, Hudd?"
"I know lots of things. Much of which I think you would find very appealing."
"Fine, if you have information, I'll need it, but we'll talk alone. Your guys will have to stay in the basement."
"How can I be sure they'll get out of there?" Hudd's tone turned deadly serious. Whatever this basement was, I knew it wasn't going to be good.
"You can't, but they will."
Hudd turned his head towards us, then back towards Rebecca.
"Fine, Now get me up."
She nodded to one of`the guys and he used scissors to cut off his ties. He rubbed his wrists for a moment then looked up.
"Alright, where are we going?"
"We'll go one floor up." Rebecca started heading towards the stairs with Hudd behind her. Before she went up the stairs, she pointed to us then pointed straight down.
Her guards grabbed us and we were dragged back downstairs. When we got to the second floor, the guard took us over to a computer. The computer wasn't on, but he typed in a sequence on the keyboard anyway.
Suddenly a small portion of the wall next to it swung open.
"Secret doors, good to know." Mint muttered.
We were taken down another flight of stairs down to a dimly lit room. The guard flipped a switch and slowly more lights started to illuminate the room. When I saw the area that we had to stay in, I wished the lights would turn off again.
It was a prison. About eight cells were on either side of the room. As we were led down, I could see both ponies and humans on the other side of the bars. The took us to three cells and pushed us with inside. I got paired with Lefty. Ice had Rain, and Mint got stuck with the whimpering Kid.
The guards went back up the stairs, we were locked in, but at least they kept the lights one. No one spoke for a really long time, the only sounds came the hum of the bulbs and the occasional groan from the other inhabitants.
After about 30 minutes someone finally spoke up.
"I knew coming here would be a bad idea." It was Lefty.
"Yeah, no kidding." I said trying to start a conversation. "Who was that lady?"
"That was Rebecca Bowen. We met her a couple weeks after you stayed in New York.Personally, I don't like her, but that could just be me."
"No its not." Mint stood up. "I hate that bitch."
"Of course you do after what she did last time."
"Why, what happened last time?" I asked.
"Nothing!" Mint replied quickly.
"She basically kicked his ass because he didn't believe she was immune to the paralysis."
"She could have just given a damn demonstration..."
"She did, remember?"
"Yeah, but only after she kicked my ass." Mint was angry at the memory, but we laughed anyway. It helped to lighten the mood in such a dark, dank place.
"So is it true, is she really immune?"
"Apparently so, that's the only reason that shes in charge of this whole thing. She uses that to attract people to follow behind her." Mint sounded disgusted.
"Yeah that and that fact that shes probably the best fighter in this place." Lefty added.
"What does Hudd know about the ponies stopping paralysis?" I asked.
"Well I've heard that he has an some kind of informant, but I've never asked about it. Best not to go digging through Hudd's dirty laundry." Mint said.
"Yeah." Lefty agreed. There was a pause, if could tell they both wanted to get off the subject. "Someone tell me where the hell Ice is?" He said, trying to keep the conversation alive.
"Over here, hes been asleep for like 15 minutes." Rain had spoken her first words for the night.
"Yeah I think Kid finally stopped his noise and feel asleep too."Mint lightly nudged Kid's back to ensure that he actually was asleep.
"Actually that's not too bad of an idea. We've all been through a lot today, so I think follow their lead." I said as I laid down on the cold concrete floor.
"Yeah I'm right behind you." Lefty said.
"Please don't say that when we're in a cell together." I attempted to make one last joke before I went to sleep.
I heard a chuckle, proving that my joke was successful. I smiled then closed my eyes, the ground was hard and uncomfortable, but after a couple minutes I fell into a deep sleep.
I heard a female a voice coming from over me, but my sleep mode was still activated so I my body didn't react.
It was louder this time and I moved closer to awake mode. This time I pulled my arms and legs closer to my chest.
"I said to WAKE THE FUCK UP!!" A hard kick to my shoulder pushed my into fully awake immediately. I jumped up, ready to fight my attacker. I had a fist aimed directly at Rebecca's face, she had a pistol now raised at mine. She looked like she was ready to fire if I came any closer so I backed off and she put the pistol away.
"Nice reflexes, Lefty. Come on and follow me." Her previous face had melted away into something far less hostile. I looked around my cell and the ones nearest to me, everyone else from our from was gone.
"Where is everybody?" I asked, suspiciously.
"There already up stairs, now come." She was already up headed up the stairs. The fact that she had left me alone meant that she was in a good mood. Whatever Hudd talked to her about, must been some really good news.
Rebecca went all the way to the 9th floor and I followed behind her. Everyone else was huddled around a table and there were two spaces for us.
"Hey, Lefty, your just in time." Hudd also seemed to be in a happier mood. "Rebecca has agreed to my plan."
"Yes, well the outcome of a success means more to me that the consequences of a failure."
"What plan?" I was so confused. "What the hell is going on?!" I was a bit angry that I was given details to any of this.
"I'll explain the all the details later, but just know that the ponies have some thing of great interest to us. And the only way to get it is to raid the bureau." Rebecca sounded almost too happy.
"What?" Thier plan sounded like a suicide mission. "Why would we attack the same bureau twice?"
"I know this sounds crazy and ill explain later, but trust me, whats at the bureau is something we desperately need. It could completely change the tides in this." I could tell Hudd was getting more and more excited as he spoke.
"So just relax Lefty." Rebecca reassured. "Get some food, we've got plenty here. Go down stairs and meet some people, they're part of my group so they won't buy into Celestia's bullshit. I promise Hudd and I will explain later."
"Oook. If you say so..." I stepped away from the table an headed for the stairs. Their plan still bothered me, the devil was probably hidden in the details that they were not ready to share just yet. I turned around and asked one more question.
"You got a weight room in this place?"
Rebecca smiled. "Third floor." was her reply and I head down for it.
The rest of the day was spent more or less relaxing. I lifted weights, ate relatively good food and got pulled into conversation by the talkative people. Rebecca said that there were about 145- 160 people living in this building and that most were just regular people. I had even spoken to some of the guards, they had been cool guys, just following the orders given. It was a very good day, one that I had not had in quite a while. But in my life good things are usually followed by something horrible, This was no instance was no different.
I decided that I would finish my day off with a jog around the building. One the first two sides I saw nothing, but in the back of the building I saw a pony. I quickly ducked behind a car and had a look at it. It was red pegasus, he was small, but I had gone out side with no weapon so he still posed a threat. I could definitely tell there was something...off about him. He looked like he was waiting for something, or someone.
Sure enough a couple minutes later a person came from the opposite side of the building. I couldn't tell who it was right away, but as they came closer my heart started to sink.
"We're you followed?" The pony asked.
"I don't think so." The human looked back and forth.
"Ok here." The pony held out a single white sheet of paper. "Sorry this is the best I could do."
"Its fine, Hudd and the others will like this."
I watched as Ice took the sheet from the pony's hooves.
Ice was talking to the enemy. Ice was a fucking traitor.
End Chapter 2
I sat down on my bed, unsure of what to do. Princess Celestia had shown me something so groundbreaking and incredible that it made me a little bit frightened for what the future held.
"Ugghh." I exclaimed. I decided that I should make the most of this time. I walked over to my bookshelf and removed a thick human history book from the shelf. With magic I flipped to middle of it and pulled out the pages Jacob had given me. I hadn't been able to read them since they were tossed to me. But that was going to change now.
"Here we go." I said out loud as I flipped to the first page.
Hello, my name is Jacob Sanders and I am currently awaiting my forced conversion in a holding cell at the new Atlanta Conversion Bureau. Once the paralysis wore off I had loads of time to myself to think. I had a wonderful time the last couple years of disrupting pegasus movements in New York. I decided that I should write down the last couple years of my life as I think ponies might like to read about me in the future.
The purple unicorn pony, who frequently walked-
"Twilight Sparkle?" The guards voice pulled me out of the world I was about to enter. I quickly hid the pages and turned towards the door at him.
"Princess Celestia has requested your presence in the CC."
I put Jacob's story back in the middle of the book. Darn it. And he had just started to mention me I said to myself. I placed the book back on the shelf on my way out.
The Control Center or CC in the Atlanta bureau was where 90% of all remaining pony operations on earth were monitored. It was on the main floor, which meant I didn't have to weave my way through the maze of hallways in the basement.
When the guards cleared me and I entered the room, I could tell that something big was about to happen. Ponies were running everywhere carrying documents, the ones who were sitting down were speaking into microphones and a map of the area with an X placed at one corner was on a large screen. I looked around and finally found Princess Celestia staring intently at one of the screens near her.
"You called for me, Your highness?" I asked, once I had pushed my way through the crowd.
"Ah yes. I wanted you to see our moment of triumph tonight.
"What is it?" I asked.
"Well first take a look at this." She pointed towards the screen. It was a rotating aerial view over a wide building that had about 12 levels.
"Ok, what about this building?"
"There are humans living inside of it, LOTS of them." She told me.
"How do you know this?" I asked, completely flustered.
"I have one or two ponies placed in...strategic positions near them." She said with pride.
"How in Equestria could you get ponies close to them?!" I asked.
"Twilight, have you forgotten? The serum I showed you yesterday, we had already begun pony trials...and it works."She said.
"Whoa." I said in awe.
"Yes and those in the field have already confirmed that the seven I asked for are in there as well. That's the main reason I'm going with this plan."
"But what about your cease fire? I thought you were going to stop." I said.
"I only called that to get the seven humans, but now that I know where they are, there is no need for it."
"But you lied..." I broke off.
"Think about it, Twilight. We could end this threat right now. Its the right call." She tried to argue.
"I will not be here to watch this." I said firmly and headed to the exit.
"Twilight. Twilight!" Celestia called after me, but she was too late.
I was already at the door and I turned for one last look inside. The last thing I saw before I left was the camera moving rapidly towards one of the upper floor windows. Those humans were sure in for a surprise.
I walked around to the front door and headed inside. My meet with Red Flash had gone well as usual and I knew we could make good use of this new information.
I reached in my pocket and took out the paper again. I unfolded it to lay eyes on Celestia's new weapon. It looked like a human gun, but if you looked hard enough, you could see the slight resemblance to the old dart guns they used. Red Flash had told me that they were highly upgraded and designed for something different than the old guns. He said that a pony technician told him that they were "special", but would not give him anymore details. Regardless, this picture with its dimensions would still be of great use.
Hearing a noise behind me I quickly stuffed it back in my pocket and headed up the stairs. The second floor was empty, just a couple drinks and weapons left on tables. Same with the third and fourth. Guns and knives looked like they had just been dropped.
When I got to the fifth, I finally caught someone.
"Hey!" I yelled to him as he was about to go up stairs.
"What is it?" He asked impatiently.
"Where the hell is everyone?" I asked.
"Rebecca called a meeting. Everyone says shes gonna brief us on the plan that she and that guy from yesterday cooked up." He explained.
"Alright, thanks." I told him.
"No problem. You can follow me if you don't know where it is, but I think we're late." He said, already going up.
"Alright cool." I said and followed him.
We ran up the stairs until we got to the ninth. On the last flight, I saw something that made me feel uneasy. As we were going up I saw two odd looking females, both very early in their 20s coming down. The one in front had purple-ish colored hair and a bright orange shirt on. She passed me with no problems.
The other one had red-ish hair with a large pink bow tied in the back. I felt like time started to slow down as we got closer. It was in slow motion when she passed me, I stared and her going down and she stared at me going up. There was definitely something very off about both of them, but I could quite put my finger on it. However, instead of saying something, I kept going and filled into the crowed 10th floor.
Rebecca and Hudd were on a raised platform, about five feet off the ground. Dozens of huge, battery cells were keeping lights and speakers on. I weaved my way through dozens of people to get a closer view. I noticed that not too many of them had any weapons and then realized that they must have left them back downstairs.
I had gotten pretty close to the platform when Rebecca stepped up to a microphone.
"Everyone Quiet down." She said and the room quickly went silent. "I will not drag on and on about the problems and hardships we face, but rather I will get straight to what our solution is." She said and everyone started to cheer.
"Hudd and I have decided that the most effective plan of attack against the ponies is to hit them directly. We're going go for the-" She couldn't finish.
All at once, the windows around the room were busted open and in came pegasi. Dozens of them flooded in and flew up towards the ceiling. The one that stood out the most was light blue with a rainbow colored mane and tail. It was the one Jacob had talked about on the way here. She removed what looked like a camera from the top of her head and threw it to the ground. All of us just stared at them in complete shock.
Once they were above us, they pulled the familiar dart guns out and opened fire. People everywhere started dropping from the paralysis and I dropped as one of them. I wasn't hit, but I figured they wouldn't aim for someone who was already down. Those still standing reached for their sides, only to remember that most of them had left their guns back down stairs. People who didn't leave them behind could only get a few random shots off before they too were hit and went down.
Realizing that they were unarmed, everyone panicked and started stampeding towards the stairs. But there were so many of them that they bottle necked on the cramped stairwell and became easy targets. I was stepped on many times as I tried to crawl to them, but when I saw how many of them were dropping in that direction, I stopped.
I turned around towards the platform to see Rebecca and Hudd dive off it. A huge barrage of darts hit where they had previously stood. Hudd flipped over mid dive with a shotgun and removed the head from one of the pegasi behind them. He landed and slid on his back and brought two more pegasi down.
"DO IT!" he yelled.
Rebecca pulled out a detonator, closed her eyes and squeezed it.
The detonator set off about a two dozen, small, deafening explosions in the floor. I covered my head and neck as storm of splinters and debris fell all around me. The explosions had cut out a U shape in the floor. The curve was in the middle and the two ends were on either side of the the wall that had the stairs. Dust clouded the pony's vision and they stopped firing. Even through all the screams, I could hear the sound of the floor creaking and crossbeams snapping below us. The floor closest to the curve of the U suddenly dropped a few feet below the surrounding area.
"Oh this is not good." I said out loud as I worked out what was about to happen.
I heard one last long groan and then a final sound of metal bending and snapping. Then seconds later the floor fell. The entire curved section slammed into the ninth floor and crushed most everything on it. The two ends stayed attached to the floor above and made a sort of gigantic ramp.
Everything that was on the section then started to slide down it. Rebecca, Hudd and I were all close to the curve so our slide was relatively short. Those higher up weren't so lucky. People who had been trying to go down the stairs had the farthest to go. They flipped and rolled into each other before hitting what was left of the ninth floor. Paralyzed people were helpless as others rolled and crashed into them.
The air from the fall had blown most of the dust away and the pegasi had picked up shooting again.
Rebecca picked herself up and shouted. "Come on! There's a cache this way!"
Hudd and I rose and followed her down a hallway. A couple other people who could stand, came with us. We went down a couple more paths and eventually came upon a locked room. Rebecca pulled out a key ring and started searching for the right one. Hudd, who was impatient, shot the hinges off with his shotgun and kicked his way inside.
He started passing down random weapons until a sufficient amount of us were armed. We very slowly made our way back to where the floor collapsed in. We had expected a fight, but there was nothing. The pegasi were gone and they had taken the paralyzed people with them. None of them were left. They had all been carried out by the pegasi, starting as soon as we left.
"They're gone."Rebecca said quietly. "We need to search for anyone they didn't take. If you find anyone tell them to go to the first floor immediately."
"Everyone nodded and went off in different directions. I climbed back up the floor section to look for anyone they could have possibly missed.
Two hours later, I had gone downstairs and was standing around waiting for anyone else to come down. The only person I found was Rain, hiding in a janitor's closet.
There were only about 30 or 40 of us down here. Things weren't looking good.
"Alright everyone stay still, I need a count." Rebecca stood on a couple chairs and started to tally us up.
I looked around and got a sinking feeling in my heart. I saw Hudd, Kid, Rain, Jacob and Lefty...but no Mint.
No way they got Mint. I assured myself. Mint's to good for that.
When Rebecca was finished, she frowned in confusion and whispered something to Hudd.
"Ok there 47 of us left in total. I suggest that you all gather as much supplies as you can, we can not stay here." She said sadly.
Hudd motioned for us to come to him and we all headed in his direction.
"Its Mint." He said sadly. "Hes gone, they got him." We all went silent, Mint had been one of the earliest people to join Hudd. He was a amazing and loyal friend beyond comparison. His strength and power was great, but was also backed by a powerful mind. I couldn't believe that they actually got him, now we were -1again.
"Are you happy." he asked me. My moment of grief was broken by Lefty's fuming.
"What are you talking about?" I asked back.
Lefty put his hands on my chest and pushed me down. "You know what Im talking about!" He said, raising his voice and attracting more attention. "I see you talking to a pegasus outside and then 20 minutes later we get attacked by them!"
The people around started to chatter and converse about what they had just heard.
"Whats this now?" Rebecca asked as she came over.
"I saw him talking with a pegasus and then they attack us." He told her.
"You did what?!" Rebecca asked coming towards me.
"That wasn't it!" I protested. "I was-" I had to stop myself. I rolled my neck in a circle and caught a glimpse of Hudd who was shaking his head. He didn't want me to blow my cover , but not doing so would make me look guilty.
I simply held my head down, there was nothing that I could say. The people around me started to yell insults and I heard weapons being pulled out.
Oh shit, they're going to kill me. I thought to myself. A few of them came towards me, but Rebecca stopped them. She raised her gun to my fore head and for a second I thought she was going to take me out right there. But then she tilted her head in the direction of the door. She motioned for Hudd, who looked extremely nervous, to follow us.
"I will not allow a betrayal." She said firmly
When I opened my eyes, I was hit with a blinding light. I slammed them shut and tried to bring a hand up to cover my face. I couldn't, however, because my wrists were chained close the the medical table I was laying on. I tried moving my legs, but they were also chained. Above me was a single, hanging bulb.
I remembered what had happened the previous night and I got angry. How could they have launched such devastating attack on us? How could they even know we were there. I asked and became more enraged with each thought. I started to thrash, with what little space I had, and yell loudly.
In response, a couple dim lights around the room lit up and allowed me to see just a little bit more. On my left was a door with no handle and a large, reflective pane on the wall. Probably a two way mirror.
I was about to start my thrashing again when the door opened. For a moment no one entered. I craned my neck to get a view of who was outside. Just as I was about to see, a pony stepped from the side into the room. She was quite tall and had a white body. Her mane was multicolored and flowed to the side.
"Princess Celestia." I spat i disgust I've had some encounters with the so called "Sun Goddess" before, but I had never been this close.
She slowly walked to the other side of the room and placed her hoof on a large light switch. "Hello Mint. Nice to see you again so soon." She calmly greeted. When she was done, she pressed the switch and the main lights of the room turned on.
The room was larger than I had thought. Next to me was another table with a deep tray on it. Test tubes, flasks, burners and other scientific equipment were stocked on shelves on the walls behind me and to my right. Far in front of me was a giant, black, bank vault style door.
"Yeah." I said back. "Nice."
She gave me a smile and walked over to the black door. She stamped in a code and after a few minutes the door opened. She grabbed something that I couldn't see and placed it in the tray. My anger boiled over as I watched her.
"Now then." She started cheerfully. "Where should -"
"FUCK YOU, CELESTIA!" I shouted at the top of my lungs. Her face became filled with shock and surprise at my outburst. "You don't hear that as much as you should, as much as you deserve."
"I was going to try to make some kind of peace with you." She sighed. "But I guess I'll just have to get straight into it."
"Peace?! The time to make peace was like three years ago, before YOU started all this mess!" I yelled at her. "And what the hell is that supposed to mean? What do you think you can do to me.?" My rage was beginning to subside, but my hatred for her wasn't
"I was thinking a conversion t-" She started.
I lowered my voice and started to chuckle. "You're shit, Celestia. Complete shit. I can only hope that one day I can sit back, relax and watch as you die." I smiled to finish it off.
"You know we don't always get what we want, Mint." She said. "Now as I was saying, I was thinking a conversion...as a start."
"Start?" I asked.
She smiled at me and finally shut the door with her magic. "Lets begin."
I watched as Princess Celestia levitated a small syringe from the tray. She held it up to me and I saw that it had a very small amount of a thick, bright green liquid already in its tube.
"I'll assume you know what this is, correct?" She asked.
I simply nodded. I knew the ponification serum when I saw it. It had always managed to amaze me when I saw some. How so little a substance could change nearly everything about a person.
"Good." she smiled as she came around the table and closer to me. "Now only the tiny amount of 35mg is enough to convert a human of your size, but it would take much too long. In the interest of time, I'll give you 120mg. Fortunately, It won't change the effects, just the speed." She explained.
"But giving me more than triple?! I asked, angrily.
"Of course!" She said with a hint of impatience. "We have many more things to do together! Now hold still." She finished as she moved to a couple inches away.
I tried to move my arm, but she shortened the chain so much that it was now directly attached to the table and I couldn't move at all.
"Its far too late to struggle, Mint." She said, shaking her head at me. "You've fought and resisted enough. Just accept that your old world is over and start to prepare for your new one."
I will never accept that.I said firmly to myself.
She popped of the sterile cap and sank the needle into my bicep. She then very slowly pushed the pump down. I could see the thick liquid make a slight bulge in my upper arm, then slowly begin to spread out.
"Now the beauty of this, is that it doesn't even have to be injected in the bloodstream, only into a reasonably sized muscle group." She said quite casual. Her impatient tone had left
As much as I wanted to, I was unable to retort. My joints started to ache and started to feel dizzy and disoriented. My neck started to spasm violently, and moved my head around the table.
"You should start to feel the full effects in just a moment. I should warn you though, the conversion process used to take hours to perform and the subject was put to sleep. This is because doing it rapidly can be very...intense. Good luck." With that she unlocked my chains and left the room.
I was now freed of my bonds and momentarily, of Celestia, but escaping was the least thing on my mind. Pain, there was a searing pain all through out my body. It felt like my bones were being melted down in molten rock. My breathing increased tremendously and I started banging my feet on the table as some way to release the sensation.
On one particular hit, I felt my right heel smash apart and the entire foot followed. I shot my head up and saw my previous right foot which now looked like a stocking filled with rocks. I considered myself a pretty "tough" guy, but when I saw the state of my foot, I started screaming. But that was only the beginning. I watched my left toes crack sideways and break down, I felt the pieces drop down my foot and collect in my heel skin area. Then the rest of the foot caved in.
Next my hands. The bones in all my fingers simultaneously started breaking and falling through the skin all the way to my forearms. I really started to panic when I saw that my fingers looked like a glove with no hand to fill it. I screamed in pain and terror and started to inch my self towards the edge of the table. A convulsion from my left femur snapping caused me to fall over.
I held out my palms to stop me from landing on my face. The impact with the floor caused what was left of my hands, my wrists, arms and legs all turn to gravel. My torso hit the ground, but my rib cage did not shatter like I expected, they only turned in direction. I guess because ribs didn't need to be changed as drastically like my hands and feet.
I was now basically a flesh bag filled with crushed bone that had been tossed to the floor. My skin started to stretch and spread out on the tile floor. Soon after I fell, I started to feel something moving around inside me. It was the pieces on bone moving around and rearranging themselves for my new body. I felt a long string jut out of my lower back to make my tail. Many large pieces were brought together to reform my legs. I felt pieces recomposing in curved shapes to expand my rib cage. What felt like small limbs made their way to my middle back and extended out from it, taking wrapped skin from around it. But the most painfully reconstruction was that of my face.
I felt bone elongating my neck and sharp pieces moved through my cheeks and around my mouth to form my muzzle. When my face was done, the majority of my bones stopped moving. There would be little parts here and there, but nothing to big. That's when I started feeling horribly itchy, almost to the point of pain. Where the bone break down had been internal, this new feeling felt more external. I had one guess: a new coat of hair.
The irritation started to go away from most of my body, remaining mostly on the back of my new head and neck and lower back. When that itching subsided, I could feel no more changes to my body.
I was incredibly weak and tired, but I somehow managed to open my eyes for one quick look. A blue wing was the last thing I saw before drifting away into unconsciousness.
"We have eight free spaces on floor 2 side B." I said, looking at a clipboard I levitated in front of me.
"That's it?" The earth pony asked. "We still have too many."
I sighed. Celestia's surprise attack had gone well and the pegasi had brought back more than a hundred humans. It had been a long time since we had a surplus as we did now. I once again had duties as overseer of the Conversion Bureau. My organizational skills had finally been put to use again.
"There's another empty 20 rooms on floor 3 sides A and B and and an additional 25 rooms total on floor 4." I said pointing out different locations. "In the mean time, give those in line for conversion double dosage, we need to speed things, but not send them into shock."
"Even with that, we'll still have about 25 to 30 unaccounted for." The pony said.
"For now, I guess just double them up." I shrugged. "Within a couple hours more open spots should start to open up. Now if you'll excuse me." I walked away from the pony and went over to the Princess. She had been standing at a railing watching me for some time.
"I had almost forgotten how good you were at running this place." She said as I came closer. I smiled warmly in response and stood across from her on the other side of the rail.
"Did you need something?" I asked, my cheerful voice returning.
"Yes, I was actually looking for you" She said.
"I was hoping you could assist me with an experiment." She said sounding hopeful.
"Oh well I uh..." I wanted to help her, but I still had much to do. "I want to, really I do, but I have a lot to do around here." I said, feeling like I had just let her down.
"Oh." she said, turning around. "I just thought since you didn't have a hand in developing it, that you could at least get a chance to help me test the serum."
"What did you say?" I asked. Interest and excitement filled my head. She stopped and turned her head.
"The serum I showed you a few days ago, I thought you might want to see it work first hand." She shrugged.
,My heart rate increased. I had been slightly disappointed about her secrecy on the project, but I still had become very intrigued by the new substance's possibilities. I wanted to perform tests and conduct more research on it.
"Well maybe I could have somepony else fill in for me." I said, grinning.
"I thought so." She smiled. "Join me in the same lab when you've found a suitable replacement. I'm hoping it will be quite an event." She gave me another smile and headed towards the descending stairs for the maze.
A suitable replacement... I repeated to myself. "Hmmm...."
A Few Minutes Later...
After having took a few wrong turns, I eventually found my way to the laboratory. What used to be a simple, quick maze had become more complicated. That could only mean one thing: there were humans down here.
The maze had been designed and built by Princess Celestia. To keep any humans from getting out, she enchanted it so that it increased in complexity based on the amount of humans present. However, it also gets slightly harder for ponies too, but whats complicated for a pony, could be an impossible labyrinth for a human.
Outside the lab, there were about 4 or 5 roll tables to which unconscious humans were chained to. A small, tough looking team of guards watched the door, but smiled and let me passed when they realized who I was. I went in and stood a good distance from Celestia, who stared at the ground in front of her.
"Twilight, you made it!" She said without looking at me. She was completely fixated on whatever was in front of her.
"Come over here... I found this interesting." she called.
I cautiously walked over to her side to find a pony at her feet. He was unconscious and his head was twisted in an odd way touching his dark blue wings. What I found odd was his cutie mark. It showed the sun just beginning to rise over the ocean.
I had heard of converts having weird cutie marks, but this one was much different. The scene was incredibly detailed, the colors looked amazing and you could even see the suns reflection in calm morning water. It looked perfect, like a picture had been imprinted on his flank.
"Whoa." I said quietly. "What do you think his talent is?" I asked the Princess.
"I do not think this shows a talent." She replied
"I believe this to be some kind of message." She said. She had not taken her eyes off him as if trying to read it.
"A message?" I asked, not seeing it as a possibility.
"Yes, I interpret it as the day has ended for humans and now the sun rises again for ponies. But that may just be wishful thinking."
I thought about her interpretation. It went along with her words when she gave messages. I thought about the possibility of human converts having messages or visions for cutie marks. It almost sounded like form of unicorn magic, although I had never heard about it and the new convert was a pegasus anyway.
"But enough of that, we have work to do." She shook her head quickly to snap out of her stare. She levitated him onto a table and straightened his body out. She fastened his limbs to the table with chains then turned to me. "Twilight, could you get him on the monitor while I get the stuff?"
"Of course." I said. I took a white band from a machine and when I went to wrap a band around his hoof, I noticed the tight metal chains keeping him to the table.
"Are these really necessary?" I asked.
"Oh yes."Celestia called back. She was past the black, bank vault style door and was retrieving the serum inside. "This has never been tested on humans before and I'm not entirely sure how he will react to it. The restraints just ensure that if a violent reaction should occur, we will not be put in harms way."
I nodded accepting that answer as valid. Though it would really be only me in harms way. I put the smaller band on his leg just above his restraint. When I turned that computer on, a heart monitor began. The intervals on screen came in nice steady beats. His heart rate was nearly perfect- about 34 beats per minute.
"Are we ready?" Celestia asked as she came over with a syringe filled with the black liquid.
"Completely." I nodded back.
"Well lets get this going." She said. She checked the syringe again to make sure it was the proper dosage, then positioned it at his front right leg.
"Now Twilight" She said looking up at me with a very serious tone. "When we tested on ponies, the serum worked...but afterwards an assistant described it to me as frightening. Hes bound to wake up through all this, so I just wanted to give you a warning before we inject him."
I nodded. "I'll be fine." I said confidently.
"Good." The Princess smiled. She examined the convert again. "Shame." She shook her head. "He never even used this body." With that she pushed the needle inside and pushed down.
Almost immediately after he had been injected, a visible shudder went across his entire body. His heart rate increased by about 3 bpm- nothing to serious. He still seemed to be out cold.
But then, after about 30 seconds, I noticed something happening to his wings. His feathers were starting to fall off. First it was just one, then another, then 5, then 10 and so on and so forth. But what was weirder still was when then feathers hit the ground. They stared to crumbling away into dust. There was already a layer forming on the sides of the table. I tried to catch one for a closer look, but it turned to dust in my hooves.
I held the dust in my hooves up to Princess Celestia with a confused look on my face. She looked anxious and focused on the convert, but still did not ignore me.
"Oh yes, that happened before. That could be a good sign." She said optimistically. I smiled back, for now at least things were going alright. I crouched down to get a better view for the feathers. If I had been paying attention , I would have noticed his bpm had increased by another 10... and slowly kept climbing. Very suddenly I heard a terrible sound.
It was the convert...he let out one long, continuous scream. It was one of absolute horror. I jumped to my feet just as he whipped his head up, still screaming. I had been paying so much attention to the feathers I hadn't noticed the new change to his body.
His hair looked like it was singeing off of his body. You could hear a terrible sizzling sound as his blue hair turned black then fell away from his body. It looked very painful, but Celestia simply watched him so I just assumed that things were happening like before.
However, when his heart rate jumped from around 50 to near 100 and climbing, I was less sure of the situation. His crisped hairs started coming off in large clumps and left a bald pink patches. When he hit 125 bpm., things started to turn even more violent.
He started thrashing and yanking against his chains as hard as he could. But all he managed to do was slightly rotate the table, which Celestia quickly straightened out. When that didn't work he started banging the back of his head on the table. On one particular slam, he arched his back and his feather-less wings jutted out on either side. They began to vibrate and convulse and it shook through his body.
Suddenly I heard a crack so loud that it made me jump back. I looked at his wings and saw that the bones inside were breaking as they began to fold up against his back. His screams grew much louder and though they were not much better, they did drown out the sound of breaking bones. I watched as what was left of his wings melted into his back. His body seemed to absorb the large mass and used it to grow a couple inches longer. His hair and wings were now gone, but there was still the most drastic changes left.
By now his heart rate was close to 160 and he was sweating like crazy. Oddly enough, his yelling stopped and was replaced by a heavy cough. It grew heavier and heavier, sounding very wet, until finally something came up. He stared coughing up blood. It wasn't too much, but that fact that it was happening at all, couldn't be good. I looked to Celestia who calmly raised a hoof to reassure me. But his cough sounded so terrible that I thought one of his lungs could come out any second.
The skin on his mid section began to bubble and shake and it was at this point that I heard the most horrible sound yet. There was no more coughs or screams, just a horrible bodily noise sound. It was as if he had to puke up something enormous and had started to choke and gag on it. The noises were so wet and disgusting that I had to cover my ears.
His mid section began to expand and contract rapidly, like something was being rearranged inside him. A mix of drool and blood flowed from the corner of his flattening mouth. He started giving off a lot of heat and steam rose from his body. His limbs pushed as hard as they could against the chains, even so much that they caused cuts in his skin. Princess Celestia's magic formed around his chain, but she wasn't trying to strengthen them. She was timing it for a release.
I wanted to stay strong for Celestia, I wanted to stay and watch the entire process, but there just one thing that turned me away. His left front leg suddenly extended out, it flexed and turned and looked like it was trying to break free of something. That's when I saw his hoof split apart into five different lengths. Compared to what I had seen, that wasn't too bad, but something about made me wince and turn away. A couple seconds after that, I heard Celestia open the chains and his body fall to the floor. After about another minute I finally turned around to look at the finished product.
On the floor in front of me was a human. He was curled in a ball with his back to me. He was completely naked and his skin was bright red. His entire body was drenched in sweat and steaming. But he was still alive, I could see his his back get larger and smaller as he breathed.
"Simply extraordinary..." Celestia mused. She looked completely shocked, but I could see a smile starting to form across his face.
"He didn't even flat line...he wasn't even close." She said. I looked towards the monitor, it was true. His heart rate had maxed out at 176 and was now drastically lower at 111 and still slowly dropping.
"Wow." I said still in awe at what had happened.
"Well, this is just the first test." Celestia started. "And it is too early to conclude anything yet, But initially it would appear as though the RDU-90 serum or humanification serum works not only on natural born ponies, but converts as well."
"Wow." I simply repeated.
"This is how we will finish off them off." Celestia put on a different smile, it almost looked like an evil grin.
"Twilight, I have grow extremely tired of these resistance groups who seek to reverse our progress." She sighed. "I sought to put an end to it last night, but there were a few who escaped the surprise attack. But with the new dart guns coming in soon and this new serum, I can get ponies right in the heart of where the humans are."
"When did you plan on doing this?" I asked.
"Well currently I only have two in the field, but they have proven to be a great asset to us. They orchestrated last nights attack." She smiled proudly.
"What about wh-" I stopped when I heard a knock on the door.
"Speak of the devil." Celestia said as she let the pony in. He was the same small, red pony I kept noticing. He held up a microphone and pony sized headphones to the Princess.
"This is one right now." She said as she put the headphones on. I could only slightly hear the voice on the other end, but I wasn't really paying attention. I was staring at the red pegasus who kept glancing nervously from the human to me.
"NO!" Celestia suddenly shouted. "If one of them is alone and you think you have the advantage then you put him out!" She said. The pegasus took the items back and left after he gave me one very odd look. I had to find out who he was.
"Sorry about that, but she knew the location of a single member of the seven I want." She apologized. "Could you please find my sister and communicate our success to her?"
"Yeah...sure." I said. I was still thinking about the pony, something about him left me feeling uncomfortable. I was about to leave when I heard a weak raspy voice.
"W-w-w-what...h-happe-" The human started.
"Ah Mint, congratulations! I honestly didn't think you were going to make it!" Celestia nearly shouted.
"I-I can't...I cant move." Mint said.
"Oh don't worry that will come back soon enough." She said. Her magic wrapped around him and flipped him on his back. He had stopped sweating as much as before, but from his genitals to his knees were covered with a yellowish fluid. I really didn't have to guess that it was urine.
"We'll talk about what you just went through then I'll leave you to recollect yourself. You won't be too lonely though, one of your friends will be joining us soon."
And on that I left to find Princess Luna.
Rebecca continued to force me outside into the night air. She didn't speak so her commands came in the form of pushes and shoves from her shotgun. Hudd followed behind us, constantly checking our rear and sides. He hadn't spoken yet either.
She repositioned her weapon and I felt the cold, metal barrel now on the back of my neck. She steered me to the back of the building and pushed me towards the wall. I turned around and fell to one knee facing her. She had her gun raised pointed at me. However she focused her attention on Hudd who, after another look around, gave her a nod.
She then put her shotgun on her back and pulled out a pistol. I closed my eyes and prepared myself. I cringed when I heard the shot, but I felt nothing. I checked myself and realizing I wasn't hit, I opened my eyes.
Rebecca had the gun pointed straight up and fired two more shots in quick succession. After that she put the gun back in its holster and walked towards me. When she extended her hand, I simply stared at it.
"What is this?" I asked, skeptically.
"Come on." She rolled her eyes. "We have things to talk about." She held her hand closer and this time I took it. She pulled me to my feet and I brushed myself off.
"You knew about me?" I asked looking confused.
"Honestly Ice, Hudd told me about his little set up with you almost a year ago, way before you even got down here " She said. I looked to Hudd who shrugged casually.
"I felt it was important that she knew in case something like this happened." He said.
"Speaking of." I started, trying switch to a more pressing matter. "What the fuck do we do now?!"
"Shh!" Rebecca quieted me. "Speak low. I've shot you, remember?"
"Whats the plan now?" I asked again, this time in a low whisper.
Hudd shrugged "This attack was swift and bold, but the core of our plan still remains unchanged." He said. "We still need to hit the bureau head on, when we're ready for them. Tonight they went on the offensive and we simply can not take another assault like this. We need to change the tides."
"How do we do that with less than fifty people?" I questioned.
"I told you, its the same plan just...accelerated. If they are get fueled by tonight's success then they may soon try this again." Hudd warned. "I really hate the idea of splitting up, but we don't have much of a choice any more. Celestia has forced me to play my hand. Ice, I need you prep the Chariot.
"Whoa wait a minute, what is that"?" Rebecca asked with a heavy look of confusion on her face. She looked back and forth between us. Hudd was the one who chose to speak.
"Its a military gun truck, meant to be used for an assault after President Colston was converted." He explained.
"What happened to it?" She asked.
"The team assigned to it got ambushed by pegasi before they could reach it. Some got converted, while others used the HLF way and took their own lives. However, one guy did get away. He made it to the truck, but by that time it would be too late. Even with the extra firepower, a one man attack would be madness, so he stored it away. He eventually made his way north and found me " He said.
"What happened to him?" She asked.
"Some unicorns attacked us outside of Baltimore and he got captured and converted. Its unfortunate but, really there's nothing we can do now. But, he told me about the truck and where to find it."
"That's great! Where is it?" She asked, sounding much happier.
Now I choose to speak. "Its a little under two miles from here and just under one to the bureau. I could get to it, arm it, fuel it up and be ready to leave as soon as you give the order."
"Very good. Rebbeca praised before turning to Hudd. "If the ponies know about this place then we can't stay here. I already have a secondary location that I've used before. We can stay there while we ready ourselves to attack. "
"Good." Hudd nodded then turned to me. "Here take this." He said as he took out a simple text transmitter. I took it and put it in my pocket.
Rebbeca shook her head."I really don't like the idea of you going alone, but if theres not much of a choice than you might as well take these too." She handed me her handgun with a flashlight attached and a few mags to my supplies.
"Thank you." I said to both of them.
"Oh what the hell, take this too." She handed me her shotgun as well.
"You remember where it is, right?" Hudd asked. I nodded in response and stared walking away when something occurred to me.
"Wait a minute!" I whisper yelled as I went back to them.
"What is it?" They asked in unison.
"There were two girls, Both around their early twenties. One with had pink hair and the other had a dark red-ish purple. You'll know if you see them. I saw them coming down the stairs while I was going up. They couldn't have been taken in the attack, but I didn't see them when we regrouped downstairs. There was something weird about them, but I couldn't tell what. It might not mean anything, but if you see them, just try and talk to them." I said.
Rebbeca shook her head. "What do you think they're working for the ponies or something?"
I shrugged. "Could be, I've heard somethings." I as said as I stared walking again.
"If they're still around here, I'll make sure to find them. Good luck, Ice. Be safe" Hudd said.
I found Princess Luna walking about in the field outside. She examined some of the captives from the previous night. Some of them backed away in fear at the sight of the immortal pony. Others angrily grabbed their cage bars and shook them violently, spitting and cursing at her as she passed by. It had to be the heat, I thought. I had wanted to get them out of the midday sun, but we were already overcrowded. If they stayed out here much longer, one of them might do something that they would regret.
However, Princess Luna wasn't provoked and paid them no attention as she continued her walk. It was rare to see her so active during on a day as hot and bright as this one. Some ponies laughed and talked with her. Seeing it made me happy. She seemed to have fully broken out of her shell and put her long history of solitude behind her.
"Princess Luna." I smiled as I came over to her.
"Hello, Twilight." She returned my smile. " A wonderful day, isn't it?" She asked as she continued admiring a bed of flowers
"Yes." I nodded. "But I've come with news." Luna turned to me with interest in her eyes. She motioned with a hoof for me to follow her and quickly went over to her side.
"What is it?" She asked with her voice full of concern.
"Your sister wanted me to tell you about the success of her serum in our first experiment." I said in a low volume.
"Hmm. Very interesting..." She paused thinking. "So does she plan on using it?"
"Yes." I said turning my head away.
Luna frowned. "You don't seem too excited at the idea. Don't you want the human resistance ended?"
"Yes of course." I said, slightly offended. "Its just that with it being new and all, I thought I might have a chance to study it and use it for research... But recently it seems like Celestia sees everything as a new means to stop the humans."
Luna stopped in her tracks and looked right into my eyes. "I know EXACTLY how you feel."
"You do?" I asked feeling relieved.
"Yes. I've noticed the changes in my sisters behavior over the past few years." She said, continuing to walk. "And I guess I can see why."
"Why?" I asked. "What happened?"
"Neither of us have been in Equestria for years. I know she longs to be back in Canterlot--we both do." She said nostalgically. "But beyond that, we differ. Celestia doesn't want to leave until her task here is done, but now it seems that she has turned it into something totally different."
"What exactly is it now?" I asked.
"Now she secretly despises humans and is disgusted by humanity as a whole. She has categorized all humans in the same group: Evil. I wish I knew what sparked these thoughts of them" She said sounding hurt.
"And you don't?"
Luna turned away. "Perhaps it is because I've seen much more to humans than she has. I know of the great accomplishments they have a achieved. I know you must have done research on them and their history. Of course they have had their bad times, but no society has been without those. If Celestia can defeat the resistance here than there will be no more than a few thousand left in the entire world. Its actually quite sad when you think about it"
"What do you think about the humans here." I asked.
"I can definitely understand them. Thats something that Celestia can't."
"You understand them?! How they kill us? How could you say that?" I asked. My temper raised slightly.
"Just think about it, Twilight. Imagine for a moment that humans could pass through the barrier into Equestria."
Humans in Equestria. I thought comically. How ridiculous.
"If humans came into our land, killed my sister and I and started turning us into them, you would want to fight, wouldn't you?" She studied me for a response.
I didn't have to think. "Yes!" I shouted immediately. "I'd feel ashamed if I didn't."
"You see?" Luna asked, feeling as though she had made her point. "That's probably exactly how THEY feel."
I stepped back. She had a point, a good one, but it almost felt as if she were trying to defend the resistance movement.
"So what will you do if they attack here?"
Luna stood tall and proud as if the answer was obvious. "I will defend my race from those who attack us." She said firm. "...But I wont exactly go out of my way to find those humans Celestia wants either." She grinned at me and I couldn't help but to crack a small smile.
"Thank you, Princess Luna." I said.
"No problem at all, Twilight." She nodded back. I turned back to the Bureau and left her to continue her walk. I felt a new admiration for the Princess of the night, one I had only felt when I was Celestia's student.
"Did you sweep this floor?!" I shouted around the corner.
"Clear!" The three guys responded one after the other.
"Alright, Strap the last of your charges on the places I marked." I told them.
Rebecca had asked me to destroy the ninth and tenth floors of the building. I was a bit confused and slightly disappointed that she hadn't wanted me to just bring down the whole thing. But we had very little time. The ponies knew we were and there was no telling when they might come back to finish what they started. Rebecca had a secondary location and had already sent a few people in advance to clear it of any ponies and get the power up and running.
We had already cleared the entire building of food and water, maps, weapons and ammunition.
"Set!" They called out.
"Alright, you guys get out of here, I'm arming." I said. I heard their footsteps rush down the stairs. I waited a couple minute before I went over to the closest charge. I flipped open its plastic cover and held down on its activator. A small bulb of constant green light, turned into a rapidly flashing red when the charge became armed. Rebecca's charges could all be linked to one master detonator, so I wouldn't have to keep up with dozens and dozens of them.
It took about fifteen minutes to for me to get all the charges activated. When I was done, I could see sunlight coming over the Atlanta skyline. I ran down the stairs as fast as I could, we had to get going. If the ponies saw us moving to the new spot then we'd be finished.
"Are we good?" She asked me when I made to the street.
"Yeah We're good." I replied. "Explosives are activated, waiting on your go."
She nodded at me before she walked to an open are to address the crowd.
"Okay, Everyone listen up." She didn't quite yell, but her voice carried over all of us. "The second location is about a mile and a half away. We need to get there before broad daylight. Grab everything you can carry, I want NOTHING left behind. Lets move."
With that everyone started moving out. Many people were carrying crates of food or jugs of water. Other people picked up about four or five different weapons which they slung on their backs, and in their hand thy carried mags for about 5 reloads. I had two shotguns on my right shoulder, a book bag full of water bottles on my left and I carried a 2.5 gallon jug in my left hand.
In my right hand I had the master detonator, my finger was constantly on the trigger waiting for the order. When we got about a hundred yards away, Rebecca gave me a nod and I finally got to squeeze the trigger.
I could help but turn around when The charges went off. My time in New York had given me a passion for blowing stuff up Yellow flashes could be seen inside before the explosions busted the windows out. Flaming objects rained down from above. I heard the sound of concrete cracking inside, but the building still stayed up. Unfortunately because of the lack of a liquid fuel, there was no billowing fireball or smoke. Disappointed, I turned away from the building which now had fires burning in its upper floors. I didn't expect to see a lot more people watching the explosions as I had
Rebecca looked slightly annoyed and I knew why. We didn't have time to stop like this. "Come on people lets go!" She said louder. "The ponies had to have heard that."
She was right, there was probably some pegasi scouts on their way right now. With the thought, everyone quickened their pace to the new location.
It took us about an hour to get to the new place. The sun was already about halfway to its highest point. It wasn't very good. On my own, carrying what I had, I could have done the distance in maybe 10 or fifteen minutes. However I decided to stay with the group should they happen to need me.
Surprisingly, the trip went fine. If we had been spotted by a pegasus flying by, it wasn't made known to us. We tried to stay in the shadows of buildings as much as we could, but with 40+ people moving around, it was impossible to stay hidden.
To get to the new area we had to cross about fifty feet of concrete courtyard and head down a long stair case of powerless escalators.
When I got to the bottom it was immediately apparent that it had been a train station. Two separate tracks cut through an area with a relatively low ceiling. It wasn't too big, only about two hundred or so feet long and about seventy-five feet wide. There were a couple rooms dug straight out of the side walls. Wires connected to generators snaked across the ceiling and powered lights.
People had already began to set up their stuff like before. Blankets and clothes were strewn out across the ground, some with people on them and some without. Extra weapons were slanted against the wall with extra mags on the floor next to them. In the next half hour power was up and food was being passed out. For the moment it seemed as if we had a moment of leisure time.
Some slept, some ate, but hardly anyone spoke to each other. But when I thought about it, what was there to say? We had just been handed a huge defeat that cost us a home and more than half our numbers. Among them were two of my friends, Ice and Mint. Mint had been taken, but Ice...he was different story.
I jerked my head towards the stairs. Suddenly there was a loud noise coming from the top. Everyone's head was pointed in the same direction. It was a loud, sharp noise. It pierced my ears. I instantly knew what it was, but it had been such a long time since I had heard one that I couldn't believe it.
"Is that a....motorcycle?!" Hudd asked shocked. He looked to Rebecca for an answer, but she simply shook her head.
She pointed to me, Hudd and three others. "That's not one of mine. Suppressed only." Were her commands. We went over to the wall and grabbed some weapons. I didn't waste time finding a specific gun and grabbed just a suppressed pistol.
We all started cautiously up. I was about fifteen steps ahead of everyone else. I wanted to know who was up here. I could hear the bikes engine start to sputter and sound unusual.
"Where the hell'd they even find gas for this thing?" Someone asked behind me.
"I don't know, but Jacob!" Hudd called. "Slow up a minute." But I was already at the top. Before I even crossed the courtyard I could see the person. Their bike was across the street and the engine noises were replaced with a small cloud of grey, blue smoke coming from the mid section. The rider, who was obviously female, had a black and orange suit with dark purple-ish and orange helmet. Even though her visor was closed, I could almost see the frustration on her face, which she demonstrated by giving the bike a light kick to its front wheel.
When she noticed my movement, her head snapped up towards me. Her sudden movement shocked me for a moment, but I kept my gun down, I didn't see her as a threat.
"Jacob, wait a sec." Hudd and the others had just made it to the top. I was just about to the street and the girls was on the other side. She was staring at me when I turned back towards them.
I winked back at them and showed a thumbs up. However, they all looked back with the same expression: terror.
"Jacob, Watch Out!" Hudd shouted at me.
Without thinking, I dropped to my back. I looked up to see a dart, larger than I had ever seen before, fly over my head. It smashed against the entrance to the train station and a bright green liquid exploded away in every direction.
I turned around to see that the girl now held some sort of weapon. At first glance it looked like a regular gun, but after a longer look, I could see more and more resemblance to that of the ponies dart guns.
I dove behind a car on my side of the street, just as she really began to open up on us. Darts of the ponification serum smashed against the car. The force of them cracked mirrors, broke the windows and even put dents in the side. I couldn't get a good enough shot on her without being splashed by the conversion liquid.
Rebecca and Hudd were no help either. The girl's quick firing had pushed them back to the stairs and all they could do was fire from the top. But from there they didn't have a shot on her and they weren't even close.
Her weapon made an airy, CO2 sound when firing, similar to something like a paintball gun. But they force of those darts was tremendous. The opposite side of the red sedan was splattered with the serum and the ground was littered with broken glass and needles. Her gun seemed to have infinite ammo as well. She had been shooting at semi automatic at us for well over thirty seconds. I thought it was impossible how many darts the gun held.
Finally, for a brief moment, she stopped. As soon as I gathered myself, I stood up and started returning fire from over the top of the car. She quickly crouched behind her bike just as I was about to get her. I kept shooting though. My bullets blew piece off the bike, but they weren't penetrating through it.
My clip couldn't hold near as much as hers and I soon found myself empty. As soon as my bullets stopped, she popped out again and pick up where she left off. She opened up at Hudd and the others who were starting to move up. With no cover in the court yard, they were forced to move back to the stairs.
When she had moved them out of the way, she concentrated on me again. I was behind the car again, but her second barrage of darts were coming closer than the first. The warm liquid splashed on my leg from a dart that exploded under the car. I quickly wiped it off with my sleeve. I knew that it had to be injected, but I wasn't taking any chances.
Things were getting too close. Sooner or later she was going to get that lucky shout...and it would be at my expense. We were attracting to much attention. This had to end now or we ran the risk of a pegasi flying over to see what was going on. But I felt helpless. I couldn't back up and I couldn't go forward.
That's about when the idea hit me. I dropped my mag and popped in a new one. Maybe my plan would work and maybe it wouldn't.
I pulled open the door and climbed inside. I was on the floor of the passenger side. I started to make my way to the back seat. Glass and the serum rained down on me as I passed the central console. I was just low enough not to be seen.
I crawled to the back and pushed myself against the opposite side door. This was it. If she didn't go for this then I'd be fucked.
I reached between the drivers side seat and grabbed the door handle. I breathed out as I pushed open the door.
As I hoped, she turned and started shooting at the empty drivers side. When I heard the darts impact in the seat in front of me, I jumped up and fired through the back seat window. Five shots were fired, two of them hit. Both of them in her upper arm and shoulder. She screamed and her weapon flew out her hand.
When she dropped to the ground, I instantly felt tired. The whole ordeal only lasted about two minutes, but it felt like an eternity. I exited the car just as Hudd and the others started to walk up.
"Thanks for the help." I nodded to him sarcastically.
"Sorry, She pushed us back. "He apologized. "Are you alright?"
"Yeah, I'm fine." I said.
"Ohhh ughhhh." The groans came from behind the bike. The girl was lying on the ground, bleeding from her wounds.
"Get that bitch up." Rebbeca sounded angrier than I had ever heard before. The two guys pulled her up and dragged her over. "Take her down stairs. Maybe we can get something out of her." They nodded and proceed to drag her down the stairs.
Hudd picked her weapon off the street. "We should have a look at this too." He said. Rebbeca and I both nodded.
"Lets get out of the open first." I said and we all went down the stairs.
"Me? Why me? I'm not going in there. what about you, Lefty? Are YOU going in there?"
"Nah, can't say I am, Kid. How about you, Rain? You wanna go in there?"
"Think i'll pass on that, Lefty. Jacob?
"What are you guys so afraid of? What do you think shes going to do in there?" I asked.
"I don't know." Kid said. "But I'm not going in there to get ponified by some hidden conversion thing shes got."
"Fine it'll just be me, Rebbeca and Hudd." I said.
Hudd pulled out a knife. "I don't know about you, Rebbeca, but I don't really have any experience torturing people for information."
"Me neither." She said. "But maybe we won't have to. Maybe she'll just tell us."
"Yeah, sure." Hudd said as he went over to whisper something to her. I heard "He said there were two of them, if the other one is still out there then we could be in trouble. I think thats were we should start." She nodded in a agreement. Hudd wasn't too good at whispering.
Rebecca then walked over to me. "Here put these in your ears." She handed a small yellow cylinder to Hudd and I.
We tied the girl to a chair in one of the rooms. Our medic had bandaged her up and stopped her bleeding. Rebecca went over to and put her hand at the bottom of her helmet. It had remained on the entire time.
"Ok guys, just stay with me through this, ok?" she said.
"Okay." We both said. Rebecca pulled the helmet up and off her head. It was now that we had our first look at the girl's face.
She was young, probably early 20s with short hair. It was the same purple-ish color that matched her helmet. Her face wasn't as dirty and grimy as the rest of her body.
We all started at each other for a long time. She looked wearily back and forth between the three of us. I glanced at Rebecca, she looked pissed. Like if this girl said the wrong thing, she was ready to her. Hudd looked out of place. His confused face and combat knife in hand made it look worse.
The girl took the the chance to speak first.
"You stopped my bleeding." She stated. Her voice was calm and unwavering despite her current situation.
She was looking towards Rebecca who hesitated a moment before responding.
"We did." She said dryly.
"Why?" The girl asked quickly.
"I wanted you to stay alive."
"But why?" She asked again, seeing past Rebecca's lie. "I know how you operate. You've killed for much less. So what is it that you want?"
Rebecca gave a small smile. "Alright then." She said. "We'll get right to it then."
"Good." The girl smiled back.
"There are some somethings I need to know."
The girl tiled her head back and laughed. She only stopped when it caused pain in her shoulder. "So thats what this is about. Information you want, huh?" She still had a smile on her face. "What makes you think I'll tell you?"
Rebecca stepped forward. Her hand reached for something in her pocket. "Oh you're going to tell me." She said calmly as she something around in her pocket. "The only question is how you want to do this. We can do this the easy way...or we can do it the hard way. The choice is yours."
She waited for a moment before speaking again. "What if I forgot some things."
Rebecca came even closer to the girl. "Well you better start remembering...for your sake." She fiddled again with the thing in her pocket. Whatever was in there, she seemed dying to use it.
All confidence and defiance seemed to drain from the girl's face. "Fine." She said. "What is it?"
"Better." Rebecca commented. "I know that you had someone else with you. I'd like to know who and where she is."
She considered her options, they were little. When it looked like she settled on something she looked back up. But not at Rebecca, this time she looked towards Hudd.
"I'll tell him." She said as she tilted her head towards him. "I feel he'll need a chance to get something right."
"What the hell are you talking about?" Rebecca asked.
But the girl ignored her. "Now I was wondering something about you." She said now tilting her head towards me. You could her more confidence coming back into her voice. "Why'd you make him leader, huh? Whats the thinking behind that?"
"He's a good leader." I defended.
The girl rolled her eyes. "Are you kidding?" She laughed. "He's done nothing but make bad decisions that end up costing his team mates. He would so easily let those close to him get captured. And how could you deny that? He let you get taken easy enough."
"It wasn't his fault I got captured My actions alone caused that." I said. My voice was getting louder.
"Oh sure." She said sarcastically. "But he didn't say too much about you going it alone, did he?"
This girl was starting to piss me off. She was just playing with us and wasting time. But still I responded.
"I was going to stay no matter what anyone said!" I yelled. "And what does this have to do w-" She cut me off and spoke again to Hudd.
"You know, you seem to like when your people go alone." She said as if she'd just noticed. "You did for him and he got captured, then you do the same thing again and expect a different result.
Rebecca stepped closer. Only this time she brought her hand from pocket, curled it into a fist and swung it across the girl's right cheek. She yelled in pain. A red mark was already visible. "We should stay on task." She said. "Now tell me where your friend is!"
Her breathing got heavier, but she still didn't stop. She moved her neck around again so that she was still facing Hudd.
"How do you feeling knowing that YOU caused you friends captu-" Rebecca hit her again, this time hitting the left cheek. She recovered much quicker and once again looked to Hudd. Rebecca's hits only seemed to make her louder.
"How many people did you start with, Hudd?! Huh?! How many?!" She yelled at him. "Now look whats left!"
Rebecca punched her six more times, alternating her left and right fists. The girl was bruised and bleeding from her nose and mouth. Her head stayed down for a long time. When she finally looked up again, it was still up at Hudd.
"What did you say to him, Hudd." She asked. Her voice was low, but steady.
"What?" Hudd, who had been very quiet, finally spoke.
"What did you say to him?" She asked again. "When you sent him away? Did you even tell him goodbye?"
Rebecca was about to hit her again, but then she dropped her fist and she and Hudd looked at each other.
"That's right." The girl said putting on a bloody smile from seeing their reactions. "You wanted to know where MY friend is? Well I think you have your answer. Shes with yours."
"Oh my god."
I knew I was being watched. I could feel it deep inside. A pair of eyes constantly watching me. But no matter where I looked a could never pinpoint where. I thought perhaps a pegasi, but saw nothing in the skies. Still, I stuck close to the shadows of the buildings. Whoever was watching hadn't made a move on me yet. If I could make it to where the truck was being stored, I would have the drop on them.
After a few wrong turns, some frightening moments and a trip that took nearly an hour, I finally saw the garage at the end of the street. At this point I was really nervous. Not from the hidden eyes that watched me, but from the Atlanta conversion bureau. On my way to the garage I had passed dangerously close to it. I found myself about a hundred feet away from the steep hill that dropped onto the bureau's front lawn.
Their "Front Lawn was really just a low cut stretch of land about half the length of a football field that led to the bureau's front entrance. But what I saw on the field scared me. There were cages. Fucking cages. And inside them were people, dozens of them. Anger swelled inside me. I wanted to help them. After all, they were most likely from the pegasi raid the previous night. But there was nothing I could do for them...at least right now. What made me leave was the too ponies walking across the field. One was just a normal looking unicorn, but the other much taller. She was dark and had both wings and a horn.
"Oh shit." I thought. It was Princess Luna. I quickly backed right right up. If any of the ponies saw me, I would have the Princess of the Night after me.
It was a couple minutes after that and I reached the garage. I should have felt something was...off about it as soon as I went to the door. For one the door was unlocked. Now if the truck really was here, it didn't seem possible that someone would leave that kind of fire power unlocked. I pulled out my pistol and turned on the flashlight. I could see that the room was an office for the garage. In the back corner of the room, I saw another door and coming from it I could see light. I stepped through it and there rested the truck.
The natural light coming from sky lights in the roof was enough for me to turn off the flashlight and get a good look at the beast of a machine before me.
At least nine feet tall and probably more than thirty feet long. I remember the old guy who made it to our group, who told me about it. "Its heavily modified version of the old HEMMTT designs." He had beamed about the truck. "Its been fitted with bullet proof tires AND glass. There's four centimeter steel plating surrounding the cab and rear gunners' seats. The engine's been upgrade. 650 horsepower to keep all eight of them wheels turning. This thing is monster."
He was right too. It was impressive even before I noticed the weapons. An XM307 Grenade launcher sat on top of the cab. I saw no seat for a gunner, so it had to be remotely operated from inside the cab. Very nice. The back was covered, but had spaces for a Browning M2 on either side. Without anyone else they would be useless, but when we hit the bureau, maybe a couple people get jump inside and utilize them.
I thought I should get up into the drivers seat and give the engine a start. I put my gun in my right hand and climbed up the small ladder. However, when I pulled open the cab door open, there was something waiting for me. There was a figure laying across the driver and passenger seats. When my chest was visible, the leg extended and I was kicked hard out off the ladder. I fell hard on my back, Rebecca's shotgun crushed into my back.
I screamed in pain and rolled. I pushed back away from the truck as the person inside started to get up. It was a female and she stood crouching in the drivers seat for a moment watching me.
After a couple seconds, she jumped down and silently landed in a cat like pose a few inches in front of me. She stood slowly and her features came into the light. She was young, around early 20s, with a bow tied in the back of red-ish pink hair.
It was the girl I had seen leaving the building just before the pegasi attacked. She flexed and stretched her right hand fingers in front of her like they were brand new.
"Ya know something?" She said finally as she untied her bow. She then removed it completely and cracked her knuckles in both hands "I think I'm starting ta like this body."
The girl was here! She'd attacked me. I knew there was something weird about her. She was working for the ponies. I had no time to think. I was pissed off more than ever before. But I wasn't thinking straight. I shouted something as I pushed back away from her. My breathing became heavy. I was sweating and my heart rapidly pumped adrenaline into my system. I felt light, my skin tingling. My vision focused in on the girl who was not more than eight feet in front of me.
She calmly popped her neck and shook her arms to the side, loosening them up. There was no question about what was about to happen. It was fight or flight...and neither of us had wings.
"Ahhh!" I yelled. I started to raise my gun. But unfortunately, I was already met with a problem. The girl was quick. By the time my gun was raised, she was already on me. A reverse roundhouse knocked the gun from my hand. I made no move to go for it and instead swung my left fist at her. I could feel so much power and strength in the arc.
She saw it coming and brought her forearm up to block, but it was too much for her. The force of it knocked her to the ground. I raised my foot high to stomp her. She saw the opportunity and swung her legs, sweeping my other foot from under me. As I went down, she got back up. I growled and slammed my fist into the floor at the sight of seeing her standing over me
I got back up and she positioned herself into some kind of fighting stance. I ran for her. I put everything I had into my attacks. But I fought like some street brawler. I swung and kicked at her, but she was just too fast. She ducked and dodged most of my attacks. The ones she couldn't, she skillfully pushed aside with a push of her hands. She no longer blocked any hit. She had learned that they were too strong.
The girl hadn't even broken a sweat, while my own energy was getting lower and lower. On one particular right swung, she got in her first hit. It was a lightning fast strike to my side. It knocked me back for a moment, but then I kept going. However, my hits came much slower. After a few more swings and misses, she got in another hit. A powerful one, directly in my chest
I stumbled backwards. The pain was more than I expected. I felt to make sure she hadn't cracked a rib. Thankfully, she had not, but when I looked I saw her running for me. It was her turn.
So many hits. Sooooooo many hits. She was so quick, I had almost no time to block. Even if I did manage to block one punch, there was another kick coming immediately after. She got me so many times. My nose was bleeding and I was spitting blood from my mouth. I didn't have much left in me.
She came forward for another kick. In a last ditch effort, I caught her foot and held on as tight as I could. She looked down at her leg, then smiled back up at me. Using my my hold as a footing, she jumped and kicked my stomach with her other foot.
We both went sliding across the floor, but only she got up. That last kick had done it. I just laid there, bleeding and bruised. I was done.
She got back up quickly in her fighting stance, but when I just laid there, she relaxed. My transmitter had been knocked from my pocket and had landed right in front of her. She reached down and picked it up. She looked at the screen then pulled hard on both ends, breaking it in half. She idly tossed the pieces away and backed away from me. Then she started giggling and that turned into a fit of laughter. She fell on the ground, rolling and clutching her sides.
"Oh man!" She said getting up and wiping a tear from her eyes. "That was easier than Ah' thought." She had calmed down and was now walking around examining the truck. "Ya know my friend told me not to go for this. She said that you might be too much for me." She chuckled again. "But I went for it and frankly, I found your skills to be quite underwhelming." I had no choice but to listen to her talk. Her voice had a hint of country in it I noticed. "And its a good thing I did! Otherwise I might not have found out about this thing." She pointed to the truck.
"Look at this metal beast." She sounding impressed. "What do you think you're going to do with this, huh?"
I tried to say something, but I just spit out blood instead. She saw me struggling and spoke again.
"Oh take your take your time. "She said as she brought something out of her pocket. It was a transmitter, more advance than my own. "I'll just take a picture of this and send it to Celestia..." She snapped the photo and typed something in. "There we go! Now lets talk." She said coming towards me.
We we're silent for a long time. Rebecca looked intently at the ground, thinking hard. Hudd looked the same way at the wall. They both knew what was going on and it couldn't be good. The girl was still bleeding bad, but she kept a sly smile on her face. She knew she had us. It was written all over our faces.
"We need to talk for a moment." Rebecca said to all of us.
The girl nodded back to us. "I'll bet you do." She replied slyly.
Rebecca laughed a bit and reached into her pocket. "But just so you don't get too comfortable..." She brought out a small sliver device about the size of a deck of cards. She moved a slider forward and a LED on the top flashed red. She placed it on the floor by the door, waved to the girl and left. Hudd and I exchanged glances then we too left.
Lefty, Kid and Rain were waiting for us when we came out.
"Sooo." Lefty began. "Get any good informa-" He stopped quickly and looked towards the door, we all did.
We looked through the small, square window in the door and saw the girl vibrating and convulsing in her chair. She was struggling hard to free her hands. Her ears were blood red and yelps of pain came from her mouth.
"Jesus, Rebecca!" I exclaimed. "What the hell was that?" She quickly waved her hand.
"She'll be fine for at least eleven minutes." She pointed to Hudd "Come here." He walked quickly over to her and she pulled him off to the side.
"You got the transmitter?" She asked. Hudd nodded and pulled it from his pocket.
"I'll try to make contact." He said as typed on his transmitter.
Who are they trying to contact? I asked myself. After a few minutes, Hudd started shaking his head.
"No response." He said. "That doesn't mean he's in trouble." He tried to reassure.
"You heard what she said!" Rebecca said pointing to the room. "If they've found the truck then they could know what we plan to do. We need an eye on the bureau."
"But how could we?" Hudd asked.
"What about your other guy?" She suggested.
Hudd shook his head. "Won't work. Hes up there with no one to report to."
"Damn it!" Rebecca said as her hand rubbed her forehead. "We have to do something. I won't sit around doing nothing."
"We need to find out what else she knows." Hudd said pointing to the room. "Especially about that weapon."
Rebecca and Hudd started going back to her, but I stayed put. I didn't want to go back in there. I knew they'd be fine without me.
I turned around and saw a crowd of people had been listening in on their conversation. They all dispersed when I gave them a look.
When only a couple people stayed, I felt something wrong. I only saw Left and Kid.
"Oh no." I said quietly. Where was Rain?
I watched Celestia continue to stare anxiously at the clock. I had found her like this after we had finished moving the humans inside. She was worried and not too many things worry Celestia, so I couldn't help but ask.
"Princess Celestia, whats wrong?" I tried. She stopped and looked at me for a moment, then went back to the clock.
"Shes late" She said nervously. "I do hope nothings gone wrong."
Her answer opened up more questions for me. "Who's late?" I asked. "and for what?"
Finally she turned to me. "A pony of mine in the field hasn't contacted me yet. I'm concerned about her."
I smiled at her. I didn't know who she had out there or how reliable they were, but I thought I should try to put here at ease.
"Just because shes a little late doesn't mean somethings wrong."
"But shes never been late before, never." She said. "And she was doing a dangerous tas-" The knock on the door stopped her.
She opened the door and once more the small, red pony entered, only this time he carried a small tablet on his back. Celestia's face lit up when she saw it.
"Is it from her?!" She asked excitedly.
"No, your Highness." he tried to say sadly with his head down. "No contact from her yet." I could almost see the fake sorrow spewing from his mouth.
Celestia took the tablet from him and he turned around to leave. Now was my chance.
"Excuse me." I said as polite as I could. Instead of responding, he sped up and opened the door.
"Hey!" I shouted. When I got to the door though, all I saw was a quick flash of red. He was gone. "What in Equestria?" I said. Why had he run from me? I only wanted to find out who he was.
I walked back into the room and Celestia had her back to me.
"I've been meaning to ask you who that pony-" I stopped. Celestia was staring at the tablets screen. I walked around to get view and what I saw shocked me.
It was a huge, metal, human contraption. The picture was dark, but I could make out human weapons and wheels. At the bottom of the screen had a message in red letters.
Caught one of your seven around this thing. It could be part of a possible plan of attack. I would take precautions
Celestia continued to stare at the words. No trace of an expression could be found on her face. She made no movements for a couple minutes until she sighed.
"Princess Celestia?" I asked. But she ignored me. She walked to the desk and levitated a microphone to her face.
"How many of the new weapons have been produced so far?" she asked into it.
A fuzzy voice on the other line answered. "Let me check...Uhh looks like just shy of 400, 380."
Celestia smiled. "Good. I want you to start arming ponies up immediately. Send 150 earth ponies, 150 unicorn ponies and 50 pegasi to the Atlanta Bureau. And please hurry, I want them here within the hour."
"It will be done then." The other pony said then hung up. Oh my goodness. Our forces were be drawn in. This was it, an open battle with the last remaining humans. We came to it at last. Luna was right, Celestia had changed.
She turned to me with a blank face
"Twilight, I grow tired of these humans and their schemes. I intend to end this, once and for all."
"I'm not useless. I am not useless." I had been whispering that to myself the entire time that I had made my escape. It was true too, I wasn't useless, but I knew it must've looked that way. I was always quiet and tad bit shy. I was young, female and skinny. Because of this, people thought I was weak. I realized my poor performance during the pegasus attack hadn't helped.
I hadn't meant to hide in the cleaners closet. I was just so scared at the sight of Mint getting hit with darts. Even before then, I had heard some of the things people said about me. I let them all slide. However, after the attack they got worse. I had even heard some people in our group say things. But what could I have done? Guns weren't my thing and I didn't have my own weapon. But that was about to change, I was enroute to it now.
My weapon of choice was slightly hard to come by, so I would leave it behind in certain place then run back and retrieve it, usually while everyone else was asleep. My speed and stamina made me a beast on my feet and I could cover miles upon miles a day. But today I didn't have to run very far.
I was approaching the area where we had slept the night after we had broken Jacob out. I pin pointed the tree where I had stashed it and got a running start. using my momentum, I was able to grab a branch much higher than if I had just jumped straight up. I pulled myself up and grabbed another limb. After a couple more, I was looking at my weapon. My recurve bow.
In someone else's hands, they'd be in trouble, but in mine, I became a killer. I could consistently nail deer, or even smaller animals like a fox, in vital spots at well over 45 yards. I was a hunter, a damn good one too. I could stalk prey for hours without them even know I was there. Not even Hudd could detect me. I had been following his group for over 20 miles in Virginia before I revealed myself to them.
I was no fighter, but as soon as Rebecca expressed he need for surveliance on the bureau, I knew I could help. I took my quiver, which was full with eighteen 30 in. arrows, from a higher branch. I jumped down and continued to the bureau.
The first thing I noticed about the bureau was the complete lack of cover. After you slid down the hill, there was no where to hide. I looked around and saw a building a couple yards behind the drop.
I kicked open the door and raised my bow, but there was nothing here. The first floor had nothing but a front desk facing the entrance and a few papers littering the floor. I found stairs in the far right corner and climbed up for a better view of the bureau.
Luckily the stairs went all the way to the roof. This combined with the buildings height gave and excellent view of the bureau-and a good spot to attack from.
I walked over to the edge and pulled out the binoculars. I looked towards the bureau and immediately ducked.
"Oh crap!" I breathed heavily. My heart sunk in my chest. I peeked over the edge again and looked at the same spot. Yep, there was Celestia. She was standing on the roof of her bureau, looking in my direction. When I first looked at her, she seemed to be looking directly at me, but now I could see that her gaze was over me.
I squinted my eyes at her. What are you looking at? I wondered. Suddenly a giant shadow covered the entire field and Celestia smiled. I pulled away the binoculars and just as a gigantic hot air balloon descended into the field.
"Holy shit!" I said out loud. I laid flat on the roof. If I tried to go for the door, they might see me. I turned my head to see four more incoming. Each one landed in the bureau's field and a large number of earth and unicorn ponies jumped out. After all the Balloons flew off, the ponies assembled in six lines of fifty in front of the bureau. I saw Princess Celestia shouted words to them, but I couldn't make out what it was.
She had just finished commending them when I heard wing beats above me. I looked up and saw about fifty pegasi flying over me. A bird I had never seen before flew with them. It was nearly featherless cough and sputter as it flew. They landed on the roof, with the bird perching on Celestia's raised front hoof on and she spoke to them as well.
When she finished, she and the bird both went back inside, but the pegasi stayed on the roof.
i think its time to go. I decided. I walked down the stairs with a smile on my face. Hudd would need to know about the arrival of Celestia's ponies. I knew I was useful .
I started at the girl. She had finished sending her message to Celestia and was now walking in circles around me.
"You're probably wondering how I beat you." She said as she walked behind me. "You know when I was just a filly I tried martial arts. I was terrible, sure, but that didn't stop me from getting a passion for it."
"Wha- what?" I managed. "A filly?"
She ignored my question and continued. "My younger pony body just didn't have the power I wanted." She stopped next to me and lightly kicked my leg. "But I've grown up...and obviously ah'm not a pony anymore."
"H-h-how?"I asked, wiping blood from my mouth.
"We are more technologically advance than than you think."
"n-no." I struggled weakly.
"Oh yeah." She smiled."You have no idea how much it took to make me like this. What Celestia has to give for this."
I didn't say anything, but I got a thought. What did Celestia have to give to make her human?
"Of course you don't." She said coldly. "You know our task here is almost done-defeating your resistance I mean. All we need is one last display of power." She started backing away. "Luckily, we have one." She ran back into the office. This made me nervous so I used all my might and started pushing back towards the wall.
I could hear her rummaging around for something in there. "They're are only a few hundred of what you're about to she" She said. I continued pushing back. "This will actually be my first time using it. Funny that It would I would use it on you." She chuckled. "I always pictured myself bagging the big prize, Hudd or that Jacob, but I guess you're not too bad either.
I kept backing up until I hit the wall. Well actually something else hit the wall first. I heard a metallic 'thump' as it hit the concrete wall. I'm a fucking idiot. I thought.
"Ah! Here it is!" She said as the noises stopped. "Celestia really seems to want you and your friends. She'll be so relieved when I bring you to her." She said as started coming back into the room. "Finally, I found something I'm good at." She said happily. She came into the room and adjusted a large weapon that vaguely resembled a pony dart gun. "I'll make her proud."
When she looked up, her eyes widened and all the color drained from her face. She was looking at the barrel of my shotgun from about fifteen feet away.
"Maybe not." I said as I pulled the trigger.
A couple hours later, there was still no sign of Rain. None even seemed to remember her being here. The guy who was watching the said he hadn't seen her leave.
I wanted to find her, but not enough to go outside searching. Rebecca and Hudd and finished gather what they thought was enough information on the girl and were now sitting and waiting. Lots of ideas were being tossed around, but the one that stuck was to start arming up and hit the bureau tomorrow night.
As everyone started getting their things together, we heard footsteps coming down the stairs. When the person came into view, everyone looked shocked.
"Where the hell have you been, Rain?" I shouted. I came down and pulled Hudd, Rebecca and I aside.
"I went to the bureau." she said plainly.
"You did what?" Rebecca asked shocked.
"I left to scout out the bureau and I have stuff you'll want to know." She said.
Hudd ignored that she was missing and went into command mode. "What do you have for us?"
"Well first things first. Celestia's forces are already here."
"What?!" How many?" I said.
"I'm not sure exactly. I saw six lines of about fifty on the ground and at least another fifty pegasi on the roof. Buts that's not the real problem."
"And what is?" Rebecca asked.
"The real problem is that there is no cover on that field. They'll paraylze you as soon as you drop down."
Rebbeca and Hudd looked at each other. "Well it gets worse as it turns out." Hudd said. "The girl in there said that her weapon turns people directly into ponies. No more paralysis. What would you suggest?"
"You need some type of cover. And it has to be lightweight or on wheels for you to get it there."
I thought about how the car I hid behind had held up pretty nicely. they had wheels. "What about cars?"
"That could work..." Rebecca started. "But we don't have enough fuel for that."
"What if you pushed them?" Rain tried.
"Push cars from here to the bureau? That's a little much." Hudd said.
"Why? Its not incredibly far away and its slightly down hill." I suggested. "And what if we stripped it? Take out all the parts we don't need, engine, seats, windows, stuff like that."
"That might make them a little lighter, but I have no idea how to take out an engine." Hudd said.
"Oh thats easy." Rebecca said. " Is anyone here a mechanic or knowledgeable of car engines?" She asked the question to the entire room and got a couple guys.
"I was mechanic. Used to own a garage around here." The guy said. I'd seen him around before. "What do you need?"
"How long would take to take the engine out of a car." Hudd asked..
The guy did a quick calculation in his head. "Couple months, why?"
"No. I mean just basically removing it never to be used again."
He tilted his head back. "Ohhhhh. Really depends on the car, but I'd say maybe a few hours."
"If I brought you five or six cars, you think you could do that to them. "
"Oooo." he said. "I'd need some help. My younger brothers here, but I might need more."
"Take anyone you need." Rebecca said. "Tell them Rebecca needs their help."
"Gotcha." He nodded and left us to recruit some more.
"Now there's the business of getting the cars. Taylor!" Rebecca shouted. The big guy came over. "Take about 15 maybe 20 strong people outside and bring the first five cars you see. Take whatever weapons you need."
"Got it." He said in a deep voice.
"And Taylor." Rebecca stopped him. She leaned in close. "After that's done, find me the three smallest cars you can find, but make sure they have a trunks. Fill those three up with the last of our gasoline."
"Will do." He said as he picked some guys.
"Now that that's taken care of." Rain said. "We need to talk about the pegasi."
"Oh yeah I almost forgot about them."
"There is building a couple hundred yards from the bureau. Stairs will take you from the roof and from there, you have a great view of the bureau."
"We could put some LMGs up there and mow them all down." Hudd said.
Rebecca stepped back. "I have something else." She walked into a corner and pulled out two long, hollow tubes. "M29 mortars. The guy who knows how to operate them is sleep over there." she pointed. "Bad thing is we only have six shells"
"No, no that's perfect." Two shells for the ground, four for the roof." Hudd said. "That's how this will start. When that first shell hits, we'll give those ponies hell."
I stayed in the lab. I didn't know where else to go. With the humans impending attack, it was too dangerous to go out side where 300 of the Equestrian Elite stood waiting for them. Inside was no better, ponies were busy running weapons and medical supplies around.
Not even the laboratory wasn't empty. Scientists were everywhere getting things ready for the extraction that was about to commence. I made sure to stand out of their way and Luna did the same. She had come inside when Celestia was giving orders to our forces. She stood next to me, but didn't speak. We both wanted to see the procedure first hand.
"I NEED SOME WATER!" A voice shouted suddenly . All the ponies in the room turned to the corner where the lone human, Mint, laid on floor. His right wrist was cuffed to the wall and he was wavy his left in the air. I looked to him then back at the scientists, they had gone back to their business. I sighed and left the room.
I levitated a plastic cup to to a restroom where I filled it up. Mint looked relieved when I floated to cup over to him. He drank it down quickly and said "thanks" without facing me. I shrugged and went back over to next to Luna.
She leaned in close to me and whispered. "That was nice of you."
"I couldn't help it." I said back. I had little doubt that Mint would probably kill me given a chance, but I pitied him anyway. His fall while being converted back to a human had made something go wrong. We had assumed that the control of his legs would come back to him a little later...but they never did. He would never walk again. For that I was extremely sorry.
It was my decision to keep him down here. Partly because it would be difficult to levitate him all the way up stairs, but I also didn't want to put him in a cage after what he had been through. Though it had back fired when Celestia insisted that he be chained.
"I think they're about to start." I said.
"Correct." Luna replied.
Princess Celestia was enclosed behind six plexiglass walls. In with her was a scientist in what looked to be in full armor. He pulled down a mask and moved a syringe closer to her leg . The entire room grew silent as it got closer and closer.
I could see a dark substance covering the tip of the needle before he brought it made contact with Celestia. When it did, I understood why the pony was in armor. A shock wave went out on contact and rattled the clear walls. A bright with light came out from the tiny puncture. The scientist, with his mask, was able to continue, but I was forced to look away.
The extraction had yielded about a quarter cup of dark red liquid. Alicorn blood. The rare substance glowed brighter when the pony moved it.
"Get that finalized quickly." Celestia said. She lifted one of the panes and she a the scientist left. Immediately he was swarmed by others, trying to examine it and take samples.
Celestia calmly walked over to us. "And that's the main ingredient for the new serum." she said
"Very nice." Luna nodded.
"It is." Celestia agreed. "And it works fine."
Luna looked unsure. "Well what happened to him?" she asked. She pointed to resting Mint, who was snoring in the corner.
"Oh him? His condition was the result of a disruption during testing." Celestia said. "He's an accident."
"An accident?" I asked.
"Precisley, But it matters little. We won't be turning converts back to humans anytime soon." She said. We might even have to expand the upper floors to make room for the last of the humans."
The scientist walked up behind her and tapped her shoulder. "Your Higness?"
She turned around and she levitated a large glass container in front of us.
"Ah, thank you." she said to him then turned back. "A super concentrated dose. You could thin this out and make hundreds of thousands with this."
"Wonderful." I said quickly.
Celestia looked down. "Twilight, I know you don't think that a battle with the humans is entirely right so I will ask no more of you than this: Can you keep this safe for me?"
I thought for a moment. I really wanted no part in this impending fight, but I felt I couldn't deny her. "I will do it." I said finally. Celestia's face lit up for a moment like it did when I was younger.
I heard a familiar animal call then a bright that coming down the hall way. Suddenly a fireball burst into the room. It went over to Celestia and slowly it formed into a fully renewed Philomena. They played around for a moment before she looked over and smiled at me. "Thank you, Twilight." She said. "This won't take long."
I past out. I'm not quite sure for how long, but it was dark outside when I came to. I remembered everything though. The fight, my ass getting whipped, even the girl lying on the floor. Oh god. I thought. The girl was still here.
I remembered I couldn't aim the shotgun as high as I would have liked to. Still, the blast was able to fuck up her lower body. I didn't know if she'd died immediately or if she'd bled out, either way I was going to make sure she was undenaibly dead.
Very slowly I got up. My entire body ached and was covered in bruise, but I rose. I limped over to her and saw the huge blood pool around her. She had to be dead, but her eyes were still wide open. I shook my head. "Nope." I said to myself. I hovered the barrel about six inches above the bridge of her nose. I thought back to something she had said while I was down. Now I chuckled, it was my time to laugh.
"You should have listened to friend, you fucking fake." I pulled the trigger again and the girls face was blown everywhere.
Half an hour later, I was hard at work. The truck had guns alright, but they'd be useless without anything to shoot from them.
So I to load them up. It wasn't to difficult and luckily there was quite a lot of ammo around the room. For the XM 307, I found six ammo cans that would each hold 31 20mm grenades. The 307 was controlled remotely from inside the armored cab and utilized an auto loader system. That was an easy part. All I had to do was make sure the tops on the cans were open, push them down into the loader and lock it into place. From there it would take care of the rest.
For the M2 Brownings, I was not as lucky. There were only four cans of the 50. BMG AP rounds. That was only two cans for each gun. Whats worse was that I couldn't fire it from inside the cab. Someone else would have to jump in in the back an use them. But that wouldn't be a problem when I was on the bureau's doorstep.
While I was looking for ammo for the M2's I ran across another great find, crates of weapons. Six Berretta REC7s, two HK416's and even and M110 SASS. There were a couple hand guns also thrown into the mix as well . All of them had a couple mags of ammunition.
Inside the truck, there were brackets of the walls and I hung the extra weapons in case they'd be needed when I got down there. When I was done, it was night. I was tired and ready for sleep, but there was one more thing I had to take care of.
I grabbed the girl's arm and dragged her body outside. I took it around back and tossed it into a dumpster. I briefly thought about actually burying her, but then I said "Nahhh." I curled up on the seat of cab. It was actually pretty comfortable. For a moment I just sat there and thought.
With my transmitter broken, there would be no way that Hudd would be able to contact me. I'd have to hear the battle going on and then make it down there. I'd be late to party, but I think I'd be well welcomed. My last thought before drifting off to sleep was how loaded up the truck was. We were going to tear those ponies apart.
I sat on the steps rolling a bullet around in my hands. I couldn't find myself sleeping in the daytime. Last night had been filled with activity. They had worked through the night and as a result all the tasks had been finished. Eight cars stood outside the entrance to stairs. Five of them lacked an engine, windows and seats, just as Rebecca had wanted.
The other were filled with what little gas we had left. They would have to be pushed to the bureau before Rebecca could put her plan into action. When she told me it, I wasn't too thrilled, but I knew it would definitely be affective.
On the way to finding her three extra cars, Taylor and his guys had run across an over turned SWAT truck. Inside they found about fifteen ballistic shields which was given to anyone who couldn't get behind a car.
Roles had been given out to our group as well. Hudd and I were apart of Rebecca's plan. Lefty volunteered to use a LMG on the roof of the opposite building. Kid and Rain was chosen to stay on the ground. Kid had just sighed and accepted it, but I wasn't too sure about Rain. The way she spoke when we discussed plans just didn't sound right.
About an hour later, I found that I was right. Everyone else had gone to sleep for the impending battle and I saw Rain trying to quietly step over them. She didn't she me until she was very close.
"Going somewhere?" I asked as she came up to me.
She closed her eyes and sighed. "I'm not staying, Jacob." She said.
"I know." I said. "I could tell from how you spoke earlier. I'm not going to stop you, but I do want to know why."
"I can't fight in a battle, Jacob. I just can't." She said sadly. "I wanted to give you guys some help before I left."
"Will you be alright?" I asked.
"I'll be fine." she said. "If there is a way I can help out tonight, I will try."
"Jacobbb?" It was Rebecca's voice. "Jacob were are you" Rebecca was doing a sort of whisper yell.
"Go Rain." I said. "She probably won't like you leaving."
"Okay, Jacob." She gave me hug then headed up the stairs. "I wish you all the luck in the world."
"I'm here, Rebecca." I whispered back. She came over to me and pulled me up.
"Come on." she said. "Time to tie up loose ends." She led me to the room where the girl was being held. She looked worse than before. Blood was all over her face and looked like it had even been coming from her ears.
"Her names Scootaloo." Rebecca said. "She was a pony."
"What?!" I said amazed. "How is that possible?"
"I don't know. She absolutely refused to tell us no matter what we did to her, but its gotten me worried." Rebecca said. "How the hell could Celestia do this?"
"No idea." I said. "Doesn't seem possible."
"When we searched her, we found this." She handed me a transmitter. I turned it over and found a camera on the back. "That transmitter sends directly to Celestia. I say we send her a message." She handed me a silenced hand gun and I nodded.
Rebecca slapped her face lightly a couple times and she girl sprang to life. She looked at the gun and then at her transmitter and her face went white.
"You don't want to be doing that." She warned.
"I think we do." I said as I held the hand gun up to her head.
"You don't understand. She's been acting differently. If you send her this, she could completely destabilize. You're going to break her."
I looked to Rebecca who gave me a thumbs up as she pointed the camera towards her.
"Good." That was the last I said before I pulled the trigger.
I was scared, so very scared. The night was warm, but I shivered anyway. With help, Taylor had removed the seats and most of the engines from the cars. It didn't make them light as a feather, but it was a difference we definitely felt. Before we left, someone had the idea to put all our guns, ammunition, the mortars and the ballistic shields in the cars so we would have less to carry on our backs. That turned out to be great idea, but made some cars heavier than others. The solution was that we used was to rotate which cars we pushed every couple hundred feet.
It was a little under a mile to the bureau and after what didn't seem like a long time, we arrived at the building Rain mentioned. The guys who would be on the roof assembled and took the mortars and most of the LMGs. Lefty took a HK 416, two C-Mags then came over to me.
"You're one of the youngest people here." Lefty placed his hand on my shoulder "I've never told anyone this, but the reason I'm here, is you. I'm fighting here for you, Kid"
"Why?" I asked, completely taken by surprise.
"Because you are our future." He said smiling proud. "And you deserve to live a world where you don't have to run for your life or to hide in the shadows during the day. You deserve a world without ponies."
Damn it I thought to myself as my eyes starting welling up. I thanked him and he gave me hug before he left with the others six up to the roof.
Now was the time that Rebecca decided to put her plan into action. She, Hudd and Jacob grabbed a couple of assault rifles and one by one disappeared from view. Jacob keep muttering "This is stupid, this is so stupid." He clearly wasn't a big fan of her plan. To me, that was completely understandable.
About fifteen guys moved her three special cars into position at the top of the drop onto the field. The last of our gasoline had been put into cars that wouldn't even have a driver.
Three guys with Ballistic shields walked up to the drivers side door and opened it. I jumped when a dart exploded with green liquid on the guy at the middle car. Despite that, all three of them placed a cinder block on the gas pedal, then tossed a rope connected to it in the back. They then turned to Taylor, the mechanic and he nodded. On his command, they put the keys in their ignitions and started them up.
The cars raced forward. The zoomed down the hill and sped towards the ponies. A couple of them in the front rapidly shot bright green liquid filled darts, which exploded harmlessly on the cars' hoods and windshields.
Their fright, however, was short lived as the cars rolled to a stop just a few yards from the ponies lines. A couple shot darts into the drivers side only to discover that there was no one at the wheel.
Everything else was in place except for one important thing: The ground team. That was me. Rain was supposed to be here too, but she ran off while the gettin' was good. I cursed at her silently while we all moved the five remaining cars into positon at the edge of the field. We made sure that we all had a weapon, some people took two or even three. I was handed an M-27, though I didn't really matter what I got. If it shot bullets, it was good enough for me.
With one final shove, the cars were pushed over the edge of the drop. Two of them flipped over and the other three turned to the side so there was move room to take cover behind. We scrambled down the hill and took cover behind them. I could see activity on the Bureau's roof which confirmed that there were pegasi up there waiting for us.
My heart starting pounding. My hands started sweating and my rifle nearly slipped out of my grip.I tried to swallow my nervous feelings, but they wouldn't go away. This was it. People I couldn't see made uplifting comments like "We're gonna fuck these ponies up!" and "If Celestia thinks we'll just go away quietly, then she's got another think coming."
Finally I heard it: The static of a radio being turned on.
"Alright guys, we're ready down here." The guy said into it. "Give em' hell when you're ready."
A few seconds later a heard a distant pounding sound, like if a giant hammer struck an enormous iron block. A second later I heard it again. Then everything was completely silent for a few moments. That was until I heard a whistling sound over my head.
I looked at the towards the Bureau's roof again just as the two 81mm mortar shells dropped on it. It was a great sight. What looked like two dozen, possibly even more, pegasi were blasted from the roof. They feel on the troops below, some injured, most dead.
Then something happened that filled my entire body with courage.
"FOR HUMANITY!" Someone shouted. This was enough. All of us rose up and started shooting. With all the anger rushing back to me for what they had done, I raised my rifle, pointed it down the field and let out a yell as I pulled the trigger.
Everything seemed to go into slow motion. The ponies had all focused on the explosion behind them. Our bullets were hitting them in their backs. I'm not afraid to admit how great it felt. I imagined that I could see each and every pony that my bullets hit. Doing that only made me want to further decimate them.
I fired in bursts to control the recoil and to be careful that I didn't hit the cars that were already in front. I was through with my first clip in about 15 seconds. I had to reload at about the same time as everyone else. Before I ducked down, I could see that most of the first two rows were down.
I also saw that the remaining pegasi were past their shock and were taking flight. Another mortar shell struck the few that were still on the roof. The ones that were in the air, shot at us with what sounded like a paintball gun. The darts smashed against the cars' sides and some of the black liquid splashed on the ground next to me.
Heavy fire picked up behind me and some of the pegasi started dropping from the sky. They stopped coming for us and scattered to find where the fire was coming from. They didn't know it was Lefty and the other LMG guys on the roof. They continued to drop the flying ponies as I slid in another mag. I rose up to engage again, but I was met with something.
A dart exploded on the car's door right in front front of me. That one was immediately followed by another and another. The ponies forces had gotten themselves together. Their dart guns fired extremely quickly. Anybody who tried to jump up for a shot quickly took cover again from the barrage of darts.
Then it happened. I knew it had to come sooner or later, but I never expected to someone so close to me. The man next to me decided to rise up for a shot. As soon as he was above the car, he screamed in pain. He fell back down again with four darts stuck in his chest.
He looked to me and "Oh no." were the last things he said before his face curled up in absolute anguish. He dropped to the ground and began screaming as he banged his feet and started thrashing around. All of the sudden, his feet cracked to the side. He kept banging them and it looked as if the bones inside simply crumbled. The rest of his legs and arms soon followed. His body continued jerking and crunching until his two feet had rearranged themselves into two hooves.
Seeing him convert into a pony before our very eyes only further enraged everyone around him, including me. We all nodded at each other and simultaneously, we jumped up and fired again.
Ponies all fired at different targets and we were able to down a few more them. Our courage spread to the guys who remained behind cover and they rose up to shoot too. All together we maybe got four dozen more.
The ponies just decided to shoot at everything and thats when another man cried out. He slumped to the ground with his back on the car and two darts in his arm. Another man who I guessed was his friend, placed his hand on his shoulder. The two nodded at each other just before the changes starting taking place.
The man rested his friend on the ground while he writhed in pain. He was clearly angry and jumped up yelling with an M249. He was hit by a bunch of darts, but he didn't seem to give a damn. He kept firing with the SAW and was able to take down maybe 20 ponies by himself. Unfortunately a human body can only take so much conversion serum. His run was finally brought to end when his hands crumbled from the recoil of the gun.
After that, things weren't looking good. More and more people started getting hit with darts-and we couldn't afford to lose much more. I knew what had to be done, but the guy with the radio had been hit. Luckily for us, The LMGs on the roof had dealt with the pegasi and were now concentrating their fire on the the ground ponies. The mortar guys had finished carefully repositioning to be careful of the cars. The LMGs, combined with the two shells that had just dropped on the ponies, gave me enough time to run over to the guy who had held the radio.
"Now guys, Now!" I yelled into it. I dropped the radio again and managed to empty out the rest of my mag. I crouched down and placed a new one in as I readied myself.
I didn't like Rebeeca's plan. Nope, not at all. For one thing, I hated tight spaces and I where was currently held was DEFINITELY a tight spice.
Worse than that, was I could hear sounds of the battle all around me. Sure there were a bunch sounds of ponies dying, but I could definitely make out human screams as well. That made me want to jump and kill em' all right then and there. Unfortunately, I'd been ordered not to move until instructed. For now I would have to wait.
After what seemed like forever, I finally started to hear what I had been waiting for. The static over the radio cleared into Rebecca's voice.
"....ob...Ja...b..... Jacob?" She called. I quickly grabbed for my walkie and hit my head in the process.
"Yeah, Im here!" I answered anxiously.
"Jacob, its time." Rebecca said. I silently celebrated and got my weapon ready. "More info comes from Lefty: Jacob, you've got seven on your left. Hudd, theres a group right in front of view. Lets do this!"
I pushed upwards and my back hit the top of my confines. I popped from the trunk of the middle car and immediately turned. When Rebecca said they were on my left, she damn well meant it. I turned to face a pony, caught off his guard by my surprise appearance.
He had no time to react before I raised my carbine and gunned him, and everyone close to him, down. As I ducked down again to reload, I saw Hudd had cleared the ponies in front of him and Rebecca had pulled the pins from two Incendiaries. I had a fresh mag in just as her two grenades exploded behind us.
I was able to step out of the trunk as more fire came from the roof. Kid and the guys on the ground were able to continue shooting as well. With all the combined fire, ponies began falling by 5s and 10s. I was able to move up to the drivers side and use the open door for my cover. A couple guys from behind, including Kid, started moving up as well. They crouched and crawled using the cars ahead for cover.
Then it happened. The ponies turned around and started running. They managed to fire a couple shots behinds them as they ran, but they went in crazy directions and endangered no one.
"Come On! We've got them on the run!" I shouted as I pointed towards the bureau with my gun. Everyone yelled in triumph and ran towards the bureau after them. Those who were still cautious put their guns on their backs and carried ballistic shields. On my request, Kid brought me. I took it around my arm and pushed forward.
As we moved as a unti towards the bureau, looking to the side I saw a comforting sight. More than 20 people were running and sliding down the hill unto the field. The great noise of our battle must' ve have drawn in people from a great area. They weren't well armed, most only had pipes or bats, but it great to see them here anyway.
As we got closer and closer to the Bureau, I could hear...something. It sounded like a something spinning incredibly fast.
Finally I saw it, but It was too late. I saw a tiny black orb spinning in the air about ten yards away.
I stopped in my tracks and held back the closer people to me.
"IT'S LUN-" The orb exploded. Not with the same force as the night I had escaped, but still powerful nonetheless. If not for the shield, I'm sure I would have been hurt more than I was.
I pulled myself up and saw that everyone else was doing the same. Looking forward I saw Princess Luna materialize out of thin air.
A guy hopped up and started shooting when he saw her. The bullets bounced harmlessly off Luna who lit her horn up with a blue light. She pointed it at the guy and a dark blue beam hit him right in the chest. He flew backwards and slammed into one of the overturned cars.
I stood up and held the shield and started backing up. Undeterred, more people, started shooting at her as well. As the bullets her, her body seemed to grow darker and darker, her front hoof raised. Finally she looked back at us, her eyes a bright white.
She brought down her hoof and released a wave of energy. I was knocked into someone else and we both struggled to get back up. I pulled the other guy to his feet and I didn't recognize him. I realized that he have been drawn in by the battle.
He said nothing and ran back the way he came. Lots other people followed suit. I turned around and quickly saw why.
Behind me, Luna was busy ending all of our efforts. Her horn was lit and coming from it was a dark blue beam. For a moment I just watched as it carved lines in the Earth while chasing after people. I noticed how she only aimed her beam at those who weren't moving. People who tried to stop and shoot were hit and went flying.
I snapped back into it just she Luna zeroed in on me. I held the ballistic shield up just before the beam hit me. The force of it slid me back into the ground, but I still managed to keep the shield between me and her.
She didn't take the beam off of me until I pushed my feet back in retreat. I quickly walked backwards, making sure that the shield would still protect me. It was all falling apart. We had a little more than 30 people still moving. Some didn't have weapons and the ones who did were still running. Looking behind me I saw Rebecca and Hudd dragging a bleeding guy, who had been unlucky enough to fall on a harder object, behind a car. Kid was back with them. Luna's rampage had put hope back in the pony's hearts. They poured from the Bureau's front entrance by he dozen. Seeing no other option I started running back.
"Fall back!" I shouted to those who were still trying to hold out near Luna. "Fall back!"
I was about halfway to Hudd when it happened. Two beams of blinding white light switched on from the the top of the hill. I brought my arm to block it and stopped running. What the fu- My thought was interrupted by the sound of a powerful engine being turned on.
I pulled my arm down just a bit to see a giant, metal behemoth drive off of the hill. It hit the ground of the field and drove a wide arc around the remaining humans. It was a truck, a huge truck. Eight wheels and definitely military. It stopped about 50 yards away, to my right. After a few seconds of it idling, a large turrent on the top of the cab came to life and pointed directly at Luna. She made no moves yet but, her horn stayed glowing.
Next thing I knew the turret started firing. A projectile exploded not a foot from Luna's face. She had 0 time to react before another exploded in the same spot. This knocked her to the ground.
A cheer went up from behind me. People were grabbing their weapons again and running back to fight. The machine gun fire continued from the roof as they now had a much clearer shot at her. Luna couldn't move from the ground. All the gun fire and the explosions from the truck were taking its toll. Her blue beam sliced wildly in the air.
People jumped in the back of the truck and came out with weapons. One jumped unto an M2 and provided even more fire. Rebecca continued to throw incendiaries. I could hear Luna crying out on the ground. We were hurting her.
The thing about guns is that they eventually have to reload. That is precisely what happened to the turret on the truck. Most of the fire came from it and when it stopped Luna temporarily freed. She exploded into a thousand bats which scattered away in every direction.
Once again I raised my weapon and cheered. The truck moved around in front of us and fired more shots at the ponies who were running back into the bureau.
Once again we ran towards the bureau and this time we actually made it pretty close. I was about 10 yards away from willing entering a Conversion Bureau, when over the top of the building, the sun started to rise. Or at least I thought it did. A warm golden glow that I'd only known to be inherit to the sunrise rapidly filled my view. Then I heard her voice. At least she was straight to the point.
"I hereby declare all Humans in this area to be classified as enemies to all ponies and to Equestria as a whole. Any humans remaining on this territory are to disband at once...under pain of death." Princess Celestia's voice was perfectly clear. Her rage was evident.
"Where is she?!" Kid shouted.
I scanned the sky until I saw the huge white alicorn speeding right towards me. Surprisingly at this moment, I could think of just one thing to say.
by no sh*t sherlock
Months ago Hudd had led his group through Washington D.C. for an attack on Celestia. Unfortunately it failed and left them very crippled and on the run. At the time I was still detonating charges and scaring the mess out of pegasi in New York, so I had never witnessed Princess Celestia in a battle. She was a bit bigger than Luna, so I figured that she was probably a little stronger too. But seeing as we had just taken care of Luna, I thought that Celestia couldn't be too much more of a problem. I was wrong.
Princess Celestia descended so fast that I couldn't tell when she actually hit the ground. It was much different than Luna's hit. As soon as she got close, my vision was filled by a blinding golden light. My ears started ringing and I fell over and felt a bit of dirt and dust hit my face.
When my vision corrected I could see Celestia was standing to my left. Fortunately for me, she was looking out towards the field and not in my direction. The problem was that she was right in front of the Bureau's entrance- where I needed to be.
Celestia's horn became engulfed in glowing a bright yellow energy as she looked over the battlefield. Everyone soon got over their shock and the military truck was the first to react. One of the machine guns on the side focused on the ponies that spilled out of the Bureau, while the launcher on the roof of the cab aimed towards her.
See the attack coming, she sent a beam from her horn. At about three feet from her face it stopped and formed a large circle. The grenades from the turret exploded on it, unable to break through. The truck drove forward trying to find a way past her shield, but had no luck. Soon the gun came to a stop and Celestia's shield faded until it was no longer there.
She looked straight down and when she came up again, something was different. Her eyes had turned green with a purple aura coming from them. Her horn light up with a different light, one that was also green and purple. A dark shadow crept from her and stretched across the field until it was under the truck.
Suddenly the ground started to shake and a huge black rock rose from under the middle of the truck. The driver tried to drive away from it, but its wheels were already off the ground. The rock shined in the moonlight as more and more of it rose from the ground. The truck started to arc slightly as the weight of its two ends pulled it down.
When the rock stopped rising, the middle of the truck was suspended at leas fifteen feet off the ground. A door in the rear opened and two guys, as well as a few weapons, tumbled out of it.
With the truck immobilized, ponies started coming freely from the bureau. Most of our fire went towards keeping them back.
The driver of the truck remained in the cab and desperately tried to aim the turret towards Celestia. But she was now on the offensive. Her horn had been growing brighter and brighter as it gained energy.
Finally a hot yellow blast propelled away from her. The driver kicked open the door and dropped to the ground just as the blast hit the truck above him. The cab was blown clean off and the truck rotated on the rock. With the back weighing more, it started to tilted towards the ground. The driver rolled to the side as the rear end of the truck smashed on the ground next to him.
Celestia gave an evil looking smile before something exploded behind her. Her smile disappeared as the mortar shell caused her to fly into her rock. The black structure crumbled on impact, burying her.
Unfortunately it didn't take long for Celestia to kick her way through. When she pulled herself up, nearly her entire body was covered in black dust. She frantically looked around for where the shell had come from.
When the LMG fire started hitting her she immediately turned to face the roof when her circular shield up. Her horn started glowing brighter again as her shield continued deflecting the bullets.
I heard yelling from the roof as the fire stopped. Celestia took her opportunity. A white hot blast way larger than before came from her horn.
The blast hit on the floors below the roof and glass and concrete flew all across the field. With nothing below it, one half of the roof started collapsing. When it gave way I could see one guy, the mortar tubes and Lmgs falling.
Everyone watched in horror and unable to help as he got lower and lower. Celestia slowly turned around to face me when his journey ended. She started coming towards me right when another explosion directly in her back pushed her into the ground. Moments before her blast hit the building, I had heard a mortar fire and it now came back down.
The lucky shot had pushed Celestia into the ground and she was very slowly getting back up. I had little time to make a decision and under the circumstances, I think I did pretty well. I was thinking that maybe we would have better luck in a more contained environment. Maybe not my best choice.
"Get inside!" I shouted as I ushered people inside. Most didn't even have weapons and rushed inside with nothing but bats. I gave my rifle to a completely unarmed person and picked up another pistol for myself. Hudd, Rebecca and I were the last ones inside.
Surprisingly, the place still looked welcoming. A bunch signs and posters discussing the benefits of conversion surrounded a hotel style front desk.
On the far right wall was a door and a few people had gone through it. I headed towards its direction when Rebecca stopped me.
"We're going to clear the upper floors. We'll join you when were done." She said. I nodded in agreement and they left down the hall.
When I opened the door, a long flight of descending stairs was before me.
The first mind fuck came very quickly. When I had gotten to the bottom of the stairs what seemed to be a long black hall stretched for looked like forever. A couple steps down the hallway I heard a noise behind me. I turned to see that the stairs were gone and replaced with more hallway.
"The hell?" I said out loud. I pulled one of my guns out and continued. Eventually I came to a 'T' intersection of hallways. While I was choosing left or right I heard a scream behind me.
I twisted around to see a guy run from a hallway to the left that hadn't been there prior. He ran in my direction, but didn't get far before a blue and orange flash grabbed him and pulled him back down the corridor.
"Oh shit!" I thought as I crouched down. I pointed my gun in that direction on case whatever it was decided to come for me.
After a few seconds no one came, so I kept going much more cautious than before.
It was horrible down here. Corridors seemed to disappear and change position anytime I would look away. Besides a few locked doors, the walls were completely bare so it was impossible to remember where I had been.
"This is a nightmare." I said to myself. "I've got to get-" I quickly whipped my head around. I had heard a hoof step behind me, but saw nothing.
"Who's there?" I called down the hallway with no response. "Anyone there?" I called again. For the second time there was no answer, so I slowly turned around and kept walking, trying to be aware of what was behind me without turning my head.
"This is the kind of shit that makes people craz-" I heard the hoofstep again, this time much closer.
I already had my gun raised when I turned.
"FREEZE MOTHERFU-" I had planned to surprise the individual, but they had me. There was a bright orange and blue flash and then I was pushed hard against the wall. The two colors went past me and trailed around a corner.
I pulled the trigger ans fired a few shots down the hall. I kept my gun pointed down the hall. That's when the second one hit me. My legs were swept from under me. I landed on my back as a lighter blue trail went around the corner.
I was tired of getting fucked with and I pulled out my second pistol. "Come on then!"
I shouted at the hall. I pointed each gun down the hallway, ready to take on whoever it was from either side. But I couldnt even see them.
I took another hit from the orange and blue one to my chest. While I was falling backwards, the light blue one hit my legs from behind again. The result was that I did a backflip. My guns flew behind me and I landed on my stomach.
My chest burned, it felt like my ribs had been pushed in. But when I looked up things got worse. Two pairs of four hooves stood before in front of me. One was light blue, the other orange, but wore a blue and gold suit.
"Hey Jacob." Rainbow Dash said.
"You remember us, right?" Spitfire grinned. I said nothing and looked down to thier sides. No dart guns.
Spitfire noticed my glance and smiled.
"Thats right, no dart gun." She said happily. "I'm sure you've heard Celestia's order. You're going to pay for what you did to our camp.
I balled my right hand into a fist. As old feelings came back to me, anger surged through my body. They came to our lands and tried to take over and I was the one who was going to pay? No way, hands over hooves in my book.
"You won't get the chance." I said gritting my teeth. With that I swung my legs around in front of me so that I was on back.
I was able to knock Spitfires front legs and she fell on her face. However Rainbow Dash was fast. She saw it coming and hovered into the air, but I had something for her too.
I pulled my knees to my chest and pushed out, kicking her into the ceiling. I stood up and kicked Spitfire again. I turned to my guns, they were only a few yards from me.
One word floated through my head: "Nahh."
I turned back to the ponies who had recovered from my hits and had taken some kind of pony fighting stance. I looked back and forth between them, I think I'd be alright. "Well let's do this."
I charged forward, Spitfire did the same. We crashed in the air and with my superior weight, I was able the pin her on her back.
My left hand grabbed her neck while my right delivered punch after devastating punch. She kicked out her front legs wildly and caught me in my chest and stomach.
My right hand soon grew bloody and it joined my left around Spitfire's neck.
Nearly the entire time Rainbow Dash was kicking me from behind. When she grabbed me around my waist and tried to pull me from her is when I brought back my right elbow. It stuck her right in the gut and she doubled over.
I kept squeezing Spitfire's neck. Her flairs became much slower and soon were non existent. After a few more seconds I pulled my hands off her neck and gave her one final punch before I backed away from her. When I looked around for Rainbow Dash who'd disappeared, I was hit in the back. Her unmistakable blue trail went down the hallway.
I held my arms out ready this time. "Come on, come on." I said quietly. Finally I saw her coming. A faint blue object coming straight for me. I stretched out my hands as soon as she hit me.
I was able to grab a hold of her mane in my right hands and around her chest in my left. She flew crazily down the hallway, slamming me into the walls as I struggled to climb onto her back. But when I got there, it wasn't much better. She rose and dragged me across the ceiling, breaking lights as I went along.
I was able to get my right hand on top of her head and my left hand gripped the bottom tightly . I knew what came next and I closed my eyes. My right hand pulled the top of her head and my left pulled the bottom in the opposite direction. The crack was louder than I had expected. I let go of Rainbow Dashes limp body before it crashed to the ground.
"Ah Fuck." I said to myself. Rainbow Dash had fallen a couple feet from Spitfire's. Both of them there was not a pretty sight.
Regardless, I still had to keep moving. I picked up my pistols and kept going.
"Dammit." I said quietly. I couldn't find anything. The hallways kept changing, but now I couldn't see a thing. I hadn't seen or heard a human or pony since Rainbow Dash and Spitfire. But my luck was about to change in my favor––or get worse depending on how you look at it.
I could see a brighter lit hallway to my left and decided to take that path. I came upon a what looked like a laboratory. I readied my guns and crouched down. I slid across the wall under the panes of glass. I rose up for a moment and looked inside. Lots of beakers, test tubes and other traditional lab equipment save for two things.
One was a huge black vault door in the back of the room. The other was a chained human sleeping on the floor next to the wall. He adjusted himself in his sleep so that his face was turned towards me. I recognized him.
"Mint?!" I exclaimed. I rushed around to the entrance and the door slide open. "Mint, Mint!" I said as I shook him lightly.
"Wh-wha?" Mint said drowsily, slowly waking up.
"Mint its me!" I said waving a hand in front of his face. "Come on lets get you out of here." I fumbled around with his chain looking for an exploit.
"Jacob?" He asked. " Jacob stop, Im done for."
"What?" I asked surprised at his tone. "Dont speak like that man, We can get you out of here."
"Listen to me Jacob. I can't walk, they fucked me up real good when they-" He stopped and looked down to his legs. Then he pulled on my shirt urging me closer to him. "They turned me into human." He said softly.
I frowned thinking that he had lost it. "But Mint you've always been a human."
He shook his head violently in frustration. "No, no, no! She converted me, but... but then she turned me back! She has some kind of new serum. But I've got something better.
"What is it then?!" I asked.
"Yesterday, I watched as a doctor was able to pierce Celestia's skin. He used a needle with what looked like it had something like blood or something on the end of it." He said with his eyes wide. "But thats not even the best part. The doctor drew out more blood. I dont know, maybe if we use that we could have a shot at killing her."
"But where is it now?"
"He gave it to this purple unicorn. Shes got a little pink star thing on her leg and –– and speak of the devil. Get down."
I turned and saw Twilight run past the glass panes. She entered the room and got completely still and for the moment she seems oblivious to us.
"This is so bad, I'm so lost." She kept repeating to herself. A saddle bag on her side opened and I got a view of a container with a red liquid inside. I silently pointed to it and Mint nodded. I knew what I had to do and handed Mint one of my pistols as I silently mouthed "I'll come back."
With my other pistol in hand I ran towards Twilight. She turned at the last second and tried to run, but it was too late. My arm was around her neck and I was pushing my pistol into the side of her head.
"Hello Twilight." I said.
"Jacob!" she gasped in surprise.
"You remembered me, Thats good. Look I just need a little something from you." I said as my hand slipped into her saddle bag.
She felt it and resisted. "Wait Jacob!" She shouted. "You don't know what youre-" She stopped at the sound of hoof steps coming towards the lab. They sounded much louder than a normal ponies should be. The hallway started to get brighter and brighter with a golden light. I knew who was coming.
"Shit." was all I could say before Princess Celestia peeked her head into the room.
When Princess Celestia walked into the room to see me holding a gun to one of her most beloved ponies you can imagine just how angry she became.
She literally glowed bright yellow with anger. I could easily feel the heat radiating from her and I started to wonder how I was going to get out of this.
"You've just made a big mistake, Jacob." She fumed and took a slight step forward.
"If you come any closer, than you'll have made a bigger one." I said trying not to let myself sound as completely intimidated as I actually was. I knocked the gun lightly against Twilights head to prove I wasn't messing around.
"I swear to you, If you hurt her in any way there will be no where in this world high enough or low enough for you to hide from me." She started to circle me and circled right back. I needed to know things. With Twilight between me and her I gained a bit of confidence.
"You shut the fuck up." I shouted angrily. I nodded towards the container in Twilights saddle bag. "What's this?"
Celestia hesitated and continued staring at me. I pulled the trigger ever so slightly and it was enough to get the message across.
"Alright fine." She said backing up. "Its mine, my blood."
"What it can do." I said pushing the gun again. "And be honest. You have a lot at stake here."
Celestia growled. "It...It can be altered with conversion serum to produce abnormal effects. " She was talking about turning ponies back human.
"Tell me what it can do to you." I demanded.
"You're going down a bad road, Jacob." Princess Celestia was getting more annoyed by the second.
"I'll send her on the road to hell." Saying that to piss Celestia off may not have been the best idea, but it sure felt good. I already had what I wanted and fortunately for Twilight I had no intention of killing her–– yet.
"When my blood touches outside my body, it temporarily turns that area mortal." She said in temporary defeat. "It can hurt me."
My eyes widened. I grabbed ahold of the container in my free hand and readied my foot. "Thank you, Princess for your cooperation." I put my foot on Twilight's back and kicked out, grabbing the container from her bag as she went. Then something had that I did not expect. I wanted her to go flying into Celestia, giving me enough time to make a quick escape.
Instead, as soon as I let go of her she lit her horn and disappeared in a purple flash. Celestia and I both looked at the spot where she had previously stood. We both slowly looked up at each other and Celestia formed an sly grin. She came forward until another unexpected thing happened.
She rose a hoof to me then suddenly her head was blown to the side as two gun shots came from my left.
"Run Jacob!" Mint yelled as he fired a few more shots. He didn't have to tell me twice. Celestia ran to him as I went to the door.
"Good bye, Mint." she said. The last thing I saw before leaving was Celestia rearing on her back hooves over Mint.
I followed the screams. I had no idea where I was going, but I had to get a way from Celestia. Even though I had a way to defeat her it would still be tough.
I been trying to find the whereabouts of who ever was screaming. Every time they sounded close, the sounds would start coming from a different direction.
I saw some weird shit in some of the hallways. Blacked walls, a few small fires burning in corners.
Did the ponies have a flamethrower or something? I thought to myself. It turns out I wasn't far off.
I turned one corner and ran into a group of four guys running in the opposite direction. The guys in the back had flaming patches in their clothes.
"Run!" They shouted at me. I was confused, but ran anyway. I looked back and I saw the hallway glowing brighter as we turned. A couple seconds later the most high pitched screech I'd ever heard came from behind me.
"What the hell was that?" I screamed. I was about to find out. In front of us, I could see an orange glow stretching across the walls. My back stared to become warmer. I got a hand on my pistol and turned around.
"Oh God!" It scared the shit out of me. I turned to to see a flaming bird whose wing span reached both sides of the hallway, lighting them on fire. It screeched again I held my hand back and fired. I couldn't tell what part was its body and which was just flames.
"Woah!" The guy next to me tripped. I tried to catch him, but I was moving to quickly. Almost immediately he was engulfed by the flames of the winged beast.
As soon as he was gone, I felt a weird feeling come over me, like I suddenly knew where I was.
"Turn here!" I shouted. We turned right and I saw Rebecca up ahead. "Run!" We yelled. She seemed confused at first, but when she saw what was chasing us she sped right up.
"What is that thing!?" She asked.
"I dont know!" I shouted back. "Where the hell is Hudd?"
"We got separated! Is there a plan here?!"
I hadn't thought of a plan. I was more concerned with not being burned alive. I guess I could make one up real quick. I looked down and saw that we all had some kind of weapon. "On my go we're going to turn around and spray that son of a bitch down!" Every nodded. I guess they thought that was as good a plan as any.
"Alright on Three!" My pistol was ready. "One, two THREE!" We turned around at once, all of us ready to fire. I thought we had it, but once again something unexpected happened.
As soon as we turned, the bird stopped and rose up. Before we could shoot, it light its body up and gave off the brightest light I and ever seen.
"Fuck!" I dropped to the ground, I couldn't see a thing. My eyes burned, like they had been instantly dried out. Around me I could hear gun shots, but if the bird's light had effected them as it did me, then they were firing blind.
The heat started to get more intense and I knew the bird was coming closer. Still blind I tried to back away from the heat.
"What the-" The voice was to my right. I heard something being swung then the bird screehed again. It was followed by another 'whoosh' and then I felt something fall on the ground in front of me.
I heard a bunch of more hits and bones breaking before my vision cleared.
"Hudd!" I said relieved. He was beating the bird to death with a bat. On the right was the corridor that he must've come from.
Only one guy, Rebbeca and I remained able to get up.
He put his arm around me. "We've got to get out of here. Things are falling apart." Rebecca and the other guy started going, but I pushed his hand off.
"Not yet." I said as I held up the container of Celestia's blood.
"What is that?" Hudd asked. As we walker I told them every detail of what Celestia had confessed to me.
"We can do this." I said referring to our newly formed plan. "But we only got one shot."
Hudd took my hand and nodded at me. " We'll make it count." With that we spilt up.
For the first time, I found myself looking for Celestia. I no longer had the canister, which meant I no longer had power over her life. It frightened me, but I had to get over it. I was going to stick to the plan.
"Celestia!" I shouted. "I'm Here!"
"Celestia, I'm here." I said tiredly. I'd been shouting that for... I don't even know how long. I hadn't seen anything. But just then...
I ducked behind a corner, gun ready. I could hear hurried hoofsteps coming my way. They came closer and closer. This was it I hoped.
I jumped out and pointed my pistol.
"Dammit." I sighed. Once again I caught a very surprised Twilight Sparkle off guard. "Don't run." I said calmly. "And don't try that teleporting shit again."
"What do you want?" She asked.
"I want Celestia, but I need someone who came bring her here."
"I could try calling her." she suggested.
"Not what I had in mind." I fired at her front leg. She yelled in pain and fell over. I looked around, still no sign of Celestia. But I knew Twilights screams would draw her in eventually. She continued crying on the ground and I almost felt sorry for her.
I fired again at her leg and her screams were renewed. I knew Celestia would hear her favorite pony in pain. While I waited I decided to add insult to injury.
"Now come on Twilight, you knew this was coming." I said waking around her. "After all you ponies have done, you couldn't have thought you were sa-"
The wall exploded in front of me. I ducked as plaster and wood splinters flew everywhere. When I looked up Princess Celestia was fuming next to a giant hole in the wall. Her hooves and lower front legs were covered in blood. She looked down to Twilight then back to me, her eyes bright yellow.
"Here we go." I said quietly. Celestia's horn lit up and I turned around and ran.
"I'm going to kill you Jacob!" she shrieked as she followed. I turned around to see a dark shadow fall over Twilight.
Celestia shot beams of energy all around me. I ducked and jumped as they tore through the floor and walls. Debris flew all over me, but I couldn't stop.
"You'll share the same fate as Mint!" she yelled after me.
I knew it was probably true, but I ran anyway. I needed to get her angrier, she had to be focused on me.
"Twilight begged me not to shoot her." I lied "I could see the fear in her eyes." I turned around to observe her reaction, but she wasn't there.
"Where the-" Celestia's hoof emerged from a corridor to my left. It hit my chest and I flipped and landed on my stomach. I had no time to react because almost immediately I felt Celestia's energy envelop me. I was picked off the ground and slammed into the wall. She lifted me again and slammed me into the opposite wall, my body making a hole in it.
She released me from her magic, but pushed the side of her front leg under my chin holding me in place.
"Tell me how she begged again, Jacob." She taunted as she pushed harder. I struggled ans kicked against her force, but it was too great. Her horn lit again as she began charging it. "Oh well." She sighed with fake pity. " I guess you won't get to experience your better life as a pony. Shame."
"Would you just shut the fuck up!?" Hudd's voice came from her left. She had no time to react before he swung his bat. The blood he had poured on it splashed on me as it went down. It hit against the leg she was holding me up with and I heard the bone crack. She screamed in pain as I dropped to the ground.
The sound froze me for moment. I had never heard it before and I liked it. Celestia tried to get up, but two more powerful hits to her other front leg rendered it useless.
Celestia was on the ground looking up at Hudd who had a devilish grin on his face.
"I've been waiting for this." He whispered. He placed the bloody bat against Celestia's head then brought it back. When he swung he brought it slightly upward. It cracked against her horn.
At first I had thought that it was the bat which broke, but it was realy her horn. A bright yellow wave spread out when it spilt. The greater half of her pointed end flew across the room. Sparkes came from the both ends and Celestia writhed on the ground.
The floor started to shake and yellow energy glided across the walls. We watched as all the walls slowly faded into nothing, leaving one giant room. I could see the lab and a bunch of bedrooms. They looked normal, just with no walls around them.
On the far right wall I could see stairs to the main floor.
"Well look at that." Rebecca said. Her hands her covered in blood, both her own and Celestia's as she punched her back and forth across the face. "We'll take her outside. Let's see if she can the heat."
We threw Celestia down the stairs of the Bureau. Maybe 18 of us humans were left. Rebbeca ran back inside. She said she had to get something.
The rest of us gathered around Celestia for some well deserved payback. Hudd had to set some ground rules.
Rule 1: Do not let her die.
That was it. Hudd only wanted to make sure that a beating wouldn't be the thing that sent her on her way.
Hudd and I watched silently as remainder of humans beat Celestia apart. They covered and hands and feet with her blood which was now coming from her in various places. I was worried that she might slip into unconsciousness, but every so often someone would get in a good hit and Celestia would scream in pain, putting me at ease.
After maybe six minutes, Rebecca came out of the Bureau dragging a low container of gasoline. On her command the mob around her spilt and she, Hudd and I rubbed her blood over her entire body. Rebecca then splashed the gas all over her.
"I... I just wanted to make a better world." She said in a weak raspy voice.
Hudd took a lighter out of his pocket and lit it. The flame cast an eerie light on his face.
"So do I." He said as he dropped the lighter. The flames spread over the ground and raced towards Celestia. When they reached her body they rose up and her screams filled the air. Her hair burnt away quickly and her skin was open to the flames.
We watched as her skin turned a sickly orange color before the layers began peeling away. Celestia screamed in absolute agony as she struggled to move.
She continued wailing for about a minute before it died down. Celestia was getting charred now. Crisped, thin feathers were pushed upward by the flames then fell down around us like rain.
The stench of her dead burning flesh filled my nostrils. It wasn't really a bad smell, In fact I down right loved it. It was something I hadn't smelled in a very long time. It smelled like... victory.
I pushed open the door to the Bureau roof. Hudd stood on the opposite side. His hands rested on the ledge as he looked out towards the empty Atlanta Buildings. A golden sun was rising and shown brightly over the structure.
I walked over to him and sighed. It had been the longest few hours of my life, but it had been while worth it. We had taken the Bureau. More and more people started showing up and pretty soon we were up to around 50.
Lefty had survived the building collapsing with a broken arm and what looked like a cracked rib. Kid had a piece of plastic from a shattered conversion dart lodged in his arm. We'd lost so many others, but their sacrifice hadn't been for nothing.
I sighed again. "Well I guess we won." I said finally.
Hudd turned around. "Won?" He asked. "This wasn't a game, Jacob. We got Celestia sure, but that doesn't mean we won anything."
"But we got the bitch, Hudd!" I said proudly. "That's got to count for something."
"Yeah, it counts, but think about it, Jacob." He said wearily. "Twilight escaped, Luna is nowhere to be found." He looked out over the roof again. "We have just over fifty people here. What happens if Luna returns with even more ponies?"
Hudd's words hit me like a train. Here I was celebrating, when the world was still full of ponies. "I understand." I said matching his tone. "There are still threats all around us."
Hudd patted me on the back. "I didn't mean to depress you and I guess we should all be proud of what we accomplished today." He said sounding more upbeat. "This battle is over." He looked to me again and sighed. But the war for Earth is about to begin."
I smiled as a strange wave of confidence spread over me. "I hope the ponies are ready for it."