45w, 5dHuman in Equestria
45w, 5dTwilight Sparkle
33w, 1dHalo and Ponies
- Show All Groups
42w, 4dAction and Horror
42w, 4dCrossover Kings
26w, 5dBattlefield: Equestria
25w, 3dCrossover breakdown
16w, 2dSurvivors of Earth
15w, 3dWarriors in Equestria
4w, 4dTechnology VS. Magic
Twilight’s magic lecture went surprisingly well. Despite popular belief back home, Twilight is an excellent, if slightly long-winded, teacher. This is doubly true when she has a captive audience that is interested in the subject.
“So, you’re saying that magic just imagination?” Sam asked.
“That’s oversimplifying it, but yes,” replied Twilight as she readjusted her glasses. “However, it also requires that a unicorn focus their will on making what they want happen. The more complex the spell, the harder it is to cast, and the more energy required. For example…” she lifted a glass vial from a shelf and floated it over until it was hovering next to her head. “I can imagine that this vial is levitating all I want, but unless I truly want it to do so, it will remain grounded. And the larger the object, the more willpower and focus required to lift it.”
“Like how it’s harder for me to lift a fifty kilogram object than ten kilos?” added George.
Twilight enthusiastically nodded, glad that everyone seemed to understand the basics. “Exactly, and like a muscle, the more you work with magic, the easier it is to pull off. More complex spells may also require additional factors, such as incantations or reagents, to pull off properly, and if you mess up, there’s no telling what will happen. For example, the spell that brought me to… what planet were we on?”
“Ariel,” supplied Joy.
“Ariel, right. The spell that brought me to Ariel was originally a summoning spell, but because a reagent was off, it turned into a teleportation spell.”
Sergei let off a low whistle. “That is one serious clusterfuck.”
“…Right,” said Twilight, a slight hitch in her voice. “Profanity aside, any questions?”
“What about the energy? What can you tell me about that?” asked Helen, failing to keep the excitement out of her voice. “Also, how is it possible to just conjure an item like your glasses? Doesn’t Conservation of Mass come into play at all?”
“All excellent questions,” Twilight acknowledged with a smile. “The energy that makes up magic, despite popular belief, is not limited to unicorns and alicorns. Rather, it is as ever-present as background radiation, and can be manipulated with the proper foci. A unicorn’s horn,” she emphasized her statement by lightly tapping her horn, “is made of a substance that acts as a natural focus for magical energy.”
“Would it be possible to get a sample then?” asked Joy.
Twilight involuntarily winced at that suggestion, before thinking about it. “A small sample should be fine, but be careful. It’s very sensitive.”
Having anticipated the request, Helen walked over to a cabinet, opened it, and retrieved a small metal file normally used to scrape burned flesh. Next she grabbed a small flexible square sheet of plastic and walked back over to Twilight. “Let me know if this hurts.”
“That’s not what I’m worried about,” Twilight muttered under her breath as she held her horn over the plastic sheet, squeezing her eyes shut as she awaited the file. She didn’t have to wait long, and suppressed a gasp as Helen ran the file over the tip of her horn a couple times. It was over almost as soon as it began, but Twilight still felt her cheeks turn red.
As Helen deposited the horn shavings into a glass vial, Twilight continued her lecture. “Now, you are correct, Conservation of Mass is an absolute law of nature, and conjuration is not a real field of magic. Anything that simulates it is either a form of teleportation or, in the case of my glasses here, an illusion.”
Twilight’s lesson was interrupted when a machine beeped. Twilight recognized it as the same one that Helen placed the blood sample in earlier.
“Yes!” exclaimed Joy as her avatar jumped giddily. “Forty-six minutes and twenty-nine seconds exactly. New record!”
“We clean?” asked George.
“Yeah, you’re good,” she replied. “No infectious diseases found.”
“Finally!” exclaimed Helen. “Sam, could you help me with Lin? We need to get her out of her armor and into a proper bed soon.”
Sam nodded and the two women got the SPARTAN up and shoulder-carried her towards the door opposite the one everyone entered through. The door slid open with a hiss, and Twilight could make out what looked like a medical clinic before the three women passed through and the door closed.
“By the way, George,” Joy’s avatar turned to face the Captain, “Colonel Zhang wants to see you and Tony, and he wants you two in his office yesterday!”
“Shit!” spat George. “Sergei, look after our guest. C’mon Sergeant. We don’t wanna keep that ornery bastard waiting too long.”
“Ten-Four, Captain.” With that, the two troopers practically ran out the door, leaving Twilight alone with Popov, and Joy if she counted.
Popov just shook his head, clicking his tongue. “Those poor fuckers are in so much trouble.”
“Why?” asked Twilight, looking up at her newly appointed chaperone.
“Frankly, because of you.” Popov held his hand up to forestall her protest. “Now, it’s not your fault. They just broke at least half a dozen regulations when dealing with a new alien species. Hell, you’re lucky you weren’t shot on sight.”
“You have to remember, Twilight, the only time we’ve made contact with an alien species before today was with the Covenant. Since then, they’ve slowly been exterminating us. We had over eight hundred colony worlds before the war. Now, most of them are glass deserts.” Sergei shot her a quick smirk. “You can probably understand why we’re a little xenophobic.”
“Yeah… I can see that,” she replied as realization dawned on her. “But, if that’s the case, why did George help me?”
Sergei let off a low sigh. “Frankly, I don’t know why. Maybe it’s another of his crazy schemes. Maybe he just had a good feeling about you. Hell, it’s probably his hero complex acting up again.” He had a soft smile on his face and a wistful look in his eye as he informed Twilight. “He always did have a weakness for a damsel in distress. The point is, the Captain has never steered me or anyone in our squad wrong before, and if he trusts you, then we’ll trust you. The rest of the crew might pose a bit of a problem, though.”
“Will… will they try to hurt me?” she asked fearfully.
“Nyet,” said Sergei, shaking his head. “You’re under our protection, and nobody, not even a SPARTAN, will fuck with an ODST squad.”
Twilight cocked her head in what Sergei would later describe as the most adorable thing he had ever seen before asking, “What’s an ODST?”
“Orbital Drop Shock Trooper, and yes, that is exactly what it sounds like,” he replied.
“Wait, you mean you… Oh, duh!” Twilight smacked herself in the back of the head for good measure. “George told me about that earlier.”
“That’s it!” exclaimed Joy. “There is no way an equinoid should be that flexible. I’m ordering an x-ray and MRI! Corporal, please escort Ms Sparkle to the nearest examination room.” With her order given, Joy disappeared from her platform and the door hissed open once again.
Shrugging, Sergei waved Twilight along as he led her into the next room, which turned out to be a triage center. Twilight eyed the various surgical implements warily, hoping that Joy was, indeed, joking about being vivisected. Her fears were misplaced, as Sergei led her through another door and into a hallway.
The hall was gray and featureless, save for white lights along the ceiling and arrows painted on the floor, a blue one with the word “CRYO” stenciled in and a red one with “MED” pointing in opposite directions. The pair took a left turn, following the red arrow.
Twilight’s clanging hoof-steps echoed down the hallway, while Sergei’s rubber-soled boots muffled his steps. They hadn’t gone more than fifty feet when they came across another human, this one a male and wearing a red jumpsuit. The crewman nodded as Sergei walked past, but did a double take upon seeing Twilight.
After taking a right turn, Sergei and Twilight passed two doors on their right before stopping in front of a third. Above the door, the word “MED CLINIC” was stenciled onto the gray wall in white paint. “After you, Ms. Sparkle,” said Sergei, waving Twilight forwards. As the door hissed open and she stepped inside, Twilight couldn’t help but to wander what George and Tony were doing at the moment.
“What the fuck were you two thinking?” yelled Col. Zhang, who hadn’t bothered to get up from his desk. The small, bald man could shout over a Drill Sergeant with ease, and Captain McCoy and Sergeant DiNardo were on the wrong side of the Colonel’s voice.
“Honestly sir, we were thinking ‘hey neat, a purple unicorn’,” replied George sheepishly. “I thought she was an ONI experiment at first. You know how they get with their science projects.” The Colonel couldn’t argue with that.
“What made you think she wasn’t a new Covenant species we hadn’t encountered before?”
“Sir, when we ran into her, she was about to be skewered by an Elite, and she yelled for help in near perfect English.” George could feel his blood boiling. Colonel Zhang was always able to get a rise out of him
Zhang cocked an eyebrow. “Near perfect?”
“A few minor dialect issues,” Tony interjected, not allowing his friend say something he’d regret. “Nothing major. Instead of somebody it’s somepony, for example. You can still understand her perfectly.”
Zhang began rubbing his forehead, which George knew was a bad sign. It meant that the Colonel was getting a serious headache, and his legendarily short temper would be even shorter. “She a security risk?”
“Doubt it,” replied George, finally getting his anger under a semblance of control. “She’s not Covenant. I’d stake my career on that. From what I’ve gathered, her society hasn’t achieved spaceflight yet, so they’re not a threat.” George had to tell himself that Nightmare Moon’s banishment didn’t count. “She’s insanely curious, but I’m sure she’ll leave it be if we tell her something’s classified.”
“Is that your personal opinion?” Zhang’s voice was little more than a growl.
“My personal opinion,” George replied acidly, ready to vent his spleen at a moment’s notice, “is that Twilight Sparkle is a lost little girl who is thousands of parsecs away from everything and everyone she’s cared about and has been thrust into the middle of a deadly interstellar war. She doesn’t show it, but I can tell that she’s scared, confused, and really needs a friend or two right about now. I suggest we be a little lenient with her. Sir.” George stared down the Colonel as he finished his statement.
If looks could kill, the one that Colonel Zhang shot back at McCoy could’ve destroyed armadas or slaughtered armies. Even so, Zhang knew that this was not a battle he could win. Captain McCoy was notoriously stubborn, particularly when it came to protecting civilians. Sighing in defeat, Zhang looked away, taking particular interest in a splinter on his desk.
“I’ll talk with Captain Ackermann. It’s his ship after all. Until we reach a final decision, she’ll be staying in your team’s barracks. She’s officially your responsibility now, Captain. Dismissed.”
McCoy and DiNardo snapped a salute, turned, and walked out of the Colonel’s office. “That went well,” quipped Tony.
“Could’ve been a lot worse,” George conceded. “At least he didn’t make us throw her into the brig.”
“Zhang’s a hardass, but he’s not heartless, sir.”
“Still…” Silence reigned as the two old friends marched towards the nearest elevator. George’s mind was racing at light speed, trying to figure out how best to accommodate his new ward. She’d take Jacques old bed, of course, but what about her diet? That question, thankfully, hadn’t come up yet. She was obviously herbivorous, but how would she take eating next to omnivores (or outright carnivores in Weber’s case). He couldn’t deny his men much needed protein just to appease her sensibilities. In the end, she’d just have to suck it up. At least there were plenty of vegetarian meals for her.
Those thoughts were driven out of his mind as he reached the elevator and stopped. Tony pressed the button to summon the platform. As they waited, George spoke up. “Joy, where’s Twilight? Is she still in Quarantine?”
“Of course not, Captain,” the A.I. replied over the loudspeaker. “I sent her for an X-ray and M.R.I. Right now, Corporal Popov is escorting her to the mess hall. She said she was feeling a bit peckish, and I figured it’d be best to get the crew used to seeing her.”
Shit! I was hoping to hold that awkward conversation off, he thought to himself. “Alright, we’ll be there in a minute.”
The lavender unicorn eyed the substance on her plate suspiciously. The package said “vegetable medley”, but there was something wrong with it. Oh sure, the mystery substance looked like peas, corn, carrots, and green beans, but the color was off. Instead of the bright green, yellow and orange she was used to, they were a drab and grayed shade of those colors, almost as if Discord had come around and corrupted the vegetables while nobody was looking.
Twilight leaned in and gave the “food” a tentative sniff. Not detecting anything obviously foul, she took an investigative bite of a green bean. Other than being bland beyond belief, she did not taste anything wrong with the supposed vegetable.
She heard a loud cough and looked up, noticing that everyone in the crowded mess hall was currently staring at her, some standing around her table, others sitting, but craning their necks to look. Twilight chuckled nervously as she pulled her head away from the plate. She had never felt this exposed before. Of course, it didn’t help that she had appeared to be eating like a pig at a trough. She levitated a nearby fork and began to eat normally, drawing even more unwanted attention to herself and the crowd began to press in for a closer look. Fortunately, however, her escort picked up on the signs of her agitation and stepped in on her behalf.
“Alright everyone, let’s give the poor girl some room to breathe. She’s had a rough day.” The rest of the ship’s crew, not willing to risk earning the wrath of an ODST, backed off, except for three people that stayed where they were. One of them Twilight immediately recognized as Sam, although she was no longer wearing her armor, but a gray shirt and pants instead. The other two were males that she didn’t recognize, all wearing the same outfit.
The first was around the same height as Tony, but stockier. His skin was a dark brown and his head was shaved, while his eyes were blue. He had a short beard of brown hair that seemed to wrap around his mouth.
The other human was taller, about the same height as George, but bulkier, more muscular. Twilight couldn’t help but feel like she was in the presence of the human version of Big Macintosh. His skin, unlike his companions, was a light tanned color, while his stubbly hair was blonde. A scar ran over one of his brown eyes.
“So this is the Captain’s new friend,” said the dark skinned human. His voice had a deeper pitch than she expected.
“No, Frank, it’s the other purple unicorn,” replied the muscular newcomer sarcastically.
“Lavender,” growled Twilight, causing everyone to laugh uncontrollably. After a moment, she couldn’t help but join in as well. They drew more looks from everyone else in the room, which only caused them to laugh harder. Finally, after what seemed like an eternity, they got their laughter under control and began introductions.
“Frank Grimes,” introduced the dark skinned man with a wide smile.
“Dieter Weber,” added the other.
“Twilight Sparkle,” finished Twilight.
“So, anyone seen the Captain?” asked Frank. “Or is he still getting his ass chewed out by the Colonel?”
“No, we’re done with that.” Twilight turned around to see that both George and Tony had joined them. “He was actually surprisingly lenient. Must have gotten up on the right side of the bed for once.” He then spotted the veggies in front of Twilight. “How’s the chow?”
“Bland,” she deadpanned. “Very bland. How can you eat this?”
Her question was answered by another round of laughter, leaving the incensed mare to wonder what was so bucking funny. “Twilight, compared to our combat rations, this stuff is gourmet cuisine,” explained George.
“And don’t forget the ‘nutrition paste’,” added Weber, forcing everyone else to involuntarily cringe. “The tube may say ‘chicken’ but it tastes like shit.”
The unicorn raised an eyebrow at that statement. “Wait, you’re omnivores?”
“Uhh…” George looked at each member of his squad for help, but everyone’s attention was pointedly elsewhere. “Boy, this is awkward.”
“Eh, not really.” Twilight’s statement drew a few curious stares from the six humans. “I mean, Equestria has peaceful relations with the Gryphon Empire, and they’re omnivorous. Also, while we don’t eat meat, dairy and eggs are commonly eaten across Equestria.”
Before any conversation could continue, the shrill sound of an alarm came over the loudspeakers, followed by Joy’s hurried voice. “Attention all combat personnel, report to your action stations. This is not a drill. Repeat; this is not a drill. We are re-engaging the enemy. External and internal contacts imminent. Stand by and prepare to repel boarders.”
Like a beehive that had been disturbed, the mess hall exploded into action. Crewmen jumped up from their tables and ran for the doors, leaving half-eaten meals behind. George and the rest of the ODST squad followed suite, leaving a frightened unicorn behind. Confused, Twilight did the only thing she could think of, and galloped after George, unaware of the danger of such an action.
“What’ve we got?” barked Captain Ackermann as he approached Joy’s pedestal. Like the rest of the ship, the bridge was a study in controlled chaos. At the eye of the storm, the ship’s CO stood, eerily calm despite the situation. His gray hair was meticulously groomed despite being woken up only minutes before the alarms sounded.
“Stealth corvette, sir. We barely detected it in time,” Joy reported. “It’s launched a ton of boarding craft. Archer pods are having hell getting a firing solution. They must have some sort of stealth coating.”
That fact shocked the Captain a little. The Charlemagne was the newest destroyer in the fleet. From state-of-the-art sensors and weapons, to an experimental slipspace drive that could reach speeds of fifty lightyears per day, she had the latest and greatest technology of the UNSC. But even then, some lowly little boarding craft could slip through her detection nets. “Any good news?”
“Yes sir,” replied Joy, a hint of a smile on her avatar. “We do have a firing solution on the corvette itself, and its shields are down. I’m going to let the boarding craft get in range of our point defense guns, then fire a round from our number two MAC. It should gut the corvette cleanly.”
Ackermann couldn’t help but smirk. It was a solid plan. The point defense guns would have a much easier time getting a firing solution, since the enemy craft would be closer. Waiting to fire on the corvette would also let them think they had the element of surprise as well. That is, until they got their hulls shredded by seventy millimeters of depleted uranium. A few would still slip through, but most would be cut down before unloading their living cargo.
In the end, the Marines on board would still determine whether the battle was won or lost. All the Captain could do was tip the odds in their favor.
For Twilight, catching up with the ODSTs was not hard. Catching up with them while dodging other crewmen was the real challenge. She was nearly trampled numerous times before falling in behind Weber.
They ran for another minute before ducking through a doorway and into an armory. Various firearms sat in racks along the walls, while armor components were being pulled out of closets. Armor was donned swiftly, but not hurriedly. Each soldier checked that each piece was secure before donning the next.
For her part, Twilight did her best to stay out of everyone’s way, going so far as to sit in the corner. She noticed that not everyone was wearing the same armor type. Some of the armor had a different style and color scheme than George’s ODST armor. Instead of gray and black, it was a forest-patterned camouflage, and the helmet was different. Instead of covering the entire head, it only covered the top and back, ending in a long brim just above the eyes. Instead of a visor, they had an eyepiece made of a green plastic over one eye.
“Alright everyone, you know the drill,” yelled George. “Our job is to keep Engineering under our control. We do not let those xeno bastards through under any circumstance. Any questions?” The last part was a formality, but there actually was one.
“Sir, what about… that?” The Marine pointed towards the corner Twilight had been standing. As McCoy saw her, he cursed.
“Shit, I forgot about her. Joy, is there anywhere she could go?”
“Nowhere safer than behind a squad of ODST’s and a bunch of Marines,” she replied hurriedly. As she said that, the entire ship shook for a moment. “That was the MAC. You’ve only got a few minutes before hard contact. Get in your positions.”
“What about Lin?” George asked as he grabbed a weapon from a storage rack.
“On her way to the Bridge. Now, are you just going to stand there and let the Covenant take engineering?” Although nobody could see her, everyone could hear the frustration on her voice
Without waiting for orders, the Marines filed out of the room, leaving George and his squad alone with Twilight. “What now?” she asked.
“Now…” George walked over to a table and waved Twilight over. When she approached, he picked up a spare eyepiece and radio headset. The eyepiece and radio were slipped onto Twilight’s head, and were quickly adjusted for her. “Now we find you a place to hide. Plenty of nooks and crannies in Engineering to take cover in. Keep that eyepiece on at all times, Twi, as long as you’re wearing it, the IFF will mark you as safe. ”
“‘Identification friend or foe’, basically, it tells everyone that you’re on our side, and not a hostile.”
Properly geared up, the six ODSTs and one unicorn left the armory, locking the door behind them. Engineering was only a brisk walk away, but by the time they got there, there was little that needed to be done. The Marines had already put up portable barricades and machine gun nests. There was only one entrance into the ship’s Engineering section, and anything trying to gain access would run into a wall of lead.
The Marines, for their part, seemed a little wary of Twilight. However, she showed up green on their IFF and the ODST’s seemed to like her, so there was little to be done about it.
“Twilight,” called George, gaining her attention. “Can you get up there?” She looked to where he was pointing, and saw a balcony ten meters above the deck. In a flash of light, she winked out of existence and reappeared on the balcony’s edge. “Alright Twi,” she heard over the radio, “keep your head down. Things are about to get violent down here.”
As if on cue, Joy decided to pipe in over the loudspeaker. “Attention all personnel. Ten seconds to hard contact. Enemy numbers estimated to be at minimum two hundred.”
“That’s all?” asked one of the Marines incredulously. “Man, what a rip-off.”
“Stow it, Marine,” barked George. “That’s two hundred too many in my book. Now cut the chatter.”
The Marines quieted down and waited for the enemy to make hard contact. The door was locked, but that wouldn’t keep the Covenant out for long. Either an Engineer would hack the locks, or they’d just melt it open with plasma.
Sure enough, after a little more than a minute, the doors began to glow from intense heat. Voices could be faintly heard on the other side, uttering the guttural language of the Elites.
Despite George’s order to hide, Twilight couldn’t help but peek over the edge and watch. She’d read up on ancient battles in Equestrian history, as well as a few more modern skirmishes between the Gryphon Empire and Royal Guards. Now she could see how humans fought, and compare it to the fighting styles of Equis armies. What struck her as odd was that none of them used any melee weapons, instead favoring their firearms. Sure, they all carried knives, but they would be of little use against even the Equestrian Royal Guards.
As she stared at each of the humans, the eyepiece displayed some information about them, such as their name, rank, and weapons they carried. George, as it turns out, was carrying an MA5B. She had no idea what that meant, but it was something she could ask later.
Twilight’s attention was drawn back towards the door when a loud blast forced it open, and she got a good look at the hell that awaited her.