Twilight was having a lovely day. That was until Applebloom came galloping into her library screaming something about a large monster turtle in the apple orchard.
“A large Tortoise?” Twilight pulled a book about large reptile species from a shelf and brought it over to an already cluttered table.
“It was a massive, noisy turtle!”
“Tortoise or turtle?”
“What?” Applebloom tilted her head in confusion.
“Turtles live in or near water and a tortoise lives on dry land nearly full time.”
Applebloom still looked confused. “A uh tortoise I guess.”
Twilight flipped rapidly through the book as the filly watched her impatiently.
“Could ya hurry it up Twilight?”
Twilight paused and glared at Applebloom. She quickly returned to her readings.
“I don’t want to address the problem without knowing what it even is or how to deal with it.”
“Oh okay,” Applebloom replied quietly.
Twilight quickly finished looking through the book and tossed it to a pile on the far side of the table.
“There was nothing about large tortoises,” she groaned loudly.
“Ya think we should go get the others and check it out for ourselves?”
Twilight sighed. “Yeah, lets go get them.”
“Yeah whatever,” Rainbow Dash peered at Twilight and Applebloom from a small cloud. “A large tortoise, like Tank?”
“Bigger than Tank,” Dash rubbed her chin. “As big as me?”
Twilight wasn't in the mood for a guessing game.
“About the same size as a small house. A very small house. More like a shed. We don’t know if it is dangerous-”
“Cool!” Dash was excited as ever for a potentially hazardous adventure.
“I want you to get Fluttershy and Rarity and I will go get Pinkie Pie.”
Dash nodded in compliance and zoomed off, destroying the cloud that she was laying on. Twilight didn’t have to go far to find Pinkie Pie. The bouncy earth pony was actually on her way to say hello to Rainbow Dash.
“Hello Twilight!” Pinkie cheered. “What cha doin today?”
“Applebloom saw a giant tortoise in their orchard,” she tilted her head in the direction of the young filly. “And we are going to go check it out.”
“Ooh!” Pinkie Pie clapped her hooves together and smiled literally from ear to ear. “That sounds fun! Want me to throw him a party?”
“Do tortoises even like parties?”
Twilight shrugged. “If he is nice then you can give him, or her, a party.”
Immediately after the beast had spoken its pleasant words Applejack noticed a panel in its uppermost shell hinge open and something start to emerge. Afraid of being discovered AJ turned and ran towards her barn to await the arrival of her friends. Granny Smith was waiting by the fence when Applejack returned.
“Now where ya been off to?” She asked.
“We have a mighty large vermin in the orchard Granny,” Applejack replied comically.
“Did ya ask your friends to come over and help?”
“Why yes I did.” AJ nodded. “How did ya know?”
The old mare pointed down the road where her friends and sister were fast approaching.
Twilight was the first to reach her friend.
“Hello AJ.” Twilight looked stressed about something. “Did you see the tortoise?”
“I sure did.”
“Do you think the poor thing is lost,” Fluttershy asked quietly.
“The way it wandered aroun’ made it look like it was lost. But there is is somethin’ mighty interestin' I learned about it.”
“What’s that?” Rainbow Dash asked impatiently. She hovered in the air, front legs crossed in front of her chest.
“Is it hostile?” Twilight bit her lip, hoping that it wasn't.
“Well uh no,” Applejack smiled. “I learned that it can talk.”
“Wow,” Twilight’s eyes bulged slightly.
“What did it say,” Dash landed next to AJ.
Applejack grinned uneasily. “Whell uh... it said fuck this tank.”
“Young lady,” Granny Smith chided. “Don’t ya go sayin’ them bad words! Did I not raise ya propper?”
“But Granny, that's what it said!”
“Why would that tortoise say that about my tortoise,” Rainbow Dash growled. “What did Tank ever do to him?”
The pegasus leaped into the air to go and give the large tortoise a peace of her mind but Applejack stopped her.
“Ah don’t know why he said that ‘bout your pet but we’re all goin’ together and finding out.” Applejack turned to her Grandma. “Has Big Mac came home yet?”
“No he hasn’t but I know he is alright. You six run along now and get that turtle-”
“Tortoise,” Twilight and Fluttershy inquired.
“-out of our orchard. Applebloom, your stayin’ here.”
“But why! I found it!” Applebloom protested.
“I don’t want you being around a large cussing turtle.” Granny Smith noticed the irritation in Twilights eyes. “I mean tortoise.”
Matt stared intently as Bill and Jeff worked on the tank’s engine. An idea slowly crept into his mind. He clambered up the side of the tank, past the sleeping form of Zeus and into the hull. He reached awkwardly past Ian’s hip, who was too busy checking the equipment, and retrieved a box. He climbed out and returned to the others by the engine.
“What’s that?” Bill demanded.
Matt did a little dance with the box. “Pancake powder!”
“Why do you have that?”
Matt smiled at the driver. “For pancakes. What else do you use pancake powder for?”
Bill glared at the loader, contemplating murder. “I meant, how are you going to make them?”
Matt removed his canteen, a small pan and looked at the overheated engine.
“No,” Bill grabbed Matt’s shoulders and pushed him away from the tank. “You are not using Lucky as a stove!”
“But apple pancakes.” Matt put on his best puppy-dog expression. Bill just glared back.
“No. Where did you even get that?”
Matt’s grin spread even wider. “Stole it from the camp a while back.”
Patton noticed the two tankers and joined them.
“I haven't had good pancakes in a while.”
Matt and Bill hadn't noticed the General approach and they both jumped slightly and saluted him. Patton saluted back then looked at the box of pancake mix.
“I await some good apple cakes for all of us.”
“Yes sir,” Matt and Bill replied in unison. Jeff was still busy looking over the tank.
Patton nodded and lumbered away.
“Great,” Bill said angrily. “Now I have to help you make our dinner.”
Walking had never been an activity Rainbow Dash enjoyed. As the friends gradually trekked after the tortoise Dash started to feel edgy. She longed to soar into the sky and find the beast much quicker. The pegasus raked her mind for an excuse to fly ahead.
She finally found her excuse when they crossed over into Whitetail Woods where the ground became packed down and rocky and the tracks became harder to follow. Though the occasional broken tree and flattened bush helped them stay on the trail.
“Hey Twi,” Dash said, landing next to the violet unicorn. “I think I should fly ahead and scout out the monster's location.”
Twilight was about to protest the idea but she decided otherwise.
“Very well.” Dash squealed in excitement as Twilight continued. “But don't go too far ahead just in case you need us.”
“I will. I mean I won’t!” Dash jumped vertically into the air and bolted away over the trees.
She flew for what seemed like five minutes, all the while enjoying the flow of the wind around her wings and body, when she suddenly heard a deep rumbling, growling noise. Dash followed the noise, excitement building. Then she saw it, the massive beast lumbering along. The pegasus landed in a nearby tree just as it ground to a halt and a hatch creaked open. Rainbow Dash was surprised to see a strange ape-like creature clamber out, jump off the tortoise’s sides, though now she realised that it was some sort of vehicle, and rush into the woods all the while mumbling indistinguishable curses under its breath.
She glided out of the tree and followed it closely.
“I knew those fuckin’ pancakes were too good to last,” Matt groaned as he waddled into the woods, out of view from the others and pulled down his pants. “They tasted great but ohhhh yeeaah.”
Matt relieved his upset bowels with a goofy grin on his face.
“Hurry the hell up Shelly!” Ian called. The tank commander’s voice sounded distant and Matt wondered how far he had ran. He stood and prepared to head back to the tank when he heard a nearby bush rustle in the non-existent breeze and what sounded like an angry hiss of someone cursing. His heart froze and he immediately suspected Germans. He raised his grease gun and aimed it towards the bush.
‘What was that damn pass-phrase?' Matt chewed on his lip. Fear rising rapidly. ‘Oh yeah.’
“Baseball!” He called out towards the bush all the while hunkering down closer to the ground. After a long pause and not hearing a reply Matt aimed and laughed.
“The callback of today was hot dog, you fucking kraut! Just thought you should know before I killed you.”
He squeezed the trigger and let loose a burst of .45 rounds into the bushes. Immediately after the bark of the gun echoed away he heard a sound that made his heart sink. A scream that didn't sound like a German soldiers but that of a young teenaged girl. Matt stood rooted to the spot, mouth hanging open, afraid to look. When he heard whoever he shot start moaning and crying in pain he decided to help. He ran to the bush and parted the leaves. In the fading sunlight he saw something that both horrified him and confused him.
Staring back at him with pained and fear filled, rose colored eyes was a blue, rainbow maned pony. Matt then noticed three neat holes, one under her shoulder above her heart the other two in its left-front leg. Blood was rapidly seeping out onto the layer of leaves.
“Matt!” Ian called and the loader could hear several of his crew mates rapidly approaching.
The fear in the pony’s eyes increased and her breathing sped up. Matt instantly felt compelled to comfort the wounded animal. He placed his gloved hand on her head and softly patted the pony.
“It’s okay,” he whispered. “I am so sorry. I didn’t mean to hurt you. Shhh, it’s okay.”
The pony squeaked and closed its eyes just as Ian and Zeus arrived. Matt could see the slow rising and falling of her chest so he knew it was still alive.
“What the fuck is that?” Ian ordered.
Zeus just stood there staring.
“I don’t know.” Matt was unexpectedly close to tears and he wiped away his eyes with a blood covered glove. “But we have to help it. We can't let her die.”
I do not own MLP:FiM.
Oh no! Not Dashie! What have I done!?!
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