General Ironside was feeling good. Six of his mortal enemies had been beaten within the hour, and all had seen the backside of his hand. His office window was huge, giving the officer a delightful view of the Arabian Desert and letting the sun shine through, warming the room to comfortable glow without glaring into his eyes. His uniform just came back from the tailors and it fit perfectly. He kicked back in his leather chair, ready to drown a cold drink and maybe light a cigar when he was rudely interrupted.
"Sir! I have a message for you!" yelled the runner, holding up what looked like to be a scroll tied with a red ribbon and a gold seal sporting a horseshoe. "It uh... was found in one of the hallways and it was addressed to you sir."
Ironside stared, "Are you sure this ain't a prank kid?"
"Yes... Sir" the messenger replied.
"Hand it over."
It was certainly an odd way to send a message. The last time scrolls were use was in... The middle ages? Ironside silently pleaded that it was written permission to unleash his arsenal of nuclear weapons. Take that Tao...
Dear General Ironside,
My name is Princess Luna of Equestria. In the last few days, our country has been invaded and We do not have the means to repel them. We have seen what you are capable of, and are confident that should you decide to assist us, the war would be over very quickly. We are begging you, our country is on the brink of defeat, and have no other to fall back on. Please reply to this message by writing on the back, and rolling the scroll the other way.
For the first time in a long time, the general laughed. Honest to goodness laughed. Sometimes his subordinates would play a few minor pranks that got out a few chuckles, but this took the cake. What was this? This was some prank. And where was this "Equestria" country? Was there even a country called that? Ah hell. He was in a good mood and decided to play along with this "Princess."
What do you need? Rolling the scroll so that Luna's writing could be seen, it disintegrated and disappeared the moment the final inch had been rolled.
He admitted to himself, weirdness aside, this was one hell of a prank.
"Your Majesty, I don’t we can trust this… human. What’s stopping him from taking over our country himself?” Twilight said with a doubtful voice as she looked over the general's accomplishments.
"Twilight Sparkle, if only the most wretched of criminals can assist us to victory, we have no choice." Luna sighed, shaking her head, "I do not wish to do this, but the consequences of fighting on our own are too much."
Twilight looked to her left. The rest of her friends were sleeping soundly with around the fire that was still burning strong. Each had their own element either worn or stuffed in a bag. Behind them, the remnants of the pony population that hadn't been able to make it to the fortress that was Canterlot.
His name was Tom.
True, not the most original of names, but when you're a dime a dozen a dozer, having any name meant that you belonged. And working under Ironside had more ups than downs. There was a reason that the general was currently undefeated. That and he got to build everything in the US arsenal from EMP Patriot missile batteries to Particle Cannons.
It was currently break time, and Tom felt exhausted after building countless buildings and defensive structures. Around him, the entirety of the base relaxed as soldiers returned for R&R. Sparks flew as a team of welders repaired a damaged Paladin tank while the open area next to the airfields was turned into a resting area for Pilots.
"Yo Tom!" the runner called out.
Tom turned around, holding a half-eaten sandwich. "Hey Roger!" he replied through a mouthful of bologna "So, what'll it be? A palace or an outhouse?"
"Nah.” The runner shook his head.” No building. There's a crashed Helix chopper outside the walls. The captain wants you to drag it back."
Tom responded with an unamused face, "Couldn't we have one of the Chinooks do it?"
"I don't know man, just do it."
The forest was quiet, a cool wind sending shivers down the ponies' spines. A flash woke up the princess and the nearby ponies, who jumped up at the unexpected event. At first Luna though her sister had simply jolted the sun high into the sky until Celestia’s student yelled loud enough to wake a hibernating Ursa.
"PRINCESS!" yelled Twilight "HE REPLIED!" Sure enough, there was scroll with her handwriting on the outside. Luna quickly unrolled it and read the short but to the point reply.
"Wha does it say?"
"Is he going to help us?"
"Does it say if he likes cupcakes?"
Luna read his short reply and repeated it to the six ponies, and anypony else who had been woken from their sleep. Reactions ranged from hopeful, to indifferent, to outright doubt.
"Ah don’t know about this Princess, next minute he’s going to be asking whether we have enough money or not." Applejack said, doubt lacing her voice.
“But if we don’t… then everypony would…” Fluttershy mumbled, trying to finish the sentence.
“We will have to trust him. I have already gotten my sister to approve of this final measure. Now the only action we can take is to inform him of our needs.” Princess Luna took out a fresh scroll and quill. “So, what do we require?”
Twilight and the others thought for a moment.
"An army that can kick flank?" said Rainbow Dash, always eager to fight.
"Shouldn't we get enough food for everypony first?" asked Applejack.
"How about some tents or coats to get out of this dreadful weather, not to mention it's going to be winter soon" Rarity said, slightly shivering from the cold wind that blew across her muzzle.
"Oooh. I heard it's snowing in Canterlot. I hope Spike is keeping warm..." Twilight said in a worrying voice, "The last time he wrote, he said he was with my parents. But I guess I should be grateful that I know where they are…”
Luna nodded, "Back on topic, what else do we need?"
"We need Bits." Pinkie said suddenly. Everypony just stared at the pink mass of sugar, "What? War is expensive."
After getting out another scroll, the lunar princess wrote as requests resumed. Building supplies, a peacekeeping force, morale support...
The Sand Fortress was the name of a plateau in the middle of the Arabian Desert. It was once a GLA stronghold, but were driven out by various Chinese generals. Unfortunately, a few Anthrax Gamma booby traps completely decimated the garrisoned troops and the fortress was cleared by nuclear weapons. Cut to a few years later when the Americans decide to build their own base on this blackened plateau. The official reason was General Ironside decided that this was a good place to set up a stronghold where there was plenty of oil nearby. The unofficial reason was that he was bored and wanted to kick the collective asses of the local GLA generals and the rouge Chinese generals working with them to regain control of this area.
Skip to just a few days later. Wrecks of vehicles still littered the area, and among them were the occasional Scorpion tank and a few Overlords that had been disabled during the fight.
The Helix was smack in the middle of the graveyard. Grumbling, Tom drove his dozer towards it. Getting out, he could see that while the helicopter kept its general shape, its rotors and the tail were snapped off.
The radio on his belt suddenly broke the silence, "Tom ya there?"
"Yeah?" he replied while prying the rear door of the Helix open.
"Does the chopper have a construction dozer hooked up to it?"
"Yep. It's totalled though."
"Don't worry about it. By the way, the cap'n only wants the plans to the buildings. Not the chopper. Uh, and there should be a GLA worker in there too." Roger said.
"Do you think we're going to be riding on any Technicals?" Tom joked as he looked into the Helix.
"Hope not. Those things explode if you fart in the right direction."
"Heh. Right. See you in half."
Sure enough, the crashed helicopter was hauling a Chinese dozer that lay behind it. It seemed it had crashed due to the extra weight after getting one of its engines blown off. The red bulldozer was completely destroyed. However, after finding that the compartment containing the blueprints for the buildings was still intact, Tom salvaged the papers and stuffed them in his own pack.
Inside the chopper, he could feel nothing but pity for the worker. Forced to construct bases, gather supplies, and *gulp* clear minefields, Tom silently thanked whatever great being decided that he would be on the American side. Poor bastard didn't even have shoes. After a quick moment of silence, he took out the singed plans for the GLA buildings from the worker's pack that would've hung from his shoulder.
As he sat back down in his dozer, he realized that this had only taken him five minutes. With plenty of time before his break was ended, he climbed out and relaxed on the roof of his dozer, a surprisingly comfortable location to take a nap. As he drifted off to sleep one thought went through his mind.
He was going to get one hell of a tan...
Ironside could only laugh as he read the reply. Whoever they decided to be the princess was getting serious! An idea popped into his head. They had a war on their hands and they needed forces… He looked outside his window.
Now, let's not think too far ahead. Talk to me after you've beaten the enemy. I've left equipment outside of my base that you can take.
It was actually a subtle message to whoever decided to prank him. Whoever was caught with the letter would be given cleanup duty. Perfect.
After drowning another beer (the good German stuff) he looked out of the window to view the sunset. As he watched, he could also see the wrecks that littered the ground like pepper on a twelve ounce steak. After the sun had fully set, he noticed that he could still make out the dead hulls.
"YES! An army!" Rainbow yelled as she flew around and looped a few times. After hearing how fast their planes went, all she could think about was racing one.
"He ain't sendin' an army RD, just their... what was it again Twi?" asked Applejack.
"Equipment." Twilight said while looking at the list of vehicles that would be sent, "Um... I think it's a mix of armored vehicles, and some toxin carriers for some reason."
"Toxins? You mean poison? Or venom?" whispered Fluttershy, "Oh, I hope nothing has to feel that. I saw a fawn that got bitten by a snake once. Poor thing was in so much pain..."
Princess Luna watched as her sister finally finished raising the sun. "Let us leave before the enemy wakes. The nearby field should fit our requirements." looking at the six mares she asked, "Is everypony ready to leave now?"
The destroyed vehicles took on an iridescent shine that grew brighter until the colors merged together into a blinding white. With a final flash, the entire field was cleared. Ironside spun around on his chair and rubbed his eyes. Only one thought went through his mind-
How much are they using on this prank?
He could see rainbows. Not double, not triple, just the seven colors over and over and over...
Tom made a mental note to stay away from gasoline fumes.
The six mares stood in a circle around the princess of the night. A rainbow colored orb hovered just above her horn and shone like a beacon on a foggy day. Around her each element sent a flowing aura the same color as their element towards the beacon. Struggling to even stay standing, Luna called the vehicles through the dimensions.
"Hey Twilight" Rainbow Dash whispered.
"Not now." Twilight said through clenched teeth.
Knowing the she would never get Twilight to listen to her, she released her thoughts bluntly.
"Did the princess tell the human we're actually ponies?"
Everypony's eyes shot open, and Luna could be heard saying a word she picked up at the local bar. Her sister would have her flank if she had heard.
"Fu-" The beacon went off, the sky went dark for a moment, and the vehicles started coming.
Needless to say, operator incompatibility was the least of their concerns.