5w, 4dIdea Dump 0 comments · 19 views
5w, 4dNews 0 comments · 5 views
9w, 5dIs October the time to release Horror-Themed Stories? 0 comments · 14 views
11w, 1dTEST 0 comments · 20 views
13w, 4dChange of Priorities 0 comments · 38 views
17w, 3dAaand I'm in. 4 comments · 53 views
17w, 5dNOTE I won't be on for a few weeks. 1 comments · 29 views
18w, 4dStories, how the hell I came up with them, and how they lived. 1 comments · 51 views
21w, 4dChanges in format, Clankers 0 comments · 38 views
23w, 2dThe White Cliffs of Dover 0 comments · 25 views
A Sentry Drone whirred and beeped as it rolled across the sand west of the base. The night sky was clear as ever and the stars shone like diamonds, but the robot wasn't interested in trivial things like that. No, it had more important things to do.
As it drove over a dune, its thermal cameras detected a number of heat sources. While it had detected a few before, they were no more than a snake or two. These ones were massive, bigger than their own tanks, yet they were faint, only slightly warmer than the surrounding area. The drone took a picture. Now this was important.
A griffon stood at his post near a warehouse in Stalliongrad. The whole city had been occupied by the invaders, and ponies from the nearby towns had been moved in as well. The only way out of the city was by train, checkpoints, or coffins. All heavily guarded. Air patrols flew as fellow griffons were ordered to kill or capture anything that passed the borders.
He looked at the clock tower. It was noon, yet the clouds blocked the sun like a gigantic curtain. In fact the whole sky dimly glowed gray. It had been snowing for the last few days and this short respite was quickly ended with a flurry of more snow. All he had on was a thin cloak to cover his similarly thin feathers.
A fellow griffon brought out a mug of hot... something. It wasn't chocolate, nor was it coffee, but it was warm and that was all he cared about.
As he sipped the mystery drink, an ash grey mare walked in front of him. She, unlike the griffon, was fully clothed and prepared for the cold weather. Most civilians who lived this north had wardrobes full of winter clothes, something that the front line grunts weren't supplied with. She stood in front of an empty store were the bread lines would begin. More ponies began to show up as the griffon looked on.
"But didn't you see her...? I-I don't know if she's ever going to be okay near me..."
Pinkie smile and said cheerfully, "Silly Dashie! Grizzy doesn't hate you! So just go in there and apologize!"
Rainbow shook her head, "Pinkie, Grizzy-See now you've got me saying it! She doesn't hate me. She's scared of me. There's... a big difference."
"Now darling, I know you were a little... Ah... Um... forward with our guest, but I'm sure if you apologize she might give you a chance." Rarity said. Rainbow was silent.
"Weeeeeell?" Pinkie asked, leaning forwards.
"Fine... I'll go."
"Wee! Let's go!" Rarity stopped the hyperactive pony.
"Now remember you two, she's been through a lot, we need to be quiet. Is that understood?" Rarity said, looking more at Pinkie who gave her a cheerful answer.
Fluttershy and Grizelda were having their daily talk to help loosen up and comfort the latter. It had been a frustrating experience even for the pegasus blessed with infinite patience, enough to scream and kick something Fluttershy style. But things were looking up when the griffon finally started talking in multiple word sentences and joining the discussion.
"I know Rainbow Dash scared you but isn't there any chance that you could-"
"No." Grizelda cut her off," Just... No."
"If she apologizes...?"
Grizelda was silent. While these ponies, save one, had shown her more hospitality that she had ever been back home, her mind kept telling her that she was going to be asked... questions. The rainbow maned pegasus was the one seemed to do so. Was Fluttershy the "good cop" or was she genuinely sorry? Those questions would soon be answered as the door to the sleeping quarters slowly opened.
Pinkie shot out the second the door was wide enough to let her through. She went up to the griffon's face and whispered loudly.
"Hi Grizelda! Are you feeling better?" She shrunk back under her blanket, "No? Okay!" Pinkie briefly paused, "How about now? Now-"
"Pinkie!" Rarity interrupted, she turned to the now hiding griffon, "Apologies about the uncalled for behavior. We-"
The pink mare gasped, and actually whispered, "I'm sooooo sorry!"
Rarity huffed at being interrupted, "Well yes. Anyways I believe one of us has to say the same." she said glancing at the rainbow maned pegasus.
Grizelda followed her gaze towards the pegasus she just noticed. As she shrunk deeper into the bed, Rainbow Dash was immediately discouraged.
"I-I'm..." she didn't know what to say, it's not like she'd ever been in this sort of situation before, the pegasus sighed, "...Sorry."
She looked at the griffon, hoping that her meager apology would help.
It didn't. Grizelda stayed under, and Rainbow lost hope.
"I'm just... gonna go." She slowly made her way outside and sat on a random log around a campfire.
The remaining ponies watched as one of their own slowly left. Rarity broke the rather depressing silence that followed.
"I hope you can find it in your heart to forgive her, but none of us will blame you if you don't." she sighed softly, and looked toward the door, "She's gone now."
Grizelda stopped quivering at this, but still stayed under. The ponies took this as a message that this was the end of their little visit. Nodding to Fluttershy, Rarity and Pinkie tiptoed out of the sleeping quarters.
As Rainbow sat, the only thing she could think about was... her. How they had met, how they lived their lives, how they separated before moving to Ponyville. She was long gone now, but the griffon currently sleeping in the Barracks was like Gilda in those few moments where she was just calm, not pissed about anything, or complaining about the losers dirtying up the nearby vicinity. But the similarities didn't stop there, for unlike ponies who are pretty much color coded and image-stamped, griffons only differ slightly in body shape and coloration. To Rainbow Dash, this griffon was a smaller Gilda. From the purple around her eyes to the subtle attitude changes only she could know about.
Just who was this griffon anyways?
Princess Celestia sat in one of the many safe rooms littered throughout the mountain fortress. Maintaining the shield for such a long period, although she was an all powerful being, had taken its toll on her. Relief came in the form of the captain and his loving wife who knew the princess of the sun already had a migraine and needed no more conversations. With only a nod they each took their place and for the slightest moment, the shield flickered as the source of power changed. Celestia walked to her personal quarters, guards at her flanks. The moment her head hit the pillows, she was asleep, not bothering to take off anything.
She rested enough to gather her senses and called for her sister in dreamland. Only a few moments passed before Luna answered.
"Good evening sister!"
"I missed you!"
"Me too Luna, me too."
"Shall we get down to business?"
"Oh, sister, always so formal. But yes, down to business."
"The raid was productive enough, few dozen ponies rescued, and a new base is under construction. Step one is complete."
"We liberate Stalliongrad to free the ponies kept within, Cloudsdale to restart the weather facilities, the surrounding cities to cut off their supplies, then finally Canterlot to defeat the main body of the invaders. At least, that's the plan."
"How long should this take?"
"We do not know for sure. Tom estimates that under ideal circumstances with a full force, three months. Should everything go bad... two years."
"We are supplied for five if need be. But cabin fever has already begun to show in some ponies, and there has already been two coup attempts."
"Yes. It may get worse, but I'll try my hardest to keep them calm."
"...Did you tell them of our "Help" we received?"
"No, not yet. I'm still debating on how to announce it to them. Only the council and a few other select ponies know, but the civilians don't know yet. "
"It might be a good idea to. It seems you are in need of morale. What would they think when mythological creatures riding war machines suddenly appeared on the horizon? And if you keep this from them, there might be an actual coup."
"I'll think of something. Til then-"
"Hold on. Somepony is trying to wake me. Shall we continue this tomorrow night?"
"Yes, best of luck sister."
Luna woke from her sleep with one of her guards shaking her shoulder. Yawning, she opened her eyes and stretched her muscles. Through the material of the tent, she could see that the sun was starting to rise.
"Your Highness, one of the humans wishes to speak to you. He mentioned it was extremely important."
She nodded, "Sent him in."
The Ranger's boots thudded as he walked inside the roomy interior. Luna stood up, even then only coming up to his shoulder. He was breathing heavily, as if he had just run a marathon.
"What is it?"
He took a few more breaths, then answered her, "Bad news princess. They know we're here."
"Griffon scouts tried to fly above us using cloud cover. One of the weather pegasi spotted them. We're already training more men and I've already called the Appleoosan base. They're sending-"
"Sir!" another Ranger interrupted from behind.
"Recon teams discovered a mass of griffons and dogs. They're planning to move in."
The room was silent as this last bit of information was processed.
"Princess you heard him, wake the ponies up and get em' ready to move!"
Luna nodded and walked outside with her guards following. The Royal Canterlot Voice soon woke up the sleeping ponies. The two Rangers ran back were the rest of the soldiers were being roused.
The camp soon erupted into chaos as ponies quickly packed up whatever they could bring and the Rangers dragged logs and shoveled dirt into whatever cover they could make.
Hopefully, there would be no dragons.
Twilight concentrated as the corrugated half circle shelter began to take shape. When she opened her eyes, it was complete but still empty. The Rangers behind her soon remedied that with bunks taken from the storage room of the Barracks. The night would end soon, so they choose to work before the sun came up and scorched the desert. She looked to her left. This wasn't the first, nor would it be the last. As she moved on to the next shelter, another Ranger got her attention from behind her.
She turned, "Yes?"
"Do you know where the General is?"
Twilight was confused. What general? She reached around in her mind to think of what he was talking about. Then it hit her.
"Do you mean Tom?"
She pointed to a large tent in the center of the camp, currently their makeshift command center.
"Thanks much!" He said as he ran off towards the nerve center of their little base.
Twilight got back to making shelters. General Tom. That made her chuckle a little. She guessed it made sense.
"General!" The Ranger called. After being ignored he called again.
The soldier to the left of Tom tapped his shoulder, "Sir, I think he's calling you."
The dozer driver sighed, first mom, then sir, the general? Pick a name already... Tom swallowed his words and answered.
The messenger brought out and opened a laptop, "One of our Sentry Drones took this picture last night. Its thermal signature is similar to a nuclear powered Overlord tank, roughly double the size. And this," He changed the picture, "was taken just two hours ago. It looks like they're moving in this general direction."
Tom silently cursed under his breath, "Damn. Get the Recon 1 team together, there's a Humvee ready. We need to know for sure." The Ranger nodded, "And take Twilight with you! She might be able to help!"
Once he was out of sight, Tom turned back to the image still displayed. He sighed, knowing that this was going to be their first large scale battle. The radio blared, interrupted his thoughts.
"Sir can you hear me? It's Delta back at the camp."
"I can hear you just fine. What's going on?"
"The enemy knows we're here. We discovered scouts flying above us."
Tom cursed even more, "Stay on guard. Train soldiers and set up positions. Once you have enough trained, go to the giant touchscreen inside each of the buildings and press the green $ button to sell em'. Hold your ground until the Chinooks arrive. Civvies first, then get on the last one while Quad Cannons provide cover."
Tom sighed and fiddled with one of the knobs on the radio until Recon 1 could be heard.
"Recon 1, do you copy?"
"This is Recon 1. We're just about to move out."
"Is Twilight with you?"
"Good. I need to talk to her."
After a shuffling as the radio was passed around, another voice, this time more feminine, spoke.
"This is one of those 'radio' electronics right?"
Tom could hear giggling through the communication device.
"This is so fascinating! Imagine all of the-
"Sorry to cut you off, but I think you should know about this." He interrupted, "The camp has been discovered. We're beginning evacuations immediately."
"But... the shelters aren't done!"
"Better sandy than sliced."
"That's a pretty gruesome way of saying it."
"Well we're sending Chinooks and Quad Cannons, they're packing up over there. Just thought you should know. Anyways, the reason you're on a Humvee right now is that we're detecting heat signatures towards the west. Very big, hot, and coming our way. Any idea on what our mysterious objects might be?"
"...Dragons are the only things that come to mind."
"That's what I thought so too. Anyways, that's your job. To confirm."
"Good. I have to get going. CENTCOM, out."
As it turned out, yes. We could "cheat" with buildings as never had plans from multiple factions been possessed by one builder. With a Propaganda Center built, Hackers were being trained to "collect" funds. Fortunately the internet did exist, unfortunately the connection was unbelievably slow, resulting in a slowed income.
The Hacker sat in a shelter with five other fellow computer "enthusiasts." He yawned as his home page was finally loaded on the somewhat shaky connection. Then again, it was surprising that there was internet at all. He tapped a few keys to find out what this world had to offer.
Pegasus Internal Mail Providers
Sweet Apple Acres
Unicorn Sapphire Synthesis Regulators
Griffon Landowner's Association
Choosing one at random, he cracked his knuckles and decided to start easy with a scam letter. Couldn't be too obvious, but then again ponies don't use the internet.
Greetings my good friend,
I am a Neighgerian prince, rightful heir to the throne, and I have a proposition for you...
"...And all Ah gotta do is send five thousand bits to this prince? Who in the hay would do that?" Applejack said as she read the letter that appeared in front of her. She was on her way to Appleoosa in a Humvee with two other Rangers. The vehicle rumbled as it blew up a plume of sand behind.
"Sounds like BS to me."
"Does it come with a sob story?"
Applejack reread the letter, "Yup. Comes with promises as shaky as a dead apple tree. Ooh, reminds' me. Hope cousin Braeburn's orchards are fine. They put too much work just to have it destroyed."
"They grow apples?"
"Yesiree! Our whole family grows the best apples in all of Equestria! "
"Whoo! Sounds like hard work!"
"Heh, yep. Everyday, just buckin' the apples off trees."
Their discussion continued as the Humvee made its way across the flat open desert. Towards the horizon, the silhouettes of the mountain peaks could be seen as the sun rose over Equestria. Appleoosa was just past those mountains now.
But the strangest event occurred, for behind the mountains a tower of smoke rose, blocking the sun. The team plus one pony didn't take this too well, and as they drove past the cover of the mountain, their fears were confirmed.
Appleoosa was burning.