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Maverick opened his eyes and looked around the area in front of him. There were trees surrounding him, one of them knocked down by Hunter and Maverick’s entrance. Maverick stood up, but something didn’t feel right. He looked down and his eyes opened as wide as they could. His hands were missing, hooves in replace of the fingers he once had. He tried to let out a yell, but all that came out was a neigh and Maverick covered his mouth. He looked around frantically, trying to figure out what had happened. Maverick’s breathing settled down as he spotted Hunter laying on his side behind a tree to the right of him.
“Hunter! Hu- what the hell!? I can talk!?” Maverick said loudly in confusion. He put aside the thought and ran over to Hunter, only to be frightened once again. Hunter was a pony as well, and Maverick almost fainted at the sight of it. Maverick sat down and stared at Hunter.
“Where the hell are we?” Maverick though to himself. The dense forest around them had an eerie feeling to it, the darkness starting to take its toll on Maverick. Hunter started to wake up and Maverick scooted his way over to him.
“Hunter, Hunter! Are you alright?” Maverick asked. Hunter opened his eyes, which almost popped out of their sockets at the sight of Maverick.
“What the hell!? A talking pony!?” Hunter yelled as he pushed his way up against the tree.
“Hunter, it’s me, Maverick! Calm down!” Maverick yelled, blocking the dirt and other debris Hunter was kicking up. Hunter stopped moving around and stared at the pony in front of him.
“...Maverick? You’re a pony?” Hunter said, the most confused and frightened look on his face ever since he was awakened from his test tube.
“I don’t know what is happening either, but we’re going to have to find out somehow.”
“Is this what you meant by another world?” Hunter looked around confused at the trees around them, poking at the vine dangling down in front of his face. His eyes grew wide again at the sight of his hooves, and gave a confused look to Maverick.
“Heh, it’s not exactly what I meant...” Maverick reached out to look at the red pendant around Hunter’s neck. It was still intact, only a hairline crack through the middle of it. Maverick had given it to him when he was first introduced to Hunter after he calmed down.
“Where are we?” Hunter asked, looking down at Maverick’s hoof.
“I don’t know. Something must have happened during the execution... but I’m not exactly sure what would make us into ponies.” Maverick got up and helped Hunter onto his hooves. Hunter looked down at himself, examining his new body.
“How do we get out of here?” Hunter asked, staring off into the distance. The night sky above didn’t help with the fact that barely any light made it through the canopy above, only the outlines of the trees and bushes visible.
“Hang on, Hunter this is only going to hurt for a second... if it’s there, at least.” Maverick said. He turned Hunter around and looked at the back of Hunter’s neck. Sure enough, the switch that had been implanted in their heads was there.
“Alright, I’m going to turn flick on the night vision, hold still.” Maverick said. He brought one of his hooves up to Hunter’s neck and flipped the switch upwards. Hunter cringed for a second and he closed his eyes, but he settled in with the sudden adjustment, opening and closing his eyes.
“What did you do? I can see perfectly.” Hunter said, looking around the forest. His eyes were glowing with a faint green aura, lighting up a small area in front of him.
“I flipped on the night vision that was implanted in your during your training as a Bet-” Maverick quickly stopped what he was saying and covered his mouth.
“During my training as a what, Maverick?” Hunter asked, turning to his Alpha unit. Although Hunter knew he was a super soldier for the military, he did not know he was a Beta unit from Maverick’s DNA. Maverick decided to keep that bit of information from Hunter, fearing that Hunter would start to question what he really was and run away, or worse. Hunter continued to stare at Maverick, a slight smile on his face.
“A... super soldier, Hunter. During your training as a super soldier. Now, flick my night vision on and we can find a way out of here.” Maverick said as he turned around. Hunter moved Maverick’s mane out of the way and pushed against Maverick’s night vision switch. Maverick’s eyes jolted in pain and he closed his eyes, but the pain subsided as the night vision settled in. Maverick opened his eyes and looked around. He could see the detail of the forest, from the trees of the dense forest around them to the little bugs crawling across the forest floor.
“What do you see?” Hunter asked.
“Nothing yet, I’m just scanning the area.” Hunter turned around and started to walk away a little, looking for something that would help them get out of the forest.
“Maverick?” Hunter asked.
“What is it?” Maverick asked as he turned around.
“What are those?” Hunter had his hoof pointed behind a tree. There was a large animal of some sort standing behind it, staring at them with glowing yellow eyes. There were multiple of them, watching as Maverick walked up next to Hunter.
“Hunter... do you remember the first time we encountered the modukai on Umbra?” Maverick said quietly to Hunter as the strange looking creatures emerged from behind the trees. They seemed to be made of wood, their movements occupied by the sound of sticks cracking.
“The indigenous wolf type animals to Umbra?” Hunter asked, still staring at the timberwolves.
“Exactly... remember what I taught you?” The timberwolves started to growl as they got closer to Maverick and Hunter, forming a circle around them.
“Grab the head...” Hunter started to say.
Twilight Sparkle walked along the edge of Ponyville overlooking the border between it and Everfree, heading to Fluttershy’s for a slumber party with Pinkie Pie, Rarity, Applejack, and Rainbow Dash. The forest seemed peaceful as Twilight stopped to look at the trees swaying blissfully in the breeze.
“I wonder if Zecora could take me on a tour through Everfree sometime, I’m sure she wouldn’t mind.” Twilight thought to herself as she sat down. The howl of a timberwolf came from deep within the forest, partially startling Twilight.
“I’m sure they wouldn’t come this far out of Everfree just to attack... I’ll be fine.” Twilight thought, trying to comfort herself. She started to get a little worried, however, as she spotted movement around the edges of the forest. Twilight stood up and squinted her eyes, trying to see what was moving around. She could hear somepony talking as the movement grew closer to the edge of Everfree, Twilight ready to flee if it was a pack of timberwolves.
Twilight was almost about to run at the sight of two ponies emerging from the darkness of the forest, their eyes glowing green, Twilight mistaking them for timberwolves. Something made her stay there for a second, only enough time to realize what they actually were. One of the ponies fell to the ground as they made it to the halfway point across the field to Ponyville, the other sitting down and trying to help the pony up. Twilight built up her courage and ran to the two ponies, setting aside her fear of the dangers of Everfree.
Hunter looked back at Twilight and she slid to a stop at the sight of his eyes, still glowing green from the night vision unit installed in them.
“Please, help...” Hunter said quietly. He moved out of the way to show Twilight his Alpha unit, who was laying on the ground with a deep cut in his side from the timberwolves, the cut bleeding profusely. Twilight was speechless for a second.
“Please, get help!” Hunter said louder.
“I... I’ll be back! Stay right there!” Twilight finally spoke as she found her voice. She turned and ran across the field, heading for Fluttershy’s house. Hunter looked back down at Maverick. He was breathing heavily, his condition growing worse every second.
“You’ll be alright, Maverick just hang on.” Hunter said, grabbing onto Maverick’s hoof. Maverick tried to move his head to face Hunter and he cringed from the pain in his side, resting his head back on the ground. His eyes started to close and Hunter yelled at him.
“Maverick! Don’t go, she’ll be back with help, just... hang on!” Hunter said, shaking Maverick’s hoof. Maverick’s eyes closed completely as Twilight came back to the field along with the other ponies that were at Fluttershy’s, Maverick blacking out.
Maverick opened his eyes slowly, his head pounding and his vision blurry. He was laying down in a bed, a white blanket over the bottom half of his body. Hunter was sitting beside the bed on a chair, biting his hoof as he awaited Maverick to wake up. Maverick’s vision became clear at the sight of his Beta unit and he spoke softly.
“Hunter... where are we?” Hunter looked up from the ground and took his hoof out of his mouth, his mouth curving into a giant grin as Maverick awoke.
“Maverick! You’re okay!” Hunter shouted with joy, getting up from the chair and putting his front hooves around his Alpha unit. Maverick heard a quiet ‘Aww’ from the other side of his bed and he turned his head to see six other ponies staring at them adoringly, their heads tilted slightly.
“Who are you?” Maverick asked the six ponies as Hunter let go of him.
“I think we should be asking you the same question.” Twilight replied.
“My name is Maverick Blackburn, this is Hunter McNamara.”
“Well nice to meet’cha, Maverick! Mind I ask where you are from?” Applejack said, shaking Maverick’s hoof.
“We came from Umbra, but...” Maverick stopped and thought for a second. He knew that he wasn’t in his world anymore, seeing as he and Hunter had been turned into ponies when they first awoke.
“Umbra? Never heard o’ that region, where is it?” Applejack asked.
“You wouldn’t know. Anyways, what exactly am I doing in a... hospital?” Maverick asked, looking at the red cross on the wall above the door.
“You were pretty badly injured by a pack of timberwolves and your... brother here brought you to Ponyville. I’m just surprised you were able to survive.” Twilight explain. Maverick sat up in his bed and looked at the bandage around his body.
“So, exactly who are you?” Twilight asked. Maverick turned his head to Hunter, who only smiled at him.
“It’s a bit of a long story...” Maverick said, turning back to the six ponies.
“Stories!? Oh, I love stories!” Pinkie Pie exclaimed, bouncing up and down.
“Alright, Pinkie, calm down. Go ahead Maverick, we don’t mind.” Twilight said, putting a hoof on Pinkie’s shoulder as she settled down. Maverick sighed and began his story.
I was only sixteen years old when they came, the military. They told me that I would be taken from my home to go to the new planet that was discovered and become a soldier. Normally, I would run away from my problems, but... there was no escaping this one. I spent the last three days sitting in my house, waiting for the military to come and take me, and sure enough, there they were at my door step three days later. I bid my family a bid farewell and the soldiers took me to the transport ship. The sight of Earth leaving my sight as the transport ship traveled through space was heartbreaking, but there was nothing I could do. It took six earth days to get to Umbra, but on Umbra that was only three.
Unfortunately for me... the military wasn’t completely honest with me and my family. What they had told me and my family was only half of the truth... for the next three years I would be experimented on. They gave me genetic enhancements, mutations, augmentations... anything to make me stronger. I was lucky, only a few Alpha units were able to undergo the procedures without either dying or going insane within the first years of development.
That’s when I met Hunter. Our looks are just a coincidence, we aren’t related. He was a super soldier recovering his memory from an explosion during a battle with another colony already on Umbra. He was assigned as my partner, and I was to teach him for the next three years until he recovered his memories. Of course, that still has yet to happen, Hunter here can’t remember anything. Still, we continued on with his training to become a fully operating super soldier once again. Until, that is, we... tried something that wasn’t exactly legal... and we were sent to execution. However, something went wrong in the progress that... well, you can see the result.
“I hope that can explain everything.” Maverick said as he rapped up his story. He looked up at the six ponies, who were speechless, giving Maverick and Hunter a look of confusion and surprise. Twilight was finally able to mutter a few words.
“Do you mean... you two... what!?” Twilight said, frustration taking over her.
“We aren’t meant to be here. Something happened during the execution and we were transported to this world. I think that the machine that was going to be used to execute us... malfunctioned somehow, and it took us here. That’s all I can put together right now, I can’t even begin to explain to you how this all happened.” Maverick said. Twilight and the other ponies stayed silent for a second, Twilight thinking harder than the time she heard of Pinkie’s ‘Pinkie sense’.
“You’re saying... that you two aren’t ponies?” Twilight asked, looking up from the ground at Maverick.
“Ever heard of humans?” Maverick replied, a slight smirk on his face.
“You’re... humans?” Twilight’s expression turned from a puzzled look to a look of disbelief and shock.
“So you have some knowledge on what we are.”
“Yeah... but, how did you manage to get to our world?”
“I’m just as confused as you are on that one.” Twilight stopped for a second and got up from the chair she was in. She walked over to Maverick and looked at his eyes. Hunter had turned his night vision off, but Twilight still remembered what they looked like not only five hours ago.
“So... what exactly are you? I know from the books I’ve read that you humans aren’t born with night vision...” Twilight said.
“Genetically engineered, augmented, mutated, and enhanced super soldiers fitted with several minor mechanical units trained by the military to become weapons. If you consider the things we have had done to us and how much we have transformed, I could barely call us human anymore.” Maverick said. Twilight turned to Hunter, who nodded in agreement with Maverick. Twilight sighed and walked back over to the five ponies she had brought with. They whispered amongst themselves for a second and turned back to Maverick and Hunter.
“Once you get better, Maverick, I think it would be best if you two have a visit with the princess, maybe she can understand what is happening more than we can.” Twilight suggested and the other ponies nodded.
“We’ll do anything to find out what is going on.” Maverick said, nodding in agreement.