Oh, look! Another AAG Preview! · 1:38am
Footsteps crunched on the ground as the pair entered the Everfree. Star Swirl entered first, wearing protective gear that seemed oddly reminiscent of old-fashioned barding. Behind her, Rumble walked in, gun held at the ready. Because he wasn’t on duty, he couldn’t use his field gear and had to convince Star to gen up some acceptable replacements; at the moment, he was decked in “hunting attire” reminiscent of the US Marine Corps’ MARPAT uniform and was armed with a Ruger SR-556P with the secondary shot modification and an HS Produkt HS2000E as a backup weapon. He’d insisted that she carry something as well, but she looked at him and replied that she had everything she needed this time, thanks.
It wasn’t until her cape moved just so that Rumble noticed the magical sword at her side, radiating with enough power to be a uranium rod. “You know how to use that?” he asked.
She grinned cockily. “Yeah. Sweetie taught me, obviously; plus, I went through a phase where I got interested in Japanese drama cartoons – anime, if you’re familiar with the term – and learned a bit of the Japanese sword style. I’ve found that while sparring with ponies who are rigidly used to the Equestriani, Grifonican and Zebrabawean styles, that it comes in handy. I’ve been meaning to spar with an Inarijin onmyōji to see how similar the styles are to Japanese, but I haven’t really had the chance.”
“I see,” he said, a grin on his face. “How far until we’re there?”
“About a quarter mile more. You sure you going to handle it walking upright like that? That looks hella painful, if you ask me,” Star replied. “I know we’re supposed to go upright while on Earth, but there’s walking on flat ground and then there’s traipsing through the Everfree.”
Rumble just smiled. “We train with the humans in all their styles and in all their methods, which includes running for miles. This might sound hard to believe, but at their peak, humans can run longer distances than we can.”
The pegasus nodded. “It surprised me. I mean, yeah, they’re way more technologically advanced than ponydom is, and that’s what the average pony knows about humans, but it was seeing their endurance while I was attending their special warfare training that I saw that they can be pretty tough. I’ll admit that it inspired me since I’m obviously not an earth pony and most special forces are either that or heavily-trained unicorns, and worked my way to my current sp—” He suddenly paused and held up a hoof in front of his mouth. Then, the extensories of his hoof began moving and wiggling in some sort of strange code that she had no idea the meaning of.
“What are you—” she began before he clamped a hoof over her mouth.
“Heard something, one-fife-oh mikes out,” he whispered to her. “Can you create a magical communication circuit?” She nodded and he let go.
「Okay, what the hell is going on?」 Star asked, sending her response over the mental link.
「Heard something one-fi…I mean, 150 meters, out,」Rumble explained; when she stared at him with incomprehension, he amended to,「Uh, that’s about 160 yards or so. In any case, whatever it is, it’s big enough to rustle the whole of the area. You’ll want to be careful.」
「Careful of what?」
With a grim look on his face, Rumble brought the carbine to bear; Star could barely hear the slide of the safety coming off. 「Careful that you can identify it as safe before I put a bullet through its eyes,」he replied starkly.