Colonial Marine Tech
The following is a chunk of a chapter I did for a story I had in mind a couple of months ago. It's now dead so I could better focus on Bug Hunt and another project that's in the very early drafting stages, but I didn't want what I wrote up to go to waste so I thought that I'd share it with you guys.
The working title was "Winter Warzone." It was about the protagonist (never thought up a name) going up to Lake Tahoe in the winter months with a couple of friends when a dimensional tear opened up right in the middle of the great Equestrian-Griffon war. Tahoe would become ground zero for Earth's unexpected entry into the war, and the protagonist would need to team up with Gilda and the newly-christened Princess Twilight for them all to get out of the city alive. Along the way it would be revealed that the US Government actually had a hand in making it all happen, and they would use the incident as a test bed for all sorts of new anti-Arcane magic devices and weapons that would trump both the griffons and the ponies.
This is pretty much all I had typed down that's coherent. The rest is essentially a hodgepodge of notes and ramblings.
Well, I hope it tides you guys over until the next Bug Hunt chapter is up. Once again, I'm so sorry that it's taking forever for me to make progress on it. Real life is just such a bitch right now.
All was quiet as the only sound to my ears besides the crunching of the snow under my feet was the freezing wind blowing through the trees. Snowflakes fell from the branches as well as from the sky as the grey clouds continued their path Eastward. My chest screamed at me in pain, I wheezed as I stumbled up the slope. My boots were already beginning to slip off of my feet. I should have worn those new winter socks mom gave me. I needed to get back to the resort, I needed to grab my case that had my laptop and cell phone in it.
"Never leave your cell phone behind. Never do that again, you God damn idiot."
My ears, though they are numb from the cold, pick up the sound of flapping. Not a quick flapping like that of smaller, normal birds... no. No, it was that thing again. That thing I saw from the resort room last night in the trees.
I quickly dove to the base of one of the numerous pine trees around me. The large pack on my back thumped to the snow as I sat down and looked above, scanning the sky above the tree line. I took off my cap so the bill didn't obstruct my vision.
There it was.
That amber coat stuck out against the cloudy sky. It was making a slow, banking left turn. I knew it was looking for me.
I swung the rifle around and pulled back on the bolt. Going to the backpack by my side, I dug around for the box of 7.62x51mm NATO en bloc clips that I brought for our hunting excursion for later in the day. Grabbing the box, I take three, placing one into the awaiting receiver and the other two into my jacket pocket. I go back to observing the sky to reacquire my target. I see it. It's behind me about thirty yards, still making that slow turn.
I throw the bolt forward, locking the clip in place. I quickly stood up from my hiding spot, kneeled, and brought the refurbished M1 Garand to my shoulder. I lean back, slow my breathing, and lock onto the creature. With a flick of the safety, I pull back on the trigger.
The shot was much louder than expected. Maybe it was the thin air that allowed the ear shattering bang to scream louder than all those times I went target shooting at Coyote Point. Or maybe it was the endless sea of pine trees that caused the shot to echo off of their wooden torsos.
My mind did not linger on the loudness of the shot for long. It was quickly overtaken by joy as I saw the creature fall out of the sky, hurdling towards the ground.
"Yeah!" I panted out loud, "I got you... you son of a bitch."
I got up and took a step or two before stopping. I look back to the pack and remembered the rope I brought along as well. I walk back, grabbed the pack and began the minute long trek to my bounty. As I got closer, I noticed several amber feathers scattered about, as well as droplets of blood that stood out brightly against the white snow. I laid down the pack, grabbed the rope, slipped my left arm through the loop and resumed both hands to the rifle.
I stepped forward slowly, eyeing my target to make sure that I nailed it dead. It was face first down in the snow, its wings unfurled out. As I got a better read of what this thing is, the more I did not want to believe it.
It's a griffon. The exact same type of griffon from legend. The white feathered head of an eagle, the amber body of a lion with a set of darker colored wings, lions paws on its rear legs and claws on its front. It had dark circles around its eyelids, almost resembling eye shadow of all things.
It's actually a lot bigger up close and in person. Sure, it would only reach up to a bit above my waist if it stood up on all fours, and about as tall as I am if it reared back on its hind legs, but the realization of this didn't stop me from gripping my rifle a bit tighter than I really needed to.
I leaned over and gave it a poke with the rifle. Nothing.
Another poke. Nothing.
I kneeled down beside it and reach out. I grab what would be its right wing and lift it up, revealing a puddle of blood that had gathered in the snow.
It is then that I realize that my shot only hit the wing.
Before I could shoulder the rifle for another, most likely killing shot, its eyes flew open. Those golden eyes paralyzed me with fear as my brain managed to telegraph it to me that I am at a major disadvantage, being this close to a creature that has the traits of both a dangerous big game cat and bird of prey.
"GRRRAAAH!" It screamed out at me, jumping from its prone position to a pounce in one fluid motion. I leaped back, but it was not enough as those yellow claws gripped the rifle that I have parallel, acting as the only separation between the two of us.
I could practically see the fire in its eyes as it tried to reach in towards me, an obvious look of vitriolic rage plastered across its face. I must have looked like a large, scared, pink dinner entree at the time as I was locked in a violent struggle with this creature for my life.
"What the FUCK was THAT for!?"
Did this griffon just swear at me? In English?"
"You fucked up my wing, you ASSHOLE!!"
"... why yes. Yes it did. Huh."
As if today couldn't get any more batshit fucking insane.
Using the rifle, I try to gain some momentum going to try an attempt at bashing this thing in the face with the butt of it. I quickly rock it back and forth, before coming up on the rebound with all of my strength poured into my right side as I powered the rifle butt right into the griffon's beak.
Making contact, the griffon reeled back slightly in pain, taking its left claw and putting it towards its face in response. Before it realized its crucial error, my right hand had left the rifle as I pulled it back and balled it into a fist. Before the griffon could do anything else, my fist went flying right into its left temple. The look on its face was almost priceless as those golden eyes turned into pin pricks as I knocked it out cold.
The griffon fell to my left side, once again face first in the snow, but this time definitely out for the count. Sitting up, I tried my hardest to recapture my breath.
"Oh god..." I exclaimed, "I just can't catch a damn break today."
Gathering the rope, I proceeded to hog tie the griffon up, ensuring that there was no way that it could break the thousand-pound tested paracord. Even though I nailed its left wing, I tie those up as well.
As I stood there, looking down at my pretty little amber package that I just wrapped, part of me begins nagging, saying that I should just kill this thing right now. Kill it, and just head back to the resort to get out of here with my life. But then another part of me says that this griffon obviously speaks English, it must know what the hell went on down by the lake earlier and why everything seemingly went to pot within the span of a half hour. If anything, I could just take it back and interrogate it. My luggage has the multi-use tools just right for the job.
"Yeah, this thing is too valuable to just shoot and leave for dead. It's gotta know what the hell is going on."
October, 2179. The USCSS Alhambra has discovered a distant planet amazingly rich in precious ores and minerals designated as "LV-1349."
Mining goes rather well for about a week or so.
Until the entire crew of the Alhambra vanishes.
With a massive payload worth billions waiting to be towed back, the United States Colonial Marines are called upon to investigate the missing crew and bring the Alhambra back to Earth. Their orders also include avoiding the local equine populace as much as possible... but as we all know, sometimes even the best laid plans can go to waste.
Marked as "Adventure" because "Action" isn't available.
Colonial Marines from the "Alien" universe x MLP: FIMMore Less