They weren't all too sure what they were looking at. Whatever this thing was, it was clearly heavily armed and dangerous; not even counting the heaving machine standing guard behind him. They couldn't help but feel a little intimidated. This kind of technology didn't exist in Equestria, and it shouldn't. Wherever this creature came from, it certainly shouldn't be here.
It never seemed to change. It always oozed one particular thing; intimidation. This thing wasn't just terrifying by appearance. It was trained to show no emotion; to be cold and show no weakness when threatened. This thing had to be a soldier.
"Okay." Princess Twilight Sparkle began. "It's clear there's been a misunderstanding. I apologise on behalf of my friend for her brash behaviour."
When it just stared at her and crossed it's arms in a slightly irritated manner, she fumbled over her words and tried again.
"W-we just wanted to come over and approach you as peacefully as possible." she stuttered. "She's just a little hotheaded."
"A lot hotheaded." Applejack chimed in, somehow able to crack a smile.
"Yes." the princess agreed. "It was a complete misunderstanding. I hope you can forgive us."
He stood for a second, completely unmoving. Several seconds passed before he quickly turned to look at the machine behind him. She could have sworn that it gave him a gentle shrug in response, before he turned around and mimicked the gesture.
"Alright." he started, slighty exasperated. "Forgiven, I suppose. Let's get off on the right page here. You guys are obviously sentient; I don't want to punch any more of you in the face if I have to."
Twilight didn't quite know how to respond to that, but settled with simply clearing her throat.
"Understood. My name is Princess Twilight Sparkle." she spoke, her inner curiosity coming forth. " It's, uh...in my thoughts that you don't belong in this world. Might I ask, do you know how you got here?"
He froze for a second, throwing his hand to the 'ear' of his helmet, and whispering under his breath. Several seconds of silence passed, before his head shot back up to the group. The speed of the movement managed to make several of them; namely Rarity and Fluttershy, jolt in fear.
"Lucky you, it's not classified." he began, almost smugly. "I have a device that allows me to split realities, and move freely through non-space. It malfunctioned. I'm here now."
"Split realities?" she answered incredulously, taking a step back. "I don't understand how that's physically possible."
"Neither do we." he responded, giving a gentle shake of his head. "It works, though."
"Um. Okay." she faltered. "Next question. What, or rather who, are you?"
"Pilot Kody Steele." he rattled off, almost with practice. "Frontier Militia."
"Frontier Militia?" Rarity inquired, being curious herself.
"Long story. Shortened, we're fighting to get control of our deep space colonies back." Kody explained, placing a hand casually on his hip. "We're citizens and soldiers fighting against a huge interstellar corporation."
"So you're a soldier?" Twilight's eyes widened, stepping back.
"I'm a farmer, made man-in-a-box-with-guns." he corrected, a hint of a laugh on his voice. "I used to work on crops, so I wasn't raised to be a ruthless killer."
The six ponies all sighed in relief, almost simultaneously. Kody turned around to his machine, shaking his head almost amusedly. The beast, somehow, returned the gesture in kind. It lowered itself slightly, almost kneeling to be closer to them.
"Before you apologised for 'hothead' over there," he gestured towards Rainbow Dash, who was just now standing up and wiping blood from her muzzle. " you might have had problems. You seem decent enough, though."
"I hope so." Applejack quickly butt in, bowing her head. "All due respect, ya'll and your machine look nasty. I, for one, wouldn't want to get on your wrong side."
"Applejack!" Twilight whispered harshly, pulling her friend aside. "What are you doing? I thought I said to leave this to me?"
"Twi. For one, ya' didn't have a problem with Rarity buttin' in." Applejack curtly answered. "Would ya' rather treat the soldier with the respect he deserves, or disrespect him, possibly offend him and have him lose his temper? Your brother's a soldier type, and I've seen him lose his cool."
The princess couldn't respond to that, because her friend was right. She sighed in resignation, stepping away and looking back up to Kody.
"Understood, uh-Mister Steele." she spoke, finally smiling and sending a ping of magic into the air. She caught him watching as it flew high into the sky, before popping silently and sending a ring of purple light towards the horizon. She also caught his hand shift ever so slightly towards one of his weapons. "I apologise for any undue distress. That was merely a signal to the public that everything is fine."
Kody thought over her words for a second. He hadn't given them any reason to really deem him a threat, so he chose to trust their word. In the back of his mind, there was still the possibility that this was all a hallucination; he had just been pumped full of pain inhibiting medication.
"Okay." he began, clapping his hands together. "Where does this leave us?"
"I'm, uh..." she sputtered, faltering again. "I'm not sure. I didn't plan this far ahead."
He heard a scoff from the group, the blue one that he had pistolwhipped stepping forward.
"Of course you didnt." she spoke, her gritty voice filling the air again. She stepped forward, prodding at Kody's leg in curiosity. While her companions behind her all gasped and held their breath, she looked almost like an intrigued puppy. "Is this your actual skin?"
"No." he answered, still holding a small grudge against the creature. "It's a suit. I'm not taking it off."
"Why not?" she asked, looking up at him. He could see her shrink a little under his gaze, evidently still a little intimidated despite his calm stance and previous reassurances.
"Because I'm not wearing anything else. I haven't taken this thing off in months."
He heard a gag, which raised his head once again to look towards the crowd and find the suspect. A disgusted looking white unicorn seemed to fit the bill.
'What?' he thought, his mind screaming at him again. 'How did I not notice the fucking unicorns?
"Months? My word, it must be disgusting!" she exclaimed, looking almost faint. "Have you not had time to wash it?"
"Uh, no." he deadpanned, in disbelief. "Pardon me, but it's a bit difficult to stop a war to find a drycleaners."
Everyone present could do nothing but stare at him for a couple of seconds; more so the suit than anything. However, his ears did pick up a quiet high pitched giggling. As he tried to focus on the sound, it exploded, causing him to recoil slightly at the grating sound.
"That's funny!" a pink pony guffawed as she rolled about on the floor. She halted her movements for a single second, where she pointed at him. "You're funny!" She immediately began laughing again.
He stared blankly for a second, somewhat unable to process the scene before him. Six ponies; one prodding him in the leg, one standing proud yet slightly worried, one adjusting a stetson, another hiding in what was literally a pink curtain, a fifth looking absolutely disgusted at him, and the sixth currently laughing her lungs up as she rolled around on the grass.
What the shit did he do in a past life to end up here.
"It seems appropriate to remind you that there is a bottle of scotch stashed in the handgun compartment in my cockpit." Effect chimed into his radio. Turning around in slight surprise, he saw his Titan staring directly at him. He could feel sheer smugness oozing out of it. As if on time, a high pitched squeal of laughter pierced his ears yet again, and FX immediately shifted her stance.
"On second thoughts, maybe one bottle isn't enough. More meds?"