“Wait, they arrested you?” Steve asked in disbelief.
“Yep. I got off lucky and only served two months. Most people served for two years.” Stone explained.
“So if you wanted a different form of government, why not just leave?” Jean asked.
“Well, Equestria is my home. It would be hard for me to leave my friends and family. Furthermore, most other lands have a monarchy. In fact, Equestria is the only place with a constitutional monarchy.” Stone explained.
“Well where I’m from, there are many forms of government, like constitutional monarchies which is the form of government where I’m from, or communism like in the United States of Soviet Redsville.” Steve explained.
“Redsville? Seems like a strange name.” Stone said.
“It is. They are called that because they are really good at using redstone. In fact, I had a friend who’s parents were able to flee when it collapsed. We tease him for being communist because it’s kind of a joke where I’m from.” He said. “But he was one of the best at using redstone in our school.”
“Interesting. I’ve heard of communism before. Something about everyone being equal.” Stone said.
“It’s kind of like that, but a lot more complicated.” Steve said. “Anyways, I’m tired. I’m gonna go to sleep.”
Steve pulled out his bed and was about to place it. He was stopped by a gasp from his right. It was by Jean.
“S-Steve, what are you doing?” She asked. Steve was confused. Then it him. She was scared of beds. He remembered using a bed in the End to try and kill her. He smiled an evil grin. Walked towards her with the bed.
“Oh, Jean. Look out.” She screamed as she backed into a corner.
“S-Steve p-put that thing a-away.” She said.
“Okay.” He said, putting the bed down.
“No Steve.” She said.
“Oh I’m just gonna go to sleep.” He said.
“Steve! No!” She yelled as she ducked in the corner. But to her surprise he just jumped in the bed and closed his eyes.
“W-what happened?” She stuttered.
“I told you, I was just gonna sleep.” He teased.
“B-but why didn’t i-it b-blow up?” She asked.
“Cause we’re not in the End or the Nether.” Steve explained. “They don’t explode anywhere else.” She took a moment to take it all in before turning towards Steve.
“Fuck you, Steve!” She yelled at him. He laughed in response. Stone was practically dying of laughter in the corner.
“Anyways, like I said, I’m going to go to sleep.” Steve said. “I’ll see you two tomorrow.”
Captain Armor and Corporal Eagle sat at the bar. It wasn’t empty, of course it wasn’t, most of the people there were either a group of friends hanging out having the time of their lives, or people who just got divorced and are suffering from crippling depression.
“I can’t believe he’d just leave us like that.” Shining Armor said.
“Yeah. We’ve been friends since we were foals.” The Corporal stated.
“What if he’s right?” The captain asked.
“What do you mean?” She questioned.
“Well, what if he’s right about the creature? He could be telling the truth.”
“Then,” she started not knowing where she’s going with it, “then we’ll look like a bunch of xenophobic bastards.” She finished.
“Yeah.” The captain said, downing another shot. “Well, I’m gonna head back to the barracks. See ya.”
“Alright, I’ll see you tomorrow.”
Steve rose up from his bed. He looked around the cave. Stone was sleeping on the floor in a little corner. Jean was huddled up in a ball in a different corner. Steve hopped out of the bed and took a look outside the house. He took a deep breath. The clean air in his lungs felt great. The warm sun shining down on his face relaxed him.
“Hey Steve.” He heard from behind.
“Oh, hey Stone.” He responded.
“What are you doing?”
“Just admiring the sunrise.”
“It sure is beautiful.” Stone stated. “Y’know it feels good to get out of the city and experience what life has to offer.”
“Yep.” Steve agreed. They stood there looking off into the distance. Stone sighed a heavy sigh. It didn’t sound like one of relief. “You good, man?” Steve asked.
“Yeah. It’s just,” he stopped for a second to figure out where he was going, “I, I feel awful.”
“Leaving my friends. For some reason, I feel it’s so wrong, even though I’m doing the right thing. It’s just a bunch of mixed feelings.”
“Well, I guess that’s just your brain fucking with you.” Steve said. “Or, maybe, you just care about them a lot.”
“Yeah. That’s probably it.”
The two sat there in silence for a little while.
“Steve,” Stone started, breaking the silence, “how are we going to improve your image?”
“What do you mean?” Steve asked confused.
“How are we going to make you not look like a bad guy?” Stone elaborated.
“Well, we could wait for Celestia to show up and clear my name.” Steve said. “By the way, why hasn’t she already?”
“Perhaps that rock hit her harder than we thought.” He said.
“Perhaps. Anyways, the best we can do is wait. Give her a week or two.”
“Alright. If she still hadn’t cleared you?”
“Then we investigate.” He said.
“Why are there more troops arriving?” Corporal Eagle asked.
“I don’t know. Perhaps after what he did to Celestia, Luna ordered more troops to come.”
“Probably. But even the General is here.” She said.
“Yeah, he usually isn’t on the front lines.” The captain said.
“Why don’t we ask him what’s going on?” She said.
“That seems like a good idea.” The two walked up to the General. He had blue fur with a dark blue mane. He wore a really dark blue jacket displaying his command.
“Sir,” the captain started, “why are all these new troops here?”
“Princess Luna requested all army and Air Force reserves help deal with the threat here.”
“Army and Air Force?” The Corporal questioned. “Wait, does that mean-?”
“Yes, even the Wonderbolts are here.” He said pointing towards a group of ponies. They, of course weren’t wearing their stunt uniforms, but were equipped with the best Air Force armor the ponies had. The Corporal leaned towards the captain.
“You know I’ve always wanted to meet them.” She whispered.
“I know you’ve only told me that a million times.” The captain said annoyed. “But now’s not the time. We need to start planning.”
“Right. I’ll meet them later.” She said.
“Goodbye, General.” They said. “We’ll meet you in the conference room in ten.” The captain said.
“Alright. I’ll see you two there.”