• Published 29th Jul 2013
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Homefront - Pyramusandthisbe117



A soldier from the frontlines of the Equestrian Civil War returns home to uncertain peace

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7
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Chapter 7

I should check on him, thought Autumn. He’d just been sitting in the room for the past couple of hours after all. As she trotted over to open the door she heard…singing? Puzzled, she slowly crept into the room. In the far corner of the room, there sat Coban gazing out the window singing in a low key.

“Won’t you spare me over till ‘nother year? Well what is this that I can’t see, with ice cold hands takin’ hold of me?” Autumn shuddered involuntarily at the lyrics, what the hell was he singing about?

“Well I am death, none can excel, I’ll open the door to heaven or hell…Whoa Death somepony would pray, could you wait to call me another day. The fillies prayed, the preacher preached, time and mercy is out of your reach…”

●●●

“Ooh, Death…Ooh, Death. Won’t you spare me over till ‘nother year? Won’t you spare me over till ‘nother year?” I mumbled as I slumped back further into the chair. Staring out over the small town, I could still see the residual smoke that hung from the explosion.

What the fuck was the point of that, killing those innocent ponies? No, no, no, I berated myself mentally. Head in the fucking game, don’t dwell on that shit. A hoof on my shoulder woke me from my internal debate.

“Hey…” murmured Autumn.

“Hey,” came my weak response. No witty comeback or nothin’. Just didn’t have it in me, this fucking sucked. Autumn said nothing, but simply pulled up a chair and sat beside me. We must’ve sat in silence staring over Ponyville for several hours as the faint sounds of the emergency crews cleared what remained of the rubble.

I heard a quiet yawn next to me as Autumn struggled to stay awake. “It okay if I rest my head?”

“Sure.” I said and very quickly felt her nuzzle my shoulder in an effort to get comfortable. And there I sat, with my old NCO resting her head as I watched the sun slowly rise in the east.

●●●

Autumn awoke to find herself laying on top of her bed in the Inn. “Wasn’t I sitting with Coban?” she wondered. A new fear struck at the core of her soul, that song from last night. “Oh hell…Doc?” Autumn anxiously called out. No response. Quickly she got off the bed and trotted over to where he had been last night.

“Doc?” she inquired, opening the door slowly only to find an empty room with two chairs facing the window side by side.

●●●

I rang the bell for the third time before the cranky receptionist finally acknowledged my presence. About fuckin’ time. “Can I help you?” the mare asked rudely.

Oh you fuckin’…“Hi, yes. I’m actually looking to pick up a job application here.”

Rolling her eyes, the mare directed my attention to a door behind me labeled ‘Pony Resources.’ “Through that door and to the right. It’ll be room number 104.” And with that brief explanation, she went back to flipping through her fashion magazine. Some ponies. As I turned to canter over to PR, I heard a brusque snort and the shuffle of magazine pages, “Not even a thank you?”

“Fuck off” I stated as I closed the door behind me. This should be interesting. Alright, so that bitch said to the right and it’d be…ah there it is!

Room 104. As I looked at the door itself it seemed abnormally plain. Well, then again I suppose the whole building was unusually plain in its appearance. Almost as if the proprietors took a bizarre pride in keeping this place looking mediocre.

Shrugging off the nervousness that hung around me, I nudged the door open to see a stallion comically oversized for his dress attire. Stow the smile, holy shit this is hard.

“You Coban?” inquired the massive stallion as he kept his head down, reading and shuffling through papers on his desk.

“Uh, yes sir.” I stammered back. “If I may, sir, how did…”

“You’re Doc Coban of the 75th Manticore Rangers Detachment Bravo. Last saw action in Helmare Province? Because if you’re not, then get the fuck out of here you’re wasting my time.”

“Yes sir, I’m that ‘Doc’ Coban.” What the hell? The bizarre stallion before me mumbled something incomprehensible to himself.

“Good record, no real disciplinary actions…”

“Excuse me sir, this is where I can pick up an application to work here right?”

The stallion, looking very baffled simply stared at me as if I had offended him in some way. “Yes it is, you’re applying right now.”

I am? “I am?” Smooth, Coban. Let’s look like a knuckle dragger. “I mean, I just saw the ad in the paper that you guys were hiring vets…and I needed a job so...” Shut up, Coban. Holy fuck.

The stallion started laughing. “You’re funny Doc. I like you. Tell ya what; let’s go into the interview portion of this process. Question one…”

“I don’t even have to put in paperwork?”

“I did a cursory glance of your files from the service once our system gave a positive ID on you,” he stated bluntly. “Anyway, back to question one…”

This stallion seemed really familiar. He almost looked like…“Strong?”

●●●

Autumn was beginning to panic, so far nopony had seen Coban. Just one more place to check up on, she thought as Autumn hurriedly walked up the steps to the Sugarcube Corner. “Hi there! Welcome to Sugarcube Corner!” said a way too enthusiastic Mr. Cake.

She didn’t have time for this, “Listen here chief,” Autumn growled, “where’s Pinkie Pie?”

Mr. Cake was taken aback by the unusual bluntness from a potential customer, and she looked pissed. “Haha, uh…I’ll call her for you…” No sooner had the words come out of his mouth, a pink blur flew past him and appeared next to Autumn.

“You called me?” asked Pinkie in her usual bubbly and bouncy self. “Oh, hi Autumn!”

In the blink of an eye, Mr. Cake watched as his employee was choke-slammed to the ground. “H…Hey!” he stammered in disbelief.

“Where is he?” yelled Autumn.

Pinkie shook in fear, “…who?”

“Coban, damnit! Where is he!” demanded Autumn, why couldn’t this pink abomination clear her head from whatever was going on in there?

“I uh…I think I saw him go into some building three or so blocks down? I think it was called...Tri…fec…ta?” Pinkie squeaked out in terror.

“Shit” muttered Autumn, “Thanks Pinkie.” As quickly as she had come Autumn was gone, leaving behind a confused Mr. Cake and horrified Pinkie.

●●●

“Fuckin’ damnit Strong! I thought you were dead you bastard!” I could barely keep the smile off my face, I mean holy shit, here I was thinking my best friend was dead, and bam! Live and in my very presence!

“Up top, fucker!” exclaimed Strong with equal enthusiasm. A strong crack emitted from the bro-hoof. “You have no idea the effort I had to go through to track your sorry ass down, brother.”

I chuckled, “Yeah, well that’s what happens when you relapse into alcoholism.” An understanding smile came across his face. Wait a minute, what? “Track me down? The fuck are you talking about Strong?” My euphoria felt as if it had just run full tilt into a brick wall lined with spikes.

Strong looked genuinely puzzled at my question. “Didn’t Autumn tell you? I had her try to track you down, cause we need a guy like you on the team.”

“Whoa, what? Autumn never told me shit about a team. I just came here ‘cause I figured it could get a cushy desk job like her." I thought I could trust her.

Strong burst out in abrupt laughter. The hell was so funny? “Oh Celestia, Coban. You really think that Autumn is the paper pusher type? Get the hell outta here! We’re PMCs! I got that cunt out at the front desk taking care of most of that paperwork.” Probably explained why she was such a bitch. “Autumn really didn’t tell you?”

“No motherfucker, she didn’t. And frankly I’m starting to wish I didn’t come here, so you’d better fucking explain what the fuck is going on!” I growled, slamming my hoof down on Strong’s desk.

“Hah! Easy, Doc. Easy. Why don’t you take a seat and hear me out?”

“You got five minutes, Strong.”

Strong sighed audibly and grimaced. “Look Doc. Right now, the Empire is getting fucked. Those NLR assholes are slipping into our military ranks, taking shits on our supply lines, and pulling stunts like what happened the other day here in Ponyville. I’ve been contacted directly by Princess Celestia herself and the SoE High Command to form a small task force. The objective is to go into NLR territory and find out where the handlers for these agents are and flush them out by any means necessary.”

Strong took a deep breath before starting up again. “I need you on the team. You’re the only fucker I know who’s crazy enough to survive one of his own plans and carry it out to the fullest while thinking about his troops.”

I leaned back in the chair, what’s the catch?

“He’s right you know” said a new voice.

I whirled around in my seat, “Autumn?” I glared and noticed her become visibly uncomfortable. “This true? Is everything you told me so far a lie? This was all to put me back up to this?” Autumn kept her head down and kicked at the floor. “Fuck!” I exclaimed while slumping further into the seat.

“Doc, listen” Autumn began, “we need a stallion on the team with your abilities. And neither of us would trust anybody less than you.”

I glanced at Autumn who quickly looked back at her hooves and back to Strong, who sat on the edge of his seat awaiting my answer. Shit, back to the grind. I nodded my head, “Yeah, I’ll do it. But I want it on record that I’m not doing it for either of you.”

Strong stood behind his desk, face beaming with a smile. “Whatever your reason Coban, you got my respect.” He put out his hoof towards me, “Welcome to Task Force Black.”

Author's Note:

Christ, about time. I got no excuse, but here's a chapter :scootangel:. Also, a notional cookie for somebody who gets the movie reference in this chapter

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