• Published 23rd Aug 2013
  • 2,881 Views, 57 Comments

The Last Small Step for Man - nice joe



When a lone astronaut finds nightmare moon on the lunar surface, his entire universe is sent into a tail spin

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Home Sweet Home

The Last Small Step for Man

Home Sweet Home

“Captain, I think this is a very bad idea, you would be completely alone down there.”

“How is that deferent from any other day? I’m not gonna argue this with you Adam. What ever is down there, it posses a threat to the safety of the Key and by extension, the safety of the Athens and as captain of the Athens I’m putting the station on high alert and I order you to stay out of my way wile I handle this.” I stated bluntly as I began loading rounds into another one of the assault rifle clips. I was livid, finding it hard just to keep my hands steady; I must have dropped the same bullet three times. I didn’t know what she is or where she came from, but if I had to beat the answers out of her I would.

“You sound like a madman Captain, I must persist that you remain aboard and try to relax and calm down. You’re suffering from extreme delusions, don’t you know what you sound like?”

“Just listen to me god damn it! I’m not letting her run wild on the surface, what if she gets the bright idea to start hurling boulders at the Key?”

“It’s a she now? Captain I cant let you leave the Athens, not in this state.”

“Theirs nothing you can do to stop me, Adam so just give it a rest already!”

“Captain please”

“I’ve heard enough.” With that I shut off Adams screen, and began making my way back to the hanger, fully loaded and ready for a fight. Walking down the halls every once and a wile a screen would come on with Adams text on it, but I refused to give it the time of day. Last I check, I was the Captain of the Athens and all decisions concerning its safety and the safety of the Key were in my hands, and so long as I’m breathing, that’s exactly where there gonna stay. When I reached the hanger I decided to pass on the drop ship and use the Multi Propose Insertion Vessel which has its own medical facility, just incase I receive a few mortal wounds. However, upon entering the helm of the MPIV (or Big Daddy as we all called it) the head screen had a flashing red sign on it.

A.I. authorization code: 164G2D3-CAF582

Docking clamps secured and locked

“You mutinous son of a bitch” I quickly entered in my captains override in the command console, and the clamps came loose with four loud clanks. I glared at one of the onboard cameras. “You and me are gonna have a talk about this on my return.” Nothing came on the screen witch give me reason to believe that that’s not a talk he was looking forward to. He knows that the Captain can override any system that they want, and they’re the only ones who can shut the A.I. unit down using a secret code phrase which begs the question: when did he grow a pair all of a sudden?

I inputted the coordinates of where I got tossed around like a tennis ball. The ship departs the Athens inbound for the lunar surface. The idea that I had imagined the entire ordeal gave me pause; I mean what if Adam is right? What if there was no horse on the moon and what ever happened down there was nothing but a hysteric delusion, was I really losing it? But soon these thoughts are pushed to the back of my mind when my scanners started picking up a heat signature not far from the solar panels. It didn’t take me long to locate a flat surface to land, just a mile or two away from my first encounter with her. Big Daddy kicked up no small amount of rocks and dust upon landing, got to love a good entrance. The hatch slowly lowered down, and with my weapon at the ready I started to move towards the blip on my radar. I just hoped that since she knew that I could fight, and with the presence of a weapon she would be in a more negotiating mood and violence wouldn’t erupt.

It took me a good hour before her shape started coming into view. It was hard to tell at that distance but she looked different and the closer I got the more certain of it I was. Her coat was no longer pitch black, but a dark blue. I continued to move myself forward, trying to stay focused and ready for anything. But something else was off about her, I already established that she was a different color, but she didn’t have that commanding, tyrannical look any more. She looked almost sad, sitting on the ground staring at a rock. How hard did I hit her?

After what seemed like an eternity I got within a few feet from her maybe a yard, but how had she not noticed my presence for the time it took me to get here? Then it hit me, kinda hard too, she was crying and not just like a few tears but borderline sobbing. How many horses are up here? Because this is not the same creature that wanted to beat the shit out of me last time I was here.

I lightly bump her shoulder with the barrel of the gun in order to get her attention. She spun around in complete shock but didn’t hit me or anything; she just stared at me with those big tear soaked emerald eyes.

“Wha- what art thou?”

“What?”

“Hath thou been exiled to this prison as well as I?” I aimlessly looked around the lunar landscape as if an answer would appear in the distance wile she wiped her face dry, sadly my answer never appears so I had to contend with:

“What?”

“Where in Equestria dose thou hail from?”

“Wha- nope, not gonna say it a third time, I’m just gonna let that one slide right on bye. Are their any more of your kind, on the Moon?”

“There is no other pony here other than you and I, Golem.”

“Pony? Golem!?”

She stood up so as to face me at eye level. “Yes, thou are clearly no pony. Thou seem to be made of metal, fabric, and glass rather than flesh, bones, and blood so thou must be an imitation of life. A Golem”

I was about to disagree on the definition of a Golem, but then realized that I would be having an argument with a horned, winged, talking, blue horse, and decided that I should just let it go.

“Who are you?” I finally asked

“We are Princess Luna, ruler of the night and guardian of the stars. Or at least we use to be. Before the poison known as Nightmare Moon came to be, which is the one I believe you are referring to.”

“I thought you said we’re the only ones here. Where’s the horse I met a few hours ago, about your height, black, likes to though people for shits and giggles?”

“Thou speaks of Nightmare Moon, more or less”

“Well I need to have a little chat with her, where is she?”

“You’re looking at her”

“I’m confused”

“Nightmare Moon and Princess Luna are one and the same”

I had to stand there in silence for some time in order to rap my head around what I just listened to.

“So let me get this strait, you’re a blue, horned, winged, talking horse princess with multiple personalities on the moon? This is a really in-depth hallucination”

“Thou questions the reality in front of them?”

“That’s and understatement”

“If thou carries on such as this, thou will face a never ending torment of uncertainty. Our advice would be to simply let it go”

“Let it go?”

“Do not trouble yourself with what is uncertain, for nothing in this life truly is certain my friend of creation”

“Well, real or not you’re much more pleasant to be around then that Nightmare Moon. Which reminds me why I’m here, does this Nightmare come here often?”

“She comes and goes as she pleases, but it was I who let her come to be in the first place. Though jealousy and resentment, she found her way into being and took control like an illness. Had our sister not of banished us here, terrible things would have come to pass.”

“Well, my father would say that admitting you have a fault is half the battle and that you are already on the path to defeating your enemy.”

“Thy father sounds wise.”

“Yeah, a wise ass.” My swearing caused her to giggle, which I have to admit may have been the cutest thing I ever heard, causing me to holster my weapon on my back. Seeing me putting my guard down caused her to relax a little and take a seat and the ground, in which I joined her.

“So what usually keeps your other self at bay?” I asked, still curios about the mare sitting next to me.

“We do not know, it seems something has caught her attention keeping her distracted, we really do not wish to converse about it any longer.”

“I’m sorry, I understand.”

And for a wile we just sat there and stared up at the Earth, hanging in the sky like a beautiful ornament on a Christmas tree, or a post card from a friend from back home. Describe it how ever you want, it sure was a wonderful site to share. The only shame was that there is, and only ever will be, a small handful of people who can say they’ve seen what I’m seeing right now. And I’m sitting on the moon with a beautiful blue horse, so I suppose I fit into an even smaller minority of those who have walked among the heavens.

“I don’t think I’ve introduced myself yet, my name is Captain John T. Mercy” I said wile still looking up the Earth.

“Well Captain John T. Mercy, I can’t exactly say it’s a pleasure but I’ll give Luna your regards.”

Before I even had a chance to reach for my gun, a bolt of electricity furiously passed through my body, sending every nerve in a torturous state of agony. I fell over backwards on the cold hard rock of the moon, screaming in pain as my body had gone rigged and stiff, unable to move or even think right. I forced my eyes open and saw something truly unbelievable; the stars moving, there alignments changing and forming in on us. Then the wind started to kick up all around Nightmare Moon, which was extremely bizarre because there’s no atmosphere on the moon.

“My time has come! Take one last look at that world in the sky Captain because soon it will be remade in my image!”

After what seemed like hours but was only seconds she released me from the madness I was entangled in, and I began to catch my breath. With my lungs full of air again, I turned to see that Nightmare Moon hovers a good seven feet above the ground, and the stars are just about aligned. The wind around Nightmare moon had now become a soaring tower of dust and rocks with random bolts of electricity shooting out of every side. I could only just barely see Nightmare Moon inside the pillar of death, as she continued to climb higher and higher.

I can’t just shoot her because Luna is somewhere in there, and even if I wanted to, the electric shocks shorted out my weapons firing system, it’s useless. And my window is closing fast.

“The sun will never rise!” she shouted in a menacingly sick and twisted voice, It was now or never, success or failure.

“You’re not going anywhere!”

I threw away all caution and charged the pillar; she was high in the air, but not high enough. Right before I entered I leaped through the air passing into the tornado, getting peppered with rocks and bolts of electricity. It hurt so badly but I was on course, I was so close I could look into her wretched eyes. I extended my arms ready to catch her like a predator on his pray. Time had slowed down; the nanoseconds it took felt like minutes. Soon I was out of the tunnel, and landed hard in dirt. I could feel that the soaring wind had stopped, but something was wrong, my arms where empty; I was too late, Nightmare Moon was gone. It was at this moment that I realized I had at least three broken ribs, and maybe a few fractures. I had to get moving, and back to Big Daddy because I knew where she was going, I knew how to find her: Home.

The walk or rather the crawl back to Big Daddy was far more painful then Nightmare Moons electric shock. It was as if the rocks and dust of the lunar surface had been replaced by serrated razor blades and I decided to make this journey naked. After an hour and a half of dragging myself to my ship I finally made it. Closing the hatch behind me, pressurizing the cabin, and removing my suit. Taking off my suit was no easy task with the amount of brakes and fractures I had collected but I did it and made my way to the infirmary. Waiting for me there was my doctor in a can; an automated medical treatment apparatus designed to asses my injuries and repair them with great precision and skill. I move my body onto the table so the machine can do its five million dollar job.

Three hours of painful reconstruction later, I hobble my way to the helm and set a course for the Athens, It was very a long flight.

Upon entering the hanger I was immediately buzzed by a very anxious A.I.

“Captain! I’m so happy to see that your alive, the sensors all went crazy for a wile, none of the readings made any sense, they kept trying to tell me that the moon had dangerous atmospheric conditions”

“Y-you don’t know the half of the weird shit that’s g-gone on today”

“Your vitals are weak Captain, what happened down there?”

“I got my ass kicked that’s what happened now we really don’t have time to play twenty questions, right now I need you to transfer to Big Daddy’s mainframe can you do that for me?”

“Of course captain, but why?”

“You know what? With the way you have been acting I don’t have to explain shit to you. Just look at me! The A.M.T.A left scars that I’m gonna have to live with for the rest of my life. You should have enough proof to assume that I’m not crazy.”

“You’re right Captain, I owe you an apology. I should have never of betrayed your trust and judgment, you have my word that I will never again doubt your capabilities as Captain”

“Well thanks for saying so, that means something. Now if you’ll excuse me I have to prep a new suit and a new rifle.”

“Captain, theirs something else you should know.”

“And to think my day started off so well, what is it?”

“After you left, I contacted NASA about your troubled condition, they ordered a temporary leave of absence and sent someone to replace you, but that was at least eight hours ago, your replacement never came.”

“And he never will”

“Captain?”

“I let hell get loose, so you better believe I’m going after her.”

Author's Note:

Thanks to everyone for giving me a good reason to contiune the story with a bit more effort. I didnt think It would get as much attention as it did, so thanks a bunch and keep it up with catching my mistakes, I'm only human after all. :raritywink:

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