• Published 2nd Sep 2013
  • 1,480 Views, 36 Comments

Assault on the Black Forest - Farseer

As the fight for Equestria goes on, General Applejack of the House Earthborn seeks to contain the Everfree Forest before it drives out the ponies on her land...

  • ...


As the trees thinned out slightly, Hotshot found himself and his best friend, Apple Bloom, paced out in front of a Beastbuster. Apple Bloom smiled at him and, under his thick rubber suit, he smiled back. She was a burst of color in this grey world of life, unlike the others. And she seemed to be the only one able to speak Equestrian, while everypony else merely babbled.

Let us explore Hotshot more, and so understand him. Hotshot was a great grandson of the second cousin once removed of Applejack's grandmother- so, related in a very small way. He remembered fondly his fillyhood, as it was as much as he remembered before it all turned grey.

In truth, after Applejack founded the House Earthborn, he spent the next two years training and preparing for battle. His first assignment- and his only one- was against the Cult of Laughter in Colterado. He remembers only faintly what happened, but even then, only about two weeks before it happened.

In truth, he been shot by a Reveler- a cultist of sorts- and had fallen backwards into a pit.

But he was not alone in that pit.

The pit was a dump for the corpses that the Cult of Laughter used for their undead. And the large amount of magic that had been released had animated a few of them, who then proceeded to mindlessly reanimate the remaining corpses. So he did not fall into a pit of bodies- he fell into a pit off Laughing Dead. Sensing a body enter the pit, they then proceeded to try and 'integrate' him into the rest of them. But since he wasn't dead, it didn't work. Or, at least the way it was intended to.

He didn't know how long he was in the pit. At least a week? Perhaps more. But eventually, the captain had found him, still alive, and shot a Hoof cannon or two into the pit, scything down the Laughing Dead and allowing them to rescue him.

He awoke several weeks later in a hospital bed, and as soon as he could sit up properly, he was rushed off to some of the best psychologists that the House could produce. But, no matter how long and with who he was with, he could not be happy. As if the ability to do so had been driven from his mind. Indeed, he saw the world as grey and dull. He couldn't even understand the babble of the others anymore, drowned out by the memories of endless laughter and the magic that had eaten away on his soul.

All of that changed a few weeks after he had woken up.

He was walking around Fillydelphia, enjoying the fresh air- or, at least, trying to- when he saw something wonderful. Of course, what this was we can't know, but we know that the blacksmith's pyre had become an object of adoration for Hotshot. But why? His psychologists said that perhaps it was the one thing that he remembered about his accident- the blasts that had cleared the undead from him. Others said that it was more literal- the warmth and light of fire was something to be admired, after all. Another one said that it was the only thing that his ravaged mind could hold on to. No matter how one explained it, it was obvious. Hotshot was now obsesses with fire.

And so, he was a prime option for Apple Bloom's prototype flame weapon. It would make him happy, she argued. Nobody disagreed with her on that point.

Hotshot busied himself with spreading his happiness to the others around him, fighting to keep the blasted laughter out of his head. He had come close to pulling the lever several times, yet he always was able to reason with himself against it. He wasn't ready yet.

A blur passed himself. His eyes followed it and he squeezed the activator as the bean of sun projected from the muzzle of his weapon, and there was no movement anymore. He shrugged and turned away as the blast of happiness spread like a paint stain. And suddenly...

There was lots of movement, each move speaking of demons and darkness, years without any true joy but the conversion of others to their cause. He squeezed it, and suddenly the area in front of him was full of light and joy. Well, now you know it, he thought, as their laughter echoed in his ears. Or was it screaming...? He didn't know. They sounded close enough.

He was aware of several more beams coming from his comrades that had arrived next to him. He nodded thanks.

And suddenly, a demon from amongst the joy rose up and made straight for him. He pulled his weapon, pouring pure joy into the creature, but it wasn't enough. It reared up to smite him-

and a creature of iron slammed into its side, spurting a grey liquid everywhere as the blades affixed to its head dug deep into his flesh. Nodding at the creature, he paused as he heard, clear as day...


He turned around to see Apple Bloom frantically fighting off several more shapaes, each trying to draw her blood through her thick coat...

He whistled loudly and she dropped to the ground as she painted the area ahead of them in flames.

One of them couldn't take the onslaught and vanished in the tide of joy. The others fell back from the assault, the ancient spirits unable to handle the joy that he poured into them. He picked up Apple Bloom and carried her to the Beastbuster, where a pair of Blacksmiths took her silently. He then surveyed the battlefield, and, through the eyes of a madmare, saw where the darkness was coming from.

Big Macintosh smashed a Wilding from his feet and threw him into another as the rest of his squad trampled over their bodies, their five-hundred pound armor pulverizing their bodies. Surveying the battlefield, he saw that the Guardian Tree itself had entered the battle, ensnaring ponies from both sides from the hollow at the base of the tree.

"Push forward!" He bellowed, shaking his head to rid the blood from the blades mounted from his helmet.

As he looked over the battlefield again, he saw a Flamespitter making a beeline for the cave.

What was that pony doing?

As he dove into the cavern, he looked around. Nothing but grey vines and shadow. He saw a flash of green and... what? Green?

He pressed on, seeking the burst of color. And then he reached the end of the cavern. And there... was a mare. A beautiful mare. She turned to him and looked at him oddly, as if trying to determine why he was wearing a suit.

Who are you? she asked innocently.

A friend, Hotshot said in return. I wish only to help my friend...

Your friends? She looked doubtful. Are your friends the ponies outside?

Yes. They are. Or, at least one of them is. And she got hurt...

There was silence for a bit. Even the screaming and laughing was out of his friend.

Would you like to stay with me? she asked, silently.

Hotshot sighed and remained silent.

We can stay together... forever and ever.

Eyes widening, he looked down and saw several vines crawling up is legs, one entering into his scar above his heart. He felt something enter...

And it felt like... like...

an invader.

Here, then, was another demon, though in a different form. He roared in frustration and despair and bit down on the activator...

But the valve was cut.

The green mare giggled. We can stay here forever in joy and harmony...

But he didn't listen. He suddenly remembered.

The lever.

He closed his eyes. Was he ready for this?

Yes he was. He was gone and dead anyways, caught by this demon. And it was the only way to help as many ponies as he could.

He took a breath in.

He breathed out.

He pulled the lever.

And his world exploded into sparkles and light.

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