• Published 14th Sep 2013
  • 6,648 Views, 493 Comments

Equestria's first warp drive - CCC

The Enterprise pays a visit to Equestria. Luna decides to go and see what this new thing in the night sky is.

  • ...

Wildlife, Part II

The pieces of timberwolf began to flare as they caught fire from the phoenix's flame. The drone with its foot on the phoenix's neck ignored that fire getting brighter, hotter, more intense... until suddenly, the pheonix burnt itself to a neat pile of ashes in a moment.

The drone did not appear to care. The nanoprobes in its bloodstream repaired the burn damage to its foot, while it carefully took the burning piece of timberwolf and used it to set the other pieces of the creature alight.

Further down the corridor, the remaining (unmelted) half of the snow leopard had managed to re-form itself into a snow leopard cub; a tiny feline whose only aim now was escape. But between it and the conveniently removed grating by the turbolift, there were several Borg drones carrying burning branches; its instinctual fear of fire held it back from that escape route, as it desperately searched for another way out.

A little further down the corridor, the drone that had killed the first half of it seemed fairly disinterested in finishing the job; it approached one of the last two cells, instead, and investigated the interior.

***Cell contains cragodile. Stone-based feral lifeform, unworthy of assimilation. Carnivorous. May pose a threat to potential Species 2187-PONY drones. Destroy.***

* * *

The cragodile's tail lashed as it leapt forward, jaw wide, ready to show this interloper who was in charge. The interloper was large enough for a decent meal, but not so large as to appear a threat; and since a cragodile's teeth are made of diamond, there is very little that it cannot eat, if it can but get its jaws about them.

The drone didn't even bother to dodge the cragodile. It just raised one arm and one foot, as if its pitiful size afforded it the strength to hold the cragodile's jaw open. Had the cragodile been just a little bit more intelligent, it would have scoffed at the gesture; had it been a lot more intelligent, it may have experienced a moment of uncertainty.

Instead, it just bit down on the offered limbs.

And the borg drone held the cragodile's jaw open.

This... did not happen. Aside from dragons and constellation beasts, there was nothing in the Everfree with the sheer physical strength to hold a cragodile's jaws open; and those creatures were far, far larger than this strange, half-metallic beast.

The cragodile responded the only way it knew how; by redoubling the effort it was expending in closing its jaws.

The drone began to force the cragodile's mouth further open.

After that, the cragodile survived only another nine point four seconds. It took two punches before dying.

* * *

***Investigating final cell. Cell -

* * *

The cockatrice was not, by nature, a pleasant creature. Its gaze could turn one to stone, and it could then reverse this effect at its leisure(1).

And it was very, very frightened, and thus ready to react to any disturbance by attacking.

The Borg drone only saw the cockatrice as it was turning to leave the cell; and the cockatrice met its gaze instantly. The drone's ocular implant allowed it a range of vision that would make any pure organic creature envious; it could see in any part of the electromagnetic spectrum from radio waves to gamma rays, and at magnifications that would make a microscope manufacturer jealous. With the aid of a little pilot light installed near the implant, it could even see in absolute darkness.

When faced with a cockatrice, all this simply meant that it was all the more vulnerable to the cockatrice's unique magic. The drone's organic portions were turned to stone in an instant; the nanoprobes in its bloodstream froze in position, trapped in a statue; the implants in its brain and spinal cord were unable to interface with stone, and transmitted only the emergency code that meant ***Drone offline***.

It didn't even get a chance to warn the Collective of what had been in the cell.

* * *

Out in the corridor, a half-dozen drones carrying burning timberwolf branches had been advancing on a snow leopard cub, herding it into one of the cells, when quite suddenly one of their number simply stopped existing.

This was a matter of some concern; the loss of a single drone was negligible, but the loss of a single drone to an unknown form of attack required an immediate response.

***Potential Species 2187-PONY drones may have had the capability to destroy a Species 1853 drone. The cell in question likely contained either a species of Equestrian wildlife, or the potential Species 2187-PONY drones.

Course of action; one drone shall approach but not enter the cell. A second drone shall maintain visual contact with the drone. The Collective will observe this attack, and learn to adapt to counter it.

If the potential Species 2187-PONY drones are found in the cell, they will be assimilated. If any other species is found within the cell, the individual shall be assimilated; it clearly possesses biological or technological capabilities unknown to the Collective.***

Unfortunately, this meant allowing the snow leopard cub enough of an opening to escape; but the threat posed by it was minor, and there was a high probability that the Species 2187-PONY drones would be found in the final cell.

The snow leopard cub took full advantage of the drone's distraction, and ran for the grating. It leapt, and fell, landing at the bottom as a pile of snow.

Taking advantage of the same distraction, a small heap of ashes suddenly burst forth as a younger, healthier phoenix, and flew as fast as it could towards the same grating. Unlike the snow leopard, the phoenix sought altitude; it entered the shaft and climbed, looking for a way out further up.

The Borg ignored both of these, moving rather to confront the more serious threat. The nearest drone approached, and looked into the cell...

...and was instantly turned to stone.

The cockatrice slithered out of its cell, hissing angrily, and swept the corridor with its deadly gaze. The remaining Borg, their artificially enhanced vision tracking every movement of the dangerous creature, were easy prey. In a brief two point nine seconds, the cockatrice had turned every drone in the corridor to stone.

(1) Usually, that meant when it was hungry; and usually, it restored its victims piecemeal, one bite at a time. However, should a cockatrice manage to stone a creature just about to leap forward and attack, it would often place such statues near its nest; restoring them completely whenever some predator passed in front.