• Published 4th Apr 2012
  • 14,901 Views, 598 Comments

Halo: Equestria - Man Of War

A UNSC ship appears in the skies of Equestria with the Covenant hot on their heels.

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1. Arrival

1. Arrival

“Entrance into slip space successful, Captain” Cortana reported, “All systems are normal."

Captain Jacob Keyes let out a small, tense sigh of relief, but he can’t let his guard down now, not with such a close call with the Covenant fleet just a few moments ago before their jump into slip space around Reach. Even though they managed to get away, he was sure that the Covenant saw their entrance into slip space, and are probably following in their wake, or at least tracking them.

“Thank you Cortana. Alert me if anything changes.”

“Aye, Sir.” Cortana replied and disappeared from the holographic projector on the map table.

Captain Keyes walked out of the bridge and back to his room on the massive Halcyon-class cruiser, exhausted from the battle he and his ship had just went through. Keyes punched in the unlock code for his room and with a soft hiss the door opened to reveal a usual room with a few minor personal things here and there, a desk that is over flowing with papers, charts and graphs, with a leather upholstered chair to the right and a good sized bed to the left. The walls are mostly bare save for some pictures of his family, most of which are of his daughter, Miranda Keyes, when they were all still on Earth.

Keyes walks inside, eyeing the small mountain of paper on his desk with both exhaustion and distaste. He immediately gave up on any thought of trying to clean it up in his present condition, and instead walks over and slowly sits down on his bed and stretches out. His resists sleep for only a few seconds before his body and mind give in, and he drifts off into a deep, dreamless sleep….

Keyes awakens with a start, all is quiet, but he was sure some sound had awoken him, but he could not put his finger on it. There, he heard it again; it was a woman’s voice.

Keyes looked over to the small holographic projector on his desk to see Cortana standing there.

“Captain?” Cortana asks.

“Yes? What is it Cortana?” replies Keyes in a slightly groggy voice.

“I think you should come up to the bridge and have a look, you are never going to believe this.”

“Alright, I will be there in a minute.”

Keyes gets up and straightens his uniform up and starts walking to the bridge, all the while contemplating on what Cortana would think he would not believe.

Soon Keyes is back on the bridge and walking over to the captain’s chair. He sits and Cortana appears next to him. They both look out the viewing port in front of them to see an oddly Earth like planet orbiting around a single yellow star. According to the previous calculations, though, there was not supposed to be an Earth like planet such as this within the vicinity of the slip space path.

Cortana was the first to speak.

“We dropped out of slip space roughly ten minutes ago due to a malfunction in the FTL drive core. Just before we dropped out there was a sudden surge of energy in the core. The energy surge appears to have caused what I can only describe as going into slip space while already in slip space.”

Cortana pauses for a second while Keyes just looks at her with mild confusion.

“I have scanned the star patterns in the general vicinity and they do not match any known constellations. The only thing that I can think of that has happened is that, somehow, we tore open a hole in space-time and are now either on the very edge of our galaxy or in an entirely new one.” Cortana finished matter of factly.

Keyes just stared, trying to absorb the information he had just received from the AI. Even going into slip space a UNSC ship would not be able to reach the edge of the galaxy in less than three Earth months, let alone another galaxy, but they had apparently done just that in two hours.

Trying to buy time to let everything sink in, Keyes turned to the crew in the bridge and said,

“Achieve orbit around this planet”, he gestured out the viewing port, “and do a thorough scan. Let’s see if there is anything worth investigating."

“Aye, sir.” came the reply of both the navigator and the spectroscope operator.

A few minutes later the navigator called back, “Standard orbit achieved, one full orbit of planet estimated at ninety minutes at current speed.”

“Beginning scan of planet surface now, sir” the spectroscope operator said. “Scan will be complete as soon as we orbit once. I’ll notify you immediately after the scan is complete and what the results are.”

Keyes looks back at Cortana and says, “Is there any way to get back to known space?”

Cortana is silent for a moment, running calculations, Keyes guesses, and finally she said, “Possibly, if we can recreate the same type of energy surge, then we may be able to jump back into an area we are familiar with and then we can take it as normal from there. But that’s much easier said than done. I’ve already dispatched a group of engineers to have a look at the FTL drive, but I can already detect some major damage. It may be a while before we can make a jump back into slip space.”

The captain nods, and stands up, deciding to head down to the mess hall, he needs time to think everything over, and also to kill some time while the scan is in progress.

Down in the mess hall, Keyes is greeted by the usual hustle and bustle of one of the busiest places on the ship. He walks up to one of the buffet tables and grabs a steak and sits down to eat his supper. He is soon joined by one of the higher ranking officers on the ship. His name is Dave Simmons but likes to go by the name of Slice because of his love for an “up close and personal” style of combat, as he puts it. Slice has a slightly worried air about him, he sits silently for a few seconds and then turns to Key and asks

“Is it true?”… “That we are more or less lost in space with a busted FTL?”

Keyes looks at him over the rim of a glass of water and slowly sets it down in thought. After a moment he says,

“It may have happened, but we are not sure yet. We have some engineers looking at the FTL drive and they should be reporting back soon” replies Keyes “Just make sure you don’t spread the word of what may have happened, the men are strong but I just don’t know how they will react to this just yet. It’s best to wait and see what we learn.”

“Aye, Sir.” replies Slice quietly.

They finish their meals and go their separate ways, Slice off to the barracks, and Keyes heads off to walk around the ship.

After a while of aimless wondering about the ship, a voice comes over the ship wide intercom saying, “Captain to the bridge, Captain to the bridge.”

Keyes stops and looks at the speaker attached to the bulkhead for a moment, then slowly turns and starts off back to the bow of the ship.

With the same gentle hiss the door to the bridge opens and Captain Keyes walks onto the bridge.

“What is the report of the scan of the planet?” He asked the spectroscope operator.

“Sir, we are picking up a lot of plant and animal life, and the atmosphere appears to be seventy-seven percent nitrogen and twenty-two percent oxygen with traces of other gasses, roughly the same as Earth’s, but here is the real kicker” he says, looking over his shoulder at Keyes. “We are getting readings of intelligent life, grouped in small settlements and some bigger looking cities but they are neither Human, nor any Covenant species that we have identified in our database.”

“If it’s not Human or Covenant then what is it?” Keyes asked bewildered

“We don’t know Sir; the scan isn’t able to tell. The only way to find out is to send a scout party down and have them take a look around.”

Just as Keyes was about to respond, the intercom on the bridge crackled to life once more.

“Engine room to the bridge.”

“Go ahead engine room, what have you found out about the FTL?” asked Keyes.

“Sir, two of the six cooling conduits have come uncoupled causing the FTL’s power resistors to overheat and fail, this was caused by the energy surge that also fried a lot of the circuitry as well. We can fix the cooling conduits back in place fairly easily but it will take some time to fix the burnt out circuitry, because we just don’t have the machinery delicate enough to recreate it very quickly.”

“Very well” replied Keyes “Thank you for the update, keep me informed of your progress.”

“Aye, Sir.” replied the engineer.

Keyes turns around and address the deck crew.

“Well, it appears we now have a major reason to go down and investigate the planet. Prep a Pelican and Marine squad Alpha, we are sending out a scouting party.”


“Aye, Sir?”

“Upload the coordinates of one of the smaller settlements on the planet to the Pelican.”

“Aye, aye Captain.” replied the navigator.

Within twenty minutes Marine squad Alpha and the Pelican had been prepped and had orders to land on the outskirts of the town in a dense forest and scout out the area around the town as stealthily as possible, with additional orders to not fire weapons unless in an absolute life threating situation. The Marines loaded up and the Pelican revved up its engines, hovered out of the Pillar’s landing bay and started its descent to the coordinates of the forest outside the settlement.

Soon the Pelican entered the atmosphere and started slowing down as it neared the ground and landed in a small clearing just inside the forest. The Marines jumped out and immediately readied their weapons and took up positions around the drop ship. The pilot radioed the squad and said “We are taking off in one hour.” Each Marine gave the leader a thumbs up and the leader acknowledged the pilot with a thumbs up of his own, and with a wave of the squad leader’s hand the Marines started moving out.

“This place gives me the creeps.” whispered one of the Marines.

“I know what you mean.” another whispered back “This place is so densely grown up that you couldn’t see anything until its literally on top of your ass.”

The Marines walked on apprehensively, as they strained their eyes and ears for the slightest amount of movement.

Soon the Marines were at the edge of the forest behind the cover of the smaller trees and bushes and could easily make out the small town roughly one hundred meters away. Even at this distance they could make out a lot of movement. Alpha leader motioned for two of the Marines to move forward with binoculars and an amplified long range listening device. One looked while the other listened. The listener reported first in a hushed voice.

“Sir, this is really weird, but, whatever they are, they are speaking English." He said.

The squad leader then looked expectantly at the Marine with the binoculars. The Marine had a dumbfounded expression on his face.

“What is it soldier? What are they?” the leader asked

The Marine just shook his head looked one last time and then handed over the binoculars to the leader, raising the eye visor on his helmet and rubbing his eyes, saying nothing more than “Here, you try and figure it out.”

The leader takes the binoculars with a look of confusion and peers through them, and is greeted by an extremely strange sight indeed. The moving things in the town appeared to be horses. “But… that’s not right, they are too small to be horses, are these… ponies?” He muttered to himself. His attention then went up into the sky to several flying shapes, he increased the magnification and saw that they looked to be ponies too, but these had wings. “And…. Pegasi?” he asked himself. He stared in disbelief for a few seconds before coming to his senses and started quickly snapping pictures and taking video with the binoculars.

Suddenly there was a loud snap from behind the squad from deeper in the forest. The Marines jerked around to make sure that the area was clear, startled by the sudden sound. They didn’t see any movement or hear anything... actually that was the weird thing. It was all of a sudden dead silent, where just a few moments before there were birds and other small animals flying and scurrying around along the ground and making a racket now none were in sight. The absolute quiet was deafening, and made the hairs on the back of their necks raise. Deep in their guts they knew something was out there, something… big.

“I don’t like this.” whispered one of them.

“Yeah, I feel like something is watching us.” whispered another.

Then the silence was shattered by a monstrous roar, the sound of tree limbs breaking and a rhythmic beating of the ground. A huge monster that had the head and body of a lion, the wings of a bat, and the tail and poison stinger of a scorpion, burst from the deep forest and charged head long into the squad, they didn’t even have time to raise their weapons, let alone fire any rounds. The beast, unfortunately, charged straight at the one Marine, other than the squad leader, that was most important, the medic. With a loud SMACK!! The beast whips a massive paw at the stunned medic and swats him to the ground. With the monster bearing down on the downed Marine the others recovered and each fired three quick shots at the beast. The strange animal howled and blundered past them and back back into the forest.

In the ensuing quiet of the beast’s absence the birds and small animals return, starting up their usual racket. There is a low moan that emanates from the hurt Marine. His team mates look back to him and see that he is in pretty rough shape. His armor protected him from the brunt of the impact but there were places that had been ripped open at one of the lightly armored shoulder joints that was slowly oozing blood. When he tried to sit up a jolt of pain wrapped around his chest causing him to gasp and clutch at his sides.

“Where’s my bag?” he asked through gritted teeth.

“All over the place.” said one Marine “When that thing hit you it tore off your medipack and now it’s been torn to shreds. All the medical supplies have either been destroyed or are missing.”

“I-I think I may b-be able to h-help” said a very quiet and timid sounding voice from the shadows.

The startled Marines whirled around and shouldered their weapons at the source of the sound. After a few seconds a pale yellow pony with wings and a cotton candy pink mane and tail shyly stepped part way out of the concealing shadows, hiding her face from view with her mane but evidently completely focused on the injured Marine, not even giving the others a sideways glance.

“I was close by and was watching w-when I heard that Manticore attack. I-I’m not exactly a doctor b-but I take care of animals, and I-I just can’t stand by and see anything in that much pain!”

The Marines lowered their weapons slightly and watched warily, ready at a moment’s notice to jump into action to protect their squad mate, as the timid pony slowly walked up to the hurt Marine and looked at his wounded shoulder and took notice of the short shallow breaths.

“His shoulder looks like it should be fine, just some scratches and cuts, maybe a little over extended too, but it will heal up fine, it’s his ribs I’m worried about.” The pony said with a determined tone.

“It looks like he may have cracked several of them, maybe even broken one or two, here follow me and I will get him taken care of.”

The yellow pony started to trot off and stopped and looked back waiting for the Marines. The squad looked at their leader with questioning faces. The squad leader nodded to move out but said in a whisper,

“Keep your weapons at the ready, we don’t know if that thing, what did she call it? A Manticore? We don’t know if it will come back or not, and we don’t know if we can trust this…..”

The leader trailed off with a slightly confused look on his face.

“Pony?” one of the other Marines suggested.

The leader looked at him and replied, “I guess, but a talking pony? And one that knows about medicine at that?”

“We have been fighting an alien alliance for years now, and we did just get attacked by a supposed mythological monster, so I guess a talking pony that knows medicine isn’t the weirdest thing we have seen.” said one of the Marines.

The squad leader simply shrugged to the others and gave the order for two Marines to help the wounded medic to his feet and follow the mysterious pony.

Soon they arrived at a small cottage looking building. There were animals of various sorts scattered around the area. The little pony obviously wasn’t lying when she said she helped animals in need, epically since there were a few walking around with a bandage here or a splint there.

As the group lead by the pony approached the door to the building a small furry head of a rabbit appeared in the window next to the door. His look of happiness at the sight of the pony was quickly replaced with a scowl as he noticed the Humans behind her. The little rabbit disappeared from the window when the pony walked up to the door. She was just about to open the door when there was a loud click from the other side that sounded like a lock being slid home.

“Oh, my.” Said the little yellow pony and after a seconds hesitation with her hoof resting on the handle she continued in a soft pleasant voice “Please, Angel Bunny, open the door, one of these creatures is badly hurt and needs to be taken care of.” The little rabbit, whose name was apparently Angel Bunny, appeared back in the window shaking his head with the same scowl still plastered to his face, and stuck his tongue out at the humans. It was obvious he did not trust these new and strange creatures.

“I’ll make your favorite dessert for supper tonight.” the yellow pony coaxed with a gentle smile.

At that Angel Bunny’s resolve quickly cracked. He slid down from the window, and a few seconds later the sound of the lock being slid back was heard from the other side, and the door swung open.

The pony turned around and said, “Bring him in here and set him down on the couch, I’ll get the supplies I need.”

The pony then turned and walked into the house followed by the small squad of Marines. The medic was then sat down on the couch in the small living room just as the pony came back in with a large bag with a bright red cross painted on it, in her mouth.

The Marines removed the mangled armor of the medic to expose the skin underneath. The pony opened up the bag and dug around in it for a few seconds before pulling out a roll of medical compression gauze. She moved forward and slowly began to tightly wrap the Marine’s chest.

Once she was done, she tied the end in place and started on his shoulder. She placed some type of light green paste on the cuts and scrapes that smelled strongly of Aloe Vera. As soon as the paste was on his shoulder the Marine sighed with relief. When she was done with his injuries the pony stepped back to give him some room.

The medic looked down at his chest and over to his shoulder with relief and was finally able to move around and breathe a little better. He looked up at her smiled and quietly said, “Thank you.”

“You are quiet welcome. My name is Fluttershy by the way.” She said, as she started backing away from the group, she said it so quietly they almost couldn’t hear her. Her former boldness gone in an instant because there was no longer anything in pain or to take care of.

The squad leader looked at her, and removed his helmet and put down his weapon in an attempt to appear as friendly as possible, and said with a kind smile, “My name is Luke Wilson, nice to meet you Fluttershy, and thank you again for helping us out. Oh, and don’t worry, we won’t hurt you or anyone else, we are friendly, but you probably already guessed that.” The others nodded in agreement.

Fluttershy blushed slightly for being thanked but remained silent, looking around at all the friendly faces of the creatures standing around in her house. When she had finally worked up enough courage and knew for a fact these creatures were safe, she looked up at Luke and finally asked, “If you don’t mind me asking, what are you? And where did you come from? I’ve never seen anything like all of you before.”

Luke looked at the others, who nod him on, one saying, “We owe her a little explanation at least.”

Luke nods in agreement, but decides to keep the explanation as vague and brief as possible before continuing.

“We are Humans, and we come from a distant planet. We have a ship here that brought us from a bigger ship up in space.” Luke said, pointing up. “We came here because we are lost from where we came from and something is broke on our ship and we are hoping that there is something on this planet that we can replace it with.”

“Oh.” said Fluttershy with concern in her voice, “That sounds bad.”

“It isn’t exactly the best situation, no, but, may I ask if there is any scientist here on this planet?”

“To a certain extent, yes, but not any major ones around here.” she replies, “There is a very smart unicorn that is one of my best friends that happens to be the smartest pony in all of Ponyville. I could bring her to you.”

Luke thought to himself, “Well, we have talking Pegasi and mythological monsters so far; I guess Unicorns shouldn’t surprise me.”

“That would be very helpful” replied Luke to Fluttershy, “but first let us take our friend back to our ship and get him comfortable. We will be back in an hour and a half, is that alright?”

“Umm…. s-sure.” replied Fluttershy.

“Ok, well, we should be getting back to our ship.” Luke said while replacing his helmet. “They are probably waiting for us.”

The others started moving as well, and soon they were filing out the door with Fluttershy following close behind.

Soon Alpha squad made its way back to the clearing in the forest and started boarding the waiting Pelican.

The pilot was looking around making sure the area was still clear when he saw Fluttershy at the edge of the clearing, he said to Luke,

“Sir, I think we have company.”

Luke leaned into the cockpit of the Pelican to look at where the pilot was pointing. He saw Fluttershy at the edge of the clearing and said,

“Don’t worry, she’s alright, we will explain latter.” Luke says to the pilot.

Luke runs over to Fluttershy and says to her, “Remember, we will be back here in an hour and a half” he says with a small smile. “And you may want to cover your ears, it’s about to get loud when we take off.”

Fluttershy nods and then flattens and covers her ears with her hooves as Luke runs back to the Pelican’s rear hatch while waving at the pilot to dust off, and closes it.

The engines of the Pelican rise from a dull roar to a high pitched scream as it lifts off from the ground and flies off into the sky, leaving Fluttershy alone in the clearing.

A few seconds after the Pelican had disappeared from sight, Fluttershy started to run in the direction of the town, egger to tell one of her best friends, Twilight Sparkle, what had just happened.