• Published 27th Apr 2014
  • 1,453 Views, 40 Comments

Specimen 25467 - NachoTheBrony



"She needs a friend," they told him. She was Earth's first confirmed alien, and he rather became her father.

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3: Visitations

Chapter 3: Visitations

‘And now, the Japanese emperor approaches the USS Missouri, with the battleship tracking his ship with all main guns,’ thought Mike, while he spied on the sky the three black dots of one flying chariot being closely guarded by two Apache choppers. Considering that they were only doing forty knots and that their flight plan stated they would make it into position before performing a slow vertical descent (from three thousand feet), he guessed it was safe for him to let his eyes wander for a while.

He first looked at Flora, wearing a frown and a business’s suit and felt a pang of sadness: five months ago he had seen her at her happiest, when her Execubot ‘blew up’ and she ‘had to be’ released to the public. For one and a half months she was blessed with normalcy: after five years of watching a robot and speculating that the face behind the robot must be hideously disfigured, her classmates hadn’t been too shocked that she didn’t happen to be human, with the civilian population of Vieques following shortly after.

Mike had even had to establish rules with her, once her newfound social life had begun affecting her grades.

But then, three and a half months ago, the DoD put her back on the robot and ordered the fortification of the base...

And ever since the attack, she had learned more about her species than she had ever known, and then immediately begun reneging on all the things that she had unconsciously been doing ‘just like a normal pony’:

She stopped walking on all fours. She would still run normally but, even at home, she had taken to walking upright at all times.

She had truly taken to wearing clothes. Previously, she hadn’t even owned underwear, but now she even had pyjamas every night!

Thirdly, she had quit agriculture. She had slowly grown horrified that “Earth ponies” were the peasant class in her world, and was currently lost, as she had then turned at the US Navy, but she would never be an officer if she did happen to be, as those dead ladies had said, a peer of foreign nobility. That was nothing but broken dreams pilled on more broken dreams.

And about broken dreams came the fourth and most noticeable change: she had stopped being happy. Well, not really, but her happy, carefree smiles were gone, now replaced by the defiant frowns of a minority activist, and the occasional melancholic sighs of an angsty teenager who doesn’t know what she wants to be.

Mike had tried everything in his power to keep her from going down the deep end like she was currently doing, but his words were only so powerful, and the town and base were exerting significant peer support for her to more human everyday.

In the end, Mike didn’t care whether his sweety was human or pony or decided to pull a zipper and reveal herself to be a chestbuster: he just wanted her to be Flora. And he had told her time and time again.

And it was in part why these ponies were visiting today: when the chain of command asked him for his opinion about her birth family gaining visitation rights, he jumped on the opportunity for her gaining a second opinion on her own kind.

Self-loathing was ugly, and his daughter wasn’t normally ugly.

So just two weeks after he had been asked his opinion, here they were, performing a feather-slow descent in a chariot hitched to six Equestriani Royal Guards.

And looking at the white pegasai in the gilded armours, Mike sweated. He couldn’t deny that he had been incredibly lucky in the battle: he had held the attackers as recruits undergoing Basic Training for the week until their government disowned them for volunteering in an unauthorized operation. During that week, his every officer had found them bootcamp drills and had found their capabilities to be horrifying: both pegasai and unicorns could, on average, wear half their own weight on their persons, but ‘earth ponies’ could wear four times as much, and drag comfortably up to five tons. Pegasai could fly for short distances carrying their own weight, but the interesting part was that they could rather ‘extend their weightless aura’ through an object and drag it through the air with no more effort than they would exert to drag it on ground. And then were the unicorns, with they relatively weak physique but those horns, which there actual magic wands: utility spells, healing spells, monitor spells, attack spells, shield spells...

The shields! Those hadn’t been a happy surprise! Those armours of theirs projected forcefields that, despite doing nothing about blunt damage, had protected them perfectly against penetration and heat damage. And then there also were those lances of theirs! In the hand of a human, they were just lances, but in the hoof of a pony they were fire-and-forget, self-returning missiles, that could penetrate human body armour with ease! Truly, Mike knew that, if he hadn’t demoralized them into submission, the battle could have gone very, very differently.

Thankfully, that hadn’t happened, and Mike could concentrate on reality, like on the carriage that had finished approach a couple minutes ago and was now low enough for his howitzers to track, so would touch down in less than a minute.

By him, Sharon was finishing her latest peep talk on Flora, insisting her to give her family a fair chance. Once he was sure she wasn’t saying anything new, he interrupted her and motioned to the window, where the chariot was touching down like it was a sculpture being lowered by a crane.

As per the agreed upon protocol, the six guards on the pull team remained hitched while the carriage was approached by his troops, then one of them unhitched, unfolded a step and opened the carriage door.

First came out Flora’s father: a steel-gray stallion, with a bluish-white Mohawk and some sort of military uniform that clearly spelled senior officer. Mike couldn’t help but notice the scabbard across his back, but it was thankfully empty (as stated by the current protocol).

By the file, he was Silversteel, age 56. General to the Equestriani Royal Guard.

Next came out Flora’s mother: a milky-white mare with indigo hair in a refined hairdo and a combo of cream-coloured hat-and-dress that, despite being worn by a quadruped, sent Mike’s mind straight to watching his mother have occasional ‘tea parties’ with her friends.

By the file, she was Rarity, Duchess Lipizzan, age 58. She too apparently held an elevated military rank; although she much more seemed like a reluctant army-wife than any officer that Mike had ever seen.

And finally came out the last passenger on the manifest: a khaki coloured, chocolate-haired mare that the file had as ‘Sandalwood, Countess Faroe, age 30.’ She apparently didn’t have anything to do with the military, but she weathered the military display with an attitude as stoic as the business suit she wore.

And even before her four hooves were on the ground, she was already leaning down and sniffing the dirt. She then said something at her parents that immediately uplifted her mother’s frightened expression and pulled a momentary smile out of her father’s dour face.

She then went to the back of the carriage and retrieved a suitcase. The manifest did mention them to be bearing gifts, and that the gifts had been as thoroughly inspected as humans knew how to inspect luggage.

Ready at last, his daughter’s relatives began advancing through an aisle of sailors in dress uniform. This was the clue for Mike and Sharon to step out and greet them at the door.

Seconds later, they were facing the group. Mike broke the ice:

“Lieutenant Michael Hengst, US Navy, Officer in Charge of the Vieques Island Naval Reserve, and legal guardian of Flora Hengst,” he said, saluting while he spoke.

“Lieutenant Sharon Borg, US Navy, Assistant Officer in Charge of the Vieques Island Naval Reserve, and second responsible for Flora Hengst,” she said, starting to speak barely a heartbeat after he finished.

Flora’s dad took him clue immediately: “General Silversteel, Equestriani Royal Guard, father of Minty, Countess Calabreze,” he said, bringing his hoof up in a salute.

His wife took a few heartbeats to gather her wits, but did so and, performing a four-legged curtsy, spoke: “My name is Rarity; I am the Duchess Lipizzan of Equestria.”

And their daughter took her turn after waiting a couple of seconds after her mother’s abrupt stop. She then carefully stood up on her rear legs, gave a short (and shaky) bow, stood up again and spoke: “And my name is Sandalwood, Countess Faroe, and I am the older sister to Minty, Countess Calabreze.”

“Very well,” replied Mike. “I now request you state the intention of your visit.”

“We’ll be taking Minty back home”-

Mother!” the daughter interrupted the mother, then turned at the human officers. “We wish to perform a visitation of my sister, and to extend to her and her legal guardians an invitation to visit us in Equestria.”

Mike held her eyes, looking for signs of deception, but found none. He then subtly shifted his gaze to the father, who nodded curtly, and to the mother again, who would not meet his eyes.

Mike looked at Sharon, who nodded at him. And he agreed: the mother was overemotional, but even if she went berserk, Flora would be completely safe. Sharon gestured at the seamen behind them to open the doors, and Mike gestured them to follow him inside.


The next few hours passed like a blur to Mike. He knew their meeting tent was bugged to heavens above, but later on was still bugged by how little he could actually remember beyond generalities.

First of all, as soon as they entered, the lady tackled Flora to the floor and hogged her for the next ten minutes. Next, the father and the sister took their turn together and ruffled her a little more.

Mike knew that, at that point his girl was lost, but he was glad that she was, so far, keeping an open mind. Mike also remembered how Flora’s sister had formally introduced herself and her father, and had asked for her name, before hugging her. In contrast, her mother hadn't let her get a word out and had gone for ten minutes of alliterations of "Minty, I am your mother!"

Next came the early dinner that was the excuse for the meeting. Mrs. Rarity wouldn’t have let Flora eat if Sharon hadn’t intervened and had told her to talk to Flora about their life in Equestria. Mike then learned a complete gospel about like nine branches of extended family, not connected by blood but tied together by them having been normal civilians that had been friends and unpaid advisors to the rulers of the land, and the rulers then surprising them by putting them at the very top of the peerage. Thankfully, the stallion knew the story by heart and the sister also was willing to add or clarify, so the lady could take breaks to scarf down her food.

After the food was eaten, Mrs. Rarity tried to continue speaking, but was interrupted so Flora could have her turn. They moved to a lounge, where gifts were given (a scrapbook, gifts from her aunts (including some in name of the two who died leading the attack), a horribly sumptuous dress hand-made by Mrs. Rarity, a practical guide on distillation from her sister Sandalwood and a heavy golden yoke from her dad, and then some bottles of spirits from Sandalwood to both Sharon and him) and the relatives sat around Flora and began getting her life history out of her.

Mike had to help a lot at this point, as Flora didn’t really remember her earliest years, Mike hadn’t been there, either, but he had been fully briefed, and had received instructions to not lie to her relatives.

They hadn’t been too trilled that their little girl had largely lived out her childhood in underground facilities, but had been somewhat placated on knowing that every researcher who came in contact with her had always sustained that she was harmless and deserved a more normal upbringing. Which then came to the devising of the plan to unveil Flora (and as Flora hadn’t been aware of most of it, she then latched at him and staid there until he finished), and to Mike offering himself as her permanent guardian until she would legally be an adult.

And Flora then began speaking about how she had been going to school through Execubot for the last several years and then in person for the last few months; then about her friends, her classes and her grades.

They then asked about her dreams for the future, but here Flora became mute. Mike and Sharon had to step forward and explain that Flora had, for years, dreamed with farming mint for a living but, ever since she learned her birth name to be ‘Minty,’ had stopped caring for her fields and was utterly lost.

Flora’s mother was no help there, having gone the entire meeting calling Flora ‘Minty,’ then mentioning that she should exercise her 'special talent' with mint and leaving it as if that settled the matter. And never mind that the lady had been letting her emotions run free every five minutes the entire day, creeping Flora out. Flora’s dad hadn’t been much more help, looking as lost as Mike felt himself. Flora’s sister, Sandalwood, was the one who saved the day, saying some of the very few words that Mike could remember of the entire afternoon.

She took Flora’s hoof on her own and, looking into her eyes, spoke:

“It isn’t the name that makes the pony, Flora, but it is destiny what directs parents to choose names that will fit their foals. Just look at me,” she said, gesturing at the fruits and the still emblazoned on her flank. “Does my Cutie Mark look like anything related to sandalwood? Mother and Dad would tell you that destiny whispered the name ‘Amaretto’ to them, but they chose to name me after our grandmother Sandalwood. The result is that I found my destiny in making spirits even without ever knowing my real name, and found my calling in life.”

“You, Flora, are as lucky as I was: even without knowing your real name, you gravitated toward your true calling and developed it. Now, come here,” she said, standing up from her lounger. She went to one of the corners of the tent and uncovered the tarp separating the inside of the tent from the dirt below. She then conducted Flora to the bare spot and put her hooves in the dirt.

“You can feel it, can’t you, Flora?” she asked, closing her eyes as she slowly shuffled her own hooves by Flora’s. “That feeling is a soil that tastes of having grown orange mint. And the landing pad tasted of bergamot, and the way here tasted of apple mint.”

“Sister: you aren’t Minty because that the name our parents chose for you: you are Minty because you love mint, and mint loves you.”

There were some more exchanges of words, but Mike couldn’t remember them: all that mattered to him was that Flora had found happy tears to cry, and that Mike himself had later kissed the hooves of Sandalwood for giving some peace to his daughter.

And Mike wouldn’t know till much later, but the first human-pony marriage started to gestate from him doing so terribly forward as kissing her hooves in public and then acting casual. She was in fact so confused that she asked him out the first time she saw him out of uniform...

And well, from this point and until the end of the meeting, the conversation began turning a little too feminine, which, while it made Sharon and Rarity become much more involved, slowly made both Silversteel and him scoot out. And Silversteel, the old general, took the opportunity to approach him and thank him for taking in his daughter and making her a happy mare.

Mike did remember what he replied:

“Having a daughter like her is thanks enough.”


Due to the weather forecast turning ugly, the meeting had to wrap up about an hour after his daughter truly began opening up to her sister. Not that it mattered, though: Mike had promised to extend a recommendation for unlimited weekend visitation rights, and in turn Sandalwood and Silversteel had (...quietly...) promised him to not let Rarity come alone and freak Flora out with her neuroses.

And as the carriage flew away, and once the surrounding trees made it invisible from the ground, Flora glued herself to his chest.

“Dad?”

“Yes, Sweety?”

“You know I love you, Dad?”

He knew what she wasn’t telling here...

“I promise you I won’t get jealous just because you find some love for your real folks, furball.”

She didn’t reply with words: She just hugged him a little harder.

“I know I asked for Disney World this vacations, but”-

“I know, Sweety: Equestria it is. But on one condition.”

Under his chin, her ears tracked forward: he had her undivided attention.

“A month till summer holidays, hon. If you start taking good care of the west fields tomorrow, that’s more than enough time to have a few bushels freeze-dried by then.”

“Will do, Dad; will do.”

Author's Note:

1        It had always been my headcanon that pony names do not determine their destinies, but that ‘destiny’ whispers fitting names into parents’ ears, so the foal will eventually grow into the name. Ponies can therefore gain utterly unfitting names when the parents’ ignore the suggestions of destiny in favour of family naming traditions, naming foals after older relatives and such. Therefore, Sandalwood possesses an unfitting name due to it being the name of her grandmother (contrary to being named Amaretto, as her parents had been thinking before she was born), while ‘Minty’ does posses a fitting name.

2        According to the end of “Kind Hearts and Coronets” (this story’s prequel), Rarity didn’t want to have more foals than Sandalwood. Rarity had Minty shortly after, though; likely because of Sandalwood’s disappearance. As Sandalwood didn’t disappear in this story, I am assuming that Rarity followed through with her initial plan, thus with Minty/Flora being an accident, and being some 15 years younger than her older sister.

3 I consider this story finished, although I'm likely to expand it with an epilogue or two.

Thanks for reading.

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Comments ( 17 )

Flora’s dad took him clue immediately: “General Silversteel, Equestriani Royal Guard, father of Minty, Countess Calabreze,” he said, bringing[...]

Bringing what? I think you lost a sentence.

----------

Interesting, it seems the contact with the parents went peacefully instead of Rarity flipping her shit like in AAG.

I wonder how the Humans will compare to the Equestriani in terms of physical capabilities...

Oh wait, I already saw. Totally outclassed. But as always, Humans are pretty much the "science heroes" in the AAG-verse.

were gifts were given (a scrapbook, gifts from her aunts (including some in name of the two who died leading the attack)

Should be Where.

Second, Rainbow Dash and Scootaloo died?! Holy Motherfucking Shit!

Sandlewood Played the voice of reason and it was a nice ending.

4365949

Er, if I recall correctly, both of those mares got 20 laps around the base, double time, (to start with) after the failed attack.

But there's some weird stuff in the chapter. I'm gonna blame googledocs for it's continued penchant to randomly drop blocks of text during a transfer. Also, this chapter needs some serious work by an editor. More than once a sentence starts with one idea then changes to another idea before it's over leading to a very confused reader forced to parse the mistake a few times to figure out what the idea was.

4365845
4365949
4366795
4366783
Sorry to you all, people: I had indeed proof-read the chapter, but I then submitted the version prior to proofreading.
Now up the edited version.

4365845

...instead of Rarity flipping her shit like in AAG.

She was. The one who wasn't was Silversteel, but that was mainly due to him being treated like a defeated general prior to the meeting.

4365949

Second, Rainbow Dash and Scootaloo died?! Holy Motherfucking Shit!

I didn't make too much of it, but they were blasted sky-high last chapter.

4366783
I tried to recycle as much as possible of her temperament from AAG.

4366795
Mike put Scoots to do pushups while he sent her troops to do laps. He then tried to equally intimidate Rainbow, but couldn't manage and she led Scoots and thirteen others died into a booby-trapped building.

4367173

Why isn't Rarity more affected by the fact ONE OF HER LIFELONG FRIENDS IS DEAD?!:raritydespair:

The Mane Seven and CMC should be strongly affected by this. It's one thing like in OTL-AAG for one of the foalnapping team to die, but for Rainbow Dash, the Bearer of Loyalty, and Scootaloo (essentially an Aunt)? I'm not seeing any of the Bearers, not even Fluttershy, forgiving the humans at all, let alone easily.

4367259
Quite easily:

1) Dash and Scoots died three months ago. One way or another, but heated sentiments would have cooled down by now.

2) Once cooler heads prevail, it would have been quite obvious that the enemy could not be held accountable for having killed Dash and Co. If anything, the family would have needed to rapidly cut ties with Dash, lest her rash actions reflect poorly against Equestria.

3) Quite frankly, if I had been Celestia, Luna or Twilight, I would have been much more worried about Dash having possibly provoked war with an enemy that made a mockery of the Royal Guard than about the fact that Dash died during her run as a loose cannon. Soaring, at least with the personality given to him by the fandom, would have likely been the first one to declare that his wife had been a hothead and had ruined fifteen years of search just because she ran tired of a few weeks of negotiations.

4) Have I mentioned that many elements of the family, especially Twilight, Celestia, Luna and Applejack, would have been quite angry about Dash ruining fifteen years of search with one rash action?

4367173, really?

Here Rarity seems a bit upset, but in AAG she had a meltdown rivaling 3 Mile Island that resulted in multiple aspersions being cast towards the Human parents.

4370353
There are quite a few changes of circumstance separating the AAG version from mine: In AAG, Rarity (and the whole gang) isn't made aware that her daughter isn't staying until she dismisses the humans like they were malodorous beasts. Here, the gang has had three months to drill on her that Rainbow's actions came and closed the door on a simple handover forever.
I could even imagine that the hatred she had for DJ's parents in AAG became transferred to Rainbow Dash in this story.

There's also a change in storytelling devices: in AAG, her panic slams on your face. Here, I peppered the whole chapter with subtle references stating that she had had an emotional breakdown and wasn't currently firing on all cylinders:

By the file, she was Rarity, Duchess Lipizzan, age 58. She too apparently held an elevated military rank; although she much more seemed like a reluctant army-wife than any officer that Mike had ever seen.

“My name is Rarity; I am the Duchess Lipizzan of Equestria.”
And their daughter took her turn after waiting a couple of seconds after her mother’s abrupt stop.

“I now request you state the intention of your visit.”
“We’ll be taking Minty back home”-
Mother!” the daughter interrupted the mother, then turned at the human officers. “We wish to perform a visitation of my sister, and to extend to her and her legal guardians an invitation to visit us in Equestria.”

Mike looked at Sharon, who nodded at him. And he agreed: the mother was overemotional, but even if she went berserk, Flora would be completely safe.

Flora’s sister had formally introduced herself and her father, and had asked for her name, before hugging her. In contrast, her mother hadn't let her get a word out and had gone for ten minutes of alliterations of "Minty, I am your mother!"

a horribly sumptuous dress hand-made by Mrs. Rarity,

Flora’s mother was no help there, having gone the entire meeting calling Flora ‘Minty,’ then mentioning that she should exercise her 'special talent' with mint and leaving it as if that settled the matter.

Mike had promised to extend a recommendation for unlimited weekend visitation rights, and in turn Sandalwood and Silversteel had (...quietly...) promised him to not let Rarity come alone and freak Flora out with her neuroses.

Wait, you're ending it here? But this thing has so much potential! RD and Scoots' apparent deaths would be an interesting thing to cover from Rarity + the remane-ing 5's perspective. Not to mention how the heavily escalating war in the main fic would play out here, with at least one less potential host for NMM. Also, it seems like Mike and DJ Sandalwood are getting together here as well (is there an alternate reality where these two don't hook up?)

Eh, it's still a good story as it is. I just want to see more like always! :scootangel:

4390857

Wait, you're ending it here? But this thing has so much potential!

I know, but I really suck at writing fiction (non-fiction I can just write and write, but fiction I just stare at my monitor for months at a time) and I really wanted to get most of it out within the allotted time frame. As I stated, I still wish to add an epilogue located in the somewhat distant future, but that will be like the rest of the story: non-omniscient, single-character narrator.

RD and Scoots' apparent deaths would be an interesting thing to cover from Rarity + the remane-ing 5's perspective.

Non-omniscient, single character narrator. Jumping to someone else's perspective would be a big no-no.

Not to mention how the heavily escalating war in the main fic would play out here,

As First Contact happens fifteen years later, all human influences and human aspects to the war become non-issues, which I believe could benefit the changeling side from the lack of human weapons, but could curse them from not having NMM as an ally. As it stands, I believe that, except for Champagne Dreams, all candidates to NMM become much weaker without early First Contact and the reorganization of the Equestriani government.

Also, it seems like Mike and Sandalwood are getting together here as well

They are: it wasn't hard to say that both are single, have some common interests (even if centred around how to benefit Flora/Minty and how to keep Rarity from smothering her), have no instinctive reactions of dislike for each other, and Mike's social gaffe left Sandalwood confused enough that she wanted to check if he was interested or not. From then on you can snowball: Flora would simply approve, Silversteel would likely approve of his eldest dating an accomplished military officer, Rarity would likely disapprove out of xenophobia (which would likely push Sandalwood harder onto Mike), Mike's parents would be likely blindsided, and the royal family would have reactions ranging from approval on romantic grounds to approval on purely diplomatic grounds.

I just want to see more like always!

If you wish to continue it, add side-stories or whatever, I would be glad to assist you, as long as you don't ask me to write it. I left plenty of stuff inside the inkwell...

4392206 Eh, tempting as it is, I've got my own monster sized epic to deal with writing. As I said before, despite wanting to see more, I think the story is good as is (or at least will be once the epilogue comes out). If you've accomplished what you've set out to do, then I see no reason to continue it other than pure desire for more content

All right, this is a sequel to a story you didn't write, which is a sequel to another story... How far back does this go? and is there a sequel to THIS story?

WHERE DO I START?!??!?!?!?!?!?

AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!!!
*Runs off confused and screaming*

*Watches StarChaser run off*

Believe it or not, this is sort of normal for us...

4968217
Actually, this story is an alternate to All-American Girl, rather than a sequel to Kind Hearts.

I didn't intent to be necessary to read Kind Hearts and Coronets before reading this story, but reading All-American Girl is highly encouraged.
On the AAGverse, the first story is All American Girl, with Kind Hearts and Coronets and Polarity being prequels to it, and Be Human being a companion collection of simultaneous side stories.
And no, my story has no sequels, and I intend to write none. Nevertheless, as I already mentioned on the author notes, it isn't even finished, with it still missing its epilogue.

7045519
Nope. "All American Girl" is a story written by a friend. Mine is an AU based on that story. Think of mine as meta-fanfiction.

Rainbow you idiot... you've goofed everything up.:(

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