• Published 15th Jan 2015
  • 11,562 Views, 1,348 Comments

Unity - Kieva Lynn



Ponyville, Equestria. Fallow Meadows, Indiana. Two towns torn from thier worlds and deposited together on a third. Can Human and Pony work together? They'd better hope so, because they're not alone...

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Chapter Seven

Author's Note:

4/8/15 Edit: Added a paragraph to better explain the a.o.e. language spell.

Unity
Chapter Seven

Prince Blueblood looked around at the steep rocky mountain slopes in disbelief. How could this be? What manner of universe would allow such misfortune to befall one as grand and valuable as he? It was bad enough that what should have been a two-day walk through open grassy meadows had turned into a week-long trudge through a monster infested forest that shouldn't have been there. It was bad enough that two of his guards were now too injured from monster attacks to effectively protect him, and that the illusionist, whatever her name was, had vanished presumably into the belly of some horror. It was bad enough that his hooves were drying out and cracking and would surely require days of pampering to recover.

But now, now, after all of that, they had finally escaped the forest that shouldn't be there. To find Canterlot, which should be there, wasn't. In it's place were mountains much grander, snowcapped and freezing cold.

"I demand that somepony tell me what is going on!" Blueblood exclaimed.

But none of his guards could even venture a guess. At least, not until one of them pointed to the eastern horizon and exclaimed "Your highness! Look!" To the east, a second moon was rising into view.

"Two moons!?" Blueblood said. "And during the day? Whatever is Auntie Luna thinking?"

"Begging your pardon Prince, but I don't think that's what's going on here. I don't think we're on our world anymore."

Blueblood's eye opened wider at this revelation. At first he was horrified. But then, as his mind worked it's way through the implications, a broad grin spread across his muzzle. "We're not on Eqqus... We're not in range of my aunt's knowledge or power...And that means..."

"Prince Blueblood? Are you okay my Prince?" A guard asked, noticing the royal's unusual reaction.

"Oh, I'm better than okay. But do not call me Prince. For here upon this world I shall be King. Yes, King Blueblood the First..."

As the guards, seeing little other choice, bowed down and proclaimed "Long live the king," Blueblood motioned to his porters, who bought forth a chest containing supplies which Blueblood had long ago had made and took with him everywhere just in case. From out of the chest came a crown, a cloak, and a jeweled scepter with a gold and diamond head carved to look just like the newly self-proclaimed monarch's visage.

"Now then! Let us return to Ponyville, where you, my newly formed Royal Guard, shall subjugate the populace and cause them to build me a King's Palace!" Blueblood trotted back the way he had come, his head dancing with dreams of a palace so grand it would make Versailles look like an outhouse...

XXXX

Two days after Twilight was able to successfully cast the translation spell, a team of unicorns gathered in the middle of Ponyville. Following Twilight's lead, they pooled their power together and drew on the linguistic knowledge now in her mind to cast a new spell. This one was incredibly powerful, spreading out in a dome from it's starting point, reaching not only to the whole of Ponyville itself, but also further, all the way to Fallow Meadows and a short distance beyond. The spell dome endured for eleven minutes before collapsing. Within the effective radius, every sapient being whether human, pony, or dragon received in their minds the sum total of knowledge on how to speak, read, and write the other's language alongside their own. The newly gained knowledge would be permanent; there was no need to maintain or recast the spell periodically.

With the language barrier finally removed, talks between human and pony proceeded apace, as did the development of plans for survival. One of the earliest points, frightening to both sides but agreed upon as wise, was to combine into a single town, so that the wall to be built around Fallow Meadows could protect everyone. One the one hand (or hoof) this wouldn't be too hard; Pony houses and most other buildings were built to be easily moved. Everything but the town hall (too big) and the library (After all, rooted firmly in the ground) could be relocated in a matter of days.

Conversely, this was held back by fear. Most humans were still uncertain of allowing five thousand aliens inside their defenses, and most ponies were unsettled at the thought of being surrounded by eight thousand tall bipeds. And so Ponyville stayed where it was even as the wall began to go up.

Less contentious was the establishment of a provisional counsel, half of it's members from each species, to oversee trade, mutual defense, and the resolution of conflicts. From the human side Bert and Roger were chosen, along with Miriam Zahn, a government teacher from the school. The ponies chose Macintosh, along with Cherilee (probably the second smartest pony in town after Twilight), and Filthy Rich for the economic perspective.

Ground began to be cleared in preparation for planting crops, though it would be many months before such efforts yielded results. Fishermen (mainly human and a few pegasai) tried to supplement food stores with native fish from the river. Suffice to say lures to trick sonar were harder to get results with than lures to trick sight. Gathering of local vegetation, once it was proven safe to eat, was more successful. All in all, at the two-week mark things were proceeding much better than anyone had anticipated. Which of course meant it was time for something to go wrong...

XXXX

Alpha stood atop a rise, sonar pointed down towards the hive of new creatures. It's previous encounter with the prey was still in it's mind, but they were no longer marked as 'prey.' They were now considered 'threat.' Led by instinct Alpha had, after the failed hunt, sent a loud echoing call out into the woods. It was a call to arms, a call to the alpha leaders of every other pack of it's kind, a call which said, in essence, "Danger. Stand together." And so over the next few days they had gathered, massing, hidden, roundabout the two hives. Waiting for the signal. Which Alpha gave...

xx

Ponyville. Twilight Sparkle was busily pouring over plans for a new power grid when a knock at the door distracted her. "Be right there!" She called out, and took a moment to steal one last glance at the plans. It was actually a masterpiece of urban design, considering how little time the human and pony engineers had had to come up with it; A dozen emergency generators, each powerful enough to run twenty human homes on it's own, amplified ten times over with carefully placed magical crystals. With the homes in Fallow Meadows soon to be lit by magic lanterns and heated by indoor firepits, the setup would be able to supply what power was still needed. Ponyville itself, smaller and accustomed to less electrical needs anyway, could make do with a single augmented generator; Bert Gumbal had already donated them one of his, but they were waiting until they knew for certain if they were moving before hooking it up.

Nodding in satisfaction that the design would work, Twilight trotted to the door and opened it wide, shocked to find... "Trixie!?"

"Hello Twilight Sparkle. May Tri- May I come in?"

Still stunned, but remembering her manners, Twilight motioned for Trixie to enter. "Trixie, how did you get here?"

"That's what I wanted to talk about Twilight. See, after our second... encounter... I was aimless. Aimless and angry, but not angry at you. Angry at me."

"You? Trixie the amulet was controlling you, it wasn't your fault-"

"Yes it was. Because I was still in control of myself when I intentionally went looking for it just to get back at you." Trixie hung her head low, but continued speaking "I wanted to make things right somehow. To do something good with my talents for a change. And that's when I found an ad in the Canterlot Times for a job as an illusionist bodyguard."

"Wow. That'd be perfect for your skill set."

"I thought so too. The trouble came when I found out who I would be guarding, you see-"

Trixie was cut off by the sound of screams from outside. "What the hay?" Twilight exclaimed.

The mares galloped to the door, and out into the sunlit morning to see what was happening. All around, ponies were running in fear from some manner of large creatures neither had ever seen before. They were perhaps thirty hooves long, with eight muscular legs, mouths bristling with sharp teeth, and a pair of sonar-dish ears atop their heads.

"These must be the same predators the Crusaders and Mister Gumbal ran into." Twilight gasped.

"Predators?" Trixie asked. "From the Everfree?"

"Ever... You've been out of touch for a bit haven't you?"

"Since that weird storm. Why?"

"I'll tell you later, right now we've got a town to save!" Twilight ran off towards the nearest of the creatures...

XXXX

Carl Harner awoke with his third hangover of the week. Grumbling to himself, he stepped out into his backyard, started a small fire, and put a coffepot over it to boil. Waiting on the water, he tipped his head back and looked up at the sky, where a pair of moons were visible near each other. "At least the view is cool." he whispered.

Ever since his confrontation with John Tucker over the missing pony children (foals?) Carl had kept out of sight. Waiting. Watching. And thinking as well. And in the course of this thinking, he had finally came to a number of realizations. The first, the most important, was how foolish he was to actually want to go on the offensive. Either he was wrong about the ponies being responsible, in which case there was nothing to gain. Or he was right, in which case there was no hope of winning a stand-up fight against against such powerful beings.

Not that he thought for a moment that he was wrong. Damnit, it had to be them! But, there were better ways to approach the situation. Stealth, subtlety, guerrilla tactics. Of course, for that he would need like-minded allies. It was probably best to bide his time, until something happened that would wake up at least a few people to the danger everyone was in.

As even Carl would eventually be forced to admit, the universe has a sense of humor; His first sip of coffee turned into a spit-take as he heard a woman scream, followed by still more screaming, and the sound of gunshots. Apparently he wasn't going to have to wait after all...

xx

Around the same time that Carl Harner was waking up, Florence was arriving at the Diner. Being a public place, and a source of cooked meals, it was on the short list to get power, and had become very busy from sunrise to sunset each day as meals were provided free to all comers until some sort of economy could be established. She was surprised to find the doors already open and the dining room filled to capacity with guests. "Who's cooking?" She wondered.

In the kitchen she found her answer. "Herb! What are you doing!?" Florence exclaimed. "You had a heart attack! You're still supposed to be in bed!"

"I was a marine for thirty years Flo. You know that."

"This isn't exactly a 'semper fi' situation Herb." Florence answered dryly.

"Maybe not. But I've still got a duty." Herb flipped a griddle full of pancakes, all at once. "See? I still got it."

"Okay, but I'm keeping an eye on you, you hear?"

"Wouldn't have it any other way my dear. Now then-" A scream sliced through the air. Before Florence could even react, Herbert pulled an assault rifle from behind a pile of boxes. "Maybe semper fi after all." He said, and rushed for the door.

Florence and a number of diner patrons followed behind Herb as he went outside into the street. A small rush of people raced past, and when they looked back in the direction the runners were fleeing from chills went down all of their spines. Standing in the middle of the closest intersection were a pair of beasts unlike any on Earth, massive eight-legged predators, swooning their heads about as if undecided on who to attack.

Without hesitation, Herbert raised his gun and fired. The bullets hit their mark, of that he was certain, but the target barely seemed to notice, save for flinching back from the sound. Herb fired again, joined by a number of others who were also carrying weapons, but again the monster stayed on it's feet. They did get more of a reaction this time though; It roared and charged right for them...

XXXX

Ponyville was in the midst of a full-scale panic. Not that monster attacks were anything new to the town of course, so it was organized and civil as panics go. But it was still a panic. Two dozen of the massive carnivores had descended upon the town all at once, trying their damnedest to catch and consume everypony in sight. (so to speak). The saving grace was the beast's lack of comprehension of doors, and their inability to detect anything through windows.

While the townsponies hid and waited for the all-clear, the guard set to work attempting to deal with the intrusion. It was easier said than done. Magic allowed the unicorn guards to strike with their swords and spears from afar, and pegasai could divebomb the creatures from a safe altitude, but it quickly became apparent that they were extremely sturdy and hard to significantly injure.

Running towards the battle, Twilight Sparkle was surprised to find Trixie at her side. "What?"

"I meant what I said Twilight. I want to do something good for a change." Trixie said. "Now what's the plan?"

"Plan? I've not gotten that far yet... I'm told that loud noises can hurt their sensitive hearing though, make them run away."

"Fireworks spells then?" Trixie asked.

"The booms from those are as loud as the real thing..." Twilight nodded. "Let's try it!"

Together, the mares charged up their magic and started firing off charges into the air. As the booming sounds rumbled through the air, the creatures began to roar and flinch back, but otherwise held their ground. "This may not have been my best idea..." Trixie admitted after several minutes. "They're not running, but we've got their attention. As soon as we tire out and stop..."

"Yeah... Let's start slowly backing away." Twilight agreed.

As they backed down the street Rainbow landed near them. "Hey! What are you doing here!?" She demanded of Trixie.

"Focus Dash! Monsters!" Twilight said.

"Oh, right... Okay look, we've got big problems these things are everywhere!"

"They're the same creatures you saw in the forest right?" Twilight asked, "Why don't you try to scare them away with another rainboom?"

"Can't." Dash replied. She spread out her left wing, and it was clear that several feathers were missing. "One of them almost got the drop on me when they first showed up. Lost a couple of primaries. I can still fly, but not that fast 'til they grow back in."

"Nuts. Okay, what else?"

"Well, from what I could see up high it looks like nopony is doing too well against them." Rainbow said. "They're just soaking up wounds like they're nothing!"

"You can say that again!" A familiar voice said. Twilight looked and saw several guardsponies, among them Midnight Steel, Sword Breaker, and Big Macintosh trotting towards her. Sword Breaker said "I charged my magic to the limit, blasted one's head clear off. It's still going! Guess their brains are somewhere else in their bodies."

"Or their nervous systems are just distributed throughout." Twilight mused, continuing to cast fireworks spells and back away from the creatures.

"Maybe all of their systems are distributed all through their bodies." Midnight suggested. "It would explain why nothing seems to do more than annoy them."

"Yeah, it would."

Rainbow said "I hate to say this, but I think we're gonna need help."

"The humans?" Macintosh asked.

"Who-mams?" Trixie asked, confused.

"I'll tell you once we're clear." Twilight said. "And yes, maybe those guns they've got will be more effective."

"Okay good." Midnight nodded. "As soon as you three mares are safe, I'll lead my team to Fallow Meadows and ask for assistance."

"Two mares." Rainbow said. "I'm slowed down but not out of the fight. I'll come with you."

"Okay good. That'll give me and Trixie a chance to recover and join back in when you get back." Twilight agreed.

It took only a few more minutes to slowly back to the door of the Library. Once there, Twilight set off a particularly big firework spell, enough to distract the creatures while everypony ducked back inside. Once they were secure, Midnight Steel led Rainbow Dash and his team out the back door, setting off on the perilous journey through the forest...

XXXX

When the creatures charged, the crowd scattered. People ran wherever they felt they would be safest, which basically amounted to any unlocked door they could reach in time. Naturally, Herbert led those nearest to him back into the diner, slamming the door shut just in time. "Everyone get back!" He ordered, "Back against the wall, away from the front windows!"

The crowd complied, with many going further, on into the kitchen, peeking out through the crack in the door. Through the window, the predators were clearly visible. One was on the far side of the street, facing the buildings there, while the other was directly in front of the diner windows, facing them. Most of the crowd expected it too lunge forward through the glass, but instead it simply stood there, doing nothing. After several minutes, it cocked it's head in confusion, but made no further move.

"What the hell's it doing?" Someone whispered.

"It's sonar can't see through glass." Herbert realized. "It knows we have to be here somewhere, but it can't find us."

"Should we try sneaking out the back?" Florence asked.

"If it decides to charge anyway, yeah. Otherwise the safest thing to do is wait right here."

xx

Bert Gumbal was having the time of his life: One armored Hummer, one elephant gun, and lots of targets. Not that the giant gun was doing as much as he'd hoped. It was clear these creatures were sturdier than most things on Earth. But he could at least drive them away from the people they were going after, and that without being chased down himself thanks to the sheer volume of the weapon's discharges.

On hearing another scream, Bert switched the vehicle in gear and sped down the street, arriving to find one creature stalking around a small one-story house. The flower beds were trampled, there were great holes stomped into the deck, and from the look of things the beast had even been walking on the roof; several areas were bowed in precariously.

Stepping out of the hummer, Bert took aim and fired. The creature roared in pain and fear as the slug tore through one of it's legs, severing it just below the main body. Perhaps it was the pain, or confusion, but unlike the others Bert had faced thus far today this one didn't run. Or at least, it didn't run away. Instead it charged right for it's attacker.

As Bert jumped into his seat, ready to speed away, more shots rang out. These were from less potent weapons than Bert's, but they got the message across. The creature stopped short in it's attack run and fled.

The source of the new shots became apparent when Carl Harner stepped into view from behind a nearby house carrying a shotgun, followed moments later by Bethany Stanz appearing from inside the house with her own weapon. "Thanks guys!" She said, "This wasn't doing the trick alone."

"All part of the service." Bert answered. He looked at Carl. "You here to help, or to go off on a rant about how the ponies sent them to kill us all?"

"The first one." Carl said. "Trust the little technicolor freaks or not, I'm not gonna blame them for everything. We're in an alien wilderness, this was bound to happen sooner or later."

"Yeah..." Bert agreed. "Okay, you two wanna help, hop in. I'm making my way to the Sheriff's office in between stops."

Bethany climbed into the back seat behind Bert. Carl started to take the front passenger seat, only to settle for the back across from Bethany when Shadow, who was already in said front seat, growled menacingly. "Sorry Carl, he's got permanent shotgun." Bert laughed.

As she settled into her seat, Bethany looked around at the read cargo area. "Damn Bert." She said, "Packing enough?"

"Extra guns, extra ammo, water, M.R.E.'s, a medical kit, and three pounds of C4 plus detonators." Bert said. He frowned. "Don't tell Tucker about that last one eh?"

"My lips are sealed if I can have one of these." Carl said, hefting a machine pistol from it's cradle.

"Done."

xx

After two more diversions to help those in need, Bert finally drove onto the town's main street. Immediately they saw the creatures that were threatening the diner. "This could be tricky." Bert whispered. "Lots of plate glass windows for errant shells to smash through..."

"Explosives?" Carl asked, then stopped himself. "No, no good the shockwaves would smash even more glass."

"Yeah."

A knock sounded at the rear of the hummer. Expecting to see a creature bumping against the rear, the three turned to instead see John Tucker and a deputy. Bert popped the locks, and the two men crowded in. "I'm open to ideas." Tucker said. "They've got most of downtown locked down and anything we do that's strong enough to actually hurt them would put more people in danger too."

"We've got neighbors." Bert said.

Everyone looked at Carl, expecting him to freak out at the mere thought of asking the ponies for help. Instead he said "I don't trust them. I never will, I think. But... It's worth a shot. Either they're victims like us like the rest of you think, in which case they might really want to help. Or they're the reason we're here. In which case seeing them in action is useful strategically."

"When even the skeptic agrees it's time to act." Tucker said. "Who's going?" The question was discussed for a short time, before it was decided that Bert, Carl, and the two deputies would head for the alien town, while Tucker and Bethany tried to sneak into the Diner through the back alley...

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