• Published 15th Jan 2015
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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 Eight

Unity
Chapter Eight

Rainbow Dash hovered a few hooves above the ground as she followed Midnight Steel on the way to Fallow Meadows. At the guard captain's insistence she was now wearing the barding-armor of a pegasus guard, complete with a long spear slung over her back between her wings. It was, to speak mildly, getting on her nerves. "Look Midnight, do I really have to wear this stuff?" Rainbow complained. "I mean, it's bad enough that I've been slowed down by losing those feathers, now this junk's just making me even more sluggish!"

"You're on a guard mission in dangerous territory Miss Dash." Midnight replied. "The armor stays."

"Aww man... Hey! Mac! Help a mare out here will you?"

"Nnnope."

"You're no fun." Rainbow sighed.

"None of this is fun." Macintosh said. "Ponies could be dyin' back there. We need to get help."

"Then let me lose this stuff and I'll fly straight to the town in half the time!"

"That may not be necessary." Midnight said as he suddenly stopped. "Listen."

Pealing her ears, Rainbow listened for whatever the captain had heard. She caught it after a few seconds: voices, drawing closer. "Hello!" She called out.

"Hello!" A reply came back. "Who goes there?"

"This is Captain Midnight Steel, Equestrian Royal Guard, Ponyville Division! Who might you be?"

"Bert Gumbal, from Fallow Meadows!" The reply came back.

Humans and Ponies met each other moments later. "Wow! Good thing we ran into you!" Rainbow said.

"And we you. We've got a problem we were hoping you could help out with."

"Likewise." Macintosh said. "In fact... Lemme guess, big, eight legs, too many teeth to count..."

"What!? They're attacking you too?" Bert said. "Damnit!"

"What are the odds...?" Carl asked.

"Poor." Bert replied.

Midnight Steel nodded in agreement. "Yes. These are clearly just animals, but a dual assault implies a capacity for planning beyond what most predators can manage."

"Well this was a thought anyway." Deputy Jackson said. "I guess we all just go back now?"

"Well, not so fast..." Macintosh mused, "We were coming t' you because magic's not really working and we hoped those guns you've got would. But if you were comin' t' us..."

"Yeah." Bert agreed. "Guns aren't workin' so great either. These guys are built to last."

"Eeyup... But maybe if we went on t' your town and you go on t' ours..."

"That's not bad... Maybe the combination will make the difference."

"Hell I got nothing better. Let's do it..."

XXXX

And so, perhaps twenty minutes later Bert and his team arrived in Ponyville. It was the first that any of the humans had seen of the town firsthand. "Nice little town."

"Except for that." Jackson said, pointing to where a creature was pursuing a mint-green unicorn through the streets.

"Help! Anypony help!" Lyra exclaimed as she fled, her pursuer drawing ever closer.

Bringing up his gun, Bert took aim and fired. The shot hit it's mark, damaging one of the creature's legs. Of course, with seven more in working order it kept coming. But it was slowed now and Lyra began to pull ahead. As she did, she turned and rushed towards the humans, Bert and now Carl continuing to fire over her head.

The creature took numerous shots, but didn't seem phased by any of them until it stumbled to a halt, roaring and turning it's head away, presumably to reduce the volume of sound from the gunshots.

"T...Thank you!" Lyra gasped out as she fell to her knees at the human's feet, panting for breath. "I thought I was done for!"

"Don't discount the possibility yet." Bert said. "We're still not really hurting these things too badly."

"I saw a guard blast the head off of one." Lyra said. "Slowed it down, but didn't kill it, it just kept on attacking."

"Jeez, what's it gonna take?"

"Got explosives Bert?"

"No, left the C4 in my Hummer, didn't think we'd need it 'til we got back."

"There are explosive spells." Lyra offered, "But I'm a musician not a Guard. I don't know any of them."

"And would they work anyway?" Carl said, "Surely the Guards thought of trying them already, and they were still coming for help."

"That's true... Still..." Bert looked down at Lyra. "The Guards we met said to meet up with Twilight Sparkle at the Library. Can you get us there?"

"Oh, sure! This way!" Lyra galloped away, humans rushing to follow. The creature seemed to consider continuing it's pursuit, before thinking better and wandering off in search of an easier target.

xx

"So lemme see if I've got this straight..." Trixie said over the steaming cup of tea Spike had served her, "We're all stranded on another planet with another town full of aliens from yet a third planet..."

"That's about the size of it." Twilight answered.

"Well, we're not stuck here forever right?"

Twilight sighed. "I hope not. I mean, I've still got a number of potentially helpful books to go through here, and it's a given that the Princesses back home are looking too."

"You know, maybe this is good for you Trixie." Spike said.

"How do you figure?"

"Well you wanna turn over a new leaf right? What better chance that a whole new situation where everypony needs to put their best hoof forward?"

Trixie smiled in surprise. "That's a good point... Thank you Spike, that's exactly what I'll do!"

"No problem. And, for the record, as far as I'm concerned you've already got a good start just by not calling yourself by name-"

"SPIKE!!!" Twilight interrupted, "That was rude!"

Trixie was just laughing. "It's okay Twilight Sparkle. He kind of has a point."

"Well, maybe..."

Trixie's eyes suddenly opened wider. "Twilight, there's something I was trying to tell you before. The reason I'm in Ponyville is because-" A loud knocking sounded from the front door.

"Twi! Let us in!"

"That sounds like Lyra." Spike said. "What the hay is she doing out on the streets in this!?"

"Who cares? Let her in before she gets eaten!" Twilight exclaimed.

Spike ran to the door and swung it open, stepping back in shock as he did so. "Whoa! Twilight, Lyra bought company!"

While Lyra simply trotted through the open door, the humans all had to duck at least a little to clear the frame. Recognizing two of their guests, Twilight stepped forward to greet them.

"Mister Gumbal! Thank you for coming! But, where are Rainbow and the guards?"

"Fallow Meadows." Bert replied. "We're under attack too."

"Aw no... Well, thank you for coming anyway, maybe together we can-"

Twilight was cut off by an "Eep!" sound from behind her. She turned to see Trixie staring up at the humans.

"Oh, um, Trixie these are our neighbors..."

Trixie shook her head, trying to clear her thoughts. "So... You're... Who-mans?"

"Close enough." Jackson chuckled. He looked at Spike. "And is this... a dragon?"

"Spike's the name." the young drake said, offering a claw to shake.

"Tim Jackson." the deputy answered, shaking hands with Spike.

Recognizing Carl from the first day, Twilight trotted over to him. "Sir? I just wanted to apologize for the misunderstanding. I never meant-"

"Whatever." Carl interrupted, turning away. "We're here to do a job right? Let's do it!" He stomped away to the far side of the library and bent down to peer out a window.

"Yikes. What's his problem?" Spike wondered.

Twilight looked to Bert, unshed tears swimming in her eyes. "I'm sorry! I really am! How can I...?"

"This isn't about you, it's about him." Bert said, too softly for Carl to hear. "Humans, we have a lot of weird stories about alien invasions and mind-control and evil duplicates... I think Carl's just gone a bit over the edge from everything that's happened."

"But if I hadn't tried casting the translation spell on him..."

"I'm pretty sure he woulda gone downhill anyway, it just would've taken longer is all." Bert replied. Speaking louder again, he said "Now, Carl's right about one thing: We've got a problem to take care of... How are we gonna deal with this?"

XXXX

Rainbow Dash and the guards reached Fallow Meadows to discover the aftermath of pandemonium. As they trotted (or flew) down a residential street, they could see damaged porches, overturned vehicles, and great footprints pressed deep into the ground. There was also blood, though thankfully not much. It seemed that most people must have gotten to safety. Of the creatures there was no visible sign, though roars and other calls could be heard from not-to-far away.

"Miss Dash, do you see anyone?" Sword Breaker called up to the pegasus hovering overhead.

"No. No humans. No anything for that matter."

"Okay, we need a reference point before we go any further." Midnight said. "We should knock on a door or two, see if anypo- -anyone is home, what they can tell us."

"Might be dangerous t' do that." Macintosh said. "These folk's 'r gonna be scared."

"We gotta know something though!" Rainbow agreed with Midnight.

Nodding, Midnight turned to the unicorn of their group. "Sword Breaker, charge up a shield spell, just in case."

"Right."

So with a defensive spell at the ready, the ponies carefully approached some of the houses along the street. In two cases, there was no answer. In another two, voices from within shouted out for them to go away, and wouldn't be reasoned with. Yet another person opened up, screamed, and slammed the door in their faces. And so it went, until...

"We'd better have some luck this time!" Rainbow complained as they trotted up to yet another door.

"Be patient." Midnight counseled, "It's like I said, they're afraid and on edge."

Macintosh nodded. "Eeyup. It's actually a good sign that we've not been attacked." He reached up and knocked on the door.

After several seconds, the sound of locks being unhooked could be heard, followed by the door swinging open. A man stood in the open door, perhaps forty years of age, six feet tall, thinning salt and pepper hair atop a narrow face defined by large thick glasses. He wore a tweed coat and khaki pants, and looked straight ahead, above the level of the ponies' heads. "That was odd... I would have swore I heard..."

"Down here sir." Midnight said.

"Oh!" The man exclaimed as he looked down and beheld his visitors. "Oh, that was rude of me, it's just, even at my height most humans are tall enough I don't have to look down to see them!"

"It's quite alright sir. My name is Midnight Steel. And these are Sword Breaker, Macintosh Apple, and Rainbow Dash."

"Ahh, I'm Reginald Bakker, and it's a pleasure to finally meet some of our neighbors first-hand..." Reginald fell silent for a moment as a roar echoed across the town. "Would you like to come in? It's certainly safer than being out there right now."

"Thank you, but that's actually why we're here. These creatures are attacking our town as well, so we've switched places with a group of humans to try and help each other drive them off."

Rainbow said "That's why we're here. Can you tell us anything about what's going on? Like, how many of them there are, or where they're concentrated?"

"I'm afraid I've been in hiding since it started." Reginald answered. "Taking care of my brother. So I can't really tell you much."

"Your brother? Is he ill?"

"Injured. One of the creatures went on a rampage all the way down our street earlier. Nigel was outside, tending to a plot of vegetables we've planted, and he didn't quite reach the door fast enough. he's got a bad gash down his left arm."

"May I see him?" Sword Breaker asked. "My magical skills aren't really focused in medical care, but I do know some first aid."

"Anything would be appreciated." Reginald answered. "It's infection I'm worried about..." He led the way into the house. As they followed the man, the ponies took note of numerous shelves loaded down with books and a pair of cluttered desk overflowing with paperwork. When Macintosh commented on it, Reginald explained "My brother and I both teach at the school, as well as teaching online college courses."

"Eggheads." Rainbow said. "I've gotta introduce you two to somepony..."

"I'd be delighted to meet a pony scholar." Reginald said. "And I'm sure Nigel would as well. In any case, here we are." He opened a door leading into a small bedroom. Another man, identical in appearance, sat on the edge of the bed, feeling for his pulse, a thermometer in his mouth.

"Who was it Reg- Oh!" Nigel pulled the thermometer from his mouth. "Well this is a surprise."

"A pleasure sir." Sword Breaker said. "You brother says you're injured. If you're willing, I'd like to take a look."

Nigel nodded and half turned, removing a large blood-soaked towel from his arm as he did so. "It's really not that deep, though the length and width are a concern." He said.

"Hmmm... May I check the wound magically? You shouldn't feel anything."

Nigel looked nervous, but nodded in the affirmative then watched in awe as the unicorn's horn lit up, accompanied by a glow over the length of the wound.

"Well I'm not detecting any poisons..." Sword Breaker said after a moment. "So there's that. I assume you've disinfected the wound?"

"As best we could, with alcohol and iodine." Reginald answered. "But as you can see, he's still bleeding."

"Anticoagulants in the creature's saliva, most likely... I can stop the bleeding temporarily, but you really need a human doctor to take care of this."

"Easier said than done, with what's out there roaming the streets right now." Nigel sighed.

Midnight said "There's safety in numbers. And we're generally headed for the town center anyways... Come with us."

"Are you certain? Neither of us owns a weapon, we wouldn't be any help in an attack."

"Then we'll just have to hope we aren't attacked." Midnight answered firmly.

"Alright then, let's get ready..."

XXXX

Ponyville. Trixie peered out the window of the Golden Oaks Library, eyes peeled for any more of the creatures, which she was happy to note were not presently in sight. "Okay, we're clear." She said, looking back over her shoulder.

Moving together, four humans three ponies and a dragon slipped quietly out the door and made their way through the deserted streets. "I still don't see why Twilight and Trixie can't just teleport us all to Sugarcube Corner." Spike whispered.

"And I don't see why a freakin' dragon can't just breathe fire all over the damned monsters!" Carl shot back, a bit too loud for anyone else's tastes.

"Shush!" Bert demanded.

Twilight quietly whispered back "Spike, humans aren't used to teleporting and we might need to save the magic anyway... Mister Harner, Spike's still too small to breathe enough fire to make a difference."

"Okay, I get that." Jackson said, "But why are we going to a bakery?"

"Pinkie Pie." Twilight, Lyra and Spike all answered together.

Seeing the uncomprehending looks on the faces of Trixie and the humans, Twilight added "Trust us: That'll make sense soon enough."

The group stopped at the sound of a loud roar from behind. Turning, they saw One of the creatures coming towards them. "Aw hell! Run!" Carl exclaimed.

Before anyone could move, a pink blur shot through the group and stopped on a dime directly in front of the charging beast, which stopped in surprise. "Pinkie!?" The ponies in the group shouted.

The creature lunged forward, intent on making a bite-sized meal of the pink pony. But then, to the shock of most of those present, Pinkie reached behind her back and pulled out an enormous glob of cotton candy. The mass was even bigger than her body, it just kept coming as she pulled, and then she spun around and shoved it into the open mouth. The creature began to stumble about, grumbling as it tried to get free of the sticky substance, only to ensnare itself even worse.

Pinkie trotted over to the waiting group. "That'll give 'em something to chew on..." She quipped. Ponies facehooved and humans facepalmed, all but one who demanded:

"How did you do that!?"

"And that, my friends, is why we wanted to get to Pinkie." Twilight said, giggling. To Carl, who had demanded an explanation, she said "Just accept it. Trying to figure out the stuff Pinkie does... That way lies madness..."

Carl wanted to insist. He really did. But before anything more could be said, the now thoroughly enraged predator broke itself free and roared at the top of it's lungs. "Go! The girls are waiting for you at the Bakery!" Pinkie said.

"But you..."

Pinkie produced a party cannon from thin air. "Go! I've got this!" She fired the cannon, it's strange ammunition covering the creature head to tail in a seemingly inescapable pinata costume. As the others ran, Pinkie produced a large stick and began to whack away at the poor beast, that had no idea what it had gotten itself into...

xx

Sugarcube Corner. Applejack stalked from one end of the dining area to the other, grumbling to herself. "Now where in tarnation'd Pinkie disappear to?"

"You know Pinkie darling... She could be anywhere."

"Yeah I know, but still..." Applejack stopped pacing and looked out the plate glass window. "Hey look!" She pointed out the window just as the door flew open admitting Twilight and the others. "Girl am I glad you're okay!"

"You too girls." Twilight said with a smile. "We've got work to do, and we'll need some of Pinkie's supplies to do it."

"She ain't here..."

"Oh we know, we saw her on the way over." Spike said.

"Yes, she's fighting one of the monsters." Lyra added.

"She's what!?" Applejack shouted. It took the combined strength of Twilight, Lyra, Spike, and the Cakes to stop the farm mare from barging out the door right then.

"She's fine A.J.!" Twilight insisted. "Pinkie, remember? I'm more afraid for the poor monster."

"Well... I guess so..."

"Well, in that case, if you don't mind me asking, what's the plan?" Fluttershy whispered.

"I thought nopony'd ever ask." Twilight smiled. She pulled a table into the middle of the room and laid out the plans. "First, Trixie, Lyra, Rarity and I will try to charge magical energy into our human friend's guns in the form of time-delayed explosives spells. Ideally, the shells will detonate once they're inside the creature's bodies." Seeing Fluttershy wince at this, Twilight said "I don't like it either Flutters. But..."

"Oh, I know..." Fluttershy whispered. "Most ponies see me as soft, but I do live on the edge of town, dealing with wild animals all the time. Sometimes you have to protect yourself. And while you should do as little harm as possible, well, these creatures don't really leave us that option do they?"

"I'm afraid not." Bert confirmed.

"So there you have it. I just hope that most of them have the sense to run away before they have to be killed."

"And that's where the rest of you come in..." Twilight said. "We'll need three spare party cannons, all the black powder charges you can find, and a herring..."

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