• Published 22nd Aug 2015
  • 2,864 Views, 255 Comments

Fullmetal Pony - Leoshi



To get back what they've lost, siblings Twilight Sparkle and Shining Armor embark on a quest to obtain the legendary Alicorn Amulet.

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0.3: Finding Rest

Canterlot had woken up. The warmth of the sun was quickly evaporating the mist from the night before, allowing Twilight and Shining to walk through the city streets with ease, though the aid of the guards and soldiers helped in that regard. Uniformed ponies, whether the blue of the military, gold of the palace guard, or orange of the city, directed hoof traffic away from the areas still deemed unsafe - areas the siblings were headed toward. They could hear the general anger made by the rapidly-growing crowds as they strode past. Clearly, the citizens were none too pleased to be without water that morning.

Needless to say, the rotten stares of passers-by made Twilight Sparkle feel awkward as she moved from one ruined pipe to the next. She couldn't completely repair them, of course, and it would take time before water available again. However, her talents were shaving hours off the time it would have otherwise taken. There were very few ponies in the world who could transmute without a circle, but the aid she was providing the city was the furthest from her mind.

She and Shining Armor were making their way to the last affected city block. It was also where Whiteout had encountered, and subsequently fallen to, Princess Luna. The siblings had been unfortunate enough to stumble upon the scene shortly before dawn. With luck, the mess would have been cleaned by now, and Twilight could avoid any more queasiness.

"She didn't have to kill him," Twilight muttered for the third time.

"He was going to kill her," Shining replied.

"You saw what was down there! Whiteout was outmatched. There was no way he could have gotten close to Princess Luna, and yet she still did...that...to him!"

Shining's empty shell hesitated as they reached the final water main. As he had hoped, the corpse had been removed and most of the blood cleaned. All that remained was repairing the hole in the pipe. "I saw it. She was efficient."

"It was needless," Twilight stubbornly maintained.

"It was decisive, Twily. Whiteout was a murderer. You saw what he did to that officer in the hallway. Who knows how many more ponies would have died at his hooves? The Princess did what she had to do. Any guard would have done the same."

The mare gave him a dour look. "Would you?"

"If he left me no other option, yes."

Twilight huffed in aggravation. "There had to have been another way. Killing is a choice, big brother. Remember that lesson?"

After a pause, Shining deflated. "Of course I do." It was one of the hardest lessons he had ever learned.

The topic was far from done, but Twilight put it off for the time being. She strode past the few guards and service ponies that remained in order to reach the water main, as well as a pile of steel plates left for her to use as material. Thankfully, much of the ice had melted away with the rising sun. After making sure she wouldn't slip, Twilight dropped down to the steel pipe itself and began to investigate how much damage it had taken.

Four minutes later, she climbed out of the wreckage. "It's the same as the others," she informed Shining Armor. "Another circle on the inside curve of the pipe. From what I could tell, it was affected by the same alchemic charge as all the rest."

Shining nodded, expecting such news. "So if they all were meant to carry the reaction, why would Whiteout have bothered to put a fog over the city?"

"Not sure. Maybe he wanted to make a big show of it, or he was expecting full squads to hunt him down. The fog made for excellent cover, you gotta give him that."

"Well, yeah. But practically speaking..."

Twilight nodded. She made a quick swipe at the ground with her metal foreleg while also pouring magic through her horn. An alchemic reaction instantly began, and the pipe below shone as it was reinforced. She repeated the process, this time magically floating the raw steel to the gaping hole before fusing the metal together. "Practically speaking, it made no sense. If he wanted to freeze the castle, he could have done it. But by breaking the city's water mains and turning the water into a mist, he only drew attention to himself and his team. All I can think of is that maybe he was planning on using the fog to help in his escape."

She looked down the alley, spotting the marks of spilled blood that had yet to be cleaned. "And we both know how that plan turned out. I guess we'll never know for sure." Twilight quickly looked away, fighting an urge to gag.

"The escape might not have been for him. Don't forget, he wasn't working alone," her brother said.

The mare perked up, happy to talk about the living instead of the dead. "Oh right, those two he was leading. You know, I'd like to talk to them if we get the chance. I get the feeling the residue you found was caused by a teleport matrix!"

Shining Armor laughed at his sister's words. "You would enjoy anything magical. You do remember that they were used to help attack the capital city, right?"

"Details."

Red and blue flames contacted the nearby wall, completely consuming the alchemy circle made there. The colonel made sure that her prisoners could see it, as a reminder of how quickly their plan had been thwarted. Some might have called it needless, but she knew better. The night could have gone much worse - with a much higher death toll - so lessons needed to be learned. Lessons not just for her, but for the soldiers who helped repel the attack...and especially for the two who earned her glare.

Winter Frost remained quiet and still. She had been for a while now, ever since Rainbow Dash had managed to latch an inhibitor ring onto her horn. The unicorn was certainly the more dangerous of the two, yet she refused to struggle once her magic was blocked. Just as well - any further aggression would only have gotten her hurt.

Frigid Drift, however, had to have all his limbs bound. When even that measure didn't succeed in keeping him down, he had to be knocked out. It hadn't been easy to corner a pegasus of his caliber, and in fact took a well-placed shot to his leg just to slow him down. Despite the injury, he had been a slippery stallion to capture. He had nearly made it to the outdoors by the time Flash Sentry tackled him in midair. The resulting struggle was one-sided; the lieutenant was something of a health nut.

When the news arrived that Whiteout had been slain, Drift had gone into a useless struggle against his bonds. He raged and screamed and vowed vengeance, eventually forcing Flash Sentry to gag him. Even so, the pegasus visibly foamed at the mouth, making a disturbing sight.

Rainbow Dash crouched down to his level, getting eye-to-eye. "Something you want to say, hatchling?"

Drift made a futile lunge forward, biting down on his gag. There was a fire in his eyes.

The colonel ignored the plight of the first criminal and instead focused on the second. "What about you? Anything you want to put on record?"

Frost kept her gaze turned downward, avoiding Rainbow Dash's own. Her ear twitched and she swallowed thickly, but she otherwise remained silent. Unlike her partner, the fight in her eyes seemed to have died - she stared at nothing.

"Get used to it," the colonel said. "After today, you might as well never say anything again. Nopony will listen to the two of you, and no help will be coming either. You've lost this fight."

Winter Frost rapidly blinked but made no reply. After a moment spent studying her, Rainbow Dash stood tall once again and ordered the two away. Both Frost and Drift were escorted through the palace halls, out the side gate, and across the parade grounds. It was salt on the wound, humiliating them in full view of the castle guard. Needless, some might have said.

They were quickly processed and placed into separate prison cells, but the colonel didn't follow them that far. Once she saw them being led in front of the palace guards, she dismissed her backup and returned to her office. It had been a grueling morning and there was more to be done, but Rainbow Dash was eager to at least get some food in her. Flash Sentry was at her side as they trotted through the halls, pointedly stepping around the remains of combat.

As they walked, Flash made a mental note of the destroyed circles on the walls. The colonel had made short work out of all the ones they had found, and it was good that she had. It was only a few short minutes after Frigid Drift had been captured that an alchemic process had reached the palace. Reached, but hadn't entered. While the lieutenant wasn't an alchemist like his superior, he knew enough to put together a theory - the charge from outside the palace was supposed to be carried inside via the work of Winter Frost. If the reaction had reached any of the circles, there would have been a lot more to dispose of than just rifle casings.

The pair entered the colonel's office - lightly furnished with her desk, a work table, and two office couches - and began to put away their equipment. Rainbow Dash casually slipped out of her cloth wing covers, letting them drop over her desk, while Flash Sentry unlatched his harness and put each piece away in his locker. He left his rifle out for cleaning later. By the time the lieutenant finished, Rainbow Dash was in her chair and had pulled out a small container of dried fruit.

"Please, ma'am," he said, not even turning around. "You could at least fold the ignition cloth before you ignore your responsibilities."

"Hey, cut me some slack. I want to look at it for a moment longer. It held up really well today, and it deserves recognition."

"'It', Colonel? Are you sure you aren't referring to yourself?"

A soft chewing sound was Rainbow Dash's reply.

Flash relented, biting down on a small tool case before closing his locker. He lifted his rifle and set it across his back, but paused as he passed the colonel's desk. The alchemist had been considerate enough to place a second container of food near the edge of the wood. After all, she wasn't dense. She knew that her lieutenant hadn't eaten either, and it was well past the time they would usually have breakfast. Plus, this was more expedient - and a fair bit tastier - than visiting the palace kitchen, even if having food inside the office wasn't allowed.

With a knowing shake of his head, Flash Sentry took the container in his wing, carrying both it and his weapon to the table in the middle of the office. He set both down, followed by his cleaning tools. After carefully laying out each tool he needed, he got to work, popping some of the food into his mouth.

The taste was sweet and bright. Apricots. Apparently Rainbow Dash was proud of the work he had done.

Eventually, the colonel spoke up. "So, how many guesses did you get right?"

"Enough to keep me busy here for a while, ma'am."

Rainbow Dash laughed, taking care not to spew bits of fruit as she did. "Oh, come on, it couldn't be that bad."

"I told you that I don't believe in luck."

"Skill, then?"

"Habits, ma'am. Mainly yours."

"Mine?" The colonel was incredulous. "What did I do?"

At that moment, with her question still hanging in the air, the door opened with a gentle swing. The pony on the other side didn't wait to be invited before stepping through.

"Well, from what I hear, you both did a wonderful job at defending this palace and everypony inside," Princess Luna casually said. "I'd say that's a good habit to keep."

There was a soft thumping of hooves on carpet as Rainbow Dash and Flash Sentry stood and bowed. Neither were expecting a visit from their leader, nor were they prepared for it. The colonel was suddenly very aware of how sloppily she had let her wing-cloth hang over her desk, not to mention the small boxes of fruit she had sneaked in.

"Oh, come now, don't be like that," the Princess chided. "The two of you have earned a little bit of comfort. Please, be at ease."

Both pegasi knew better. Princess Luna may have sounded friendly, but nobody would ever go against her requests, no matter how casual they might be. Her word was law, and it didn't matter if she asked or told. Naturally, then, they raised their heads and stood tall, not really relaxed but at least able to speak clearly.

"A pleasure to see you, Your Highness. Though it is a surprise," the colonel said. She quelled the urge to guiltily glance toward her box of fruit.

Princess Luna smiled. "Yes, I apologize for barging in like this, but I wanted to see you before the paperwork arrived."

"Debriefing, Majesty?" the lieutenant guessed.

"And to congratulate you on a job well done. Oh, might I trouble you for some of your fruit, Colonel?" The Princess walked over to the desk and claimed some of the dried apricot without waiting for an answer. Her smile only grew larger as she chewed.

Rainbow and Flash shared a brief glance as their superior enjoyed what was never allowed in the first place.

"Wonderful. You have a good eye for snacks, Colonel."

"Th-thank you, Your Highness."

"Now then!" Princess Luna took a step back to better see both officers at once. "I trust that both infiltrators have been incarcerated by now, correct?"

"Yes, ma'am."

"How did that go?"

The colonel hesitated. Princess Luna had asked that question very innocently. "About as well as you'd expect, Your Highness. The pegasus was volatile beyond reason, but the unicorn's spirit seemed broken. If I had to guess, she was depressed at how their attack ended up, while her partner was just plain angry about it."

"Really?" Princess Luna's smile lowered, hinting at something they couldn't place. "Did you happen to mention the death of Whiteout to either of them?"

Rainbow Dash nearly apologized. "Yes, ma'am...I told them myself."

"As I suspected."

"That wasn't a problem, was it, ma'am?"

At that, Luna flinched as though the question physically shocked her. "Oh, goodness, no! If it indeed broke their spirits, then it's perfectly fine. I suppose I just wanted to see the looks on their faces as you broke the news to them."

That, too, was more than either Rainbow or Flash was expecting. The Luna they knew was skilled and direct, but not needlessly cruel. They shared another momentary glance - this time, one that the Princess saw occur - but chose not to pursue the matter further.

"In any case," the Princess went on, "this has been an exciting morning, but now the excitement is over. I've already got a mountain of paperwork in my study, plus the popular matter of the city's water to deal with. And you, Colonel Dash, have your own work to do."

As if on cue, a knock sounded at the door. Princess Luna opened the door with her magic, revealing her personal assistant...and several folders addressed to the colonel. The assistant, a unicorn named Raven, floated each folder with her own magic, setting them down in a neat line on the desk. She didn't even glance at the wrinkled ignition cloth, though whether it was due to ignorance or disdain was anypony's guess.

The subjects printed on the folders caught Rainbow Dash unawares. "Um..." she began, very unprofessionally. "Are some of these...safety guidelines...and maps of the fire exits?"

"Indeed," the Princess replied with another smile. "I understand that there was some uncontrolled fire inside the palace this morning. I, for one, haven't seen too much damage, and I most definitely can't imagine where it came from..." She spared a moment to glance at the colonel's wing-cloth. "But despite the mystery, I need an excuse to remind everypony about fire regulations. You just happen to be the first, Colonel. Coincidence, I assure you."

Flash Sentry closed his eyes and turned away, doing his best not to laugh out loud.

"The rest is the typical reporting process. But I made sure to include a little extra for you—" Here, she nodded toward a set of two folders, each bearing the names of Twilight Sparkle and Shining Armor, "—to explain why you saw fit to send out an inexperienced alchemist and a provisional soldier to track a dangerous criminal with many more years of experience. I don't mean to disregard their talents, of course, but if you ask me, this was hardly a fair test for them to take."

Flash Sentry had to bite his hoof to stifle his chuckling. Rainbow spared a moment to give a sharp glare to her lieutenant, then looked back toward her desk. There were a lot of folders.

Holding back a defeated groan, the colonel looked to her superior and the innocent grin she wore. "I'll have them done by the end of the day, Your Highness."

Raven laid the last of the reports down, turned without looking up, and exited the room. Princess Luna simply nodded. "See that you do. Well, we must be off...there's a long day to meet. Colonel...Lieutenant." She bade each of them farewell and followed her aide. The office door slid closed without a sound.

Barely two seconds later, the colonel fell into her chair, allowing her groan to finally escape. She said nothing, instead opting to tap her hoof against the chair in annoyance. It wasn't that she disliked the Princess; rather, she was hoping for more time before the paperwork caught up to her, and certainly was not planning on so much to do.

After a couple minutes spent in silence, Rainbow Dash looked toward the pile of folders demanding her attention. She then glanced toward her lieutenant, who had gotten over his almost-laughing and was busying himself with his rifle once more. She thought about all the regular work she would have to postpone due to all of the trouble that morning, then about getting a more fulfilling breakfast. The apricots had been nice, but they weren't really meal material.

Then again... she mused, an idea causing a spark behind her eyes. "Say, Sentry, did you like the fruit?"

"I did, ma'am," the lieutenant replied without looking her way. "It's been a while since I've had these."

"How would you like to earn more?" Rainbow Dash asked, nudging some of the folders.

Flash Sentry stopped his cleaning. He didn't say it aloud, but all of his guesses that morning had been correct.

Some time later, after the lunch hour had begun, both pegasi left the office in search of a proper meal. They left behind the pile of paperwork, less than half of it completed. Two such files, both resting on the work table, contained the names of Twilight Sparkle and Shining Armor. The lieutenant had been hard at work filling in necessary information, but some topics had been difficult to answer.

They were harder because he didn't yet know the full story between the two ponies. One was a certified State Alchemist like his superior, but Twilight Sparkle possessed a talent unlike any he had seen: alchemy without transmutation circles. The other was a well-trained soldier of the capital city - his armor proudly displayed that fact - but held special privileges unlike other guards. What was more, his protective armor was empty, a disturbing fact to all who believed.

The most that Flash Sentry knew for certain was that they were inseparable. Where one went, the other followed. Their combined skills had seen them through many a scuffle in the past few years, yet there was a goal shared between them that few knew about. A goal, and a secret. And while it was true that certain individuals already knew what those were, including the lieutenant, the colonel, and the Princess, the story behind that goal was haunting.

Just being reminded of what had happened to them made Flash Sentry hesitate with his own work. Yes, he knew the story...but what he couldn't yet figure out was them. The sister and brother who had gone to such lengths for answers to their questions, and had continued to do so in spite of the danger. An alchemist and a royal guard...the scientist and the soldier.



Author's Note:

Hello, and welcome to this newest endeavor! I'm Leoshi, working with idea-bin Twilight is the BEST, in order to bring you this project of trial and turmoil! As you've seen, this is indeed an adaptation/crossover with the Fullmetal Alchemist anime, and I can only hope that we do it justice.

Leoshi: I personally hope to accomplish three things with this project - practice my style, put greater focus on dialogue scenes (my mortal enemy), and experiment with a larger cast of characters in order to put together a cohesive narrative. It's kinda cheating to be inspired by an anime, but in the history of BAD ideas, this is actually a really good one. I'm not lying when I say I've stayed up just to think about this idea, so I hope I can capture that excitement! Bottle it up and distribute it to the world!

Twilight is the BEST: Hello there! Thank you everyone for reading the three first chapters and hope you enjoy more in the future, this couldn't been possible without Leoshi who writes while I'm the guy who bounce around ideas with him.

We're gonna be working hard to keep the words flowing, so be sure to keep an eye on us. We'll see you down the road!

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