• Published 6th Jun 2012
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Halo:Trapped In A Wonderland - SuperIntendant



Spartan A-042 finds himself on a mission gone wrong when he winds up in a land of talking ponies

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Chapter 15: Kat Out Of The Bag

Chapter 15: Kat Out Of The Bag

"16! Stand down." The words echoed across the charred ground and rang in 16's ears. Recognising the voice she spun on the spot to face the blue soldier emerging from the wisps of smoke still left in the area. His Magnum was raised and held to firmly with a death grip from both hands. Kat couldn't see his eyes through the visor, but the slight forward tilt of his helmet assured her that he was focused straight down his sight and towards what she assumed to be the right side of her chest judging from the angle of the barrel. She seemed to have taken her time because he repeated himself once more.

"Stand down 16." His tone was slightly softer this time around and she loosened up a bit before noticing him motioning towards her right arm with his Magnum. "Put the alien down Kat." She dumped it without hesitation, leaving it to take ragged breaths on the floor midway through a coughing fit. Judging the alien to now be a minor threat or at least incapacitated she left it where it lay and took a step forward.

"Aidan fancy the odds of finding you this fast. What the fuck has been going on here?" 42 holstered his side-arm but kept an agitated stance about him as though he was going to spring forward and smack her upside the head at any moment, she didn't doubt he could, 42 had always been the better close quarters fighter. Despite her easy tone he didn't seem to be having any of it.

"Cut the crap Kat what the fuck was that right there?" He pointed down towards the slowly recovering creature. 16 had never seen anything quite like it but now wasn't the time to investigate, she had a very peeved Spartan on her hands.

"That was basic training and you know it is 42. Assume all unknowns are hostile until proven otherwise." She had him there and he knew it so 42 sighed and approached what she thought to be her at first but quickly passed her and leant down towards the alien. Scooping it up and cradling it awkwardly in his arms he spoke to it.

"You alright?" The green... horse thing nodded and smiled at him.

"Just peachy." It croaked out before coughing once more. 42 looked back up at 16 and gave an angry click of his tongue.

"You could've broken her neck." 42 called over to her. By this point Kat had removed her helmet to make sure her visor wasn't screwing with her and felt her left eye twitch once or twice.

"It talks... English." Kat couldn't believe what she was seeing or rather hearing. 42 pulled off his helmet quickly before continuing to support the creature with both of his arms.

"Yes."

"Aidan..."

"Hmm?"

"What the fuck has been going on here!? Why are there talking horse things?" Kat liked to keep a cool yet joking attitude while on missions but this was just upping the scale of mind fuck from 'usual' to 'FUBAR'.

"Jesus Katherine. They're just aliens. Nothing from the norm." At this point the small mint green pony... thing had recovered substantially and was craning its neck over to look at both her and up at 42. This thing seemed to take a liking to 42 as it nuzzled closer against his chest plating, whether he noticed it or not he did not show any signs heeding what the small creature was doing. Katherine drew her attention back towards 42's face rather than the alien and continued with her game of Q&A.

"How do you know they're not working with the Covenant, something pulled my ship towards the planet. Whoever is responsible for this just wrecked our ride home. Who knows how long this is going to take, even without alien freaks breathing down our necks with Plasma Rifles and Needlers." She gestured to the smouldering and sometimes still burning debris about her.

"Perhaps I may be of assistance reclaimer." Kat spun on her heels at this new voice and scanned the perimeter with vision any bird of prey would be envious of. The source of the voice in question emerged from behind a piece of debris. Kat nearly tripped over herself as a monitor appeared before her eyes. She looked over to 42 who mearly gestured towards the flying tin can with one of his hands before talking.

"16. May I introduce you to 412 Halting Transgression. C'mon lets head inside the ship. I assume the medical bay is still relatively intact for the pony." 16 just didn't know what to say anymore. Throwing her hands up into the air she gestured for them all to follow.

"Should be good for a few supplies but you better start explaining shit 42 and start from the beginning. I don't like dropping into hell without a vacation plan, or at least a brochure."

~~

Twilight wasn't enjoying the mood at all. Her friends were all very tense since they had arrived at the castle. Twilight couldn't blame them, she was just as stressed as they were, if not then more so. Upon they're arrival via sky carriage waiting back at Ponyville they were quickly ushered into Celestia's private chambers which overlooked the city of Canterlot and a large portion of the land beyond. The princesses had been quick to fill them in on what had been occurring in their absence and the conclusion they had drawn, hence why she had asked specifically for 42 to remain in Ponyville. Twilight understood the large smoke plumes now. She had seen them from the sky carriage and now they were starting to rise over the horizon as the mysterious invaders got closer. No one quite knew what was happening to those who were unable to escape in time and they all hoped that mercy was shown upon their spirits. At this point Celestia who had been contemplating with a scowl upon her face, turned to Twilight and raised her head to take on a more authoritative role. Everyone else noticed and drew their attention her way.

"Are you sure this is all the information Twilight? It is very important you tell me everything." Celestia's eyes seemed to burrow deep into Twilight's mind and she couldn't help but shudder and turn away slightly. It was very out of place for Celestia to act so cold, yet again, Twilight realised this wasn't a very normal event. War was descending over this once peaceful land, for all they knew they had already lost.

"Yes Princess. The thing identified itself as 412 Halting Transgression and seemed to be very familiar or at least friendly with 42." Twilight had been quick to fill in their side of the story once Celestia had divulged hers. She had described 42's odd behaviour and odd knowledge of Crystal Cave as though he knew that thing, the Monitor, would be there. This had troubled Celestia deeply and seemed to make Luna more angry than she already was. Celestia paced a little in a circle before coming back round to face them all.

"This is very troubling indeed. If what you're telling me is accurate then it seems that 42 is working with these creatures to conquer our fair land, though it does seem a little mismatched in places. These 'other' installations the device mentioned could be buried all across Equis just as it's installation was, perhaps that is how they are attacking all over the known world." Celestia still seemed to be in doubt about this but Luna's impatience reached a peak at this point as she forced her way into the train of thought.

"Celestia sister. This deduction of information is all well and good but in case thou has forgotten, there is a war going on in our lands as we speak. We say that it is not even a war yet. The vile enemy had encroached upon our territory and we have yet to even send a battalion in response. Speculation can wait, we need answers and action." Celestia turned to Luna with worry in her eyes. Twilight could feel the depression and worry in the air as though she were wading through a pool with the water level well above her head.

"You are right sister, though I worry a false move may only exacerbate the situation. Still, some actions is better than none. What do you have in mind?" Celestia watched as Luna walked inside and motioned for them all to follow her. Slamming the balcony door with her magic as Rainbow entered as the last one, she turned back around to face them and quickly pinged her magic through her horn in a small flash of blue light. Moments later two guards came rushing through the door and stood at resolute attention before her. One was a night guard while the other a standard castle personnel. The night guard in question was Bronze Carapace, Captain of the Equestrian Night Guard. The ying to Shinning Armour's yang. They didn't meet much as they usually worked completely different routines in their duties though joint operations weren't unheard of between the Day and Night guard.

"Captain Bronze Carapace reporting for duty ma'am."

"Steward Deep Pockets at your service your Majesties." Luna didn't have time for formality and quickly dismissed the time consuming trivialities so she may cut straight to the point.

"Mr Pockets I require you to head down to the castle and Canterlot barracks and order on the Princesses' behalf that all our most gifted unicorn soldiers mobilized into small companies ready to hold of these mysterious invaders as much as possible. I want Earth Ponies and the Pegasi to act as support roles and avoid direct combat. Magic is probably our best weapon against this foe. I also want you to relay all these orders to all the cities and towns across Equestria not yet fallen to this onslaught. Report back to me when the task is complete." The steward bowed and looked up at Luna with determination in his eyes.

"I shall inform the couriers at once." And with that he turned and quickly galloped to the door and banked a hard right before continuing down the corridor, his hoof-steps getting more distant with each passing second. Once his hoof-steps had faded completely Luna turned back to Bronze Carapace but also motioned for Celestia heed her as well with her left foreleg.

"Now that he is gone I have a more important task for you Captain and your partner Shining Armour, if Celestia is willing to agree to my plan." Luna turned to Celestia who gestured for her to continue speaking.

"As we are sure you are aware by now Captain, whether from the newspapers or from word of mouth, this land has a visitor of the likes which we have never seen before. His name is 42. Now we believe he may be linked to these attacks upon our empire and require him to be taken into custody immediately for questioning on these events, as for the time being we are fighting a war with blindfolds about our heads like foals set upon a piƱata." Luna turned to look at Twilight and her friends before turning back to Carapace.

"According to Twilight Sparkle's account of events, he is heading for a space vessel landing in the general direction of the valleys north of the Crystal Caves. It may be possible that more of his kind are setting up a strategic point there. Whether or not that part is true you must be cautious. From what little we have seen of the humans they are not all as dangerous as him though there are more on equal levels to him in that respect and their standard soldiers are nothing to take lightly. I would prefer lethality to be avoided but you are allowed to retaliate if attacked first. As well as capturing all humans in the area I wish for thou to garner their technology and equipment. We will need our top scientists to help apply these devices to our defence effort..."

"Luna!" Luna swivelled her head and faced Celestia who had a frightened look upon her face and worry in her eyes. "While I am sure you are doing this all for the good of our nation. I find that your tactics sister may be a bit aggressive and I stated I shall not risk this country for simple paranoia. Not matter how convincing this evidence is. I will send Captain Shinning Armour with Bronze Carapace but this must be a purely diplomatic situation. Peace is still an option."

"But sister surely thou realises we are in a time of war now!?"

"Yes and I also realise we are not cruel, vindictive beings Luna. Now enough of this insanity!" Celestia's voice rose to an almost angered tone yet she kept her patience with her sister. The bearers of the elements didn't know where to turn. Rainbow Dash awkwardly gazed about the place while the others attempted to stop Fluttershy from bursting into tears. Pinkie Pie's mane had drooped down to its sullen state as she stared at the floor. Luna looked ready to reply with fire in her eyes, but quickly blinked the rising heat away and sighed deeply before making eye contact once more with her sister.

"You are right Tia. Perhaps we have leapt ahead of ourselves slightly. I will go and arrange the diplomatic mission now. Perhaps the humans will find reason. Come Carapace." Luna turned and trudged out of the door with her head lowered and a sad look in her eyes. Bronze Carapace saluted quickly to Celestia before bolting trotting out the door after Luna. Celestia stared at the empty space in the door frame where Luna had been moments ago. She snapped out of it as she felt a hoof nudge against her side. Looking down to see her faithful student staring up at her with eyes filled with concern she smiled slightly extended a wing over the unicorn to comfort her.

"Princess... is everything going to be alright?" Twilight nuzzled in closer to Celestia's side. Celestia could feel her coat beginning to dampen from Twilight forming tears.

"Worry not my faithful student. Luna has always been a stubborn mare, thinking with her hooves before her head. She will come around. Give her time." Twilight wriggled a bit in Celestia's embrace causing Celestia to loosen her grip around her with her wing. Twilight stepped in front of Celestia, the concern spreading across the rest of her face and tears still running down her cheeks.

"That's not quite what I meant princess." Twilight stepped closer up to the princess's neck and buried her head once more. Celestia craned her neck down while turning to the side to it wrapped around Twilight's as much as possible. From here she could see all of Twilight's friends behind the two of them, saddened looks on their faces, some almost crying themselves. Celestia couldn't bear to look them in the eyes and closed hers while burying her face deeper into Twilight's coat.

"I don't know Twilight. Things might get worse before they get better." Celestia only tightened her embrace further, nearly tearing up herself she soon felt the embrace of more limbs about her. Opening her eyes, she noticed they had all now taken part in the embrace. Some sharing equally in the tears. Other putting on their bravest face as they hugged those around them tighter. She felt as though this moment should never end, but alas she had a country to run and it needed her now more than ever.

~~

"Your majesty!" Bronze Carapace trotted round the corner causing Luna to perk her ears up and turn her head slightly. Carapace fell in sync with her hoof-steps and followed at a steady pace. He was a fairly small pony by military standards but his strength was more than meets the eye. Luna looked down at her right hoof stallion. He was a fairly young guard by Luna's standards. Most of her guards had followed her to the moon and had been kept alive by her powerful magic as she had nothing else to expend it on. As a result most of her guard were in the region of one thousand years old. Bronze Carapace was a mere thirty years of age, just over halfway through a pony's natural life-cycle. This did not deter him at all though. In the short space of time which Luna had known him, he had risen from a standard guard in Celestia's retinue to captain of Luna's night guard. His adept nature at espionage and tactics had attributed to this as every quest and goal he had been set in his short career he had accomplished with the utmost efficiency, yet he did not let his natural success cloud his mind with thoughts of arrogance. He wore the standard colours and armour of a traditional night guard saying himself that he 'preferred to lead his troops, not command'. The only thing about his uniform that distinguished him was a small metal badge in the shape of a crescent moon placed upon his helmet. The stallion was never one to dawdle on points and continued to address his princess.

"Princess. Shall I go and inform the diplomats of foreign affairs that they will be required for an important mission?" Luna smiled. Despite all of his good traits, Bronze Carapace could be a little blind to the obvious sometimes. That, or he was being blind on purpose.

"That shall not be necessary captain. There shall be no need for diplomats in this mission." Luna continued to stride onwards but Carapace stumbled for but a moment before catching up with her once more, a puzzled look upon his face.

"Ma'am?" Luna looked down at him, a small smile creeping over her lips. Luna could see in his eyes that he had an idea of what she meant but he wasn't sure on the accuracy of his assumption. Luna decided to fill him in now that they were some distance away from the royal bedchamber of her sister.

"My sister, Princess Celestia, is a benevolent ruler. Wouldn't you agree?" Bronze Carapace didn't like playing games but he followed along anyway.

"Um... yes ma'am. One of the best." There was a sense of sincerity in his voice but Luna could also hear the doubt escaping from the corners of his lips.

"Fortunately for us all, Celestia, being such the benevolent ruler she is, has kept good if not amazing relations with our neighbouring empires. Relations so effective that there has not been a proper conflict in Equestria in nearly two thousand years. Unless thou counts my insurgency of course." Bronze Carapace had caught on at this point but Luna never wasted the chance to give a good lecture so she pressed onwards. "Would you consider a ruler who has advocated peace all her life to be well versed in the doctrine of all out warfare?"

"Um... no ma'am." They had arrived just outside the door to the castle barracks for the royal guard and Luna had halted prompting for Carapace to stop also. Luna turned around completely to face the stallion who merely tightened up more at he piercing gaze.

"Our sister is a good being Carapace, but her methods will be our downfall if we allow her to try and conduct this 'diplomacy'. Honestly, what does she expect to achieve? They are an empire spanning several planets. We can offer nothing in the exchange for peace upon our land and they have already committed themselves to the invasion. As we speak I can tell you for certain that hundreds of ponies, gryphons and minotaurs are injured or dying at the hands of this menace. I ask you. In the face of evil, do offer it your heart or the edge of your blade?" Bronze Carapace leaned to and fro with a sense of inner conflict before a steel resolution washed over his eyes and he snapped into a crisp salute.

"What would you have me do your majesty?" Luna could feel the determination dripping from his voice as he made direct eye contact with her. The gaze was so intense that she found herself looking away first, though more in a sense of pride than anything else.

"Allow me." Luna pushed open the door to the barracks and stepped through with the captain close behind. The castle barracks was the largest in the country and after rounding several corners they came to the personal room of one Shinning Armour. Without bothering with the usual formality of knocking, Luna burst into the room and instantly regretted it. Bronze Carapace now coming around from behind her, they could both only stand there with large blushes forming on their cheeks as they stared at the scene before them.

"Oh... hey aunty. How are things?" Before Luna and Carapace laid Princess Cadence laying on top of captain Shinning Armour albeit under the covers. Cadence sported a blush that could put both Luna and Bronze Carapce to shame while the stallion beneath her seemed to be sweating profusely and shifting his eyes about as though to find anything to distract the others so he could make a quick escape. Luna eventually placed a wing over her eyes while Bronze Carapace poked his head back out the door and looked down one of the other stone corridors. They quickly heard the rustling of sheets as someone jumped from the bed and Luna felt her niece squeeze past her as she exited and quickly trotted off down the corridor back to her own guest chambers as she was on a visit from the Crystal Empire. The pair heard the sheets rustle once more and waited a few more moments as the sound of clamps went off as Shinning did up his curiass. Finally returning her wing to her side and Carapace placing his head back in the room they were greeted by the sight of a suited yet very nervous Shinning Armour. He stared at Luna with the sweat still pouring down his body and forehead. She gave him an unamused stare before stepping aside for the captain of the night to step in.

"We have a task for thou and captain Bronze Carapace, Shinning Armour. We suggest you listen closely if you want this aversion of guard conduct to remain inconspicuous." Shinning straightened up quickly before dropping into a hasty bow before her hooves.

"Yes your majesty. Sorry your royal highness."

"Stand captain Shinning. I do not need you to grovel, only to listen and follow." Luna raised her head even more to seem even more intimidating. It worked as Shinning darted to all four hooves from the floor and perked his ears up. "You are aware of the alien visitor, correct?"

"Yes your highness."

"You are aware that Equestria is now at war with what we believe to be the allies of this alien, correct?"

He hesitated for a moment but quickly followed through. "Yes ma'am." Luna eased up ever so slightly as she recognised Shinning's disdain for this alien, 42. She could utilise that.

"Well then. I have a task for you." She turned to Bronze Carapace. "Captains. Assemble your best soldiers and meet me in the secondary war room in five minutes. I need to inform you of everything we know about this 42 before his capture and confiscation of technology." They quickly dashed out of the room leaving Luna standing there alone. "Moon and stars know you're going to need it."

Author's Note:

Fairly long chapter. Though nowhere near enough to justify the time gap :P. Just getting the stage set atm. Enjoy my friends and followers.

"Please remain calm." ~ Super Intendant

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