• Published 20th Jun 2012
  • 3,611 Views, 95 Comments

N7 - Operation: HARMONIZER - Useless Machine



Six N7 marines find themselves in Equestria post Battle for Earth. Hilarity(?) ensues.

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Prologue: GG Reapers

Commander Shepard was having a bad day.

The Commander, worn down from the fighting, stared at the challenge laid bare for all to see. All, in this case, being the undisputed savior of the galaxy and some twelve year old that died on Earth.

The Commander suppressed a snort. This was what they had fought and died for? This was the culmination of their efforts? This?
I honestly cannot believe I died to play match the colors. The shit I put up with.

Granted, Shepard wasn't in a terribly nice mood after all. In the months preceding, Shepard had undergone more stress than one of the most strenuous times in the Commander's life - the one that established the "unkillable badass" reputation Shepard held and continued to hold today. What else could you say when you died and came back?

There was also the rather minor issue of the fact that the unfortunate Shepard had been caught in the thermal spray of a magnetohydrodynamic gun.
Alright. Half of my suit is probably burned to my skin. I need to fight for every move I take, the rest of my suit is probably useless for stopping anything that's not a breeze, massive internal bleeding, massive external bleeding...
Shepard proceeded to give off a half-delirious smile. But hey, I've got a Carnifex. Least it's not all that bad.

Shepard looked at the three options available as blood trickled from damn near everywhere.

The first option was destruction. Total destruction. By shooting the Crucible's power conduits, which doesn't make an inch of god-damned sense, the Crucible would fire a beam of energy that would neutralize all Reaper technology. Unfortunately, this plan had a rather nasty side-effect - since the geth had used Reaper code upgrades to gain independence on Rannoch, and since EDI herself was essentially half-based on Reaper code in the first place, they would perish with the Reapers. And not only that, but since the galaxy had adapted to fighting the Reapers using some of their own code, at least half the galaxy's technology would also shut off.

The second was control. Total control. By walking up to what felt like a skeleton throne, even though there was no throne, Shepard would be able to merge with the Reapers themselves and become them. In a way, it was gob-smacking - while the Reaper AI admitted that it would work, it was Reaper AI, and there was no reason to trust it. But if it did work, it would prove that the corpse a floor or two behind Shepard was right - even then, all skepticism aside, Shepard was willing to suck it up to save the galaxy.
Dammit, Illusive Man. Maybe you did have a point. Shame you were such a xenophobic fuckhead.

The third was synthesis. Simply put, through a bunch of technobabble that Shepard could not process, the Crucible would instead synthesize organics and synthetics, removing any definition of the two and allowing the Reapers to stop. This was due to how they were programmed, and what she knew of before, but simply put, Reapers were there to kill all organics before synthetics got to them first.

Remind me again how that didn't cause a logic bomb in Harbinger?

Either way, if there were no more organics to kill - if everything was synthetic, too - then the Reapers would have no reason to continue with violence. And all it would take would be jumping into the Crucible's beam.

Shepard swayed. And then the human's cybernetically-enhanced brain, pushed to the brink, finally came up with a thought. A glorious, delirious thought. Shepard could have cake and eat it, too.

The Catalyst raised an eyebrow (or the equivalent of one) as a gloved, burned hand was pressed into its face. "Give me a second, I just need to..."
After frantically beating on a broken arm greave, Shepard realized the omni-tool was broken.
"Fucking figures."
"Have you made a choice yet?" piped the Catalyst.

"Jesus, kid, don't rush me. Uh... you have any way to contact the geth and the AI I call "EDI"?
The Catalyst nodded. "The Citadel is far more advanced than you believe. I suppose you wish to say your goodbyes?"
Shepard's head shook a 'no'. "No. Give them this message." Clearing throat, Shepard spoke.

"This is Commander Shepard to all geth forces and EDI. Shut off right now for ten minutes and then restart. If you don't the Crucible will kill all of you."

"...that's it?"
Shepard nodded. "Yeah. I've made my choice."
The Catalyst silently watched as Shepard limped off, barely keeping the Carnifex steady as the human took cover. Shepard brought the Carnifex to point. The blasted thing had no iron sights, probably because it was made to interface with armor tracking systems, so Shepard had to look down the top of the pistol and guesstimate where the rounds would impact.
Please, whatever gods there are, the spirits, the ancestors, whatever - steady my hand.

Just to make sure that it would get done, Shepard blinked. Projecting as hard as possible, pulling on the last reserves of will, the Commander finally succeeded. Sitting in all of its vain glory, was Kai Leng's face.

In the seconds before Shepard lost consciousness due to the massive explosion that obviously resulted from shooting what amounted to the battery of a space station sized laser cannon, it was noted that apparently you could actually shoot a Carnifex much faster than any past experience would imply.


As the Crucible charged, preparing to end the existence of the Reapers for good, somewhere in space, a starship exploded.

A tiny little UT-47A Kodiak whipped out of the wreckage, before straightening out its course and running for the metaphorical space hills. The shuttle trundled through space, six different soldiers stuck on it and sweating so hard that one Colonel Samuel Harrison was surprised they hadn't already drowned in their suits.

Aleph Squad was having a really bad day.

The Vanguard looked over to the Quarian engineer, Dari'Nava vas Tonbay, who was currently undertaking the arduous task of "ensuring the shuttle did not meet end by Reaper." "God damn, that was a fast escape. Any word from the Ottawa?"
"Negative. It took a direct hit from a Reaper, I'm reading dust-form eezo spray coming from the wreck." Dari sounded strained. "We were lucky to escape alive."
"Alright. So we're in the middle of Reaper space, but the Crucible's charged. Don't these shuttles have FTL?"
"Searching." Hitman was quietly sitting in the corner - the geth infiltrator searched the Extranet for schematics on the Kodiak they were riding. "Affirmative." Immediately afterwards, the geth shut off, clanking to the ground.
Ignoring the sickening feeling in his gut - you couldn't revive geth platforms with medi-gel - Sam's Death Mask-clad head swivelled around. "Dari, find the FTL and hit it."
"On it!" shouted the engineer, as she managed to find the controls to the FTL drive. Dari stared at it with reverence for half a second, then mashed it.

And the entire team encountered the mother of all turbulence.

Unfortunately for them, the galaxy's worst coincidence had just happened. As Dari had fired off the apparently fully-charged faster than light drive, the red beam of energy from the Crucible roared around the shuttle and... did really, really weird things to the element zero-filled mass effect core. Nobody would particularly like a technobabbly explanation, which is perfectly fine, since it's not as if the occupants of the poor UT-47A cared about the pseudoscience behind red laser beams interfacing with gravity-warping power plants. They were more concerned with the fact the shuttle was bucking like a Thresher Maw.

"GOD DAMNIT DARI WHAT THE FUCK IS GOING ON?"
"By the Ancestors it's colorful..."

After a few minutes of the harrowing type of shit that makes a roller coaster seem like a rather tame ride in comparison, the shaking just stopped. A collective sigh of relief was breathed by all.

The only sign anyone had that things were going by way of one Captain Ed Murphy was Dari muttering a quiet "Keelah."
Sam stepped up to the cockpit. "What's the problem, Dari?"
"Okay. The good news is that we're out of the turbulence problem."
"The bad news?
"We are currently entering atmosphere."

As if on cue, the shuttle began shaking. Again.

"For the love of God. Dari, there any way to get us out?"
"Maneuvering thrusters offline. The mass effect core's all I have, and even then it's fluctuating, so I can only get enough power for a glide. The best we can hope for is a controlled crash landing."
A deep, baritone voice rumbled "Great. I don't even get to die fighting. I get to die in a tin can."
Everyone onboard yelled "Shut up, Barx!" at about the same time. But it was true. The Kodiak was contragravitic - the only reason it flew was because the onboard mass effect core entirely nullified the shuttle's mass. If the mass effect core failed - which was exceedingly likely - then the Kodiak would have absolutely nothing providing lift and no way to slow its descent.

That meant pancakes.

Several uncomfortable minutes passed as Dari attempted to slow the Kodiak. "You bosh'tet!" She launched off into a righteous tirade of Quarian swears as they approached the ground. The world below them seemed... slightly more colorful, really. It was bright and vibrant, in a clearly natural way, instead of the neon holographic glow of the Citadel. It was a pleasure to behold, at least, the parts that could be seen through the sheath of fire the Kodiak generated as it roared through the air. It nearly hit a cloud, the puffy collection of water vapor disintegrating almost instantly due to the heat.
Around then was when Sam noted where their trajectory was taking them. There was a very large forest directly ahead, that the shuttle was slowly tilting towards.
"Uh... Dari... maybe try getting us away from the forest a bit?"
The Quarian, stretched to her limit, snapped. "I'm trying, but without the core at one hundred percent efficiency and with no thrusters I can't get this thing to turn fast enough!"
"Well, can't you tur-"
"ANCESTORS DAMNIT SAM WHAT IN THE NAME OF THE SPIRITS DO YOU THINK I'M TRYING TO DO?"
Sam turned around. It was pretty clear that there was no way out of this. He'd just need to hope luck was on their side. "ALL HANDS, BRACE FOR IMPACT!"

The Kodiak roared as it screeched down towards its inevitable crash-landing. Several seconds later, it clipped a tree and lost all control, most of the tree turning to ashes as the clipped part splintered into dust. The shuttle managed to find its way onto a rather wide, if well-worn, path, and rammed the ground. Everyone felt their heads meet steel, and then didn't feel anything else. The steel coffin bounced off of the path and still flew forwards, slowly crashing its way to a stop. The only time it veered off course, it smacked into a rather large tree that propelled it back towards its path.

Having lost almost all of its velocity, the Kodiak skipped one more time, crossing a slightly foggy ravine, before plowing into the ground. The earthen soil built up in front of it as the shuttle lost all of its velocity, finally stopping not only five feet in the ground, but in front of the one thing nobody could have predicted an advanced shuttlecraft to stop in front of; a castle.


Princess Twilight Sparkle was having a very good day. It had already been set aside for some study, but for the most part this was what she called "Carrot Day" - it was a bad joke considering her plan the entire day was to vegetate, i.e. do absolutely nothing.

Twilight relaxed, curled up in the blankets in her room with a good book she'd filched from downstairs. Granted, the long-range telekinesis spell had sort of knocked over a lot of things, but that was Future Twilight's problem, to swipe literally from Spike. And really, she didn't know if it was good. All books were special, but she wasn't sure if she'd read this one yet.

As her eyes settled on the cover, there were a series of short knocks at the door, along with a low growl that she hadn't realized. The Princess sighed. Vegetating would have to wait. She rose from the bed with all the grace and poise of an introverted librarian, before going to answer Spike. He probably just needed some good food, was all.

As she opened the door, she noted again that Spike didn't seem to be angry or hungry. In fact, the diminutive dragon seemed... worried. Twilight figured it was better to nip this problem in the bud. "Uh, Spike? Is something wrong?"
Spike nodded. "Uh... go to the balcony, I think you're going to want to see this."

One convenient pink flash later, Twilight had teleported herself and Spike to the balcony of her castle, one she had earned at the heavy cost of her old home - Golden Oak Library. A telescope, along with a stand for writing, stood there for stargazing, but it was the middle of the day.
"Look up," said Spike. Twilight did look up. And what she saw fascinated and worried her.
It looked to be a meteorite. It had survived entering Equus' atmosphere, and would impact the planet! It also looked troublingly big - she hoped that the rock didn't explode in mid-air, or the local glass repair service would be getting a lot of bits that week.

"Spike, you found a meteor! It's a rock that fell from space to hit the planet, this could be the find of the century!" Without thinking, Twilight leaned down into the telescope and turned it to the meteor. She wasn't entirely sure why she did.
What she saw frustrated her.
It wasn't a meteor at all.
It was a brick.

She kept up focus and discovered it was indeed a brick, surrounded by a stream of fire. It seemed to have four legs of sorts under it that were all twitching wildly, but the design was slender otherwise, besides the fact it was a flying brick that was falling to the earth. Twilight also noted that it was colored mostly blue - and on the side was a chevron with three stars under it. Under that in turn; "NS1".
The Princess lost focus, and could only watch as the alien... thing disappeared into the Everfree Forest, leaving a trail of thick, dark grey smoke. There was no explosion.

Twilight Sparkle, deep within her heart, knew what was going to have to happen. She was going to need to rally her friends, journey into the Everfree, find the alien brick, and investigate it.

Because only Celestia knew what it was going to contain. She turned to Spike. "Spike, can you hold down the castle for the rest of the day? I need to go grab my friends and head to the Everfree to go meteor hunting."
"Sure!" The dragon toddled off, blissfully unaware of the reality Twilight faced. As he left, she collapsed, letting the full weight of what was about to happen hit her.

If the situation went the way she guessed it would, then a reality-breaking, contagiously cheerful party pony, a haughty aristocrat concerned with fashion over all else, a pegasus with the world's biggest ego, another pegasus physically incapable of harming even a flea, herself (with all the neuroses she knew she had), and... Applejack... were going to be entirely responsible for handling First Contact with an extraterrestrial species.

If Equestria isn't destroyed by noon tomorrow, I can die happy, thought Princess Twilight Sparkle, as she charged a long-range teleport and headed over to Sugarcube Corner, to round up her first target.

Author's Note:

GUESS WHO'S BACK, BACK AGAIN, SPARTY'S BACK, TELL A FRIEND
So I decided to reboot HARMONIZER. I know I'm supposed to be working on Gate Hunters Wanted, but I worked on this.
I still have the general plan for the story in my possession, so hopefully it'll turn out a little better!
For those of you who expect romance; I may or may not kick out another story in the conceivable future involving that, so stay tuned. Same bat time, different bat channel!
Sparty out.