• Published 24th Jun 2012
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Prototype 2: Equestria Zero - 2ndGearSage



After encountering Alex Mercer and a new kind of Evolved, James Heller is sent to a strange new world-a world that is ill prepared to deal with a being such as him.

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Chapter 4

A/N: Because you guys have shown so much love for this fic, I’ve decided to give you a reward: Heller killing things. Enjoy.


Chapter 4

‘What the heck was that thing?’

Rainbow Dash’s question resonated in Twilight Sparkles mind as she used her magic to flip through the book that was currently levitating in front of her. It was titled ‘Fauna of Equestria’, and even after she triple-checked every page, she could find nothing even remotely describing the creature that she just saw. Frustrated, she tossed the book into a disorganized pile of books with similar titles.

That was it. That was the last book she had that held any information on the creatures living in Equestria. She had looked up every type of animal, from ones that had long since gone extinct to creatures that most ponies believed were only myths. Yet, no matter where she looked there was no information on the one that was just in Ponyville.

Feeling a headache come on she turned around to look at the assembled ponies that had gathered at her home. Applejack was bringing Rainbow Dash a glass of water to cool her burning throat, and couldn’t help but wince as she saw the bruises on her neck where the creature had grabbed her. Rarity and Spike were trying to comfort a weeping Fluttershy who hadn’t stopped crying since they had broken her out of her near catatonic state. And Pinkie Pie was bouncing around as usual, shouting something about a “Welcoming Party” and “New Friend.”

Surprisingly, it was Applejack who spoke first. “So let me get this straight Twilight.” She said in her usual Southern accent. “Fluttershy came runnin’ up to ya, screamin ‘bout some kind of monster.” Upon seeing Twilight nod, she continued. “And afterwards an actual monster did show up and beat up Rainbow Dash?”

“Hey, it didn’t beat me up!” Rainbow Dash yelled defensively. “It just got the drop on me, that’s all.”

“Sure it did.” Applejack said, sarcasm evident in her voice. Before Dash could get into a shouting match with her, she turned back to Twilight and asked “So what are we gonna do now Twilight?”

Twilight looked at her assembled friends for a few moments before coughing into her hoof and speaking “Well Applejack, I think it’s obvious what we have to do. We have to go into the forest, find the creature, and-“

“Throw it a welcoming party!” Pinkie Pie happily shouted, throwing confetti around the room while doing so.

‘Where did she even get-‘ Shaking her head and writing it off as Pinkie being Pinkie, Twilight continued. “No Pinkie, we have to find it, subdue it, and turn it over to Princess Celestia.”

Rarity, upon hearing Twilight’s plan, huffed and asked “Oh do we really have to go into that dreadful forest. I just went to the spa yesterday.”

“D-do we really have to go after it?” Fluttershy meekly asked, her crying having slowed down somewhat.

Twilight looked at Fluttershy with pity in her eyes before responding “I’m afraid so Fluttershy. You saw how easily it took down Rainbow Dash-“

“Hey!”

“-if it could do something like that to her, think about what it could do to any other pony. Or any other animal.”

Upon hearing that, Fluttershy’s eyes widened and her look of fear was replaced by a look of resolve. She was determined to not let any animal get hurt if she could help it.

When she spoke this time, there was confidence in her voice “You’re right Twilight, we have to stop that creature before it hurts somepony. Or some animal.”

Twilight couldn’t help but smile at her bravery before turning to the rest of her friends. “Well, Fluttershy’s on board, what about the rest of you? I can’t force you guys to go and I’m not gonna lie, it’s going to be dangerous. That creature is strong, Rainbow Dash can attest to that. Are you sure you guys want to go?”

“Of course I’m going! I owe that thing payback any way.” Rainbow Dash proclaimed, her usual confidence restored.

“Shoot, you know I can’t let you girls run into a dangerous situation all by yerselves. Sides, that thing hurt mah friend and I won’t stand for that.” Applejack proclaimed next, anger in her voice as she thought of what it had done to Dash.

“Count me in! Someone needs to throw that scary monster a party!” Pinkie Pie shouted next.

“Oh fine. If it’s for you girls I suppose I can stand getting my hooves a little dirty.” Rarity said, the generosity that she had become known for coming forward.

As each of her friends spoke up, the smile on Twilights face grew bigger and bigger. Even after having not seen each other for two weeks, their friendship and loyalty to each other was as strong as ever. It might not have been how she wanted to reconnect with them, but it would do.

“Alright then it’s settled! Spike, take a letter…”

______________________________________________________________________________________


An hour later, the six friends were standing in front of the entrance that led into the Everfree Forest. After Spike had sent off a hastily written letter quickly explaining the events that had transpired, the Princess’ letter had come back almost instantly. In the response letter, she wrote that while personally, she did not want them going anywhere near the creature, she knew that nothing she could say would dissuade them. Instead, she wished them luck and warned them to not do anything foolish. If they felt that it was too much for them, they were to return to Ponyville and she would send a squad of Royal Guards to subdue the creature instead.

After delivering the Princess’ message, they had each gone home to prepare for the journey. Really, this just meant grabbing a few snacks and some flashlights. Applejack was the only who brought an actual tool: her trusty lasso.

Before entering the forest, Twilight turned to look at her friends. “Remember what the Princess said girls. Don’t do anything foolish. Stick together and if you see the creature, don’t go charging off.” She looked at Rainbow Dash as she said that last line.

“What!” The rainbow maned pegasus yelled, noticing the look.

“Anyway” she continued “If any of you at any time feel that you can’t handle this, say the word and we’ll turn right around. Don’t try to be brave, understand?” When each of them nodded their head in understanding she turned towards the forest and began to walk in, her five friends following behind her.

“Lets go monster-hunting!” yelled Pinkie Pie as she hopped into the forest.

________________________________________________________________________________


Near a river, the “monster” was getting himself some much needed rest.

After walking out of what would most likely be his nightmares for the next few months, James Heller quickly realized that he was not prepared for the tedious activity of walking and looking at more trees. Realizing that he needed to find somewhere to stop and collect his thoughts, he jumped into the air again to see if he could find someplace where he could rest. It was by luck that he spotted the river as he began to descend.

After a bit more walking he came upon the river and, happy to not be looking at trees anymore, leaned against a boulder and began to think about the events of today.

‘Alright, I think it’s safe to assume that I am not on Earth right now.’ He noted to himself. ‘I don’t know if it’s a different planet or a different dimension altogether but this is definitely not Earth.’

Deciding to figure out where he was later, he instead decided to figure out how he got here. ‘I should have been killed, not sent here to fucked up ponyland. How the hell did that black hole-‘

Wait.

Black hole.

Could it be…?

While he didn’t look like it, he was a huge fan of sci-fi movies. He used to watch them all the time growing up and even as an adult, he still loved watching them from time to time. But aside from brain-eating aliens, there was one more theme that seemed to be in every sci-fi movie: the use of black holes as portals.

He had seen far too many movies where the characters would use a black hole as some kind of worm hole and would use it to travel to different locations, sometimes even different dimensions. He had always written that stuff off as fantasy though, something too ridiculous to exist.

Of course he had also written off a zombie virus as fantasy, and look what was happening to New York.

‘Okay’ he thought ‘Lets say I really do believe this crap and that the black hole sent me off to a dimension populated by magical talking ponies; How the hell am I gonna get home’ That was something that had been bugging him ever since he got here: How was he gonna get home? It’s not like he could create his own bla-

His eyes widened as something came to him. ‘The kid- I consumed him! I consumed his power! I could recreate the black hole, I could go-‘ Immediately he stopped as he began to think the plan through. ‘No, no I can’t risk it. Not only do I not want to go through that pain again but I don’t even know if it will send me back to my world or to an even worse dimension than this. Hell, it might actually kill me this time.’

His hopes dashed once again, he sunk himself further into the boulder, just about ready to resign himself to his fate. ‘Well I could always try the castle. There’s probably more talking horses up there but it’s better than not-‘

He felt something wet splash against his forehead. ‘Rain, just what I fucking needed.’ Reaching up with his hand to wipe it off, he noticed that it didn’t feel like rain. It felt… slimier. Looking up to see where it had come from, he barely had time to roll out of the way as something pounced at the spot where he was just at.

Looking up, his jaw dropped as he got a good look at what had just tried to attack him.

It was a wolf. Made completely out of wood. Yet was somehow drooling.

What the fuck was wrong with this world?!

Before he could go into another mental breakdown he heard growling behind him. Turning around, he saw more wolves slowly emerging from the forest. A lot more. When they had all emerged, about 20 timber wolves surrounded the marine.

The timber wolf from before, believing its prey was distracted, pounced at him from behind…

…Only to have its head caught in a massive clawed hand.

Without hesitation, Heller crushed the poor beast’s head in his claws.

Taking a moment to look as the headless body of the timber wolf fell to the ground, Heller slowly turned to look at the remaining 19, a predatory look on his face that matched their own.

“You know” he said coldly as he slowly walked towards them. “I’m actually glad you guys showed up. Cause after the day I’ve had…” He bared his claws.

“…I need something to tear into.”

____________________________________________________________________________________


Not far from Heller, the Main 6 were dealing with their own monstrous beast…

“But Applejack…!”

“No Rarity! Ah ain’t gon carry ya through the forest!”

“But I don’t want to get my hooves dirty on this filthy mud! Your hooves are dirty any way so it shouldn’t even bother you!”

Applejack took a deep breath, counted to ten, and resisted the urge to violently murder the glamorous unicorn trotting next to her.

“Ya knew what you was gittin into when ya agreed to this little trip, so shut up and deal with it!” She said with finality.

Rarity stuck her tongue out at the Earth pony but continued to walk.

Twilight, meanwhile, was dealing with her own problems. Specifically, a pink, hyperactive, cotton candy maned problem.

“So Twilight, what do monsters eat? Do you think they like cupcakes? That’s a silly question, who doesn’t like cupcakes? What else do you think monsters eat? Oh I bet they love hot sauce! I love hot sauce! Hey Twilight do you have any hot sauce right now? Oh, silly Pinkie, you brought your own hot sauce! I put it right here- OHMIGOSH I FORGOT THE HOTSAUCE…!“

Twilight, following Applejacks advice, took a deep breath and counted to ten. Turning towards the pink maelstrom bouncing next to her she spoke in as calm a voice as she could manage “Pinkie, maybe you should keep quiet till we find the creature. If it finds out we’re here, you won’t be able to throw him a surprise party.”

Gasping overdramatically, Pinkie began to nod her head at Twilights words “You’re right Twilight! Ok starting now, no more talking! Oops! I just talked didn’t I? Ok, now no more talking! Shoot! I just talked again! Ok, for really real, no more talking starting right now! Shoot…!”

As she was just about ready to bang her head against the nearest tree, she heard a strange noise in the distance. “Girls, stop talking! “ Immediately, all her friends stopped to look at her.

Of course, Pinkie Pie spoke up first. “What’s wrong Twi-“

“Shhhh! Listen.”

Obeying her, they all strained their ears to try to hear whatever it was Twilight was hearing. After a few seconds of hearing nothing, Rainbow Dash asked “What are we suppose to be list-“

“Quiet!” She whispered angrily. Dash glared at her and was about to yell when she heard it too: a loud high pitched yelp.

A few seconds later, they began to hear several more of them in rapid succession.

“What is that?” Rarity whispered.

“I’m not sure.” Twilight whispered back. “It almost sounds like-“

“Animals in pain.” Fluttershy answered, a worried tone in her voice.

Immediately, she ran past them towards where the pained yelps seemed to be coming from.

“Fluttershy, wait!” Twilight desperately called after her, but she was too far gone to hear.

_____________________________________________________________________________________________


The timber wolf slowly circled around its prey, looking for an opening to exploit. It wouldn’t charge in headfirst. The bodies around it were proof of the consequences of such a foolish action.

Where before there were 20 timber wolves only 5 remained, the shredded bodies of its brethren littered the area. And the creature who did it stood right there in the middle of it all.

His claws were gone. He had gotten rid of them a while ago; made things too easy. Right now he was patiently waiting for one of them to attack. He had to hand it to these things, even after he had slaughtered 15 of them, the remaining 5 refused to run, determined to fight till the bitter end.

The one circling him, obviously an elder, was watching him, waiting for him to slip up so it could come in for the kill. The other 4 were watching from the side, waiting for their leader to attack first so they could gang rush him.

He watched each of them closely, trying to pick out the weak link. He spotted one that was much smaller than the rest. Probably a youngling judging from the way it kept impatiently pacing back and forth. He smirked, as his mind already began formulating a plan.

He stared at the smaller one for a few more moments before he turned around facing away from it. The youngling nervously watched him for a few minutes, waiting for him to turn back around. When he continued to look in the opposite direction it bared its teeth, growled, and got into a pouncing stance.

Its prey was distracted. Now was its chance.

With a might howl it leapt at him, fully prepared to rip him to shreds.

It never stood a chance.

With blinding speed, he dodged to the left, causing the timber wolf to miss him completely…and leaving itself vulnerably.

Lifting his elbow, he slammed it onto the neck of the wolf mid-pounce, causing it to slam into the ground with bone shattering force. Lifting his foot, he brought it down on the head of the beast, ending its young life with a resounding crack.

The other three wolves reacted exactly how he expected them to: they leapt at him, determined to avenge their fallen comrade. Grabbing the body of the young wolf by the tail, he swung it in an arc, hitting all three of them in midair, with the force of the blow shattering both them and the body he was holding to pieces.

Dropping what remained of the young timber wolfs body, he turned to face the elder. It had stopped circling him and simply stood there looking at him with eyes of…resignation. It knew it couldn’t win, but it refused to back down due to pride.

As he stared into the eyes of the wolf, he couldn’t help but see himself.

Grinning, he spoke “I guess that’s something you and me have in common: We’re both too stupid to know when to quit.”

The timber wolf said nothing; it simply got into a pouncing stance and waited.

Both predators stared at each other for what seemed like hours.

Then they charged.