• Published 22nd Jul 2012
  • 5,996 Views, 113 Comments

Away From the War; Away From Machines - iDeltaVelocity

An I-950 goes to Equestria, unaware of what has followed him.

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Ch. 3: "Escape From Canterlot"

Ch.3: ‘Escape From Canterlot’

It took time, but Parker had managed to escape the underground catacombs that were the dungeons, and was now working on finding a way out of the castle. The better part of the three hours that already passed was spent narrowly avoiding Royal Guard patrols roaming the halls. From what he could determine of Equestrian arsenal and training, he could easily outmaneuver and evade them for a while, though he often times debate on whether or not to use his plasma rifle and years of experience to force his way out.

As was the case with the apple orchard, there was difficulty navigating through the castle. His HUD was useless in guiding him, serving only to warn him of hostiles within proximity. It helped him stay hidden and keep the Princesses and Royal Guards off his trail as he moved. Making his way down these halls, his plasma rifle aimed everywhere, reminded him of when he participated in the I-950 revolt. Only this time, he was on his own.

He reached the end of the hall. Peering around the corner, he saw the coast clear and continued, before a shadow suddenly appeared in front of him. It must have been a Royal Guard. He looked around for a place to hide from whatever would come around the corner ahead. Seeing nothing, he raised his plasma rifle, readying himself to face was approaching. But to his surprise, however, what came from around the corner wasn’t a pony, but a human—a Resistance fighter!

Parker was left mouth agape. “Are you real, or just a hallucination?” he asked in disbelief. There was no answer, so Parker decided to press a bit further. “Listen, I have no idea what’s going on, but it’s obvious I wasn’t sent back in time. Where did you come from? Maybe we can find a way out of here.”

He strapped his plasma rifle around his shoulder as he started walking towards the soldier. It was a relief to him that she arrived. Maybe with her, he’d be able to find out what was going on—

>>Warning… Subject: Unknown android… Status: Hostile…

Before he had a chance to react, the soldier’s arm contorted and transformed into a plasma cannon. It fired a shot, landing at Parker’s feet and tossing the I-950 across the hall. He looked up in time to see the soldier’s skin and uniform turn into pure metallic. They began to retract, and soon the T-X made itself known.

Parker, an aura of fear developing around him, fumbled with the plasma rifle in his hand before taking aim and pulling the trigger. He sprayed shots at the approaching machine, hitting it once in its chest plate but failing to cause no signs of damage. The liquid metal alloy served as a second layer to protect the machine from suffering too much trauma.

Unable to find a proper weak spot, even with his scan vision, the only option the I-950 had was to retreat and rethink a strategy, one that would serve to help him survive long enough escape the castle. The T-X gave chase, of course, with the intent of terminating its target. It fired shot several plasma shots, just barely missing the fleeing human.

Parker unhooked a canister bomb from his back. Twisting the handle at the top, he tossed it behind him. It exploded near a marble column, causing the monolith to collapse and block the machine’s path. Despite this, Parker knew it would find another way around. Using the new time he was given, he kept going, knowing it was a matter of time before the T-X would locate him.

Prince Blueblood felt perfect, as he always did. Of course, since he was the nephew of one of Equestria’s most powerful rulers, he had a reason to. He could get anything he wanted, when he wanted, and there would be no pony to question him. It was truly a privilege being royalty, as he saw it.

The sound of his bedroom door opening and closing drew his attention from his fifth mane combing of the day. He trotted from his bathroom into the bed chamber, hoping to find the servant with his dinner, but was instead greeted with the sight of a weird creature.

“What, in Equestria, are you?”

“Nice to meet you, too,” was the response he got before he was taken hostage. Grabbed by his neck, he was led out of his room with a strange contraption pressed against the back of his head. He didn’t need to guess what it was for him to know it was dangerous.

“You’re that alien the guards captured, aren’t you?” asked Blueblood.

“Yeah, and you’re the second pony I’ve taken hostage since I’ve gotten here. All I want is for you to show me the fastest way out of this castle. Don’t, and you die.” Although Parker was lying with this claim, that was all he needed to convince the stallion:

“Just keep heading straight and then make a right. You’ll reach a staircase that will take you downstairs to the entrance. Now let me go!”

“You really have no idea how hostage situations work, do you?” Parker shoved Prince Blueblood, making the royal pony trot forward. They continued down the hall. All was quiet; no sign of Royal Guards or the T-X, of course he knew he wouldn’t be able to hide from that machine forever. He was still trying to wrap his head around how it knew where to find him in this world. Although, before long, the answer made itself clear:

My CPU signal! I didn’t jam it! CPUs always sent off a signal which Skynet could easily track, allowing her to locate anything of interest, including reprogrammed Terminators and the renegade I-950s. Once he escaped, he would need to find a place to hide while he jammed the signal. Then, he would be home free. He hoped.

“Careful!” Blueblood yelled, breaking Parker from his thoughts. “I just had my coat groomed and my mane brushed. And I rather not have you ruining them!”

The human rolled his eyes. This guy complains more than Central Command does. “Look, just show me a way out of here and you can go back to whatever the hell it is you were doing. It’s not like I want to stay here and play hide-and-seek with the guards.”

Eventually they came across the staircase Blueblood mentioned, and ahead was the entrance leading outside into the night. “Well what do you know,” Parker said, a small grin appearing on his face; “you were telling the truth.”

“Yes, I was,” replied Blueblood. “Now let me go!”

“Freeze!” At the sound of that voice, Parker turned around to see Shining Armour with a group of Royal Guards down the hall. “Let go of the Prince,” he ordered, levitating a spear.

Parker responded by pressing his M1911 against Blueblood’s head. “Don’t take a step closer. Like before, all I want is a way out of here.”

“After what you’ve caused, the only thing you’re getting is a cell in the dungeon.”

The standoff was suddenly intervened when an explosion rang through the area; the T-X arrived on the scene after blasting a hole through the wall. Its plasma cannon arm was still warm as its sights locked onto Parker.

“Dammit! It found me!” The I-950 glanced between both his assailant and back at the guards, and in a brief moment of desperation, he lifted Prince Blueblood off the ground. “You know what? Fine! You guys want this one?” He yelled to Shining Armour, “Then you sure as hell can have him!”

He threw Blueblood at the Royal Guards; Shining caught the unicorn stallion in mid-air with his magic before they impacted, but Parker was left to escape, however, but this time with a walking metal skeleton-like machine pursuing him instead. It stopped just short of walking out the castle, and looked back at the small group of armoured ponies.

Scanning… Non-essential targets… Evaluate objective…

It took aim with its plasma cannon and fired at the ceiling above them before continuing on with its pursuit. The Royal Guards took cover, avoiding the heavy debris falling to the ground. They rose once it was all over, but despite the machine leaving, they knew they were still in danger.

“What in Celestia's name was that thing? I’ve never seen anything like it,” said one of the guards.

Shining Armour was still trying to process what he’d just seen. It looked to him like Parker was scared when that machine appeared and was desperately trying to put as much distance between it and him as possible . . . which meant whatever weapons or motives the machine possessed must have been unimaginable. “Send word to the Princesses. We might have to chance tactics.”

Escaping the inferno shot out by the T-X’s flamethrower, Parker tried his best to put distance between him and the machine so that he could work on re-jamming the CPU signal. As long as it was able to track him, there was no way he would be able to hide from it for too long. Skynet built this model as a faster and easier way to terminate targets, so he could see why the A.I. placed a signal tracker inside when having to deal with the rogue I-950s.

Taking cover behind a wall in an alley, he sought to catch his breath and try to think of a plan that would help in getting away from the T-X. So far, nothing came to mind. Many thoughts were racing through his head at the moment, trying to break down the situation.

>>Warning… Hostile proximity: 0.9 kilometers…

Parker stopped breathing when the echo of metallic footsteps reached his ears. His grip around the handle of his plasma rifle tightened, almost enough to crush it entirely. He looked over towards the other end of the alley to see an opening. He made his way through, knocking over obstacles in attempt to slow the T-X, before finally emerging out in the open again, in front of a crowd of unicorns. Most were terrified at him after realizing he was the same alien who was apprehended by the Royal Guards, though some showed vague interest in him.

“What the hell are you all staring at? Get out of here!” he yelled. He felt the heat from a fireball behind him and moved out of the way just before he was burnt.

The T-X slowly approached him, its flamethrower spewing out burst of intimidating flames. The ponies in the area fled, terrified of the new monster. Parker backed away from the machine as it came closer; he didn’t want to admit it, not even to himself, but he was afraid. And he had a good reason to, with the machine’s desire to burn him alive as its termination method.

He aimed his plasma rifle and fired. A shot struck the T-X in the shoulder, slightly damaging it with a couple sparks flying from the metal armour. The machine, however, was still coming, its arm now transforming into a power saw. Parker back away more before retreating. He knew it was going to take a lot more than just his plasma rifle to take this machine down.

Air Burst had done his part of escorting Twilight and her friends to the train station, and now they were on their way back to Ponyville while he was returning to the royal castle to await further instruction from his superiors. Along the way, he advised ponies that were left in the streets to return to their homes, seeing as Parker was able to escape captivity.

As he continued his silent flight over the city, the wind blowing against his coat, he noticed the human on the ground. He was making his way through the streets and alley with such ease, as compared to any pony that could.

He’s pretty agile for a creature with only two legs, Air Burst thought. Not wanting to let such a nice opportunity go to waste, he changed his course towards the fleeing human. Maybe I can distract him long enough for Captain Shining and the others to arrive.

Parker had just left another alley before Air Burst landed in front of him, both of his wings open to make himself seem more intimidating. It didn’t look like it was working, as Parker simply stared down the pegasus, growing impatient. “Get out of my way!”

“You’re not going anywhere, alien!”

“You do realize you’re the only one here, right?”

Air Burst trembled. He knew he couldn’t take the human. Not alone, anyway. “Just you wait. The others are on their way; you’ll see.”

The I-950 rolled his eyes. “Sorry, I rather not take your word for it.” He was about to attack when the wall beside them was blasted through, throwing them across the ground. Parker looked up to see blue sensors glowing through the smoke.

“And this is why I told you to get out of my way,” he said to Air Burst, who was still lying on the ground. “The T-X found me!” Picking up his plasma rifle off the ground, he made a run for it.

Air Burst attempted to stand and spread his wings to get away, but a sharp pain in both forced him back to the ground. “My wings! My leg! I can’t move!” The blast had injured him, and now he was in direct sight of the T-X.

>>Scanning… Hostile threat level: Minimal… Terminate at discretion…

The machine’s hand turned into a power saw as it took a step towards the downed pegasus. Stopping in his tracks, Parker turned to see the helpless Royal Guard becoming a new target of the high-tech Terminator, which was programmed to terminate him at any costs—even if it meant killing a pony to get to him. Still having a guilty conscience, he was forced to make a decision. “Oh, I know I’m gonna regret this.”

Running back, he tackled the machine to the ground before it could kill the pony. He needed to take out the power saw, as well as its other onboard weaponry, if he wanted any hope of surviving against it. Grabbing a rock off the ground, he began to pound away at its arm. Each blow severely damaged the circuit more and more, and Parker was determined to completely break it in order to give him an edge.

His plans were stopped, however, when the T-X tossed him off, throwing him against a wall, the solid brick cracking upon impact. He staggered to his feet, nearly disoriented from the trauma; some of his senses were shot from the back of his head crashing into the side of the wall. In his dizzy eyes, he saw two separate machines, each quickly approaching him. His vision aligned itself just as the T-X reached to grab him.

He ducked; striking the machine in its torso, he grabbed it, lifting it off the ground, and threw it across the area, through a wall on the side of a building. Using the time he had while the machine was probably incapacitated, he continued to make his getaway.

“You owe me big time,” he told Air Burst as he ran by.

The I-950 cautiously made his way through the abandoned streets, hoping not to run into the T-X or Royal Guards. His primary focus was escaping the city alive and without chains around his wrists. He soon came across a post in the middle of an intersection, and just as he thought, it was used for direction people to places in the city. One of the places shown on the post was a train station.

“Oh, thank God,” he said; “A way out of here.”

The arrow to the train station was pointing north; he followed in that direction. He could hear the sound of a loud whistle going off in the distance, thanks to the silence in the empty streets. After minutes of travel, he went through another alley and approached yet another wall—a dead end. The whistle sounded on the other side.

“All aboard that’s coming aboard!” yelled someone—or somepony—probably the train conductor.

Parker hopped up, grabbing onto the top of the wall, and looked over, seeing his only ticket away from town. He smiled in relief at seeing it. As he climbed over, his HUD chimed up again:

>>Alert… Proximity warning…

“Oh no…” Before he knew it, he was pulled back by the T-X. The machine pushed him against a wall and threw a hard punch. Parker ducked just in time, and the T-X’s fist struck a hole through the structure. The I-950 returned with a punch of his own, only for it to be caught and him being tossed through the wall at the end of the alley, thrown into the open in front of the train.

The conductor pony, after seeing him, quickly rushed his passengers inside, before closing the door. The train started pulling away from the station, and seeing this, Parker quickly got to his feet and ran after it. More adrenaline pumped into his veins and he was able to grab on to a steel support before hoisting himself up to the ceiling. As he climbed, a few plasma shots erupted near his head. He looked back to see the T-X sprinting after him, its onboard plasma turret primped and ready.

Nevertheless, this did not stop the human from unholstering his plasma pistol and returning fire, striking the machine in its leg and slowing it down enough for him to reach the rook of the train. Finally away from his assailant, he took a brief moment to rest, and a moment was all he had before he heard the sudden scraping of metal against metal.

Parker looked back to see the T-X climbing on the side of the train, the polymimetic alloy over its hands taking the form of large pickaxes to achieve this. This thing… it’s got to be fucking relentless. He aimed his plasma rifle and fired a shot, just barely missing as the machine began to step closer.

The T-X’s arm turned into a flamethrower. It launched a huge fireball, making Parker stumble backwards, tripping in the process, to avoid being burnt to a crisp. The train made an unexpected turn as it drove around the side of a mountain. Parker had nearly fallen off the side, hanging onto the edge for dear life. Off the side was a forest, vast and possibly stretched for miles. That gave him an idea.

He pulled himself up and looked over at the T-X, the flames rising from the nozzle of its flamethrower. What he was planning could have been considered suicide, and it would’ve been called that by Angel. But it was the only plan he had for getting rid of the Terminator—at least for a while.

“Here we go. Need to time this right,” he said. “One… Two… Three!” The human burst into a full sprint. The T-X blasted a massive ball of flames at him; he ducked, however, and grabbed its arm, a stream of fire shooting off into the air. The T-X reached out its free arm in attempt to grab hold of Parker’s neck, but the I-950 spun once, lifting the machine off its feet, and let go, and he watched as the T-X plummeted to the forest below.

The machine was gone; though he could delay detection for quite a while, it didn’t mean he could stay hidden forever. Sitting back, and taking the moment to rest after the fierce engagement, Parker gazed at the passing scenery in his wait for the train to reach its destination.

An hour passed, and the human fell asleep. He was woken up by a loud screech as the train slowed to a stop. He sat up and looked over the edge to see ponies pouring out into the open, some chatting to friends about how they have been gone too long. Looking up, he saw that he was back in Ponyville.

Extensive repairs were being made to the damage caused by the Time Displacement Sphere, as he could see. At least they’re doing something about it. Lying back, he stared up at the night sky and waited for the train to move.

“All aboard! Our last stop for the night is Fillydelphia!” yelled the conductor.

Parker laughed; it almost sounded like Philadelphia. In the silence, save for all of the ponies talking, a thought hit him: “My Hacker! That unicorn still has it.” He remembered seeing her among the ponies when he was being chased through the orchard, which meant she had to be somewhere in this town.

He hopped down from the train and quickly hid behind cover before any of the ponies in the area could see him. Thankfully, they were organic creatures, so they did not have any heat-seeking capabilities as Terminators or HKs had. It would make sneaking around town much easier for him. He left the train station and ventured into town, hiding behind various pieces of cover to conceal his movement.

After what seemed like over an hour, he eventually located the unicorn—Twilight Sparkle. He could see her trotting with the orange mare, Applejack, and with his Hacker levitating next to her. He would need to time his moves just right to advance without being spotted by the ponies. And once he was sure she was totally alone, he could go up, take the small wrist device, and leave as quickly as he came in.

Eventually the tailing led him back to Sweet Apple Acres. Okay, this really can’t be a coincidence. He hid behind a tree and waited as the two mares approached what seemed like a barn house. Applejack stood in the doorway; it must’ve been hers.

“You sure you wanna keep that thing, Twilight?” the cowpony asked, very uncertain of her friend’s decision. “You don’t even know what it does.”

“That’s why I need to know what makes it tick. It’s important. We could be on the verge of a major scientific discovery.”

Applejack rolled her eyes, but smiled. “Whatever you say, Twilight. Ah’ll catch ya tomorrow.” She closed the door.

Twilight turned and started back for Ponyville. This was chance. Once she was away, all Parker had to do was go and take the Hacker before she could alert anypony. Suddenly, at the last moment, the voice of a child spoke up:

“You… You’re back?”

He turned around to see Apple Bloom standing behind him.

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