• Published 10th Apr 2019
  • 3,620 Views, 1,546 Comments

Farmer Bruener Has Some Ponies - Georg

When a disaster causes Princess Twilight Sparkle to evacuate most of Ponyville, the inhabitants find themselves in a much different place than expected. The people of Kansas are a little surprised about it too.

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3. Chain of Command

Farmer Bruener Has Some Ponies
Chain of Command

"I was constantly amazed by how many people talked me into arresting them."
Edward Conlon, Blue Blood

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Time: 6:41 A.M. Central Standard Time, June 19, 2015
Highway 24 out of Clay Center, en route to Manhattan, Kansas
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Occasionally all the good policing in the world could not beat coincidence, but then again, coincidence is where random chance meets good planning, and the Riley County Police Department tried to plan for everything. Prisoner transfers normally went to the lowest rank officers, but on a whim, Captain Samantha Rietz had decided to run up to Clay County herself to pick up the check kiter they were holding for booking back in Manhattan on prescription pad forgery.

Friday was a fairly relaxed day, and it had been a productive trip in the early morning Kansas sunshine, with the ventilated plexiglass partition between the back and front seats allowing a conversation with the young lady involved, and the electronic recorder chugging along silently while they chatted. All it had cost was a cup of coffee for the bleary-eyed prisoner, and the woman-to-woman talk that had resulted was happily revealing all kinds of names who were going to be of great interest to the detective division back at the station on Monday. It was a little deceptive, but so was running drugs into town. Naturally, everything she said was going to have to be checked pretty hard, since the check kiter had a long history, but jails were built one brick at a time.

Unfortunately, the radio crackled when the prisoner was just getting to a good part.

"Captain Rietz, we have an emergency call in your vicinity. Mister Jon Bruener in Randolph is reporting that he hit a child with some farm equipment, and said that there are a large number of casualties in his area. He sounded pretty rattled, and the dispatcher said it sounded like there might be gunfire in the area."

"Jon Bruener?" she asked while flipping on the light bar and mashing down on the accelerator. "Over on Seacrest road?"

"Yes. An ambulance is en route."

"So am I." She hit the siren as the police car continued accelerating to a totally unsafe velocity, despite the muffled curse from the back seat when the prisoner spilled her coffee. "Send any of the other cars in the vicinity. I know Jon from church, and he’s not one to exaggerate."

To her credit, the prisoner was silent during the most of the short trip until the sharp S-curve onto the gravel road, where Sam had to leave up on the accelerator. The ambulance the dispatcher had mentioned managed to beat her to the K-77 intersection by less than a minute, and she moderated her speed in order to keep from running it off the narrow road. While they were driving through the resulting plume of dust, the prisoner leaned forward as close to the plexiglass partition as she could get and raised her voice to be heard over the road noise.

"I’ve got my CNA and I'm working on my RN, you know. In case anybody there is hurt."

"Ma’am, I’m afraid I’m going to have to ask you to remain in the car," snapped Sam while concentrating on keeping from running into the ditch or the back end of the ambulance from all the dust in the air. She swung a little wide to one side when the ambulance pulled into an open barbed-wire gate and stopped, before a…

Sam took her glasses off and ran a quick cleaning cloth over them. It looked like a bunch of calves were out — if somebody had gone insane with food coloring — and she could have sworn that first calf that had stuck its head into the ambulance window had been wearing some sort of golden object over its back. She had just gotten her glasses back on when there was a sharp rapping at her car window.

"Officer? Do you represent the governing authority in this country?"

That’s not a cow.

Her finger had moved to push the electric window button out of habit, although that was the last conscious muscle movement she was able to make for a few moments as her brain tried to make sense of the stern and possibly just slightly panicked horse outside the car window. It was dressed in golden armor of some sort with a distracting blue fuzzy frill on its helmet, but there was a trickle of blood oozing down the pony soldier’s pale grey cheek that brought Samantha back to awareness of the rest of the multicolored little horses spread out across the green grass, all of whom seemed to be injured or traumatized in some fashion.

"Yes, I’m the local law enforcement officer," she could hear herself say. "What seems to be the situation here?"

The armored pony saluted, in a sharp motion that appeared to be reflex. "Evacuation, Ma’am. The town of Ponyville had been attacked by some shadowy creatures from the Everfree Forest. The creatures had captured or trapped many of the townsponies, and were proving resistant to magic and physical force when Princess Twilight Sparkle ordered Contingency Plan Twelve Delta to be enacted."

"Contingency Plan Twelve Delta?" she echoed.

"Mass evacuation by means of a teleport spell to the Manehattan Teleportation Beacon on the shores of Turtle Lake by the town of Rain." The pony looked around with an expression that Sam caught immediately. It was a look of suppressed impending panic while searching for the elusive Somebody Else In Charge Of This Clusterfuck.

Oh, no. That’s me.

"And they evacuated here because… why?" she asked, afraid she was going to get an answer and still a little… well, more than a little rattled at talking to a horse.

The armored pony shrugged. "I suppose, since the creatures were resistant to magic and the civilians were not, it cleared the field of non-combatants so that the Princesses could give them one serious flank-whupping."

That really did not answer her question, and it was a little odd that she could hear the capitalization of the word ‘Princesses,’ but since Sam was talking to a small horse while looking out at a field of injured colorful talking horses, some of whom were flying above the whole mess, she put that question a few pages back on her list. It was getting to be a long list, and it was still quite early in the morning. And she was almost out of coffee.

"So how long…" Samantha Rietz tried to put together a set of words that would indicate how her police department was pleased to have their unexpected visitors, but would like to know what their plans for going home were. Thankfully, the armored pony officer was thinking along the same lines.

"The Princesses should have a return portal up shortly, so we should be out of your mane in an hour or two," he said. "I hope." There was a thread of doubt in the pony’s words when he looked up into the air. "One of our unicorn officers confirmed that we’ve been displaced dimensionally, so the evacuation spell must have glitched somehow. At least the regular evacuation was nearly completed before the spell was cast, or we would have had a lot more residents here, along with the diplomats attending the Summer Sun Celebration."

Sam looked out at the ponies scattered across the field, trying to wrap her mind around unicorns mixed in with the pegasi and ‘normal’ ponies. "So this is all of them, right? Any other major injuries?"

"At the moment, it looks like all scrapes and fractures, with Widget over there being the most injured. As for if this is everypony yet?" The guard shrugged. "The original spell was supposed to cover all the remaining citizens in Ponyville over the course of a few moments, but we’ve had ponies drop through individual dimensional interfaces for about twenty minutes now with decreasing frequency. It’s just one or two now in an expanding circle, so there could be some sort of interference between worlds that stretched out the spell on this end, or it could be a result of chronological imbalance where time flows at different rates between worlds. The unicorns will know more after the civilians finish triaging the wounded and we take roll call, but for now the situation seems to have stabilized."

"I better move the car so the ambulance can get out," said Captain Rietz. "We’ll set up a command station right here by the entrance to the field so any of the injured can be loaded without bumping across the uneven ground. I’ve got a couple patrol officers on the way up so we can set up a perimeter, look for any injured who might have fallen where they would be overlooked and so forth." She hesitated with a long look at the field full of colorful ponies. "I better brief them over the radio before they arrive, and have Search and Rescue notified in case there are any stragglers out there."

"Thank you, ma'am!"

The armored pony moved a few of his frightened multicolored brethren to one side so Sam could park the cruiser, and after a moment’s worth of consideration, she released the prisoner with the cruiser’s first aid kit to assist with whatever medical treatment she was able. A Certified Nurses Aide in the hand… or hoof, was worth any number of trauma specialists miles away.

For a long moment, the only sound Sam could hear was the wind blowing over the grass. There had to be over a hundred ponies scattered across the field and drawing together in small clusters around their injured, but the wind caught their voices and blew them away. It was the calm before the storm, but the calm would not last long. Whenever humans met aliens in the movies, there were always explosions and gunfire as the earth became a battlefield, or buffet, or just an inconvenient place that happened to be in the way of two well-armed armadas. For all of their alienness, Sam could not put the ‘alien’ tag on the small horses, because they were all acting and reacting much the same as people would have in the same situation, only with less wide-eyed panic.

The contemplative quiet quickly changed as the wind shifted back around, and Sam took the moment to get her phone out and record a long panoramic shot of the ponies, from several older ponies who were gathered together to watch the sky for more falling ponies, to several younger ones who galloped through the tall grass with all of the restraint of their youth. The little wounded pink pony being loaded into the ambulance was the most heart-rending, as she whimpered and clutched onto the paramedic’s neck with one working foreleg while the other stuck out in an awkward fashion, wrapped from hoof to shoulder in a thick restraint.

Reluctantly, she considered pushing the stop button on the voice recorder in her pocket, but decided against it for posterity's sake and continued to work with the phone and radio until the pony soldier came trotting back up.

"Ma'am, our unicorn detachment reports the dimensional incursions appear to have ceased, leaving this area with somewhat over two hundred civilians, seven members of the Royal Guard, Household Regiment, and Spike. Are you going to need any of our pegasi detached for courier duty?"

"Um…" Sam considered her phone for a while before answering. What she was about to do broke several dozen rules and regulations, as well as hopped over some significant links to the Director of the RCPD who may have been on vacation in Montana today but was going to be livid when he found out. Then again, she was the officer in charge at the scene, talking to a little horse from another dimension, and that warranted some extreme measures no number of regulations could possibly take into account. Somehow, ‘First Contact by Disaster Response’ had been left out of the manual which she had inherited when she had been been promoted to Patrol Captain a few years ago.

Still, jumping over the chain of command as far as she could felt like the right thing to do at the moment, so regardless of any possible repercussions, she pressed the 'send' button on her phone and turned back to the short and quite otherworldly visitor.

"No, I've talked to the office and gotten the process started to get most of my available patrol officers out here, so I don't think I'll need any couriers, Officer…"

"Sergeant Hardhooves," responded the pony with a sharp salute. "I know this is quite unexpected, and we appreciate what you’re doing for us, Ma'am."

"I hope you still are willing to say that in a few hours," said Sam. "If your Princesses do manage to whisk all of you home here in the next few minutes, that’s one thing, but if you’re here for a few days or even weeks…"

She eyed the narrow country road and tried not to think of a stereotypical movie military convoy sweeping down it to capture all of the little aliens and shove them into big laboratories. The situation should not get that out of control, even though there were certainly Military Police on the way from Ft. Riley even now. Their participation in mass casualty events were fairly routine, although they too would have quite a bit of adjustment in front of them, and simply having the MPs present to maintain order in the upcoming chaos would be a hell of a good idea when word got out.

And she was positive it would, particularly because of where she had forwarded her phone video.

The longer it took for these ‘Princesses’ to pick up their wayward ponies, the larger the impact on human society and the more insane it would drive people until some important people who were living examples of the Peter Principle did something really, really stupid. If the ponies had shown up in parts of Sub-Saharan Africa, it probably would have only taken a few minutes for them to have been turned into cutlets. In Southern California, they would be declared some sort of endangered species and dragged off to a nature preserve, but people would still steal them to keep in their basements as pets. In Washington D.C. even outside of an election year… The police officer suppressed a shudder. Better to not even think about that.

When the incoming call she was expecting began to buzz on her phone, she turned her back on the wind and touched the screen. "Hi, Brian. You still on the governor's protective detail? No, slow down. Yes, the video clip I mailed you is real. Yes, I expect you to believe it, because I’m standing right here. Alien ponies, that’s right. About two hundred of them. No, I don’t think they’re registered to vote."

Sergeant Hardhooves raised one hoof and whispered, "Actually, I’m registered with the Lower Reach party. My wife is a pegasus, you see, and she talked me into it."

Taking a breath, Samantha continued, "Well, I suppose they’re registered to vote in whatever place they came from."

"Equestria," whispered the soldier.

"Equestria," echoed Samantha, although after a moment she added, "No, it’s not on Earth anywhere! Look, just put the governor on the phone so I can— Oh, hello, Governor Brown. This is Captain Rietz of the RCPD in Manhattan. We have a little problem. A few hundred of them."

Author Notes

As a reference for people who don’t live in Kansas, Topeka is just down I-70, about a little more than an hour away from the scene location. The governor has a security detail drawn from the Kansas Highway Patrol who handle driving him or her places, which once made for a brief panic when Gov. Joan Finney caught a ride with a friend to work and did not tell them. Even though it is a generally conservative state, the governorship has bounced back and forth between republicans and democrats for years with fairly friendly (as compared to certain other states) relations between the parties, with the most hard-fought battles being over school funding and taxes for school funding. And I’m going to stop there before about half of the readers get all aggravated. (Really, don’t get me started.)

The Riley County Police Department (RCPD) covers the entire county including Manhattan, Ogden, and Randolph, as the various city police departments and the sheriff’s department were consolidated back in 1974. Most of the rest of Kansas counties have an elected sheriff and deputies, but RCPD has a director, with several direct staff and five captains (Captain Sam Rietz is the Patrol Captain of the Patrol Division) with the officers in the field holding the title of Patrol Officer.

Just a reminder: Any names used in this story are made up, and should not match any real people. If they do (by accident), and the person doesn’t like it, just tell me and I’ll change the name.

Author's Note:

Part of the fun of this is little notes stuck in by the editors, such as this:

On the Manehattan Teleport Beacon
Me: It's a spell tower. (snerk)
Seether: How is that a joke?
Me: Say these phrases rapidly back to back
Cell tower/ Spell tower  Manehattan/Manhattan Turtle Creek Lake/Tuttle Creek Lake
Masked Ferret: American geography jokes ^^;
Me: The fun part? I live here. I drive by the intersection off 77 about once a week
Peter: I think you need to do a section where they discuss where they are going to take Widgit. The hospital, or the Vet. .... Euthanasia is not an option.
Masked Ferret: Pretty sure the vet will know as soon as they see the coat and she talks.
Me: Lee Killough worked at the KSU Vet facility when I was in college. She's a published sci-fi writer with The Monitor, The Miners, and the Shree.  I did get a hold of Lee Killough, and she said it was fine to use her, as long as I didn't abuse the character too much :)
Tek: I almost feel there should be a comment that there are no regulations written for this scenario
Masked Ferret: Yeah, saying it breaks the rules feels like you're implying there are rules for ponies falling from the sky into a field.
Me: added. 'Somehow, 'First Contact by Disaster Response' had been left out of the manual.'
Masked Ferret: Bwehehe.

Seether: Thank your stars it wasn't Philly. I think New York would probably just go "whatever"
Georg: Ey! Yer tying up traffic here! Move it!
Tek: Might have been funny if they landed in Kentucky, maybe even during the Derby,

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