• Published 7th Oct 2017
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A Change of Dimensions - DarkArtificer


What happens when a routine mission becomes not so routine? How easy is it to adapt.

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Confrontation and Explanation

Four beings, one significantly different than the other two, were seated at a large crystal table, only claiming four of thirty chairs. In front of each being was a plate, each one with several pancakes with syrup and butter.

The room itself was of pink crystal, along with an arched roof high above. Stained windows allowed light to filter in, and for darker times, three chandeliers hung suspended over the table.

Three of the table's occupants were clearly Alicorns- one of Solar, of Lunar, and of Love. Each was adorned in their respective regalia, and each female. The final occupant was of a species never before seen on Equis, a human. With stark white hair and piercing blue eyes, he stuck out severely from the other three.

It was clear that the room had recently strayed to a troublesome topic. The Alicorns displayed sadness, along with betrayal. The man simply stared at his plate with a look of quiet contemplation. Then, the main doors to the dining hall opened and in walked eight beings, seven of which were ponies while the eighth appeared to be a small lizard.

They each took seats around the table, four on each side. Kyle, the man, smiled slightly as a purple unicorn stared at him in awe. When they were seated, more servants entered and repeated the earlier process, leaving eight plates of pancakes behind.

Cadence, at the head of the table, spoke. "Go ahead and eat. After breakfast, they'll be plenty of time for introductions and questions. I'm sure you each have some for our guest."

While she spoke without her voice quivering, or even an undue glance to Shining, Kyle could tell she was struggling to hold herself together. Judging from the looks of concern, Princesses Celestia and Luna could tell as well.

The eight began to eat, and soon after Kyle and the Alicorns joined them. The pancakes were much as Kyle remembered before he embarked upon his mission. The only difference is a slightly different taste, likely due to being a different strain of wheat, or perhaps simply made differently. The butter was just that- butter. The syrup was sweet, as well as surprisingly cold, just the way he liked it.

Quickly enough, breakfast passed and the servants came and removed the plates. Soon after, Celestia cleared her throat. "Kyle, since I have no doubt the questions are directed towards you, how would you like to do this?"

Kyle shrugged slightly. "Easiest way is start on my left and continue from there. Although, introductions will be needed, I don't know seven of you."

Celestia nodded and smirked at the purple Unicorn who had seemingly summoned a quill and scroll and was ready to take notes. After seeing this, Kyle raised an eyebrow and smirked. "Studious, are we?"

She blushed lightly and nodded. In reply, Kyle spoke. "Well, go ahead and introduce yourself and ask a question."

She cleared her throat and her magic lifted the quill to the scroll. "Well, I am Twilight Sparkle, bearer of the Element of Magic and protégé of Princess Celestia. My question is such; who are you?"

Kyle stared blankly for a moment before slowly bringing his hand to his temple. "I forgot to introduce myself, ugh."

He looked up when he heard a quiet giggle to see Princess Luna, Cadence, Twilight, and a pink pony smiling at him. "Right, I should have introduce myself first, so that won't count as your question, fair?"

Twilight nodded, still smiling. "Fair."

"Right, I'm Kyle Williams. I'm an explorer. I came here simply because it was new to me, and after hearing of Sombra, I offered my help."

"So, whatare you? I've never seem your kind, or even heard of them."

"Well, I'm a human, and as far as I know, I'm the last of my kind. A catastrophe a while back wiped my people out." Kyle answered.

The quill quit scribbling on the scroll as Twilight raised a hoof to her muzzle. "That's horrible. If I may ask, what was the catastrophe?"

Kyle was aware of the quick glare she received from Princess Celestia and how Twilight sank into her chair. "I'd rather not say. Its a little hard to think about. Not to mention, what wiped us out was theoretical at the time."

A blue pegasus across the table immediately spoke up. "Wait, how does some theoeri-whatever kill an entire species? Seems a little suspicious."

Kyle was acutelyaware of the several glares she received at her words. Before she could be scolded, he replied. "Well, we had never seen the particular event happen. It was always considered purely theoretical. When it was realized the event was real, it was too late. Humanity was destroyed."

The pegasus shrunk down into her seat with a remorseful look. Twilight spoke up to take the attention off of the pegasus. "S-sorry for asking. I'll count that as my question."

Kyle nodded and gestured to a yellow pegasus with a pink mane. She let out a little squeak. When she spoke, Kyle could only barely hear her. "M-my name is F-fluttershy. I'm an a-animal caretaker."

Kyle wanted to do his best to smile reassuringly, but he had a feeling his canines wouldn't help. Instead, he settled for speaking. "Its nice to meet you, Fluttershy. What's your question?"

"W-what kind of food do you e-eat?" The timid pegasus asked.

"Well, as an omnivore, I eat both plants and meat."

Fluttershy looked at him a little concerned. "You don't eat ponies, do you?"

Kyle chuckled slightly. "No, I do not. If it speaks, or has higher intelligence, my kind wouldn't eat it. We don't really have to worry about that, though, since humans are the only intelligent species where we lived."

They nodded, but he saw Princess Celestia give him a quick glance. He knew that she was starting to get suspicious, but he wasn't worried. He planned to tell the Princesses the truth anyway. Moving on, he gestured to a white unicorn with a indigo mane. "You're turn."

"My name is Rarity Belle, and I'm a seamstress in Ponyville. My shop is the Carousel Boutique. What is that metallic thing you are wearing? It doesn't look very fashionable."

Kyle chuckled and saw several roll their eyes, giving him the illusion she's like this a lot. "Its not meant to be fashionable. Its an Exosuit. It let's me survive in places that would kill me. A couple miles underwater to inside a volcano, albeit not in lava, is survivable."

"Do you have anything else to wear?" Rarity asked.

"Yes, actually, just nothing formal." He replied.

"Perhaps you should stop by the shop and allow me to make you a suit." She offered.

"I might take you up on that." Kyle said and she seemed satisfied and fell silent.

Without prompt, the purple and green lizard next to Rarity began speaking. "I'm Spike the dragon! I live with Twilight as her assistant. Are you good at fighting?"

Kyle smiled at the child-like enthusiasm and interest in combat most children showed. "Yes, actually. I was a member of our army before the catastrophe. I'm well-trained in Close Quarters Combat and using my three weapons."

Spike smiled and Kyle pointed across the table to the pink pony who had laughed earlier. Before she spoke, Twilight said, "Slowly, Pinkie. He needs to be able to actually understand you."

Pinkie giggled sheepishly and spoke. "I'm Pinkie Pie. I work at Sugarcube Corner and am Ponyville's party planner. Do you like partners? Cupcakes? Cakes?"

She started slowly, but near the end her speaking sped up drastically. Kyle watched on in amusement at her bubbly personality. "Yes, yes, and yes."

Her muzzle broke into a large grin. If you ever stop by Ponyville, I'll throw you a 'welcome to Ponyville' party!"

Kyle smiled as the others laughed lightly while Twilight grinned knowingly. "Sounds like fun, Pinkie."

The next pony, an earth pony with an orange coat and blonde mane smiled lightly and shook her head. "Ah don't really got a question for yah."

Kyle nodded, slightly surprised. He looked at the blue pegasus from before. "I'm Rainbow Dash, fastest flier in Equestria and soon-to-be-Wonderbolt! You mentioned weapons earlier, what are they?"

Kyle saw everyone looking at him in intrigue, everyone but the Alicorns. Looking at Princess Celestia, she cleared her throat. "I'm afraid Kyle can't tell you. You may ask another question, Rainbow."

Rainbow folded her forelegs and pouted, then asked another question. "What will you be doing to help?"

Giving another glance to the Solar Diarch, he answered when she nodded. "Well, I'll be guarding Princess Cadence for the duration of Sombra's assault."

Rainbow nodded, and he pointed to Shining Armor. "That armor of yours, what's it made of? It would be really useful for the guards."

Guards, right. "Its made of several synthetic materials, primarily nano tubing with Kevlar padding."

Seeing the looks of confusion, he laughed. "Human materials."

Shining grumbled slightly but accepted the answer. Before Kyle could indicate Princess Luna's turn, Cadence cleared her throat. "There will be time for more questions later, but Kyle, my aunts, and I have business to attend to. Shining, dear, will you meet us in the Throne Room in half an hour?"

Shining nodded and the Princesses rose and exited the room, followed by Kyle. The man noticed Twilight giving him a forlorn look, and he smiled at her. When the doors closed behind them, Princess Celestia started speaking. "So how were your kind the only intelligent species where you're from?"

"I fully intend to answer that truthfully, however, that should wait until we are alone without risk of anyone overhearing." Kyle replied.

"Why?" Princess Luna asked curiously.

"Well, the information may possibly be dangerous in the wrong hands- or hooves, your majesty."

"Please, call me Luna. I've no love for undue formalities." She said.

"I am the same, so simply call me Celestia." The Solar Diarch added.

Within ten minutes, they arrived at an indoor training ground. It was about one hundred meters long and wide, composed of a darker crystal. Seeing him studying the walls, Cadence spoke. "The different crystal will absorb any stray magic that would destroy the other crystal. Both kinds are gathered from the same mine."

Kyle nodded and continued examining the room. In the center, yet offset near the left wall was a large ring a foot above ground. It had no barriers, and both it, and the floor around it was covered in a type of mat, leading the man to believe it was a sparring ring. Across the room, spanning the entire width, was an archery rang with various targets. Several bows and crossbows were hanging from the wall. Quivers of both bolts an arrows sat on a table underneath.

The entire room was empty, other than them.

"I assume you cleared the room for our use?"

The pink Alicorn nodded. "Yep. I wanted to prevent any possible accident with your weapons. Speaking of?"

Kyle chuckled. "I get the hint."

He detached his pistol and held it in his right hand. "This is what we call the CZ-17. CZ represents the company, while 17 is the model. It's class is a pistol."

"How does it work?" Celestia asked.

"Well, when you both the trigger, this lever here, the hammer, this, hit the bullet, the 'arrow,' which ignites the gunpowder. This causes a small chamber to rapidly fill and become pressurized with gasses. This separates a metal cone from the bullet, which is expelled at a little below the speed of sound. It has a 15 round magazine, or ammo container." He explained, pointing at each part as he named it. He pulled out a bullet to show the separate components.

He looked up to see the looks of surprise on their faces. He smiled at it, and listened when Celestia spoke. "T-that's a little scary. The technology your people have is amazing, yet it saddens me that you use it for war."

"Remember, Celestia, used." Kyle corrected. "But yes, it was sad. However, not all technology was used for war. Even things designed for battle would be reverse-engineered to improve the quality of living."

The Solar Alicorn nodded sadly at the reminder, then smiled at his words. Luna spoke up, sounding excited. "Would you care to demonstrate the CZ-17?"

Kyle shrugged, smiling slightly at her enthusiasm. "Sure, got a target?"

Cadence gestured to the ring. "Stand in the center."

The group walked over and Kyle did as told, watching Cadence. He looked on in surprise as she lit her horn and four ponies made of light blue energy appeared around him, each five meters away. "These are manager constructs. Each will act, fight, and be injured like a real pony, minus flesh or blood. Ready?"

Quickly tapping his forearm's interface and waiting the couple seconds for his helmet to reseal around him. Delivering a nod, her horn brightened and the constructs began to move. Quickly raising his pistol, he flicked off the safety and fired once forward, piercing the construct's head.

Pivoting left on one foot, he shot the second construct twice in the chest. This time, though, he saw it shatter into shards that faded away. Turning again, he kicked the third construct and dodged the fourth's kick to his head.

Bringing his gun to bear, he shot the one who attempted to kick him in the head, killing it. He leveled the sights on the final only to have it batted away by a previously unseen wing. It folded the wing, which fused into its side. He was forced to roll to dodge a strike from its fore hoof. When he stood up, he could see over its shoulder and saw Cadence about to stop it. "Don't!"

The construct froze and the group looked at him in confusion. It was Luna who spoke. "Kyle, you have been disarmed. Pray tell, do you intend to kill it manually?"

Kyle shook his head. "I've got more tricks up my sleeve. Continue it."

Cadence nodded and the construct charged. When it neared, Kyle pivoted a full circle and struck its head, knocking it back and down. While it was down, Kyle flexed his hand, touching his thumb to the opposite side of his pinkie. When he did, a slot opened on his right arm and a sleek, black blade ejected out. Looking closely, both Celestia and Luna noticed it got thinner until it seemed to thin to see. "That must be the nano blade he mentioned."

Kyle leaped forward and sliced through the wing the construct used to try and block with. Continuing its deadly arc, the blade carved a path through the mana pony's neck. It shattered and faded, and Kyle sheathed the blade with the same movement. Turning back, he smiled at the looks on their face. He picked up his pistol and walked over.

"That was incredible! How did the blade cut through it so easily?" Cadence inquired in awe.

"Well, sharpness is measured by an objects ability to split the bonds between atoms. The thinner it is, the easier it cuts. A nano blade uses that knowledge by being a nanometer thick, or thin, as it were."

"I would think that would break easily." Celestia commented.

"Normally, yes, but the blade is so thin, nothing resists it enough to break it. Ergo, it doesn't break."

"It must have been very difficult to forge." Luna said.

Kyle laughed lightly. "You can't forge a blade like this, Luna. Its made of nano tubes, which aren't metal. Conventional forging wouldn't work. No, its 3-D printed, then refined by a finely calibrated laser."

They looked at him in confusion again. "Human stuff."

Celestia looked at him in part amusement, part annoyance. "You're going to say that a lot, aren't you?"

Kyle smiled, unseen through his helmet. "Yep."

She smiled at him and he tapped his interface, his helmet disappearing. Just then, a guard of the Crystal Empire entered. "Your highness, the Prince is awaiting you in the throne room."

Immediately, the mood soured and Cadence's ears drooped. Then, she seemed to steel herself. "Thank you. We will teleport there now."

The guard gave a light bow and left. Cadence turned to him and smiled sadly. "Will you come with us?"

Kyle smiled and nodded. "Of course. I am to be your guard, after all."

He reengaged his helmet as the Love Alicorn's horn lit and they soon disappeared in a flash of light. When they reappeared in the throne room, Kyle grunted as he was disoriented from the instantaneous shift in both ground and surroundings. However, he wasn't nauseous like he expected.

Behind him were two thrones, one of purple crystal, one of pink. In front of him was the entrance, as well as the Captain. He stood with a seemingly inquisitive look, and gained a surprised face when he same Kyle with his helmet.

His gaze moved to Cadence and he spoke up. "What did you require my presence for, your highness?"

Who the hell speaks to their wife so formally, especially in an informal setting? Kyle wondered.

Cadence stepped forward and stared down at her husband, but he could see a slight tremble in her lip. "Prince Shining Armor, you stand accused of high treason against both the Crystal Empire and Equestria, and of attempting to aid the Tyrant King Sombra in the assassination of two royal families. How do you plead?"

Kyle watched as a series of emotions speed across the Prince's face. Surprise, fear, worry, anger, and finally, determination. "Not guilty."

"Kyle, the evidence." Cadence said simply.

Kyle walked forward and spoke. "An audio recording of Sombra admitting to Shining's betrayal."

"Play it."

He nodded and tapped his interface, bringing up files and selecting the audio recording and began playing it.

A dark, raspy voice appeared from his speakers, easily identified as Sombra. "Why do you choose to fight for the weak slaves?"

"Fucking called it. Look, Sombrero, I don't like slavery, and I don't really agree with the whole 'mastering the power of darkness' thing you have going." Kyle's voice came next.

"Neither did Shining Armor. But a demonstration of my power quickly changed his mind. He had grown tired by being out-shined by the Princesses and Elements of Harmony, and chose to join me, to slay them once for all; all except his sister, who would be spared, and his wife, who would be enslaved. Join me, and you'll have infinite power."

"Look, I know how this shit works. I'll join you, we'll win and rule the world together, then you kill me. Besides, I already have technology far beyond what you ponies have. That's power enough for me. Now, fuck off." Kyle said.

The voice hissed, and the recording faded.

"What say you now, Prince?" Cadence asked.

Kyle saw it before anyone else, anger and hate overtaking the Unicorn's face. He jumped forward and shoved Cadence aside only to be blasted by a bolt of magic. The impact itself did nothing, but the energy did. His vision was filled with static and the hydraulics in his legs seized.

He heard Shining speak over his exterior mics. "I'll kill you both, Diarchs! And you, Cadence, you could have been my slave! You could have pleasured me daily!" A spell was cast, but from whom, he did not know.

His arms still functioning, he detached his pistol and fired blindly, hearing a yelp of pain. Within seconds, his systems cleared and he saw Shining had been hit in the flank. Holstering his pistol, he grabbed Ripper from his back.

Shining, seeing the much bigger gun, widely chose to escape, which he did so through a teleportation spell. Spinning around, he ran to Cadence and checked on her. She was standing between her aunts, behind a magical shield similar to the one around the Empire. "Are you okay? We need to relocate you to a safe place, he might come back."

Cadence, though, shook her head. "I'm fine, and I felt his energy pass through the shield. He's gone, and now he can't get back in."

Luna rubbed her back with a wing. "Mayhaps he is being controlled by Sombra. With the proper spell, we could free him from the dark King's control."

But Celestia shook her head sadly. "The spell I cast did just that, it removed all spells affected a target. He was under no influence."

At that, Cadence started to truly cry. Luna and Celestia both comforted her, with Kyle feeling horribly out of place.

(Crystal Empire - Quasar Exterior - 7:17)

Kyle walked up to the RM-S lift and sent a signal for it to lower. Behind him, the three Princesses looked on in surprise at the lowering box. Within seconds, it hit the ground and all four entered. They fit, albeit a little tight, and with a button, the three Princesses were officially onboard a SpaceX Anomaly Research Vessel.

The lift stopped and the doors opened. Kyle stepped out and saw the white hall extend in both directions. Bridge RM-S. Behind him, the Alicorns stepped out and looked around. Luna pointed right and questioned. "What's will all the doors way down there?"

"That's storage. To our left is Research & Medical. Before you ask, the hallway curves because this place is circular."

He clicked his fingers. "Vector, where are you?"

"Command. I assume you want to go to Residence?"

"Yep."

"I'll leave. I need to check on R&M anyway." The Synthetic replied.

Kyle thanked him and clicked his fingers again. "Let's go. We'll head to Residence. We'll be able to sit and talk."

The Alicorns nodded, completely out of their element. As Kyle led them through the ship, he saw their looks of amazement. Especially when they passed through Command.

Within moments, they arrived in Residence and took a seat. Kyle looked at Cadence closely and knew why she was so eager to come when she found out he was going to explain himself. She needed something to distract her from everything that has happened. He could understand that.

The Alicorns arrayed themselves in an arc around him and looked at him expectantly. "Right, where to begin?"

"How about where you come from?" Celestia suggested.

Kyle nodded. "Right, well, I'm not from this planet. I'm an alien."

He smirked at the utterly flabbergasted looks he received. Luna's jaw had dropped, while Celestia looked like a fish struggling to breathe. Only Cadence looked normal. She stared at him with an immense smile on her face. "No way!"

Kyle smiled back at her. "Yes way."

"You came from my stars..." Kyle heard Luna whisper.

He looked over to her, a soft smile upon her face as well as an awed expression. "You travel amongst the stars."

He nodded, smile firmly on his face. "I do."

Celestia learned forward and took a shaky breath. "Why have you come here? Will there be an invasion?"

His smile faded, replaced by a frown. "An army of what? Dead humans?'

She winced as if struck and leaned back. "I'm sorry, I didn't mean t-"

"I understand, and no hard feelings. I came here through a black hole, and entirely accidentally." Kyle said.

"What's a black hole?"

Kyle hummed slightly. "Well, to understand that, you need to understand the truth about stars. A star is a massive ball of various gasses, primarily hydrogen, that is powered by nuclear fusion. They float in space and give off an incredible amount of heat and light."

Celestia looked intrigued, but no where near as much as Luna. "Sounds kinda like my sun."

He smiled at her. "The stars are hundred of trillions, even quadrillions, of miles away. The sun is a star that is only millions of miles away."

That hit them hard, and Luna murmured, "Can't be."

"Sorry, but its true." Kyle said.

Celestia looked at him oddly. "Then how come I control one star, and Luna controls thousands, yet I am magically more powerful?"

Kyle shifted slightly. 'That, I can't explain. However, I know the stars are far away suns because our larger ships would use them as fuel."

Kyle didn't tell them about his theory that the stars seen in the night sky weren't the real stars. Celestia had a point, and the anomalous energy, magic, wasn't present throughout the whole universe. They had to either be magical in nature, or small satellites orbiting the planet.

Luna seemed to except it rather quickly. "So why are you telling us this when we asked about a 'black hole.'"

"Well, you need to understand a star first. Stars are powered by nuclear fusion, which is hydrogen atoms impacting hard enough to break, releasing immense energy as heat and light."

"Which we see and feel from here." Cadence commented, to which he nodded.

"Eventually, a star will run out of hydrogen. When this happens, it supernovas. It expands several times over and destroys the planets that orbit it in an attempt to extend its life. After some time, this supernova recedes. If the gravity and density is right, it collapses into a black hole."

"Which is?" Celestia asked.

"I'm getting there. A black hole is an object in space with a gravitational field so immense, nothing escapes it, not even light. They tear apart the stars themselves and eat them."

Luna tilted her head in confusion. "Law of Conservation of Energy and Matter. Where do these stars go?"

"Every once in a while, a black hole will emit an energy wave from the singularity. This wave is called a quasar. It travels at the speed of light and is ridiculously lethal."

"Singularity?" Celestia asked.

"Right, back to gravity. First, the gravity is so powerful nothing can survive within. If you move fast enough, you can survive the edge, but the black hole itself will tear you apart atom by atom. Its so powerful, it distorts time."

Cadence gasped. "You were near a black hole! That's how you outlived your species!"

The three Princesses looked at him in shock. He smiled sadly. "Yes, I was just barely within the Event Horizon, the edge, of the black hole for 34 years. The time dilation was so extreme, 2.4 billion years passed."

They simply stared silently before Celestia muttered. "You're older than me..."

Cadence stepped forward and hugged him lightly. He parted her back, just above her wings, and she released him and stepped back. Kyle took a deep breath and started speaking again. "Anyway, a singularity is the core of a black hole. Everything a black hole absorbs, countless stars and planets, is crushed into this object. The interesting part is the fact that its no bigger then an atom."

Their jaws dropped and Kyle couldn't help but relish the act of teaching them something way ahead of their time. Their reactions were completely honest; this was all new information to them. "It is a point of infinite density and infinitely small. Some theorized it is a gateway, a wormhole, to an entirely different universe. Its completely unproven though, with almost no evidence supporting it."

The group was silent for a spell, before Celestia spoke up. "So what will you do now?"

"Well, I'd like to stay here. As far as I know, this planet is the only one with life. There were a few other possibilities when Vector scanned the nearby universe, but we're not sure." Kyle said.

The Alicorns looked at him oddly before Luna asked, "Just who is Vector? I specifically remember you saying you were the last human."

Kyle smiled slightly. "Vector is a Synthetic. He's a machine made to look, act, and think like a human. He's also connected tone very scanner and machine on the ship, completely able to control them."

His smiled widened at their awe. Cadence spoke up slightly hesitantly. "C-can we meet him?"

"I don't see why not." Kyle said.

Using his interface, he sent a quick message to the Android, requesting him to come to Residence. After receiving an affirmative, he told the ponies. "He's on his way. While you talk to him, I'm going to make a few adjustments to my armaments."

They nodded and Kyle exited the room. On the way out, he passed Vector. "What may I tell them?"

"Use your judgement Vector. I'm sure you understand what would be dangerous for them." Vector nodded at Kyle's words.

They each continued to their destinations and soon after, he arrived the the Armory. Entering, he saw everything just as it last was. The only difference was three missing weapons. Quickly topping off his 9mm bullets, he walked over to a specific shelf. Each object had the same end on one side, a three-pronged outcrop. The other side was a myriad of attachments. These were the different items that could be implanted into the blade slots. Quickly extending and then removing his nano blade, he replaced it with one three inches longer, totaling at eight inches.

Opening his left arm slot, he quickly placed a special weapon into it. It was common for onboard battles simply due to its skill at clearing rooms and halls. It, too, had a nanometer edge, yet was not a simple blade. Instead, it was more of a serrated whip that could be a blade.

In truth, it was a foot long blade that was held together by electromagnets. With a quick current, the magnets switched off and the blade slackened. However, it was held together by a flexible nano tube structure that converted the foot long blade into a three foot long whip. Looking around, he kept an eye out for anything else he felt he may need.

Seeing nothing, he turned and exited the room. Leisurely walking down the hall, he headed down the hall toward Residence. All the while he was extending and retracting the nano whip. It would be pulled into his arm and split into two so it would fit into his arm, otherwise it would be forced to poke out of the slot.

Within a few minutes, he entered to see Vector standing up and beginning to leave. "I have duties to attend to, Sir. I will leave you to it."

Kyle nodded and Vector left. Turning back, he saw the three Princesses staring at him with wide eyes. Celestia, after a few moments, spoke with a voice of awe. "You're species was so advanced! Is this really a starship?"

Kyle smiled. "Yep. Specifically, its an A.R.V., or Anomaly Research Vessel. Its was built by SpaceX, a space exploration company dedicated to furthering space travel. It was my job to track down sources of anomalous data and study them."

Luna smiled at him, then donned a curious look. "Ponies often name our ships, usually in reference to its job. Does this ship have a name?"

Kyle nodded. "Yes. Its the A.R.V. Quasar."

"Named after the event emitted by a singularity." Celestia connected.

"Yep. That was actually my first mission. To get as close as safely possible to study a quasar emission." Kyle rejoined.

"Now, I've no doubt you have questions, but we need to go back to the castle. I got what I came here for, and you got your answers. Ready?"

They nodded, and Cadence smiled at him. "You need to start your job, anyway."

He smiled at her. "Indeed I do."

Seeing her smiling, and earlier as she was excited like a little child, made him happy. He was able to take her mind completely off of Shining's betrayal. He just hoped that he would be able to keep it off.

(Crystal Empire - 14:24)

Kyle was bored. Not just slightly bored, but incredibly bored. Not only that, but his boredom was increasing at an exponential rate. For the past two hours, he's done nothing but stand beside Cadence's throne as she listened and solved complaints and disputes. Most of them were real problems, but it didn't make it any less boring for the man.

Looking around, he took note of the massive double doors that lead into the room. Flanking each side was a crystal guard, equipped with armor, a shield, and a sword. On the other side of the throne was another guard, equipped with a spear rather than a sword.

On the left and right walls of the room, massive stained glass windows let in light, decorating the room with various patterns created by the light. Each window had a design, albeit each was abstract and held no real importance. Just like the rest of the castle, the entire throne room was made of pink and purple crystal.

The throne itself was crystal, magenta specifically, yet it was cushioned to prevent the user from being uncomfortable or in pain. Even then, Kyle knew it would be unpleasant using the chair for extended periods of time.

Extended periods of time that were guaranteed. From what he could see when the doors opened, a long line of petitioners were waiting for their turn outside the doors, each hoping to air a different complaint.

"I'll send a pair of guards to check on the situation." Princess Cadence said kindly to the elderly mare.

"Thank you, your majesty. I'm just worried about them. Nopony's heard from them for almost a week and they don't answer the door." The mare said she turned and walked out the door, her problem solved.

Within a minute of her exit, another pony entered, this one a Unicorn stallion. He glanced at Kyle, who smirked, which was hidden under his helmet. The citizens of the Empire were quite surprised to see him when they entered, whether because of what he or his lack of crystalization, he didn't know. Either way, it amused him.

Looking closely at the pony, Kyle same the stallion had a pair of saddlebags over his withers, and his mark was of a blade.

Probably a guard or smith, then. Kyle thought to himself.

"How may I help you today?" The Alicorn asked her subject.

The stallion shifted and Kyle immediately became aware of a massive headache. As he did, he saw the world shift into black and white. He watched as the stallion quickly levitated a blade from his saddlebags and launched it, piercing Cadence through the neck.

Then, instantly, his headache was gone and his vision regained color. Looking around, he saw that the stallion hadn't moved, yet Kyle was instantly on alert for any form of suspicious movement.

"Do you need something?" Cadence asked again, this time in slight confusion.

Kyle watched closely, only to leap into action when the Unicorn's horn ignited and the saddlebags shifted. Jumping in front of the throne just in time, he felt a thud as a small knife bounced off just in front of his chest- right where Cadence's neck was in her throne. Looking at the offender, he saw the stallion sprawled across the floor with the spear-wielder over him, the shaft slightly bloodied. The two door guards were already halfway across the room when they noticed the situation resolved.

Acting fast, Cadence took charge. She pointed to the door guards. "You two, arrest him and take him to the cells until we can speak to him."

They nodded and grabbed the unconscious stallion and left. The Princess then pointed at the throne guard. "Tell the petitioners that court today is cancelled due to unforseen events. Take their names in order and let them to the front tomorrow. Get the others outside to help."

He nodded as well and exited. Finally, the Princess turned to him. Kyle, though, didn't notice as he was busy checking where the knife hit him. He was happy to see that the blade left no mark or dent; a testament to the strength of human materials. He looked up to see Cadence staring at him.

Frowning, he quickly deactivated his helmet. "Are you okay, Princess?"

Cadence took a shaky breath, held it, then exhaled through her mouth before answering. "Yes and no."

Kyle nodded, showing his understanding. Cadence spoke up again, after studying him for a moment, asking a question on her mind. "How did you know to jump in front of me?"

Kyle hesitated, then decided to simply be honest. "I'm honestly not that sure, your majesty. He seemed suspicious when he entered, and I reacted when I noticed him magically grab something from the saddlebags."

Cadence nodded, still concerned, but believing his words to her. She gained a look of concentration on her face before she looked back at him. "This will bear some discussion with my aunts. Would you be willing to come with me to make sure nothing else of this sort happens?"

He smiled at her while nodding. "Its my job, Princess."

She smiled back and stood up off her throne and began walking to a side door. He followed close behind, ready to activate his blades in need be. However, his mind was distracted with what he just saw. It was like nothing he had ever heard of and it confused him, even alarmed him.

Reactivating his helmet, he contacted Vector. "Check my system for anything out of the ordinary. Vital signs spiking, chemical spikes, unknown energies, or even video evidence."

He received no reply, causing him to sigh. Vector must be inactive and charging. The Synthetic would still get the message though, and would start in it as soon as he possibly could, something that Kyle respected strongly.

***

Kyle stood against the wall to the left of the door. He was outside of the lounge in which the three Princesses were discussing the earlier events. He felt a little bad for keeping the truth hidden, but didn't truly think they would believe him if he told them what he had experienced.

Maybe some effect of the magic I've been exposed to? It may be causing me to see visions of possible futures. I don't see how that would work, though. The future isn't specified. I can't think of a way to see forward into time.



Perhaps it was a simple hallucinations that led to a coincidence? No, the chances of that being correct are astronomically rare.

Kyle cleared his mind and stopped thinking for a minute. He glanced down both sides of the hall and saw nothing, only to be startled when his radio came on.

"Kyle, I've completed the scans you asked me to do." He heard Vector say.

Clicking his fingers together, he spoke. "And the results?"

"Well, your organs are functioning properly, including the brain. Chemicals are balanced and nothing out of the ordinary was detected. I couldn't even find traces of foreign energy. The normal radioactivity, gravity, dark energy, kinetic and potential energy, and thermal. Everything was normal."

"Then what the hell happened?" Kyle asked more to himself than to Vector.

"Whatever it was, it was specific to you. The recording device in your helmet didn't pick it up. Your eyes were the only ones to see the event."

Vector went quiet as the door opened and Cadence walked out. He looked over to her and frowned when he saw the grim look. Glancing over her shoulder, he saw the Diarchs of Equestria with the same looms on their faces.

Cadence spoke to Kyle as soon as she exited the room. "Come with me."

She continued walking and the human caught up and matched her pace. They walked briskly for a minute before he spoke. "What happened?"

She glanced at him, and in that moment, he saw the worry and fear in her eyes. "We believe Sombra is making his move soon. We are assembling the guards."

Kyle nodded. "So the assassin was an attempt to drop morale."

Cadence nodded. "The death of the Princess combined with the return of the Tyrant King would have driven the civilians into a panic as well. Sombra would have had no trouble taking the throne back in that chaos."

Speaking to Vector, Kyle's voice was resigned. "Back to war, huh?"

"Yes, indeed." Came the reply.

Comments ( 3 )

What's a time dilation sphere?

8472907
Something like the Hyperbolic Time Chamber?

8472907

8473102

A time dilation sphere is the area around a sufficiently powerful gravity source that distorts time. A black hole, for example. The area surrounding it is within a time dilation sphere because time passes at an altered pace.

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