• Published 18th Jul 2012
  • 15,937 Views, 1,169 Comments

The Noble Guardians - nobreiner



There is a legend. A legend of six heroes, but they are not the Elements of Harmony. They are Noble.

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Fall to Earth

Ponyville was quiet. This was not uncommon for the town after dark; while some cities like Canterlot or Manehatten were known for their great night lives, Ponyville’s rural setting meant that almost everypony was already in bed. Everypony, save for a certain purple unicorn.

Twilight Sparkle was looking through her telescope, observing the heavens, when she heard an impatient sigh behind her. Rolling her eyes, she turned away from the telescope to regard the small purple-and-green baby dragon behind her.

“C’mon Twilight.” He said crossly, a piece of parchment in one claw, a quill in the other. “Why do we have to be doing this? It’s past midnight, for crying out loud!”

Twilight smiled at the baby dragon’s exasperation, stepping away from the telescope to lecture her young assistant. “I’ve already told you, Spike. Now that we’ve moved here to Ponyville, my star charts are no longer accurate. We need to redraw them, or else they’ll all be wrong!”

Spike sighed again. It had been four days since he and Twilight had moved to Ponyville, three days since Nightmare Moon had attacked, and Twilight, along with her newly acquired friends, (including the lovely Rarity) had defeated her, becoming the Elements of Harmony in the process. Over the course of the next few days, Twilight had been adjusting to her new life in Ponyville, as well as getting to know her five new friends. Unfortunately for Spike, this hadn’t done much to hamper her obsessive attention to detail, and when she had noticed earlier tonight while stargazing that her old charts were just a little bit off, she had immediately dragged Spike out of bed to help her draw some new ones. “Twilight, Canterlot can’t be more than a few miles away from here! How different could the star charts be?” Twilight groaned in exasperation, turning back to the telescope.

“That’s just it Spike, these few miles could mean our charts will be off by centimeters! Not just millimeters, whole centimeters!” From her position facing the telescope, Twilight was unable to see the dragon smacking his face with a claw.

Unaware of her assistant’s chagrin, Twilight gleefully called out; “Alright, so, Achernar is on grid point 13-“ She was suddenly cut off as a bright flash winked past the image in her telescope. Gasping in surprise, Twilight quickly whipped the telescope around, trying to find the mysterious flash again. “Spike!” She called, not taking her eye off the skies. “Did you see that? I think it was a shooting star! But Princess Celestia didn’t announce any shooting stars for tonight. Although, I suppose now that Luna’s back, she would take over the whole shooting star thing, wouldn’t she?” She was rambling now, unaware that Spike’s attention was now focused entirely on the rapidly expanding ball of light, heading straight toward Ponyville.

“T-T-Twilight…” Spike said, shakily raising a claw to point at the light, which at this point was now larger than the moon hanging in the sky. Unfotunately, Twilight was still focused on looking through her telescope, which was focused entirely in the wrong direction.

“Not now Spike!” Twilight said dismissively. “This shooting star has to be here somewhere, I just-There! I…found…it.” Twilight trailed off into silence as she finally found the object, only to discover its great increase in size. Neither Spike nor Twilight said anything as the ball of light went shooting just above their heads.

As the mysterious light passed directly overhead, Twilight suddenly gasped in pain, clutching her hooves to her head in an attempt to quell the massive headache that suddenly took hold. Despite the pain overwhelming her senses, Twilight’s analytical mind was able to identify the source of this agony: Pure, unadulterated magic. The pain was so intense, Twilight could only barely make out the thunderous BOOM as the object landed.

“Twilight? Twilight!” Spike had seen his friend’s distress, and immediately rushed to her side. “What’s wrong? Are you alright?” Slowly, Twilight got to her hooves, shaking off the last remnants of her headache.

“I’m fine, Spike.” She said, slowly lifting her gaze to where she had last seen the object. “Where did that thing go?”

“What, the shooting star?” Said Spike, his tone still tinged with concern. “I think it was headed for the Everfree Forest.”

Twilight shook her head, turning toward where the baby dragon had indicated. “I don’t think that was a meteor, Spike. I think-“ Twilight suddenly paused as the once dormant town beneath her began to light up, ponies switching on their lights and filing out their doors, curious to see what had roused them from their slumber.

“What was that?” Twilight heard one pony shout.

“Some sort of blast!” Another answered.

“We’re under attack!”

“Run for your lives!”

“The Horror, the Horror!”

Seeing how quickly the situation was escalating into one of full-blown panic, Twilight quickly rushed back into her house, shouting over her shoulder, “Spike! I’m going to see if I can help calm everypony down! Stay here and watch the library!”

Seeing the opportunity to finally get some sleep, Spike saluted smartly, and the second Twilight disappeared through the door to the Library, he promptly dove back into his basket and fell asleep.

------

Consciousness returned to Carter slowly, not in one brief burst of clarity, rather through a gradual fade into existence. His eyes fluttered, and he groaned involuntarily. Years of military training forced him drunkenly to his feet. Unfortunately his balance proved to be off as he found himself crashing back down to all fours. Whipping his head around to shake off the haze over his vision, he slowly looked down to see what the problem was.

Carter’s initial reaction was one of surprise. Surprise at the fact that he was on all fours. Surprise at the fact that he was comfortable on all fours. A great deal of surprise at the fact that he had somehow ended up in the middle of a dark, foreboding forest. But the most surprising thing of all was the fact that he was still alive.

You’re on your own, Noble. Carter out.

Those were his last words. The last thing he had said before he crashed the Pelican into the Scarab. He had felt the wounds on his body, had seen the blood. He knew he was dying, and so when he had seen the Scarab had cornered Emile and Six, he knew what had to be done.

The last pass over the Scarab had been the longest moment in Carter’s life. The purple behemoth thundered beneath him, soft booms emanating from each step. He had steered the Pelican in a wide arc, until he finally faced the beast. It turned to face him, and for a brief moment Carter felt as though he was meeting its gaze. As the Scarab grew larger in the Pelican’s windshield, he reflected on how he could easily just pull up now. The Scarab was focused on him now, Emile and Six were safe now that he held its attention. He didn’t have to die here.

He pinned the throttle.

And now he was here. How had that happened? He by all rights should be dead. Hell, he still could be. Carter had never been a spiritual man, but he would be the first to admit he didn’t know what lay beyond death. Was this some sort of afterlife? Carter had no idea, and a throbbing pain in his head interrupted any further thought on the matter.

Carter groaned, bringing a hand to his head in an attempt to quell the pain, only to have it bounce off his helmet. Wait, his helmet? He had taken off his helmet in the Pelican. Now he was very confused. What little he knew about the afterlife didn’t say it brought clothes with the deceased, let alone a combat helmet he had taken off before dying.

What was more, Carter felt a distinct lack of feeling in his hands. Bringing the appendage in front of him, his jaw dropped. Instead of the five-fingered hand he was used to seeing, in its place was only an armored stub, thick plating on the bottom connected to a diamond-weave mesh around his wrist. He flexed the limb and was shocked to find it respond to his commands. For the next few minutes he simply flexed his arm experimentally, trying to comprehend its transformation.

Eventually he lowered his arm and looked up, examining the area before him. He appeared to be in a dense forest, but what surprised him more was the immediate area around him. He found himself in the center of a large crater, at least thirty yards in diameter, and several yards deep. The entire area was bathed in a rich moonlight, allowing him to make out four other shapes before him.

Each one of the shapes was lying prone in the dirt of the crater, unmoving. The closest one was the smallest, about head shorter than Carter himself at first glance, though it was hard to tell. It was covered head to toe in cyan armor, with a helmet featuring a wide, T-shaped silver visor. Oddly enough, from the center of its forehead, sprouted an unarmored spiraled horn, the same cyan color of its armor. Carter could tell at a glance that the creature was a quadruped, with four equal-length legs beneath its body. From its rear, unprotected by its armor, grew a large, raven black tail. What drew his attention though, was its right foreleg. It was entirely mechanical, with a thin, skeletal frame and a constantly shifting rotor set in the elbow. This, combined with the color and design of the creature’s armor, caused a single thought to insert itself in carter’s mind. That armor… could it really be- He banished the thought before it was finished, instead focusing his attention on the next figure.

This figure was larger than the last, about Carter’s size, and like the first figure was clad entirely in armor. Its armor was a shade of olive green, and its helmet featured a large brow and a thin, amber visor. Across this figures back was a web of thick netting stuffed with various bits of grass and other plant matter, and strapped to the figure’s left foreleg was a small clip of rifle rounds; to its right, a combat knife. Its tail was a solid blue similar to the stripes across the figure’s arms, just beneath its attachments. From its back sprouted two other limbs, folded against its sides, and covered in a black mesh similar to his own bodysuit.

Now noting the marked similarities between the figures, Carter looked to the next with a gradually building sense of dread. The first thing he noticed was its helmet. Its amber visor was large and bulbous, and would have looked ridiculous if not for the roughly hewn skull carved into its front. Casting his gaze downward, Carter noted the figure’s steel gray armor, highlighted by its overly large right shoulder pauldron, colored red with white stripes, and sporting an intimidating kukri knife strapped to its frame. Dangling from the figure’s chest were two long bandoliers of what Carter recognized as M139 IGL rounds. From its rear sprouted a blood red tail. Carter was at this point perfectly aware of what he was seeing, yet couldn’t help but examine the final figure.

Given one word to describe it, Carter would have said massive. It was nearly one and a half times his size, and covered in a varied hodgepodge of armor. Its rear legs, up to its stomach was colored olive, while its chest was a garish orange, and had what looked like an oxygen tank embedded in its front. From the left side of its neck was a strip of protruding red metal, and on each shoulder was a thick oversized piece of metal, each of them shaped differently. Its helmet was narrow, with a wide amber visor that covered only the top half of its face, and thick armor plating covered its lower jaw. Finally, its tail was striped orange and red.

As Carter observed the four armored figures before him, his augmented mind quickly made the connections. Unless it was something else underneath that armor, these four quadrupeds were all of the other members of Noble Team. Well, almost all of them, as he was still missing-

His thoughts were abruptly interrupted by a low growl coming from behind him. Whipping around, Carter found himself face to face with the oppressive darkness of the forest. Through the pitch black however, Carter was able to make out two glowing yellow eyes. Carter shifted into a combat stance, uncertain on four limbs, but entirely prepared to fight under any condition, and waited for the hidden enemy to strike.

He didn’t have to wait long, as not a second later the shadowy figure lunged from the protective darkness of the forest straight towards Carter. Carter tensed, prepared to dodge out of the way of the tackle, but he wasn’t prepared for what came next, as the figure was thrown to the side by a gray blur.

Carter followed the collision as the two figures smashed to the ground, rolling in the dirt attempting to gain leverage over another. Within moments, however, the gray figure had managed to pin the other, and Carter was able to examine the both of them for the first time.

The first figure, the one pinned face down beneath the other, was about Carter’s size, and shaped remarkably like a wolf. In fact, Carter would have believed it to be a wolf, if not for the fact that it was made entirely out of wood. Its skin was clearly composed of barks and bits of twig, and upon closer inspection its eyes looked remarkably like glowing sap. This didn’t seem to hamper the creature any, as it continued to thrash beneath the steel-armored figure above it.

The figure was slightly smaller than the creature it had pinned to the ground, but clearly had no difficulty in holding the beast at bay. Its armor was much more barren than that of the other four, with its only defining feature being its helmet, with a sloped top and a heavy brow, as well as a T-shaped, sickly yellow visor. Its armor was the same steel gray as the figure with the skull's, minus the red highlights, and its tail was a pitch black. On its back were two objects that after a moment Carter recognized as a flared pair of wings.

No sooner had Carter finished his observation than the figure wrapped its legs around the snarling wolf’s head, carefully avoiding its snapping jaws. Then, in one swift motion, jerked its legs roughly, producing an audible crack as it broke the poor beasts neck.

As the body beneath it went limp, the figure slowly got to its feet, panting slightly from exertion. It then looked up, and seemed to notice Carter for the first time. It immediately snapped to attention, its wings clapping to its sides as it raised one leg in a crisp salute, and said in a sharp, and disturbingly familiar voice, “Commander, Sir.”

Carter could only stare dumbly for a few seconds before nodding and responding slowly, “Noble Six.”

Author’s Note: All right, so welcome to The Noble Guardians! I cannot wait to see how this story plays out, but bear in mind it will mostly follow the episodes timeline, with Noble Team acting as additional characters, though in NO WAY fading into the background. I will also be posting original chapters in which Noble Team will be the exclusive focus (usually) and will provide them with their own background storyline of their own. I hope you enjoyed the intro, and expect more in the future!

Also, in case any of you were worried, this story will not be taking any focus away from King of Serpents: Concord’s Dawn. I will be working especially hard to make sure that both these stories get the attention they deserve. Anyway, I hope you enjoyed this so far, and I’ll see you in the next chapter!

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