• Published 18th Jul 2012
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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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Afterlife... Or not

As Twilight rushed out the door to the Library, she saw that the townsfolk were already working themselves into a panic. All around her ponies were rushing about, screaming in horror. Twilight looked around desperately, searching for a way to calm the herd. She was beaten to it, however, by a loud cry of “EVERYPONY CALM DOWN!” coming from the direction of Town Hall.

Twilight turned toward the source of the call, and saw Mayor Mare standing on the Town Hall’s balcony, one hoof still raised in a silencing gesture. As a hush fell over the assembled ponies, Mayor Mare slowly lowered her hoof and cleared her throat. “Now, everypony, there is no need to panic! I don’t know what the source of that blast was, but I can assure you that it was not the result of an attack on Ponyville! We all simply need to calm down, and see if we can figure out what exactly is going on.”

The assembled ponies seemed unconvinced, muttering nervously amongst themselves. Sensing the panic that was quickly rising in the townsponies, Twilight focused and, in a burst of magic, teleported herself onto the balcony. Mayor Mare jerked back in surprise, but her shock quickly turned to confusion as she beheld the unicorn before her. “Twilight Sparkle?” She said. “What are you doing here?”

Twilight responded, “I’m here to make an announcement.” She then turned to face the rest of the town and proclaimed, “Attention, everypony. My name is Twilight Sparkle, and I know what the source of the blast was. I was looking through my telescope when I suddenly saw what appeared to be a shooting star. However as it passed overhead I realized that this wasn’t the case. When it was directly above me I was suddenly blasted with a concentrated burst of pure magic.” This caused the nervous muttering to increase in its intensity, and Mayor Mare quickly raised a hoof to silence them once more. “I am uncertain what exactly this object is, or where it came from, but I was able to see that it landed in the Everfree Forest. I propose that we send a team of ponies, myself among them, to find this object, and if possible, bring it back for study. Now who’s with me?”

The silence that met her proclamation was all the answer she needed, and Twilight felt herself deflate slightly. Thankfully though, a pink hoof suddenly shot up from the crowd, waving erratically. “Ooh, ooh, I wanna go!” Pinkie Pie shouted, still keeping her hoof extended. “You said this thing came from space? That is so super duper cool! Maybe it’s aliens, then we can meet them! And that means I can throw them an alien WELCOME PARTY!” Everypony around the mare was now edging away slowly, but Twilight smiled at her friend’s willingness to help.

Turning back to the crowd of ponies, she continued, “Alright, Pinkie Pie’s on board. Anypony else?” She was met with a few more nervous mutterings, until an ivory unicorn stepped forward, her violet mane done up in curlers and a mud mask on her face.

“While a trip into the Everfree Forest was not what I had in mind for tonight, I very well can’t let you two go into that dreadful place alone, now can I?” In a flash of light the curlers and mud mask disappeared, leaving Rarity alone in her usual beautified glory. “I shall go as well.”

Twilight’s smile grew wider at her friends’ dedication, and turned to face Mayor Mare. “It’s settled then. Pinkie, Rarity, and I will head out and find whatever this object was, and ensure that it holds no threat to Ponyville or Equestria.” Mayor nodded in acknowledgement, and addressed the crowd.

“You heard her, everypony. Twilight will lead the team to find this object, and make sure it poses no threat to the rest of us here in Ponyville. Now I must ask you all to calmly return to your homes.” The crowd shared another round of nervous chatter, before slowly beginning to disperse. As soon as the last pony save for Rarity and Pinkie Pie had turned to leave, Mayor Mare returned her gaze to Twilight, a stern expression on her face. “Miss Sparkle, I am glad you were here to defuse the situation, but I am unsure about this expedition you have proposed. The Everfree Forest is a dangerous place, and I don’t want to see you or your friends hurt. What is more, whatever you find in that forest could be dangerous. I need you to promise me Twilight, that if you think that whatever you find out there will be a danger to Ponyville, you will NOT bring it back here. Do you understand, Twilight? Can you promise me that?”

Twilight nodded grimly. “I understand, Miss Mayor. We will find whatever it was that landed here, and we will make sure to protect Ponyville from whatever danger it poses. You have my word.” Mayor Mare smiled, and Twilight began to concentrate, teleporting away before reappearing next to Rarity and Pinkie Pie. “Are you ready girls?” Seeing her two friends nod in affirmation, Twilight turned and galloped toward the Everfree Forest, her two friends following close behind.

------

Carter looked at the armored figure before him, trying to grasp the concept of Six, like himself, being turned into some sort of quadruped. Shaking his head to clear his thoughts, Carter said assertively, “Alright Six, status report. Where are we, and what happened to us?” The Lieutenant shook her head in response.

“Sorry Sir, but I don’t know. I woke up only a few minutes before you did. I would say we were on Earth, but from the look of us, along with this thing,” She gestured to the corpse of the wooden wolf. “I’m not certain about that anymore.” Carter frowned, pondering the best way to proceed. After a moment of thought, Carter nodded determinedly and said, “Alright, first thing we should do is get the rest of Noble on their feet.” If they can even be called ‘feet’ anymore. He thought. “Come help me wake them up.” Six gave a firm “Yes Sir.” In response, and together the two Spartans stepped towards their unconscious comrades.

Carter started with Kat, not only because she was the one closest to him, but also because he simply had to make sure it was really her. Slowly, hesitantly, Carter reached out with a foreleg and shook her gently. Aside from a muffled grunt, he received no response. He shook her harder, and felt his spirits rise as she began to stir.

Looking up from Kat’s softly groaning form, Carter saw Six roughly shaking Jun, and chuckled slightly. Casting his gaze back downward, he looked down just in time to catch a solid jab to his face.

Carter’s head snapped back, his shields flaring from the blow, before he felt himself thrown away from Kat, landing on his back with a solid thud. Then, before he could right himself, he felt a large weight press itself against his chest, pinning him to the ground.

“What the hell are you? Where am I? Answer me!” Kat growled, bringing one leg up to press down on Carter’s throat, cutting off his air supply. In his peripherals, Carter could see a gray figure stepping towards them.

“Hold, Six.” Carter choked out, feebly raising a hoof to stop the Lieutenant. Focusing his attention on Kat, he rasped, “Kat, it’s me. It’s Carter.” Kat jerked back in surprise, immediately removing her leg from Carter’s throat.

“Commander? Is that really you?” Hesitantly, she stepped off of Carter, allowing him to clamber to his feet. Once he was standing, Carter looked to Kat and saw her staring at him, stock-still, no doubt gaping behind her helmet. “Carter… What happened to you?” Suddenly she looked down, examining her four-legged stance. “To all of us?”

Carter attempted to shrug, but found it difficult on four legs. Sighing, he simply said, “That’s what we’re trying to find out, Kat. Help me get the rest of Noble on their feet, and we’ll see if we can figure out what the situation is.”

Kat looked uncertain. “But how did we get here? The last thing I remember we were all heading toward the shelter in New Alexandria. We were running for the shelter, then, nothing.” Carter’s eyes widened at the realization. Of course. The last thing I remember was my death, and I had seen it coming. Kat didn’t. She doesn’t know that she… He frowned; pondering how to tell Kat that she had been killed.

“Kat… I don’t know how to say this, but you never made it into the shelter.”

Kat took a step back. “What are you talking about? What do you mean I didn’t make it?”

Carter shot a pleading look toward Six, only to find both her and Jun staring at them, silently observing them with rapt attention. Seeing that they would offer no help in this matter, Carter looked back to the Kat, the Lieutenant Commander staring at him expectantly. “Kat… you were killed. A Covenant sniper shot you in the head with a needle rifle. You died instantly.” He looked away, unable to meet her gaze.

“Wh-What? What do you mean I- How can you say that?!” Kat was dumbfounded, desperately trying to comprehend what Carter had just told her.

Carter shifted uncomfortably, searching for the words to explain to her. “Kat, I’m sorry. There was nothing anyone could do. We… We managed to recover your body; Six managed to bring it into the shelter.”

Kat was slow to respond, but eventually said, “I-I can’t believe this.” Carter laid a foreleg on her shoulder, attempting to comfort her.

“Kat, it’s alright. We’re here now, so let’s find out how and why that is, alright?” Kat nodded resolutely, and the two turned towards the remaining Spartans. Apparently this chat had distracted both Six and Jun from awakening the others. Carter couldn’t see their faces through their helmets, but Carter suspected Jun had a knowing grin on his face. Six was most likely wearing her usual blank expression.

Kat suddenly turned to Carter and said, “By the way Carter, why do you have a horn?” Carter stopped dead, subconsciously lifting a foreleg to feel the fluted appendage sprouting from his forehead. Oddly enough, touching it gave him the same sensation one would get from touching a tooth. It had no nerve endings of its own, but it was clearly sensitive. He looked from Kat, who was watching him expectantly, to Jun and Six. Jun was holding back laughter, and Six had her head cocked to the left, a motion that Carter had come to associate with curiosity or confusion, in this case, most likely the former.

“Uh, I don’t know, but you do too.” As Kat began to tap her own horn in astonishment, Carter quickly turned to face the rest of Noble. “Six, Three, go wake up Emile and Jorge. We need to get everyone on their feet.” The two Spartans nodded, and they each proceeded to wake one of the remaining unconscious Spartans.

Eventually the entirety of Noble Team was awake and on their feet. Emile and Jorge, while understandably confused at the fact that they were alive, reacted somewhat better than Kat. They had, after all, expected their own deaths, Emile slowly bleeding out and Jorge manually activating a makeshift bomb.

Now, the six Spartans were gathered in a rough circle. Carter stepped forward, regarding each Spartan before saying, “Alright Noble. Somehow, we have been transported into some sort of forest, and transformed into… whatever we are now. Furthermore, I don’t know about you three,” He gestured to Jun, Emile, and Six. “But the rest of us are supposed to be dead.”

“Actually,” Said Jun, stepping forward as well. “I was killed at Castle Base. Halsey’s safe, though.” Jorge cocked his head in confusion at this, and Carter made a mental not to explain the entirety of the situation to him later.

“Me too.” Said Emile. “I was defending the Autumn on the MAC gun, but some Elite bastards jumped me.” He chuckled darkly. “I got them in the end, though.” The assembled Spartans all looked expectantly at Six, who only nodded in response.

Carter took a moment to process this development, before continuing, “Okay, so we’re all supposed to be dead. I’d say this is the afterlife, but last I checked you didn’t need armor when you get there. Plus, I’ve never heard of creatures like that,” He gestured to the corpse of the wooden wolf. “Appearing in any sort of paradise.” The rest of Noble observed the carcass and, minus Six, looked from it to Carter in confusion.

“What is it?” Said Kat, approaching the body and prodding it with a foreleg.

“It looks like a wolf.” Remarked Emile. “’Cept it’s made of wood.”

“A timber-wolf.” Said Jun with a laugh.

“I don’t care what it is.” Said Carter, stomping one leg to silence the others. “All I care about is that it isn’t friendly. I don’t want to have to fight more of these things, especially in a new body.”

“There are more of them out there.” All eyes turned to Six, who turned to look out into the blackness of the forest. “If this really is a wolf, it was probably part of a pack.” She turned to Carter, and grimly said. “I recommend we leave before they find out what happened to it.”

Carter nodded in affirmation. “Six is right. We need to find a way out of this forest, see if we can find some sort of civilization. If there is any on this planet.”

“And then what?” Huffed Emile. “For all we know this could be a Covenant home world, or an Insurrectionist stronghold. Even if we do find someone sentient, I doubt that they’d offer us any-“

“HEEEEEELP!” Emile was cut off as a chorus of voices cried out in terror. Immediately the Spartans whipped toward the source of the noise.

“That was close by.” Said Jun.

“And it was in English.” Added Jorge.

Carter quickly decided on the next course of action. “Alright, Noble Team. We have a human in danger. New bodies or not, we’re still sworn to protect. Let’s move.” The other Spartans nodded in confirmation, and as one the team sped off into the blackness of the forest, heading toward the source of the scream.

Author’s Note: Okay, done with the second chapter! I like how this one turned out, the exposition leading up to the climactic meeting! Expect the next chapter to be up very soon! In fact I’m already working on it! I hope you enjoyed this chapter and I’ll see you in the next one!

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