• Published 28th Oct 2019
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Fillies and Monsters - Solaris Vult

After overhearing the CMC wanting to hunt monsters, Discord gives them and Diamond Tiara a chance in the world of Remnant

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Chapter 25: Developments of the Technological and the Agricultural

Massive brick buildings towered over the streets as ponyless carriages zoomed past the humans and faunus walking around on the sidewalks. Twilight was ecstatic, her camera flashed like a human weapon as she captured images of the populace, their vehicles, their homes, and everything else she found interesting. “Twilight, dear, we should really start finding a place to stay,” Rarity muttered.

A man turned to look at them, muttered something under his breath, but turned away a moment later, his gaze chilling the pony’s bones. “This place gives me the creeps…” Rainbow continued, “And it feels so weird, it’s so cold, but so warm at the same time.”

“Yah don’t like it ere!” Another man shouted from a street corner, “We don’t want yah ere either, faunus like you always cause trouble in this city!”

“My dear, I’m afraid we don’t understand,” Rarity began, “We have yet to cause any trouble, back in the tundra, it was the humans who made trouble for us…”

“Oh yes, everything’s always our fault, because you dumb mutts don’t understand your place in this world!”

“Hey!” Rainbow Dash shouted.

Twilight rolled her eyes, raised her arm to block Dash, then pointed a finger toward the man, and with a flash of violet from her fingertip, the man froze solid, mid-speech, and fell over.

“Stasis again?” Spitfire said.

Twilight nodded, “I find it the best way of dealing with drunken ponies…” The group continued onward through the city, looking for something of value, such as a library, store, or hotel of some kind. At a cross in the road, a carriage with a long open back was dropping off what looked like miners or rock farmers of some kind, covered in dust, ash, and soot… All of them had animal parts of some kind.

Twilight was dancing on her feet, “Look at all this, the ponyless carriages, the heating, the lighting, these humans have machines that were only theoretical back home” She moved and approached a human… Wait, no... that human had strange bear-like ears sticking from her? His? They’re head… That was a faunus, wearing a green jacket. “Hey!” She said.

“Hi, what do you need?” The, clearly feminine, faunus asked.

“I was wondering, do you know of any mechanics or engineers living in this city?” Twilight asked.

“Oh, a few, but your best option, particularly if you’re looking for cybernetics, would be Pietro Polendina, he lives down on eighth street, right in the middle of the residential district.”

“Where exactly is this ‘eighth street’, and what exactly are cybernetics?” Twilight asked.

The girl looked surprised for a second, but then grinned as she raised her arm, a contraption made of articulating bits of metal moving in perfect synchronicity, as if it were a real flesh arm. It was plated in various pieces of some strange material similar to ceramic. Twilight’s eyes went wide, “How did you get that to respond to your brain’s commands as if it were actually part of your body, and how does it articulate so well, what’s that material it’s plated in?”

The girl grinned, “Well, I’m sure Pietro can answer all your questions, come on, I’ll show you to his place.”

Professor Peach wore a large round pair of glasses, a pink shirt underneath heavy overalls, and wore daggers around her thighs. Her hair was a pale blonde weaved into a puffy braid, the fillies couldn’t help but envision some ungodly offspring of Applejack and Pinkie Pie. Her classroom was filled with plants of all kinds, and resembled some equally ungodly fusion of a classroom, greenhouse, and garden… It even had a fountain in the back.

“Welcome to my class young huntsmen and huntress-” She paused when she noticed the plants… As Apple Bloom walked into class, the vines started to creep toward her, the trees swayed in her direction, grass grew toward her, and flowers turned to face her.

As the plants gravitated toward the girl’s direction, everyone stared in awe, even as a vine curled itself around the mare’s leg and, like a snake, slithered up her body. She simply stood there and patted the vine on the head, then closed her eyes and suddenly, the plants retreated, returning to the way they once were, vines slithering back to their places, grass dropping down under the weight of their newly grown biomass, and the trees swaying back and forth, as if they still wanted to be near her presence.

Professor Peach got over her shock and started clapping, “Very impressive, your semblance I presume? Some kind of affinity for flora?”

“I guess,” Apple Bloom shrugged, “Plants just like me…” Apple Bloom let a grin pass over her face, “Watch this!” She moved over to one of the trees and planted her fingers in the soil, digging down until she could feel its roots… As she did so, the tree seemed to twist, branches reaching out to their mother. Once she had taken hold of the roots, she let her earth pony magic, powers she rarely needed to call upon, flow openly.

The teacher, the students, and even the other plants watched as the tree grew, twisting upward, limbs reaching outward to brace the ever-expanding plant, its trunk growing larger, leaves turning greener, and more branches sprang from the growing trunk… Soon the uppermost branch of the tree had touched the glass-domed roof, and the glass started cracking as the barrier proved incapable of stopping the tree’s growth. The trunk broke through the glass, somehow without shattering it, simply cracking it, and continued upward, growing larger and larger until a tired-looking Apple Bloom pulled her hands from the dirt and fell to the floor, panting.

“My… Sister,” She said between breaths, “Is a bit better… It’s… How we got… Our farm so big, and… How we keep… Growing apples… So quickly.”

Weiss looked a little angry and… Scared, at the filly. Meanwhile Diamond was shaking her head, muttering, “Showoff…”

“You can do it too…” Apple Bloom said.

“I can,” Diamond replied, “But I’ve never tried before, digging in the dirt is… Unbecoming, of a person, like myself.”

“Well…” Peach spoke up, “Welcome to my class, students… I suppose that was a good welcoming to what we shall be learning… In the wilds, when travelling through a world infested with monsters of all kinds, survival is the goal, and while a big part of that might be combating the creatures of grimm, another part of that is learning the wilds, what is edible should you find yourself in the forest without food, where to find water should you traverse the deserts around Vacuo, how to brave the cold of the north… And, an important part of that survival, is knowing the world around you and the nature that surrounds each and every one of us… I will teach you that very important skill, I will teach you what plants are edible, where you can find water in even the most desolate of deserts, and I will teach you how to brave all kinds of climates thanks to the powers of nature… Shall we begin.”

The teacher trotted over to a chalkboard and began drawing a diagram of a plant that Apple Bloom didn’t recognize, and, once she was done, she explained what it was… A kind of common weed that sprouted around dead trees, one that, when boiled, creates a broth that can help restore one’s aura. While the rest of the class listened intently, took occasional notes, or simply ignored the lecture in boredom, Apple Bloom’s pencil flew across her notebook, writing as fast as thoughts formed in her mind.

She took complete notes of everything the teacher said, she wrote down, in a separate box, questions she would need to ask Peach at a later date, and, taking up a majority of the page, was a growing list of plants, their properties, and how they might be able to be used in potion-making… She was going to need samples.

The manta flew over the target site, Clover stood staring out the window at the scene below. On one side of the hill was a large crater, the distant form of a body lying half-buried in snow lay next to the crater, around the destroyed forms of several AK prototypes. On the other side of the hill was a large trench dug in the ground when a dropship crashed, now half-buried in snow… Even now, hours after it had crashed, it was still spewing smoke from damaged components. The frost around the cockpit was stained a ruddy brown.

“Alright, Vine, Elm, and I will drop next to the dropship’s crash site… Marrow and Hare, you go down to the crater and report your findings.”

Everyone nodded, and as the manta circled around the target locations, the first team jumped down to investigate the crashed dropship, while the aircraft circled around and dropped off the second team down by the crater.

Clover came to a stop on the ground in a puff of snow, he pulled his fishing rod from his back and took cautious steps forward toward the wreckage. In the cockpit was a scene that would traumatise any lesser huntsmen, the dark brown snow was a testament to that, dried, frozen, blood coated every surface, some of it was still a crimson red, even after the hours that had passed… Sitting in the pilot seat, desperately pulling up on the controls, even in death, an atlesian soldier sat, cut to shreds by hundreds of shards of broken glass and impaled through the gut by a long metal rod, neck sliced apart by metal fragments, and legs crushed under the crumpled metal of the cockpit.

Suddenly, there came the voice of Marrow on the comms, “Alpha… We have some good-ish news, and some bad news, come over to the crater and see for yourself…”

“Alright… The crash site requires further investigation though… Just from a cursory glance, I can tell this crash was caused by more than just user error, the crash at that angle and velocity shouldn’t have been lethal, but something had damaged important structural components of the dropship, it looks like it was shot down, but I can’t tell by what kind of weapon… There’s some kind of orange residue around certain components and parts of the ship’s internals look… Melted, for lack of a better term.”

Clover had gone around and forced open the cargo bay door, something had shot at the ship alright, there was a solid line of destruction going through the hull, a good bit of important structural components had been warped apart and electronics were fried, as if a sudden influx of energy somehow bypassed the circuit breakers and fuses and just immolated the wiring.

“Well, as interesting as that sounds… I can guarantee you what we found is far more important,” Harriet came on to the comms.

“Ok, I’m coming…” Clover said, “Vine, Elm… Keep a lookout on the crash site and report if you’ve found anything of note…” With that, Clover trekked his way over to the crater. There, he saw Marrow and Harriet standing over the body of the second atlesian soldier, presumably the copilot, “Cause of death?” He asked.

“Umm…” Marrow began, “We don’t know… We don’t even know if the subject is dead or alive…”

“What?” Clover asked, “Explain.”

“The subject doesn’t have a pulse, heartbeat, lung movement… All signs indicate death, but he’s warm, too warm, even if he were still alive, it’s as if he’s not losing any body heat. Weirder still, he appears frozen solid, not frozen as in cold, but frozen as in non-mobile, it’s as if he were made of iron, his joints are completely locked, his flesh feels as solid as a rock.”

“Get him back to Atlas on the next transport… Any track? Do you have any idea where the perpetrators have gone?”

“That’s the bad news… We’ve identified footprints leading into the snow toward Mantle, two of the four subjects appear to be wearing boots of some kind, one was wearing heels, and the fourth footprint appeared like some large bipedal bird with clawed toes and heels… They go a few dozen meters south-east, then suddenly disappear.”

Trotting through the streets of Ponyville stood a mare, blue mane, grey coat, green eyes. She stepped inside an abandoned house, going to great effort to make sure every window was closed, every door sealed, and that nothing, absolutely nothing, was watching… She raised her horn, and emerald magic swirled around the room, there was nothing hiding from her sight.

Once she was sure she was alone, she closed her eyes, took a deep breath, and said, “Discord…”

Suddenly, there was a magical pressure in the room that the unicorn easily felt, a presence, powerful and ancient, watching her… “I was wondering when the news would reach you, always the schemer…”

“Discord, I’m sure you know what I want.”

“To visit this other world you’ve heard so much about, to find a new home, away from the dangers of this one… Clever, I’ll give you that… Unfortunately for you, I’ve already vowed to no longer interfere with the events that are to unfold…” The voice gave a dark chuckle that chilled even her bones, “But… When have I ever been one to keep promises… Fine, just this once, I’ll make an exception… You’ll even be able to keep your current form, though I suppose ‘form’ doesn’t really matter to you.”

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