• 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 53: Research and Development

“And… Cut!” The overseer shouted, and the ear-piercing whine ceased, “Shut it down, check the fuel levels and thrust-to-weight ratio.”

A unicorn marched up and did a detailed inspection of the machine with her magic, a pegasus flew up to check the fuel gauge, there was no time to set up scaffolding for other ponies to check it, and various other pony scientists were calculating the results they got from the sensory spells placed upon the device…

Celestia had came just a few days ago and announced her plan to create an airship capable of leaving Equus’ atmosphere… The entire engineering staff of the Canterlot Institute of Engineering was called, and in just a few hours they had written up half a dozen plans for ships capable of travelling and supporting life in a perfect vacuum… Of course, Life Support was the easy part, magic shields, if properly maintained, could keep a stable atmosphere inside a vessel, regardless of external forces, and that could be further assisted by making the vessel air-tight to begin with, the shields simply a backup. Air recycling was easy enough with magic, and as long as you brought enough food and water, health shouldn’t be much of a concern…

Gravity was evidently neutralized inside the void… This came as a shock to much of the science team, who cared little about what was beyond Equus, they knew it was a perfect void, and that Celestia’s sun wasn’t the only sun out there, and any pegasus knows that it gets colder and the air gets thinner the higher you get, eventually reaching a heatless void, but only those specialized in the field of void-study know any more… The Overseer, a mare, one “Ringclicker” had talked to voidologists before, and knew a bit of this already… Still though, gravity spells could make up for the lack of gravity… The big problem, and the one that they were still experimenting with, was thrust… Conventional propellers wouldn’t work in the void, and rockets were too fuel-hungry, hard to replace, and dangerous… Something else would be needed.

Again… The magic came to their rescue… “We’re reading a ratio of… 75.2, with a fuel consumption rate of 15 gallons per hour… Honestly, and engine of this size would be more than enough to get a conventional airship off the ground. Increasing the surface area of the central telekinetic receptacle would increase efficiency though… But, building a bigger one for even more delta-v shouldn’t be too difficult…”

“Good, send this data to the Princesses…” The stallion simply bowed and walked out of the room. Down below, engineers were inspecting the Telekinetic Engine for any damage received in its test run… The concept was simple, the engine would exert telekinetic force on itself, pushing itself forward, this required an ungodly amount of magical energy, supplied in the form of liquid rainbow pumped into its core. The thing looked like a large dodecahedron suspended between two horn-shaped devices mounted to cubes covered in tubes and wires. It was sensitive equipment, but enough padding, armor, and some extra reinforcement should keep the device secure for extended use inside an airship… But, there would be a lot more to go before a proper void-ship was ready for development.

“Princess Twilight’s Grimm Research Log, Day one,” Twilight was speaking into her scroll, recording audio and visual data, meanwhile Celestia watched from the other side, connected telepathically to the arcane machinery within the device.

“D-Darling, could we please hurry this up… I can’t hold this, thing, for much longer…” Rarity commented, her arms glowing brightly with cyan energy, a telekinetic field holding a beowolf completely still, meanwhile Rainbow and Spitfire had their guns raised, just in case.

“Yes, of course, today we have gone on a small expedition to Remnant’s ‘Emerald Forest’ just off Beacon, a Huntsman Academy’s, campus. And have acquired a live Creature of Grimm, classification Beowolf, to study… It has been noted by the locals that the Creatures of Grimm vaporize upon death, and significant damage to the creature’s body leads to death, they do not appear to have internal organs or cellular structure, meaning they are most likely a being of arcane origin, and damage to their body disrupts their coherency, similar to Ursas and Windigos.”

“Darling… Please, this hurts…”

“Yeah Twi, all this egghead stuff is boring.”

“Pardon my companions, Princess and/or Researcher and/or future Thaumibiology Student… But documentation is important… Now, the locals have observed that the Grimm do not appear sapient, at least for the majority of their species, but it has been observed that they do develop increased cognitive capabilities the older a given specimen is… For the most part they are aggressive and unreasonable, attacking other lifeforms, particularly sapient ones, such as the local Humans and Faunus, and these assaults do not appear to be for sustenance or territory, simply an aggressive nature toward other lifeforms. My first attempt at studying these creatures led to the expiration of the subject, as the scanning spells I applied seemed to disrupt the entity, leading to death… However, the local’s research on the subject has given me a good understanding of what I did wrong in my first attempt, see: Appendix A-1.”

Twilight walked up to the beowolf, holding her scroll in a telekinetic field, “The locals have a poor understanding of magic, and so have not the methods or proper tools for stabilizing and analyzing such entities, thus there is little material to assist me in that field… But explaining the unexplainable is a goal of a scientist,” Twilight drew an enchanted syringe and gestured Rarity to flip the creature over on it’s back, slowly lowering it onto the portable surgical table Twilight had acquired… How she got it the others never got a straight answer from her. The telekinetic field was dropped with a sigh from Rarity, and the enchantments Twilight placed upon the table kicked in, binding the monster to the table’s surface, unable to move. “For being a sub-sapient entity, the Grimm shows a remarkably good simulacrum of fear,” Twilight commented as she lowered the needle into the helpless beowolf.

Salem sat on her bone throne, her private Seer sitting on her table, it’s razor tendrils wrapped around its bulbous crystalline brain. She wasn’t fully connected to the Grimm, but she could still feel their presence around the world, and something weird had happened in Mountain Glenn… Once the most powerful source of grimm in the area, now it was devoid of Grimm… Something had happened, whenever she focused her mind to that part of the planet, her brain felt numb, empty, devoid of all energy… Something was sucking away the world’s magic in that region, and it worried her… The assault of Beacon was in jepordy, but her plan would still continue, there were still plenty of Grimm in the surrounding area, and she could just send more… She had already commanded plenty of the grimm from the surrounding hills and mountains to congregate in a thousand-mile circle around Vale, and she was even starting to drain the areas south of Vale, she may even need to command a migration of Grimm away from Vacuo to support their numbers in Vale to make up for this loss.

As she sat there, thinking… There came another strange disturbance, the presence of another mind… The Seer’s red glow turned violet, and a voice came from the ball, young and female, clearly excited, “I did it! The Grimm appears to be part of a pseudo-hive-mind, sharing thoughts with others of it’s kind, I have just hijacked the arcane signal… Wait, something’s wrong, the subject is-” Then the Seer’s red colouration returned.

Salem sat there, for the first time in thousands of years, she was confused… “What was that!’ She demanded of her Seer, but it was unresponsive, in anger she slapped the sphere, which slammed into the window, smashing a hole and falling down into the wasteland below… Who or what, aside from herself, has the ability to access a Seer… Was that Ozma? No, it couldn’t be, never in any of his forms has he been female, and Ozpin was still very much alive… A maiden perhaps, only someone with magical power could interface with the Grimm, but that would be impossible, the Maiden’s light magic was at odds with the dark power of the Grimm, just trying to do that would kill the Seer… Something bigger, and far stranger was going on… She could feel the start of a headache trying to think of what possibly could have taken hold of her Seer.

The door to her throne room opened, and Salem almost sighed a breath of relief, “Tyrian, you have returned…”

“Yes, your majesty, I have, and I have some good news for you…”

“Remember, we want their industry intact, minimize collateral damage! Luna’s orders!” Talos shouted as he swooped down, gouging out the neck of a diamond dog soldier with his griffon talons, before firing down the street with his beam repeater… The thing was a modification on the pony’s beam casters, built for griffons to use, and while it felt a lot like a crossbow, each shot turned a diamond dog into a pile of glowing ash.

An Abyssinian Airship fired a broadside into the hull of a retreating airship, and abyssinian guards and sorcerers were moving to secure factories from the dog’s hands… Meanwhile, on the shores, seaponies leapt from the foam, transforming into hippogriffs wearing the livery of Princess Luna, and descended upon the surprised diamond dog horde, pony energy weapons in claw, and the diamond dog’s spears simply bounced off some kind of glittering magical field that the enemy forces all bore.

Up above, a volley of Balefire Torpedos stuck a diamond dog airship, sending it crashing into the ocean in a blaze of green fire, and the wonderbolts circled around, firing bursts of glowing magical spheres, exploding on impact, into the streets below… Meanwhile, inside the grand spire, the Tower of Storms, the Storm King watched on in mounting horror as his island was besieged… The cold-iron armor that his soldiers wore was doing little to shield his dogs from those new magical weapons, how did the ponies develop such technology, and those magical shields they all bore, and now it was an alliance of Griffons, Ponies, Abyssinians, and Hippogriffs all attacking at once, he would need to run. He turned, taking his crystal ball and staff with him, heading toward the door, there was the sound of fighting just outside, and he froze… Then the door opened, and a familiar face greeted him.

“Tempest Shadow, where have you been, I need you to get me out of here-”

The unicorn stood there, her horn replaced with a mass of crystal and metal that glowed a rainbow of hues, her armor white and gold, bearing the sun upon its breastplate, she was accompanied by a pair of royal guards, magical beam-guns pointed at the lord of dogs. “Storm King, sir, may we discuss the terms of your surrender…”

“The Storm King has surrendered, the remaining resistance on the island is being put down by the Hippogriff garrison, the cold-iron forges are ours, and the war should come to a swift end shortly…”

“That is good news Luna,” Celestia responded, the reverse-engineered scroll she carried proved quite effective at long-range data transmission, and she marvelled at how such a small device could allow her to communicate with her sister, thousands upon thousands of kilometers south. “At least the war is over… Now we can focus on developing our diplomatic relations with Remnant. I want you to return to Canterlot as soon as the island is stable, Tempest will be acting governor in our stead.”

“Yes sister.” With that, Luna cut her connection.

“So much death…” Celestia muttered under her breath… War was abhorrent, but unavoidable at time, and sometimes even necessary… If only the Storm King surrendered after his defeat in Abyssinia. But she quickly turned her mind to other matters, reconnecting with Twilight on Remnant, “Was your experiment successful?”

“Yes, and no…” Twilight replied. “After I had taken samples of the Grimm’s flesh, now safely stored in stasis, and analyzed the magical signature the creature gives off, I discovered that the creatures are linked in a kind of pseudo-hive-mind, in which they are capable of sharing sensory data and memory between any two given individuals of their species… I was able to intercept this link, and for a very brief time I had linked myself to every single individual of their species on the entire planet!” Twilight was clearly excited, but that last part worried Celestia.

“Are you ok? Linking minds in a strenuous process…”

“Yes, I am, the Grimm’s consciousness is basic enough that it proved a very simple task to prevent my mind from being overtaken by their will. Unfortunately, without this link, the subject expired, I am currently searching for another to continue my work.”

“Very well, remember, these entities are highly aggressive and dangerous, be careful.”

“We will, your majesty.”

Meanwhile, on Remnant, Twilight continued exploring the forest, coming across various old human ruins, and eventually, a cave in which a light shone. Curiosity took hold, and she followed the light deeper into the cave. “What is that?” Rainbow said.

“I don’t much care for the look of it, who uses that shade of red!” Rarity exclaimed.

“Fascinating…” Twilight said. In the center of the cave was a strange canister-like device, and various cages surrounded it, bearing an ‘M” logo.

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