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Uplink Five: Contact I

~~~

The purple alicorn princess of friendship paced in her crystal tree palace uneasily. As her hooves struck the crystalline floor, a soft but powerful clop reverberating throughout the chamber, she thought of what to do.

It had been months since the first disappearance, and still she was no where near finding a solution. Every pony she sent to investigate only ended up disappearing them self. First she had sent volunteers to search for their loved ones, then guards, and finally, worst of all, her friend, the cyan streak Rainbow Dash. She had hoped that whatever she saw, the wonder bolt would be fast enough to escape it's clutches and report back to her with more info on it. When she didn't return that's when the element of magic feared the worse. Whatever it was that was causing this it wasn't natural.

"Twilight."

It was so bad that the princess had postponed her own coronation until the threat was dealt with. Not that she minded of course. After Dash's disappearance entering the Everfree forest was forbidden until a solution was found. Just what that solution would be she still didn’t know.

"Twilight."

Guards where placed along the perimeter and no one was allowed in. She hoped Zecora was safe, but couldn't risk sending any pony to check. It was too great a risk. This was bad. She had no idea what was happening. None of her spells where working in finding any of the missing ponies. It was as if they fell off the edge of Equis.

"Twiiiiilight."

Now with Rainbow gone the elements would also be useless. What was she going to do? Ponies don't just disappear. At first she thought to was one of Discord's jokes. Obviously. But the lord of chaos said he had nothing to do with it. Naturally he was lying. He had to be. Who else co--

"TWIIIIIIILIIIIIIIGHT!!!!!!!!!"

Spike's voice rang through her head like a church bell, shaking her out of contemplation. Rubbing the ear that he had shouted in, she saw the pudgy face of her dragon assistant. Her faithful companion for all these years. The one constant in her life. The only friend she had from Canterlot that had come with her.

"Sorry Spike." Twilight said. "I'm just..." she trailed off.

"Under a lot of stress, I get it." Spike sat on her back. "You can't get all worked up though. It will all work out. Remember when you first arrived in Ponyville?"

Twilight smiled, how could she possibly forget that day? Her mind slipped back to a different time, had it really been that long ago? So much has changed. She had wings now, more responsibility, a palace, her friends. Back then she was Celestia's star pupil, a total shut in from the capital, practically raised by an immortal being that raised the sun and moon every day for the past one thousand years. After reading a book she became convinced that Night Mare Moon would return from her millennia of imprisonment and reek all the havoc that came with an eternity of night. In her fear she brought this matter to the princess, who responded by sending her to Ponyville to see to the Summer Sun celebration. In her hurry for answers she breezed throught the day, trying to get to the Golden Oaks Library to find a solution. In her craze she rushed through everything to try and get a moment to study. She was so caught up in the details of the prophecy that she blew off the solution right in front of her. She turned out to be right about the prophecy, but if things had been different... Luckily she had her new friends with her. She didn't know what would have happened otherwise. Actually she had a few ideas of what would have happened, but it was best not to think of them. She breath in. Then out.

Spike was right. As long as she had her friends everything would be fine. She just needed to relax and the solution would emerge. She needed to trust in the elements. Everything would work out. Just like always.

But... Rainbow Dash was missing. They where down an element. That wasn't good. Not good at all. They had never been down an element. Well, except for when they fought Discord, but even then they knew where the elements still where. It was different now. This was wrong. So very wro--

The door to her personal library slammed open and a white guard stallion in golden armor entered. She had almost forgotten that some of the guards had been moved to her castle while the disappearances remained unsolved.

"Your highness!" He bellowed in a deep voice, galloping over before bowing just three hoof steps in front of her. "Forgive me, but... we... there is... there are... they... the..." he stumbled over the right words. "Follow me." He finally said galloping out Twilight trailing close behind. Hopefully this was the solution she sought.

~~++

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Designation: Dox- 66

Rank: Skitarii Alpha

Location: Unknown World assigning designation: VP- 23336789432 Xeno Settlement Delta

Uplink successful

+Lies of the Flesh+

The town was constructed primarily of wood and plaster with a façade that resembled some feudal worlds he had seen, the xenos tread the soil bartering and conversing with one another, living their daily routine uninterrupted by the phalanx of armored cyborgs armed with radium weapons surrounding their lord, some avoided them but others paid them no mind what so ever. Cassius goal was obvious. The massive crystalline structure in the town center, it’s offensive alien architecture dominated over all. A thick purple trunk latusing out into something clearly emulating a tree, with various castle like structures tangled in the arms. Fractal branches of purple holding the hollow construct aloof. The thing looked to have been grown rather than constructed, similar to the degenerate eldar. The structure was solitary however, unlike the eldar who constructed everything from wraith bone. Regardless of the race, the structure was offensive to the Omnissiah and should be smashed like the works of many other xenos abominations. At its top, an eight pointed high above all. Not the normal eight pointed star used by the Ruinous Powers, but the coincide of it stirred harshly in Dox- 66’s augments.


The vanguard formed a cog around the Arch Magos, watching the xenos intently for any sign of threat. The tech guard moved in perfect sync carful to keep their optics open for anything out of the ordinary. Under normal circumstances any complex life within this distance of Dox- 66 and his troops would be writhing on the ground before them. Their very flesh melting away from the intense rads of their armor and weapon barrels. Tumors forming in just minutes, their flesh blackening. The very soil turned to red dust behind them. However the Arch Magos had forced them to cleanse themselves of the majority of their protective radiation. Their saturated war plates where replaced with shiny new ones, and normal weapons swapped for ones that hadn’t been fired in at least a century. Even the priests of Mars couldn’t cleanse them of all their radiation however, and Magos Cassius wasn’t going to waist the resources of full replacement of organic and biological parts just for null rads. Nor did he apparently want to, but instead of intense organ failure, most of the xenos felt discomfort at their presents and avoided them. That certainly made getting through the settlement easier. But it would be even easier if the xenos dropped dead as they passed. Still, the barrier did its job, albeit not as effective as it would be fully powered. Non of the xenos dared to approach the sons and daughters of Mars while they marched through their very streets. The magi had also installed a cogitator capable of translating any verbal utterances of the foul xenos tong. Though why the Arch Magos bothered with all this was still a mystery to the Alpha. It's not like it mattered if the xenos joined the Omnissiah willingly or not. They would be exterminated eventually, and the resources present put to bette--

“Hey!” A pink creature Dox hadn’t seen before shouted in a high pitched tone before him. Dox hadn’t blinked in more than half a century. His eyelids where removed so he could remain always vigilant like all Skitarii. So he couldn’t fathom where the thing had come from. Their was nothing their. Then the creature was in his path staring up at him. With no words or signals all five of his fellow vanguard surrounded the beast, weapons level at its disproportioned head. The creature sat on it's hinge legs and began perspiring, though weather that was related to stress, or the residual rads from their gun barrels Dox didn’t know or care.

<Orders my lord?> Dox asked.

<Just ignore it, they are harmless.> Cassius responded not even stopping his pace for a second glance at the creature.

“Hey don’t ignore me!” The creature responded pouting and crossing it's front legs. “That’s so rude.”

Cassius calculated stride suddenly hauled in an instant, some of his legs still raised in the air. Slowly his hunched body turned to face the xeno, the grinding of metal on metal clearly audible.

<You... can comprehend Lingua Technis?> Cassius asked. Dox didn’t lower his weapon for even a fraction of a micro second. Neither did his squad.

The beast rolled its eyes, and Dox tightened his grip on the trigger out of lingering organic reflex, but still didn’t fire.

“Of course I can silly.” The creature went on “Your just talking normally, but with chomping things instead of quotes. Hurts when I hear it out loud though.” The being stated as an ork would explain how paint works.

“Can I talk like that?”

Suddenly the creature had left their kill box. None of the Skitarii had or even could have blinked, but they all now stared at an empty circle of ground. Turning around they now saw the beast had some how displaced it self meer inches in front of the tech priest. The warriors once again surrounded their lord, all barrels pointed at the threat. Cassius backed away somewhat uncomfortable by the revaluation.

<I.. Um... uh... the...> The arch magos stammered, his binary clipping into one another like a servitor being tested for residual intelligence. <If a being such as you can...> he finally found the right words. <hear it, then perhaps... it is... possible?> The tech lord didn't sound sure himself. This creature wasn't natural. He suspected the Dark Gods where here in some way now.

"Awesome!" The creature jumped up. "Now how would I do it?" The xeno knocked it's skull several times, Alpha Dox- 66 too notice of a certain hollow noise.

"MAYBE LIKE THIS? The being said in a mechanical monotone that should have been impossible for an organic. "Nope. Hmmmmm..."

"01001101 01100001 01111001 01100010 01100101 00100000 01101100 01101001 01101011 01100101 00100000 01110100 01101000 01101001 01110011 00111111" The creature stated perfectly. "No that's waaay too long. How about..."

[Perhaps Like Thiiiiiiiiiiishhhhhh?] The creature verbaly produced an archaic form of binary screech from it's mouth before erupting into several hacking coughs. Shaking it's head it looked up again. "Wowy wow that's hard to do. How do you do that without your tong getting in the way?" The hoofed beast pressed its face directly against the Alpha's helmet, he was unable of seeing what it was standing on, since his vision was taken over by the pink creature.

<I... do not possess a tong.> He answered honestly.

The creatures jaw contorted unnaturally large, sucking in such large amounts of air and the alpha was worried it would consume him.

"Don't have a tong! DON'T HAVE A TONG!!!" the xeno shouted as if he had blasphemed. "How do you eat ice cream then?" Dox noticed a small sunburn on the creatures forehead where it must have touched his helmet.

His translator must not have been working correctly. <Ice, Cream?> he asked for clarification.

Once again it's jaw defied the creatures own biology.

"This is a Level One Ice Cream Emergency!" The creature some how pulled a helmet with a blinking crimson lumo from possibly the Warp itself. The helmet had a white parchment on the forehead with script the Alpha could not read. "I'll be right back with my top thirty three favorite ice cream flavors, do not move from this spot until I return." The creature stressed producing yellow and black tape and rapping it around them all. With that the creature vanished leaving behind a puff of smoke in the creatures own shape.

None of the individuals present had any idea how to move forward from that experience.

Transmission Interrupted

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