• Published 22nd Dec 2019
  • 1,733 Views, 69 Comments

Halo Equestria: The Long War - Demon_Imp_Spartan



In late 2551, humanity discovers the planet Equis and the Equestrians. So do the Covenant. With no choice, the humans and Equestrians must band together in order to survive.

  • ...
5
 69
 1,733

13- Last One Out...

13

December 31st, 2551

Royal Palace, Canterlot, Equis

Twilight stood to one side of the main entrance to the Royal Palace. Not far in front of her, Princess Celestia and Princess Luna stood at the top of the front steps, addressing an immense crowd of Equestrians. Twilight had to admit she was impressed by the size of the crowd given how cold it was that day. Snow fell lightly around them, and a thick layer had already gathered on the ground. With surprise, Twilight noticed that the faces in the crowd weren’t exclusively those of ponies. Humans were intermixed as well, yet they were not dressed like soldiers in the UNSC. These must be the citizens that had elected to journey to Equis and live there.

Around princesses, the three SPARTANs of Gold Team – Joshua, Naomi, and Grace – were all standing at attention, weapons held loosely in their hands. Other members of the Royal Guard, newly outfitted in ERA uniforms, stood around as well in a similar state of alertness. After the protest a few weeks back, no chances were being taken when it came to the security of the royalty. Princess Celestia had invited all the Elements of Harmony to attend the announcement, though only Twilight, Pinkie Pie, and Rarity had been able to make it.

“Citizens of Equestria,” Princess Celestia began, “I come to you today with an important announcement. Last week, with the help of our new human allies, we discovered an alien ship residing within our very solar system.”

A ripple of murmurs burst out from the crowd. Twilight could almost physically feel the energy of the crowd shift.

“Aliens?”

“More of them?”

“Is this that ‘Covenant’ they’ve been talking about?”

Princess Celestia raised one hand, palm outwards. A calming gesture. Slowly, the murmurs faded and attention once again returned to the Princess.

“There is nothing you need to concern yourselves over,” she continued. “Our new Royal Equestrian Navy has taken care of the problem, with the help of the brave Spartans of Gold Team. The ship has been destroyed. No harm shall come to any of you.”

“However,” Princess Luna began, “this goes to show that we must remain vigilant in the future. Now that we have become a part of the galaxy at large, there are unforeseen dangers waiting for us. We must band together and be strong in this transitional time. With humanity by our side, I believe we can whether this storm together.”

This was a surprising thing for the younger queen to say, in Twilight's opinion. She knew that Princess Luna had been very hesitant to ally with the humans in the beginning. What had happened to change her mind? The handling of the Crystal Empire incident? The Corvette’s destruction? Both? She wasn’t sure, but if the more aggressive Princess Luna was finally warming up to the humans, Silvia supposed this could only be good news.

“I would once again like to bring you the knowledge that the Royal Equestrian Army is currently accepting applications, as always,” Princess Celestia said. “If any of you wish to do your part in protecting our planet from threats within and without, please see your local recruitment office as soon as possible. No one will be turned away; I am sure that any of you have something useful to bring to the table.”

“Are there any questions?” Princess Luna asked.

There was silence for a few moments. Then a hand was raised.

“Yes?”

“Are those Spartans staying here permanently?” asked a male voice.

“Yes,” Princess Celestia nodded. “The Spartans of both Gold and White teams will be staying on Equis for the time being in order to help ensure our planet’s security in this time. A garrison of UNSC soldiers will also be nearby with the help of the ship they call the ‘Pony Express.'”

“They certainly don’t want anything to happen to us,” Rarity whispered. “Don’t you think all that is a bit, er, overkill?”

“Can you blame them?” Twilight asked. “We all saw the Corvette on the hologram. If they actually managed to land here, who knows what could have happened.”

“Yes, but the threat has passed, hasn’t it?” Rarity asked.

“Yes,” Twilight nodded. “But I still don’t think I’d want to face another ship alone if it came along. Especially if it was bigger and more powerful. I heard one of the humans say that even a small group of Covenant ships can take on a group of UNSC ships almost double its size.”

“Oh! That’s crazy!” Pinkie Pie interjected.

“Shh!” Twilight said. “Not so loud – we don’t want to interrupt the conference.”

“Sorry . . .” Pinkie apologized. She continued on at more acceptable volume for a private conversation. “I don’t have a problem with the humans hanging around. Plenty of new faces to meet!”

“It’d be nice if everyone thought that way,” Twilight mused. “I suppose people are just nervous since this is all so new. In time, things’ll work out. I hope.”

“Rainbow Dash seems perhaps a tad less hostile,” Rarity said.

“Yeah . . .” Twilight flashed back to almost two weeks ago, when she and Rainbow Dash had accompanied White Team into the Crystal Empire to retake it. Since then, Rainbow had been much less vocal about her distaste for humans. Perhaps the experience had softened her views a little and she was just too stubborn to say so. Only time would tell. Twilight herself had only just then realized at least some of the danger that the soldiers faced on an almost daily basis. It had been terrifying.

Explosions. Bullets, explosives, and Magic flying every which way. Twilight and Rainbow had been kept away from the fighting as much as possible after the initial landing. They had stayed at the UNSC base camp on the edge of the city, providing information about the Crystal Empire, its residence, and where the best locations for reconnaissance and base set-up could be. She might not have been present for much of the fighting, but that hadn’t stopped her from seeing the wounded that were brought back to the camp for treatment.

Twilight shivered.

She had never seen so much blood in her life. For the most part, the rebels had been using stolen UNSC weapons as well as standard Unicorn Magic. She hadn’t previously appreciated just how messy projectile-based weapons were. She saw more blood that day than she had seen in her entire life. And she was not eager to see anything like that ever again. She knew that efforts were currently underway to clean up the city and do something for the displaced citizens. Humans and Equestrians were working together around the clock with their strange new combination of technology and Magic to repair the damage the ‘Equestrian Freedom Society’ had done.

Silvia hoped it was just another reason for the Equestrians and humans to find common ground and get along. With any luck, this whole rebel thing was past them.

She had a sinking feeling that it wasn’t.

_ _ _

“Don’t tell your sister or Granny anythin’ ‘bout this, ya here?”

Andrew couldn’t help but smirk as Mac gestured vehemently at his little sister, Apple Bloom. He wasn’t quite sure how he, Kai, Cortez, and O’Brien had ended up at Big Mac’s farm, but there was currently no crisis for them to avert or objective for them to accomplish, so the higher-ups had mercifully granted them leave time.

Big Macintosh had invited them all over to his farm for some well-needed downtime. They had all accepted, though Kai had done so somewhat reluctantly. So, now they all sat in Mac’s living room. There was a fire burning in the hearth, and they were all drinking bottles of cider: a drink that was – for whatever reason – exceedingly popular on Equis. Andrew could tell it was slightly fermented, as he could taste the alcohol, but he knew it would take a lot more than what he was being given to get him anywhere near drunk.

“I promise, Big Mac,” Apple Bloom said, giving her brother what seemed to be her best puppy-dog-eyes. “Can I stay and hang out with y’all?”

Mac glanced around as if uncomfortable. Andrew sensed that if he denied his sister, she was definitely going to tell tales on him to the rest of his family. Mac seemed to realize that as well.

“Uhh . . .” he sighed. “Sure, sis.”

“Cool!”

Andrew was grateful that none of them were wearing their armor; choosing instead to dress in civilian clothes. On the other hand, there was no denying that there was something peculiar about him and Kai. Their height, build, and scars would give that much away. The less the filly knew about their little team, the better.

“Did you hear Meridian finally fell?” asked O’Brien. His hand held tight to the bottle he was nursing.

“No,” Andrew said, surprised. Meridian had been a battle ground since 2548. As far as he’d known, the fighting that had been going on there for the past three years had still been a draw. Then again, he’d been stationed almost exclusively on Equis for the past few months. He’d been out-of-the-loop as far as front line news reports went.

“Yeah,” O’Brien said. “They glassed it.”

“Shit,” Andrew breathed, though he immediately regretted it. He glanced over at Mac, who sat on the couch, and Apple Bloom, who had curled up beside him. “Sorry.”

Mac waved his hand. “She don’t know what it means.”

“What does it mean?”

Big Mac groaned. “Don’t worry ‘bout it. ‘An don’t you go repeatin’ nothing like that either; Ganny’ll tan my hide.”

Apple Bloom immediately changed subjects. “Waddaya mean they ‘glassed’ Meridian?”

Everyone hesitated. But if most of them had reservations about explaining glassing, Kai did not.

“It means the Covenant rained plasma on the planet from orbit,” he said, barely looking up. The fire gleamed in his eyes, making him look more dangerous than he already did. “They burn earth and turn it into glass. Water becomes ash. The atmosphere is toxic. Everything dies.”

“Oh . . .” Apple Bloom’s eyes went wide and she shut her mouth.

“The last reports from Meridian say that there were Covenant ‘research teams’ on the ground,” O’Brien said. “They were looking for something. Dunno what though. They better have found it, because there’s nothing left there to find anymore.”

“Research teams?” Mac asked, raising an eyebrow.

“Something like that,” O’Brien said. “They pulled a similar job on Concord. That planet’s theirs, but they haven’t glassed it yet. They want something.”

“ONI have any guesses as to what?” Andrew asked.

Cortez shook his head. “If they do, they’re not telling. Either way, I don’t like it.”

“Ya can say that again,” Mac said. He might not know everything, but he clearly grasped the severity of their situation, even if he was new.

“Think the split-jaws have some kind of master plan?” O’Brien wondered aloud.

“You mean other than wiping us out of existence?” Andrew muttered.

“Yeah,” O’Brien snorted. “Other than that.”

“I have a bad feeling that this whole thing is coming to an end,” Kai admitted, looking away from the group. Andrew followed his gaze and saw he was looking out one of the windows. Outside, the sun was steadily setting, and snow still swirled around in the light wind. “One way or the other.”

“That’s a cheerful thought.”

“Maybe we oughta switch topics,” Mac said.

Andrew glanced over him and saw that Apple Bloom had curled up tightly next to Mac’s side. He had one arm around her protectively, but she still looked nervous.

Andrew cleared his throat. “Right. Something else? Anyone?”

And though the conversation shifted, Andrews thoughts didn’t. Maybe Kai was right. Planets were falling left and right, and it was increasingly obvious that the Covenant’s goal wasn’t just attrition. They had some other motive that no one knew anything about. Part of him felt that this was important somehow, but he didn’t know how.

Whatever it meant, he felt sure that if something didn’t change soon, the war was going to be over. And none of them would be around to see what became of the galaxy.

Author's Note:

Alright, y'all. I consider this the end of 'Act 1' so to speak. The next chapter introduces a batch of VERY important characters, both original and canon, that play important roles in the story going forward.