• Published 6th Nov 2012
  • 2,119 Views, 91 Comments

To Test is Science! - Crimson Star

The sequel to "To Observe is Science!"

  • ...

The human factor

A golden chariot appeared in the skies above Ponyville, capturing the attention of the citizens below. Twilight had written a letter to Princess Celestia, asking her advice on an urgent matter. The matter, she stated, were that visitors from another world, much like Geo, John, and Ace, were in Ponyville, saying that they had business with Equestria's ruler. Instead of sending a direct response, Princess Celestia assured Twilight that she would arrive soon to speak with the visitors. And as she landed, she saw the look of glee from Twilight's face. She trotted up to the Princess, smiling.

"Princess Celestia!" Twilight exclaimed. She knew the Princess was coming, but she still got excited whenever she saw her. Disregarding the fact Celestia was the Princess, Twilight secretly had looked upon her like a second mother just as much as she was her tutor. After bowing, Twilight immediately trotted up to the Princess.

"Twilight, my faithful student. It's so good to see you." Celestia greeted, with a warm smile. She looked at the five humans with whom Twilight was speaking, and cocked an eyebrow, as she regarded their garb. They looked like black military uniforms, and they were armed with weapons, but their body language and their relaxed expressions indicated that they weren't hostile. "Who are your friends?" Celestia asked.

"Uh, we just met." Twilight admitted, stepping out of the Princess' way. "They seem nice enough, and they had some questions for you. I think they're from Earth, the same place Geo's from." Twilight moved over to the Nurse-bot she was renting out from Ace, and took her foals. She didn't know why, but she felt like she needed to keep them close at the moment.

At the mention of Earth, the apparent leader of the group, a tall man with muscular build and a strange device attached to his neck stepped foward, giving a smile. "Greetings, Princess." He spoke, without moving his mouth. The sound came from a speaker on the device attached to the man's neck. "I am Colonel Artur Da Rocha. I am second commander of the mercenary unit, las Soldados Do Touro." He gave a respectful bow of his head.

Celestia returned the bow. "Greetings, Colonel. I trust my student has already told you, but I am Princess Celestia, ruler of Equestria." Despite herself, she found her curious eyes drift to the Colonel's neck. "I am intrigued. You are speaking, yet your lips do not move. Are you using some form of telepathy?" She asked.

Da Rocha wagged a finger. "I see you've noticed. I assure you, I have no such power as telepathy. No, my voice was lost in an unfortunate accident. The sound of my voice has been replicated with the device you see, crafted by my commanding officer, and the leader of las SDT, Dr. Manglanosa. He is a genius inventor, and a brilliant man. And the reason why we are here."

Celestia's eyes sized up the man, trying to determine why a mercenary unit was interested in staying in Equestria. "And what is your reason for being here?" She asked.

"Our world is wracked with war." Da Rocha stated. "People fight one another for territory, money, or other frivilous means. Business for us is good, but the Doutor wants to bring the world to peace. He thinks it's high time the various nations of the world hung up their weapons, and lived without the evils of the world."

A respectful glint in Celestia's eye formed, but only for a moment. "An admirable goal, to be sure. But that still doesn't explain why you're here, or how you came to be here."

The colonel nodded. "As I said before, the Doutor is a brilliant man. He created a portal to another universe. This universe. He wants your promise of sanctuary, as well as construct a military compound here from which we can strike against our enemies. Of course, we would never dream of crossing into your borders without your permission, nor setting up our base in your territory without suitable...compensation." As he spoke, two of the soldiers came foward, hefting a large chest. They set it down in front of Princess Celestia, and opened it. Inside was a dizzyiing amount of gold bricks, all of which shone and glimmered before Celestia.

Despite the vast amount now in front of her, Celestia frowned. "I'll have you know I am quite opposed to my lands being used by a foreign military as a staging area for wars Equestria is not involved in."

Da Rocha smirked. "Quite. I assure you, we have no interest in involving your nation in any unnecessary wars." He explained. "As second-in-command of the SDT, I am authorized to negotiate a treaty between our group of mercenaries, and the nation of Equestria. We are willing not to launch attacks directly from our base which we would set up here, should you grant us such a priviledge. In exchange, we would protect you from threats not of Equestrian origin. If a nation comes through our portal wanting war with you, you will have our support."

Celestia smirked at this. "Well, I thank you for the offer, but I am quite confident in my own military." She stated.

Da Rocha gave a respectful and sweeping bow. "Of course, your majesty." He straightened himself, befire holding up a finger. "However, here is something for you to consider. In a war, if you had a force of...expendables...would you send them into combat before your own forces?"

The Princess scowled, giving her reason for refusal. "None of my citizens are expendable, Colonel." Her voice shot, icily.

The Colonel shook his head. "Of course not. But we are not your citizens."

Celestia cocked an eyebrow again. "You consider yourselves expendable?" She asked.

Da Rocha shrugged. "We're mercenaries, your majesty. We know the risks of combat, and it is all we're good at. We gladly fight for those who have the best offer. And we offer you the best deal for both of us."

Her eyes became almost sympathetic to the man. It seemed so sad, that all these people knew was war. But then, they seemed content with themselves. Perhaps it wouldn't be so bad to employ them, she thought. "In that case, thank you." The Princess nodded. "I think we can come to an agreement."
The Sorou-Mobile was on it's way home. It hummed through the sky, as it peacefully sped towards Ponyville. Pinkie was in her husband's lap, snuggled up to his chest, still sleeping. For such an energetic pony, she had a tough time getting up so early in the morning, Ace thought, as he rubbed a hand along his wife's neck. He got a response in the form of a dreamy sigh. He looked out the dome of the windshield. It was still dark out, but small rays of the sun were still appearing over the horizon. Ace wondered if Luna was getting ready to go to bed, as Celestia was just waking up. He had ideas, but he wasn't certain, having spent most of his time in Ponyville.

Pinkie suddenly let out a mighty yawn, causing Ace to scratch her ear. She blinked wearily, smiling up at Ace. "Good morning." Ace said, looking down at her, as he engaged the autopilot.

Still looking tired, Pinkie climbed up to eye level with him. "Morning, sweetie!" She said cheerily, despite her frazzled mane and tired eyes.

The couple shared a kiss, before Ace moved her to the passenger's seat. A tray popped out beside Pinkie, holding a plate which had two buttered pancakes, an English muffin, and four hay bacon strips. "Coffee's in the cupholder. Extra sugar and cream, just the way you like it."

Pinkie giggled, as she took her coffee, and sipped it. "He cuddles AND cooks breakfast? Wow, you sure know how to treat a filly in the morning, dont'cha, Acey?" She teased.

"Only the best for my mare." Ace replied, retaking the controls. "Which is why I got the casino to help me cook it."

They shared a laugh, as Pinkie leaned her head on Ace's shoulder. The coffee began taking effect, as she sat up to watch things out the window. Her smile grew wider, and her hair sprang out, fixing itself into it's usual style. "I think that was, like, the best honeymoon I've ever been on!" She exclaimed, looking back at Ace. "Of course, it was the only honeymoon I've ever been on, but it was still the most super-fantastically-amazingiest time I ever had! it was like a non-stop party for two weeks!"

"I know. We're gonna have to go back there next year for our anniversary." Ace commented, before a realization struck him. "OR maybe we can switch things up, and go somewhere completely new. We did leave a bit of a mess, back there. I'm still wondering how they're gonna clean up all the confetti in our room." Ace smirked knowingly at Pinkie, who turned red, and bore an embarrassed smile.

"Heh...yeah." She replied, her ears flopping down in bashfulness. She turned her attention to the vehicle, letting her mind wander. But then, she struck up another conversation. "Ooh! There's something I've been meaning to ask! Can you make me a special mech attachment for the Sorou-Mobile? I wanna call it, 'The Power-Partier-Nine-Thousand-and-One!' I wanna be able to set up a party any time, anywhere, no matter how big the area!" She wrapped her arm around Ace, raising her hoof to the sky. "Imagine, Acey! Four fully automatic party cannons facing in all directions, on a floating platform that roars through the air! Only it's not a scary roar! No, the Pee-Pee-Nine-Thousand-One will be roaring out dubtrot, the perfect party music! And entire towns would fall to the might of an unstoppable party, going across the land, and engulfing the populace in a never-ending era of fun and laughter!" Pinkie looked over at Ace, who had cocked an eyebrow at her. Pinkie shirked away. "Uh, I mean..." She said, backing down.

Ace faced foward, and Pinkie let out a defeated sigh, resting her head on her arms. Ace glanced over at her, and spoke. "I'll have it up on the drawing board by tomorrow."

Pinkie let out a small gasp, and turned to face Ace. "Really?!"

Ace shrugged. "Why not? I have a surplus of materials. I'll just make some time to build it."

Pinkie immediately seized Ace in a hug, who desperately tried to maintain control of the craft. "Oh, thankyouthankyouthankyouthankyouthankyou!" She said, peppering his face with kisses. "You're the best, Acey!"

Ace laughed, trying to push Pinkie away. "Alright hun, alright. I'm kinda driving right now." Pinkie settled herself, before resigning to hug Ace's arm and rest her head on his shoulder as he drove. As the Sorou-Mobile hummed overhead, a curious glint caught his eye."Hey, what's that?" The Sorou-Mobile turned it's lights in the direction of the glint, and hovered over.

Pinkie and Ace saw a troubling sight. There was a small group of Earth Ponies, travelling by carriage, and being besieged by a larger group of what looked like bandits. Five in total, they were made up of two diamond dogs, a griffon, and two ponies. One unicorn, one pegasus. Each seemed to be armed aand armored with crude weapons. Before they came into full view, Ace saw one of the dogs whap one of the ponies. And after the lights settled, both the bandits and the travellers looked up in an awe inspired apprehension. "Acey, those ponies need help!" Pinkie exclaimed, turning to him.

Ace grinned. "Not to worry, my dear!" He said, tapping various keys on his console. "Now is the perfect opportunity to test out my latest bots! Duty calls!" He took a microphone from the console, and began to speak. "Attention! By the power vested in me by Princess Celestia of Equestria, I am placing you under arrest for assault with a deadly weapon! Lay down your weapons, get down on the ground, and put your hooves on your head! This is your only warning!" The unicorn scowled, and let loose a magic blast. The blast impacted the Sorou-Mobile, but did negligable damage to it in it's current configuration. Ace smirked. "Guess they wanna do things the hard way." Ace grinned, as he set a finger on a button.

A quartet of humanoid robots and a small, spherical robot deployed from the Sorou-mobile. The battle was fierce, but quick. The four humanoid robots demonstrated powers over gravity, using a device inside them to manipulate the areas around them in a crude form of telekinesis. It was a stalemate for a short while, the bandits not willing to surrender, and the bots unable to be damaged, until the sphere, which had run off earlier, had returned. Only it wasn't small anymore. It took the form of a large, formless goo, but it was entirely made of water. The water lashed out at the nearest bandit, which happened to be the unicorn. The unicorn struggled, panicked, as this bot seemed to try and drown him in it's goopy form. Soon enough, the unicorn passed out from a lack of oxygen, causing the rest of the bandits to surrender. Before the Unicorn died, however, the bot released him, withdrawing all of it's water to make sure he could breathe normally. Ace smiled. This test run went better than he hoped.

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