• Published 6th Nov 2012
  • 2,122 Views, 91 Comments

To Test is Science! - Crimson Star



The sequel to "To Observe is Science!"

  • ...
7
 91
 2,122

Recruitment

Ace nodded in agreement. “Yeah, let me just-“ Suddenly, Ace was interrupted by falling rocks, followed by a glow of red mist that disappeared as soon as he saw it. The rumbling shook him, and Doctor Sorou was suddenly glad that he installed seat belts in the Sorou-mobile. He bent his head down, praying for his-

"Rewind." Ace said. The image on Ace's screen moved back. "Stop. Play."

Ace was interrupted by falling rocks, followed by a glow of red mist that disappeared as soon as he saw it. The rumbling shook him, and-

"Rewind." Ace commanded. "Stop. Play."

-falling rocks, followed by a glow of red mist-

"Pause." The image froze. Ace stood from his chair, moving towards the screen. He analyzed the red mist that had formed around the cockpit of the Rockidile. He found it curious. It looked vaguely familiar, as if he's seen something like it before, but he couldn't think of where. Something about the red mist was ringing all kinds of alarms. He stared at the image. "Screenshot." He said, causing the computer to take a shot of the image currently on-screen, which was immediately saved to file. "Slow-mo play."

Ace watched the red mist disappear. He couldn't watch it while it was happening, but now that he had seen it from the cockpit camera's point of view, he could easily note that the mist moved off as if it were somehow...alive. "Curious." He stated. "Very curious."

"What's curious?" Pinkie's voice asked.

"Gah!" Ace stumbled back, falling into his chair, as he saw where the pink pony had appeared. "Pinks, where'd you come from?"

Pinkie giggled. "From the kitchen, silly!" She explained, forgetting the monitor as she smiled over at him. As she trotted up to him, Ace noticed she was holding a tray on her back, which held an unfrosted cake. "This is a first pass for a new cake mix I'm making." She presented the cake and Ace noticed a fork was placed next to it. "I wanna hear what you think."

Ace sighed, relaxing as he took the fork. He sliced off a small bite, and took it in. The texture was light and fluffy. The taste was sweet, but not overly sweet. Still, the cake felt like it was soaking up his spittle. "It's a little dry, Pinks." He said, chewing his piece.

Pinkie nodded. "Yeah, I thought so, too. But then I thought I was being overly critical of myself. Y'know, it's like when you have bias on yourself just because you made something? You think it's good, but everypony else says 'blech' or maybe it's the opposite, and you think it's terrible, but everypony loves it! That's why I wanted your opinion! If you like it, then it has to be good! But you said it was a little dry, and I thought it was a little dry! So that must mean I wasn't just being hard on myself! This also means I'll need to increase the amount of water I'm using."

"Half a cup more." Ace said idly, his attention returning to the monitor.

"I think I'll need about half a cup more." Pinkie thought to herself, before turning back to Ace. "I always get the best ideas when I'm around you, snookums." She climbed up into his chair, took both of his cheeks in her hooves, and planted a big sloppy kiss on his lips in a true Looney Tunes style. "Love ya, Acey."

"Love you too, Pinks." He replied, hugging the mare. He cocked his eyebrow, staring into his wife's face, and reading her expression. "But something tells me that you're not just here for the cake test."

Pinkie rolled her eyes. "Well, duh~! You're spending too much time in the lab, again! Once I get this recipe right, you and me are going out to spend time with everypony!" She informed him.

Ace chucked nervously. "Right. What I said on the train a few days ago." He recalled. 'Well, at least I got Dark-bot's body done.' He thought.

"Exactly! Rainbow and Spark have invited us to hang out with them at the swimming hole!" Pinkie exclaimed, beaming. "It's gonna be so~o much fun!"

"I can't wait, Pinks." Ace said with a smile.

"Of course you can't!" Pinkie came back, looking over his body. "So get dressed into your swimsuit!" She told him, slightly miffed that he wasn't dressed already.

Ace held up a finger that told Pinkie to wait a second, before setting her down on the ground. Calmly, Ace stood up, and got his fingers into his shirt collar. In one swift motion, Ace suddenly brought his hands down ripping off his shirt, and causing a short squeal to come from Pinkie. Before she could say anything else, Ace put his thumbs through his belt, and ripped off his pants, throwing the two halves to the ground, and revealing a green speedo underneath. Adjusting his goggles, Ace threw back his lab coat, displaying the lean body he got from countless hours of moving heavy machinery and playing laser tag. His boots glistened in the light, as he posed heroically in front of Pinkie. "Better?" He asked.

Pinkie found herself blushing furiously at this overly erotic display, breathing heavily. "Wowee zowee..." She said with a goofy grin, staring further south on Ace's body than she intended to. She shook her head furiously, snapping herself out of her trance. "Uh, I mean, y-yes. You look..." She licked her lips. "...Ready." Clearing her throat, Pinkie went back to the kitchen. "A-anyway, you should, um, stay in that outfit, y'know, for when we're ready to go. I'm just gonna try one last mixture, a-and then it's time to visit our friends, 'kay?" Pinkie galloped off, feeling as if her Estrus cycle hit her like a freight train. Of course, she knew that wasn't possible. Ace had already got her pregnant.

Ace chuckled, as he sat back down to examine the still image of the video. He could at least get a little work done before he and Pinkie left.

*****

Ace carried a beach chair and an umbrella, following Pinkie out to the swimming hole. Pinkie had carried a picnic basket for everyone, and trotted happily, plotting her revenge on Ace for making her so hot and bothered earlier. The couple crested the last hill separating them and the swimming hole, discovering Rainbow Dash, who was laying back on a beach chair, and Spark Plug, who was lazily floating through the water on his back. What they didn't expect to see was Geo and Twilight already there, Geo playing with his foals, and Twilight contentedly reading a book nearby.

"Hay, guyz!" Ace called, giving a wave as Pinkie trotted up. Everyone looked over to see the pair coming, and out of reaction, waved at them. But when Geo saw what Ace was wearing, he stifled a laugh.

"Doc..." He said, barely containing his laughter. "...Do you really need to wear something like that?"

Ace looked down at his current outfit. He was still in his lab boots, coat, and goggles, but the only other thing on was his speedo. "What's wrong with it?" He asked.

"What's wrong with it?" Geo guffawed, finally bursting out laughing. "You look like a male stripper!" He repllied.

A mischievous grin formed on his face. "Well, I suppose I am a bit overdressed for swimming, huh?" He asked, getting out an MP3 player with built in speakers from his pocket. "Let me just...take this off." He said, pressing a button on the MP3 player, setting it down, and beginning to dance.

His pelvic thrusts began heading towards Geo, who yelled in terror as Ace began stripping in front of him. "Nooo! My poor not-so-virgin eyes!" He exclaimed, trying to scramble away from Ace amidst an uproar of laughter from Spark, Pinkie, and Rainbow. Twilight, red faced from embarrassment at the display, and covering the eyes of her foals, concentrated some magic towards Ace, picking him up off the ground.

"Doctor, I'm going to ask you to quit traumatizing my husband." She said, the purple mist of her magic aura levitating the laughing man upside down in front of her.

Ace brought his hands up behind his head, still upside down. "What's wrong, Twi?" He began thrusting at her, still gripped in her magic aura. "Afraid I'll make your husband play for the other team?" This earned a chorus of laughter from everyone, even Geo.

Still good natured, but annoyed, Twilight shook her head. "No, I'm quite confident in his life choices. But there are foals in the area, and I would rather they not be subjected to such a display."

Ace laughed, crossing his arms. "Alright, Twilight. I'll stop." He said, looking over to the lake. Now in only his speedo, Ace gave Twilight a cheeky grin. "Hey, since you have me in your magical grasp, can you do me a favor and toss me in the lake?"

Twilight let out an exhasperated sigh, and wordlessly launched Ace towards the lake causing the young scientist to let out a goofy yell1 before splashing down in the center. Suddenly, right behind him, the pink mare calling herself Ace's wife launched from a rope hanging from a nearby tree. "Wait for me Aceyyy~!" With another splash, Pinkie got wet for the second time today.

*****

The swim was nice, and peaceful, with everyone getting along well. Ace had gotten onto shore and began drying himself off, when a BIRD swooped down from the air. Ace blinked, holding out a finger for the Bird to perch on. "Hey, Caroline." He said, as soon as the BIRD landed. "What's up?" The BIRD siuddenly lifted one of it's mechanical wings, as if to point in a direction. Ace looked over, and saw a large mass of ponies coming over the hill. Cautiously, Ace went over to his lab coat, and threw it on, fearing that this developing situatuin could turn ugly at any given moment. It looked like a fraction of Ponyville had formed a lynch mob, with the way they were behaving. Wondering what could've gotten the ponies so riled up, Ace confronted the mob.

"Fillies. Gentlecolts." He announced, as the crowd of ponies gathered. "May I inquire as to the nature of your gathering?"

One pony stepped foward, a brown Earth Pony stallion with tired eyes, and a bag of money for a cutie mark. "Allow me to explain, Doctor." The pony said. "I'm Filthy Rich, owner of Rich's Barnyard Bargains. A few of us have gotten together with a petition, here." Mr. Rich reached into his saddlebag, and produced a scroll, which he promptly handed to Ace. Ace took the scroll, and began reading it.

Geo and all the ponies gathered around Ace, curious as to what this mob wanted. After reading a bit, Ace looked up at the crowd. "A vote of no confidence?" He asked.

"We don't think you're doin' enough to protect Ponyville." Mr. Rich explained. "It's nothing personal, it's just that-" Mr. Rich was suddenly cut off.

"How can we trust you to defend us when you can't even defend yourself?!" One irate pony shouted from the crowd, before another pony pulled her down, and put a hoof over her mouth.

Mr. Rich sighed. "Despite the outburst, that's pretty much how we feel." He informed. "Especially since you got back from Canterlot, it seems that you're doin' nothin' but horsin' around with pals." Ace rolled his eyes. They HAD to pick the day he put in for vacation time with his superiors. Ace wondered if Manglanosa had a hand in this. The ponies shrunk back, trying hard not to feel guilty about putting Ace in this situation. "We have a mercenary base allied with Equestria nearby. With your base being attacked, and you doing nothin' to find the ones responsible, we think that your garrison should be someplace other than Ponyville." The others gasped, Pinkie clinging to Ace.

Geo stepped forward. "Now wait just a minute-" Ace held up a hand, silencing Geo, before he began chuckling. His chuckles turned into laughter. Maniacal laughter that was more than a little scary, at least to the lynch mob. "Doc, what's so funny?" Geo asked.

Ace settled down, bringing a hand up to his still chuckling mouth. "I assume you're all signers of the petition?" Ace asked. As one, they all shouted "Yes!" To which Ace nodded, still confidently smirking. "Well, first off, all ya'll are barking up the wrong tree." He stated. "Any requests for my transfer must go through my division leader, Commander Graybeak. I'm part of the Seventh Capital Division guarding Canterlot and the surrounding area." He said, taking the PDA from his coat pocket, and hooking it up to his BIRD. "My D.L. decides where I'm garrisoned. I have next to no say in the matter." A smirk appeared on his face, as he inspected his PDA. "Secondly, even if you did go to him, he couldn't do anything. Caroline here scanned your crowd earlier, and put your numbers at less than twenty percent of Ponyville's population. If you want anything done to me, you'd need at least fifty-one percent, and I know you can't get that, since I saved half of Ponyville's current population from being slaves to Diamond Dogs." Ace shrugged, adopting an expression liken to a troll face. "I'm sorry, but you're sort of...stuck with me."

An uproar came from the crowd, who jeered and booed at Ace. Twilight, Rainbow, and the others were now sharing his confidence, and Pinkie hugged him, happy to know his station in Ponyville was secure. But Mr. Rich wasn't finished. "In that case, we have another demand. A second petition." He pulled out another scroll, his announcement of a second petition settling everypony down. Ace read the scroll, seeing that there were at least three times as many signatures on this one. As he read the contents, Mr. Rich informed him. "We demand that you actually do something in regards to whom attacked your base, and stop wasting time with your friends."

A unanimous "Yeah!" sounded from the ponies in the mob, all very cross. Ace sighed, bringing a palm to his face. "Look, I understand that you're all scared. And believe me, steps are being taken to ascertain the identity of whoever attacked my base, and bring them to justice. However, you're talking to the wrong person in regards to the investigation. I'm not on the case."

"That's the problem, Doctor!" A highly annoyed Mr. Rich said. "We want you on the case!"

"And believe me, I want to be on the case." Ace announced calmly. "However, Princess Celestia herself has forbidden me from taking the case, saying that I'm too personally attached, and my judgement may not be clear."

"A likely story!" A pony shouted from the crowd, causing the rest to boo and jeer at Ace again. Mr. Rich took a moment to settle the ponies down, before turning back to Ace. "Well, why would you have a personal attachment to the case?"

"You mean, besides the fact my own creations were damaged and my lovely wife was put in harm's way?" Ace dead-panned. He left out the part that the prime suspect, Dr. Manglanosa, had some bad blood with him. It was a sensitive subject that somone could take advantage of.

Mr. Rich nodded, before turning to the petition that Ace was holding. "Well, we've already taken a copy of that petition to Mayor Mare. If what you've said is true, Then you won't be able to assist the investigation. She gave me a message. If for any reason you couldn't help the investigation, then she said she'll bring somepony else in to help." Mr. Rich turned to the mob. "We've done all we can, everypony! Let's go home." Despite the protests, the crowd disbanded back to Ponyville.

As Ace watched the crowd leave, he thought about the message. He and Mayor Mare had gotten along well, so she wasn't telling him that to spite him. But lately, she had been trying to befriend the mercenaries, reasoning that it would be politically sound to try and be the middle ground between two factions that might not be on the best terms. She wanted to give him this message as a warning. She was gonna ask the mercenaies for help, and she wanted him to know.

"Dear God." Ace muttered, the realization apparent on his face. "Lord knows what kind of lies that maniac will turn up with. Mayor Mare doesn't know 'em like other humans do." The ponies all looked at Ace. Geo gawked.

"Manglanosa will find a way to get you in trouble, Doc." Geo said. "What are you gonna do?"

"Let me worry about that, Geo." Ace said, already formulating his next move. He knelt down, facing Pinkie, and gave her a kiss. "Pinks, you have fun. I gotta get back to work." He told her.

Pinkie looked glum. "Aww, Acey." She said with a pout, giving him big, puppy-dog eyes. "Do you really have to go?"

Ace, as much as he didn't want to resist Pinkie's attempts to keep him here, nodded. "I'm afraid so. This is a chess game, and it's time for me to make a move."

Pinkie nodded, and tackled Ace in a big hug, smooching his face, before letting him up. "Well I hope you win, Snookums." She said, understanding him. Ruffling her mane and grabbing his things, Ace smiled, silently promising to win, for her sake. He left to get dressed, and get ready for what he had to do.

*****

Ace wandered the vast orchard of Sweet Apple Acres, looking for John. The reds and greens of the various apples gave a sense of peace Ace rarely found. But Ace had no time for this peace. If he was gonna drive the Nazis out of Equestria, he needed John's help. He found John,having just knocked down a cascade of apples from a nearby tree. Instead of kicking them like a pony, the Apples had John make use of a large sledgehammer that delivered a crushing amount of weight. He was now picking up the apples, placing them in the baskets next to the trees.

“John, you got a minute?" Ace asked, walking up to him.

John looked up from his work, and read Ace's expression. He nodded, understanding the doctor was serious about something. "Of course, Ace. What is it?"

Ace sighed, cocking his head to the side. "This is very important, so I'll be brief. How well did emm-eye-six train you? What's the most severe mission you could've been sent on?" He asked.

John cocked an eyebrow. "I'm trained in information gathering, infiltration, disguise, and urban sneaking, all in hostile territory."

"And how many languages do you speak?" Ace continued.

John wondered what Ace was getting at, and why he was suddenly so interested in John's past. "I can read and write most European languages, but I'm mostly skilled in Spanish and Portugese."

"You seem like the perfect guy for the job, then." Ace nodded. "You know that camp that the Nazis have set up near Ghastly Gorge?"

"I've seen it." John replied. "Why? You want me to pull a double-oh-seven?"

"Preferably with less killing. I need evidence that they're up to no good. They're Nazis, and I prefer that their fascist doctrine of hate doesn't take root in Equestria." Ace replied, his expression darkening grimly. "But Princess Celestia was very adamant about me staying away from them. She insists that I'm not giving them a chance to prove they've changed."

John shook his head. "I see what you're going through, Ace." John told the doctor, as the latter began pacing, resting a fist on the back of his lab coat. "And I sympathize, I really do. I don't want the Nazis here any more than you do, but the ponies of Equestria have never dealt with the hate mongers before. Look at it from their point of view, Doc. Ponies have seen the best mankind has to offer through you, me and Geo. They've come to the general conclusion that humans, while naturally violent, are predisposed for good. Which is why Celestia thinks you're overreacting about getting them out of Equestria ASAP."

"Which is why I need your help getting evidence." Ace insisted. "If I can prove they have bad intentions for this world, then Celestia will force them to leave."

"You're really on about this, aren't ya, Doc?" John asked, his expression intense.

"I have no intention to sit back and watch those goosesteppers worm their way into everypony's heart, only to turn around and betray them later." Ace declared with a passion, as he continued to pace around John. "I will do whatever is necessary to protect Equestria, Ponyville, and everyone living here."

John sighed. "Well, I'm sorry to say this, Doc, but I can't help you."

The doctor stopped, and whirled around to face John. "What?!" He exclaimed, a look of disbelief formed on his face.

John relaxed, leaning against an apple tree."One," He began, displaying a finger with his list. "I haven't played the spy game in a long time. My skills are more than a bit rusty. Two, Applejack won't like it one bit if her fiancee just up and leaves. And she's going to refuse to let me go if I tell her where I'm going. And she could give reason three, I could die. If I'm caught, there's no telling what those psychopaths will do to me. If I go, I might never come back."

Ace scowled, holding out his hand, and began listing his counterargument. "One, You're plenty good at the spy game. As seriously as both of us play laser tag every weekend, you're more than capable of holding your own in an infiltration setting. I have one helluva time trying to find you, no matter what map we play. Two, I'll handle Applejack, so she won't worry. I'll simply tell her that I asked you to go out of town to run an important errand, and that's an absolute truth. You'd be out of town in Dr. Manglanosa's camp. The errand would be to pick up some evidence for me. And three, please, John. You're the only one who can do this. If you succeed, it could mean that we won't have to worry about Manglanosa OR his Nazis anymore. But if we simply ignore it, they could set into motion a plan that would spell out doom for Ponyville's citizens. Do you really think you could live with yourself if you let a threat come into town, and hurt the ones you love? I couldn't. That's why I'm doing something."

John scowled, this time. He didn't take too kindly at the guilt trip Ace tried to send him on. "Well, if you're so insistent on sending in a spy, why don't you go in yourself? You're obviously just as good as me at laser tag. I'm pretty sure you could hold your own in an infiltration scenario."

Ace threw his hands up in exhasperation. "The Nazis will recognize me! Their leader has some personal beef with me! If I go in and get captured, it'll cause an international incident and create a lot of tension between Equestria and Manglanosa's forces! But if you go in, not only do you stand a better chance of success with your emm-eye-six training, but if you're captured, you'll be seen as a private citizen with no affiliation to the Equestrian government."

"So you don't have to come in and rescue me?" John spat, glaring at Ace.

Ace began an explanation. "John, listen-"

"No, you listen!" John cut Ace off, pointing a threatening finger at him. "I'm not some tool for people to use! I'm not an expendable asset!" John advanced on Ace as he spoke, causing the doctor to stumble back, and fall over an inconveniently placed basket of apples. "I worked hard to live down my past, and I'm not going to risk everything just because you want to kick somebody out!" John breathed, his face red, and his fists balled. He quickly calmed himself down, before turning to head back to the barn. "We're done here, Doctor. Stay off Sweet Apple Acres for a while."

Ace got up, and dusted himself off. "Alright, John." He said, grabbing an envelope from the inside of his lab coat. "I didn't want to do this, but you leave me no choice." He announced. John turned back to Ace, his eyebrow cocked in curiosity. Ace unfolded the paper, and began reading it, as a sly smile formed on his face. "Whether you want to or not, you ARE going to infiltrate that camp for me." He declared.

"How do you figure?" John wheeled around, his glare returning as he looked at Ace.

Ace began quickly reading aloud from the paper. "I, John Adams, understand that, by entering the laboratory of Dr. Ace Sorou, I forfeit the right and/or privilege to take legal action against Dr. Sorou in the event of bodily harm, lost limbs, transformation, change in mental health, or any combination of the above as a result of drinking chemicals and/or being shot by plasma energy, light energy, particle energy, atomic energy, gravitational anomalies, or any combination of the above. I further note that I will not press charges if I somehow turn in to a goat, pony, chicken, lion, tree, minotaur, dictionary, or any other vegetable, mineral, or animal that I am not meant to be. I sign this legally binding contract and/or enter Dr. Ace Sorou’s laboratory under my own volition without any outside influence affecting my judgement, be it coercion, blackmail, drugs, alcohol, or other. By entering Dr. Ace Sorou’s laboratory, I will keep all activities within the laboratory a closely guarded secret, and will not tell anyone who has not signed a similar contract with Dr. Sorou about anything going on in the laboratory. My signature below is my agreement that I have read and understood all of the above." Ace showed the paper to John. "Look at the bottom. That's your signature, isn't it?"

John took a look at the paper, and nodded. "Yeah. What of it?"

Ace quickly folded the paper back up, placed it back in his lab coat, and spoke. "Remember a while back when you were first discovered to be an emm-eye-six agent?" He asked. "You knowingly told your superiors about what I was doing in my lab, after you signed this agreement. And what does the second to last line of our LEGALLY BINDING contract say?"

John inhaled sharply, a mixture of fear and rage on his face. "You...you wouldn't..."

Ace pressed on, as he resumed pacing. "I could've brought this up at any time, but I chose not to, smply because you're my friend. But you've forced my hand." Ace turned a threatening look at John. "If you don't infiltrate the Nazi camp and bring me what I'm looking for, then I'll sue you for every cent you have for revealing my secrets to your superiors."

"You can't be serious!" John outraged. "Ace, we're not in any English territory, now! That contract can't be legal!"

Ace took the contract back out, and looked it over with a smirk. "Nope." He said. "Doesn't specify a location other than my laboratory. I'd say it's legally binding." Ace looked back up at John, his expression getting serious. "I've studied Equestrian law, John. If I showed this to a court, they'd rule in my favor. I'd take everything you have away. Your home, your money, your business..."

"But...I'm getting married to Applejack, now!" John said, as he realized the full extent of what was at stake. "If you did that...We'd lose the farm!"

"Compensation for the breach of contract." Ace confirmed. "I'm sorry to put you in this situation, but I said I'd do whatever is necessary to protect Equestria. And if that means sending my friend up shit creek without a paddle, well then, happy sailing."

John's eyes were ablaze with hatred directed at Ace. "You're an incredible asshole." He told him.

"I know." Ace said, solemnly. "Look, John. You're my pal, and I seriously didn't want to put you through this. But put yourself in my shoes for a second. You're charged with protecting your home from all threats, and a genocidal cult of hatred is making camp near your home. You can't get any assistance from your superiors, your community is giving you trust issues and won't back you, and you can't directly act on the cult or else it makes you look bad. What would you do?" John considered the options, but before he could respond, Ace continued. "I don't consider you a tool or an expendable asset, John." He assured him, grabbing him by the shoulders. "I consider you a friend. And I'm not asking you to do something I wouldn't do myself. But where you are responsible for one family, I'm responsible for a whole town full of families, AND the image of a nation. I can't go in there guns blazing, 'cause it'll make Celestia look bad if I do. And if I'm caught sneaking around, she'll look even worse. So please, do this one thing for me, and I'll call us even. Hell, I'll even pay you for your services. Alright?"

John listened to Ace, and his explanation. The more he listened, the more he understood why Ace was asking him to return to the spy games. He was calm, now, and it suddenly seemed like what the Doc was asking wasn't that big a deal. "Alright, Ace." He nodded. "I think I can go undercover one more time."

Ace smiled, patting his shoulders. "Once more, unto the breach!" He said, giving a jovial fist. "Meet me at my lab in eight hours. And don't worry about Applejack. I'll handle her."

Author's Note:

1. This is the goofy yell.

Join our Patreon to remove these adverts!
Join our Patreon to remove these adverts!