• Published 27th Jan 2012
  • 16,652 Views, 351 Comments

Well, This is New... - Dumbgamer99



An ancient human who has taken it upon himself to maintain balance throughout dimensions becomes ensnared in the realm of Equestria, with nothing to help him combat the struggle on the horizon except for his god-like alien tech, the Universal Editor.

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Chapter Two: Welcome to the Jungle

Chapter Two: Welcome to the Jungle


There was a low hum as I had laid there. It wasn't intrusive, nor was it violent. It was simply there, existing on the fringes of my frazzled subconscious. It came from all around me, causing confusion as to its original source. My head felt heavy, while being light at the same time. 'Last time I drink the night before negotiations-'

Wait...

...

Oh.

An airy groan left me as I recalled what had happened. The meeting, the blunder, the eventual fleeing... being shot several times. This recollection proved to be a bad idea, for it then led me to thinking about it. Which made me realize that those wounds still hadn't been treated yet, and were most likely infected depending on how long I had been on the brink of Death.

"You'd be surprised to hear it's only been five minutes tops," I heard Ed's cheery Englishman voice say as I tried to open my eyes. They were nearly as unwieldy as the rest of my body at that moment, but with some effort I fought past the exhaustion and sunlight to stare at the puncture in the canopy that was the result of my entry. "By the way, your vitals are kinda shit right now."

'Great. How close am I to dying?'

"Well, you could be closer... But, you're certainly not in a stable condition at this moment."

'And in thirty minutes?'

Ed hummed to himself in thought. "At that point, your nanobots' regeneration feature should make you fine and dandy-"

'I was referring to not using nanos.' I received an infuriated sigh from him in return. 'You know how I am about them.'

"All I 'know' is that you keep trying to tell yourself that not using the full extent of your tools and abilities makes you seem more mortal. Which is kinda stupid, really."

'Look. Those nanobots have been in a catatonic period for centuries, Ed. I can survive just fine without them-' Before my thought could finish, the attempt to shift my leg caused the latest bullet wound to cry out. Resulting in me letting out a pained hiss.

"Uh huh. Well, you haven't been shot around half-a-dozen times in the past couple of centuries, have ya? So. Guess who needs to shut up, and let the nanos do their work?"

A snort left me as I relinquished the argument and let Ed reactivate them. It wasn't that my distaste for them came from their lack of usefulness (on the contrary; those things are quite handy), but... Not many realize how precious mortality is when they become immortal for as long as I have.

But I see its importance.

My muscles resisted my attempted covering of my face with a hand. I needed to put those philosophical thoughts aside. Those could be dealt with at a later point, but for now I was somewhere new. The Warp had thrown me somewhere based entirely on chance.

Which meant that the question remained on where I was exactly.

'Ed. Some definition on where we are would be nice.'

"We're in a forest, for starters-"

I cut him off in mock surprise. 'You don't say?'

"...Right. You want Leyline specifics." I waited for a period of time as I listened to the bare tapping of him drumming away on some keyboard just to bother me. Again. "Oh..."

'What is it?'

Ed didn't answer. I became concerned at this lack of response, and I bypassed Ed's sensors to allow the data he was observing to flow to me-

...

...Oh.

"Yeah. 'Oh.' We're in a system that relies on an Energy Barrier."

'Which means we'll need to Sync to it before we can even confirm where we are.'

"Unfortunately."

My brows furrowed at this. There was no way that performing the Synchronization right then and there was possible. The wounds drew too much attention away to be able to allow focus, and with an unfamiliar surrounding; waiting was a very bad idea.

Speaking of that environment, this was when I realized that I was resting under the only prominent pillar of light in the area I had fallen into. I slowly swiveled my head around, eyes cautiously scanning the edge. It was darker, a lot darker past the little clearing I found myself in. The little space probably wasn't more than thirty feet in all, meaning I was in a metaphorical cell with all the demonic-looking trees standing about.

"You know, you really should've listened to me when I said you should take a vacation."

'Shove it, Ed. Don't wish to hear the "I-was-right, you-were-wrong' spiel that you're so good at.' I shot back, my new objective being trying to get sufficient responses from my muscles to begin traveling.

"Too late." I took in an exasperated breath of air as he continued. "The last time you had a vacation was three-thousand years ago, Storm. Three. Thousand. This has been the longest time you've gone without rest, and we both know it isn't good for you."

'We both also know that the Scales don't take a vacation neither.'

"True. But many realms can balance themselves-"

'Many others cannot'. I countered.

"You're serious? You're really countering the concept of you having a vacation, even if you know you need one?"

I felt my eyes roll as I steadied myself against the tree that served as my buffer during my descent. Of course he was right. Bastard always was, after all. The glances at my wounds proved to be rather horrifying. Or, at least they would have been if I wasn't so jaded with the sight of marks from war.

The bandaged sections were in tatters. What wasn't barely hanging on was dirtied, and only served as a possible way to heighten the prospect of infection. Only the wrappings from my shot to my ribs was solid enough to stay on. As for the final 'cherry on the top', my latest gunshot was still oozing out an unhealthy amount of blood.

Really not my week.

*Snarl!*

My head locked on instantly to the direction of the noise, one that was familiar yet highly unlikely. That didn't stop me from becoming nervous, and trying to reach out with my other senses to find a way out of this scenario. It was proved futile, for nothing seemed open as I turned to my only source of survival.

'I don't suppose you got any recommendations?'

"Well, whatever is coming at you is something you'll have to fight. In your condition, this is a horrible and very bad idea, especially since you're severely damaged. So, two suggestions. Don't die, and kill that beast before it has the chance to kill you."

I nodded as I readied my stance while still relying on the tree as my support. 'Roger that'.

And as that thought left, the creature on the hunt emerged. And from the dim lighting caused by the beam of sunlight shining down upon me, I could still see the thing that faced me down. Something I hadn't encountered for tens-of-thousands of years. A demonic abomination whose name rung in my ears as my eyes traced its bat wings and scorpion tail.

Manticore.


The steady staccato of two hoof-beats rang out throughout the Everfree Forest as the Pegasi Fluttershy and Rainbow Dash sprinted on the windy and olden trails intermingling with the feral bushel of trees. Light panting was heard from both members, but neither was about to slow. Somepony depended on them, and by Celestia they weren't going to let them be stranded.

It was a constant pattern. Fluttershy would do a slow trot whenever Rainbow did recon. Once the right direction was found, Dash would descend and guide her timid friend on-hoof until she felt like she needed a refresher on what route they would need to take.

Both knew that the 'Crash Site' (as they became accustomed to calling it) drew closer with every burst of energy. Neither wanted to risk flying for any extended period of time, lest the nature of the Everfree forces them to succumb as well to the dastardly weather that was governed by nopony.

So for then, the ground would have to be their main source of transportation.

"He should be up ahead," Dash breathed out rather quietly as she stayed neck-on-neck with her childhood friend alongside her. Fluttershy simply nodded, her determination being solely set on how to reset sprained wings and patch up punctures from thorns.

*Snarl!*

Rainbow Dash's and Fluttershy's hearts both sank as they heard a Manticore's roar. One that came from the same direction as their downed flier. Without hesitation, they both lifted off with their wings. Due to this, their approach became truly silent as they flew very closely to the ground.

Believing the upcoming wall creating the bend being the only thing between them and the fallen Pegasus, Rainbow Dash led Fluttershy right up to the wall to provide assistance to their kin-

...

What... was that?!

On the bare verge of the fauna wall, both of them could see past exposed sections to examine the clearing within. In its place though was no Pegasus of any sort, though the assumption of the Manticore was true as it slowly prowled in. What it was prowling towards however, caused both of them to be flabbergasted.

Standing upright on its two hind-legs while reclining on a tree was... something. Its two forearms hung by its sides, appendages occasionally flexing in anticipation. The mane upon its head was a small plume of dark-brown hair, but besides that there was no other visible hairs.

Proceeding down its body, the girls could clearly see that it wore some kind of clothing. Though, whoever supplied the creature with them was unknown to them. What made nearly both of them dry-heave was the bloody wounds visible on the body. From their position of them facing the Manticore, they could clearly see three separate holes in the ape-like beast's structure: one on its torso, and one each for its thighs.

Fluttershy cocked her head silently over to Rainbow Dash, who held a blank look on her face as she watched the anomaly about to face off against one of the most dangerous creatures known in Equestria. When the sky-blue Pegasus looked over, she saw her compatriot's raised brow. She nodded solemnly.

The gentler mare of the two raised both eyes in surprise, before motioning her head briefly towards the clearing.

Rainbow Dash shook her head.

Another snarl brought both of their attention to the stand-off. The ape was standing uninhibited now on its two hind legs while being perfectly balanced. The mares were surprised that it could remain upright with such tenacity without a tail, though its injuries were obvious in its stance. Fluttershy's eyes flickered towards the Manticore licking its chops. Rainbow Dash's eyes flickered towards the ape craning its neck and eliciting a loud pop that nearly made both of the Pegasi jump outta their coats.

And like that, the fight was on.

The Manticore struck first, launching its mass briefly with its wings to propel itself into the bipedal ape. It didn't seem to faze him (if they could rely on the muscular build of the creature to determine its gender), for in one fell swoop the ape ducked under the hurdling lion-hybrid.

Unable to cease its momentum, the Manticore slammed full-force into the tree. Its impact rattled the oak tower, triggering a landslide of branches to cascade downwards and cover the beast as it slumped. The ape meanwhile was completely unharmed (besides from his previous injuries), and he simply stood behind and waited.

This proved to be a bad idea. The scorpion's tail on a Manticore is extremely flexible; enough so that it could be used like a club for opponents from behind. An example was made as the ape attempted to dodge the heavy shelled barb that was attempting to cave his body in. Both Pegasi realized that the Manticore was really just swinging blindly, its animal instincts going out of its control as it tried to recover.

It turned finally to reveal a bloody muzzle. It licked its maw, which was stained with its own blood. This seemed to only encourage the hybrid, for it then quickly charged forward with its front-paws swiping and tail stabbing for its prey.

The ape didn't appear to be startled by this, instead choosing to carefully step backwards. While doing this, he pivoted his torso about so to avoid the claws and stinger attacking him. Apparently an opportunity began to arise for the hybrid, because its target was backpedaling into the wall opposite of the ponies baring witness to the clash.

Both Pegasi were about to jump into the fray, when the ape suddenly went forward. Using its forearm, it tightened it and physically struck the Manticore in the eye. Before a counter could be made, he did it again and alternated his forearm with the Manticore's other eye. Briefly blinded, the Manticore didn't recognize the ape stepping out of range from the claws. This didn't stop the beast from slashing about, and desperately piercing the air with its barb.

Without pause, the ape grabbed hold of the tail as it lashed out past him and allowed him to be pulled up and over the Manticore. From here, Fluttershy and Rainbow Dash could see the front of him as he flicked the end of his forearm. For an extremely small instance, they saw something shimmer in the dull amount of life before it disappeared behind the tail.

A scream of pain was released from the Manticore as the ape flew past the tail and curled up into a ball. Somehow, when he made contact with the forest floor, he used his momentum to become upright once more. He stumbled from the injuries, but quickly balanced himself as he turned to continue battling the creature.

Clear liquid poured down the tail and glistened in the dim afternoon light. The fangs belonging to the hybrid was bared viciously, and even from their distance the two Pegasi could feel the barbaric anger and rage seeping from the beast. It was no longer about a meal, it seemed. But rather to assert dominance.

Ferociously, the Manticore attacked the bipedal ape with everything it was worth. It had truly become feral in its fight now, direly attempting to kill the threat to its territory with all the energy it could muster. And proved to have moderate success; the sheer barrage mixed with the already-current and visible wounds prevented the ape from dodging faster than usual. Which resulted in two direct swipes making contact with him; one of the chest, and one up high on his back.

Blood began to quickly flow out as the ape bucked one of his hind-legs upward to intercept the jaws aiming for his neck. It was plain to see that he was steadily becoming overwhelmed, and if neither of them did anything... the creature could very well die.

Both Fluttershy and Rainbow Dash nodded to each other confidently as they broke through the underbrush. The sudden and abrupt sound caused the fight to pause, both participants looking over while in full-alert. The ape's small eyes merely widened in confusion, while the Manticore... began to stalk towards the ponies.

Instantly, they recognized their folly. What use could they be in this situation of direct confrontation? Especially since the weather prevented heavy flight, and the Manticore had gone so far into a feral state that not even Fluttershy's Stare had any effect on it as she tried to gain the upper hoof.

The two ponies were being backed up, soon that both of their plots bumped against the bark of the same tree that the ape had reclined against. But they couldn't worry about that one; the most pressing matter to the Pegasi was the very hungry, and very angry hybrid approaching them-

*Whack!*

Suddenly, a stick out of nowhere flew in from behind the Manticore and struck it fiercely on the back of the head. It flinched, and it slowly turned around with an intimidating growl crawling out of its throat. What neither the Manticore nor the ponies were expecting was the ape standing face-to-face with the monster. A similar growl was leaving him as well, and despite the smaller size the apes was far more intimidating. And Manticore's were pretty frightening to begin with.

The Manticore reared its head back in surprise, not expecting its opponent to be so wounded and yet still standing. That didn't stop the ape from pivoting on a single hind-leg once more to slam the heel of its... foot, into the eye of the hybrid. With no pause, he switched his hind-legs and spun his body so he would impact the other eye.

This made the monster of a animal completely forget about the ponies, rapidly launching its stinger to gouge the ape. His forearms came up quickly, and with sharp flicks he deflected the sharp object attempting to puncture him. This enraged the Manticore further, and at this point Rainbow Dash saw the coolest thing ever.

She watched in amazement as bipedal... thing took a hit from the scorpion tail to its right shoulder. Fluttershy instinctively lunged forward to try and clot the wound now before it reached the heart and killed him, before Dash forcefully held her friend back as she looked on.

The hybrid made another attempt to stab the ape, but this time he was prepared. He stepped past the length that surged to his side, and in one swift motion he hooked his claws under the head of the tail and tugged. This immediately threw off the Manticore's balance, causing it to fumble for a moment. During this moment, the bipedal rushed forward and used the lion mane to lift himself onto the beast itself. It attempted to buck him off, but to no avail he could not be budged as he dug into the hairs of the feline.

This caused the tail to rise up to strike. In the center of the clearing, the mares watched as the ape flipped himself over so he faced the menacing barb coming down upon him. Moving fast, he used one of his hind-legs to the tail aside, forcing the barb to impale the Manticore's right shoulder.

It roared in pain, but it didn't stop the ape as it wrapped its hind-legs around under the tip and ripped off the head of the tail, stinger included. Another roar of pain rose up from the hybrid as it bucked more frantically. In a single instant, the buck sent the ape up into the air. While still in pain, he still turned himself so he looked down upon the Manticore. And as he made contact with the beast for the last time, the ape gripped the now-removed barb and drove it into the back of the monster's skull.

The weight plus the inertia combined into one cumulative force that sent the stinger so deep into the beast's cranium, it was barely visible. While gore wasn't Rainbow's thing, even she had to admit that single-hoofedly taking down a Manticore while injured is a feat in of itself.

As the hybrid finally stopped moving, all that was heard were two exhaled breaths followed by heavy breathing. The two ponies looked up to lock eyes with the one that had fell despite having no wings, who had wounds more grisly than almost any pony had barred witnessed to, and of course the one who used nothing but its body to slay an Alpha Manticore.

So, it was easy to say it surprised them when the ape-like being slumped over the body, and eventually rolled off. He landed harshly on the ground, and an extremely pained wheeze let him as he laid on the ground. The two Pegasi looked to one another.

Rainbow Dash shook her head immediately, which was countered by Fluttershy's quick and singular nod. Dash glanced over with mistrust, but the Stare of Fluttershy soon forced Rainbow to yield. Giving a defeated nod, she hovered over the ground and sped off back to Ponyville.

Fluttershy, all by herself with a bipedal being she had never seen before, and who killed one of the most dangerous monsters in Equestria while heavily injured, tucked her hoofs under his forearms. With a slight grunt of effort, she began to slowly lift him and float towards her cottage. The only sound being his feet dragging across the ground, and his ragged breath.