• Published 3rd Apr 2013
  • 2,973 Views, 335 Comments

EXECUTIONER ONE - Hurgusburgus



Ortalians are the perfect soldiers, but do not hesitate to bolster their ranks with a wide array of mechanized units. Executioner-class mech is but one they employ to annihilate Empire's enemies. Then Discord happens and steals a mech.

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Chapter 1

Though the Asahi Empire has many armies to command, some stand above others. Take the Ortalian Legionnaires, for example. This civilisation of clone soldiers first arose from their homeworld, Ortalia. Their creators are long extinct. When their numbers were almost non-existent, they created the clones to continue their perpetual war for them once they were gone. The clones would’ve made themselves extinct – their world was an irradiated wasteland and their resources were just about depleted. The arrival of the Asahi Empire was welcomed. Kor’Gal managed to forge a peace treaty between the two factions and welcomed the Ortalians among them.

But that is a different story, for a different time, maybe.

In these war-torn times, the Ortalians have proved themselves great warriors. Their fearless, stoic ways of waging war have proved effective even against the Brood – a race of warrior insects that have billions of drones to command as they seek to consume everything.

But that, too, is a different story.

The place this particular story begins is Liguria – a Coalition world currently under siege by the Vasari. There, the 2954th Legion works in tandem with 31st Ligurian Reservists to safeguard the planet’s space elevator, the lifeline that has enabled them to hold their ground in the face of the Vasari onslaught. The Ortalian war vessels – huge, brick-shaped spaceships - hang ominously mere kilometres above the planet’s surface. Their destructive machines of war lumber ponderously across the war-torn landscape. Their soldiers build fortifications wherever they can, bolstering the militiamen’s defences significantly.

Though their arsenal is already vast and adept for any situation, the Ortalians do not hesitate to create new machines of war.
Executioner-class mechs are but one of these. A joint effort between Ortalians, Xalathii and Tallaxians, this particular design was created to bridge the gap between Rit’ka-built Sovereign-class mega walkers and the Coalition’s own Seven-Ten exoskeleton rigs.
The Ortalians’ fondness for hard-hitting weaponry didn’t go unnoticed by the Tallaxians. The mech’s armament consists of hardlight projectors, a matter collider, self-replenishing missile packs and various other projectile weaponry, all of it kept loaded by nanoforges that can produce a near-infinite amount of munitions, in accordance with the Ortalians’ tendency to operate for prolonged periods without support. Chain guns, assault cannons, and various flak turrets only supplement the mech’s destructive capabilities.
Ortalians designed the armour plating – thirty centimetres of starship-grade armour, strengthened to withstand just about anything the Vasari could throw at them. Energy surges, disintegrator bolts, and solid projectiles – it could endure them all. In accordance with the Empire-Coalition Treaty, they included a sophisticated medical unit in the chassis, to aid any wounded Coalition troops nearby.
Xalathii took it to a whole new level. They designed the circuits and the mainframe where a Xalathii-made intelligence would reside, operating the mech with utter efficiency. Secondary operative routines were also installed, in the unlikely occasion the mainframe was damaged. If that were the case, however, the mech would be intelligent enough to return to the staging area for repairs.

Discord knew nothing of this. Or cared. What he did care about was the amount of chaos here. Humans were always so chaotic, especially when fighting each other. Still, their toys seemed interesting. Especially the quadruped machines. Wherever they went, they sowed destruction and terror.

And the chaos they left in their wake was delicious. Empowering. Already, he felt stronger. Still, he needed more. So, he would now gamble all of his power. If he succeeded, he would once again be free from his stone prison. If he failed, however…

EXECUTIONER ONE, READY TO ENGAGE, the deep, rumbling voice boomed across the land, as many troops, both Coalition and Imperial, winced at the sudden announcement. Other Executioners proclaimed their status, moving to assume the formation as Ortalians’ warships hung in the air, kilometres above, an ever-present reminder of the Empire’s might. The ground shook as the four-legged mechs moved forward, a mixed battalion of troops and a squadron of other vehicles assigned to each of them hanging behind, ready to render assistance if need be. The Vasari fortifications squatted in the distance, tiny and frail by comparison.
EXECUTIONER SEVEN, CHARGING MATTER COLLIDER, another one declared, its missile batteries coughing, their report slightly muffled by the distance. A scattering of explosions manifested across the Vasari trenches.
EXECUTIONER THREE, DETECTING ANOMALOUS ENERGY READINGS. ALL UNITS, CAUTION IS ADVISED. I SUSPECT THE VASARI ARE UP TO SOMETHING, another unit informed others.
Oh, dearie me. Best be quick.
EXECUTIONER SEVEN, FIRING MATTER COLLIDER. ALL UNITS, BRACE FOR IMPACT.
Eh? No no no no no!
Frantically, Discord tried to push the mech away. What he succeeded in doing was divert the mech’s aim towards…

Executioner One.

Everything dissolved into light. As the allied troops struggled to understand what happened, staring at the crater where the first Executioner had been.

Elsewhere

The depths of Everfree Forest suddenly became brighter than the sun. Trees and boulders were blown away like they were held together by snot and Pritt Sticks.

Don’t ask.

Birds took to flight, disturbed by the explosion.

Far away in the Canterlot Castle, Princess Celestia doubled over in pain.

In the castle gardens, a single statue chuckled mutely, heard by none.


++REBOOT++
++RUN SYSTEMS ASSESSMENT++
++SYSTEMS ANALYSIS… COMPLETE++
++SATELLITE UPLINK… INACTIVE++
++DAMAGE TO CHASSIS… MINIMAL++
++MUNITIONS… FULLY STOCKED++
++DAMAGE TO MAINFRAME… EXTENSIVE++
++NANITE REPAIR SYSTEMS… ACTIVE++
++ESTIMATED REPAIR TIME… FIVE WEEKS++
++ACTIVATING SECONDARY SUB-ROUTINES++
++COURSE OF ACTION… SET++
++PRIMARY OBJECTIVE… FIND A COALITION UNIT AND HAVE THEM GUIDE THIS CHASSIS TO THE STAGING AREA FOR REPAIRS++

With a metallic groan, Executioner One righted itself and moved forward.


Celestia wiped her muzzle clean. A whiff of vomit reached her nostrils and she gagged slightly.
By Creator, what just happened?
The silent room offered her no answers and she conjured a mop and a bucket, wiping the acrid mess up. Once she was done with her task, she reached out with her magic. What had just happened? She needed to find out. If there was a threat to her ponies, she would confront it.
Hmm… hmmmm… Her forehead creased in confusion, then, in sudden revelation.

Discord.


Now, Celestia, why do you always assume the worst of me?
Because you always are guilty.
You wound me.
I will, if you do not speak. I have little patience for your games. What did you do?
I have done nothing! The Elements robbed me of my power. I am quite powerless. I can do nothing. You, madam, are accusing me without reason.
Celestia once again reached out with her magic, and saw there was none to be found around Discord. In Equestria, there was little chaos.
…I’m keeping an eye on you, Discord. You’re not off the hook just yet.
Sure, go ahead.
Celestia glared at the statue before walking away, in dire need of a nap.


No.

No, no, no!

It screamed a mute howl, trying to establish a link to its secondary body, but it was a futile effort. All of the bypasses – even the tertiaries! – were fried. What could possibly accomplish such feat of destruction, passing through series of emergency systems and hardened armour? Could the Vasari already have found a fatal flaw, so glaringly debilitating that the whole Executioner series should be scrapped immediately? It did not know. What it did know was that it was effectively cut off from the rest of the world. Sure, it could access the scanners and cameras, but other than that, it could not interface with the weaponry or locomotion systems. Nor could it speak to anyone that would approach the chassis. It could appreciate the irony, though. Its predicament was like that of a statue. Stuck inside a shell, with no way to communicate to the world, despite all the work that’d gone into the building of its body.


Discord was up to something. That much was sure. The magical backlash had affected many unicorns. The effects were simple nosebleed at best. The worst cases had been seizures. Luckily, nopony had died. The hospitals were somewhat overfilled, though. The newsponies were relentlessly requesting that Celestia explain what had caused this. She turned down all of them, saying that she was working on finding answers. When they turned to Luna, however… the furious Moon princess sent them running for their lives. She had far less tolerance for reporters than her sister. Same went for nobles who had the gall to ask her if they may line their pockets with gold and jewels with funds that other ponies actually needed.

So, that was the reason Twilight was spending the week inside her library. She too, had been affected by the shockwave and, against Celestia’s assuring; she’d been poring over a mountain of books. So far, she had found little information that could be of aid to her. The only spells that she found that may be of use were merely for detecting remnants of magic. Putting that particular book aside with a frustrated growl, she resumed her search.

Several hours later

Twilight yawned widely, tossing another book to add to the mountain of books occupying most of the room. Her irritation was at an all-time high. But she needed to sleep. Like, a LOT. So off to bed it was for her. She just hoped her caffeine-addled mind wouldn’t be much trouble.


++SATTELLITE UPLINK… INACTIVE++
++DAMAGE TO CHASSIS… REPAIRED++
++DAMAGE TO MAINFRAME… SLIGHTLY LESS EXTENSIVE++
++COALITION TROOPS ENCOUNTERED… ZERO++
++EMPIRE TROOPS ENCOUNTERED… ZERO++
++TOPOGRAPHIC LANDMARKS RECOGNIZED… ZERO++
++HOW FAR DO THESE DAMN WOODS GO ON FOR++

The Executioner had been going for several hours now. And still no end to the sea of trees.

++WHERE AM I++

Its mind wasn’t overflowing with questions, but they didn’t help, either. It could only hope to find someone friendly. So it kept moving.


Fluttershy’s ears twitched as the persistent thuds, although muffled by distance. She could only guess what was happening in the Everfree Forest. Whatever it was, she did not want any part in it. So she did what she was best at. It would have been a perfect day if Twilight had been in a better mood. The purple unicorn was looking terrible, having admitted that she hadn’t slept the whole night.

“But it’s totally worth it, Fluttershy! I now know what to look for!” Her ear twitched, the much-dreaded maniac’s smile making its way across her face.
“Twilight, please calm down. If the princess doesn’t want you to bother yourself with the matter, maybe you should let her take care of it.”
“But I have found it!”
“What exactly have you found?”
“The cause for it all! The magical shockwave!”
“Twilight, you’re not making sense.” Fluttershy muttered quietly, growing unnerved with every passing moment. The last time Twilight had gone loco still lingered in her memory.
“Didn’t you feel it?”
“Twilight, you know I’m not a unicorn. I didn’t feel a thing. Rarity’s still fighting her migraine, though. I thought you’d be down for the count, too.”
“I was, for several hours, too. Took me a while to recover. Well, I just wanted to let you know where I’m heading.”
“Twilight, don’t. You know that the Everfree’s not safe, even more so now.”
“I’ll be fine, Fluttershy! Really!” Twilight chuckled, her mane messy and unkempt as she stood up, leaving with a somewhat unnerving farewell.
Oh, boy. I better tell the girls about this.


“So, it’s Want-It, Need-It all over again, Flutters?” Rainbow Dash sighed, idly tracing patterns in the grass.
“Yeah. She’s obsessed with whatever’s wading through the Everfree. What if she gets hurt?” Rarity frowned worriedly at that.
“We can’t let her wander off on her own, can we? What sort of friends would we be to her?”
“Ah’d say it’s decided, then. Let’s go!” Applejack nodded, much to others’ enthusiasm.

Well, except for Fluttershy.


Several hours later

With a metallic thud, the leg slammed into the ground. Another one was lifted. And again.

Rinse and repeat.

Executioner One trundled forwards, knowing no exhaustion.


Twilight tripped over another tree stump, landing face-first into mud. By Faust, she was tired. Maybe this hadn’t been such a good idea, after all. Her coat was sodden with filth. Her saddlebags were scuffed and frayed.


++WHERE EXACTLY AM I++
++THIS LOOKS NOTHING LIKE LIGURIA++
++WHY IS THE UPLINK DEAD++

It found no answers in the overgrown landscape. The best it could hope to do was find some friendlies. Until then, it had to wait until the mainframe was repaired. It just hoped that the mech would not cause any trouble until then.


Twilight curled up against the dry, cold tree trunk, trying to warm herself up. Soaked in mud, she shivered, trying to light a pile of sodden wood with her magic.


A blip lit up on Executioner’s sensors.
What’s that? Someone sentient? Come on, you big, useless pile of electronics! Go and investigate!
EXECUTIONER ONE, DETECTING ANOMALOUS ENERGY READINGS. EXECUTIONER ONE, INVESTIGATING.
Wow. Way to give yourself away. Still, better than nothing.


*thud* *thud* *thud*

Twilight tensed up, turning away from her magically-created fire as several trees were smashed apart by what seemed to be the cause of her venture here. A slab of grey metal descended from above, impacting a boulder, shattering it with ease. Several shafts of light flickered into existence, blinding her as an otherworldly machine of metal loomed into existence fifty meters away. It came to a standstill, then, focusing on the speechless unicorn.

EXECUTIONER ONE HAS ARRIVED, the massive machine boomed as Twilight’s jaw hit the forest ground, so to speak.
“Twilight!” She heard a faint, but familiar voice reach her. It also got a reaction out of the alien machine. With a metallic groan, it straightened. Then it spoke.

EXECUTIONER ONE, ENGAGING HOSTILE TARGETS.

It shrieked in horror.
WHAT ARE YOU DOING?