War breaks out and Big Macintosh is drafted into the army and ends up in a military super soldier program and end up meeting someone special... All while Applejack copes with trying to keep the farm together and her personal life
Big Macintosh wants nothing but to keep his family safe and happy but when war breaks out he is drafted into the army where he is selected to join a new super soldier group known as LANCERS there discovers the horrors of war and unknowingly catches the eye of Princess Luna. While all this is going on Applejack is left to keep the farm going and support her family while also dealing with her personal life
Big Macintosh walked onto the porch of his house gazing out at his family’s farm with a cup of coffee in his hand. He looked at his watch it read 4:53 and while most people hated the idea of even getting up before noon; Big Mac loved waking up early it gave him a chance to admire the beauty of the stars before he began his work which needed to be done before he went to school.
“I better get started” He said to himself before walking back inside to grab his coat.
He grew up on his family’s farm living with his two sisters Applejack and Apple bloom along with their grandmother granny smith. His mother had died giving birth to Apple bloom then a few years later his father died of a heart attack leaving a then twelve year old Mac to support his family and keep the farm running. It was hard on him balancing school and farm work but for six years he had managed to do so. He was proud of himself and knew his parents were to. After putting his coat on he grabbed his hat and rifle then went out to the stables to feed the horses and take his horse Barbaro out to check the cattle. He started carrying his father’s old henry ever since the day a pack of coyotes killed two of his calf's each one would have brought around $150 at market which his family needed. Mac grabbed a bucket and began feeding the four horses that they owned. Each one in the family had their own horse in the stables: Applejack's was a palomino mare she called Lil Goldie, Apple bloom’s was a cream colored mare named Cutie Crusader, Granny Smith's had an old grey mare she called Quick Silver. Mac's horse was a massive red shire he called Barbaro, he had bought him with his own money when he was a foal at one of the auctions his father took him to. Mac's horse was much like him a gentle giant; both were tall and muscular and quite most of the time.
"Mornin there Barbaro you ready to head out?" he said as he opened the stall door and placed the saddle on Barbaro's back then rode out to start the work
Applejack woke up to the smell of fresh biscuits coming from down stairs. She sat up and yawned then glanced at her clock which read 6:14 a.m. her eyes widened “Dagnabit! I over slept!” She jumped out of bed got dressed then ran down stairs almost running into Granny Smith.
“Easy there young’un” granny said with a chuckle “Over slept again did ya?”
“Sorry granny I need to hurry and go help Mac.” she said slipping her boots on
“Ain't any need for that sis there already done."
Applejack turned around to see her brother pouring himself a cup of coffee "Why didn't you wake me up to help you!"
Mac smiled and put an arm around his sister before planting a kiss on the top of her head "I just figured after stayin up last night to help me fix the plow I'd let you sleep in."
"So what you think I can’t hack it is that it?" she said glaring at Mac
"I never said that"
"All right youngun's quit yer arguing and get ready for school" granny told them as she pulled the biscuits from the oven.
Applejack gave her brother one last glare before taking her plate to the table
"Mornin everyone." Apple bloom yelled coming into the kitchen
"Mornin sugar cube" granny said as she handed Apple bloom a plate
"You won't believe the dream I had last night!"
"What was it this time?" Applejack asked
"Sweetie bell, Scootaloo, and me were princesses!"
Applejack laughed "Sounds like a pretty good dream there bloom"
"Yup!" Apple bloom said before she started eating
After breakfast Mac drove them to school dropping off Apple bloom at her school then taking him and Applejack to the high school. As they walked through the doors to the cafeteria she spotted her friends sitting at their usual table.
"Mornin ya'll" She said sitting down between Fluttershy and Rainbow Dash
"Applejack we were just talking about you" said Twilight putting down her book
"What about me?" she asked raising an eye brow
"Well the school dance is coming up and we all want you to go." Rarity said to her
"Now girls you know I don't go to dances"
"Come on Applejack It's going to be a blast!" Pinkie pie said throwing confetti in the air.
"I don't know. When is it?" she asked
"This Friday" Rainbow Dash said while eating her breakfast
"Ugh Rainbow dash how many times must I tell you not to talk with your mouthful?" Rarity said grabbing a napkin and handing it to her. Rainbow Dash just rolled her eyes while taking the offered napkin. "I ain't even got a dress." Applejack said grabbing the apple from Rainbow Dash's plate
"You can borrow one of mine" Rarity said
"Even so I ain't got a date either.”
"We already took care of that" Rarity said smiling "You of course know Fire Streak?”
"He has agreed to take you"
"I don't know... me and Mac are supposed to take some cattle to market Friday"
Twilight looked up from her book again "Come on A.J you work hard all the time I'm sure Mac will let you go with us."
She thought to herself; it wouldn't hurt to ask him the worst thing that could happen would he say no.
THREE DAYS LATER
It was the day before the dance Mac and Applejack were stacking hay bales in the barn. Applejack still needed to ask her brother about going tomorrow so she decided she might as well do it now ”Uh Big Mac can I ask you something?"
"There's a dance tomorrow and I was wonderin if I could go..."
Mac was silent for a few moments "You know we got to take some cattle up to the market tomorrow right?"
Applejack looked down in disappointment when Mac spoke again "But it don't take two of us to drive the truck so I suppose you can go"
Applejack's face turned from disappointment to a look of happiness "Thank you so much Big Mac!" she yelled giving her brother a big hug before running off into the house. She grabbed the phone and called Rarity she could barely contain herself as she waited for the phone to be picked up.
"Hello?" tired voice said on the other end of the line.
"Rarity guess what!"
"Who is this?"
"It's me Applejack"
"Oh sorry for not recognizing your voice dear I was sleeping because some of us do need sleep."
"I'm sorry for waking you but guess what just happen!"
"Big Mac said I could go!"
"That's great darling! Now come by right after school tomorrow and we shall get you a dress"
"Alright sounds good! Night Rarity!"
Applejack hung up the phone before running up stairs to go to bed
"Tomorrows going to be perfect!" she said closing her eyes and falling to sleep
........................................................................................................................................................................ Mac watched his sister walk into the house; he had never been to a dance while he was in High School farm work took up almost all of his free time, he let out a sigh before throwing the last few bales from the back of the truck to the stall they kept the hay in. The sound of a truck pulling up to the barn he recognized the truck right away it belonged to Till Harvester aside from being Mac's oldest friend Till was also the owner of the wheat farm on the other side of Ponyville and was also a pilot in the Equestrian Military.
"Howdy Mac" Till said as he closed the truck door.
"Howdy Till what brings you around this time of the night?" Mac said shaking his friends hand.
"I was on my way back from Appaloosa so I thought I'd stop by and ask a favor from ya."
"Sure Till what is it?"
"Well my reserve squadron has been activated so now I have to go to Fort Irons in the morning; I was wanting to ask if you'd mind checking in on my brother and making sure he don't burn the farm down while I'm gone. I trust him to keep everything in one piece but he's still young you know."
"I don't mind at Till. Any idea why they're activating ya'll?"
"Nope all I was told was to show up at Fort Irons tomorrow."
"Well hopefully it ain't nothing."
"Ya well I better get back to the house got to leave pretty early in the morning thanks again Mac."
"Any time Till stay safe out there." Mac said as he watched his friend climb into his truck and drive off into the night. Mac couldn't help but feel like something big was about to happen he just didn't know what.
..................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................... The next evening...
Big Macintosh was listening to the radio while stirring a pot of soup he was making for Granny Smith and himself before he took some cattle to the market; it was just the two of them because Applejack was at the dance and Apple bloom was spending the night at Scootaloo's.
"How's that soup coming?" Granny Smith called from the table
Mac filled two bowls with soup then he sat one of the bowls in front of Granny Smith and placed another across from her. Mac turned the radio on and they listened to it as they ate; suddenly the music stopped and was interrupted by an emergency message from the capital. "Now hear this! Now hear this! As of 6:32pm Equestria was suddenly and deliberately attacked by the Minoan military! All military reserves are to report immediately to their designated post! Citizens are asked to report to their local court house to receive guidelines issued by the capital."
The phone rang drawing Big Mac's attention from the radio; he got up and answered the phone "Hello?" he asked
"This is Captain Silver Lance of the Equestrian army I need to speak to Macintosh Apple?"
"You're speaking to him."
"Equestria is under attack and the draft has been put into effect you are here by ordered to report immediately to the Ponyville train station is that understood?"
"You will only need to bring your draft card and drivers license. If you fail to arrive you will be placed under arrest is that understood?"
There was a click followed by static signaling that the Captain had hung up.
"Who was that?" Granny Smith asked looking at her grandson
"Granny I just got drafted into the army" he said solemnly.
"You just got what?" Granny Smith asked in confusion
"Granny that was the army they're sending me to fight."
"What about yer sisters? What am ah gonna tell them?"
"Tell them I love them granny" Mac grabbed his coat kissed his granny on the cheek "Go to the court house tomorrow and pick up that sett of guidelines the radio talked about. I love you granny take care of the girls for me."
With that he jumped into the truck and drove off to the train station; the whole drive he was thinking about how he hadn't got to see his sisters before he left and now he was leaving maybe even forever. There were several other cars in the parking lot as he pulled in; after parking the truck he got out and walked toward a group of people standing on the train platform.
"Hey Mac!" one of them called stepping away from the group it was his friend Paladin.
"Howdy Paladin what are you doin here?"
"Same reason as you I got drafted." his friend said shaking Mac's hand
"Does Cheerilee know?" Mac asked knowing that Paladins girlfriend Cheerilee would be heart broken at the news.
"No... I tried calling her but nobody answered so I left a message on the answering machine. What about you? How'd the family take it?"
"Granny Smith's pretty upset and Applejack and Apple bloom weren't home when I got called" he said his voice cracking at the thought of not getting to say good bye to his sister's.
"I'm sorry Mac" his friend said placing a hand on his shoulder. The sound of a train whistle could be heard in the distance so they made their way to the platform. The train pulled up and three men dressed in royal guard uniforms stepped off the older of the three moved to the front "Alright listen up! My name is Captain Silver Lance this is Sergeants Shade and Shooter" he said gesturing to the two soldiers behind him "The reason you are all here tonight is because Equestria is under attack which is the reason the draft was activated and you were picked to serve. Form a line in front of me as you get up here I'll ask for your name, draft card, drivers license, and signature. After you have signed take a seat on the train" The group on the platform fell into a single file line and slowly made their way onto the train. When Mac made it to the front of the line one of the sergeant's asked "Your name?" "Macintosh Apple" "Draft card and drivers license." Mac handed them to him. "Alright sign here." Mac signed the paper then made his way onto the train sitting down by a window then having Paladin sit next to him. Mac watched as the train pulled away from Ponyville tears fell from his face as he thought about his family and how he was leaving them. "I'm sorry" he said to himself as the train headed off into the night
"So what ya'll think?" Applejack said stepping out from the changing room wearing a dress her friend Rarity made for her
"Wow A.J you look beautiful!" Twilight said after seeing her friend in the black dress Rarity loaned Applejack
Applejack blushed "ya'll just saying that"
"She's right you look absolutely marvelous but of course I knew you would seeing as I was the one who made it" Rarity said with a smile. There came a knock at the door, Pinkie Pie jumped up and opened the door to find Fire Streak standing there in a suit with a rose in his hand. "Hiya there Fire Streak hang on I'll go grab Applejack!" so slamming the door in Fire Streak's face she ran back grabbed Applejack's arm, pulled her to the door, opened it shoved her outside then closed the door.
Applejack was thrown outside but was caught by Fire Streak, Applejack blushed a deep red as she locked eyes with her date for the evening. "Well hello there Miss Apple" he said smiling at her
Applejack stood up from leaning in his arms "I'm awfully sorry about that I don't know what got into Pinkie Pie"
"It's alright I didn't mind that at all."
Applejack turned a even darker red then she already was "So uh shall we get movin?" she asked
"Sounds like a plan" he replied offering his arm to her, which she readily took as they made there way to his car. They made their way to Sugarcube Corner for dinner where they decided to find out more about each other. "What's your family do for a livin Fire Streak?" Applejack asked before taking a drink of her milkshake
"My dad's a pilot in the Wonderbolts while my mom stays at home"
"Are you serious? Your dad's a Wonderbolt?"
"Yep! What about you? What do your parents do?" he asked innocently unaware that her parents had died
Applejack was quite looking out the window "Uh you see uh my parents died a around six years ago"
Fire Streak looked up at her "Oh I'm so sorry Applejack I didn't know"
"It's alright but uh could we change the subject?" she said holding back a few tears suddenly she felt him grab her hands causing her to look up at him blushing.
"Of course what would you like to talk about?" he asked her.
They stayed at the restaurant for while laughing and talking about different and sometimes random topics, eventually though the left for the dance. Pulling into the student parking lot they could hear the music and see many different colors lighting up the windows in the gym.
"Shall we go in?" he asked her shutting the car off.
"Well ya that's the whole point of us being here" she said smiling at him
He got out and walked to her side of the car to open the door for her. He offered his hand to help her out which she took, but instead of letting go she held his hand the whole way until they reached the school. The night seemed to fly by for Applejack as she spent most of the night beside Fire Streak hands still held tight she wished it would never end but eventually it had to. He walked her to the door of her house they stood and talked for a few minutes enjoying eachothers company before he left.
"So uh Applejack I was wondering if you weren't doing anything tomorrow would you want to uh maybe catch a movie?"
Applejack stifled a giggle as she watched him turn red while he waited for her to answer. "I'd love to sugarcube."
Fire Streak turned a light shade of red at her calling him sugar cube "Oh uh alright so how about I pick you up around seven?"
"Sounds like a plan" she said leaning in she kissed his cheek causing him to turn a dark shade of red this time she couldn't keep herself from giggling "Drive home safe" she said before walking inside.
"Granny I'm home!" Applejack yelled walking through the door, she could hear someone crying from the living room so she went to investigate. She found Granny Smith crying in her rocking chair. "Granny what's wrong? Are you ok?" Applejack asked running to Granny Smith's side. Granny Smith looked up at her granddaughter and said "Applejack we got to have a little talk..."
"Hey Mac wake up we're almost there." his friend said
Big Mac stretched his arms as best he could on the crowded train, they had made several more stops after Ponyville each time picking up more drafties. He looked around many of them looked to be around his age and they all looked a little nervous. The train came to a stop outside of a huge complex concrete and barbed wire formed a wall concealing what lay inside. Suddenly the door opened and Captain Silver Lance stepped in "Alright everybody single file off the train let's move!" They made their way off the train and stood in front of the gate that led into the base, Mac looked up and saw a wooden sign hanging above the gate it read Camp Ratcliff. Paladin elbowed Mac to get his attention "I don't think it's going to be to awful hard after all they called us to serve right?" he said with a smile failing at trying to lighten the mood.
"Alright everybody listen up!" Silver Lance yelled from in front of the group silencing them. "Welcome to Camp Ratcliff as you are all aware you have been called upon to serve our great nation and in order to do this you will be put through the same training as normal soldiers unfortuanatly your training will be sped up in order to supply more troops quickly. Therefore you will be pushed far beyond what our typical soldiers do in order to account for this. So I leave you under the command TAC Sergeant Malone" He said gesturing to a man beside him who was smoking a cigar. "Sergeant good luck" and with that Captain Silver Lance left. "Shut up! All of you!" Malone screamed at the group causing silence to fall among the group. "I am TAC Sergeant Malone it is my job to turn you into soldiers to defend Equestria training takes ten weeks but unfortunately the need for new troops means your training will be cut down into 5 weeks. This will mean that your training will be twice as tough as normal but will turn you into twice as better soldiers. So let's move maggots!" Mac fell in line with the others as they made their way to the barracks, on their way there they passed by other trainees going through drills and running there was a lot of running. Eventually they reached the barracks where they were given their new uniforms and PT gear which they changed into. As soon as they were changed they were forced outside to begin training. They ran every where they went they ran for hours on end they all breathed a sigh of relief when it was time for dinner, but before they ate it was sit-ups and push-ups outside.
"Geez Mac I can barely stand let alone eat" Paladin said sitting down beside Mac
"I ain't never run that much in my life" Mac said as he examined the grilled chicken on his plate
"At least the food looks good" Paladin said taking a mouthful of potatoes and gravy he coughed as he ate it "I think it's looks are the only thing it's got going for it though"
Mac nodded in agreement, the food though it look like it was good ended up having little to no taste he missed his family and Sweet Apple Acres he hoped the war would be over soon so he could get back to them.
"Alright let's go everybody double time let's move!" Sergeant Malone's voice boomed through out the mess hall.
Great more running Mac shook his head and followed the sergeant.
"Gentlemen what is the current number of our troops?" Princess Celestia asked her military advisors who were seated around a table: General Brass Shell of the Army, Admiral Iron Hull of the Navy, General Leather Neck of the Marines, and General Sky Rocket of the Air force.
"The Army currently has 539,675 active service men and 557,375 reserve forces."
"Our Navy has 325,052 active seamen, 107,132 reserve, 89 active war ships and 186 ships in reserve."
"The Marines have 203,000 active with 40,000 reserve."
"Air Force has 327,452 active and 115,300 reserve"
Celestia ran a hand through her hair "Do we know the Minoan numbers?"
General Brass Shell handed her a file "This file has the information that we have on the Minoan forces"
Celestia opened the file and began to read it Minoan Forces: Army 750,000. Navy 78 active ships unknown reserve ships. Air Force unknown.
She closed the file and laid the file down "If this is all they have why activate the draft?"
General Leather Neck "Because your majesty less then a hour ago we received a declaration of war from Queen Chrysalis she has allied her nation with the Minoans."
Celestia spoke "If the Changeling Empire has aligned themselves with the Minoans then Equestria will fall within a few months."
Admiral Iron Hull spoke "Princess we are not alone Prince Shining Armor wishes to form an alliance against the Minoans and Changelings"
The doors opened as Princess Luna walked in Celestia turned to her Generals "Tell him I wish to meet with him and Princess Cadance as soon as possible until then we are activating COLE Protocol dismissed"
Once they had gone Luna spoke "Tia you wanted to see me?"
"Yes there is something we need to discuss" Celestia said motioning for her sister to sit down
"What about?" Luna asked taking a seat across from her sister
"Queen Chrysalis has allied the Changeling empire with the Minoans."
"What!?" Luna asked in disbelief
Celestia nodded her head solemnly "They now heavily out number our forces and it will only be a matter of months before they conquer Equestria."
"What about the Crystal Empire? Will they help us?"
"Yes they will but even then victory is not guaranteed, that is why we must discuss activating the LANCER program"
Big Macintosh began to open his eyes only to be met with a blinding white light amplifying the pain in his head he closed his eyes in a effort to ease the pain in his head.
"Doctor he's awake again"
"He's bound to have a major head ache quick get me some pain reliever"
Macintosh could make out voices around him so he decided to try and open his eye's again. Fighting through the pain he finally managed to open his eyes and this time was met with the blurry out line of a figure who was trying to talk to him.
"Private Macintosh can you hear me?" the blurry figure said
Mac nodded his head which caused his head ache to worsen he let out a moan from the pain.
"Hang on I'm giving you some medicine that should ease your head ache"
Mac didn't bother to try and argue at that point all he wanted was the pain in his head to stop. Gradually the pain in his head went away until it vanished completely. Mac's vision finally cleared and he could make out the doctor in front of him.
"Where am I?" Mac asked looking around realizing that he was in a hospital room before focusing back on the doctor "And who are you?"
"Forgive me where are my manners my name is Doctor Stable and you are at Canterlot Medical Center you've been in and out of consciousness for three days now"
"Three days!" Mac said in astonishment
"Yes" the Doctor Stable said bluntly
Mac couldn't believe it he had been knocked out for three whole days before waking up in Canterlot which raised another question "How the did I end up here in Canterlot?"
"You don't remember?"
Mac shook his head "Eenope"
"I shouldn't be surprised" The doctor said looking at his clip board "Aside from suffering 3rd degree burns across 80% of your body it's not to surprising that you have some amnesia."
"3rd degree burns? What the hell happen to me?" Mac asked looking down at the burn scars across his arms and chest
The doctor flipped a page on the clip board "You were hit by a white phosphorus grenade it sent a lot of burning shards of phosphorus which burned worse when your comrades poured water on you. The only way they could help you was to cut as much out of you as they could. Don't you remember any of this?"
Mac tried to remember anything he could "The last thing I remember was sitting in a Humvee talking to my friend Paladin..." That's when the memories came screaming back to him.
3 days earlier
"Every one to their vehicles now!" Captain Silver Star yelled.
Mac grabbed his rifle and took off to his squad's MRAP which was parked by the camps gate ready to go. Each MRAP held a team 10 men.
"1st platoon check in!" Captain Silver Star called over the radio as the convoy started off the radio began to fill with each team's leader checking in
"Alpha team checking in"
"Bravo team checking in"
"Charlie team checking in"
"Delta team checking in"
"Echo team checking in"
Mac was part of Charlie team which consisted of a team leader (Staff Sergeant Ace), a medic (Corporal Hooves), a radio operator (Corporal Trails), a machine gunner (Lance Corporal Baritone), a demolitions expert (Specialist Steamer), and 5 riflemen (Private Rich, Private Bushel, Private Slice, Paladin, and Big Mac).
"Alright everybody listen up the 4th armored was escorting a VIP through the Everfree on their way to Canterlot when they were ambushed. It's our job to save what's left of the 4th and get the VIP back to Canterlot." Sergeant Ace told the team from the passenger seat of the MRAP
"The Everfree? I thought we had 6 battalions there?" Caramel asked
"We did but Blue Blood pulled everyone except the 4th engineers back to Manehatten."
"What happen to the 4th?"
"We lost contact with them 2 days ago but didn't think nothing of it, because their last message said that they were having problems with their communications and would have to go dark to fix it."
"Are they sending anyone to check on them?"
"Not till after we complete our current objective."
Damn Mac thought to himself. He had went through basic with a few of them and he hoped they were alright.
Mac began to hear gunfire and explosions from outside the MRAP. Then Steamer began shooting from the machine gun nest which was on top of the MRAP.
"All units form a circle around the survivors!" the Captain called over the radio. Trails who was driving the MRAP put it into a tight turn as he moved them in front of the hand full of survivors.
"Alright Charlie team move! Move! Move!" Ace yelled opening the MRAPS door.
Mac followed the team out of the MRAP that's when he saw her; she was tall with long dark almost black hair that seemed to shimmer like it held stars within it.
"MAC MOVE!" Paladin yelled grabbing Mac snapping him back to reality. "C'mon the Captain wants us to move the wounded into the MRAPS!"
Mac laid his rifle down so he could pick up one of the wounded men but as he did he noticed that the soldier was missing his left arm it took all he could to keep from vomiting. Mac carried the him to the MRAP handing him to Hooves who was waiting inside with his med kit at the ready. Mac and Paladin continued their work which felt like took hours once they had loaded the last man they grabbed their rifles to join the rest of their team when Mac heard the Captain say "Princess all of the wounded are loaded on board as you requested and are ready to leave and now you need to leave with them!"
"Captain I will not leave until all of our soldiers are evacuated!" she replied
"Princess Luna the 5th is on their way once they arrive we'll get everyone out now you need to go!"
The Princess finally gave in making her way to one of the MRAPS the Captain then turned to seem Mac and Paladin who had heard the whole conversation standing there. "You two go with her make sure she get's to Canterlot!"
"Yes Sir!" they both replied getting in the MRAP the princess had just got into.
Mac looked at the driver and yelled "GO!" Without questioning the order he slammed on the gas pedal taking off down the road that lead out of the Everfree. Mac could smell blood and looking back behind him he saw several men lying on the MRAP's floor the medic was doing his best but there was to many for just one man to attend to.
So the Princess asked him what she could do to help the medic pointed toward one of the wounded men and said "Grab that can of biofoam and plug his wound" he looked at Paladin "You come here and help me stabilize this one" finally he turned to Mac "Try and stop his bleeding use the hot sticks if you need to" he said pointing to a box on the wall.
Mac Kneeled down beside the wounded man, Mac realized that the wounded soldier was just a boy about the same age as himself. The boy looked up at him saying “Please don’t let me die!” he pleaded to Mac tears in his eyes “Please don’t let me die!” he repeated.
Mac swallowed the lump in his throat “I ain’t gonna let you die” Mac said before he began to work on the boys missing leg. Mac could remember basic first aid; the first thing he needed to do was to stop the bleeding. He took the sling from his rifle and tightened it around what was left of the boy’s leg but the blood kept running out. “Damn!” Mac said reaching for the hot sticks on the wall. He glanced back at the boy whose breathing was slowing and his eyes were beginning to close “Hey stay awake bud, c’mon talk to me. What’s yer name?” Mac asked trying to keep him awake.
“Daring… my name’s Daring Doo.” He said to Mac who was begging the hot sticks to hurry and heat up enough to cauterize the wound.
“Where ya from Daring?” Mac asked
“Appaloosa” he whispered looking up at Mac the boy said "I can't feel my legs Doc, my body's getting warm to. I don't think I'm gonna make it."
"Don't say that Daring I promise you ain't gonna-"
"Doc I know I'm dying! So please do me a favor will you?" Daring said cutting Mac off mid sentence.
"What do ya need son?" Mac asked laying the hot sticks down
"Will you stay with me while I pray? Please?" he said taking a rosary from his pocket
"Of course..." Mac said taking the boys hand.
"Dear God thank you for the life you have given me. I pray that my sacrifice and those of others do not go in vain. I pray you watch over my family and keep them safe from harm. Watch over people like Mr. Macintosh who risked his life to save mine and the Princess. In your name we pray Amen." Daring looked at Mac and whispered "It was a honor to know you Mr. Macintosh..." Then he closed his eye's and died.
Mac held the boys hand and watched as he passed away. Then remembering what the priest said when his Pa passed away he spoke the words "Though your spirit may leave this mortal form you shall for ever stay in the hearts of those you have met until we to join you in the great beyond. May you rest in peace. In Nomeni Patri Et Fili Spiritus Sancti." Mac felt a hand on his shoulder "Princess he was to young to die"
“They always are, but you should not blame yourself for this.” She said to Mac
“I promised him I wouldn’t let him die, but I failed him. I have always kept my promises until now.” Luna took his arm and said “Macintosh it was not your fault, his wound was too great there was nothing anyone could have done to save him.” “Maybe but I feel like I could have done more for him.” Mac said looking at Luna who looked back at him with eye's that shined like the stars. Then the rocket hit.
Mac slowly began to sit up only to Luna laying on his chest. He started to panic thinking she may have been hurt "Princess are you ok?" he asked
Luna began to stir "Uh huh" she said before realizing she was laying on Mac's chest "Are you alright?"
"Eeyup" Mac replied before turning his attention to the sound of the wounded which began to fill the rolled over MRAP. He saw Paladin beginning to get up Mac called to him "Hey Paladin you alright?"
Paladin replied "Ya I think I am what about Princess Luna?"
"I'm fine" she said getting off of Mac.
They began to hear gunfire coming from outside the MRAP; Mac looked over at Paladin "Paladin we have to get out there and hold those guys off until the 5th reach us."
"Alright! Doc get on the radio and call the battalion tell them we need immediate aid!" Paladin said before climbing out the machine gun nest.
Mac started to follow but felt something tug his arm "I'm coming with you" Luna said
"I'm sorry Princess but you need to stay here where it's safe, I can't lose you." Mac told her before following Paladin out into the battle.
There were three MRAPs in their convoy but the MRAP Mac had been in was the only one that was not engulfed in flames. Mac quickly realized that he and Paladin were the only soldiers besides the wounded in their MRAP still alive. They set up positions along the convoy using the MRAPs as cover they were heavily out numbered and were in a very desperate situation Mac hoped that the rest of the battalion would show up soon other wise they would all be killed.
"Mac here they come!" Paladin yelled before firing his rifle.
Mac brought his rifle to his shoulder and pulled the trigger sending the bullet into one of the Minoan soldiers. Mac began to take one Minoan after the other making sure to save his ammo he only put one round into each one's chest his aim being perfect as bodies of Minoans began to pile. The Minoans retreated a little ways for they had not been expecting such heavy resistance from such a destroyed convoy. Mac used this time to check on Luna and the wounded; he stuck his head inside but was met with Luna coming outside. "Princess you should stay inside until the battalion arrives" Mac told her blocking her way out.
"Macintosh I have been trained in case I was to enter combat I can handle myself perfectly well. Besides while there is a break in the fight I have a question which must be answered." She said gently pushing her way past Mac.
"What question is that?"
"Earlier when you said I needed to stay inside you said and I quote I can't lose you I what did you mean by that?" she asked raising a eyebrow
Mac blushed remembering what he had said to her as he left the MRAP. He knew the reason why he said it but if he told her she would surely laugh and mock him. "I uh-"
"Mac we have incoming!" Paladin yelled
Mac quickly moved back to his position bringing his rifle to his shoulder and began to shoot the advancing Minoans. Mac noticed someone lay down beside him and also began to shoot he glanced over and saw that it was Luna firing the rifle. "Princess you shouldn't be here!" Mac said to her
"Macintosh shut up and keep firing!" she yelled back at him
Mac decided that now was not the time to argue with her so he went back to firing at the enemy. They were holding them off until suddenly the ground began to shake as a tank began moving towards them. Mac grabbed Luna and moved her away from the MRAP just before it exploded killing the wounded and the medic who were still inside. Mac and Luna jumped into a creek bed behind them and were quickly joined by Paladin who had lost his helmet during the battle
"Mac the battalion's 10 minutes out I think we can hold this position until then" Paladin said as the shooting suddenly stopped and the sound of the tank began to fade.
They waited for a few minutes before Paladin spoke again "I think they're retreating" he said standing up only to be met with a bullet to the head. Mac watched in horror as his bestfriend's head exploded from the impact spraying Mac in blood. Mac and Luna were frozen in place starring at the growing pool of blood that was forming around what was left of Paladin's head. Then Mac saw the grenade as it landed a few feet away from them, he reacted instantly tackling Luna to the ground shielding her with his body. He heard the explosion then the world went black.
Mac regained his focus after recalling the past events then his eyes grew wide "Doc is Luna ok?" before Doctor Stables could respond the door opened and Princess Luna walked in.
"It's good to see you awake Private Macintosh." She said walking to his bed side. "Doctor will you please excuse us for a few moments there is something I must speak to Mr. Macintosh about."
"Of course your majesty" the doctor said closing the door as he left.
Mac looked at Luna who had pulled a seat up beside his bed "Princess before we start discussin what you wanted to discuss I have to ask something if it's alright."
Luna took Mac's burned hand "Yes Mr. Macintosh it was really me who visited you while you were here in the hospital."
Though Mac couldn't remember that he woke up a few times in the hospital he did remember that he did dream of Luna and he knew the stories about how she could visit dreams but he had thought it might have just been him. Now that Luna had confirmed that it was really her he turned a dark shade of red recalling what had transpired in the dreams.
Luna smiled "And I promise you that what all I said to you was true and I do hope that what you said was also true."
"Eeyup." Mac said shocked at the relization of what had just been reviled to him. "So uh what did ya want to talk about?" Mac asked
Luna sighed "Mac the war is not going well for us... not only must we deal with the Minoans but we must also deal with the threat of the Changling Empire as well. There is a special group of super soldiers that Princess Celestia and I have used since the war against King Sombra they are called LANCERS. They are genetically modiefied soldiers who for centuries have protected Equestria and now they are being called upon again."
"What does that got to do with me?" Mac asked
"I'm here to talk to you about joining this group of soldiers."
"Princess I would gladly serve as one except in the condition i'm in I don't think I'd be to well off in the group." Mac said gesturing at the burn marks on his body.
It had been 8 weeks since Big Macintosh left leaving Applejack in charge of taking care of the farm. The army took him right before it was time to harvest the orchards leaving Applejack to find a way to harvest all the fields by herself. Luckily her cousins Braeburn, Hayseed, and Apple Tart offered to come down from Appaloosa to help her. When she found out the news from Granny Smith she went upstairs and cried; she cried for hours until eventually she couldn't cry any more. She started skipping school causing her friends to worry about her so they went to check on her.
"Applejack are you in here?" Twilight called from the barn door
"Ya girls c'mon on in I'm just here working on the tractor." Applejack replied from underneath the tractor
Twilight, Rainbow dash, Fluttershy, Pinkie pie, and Rarity walked into the barn followed by Fire Streak.
"Applejack why haven't you been at school lately?" Twilight asked as Applejack rolled herself out from underneath the tractor on her creeper.
"Ya we've been worried about you!" Pinkie said holding a tray of cupcakes
"Girls I've already told ya'll that I got to keep the farm running until Big Mac gets home" Applejack said grabbing a wrench from her tool box before sliding back underneath the tractor.
Fire Streak pulled her back out "Applejack you can't absorb yourself in this you have to get out once in awhile."
"Listen sugarcube this farm is what supports our family if I let it slip then we ain't gonna have any place to live." Applejack said giving him a quick kiss before sliding back under the tractor. "Maybe when Braeburn and his family get here I might be able to lighten up a bit."
"Applejack do you even know when that will be?" Rainbow Dash asked kicking a soccer ball around
"Nope ain't got a clue."
"Applejack darling if you keep this up you'll be a wreck." Rarity said
"She's right you can't seclude yourself her or else you'll end up like your brother" Fire Streak said not realizing the mistake he made.
Applejack rolled herself out glaring at Fire Streak "What exactly do ya'll mean by I'll end up like my brother?"
"Applejack you know how he was in High School and how he still is." Fire Streak said still not realizing how he was messing up "He kept to himself not making any friends and never doing anything social. I was surprised he graduated to be honest the way he would miss school most of the time. You'll end up like that if you don't get back to yourself" The girls flinched bracing themselves for the explosion that was about to happen.
"Get out." Applejack said standing up "No one comes to my farm and talks shit about my brother! He went through all of that and gave up all of that so that me, Apple Bloom, and Granny Smith could live with a roof over our head!"
Fire Streak stepped back until he had his back against the wall as she continued her rage. Her friends were standing behind her watching Applejack unleash her anger upon the frightened Fire Streak. He stuttered trying to speak "A-Applejack I-I'm S-S-Sorry"
"I don't want your damn apology Fire Streak I want you to get the hell off of my farm!" Applejack screamed grabbing him by his shirt and throwing him out the barn door. She stood there fuming as she watched Fire Streak get in his car and drive away. Once he was out of sight Applejack sat down on the dirt floor, leaned her back against the barn, and cried. Finally out of her rampage her friends approached her and sat down beside her.
"Girls I'm sorry about that..." Applejack said looking at the five of them.
"Applejack darling you're always so calm what happen?" Rarity said
"I don't know girls I guess it's just I finally realized how much Mac had given up so that the rest of us could have a good life. I feel like I never really appreciated or even thanked him for doing what he did. Did you know that I rarely had to do chores because I wanted to go and hang out with ya'll or go do something else. Not once did he complain about taking on my chores he even encouraged me to go have fun and I never stopped to think about him and his life." Applejack said through tears
There came a knock at the barn door the girls looked up to find the mail girl Ditzy Doo standing there with a package and several letters "I have a delivery for Applejack it's from her brother is she in here?"
"Sister are you sure you want to put him through this?" Celestia asked Princess Luna.
"Yes Tia he not only will it help him to recover but he may be the one soldier that changes the tide of the war for us." Luna said handing her sister a file with Big Macintosh's name on it. "He already has impressive strength and size and is also surprisingly resilient which explains how he managed to survive the blast he shielded me from." Celestia looked over the file as Luna continued "I have also contacted Twilight Sparkle about his character and she told me he is a very good hearted individual hard working and also how he is willing to help others."
Celestia put the folder down and looked at her sister "Luna you do realize that what we would be putting him through is designed to break him and if he fails there is a good chance he will die just from the enhancements."
"Yes Tia I know this and I have discussed this with him."
"What did he say?"
"He said he would be willing to go through with it."
Celestia sighed "Then I shall contact Doctor Discord and have him prepare for the procedure."
Mac lay in a metal tube surrounded by several doctors filling syringes with different colored liquids. One of the doctors walked over to him "Alright Mr. Apple we are prepared to begin the process are you sure you still want to go through with this?" The doctor said strapping Mac's arms and legs down.
Mac looked up at the observation room and saw both princesses watching "Doc I'm sure."
"Alright good luck Mr. Apple" The doctor said closing the door Mac could hear the voices outside talking
"How's his vital signs?"
"All clear Doctor."
"Ok begin the process." The machine began to hum as it turned on.
"Ok insert the enhancements!" Mac heard over the sound of the machine. Suddenly he could feel needles pierce his arms, legs, and chest; followed by a burning sensation causing Mac to wince. He tried to keep from yelling but the burning grew until he could not suppress it any longer.
"AHHHH!" Mac screamed from inside the machine as the burning began to grow worse.
"Doctor the second set is ready!"
"Hurry and insert them now!"
Mac felt another burning sensation worse then before "AAAHHHHHHH!" he cried out his muscle's felt like fire with every breath he felt like his chest would explode. Suddenly the machine stopped as did the pain leaving only his body feeling sore.
"Open the door and let him out."
The door opened blinding Mac with light "Ok Mr. Apple you may step out now."
Mac stepped out of the tube and could hear several gasp followed by several cheers from the doctors congratulating each other. One motioned over to them that's when he saw the mirror behind the doctor. The Macintosh Apple that stood in the mirror looked very different from the one that had entered the tube just 30 minutes earlier. Mac could see that his scars on his arms and legs were gone, his chest was and abs were now well defined and filled out with muscle, he also noticed that he looked considerably taller.
"What do you think Mr. Macintosh?" One of the doctors asked
Alright Mr. Apple your vitals look great and I see you passed your physical with flying colors." The doctor said closing a folder before turning to Mac "Congratulations on a successful enhancement process" Mac climbed off the table and began putting his clothes back on when the door opened.
"Hey Doc is he ready yet?" A voice from the door called out he had black hair, brown eyes, a little shorter then Mac was and wore black armor over his entire body except for the word LANCER-40 etched in gold.
"Yes Cross Hair he's all yours." The doctor said handing him Mac's file.
"Great come on rook it's time for your orientation." The mystery man said walking out the door followed by Mac. They walked out of the building and into a waiting jeep. "Alright let's see here... ah yes Macintosh Apple, 21 years old, from Ponyville, 7'1ft , and weighing in at 253lbs. Well Mr. Apple welcome to the LANCERS my name is Cross Hairs and I will be your tour guide for the day, but before we begin I should probably tell you that from this moment forward your designation is LANCER -90 and wouldn't you know it you've been assigned to my squad welcome to the Eagle's!" Cross Hairs said slapping Mac on the back. They pulled up to a gray building which Cross Hairs led him into "Alright first things first we need to get you suited up and ready for action so to the armory!" they walked down several hallways before reaching a huge sealed door with a glowing pad on the side. Cross Hairs put his eye up to it which the glowing pad then scanned before opening the door. "Honey I'm home!" Cross Hairs said as a woman who was just a little shorter then Cross Hairs walked out from behind several crates; she had blue hair and light blue eyes. The armor she had on looked more like a blue circuit board her chest plate had LANCER-53 on the front of it.
"Rook I would like you to meet my wonderful girlfriend. My wonderful girlfriend I would like you to meet our new recruit." Cross Hairs said putting his arm around the women’s shoulder and looking back at Mac who was just standing there. "Well come on over here Rook I promise the only thing you have to fear from her is her cooking."
She elbowed Cross Hairs in the stomach "Oh shut up" she said reaching out a hand towards Mac. "Nice to meet you rook I’m LANCER-53 but just call me Blitz I’m the resident tech expert and I’ll be getting you outfitted today.” Mac shook her hand “Nice to meet you Miss Blitz.” She looked over at Cross Hairs who was looking inside one of the crates “oh such a gentleman! Cross Hairs why can’t you be more like that?” “Easy there rook you’re making me look bad.” He said while digging back into the crate to pull out a black helmet with a black visor. “Yes! Just what I was looking for!” he said putting it on “haha you see this rook? Mark 5 recon helmet straight from Q branch!”
Blitz shook her head then motioned for Mac to follow her “Come on rook let’s get you suited up.” Mac followed her to a room with a clear tube in it. “Alright put this webbing on” She said handing him a suit that looked like something scuba divers wear. “Ok rook take your clothes off, put this on, then step on in don’t worry I promise you this won’t hurt a bit.” She said walking over to a computer in front of the tube.
“Uh where can I change at?” Mac asked blushing a little
“Just change here”
Mac blushed harder “Uh ok…” Mac said quickly changing into the webbing leaving his clothes on the floor before stepping into the tube.
“Ok rook just lay inside the outline there and relax.” Blitz said
Mac laid down in the outline of a body inside the tube
“Perfect now lets see what your MOS is... ah says here you're infantry well looks like you'll be getting the Mark VI Assault Armor. So what color will it be?”
Mac thought for a second “Red”
“Red it shall be then.” Blitz said typing stuff in on the computer. “Alright now-“
“Hey Blitzy you got to see this!” Cross Hairs yelled walking into the room “Watch ready.” Cross Hairs pushed a button on his arm turning the visor from black to clear. “Isn’t this awesome!?”
“Yes Cross Hairs that’s why you ordered it in the first place and I thought I told you not to call me Blitzy it pisses me off." Vinyl said pressing a button causing the tube to hiss as he began to feel armor being attached to the webbing.
"I know but you're hot when your mad." Cross Hairs said winking at her.
Once all the armor was attached the tube opened and Mac stepped out
“Looking nice rook!” Cross Hairs said still playing with his visor “Not the color I would have chosen but still.”
Blitz walked over with a helmet it was solid red except for the visor which was yellow. He took it from her holding it in his hands looking it over.
“Ok rook it's time to get you trained on how to use your new equipment first thing first put your helmet on" Mac slid the helmet on there was a small click sound then visor lit up. "Ok rook now your HUD will display everything from friendly IR tags to waypoints. Now your helmet has a built in rebreather which will allow you to breath under water for 10 minutes before you'll have to resurface and let it empty out the filter area. It also allows for breathing at high altitudes which is great because most of our deployments come in the shape of HALO drops."
"HALO drops?" Mac asked curious about the term
"HALO stands for High Altitude Low Opening. Cross Hairs did you teach him anything that you were suppose to?" she asked him.
"Yes I did in fact! I taught him his LANCER number and the squad he's assigned to thank you very much!" he said to her sticking his tongue out which they could see through his clear visor before it turned black.
Blitz shook her head "What he should have told you was that the LANCERS don't fight with the rest of the infantry. Instead we are sent right where the shits the deepest taking out enemy communications, sabotage, assassinations, whatever needs to be done behind enemy lines. We do that by stealth insertions usually by HALO drops they are high enough to avoid radar and a parachute doesn't make any noise." she reached into one of the crates pulling out a rectangular pack "We use M2 parachutes with reinforced fibers to withstand the shock and tension when deployed. It connects directly to the back of your armor there are no strings it is voice activated so all you have to do is yell 'deploy chute' and it will automatically deploy. When you land your armor will automatically eject the pack this is a one time deal so you don't have to worry about bringing it back."
Mac nodded in acknowledgement
"Blitz! Me and Rook just got orders to gather with the squad you can brief him again later come on rook." Cross Hairs said from the doorway
"Yes sir" Mac said following him out the door
"Lulu what's wrong?" Celestia asked her sister as they sat at the breakfast table. Luna sat poking at her food with her fork not noticing that her sister was talking to her. "Hello Equestria to Luna come in Luna." Celestia said waving her hand to get Luna's attention.
Luna finally snapped out of her daze. "Oh I'm sorry Tia what did you say?"
Celstia sighed "I asked what's wrong"
"Nothing I just haven't slept well these past few weeks is all." Luna said not meeting Celestia's gaze.
"What has kept you awake lately sister?" Celestia said taking her sister's hand
Luna was hesitant debating on whether or not she should tell her sister the reason for her not being able to sleep. Luna sighed "Tia have you ever had something happen that you can't get off of your mind?"
Celestia looked at her sister "Something? Or could it be a certain young farmer?"
Luna's eyes widened "How did you know?"
"Lulu it's really not hard to see that you have feelings for him you almost never left his side in the hospital and I noticed that he was wearing your Lunar necklace while entered the enhancement machine." Celestia paused to take a sip of tea " You also dream about him and I must admit sister your dreams can get very vulgar." she said with a devilish grin
Luna stood up "You entered my dreams! How dare you! My dreams are personal and very private!"
"Oh calm down I know you enter my dreams." Celestia said rolling her eyes
"Still I would wish that you would stay out of my dreams they are mine and I would prefer that they stay that way." Luna said sitting back down and then take a drink of her tea
"I also know that you enter his dreams in order to how should I put this... enlighten yourself on his knowledge of reproduction" Celestia said trying her best to suppress a laugh.
Luna spat the tea in her mouth out across the table while eyes grew to the size of saucers and her mouth hung open at hearing her sister say that she knew about what she had been up to. Luna stood up and walked toward her chambers "I'm going to bed! Goodnight Tia!"