The Lost Crafter

by Jeffrey1000

First published

Steve, the last Crafter, must defend Equestria. First, however, he must get to know the inhabitants.

Inspired by A Crafters Dream, by ruthim345. I suggest you read that first. It’s much better.

Steve, the last Crafter, gets transported to Equestria. Little does he know, the biggest threat to both ponies and Crafters is coming. Now Steve must protect Equestria. However, that’s hard to do when fate is constantly messing with him.

Chapter 1: Waking Up

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Steve rose up off the ground. The last thing he remembered was sleeping to escape some skeletons that were shooting at him. However, there he was safe in his house. He didn’t even think he was in his world anymore. There were different materials and everything looked so... not blocky. Shapes of all sorts were everywhere.

I must be in another dimension... or am I dreaming?

While he was lost in his thoughts an arrow hit him straight in the shoulder doing eight hearts. He looked to see where it came from. There, the Crafter, spotted those damn skeletons he was running from earlier. He quickly got behind a rock so he could see what he had on him.

His diamond sword, which was enchanted with smite lll and unbreaking ll, his bow which was enchanted with power ll, unbreaking lll, and mending, one stack of arrows, his diamond axe and pickaxe, both enchanted with unbreaking ll, everything he had from his last mining expedition, which included 45 iron ore, two stacks of coal, two stacks of cobblestone, 32 gold ore, and 27 diamonds. He also had his shield, fishing rod, 28 ender pearls, a bucket of lava and one of water, a stack of wooden logs, his diamond armor, which was all enchanted with protection lll and unbreaking ll, 59 cooked beef, 23 cooked pork chop, 10 cooked chicken, 44 bread, and his various potions and potion materials.

Well, if I’m lost at least I have a lot of stuff on me, Steve told himself. He could hear the bones of the skeletons coming closer to him. Quickly equipping the armor he turned to fire back at the skeletons. The first shot landed hitting the skeleton back a little bit, but doing a lot of damage. He ducked to avoid another arrow that whizzed right over his head. He got a quick look to see the three skeletons that were shooting at him. They weren’t burning in the daylight because of the thick canopy.

“Fuck.” He said as an arrow nearly missed his side. He turned and got another shot off, killing the first skeleton. He turned to the one on his left. That one shot at him but he ducked, avoiding it. He quickly got up
and shot it. Before he could get another shot off, the other one shot him in the arm. This caused him to send his second shot sailing high. Th hit hurt like Nether but he could take it. His proc llll armor also helped. He quickly shot the one he was aiming at, killing it and then unsheathed his sword. He jumped the rock he was hiding behind and charged at the skeleton. He dodged one arrow and then another and another before he was right on top of the skeleton, getting the easy kill.

He took a deep breath and ate some of the beef he had on him. He felt the feeling of regeneration and looked at his wounds. Now he was back to full health.

“I need to find a way home.” He said to himself in a hushed voice. “First I have to find out where the Nether-“ he was cutoff mid-sentence by a blue blur that struck him right in the chest.

“Ow, what the fuck!” He yelled at his attacker. He saw a blue pegasus. But aren’t pegasi supposed to be myths?

“Hey Twilight, I found the creature that shot Applejack!” She shouted back to her friend.

I didn’t shoot anyone. Unless...

He then realized what had happened.

“Woah, woah, woah,” he responded, “calm down. It was an accident. I wasn’t aiming for her.”

“Yeah, right.” She replied. “Then what were you aiming at?”


“And where are these monsters?”

“Dead. I killed them.”

“Then where are their bodies?”

Bodies, Steve thought to himself, there are never bodies.

“What do you mean bodies?” He asked.

“Are you stupid. I mean the bodies of the monsters.”

Steve froze in thought. He had no proof he was innocent. What could he do? Running would make things look more suspicious, but he’d rather do that than deal with this mess.

“The bodies are over there.” He said pointing behind the prismatic mare. She quickly whirled around scanning the area. There was nothing there. Rainbow Dash turned back around to see the strange creature gone.

“Where the buck did he go?” She asked herself. Meanwhile, Steve, who pearled away, was halfway across the forest.

“I knew these would come in handy.” He said looking at his pearls. “Now for a place to set up a little base.”

The six Elements of Harmony were standing in the hospital. Well, five of them were. The last one, Applejack, was sprawled out on the hospital bed.

“Her wounds aren’t serious.” The doctor told them. “She was hit just above her foot. It isn’t too bad.”

“Good to hear.” Twilight said. Then, the doctor left the six in the room alone. The librarian turned to Rainbow Dash. “Dash, what caused this.”

“It was a weird ape, with no hair. He escaped, and I think he is a threat to pony kind. You should tell the princesses.”

“I already started.” She said. “I just need the details.”

“He’s tall, muscular, tan, wears a light blue top with dark blue bottom, and has brown hair with a short beard.”

“Anything else?”

“He has a sword and bow and arrows. He also has some kind of armor.”

“Thank you, I will let the princesses know right away.” Twilight informed her. “Hopefully the Royal Guards can stop him.”

“Yeah.” Rainbow agreed.

Then, they heard a small groan.

“Applejack?” Twilight asked.

“Ah, buck that hurts.” Applejack stated. She looked around to see she was in hospital room. “Wait, where am ah? What happened?”

“You were shot by a strange creature and then passed out after losing a substantial amount of blood.” Twilight explained.

“Strange creature?” Applejack asked. “What do ya mean?”

Rainbow Dash said the details yet again.

“He escaped, somehow.” She finished.

“A’ll be on the lookout for him.” Applejack said.

Elsewhere, Steve was finishing his little “base”. It was more of a cave at this point.

“There we go.” He said destroying one last piece of stone. “That should be good enough. Well, at least for tonight.”

He placed his bed down and went to sleep.

Chapter 2: Midnight Fight

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Steve awoke from his bed. He expected to feel the bright, warm light shine on his cheek, but he couldn’t feel it. He looked around his little house. It was one room with a bed on the right side, viewing from the entrance, and a furnace, crafting table, and a chest on the opposite side. He peered outside the door. The entrance was hidden behind thick brush. He had to take a step outside and was surprised to see it was still night. The Crafter gave it some thought.

Does time work different here? But when I sleep it should skip to day automatically. Steve thought to himself. He didn’t know what time it was because he left his clock back home. He continued to walk through the forest. After about an hour of walking, he came upon a small town. The town appeared to be empty.

Did they evacuate? They could just be in a town gathering. Everything looked like it was new. Then he saw someone. It looked like a combination of a unicorn and a pegasus. What are they called, again? Damn it, what did Mitch say? Mitch, his old friend, was more interested in mythology than he was. She was almost entirely black. The mare stood the same height, and was equipped with a chest plate and helmet. She had a tattoo-like drawing on her flank. It was an aquamarine crescent moon. Steve equipped his armor as he creeped closer. He took one step which made a small thud. The, rather big, pony turned around at the sound of the his boots.

“Who’s there?” She questioned rather loudly.

“” Steve said, giving a small wave. “Who are you?”

“Has thou not heard of Nightmare Moon?” Nightmare Moon asked.

“Well now I did.” Steve answered to which she glared in response. “I’m Steve.”

“Tis a strange name.” She commented.

“It’s simple. I like it.” Steve responded. “So... we’re you responsible for the rather long night?”

She smirked in response.

“Yes, but before ye gets upset, we have a proposal for thou.” She told him.

“And that would be?” Steve questioned, raising an eyebrow.

“Help us destroy anypony who objects our plan, and thou shalt have substantial power over the land and the people.”

“So kill the ponies?”

“Yes. From what we heard thou doth not have good relations with them.”

“To be honest, I don’t care what happens to these ponies. However, I have no interest in destroying them. I can’t blame them for what happened. Well, not entirely. That being said,” Steve got into his fight stance, “I cannot let you do that to them.”

“Thou is a fool for messing with a goddess!”

“Bring it, bitch!” Nightmare Moon fired one shot at Steve, to which he easily dodged. “You’ll have to do better than that!” Steve yelled at her. This time Steve jumped at her, sword raised high. As he came down she quickly teleported away. He turned around to see two hooves hit him smack in the face. Facing up, he quickly blocked a beam of magic she shot at him. He got up, only to rollover and dodge another magic beam. He lunged at her sword in hand. She dodged the slice but was caught with the roundhouse kick, knocking her off her feet. As she attempted to fight back with her magic, Steve grabbed her horn.

“Not today.” He repeatedly slammed her head into the ground. She pushed him to the side with her hoof before turning into a cloud of black mist.

“That’s what I thought!” Steve yelled at the mist, as if he was trying to get a reaction out of her. He took a quick look around the small town before he decided to head home and throw in the towel.

About an hour into the walk, he heard a stick snap. Looking for the source he turned to his right. There, stood a wolf, but it wasn’t like a regular wolf. This wolf was made of wood. The crafter tried to get a better look at it.

I probably should have brought some night vision potions, he told himself. The wolf stared Steve down. Steve wasn’t sure if it was just curious or if it was planning on how to make him its midnight snack.

Suddenly, another wolf jumped at him from behind, but Steve barely managed to dodge it. Quickly equipping his sword, he sliced one that tried to take a bite out of him in two. Then, he brought his sword down on one to his left. The first one he saw decided to act. It grabbed onto his arm and tried taking a chunk. Luckily, there was too much armor between it and his skin. Steve body slammed it on the ground, breaking its head into a million tiny pieces. He got back up and jabbed his sword through yet another one. There was one more left.

“If you like your life I suggest you scram.” He threatened it. As if obeying his command, the wolf turned and ran, disappearing into the darkness. “Finally, I can head home.”

After another two hours, Steve finally arrived back at his base. Sighing, he trudged into his home. Leaning his sword on the wall next to his bed, he climbed in bed, and went to sleep.

The next morning, Steve awoke to the feeling of a bright, warm beam of light shining on his cheek. He smiled as he got out of bed. It was morning finally. He decided to take a quick walk outside to see what this world was like. It was nice and sunny. Bees were buzzing and birds were chirping. No sight of any highly intelligent life. Everything was like back home, except there was a much larger variety of animals. He whistled as he walked through the bright forest. He couldn’t remember the last time he could go for a calm walk. Usually, there’s something out to kill him.

”What does it take for a man to go on a nice, calm walk out here?!” he remembered Gareth would shout whenever they came upon any monster. Alex was always the one to kill it. He laughed at the memory of how “mad” she was when he beat her to it.

”Hey! You stole my kill!” Alex shouted at Steve.

“It’s our kill.” His friend Boris said.

“Good memories.” He said under his breath. Now they are all gone. Boris shot during a raid, Carlos blown to kingdom come by a creeper, and Alex. Steve didn’t really know how she died. Mitch was with her, but he died before he could tell Steve.

”Steve!” He heard Mitch shout.

“Mitch?” Steve turned to his friend who was crawling to him. “What the Nether happened? Where’s Alex?”

“Dead!” He responded. “We were caught off guard by-“ the crafter couldn’t finish his sentence before a witch threw a potion of harming at him, killing him. He let out one last cry, before perishing.

“No!” Steve shouted.

Steve quickly snapped out of his thoughts. Sighing, he decided the best place to go was that town.

Chapter 3: Confrontation

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Steve looked at the town in horror. Nothing extremely bad happened...yet. He was heading home after scouting the town and getting to know the people. He hadn’t done anything bad, other than steal a couple of books from the local library that would explain the history, geography, and culture of this Notchforsaken world. His invisibility would be enough to get him home. As he was leaving, however, he overheard a conversation.

“Miss Sparkle!” A stallion shouted to get try and get her attention. “Miss Sparkle!”

“Yes?” She turned around. It was one of the royal guards. He was mocha brown with a dark brown mane. His backside was flanked with a boulder on each side. He wore a golden chestplate and a helmet, as well.

“Sargent Stone Hoof.” He said giving her a salute. “I was here to inform you that we received your message about the strange creature and are setting up camp right outside Everfree forest as we speak.”

“Ok.” She responded. “Good luck.”

“Fuck.” Steve whispered under his breath.

Twilight then turned to head home. Steve decided that he should follow the sargent back to the barracks. He walked for a couple of minutes before coming upon, what appeared to be a small military base. It was much smaller than the ones he served at back home, but it was big enough to house a lot of guards. There were two barracks, a training ground, a briefing room, and a mess hall. Steve could tell they were coming with the intent to get in and out, as quickly as possible. He wasn’t sure how good they actually were at their job so he didn’t want to say if they were underestimating him or not.

Then again I sent Nightmare Moon, a literal goddess, packing. He reminded himself. How much worse could the guards be? Steve decided to advance into the base just a little bit. Pressing his ear against the wall of the briefing room, he could hear the conversation happening.

“I want the scouts to look here, here, here, and here.” The leader said. It was the sargent from earlier.

“Yes sir. We will sweep these areas first.” One of them replied. The meeting room cleared after that.

“Squads one and two, on me!” Sargent Stone barked at a couple of men. “Squads three and four, with Corporal Eagle.” He said, pointing at the mare next to him.

The soldiers did as he ordered. Steve watched as two squads of twenty each marched off into the forest. Wouldn’t want to mess with them...yet. He knew he could probably beat 1 to 5 of them, but he wasn’t ready for a whole squad, for now. He’d have to test his luck later. Now, it was time to head home.

As Steve was heading home, he heard something that sounded like hoofsteps. Ducking behind a nearby rock, he saw where they were coming from: one of those damn squads was here.

“Let’s head that way.” The leader said, pointing in the one direction Steve didn’t want them to go: his home. “Hopefully he’s this way.” She continued.

Steve was fucked. If he didn’t distract them, they’d find his home, but if he did distract them, he’d have to go against at least ten ponies by himself. Steve sighed, then stepped out of hiding.

“Or I could be right here.” He said.

“Get him!” The corporal ordered.

Steve got his shield up and blocked the first it. Then he used his other hand to punch a guard square in the face. Two more charged, but Steve jumped over them. He landed and deflected a beam of magic with his sword.

That’s cool. He told himself looking at the beam he deflected. He deflected another one. This time, though, he deflected it towards one of the earth ponies. It hit him straight in the face. He performed a roundhouse kick and knocked another one out. The corporal slashed at him with her sword only for it to be pushed aside by his own. This time Steve charged at them. Jumping up he hit one in the face before coming down on another and ground slamming it. Steve turned back to the hunters but held his attack. They, however, looked like they were about to charge.

“Wait.” Steve said.

“What?” The corporal asked, sending him a harsh glare.

“Listen, I knocked five of you unconscious,” he said pointing to the unmoving ponies, “and I’m not afraid to do it again. And before you say anything, even if you do win, I doubt you’ll have enough ponies to get them all back.” Steve pointed out. “So you can simply walk away, keeping all of your comrades safe, or we can fight it out, and put them at risk.”

The corporal simply laughed in return. “So you think this is a 5 on 1?”

Steve expression morphed to confusion, then to realization. Suddenly, 10 more ponies emerged from the brush. So these are squadrons 3 and 4.

“Now we have a proposal for you.” The corporal started. “Either you lay down your weapon and face the crimes you committed, or we bring you in by force.”

Steve laughed this time. “Do you really think I’ll just lay down my weapon and surrender?” He said smiling with no joy behind it. “Where I’m from, we have a saying. ‘As long as I can stand, I’ll fight.’ So if you think I’m just gonna sit down and take it, you’re dead wrong.” He stood up. Pulling out his sword in and raising his shield, he got in his battle stance.

“Very well.” The corporal said. “Attack!”

Steve blocked a charging earth pony, and deflected a magic beam at a pegasus. Using the bottom of his sword he hit another one on the head. He then jumped up, deflected a shot in midair at a pegasus, and threw an ended pearl. He landed not that far away from them but enough to confuse them.

“Where’d it go?” One of the guards asked. Steve figured now was his chance to escape. He began his sprint through the foliage.

“There it is!” One of them shouted upon hearing him. Steve was just running now. He wasn’t headed anywhere in particular. After a couple minutes of running, he came upon what appeared to be a giant ravine. Turning back around, he saw his pursuers right behind.

“Notch, I hope this works.” He whispered right before jumping into the ravine. He pulled out his water bucket and quickly placed, right before he hit the ground.

“What the buck?!?!” The corporal yelled, in confusion. Steve gave them a two finger salute, and began running away. “Iron Wings, Hawk Eye, after him!”

“Yes ma’am!” They said. The only two pegasi left in the squad began their pursuit. They made quick ground and caught up to the sprinting crafter. Iron Wings flew in to attack but was caught off guard by Steve’s punch as he turned around.

“Maybe you guys would have had me if you flew quieter.” Steve said. Iron’s comrade flew head on at Steve. Steve blocked the pegasus with his shield and then uppercut him. His body flew back and landed, motionless. Iron Wings quickly flew over. Pressing her ear up against his chest, she heard a heartbeat. Looking back at Steve, her face wore a mighty rage. Just before she could act, Steve put a hand up.

“Wait.” He started. “Go take care of your comrade.” Iron stared back at him, with a confused expression. “Listen, if I beat you, then there’s no way you will get the medical attention.” She opened her mouth to argue, but Steve quickly cut her off. “And before you say you can beat me, consider this: is his life worth it? Is it really worth putting his life at stake?”

She closed her mouth and looked down. “No.” She said walking over to her comrade.

“Exactly.” Steve said.

“Just know, that this isn’t over, yet.” The mare said. Steve finally got a good look. She had a white coat, a yellow mane, and emerald green eyes. Her flanks had wings that appeared to be made of iron on it.

“Hey, what’s your name?” Steve asked, quickly.

“Why do you care?”

“I don’t really, just a little curious.”

“Iron Wings.” Now Steve understood why everyone had such weird names compared to the ones back in Minecraftia. It had something to do with the tattoo on their back.

“I’m Steve.” He said in response.

“Well guess what? I don’t care, creature.” She said adding emphasis to the last part. Iron wasn’t usually this angry, however, this time was different because she and Hawk Eye had been friends since childhood. But she always wanted to be something more. She hasn’t tried, yet, due to a lack of courage, but she will someday. As she flew out, with her friend in her hooves, she took one last looked back at Steve, who was trying to find a way out of the ravine.

“Alright, so if I place the water there I could swim up, pick it up, place it, and keep going.” Steve told himself. He began his ascent up. After a long minute of that, he reached the top. “Finally I can head home, in peace.”

Chapter 4: Just a Dream

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Steve made it home with ease. Nothing challenged him even late in late. He lazily pushed his door open. Oh he was being honest, he was tired. Steve hadn’t felt this tired in a long time.

“Finally,” he said to himself, “I can go to sleep.” He threw himself onto his bed, and dozed off.

Steve took a look around. He was asleep, but for some reason he felt as if he was actually there. The place was familiar, but he wanted to be anywhere but here. It was his home town. Or it was before the monsters attacked. He looked around and saw some familiar faces. His friends were all there. Mitch on his acoustic guitar like usual. Alex at the shooting range. Gareth and Carlos playing soccer like usual. His friend Lilly hanging out with her other friends, of which Steve didn’t know. Robert working on his redstone contraptions. He smiled at the memory.

Just when everything was looking good, the sky turned dark. Steve was knocked off his feet by an explosion behind him. He looked up to see his home town burning, and his friends were nowhere to be found, meaning they were probably dead. Steve ran into the burning town to see if he could save anyone. He peered around a corner to see his friend Mitch, crawling up to him.

“Steve!” He shouted to get Steve’s attention.

“Mitch?” Steve responded, but then it hit him. It was the night of the attack. He looked behind Mitch. To his horror, there stood a witch. He ran forward to try to do something. Anything to save his friend whether it was moving him, or taking a hit. Right before Steve got to him, the splash potion made contact with Mitch, and his body disappeared, and he joined Steve’s other friends. Steve looked around, at all the monsters and the burning town.

“This is just a dream.” He told himself. “It’s not real. It’s just a dream. Just a dream. It’s just a dream.”

He heard what sounded like a flash of lightning. He looked at the source in horror.

“Nightmare Moon.” He said under his breath. The deity looked around at the burning town.

“Tis quite the nightmare.” She whispered under her breath.

“What are you doing here?” She heard someone say. She turned to the direction of the voice. There stood a bipedal, bipedal with a light blue shirts do a blue pair of pants. She then realized who it was. The monster that Twilight and her friends saw. “Hey, I asked a fucking question.” Steve said again. “What are you doing here, Nightmare Moon?”

Nightmare Moon? Luna thought to herself. Why does he think I’m Nightmare Moon?

“We are not Nightmare Moon.” She said. “We-“

“Well, you look a hell a lot like her, so forgive me if I mistook you.” She glared at him.


“Are you guys like sisters or something?” Steve said, interrupting her again. “Was she your doppelgänger?”

Luna held her glare at Steve.


“Or perhaps-.” Steve started.

“We’re trying to explain it to thee! Please refrain from interrupting!” She shouted at him.

“Alright, you could have just said so.” Steve said, letting out a small chuckle.

“We once were Nightmare Moon, but, thanks to the efforts of Twilight and her friends, we were freed from the nightmare.” She explained. “Now we are back to our old self, Luna. And it’s our job to protect our citizens from nightmares.”

“Thanks for the history lesson.” Steve said. “But this nightmare is gone, so get the fuck out.” Luna was shocked by his vulgarity.

“Fix your tone, creature. Have some respect.”

“Respect is earned.” Steve responded. “And you haven’t earned it yet.”

“But we didn’t do anything for you to disrespect us.”

“Well, you are a ruler, correct?” Steve questioned.

“Yes.” Luna answered.

“And you control the army, correct?”


“So you’re one of the reasons why the armies on my ass, correct?”

“Well,” Luna paused realizing where he was going. She sighed, “yes.”

“There’s a reason.” Steve stated. Luna realized something. The guard was after him for a reason. She powered up her horn. “What are you doing?” Steve inquired at the sudden sight.

“Making the guards’ job easier.” She responded. Steve quickly dodged the beam of magic. He jumped into a nearby house. She quickly pursued him. He shoved as much wreckage as he could in front of the door. Looking for a weapon, he spotted something familiar. It was a photo. It was a picture of his friends, with him. They all had wide smiles on their faces. Steve quickly realized who’s house this was. It was his old house. He then remembered something. Quickly running over to the rug, he broke it with his fist. Underneath it, laid a chest. Opening up the chest, he found just what he hoped for, his emergency stash. Inside was an iron sword, axe, and pickaxe. There was also a stack of torches and steak, and a shield. Unfortunately, he had no armor still. Just then, the barrier he made between him and the dreamwalker was blown away, and in stepped Luna.

“Creature,” she said, “thou hast no defenses. Give up now.”

“Not on your life, bitch.” Steve responded. Luna shot a bolt at magic to which Steve easily deflected. He dodged another shot, which missed narrowly to the right. Luna attacked again, this time trying to hit him with her forehooves. Steve was caught off guard by the melee attack and was kicked back, into a wall. He had taken 3 hearts of damage. Luna shot another bolt at him while he was getting up, but Steve dodged the attack and countered by hitting her with his other hand. She was knocked back, but maintained her ground. She fired a bolt of magic at him, but it was absorbed by his shield. Steve held his ground while she pelted his shield with shots. There was a sudden flash, and the shots stopped coming. He peered above his shield to see she was gone. There was another flash and he had felt something strike him in the back, doing 5 hearts of damage and knocking him over.

“Ow, fuck!” He cried in pain. He turned around to look at Luna. “Cheap shot, bitch.”

“Thou should have stopped when given the chance.” She said.

“I’m not surrendering tonight, or ever.” Steve responded, gritting his teeth.

“Very well, then.” She said as she charged up her horn. Steve realized what was about to happen. He quickly came up with a plan to end this dream once and for all.

“Notch, please work.” He said under his breath while he raised his sword. Steve quickly brought it down on his chest. Right before the tip could make contact with him, he shot up out of his bed. He was breathing heavily. The sun’s warm light shone down on his face. “It worked.”

That was all he could say. He didn’t exactly have a plan for today. Then again it was like Mitch said. You can’t plan life, only prepare yourself for what it will throw in your direction. So he didn’t have a plan. All he knew he was going to do was read those books he “borrowed” from the library. After that, he’d just have to be ready for whatever curveballs life threw at him.

Chapter 5: First Meetings Yet Again

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Steve was walking through the thick brush, slashing at the leaves. He had just finished reading the books he had “borrowed” and was now heading back to return them. He was a wanted man, but he still wasn’t a thief. If the truth comes out, then he didn’t want to be charged for theft. Especially not over a few books. The crafter made his way into the town. It was eerily empty, but he wasn’t going to question it. The sooner he’d return the books the sooner he could get out. Although that meant it was easier to get around, the last time the town was this empty was when Nightmare Moon was here. He peaked into the library to make sure it was clear.

“Good.” He said upon seeing the empty library. He quickly but quietly ran around to the door. As he opened the door, Steve looked around the massive bookshelves. They stood much taller than him, almost quadruple his height. Fortunately, Steve knew exactly where the books went, and that it would be a major pain in the ass. He looked at the empty spots where the books he carried once were. The library had no ladders, but didn’t need them because the librarian was a unicorn. Either that or Steve just couldn’t find them. If there were ladders, he didn’t have the time to look for them. He began to climb up the towering bookshelves. He reached the first spot he was aiming for.

“One down, two to go.” Steve told himself. He continued ascending to the next empty spot. As he pulled the book out, he felt it slip from his palm. Right before it left his reach, he grabbed it with the edge of his fingers. Steve paused just to make sure he had a firm grip on it, then let out a heavy sigh of relief. Placing it in the correct location he moved on to the third, and final spot. It was on the other side of the library. “Last one. You can do it.” He told himself.

Quickly climbing sideways, he made his way to a gap between the shelves. Holding on to the edge of the shelf he was on, Steve pushed off the edge and landed on the other side. Reaffirming his grip, he continued down. Finally reaching his destination he placed the book back in its spot with ease.

“Now time to head down.” He said. Steve descended slowly. With every step down he took he waited a second to make sure it was secure. He put one foot down on a shelf, and waited a second. When he believed it could withstand his weight, he removed his other foot. However, as he did that, there was an audible crack, and he felt the board give in to the weight of his foot. He used both of his hands to grab on to a shelf, but then, that shelf cracked. Having nothing to grab on to, he fell all the way down. He landed taking four hearts of fall damage. He looked up and could see many books coming down on him. He curled up and braced for the hits. One by one they landed on him, many not doing any damage thanks to his armor. However, the large ones did half a heart. He got up and quickly looked over himself. He had twelve hearts left. Quickly eating some bread, he felt the enhanced regeneration take effect. “Damn it, can I do anything without getting hurt?” He asked himself. Steve got up and quickly exited the library to head home.

As Steve was heading home, he heard hoofsteps coming from behind him. He ducked behind some heavy brush.

“This is where we encountered the creature last night, sir.” Steve peeked his head above the brush to see the Corporal, the Sargent, a white unicorn, who Steve guessed to be their superior, and around thirty guards. “Although we can’t pin point exactly where it is, are best bet is that it’s somewhere in this thirty mile radius.” The corporal finished pointing at a map, with her hoof.

“Alright,” the white stallion started, “let’s split up and search the area.”

“Yes sir!” They all replied in unison. The group broke up into three groups of ten.

“Well that’s not ideal.” Steve said under his breath. While he was intent on getting home in peace, he wasn’t afraid to fight. He began sprinting home.

On his way he, ran into a group of guards. Steve crouched, getting low to the ground, and snuck beside them. As he was walking ahead of them, he heard a loud crack. Slowly he looked down in horror. There, laid a stick that was cracked in half. Of fucking course. Well, hopefully they didn’t hear that.

“What was that?” One of them said.

“It sounded like it came from over there.” Another guard pointed out. He raised a hoof in Steve’s direction.

“Let’s check it out.” The Sargent said. “Get your weapons ready.”

All the guards nodded. The earth ponies and pegasi raised their spears, while the unicorns charged up their horns. The Sargent creeped closer, unsheathing his sword.

“Fuck it.” Steve said under his breath. He got up and quickly pulled out his sword and shield. Swiftly roundhouse kicking the Sargent out of the way, he focused his attack on the group. Two unicorns fired bolts at him, which easily deflected. Two guards charged at him with their spears, but were knocked back by his shield. Three magic bolts were shot at him, but he easily deflected them. Steve hit a guard with the dull end of his sword, swiftly knocking him out. He held off several attacks from his left, with his shield, while deflecting magic with his sword. He quickly rolled away from an attack from behind, and crouched down to hide behind his shield. For a split second, his shield stopped getting pummeled. He used this small window to get up, and Steve charged at his pursuers. He swiftly punched two across their faces, then he put his boot into another’s face. Taking a quick glance up, he had realized he had knocked out half of the the guards. Steve quickly turned, and started bolting. Several guards went after him, however they were stopped by their superior.

“Wait.” The Sargent said, slowly getting up. The rest of the guards looked at him with confused expressions on their faces. “Get the injured out of here. We’ll come back with more troops.”

“Yes, sir.” They said, as they started to pick their brothers-in-arms up. Steve used this opportunity to quickly slip away. Sargent Stone Hoof looked at him, with a look of curiosity on his face.

Steve pulled out his fishing rod, so to climb up the ledge of a mountain quick. He hauled himself up and began to cast his rod to the next ledge. As he yanked the rod to pull himself up, however, he heard a scream, and what appeared to be a large bird came crashing down on him. It landed on him with an doing a heart of damage.

“What the Nether are you?” Steve asked still confused. The creature looked back at him with a similar look. “You look like a mutated chicken.” It glared at him.

“I was gonna ask you the same thing.” She said. Steve could tell she was female.

“I’m a Minecraftian, or Crafter.” Steve replied. “My name’s Steve.”

“I’m a Griffon. My name’s Gilda.” She responded.

“Cool. Now would you mind getting off of me?” Steve asked.

“Hey, I wasn’t the one who pulled me down on you.” She shot back.

“Fair enough. But still, could you please get off me.”

“Fine.” She said getting up.

“Thanks.” Steve said getting up. When they both stood up straight, Steve was much taller than her, almost double her size. “While I enjoy a good chat,” Steve said tone laced with sarcasm, “I really have to get going. Got the fucking guard on my ass.”

“Wait, what?” She said. “You got the what on your ass?”

“Well, the guard’s after me for a crime I didn’t commit.” Steve explained. “It’s a long story, so I probably don’t have the time explain it.”

“Ok?” She said in a questioning tone.

“Anyways, I gotta go. See ya.” He said giving her a little salute. He pulled out his rod again and began his ascent again.

Gilda shook her head quickly before she took off again.

Sargent Stone Hoof sat at his quarters alone as he thought to himself. It had been a while since they had fought the creature, and the sun had gone down about an hour ago.

“Why didn’t he kill us?” He questioned. The creature had a sword, and clearly outmatched them. So why didn’t he kill him. “Some day I’ll get to the bottom of this.” He told himself.

Chapter 6: The Minor Major Problem

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Steve wandered through the forest he had been living in. He said fuck that town and attempted to find a different civilization. He had searched a five mile radius throughout the day. He was heading back home having found nothing. Steve, also, needed wood so he figured he could stop and get some. He pulled out his axe. Taking a deep breath, he swung his axe into the tree. It made a loud sound as it cracked into the tree. He struck it again and again, repeatedly. The wood got very thin, very fast. Then the tree started to sway, and then it started coming down on him. His eyes widened as he looked up. Quickly rolling to the side, he watched as the tree landed where he was standing just a second ago.

“Why can’t anything be like back home?” Steve asked no one. He walked over to the tree and began chopping it into pieces small enough for him to carry. Once he picked a piece up, it looked exactly like a log back in Minecraftia. Now he was curious. He placed a log on the side of a tree. It floated just like back home. “So everything works differently here until I interact with it.” He told himself.

Quickly breaking the log, he opened his inventory to check how much wood he got. Four logs. He sighed. This was gonna be a hard night. He had figured it would be better to come out at night because it was harder for the guards to spot him, and he had night vision potions therefore he could see them. Even though he had night vision potions, he only had a couple, and he could only bring a few at one time. Steve closed his inventory and began walking to another tree. He made it to another tree and pulled out his axe.

Steve was pretty much finished chopping wood. He had gathered 23 oak logs. He made sure to chop a couple trees in different spots just so it wouldn’t look suspicious. He had gathered a pretty decent amount of logs with erase, as no guards ran into him today.

“Well, time to head home.” He said to himself. It was late into the night. Steve had no idea what time it was because he had no clock. He sighed as he tried to recall which way his base was. Just then he heard a roar. Then a few screams. The roar sounded like some kind of monster, and the screams sounded like people, or ponies. Young ponies. He began sprinting in the direction of the sounds. Quickly, pulling out a night vision poison he gulped every last drop and tossed the bottle aside. With his vision how much better he took a look at what was causing all the commotion. Up ahead, he could make out the outlines of two ponies, young like he had expected, and one really large shadow, much bigger than his own. He pulled out his sword and ran head on at the big creature. Steve pushed through branches that left scratches on him. Ignoring the pain, he continued to charge. He yelled out to try and divert the beast’s attention to himself. It worked, and the beast looked right at him. The beast looked like a polar bear, only it was way bigger than one, and its coat was covered in stars rather than being plain white. Steve slashed it across the face with his sword before landing right on its arm. It cried out in pain before quickly smacking Steve off. He landed to the side of the two ponies, of which he confirmed are fillies, and shouted at them.

“Run! Get to the town!” He yelled.

“What about you, sir?” One of them asked.

“Just go.” Steve replied. “I’ve dealt with worse, this is only a minor problem. Just get the fu-, frick out of here!”

“You don’t have to tell me twice.” One of them said as he turned to run. The beast looked as if it was going to pursue them, but Steve had other ideas.

“Hey ya big beasty bitch!” He yelled at it. “It’s just you and me! Nothing’s getting in my way!” The beast looked right at him. It roared and then charged at him ready to strike. When it finally swung, Steve quickly ducked under its huge paw before jumping up and swinging at it, again, with his sword. This time he struck it across its left foreleg. It grabbed its leg for a second, before returning its attention to Steve. It growled at him and attempted to swing at him, again. He rolled to the right to dodge the attack before slicing its other hand. Steve backed away from the beast to take a look. The injuries clearly bothered it, but it wasn’t going to stop it. He ran up to the beast and slice it across one of its hind legs. The creature, now unable to stabilize itself, fell over. It landed right in front of Steve. He looked right into its eyes, as if gazing into its soul. “Don’t mess with me.” Was all the Crafter had to say.

He turned and headed back into the forest, leaving the creature behind. He was sure that the two colts would tell someone about it.

“So where is the Ursa Major?” Twilight asked Snips and Snails.

“It was right this way.” Snips said pointing with his hoof. They looked behind the trees and gasped at what they saw. There lay an Ursa Major, heavily injured.

“What happened?” Twilight asked.

“A strange creature came in and distracted it while we got help.” Snails explained.

“A strange creature?” Twilight asked.

“Yeah.” Snips confirmed. “He saved us from the it.”

“What did he look like.”

“It was a bipedal, with a light blue top and dark blue bottom. It had brown hair from what I could see. It was tall, much taller than us.” Snips described. It sounded exactly like the creature that gave them so much trouble.

That’s weird. Twilight thought to herself. Why would he attack so many ponies, but then save two? What was he trying to do? “Well,” Twilight started, “we should probably get it out of here.” She said.

The unicorn picked it up with her magic and began carrying it away.

Steve burst through his door, collapsing onto his bed. “Damn, Timberwolves.” He said to himself. “Never leave me alone.”

He opened up his chest. He was running out of food. He still had all his beef, but that would run out, eventually. He had ran out of chicken and only had a few pork chops and bread left. “Well, tomorrow I guess I’ll get food.”

Chapter 7: Friendship

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Steve jumped from rooftop to rooftop in an attempt to find food. He knew horses are herbivores, therefore ponies probably are, too, so he didn’t expect to find any meat. He continued to sneak by ponies, doing whatever it takes to stay out of sight. The, invisible, Crafter leapt from a rooftop to another rooftop as he thought about his food options. There was melons and bread, or he could take a food that he had never eaten before. Then again, that’s a little risky because he wouldn’t know what’s food or how to consume it. Grab something that’s not food, he could get poisoned, consume something wrong, he could possibly die, so he’d rather not risk it. There were melon stands and a bakery. There was, also, an apple stand which he could try and take from.

He thought to himself how he could do it. He could fish them, or try to sneak up close enough so he can grab them and put it in his inventory. If he tried to fish them, someone may see his rod. If he tried to steal them up front he could bump into someone or just be seen stealing the fruit. He sighed, as he tried to figure out how he would steal the food. Steve was sitting on top of a rooftop, perched high above the citizens of Ponyville. As he stood up, however, he instantly regretted it, as the roofing beneath him started to crack, under his weight.

“Oh shi-.” He tried to say as he fell into a house. He landed on his back and in some sort of attic. He got a quick look around before he heard another cracking sound. The floorboards weren’t going to be able to hold him up. Steve looked at the boards. “Don’t you do it. Don’t you fucking do it.” He said under his breath.

The floorboards cracked and Steve fell. He landed on his back, again, hoping he was on solid ground that wouldn’t crack. He looked around. He was on solid ground, but the wooden floorboards still cracked. “Well that hurt.” He said aloud. Then he remembered he was in someone’s home. As long as they didn’t hear him, or see him, then he had a chance to escape. He heard someone calling out.

“Dinky,” a feminine voice called out, “was that you.”

“No, mom.” The newly identified Dinky responded to her, most likely, mother. He heard hoofsteps coming towards the room.

“Shit. Shit. Shit.” Steve said under his breath. He looked around the room for a place to hide or escape. There was a bed, but he was probably to big to fit under it. There was, also, a closet he could hide inside, but that would be to obvious. Lastly, there was a window, however, that lead out into the open streets, so he couldn’t go out of that. Then he remembered, he was invisible. The only problem was the potion gave off a shimmer, so he could, still, be spotted if someone tried really hard to look for him.. Unless, he went somewhere dark, like the closet. He quickly got up and ran into the closet. Slowly shutting the door behind him, he quieted his breathing to make sure she couldn’t hear him.

“Hello?” She asked as she entered the room. “Is anyone in here?” The mare walked over to the bed. She peeked under it to check if anyone was there. When she realized no one was there, she turned to the closet. Steve held his breath. She looked into the closet, right through Steve. “Nothing.” She said to herself. The mare turned to leave. Right as she left the room, Steve’s invisibility ran out.

He let out a sigh of relief for the perfect timing. That sigh may have been a little too loud. She turned around and headed back to the closet. She looked right at Steve and collapsed back in fear. Steve got a good look at the mare. She had a gray coat with a blonde mane. This was the mare known as Derpy, due to her derpy looking eyes.

“Y-y-you’re him.” She stammered.

“Shh.” Steve shushed. “It’s okay I’m not going to hurt you. I simply-.“ He was cut off by a scream by the mare. She turned around and slammed into the wall. Steve sighed and facepalmed as he walked over to her. “It’s okay. I won’t hurt you.” He repeated.

“Y-you won’t?” She asked.

“Yes. The only reason the guards are hunting me is due to a false accusation. However, I can’t sort it out when we’re fighting.” Steve explained. “I was put into this world by some sort of unknown power, and I have no idea how to get out. I never wanted to fight. I never wanted to be outcast. I never wanted any of this. Now I hope you can accept me so I can try and figure out a way home.”

Steve looked at the mare. He hadn’t seen her reaction as he held his head low. Her face wore a sympathetic expression as she looked into his eyes. “What happened?” She asked.


“What happened? Why are you cast out of society?” She clarified.

“Well, that’s a long story.” He said. “It went a little something like this,”

15 minutes later

“That’s when I fell into your house,” Steve told her, “which, by the way, I am very sorry about, Miss Derpy.”

“Please just call me Derpy. I never liked formalities.” She told him.

“Good. I never liked them either.” Steve told her.

“Mom?” Steve heard a voice cry out. “Who are you talking to?”

“Oh, that’s my daughter, Dinky.” Derpy explained. “I should introduce you two.”

“Okay.” Steve said. He got up from the table and followed Derpy to the bedroom.

“Dinky,” Derpy started, “this is Steve.” The filly wore an uneasy look on her face. “He’s not a pony, but he is still very nice. Steve this is my daughter, Dinky.”

“Hello, Dinky.” Steve said.

“Mommy,” Dinky said, “is that you’re new stallionfriend?” Derpy blushed.

“What?” Derpy asked. “Dinky that’s ridiculous. I just met him.” She turned to Steve. “Sorry about that. She lost her father not to long ago, and she misses him so much.”

Steve’s mouth formed an o shape. “Okay.” Steve said. “Sorry to hear about that.” There was a short pause. “Anyways, I should probably head out. I’ll see you later.”

“Bye.” Dinky said.

“Wait.” Derpy said causing the Crafter to turn around. “Here,” she said handing him something, “have a muffin. You don’t seem as bad as everyone says. I hope one day everyone will realize how nice you are.”

“Thanks.” Steve said. “Goodbye.” He said a he left Dinky’s room. He went back to the room he fell into. From there he climbed into the attic. Once he was inside the attic, he drank an invisibility potion before climbing onto the roof. “Now time to get food.” He said.

Derpy watched as Steve left her and her daughter.

“I think you like him.” Dinky said, causing her to blush, again. Derpy laughed. “I’m not joking, mom.” Dinky said. “He seems like a nice guy. I think you might be seeing love at first sight.”

“Dinky, I know you miss your father, too, but you can’t rush love or else you’ll mess up.”

“I know, mom, but I just really miss dad.” Dinky said, lowering her head.

“Maybe someday.” Derpy said. “Maybe someday.”

Chapter 8: Where It All Started

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“Sister,” Princess Luna started, “we are telling you, this creature is extremely dangerous. We think we should oversee its capture, personally.”

“I’m not sure, Luna.” Celestia said. “It may be dangerous. Are you sure you can handle it?”

“We are confident we can contain such threat.” Luna responded, with confidence.

“Very well, then.” Celestia turned to one of the guards. “Go inform Captain Armor that Princess Luna will be assisting her with their pursuit of the creature.”

“Yes, ma’am.” He said, before quickly taking off.

“Luna, be careful.” Celestia told her sister.

“Don’t worry about us.” Luna reassured her. “We will be fine.”

“I can’t believe I used to do this all the time.” Steve whispered to himself, as he snuck through buildings. After leaving Derpy, he had stolen several apples, melons, and loaves of bread. Now he was, technically, a criminal, but at this point being a thief was the least of his worries. Now his mission was to get home. “I feel like it was much easier long ago.”

Steve had been apart of the Marine Corps for his home town of Ironopolis. After serving with the Army for two years, he got promoted to Lieutenant of Bravo Squad in the Ironopolis Marine Corps. The squad did a lot of stealth missions but for some reason it felt harder to sneak now. Probably because he didn’t have his squad mates by his side. He was pretty close with his squadron, particularly Mitch. After pulling some heroics, during the Battle of the Golden Hills, he got another promotion to Commander of the 3rd Army of Ironopolis. However, Steve didn’t really want to leave his squad. In fact, they had to convince him to leave, in order for him to accept the promotion. Even though he took it, he still felt bad about leaving, and now, he missed them more than ever.

Quickly snapping himself out of his thoughts, he remembered the task at hand, getting home alive, preferably without fighting. He headed by the barracks just outside of Ponyville. As he was passing by, he saw a familiar face. Flying in came what appeared to be a carriage of some sort. In it, sat Princess Luna. She was greeted by several guards, the Sargent, the Corporal, and the white unicorn, who he still didn’t know the identity of.

“Princess Luna,” the white unicorn started as he bowed, “welcome. I hope you had a safe flight.”

“Captain Armor.” She responded. “Our flight was good. But we must begin searching for the creature, immediately.”

“Yes, ma’am.” He said. “We already have several locations pinned. Should we begin our search there?”

“Yes, Captain. Begin assigning the new guards to their squads. Then, meet me in the briefing room.”

“Yes, ma’am.” Everyone walked off, after the captain had said that. Steve sighed. He looked at the large number of troops entering the barracks, before turning into the Everfree forest. Right before he went in, his invisibility ran out.

“Shit.” He said. That had been his last one. Now he needed to craft more. In order to do so, he needed a golden carrot, for the night vision potion required to make it, sugar, spider eyes, and mushrooms for the fermented spider eye. He knew how to obtain all those things. There were several caves around his house he could look for gold in. Spiders were everywhere, he just needed to get their eyes, somehow. Steve knew that in order for ponies to make sweets like cake, they needed sugar, so there should be some sugar or sugar canes, unless they imported it all. Mushrooms were the easiest item to find, as they were everywhere in the forest. Although he knew how to get those items, he didn’t know how to get nether wart to make awkward potion or blaze rods to make a brewing stand. However, he had a plan. There was a hut somewhere in the forest. The owner of said hut made potions. That means she has to have some sort of base, either awkward potions or some sort of replacement, and some sort of stand that can be used to make potions. Luckily for him, she went out a lot, so it would be easy for him to go in and out, taking the required items.

“Apple Bloom!” Applejack shouted. She had been searching for her sister for a while now. Apple Bloom had ran off with the Cutie Mark Crusaders a long time ago, but she wasn’t sure what they were trying this time. “Apple Bloom!” She called once more. “Apple Blo-.” She was to busy looking around, she didn’t see where she was walking. Applejack bumped into a familiar gray pegasus, causing them both to fall back. Applejack held her hoof against her head before shaking it. “Sorry, Derpy.” She said, while Derpy copied her movements.

“I’m sorry, too, Applejack.” She said. “I wasn’t looking where I was going.”

“Me neither.” Applejack said. “Where were ya headed, partner?” Applejack asked out of friendliness.

“I was headed home.” Derpy answered. “What about you?”

“Ah was looking for Apple Bloom.” She said. “She ran off with her friends and ah ain’t got a clue where she went.”

“Did you look on top of my roof?” Derpy asked.

“No.” Applejack stated. “Why?”

“Because there they are!” Derpy shouted pointing to the top of her roof.

“What the buck is she doin up there?” Applejack asked. The duo started sprinting towards Derpy’s house. When they arrived, they started shouting at the three.

“Apple bloom, get down from there!” Applejack yelled. Apple Bloom didn’t see her coming and was surprised by her voice. She swiftly turned around, but the wooden plank beneath her hooves could not support her as she shifted her weight. She let out a scream as she fell into the house. “Apple Bloom!” Her sister screamed.

“It’s okay.” Derpy said. “She probably landed in the attic.” Just then, they heard Apple Bloom’s voice.

“I’m okay!” She yelled. Applejack let out a sigh of relief. The duo went inside to confront the Cutie Mark Crusaders. They went up the stairs and to the attic.

“Apple Bloom, what were ya doin on Derpy’s roof?” Applejack asked.

“We were trying to fix it, so we could get a cutie marks in roof fixing.” Apple Bloom explained.

“It didn’t work out so well.” Said Scootaloo peering her head through the roof.

“Yeah, I can tell.” Derpy said, bluntly.

“Remember what ah told you about findin your cutie marks, it’s okay to try, just stay safe.”

“Fine.” Apple Bloom conceded. The rest of the CMC got down from the roof.

“Apple Bloom,” Applejack started, “dinner’s almost ready. Be home by six sharp.”

“Okay.” She said as she and her friends headed out the door.

“Kids.” Derpy said. “As much trouble as they cause, you still love them.” Derpy laughed.

“Yeah.” Applejack agreed. “Oh, by the way, Big Mac and ah, have some spare time this week. We can come by and fix your roof if you want.”

“Really?” Derpy asked. Applejack nodded. “That would be perfect! Thank you so much Applejack.”

“No problem, partner. Just helpin a friend out.”

Steve mined away at the gold ore he had found. He quickly broke three more with his pickaxe before putting it away. He glanced through his inventory to see how much he had accumulated.

“24 gold ore. One golden carrot needs eight nuggets, therefore I can make,” Steve paused to run the math, “27 golden carrots.” He closed his inventory as he headed towards the entrance. Now he just needed carrots. He knew that there were carrots in the town, so if he could get some, he would be set for life. This is because carrots are a root vegetable meaning all you need is a small part in order to replant it. The brief lesson he had got about it in school is really showing now. School wasn’t required in Minecraftia, as most of what they knew was already instinct, however, Steve, like most Crafters, did it anyway, so they could learn more. While he knew it was difficult and time consuming, curiosity got the better of him because he wanted to know more about the world. It kind of shaped into the person he is today, both mentally and socially. Going to school was one of his best decisions of his life.

Steve snapped out of his memories, remembering that something still could be something out there trying to kill him. And there was something there. Something waiting just outside the entrance, lurking in the forest. Something he couldn’t see or hear. In fact there were a couple of somethings waiting.

Chapter 9: Getting Bugged

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Steve walked out of the cave. He had the gold needed for the golden carrots. Next was the mushrooms. That would be pretty easy considering he was in a forest, and they were literally everywhere. He took a step forwards and immediately found a small patch. Before he picked it up he thought for a second. I don’t know if these are normal mushrooms like back in Minecraftia. They could be poisonous. Maybe if I find a book about biology or botany I’d be able to find out. He decided to leave the mushrooms there until he had more information. I’ll probably look for a book when I go to get some carrots. He turned to head back to his house. Right then, he heard a noise. Someone or something was in the bushes around him. He pulled out his sword and kept his ears perked. Dead silence. Steve began to slowly back out. Then, he sprinted back to his home. “I do not wanna have to deal with this bullshit if I don’t have to.”

He looked back to see if anything was chasing, and he was relieved to see nothing there. However, he wasn’t looking forwards, and he felt something heavy and hard hit him right in the chest. Steve stumbled a little before falling onto his back. In front of him stood what looked like a black pony, but its appearance was more bug-like. He recognized those things from the book he had read. They were called Changelings and were basically shapeshifters. “Who the fuck are you?” Steve asked not really caring.

“My name is Scorch, and I am the leader of a platoon of changelings.” She said.

“Scorch? Doesn’t that sound more like a dragon’s name?” Steve asked.

“If you want, I can show you why they call me that.” She said, her horn lighting up.

“Sure.” Steve said. “However, I don’t think your mission was to kill me because if it was you would have by now.”

Scorch glared at him, trying to come up with a response. She sighed. “You’re right. Our mission was not to kill you, but to ask you to join us.” She said.

“To join you?” Steve asked for confirmation.

“Yes. We’ve seen that you haven’t had the best of relations with the ponies, and neither have we. So we wanted to see if you would join us.”

“And what is it that you changelings want to do?”

“Take over Equestria, of course. Equestria under the rule of the ponies is weak. We are going to-.”

“If it’s so weak, then why haven’t you overthrown it by now?”

“Well, you see, uh.” She said trying to come up with a response.

“Exactly. That doesn’t matter because I wouldn’t have joined you anyways. You see, the bad relations thing was kind of, sort of my fault. So I don’t have any intentions of doing more harm to them than I need to.” Steve explained. “That being said, I won’t let you harm them. At the same time, I don’t want to fight you. So you can simply turn around and we can both call it a day. However, I’m warning you, I can fight pretty damn well. That’s my only warning.”

“Maybe you need a little bit more convincing.” She said. Suddenly, ten other changelings appeared from the bushes. “This limits your options to just two, come with us or be destroyed.”

“I make my own options.” Steve said. He held his defensive position, quickly pulling out his shield and holding it in his left hand. Before he could equip his armor, one changeling made a move. Steve pivoted left to block it. Another used the window to attack from his right, he stopped it with a roundhouse kick to the face. As Steve was regaining his balance, he got hit from behind, knocking him off his feet. He landed on his stomach, but quickly rolled over and prepared for the attack. Just as he expected a changeling jumped at him, but he repelled the attack with his sword.

A small window opened up for him to get back up. Now back on his feet, he repelled two more attacks and punched another one across the face, eliciting a cry of pain. Then, Scorch made her move, attacking using her magic. Steve deflected the attack with his shield, then, blocked her using his sword as she leaped at him. Steve blocked a magic attack from the left with his shield. However, a changeling jumped at him from his right. He brought his sword down to block it, but he was a half second to slow. The sword sliced right through the changelings abdomen, and its body went limp.

Steve shook his sword, trying to get the body off. Once he did he looked back at the others. “I-,” he started taking a heavy breath, “I didn’t want to fight you.” He paused taking another breath. “And I most certainly didn’t want to kill any of you. But you left me with no choice. Now the only question is do you want to continue?”

The response he got was Scorch growling at him. “You will pay for his death.” Steve saw where this was going and just accepted the fact that he had to fight. He looked at her in the eyes.

“You sure?” He asked, breathing normally, again.

“Absolutely.” She snarled.

“Well then do it. You’ve already bugged me enough.” He laughed.

“Wait. Was that a joke?”

“What? Did it not sink in?” He asked pointing his sword at the dead changeling. He crossed the line, but at this point he didn’t care.

“You insolent, little ape!” She yelled at him.

“I mean, you’re not wrong, you oversized fly.” Steve said, further angering an already angry changeling. Steve knew that rage can bring about someone’s downfall, so he tried to piss her off as much as possible. If looks could kill Steve would have been killed instantly by the look she gave him. He just laughed as he got back in his fighting stance. “Now come on you pests! Show me what you got!”

“We have a lot more than you think.” Scorch said in response.

“Okay.” Steve said shrugging his shoulders. “I hope so because I was expecting better.”

One changeling launched it self at Steve, but the Crafter easily deflected its body. Another changeling launched at him from the right. Fuck it, he thought to himself. He sliced right across it, opening up a wound that had green blood flowing out of it. Another attacked from his left, but he blocked it to the ground with his shield before stabbing him in the chest. Steve regained his balance, but this time he charged at them. He stabbed one in the abdomen and sliced another across the neck, both fatal injuries. He was knocked back from behind by Scorch. Her face was full of rage.

“I told you I’d make you pay!” She yelled as he horn lit up. She aimed it right at his face.

“No you won’t.” Steve said pointing at the sky. What appeared to be a dragon came flying at them. It was small, about his height, much smaller than any he had seen, but still significant. Steve wasn’t paying attention to it because he saw Scorch distracted, so he delivered a punch across the back of her head. Before he could get back up, however, he felt something grab him. It was that dragon. It pulled him up and out of the forest.

He looked at it. It was almost all black, with the exception of a few gray spikes on its back, and it had purple eyes. The beast looked back down towards him. It smiled at him, so Steve assumed it was friendly. He looked back down at the changelings and flipped them off, causing the dragon, who Steve could now identify as female, to laugh. They flew away from the battle scene.

“This is where we suspect the creature went.” Sargent Stone said to Princess Luna. He was in charge of the intel because he had been with the creature the most. However, they didn’t have a great lead on its home. “Based on locations of previous skirmishes, we suspect he commonly goes-.” He was cutoff in the middle of his explanation by one of his comrades.

“Changelings!” He shouted. “About six of them!” Stone and Luna both got eye of the fight and got into fighting stances. The changelings looked worn out, like they had just been fighting right before. Stone pulled out his sword and sliced at the nearest changeling, swiftly ending its life. He ducked under the attack of one, then, quickly jumped over another, before bringing his sword down on the first. He pulled it out and jabbed it right through the other. Luna fired several shots at them, but they used the forest as cover to hide from the blasts. However, one of the shots hit a changeling in the back of the head, going right through it.

“Scorch,” one of the changelings started, “what do we do?”

“Retreat! There’s too many of them.” The three remaining changelings turned and ran through the thick brush. Stone let out a sigh of relief before turning to the carnage. He turned to one of his men.

“Any casualties?” He asked.

“No, sir. They seemed to be tired out, so they didn’t fight as good as they usually do.”

“Then what tires them out?”

“I don’t know, but it appears something was here before us.” He said as he pointed at five dead bodies. “I don’t think any of our men killed them.”

“Yeah.” Stone agreed. “But it appears it used a sword to do so.” He said examining the cut marks.

“Sargent,” Luna started, “what’s going on?”

“I’m not sure, ma’am, but I think we might have a lead on the creature.”

“Good. Let’s move out.” Luna ordered.

“Yes, ma’am.” Stone looked at the cut marks. This further proved that this creature was capable. He just didn’t know why he spared the guards, but not the changelings. “I swear I will get to the bottom of this.” He said under his breath as he watched Celestia’s sun set.

Chapter 10: Second Meeting

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Steve gazed in awe as him and the dragon flew high above the lands. He looked at the sunset behind him. Truly a perfect image. He smiled as they flew near the clouds. Steve held his arms out like a bird, just enjoying the view. Unfortunately, reality set in and he remembered that he was still going somewhere with a complete stranger. He looked up at her. “Hey, uh, miss. Thanks for saving my I guess, but, uh, where the Nether are we going?”

“My cave.” She said.

“Oh.” Steve said. “Why do you intend on bringing me there?”

“So I can heal you. You have sustained several injuries, but I can treat them.” She explained.

“Okay.” Steve said.

“We’re almost there.” She informed him. The two began descending on a cliff side. There appeared to be a hole in the bottom that Steve assumed was her home. He was right, and before she landed she gently put him down. Then, she landed, too.

“Thanks.” Steve said.

“No problem. It’s the least I could do.” She told him.

“Wait.” Steve said, holding a hand up. “What do you mean it’s the ‘least you could do?’”

“Uh,” she said, “I, uh saw you in trouble so I thought the least I could do was-.” Steve cut her off.

“Listen, I don’t know you, but I’d be an idiot to not know you are lying. So cut the crap.” He told her.

“I suppose I should tell you.” She sighed. “Steve I-.”

“You know, you look pretty familiar. Do I know you?” He asked.

“Well you see that’s the thing. You do-.”

“Wait, are you the Ender Dragon?” Steve guessed. She raised a claw to her face.

“Yes I am the-.” He cut her off for a third time.

“Wow.” Steve said. “That’s cool and all, but at the same time that’s kinda freaky. I’ve got a whole lot of questions.”

“I suppose you do. It’s getting late, you should probably-.”

“I’ve got time.” He said. “Honestly I prefer the dark.” She looked at him as if she was about to argue, but then just sighed.

“Fine. What do you want to know.”

“Three things. One: how did you get here? Two: why aren’t you attacking me? Three: do you have another name I can call you other than the Ender Dragon?”

“Well, I got here because Notch sent me. He wanted me to-.”

“Wait. Notch as in the God of Minecraftia Notch?”

“Yes. He wanted me to warn you about a growing threat.”

“And this threat is?”

“Herobrine has made it into this world, somehow.”

“Herobrine? I thought he was a myth.”

“He wasn’t. In fact he was the one who cursed me to attack you back home. When you ‘killed’ me, I was freed from the curse. Then, for some reason, you brought me back to life. Can I ask, and I want you to be completely honest, why did you do that?”

Steve sighed. “I wanted better enchantments. Since you dropped a lot of experience, I figured if I killed you again I could get more. If I had known you were being held there against your will, I wouldn’t have done it.”

“It’s okay. That action is one of the reasons I’m here. If you hadn’t have wanted more experience, you might not have brought me back to life. That’s what I meant when I said it’s the least I could do.”

“Oh. Well, sorry, thank you, and you’re welcome.”

“What?” She asked confused.

“Sorry for treating you like another monster and not a living, breathing organism being held like a prisoner, thank you for accepting my apology, and you’re welcome for bringing you back to life, uh, what’s your name?”

She sighed. “Jean.” She said quietly, out of embarrassment.

“John?” He asked, a grin growing on his face.

“Jean.” She repeated a little bit louder.

“Bean?” He asked again, barely being able to contain his laughter.

“Jean!” She yelled at him. She was too busy looking away, that she didn’t notice his huge smile. He broke down into laughter and fell onto his back. “You heard me the first time, didn’t you?”

“Yeah.” He said wheezing at that point. “I was just fucking with you.”

“You know, I probably should have just left you.” She said laughing as well.

“But Jean, there’s nothing to be ashamed of. My name is Steve and I slayed a dragon and saved the world. You are a huge, scary dragon. Take pride in your name. Make it so when people think of Jean they think of you, and not that old lady down the road. I take pride in my name. What did people know Steve as? ‘That one guy from that one Queen song.’ It was a good song and all, but still, Steve isn’t exactly a scary name.”

“I guess you’re right, but two questions. What song was your name in? And who is Queen?”

“You don’t know who Queen is?” Jean shook her head.

“Remember I was cursed a long time ago.”

“Yeah, but Queen is pretty old. Their lead singer died before I was even born, and I’m 27 years old.” He said. “How long ago were you cursed?”

“I don’t know. I couldn’t keep track of time because it was all just a big blank void with an island inhabited by endermen.”

“Well, you don’t need to remind me what the End looks like.” He told her. “What’s something you remember from the overworld?”

“Well,” she started. The dragon paused for a second to think. She brought a claw up to her chin, “I remember the bright green grass and leaves. Are they still like that?”

“Oh, so you were cursed somewhere between the beginning of time and now. That narrows it down a lot.” Steve joked. She glared at him. “Anything else?” He asked.

“Damn it.” She whispered under her breath. “Oh! Zombies used to drop feathers! Surely that’s changed, right?” Steve’s jaw dropped. “What? Was it something I said?”

“Jean! You were cursed over a thousand years ago!”

“A thousand years!” Jean said. “Wait, how long ago is a thousand years?”

“A thousand years.” Steve stated. She glared at him again causing him to laugh. “But in all seriousness, that’s pretty long ago. Especially considering Minecraftia has only existed for a little bit over that. You were cursed pretty damn close to the beginning of time.”

“Wow.” Was all she could say. “How much has the world changed?”

“Too much for me to talk about.” Steve told her.

“Right.” She said getting back on topic. “Who is Queen?”

“Queen was a band consisting a four people one lead singer, an electric guitarist, a bass guitarist, and a drummer. They made many amazing songs and were well known throughout the lands.”

“To be honest, most of that went over my head, because I have no idea what a guitar or a drum is.”

“Oh. I think I can make a guitar. Unfortunately, I never wrote it down in my crafting book, but I might remember how to make it. My friend Mitch taught me. Do you have any string? I just need two pieces. I also need two pieces of leather.”

“I might. Notch told me to bring some supplies to help you, so I might have some strings and leather.”

“Thanks.” Steve said.

“Here!” She exclaimed. “Also, I forgot to help heal you. Here, have a healing potion.”

“Oh, thanks.” Steve said. He chugged the whole thing down, and started regenerating the damage he took.

“Also, here’s the string and leather.” She handed it to Steve and he got to work on a guitar. First, he needed a crafting table, which he could make using the wood he had on him. Next he needed to remember the materials he needed. Two string, and five planks. Now he just needed to remember how to arrange it. He shifted it a couple times before a guitar finally came up. Next thing he needed to do was make a strap, which is what he needed the leather for. He arranged the leather with the guitar in the crafting table.

“Got it!” He exclaimed. He put the strap on and held the guitar at a small angle. “If I recall, this is how to play ‘Another One Bites the Dust,’ which was the song that had my name in it.” He played a note and then repeated it twice before taking a short pause. He repeated the notes three more times before jumping to a higher note, coming back down, then jumping up even higher. He repeated the sequence four times before he began to sing. “Ooh. Let’s go! Steve walks wearily down the street with the brim pulled way down low.”

“Trust me, it would sound a lot better if I had a bass.” Steve told her.

“Yeah, but it still sounded amazing.” She responded.

“Anyways, I should probably head home now.” Steve said.

“I can help you get home.” She told him.

“Don’t you think it’s a little early for that? I mean, we just met.” He joked. She looked at him confused for a second, before realizing what he was saying.

“That’s not what I meant.” She said, a blush appeared on her face. “And besides this is technically our second meeting.”

“Yeah, I guess you’re right, but if you want to, you can come.”

“Alright.” She said. The duo began to walk, to walk out into the night.

A few minutes in, they heard what sounded like a twig snap, followed by hoofsteps that sounded as if they were getting closer. Steve looked at Jean and put his finger over his mouth to signify they needed to stay quiet. She nodded in understanding. They both looked around, trying to find the source. They were able to overhear what sounded like ponies.

“Sir, with all due respect, this is pointless. I can hardly see anything out here. There’s no way we’ll find the creature.” Corporal Eagle said.

“You’re probably right. We should probably meet up with the thestral squad and decide what to do next. They should be in this area about now.” Captain Armor said.

Steve looked in horror at the guards. Around twenty of them were there along with the Captain, Sargent, and Corporal. Princess Moonbutt was nowhere to be found.

“It’s 2200, so, if they stuck to the plan they should be around that way,” the Sargent said pointing in a direction, “and they said they’d be moving down that way, so if we keep this pace we can rendezvous by heading that way. We will meet them most likely on the side of a mountain. ” Steve’s mouth hung agape. The Sargent had pointed right in the direction of his shelter. That meant his the mountain was probably the one he was living in. The guards went by the two, without noticing them. When Steve was sure they couldn’t hear him, he looked right at Jean and said two words.

“Oh, shit.”

Chapter 11: Base Defenses

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“So what are we going to do?” Jean asked.

“I don’t know.” Steve responded. “I guess the best course of action is to try and defend our home. If we repel the attack, then we can relocate. The problem is, it’s the two of us against possibly 60 guards, with their commanding officer, and, possibly, the literal Goddess of the Night. Honestly, the best we can do is fight and hope for a good outcome.”

“Well that sucks.” Jean stated.

“That’s putting it lightly.” Steve bluntly said. “Can you fly me home, so we can get back quicker?”

“I can do that.” She said. The dragon picked him up and began to ascend. “So, that way, right?” She asked for confirmation.

“Yep. That way.”

“Alright, away we go.” They soared through the air, at high speeds. Steve looked down to make sure they wouldn’t be seen by the guards. Luckily, Jean curved around them to make sure they wouldn’t be seen. They made it home quickly.

The duo landed right in front of Steve’s shelter. He opened the door and stepped inside. The first thing he did was open his chest. He quickly grabbed as much as he could. Then, he turned to his bed, furnace and crafting table, and he broke all three of them. He put on his armor to make space for those three items. He turned around to see Jean at the doorway just standing there.

“What are you doing?” He asked.

“Well you didn’t really make this house dragon friendly.” She replied.

“Well, I didn’t expect me to willingly allow a dragon to come into my house.”

“Fair enough.” Jean stated.

“Here, let me help.” He pulled out his pick and destroyed the cobblestone surrounding his door. She stepped inside his little hole.

“So this is where you’ve been staying? It’s pretty small.”

“This isn’t that bad. Back when I was in the army, we slept in two by one by two holes with trapdoors over it, in order to save space.”

“That sounds awful.”

“Yeah, but I guess I signed up for that life. Anyways, enough about my past, we need to figure out how to defend this base.”

“I mean, I could just fly you out of here right now.”

“Oh yeah. I guess this problem...” he trailed off. “Never mind.”

“What?” She asked. Steve simply pointed behind her. There they were. The guards had arrived just in time. They were looking right at the duo, weapons ready. A familiar face stepped in front of the guards.

“Luna.” Steve said under his breath.

“Well, well, well, it appears we have finally found your home. However, these coordinates are useless as we also have the creature right here.” Luna said in a menacing tone.

“Well, you still haven’t captured us yet.” Steve responded.

“True, but there is around thirty guards here, with another thirty on the way. Even with thy friend by thy side, thou doesn’t stand a chance. So we have an offer for thou, surrender, and turn yourself in and we will let thy friend there go. Stay and fight, and you will both be captured.” Luna said.

A dead silence fell upon the area. Steve thought about the offer. While he didn’t want to be captured, he didn’t want Jean to suffer for his actions. He sighed, heavily, before taking a step towards the guards. He put away his sword, to not look threatening. He walked with his head down, with a look of defeat.

“Steve, what are you doing?” Jean asked.

“The right thing to do.” Was all Steve could say.

“No Steve, don’t-.” But she was cut off by him.

“It’s okay. I’ll be okay. Just trust me.” Steve told her. He walked right up to Luna, and looked her right in the eyes. He pulled his hand back. Before anyone could react, he formed a fist, and rocketed it up her chin. Her body was sent flying back, and landed motionless. It took a second for Steve to comprehend what had happened. Did I just knock out a godd-, wait, focus on the battle Steve. He pulled out his sword, as Jean came up right beside him.

“Bring it on!” He shouted at the hoard of guards. Ten of them launched at the two. Steve blocked two with his sword and shielded himself from another two with his left hand. He quickly realized he didn’t pull out his shield. He quickly equipped it before a spear ran right into it. Jean blocked two attacks with her left arm, before smacking two aside with a fist. Another wave of guards went at them, this time being more careful. Steve slowly backed up, in order to establish distance between them and the ponies. He kicked one that tried attacking from his side, before hitting another with the hilt of his sword. The two repelled attack after attack.

“Come on, men.” Sargent Stone tried to encourage his troops. “We’re almost there.” They had been marching for an hour or so. While they were trained to do this, it didn’t make the march any less painful.

“Look, there’s the mountain!” The Corporal exclaimed, in an attempt to cheer them up.

“Oh, we’re right here.” Captain Armor said. As they got closer, however, they could hear what sounded like spears and swords clashing. They slowly crept up towards the area where they heard it. The Sargent took the lead, crouching behind heavy brush. From there, he could see the Princess, who was laying, probably unconscious, several guards who lay with her, other guards who were fighting the creature they had been looking for, and a dragon who appeared to be fighting with the creature.

“We gotta help them.” The Corporal stated.

“No shit, Corporal.” Stone replied, causing her to glare at him. He looked towards the captain. “Might I suggest we surprise attack them while they don’t know we’re here?”

“Good idea.” He glanced back at several other guards. “Get the net. We’ll try and capture it while it still hasn’t noticed us.”

“Yes, sir.” They spread the net out and got ready to throw it.

“As soon as it lands, pin it down with your magic.” He said to the Corporal and the Sargent.

“Yes, sir.” They replied in unison.

“Ready.” The captain said. “Aim.” The guards targeted the Steve and Jean while the Corporal and Sargent got ready to use their magic. “Fire!” Captain Armor yelled out.

Steve and Jean had successfully repelled all the attacks at them. However, it had taken its toll on them. They were both panting heavily, and were covered with cuts and bruises. He took a deep breath as he pushed another guard away. Suddenly he heard something to his right.

“Fire!” Someone yelled out. He glanced over his shoulder, and saw a net flying right at them.

“Look out!” He called towards Jean as he dove away. Unfortunately, she didn’t notice, and the net came down upon her. “Jean!” Steve called as he ran over to the net, to try and cut it lose.

“It’s okay, Steve. Just get out of here while you still can.” She told him.

“I’m not leaving without you.”

“But you have to-.” She was cut off mid response. “Look out!” She desperately yelled. Steve quickly rolled back to dodge an attack. Several more bolts of magic were sent his way. They fell just short of his feet. He began stumbling back before turning and running at a full sprint. He wiped the tears out of his eyes as he took off into the Everfree.

“Quickly! Pin her down!” The captain called. Stone and Eagle used their magic to pin the net down. Jean tried her hardest and was able to rip the net in half. Before she could fly away, however, she was stopped by a spear right in front of her neck. There a pony stood panting. She looked right into his caramel colored eyes. She felt something very hard hit her in the back of the head, and everything went black.

Chapter 12: Prison Break

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Steve walked alone in the Everfree. He held his head low as tears began to fall from his eyes. His second friend, whom he had just met, was now being imprisoned, and it was his fault. He sighed as he began to sing one of his favorite songs.

“I walk a lonely road
The only one that I have ever known
Don't know where it goes
But it's home to me and I walk alone

I walk this empty street
On the Boulevard of Broken Dreams
Where the city sleeps
And I'm the only one and I walk alone

I walk alone
I walk alone
I walk alone
I walk a

My shadow's the only one that walks beside me
My shallow heart's the only thing that's beating
Sometimes I wish someone out there will find me
'Til then I walk alone

Ah-ah, ah-ah, ah-ah, aaah-ah
Ah-ah, ah-ah, ah-ah

I'm walking down the line
That divides me somewhere in my mind
On the borderline
Of the edge and where I walk alone

Read between the lines
Of what's fucked up and everything's alright
Check my vital signs
To know I'm still alive and I walk alone

I walk alone
I walk alone
I walk alone
I walk a

My shadow's the only one that walks beside me
My shallow heart's the only thing that's beating
Sometimes I wish someone out there will find me
'Til then I walk alone

Ah-ah, ah-ah, ah-ah, aaah-ah
Ah-ah, ah-ah

I walk alone
I walk a

I walk this empty street
On the Boulevard of Broken Dreams
Where the city sleeps
And I'm the only one and I walk a

My shadow's the only one that walks beside me
My shallow heart's the only thing that's beating
Sometimes I wish someone out there will find me
'Til then I walk alone.”

He sang. Singing usually helped him regain composure in stressful times. He collected himself and was going to decide what to do. He knew he had to break Jean out, but how would he do it? Stealth was probably his best option. In order to successfully break into the prison, he needed two things: intel and a plan. He needed intel to come up with a plan, so he needed to survey the barracks. There’s no way they’d keep her in a public prison. He turned towards Ponyville, and began to make the trek there.

Once he arrived, he looked on at the ponies, moving quickly around the base. He stared at one in particular, the Sargent. He watched as he ran through the base. If Steve was being honest, he kinda liked him. He was a good man and a great soldier, and was really smart. “That’ll be my biggest issue.” He said as he continued to survey the base.

Jean opened her eyes. She blinked a couple of times before realizing where she was. A prison. She had almost forgot why. Then, there was one thing that was on her mind: Steve. A guard reacted to her sudden awakening, and walked over to her, probably to check up on her.

“Ma’am, ar-.” He was cut off mid-sentence by Jean.

“Is Steve safe?” She asked.

“Well, he managed to escape our grasp, so we don’t know if he’s safe or not. If it’s any consolation, we he’s survived out there for a week or two, so he should be fine.” The guard smiled at her.

“Thanks.” Was all she could say. She slumped back down, and put her hands in her claws. This was the feeling she had when she was cursed. Trapped in a metaphorical cell. Only this time now she was trapped in a literal one. She began to sob, quietly, so no one would hear it. She sobbed herself back to sleep.

Celestia looked at her sister in the hospital bed. She had just woken up, and was waiting for the test results to come back to make sure she didn’t have any lasting brain damage. Until then, they were waiting together.

“Are you okay, Luna?” She asked.

“We feel fine, sister.” She replied sounding rather annoyed.

“What’s wrong?” She asked.

“Nothing.” She replied.

“Then what’s with your tone?”

“We are just irritated that we couldn’t capture the creature like we said we could.” Luna said.

“Once you get discharged, I will capture the creature. This threat is getting out of hand.” Celestia told her.

“Are you sure?” Luna asked. “That’s a hyper-violent creature.”

“We have no choice. Now, I must head home to prepare. Goodbye Luna.”

“Goodbye, sister.” She said. “And, please, do be safe.”

Stone was on his way to meet with the captain in the debriefing room. He was hurrying past the other guards, trying not to be late. He stopped in front of the guards.

“Halt.” They said. He sighed. “Identify yourself.”

“Sargent Stone Hoof, 1st Platoon.” He said.

“And what buis-.” He cut the guard off.

“Debriefing.” He stated swiftly.

“Magic scan.” The guard said.

“Wait, since when did you guys do that? I’m just curious.”

“Ever since your squad discovered the changelings. We can’t risk them getting in.” The guard explained.

“Okay. Go ahead.” He said. They rubbed the chemicals on him, and just as expected, he was engulfed in a halo. Then, they wiped it off.

“You may proceed.”

“Thank you.” He swiftly opened the door and stepped inside.

“Sargent. You’re right on time. Take a seat.” The captain said. He turned to face the others in the room. “We have managed to capture the creature’s friend. However, what will we do with her?”

The room sat in an empty silence as everyone thought of things they could do.

“We could wait.” Sargent Stone said. He was met with confused looks.

“Please elaborate.” The captain said.

“Well, she’s his only friend that we know of, so he is bound to try and break her out, therefore, we can just wait until he does.” The Sargent explained.

“Good idea.” The captain said. “How about we wait three days, and if he doesn’t attack we go out to try and capture him?”

They all muttered their agreements.

“If no one is against it, you are dismissed.” The other officers left the meeting room and headed back to their barracks. The Sargent, however, turned and faced towards the brig, where they were holding the dragon. He walked down the stairs and turned a corner to find the holding cell he was looking for.

There she was, sitting there, motionless. Probably asleep, he told himself. He leaned on the cell bars and his gold plated boots made a loud clank! Her head immediately shot up. He looked into her eyes, and instantly knew what happened. Her eyes were red, meaning she probably cried herself to sleep. He felt really bad for her, but he reminded himself she was in here for a reason.

“Can I help you?” She asked.

“I just want to talk.” He told her.

“Well, there’s another guard there. Go talk to him.” She told him. He let out a small chuckle.

“I just wanted to tell, we’re increasing security around this area, so don’t be surprised when more guards come.”

“Okay, I guess.” She responded.

“Alright, I’ll see you later.” He said as he left. He didn’t really want to inform her that. He was just checking up on how she was doing. Sargent Stone was once arrested for taking part in a riot in support of democracy. He knew how it felt being in prison. Especially if you think you’re fighting for what’s right. He sighed as he stepped out into the rising sun. Just then, another pony came running up to him.

“Sir, the captain has requested you put these guards on guard duty for the prisoner.” She informed him.

“Alright, I’ll see to it that these guards will be informed.” He said. She walked off, probably heading back to her post. It was especially important that they were vigilant now. He had heard rumors it was going to snow some time this week because the pegasi can do whatever the buck they want. He headed to began reading down his list and looking for the ponies on it. He came across the first one.

“Iron Wings!” He called out.

“Yes?” She asked.

“How’s Hawk Eye?” He asked.

“He was discharged last week. Why?”

“Well, you two are both assigned to guard duty. Your job is to protect our new prisoner from the creature. You got that?”

“Yes, sir.” She said. “I won’t let you down.”

“Okay then. You may return to your barracks. You’re first shift starts tomorrow, at 1800.” She nodded as she turned away from the Sargent.

“I said this wasn’t over and it isn’t. I’ve been waiting for this moment, this chance to finally get even, to take revenge. For Hawk Eye. We will then see who is better. It’s my chance to settle the score.” Iron Wings said to herself, angrily. She had been in her barracks after the Sargent dismissed her, and was waiting for her shift to start. As she waited, she thought about the creature, her friend Hawk Eye, and what the creature had done to him. “Someday, I’ll get my revenge.” She said in a menacing tone.

Chapter 13: The Face-off

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Steve stared at the base. He watched as the snow fell softly down onto the ground. This is just perfect, he thought to himself sarcastically. He never really liked snow. Sure, it helped him hide, but other than that it was just useless. While temperatures never really bothered him, what did bother him was the darker nights, and shorter days because that meant more monsters. Clearing his mind of his past, he regained focus on the task at hand: that damn base.

He continued to watch the guards to the front entrance to the brig. There was only one entrance, and he wouldn’t be able to sneak through without getting caught. However, they, probably, didn’t take into effect the fact that he was a crafter. He came up with a plan that might work. He pulled out his shovel, and began to dig down. Once he hit stone, he pulled out his pickaxe and dug down a little bit further. After he broke a few more blocks, he turned to the direction of the prison. He made sure to make this hole “dragon friendly,” so they’d have an easy escape route. After a good minute of digging, he saw what he wanted to see, the iron bars of a prison cell.

“Where the buck are they?” Sargent Stone asked in demand of answers.

“They’re still in their barracks, sir.” The Corporal replied.

“Shit.” He said under his breath. He took off in search of the barracks he was looking for. Once he got to the building, he looked for the specific room. “Room 14, 15, 16.” He counted under his breath, until he found what he was looking for. “Ah ha!” He exclaimed. He knocked on the door ferociously. “Iron Wings, open up!” The door was opened and on the other side was a timid looking Iron Wings. If Stone was being honest, he could understand. He was usually a calm stallion and hardly ever got mad. If he did, that meant shit was going down.

“Yes, sir?” She asked.

“You and Hawk Eye were due on guard duty five minutes ago!” He yelled, clearly showing his anger.

“Sorry, sir. We will leave right away, sir.” She said.

“Alright, don’t let me down.” He said in a more calm voice. He turned and headed away from the room.

Iron Wings shut their door and turned to her partner. “Ready?” She asked.

“Yep.” Was all Hawk Eye said.

“Then let’s go.” They began to sprint to the brig as fast as they can. After a short talk with the guards, they hurried down the stairs to the cell they were looking for. Inside was a lonely dragon.

“We have to remain vigilant.” She told him.

“Yes, I know. I’m not an idiot.” He said.

“Now I need to find which cell she’s in.” Steve said under his breath. He quietly stepped out of the cell’s open doors. He began to sneak through the brig, occasionally ducking behind corners to evade the guards. He took his armor off in order to remain quiet. He discarded several items he didn’t need in order to make room in his inventory. He tossed them aside to where no one would see them. He heard a few voices talking from a hall to his left.

“We have to remain vigilant.” One said.

“Yes, I know I’m not an idiot.” Another responded.

“Keep an eye out for the creature.” She told him before all conversation stopped. Steve recognized one of the voices, but he didn’t know from where. He thought about it for a second. Then it hit him, “Just know, that this isn’t over, yet.” The mare said. Steve finally got a good look. She had a white coat, a yellow mane, and emerald green eyes. Her flanks had wings that appeared to be made of iron on it.

Those words echoed throughout his mind. Iron Wings. It was her. “She’s right. This isn’t over yet.” He whispered under his breath. He decided now was a time to make a move. Quickly rounding the corner, he pulled out his shield and sword and ran right at them.

“Look! There it is!” Hawk Eye yelled. Steve ran up to him quickly punched him across the face. He was sent flying back, but recovered quickly. Iron Wings made her move and attempted to stab Steve with her spear. He easily blocked it with his sword, then struck her across the face with his fist. There was a small stirring in the cell that caught their attention.

“Steve?” Jean asked.

“Don’t worry, I’m gonna get you out.” He said.

“No you’re not.” Iron Wings said full of anger. She pushed her spear deeper into his shield. Now they were meeting eye to eye. “Remember me?” She asked.

“Unfortunately, yes. And just know you are not gonna win this because you can beat me up all you want, you can almost kill me, but the moment you fuck with my friends,” he leaned right in her face, “you pay the price.” He pulled his sword back, and sliced her spear in half. He quickly kicked her in the chest and sent her flying back. Hawk Eye was now back up on his feet and began to charge at the crafter, but Steve easily dodged his attack before kicking him into the wall.

“Thanks Steve!” Jean said. “But how are you gonna get me out? The cell is protected with a special enchant-.”

He pulled out his pickaxe, and broke the lock holding the cell close. “Come on, we gotta get out of here before more guards come.”

“Yeah.” Jean agreed. They heard a shout come from behind them.

“He’s here! The creature is here! And he’s got the dragon!” A guard shouted.

“Let’s move.” Steve said. The duo began to take off for the tunnel Steve made.

“Stop! In the name of Equestria!” A guard shouted.

“Fuck off!” Steve responded. Jean and him arrived at the cell, with the tunnel. Steve threw the door open. “Quickly, get in the tunnel.” He instructed Jean. She jumped in the tunnel and Steve followed suit.

“They’re escaping through a tunnel!” The guard shouted. “Wait for them to surface!”

Steve and Jean hurried down the tunnel. They quickly arrived at the entrance. Steve quickly place ladders as he climbed upwards. Once they reached the surface, Steve looked around to make sure there was no one close enough to catch them. He looked at Jean.

“We’re clear. Let’s move.” He whispered. He jumped up and turned to help Jean up. Once he pulled her up he heard someone else yell.

“There they are!” A guard yelled.

“That’s our cue.” Steve said. The two took off in a sprint, with the guards following suit. It was a little harder to run in the snow, but they still managed. He had rescued Jean, but now they needed to escape the guards.

“What happened?” Stone asked calmly. He looked at the two pegasi in front of him with a disappointing look on his face. “I’m not mad, I just wanna know.”

“He came in through a tunnel, snuck past the guards, and surprise attacked us. After that, he broke the chains lose and freed the prisoner.” Iron Wings explained.

“How did he tunnel down quickly?”

“We don’t know, sir.” Hawk Eye responded. “He’s probably just that powerful.”

“We’re gonna need more power then. Perhaps more troops.” Stone thought.

“That won’t be necessary.” A voice from behind them said. It was the captain. “I have just received word that Princess Celestia is on her way here.”

“Have they lost their minds?” Stone asked. “He already knocked out one of them, and they’re gonna send another?”

“Apparently so.” Was all the captain said. “Now come on, we’ve got a creature to catch.

“I think we lost them.” Steve said catching his breath.

“Yeah.” Jean agreed, also panting heavily. “I’m gonna head back to my cave. If you ever need me just say this,
ℸ ̣ ᒷꖎᒷ!¡𝙹∷ℸ ̣ jᒷᔑリ sℸ ̣ ᒷ⍊ᒷ.”

“Alright.” Steve said. He turned to check their backs before realizing something. “Wait, Jean.” He said grabbing her attention. “I might need to crash over at yours tonight. I don’t know if you remember, but I lost my home.”

“How could I forget?” She asked rhetorically. “Eh, sure. I mean it’s the least I could after you saved my ass. By the way, thanks.”

“No need to thank me. It was my fault you ended up in there. I should be apologizing. I’m sorry.” He apologized.

“You already made it up. You risked your life to bust me out of there. There’s no need to apologize.” She told him.

“Fair point, but still, I’m sorry.”

“It’s okay.” Jean said. “Now let’s head home before we get attacked again.”

Chapter 14: How It All Happened

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Several Days Later

Steve sat up. He hadn’t slept in days, fearing he’d encounter Luna in his dreams, and, honestly, he was starting to feel a little tired. However, today he decided he would check up on an old friend of his. He began his trek to the town before remembering Jean. He quickly pulled out his journal, that he always kept on him, ripped out a page, and scribbled a note with the quill.

Jean, if you’re reading this, then I have gone to Ponyville to check up on my good friend Derpy, before you have woken up. Do not be alarmed, I will be fine.

Your friend, Steve.

He put the paper down, and turned to the exit. Jean was still sleeping on the ground and he didn’t want to disturb her. He began to quickly make his way to the small town.

Once he made it to the tree line, he slowed down his sprint, and snuck by the barracks. He went around the barracks and decided to go through an apple orchard. He snuck by the barn just in case there was anyone inside. Once he got into town, he had to make sure he was out of sight, as he didn’t have anymore invisibility potions. He used the tall grass as cover, and slowly made his way to the nearest building. Then he pulled out his fishing rod and ascended to the top. Then he began his house hopping campaign. He jumped from house to house before finding the one he was looking for. Luckily, the hole in the roof was still there, so he could just climb in. He fell into the room and took a quick look around, before calling out the mare he was looking for’s name.

“Derpy?” He called out. “You home?”

He got a quick response, “Steve? Is that you?”


“Well come on out.” She said.

“Alright.” Steve opened the door and stepped out of the room. “Hey, Derpy. Haven’t seen you in a while. How are you?”

“I’ve been fine.”

“That’s good. Where’s Dinky?”

“Oh, she’s at school.” Derpy said. “By the way, what are you doing here?” She asked.

“Oh, well just came to check up on you. I haven’t seen you in what, four days?”

“Five.” She said. “Would you like some muffins?”

“Fuck, yeah.” Steve said. “I’m starving. And those muffins are dangerously delicious.” Steve laughed.

“Alright, I’ll get a batch ready.” She told him before turning to the kitchen. Steve looked around the house. It was the first time he actually got a good look at the interior. He stood looking around the living room. There was a couch, a coffee table, a bookshelf stacked with books, and a small counter. On top of it say several things, including a key chain, several currency, and a lamp, but something in particular stood out. There was a picture. In it was Derpy, Dinky, and what appeared to be a stallion. They were all smiling as they hugged.

“Must’ve been her old husband.” Steve whispered. He stared at it for a second. “Don’t worry, I’ll look after them for you. No matter what. I promise.” He whispered as if he was talking to the stallion himself. “And I never break my promises.” He looked up when he heard a Ding!

“Muffins are ready!” Derpy called out.

“Alright!” Steve said. He left the room and headed to the dining table. He sat down across from Derpy. “So,” he started, “how have things been? I see you haven’t fixed the roof yet.”

“Yeah, honestly I’m pretty tired. I’ve been working two jobs and taking care of Dinky. This is one of my few days I get a break. Luckily, I got Applejack and Big Mac to fix the...” she trailed off. “Wait what day is it today?” She asked Steve displaying a worried tone. He looked over at a calendar.

“Tuesday.” Steve said. Derpy looked at the clock.

“9:28.” She said.

“What’s wrong Derpy?” Steve asked.

“Applejack and Big Mac offered to help fix my roof, so I accepted because I was busy. They’re set to come today in two minutes!” She said really alarmed.

“Oh, shit. I better get outta here.” Steve said.

Applejack was on her way to Derpy’s with Big Mac. They were happy to help Derpy fix her roof because everyone knows how busy Derpy is. They were coming up on the house when they saw something strange through the window.

“Tall, muscular, tan, wears a light blue shirt with dark blue jeans, and has brown hair with a short beard.” She whispered quickly. “That’s the creature.” She said to Big Mac.

“Eeyup.” Was all he said. What would she do? Tell the guards? There’s no time.

“We’ve gotta save Derpy.” She said to Big Mac. They stood right in front of the door. “On three. One. Two. Three!”

“Three!” Was all Steve heard. He looked as the door was sent flying down. In stepped two ponies, both earth ponies, who charged right at Steve.

“Don’t worry, Derpy!” The orange one cried out. “We’re gonna save ya!” Steve rolled over to dodge and attack. Clinging onto his muffin for dear life. He then jumped an attack by the red one before talking.

“Wait. Wait. Wait! I’m not here to hurt Derpy!” He told them.

“Save i-.” The orange one tried to say.

“He’s right.” All their heads jerked to the side. “He’s right.” Derpy repeated.

“Wait, then what is he doin’ here?” Applejack asked.

“Let me explain,”

Fifteen Minutes Later

“Then you guys decided to pull some FBI shit on her door.” Steve said, eliciting a laugh from everyone.

“Well, sorry.” Applejack said. “To the both of ya.”

“It’s all good. You didn’t actually hit me. And I still have my muffin.” He said.

“Ah should probably tell my friend, Twilight.”

“The librarian?” He asked.

“Yeah, she has a direct line to the princesses. Hopefully she can help clear your name. Although, knowing ‘em, I’m not sure it will be that easy.”

“Of course.” Was all Steve said. He turned to them. “Well, Applejack, Derpy, Big Mac, while it was a pleasure being here, I gotta head home. Got another friend to check up on.”

“Alright, bye Steve.” Derpy said.

“See ya, partner.” Applejack said. Big Mac didn’t say anything, he just nodded and waved.

“And by the way,” Steve said turning to Applejack, “sorry about shooting you. I swear it was an accident. Maybe one day I’ll get to know those friends of yours.”

“It’s okay. Bye.” She said.

Steve climbed up, through the roof, and began his sneak home.

Jean nearly had a panic attack when she woke up. She looked around for the crafter, who had been up all night for the third night in a row. She was practically hyperventilating until she found the note. He was in Ponyville, checking up on a friend. She sighed.

That was an hour ago. Now she was sitting down, with a piece of meat in her claw, chewing it slowly.

“You know that would quench your appetite more if you cooked it.” Someone said. She whirled around and saw Steve, climbing into the cave.

“Hey, Steve.”

“Hey, Jean. Have you ever tried cooking meat?”

“Cook it? Never tried that.” She told him.

“Well you should. Not only does it restore more hunger, but it also tastes better and reduces the risk of food poisoning.”

“Alright, I’ll think about that next time.” She said. “Anyways, how was your visit?”

“It was good. Took an unexpected turn, but it was for the better. I made a new friend. Plus, if everything goes well, we might not have to hide out here anymore. But, knowing my luck, it’s probably big on a work out.”

“But it’s still worth a shot, right?”

“Yep. Anyways, what do you want to do, today?”

“Princess,” a guard started, bowing.

“You may rise.” She said in a rather annoyed tone.

“Yes, ma’am. Princess Luna has been discharged from the hospital.”

“Good. Now prepare the carriage, I’m going to oversee the capture of the creature, personally.”

“Yes, ma’am.”

Princess Celestia and the guards made their way to the carriage. Right before they got in another guard came running up.

“Ma’am! Wait!”

“What is it?” She asked.

“You just received a message from your student.” For a second Celestia froze.

“I’ll,” she started, “I’ll read it later.”

“Yes ma’am.” The pegasus mare ran to put away the scroll.

“Set course for Ponyville.” She told the guards.

“Yes ma’am.”

“You know, at a certain point, you can tell this base wasn’t made for this number of troops.” Sargent Stone said, annoyed. He, the Corporal, and the Captain all looked at the new troops arriving at the barracks. The total was now over 200.

“You can say that again.” The Corporal agreed.

“Sir,” a guard said trying to get the attention of the Captain.

“Yes?” He asked.

“The princess is coming.”

“Tell me something I don’t know.” He told him.

“She’s on her way right now.” The guard said.

“Good. The sooner she gets here, the sooner we can deal with this threat. We’re wasting too many supplies on this one creature.”

“Let’s just hope nothing goes wrong.” The Sargent said.

“Yeah.” The captain agreed.

Chapter 15: Submerged in Ice

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“Did she write back yet?” Applejack asked in a nervous tone.

“Not yet.” Twilight said. She’s probably busy.

“But he’s public enemy number one. What else could she be doing?”

“I don’t know.” Twilight said in a defeated tone.

“Hey, girls.” Rainbow Dash said walking into the library. “What are you doing?”

“We were checking to see if Princess Celestia wrote back.” Twilight explained.

“About what?”

“The creature.” Applejack said.

“What happened this time?” Rainbow Dash asked.

“Ah talked to him.” Applejack answered causing the prismatic mare to gasp.

“You talked to it?” Rainbow Dash asked for confirmation.

“Him. And yes ah did talk to him.” She responded. “He seemed like a nice guy.”

“Yeah, but didn’t he shoot you?” Rainbow said.

“He said it was an accident.” She said. “And he was trying to fight monsters that came from his homelands. He said there are never bodies, just loot he can pick up. Lastly, he told me not to blame you for your actions, so ah won’t. But I expect you apologize to him.” Applejack finished, glaring at her.

“And why should I apologize?” This time Twilight responded.

“Because of all the guards that have been sent after him to try and hunt him down like an animal!” She told Rainbow. “In fact, you should probably apologize to the guards, too, just to be safe.”

“Fine.” Rainbow Dash conceded. “But we still have to catch him first.”

“Leave that to the guards.” Twilight said.

“You okay?” Steve asked Jean. She was currently huddled in her wings in order to save body heat.

“Y-yeah. J-just a l-little b-b-but c-cold.” She stuttered. Dragons, like most cold blooded animals, relied on an outside source in order to stay warm. Normally the sun would be that source, but it was too cold for her to go outside.

“A little?”

“V-very.” She replied still shivering. Steve sighed.

“I’ll go get more wood for a campfire.” He told her. “Just wait here.”

“I-I don’t h-have m-much of a ch-ch-choice.” She said. He walked over to the dragon. He got on his knees and wrapped his arms around her. She saw it as an act of kindness, but it was actually an act of science. The transfer of heat helped her warm up.

“Stay strong.” He said. Before he left, he looked through her chest. “I’ll take a few of these potions just in case, okay?” Jean simply nodded.

Steve then turned, and headed out of the cave. Steve walked along the snowy ground. He sank deeper into the snow, with every step.

He came across a huge ice lake. Underneath it was the shivering cold water, way too cold for anyone to even think about swimming in. The ice looked pretty thin, so he wouldn’t want to have to fight on it. In fact, he wanted to get to the other side as soon as possible.

“Alright, time to get wood.” He told himself. He pulled out his axe and began hacking away at the nearest tree.

After about an hour of tree chopping he had gathered around fifty logs. “I should probably replant these saplings.” He told himself. He took a second to look at the snow around him. “Later.” He added.

The snow was too thick for him to plant. It probably wouldn’t grow, too. He turned to get home as quick as he could. Jean really needed these logs for a camp fire. He heard a sound that made him freeze in his stride. The sound of armor clanking caught his ear. He searched for the source of the sound, and he found it. There were around fifty guards marching in rows along with the Sargent, Corporal, Captain, and another alicorn.

“I wonder who she is.” He whispered to himself. He didn’t want to find out, yet. For now, he had to get back to his home in order to help Jean. He snuck beside the guards using the bushes as cover. He continued through the thick brush almost matching the guards step for step. Then, he came across the ice chasm from earlier. “Shit.” He said under his breath.

He really didn’t want to fight on it, but there was no other way back. He couldn’t sneak because there was no cover on it to hide behind. He sighed.

“I guess I gotta make a run for it.” Steve said. He leaped out of the bushes and sped past the guards. Once he was on the bridge he looked back to see how they reacted to him. Several spears immediately came at him. He dodged them all but was caught off guard by a magic shot to the back.

“Ow.” He said as he rubbed it. He looked down and what he saw below gave him the chills. He had made a small crack in the ice. Quickly rolling over, he deflected another magic attack. He quickly got up on his feet. None of the ponies dared set foot on the ice out of fear. However, that didn’t stop the pegasi. They came at him dropping like dive bombers. He ducked under one and blocked another with his shield. He turned and continued running. Suddenly, a huge shadow cast over him. Bigger than any other pony or pegasus. It almost completely blocked out the sun. He turned to see the alicorn coming down to attack. She swooped down at high speeds. She fired several blasts at him to which he easily deflected. Right before she made contact with the ground, she pulled up. She was about to land on the crack Steve had made. He stared in horror.

“Wait, Princess!” He heard from behind her, but it was too late. She had made contact with the ice and just as Steve suspected, it couldn’t support her weight. The ice cracked and she fell through.

Stone watched in horror as Princess Celestia was about to land on a piece of cracked ice. He reacted quickly and immediately ran out after her.

“Wait, Princess!” He cried out desperately, but to no avail. She stood on the crack and fell right through. He saw the creature on the other side. The crack then begin to spread, heading at both the Sargent and the creature.

“Stone! Look out!” He heard from behind him. Stone backed up but slipped on the ice. The creature had the exact opposite reaction and headed after the Princess. Stone didn’t have time to think about why he was just trying to survive. He looked as the crack came right under the creature and he fell, too.

“Motherfucking cun-!” he tried to yell as he fell through. Then the crack came straight up to Stone. Time seemed to slow.

He looked back at his squad and the terrified expressions they wore. Then, he felt the ground give away from underneath him. His body dropped into the unknown. He hit his head on what felt like a ledge.

“Stone! No!” He heard what sounded like the Corporal crying out, but it was too muffled for him to tell.

“Corporal stay ba-.” He heard right before he felt a sharp pain in his head, and everything went black. Now he knew how the dragon must’ve felt.

Chapter 16: Meeting Face-to-Face

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Stone awoke with a gasp. He heard what sounded like the cackling of fire coming from his right. He rolled over and looked at the fire. Laying on one side was the Princess. Sitting on the other was a bipedal, who must’ve seen Stone roll over.

“I see you’re awake.” He said.

“Yep.” Stone said sitting up. “What happened? How did I get here?”

“We were fighting on the ice lake when it cracked and we fell through.” Steve explained.

“Oh. I think I remember now.” Stone said raising a good to his chin.

“You and this alicorn fell through. I ran to the edge of the ice to try and pull her out, but the ice underneath me cracked. Once I went underwater, I swam after her body which was knocked out by the cold, just like you. Speaking of which, you hit your head on the ice, but you were still awake, barely. It didn’t take long for the cold to get the better of you. You went unconscious due to the extreme cold. I dragged you and her down to this cave and blocked off the water. Then, I used my logs to build a campfire. You probably don’t remember it because you have hypothermia. That usually leads to memory loss.” Steve explained. “By the way how are you feeling right now?”

“I got a huge bucking headache, and all my limbs are sore.” He said.

“Makes sense. Just keep warm while I try and find away out of here. Tell me if the alicorn wakes up.” Steve said.

Stone nodded. He watched as the bipedal walked off into the darkness. Then the memories came back.

”Stone!” He remembered the Corporal frantically cried. He remembered the horrified look on the others’ faces. Lastly, he remembered why he was there in the first place: the creature. Why did he save him. It didn’t make sense. He even saved the Princess. But why?

Steve sighed as he looked for an exit. He knew as soon as the Sargent remembered everything, he wounds trust Steve, but Steve needed to care for them. He had to go back. He reached the end of the cave. Nothing. Just a huge rock wall.

“Well, I suppose I could mine a way out. But that would be to risky because of the water.” He told himself. “I’ll check on the two and see if they have any ideas.”

He turned and headed back to the campfire. There, he saw Sargent Stone standing there, spear in hand. While he held it firm, it wasn’t pointed at him. Steve sighed.

“Listen, St-.” But Stone cut him off before he could finish.

“Why did you save us? You had no reason to. Why?” He asked.

“Because it’s not your fault. There was a huge misunderstanding, and Twilight Sparkle sent a letter to the princesses about it. Once they received it, they decided to take military action. You know the rest. I didn’t want to fight any of you. And I definitely didn’t want to-.”

“Kill us.” Stone finished. “I always wondered why you didn’t, despite having all the reason to.” He sighed. “What’s your name?”

“Excuse me?” Steve asked in a questioning tone.

“We gotta start somewhere. What’s your name?”


“Cool. I’m-.”

“Sargent Stone Hoof.” Steve said. “Yeah I’ve heard you say that before.”

“Oh. Okay. Nice to meet you Steve.” Stone said extending a hoof.

“Nice to meet you, too.” Steve replied shaking his hoof. They were interrupted by a groan. They looked over to the white alicorn laying on the ground.

“Ow.” She said, rubbing her head.

“Your highness.” Stone said running over to check on her. “Are you okay?”

“Not really, Stone Hoof.” She replied.

“You good?” She heard someone else say from behind. She rose her head and nearly gasped at what she saw behind him.

“Wait. Aren’t yo-.”

“It’s okay, Princess.”

“But isn’t he-.”

“The creature.” Steve finished.

“Yes!” She shot back quickly.

“Your highness, with all due respect, he just saved our lives. He didn’t have to, but he did it anyways.”

“Really?” The alicorn asked.

“Yes. I talked to him. At first I was a bit skeptical, but I found out the truth later. Can you, please, trust him?”

“Alright.” She said shooting a glare at the crafter. “But where are we?”

“In an underwater cave.” Steve answered. “You were knocked out by the extreme cold and I pulled you and Stone into this cave. Then I quickly blocked it off. Now I’ve gotta question for you, what’s your name? I got Stone’s, so what’s yours?”

“I am Princess Celestia. What’s yours?”

“I’m Steve. So you’re the other princess I read about.” Steve said.

“You read about me?” She inquired.

“Yep. I decided to ‘borrow’ a book from the library to get more information about this world.” Steve explained. “Don’t worry, I returned it.”

“Wait, what do you mean ‘this world?’” Stone asked.

“I’m not from this world. I don’t know how or why, but I somehow managed to get into this world.”

“Well, what was your world like?” Celestia asked.

“Horrifying. It used to be crawling with civilizations, but, now, it’s practically empty of all civilizations. When night rolls around, I have to either sleep or fight vicious monsters, each equipped with their own way of killing you. Whether it’s by touching you like zombies, suicide bombing like creepers, or shooting a fucking laser beam from their eye like guardians, they all have a way to kill you. Three skeletons, a monster that shoots at you with bows and arrows, got transported with me in my sleep. I was able to shoot all three of them, but I accidentally hit a pony. That’s how it all started. Since, most beings from my world just fall over and disappear, I had no evidence to prove it was an accident, so I was forced to flee.” Steve explained.

“Most of that flew over my head.” Stone said. “Except for that last part.”

“Same here, Sargent. Steve, I am terribly sorry for this misunderstanding that resulted in your ultimate shunning from pony kind.” She said.

“Eh, it’s alright. After all, it was mostly my fault.” He said. “Nonetheless, it’s time to put that behind us and find a way out of here.”

“You’re right.” Stone said. “Have you tried digging? I hear you are somehow able to do it exceptionally fast.”

“No. I don’t wanna risk it flooding.”

“Then what do we do? We can’t just sit here and wait to be rescued because the rescue team has no idea where we are.” Celestia said.

“And I don’t think you can teleport us out of here, ma’am.” He said. He pointed up, above her head at her horn. Or at least where it should have been. It was extremely broken, almost down to her head.

“Here, drink this.” Steve said handing her a bottle with a red liquid.

“What is that?” She asked skeptical.

“A potion of healing. It should instantly heal any damage sustained.” Steve explained.

She grabbed it from his hands and quickly swallowed the liquid down. Stone and her gasped in shock when they saw her horn grow back. Not fully but quite a bit.

“Thank you, Steve.” She said.

“No problem, Princess.” He told her.

“Please, just call me Celestia.” She said.

“Okay, Celestia.” He smiled.

“Hey, guys!” Stone called out.

“What is it, Sargent?” Celestia asked.

“I think I’ve got a plan.” He said. “Does anyone have anything that can float?” Steve quickly caught on to the plan, or at least had a hunch.

“Yeah. All items where I’m from float.”

“Perfect. You have anything we can write on?”

“Yep, I’ve got a book and quill right here.” Steve said.

“Rip out a page so-.”

“We can send it to the surface.” Celestia finished.

“Exactly.” Stone smiled a cheeky grin.

“But how are we gonna get it out of here?” She asked.

“We tear down the wall.” He said.

“I’ve got an idea.” Steve said.

“So how are we going to find them?” The Corporal asked with a worried tone.

“I don’t know.” Shining Armor said, equally worried.

“Sir! There’s something floating in the water!” A guard shouted. The captain picked it up. It was a note.

“Guards. Look for a stream of rising blocks underwater.”

“There!” One shouted. There was a stream of cobblestone blocks flowing to the surface from a cave.

“They’re in the cave.” He said. “Quickly, we’ve gotta find away down there.”

“Sir, the weather pegasi are here.” Another guard said.

“Perfect. Get them to warm up the water.”

“Yes, sir.”

“Don’t worry Stone, we’re bringing you home.” Corporal Eagle said under her breath.

“You know this great plan of yours is looking really lousy about now.” Celestia said.

“Now’s not the time.” Stone said. “Steve throw another block in.”

“Alright, but I’m almost out of cobblestone.” He told him, before chucking another cobblestone into the water. They were standing on a platform, Steve made, that was high above the freezing cold water. Steve was throwing cobblestone into the water in an attempt to alert the other guards. Steve felt something brush his shoulders. He looked up to see small pieces of the rock roof falling. Not enough to crush them, but definitely something to be worried about.

“That roof doesn’t look very stable.” Steve said. “It appears the ice has made cracks in it.”

“Yeah, but it was perfectly fine when we first got here, so what’s going on?” Celestia asked.

“The water is getting warmer.” Steve said. “One way or another the water is getting warmer, and the ice in the cracks is melting.” A shiver was sent down all their spines when they heard a small cracking.

“I don’t think it will last much-.” Celestia was cutoff mid-sentence by the roof coming crashing down. She quickly caught it with her magic, but the force of the water was too much, and she was slowly being pushed back.

“Get against the wall!” Stone yelled. Steve and him retreated quickly while Celestia slowly backed up. Eventually, her magic gave away and she was struck in the head by the rock roof. Stone managed to create his own shield deflecting all the debris away from him. Steve simply put up his shield which was just as effective. The water kept them pinned up against the wall. It was much warmer now so Stone was able to retain consciousness. Unfortunately, Celestia couldn’t. Steve closed his eyes, preparing for the worst. He was slowly losing air.

Then, all of a sudden, it felt as if all the water was pushed away from them. Steve opened his eyes to see all the water flowing out to the ocean.

“Of course, I should have known!” Stone said smiling.


“This river leads out to the sea, but during the winter, it’s usually blocked by layers of ice. Now that it’s melted it’s all flowing out to see. They must’ve built a dam further upstream. The captain’s a smart stallion.”

“Stone!” The Corporal and captain cried out. They were on top of the newly formed ravine. He waved back at them, dropping his barrier. Steve and him fell back on the platform with Celestia’s limp body.

“Sister? Sister can you hear us?” Luna asked, frantically. No response. She scowled as she looked up at Steve.

“Oh boy.” Steve said.

“Princess, calm down.” Stone tried to assure her. “He didn’t do it.”

“Nonsense. There’s no way he couldn’t.”

“Ma’am, I need you to-.” He was cutoff by a furious Luna.

“Out of my way!” She angrily yelled, charging right at Steve. Only to be blocked by a barrier.

“Stone, what are you doing? Get out of there!” His friends shouted.

“I’m doing what’s right!” He yelled. “Steve, we need to get out of here.”

“Don’t worry I’m already on it.” He quickly pulled out his pic and began to tunnel away from them. Luna shook her head for a second before turning to the guards.

“Get them! We must tend to our sister.”

“Yes ma’am.” They said fearfully. Stone dodged one attack, before deflecting another. He quickly ran after Steve, mouthing to words to his friends before he entered the tunnel,

”I’m sorry.”

Chapter 17: Back on the Run

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“Quickly! Block it off!” Stone yelled frantically at Steve. Steve responded by quickly filling the tunnel he had made.

“Now we’ve gotta go up. I’ve got a plan.” Steve said. He mined up, breaking one block and then broke the block that was right above Stone. He then jumped up and placed a black below him. “Jump on this.” He told him.

Stone did as told and jumped on the block. Steve moved onto the block Stone was previously on. Steve jumped up and placed a block below him.

“Alright now get back on this block.” Stone, again, cooperated.

“Oh, I see now.” Stone said. Steve jumped back on the first block and began towering again. They repeated this tactic until they reached the surface. Steve quickly broke the dirt and climbed out. Stone followed suit and climbed out after Steve.

“There they are!” He heard two ponies shout.

“Quickly, let’s get moving.” Steve said.

“Stone wait!” What sounded like the captain shouted from behind.

“No!” He yelled back. He forced back tears as they ran through the forest.

“Stone stop!” Steve shouted. Stone came to a halt as he looked at what made Steve stop. They were on the edge of a chasm. Steve looked at the other side.

“I’ve gotta plan. You have to trust me.”

“Alright.” Stone said. Steve pulled out a ender pearl and threw it with his to the other side. He looked back at Stone who was now surrounded by guards.

“Stone, wait.” The Corporal said stepping towards him. “Why are you doing this?”

“Because it’s my job.”

“What part of this is your job?!” She shouted angrily at him.

“Doing the right thing.” He said in his usual calm voice. “Yes, I’m supposed to protect Equestria, but I also need to do what’s right, no matter what. Whether I have to break a couple rules or disobey orders, I’ll do whatever it takes.”

“But Stone, I thought we were friends. I thought you cared about me.” She said as she menacingly circled him. “I thought you cared about the captain! I thought you cared about the squad! But you leave us behind for some creature! How could you do such a thing?!?! You didn’t just betray Equestria, no no no, you also betrayed us!” She shouted with a mighty rage.

Tears began to form in her eyes. Stone hated it when that happened. He never liked seeing her cry and always felt the urge to with her.

“I agree with the Corporal!” Captain Armor said. “Stone, you are making a huge mistake! Come back while the consequences are still minuscule.”

“The only thing that’s minuscule is your grip on the situation!” He yelled back, practically crying. “Steve has been wronged several times. So I’m helping him! And I’m trying to help you, too. So please, leave us alone.” He said, begging them through his tears.

His former comrades stared at him angrily. The Corporal, captain, and other guards all glanced at each other before nodding.

“Stone, I’ve got a question for you, if that creature is your friend, why isn’t he helping you? Why did he decide to flee and leave you here?” The captain asked.

“He has a plan. I-I just don’t know what it is.”

“And you trust him?” The Corporal asked.

“I,” he started before briefly stopping to sigh. “I trust him with my life.” He stated head hanging low.

“Good decision!” Someone yelled from behind. Stone whirled around to see Steve on the back of a dragon. “Let’s get him outta there, Jean!” He yelled out.

“Copy that.” She smiled. Stone turned back to his comrades.

“I told you he’d come back. You just have got to trust others. Please, trust me with my decisions.”

The guards stood stock still for a second, perhaps in shock by the crafter riding a dragon. They quickly snapped out of there trance like phase and focused on Stone again. Their faces morphed into expressions of anger. They all, including his two friends, armed their spears and pointed them at Stone.

“Seize him!” The captain ordered.

“And that’s our cue.” Steve said. He jumped off of Jean and blocked one attack with a shield before deflecting another with his sword. Stone deflected a magic attack with his sword before deflecting a spear. Captain Armor made an attempt towards Steve that he blocked with his shield before kicking him aside. The Corporal went straight for Stone, fury in her eyes. Despite them both being unicorns, they were both better with a sword than magic. She swung first, but Stone easily ducked under it she then came back around and Stone blocked it with his own. She continued to push with her anger-filled attack.

“Corporal,” Stone whispered under his breath, “I’m sorry.” Before he dropped his sword. He dodged his falling weapon and ducked underneath Eagle’s before swiftly pivoting and bucking her straight in the face. Her body was sent flying back and landed limply.

“Get on her back!” Steve ordered.

Stone grabbed his sword and ran towards the dragon. He quickly jumped on Jean’s back like he was told.

“Come on Steve!” Jean said. Steve turned towards the duo. He waved his hands in their direction.

“Go! Go! Go!” He yelled. Jean began to soar off the chasm. Steve jumped on barely grabbing onto one of her arms. She pulled him up, onto her back.

“Let’s get out of here.” Stone said. He turned back at his former comrades and waved a sad goodbye.

“Pegasi, pursue them!” The captain yelled. Several pegasi took off and headed in their direction.

“Hey guys,” Stone started, “we’ve got company.”

“Jean, I hope you know some evasive maneuvers.” Steve said. Jean gulped in response.

“I’ll try.”

“We’re going to need something better than you trying. We’re going to need you to actually do it.” Steve told her.

“Incoming! Seven o’clock!” Stone shouted. Jean dived at nine to avoid the pegasus.

“Another one! Six o’clock!” Stone yelled. The pegasus flew at her, but Steve blocked the attack with his sword. There were three pegasi flying in a V formation.

“Jean! Dive! I’ve got a plan.” Steve yelled.

“Alright.” She said. She dived down into the forest at high speed. The three pegasi trailed them.

“Alright now pull up.” She did as told and pulled up. The pegasi shadowed her. Steve pulled out his axe and sliced the top of a tree off on the way up. It fell down towards the pegasi. The one in the lead got hit right in the face and fell to the ground.

“One down, two to go.” Steve said. “I’ll jump off, and take one down, I want you to circle back around and pick me up. I’ll probably be falling. Stone, do you think you can catch me?”

“Are you insane?!?!” Stone yelled.

“Fuck yeah!” Steve answered. “Now get ready.”

Steve let go of Jean. He targeted the pegasus in the front. He grabbed onto his face, blinding him. The other pegasus continued to pursue the other two. Despite not being able to see the pegasus continued tousled with Steve. Just like Steve planned, Jean came back around. However, when she did, she ran right into Steve knocking them out of mid-air. The pegasus chasing them bumped into Jean’s back and they all lost control. The five creatures were falling from high up. Steve thought fast.

He opened up his crafting menu in his inventory. Then, he combined his potion of slow fall with gunpowder to make a splash potion. He pulled it out and threw it at someone. Just as expected, all of their falls began to slow. It wasn’t a moment too soon either. They were right about to hit the ground. All five of them landed softly.

“What. The buck. Was. That?” One of the Pegasi asked.

“Potion of slow fall.” Steve stated. He turned to his friends. “Now come on let’s go.”

The three took off. One of the pegasi got up to pursue them, but the other stopped him.

“Wait. We’ll regroup then pursue them.” She said.

“Alright.” They turned and headed back towards Ponyville.

Chapter 18: Mixed Feelings

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“Wait, they arrested you?” Steve asked in disbelief.

“Yep. I got off lucky and only served two months. Most people served for two years.” Stone explained.

“So if you wanted a different form of government, why not just leave?” Jean asked.

“Well, Equestria is my home. It would be hard for me to leave my friends and family. Furthermore, most other lands have a monarchy. In fact, Equestria is the only place with a constitutional monarchy.” Stone explained.

“Well where I’m from, there are many forms of government, like constitutional monarchies which is the form of government where I’m from, or communism like in the United States of Soviet Redsville.” Steve explained.

“Redsville? Seems like a strange name.” Stone said.

“It is. They are called that because they are really good at using redstone. In fact, I had a friend who’s parents were able to flee when it collapsed. We tease him for being communist because it’s kind of a joke where I’m from.” He said. “But he was one of the best at using redstone in our school.”

“Interesting. I’ve heard of communism before. Something about everyone being equal.” Stone said.

“It’s kind of like that, but a lot more complicated.” Steve said. “Anyways, I’m tired. I’m gonna go to sleep.”

Steve pulled out his bed and was about to place it. He was stopped by a gasp from his right. It was by Jean.

“S-Steve, what are you doing?” She asked. Steve was confused. Then it him. She was scared of beds. He remembered using a bed in the End to try and kill her. He smiled an evil grin. Walked towards her with the bed.

“Oh, Jean. Look out.” She screamed as she backed into a corner.

“S-Steve p-put that thing a-away.” She said.

“Okay.” He said, putting the bed down.

“No Steve.” She said.

“Oh I’m just gonna go to sleep.” He said.

“Steve! No!” She yelled as she ducked in the corner. But to her surprise he just jumped in the bed and closed his eyes.

“W-what happened?” She stuttered.

“I told you, I was just gonna sleep.” He teased.

“B-but why didn’t i-it b-blow up?” She asked.

“Cause we’re not in the End or the Nether.” Steve explained. “They don’t explode anywhere else.” She took a moment to take it all in before turning towards Steve.

“Fuck you, Steve!” She yelled at him. He laughed in response. Stone was practically dying of laughter in the corner.

“Anyways, like I said, I’m going to go to sleep.” Steve said. “I’ll see you two tomorrow.”

Captain Armor and Corporal Eagle sat at the bar. It wasn’t empty, of course it wasn’t, most of the people there were either a group of friends hanging out having the time of their lives, or people who just got divorced and are suffering from crippling depression.

“I can’t believe he’d just leave us like that.” Shining Armor said.

“Yeah. We’ve been friends since we were foals.” The Corporal stated.

“What if he’s right?” The captain asked.

“What do you mean?” She questioned.

“Well, what if he’s right about the creature? He could be telling the truth.”

“Then,” she started not knowing where she’s going with it, “then we’ll look like a bunch of xenophobic bastards.” She finished.

“Yeah.” The captain said, downing another shot. “Well, I’m gonna head back to the barracks. See ya.”

“Alright, I’ll see you tomorrow.”

Steve rose up from his bed. He looked around the cave. Stone was sleeping on the floor in a little corner. Jean was huddled up in a ball in a different corner. Steve hopped out of the bed and took a look outside the house. He took a deep breath. The clean air in his lungs felt great. The warm sun shining down on his face relaxed him.

“Hey Steve.” He heard from behind.

“Oh, hey Stone.” He responded.

“What are you doing?”

“Just admiring the sunrise.”

“It sure is beautiful.” Stone stated. “Y’know it feels good to get out of the city and experience what life has to offer.”

“Yep.” Steve agreed. They stood there looking off into the distance. Stone sighed a heavy sigh. It didn’t sound like one of relief. “You good, man?” Steve asked.

“Yeah. It’s just,” he stopped for a second to figure out where he was going, “I, I feel awful.”

“About what?”

“Leaving my friends. For some reason, I feel it’s so wrong, even though I’m doing the right thing. It’s just a bunch of mixed feelings.”

“Well, I guess that’s just your brain fucking with you.” Steve said. “Or, maybe, you just care about them a lot.”

“Yeah. That’s probably it.”

The two sat there in silence for a little while.

“Steve,” Stone started, breaking the silence, “how are we going to improve your image?”

“What do you mean?” Steve asked confused.

“How are we going to make you not look like a bad guy?” Stone elaborated.

“Well, we could wait for Celestia to show up and clear my name.” Steve said. “By the way, why hasn’t she already?”

“Perhaps that rock hit her harder than we thought.” He said.

“Perhaps. Anyways, the best we can do is wait. Give her a week or two.”

“Alright. If she still hadn’t cleared you?”

“Then we investigate.” He said.

“Why are there more troops arriving?” Corporal Eagle asked.

“I don’t know. Perhaps after what he did to Celestia, Luna ordered more troops to come.”

“Probably. But even the General is here.” She said.

“Yeah, he usually isn’t on the front lines.” The captain said.

“Why don’t we ask him what’s going on?” She said.

“That seems like a good idea.” The two walked up to the General. He had blue fur with a dark blue mane. He wore a really dark blue jacket displaying his command.

“Sir,” the captain started, “why are all these new troops here?”

“Princess Luna requested all army and Air Force reserves help deal with the threat here.”

“Army and Air Force?” The Corporal questioned. “Wait, does that mean-?”

“Yes, even the Wonderbolts are here.” He said pointing towards a group of ponies. They, of course weren’t wearing their stunt uniforms, but were equipped with the best Air Force armor the ponies had. The Corporal leaned towards the captain.

“You know I’ve always wanted to meet them.” She whispered.

“I know you’ve only told me that a million times.” The captain said annoyed. “But now’s not the time. We need to start planning.”

“Right. I’ll meet them later.” She said.

“Goodbye, General.” They said. “We’ll meet you in the conference room in ten.” The captain said.

“Alright. I’ll see you two there.”

Chapter 19: Checking Up

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“Where are you going?” Stone asked. Steve was in the cave getting gear from the chest.

“To Ponyville.” He said.

“Ponyville?!?!” Are you insane?” He asked.

“Listen, I have some friends there. I need to make sure they’re okay.” He said.

“You have some friends there?” The Sargent asked.

“Yeah. Four of them in fact.” He said.

“Wow. You really are a master sneaker. How did you make four friends behind our backs?”

“Well, I met two by accident and the other two by a misunderstanding.” He told him. “Look it’s a long story. I need to go now. Now that I have potions of invisibility I can travel to the town, undetected.”

“Oh, that’s how you snuck by us.”

“Yeah. Well, I’ll see you later. Take care of Jean for me.”

“Alright. One more thing, Steve.”


“Can you check up on my friends. I still feel very bad. I hurt them. And even though it was the right thing to do, that doesn’t take away the pain they’re feeling. I just want you to make sure they’re alright. You don’t even have to go in the barracks.”

“Alright. I’ll make sure they’re okay.” Steve smiled. “I’ll see you later.”

“Alright, bye.” Stone said.

“I feel bad for Stone.” Steve told Derpy.

“Why?” The mare asked.

“He had to leave his friends behind for me.” He said. “They cared about each other a lot, but now I’ve torn them apart. I wish I could make it right.”

“Well, why not just bring them back together?”

“Because I was the one who split them. I need to make it up to them. Not just Stone, but his friends, too.”

“I’m sure you’ll think of something when the time comes.” Derpy said.

“Hopefully.” Steve said. “Anyways, how have you been?”

“I’ve been good. Applejack came by and fixed the roof. Other than that, nothing too out of the ordinary. Just working my jobs and taking care of Dinky.”

“Okay, cool. How’s Dinky?”

“She’s good, too. She’s doing well in school, and she has a lot of friends.”

“Good.” Steve said. “Well I just came to check up on you, I’ll see you around, I guess.”

“Bye.” Derpy said. Steve walked to the doorway. He drank an invisibility potion. Derpy opened the door, just so it wouldn’t look suspicious. Steve walked out and made a break for the second place he wanted to go, Sweet Apple Acres.

After a short run, Steve made it to where he wanted to go. Now he just needed to find the ponies he wanted to find. He went to the barn, and slowly opened the door.

“Applejack? You in here? It’s me, Steve.” Steve said.

“Steve? What are ya doin’ here?” She asked, walking into his view. “Wait where are ya?”

“I’m invisible, in order to sneak around. Anyways, I was just checking up on you. Especially after what happened, I have to make sure you’re okay.”

“Oh okay.” She said before realizing something. “Wait what happened?”

“Princess Luna assumed I had knocked out her sister. I didn’t actually do it, but she attacked me anyways.”

“Why? Why would she do that?”

“Emotions. Not hate though. She did it out of love.” He told her.

“Love?” She asked.

“Love for her sister. They cared about each other a lot, so she acted out of love and assumed I did it. Personally, I don’t blame her.” He said. “Anyways, enough about me, how have you been?”

“Ah’ve been pretty good. Apple sales are good. Ah just submitted my tax returns yesterday so that’s out of the way.”

“Ugh, taxes. Never liked them.”

“Me either, partner.” She said. “Not much else has happened.”

“Cool. Well I should probably be on my way.”

“Alright, bye.” Applejack said.

“See ya.” Steve said. “Two more ponies.” Steve said. He had done so much running, he didn’t realize that the darkness of night was already setting in.

“How did thou let them get away?!?!” A livid Luna yelled at the captain and the Corporal. “There were at least thirty of thee and only two of them!” She yelled.

“We’re sorry, ma’am. They escaped on a dragon.” The captain explained rather calmly. That was one of his traits. He could remain calm under a lot of pressure.

“A dragon?”

“Yes, ma’am. We believe that is the creature’s friend.” The captain further elaborated.

“Corporal Eagle.” Luna told her.

“Y-yes ma’am?” She asked timidly.

“Who was the pony that left with him?”

“Y-you don’t know? H-he was right next to-.” She was cutoff.

“Tell us who did it!” She angrily yelled.

“I-it was S-Sargent Stone. He was-.”

“Silence! I only wanted to know his name!”

“Sorry, ma’am.”

“Now, go get the creature. We don’t want you to capture it anymore. We would like for you to kill it.” She turned to two other guards. “You two, prepare the dungeon.”

“Yes ma’am.” They said. Luna took off leaving the captain and Corporal alone in the barracks.

“Kill it?” Eagle asked unsure.

“If that’s what she asked...” the captain trailed off, “then I guess that’s what must be done. Remember what they told us in training.”

“Good soldiers follow orders.” She said as they began to walk back to their rooms.

“Yep. As much as I disagree I don’t see any reason why we should disobey it. Unless, of course, Stone is telling the truth.” The captain stopped. “You know what? We’re not going to kill it. We’re gonna let it stand trial.”

“Are you sure? We’re gonna get fired for that.” She said.

“I don’t care. It’s right. He must stand trial.”

“Fine. If you go down, I’m going down with you. I’ll see you tomorrow.” She said.

“Good night.” The captain replied. Before they split to head to their rooms, they heard someone yell.

“There’s the creature!” They shouted.

“We would like for you to kill it.” Luna said.

“Shit.” Steve whispered. He turned to head home. Now he needed to stay away from the barracks. He needed to get back home to Jean and Stone.

“There’s the creature!” Someone yelled.

“Fuck.” He said under his breath. It was only now he realized his invisibility had worn off. He took off in a sprint. The guards ran behind him at full speed.

“Come on! He’s this way!” One of them shouted. Steve quickly put on his armor just to be safe. He needed to get home. Steve outpaced the guards, however, his hunger was running low.

“Gotta eat, gotta eat.” He said to himself. He slowed down and ate two bread to get his hunger up.

“We’re right on his tail!” Another one shouted. Steve quickly took off again. He saw rustling in the bushes ahead of him. He turned left cause he didn’t want to take his chances on what was causing it. It was a good choice because several more guards emerged through the bushes to try and cut him off. He continued running.

“Later.” He said.

“Stop him!” The captain yelled.

“You sure he’s alright.” Jean asked. “I get it he’s a tough guy, but he isn’t invincible.”

“Come on, Jean.” Stone said. “He probably ran into a couple of guards. Nothing he can’t handle.” There was a sudden explosion coming from the forest. “I hope.”

“Let’s get down there and check it out.” Jean said.

“Yeah.” Stone agreed. They descended down the mountain quickly. Once they reached the ground, a bush in front of them started to rustle. Then, out fell a very tired crafter.

“Hey guys.” He said panting. “We’ve got company.”

Jean looked in horror at the many ponies of all kinds charging at them.

“Shit.” Was all she said.

“That’s what I said.” Steve joked.

“Now’s not the time.” Stone said. “There’s at least sixty of them.”

Steve quickly got off the ground. He pulled out his sword and shield and turned to the ponies. They emerged from the bushes behind Steve. The captain and Corporal led the way, followed by the general and one pony Steve wished to never see again.

“Luna.” Steve whispered.

“Well, well, well. Look what we have here.” She said. “The creature and his two companions. Stone, thou was a fool for betraying us. Thou is only 19 years old. How could thou be so sure of thyself despite being so naive.”

“You’re only 19 years old?!” Steve asked loudly.

“I’m old enough to know the truth.” Stone answered, ignoring Steve. Seeing Stone didn’t care, Steve just turned back to Luna. “Steve here has been wronged many times. It appears I’m the only one trying to make it right.” Stone finished.

“Save it for the judge.” Corporal Eagle snarled at him.

“That won’t be necessary, Corporal.” Luna said. “Guards, kill him.” She ordered.

The guards hesitated for a second. Steve looked around at everyone. The guards, despite being angry at Stone, wore a hesitant look, excluding the captain and Corporal who continued staring at Stone. Stone returned the gaze with his face displaying anger towards his former comrades. Luna was thoroughly pissed. Her gaze was hard as a rock staring right at Steve. Jean wore a look of determination, but she was only determined to protect Steve and Stone, as she held no grudges.

The guards eventually sprung into action, several charging right at Steve. He deflected swords, spears, magic, and bodes with his sword, being careful not to kill anyone. Another pony tried flanking him, only to be kicked aside by the crafter. Luna fired several shots at him, which he deflected away. Then Steve charged at Luna. He punched her across the face, and then went in for another punch. However, she reacted quickly and slapped his punch away. She then shot a bolt of magic at him, that he blocked with his shield. However, he was unable to block her hoof, that tripped him. He landed on his back, giving Luna an opportunity to finish him. Right before she could, however, Jean punched her across the face.

“Thanks, Jean!” Steve said. He got back up and continued to attack Luna. Meanwhile Jean kicked two more guards, before punching them both away. She then flapped her wings causing a massive wind that pushed a lot of guards back. She punched a guard that came from her side, then kicked him towards Stone.

Stone deflected a sword from his former captain before another guard came flying at him. Stone backed off of the captain to quickly uppercut the guard. The captain continued pursuing him. However, another guard tried shooting at Stone from behind. Stone ducked under the attack, and the magic struck the captain in the chest. Stone turned around and saw who shot the magic shot. His former best friend. The Corporal charged right at Stone sword raised high. She brought it down, only for it to be met by Stone’s. He pushed her back before sweeping her off her hooves with the flat side of the sword. She raised her sword to block his hit, but he slapped it out of her hoof. He then pointed the tip right at her.

“That’s why I’m the Sargent.” He said. However, he was quickly interrupted by the captain coming in and tackling him. They rolled for a second and when they came to a stop the captain quickly got up and his horn lit up. However, before he could do anything, he was blown away by a punch. Steve stood over stone reaching out.

“Thanks man.” Stone said.

“No problem.” The two turned back at the fight. “There’s too many.” Steve stated.

“No kidding.” Jean said, backing out of the group. They found themselves pressed up against the mountain.

“Guys,” Steve said turning to his friends, “I just wanna let you know, if we die here, you guys were amazing friends.”

“Thanks.” Was all Stone could say. Too many thoughts were going through his head. Was he really going to die this young? Jean, was also, speechless.

“I know what you’re thinking.” Steve said to his companions. You guys are both very young.” Steve told them as the horse of guards closed in, slowly. “If I die, I want you to run as far away from here. Live the life you haven’t got to live yet.” The guards crept closer and closer. “Live the life that I would take away.” Steve said as he turned to the horde.

Right before the guards got a hit off, they heard a voice from the sky shout out.

“Enough of this!!!” It yelled.

Chapter 20: Understanding Misunderstandings

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Steve looked around for the source. He was surprised by who it was.

“The fucking librarian.” He said to Stone under his breath. It was the damn librarian being flow in by the rainbow pegasus.

“She’s Celestia’s most prized pupil.” He told him.

“Guards, Luna, stop.” She said.

“Twilight. What doth thou mean?” Luna asked.

“Steve is innocent,” she said causing several gasps from the guards, and a look of mistrust by a few, “but don’t take it from me, take it from someone who actually spoke to him.”

“And that would be?” Luna continued.

“Me.” An orange pony said, stepping forwards. “Ah spoke to him.”

“Applejack?” Steve asked.

“Howdy, partner.” She said. “Princess, ah’ve made friends with this here creature. I know him. He told me it was all a big misunderstanding.”

“But what about-?” Luna started but was promptly cut off by the orange earth pony.

“Yes, he told me about the Celestia incident.” Applejack said.

“And thou believes him?” She asked.

“Yes. Ah believe he is innocent. Not just me, but my friends do to.”

“Yeah!” A prismatic pegasus mare said, landing.

“Yes.” A white unicorn said following her.

“I do to.” A yellow pegasus said very softly. “If you don’t mind.”

“Me too! Me too!” Yelled a pink earth pony, bouncing out of the forest.

“We believe he is innocent,” said Twilight, “why don’t you?”

Luna opened her mouth to respond, but then closed it to think about it. She stood there good against her chin for a few seconds.

“Because she cares about her sister.” Steve said.

“What?” Everyone asked simultaneously.

“She loves her sister, and when she assumed I hurt her, she wanted nothing but to kill me.” Steve explained. Luna opened her mouth to argue, but then shut it again. “That’s why I don’t blame you.” Steve said.

“Wait what?” Luna asked in confusion.

“I don’t blame you. You know the saying ‘love overcomes everything?’ That’s essentially what happened. And I can’t blame you for that.” Steve told her.

“Steve!” A new voice cries out. They all looked up and were surprised to see who it was.

“Princess Celestia.” Steve said. “It’s about damn time.” He said, jokingly.

“Sorry, Steve.” She told him. “I had to run an MCTE scan just to make sure there wasn’t any lasting damage. Anyways, thank you for not blaming my sister. I didn’t want you to, and it appears you haven’t.”

“Sister?” Luna asked.

“Ah, Luna,” Celestia said turning to her little sister, “I hope you’ve learned something from this experience.” She told her.

“I think we all did.” The captain said. The other guards nodded their heads in agreement.

“Hey, Stone.” The Corporal said. “We’re sorry.”

“Apology accepted. Honestly, I’ve learned a couple of things along the way.” He said. The Sargent walked right up to his friends. He stopped and spread his hooves open wide. The three wrapped their arms around each other.

“Twilight,” Princess Celestia started, “thank you for your help.”

“Don’t thank me, ma’am, thank Applejack.” She said. “She was the one who became friends with Steve.”

“Nah, don’t thank me,” Applejack said, “thank Derpy. She was his first friend.”

“Derpy?” Celestia asked.

“Yep.” Steve confirmed. “Derpy was my first friend.”

“Wow.” Celestia stated simply. “Well, it’s late, we should probably go home.”

“Yeah.” Steve agreed. “I’m probably gonna stay here tonight. I’ll see you guys tomorrow.”

Steve walked through the forest, en route to Ponyville.

“Are you sure this is a good idea?” Steve asked.

“Don’t worry, I’m sure this will help you and us in the long run.” Celestia reassured him.

“Alright, I’ll try my best to keep calm.” He said.

“Let me handle it.” Celestia told him turning to the town. “Citizen of Ponyville!” She yelled garnering the attention of all the ponies. “I bring forth the ‘Monster of Everfree!’” She said. Steve watched as the crowd gasped. He looked to see a familiar face, Derpy. She probably thought he was captured. “Most of you probably think he is a threat to pony kind!” Celestia continued. “However, that is not the case! He is a hero, and should be honored.” She told them, eliciting a few more gasps from the large crowd. “We will answer questions later. For now, we must announce the discovery to the rest of the world. We will depart for Canterlot.”

“Wait, you mean the capital of Equestria?” He whispered.

“Yes. It would be better to make a statement there. We’ll probably hold a press conference.”

“Alright, well, let’s go. The sooner I can get this over with, the better.” Steve told her.

“Steve, wait,” Jean said, “listen, as much as I want to go with you, I don’t think it would be a good idea. I don’t think it would be a good look for you to have a big, scary dragon next to you as you talk at the-.”

“You’re shy.” Steve asked.

“What?” Jean surprisedly asked.

“You don’t want to join me because your afraid of going up there. I understand. Stay here. Look after Derpy for me.” Steve told her.

“Alright.” She said, smiling.

“I mean, you’re right, a dragon probably wouldn’t be a good look, anyways. No offense.” They shared a laugh before Steve turned to head out.

Steve walked through the halls of the castle. He was flanked by two guards and had Princess Celestia walking in front him. She signaled for them to turn into a room. She was about to open a door before she turned to Steve.

“Alright, Steve, I’m going to introduce you, then, you’ll come on and answer as many questions as possible. Try to keep your answers short as possible because-.”

“I’m gonna get a lot of questions.” Steve finished. “I used to do these all the time.”

“Really?” Celestia asked.

“I was the head of the Department of Defense, so this isn’t out of the ordinary.” Steve said.

“Alright, well, I’m going to go introduce you.” Celestia informed him. She opened the doors that lead into the room. Steve looked to see roughly fifty reporters sitting there waiting for answers which is a pretty good good amount considering it was only confirmed Steve was not there to harm them a few hours ago.

“I must be hot stuff.” He joked to himself. He listened to her little introduction.

“Now without further ado, Steve!” She said as she pointed towards the door. Steve walked in as she stepped down from the podium. She smiled as she walked by him, before leaving the press room.

“Please, get me Sargent Stone.” She said to one of her guards.

“Yes ma’am.” They said as they left. Princess Celestia looked back at the press conference.

“Hello.” Steve said. “I am the Creature known as Steve. Or Steve, known as the Creature, depending on who you are. I’m sure you have many questions, and I’m willing to answer as many as I can. So fire away.”

Every hoof in the room shot up.

“Oh shit.” He whispered, away from the mic. “This is gonna be a long conference.”

“One more question.” Steve said, taking a deep breath.

“Who would you put to blame for these series of events?” A mare asked.

“I won’t put anyone to blame. I believe it was a misunderstanding on everyone’s part, including my own, and I don’t want to put the blame on anyone, rather increase positive relations with you.” Steve answered. “Like I said, that was the last question. Thank you all for attending.” He said as he waved.

The crafter stepped down from the podium. He walked to the exit, and left the room.

“That was quite the conference.” Celestia said.

“Yeah.” He said turning to face her. Standing beside her was two guards and Sargent Stone, who wore a massive smile on his face. Celestia and the guards left, leaving the two alone.

“Hey Steve.” Stone said.

“Hey Sargent. How are you doing?”

“I’m not a Sargent anymore.” He replied.

“Really? What happened?”

“Celestia was pleased with my action regarding the situation and how I took the initiative to actually make peace with you. So I’m not a Sargent anymore. Now, I’m Lieutenant Stone.” He said with a wide grin.

“Wow, that’s great!” Steve exclaimed.

“Yeah!” The lieutenant rejoiced.

“Stone! Steve!” Someone cried out. Stone turned around to look for the source.

“Corporal? Captain? What is it?”

“First of all, congratulations on your promotion, but we’ve got a problem.” The captain explained.

“And that is?”

“Well you know how I’ve always wanted to meet the Wonderbolts?” The Corporal asked.

“Yeah. Everyone knows that.” Stone said, in an annoyed tone.

“Well, I got the chance to meet them, but the thing is, they seemed pretty pissed.”

“About what?”

“For getting associated with a ‘racist’ military operation.” The Corporal finished.

“Wait what?” Steve asked.

“Here.” The captain said handing him a newspaper.

Steve read the title and sighed.

Secretary of Defense Resigns After Racist Military Fluke

This is “not the job it used to be.” Former Department of Defense director Steel Mustang stated after racist operation.

“That old stallion was gonna resign anyway.” The captain said. “I remember he told me at the beginning of the year.”

“You met with him?” Stone asked.

“Yeah.” The captain answered. The Corporal scoffed.

“Yeah, right. Next thing you know you’ll be saying you’re dating a princess.”

“I did!” The captain defended.

“Guys.” Steve said, garnering all of their attention. “We’ve got a problem.”

“Right. So what are we gonna do about it?” The Corporal asked.

“Honestly,” Steve started, “I don’t know.”

The four stood in silence.

Chapter 21: New Misunderstandings

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“Well, during the press conference you said no one was to blame,” Stone started, “so, hopefully, the press will stop blaming us. If that doesn’t work, you’re probably gonna have to make another statement.”

“So we just have to wait for the next papers to roll out, and we should be in the clear.” The captain stated.

“Alright, well I gotta get back to Ponyville. If the situation worsens, you know where to find me.” Steve said. “See ya later.”

“We’ve gotta get back to the barracks.” The captain said.

“Oh yeah,” the lieutenant said, “come on, let’s go.”

The three followed Steve down the stairs and out of the castle. They opened the doors and were caught off guard by what was waiting for them outside. There were reporters and photographers, around 50 of them, waiting outside. The photographers took pictures of the crafter wither the guards, while the reporters tried to ask questions. No one could understand anyone over the yelling and clicking of the cameras.

“Do you think the only reason they believed you were a threat is because you were a non-pony?” Someone asked.

“Would this have happened had you been a pony?” Another pony asked.

“Are we one hundred percent sure he isn’t a threat to ponykind?” Another reporter questioned, this time directed at his friends.

He had gotten there by chariot, but he was told to leave by train. Steve continued to push through to the train station. He was eager to just get on the train and go home. They had a special train waiting for him, just to shield him from the reporters and photographers. He could see it. Several guards stood on the platform, waiting for the crafter. He continued to walk through the swarm, until he finally reached the platform. The guards held the crowd back while he got onto the train. He took a seat and sighed.

“Well that was hell.” He said to himself. The crafter looked out the window, and he watched as his friends got swarmed by the ponies. Then, the train lurched forwards, and they left Canterlot en route for Ponyville.

“Sir, we have reached Ponyville.” A guard said trying to wake the sleeping crafter up. The effect was immediate. Steve quickly shot up. He’d taken a second to take in the situation.

“Thank you.” He said to the guard. He rose up off his seat, and headed for the exit. He stepped off the train garnering the attention of the citizens of Ponyville. Steve knew most of the ponies that lived here. Shit went down all the time, so they were mentally stronger than ponies from most other places.

“And the weirdest.” He whispered under his breath. The reason he said that is because standing right in front of him was a unicorn with a mint green coat and a light cyan mane lined with white stripes. She was flanked with a golden lire auto represent her cutie mark. The reason this caught Steve’s attention was because she wore a huge, creepy smile. She smiled like a clown ready to murder some kids. The crafter approached her.

“Hello. Can I hel-?” He tried to ask, but was cut off. Not by her, but by her friend.

“Lyra!” She yelled. “Leave him alone!” Steve looked up to see a yellow mare with a navy blue mane that had with a pink stripe running right through the middle.

“But-.” She tried to say, but was cut off by Steve.

“Please listen to your friend.” He said politely. “I’ve had a really shitty couple of days, and all I wanna do is go home and relax.”

“Well-.” The mare, now identified as Lyra started. But she was cut off by her friend. She grabbed Lyra by the hoof and started pulling her away.

“Sorry about her, sir, she’s just exited.” The yellow mare apologized.

“Okay. Scared I understand. But excited? That’s new.” Steve stated.

“She’s a curious mare.” She told him. “She gets excited by new people.”

“Oh, okay.” Steve said. “By the way, I never caught your name.”

“Sorry, I’m Bon Bon.” She said.

“Nice to meet you. I’m Steve.” Bon Bon nodded, but then looked around, as if she was checking if anyone was watching her.

“Is it true that a couple of guards still believe you’re a threat?” She whispered.

“No, that’s just a baseless claim made by the media.” Steve clarified.

“Baseless?” Bon Bon asked. “I read that there were a couple of guards and ponies who believe you are still a threat.”

“Really? Where did you read that from?”

“Here.” She said handing him a newspaper. “We’ve gotta get going. I’ll see you later.”

“Bye.” Steve said. This article was by “The Guardian” and was released after his press conference. He walked to a nearby bench, so he could sit and read the newspaper.

’The Creature of Everfree May Still Be a Threat’ Several Guards Claim

He began reading the first article.

The Creature of Everfree, now identified as Steve, was cleared of all charges by Princess Celestia’s official pardoning on this morning. However, multiple guards believed that he didn’t deserve it. In an interview with a guard who was on the hunt for him said, “I’ve seen what he’s done. He doesn’t deserve to be let off so easy.” The guard, Iron Wings, is a Private First Class in the 10th Platoon the Equestrian Royal Guard. She is one of the biggest speakers against the pardoning. She’s quoted saying “I signed up to be a guard to protect Equestria. I believe...

The article continued on page three, but Steve already knew enough. He clenched the newspaper in his fists before putting it in his inventory. He turned to head back to the cave he and Jean called home. The sun had already set so he wanted get home as quickly as possible.

Lieutenant Stone Hoof awoke to a loud sound coming from outside. He was surprised what he saw when he pulled back the curtains. Protesters. Hundreds of them were in the streets, just outside the base.

“What the buck is happening?!” The Corporal asked, loudly.

“I don’t know. We should probably check the captain.”

“Good idea.” The two quickly ran down the halls of the barracks and flew out the nearest exit. They headed right for the captain’s quarters. They bursted through the door, and ran to the captain.

“Sir,” the lieutenant started, saluting, “why-?”

“Are those people in the streets protesting?” The captain finished. “Here.” He said handing Stone a newspaper. Stone quickly read the article and his face slowly transformed from calm to content.

“Get me Iron Wings.” He said to the Corporal.

Steve walked through Ponyville, whistling a happy tune. He watched as some town members looked at him with curiosity and others with fear. He didn’t really care. What he did care about was making it to the train on time. He didn’t exactly want to go to Canterlot, but Princess Celestia sent Twilight a message saying he needed to go there due to a surprise amount of backlash from a large amount of ponies.

“Hopefully, it’s not that bad.” He told himself. “Hopefully.”

Chapter 22: Making Up

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Steve and a couple of guards were the only passengers on the train to Canterlot. It was a pretty long ride, so Steve decided to continue reading the newspaper he had. He decided to read the other aspects of life, like sports.

Chelsea FC Beat Manechester City 1-0 to Take Home the Champions League

In the 42’ a brilliant ball was played through the Mane City defense. The attacker dodged the goalkeeper and slid it into the open net.

That was the top headline. He continued reading. The Trail Blazers beat the Nuggets 115-95 in basketball. The Golden Knights beat the Wild 6-2 to win the series and advance in hockey. He enjoyed most ball sports. He was particularly good at baseball, but he, also, enjoyed basketball and soccer. He didn’t really see the point of getting injured while playing football so he didn’t really get into it. He enjoyed sports as they took his mind off most things.

“Maybe someday I’ll get to play again.” He told himself.

“Sir,” one of the guards said, “we’re here.”

“Okay.” Was all Steve said. He put away the newspaper and prepared to get down. The train came to a screeching halt. Steve and the guards all rose from their seats. They walked out of the exit leaving the train behind. That’s when Steve got a good look at what was happening. There were protestors, hundreds of them.

“What’s happening?” Steve asked one of the guards.

“They’re protesting.” He answered.

“What are they protesting?” Steve inquired further.

“You.” The guard simply responded. Steve immediately understood what was happening. He sighed before beginning to walk towards the castle.

“Now I know why Celestia insisted on having this many guards escort me.” He said under his breath.

“What the bucking hell were you thinking?!?!” Stone shouted angrily at Iron Wings.

“I was just saying what I thought of the creature.” She responded in a timid defensive tone. “I didn’t expect for this to happen.”

“That’s why you think ahead!” He yelled once more. “So you don’t cause a catastrophic clusterbuck!” He continued.

“Hey, I had all the right to say that.” She defended. “He literally knocked out Hawk Eye.”

“And he apologized for it already!” Stone continued to shout.

“Stone,” the Corporal said in a calm voice, “I get that you’re mad, but I don’t think-.” She was cut off.

“Corporal,” Stone said, “imagine if you woke up in a new world, and, for the first two months, you have to fight off all intelligent life coming at you, and when you finally make friends with them, when there’s finally peace, when you can finally rest, some idiot,” he said looking at Iron Wings, “decides to come out and try and put you back in the same position you were in when you started. Imagine that. That’s what Steve is going through.” He said. “Why don’t you try and imagine that Iron Wings?”

Iron Wings and the Corporal stared at him for a long second. Stone took a deep breath. “You’re both dismissed. We’ll continue later.”

The two mares nodded and left Stone alone. He looked out the window at the hundreds of ponies outside.

“I’m sorry, Steve.” Was all he said.

Steve walked into Celestia’s quarters. They were pretty big for just one pony. There he could see the captain, Corporal, and lieutenant sitting around a table. He walked over to the chair and took a seat.

“You know when you said a surprising amount of backlash, I didn’t expect that much.” He said as he sat down.

“Yes, we didn’t expect that much either.” Celestia said. “Speaking of which, we have to do something about it.”

“We could hold another press conference.” The Corporal suggested.

“That probably wouldn’t work.” The captain said. “Because the protests started after the first one.”

“I’ve got an idea.” Steve said.

“What is it?” Celestia asked.

“Let me ask you this, how do you kill a snake?” He smirked.

“By cutting off its head.” Stone said in a tone of realization. “I’m going to assume we all know who the had is?” He asked in a questioning tone.

“Who is it?” Celestia asked.

“Iron Wings.” Steve said, tossing a newspaper to her. “Private First Class in the 10th Platoon.”

“I see.” She responded reading the article.

“I already talked to her this morning.” Stone said.

“Well, then let’s talk to her again.” Steve responded.

“Yeah.” The captain agreed.

“Lieutenant, please try and keep calm.” The Corporal said.

“So, this is her room?” Steve said.

“Yep.” Stone answered. “Room 215 on building 2.”

“Hopefully. Otherwise this move would be pretty awkward.” Steve said.

“What mo-?” Celestia tried to ask.

“FBI! Open up!” Steve yelled before kicking the door open.

“Jeez, chill out.” Stone said. “I already had the key.”

“That would have been good to know.” Steve said.

“What the buck is going on?!?!” A male voice shouted.

“Hawk Eye.” Stone started. “Where the buck is your partner?”

“Me?” Someone asked from the top bunk.

“Yes, you, dumbass.” The lieutenant said. “Who else was I talking about? Get down here.”

“Yes, sir.” She tried to quickly climb down the ladder, but tripped on the second step, and fell on the floor. Steve couldn’t help but laugh, and he heard a small chuckle come from behind him.

“Listen Iron Wings,” Stone started, “you’ve tarnished Steve’s image, so we decided it would only seem right for him to talk to you.”

“Wait, what?” She asked.

“Hey, wassup?” He said as he stepped forwards.

“You.” She snarled.

“Lieutenant, captain, Corporal, and Princess. Would you mind giving us some time alone?”

“Not at all.” Celestia said. She signaled for them to exit the room. Steve saw Hawk Eye following them.

“Not you.” He said. Steve needed him to stay. He had a hunch that he needed confirmation of.

“O-okay.” The stallion said.

“Now, Iron Wings, why do you hate me?” Steve started.

“Because of everything you did to me and my fellow guards!” She yelled angrily at him.

“Well, you don’t see anyone else getting mad at me for that. Stone wasn’t ecstatic when we first finally talked, but he had enough of a brain to figure out what happened. The Corporal and captain both hated my guts, but now we’re as close as friends. What’s up with you?” Steve replied. “If I recall, didn’t you have a beef with me day one?”

“Buck yeah.” She said. “You straight up knocked my partner out. Why wouldn’t I?” She said.

“And why were you pissed about me knocking your partner out?” Steve inquired further.

“Because he’s my partner, and I care about him.” She said.

“So? Luna was Celestia’s sister and even though I knocked her the fuck out, Celestia isn’t holding that against me. Why are you? Is it because you’re closer than partners?” Steve questioned. “Maybe even closer than best friends?” Steve asked as he smirked.

Iron Wings looked over at Hawk Eye who wasn’t really paying attention to their conversation.

“Okay, listen.” She whispered. “You got me. I like Hawk Eye. But please don’t tell him.” She looked at him with pleading eyes.

“No I’m gonna tell him.” Steve said.

“Don’t.” She pleaded further.

“Don’t worry. I’ve got this just trust me.” Steve said.

“What do you think is going on in there?” Stone asked.

“Maybe-.” The Corporal tried to say.

“I did it!” Steve yelled out. “I’m a genius!”

“What happened?” Stone asked.

“It’s getting late. I’ll tell you on the way to the train station.” Steve said.

“But then Hawk Eye fell over and almost crushed her.” Steve laughed. “They didn’t give a shit. They just continued kissing. I took that opportunity to get the fuck out of there.” Steve said. They had arrived at the train station and were just waiting for the train to arrive.

“Well, it’s good to hear you’ve finally deescalated tensions between you two.” Celestia said. The train pulled into the station.

“Well, goodbye guys.” Steve said. “I’ll see you all later.” They all said their goodbyes and watched as Steve got on the train.

Chapter 23: Settling Down

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Steve awoke the next morning to the warm sun shining down on his face. He looked at Jean who was still asleep.

“She must be a heavy sleeper.” He said under his breath. The crafter got up and began to descend the cliff he lived in. He casually walked to the town. The first thing he wanted to do was get a copy of the news. Fortunately, those weren’t hard to find. Unfortunately, those costed money, something Steve didn’t have.

“Hey there, Steve.” A voice said from behind him. He whirled around and saw a familiar orange earth pony.

“Hey Applejack.”

“What are ya doin’ here, partner?” She asked.

“I came to get a copy of the news, but then I remembered I don’t have money.” He said.

“Here.” She said handing a paper to him. “Ah already read it.”

“Thanks, Applejack.” Steve said with a wide smile.

“No problem, partner.” She smiled back. Steve began reading the first article.

Massive Protests Seemed to Have Died Out

After protesting for two days, the large protests, consisting of hundreds of ponies, have seemed to have just disappeared. Some sources say it was due to the statement released by Iron Wings, the pony who started the whole protest. She is quoted saying, “I was deeply mistaken...”

Steve smiled as he read that. He was finally at peace. The problem is, he needed money, and in order to get money, needed a job.

“I should probably check Celestia. She probably knows where there’s an opening. Besides, she knows I have experience in government, so that should get me somewhere.” He said. “The problem is, I need to get get to Canterlot, but I can’t buy a train ticket.” He stood there stroking his chin before getting an idea.

“Yahoo!” Steve yelled as he flew through the air like a bird. “Thanks for the ride, Jean!”

“No problem.” The dragon replied. “Helping you start a new life is the least I could do after you gave me one. Though I wonder, why did you want me to hold you by the back and not sit on my back?”

“So I can fly like a bird.” Steve said stretching his arms out. “So I could feel free, for once in my life. I just want to soar through the air, and forget all my worries for just a few minutes. That’s all I want.” He said as he flew like a bird, looking down on the ponies and the landscape below.

“We’re almost there.” She said. “Beginning descent.”

As the two began to fly lower, the castle finally came into their view. They continued to descent until the castle was right in front of them. Jean came to a halt before landing on a porch jutting out of the castle.

“Thanks, Jean.” Steve said. “I’ll see you later.”

“Bye, Steve.” She waved as she took off.

“Steve!” Someone called out from behind him. “What are you doing here?”

The crafter whirled around to see his good friend, lieutenant Stone.

“Hey, Stone.” He responded. “I need to see Celestia.”

“She’s this way.” Stone said. The two quickly ran down the halls to the princess’s quarters. Right before they knocked on the door, the Princess herself opened the door. Surprised, Steve stumbled back, but regained his balance. Stone, on the other hand, fell flat on his ass.

“Oh, apologies, lieutenant.” Celestia said.

“Don’t worry. I have had worse.” The stallion said, getting up.

“Hello, Celestia.” Steve said.

“Hello, Steve. What are you doing here?” She questioned.

“I came because I needed a job.” Steve stated simply. “I assumed you of a ponies knew where I could find one. Besides, you and Stone are the only ones who know I have government experience, so I figured it would be easier getting a job with that in my resume.”

The Princess stood there for a second hoof up against her chin. Stone, also, stood there deep in thought.

“Well,” Celestia said, “there is one opening. Although, I’ll probably have to consult the other government bodies before I can give you the job.”

“That’s okay, but what’s the opening?”

“Secretary of Defense.” Stone said. Steve’s eyes widen in realization.

“Oh, yeah. I remember that.” He said.

“But like I said, I’m going to have to consult with the other government bodies first.” Celestia reminded him.

“Celestia, I ask that you, please, handle this as soon as possible. I’m gonna need a job soon and fast.” Steve pleaded.

“I’ll get it done as quick as I can.” She told him.

Steve stood outside of the conference room. He was pacing back and forth, nervously. He hoped that they would accept him. This was the best chance he got at getting a good job.

“Steve,” Stone said, “I get that you’re nervous, but can you please take a seat. You’re starting to make me nervous, too.” His friend said as a joke.

“Sorry,” Steve replied, “it’s just, if this doesn’t work, I don’t know what I’ll do.”

“It’s okay.” Stone said. “Knowing you, I’m sure you’ll find work elsewhere if this doesn’t work.” His friend reassured him.

“I suppose you’re right.” The crafter said, taking a seat. Just as he took a seat, the room full of ponies cleared. The ponies all scattered, hurrying to get back to work.

“Steve.” Princess Celestia said, garnering the crafter’s attention.

“How did it go?”

“Well, you’ll get the job.” She said. “If you do one thing for us.”

“Okay. What is it?”

“We agreed that you had the right qualifications, that is if what you told us is true, but knowing you it probably is.” She smiled at him. “Anyways, they wanted to test where your loyalty lies, so we decided we’d send you on a mission.”

“And that is?”

“Follow me.” She said. “We’re going to the briefing room.”

Steve took a seat in the large briefing room. Around the table sat lieutenant Stone, Corporal Eagle, and the Princess. She handed them all manila colored folders.

“Here is your mission.” She said. “This is Iron Hooves.” The princess stated referring to a stallion in a picture. “He was a key engineer working on a secret naval project called the ‘Dreadnaught.’ He originally came up with a ship type called ‘Iron Clads,’ but then shifted his focus to a bigger project. However, he was kidnapped by a group of rebels and taken out of Equestrian lands. Those rebels usually lurk in the far western parts of the world. No country controls those lands, so you’re, basically, on your own. These rebels have spies that, based on our intel, operate monthly. Our best experts say they have records of almost every guard in the royal guard.”

“Almost?” The lieutenant questioned.

“Yes. Almost. That’s why we need you, the Corporal, and Steve to go out west, and bring Iron Hooves home. You’re new enough for the rebels to not know about you, but, also, experienced enough to know what you’re doing.”

Just then, they heard a knock on the door.

“Please enter.” Celestia said. In stepped a young mare, who seemed about the age of Stone.

“Hello.” She said.

“Now, I don’t wanna come off as rude, but who are you?” Stone asked.

“I’m Scarlett Shadow, Celestia’s new assistant.” She said.

“Hello, Miss Shadow.” Celestia said. Did you bring the documents like I asked?”

“Yes, ma’am.” The mare replied.

“Good. And did you read them to make sure they were the correct ones?” The princess inquired further.

“Yes. If I may ask, why did you want me to read highly classified government documents?”

“Because you’re going on the mission, too.” Celestia said. Everyone stood still waiting for her to say something like she was joking. The solar princess was dead serious.

“Ma’am, you want me to go on this mission with them?”

“Yes.” Celestia said.

“But she has no experience.” Steve said. “It doesn’t make any sense to allow for a young, inexperienced civilian to come on such a dangerous mission.”

“Listen, Steve. She isn’t inexperienced. She was trained and knows how to defend herself and others. She knows how to fight. That’s what you have to know when you’re the princess’s assistant.”

“Okay. But that still doesn’t explain why you want her to go with us.” Steve said.

“Steve, you and I both know damn well you’re going to need as much help as you can.” Celestia stated firmly. “I can’t send you three I’m alone. If one of you gets hurt, then one person will have to tend to the wounded and the other will have to fight alone.”

“Okay. But why her of all ponies?” Steve asked causing the mare to give him a hurt look that he ignored.

“There’s no other royal guard young or experienced enough to do it. The only ones her age are all cadets.” She responded.

“Alright, fair enough. Pack your things troopers. Well finish this as soon as possible.” Steve said.

Chapter 24: Going In

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“There it is.” Steve said as they gazed upon the town. “That’s the location.”

“There’s a saloon, a sheriff’s office, the county prison, a town hall, several homes, and several shops.” Stone said looking through a pair of binoculars. “There are mostly ponies, minotaurs, dragons, and griffins. As well as some other creatures.”

“So the population is pretty mixed?” Corporal Eagle asked. “That should help Steve blend in.”

“Speaking of blending in, we need to act natural.” Steve said. “You guys didn’t bring anything that they can relate to Equestria, right? No symbols, no tools only the guard uses, nothing, right?”

“I’ve got nothing.” Stone said.

“Neither do I.” The Corporal stated.

“Nothing.” Scarlett, Celestia’s assistant said.

“Good. Now let’s go.” Steve told them. The four casually walked into town. No one paid them any attention, which is good for the squad.

“Hey, how old are you guys.” Steve whispered to the two mares.

“19.” The Corporal said.

“18.” Scarlett replied. “Why?”

“Good.” Steve said. He signaled for them to turn into a shop. They walked over to the entrance and read the sign.

“The saloon?” Stone questioned. “Why are we here?”

“Acting natural. Besides, this is most likely where you’ll find these rebels.” Steve told him. The four walked inside. They sat next to each other by the counter.

“What can I get for you today?” The pony behind the counter asked.

“I’ll get a bottle of whiskey.” Steve said.

“And you three?”

“I’ll take a bottle of brandy.” Stone said.

“I’ll get some whiskey as well.” The Corporal said.

“I’ll take,” Scarlett started looking at her options, “a bottle of rum.”

“Alright. That’ll be 20 bits total.”

“Here you go.” Stone said putting the money on the counter.

“Coming right up.” The tender said.

“Thank you.” Steve said. The stallion turned to get their drinks.

“How are we going to find these ponies?” Stone asked.

“I don’t know. Although, I have a feeling they’ll find us.” Steve answered. He took a sip of his whiskey before looking around the bar. There were all kinds of creatures. They didn’t seem like the average Joe. Most looked like thieves and gangsters, but there were some that looked like pirates. No one looked like a rebel. Unless of course these rebels dress like pirates and thieves.

“So these rebels consist of only ponies, right?” Steve whispered.

“As far as we can tell, yes.” Stone answered. Steve looked for groups of ponies that didn’t look like gangsters. Just then, he saw two ponies in a corner, whispering about a newspaper. That, usually, wouldn’t be much, however, on the front cover was a picture of him. He realized if they recognized him, the mission would be compromised. The stallion holding the paper looked over at the crafter. They made eye contact for a second before the pony got up.

“Hey, guys,” Steve said to his friends, “I think we’ve got company.”

“Did you find them?” Stone whispered.

“Yep, but there’s a slight problem.”

“What?” The Corporal asked.

“They found us.” Steve said pointing at the stallion approaching. The dark brown pony walked right up to Steve.

“Hello.” He greeted. “You must be Steve.”

“So, you’ve heard about me?” Steve asked, sarcastically.

“Who hasn’t?”

“Fair enough. I’ve got a question for you, I hear there’s a group of rebels who live out here, you apart of them?”

“Why?” The stallion asked.

“I’m thinking about joining.” Steve said.

“Oh, I am a part of them, but I don’t think you’ll get in.”

“And why is that?”

“Because we’ve read the news.” The stallion said. Then Steve finally got a good look at what was on his back, a crossbow, just like the ones he remembered the pillagers using. He left his back in Minecraftia. The stallion pulled it out and aimed right at Steve.

“What article did you read?” Steve asked.

“This one.” The stallion said handing a newspaper to him.

“Interesting.” Steve said holding it up to his face. Little did the pony he was talking to know, he was pulling his fist back. The crafter rocketed it right into the stallion’s muzzle, knocking him over. He immediately turned for the exit.

“Come on guys!” He told his comrades. “Let’s go!”

The four rushed out of the bar. They didn’t make it very far, before Scarlett Shadow tripped and fell over. Then, Stone and the Corporal dropped, too. Steve looked back in horror. Darts, probably to knock them out, we’re in all of their backs. He approached his friends knowing he couldn’t leave without them.

“Put your hands up!” A pony yelled. The crafter did as complied and put both his hands in the air. He was surrounded on all sides. The ponies emerged from many places, crossbows and unicorn horns aimed at his head.

“No sudden movements.” A mare to his left said.

“Don’t worry. I won’t-.” They didn’t let him finish his sentence before they hit him on the head, knocking him out cold.

“Bring them in.”

Steve awoke do a bright light shining in his face. When his vision adjusted, he looked around at his surroundings. He was in chains and behind bars. He was in a prison cell. To his left was the Corporal and lieutenant, and to his right was Celestia’s assistant. He heard an unlocking sound and looked over at the door. In swung open and in stepped a pony with two guards behind him.

“Hello.” The stallion in front said.

“Wassup.” Steve said.

“Who are you and why are we here?” Stone asked, gritting his teeth.

“My name is Quick Hooves. As for where you are, I can’t tell you that, yet.”

“Quick Hooves, eh?” Steve said. “What’s your special talent? Giving hoofjobs?”

Steve’s comrades and one of the guards chuckled. Steve let a grin overtake his features. Quick Hooves, however, was having none of it. He frowned and glared at the crafter.

“Well then, Steve, if you think you’re so funny, let’s see how long you can keep that attitude up for.”

“I last longer than you think.” Steve whispered.

Without a word, the stallion turned and left them alone, locking the door behind him. Steve sighed.

“What are we going to do?” Corporal Eagle whispered.

“Watch and learn.” Steve said. He equipped his fishing rod and casted it to his other hand. Then, he put the hook in the lock that bonded his chains together. He twisted it and, just like he expected, the chains fell off. He knew the guards would get suspicious if they heard a loud clank, so he set the chains down softly. He began doing the same to his friends. He quickly got Stone free and turned to the Corporal. He started undoing hers when he heard something.

“Hey, what are you doing?” One of the guards asked. Steve pulled out his shield.

“I hoped you wouldn’t notice that.” Steve replied. “Because now I know I have to kill you.”

“I’d like to see you try.” One of the guards said, aiming her crossbow at is shield.

“Bet.” Steve said. He charged at them with his shield raised. One of the guards shot, but the arrow was blocked by his shield. The crafter stitched to his pickaxe and quickly broke through the iron bars. He jumped out of the cell, attacking one of the guard with his sword. He sliced right through the gray stallion before turning to the white mare. He held his shield up, waiting for her to shoot so he could deflect it and charge at her, but it wasn’t coming. She stood her ground but held her fire. Steve peered over his shield. He looked at the mare. He could see the patient expression that covered her face. He could, also, see the fear in her eyes as they stood stock still.

“Make your move.” Steve said.

“Why don’t you make yours first?” Just as she said, Steve heard a loud clang. He looked back at the mare who was now out cold. He looked to her left and he saw Stone standing there with a chain in hand.

“Damn this thing was heavier than I thought.” Stone said.

“Thanks, Stone.” Steve said.

“No problem.”

“Hey guys,” Corporal Eagle said, getting their attention, “we’re still trapped.”

“Oh, right.” Steve said. “Let’s get outta here.”

Chapter 25: Breaking Out

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Steve killed two guards standing just outside the brig. He tossed two more crossbows back to the two mares.

“All clear.” Steve said. “Let’s move.”

The lieutenant rolled out and checked the right. The Corporal did the same, but checked the left. Steve and Scarlett brought up the rear. Steve used two fingers to signal them to continue right. They all nodded in compliance. Lieutenant Stone led the way, Steve was right behind him and the two mares covered the rear. Stone stopped at a door. He looked at Steve, a questioning expression on his face.

“We go in, crossbows raised. If anyone sees us, shoot them.” Steve said.

“Yes, sir.” Stone said. All four of them put an arrow in their crossbow.

“On three.” Steve whispered. “One. Two. Three!” He yelled out.

The four busted through the door bows raised up. Just as they expected there were ponies on the other side. Stone shot first taking one down. Steve shot another guard. They dived away from the door, scrambling to find cover. Steve hid behind several crates. He looked at his surroundings. The room they were in was large, about the size of a warehouse. If he had to guess it was some sort of storage facility or large garage, although the amount of large crates in it suggested it was the first. He looked at the enemy. There were around ten of them, and they were all ducking behind cover as well. Steve saw one try and make a run for the door. He loaded his bow, and shot the pony in the back. His comrades were also hiding behind cover, however, they were more pinned. None of them could get a good shot off. He looked at Scarlett Shadow. He signaled for her to fall back and get behind several boxes. She made a quick run and was able to get safely behind cover. Now she had a better look at the enemy.

“Cover me!” Steve ordered. She nodded and rose above the cover. Steve emerged from his cover crossbow in one hand sword in the other. He shot one pony before blocking an arrow headed right for his chest. The crafter dived behind some more crates before quickly loading the crossbow. He jumped over the crates and shot another pony. He picked up the dead stallion’s crossbow and shot yet another pony. Now duel wielding crossbows, he ducked behind cover and loaded them both. The lieutenant emerged from his cover as well and shot a pony that was trying to rush Steve. The Corporal shot another pony before hiding behind cover to avoid several arrows. Steve poked out of his cover and shot both his crossbows at the same time, killing two more. He turned to his right, to see two ponies aiming right at him. A split-second before they shot him, two arrows came flying at them, killing them both. He turned back to see the lieutenant and Celestia’s assistant aiming at the bodies.

“Thanks guys.” He said.

“No problem.” Scarlett said.

“Let’s get moving.” The lieutenant ordered. “We still have an engineer to find.”

“Right.” Steve remembered. “Let’s go.”

“Two more up ahead.” Steve said to Stone, before the duo shot the two rebels.

“How are we going to find this guy?” Scarlett asked. “This base is huge. At this rate we’ll have to kill every rebel here before we find him.”

“Well, at least they don’t have an alarm system.” Steve said. “That’ll make killing them a lot easier.”

“True.” Stone said. “But that won’t make finding him any easier.”

“Guys,” the Corporal cut in, “this is the fifth time we’ve had this discussion. Talking won’t help us find him.”

“Right.” Steve said, remembering the task at hand. “Let’s check this room.”

The four kicked the door off its hinges and raised their crossbows at eye level. The room was mostly empty, save for a desk and some drawers, but there was one thing inside that caught their attention. It was a pony. He looked just like Iron Hooves. He leaned away from the door, trembling with fear.

“Hello.” Steve said.

“Who the buck are you?!” The stallion asked.

“My name is Steve, and I am leading this squad to rescue you.” The crafter said. “We’re not going to hurt you. Are you Iron Hooves?”

“Yes.” The young stallion said.

Steve let a sigh of relief escape him. While they didn’t show it, Steve could tell his comrades, also, felt relieved.

“We got him.” Stone said smiling.

“Now we need to get him out of here.” Corporal Eagle said.

“Come on, let’s go.” The crafter told the stallion.

They turned to leave the room but were stopped by a bloodcurdling scream. The source was the Corporal, and she had an arrow sticking out of one of her shoulder blades.

“Corporal!” The Sargent cried out. He ran to the wounded mare. Steve reacted quickly, standing between the shooter and the injured. He gritted his teeth when he saw who shot her.

“Quick Hooves.” He said under his breath.

“I see you’ve finally found your friend.” He said. He was accompanied by two guards.

“It took a while.” Steve responded. “We’ve been fighting your shit security for an hour or so.”

“Impressive.” The stallion responded holding his grin. “Unfortunately for you, this is where your journey ends.”

“Forget about it. It’s a four on three.” Steve said.

“Oh, you think you can win that easily? Well, let me show you why they call me Quick Hooves.”

“What are you going to do? Jerk m-.”

“No. And stop the jokes.”

“Aw, you’re no fun.” Steve joked. He got in a fighting stance. “Come on. Just you and me.”

“Alright.” The stallion responded. “Let’s do this.”

The two charged at each other. Quick Hooves went for the attack first. Steve, however, ducked under his hooves and countered with an uppercut. The stallion was sent flying back, but he quickly recovered. Now Steve went on the charge. He ran up to him and did a roundhouse kick, that the pony blocked. However, Steve’s kick pushed his hooves out of the way, so Steve could come around again with a punch. He knocked the stallion off his hooves, again, but this time he wouldn’t let him get up. Steve kicked the hoof he was using to get up. Then, the crafter put a foot on him before pulling out his sword.

“Surrender.” He said coldly.

“Never!” Quick Hooves replied. He signaled for his guards to shoot at Steve. The crafter reacted quickly and blocked both shots with his sword, before turning back to the now standing stallion.

“Lieutenant!” Steve called out to his friend. “Take care of the guards!”

“Copy that!” Stone replied. “Iron Hooves. Take care of her for me.”

“Okay.” The engineer said. Stone and Scarlett both attacked the two guards. Stone swiftly hit the crossbow out of one of the guard’s hooves. She responded by pulling out a sword and pointing it at the lieutenant. Stone backed up, avoiding the tip of the weapon.

“Stone! Catch!” Steve yelled. I bright blue, translucent sword came flying at him. Stone was just able to catch it. He turned back to the guardsmare. He gave a little shrug and charged at her with his sword raised high.

Meanwhile, Scarlett dodged an arrow by the other guard. She then ducked under him as he dove at her. She easily bucked him in the back, knocking him off his feet. The stallion tried to get up, to which she responded by mercilessly shooting him with her crossbow.

“Damn.” Steve said as he looked at her. “That’s cold.”

He then turned back to his fight with Quick Hooves. The stallion tried to hit the crafter with his left front hoof. The crafter easily caught it in his palm. He then tried the right. Same result. Now they were trying to push each other back. They stayed that way for a second before Steve pulled his head back and headbutt the stallion right on the top of his head. He then through the stallion away, in the direction of Stone.

Stone kicked the stallion in the back before turning back to his fight. He brought his sword down on his opponent. She blocked it, but was pushed back slightly by the force he applied. Stone pulled back and tried attacking at the side, but she blocked it. He tried the other side only for their blades to meet again.

“You have good skill with the sword.” Stone said.

“Thanks.” She said, sarcastically. Stone responded by pulling away and pulling out his crossbow from his back.

“Now parry this you filthy casual.” He smiled.

“What kind of coward uses a bow in a sword fight?!” She yelled. Stone responded by shooting her right in the chest cavity. She dropped to her knees before falling to the floor, grabbing the arrow.

“What kind of idiot uses a sword in a bow fight?” Stone smirked. He then looked at his friend Steve who had just kicked Quick Hooves in the face. “Steve! Catch!” Stone threw the diamond sword.

Steve easily caught it and turned to his opponent. He quickly plunged the sword right through his abdomen. The body twitched for a second, before dropping. Steve let out a sign of relief.

“Good job guys.” He said. “Now let’s get out of here.”

Chapter 26: Home Again

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Steve and his companions headed for the train station, leaving the town behind them. They walked alone under the bright moonlight. Steve looked at his companions. The Corporal had her one of her forelegs wrapped in a bandage to prevent the bleeding. She let that leg lie on Stone’s back who supported her as she walked. Stone, however, was still smiling, having completed the mission. Iron Hooves also had a smile on his face. Scarlett Shadow was ecstatic about completing her first mission.

“I still can’t believe it. We infiltrated a rebel base and killed so many guards. That felt so badass.” She continued on. Steve sighed.

“That’s the good side of the job.” Steve said.

“Well, then what’s the bad side?” She asked. Steve stopped for a second. He stood still thinking of an answer.

“Watching your brothers and sisters in arms getting killed knowing there’s nothing you can do about it.” Steve responded. He stood still, remembering his friends. He remembered watching them all parish during one night, watching them all get cut down, one by one, and seeing his town in ruins as he fled the scene. He snapped out of it and continued walking. “That’s the bad side of the job.” He stated simply.

They all walked in silence as they headed to the train station, save for a few quiet groans by the Corporal. Once they arrived, they each got a ticket and prepared to leave. A few minutes later, the train arrived. They all boarded, still in silence. They all took their seats and waited for the train to depart. After a few seconds, the train left the station, en route for Canterlot. They sat in silence for a few seconds.

“Steve,” the lieutenant asked, getting the crafter’s attention, “after all that’s happened to you, all the pain and loss, how do you keep going?”

“I don’t really know.” Steve said. “I’ve never felt suicidal in my life, despite being alone. I guess I’m just trying to make the sacrifices of my friends worth it. If I die, all of their deaths will be for nothing.”

“Hey, Steve,” Scarlett Shadow said, “I’m sorry.”

“It’s okay. You’re young. I get that you’re new to this fighting stuff, and you probably won’t be doing this for a while considering you’re just an assistant. I understand what it’s like. It reminds me of when I first joined.” Steve said.

”Steve reporting for duty, sir!” The crafter said.

“Squad number 2.” The commanding officer told him, pointing in the direction of a squad.

“I remember seeing my friends there.”

”Steve?” A familiar voice asked. Steve whirled around to see his good friend Mitch standing behind him.

“Hey Mitch!” The crafter said giving his friend i high five. “It’s been a while since I’ve seen you. What’s your assignment?”

“I’m assigned to the east tower.” Mitch said, pointing in a direction. “Intelligence suggest the enemy is coming in from that side.”

“Alright. I’ll be ready.”

“I remember fighting in battle. I always did what it took. Whether it be against mobs.”

Steve sliced at a zombie, killing it. He turned and kicked a spider that had tried to jump at him. The crafter walked over and finished the arachnid off.

“Or other crafters.”

Steve deflected a sword that someone tried to attack him with. He pushed the other crafter back, before slicing at him sideways. His enemy blocked the hit, but had his sword forcefully knocked down. Steve pushed his sword through his enemy’s chest and killed the other crafter.

“I remember that one fateful night, where I lost everything.”

”Steve!” He heard Mitch shout.

“Mitch?” Steve turned to his friend who was crawling to him. “What the Nether happened? Where’s Alex?”

“Dead!” He responded. “We were caught off guard by-“ the crafter couldn’t finish his sentence before a witch threw a potion of harming at him, killing him. He let out one last cry, before perishing.

“No!” Steve shouted.

Steve shut his eyes tightly, trying not to cry. He couldn’t help it. Small tears formed in his eyes, and they slowly made their way down his cheeks. He hung his head low.

“I just miss them.” He said between sobs. Suddenly, he felt two hooves wrap around him. He looked up to see the lieutenant giving him a hug.

“It’s okay, Steve.” He reassured him. “We’re here for you.”

“Thanks, man.” Steve smiled, returning the hug.

The train arrived back at Canterlot pretty damn close to midnight. The streets were mostly clear, save for a few late workers. The squad made their way back to the castle. Stone looked at the two guards guarding the front entrance.

“Lieutenant Stone.” The lieutenant said. “Here for debriefing.”

“Alright, you may proceed.” The guard said, opening the door. The five walked in to the mostly empty halls. They walked to the meeting room where the they would receive their debriefing. They entered the room. Celestia was waiting for them there. She looked at the five. They were beaten and bruised but still alive.

“I see you retrieved the engineer.” She said.

“We did. It wasn’t easy, but we managed to do it.” Steve told her.

“Well, I will inform the others what happened tomorrow.” She said. “You are dismissed.”

“Thank you.” Steve said as they all turned to leave.

“Steve,” The alicorn said, getting his attention, “would you like to stay in Canterlot for the night? I know you don’t have a way of getting home.”

“You’re right. I guess I’ll stay the night.”

“Alright, follow me and I’ll take you to the guest rooms.”


“Steve,” Celestia said, “after careful consideration, we have concluded that you are indeed fit to serve in this position.”

“Thank you.” Steve said. He looked at the conference table. Royals and government officials sat all around. The crafter shared a warm smile. They all clapped in acceptance of the crafter.

“Tomorrow, we will have your official swearing in. After that, you can begin work.”

“Once again, I thank you all.” Steve responded.

“You’re all dismissed.” The ponies all rose from the table and made their way towards the exit.

“They seem pretty busy.” Steve said.

“They need to do as much work as they can.” She said. “Especially now.”

“Why now in particular?”

“Equestria just came out of a recession. They’re preventing that from happening, again.” She told him.

“I remember when my country went through a recession. I was still a young teen. Sure, I had the body of an adult, but that didn’t help me comprehend what was happening.”

“Steve, if I may ask, what was it like being a government official in your world?”

“It was pretty chaotic. There were fights with mobs frequently, and it didn’t help that I was the Secretary of Defense. I had to do more work than most other government bodies. At the end of the day, it was still a pretty calm job, compared to what I used to be. Come in, drink coffee, do your work, refrain from punching that vegan bitch in the Department of Agriculture because she bet I’d ‘eat my dog’ that I didn’t even have, and then go home. Pretty calm.” Steve finished.

“Well, that’s pretty similar to what we do here. Of course there’s a lot less work because we’re in a state of peace. For now.”

“So I should be fine?”

“Knowing you, you’re gonna be fine.” She smiled.

“Thanks.” Steve said back.

Chapter 27: All in a Day’s Work

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Steve stood on a podium in front of hundreds of ponies. They watched as the crafter was sworn in. He would now take the office of the Secretary of Defense. He smiled in nostalgia. He remembered what it was like having the job back in Minecraftia. Sure, it wasn’t fun, but it was certainly challenging, and he liked to be challenged. The ponies continued to clap, some of them even cheered. He waved one more time, before leaving the podium.

“Congratulations.” He heard someone say. He turned to the source. It was Stone, of course.

“Thanks.” Steve said. He looked behind Stone. The Corporal was there, left forehoof in a sling, and beside her was the captain. “How have you guys been?”

“We’ve been good. The captain here hooked up with Princess Cadence while we were gone.” Corporal Eagle said.

“Really? Wow.” Steve stated. “Anyways, I’ve got to get to work. I’ll see you all around.”

Steve walked into his office, donut in one hand coffee in the other. He smiled as he walked with a little spring in his step.

“Yeah it’s a good day, to celebrate, na na na na na na na.” He sang under his breath. “Come on it’s a good day, to celebra-a-a-ate.”

He walked into his room. He had his own workroom. There was a solid wall between him and the other workers, but there was a window overlooking Canterlot. He took a look outside.

“These are who I’m defending now.” Steve said. “I won’t let you down.”

He heard a knock and quickly whirled around.

“Come in!” He said, as he took a seat. In stepped an earth pony stallion with a white coat and a dark blue mane.

“Hello, I am Dark Snow, your assistant.” He said.

“Nice to meet you. I am Steve. What are you doing here?”

“We need you to take a look at these budget changes and finalize them.” He said handing Steve a binder.


“And you’re, also, scheduled to visit the ‘Dreadnought Project’ at 1500.”

“Got it.”

“That’s all. Thank you for your time.” The stallion said, bowing slightly.

“Thank you for the information.” Steve watched as the stallion left the room. “Time to get to work.”

Steve sat alone, again, in a train car. Despite taking the public train now, he still had a car all to himself. He didn’t really mind it, but it slightly stung him knowing they were still pretty afraid of him.

“Final stop approaching! Equestrian Harbor.” The conductor yelled.

“Good, we’re almost there.” Steve said to himself. Not to long after that, the train came to a halt, and the passengers began to leave. Just as he expected, a group of guards were waiting there for the crafter. They saluted quickly before signaling him to go in a direction. They walked for a little before making it to the naval base. Once inside, they walked towards the garage it was being built in.

“So who’s in charge of this project?” Steve asked one of the guards.

“Iron Mustang and Amber Moon.” The guard informed him.

“What are their ranks?”

“Iron Mustang is an Army O-8 and Amber Moon is a Naval O10.” The guard said.

“Got it. So, where are they?”

“They should be coming just about now.” Not a second after the guard said that, Steve heard a voice from behind him.

“Hello.” It called out. “You must be Steve?”

“Yes. Who are you?”

“I’m General Iron Mustang.”

“Pleasure to meet you. I assume the mare beside you is Admiral Amber?”

“Yes.” The mare said. “Hello Secretary, it’s a pleasure to meet you.”

“Where do we begin?” Steve asked.

“Right this way.” Iron Mustang said.

Steve began to make his way back to the train station. They had taken him on a tour of the ship and briefed him on how every system operated. He, also, learned a few things. For one, Iron Mustang’s brother is Steel Mustang, who was the Secretary of Defense. After Steve learned that, he expected Iron to be mad he took his brother’s job. To his surprise, Iron was glad that they found a good replacement for his brother and because he already knew his brother was going to resign. Steve continued to walk through the port city. He made his way to the train station. Quickly boarding the next train, he relaxed on the long ride back to Canterlot.

Steve sat in his office finalizing budget reforms and reviewing military strategies. It was boring work, but it was better than having to fight for his life. If he was being honest, he liked the calm side of life. He didn’t really like action books or plays. He mainly enjoyed comedies.

“Alright. Last one.” He said. He quickly reviewed the document, and, just like most of the other ones, there were no errors he had to make changes to. “Time to bring these budget changes to Celestia.”

The crafter walked through the halls, two binders in his hand. He rounded the corner and bumped into a familiar mare.

“Oh, hey Scarlett.” He said.

“Steve?” She looked up. “Oh, hey there. What are you doing?”

“I’m just giving these budget changes to Celestia. I need to get these signed by tomorrow.”

“Budget changes?” She asked.

“Yeah, what’s wrong with that?”

“Nothing, it’s just, you don’t seem like th guy to care about that stuff.”

“You’re right, I’m not really big on this whole work thing, but it’s better than constant fighting. Besides, work gives me something to do, and being in government makes me feel like I’m doing it for the people.”

“Listen, I was on my way to Celestia’s quarters right now. I can bring them to her if you want.” The mare offered.

“Really? Thanks. That would save me a lot of time.”

“No problem. After everything you’ve done it’s the least I could do.”

Steve have a quick wave before turning to return to his office.

Steve stood alone looking out of his window at the streets of Canterlot. He watched as mares and stallions made their ways home. The sun set and the streetlights began to turn on. Then he heard a noise.

Knock! Knock!

“Come in.” Steve said. The door open and in stepped his assistant.

“Sir,” Dark Snow started, “Princess Celestia requests you meet her immediately in the floor three conference room.”

“Why?” Steve asked.

“I don’t know, but I suggest you meet her quickly.”

Steve quickly sprinted out of the office. He ran through the castle walls with a worried feeling in his gut. He quickly bursted into the conference room.

“What’s the problem?” He asked, panting.

“Discord.” Celestia stated.

Chapter 28: Preparation

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“You mean the Lord of Chaos, Discord?” Steve asked, taking a seat.

“Unfortunately, yes.” Celestia replied solemnly. “The stone he is trapped in is slowly cracking.”

“Is there any way to stop it?” A pony asked.

“As far as we know right now, no.”

“Then we better start preparing.” Steve said. “How did you defeat him last time?”

“We trapped him in stone using the Elements of Harmony.” She said.

“Oh, okay.” Steve remembered reading about them, however, he didn’t know who the current element bearers are. “Where are the element bearers now?”

“In Ponyville.”

“And who are they?”

“Twilight Sparkle, Applejack, Fluttershy, Rainbow Dash, Rarity, and Pinkie Pie.” Celestia said.

“Wait, they’re the elements?” Steve asked, surprised. Celestia nodded. “Interesting.”

“I shall inform them immediately. Steve, you said you had professional training, right?”


“Can you train the guards? While they are trained well, none of them stood a chance against you. I think you can teach them a few things.”

“Yes ma’am. I will begin training them.” Steve smiled. Time to make some lives a living hell.

“Go! Go! Go!” He yelled. “Come on, I’ve seen cadets move faster than you!”

He watched as ponies skipped across the obstacle course. They jumped from platform to platform. Sweat poured from their faces as the hot sun shone down on them.

“Keep moving! Don’t stop!” Steve yelled again. Several ponies groaned as they continued the course. “Come on, you’re almost there!”

The ponies swung from one platform onto a rock wall. They quickly ascended it before descending on the other side. He walked to the other side, which was where the end was. He watched as the last ponies jumped off panting. He looked at his timer. One minute and seven seconds. Pretty good for ponies. Despite being designed for crafters, the ponies sprinted through the course fast. The average time for crafters was fifty-two seconds, but the average time for ponies was one minute and five seconds.

“Get some water.” He told them. “You’ve got five minutes.”

Steve knew he had to time how long they had to get water, but he, also, didn’t want to rush them too much. The last thing he wanted was for someone to get cardiac arrest or a heat stroke. He watched as they walked over to the benches.

“Damn, this course is harder than I thought.” Stone said, panting.

“Tell me about it.” Eagle agreed. “No wonder Steve is such a good soldier. He had to do this daily.”

“Daily? There’s no way!” Captain Armor exclaimed.

“Well, we’ve seen him put up with this shit a lot.” Iron Wings stated. Most of the work they were doing was conditioning, so it was naturally tiring.

“Time’s up!” Steve yelled. “Let’s get back to work.”

“Why the buck are we doing this?” The Corporal whispered under her breath. She crawled through pipes that were sliced in half. They were just tall enough for them to get through.

“Come on Corporal, you’re falling behind.” Steve told her. They were now running individual obstacle courses. The last few exercises were team exercises, designed to build up teamwork. Now, he wanted to build up individual strength and endurance. She crawled her way through the pipes before emerging on the other side. She jumped up on some logs before tightroping across. Calling what she stood on a log was generous. It was extremely skinny, only a few inches wide. She was careful not to fall, as falling meant fifty more push-ups, as some ponies found out the hard way. They already had to do upwards of two hundred push-ups today. She didn’t want to have to do any more. She was too busy thinking about that, and she lost her balance and fell right off the log and into the mud.

“Fifty push-ups.” Steve said pointing at her. “Next!”

She sighed as she planted her face into the mud.

“Ah don’t beat yourself up about it.” The captain said.

“Why no-?” She was going to try to ask. She cut herself off when she saw him covered in mud, too.

“This shit is hard.” Stone said. “How many days did he say we were gonna be doing this for?”

“Five days this week.” The captain reminded him. Stone sighed.

“Five days of whatever this hell is.” He stated.

“Hey! You guys slacking over there!” Steve yelled across the course. “That’s twenty-five more! Now step on it!”

“Of bucking course.” Corporal Eagle said.

“Ready.” Steve said. The ponies complied and aimed pulled their bows back. “Aim.” He said. They took a second to aim. “Fire!”

They released and the arrows hit the target boards. Steve examined the hits. He checked how close they were. Some, landed on to the sides of the target. Quite a few got close to the bullseye. Steve was trained to hit the bullseye. He took hours of his day practicing his shooting. Steve looked at the clock.

“1900.” He stated. “Alright, it’s time to end today’s training. You did good. Go get some rest. We’ll start again tomorrow at 0600. Did I make myself clear?”

“Sir, yes sir!” They said.

“Dismissed.” He said. The ponies scattered, grabbing their gear so they could go home. Steve stayed until there was only a few left. His friends, Stone, Eagle, and Shining, were the only ones still there.

“What are you guys still doing here?” He asked.

“Oh, we were just wondering why you didn’t leave.” Stone answered.

“Oh, I was just taking a look at the course.” Steve said as he approached the individual obstacle course. “I remember having to do this every day.” He said without looking at his companions.

“Everyday?” Shining asked in disbelief.

“Yeah. I had to do it as fast as possible. It was painstaking, but I think it helped me become a better soldier.” They stood in silence as they continued to stare at the course. “You wanna see if I still got it?” Steve asked.

“What do you mean-?” Stone tried to ask. He was cutoff by Steve.

“Time me.” He said, handing Stone his stopwatch. Steve sprinted onto the platform and jumped across with ease. They watched as the crafter jumped, swung, climbed, or sprinted from platform to platform. They watched with disbelief as the time on the watch ticked on. Steve dropped and started crawling through the half pipes. He made it to the other side and jumped onto the log tightrope. He made it across quickly and with ease. He jumped off, climbed a rock wall, and started swing from log to log, like monkey bars. He eventually made it back to the ground where he stopped. He stood there panting.

“How’d I do?” He asked as he caught his breath.

“Fifty-three seconds.” Stone answered.

“Fifty-three? I’m going soft.” He said.

“Soft?” The Corporal asked. “You absolutely smoked the course and now you’re saying that wasn’t good enough?”

“Yeah. Back in my time in the Marines, we had to do much better. My squad’s average was forty-two. I haven’t trained in a while. I guess I’ve lost my touch.”

They stood in silence for a second.

“I guess I should head to the barracks.” Stone said.

“Yeah, we probably should, too.” The captain agreed.

“Alright, I’m heading back to the castle. I’ll see you tomorrow.” Steve waved.

Several more days of training went by. Nothing new happened. It was mostly the same shit over and over, with Steve torturing them all day, and him running the course at night. They were all steadily improving. The new average time was 59 seconds. Steve looked out his window that overlooked Canterlot.

“Is it all worth it?” He knew he had to get them to give their all, especially with Discord coming. They needed to be in peak performance. He sighed. “I guess we’ll find out.” He said.

They all anxiously prepared as the stone cracked more and more every day. Slowly, but surely, Discord was escaping. It was only a matter of time.