The pair of Unicorn guards stood at attention, ever vigilant for incoming threats. A shot rings out in the night. It sounds like a large, powerful weapon that could easily destroy anything in its path. A Sniper Rifle, if they weren’t mistaken. They couldn’t discern very well whose it may have been, but they had a feeling they knew.
“You think he tagged them pretty good, Bill?” grunted the charcoal-coated stallion to his watch-mate, a light breeze ruffling his off-white mane.
“Listen for another shot, Steve. Then we’ll know” replied the elder of the pair, his greenish-blue coat ruffling slightly as a chill worked its way up his spine. Tossing his black mane in the night air, the elder went silent, as did his partner. They listened carefully for a few minutes, and then it remained silent.
“Must’ve gotten whatever it was real good, Steve.”
“Yep. Kid rarely misses a shot, for being a rookie. He could be one of the best given enough time” Bill told his partner.
Returning to their stoic vigil, they allowed themselves a pair of small grins.
The year is 2152. While there are no fancy flying cars or floating cities, dimensional technology has just begun its infancy. The first experimental Dimensional Gate was invented three years past. While still rudimentary, it allowed the growth of a small city, named Equinus Pax. In a funny twist of fate, the gate locked onto the world of Equestria.
With this, most humans and ponies learned to live at peace with each other. Ponies gained extreme technological advances, and some humans gained a tolerant, easygoing lifestyle. But some were not so keen on candy-colored ponies living side by side with humans. Those who objected to this peace and prosperity became hostile. While not fully embroiled in war, certain factions eventually began to ravage the small utopian society, forcing them to build walls and eventually
However, another threat came to be, alongside the humans who hate ponies. Dire Wolves. Most people put these hulking canines off as folklore, but they were soon proven wrong. A bacterium came to be, turning normal wolves into ravenous, vicious, insatiable carnivores. Many a pony and human were lost to the bear-sized monsters.
This is how the EMC came to fruition. The Equestrian Marine Corps, as they’re formally called, are trained side by side with the human military. This is where I come in.
My name is Flashpoint. While not a violent pony by nature, I am a trained Equestrian Sniper. The ironic thing is I was a photographer when I first came to Equinus Pax. Imagine that, folks, a photographer who’s pretty good with a gun.
Back to the story. While on my usual night watch rotation, I heard a rustling in the trees about 300 yards to my right. Activating my thermal radar on my rifle’s sight, I saw a shape moving in the brush below the pine trees. I tried to discern what the thing may have been, but it was not human nor pony shaped. In fact, it looked like it may have been a bit of wolf and bear. Being fairly new to Night Patrols, I’d never seen anything like this before.
Watching this thing move about, I readied my rifle, training the sights on the thing in the brush. It must have had a sixth sense or something, because it looked at me, black holes where its’ eyes should have been. It opened its’ mouth, probably fixing to utter a cry for reinforcements. I spared no time in pulling the trigger.
The shot rang out, clear as a bell in the stillness of the night. After seeing it stop moving for a moment, and then drop with a low thud, I immediately called my C.O. Whatever it was, I had to report the kill so they could retrieve it in the morning. I would never have believed what the thing was if it wasn’t my slug they extricated from the corpse.
Dire Wolves, while not unheard of, were rarely found near settlements of such a size as Equinus Pax. This usually only happened if they chased some wandering pony or human, or food was scarce. Thankfully, such powerful creatures could easily be dealt with by a well placed rifle round. After I had learned what the thing was, I was surprised they existed at all.
Since you had to be a fairly good shot to disable a creature that size, eventually every pony and human who carried a firearm needed to be certified as a Dire-killer. And that’s how sparse conflict turned into an all out war against wolfkind. Given fire-at-will orders from the governmental heads, collectors posted bounties for Dire heads. As a result, even those uncertified with firearms began carrying legal and illegal weaponry.
But that’s beside the point. What I’m trying to get at is that Equinus Pax became a blood-fueled Bounty Town. Businesses, Ponies, and Humans were all affected. Most respectable businesses packed up and left, and seedy dives, bars, and other unsavory people, ponies, and places sprung up. What had once been a thriving near-utopia was reduced to a shell of itself. But I stayed as long as I could, trying to better Equinus. When that failed horribly, I went back home, to Equestria.
I had forgotten a long time ago that weapons had no place in the land of ponykind. But that had also changed. Equestria was no longer the utopia everyone thinks it is. Even the nicest, most quaint villages had become disgusting, cluttered, and laced with drug dealers, prostitutes, and poor, impoverished ponies and people who could barely make two bits to rub together. Sometimes you would hear of a body found in a once lively river, or behind some building that used to be a day care or sweet shop.
And, So, I decided to bring down those responsible for turning my once beautiful homeland into a cesspool of drugs, filth, and inbred abominations of life.
Since there was next to no demand for photographers, I had no choice but to fall back on mercenary work. Between my own fight against corruption and industrialism, I had other work as a bounty hunter. More Irony, folks, for I had become the very thing I despised.
While drug dealers and corruption ran rampant, I was fighting against it. Call it Vigilantism, call it a Vendetta, call it what you will, but eventually, all that matters is money. I had become a professional killer and one of the best in the business. Eventually, I found others who were eager to turn Equestria’s downfall into a revival. While we could not repair the damage that had been done, we could destroy those responsible. Our society was given a moniker by the media. We became widely known as the Saints, based off of a popular human movie.
It took me a while to realize I was fighting a losing battle, but damned if I didn’t fight tooth and hoof, with as much gusto as when I first started. Some gave up, but yet others joined the fight. We wanted to see Equestria peaceful once again, and that’s all we needed.
We didn’t want the fame or the glory associated with us. We didn’t want the investors, governmental branches, or aid from local law enforcement, but we got it. What had started as my personal goal had branched off into several regions of Equestria. I was officially a hero of the ponies. Even though the human world was too deeply scarred, we still believed we could save Equinus Pax.
Eventually, we did. Why, just this afternoon, I officially opened an Equinus Pax branch of The Saints, standing next to the Mayor, and the Police Chief. Also present were the local Marines branch’ C.O. It was then, I had realized, even though I had not achieved my dream in my lifetime, I had thousands who would carry on.
I know my time now is limited, but I can die a happy Stallion. My wife, my kids, they all know I campaigned for their safety and security, and they’re proud of me for it. I leave you, reader, with one final note:
No matter what, always pursue your dreams and goals, especially if they are nobly intended. You never know if you’ll make it unless you try.
Flashpoint, AD 2200.