Everypony got up bright and early to do their chores. AJ started to plant the seeds for our fruit, I spent the first four hours awake guarding the town gate as Antony and Kim set out with Puzzle and Pinkie for more rock farming, Rainbow on the other side of town in her sniper perch on the east gate. I could see Digi in his window tinkering with the drone wrecks with Twilight, trying to fix them up so that we'd have an automated defense system. We had Fourthorn and rose petal sandwiches for breakfast. The Fourthorn sandwiches were odd, imagine stuffing french fries in between two pieces of toast. It was good but it could have been better. Oh well.
It was getting to right around the equivalent of noon time on this planet. Digi calculated that the day and year cycle was around 26.5 hours in a day and 321 days in a Velocia year. Our mining party returned home, but something was amiss. Tony was carrying Kim on his back and she looked sick, very sick. I rushed down to help.
“Holy crap! What happened?” I eyed Kim, her face turned a shade of green.
“We don't know! She started to just get sick all of a sudden on the way back,” Tony Pony explained as best he could.
“We need to get her to Flutters. Digi! Get over here we got a mare down!” I yelled for Digi to come over, “Come on, let's get you some medical attention.”
“Ugh, I think I'm gonna puke,” Kim induced her vomiting and spilled all over the ground, luckily it didn't get on anyone else as we dragged her to Fluttershy's house.
“Oh you poor thing! What's wrong with her?” Fluttershy started to diagnose her patient, “She has a high fever and nausea. She's showing some symptoms of poisoning.”
“Somethin's wrong with Rainbow too!” AJ burst through the door and laid her on another empty bed. I immediately rushed to her side.
“Sweetheart, where does it hurt?!” I held her hoof, it was burning hot to the touch.
“My stomach, uggh!” she was cupping her gut and trying to suppress the urge to expel the contents of her stomach. Fluttershy came over to with a bucket and helped.
“This is not good, they must have ate something bad,” Fluttershy prepared some cold packs to reduce their fevers.
“Rainbow, what did you eat aside from the sandwiches today?”
“A banana. Owww,” she was in deep pain that crept from her stomach.
“Me too!” Kim wasn't fairing any better. Instantly I began to boil.
“Flutters, Digi, Twi, stabilize them. Tony Pony let's go kick some ass!”
“Whoa whoa whoa, let's be reasonable here. Maybe it's just an unknown pathogen that just so happened to be on the bananas. For now I suggest we stop eating those. Let's not jump to conclusions,” Digi tried to negotiate.
“You're not the one with their wife in danger!” Antony lashed, “I'm going with Sky Buster. Either way, we'll find out exactly what happened.”
We grabbed our weapons and searched for those humans that scammed us. It wasn't gonna be a fair fight, so I was going to distract and lure them out. We were both seething with rage.
“I can't believe those hairless bastards! Selling us poisoned food like that!”
“To be fair, they did try to hold you up yesterday. I believe they get a kick out of making others suffer. The only way we are going to find out is to barge in,” Tony and I stood at the door.
“You got your .45?” I glanced at him as he took the gun in his mouth and nodded, “Good...”
We burst through the door and Antony fired his pistol into the air. I yelled out.
“Sit the buck down motherfuckers!” I looked back and forth as I took them by surprise. I came up to Troy and slammed him into the wall, “You sold us poisoned fruit!”
“Oh shit... Sorry!” he-apologized?! I let him go and backed off, “Dammit! Those were Apex bananas after all! Tell me, how many of your kind ate them?”
“Um-wait? Those are?”
“They're Apex bananas, genetically engineered to grow faster but it's only safe for humans and Apex to eat! Dammit Mira, I thought you told me those were earth bananas!”
“I didn't know okay, it was the first thing I grabbed at a fruit stand before we left.”
“Look, it was all an accident but we gotta act fast. Take me to your town,” he quickly put on his uniform and hastily snatched his rifle.
“Oh, sorry I-” he cut me off.
“I accept your apology, but we gotta go!” he ruffled his head of thick black hair.
“You heard the man Tony, let's haul ass!”
Troy the human hopped on top of Antony's saddle.
“Excuse me, what are you doing?” Antony looked up at him.
“Oh come on!” Troy rolled his eyes, “You're a horse! We'll get there much faster if you gallop over ther-”
This time I cut him off and used my wings to slap him onto my back. I spread my wings and took my stance.
“Hang on!” I accelerated forward flew as fast as I could back to town. I knew I was flying just shy of 400 knots with this dangling meat puppet clinging for dear life on my neck. I landed in the middle of the town square and he jumped off my back.
“Okay, that was... Unexpected. Fuck I just rode a flying horse,” he stumbled a bit.
“We're not horses! We're ponies. And I am a pegasus thank you very much!”
“Whatever, let's just see what's wrong.”
I lead him into our medical house and his head barely cleared the door. He examined our two sick mares and shook his head back and forth. The rest of our group looked on at him, amazed at the alien.
“Shit, just as I thought. Apex Banana Sickness. They'll die if we don't give them the antidote.”
My heart dropped and I was pinned with fear. I couldn't think about losing her! Not now! After all we've been through, all the tears shed and the mending of my broken heart. I lost my whole family once... And I didn't want it to happen again.
“So what is the antidote?” Twilight asked while she helped Fluttershy treat our two mares in agony.
“Red stim packs. They'll cure anything for any species. We can buy them from a town nearby, hopefully we can make it in time. Come on, I'll show you the way,” he walked out the door and I saw two of the other humans come into town with Antony.
“So what's the verdict? Is my Kimmy going to be alright?” Tony was extremely worried. I could barely look at him, “Oh no...”
“No, we can save them... What we have to find are things called red stim packs. Where is this town we can buy them from Troy?” I turned away from my friend and asked the human.
“It's about a day's journey away from here. We won't make it on foot in time,” he looked at my wings and frowned, “Aw crap...”
“I. DON'T. NEED. FEET,” I slapped him onto my back again and lifted off, “We'll be back with the medicine! Hang on meat puppet!”
“What the fuck are you doing! I have a fear of heights you know!” Troy was screaming at the top of his lungs in terror.
“No, I don't know that! Which is why I'm punching supersonic!” I streamlined my body and put one hoof forward to spike the air.
“OH FUCK NOOOOOO!” Troy dug in and was clinging on with the might of a thousand chains. His voice turned high pitch as he screamed uncontrollably.
“Is that the town right there?” I noticed a few plumes of smoke from campfires.
“YES YES YES!! LAND ALREADY!!”
And so I did, doing so right in a clearing that served as a makeshift runway for a conventional landing. Troy rolled off me and got on his hands and knees to puke into a cave.
“God dammit Sky Buster!”
“Hey, if your sweetheart was dying and you had wings, wouldn't you use them?”
“Ugh, I suppose... I hate flying in atmosphere...” he got up and shouldered his rifle, “Put your weapon away, these Florans will attack anyone brandishing a weapon.”
FLORANS?! As in the savage pony-eating race that nearly ended my planet Florans? Oh man, what a day... I'm seething with rage again.
“Something wrong Sky?”
“The thing that's WRONG here is that I am to trust an evil race of carnivorous plants to the survival of my wife?! You sir do business with these vile creatures... And I thought Vulcan Sol bastards were evil...” I refused to put away my revolver.
“Relax Sky, these guys don't know anything about that. So the same thing happened to you too huh?”
“Wait, so your race got wrecked by them too?” I started to reason.
“Well, no. But I know of one race that did. But just trust me, these Floran don't want any trouble,” he patted me on the back, “What do you say?”
I sighed, “...Fine... JUST THIS ONCE!”
We walked into the Floran village and Troy lead the way. These plant people are vile, evil, pony-eating creatures that were eying me like a piece of meat. I had one wing on my revolver at all times, and I was thinking of beaming back to my ship and taking off to bomb the hell out of this place, burn it to the ground I thought. The buildings were made of wood, bamboo, and thatch. Their furniture looked like something cave ponies threw together: savage and uncultured. Some of the taller buildings were carved trees that reminded me of the Old Ponyville library where I'd spend by days hanging out with Twi, AnY, and Rainbow as we read books and discussed in our book club. We finally came to the merchant of the town and his spoken language was flawless, not like the other Florans I heard which spoke in broken sentences and hissing sounds.
“Hello there human! What do you want today?” he put one elbow on the counter and went eye level with Troy.
“Please, two of my friends are sick. I'm going to need some red stim packs to treat them,” Troy told it to the Floran straight.
“Well, red stim packs are hard to come by these days. What with Earth destroyed and all. I'd sell a batch of ten for five hundred pixels.”
“Sounds about right, here you go,” Troy handed him the money.
“You want some pet food for your tiny alien there?” he looked at me in that disgustingly superior way. My anger reached the boiling point.
“LISTEN HERE AND LISTEN STRAIGHT YOU OVERGROWN FLYTRAP! Never! And I repeat: never! Call me a fucking pet again you fucking asshole crabgrass!” a puff of steam came from my nose.
“Sky Buster! Control yourself!” Troy yelled at me. This made me even more furious. I stuck my middle feather out at both of them.
“FUCK YOU! AND FUCK THIS WORLD!” I swiped the medicine and flew off. I couldn't take the sight of those damned Florans and what they did to my homeworld. Troy ran out of the village to try and stop me.
“Sky! Sky! Dammit that fucking horse!”
I flew as fast as I could back to New Ponyville. I touched down at the door of Fluttershy's house and busted inside, “I have the medicine! How are they?”
“Bad, they're just barely holding on...” Twi and all the others gathered around our sick. Antony was beside Kim helping her to hang on for life as a heart monitor dipped in and out of life and death. I opened the case of stim packs and handed one to Fluttershy. I had one as well and wanted to administer it to my Dashie.
“On three! One, two, three,” we injected both of them with the serum and I whispered to Rainbow softly, “...I could be sitting here on a cloud... Watching the sun as it starts to go down... The only thing missing...”
I burst into tears, feeling the cold and lifeless hoof of my sweetheart as she faded away. I let my head fall onto her chest and I couldn't hear her breathing. I held onto her hoof and cried into her fur. I couldn't believe it... My love, my wife, my-my guardian angel and savior from myself... She's dead in my arms... All of my thoughts subsided and my mind was hallow. Nothing but emptiness and the muffled sounds of my sobbing pierced into my soul... Then something soft caught my ear.
“...is you by my side,” she so faintly whispered into my ear. At first I thought her soul reached out to me beyond the grave, with how faint and inaudible her whisper was. Then I heard more singing, “Give me a smidge of confidence... Give me a speck of something that makes sense...”
“...Give me an idea of dependency!” I jumped up and sang along, embracing her in my arms and sobbing into her shoulder in relief.
“Give me a dash of-,” she coughed, recovering from her illness, “Loyalty...”
“I could save my lonely soul for you!” I continued to sing with all my heart, “But the feeling in my heart can't follow through!”
“You can give your broken heart to me... Because you know that I'll stay with you... That's why they call us Loyalty!” she started to rock back and forth stoking my mane. My heart pounded and I couldn't stop crying in relief. Everypony else gathered around us and we all came together for a group hug.
After all was said and done I had to report to Twilight on Floran activity. We were living on a planet inhabited by them, and I didn't tell anypony else least that cripple our morale.
“Sky Buster, are you sure about this?” she looked at me in a serious demeanor.
“Yes. I wanted to address it to you first. If word got out that we're living on a Floran planet then morale would plummet,” I gave my opinion.
“It's bad enough that we have two of our own security team too sick to fight. AJ already threw away those bananas and I've ordered everypony to scan thoroughly everything we might encounter in the future, even if it is familiar,” she looked outside the window and saw our ships, “Sky Buster. Could we possibly destroy that town by bombing it?”
“Maybe. I'd use up all the aircraft ordinance on my ship though. But wouldn't that be suspicious to just take off in the middle of the night like that? Plus their town is pretty large and who knows how many there are on this planet?” I looked out the window with her, “However, to be honest maybe we can find a peaceful route. We're outnumbered a hundred to one so peace might be our only option. From what I've heard this village doesn't know about the Floran Incident back home.”
“I'll see to it then. I'm putting you in charge as my guard for this diplomatic mission. I'll take AnY with us as well,” Twilight outlined the plan, “I agree with you, we might not have a choice but peace. We're not giving up this colony.”
“Now if you'll excuse me, I think I left a human back at that town. I'll need to pick him up,” I walked out of the door and took off back in the direction of the town.
A few minutes of flying and I saw that blue dot of a human in the same clearing I landed in. He was fighting off a few dark blue colored birds with long beaks and feathered bat wings. They shot out bolts of plasma at him and he was firing at them as they swarmed. I looked down and yelled to him.
“Troy! I've got your back!” I pulled my royal guard sword and took it in one hoof. If there was one thing I was good at it was aerial combat. It's what my cutie mark meant: a Fillypine sunburst that symbolized the love for my homeland and my ability to always keep clear skies. I was fast and aggressive in my strikes and swings, cutting down a few of those Boltbeaks as I called them. The contents of their stomach were Floran remains and alien coins which I learned were called Pixels. Troy was being overwhelmed by this swarm and had to reload.
“Shit! Changing mags!” he reloaded his bullpup AK. He was too late as a Boltbeak dug its talons into him. It charged a shot in its mouth and pinned him to the ground. I was there to intercept the creature and cut its head clean off before it could kill him.
“Sorry about that,” I helped him up to his feet.
“Just for the record, don't leave me behind again. I've been walking for hours,” he dusted himself off and cupped his shoulder in pain.
“You're hurt,” I examined the wound on his shoulder, “Ouch, that's gotta burn but you'll be okay.”
I got out the medkit and treated him. We sat under a tree as the evening set. He took off his helmet and he asked me a question.
“So, what's your beef with the Florans?”
“They ravaged my homeworld and ate many of my kind. We nearly faced extinction but somehow we managed to win the war. The lesser nations of my world didn't fair as well and we're still trying to clean up the mess back home. We were sent to explore the stars to give hope to those who needed it. My friends and family that you see in town are the first ponies to go beyond our solar system,” I readied the disinfectant to pour onto his wound, “This is gonna hurt. Stay still.”
I saw him take a bullet from his rifles magazine and he bit into it as I poured the disinfectant onto his plasma burnt wound. Then I carefully bandaged it and examined his rifle.
“Pardon me, mind if I take a look?”
“Sure, go ahead,” he handed me his rifle and I followed its contours. It was made of a special type of steel alloy and looked to be machined with high precision, “It's called an AK-113. Fires an iron tipped 5.9 millimeter ball cartridge. Shreds unarmored enemies nicely and it's a common weapon for Russian and Chinese Colonial Marines.”
“Semi, full, and burst huh? What's this thing on the top?” I touched the odd piece of glass and metal that projected from the top of the gun.
“That's called a holographic sight. Notice how the gun has rails on top, bottom, and under the barrel. That's where you mount the attachments. It's very modular and reliable.”
“Well, it looks so much like my own rifle. Have you ever heard of an AK-47?” I gave him back his rifle.
“Oh that legendary rifle! Who hasn't? It's still being used today. How far advanced is your world?”
“Well, I'd say we're semi-modern compared to your standard. We have television, computers, and electronics but they aren't as advanced as your own I take it. There are legends on my planet that humans were the first to take to the stars,” I helped him up and we continued.
“That's right. Say, how do you fly so fast with just wing power alone?”
“It's called magic. My wings separate oxygen and hydrogen molecules and act as ramjet engines. That's how most pegasi fly at high speeds,” I explained.
“Oh really? A Pegasus huh?” he looked back and forth, hearing a strange sound. I thought I heard it too but it faded away, “You're a talking horse though.”
“Correction: horses are feral animals on my world like chimps are supposedly to humans. I'm a pony,” I placed one hoof to my chest to make my point, “There are several different types of ponies. There are earth ponies which look like normal horses and can grow plants really fast, unicorns with their spell casting horns, pegasi like me who can fly and walk on clouds, changelings which are insect-like, bat ponies with bat wings and fangs, and that sort of thing.”
“Well that's interesting. And what of that one that I saw with the horn and wings?”
“Those are called Alicorns, and she is our leader and Princess: the highest ruling body in our country. They serve as our benevolent leaders and diplomats. Only a few ponies can transcend and transform to become an Alicorn. My friend Digi almost did once, but he only ended up with one wing and he had to change back to be a unicorn. I gave him so much shit for that teasing him about how he drank half a red bull potion.”
“Wow, us humans got the short end of the stick. How come other races get to have such cool abilities? At least you can't eat meat so haha!” he pointed at me with both hands and shuffled them back and forth.
“Oh yes we can. See?” I lifted my gums to prove my point, “We've got incisors and shit like that, just more molars for primarily eating plants. In mainland Equestria, our most dominant country, eating meat isn't taboo, but most choose to eat veggies.”
“Dammit, I feel like a fleshy meatbag here. I mean, Florans get more energy in sunshine, Hylotls can breathe underwater, Apex are fast and agile as fuck, Avians can glide, and Glitch are robots. Those are all the primary sentient races you can expect to encounter and I'm jelly bro.”
“Hehehe!” I patted him on the back, “You'll get used to it.”
“Hey ow! That part still hurts you know!”
“I know, I'm just teasing you,” I looked up into the night sky and that large desert planet hovering over us, “Wanna fly? I'll be slower this time.”
“I think I'll pass. Say, can you beam up to your ship from here?” Troy crossed his arms as it was starting to get cold out.
“Yes I can, and it's landed in my village,” I paused for thought, “And maybe I can link it to teleport you back to town huh?”
“Exactly what I was thinking. Here, hand-or... Is it hoof me your transponder?”
“Dude I'll just give it to you,” I shared teleport links to his transponder. It was reverse engineered from Floran tech and I found out later that Florans recycled human technology as well. So the process was quick and easy and we both teleported back to New Ponyville.
We invited the rest of the humans, aside from Nick, to our town and let them stay for a little bit. Almost all of the group was fascinated by their fleshy, hairless, and bipedal stance. We remembered Lyra Heartstrings back home. She would have went wild and been all up in their faces just oozing with excitement. I understood why she loved humans so much, hell I find guns and military shit as wonderful as her obsession with humans. They told us about the stars, where Earth was and how a giant tentacle monster ate all of it. The human race: Cauasian, Hispanic, African Americans, and all their other ethnic groups. Their food was mostly rice, wheat, and meat based and with that knowledge I cooked them up some Sycthetail burgers for dinner. Apparently our flower sandwiches were inedible to them and the carrot dogs didn't suite their taste. Everyone found the humans to be both weird and fascinating as we exchanged stories, lore, culture, and music. As the night drew on it was time for them to go and we handed them some supplies to help. Our first contact with sentient life:
Still not anal probed...