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Mare En Armure

By Aftercase
Created: 12th December 2020 01:43:11 AM

  1. >The white alicorn looks up at you while you sip your coffee from the safety of your tank, or .home as it came to be.
  2. > "Anonymous, please consider my offer.”
  3. >You ignore the alicorn and continue to stare into the distance enjoying your coffee.
  4. > "Anonymous.” She says your name a bit more sternly yet holds a certain softness to it.
  5. You sigh and bring your attention down to her. “No.”
  6. > "I urge you to reconsider, Equestria is on the verge of a major conflict-”
  7. “Throwing pies at buffalo again? I fail to see why you need a tank. Bit overkill don’t you think?”
  8. > "That, that was- Not sure what that was, but no, the situation is dire.”
  9. “Must be, for you to leave your little princess castle to hunt down a hairless ape in bumfuck nowhere.”
  10. > "Actually, this is Sweet Apple Acres-”
  11. “Still holds true.”
  12. > "AppleJack has been sending complaints to the royal guard about your presence here.”
  13. “I already told her, I’m not leaving this tank until I get it back to the museum - back on Earth. Where I belong.”
  14. > "I’m sorry Anonymous, but as I’ve already told you in my previous letter, that getting you back home has taken a low priority at this time.”
  15. You squeeze the bridge of your nose and mutter some profanities under your breath. “Look, Princess Peach…”
  16. > "Celestia.” She cuts in with a little irritation in her voice.
  17. “Whatever, I’m just a security guard that looks after a tank museum, if you want to know how this thing works, or even use it in battle, then you are misguided.”
  18. > "There are many hero’s who came from simple backgrounds Anonymous, take Twilight-”
  19. “Nope, don’t mention that name, too many times I’ve caught purple pain rummaging through the tank.”
  20. > ”Anon.”
  21. “It’s a no princess, plus you’re starting to sound like my mother.”
  22. > ”Very well.” Celestia answers back in an icy way, that didn’t sit well with you. With a crackle, her horn lights up and fires a red flare like light into the sky.
  23. >Within seconds, royal guards encircle you and your tank.
  24. >As the last guard's hooves hit the ground, “Guards arrest that Human.”
  25. “What the hell for? I’ve done nothing wrong!” You call out.
  26. > ”Trespassing on private property, theft of property-”
  27. >You hold up a finger interject on her accusations, but with a quick point with her hoof, she calls your attention to the pile of apple cores littering around the tank.
  28. >After a moment of silence she continues,  “Littering on private property, brandishing a weapon, and lastly, illegal immigration.”
  29. “Hey!” You fire a finger at her, “It’s not my fault I’m here!”
  30. > ”Then you can explain that in court Anonymous.”
  31. “This is a complete abuse of power! Celestia, you should be ashamed.”
  32. > ”If you are trying to guilt me into backing down Anonymous, then you are mistaken. I did far worse things to protect my little ponies.”
  33. “This is unjust.”
  34. > ”Does it look like my special talent is justice? Now I am fair. I can cut a deal.”
  35. “Are you guys listening to this!?” You call out to her guards “You're protecting a tyrant!”
  36. >You notice that word cut a little deep as Celestia grimaces a little if only for a fraction of a second. “There’s no use, I cast a spell on them, all they can hear is me reading out your rights.”
  37. “Some ‘kind’ ruler you are, you got these subjects of yours truly tricked.”
  38. > ”I’m no longer playing games Anonymous, you know more about this tank than you let on.”
  39. “For heaven's sake Princess, I only know from what I read on the placards that were dotted around the museum. Plus this thing is over seventy years old.”
  40. > ”Yet the technology is leaps and bounds here in Equestria.”
  41. “I don’t care what conflict your country may fall into. But I’m no fighter, I have no intention to fight, in any war.”
  42. > ”You are a guard are you not?”
  43. “A security guard, Peach. All I do is drink coffee and watch security cameras. Maybe walk around with a flashlight now and again when I can be bothered.”
  44. > ”Then what would you do if somepony breaks in?”
  45. “Hide and call the police. Maybe cry like a bitch in a process.”
  46. >Celestia simply stares at you, either she’s dumbfounded by your answer, or she is scheming something behind that poker face. “Very well,” she speaks up after her moment of silence, “If you are no use, then I have no choice to bring you to court for your crimes and have this ‘Tank’ scrapped for its metals.”
  47. “No! Wait!” You quickly slide down the side of the tank, causing a few guards to point their spears in your direction, ignoring them you continue “You can’t just scrap a piece of history! This is an M4 Sherman Tank, thirty-three tons of pure American steel with its 75-millimeter gun-”
  48. > ”So you -do- know a lot about it.” Celestia raises her eyebrow.
  49. “...”
  50. > ”Great. I’ll take your silence as a confirmation, guards, at ease.” She orders, as on cue the Royal Guards shoulder their spears. “It seems Anonymous seeks a pardon by joining the Equestrian Regular Army. I honor his decision…”
  51. “That bullshit, I said no such thing…”
  52. > ”Exelecent, who lay witness to Anonymous plea say aye.” The bitch princess smiles at you. With her horn still glowing.
  53. >The guards surrounding you ‘aye’ in unison.
  54. “I can’t believe you would mind controlling your own troops like that, I won't fight for you.” You say coldly.
  55. > ”I would never do such a thing, I simply changed the sounds coming from our mouths.”
  56. “Okay princess, Then why I cannot hear what-”
  57. [Yes princess, I cannot wait to join your ranks]
  58. “..I didn’t say that.”
  59. [You honor me.]
  60. >You sigh in defeat and let your shoulder drop. There was no way out of this.
  61. > ”Then we both have come to an understanding.”
  62. “This is so messed up.” You slowly shake your head.
  63. >Celestia walks up to you and brings her muzzle to your ear. “I’m sorry, but the safety of Equestria comes above all else. Please forgive me in time.” She pulls back and looks at you with sorrow in her eyes, “Guards please escort Anonymous to the nearest recruitment center. Have him sign up under E.A.C, they will know what it means.” With that, the white alicorn takes to the sky with one flap of her wings and vanishes in thin air.
  64. .>You stare idly for a few moments before a spear lightly hits your shin.
  65. >Glancing down, you spot a guard looking up at you. “I would have chosen prison. The regs are pure Tartarus. I’ll bet all my bits your enthusiasm would be gone within a week”
  66. >You let out nothing more than groan.
  67.  
  68.  
  69.  
  70.  
  71. >Ten weeks later boot camp was finally completed.
  72. >The enthusiasm that you didn't have was somehow gone.
  73. >You're body aches, you're tired, and you've been run ragged.
  74. >Not to mention you've been shouted at by every level of command while in boot camp, even the cook in the mess hall.
  75. >One top of that, you've probably annoyed every pony that was in your training regiment, mostly because of you they either had to double marches or clean the camp from top to bottom till the early hours of the morning.
  76. >Many tried getting you kicked from Bootcamp, either messing up your locker just before inspection, blaming you for missing equipment, or spreading rumors about you being a griffin spy.
  77. >In which you gladly claimed guilty for everything, just for a chance for a discharge.
  78. >But it seemed that good old Celestia, already foresighted your attempts of "leaving" without breaking her “terms”. Apparently high commands were told not to discharge you for any reason.
  79. >You breathe a sigh of relief as you and your training regimen are dismissed for the last time.
  80. >In all honesty, you are just happy for what you presumed to be a top officer waffled on for nearly an hour about shit you don't care about to stop talking.
  81. >You were just about to turn and leave the parade square before the Drill Sergeant calls your name in his gruff gravelly voice.
  82. >"Private Anonymous."
  83. You throw your hands into your pockets and walk up to the brown middle-aged stallion, without bothering to salute, you nod.  "Sergeant."
  84. >The Drill Sergeant screws up his face, probably just to swallow his rage for your causal addressing and dismissal of his rank, or so you thought. To your surprise, a glimmer of personality peeks through as he sighs and motions his head to his office. "Come with me Private."
  85. >You shrug. Again, not bothering with protocol when being addressed by a superior.
  86. >In silence, you make your way to his office where he asks to close the door behind you as he circles around his polished wooden desk and takes a seat.
  87. >You on the other hand, like a moody teenager, place your hands in your pockets and lean against the door frame.
  88. >"Never in my life, I have seen such little respect, little care, or willingness to be part of the military." The Drill Sergeant spoke harshly but oddly not raising his voice to the levels you are used to. "It worries me that you are let into our ranks. I do hope the top brass know what they are doing."
  89. "To be honest, I've been hoping to be kicked out."
  90. >"If being kicked out was part of the training you have failed at that as you seemed to fail at everything else." The stallion mentioned while flicking through the paperwork on his desk. "Though there is hope."
  91. "Please, tell." you roll your eyes.
  92. >The drill sergeant glares up at you from his paperwork for a few moments before speaking. "It seems you are being put in a whole new division, that's outside of the regulars. So I'm glad to say you are no longer our problem. Or my problem for that matter."
  93. "Just peachy..."
  94. >"Yeah, 'peachy'. Either way, you are to collect your belongings and make your way to the Fort Frontier military base."
  95. "And where's that?"
  96. >"Get the train to Appaloosa and you will wait for your escort. If you get bored waiting for them, feel free to walk out into the desert on foot."
  97. "Yeah, good one. Well, I hope I don't see you around." Not waiting for a reaction from the drill sergeant, you turn to open the door.
  98. >"Private wait."
  99. You turn to meet the tired eyes of the Drill Instructor, "What now? I got a desert to explore."
  100. >The Drill Instructor takes a deep breath to simmer down, weeks of bellowing, threatening, and punishing you has clearly taken a toll on him.
  101. >You almost feel bad for him, clearly, he never realized you stopped giving a crap months ago.
  102. >"Private, I know you are a good stalli- err, man deep down, and if Faust forbids things to come to push to shove, you will fulfill your duty when the time comes."
  103. >His words hit something little deep, are things that dire that they would recruit someone like you? You had made it clear you have no intention to defend this country, this isn't your home.
  104. "I would if I had something to defend, sadly, it' would be all the other side of the universe."
  105. >"Then take my advice Private, find something or somepony to care about. You're dismissed."
  106. >You hesitate as you open the door, glancing over your shoulder you decide at the last split second not to say anything and quietly leave the Drill Sergeant to rub his temples.
  107.  
  108. >It was a good while for an escort of royal guards in their golden armor to lead you to the nearby train station.
  109. > ”Get on board Private.” The white guard orders poking you behind the leg with his spear.
  110. “Damn, do I look like a prisoner to you?” You look down at the stallion as you rub the back of your leg. “Do it again and I’ll jam that spear where the sun doesn't shine and cook you like a marshmallow…”
  111. >Unfazed by your threat the guard looks up at you unamused. “Get on the train private.”
  112. >Grumbling you step into the train carriage where the guards ushered you into a set to be sat opposite by a unicorn mare, with a long pink mane. Who is shuffling through her paperwork with her magic?
  113. >The mare tells you to sit in a voice you couldn't help notice her familiar tone.
  114. > ”I’ll take it from here, you are both dismissed” She orders the guards.
  115. >A few moments pass before she speaks again, but you decide to interrupt before she can get her first word out.
  116. “I know that’s you, Princess Peach.”
  117. > "Very observant Anon. So tell me, how was boot camp?”  She tilts her head from behind the paperwork.
  118. >You say nothing but answer with a frown and folded arms.
  119. > "Surely you learned a thing or two?”
  120. “I’m now very efficient at  cleaning toilets and mess halls if that’s what you are asking.”
  121. > "I see,” The disguised Celestia places down the paperwork beside her with grace. “I would like to say thank you for lending us your tank over the ten-week period. It’s been useful.”
  122. “I swear if you have done anything to it-”
  123. >The princess raises her hoof. “My royal engineers and scientists have only been taking it apart and rebuilding it. We even managed to reverse engineer some of it’s more simple components.”
  124. “You did what!?” You raise your voice, startling the other passengers on board.
  125. > "Please calm down Anonymous.” Celestia waves down her hoof in another graceful fashion, “Your tank is still how you left it. We have taken great care.”
  126. “Well, I want it back.”
  127. > "I’m sorry but we are still researching its engine and fire mechanisms. It’s truly amazing how such equipment is created without the use of magic.”
  128. “You’re starting to sound like your student, Book Sparkles.”
  129. > "Twilight Sparkle, but yes, her preliminary observations and research of your tank have led us into creating Equestria's first armored vehicle prototypes.”
  130. “So that’s what she was doing when she kept sneaking into my tank...How long have you been doing this Celestia? It seems this little project of yours has been going on for a while.”
  131. > "Since two years ago, when you ended up in Applejacks orchard and told any pony who came close that it was a dangerous weapon.”
  132. “So you heard of it, then decided you want one for yourself.”
  133. > ”Almost. Tensions between Equestria and The Griffin Empire have been escalating.” Celestia pulls out a black and white photograph and hovers it across from you with her magic.
  134. >You squint and face the photo towards the carriage window to get a clear view of what you were looking at.
  135. >It seems to be an aerial photograph of a field containing armored wagon-like vehicles, it's clear what they’ve been trying to create.
  136. > ”Those are griffin tanks. Though a very early prototype.”
  137. “So that explains why you were so persistent.”
  138. > ”Indeed, you see, warfare is changing, I fear the days of the spear, cannon, and magic are over.”
  139. “I can tell you now Peach, if you expect your armies to march in rank to hack the enemy with tanks on the battlefield, it’ll be a bloodbath in epic proportions. Take it from an alien from a planet who has two world wars, especially the first one where we had to learn the hard way using outdated tactics with modern technology..”
  140. >Celestia eyes you for a few seconds before speaking up again “We are aware of that. We have been watching the griffins battle tactics closely when they have been invading neighboring countries.”
  141. “Small units, consisting of two firing squads.”
  142. >Celestia raises her eyebrows, being slightly impressed. “Correct. With the griffin's breech-loaded rifle a dozen or so units can hold off an army of melee infantry…”
  143. “Yet your army is still using those zappy spears for ranged combat.”
  144. > ”Magic imbued spears. And Yes, they were the answer for the griffins muskets and cannon. With its quick cooldown time it easily outmatched their muskets, it kept griffin eyes away from Equestrian territories, yet I do believe you should have been issued one.”
  145. “My zappy spear? I threw it in the bin after leaving Bootcamp. I thought I made it clear I’m not fighting for -you- or this country.”
  146. > ”I am aware of that. But where you are going there will be no fighting. You have a simple task to complete.”
  147. “And that is?”
  148. > ”You will be training the first tank crew in Equestria.”
  149. You furrow your brow, “What!? I already told you I don’t know much about armored warfare let alone train a crew.”
  150. > ”I believe you will do well.”
  151. “I’m not doing this. Think of the safety of your ponies Peaches, They can get hurt or even worse killed by my actions.”
  152. > ”It’s actually nice to see you care about my ponies.”
  153. “I don’t, I don't want to deal with the guilt.”
  154. >Celestia rolls her pink/purple eyes, “All I ask you to give it your best shot and I’ll promise you I will never send you or your new crew into combat.”
  155. You lean back into your seat, “I’m holding you to that Princess.”
  156. > ”As you wish.” Celestia replies with a warm smile. “And I almost forgot to give you this,” She adds as she hovers across a black shiny device.
  157. >You snatched it from her magical grasp and instinctively turned it on.
  158. >To your surprise your phone lights up, displaying a full battery.
  159. “Where did you get this?”
  160. > ”I was in the tank tucked behind the seat. Though the technology is too far advanced to reverse engineer, it has given us a few laughs.”
  161. >She didn’t.
  162. > ”I do have to say Anonymous you are very fond of your females back home to have thousands of pictures and moving images of them in intercourse..”
  163. >You feel your face fill beat red with embarrassment.
  164. > ”Though it did explain why the tank smelled like a teenage colts room…”
  165. “...It’s been lonely. You try being on an alien planet.” You quickly snap back.
  166. > ”I understand. We all have our instinctual desires, Anonymous.” The princess once again gives you a warm smile but this time a hint of smugness under her facade.
  167. >Deciding saying nothing is the best course of action, you stare out the window at the passing desert scenery as the embarrassment consumes you.
  168. > ”Now, come on Anonymous.” Celestria breaks the momentary silence “Stallions seem to be stallions wherever they come from.”
  169. “Peaches, please. Just stop.” You reply not baring to look at her.
  170. >Celestia giggles. “As you wish.” she replies, joining you looking out the window, “It seems we are almost there.
  171. “So,” You change the subject,  “Who’s the escort to take me to Fort Frontier? Is it twiddle dee and twiddle dumb over there?”
  172. > ”No, they are staying with me. Your escorts will be waiting for you at the station. Though please keep in mind that they will be your crew, so make good impressions.”
  173. “No promises.”
  174. > ”Then at least say hello and go from there.”
  175. “Fine.”
  176. >After a while, the train screeches to a halt outside a well-weathered wooden station. Presuming this is your stop you get up and glance outside the windows on either side.
  177. >The train station is void of any life, surrounded by bone dry desert on both sides.
  178. “Hey, Peaches?”
  179. > ”Yes  Anonymous?” Celestia answers as she returns reading through the paperwork.
  180. “I think this is the wrong stop.”
  181. >The princess looks up for a quick peek out the window before returning to whatever she is reading. “No, this is the right one. Guards, can you escort the human off the train.”
  182. “Hey!” You feel the spears prod you in the back as the Royal Guards usher you off the train.
  183. >You quickly run round to the princess’s window and bang on it.
  184. “Peaches! You can’t just leave me out here!”
  185. >Celestia opens the window with a smile, “That reminds me, you have been promoted to tank commander. Well done Staff Sergeant, I’m very proud of you.”
  186. “I bet you hand those titles out like skittles. Besides ranks don’t mean shit when you're left to die!”
  187. > ”I’m not leaving you to die Anonymous, It seems your escort is a little late that is all.” The princess replies as the train blow its whistle and start to pull away.
  188. “Wait! Princess! Stop the train!” You start to run after it “Princess! Wait!...” You continue to run at full sprint to keep up, eventually, you run out of the platform and crashland face-first into the desert floor.
  189. >You lay there for a few moments before rolling over and let the hot desert sun heat your chest and face.
  190. >It wasn’t long before the heat became too uncomfortable to be in direct sunlight, you can feel your skin grow tighter on your cheeks and arms. You push yourself up on your feet and hobble back to an old wooden station building.
  191. >You push the sand battered timber door, it creaks as you push the debris to one side.
  192. “Hello?” You call into the empty building.
  193. >Slowly, you creep in minding the fallen beams and old luggage that's been scattered around.
  194. >You make your way to the ticket booth located opposite and wipe away the dust and muck from the window, to your amusement you spot a sign saying “Back in five minutes”.
  195. >After a little internal chuckle, it dawns on you this station is truly abandoned.
  196. >With nothing to do to either wait or die of dehydration, fall back onto a wooden chair.
  197. >At least the old building gives you some shade from the hellish sun.
  198.  
  199. >What seems like an eternity, a distant rumble stirs you from your boredom-induced coma.
  200. >You continue to listen, the rumbling seems to be getting closer, it must be something heavy as you can hear rocks and stone split underneath whatever is moving towards you.
  201. >As you become fully aware, you hear a wooden wall explode behind the ticket booth.  
  202. >Startled you turn around to see wooden splinters fly in every direction, as a massive metal body comes crashing through.
  203. >You stumble back tripping on one of the fallen beams and scramble away from the metal hull.
  204. >The ticket booth's glass shatters and falls under the tracks of the metal beast, you continue to try to shuffle back from your incoming death. To your dismay, you feel something behind you, another wall.
  205. >It felt like your ears were ringing but it occurs to you, that it is you screaming like a ten-year-old schoolgirl. The metal hull creeps closer as you tuck in your legs like a terrified animal,
  206. >The best brings itself to a stop mere inches from your face.
  207. >On close inspection, it seems to be a tank, but similar to your Sherman, but it’s full of rust, flakey paint, and an incredibly short barrel on the turret.
  208. >You notice a hatch flip open near the back end with a heavy clank, a beige faced mare, with a dusty brown mane to match pokes her head out.
  209. >Shortly after one of the front hatches flips open to reveal another mare, this time, with a brown coat and a black mane. The brown mare turns around to look at the unamused beige mare.
  210. > ”Sorry Corporal, the magic flow regulator jammed on again, it seems like it needs more...tape.” The brown mare says slowly duck back in the tank as she finishes her excuse.
  211. > ”This is why we are Bravo Company Linksy! We get dumped with useless mares like you!” The beige mare bellows at her.
  212. > ”I said I’m sorry! I’m not a unicorn, I don’t understand all these magical components.” Linksy calls out from the safety from the hatch.
  213. >The Corporal groans a curse under her breath before barking an order. “Purple Hearts,  Shells, fall out, I want you on hoof to search for our new-” She pauses as she spots you with her deep orange eyes. “...Are you Staff Sergeant Any Moose?”
  214. “It’s Anonymous...” You reply, still unnerved from your near-death experience.
  215. >The mare squints at some paperwork in her hooves, “An-non-e-mous…I think that’s you.” She quickly gives you a salute, “Welcome to the frontier sir, I am Corporal Air Waves, Co-driver and Communications. Sir...”
  216. “Hey.” You give a simple wave.
  217. >”...Mare’s fall out and introduce yourselves.” Air Wave calls into the tank.
  218. >The odd tank bustles with activity, as three mares hop out of the hatches and leap onto the floor.
  219. >”..S-sir, Private Linksy- Sorry - Chain Link, Driver, and Technician.” The brown earth pony timidly says with an awkward salute.
  220. >Next a pinkish purple unicorn with a short pure white mane speaks up, sounding half asleep. “Private Purple Hearts, Loader.”
  221. >Lastly another earth pony, with a light blue coat with a lighter mane introduces herself. “Private Sea Shells, Gunner.” Sea Shells finishes off with an actual military-grade salute.
  222.  
  223. >After the introductions Air Waves speaks up again, “Since the introductions are complete sir, do you wish to fall in?.. Just watch out for the jagged edges when you climb up, we’re out of tetanus jabs back at base.”
  224. >You nod and make your way to the side of the tank then proceed to climb up to the commanders' hatch. You and Air Waves stare at each other awkwardly as you wait for her to move.
  225. > ”Is there a problem sir?” She asks, cocking her head to one side.
  226. “This is a commander's hatch. The Co-drivers one is at the front there.” You point to the correct hatch.
  227. > ”Oh right, sorry sir.” Air waves replied before climbing out of the tank.
  228. >You notice the set of beige wings on the Corporal as she flutters over the tank and opens the co-drivers hatch and hops in.
  229. >Following suit, you step down into the tank. The smell of sweaty mare hits you like a brick.
  230. > ”You get used to the smell after a while.” Purple Hearts mentions with one sleepy eye open as she leans on the ammunition shelves.
  231. “God it reeks in here.” You say, but feeling a bit of a hypocrite at the same time but if sweaty straw had a smell it would be this.
  232. > ”It does, just accept your fate and bear with it.” She continues.
  233. > ”Alright Linksy, get us back to base.” You hear the Corporal order from the drivers' section.
  234. > ”Shouldn’t the new commander give that order? Corporal?”
  235. > ”...Oh, sugar.” You hear her curse. “Waiting for orders Commander.”
  236. “Uh, sure. Take us to base...Err…” You rack your brain for the driver's name.
  237. > ”Private Chain Link. Or Linksy for short.” Purple Heart half whispers after a yawn.
  238. “Thanks.” You whisper back, in which the purple mare nods, “Take us back Private Chain Link.”
  239. > ”Yes sir. Moving now.” Linksy replies as the tank shudders into life.
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