Welcome to my first MLP fic, it's a bit of a long chapter, sorry about that. Also, I'm labelling this T, but it contains graphic scenes and a few swears, so don't read on if you're offended by that stuff. Anyway, R&R please, and most of all, enjoy!

It was a fairly normal evening in the Apple family farm, Applejack and Applebloom were busy sorting the day's harvest in the barn, it was tedious work, but it had to be done. However, Applejack had a hunch that something wasn't right, the air was wobbling as if they were stood in the middle of a desert, granted it was a warm summer's evening, but this wasn't natural. She was soon proved right when a loud bang reverberated throughout the barn, and a man materialised right before her eyes, he was dressed in dirty olive coloured combat clothes and wearing a tin hat, the man was lying on the ground, shuffling slightly. Lying next to him was a standard issue M16 rifle and a hand grenade.

The man stood up groggily, looking around. His vision was blurry and he could hardly make out the shapes he was seeing. His vision soon cleared and he was confronted by two ponies looking at him, confused.

"Uhh... Hello?" Applejack said to the soldier, wondering who, or what he was. The soldier looked shocked and confused, understandably so since he had just woken up in a barn next to a talking pony.

"...Hey." The soldier said, slightly cautiously. He bent down to pick up the rifle and grenade and holstrered both.

"What's that you got there?" Applebloom asked quizzically, gesturing to the rifle on the soldier's back.

"It's my rifle." The soldier replied, pulling it back into his hands to show the young pony, who looked at him incredulously.

"Yer what?" She asked, before the soldier could give her an answer Applejack interrupted them.

"Don't be so nosy, Applebloom. I'm sorry, she can be a bit, well, nosy at times." She said apolagetically, the soldier waving his hand nonchalantly.

"It's perfectly fine, I'm not a stickler for manners where they're not needed." He removed his helmet and held it under his arm. "I've been bombarded with bad manners since I was drafted." He gave a hollow laugh, casting his mind back to his first day in the jungle.

"Drafted?" Applejack asked, raising one eyebrow.

"Look who's the nosy one now!" Applebloom's voice was laced with exasperation.

"Heh, you're a cheeky one, aren't you?" The soldier said, smiling down at the pony. "You remind me of my kid." His voice fell when he mentioned his only child, the poor boy was only one year old when his father left to fight for his country.

"Sounds like you miss him..." Applejack said, her voice held a hint of sadness.

"Yeah, I sure do." The soldier sighed, before looking back to Applebloom. "So is this your kid?" Applejack laughed heartily before answering.

"Goodness, no! This is my little sister Applebloom, and I'm Applejack by the way. S'good to be makin' your acquaintance."

"Well I'm Sergeant John Marsh, and likewise." John smiled. "By the way, where the fuck am I?" Applejack gasped and covered her sister's ears, who looked just as shocked.

"We don't use that language here!" Applejack hissed, clearly upset at the curse.

"Oh, sorry, it's been a while since I was in the company of anyone other than the troops or the enemy, I didn't mean to offend."

"Well that's alright, just to let ya know, we don't take too kindly to swearing, at least in the company of -" Applejack was interrupted by another loud bang behind her, both she and Applebloom spun around to see another man, an Asian man, standing in front of them, holding an AK47 rifle with bayonet. He was dressedin a tatty black shirt with crossed bandoliers, a bloodstained headband, and was wearing straw woven shoes. He looked confused and immediately pointed his rifle at the two ponies before him aggressively, both of whom backed off, worried.

"Nơi này!" The man screamed, thrusting the bayonet dangerously close to Applejack's face. John cocked his rifle and raised it, silently aligning the sights to the opponent's head. A second before he pulled the trigger, the man notcied him and dived into his midriff, trowing both men onto the ground.

"Bạn chết bây giờ!" The Asian man screamed into John's face, thrusing the bayonet at his chest. John barely blocked the blow, holding the knife inches above his chest. He used all his strength to throw the rifle to the left, knocking the enemy off balance, he took the opportunity to sweep the opponent's feet from under him, causing his to fall onto his back with a thud. John swiflty got up and stomped his boot into the man's face, causing blood to come out of the nose. Applejack covered her sister's eyes so she wouldn't be able to see the horrific fight that was unfolding before them. John pulled out his Colt .45 pistol and pulled the slide back, letting it return to the forward position with a click, he calmly pointed it at the enemy soldier, who was still recoiling from the brutal kick to the face.

He pulled the trigger a number of times, emptying the whole clip into the soldier's face. Blood sprayed in all directions as the rounds ripped through flesh and shattered bone, all with sickening squelching, crunching and cracking noises. After John holstered his pistol, he turned to the two ponies, one of which looked in utter disgust and horror at the lifeless, blood stained corpse in front of her, th other not really understanding what was going on.

"Is he..." Applejack started a sentence but was too shocked to finish.

"Dead? Yes, he's dead." John finished for her, receiving only a weak nod in return, the pony's eyes strangely transfixed on the body.

"Why... How... Did you really just do that?" She asked, not really knowing what to say.

"I had no choice, there's no reasoning with the VC, even without the language barrier." Applejack finally pulled her gaze away from the dead body and back to John. "Why don't you send your sister somewhere else, I think you need to be filled in." John suggested, gesturing to the smaller pony, who still couldn't see.

"Applebloom, go back to the house, and don't tell nobody what just happened, kay?" She nudged her sister, who reluctantly walked out of the barn, leaving just the two there. John sat himself down on a hay bale and loaded a fresh magazine into his pistol. Applejack simply stood where she was, trying her hardest to ignore the corpse.

"So, where exactly is this?" John asked, looking round the barn and out the door, seeing a small town not too far down the road and apple orchards as far as the eye could see.

"You're in the Apple family farm right now, pardner." Applejack replied enthusiastically, almost as if she were advertising it.

"No, no, I meant, like country, or region or something like that." John corrected, causing a slight 'oh' to escape the pony's lips.

"Well, this whole place is known as the Kingdom of Equestria, an' that town down the road a ways is Ponyville."

"Uh huh, and that's all there is to this place is it?" John stood up and walked towards the door, having a good look at the outside world.

"Sure as sugar is!"

"Then why are you from Texas?" John turned to look at Applejack with this question.

"Say what now?"

"Your accent, it's a Texan accent." Applejack looked at him as if he'd gone stir crazy.

"I don't know if that there fight screwed you up in the head or somethin' but I sure as dandy ain't from no place called Texas." She said exasperatedly.

"Oh, well where I come from there's a place called Texas and the accent sounds exactly like yours."

"Well ain't that a brain buster." Applejack replied, slightly sarcastically. "Anyhow, guess it's my turn to ask you a question."

"Ask away."

"Where the hay are you from?" She asked quickly.

"It's complicated, I'm originally from America, Washington to be exact, but I've been fighting in Vietnam for the past year or so."

"Vietnam? Sounds fancy." Applejack said excitedly.

"That's where that guy's from" John pointed to the dead body in the corner. "Shit like that happens constantly there."

"So that's all you do, kill people?"

"In a nutshell, yes." John said, almost resigning himself to the fact. "Except it's a lot bigger there, there's tanks and choppers and all sorts of scary shit going on."

"Whats an' whats?"

"Tanks are like these big metal vehicles that have a huge gun on top, and choppers are flying vehicles that carry people around and have guns too." John did his best to explain, but didn't seem to be doing a very good job of it.

"What's a gun?"

"My god I never expected to have to explain to a Texan what a gun was." John said under his breath, which Applejack wisely ignored. "This is a gun," he said, tapping his rifle,"in a nutshell, it kills people."

"What, just like that?"

"No, it throws little bits of sharp metal at them really fast, and I mean REALLY fast. Fast enough that the metal goes right into their bodies." Applejack grimaced as John explained, thinking about how much that must hurt.

"Have you ever... Been hit by one?" She asked, hoping to god that he hadn't, but John's face fell slightly as she asked, all but confirming her suspicions. He slowly rolled up his shirt, exposing a small, red mark on the far right side of his abdomen, Applejack winced noticeably, the mark looked pretty painful.

"This happened about eight months ago." He said, playing it off a little too much.

"Did it hurt?" Applejack asked, already knowing the answer.

"It was the single most painful experience of my life. By a mile."

"How can people let that happen to others?" She was confused, especially since she lived in a fairytale world of friendship and kindness.

"Oh that's not all that bad compared to some of the other stuff we do to each other." John waved it off as if it was nothing. "I've seen people covered in flaming sticky liquid, and guys who've fallen into pits full of Punji sticks."

"What sticks?"

"Punji sticks, the enemy use them as traps, they're just sharpened bamboo sticks usually, but sometimes they fill them with, uh, stuff."


"Yeah, stuff." Applejack was determined to get a staright answer on this matter if it killed her.

"What kind of stuff?" She said impatiently.

"Poo." She recoiled in disgust.

"Eww, tthat's horrible!"

"Sure is, you ain't seen a infected wound till you've seen a Punji one." Applejack felt like throwing up.

"Well, it was nice chattin', but it's gettin' dark an' I don't think I want to hear anything else about what you do." She turned towards the door, "Oh and by the way, you're welcome to sleep in the barn tonight, I'd offer you a proper bed, but I don't think it's a good idea for you to be meetin' everyone else. Not yet anyways."

John nodded silently, although he didn't really want to admit it, the barn would be the best place he'd sleep for weeks.

Sorry about the slightly abrupt ending, I suddenly realised that I was onto my 5th page! This fic will be mainly about John and AJ, so if you like that pairing you're in luck! Anyway, thanks for reading and please leave a reivew.