Peace and Isolation: Rising Tide
(Halo-Mass Effect-MLP-WH 40k crossover)
A/N: Disclaimer. I do not own any of these (outside of this story, the OCs, and a few games). Halo is owned by 343 Industries. Mass Effect is owned by EA Games and Bioware. MLP:FiM is owned by Lauren Faust and Hasbro. And Warhammer 40k is owned by Gamers Workshop.
This may be our birthplace, but we can't stay in the cradle forever." -Werner von Braun
Prologue: In the Woods
"As long as there is one man left to fight, and as long as our Emperor lives, we shall not go quietly into the abyss…"- Remembrancer Valernus, M.40. 891
"I can't believe he's dead." "Were it so easy."
- Lord Hood and the Arbiter, on the "death" of Spartan-117, end of "Halo 3"
People have trouble understanding the mechanics of the multiverse. Understandable, considering how complex one universe can be on its own.
A common misconception is the vastness of it. Since the average universe is in itself pretty empty, the Average Joe would believe the same thing applies to the multiverse: Large, large stretches of nothing between worlds. It's rather quite the opposite. The multiverse is jam-packed with different worlds, all bumping into each other like a mosh pit in a rave.
Likewise, people think a wormhole is like a long tunnel connecting world-to-world. But, really, it's more like a little hole drilled between the walls of two or more universes. And, considering the permeable nature of the walls, these "portals" pop up as randomly as they please.
This is what led to the creation of the mini-multiverse that we live in today.
It started a long time ago, in the year 3'000 B.N. (Before Nightmare Moon), or 30'000 A.D., if you're from that human universe. In the human galaxy, the Emperor of Mankind had been mortally wounded during the Battle of Terra in the Horus Heresy, and His body was preserved and entombed on the Golden Throne. With His powers of Farsight, the Emperor saw the 10'000 years of slow decay that would befall Him and His people, the Imperium of Man. He could see every crime and defeat that would slowly destroy everything He had worked His almost eternal life for. And He was willing to do anything to avoid it.
So, He sent out a psychic broadcast, desperately asking anyone (or anything) that was willing to help, to free Him from His prison.
Who could've possibly thought that an answer would be given by two young god-children, just ascended to the throne themselves?
At this time, these young goddesses, Princesses Celestia and Luna, had just come into power in Equestria. These beings were alicorns, God-beings of the Ponies, undisputedly the kindest race in the multiverse.
They received the cryptic telepathic message from the Emperor; A galaxy torn by war, a species on the path to extinction, a God entombed and desperate to save them. Their hearts went out to Him, and they told Him they'd help.
After a long discussion, the sisters agreed on a solution: If they couldn't go and heal His old body, they'd make Him a new one on their world. Over the next several thousand years, the Princesses worked with the Emperor to make a new body, letting portions of his soul transfer over to "The Silver Tomb".
In exchange, the Emperor counseled the sisters on Statesmanship: Uniting all three races of the Ponies, imprisoning Discord rather than killing him, and even the thousand-year banishment of Luna when she was possessed by Nightmare Moon. And its was a combination of His psyker power and Celestia's magic that freed Nightmare/Luna, and got the new Elements of Harmony together.
However, not everything strange that happened here was His doing. 500 B.N. (or 983 A.D., if that's where you're from), a strange object appeared outside the star system, an object we now know as a "Mass Relay". Astronomers noticed it, and asked Celestia about it. The Princess went to the Emperor, and He couldn't identify it as Necron or Eldar make, the oldest races from His universe. When it didn't pose a threat, most ponies forgot about it.
Everything else happened as recorded on the now controversial "TV show" history of "My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic". Everything, of course, until the second month after the Nightmare, when a discredited unicorn and a rejected griffon met up in a forest, and found something that would change their lives (and everyone else's) forever…
"She'll learn her lesson someday."
- Twilight Sparkle, after Trixie ran out of Ponyville, during "Boast Busters"
Everfree forest, Equestria
2 months after Elements found
11:45 P.M. (local time)
The once "Great and Powerful" Trixie ran through the forest, tears of embarrassment and shame going down her face.
It had only been 20 minutes since the Ursa Minor destroyed her mobile home, and the town rejected her. Only 20 minutes since that little purple unicorn saved the village, and proved conclusively (at least to Trixie, but probably to everypony else) that she was the best magician.
That she was… better than her.
She may not have known it, but Twilight Sparkle had shamed the blue unicorn, broke all shreds of ego, confidence, maybe even self-worth. It may seem a bit overdramatic, but if Trixie was anything (besides arrogant), it was dramatic. How else does a unicorn make a living as a stage magician without a little showmanship?
Her run came down to a canter, then to a full stop. She sat down on a stump, her breath coming in moaning sobs. She cursed those stupid boy unicorns -Who names their kids "Snips" and "Snails"? she thought angrily- who wanted to see her vanquish an Ursa Major. She cursed all those dumb mares, who thought they were better than her, and ended up losing every challenge presented.
But when it came to Twilight, Trixie found that she couldn't curse her. Out of all the ponies, she was the only one who didn't challenge Trixie. She didn't think she was better. She didn't want to beat her. She may have even felt sorry for her. And with that thought, the tears came back harder than ever.
After what seemed like a long time, Trixie calmed down just enough to hear someone else crying. She looked around with bleary eyes, and walked in the direction of the sobbing.
In a nearby clearing, in the same state of woe that Trixie was just in, was a brown-and-white griffon.
Trixie couldn't know from a few feet away, and maybe it was normal for griffons, but this one in particular seemed pretty butch. A somewhat deep, rugged (yet still feminine) voice, large and muscular, boyish feather-do, all pointed to it being a male. But from what Trixie remembered from biology class long ago, only females had the white head, hence being butch.
Not that it mattered, for in this moment Trixie had sympathy for her as well. She didn't know her story, but clearly she had been through just as much crap as she had. Although she didn't know what compelled her, Trixie came to within 5 feet of the griffon, and asked, "Hey, what happened to you?"
The griffon looked up with reddened, yellow eyes, and saw the very azure unicorn wearing a purple star-covered cape and wizard hat, her face tear-streaked like her. They held eye contact for a beat, and the griffon asked in turn, "Did Pinkie Pie send you?"
"Who?" Trixie thought she had heard that name in town, but it didn't ring a bell.
"What about Rainbow Dash? Did she send you to talk to me?" The griffon sounded a little more hopeful then.
"You mean the arrogant blue Pegasus back in town?"
Trixie sighed, and took a seat on a rock next to the stump. "She definitely didn't send me. Nor did any of her friends, not that they would want to, after what I did."
The griffon cocked her head, as if to get a better look at the unicorn. "What did you do?"
"You know I asked you first."
The griffon sighed, then sniffed, and started her tale.
"Oh, I had just come into this lame-o town, looking for my old friend from flight school. I was thinking, 'Hey Gilda, it would be totally awesome to spend some time reminiscing and catching up with Rainbow Dash.' I go there, spend the night at her place, talking to the wee hours of the morning, have the best time I've had in years. But, lo and behold, she has other friends."
"This one in particular- Pinkie Pie, I think- just really, really annoyed the hell out of me, trying to get in on our time. I let her know in no uncertain terms that while I was there, it would just be RD and me. Looking back, I probably could've handled it better. Even so, I kept my eye on her from then on."
"When she threw me a party, I was a bit suspicious, which, now looking back, was my downfall. Me being me, I had to go and do everything that would make me look cool, and by doing so had a whole bunch pranks go off on me. Naturally, I got pissed off, blamed that pink pony for everything. The hell of it was that all those pranks were set by Rainbow."
"She got mad at me, for calling her new friends uncool, and said that she… didn't want me around anymore. And stupid, stuck-up me, I couldn't bring myself to apologize, so I called her a 'flip-flopper' and 'uncool', and ran out. So now, I'm out here, in a forest, with no friends or family, only having myself to blame."
Gilda had held her composure up until the last part. When she paused, her voice creaked, the tears came. By the time she finished, she was fully back into weeping. Trixie reached out and patted the griffon's wings, the only thing she could do. "Hey, hey," She comforted, "It's not all that bad."
Gilda stood up, indignant. "How?" She demanded, towering over the unicorn. "How is it not that bad?"
"You lost a friend," Trixie countered, "But at least you had friends to begin with. I didn't."
Gilda again cocked her head, confused yet curious. Trixie, in turn, lowered hers. "I didn't have friends, just fans." She continued, telling her recent ordeal.
"I'm what you call a 'stage magician', arguably one of the best. The 'Great and Powerful' Trixie, I called myself. I traveled about, making a living going town to town, doing amazing tricks and pyrotechnics. I had everything I needed… until I came to Ponyville."
"In town, I already had something of a fan base, with these two stupid unicorn guys and other ponies. However, this group of mares had the idea that I was being a stuck-up showoff (which, honestly, I was). Naturally, I was offended, and I challenged them to beat me."
"An orange Earth pony did a couple of rope tricks, and I tied her up. Your pal Rainbow Dash did a couple of stunts, and I ended up spinning her into a tornado. This white unicorn manifested a beautiful dress out of nowhere, and I turned her hair green (that was pretty funny, actually). All the while, this little baby dragon was trying to convince this purple unicorn - Twilight Sparkle, I believe- to challenge and beat me. But every time I gave her the invitation, she'd back down and run away."
"I was on top of the world… until the Ursa Minor showed up."
"See, I made up this story about how I saved a town from an Ursa Major, to make myself look even more powerful than I actually was. Those dumb unicorns I mentioned earlier wanted to see me do it again, so they went to a cave and brought it into town. I tried to beat it the best way I could: tie it up, make a small thunderstorm to electrocute it, stuff like that. All it did was annoy it. I was certain we were all dead there."
"Then, out of nowhere, Twilight showed up. She was doing spells I've never seen before: causing wind to break reeds to make music, breaking a water tower and filling it with milk, and levitating both it and the Ursa Minor back into the forest. I saw her true power, and I realized that it was a good thing she never challenged me; there was no way I could've beaten her."
"Well, during the battle, the monster destroyed my house, shown me to be a fraud, and revealed who the best unicorn was. I knew the townsfolk were going to chase me out of town anyway, so I made one last boastful insult before making my getaway."
"So now, I'm here, sitting in a forest, no home, no way of supporting myself, telling my woes to you. The thing is, I may be mad at a lot of ponies -those boys, the mares, the townsfolk - Hay, even myself - But I can't be mad at Twilight. Out of all of them, she was the only modest one. The only one…who felt…sorry for me."
She held her composure longer than Gilda did, but her tears began falling halfway through the story, and at the end, her voice was nothing more than a hoarse squeak. Gilda wasn't very good with handling other people's emotions -hence her situation- but she understood Trixie's plight. She sighed, and mused, "Life's not easy for any of us, it seems."
The two of them sat in silence, listening to night sounds of the forests and a distant but growing roar far away. Gilda broke the silence. "You know what we should do?" She asked, to which Trixie could only shake her head. "Tomorrow, we should go back into town, and apologize to everypony about what we've done."
"Huh?" Trixie asked, confused. She didn't actually think that going back into town would be a good idea, did she?
"I know we've both done some stuff to make 'em all mad, but I've known ponies to be pretty forgiving about stuff like this. If we go back, and are genuinely sorry about what we've done, they'll take us back. It's as easy as one, two-"
She didn't finish, for the distant roar became much, much louder. Looking around, their eyes were drawn to the sky. Their jaws dropped to the ground at the sight. In the night sky, as bright as Luna's moon, was a shooting star. More than that, it was a bright red comet.
What made it different than other comets seen before was that they could hear it. The roar was a cross between the sound of the ocean, a mighty dragon, and a constant, unending explosion. It streaked across the western horizon, heading to the distant seas in a slow, gentle motion.
"Whoa, that's pretty damn cool. Have you ever seen anything like that?"
"The Great and Powerful Trix- I mean, I have never seen anything like that. I don't think anyone but the Princesses have."
As the two outcasts watched, a new development appeared. The comet began breaking apart, turning into a huddled mass of starry debris. They could hear a distant boom, indicating an explosion of some kind. But then they saw the strangest part: one bit of debris wasn't heading with the rest of the crowd. It had turned away, and steadily got brighter.
They realized in terror that the object was heading straight for them. Paralyzed by the wonder and fear, they held their spots as the thing got brighter and closer, and the air got warmer all around them. The distant roar became an unbearable blare, making them cover their ears as the thing entered the atmosphere.
Just before the object got to them, the griffon had enough mind to jump onto the unicorn, and hide behind the stump and rock. The burning object flew overhead, extremely loud and incredibly close. The air around them turned briefly into a furnace, actually singing their coats and clothes.
A hundred yards away, the thing landed with a mighty boom, felt just as much as heard. It dug into the ground, digging a trench that went most of a mile before stopping next to a rocky outcropping. The outside metal was so hot from re-entry that parts of the forest actually caught on fire.
The griffon and unicorn huddled in the shelter for most of a minute, before risking a glance up to see if they were still alive. Indeed they were in prefect shape, minus the slight singeing of manes and feathers. They chuckled nervously as they realized they just survived… whatever the hell that was.
They also realized quickly that Gilda was still over Trixie in a very suggestive position. They got off each other, again with the nervous laughter. Trixie was grateful no one saw that awkward moment. Gilda thought back as how this wasn't the first time she'd been over a girl like that (or a pony, for that matter).
"What the hay was that?" Trixie finally asked, as she looked down the trench to the fallen hulk.
"Don't know. Let's go find out."
Together, the two outcasts walked to the wreckage, past the burning trees and the ground-turned-to-glass.
The object itself was a completely metallic structure, easily bigger than any building in Ponyville. It may have been originally rectangular, but the re-entry took off all the pointy parts of it, making it well-rounded. A large, gaping hole opened a section, allowing the pair to enter.
A small generator must've still been running, as occasional sparks and emergency lights were still flickering on and off. It gave the place a further unnatural, creepy vibe- not that it didn't have one already. The wreck had landed almost level, but walking the corridors was still uphill and difficult. When the lights finally gave out, Trixie activated a light spell with her horn, leading the way into the center of the wreck.
After wandering around for a couple of minutes, the pair entered a large room labeled Cryo Storage.
"Why would they need a room for crying?" The Griffon asked aloud. "What are they, a bunch of big babies?"
"I don't think the makers of this were babies." Trixie said, matter-of-fact in light of this discovery. "'Cryo' is a scientific word for ice, or cold. We must be in something like a freezer or something." She pointed to one of the several drab containers around a central podium thingy. "It might have some food or stuff inside. Check it out."
It sounded like an order to Gilda, but Trixie herself went to the container. The front of the giant box was made of some kind of glass, but was heavily covered in dust and soot, so she couldn't see more than a vague shape inside.
She stood on her hind hooves, her full four-foot frame reaching out and wiping of the dust. Looking inside, she let out a small gasp of surprise.
The container held a massive suit of green and black armor, the chest plate at eye level to the mare. She wiped off more dust, and with Gilda's help she got a full picture of the suit. The thing would've stood around seven feet tall, and was bipedal. The suit looked like it was made for someone strong and athletic, based on its general shape. The whole suit, although battle-scarred, appeared seamless and perfect.
The one eerie thing about it was the helmet. It had an orange glass plate covering its face, completely polarized so you couldn't see inside. But when the girls looked at it, though, they felt like there was something (or someone) looking back at them.
"What is this thing?" Gilda asked, awestruck and a little fearful. This thing, for some reason, was one of the few things in the world that actually intimidated her.
Trixie looked around the storage unit, and found what looked like a control panel. She read aloud some of the specifics.
" 'Sierra-117, Master Chief Petty Officer. Status: Inactive, all conditions normal. Emergency Beacon activated. Date: Aug. 19, 2553.' Huh, I wonder what it all means?"
"Do you know anyone that can figure this out?"
"Not sure. The Princesses, maybe. Perhaps we could send one of them a message about this, if they don't already know."
"Maybe we could take this thing to 'em."
Trixie smiled, an idea growing in her head. "Yeah. And you know what? By us making this discovery, the Princesses will have to give us a bunch of honors and money and stuff for it. We'll be national heroes!"
Gilda laughed. "I like the sound of that!"
Over the next several days, the unicorn and the griffon set about salvaging the wreck. Gilda would collect all the trinkets and objects inside, and Trixie would categorize and catalogue them from least to most interesting. They worked feverishly, certain that this job would be their path to redemption and fame.
Every now and then, they would go to the main road, checking in on the wider world. One passing traveler told them that a massive comet that had crashed in the western sea, causing a large and destructive tidal wave. The pair figured it was from the large bulk of the wreck.
They also heard of all the adventures held in Ponyville, and had pangs of jealousy and regret. They didn't want to admit it, but they still wanted to be there, with their friends and ponies that rejected them. It was why they worked so hard; So they could be worthy of forgiveness.
On the fourth night, they attempted to get the container out. While fiddling to loosen it, two things happened. First, a small blue chip ejected itself from the central pedestal. Secondly, the computer warned them about not messing with the pod, as it may malfunction and fail, "terminating" the contents.
The pair took the chip -as it could've been important- and ignored the warning. Surely there was nothing alive in that thing. It was just a suit of armor, nothing more.
Unscrewing the thing from the floor, they began the long process of getting it off the wreck. Trixie used a lot of her power to levitate the object in the air, while Gilda flew and guided it through the corridors and rooms. The container had the maneuverability of a rock on fixed wheels, and bumped into a wall every 30 seconds.
After 2 long and laborious hours, the outcasts finally got out with their prize. "Damn," Gilda declared, "This thing is frickin' heavy." "I swear," Trixie hissed, "The Princesses better pay out for this stuff."
"Pay out for what, my little pony?" A voice inquired. The griffon and unicorn looked up, and were immediately on their knees in instant respect and watered-down fear.
Princess Luna, Goddess of the Night and co-ruler of Equestria, had arrived unnoticed and unannounced. She still hadn't obtained any staff or guards, but that allowed her to go anywhere she wanted with stealth and silence. Like the undiscovered crash site of an alien ship, for example.
Luna was tall; not as tall as her older sister Celestia, but still head and shoulders above the common herd. Her coat of midnight blue blended perfectly with the darkness around her, and her mane and tail blew gently in the cosmic wind, sparkling like the nighttime sky. Her teal eyes looked upon the scene with amused curiosity, and a gentle smile was on her face.
She didn't look imposing or all-powerful, but she didn't have to. The events with Nightmare Moon were still prevalent and fresh in the minds of Equestrians.
"P-P-Princess," Trixie stammered, "What're y-you doing h-here?"
"Oh," Luna said casually, walking towards them, "We are here to see what may have been left here from the comet a few nights before. We are quite sure thou hast seen it, everypony in Equestria did."
She did a once-over of all the stuff they had collected. It was quite extensive. Luna's smile grew a little. "It doth seem that thou hast been busy, hasn't thee?"
"Why, yes we have, Princess." Gilda answered, a little put off that Luna was talking in some old, archaic dialect of Equish. "We've been… studying the wreckage, to see if there would be anything worth - I mean- worthy of you or your sister's interest."
"There may be something," Luna mused, still looking over everything, "There may be something." Mentally, she had already written them off as losers and charlatans (at least, that's what Celestia had informed her about them from Twilight's letters). Furthermore, the technology here, although probably quite advanced and helpful, wasn't what Equestria needed right now, and would probably go in one of Canterlot's basements, along with any other weird and bizarre thing that ended up on this world. Kind of a waste, really, but as the Emperor told them many years ago, Keep your subjects in ignorant bliss while you can, for once you leave the cradle your world, they'll never know true peace again.
Then her eyes fell upon the giant container. She had walked passed the still kneeling duo, and gazed upon the figure inside. There was something familiar about it. Bipedal, athletic-looking, encased in armor…
Encased in armor?!
The goddess's eyes went wide with recognition and surprise. Although she couldn't be sure about it just yet, one phrase popped into her head, echoing around like in a deep cave.
Space Marine. There's a Space Marine in Equestria.
She looked back at the wannabe treasure hunters, who were about to get up. Luna didn't give them a chance, as she made her eyes glow and used her Royal Canterlot Voice.
"TRIXIE LULAMOON AND GILDA OF RAVENPOINT!" She shouted, sending the girls back to cowering. She didn't want to do this, but she needed to give the importance of what she had to say. Using her wings, she held herself high in the air above them, and her horn summoned a mini thunderstorm for dramatic effect.
"Y-yes, your majesty?" Trixie whimpered. Why was she yelling at them? Had she gone evil again?
"YOU HAVE DONE A GREAT SERVICE TO YOUR PRINCESSES AND YOUR NATION! THIS PARTICULAR ITEM HOLDS CONSIDERABLE IMPORTANCE TO ME AND MY SISTER! BUT BEFORE WE CAN TAKE THIS RELIC, WE MUST GO TO CANTERLOT TO OBTAIN SECURITY FOR PROPER ESCORT!"
"THERFORE, WE ARE ENTRUSTING THEE FOR WATCHING OVER ALL THESE COLLECTIVE ITEMS UNTIL WE RETURN! THOU CAN WATCH OVER AND PROTECT THESE TRINKETS, CAN'T THOU?"
"EXCELLENT. WE SHALL RETURN ON THE 'MORROW! FARE THEE WELL!"
Then, with a bright flash of light, the Princess of the Night teleported back to Canterlot, leaving Gilda and Trixie scared and befuddled.
Early in the morning, as Celestia was raising the sun, Luna came to her and told her sister of the discovery in the forest. Realizing the implications, the sun goddess gathered a group of royal guards to go secure the sight. Luna went with them, watching over the whole operation, while Celestia had to take a quick detour to Ponyville.
She was supposed to have a party in her honor there, but because of the unforeseen developments in the forest (and local issues with a parasprite infestation), she convinced Twilight Sparkle and her friends that she had to go to Fillydelphia for something. The parasprites that entered the site were quickly atomized by Luna's night-magic. Loathsome creatures, parasprites were; they ate everything and were quite disgusting, like locusts.
When Celestia finally got to the site, everything was already collected. The Princesses used a substantial teleportation spell to take all the items, guards and local outcasts back to the capital. Later on, the wreckage was blown apart and buried, so nopony would ever find out.
The next day, while Trixie and Gilda stayed in a royal suite, Celestia and Luna took the container (which they had also turned into stone, keeping it frozen just in case the human inside was still alive), and teleported themselves to the lowest level of the castle's basement. This level hadn't been used in over a thousand years (by mortals), and was only known to the Princesses. This level, if it were properly named, would be called "The Silver Tomb".
The three of them appeared in its largest room, the most important by far.
In the middle of the room was a massive bed, lined with magic-saturated, life-giving silver. It was 12 feet by 6 feet, big enough for a dozen ponies (or both the sisters). But it didn't hold any pony.
Lying in the bed, surrounded by a golden aura, was a 9-foot tall giant of a man. Most of his body was covered in a white cloak, but his face and hands, which weren't covered, would've been called absolutely perfect. The only flaw he had were his eyes: they hadn't been finished yet, and glowed with a brilliant golden light.
Here lay the unfinished body of the God-Emperor of Mankind.
Greetings, 'Tia and Luna, The god said telepathically, His body not operational yet. I see that you've brought a guest today.
The sisters smiled, always happy to be with their oldest friend, impressed everyday by His developing visage and form. Celestia was probably the tallest pony in Equestria (around 6 feet at the top of her head, 7 feet with her horn), yet she always felt small when near Him. Whatever bright aura that she could manifest around her was nothing to what the constant golden light He made. And while their magic was usually more complicated and intricate, He had enough power and experience to do everything they've ever done a thousand times over.
Yet He had never once been boastful, arrogant or hard to be around. He never raised His voice to them, and handled even the most painful parts of their work with grace and patience. He seemed to have the nicest, kindest personality they've ever known. The very definition of good, as it were.
"Indeed we have, Adam." Celestia told Him, referring to the Emperor's birth-name (He was their friend, not their leader. Why would they call Him their Emperor?), "I was hoping you'd be able to identify him for us, if you'd be so kind."
The Princess of the Sun levitated the pod to within the Emperor's eyesight, and held it there. They could feel the other god look upon it, going through His massive memory banks. After a minute, the Emperor's response was both satisfied and unfulfilled, confused and curious.
"Doest thou recognize him, Adam?" Luna inquired, still used to talking in the old Equestrian dialect. Being stuck on the moon for a thousand years does that.
I'm afraid I'm unfamiliar with this one. He apologized. I can say that, while human, this man is neither Imperial Guard nor Adeptus Astartes.
The sisters exchanged a surprised look. Usually their old friend had an answer for everything. He had been alive for almost 50'000 years, after all. Why was He drawing a blank now? "Are you sure he's not a newer variation or something?" Celestia couldn't think of anything else to say.
I admit, there are some similarities. The color scheme is akin to the Guard, and the armor is along parallel lines with the Marines. However, Guardsmen don't wear full body suits, and this one doesn't have the proper musculature for any Legion. Not to mention the armor itself has more circuitry in it than anything outside a tech-priest. Remember, I'm still fully aware of all operations of my Imperium, and I'd recognize him as Inquisition work or a Forge-world prototype.
"Of course. We've never doubted thy word on th…your people." Luna caught herself from saying "thy" twice. Again, she's learning. And, if anything, it was Adam's idea to try learning the modern vernacular, as complicated as it was.
Pray tell, where did you find this one?
"In the partial wreckage of that starship we told you about." Celestia put in. Adam observed over the millennia that Celestia always had to appear right or knowledgeable, even if that occasionally meant showing-up her sister. Must be a sibling thing, Adam mused inwardly, so they couldn't hear Him. He wouldn't know about that, as He was an only child; His spirit was created in 8'000 B.C., when the souls of humanity's last shamans had combined in the Warp to form one eternal guardian for Mankind. That doesn't really leave room in the womb for other kids, before or after birth.
Returning to the conversation, Adam continued, Ah, yes. Quite interesting. I'm surprised he managed to survive the crash, even with suspended animation. He must be quite the lucky one, almost like a Space Marine.
"I'd say. Destiny has definitely marked this one."
Also, what is the date of this warrior?
"The container said the year 2553."
Strange. We didn't have Cryo storage or full body armor like this way back then. He was quiet for a second, and then continued, You know, I'm not sensing any residual magic or Warp energy on him. I don't think he's from either of our universes.
"You mean he's another Outsider? Like the Object beyond the moon?"
Quite so, although I'm not sure that he is from same world as that thing. I believe it's quite possible that we may have become some sort of magnet for the multiverse, collecting all kinds of lost things.
"Regardless, you wouldn't mind if we placed him with you here, would you?"
Not at all. It gets quite lonely down here sometimes. This was accompanied by a chuckle, which all three gods joined in. Gods in general are used to loneliness, and learn to make due with any companionship they can find in their immortal years.
One more thing, The Emperor continued, Who were the ones to find this man?
"T'was Gilda of Ravenpoint and Trixie Lulamoon," Luna answered, "Two outcasts from the town of Ponyville."
Celestia remained silent. Brooding, pouty silent, not nothing-to-say-on-the-subject silent.
Something troubling you, 'Tia? The Emperor inquired. He always called her by her pet name, rather than her full name or "Celly", as her sister did.
"These two have had… interesting interactions with my star pupil and the Elements of Harmony."
Have they, now? Somehow, the Emperor found this quite intriguing.
"Yes," Celestia answered hesitantly. "The Griffon had almost broken their friendship, and the unicorn had harassed them and almost destroyed the town. And when I came in to collect the unit here, they were arrogant enough to ask for a reward."
Mortals are like that, sometimes. Although you always gave me the impression that most of your people were beyond that.
"In fairness," Luna put in, "They did seem repentant, and also wanted to apologize to the girls afterward, if given the chance."
Fine. Do they have any talents?
The Princesses were unsure why their old friend was taking an interest in these two. "Gilda is one of the fastest flyers in the world, and Trixie does have quite a bit of magical talent. She said she used to be a stage magician or something like that."
Again, the Emperor was quiet, contemplating. After a moment, he told them his idea. When he finished, Celestia deadpanned, "You're joking, right?"
I rarely joke, 'Tia. You know that.
She sighed. "I guess I can see the logic in your plan. I'm just not sure if Twilight and her friends will be happy about it."
They don't need to know about it. Not until everything is done and ready.
Celestia began building power for a teleportation spell. "I'll make the necessary arrangements, then."
Of course. Please keep me posted.
The room got brighter as the spell began to activate, an aura growing around the sisters.
Oh, and Luna.
The Goddess of the Night looked back at the God of Humanity.
It's good to have you back.
Perhaps it was the growing light, but He could've sworn Luna's cheeks became a little red.
"It's… good to be back, Adam." She smiled and sounded like the little filly he first met thousands of years ago.
In a bright flash, the Princesses were gone, leaving the Emperor with the frozen warrior.
Well, Luna was acting a little strange there. He thought humorously, chuckling to himself. I wonder if she… No, she wouldn't. We've known each other since she was a child. I'm practically a father to her. She wouldn't be-
Before He could dwell further on the subject, He received the battle reports of Medusa V back on Terra. He returned His massive soul's attention to this, and went back to work on the chair.
The plan, simply put, was to reward the outcasts.
First, they were made to never speak of what they found. National Security reasons, they understood. Couldn't give away top secrets to spies and stuff, right?
Second, they were given a house in Canterlot, and a pension for "Aiding the Princesses" (AKA hush money, to not brag to everypony they meet).
Third, because of their talents, they were entered into the elite groups to learn and train. Gilda trained with the Wonderbolts, the best fliers in Equestria. Trixie went under Luna's tutelage, learning all the finer points of Illusion and Conjuration (Night Magic).
Finally, they were not allowed to talk or interact with Twilight Sparkle, Rainbow Dash or their friends. Steps were taken to ensure this; RD was never accepted into the Wonderbolts, even when she could pull off a Sonic Rainboom on demand (as Gilda was an honorary member), Twilight hardly ever saw Celestia or Luna (as they were teaching Trixie), and neither of the duo were allowed to go to the Grand Galloping Gala (all the Mane Six were there) or any other major social event (Rarity was in Canterlot often, selling her various clothing lines).
For almost two years, even after the Discord Incident, Trixie and Gilda didn't leave Canterlot. They trained and worked, waiting for the day they could go back to Ponyville. They continued to hear of their exploits of the Elements, and felt regret eat away at them for missing out on the action.
One day, They promised, We will go back. We will make amends, we will redeem ourselves. One day, we shall be forgiven.
What they didn't know, however, was that the day they would go back to Ponyville would be the day their world would start changing forever…