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out in the deep forests some adventuring ponies make an odd discovery, and the princess of nerds mounts and expedition to investigate.
safe1751879 artist:t72b821 derpibooru exclusive29326 twilight sparkle306328 alicorn233098 earth pony266455 pony1011757 abandoned245 atg 2020920 bag5140 battletech99 centurion (battletech)1 damaged115 female1403079 forest10570 mare502791 mech228 mecha590 mechwarrior44 newbie artist training grounds6500 overgrown26 saddle bag6023 story in the comments739 twilight sparkle (alicorn)126243

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T72B
Lady's Wink -
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Da Magicks! - Merited Fine Arts badge with only their own art
Verified Pegasus - Show us your gorgeous wings!
Preenhub - We all know what you were up to this evening~
Twinkling Balloon - Took part in the 2021 community collab.
Philomena - For helping others attend the 2021 community collab
Ten years of changes - Celebrated the 10th anniversary of MLP:FiM!
Magnificence - Artist with 100+ Safe/Suggestive images with over 100 upvotes, and 5+ Questionable/Explicit images with over 350 upvotes
A Really Hyper Artist - 500+ images under their artist tag

the sheer mind bending scale of the innersphere would be more than enough, nevermind the sheer scale of those conflicts.
GadenKerensky

The Inner Sphere would probably horrify even the likes of Chrysalis and Tirek, and more than shake Ponies like Twilight to the core.
The Amaris Civil War and the Succession Wars would rattle them like nothing else, knowing how little friendship meant in the face of Feudalistic Stellar Nations flinging nukes at each other in response to the question, “You and what army?”
Akamia

Veteran MechWarrior
@Podbeing
Haha. Alright, fine, let’s see what I come up with. :P When it’s ready (which could take a while, all things considered) I’ll drop you the FiMFic link in your DMs should you wish to read. ^^
Posted Report
Podbeing

@Akamia
Well…have you considered just saying that you were inspired by some batshit insane moron writing crackfic on a booru? Just a thought here. ;)
Also: I’m trying to put together another installment. I won’t say it’s going smoothly, but at least it’s going. Hopefully I’ll post before the next millennium.
Posted Report
Akamia

Veteran MechWarrior
@Akamia
Good catch :) Twilight isn’t so good at telling much about weapons and she was kind of overwhelmed. But Luna’s mech is actually intended to be a Catapult, since I thought that might suit her personality better. It’s loud, agile for its size and can put a shitload of explosives in one small place. I probably did a shitty job of describing it. But since you mentioned the Flashman and the Mackie, now I can’t get them out of my head, either. When they finally reach the actually stockpile, I wonder if there’s a few in there…
I’d have gone with a Madcat, but that doesn’t fit the era as well. Not without a lot of finagling.
Haha, yeah, a Timber Wolf would have been far harder to justify, as it (and most of its prerequisite techs, for that matter) wouldn’t be invented until after General Kerensky had been long dead. I thought it was either the Flashman, Mackie, or Urbie because you didn’t mention reverse-joint legs (which I incorrectly understood to be what “digitigrade” legs were, hence erroneously identifying the Crab as a Marauder) so I assumed normal, humanoid legs like Celestia’s own Atlas. But without that assumption, a Catapult would have been my first guess, yeah.
… Admittedly, Flashman legs are a bit weird looking. Some art makes them appear digitigrade or even reverse joint, others more humanoid. Which is it, BattleTech artists?!
@Akamia
Oh wow…if you’ve got something, WRITE it! Let other people revel in your skull-droppings, you beautiful mutant, you!
Weeeeeell, aside from my now fully-cemented headcanon that Celestia has an almost-full lance of functioning SLDF BattleMechs hiding under Canterlot for over a millenium, I think I can squeeze out a good handful of stories based on this concept alone. Only thing is, I didn’t actually come up with it; you did, and I don’t know how to credit you should I actually buckle down and write what I have bouncing around in my head. Heh.
T72B
Lady's Wink -
Fine Arts - Two hundred uploads with a score of over a hundred (Safe/Suggestive)
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Verified Pegasus - Show us your gorgeous wings!
Preenhub - We all know what you were up to this evening~
Twinkling Balloon - Took part in the 2021 community collab.
Philomena - For helping others attend the 2021 community collab
Ten years of changes - Celebrated the 10th anniversary of MLP:FiM!
Magnificence - Artist with 100+ Safe/Suggestive images with over 100 upvotes, and 5+ Questionable/Explicit images with over 350 upvotes
A Really Hyper Artist - 500+ images under their artist tag

@Podbeing
i can relate to that. its been one of those weeks. i basically got home today and put that drawing together.
but i am glad it could lighten your week a bit.
Posted Report
Podbeing

Let’s just say that early on, young Cellie and Luna took part in cross-species movie nights for decompressing after training. And on-the-job training. A lot of the Equestrians would have, if for no other reason than to learn about the humans who were helping to save their world.
Posted Report
Podbeing

@Akamia
Good catch :) Twilight isn’t so good at telling much about weapons and she was kind of overwhelmed. But Luna’s mech is actually intended to be a Catapult, since I thought that might suit her personality better. It’s loud, agile for its size and can put a shitload of explosives in one small place. I probably did a shitty job of describing it. But since you mentioned the Flashman and the Mackie, now I can’t get them out of my head, either. When they finally reach the actually stockpile, I wonder if there’s a few in there…
I’d have gone with a Madcat, but that doesn’t fit the era as well. Not without a lot of finagling.
Podbeing

@T72B
I have had a steady succession of shitty days, and then I saw a notification when I came back from work. And then, when I saw this, my jaw dropped and a shiver literally went down my spine and I broke out in goosebumps.
This is perfect. It’s absolutely incredible. I can practically hear the thunder of dozens or hundreds of DropShips coming in for an emergency landing because the planet looks like Earth and they’ve misjumped.
I haven’t forgotten this. Bits and pieces of the story I want to tell are burning holes in my head.
Akamia

Veteran MechWarrior
@Akamia
So, I remembered what “digitigrade” meant, and realized that was not a Marauder being described at all. It was the Crab. That bit about it looking vaguely like a crab was a more important descriptor than the bit about the cannon mount. I feel slightly dumb. lol
Posted Report
Akamia

Veteran MechWarrior
It really does, doesn’t it? Maybe time doesn’t flow quite the same wherever Equestria does as it does in “our” reality, because reasons? The SLDF might have been there longer than you would reasonably expect. Long enough to engage another deadly enemy in a prolonged campaign, and then maybe even rest and recuperate with their new allies until a way home was found. Alex K. MIGHT have seen the tactical advantages of being able to escape to a hidden bolthole where time gets funny, maybe funny enough to give them a larger operating window for repairs and strategy, and where there are friendly locals with some odd abilities. He’d be canny enough to use it as a storage space and emergency shelter, but ethical enough to protect the indigenous sapients from harm by ensuring almost no one understood the method to get there but him and a tiny handful of trusted allies. “GOD GAME BRIGADOON.” Sorry. Charles Stross fan. Anyone who wanted to talk about the two or three years they spent “elsewhere” fighting actual demons was free to, but they’d laughed at as complete lunatics, and Kerensky would make sure there wasn’t much physical evidence to back it up. And most of his people were good enough and loyal enough that they wouldn’t. These were people who literally followed him into the deep unknown out of loyalty, remember? And any rumors that Kerensky was getting tactical assistance from a magic talking white horse, or a dragon and a griffon or whatever would be dismissed as the talk of drunks or mental patients.
It would be interesting if someone finally found a way in centuries later. Or dug up an old Kerensky journal no one had ever seen before, moldering away on a hard drive in a computer at an abandoned base or something and came poking.
Holy wall of text, Batman! Sorry about that. I forgot paragraphs were a thing..
Don’t worry about it!
To be honest, unless simply being on Equus (or even Equestria in particular) slows one’s aging processes at all, I would expect time to have flowed normally (accounting for such things as relativity, of course) unless the good General turned out to be somewhat younger than he looked at the time of his death. Though if you factor in the fact magic permeates the place, I suppose it’s plausible it may have that effect, among others, on decidedly non-magical humans. I dunno. lol
So… Based on your descriptions, I was able to work out that the BattleMechs in that hidden base were Celestia’s Atlas (either base Atlas or Atlas II; latter seems unlikely, though, but who knows?) and a Marauder likely piloted by someone I’m not familiar with. Megan, perhaps? So what was Luna’s ‘Mech? Based on that description, it sounded like it was either a Flashman, Mackie, or an UrbanMech, from most likely to least likely.
I really want a Mackie in a MechWarrior game someday. It’s not like they went extinct or anything, despite being literally the first BattleMechs ever made
T72B
Lady's Wink -
Fine Arts - Two hundred uploads with a score of over a hundred (Safe/Suggestive)
Da Magicks! - Merited Fine Arts badge with only their own art
Verified Pegasus - Show us your gorgeous wings!
Preenhub - We all know what you were up to this evening~
Twinkling Balloon - Took part in the 2021 community collab.
Philomena - For helping others attend the 2021 community collab
Ten years of changes - Celebrated the 10th anniversary of MLP:FiM!
Magnificence - Artist with 100+ Safe/Suggestive images with over 100 upvotes, and 5+ Questionable/Explicit images with over 350 upvotes
A Really Hyper Artist - 500+ images under their artist tag

another fun read, thanks
“When I fire this baby up,” said her mentor, grinning like a schoolfilly, “You’re gonna see some serious shit.”
i like to think the celly picked that up from the techs
Posted Report
Podbeing

@Podbeing
This… This deserves its own short story dedicated to it on FiMFic. I wish I was the one to write it!
As for where Equestria is, I suppose given the context here, it’d most likely be found in the Deep Periphery somewhere. If you accept The Thessalonica Legacy’s interpretation for the purposes of a BattleTech/My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic crossover, Equus is an alt-universe Terra.
Either way, Nicky K better keep his mitts off it. Actually, I wouldn’t be surprised to find the files about the planet were deleted shortly after the SLDF departed; an effort to keep the locals safe from human-shaped outside context problems later on. That sounds like something General Kerensky might do, to me. lol
It really does, doesn’t it? Maybe time doesn’t flow quite the same wherever Equestria does as it does in “our” reality, because reasons? The SLDF might have been there longer than you would reasonably expect. Long enough to engage another deadly enemy in a prolonged campaign, and then maybe even rest and recuperate with their new allies until a way home was found. Alex K. MIGHT have seen the tactical advantages of being able to escape to a hidden bolthole where time gets funny, maybe funny enough to give them a larger operating window for repairs and strategy, and where there are friendly locals with some odd abilities. He’d be canny enough to use it as a storage space and emergency shelter, but ethical enough to protect the indigenous sapients from harm by ensuring almost no one understood the method to get there but him and a tiny handful of trusted allies. “GOD GAME BRIGADOON.” Sorry. Charles Stross fan. Anyone who wanted to talk about the two or three years they spent “elsewhere” fighting actual demons was free to, but they’d laughed at as complete lunatics, and Kerensky would make sure there wasn’t much physical evidence to back it up. And most of his people were good enough and loyal enough that they wouldn’t. These were people who literally followed him into the deep unknown out of loyalty, remember? And any rumors that Kerensky was getting tactical assistance from a magic talking white horse, or a dragon and a griffon or whatever would be dismissed as the talk of drunks or mental patients.
It would be interesting if someone finally found a way in centuries later. Or dug up an old Kerensky journal no one had ever seen before, moldering away on a hard drive in a computer at an abandoned base or something and came poking.
Holy wall of text, Batman! Sorry about that. I forgot paragraphs were a thing..
Akamia

Veteran MechWarrior
@Podbeing
This… This deserves its own short story dedicated to it on FiMFic. I wish I was the one to write it!
As for where Equestria is, I suppose given the context here, it’d most likely be found in the Deep Periphery somewhere. If you accept The Thessalonica Legacy’s interpretation for the purposes of a BattleTech/My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic crossover, Equus is an alt-universe Terra.
Either way, Nicky K better keep his mitts off it. Actually, I wouldn’t be surprised to find the files about the planet were deleted shortly after the SLDF departed; an effort to keep the locals safe from human-shaped outside context problems later on. That sounds like something General Kerensky might do, to me. lol
Podbeing

Clarification: Ancient Clarketech (comparatively speaking) gets kind of weird in a world of magic. Or after it’s been exposed to magic for a few thousand years. Or after it’s been modded with magic. Whatever.
I still have no idea if Equestria is somewhere in the deep periphery, near the Pentagon Worlds, in a different galaxy or in a completely different universe entirely.
Podbeing

A little more. I’m having to write this around work. No idea when I’ll come back to it, but hopefully soon. Let me know what you think.

“You really weren’t joking, were you?”
Try as she might, Twilight couldn’t quite see the walls or ceiling of the huge chamber outside the lift, nor could she clearly make out the distant hulking shapes in the gloom. “It looks like you could fit Canterlot Castle in there. With room to spare.”
They had descended for what felt like hours, from an elevator hidden beneath a storage chamber beneath the lowest level in the castle–she had been able to measure the distance by observing the speed by which the lift platform had descended, and by her estimate, they were at least five miles beneath Canterlot proper. At this depth, the air actually felt warm–Mount Canterlot was actually located atop one of the thickest and most geologically stable regions of the planet, ancient continental crust laid down when the world was young, but at this depth, it was beginning to carry a bit of the deep heat of the world. She could feel the thrum of woven nets of magic around her, and knew that it was the reason the tunnel, and the chamber beyond the dense crystal doors of the lift carriage, wasn’t completely uninhabitable. A working this colossal should have been detectable by any being with even the weakest ability to sense thaumic potentials.
That it apparently hadn’t, ever, was…troubling.
“You can.” Princess Celestia sounded grimly amused. “I helped build it. But, if you think that’s impressive…”
The crystal doors slid aside, and they stepped out onto a metal walkway. After a moment, the echo of relays throwing filled the space, deafening in the silence. Rank after rank of panels sprang into glowing, humming life. And in the sun-bright flood of light, she saw them for the first time.
She’d seen humans. She’d BEEN human, even, in another world both close at hand and a universe away. In its most basic form, it was like a human, but on a colossal scale, all blocks and angles and gleaming gold and white enamel. Two enormous, house-sized feet, surmounted by treetrunk legs led into a thick, barrel shaped torso, bulging with cannons and ports, two garganguan arms dangling straight down from massive, rounded shoulder pauldrons to either side, each ending in a fist that looked big enough to pick up and crush a locomotive. And above those huge shoulders, a head like something out of a nightmare, a skull-like visage that looked as if it were snarling. Or grinning sardonically. Behind it was another, nearly as huge, but stumpy and cylindrical, two stubby, boxy attachments to either side, in shades of midnight blue and violet. A third, very vaguely resembling a crab on digitigrade legs, bulked to the side, two club-shaped arms beneath its stubby torso and a massive cannon on a mount above it, in shades of crimson and black. Twilight’s human counterpart had a fondness for animated television featuring heroic characters and fanciful mecha, but these were almost nothing like the graceful, stylized forms of those machines. These were boxy, almost crude by comparison, but something about them told her that these machines were meant for practical use, with aesthetics as a complete afterthought, yet somehow that made them so much more real than those elegant craft ever could be.
She glanced back at the titanic lead machine. Was it her imagination, or had its stance changed very slightly? And that nightmarish, demonic visage seemed…softer? No…no, it couldn’t be, she decided.
“Hello, old friend,” called Celestia. “It’s been a while, hasn’t it? Too long, I think. This is my student…and my friend. She’d like to meet you.”
“That’s…just a machine. Isn’t it?” said Twilight.
“Well, I suppose she is.” Her mentor stood next to one of its feet, looking up, one wing stroking the metal almost reverently. “The Star League wrought very, very well. Even a few millenia standing around in a bunker isn’t enough to do any harm to–no, no, sorry! I’m not making fun of your age, old girl,” she said, chuckling and patting the foot. “I promise you’re as beautiful as the day you came to this world. And Twilight,” she said, glancing over her back at her, “I promise you they’re MUCH more graceful than they look. Especially in the right hooves. or hands. As for her being JUST a machine…well, when things exist for this long, the lines between ‘nonliving machine’ and ‘living being’ get a little…blurry.”
“Now I know you HAVE to be kidding me.” Nope, it wasn’t her imagination. The ‘mech definitely looked–amused? No, it couldn’t be. And yet…
“Alex wanted, as he said, ’A ‘Mech as powerful as possible, as impenetrable as possible, and as ugly and foreboding as conceivable, so that fear itself will be our ally,’” she said, as if Twilight hadn’t spoken. “But during the First Calamity, this became a symbol of salvation. Have you ever wondered, Twilight, why in the earliest texts of so many races of this world, the hieroglyphic symbol for ‘freedom’ and ‘hope’ was a stylized skull?” She touched the metal leg reverently. “This is the reason. There were other justifications, but it all comes back to this.”
She turned back to face Twilight. “I think she’d like to show off a little–she doesn’t get a lot of opportunity these days. Want to take a trip with me?”
There was a flash of light and a twisting of space, and when her surroundings stabilized, Twilight found herself in a metal chamber, sitting beside a seat that looked more like a throne than it had any right to. Celestia was sitting in it, and while it should have looked awkward and absurd, she looked as if she was completely at home where she sat. The interior smelled slightly musty, with undertones of metal and ozone, but the air was fresh. With a thrum of magic, she pulled an odd-looking helmet over her head, apparently modified to allow the horn of an Alicorn to pass, and fastened it down. “When I fire this baby up,” said her mentor, grinning like a schoolfilly, “You’re gonna see some serious shit.”
Switches threw, and suddenly the machine began to vibrate, a stentorian hum filling it from beneath. And in her mage’s sight, Twilight could SEE the ancient machine lighting up, suddenly blazing with color and life like a Hearth’s Warming tree, electricity and magic and the power of the sun itself capering beneath them both, like a happy puppy. Or an avenging angel.
And beneath it all, the pure, rainbow blaze of Harmony, enveloping her mentor and friend like a bridal gown.
“Reactor online. Sensors online. Weapons online,” said a dulcet voice that came from all around them. “All systems nominal.”
She felt, rather than heard, the machine’s amused greeting. Welcome back, Mistress. Where are we going?
And she realized she HAD been wrong. Whatever it might have been once, now, it was alive. Somehow. She could feel it around them, warm and happy and confident. She shivered in awe.
“This is incredible,” she breathed.
Celestia grinned. “You should try sitting where I am. I promise you haven’t seen ANYTHING yet.” The screens, dark until a moment ago, now displayed a panoramic view around them. Levers moved, and suddenly the machine began to move forward smoothly, and in seconds it had progressed into a smooth, effortless lope down the tunnel. “It’ll take us a while to get where we’re going. Which will give us plenty of time to talk. I can tell you about a part of Equestria’s history long lost. And how your princesses became a MechWarrior.”
Podbeing

@Akamia
I’ve been rolling that around in my head.
My weird semi-headcanon is that there’s at least one Atlas down there, it belonged to either Kerensky or Williams, and it’s kitted out with a mostly-energy-weapons loadout. Every once in a great while, she fires it up and trots it around in the tunnels and remembers. She can fuel it when it needs it–Solar Diarch means exactly what it says on the tin, and suns are full of hydrogen, so she has command of that as necessary–but it hardly ever needs it. A few cupful of liquid H and it’s good for decades. If it needs repairs, she can probably handle that with some sort of mending magic, but there’s automated equipment there, too. She hasn’t exactly had much need to take it out for combat–which is not to say it’s never had to come out ofmothballs. History is long and not all of it is recorded. There’s also a Black Knight, and at least a couple of others. If Luna has one, it’s something built to put a lot of BOOM in one place, and the missiles have been enhanced with some kind of magical whatsis. Any ammunition can be duplicated by whatever magic does that kind of thing. There would have been other poner pilots at one time, but they’re long gone now. There’s probably a small cache of other weapons and equipment down there.
Farther down in the tunnels, under the Everfree, there’s a truly massive Castle Brian-type fortification, with a shitton of mechs and enough equipment and supplies to equip a gargantuan army, for years, if necessary, and a lot of really overbuilt automated equipment to maintain it all. At the center, and on the lowest level, there’s a ring of standing stones surrounding a floating sphere of black metal, which is the actual mechanism of the Lock. Surrounding it are defensive arrays, all slaved to something like a Casper-type AI, which does nothing but monitor the Lock for any indication of changes. Celestia ‘s peytral has an function that will alert her in the event that happens, and luna has the same setup. So far, nothing ever has. As a last resort, above and below the Locks are thermonuclear charges with hopefully enough boom boom potential to kill anything that comes through the Gate if the defensive emplacements fail. The detonation would produce something far north of Tsar Bomba yields, especially combined with the self-destruction of the facility’s primary fusion reactor system. Anything coming through it should be killed–emphasis on “should.” It’s not at all certain. It would also kill everything within at least several hundred miles, if not farther, but that’s a mercy if the Locks are breached by something unkillable. There’s also a secondary device that’s much, much larger in yield, enhanced by a group of images who literally died to create them, and salted with many tons of cobalt. Celestia has never told anyone else about it, and she holds the final key. It’s very hard to start the countdown, and very easy to stop it. It’s to be used only in the event of another invasion that can’t be stopped and it’s intended to kill every living thing on the planet. The Z’bri will inherit a dead, irradiated world. She will only ever tell her designated successor about it.
I’ve been rolling the idea of writing another bit with Twi and Cellie in the tunnels or the fortress, and maybe a bit with Cellie remembering the War to End Everything. But anyway, that’s my autism and welcome to it.
Posted Report
Akamia

Veteran MechWarrior
@Podbeing
Ha…! That’s quite impressive for something you wrote quickly! I like it!
I wonder what Celestia’s ‘Mech was in this scenario… And is she implying she has Kerensky’s Atlas also? Or one of them, at the very least? Come to think of it, I’m not even sure if he used it after the Exodus… As I recall, he liked to take to the field in either an Atlas or an Orion, whereas his son Nicholas favored an Atlas II. Sarna claims Aleksandr used an Atlas II during the New Vandenburg Uprising, but I don’t have the cited sourcebook, so I can’t check for myself…
Podbeing

@T72B
Thank you :)
Maybe the Exodus had some quadrupedal allies who tagged along. Or some of the clan founders had good memories of their Equestrian buddies…
Also: Cellie has a mech and she’s really anxious to have an excuse to take it for Sunday drive again :p