1460 replies and 7 files omitted.
"Uh... how good are you with that?" He asks
"I feel like they are definitely coming to meet us anytime now," Iron commented in a half-whisper. "What do you think?"
"Do they know it's us yet? If we move now, they won't know."
"So we go directly to their table and kick their flanks there?" Iron would ask instead in a hushed manner.
"Uh... I don't know" She answers
"I see. What about table hopping to scout them out instead? See what sort of battle we have in store."
"If they don't know what we look like, we should try to find them first."
"Then let us commence our execution," Iron declared as he figured out the potential paths to take in order to reach the esteemed "back" the waitress was talking about.
There are three doors in the back (not counting a fourth off to the right that must link outside). It's easy to see one is probably a kitchen (steel doors), leaving two, one on the left in a corner, and another on the side opposite the entrance, more towards the left. The latter looks like it's more likely an entryway into an open area, with beige walls
"I have plenty of experience with performing first aid in field like this."
"Alright. Just in case, you may want to bite onto something."
His eyes go wide, and he picks up a leather pouch used to hold stripper clips
[1d20+5 = 13]>>140749
"Okay. Three, two, one..."Heal
: Focusing his magic around the bullet, Silver attempts to carefully extract it from the machinegunner's flesh.
Some blood comes out. Silver doesn't feel like he is pulling flesh, or anything important, so that is good. but he either didn't get the bullet, or didn't pull it out.
"That is why I said to bite down. I almost have it..."
Iron believes that the latter door that could potentially leave him to an open area to be the more likely place where the group might be currently eating, so he plans out a route to get there.
There's a slight whining sound>>140753
The door is not very far away at all. Going closer to the left will, presumably, make it easier to look into - and be seen from - inside the room, while walking from the right along the line of booths may be a little harder to see from inside.
The door isn't far from the entrance of what is presumably the bathrooms.
[1d20+5 = 6]>>140754
: Silver tries again, hopeful that he can succeed without causing his patient much more suffering.
Okay, more blood. A lot more blood. Oh Celestia, why is there so much blood?
[1d20+5 = 16]>>140756Heal
: Silver hurriedly tries to keep the machinegunner's blood inside of him.
Sensing it'd be best to head right, Iron soon added that to his scouting plan.
Silver forces a table cloth inside the machine gunner (one with few glass shards or bits of wood or paint, fortunately), and stops the outward bleeding. Hopefully it coagulates and stops bleeding inside. Hopefully.
He bites down on on the leather bag. He also puts less weight on his left foreleg
Alright, time to proceed with the sneaky (unless Sands is involved)
"Well...fuck. Sorry about that. You may want to take rest of that brandy."
He removes the leather bag still wincing, and starts drinking
Figuring it wouldn't hurt, Iron would tell Sands his secret plan to scout them out and come back here to properly discuss how to approach them.
"Do you have a reason for being so close and so curious?" Sands asks
"I, uh," Iron trailed off for a bit, unsure of what to say. "I am curious about their body parts?"
He pats his uninjured foreleg before going to pick up the deceased corporal's SMG and the spare ammo and magazines for it.
Sands narrows her eyes, scrunches, and pulls both ears down. The left one flops a bit.>>140766
It's not the prettiest gun, but it works. 3 full magazines of 32 rounds, and one that is about half full in the gun.
"Bad line," Iron concluded with a nod. "How about I am curious about their culture?"
"Possible... I don't know how much they'll like it, but it's plausible."
Silver takes them, so he can properly support his soldiers in close quarters.
With this done, he goes to the bedroom to see if the ponies assigned to that window are still there.
The pony in the smaller bedroom is gone entirely. The best guess is, he was the “buddy” of the pony assigned to link up with the other section.
Silver checks the bathroom, then.
This little pony has come out of the bathroom, and is trying to be with the remaining ponies.
Iron hummed for a second before presenting a potential third option. "How about 'I am interested in your stories from afar.'?"
Silver announces to the three remaining ponies.
"Alright, I am going to investigate Telephone Office. Remember to ask me code phrase when I get back, in case something happens."
“I’m... not sure what that means, but maybe?”
She places both elbows on the table, and pulls her hair out of the way
“The thing is, stealth isn’t quite what you think. You’re not hunting animals in the forest. You don’t have to hide yourself because it doesn’t matter if they see you. They see ponies and whatever other creatures every day. It’s just another part of the scenery. Stealth is about hiding an intent
. So long as they don’t suspect you have a hotline motivation, you are fine, mostly. So unless you actually want them to answer your questions - and maybe you do - what matters is that they really believe that is why you are back there, and you didn’t just go on a rampage by the seashore.”>>140775
“Yes sir.” Says one
“Should somepony go with you?” Says another
"It would probably be smartest idea, if one of you was volunteering."
The pony in the bathroom raises his hoof to volunteer.
Silver smiles and nods to him.
"Alright, thank you. Come, let us see if they left communication equipment intact."
The soldier nods, and the two go through the door, and down to outside.[1d20 = 18] [1d20 = 20] [1d20 = 10] [1d20 = 8] [1d20 = 4]
Shortly after arriving outside, Silver is met with the two ponies he sent out in his section, and the Sargent of Squad C
“Sergeant Silver Sword. Nice work.” He addresses Silver
“Wait, I know this one...”
Silver sighs in defeat. He takes a moment to read the name on the sergeant's uniform.
"Good enough, I suppose. I do not think changeling would have reacted to that in such manner."
"Heh, they'd probably just shoot you. I heard about corporal Dunley. A shame to lose him. We need to secure the telephone office to make it count."
"Damn right. We were just about to go do that. You three going to come along?"
"Yes sir." He answers
Silver can see the telephone building not far in front of him in the setting sunlight, with that roof that hangs over onto the side walk. He can see a small trickle of green-rusted blood heading into the side door
Silver motions for the group to be quiet as he takes point. He uses his telekinesis to open the door from a distance.
Silver procedes carefully into the building, keeping his head and SMG on a swivel.
As soon as Silver peers over around the corner, he feels the sting of bullets, and hears the tattletale sound of a Changeling machinepistol.[4d6 = 17]
The unicorn staggers backwards out of the building, falling onto his back and bleeding from two fresh new bulletholes in his chest. He coughs and spits up some blood, still alive but barely so.
As soon as Silver falls down, the sargeant behind him yells,
"Cornflake! Pull him back! Sleetfall! Grenade!"
The Sargeant moves forward, and tosses in a grenade. Silver is pulled back by the pony from the masterbedroom, and the last pony moves forward, and likewise throws a grenade around the corner.[1d20 = 20][1d20 = 15]
Silver groans in pain, both from having been shot so many times in one day and from being ruffly handled while injured.
What happens next, Silver is not to know. There is an explosion, then another loud explosion. What Silver learns in retrospect, is that the first grenade tossed into the room was tossed back out through the small crack of the door. Sleetfall, the Pegasus, frantically rushed in to push it away with his wings, pushing it away. One grenade detonates loudly inside of the telephone room. The grenade outside is pushed away somewhat down the street. Silver is already on the ground. The pony pulling Silver simply falls backwards on his back, and Sleetfall tumbles to the ground. The Sargeant, however, does not make it to the ground so quickly, and takes hits from shrapnel.
Silver hears more ringing, but he can definitely hear a "Fucking hell, you'll pay for that!"
If Silver was to ever go deaf, this would be one of the contributers to it. The unicorn tries to roll over onto his side to get a look of what is going on.
The door to the office opens with the explosion inside. A private, looks to be Sleetfall, gets up, pick up his rifle, and charges into the office with his bayonet-fixed rifle
"[1d20+3 = 7]
>>140805He is going to get himself killed.
Coughing and sputtering, and having to spit out some more blood, Silver tries to get his hooves underneath him.
Looking inside of the office, Silver can see a changeling drone in Equestrian uniform - no pretense at being a pony, but still wearing the uniform of an Equestrian armorer - starting to get up off the ground. Sleetfall is quick to get up, picks up a rifle, and charges at the drone as if with a lance. By misfortune or by daze, Sleetflall misses his bayonet.
Cornflake tries to get up, and aim his rifle.>>140807
If desired, roll initiative
Silver jumps up to his hooves almost immediately.
With the door opened, Silver can see there are two drones in the room. One with a rifle who appears to be downed. The other wearing an Equestrian army uniform with an armorer's markings, who seems to be a Changeling non-commissioned officer. He is bleeding profusely and must have had the disguise blown right off of him, but he is starting to get up, and he is levitating his machinepistol. Sleetfall has run right into the office, but has failed to stick the drone with his bayonet.
Is Sleetfall in the line of fire between Silver and the drone?
He missed, so he'd be off to the side
>>140812[1d20+4 = 22] [1d20+4 = 18][1d20+4 = 21] [1d20+4 = 16][1d20+4 = 11] [1d20+4 = 21]
Silver aims the SMG he got from the late Corporal Dunley, and fires a burst at the changeling.Tattattattattattat
Silver shoots true, and a hit, hit, hit, hit, and another hit takes the drone. The bullets create small but noticeable blood splatters, and push his body ever so slightly, until the creature falls back down on its back on the floor, mouth hanging open.
"That..." *cough* "...is for Dunley..."
Silver slumps down now that his work is done, setting the SMG aside.
Silver and the other sargent are badly wounded. Sleetfall moves up, and bayonets the other drone. Cornflake enters
Even with all of his light grey fur, Silver still looks rather pale. He waves off the question.
"Nevermind, nevermind. See to Sergeant Hornbeck. Just need moment..."
He moves out of the room
Meanwhile, a form moves up from behind the counter
Silver picks up his SMG again, and weakly stands up to face the figure. He aims down sights at it.
Silver sees it is the same grey pegasus mare with long braided mane and brown sweater from when he came before. She looks back at him, with both forehooves in the air
"Stay right there, do not do anything."
He shouts back as best as he is able in his current state.
"Sleetfall, keep watch on this civilian, I need to check she has not been replaced."
"Yes sir." He says
The mare tries to relax her forelegs and wings, still standing there. She speaks
"I work here." She says in plain ponish.
Silver steps forward slowly, bringing his flashlight out.
"I know, just please do not do anything until I say so."
She lets out a breath, and starts to tuck her wings into sweater, still standing there
Silver gets up to her, and shines the flashlight in her eyes.
The eyes reflect back as green orbs.
Silver nods, figuring this was the answer. He turns his flashlight off, and looks at her.
"Alright. Please, answer honestly: are you changeling?"
Her mouth, in gritted teeth, starts to relax, as she moves her hooves down. She is silent for a number of seconds after Silver asks his question. Then she moves her wings forward under the sweater, and her hooves meet her wings.
"Hail Chrysalis"Roll Initiative
The alleged mare pushes a pistol out from under her sweater with her wings to her hooves, and aims it at Silver.
One more element to consider:[1d20+2 = 15]
She gets the drop on Silver, firing at him
She misses her first shot. Private Sleetfall, standing there with his rifle, fires a shot at her[1d20+1 = 16]
His shot hits her, spraying a pattern of purplish blood across the counter[2d8 = 10]
She stumbles backwards from the shot, and fires again[1d20-2 = 11]
She misses in her dazed state.
After putting his flashlight down to pick up his gun, Silver fumbled. But he is ready now.
>>140839[1d20+4 = 19] [1d20+4 = 19][1d20+4 = 6] [1d20+4 = 11]
Silver fires a short burst from his SMG point blank at the changeling.Tattattattat
Two firm hits in the chest and a third ambiguously goes through the outer edge of the sweater. Still standing, the green engulfs her to show a changeling drone, who collapses to the ground.
Silver isn't entirely sure it's possible for changelings, but just in case, he checks for a pulse.
Silver can't feel a pulse. Sleetfall, however, has his own method, stabbing the changeling in the neck with his bayonet.
"Insidious little crossdressing fuckers, aren't they?"
Silver internally cringes at the display of brutality, but says nothing of it.
"I was even going to let him live unharmed if he just surrendered..."
He coughs a little, and wipes his mouth clear of blood.
"...fuck, I will be glad when Vale is clear of these roaches."
"Unharmed?! Do they do the same for us?"
He looks up and back to Silver
"Well, let's make sure the back is clear, and move back to headquarters. Nightfall will be coming soon."
"No, but it is easier to find where they have taken replaced ponies when they are alive to say so."
He readies his SMG.
"Good idea. We should also do quick check of equipment, see if anything is damaged."
He is silent for a moment, then answers
There is a door to the left of the counter, with a rifle next to it
Silver focuses his magic around the door handle, and opens the door from a distance.
The door is opened. There is a single low light, and through the open door Silver can see some meters, a couple switch boards, and a pair of tables.
A few droplets of blue blood lead off to the left
Silver silently points out the trail of blood to Sleetfall, and hobbles forward to take a position leaning against the wall next to the door.
Cautiously, he tries to peak around the corner.
There, in the left most corner, is a medium-blue pony stallion, looks like a unicorn, sitting and leaning over. His forehooves are tight together, and it looks like he is holding something in, perhaps cloth. His chest visible rises and lowers, and he makes a low wheezing sound. He moves his eyes up to look at Silver, gritting his teeth in a wince
Silver winces at the sight of the wounded, disguised changeling. He doesn't advance any further.
"We got you really good, huh?"
The thing looks up at silver, with wide pupils and green eyes. It doesn't say anything, only wheezes out and stares at Silver with that pained grimace.
"Listen, I am Platoon Sergeant Silver Sword. Now, I do not know about you, but I do not want any more death and violence here, and I am almost certain you do not want to die here today either. I think we can help each other."
The creature just sits there, still looking at Silver, and still wheezing in pain.
"Can you understand what I am saying?"
It moves its head a little higher, but does not respond
Silver raises an eyebrow at this gesture, not knowing what it means.
"This is not going to work if you can not understand. Nod if you understand what I am saying."
He turns to Sleetfall.
"Does anypony in platoon speak or write Changeling?"
"Hmm...alright. Here is what I am thinking. I will try to get close to him, appear like I am not going to hurt him, and see if I can not keep him from bleeding out. After, we will try to escort him to base as prisoner until we can decide on what to do with him. Think you can watch my back?"
"That, I can."
He cycles the bolt in his rifle.
The creature's ears go up
Silver sighs, and trots slowly into the room with the changeling, SMG held in his magic. He slowly sets it down on the ground in front of him, dims his horn, and keeps his hooves in full view of the changeling so he knows he's not trying to pull any funny business.
As Silver moves closer to the creature, Silver can see under and to the right of the uniform the creature is holding to its torso, the creature's ace-up-the-sleeve, and the last card it has to play: it is holding an Equestrian fragmentation grenade under its foreleg. It's hard to tell if the pin is or is not in.
Silver stops right where he is, trying to appear as unthreatening as he can be. He points to the grenade, and speaks calmly.
"Please, you do not have to do that. Just...give it here, nice and slowly. I promise, I will not hurt you."
The creature turns its ears and eyes to Silver. It's eyes are very wide. It has made no movement on the grenade
The grenade could
require constant pressure on the handle to keep from detonating
Silver gulps, a little nervous at his situation. He takes a small step cautuously towards the changeling.
"Not going to hurt you...do not detonate grenade..."
At least there is no movement on the grenade. The creature continues breathing heavily, ears tilted towards Silver and eyes wide
Silver takes another step, trying to convey as non-threatening body language as he can.
"Just like that, nice and calm..."
The creature lets Silver close the distance without opposition. Silver is now within five feet of the creature
Silver smiles at the creature. He points to the grenade, then makes a motion with his hoof as if he was receiving something.
"Now, just...carefully, give me the grenade. It will be okay."
The creature does not relinquish the grenade
He makes the motion again, hoping to insist.
"I promise you, I am not here to hurt you. But I need to know you won't try to hurt me before I can help."
The creature does seem to edge its legs forward, and at least, has not attacked Silver
Silver slowly lays down in front of the changeling, putting himself more at eyelevel with him. He points to the creature's wounds.
"You are pretty badly injured. I can patch you up, but we need to trust each other first."
He motions from his chest to the changeling's and back with a hoof.
The creature is ever so slightly to the left of the corner, so that that it is backed up against the left-most wall. It sits with its right foreleg on the ground, and its left foreleg holding both the grenade and what appears to be a uniform against its chest. It seems to have no interest in removing its foreleg from its chest, very possibly because that is what is holding back more bleeding.
Silver takes in a breath, lights his horn, and forms a telekinetic sheath around the grenade. He points to it again, makes a taking motion with his hoof, then he mimes himself wrapping something around his arm before pointing at the changeling's wounded chest.
"I am going to take grenade from you, and in exchange, I will bandage your wound. Deal?"
The creature seems surprised by this, but at least, Silver has a grip over the handle of the grenade
Silver carefully tries to pull the grenade out of the creature's grasp.
And Silver manages it. It is confirmed that the pin is not in the grenade.
That's not good. Is the charging handle still in place?
Yes. The creature had it held down as a sort of "dead man's switch," and now it's being held in place by Silver's magic.
Silver lets out a sigh of relief. With a hoof, he points to where the pin is supposed to be.
The creature looks downwards to an area that would be below it. It isn't entirely visible with it crouched over and holding the uniform against its body
Silver extends a tendril of magic to feel the area the changeling looks at for any sign of the pin.
Silver does not feel the pin on the ground
He looks up to the changeling, and points again to where the pin should be in the grenade.
"Can you help?"
The creature remains sitting their, holding the uniform to it
Silver tries searching for the pin again using a tendril of magic.
He scrunches his nose in frustration, before tapping where the pin is supposed to go again.
"Can, you, help, find, pin?"
The creature moves its foreleg around, and with aura of green magic, pulls up the pin from under the uniform.
Silver smiles, takes it, and attempts to put it back in.
The pin is locked back into place.
The creature breathes lighter and faster
Silver takes the grenade as part of his equipment, now that it's safe(r). To the changeling's surprise, perhaps, Silver doesn't take this as a sign to start attacking the changeling. Instead, he trots slowly over to the door, and speaks to Sleetfall.
"Can you get some clean cloth, perhaps from clothing worn by other changelings?"
"They are all wearing Equestrian Army uniforms anyways. I can cut some off. Ought to be shot as spies."
Silver in the meantime watches over the changeling. He places a hoof over his own chest.
"Silver Sword. My name is Silver Sword."
The creature looks back up at Silver, holding its own chest in silence.
Sleetfall comes back.
"Here's part of a uniform that didn't already have blood on it. I figure it'll have roach blood on it if we use it on him. Fitting."
Silver doesn't comment on his statement, and merely tells him "Thank you" in response before taking it.
Silver trots calmly up to the changeling, uniform in hoof. He lays down on his legs in front of him, and then uses a foreleg to point at the creature's chest.
"I am going to help you, okay?"
The creature looks back at Silver, and its ears twitch. It closes its mouth, and for the first time, nods.
Then a green flash envelopes it. The process perhaps reminds Silver of the burning of magnesium in a flash powder lamp for a camera, though not quite as bright and tinted yellow-green. Not quite blinding in the moment, it leaves behind a creature that Silver by now can recognize as a changeling drone with a green ray on the back of its head and blue eyes. A few features stand out at this very close distance, like the small lights at the center of its eyes, or the spits in its ears that make them look almost like sliced open rubber tubes that have been cut in the back. It's chest has the appearance of something like ribs sticking out, and a definite tapering down to the belly. It's wings are long and thin, and while they most resemble the wings of a cockroach, they have hints of green that make them slightly resemble those of a more elegant creature, like a dragonfly. This looks like the creature that shot the machine gunner, and who knows who else. Then again, they kind of all look alike. It keeps its thin lips closed, though its fangs protrude out.
[1d20+5 = 16]>>140975
Silver is a little surprised at the transformation, but he doesn't let it keep him from trying to help.Heal
: Silver does his best to bandage the changeling, tearing the uniform into strips and guiding the changeling's foreleg so he can properly cover his wounds.
The creature allows Silver to move its current bandages off and expose its belly. It looks like a rifle bullet entered it approximately where the stomach and cecum would be in a pony, but who knows what, if anything important was hit in this ersatz equine. Silver is able to press the strips around the wound, and stop any further outwards bleeding, and perhaps internal bleeding as well. It seems the bandages are successfully replaced, and the creature holds it in with its forehoof.
Silver smiles at his hoofwork, and gets up.
"There. Almost as good as new."
He holds a forehoof out to the changeling.
"Can you stand?"
The creature extends its neck through the air, and places its muzzle not far away from Silver's hoof, flicking its long, thin, split tongue in the air.
"Acting like snake? Changelings do that?"
After talking to himself, Silver shrugs it off, and retracts his hoof. Instead, he trots back to the doorframe, picking up his SMG along the way. Before going through, he stops and looks behind at the changeling, motioning for him to follow.
The creature stands up, at least providing the strips wrap around such that it doesn't need to constantly apply pressure. It is able to walk, and tentatively follows Silver. Sleetfall moves off to the side, keeping his rifle pointed at it.
The unicorn moves at a slightly slower pace that's more comfortable for two injured peoples. As he passes him, Silver speaks to Sleetfall.
"Get into position behind him for escort, I will lead. You do not have to keep your rifle trained on him while we take him back."
He smiles back at the changeling.
"It will be alright, nopony will hurt you."
"Yes sir." The pegasus can't exactly hold a rifle well while walking anyways. He keeps it on the sling, but facing forward. The changeling drone does not smile back, but he does move forward. He finds the Sergeant of Squad C and Cornflake in the other room, and while the Sergeant is badly wounded, the unit is mobile.
"Building is clear. We are taking this changeling back to town hall and holding him there. You two alright?"
Sleetfall and Cornflake seem to have some bleeding from shrapnel, but they are standing. The Sargeant is in a similar situation to Silver.
The Sargeant asks
"You got a live one?"
"He does not speak Ponish, but I managed to talk him down. He is not to be harmed in any way, understood?"
"If you say so..." There's an almost begrudging tone to this response.
"While we escort him to Town Hall, I want your squad to check on equipment in Office and make sure everything is in working order, then gather corporal's body and return to Town Hall."
"Yes Sir." He wobbles, then winces
"I think I need a medic, sir."
Silver goes over to him, and examines his wounds.
Shranpel at multiple points on the barrel.
Silver sucks in his teeth.
"Ooo...that does not look good. Want me to try to get you fixed up?"
"I'll have the medic look at it." He answers. "And maybe get another NCO over here. We need to meet back up with the rest of the platoon."
"Hmm...okay, I will see what I can do when I get back to town hall."
Silver, presumably, is able to return to Townhall without incident. It is not a long walk
Once he arrives, changeling in tow, he looks for an unoccupied room that can be locked and used to hold the changeling.
There are a few rooms downstairs, including a pantry, a supply closet, and an office
Silver decides to try the office, since it's the least important and has places for the changeling to sit.
The presence of a filing cabinet and a desk means it's hard to rule out any objects in the room being usable as weapons. Then again, it's not clear that Changelings even need weapons to be dangerous
It may be a good idea to go through each and pick out items that could reasonably used as weapons.
A letter opener, a stapler, a couple pins.... can paperclips be used as weapons? What about this rock? Looks like someone took an orange sandstone and turned it into a paperweight or something. It's actually a pretty neat rock though.