Fillies and colts ran through the streets to school, everypony excited, panicking or just plain embarrassed at the very thought of bringing their families to school. Scootaloo could barely contain her own excitement scooting to school. This was her year.
Big Mac's apple cart was blocking the path to the schoolhouse behind all the ponies waiting to get into the building. Scootaloo saw the best opportunity to give into the urge to show-off.
She gave her helmet a good whack with her hoof, checking that it was on tight. Testing scooter, shifting forward and back making sure the wheels were moving smoothly. Finally stretching her wings, giving the developing muscles ready for the ultimate test of control and speed. Dad always says, "Check your equipment before you use it. You are too small to be indestructible."
Scootaloo gripped the handlebar tight. She revved her wings up testing them once, twice and then let go of the brake blazing ahead burning tracks into the dirt road and onto the improvised ramp of the empty apple cart. Sparks flew from the friction between the wheels and metal locking them in place. Scootaloo was in the air above the unwitting living stunt course. It was at this time that reason spoke up in her mind.
"This was a terrible idea."
"We can do it." Skill knew the score.
"We aren't going make it." Reason countered back, joined with fear.
"Yes we will." Pride and skill said back with the former. They started to lose altitude, after getting to the centre of the still unsuspecting parents and children. Getting closer to the ground Scootaloo noticed the pointed crown on Diamond Tiara's head rising up to meet the wheels of her scooter. Then she had an idea.
Panic stepped in, "Pull up! Pull up!"
Throwing caution to the wind and fighting back the growing panic, she flapped her wings franticly gaining just a few more moments of air time. Sweating from both the exertion pressure to get this just right…
Wind rushed past her as gravity continued to gain in strength pulling her down closer and closer to Tiara's head. Scootaloo pulled her handlebars up, angling the rear wheel down. She held her breathe as she made contact against tiara.
Diamond Tiara's tiara that is.
With the tiniest nudge, the prissy ornament slid forward on her head and into the purple bangs of her mane, blocking her eyes.
"Hey! Who did that?!" Her shrill voice rang out, as Filthy Rich pushed her tiara back up and coddled his daughter.
During the small freak out, only the ponies behind Filthy noticed the rough landing of a scooter during the high pitched scream, and the Pegasus filly that slipped into the schoolhouse almost unseen.
All the neighsayers in her mind facehoofed when Scootaloo made it inside.
You did that on purpose didn't you? The question was made in her mind, and answered with a smirk on the outside.
She placed her scooter to the back of the room and took her seat in anticipation. She could help but bounce in her seat and her eyes burning a hole into everypony that walked through the door, waiting for her targets.
The last few years of going to school, she always dreaded "Bring Your Family to School Day". The old mare for the orphanage had her hands full enough looking after the other fillies and colts; she did not have the time to do events like this for any of the foals. Scootaloo also had the weird feeling every year when all the ponies brought their amazing families as they streamed into the room.
Filthy Rich, spoiling Diamond Tiara rotten. He was always making she had everything she ever needed. Thunderlane is one of the hardest working stallions in Ponyville and always has time for Rumble. Big Mac and Applejack are always looking out for Applebloom. Thinking back, Scootaloo was jealous, but as of a month ago, never again.
One of the bullying duo made sure to give her a visit at her desk, the overly groomed fillies had the type of smile that made her feel uneasy. Silver Spoon nudged her glasses up before turning her eyes to Scootaloo.
"I saw what you did out there, getting a little grumpy today aren't we blank flank?" Sneering at her classmate, trying to impel a reaction from Scootaloo. No response.
"Another year, another day that all you ponies know how wonderful my mother is. She buys me anything I ever want, tucks me in every night and always watches my recitals." Silver Spoon paused. "What about your parents blank flank? Oh wait, you don't have any. She sneered, the latter only Scootaloo heard.
Scootaloo simply smiled, befuddling her would be tormentor. The best thing about a surprise attack is the look on your opponent's face when they see the surprise. Planning makes every victory all the more sweeter, Mom's lesson #23.
Cheerilee made her way to the front of the class after passing the numerous parents around the room. She took her seat before addressing the room. "All right everypony settle down. Children take your seats, and then we will get started."
The students took their seats while the numerous families stood at the back of the room, nudging their bulks trying to find a spot against the wall. Thunderlane just looked at Applejack and Big Mac and saw the floor as the better option.
Cheerilee address the class, "Who would like to go first?"
Scootaloo shot her hoof up first. Both Diamond Tiara and Silver Spoon looked at in inquisitively, while Applebloom and Sweetie Bell smiled knowingly. "Ooh ooh, me Ms. Cheerilee!"
Cheerilee and many of the adults in the room, with the exception of Applejack and Big Mac, were surprised at the energy of the filly. Was she finally adopted?
"Ummm, okay Scootaloo, but where are your-"She was cut short by a monstrous step on the porch of the schoolhouse.
The sheer magnitude of the force behind movement caused the boards outside of the building to groan in protest. Everyone forgot about Scootaloo, nor were they seeing her beaming with pride within the silence of the room.
A gigantic figure stood before the door. Through the window, many in the room gasped. It blocked the rays of the sun entering the window. The door opened and revealed…
A small unicorn mare with a blue coat…..and the largest earth pony stallion known to Equestria.
His helmet was completely covered. The glass faceplate had no eyes, no nose, just a gaze that could unsettle the bravest of ponies. With the exception of the exception of one.
Scootaloo practically flew out of her seat to clomp the armoured titan. "Dad!" She yelled while wrapping her forelegs around his neck before looking into his helmet. Besides the Apples, dozens of jaws hit the floor.
"I thought only Mom was coming?"
"I talked to the Princess and we thought because this would be your first time with us that we should both be here to make it…special." The mare answered for him, the last part lingered in the air as she looked around the room, a devious smile at the usual reaction upon seeing her partner. After all her time with him, it never got old.
If jaws could drop any faster than Scootaloo's claim to the duo, it would be the fact that the mare said 'princess'. Who are these ponies? They all thought.
Scootaloo let go of the armoured pony before proceeding up to Cheerilee, whose jaw was making the desk groan from the pressure.
"Can I get started Ms. Cheerilee?"
A nod was she needed before Scootaloo turned towards the class and cleared her throat.
"This is my family, my Mom." The mare gave a flirteous wink to the class.
She gestured to the behemoth whose heavy hooves trudged up to the front of the class. "And my father, who prefers that his name remains private and goes by his military rank." She said it aloud and the response was instant.
The room shuddered at his title, the very universe recognizing his awesomeness. Mighty beasts shivered in the Everfree, criminals yelped at the sensation creeping along their back, and dragons…they did a double take to make sure they were not being followed by the demon himself.
Or at least in Scootaloo's mind the universe did.
She began once more as more ponies got over the initial shock. "Today I will talk about how I met my parents."
Scootaloo was just feeling rotten hanging around the orphanage. Whenever the other Crusaders were busy she did not have anything to really do, except wander around town. Ms. Neigh Boraly, has been watching over Scootaloo for as long as she can remember, she is nice and all, but there is just too many kids for the old mare. So once and a while Scootaloo scooted off during dinner, or a night, to make it a bit easier for the guardian.
Wandering through town square, she watched as the stars lit up the twilight sky, one dot, then another. One more. Wait a sec. That one looks like it's getting bigger. Is Princess Luna making a meteor shower? Scootaloo thought, the white light turned crimson red. The small dot became a hunk of metal as it burned through the dusk sky. What is that? Scootaloo thought as it continued its rapid descent.
Twisted shards melted into the air as it crashed towards the outskirts of Ponyville, smoke trailing through the sky before it hit the ground, strangely without a sound. Luckily, its looks as though no one was paying attention or bothered to look for the source of the smoke. I should get the girls; maybe we can get our cutie marks in investigation! The little filly revved her wings, then stopped when another thought occurred. But somepony might beat us there by the time they can sneak out. Maybe I should go myself make sure it's safe…FOR THEM…yeah. She popped a wheelie and burned rubber with a U-turn heading to the crash site.
Zooming through the streets, the multi-colour houses nothing more than blurs, Scootaloo's mind wandered at what had crashed near the town. Was it a fallen star? Cheese from the moon? Or even one of those satellites from Stalliongrad? The last rays of sunshine disappeared beneath the horizon as Luna took control over the night. Her thoughts took a darker turn.
Maybe its aliens from outer space!? They have come to Equestria for ponies to turn into some type of hatcheries for their babies as they eat their ways out of our chests and bust free in a geyser of blood and gore. She paled at the thought. Then laughed out loud while passing through the barren park.
Scootaloo shook her head, trying to clear her mind. My imagination is getting the better of me. I need to stop watching all those movies with Spike.
The dirt road got rougher the farther away she went from town, the smoke was getting thicker the closer she got to the crash site. By the trail of the smoke it was precariously edged near the Everfree Forest. Ha! Those animals are probably scared from the giant fire it probably started judging by all that smoke. They would never go near it. She gulped and added, I hope.
Scootaloo watched as green grass became scorched soil as she got closer to the crater. She almost crashed the scooter when she finally saw the fallen object. It looked like an actual spaceship! It was in bad condition, like an Ursa Major ripped it in half tossed into a blender. Debris littered the land that had broken off the twisted pipes and corners. Metal jutted out of the ground and ship and were melted a bit from the intense heat of landing.
There was crude writing on the side as she tried to read it. It looked Equish, but with so much damage the words were marred and unreadable. Scootaloo squinted her eyes hoping to make out some of the words. While centring on the wrapped words she did not hear the shuffling within the forest beside her.
But she did notice the menacing growl as she leapt off her scooter in fear. As a large shadow pounced upon her vehicle.
A Manticore had emerged from the Everfree, its sharp feline eyes watching Scootaloo hungrily. Its large paw crushed her scooter into the soft soil. She had to get away, but where would it not follow her? The ship! She took off in a gallop towards the fallen object, hoping for a place to hide. She slid down into the shallow crater stepping past the pieces jutting up through the earth. Scootaloo did not have to turn her head to know the gigantic beast was behind her, she could hear its breathing.
She saw an opening just big enough for her small body and dived in head first, hoping whatever was on the other side was better than the manticore on her butt. Her helmet clanged hard on the metal flooring on the other side, as the paw clawed in after her swiping at her tail, slicing a few strands and scrapping across the floor.
Scrambling away frantically, Scootaloo kept her eyes on the claws stretching towards her. It was soon replaced with the manticore face, its gaze locked onto her. It laided down in front of the opening and waited. You can bet on Celestia that I'm not going to be your dinner. There has to be another way out of here.
She took a breath calm down and took in her surroundings. The small corridor was light by a red eerie light; lingering shadows were illuminated throughout hall from the smoking remains of the spaceship. Scootaloo took a step and jumped back in fear from the sound of hoofs hitting the metal. But that was not her, somepony was here with her.
Frozen in fear, Scootaloo strained her ears for more sounds from within the ship. More hoofsteps, but they sounded extremely clumsy echoing down the hall. She tiptoed down the hall, following the sound of the hoofs against the metal. Ignoring the fear gripping the back of her neck, darkness clawing towards her, creeping ever closer every time she turns away.
Scootaloo could feel the whimper building in her throat, but her pride refuses to let it out. Rainbow Dash would not let some manticore, shadows or some aliens get in her way. She pushed the feeling back down as courage welled up inside her.
She just survived an attack from a manticore and she is now walking down a hallway in a crashed spaceship. After all this it would be totally uncool to start bawling like a baby just because of shadows and bumps in the night.
She emerged into a strange room with huge tubes as tall as the trees at Apple Acres. A strange desk sat in the centre of the room, computer monitors flashed within it. The red light flickered above it, lacking the power to even keep the room lit. Hoofsteps broke her out of her trance as a pony fell into view from one of the darkened corners of the room.
"Damnit how on earth can I walk with these things?" A strange blue unicorn mumbled as she attempted to stand up. "I could've handled two legs, but four will take some getting used to." The blue mare was too focused on her own body, as Scotaloo inched closer behind the pony.
The startled mare tried to turn around and face the new voice, but failed with another misstep with her hooves. "Are you okay Miss?" Scootaloo questioned, uncertain of what to make of the mare before her.
"A talking horse with wings? Now I know I'm rampant if this body did not feel so fleshy." The unknown mare exclaimed on the ground, grunting in frustration trying to get up.
"What was that that?" she whimpered, pride forgotten with fear at unsettling thoughts. "That sounded like the hull was being bent by something. Friends of yours?" The mare said, looking rather bored and tired of trying to stand.
Scootaloo only knows of one thing that could be trying to get in. "No." She answered fearfully, terror setting in once again at the thought of the carnivore forcing its way in. "Its manticore and it isn't friendly."
The silence echoed after her statement, Scootaloo inching closer to the mare snuggling up to her for protection. The blue pony froze at the sensation for but a moment, before wrapping a foreleg around the foal.
Heavy steps could be heard against the metal flooring down the hall Scootaloo came from, sounding closer and closer with every clang. "Alright, this is a first for me. I do not know what is going on, or what that thing is down the hall, but I do know one thing. Inside that tube is someone who can help us." She pointed a hoof towards a large tube centre of the right row.
"To get him out, I need you give me a hand so I can reach that console." Leaning all of her weight on the filly, the blue pony was finally able to stand up high enough just to reach the flickering keyboard, mumbling to herself. "Bad enough…flesh…no damn hands…" She stuck out her tongue and let it dance around the keyboard.
"I should be fine…against the console here…you should hide it…won't be pretty once I pop the lid on him." She stated between each wag.
"No way, you can barely stand. You will just-"Scootaloo's argument got caught in her throat.
Scootaloo, still struggling beside he other's body, look down the hall in fear. There stood the manticore at full height. In the flickering red light, the beast was something out of her nightmares. The teeth shined with every flash in its hungry grin. The lion's body was pure muscle, if it was not for the high doorways, it would never have fit through the door.
She found her voice and let out a scream, "MISS!"
"Hold your horses kid, actually that's kind of funny, using a tongue like this takes skill." Calm, but strained voice answered back.
The scorpion tail bashed against the wall, bringing her attention back to the manticore. Draconic wings fully extended, making it look even bigger and blocking any escape from the room.
"Alright that should do it. Just need to-"The black tail smashed the console.
The mare finally looked at the manticore. "Okay. That is big." Its head lowered towards her. "Teeth look sharp…wait a sec, WHAT IS THAT?" She fell backwards and scuffled towards the centre tube. Both Scootaloo and the Manticore were stunned to see not fear on her face, but pure disgust.
Hoofs over her nose, she exclaimed, "Is this what it's like to smell? I'm cutting this thing off next chance I get."
Scootaloo darted over to her with the confused Manticore trying to figure out the strange pony. Okay, there's me, a pony that cannot walk, somepony in this tube here and a very hungry and very big monster. What would Rainbow Dash do?
She thought over this conundrum for just a moment before taking the appropriate action.
"CHARGE!" She used the momentum from her wings to fly forward hooves in front of her, ready to strike the beast, before the glass tube popped open and pinned the manticore between the lid and the ceiling.
"Mailled it!" The mare had her mouth around a lever on the side of the tube. She let it go before motioning to Scootaloo, "Get over here and get ready for a show." She then added, "That was pretty brave what you did there, but not needed."
With her previous plan now defunct, Scootaloo did as she was told as the manticore continued to struggle with its face smooshed against the glass. Its claws scratching at the underside of the lid, trying to find leverage to pull itself out of its place.
"Just wait bit, you'll see." Assurance beating back the doubt in Scootaloo's mind, or at least a bit of it.
An armoured leg came out of the tube and stomped on the metal grating. A figure followed it out, as Scootaloo's eyes widen at the pony in front of her. The Royal guards were imposing enough in their golden armour, but the pony in front of her was something else.
He looked so AWESOME!
The biggest stallion that she has ever seen had emerged from the tube. His imposing size unsettled Scootaloo "Is that even a pony?" she thought.
Fully armoured head to hooves, green plates covering almost his entire body with snippets of black around the joints. Shadows from the red light showed the scars battle that marred the plates, claw marks, bullet dents, deep cuts and much more across every piece. Scootaloo could only wonder at the stories they told of this solider.
The orange faceplate behind the helmet held its gaze on the furry monstrosity hanging precariously from the ceiling.
He sharply turning towards the fillies in the corner, Scootaloo could feel him burning holes into her skull.
"Here's the short version." She started. "I'm Cortana, I'm a horse, you're a horse, and everybody's a horse." The mare yelled again with both her forelegs in the air, while accidently whacking Scootaloo over the head.
"Sorry, still getting used to these things."
He stared at them for a moment more before the sound of bending made him jump to the side away from the tube to stand between the ponies and the creature now free from its rather compromising position.
The manticore now noticed the new prey in the room. It reared its head back and gave a mighty roar in the faceplate of the new pony, the force behind the voice made Scootaloo pushed herself ever closer to the mare. It's going to eat us! Panic breaking free from the little control she had left. Her life flashed before her eyes, the friends she's made, the fun times they had trying to find their special talents and wishing she had a family. A foreleg wrapped itself around her neck, and stroked her coat comfortably.
"Shhh, it will be alright kid."
Scootaloo looked up at the mare, and one of the most beautiful faces she has ever seen was smiling down at her. She spoke with a soft and loving tone, "He will take care of the monster and then we will all walk out of here. So it will be alright okay?"
For a second, Scootaloo could only think that this is what a mother would be like with her child. For just this second before her life ends, she had a family.
The manticore raised its arm to strike the Chief and swung ready to crush his bones within his armoured hell. Both Scootaloo and the manticore did not see what happened next.
He stopped the hit with his hoof. Before the manticore could react, the Chief tried to land a right hook, but only landed a glancing blow while stumbling forward. The small hit knocked the monster to the side, putting it onto its knees.
Armour hoofs planted themselves into the floor, grounding him in his stance before his enemy. The winded manticore stood to its full height and put its entire weight into a single punch.
He raised a single hoof to stop the attack, while the other was drawn back and held for just a moment.
"Wait for it." The mare said.
The hoof shot forward punching the manticore hard enough that it flew through the weakened metal of the ship and into the night air and out of sight.
Left alone with the two strange ponies, Scootaloo spoke with shocked relief at the actions of the Chief, "Who are you guys?"
"I am Cortana." The mare replied, standing unsteadily on her legs.
"I am Master Chief Petty Officer Sierra-117." Standing straighter at his own introduction.
Scootaloo looked at the both of them in awe. "I'm Scootaloo…and I guess welcome to Equestria." "Master Chief" turned towards Cortana.
"Cortana what exactly is going on?"
She shook her head, "Don't know." Cortana paused. "And you're not the least bit excited that I have a body?"
"No." he said, lacking any emotion.
"You are no fun. Well, carry me out then, best to scout around and see what we are dealing with on Equestria." She said the last part with a wrinkle of her nose. Might still smell the manticore, Scootaloo thought.
Chief lifts Cortana using his head and tosses her onto his back. The head towards the exit, but they stop. "You coming kid?" Chief asks his head half turned back towards the room.
Scootaloo caught up to the strangers still extremely confused about all of this. A crashed spaceship near the Everfree, a full grown mare that could barely stand and some type of armoured super-pony. This was one of the most exciting nights of her life.
"After we get out of here, can I stick with you guys?"
Cortana was staring at her with a serene smile. "Sure, but that means you have to keep up."
"I am the fastest filly in Ponyville on wheels! You won't leave me in dust."
Celestia was lowering the sun, setting it on Equestria. The rays of the sun were bathing Ponyville in a honeyed glow. Blue jays flew overhead the cobbled roads leading out of town heading to their homes for the night, same as the small family below them. Cortana enjoyed the peaceful ambience and breathed in the scent of tulips along the side of the road.
Master Chief spoke up, ignoring the buzzing blur rounding him. "Is "Bring Your Family to School Day" always so quiet?"
"Nah, but I think they were stunned at the awesomeness of you two." The blur replied, not slowing down for second.
"You just like showing us off." A teasing tone in Cortana's voice watching Scootaloo driving circles around her parents, popping wheelies in pure joy.
"Can anypony blame me? You two are awesome!"
A/N: Just an idea inspired by "Scootaloo's New Family" by Wanderer D and the comment made by Coranth. Used this story here to power through writer's block. About dang time.