(GEEZUS this took me days to write, hope you enjoy the glorious awesomeness! And they said I was mad for having an awesome 15 paragraph-long action sequence... WELP, MISSION ACCOMPLISHED! ) >Agent York, Freelancer Helicopter “[colour=#daa520]Yeah, it’s Carolina. Hard to imagine an average, well mostly average pony like me to fall for a mare like that huh?[/colour]” York smirked happily relieved knowing that Virginia wouldn’t reveal his secret to the other Freelancers, “[colour=#daa520]Ahaha, funny that’s pretty cute Virginia. I remember you and Harmony getting real close that night if my memory was right.[/colour]” York retorted sarcastically giving Virginia a snarky sideways glance, teasing her over her secret relationship with Harmony. “[colour=#daa520]Don’t worry I won’t say to the others, our little secret right?[/colour]” York grinned as Virginia blushed probably reminiscing about that night, who could blame her? That night in particular was insane and fun. Heck York even at one point remembered seeing the larger and heavier Agents, like Maine and Montana join the fun by trying to beat each other in a drinking match. Despite the fact neither won and they both had to get thrown out for actually drinking one or two bars dry, it was no surprise since they were built like literal walking tanks. It was them and several others who often brought some of the biggest handheld guns in Freelancer’s arsenal with them during missions. “[colour=#DAA520]And I thought it’d be a cold day in heck before I saw those two in the same room with alcohol involved...Celestia have mercy on the poor souls who had to throw those two out.[/colour]” He remarked light heartedly putting on a kind of shell shocked act for hilarity however he started cracking up into chuckles after a few moments trying to maintain a humorously serious demeanor . “[colour=#DAA520]So Virginia, how did you and Harmony, Y’know...?[/colour]” York asked out of curiosity wondering how Harmony and her kind of meet and fell in love in as short time as they did, hoping the story would pass the time for them to reach the outside the Trans-Equestrian train station. ____________________________________ >2 Months Ago inside the Crystal Empire Red petals fell gracefully from the sky, blanketing the vast surrounding forests with a colourful palette of reds. The forest floors were enshrouded by a mystical mist, covering the ground mysteriously. Somewhere in the forest on a rock hidden in a small opening in the forest, sat a red-maned female Agent by the codename of Agent Carolina. A highly augmented, very well trained Unicorn from a secretive organisation known only as Freelancer. She was armoured in a highly advanced suit of turquoise armour and armed with a pair of close combat weapons and dual wielding Submachine Guns. Staring at the sky she waited for another agent to arrive, give her the word to begin their mission. The mission itself was rescuing a highly valuable target, said to be in transit heading near their location through a railway line with the destination being the capital of the Crystal Empire. Her partner for the mission was said to be none other than Agent 117 himself, she heard about his reputation during the Revolution. About how he would just cut through his opposition if they got in his way mercilessly, like they were nothing but ragdolls and cutting practice for the mayhem he ensued. She was both fascinated and terrified by him, and to actually see him in action would be nothing short of an unforgettable experience. In a way she pondered if this was a test set by the Director to fulfil some mysterious agenda that elusive pony had in store for her. She would eventually find out as a mysterious tall black armoured figure emerged from the shadows, approaching her eerily from the mists the figure’s stance and armour was no doubt Freelancer it had to be Agent 117. "Carolina, it's time to intercept the target." The figure announced to her stoically, the growl beneath his voice was subtle but held an eerily cold undertone. Eventually pulling her gaze away from the sky with falling petals coloured red like blood, Carolina turned to the Agent with a slightly sad gaze. “[colour=#40e0d0]Sure, let’s get moving...[/colour]” she despondently replied while donning the turquoise helmet, it shielded and concealed her head and identity with her line of sight unhindered behind a golden yellow tinted visor. She leapt off the rock looking for Agent 117 again, only to find that he was already gone. Unwilling to let the Director down, her horn and her eyes momentarily glow a turquoise aura as she casted a speed spell on her armour just to keep up with 117. The scenery passed by like a pinkish red blur, as the Freelancers moved like fast moving shadows towards the rail line that their target would approach from. 117 and Carolina stopped as they reached a cliff face which overlooked the rail line, hidden by the vast surrounding forests they leapt skating downward towards the train line as the train rocketed by underneath them. While they slid down the cliff face, they timed their next jumps so they’d land near the train car containing their objective 117 was the first to jump with Carolina close behind. They landed on the train, hard. Skidding on the roof of the train car, 117 had unsheathed his sword and stabbed it into the roof of the train car to stabilize his landing as Carolina used her magic to teleport onto the roof. 117 and Carolina ran towards their objective, leaping from train car roof to train car roof until they reached the target car. 117 slashed the lock on the roof latch, stealthily opening the door inside as Carolina prepped and threw a pair of flash bang and smoke grenades. Landing in the middle of the large group of unsuspecting Crystal Army soldiers. “[colour=#008000]Uh, Sarge...I think I heard something under those covers.[/colour]” One of the privates mentioned to one of the two large bulky Crystal ponies, fear was apparent in his voice as he heard the grenades land on the floor somewhere in the center thinking it was the creature under the tarp. “[colour=#00ff00]Ah, you’re just being paranoid Private. That thing will be dead soon enough, once those demon things take a look at it.[/colour]” The sergeant dismissively shrugged the privates concern for paranoid. It was in that moment, the whole room exploded in a blinding white light and disorientating ringing as the grenades detonated. Where there was once an uneasy peace and tranquil rhythm of the rails outside. Now replaced by chaos and disarray as the unsuspecting Crystal Army troops soon found two intruders of unknown origins back to back in their midst. Armed and armoured to the teeth with highly advanced Manatechnology, the likes of which made their own weapons look like pointed sticks in comparison appear from nowhere like shadows about to claim them all. Alerted by their sudden presence the sergeant grabbed his shotgun, alerted his comrades and aimed it at the tall stallion in the black armoured who was wielding a deadly sword, thinking it ridiculous to take a blade to a gunfight. “[colour=#00ff00]Halt intruders, identify yourselves! Put your weapons down and submit to the authority of the Crystal Empire and Lord Pierrot![/colour]” the sergeant barked at the Freelancers, readying his shotgun to disarm the intruders. 117 directed his gaze at the brave pony and smirked, “Well by all means, take ‘em.” he darkly replied sarcastically as his sword ejected, launching itself into the pony’s jaw. The hilt connected to the pony’s jaw, impacting hard enough to break the sergeant’s jaw and recoil with sheer pain and shock. As the pony recoiled in pain 117 launched forward, grabbed the sword mid-air then in two precise slashes through the neck and diagonally down the torso, decapitated and killed the pony outright. In shock and fear, the Crystal ponies armed themselves with bayonets and charged at the Freelancers. Carolina pulled out her Submachine guns, proceeding to unload volleys of burst fire into the advancing ponies on her side of the car. Two of the Crystal ponies were killed outright in the initial bursts of fire, Carolina then directed her fire towards a trio of ponies charging at 117. After a successful dodge from Carolina’s incoming fire, 117 then propelled himself past Carolina and stabbed a charging pony through the chest. Slicing the corpse out the way he pulled out a sidearm, unloading several accurate headshots on the Crystal ponies before switching with Carolina and swung his blade into an unsuspecting victim. The pony was initially about to swing at Carolina until he found that his throat had been cut and the attacker had effectively killed him with a second strike through the chest. The Freelancers had turned the center of the train car into a killing zone, slaughtering Crystal Army ponies who tried to strike them down in a tag-team effort. The Crystal Army ponies found themselves fighting an enemy they couldn’t even touch. The second and more bulky sergeant grabbed two heavy machineguns and opened fire on the two Freelancers, barking guttural and vengeful war cries while smaller Crystal ponies advanced and charged forward under the blistering hail of bullets. 117 spotted the large pony pick up the two machine guns; he expertly deflected the pony’s bullets using swift calculated strokes of his sword distracting the pony. Carolina teleported behind the large pony who was busy trying to get a bead on 117 and delivered a efficient coup de grace, slitting the crystal pony’s throat with the pony’s own combat knife before discarding it. With the large pony neutralized, 117 charged forward leaping ahead of her and slashed, stabbed and hacked apart a trio of crystal ponies one after the other just ahead of Carolina. Seeing 117 just carve up the Crystal ponies like a sprinting slaughtering meat grinder, Carolina couldn’t help but feel sorry for these ponies. They were just ponies with lives and families caught up in some war. Just doing their jobs to keep their families safe, she caught a glimpse of 117 and shuddered as he looked emotionless and devoid of anything she recognised that was once a pony under that armoured shell, he continued to unleash such viciousness on these unsuspecting ponies. It was then she snapped out of her thoughts as a bayonet came charging towards her, ducking below the bayonet she backhanded the pony holding the bayonet-attached rifle. Yanked the rifle out of his hooves and swung the lethal blade like a bat right across the pony’s face before she countered with a thrust through the Crystal pony’s chest. Carolina stole the now dead pony’s bayonet rifle and sprinted to the other end of the train car, leaping over 117 acrobatically she consecutively swung a clean lethal hit on one Crystal pony through the torso. Kicked another down to the ground and threw the pony into a bayonet of a duo of Crystal army ponies then killed them in an elegant yet deadly finishing move with the third pony dead with one sweeping deep stroke across the chest. 117 observed Carolina’s progress seeing her catch up to him; the mare’s capabilities were accurate according to the file the Director sent him. She was a skilled fighter without a doubt; she was precise, elegant and very deadly. Her loyalty to the Director was a mystery to 117, she displayed more loyalty to him then to Freelancer itself he sensed a connection somewhere but he would have to look into that later. Carolina pressed on as she cut down three more then launched a pony into the air, seeing an opportunity arise he targeted the now mid-air pony and flew towards his prey. 117 delivered a high speed kick into the pony, sending it hurtling into the train car doors and smashed them open. Taking the battle outside, both Freelancers leaped through the doors and onto an open train car where two more squads of Crystal Army ponies were running straight towards them. “More of them? Good, I need more target practice.” 117 remarked coldly as he sprinted forward, launching ponies into the air. Carolina used her magic to cut apart the mid-air targets, as she landed Carolina hatched a creative idea by unsheathing a pair of batons from her waist she threw them into the air and caught them magically. She couldn’t match 117 with swordsmanship or natural speed, but she could at least try to spare them from 117’s path. She threw the first baton ahead of 117 and several Crystal ponies, and then pulled the baton back knocking away the Crystal Army ponies non-lethally in a boomerang effect which returned sending more Crystal Army troops behind her flying off the train entirely. She continued throwing her batons around knocking Crystal ponies away or off the train, yet despite her efforts to save them from 117 was far quicker than her. He had dashed ahead and with a series of strikes from his sword, he decimated a large group of Crystal Army ponies as he caught onto what Carolina tried to do. Her creativity and compassion for these ponies was both a blessing and a curse, she couldn’t risk upsetting the Director yet for feelings for these traitorous upstarts was irrelevant. They would all be dead anyway. After the fighting had died down 117 and Carolina re-entered the train car they had initially breached, approaching the tarp they landed next to in the opening stages of the attack Carolina crouched and peeled the cover back a little. Peeking inside the tarp she saw a battered and heavily damaged pony, however as she looked closer the pony-like figure resembled something more insect-like even having a horn and wings. The creature even had holes all across its frame, recoiling with shock she dropped the tarp and glanced at 117 suspiciously. “[colour=#40e0d0]You better start explaining why we are saving this creature from her well-deserved fate 117. A lot of good ponies died against her regime and I’ll be frakked if I’m saving her.[/colour]” She barked at the emotionless agent who yanked the tarp away from its position to reveal the primary objective of their raid, former Queen of the thought to be extinct Changeling race. “The Director ordered me to bring her to Freelancer custody; he has use for her in a project he has cooking up that could help save Equestria from the coming enemy.” He responded ominously as he dragged the body of the Changeling Queen to the open train car, preparing it for extraction while Carolina stared at the body with disgust. “[colour=#40e0d0]But why her? Couldn’t we rely on the other Equestrian factions to deal with them? There has to be another way than bring back the things that helped bring down the old Principality?[/colour]” Carolina questioned 117 constantly, finding the very idea of bringing the Changelings back a very bad idea. “Agent Carolina, this order came from the Director himself. He deemed it a Level: Zero-Five Directive that this specimen and its survival does not fall to the Crystal Empire. We cannot simply rely on rebels, once-traitorous renegades-now-governmental powers or sub-pony collectives to save Equestria. This course of action was forced upon us by the Crystal Empire. I need you to secure the specimen and call for the extraction order. I’ll secure the secondary objective and set up the demolition charges.” 117 sternly reminded the female agent of their situation hoping it would silence her constant questioning for now, he had little time to play games and this train was still heading deeper into enemy territory which limited their escape window dramatically. “[colour=#40e0d0]But, what about the crew still on the train?[/colour]” Carolina questioned the other Freelancer, concerned for the ponies that were still on the train. “What about them? We cannot allow witnesses. Level: Zero-Five Directive Agent Carolina, you know the procedure better than anyone else.” 117 responded devoid of the compassion that his fellow Freelancer possessed for these ponies. He positioned the Changeling queen safely in cover then disappeared among some of the wreckage to secure a device which held critical information on the Crystal Empire and the ponies behind the raids of an old Freelancer facility. Carolina guarded the Changeling Queen’s body while 117 searched for the device; she opened up a channel in her helmet’s communication systems to Freelancer Command and gave authorisation for an extraction and gave an update on the primary objective. “Understood Agent, extraction will be inbound. ETA will be 15 minutes. Command out.” The voice on the other end of the secured communication rapidly replied before shutting down the channel. “Found the device, demolition charges are now armed.” 117 announced as he reappeared again with a large cylindered capsule magnetized to his lower back, Carolina glanced at the container briefly wondering what information it held before 117 showed her the detonator which was wirelessly connected to explosives along the train car the trigger was shielded with a small blast cap which prevented an accidental trigger event. Hiding the detonator 117’s senses sharpened, he picked up an unusual series of metallic scrapping and gurgling noises from the opposite end of the train car. Turning around he and Carolina notice something slowly emerge from the shadows, whatever it was it was BIG. The thing appeared to have razor sharp talons and teeth that looked like they could sheer a tank in half but oddly enough had no wings, a red and black dragon morphed into a walking tank-like war machine. Instead the creature revealed itself to have four large barrel-like appendages on its shoulders and arms, no doubt meant to launch bolts of powerful Mana-projectiles. The heavily armoured dragon landed onto the floor with a metallic crash as it targeted the intruders, bringing its four double-barrelled Manacannons to bear on the Freelancers. The reactions from the Freelancers was priceless, while Carolina was horrified and repulsed by the abomination, 117 stared wide-eyed mouthing a string of curses under his breath as the tank-like Dragon revealed itself and began targeting them both. 117 was caught off guard by the medium-sized titan and its heavy firepower, while he leapt and rolled sideways out of the way of the Dragon’s initial volleys. Carolina on the other hand jumped ahead and sprinted towards the tank-like dragon narrowly dodging the shelling from the Dragon’s cannons, She leapt up and attempted to pry a weak spot open in the armour of the juggernaut, however the dragon calculated the Freelancer’s predicted attack pattern and waited until the turquoise agent was in range. It countered with a powerful head butt sending Carolina reeling into the floor painfully, it advanced on the downed agent and was about to finish the Freelancer Agent off. Until 117 reappeared intervening by aggressively pouncing the dragon with a series of relentless slashing strikes, the dragon retreated a short distance as the black armoured agent pushed it back in a brutal counter-attack. As the agent landed on the floor the dragon kicked its target and sent the armoured Pegasi flying across the train car. It fired off several bolts of Mana-energy after the flying Pegasi, which aimed to kill the pest before it recovered. However 117 manoeuvred into a roll and skidded into a side stepped landing out of the way, narrowly dodging the dragon’s projectiles. Turning its attention to the downed turquoise Agent the dragon advanced, raised its razor-sharp claw over the agent in an execution-style finishing move and was about to stomp down and kill her. Until 117 dashed forward, pulled and carried her out to the opposite end of the train car, “[colour=#40e0d0]We can’t deal with that thing; we don’t have the equipment heavy enough to kill it.[/colour]” Carolina remarked apprehensively as she hopped out of 117’s arms and stood by the unflinching armoured Pegasi in a defensive combat stance. It was then that the heavily armoured dragon unleashed the full devastating power of its guns, combining them into a large multi-barrelled super Mana-cannon. The cannon aimed at the opposite end of the train car, intending to wipe both Freelancer Agents out in a single blast. The barrels began glowing with a blinding white aura as it began supercharging ready to fire. The entire roof and opposite wall of the car evaporated in the resulting blast, both Freelancers were catapulted far flung into the open train car slamming hard into the metal surface of the car. Carolina jumped back up energetically and spotted the dragon approach out of the wrecked doors, she looked back at 117 who looked temporarily immobilised while sheathing his sword. “Carolina I need more time, draw that thing closer to me. I have an idea.” 117 uttered calmly while hatching an idea which would either kill him or the dragon, he began to focus his mind by lowering his mental barriers. Reaching into the deeper parts of his mind, he began slowly glowing with a crimson red aura while charging his blade’s power while simultaneously transferring power from his armour into the sword. Confused and thrown off balance by 117’s request she thought the pegasi was insane, but at this point she didn’t bother questioning him. He was by all means, insane. Much to her disapproval Carolina eventually complied and began sprinting towards the dragon, using her magic she acrobatically attacked it rapidly while dodging the powerful bolts of Mana it kept launching at her. The strafing attacks did little aside from annoying the dragon; however Carolina was successfully drawing the beast closer to 117 preventing it from launching another bombardment too early. She kept assaulting and harassing the dragon using a combination of magic, acrobatic agility, speed and guns. Culminating in her jumping directly onto a blind spot on the dragon’s hide under the beast’s artificial armaments, unleashing several clips into its armour weakening it for whatever 117 had planned. The Dragon was disorientated and dazed at the speed of the attacks, it roared and rampaged trying to shake the Agent off its armour. After unloading volleys of rounds into the armour of the dragon Carolina retreated back to 117 by acrobatically cart wheeling backwards to avoid a counter attack, who was glowing a dim crimson by the time the dragon recovered. Whatever he was about to do, now was the time to do it as the dragon recovered. Its Manacannon cooled down and ready to fire again, surely enough it began yet another fire sequence aimed at the Freelancers. Carolina rolled out the way warning 117 to do the same ducked out of view of the dragon’s sights while reloading the last of her ammunition into her submachine guns. The barrels of the dragons was glowing with a white glaring aura particles gathered into the barrels, it packed as much of a magical charge the cannons and the dragon could muster. This would be it. The dragon would finally wipe these intruders out once and for all, before it fired the Dragon let out a mighty titanic roar as it fired the cannons releasing a monumentally large beam of magic straight at 117. A lesser pony would’ve been outright vaporized to the point of complete and total overkill, however 117 timed his action, anchored himself to the open train car and prepared his mind for what he was about to do. He unsheathed his blade partially and used the sheathing device to help absorb some of the force of the blast. When the beam reached 117 the force of the blast was powerful enough to sent him skidding backwards heavily, he held his ground and absorbed the vast amounts of Mana-energy into his sword. By the time the beam stopped smoke covered the area with no sign of 117 whatsoever...Until a crimson aura became visible and an eerily creepy chuckle was heard within the obscuring misty battlefield. As the smoke cleared a crimson and black figure stood, 117 had survived the impossible as he sheathed his blade his eyes glowed an eerie unnaturally bright luminescent Emerald Green. The Dragon became enraged that the prey was still alive and cheated it of a kill to the point that the beast had charged towards 117, to finally kill it by tooth and claw instead of magic. The dragon leapt towards the prey, pouncing with claws and teeth brought to bear. 117 glanced at the Dragon and smirked as he waited for the right moment, the dragon got closer with each passing second showing its razor sharp teeth and claws until it was right on top of him. Then 117 spotted the weak point Carolina had made earlier, now was the time to strike. With one strike he annihilated the dragon. Using the combined monumentally titanic energy pent up from the dragon’s own beam he collected, the power stored in his armour and the focused mental energy he dug up had created a shockwave powerful enough to not only vaporize the dragon, but momentarily engulf the surrounding scenery dramatically in an aura of black and crimson. Even the skies above the train directly had changed colour to a total blanket of whiteness, 117 watched as the Dragon vaporized dramatically into black particles of magic. However he had used so much energy and power, it rendered him immobile in lockdown while his body and armour recovered. 117 sheathed his sword one final time and allowed his body to regenerate, his mind to recuperate from letting his mental barriers drop. Feeling a pain rip in his head, he heard a subtle ominous bloodthirsty cackle in the back of his mind. Never, again. 117 thought solemnly as if he was warning something, something which was lingering in the deepest reaches of his mind. Finally calming down he looked to Carolina who stared at him with a wide-eyed gaze, refusing to believe what just happened. He just took down a dragon. A DRAGON! Single-handedly. “[colour=#40e0d0]Well... Remind me not to get on your bad side, huh? No offense, but you’re frakking insane.[/colour]” Carolina joked light heartedly while stepping out of cover, she sheathed her SMGs and walked with 117 to move Chrysalis onto the open train car and awaited transport. 117 didn’t respond and kept staring out to the speeding landscape, “The Director had to be sure you were ready, he needed someone who could trust him fully and could lead to the highest efficiency. He chose you; he felt you were the correct choice to be in command of Freelancer’s Fireteams and it’s Agents.” 117 admitted reservedly as he confessed about the Director’s intentions towards her. “[colour=#40e0d0]Why did he choose me? I’m no super soldier like you, if anything you should be in command. I heard Bat-fething insane was part of the requirements.[/colour]” Carolina asked curiously before joking that 117 should be the Commander for Freelancer for his unpredictable insanity, 117 was silent for a moment pondering deeply about something. “No...Not what I have done, I am incapable of leading considering my history. Those ponies that have been under my command, what happened to them? No, he chose you because you mean much to him on a personal level. You’ve proven yourself time and again to be the leader he’s been looking for during the coming conflict.” 117 solemnly explained to the female agent about the reason of why she was selected, as a candidate to be the commander of Freelancer’s Fireteams and it’s Agents and not him. Eventually a Freelancer dropship arrived from the horizon to pick them and Chrysalis up, after loading the body and climbing aboard they both waited until the dropship was at a minimal safe distance as 117 slowly pulled out the detonator and engaged the detonation sequence. The explosives attached to the train detonated causing an explosion that destroyed half of the train and visible to any force within visual range to see it...If any Faction in range didn't see the aftermath of the dragon's vaporization. then they would've clearly noticed the explosion caused by the bomb. It was then that the dropship slipped away once more stealthily and took a detour towards the south of Equestria, to a secret research base built inside a large canyon designated as AVALON. There would hold the staging grounds for Project: Olympus Ark, a sister project to another Freelancer project which would drastically affect Freelancer's Equestrian operations if successful.