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As these two demonstrate, friendship isn't always magic.
I Against I, Me Against You is a Red vs. Blue/My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic crossover by Flynt Coal. The story takes place after season 5 of Red vs. Blue and just after the season 3 premiere of My Little Pony.
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Everything changes for Twilight Sparkle and her friends when a mysterious extraterrestrial ship crash lands in Equestria. When Twilight messes around in the ship's systems with her magic, she ends up transported to an alien world unlike anything she imagined: a box canyon in the middle of nowhere.

To get home, Twilight must enlist the help of the eccentric Red and Blue soldiers that live there... if she can get them to stop bickering first! Additionally, she finds herself being pursued by the enigmatic military agency known only as Project Freelancer. Back in Equestria, all is not well for Twilight's friends as forces involved with the crashed ship make themselves known. Reds, Blues, and ponies will all have to work together to discover the mysterious connection between Equestria and Project Freelancer.

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The story has been completed as of Feb 14, 2016, with an epilogue hinting at a sequel posted Feb 28, 2016.

A side story by the same author was released on July 22, 2016. A Widow's Search follows the story of a side character who appeared in only one scene of the main story after her husband Arcane Star was killed by the Meta.


The story contains examples of:

  • Adaptational Nice Guy: Agent South, for a certain degree of "nice". As she dies, she finds some rapport with Twilight over the fact that they both have/had older brothers and passes on a message from Delta intended for Washington.
  • Affably Evil: Omega/O'Malley is still the same goofy megalomaniac he was back at Blood Gulch, and winds up eventually striking up a genuine friendship with Pinkie.
  • A God Am I: Church briefly goes through this after taking over the Insurrection's facility network.
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  • Alternate Universe: A few minor liberties are taken with the MLP world (The Equestria Girls universe doesn't exist at all, and everything that happens after the season 3 premiere is up in the air), but most of the AU is on the Red vs Blue side, with the events of the Freelancer arc proceeding differently due to the presence of the ponies. There's also the fact that Equestria made contact with Project Freelancer many years ago.
  • And Call Him "George"!: When he and Church arrive in Ponyville, this is Caboose's reaction to the ponies, literally saying that he will call all of them George.
  • Anti-Villain: Silversteel, a Whitewater mercenary who only joined up to find Derpy's killer and avenge her. He's a pretty nice guy outside of his work, and he nearly helps the heroes before he notices Maine.
  • Anyone Can Die: Countless main characters wind up dead, including Simmons, Derpy, the AI fragments, Tex, and Wash (though he turns out to have been Faking the Dead).
  • Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: Rarity, after delivering a No-Holds-Barred Beatdown to CT.
    Rarity: He killed Captain Eberle, he killed everyone in the desert, he threatened to kill me, and worse, he called me old!!!
  • Ass Shove: O'Malley, currently possessing Pinkie, threatens Rainbow Dash with this.
    O'Malley: You will take the cupcake or I will force feed it to you... and it won't be through your mouth!
  • Badass Boast: Pinkie gets one in the vein of Caboose when she figures out how to properly channel the little bit of O'Malley that still lingers in her mind.
    "My name is Pinkamena Diane Pie, and I! Hate! Meanies!"
  • Big Bad Ensemble: Sunset Shimmer, the Director, and the Meta.
  • Bookends: The story begins and ends with Twilight and Spike stargazing on the balcony of Golden Oaks Library, asking each other "Do you ever wonder why we're here?"
  • Brick Joke: Early in Act 2, Pinkie Pie fills Sugarcube Corner with cakes which Twilight has to move to her pocket dimension just to get through. Near the end of Act 2, Twilight opens her pocket dimension to get something else and accidentally dumps all of the cakes on Reynard Vaez, doubling as a Shout-Out to Slice of Hell.
  • Bring My Brown Pants:
    Caboose: That was the best battle I ever peed myself in!
  • The Bus Came Back: Tucker, who has been absent after being assigned to the temple excavation, when Rarity, Rainbow Dash, and Caboose wind up at the temple after being teleported.
  • Call-Forward: In the final chapter, while meeting with Celestia, Chairman Malcolm Hargrove has to leave to attend to a call from Chorus...
  • Cerebus Syndrome: Much like in Red vs Blue, the story gets a lot darker as more of the plot is revealed.
  • Chekhov's Gag: In chapter 1-5, Church tries to pass Twilight off as his seeing-eye dog to get past an armed checkpoint. When questioned how a seeing-eye dog is supposed to help the supposedly blind Church aim, they then try to demonstrate by having Twilight "bark" when Church gets closer to his target. When they face Wyoming in 1-7, they use the same tactic to help Church overcome his poor aiming skills.
  • Climactic Volcano Backdrop: The location of the protagonists' final battle against the Meta.
  • Cloning Blues: The unfortunate magical A.I. copied from Rainbow Dash's mind. In short, Sunset Shimmer creates an M.I. (Magical Intelligence) to help Tex purge O'Malley from Pinkie Pie's mind. Unfortunately, M.I.s are illegal in Equestria and the construct had to be erased after completing its purpose. Combine that with the fact that the M.I. possessed all of the real Rainbow Dash's memories, and the Mane 6 essentially got to watch Sunset murder their friend.
  • Cloudcuckoolander: Caboose, Sarge, and Pinkie.
  • The Cloudcuckoolander Was Right: Caboose decides that cars must hate Washington because he looks like a road. He actually isn’t that far off.
  • Crazy Jealous Guy: Caboose shoots Captain Mogar because he thought he was trying to be Church's new best friend. It should be noted that Mogar was trying to kill Church at the time.
  • Defiant to the End: Captain Mogar goes out firing at the Freelancer troops as his squad is wiped out.
  • Doomed Hometown: Dodge Junction is this for Sunny Side, courtesy of the Meta.
  • Driven to Suicide: It's implied Maine lets himself fall into a chasm of lava after he manages to regain control and realizes the full ramifications of his actions and that he backstabbed Washington, the one person willing to give him a second chance.
  • Drowning My Sorrows: Spike goes to Berry Punch's bar when he can't take any more of having Grif and Simmons as roommates... and drinks apple juice.
  • Dude, Where's My Respect?: Sarge's motivation for his fervor in fighting the Blues and hatred of Grif comes from his anger and denial that he has been cast aside and demoted in spite of all his military service.
  • Exact Words: Right before Wyoming activates the transmitter that will signal the Mother of Invention to blast Canterlot into nothing, Tucker warns him he'll regret it for the rest of his life. Wyoming does indeed regret it when he realizes that Tucker placed the transmitter aboard his ship, meaning he’ll be blasted into oblivion instead.
    Tucker: To be fair, I did warn him he would regret his decision for the rest of his life. All thirty seconds of it!
  • Face Death with Dignity: Wyoming spends his last moments before being blasted by the Mother of Invention's cannon looking at Canterlot and congratulating Tucker, Rarity, Sarge, Lopez, Grif, Tex, and Pinkie on thoroughly outplaying him.
  • "Facing the Bullets" One-Liner: Wyoming utters "Well played" when the Mother of Invention's attack, which was intended to destroy Canterlot, zeroes in on his Pelican instead.
  • Fake Memories: After fragmenting Epsilon, Church was left with altered versions of the Director's memories that resulted in his belief that he was human.
  • Faux Affably Evil:
    • Sigma is very chatty and pleasant while he talks Omega into allowing himself to be assimilated by the Meta.
    • Wyoming is as insincerely polite as always.
  • Fingore: Grif gets his ring finger shot off by a sniper. He's more concerned by the fact he can’t flip the bird anymore than he is about having lost a finger.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • When Church and Twilight talk to Sheila/FILSS, she refers to Church as Director before either of them have any idea what Church really is.
    • A few chapters later, Church explains why he joined the army in the first place.
      Church: Honestly? It was because of Tex. She joined the army and left me without so much as a goodbye, so I decided to go after her. It was either that or med school. And really, can you picture that? Doctor Leonard Church?
  • Going Native: Unsurprisingly, Donut quickly takes a liking to Equestria. When Tucker finds him baking with Caboose and Pinkie Pie, Donut is wearing a bright baby-blue apron over his lightish-red armor. Tucker even lampshades this by saying the trope name almost word for word.
    Tucker: Dear god, you’ve gone native…
  • Good Is Not Nice: It applies to all the Reds and Blues, but especially Agent Washington, who on top of his cold and bitter attitude, allows Project Freelancer to capture Twilight and begin fragmenting her, though only because he believed that it would take longer for fragmentation to begin.
  • Gunship Rescue: When it looks like the Mane Six will have no choice but to use the Elements of Harmony against the Meta after he abducts Church (destroying Church in the process), the Blood Gulchers show up and (unintentionally) drop their ship on him. It doesn't keep him down, but their arrival still helps turn the tide.
  • Heel–Face Door-Slam:
    • After Pinkie manages to get O'Malley to stand down after asking him why he's angry, he gets captured and assimilated by the Meta.
    • Silversteel is ready to help the heroes escape the Mother of Invention until he figures out Maine is Derpy's killer and attacks him, resulting in his death.
  • Heel Realization: Tex has one after she realizes that she's been acting like the Director and has been taking advantage of the PTSD-ridden Sunny Side.
  • Heroic BSoD:
    • Church, after he discovers he's the Alpha, alternates between denial and accepting it, as well as being even more ill-tempered and grumpy than usual.
    • The construct at Project Freelancer's trap in the Dyson Sphere leaves Twilight a weeping mess after it is activated.
  • Heroic Sacrifice:
    • Captain Mogar, Captain Reynard, and their troops all die battling Project Freelancer's troops at Freelancer Command so Epsilon can be recovered.
    • After being fatally wounded, Simmons remains behind in the Dyson Sphere to hold off Project Freelancer's troops and allow Twilight, Church, and Washington to escape.
  • Horse of a Different Color: When Red Team comes across a chimera that had earlier been injured by the Meta, Sarge opts to use it as transportation, much to the creature's disbelief.
  • Hulking Out: Caboose believes that being the Alpha causes Church to do this for whatever reason.
  • Humans Are Cthulhu: Twilight Sparkle and the other ponies think of the humans as this amazing, technologically advanced alien race when they first find the crashed spaceship. Suffice to say, Twilight is quite disappointed once she actually meets the Reds and Blues.
  • I Reject Your Reality: After Tex reveals to Church that he is the Alpha, he alternates between accepting it and fervently denying it. It takes Tex literally ripping him out of his own body and shoving him into a computer for him to accept it.
  • Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: The Director's final fate, brought on by the destruction of the Mother of Invention's engines and its subsequent crash. He lives long enough to greet Twilight and Church when they go after him, but he doesn't last long after that.
  • Insane Troll Logic:
    • Sarge's plans, as per usual. After Church trades Twilight to the Reds, Sarge immediately plans to use her to power a time machine to go back in time and kill George Washington, inventor of the color blue (according to him), and his idea of efficiently picking apples is to blast them with his shotgun.
    • Caboose is also prone to this, when he actually uses logic at all.
  • Internal Deconstruction: Several fanfics depict Prince Blueblood as a Jerk with a Heart of Gold who only behaved like an ass to Rarity because he was angered by her advances on him, and eventually gives her a "The Reason You Suck" Speech about it. Here, when he uses this as an excuse, Tucker tears him apart, pointing out that Rarity was at worst naive and a bit pushy and nothing she did justified his dickishness.
  • It's Personal: Rainbow Dash seems to have decided this in regards to the Meta after it kills Derpy.
  • It's All About Me: Wyoming gleefully admits that he has decided that the only right thing is "what the right thing is for me!"
  • I Will Only Slow You Down: Simmons, after being fatally wounded.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Church, though he fervently denies it when Wyoming calls him on it.
  • Kangaroo Court: After being captured by the residents of Ponyville, who believe them to be responsible for the Meta's crimes, Church and Caboose wind up in one of these. The ponies just argue about how they'll punish them, and Caboose is the one put in charge of their defense.
    Caboose: Ladies and not-ladies! We are gathered here to bear witness to me and my best friend of all time, Church. Now, that I said that, I think you should punish Church because he is mean, he hoards all the candy, and I'm pretty sure I watched him punch a cat. Like, it wasn't even covered in spikes! Why would he do that? In concluding, God bless America. Except Alabama. Amen.
    Church: Well, at least I can say I know what it feels like to be hit by a bus before I die, because you fucking threw me under it!
    Caboose: The world of politics is a dog eat dog world, Church. If you want to survive, you have to eat dogs. Which is gross.
  • Kick the Dog:
    • Church casually tells Twilight in Chapter 2 that he doesn't care about getting her home because it's not his problem and rubs it in when she vows to find someone in the canyon who isn’t a "self-centered flankhole" after trading her to the Reds. Then he realizes that she knows where Tex is immediately after.
    • The Meta slaughtering almost everyone in Dodge City, including innocent civilians, thinking that Omega was hiding in one of them.
    • C.T. executing Captain Eberle after Rarity annoys him.
  • Killed Off for Real:
    • Apart from various important Original Characters, part 2-6 confirms the death of Derpy Hooves.
    • Part 2-10 reveals that, in this story at least, Lopez actually did manage to kill Sister.
    • The final few chapters see the deaths of Simmons, Wash, and Tex as well.
      • Averted in Wash's case, who was revealed to be alive and well in the epilogue of the side story "A Widow's Search", living in Canterlot Castle in the guise of a pony on Celestia's staff.
  • Kill It with Fire: Maine's final fate, brought on by deliberately dropping into a lava-filled chasm.
  • Knight of Cerebus:
    • Wyoming of all people ends up becoming this. Although the Freelancer himself is about as much of a threat as he usually is, he sets off the more serious story of Twilight's arc in Act 1 when he makes her a priority target for Project Freelancer and is the first human Twilight meets who seems to know about Equestria.
    • Then there's the Meta who massacres the entire Equestrian military contingent around Tex's ship, as well as a significant amount of ponies in the nearby town. To say that things immediately get grimmer afterward is an understatement.
  • Laughably Evil:
    • O'Malley is loud, hammy, and as prone to hilariously violent threats and Card Carrying Villainy as ever.
    • Wyoming, who is as insincerely polite and prone to corny jokes as always.
    • The Mad King Hayworth, whose entire M.O. revolves around trapping people in a hole and convincing them their name is Edgar to make them serve him.
  • Mind Rape: After being converted to an M.I., O'Malley is able to do this to anyone, even if they don't wear armor with an A.I. slot. Poor Pinkie Pie...
  • My God, What Have I Done?: Sunset Shimmer goes through this after receiving a copy of Twilight's memories during their final conflict, to the point that she believes that Gilda—whose father she'd previously ordered slain—should have killed her in return.
  • No-Holds-Barred Beatdown: Rarity delivers one to CT during the heroes' rematch against the Insurrectionists. Considering the abuse Rarity suffered at his hands earlier, it was a long time coming.
  • No-Sell:
    • Done hilariously by Pinkie Pie when she reveals that the Mad King Hayworth's attempt to brainwash her didn't work, and that she'd just been playing along with him the whole time so he wouldn't feel bad.
    • Tex does this to most of the mane 6's attacks during their brief fight, and a few chapters later, the Meta does the same, even to Fluttershy's Stare!
  • Noodle Incident: Sarge claims to have fought in the Pastry Wars of 2530. It actually happened, and Reynard winds up having a PTSD flashback when he gets covered in cake since his parents died in a cake bombing run.
  • Odd Friendship: Applejack and Sarge bond over their shared hatred of Grif.
  • Oh, No... Not Again!: Church, upon returning to the RvB world and realizing that everyone is separated just like at the end of Season 2
  • Only Sane Man: Church, Wash, and Twilight alternate between taking the role in the Reds and Blues.
  • OOC Is Serious Business: When Church is unable to find any information about himself or the Blues stationed on Sidewinder at the Sidewinder base, he reacts with panic and confusion without bursting into rage,
  • Paper-Thin Disguise: Church and the Blues try to pass Twilight off as a dog when passing through a military checkpoint. Surprisingly, it works, but the UNSC doesn't let front line personnel keep pets. Wyoming, however, is not fooled.
  • Parental Substitute: Caboose reveals to Church and Twilight that he sees them as this. They are appropriately weirded out, especially since he just called her "Mom".
  • Pet the Dog:
    • Grif actually becomes a pretty nice guy around Fluttershy, but only because she reminds him of how Sister used to be when they were kids.
    • South of all characters gets this as she dies, seeming to express sincere regret at what she's done and giving Delta's message to Twilight.
  • Private Military Contractors: In addition to Project Freelancer, in its third act, the story introduces Whitewater: a company of Equestrian mercenaries hired to perform a hit on the main characters.
  • Reality Ensues: When captured by CT and his Insurrectionists, Rarity tries the same trick she used against the diamond dogs in A Dog and Pony Show. It doesn't end well for Captain Eberle.
  • Redemption Rejection: Maine throws away his second chance by killing Silversteel and taking his M.I. and then goes back to assimilating any MI and AI he can find. It's implied he realizes this before his suicide.
  • Running Gag: Sarge completely mangling Twilight's name, often in ways that don't sound remotely close.
  • Sanity Slippage: This happens to poor Twilight as Sunset Shimmer forces her to fragment herself.
  • Seen It All: After watching Twilight demonstrate her magic, Church is initially bewildered at this before conceding that he's seen weirder things happen.
  • Shout-Out:
    • To other Rooster Teeth shows and people.
      • Act 1 Part 8 introduces Jones, a bit character voiced by Gavin Free in the actual show. Jones' depiction in this story is much more in line with Gavin's goofy demeanor in Achievement Hunter, complete with speaking with confusing British-isms and a moment where he refers to Caboose as "Mi-cool".
      • Act 1 Part 9 introduces two Original Characters Reynard Vaez Jr. and Mike "the Rage" Mogar, both of which are Expies of Achievement Hunters Ray Narvaez Jr. and Michael Jones
      • The Achievement Hunter Main 6 complete their cameos in Act 2 Part 9 with the appearances of Lieutenant Jack and the "Mad King" James Hayworth, Jack Patillo, and Ryan Haywood respectively. Hayworth's MO involves keeping people in holes and naming them "Edgar", while Lieutenant Jack expresses interest in giving up on the battle to go build a house.
      • Tex cuts a bit of Rarity's mane during a fight scene, and Rarity reacts much like Yang Xiao Long.
      • In one of the chapters, Caboose repeatedly fires off confetti cannons, much like Joel did in one episode of the Gauntlet.
      • Simmons tells Rarity a story based on one Gus told on the Rooster Teeth Podcast.
      • The indie band that appears at the party in the finale is implied to be playing "Blood Gulch Blues". Even the band's name (Trotcadero) is a pony parody name of Trocadero, the real-life indie band that does most of the music for Red vs Blue.
      • The tricked out Pelican that Sarge makes in the third act plays Talkin' That Shit.
      • The Recovery Agent in charge of the alien dig site in the latter half of Act 2 is Captain Eberle, an Expy of Rooster Teeth's own Kara Eberle. She even knocks an ice cream cone out of Caboose's hand at one point, giving us this exchange:
        Tucker: Aw, cheer up Caboose! It’s not like you could have eaten it with your helmet on anyway!
        Caboose: Yeah, but I still had dreams...
        Tucker: Well, no dreams for you!
    • Under O'Malley's influence, Pinkie Pie menacingly asks Rainbow Dash if she wants to bake Cupcakes with her.
    • In the final chapter, a pony named Sandalwood attempts to join Red Team. She matches the description of and shares a few similar traits and interests with the protagonist of All-American Girl, whose birth name is Sandalwood. This makes sense considering the author frequently collaborates with Shinzakura on that and a number of other projects.
  • Sociopathic Hero: Lopez shows no remorse over killing Sister.
  • Standing Between the Enemies: Twilight manages this in the Act 1 finale, stopping the Reds and Blues from fighting after having learned the truth about their war.
  • Storming the Castle: The second to last chapter involves the heroes storming the Mother of Invention to save Twilight/the Ancora A.I., forcing them to fight through countless Freelancer agents, what's left of the Whitewater soldiers including Gilda (now with magical A.I.s), and culminating in a duel between Twilight and Sunset Shimmer before the ship goes down.
  • Talking the Monster to Death: In Act 2-5, Pinkie is able to talk down O'Malley and get him to question why he's so angry all the time. Pity that the Meta decided to interrupt.
  • Talking to Himself: Lampshaded despite the medium. When speaking with Sarge over the radio, Wyoming notes that his own voice when imitating an American accent sounds remarkably like the red sergeant.
  • Titled After the Song: The story and each of its chapters are all titled after songs and lyrics from the various Red vs. Blue soundtracks by Trocadero and Jeff Williams. The final chapter's title is "Always Red Vs. Blue", referring to the song played during Season 8's finale—fitting, since the Meta is the final opponent left for the protagonists to overcome.
  • Tomato in the Mirror: The pony Twilight Sparkle... or the M.I. Ancora?
  • Took a Level in Jerkass: The more time she spends with the Reds and Blues, the more snarky and acerbic Twilight becomes.
  • The Unapologetic: Church claims that Blue Team's main rule is never apologizing, and lightly chides Twilight whenever she does so.
  • Villainous BSoD: Happens to the Director after Celestia deliberately puts herself in harm's way to prevent her attack force's airship from being destroyed.
  • Villain Respect: After Pinkie's chat with O'Malley above —and in the midst of a successful purging of the Meta's collected A.I. via the Elements of Harmony—he gives her a grateful look before he disappears.
  • Villainous Breakdown: The Mad King Hayworth, after being dropped into the hole he used to break people into serving him.
    Mad King Hayworth: I'm in the hole... I AM EDGAR! HA HA HA HAAAAAAAA!
  • Virtue Is Weakness: The Director tells Celestia this after he reveals his intentions to hold Canterlot hostage with the Mother of Invention.
    Director: Perhaps now you see the cost of letting your conscience take precedence?
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: A good summary of Twilight and Church's relationship. The other ponies and humans develop similar ones when they start to meet each other in the second act.
  • We Used to Be Friends: Celestia and the Director were good friends twenty years before the story's beginning. Due in no small part to the circumstances surrounding Project Freelancer, it doesn't last.
  • Wham Episode: Chapter 3-9. Twilight is revealed to have been an M.I. created by Sunset Shimmer and the Director, Simmons is killed, and Washington is revealed to have been a mole working with Project Freelancer ever since he reappeared.
  • Wham Line: "No need. I have been watching over Ancora my entire life. Ever since that fateful day when she tried applying to my school."
  • Willing Channeler: Sunny Side allows Tex to possess her in order to fight Project Freelancer.
  • With Catlike Tread: Caboose and stealth go together about as well as water and vinegar.
    Church: Caboose! We're supposed to be quiet right now!
    Caboose: SORRY! I WILL YELL QUIETER NOW!
  • Worst Aid: Doc, as per usual, who manages to dislocate Twilight's left leg while trying to pop her right leg back into place and uses aloe vera and CPR to treat a bullet wound to the head.
    Tucker: Goddamn, dude, you're like the fucking angel of death! Maybe you should look into a new line of work.
    Doc: Hey, it's not my fault I don't know the biology of an alien species discovered literally minutes ago!
    Twilight: It's not like you needed to measure my metabolism or something! YOU JUST HAD TO KNOW THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN RIGHT AND LEFT!


In the end, a true friend is someone you never have to let go of. Someone who will always be with you in spirit. Even if they're not here right now....

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