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Quote of the Week: "A great civilization is not conquered from without until it has destroyed itself from within." - Will Durant, American historian (1885-1981)

My Little Warhammer: Friendship is Heresy

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evilsoup
PostPosted: 2011-10-21 11:06am 

Jedi Knight


Joined: 2011-04-01 11:41am
Posts: 793
Location: G-D SAVE THE QUEEN
Mr. Coffee wrote:
My arguments were mostly about that particular chapter and that if things continued that way that the ponies really would be wankish. Then I got sidetracked with arguing with Bronies, but my main point is that I hope you're not going to make the rest of the story having the ponies that wankish.


Fair comment, I did have to actively resist that urge when I was plotting out the overall story. As I'm avoiding spoiling everyone, I can't really say anything more than that. And I'd just like to say that nice though all the compliments are (and I mean that, keep 'em coming), it is good to have some actual criticism of the story too.
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Oscar Wilde
PostPosted: 2011-12-17 01:46am 

Padawan Learner


Joined: 2008-10-29 07:36pm
Posts: 299
I've read numerous fanfics. I've seen the good, the bad, and the ugly. This is definitely of the former category. My reasons for thinking this have been covered, quite thoroughly in other posts.

Evilsoup, you are an artist. *brohoof*
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evilsoup
PostPosted: 2011-12-22 08:51pm 

Jedi Knight


Joined: 2011-04-01 11:41am
Posts: 793
Location: G-D SAVE THE QUEEN
Chapter 6 - Invisible Pink Unicorn



Colonel-custodian Mangum took a glance up at the arched ceiling of the corridor, shook his head and kept walking. The height of the butressed, ornate ceiling (as intricately designed as anything Mangum could remember from Akarak) made him feel very small, so he tried to ignore it. To his right was major Garald; to his left custodian Faral Mangum, the colonel's cousin and aide-de-camp.

The three of them had met the admiral the day after the regiment embarked on the ship, and had met him five times over the month-and-a-quarter they had been aboard. Colonel Mangum had an austere upbringing; he held self-discipline to be (second to obedience to the Imperium, of course) the most important virtue, and so found the fat, smelly admiral both disgusting and morally abhorrant.

They were nearly at the command centre now, walking past the engraved mural of - so far as colonel Mangum could tell - angels fighting some kind of goblins. He didn't doubt that it had some symbolic meaning, but he didn't care for such things; and even if he did, it would rankle him to have to ask admiral Kil-ban-Ocean for an explaination.

At first the naval guards had been somewhat wary of Mangum, but by now they fixed him with a stare that was not quite contemptuous, but certainly not respectful. Those at the door (four today; it's usually two ... the fat man's probably nervous that the xeno scum will attack again...) at least had the manners to salute him, even if they did so far slower than he'd allow any man under his command to get away with. One of the midshipmen (a child of thirteen; while the uniform he was wearing was scrupulously tidy, it was also just slightly too big for him) stepped forwards and gave a quick salute.

"Colonel, admiral Kil-ban-Ocean awaits you and your staff in his void-cabin. Please follow me."

The boy turned sharply, and the great doors to the command chamber began to swing open. As the three officers followed him, major Garald whispered into his ear:

"They really like their theatrics, don't they?"

Mangum nodded, glanced over his shoulder at his cousin, who was clearly impressed by it all.

The admiral's void-cabin was towards the front of the command chamber; to get to it, they had to walk the length of the room. It taller than a cathedral hall - it rivalled even the reception hall in the Lord Governer's palace, which Mangum had visited to recieve his commission as colonel of his regiment. He felt even smaller than before, but pushed that emotion away. He could hear his cousin's footsteps faltering, no doubt the idiot's impressed by all this...

The command chamber was tall, but fairly narrow: it only took them two minutes to reach the admiral's void-cabin. They waited for the midshipman to enter and announce them to the admiral; the boy came out a few seconds later and held the door open for them.

The admiral's void-cabin was almost spartan compared to his regular suite: it was a single room, with a relatively plain (but still quite ornate) table and three chairs; a sink and mirror (framed with an elaborate gold frame, inset with many skulls and topped with the double-headed Imperial Aquila) by the wall; on the far side was a deep red curtain, trimmed with gold, obscuring his bed.

Admiral Kil-ban-Ocean was sitting behind the table, the top button of his uniform undone, collar pressed down to cover a recent food stain. Disgusting, thought colonel Mangum; he glanced down at the tabletop - the baroque, carved dark wood around the edge of the table belied the archaeotech holo-display, projecting a miniature topography of the world below. Kil-ban-Ocean gestured to the two empty chairs in front of him.

"Colonel, major, please sit. Regalis, be a dear and fetch a chair for the colonel's aide."

The door slid shut; the midshipman scurried off. Mangum sat down, Garald gingerly followed suit; Faral crossed his arms. The colonel looked at Kil-ban-Ocean expectantly; the Admiral began to speak.

"Now, colonel, we need to decide when and where to attack - and, indeed, if we should attack-"

"If!? With all due respect, admiral, we must attack, and right away!"

"Oh? You yourself encountered the creature that attacked my ship. By my evaluation, and that of my mental-savants and all the measuring instruments under my control, it seems to be as powerful as it claimed."

"That-" - Mangum sputtered, his fists clenched in rage; "are you afraid of this alien vermin!?" - he stood up, the high-backed chair falling backwards in a crash. Major Garald was vibrating with anger; Faral was looking, puzzled, at something behind the admiral.

"I took an oath when I took command of my regiment: by the Emperor, to fight all threats to Mankind and the Imperium, no matter how mighty they might seem!"

Kil-ban-Ocean was not intimidated or impressed by the colonel's outburst; if anything he found it amusing. Cute, even. He replied calmly:

"As an admiral of the Imperial Navy it is my duty to evaluate the facts before committing a warship of this value to battle. And the fact is that the alien vermin could crush this ship like an insect-"

Mangum howled, slammed both his fists down on the table.

"The Inquisitor ordered us to attack!"

"The Inquisitor is not here."

"We have a duty-"

"Do not-" - the admiral sat forward; "-think to lecture me on duty, you jumped-up prison warden. Listen! To. Me. As I was going to say before your outburst, I have evaluated all of the facts, and I have determined that we must attack - but not now. Not piecemeal, as the Inquisitor insisted on. We must wait a week for the rest of the forces to arrive-"

"We cannot wait that long. The algae vats that feed my regiment have been completely polluted by some kind of poison. The emergency rations we have will last at most two days."

"Ah- uh, Admiral?" - it was Faral; "Is there anybody else in this room, apart from us? I swear I saw something-"

"Faral!" the colonel shouted; "Shut up. Well, admiral, do you agree that we have to attack? Unless you can feed my three thousand men-"

"Yes, yes," the admiral waved an arm dismissively, sat back in his chair; "Or rather, no. I simply haven't got the resources."

"Very well," he sighed; "Since the when has been decided for us, we shall have to concentrate on where to attack. You can see here a holographical map of the alien world. One of my mental-savants has marked the areas that he intuits are important cities..."

----

Moondancer stayed as still as she could. This was not easy: the smooth metal of the floor was unnerving underhoof, made it hard to keep balanced. She slowed her breathing, trying to stay quiet, concentrating on the human soldiers in front of her and on maintaining the invisibility spell.

Unit 14c were lined up with the rest of block 14 in the armoury. The regimental quartermaster and his two assistants were standing behind a long metal desk, giving out the necessary kit as the prisoner-soldiers shuffled past. A buzz had been growing all day: excitement that they were finally to be allowed off-ship, tinged with fear. With her highly-public appearances throughout the ship, there had been no use in trying to hide the alien's incursion. There was a strictly-enforced eyes-forward rule, intended to reduce conversation between prisoners, but the armoury was not silent.

Keeping his head as still as possible, moving only his eyes, Madrin glanced around the room. Larek Dag, standing in the line just behind him, had been whispering to him for nearly half an hour; and Madrin was worried that custodian Khofi (or one of his assistants) would notice and punish the whole unit.

"I tell you what, Madrin, this whole situation - I mean, at first I thought 'oh shit, Larek, this is another fine mess you've gotten yourself into', but the way I see it, this whole thing's an oppertunity, right?"

Dag paused for a moment, as if waiting for a reply. Madrin cursed silently - he knew where this was going, everyone in unit 14c had heard Dag's heretical ramblings. He studied the far wall as best as he could, trying to ignore Dag. The wall was covered in propoganda but, along with two-thirds of the regiment, Madrin could not read the messages. He liked the pictures though: a giant-sized strong-jawed clean-cut guardsman in a uniform he barely recognised saluting the room; a boot stamping on the face of some ugly green alien; a row of guardsmen, much healthier-looking than anyone in the 9th Akarak, standing strong against a wave of hulking, misformed aliens holding sticks. But...

What's that..? - some of the posters were slightly blurred, as if there was slightly-imperfect glass in the middle of the room. Despite himself, Madrin turned his head a little: there was definitely something there, only ten feet from where he was standing.

"...I mean, shit, if they turn out to be good, there's no reason we couldn't keep some around, ya know? Just for f-"

"Do you see that?" - Madrin nodded at the blur. Dag turned his head slightly.

"See what?"

"That ... blur, in the middle of the room."

"I-" - Dag fell silent. Footsteps echoing on the metal floor, approaching Madrin: he looked straight ahead, his mouth dry. Custodian Khofi took a step in front of him, smiled his humourless, sadistic smile.

"Were you saying something, 14c09?"

"Cuh- custodian, I thought I saw something-"

"Oh really," sneered Khofi; "and what did you think you saw, Madrin?"

Madrin looked at the custodian, then turned his head slightly. It's still there-

Moondancer had never felt so scared in her life as the moment when that guardsman looked her right in the eye (she looked down quickly to check that she was still invisible) and pointed at her. The man standing next to him - the custodian, she reminded herself - first looked like he was going to laugh. But then his face dropped, he drew his pistol and pushed through the line, striding towards her.

She took a step backwards, and her the sound her hoof made startled her out of her invisibility. The custodian shouted wordlessly, the entire room turned to look at her: the custodian raised his pistol and fired at Moondancer.

It was not a well-aimed shot, but it grazed the top of her leg and produced an explosion of pain. Moonadancer felt her leg go weak, fell down; she could feel blood seeping from the wound. Her first instinct was to work some healing magic, but she could see the custodian levelling his pistol to deliver the coup-de-grace. Only one thing for it...

The wounded little unicorn was enveloped in a ball of pink light, and then disappeared.

----

Since the alien creature's intervention, things had been more pleasant for Dutal. He still had his floor-scrubbing duties, but Travis was ... not nice, exactly, but less actively beligerent. When the chief petty officer came around on his regular inspections, he normally found some imaginary fault with Dutal's work, and used it as an excuse to berate and belittle and beat Dutal. But not today. Today he had been left in peace to get on with his work, with Travis only making a token appearance when he had to. Dutal was sure that Travis was being careful with the other men under his command, wary of intervention.

There was a quiet fizzing pop noise from behind Dutal. He turned his head, then his whole body, to see the pink little unicorn slumped on the floor, bleeding onto the deck. She looked up at him, scared. He raised his hands to show he had no weapon.

"I- It's- It's oh- okay, I'm a ... friend."

She nodded, winced, looked to her leg. Her horn emitting a pink light, a similar shade to her skin and hair. Dutal watched, fascinated, as the skin either side of the nasty gash on the side of the unicorn's leg pulled together and fused into one. He touched his cheek absently; that is what it must have looked like...

She turned her head to face him; there was a sleepy look in her eye. There was a lot of blood pooled around her.

"H-help ... I need somewhere to rest."

Dutal's mouth opened and shut a few times, and he nodded slightly, as he tried to think of somewhere. If Travis sees all this blood... - it needed to be somewhere close by, to let him get back in time for the chief petty officer's inspection.

"Can you walk?"

Moondancer struggled to stand, the deck slippery with blood, took a hesitating step towards Dutal - and nearly fell over. He rushed in and grabbed her round the neck, steadying her. Glancing down, he could see a red smear across the front of his ragged, tea-coloured clothing.

"W- where are we going?"

"To the gun deck. There are plenty of places for you to hide for a while, and it's close by ... this way..."

----

The plans were set. The admiral had given the order for the landing craft to be prepared: they were currently being towed into place in the launch bay by galley-slave-gangs pulling long chains, the automated system having been destroyed in the ship's famous attack on Gaudius V.

The admiral was standing by the door to his void-cabin, and the three Akarak officers were about to be on their way to co-ordinate the regiment's disembarkation, when a naval rating came running.

"Admiral Kil-ban-Ocean!" - he stopped a few feet away, saluted and stood up straight. Kil-ban-Ocean slowly raised his arm in reply, resentful at the not-inconsiderate shift of mass this required.

"Yes?"

"S-sir, there has been another sighting of the alien!"

"What!?" - it was colonel Mangum. The rating glanced to him briefly, but addressed his speach to the admiral.

"It ... appeared in one of the holds the regiment are using, but..."

"Yes?" repeated Kil-ban-Ocean, obviously more interested now.

"Apparantly, it was different to the last ... incursion. There was no flash of light. The creature was ... I don't know the right word, sir. Hard to see, even though it was standing in the middle of the room. It was like a ... shimmer caused by heat, until it was shot, which is when it became normal. And it was different to the last creature; it didn't have any wings. Sir."

"'Invisible' is the word you were looking for."

Mangum took a step towards the young man, who took a step backwards: "So, what - we're overrun with these things?"

"I- I don't know, sir, we've only spotted one - and that was shot by custodian Khofi-"

Mangum turned to the admiral.

"Well, what are we going to do about this!?"

"We? Well, you are going to lead your men down to the planet, as we have decided."

"But - you must see, there could be ... I don't know how many of these things on this ship! Surely you'll want to use my men to search for-"

"Colonel, I have no desire to see your ... men disrupting the operation of my ship. I have my own security people, who are a great deal better trained and disciplined than your little gang of rapists."

Faral: "Sirs!"

Mangum: "Oh what is it, Faral!?"

"I- I think I saw something back there, in the admiral's office. Sort of a shimmer, like this man describes."

The colour drained from Mangum's face. Kil-ban-Ocean brought his hand to his face, a disbelieving look on his face. It was major Garald who first managed to speak.

"By the Emperor ... if one of those things was in there, it would know all of our plans!"

Colonel Mangum drew his pistol, pushed the admiral aside, strode back into the void-cabin. He screamed wordlessly, and fired two dozen wild shots in rapid succession: large chunks flew out of the sturdy table; the chairs closest to him were destroyed utterly; the sink shattered and the mirror's glass boiled away; the curtains separating the bed from the front section burst into flame from the heat. But there was no yell of pain, no quadrapedal alien corpse.

"Stop him!" - one of the admiral's guards hit Mangum on the arm, touching a nerve and forcing him to drop his laspistol; another, and the messanger, takled him to the ground with a thud.

"What are you-" - Mangum struggled to get up, but one of the guards got his arm pinned up behind his back and pushed his knee onto Mangum's head.

"Hey!" shouted Garald, pulling out his laspistol (Faral Mangum following suit a second later) and pointed it at the guards: "Let him go!"

The rating looked to admiral Kil-ban-Ocean, who nodded a confirmation. "Let him up," he said cooly; then, to Garald: "Put your gun away, or I shall have you shot."

One of the guards offered his hand to help Mangum up; the colonel ignored him and angrily struggled to his feet. Another guard picked up Mangum's gun, looked to Kil-ban-Ocean; the admiral glared at Mangum's subordinates until they holstered their pistols, then turned his gaze on Mangum.

"Colonel, what the hell do you think you are doing!?"

"I'm... if one of those xeno scum was there, listening to our meeting, then they must know our plans!"

"And for that, you destroy my void-cabin? I have my guards armed with autoguns rather than las weaponry for a reason! The holo-matrix in that table was worth a dozen of your shit-stained prison regiments!"

"But- if they have our plans, it changes everything-"

"It changes nothing, except that we need to act now, before they have time to react. Guard, give colonel Mangum back his pistol. Colonel, get your 'soldiers' into the landing craft within the hour. And somebody put out that fire!"
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lordofchange13
PostPosted: 2011-12-22 11:29pm 

Jedi Knight


Joined: 2010-08-01 07:54pm
Posts: 838
Location: Kandrakar, the center of the universe and the heart of infinity
New chapter!! wish there was a little more action, but still holding my interest. Has a invisibility spell ever appeared in the show?
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RIPP_n_WIPE
PostPosted: 2012-01-06 07:28pm 

Jedi Knight


Joined: 2007-01-26 10:04am
Posts: 711
Location: with coco
Not going to lie, I'm totally not a brony and I'm pretty sure MLP is going to "win" in the end, I'm pretty much just waiting to see a bolter blow a unicorns head in half.
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edaw1982
PostPosted: 2012-01-12 10:26am 

Youngling


Joined: 2011-09-23 03:53am
Posts: 138
Location: Orkland, New Zealand
I wonder what the orkz would make of the ponies?

Would they want to squeeze'em and hug'em and pet'em and call'em George? or would they just eat'em instead?
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InsaneTD
PostPosted: 2012-01-13 05:11am 

Padawan Learner


Joined: 2010-07-13 12:10am
Posts: 335
Location: South Australia
edaw1982 wrote:
I wonder what the orkz would make of the ponies?

Would they want to squeeze'em and hug'em and pet'em and call'em George? or would they just eat'em instead?

Lol. Win. :P

I've been enjoying this and hope to see it continue. Good work Evilsoup.
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Ugolino
PostPosted: 2012-01-13 12:24pm 

Youngling


Joined: 2009-05-27 04:21pm
Posts: 142
Looted Pony!
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SpaceMarine93
PostPosted: 2012-01-28 08:37pm 

Jedi Knight


Joined: 2011-05-03 05:15am
Posts: 585
Location: Continent of Mu
How are the little Ponies going to deal with a bloody Space Marine? Or a Warlord Class Titan? Or even an orbital Exterminatus?

For all their implied magical might, the ponies on Equestria are outmatched by the fact that the Imperium had enough resources, manpower, firepower to curbstomp their world into oblivion. And so what if the Alicorn Princesses could move celestial objects by will? The Imperium had dealt with beings with god-like power that could do far, far worse - How many times had Grey Knights fought Lords of Change and won?

And don't get me started with Chaos.

I am expecting things to go really downhill for Equestria at one point.
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LadyTevar
PostPosted: 2012-01-28 09:21pm 

White Mage


Joined: 2003-02-12 11:59pm
Posts: 17562
Location: Tahalshia Manor
:evil: Ok, folks... Stop posting and making me think EvilSoup put up and actual UPDATE.
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evilsoup
PostPosted: 2012-05-28 08:38pm 

Jedi Knight


Joined: 2011-04-01 11:41am
Posts: 793
Location: G-D SAVE THE QUEEN
Chapter 7 - Rainbow Crash



Grimmus blinked a few times, but the white dot floating in front of his eyes wouldn't disappear. He shook his head, looked around: the room he was in was dark (not the cavern-black darkness of an Inquisitorial holding cell - he could just about make out details by a dim light filtering in under the door) and plain. There was a raised platform to his left and a toilet and sink attached to the wall to his right; in front of him was a large door.

He twisted his hands around a few times for the sake of blood circulation: the rope was still tight. I could chew through it... - his teeth had been replaced twenty years ago with ceramite dentures. He looked around again, then nodded to himself.

"Hey!" he shouted, doing his best to sound terrified and desperate; "Help! Hey, anyone!"

He listened for a reply, but there was no sound. He closed his eyes and concentrated, activating his aural enhancements: there, in the distance he could hear a clip-clop sound getting closer.

"Hey! Anyone, please, I really," he sobbed; "-h-help, p-please-"

The clip-clop sound was moving slightly faster now. Grimmus suppressed a smile: amatuers. A high-value suspect of the Inquisition could be left for days in the cold and the dark. He thought about the best course of action: once he was untied, he could kill the guard and escape to... where? Alone in some prison, somewhere on a world full of hostile xenos without any means of escape, he'd not last long.

He remembered the curious, unafraid faces. Soft faces. Soft eyes: and that had been some kind of military rally. The clip-clop sound stopped, just outside the door. A hatch slid open on the door, letting in some more of the weak light. A beam of light shot in (an electric torch?), dazzling Grimmus. He squinted and cowered.

"H-hey you there, p-please- help me-"

The light disappeared. There was a scraping sound of bolts being pulled back, then the door swung outwards to reveal one of the aliens - a large one, grey, and without a horn. It was wearing a bronze helmet and armour; in the low light Grimmus couldn't quite tell if it had wings or not.

"What are you-" it's voice had the quality of a human male; "how did you get down here!?"

Grimmus raised his arms slightly, as if shielding himself. He made his body tremble.

"I- I don't know, I was on my- on my ship, and then one of you- p-please don't hurt me, I..."

His body shook with a sob. He was not sure (one never can be with aliens), but Grimmus thought that the xeno's body language indicated empathy. It stepped forwards, and again. Grimmus flinched visibly.

"Don't be scared," it spoke, softly; "I won't hurt you. Where are you from? You mentioned a ship - are you a sailor, from a foreign country?"

Grimmus looked up into the creature's eyes: it was only three feet away. The eyes were so large, and concerned, and friendly. Shifting backwards, feigning fear, he composed a story in his head.

"...okay, you're scared," the alien sat down on its back legs; "but at least tell me your name. I'm Prison Gates."

"I ... I am Grimmus Darkium, of the Inquisition. My ship, it's ... up there," he gestured up to the sky, "in space. I'm from another world."

Prison Gates nodded slowly. Grimmus let a little confidence into his voice, as if he was reciting rote-learned prose.

"The Inquisition, we seek out new worlds. New life and civilizations - we meet in peace, in the name of the Emperor."

"Emperor?"

"Oh, he's a great man. A visionary. He united so many worlds in common purpose," Grimmus thought back to what his kidnapper had said; "In the cause of friendship."

"Ah. Like princess Celestia."

Is that her name?

"Is that your leader?"

"Yes. She makes the sun rise every morning and rules over us. Along with her sister-"

"Is she ... big? White, with a horn and wings..?"

Prison Gates nodded enthusiastically, smiled.

"Yes, that's her!"

"She- attacked me, on my ship. She kidnapped me and put me here."

The pony's brow furrowed.

"Well, I'm sure she had a good reason-"

"There is no reason! And if I can't get back to my ship, my people will come looking for me. Prison Gates, she could start a war!"

----

Lieutenant Sal Del-ban-Barley took another drag of his cigarette and looked down at the shuffling mass of people making their way onto his transport. As he blew a smoke-ring he heard the clanging of his co-pilot walking up behind him.

"Those'll kill you one day, you know."

Sal waved away the words, spreading thin smoke overhead.

"Emperor willing!" he chuckled; "I'd rather these things kill me than some xeno filth."

His co-pilot snorted.

"I'm going to double-check the instruments before launch."

Sal ignored him, looking down at the pinched, hungry faces lined up around the room. He'd seen Cadians and Mordians and soldiers from dozens of worlds: but regiments like this, prisoner-regiments, were the worst. He could smell the fear and barely-repressed desire roiling off of them.

The Blessed Communications Device attached to his belt crackled into life.

"Kfft- hello? Is there anyone there?"

Sal flicked his cigarette away, down to the slow-moving mass of humanity below, and grabbed the radio-transmitter.

"This is Liuetenant Del-ban-Barley."

"This is commander Kat-ban-Ocean. How is progress going at launch bay secundus?"

"The Valkyries are mostly filled up. The landing ship should be ready within half an hour."

----

The landing-craft were huge: easily as big as Ponyville's town hall (maybe even bigger? - it was hard to tell from the distance), and obviously dangerous; covered in gun-turrets. There were five of those that Rainbow Dash could see, plus some other, smaller machines.

"Rainbow Dash!" - she recognised the voice as Spitfire's; "Come on, stick to the plan!"

She steeled herself, tore a chunk off of the cloud she had been clinging to/hiding behind, and started flying upwards to meet the Imperial craft. Glancing quickly around, she could see dozens of ponies and griffons; the first wave. Most were carrying clouds; some carried blankets treated with tree-sap. There were so many of them - how could it go wrong?

Then she looked ahead again, and saw the behemothic flying-machines bearing down on her. Rainbow Dash almost stopped where she was; but then she remembered Spitfire's words: keep moving, don't stay in front of their guns. She dropped her cloud right in front of the oncoming craft and kept on flying; there was a warmth in the air just behind her, and a sizzling sound. Rainbow Dash curved around (slowing no more than she had to) so that she was flying towards and above them.

Th guns were firing out at all the ponies; there was a sinking feeling in her stomach as she saw a dozen points of fire falling from the sky. She glanced left and right: everypony in her team, the first of the first wave, had made it through. Spitfire waved to her, and then exploded into a cloud of pink vapour.

"NO!" shouted Rainbow Dash; another pony's head exploded into a fountain of gore. A beam of red light, a pillar of heat, appeared just above Rainbow Dash's head. She could feel the hair of her mane sizzling, but there was no real damage done. Tears already building up in her eyes, she screamed, dipped down low, and then flew in a loose arc towards the Imperial craft - one of the little ones, that had escaped the blinding attentions of the first wave.

Something scraped her right foreleg; she could feel the cut, but didn't care. She built up as much speed as she could and smashed into the bottom of the thing.

She forced herself to stay level with it, scrambled along and found something to cling on to. The guns on this craft were all facing forwards: one on each wing and one on the nose. She had caused a dent where she had impacted; she pounded at the metal with her hoof a few times before realising that this was having very little effect.

Someone else hit the craft, behind Rainbow Dash, causing it to shake, nearly causing her to come loose and fall off. She shuddered, her bowels shifting like jelly. Slowly, she turned her head. Out of the corner of her eye she could see the second (or third?) wave - there were a few little points of fire visible, falling out of the sky.

"Hey, Rainbow Dash!" - the voice was familiar. Gilda. But the face looking at her was caked with blood.

"G-gilda, are you- are you alright!?"

"What? Oh-" she reached up with one of her talons (Rainbow Dash glanced down briefly and saw that the claws were dug into the metal) and brushed off a piece of gore, flinging it into the air; "Don't worry, it's not mine!"

The plane shook from side to side, and one of the guns fired in a rattle as loud as anything Rainbow Dash had ever heard; she flinched and lost her grip, started tumbling backwards, but Gilda caught her and pulled her in.

The griffon smelled foul - smelled of blood. Rainbow Dash's face was shoved right into Gilda's neck, and the stench was overpowering, and she could feel vomit working its way up her gullet, and then she threw up over her friend.

"Oh, Dash, that's just gross..."

"Sorry, G..."

Gilda swung around and pinned Rainbow Dash to the side of the craft.

"We've gotta take this thing out-"

"What? But, G, these things are made of metal, how-"

Gilda smiled (a terrifying sight with her features picked out in red).

"Oh, but they have glass canopies. Are you okay now?"

Rainbow Dash squirmed around, balanced and braced herself against the bulkhead. She nodded.

"Let's roll."

----

Twilight looked down the row of unicorns. Most of them were standing to attention with determined looks on their faces, and she tried to copy that. She turned her attention to the sky, gulped - any moment now...

With no warning, there was a blinding white light - it was as if the sun had appeared on the ground. In a sense, it had - princess Celestia and two dozen pegasi appeared. Several of them were injured - one had a whole wing burned off, though the little blackened stump that remained was moving jerkily, by reflex. Twilight's eyes widened as she saw that Celestia herself was hurt - there was blood on the princess' front hooves and horn - and she rushed forwards to help.

"Princess! Are you alright!?"

The other unicorns followed Twilight's example; they galloped to the wounded and started healing with their magic. Celestia looked disoriented; she blinked a few times before answering.

"Twilight. Yes, I'm fine - where is my sister?"

"You don't look fine - how's it going up there?"

"It-" Celestia hesitated; "It's going better than I expected-"

"BUT IS IT GOING AS WE HAD HOPED?"

Twilight turned around; Luna landed softy on the ground. A look passed between the princesses that Twilight couldn't decipher. Luna lowered her head slightly. Celestia spoke:

"Is the final wave ready?"

"Yes, sister. We only await thy presence."

"Then let's do this-"

"Princess!" pleaded Twilight; "You're covered in blood!"

Celestia glanced at her student and breathed out through her nose.

"And yet I am not injured."

After a few seconds, Twilight nodded, understanding.

"You healed yourself?"

"Y-" the princess stopped in her tracks and turned around to look at Twilight, studying the unicorn's face for a second; "Sometimes I forget how young you are. No. It is not my blood. You must have read books about war, Twilight Sparkle."

Twilight took a step backwards.

"Y- you mean-"

"Yes."

"My sister, time is of the essence."

Celestia nodded and turned away from Twilight.

"Get in position. Things are about to get..."

She opened up her wings and started flying. With a force of projection from over a thousand years of rule, she called out:

"EVERYPONY, PREPARE YOURSELVES."

----

Lieutenant Del-ban-Barley sat back in his seat. He couldn't see a thing.

"Well, this is new."

He reached into a pocket to fish out a cigarette; his co-pilot waited until he had it to his lips and was about to light it up before objecting:

"That's against regulations, Sal."

Del-ban-Barley fixed his co-pilot with a venomous look for a few seconds before continuing to light up.

"How about you keep your eyes on the instruments, Rikyard. Wouldn't want us crashing into any mountains."

"Please don't joke about that..."

This earned a raised eyebrow from Del-ban-Barley.

"Are you scared? On a milk-run like this?"

"We've lost visuals, Sal."

The pilot shrugged. He looked to the front of the cockpit, coated as it was with blankets and... clouds? No, that's stupid, clouds aren't sticky, and mused to himself that this was, indeed, a unique situation. The communicator flickered into life.

"AAGH! EMPEROR PROTECT-" - and then white noise. Del-ban-Barley sat up.


"What was-"

"One of the Valkyries, I - oh, no, what-" the co-pilot slapped the side of the radar system; "Uh, Sal, there's ten - no, twenty... things, they just appeared. They don't read like fighters, they look... I don't know-"

"They're organic. Like on Caligulon V. By the Throne, they're coming-"

There was a sound of metal bending, and the landing craft shook to the side.

----

Rainbow Dash had blood on her hooves. Human blood. The look on his face flashed through her mind - no, can't think about that! She looked at Gilda, flying parallel - they'd known each other practically their whole lives, but Rainbow Dash had never seen the griffon so happy as she was now, with gore caking over her face.

It was scary.

A beam of red light passed over Rainbow Dash's head, burning some of the hair off of her mane; she dipped down and glanced behind her. It was another little one, almost identical to the one they had just destroyed.

"Gilda!"

"YEAH!?"

Rainbow Dash tilted her head to indicate what she was thinking about. Gilda's grin widened.

"Right! Let's-"

There was a loud, sharp crack and two giant spheres of light - one white, one dark purple - appeared in the middle of the sky; after a few moments they both faded to reveal a dozen dragons of various sizes and shapes. They hung in the air for a second, and then swarmed forwards. One of them - a red, sleek, huge and angry-looking monster, flew between the pegasus and the griffon and sent Rainbow Dash tumbling in its wake.

She managed to right herself and saw it grabbing the craft that had just fired on her; it tore off one of the wings, breathed red fire onto the remains, and then dropped it like a pebble. Then it changed direction and flew onto one of the three huge craft.

"That's pretty impressive," said Gilda, hovering next to Rainbow Dash.

"Yeah. Impressive."

"It looks like they're going after the big ones. Plenty left for us. Look! There's one!"

"Uh, Gilda, I think maybe we should go now..."

"What!?" Gilda flew around in front of Rainbow Dash; "You scared, Dash!?"

"No! I just-"

"Last one there's a gnarly dragon egg!" the griffon shouted as she sped off in a line straight to the human craft. Rainbow Dash hesitated for a second - there was nopony else in the sky, only dragons, so far as she could see - but I can't leave Gilda alone...

The pegasi bolted off after her friend. The sky was much clearer now - all the humans seemed to be shooting at the dragons. Gilda had already grabbed onto the front of the human craft, and was smashing away at its cockpit with her free talon. There was a loud sound from behind Rainbow Dash; she glanced backwards to see a pair of dragons holding a large landing craft upside-down; then she turned back and could not see Gilda.

She panicked; an image of Spitfire flashed through her mind; she shook her head. Another beam of light flashed above her head - as she swung away, Rainbow Dash could see that the cockpit was shattered - and the craft flew just under her. Rainbow Dash looked down, and could see in the distance, a flailing, falling brown-and-white figure - Gilda! She must have been hit!

Mustering all of her strength, Rainbow Dash dived - I can do this, I can do this! - she'd done it before, but that had been in a clear sky... she felt an ache in her overly-taxed muscles, but pushed through it; she could feel the air warming around her and forming a cone around her downward-pointed front hoof; the air pressure was pushing back against her, but she remembered Spitfire and her friends back in Ponyville, and found an extra reserve of energy...

----

Del-ban-Barley flicked on the internal communications system.

"All right, this is going to get bumpy, but we should be fine."

He flicked it off again, then ripped the receiver out of its socket - he needed to concentrate, no time for questions frgom a bunch of groundpounders.

He tried to ignore the gurgling sound of his dying co-pilot and concentrated on the view in front of him; with the glass from the cockpit mostly gone, he could see a lake. He glanced at the instruments in front of him: half the engines were out, and the remaining ones could go at any time.

Bumpy, he thought grimly, is one hell of an understatement.

He was still flying by wire, for the most part: the clouds and the smoke only parted occasionally. He turned the landing-craft (one more of the engines exploded from the strain) and started the descent. A dragon - a different one from before - started flying straight towards him. The readouts showed that all his weapons were destroyed, but he tried pulling triggers anyway - and one lascannon cut a gash across the beast's wing.

Del-ban-Barley smiled to himself.

There was a flash from below, and a multi-coloured explosion. All his dials and screens went wild and died.

He was flying blind.
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InsaneTD
PostPosted: 2012-05-29 04:49am 

Padawan Learner


Joined: 2010-07-13 12:10am
Posts: 335
Location: South Australia
Glad to see this got updated. :D Prison Gates not knowing about the Inquisitor Prisoner is a bit odd. I would of expected Celestia to have told mine not to trust the prisoner and only see to his basic needs.
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dragon
PostPosted: 2012-05-29 02:36pm 

Sith Marauder


Joined: 2004-09-23 04:42pm
Posts: 3804
Well if she holds up on the threat they just lost alot of world. One world per hair harmed and there's alot of hair on the head that got exploded
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SpaceMarine93
PostPosted: 2012-06-03 05:42am 

Jedi Knight


Joined: 2011-05-03 05:15am
Posts: 585
Location: Continent of Mu
Finally! Such epic aerial combat! Though I honestly doubt the Equestrian aerial forces could hold up to the firepower of the Imperial aircrafts for that long. Unless Rainbow Dash could pull off a few more Sonic Rainbooms to short-circuit the Imperial forces they won't be able to stop the forces landing.
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evilsoup
PostPosted: 2012-06-06 06:45am 

Jedi Knight


Joined: 2011-04-01 11:41am
Posts: 793
Location: G-D SAVE THE QUEEN
Well they're mostly dead, apart from the dragons, by the end of it so...
lol I don't know if I'd use the word 'epic' to describe this chapter, IMO it's the weakest so far by a long way, but after spending too much time trying to come up with something better I decided to just push it out the door and move on to the more interesting stuff.
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