The Great Equestrian War
Part 3 - The Lunar Republic.
10 Days Ago
"SOLDIERS OF THE LUNAR REBUBLIC," Luna traditional Canterlot voiced to the mass of people below the balcony. "THE EMPIRE SEEKS TO CLAIM THE NORTHERN FRONT, AND EXPAND THEIR TERRITORY! WE MUST DO THIS BEFORE THEM, SO WE MAY TAKE THAT ADVANGAGE FROM THEM, AND GIVE IT TO US!" She stopped, catching her breath. "YOUR CAPTAINS HAVE THE EXPANDED ORDERS, AND WILL BREAK THEM DOWN AS SUCH. DISMISSED!"
Rainbow Dash checked her ears. "That was pretty loud, Princess."
"OF COU-" She stopped, and readjusted her voice. "Of course. It's so they can hear me from this distance."
"Fair 'nough." Applejack replied.
A unicorn, clad in purple robes, looked up. "When do we get our orders?"
"You will receive your orders in a day, Trixie."
Trixie grunted approvingly and returned to fiddling with her Magika Rifle.
"But for now, the Army is to move to the Northern Front, and set up defences." Luna lifted herself into the air. "Move out, and take care."
10 Days later
"So, Dash." Applejack said as they observed the surrounding terrain. "Lookin' forward to a fight?"
"Not really." Dash slumped on the rock she was resting on.
Applejack nodded. "Neither am I. But we kinda have ta."
Dash continued looking over the sky. "I don't think we have to, y'know, fight at all." She tensed up. "Hey, is that the Dauntless"
"Lemme see." Applejack pulled a pair of binoculars from her backpack. "Ah think it is."
"I'll go raise the alert!" Dash took off in a flash of rainbow. Applejack continued looking at the airship cutting its way through the sky.
Looks damaged. Barely, but it has taken a bit.
Rainbow dashed back to Applejack, kicking up some dust. "Alert's been raised, Air Squadrons 1-6 are ready to deploy."
Dash grinned. "Of course. Why wouldn't I?"
Applejack rolled her eyes. "We shouldn't fire or attack until she does."
"Got it." Rainbow prepared for instant takeoff. Several avians moved to spots near her, and prepared as well. The airship moved even closer, moving faster than something like that should. Suddenly, a cloud of something spilled from the back of it, which moved towards the Republic encampment.
"They're deploying Air Squadrons!" Applejack yelled, looking through binoculars. "Deploy the rest of the Air Force!"
A lone avian flew back to the main encampment, and Dash tensed her legs up. A huge group of avians flew nearby, all in Republic uniform.
"When I say go..."
The avians at the Dauntless seemed to be moving closer. As soon as a distinct shape of an avian wing came to view, Dash took off.
The huge group of avians roared up, leaving behind them trails of their hair colour. Dash was way ahead of the pack, and pulled out her gun. A single avian in front of her angled himself to her, only to be blasted by plasma bolts. Dash narrowly avoided a storm of bolts herself, and roared towards another avian. This one was clad in gear that suggested a leader type, and she saw Dash move closer. She roared towards her attacker, but turned at the last minute, Dash flying into a dark cloud trail, blinding her temporarily. She regained her vision just in time to see the same avian with a sword about to slash at her. Dash kicked wildly, and winded her, dropping the sword. She started spiralling towards the ground; Dash pursued and jumped on the falling body. She started punching her, and knocked off the attacker's mask. Dash was kicked off before she could properly see her face, and tumbled down. She stopped and readjusted, and dodged a falling avian, in Empire uniform, a trail of red following. She turned around to see the other avian slam into her, but stopped somehow. Both of them looked apon each other, and instantly recognised each other.
The two of them looked at each other for some time, Dash's mind racing. "What are you doing here?"
"I'm an Air Captain." She looked proud. "And you?"
"Same." Dash moved closer. "Luna, this War has done some weird things to everyone."
"Yeah. It has."
"He's good. Shot in the wing a while ago, currently in rehab."
Dash winced. "That's not good."
"Wish I could catch up, but..." She looked up. "Great..."
"What is it?"
"I can't bring myself to attack Republic soldiers now."
"Same here, but with Empire."
Both of them hovered there in silence.
"I wish I could desert..."
Dash flew closer, and widened her arms. "It'll be over soon."
Spitfire got the hint, and wrapped her arms around Dash. "Yeah."
Suddenly, Spitfire yelled. Dash turned to see something just hit her in the shoulder, leaving a smoking hole. Spitfire loosened her grip, and her wings slowed down. Dash turned to see a fellow avian with a smoking gun.
"What the hell, Raindrops?"
"She was an Imperial! I had to fire!"
"She was my friend!"
"That could be called treason, Captain!"
Dash looked at the now-falling Wonderbolt, then to Raindrops.
"Save her any pain by finishing the job!"
Dash's mind raced. Wonderbolts, Republic, friends... I'm loyal to all of them! Dash turned back to Raindrops.
"Screw the Republic, I'm saving a friend!"
Dash rushed off before she could here Raindrop's reply, and she followed the falling Spitfire. She extended two hands out, and grabbed Spitfire with one, she felt a barrier pushing against her, but she powered through. The barrier started turning rainbow, then it finally broke in the middle of the conflict, a rainbow shockwave scattering everyone around. Dash pulled herself horizontal, and raced past Applejack, straight to the main encampment. She slowed down as she approached the hospital tent, and scraped her boots along the ground.
"Captain Dash?! What is it?" Medical Chief Redheart looked bewildered.
"Who-" Redheard saw the cringing Spitfire, gripping her shoulder. Then she spotted the uniform.
"But she's a-"
Dash glared at her. "Do I give a buck? Treat her!"
"But I can't treat an Im-"
"It's just a plasma wound! Fix her, that's an order!"
Redheart looked at Spitfire, then back to Dash.
* * *
Applejack pushed the tent door open, and saw a very distressed Rainbow, next to familiar avian on a medical bed.
Rainbow kept looking at Spitfire. "Hey."
Applejack pulled up a seat next to her. "Y'all right, sugarcube?"
"No, I'm not." Dash stood up, her fists clenched. "I don't think anything's right. I was forced to attack one of my best friends, for what? A stupid war that was caused by an argument." She tensed up even more. "Nothing is right!"
Applejack stood up. "Calm down, Rainbow. You saved Spitfire, an Imperial, because of your love for her."
Dash looked up, blushing. "Wha-?"
"You're friendly love, sugarcube."
"Oh." Dash looked back to Spitfire. Spitfire opened her eyes, and looked to Rainbow. "Hey Dash."
She turned to Applejack. "Hey... Applejack?"
"Dash said good things about you. I'd ask for an arm wrestle, but..." She looked to her shoulder.
"S'kay, sugarcube. Maybe later."
A frightened officer forced the tent door open. "Captain Applejack!"
"What is it?"
"There's a protoavia-" The officer was grabbed, and flung far off. Replacing his position was a person, clad in unfamiliar uniform, wings spread out wide. She walked a bit in, before grinning.
Rainbow glared at the newcomer, and stood in a defensive position.
"Haven't seen ya in a while."
"What do you want?"
Gilda folded her wings up and grinned. "I'm just here to collect Captain Spitfire. She's been captured, and I'm being paid to return her safely."
"She isn't healed yet." Redheart pointed out. "We can't just let her go."
Gilda's smile dropped. "Sorry, I'm not being paid to wait." She moved closer and batted away Redheart. She pulled Spitfire out of the bed, causing her to scream in pain. Gilda turned and ran out of the door for a run-up, and took off.
"Damn Gilda!" Rainbow Dash roared, and pursued, before being stopped by Applejack.
"Ah'll deal with her." She lifted her arm, showing the motorised armour over it. "Ah'll outrun her."
"But you can't fly!"
"But she isn't flying very high." Applejack turned the leg motors on and took off, tearing the ground underneath.
* * *
"Jeez, you're not as heavy as I thought." Gilda murmured to Spitfire, who didn't respond. She heard a pounding, but dismissed it as Spitfire's heartbeat. But then it grew louder, and she looked around. She saw a figure running faster than she was flying, spats of dirt following her long strides.
"Oh, you. What?"
"Drop Spitfire! You're hurting her!"
"I'm being paid to take her to the Dauntless, not to keep her unhurt." Gilda turned to her flight path, and accelerated. The pounding grew louder still, and she spotted Applejack running even faster. She ran up in front of Gilda's path and, before she could react, she jumped into her. The three of them sprawled to the ground, Applejack landing cleanly. She stomped over to Spitfire.
"Y'all right, sugarcube?"
Spitfire coughed. "Gilda's got a strong grip." She coughed more, and looked to see her hand had some blood staining it. "Very strong. I'll call for assistance; you just get out of here."
"What if Gilda tries to grab you aga-" Gilda slammed into her before she could finish.
"No one stops me from my payment! Not EVER!" Gilda clawed at Applejack, who blocked with her arm.
"Then why are ya hurtin' her?" Applejack swung at her, knocking her off.
"They never said whether she had to be alive or not." Gilda tried standing, only to be kicked by Applejack. "I'm taking free reign."
"Y'all never realised-" She replied, hoisting Gilda into the air. "-Is that ya would be killed for killing her." Applejack pulled her arm back, and her motor powered up. "So ya have ta keep her safe!" Applejack pulled her arm forward, and slammed Gilda into the ground. Gilda fell limp, and Applejack loosened her grip.
"That was awesome!" Spitfire yelled out, and coughed more blood.
Applejack doffed her hat. "Thank ya kindly. Y'all better get some help before Gilda wakes up." She looked up at the Dauntless, casting a shadow a fair distance away. "Ah'd better go, too. Good luck, Spitfire." Applejack tore off, watching the world speed past her, and for a moment, she forgot the horror of the War. She scraped to a standstill before the medical tent, where Rainbow was still standing.
Dash helped her friend up. "What happened?"
"Ah took Gilda down and grounded her."
"And Spitfire?" She looked at her nervously.
"A bit worse for wear, but alive." Dash sighed.
"Thank Luna. I guess I owe you one."
"Nah, not really."
The same officer from before walked up.
"Captain Applejack." He fired a salute. "A new report. An enemy Magika squad had been deployed."
"Ah'm not the one to talk to 'bout that."
"Procedure. Also, someone has been seen coming close to the battleline." He held up a piece of paper. "We've got a visual."
Rainbow took the photo. Her eyes widened. "Uh... AJ?"
"Take a look." She handed the photo to her, and she looked at the person within. A tall woman, wearing a blood-stained coat, clad in boots, and a short pink dress. She could see bandages on her legs, and she was carrying an unusual weapon on her back. None of these things entirely caught her eye, but instead, her face and hair made her instantly recognisable.
Applejack stuttered. "B-but we haven't seen her in ages. How could she just appear out of nowhere?"
Dash coughed. "Pinkie. She's random."
"Oh yeah." She handed the photo back to the officer. "Thanks. Go tell Trixie."
"Aye, ma'am!" The officer dashed off.
"So, Pinkie has appeared out of freakin' nowhere. We should say hi."
"She didn't look very happy."
"Oh yeah, and her hair was straight. That means she's gone crazy upset."
Applejack stretched her arms. "Well, wouldn't hurt to try to greet her. She is neutral, after all."
"Captain Trixie!" The officer pulled the tent entrance wide open. "New report!"
"Let's see it." She levitated it over to her. "A Magika squad has been deployed?"
"Aye, ma'am. There's something else, though."
Trixie checked further. "The squad is being led by the Empire's Magika Commander. And that could mean..." She dropped the files.
"That's not what I was-"
"My archnemesis, Twilight Sparkle!" Trixie broke into laughter. "I've been waiting years for this chance, to finally beat her at her own game!" She picked up her Magika Rifle, and headed for the entrance. "This will be most enjoyable."
"Uh... Ma'am? Can you read the rest of the report?"
"I'll do it later." She walked out, and barked orders. "For now, The Great and Powerful Trixie needs to teach her where she belongs!"
* * *
Twilight hefted her own Magika Rifle into a more comfortable position, though there was nothing comfortable about being in the thick of war. She surveyed the area, and found the encampment.
"Alright, there's our target. Quick and clean, remember that!"
Nods and salutes moved throughout the ranks. They moved closer, into a piece of destroyed building.
"Dreams, you check if the coast is clear." Twilight spoke softly.
"Yes ma'am." Dreams poked her head out of cover, to the side. "Looks clear."
"Alright, move up. But be careful, it's open ground." The troops moved quietly out of cover. Twilight caught a glimmer of something, and immediately raised her shield. A storm of electricity fell from the ruins straight onto the squad, killing most in fits of agony. The survivors were leapt apon by sword-wielding unicorns, and were quickly cut down. They surrounded Twilight, who kept her shield raised as she prepared her weapon. She dropped the shield, and before any of the Republic could move, she unleashed an arcing lightning stream from the pronged tips of the weapon, which moved between her surrounders. They dropped to the ground with smoke rising from their mouths and eyes, some hair on fire. She heard a gun being cocked, and she raised her shields and turned.
Twilight kept the shield up, as she observed her opponent. She wore the uniform of a Republic commander, but had a purple robe over it. Her long, blue hair flicked in the wind, as she grinned a familiar grin.
"Trixie. I thought you would be Republic."
"And I thought you would be Imperial." She looked Twilight directly in the eye, her less-reflective eyes glaring at her. "Lucky for us, we were right." Trixie aimed her gun at Twilight. "I want to duel. Magic and weapons only."
"Done". Twilight dropped the shield and fired her own rifle, only to have a stone moved in the way. The sparks moved across the stone, and wore out after some time. The stone dropped, and Trixie grinned as she squeezed the trigger. Twilight pulled up a shield, which caught the full force of the overcharged lightning spewing from the gun. Trixie stopped firing, and pulled a switch on the gun. She reaimed, and fired a large bolt of energy which deflected of the shield and hit a building, completely shattering it. She fired another few, all redirected from Twilight, and into the surrounding terrain. Trixie pulled the trigger, and a spark emanated between the prongs. She pulled it again, but there was nothing. She tossed the gun away.
Trixie pulled out her sword, and charged headlong. Twilight grinned. She can't get through the shie-
Trixie disappeared in a flash, but Twilight kept still. She heard a flash behind her, and ducked, narrowly avoiding a nasty slash. She kicked back, and knocked Trixie away. Trixie stood up, and started charging magic in her hands. Twilight raised the shield just as Trixie released the energy, a huge beam sparking on the shield. A small part broke, and Twilight was hit by a blast of energy, which she collapsed from.
"Regardless of how powerful you are, Sparkle," Trixie walked up, and stood on her back. Twilight cried in pain. "You just can't handle pain like I can." She pressed harder, and Twilight continued her cries. "I guess I beat you in that respect. Now get up."
Twilight felt Trixie's book raise off her back. Twilight struggled, but failed getting up. Trixie kicked her in the gut, sending her flying. She walked up, grinning evilly, and stood on Twilight's head. She pressed down, Twilight again cried.
"I bet you can't believe I, a wandering magician, can beat you, the Sun Princess's personal student." Trixie placed her boot on Twilight's back, and leaned close to her head. "I guess I am greater and more powerful than any other unicorn in Equestria."
Twilight started a charge of energy, faintly growing. "You haven't beaten me, Trixie."
Trixie stomped on Twilight's back again. "You honestly think that?"
"Of course." Twilight suddenly flashed out of existence, causing Trixie to stumble. She looked wildly around.
"You think that'll stop m-" Trixie was hit suddenly by a stream of lightning, causing her to scream. She fell to her knees, and the stream was stopped. She turned to see Twilight, electricity wrapping around her hand.
"You know, there was a time I actually respected you, minus the whole boasting thing." She walked up, and placed her hand on Trixie's head. "But then this happened. I have the power to fry you instantly, but I won't."
"Because you have potential to be great. Your attitude is what's keeping you from getting there."
Trixie pouted. "Do you think you can tell me how to live my life?"
"No, I can't." She released her grip, and stood up. "But I can help you realise what's wrong with it." She held her arm out. "Here."
Trixie batted it away. "I don't need help from you." Trixie slouched down. "Leave me be."
"Ok then." She walked towards the Dauntless, and spat out some blood. "But one day, you'll understand." She continued walking, way off into the distance, out of Trixie's sight.
Trixie fell to the ground, a sadness building up inside her. She covered her face, and sobbed. Why can't I beat her?
Pinkamena walked slowly through the ditch, which cut its way between the Empire and Republic. War was raging on both sides, sounds of guns, blades, and falling bodies filled the air. The stench of blood was thick, which Pinkamena found fairly enjoyable. A familiar rainbow trail passed her vision, and she stopped. She held Party Popper at the ready, and something landed next to her, sending a wave of dust. The cloud was quickly dispersed by a gust of wind, revealing a familiar avian.
Pinkamena ignored her, and kept walking. Rainbow Dash followed.
"Whatcha doing here?"
"Business." She was in no mood to talk to Rainbow.
"But this is a battlefield! You'll get killed!"
Dash moved in front of her, and stopped her. "What's the matter, Pinkie?"
Pinkamena pushed her out of her way. "I don't want to talk to you."
"Is this about the cake from earlier?"
Pinkamena stopped. "No, stupid. That was years ago."
"Did you just call me stupid?"
"You're adding evidence to such." Pinkamena kept moving, only to be grabbed in the shoulder. She swung Party Popper at Dash, who released her grip and fell to the ground.
"Hey, what gives? Where's the Pinkie I'm used to?"
"She disappeared five years ago." Pinkamena kept walking. Dash sped off somewhere, leaving Pinkamena alone for a second. She saw something leap down from the side of the ditch, and land in front of her.
"What?" She snapped back. "I'm busy."
"You hardly look busy." Applejack moved closer, only to have the gun pointed at her.
"Stay back, or you'll regret it!" Pinkamena yelled. "Why are you even trying to talk to me?!"
"We haven't seen you in five years. You're our friend!"
"Friends don't argue and never see each over again!" Pinkamena kept her gun pointed at Applejack. "You left me alone and friendless for five years, Applejack. The only person that I could ever be friends with afterwards was Discord!"
"Wait a sec. Did ya say 'Discord'?"
"Yes. I am Lady Diane of Chaos, second-in-command of the Chaos Kingdom. And I am heading to the Everfree Forest."
"Why are ya siding with Discord? And why are ya heading to the Everfree?"
"I told you that I had no one to go to after you guys left me alone. And why the Everfree? That's simple." Pinkamena walked on, passing Applejack. "To capture the last neutral village left in Equestria."
Applejack recoiled. "That's cruel, Pinkie."
Pinkie turned, rage in her voice and face. "And so is splitting Equestria in two, and breaking our friendship!" She aimed the gun at Applejack, who dropped into defence. A blast, similar to a party popper, flashed, and showered her with sharp pellets of many colours. Applejack dropped her defence, and shoulder-charged Pinkamena, sending her flying. She crashed into a barrel that happened to be there, and fell limp. Applejack stomped up, and swung her arm down. Her blow was blocked by Pinkamena's large blade, and she pushed her back. She stood up, and flourished her blade.
"Nice try, Applejack." She sprinted up, body low, and pulled her arm back for a swing. Suddenly, something heavy slammed into her back, knocking her to the ground.
"No one. Hurts. My. Friends." Applejack looked up to see a proud Rainbow Dash, feet planted firmly on Pinkamena's back.
"You..." Pinkamena pushed herself up, and knocked Rainbow off. She grabbed her weapon, and pointed it at her. Dash grinned, and took off high.
"Where did-" Dash slammed into her side, and before she could fall over, another hit on the other side. She felt Dash slam into her from nearly every direction, lifting her into the air. The storm of pain stopped, Pinkamena still in the air.
"AJ! Catch!" Dash launched a powerful kick into her back, sending her straight at Applejack. Applejack pulled her arm back, and just as Pinkamena was nearly on top of her, she swung with the force of a freight train. She was sent sprawling through the air, then down into the ground. Pinkamena could barely move.
Dash landed on Applejack's back. "We're good friends. We trust each other fully.
Applejack grinned and pulled Dash of her back. "Y'all chose to lose ya friends, no one made ya."
"Yeah. You could have hung out with Fluttershy, instead of moping to yourself and joining Discord."
Pinkamena struggled up. "I underestimated you. But I can beat you, one day."
"One day, sugarcube, the War will be over, and we'll live peacefully. Y'don't need to beat us."
"I refuse to back down." She turned and limped her way along the ditch. She missteped, and fell to her side. Something flew out of her pocket, and a green energy formed from it.
"Pinkamena, what are you doing?"
She struggled to sit straight. "Heading to the Everfree Village, as you ordered."
"That can wait. You are in no condition to go."
"I am fine, m'lord." She barely managed to stand. "I will capture the Everfree."
"You can barely walk! You may think you're fine, but I know you aren't."
"But that isn't the real reason. Apparently, I have been invited to a negotiation with the Princesses."
Rainbow turned to Applejack. "A... negotiation?"
"Bus as I cannot go myself, you have to act as my ambassador."
"As you wish..."
"Now get back here. We can't have you like that."
Pinkamena grabbed the small object, and teleported away.
"Since when could Pinkie teleport?"
"What's more important, sugarcube, is that the Princesses are meeting up for the first time in years."
"That means... They're going to stop the War?"
"Yup. And we'll probably be going as well."
"So that means Twilight and Rarity are going to be there?"
"Naturally. We can finally spend time together without us being enemies."
Dash pumped her fist. "Heck yeah! Shame about Fluttershy not being there. I miss her adorable wussyness."
"Pinkie will be there, too."
"Not really. She's kinda evil. And Trixie will also be with us, so that'll make things interesting."
Applejack grabbed her hand. "Come on, we'd better check up what's going on.
Celestia, Twilight and Rarity went inside the hall. A banquet had been set up, decorations and all. Rarity squeaked.
"These decorations are fabulous!" She went around, examining the tiniest details, and fixing up a few minor problems.
"Rarity, you don't need to go overboard."
"But I haven't done anything like this is five years! Do you not know how hard that was for me?"
"Rather hard, I'd imagine." Twilight glanced at one of the waiter-types, and kind of recognised him.
The waiter looked at Twilight. He spoke with a distinctly Trottingham accent. "Twilight! Great seeing you here!"
"Likewise. How are things going?"
"Fairly badly, actually. I learned that Trottingham had been taken over by some third force. But, at least I'm alive."
"And I'm glad you are too. You went into the hospitality chain?"
"Only thing left. I can't stand fighting."
"Fair enough. Well, I guess I'll talk to you late-" Twilight stopped turning. "Actually, Pip, do you know what happened to the others?"
"Like Apple Bloom and company?"
Pip stared into the distance for a moment. "I think they went with Fluttershy to the Everfree Forest."
She sighed. "Thanks for the reassurance, Pip."
Pip bowed as Twilight returned to the Princess, who sat at the table calmly. Twilight took a chair and relaxed as much as she could. Which wasn't much.
"Are you alright, Twilight?
"Not entirely, Princess. This meeting is so important. I can't relax."
"Don't worry, everything between us will go smoothly."
"That's not what I'm worried about." Twilight turned to see the door being opened a second time, with Luna standing in it.
"Sister, I have arrived."
Celestia's face lit up. "Luna! I missed you!"
"As did I." The two of them literally collided with joy. After the hug, they turned to the table, with Dash, Applejack and Trixie entering behind them.
"Rainbow Dash! Applejack!" Twilight ran up to them in a tackle hug, which they accepted with glee.
"Haven't seen you in ages!"
"We've missed y'all."
Twilight released her arms from them. Rarity approached, trying to look cool, but obviously not inside.
"Greetings, gi-" She was glomped by Rainbow, and was knocked to the ground. "Nice to see you too, Rainbow."
Dash pulled herself off. "Sorry about that. I guess I'm just happy to see you."
"Likewise." Rarity stood up, and walked over to Applejack. "You know, Applejack..."
"What?" She replied, no small amount of joy in her voice.
"I kind of missed your brutish ways to conflict with my own way."
Applejack chuckled. "Yeah, same thing. Yer fancy ways are kinda interestin'." She pointed to the table. "Wanna sit?"
Dash, Rarity and she walked gleefully to the table. Twilight looked over them with joy, until she felt a tap on her shoulder.
"What are you doing here, Sparkle?"
She turned to see a very upset Trixie. "I'm here as the Empire's Magika Commander, and as Celestia's student."
Trixie scoffed. "I'm here as the Republic's Magika Captain. Our rank system is different, so I'm of the same level as you."
"Well done, Trixie."
"Wha- But- Why are YOU complementing ME?"
"We're not enemies. I think you're a great person, if not a little egomaniacal."
"You're a loudmouth."
Trixie didn't respond for a second. "I... never got the recognition I deserved. I feel the need to be better than everyone. That's why I made up the Ursa Major story, to make myself look better."
"I understand completely." Twilight put her arm over Trixie's shoulder. "That's why I don't hate you."
Trixie remained silent, even when they moved to the table.
"So, Princess, made any progress?" Twilight said, as she sat down.
"No, not as yet. We are waiting for Discord to appear."
Luna spoke up. "We invited him. He is a sufficiently powerful force, if not the only other force, so we need to make a treaty with him."
"But what if he doesn't agree?"
"We'll work around that."
To the surprise of everyone around, a pink blob of energy came out of nowhere, screaming like metal-against-metal, but louder and less natural. It formed into a particular shape, and burst to reveal Pinkamena.
"Discord sends his regards."
The princesses rose up, expecting a fight.
"Why are you here?"
"Discord is unable to attend, so I'm acting as ambassador. Deal with it."
Celestia sat down, but Luna remained standing. "Luna, sit down."
"I refuse to." She turned to Pinkamena, and switched her voice pattern. "We request that Discord attendeth this meeting in person. We cannot make decisions without his presence."
"Oh, but where's the fun in that?" Pinkamena started walking around the table slowly. "He is literally incapable of coming here in person, but I have a way of talking to him." She pulled out a small metal disk. "It's holographic, meaning you can talk to him to, but...." She moved next to Dash, and creepily moved the disk across her face. "I get to decide whether it's used." She pulled off, and continued her encircling. "So you're going to cope with me. Don't worry, I'll inform him of any decisions you make."
Luna sat down. "Then we must start this meeting. Celestia, doth thou remember how this war was started between thee and us?"
Celestia suppressed her giggles. "Yes. We were arguing how the Kingdom was to be ruled, whether it should be controlled by us alone or through a republic system. The fight got out of hand, and we separated most of Equestria."
"We remember that well. And the War was started when the military forces expanded in power, on both sides. We disti-"
"Luna, please, stop it with the 'we'. I can't hold back my laughter for long."
"Fine then. I distinctly remember when the Solar Empire sent a full military force into our territory. I sent some of my own soldiers to stop them, but through a mistranslation, they ended up attacking them instead. We- I recall the event escalating. It was sickening."
"Indeed. And this never would have happened if we decided to change the system. I thin-"
"Hold on a second!" Pinkamena interrupted. "The war was started when you two wanted to change the way Equestria was run?"
"Not our smartest decision."
"Luna, I said stop with the 'we'."
"I was referring to both of us."
"Oh." Celestia leaned back. "Continue?"
"Lord Discord was right."
"About what?" Twilight asked.
"Those Seraph are a stubborn race!" A voice echoed throughout the room. "Lady Diane, you can stand down. I will talk to them myself."
"As you wish." She placed the disk on the ground as a green mist expanded from it, taking the form of Discord.
"And as they say, when two stubborn people meet..."
"What do you want, Discord."
"I wish to hear this discussion. Please, continue."
Celestia looked back to Luna. "As I was saying, I think we should return to the Kingdom setting."
"We second that."
"Pardon u- me."
Celestia held her hand out, which Luna grabbed and shook. "The Solar Empire and the Lunar Republic is now one."
"Wow, brilliant, that's great." Discord sarcastically muttered. "What now?"
"Discord, you have a choice."
"Then let's hear it, then."
"You can either join us, or we return you to stone."
"A tempting offer, but I'm afraid I have to go with C."
Discord's apparition stood at full height. "I take over Equestria, and you two die."
Luna stood up, ignoring Celestia's warnings. "Discord, you asked for this..."
Luna took a breath in. "YOU HAVE DISGRACED THE ROYAL SISTERS WITH YOUR PETTY PLAN!"
"Geez, you're loud."
"WE CANNOT TOLERATE ANYONE WHO DISRESPECTS US! YOU'RE ACTIONS MEAN WAR, WHICH THOU WILL EMERGE BROKEN AND RUINED!"
"Seriously, stop yelling. I can hear you fine."
"AND WE WILL EMERGE VICTORIOUS! YOU HAVE MET THE KINGDOM'S MIGHT TWICE ALREADY, HATH THOU NOT LEARED ANYTHING?"
"I've learnt that you're pointlessly loud."
"HALT THY MOCKERY! THE POINT IS, WE WILL CRUSH YOUR FEEBLE ATTEMPTS AT VICTORY!"
"Ah yes, but there's one thing you have yet to realise."
"You don't have all the Elements of Harmony."
"UH... WE... Celestia?"
"Unfortunately, he's right. He has Pinkamena, the Element of Laughter."
"And soon, the Element of Kindness."
Luna glared at Discord. "WHAT DOES THOU MEAN BY 'SOON'?"
"Fluttershy's neutrally inclined," Twilight pointed out.
"And if she sides with Discord, that can't end well."
Discord grinned. "Maybe the magic of friendship can help you. Or not. Farewell, everyone. Pinkamena, send the second warning, dated for tomorrow." the green shape disappeared back into the disk. Pinkamena snatched it, and grinned evilly.
"See you guys later." She teleported out of the room.
Silence fell. Twilight broke the silence.
"Does anyone know where Fluttershy is?"
Several glances revealed the answer.
"Ok, how about..." Twilight perked up. "Where Pinkie was heading?"
"Hmm..." Applejack thought for a second. "Ah think she's headed to the Everfree Forest."
"That's a start. But why would Fluttershy be there?"
"She likes animals." Dash pointed out. "Why else?"
"But does she not take over neutral villages as a standard?" Rarity interrupted.
"But the Everfree isn't a neutral village."
"Actually," Celestia raised her finger. "There is only one free village left in Equestria, and it has been marked at the Everfree Forest."
"So, we have: Pinkie takes over neutral villages; Neutral village at the Everfree Forest; and Fluttershy loves animals. What does that mean?"
"Easy," Trixie rose up, and stood on the table. "Fluttershy is in the last neutral village, it's the last one remaining, and Pinkie is going to strike there."
"Amazing roundup, Trix." Dash crossed her arms. "I got that before Twilight even finished."
"Dare you mock the Great and Powerfu-"
"Uh... Trixie?" Twilight nudged her. "You're being a loudmouth again."
"I am aware."
"Oh for the love of-"
"Ladies," Rarity cleared her throat. "Do we not have something to do?"
"Indeed." Luna looked to Celestia. "Shall we mobilise?"
"We don't know where Discord is."
"On the contrary. I traced his signal as he was talking to us. If I can triangulate his position, then we can crush his little kingdom."
Celestia grinned. "Why didn't I think of that? Well done."
Luna bowed. She turned to the others, who were standing uniquely.
"SOLDIERS OF THE KINGDOM, MOVE OUT!"
"Freaking morons." Pinkamena trudged along the ditch from before, brandishing her newest weapon, a flamethrower made from improvised scraps. A small black shape moved to her side.
"M'lady." It said in a strange voice. "The Army is ready for teleportation, and the letter has been sent."
"I understand." she grabbed it. "Go tell Discord I'm almost ready."
The canister on her side pulsed, causing the black shape to scream and pop, black metal parts burning themselves away as they hit the ground.
"What the hell?" Pinkamena grabbed the canister. "How did you do that?"
The crystal remained silent. She tossed it, only to have it return to her side. She glared at it until her neck started hurting.
"Just what the hell are you?"
To Be Continued