Canterlot. A quiet, somewhat peaceful town. Home of the Friendship Games. Home of the Humane 7. At least it was...before the war.
The day started out normal. Sunny skies, cool weather. Not a cloud in sight. But all of that changed while the Humane 7 were spending their time doing their usual routine standing in front of the statue.
Each girl had a smile on their face and was laughing, until they heard a noise in the distance.
“Ya'll hear that?” Applejack asked.
Sunset Shimmer, the newest addition to the group took a second to listen.
“I hear it too. What is that?” She asked.
The noises got louder and louder until the school yard was flooded by Humvee's and a Boeing CH-47 Chinook. Seconds later, a man garbed in digital camouflage exits the chopper and approaches the girls.
“Can we help you?” Sunset asks.
“Yes you may. We need two girls by the names of Rainbow J. Dash and Jacqueline O. Apple.”
“That's us.” Applejack replies.
“You too need to come with us.” Says the man.
Rainbow Dash crosses her arms over her chest and glares at him.
“Says who?” She asks.
“Says the United States Military. You two are being drafted.”
“Whoa whoa whoa whoa...drafted?! For what?!” Rainbow asks again.
“To fight in the war. The military is running low on good men and women. So the President has ordered a draft.”
“But...that means we'll have to leave everything behind. Our friends...our family...all of it.”
“I'm sorry. I wish it had not come to this. But this needs to happen if we are going to win this war and ensure the safety of this country.” He replies.
Applejack sighs in defeat.
“C'mon Dash. No use in arguin'. If'n the man says we gotta go. We better listen. Sir?”
“Please. Call me Admiral Stone.”
“Right. Admiral Stone. D'ya mind if we say goodbye first, since we don't know when we're comin' back?”
Admiral Stone gets a sad look in his eye.
“I can't promise that either of you will come back at all. But take all the time you need.”
As he stands and watches, the two girls start saying their goodbyes to their friends. Rainbow Dash walks up to Pinkie Pie.
“Well. He he. I...uh...guess I'll see ya later Pinks. If I don't make it back...Pinkie Promise you'll never stop smiling.”
Pinkie Pie immediately grabs rainbow Dash in a bone crushing hug with tears pouring from her eyes.
“Oh Dash! Please come back! We'll all be super sad without you two! I wanna bake a big welcome home cake for you girls! Now go kick meanie butt!!”
Pinkie pie immediately released her friend and blushes.
Rainbow Dash smiles and hugs pinkie back, gentler than Pinkie had done.
“I'm gonna miss you Pinks.”
“You too Dashie...”
Rainbow Dash lets go and walks over to Rarity before giving her a smile.
“Well...heh...it's been fun. We sure got on each other's nerves didn't we?”
Rarity suddenly traps her rainbow haired friend in a hug. Rainbow returns the embrace.
“Be safe darling.”
“I'll try Rares. I promise. Tell ya what. I'm only going to do this once because you're my friend. But how about when me and Applejack come back I let you make us some new outfits. Sound good?”
Rarity smiles and tears up.
“That sounds lovely. We'll all miss you while you are gone.”
“We'll miss you girls too. And we will do our damnedest to come back in one piece.”
Finally after what seems like an eternity, the two friends let go and depart. Rainbow stops in front of Twilight, who is clenching her fists to keep from crying.
“Like I just got done telling Rarity, we are gonna miss you girls.”
“You too. Please make it back.”
“I'm sure as hell gonna try Twi. I promise that.”
Twilights barrier finally breaks and she lets out heavy sobs. Rainbow Dash wraps her in a hug.
“Hey hey...shhh. I'll do my best to come back. But even if I don't...don't let the grief consume you.”
Twilight sniffs and nods before Rainbow Dash breaks the hug and walks over to Sunset Shimmer.
“Hey.” Sunset replies.
“So I guess this is it huh?”
Sunset fixes Rainbow with a stern glare.
“Don't ever talk like that. You'll make it back in one piece. You have to have faith Dash. I believe in you both just like you believed in me all those years ago. Just go out there, kick ass, and come back home. We'll be waiting for you.”
Rainbow Dash smiles.
“You got it.”
“Stay safe Dash.”
“You know I will Sunset.”
With nothing else to say, Rainbow Dash walks over to the only person she hasn't said goodbye to yet. Fluttershy is visibly shaking and heavily sobbing. Rainbow Dash frowns and tightly grips her girlfriend into a hug.
“It's alright babe. Go ahead. Let it all out.”
Fluttershy buries her face in Rainbows shoulder and continues to cry. Neither say anything for a while until Fluttershy raises her head and looks into Rainbow's magenta eyes.
“P-Please don't go...please...” She whispers shakily.
“I wish I didn't have to Flutters. But you know how it works. If you get drafted you HAVE to go or else you get prison time. I have to do this babe. If I could I would stay here with you.”
Rainbow looks over to Applejack who is currently wrapping Rarity into a teary-eyed grip.
“We have to do this Fluttershy. And I swore a long time ago that I would do anything to keep you safe. Even if that means sacrificing my life for those I love.”
Both girls are in tears now. Rainbow takes a deep breath and continues.
“I promise, when I get back I am never leaving you again. I Pinkie Promise. It'll be okay Flutters. You won't even notice I'm away.”
“That's not true...”
Rainbow Dash cups Fluttershy's face in her hands.
“I love you Flutters.”
“I-I love you so much Dashie...”
Rainbow starts to tear up again.
“I want you to have something.”
Rainbow takes out a pendant and opens it. Inside is a small photograph of Fluttershy and Rainbow Dash as kids. It was the day Rainbow stood up for her against the bullies. Upon seeing the picture Fluttershy covers her mouth with one hand and holds the pendant with the other.
“Oh Dashie! Please come back. It would tear me apart if you were taken from us. Please!”
Grasping her girlfriend in another hug she attempts to calm her down.
“It's okay hun. If I don't come back, remember this...I didn't go out without a fight, and you were always on my mind and in my heart. And if I don't make it back. Know that I love you and always have.” Rainbows voice cracks a bit as her eyes start welling up with tears.
“I love you too Dashie...”
After a few minutes the girls have said their goodbyes and are about to depart. But applejack suddenly stops for something else.
“What is it AJ?”
Applejack removes her hat and places in into the redheads hands.
“Give this to Apple Bloom for me will ya? Just in case Ah don't make it back?”
Sunset tries to stop the tears from leaking out and nods.
“I will AJ. You two just come home safe.”
“Thanks. Well, Ah guess we better get going. C'mon Dash.”
“Alright. Hey ‘Shy? Tell Scoots I said goodbye for me would ya?”
“I will Dashie...”
The two girls enter the back of the Chinook before taking their seats. As the loading door closes, Applejack and Rainbow Dash wave goodbye to their friends. The door closes and the helicopter takes to the air and the Humvee's drive out of sight.
The next couple hours after their departure are met with silence. Applejack looks over and sees that Rainbow Dash is really tense. Her hands are clasped together tightly, her jaw in clenched and her eyes as wide as saucers. Applejack places a hand on her shoulder, making her jump at the contact.
“You alright, Dash?” She asks with a concerned look.
Rainbow Dash gives a weak smile.
“Sure! W-Why wouldn't I be? I mean it's not like we're going into an area that has been marked extremely dangerous, only to put our lives on the line and sacrifice everything we know and love just to fight the people who control the area. Not to mention we might actually die! So yeah! I'm just peachy!” Rainbow Dash says as her voice gets higher with every word.
Applejack wraps her arms around her trembling friend and tries to comfort her.
“It's alright Dash. Ah'm scared too. Ah'd be lyin' if Ah said otherwise. And ya know Ah don't do that. Besides, who says we ain't comin' back at all? Who knows? Maybe you an' Ah will be so good that we can end this war together. Just the two of us.”
Rainbow puts on another weak smile. A real one this time.
“Thanks, AJ. Don't know what I'd do without you.”
Applejack smiles back.
Admiral Stone walks up and begins to give orders.
“Listen up! Over the course of the next sixteen weeks you two will be trained, tested, and beaten! You will be put into situations that test your ability to make judgement calls! You will wake up at 4am every single day and be ready for daily drills by 4:15 not a minute more not a minute less! There will be no whining, no moaning, no groaning, no bitching about the situation and no negotiations! You wake up at 4am, training from 4:15am to 4:15pm, lunch in the mess hall at 4:30pm, then you're free to do anything you wish from then to 8pm! Then it's lights out! You may only leave the base once every three months for two days! Anything past that will be considered insubordination and will be treated as such! Clear?!”
“Yes sir.” Both girls say together.
“I SAID IS THAT CLEAR?!!!”
“YES SIR!!!” They say again.
“Ready to land sir!” The pilot yells.
“Put 'er down easy Sergeant!”
Once the helicopter lands the loading door opens to reveal a military base. Men and women of every size and shape are scattered all over the base. Tents, Humvee's, choppers, and medical bays are in view. Off in the distance a landing strip can be seen. A series of jets taking off for aerial maneuvers.
“Welcome to Fort Campbell!”
Rainbow Dash gulps and starts shaking again. Applejack places a hand on her shoulder again. Rainbow stops shaking and smiles. Admiral Stone and the two girls walk up to a woman in uniform. She's as tall as rainbow but more built.
“Staff Sergeant Fury.”
Ssgt. Fury stands at attention.
“At ease Staff Sergeant.”
The woman relaxes.
“What can I do for you Admiral?”
“We got two newbies joining us. I need you to show them to the barracks and get them settled in. Got it?”
“Good. Best be getting comfortable girls. This is your new home for the next four years.”
Rainbow didn't like hearing that.
“That's right. That's the minimal standard for military service. You both will be assigned a division to join. I can't promise it will be the one you want the most, but regardless, you'll have to get used to it.”
“Staff Sergeant. Girls.” Admiral stone salutes the three.
Ssgt. Fury salutes back.
Admiral Stone walks away leaving them alone.
“Let's go newbies. Need to get you settled in before lunchtime.”
“Yes ma'am.” Applejack says.
Applejack and Rainbow Dash follow the woman throughout the base. On the way there, Rainbow Dash can clearly hear some of the people whispering about them.
“I don't like this place already.” She says.
“Don't worry about them. They're all talk and no bite. They try anything with you too, they answer to General Sentry.”
A few minutes later they enter the barracks.
“This is where you'll be sleeping.”
The place was exactly like you'd expect the barracks to be. After walking through a single door, you find yourself in a really thin room with bunk beds lining both sides of the room. Small dressers in front of the beds.
“Mind showing us the mess hall?” Rainbow asks.
Applejack and Rainbow Dash follow the woman to a large building. Walking through the doors, it's exactly like a mess hall should be. A big empty room with tables neatly aligned through it.
“This is where you will eat lunch once a day everyday.”
“What do they serve here?” Rainbow asks.
“We're still trying to figure it out.” Responds the Staff Sergeant.
“That's reassuring.” Rainbow responds rolling her eyes.
After a silent ten minute walk, the three women arrive at a field with various obstacles scattered about the complex.
“This is where you will train each and everyday. If your muscles ain't burning then you're doing something wrong. You'll be out here before the sun even cracks that sky and you'll go until lunchtime. Got it?”
“Good. Now that that's all taken care of I'll let you girls get settled in. Dismissed.”
Ssgt. Fury gives them a dismissing salute before walking away. Applejack and Rainbow Dash respond in unison.
Watching the woman walk away, Rainbow Dash looks at Applejack with displeased eyes.
“I hate it here already.”
“Ah ain't exactly thrilled to be here either Dash. But we might as well get used to it.”
“I'm scared AJ.”
“Ah understand Rainbow, Ah'm scared too. I ain't ever been in a situation like this before so Ah'm in the same boat as you.”
“But you've shot and killed things before haven't you?”
“Yes, but that's different. Puttin' an animal down is completely different than killin' another human being. Ah couldn't fathom doin' that.”
It had been fifteen minutes since Ssgt. Fury left them by themselves. Dash was still trying to wrap her head around the situation. Yes, both girls have dealt with death before, but neither girl had killed a person before. This was a whole new ball game for the two of them. After a while both girls are startled by the door to the barracks being slammed open.
“Shower time ladies! Move it!!”
“Ugh. That's going to get on my nerves really quick.”
“Keep it together Dash. We don't need to be causin' trouble just 'cause someone rubbed ya the wrong way.”
“I can't promise anything”
Without another word, Rainbow Dash walks out with an angry expression. Applejack rubs the bridge of her nose in irritation.
Applejack breaks into a jog to keep up with Rainbow Dash until they get to the showers. As soon as they walk in their eyes are bombarded by nothing but naked women within every square foot of the shower room. Both girls turn a deep red in embarrassment.
“Uuuuuuuh....” Rainbow mutters.
“Hooboy.” Applejack replies wishing she had kept her hat.
Applejack walks up to one of the women and gets her attention.
“Uh, pardon me. But are there any closed stalls we could use?”
“Nope. Whatcha see is whatcha get.”
“Oh. Well, alright then, Ah'll let ya get back to it.”
Applejack, having avoided looking at anything, kept her hand shielded over her eyes just enough to where she could still see where she was going. Hand still over her eyes, she walks back over to Rainbow Dash.
“Well it looks like we ain't gotta choice. We're gonna hafta shower in front of each other.” Applejack sighs.
“Let's get this over with. Ah wanna be done as soon as possible.”
Without another word, the two girls begin removing their clothing until they were as naked as the day they were born. They silently look each other over and blush before quickly averting their eyes.
“Nice abs...” Applejack says, still deep red.
“Thanks...uh...nice tits...” Rainbow replies and quickly realized how that sentence sounded.
“Uh. I didn't mean it like that... I just figured, y'know, I should say something back...”
“S'alright Dash. Ah appreciate the compliment. No matter how it sounded.”
AJ and Rainbow Dash smiled at each other, but it didn't make the situation any less awkward.
“Well, what do we have here?”
AJ and Rainbow Dash turn around to see who the voice belonged to. There, in all her naked glory, was the legendary Captain Spitfire of the Wonderbolts Air Force.
“Oh my gosh!!! AJ, do you have any idea who this is?!!” Rainbow practically squealed.
“Well, if Ah remember faces right from the ones ya showed me back home, Ah'm gonna say this is Captain Spitfire of the world famous Wonderbolts?”
“I'm guessing you ladies are fans?” Spitfire asked amused.
Jamming a thumb in Rainbow's direction, Applejack replies.
“She is, Ah don't pay attention enough to know a whole lot about ya.”
“Is it true that you hold the record for the most enemy kills and the most POW rescues in any military history?!” Rainbow asked, practically fangirling.
“Well, yeah, it's true...but it's not exactly something to be proud of.”
Rainbow finally snaps out of her stupor and blushes.
“Oh...right. My apologies ma'am.”
“Ugh...please don't call me ma'am. Makes me feel old.” Spitfire smiles.
“Heh...right. Wait...how old are you?” Rainbow asked.
“You say you're my biggest fan. I'm sure you can figure it out.” She replied.
“Well let's see...you signed up for the military shortly after your eighteenth birthday. You've been in it for roughly thirteen years. So that would make you...thirty-one?”
“She usually ain't that good with numbers.” Applejack smiles.
“Oh shut up. Like you're any better?”
“Ah have ta be in order ta deal with the farms stocks an' revenue. Otherwise it wouldn't be a business and my family would be broke and homeless.”
“Well it looks like Skittles here is going to be taking orders from me for the next four years.” Spitfire smirks.
“Wait, you mean—”
“That's right. Welcome to the Air Force newbie.” Spitfire says holding out a hand, which Rainbow Dash shakes immediately.
“It's a pleasure to be working with you ma–I mean, Captain.”
“Likewise. I'll see you on the field.”
Spitfire walks away, leaving Applejack and Rainbow Dash in silence. Until realization hits.
“Wait a minute...did she just call me ‘Skittles’?!