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kalash93

Joined December 2012
294 followers

Stories (12)

  • Last One Standing
    From the beginning, it could only end one way. Nopony lives forever.

    8,627 words · 2,476 views · 72 likes · 4 dislikes
  • You Obey
    You are a changeling, servant of Queen Chrysalis. You always obey her orders, even when you don't want to. And at times like this, you really don't want to.
    5,555 words · 4,030 views · 75 likes · 5 dislikes
  • I Did Not Want To Die
    The final thoughts of a fallen soldier. Dedicated to all who serve, all who survived, and all the fallen.
    4,727 words · 11,298 views · 92 likes · 11 dislikes
  • Bratan
    Two old comrades drink and reminisce. For Veterans' Day 2013.
    2,721 words · 151 views · 23 likes · 1 dislikes
  • Racer And The Geek
    49,546 words · 3,650 views · 76 likes · 11 dislikes
  • Barren
    4,862 words · 138 views · 19 likes · 1 dislikes
  • Songs Uncle Sings
    1,630 words · 657 views · 18 likes · 1 dislikes
  • Shell Shock
    2,680 words · 3,007 views · 47 likes · 8 dislikes
  • Reflections
    4,784 words · 1,311 views · 21 likes · 2 dislikes
  • Caravan
    3,663 words · 133 views · 14 likes · 2 dislikes

Blog Posts (28)

x

BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG! Gunfire rang out from the florist shop window and into the almost deserted had-been beer garden. I looked at my fire team leader, Gefreiter Schlager. He brought his head and G36 back inside, shouting, “Los wir gehen!” We obeyed, following him out into the ruined, bombed and burnt out ruins of what had once been Grazny’s main shopping district. Booted hooves clopped and clacked on the ground, cracked and torn.

I remembered this place from when I was a child. Mother often brought Traube, Zecran, and I here for ice creams. A corpse lay underneath our favorite leafy sycamore tree, an expanding puddle of blood and moans coming from the stirring limbs. I hugged my M4a1 more tightly against my chest and kept running. We heard helicopters droning from behind us. The one pony in our Chechneyan zebra outfit, a foreign volunteer unicorn named Bronco, who was our ace and support gunner, turned his brown body to see them, obscuring his eyes from view with his chestnut mane. The eyes went wide and the voice was unusually high. “Federal Defense Force – Bundeswehrmacht!” I cursed under my hot, ragged, breath. My heart thumped like a farmer’s cart over the cobblestones of this hilly district.

We dove into a mostly-pristine boutique in an eerily orderly shopping mall. It had been one of my favorite haunts. Before the war, my friends and I were always here whenever we had the time. It was the same one where I’d met a cute filly as a teenager. Gefreiter Schlager pulled out his map. He poured over it for a minute before growling and giving us all a very grim look. “Meinen Kommeraden, we’re boxed in.”

I wracked my brain before speaking. “Gefreiter, there are tunnels underneath this place. They can get us back to north central.” North central was where the heart of our defenses were, protecting our generals, leaders, and populace.

They all turned to me, cocking their heads. The Gefreiter raised his eyebrow. “How would you know, Flechte?”

I blushed. “Well, um, when I was a colt, a certain filly and I would…” He smiled and waved with his hoof.

“Gut genug. Show me where.” I grabbed the pen I always kept in my flack jacket and scribbled on the map as I explained the directions aloud.

“Ankommender!” BOOM! The storefront exploded. I leapt into cover, raised my M4a1, deactivated the safety and began to fire on what must have been a platoon of federal troops without cover. Bronco laid down suppressive fire with his FN Minimi. The Gefreiter gave orders to pull everyone out. I saw several soldiers fall to our righteous bullets fired in defense of our homes. I killed a few myself – how dare they destroy our beloved home?

I dropped my third magazine of the fight, the eighth of the day, and insert a new one. I hit the bolt release and felt it shut with a comforting click in the chaos. I fired back again with single shots, as per the gospel of our instructors, one of whom had been an Equestrian  Antumbra veteran; as good as they come, unless one believed the rumors about the even more elite Eclipe. I heard their shouts in my head, guiding me through the harvest of death. With every few shots, their number grew fewer as one finally went down under my hail of lead. The M4a1 thundered comfortably in my grasp. I pulled the trigger again. CLICK. Silence – the loudest sound when you expect a bang. Ancestors, please, no!

Bullets whizzed by and guns thundered around me. I removed the magazine and reinserted it hard, ramming it all the way in. –CLICK– shit! I pulled the charging handle and looked inside. Two rounds were trying to occupy the chamber simultaneously, like a stallion trying to wear a colt’s trousers. Frantic, I tried to get them out, but to no avail! The extractor refused to grab the cases.

FWIP! A horrible, burning, sensation shot through my belly. My flack jacket was powerless to do anything against the bullet. I yelped in shock and pain. The carbine slid from my grasp, and then then I hit the cold checkerboard linoleum floor. I saw blood bright and red stain the black and white tiles under me. I tried to get up, but I could hardly breathe. I didn't have any strength; my body just didn't respond. In pain, I turned to my comrades. “Help me! I’m down!” I thrashed on the ground. Dear ancestors, it hurt!

“Stay there!” ordered the Gefreiter. “Prepare to lay down suppressive fire on my mark. We are falling back.”  As I laid there, the adrenaline slipped from my system, prompting the pain exploded with a fresh wave of agony into my belly. This was bad; I was losing too much blood. Couldn’t I do something to save myself somehow? I remembered the coagulant packet and morphine syrette in my pockets. I frantically scrabbled to reach them. I bit my tongue to halt my screams. I tasted blood as I snatched the medicine.

The enemy didn’t seem to care as I ripped open the morphine and broke the seal with my crooked front teeth, teenage trophies of a scrape with a federal soldier. I found a vein on my ankle jammed the needle into it, and squeezed. Ouch! The pressure felt as if somepony tried to inflate a ball in my arm. I gasped and forced the drug in faster, leaving an ugly black and blue splotch on my ankle.

Okay, the pain was falling under control and it was no longer agony to breathe, the blood continued to spill from my wound. Woozy from blood loss, exhaustion, and the morphine, I bit clumsily to open the procoagulant power packet, unable to grip it with my blood-soaked hooves. Some of it got on my tongue and I winced at the awful taste. I held it in my teeth as I felt around frantically for the wound. My lungs and throat screamed at my mouth to scream, but I grit my teeth, trying to ignore them. I felt a happy wave of relief as the morphine flooded my system fully. My breathing slowed and my hooves steadied enough to find the holes in my uniform and stomach. I poured out the lifesaving powder onto my hooves before pressing them into the jagged wound. I felt the flow of blood shut off like a faucet, but I held it anyway. I grimmaced as laid down and waited for my comrades to come. Maybe I wouldn’t die after all?

Bronco came for me, laying down walking fire as he did. My head felt light for a moment, and I swear that I saw every single individual brass shell jump from the ejection port. I snapped back to reality when Bronco grabbed me by the back of my decrepit flack jacket with a sudden spike of pain through my stomach.  I seethed, clutching at the injury. I felt something hot, wet, and sticky soaking my back. Ancestors, please, let this not be real. Please let it not have fragmented; we can’t treat those injuries!

I suddenly remembered my rifle. Forgetting my agony, I shot out my forelegs and shouted “My gun!” Bronco did not reply. He handed me his Minimi and I brought it up to my shoulder to cover our retreat. I fired a series of short bursts out into the parking lot, forcing the invaders to dive for cover. Some were too slow and they fell. Adrenaline dulled my pain, though the rush was deadened by the nausea I felt every time an enemy fell with my bullets in his body. I always felt it, despite everything they had done to us -- the occupation, forced assimilation, ethnic discrimination, making us live in ghettoes, always so high and mighty as if they were better than us.

I looked to my hooves and saw a long streak of bright crimson had trailed behind me. I was now behind cover, and my friend, Nuss, took something off his back. “Can you fight?” He asked, brow furrowed more deeply than usual.

I leaned against the wall and panted. I felt slightly lightheaded, but nothing to worry about. “Ja, ich kann.” I nodded. He reached around to his back and threw me something long and heavy, as well as a small messenger bag.

“An AK-47? Really?”

“Ammo’s in the bag,” he spat. “It’s an AKMS; thirty cal knockdown power, dead simple to use, and unstoppable.” Smartass. Of course I know about the things; heavy, inaccurate, and awkward. It beat a pistol, barely.

I heard the Gefreiter shout, “Flechte, Nuss! Suppressive fire!” Operating the weapon left-hooved I used my new rifle’s barrel as a fulcrum to rotate around the doorway and engage the enemy. I saw my first enemy in the open sights. I pulled the single stage trigger, and a bang erupted from the muzzle as the rifle jumped. I hit him in the chest and he went out like a light. Damn! The same fate befell the next bastard to step into his place, but not the third, for I hadn’t time to deploy the bottom-folding stock. He fell to Nuss’s FAL. I brought my rifle back under control and slew the next soldier just as she came around the corner. Unlike us, federals have the gall to put mares in combat.

I fired one last burst from my rifle at a trio of soldiers. One fell wounded to scream and thrash on the floor. The other two dove for cover. I pressed my back into cover and grabbed a grenade from my chest. I pulled the pin with the spoon compressed before lobbing it blindly through the doorway. I yelled at Nuss, “Nachladen – reloading!” I’m supposed to speak Equestrian, but in my situation, I accidentally kept crying out in my native Zebrische. I grabbed the magazine around the base, pressing the release with my thumb as I pulled forwards and down to rock it out of the well. Over all the fire and hell, I heard a downed solder wailing and crying out for his mother. Boom! The grenade exploded and the pitiful bawling stopped, but I felt a tear tug at my eye. I grabbed another magazine and placed the forward lug against the front of the magazine well. Then I rotated it straight back until I felt it lock into place. Finally, I pulled back on the charging handle and let it fly. “Weapon ready -- engaging!”

I returned fire upon the enemy. Their tracers and rounds came so close to me that I felt the breeze and shock of the sonic boom, as well as the buzzing, whistling sound they made as they few by, but I was unafraid and determined to fight like a true warrior; endure to the bitter end. Although they outnumbered us, Nuss and I had the advantage. We had granite pillars for cover. They didn’t have anything that would save them from our bullets. They couldn’t call in for support; we were too close, because then they’d hit their own soldiers with whatever they threw at us. And so we held the opening, despite the rising tide of enemy forces, and our dwindling ammunition. They’d overrun it in the end, if only because we caught diseases that bred in the corpses of their fallen.

We held them there until the rest of the fireteam reached overwatch position. My lightheadedness did not stop. Rather, it got worse. The Gefreiter ordered us to retreat. “Flechte, Nuss, pop smokes and prepared to displace.” I threw my smoke grenade first, with my comrade throwing his a few seconds later. It took what felt like an eternity for the thick grey and white clouds to suffuse the atmosphere. “Now!” Ordered Gefreiter Schlager as he and Bronco opened up with everything they had, pouring it into the enemy to buy us time to escape. We broke cover and sprinted. It was only fifty meters, but it felt like fifty miles. Bronco and Schlager covered us with a heavy curtain of fire, but I’ve never been more terrified than I was then. I kept low with one hoof on my Kalashnikov and my other hoof on the ammo bag. Bullets whistled all around and the noise of battle was deafening.

We ran by the now-dry fountain, where I had my very first kiss. Again, Bronco and the Gefreiter bought us time to run. “Are you alright, soldier?” inquired Gefreiter Schlager.

I coughed, “Y-Yes, Schlager.” I covered my mouth and felt something wet splatter against my limb. I looked down and saw blood. I felt all the color drain from my face. No. This can’t be happening. It just can’t!

He gave me a skeptical look and then ordered, “Lead us to the tunnels quickly.” So I did, despite the terrific pain in my body. I wasn’t really that badly wounded; just winded from all the combat. It’s not like I was actually gonna die, right? I can’t die. I promised momma I’d see her again. I promised Zecran that I’d tell him all about my adventures fighting for our beloved Chechneya. He still owed me a pack of gum from when we were in elementary school.

Surely enough, my memory did not fail me, and we soon found ourselves in the dank maintenance areas. These familiar tunnels were uncomfortably hot from the steam pipes, always cramped, and generally unpleasant. Light came from dangling bare bulbs and cobwebs cluttered the corners. I was running along one such passage at the foot of a staircase, when I hacked up a wad of blood and my strength finally failed. I fell to the ground, hooves raking the dust, and I couldn’t get up. I dragged myself over to the dark corner just a few feet away and sat down, facing the stairs a half dozen meters away. My comrades looked at me, concern etched deeply on their faces. I tried to smile weakly, despite the horrible realization that was dawning on me. “I’ll be fine,” I lied. “Go on.” More blood dribbled from my lips.

Nuss walked over to me and put his hoof on my shoulder. “I’m sorry, my friend…” he muttered, reaching into his rucksack and dropping what I immediately recognized as several loaded AK magazines at my feet.

“Your service will be honored, Felchte” said the Gefreiter stiffly, his face expressive as a tree stump. Just then, we heard the first sounds of the enemy. They must’ve tracked us somehow! We exchanged glances for a tense moment. “Fireteam, move out.” Just like that, they walked away, abandoning me to my fate. I wanted to say something meaningful, but the words got stuck in my throat. As their footsteps faded away, my attention was drawn to the approaching footsteps from the staircase. I tightened my grip, shouldered the AKMS, and put it in semiautomatic mode.

I listened to the thud of hobnail boots on concrete for almost a minute before I heard one of them speak, which was followed shortly after by the unnaturally white circles of weapon lights. The invaders stepped into the almost-gloom, illuminated by a single dangling, flickering, forlorn, incandescent light bulb. My forelegs shook and I clenched my jaw, steeling myself for the storm. They approached in that half-jog half-walk of soldiers trying to move quickly whilst keeping their weapons ready. The lights danced in the air like drunken fireflies. My failing heart pounded in my chest. Come on – just a little closer, you brutes! My sights aligned with a helmeted head.

I fired. She fell without ever knowing what hit her. The soldiers behind her jumped and startled. I cut them down like wheat on father’s farm. The unnatural lighting shone on eerily and I coughed up another wad of blood.

I heard more coming, the pigs running greedily into the slaughterhouse. I remembered father’s words: “Pigs always expect to get something, but only expect what they want.” The next batch of pigs rounded the corner with weapons raised. I allowed them to get just beyond the stairs before I fired a great burst from my kalash. The bullets tore through their bodies and they fell to the ground. “You like that, HUH?!” I challenged, no longer caring what happened, so long as I killed every last one of them I could. “That’s what you get, you worthless pigs! I won’t yield anymore! If you want to infest Chechneya, my beloved home, and rape Grazny, our sacred capital, then you’ll have to go through me!” I hacked up blood, spitting out another semi congealed wad to mingle with the growing red pool on the floor.

The pigs rounded the corner again, repressing their swagger in their flecktarn-pattern uniforms and tactical vests. I held down the trigger the moment I saw the horde appear. Bullets flew from my gun and struck those in front, sending them crumpling to the floor. The pigs shied away from the cacophony, trying to save themselves. However, I fired through the thin plywood steps. Screams unseen met my ears and I saw several tumble down onto the landing. I shot those who moved. The remainder retreated further. I could do this; I could win if I just held on…

“Werf Grenaten!” --Clink clink-- My blood froze. I tensed and curled up into a ball behind my flack vest and helmet as I saw several small objects bounce off the wall and roll down the stairs.

I whispered, “Mama, help me.” B-O-B-BO-B-B-BBOO-BOOM! The room shook. An unholy chaos filled the corridor, but only for the briefest moment. My ears rang, but miraculously, no pain was felt as I raised my weapon and opened my eyes. Then, to my horror, I saw a soldier come around the corner with his G36 aimed at me!

We locked eyes, guns poised to kill. Time stopped for an infinite moment. G36 faced AKMS. Soldier faced insurgent. AKMS faced G36. Patriot faced invader. My brain screamed at me to just pull the trigger, but my body was slow. I saw his finger go back just a bit immediately before mine. My rife clicked as trigger broke the sear, which engaged the hammer, which struck the firing pin, and roared as the firing pin struck the primer, ignited the powder, and launched the bullet. The bullet seemed to take an age to fly. Everything felt impossibly real. I could see every dimple on the bricks and every cobweb in the tunnel.

Finally, my bullet hit home and struck his chest. At that very moment, I felt something small, hot, and sharp, slam into my right breast. It pierced everything, and I felt several tiny fragments rip many holes in the skin of my back. He fell to the ground, screamed, and then moved no more. My heart sank as I felt the blood spill again. Stop bleeding. Stop, you damned war – just STOP! I don’t want to die here!

I could hardly move. My body just wouldn’t respond. I was in so much pain that I couldn’t even draw the breath to scream. One last hope sprang to my mind: get around the corner. I drug myself there, even motion and second living hell and trailing blood thick on the ground. Maybe if I kept quiet, they’d assume that I’d died and then go away. I saw my legs. The flesh was cut to ribbons by the grenade fragments, but I hadn’t felt it thanks to the morphine. My head gave a lurch as I hyperventilated. My heart thundered in my chest because of terror, because of pain, because of exertion, and because it was trying desperately to make up for all the life’s blood spilt on the floor. Tears welled up in my eyes. Mama, I’m so sorry. I didn’t want to die. There was time; I could’ve had a long, full, happy life if only I hadn’t chosen to come to this damn war! The sentence is set; the hammer has fallen, and I have paid the price, sad to realize too late that death was meant to be my fate. If only I loved Chechneya less and myself more, I could’ve lived long and happily in peace. But no, because I came here, it all has to end after only sixteen years. Why did this have to happen? Why me? The sound of boots filled the air once again. My head was lighter than a feather as I grabbed my assault rifle one last time. I knocked out the magazine and inserted a fresh forty-rounder. I moved the selector to fully automatic. I waited for them to come. I had one last grenade on my chest. My gun felt impossibly heavy. All I could think was: why? I braced myself for the storm.

Memories leapt unbidden into my head. Mother’s soothing touch as she tucked me into bed. I felt the soldier’s pistol smashing my teeth because I refused to salute their colonel’s motorcade. I felt the warmth of my sweetheart’s lips as she swore that she loved me. I felt the rumbling warmth of a purring cat. I heard crickets sing as I hunted fireflies with my brother. I tasted ice cream I’d eaten with my friends as a foal. I smelled the sulfurous odor of fireworks at New Year’s. Is it really all over? I’ve only live sixteen years. I don’t want to die! Somebody – anybody, please, tell me that this isn’t happening! Get me out of here! I don’t want to die! I cried. No, I sobbed, hugging my weapon to my chest.

There’s so much I didn’t do. I never paid back my friend for that chocolate bar when I was nine. I never visited my grandmother one last time before she died. I never told my girlfriend that I love her. I never wrote that novel. There’s so much that I haven’t had a chance to do yet. I always wanted to travel to Equestria. I always wanted to see Canterlot and the princesses in person. I never got to go spelunking with Traube. I always wanted to see Chechneya free. I always wanted to be a father. I promised mom that I’d come back alive, but there’s no hope now.

And what about all those ponies I killed? A fresh surge of guilt overpowered me. I never wanted to hurt anyone, honestly, I didn’t. They were going to kill me. I had to kill them. If I didn’t kill them, then I would’ve died. But didn’t they have lives too? Didn’t they have their own reasons to fight? What about families, friends, and loved ones, too? They’d miss the husband, or the father, or the son, or the brother, or the friend, or the uncle that I took away. Damn you, war. Damn you to Tartarus. How many of my friends did you take away? How many families did you destroy? How many wives widowed and children orphaned? In just Grazny, how many young colts are lying here; how many wasted years? How many mothers weep for the sons they’ll never see again, who were so alive when they left, but came home in coffins, or not at all? How many? How many, because of you, went down the long stairs to the well of souls, from which none return?

I dried my tears with shaking legs. It was time to die, and I was terrified. I didn’t want to die from gunshots alone and in pain, but I didn’t want to die crying and begging for mercy. I had to face death with dignity. I stood up as best I could, leaning against the wall. I felt as if I was fading out of reality. I brought the AKMS to bear and placed my hoof the trigger. I coughed up one more wad of blood.

God, please, tell me that this isn’t the end. The enemy was just around the corner. I counted six distinct hoofbeats. They emerged and I pulled the trigger. The rifle roared, and three soldiers started falling before they even knew I was there. I saw the steely determination in their eyes turn to confusion, and then to terror as they realized what was about to happen to them. The bullets hit and their eyes first showed disbelief, then outrage, and then agony as they sank to the ground. The last thing they always had was a look of perfect helplessness, as if they were pleading for anyone to save them. It always broke my heart to see it, but now I understood why.

Suddenly, someone tried to wrench my gun away! The world dissolved into a horrible sea of violence and noise. The reality of the present and hallucinations of the past mixed in that horrible frenzy. I don’t know what happened; my body acted on its own, fighting desperately to stay alive in spite of the howling dark drawing inexorably closer. I ripped open a mare’s cheek with my bayonet. The chords of a symphony blared in my ears. I slammed the butt of my rifle into a skull, crushing the bone and felt the body below go limp. I felt the warmth of my mare’s body, entwined with mine in passion. I saw flash of motion of a pistol being drawn and pointed at my chest. I wrestled for the gun, but he was just too strong. I was exhausted and had already lost a lot of blood. I tried to counterattack with my hoof, only for her to swing with the pistol. It flashed by my eyes. I recognized it as an M1911. Then, he slammed it into my jaw. CRACK! Pain. I hallucinated the taste roasted chestnuts. Time crawled again. My heart threatened to explode and my mind raced, desperately trying to find a way out; anything to get away from him and his murderous pistol.

I knelt before her, a condemned zebra. It seemed horrific and unread as he pressed it to my chest, laughed, and pulled the trigger. I’m sorry, Mama; I’m never coming home. Please forgive me; Bullets hitting me -- I couldn’t do anything! I didn’t want to die, and I didn’t even understand.

Bang! Fwip! Crunch! Pain exploded from my lungs. I was hit again and felt the strength go out of my body. BANG! BANG! I fell to the floor, my body entirely spent. He watched me fall as tears spilled from my eyes. I’m sorry, my friends, but in the end, I failed you. I failed Chechneya. I failed my comrades. In the end, I couldn’t even save myself! But it wasn’t over yet. There was just one last thing to do. I reached for the grenade on my chest and sparked the fuse.

I looked to my left and saw the mare who shot me, and I saw the tallion whose cheek I had torn open. He was on the ground, writing in pain. One thought filled my mind: I don’t want to die alone; I just want to be held. The sounds of more boots in the passage came, but I didn’t care anymore. My breathing tattered, my world fading away to black. I used my absolute last bit of strength to throw myself at her legs. She kicked me in the face and flipped me over, my legs sought the other, but I stopped inches short, alone on the cold ground. He looked at me and screamed. SHe looked down and saw the grenade on my chest. I saw the look in her eyes and realized that she was just like me. The grenade exploded! I felt everything just suddenly cease as my spirit flew to the well of souls.

Author's Note:

This story is dedicated to all those who have ever died in war. Вечная память.

Thank you for reading. If you have any criticism, feedback, or comments, then I'd love to hear whatever you have to say.

Thank you, MrSing, Sayer, Nahmala, Draklox, La Barata, and Spectre Crystaleye for helping me with the writing process. I could not have done this without you.

Comments ( 39 )

#1 · 44w, 4d ago · 2 · ·

As I write this comment, this story has more likes than views.

Mr. Kalash, you have succeeded.

#2 · 44w, 4d ago · 1 · ·

>>2705624

:yay:

Go home, stats, you are drunk.

#3 · 44w, 4d ago · 4 · ·

I have no words other than respect.

This has my fave.  My Upvote.

And you?  You get my follow.

~Skeeter The Lurker

#4 · 44w, 4d ago · 1 · ·

Dayum. Still trying to figure out if I enjoyed this. I deffinatly had strong feelings for it. Need to decide if they are good or bad...

#5 · 44w, 4d ago · 1 · ·

The ending is just so.......somber? It's hard to find the proper words, to begin to describe this. All I can really say is that this was definitely one of the best fic's I've felt that was genuinely worth reading in awhile.

#6 · 44w, 4d ago · 2 · ·

This was...spectacular. So moving, that's all I can say. It was just so well crafted. This story is a worthy dedication.

#7 · 44w, 4d ago · 2 · ·

This story deserves more views! Aside of that, it's a beautifully crafted fanfic.

#8 · 44w, 4d ago · 2 · ·

dude i love your stories and he was a true soldier the stuff he went through man just wow awesome work

#9 · 44w, 4d ago · 3 · ·

This story  struck a nerve with me, because my uncle was in the war in Afganistan, and this definately could have happened to him. (Well, something similar) This author is very talented, and I encourage them to keep writting. :derpytongue2:

#10 · 44w, 3d ago · 1 · ·

Very nice use of imginery. You've got talent.

#11 · 44w, 3d ago · · ·

A murder under the cloak of war remains a murder.

#12 · 44w, 3d ago · · ·

>>2710527

What do you mean by that, exactly? I'm a bit confused. Was it a critique of the story, a comment of praise for the story, or a random political viewpoint? :rainbowhuh:

#13 · 44w, 2d ago · 1 · ·

>>2710756

Totally random quote that resulted from too much caffeine.  The story made me think of it.  By the way, very well done, this really brings back the horrors of battle, and reminds me of those who I have indirectly killed.

#14 · 44w, 2d ago · 1 · ·

once again my mind is blown. maybe next time i should wear a helmet.

interesting how you did the other side of the conflict you ponyfied in Shellshocked

#15 · 44w, 1d ago · 2 · ·

Good job, I could really feel the passion in the lines. Great execution, it's just the small details that could be improved. As someone aspiring to join the Army myself and knowing more about the military than most young men my age, it would be more believable if he didn't keep mowing down lines of enemies, further driving home the point that in war there are rarely heroes; you're just in the grinder trying to survive. The fact that he is facing a standing army with more training than those from his side strains the willing suspension of disbelief when none of them employ correct tactics, rushing to get mowed down. Furthermore, when the enemy commander right in front of him, after shooting him twice, couldn't even stop him from deploying the grenade as he was rolling around in agony having more bullets in him than any ordinary mammal could endure, I was no longer as deeply immersed as I was at the beginning of the story. If I were to write something similar, I would have less heroism and more bleeding out alone. After all, you can't spell sympathetic without "pathetic" :derpytongue2: Lastly, guns should be standardized amongst standing armies. Since you called them the "Bundeswehrmacht", it would make sense for the commander to use an H&K P8 or USP, even a Walther P1 rather than a 1911 from another continent. While an M4A1 or FN Minimi would not be impossible for an insurgent force to acquire, if you wish to protray the average insurgent riflemen from a location heavily inspired by Eastern Europe, it would be more fitting if he uses an AK variant, like the AK74M. You did portray the operation of firearm realistically however, and I commend you for that. The double-feeding can be a problem with all firearms, and using the bolt release to chamber the next round instead of using the charging handle is a nice touch. The imagery would be the highlight of the story, and the details regarding combat could be overlooked if one wasn't as nit-picky as I was.

I give you a thumbs up.

#16 · 44w, 1d ago · 1 · ·

>>2721686

Thank you for that damn good review. I meant to say something more along the sides of suppressed the enemy, with hitting most of those who tried to fire back or advance, though they are heavily outnumbered, with one fireteam against at least a whole platoon with a company behind them. The last part of the fic, from the second shot to the grenade, takes place over maybe a single minute at the most. He's drugged up on a pretty strong dose of morphine and quite a lot of adrenaline. The first shot was a mortal wound, but it would have taken him a while to die from that, and it didn't sever too many muscles.

The enemy leader is just  another ordinary soldier, just like the protagonist. He wasn't paying attention to what the downed protagonist was doing. Admittedly, I played rule of cool here with the m1911. However, cultures and firearms are not perfectly aligned and split between the different factions of my headcanon. I suppose that I really ought to just make one big unified Zebricy Civil War fic so this all gets sorted into one place. However, let me give a brief overview. Griffons produce USSR/WarPac/CIS arms, which they export a lot of. Zebras produce western European arms like FN, HK, CETME, Beretta, and such. Equestria mainly produces US arms. It's not at all unreasonable for the insurgents to have your typical "government" weapons, given their environment and the fact that they're scrambling for any weapons they can get. It's all fairly fluid, with a pretty wild, unrestricted arms trade in my headcanon.

I'm glad that you got the eastern European influences, although the main influences are meant to be more western European to make it more accessible to more viewers, as well as to provide an interesting spin on the tropes. And yes, I take massive influences from Soviet and post-Soviet conflicts, Make an insurgent just an angry foreigner with a Kalashnikov, and he is going to be hard to seperate from the prevailling image of terrorists. In your head, you're still cheering for his death. But make him a fellow westerner and give him an AR, and it's much easier to call him a freedom fighter being persecuted and slain by a Fascist state. I always love dicking with the heroic equipment and villainous equipment tropes. The AKMS is an AK variant. I included the line about the AK-47 to partially be ironic, as well as show that he isn't a gun geek. In some of my other stories, AK-74's abound. Roughly, Zebricy = Germany, and Chechneya = Austria. They have seperate cultural identities, though linguistic similarities.

I originally tried the bleeding out all alone concept, but found that to be much tougher to write, especially with word count considerations, as well as going overboard on the woe is me mellodrama. I also thought that it made a far more interesting story to have a character with complexity and conflict. A single shot and then just 4000 words of lamenting how horrible war and dying are is just overdoing it; that's twisting feels just for the sake of twisting feels. Yes, he's a kid, and yes, he's scared. However, he's also defiant and capable of rising to the occasion.

Again, thank you very much for the great comment. I've taken some thing under advisement and I will get around to editing the story to include your suggestions. I was being a bit myopic with my almsot obsessive character focus. If you'd ever like to talk war, weapons, action, or stories, then hit me up. You sound like a good man to work on an action piece with.

#17 · 44w, 23h ago · 1 · ·

>>2721942

I'd be more than happy to talk to you about army stuff :rainbowkiss: I'd be interested in where you're from, what firearms you own, whether your display picture is what you wear to airsoft games, etc. You can add me on Skype, name's "Cifyra", or if you don't use Skype, we can talk elsewhere. Anyways, I'll let you know what I think of your comments and offer some advice.

"The enemy leader is just  another ordinary soldier, just like the protagonist. He wasn't paying attention to what the downed protagonist was doing."

Being a leader, he should have enough training as to make sure he's dead before looking/walking away. He might have made a mistake and I get that, but it's an unlikely mistake seeing how well soldiers are trained today.

"Admittedly, I played rule of cool here with the m1911. However, cultures and firearms are not perfectly aligned and split between the different factions of my headcanon."

That's cool. Many stories that take place in fictional universes have that. Still, once you start bringing in cultural references and names of real cities from the real world into your story, it gets confusing. It would be better if you didn't use names like Chechneyan(Chechnya) or Grazny(Grozny). It would be like the United States of Americania using QBZ-95 rifles. Sure, you can explain Americania using QBZ-95 rifles, but for a short story like yours where explaining the backstory would take up too much time, it would be better If you made up a new name for your country.

"Make an insurgent just an angry foreigner with a Kalashnikov, and he is going to be hard to seperate from the prevailling image of terrorists. In your head, you're still cheering for his death. But make him a fellow westerner and give him an AR, and it's much easier to call him a freedom fighter being persecuted and slain by a Fascist state."

Actually, I don't think it matters what gun he is using. For example, in the Russian movie, the 9th Company, all the protagonists are Soviet soldiers using AK74's, and it received positive reviews from westerners. All one needs to do is to have the story told from his point of view and he automatically gets the reader's sympathy unless he starts killing babies. Deep down we know that we are all the same, and in recent years the view that the American soldier wielding an M16 being the paragon of the "free world" has been tainted by atrocities in Afghani and Iraqi wars. Our generation is the generation that questions everything, even things that our government tells us, just as any patriot should do. In addition, many of the US allies uses the AKM/Type 56 while their enemy uses the FN-FAL, the "right arm of the free world", so I don't think the type of weaponry really matters. If you really want to know, where I'm from the QBZ-95 is the "good guy's" rifle, and the M16 the "bad guy's" rifle. But I can still sympathize with US Marines in Black Hawk Down because I can relate to their personal suffering. I don't care what gun he's using, just who he is.

"The last part of the fic, from the second shot to the grenade, takes place over maybe a single minute at the most. He's drugged up on a pretty strong dose of morphine and quite a lot of adrenaline. The first shot was a mortal wound, but it would have taken him a while to die from that, and it didn't sever too many muscles."

If you have watched Saving Private Ryan, you should know that morphine only dulls the pain, but the pain is still there. Having a mortal wound can still take a long time. But having a grenade set off near him and then surviving two more shots from a .45 caliber bullet should have him either writhing in pain or on the ground, unable to move from the pain. If I was you, I would have him pull the pin on the grenade before he gets shot twice and before the pain from the grenade sets in. His last memories before he blacks out should be him feeling the grenade rolling off his hoof. That would make it much more mellow. Also, since he is in a small space, firing his rifle would make his ears ring. I have shot a pistol in an indoor range without ear protection just to see what it's like, and it's not fun. A grenade exploding next to him would have made him completely deaf for at least a day. You should definitely mention the ringing in his ears.

I originally tried the bleeding out all alone concept, but found that to be much tougher to write, especially with word count considerations, as well as going overboard on the woe is me mellodrama. I also thought that it made a far more interesting story to have a character with complexity and conflict. A single shot and then just 4000 words of lamenting how horrible war and dying are is just overdoing it; that's twisting feels just for the sake of twisting feels. Yes, he's a kid, and yes, he's scared. However, he's also defiant and capable of rising to the occasion.

You're right, a single shot and 4000 words can be pushing it. The key is to find a good balance between action and emotion. But facing enemies who knows he is there and not getting shot while he kills them is still stretching it. I would have him get shot in the arms, legs, shoulders, any non-vital points along the way, only able to fire his rifle with his only good hoof. He should have the enemies suppressed with his shaking aim, keeping them at bay as their leader flanks him and takes him down with his pistol. I would also have the enemies writhing in pain, being dragged by their comrades to safety as they screamed for their mothers. It would make him seem less invincible and his enemies more "equine".

"I meant to say something more along the sides of suppressed the enemy, with hitting most of those who tried to fire back or advance"

That's a good start. In combat, you don't know if you killed a guy or even shot him. If you have played combat simulators like ArmA or Project Reality mod for Battlefield 2, you sometimes don't even know you killed a guy until you check the scoreboard at the end of a game. Sometimes the guy you "killed" takes 5 minutes to bleed out, sometimes you shot at a bush but don't know if there is an enemy there. Battles are very chaotic, and by being vague on whether or not the hero even shot someone makes the fear even more crushing. A good film would be "Full Metal Jacket", where you never see enemies face-to-face and the squad are firing upon dark windows, doorways, etc. after their teammates gets sniped from the shadows. When they do confront the sniper, it turns out she was a 13 year old girl with a VZ 58 assault rifle. You could have one of his teammate dying similarly at the beginning to show the hopelessness of war.

At the end of the day, it was a fun read and I look forward to reading the improved story. Good luck on your future works and ever stop writing! :rainbowwild:

#19 · 40w, 6d ago · · 5 ·

Okay, I have two things to say about this. One, the plotline was rather dull and pointless. It was in essence like adding dialogue to a generic MW3 gameplay with an anthro tag thrown in to ensure that it would be approved for this site. Basically, there was really no point. As for the writing itself, it was rather enjoyable and while there wasn't much meaning behind it, I found this story rather entertaining and some of the comments rather snarky, such as the AK-47 hate that the protagonist exuded. So this fic has really left me with rather mixed feelings. I don't know whether to downvote this, rant, and hunt you down and chop your balls off, or to upvote, fav, praise it, and track you down and kiss you full on the mouth. Damn you and thank you for confusing me.

#20 · 40w, 2d ago · 1 · ·

Your Authors Helping Authors Review will be posted tomorrow :twilightsmile:

#21 · 40w, 2d ago · 3 · ·

>>2833608

Disclaimer: I am neither a Russian nor an internet tough guy.

Thanks for your comment. Even negative feedback is better than no feedback, after all. And putting some depth into it was quite nice of you, so honestly, thank you.

Okay, I have two things to say about this. One, the plotline was rather dull and pointless. It was in essence like adding dialogue to a generic MW3 gameplay with an anthro tag thrown in to ensure that it would be approved for this site. Basically, there was really no point.

Okay, I ought to set the record straight. This oneshot story is actually linked to some of my other writings. It's another little episode within the wider story arc. That Bronco guy also shows up in another one of my stories and I have plans to use him further. In terms of writingg, while I have played MW3, I did not inspire it AT ALL on the modern warfare games series. This fic is actually based on the Chechen wars of the 1990's and the turn of the millenium. The fic itself was inspired directly by the song, "Ne Hotel Umirat'" (ENG:Did Not Want To Die).

Horribly rough and probably very wrong partial translation:

Chorus: "You'll go a long way, my friend told me. And I believed him until the assault rifle struck me."

1'st verse: I fell, hands raking the dust, and I couldn't get up. I didn't want to die, and I didn't understand.

2'nd verse: Life is better in Kandagar -- that bloody chamber, than it is die when you don't even understand.

As for the writing itself, it was rather enjoyable and while there wasn't much meaning behind it, I found this story rather entertaining and some of the comments rather snarky, such as the AK-47 hate that the protagonist exuded.

I'm glad you found it enjoyable. There wasn't much deeper meaning or symbolism behind it. I just really wanted to tell a painful, tragic tale. IRL, I am a massive Kalashnikov fan, with AK rifles appearing as protagonist weapons in other stories of mine. The comments are half humorous and half ironic. Essentially, if it sucks so much, then why is it doing such a damn good job, especially considering that a supposedly superior weapon failed and is the whole reason why the protagonist is mortally wounded when it failed.

So this fic has really left me with rather mixed feelings. I don't know whether to downvote this, rant, and hunt you down and chop your balls off, or to upvote, fav, praise it, and track you down and kiss you full on the mouth. Damn you and thank you for confusing me.

That means it's made an impact, which means mission accomplished for me. Mixed feelings are common results of reading my war stories. I'm glad you enjoyed it.

#22 · 40w, 2d ago · 1 · ·

This review is brought to you by Authors Helping Authors

Grammar: 8 -- The story as a whole is very well constructed, but I did notice at least three general spelling errors and one case of tense confusion, nothing major and glaring however.

Pros

1. The story is very fast paced, but this is done in a way to make the reader engaged and captivated from the very beginning.

2. The military knowledge and German quotes gives a good sense of realism.

3. The passage near the end of the pointlessness of war is very poignant and I found it quite moving.

Cons

1. Although this is also a good thing, the nature of dropping the reader straight into a warzone (figuratively) of action and violence can be a bit disorientating.

2. It's okay for me, but to those who don't speak German and/or know nothing of military weapons, the story can seem a bit unappealing in the sense that we are given a barrage of gun names in fairly short intervals. I know next to naught of guns, so I didn't know what most of these did.

3. We are given hardly reasons for the conflict. The hints and mentions of the 'Federal' forces and 'invaders' only gives us so much. Whos fighting who? How long for?

Comments

In all honesty, I was skeptical about reviewing this as soon as I started reading. I personally, do not think that guns and modern warfare is very appealing - you seem to lose the romantic heroism and honour of battle once you have the power to deal death at a distance. But in spite of this, I found this story quite moving. You give a wonderful description to the horror of mechanised warfare, and your use of imagery is superb. This will definitely be one of the more memorable fics I've read on this site. Your knowledge of this type of environment is clearly evident in the writing, especially your use of sound. As I said before, the German quotes are realistic and add a sense of realism, and my love of language made me smile every time I saw it used.

The only mistakes I found were primarily spelling, but nothing too major and they can be easily fixed. Overall, i found this story quite enjoyable. It deviated from the stereotypical 'war-guns-explosion' stories with the sheer level of writing quality. The ending also marked it as being incredibly sombre and poignant, something which a lot of these types of stories lack.

Final score: 8/10

I hope you found this review useful. And if it's not too much to ask, as you've already reviewed one story of mine, I would appreciate it if you could review: That Place Beyond the Sea...

Thank you :twilightsmile:      

#23 · 40w, 18h ago · · 2 ·

Went out like a Mutha Humpin boss. Respect.

#24 · 39w, 1d ago · 1 · ·

Review brought to you by, Authors Helping Authors

Grammar: 8.5, In the beginning there were a few errors.

I hugged my M4a1 more tightly against my chest and kept running

Just needs to be "tightly".

Mother often brought Traube, Zecran, and I here for ice creams

"s" pluralizes unnecessarily.

Besides that I didn't really notice many glaring errors, just small ones.

Pros:

1. I thought the scene descriptions were beautiful. It really allowed me to see what the characters were seeing. I also felt as if I was apart of the action.

2. The raw emotion is great! While reading it I got caught up in the moment. It works really well while reading. (This is followed up in the next section).

3. The use of metaphors and quick sentences really help me understand the situation. From a simple, "sound like wheels over cobblestone" or

Over all the fire and hell, I heard a downed solder wailing and crying out for his mother
made it feel like something was happening. It didn't feel stagnate like other stories would.

Cons:

1. DON'T. GIVE. AWAY. ENDING. IN. DESCRIPTION. I already have a strong dislike for stories that have "sad" or "tragedy" in the tag. It tells me what the conclusion is going to be. But if you tell me blatantly, I don't have an incentive to read it. It destroys all my hope for the situation, and makes me want to avoid the story. I don't want to know the ending unless. . .

2. You need to make the character so interesting that I need to forget his fate. This is essential. If I can get wrapped up in the character so much that I forget his fate, then the ending has real impact. But it was constant throughout the story that he was going to die. Also I felt that after I thought about the emotions in the scene, they felt insincere because. . .

3. You need to show, not tell. You quickly skimmed over the main characters personal life. That's what gets me connected. You should of focused on that and then the fighting. I want to know: What kind of novel did he want to write, what was his girlfriend really like, what was his childhood like (in-depth). These things would aid your main goal in sympathizing with soldiers and hate war even more.

Notes:

I think I've pretty much said what I wanted to say. The story was good on a base level. Just reading through it got me emotional, and you achieved the goal in convincing of your ideology. However when I think about the story, it seems disingenuous to a degree. I would work on creating a life for a character, instead of putting a character in a situation while juggling their story. But keep up on the beautiful scene descriptions and wondrous emotion building scenes.  

#25 · 35w, 6d ago · · ·

>>2901175 >>2858976

Thank you for the good, deep, reviews. I will take these things to heart for my next similar piece.

>>2867429

That's not what I was trying to convey at all. I wanted to convey the bittersweet nature of such heroic individuals living, but also the painful reality of their deaths. This fic is neither antiwar nor prowar.

#26 · 35w, 6d ago · · 3 ·

>>3028793 And? That's cool way to die.

#27 · 32w, 5d ago · 2 · ·

My god... F#CKING BEAUTIFUL!!

#28 · 32w, 4d ago · 1 · ·

Absolutely beautiful. I got out of the military a couple years ago, so this really hit home.

#29 · 32w, 1d ago · 1 · ·

Странно что Федералы не охраняли конвой медведей, гружёный стратегическими запасами водки. Это добавило бы истории реализма.

p.s. А ведь можешь. История вызвала желание "просто взять и уебать". Автора. Значит добился эмоционального отклика.

#30 · 32w, 1d ago · 1 · ·

>>3028855

>> kalash93 And? That's cool way to die.

Regardless of how 'cool' it might be, it still sucks. :facehoof:

>>3142128

My god... F#CKING BEAUTIFUL!!

I'm glad you like it. :rainbowkiss:

>>3150365

Absolutely beautiful. I got out of the military a couple years ago, so this really hit home.

For lack of a better phrase, mission accomplished.  To have a war story praised by a solider is a great thing. :pinkiehappy: Anyway, units? M.O.S.? Dates? Branch? Rank?

>>3164091

Странно что Федералы не охраняли конвой медведей, гружёный стратегическими запасами водки. Это добавило бы истории реализма.

p.s. А ведь можешь. История вызвала желание "просто взять и уебать". Автора. Значит добился эмоционального отклика.

По-русски:

___________

Ну, как же так ты знал что, я могу говорить по-русски?

Был трудно мне переводить, потому что я учусь язык только один год. Я думаю я понимаю твои слова.

Хахахаха, русский юмор о водке!

Так, тебе понравилась история. Отлично!

Спасибо.

Как мой употребление русского языка?

____________________

In English:

__________

Hey, how did you know that I can speak in Russian?

It was tough for me to translate, because I have studied Russian for only one year. I think I understand your words.

Hahahahaha, Russian humor about vodka!

So, you liked the story. Excellent!

Thank you.

How is my use of the Russian language?

#31 · 32w, 1d ago · 1 · ·

>>3164213

I was in B31st Engineers. My MOS was 12B (Combat Engineer), Army: 2011-2012. Got discharged due to a leg injury. Rank: E-3, Private First Class.

Keep up the good work.

#32 · 32w, 1d ago · · ·

Ну, как же так ты знал что, я могу говорить по-русски?

I'm studying Russian, German, and Linguistics.

Довольно очевидно.

Был трудно мне переводить, потому что я учусь язык только один год. Я думаю я понимаю твои слова.

Желаю удачи. Судя по отзывам, наш язык довольно сложен.

Хахахаха, русский юмор о водке!

Скорее ирония. Не уверен, насколько видна разница.

Я бы не хотел вступать в долгий спор о той войне, но идея "защищающих свой дом свободных людей пони", несколько меня удивляет.

Так, тебе понравилась история. Отлично!

Нет, не понравилась. Она вызвала у меня эмоции.

Спасибо.

Как мой употребление русского языка?

Всегда пожалуйста. Для первого года обучения, вполне достойно, хотя глазам немного больно. Впрочем, полагаю, мой английский не лучше.

#33 · 32w, 22h ago · · ·

>>3164213 Of course! But if I were in a situation like this, I would want to die giving my squamates a chance to escape.

#34 · 10w, 2d ago · · ·

Awesome! I love this.

#35 · 3w, 3d ago · 1 · ·

I had to go back after reading "Black Tulip" and read this again. I must say that I am quite impressed by your use of the Kavkaz conflict as opposed to Desertistan as the setting for your stories. You've done fairly well with the premise and capturing the Boyevikii's mindset. Specifically, this quote grabbed my attention:

“That’s what you get, you worthless pigs! I won’t yield anymore! If you want to infest Chechneya, my beloved home, and rape Grazny, our sacred capital, then you’ll have to go through me!”
. One of the major differences between the Russian and Chechen battle-mindsets was that Russia would trade land and men for time, either to safely evacuate or bring in reinforcements, whereas Chechen soldiers and militants tended to expend massive amounts of resources and equipment, to hold the Russian Army at bay. They would sooner drown the soil and choke the grass in their own blood than see foreign boots upon it, and would fight like the wolves of the mountains to see it so. Such a strategy might have succeeded were Russia led by, say, an inner-city community organizer and one-term Duma representative, as opposed to a former General, and later, the former Chief of the KGB. Unfortunately, it did not. Then again, the rise of radical Islamist leaders like Doku Umarov and Emir Khattab might have been prevented had Russia not chosen to kill the moderate leader the country had in the form of Dzokhar Dudayev, or leveled 70% of the country in massive saturation-bombing campaigns. But it seems we'll never know the answer to that one now.

#36 · 3w, 2d ago · · ·

>>4138554

I had to go back after reading "Black Tulip" and read this again. I must say that I am quite impressed by your use of the Kavkaz conflict as opposed to Desertistan as the setting for your stories.

Spasibo! I am going to have to start using Desertistan, because that is a brilliant term.

#37 · 1w, 4d ago · · ·

My apologies, but why was this added to the World Wars group? It's a fine story, but it doesn't seem to have much to do with either of them.

#38 · 1d, 22h ago · · ·

>>4199779

Did I add it or did somebody else? If I added it, then I probably was aiming for Worldbuilding Alliance.

#39 · 1d, 20h ago · · ·

>>4249786

You did not add it, from what I can tell; probably someone else.

All the same though.

0 336567
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