67w, 4dHuman in Equestria
59w, 3dPony Warfare
59w, 3dThe Writer's Group
59w, 1dPonies in the Real World
59w, 1dPonies of War
52w, 6dRead Later
- Show All Groups
52w, 2dHumans Aren't Bastards
49w, 1dThe Usual
26w, 6dBattlefield: Equestria
17w, 2dPonies in the Military
15w, 4dWarriors in Equestria
7w, 6dTechnology VS. Magic
6w, 3dThe Good HiE List
Chapter Twenty-Five And A Half: The Great Crusade
Three proud Equestrian warriors stood at the top of a hill, overlooking the city of Canterlot. With the rest of Equine kind on the run, these three were the last defense against a total takeover from the enemy. The first warrior, an earth pony, was clad in golden armor and carried a massive lance and shield, nearly twice the size of the champion that wielded it. The second, a unicorn, was dressed in flowing white robes, and wore a violet bracer around her horn. The third, a pegasus, was covered from the neck down with chainmail, and bore rockets strapped under her wings.
"Wait, wait, wait. How come Scootaloo gets th' rockets?" the earth warrior complained
"So I can fly super fast, duh! And I'm not Scootaloo, I'm The Tangerine Terminator!" The orange pegasus chieftain answered.
The earth warrior roller her eyes. "That th' best ya could do?"
"Well- yeah! Whats your name then, smart filly?" the Tangerine Terminator questioned the nameless earth warrior.
"Ah- Uhm. How about The Knightmare! Ya know, with a "K."
"Clever," the robed unicorn thought out loud. "I'll be- "The White Mage!"
The earth warrior and pegasus gave the unicorn a strange look.
"What, it's better then you two's names!" the White Mage answered."
"Is not!" the Terminator declared.
"It so totally is!" White Mage argued back.
"Oh yeah? Well mine's longer!" Tangerine Terminator rebutted.
Knightmare rolled her eyes. "Does this really matter at'tall?"
A flare-spear landed right where the three fillies- ahem- warriors, were arguing, destroying the entire hill. As the smoke cleared, the three heroes stood defiantly uninjured.
"Guess it don't matter after all, cause together, we're..."
The three warriors slapped their hooves together in the air.
"The Courageous Crusaders!"The three spoke in unison.
Three leviathan airships suddenly descended through the clouds, leaving a dark trail of crimson clouds. Hundreds of pandragon mounts and griffin air patrols launched off of the decks. Far below, an entire battalion of ram infantry and an entire column of battle wagons gathered in front of them.
"Crusaders Go!" Knightmare shouted
"Hey, who made you the leader?" Terminator questioned the earth pony knight.
"Agh, nopony!" Applebl- The Knightmare slapped her forehead. "Cain't we argue this later?! Terminator, you attack that flyin' ship on the right! White Mage, you shoot magic and stuff at the one on the left. Ah'll fight all those guys on the ground! Then we can go after that big one in the middle. Now go, Crusaders, go!"
"Tangerine Terminator away!" the pegasus shouted as she ignited the rockets and tore into the skies. Hundreds of fire-bolts rained down from the flying soldiers and the ships that sent them as she honed in on her target. Terminator deftly dodged all of the incoming fire and punched a griffin square in the face, which would have comically knocked out most of his teeth, if indeed he had them.
"Take that, evil doer!"
She then bucked a pandragon minor off of a mount, commandeered it, then crashed it into a row of other mounts flying in formation, domino-ing them all out of the sky. Bravely, Terminator continued the charge until she reached one of the massive flying ships.
"Tangerine Terminator Torpedo!"
Rather than stopping, she speared straight through the outer hull of the ship and into the engine room. Terminator pulled off one of her rockets and shoved it into the leviathan's main steam engine, eliciting several looks of panic from the nearby engineers.
"Hope you can all swim!" Terminator shouted.
"But wait, we're on a flying ship," a pandragon engineer pointed out.
"Oh. Yeah. Right." Terminator paused. "Well- I hope you can all fly!"
The pandragon engineer shrugged. "Uh, thanks?"
The ship exploded into a twisted mass of fiery destruction.
Scoota- I mean The Tangerine Terminator, plummeted out of the blast and landed next to White Mage, creating a ten foot wide crater in the ground.
"Ow," The Terminator groaned. "Medic!"
"Sure thing Terminator," White Mage's horn began to glow, and the fallen sky warrior instantly snapped back to full strength. Even her armor was completely repaired.
Terminator stretched. "Ah, much better. Thanks, White Mage!"
White Mage bowed. "That's why you brought me. Now watch this!"
White Mage began to charge up a massive energy ball around her horn. "Super Unicorn Magic Beam... Fire!" A massive twenty-foot wide beam of raw magic blasted out of her horn and speared clean through the left flanking leviathan airship. With thunderous crack, the airship split in two and sunk to the ground.
"Whoa! How'd you do that?!" Terminator asked in shock.
Sweetie Be- The White Mage put a hoof to her chin then shrugged. "I dunno."
Knightmare galloped up to them. "Nice work with them two flyin' ships! Now watch me in action!"
Galloping at what had to be at least seventy-five miles per hour, Knightmare jumped, bounding clear over the approaching battalion and landing right behind it. Attaching her lance to the side of her armor, and putting her shield's handle in her mouth, Knightmare galloped through the confused battalion at full speed with her shield in front of her, sending dozens of ram soldiers flying through the air.
Noticing the great warrior's success, one of the battle wagons fired a flare-spear at the earth pony knight, and in a moment of extreme reflex she deflected the tree-sized missile with her shield, sending it careening into the final center airship above. The mighty ship suddenly listed to the right, and began to fall out of the sky in slow motion. It slowly impacted the ground, silhouetting Knightmare in front of the picturesque explosion. Griffins, rams, and pandragons climbed out of the wreckage and fled. Those in the air quickly began to fly away at full speed.
"That was amazing!" White Mage proclaimed.
"I gotta admit, that was pretty awesome!" Tangerine Terminator bumped hooves with Knightmare.
"Ah know, right? We saved the day!" Knightmare proclaimed.
"NOT SO FAST, MIGHTY CRUSADERS! I HAVE COME TO DESTROY YOU, AND ALL PONY KIND!"
"Who said that?" White Mage looked around.
The three crusaders looked around. "Show yerselves, cowards!" Knightmare challenged.
"UP HERE!" The voice cried out. "I AM KING GRIFFIN! AND I CANNOT BE DEFEATED!"
The crusaders looked up to see a royally dressed griffin standing on yet another flying ship, only this one was ten times huge-er!
"I got this, guys!" Terminator declared as she ignited another set of rockets and hurled into the sky, creating at least forty-seven distinct sonic rainbooms. "Charge!" she screamed as she braced herself for another Tangerine Terminator Torpedo attack. She reached critical velocity and struck the ship. This time, however, she harmlessly bounced off of the hull with a dull thud.
Knightmare and White Mage cringed. "Ooh! That looked like it hurt." White Mage spoke.
The Tangerine Terminator tumbled to the ground, creating another crater.
"Are ya okay in thay're?" Knightmare questioned the fallen pegasus.
"Just heal me up already, White Mage!" Tangerine yelled from the inside the hole.
White Mage's horn glowed again, and the Terminator jumped out of the hole in perfect physical condition.
"Time to go with the big bows then! White Mage, fire your magic laser thingie at it!" Knightmare ordered.
"Can do!" White Mage shot another massive beam at the Leviathan dreadnought. A spherical bubble of energy suddenly appeared around the ship, deflecting the beam and causing it to dig a small canyon below.
"A-HA! MY SHIP HAS MAGICAL SHIELDS!" The voice declared.
"Girrr!" Knightmare growled. "Take this!" She hurled her lance at the ship, which shallowly imbedded itself into the outer hull like a thumb tack on a grisly bear. Tangerine Terminator and White Mage gave their friend another trademark strange look.
Knightmare shrugged. "Hey now, ah had ta try!"
"So what do we do now?" White Mage asked.
"Ah don't know." Knightmare shrugged again.
"You're the leader, you gotta think of something!" Tangerine Terminator yelled.
King Griffin cackled evilly from his ship. "I HAVE AN IDEA! YOU CAN ALL PERISH! MWU-HA-HA-HA-HAAA!" The ship began to rain down an unstoppable torrent of bolt-fire down on the hapless heroes.
White Mage raised a white shield bubble around the three of them. Fire-bolts began striking the shield like hail on a tin roof. White Mage strained under the shield's weight. "I can't hold this forever!"
"Crusaders, retreat to the Courageous Crusader Castle of Doom!" Knightmare ordered.
"We really gotta rename that," Tangerine Terminator thought out loud.
White Mage started to feel the full strain of her efforts. "I'm about to let go of the shield! We gotta make a break for it then!"
Knightmare nodded. "Alright! Three, two, one... To the Crusadermobile!"
White Mage dropped the shield and the three galloped for their lives as fire-bolts struck all around them. A huge, rocket-bearing, red "Magico Flyer" wagon with a rocket propelled scooter attached to the front of it came into view.
"We have the most awesomest getaway ride ever!" Scootaloo- Horseapples -Tangerine cheered as Knightmare and White Mage hopped into the wagon and fastened their six-point harnesses and helmets. "White Mage, can you shield us while I fire up the rockets?" Tangerine asked her unicorn ally.
"I can try!" White Mage brought up a dim white shield around the Crusadermobile. "Can't hold... Too much... Longer!"
"Almost there.. Done! Hold on!" Tangerine struck the last rocket, and the Crusadermobile blasted forward just as a flare-spear impacted the spot where they'd just been.
The Crusadermobile rocketed through the valley at just under the speed of sound.
"There's the castle!" White Mage cheered as the towering structure slowly came into view. "We can make it!"
A heavy flare-spear struck just inches away from the Crusadermobile, knocking the vehicle into the air and tossing the three heroes out of it. The three crusaders landed just a few feet from the gates of their fortress.
"Quick, everypony inside!" Knightmare yelled as the torrent continued. The three heroes dashed inside the mighty iron castle and bared the twenty foot high doors just as the majority of the enemy fire caught up with them, then leaned up against it to brace it from further enemy attacks.
"That was way too close!" White Mage panted.
"We can't jus' stay in here ferever! We still gotta save th' day!" Knightmare reminded them.
Tangerine shook her head. "I don't see how! They got us surrounded!"
"The door's coming down! We gotta go now!" White Mage shouted as the metal door began to buckle.
"We'll climb to th' top of the castle! "Knightmare braced herself to gallop. "We c'n make our last stand up thay're!" With a loud creak, the door bent inward. "Go! Go! Go!"
The Mighty Courageous Crusaders galloped up the winding staircase in the center of their castle, making their way up the spiraling walkway until they'd reached the top of the castle's tallest spire. Pandragons and griffins filled the air around the entire castle, darkening the skies.
Below, rams with- well, rams, began to batter the doors and walls until they began to crumble. The three warriors could hear thundering hoofsteps from below, no doubt ram soldiers galloping up the steps toward them. The Leviathan Dreadnought blasted off the roof of the spire, exposing the three to the harsh flood lights of the ship above.
"YOU ARE CORNERED, CRUSADERS! WE HAVE YOU SURROUNDED! NOW YOU WILL FEEL THE WRATH OF MY MIGHTY GRIFFIN CANNON!"
A large magical gun deployed from underneath the dreadnought. From it, an energy ball began to build, slowly charging up its power. The magic gun slowly rotated until it was aimed right at the three huddled heroes.
"ANY LAST WORDS?"
"Yeah! Your just an ugly beak face!" Tangerine yelled.
"Yeah!" The other two crusaders added.
"WELL THEN, TIME FOR THIS UGLY BEAK FACE TO SEND YOU TO YOUR DOOM!" Inside the ship, the griffin king flipped up the safety cover over a large red button. "SO LONG CRUSADERS!"
Knightmare bear-hugged her comrades. "Looks like this is th' end girls! It was fun fightin' with ya and stuff!"
White Mage wiped a tear out one of her eyes. "Yeah, it was a really nice."
"I'm not gonna cry!" Tangerine began to cry. "I'm- I'm tough! Like Rainbow Dash!"
King Griffin cackled madly. "READY! AIM! FIR-"
There was a massive explosion.
Tiny bits and pieces of the griffin cannon fell to Earth, making light metal chinking sounds as the chunks landed on the castle roof.
"WHAT!? WHAT HAPPENED!" The king screamed in rage.
A flying wooden pirate ship, complete with billowing white sails, positioned itself between the Leviathan and the Castle.
"Ahoy there! Mateys! Do ye be needin' assistance!?" A swarthy voice called out from the ship behind a smoking cannon.
Knightmare squinted her eyes. "Wait. Pipsqueak? Is that you?"
A small white and brown colt tipped his three cornered hat. "Argh! That be Captain Pipsqueak ta you! But ye be correct! It be me, Pipsqueak the Pirate, and me loyal first mate Brando The Brave, here ta save the day!"
"Brandon!?" The three crusaders questioned in unison.
"Yeah. Hi there, uh, guys," The human kid responded. "Can we play too?"
The crusaders nodded vigorously.
Captain Pipsqueak tossed down a rope latter. "Well then! Are ya comin' up 'er not!?
Knightmare hoped up to the ladder. "We're a comin'! C'mon girls! Let's go!"
Fire-bolts whizzed past the three heroes as they climbed up the rope ladder. Rams burst forth from the bowels of the castle and began to climb the rope after them.
"Hurry landlubbers!" The pirate captain yelled down.
Captain Pipsqueak and First Mate Brando pulled the fillies to safety. Pipsqueak drew his sword and cut the ladder just as the rams had almost reached the deck. The ladder and the climbing rams fell back down into a pile on the castle roof, heads spinning, and seeing stars.
"Welcome aboard! Crusaders! We be joinin' you in yer quest!" Captain Pipsqueak held his sword high. "This be the mighty vessel The Equano! Get to the cannons so we can sink that scurvy dog!"
"Hey, how come you get to give orders now?" Tangerine questioned.
Pipsqueak flipped up his eye patch. "Cause it be my ship! Now get to the cannons!"
"CURSE YOU CRUSADERS! YOU MAY HAVE ALIGNED YOURSELF WITH MY ARCH NEMESIS, BUT THAT DOES NOT MEAN YOU SHALL WIN THIS DAY! DO YOUR WORST!" King Griffin ordered.
The pirate ship Equano and the Leviathan Dreadnought took possitions perfectly broadside to each other.
Pipsqueak ducked as a flare-spear hurled past his head. "Argh! First Mate Brando! We be needin' more deckhooves! Summon me pirate crew!"
"Aye, aye, cap'n!" The human boy knocked twice on a floor hatch. "Git up 'ere! The captain needs your help!"
The hatch flew open, and several fillies, colts, and a dragon burst forth.
"We're here for ya captain!" Crewcolt Snips declared.
"Uh, me too!" Crewcolt Snails added.
"Thwe're ready to go kickth some tail!" Crewfilly Twist reported.
Spike saluted. "Ready for duty!"
"Don't expect me to lift anything heavy," Diamond Tiara spoke with a humph.
"Yeah! What she said!" Yesmare Silver Spoon echoed.
Pipsqueak facehoofed. "Arr, guess this will have to do. Brando, you steer the ship. Spike, you keep watch from the crow's nest. Knightmare, you and Tangerine fight any borders. White Mage, you fire yer horn laser at anypony that gets to close to me ship! Crewcolt Snips! Crewcolt Snails! Both of ya's get on a turret! Twist, you go below decks and get us some candy and root beer. The hard stuff. Keeps the crew at a hundred percent! Tiara, you-"
Diamond Tiara and Silver Spoon gave the captain a most mean glare.
Pipsqueak rolled his eyes and sighed. "Arr. You two just stand there and look pretty. But if we sink, ye scallywags can't complain!"
Diamond Tiara turned her head to the side and smiled smugly.
"Pirates, attack!" Captain Pipsqueak commanded.
"Crusaders GO!" Knightmare ordered.
The two flying vessels began to trade fire, each scoring and taking hits. Several daring griffin boarders tried to leap to the ship, but were held at bay by White Mage's awesome power. Snips and Snails let loose with the cannons. Sending several cannonballs into the Dreadnought's hull, but the enemy ship refused to yield.
"She's too strong captain!" Snips reported. "We need more firepower!"
Up in the crow's nest, Spike put a spotting scope to his eye. "Captain, she's coming around for another pass!" the dragon called down as several heavy fire-bolts raced past the pole supporting the crow's next, carving it into a totem pole. "The ship can't take too much more of this!" Spike reminded them all.
Pipsqueak put on a fake black captain's beard and began to run his hoof through it in thought. "Did Twist come back with the goods yet?"
"Righth th'ere cathtain!" Twist responded. "Six'th of my sigthnature Twisty Candy canes, an importhed box of Pinkie Pie's strongest cupth cakes, and a whole case of Mr. Fizzy sthodas!"
"Excellent!" Captain Pipsqueak twirled his fake beard.
Above, Spike's eyes went wide."You're not thinking of doing what I think you're doing, right?"
Pipsqueak tossed his beard away and nodded. "It be the only way, me good dragon. The only way. Keep an eye on them while we get this idea of mine ready." Up in the crow's nest, the dragon lookout saluted and put the spotting scope back up to his eye.
Crewcolt Snails pushed over a cannonball, which Crewcolt Snails then split apart with his head. Crewfilly Twist ground up a few of her candy canes and poured the resulting powder into the hollow cannonball. Tangerine Terminator poured the Mr. Fizzy soda into the mix, then Knightmare shoved in one of the Pinkie brand cupcakes and quickly held the cannonball shut. White Mage wielded the ball back together with her horn laser. Diamond Tiara and Silver Spoon simply watched, and looked very pretty doing so.
"They're getting closer!" Spike called out from the crow's nest. "Hurry up!"
"Almost done!" Pipsqueak responded.
The cannonball cooled, and Snips, Snails, and Pipsqueak rolled it together toward the side of the deck. Snips lifted the ball with his back, then Snails pushed the special cannonball into a cannon. Snails then dashed up to the rear of the cannon and lined up the cross-hairs with the enemy ship.
"Turn the ship to the right! Snips needs a better shot!" Captain Pipsqueak called out to First Mate Brando.
"Aye, aye! Turnin' to the right!" The human boy tossed the helmswheel to the right, violently tilting the pirate ship in the desired direction. Once the ship had turned far enough to the right, he centered the wheel, righting the ship.
Pipsqueak craned his head upward. "Lookout Spike! Is the range good?"
"Perfect, captain!" Spike answered from on top of his totem pole nest.
The pirate captain nodded. "Crewcolt Snips! Fire!"
Snips lit the fuse and he, Snails, and everypony else plugged their ears.
BOOM! In a blast of smoke and fire, the cannon fired its specially made projectile. The cannonball arced toward the Leviathan Dreadnought, and struck it amidships, dead center, leaving a small hole. The ship continued to sail toward them, unhampered by the special weapon.
Brando scratched his head. "Wait, what was that supposed to d-"
The Leviathan Dreadnought airship suddenly exploded in a shower of fire, icing, and carbonation.
"Whoa!" The first mate spoke in awe.
"We never doubt the power of Pink one's cooking and a little Mr. Fizzy," Pipsqueak spoke to his first mate. "The day is ours!"
The crew began to cheer in victory as the leviathan sank. Just as they were about to give the last "hip" in their hip, hip, hooray, a talon grabbed onto the pirate ship's railing.
"You- You think you have won? I- I am King Griffin! I can't be defeated!" The king pulled himself onto the deck and drew a sword. "Come, heroes! Test your skills!"
"Hiyah!" Pipsqueak charged toward the unwanted guest with his pirate sword drawn. The two began to duel, parrying each other's attacks, jumping to avoid hoof sweeps, and ducking to dodge overhead swings. Though he bravely held off the king's attacks, it became clear to the pirate captain that he could not hold off the invader alone.
"Oi, mateys! Yer captain be needin' some help!" Pipsqueak squeaked as the king's blade passed right over his head.
"Hold on, Captain! Ah got a plan! Crusaders! Let's git rid of this anoyin' king guy!" Knightmare called out to her friends.
White Mage levitated a large mooring rope. "Ready, Tangerine?" She called out to the orange pegasus.
The Tangerine Terminator ignited the last of her rockets, and leapt into the air. "Ready!"
White Mage tossed the rope up to the hovering orange pegasus. Pipsqueak dived away just as the Tangerine Terminator began to rapidly circle around the griffin, tying him up in the rope like a neat little birthday present. As the confused and now quite startled griffin began to waddle about the deck, Knightmare reared up on her forelegs and delivered the mother of all bucks, one that could shatter bones, sending the bound griffin king tumbling overboard.
"CURSE YOU PIRATE CRUSADEEEEEEEEEEEEERS!!!" The king yelled as he plummeted toward the ground. The crusaders didn't look, but a faint thud was heard a few seconds later.
"We did it! The three crusaders slapped their hooves together in the air. "Cutie Mark Crusaders Pirate Heroes Yay!"
The sun suddenly dimmed. No, wait, it was the lights of the Georgia dome that suddenly dimmed.
The three crusaders found themselves standing on a large pirate ship parade float. Pipsqueak and Spike were standing at the top of the float's high scaffolding. Snips, Snails, Twist, Brando, Diamond Tiara, and Silver Spoon found themselves looking over the side of the float's railing, looking down at the battered remains of the makeshift clubhouse the crusaders constructed earlier.
Big Macintosh trotted over to the group. "You kids have fun doin' whatever it was you was doin'?"
"Yeah! Ith thwas thweet!" Twist lisped.
"Yeah, but I guess we gotta go now." Snips spoke glumly. "That still was the best adventure ever!"
Big Mac thought a moment. "Well alrighty then. You kids get ready fer bed now, ya hear?"
The school kids went their separate ways back to wherever their families had set up camp.
"Wow, we really got inta that," Applebloom spoke, sheepishly rubbing the back of her neck as she unrolled her sleeping bag.
Sweetie Belle shrugged. "Yeah. It was pretty fun though, right."
Pipsqueak and Spike hopped down from the top of the float.
"You guys are welcome to join my crew anytime!" Pipsqueak declared as he trotted toward his family.
"I gotta get back to Twilight, she's probably worrying. See you guys later." Spike waved, then headed up toward section A-29.
Brandon Baxton shrugged. "I guess I'll go find my dad. See ya." The kid ran off.
"I miss the super wagon-" Scootaloo fumed. "-but that was pretty awesome! We should totally do that again tomorrow!"
"Ah guess. Why not?" Applebloom shrugged. "Wait a minute!" The three fillies snapped their heads to their own flanks, which depressingly, did not bear any new markings.
"Aw," the three groaned in annoyance.
Applebloom shrugged. "Well ah guess we c'n do it again tomorrow anyways."
"I just hope it doesn't get as bad as it did this time. We were in trouble there for a while!" Sweetie Belle reminded them.
Scootaloo put a hoof to her chin. "Hmm... Next time... I call leader! No takebacks!" She proclaimed.
"Dang it! Oh ah guess," Knigh- Applebloom sighed as she pulled the sleeping bag over her body. "Just one thang though, Scootaloo,"
"Ah call the rockets."