Night hadn’t expected to find Scholar, of all ponies, in Sweet Apple Acres. Scholar grinned as Colgate gave him a hug. She hugged him back. Scholar had a saddlebag with him, which Night assumed holds the plans for the next attack.
“Hey, Night!” Scholar called to him. Night snapped out of his reverie, and nodded at him.
“Hey Scholar! Where were you earlier this afternoon? My brother and I were looking for you!”
“Ah yes, I will have to apologize for that. You see, I received intel that the griffon invasion would happen sometime today, and true enough, it was. Say, where is your brother anyway?” Night frowned. “He’s….not dead isn’t he?”
“What? Oh no no no, he’s just been taken by the griffon soldiers outside your residence this morning. We went inside to find you, but couldn’t find you anywhere. I found the crossbow and the mobile firing device you left for us, but then Luke decided to wait outside. He said it felt wrong for us to be snooping around your place while you were around. That was before I found the note saying that the crossbow was left for him and the mobile firing device was for me.” Night sighed. “If only I had told him earlier…”
Night felt a pat on his shoulder, and he looked up. It was Scholar, looking at Night with disappointed eyes. “The only problem now is that that was this morning. You shouldn’t let little failures bring down your future huge success.” Night understood, and nodded.
Scholar set his hoof back down, and nodded. “So let’s see, do you possess both the crossbow and the….mobile firing device you call it?” Night nodded. “Funny name for something so simple, don’t you think? I referred to it as Shear 83. Shear because of the supershear earthquake last year when I visited the Zebra tribal lands. Apparently earthquakes are a normal occurrence over there.”
Night shrugged. “Well, uh… Yes I do possess the two.” Night gestured a hoof over to the table by the crates. “I had to use the Shear a few times today. It just didn’t feel like killing, but I guess that’s what we have to do when it all comes down to that, right?”
Scholar nodded. “I heard you and Colgate were able to liberate this Sweet Apple Acres on your own. That itself is a very big achievement right there, sixteen being a huge number and all. But I was surprised at how quickly you adapted to the situation. I mean, sure you and your brother knew that the invasion would happen sometime this week, but even a single week doesn’t provide enough time for somepony to adapt to war!” He exclaimed.
Night merely shrugged. “This might wear off soon. I’m guessing it’s the adrenaline.”
Colgate laughed heartily. “Adrenaline doesn’t last that long, my dear. They normally burn out really quick. You’ve got leadership in you right there.”
Night shrugged again, not sure of what to say at the moment. Scholar looked at the both of them before speaking, “We’ve received more intel. There was a witness saying that a pony, which he said had a briefcase with him, was dragged into the local police station. I am to assume that your brother had a briefcase with him this morning. Did he?”
Night nodded. “He said that you had requested he bring something. Can’t really remember much even though he told me this morning what he was bringing. So, assuming it really is him being held at the police station, what can we do?”
Scholar merely grinned and shifted his attention to Night, “Well, that’s up to you to plan, leader. I’m just intel.”
Night did a double take. “What?!”
Colgate giggled, “Meet intel, who gets his intel from more intel sources. Also, he just appointed you leader, which is no surprise considering how you’re planner and all. And you’ve done a fairly exceptional job during the liberation of Sweet Apple Acres. Who’s to say that you can’t do the same for the police department?”
Before Night could argue, ‘intel’ spoke again, “Looks like this time is going to be a little bit more burdening considering now we have to liberate two locations. The town hall is where the majority of the Ponyville’s residents are being held at the moment, and if you just attack the police station, the griffons would be wondering why contact with between the two locations is going unanswered.” He flexed his neck. “Adding to the fact that half of the assault force is down, they’re probably going to stick together now.”
“But how do they know that half their assault force is down?!”
Scholar paused for a moment, as if he had just sworn in a language unknown to himself but somehow offending Night. A short moment later, he recovered his posture, and continued. “They don’t. Just pondering the worst case scenario that they might be aware of half of their forces being unresponsive. Should they really be aware that half of their troops have gone AWOL, you’re going to have a huge problem in your hooves.”
Night said nothing, slowly thinking over the words he needed to say. He knew that Scholar was right. He had to strike two places at once, but if he did so, that meant he had to divide his limited followers as well. Colgate could take some of the followers and lead them well, yes, but what if during the attack one griffon manages to notify the remaining griffons? He had to divide his troops carefully. There was a chance of the police station having more griffons, but there was also a chance that the town hall would have more griffons.
“Scholar, do you know how many remaining griffons are there in either of those locations?” Night asked.
Scholar shrugged. “Intel isn’t that good, so you’re going to have to go on assumptions. If I may suggest something, why not send more followers to the town hall? Because there’s a lot of residents there, chances are they’re going to need a lot of firepower to keep them under control.”
Night nodded, and turned to Colgate, “If that’s how it’s going to be, we’re going to have more attacking town hall than the police department. Colgate, you mind handling the police department assault?”
Colgate shrugged, “I’m alright with anything. But if the griffons in the police department see us coming, what do we do then?”
Night went silent. He had thought the same thing. It was a police department. Police departments tend to have weapons. If Colgate went, then there’s a surefire chance that they will outgun her and her group. But if he thought of it this way, should they reconquer the police department, they have access to weaponry, and quite possibly more useful equipment.
“Then move swiftly. The police department has to go down. We need the weapons and the equipment that the griffons have. Also, if we secure the police department, the griffons will have to hole up at town hall, which is where the remaining ones are.”
Scholar interjected. “I’m going to go out of a limb here and say that the police department assault will be tough considering how many griffons there are going to guarding that much equipment and weapons. But that doesn’t mean that that the Town Hall liberation would be that much easier either.”
“Collateral damage is a bitch. So what would you suggest, sending more of us to town hall instead of the police station?”
Scholar shook his head. “I do not have the power to decide that, you do. If the police department is the source of weaponry and equipment, there’s a chance that they’ll be using it against anypony who dare step in. But, considering how well you’ve done with Colgate this afternoon, why not give it a shot?”
Night tilted his head and stared at Scholar. “Are you mad? Who’s going to lead the group to town hall if it’s just me and Colgate going to attack the police department?”
Scholar said nothing. Night went over to the table with his weapons and took the crossbow. He handed it over to Scholar. “I’ve been wanting to know if you could make extra of these. They’re good.”
Scholar nodded, and spoke, “Ammunition for this isn’t a weapon. It’s just the gas canister that’s the problem. One shot through the canister and it’s as good as useless.”
“I doubt anypony could get close enough to destroy the canister considering how that thing basically rips shit to shreds once you fire. But there’s no guarantee about now isn’t there? Can you try making stronger canisters?”
Scholar nodded. “In which case, I excuse myself. It’s already nearing midnight, and I want to get back to the sewer base for the time being. I’ll see you when the time comes. Good luck and have fun.” He chuckled, and left the barn.
Night sighed after Scholar left, “Well Colgate, you’re going to need to use a different crossbow this time.”
Colgate pouted, “Fine. But the griffons crossbow is rather useless compared to the one you use.”
“It was never intended for me to use in the first place anyway. I’ll be fine with my mobile firing device.” Night went over to check his Shear 83. The belts being fed into the device had 53 and 52 rounds respectively. How one of the guns had one round less than the other, Night had no idea. But still the rounds would be sufficient for the liberation of the police department.
“Colgate, you mind if I just bring one pony to the police department? Minimize our losses should anything happen, and you know very well I can handle myself.”
Colgate nodded. “You can handle yourself fine, problem is, how will the other pony handle himself?”
“Herself.” Night corrected, and laughed when Colgate pouted, “I’m guessing Carrot Top is a bad choice for this sort of attack?”
Colgate shook her head. “Oh no, she’s a rebel when given the chance. She wants really badly for Ponyville to be liberated, and would stop at nothing to see such a victory occur.”
Night smiled. “In that case, inform Carrot Top to get here and arm herself. We’re going to have to attack quickly. How many do you plan to bring with you to town hall?”
Colgate thought over it, guessing the amount of griffons and the amount of liberators needed for the job. Suddenly both of Night and Colgate’s transmitters crackled. It was Scholar.
“Intel suggests that there are six griffons in the police station and the remaining at Town Hall watching over the residents.” His voice echoed. No doubt he was still navigating his way through the sewers.
“Alright, thanks Scholar, keep us posted.”
The crackle disappeared, and the two ponies looked at each other. “Well that’s rather convenient.” Colgate said. “I’m going to bring three others with me and hope that things go well. We have extra equipment should we need them later.”
Night glanced off to side of the barn, and saw a machete. “This could be useful. Ask Carrot Top to use whatever weapon she favours. If we’re uneasy about our weapons, this would jeopardize the whole assault.”
The two of them glanced to a wall clock and saw that it was midnight already. Colgate nodded, and turned her transmitter on. “Colgate to SB1, copy.”
A crackle was heard, and a voice went through. “Ah, hello Colgate. How are things going along?”
“Good midnight Doctor Whooves, and things are going well with the planning. We need Carrot Top and three others to join us in our next assault.”
“Hm... three others? Who would you want those three others to be?”
“Anypony, but preferably one that has had experience with a weapon.” his mind flashed upon the gunpowder inside the crates.
“Colgate, I was just wondering, if it weren’t any trouble, could you fuse the dart heads of my mobile firing device? Explosive darts could be useful here.”
Colgate shrugged. “Whatever helps, I guess. How much does one need in a dart anyway?”
Night decided to up the ante a little. “A hundredth of a gram should be sufficient explosive power. The last time me and my brother tried using explosive darts, they were a thousandth of a gram, and those things sting.” A wound two centimeters could kill if it hit a critical spot. But with the charge being ten times larger, I doubt that I’ll need a critical hit to kill anypony.
Colgate separated some of the gunpowder on the table, and divided the powder into the agreed amount. Little bits of the gunpowder floated and landed onto the the heads of the darts and were enveloped in a blue wave of magic before disappearing.
She shrugged, gesturing that he didn’t need to thank her.
Night put on his Shear 83 and went outside to test out the lethality of the new darts. He aimed one of the guns at the bark of the tree and fired. The explosion that happened upon impact knocked a hole a foot wide and ten centimeters deep. Both the jaws of Colgate and Night dropped as reality finally returned to them.
Night snickered, “This is going to be good.”