44w, 14hPony Warfare
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44w, 14hThe War for Equestria
With crimson dawn, the bullets strike.
Beloved aces are falling down, the danger looms.
A conflict will engulf the peaceful land.
Equestria... the land of ponies. Always peaceful, never seeking war or conflicts with any other nation of the world. Respecting every race, spreading love and tolerance all around. Time and time again, it rose to the challenge when evil forces struck. Neither the terror of Nightmare Moon nor the chaos spread by the treacherous Discord ever triumphed and were vanquished by the power of Harmony. Peace reigned for years. It used to be like that...
During that time, technology has improved greatly. Ponies, as well as their northern neighbors, the griffins, have designed many useful devices making their lives much easier. Special communicators that allowed them to contact each other on long distances, radars, which could detect dangers before they even occurred... In light of these events, both races signed a treaty, declaring to never use these jewels of modern technology for military purposes or, even worse, for war...
However, those peaceful times are coming to an end. A single incident changed the lives of all ponies, plunging whole Equestria into a time of constant struggle and sacrifice. In the danger, chaos and turmoil that engulfed the world, a group of heroic pegasi would rise.
To stand up and defend their homeland…
Equestrian airspace, The Griffin Kingdom border
Wonderbolts, the finest fliers in all of Equestria, a team of three pegasus ponies, famous for performing incredible stunts at major events, were doing what would seem as another routine flight. But all of them knew that this time there was something else.
The neighboring Griffin Kingdom recently started showing signs of strange activity, which involved tightening the control over their skies and fortifying their cities. Nopony had any idea where this was going, but the Royal Sisters, Luna and Celestia, feared the worst. Considering that most of pegasus ponies were mostly associated with controlling the weather, delivering mail and other everyday activities, they had little to no scouting experience.
Due to these circumstances, the two princesses entrusted the Wonderbolts with the task of holding a meeting with the ruler of the Griffin Kingdom and finding out what the griffins were up to. As they were slowly approaching the border, one of the Wonderbolts suddenly turned to their leader. It was a female white pegasus with a red mane. Her name was Firebolt and she joined the Wonderbolts a few months ago. Once she got closer to the flight leader, she asked:
"Do you think the griffins might be up to no good, Captain?” her voice showed signs of worry.
Spitfire, the pegasus with a fiery mane, didn't respond at first. She, too, didn't enjoy this situation one bit. Equestria has been in a period of peace ever since the Royal Sisters begun their rule. Unless one would count an incident where Princess Luna succumbed into jealousy and briefly became the evil Nightmare Moon, forcing Princess Celestia to use the Elements of Harmony and banish her to the moon.
As time passed, the ponies eventually started to see Princess Luna in a brighter light. When she appeared during Nightmare Night, Twilight Sparkle and her friends helped the princess in getting used to new reality after one thousand years of absence. Everypony still remembered these events well... After a while, Spitfire turned to Firebolt and used her communicator that she was wearing, so that the white pegasus would hear her over the howling wind.
"I hope not. But they definitely seem suspicious, with all of that sudden fortification. What are your thoughts, Soarin'?" she turned her attention to the male blue pegasus flying by her side.
"Honestly, I don't think they would be preparing something bad. Maybe they’re just doing additional maneuvers or something...like they did a few days ago. Who knows."
He tried to sound casual now.
“Maybe they’re preparing for some kind of big event?”
While he didn't sound sure enough for Spitfire, his response seemed to lighten her up a little.
"Well, we won't find out until we get there. Speculations won't do us any good. Let's accelerate, Soarin', Firebolt!" the fiery pegasus called out to her partners.
With a quick response, the three pegasi increased their flight speed and within a few minutes, they left the Equestrian airspace and were approaching the Griffin Kingdom border.
The Griffin Kingdom, en route to Pisa
The forests that were common in Equestria started to slowly leave their sights, and became substituted with tall and numerous mountains. Some of their peaks were so high that numerous clouds were either passing right by them, or went through them and dispersed, splitting into more clouds, making it a sight to behold.
Especially for the young Firebolt.
Her period of experience in the Wonderbolts was only eight months and this was her first major flight outside of Equestria. The three pegasi were circling around the area for several moments, searching for anything that might have looked suspicious, but didn’t find anything. It all seemed like it was going to be another false alarm, when suddenly...
"Captain Spitfire!" Firebolt called the fiery pegasus.
"I think I found something! 3000 feet below us!"
The three aces descended toward the point Firebolt mentioned and to their surprise, they saw numerous turrets with barrels coming out of them - anti-air guns.
There were about twenty of them. The pegasus ponies started flying around the area, checking the massive turrets and examining them closely. They appeared to be unmanned and out of order. But the sight of so many anti-air turrets sprung anxiety into the Wonderbolts. Could it have meant that, despite the treaty, the griffins would intent to break the oath? These questions swarmed in their minds and these turrets seemed to have confirmed the worries of the solar princess.
"What in the world...?" Soarin' couldn't believe his eyes. "What are those AA guns doing here? Do these belong to the griffins?"
"Well, obviously sir,” Firebolt remarked.
"Were they making them in the past few days? As far as I know, they weren’t preparing for any military training... right?”
“What I want to know is, why there are so many of them?" Soarin’ asked.
“Are they trying to cover something up? This is highly suspicious...”
Spitfire approached one of the turrets. It was made of steel, measuring thirty feet tall.
"I don't remember these being stationed here earlier. Strange..." she said.
"Maybe we should radio home base. Firebolt, can you do that? Soarin' and I will check the area.”
Firebolt immediately adjusted her frequency to reach Cloudsdale, the city of pegasus ponies, located high in the Equestrian skies. It was full of beautiful houses decorated with immense columns and several of them were adorned with rainbows.
"Come in, Cloudsdale, come in. This is Firebolt of the Wonderbolts, do you read me?" Firebolt asked through her communicator.
The slightly distorted, but hear-able voice answered:
"I read you, Firebolt. It's me, Gale."
The white pegasus smiled.
"Good to hear you, old friend. I think we found something really weird here on the border with The Griffin Kingdom."
"Roger that," Gale responded.
While he was associated with the Wonderbolts, he wasn’t officially a part of the team, but served as their additional pair of eyes. His coat was dark red, almost crimson, with astute yellow eyes and cyan mane.
"What did you find?" he asked through the radio, awaiting Firebolt’s response.
"About twenty anti-air turrets placed close to Equestrian border. Not far from the Griffin city of Pisa too,” she reported with grave seriousness.
At first, he heard nothing from Gale, but when the crimson pegasus spoke, his voice was shaking.
"A-A-Are you sure? You're not making it up, Firebolt?"
"I see it with my own eyes, Gale. If I could, I would send you a picture. But you have to believe my words. Soarin' and Captain Spitfire and confirm this, as well,"
"Is that true, Captain Spitfire?" Gale turned his frequency to contact the fiery pegasus.
"Uh-huh. It's true,” Spitfire confirmed, looking around her and gazing at the steel fortifications.
“And it bothers me to no end. The griffins never told us anything about these. And this is supposed to be their idea of cooperation? It might be a good idea to deliver this information to the Princesses Celestia and Luna. They ought to know what- What the hay?!"
Spitfire's voice suddenly rose in volume and she clearly sounded surprised. Gale wasn't sure about this reaction.
"What's wrong, Spitfire? Come in!"
The Wonderbolts saw that the AA turrets suddenly turned in their direction and lowered their barrels to have them in sight. The guns were aiming at them! With quick thinking, they rose into the air and tried to dodge the incoming firepower. Gale heard the gunfire in his headphones and panicked a little.
"Captain Spitfire! What is going on? Report status!" he yelled.
"We... We're under attack! The guns started to fire at us!" Spitfire shouted, while performing a barrel roll, trying to avoid the attacks.
"Inform the other Royal Sisters, on the double! Something is definitely wrong! The turrets don’t appeared to be controlled, but they’re treating us as enemies! It's like they're trying to...!"
Gale suddenly heard nothing, but static. He couldn’t reach Spitfire's team.
“Blast it! I’ve lost the signal! At least I’ve managed to trace it,” he sighed.
After a few seconds, Gale managed to transmit the Wonderbolts’ location, and sent a message to the two pegasus ponies that were with him to go, and help them return back. As the two rookies took flight, he remained in the base, trying to re-establish communication with Spitfire.
"What in the wide world of Equestria is happening...?"
Equestrian airspace, The Griffin Kingdom Border
A single bullet hit Spitfire in the left leg, but luckily, not the wing. If she would be damaged there, it would prove dangerous for her, and for that matter, any pegasus pony. Not wanting to risk it, she increased altitude and the other Wonderbolts followed suit.
"We need to return back to Equestria, ASAP! Soarin' Firebolt, with me!"
The three pegasi slowly started leaving the griffin airspace, but the turrets would not cease fire, even though they’ve managed to leave the potentially dangerous range. As they were getting closer to the Equestrian border, Firebolt suddenly noticed two large shapes below them.
"Unidentified fliers below us, Captain. Two of them."
Spitfire reached up to her communicator and tried to contact the two.
"This is Spitfire, Captain of the Wonderbolts. State your ID and purpose."
No one responded to her call in the first few seconds, when suddenly, the two shapes disappeared and the three pegasi heard a churlish voice.
"Did you say... Wonderbolts? You're from Equestria, correct?"
Spitfire's team stopped in midair, and as the clouds in front of them spread, they saw two adult griffins blocking their way. These creatures were two beings in one body: half-lion, half-eagle. They were wearing vests, with the griffin on the left having a black star, and the one on the right bearing a symbol of a red tornado. Both seemed to be in foul moods, yet had strange smiles on their faces. Their sharp beaks and claws gave them an intimidating look.
"That's right," Soarin' jumped in.
"We were sent here by the Princesses, Celestia and Luna, to investigate your recent suspicious activities. Would you care to explain this?" he asked the griffins.
They looked at each other for a moment and laughed. The Wonderbolts appeared confused. Then, the griffins turned their attention back to the pegasus ponies.
"So, you were sent to spy on us, eh? No wonder the AA guns opened fire at you. That's what happens to those who would trespass our borders,” said the griffon with the black star on his vest.
"What?" Firebolt said in disbelief.
"But, they were inactive when we first came... And what makes you think we’ve come to spy on you? We were told by the princesses to meet with your King, Lightbeak,” the pegasus tried to explain.
“Can you lead us to him and make those turrets stop firing at us?” she asked the two griffins.
They laughed again.
“Seems like you guys didn’t heard the recent news,” the griffon with the red tornado emblem spoke.
“Lightbeak is no longer ruling the Griffin Kingdom. In fact... we changed our policy completely.”
This revelation proved to be unexpected for the Wonderbolts. Spitfire approached them and tried to learn something more.
“What do you mean, Lightbeak no longer rules the kingdom?” she asked.
The griffon with the black star symbol shrugged.
“Simple as that. Let’s just say he had a little... accident,” saying this, he started laughing again.
“In other words, we overthrew him," the other griffon joined.
"We’re now being led by General Silverbeak. He will undoubtedly lead us into a new, brighter era,” he seemed to be enjoying every word he spoke.
“You... overthrew him?” Firebolt couldn’t comprehend the statement she just heard.
"Oh, I see where this is going,” Spitfire interrupted. "I just want to make sure... but are you guys preparing for war or something?"
"Spitfire!" Soarin' turned to her. "What makes you say that?"
"Open your eyes, Soarin'!", Spitfire exclaimed.
"They were planning this for quite some time. Remember those strange maneuvers you've mentioned before? Those actually resembled military maneuvers. They are preparing for an invasion!"
The griffon with a symbol of a black star on his vest chuckled.
"You catch on quickly. Indeed, we're preparing for war... with Equestria, to be more precise,"
This statement left the Wonderbolts dumbfounded.
"War... with Equestria?" Firebolt mumbled. "But... I don't get it... why?"
"We were just thinking about expanding our territories. It's nothing personal, only business,” the other griffon laughed.
"We had hoped it would've gone unnoticed, but alas..." the first griffon sighed.
"Red Cyclone, it appears we have no choice, but to take them down," he told his companion.
“You’re right, Black Star,” the second griffon nodded.
“Consider it an honor. We’ll let you witness the might of the Gryphus Elite Squadron!” and without warning, he rushed toward Spitfire’s team.
"Spread out and take it to them!" Spitfire ordered her teammates.
They still seemed shocked, but heard the orders and dodged the griffon's attack. His partner joined in the fray and a fight commenced between the pegasi and their attackers.
"Do you have any idea what you're doing?" Spitfire asked Black Star that she took on by herself.
"I'm sure there's a peaceful way that can solve this issue."
"Too bad,” the griffon replied.
"A peaceful agreement won't do. And by expanding our territory, we don't mean it just by settling on your lands... but more."
Spitfire's eyes widened in surprise.
"More? What...? Are you planning to invade Equestria and take it over?!" she exclaimed.
"Ah. You're pretty smart for a pony. It's a pity we can't cooperate," Black Star chuckled.
Spitfire smiled mischievously.
"Well, thanks for that info. We've already managed to inform our superiors about it, though. I assure you, this act will not go unnoticed."
Black Star appeared to be unmoved.
"It doesn't matter. Only you and your two companions are the real threat to our campaign. Once you're out of the picture, this war we'll be a breeze."
Hearing those words, Firebolt broke away from Red Cyclone that she engaged with Soarin’
and flew toward the other griffon.
"You'll have to take us down, first!"
As she said it, he rammed Black Star with full power in the side. The griffon appeared to have been fazed by the impact, but only barely. He quickly retaliated with a vicious claw slash, wounding Firebolt badly in the chest. Seeing this opportunity, Red Cyclone broke away from Soarin' and rammed into the pegasus from behind. She started to plummet down.
Soarin' tried to save his comrade by flying to her and grabbing her tail. But the griffins were faster. Soarin' was attacked without mercy. The two Wonderbolts fell down and crashed at the nearby mountain, tumbling downward and hitting the ground with large impact force. Spitfire watched this in horror, but to her relief, they were still alive. She took on both griffins alone and tried her best, even managing to deal a severe blow to Black Star. But their combined might proved to be overwhelming for the Wonderbolts' leader. She fell and crashed to the ground not far from Firebolt and Soarin'. The two griffins looked at them from the sky and gloated.
"That takes care of the Equestrian aces. Let's report back to our superiors," Black Star ordered.
“Our general will be quite pleased. In fact, that was easier than I thought it would be,” Red Cyclone remarked.
“The rest of the pegasus ponies are almost total wimps. This war will be over too quick.”
They left the airspace, but unbeknownst to them, the two pegasus ponies sent by Gale managed to locate and retrieve the wounded Wonderbolts. The fliers were transported to Ponyville, where Nurses Redheart and Tenderheart took them under medical attention. Their diagnosis wasn't pleasant; the three pegasi suffered numerous bruises and had broken wings, rendering them unable to fly for quite some time.
On the bright note, their lives weren’t in danger. They were soon relocated back to their home city of Cloudsdale. In the meantime, Gale made his way to the Canterlot Palace and reported everything to the Royal Sisters, Celestia and Luna. The latter was clearly shocked by the griffins’ actions, but Celestia remained stoic through most of the time. And yet, even her face had clearly visible anxiety on it.
"I was fearing this day would come,” she finally spoke after Gale finished his report.
"They have been acting very aggressive lately.”
“My apologies, Princess Celestia,” Gale spoke nervously.
“But this is all too strange. I simply can’t understand why the griffins would overthrow King Lightbeak. He was a good monarch...”
Celestia knew Lightbeak for several years. He, indeed, governed his kingdom quite well, making it renowned in the world as a place of pride and natural wonders. There could be only one option.
“A coup d’état,” she guessed.
“Perhaps some renegade griffins rebelled against their ruler and thought they can create a better kingdom by using force,” she spoke those words with clear disgust.
It reminded her of the times when Equestria was ruled by the vile ruler of chaos, Discord. It took the combined efforts of the Royal Sisters to end his reign. Now Celestia hoped to find a solution in this dangerous situation as well...
The white unicorn pegasus tried to collect her thoughts and think of best actions for the coming hours.
“Without the Wonderbolts, the griffins will be having air superiority. It's a perfect opportunity for them to declare open war on us..."
"War... in Equestria? But, Sister! Isn't there anything we can do?"
Celestia turned to her younger sister and shook her head in denial.
"I'm afraid not, Luna. We once swore that, unless directly challenged, we would not openly wage any war. All we can do is lend some strength and courage to our ponies."
Luna appeared depressed. But she didn't disobey her sister's decision.
Celestia then turned to Gale.
"Announce this to every pony in Equestria: We must be prepared for the incoming invasion of The Griffin Kingdom. Make sure all available and adult pegasus ponies will be ready to defend our skies from the incoming enemy. I shall alert the earth ponies. Luna, assemble the unicorns. We need to form an actual military organization to prepare for the conflict. Although I never thought this day would actually come..."
The moon princess nodded and left the chambers to warn her subjects of the impending attack.
"It is only a matter of time before the griffins will invade us," Celestia thought to herself, after Gale left, too.
"This will be Equestria darkest hour... and yet, deep in my heart, I believe that heroes will rise.”
The sun princess looked into the horizon, where the sun was rising with a sinister red glow.
The conflict that would eventually be known as The Equestrian War was set to begin soon...
Equestria Eastern Border
A single young adult pegasus pony, bearing a pink coat, a short blue mane and an identically colored tail, had just passed by the town of Trottingham. Landing on one of the fluffy clouds that were in the sky, she took a glance around her and stopped in midair.
She needed to make sure that this is indeed the land she used to call home. She noticed familiar buildings and, as she looked down from the clouds, she even saw several ponies she used to know in her youth.
“Equestria... I’ve finally returned,” the pink pegasus thought to herself.
“I only hope that I’m not too late. Something big is going to happen soon. And if I’m correct...”
Her purple eyes gazed at the distance. before she started flying forward again.
“Then we’re in for a wild flight.”