Saving Private Bloom
Journal Entry: Private, First Class, Apple Bloom
June 13th, 1944
It had been weeks since my platoon and I were deployed to Ramelle, but I’m not one to complain about where we’re sent to too protect our country. We were stationed at a city in ruin to watch out for the Germane Pozi troops, a strong force of which were led by a terrifying leader named Adhoof Haytler, who was trying his best to take over all of the planet’s countries, including Equestria. Ramelle was directly between the Equestrian forces and the Germane army in a country called Durhoof, so it was vital we held the position to keep a watch for the Germanes.
Today, however, had to be the worst possible day to ever happen within those weeks. My squad and I were patrolling outside the Ramelle boundaries in a grassy plane, when we heard a rumbling sound. We hit the deck as quickly as we could, and didn’t move a muscle. The rumbling grew louder, and the ground started to tremble. Our leader, a Corporal, pointed her hoof forward, and we saw a Germane tank, heavily armored and painted camo to match the grass, complete with a turret gunner. The Corporal put her hoof up, telling us to freeze in place. We did, and waited for her to put her hoof down. Instead, she pointed at the tank, and pumped her hoof down. We took that as a signal to fire. Our squad’s demolition took out her bazooka, aimed at the tank, and took a shot. It hit the tank, causing it to catch fire. She reloaded her weapon, aimed, and took another shot. Direct hit, the tank was gone. It was engulfed in flames, and Germane ponies who survived the explosion were getting out through the top hatch. We aimed our weapons, but didn’t need to shoot, for we heard bullets being shot, and the Germanes fell dead off the tank’s roof.
Others jumped out of the back; some went right, some left. We heard more gunshots, and could only assume that the ones that went right were dead. The Corporal put her hoof back in the air, and we held our fire. The Germanes on the left had taken cover behind the truck. We then heard an order being shouted by a pony. “Take their left flank! Take their left flank!” She was yelling. Slowly, very slowly, a purple pony turned around the front of the tank, peered over, and moved forward, crouching and pointing her gun forward. We were sure she’d be dead. She was near the back of the tank, when the Germanes came around and began to shoot. She had taken out all three of them, however, without being hit by a single bullet. She then turned around and searched the rest of the area.
The Corporal then whispered to us that she was a friendly, and called “101st! We’re coming out!” We got off the ground. The purple pony turned around, waved her hoof in the air, and reloaded her weapon. Another squad of ponies came out the grass, and headed towards us.
“That was a recon element, 2nd SS,” The Corporal told her, “We were expecting a problem, and that must’ve been it.”
“Capt. Sparkle, “She said to us, “Charlie Horse Company, 2nd Wranglers.”
“Corporal Bon-Bon, Easy Company 501st.”
“Bloom, First Class, 506th,” I said when she turned and faced me.
“Bell, Private, 506th,” Said my friend next to me.
“Apple Bloom?” Capt. Sparkle asked me suddenly.
“Yes, ma’am, “I replied, surprised, “How’d you guess that?”
Capt. Sparkle turned and looked at her squad, all of whom were staring at me. Among them, I saw my big sister, Apple Jack. I was so happy to see her; I could’ve shoved the Captain to the floor to try to get to her. The only reason I didn’t was because her lips were trembling, but I didn’t know why. Not yet, anyway.
“Looks like you girls were hit pretty hard,” Sparkle said, later at Ramelle.
“Yes, ma’am,” I replied, looking at the destroyed city, “It’s why I wanted more action. They came in and beat the hay out of us with Haytie 8’s.” There was a short pause. “Tell you what, ma’am,” I said, “If you could relieve me, I’ll file a complaint.”
“I wouldn’t blame you…” Sparkle said as she gazed some more at the surroundings, “Who’s your C.O.?”
“It would’ve been Capt. Jenny, ma’am,” I said, “But I’m afraid the mess we’re in right now is horrible. So, what are you girls doing here, anyhow?”
“We’re here for you, Bloom,” Sparkle said.
“Me, ma’am?” I said, startled by her words again.
“Yes, you, “She said, “Apple Bloom of Sweet Apple Acres?”
“Yes, ma’am,” I replied, starting to feel a bit self-explanatory, “But, ma’am, what is this about?”
Sparkle sighed and looked at me. In her eyes, I could see pity and sorrow. She then said the most horrible thing to me: “Your brother’s been killed in combat.”
I gasped, putting my right hoof to my mouth, my eyes tearing up. I beat back the temptation to cry. It couldn’t have happened, not to Macintosh…
“I know how it feels to lose someone in the war,” said Sparkle, “So if you want some private time, somewhere to go alone, you’re welcome too.”
That’s when I broke. The tears that leaked out of my eyes then could’ve flooded the Merderet River, flowing between Ramelle and Nueville. Big Macintosh, the eldest, the smartest, the toughest brother I ever had and will have, dead. Gone. It was just me and Apple Jack left. I sank onto the crate behind me and wept. Sniffling, tears still streaming down my cheeks, I looked up at Sparkle, who had risked her life just to tell me this.
“Thank you,” I told her, my voice cracking, “Thank you for coming all the way here just to tell me that.”
She sat down next to me and patted me on the shoulder. My head fell into my hoofs on my knees. I was still crying.
“Well, there’s something else,” Sparkle said in my ear softly, “You’re going home.”
I raised my head to look at her, my vision blurred from the tears. “Our orders are to bring you back,” She said.
“Bring me back?” I said in almost a whisper. She got up, and went to the Corporal. “I’m sorry to have to take one more person off your hoofs, Corporal, “She said to her, “But orders are orders. Is there any communication station here to call for reinforcements?”
“I have my orders, too, ma’am” I said before Bon-Bon could answer,” And I’m pretty sure there was nothing about abandoning my post and leaving my team to die!”
“I understand that,” Sparkle said, turning to face me, “But this changes things.”
“I don’t see that it does, ma’am,” I said back to her.
Sparkle stared at me, bewildered. “The chief of staff of the Equestrian Army says it does.”
“Our orders are to hold the bridge at all costs,” Bon-Bon said, pointing to the bridge that crossed over from Ramelle to Nueville, “The Pegasi in the 82nd have taken out all the bridges crossing Merderet with the exception of two, one of the lone and that one over there. The Germanes took the other one, so it’s all down to this one.
“Private,” said Sparkle, turning to me, “If your Granny wants you to stay, you can stay. But she doesn’t, you see. She’s worried about you and Apple Jack here. We wanted to get you both together before we shipped you back to your families.”
“Ma’am, can’t I at least wait for reinforcements to arrive-?” I began, but Sparkle cut me off.
“You have three minutes to gather your gear.”
“Ma’am, please! What about them?” I pointed to the rest of my platoon, “There’s barely anyone else here-”
“Hey, mule!” called a baby dragon from Sparkle’s squad, “Two of our guys have already died trying to find you, all right?”
There was a pause, in which I stared at the baby dragon. Then my curiosity broke the silence.
“What were their names?” I asked.
“Scootaloo and Rarity,” Apple Jack said, bowing her head. Rarity had been a close friend of hers, and she knew I was close friends with Scootaloo.
I was filled with even more sorrow. Scoot had been one of my best friends. I was able to hold back my tears this time, but regretfully; my head then hurt with all the loses.
“It doesn’t make any sense…” I said under my breath. Then, loudly this time, I turned to Sparkle, “It doesn’t make any sense, ma’am! Why me? Why do I get to go? Why not any of these guys? They all fought just as hard as me! Maybe even harder!”
“Is that what they’re supposed to tell your Granny?” Sparkle asked, “When they send home another folded Equestrian flag?”
That got a bit of a boil started in my gut. Why was she being so difficult? Didn’t she understand?
“When they find my body,” I said right in her face, “tell her I died right here, with the only siblings I have left, and there was no way I was going to desert them. I think she’ll understand that.”
Apple Jack smiled at me, droplets falling from her cheeks.
“There’s no way I’m leaving this bridge,” I said, and walked past Sparkle and headed to the rest of my platoon.