If You Want Peace, Prepare For War

by tranhdxrbntd


Hopeless, For Now

Scootaloo was curled up in a ball clutching her ears as the sounds of gunfire rang in her ears. This was supposed to be "THE" adventure, the tale of which she would brag to friends and random strangers til the day she died. Now? She'd be dead within the next few minutes, her tales of awesomeness unheard. Her dream of impressing other ponies would also die with her, having been unfulfilled.

A week and a half out of boot camp, she was immediately sent out to the front lines in war-torn Baltimare. What made it worse was her age; she was fourteen years old, far too young to be fighting in a war. Despite the age disparity, her recruiter hadn't given a second thought about enlistment. Even in boot camp, no one else had taken a second glance either as there were other ponies of similar age along with her.

"Move forward on the right!" The voice's owner was close. Frighteningly close. It wouldn't be long. The fate that had befallen hundreds of thousands of other soldiers would soon be her's too.

The gunfire stopped and the sounds of hoof, foot, and talon steps approaching started to fill her small ears. They were barely audible but at the moment, they were the loudest sounds she had ever heard; it was all she could think about.

She lifted her head from her knees and looked at the ground in front of her. It was here where her service rifle lay, the one issued to her name.

She got up from her curled up position and leaned her back against the broken pillar she had been using as cover. Picking up the rifle, she cradled it in her lap and examined it. In her hooves, was the Herdier No.1 Mk. 2. It was a bolt action rifle chambered in 6.5mm Stomper, fed from a three-round en bloc clip. Once the last round is chambered, the clip would fall out of the magazine. The design needed improvements but for now, it served its purpose. Well, sort of. It wasn't exactly the best rifle being fielded in this war.

Working the bolt, she looked down into the rifle's magazine. She saw a single solitary bullet. She had no other ammo but this one bullet. Her uniform, something that was amazingly awesome in her eyes, was now useless. The pouches, pockets, and bandoliers adorning her uniform? All empty now, having been expended in an ambush earlier.

Days ago, literally everypony was telling her to save one bullet for herself. Why? There were rumors of torture, hard labor, and being the target of depravity of enemy soldiers. At first, she didn't believe those tales.

Then, she saw her first dead body. It wasn't even the dead body from somepony killed in combat. It was the dead body of a POW that had escaped enemy capture. After successfully escaping from enemy imprisonment, he had died after eating too much. After starving for so long, his body was incapable of handling a large amount of food but nopony knew that at the time. Afterwards, a mortician examined his body. The mortician's findings were quick to be known by everyone in the camp.

Closing the bolt of her rifle, the last round was chambered back into the rifle. "I'm sorry", Scootaloo cried as tears started flowing from her eyes. She brought her rifle up to bear and placed the muzzle of the rifle into her mouth. She felt the rifle's muzzle touching the roof of her mouth, the cold barrel causing her to shiver.

It tasted predictably like iron, with hints of mud.

Tears flowing more freely, memories of her life occupied her mind. Her friends, her family, and her scooter were among the things that flashed through her mind. Good memories, bad memories, and even the boring ones flashed. In an instant, it would all be gone.

Closing her eyes, she slowly moved her hoof towards the trigger. When she felt its familiar shape, she took in a deep breath. Slowly, she let her final breath and savored that last feeling.

She pulled the trigger.

*Click*

Eyes opened wide, she pulled the rifle's muzzle out of her mouth and angrily glared it at. "Stupid fucking piece of junk!" she yelled before quickly throwing her rifle down onto the ground, using all of her strength. Since she was sitting on concrete, it loudly bounced off the ground and quickly clattered on it's side.

Lying down, she curled up into a ball and started crying more heavily.

"Hear that fellas? She sounds young!" Whoever said that sounded like he was within spitting distance.

Somehow, her tears starting flowing even more now. All hope was lost.

After she had been crying for a minute, something hard hit her in the head. "Get up!" Looking up, Scootaloo saw the barrel of a rifle pointed right at her face. Holding the rifle were not hooves but the blue hands of a minotaur. "I said get up!" Clambering up to her hooves, she wiped the tears from her face. "Move."

Sighing, Scootaloo started walking out from behind the pillar that was previously hiding her from the enemies. Looking back, she saw the minotaur pick up her rifle from where she threw it down. As she started walking forward, she saw the rest of the squad that was pursuing her. There were six of them total, including the minotaur that had confronted her. There was one other minotaur while the rest were griffons.

Early on in the war, it was discovered that the minotaurs were exceptionally skilled at waging a war. It was natural for minotaurs to have large statures and bodybuilding was a popular hobby. In a squad, they were generally the one armed with a machine gun or heavy weapon. Either way, they were definitely a major threat.

Griffons, while not having the capability to use magic like a unicorn, were as capable as pegasi. That does include weather manipulation. There were only two real differences between griffons and pegasi. Pegasi were faster and capable of making sharper turns. Griffons, in turn, could support more weight in flight. The second difference? Griffons had talonss, infinitely more useful than hooves (though they would never be as perfect as hands). Also, their hands could also function as knives due to the talons that they grew.

As she moved closer to the enemy squad, she noticed that they all were giving her rather lecherous looks. She shivered as various thoughts filled her mind. One of the griffons in the squad moved closer to her and looked at her left sleeve. Sewn onto it was a small Equestrian flag patch that was sewn onto the left sleeve of her uniform. "You won't be needing that anymore", said the griffon while he sliced it off of her uniform with his talons. The Equestrian flag patch, something that she was proud to wear, laid on the dirty ground. It almost seemed worthless despite her hard efforts in earning it in boot camp.

The other minotaur moved closer to her and looked down at her. "You'll definitely make a great addition", he said while giving her toothy smile. Tears started to well up in her eyes again as she just looked indignantly into the ground. This was it. Laughing, the minotaur picked her up with one hand but quickly dropped her onto the ground. He hadn't meant to drop her. No, he had dropped her because his head had exploded.