If You Want Peace, Prepare For War

by tranhdxrbntd


Ask Not What Your Country Can Do for You; Ask What You Can Do for Your Country

I looked at the speedloader that she had given me. It was puny! With a decent amount of effort and fiddling, I removed one of the rounds off of the speedloader. '8mm EO', it read. An 8mm revolver? As a service weapon? What idiot came up with that?

I took a look at the tiny orange horse, realizing that I didn't know her name. "Hey, are all horses your size?" I asked.

She gave me an irritated glare back. "We're ponies!" she said back to me.

That wasn't what I asked but okay. "So are all ponies as small as you?"

You know, I could actually feel her glare becoming stronger. How'd she do that? Seriously, it'd be the best skill to have as an NCO. "I'm a little smaller than others," she finally confessed. She then pointed at the body of the pony that she had scavenged from. "But others are around that size."

The size of the corpse's body wasn't too much bigger than the orange pony that had been following me. Judging from the dimensions, I'd say these ponies were about the same size as large dogs and were somewhere between a hundred to two hundred pounds in weight. When they stood up on their hind legs (which looks strange might I add), they could have been around my height.

I handed the 8mm rounds back to Scootaloo who in turn, used it to reload her revolver. I took a short look at the other bodies lying on the ground. "So what did they mean to you?" I asked.

In response, she looked back at the body that she had looted from. She closed her eyes and took in a breath. "They were my squad. He was my squad leader."

I placed a hand on her shoulder. "They're in a better place now."

She looked up at me, locking her gaze on my eyes. "Why do they have to send us to fight?" she asked me.

Well that's something you never want to answer. There's no actual right or wrong answer to this question. Sometimes it's for peace (ironically). Other times, it was for religion. In rare cases, there was a necessary evil that needed vanquishing. Really, it made me think about my own past experiences on deployment.

"Because no one else will" I finally replied. She looked away from me and back at the body of her squad leader.

Tears started to drip from her eyes. "We were ambushed a few hours after starting our patrol. We tried to retreat but I got separated and-"

I interrupted her. "Yeah, I saw." I looked at Logan. He no longer had that asshole smile from earlier. It was now replaced with a serious look.

Scootaloo was moving towards the body of her squad leader again. "What are you doing?"

She didn't reply. When she revealed the front left arm of her squad leader, she pulled off a patch from the uniform's sleeve.

I walked over to the body of a different pony and looked at the corpse's left arm sleeve. There was a flag patch in the exact same area. It looked like a flag, albeit a strange one at it. It must have been their version of dog tags.

I looked back at the small orange pony. She had started moving to the next body when I walked over to her and grabbed her shoulder. "Be careful. Where I'm from, the enemy tends to booby trap dead bodies," I warned her.

She nodded and continued on with the duty of collecting the ID tags off of her dead squad mates. She took her time, I didn't blame her. I would have given her the rest of eternity to do this if I were to allow it.

Once she had finished, she walked up to me and held every patch in one hoof. "If I die, I want you to take them and hand them off to anypony else," she said. She then took the time to place them all in a pouch on her webbed gear, making sure I saw. "Mine is in there with them."

Oh. "I can do that." In war, the missing are in a separate count form the dead in hopes that they are found. Unfortunately, they're not always found. That was when I realized the implications of her small size. "Did you lie about your age to enlist?" She nodded. "Christ." I looked at her own left sleeve where her ID patch should have been. It was missing. "What do I call you?"

She blinked. "I never did tell you my name, did I? It's Scootaloo" replied.

Scootaloo? I then smiled. "To quote a little tyke, what kind of a name is Scootaloo?"

A smile appeared on her face but only for the shortest of moments. She still had to face the reality of her situation. "Let's get going. I think I know where to go from here," she said, trying to keep her gaze from the bodies of her squadmates. She took a few steps forward, her eyes letting out a few more tears in the process.

I ran up to her and grabbed her shoulder once again. "Wait!"

She pulled her shoulder away from my hand and glared at me once again. "What?" I looked in the direction that she had started to walk towards. The sound that I had been ignoring this whole time, distant gunfire and explosions, was coming from that direction. To describe it with the word 'intense' would have been the same as describing the sun as 'hot'.

It didn't take her very long to reach the same conclusion as I had. "Oh no," she said before immediately going off in a sprint. I ran off after her, sniper rifle at the ready.

"Oh fucking shit, I hate running!" Logan yelled, running after the two of them.

The Airspace Over Baltimare

Rainbow Dash ran her bayonet into the chest of her target, an enemy griffon dogfighter. She stared into the griffon's eyes. His eyes were young, inexperienced as she would describe it as. The griffon looked down at the bayonet, still stuck in his chest, before looking back into Rainbow Dash's eyes. "What?" he said.

She didn't say anything back. A split second later, her rifle discharged and sent a round through the griffon's chest.

No longer able to fly, gravity took over and the griffon slid off of the bayonet. Weapon at the ready, she swung it around ready for another victim. Finding no one else, she lowered her rifle. She wasn't too far from Baltimare's main base. Once she rendezvoused with the 6th Infantry Regiment, she could get some help finding Scootaloo.

She felt a bullet strike her chest. Luckily, her uniform stopped the bullet (thank Celestia for Rarity's miracle works of art) but the impact knocked the wind out of her lungs. It didn't take very long for her to recover (it wasn't exactly an unfamiliar feeling), deciding to dive to go along with the drop.

Wherever her assailant was, she had to avoid him. Staying airborne was too risky, cover being completely unavailable. Seconds later, she landed and hid in the remains of a destroyed building.

She was only a few kilometers away from her intended destination. It wouldn't be hard getting their by hoof, but she'd definitely have to watch out for griffons and minotaurs.

Rainbow Dash looked down at her rifle, frowning at its appearance. Fresh blood coated its exterior and the bayonet was starting to bend. She pulled back on the rifle's charging handle, ready to catch the expended round. Nothing came out. She looked into the rifle.

It was empty.

Digging through her webbed gear, she found nothing but air in every single pouch. One of the downsides to removing half of the ammo pouches off of her webbed gear? Only being able to carry half the usual load of ammo. Slinging her rifle, she drew her Model 92. Dropping the cylinder, 2 fired and 4 unspent rounds were presented to her.

Teeth grinding, she flicked the cylinder closed. "Fuck me."

Somewhere In Canterlot

There was a chalkboard. It was a normal chalkboard. It had no enchantments and due to the shortages in materials (due to the war), it was shoddily made. For all intents and purposes, it was the single most important chalkboard in Equestria. Scribbled upon its green surface, with easy-to-erase chalk, were the situational details of Equestria's military. This included current and future battle plans, supply routes, manufacturing capabilities, spy networks, and more along the like.

24 hours a day and 7 days a week, the entrances were under the supervision of several platoons of armed soldiers. Nopony without a top-secret clearance could even be within a hundred meters of it, much less see it. The list of those that could see it with unrestricted access was shorter than the list of uncorrupted politicians left in Equestria. And to add, only one pony in the entirety of Equestria (princesses included) could actually write on the chalkboard.

What was the punishment for looking at or writing on the chalkboard without permission? Firing squad. No, really. Unpermitted access to the chalkboard was considered treason and was punishable by death. There would be no jury or trial, violators would instantly go to a firing squad.

In lieu of that, a piece of chalk was currently being scratched across its surface. It's owner, a lavender alicorn, moved the small stick of calcium sulfate with her pinkish-purple hued telekinetic aura. Once she had finished writing a new set of words and numbers across her chalkboard, she carefully checked it for mistakes.

"Oh Twilight!" came the voice belonging to that of an alabaster unicorn. Twilight looked up to see one of her best friends, Rarity. Held in a blue aura was a light brown coat. She instantly recognized it as the standard ground uniform (obviously only the coat portion) of the Equestrian military. Specifically, this was her own personal coat.

Grabbing it with her telekinesis, she wasted no time in putting it on (teleportation spell). "Thank you for fixing my coat, Rarity," she said while giving her friend the best smile that she could muster.

Rarity, whose attitude and demeanor seemingly hadn't been affected by the war, smiled back. "Oh, it was no problem! Anything for one of my friends!" she said back. "And I do want to protect you after all."

She looked down at the coat. "Pardon?"

Much to Twilight's surprise, Rarity grabbed a knife from her mane (there was a little sheath on her neck hidden by her mane) and stabbed her with it. Twilight's heart skipped a beat as she felt the knife impact her chest... But why didn't she feel any pain? She looked down, seeing that the coat had protected her from death's embrace. The tip of the knife had failed at going through the outer layer of the coat.

Rarity still had that same smile as earlier, despite having attempted to stab her. "Enchantments dear. You are important to me." The knife disappeared back in that purple mane. Then, Rarity touched a hoof to Twilight's coat. "That coat is now fireproof, waterproof, and stab proof. And yes darling, I did mean to use proof instead of resistant. It will also stop most lower velocity projectiles, but that only means shrapnel and certain handgun calibers or rifle rounds from extreme range." It wasn't Rarity who had done the enchantments. Her skill with magic was nowhere even close to doing such a thing. That didn't stop her from contacting some ponies that she knew.

Twilight grabbed her chest with a hoof. "Mother of Celestia, I did not think I could get a heart attack!" she exclaimed, ignoring everything that Rarity had said.

Rarity giggled in response. "Oh, but I do have a bit of bad news dear."

Twilight, still clutching her chest, asked "What?"

"Our dear friend, Dashy, has launched herself towards Baltimare," Rarity replied.

Twilight's heart skipped another beat. "WHAT?!"

And that was when Rarity's smiled finally disappeared. "It appears that Scootaloo was stationed there." Twilight stopped clutching her chest, eyes narrowing upon hearing the news. She pulled a revolver out from her coat and popped open the cylinder, checking it's load. "I don't remember putting that in there," Rarity said.

"Magic!" Twilight quickly replied before teleporting off.

Somewhere In Vanhoover

A pink earth pony sat in a chair. In front of her was the desk of the CEO of Equestria's 4th most important steel processing plant. Splayed across the desk were several pictures of the CEO in compromising positions with a pony that clearly wasn't her husband. "Let's make this a win-win situation. Equestrian Ordnance needs that steel and you want to stay married. What will it be?," Pinkie Pie said.

The CEO tried to grab the pictures and succeeded in grabbing only a few of them. "And these are the only copies?" the CEO asked.

"Yepperoni!" Pinkie replied. She then retrieved a large stack of papers from her mane. "Sign here!" The CEO begrudgingly signed the contract where she needed to. Smiling, Pinkie started skipping away.

Now that business was done, she had some time off to herself!

But, that was when a strip of paper started coming out of her rat's nest of a mane. She looked at the paper hanging from her mane, noticing the writing on it. "Baltimare under Griffon offensive? Rainbow Dash and Scootaloo involved? Twilight and Rarity soon coming? Who forgot to invite me!?"

She smiled and reached into her mane. After a solid three minutes of searching, she pulled her hoof out of her mane. "I should really clean out my mane," she said before tilting her head to the side and tapping her head with a free hoof. Following that, random things started to fall out of her mane. Yo-yo's, sticks, building blueprints, more pictures, and various pastries were among the random items that rained out. Then, a large metal tube fell out of her mane.

The tube was hollow with a rectangular metal plate covering one end, leaving the other end open. Three-quarters up the length of the mortar, a bipod was welded onto the tube. Overall, the tube wasn't that big. It was only half a meter in length and the tube was barely wide enough for her to stick a hoof down into it.

'Party Cannon Mk. II', was engraved into the side of the tube. Pinkie picked up the mortar and smiled. "Let's get this party started," she said while her smile grew tenfold.

Somewhere in Ponyville

Fluttershy was sitting on her rump in front of a hospital bed. Sleeping in the bed (with the help of very powerful painkillers), was a stallion. He was completely bound in bandages and several of his limbs were suspended in the air via slings that were attached to the ceiling. The stallion had been one of the recent casualties of this accursed war.

Fluttershy sighed. She no longer cared about where they were from or who they were. He was one of hundreds of thousands.

She looked down at herself. She was wearing a white gown and apron and a white cap. The cap and left sleeve of the uniform bore a red cross, the universal symbol of medical workers in the war. Usually, they could roam about combat zones without issue. Usually.

Another nurse entered the hospital room. She was wearing an identical nurse's outfit but wasn't wearing the cap. "Uh ma'am," the nurse called out.

"Yes?" Fluttershy responded.

"We're needed in Baltimare. They're attempting to take over the full Baltimare sector," the nurse said.

Fluttershy sighed. She held up both of her hooves in front of her face. A pair of surgical gloves and boot combination were covering them. They had been a gift from her friend, Rarity. A very useful gift, given to her towards the beginning of the war. They had been enchanted to forever stay sanitized and would mend themselves when punctured or torn.

Rarely did she take them off now. When the war ended, if it did, she would finally be able to get rid of their weight. "Go gather the other nurses and my gear," Fluttershy told the nurse.

The 5th Ground Division's Main Headquarters

As artillery raked the buildings surrounding the 5th Ground Division's field post, Applejack lit the cigar in her mouth. She was a senior NCO of the Equestrian, nothing would stop her from smoking this. Seriously, this little rolled bundle of tobacco costed her 5 bits.

That doesn't seem like much until you know that the average enlisted private made 10 bits a day. At the beginning of the war, ponies were paid at the beginning and middle of each month but ponies were dying long before they could enjoy their wages. In response to this, ponies could collect their wages daily or let it accumulate before collecting it in sum.

She took a puff from her cigar. Right now, she was going through her "ritual" before going off to fight. Nopony could tell her otherwise, not even the Equestrian Royal Army's generals themselves. She was the personal friend to the ruling heads of the country. This meant she could effectively do anything she wanted.

Another puff. Looking down at herself, she carefully went over her gear. She only ever wore the coat portion of the standard uniform of the Equestrian Army (the pants always got in the way of her bucking).

Being the first of her friends to join the Equestrian Army, Rarity had thought it was a good idea for her to have some armor. The coat's enchantment would only protect from fire, stabs, shrapnel, and small caliber rifle rounds. That was only the cloth portion of the coat. Rarity had also included armored steel plates inside of key sections of the coat, these being able to stop the lower end of rifle rounds. When she first got the coat, she was surprised to learn of the steel plates. Enchantments had been placed on the steel plates, reducing them to half their weight. They definitely cut down on the weight but they'd still hinder movement.

Like every other soldier in the Equestrian military, she wore webbed gearing to carry, well, gear. Her's was the opposite of Rainbow Dash's. Instead of wearing half the number of pouches, she wore double the number of pouches on her gear. These extra pouches allowed her to carry three times the number of grenades, her lasso, and a few apples (to be fair, it's in her name). In addition to the extra pouches, she wore several bandoliers of shotgun ammunition.

The main recipient of the shotgun ammunition was a double barrel. No, it wasn't a sawed-off. This was the full-length version. There wasn't much special about it. It was just a simple hammerless double barrel shotgun with two triggers.

Loving the idea of a shotgun so much, Applejack also carried a sawed-off version as a sidearm. It was the same model as her primary, only sawed-off. You couldn't really argue with her against this choice. Well, you could but it'd be like arguing with a brick wall (she might be a little stubborn).

But a mare of her type would have the occasional need for something that wasn't a shotgun. To remedy this, she carried a Colt Single Action Army in .45 Colt. This was her own personal revolver from home and was a family heirloom. The revolver was single action only (meaning the hammer had to be cocked back before being fired) and had to be reloaded through a side gate on the right side, the process being very slow and tedious. There was another major downside to using such an old revolver, only black powder cartridges could be used with it. This meant that a large cloud of smoke would appear when fired and that the bullets wouldn't be flying very fast (in terms of bullets).

And finally, a small mace. Gifted to her by Princess Luna, it was brutally effective to everything. Hell, it would work on enchanted armor plates too.

Another puff. "Let's get this over with."

In The Streets Of Baltimare

Rainbow Dash tried her best to make it the rest of the way to the 5th Ground Division's main operating post but she had to do this with caution. With only 4 rounds (retardedly anemic rounds at that), she wouldn't be able to defend herself if a squad of enemy soldiers discovered her.

But then she heard the sound of running hoof steps, prompting her to take immediate cover behind a partially destroyed brick wall. She cocked back the hammer of the revolver.

*CLICK*

Peeking around the corner, she saw a small dark-pink maned orange pegasus filly being chased by a grey minotaur five meters away and a black minotaur ten meters away. "Scootaloo!" she screamed out loud. She quickly ran out of cover, revolver aimed at the grey minotaur.

*BANG*