Downfall of Equestria

by Shadow Storm

Chapter I: March of the NLR

We started to move north towards the Northern Mountains. It was getting cold, and there weren't enough blankets to keep all of us warm. My best friend, Iron Shock, was one of the unlucky ones who couldn't get a blanket. I felt sorry for him, so I went over to him, continuing to walk.
He looked terrible. His frozen blue mane was ruffled and his white body looked like razor sharp spikes. His wings were tucked tightly to himself as he shivered, his breath stuttering under the cold air that surrounded us.

“Hey Iron, you hanging in there?”

Iron Shock looked at me, forcing a smile as his teeth jittered loudly.

“I’m o-okay. It’d sure be nice to use o-one of those b-blankets though.”

Without hesitation, I pulled the blanket off with my wings as I threw the blanket over him. He looked at me in astonishment as I stared back smiling.

“You can have it, just don’t die on me.”

I chuckled as I saw him smile faintly to my comment.

“Come on, Shadow. I wouldn’t let cold weather kill me. Besides, you need me around to save you.”

“Seriously Iron? I can handle myself. You need me to watch your back all the time, anyways.”

Iron Shock started to laugh, a real smile appearing on his face. This is the first time I’ve seen Iron Shock in a happy mood since the Battle of Ponyville. It was a horrible battle a year ago that took many lives. Including Iron’s daughter, Moon Shock, a young mare that I was very good friends with. Unfortunately, she sacrificed herself by saving Iron when he was injured on the ground from a purple mare that sent a magic blast towards him. She got in front of the blast and was instantly turned to stone.

“Seriously? Remember the Battle of Haven Rock? There were about a dozen of those Royal Elitists! The least I could do was pull you out of there. You almost got killed!”

“Okay, I guess I owe you one for that.” I said with a slight chuckle.

We shared stories from the past for at least another minute until there was complete silence again. We continued walking and I began to feel the cold slowly casing my body. Winter was always my least favorite time during the war. It was always too cold, and there was barely any food for all of us to eat. Plus it snowed, which made things worse for travels, like this one. Luckily it wasn’t snowing, but the wind was unbearable. I started to shiver as we continued walking through the mountains that looked down at us. I stared upward, looking past the mountains and into the sky. It was all cloudy and dark, just like it was every other day.

“Iron Shock, do you miss the perfect weather?” I sighed with a frown, leaving a confused look on Iron’s face.

“What do you mean, Shadow?”

“I mean, do you miss the su-”

“Don’t say it! You know that word is forbidden!” Iron shouted quietly, trying to hush me from saying any more.

I realized my mistake and silenced myself. I had completely forgotten the word sun was banned in our nation. Luna banned the word shortly after her war declaration against Celestia. Most of the words involving the day was banned, which was a mystery to all of us, but we figured it was Luna’s hatred for her sister.

“I completely forgot, thanks for the save.” I confessed, letting out a relieved sigh. Iron Shock couldn’t help but begin to smile again.

“I was going to say you owe me again, but I’ll let this one slip.” He chuckled, nudging me.

I stared forward and chuckled as well. It only lasted for about a couple seconds when we heard some commotion near the front. All at once, everypony stopped in their tracks, trying to listen. It was a very quiet mumbling sound, almost as if somepony was talking from a far distance. There were a few whispers going around that distracted me. It took awhile but I made out the voice, and figured out it was Princess Luna herself. She was telling us that we were taking a rest here.

I sighed with relief as I stomped around. I forgot how bad my hooves were aching, and the pain was now suddenly returning. I sat down, with Iron sitting down next to me. Every other pony began conversing with each other in their own groups. It has been days since we left the Everfree Forest after Celestia’s surprise attack on our camp. She had the upper hoof and took many NLR lives. I must have been more tired than I expected, because without knowing, I slipped into a deep sleep.

I woke up and found myself lying in the middle of Ponyville. Houses were burning down and ponies were fleeing in every direction. I got on my hooves and stared forward as a group of ponies caught my attention. It was Iron Shock, as he laid there on the ground. A purple unicorn mare was summoning magic through her horn, soon firing it towards Iron shortly after. I tried to yell, but not a sound came through my mouth. I also tried to move, but my body was frozen in place. I stood there helplessly as I watched the beam of magic approaching towards Iron. Just then a young mare stepped in and got in the way of the blast, getting hit directly. The mare turned into stone as Iron Shock stood back up and backed away slowly. He looked traumatized as he turned around and ran away. The purple unicorn only also ran away, heading towards the palace in the mountains which I assumed was Canterlot. I could only stare at the mare, which I knew was Iron’s daughter.

I woke up a second time, only with a throbbing headache. I looked around and found myself back in camp with my fellow soldiers. I wanted to make sure, so I gently unsheathed my blade and poked my side, feeling the pain, so I knew I wasn’t dreaming. I began to walk to the front of the platoon, trying to be as quiet as I can. Everypony was still sleeping except for the few that had just woken up or had been awake. Many of them were battle scarred, worse than the ones back where I was. As I reached the front, I found none other than Princess Luna herself with the infamous Black Squad in front of the central command tent. They seemed to be planning on where we’d be arriving.
I sat down; looking back at the direction I just came from. The platoon was very large. As a matter of fact, this was about half of our army. I looked down and squinted, rubbing my head in pain. My headache was starting to annoy me. That’s when I felt a gentle tap on my shoulder. I jumped a little bit and quickly turned around. There behind me, was the elegant Princess Luna, standing ever so majestically behind me. My eyes widened as I immediately got up and stood at attention.

“P-Princess Luna! Good morning!”

I couldn’t help but wonder why she was over here. I have never been in Luna’s presence before. I was just another infantry soldier like the majority of the platoon.

“What is your name, my loyal subject?” She said, staring down at me with a small smile.

I always thought her voice would sound stricter, but I guess I was wrong. Luna’s voice sounded much more smooth and gentle up close. She was about two times my size, which I expected to intimidate me, but her voice being as soft as it was, it set me at ease.

“My name is Shadow, y-your H-Highness...”

I bowed, trying not to let my headache get the best of me. She stood there thinking for a moment, probably reading my thoughts for all that I knew. She was an alicorn. A goddess. She could do practically anything she wanted.

“Well Shadow, it is a pleasure meeting you.” She bowed her head slowly and motioned for me to rise.

I stood up, staring directly back at her. My headache grew worse, so much that my eyes winced every time a wave of pain was sent coursing through my head. I lifted my hoof to hold my head, seeking a way to somehow make it less painful, but Luna stopped me, lowering my hoof back down. I stared at her, already aware that she knew about my headache.

“Allow me, Shadow. I shall cure you of your headache.”

With that, Luna’s horn started glowing a bright blue. Out of nowhere, my head began to feel funny. It was a weird sensation that began to devour my headache. Once the sensation was gone, I could no longer feel the pain in my head.

“T-Thank you, Princess!” I was careful not to yell, so I whispered loudly.
Luna smiled as the light blue aura surrounding her horn disappeared.

“Listen closely, Shadow. I wish to discuss a matter with you.”

“What is it, Princess?” I asked, confused as to why she wanted to talk to me of all ponies.

Luna nodded her head to the side as if trying to get me to walk over in that direction. I did as she commanded, with her following right behind me. She came right up next to my face, still facing the other direction I was facing. I could smell her hair now. The smell was so genuine; I fell in love with the scent.

“We have heard a lot of good things about you from other soldiers. Your reputation precedes you, my faithful subject. I have faith that you will take my offer to be in the Black Squadron. After all with your reputation, you are fit for it.

I couldn’t believe what I was listening to. Just hearing her asking me to join the Black Squadron was enough for me to keep a permanent smile for the day. My eyes widened as I fought every ounce in my fiber not to scream out in excitement. She brought her head back up away from mine, causing me to look up back at her again.

“Yes Princess, I would be honored to be a part of the Black Squadron. For the New Lunar Republic. For you, your Highness.”

Luna giggled, pointing me to the group of Black Squadron guards she was talking with earlier. I looked and saw them all standing in one group, looking back at me with smiles.

“Go to them, and they will give you new armor to put on. I look forward to seeing you again, Shadow.”

She gave me a wink and walked off. I watched her walk away as I turned my attention to the Black Squadron. One of them, the commanding guard of the Black Squadron, came forward and confronted me. When the commander arrived in front of me, I noticed that she was a mare, and a pretty one at that. The other guards were stallions, very tough looking ones too.

“I see you got recruited into our ranks. Welcome to the Black Squadron.”

The commander smiled and patted me on the back. The other Black Shadow guards came over and congratulated me, one by one. Each introduced themselves to me. There were eight of them, each with their own callsign. The commander’s was Night. Then there was Walker, Titan, Pyro, Eagle, Prowler, Joker, and Wolf. We conversed for a bit about what my callsign would be, and we finally decided it to be Ozone.
Eagle and Wolf led me over to a set up tent that I didn’t notice before, sitting right next to Princess Luna’s. I was probably too tired to even notice it to begin with. Once inside, I noticed a table in the middle of the tent with a map on it. It was a map of Equestria with a bunch of flags. I walked over to Wolf and Eagle as they showed me my new armor. My eyes glistened with joy. It was much like the faded violet color on the Lunar Guard armor, but the main color was black, with the faded violet outlines. They helped me take my armor off, along with my combat helmet, putting on the new Black Squadron armor seconds later.

The armor had a navy blue moon crest in the middle, completing the overall look. They put the helmet on my head, which felt heavier than my last helmet. I turned and walked over to a mirror on the other side of the tent to get a glimpse of what I looked like now. Wolf and Eagle soon followed behind me as I stood in front of the mirror. My helmet was a lot like my armor, only it had the name Ozone imprinted on it. The fur at the top was also black like the armor. I turned around and looked down at both of my new companions and smiled.

“Thank you guys so much for letting me in. I’m very honored and grateful.”

“No problem, Ozone. Now let me fill you in on what we do.” Eagle exclaimed, leading me out of the tent to regroup with the rest of the guards outside.

He began to tell me everything I needed to know. Tactics, missions, weapons, codes, and other kinds of cool things I never knew existed. I listened to every sentence, and every word. When he was done, he walked off to go find Luna. Without thinking, I looked to the crowd of soldiers I once walked with. Everypony was awake now, and was either eating their morning rations or just talking. I wondered if Iron Shock was looking for me since I left while he was asleep. It didn’t bother me that much though. I figured he would go converse with some friends of his.

I turned my head around by instinct and found Luna walking out of her tent with Eagle. She looked at me noticing that I was looking at her. She smiled as I tilted head downward to show respect. She did the same and looked away, heading towards the command tent. She went in along with the other Black Squadron guards. Eagle motioned me to follow, and I did so. Upon entering, we both surrounded a big table with a larger scaled map than what was in the Black Squadron tent. I looked around at the others as they all looked at each other, then towards Luna who began to speak.

“We are approaching the Solar Empire Fort Blaze. Once we get there, they will heavily defend it by any means necessary. Your job will be simple, my subjects. All you have to do is gather a small force of pegasi ponies to fly around the mountains and flank them.”

Luna moved her hoof around in a semi circle motion around the Northern Mountains on the map. I stood there, thinking about who would be the one gathering up the small force, when Luna looked up towards me. Somehow I wasn’t surprised.

“Shadow, are you up for the task?” She asked in her normally soft tone.

I looked around at the others, who stared at me when I looked back at Luna, grinning to show courage as nodded my head.

“You can count on me, Princess. I know the perfect ponies for the job.” I suggested, my mind now set on Iron.

She smiled and looked back down at the map. Upon looking at the map, I realized something I hadn’t noticed before. Near the Everfree Forest, there was a blue flag. I figured the blue flag symbolized the New Lunar Republic. I wondered what we were still doing there. We were run out of the Everfree Forest after Celestia launched a full scale attack against us during her surprise invasion. I was there to witness it.