Our Darkest Hour

by Medici

Prologue: April 30, 1045 AC

"War does not determine who is right... only who is left."

- Bertrand Russell

Bearlin, Germaneigh

April 30, 1045 After Celestia

10:47 AM

Torn, tattered, and burnt, a red banner flaps in the smoke-darkened cloudy sky from a pole that stands on the rooftop of what used to be a four story urban residence, now ruined from bombs and artillery rockets. Its ruble cover the street below. A small fire from a pile of burning wood from a recent bomb sits right at the bottom of the pole, slowly burning through the ropes that hold the flag in place. The flag, even in it's current state, still shows the details through its burn marks, rips, and bullet holes a white circle with a black emblem of a Pegasus standing up straight with its wings outstretched at a perfect 180 degrees, giving off a militaristic appearance.

The war tattered flag waves high above the rooftops, church steeples, and domes of a once proud city; now ruined by the horrors of war. Not a single building was spared from the destruction of warfare; massive holes dot the sides and rooftops of each building. Some of these holes are large enough to hollow out the entire structure, leaving only the outer walls and a massive pile of ruble and small fires. The flashes of artillery fire, and thick black smoke fills the skyline as hundreds of bomber planes dot the smoke-darkened grey skies above; all over which flying away in the same westward direction towards the fighting. The sounds warfare fills the air as the cracking sounds of nearby gunfire, the booms of the distant bombs and artillery, and the roaring of the bomber's engines in the sky steal away any sounds that resemble peace.

The rope that held the flag finally snapped from the small fire below, causing the flag to fly freely in the wind down onto the ruble covered streets below. Entering the street trotted a about a dozen ponies with rifles and submachine guns strapped to their backs, each wearing faded olive green uniforms over their bodies. On their heads, some wore olive colored helmets while other wore side caps, each of which bore red star. Behind them, two olive colored T-34 tanks with a big red star and numbers painted white on the side of their turrets turns the corner from another street, rolling over the debris, parts of destroyed automobiles and trucks, and stray propaganda posters. The flag over them floats like a paper bag in the wind.

As the tanks and soldiers reach a three-way intersection, a small dark green fighter monoplane flies directly above the rooftops causing the floating flag to alter it's coarse to a building right in front of the intersection where entire side had been blown and the inside rooms of abandoned apartments are exposed to the intersection below.

The olive-uniformed ponies turn left into the intersection, only to meet up to a garrison of soldiers in black uniforms nesting behind a large hill of ruble that blocks the street awaiting to ambush. It was only a matter of seconds when the soldiers found cover behind stray ruble, taking off their guns on their backs and began to fire their weapons at each other. Both sides were shouting in the native languages at each other as the hand grenades began to fly. It wasn't long before the tanks took their formation side-by-side to fire at the debris-blocked road before them. The explosion that fired from their massive guns caused the ground, as well as the buildings around them to vibrate. Nonetheless, the black uniformed soldiers continued to fight on as more black uniformed soldiers took to the windows on both sides of the street aiding their fellow soldiers below against the olive uniformed soldiers.

The flag floated through the hole alongside the building that overlooked the gunfight of ponies below. It landed gently onto the third story that used to be the wooden floor to a common living room, spreading itself out and exposing the tattered, burnt, and shot up Pegasus emblem.

The fighting on the street continued; a cyan blue hoof stepped firmly onto the spread out banner.

A young attractive, yet war-torn cyan blue colored Pegasus mare with a rare rainbow mane and tail stood on the flag. She had magenta purple eyes that beamed down to the gunfight. Her eyes were reddened and had dark circles underneath them, both formed from the lack of proper sleep. She wore a serious looking expression on her dirt and smudge covered face as she gazed at the battle before her. All over her body were small scratches and black burn marks at various areas along her legs, flanks, and face. She had a red stained gauze bandage wrapped around both her left front and right back legs. She wore a button-up tattered and dirty faded green uniform with a soft purple rectangle sewed onto her right sleeve with Princess Celestia's sun-shape Cutie Mark, the nation of Equestria's Royal Emblem, in the center of the rectangle, indicating her nationality. On her left arm bears the insignia for the rank of Captain. On her flanks was her cutie mark, a rainbow lighting bolt shooting out of cloud. Although it was covered in dirt and dried mud, it was still very well visible. On her head, over her multi-colored mane, was a camouflaged cap. On her back was strapped a Mosin Nagant bolt action rifle, built in the motherland of the Hooviet Union; and finally to her side she had an Equestrian made Colt 1911 pistol holstered in a leather case.

"Rainbow Dash!" cried a voice, hinted with a southern accent. The cyan blue mare ignored the voice and continued to watch the gunfight below, planning on her next move. Suddenly, she reaches into her chest pocket of the faded green uniform and pulls out a small metal cigarette lighter painted gold. As the battle raged below, the mare's attention was now on this lighter.

"Rainbow! There you are." said the voice again, this time much closer. "You ran off again..."

Finally, the cyan mare briefly turned to the source of the voice. An orange Earth pony mare with a blonde mane and tail with deep green eyes who also showed evidence of sleep deprivation. She had freckles on her dirt covered cheeks, wearing the same tattered uniform as her counterpart. However, instead of a cap on her head she wore a dark green helmet and had the insignia of the rank of Sergeant on her left sleeve. On her dirt-covered flanks were three apples, and on her back strapped an Equissian built PPSH-41 submachine gun. Her legs had more gauze bandages, especially over around her right flank, just below her cutie mark, where a deep red stain was clearly visible in the middle of the bandage, forcing the mare to walk in a limp.

"You gotta catch up, Applejack." Rainbow Dash replied with slight sarcasm. Her tone turns more serious when she brings her attention back to the lighter. "You know I hate fighting with the Equissians."

"Ah know; ah do to. Just how they murdered that Gerneighian colt-soldier still haunts me; but we gotta stick togeth'a if we're gonna make it home." Applejack said limping up next to Rainbow Dash, keeping as much weight off of her back right leg as she can.

For only a brief moment it was silent between the two as Applejack gazes at the battle as Rainbow Dash remains staring at the lighter. The olive uniformed Equissian soldiers are now pushing the black uniformed Gerneighian soldiers back over the other side of the ruble blockade. Rainbow then spoke solemnly. "She told us to win this war... to be there when Sitler's Reich falls."

"Ah know, sugercube; and we are! We are so close to the end, we can finally give Olaf a piece of our mind." she said with sympathy seeing the lighter in Rainbow's hoof, although, Rainbow's facial expression showed nothing to sympathize over as she showed no form of sadness, more like a mixture of anger and determination. Her face then grew a small smile.

"Ha!" Rainbow laughed, "You and half of Stallion's whole army! Hopefully he's in a bunker somewhere committing suicide if he know what's good for 'em.", Rainbow paused, her tone becomes more serious, "Any word on Olek?" she asked, finally looking away from the lighter to Applejack.

"He fell behind a couple blocks back. If he's still with those tanks, he should catch up soon." said Applejack.

"And, how far to the Reichstag?" Rainbow asked putting the lighter back in her left chest pocket.

"Just a couple more blocks."

Rainbow smiled confidently "Nothin' we can't handle." she says unstrapping the rifle from her back, Applejack followed the same action with her submachine gun, and both readied their weapons for combat.

"...This is it, Rainbow..." Applejack said with optimism, "... We do this, and we go home."

Rainbow levitated herself above the floor with her wings, facing the fight below with the rifle in her hooves. She turned to Applejack with a soft smile, "There's nothing I want more...". And with that she took off towards the road below leaving Applejack to find her own way down to the street.

"Oh sure! Don't mind me, Rainbow! No problem getting down!" she cried out passively, "It's not like ah don't have wings, or nothin'!", her voice then trails off into mumbles of annoyance as she prepares herself to jump to the closest pile of ruble to the street, being extra careful with her wounded flank.

The Equissian olive-uniformed soldiers made their way across the ruble blockade and continue to fight the Gerneighian black-uniformed soldiers as the two tanks rolled over the mess. Rainbow Dash flew over the ruble alongside the tanks, only to be met by gunfire from the windows on the side buildings and behind blocks of ruble in the street by the Gerneighians. She landed and aimed her rifle at the first black-uniformed pony she saw in the street and fired. She can see him drop dead through the iron sights of her weapon.

Rainbow can hear the bullets flying over her head and the ground around her, causing dirt and chips of cement to fly in the air. One Gernieghian soldier in the street got his sights on Rainbow Dash, his bullets missing her by just a few inches, forcing her to find cover. She reacts quickly and lifts herself with her wings, dashing towards the closest cover she can get to which was a blown up automobile on the left side of the road. She landed without slowing down, causing her to slide behind the automobile just as the bullets followed her, hitting the car with loud pang sounds. After waiting a second for the pangs of bullets on the other side of the car to cease, she loads her next bullet with the gun's bolt action and pulled the gun up above the hood of the car and aimed down the rifle again to the Gerneighian soldier who just tried to shoot Rainbow Dash.


Rainbow smiled as she could tell that Gerneighian solider was hit in the head as blood sprayed out of his helmet and is head bobbling as he dropped to the ground. She took cover behind the car again as loaded the next bullet. She lifted herself above the hood again and aimed down her sights for another target. The tank right next to her fires at the building at the end of the street causing an explosion at the other end of the road, this also caused Rainbow's right ear to go temporarily deaf from the piercing sound of tank's cannon, but she still kept her focus down the barrel of her gun regardless.


Another Gerneighian soldier down, right in the chest. "Who's next." she whispered.

Rainbow notices from the corner of her eye a large mounted machine gun in one of the third floor windows of the building right in front of her getting loaded up, she hides behind the automobile once again. She can hear the large gun firing away, hitting the ground and Equissian ponies who remained exposed to the shooter's view. Rainbow can feel her hearing coming back to her in her right ear, but also can feel a drop of blood slowly slide down from her ear down the outlining of her jaw.

Rainbow took her hoof and wiped the blood away, "Damn it." she say to herself, "Third time. I gotta stop taking cover right next to tanks." After wiping the blood on her faded green uniform from her hoof she peaks around the front bumper of the car to the machine gun's slaughter.

An Equissian Unicorn soldier collapsed dead right in front of Rainbow, torso turn up by the machine gun and blood everywhere on the poor stallion's body. Rainbow looked towards the other side of the street to see Applejack climbing down the hill of ruble alongside the walls of the building. Applejack is too far off the side to be seen by the machine gun's shooter. Many Equissian soldiers got the same idea and went along the wall with Applejack. One Equissian Unicorn attempted to shoot a destructive spell at the machine gun, but before the spell was charged he was shot up by the massive bullets of the machine gun. A Pegasus soldier attempted to fly up to it but only to get shot up by another Gerneighain soldier to the window next to the machine gun with his submachine gun, making the Pegasus crash to the ground dead.

The tanks finally responded and both turned their barrels up at the the third floor of that building, both firing almost simultaneously causing a massive hole to form on the side of the building, silencing the machine gun.

Rainbow Dash, covering her ears this time, pulled her gun back up over the hood of the car and resumed shooting. After another two shots fired by Rainbow Dash the building where the machine gun used to be begins to become unstable. The ground shakes as the entire side of the building comes crumbling down, killing most of the Gerneighian soldiers caught under the ruble, dazing the remaining soldiers almost to the point of unconsciousness. The four story complex is now completely exposed to the interior rooms.

Rainbow called out, "Go! Go! Go!" waiving her hoof in the air towards the wall of ruble on the street from the collapse, making a hill out of debris into the second floor, "Get in there! Clear 'em out!". Equissian soldiers not only did not understand her, but ignored her, gaining entrance into the building on their own terms. Rainbow Dash remained to finish off any stranglers that prevented the Equissians from entering the building.

Equissian soldiers rushed to ruble, killing the remaining Gerneighian soldiers who were not killed by the collapse. Across the street, Applejack obeyed Rainbow's command and moved up to the ruble hill into the second floor of the building. She turned into the building's hole shooting, killing a Gerneighian soldier still dazed by the collapse. Once inside Applejack was charged by a Gerneighian soldier. Applejack turned her submachine gun around and hit him on the head with the butt of the gun, then turned to buck him the ground. He landed on his back to the ground. Applejack stepped on his chest with her injured right leg, preventing him from getting up, aimed her gun to his head and fired; a few drops of blood landed on her face.

A group of three black-uniformed soldiers turn a corner to Applejack's line of fire; Applejack retaliates and fires a spray of her bullets killing all three. She limps her way down that hall into a living room, making her way across the living room to the other side to another door, stopping at the right side with her weapon ready to turn the corner. Through the door was a hallway with many windows on the left side, all of which are broken, and a whole group of Gerneighian soldiers. An Equissian soldier rushes by her into the room, only to get shot upon entering by a submachine gun. Applejack turns the corner, surprising the Gerneighian soldier who just shot the Equissian, and fires at him with a spray of bullets before he had time to react. Applejack keeps firing upon seeing a whole group Gerneighian soldiers shooting out the windows to Equissian soldiers at the streets below, unaware of her presence. Applejack put her entire clip into them as they all dropped to the floor. With that hallway clear, Equissian soldiers rush by her taking cover behind the windows and shooting their guns to another gunfight below, aiding their comrades. Applejack reloads her submachine gun and joins them by taking cover under the first window.

After watching Applejack and a group of Equissians enter and clear out the ruined building, Rainbow Dash makes her way in there as well to join them, strapping her rifle on her back and trots around the car to ruble hill into the second floor of the building. Upon climbing the ruble her leg is grabbed by a crawling half-conscious Gerneighian soldier, forcing Rainbow to trip. Rainbow retaliates and pulls out her pistol to his head and puts the soldier out of his misery.

Rainbow gets back to her hooves and takes one last look for hostiles down the street as she holsters her pistol. Instead she sees an entire convoy of Equissian T-34 tanks driving by at the 3-way intersection surrounded by dozens of olive uniformed ponies. Behind Rainbow the two tanks that fought alongside her rolled over the ruble towards the convoy. With that, a formation of four dark green fighter planes fly above the building, Rainbow Dash smiles at her victory and enters the building, making her way to the hallway where Applejack remains shooting with the Equissian soldiers.

Making her way to the other side of the building she gets to the hallway of broken windows where Applejack and the Equissians fire out them with their submachine guns and rifles to another 3-way intersection below where Gerneighian soldiers have made another garrison behind more ruble, a few ruined automobiles, a burning Gernieghian Panther tank, and a ruined anti-aircraft gun.

Rainbow takes cover on the left side of the window where Applejack was taking cover, "Nice job clearing out the place!" Rainbow complemented unstrapping her rifle to shoot again.

"Thank ya!" Applejack replied shooting out the window. A spray of bullets hit the bottom outlining of the windowsill, causing Applejack to cover from the crumbs of debris and duck below the windowsill, "Not much farther, now!" returning her eye contact.

Rainbow Dash and Applejack continued to fire their weapons to the street below. Suddenly an Equissian soldier down the hall dropped dead after the piecing sound of a bullet penetrating through his helmet, his blood slat against the wall behind him. Equissian soldiers reacted by taking cover under and around the windows, shouting the same word over and over in their native language. Neither Rainbow Dash nor Applejack know any Equissian and they were already too focused on shooting the Gernieghians outside to notice the Equissian's reactions. An Equissian peaked his head over one of the windowsills, suddenly another piercing sound through his helmet, forcing his entire body to hit the floor as his blood sprayed the wall behind him.

A flash was seen by Applejack to a building at the end of the street and something hit the cement just below the window, briefly blinding Applejack's view from the dust.

"Sweet Celestia!" she cried ducking below the window again. "Sniper! Rainbow, get down!" she yelled motioning her hoof up and down to Rainbow Dash above her. Rainbow did as Applejack ordered and went back into cover.

"Did you see where he was?" Rainbow asked.

"Not exactly, but ah saw a flash from the building at the end of the road."

"Wait here." Rainbow Dash says dropping her rifle to the ground. "When I give the go, you get his attention." She drops herself to the wooden floor and starts to crawl down the hall.

"Are ya nuts!" Applejack watched in confusion as her partner crawls away. "Ah ain't gonna get myself killed, ah'll be damned if ah die now!"

"Just do it long enough to get his sights on you!" Rainbow Dash calls back.

"What about you're rifle!? Ain't ya gonna need that!?"

Rainbow looks back, "I've got another plan!" she replied leaving Applejack to continue taking cover confused. Rainbow Dash crawls as close to the ground as she can behind the preoccupied Equissian soldiers who have now returned their fire upon the street. She crawls over several olive and black uniformed bodies as bullets were fired through the windows, hitting the wall above Rainbow Dash, as well as several Equissian soldiers, dropping like flies. Another pony was shot by the sniper a couple feet behind Rainbow Dash as his body collapsed to the floor. Then another, this time right next to Rainbow; his limp body landing right top of her.

"Dyaa!" she blurted out surprised by the body "Damn it! Get off me! You're heavy as Hell!" she yelled throwing the body off of her, then continued to crawl to the other side of the hall mumbling in annoyance. She reached the door at the other end of the hall, putting herself against the wall under the window; before peering out the bottom corner of the far window she glanced to see if Applejack was ready around preoccupied Equissian soldiers.

Suddenly, the sound of roaring engines and large treads rolling over bricks overthrew the dozens of cracks from gunfire. Rainbow peaks out the window so only her eyes and forehead visible to see what that sound was. She sees four T-34 tanks and about two dozen Equissian infantry from the convoy down the left road approaching the intersection to aid the Equissian soldiers garrisoned in this building.

"Rainbow!" Applejack cried from across the hall. "Just let those tanks get 'em!"

"They're only going to pay attention to the street. That sniper is more concerned about us than anything...! Get ready!" Rainbow Dash shouted back trying to get a good view of building at the end of the road in front of her while exposing as little of her head as possible.

Once Rainbow Dash positions herself she calls to Applejack, "NOW!!! DO IT NOW!!!"

Without hesitation, Applejack launches herself above the windowsill, screaming loudly while firing and waving her gun up to the sky. Applejack sees a small flash at the building and ducks back down. A large bullet hole is formed in the wall where Applejack's head was in front of. Applejack covers her head with her hooves.

"Holy horse apples!" she cries in response to the hairline-miss. "I saw him!" she shouts over to Rainbow Dash, "Third floor, second window from the left!"

"I saw him to, he's mine! Do it one more time!" Rainbow shouted back rotating her camouflaged hat so the flap points behind her.

"He barely missed me!"

"Just do it!"

Applejack let out a deep breath before reenacting the distraction. She then launched her self up, shooting her gun in the air again. Another flash, Applejack drops to the ground, hearing the bullet scrape the top of her helmet as she fell to the floor.

"BUCK! Way too damn close!" Applejack cried, almost in the verge of tears, covering her head with her hooves, feeling the scratch left by the projectile.

Once Rainbow Dash knew Applejack was safe, she threw herself out of the window and flew towards the end of the street as fast as her wings could take her. Flying above the Gerneighian garrison as the Equissian tanks fired their cannons almost in unison. She left her signature rainbow trail as she flew, feeling the bullets pass her in every direction, missing her my mere inches. As she approached the end of the road she pulls out her pistol from it's holster. At full speed, Rainbow flies through the third floor window, second from the left, tackling an Earth pony in the black uniform and helmet holding a scoped rifle into the back wall, putting the pistol to his head and fired.

The blood sprayed against the wall as Rainbow let go of his dead body, collapsing to the ground. If it were not for the blood lust scream of a Gernieghian soldier charging behind Rainbow Dash with the butt of his MP-40 submachine gun, he would have pounded Rainbow's head with it. But instead, Rainbow reacts and dodges the attack, pistol whipping him across the face. She turned him around as Rainbow put him into a headlock, chocking him as he looses consciousness. Rainbow hears Gerneighian voices coming from the door to her right, she drops her pistol from her free hoof and uses the MP-40 still in the Gerneighian's hoof and aims at the door, using the half conscious soldier as a pony-shield. Four Gerneighian soldiers rushes through the door, the first soldier getting a chance to shoot at Rainbow Dash, only to be blocked by the pony-shield, killing him; Rainbow sprays the bullets at the stallions, each dropping to the ground motionless.

"Yeah!" Rainbow shouts enthusiastically, dropping her pony-shield, "That's how you do it in Equestria!"

Rainbow keeps the MP-40, and goes to pick up her pistol to put it back in her holster, she then rotates her cap to it's proper position with the flap facing forward again now that her high speed flight was finished. She moves to the door where the soldiers came out of to clear that room. Right as she enters, a soldier tackles her to the ground, landing back into the room she first entered from. The stallion above her knocked the MP-40 from her hoof, and pinned her back legs down firmly, not wanting any unwanted kicking. He pulls out a combat knife and lunged it right towards her heart. Rainbow puts her hooves out to the soldier's wrists to desperately block the blade from reaching it's destination.

It was a battle for leverage, now. Rainbow Dash put every ounce of energy she had into the pushing the blade away, but the soldier has both gravity and body weight on his side. Her eyes and teeth were clenched in a losing effort as the blade slowly and shakily descends down. Realizing he is winning, the soldier begins to whisper words in his native language in a lover's tone. Enraged by this, Rainbow lets out an angry growl, forcing every fiber of her being to push the blade away. Rainbow knew that unless something happens very soon, this is it. Rainbow Dash refuses to die without putting up a fight.

"Come on!" she blurts out "I've seen... fillies... stronger than you...! Bring it, bitch!", she was proud of her potential last words. She then spits in his face in hopes it will relieve some tension between the two ponies, giving Rainbow a chance to retaliate. It failed. It only angered the Gerneighian, forcing more of his body weight onto the knife. The point of the blade shakily reaches the the fabric of Rainbow's faded green uniform, sharply poking the skin of her chest beneath it. The pain intensifies as the point begins to pierce the skin, a small amount of blood begins to stain around the shirt. Rainbow clenched her eyes as she made one final effort before her imminent death.

Suddenly, tension is lessened as the soldier fearfully shouts, "Nein, Nein!", followed by a loud gunshot from behind Rainbow Dash, causing the soldier to fly off of her from the force of the bullet, the knife to bash against the wall. Rainbow Dash took a second to thank Celestia for such luck, placing a hoof over her minor wound before looking back to her savior.

She looked behind her, still on the floor, and immediately recognized the source of the gunfire. A light brown Pegasus stallion with black mane slicked back with a strand of hair down to his eyebrow, a trimmed short tail with light blue eyes. He wore a tattered dark brown uniform with different patches sewed onto it, and an armband on his right arm that had two two horizontal strips, the top stripe white and the bottom red. On his head was a black beret with a metal emblem pinned to the front corner of two crossed rifles in front a rather simple banner that has was the same as the armband, top stripe white and bottom red. In his hooves he held a scoped Mosin Nagent rifle with a strap dangling down, smoke was seeping out its muzzle.

"Olek!" Rainbow cried excitedly getting back on her hooves, "You sure as hay took your sweet time!"

"I like to make an entrance." he says with a smile, "The enemy had thrown a couple of spare Panther tanks at us." he stated, strapping his weapon on his back. He had an Eastern sounding accent, but it was just enough to sound authentic and not so strong that it cannot be understood, similar to Applejack's accent. "Are you OK?" he asked approaching her.

"Yeah, I'm fine." she says in a soft tone. Olek comes to examine her wound. "Just a scratch, is all."

"That's the second time I saved you." he says with slight sarcasm, gently putting his hoof near the wound, briefly examining it. "That's two you owe me." he says looking up into Rainbow's eyes with a soft smile.

"Yeah, yeah;" replied Rainbow Dash gently pushing the hoof away with a sly smirk on her face, " I saved you a few times as well, buddy. But we'll sort that out when we win this thing."

"Come! I brought you a present!" Olek says pointing to the windows, "Reinforcements; for our final push!"

Rainbow and Olek approach the windows; down at the street below, one after another T-34 tanks and trucks mounted with large rocket launchers drive in the road heading towards the right, driving into a large rotary just down the road. Straight ahead the four tanks that assisted Applejack's group came rolling down the street over hills of ruble and dead Gernieghian bodies and around the ruined vehicles, followed by all the Equissian soldiers, including limping Applejack, who had made their defense against the defeated Gerneighian garrison.

"Come, Dashie!" says Olek heading towards the door he came from to the left side of the room, "Let's finish this, once and for all!"

Before following, Rainbow Dash grabbed the MP-40, along with a few magazines of ammo from the corpses, and followed. "I'm right behind'ya!" she says in her usual competitive tone.

The two made their way down the stairs and out to the street dominated by the olive tanks rolling by. Applejack on the other side of the street jumped on top of the closest tank from her and laid on her back.

"Olek!" she cried getting comfortable on the rear end of the armored vehicle, leaning against the turret, "Thank ya, kindly!" putting her hooves behind her head, lowering her helmet over her closed her eyes.

"I wouldn't get on that if I were you, Applejack!" Olek replied, "That's the first thing the Gerneighians are going to be shooting!"

"Pff." Rainbow said putting out a hoof, "Well, I'm not walking." she joked, lifting herself up with her wings and flew to the tank now a good distance away and sat next to Applejack, lowering her cap over her eyes.

Olek sighed and flew over to the tank as well. He lands on the tank and readies his weapon over the turret. He looks down at the mares resting beside him, "How is it you two are alive, again?" he asked sarcastically.

"Cuz we're awesome!" Rainbow says with her cap still over her eyes.

Olek rolls his eyes and faces ahead to where the convoy was heading. A large rotary with a column in the middle, broke in half with it's top statue shattered on the ground below it. Many oliveuniformed soldiers were taking cover behind the broken column and destroyed tanks and automobiles that are left to rot in the rotary, shooting at a domed neoclassical building at the other end of the rotary. A small line of five tanks continue to shoot at the building from the far left side of the rotary while gunfire fired back at the olive uniformed ponies and vehicles from the windows, doors, and behind the front pillars of the large neoclassical structure. Something fires out of one of the upper windows that left a trail of smoke to one of the five tanks shooting at the building, causing the tank to explode. To the far right sits a line of over ten trucks mounted with rocket launchers, shooting their rockets over the neoclassical dome to another raging battle at the other side.

"Alright, girls!" Olek yelled, gazing at the scene before him, "Break time's over! The Reichstag is just past the Opera House! Looks like they have rocket launchers in there!". Olek aimed his gun, looking through his scope to a soldier in one of he windows and fired.

The tank followed the of the convoy as it turned right, into the rotary, to a street that goes around the Opera House to the other side. This turn exposed the resting mares to the gunfire. Upon hearing the pangs of bullets hitting the metal of the tank, the two mares got to their hooves and readied their weapons.

"We're sittin' ducks on this thing!" Applejack cried jumping off, limping her way to cover.

"Oh really!? Never would have guessed!" Olek cried.

"What a nice minuet-long break!" Rainbow commented jumping off, Olek followed.

The three ponies ran to the center of the rotary, bullets hitting the ground all around them, and slid behind the piece of the column that collapsed to the ground with several other Equissian soldiers firing at the Opera House. At their own time, Rainbow Dash who took cover in the middle and Applejack on the left lifted themselves over the column to shoot their submachine guns at the Opera House in front of them. Olek, on the right side of Rainbow Dash, took his time and sniped out various hostiles in the windows, picking them off one pony at a time.

Another rocket flew out of the window, this time hitting a tank in the convoy behind the group causing it to explode. The explosion made all of the ponies behind the column to cover themselves from both the force of the explosion and the heat. Returning fire at the Opera House, Rainbow Dash commented:

"For being so outnumbered, these guys are sure putting up a good fight!" she cried ducking behind the column to reload.

Olek took cover to reload his rifle. "We have all the advantages: morale, momentum, numbers, weapons, and now we have them surrounded! Last I heard, the Equestrian, Braytish, and Prench forces are closing in fast! It's miracle the Gerneighians don't drop their weapons now!"

Rainbow took a glance at a telephone pole before turning around to continue firing. She looked back again, seeing a black-uniformed pony dangling from a broken wire around his neck. "Olek!?" she asked pointing at hanging pony, "Did we do that!?"

Olek back around and took cover again to see what Rainbow was talking about. He saw the hanging stallion. "No! At least I don't think so! Gerneighian officers hang their cowards! If anything, that poor soul had the right idea! To keep fighting is suicide! I saw much more of those when we were separated, some were even little colts! Just another sign of Sitler's desperation!"

"Damn it!" cried Applejack, "Ah'm out!" dropping her SMG and scoured the ground for another.

"Take your pick, AJ! There's a bunch around here!" replied Rainbow acknowledging that there are many guns scattered across the ground from those who have fallen.

"'Ey there, look! A semi-auto! Haven't used one of these since Horsaw!" Applejack announced picking up an Equissian semi-automatic rifle. She pulled herself over the column and fired three rounds, each hitting an enemy in the windows. "YEE HAW!" she shouted in excitement, "I forgot how accurate these things are!"

"No crap, AJ!" replied Rainbow Dash resuming her fire at the Opera House.

"An SVT-40!" Olek commented, "Not a bad choice!"

After much bombardment, a tank off to the left fired right above the pillars to the Opera House, causing the whole front end of the structure to collapse, exposing a small bit of the theater inside and silencing most of the gunfire from the building. Watching this, Rainbow got an idea.

"Olek!" shouted Rainbow, "Go get one of those tanks to drive through the building!"

"Drive through it!?" Olek asked.

"Yeah! Like a battering ram!"

"Why me!?" asked Olek taking another shot with his rifle.

"Cuz you speak Equissian! Go!"

Olek sighed, "Fine. Wait here!". With that, Olek flew over to one of the tanks driving by behind them. He landed on top of the turret and knocked on the top hatch while he yelled in a different language to the ponies inside to open the hatch. A tank operator wearing a dark brown goggled hat opened and the two briefly spoke in that same language as Olek pointed towards the Opera House while the operator's head nodding in agreement.

"What's 'e doin'!?" Applejack asked taking cover again to Rainbow Dash watching this scene.

"You'll see!" replied Rainbow Dash.

The tank operator shut the hatch and the tank turned off towards the Opera House. Olek remained on the tank for a few more seconds, ignoring the miscellaneous gunfire from the Opera House, playfully saluting Rainbow and Applejack with a smirk on his face until he went by them, then flew back to his original position next to Rainbow Dash.

"You're welcome." he says to Rainbow Dash.

The tank reached the steps of the Opera House and climbed up, only to pick up more speed over the ruble. All the remaining gunfire from the windows were now fixed onto the tank. The sounds of the panging from the bullets did nothing to the tank as it made hard contact with the wall, knocking the entire front section of the building down, killing any remaining Gerneighians in the windows and rolled into the theater. This was the sign for everypony in the rotary to move up an to clear out the Opera House now that the rotary was secured.

Equissian soldiers, Applejack, Rainbow Dash, and Olek all run on four hooves with their weapons strapped to all their backs up their cement stairs, over the ruble, and into the theater. The tanks slowly drives through over the center aisle, crushing the seats beneath it's treads, slowly approaching the stage where two large red banners with the white circle and black Pegasus emblem hangs on both sides. Gerneighians soldiers rush in to try and stop the tank from the sides of the theater and the balconies above. They shoot the tank with their guns and threw grenades, except for the annoying pang sounds and a few extra burn marks on the metal from the grenades, nothing seemed to work on the metal monster. It comes to a halt halfway through the theater and ready it's main cannon.

Equissians shot back at the Gerneighians who are now forced to take their fire off of the tank and onto the infantry storming in through the massive hole in the front of the Opera House. Rainbow Dash shot non-stop into the theater, hitting her targets one by one, only stopping for a second to switch her targets and when needing to reload. Olek stayed further back, picking off enemies from afar. Applejack remained close to Rainbow Dash as the two slowly entered the theater together, firing away, back-to-back, picking off every black-uniformed pony that was caught in their sights.

When most of the Gerneighians were killed by the onslaught of the Equissians who entered, the tank fired one round at the back wall, weakening it, then took off as fast as it could towards the wall. Running over seats, then through the entire stage and backstage sets, and to the weakened back wall. The tank smashed its way through the wall leaving a hole twice the size of the tank and rolled outside into the battlefield outside.

"There it is!" Applejack cried, "It's the Reichstag! Ah can smell that sweet Apple Family pie, already!"

Rainbow Dash stepped on a Gerneighian survivor on the ground and put the last bullet in her magazine into his head. "Then what're waiting for!" she lifted herself above the floor of the theater with her wings, "Let's finish this!" Rainbow took off towards the hole, making her the first of the soldiers to go through.

"Wait, Rainbow!" Olek shouted still at the entrance to the theater, "We don't know if its safe yet!"

Rainbow landed just outside, quickly gazing at the scene before her. Dozens of tanks, now including the tank that just made it's own road through the Opera House, and hundreds of infantry charged towards a large bullet hole and smoke stained covered building at the end of a long park that was dotted with bunkers, trenches, and massive craters from artillery fire. Anti-aircraft gunfire fill the skies around it shooting the olive-colored planes that cover the grey sky above, one of the planes explodes and head for a crash coarse to the ground. The building was a large rectangle shape with four small towers on each corner, each having a red banner on a pole above them, and a large dome in the center. The edge of the rooftops are dotted with various statues, most of which damaged from miscellaneous bullets.

"...Once and for all." Rainbow whispers to herself, stepping forward to the battle ahead.

Suddenly, a black-uniformed soldier, unlike the others, wearing a black leather trench coat, a peaked cap, and red armband on his left arm, stumbles in front of Rainbow Dash, almost out of nowhere, from behind a piece of ruble left by the tank's wreckage. He is clearly injured as a blood stained gauze bandage wraps his torso, and is dazed, walking as if he is intoxicated. He shakily pulls out a pistol and aims right at Rainbow Dash.

Rainbow reacts, lifting her MP-40 to look down the sights to the soldier. She pulls the trigger.


"...Oh shit..."

The soldier fires.

A sharp pain hits Rainbow's chest, forcing all of the air to escape her lungs as she flew backwards. The force of hitting hard on the cement ground causes everything to go black.


Our Darkest Hour

Written by: Tenacious Ventura

Inspired and based off of true events.

In memory to the tens of millions who lost their lives during the Second World War; Allies, Axis, or civilian regardless...