Chapter 26: Roar of Ages
Perspective change ‒ Rainbow Dash
“Dashie...” whispered a soft voice beside me, and even though I normally would just grumble and roll over to go back to sleep, I knew that now wasn’t the time for that, so I opened my eyes and smiled when I saw Pinkie’s bright blue eyes looking down at me.
“Heya Pinks.” I replied happily, yawning before sitting up. I rubbed my eyes with my hooves before asking, “Are we all set?”
Pinkie Pie shook her head with a smile. “Not just yet. Enigma Flare is awake now, but Frostie’s brother is still getting things ready. He wants everything to be perfect before Flare breaks the ice. Hehe...break the ice.”
I giggled and stood, nuzzling my friend affectionately. “Funny girl, Pinks.” I looked around my tent briefly before asking, “Where’s Ditzy?”
“She’s already up, making us breakfast in the commons tent. She said to tell you to suit up before you get there, to make sure we’re ready.” she replied with a smile.
I raised my eyebrow. “Ready for what? Was the perimeter breached?”
Pinkie shook her head. “No. There were a couple of attacks, but the ponies on watch fended them off just fine. No one was hurt, but Ditzy just wants to be safe.”
I turned to my custom armor and nodded. “Yeah...that’d be a good idea. Thanks for waking me up, Pinks. I’ll meet you there.”
After about twenty minutes of fitting, tightening, and adjusting, I was in full armor, headed to get some food. The many soldiers I passed on the way looked pretty much the same as I did: tired, ragged, but determined to get this done. At this I was happy, because even though we were all tired, we were all still united and ready to finish this...and that was going to be more than enough to end this bucking war.
And I was going to take personal pleasure in wiping that confident smirk right off of Death’s face.
When I finally arrived at the tent, it was to see all nine of the different commanders gathered, and I was the last to arrive to a thankfully hot and tasty-smelling meal.
Darkflight smirked at me and said, “Good to see you’re still alive, Dash. I was worried you might have died in your sleep from lack of rest.”
I rolled my eyes at his dry sense of humor. “Please, it’ll take more than sleep deprivation to take me down...a lot more.”
The Obsidian grinned and nodded. “Glad to hear it.” He then turned to the rest of the group and pointed to a large map that was in the middle of the large circular table. “Alright, so here’s the plan: Sergeant Enigma Flare is going to breach the ice shield around the mountain, and then we’re going to bombard it with artillery shots from our H.O.S. team, led by Captain Nightwing. Princess Celestia and Princess Luna have already advised our undercover changeling friends to evacuate, so if all goes as is planned, there should be no friendlies inside when we breach.”
“What about Frostie?” Pinkie asked curiously. “He’ll still be inside, won’t he?”
Darkflight shook his head. “He won’t be in danger. First of all, Death has proven on quite a few occasions just how cunning he is, and after working so hard and for so long to get Drew on his ‘team’, he’s not going to let him come into harm’s way like that. In fact, I can guarantee that Death is banking on us not doing something like this because we’re afraid Drew will get hurt in the crossfire. Well, we’ll use that against him. Terra’s avatar of death might have all of you figured out, but he’s never had to deal with humans like me before. Deception and bluffing is something that humans are very good at, so I can tell a bluff when I see one. We’re going to call him on it, and then we’re going to use that overconfidence to bury him.” He then pointed to six different spots on the map. “All of you already know what to do, but I’m going to cover it again just to be sure. Ground forces under the command of Captain Dash, Captain Doo, and Colonel Spike will lock down the perimeter. Air forces under the command of Princesses Luna and Celestia will maintain full air superiority, and will collaborate with the auxiliary dragonkin for air support. Auxiliary air units under the command of Praetor Stone and Overlord Seivar will assist the evacuation of wounded from the front lines. The remaining three units under the command of Captain Venn, Major Moonfang, and myself will storm the mountain after artillery bombardment has ceased. Any questions?” No one spoke up, and I simply dug into my meal ravenously as I watched. Darkflight smiled and nodded. “Good. We move out in one hour. Get suited up and prepare your troops.”
I watched as the group broke up, leaving only Ditzy sitting next to me. She grinned and commented, “Almost done...almost done.”
I swallowed the hot roasted carrots and nodded. “Yep. Soon we can put this all behind us. Maybe then the Wonderbolts-”
Ditzy shoved me with a smirk. “Shut up, Dash.”
Perspective change ‒ Darkflight
I arrived back at my camp to find that luckily everyone was already suited up, which meant that other than some quick checks, we were set to go.
This gave me some time to chill out in my tent.
As AJ and I relaxed on my cot, I just let my mind go blank as I closed my eyes to rest a bit. Even though the talk with the officers in the grub shack had gone very well, I was still stressed out. Badass or not, I was still nervous about all of this...this would be the second time I would likely have to fight my brother, with him trying to kill me. We’d had our share of disagreements in the past, as all brothers do, but this was different. I didn’t know what I would find when I found him...
I just prayed that I was right, and that he wasn’t doing this of his own free will.
However, regardless of what I found, I had to keep in mind that this fight wasn’t about me...it was about the people who lived on this planet. No matter what I found, I had to remember that this had to end. Too many had died already for my personal feelings to get in the way.
“Dark?” whispered AJ from beside me.
I looked down at the orange mare and smiled. “What’s up, sexy?”
Contrary to normal, she didn’t blush at the pet name. “Wha’s wrong?”
She always was good at seeing how I really felt...and now was no different. I sighed and replied, “Imagine that instead of Frost, it was Big Mac in there working for Death.”
AJ’s eyes looked down at my chest for a moment before looking back up at my face. “Ah reckon Ah’d be mighty sad...’n scared.”
I nodded. “And that’s exactly how I feel right now. I know that I said that there’s no way Drew would be doing this willingly...but what if I’m wrong?”
The farmpony tapped my chest with an armored hoof and shook her head. “Don’ go second-guessin’ yer brother, Dark. Y’all know he loves us all, and he’d never do somethin’ like this on his own. Ah know it, RD knows it, the princesses know it...ev’rybody knows it. Don’ doubt ‘im, sugarcube...he wouldn’t doubt you.”
I chuckled and ran my claws through AJ’s mane. “Man...what’d I do to deserve a girl like you?”
She smirked and replied, “Y’all just got real lucky, tha’s what.”
I sighed with a smile and held her closer. “I love you, AJ.”
“Ah love ya too, Dark.” she replied before leaning forward, and connecting her lips with mine. After a few minutes of kissing, caressing, and nibbling her lips with my own mouth, she pulled back with a half-lidded gaze and a seductive grin. “Ya know...we still got an hour b’fore we head out.”
I raised my eyeridge in confusion, though also in silent hope. “Are you suggesting what I think you are? Because if you’re not, I have to tell you that you really need to work on your body language and suggestive talk.” At this statement, she ran her rough tongue up the side of my neck scales, making me shiver and growl as I looked back at her. “AJ, you know that I said I’d try and keep from cursing around you, but right now you better not be fucking with me.”
She grinned and shook her head. “It’s okay, Dark...and nah, Ah ain’t pullin’ yer leg.” She then looked directly into my eyes and added, “All this time Ah made ya wait...Ah wanted ta be sure ya weren’t jus’ lookin’ fer a roll in tha hay. Ah’m sorry fer makin ya wait so long.”
“Well if we’re confessing,” I began, taking a hard swallow, “I have to say that at first, yes...that’s what I was interested in.”
She nodded, still smiling. “Ah know. Y’all changed after yer brother died.”
I nodded as I hugged her tight against me. “Yeah...I realized that I should treat those I care about better...starting with you.”
“Dark,” she started, undoing the straps of my chest armor, “Ah’ve wanted this fer a long time...Ah jus’ wanted ta be sure ya really cared.”
I helped her and removed the heavy plated armor before cupping her face in my hands. “AJ, when I told you that I’d wait for as long as it takes, I meant it.”
She nodded with a loving smile. “Ah know...and thanks. Ah’m through waitin’ though...and Ah might not get another chance.” I started to try and reassure her, but she placed a hoof on my mouth and shook her head. “Ah know what yer gonna say Dark, but Ah know yer no future-teller. No matter how this whole thing turns out, Ah won’t regret this moment...not with you...never with you.”
I smiled and unclasped my greaves, tail armor, and shoulders before letting all the pieces fall to the ground around the cot, and then quickly and efficiently helped my beautiful mare out of her own gear as well. After the both of us were undressed, AJ walked over to the flaps of the tent and zipped it closed before trotting back over to me and hopping up on my chest.
“Now...where were we?” she rhetorically asked before again running her tongue along the sensitive scales of my throat. Again, I let out a growl without meaning to, and responded by running my own tongue along her exposed throat, the forked ends dancing along her fur. This caused her to shiver and moan out, “Ah...D-Dark, th-that feels good...”
I chuckled under my breath and replaced my tongue with my mouth, leaving small little nips wherever I would go, all the while running my hands over AJ’s firm, curvy body. This elicited more moans from her, progressively getting louder as she surrendered herself to my touch, clearly having wanted this for quite some time...and truth be told, I was right there with her on that.
I then moved my hands to the one place (besides the obvious) that AJ had never let me touch: her cutie marks.
I was well aware of just how sensitive the magical emblems were, and my touch was followed by a loud moan and a curse, along with a subsequent bucking of her hips into my lower abdomen. As I continued to stroke and knead the sensitive area, I silenced her with a kiss, which only caused her to moan louder into my mouth. Her scent of arousal began to fill the area, and her pheromones just spurred me on further, and I ended up squeezing her flanks tightly with both hands.
The mare on top of me gasped and moaned again loudly as she disconnected from my mouth. She closed her eyes as her back arched and she purred, “More...Ah want more.”
I was more than happy to oblige as I rolled her over so that she was on her back underneath me, and I was towering over her. Never before had she looked so beautiful to me, and never before had I wanted her more than I did now. I began kissing down her throat and to her chest, still massaging her flanks with my hands as I did so. This in turn caused her to begin panting as she continued to moan my name in broken sentences that I wasn’t really listening to, but the sounds of me being pleaded to by such a beautiful, needy girl just made me step up my game.
I continued running my mouth down her body as I moved my hands slowly to caressing the insides of her thighs, making her squirm and squeak cutely a few times before continuing panting and moaning softly.
Finally, I arrived at my destination, and as I looked at the moist treasure between her hind legs, I could tell she was more than ready for this. I kissed just above it a few times before lowering and-
“Commander, I bring a report from...oh...” announced a voice from behind me.
I growled in frustration and flared my wings, covering AJ as I turned around angrily. “Tent flap open means come in! Tent flap closed means stay the fuck out! If you interrupted me and somebody’s not dead, I WILL END YOU! SPEAK!”
The young unicorn sergeant looked down at his clipboard before smiling sheepishly and backing out of the tent. “You know what, I can take care of this. I’ll just...um...”
“GET THE FUCK OUT!” I bellowed, orange flames shooting from my mouth. The pony used his magic to zip the tent closed before galloping away, leaving me very upset...but a hoof on my lower abdomen made me look back at AJ, who was grinning like an imp.
“Y’all aren’t gonna let a li’l thing like that stop ya, are ya?” she questioned with a coy grin.
And just like that, my frustration was gone. I pushed her down on the mattress and kissed her hungrily before pulling back and smirking. “Not a chance.”
Perspective change ‒ Spike
“GET THE FUCK OUT!” I heard a voice shout in the distance, and by the sheer volume and growl quality of it, I knew it had to be a very upset Darkflight.
Gee...I wonder why.
A few seconds later, I saw a young gray unicorn come galloping through the camp, a very frightened look on his face, followed by a smirking Rainbow Dash.
I looked at Dash and asked, “What was that all about?”
She giggled and sat down beside me. “Darkflight and AJ were interrupted.”
“Interrupted? What do you...?” I began, only to realize what she meant, and I just chuckled. “Oh...yeah, well that would do it. Call me weird if you want, but I had a feeling that’s what it was. I know that tone.”
It didn’t take the cyan princess long to connect the dots, and she smirked again. “Who did it to you?”
“Sweetie Belle.” I replied with a roll of my eyes. “I mean, Celestia bless the filly because she’s still one of my best friends, but she’s one of those fillies that don’t realize that if a door’s closed, there’s probably a reason why. Rarity installed locks on her bedroom and washroom doors the next day.”
Rainbow Dash giggled again and leaned against me, wrapping her wing around my back. “Call me dirty if you want, but I wish I could have been there to see that. I would have died laughing.”
I chuckled a bit and nodded. “I was pretty frustrated at the time, but come to think of it, it was pretty darn funny. Sweetie Belle wouldn’t make eye contact with me for the next week.” When I stopped laughing, I raised my eyeridge at my friend and asked, “Hasn’t that ever happened to you?”
Rainbow Dash nodded with a small blush. “Twice, actually. The first time was Frost walking in on me and Lyra in the shower, which I didn’t really mind.”
I nodded with a grin. “Yeah, I heard about that.”
“The other time,” she began, blushing a bit more, “was with Frost’s sister. It was weird though, because she just opened the door, saw Frost and I connected at the hips, and just said, ‘dinner’s ready,’ with a straight face before closing the door and leaving. And then, the next time I saw her later that night, she acted as if nothing happened.”
I chuckled and nodded. “Yeah, all of Frost’s family is like that. They’re all pretty open about that stuff.” I then asked, “Do you think all humans are like that?”
Dash shook her head with a smile. “Nope. Frost actually told me that most humans are pretty private about anything and everything. He’s, and I quote, ‘a freak of nature’.”
I laughed out loud and nodded. “Yeah, that explains it.”
“What do you mean?” she asked with a raised eyebrow.
I smirked and replied, “Your husband’s a freak of nature.”
Dash shrugged. “Maybe, but he’s our freak of nature.” The rainbow-maned alicorn then sighed as she leaned her head against my shoulder. “I hope he’s alright, Spike.”
I wrapped my arm under Rainbow Dash’s wing and pulled her closer as I leaned my head against hers. “The guy came back from being dead Dash. I’m sure he’ll be fine.”
She was silent for a moment before nodding happily. “Yeah, you’re right. I’m sure we just need to knock some sense into him and he’ll be fine.”
“Exactly.” I confirmed strongly. “We’re going to kick Death’s flank and put this whole thing to rest once and for all...and then we can build our home back up and make it stronger, so that something like this doesn’t catch us by surprise again.”
Rainbow Dash leaned more heavily on me as she nuzzled into my neck. “Rarity’s a lucky girl, Spike...you’re an awesome guy. Not as awesome of Frost, but you’re up there.”
I smirked and patted her side gently. “I try.”
Perspective change ‒ Princess Celestia
The time for the final attack was nearing, and so I took it upon myself to be sure that our allies were ready. After all, I was well aware that none of them had any obligation to be here, and so I felt it was needed to personally let them know how much their assistance was appreciated...and those left to see were the dragonkin of Drakkhenmyst Isle.
As I floated to the mountains that harbored our powerful friends from the extreme northwest, I smiled at the sight of my old bronze friend gathered among the many dragon warlords.
I landed beside the large Bronze and bowed my head in respect before standing and looking into his eyes. “Hello, Tilak. I am so happy to have you here.”
The elder Bronze chuckled before waving his claw dismissively. “My old friend is in need of aid against an enemy that wishes to destroy all we hold dear. It is not only a pleasure, but a privilege to be here, Celestia.”
I smiled at the veteran warrior and nodded. “And it is an honor to see you on the field of battle again, my friend. Are your people prepared for the final advance?”
Tilak craned his long neck to look out over the mountains, seeing all of his kin getting restless. He then turned back to me and nodded. “They’re getting rather anxious to bathe this enemy in flame again. Worry not, we are beside you the entire way.” I then noticed him turning to mountain in the distance and nodding, clearly at one of his comrades that only his sharp sight could see. He then looked back to me and said, “Celestia, there is someone I would like you to meet.” I watched as a large silver dragon approached, his scales covered in dragon tribal tattoos and war paint. Tilak motioned to the slightly smaller drake and stated, “Celestia, this is Antares. Antares, this is Princess Celestia of Equestria.”
I bowed my head once again in respect and replied with, “Greetings, Antares. It is a pleasure.”
The Silver simply stared at me for a moment before smiling and responding in a strong feminine voice, “You know, dad used to talk about you a lot before he died.”
It took me a moment to understand the significance of of this meeting and what she said, and when I had, I nearly fainted.
Tilak nodded with a smile. “Yes...this is Antares, daughter of the late Veroxzhar.”
It was then that I noticed piercings in the fins along the side of her head, where her ears would be...and I recognized a certain gold band that brought tears to my eyes. The female must have realized what I was staring at, because she brushed her head fin lightly, causing the jewelry to jingle. “Dad left it to me in his will. He said it was his most precious possession...and he wanted the daughter that reminded him so much of you to have it.” Antares then smiled and, “I can see why now.” She pointed to me with a smile as she motioned with her other arm to the mountains that surrounded us. “I’m as important to my people as you are to yours, though I am not royalty. Still, like you, I choose to fight for and with my people instead of hiding behind walls. It is what any decent person would do...and I can see now why he loved you so much.”
Her words broke my heart...but in the best way possible.
I fell forward onto my face and wept at the flood of emotions that overcame me. Regret over the lost love of Veroxzhar, respect and pride from the words of praise spoken to me by his daughter, and fear and sadness over the state of the war, the situation with Frost, and fear for my ponies.
I was nearly startled right out of my skin when I felt two large arms pick me up into the air, and I was then held against the chest of a silver-scaled body. I looked up at the face above mine and beheld a very gentle expression. One of understanding and respect, tempered from a common person in our lives that taught us so much. After a few moments of a comfortable embrace, she released me and stated, “The kin of Drakkhenmyst will always be friends to you, Celestia. You have proven that you are worthy of our respect and honor...just as you have done for your own people. No matter the enemy, we will stand beside you as brothers and sisters in arms.”
Her words made the future of Terra look so much brighter, and my confidence soared as I turned towards the icy mountain that we were preparing to breach. “Today, with the help of your people and so many others, this ends. Today, our greatest enemy yet will find that we will never give in, we will never surrender, and we will never forget these crimes. Today, Terra is unleashed.”
Perspective change ‒ Darkflight
The soldiers were gathered, the armor and arms readied, and my mood was at an all-time high.
We were ready to end this.
I watched from a distance as a small platoon of troops followed Enigma Flare as he drew a large circle of magical fire around the base of the mountain, which stayed lit as if it were slow-burn napalm. Gilda then took it upon herself to carry him to the summit of the icy mountain, where she dropped him and then quickly flew away. The massive force that was gathered around the mountain allowed for a distance of nearly a mile away from the circle that was drawn, so as to avoid the heat from the blast, but we still hid behind hills, mountains, or anything else we could think of...just to be safe.
Even from such a distance, I could spot as Enigma Flare’s body erupted into flame, changing him into his “true” form...a fiery elemental. The skies began to take on an orangish tinge as opposed to its normal blue, and I watched as the fiery aura around the young colt burned even brighter and larger, becoming a raging inferno. He shot a small beam of magic directly into the sky, followed by what looked like a small floating ring of fire. The ring grew and grew until it was a large shadow within the sky, and then suddenly it appeared as if a portal to hell itself opened.
Fire...lots of fire.
The ring in the air and the one on the ground connected with a massive cylinder of orange fire, and even from the distance we were at, I could feel the heat...and even began to sweat a bit as the temperature of the air rose probably fifteen degrees. The thing most ominous about this all was there was no sound to accompany all of this, and when it was over, all that was left was a normal mountain that was glowing red-hot. The heat began to die down, as did the glowing of the mountain, so Gilda quickly swooped in and picked the collapsed unicorn colt up, flying him to safety.
I was still in awe over the sheer destructive power that a single unicorn just unleashed, but had to focus for the battle. I turned to Nightwing and nodded, at which he nodded in return before shouting, “ALL GUNS READY!” I saw six railgun specialist unicorns stand, aiming their weapons at the mountain. “CHARGE!” As Nightwing said this, a faint hum filled the air as the team charged their powerful magic cannons, and a small orb of light began to build on the front of the cannons. “PREPARE FOR RELEASE!” Six large stallions, including Big Mac, braced against the unicorns, to keep the kickback from knocking them down. And then...
A deafening roar cracked through the landscape as the six of the most powerful weapons ever made in this world fired their destructive energies directly at the mountain, and when it hit, an entire face of the stone behemoth fell away, revealing...
“Oh shit...” I muttered. I then raised Yamato high in the air and shouted, “ALL FORCES, PREPARE FOR CONTACT!”