"So what ya'll think?" Applejack said stepping out from the changing room wearing a dress her friend Rarity made for her
"Wow A.J you look beautiful!" Twilight said after seeing her friend in the black dress Rarity loaned Applejack
Applejack blushed "ya'll just saying that"
"She's right you look absolutely marvelous but of course I knew you would seeing as I was the one who made it" Rarity said with a smile. There came a knock at the door, Pinkie Pie jumped up and opened the door to find Fire Streak standing there in a suit with a rose in his hand.
"Hiya there Fire Streak hang on I'll go grab Applejack!" so slamming the door in Fire Streak's face she ran back grabbed Applejack's arm, pulled her to the door, opened it shoved her outside then closed the door.
Applejack was thrown outside but was caught by Fire Streak, Applejack blushed a deep red as she locked eyes with her date for the evening.
"Well hello there Miss Apple" he said smiling at her
Applejack stood up from leaning in his arms "I'm awfully sorry about that I don't know what got into Pinkie Pie"
"It's alright I didn't mind that at all."
Applejack turned a even darker red then she already was "So uh shall we get movin?" she asked
"Sounds like a plan" he replied offering his arm to her, which she readily took as they made there way to his car. They made their way to Sugarcube Corner for dinner where they decided to find out more about each other.
"What's your family do for a livin Fire Streak?" Applejack asked before taking a drink of her milkshake
"My dad's a pilot in the Wonderbolts while my mom stays at home"
"Are you serious? Your dad's a Wonderbolt?"
"Yep! What about you? What do your parents do?" he asked innocently unaware that her parents had died
Applejack was quite looking out the window "Uh you see uh my parents died a around six years ago"
Fire Streak looked up at her "Oh I'm so sorry Applejack I didn't know"
"It's alright but uh could we change the subject?" she said holding back a few tears suddenly she felt him grab her hands causing her to look up at him blushing.
"Of course what would you like to talk about?" he asked her.
They stayed at the restaurant for while laughing and talking about different and sometimes random topics, eventually though the left for the dance. Pulling into the student parking lot they could hear the music and see many different colors lighting up the windows in the gym.
"Shall we go in?" he asked her shutting the car off.
"Well ya that's the whole point of us being here" she said smiling at him
He got out and walked to her side of the car to open the door for her. He offered his hand to help her out which she took, but instead of letting go she held his hand the whole way until they reached the school. The night seemed to fly by for Applejack as she spent most of the night beside Fire Streak hands still held tight she wished it would never end but eventually it had to. He walked her to the door of her house they stood and talked for a few minutes enjoying eachothers company before he left.
"So uh Applejack I was wondering if you weren't doing anything tomorrow would you want to uh maybe catch a movie?"
Applejack stifled a giggle as she watched him turn red while he waited for her to answer. "I'd love to sugarcube."
Fire Streak turned a light shade of red at her calling him sugar cube "Oh uh alright so how about I pick you up around seven?"
"Sounds like a plan" she said leaning in she kissed his cheek causing him to turn a dark shade of red this time she couldn't keep herself from giggling "Drive home safe" she said before walking inside.
"Granny I'm home!" Applejack yelled walking through the door, she could hear someone crying from the living room so she went to investigate. She found Granny Smith crying in her rocking chair. "Granny what's wrong? Are you ok?" Applejack asked running to Granny Smith's side. Granny Smith looked up at her granddaughter and said "Applejack we got to have a little talk..."
Big Mac woke up to Paladin nudging his side
"Hey Mac wake up we're almost there." his friend said
Big Mac stretched his arms as best he could on the crowded train, they had made several more stops after Ponyville each time picking up more drafties. He looked around many of them looked to be around his age and they all looked a little nervous. The train came to a stop outside of a huge complex concrete and barbed wire formed a wall concealing what lay inside. Suddenly the door opened and Captain Silver Lance stepped in "Alright everybody single file off the train let's move!"
They made their way off the train and stood in front of the gate that led into the base, Mac looked up and saw a wooden sign hanging above the gate it read Camp Ratcliff.
Paladin elbowed Mac to get his attention "I don't think it's going to be to awful hard after all they called us to serve right?" he said with a smile failing at trying to lighten the mood.
"Alright everybody listen up!" Silver Lance yelled from in front of the group silencing them. "Welcome to Camp Ratcliff as you are all aware you have been called upon to serve our great nation and in order to do this you will be put through the same training as normal soldiers unfortuanatly your training will be sped up in order to supply more troops quickly. Therefore you will be pushed far beyond what our typical soldiers do in order to account for this. So I leave you under the command TAC Sergeant Malone" He said gesturing to a man beside him who was smoking a cigar. "Sergeant good luck" and with that Captain Silver Lance left.
"Shut up! All of you!" Malone screamed at the group causing silence to fall among the group. "I am TAC Sergeant Malone it is my job to turn you into soldiers to defend Equestria training takes ten weeks but unfortunately the need for new troops means your training will be cut down into 5 weeks. This will mean that your training will be twice as tough as normal but will turn you into twice as better soldiers. So let's move maggots!"
Mac fell in line with the others as they made their way to the barracks, on their way there they passed by other trainees going through drills and running there was a lot of running. Eventually they reached the barracks where they were given their new uniforms and PT gear which they changed into. As soon as they were changed they were forced outside to begin training. They ran every where they went they ran for hours on end they all breathed a sigh of relief when it was time for dinner, but before they ate it was sit-ups and push-ups outside.
"Geez Mac I can barely stand let alone eat" Paladin said sitting down beside Mac
"I ain't never run that much in my life" Mac said as he examined the grilled chicken on his plate
"At least the food looks good" Paladin said taking a mouthful of potatoes and gravy he coughed as he ate it "I think it's looks are the only thing it's got going for it though"
Mac nodded in agreement, the food though it look like it was good ended up having little to no taste he missed his family and Sweet Apple Acres he hoped the war would be over soon so he could get back to them.
"Alright let's go everybody double time let's move!" Sergeant Malone's voice boomed through out the mess hall.
Great more running Mac shook his head and followed the sergeant.
"Gentlemen what is the current number of our troops?" Princess Celestia asked her military advisors who were seated around a table: General Brass Shell of the Army, Admiral Iron Hull of the Navy, General Leather Neck of the Marines, and General Sky Rocket of the Air force.
"The Army currently has 539,675 active service men and 557,375 reserve forces."
"Our Navy has 325,052 active seamen, 107,132 reserve, 89 active war ships and 186 ships in reserve."
"The Marines have 203,000 active with 40,000 reserve."
"Air Force has 327,452 active and 115,300 reserve"
Celestia ran a hand through her hair "Do we know the Minoan numbers?"
General Brass Shell handed her a file "This file has the information that we have on the Minoan forces"
Celestia opened the file and began to read it Minoan Forces: Army 750,000. Navy 78 active ships unknown reserve ships. Air Force unknown.
She closed the file and laid the file down "If this is all they have why activate the draft?"
General Leather Neck "Because your majesty less then a hour ago we received a declaration of war from Queen Chrysalis she has allied her nation with the Minoans."
Celestia spoke "If the Changeling Empire has aligned themselves with the Minoans then Equestria will fall within a few months."
Admiral Iron Hull spoke "Princess we are not alone Prince Shining Armor wishes to form an alliance against the Minoans and Changelings"
The doors opened as Princess Luna walked in
Celestia turned to her Generals "Tell him I wish to meet with him and Princess Cadance as soon as possible until then we are activating COLE Protocol dismissed"
Once they had gone Luna spoke "Tia you wanted to see me?"
"Yes there is something we need to discuss" Celestia said motioning for her sister to sit down
"What about?" Luna asked taking a seat across from her sister
"Queen Chrysalis has allied the Changeling empire with the Minoans."
"What!?" Luna asked in disbelief
Celestia nodded her head solemnly "They now heavily out number our forces and it will only be a matter of months before they conquer Equestria."
"What about the Crystal Empire? Will they help us?"
"Yes they will but even then victory is not guaranteed, that is why we must discuss activating the LANCER program"