“Dusk may not be the first creature we’ve engineered, your highness, but he is by far the most successful! Please, consider allowing him into proper service.” A strong white unicorn begged as he knelt before the ruler of Equestria. Though recently instated as the captain of the guard, he had shown time and time again that his plans worked. Celestia was reluctant to accept his proposal, however she could not argue with evidence.
“I…” She sighed and took a deep breath. “Very well. We shall see how the next mission goes.”
Shining breathed a long sigh of relief.
“Thank you, princess!” He said happily. “We shall not let you down!” With that, he bowed and exited the throne room, leaving the princess to wallow in the consequences of what she had said.
For Dusk, the news was neither gladdening nor harmful. However, he could not mask the obvious disapproval as his captain told him he would be going on the next mission. Dusk did not want to be in full military deployment. Regardless, he had to abide by the captain’s orders.
This obligation saw him on an airship one week later, preparing to leap off of the edge to attack a Gryphon military base. He had a grappling hook attached to his gauntlet for in the event he was shot in the wing or injured to prevent him from using his wings. His body armour consisted of a tight fitting Kevlar material that would deflect most enemy weapons, or at least this is what he was told by the scientists. However, these were the same scientists who told him that the genetic modifications would allow him to ‘heal any injury’, so he took this with a hint of skepticism.
After having a final check done by a technician, Dusk jumped. Folding his wings to his sides, he dove straight down, attempting to keep his tail straight as he did. The airship was several miles up so it was difficult to see his target, but he soon locked onto it and adjusted his flight path accordingly. His earpiece buzzed, voices that he could not understand blaring in his ears.
Approximately two hundred meters above his intended drop point he flared his wings to slow his descent. He landed rather hard and jarred his legs in the process, however damage appeared minimal. Dusk straightened up and looked around slowly. He seemed to have avoided attention, which was good. He could have handled a fight, but avoiding it was preferable. He only had one target, after all.
Dusk tapped his earpiece.
“Shit.” He muttered to himself, pulling it out of his ear and seeing it had been broken somehow. Perhaps the force of his landing? Regardless, he had no way to talk to the backup team. He tossed the earpiece to the ground.
“Right…” He said once more to himself, seeming to be speaking into an imaginary earpiece on reflex. He sighed, pulling the bag from his back.
In his bag, he had brought all of the essentials. Two .45 pistols fit for use with his suit’s clip-on holsters, two katanas sharpened to an edge no thicker than a molecule. He clipped the pistols into their holsters and slid the katanas into the sheaths on either side of his body. He eyed the .75 rifle of his own design which he had put in the bag.
“Can’t just leave it here…but I may not need it.” He sighed again, jamming the rifle into the holster than ran up the entirety of his back. He had landed on a rock outcropping overlooking the military base, which was embedded in the ground. Stepping to the edge, he looked down at his target. Yes, the entire base was his target.
This is why Dusk did not want to partake in this mission. He needed to overload the generators directly below him and subsequently demolish the entire base. Despite having been assured it was impossible without entire squadrons of bombers and tanks, Shining Armour had seen too many superhero movies and believed Dusk would be enough.
Dusk peered through the glass ceiling of the generator room beneath him. He could see two guards, though more were most likely on the roof. He groaned softly and pressed a button on his gauntlet, causing a helmet to fold out of the back of his suit and clamp around his head. It may not provide him with much protection, but as the engineers said, it would make him ‘more intimidating’. The dragony shrugged. He had nothing to lose. Deciding to throw stealth out the window, he gripped the trigger for his guns in his teeth before leaping off the edge.
Killing a gryphon wasn’t easy. Their beaks could easily get in the way of the bullet and their claws could rip you to shreds in an instant. None of this concerned Dusk though, as he now found himself standing amidst shattered glass with his front hooves on the heads of the now dead guards. Naturally, the breaking of the ceiling had triggered an alarm and a dozen elite gryphon soldiers filed into the room, weapons drawn. In an apparent act of surrender, Dusk unclipped his guns and dropped them. This gave the gryphons pause, as ponies were not known to go down without a fight. Despite knowing this, a foolish gryphon stepped forward to detain him.
In a flourish that was too fast for the gryphons’ eyes to follow, they witnessed their fellow soldier smashed head first into one of the five generators. The guard let out a horrified screech, convulsing in agony before his body fell limp, only twitching thanks to the electrical surges. The guards all raised their weapons, but the dragony was gone.
“You know boys,” came Dusk’s voice from above, “You really need to clean this ceiling.” With that comical quip out of the way Dusk came down, his katanas already slipped into their clips on his forelegs. With two quick swipes, two of the guards’ heads came clean off.
Shots rang out as the remaining nine guards fired at Dusk, who had already vanished back into the ceiling. This time when he came down he lopped off a gryphon’s head and lunged at two others, driving his swords through their chests and immediately leaping back into the air.
“Kill him already!” a voice rang out over the intercom as three more gryphons fell to three more swipes of Dusk’s swords. The remaining three cursed as their weapons emptied and they threw them aside, lunging at the hybrid with their claws drawn. This was a fruitless effort. Dusk dodged each one, redirecting them from their original path and into three more of the generators. This took four of them out of commission, but he only needed one to overload the base.
With another swipe of his swords he sliced through the massive wires connecting the generators to the base. This caused the generator to start sparking and crackling as it overflowed with energy that it was no longer able to get rid of. Dusk quickly used his grappling hook to fling himself out of the broken window above, using his speed to slingshot himself high into the air. He flared his wings, keeping himself steady as he flew straight up.
The ground seemed to heave as numerous explosions began to rupture the exterior of the base. With the reaction well underway, it was unlikely that anyone had escaped by the time that the entire mountainside shattered in a fiery ball of metal and rock. The whole base was now engulfed in flames, one single generator having caused a meltdown of the main reactor and the utter devastation of the entire base. Dusk could be seen soaring upwards as the mountain ‘erupted’, resembling an active volcano. Flames spewed into the air and fragments of metal nearly sheared Dusk’s wings straight off as he spun and dodged to avoid them. It was unfortunate that the villages at the base of the mountain would undoubtedly perish, but they were gryphons.
Dead gryphons, Dusk thought to himself with a grin as he flew upwards to rendezvous with the airship.