In The Shadows Of Peace

by Veyron

Taking The Ship.

The air was still and the tension was so thick one could cut it with a knife. The ponies and griffons that sat above the diamond dog airship shifted uncomfortably as they waited for the signal from Vex and Arcanian who were busy sneaking through the bowels of the mines below them. Nova sat polishing a set of engraved sterling daggers as she waited.

“This is taking too long.” A pony next to her whispered as he shouldered his musket onto his back.

Nova rolled her eyes and put her daggers back into their sheaths. “Vex knows what he is doing, besides do you want to deal with a mountain full of angry mutts?” She asked with a brow raised.

The other pony simply looked down and away. That’s what I thought. She snorted as she returned to gazing at the enemy ship below. While she seemed calm on the outside, Nova was racked with worry as two of her friends descended deeper and deeper into enemy territory. She looked out over the assembled strike force and noticed for the first time that the Changelings had also set up positions above the enemy ship. Their long barreled muskets were perfect for precision fire and, using this to their advantage, many had hunkered here waiting to rain hell down on the ship below. Nova squinted her eyes hoping to see a faint sign of anything that would show her that her friends were okay and that she could start her own assault, because as much as she was loathing to admit a small part of her was itching to feel the rush of battle.

“This is taking too long.” A voice from next to her whined making her jump.

“Stitches, what have I told you about sneaking up on me.” She hissed as she tried to get her heart rate under control.

“Aww, but it’s fun.” The earth pony responded as he wiped a scalpel clean on his tan coat.
Nova shook her head and looked back at the enemy ship as she prayed that her friends had made it and were ready to unleash hell on this mountain.

On the other side of the cloud bank sat a group of changelings as they eyed the ship below warily. They knew that the coming fight would be more than what most of them have ever seen and they also knew that their new allies would be watching them like hawks.
“I hate waiting.” Jericho sighed as he lounged on the cloud, his rifle lying across him so that it wouldn’t plummet to the deck below and alert whatever guard force was still there. Why didn’t they just blast their way in? It would have been much quicker. Jericho huffed as he looked at his assembled Jaegers who were either busy making sure that all of their stuff was in working order or were lounging like their captain was.

Slowly the sun made its way towards the western edge of the sky. Up in the clouds the tension was like a spring ready to snap and many of the assorted creatures of the strike force had set to staring at the horizon or at their target below. Nova was fighting to stay awake as the hours dragged on. Come on guys, what’s taking so long? Just as nova was turning to head back to the Eclipse a bright flash lit up the sky. Crap, it's time. Nova returned to her group as the first salvo of rifle fire split the peace of the cool dusk sky and soon the world around the Diamond dog airship was thrown into chaos as Ponies, Changelings, and Griffins clashed with the guard dogs on the deck of the ship. Nova landed with a thud and immediately cut down two dogs with her daggers as they tried to impale her with their spears.

On the other side of the ship Jericho waded through a wall of hulking dogs who he cut down with ease as he shifted between attackers at lightning speed, his Cavalry sword reflecting the setting sun as it danced with its wielder. Jericho smirked as he watched his Changelings effortlessly push the dogs back to the center of the ship where his allies were waiting to surround them. This is going much smoother than planned. Jericho thought as he stopped where he was and watched as the Diamond dogs cowered in a circle as they found themselves surrounded. He stood tall as Nova strode forth and confronted the dogs in front of her.

“You have lost, put down your weapons and surrender to us.” Her voice boomed as she stared down the dog who looked like the most likely to be in charge. “Come quietly and you will not be harmed.” Her tone softened as she stalked closer.

Jericho watched with caution and then horror as the lead dog’s eyes scanned the ponies before he pulled out a small match and dropped it onto a fuse that had been hidden from the attackers. He hadn’t been the only one to notice it now though as many of those on deck took to the sky and rocketed their way to what they hoped was a safe distance. Jericho followed close behind and turned around in time to see the ship he had been standing on not even a minute ago engulf itself in flames before it exploded into a shower of burning wood and metal. Now where the airship had once been was a dark cloud of ash and smoke.

“Did everyone make it off?” He shouted as he flew through the ranks of his jaegers making sure all were accounted for. When he reached the end, Jericho breathed a sigh of relief as all of his Changelings were accounted for.

Nova was doing much of the same thing Jericho had done as she weaved between the ponies under her command as they rested on the same cloud that the Eclipse was docked behind. So far she only had wounded, and no dead or missing, which made her feel a little better but not by much.

Vex is not gonna be happy.