• Published 29th Jul 2013
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Homefront - Pyramusandthisbe117



A soldier from the frontlines of the Equestrian Civil War returns home to uncertain peace

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Prologue

Cloud Chaser,

I killed a pony today. I still can’t believe it, everything happened so quickly. I heard a noise come from outside the wire of our COP while I was on watch. Thought it was a stray dog. We get them every so often, mostly cause we give ‘em some of our leftovers from the MREs. Went to check it out and saw a NLR sapper trying to bury an IED near the entrance. I wasn’t even thinking, I just started to do. Two shots, that’s all it took.

I must have stood there nearly three minutes just staring before somepony pulled me back and behind cover. Guess my shots must have let every NLR soldier in our AO know their friend got killed. There must have been hundreds of them. We had tracers and rockets flying in every which direction into our little outpost. Went on for hours, they almost had us to; if it weren’t for our air support.

When the dust had settled, I went back to that stallion’s body near the entrance. He must have been a little younger than me. I hope it was quick. Chaser, I’ve never been so scared in my life. Not of what’s going on around me, you get used to that. But of what I might become. I feel like I’m losing my grip on what’s right and what’s wrong. It’s becoming more and more confusing here with each passing day. What scared me the most that day was not that I had killed him, but that I didn’t care.

I know this is a lot for you to hear right now, but I needed to talk to somepony about this. Please stay strong, for the both of us.

Your friend,

-‘Doc’ Coban

●●●

“Hey, Doc. Whatcha writing?” That motherfucker, sneaking up on ponies like that. One of these days, I’d probably just let my hoof ‘accidentally’ go into their face. That’d show ‘em, not like I’d ever do that to Spc. Strong, though. For only having just gotten out of basic training, he was freakin’ huge. It kind of annoyed me that he was already a Specialist just because he had a degree from the University of Canterlot when he enlisted. But then again, the service was known to favor those with that stupid slip of paper.

“Some shit you don’t need to worry about,” I said with agitation, shifting the letter away from Strong’s view. Maybe he would just go away this time. I felt his hoof roughly push me aside and snatch my letter to Cloud Chaser. Fuck, or he could do that too. “Give that back you little fucker!”

“Haha!” Strong cried out in mock victory as he began reading. “Cloud Chaser huh? Got yourself a little marefriend back home, huh? You have a picture of her? Probably has a nice flank and…”

“Shutup, man! That’s my best friend from my childhood! What the hell is your problem?!” I yelled back.

“Aw, c’mon, Doc. I’m just messin’ with yah,” he said before continuing reading. His eyes began to get a worried look about them. “Uh, Doc…is…this how you feel?”

I knew I should have bucked his face in. Snatching back the letter from his grasp, I gave him a cold stare. “Why, what’s it to you? And besides, I’m not sending this to her, you kidding? It’d scare the hell out of Chaser. It just always helps me a little to write what I want to say, down first. Then send her the one that is a bunch of BS. Don’t want her to worry, you know?” The Specialist continued to look at me intently, trying to figure out if what I was saying was true.

He must have realized I wouldn’t bull shit him. “Alright, Coban” he turned away and began to exit the makeshift barracks, “If you need somepony to talk to, I got your back.”

“Whatever man, get outta here ‘fore I smack the shit outta you” I said with a hidden grin. Strong chuckled as he let the door close. As annoying as the Specialist could be, he was a damn good battle buddy. I tossed the letter aside, I’d get to working on the version I could send later. But now seemed like a good time as any to take a nap. I laid down on my cot and soon drifted off to sleep.

●●●

The world around me shook and I awoke with a start. “What the?” Before I could even finish my half-asleep inquiries, I felt another violent tremor and an explosion. Somepony was screaming outside. Fuck me sideways, time to go to work I thought as I threw on my full kit and grabbed my rifle. I plowed through the door and saw the unimaginable.

I had been in firefights before, but nothing quite like this. Our mortar pit must have been hit with rockets and coordinated fire. A secondary explosion came up from the pit, goddamn mortars were going off now. Keeping my head down I turned to see somepony on the turret catch a round through his face. My vision began to fixate on what was left of his body as it slumped to the ground.

Was someone calling me? It was so faint, but I could still here it. “Doc!”

I turned and saw Strong next to me. “Doc! Switch on! We got a fucking war to fight!”

“Yeah, yeah” I mumbled, glancing back to the body nearby. Rounds snapped by inches over our heads. “What the hell is happening?” I shouted back at Strong.

“What the fuck, have you been sleeping or some shit?” Well yeah I had been, but now probably wasn’t the best time to bring that up. “Those NLR assholes are hitting us with everything they got! C’mon! Follow me, we got wounded up by the gate!” Strong replied before sprinting off.

Alright keep your shit together Coban, I thought to myself. Do your damn job and kill anypony trying to kill you. Remember your training. I looked up at where Strong was and felt myself get thrown back and hit the HESCO barrier behind me. I shook my head, trying to make the ringing stop and conducted a quick inspection on myself. Just shaken, but nothing more. That was a start.

“Oh fuck” I muttered, “Strong! You okay, buddy?”

The big unicorn, at last finally responded after what seemed like ages. “Yeah, I’m good. My ears are ringin’ but I’m good.” We dusted ourselves off and continued our push towards the front of the COP. Did I mention I fucking hated this place?

The gunfire and incoming rounds intensified as we drew nearer to the gate. Another pony lay on the ground, Sgt. Nova. She looked up at me, her voice shaking in fear as she struggled to speak. “Save your breath Nova! You’re in capable hooves. Strong!” I shouted.

“What is it Doc?” he asked, whirling around.

“You help the guys at the gate, bring back anypony who gets hit to me. I gotta fix up Nova! You copy?!”

"Wilco, Sergeant!” Strong took off into the sound of chaos just outside. I diverted all my attention to the casualty. I always wondered what she looked like off duty. She seemed like she could be hot. But then again maybe my deployment goggles had kicked in. Either way, she wasn’t in a good state.

“FUCK!” Nova screamed while I was trying not to panic. She was slipping into shock and it appeared that her trachea was deviated slightly to the left. Damn.

Pulling away at her plate carrier, I realized that the situation was worse than I had initially thought. The round had punched right through a weak point in the armor and passed through her left lung. Her body rattled as she struggled to breathe. I quickly pulled out my med-kit looking for an occlusive dressing to cover the wound. “Damnit!” I mumbled when I noticed that the Sergeant was straining to see the wound for herself.

“How bad?” she rasped, fighting to speak. I could see the growing panic in her eyes.

“Shut up and let me do my job, Nova.” I stated matter-of-factly. It took all of my mental strength to keep composed for Nova’s sake. Last thing she needed now was a medic who was equally as terrified as she was. Pulling the occlusive dressing out of my medic kit, I warned her abruptly “Hold on.”

“…Hurts!” Nova cried out in pain as she placed and secured the dressing on three sides. The round was lodged somewhere in her, and hadn’t punched completely through her body. I heard the whistle as another rocket began to screech towards the COP. Shielding Nova with my body, I attempted to create a barrier between the blast and her.

Fortunately for us, that rocket went to some other part of the outpost. Dust and smoke were filling the air rapidly and began to make working on Nova very difficult. I heard someone calling for me again. “Doc! I got two more wounded here. Both are ambulatory, but they’re hurtin’ bad.” It was Strong. Thank Celestia he was still alive. “We gotta fall back further in. The gate is lost!” He had behind him two ponies who I couldn’t identify due to the haze surrounding us.

Nova looked at me, “…use, comms. Call for…secondary defensive…” Was beginning to look like I was in charge of this mess. Where the hell were the infantry ponies?

I got on my radio and paused for a second. We were retreating, what the hell happened? A round zipped past my face and brought me back to reality. “Raptor 1-6, this is Raptor 1-2. The gate is lost, I say again, the gate is lost!” I began to hear voices just outside the entrance, oh shit. “Strong! I hissed, take Nova to the medical bay, and take those two with you!” I press-checked my rifle’s chamber. “I’ll keep ‘em pinned.”

Strong began “But, Doc!”

“That’s a fucking order, Specialist! Get outta here!” I barked. Strong nodded and without question this time, led the wounded away.

“I heard somepony over here!” a voice in the haze said. “I want Alpha to take left, Bravo will take right. Let’s go!”

“They’ve breached the perimeter! All personnel, fall back to secondary defensive positions at the medical bay. I repeat! All personnel are to fall back to the medical bay!” I hissed into my radio. Please let there be somepony else to hear the message. It’d would be a terrible way to go, in this hellish place.

The hoof-steps began to draw closer; taking cover behind some rubble I prepared myself for the upcoming shoot-out. I aimed down my sights at a silhouette. Wait for the exhale, slow steady squeeze. “LT!” cried another silhouette “I found one hiding back here!”

Somepony was thrown to the ground, shaking and sobbing. “What do we do, sir? Do we take her prisoner?” Her? Who were they talking about?

“No prisoners, we eliminate their presence here.” Well there went the option of surrender.

A mare’s voice began to plead through sobs “Please, don’t! I’m begging you, please!” Somepony racked their charging handle back and the mare began to wail.

I pulled the trigger and a body collapsed. “What the fuck?!” shouted a stallion. My rifle retorted with another three rounds. Two more bodies collapsed, one was left. I heard a click as my rifle jammed from all the dirt and simply charged the remaining NLR soldier. I didn’t care, I was sick of this shit.

The soldier must have been confused. One second his squad was standing around him and the next minute he was being tackled by me. I began to pummel his face with my hooves, over and over. All I could see was red. His attempts at trying to defend himself only made me more violent. “No more! No more!” I heard him say.

“You’re right, no more” I said as I plunged my knife into his chest. The stallion coughed in shock as the steel blade passed through his body. “Fuckin’ fascist SoE pig!” he managed to sputter as I twisted the blade. His body shuddered as I ripped out the knife. As I stood, I spotted my now mangled radio on the ground. Great.

I heard a quiet whimpering. “Troop!” I whispered, remembering about the mare. “You ok? We need to go, like…right now. I don’t plan on dying today.” I had never seen such fear in somepony’s eyes before. She seemed to be focused on some distant object. Battle fatigue, PTSD, whatever you wanna call it. She continued to sit in the blood soaked dirt and sob.

More hoof-steps, faster this time. “Shots fired! Shots fired! Hostiles are still active!” shouted a distant voice “Eleminate with extreme prejudice!” Fuck.

“Rookie, any time. We have to go now!” I whispered more aggressively this time, turning back to her in time to watch as she put her service pistol to her temple. “Hey! Set it down! I can help you!”

“No, you can’t” she said to me in hushed tones. The mare smiled, “It’s over, it’s finally over” and squeezed the trigger.

“FUCK!”

“Where’d that come from?!” The voices seemed to fade out again. Her eyes were still wide open, staring at me. Smile on her face yet. Damnit. I slowly reached forward, took her tags and closed her eyes. Was the least I could do for not saving her. The sounds of the battle were drawing closer and began to wake me from my reverie. Taking one last look at the limp corpse, I hurried back to the medical bay.

●●●

As I approached the medical facilities, I heard a voice nervously call out “Star!”

“Night!” I called back. A worse for wear looking trooper poked his head from some rubble.

“Doc! What the fuck are you doing?! Get down before they see you! We got a few casualties inside too.” Holy Celestia on a cracker. Nothing was going to go in our favor today.

“How many of us are left?” I asked the trooper.

“Just me and Donovan watching our defensive positions, and four more inside. Two ambulatory, one litter urgent surgical and the other pony is good to go. Spread a little bit thin at the moment.”

“Roger, you and Donovan stay sharp. Those NLR bastards are crawling all over the place. We’ll get out of this, trust me.” I smiled for added reassurance, though it probably made the situation seem all the more grim. As I made my entrance into the medical bay, I could smell the bitter, metallic scent of blood. Strong was trying his best to keep Nova alive while the other lesser wounded two troopers were redistributing ammo and supplies.

Strong looked up from Nova “Doc! You’re alive! Holy shit, bro I thought you were dead, but Nova here kept sayin’…er….sputtering, that you’d come back to us!”

A tired face looked up from the examination table, “Doc…”

“Easy, Sarge. Take it easy. Don’t need you wearing yourself out” I chided. “Keep maintaining the pressure on those wounds, Strong.” He nodded briskly. “You two! Troopers! You have a working radio between the two of you?”

One of them reached into his rucksack and pulled out a satellite comm, “Here you go Doc, picked this off our radioman. Poor bastard got his guts shot out.” Pleasant. “Figured he wouldn’t need it no more.”

“Roger. Thanks, troop” I said before switching the comm unit on. “This is Raptor 1-2 to any unit still out there. New Dawn I say again, New Dawn. Anybody, please respond, over!”

The radio hissed with static. So this is how it was going to be huh? A sudden surge and a cackle came through. “Raptor 1-2, this is Eagle 6. What’s your status over?”

Thank Celestia! Relief washed over everypony in the room. “Eagle 6, we’re in danger of being overrun. Multiple hostiles inside our perimeter, break. Multiple KIAs and MIAs. Seven survivor and only four combat effective, break. Have one urgent surgical, and two ambulatory troopers, how copy over?”

“Uh, roger Raptor 1-2. Super 6-1 en route for fire support and MEDIVAC is going up. Patching you through to Super 6-1 now.”

Outside, I was beginning to hear gunshots ringing out. Hell, we didn’t have much time anymore. A burst of static cackled through the comms. A heavy southern accent started speaking “One Two, this is Super. We got visual on the COP, just need y’all to mark your location.”

Without even thinking I bolted out of the bay, full speed. At the time, it felt like I just didn’t care about living or dying, just had a job to do and get the remnants of our platoon out. I could feel the rounds snap and whiz by my body, as I hurled the smoke to the edge of our little perimeter. Saw that trooper get hit that was trying to hold the line, before everything went black.

●●●

“That’s all? Are you sure?”

“What the fuck do you mean ‘That’s all?’ I told you all the shit you were asking for!”

“There wasn’t anything else you can remember?” Celestia, I hated these weekly appointments with the shrink the Solar Empire was sending me to. I glowered at my psychiatrist, hoping my twisted and scrunched facial expression would make her spontaneously combust.

“No.” I said flatly. “Can I go now? Would rather be at the bar.” She sighed. Oh boy, not the whole ‘avoid becoming the angry/alcoholic veteran’ speech. “Roger, shrink. I got it, message received. Don’t worry, I’ll only black out a little,” I said with a shit eating grin before grabbing my things from her office (along with a few bits she had left carelessly on her desk) and hastily leaving.

Author's Note:

Hope you all enjoyed reading. Hope to hear some feedback to see if I should continue with this story.

And please be kind. First attempt at writing something like this. :applecry:

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