• Published 29th Jul 2013
  • 970 Views, 29 Comments

Homefront - Pyramusandthisbe117



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

  • ...
7
 29
 970

Chapter 6

“For the Lunar Republic!” cried Thunderlane as he brought his hoof up, clutching something tightly.

Oh shit. Grabbing Dash, I threw us both over the bar counter as an explosion consumed the building, ripping the air from our lungs. Bits of shrapnel rained down on us as the cacophony subsided. And here I was, back in the fight. My adrenaline pumping through my body, I was loving it.

Nothing beats the combat high.

“Dash!” I screamed. My own voice sounding muffled, I felt around on the ground. I struggled to keep my eyes open in the smoky haze when I bumped somepony who laid still. “Dash?!” Peering through the smoke, I saw a cyan coat. Game time. Grasping her fore-hoof, I felt for a pulse; weak, but it was there. Visual check, minor lacerations to the face. Nothing that wouldn’t heal. Oh shit. Deep puncture, left hind leg. Just missed the artery, thank Celestia, but still bleeding badly.

I took of my polo and began shredding it to smaller strips. Packing the opening of the wound with the strips, I noticed slight movement from Rainbow. “Coban?” she said, with strained effort.

“I’m here, Dash. Hold on, I got you.”

“My leg hurts.”

I rolled my eyes. “I know, kid. This is going to hurt a bit, ok?” I said as I began to apply the makeshift tourniquet. I heard a whimper as I tightened it down. “See? Took it like a champ.”

“My friends…” she began. Oh yeah, huh.

“Can you move on your own?” I asked. Rainbow weakly nodded, her head still throbbing. “Good, find us an exit, we need to get out before we die of smoke inhalation. Slowly, but surely Dash began crawling off to find a means of escape.

My thoughts went back to the situation at hoof as I clambered over the counter towards where I had last seen the girls. How the hell did this guy get through? Didn’t Dash say he was part of the local weather team? I shook my head. This was nuts, why attack a civilian compound? This made the NLR no better than a terrorist group. What would they gain other that a unified Solar Empire, ready to deliver a crushing blow?

I bumped into something heavy in the haze. A body. Rolling it over to make sure, I sighed with relief when I didn’t recognize it. Shoving it out of the way, I pushed onward. As horrifying as this situation was, I felt eerily relaxed. Why wasn’t I having a meltdown or a panic attack even? My thoughts were interrupted by another body, this time a mare. Her body mangled and shredded to ribbons from the blast. I wanted to feel the urge to vomit, to feel sick at the sight, but nothing happened. Not even a twinge of remorse or sadness.

A feeble cry emerged from the rubble. “Help!”

“I’m coming!” I shouted. “Where are you?”

“Here!” came the reply as I saw a hoof poke above some debris. Hurriedly, I crawled over and began pulling away at the mess. Beneath the wreckage, I found one of the ponies I needed to find.

“Hey, Twilight.” I said as I pulled her from her temporary prison.

“Thank you!” she stammered, voice quavering with fear. “Wh…where are the others?”

“So far, just you and Rainbow. She’s looking for an exit. Know where approximately the other two went?”

Her eyes winced in pain as she tested each limb. “I couldn’t tell you…it’s so easy to lose your sense of direction in a crowd.” I nodded. Fair enough.

In the distance I heard a crash and a voice. “Buck! Pinkie, gimme a hoof or I swear I’ll force ya ta help me on the farm durin’ apple buckin’ season!”

“Sounds like they’re ok” I said to Twilight. “Applejack? Pinkie Pie?!” That you?!” I shouted.

“Coban?!” came the reply. “Thought we lost y’all!”

“Yeah! That explosion was like, super-duper extremely scary!”

“You both okay?” I called back.

“Yeah, sugarcube. We’re fine.”

Somepony nudged my shoulder. “Coban,” mumbled Dash, “I found an exit, it’s a bit of a tight fit, but I think we can get ponies outta here.”

I nodded, “Alright, get you and your friends the fuck out of here. It’s too dangerous.”

“But we can help!” she protested.

I glared at her, “I didn’t ask for any goddamned help. I told you what you need to do, so go and fuckin’ execute!”

“But…”

“Listen,” I began, as a low rumble echoed through the building remains. “Get your friends and get the hell out.” Her mouth opened to object, but closed just as quickly as I shot another glare her way. Hurriedly, she called to her friends to follow her to the exit as I made my way to search for other survivors.

I could hear sirens outside the building, thank Celestia the Guard and the local fire department was here. Took ‘em long enough. Yet I still kept moving forward in my search. My mind began to race, what the hell was my body doing? Why was I searching?

Another muffled cry for help, to my immediate front. I made my way as I heard a mare in pain. “Hello?” I cried out. “Where are you?”

“Here!” The voice came from almost directly underneath me now. What the? Peering through the rubble beneath me, I saw her eyes. Scared and helpless.

“Hang on!” I shouted as the building began to rumble again. Oh shit, not good. Time was running out now. I desperately started to move debris to get to her. Feverishly working, I could see I was making progress.

“Hey! There’s somepony alive under here!” came a cry from outside the building. Huh? Me? Of course I’m alive, what the hell?

“Get moving! Get that fucker outta there!” I could hear ponies outside trying to move rubble from above us. If they weren’t careful.

There! I could see her whole face now! “Almost there! Just hang on, kid!” I shouted in excitement. Then the world around me began shaking violently. The rubble above opened up as a unicorn fire-pony lifted me out through a haphazardly made hole with his magic. “No!” I screamed as her face grew smaller. The world shook once more, collapsing on the mare. “NO!” I scrambled towards where the opening had once been.

“Hold him back!” shouted somepony.

“YOU KILLED HER! YOU FUCKING KILLED HER!” I screamed, spittle flying everywhere. “YOU BASTARDS! YOU FUCKING KILLED HER YOU IDIOTS!” Several hooves pinned me to the ground. “You killed her,” I whimpered.

“Give him a sedative!”

“Killed her…”

●●●

I awoke strapped down to a hospital bed. I struggled against the restraints. No use, those assholes really put me in tight.

“Hey, Doc…”

“Autumn?” I turned my head to see her sitting in a chair next to the bed. “How long have I been…”

“Not long, Doc. You’ve only been here for maybe a few hours.” A few hours? Felt like I just got a good night’s sleep! “You doin’ okay?”

I shrugged. “Yeah, I guess so. Head isn’t ringing anymore though.”

Autumn nodded, “I think the doctors had something to do with that.” She sighed. “Heard the blast from the Inn.”

“That big?”

“Oh yeah. You’re fuckin’ lucky, Doc.”

“Where’re the others?”

“Oh, they’re in the waiting room. Well, except Rainbow Dash. She’s in ICU.” The dread must’ve been clear on my face, “Don’t worry, Doc. She’s fine. They’re just doing it as a preventative measure.”

I sighed with relief. “So…” I began. “How many?”

“What are you talking about?” asked Autumn.

“You know what the hell I’m talking about,” I spat out angrily. “How…fucking…many?”

Autumn looked at the ground and sighed. “Hundred and seven dead and eleven missing. There’s only eighteen confirmed survivors from the blast. And that’s just here in Ponyville.”

Holy fuck. That many? Wait…just here? “What do you mean, ‘just here?’”

Autumn nodded, “Six other cities and towns were hit in similar attacks. The news is saying it’s NLR. But there’s no way…”

My thoughts drifted back to the moments before the blast. Those words rung in my head. For the New Lunar Republic. I looked towards Autumn, “Yeah, they’re right.”

She looked at me in disbelief. “What?”

“Right before the explosion that fuck shouted ‘For the New Lunar Republic.’ I knew those assholes were bad, but hell. This is a whole new level.”

“But, there’s no way!” she argued. “It’s impossible for them to have hit this far deep into…”

“They did, Autumn. You should know! Never underestimate your enemy!” She shook her head in shock at the news. “But six other locations? Are you sure you heard the news right?”

Autumn nodded glumly, “Yeah…six.” Fuck. “Hey, Doc. You know what? There are some concerned ponies out there who want to make sure you’re okay and I’m sure that you want out of that bed.”

Hell yeah, anything would beat being strapped down to this rock-like bed. Autumn called the nurse in who then unrestrained me, albeit nervously. As I sat up, Autumn began to try to help me. “I’m good, Autumn” I said briskly.

“Alright, Doc. Let’s go out to the waiting room.” I hopped off the bed.

“You know what? They can wait a little longer. There’s somepony I need to see first though.” Autumn simply nodded and gave me a hug.

“Good to see you’re up and up, Doc. And good luck.” She said with a wink.

●●●

After a bit of wandering around the hospital searching for Rainbow’s room, I finally found it with the aid of a Nurse…Redheart? Yeah that’s it. At least, I think it is. Anyway, I found it.

Opening the door slowly, as to try to not make any noise the hinges squealed at an incredibly high frequency. So much for being quiet.

“Hey…” came a weak sounding voice.

“Hey, Dash.” I said in a hushed voice. I walked over to her bedside and pulled up a chair. I looked around at the various bits of medical equipment and machinery that was monitoring her health.

“Sorry about that whole mess back there.”

I chuckled, “What do you have to be sorry for?”

She sighed, “For arguing with you.” Rainbow lowered her head, cheeks slightly flushed. “I…shouldn’t have done that…” She seemed to sink deeper into her bedsheets and mumbled “I’m sorry…”

“Dash, you literally have nothing to apologize for…if anything I should probably apologize to you snapping at you like that.”

With an aggravated groan, Dash forced herself up in bed. “Celestia, Coban. Here I am apologizing to you and you say I got nothing to apologize for?”

“I take it this is a rare occasion?” Rainbow crossed her hooves and glowered. I chuckled, “I’m kidding, I’m kidding. If it helps, I accept.”

“Good!” she said with a huff. “And if anypony asks…”

“Secret’s safe with me.”

She smiled, “Thanks.”

“Oh! So how’s the battle wound?” I asked.

“What, this paper-cut here?” Rainbow said motioning to her left leg. “’Tis nothing but a flesh wound!”

I burst out laughing. “Since when do you talk like that?”

“Quiet, wench!” she proclaimed before bursting into a fit of giggles. “I’m sorry. I think I heard that line from a movie somewhere. I had to use it.”

“But seriously, Dash.”

“Yeah, it’s fine! You worry too much Coban.” Her gaze looked out the room’s window.

“Rainbow? You okay?”

“It’s just…I don’t know.”

“C’mon, spill. I’m all ears.”

She sighed heavily. “Fine. During that blast, the only thing on my mind was how fucking scared I was. It took every ounce of strength and loyalty I had to force myself to stay to help my friends. Coban…I’ve been in some pretty crazy situations, but I have never been that terrified.” She shifted in her bed slightly. I simply sat and waited for her to continue. After a slight pause, she resumed.

“I was so scared that I could barely even make myself move. Element of Loyalty. Huh…I almost flew home and abandoned everypony. And there you were…simply…doing. Not concerned about yourself. But about others. You stayed behind and almost got yourself killed for somepony who you never met! I just wish…I just wish that I had the strength you had in that moment.” Her shoulders slumped a bit as she turned to face me. “That’s all.”

I studied her facial expression. Definitely serious. “You want to know something?”

“Sure…”

“When I was in my first firefight. I straight up pissed myself.”

Rainbow’s face had an expression of shock and disbelief plastered all over. “What! You? No…”

“And why not?”

“’Cause…you…I mean…c’mon, Coban! You’re a freakin’ awesome badass! You’re a horrible liar!”

“I’m not lying, Dash…I straight up pissed myself.” Time to explain I suppose. “No shit, there we were in the middle of the badlands of Helmare province…” Rainbow drew closer and sat upright, paying close attention. “…we were on patrol, looking for signs of enemy activity when out of nowhere I hear something wiz right over my head. Everypony drops, dick in the dirt. I’m the only dumb motherfucker still standing when something else cracks past. At this point, my sergeant threw me to the ground and starts screaming at me if I had a death wish. I asked him, ‘What the fuck, Sarge?’ and he’s all, ‘You moron! Those are bullets! They’re fucking shooting at us!’ And when he told me that, I pissed myself. For a while the guys called me Pee-Wee…”

I snapped back to reality when I realized that Rainbow was struggling to not laugh. “What?” I asked.

“Pee-Wee? Seriously?” she sputtered, trying to contain her amusement.

I smirked. “Yeah, you can fucking laugh…” Rainbow roared with laughter, and soon began trying to catch her breath. “I said you could laugh, not fucking be reacting to a goddamned comedian.”

“Sorry…hehe…” Rainbow began before she caught another fit of giggles. “Hehe…Pee-Wee.”

“Yeah, fucking hilarious…”

“I think Imma call you that from now on.”

“Dash, I swear to Celestia.”

“I’m sorry, Pee-Wee…carry on” she said with an evil snicker.

Rolling my eyes I started back up. “But the point is that I wasn’t this ‘badass.’ After a while, I just got used to it all. The world turns black and white and it’s…just much easier. Base survival. And I enjoyed it for quite a while. But something like a combat high, you just can’t get in the civilian world. What you saw tonight, yeah I was in my zone. I was loving every second of it, I didn’t think twice because it’s the best goddamned high you could ever get. But to be like that? It’s not something to admire. Not something to want to aspire too. How you reacted Rainbow, is how most normal ponies would react. But you stayed despite the fact you were scared. That is something to be proud of.”

Rainbow looked at me with a sort of awe. I raised an eyebrow. “Oh…”

“Yup. Rainbow, you’re probably the most loyal pony I know, and don’t let anypony else tell you otherwise. And I won’t hear any more of this self-doubt bullshit. We clear?”

“Crystal,” came the reply.

“Good,” I said as I got up from the chair. “Now get some rest, kid. I’ll stop by in the morning to check up on ya and make sure these quacks here are doing their job.”

“Did…you just call me kid?” asked Rainbow incredulously. “But we’re like…the same age aren’t we?”

“I’m just gonna keep calling you kid if you call me Pee-Wee”

“Ugh! Fine! I won’t call you Pee-Wee. Unless you piss me off!” Rainbow retorted.

“Fair enough. Now get some rest Dash.” I turned to leave.

“Hey! Coban, wait!” she called from her bed. Now what?

“Yeah?”

“Did, oh goddess, why is this so hard to ask?”

“What?”

“Okay,” she gulped anxiously. “Did you mean what you said back there?” Shit. I froze like a statue, was she talking about that? “You know...” Yup, she was.

I took a deep breath before responding. “I’ll tell you when you get better, Dash.”

A disappointed look crept on Rainbow’s face. “Don’t make a lady a promise you can’t keep, Coban.”

“I always keep my promises. Sleep tight, Dash.” I said as I left her room.

Author's Note:

Alright, here's chapter 6. Fresh and speedy and super squeezy or something. Felt like I owe a fast follow up chapter since there was a HUGE delay between chapters 4 and 5. Plus...finals are this week.

Join our Patreon to remove these adverts!
Join our Patreon to remove these adverts!