• Published 20th Oct 2013
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The Demon Lord - Eagle

"All held the finite and infinite as unrelated. None could foresee that the history of the two would become one."

  • ...

The Reputation Returns

September 28th, 2005
Canterlot, Equestria

“So you sure about the jets, then?” Pixy asked. “You guys don’t need any more practice hours up there?”

“It is a little tough getting used to them, but we will,” Spitfire assured him.

The first real batch of fighter aircraft had arrived in Equestria for its own pegasi to fly in. The few jets available were being given to the best fliers, specifically the Wonderbolts, and a few other talented pegasi. Even though they had studied thoroughly on the planes ahead of time, and put in as much time flying them as they could afford, they were still rather green with the powerful vehicles.

Despite some of the proudest of the group not wanting to admit it, each of the pegasi had some kind of struggle with the jets. They had learned to fly at such an early age, something so natural and necessary, a simple task for any winged creature. Now, they had to resort to machines to win in the wars; needless to say, some of them were unhappy. But, despite the grumbling, it was better than getting blown out of the air by a missile from long range. Some even admitted that they enjoyed the experience, being in control of such a powerful machine.

“You guys just got these jets, and you already want to take them into a fight,” Pixy sighed, sitting with Spitfire and the others in the lounge area. “With all your trouble, more time’s going to be spent babysitting you guys through the sky than actually shooting the bad guys.”

“It’s an attack on the capital itself form the ground; we don’t have much of a choice,” she said. “We’re all going this time, don’t worry about us.”

“I have to worry about you; we need pilots to fight after the battle too, y’know,” he replied. “But, I guess we’ll find out about that soon enough, huh?”

“Is it time to go already?” she asked, looking at the clock.

“Yea, it is.”

With that the two got up and started out of the room. As the human exited, he was stopped by a rather unhappy Rainbow Dash, who seemed to be ready to fight him for some reason. Spitfire did not seem to notice, and just kept trotting down the hall; her mind was focused entirely on what was going to happen in a couple of hours.

“Something wrong?” Pixy asked. “Or is it just a bad day for you? If it’s the second, I’d suggest cheering up a bit; it could be your last.”
“I don’t trust you,” she said bluntly, ignoring the remark. “The way you switched sides and tried to kill everyone? No way I’d trust anyone, or pony, after that.”

“Yea, I messed up and fell in with a bad gang, it can happen,” he said simply, a bit bitter over the mentioning of the memory. “I’m trying to fix it, I said sorry, I’m doing what I can. All I want to do is my job.”

“Just don’t think I’ll trust my safety, or any of my friends, with you,” she kept going, acting like he had not said a word. “And don’t start thinking I’ll bail you out if you get yourself in trouble again.”

“Get myself in trouble? You’re the one who’s got to worry,” he replied simply. “You can fight for your freedom and country and whatnot, which is fine. But me? I’m just another mercenary to your lot.”

He brushed passed her and continued down the hall.

“I don’t care if you trust me or not,” he continued, still walking. “I’m just another war dog to you, huh? Hired fliers to do the suicide works, and I’ll do it just fine.”

“Alright, let’s see,” the AWACS looked over unsurely. “Is everyone flying ok?”

“You’re supposed to ask everyone to sound off,” PJ sighed, annoyed again by the rookie’s inexperience with his important job. “Forget it, let’s just start it off.”

“Crow Team, all planes check out,” Crow One reported.

“Galm Team checks out a-ok,” Pixy reported.

“Wonders, everything looks to be working,” Spitfire announced. “Does everything seem ok?”

“You’re fine,” Pixy assured her, glancing at the formation.

The Wonderbolts had been outfitted with the F/A-18E Super Hornet jet. It was the largest batch of planes Equestria had gotten, which had been just enough to outfit the entirety of the team. They seemed to be adapting to it relatively well, though that was not saying a lot in view of what the enemy was capable of.

“Alright, who’s next?” the AWACS asked.

“Rainbow looks ready, Redeye,” Dash said.

Rainbow’s Team was one of only three Equestrian squadrons that had jets, theirs being the F-16 Fighter Falcon. Despite Rainbow trying to sound confident over the radio, she was still a little worried herself, mainly because of the lack of experience, as the other ponies feared. Her five-plane unit was almost up to par with the Wonderbolts, but it still was not that advanced in the general setting.

“Ok, four out of five,” Pixy observed. “Who’s the last one?”

“Uh, Lighting Squadron. Our planes look ok,” another voice called out.

Lightning Dust had yet to actually meet the humans face-to-face yet, but she was anxious to. Though she was qualified to lead a unit, there were a few exceptions that came with it. Due to her previous track record, and that of her team, they were not officially part of the Equestrian military; they could fly, and would be given the basics, but actual benefits and recognition were out. They were, for all intents and purposes, mercenaries, just like their human counterparts. And to be honest, she liked the idea, which is why she wanted to meet the humans after this. A mercenary felt like a nice career field.

“Galm Two to Lighting, I see you,” Pixy observed. “Good plane choice, by the way.”

“Yea, they’re the same as yours,” Lighting said from her F-15C Eagle.

“It’ll get the job done, and then some.”

“Yea, that’s what I’ve heard,” she replied. “Of course the best pilots get the best planes.”

“Looks like it.”

Rainbow was listening to the conversation in a silent rage. She was already unhappy about the idea of Lightning getting a role in the first place; she knew just how dangerous that pony could be. And now her ego was going to steadily go up and up because of it. Rainbow wanted to just yell at Lightning to shut up, but figured it was best to control her own temper in light of the coming battle.

“Just watch; I’ll take care of things in no time,” Dust assured him.

“We’ll just wait and see what happens,” Pixy replied. “A good fight will always separate the rats from the tigers.”

Pixy had always figured battle was the best way of determining matters between people. More than that, it was the best kind of ‘shining light’, so to speak; it could reveal someone’s true being well. Everything about them, just who they really were, all laid on the table. If one got to his rank of experience where the battles would not bother him as much, he could look and listen for those new discoveries.

“Alright, AWACS, where are the targets?” he called next.

“The uh… the main concentration of enemy troops on the ground. Their base and the units that are already moving,” Redeye reported. “There might be some fighters to deal with.”

“Good, make sure to keep adding on details like that,” Pixy replied. “If I didn’t know about fighter probabilities, I could get jumped.”

“Right, got it,” the pony in the larger aircraft replied. “The main targets will be their tanks, and other armored units. We still can’t fight back at those well enough to stop a determined drive.”

“They have armored vehicles, too?” PJ asked.

“Yea, they put a heavy emphasis on a modern military when we got here,” Spitfire added in. “The Sphinx military is just as modern as pretty much any.”

“Are we sticking to the same attack plan as before?” Crow Two asked.

“Affirmative, not enough time to change it,” Crow One replied. “Galm and Lightning Teams will provide air defense while the Crow and Rainbow Teams bomb the base and advancing columns before they hit the front.”

“And we’ll stay back and pick off any stranglers,” Spitfire added, thinking of the Air-to-Ground missiles under her wings.

“That’s it,” Pixy said. “So let’s get started. Cipher, we’re nearly there; you take the lead and I’ll follow.”

Cipher’s plane increased speed and pulled away from the group, followed by Pixy, and shorty after that by the three F-15s of Lightning’s group. Covering the short distance quickly, he gained altitude and began looking for possible enemy fighters. Just as predicted, he saw them in the form of ten MiG-29 Fulcrums, orbiting in two separate groups of five, at a high altitude over their ground force’s base.

“Galm Two to Lighting, we’ll take one group, you guys take the other,” Pixy said to the trailing group of Eagles. “Just call if you need help.”

“Roger, we won’t,” Lightning replied, banking and leading her group off to the right.

Pixy hoped she was right, as the enemy’s voice over the radio showed that they had already spotted the intruders.

“Heads up, unknown aircraft inbound, probably hostile,” one of the Sphinx pilots reported.

“Are those the same ones from before?” another asked.

“It’s the same model,” the voice replied. “I can see the markings that were reported. Two of them; one with both blue wings, another with one red wing.”

“It’s the human mercenary, that’s for sure,” the leader said. “Let’s deal with them; they won’t surprise us this time.”

The five Fulcrums split from their formation, and the range began to close rapidly.

“Galm One, engage,” the AWACS ordered.

Cipher did this, quickly moving towards the closest Fulcrum aggressively. He dropped behind it and continued for a few seconds, getting the range down. The MiG tried some basic maneuvers at first to shake him off, banking left and right a few times, but it was hardly enough as Cipher quickly closed the last distance and fired a missile that struck its engines.

“Number Four is down, no chute, and he isn’t flying,” one of the pilots reported. “I’m getting closer to him, nearly there.”

“Got it three, I’m coming after him, too,” another said.

As one of them began to close, Pixy began to go after him, having waited for this moment.

“Galm Two engaging,” he said.

He was below the Fulcrum, and in a rather good firing position behind him.

“Fox two.”

The missile went upwards, shooting straight into the target’s belly and causing it to lurch and fall apart in the air. The second seemed surprised at this, as he did nothing while Pixy dropped on his tail. The sound of a lock-on warning brought the pilot back to his senses, and he dived in time to dodge one missile, barely. Pixy stayed with him, following him down until he straightened out, then in a turn to the left until the lock was solid again and the second missile flew out, finding its mark.

“Pixy here, two bandits down; you’re clear.”

“Three of our fighters are down already!” the Fulcrum leader yelled. “We need help, can anyone assist?”

“Negative, we’ve got our own problems,” the second group of Fulcrums replied, apparently busy with Lightning’s unit.

“We’re scrambaling more fighters from the airfield, you have to hold on,” their command replied from the far-off field.

“I don’t know if we can-”

His voice was cut off as Cipher’s missile crashed into the wing and sent it spinning. The final Fulcrum turned to escape, climbing into the clouds, with Cipher following closely. It made the mistake of trying to run away straight forward, and the F-15 slowly closed the range and fired another missile, which succeeded in catching the back of the Fulcrum.

“All enemy planes down,” the AWACS announced. “F-16s can begin bombing runs.”

“Copy that,” Pixy said. “Lightning, you guys alright?”

“Yea, we’re fine; no problem here,” Dust replied.

Pixy could see that her three plane formation had defeated the other group with no losses. It was admittedly impressive for such a green group of pilots. Maybe there was something behind all that boasting of hers, at least he hoped so.

“Crow Team approaching target; twenty seconds,” Crow One said. “Rainbow Team, are you still with us?”

“We’re still here. Our target is the camp, right?” Dash asked.

“Right, don’t forget which of those buttons releases the bombs.”

“Don’t worry, we won’t.”

“We’ll find out just how good your aim is for ground targets,” Crow Two added. “Crow Team, I’ve spotting a long convoy moving down the road in the direction of the city.”

“I see it, entering bombing run,” One ordered. “Good luck, Dash.”

“Thanks,” she replied, hoping everything would go reasonably well.

The three Falcons from Crow were armed with general purpose bombs, and they all began a slightly downward run towards the line of vehicles. Each would wait for the impact of the previous runner’s bombs, so the effect could clearly be seen and adjustments could be made. There was no room for wasting anything in this situation.

PJ was the first in line, coming in slowly and timing the column’s movement with his own bomb sight. As he got closer and closer to the release point, he felt his plane begin to shake, and saw black dots come close to it, followed closely by tracers from guns on the ground. Though he was surprised, he tried to focus and adjusted his Falcon to the proper position.

He released the weapons and immediately accelerated and pulled up, followed by the bullets form the rapid firing guns. Grunting and seething, he performed a few roles and turns to lose the gunner’s aim before he was out of range. As he leveled out, he could clearly see a few small holes in his left wing; nothing serious, but it got to him a bit.

“Why the hell didn’t you say they had AA guns?”

“I figured you would know that already,” the AWACS said. “I figured when I said ‘modern military’, you would take that into account.”

“You need to mention the specifics all the same,” PJ said, a little annoyed.

Looking back, he noticed that his bombs had found their mark, and the column had come to a stop. The other two Crow’s had little trouble hitting the stalled group, which quickly began to get off the road and take their chances. Even though the strike had taken out about half of the fifty or so vehicles, the rest needed to be dealt with.

“Crow Three to Redeye, the convoy is scattering. We need Wonder to take out the stranglers.”

“Copy that,” the AWACS said. “Spitfire, you hear that? Take out the running ones.”

“We’re on it,” she said, trying to stay determined. “Ok guys, break off and hunt them down, and watch for anything that could hit you.”

Each of the large Hornet formation did so, breaking off to search for individual targets. It did not take long for Spitfire to find one, seeing a lone tank make its way across an open field. She nosed towards it, slowing down a bit, and keeping steady. All she had to do was hold the plane steady and wait for the lock on. Even though it felt like an eternity, the targeting box surrounding the tank turned red, signaling a clear shot. Almost immediately, she fired one of the air-to-ground missiles and watched it fly off and into the tank, after which she quickly pulled up and leveled out. It was not too terribly difficult.

Rainbow and her flight had a good view of the hunt from where they were. Their mission had also been accomplished with little real difficulty. Unlike the moving units Crow had to bomb, the ones at the base were unmoving and unready. Her five F-16s had easily demolished the small area into useless rubble after one run. It felt good to finally have the ability to hurt their enemy; one who had seemed unbeatable at first. Pretty soon, everything would be done and they could go home and celebrate.

“Warning! Flight of five bogeys detected! Altitude 20,000 feet, very fast!” Redeye warned the group. “Rainbow Flight, they’re coming close to you! Watch it!”

“Oh no,” she said, looking at the incoming dots on her radar.

There was not enough time to turn and run; even if the numbers where even, her flight had not seen air-to-air combat before.

“Guys? We could use a hand here,” she called out. “Anyone there?”

“I can’t get there in time to bail you out, Dash,” Lightning said.

Rainbow wanted to yell just at the sound of her voice. She was not sure if Dust was lying or not, but just the way she said it felt bad. Why would she abandon her, though? Was it to wipe out completion? No, Dust would not go that far. It was for some other reason. But true or not, it would not change a thing.

“Galm Team here, we’re with you guys,” Pixy said, following Cipher and moving to the three o’clock position off the F-16’s group. “We’ll watch your backs.”

Now Rainbow all of a sudden felt bad. She swore she would not come to help Pixy, and yet here he was, and Cipher too. Both had come to help them; while on the other hand, her ponies and friends had not been able to make it in time.

“Thanks Pixy,” she said.

“Just don’t fly in front on my bullets and get shot down,” Pixy replied. “That’s the sign that you’re a decent flier.”

From the sound of his voice, he was not as caring as Dash.

“They’re flying in a tight formation,” Redeye said. “These guys are professionals.”

“Hear that, buddy? They’re aces,” Pixy said, tightening the formation a bit. “Really is just like old times. Let’s get to work.”

The flight of five was a formation of SU-27 Flanker fighter jets, each with a black body and a red nose. It was a rather rainy day, making their jets a bit hard to see due to the paint. Their squadron had already seen plenty of action to feel confident in their victory.

“Neith Two to Neith One, they’re definitely fighter jets,” the sphinx pilot reported.

“Good, it will feel good to shoot those down, instead of a defenseless pegasus,” the leader reported.

“That’s right, you’ve flown before against them, right Captain?” another asked.

“That’s right,” the human squad leader replied. “I was part of the Belkan Air Force, we were some of the best in the world.”

He was rather proud of his service during the war, even if his country had lost; indeed he always spoke of it when he got the chance.

“Yes, this will be fun,” he continued.

“I heard a few of them are humans,” the number four position said. “They’re responsible for shooting down the bomber formation.”

“That just makes it more fun,” the Belkan chuckled. “No worries just follow my lead.”

As the group approached the hostile jets, the Belkan’s keen eyes made out two planes that immediately struck him with fear. Both were Eagles. One had a red wing, and the other’s wings were blue. He had seen the paint before, a long time ago.

“No, no way,” he said to himself, not realizing he was talking out loud. “They have to be imposters. Pretenders!”

“Neith One, something the matter?” his wingman asked. “What do you want us to do?”

“There’s just no way in hell he could be here. The same one that shot me down all those years ago? No… he’s coming back to haunt me again.”

“One, what’s wrong? Who are you talking about?”

“It’s him. It’s the Demon.”

The range closed between the two groups and both instinctively scattered their formations. A single Flanker in the back kept going forward, not noticing he was going head on with Cipher. The unlucky Spinx received a missile right in the front of his aircraft.

“Number Five’s hit!” one of the other reported. “Neith One, what are your orders? We’re in a fight!”

“I can’t… fly like this!” the Belkan grunted, dodging every which way.

Two more of the Flankers dropped behind two other F-16s. One of them was Dash, who quickly dived to get away. It was not the best dodge, and her pursuer kept up with her easily. She tried to bank hard to the left, which threw him off a bit, but not by much.

“Alright, this one’s mine,” the Flanker’s pilot said.

He failed to keep an eye on his own six, where Cipher appeared again and fired several rounds from his gun into the aircraft, setting it one fire. It flew a bit of a ways more before exploding in the air. The second Falcon was saved by Pixy, who shot down the third SU-27.

“Three of our planes are down!” the Number Two position reported. “One, what’s happening!? What are you doing!?”

“You think you’re as good as him?” the Belkan snarled to himself. “You’re a ghost, a pretender. I’ll expose you for the imposter you are!”

Both of the remaining Flankers targeted Cipher, who quickly drove his F-15 over the cloud layer and began to twist and turn in attempts to lose his pursuers. The leader was closer, followed a short ways off by his wingman. Dash noticed this, and decided to try and take him out.

She pulled her Falcon up and added speed, slowly gaining on the trailing Flanker. She saw Cipher high up in the clouds, doing a quick dive and leading the SU-27s to a lower level. Rainbow calculated this and evened her plane out, letting the target fly right in front of her vision without him even noticing. She pushed the plane as fast as it would go and caught up to the Flanker, which quickly turned red to indicate a lock-on. To her embarrassment, she missed the missile launching button the first time, but a quick look down showed that she was a bit off and the missile final went out, successfully hitting the designated target.

“You’re just playing dress-up in his legacy,” the Belkan snarled, unaware his entire elite squadron was gone because of his actions, or lack thereof. “I will end you, you ghost!”

Unable to get a lock with Cipher’s maneuvers, he got closer and tried to fire on him with his guns. Seeing this, Cipher slowed drastically and began an Immelmann turn, speeding up as he leveled out. As he did, he decided not to stop, pulling back up vertically and climbing up into the clouds again, with the Flanker unable to follow.

The Belkan had just barely finished the Immelmann when he realized that his target was not there. He looked left and right first, but saw nothing. As he realized that the F-15 had pulled up, Cipher dropped down again and got onto his six, getting his own lock and shooting a missile. The Flanker tried to dodge, but the missile kept with it through the left bank and hit its rear, setting it on fire.

“It really was him, it was no ghost,” the pilot of the crippled plane said through the static filled radio. “The Demon has resurrected.”

The Flanker exploded into nothing a few seconds later, signaling the end of the engagement.

“That’s it, the radar’s clear,” Redeye confirmed. “All aircraft are clear to return to base.”

“Dash, are all your planes still up?”

Rainbow quickly counted the number to confirm this.

“Yea, all five,” she said, a little amazed. “That was… nuts.”

“A fight with the elites and we saved all your hides,” Pixy said proudly. “That costs a little more, you know.”

Author's Note:

Sorry it took so long. I really wish there was a way I could stop worrying about ratings, but I don't want to sound like I don't care about people either. It's hard trying to find a medium ground.

Anyways, thanks for reading and waiting. Please leave some kind of feedback, the encouragement helps keep things moving.

Comments ( 15 )

The Belkan makes this chapter pretty cool.

It just felt right. It's nice to add other elements in.


Was it any specific Belkan ace, or just a random from the war?

Just some random guy I made up.


4214047 I'm dissapointed in myself, I can't remember if any of the aces from AC Zero flew in Su27s.

There were none. The closest was Gelb in SU-37s.

I really like how you gave the wonderbolts F-18s. Considering how the wonderbolts are pretty much the Blue Angels, and since they fly F-18s as well, it's just a really cool little connection. :rainbowwild:

Excellent story as a long time fan of ace combat this story is amazing. I hope the next chapter comes out soon

4328533 yep, just add the mercenary skin, and boom.

you know given the way the guy was talking it sounded a lot like the rot team leader though having confirmation that it was not him does alleviate some concerns.

still its nice to see more ace combat content.

You know who I would like to see in this story fighting for the ponies the Belkan sepratists and their Mig-31B Foxhounds. Because I always wanted to know what happened to those brave pilots who saw nuclear bombing their own country as the same madness as Pops did and took up arms against their own countrymen in an attempt to stop it.

This was a great story may it Rest In Peace

Can you PLEASE continue this story, or if it is finished, indicate that the story is 'Completed', please!

I've asked once, and I'll ask again.


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