• Published 25th Oct 2011
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Heroes and Allies - LewisClarke



A great force threatens to destory Equestria and worlds beyond... Can two very diffrent peoples band together to stop it?

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Chapter Seventeen: Black Sun, Red Moon -Part III- Interuptions


Chapter Seventeen. Black Sun, Red Mo- Interruptions


"So what happened next?!" Pinkie demanded, her caffeinated cupcake rush reaching its peak.

Surprised by the pink pony's sudden outburst, Princess Luna cleared her throat. "What happened next, was a battle that some might have called glorious, and what some would call disastrous."

Celestia nodded. "You see, our parent's plans did not go quite as well as they'd hoped..."


****************



"Tribune, tribune! Pegasai have spotted a large resistance force surrounding the city! Shall we go on with the strike?" a messenger cried to Eclipstria's supreme military commander, a pegasus many knew only as Crest.

The tribune seemed unaffected by what should have been distressing news. "This is unexpected, but we will not be intimidated by this enemy. Tell the strike pegasai to target only the resistance force. The faster we can be done with it, the faster we can move ahead with the city's capture. Earth and unicorn warriors will attack the city once the defenders have been destroyed."

"Understood, Sir Crest."

Crest watched as the messenger flew into the ordered formation of strike pegasai. They were much slower and much lower than usual, due to their unusually heavy payload of a single melon sized geode strapped to each pegasus' armor. The were not however, carrying any other weapons, as they were already over encumbered as it was. Heavily armed, but a little less capable of defending themselves as they would have liked, the formation held course for the budding enemy fortress city of Vertaigh.

The tribune turned to the ground to take stock of his land forces. As the tribune recalled, earth pony infantry carried several weapons, but favored large blades that ran down the length of their forelegs. They also wore iron horse shoes, worn on the hooves for added ferocity. Unicorn swordponies carried a single large blade to maximize magical concentration and strike with as much force as their magic would allow. Surprising as it was to most, well trained earth pony warriors had been known to best them in sparring competitions, fueling a rivalry that was known to cause quite a bit of trouble. Today however, they seemed to have completely forgotten their petty antagonism, and were ready to serve as one.

Tribune Crest wouldn't have it any other way.


****************




"Alarm! Alarm! The enemy approaches!
It appears to be a formation of pegasai bearing right for the city!" a ram atop a spotting tower called down. "Contact the High Constable!"

In a nearby tent, High Constable Feeres shook his head. "They're really going through with this?!" the city's chief ram officer questioned.

"Yes my lord! They are on an attack course! What are we to do?"

"These ponies are daft! Lord Hircus has ordered that if a single blade of Caprastian soil is stirred by these animals, we are to strike back without mercy! Prepare the anti-air weaponry!"

Several rams rushed to armored catapults and arrow launchers stationed around the city.

Feeres kept focused on the approaching wave. "Wait for my order...."


***************

Just a few hundred feet in the air, the strike pegasai closed in on their targets.

"By Soltaire's beard! Those land ships are massive!" one of the winged ponies commented.

The pegasus flight leader nodded. "Come, we will make those our targets," The mare ordered.

The pegasai half barrel rolled and dove down on their selected prey.

"Ready!"

The pegasai put the release strap for their geodes in their mouths.

"Mark target!"

The swooping equines lined themselves up with the leviathans.

"Relea-"

A cascade of brightly colored feathers and wooden arrows exploded where the mare leading the flight had been.

"Break off! Break off! We've been tricked! They've got defenses under those nets! Break away! NOW!" a pegasus shrieked.

The pegasai quickly broke off their attack, frantically trying to order themselves without a flight leader. In the chaos, more and more of them fell. A few of them managed to release their weapons, but without proper formation, the explosives missed their mark. Beaten and wounded, the tumultuous band of pegasai finally managed to escape the ambush from below.

Tribune Crest stamped a hoof in anger as less than half of the strike team he'd sent out limped back overhead.

"Well played. They knew of our scout sweeps and hid the bulk of their defenses. No matter, we shall send an even larger force against them. Summon the heavy craft reinforcements, and send in our ground forces. Simultaneous attacks will overwhelm them."

"It will be done, Sir Crest."


****************


Several Caprastian soldiers cheered.

"The enemy has been routed, my lord! We are victorious!"

High Constable Feeres hit the scout over the back of the head with a hoof.

"Are you mad?! This has just begun! Now that they know we have the capacity to fight back, they will be sending their full force against us! Come, I will lead the battle from the leviathan Providence. Tell the others to position themselves behind it."

The scout rubbed the back of his head. "Yes. My lord."


***************

Several large flying carriages flew over the forest. The bombing craft, laden with blast geodes, were so heavy that each had to be yoked to ten pegasai. Five in front, Five in back. A small pegasus escort was all that could be afforded. As they approached the city, several fire balls hurled over them, missing by several hundred feet.

"Looks like we'll get through this without a scratch, colts!" a pegasus howled. "I know blind ponies that have better aim than that!"

"Sad thing is, I don't thank they we're aiming for us," A mare pointed out.

Several of the fire balls made contact with an Eclipstrian ship making its way down the river. The fiery projectiles punched multiple holes in the hull, setting it ablaze. The pegasai above could only watch in horror as the vessel exploded and the remaining wreckage sank beneath the waves.

"By the queen's holy flanks! They sunk the Belle Mare!" one of the yoked pegasai shouted.

"Then we get even," another answered, baring his teeth.

The geode carriages picked up speed under the extra adrenaline coursing through the pegasai pulling them. Sight officers, riding in the carriages and armed with spotting scopes, singled out the leviathan responsible for the fire attack.

After adjusting the flight path just so, the chief sight officer gave the order. "Range is sufficient! Release the weapons!"

Several boulder sized blast geodes rained down from all but one of the bombers, as a well placed fireball managed to knock one from the sky. Several rams galloped for cover as the deadly hail descended upon them. The geodes hit their mark, cratering through the outer hull of the targeted leviathan, and sending several ram warriors flying in the concussive shock waves. Out of the land ship came several rams, fleeing from their critically damaged vessel. One such warrior found that his coat had caught fire, and the ram wildly galloped around until mercifully, he found a small pool to jump into.

Witnessing the halted land ship burning before them, the pegasai whooped and hollered in excitement. The chief officer held his cap in the air. "Excellent shot! They shall not be using that vessel against us any time soon! However, that was the last of our ordinance. We are to return to base."

The battle carriages and escorting pegasai turned away.


*****************


Yet another scout glided toward the deck of one of the three Eclipstrian ships making their way down the river, and landed near a fancily dressed unicorn.

"Commodore Shell! The land ships are on the move and the Pegasus forces report that they are out of aerial blast geodes!"

"Then tell command that the UES Equinox and her escorts will engage from the banks of the river."

"Very well." The scout flew off.

The helmspony turned around. "Sir, if we engage from the river we won't be able to maneuver freely. We already lost the Belle Mare, should we continue?"

"We don't have a choice, we are the only Eclipstrian force present that can engage that monstrosity now. Crew, you have your orders, now make it so. Battle stations! Full sail!" The commodore ordered.

"Aye." The stallion turned the wheel and the crew extended the remaining sails to move the ship forward on the light breeze. Below deck, several earth ponies began to row large oars extending from the hull of the ship. Large swiveling arrow launchers were loaded with large simplistic spears. Behind the vessel, the other ships of the group began to do the same.

"Distribute weapons to the crew. If they try to board us, they will be met with quite a challenge," The commodore ordered.

The crew made sure that everypony on board had a blade of some kind.

"We are prepared, sir," a crewpony declared.

The Commodore nodded. "Then onward we go."



*****************


A helicopter full of attentive listeners found themselves closely wrapped in the princesses' story, as the flying machine sailed over the forest towards the array site, and the makeshift base built near it.

Twilight nearly burst under the suspense suspense. "So... What happened then?"

"The shots the Equinox and the Providence exchanged were the opening shots of the beginning of The Continental Wars." Celestia answered. "When the King and Quee- Our father and mother ordered that attack, they were not expected heavy resistance, let alone an entire standing army opposing them. The plan was sweep the Caprastians away by destroying the fortress at Vertaigh, but our arrogance causes us to fall right into their trap."

"Then they fought back," Luna added

"I'm guessing that's not the end of the story." Captain Greene spoke, a puzzled expression about his face.

Celestia nodded. "Of course not. That's just where the story, and this war begi-"

A large, close proximity blast shook the helicopter.

"Kaiser! What was that!?" Greene yelled into the cockpit of the helicopter.

"Unsure sir!" The startled pilot put a hand to his radio.

...."Flight, this is Bravo. Looks like we might have some resistance ahead! And by the looks of things they have already spotted us!"....

Lenard growled in annoyance. "Looks like that story will have to wait."

Outside, the Apache and Black Hawk rushed forward, the crews firing anything they had into a small group of griffin scouts ahead.

Steven Mace unbuckled his harness and got on the cabin floor. "Everyone, try to stay as low as possible! Keep your head down!"

Just as he spoke, an arrow speared right through the metal frame of the Super Stallion helicopter and embedded itself in the opposite wall taking a fairly large section of the fuselage with it. Suddenly, everypony heeded the Captain's suggestion and crouched to the floor of the packed helicopter in any place they could find.

"Least it wasn't one of those firebolt things." Mace muttered to himself, his own wound getting more and more painful as time dragged on.

"Hit the deck! Batten the hatches! Everypony for themselves!" Pinkie screamed in her typical brand of confusion.

"Everypony calm down!" Celestia cried out over the pandemonium, just as several pinging noises rung out around the helicopter, the recently learned tell tale sounds of small arms firebolts striking the frame.

"Mike, take us trough before we find ourselves riding in a hunk of metal Swiss cheese!"

"Too late for that sir! But barreling through enemy opposition anyway, now!"

The helicopters surged trough the small band of enemy scouts flying just outside the cabin, the gunners on each of the copters making short work of the feathery attackers and breaking through the enemy line.

"Let's just be glad there weren't any of those stupid dragons!" Star Sabre panted with relief. Spike gave the white pegasus a frowning, disapproving look.

"Uh, Pandragons. Stupid Pandragons," Sabre corrected. The non-pandragon's face straightened out.

The sights of the Ponyville remnant filled the windows. The sleepy farming town was a shadow of its former self. The houses had been converted into crude barracks for the Liberation Alliance soldiers, there were several fires burning out of control, and LA soldiers doing their best to extinguish them. Not a single living pony or human could be seen. The line had moved considerably since the last time the group had been there, revealing that the relentless enemy forces were still making their way to the array site.

"Sorry sir, looks like the LZ is going to be a little busier than we'd like! Hold on!" Kaiser called out from the front of the chopper.

Greene nodded. "Alright then, keeping my head on the floor it is!"

The helicopters increased to maximum safe speed, swerving left and right to throw off any anti air on the ground. They rushed over the deserted town and headed due west. Slowly but surely, Tree House and a shantytown of what had been saved from Ponyville (Know simply as Zero Base,) filled the windows of the helicopters. The array site now had a small archway still under construction, built next to the large upward facing dish that created airborne anomalies. Just a mile from the grounds, several enemy soldiers appeared to be quickly heading in the opposite direction of the base.

"I don't want to jinx us or anything, but I think we're in the clear. The enemy seems to be retreating," Steven cautiously added. "See if you can raise Tree House."

Kaiser nodded from the front. "This is Bravo to Tree House..."

No answer.

"Tree House, this is Bravo flight, you read?"

Still no answer.

"Tree House. Please Respond."

The helicopter's inhabitants exchanged worried looks, as the radio remained silent. Kaiser fiddled with the radio controls.

"Charlie, this is Bravo. Gerri, you there?"

...."Here, a bit shook up, but here. You hear from Tree House?"....

"Nothing. The base looks okay, but I don't see anyone around."

..."I recommend we exercise extreme caution. This might be some sort of trap."....

...."Or... ....A bunch.... ....of busted... ....radio equipment. This is Tree House. Sorry for spooking you, Bravo. Those yahoos did a serious number on the tower. I think the sight of all those choppers scared them off, for now. Bring it on in Bravo, welcome back."....

Several humans and ponies climbed out of hiding spots around the shantytown, and several soldiers cautiously emerged from behind cover.

Captain Greene sat back down in the cabin seat and breathed a sigh of relief. "There's all our friends. Looks like they held out okay. Take her down Mike, the closer to the base the better."

One by one the helicopters touched down next to the large redwood tree that stood as Tree House's control tower. As the doors opened, several friendly soldiers and civilians sprinted/galloped up the large flying machines. Out of the crowd, one pony stood out amongst the others.

"Sis, ya made it!" Big Mac nearly tackled his younger sister. "Me an' 'Bloom were worried sick!" The aforementioned filly, perched on the large stallion's back, hopped down and held Applejack in tight embrace. "Ahm- *sniffle* so glad you're okay!"

"Ahm glad to see you two too, but ya'll are crushin' me!" Applejack squeaked through the constriction of her brother and sister's hugs.

"Uh, sorry," The two farm ponies spoke in unison. "C'mon. a'hm sure Granny will want ta see ya" Mac added.

An orange and purple filly stiff-hoofed her way through the hug and and stopped in front of the helicopter. "Out of the way! Yes! I knew you'd make it Dash! No way a bunch of beak-heads and curly-horns were gonna stop you!" Scootaloo cheered. "I bet you socked ten of em' right in the jaw! Didn't you Dash?"

"Yeah, uh, sure kid," Dash spoke with a sheepish grin.

"Get out of my way!" Rarity shrieked as she uncharacteristically pushed the two pegasai aside to climb out of the chopper. "I have been cramped into that machine for hours! I want to see my sister, my parents, and good bottle conditioner! Now stand aside!"

"Over here, Rarity!" A little white filly jumped up to make her presence known.

"Sweetie! And you brought my beauty bag! How thoughtful!"

"Well actually Scootaloo, Applebloom and I were gonna see if we could if we could make rockets with- Uh, yeah! Here you go Rarity!"

The white unicorn glared, but couldn't stay angry. The two hugged, then the older of the two attempted to regain her lost poise.

"So it looks like the Cutie Mark Crusaders live to fight another day, eh?" A older stallion from the approaching crowd spoke.

"Mr. and Mrs. Cake!" Pinkie Pie shouted, still hyped up on her cupcakes, cheered.

"Yep," Mrs. Cake answered. "It's good to see you too Pinkie, though we could use some help."

Mr. Cake nodded. "What do ya say Pinko, you up for some baking? There's a lot of people to feed."

"Sure!" the pink pony answered. "I've got a new recipe that'll really shake your fur off!" The Cakes exchanged a nervous glance. "You see there's these cans I found in a case that the humans brought and it has got a real hum-dinger-doosey of a kick and-"

Pinkie's voice faded off as the bakers made their way towards the shantytown. A little white bunny gave them an almost confused look as they passed him by, then nibbled on a carrot.

"Angel?" The bunny snapped around and pointed the carrot towards whoever had dared speak his name. With the sight of the butterscotch yellow pegasus that he'd roomed with for quite some time, he lowered his weapon of vegetable destruction and gave a toothy grin.

Fluttershy's eyes welled up with heavy tears of joy. "It really is you!" She scooped the bunny into her hooves and held him so tight he nearly passed out. The bunny hit her over the head with the carrot to keep her from squeezing him to death, and the mare put him back on the ground. He scowled and dusted himself off.

"Oh. Sorry."

The bunny gestured as if to say, "There are people you could be helping right now! Move your flank, mare!"

"Oh I'm sorry, Were you saying something, Angel?"

The bunny facepalmed, then hoped up and spanked the mare on the rear. Fluttershy went redder than a ripe apple from the farms in Appleoosa. The bunny pointed the carrot toward a group of injured ponies, humans and other assorted creatures in need of care.

"Oh." Fluttershy answered. The bunny hopped onto the back of his caretak- roommate, and the timid pegasus trotted away to do what she did best, care for the sick.

Twilight and Spike climbed out of the helicopter and looked over the crowd. "Well I guess Ponyville wasn't a total loss," the dragon spoke, trying to maintain as much positivity as possible. "In a funny way, it's almost like they never captured the town."

Twilight sighed. "I suppose, but what if they come here? How will we hold out against them?" The purple unicorn under him asked.

Spike shrugged. "I dunno."

"There is only one thing we can do...."

Twilight and Spike turned around to see The princesses, Captain Greene and the rest of the small band of soldiers climbing out of the helicopter.

Princess Luna trotted up to the purple mare and her draconian friend.

"....We must fight."

"Maybe. Maybe not," Lenard interjected. "But I guess we'll see."

The Captain notice Lime Tree, sitting alone with a bored expression on his face. The pilot walked over to the lone stallion.

"Where's your welcome party?" Lenard inquired.

"Don't have one," the green stallion curtly responded.

"You don't have a family? Or any friends."

"I do, but they must all be doing something else."

"Okay.... I'm sure the Mayor will be happy to see you're alive..."

"Yeah, so I can deliver some papers or something."

"You okay, Lime?"

"Look. I'm an orphan in case you didn't know, okay! I don't have anyone to miss me! Maybe that's why I don't have a mark or anything! You wanna know where I got my name from? The orphanage gave it to me! Lime Tree Hill, because that's where they found me! Under a lime tree on a hill! So no, I'm not okay!" The stallion panted from his rant.

"I didn't know that, actually. Look man, you're tired, exhausted even. We all are. I'm going to brief the staff, then I'm crashing in whatever bunk I can find. You should too," The human explained.

"I guess you're right. I'm clearly suffering of heavy stress. Funny, it's so much easier to spot it in others. I'll take your advice and crash for the... whatever it is."

"I'm pretty sure it's still night."

"Whatever. See you later Greene."



******************


Star Sabre slowly trotted out of a small, hastily built tent.

"Corporal. Wait up."

The pegasus in question jolted out of a daydream and turned his attention to the large earth pony trotting up to him.

"How you holding up, Sabre?" Sergeant Sky Blade questioned.

The pegasus shook his head. "Sorry sir, I was a bit out of it. Did you need something?"

"No son, just wanted to see how you were doing," Sky Blade answered.

"I'm in top condition sir. No need to check up on me."

"Son, you haven't slept or eaten in two days. You are not in top condition."

The pegasus scowled. The older soldier noticed the younger guard's change of face.

"Something bothering you?" Sky Blade inquired.

"It's just... Well that's twice now that my folks have had to dodge a city's destruction."

"But they're okay, right?"

"Yeah, they're fine. I just need to clear my head."

"Sleep would be a good way to do that you know."

"Can't sleep. Not yet. I won't have one of those flank-spanking feather-faces get me in my sleep!"

"Sabre, you can't just... not sleep for the rest of this... whatever it is."

"I know, but I just- I just can't let my guard down. Not now."

In the distance a rainbow maned mare hopped into the air, briefly holding herself aloft before touching back down.

"I almost got it! The Dash will soar again!" the mare's voice echoed from afar.

"See, somepony's in a good mood. I don't know how pegasai think, but maybe getting back into the air will do you some good. Get some grub, then you can have a some time off to practice flying again."

"Yes sir! Gladly Sir!" The pegasus galloped toward the small shack the Cakes were now operating out of.

The Sergent shook his head and sighed. "That colt is gonna drive himself crazy."


*********************


Celestia made her way through the shantytown, taking a moment to gaze upon every wounded soul, to every crying child, to anypony that needed reassurance that there was hope.

"Their princess hasn't abandoned them," she thought to herself.

She turned toward a injured human solider. His eyes were forced shut in agony. The wounded man clutched his arm and hyperventilated as doctors treated a deep firebolt wound in his left shoulder. The soldier open his eyes and stared in her general direction. As their eyes met, she recognized the soldier as Steven Mace, who had helped save her, and now had to endure the removal of a firebolt out of his arm for his trouble. She could not bear to look at him any longer.

"I'm sorry."

The soldier realized who was in front of him. "N-no p-p-problem. G-guess it wasn't a flesh wound after all. I-I-I'll be f-fine."

Celestia solemnly nodded and turned away.

"It's not their fight," She thought. "Why am I allowing them to get hurt?"

"Because we need them! Without their help, pony kind could be extinguished!" She argued with herself.

"And whose fault would that be? They don't have any reason to side with us. IT'S NOT THE HUMANS' FIGHT!"

"Then why do they fight so bravely then?"

"The fight to protect themselves! They are caught up in your mess and are forced to fight for you!"

"NO. They care. I don't know why, but they care! I can see it! There is a friendship. Forged by fire, but legitimate all the same! Besides, if the enemy believes we are allies, I don't see why we can't."

Pleased with herself for sorting that all out, Celestia put on a brave face and trotted toward the center of the makeshift base. She entered a large square filled with ponies and humans, busy working on whatever their duties determined. Off to the side, Luna sat on her hunches, a sling cradling one of her wings and several bandages covering various scars.

Celestia sighed. She too had scars and bandages, a constant reminder of the torment of last few days that she was now slowly remembering. As she made her way toward the crowd, she noticed several other of the humans who had rescued her, including Captain Greene, the first human she'd ever known. She trotted into the square and sat down next to Luna.

The Princess of the Night turned. "If I recall, thy presence givith them a balm of comfort. Perhaps thy subjects require a "cheering up."

"Not like this." Celestia shook her head. "I see the way they look at us."

"How so?"

"They seem to loose hope every time the look at us. Their strong, immortal guardians are now beaten and weakened by some terrifying enemy."

"My dear sister, we are not immortal-"

"But that's how they saw us! That's how they've always seen us! Now they're force to see us... Like this! It can't be helping morale!"

Celestia calmed down. She could still feel the remnant of the drugs in her system, trying to push her over the edge.

"Perhaps they will understand how similar we are to them?" Luna calmly spoke. "Right now, all they want is to know that we haven't given up, that we shall never give up."

"You are right. When did you become so wise, Luna?"

Luna deadpanned. "I had a long time to think."

Celestia failed to suppress a smirk at her sister's attempt at dark humor. The Sun Princess stood up and cleared her throat, instantly attracting the attention of those around the shanty center.

"You might be expecting a long, drawn out speech, but I have only one thing to say..."

"...For the fate of our world... Have hope."


******************


Dr. Marc Harrison, supervisor of the facility designated "Two Array," hunched over the various displays jerry-rigged into the array control system. Despite having consumed several "Energy Cakes," which Pinkie Pie and the Cakes had somehow managed to mass produce in just a few hours, he was about to nod off. Just as he was about to slip into sweet unconsciousness, one of the communications panels lit up and beeped, jolting him awake. He groggily put one of the speakers of his headset to his ears.

"Yes?"

...."This is Major Classified from the special forces team infiltrating Canterlot! We felt we should warn you of an enemy plan!"...

"Enemy plan?" Harrison spoke, barely holding focus.

...."Yes have reports of heavy magical activity up here! Apparently, the enemy was not retreating away from our bases! They were evacuating before the use of some sort of heavy weapon!"....

"What kind of weapon?"

...."We don't know, but we have reason to believe it has something to do with the Elements Of Harmony!"....

"That unicorn and her friends?"

..."No! The actual magical artifacts themselves!"...

"So...." the exhausted scientist yawned, barely following the conversation.

..."Let me break it down. They're about to send weapons of mass destruction your way! And they're powered by six of the most powerful sources of energy known to exist!"...

"Oh."

Marc Harrison was suddenly much more awake.

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