• Published 23rd Nov 2013
  • 4,148 Views, 190 Comments

A Kingdom Divided - Samey90



For many years, Elements of Harmony were responsible for keeping peace in Equestria. But sometimes, magic of friendship is not enough...

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4. Fluttershy

There is no flag large enough to cover the shame of killing innocent people.
Howard Zinn


It was a busy day for Fluttershy. The battle hadn’t started for real yet, but there were already some injured ponies to take care of; she hoped that four doctors and about a dozen nurses will be enough to take care of all of them, but she knew that it wouldn’t be easy.

The first patient was a Royal Guard, brought by his colleagues. It was a stupid accident: his companion’s gun fired when he dropped it on the ground, hitting his leg, luckily missing the bone, and only scratching the muscle. Doctor Stable dressed the wound quickly and gave the soldier antibiotics to prevent infection.

Then, with the first explosions that could be heard from Ponyville, all Tartarus broke loose.

Seven ponies were brought to them, after some Moon Army soldier managed to throw a grenade directly into the trench. Fluttershy was running from one wounded pony to another, helping doctors save them by delivering tools and medicine.

“Scalpel! 15A scalpel!”

“Forceps! Quick, we need to pull this out!”

“Fluttershy! Blood, group A Rh-!”

She searched through the magically-powered refrigerator and took the bag out of it.

“I have one!” she shouted, running to the operating table.

“Shit…” Doctor Stable muttered, “Put it back…” he said, defeated, throwing his tools on a cart. The nurse tried to levitate the body of his patient off of the table, but another nurse bumped into her, falling on the ground and spilling tools all over the floor.

“Help me! I’m dying!” another patient cried, holding his injured leg.

“If ya can talk, ya’re not dying!” A unicorn doctor, who had said that he was from Trottingham, shouted at him, before turning to Fluttershy. “My dear, give me a bone saw and some anaesthetics for this gentlecolt.”

Fluttershy saw the gentlecolt’s face becoming pale before he lay limply on the table.

“Umm… he passed out.”

“Good. Now forget about the bone saw, and give me surgical thread. He’ll have a nice scar, something perfect to show ladies, bragging how brave he was, but he’ll still have all the limbs.”

“Another grenade!” Two ponies with stretchers rushed into the tent, interrupting the doctor’s tirade.

“How many wounded?”

“Only this one – he jumped on the grenade when it fell into their trench.”

“Let me see,” said Doctor Stable, whose previous patient was just transported away to the tent they used as a morgue, “Sweet Celestia, how is he even alive?”

“Umm… Is it that bad?” Fluttershy, who just bandaged the previous grenade victim’s head, asked.

“Well, a grenade exploded directly below his stomach, it now looks like something griffons would eat...” he said with a sigh. “Nothing for us to do, he’ll die soon, and will be given an Order of the Sun posthumously.”

“What?” Fluttershy exclaimed. “We should at least try to save him!”

“There are dozens of ponies who may die because we were trying to save somepony, who’s already three hooves in a grave,” Doctor Stable explained. Seeing her tear stained face, he added, “It’s a hard choice, but…”

“Fluttershy! Anypony help me!”

“Dash?” she ran out of the tent, followed by Doctor Stable.

“Dashie! Are you ok?” Fluttershy asked.

“Yes… It’s Dust.”

“Oh crap,” Doctor Stable muttered, seeing the injured pegasus’ wing. He quickly levitated her onto a stretcher and ran inside the tent.

“Single penetrating wound of the wing, we need to stop the haemorrhage! And, for Faust’s sake, remove that armour off her!”

“She already had two shots of morphine!” Dash shouted. For a moment their eyes met and Fluttershy saw that her friend was at the verge of tears.

“Fluttershy!” Doctor Stable shouted.

She rushed to him and quickly gave him a new set of tools, and he started to sew the vessels of the wing.

“It’s most important to save her now,” he panted. “My mentor, Doctor Tulp would kill me for treating wings with such carelessness.”

“Carelessness?” Fluttershy asked.

“You know, all those nerves… She’ll live, but it may take years of rehabilitation to make her fly again… As I said before, choices and priorities… And don’t stand like this, give me some B positive blood for her,” he said, staring at Lightning Dust’s dog tag. Fluttershy rushed to the refrigerator, took a bag from it, and came back to the table.

A young paramedic entered the tent, panting from exhaustion.

“The battle started!” he shouted, “We have at least twenty wounded, not to mention those kids!”

Fluttershy froze. Suddenly the whole hospital got really quiet.

“What kids?” the doctor from Trottingham asked.

“Some sick fuck dropped a shrapnel at the kids that were travelling to that refugee camp near Canterlot!”

“Bring them. The worst injuries first!” Doctor Stable ordered. He quickly dressed Lightning Dust’s now-sewn wound and levitated her on the stretchers. She was ready to be brought to another tent full of camp beds that they were half-seriously calling “ward”.

The first patients were brought to the operating theatre, a violet mare with a large shrapnel wound on her side among them.

“It’s their teacher, I think her name is Cheerilee...” The paramedic said to Doctor Stable, who checked the violet mare’s pulse and breathing.

“We’re too late. She’s dead,” he said flatly, almost unheard due to the filly screaming on the table next to him.

“Mom! Dad! Rarity!”

Fluttershy almost dropped the bandages she was carrying. She rushed to the filly, bumping into the paramedic transporting Lightning Dust away. The stretcher waved in their magic field, and the pegasus lifted her head for a moment before passing out again.

“Bring me a bone saw, this time for real,” said the Trottingham doctor, trying to keep struggling Sweetie Belle on his table.

“Rarity!!!” A white unicorn cried hysterically at the top of her lungs. Fluttershy tried not to look at her hind legs, now a mess of fractured bones and torn muscles.

“Sweetie!” she shouted. “Where are Apple Bloom and Scootaloo?”

“She can’t hear you, her eardrums are ruptured,” The doctor explained, using his magic to calm Sweetie down. Fluttershy ran outside and saw Apple Bloom sitting on the ground in front of the tent next to some less injured soldiers and foals. She was trembling, holding a bloodied bandage on her left ear, but except that she looked quite good.

“Where’s Scootaloo?” Fluttershy asked, panicked.

“She can’t hear you,” said an unicorn colt sitting next to her, Snips, if Fluttershy recalled his name correctly, “She was close to the bomb, but one of the guards shielded her and Sweetie.”

“H-how about the o-others?” Fluttershy asked him. He shivered.

“Dunno, t-they l-left the dead ones…” He fell on his haunches, his voice shaking, “Snails, Featherweight, Diamond Tiara…”

“A-and where is S-scootaloo?”

He only shrugged. Fluttershy, trying not to cry, took him and Apple Bloom to the ward.

***

Lightning Dust slowly opened her eyes. Her vision was blurry and dark, and she still couldn’t get her bearings. A faint thought that she had been presumed dead and was now lying in a body bag ran through her brain, but then she noticed an i.v. rack above her and several other injured soldiers in the beds similar to the one she was lying in. She tried to move her wings, but she couldn’t feel them.

“Sweet Celestia, I hope it’s because I’m high on morphine,” she said. Or rather tried to say, because all she heard was some incoherent mumbling.

“Lightning Dust?”

She blinked, and tried to raise her head. After few failed attempts to do so, she saw a yellow pegasus and two kids, a colt with a black eye, and a filly, whose ear was torn off.

“Where… am I… wings… water…”

“You’re in a field hospital,” said the yellow pegasus. “Umm… I can bring you some water in a minute.”

She left the tent, leaving Lightning Dust with the foals. The wounded pegasus lifted her head, trying to see more of her surroundings. The air smelled of fabric, disinfectants, and dried blood. The whole interior of the tent was dim and blurred, possibly due to her blood loss. Finally, she looked at the two foals sitting next to her.

“What… are you doing here?” she asked, panting. She started to feel a dull pain in her chest and occasional twinges from her wing.

“We heard bombs and our teacher told us to hide in the woods,” the colt explained. “Then somepony dropped a bomb on us…”

“Woods?” The pain in her wing intensified, followed by a pounding headache. “What… bomb?”

“Dunno,” said the colt. “The one that explodes throwing the small pieces around…”

“Shrapnel…” she muttered. Suddenly, the world around her grew darker, as if she was falling into bottomless pit.

“Yes, I think so,” the colt said. “Hey, Mrs Pegasus, are you ok? Fluttershy!”

***

“Fluttershy, where have you been?” Doctor Stable scolded. The nurses were now carrying Sweetie Belle, her hind legs now two bandaged stumps, to the other tent.

“Umm… I was checking on the other patients,” she replied. “Lightning Dust regained consciousness, but quickly lost it again.”

“That’s bad,” he said. “We need to take her to Canterlot. She might have suffered some other injuries.”

“H-how are the others?” Fluttershy asked. Doctor’s expression became solemn.

“Well, you’ve seen that poor filly. There’s also another little unicorn. I think she’s the mailmare’s daughter. Her spine’s broken, but I managed to save her. Ventricle, Atrium and Henry also did lots of good work,” he pointed at Henry, the doctor from Trottingham, who was now trying to remove a piece of shrapnel from a Moon Guard’s chest, at the same time explaining to the nurse that he cared more about his life than his uniform. The youngest doctor, Ventricle, was sewing a wound on some other soldier’s head, and Atrium, gray-maned unicorn with a beard, was helping his patient, a brown colt with a propeller beanie, to go to the ward.

“And how about the other foals?”

“The paramedics said that there’s nopony left alive there.”

Fluttershy drooped her head. Doctor Stable felt awkward. Through the years of his medical career, he had to tell countless ponies that, despite his best efforts, their loved ones passed away, but now he couldn’t find words to comfort her. One of the nurses, who were outside checking on the patients with lighter wounds, stepped inside.

“Doctor, there are three bat ponies flying here!” she shouted

“What? What do they want?”

“We don’t know, but the patient who noticed them says that they’re armed, and they seem to be going to bomb us!”

“Just great…” he sighed, “as if we didn’t have enough problems…”

“Umm…” Fluttershy muttered, “I can fly to them and explain that it’s a field hospital.”

“Are you sure? It is said that they’re crazy, bloodthirsty creatures…”

“Oh, come on!” Fluttershy yelled so loudly that it surprised even her. She continued quietly, “Bloodthirsty or not, they might simply have mistaken our hospital for a military object…”

“Do what you want. We’ll prepare for evacuation,” said Doctor Stable.

***

“So, this is their headquarters,” said the bat pony leader to his wingponies. “Wonder how they’ll like it…”

Keine Ahnung. But they bombed our colts with shrapnel today, so I guess the napalm will do for them…” The left wingpony laughed.

“Are ya sure this is it?” asked the last one.

“Definitely. Look, they even sent a pegasus to intercept us.”

“Only one? Sweet Luna, unsere Flugabwehrkanonen had to give it to them…”

“Probably. Too bad this guy exploded in a trench. I had die Kameraden there!” said the right wingpony and took his weapon – a long-distance sniper rifle. For a moment he was staring into the telescopic sight. “They really ran out of pegasi, this filly looks like some Lunadamn hippie… Are you sure we need to do this?”

“You’ve heard the orders – destroy the base and everyone trying to intercept us.”

“Hmm, works for me. All those guys who died today… Sie müssen gerächt werden…

He aimed more carefully and pulled the trigger.

“Nice,” he muttered, lowering the gun. “A pink mist in a setting Sun…”

***

Fluttershy was approaching the bat ponies, determined to either talk to them or, if they wouldn’t listen, use The Stare at them, when she felt a hot wave spreading from her stomach all over her body. Her wings, suddenly losing a connection with the brain, became numb. She felt a gust cold wind around her, falling back to the clearing she had taken off from just a few minutes earlier.

She hit the biggest tent, which collapsed under her weight. Stunned from the fall and the injury, she looked around, trying to figure out what happened and saw Doctor Stable trotting to her, followed by Doctor Ventricle.

“Oh Celestia, Fluttershy!” Doctor Stable cried. “Are you ok?”

“Yes, I’m completely fine, I just…” she stared at her stomach, and froze mid-sentence. Her yellow fur was stained with blood, dripping from a small bullet wound. As adrenaline started to drain from her body, she felt an acute pain in her back. A worried expression of the doctors told her that the bullet exit looked much worse.

“Don’t worry, Fluttershy, I’ll fix you,” said Doctor Stable, trying to levitate the tools that were still slipping from his magic grasp. Behind him, a group of nurses, along with less injured patients, were bringing the heavily wounded out of the ward tent. She looked at them and made the decision.

“No… Leave me here…” she whispered.

“I can’t leave you!”

“No… They’re coming… Priorities, remember?” She smiled. “It… it looks like something a griffon would eat… it won’t take much…”

“I…”

“Run!” she shouted, spilling blood from her mouth, and stared at him, as if he was a stubborn animal, causing him to jump backwards. “Save… the… kids…”

Just when she said this, they heard the ominous fluttering of the black wings. Everypony in the hospital started to run away in panic. Fluttershy turned her head to see Apple Bloom, carrying Sweetie Belle on her back. She tried to get up to help them, but her hooves didn’t listen, and she only rolled off the fabric, landing in the dirt with her hooves spread in weird angles.

The first bomb fell on the ground a few feet from her, engulfing everything in flames. She looked around, but there was no way out. The fire was everywhere, consuming the tents, abandoned medical equipment, and everything it found on its way. Apple Bloom and Sweetie Belle were nowhere to be seen. Fluttershy closed her eyes, her body shaking in another fit of coughing. Feeling the strength draining from her rapidly, she started to sing an old lullaby her mother used to sing to her when she was a foal. Her voice was quiet and raspy, but for her it seemed louder than the roaring of the fire around her.

Blow the wind, blow;
Swift and low;
Blow the wind o'er the ocean.

The fire engulfed the trees, setting the forest ablaze. Fluttershy, still singing, looked at the other side of the clearing to see a small silhouette of a filly carrying her friend on her back.

Breakers rolling to the coastline;
Bringing ships to harbour;
Gulls against the morning sunlight;
Flying off to freedom!

As she finished the song, another bomb hit the ground covering everything in flammable fluid, but Fluttershy couldn’t see it, her spirit flying off, freed from the crippled body.

***

Twilight was exhausted. In the morning, Princess Celestia had told her to replace her during the audiences. Now, after ten hours of explaining to everypony that the Princess is too worried about her sister and her subjects to show up in public, listening to Prince Blueblood rambling about the lack of money for building new tanks, and rather unpleasant meeting with a griffon ambassador, who threatened that if the celestial bodies wouldn’t start to move again soon, his government would have to take action. She wanted only to lay down in bed and do nothing till the end of the war.

She was just heading to her chamber, when Pinkie Pie bumped into her, slithering on the castle floor.

“Twilight!” she shouted. “Something wrong happened!”

“What? How do you–”

“Pinkie Sense! I had that twitch that says “fire”!”

Twilight rushed to the window, looking for the faintest trace of smoke, but there was none – in fact, Canterlot looked calm. It was long after the curfew, and all the lights were out – even though the enemy airships were defeated, the citizens were still afraid of bombing. Twilight thought that the blackout made no sense, since the crews of the airship were able to see the town in the light of the Sun and the Moon, but the ponies from Canterlot apparently knew better.

“Are you sure, Pinkie? There’s no fire here,” she said, trying to remain calm.

“Pinkie Sense never goes wrong!”

A horrible thought ran through Twilight’s mind. She took off into the air, and flew through the window to the tower, where the Elements of Harmony were now kept. She landed deftly, and trotted to them.

They looked normal – five gem studded necklaces, each gem shaped like its owner’s cutie mark, and what she sometimes called “a big, crown thingy” – her own tiara, the Element of Magic. They all looked the same as usual – all except…

“No…” Twilight whispered, collapsing on her haunches, seeing that Element of Kindness turned to the stone orb, just like when they’d found it.

“Fluttershy…”

Author's Note:

The song Fluttershy sings is "Scottish Lullaby". The lyrics are not copyrighted, since it's a traditional song. At least I think so.