• Published 15th Mar 2012
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End of the Line - Wheller

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Chapter 5

Chapter 5

Trixie awoke to the feel of a hoof nudging her. Her eyes popped open and she shot up completely alert, grabbing out to her shotgun and her heavy machine gun as if they were her life blood. It was Lyra that had awoken her.

‘Trixie! We need to be ready! Now!’ Lyra said.

Trixie leapt to her hooves, pointing the shotgun and heavy machine gun instinctively towards the entrance to their hide out in the hospital. ‘What’s going on?’ Trixie asked.

‘Somepony tipped off the Fillydelphia Chapter, one of the nephites spotted them approaching outside. They know we’re here!’ Lyra said.

‘Damn it!’ Trixie said. ‘Who tipped them off?’

‘Still trying to figure that one out’, Lyra said with a shrug. ‘But don’t worry, I’ve got a plan’.

‘You do?’ Trixie asked, raising an eyebrow at the unicorn mare who, three days ago, did not know anything about fighting. Well, Trixie took that back, that wasn’t fair. Lyra had been at the Battle of Ponyville against Emerald Sparkle’s combots and had fought well. Trixie’s memories of the incident flared up as she looked over to the combot that still showed Emerald Sparkle’s face off in the corner.

‘Yep’, Lyra said. ‘Nephites are good at staying out of sight and getting good information, this is what one of them told me, a Paladin assault section is heading towards the hospital right now, Six paladins, three scribe auxiliaries. Now, here is what I’ve learned from what I’ve seen. First: paladin’s gear is not designed for offensive action, rather, they’re designed for defence, to hold positions, the combat armour they wear is really heavy, and as a result, doesn’t leave them a lot of options for manoeuvring. Second, the Cult, while well trained, can’t have gone up against many enemies in actual combat, so they’re probably not as sharp as they want us to believe they are’.

‘Probably?’ Trixie asked.

‘Let me finish!’ Lyra snapped back. ‘So, taking these two things into account, we get to our third point. We might not have fancy gear, but we do have something they don’t, grace, agility, and speed. We can move way faster than they can. If we were to take two teams and rush at them from the sides, we might be able to catch them off guard and swiftly defeat them! We put that one combot with the heavy machine gun in a window on the top floor, plus a few Nephite Rifles here and there, we might be able to set up a nice cross fire. Then we take them down with little actual risk to us’.

Trixie thought about it for a moment. ‘That’s... Lyra, that’s brilliant! Did you come up with that yourself?’

‘Well, Bon Bon helped, as did staying up all night reading the Art of Warfare on the first night. Know your enemy, know yourself, and you shall never be defeated!’ Lyra said.

‘It’s brilliant, let’s get it set up! Quickly while we can still get them by surprise!’ Trixie said.

Trixie assembled a team of four nephites and took to their left flank, Lyra, Bon Bon, and another three Nephites took to their right. Emerald Sparkle’s combot took position at a window on the top floor. The plan was to wait until they heard Emerald Sparkle shooting before moving in. Trixie and company had hunkered down besides a large rock. Trixie thought it rather peculiar, as the rock had a name carved into it. ‘Tom’. Trixie shrugged it off. Ponyville had always been weird after all.

Trixie peeked up around the rock, trying to get a better look of at the paladins that were approaching. To her horror, she was able to other things as well. Several zeppelins had touched down and were offloading more paladins and supplies, but in the more immediate vicinity. She saw Doctor Nightly speaking with the head paladin. Well, now they knew who the traitor was. The thought of Nightly being the traitor enraged Trixie, sending her anger boiling. She hoisted the Heavy Machine Gun, readying it for action. She was going to shoot the doctor first.

Trixie looked up, light bounced off the robot up in the top floor of the hospital. They were ready.

Pa pa pa pa pa pa pa!

That was the signal, bullets from the heavy machine gun in the window rained down upon them. Trixie leapt up from behind her cover, unloading rounds from her own heavy machine gun while the nephites followed in close behind. Their self loading rifles storming the paladins and catching them completely off guard. Lyra’s plan worked to the letter. The paladins dropped without so much as a single returning shot.

Unfortunately, this plan wasn’t one that was going to work again. Those gunshots would have been heard. Trixie and Lyra’s group fell in upon the fallen paladins, only to discover that Doctor Nightly had made it through the gun down without even a single scratch on him. Trixie was enraged by the doctor’s actions, and pointed her shotgun at his head. ‘You get one chance to tell me why you did what you did’, Trixie said plainly.

‘I’m a doctor! I’m sworn to help all people! If the paladins were to capture you, it would have put an end to the violence! It was for the greater good!’ Doctor Nightly said. His amber eyes glowing with fear.

‘Bad answer’, Trixie said, pulling the trigger on her shotgun. Doctor Nightly’s life came to an end with a loud bang.

Lyra and Bon Bon looked up at Trixie with worry. ‘Are you okay Trixie?’ Lyra asked.

‘I’m fine, the doctor got better than he deserved’, Trixie said as she shouldered her shotgun, pulling the lever forward and sliding new shells into the under barrel. ‘We can’t stay here, the paladins are going to be coming this way, and we need to keep them away from the hospital!’

Lyra and Bon Bon nodded their heads in agreement. Trixie looked up to see that Spike, along with Emerald Sparkle, Mister Happy, SD-E and the rest of the spritebots came towards them. ‘Trixie! Trixie!’ Spike called out to her. ‘I saw a train!’

‘A train?’ Trixie asked.

‘Yeah!’ Spike said nodding his head. ‘Twilight and them left on a train! They’ve got to be coming back!’

Trixie nodded. ‘Then we go for the train station’. Trixie said as she pulled the ammunition box off her heavy machine gun, which was almost empty after the day’s action, and pilled another box off a fallen paladin and sliding it into her own weapon. The group high tailed it towards the train station; Lyra had picked up another heavy machine gun, and fired it up into the air to attract attention away from the hospital and towards them. Trixie and company made it to the train station without incident, now it was time for their last stand. The first group of Paladins rounded the corner and right into Trixie’s sights. She opened fire on them with the heavy machine gun with short bursts. Dropping two of them unlucky enough to be in front, Lyra and Bon Bon had taken to lobbing the last of the dynamite from Pinkie Pie’s stash out into the crowds, they were holding their own, the dynamite was surprisingly effective, but they were running low on it and they knew that it couldn’t last forever.

Mister Happy started firing his integrated grenade launcher, that wasn’t going to last much longer either, and making matters worse, no matter how many Paladins seemed to fall, more kept coming. Archimedes had committed his entire force to this battle.

From his position of cover, Spike looked over towards the southeast; the train was coming in. ‘Hey...’ Spike said.

‘What is it Spike?’ Trixie asked. ‘We’re a little busy!’

‘The train! It’s coming from the wrong way!’ Spike said. ‘If it was Twilight, they would have been coming in from the northwest! Not the southeast! And the engine is a steam engine! Not the diesel engine they left in!’

Trixie took a look over towards the train as it slid into the station. ‘If not Twilight Sparkle... then who...?’

Suddenly, explosive bolts off a cargo container near the front of the train went off. Sending the container falling to pieces, and revealing its contents,

‘Is that a tank!?’ Lyra called out.

Indeed it was. The tank rolled off the bed of the car and out into the high street. The passenger cars opened and in a flash, several schäferhund soldiers leapt from it.

‘Panzer Lehr! Angriff!’ one of them shouted.

The schäferhund howled loudly as they rushed out into the street, charging the paladins and firing their storm rifles. The tank followed them into battle, opening up with rapid firing autocannons.

The appearance of the schäferhund turned the tide against the paladins, and they all attempted to retreat, many of them abandoning their gear in an attempt to get away faster.

Trixie turned around to discover a Schäferhund and another pony behind her. ‘Who are you?’ she asked instinctively.

‘Hauptfeldwebel Heinrich Büchsenmacher, Panzer Lehr Division. This is Katrijn; she’s a shopkeeper from Trotterdam. Who are you?’ the schäferhund asked.

Trixie glanced over to the other pony, which looked incredibly worried and was mumbling to herself in another language. She turned back to the schäferhund. ‘’I’m the Great and Powerful Trixie’.

‘You! You’re the mare that hung up on me!’ Heinrich cried out.

Trixie opened her mouth to respond, but she was interrupted by another voice, booming loudly even over the sounds of battle.

‘Stop running! Fight! Fight!’ the voice called.

Trixie looked out to see Archimedes himself wading through battle, a magically augmented shield around him as he personally engaged the soldiers of the Panzer Lehr division, darting around the battle field quickly and with skill. Trixie’s anger flared again. She abandoned her heavy machine gun and charged the elder unicorn.

Archimedes hadn’t taken notice of her yet, he dashed by the Panzer Lehr division’s flakpanzer, slapping a small detonation charge on the tracks. It exploded breaking the links of the flakpanzer’s treads, stopping it, literally, in its tracks.

Trixie leapt at the aging unicorn, passing right through his magical barrier, which was designed to stop faster moving objects, like bullets, but allowed slower moving people, like Trixie, though, she caught the chapter master by surprise, breaking his barrier with his focus shifting. Trixie planted her fore hoof into his face, striking as hard as she could, a single blow landed, but when she moved to strike again, Archimedes moved his head out of the way and responded with a kick that sent Trixie off him and broke her hold over the shotgun, sending it clattering to the ground. Trixie got back up and both of them eyed the weapon.

Trixie and Archimedes both dove for it, struggling to take control of it in a fight for their lives.

Heinrich blindsided Archimedes, leaping at him to knock him off balance, it didn’t work however, as Archimedes had ducked at the last minute. However, the distraction had caused him to release his hold on the shotgun, when he turned back towards Trixie; he discovered that the barrel was pointed right at his face.

‘Well fuck’, Archimedes said.

Trixie grinned at him, and pulled the trigger.