• Published 15th Nov 2011
  • 1,231 Views, 11 Comments

The Rein of Darkstar - lemonsrcool

War-torn Equestria! In a different dimension, the mane 6 must stop the evil regime of Darkstar!

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Chapter 2

The Rein of Darkstar

Rainbow raised her head. She took out a paper, opening it neatly on her lap. She took off her helmet, to see the hastily written words better. It was some words of advice from the rest of her squad. Not the airborne, no, but her real squad. She had been put into the airborne because all special ops officers were in charge of their own squad. The note was from Fluttershy. It dawned on Rainbow that Fluttershy was probably in the airborne when she had first enlisted, being a Pegasus and all. All the note said was “Don’t slow down. If somepony’s gone, they’re gone. Remember: Nets, Gears, and Charges.” Rainbow tried to remember what those things were. Nets and Charges: Both weapons used by the imperial army. Particularly used against flyers like her. Gears, though. What were Gears? Her question was immediately answered when Derpy talked again.

“Sergeant, we are approaching the battleground. Do you have all weapons and ponies accounted for? Do you have your Gears?”

“Gears?” replied Rainbow.

“Oh! I forgot you were new to this division! Gears are only used by our division and the 12th Airborne. Basically, they’re a prototype weapon that’s been tested since this war began. Mostly they aren’t out of the prototype phase because there aren’t many chances to test ‘em. Most Pegasus have come back with… mixed results. We just got a new version shipped in.” She took out a few gear-looking things that were about the size of her hoof onto the seat. “Just stick ‘em in here…”, she stuck it in a little slot in Rainbow’s armor, just about the wrist. A little green light turned on. “Now the point of them is to fire out, and after a little they will explode, but not a real fire explosion. More of a small chemical reaction. The point is, though, that the little reaction sucks in air all over the place. The reaction takes in all the air, causing anything flying near it to get shaken all over the place, and if it’s an enemy Pegasus, they’ll get real disoriented and stuff.”

Rainbow was still a little disturbed by when Derpy had said, “Mixed results.” “Why is it still in the prototype stage?”

“Well”, replied Derpy, “Some have kinda gotten stuck in their launching chambers. Created suction in the suit, pretty much putting so much pressure on the wearer that they’ll explode. Don’t worry, though, lots of Pegasus have said that this saved their lives in a tough situation.”

Rainbow cautiously took some gears and put them in her suit. She already knew you could stick grenade disks into the slots, and knew how to fire them. All you needed to do was flick your wrist in the direction you needed to fire. It was inaccurate, but it still worked. She looked up for the about the millionth time on that flight. She was the commander. She had to brief these other Pegasus’ on what they had to do. She stood.

“Alright”, she yelled with a surprising amount of force. She continued. “Listen up! Our mission is to fly over the battlefield, and find a small service tunnel. She pulled up a map. It’s over here.” She pointed to a spot dangerously close the enemy front. “This is a hit and run mission. We get there, drop some beacons, and come back. Simple. Minimum confrontation expected, but be on the lookout. Scouts have reported they have anti- Pegasus guns stationed all around the area.” Rainbow hefted up her gun, a rifle that fired stored energy in short, even blasts. It was standard issue, and could be recharged just by replacing some energy cells. “Everypony do a weapons check!” Everyone checked their weapons and gear, making sure it was working properly. “Alright, helmets on!” She referred to a timer she had on her arm. “We are reaching the drop point in about 3 minutes, so everypony get in position to drop! We will check in immediately after drop!” She turned around to face the large, ramp that would lower to allow them access to the outside. “Remember! We will have cloud cover for a while, but don’t get too comfortable!” Rainbow looked at the steel ramp, and it dawned on her that this was her first time in an actual battle. “Hope I survive”, she stammered to herself. She ran all the basic training tactics through her head. Keep everypony together, but not too close. Look all around, including under you and above you. Don’t stop moving, even for a second, and always fly in formation. Formation creates order, and an ordered army is a strong army.

“Dropping the ramp!” yelled the pilot. He flicked a switch on his dashboard, bringing the ramp to life.

Well, here goes nothing, thought Rainbow as she walked out of the shuttle.

The air was cold. On the ground, it would have been an overcast day, but above the clouds, the sun was rising. It was still casting an orange glow around the entire area, creating an air of apprehension. Rainbow flew up a little and viewed the rest of the division falling out of the shuttle, and expertly manipulating themselves so their wings would catch the air and move giving them some air to fly on. Rainbow led her division on.

“Alright, everypony. Get in formation Delta, and check in.” The radio crackled for a minute, but she saw Derpy to her right about 20 meters, and saw the rest of her division close behind. “From the top.”

“Cloudkicker, standing by”

“Derpy, standing by”

“Scarab, standing by.” Scarab? Then Rainbow remembered that Pegasus had their own call sign that they used instead of their actual name.

“Solent, standing by”

“Scapa, standing by”

“Nighthawk, standing by”

“Seal, standing by”

Every member of the division checked in one by one. When they were done, Rainbow just looked ahead and said, “All accounted for, move out.”

Before they could do anything, though, someone yelled into the mic,” There they are! Coming in from the North, and coming in fast!”

Rainbow’s heart sank. She hoped there would be no confrontations here. “Evasive maneuvers!” she yelled. Everypony began to dash in every direction, clicking the safety off their guns and turning into a firing position. Rainbow panicked for a second, then began following her own command. She flew upwards into a loop and settled about 20 meters higher than where she was before. She looked to the left. One of her own troops was firing at the oncoming foes, but then was hit by a large, sheet. It circled around the unfortunate rebel and he plummeted to the ground. All Rainbow could see were 2 small dots and a slightly larger struggling dot falling towards the ground. Wait, why were there three dots?

“They got nets!” yelled Derpy, who had also been watching. Rainbow racked her brain to remember what nets were. Nets: A heavy projectile used by the imperial army. With heavy centers and extremely sharp edges, they were meant to hit a Pegasus head on. The Pegasus would automatically get wrapped by the net, and the sharp edges would cut off any protruding limbs, which were usually the wings. Rainbow shuddered. She couldn’t imagine having her wings cut off. Flying was her life back when she was a guard. She would spend all her free time flying, and she prided herself on being really fast.

An explosion rocked her out of her thinking. She began to fly upwards, shooting towards the attackers, who were now in a dogfight with her own troops. She could barely figure out what was going on. She saw an enemy Pegasus flying straight towards her. Rainbow quickly ascended a few meters, and fired a few shots off towards the attacker. Most missed, but one connected with the enemy’s chest. The armor dispelled most of the charge. Rainbow looked at her gun as she flew out farther, and realized her charge was on the lowest setting. She scolded herself. It was these mistakes that got ponies killed. She cranked up the charge and turned around, flying backwards, a trait she had mastered back when she was a guard. The enemy was firing off shots at her now, but she dodged most of the shots fired by the rookie. She let out a blast of her own, which clipped the side of the attacker’s wing. He spiraled to the left, trying to gain control of his wing, while Rainbow retreated downwards. She looked back up to see that her attacker had regained control of his wing, and was flying down towards her. Fast. He seemed to have dropped his own gun while he was spiraling. Rainbow had seen this before, in the videos back at the academy. The faster you flew, the harder it was to stop, and the faster it was to turn. She took out a knife she had on her waist. Speed might be power, but only if handled correctly. This Imperial trooper was fuming mad. Rainbow turned around and flew slightly farther away, pretending to be gaining speed to run. When the soldier was close enough behind her, Rainbow darted to the side and held out her knife. The speeding soldier had no idea what hit him, as he flew head first into the knife, jamming it in between his eyes. Rainbow watched as the enemy Pegasus dropped with his own momentum, off to the side. She returned back to her comrades above, who had just taken out the last of the enemies.

“How many were there?” she said into her mic.

“About 10. They were rookies, though. None of ‘em probably even received full training.” replied Derpy. Rainbow remembered something she read about the empire pushing out soldiers as soon as they got out of basic training. They were getting desperate.

“Everypony, check in!” said Rainbow desperately into the mic. She counted off all but 3 of her own troops. “Who’s not here?”

“We lost Solent and Seal to the nets. Sparrow’s injured. We have to get her to the ground. The medics in our Forward Operating Base can help her.

“Alright. Seafang and Swift. You two bring her to the ground. The rest of us will move out.

“Yes, Sergeant.” Replied Swift.

Rainbow did a quick count in her head. That left her about two dozen more troops with her. She turned towards the north, and began to fly. There were no more disruptions for a while, but then they reached the edge of the cloud cover they had been in.

“Alright.” Said Rainbow. “Once we get out of this cloud, the anti-Pegasus cannons will fire against us. Watch out and try to keep moving as much as you can. The area we need to mark isn’t too far away, but is behind enemy lines. They won’t send their own Pegasus’ out here because of the anti-Pegasus guns. We get out there, drop beacons, and come back. Got it?” There were various nervous murmurs of understanding within the group. “Good. Let’s go.”

When Rainbow passed out of the cover, she saw something she never expected to see. A large enemy encampment, as big as their own base. She looked to the south and saw flashes of light and heard booms. That was where the main battle was. She figured they would have maybe half a minute before anyone noticed they were there. She flew as fast as she could, hoping the others could keep up. Then she heard an alarm. Then she heard something fire, then an explosion rocked the air in front of her. If she had flown another half second, she would’ve been blown to bits. She turned around to the others.

“Watch Out!” she yelled before turning ahead again. She saw one of her troops, Scylla, going in front of her. She was dodging in and out of the dark clouds caused by the guns. Rainbow kept behind her about 30 meters, and tried to make sure that the others were still behind her. Her head rang with the sounds of the many explosions around her. The helmet was designed to muffle it out, but nothing can really block the noise of an exploding ball of fire and shrapnel. Her head throbbed, but she kept going. Everything around her was a big blur, but she kept moving forward. She saw Scylla make it to the point where they had to drop the beacons. Scylla stopped to throw the beacon, and then exploded. A shell hit her straight on, and left a dark cloud of smoke. Blood and bits of her rained down, and smaller explosions resonated, as Scylla’s grenades and gears all were detonated in the explosion. Rainbow was knocked back into reality. She flew right to the spot where Scylla was standing a second before, and was immediately covered with moisture. Blood, thought Rainbow, noticing the red pigment in the liquid. She was knocked out of her shock by another boom to her right. She panicked as she tried to take out a beacon, as they were strapped to her chest. Another shell could easily take her out as it took out Scylla. She fumbled with the strap holding it in, but managed to press the button to activate it before dropping it into the encampment below. Rainbow made a sharp U-turn back. She saw the rest of her division pass her, tossing down beacons and making a sharp turn back. They raced back to the safety of the clouds and flew as fast as they could, out of the range of the guns. Rainbow, now covered with blood, flew without a word back to the area where the shuttle dropped them off. A different one was waiting for her, and she flew in, covering the clean steel with red. She saw the rest of her division follow suit, and the ramp closed. She could feel the shuttle flying back; back towards the main battle. She eyes began to water. The helmet covered it, but she still did. Her soldiers had died. And it was her fault. She wasn’t a good leader, and had led 3 ponies to their deaths today. The tears on her face mingled with the blood, leaving streaks of red. She cried all the way to the Forward Operating Base, without making a sound.