• Published 29th Nov 2015
  • 3,744 Views, 124 Comments

Iron Wing and the Demolition Crew - QueenMoriarty

The Crystal War, as seen through the eyes of its most formidable soldiers.

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Pinkamena - I Am the Destroyer


It feels so good to hate.

The battlefield is unimportant. The battle is secondary. All I see is the enemy.

I see the midnight black of their armor. I see the sickly green of their eyes. I see their dull, passionless bodies. I see them fight.

Why do these idiots fight? Their lives have been forfeit from the moment that Sombra came back. When Celestia declared war, their fate was sealed. And yet they fight.

Are they cowards? Are they so weak-minded that they cannot see the obvious? Sombra is only one pony. Ponies who stand alone are like rocks in a river; they are worn down to nothing by the overwhelming odds stacked against them. Even a unicorn cannot stop a flood alone. His own subjects could have toppled his empire in a day. But instead, they have bowed to the will of the heretic.

Yesterday, I heard somepony blaspheming. They were going on about how the crystal ponies are blameless, how they're all under some sort of evil mind control spell. They were saying that's how he took over in the first place. They said we should be trying to save the crystal ponies, that we should focus all of our efforts on Sombra. They said Celestia is cruel and heartless.

I still don't know why Maud stopped me from killing him. He believes in lies, and will probably betray us today. His delusions will get us all killed, because he is too cowardly to destroy our enemies. Or they would, if we were all so weak.

But I am not weak. I am an earth pony. I am a servant of Celestia, an agent of divine punishment in Equestria. I am called upon to shatter the bones of infidels, and bring an end to all who would defy the will of the princess.

Maud tells me that I am meant to use my talent to probe for weakness in their defenses, to see the places where their formations are flawed. But I see so much that I am blind. The crystal ponies embody weakness, just as Nightmare Moon embodied treason. There is no room for intellect or strategy in this war. There is no need for war. All that is needed is for all to see as I see, to understand that what we need is not war, but slaughter.

The enemy approaches. How dare they? I see his gender, and my bile doubles. How many times have I heard the males protest that they are the strongest? How many legs have I been forced to break to show them the error of their ways? How many times did my father....

No. No, mustn't think of that. This is not the time to cry.

His helmet folds and opens up, and a rock seems to appear out of nowhere, sticking out of his head. I check my hoof; no, I haven't thrown without thinking again. I look out the corner of my eye, and I see Maud lower her hoof back to the ground. Ah. That explains it.

I turn back to look and gloat, but the heretic has refused to fall. Still he charges for us. How dare he? Is his cowardice so great that he refuses even the ruling of the Pale Horse? Will he run from every creature that seeks to champion him?

He is so close now. I could reach out and touch him if I wanted. Instead, I wait another moment and show him what Equestria is to its enemies.

I feel the metal fold before its rightful master, accepting the touch of a real pony for the first and final time in its existence. I can hear the delicious crunch of justice within the confines of his stupid helmet. The colorful glow is gone from his treacherous eyes, and at last he falls. I spit with disdain upon his bloodless corpse.

I turn and look across the battlefield. I see the enemy. I see the ineffective strikes of my fellows, and I take pity. They are not to blame for this weakness, after all; in truth, there is nothing of weakness in those who fight for Equestria. I only see them as weak because I am so strong. I should not hoard this talent. I must lift the burden from this country's shoulders.

I barely even realize that I am moving. I see the crystal ponies advancing, a small posse that exists only to grant them the illusion of safety. I will not let them hide beneath the shelter of these lies. I will free their minds. From their heads.

Ha. Good joke, Diane.

Shut up, Gummy. You don't live here.

Wait, what was I doing?

You're doing your Templar thing.

Oh, right.

I cut myself on the internal walls of a crystal pony's stomach. I don't give them the satisfaction of hearing me cry out in pain. Pain is for the weak, and I am strong. I pull out, then turn and bury myself in another. They are kind enough to scream in agony on my behalf.

I wonder about Maud. I don't think she likes it when I do this. To her, there's a difference between defending the country and being no better than Sombra. I've always thought that it takes monsters to kill monsters, but Maud is a lot smarter than me, so she's probably right. She's also a lot more efficient, maybe because she just wants to get it over with. I've been trying to be more efficient lately.

Diane, there's a pony behind you!

Shut up, Gummy!

I kick, and that dumb alligator bursts out laughing when I actually hit something. Why won't he stop laughing? It's such an annoying noise, so distracting.

See. Hate. Kill. Three simple steps, and yet he's constantly interrupting with these dumb jokes. I have to ignore him. Focus on the steps. Focus on the enemy.

I see them. I hate them. And oh, how I kill them.

I see one pony charging at me from afar. How many of her friends have I already killed? What does she honestly think she can do to me? I'm not about to waste time waiting for her to get in range of my hooves. I put a rock through her throat, and get the angle just right. It'll be a good three seconds before her lungs implode. I only wish I was close enough to hear the ragged gasping for breath.

Off to my right is another heretic, one that I managed to ignore just long enough for this delicious moment to happen. He goes to punch me, and I turn to face it head on. I never get tired of when these crystal ponies think they can hurt me.

Just die already, you miserable coward.

His hoof explodes, and I feel nothing. His punch keeps travelling, though, and as more and more of his leg meets my face, so the explosion spreads. It actually makes me smile when my nose meets the inside of his shoulder. All too soon, he's run out of momentum, and he falls down on the ground.

"Please..." I almost don't hear him through that dumb helmet. When I realize what he's said, my smile is gone.

"Hold your tongue. The dead don't speak." Before he can fire back with some dumb quip about how he isn't dead, I grind his neck down to nothing under my hoof. Nopony sasses a Pie. Not even Auntie Sarsaparilla Pie.

I look up from my thoughts and see a crystal pony about to throw off an earth pony. I smash their hopes and dreams at twenty paces. Then I see another, running full tilt towards a five-unicorn firing squad. I save her the embarrassment of such monumentally bad strategy.

The bulk of the battle is so close now, there is no point in keeping out of it. I dive into the fray, rise to my hind legs, twirl, and break a neck. As I fall back onto all fours, I sink my skull into the skull of the enemy. The crunching sound does not come from me.

The corpse of my enemy is taking too long to fall limp. I jump over it and roll as I hit the ground, swiping upward with my hind leg as it meets head height. For a moment, I balance a coward's head on my leg, then right myself so quickly that it becomes a missile. It just barely misses one of the crystal ponies, who turns and stares at me with those vomit-green eyes.

He probably thinks he's scary. I don't even break my stride. The inside of his brain tickles as I pass through it, and I catch a piece between my teeth. I bite down. I taste lemon.

Another rock flies from my saddlebag to nestle in a bosom. Another hoof swings round to try and end me, but only ushers the Pale Horse closer for itself. Another body is in my way. Then the ground ripples beneath me.

For the briefest of moments, I think it's a tiny bit of backup from Maud. Then I feel something, a message in the earth that is different from the sermon of weakness that the crystal ponies are preaching in my hooves.

She is in trouble.

No. No, please, no. Cannot be, must not be. I turn, I look, I see. There is the Iron Wing. There is a cliff just beyond her. And at the top, a boulder.

"How dare you?" How dare they? Do they think they are gods, to so easily take away the mightiest of Celestia's soldiers? Do they think earth has dominion over sky, to challenge a Wonderbolt so brazenly? Do they think that the Iron Wing, of all ponies, has only one set of eyes?

I am away upon a chariot of stone. The snow is nothing, the earth rises to meet me. I accelerate each step, faster and faster, closer and closer. My hatred boils, bursts into flame, propels me onward. The boulder falls, and I fly.

Maud will never forgive me if I screw this up.

I pour my hatred into the stone. I command it to kneel before true power, to abandon its heretical mission and swear fealty to the Unconquered Sun. I feed it my hatred and rage, a thousand times in a single moment and then again. Still it falls, but still I strike. Still, I hate.

Finally, there is naught but gravel 'twixt mine hooves, and at last I return to the earth. As I land, I feel the creak of my leg braces as they adjust to the sudden stop. I forget why the blacksmiths told me to wear these things.

The Iron Wing looks at me. For a moment, my hatred abandons me, and I am filled with something else. Pride. Pride in a job well done, pride in my country, pride in my teammates.

I salute. I always salute. There's never time to tell her. Never time to ask her. Never a time to cry, never a time to laugh. There's time enough for her to look at us, time enough to hope that she has more she wishes she could say. Then I see Maud turn to leave, and I mirror the movement.

I reach out for something, anything. I see crystal ponies massing to charge round the cliff. I will take them over heartache any day.

As I charge, I leave it behind. Leave behind home, leave behind family, leave behind the Iron Wing. All that I am, all that I can be, all that I must be, is hatred.

Author's Note:

It was depressingly easy to be able to channel so much hatred into this chapter.

And with that, I stamp a tentative 'Complete' on this story! I have accomplished all that I set out to do when I first got the idea, and I hope everyone gets what they want to out of this lovely little jaunt through the Crystal War.