• Published 9th Jan 2017
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The Atlantean-Dominion War - The Atlantean

Crimson Dawn enlists in the Atlantean Reserve Emergency Army (AREA) to defend Atlantis from the Dominion of Apollo.

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12. Recovery

Captain Middle Road opened her eyes to a brightly lit hospital room. She squinted for a few minutes while she adjusted to the light level, turning her head to see other ponies to the left. Ponies with wounds that ranged from small splinters to gaping, bloody holes in their sides. A Unicorn nurse pulled a thin blanket over the face of a lost soul. His leg had been torn off completely, with a crimson stain on the end of the stump, and he’d died of blood loss.

A nurse walked around some groaning sailors to get to the Captain. “It’s good to see you alive. We’ve lost too many to wounds that our facilities here just can’t handle, not to mention the supply shortage. I never imagined something like this would happen.”

“Where am I?”

“Governor Physics Psych’s residence. He offered to have the lower levels and guest housing be used as hospital overflow. Good thing, too, ‘cuz we’d’ve lost a lot more if he hadn’t. We even had to pull doctors from other towns to deal with all this.”

“How many?”

“Everypony on Odyssey and most of those on Neptune and Sundering Sea. Almost nopony died on the cruiser. Half of your crew went down as well. As for the armed fishing fleet, it’s practically gone. The hit-and-run tactics didn’t do so hot, but we still have a dozen still combat ready, crew ability permitting.”

“Help me up.” Middle Road struggled and made it to the floor, using the nurse as a support. She then limped on a bandaged foreleg and was guided to the house’s dining room, currently used as a headquarters.

“Captain! Glad to see you didn’t leave us,” Tie Dye said.

“Alright. As you were, mares and gentlecolts,” she replied before any of the others got up. “What do we have besides the cruiser and a dozen dinghies?”

The Chief stayed standing. “Not much, Captain. There’s three ships in drydock about halfway done. I gave the go-ahead to finish them. Besides them, the fishers, Sundering Sea, and Old Indy, as the sailors are callin’ her, we got nothin’.”

“Well, shit.” Middle Road jerked her head down and immediately regretted it. “I think I have a concussion. Ohhh…” She rubbed her forehead with an undamaged hoof.

The head of the household, Physics Psych, walked in from the nearby stairwell. “Thank Harmony we didn’t lose you, Captain Road! That would’ve been extremely unfortunate. After all, I believe you are the highest-ranking officer here.”

“I just wanted to sail the ship…”

The Chief walked to the stallion and whispered, “She’s still got a bit a head issue. Concussion.”

“Oh. I received news from the army while I was out. They’re not doing so hot, leaving Pacifica behind. The casualty count isn’t in yet, but I hear the Second Coastal was hit hard. I hope they’re safe.”

“The Second came from here, didn’t it?”

“Our recruits were sent to reinforce that regiment, so yes. Even my youngest son. And the Dominion threw their Thirty-Sixth Elite Infantry at them, so they’re gonna want a rematch.”

Middle Road stared at the Summercrest District map spread out on the table before her. A couple “X”s marked the locations of the three lost ships Millennium, Neptune, and Odyssey. Cape Lune stood out, jutting away from the coast and curling south to form the sandbar where Neptune now lay sunk. Crossed swords displayed where the main battle had taken place, and little model boats stood where the Dominion fleet’s remnants were supposedly waiting for reinforcements.

“What do we call the ships in drydock?” she asked.

Physics Psych looked into space. Then he remembered. “The first one out will be Cape Lune. The second is Dragonheart, with the third and final one being christened Ember. Each is a Fireheart corvette.”

“What if we reconfigured Ember into an airship with cannons? She could still land in water, but fly as well. It may give us an advantage.”

“An airship? A ship the size of Ember requires quite a large amount of hovergas, which we have no way of obtaining easily.”

“The stuff comes out of volcanoes. This map shows plenty of them in a chain here.” The Captain gestured to a cluster of volcanic islands southeast of the continent.

“That’s Corsair territory. Nopony goes there unless they want to be pirated. The Corsairs of Korea have made that quite clear.”

“Fine. But these here aren’t, right?”

“That’s the Dragon’s Lair. I don’t know of anypony who’s come out of there alive.”

“Is there any volcano we can access without dying?”

“Not really.”

“Damn. I want to try anyway. We can get some hovergas from shipments coming out of Equestria, right?”

“We should, Captain. Each district has a certain amount prescribed to them from every shipment, but a full quarter goes to the government for military purposes and such. We only have three hundred cubic meters total stored away. I might be able to borrow some from neighboring districts, but our supplies aren’t much, especially after the battle.”

Captain Middle Road sighed. “We’ll have to do the best with what we can.”


Crimson Dawn fired his single-shot rifle and reloaded quickly. He and the other survivors of the Battle of Pacifica practiced almost continuously on their fire rate and accuracy. Out of the ten regiments of varying strength that had defended, three had been destroyed, with the rest totalling up to only four full regiments’ worth.

Platinum Starlight’s silvery coat had turned grayish and dull from all the smoke. Northern and Southern Lights each lost the luster their manes once had. Crimson’s jet-black mane and dark red coat shone with all the sweat coming from his body in the afternoon sun. Even Colonel Silvercrest had powder bits in her sweaty fur. Treetop stared through his binoculars through the dense white gunsmoke and peered at the pony-shaped targets.

“We still got more to go, Colonel!”

“Keep at it, then, Lieutenant.” Silvercrest replied.

Silvercrest had merged the Second Coastal with the eighth-strength First Midlands and quarter-strength Fourth Tideless to increase numbers and get the poor ponies a commander. After that turned out well, Sarge told her that reinforcements from Nautinia were in and she’d get first dibs. She was pretty happy about that. It took a twelfth of the new recruits to return the Second Coastal to full strength.

Now she fired single-shot rifles alongside her troops in the afternoon, training new NCOs and Crimson during the morning hours. One of the guys she picked up for NCO even had some medical experience, so he also started up a regimental medic squad.

Sarge walked to her after the training session. “Colonel, I received a word about the troops your regiment fought at Pacifica. They were the 36th Elite Infantry, and they’re pissed about how your boys and girls held ‘em off like that. They’ll be looking for a rematch.”

“So will I, Sarge.”

“Thought as much. Oh, and it looks as if Warrant Dawn found his meaning in life. I wonder if he even noticed.”

“It’s been there since Pacifica. And no, he hasn’t, but neither has anypony else. The Red Dawn is a nice-looking cutie mark, but it means his best position is in the army.”

“Yeah. Oh, before I forget!” Sarge took a scroll out of his saddlebag and gave it to Silvercrest. “From the Queen herself.”

The Colonel began reading:

“Colonel Moonshine Silvercrest:
I wish to congratulate your regiment for defending Pacifica the way it did. The Second Coastal Regiment is one of the bravest units we have in the field. I cannot express enough the gratitude I have for the safe extraction of Major Zucchini Muffin of the Equestrian Royal Guard. It would have been extremely difficult to explain to Princess Celestia why her only female guard was killed in action.

To thank your troops for this action, I have ordered that the first successful next-generation rifles be sent to you. They are called ‘repeaters,’ and they can hold up to ten rounds, complete with powder already installed (reverse-engineered from the Summercrest Project). The weapons should arrive in three months for your training.

-Queen Atlanta Aurora Phoenix”

As she read the note, Crimson and his friends finally noticed the cutie mark on the Pegasus’ flank. They went right to a small party down in the mess tent, drinking and cheering for each other. Silvercrest saw the festivities and joined in. There’s no time like the present. Might as well.

Author's Note:

Alright, back to the army!

Sorry about the delay, I got school stuff and other things going on right now.

Feedback appreciated.

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