• 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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25. The Second Battle of Pacifica Part 1

White smoke flew out from cannon fire. The Atlantean artillery, reinforced from its four field pieces back up to three divisions, spat round shot over the grassy plain between the two armies. The Dominion’s replies squealed in arcs towards their enemies. A dense fog hung low on both positions, obstructing view and choking gunners. It was common to see replacements every twenty minutes to fill in for the ones choking their way to the field hospital.

Behind the Domination Army was the town of Pacifica, its graceful polished stone arches and peaceful lifestyle destroyed by war. More than half the population was enslaved in some way, whether it be personal or military. Most of the bridges crossing the nearby Aquarius River had crumbled. Agricultural fields were replaced by deadly trenches and artillery bunkers that clogged the land with a sulfuric haze. Three civilian factories, their tall ceramic stacks towering above the area, had been targeted immediately by the Dominion months ago and still hadn't been repaired. Their shattered windows and jaunty doors remained that way for months, and were seen as a strategic position that was instantly destroyed by the Atlanteans.

Two airships circled several hundred feet above the battle, one Atlantean and one Dominion, firing their cannons into the other’s side. Wood and other debris rained down from each shot as masts and hulls were knocked in. Bright orange flames licked the sides of both airships, the hot, explosive gunpowder blazing in their magazines.

Crimson peeked his head out from a hastily set up earthen mound and fired a shot, quickly ducking behind cover before replies could knock his head off. Platinum was sprawled to his right, his Unicorn magic letting him see through a dense shrub without being spotted. He fired multiple rounds before the enemy realized where the shots were coming from. South was to Crimson’s left, yelling at a new recruit.

“Stop sulkin’ and start shootin’!” he screamed.

The recruit was covering his ears with his hooves.

“Harmony dammit, get in line, soldier! This is what you signed up for!” Crimson yelled over his shoulder. “Battles are hard enough without ponies not doing anything but standing there!”

The recruit was simply scared out of his wits, unable to control his legs.

“Move, dammit, or we’ll get the Sarge on ya!” South yelled.

That got the recruit moving. He jumped into line, laying belly-down on the ground. “Yes, sir! Sorry, sir!”

Crimson glanced left down the line. The ponies in the regiment next to him were gearing up for a charge. With the Dominion equipped with single-shot muskets at best, the Atlanteans hoped to cross the field with few losses.

Oh, if only they knew. Crimson, well experienced from earlier battles, had a good idea on how many would actually make it. He guesses that Silvercrest knew it too, which was why the Second Coastal wasn’t gearing up now. He winced at the sight of three hundred ponies readying to charge.

Hundreds of gunshots rang out simultaneously as soon as they hopped over the earthen mounds. They were muffled by range, and that was all Crimson needed to know who fired. Bullets whizzed overhead and impacted the ground. Cries for help and groans of pain were heard. Platinum peered through his shrub again with his magic. “Oh, Harmony help us all.”

“What?” Crimson and South both asked.

“Those poor souls.” Platinum showed the two what he saw.

“Oh, no.” South said quietly. “Just… I don’t know what to say…”

Crimson peeked over the mound. “There’s two right there, still alive. Platinum, pull them over with your magic. South, tell the other Unicorns to pull everypony still alive back into the trench so we can get them to Medical! I also want everypony to cover for them!”

“Yes, sir!” And South was gone, running at full gallop down the trench.

“I hope this plan of yours works, Red!” Platinum yelled over the increasing volume of gunfire. The crackle of said gunfire, having been silent on the Atlantean side of the field, started up again with vigor - and surprise as the Second Coastal realized that the Doms were headed right to where the now-decimated regiment alongside them had been.

“Warrant Dawn!” a fairly new NCO - Our newest Earth pony Warrant Janelane, Crimson remembered - raced up to him and saluted. He returned the salute briskly.

“Yes, Janelane?” What kind of name is that?

“Sir, with Colonel Silvercrest out commanding the entire army with Sarge, and Lieutenant Treetop and the other officers just having been sent to Medical to get healed, you’re effectively our commander right now,” she said. Her spruce-bowling-ball cutie mark - Oh, like Jane smooshed with a bowling lane, Crimson thought - contrasted her maple coat and redwood mane and tail nicely, and her redwood eyes glistened with fear. “What do we do, sir?”

Crimson sighed, contemplating his move. “Extend the line down this way. We can’t afford three ranks, so bring it down to two and send everypony left over to me.”

“Yes, sir!” She ran off to start collecting anypony in the third rank.

Crimson whipped his head to look at his friend. “Platinum, run to the Fourth Coastal on the other side of that gap and tell them to do the same, coming down this way.”

“You got it, Red!” The silvery Unicorn hurried to Crimson’s left, holding his repeater with his magic. His helmet was hanging on at a jaunty angle that made him look kind of like a monkey soldier.

Crimson glanced over his mound. The Doms were taking their time, believing that the troops were all dead on that section. He fired off a round, taking out a decorated-looking officer before ducking. Fifteen bullets slammed into the dirt behind him, flying where his head had been literally a second ago.

A trickle of ponies came from the reduced third rank. Crimson moved them on down the line, extending the area covered by his regiment. Seeing that the Fourth Coastal was doing the same, he turned his head to find Janelane weaving through ponies.

“Sir, that’s all I could find.”

“Understood. Let’s hope we can hold.”

“I’ll go back and command them down on the right, sir. If that’s okay with you.”

“Go. see you on the other side, Janelane.”

She saluted and left. Crimson watched her go with that feeling that he’d just sent her to die. He shook it off and waved to Platinum, who was now approaching.

“Tying up the knots here, Red. A guy from the Fourth has command of the extension.”

“Got it, Platinum. But I want you down there for our guys. If the Fourth guy says no, then tell him I ordered it.”

“Yes, sir.” Platinum threw a mock salute, which Crimson returned just as goofily. “Take care, Red. Our first battle without the other at our backs.”

“Yeah. Harmony go with you, my friend.”

“And you as well, Red.”


Warrant Janelane stole a glance down the line to her right. Some Midlands regiment wasn’t too far away, close enough to send help, but just far enough to prevent her from sending runners. She saw her regimental colors to her left, the tattered flag still flying defiantly after its many battles. She knew that behind her, there were no second trenches, no reinforcements. Just the smoldering woods.

The woods… “You!” she called to a private. “Get three others and take cover in the trees behind us! Start picking off those motherfuckers before they get too close, then come back here when the Doms reach us!”

“Yes, ma’am!” Three young stallions hurried into the blackened shrubs and started firing at the approaching Dominion.

“Janelane, their whole damn line’s comin’ at us!” somepony cried.

“Then we hold. BAYONETS!” Janelane screamed. The soldiers quickly fastened socket bayonets to the ends of their repeaters. The clatter of metal faded out as they finished.

“Ready… Wait for it… Steady now… One volley, FIRE!” White smoke gushed out from the Atlantean guns. Bullets flew across the field and knocked several dozen Dominion ponies cold. Their limp bodies fell to the ground and oozed slowly. Janelane herself had never taken a single life during her time; her NCO status was practically bought by her self-absorbed father. Looking at the oncoming enemy, she knew that was about to change.


Princess Mirage of the Emberforge Valley Changelings sent a single bolt of green magic at her attackers. Ducking behind a mound of dirt, she turned to her second-in-command, the newly promoted Captain Red Sun, named for his bright red mane, wings, and tail, which had resulted from a one-in-a-million hatching defect - literally - and who had proven himself a worthy commander during the Battle for the Hive. Since then, he’d lived up to his position, but never truly could ever replace Pseudonym.

“Red Sun, you see that smoke down there by the Second Coastal?” She gestured to the south, where the entire area had just seemed to erupt like a volcano. Popcorn-like noises could be heard from her position, muffled by the distance.

“Yes, Princess. It seems to be heating up quite a bit down to the south.”

“Yes, it does. Hold while I take half our force there to help them. They’ll need it.”

“Princess, we’ve been ordered to stay up here to the north.”

“And there doesn’t appear to be much heat in this area. I’ll be discreet so the Doms don’t notice half of us are gone. I just have this feeling that our friends are about to get their asses kicked.”

Author's Note:

Sorry for the lateness. School's catching up with me and I'm really tired. Damn. I've also been playing Kerbal Space Program, launching habitation rings that are too big for aerodynamic fairings and trying to get to the Mun using low tech.

But with all that aside, I had a bit of writer's block (and still kinda do). Since my stories are only planned out in who needs to live and who can die, writer's block just butchers the process because I really have no idea where the story needs to go. Except for Aquarius River and the Final Stand (seen in Homefront flashbacks), which are years down the road for our characters, there is no plan. I'm literally making this up as I go along.

Still, I hope you enjoy this belated update. Feedback appreciated!

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