• 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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29. Oh, Harmony

Colonel Silvercrest looked up from her papers. She was seated behind a desk in the command tent with Crimson, Platinum, and Mirage in front of her. The three looked nervous.

“You lost more ponies than we can easily replace today. That said, I’ve done the same. Treetop and the other officers are halfway done recovering, so you’ll have them again in a few days. Also, you abandoned your post, Mirage.”

“I’m sorry, Colonel. I thought sending reinforcements to Crimson was the right thing to do.”

“I know the feeling. Luckily, the Doms facing your section of the line had no idea you left. If they’d known, it could have caused a catastrophic breakthrough that would’ve spiraled out of control faster than you could’ve fixed it.”

“I understand, ma’am.”

“My point, Mirage, is that you need to learn some patience. Yes, Crimson needed it. No, you did not need to be the one to assist him. Sarge was ready to go, but then your second-in-command called in to say your intentions. He went there instead.”

Mirage lowered her gaze. “I’m sorry, ma’am. It won’t happen again.”

Silvercrest clopped her hooves together in front of her. “I know it won’t. You seem to do best with my regiment, so we’ll put you there with a good chunk of your troops. Your second-in-command will take care of the rest of your normal force. Dismissed, Mirage.”

“Thank you, ma’am.” Mirage turned around and walked out.

Silvercrest turned her attention to the remaining two. “Platinum, good job dealing with the loss of our troops when they did that ridiculous charge. All injured are expected a full recovery, thanks to you.”

“Thank you, ma’am, but Crimson should get the credit. He reacted to the disaster quickly enough to allow us to do that.”

“l’m sure it’ll happen somehow. Anything else? If not, then you’re dismissed, Private.”

Platinum walked out of the tent, leaving Crimson to stand alone with the Colonel.

“Warrant Dawn, you’re a damn good soldier and NCO. You’d make a fine officer in a couple years and with a bit more experience.”

“Thank you, ma’am.” Crimson’s voice had a nervous edge to it.

Silvercrest paid it no heed. If she noticed at all, she remained cool and collected as she spoke. “You see this map, Crimson?”

“Yes, ma’am.”

“We are blue. The enemy is red. As you can see, they control the entire city from Factory Road in the south to the marketplace in the north, from city’s edge just across the trenches all the way to the Western Harmony area. Your task is to clear a safe landing zone in the south.”

“May I ask why, ma’am?”

“A new-construction ‘flying frigate’ called Ember. I believe you’ll recognize her hull when she arrives in three days, but she can’t get close enough to land without us taking the Doms out first. Her angle on our position is too far west.”

“They can’t fly her around Pacifica?”

Silvercrest let out an exasperated sigh. “It’s not that simple. A Dom airship is keeping her on course directly into the city by staying just off her port quarter. So she can’t change course without risking total destruction, and her captain won’t let that happen, not on her maiden voyage. That makes it our job to not only give them a clear landing zone on their approach vector, but also take the city just in case. Understood?”

“Yes, ma’am. We’ll do what we can.” Crimson saluted and walked out of the tent, where he was soon greeted by Platinum.

“So, what’re we doing?” he asked.

“You know that big flat area to the south-southwest?”

“Yeah. It’s the main Dom airstrip.”

“We gotta take it.”

Platinum raised his eyebrows. “You’re shitting me.”

“Nope,” Crimson grimaced.

-------------------

Mirage, Crimson, Platinum, Janelane, and Southern Lights were gathered around in a circle. Around them, the Second Coastal, Mirage’s Reserve, and the turncoat Doms had congregated. They all knew that something was about to happen.

Crimson gestured to the ground. “I know this makeshift map is a piece of shit, but deal with it.” South let out a brief burst of laughter in spite of himself. Crimson waited for him to finish before continuing: “Anyway, our orders to take the airfield stand. Platinum, you have the floor.”

“Thank you, sir,” Platinum said. “Crimson and I thought of this last night while all you were sleeping. First, Janelane and her ‘Inside-Out Jackets’ will provide a distraction…”

-----------------

“Questions?” Platinum asked.

“Yeah. When do we start?” Janelane asked. “My boys and I have a score to settle with their customs.” Her comment garnered some chuckles from Meeky and Swiss-Wings behind her. Stellar Phenomenon remained as stoic as ever.

“Tomorrow. Rest up, all of you.” Crimson locked eyes with each of the NCOs and Princess. “You’ll need it.”

“What about you, Red?” South perked up. He’d practically shut down socially after his twin’s death, and Crimson was glad to see him beginning to move on.

“I’ll check up on Treetop and the other officers,” he replied.

“And try to strike up a conversation with that pretty pink Unicorn,” Platinum teased. Crimson only glared at his friend. “What? I saw the look on your face when we first arrived for AREA. Love at first sight.”

“No, it was not ‘love at first sight,’ Platinum. I just think she’s cute. What’s wrong with that?”

The metallic-coated Unicorn clapped the red Pegasus on the back. “Nothing. Just don’t do anything you’d be ashamed of.”

The group split off, each pony going to their respective destinations.

----------------------

“Mornin’, Treetop, sir.”

The grass-green Earth pony turned his head to face the NCO. “Warrant Dawn. I trust you took care of our boys out there.”

Crimson nodded. “Yes, sir, I did.”

“Did you submit your game plan for tomorrow to the Colonel?”

“Yes, sir.”

“Good. Bring some of ‘em back home for me.”

“Sir, you can’t expect me to lead an operation of this scale! I don’t have the experience! I never argued against Silvercrest, or tried to doubt myself in front of the others, but I just can’t do this! Treetop, you gotta help me.”

The Lieutenant smiled. “If you kept our boys alive in the trenches so far, you’ll do fine. Remember, if Silvercrest thought you couldn’t handle it, she wouldn’t’ve given you the orders. If you don’t believe in yourself, nopony else will.

“I have had times when I doubted my ability to step up and lead. When I was the only one left who could lead, what did I do? I wanted to run, hide, make somepony else do it for me so that I would not have to do it myself. But with the help of my friends, my colleagues, my peers, I overcame it. I lead because I had to. Now it’s your turn, Crimson.”

“Yes, sir. I understand, sir.”

Nurse Lieutenant Rose Thorn’s leafy green mane and pink face appeared in Crimson’s vision. “Do you need anything, sir?”

“No, ma’am. I was just speaking to Treetop.” Crimson blushed slightly as he nodded and turned to go. “Permission to leave, sir?”

“Go ahead,” Treetop replied. “Kick those Dom asses for me.”

Crimson hurried out of the hospital tent as fast as he safely could.

“Did I do something wrong?” Rose asked.

“No, you didn’t. He likes you.” Treetop’s smile grew. “Why? You return the favor?”

“Kind of. Please don’t tell him,” she squeaked.

“My muzzle is sealed.”

-----------------------

Janelane was up at the crack of dawn. She wolfed down breakfast - a biscuit and some hay - before heading to her post with her troops. When she arrived, a commotion drew her attention to the right section, where her boys ended and Platinum’s began. She raced to it, only to find Platinum and Crimson already there. She turned around but was stopped by the red Pegasus. “Jane, stay here with me. Platinum, get Mirage.”

“Yes, sir.” The Unicorn galloped farther down the line to the Changeling section.

Crimson peered downrange with a spyglass. “Somepony’s coming, just like the picket said. Judging by its build, we’re looking at a mare who just turned fifteen. Earth pony, deep red mane, orange coat. She’s laying low, but I don’t think she’s hiding from us.”

“Why not, sir?” Janelane asked.

“Because we’re her destination.”

“She could just be trying to run, not caring if we see her. Or she could be trying to get close and ‘surprise, mother fucker’ us.”

Crimson gulped. “That’s what I’m worried about.”


The mare eventually reached the Atlantean entrenchments. When she arrived, she was beyond scared. This poor filly was terrified. The first thing she did when she arrived was scream since she’d been found. “Please don’t take me back! I don’t wanna go back!”

Platinum came back with Princess Mirage. The two exchanged glances and stayed in the background. Meanwhile, Crimson tried to comfort the young mare. “I’m not Dominion, kid.”

She looked up. “You’re not?”

“No, my little pony.” He came down to her level, locking his hazel eyes with hers. What he saw in them was… he couldn’t describe it. Beatings, slavery, even repeated rape were among the most frequent horrors reflected through her dilated eyes. “Crimson Dawn, Second Coastal.”

Realization clicked in. She bawled and wrapped her hooves around his neck. He looked up at his comrades as her tears and muffled cries soaked into his fur. They all had the same emotion painted on their faces: anger. They could see the mare had survived and escaped a Dominion-occupied city.

“Kid, what’s your name?” Jane asked.

“I don’t have one. They took it from me.” She showed them a brand seared on her flank. It covered her intricate, phoenix cutie mark. “They only referred to me as Dark Phoenix.”

“But can you remember?”

“Mother called me Phoenix Brightwings. But it doesn’t matter anymore. She died three months ago after she refused to bed a soldier. They took me as after-death payment.”

“Oh, Harmony.” Platinum said. His uncharacteristic invocation of the deity proved just how shockingly horrifying their enemy could truly be. “Oh, Harmony.”

They looked at Mirage. “What are you lookin’ at? I got nothin’.”

Crimson leaned his head into the mare’s ear. “Don’t you worry, Phoenix Brightwings. You’re safe now.”

She nodded, her cold tears and reddened eyes rubbing off on the Pegasus.

Author's Note:

Yeah, I didn’t do the battle yet. But I did get a comment about what was exactly meant by the Dominion’s enslavement of the Pacifica population, so I decided to explain as part of the story even though I’d already replied to said comment. And this is the result.

I’ve gotten another story altogether brewing up here, another part of this story universe. I thought, who is the Nightmane family? Yeah, sure, the Summercrest harbormaster and his ponies, but there’s so much to explore with this train of thought. So I’m starting a story called Nightmane. It’s about Bats’ ancestor Constellation Nightmane, who lived during the time of Luna’s banishment.

As always, feedback and/or criticism is appreciated!

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