• 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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30. Battlefield Rage (Second Battle of Pacifica Part 5)

“So, rumor has it your regiment picked up a mascot.”

Crimson glared at the obviously inconsiderate officer. “Phoenix Brightwings is not a mascot, nor is she a toy. She’s a filly who needs us to be courteous. It’s a rough time for her.”

“I only said it’s a rumor.”

“But if she takes offense, you’ll have more than a pissed youngster to deal with.”

“My point exactly.”

“Miss Brightwings is under the protection of the Second Coastal, official or not.”

“Which is what I’m saying. You and your regiment have practically adopted the filly, and it’s only been what, three hours?”

Silvercrest coughed, bringing the attention of both ponies to her. “I understand both of you, but we have a battle to win. Crimson, are your troops in position?”

“Yes, ma’am.”

“Good. I need you to escort Miss Brightwings to me so I can keep her safe behind our lines. Once that matter is settled, you are clear to engage the enemy. Use any tactics you deem necessary to take that airfield. We have less than a day before Ember arrives from the southeast. Dismissed!”

Crimson snapped a sharp salute and left. After carefully explaining to Phoenix that he’d have to leave her with Silvercrest and bringing the mare to the Colonel, he received an unexpected gift.

The orange Earth pony held up a small toy, a wooden doll she made from scraps in the currently-quiet trenches. It easily fit into his saddlebag. He ruffled her mane in a show of affection, smiling. This was why he signed up in the first place. Because ponies like Phoenix should never go through the experiences she did. Crimson turned back to the trenches, hurrying to his command.


Platinum’s silvery coat glistened in the cloudless sun. A large shadow went over him, causing him to involuntarily look up at the Atlantean airship, cruising over friendly lines. He decided to cast a scrying spell. His horn lit up for a split second, then it flickered out. Damn. The Dominion had some kind of magic-dampening weapon. Peering towards the Dom lines, he noticed a metallic box with an orb on top. A blue magic shield surrounded the orb, which apparently was powered by the box. The Unicorn’s eyes widened in realization. The thing had an area of effect.

Mirage’s courier ran up. “Sir, the Princess reports that all Changeling magic has been dampened.”

“I know. We need to take out that orb.”

One of Janelane’s runners reached him, reporting the same thing. “I’ll tell Warrant Dawn when he gets back. In the meantime, I want Janelane to focus her boys on distracting them. The plan stands.”

“Yes, sir.” Both runners went back to their respective commanders.

After about ten minutes, Crimson’s voice was heard from behind. “Problems?”

“Yes. They got a dampener.”

Crimson pursed his lips. “Shit. We can’t do much until we get there, so the plan stands. It’ll just be a bit harder. Good luck; I’m headed to Mirage.”

“You too.” Platinum stared at the weapon and smug Doms. “We might not live through this one, though.”


DOOO-OOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!! The signal horn from the northern Atlantean lines could still be heard from all the way down here. They heralded the Atlantean assault that would drag as many Doms from the airstrip as possible. It was part of a master plan Silvercrest had worked to help their chances, though the dampener may have canceled it out.

A few minutes passed. Then a second signal sounded. Janelane’s “Inside-Outs” immediately began firing into the massive wall of “expendable” Dom soldiers. The enemy fired back, but outside the trench they’d just left, they were sitting ducks. A pall of white smoke blocked vision on both sides. Seeing no other alternative, the Doms dug in.

Platinum watched from the left. As the clock ticked by, each second passing, he grew more and more nervous about his chances. Suddenly, it happened. One of his soldiers called, “They're comin’ at us!”

He shook his thoughts away. Now was not the time for fear. But this isn't built into the plan… He'd just have to deal with it.

The initial charge had momentum, but not the support. He easily batted it away with his three hundred ponies in a two-rank line. As the battle wore on, he resorted to melee combat and repulsed wave after wave of Doms. The line thinned. He stole a glance at the sun. Noon.

Crimson and Mirage stood idle. In less than two minutes, they would show themselves in a flanking position. Several bright flashes erupted to the north: an artillery duel had begun in earnest. With the sun directly overhead, the Changelings would be seen quickly when they attacked. The timing needed to be perfect.

“Come on, Jane, just launch the flare…” Crimson muttered.

A red star flew up into the sky: a special flaming material that burned extremely bright. Mirage smiled and waved her holey hoof in the air. With a whoop, she was over the hill followed by hundreds of Changelings. Crimson sprinted to keep up.

They smashed through the futile resistance and continued on into the depths of the entrenchments. Melee combat quickly picked up, however, when the Doms got it into their heads that they were being flanked. A rapid troop shuffling on the enemy’s part gave Janelane an opportunity to move in, firing at the Doms even as they tried to compensate for the surprise.

Platinum was doing fine, to his credit. He and his boys held their section of the line. But the line did bow inwards a few worrying times, resulting in near-panicky counterattack. Slowly but surely, the Dominion was losing ground as their soldiers either died or fell back. The moment of truth was near. Would the plan work?

Janelane launched a flare. It was time. Platinum called for a pony to come over. “Private, I need you to go get our guys on the far left. I know the Doms have been getting farther that way, but we can do this. Right now we’re at an “L” shape. I want us to come down. We’re going to swing down like a door. When we do, we charge. The Doms will be taken out. Go!”

Another flare. Platinum sounded a horn. The Atlanteans on the far left swung to equalize their position with their comrades. When it was one long line, Platinum rose from the trench, followed by two hundred ponies. They galloped across the field, smashing into the cover-less Doms. the enemy immediately broke apart under the sudden attack.

Janelane charged as she saw Platinum rise. They made it across the field before the Doms knew what hit them. An intense melee ignited and flickered out faster than it started.

Where Crimson and Mirage were, the charge was more difficult because the other two accidentally funneled anypony left into them. It was okay since they had the numbers and skill to give them a buffer. Mirage twirled around as her sword dug into the bones of an enemy and sliced through the muscle. Crimson occasionally fired a round when he had the space.

The two were on opposite ends of the Changeling line, commanding where they were needed. Crimson happened to glance ahead and saw a lump on the ground - right as a Dom stepped on it.

The explosion sent him flying and twirling. He landed on his side, grunting as the landing bashed his brains in. His saddlebag strap parted and its contents spilled across the field. The Pegasus’ face was covered in dirt and grime. He looked around and saw that at least seven others had been knocked around as well. More explosions went off, decimating the entire Changeling front.

Light grey smoke hung low over the battle, choking those who still stood. With the Dom dampener still up, they couldn’t use magic to repel it. Changelings dropped dead on the spot as their smoke-filled lungs gave out and they were shot by the Doms.

Crimson raised his head. Just in front of him was a wooden doll. It took a second for it to click that it was his. Little Phoenix had given it to him right before he went into this mess. A Dom looked at Crimson and picked up the doll, smiling. Noticing the red Pegasus’ reaction, he dropped it and stomped on it, smashing it into the dirt.

Something inside Crimson snapped. That doll, no matter what it was made from and the level of craftmareship that went into it, was made with love. It was a gift. A thank-you from a little mare who’d practically lost all her innocence, to the stallion who tried to comfort her when she escaped. It wasn’t just a doll. It was part of Phoenix Brightwings. Seeing somepony smash it like it was nothing more than a piece of junk filled him with rage.

Crimson stood up. The Dom looked surprised that he could manage it, given his proximity to the mine when it exploded. He raised his gun to shoot.

Crimson got to the kill first. He rammed his body into his opponent and they both tumbled to the ground. Crimson slammed his hoof down on the Dom again and again and again. He didn’t stop even after the Dom began crying for mercy. Pure, cold-blooded rage swelled through Crimson’s veins, and he loved it.

Around him, the Changelings picked themselves off the ground and followed his lead, though more controlled. They took prisoners and rounded up the enemy, pointing guns and swords at the shocked Dominion troops.

Mirage eventually came. She pulled Crimson off his opponent, who was still begging, however weak. He resisted with the strength of complete fury. The Princess won the struggle, finally knocking Crimson upside the head to bring him back to his senses. “Crimson! Look at him! Are you trying to kill somepony with your bare hooves?” She whacked him again when he tried to fight the Dom once more. “Come to your senses! Stop fighting and calm the fuck down!”

The Pegasus stopped. The fire in his eyes burned out. The energy that had been coursing through him stopped. His shoulders slumped as his rage-filled mind finally sorted out its mess. Mirage saw his pupils return to their normal hazel glow instead of their fierce yellow moments ago. He looked down on the Dominion soldier again.

The pony had bloody tears rolling down his grimy, bruised cheeks. His horn had been cracked and splintered by Crimson’s attack. His entire body was a complete mess. His mane and tail were ripped and his gut appeared to have an internal rupture. “Please don’t hurt me…” His shattered voice was barely heard over even the after-battle stillness.

Two Changelings picked him up and carried him to the other prisoners. “No,” Mirage said. “Take this one to the field hospital. And tell them I said to heal him.” The two nodded and buzzed west to the Atlantean camp.

“Crimson. He’d already surrendered. Why did you keep going?” Her worries were clear.

The Pegasus stooped down and picked up the doll. Its head had crumbled. The wood-scrap body was splintered into pieces. The legs were all but destroyed. “He…” Crimson couldn’t finish the sentence. He broke down and started crying. “Phoenix gave this to me right before this fight.”

Mirage stared him straight in the eye. “It shows how much you care for her. You’re not willing to let somepony disrespect another’s hard work, accomplishments, or life in general. But you need to control it. You can charge somepony all you want, but if they give up, you stop beating the shit out of him. That’s what separates us from the Dominion, isn’t it?”

Crimson nodded.

“I’m glad you see the problem. Now, I believe Silvercrest won’t let you off lightly, so you might as well get it off your chest. We’ll handle it from here.”

Author's Note:

Yes. Crimson is fallible. Screw you, "people who claim he's a Mary-Sue." Nobody's actually done that yet, but screw them in the future anyway.

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