• 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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47. Industry

Prince Flawless Ice of the Dominion stared at the piece of paper held delicately in his hooves. It was a report from his father’s - he never considered the Domination Army his own - general in charge of freezing the Atlantean supply lines. Both Whitecap Point and Athene Plateau had been compromised, and AREA was still on the loose somewhere in Atlantis. This gave Flawless the notion that the Atlantean Reserve Emergency Army had split in at least two pieces, and that each piece was bound to gather more.

“You can give this to my father,” he said, clearing the soldier standing nervously before him and giving him the paper. “Just don’t elaborate if you want to keep your head.” The prince blanched at the thought of the last unlucky pony to give King Jagged Edge bad news. That was a most disturbing day indeed.

“Yes, sir,” the soldier gulped. He walked through the great double doors to the throne room as Flawless ended his shift as guard.

Flawless clambered up his treehouse to look over the city of Amyfalone, the shining jewel of the Dominion, and the adjacent naval shipyard not even he was allowed to visit. Raising a telescope to his eye, he could see a large metal construction, with sleek gray sides and a single towering orange funnel. It had no high-tech weapons aboard, like the rumored Summercrest Project, instead being armed with several dozen sixty-pounders per side, four buried in the bow, and two on the fantail. Alongside the metal monstrosity, four more sat in varying stages of construction. He wasn’t sure if any of them would float, but his father seemed to be guardedly ecstatic about the idea, so they probably would.

Metal ships, also partially built, would act as escorts for the bigger vessels when they were launched. The belief was that not only bigger was better, but also numbers would succeed. Flawless knew the opposite was true, however, having seen the brave Atlantean resistance, surrounded and outnumbered as it was, on the first day of the Battle of Emberforge Valley more than a year ago.

Lost Legacy appeared beside him. “Those are some big-ass ships.” He caught himself mere moments after the words left his mouth. “Sorry, Flawless.”

“Yes, they are indeed. And look at those smaller ones down there! Father’s trying to build an iron navy, like the Atlanteans are, before they reach full capacity. His boys are sucking all the metal they can from the enemy supply lines, as far as I can tell, and we may have a very big problem when it becomes time to pay up.”

“Pay up? I’m no fanatic, but I don’t remember the Dominion ever paying back for what we took.”

“If they win this war, they’re gonna come knocking on our door. If they lose, then we’ll have to send stuff over anyway. Either way, we pay up for taking all that stuff.” Flawless stared to the south. “Given my father’s maniacal ideals, I seriously hope they sink these new ships. I can do nothing except warn them, and even that’s risky.”

“Well, if the rumors are true, the Summercrest Project is one large ship. Using large against large should work… right?”

“Not necessarily, Lost,” the prince said. “Not necessarily.”

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Captain Middle Road watched the buzz of activity at the Summercrest Shipyard's massive central drydock. Inside the wide basin, the alien cruiser Indianapolis was undergoing an overhaul to all of her systems and lower hull. Sparks flew in all directions as welders and metalworkers took the ship apart and put her back together. Out to sea, beyond the yard, Nightmane steamed out for her morning patrol as Cape Lune sailed in.

The Fireheart corvettes Cape Lune and Sundering Sea had finally floated their sunken sister Neptune, plugged her holes, and towed her wallowing hulk to the yards the day before Captain Road returned aboard Nightmane. Currently, Neptune was being cleaned and refitted for duty, this time with an experimental steam engine in her belly. Her twin-screw setup, based off of the cruiser’s, was a little wide for her, but they’d make it fit. After she was completed, Neptune would become one of the most technologically advanced warships in the world. General hope wanted her to sail to Equestria, pick up steel from the Manehattan harbor, return with a full load, and repeat. It wouldn’t be that hard; keeping her reasons secret would be. Princess Celestia had enjoyed peace for almost a millennium, and, although peace was best, would be all too eager to hop in on Atlantis’ side if she knew why they needed the material. Protecting the rights of ponies was great and all, but Equestria’s military involvement, not to mention inexperience, would only add to the chaos.

Indianapolis’ flying machine droned overhead, once again piloted by the crazy stallion Seagull. Fuel for the thing had become tight, but a refinery had been set up for the cruiser, and modifications were being made to accommodate the different type - Seagull said the manual referred to some higher “octane rating” - that the machine needed. Neither had any idea what it meant, but Seagull assumed it was talking about how refined the fuel was. As for what the fuel was in the first place, because it was obviously organic and could therefore be found in nature, that was a tricky question until somepony mentioned Haven Cove’s reeking swamp and the sticky black tar found within. Once it was poured into Indianapolis’ boilers, they immediately tried to remove all the gunk that didn’t burn, deciding to refine it beforehoof to keep it clean. Summercrest was quickly becoming a naval industrial powerhouse with all the advancements made.

And yet, even with everything that was being done, Middle Road felt that they had just taken a giant leap forward, only to take two steps back. Both metal ships were especially high maintenance, not the least of which being paint, and the metal they needed was being shunted to Nautinia R&D - or, at least, it should be. The Nautinia Naval Yards were also being upgraded to construct iron ships and even bigger (although wooden) flat-topped vessels to transport and service virtual carbon copies of the flying machine Seagull loved to fly so much.

Beyond the cruiser, towering cranes lowered heavy planks into position for two more new construction frigates, named Pioneer and America, respectively. Alongside Neptune, they would make up the first ships of the steam-powered Pioneer-class vessels. After they were launched, yet two more were planned to take the high seas: Pearl and Trailblazer. They had plenty of the ridiculously abundant “swamp oak” trees, coming in from nearby loggers and the now-Atlantean-controlled Whitecap Point facility, and the ponies to do it.

While sailing ships with steam engines were amazing, rumor had it that Atlanta was building her own Nightmane-class destroyers in Nautinia, taking advantage of the better accommodations in Nautinia. Even better, they were using the techniques developed here in Summercrest, improving them along the way! More deployed ships sailed into both ports every day, adding to the ragtag collection of naval power ready to face whatever the Dominion was cooking up.

Middle Road stared across the harbor, taking in the small forest of masts that made up thirteen Atlantean frigates and ships of the line. After several-year deployments, each ship was under refit, but she was definitely glad to have them nonetheless.

“Captain, news from Nautinia!” Chief Petty Officer Tie Dye exclaimed as she bounded down the way. “They figured out the ray-dee-oh! We should expect a large shipment at the station soon unless we can spare a ship.”

“Are the rail lines between here and there safe?” the captain asked.

“Treetop said he’ll send over a couple dozen guys to protect them on route, then we’re on our own. It’s all he can do from Fort Azure without violating the Queen’s direct order to take a break. They’re headed off to AREA within the week.”

“That should be sufficient, though with our present guard…” Middle Road trailed off for a second. “It’s fine. They love Warrant - I mean Lieutenant - Janelane and her detachment would never betray us, especially since doing this keeps their kids safe from the Dom wrath.”

“Yes, ma’am.” Tie Dye briefly scanned the southern horizon, past where Nightmane patrolled. Suddenly, a red flare shot into the air, followed by two more. All three originated from the destroyer. Beyond her, a hazy shape that originally looked like a massive low-lying cloud no longer did. Middle Road remembered that a small volcanic island had been forming far out sea for quite some time, but stalled for years just before it broke the surface at least three hundred miles away.

All around them, the water visibly vibrated with a roar louder than ten airplanes. As a wide blue shape began to show itself, causing the southern horizon to rise, Middle Road’s eyes widened in absolute horror. She bolted for higher ground, screaming soundlessly at yard workers to do the same.

Author's Note:

School is really killing me right now. 2 AP classes are loading me down, along with Java Programming I. Hopefully, I can still get more out soon.

Feedback appreciated.

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