• 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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7. Letters From Home

“Hey, Red! Mail’s here!” Platinum called, walking to his friend, who was sitting at a desk just outside the regiment administration tent.

Crimson looked up from his admin paperwork. He’d offered to get the regiment’s paychecks hoofed out for Treetop. It was boring and repetitive. “Probably not any for me. You can pass it around.”

Platinum grinned and moved to take a single letter from the stack. “On the contrary, Red, this one’s for you.” Turning to the other milling ponies in the 2nd Coastal, he yelled, “Private Dawn’s got a letter from home!” The ponies hurried over, knowing Crimson’s mail sometimes contained news about their shared home in and around Summercrest.

“Harmony dammit, Platinum,” Crimson grumbled. He proceeded to open the envelope and take out the letter. “Alright, here we go.” He read:

“Crimson, it’s been so long since we’ve seen each other. It was only two months ago when you signed up to go to the war. I can remember that day. You were so confident then.

“I got my cutie mark yesterday! Turns out I’m best at jewel polishing and refinement. It ain’t the coolest talent, but it’s definitely fun to go and make a gem look like somepony’s face.

“Bats’ father, the harbormaster, received word from Queen Atlanta herself about the steel ship we found in that sandbar. She’s coming over to see it with her own eyes, and apologizes for not responding sooner. It’s been busy around here since then, with all the upgrades and housecleaning everypony’s doing. Rumor has it she’ll authorize its reverse engineering right in Summercrest Shipyard, or better yet - restore it! But if she decides the expense would be too great to put it back together, at least we’ll get to keep one of the big guns - eight inch tubes and its ammo! That’s huge!

“As always, your beloved sister, Crystal Shard.”

The audience gasped collectively. The Queen was going to their hometown for a visit! Confidence soared higher than Canterlot Mountain was tall. Then Platinum said, “That’s awesome, and also three weeks old. However, our NCO here’s got more mail today. More recent, too.” Crimson glared at him and read the next letter:

“Son, your father and I were honored to have the Queen as our guest during her stay. She even said the quiet of our residence was something to be marveled at! But I digress, for that is not the point of this.
“Our Queen has declared the United States heavy cruiser USS Indianapolis (CA-35) the richest find in our century! The amount of advanced technology, material, and history within is just astounding! She even used her magic to bring it off the sandbar and into the expanded Summercrest Shipyard section we’d been building ever since the ship was found. Her official statement says that the government does not have much use for the ship itself as of yet, but she decided to reverse-engineer only two of the smaller five-inch weapons while giving the responsibility of either restoration or breaking down to Bats’ father. If this big ship is to enter service in the Atlantean Navy, it’ll need months of work along with sufficient funds. The Queen has already compensated for the shipyard, so we can use that for our purposes.
“As for the secret mission the ship was a part of, its crew was hauling two weapons of mass destruction to an island chain called Hawaii, where they would be used against the opposing country. This weapon is apparently able to begin never-ending fires in the hearts of cities by the literal power of the Sun and devastate entire countries! As frightening as that is, I assure you that no such object was found on the ship. The weapons must’ve already been delivered. I can only hope such a thing is never used again if it has already.
“Three damaged metal things were found in it. They must be flying machines of some sort judging by the wings. Since the secret mission only mentioned two, they were immediately ruled out and the most intact one is being studied by our greatest minds in Nautinia University.
“Your loving mother, Shooting Star.”

Crimson smiled. “Well, it looks like home got famous! I can’t tell you colts and mares how to spend your hard-earned cash, but I sure as hell am sending what I can home for this thing. Come on, the Summercrest Shipyards finally have as much prestige as Nautinia!” Cheers followed his voice. Then he asked, “Platinum, is that it?”

“Yes, sir.”

“Good. Give them their mail. I’ll give Treetop his.”

Platinum gave Crimson the single letter labeled with Treetop’s name. He walked into the tent and plopped it on the desk. “Sir, mail’s here.”

“Thanks, Private Dawn. I guess the guys want me to read it aloud.”

“Yes, they do, sir.”

“Well, I need a break from this anyway.” Treetop stood and walked out of the tent, followed by Crimson. “Apparently, you all want me to read my mail. As if it’s your business.” Nervous laughter followed. He read it silently, mentioning the more important parts aloud. “And finally, after reading all this nonsense from my wife, I can - wait, I’m a father?”

Cheers erupted from the small crowd. “Congrats, Treetop!” “Who’s the kid?” “Yeah, name?”

“Well, it’s a girl. Her name is Bubble Wrap, and she’s addicted to the stuff,” Treetop announced. “And I am proud to say that our beloved Colonel Silvercrest, after the fiasco known as childbirth a month ago, is itching to get back here and finish the job. She tells me in this second letter - in the same envelope for some reason - that all NCOs are promoted to Second Lieutenant and that Private Dawn is now a Warrant. Congratulations, all, and get back to work. Lunch isn’t until thirteen hundred.”

Author's Note:

My break's done. Homefront comes next.

Feedback appreciated.

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