• Published 26th Jan 2017
  • 360 Views, 8 Comments

Raising the Flag - Golden Script

A unit of a half dozen soldiers fights a losing battle in honor of their fallen comrades.

  • ...

Walk Away, Boys

Author's Note:

Warning: this is not something I worked horribly hard on. I began writing and only realized it wasn't going where I wanted it to when it reached 2k words. I restarted and came out with the original story you read before.

Feel free to leave comments and any suggestions for songs I should listen to (I've started sifting through my old playlists to find good stories. Do you have one you would like to see in story form?)

The sounds of fighting could be heard even this far underground. The salt cellar was dry, to keep the precious mineral from deforming, but it wasn’t doing much for creature comfort. It also didn’t help that the ponies that inhabited it were wounded and dirty.

Wild Strikes had split from the group to look for more supplies. A time consuming and arduous endeavor, but a necessary one. The group was already running low—more specifically, running low on medical materials.

As he explored he remembered the night before. The city had been on high alert, but nopony could have expected such a large-scale attack so suddenly. He thought back to when his wife kissed his cheek as he walked out the door. Who knew if he’d ever see her again?

Wild was shaken from his thoughts as his eyes fell on a large mirror stationed over a sink. He took a good look at himself; his grimy white coat, once-shiny golden armor, and the matted plume of blue mane that poked out of the enchanted helmet. Though he wasn’t usually such a common color scheme, the armor he wore made his fur change color to match his rank. The only thing it didn’t change was his eye color, which was a bright red that often put ponies on edge. Of course, his name didn’t help with the social image he tended to put off in his armor, which he had been neglecting since the invasion began.

He was filthy.

No time to clean up, though. He began to rummage through the cupboards, searching for the provisions his group so desperately needed.

Several of the drawers were full of cleaning materials, some of which he took just in case, and a small medical kit. He took it in hopes Hazel Blossom, the medic, would be able to use it.

Just as he thought he was about to leave he instinctively gave the rest of the room a quick glance over. His eye caught on the bathtub. Upon closer inspection, he noticed the red markings on the porcelain akin to hoofprints and fur. He pushed the curtain out of the way and nearly vomited.

There laid one of his fellow guard—one he recognized. His throat was ripped out, his eyes were wide in horror, and his armor was missing. Blood was everywhere, but looked as though it had been swiftly cleaned. Wild looked the body over, making note of the signs of fighting and struggle. His hooves were bruised, one twisted at an odd angle, and his coat was covered in small scratches.

Without another word, Wild Strikes jumped into a full gallop back the direction he came.

Moonlight Hunter, a thestrale guardspony, was pacing the small salt cellar, attempting futilely to calm his mind. His family was nowhere near the brunt of the attack, but he heard a couple of guards back at the castle saying they were receiving reports from all around the city. He couldn’t help but wonder if they were alright.

“Moonlight! What are you doing?” The worried father and husband nearly fell over in surprise.

“Uh- nothing, sir!” He righted himself, holding a hoof up in a quick solute, as he turned to face his current commander, Rapid Charge.

The large white stallion towered over the thin, agile thestral. Though he was relatively new to Rapid’s squadron, he did notice the subtle shift the stallion made when shit hit the fan. He was noticeably more strict and tactful, kept all his guards on task, and made sure nopony was left behind. Tartarus, the stallion jumped into the crossfire to pull a wounded guard to safety! Not that Moonlight wouldn’t do the same, but the commander didn’t hesitate for even a moment.

The commander had garnered respect from his entire squad quickly, which helped when it came to efficiency along the chain of command.

“That’s the problem. We need another stallion on the south entrance. Hazel Blossom can handle the injured, get your flank up to the first level.” He didn’t shout, but the authority in his voice was undeniable.

“Yes, sir,” and Moonlight was on his way to the stairs.

Just as his hoof touched the first step a blur flew past him. It took him a moment to recognize Wild Strikes, the team’s self-proclaimed scout. When Rapid Charge began divvying out jobs the young stallion declared that he’d look for more supplies and ran off down the maze-like hallways of the basement.

Wild Strikes slid to a stop just in the doorway and looked back to Moonlight. “Moonlight?” he gasped for air. “Is- is the commander nearby?” The poor stallion looked like he’d just sprinted half a mareathon.

“Yeah, he’s with the injured guardsponies, coordinating the defenses. What’s wrong?” Moonlight made to support Wild, but he was already out the doorway.

Moonlight paused for but a moment before returning to his ascending trip.

“He won’t last very long at this rate.”

Wild rounded a corner and came muzzle-to-muzzle with a familiar pony.

“Soaring!” he shouted right in the poor stallion’s face.

“What do you want, Wild?” asked Soaring Surfer as he smoothed his feathers into a calmer position. Now he really didn’t want to be here. Though he’d much prefer to be on the coast, invasion or no, he had a responsibility to uphold.

And his parents would disown him. But that was more a secondary reason, he would tell anypony who would ask.

“There’s-th-there’s a dead pony in th-” Wild kept stuttering as he tried to tell his friend what he’d seen.

“Yes, there are dead ponies all around, in case you hadn’t noticed.” Though he didn’t mean to snap, the inconvenience of an invasion already annoyed the wave-rider enough—stuttering was not going to help his headache.

“No! There’s one here, and it’s-” Again, Soaring wasn’t having it.

“Look, I’ve got to get to the west wall. You can follow me there and tell your story on the way, or you can leave me in peace. I’ve got a job to do and I don’t need you jabbering in my ear while I do it.”

As harsh as the stallion was, he knew Wild didn’t deserve it. He was just coping with the potential loss of family and his way of life in his own way, much like everypony else. Soaring’s family didn’t live in Canterlot, but there was no way of knowing if Canterlot was the only city getting hit. For all they knew, cities and towns as far as Fillydelphia were under similar siege.

Wild didn’t make another sound as he returned his attention to running. Soaring was thankful for the silence, though there was a part of him that missed the companionship. He and Wild had formed somewhat of a friendship over the past few weeks of guard duty. They were stationed together more than once—on accident, of course—which gave them ample time to learn about one another. Though he’d dreaded those shifts at first, Soaring quickly realized Wild was part of the guard for the same reason as Wild.


His temper settled as he remembered the more pleasant nights when he and Wild would look up into the night sky and talk about constellations and life back home.

Wild kept running. He slammed shoulder first into a large wooden door and flung it open. Not much attention was payed to him, surprisingly enough. It seemed the ponies in the room had resigned themselves to their fate. He looked around the room and spotted Rapid Charge on the far side talking to another guard.

Wild’s eyes went wide and he started his sprint once more. He turned and jumped around the many ponies that had taken seats on the wooden floorboards of the salt cellar. Not even a second later Wild was on his target.

With a loud shout, he whipped his body around and gave the guard a mighty buck that sent the pony Rapid was talking to into a wall.

“Wild Strike!” Rapid Charge shouted in rage. “What is the meaning of this?”

“He’s a-” Wild was cut off as the downed pony jumped to his hooves and returned the favor.

“Star Chaser, stand down!” Rapid commanded.

“That’s not Star Chaser—that’s a changeling!”

All eyes in the room went wide and several of the closer ponies began moving away from the three guards. Rapid exchanged a shocked and sharp look between Star and Wild, who were fiercely daring the other to make a move with their eyes.

“How do we know you’re not the changeling?” Star Chaser finally broke the silence. “You suddenly come out of nowhere, strike me, and accuse me of being the enemy. That’s a surefire way to gain a pony’s trust—accuse another.”

The room’s attention shifted from one stallion to the other.

“That method would only work if I were right. If you’re not a changeling, then the suspicion would immediately shift to me.” Wild Strike stood up and readied himself for another fight. “Besides, I found Star Chaser dead in a bathroom not too far from here.” He lunged at Star Chaser.

“Enough!” shouted Rapid, stopping Wild in his tracks. “You,” he pointed at a pony with lesser wounds, “go tell Thunder Haze I’m going to check out a lead and that I’ll be back here soon. He should be on the North wall. If anypony comes down here looking for orders, refer them to Thunder,” he told the rest of the ponies in the room.

The stallion stood and ran to a set of stairs. Rapid turned his attention back to the two guards under his command.

“Thunder will take command while I see this through. If either of you are a changeling…” There was a hint of sadness behind Rapid’s eyes as he trailed off. “Let’s just hope you’re wrong, Wild.”

Wild held his glare with Soaring Surfer. “Sadly, I’m not.”

And with that, the trio followed Wild Strike down the corridors to the lavatory he’d found the body.

Rapid Charge followed directly behind Star Chaser, who was directly behind Wild Strike. While it was a public space, the hallways were a bit cramped, and this order made sure nopony stabbed anypony else in the back. He watched them both closely to make sure they didn’t try anything; and, though he kept his focus on the two in front of him, he couldn’t help but think back to the days he trained with their regiment. There were a couple more stallions in his squad back then.

“Sir, we’re here.” Wild stopped in front of a door that was wide open, a bathroom that had previously been looted was beyond.

“Where’s the body?” Rapid asked, following Wild through the doorway and already examining the room for discrepancies.

“In the bathtub, sir.” He walked over to the tub and held the curtain back further.

Plain as day, Star Chaser was eviscerated in the tub, without his armor. Rapid whipped his head around, realizing his mistake by taking his eyes away from the potential changeling for even a moment. He was met with a splash of acid to the face, burning the fur off his left cheek and blinding his left eye. Rapid screamed in pain as his hoof came to his face to cover his wounded face. He heard a crash and, when he had mind enough to look with his right eye, found Wild Strikes standing over a dead changeling with a drawer in one hoof. He’d smashed its head in.

“You alright, sir?” Wild asked, reaching his other hoof out to help the stallion up. “We should let Hazel look at that.”

“I’m fine. Hazel has enough to worry about with the civilians and the other guards.” Rapid took Wild’s hoof and pulled himself up again.

“Well, we should get back, either way.” Wild turned and walked to the doorway.

The two stepped into the hallway and began at a light trot to the salt cellar.

Comments ( 5 )

I definitely like the path you took with the rewrite a whole lot mot more.

Thank you. I'm really glad to hear. I also liked the second one better. :twilightsmile:

Yeah, kinda skipped over that part in the beginning, there... :applejackunsure:

Thank you! I'm not particularly proud of this work (I wrote it down over the course of a month and never went back to edit it... so...), but it is definitely one of my bigger achievements. :twilightblush:

I'm glad to hear you think all of those things. To be perfectly honest I didn't expect you'd read any of my stuff. I just kinda... well, I dunno. :applejackunsure:

Anyway! I hope you do enjoy my other works! :twilightsmile:
Now stop reading my stuff and go back to writing yours!!! I wanna know what happens next!!!

Worst day since yesterday?

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