• Member Since 13th Jan, 2015
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Soldiers don't just stand there, blindly following orders and throwing their lives away. Sure, some of them do, but they aren't the ones who come back. The ones who come back have spent hours, days in the trenches, waiting for that brief moment of terrible and bloody action. And thinking.

You have a lot of time to think, in a hole in the ground waiting to kill or be killed.

There aren't any trenches in the Crystal War. Sombra throws his soldiers in wave after wave at the enemy, and the bodies of those soldiers only rest when there is nothing left to fight and their master is briefly perplexed about where all the squishy targets went. The Equestrians aren't much better, retreating to tents and clouds and once in a glorious while, maybe a cave. But even without the trench, there is time to think.

And when you might die tomorrow, you don't think in silence. You talk. You ask questions.

They aren't all easy questions.

Chapters (1)
Comments ( 17 )

I just wanted to say thank you, to any single one of you who ever took up arms to defend your country. No matter which country it was, no matter who you fought for, I salute your bravery and sacrifice. You are stronger than I am.

If I got any part of this story wrong, if this in some way reflects wrong on how soldiers really are, I can only offer a weak apology, and say that I am not a veteran. I was never in the trenches. I have heard some second-hand accounts, but nothing that gives me any right to claim I know what soldiers have gone through. So, if I got it wrong, I invite you to say so.

I am currently at work, but I can't wait to read this later!

I'm glad to see that the S5 timelines still have some people who write them in-depth, yes even for a shorter story like this, it does a pretty good job, especially considering the context I have with your previous stuff. I like the dynamic you gave to RD, Pinkie, and Maud in the other stories - they all felt very personal for the characters, and so did 'This Isn't War'. However, I find that the more general question the title presents didn't go as well as the stories of the Pie Sisters and Rainbow in the other stories because it isn't as personal and character-centric as the other stories, where the individual characters have their time to shine much more, especially through the different voices crafted for them.

This is still a nice story, and you've got my upvote but I think it would've had more impact if it was part of something a bit bigger, or a scene in another story, where it could really drive its point home.

It's an amzazing story, it's very moving, and something that makes you think about what war is like for the people fighting, no matter what side they are on, it gives reason for those people fighting to continue, to do whats right for their country. It really makes you feel for the people fighting. It shows you that not all of them are adults, who have had experience in life, and that these people question why all the time, the same as us. A few people I know fight in the army, and many more in the royal air force, they have all been into countries currently in war, and I know from them how it is to be in that sort of situation. It's philosophical, it makes you think, hard, about why they are fighting. And, well, a lot of people think they know, because one group of people disagree with another. But, these people fighting, they ask themselves why, why don't they agree, why are they going through such drastic measures for an argument, and, who is right? Which side's morals are correct? Are they both wrong? Or...does it matter? Are we the good guys?

Yes, I love this story very much. It's definitely a favorite. The characters are very well written, and fit with what you'd expect from them, in this situation. With Rainbow Dash being the wisest, having had the most experience, Pinkie being Pinkamena, the one who just wants the war over with, and openly shows it, with Maud being like Pinkie, but with more care, and Sweetie Belle, the innocent one of the group who just doesn't understand why the war has to happen. I also like how you used Sweetie Belle, it brings a sense of innocence into the whole thing, and shows you that some people who fight are just kids. Its an awesome story, bittersweet, and I can still feel it in my heart, even now, and that is something uncommon for me, I know enough people who have told me about when they went into a war zone, or just outside of it to feel all the emotions then, for me to feel them for this long after having read a story..it's definitely one of the best stories I've ever read, 13/10.

I always did like pieces where things are questioned, wonderful job once again!

I love your Iron Wing verse. Dash is such a good leader.
I keep imagining how the ponies in the main universe would react if they could see her and the Pies like this. It would definitely be very dramatic. xD

Dashie, Sombra mind-controls his subjects and wants to take over the world with Dark Magic.

If you don't know the answer after that, move out of the way for someone a bit smarter.

*Alondro then raises his hand and the searing beam of pure awesome obliterates Sombra and his dark forces instantly, leaving only a rocking party in its wake* Nothing can stop the Deus Ex Self-Insert.

(But really, it's like asking if Hitler was a bad guy.)


Frankly, he wasn't/ He wasn't a good guy, but he wasn't a bad guy either. Because good and evil are not actual things. They cannot be measured and, frankly, what one person sees as evil, another might see as good. No matter what side of a war you are on, though, you are likely going to see yourself as 'the good guy' or 'in the right.' Hitler did think he was doing the good thing for his country. The thing is, he was a human just like you or I. Maybe a little overly ambitious for what he wanted to achieve, but his views of good or evil are not any more or less valid than ours. It's a matter of subjectivity vs objectivity when one is thinking about good or evil. Subjectively, the evil guy is the person you despise and disagree with. Objectively, there is no evil, because there isn't any inherent 'good' for that evil to oppose, and vica verca.

They are comforting concepts, good and evil. But ultimately They don't actually exist. They have no real world presense aside from people acting based off of their loosley defined notions. Ask someone, anyone, if they think gay marriage is a good thing. For every person who answers that and believes it there are just as many who will decry it as an abhorrent and evil thing for one reason or another. Really, who are any of us to say for sure which side is correct when good and evil do not have any clearly measurable or recognizable definitions?

I'm not saying I agreed with any of what Hitler did, mind you: I dissagree with basically all of his motives and actions. I simply aknowledge that, really, he wasn't evil. You can't be what does not exist.

Okay, my off topic tangent is now over.


Nothing can stop the Deus Ex Self-Insert.

Blacklisting you forever can.

What they should be looking for is a way to immobilize them. Turn them to stone, freeze them to ice, trap them in mirrors, anything that has some chance of being reversed later on yet takes them out of the battle today.

Actually I hate to say it, but if there were an intractable war against Sombra with sides equally matched, DESTROYING magic, casting a spell that casts more spells eventually draining all the magic of the world would free the crystal ponies, as well as neutralize Sombra for a price.

Well, shit. I really don't wanna, but I'm inclined to agree with Dashie, the only thing that makes them better than Sombra is that he kills for the joy of it.

Evil may not be measured, but it can be generalized. If enough of the people believe it is evil, then it can then be correctly labeled as evil. Murder, most notably. But then, there is the whole "What classifies as murder?" argument, but I won't get into that here; my point was made already.

This story was great.

What makes our killing better than there's? Nothing. Not really. I can't pretend to understand what goes on at the battlefield, but that question has to linger here and there.

It's hard to comprehend the feelings that soldiers must feel on a daily basis, but I feel you captured it well. The whole story just felt bleak, which it needed to do. This was great.



Frankly, he wasn't/ He wasn't a good guy, but he wasn't a bad guy either. Because good and evil are not actual things. They cannot be measured and, frankly, what one person sees as evil, another might see as good.

The problem with this a counter argument is that it is why Dash would, without a doubt, know that Sombra is the bad guy. What exactly evil is exists as a concept in the minds of most societies as a norm, and furthermore within the individuals of the society (which won't necessarily line up with the norm). By Equestrian norms, he's the bad guy. To her, what he does is wrong, and that that is wrong is a universal truth. Others might not agree, but that's irrelevant, because Dash matters here, not the others.

Now, she might doubt whether or not they themselves are still good guys, based upon what they've had to do to stop Sombra. But they'd have to do some truly evil things for there to be a doubt as to who the good guys are.

You do such amazing work with this timeline. Wish I'd read this one sooner.

You've deployed to some foreign nation that you've never heard off up until this war. This nation seems primitive when compared to your home and the culture seems idiotic and occasionally barbaric. Why are you here? You joined to do something good, to serve your country. Is it the right choice?

The people here think badly of you and some outright despise you. They think your practices and desires are immoral and wasteful. To them, you are a foreign devil. You're military is here to help dispense freedom but it seems like the only thing your military has dispensed are explosives and poison. Your military has been responsible for the deaths of thousands of innocents. You have so much negative involvement that this war is named after your nation's involvement.

You have to ask, are we the good guys?

The Vietnam War, Nov 1, 1955 – Apr 30, 1975. The US only had major involvement in the final 10 years of the war. The citizens in North Vietnam outright hate the US. Why? Could it be the massacres of innocent children and women? Could it be the use of a deadly poisonous chemical (Agent Orange) that is supposedly only to remove the vegetation (which it only worked as temporarily). Could it be the more than 7 million tons of explosives (3 times the amount the US used in WWII) dropped in an area smaller than the state of Wisconsin? Or could it be all of the other things that the US did, so much so that the war is called The American War when you're talking to someone in Vietnam.

-Vietnamese man currently serving in the US Army who's family fought on both sides of the Vietnam War.

-PS: Great story, have a fave and upvote

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