• Published 8th Sep 2012
  • 3,973 Views, 412 Comments

One Mare's Worth - Equestria Buck Yeah



When Rainbow Dash's speed during a new trick turns out to be too much for her own good, she comes to realize how important she really is when she finds herself in a war-torn version of her old home.

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Chapter 16

Pinkie went over the plan in detail, mainly for the newcomer's sake. The first thing, as was typical, was to cut off communications. Make them dead in the water. It made sense to Rainbow. Can't have your targets screaming for help. She didn't realize that their actions would also cut out the cameras and any lights inside the hangar itself.

Though it wasn't visible from their current vantage point, there was typically a large power generator on the outside of buildings this large. It had almost always been the case in previous missions. Despite being strategically in an unsafe place, it was needed to kept out in the open so its noxious fumes wouldn't make the air inside too difficult to breathe. There were likely fans attached to the ceiling, and the bay doors were both open, swung upwards, as they observed while approaching the base. Still, the amount of work needed to keep the entire place operational was significant.

Taking out that generator and crippling the base was critical to the success of the mission, as it was with most of the others they went on. If all the power went out, they could run around freely planting explosives or stealthily taking out patrols, and trying to get everything restored in the meantime was a good way to keep the enemy distracted.

As they would be isolating the base from the outside world, they'd also be cutting off any means of escape by destroying the planes as quickly as possible and blocking any exits on the building. Last was the actual assault on the personnel. There were several patrols marching around the base or doing maintenance on the planes that they'd have to look out for. Unfortunately for them, the Party Crashers were adept at silent assassinations.

As they went through their final preparations, Belle levitated the explosives out of Rainbow's saddlebags and pushed the power buttons on them simultaneously, bringing them to life.

"How long should I set them for, boss?"

Pinkie scanned over the base, taking size and number of targets into account. The eighteen explosives wouldn't be enough to blow up every single plane, and the bombs were needed to take out a few other things too. However, there were other methods they could employ the knock out the rest of the jets. Control panels and wires could easily be exposed and destroyed, rendering the flying machines useless.

"Fifteen minutes should do it. Start them up once we're in position."

"Got it."

While Belle went to work, Loo removed the pair of automatic weapons from around her torso and checked that they were loaded. She had several magazines strapped to her chest and limbs, making her look almost too bulky to move. A.B. opened a small box that hung from her belt that had a dozen rounded arrowheads. She reached around herself and pulled the arrows she had out of her divided quiver. A couple dozen that fell from the slightly larger compartment of the quiver already had basic tips, but another dozen that she removed from the smaller side did not. One by one, she screwed the larger, rounded tips onto the bare arrows.

Rainbow watched the yellow mare earnestly. She understood the guns, sort of, the rockets to a degree, having used them before, and the bow and arrow was something they had back in the past. But the big arrowheads confused her a bit. What made them so special?

A.B. noticed the cyan mare's expression from the corner of her eye and grinned. "Explosive heads."

"Ah."

When the last of the tips were attached, the country girl returned the arrows to the quiver. Belle divided up the bombs between herself and Loo, twelve for herself and six for the pegasus, and placed them in their saddlebags. Then, she telekinetically lifted her numerous sidearms and checked that they were loaded and ready. The unicorn thought for a moment and hovered a pair of hoofguns to the newcomer before putting all her weapons away.

"Here, you may need them."

Rainbow took one of the guns from the air and looked it over. Though she never fired one before, she reasoned that, based on its design and how the others were handling theirs, if it was treated similarly to the rocket launcher she had used, one pointed the longer end with the hole in it at their target. She noted that the trigger underneath looked a smaller version of the one from the launcher as well.

"Um, just so I'm clear.. "

Belle spoke up and went over the other firearm in the air as she directed Rainbow. "Point this end at the target and pull this here to shoot. If you need them reloaded, just say the word and I'll take care of it."

"Got it." She clumsily wedged the guns into a holster on each of her sides.

"Here, you'll need this too," Belle continued, strapping one of their walkie-talkies to her friend's shoulder and showing her briefly how to use it to speak to the others. Seemed simple enough.

"Alright," Pinkie began, "everypony ready? You all know what to do?"

The other four mares nodded, Rainbow taking a deep breath first. She wasn't sure what to expect in the coming minutes and felt she wouldn't have been prepared even if she did. She wasn't asked to do much; minimal participation in the events was required. Her main goal, other than staying alive, is getting used to the way they fought nowadays.

Loo, Belle, and A.B. joined hooves. Rainbow cocked a curious eyebrow. Were they about to sing a song or something?

A.B. wriggled her free hoof at the befuddled pegasus. "Grab on tight. Don't wanna lose ya."

Still not understanding what the yellow mare was getting at, she tentatively did as she was asked.

"Get ready, Rainbow. You're about to see why we're so good at infiltration," Pinkie said with a smirk. "Here we go!"

She took Loo's hoof in her own and ducked behind the tree they crouched next to. Loo, then Belle, then A.B., and finally Rainbow somehow disappeared behind it, despite only being about a foot in diameter.

-----

Four round wind turbines spun lazily in the center of the roof of the two story building. Thanks to being under a perpetual, but still distant, setting sun, the metal roof of the building wasn't hot. Pinkie and the Party Crashers were fortunate this was the case when they popped out from behind the second most eastern one. Almost instantly, Belle's horn glowed and her camouflage spell engulfed the group.

All but Rainbow looked around quickly to see if they may have been spotted. They didn't see anypony except the few working in the control tower on the other side of the compound and even getting a clear view of their faces was exceptionally difficult. The cyan mare's eyes rolled around as she struggled to stand up straight for a moment.

A.B. grinned coyly. "Yeah, that'll happen the first few times," she whispered. "You'll get used to it."

Rainbow shook off the cobwebs and hobbled slowly with the rest of the group to the north end of the roof. When they arrived at the edge, A.B. grabbed her bow and pulled out a pair of normal arrows. They had seen only a few patrols around the complex moving in twos, but she wanted to be ready. The girls scanned the area below. The north was clear of trouble, and sure enough, their instincts were again correct. The large generator they expected to find was below them to the left, and a door was only a few feet beyond it.

A.B. tiptoed to the east corner and just barely spotted a pair of earth ponies disappearing under the open bay door below, heading south. They weren't going to be a problem. A lone repairpony was doing some maintenance on one of the planes in direct sight. Another non-factor for now.

After returning to the group, they made their way to generator. They made one last check around and saw nothing. Pinkie spotted one of the cameras hanging below the windows of the control tower and pulled out her binoculars. A small red light was on, indicating it was active. She lowered the binoculars, nodded at Belle, and promptly returned them to her eyes.

The unicorn's horn glowed intensely, and a bolt of magic fired at the mechanism. Bursts of sparks flew from multiple parts of the machine, causing it to shut down and leak thin trails of smoke. Loo looked toward the control tower while Pinkie watched the camera. The radar on the top had stopped moving and it looked like the ponies in the room were panicking a bit. The single red light on the camera faded away as well.

"They're blind," Pinkie said.

"So far, so good," Loo whispered.

They looked back below, waiting for the inevitable. After a few minutes of patient silence, the door opened and a pair of unicorns trotted out to inspect the machine. They waved the burning smell out of their noses and stood there wondering how it could have inexplicably broken down. After a moment of debate, their horns glowed and they got to work fixing it.

With a quick glance left, seeing a lack of ponies walking their way, A.B. loaded her bow and took aim. Loo popped open her wings and leaned in with bated breath. The archer saw an opening and stopped breathing, letting the two arrows fly. A second later, Loo dove right behind them.

The unicorns didn't see it coming. The arrows stabbed deep into their necks where they stood, killing them instantly. Before they even had a chance to fall, Loo grabbed them and pulled back up hard, racing back to her friends. Mere seconds later, she landed on the roof, ducking under Belle's invisibility field. The group looked toward the control tower again, checking to see if they may have been spotted. No such indications.

Loo flopped the two bodies onto the roof in front of the others. Rainbow's eyes shot open in shock and a pathetic squeak came from her mouth. She shook, wanting to scream. It took most of her strength not to. Her chest rose and collapsed hard as she started to hyperventilate.

Pinkie saw her reaction and rested a hoof on her shoulder. "Rainbow, breathe!"

"I.. I-I'm sorry. J-Just not used to something like that," she said weakly.

"You will be," Loo said with a strange calm. Rainbow stared at her fellow pegasus with a twinge of fear in her soul. Is that really how turned off to death and murder a pony can become because of a war? She wondered for a moment before blinking back to her senses.

The orange mare grabbed the fallen unicorns' tails in her teeth and dragged them to the southern side of the roof with the others. They left the bodies far enough away from the control tower's view so they wouldn't be able to sound any alarms. Still under Belle's spell, they trotted to the opposite side of the building, doing their best to keep their hooves light. They didn't want to make any loud noises and alert anypony to their presence, after all.

It took about five minutes to get across the long roof, even at a steady pace. They stopped at the southwestern most corner, still hidden in plain sight. Belle lifted the explosives from her saddlebag and turned to Pinkie. The colonel brought her hoof up and glanced at the watch she had on her front ankle. She pushed one of the buttons on its face until the timer option came up. She set it for fifteen minutes and readied herself.

"Start them up in three... two... one... now."

Belle activated the bombs as Pinkie started her watch simultaneously. The explosive floated over to the top of the communications tower directly across the way, guided by a light blue glow. When she found a good spot to place it, Belle stuck it on firmly.

Loo leaned over and looked to her right. The open bay doors were folded in half, the bottom section running on a wheel in a track and held onto the top portion with a single hydraulic on each side. After checking the immediate area for a patrol and finding it clear, Belle floated another bomb to Loo, who stuck it next to the wheel. The pegasus joined her companions and they trotted to the other side of the roof, repeating the process quickly. Loo couldn't linger out of Belle's magical field directly underneath the control tower for more than a few seconds, lest she risk being spotted.

"OK, now to the planes. Belle, you'll get the ones in the south. Loo, the east. The rest of us will be your eyes up here. Let's go," Pinkie instructed.

They moved briskly to the middle of the southern edge. Belle was able to lower the dome that covered them now that they were out of line of sight of the tower, thanks to the arched roof. Below them on the ground were two distant mechanics, still working on a pair of planes far apart like before. Another two patrolponies passed by below them, heading west. On the far east side, another pair was just turning the corner. They were going to have to wait until their back was turned. The first flesh and blood target for Belle was going to have to be the lone repairpony in front of them.

"I'll get started on my side. It should be clear enough," Loo said. Pinkie nodded her off and the pegasus dashed along the roof, barely skimming its surface.

When Loo arrived at her designated assignment, she checked on the mechanic working in front of the hangar's entrance. He was still deeply engrossed in his maintenance and didn't see her place two of her bombs by the wheels of the bay door like she did on the other side. She softly landed on top of the entranceway and poked her head down.

No patrols below, and the soldiers inside seemed to be too preoccupied with the sudden unusual electrical problems. The lights appeared fainter than they should be. Loo figured the emergency systems kicked on and were in power conservation mode. She glanced at a nearby camera and saw the power light was still off, confirming her theory. The systems were designed so that ponies could at least see what they were doing, such as trying to reboot the computers. With all the tech they likely had inside, it would take the enemy several minutes to get everything up and running again, but she couldn't dawdle.

The pegasus floated back to the roof and glided to the southern corner. She didn't want to jump down to the line of planes below her right in front of the open door. That would be suicide. A single door in the middle of the long southern wall stood, almost daring Loo to make a move. For a moment, she wondered if there was somepony waiting for her to do something on the other side, only to jump out and take her by surprise.

She looked to the right, finding the single mechanic on the eastern side of the expansive line of planes below her. His attention was also in the belly of a jet. She could easily and quietly sneak down and land on the roof of one of the planes without drawing any attention to herself, so long as the door remained closed. Throwing caution to the wind, she dove down and chose a plane to fall upon.

She picked his.

Loo softly landed on top of the jet the mechanic was working on once the patrol was sufficiently away and quietly laid down on her belly in the center of its back. She crawled along the body of the plane and slowly peaked below. A devious grin inched across her face. She pulled back out of his potential sight and slid a knife from her belt.

"Pssst!" she hissed loudly.

The repairpony's ears perked up at the odd noise coming from over his head. Loo tapped on the plane with her blade, trying to egg him up to her. He popped a set of wings open and flew up to investigate the unusual sounds.

The instant his face appeared, Loo jumped him and wrapped a hoof around his chin, driving the dagger into the side of his neck and forcefully dragging his body to the top of the plane. He flapped as hard he could, but it was a fruitless endeavor. He couldn't even scream, his throat and mouth rapidly filling with blood. With a last desperate gurgle, his life escaped him.

Loo let her victim go and flew to the next plane east, ducking behind the cockpit. She repeated the action four more times until she was at the last in the row. The open door was clearly visible from where she was. The pegasus took a deep breath and bolted for the first plane in front of her.

She slid onto the roof of the jet quickly and froze for a moment, her eyes intently focused on the insides of the hangar ahead of her. There wasn't any sign of commotion. She was safe for the moment, but still had to be quick. With a hard flap of her wings, Loo leapt to the next jet, and then the next. Once more, she glanced at the large entrance. All clear. One more jump and she could take out the other repairpony.

Laying as low as she could, Loo silently glided to her destination. She pulled out her knife again and tapped the plane like she did before. When the pegasus mechanic stuck his head up, like his counterpart, Loo grabbed him and stabbed him in the neck. A quiet squeak was all he managed to get out before his struggling began to slow. A moment later, he was gone.

With the only noticeable threats out of the way, the orange mare slid to the back of the planes and let herself fall off the tail, catching herself in midair behind the thrusters. She stayed level with the wings and ducked across to the next jet. One more to go and she could start planting the explosives.

She darted to the northernmost jet and climbed onto the tail, hugging the steel below her belly. Loo quickly crawled to the cockpit area and pulled out a charge. She adhered it to the plane and bolted back the way she came. The next three jets suffered the same fate.

At that point, she was out of bombs. Loo cursed under her breath and flew out of line of sight of the hangar door, spinning back around and reconvening with the group.

-----

Pinkie, Rainbow, A.B. and Belle were just watching the second patrol get enough distance away from them when Loo returned. Belle was ready to spring into action herself.

"How much time?" A.B. asked.

Colonel Pie looked at her watch. "7:32."

"Gonna be cuttin' it close."

"We'll be OK."

The ivory unicorn's horn flared and she, along with the explosives that were floating beside her, popped out of sight, reappearing on top the plane next to the last mechanic alive. She was eternally grateful that Twilight was able to teach her how to blink around, if not for situations like this one.

Belle pointed in the direction of the repairpony and then the patrol with their backs to her, signaling to A.B. to get ready. The country mare pulled out a single arrow and took aim, holding her breath.

"Ahem," Belle muttered.

The pegasus below the jet next to her popped up and was almost immediately met with a shaft in his neck. A blue glow grabbed hold of the arrow and snapped the technician's neck hard. Belle pulled his body onto the jet and looked to her friends.

A.B. whipped out another arrow and jumped on Loo's back, motioning to patrol below. Without saying a word, the pegasus hovered by the roof and lowered her head, giving A.B. a clear shot. With a pull of the taut string, she released and swiped another arrow from her quiver with lightning speed. A second quick yank later, the other projectile was after its target.

Belle blinked to the roof of a jet close to the patrol as A.B. fired, ready to grab their bodies. The first arrow lodged itself into the base of the closer stallion's skull, severing his spine and killing him instantly. The other soldier watched his partner falling in front of him for a second before being penetrated by his own arrow in the side of the neck. The unicorn grabbed the second missile and snapped his neck as she did the repairpony's. Once the deed was done, she quickly lifted them to the roof and dropped their corpses. The other Party Crashers rushed over and pulled them away from the edge.

A swift blink later and she planted herself on the westernmost plane. She floated an explosive onto its surface and popped to the next one and the one after, setting a charge at each stop. She had a long way to go and was running out of bombs. Once they had been depleted, she turned her attention to the control panels in the cockpit. Her horn glowed and the surfaces inside were pulled off, ripped to pieces, and various wires were severed. There was no way it was getting off the ground.

Loo pushed the button on her walkie-talkie. "Belle, see if you can block the door with a bunch of those crates, just in case," she suggested.

"Good idea."

A large number of the wooden boxes were telekinetically lifted and set in front of the exit. They felt heavy enough to prevent anypony from knocking the stack over from the inside and making their way outside, just in case they started to flee.

Belle resumed tearing apart the guts of the planes' cockpits, one blink after another. It still took her a few minutes to make her way all the way down the row.

"I was able to set up four of the jets on the far side, Belle. The ones farthest away. You'll see them, probably," Loo spoke into the radio.

"Got it," the unicorn replied.

"Belle?" Pinkie spoke up. "Grab some more crates for the other doors by the hangar openings and the door by the generator."

"Roger. How much time, boss? I'm out of charges."

"3:19."

It was a bit of a task, and they were running out of time, but Belle knew she could handle it. She reached the last of the jets on the south side of the base and sabotaged it. Popping onto the surface of the aircraft ahead of her, she went back to work, dismantling the final two functional ones.

Spotting a small stack of wood boxes between some of the planes she was messing with a few moments ago, she teleported to them, out of sight from the hangar bay. The unicorn floated half a dozen heavy crates to the personnel entrance way, trying not to give herself away. She hid atop a nearby jet in a flash and waited a few seconds, checking to see had been noticed. It was clear.

She disappeared and returned several seconds later on the other side of the base, near the communications tower in the southwest. Another stack of boxes was moved into the door's path, effectively blocking it from use on the inside, making sure not draw the attention of the patrol in front of her as they continued walking away.

She took a few more crates in her magical grip and focused her energies hard. She blinked back into existence on the roof above the generator with her make-shift barricade. After a quick look toward the control tower, she placed the boxes below on the ground and vanished again, returning to her group.

"How long?" she asked.

Pinkie inspected her watch. "Fifty-eight seconds." The three friends grinned knowingly at each other and pulled out their weapons. Loo held an AK-47 while Belle levitated eight 9mms of various caliber and magazine size. A.B. never put away her bow.

"A.B., when the charges are ready to go off, send one of your explosive shots into the control tower from here. After that, Loo, carry her over there," the colonel pointed in the direction of the hangar door, "and take down that last patrol from up here. A couple quick arrows should do the trick. Just leave them there at that point.

"Once that's done, I'll blast a hole open in the roof and we'll drop in. You'll have to carry Rainbow down," Pinkie nodded at Loo. "A.B., you'll be our eyes in the sky until you're empty, but save your explosive arrows. Loo, be sure to catch her when she jumps, and when you get back to the ground, I want you and Rainbow to head to the control room. Take it, and anypony you see, out," Pinkie finished instructing.

Loo frowned disappointedly at their leader. She didn't want to have to foalsit a rookie.

"Colonel..."

"You'll do fine, Loo. Just watch out for each other and you'll be OK."

The pegasus sighed, "Yes, ma'am."

"Ready, Rainbow?" Pinkie asked.

The cyan pegasus took a deep breath. "I guess. I'm just really nervous."

"Just remember," the pink mare said, "they won't hesitate to kill you. You have to be ready to do it to them first."

She nodded anxiously, and Pinkie patted her shoulder in return. The colonel looked at her watch as A.B. pulled an explosive arrow from her quiver, pulling the bow back fiercely, waiting for the right moment.

"Get ready, girls. Five.. four.. three," the arrow flew and A.B. swiftly reached for a pair of regular ones, "two.. one..."

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