• Published 8th Sep 2012
  • 3,975 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 17


A multitude of simultaneous explosions rocked the compound, sending an ocean of black smoke into the air. A half second later, A.B.'s explosive arrow crashed into the window of the control tower, making contact with the supervisor and blasting the room apart. The ponies inside didn't even time to react to the shattering of the glass before they were incinerated. Loo and A.B. ran for the edge of the roof and jumped off, the earth pony landing on her friend's back. With quick aim, she launched the two arrows in her grip at the horrified patrol below. They struck their targets in the neck and chest, killing them before they got a chance to realize what was happening.

The top of the communications tower in the corner of the base was blown into pieces, shards of metal and computer chips flying into the air in random directions. The resulting fire found the internal electronics and rubber wires, causing them to pop and spark violently all the way down to the ground. The odor of burning cables could be smelled by the group sitting on the roof several meters away.

The bombs planted by the hangar doors shattered off large chunks of the wall, hurling a portion inside the building, much to the surprise of the deafened nearby soldiers. Other pieces were launched outward, away from the structure. The wheels on the bottom halves of the doors, as well as the hydraulic pistons on both sides, were utterly annihilated. Powerful shockwaves launched the folded doors outwards like pendulums, and the bottoms halves fell out from under their counterparts. With loud creaks and groans of old hinges, they swung back to the building and jammed themselves into the gigantic openings thanks to the exploded, misshaped corners of the doors. Large cracks raced up and down the walls upon impact, blowing out clouds of dust.

A.B. and Loo landed by the others. Pinkie took the lead and ran several steps toward the very top of the roof, stopping a few yards in front of it. A.B. grabbed another arrow from her quiver and readied herself. From seemingly nowhere, Pinkie yanked a black, steel tube with a pair of large mounted wheels out from behind herself and planted it in front of them. Welded into the side was a gold plate with 'PC 9000' embedded on it.

The Party Crashers steadied themselves and covered their ears. Rainbow Dash noticed this and quickly threw her hooves over her ears as well. Pinkie fired the cannon and blew a massive hole into the roof, toppling the blue pegasus to her rump. Colonel Pie returned the heavy weapon to the void and removed one of the automatic weapons from around her chest.

Rainbow climbed onto Loo's back as Pinkie jumped down without any supports. Belle disappeared in a blink of light blue magic. A.B. looked below and scanned the area for any easy targets. The colonel landed face first into the concrete below and popped right back up, completely unphased. Belle appeared a second later and instantly pulled out a dozen small firearms, hovering them in front of her. Loo landed with her passenger right beside the others, pointing her AK at her first intended victim. The pink mare stood on her hind legs and whipped her own machine gun into attack position.

"Heeeeeeere's Pinkie!"

A hail of bullets rained death upon the nearby horrified soldiers. Rainbow ducked behind the group and covered her head like her old cream colored friend used to do. The gunfire was as deafening as it was terrifying to her. An arrow flew down to the group's left and pierced an enemy soldier's chest as he shot at the panicking pegasus. Ricochets erupted in her ear and she jumped out of the way of nothing. One arrow after another fell from the sky, taking out mares and stallions alike.

The first wave of defenders had fallen before the rest of the personnel in the base was aware of what was happening on the west side of the complex. There had to be a hundred ponies inside. With their own weapons loaded and ready, they charged at the small group of warriors, ducking behind whatever they could for cover. Any pegasus who tried to fly overhead was promptly met with an arrow. They quickly learned their lesson and remained on the floor. Most of the unicorns at the front of the battle were unable to produce shields like Belle could and died quickly.

Loo saw Rainbow shaking on the ground behind them out of the corner of her eye and called her out. "Rainbow, come on! Get off your flank and help! You're acting like Fluttershy!"

"S-s-sorry! This is insane!"

"No kidding!" Loo yelled angrily.

Her gun fired the last bullet in the chamber and she lobbed a grenade into a group, buying herself a second and taking out three more enemies with the blast. Grabbing Rainbow, Loo darted for a forklift a few yards to their left and ducked behind it. Pinkie slid behind some crates to the right a row of eight planes in front of her, and Belle erected a small magical shield to hide behind in plain sight. She levitated the sidearms over the barrier and continued attacking, reloading when necessary with the use of her horn.

Sparks flew off the sides of the forklift and Rainbow curled up in fear. She felt absolutely worthless in the fight. Loo reloaded her own weapon and pulled the pistols out of Rainbow's holsters for her, setting them on the ground beside them.

"Let's go! Shoot at them! Even if you just throw them off a bit, it can be enough!"

Rainbow hesitantly picked up the firearms and looked at them. She knew she had to do something, even if it wasn't something she would normally have ever considered. It was a different world from what she remembered, and it was more violent than she could possibly imagine.

Shaking, she leaned to the side and pointed her pair of guns forward, searching for somepony to reluctantly fire at. She spotted a group of soldiers and workers and closed her eyes, pulling the triggers at random. She actually managed to wound a few ponies before one of the others' shots finished them off, though she wasn't aware. As she pumped out a few more rounds, an arrow came from above and wounded a charging stallion in the knee before one of Rainbow's bullets hit him in the head. Quickly, she ran out of rounds and the empty guns clicked in her hooves.

"Not bad, Rainbow. Ya got a couple, I think," Loo yelled over the noise. Rainbow wasn't sure due to the constant firing, but it sounded like there was a bit of sarcasm in the orange mare's voice.

Her eyes shot open and she ducked back behind the forklift horrified. She silently hoped Loo was just trying to be supportive. Rainbow looked at the pair of hoofguns she was holding and saw that the tops halves of the barrels had shifted open on their own.

"What does this mean?" she asked her fellow pegasus, showing her the weapons.

"You're empty. Just a sec," Loo replied. She slapped the walkie-talkie to life. "Belle, Dash is empty. She needs a refill."

"Got it," the speaker buzzed. The two firearms were lifted from Rainbow's grasp and carried over to the unicorn. After a quick reload, they returned back. "Good to go," Belle said.

Rainbow took them out of the air and leaned up against the side of the vehicle. She closed her eyes and took a few deep breaths, trying not to let her nerves throw her into another panic.

"Hey, you're doing decently so far. Just stick with me and you'll be OK, got it?" Loo said over the gunfire.

Rainbow nodded and spun back around, ready to continue fighting. Her pulse having slowed a bit, her next shots were more methodical; she hadn't simply unloaded a magazine into the air, not caring if the shots hit anything or not. She still wasn't sure if it she really had killed anypony, but her aim was beginning to improve.

A hoofful of soldiers poured out of the large, office-like structure built into the far side of the hangar to the Party Crashers' left. Pinkie spotted them in the distance and it appeared that at least two of them had rocket launchers on their shoulders. A shard of wood went flying past her head and she ducked down.

"A.B., rockets to the left side. You see 'em?" she asked the radio.

"Negative, too far in."

"Belle, we're gonna have incoming. Can you fix that?" Pinkie shouted to her companion.

She nodded with a smirk and kept her attention focused on the group in the distance. They had finished clearing a path and lined up their shots at the Party Crashers. With a couple puffs of grey smoke, a pair of rockets came barreling at them. Once they were close enough, Belle's grabbed them with her magic and effortlessly veered them off to the sides, shattering holes in the walls.

Undeterred, they reloaded their weapons and fired them again. With a touch of annoyance, Belle took hold of the second pair and swung it back around, slamming them into the ground in the middle of a group. The explosion took out nearly a dozen of them.

"I'm out up here. Coming down," A.B. radioed in.

"Girls, give me some cover," Loo requested.

Almost instinctively, Pinkie and Belle activated and tossed one grenade after another into the enemy troops. The ensuing fireballs and smoke allowed A.B. to jump down the hole without fear of being fired upon and Loo the chance to fly up several feet to catch her. As a bonus, several more soldiers were blown apart. The pegasus grunted when her earthbound friend landed on her back and they quickly descended behind the forklift.

Rainbow yelled out for a reload and Belle obliged. In the meantime, A.B. noticed some boxes stacked to the left out of corner of her and made a break for them. Rainbow came out from hiding and looked for any ponies who may have seen A.B. run off. The pegasus did her best to provide some cover fire for her country friend, and finally she saw one of her shots hit one of the guards in the shoulder, causing him to fall over in pain. Though she winced at finally seeing the result of her own gunfire, a part of her was glad she was able to provide even a little protection to A.B. in such a crazy situation.

A.B. heard a bullet whiz past her head as she neared the crates. She dove behind the boxes and into safety. She wrapped the bow around herself and pulled out her AK-47. She slapped a magazine into place and waited for the splinters of wood to stop flying off the corners of her make-shift fort. Once it had died down, she laid on the floor and arched around the crates. Taking careful aim, she emptied the entire clip in the direction of the group with the rocket launchers. All but one fell over dead, escaping back into the rooms they arose from. She ducked back behind the wooden boxes and reloaded quickly.

Despite being badly outnumbered, the Party Crashers were in complete control. Dozens had been killed and little by little, the numbers kept increasing. During the fray, a particular brave, or maybe suicidal, pegasus and unicorn pair had made been making their way down the side of the building, trying to hide behind the jets in front of them. They had been lucky so far, avoiding the bullets that had flown their way over the course of the fight. Once they were behind the second closest jet to Pinkie and her troops, the unicorn's horn glowed and the cockpit window opened. Using the body of the plane for cover, the pegasus flew in and sat down, closing the glass behind him.

The biege pegasus started up the engine and the unicorn ran off covering his ears. The loud blast of thrusters stole the Party Crashers' attention. It slowly crept forward, the pilot intending to use its gatling guns against the team.

"Colonel!" Loo shouted. "You got my baby handy?"

A grenade exploded a few feet from the forklift, raising it a foot off the ground and almost toppling it. The pegasi managed to push it back onto its wheels. Belle extended her shield to protect her from the shrapnel. Celestia's depleting forces were getting desperate.

"Yeah, you want it?"

"Yeah, hoof it over!"

Pinkie tossed her machine gun onto the floor and reached behind herself. With a small amount of strain, she lifted Loo's favorite weapon, her M-134 Minigun, fully loaded with an excessively long cartridge and ready to go. Despite its size and weight, Pinkie somehow almost effortlessly slid it across the floor. Loo set down her current weapon and brought the minigun to a stop with her hoof, picking it up and wrapping the strap across her body in one fluid motion.

"Rainbow, I'm going need you to hold me up from behind and carry some of the ammo over your shoulder. This thing weighs quite a bit and has a shitload of kick," Loo instructed.

The blue pegasus nodded and stood up, ducking from a couple of ricochets off the floor and slammed shut door behind her. She holstered her sidearms and lifted up the heavy chain of bullets, slinging it clumsily over her body as Loo told her. The weight of the ammunition nearly threw her off-balance. What she didn't have hanging off of her, Rainbow dragged on the floor. It took a lot of effort to pull it, but thanks to the adrenaline pumping through her system, it could have been worse.

Once she was comfortable, Rainbow pushed against her pegasus partner with as much effort as she could muster. Loo understood that she was ready and inched forward until she had a clear shot at the moving plane. With a dry smirk and tensing muscles, she squeezed the trigger handle and the six long barrels spun to life, exploding in a violent flurry of muzzle flashes and a cacophony of destruction. Within seconds, shell casings littered the floor. Rainbow almost slipped off her hooves when the recoil and the obscenely loud gunfire hit. The girls' bodies vibrated so hard from the sheer amount of force the weapon of war was giving off that Rainbow thought the two of them were going to shake the teeth out of their own skulls.

The pilot's heart skipped a few beats and he yanked his head down into the cockpit when the glass broke apart in front of him. Almost immediately after, his body disintegrated behind what he thought was the safety of a metal shell. Blood splattered all over what remained of the cockpit cover.

The minigun powered its way through the alloy, tearing through it like tin foil. In a matter of seconds, the nose was shredded to pieces. Loo aimed further right, inflicting the same amount of abuse to the body and guts of the jet. Fuel pooled onto the floor as the vehicle crawled its way across the compound.

"Luna, I love this thing!" Loo shouted a little too enthusiastically.

The pegasus ceased firing, not wanting to accidentally cause a spark and set the fuel ablaze. The rapidly spinning barrels clacked to a halt and Loo took the lead, stepping out from her hiding spot. Rainbow followed her, still carrying the ammunition chain's cartridge over her shoulder and dragging it on the floor. The sky blue mare looked at all the empty casings on the floor and blinked hard in disbelief at the sheer number of them.

A large majority of the personnel was dead or about to be at this point. Loo watched the plane pass by before moving forward. It rolled in the direction of the burning control tower. Smoke was trickling in from under the door that led to the staircase that brought ponies to the room. The cables and electronics that made up most of the upstairs facility had started catching fire, inching its way toward the hangar. Once the mauled jet's thrusters were safely past the group, Loo took heavy steps forward. Rainbow continued to lug the minigun's ammunition uncomfortably.

"They're trying to run. Come on, let's finish this!" the overzealous pegasus demanded.

"Remember, Loo, you still have your orders. Empty that thing and get to the offices," Pinkie reminded her.

"Yeah, I know."

A.B., Belle and Pinkie charged ahead, firing at anything that moved. They were starting to run low on ammunition, but fortunately for them, there were a lot of corpses not using their weapons laying around the facility. Rainbow and Loo marched forward with purpose. The leader eventually stopped and turned to the right, facing some of the other planes in the building. When Rainbow leaned into her, Loo swung the barrels right as hard as the weapon's weight allowed and fired again. She swayed her body left, cutting one jet's nose cone after another to ribbons.

Barely two total minutes worth of annihilation passed before the minigun was depleted of its ammunition. Once it was obvious that it had nothing left, Loo hoisted it off her body and dropped it casually to the floor. Rainbow got the hint and let the now-empty cartridge down as well. The orange mare ran back to the forklift and grabbed her machine gun again. She checked the magazine before returning to her fellow pegasus. It was mostly full. Good enough.

Loo sprinted back to her unwanted partner, checking one last time to see if her team needed any assistance. By this point, most of the soldiers were dead and largely untrained workers were left. They were more than fine.

"OK, let's get this done. Stick close to me, and don't do anything stupid, got it?" Loo asked in a patronizing manner.

Despite an irritated smirk, Rainbow nodded and followed Loo to the only door that didn't lead outside or to the tower that directed air traffic. It had to eventually lead to the main control room. Loo was weary when she approached the entrance. She saw that some soldiers had emerged with rockets earlier. There were likely other things inside like a mess hall, bathroom facilities, weapons storage, and barracks, which could mean any number of enemies may be waiting for them.

The gung ho pegasus leaned up against the wall next to the door, ready to swing it open. She took a quick glance left and behind her. There was a string of windows in a row that lead almost to the end of the building. Loo noticed that Belle was keeping an extra eye on them, so the pegasus had nothing to worry about. If there was anything going on inside, her partners would take them down quickly.

A sudden crunch near where they were originally fighting grabbed their attention. The mangled plane crashed into the first floor wall that housed the door to the control tower's staircase. Half of it had disappeared before it lost its momentum completely and came to a stop. The upper floors came crashing down on the jet, breaking the wheels off the landing extensions. Loo laughed at the devastation and smirked happily at Rainbow, who responded with a terribly awkward grin.

"Now, when we get inside, we take out the ponies first, then swing back and take out the equipment. Once we're finished, we'll grab some weapons and food, if they have any, for the return trip. We'll sweep the first floor, then check the second. Clear?" Loo asked.

"I don't know how much I have left in these things," Rainbow said, patting one of her holsters.

"I have some extras in case you need it. Don't worry."

Rainbow nodded and gulped hard as she pulled out one of her weapons. This was going to be worse than the original fight. She was going to be stuck in a series of narrow corridors with a semi-psychotic mare with a high probability of being shot at, and there was likely going to be nowhere to go if things suddenly got ugly.

Loo took a deep breath and silently turned the knob until it could go no further. She whipped the door open and swung back behind the wall for cover. Nothing came. Slowly, she peaked inside with her gun barrel protectively in front of her. The hallway was empty. So far, so good. The crept inside as quietly as their clopping hooves allowed.

Rainbow kept a nervous yet vigilant eye on the hall as they went while Loo burst open door after door and had found each room empty of anything important so far. They had come across the mess hall and kitchen so far, neither room having any resistance. One open archway found on the left led upstairs, so they passed it by for later. Another room found on the right of the longest hallway contained a lot of computers and machinery, including the security equipment. The room had some of the windows they spotted earlier. Loo decided against taking a look outside, lest Belle inadvertently shoot at her. Besides, she knew her teammates would be alright.

They cautiously approached the last door on the left at the end of the hall. It had been too quiet for their liking, but considering what kind of hell they had raised, it was completely possible that anypony still alive was hiding in a corner somewhere, waiting until they left, or preparing an ambush.

Loo carefully twisted the doorknob like she had a few times already. Throwing the door open, she stepped inside and looked right, into the meat of the room. There was a table in the middle and a few countertops to the near right side of the room as well as the far side. A projection screen was draped on the wall opposite the door. Nopony was home.

Another door on the near wall tempted Loo. She flicked on the light switch and, seeing a glow peering out from the door frame, jumped away, ready to fire at anypony who came out. After a moment, she kicked open the door only to find a closet with no place to hide. With a snort, the pegasus turned around and walked back toward the hall.

A couple thumps on the floor outside stopped Loo dead in her tracks. Rainbow spun and found the source: Two small grayish egg-shaped things. Loo's irises shrank and she quickly grabbed Rainbow by the shoulders, throwing her to the open side of the room and reaching for the door to slam it shut just as fast.

Just as the door closed, the two grenades exploded, throwing Loo against the wall with a painful grunt. A few large, broken pieces of what used to be the door slammed into her body. Between being thrown into the wall and crushed by plates of two-inch thick wood, it was a miracle she wasn't thrown through the building. It felt like her nose may have broken and a few ribs cracked, which would explain the sudden trouble she had breathing. The shockwave knocked the table to its side, partially concealing Rainbow. The blast knocked quite a bit of wind out of her as well.

Despite being in a lot of pain, she reached for her weapon and started to crawl into the closet. They had been discovered and she needed to hide quickly in an effort to counter the surprise attack, no matter how banged up she may be.

Two pegasi stallions, one light green with a silver and blue streaked mane and another white with chestnut hair, landed in the doorway. They spotted Loo barely into the small room. When she heard them touch down, she ceased trying to hide in the hopes of getting a good shot or two off, but in her injured state, she was having trouble lifting her gun.

Her two assailants smirked at each other and raised their firearms at her.


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