• Published 9th May 2022
  • 2,673 Views, 127 Comments

The Ace - Erstwhile Tail

  • ...

"Sundial, do you read me? Over."

Author's Note:

NOTE: Dogfight, used in this context, means close quarters aerial combat, not illegal k-9 fighting. I have little clue why it is called that but if someone knows good for them.

John and William roared into the airfield, the air-raid sirens screaming and wailing their screechy warning. John weaved through the planes and fuel lorries moving about. Sargent Cock was spitting orders, telling squadrons to get off the ground, reload the planes as well as refuel them. He spotted the 2 men and waved them down, John roared up right next to him.

"You 2, get your Spitfires ready, estimates say over 100 possibly close to 200. Everything from 109s, 190s, bombers, God knows what else." Sg. Cock said, "we cannot let them get past the Dover Cliffs, use the storm against them, use it as cover."

"Right, we're on it!" John said, before the 2 men disembarked and made a dash for their aircraft. The twins shutting the ammunition panels, and the fuel tanks, both being full to the brim. The twins tossed them their flight jackets, along with their oxygen masks and their life vests, both men quickly dawning them before clambering into their cockpits. John started the mighty Rolls Royce Merlin engine, the propeller began to spin, the engine sputtering into life, the roar was deafening, John plugged in his headset, the sound of the engine decreased decently in his ears. He looked over his left wing, seeing William's plane starting to roll down the field, he stuck his arm out the canopy and signaled for John to follow. John gave the thumbs up and took the brake off. The spitfire began to roll. John closed his canopy, then pushed the throttle to the max, getting his airspeed up. William, ahead, was already leaving the ground. John felt the tail lift off, then he slowly felt the weight of the Spitfire being put on the wings, and off the wheels. The landing gear left the ground, and the mighty spitfire, was in the air ready to defend freedom.

"John, Bandit on your 6 high!" A voice, John couldn't make out who's, shouted into his headset.

John whipped his head around, trying desperately to find the... there. A German Faulkner 190, a deadly fighter in the hands of a skilled pilot. The 190 rolled inverted, then dove. Tracer bullets whizzed past the canopy. John kicked the rudder to the left, and yanked the stick back and to the left, the spitfire, rolled upward, quickly losing airspeed. The 190 overshot, John quickly leveled out and dove trying to regain speed, the 190 off to his right. Then it suddenly started spewing fire from the engine, the canopy popped off, John could make out the pilot trying to get out. Only for the Fighter's fuel tanks to catch and the plane exploded. The pieces falling back down to the Sea below. John looked back to see the markings on a well known ace, nicknamed 'The Flying Knight'. He gave a rock of his wings, before banking right, back into the storm clouds below, and into the dogfight in it.

John took a breath and steeled his nerves. "We shall defend our Island, whatever the cost may be..."

The words of Winston Churchill rang in his mind.

He rolled the spitfire inverted and dove towards the clouds. The cloud floor rushed up to meet him, right before the fighter broke the bank, John rolled to the left banking in a wide downward arc. He scanned what little of the sky he could. Trying to find the enemy.

"On your wing John."

John glanced over his left shoulder and saw William's Spitfire, John thought he could see bullet holes in the rear of the fuselage, but he couldn't focus on that, 3 Bf-109s crossed their flight path, John threw open the throttle, banking sharply to get on the inside of their turn, hoping to get an angle to try down them. Rain began to appear on the canopy glass, lightning jumping from cloud to cloud. Suddenly the sky was lit up by a bolt of lightning striking a plane, it's fuel igniting breaking apart the plane. John was unable to tell who it was on. Only that who ever it was, was surely dead.

John forced that thought out of his mind as he set his sights on the 3 German fighters, John closed the distance, getting within 100 yards and pointed the nose of the craft just ahead of the trailing 109. And squeezed the trigger for his 2 cannons. The 2 guns roared as the bullets raced to their target. John adjusted his aim as the tracers fell short, the 109 suddenly reversed his turn having spotted him. John stopped firing and banked to follow, letting his cannons fire again. This time his aim was true, and the 109 began to belch smoke out of the engine, the German fighter then began to drift towards the ground. The canopy opening and the pilot bailing out. John lost him in the storm, he however didn't have time to even smile as a distress call was relayed by Sundial ground control.

"William's got the other 2 bandits on his 6 o'clock! Help him out!"

John pitched the plane to the right, then the left, trying to spot his friend, they had been separated in the frenzy. Desperately searching for his friend. In the frenzy they had gotten separated. Finally he spotted the 3 planes. The spitfire caught in a tight turn, the 2 109s trying to get on the British fighter's inside to get a shot on it.

John was about 500-700 feet above him, he rolled his plane and pulled back on the stick, forcing the Spitfire into a sharp rolling dive.

"William, roll left on my mark!" John called into his radio.

"Rodger that!" William called.

The gap was closing fast, to fast. John cut back power, the plane started to slow as John began to match the turn, he knew at the speed he was doing, which was roughly 350 mph when John glanced at the air speedometer, he wouldn't be able to land a accurate shot on either of the Germans, he decided to scare them.


William reversed his turn, the 109s followed, one getting a shot off, John couldn't tell if he was hit or not. John followed the 2 Germans into the turn, he gave off a quick burst of his machine guns, surprisingly he was able to hit one of the 2 fighters. He was about to pull up to try and lose airspeed to try and get a more accurate hit, then his radio crackled.

"Sundia-KSSSSS storm is ge Ksssss se, repeat storm is Worskss Abort no-" the radio went dead.

"Sundial, Sundial do you read me over?" John said into the radio.

Only static.

"John MOUNTAIN!" William's voice yelled. John's head snapped up, in time to see a wall of purplish rock break out of the clouds,

"Oh bloody fuck!" John yelled, pulling the stick back, jamming it deep into his gut. The Spitfire clawed for altitude, John held his breath, then he spotted the top of the pass. Having cleared it, John leveled out, he was above the storm now. He looked to his left, nothing but clouds, with the occasional break to reveal countryside, and smaller mountains and hills. He could have sworn he saw something flying around, too agile to be a plane, but too large to be any bird he knew of.

"John where the hell did that come from?" A voice came over his radio.

John, turning to his right, seeing William's spitfire, several bullet holes were in the fuselage, and there was fuel, and maybe oil leaking out of the bottom of the plane.

John replied into his radio, "I have no idea, I could have sworn we were over the channel the whole time... and a mountain that tall, I'm not sure Britain has a mountain that tall, and certainly not this close to Dover. Hey, it looks like you're leaking something, I'm going to see how bad it is."

John maneuvered his plane down so that he could inspect the bottom of Williams, sure enough several holes in the plane's belly had liquid spilling out of it.

"You need to land sooner than later, your leaking something ba-"

Tracer rounds shot past John's canopy impacting William's spitfire, the mighty British built fighter pitched over and began to stall. John rolled to the left, trying to avoid the attack, while he did, he saw the 2 109s as they shot past, before each banked to the left and the right, making a pincher maneuver, perhaps trying to catch both his flanks, as he could only defend against one of the 2. John knew the odds were not in his favor, so he rolled inverted and pulled back on the stick, the spitfire being forced into a steep dive. John followed the stalling William, making a break for the clouds.

John glanced to his left, then his right, the 109s were following close behind, John looked ahead in time to see William's Spitfire disappear into the clouds, John tensed ready to pull back on the throttle, suddenly there were several pings. John instinctively ducked, once they stopped, he rose his head back up, seeing the several bullet holes in the canopy, smoke was beginning to come out of a couple holes in his engine covers. John couldn't likely take another burst like that. John finally reached the clouds, instead of diving into them, he leveled out then used his wing to kick up a sort of smoke screen whilst making a tight left. Hopefully he would be hidden.

After a few seconds, John pulled back on the stick, the plane rising. He rolled inverted, and scanned the clouds, seeing 3 planes, 2 109s not noticing he'd gotten the upper hand, as they were chasing down the third plane, the heavily damaged Spitfire that was Williams. Even if William by some miracle was unscathed there was no way all his flaps and his plane would last long. John punched the throttle, the Rolls Royce engine responding with a will. John pulling back on the stick, forced the plane to dive, he rolled right side up, leveling off putting the second 109 into the crosshairs. John rapidly approached the German plane, when they were only a few hundred feet apart, John squeezed the trigger, the cannons and machine guns opened fired, sparks and flames sparked from the 109, the canopy popped, falling to earth, the pilot, jumping out, was on fire. His parachute, was also on fire, as it only provided some downward drift before the cables ablaze snapped and the pilot plummeted flailing. John wore a grim face as he saw that happen, no pilot should die like that. The flaming 109 began to spiral out of control. Part of the left wing sheering off, before disappearing into the clouds.

John looked up in time to see the second 109's 20mm cannon fire several rounds into his friends plane. Flames sprouting from the fuselage and the engine.

"WILLIAM!" John yelled into the radio, "Bail, get the FUCK out of the plane!"

There was no response.



"Sundial, this is Blow Torch, Requesting back up!"

"Sundial do you copy!?"

There was no response.

"Sundial, do you read me over!?"

William's Spitfire's fuel tank exploded, and the plane disintegrated. Flaming pieces falling down to earth, as John watched in horror.

Rainbow dash hated cleaning up others messes, the Wonderbolts had been deployed to clean up a 'cloud curtain' a name for the rare accident where the pressure of the tanks where water vapor was stored ruptured and was unleased uncontrollably. The water vapor, in the higher altitudes became clouds. Essentially becoming a curtain to the heavens. It was taking far too long to clean up. Even with the combined expertise of the Wonderbolts, plus several teams of weather patrols from across Equestria, the job would take a days maybe a couple weeks.

Spitfire, seeing the frustration on her newbie's face, chuckled.

"Cheer up Crash, when I was first recruited, we had a similar incident, except with thunder clouds." She seemed to shudder a bit, as her confident relaxed smile disappeared with a grimace, before returning, "I cannot tell you how many ice packs we went through that night... or the weeks after."

Rainbow groaned, "You're telling me that it took you WEEKS to clear it up!? Is this going to take as long?" She quickly realized what she had just said to her Captain, seeing her raised eyebrow, "Not that I, Uh... don't mind the hard work, I just..."

"Wish you were racing? Yeah I found out there's a lot more to the Wonderbolts then racing and performances, there is quite a lot of responsibility, not that I don't enjoy the performances, but there is more to it." Spitfire rested a hoof on Rainbow's shoulder.

Rainbow was about to say more, when Spitfire's face suddenly turned into one of confusion and concern. She turned to Soarin, who was ducking in and out of a nearby chunk of cloud.

"Hey Soarin, where's the nearest weather patrol?"

Soarin poked his head out of the top of the cloud, and pointed to the north. "uh... The Canterlot 5th shift... maybe 5 miles give or take, why?"

"Then who the hay are they?" she pointed a hoof, Rainbow Dash looked over her shoulder she saw, what she at first thought were pegasi, no... too large, and loud, they had to be close to a mile away maybe even a mile and a half. Perhaps they were griffins, though why griffins of all creatures would be in this detail was beyond her.

The sound of popping quickly crashed her flight of thought, as one of the flying creatures started to trail something, smoke? Was it on fire?

"That's... aerial combat..." Spitfire said slowly, no sooner had she said this then they disappeared into the clouds, one spinning out of control. Even more smoke trailing behind it.

"Move, we got to break them up before somepony on the ground get's hurt, Ponyville isn't too far!" Spitfire ordered.

The 3 Wonderbolts tore across the sky heading towards the fighting creatures.