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

The Ace - Erstwhile Tail

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Like falling stars, that's how John would have described the flaming debris, as it fell to Earth. The once mighty war machine, was now only reduced to scrap metal.

"William, do you read over!? For God's sake please respond!" John cried into the radio, but in his heart, he knew. William was gone. His best friend of almost 4 years, was gone. His family would never see him again.

It shouldn't have ended like this, it shouldn't have gone down like this. Fuck why were they even at war!?



The 109 banked right suddenly, and John almost didn't react, it was his training that saved him. As he instinctively pitched up and banked sharply left, as he saw tracer rounds whip past him.

"Damn Fritz!" John yelled, "You'll pay for what you did!"

The 109 responded with cannon fire, the German pilot also wanted some revenge it seemed. But John wanted it more. The Spitfire needed airspeed, and the high ground, both of which he was lacking, John rolled the plane inverted and dove for the Clouds. A quick glance in the now cracked stolen mirror, told John that the 109 was daring enough to follow him.

The clouds were only 400m away.

The 109 was closing.


John rocked the plane left and right, trying his hardest to keep the Spitfire out of the sights of the German 109.



John hit the cloud curtain, and pulled the stick back so hard, he thought it would come off, the plane shuddered and groaned in protest of such a maneuver, the already damaged airframe not wanting to take any more. But it held. John was hidden from sight, however, so was the 109. He broke back through the top of the clouds, quickly gaining altitude. He leveled off, and scanned for the 109.

"Where are you? You Fritz Bast-" John stopped as he saw a glint in the distance, he strained to make out what it was, then something grey and yellow broke through the clouds, THE 109!

John, a red mist having descended over himself, dove after the enemy plane, who by the looks of it hadn't seen him. They neared the mountains from only about 5 minutes earlier, the 109 suddenly rolled inverted and dove straight down into the clouds. John hesitated for only a second, before quickly following.

It only took a few seconds to dive through the clouds, when he burst through, the 109 had dived to the right, he followed the side of the mountain. John looked towards the ground, they were in the middle of a land mass. One he did not recognize. For a second he pondered where he could be. He then pushed that thought out of his mind for now, if he spent to much time thinking, he'd be dead.

He followed the German, but with a slightly tighter angle trying to get on the inside of the German fighter. The 2 fighters circled the mountain, and with each pass they got lower and lower to the deck, and with every pass John got closer and closer to where he could down the German with his guns.

The 109 suddenly reversed his turn to the left, avoiding what could only be described as a castle, as John banked to the left to follow, he saw a whole city nestled into the side of the mountain, something that he had not been expecting. Most of the buildings looked of German heritage, however the colors were much to bright.

The 109 banked back towards the castle, John banking sharper to cut into the 109's. John squeezed the trigger, 3 of the 4 .50 cals and his twin cannons fired, but the 109 reversed it's bank and thread the needle through 2 tall towers, the bullets that John had fired peppered the towers, and the larger structures around them. John noted that one of his .50 cals had either been jammed or destroyed as it wasn't firing.

He rolled sideways and flew between the towers, still on the German's tail. Suddenly the German pulled up and banked to the right, it's landing flaps being deployed, the nose came around. And just as the Spitfire passed under it, a hail of lead peppered the British built fighter. John instinctively rolled to the right under the barrage to avoid them. But when John looked back after he passed under the fighter, the 109 was no where to be seen. He had lost visual contact with the Bandit. John rose a thousand feet to scan for the fighter,

He soon spotted the 109 it had been circling the castle, at first John thought of pouncing on such a opportunity, but given the fact he was alone, his wingman was... downed, and he had no radio contact. He could be over enemy territory, he could bug out try to find his way to friendly airspace, but looking at the flag above the castle, the colors were like nothing he'd ever seen, he knew every country in Europe, and he was fairly sure he'd remember a color that shade of blue. Likely it was a neutral country... John hoped

Taking this into consideration, John dove on the German fighter. Quickly gaining speed as he traded altitude for speed. The German must have spotted him, and coming to similar conclusions based on the flag, he opted to bug out, heading towards the edge of the city, where there was nothing but a sheer cliff overlooking a much larger valley. If the 109 got there, there would be little chance of catching it, as it would be able to dive and gain airspeed and bug out or gain a advantage over the spitfire and get a second victory that day.

John glanced at his fuel gauge. There was a hole twice the size of his thumb in it, evidently a bullet had gone through it at one point. He had no idea how much fuel he had left. "Sod it..." He muttered, and pushed the throttle to maximum, feeling the plane accelerate, John's finger hovered over the trigger, as he closed the distance between them. He steadied himself, switching off his cannons, in favor of his, .50 caliber machine guns, he would need to get closer.

He closed the distance, the 109 was on his 12 O’clock low, when they would dive over the cliff, he would be right on it's 6 o'clock ready to unleash his 3 machine guns. John cursed as he realized he would overshoot the 109 and possibly put the Spitfire in the German's crosshairs. John throttled back and jammed the stick into his gut, he needed to slow down. The plane suddenly stalled and began to lose too much airspeed before the engine itself, cocked out, having been starved of fuel because of the odd way the injectors worked.

The propeller stopped spinning. John felt himself falling, physics immediately took over, and the plane corrected itself, the nose turning to face downward. John saw that the cliff had been passed, and the 109 was in a nose dive, almost directly in front of him. John fumbled for the starter, the engine refusing to start as he jabbed it. He checked the magneto, it was in the correct position. He grabbed the lever that pressurized the plane's hydraulics, giving it 5 tugs, then pulled the plunger choke, and pulled it 4 times, forcing fuel into the carburetors, then flipped the starter switch, and prayed.

There was a cough, then a splutter as the propeller turned lazily, then faster, before becoming a blur. The Rolls-Royce Merlin engine roaring back into life, John throttled up as the plane began to surge forward faster than gravity's pull, the mighty engine thundering, the distance between the 2 planes closing. The feeling of accelerating downward was an odd one, you were being pushed into the back of your seat, but you were facing downward. It almost made John sick sometimes.

John neared the German, he would most certainly overshoot, he reactivated his 20 mms, he closed the distance, and rested his finger on the trigger, letting the German line up in his gunsights. John wanted to make sure this Fritz would never sit in a pilot's seat again.

The 5 operational weapons fired, a few rounds hit, putting holes in the body of the 109. The 2 20mm cannons ran out of ammo, their barrels falling silent. Bits and pieces of 109 fell off, some pinging off John's spitfire. The German didn't take kindly to that. His prop slowed slightly, then the elevators lifted to full, pulling up his nose and the plane leveled, whilst full rudder was applied while banking right, putting the Luftwaffe plane into a flat spin stall. A dangerous maneuver that was nearly impossible to escape from once it got going (even in today's world).

"Bloody hell..." John exclaimed, "He's gone mad!" He banked to the left, to avoid the spinning warbird, but when he passed the 109, it's nose was pointing at the Spitfire's starboard wing. Time slowed, as several flashes from the 109 and sharp pinging in his Starboard wing made John cringe, and grimace. A sharp pain went through his right arm, but he couldn't focus on that. The sun for one was in his eyes, wait, there was an overcast. He turned to his starboard wing to see it ablaze, the remaining fuel or the bottom fuel tank in front of the cockpit, had leaked into the wing and caught fire, and with the disabled .50 cal still having a lot of it's ammo, how long till that went off? John had to land. The building heat alone was enough to warrant such a emergency landing.

As for the 109, even if it did recover from it's flat spin, there was little chance of it making it back over the channel, or wherever they were, with the amount of damage it has sustained in the dogfight. John leveled out the plane, and throttled back. He saw what looked to be a suitable place to land, a wide open field, the land below however, was unlikely to be perfect, it would be difficult to land with a mint condition plane, and damn near impossible a heavily damaged one.

He lowered the craft even more, trying to get as low as possible, he expertly controlled his craft, constantly glancing over at the ball of fire that was sprouting from his wing, it was getting close to the ammo box, and there wasn't time to climb for an safe bail out. He lowered the landing flaps, feeling himself decelerate. Suddenly there was a loud bang.

He looked to his damaged wing, the fire had reached the ammo box. John raised his arms to cover his face from the impending doom. The bullet's in the ammo box went off, ripping through the wing frame. There was the sound of bending and snapping metal then suddenly the plane was rolling sideways uncontrollably. It hit the ground and John, now only a passenger in this crazy ride, was being thrown around in his seat, before his head hit the canopy glass, and he was knocked unconscious.

Rainbow Dash tore across the sky, Spitfire and Soarin close behind, they dove below the clouds. Canterlot and the 2 mystery creatures in the distance. Suddenly there was a cracking sounds, and dust rose from the castle. Then smoke.

"Looks like they're taking their fight to the ground! You got to break them up!" Spitfire called to Rainbow, "You're the fastest!"

Rainbow gave a salute, before making a dive, quickly gaining speed. Her mane's colors streaking behind her. She felt the air condense in front of her, she pushed harder.

One of the birds was circling, then it rolled and followed the other, a strange roaring noise could be heard. Rainbow hopped that he wasn't hurting anypony. She pushed herself to her limit, as she raced a few hundred feet over the streets of Canterlot, then the birds disappeared over the side of the cliff, and into the valley where Ponyville resided. She began to climb, before seeing one of the birds, spinning on it's belly. It had an odd '+' sign on it's extended wings, a yellow head like thing, and a black nose. Not to mention the odd fur color scheme.

The other had some circles on the side, and the coat was more camo colored, with a white belly. That one was on fire, and fleeing the spinning one.

Rainbow knew how dangerous a flat spin could be, and looking at the bird, or whatever it was, there was no way with that speed of descent, it could pull out in time to escape. It needed help. She dove for it.

She felt the air condense and then part for her, making a cone shape. The strange bird was still stuck in a flat spin stall. She gave one final push, breaking the sound barrier, flaming rainbow waves spread out in her wake, The Sonic Rainboom.

Dash saw that there was a flat bit on the tail of the strange bird, timing herself she flew opposite of the way it was spinning, the wake of which stopped the flat spin, physics then allowed it to go forward, but it would be to slow, and the animal, which now that Dash had gotten closer looked more like a machine than anything else, would likely not get enough lift before it hit the ground, so she pulled a high G 270 Degree turn, to be positioned so that she would pass under the tail and exit under the front of the strange craft.

She passed under having lost some speed in the turn but still moving quite fast. Her hair whipping around. Her forehead exposed, something speckled her face. It felt extremely warm. Some of them burned her cheeks. She cringed from the pain. She wiped some of it away, it felt slick and smooth but had a bit of a grainy feel to it. Dash glanced back. The plane had barely gotten any speed and was still falling quite rapidly.

She spread her wings vertically her airspeed rapidly dropped as she used then like an air brake. The strange craft overshot her, she rolled as the spinning propeller passed over her. She didn’t fancy becoming a red mist. Once she was under the plane she quickly leveled her wings and quickly matched the speed of the metal object.

With a grunt she pushed up on the craft with her fore-hooves, and strained upward. Trying to gain altitude. If she couldn’t get it back in the air she would at least try to make it as smooth a landing as possible.

She pushed up for what felt like hours but soon her rear hooves scraped something. She glanced down. The dirt road that lead to Sweet Apple Acres. She strained as more of that weird black liquid spilled out of the plane in several places leaving a trail behind them. It now covered her face. It burned like nothing she’d ever experienced before. Smoke was now pouring out of the craft. It choked Rainbow. She couldn’t see it had covered her goggles. She had to bail, or risk being crushed.

She spread her wings wide vertically and let go of the craft. As she slid back she flapped trying to control herself in the odd airflow the propeller made. Then her left wing hit something and there was a hollow thud and the sound of bone breaking. She fell. Hitting the dirt road. She rolled grunting as her face slammed against the dirt. Flesh being rubbed away at the dirt road. She slid for a few hundred feet before coming to a stop.

Dash cracked open an eye. Her soot and liquid covered goggles had been torn from her face during the fall. Groaning, she tried to get up but her vision swam and she collapsed back to the ground. She tasted blood. There were tons of scrapes and scratches. Some bleeding more than others. One was on her upper forehead. Rainbow Dash watched helplessly as the craft soared towards Sweet Apple Acres. It had no way of stopping or evading.

“Applejack…” Dash tried to call out. But the sound was only a small groan and a wheeze. Nopony heard her. Her eyes rolled back into her head, and her head fell to the ground. Her breathing getting shallower with every breath.