• Published 13th Feb 2013
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The Gathering Strom Part III: Cyclone - WiskeyMikeOne



The highly anticipated third part of The Oncoming Storm sires of fan fiction created by WiskeyMikeOne

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Chapter Seven: Operation Bookmark

Chapter Seven
Operation: Bookmark

The engines of the C-130 were so loud I had to communicate with the rest of the assault team using hoof signals. It had now been a month and half since Dashie came up with the idea of an air assault on Twilight's palace and I have to say it was a good one.

We would jump at 30,000 feet, deploy our wings at 1,000 feet and glide on to the target building. We called the jump a HALO jump which stood for High Altitude Low Opening. I was sat right next to the ramp, Dashie was sat opposite me but I could hardly tell it was her thanks to the flight helmet and the lights in the C-130 were out.

“You okay Whirlwind!?” yield Dashie.

“Yeah, you?”

She nodded her head. During the whole six hours of the flight that’s all Dashie asked me. I knew she was concerned about me; this was after all me facing my nemesis. I stood up and made my way down the ranks of Pegasus, they all seemed calm and focused but I knew they were shaking in there jump suites.

My incident with Twilight and Celestia in the High Court of Canterlot was legendary amongst the men of the NLR armed forces and the civilians back home. The crew chief emerged from the cockpit and walked over to me, he shouted down my ear.

“5 minutes!”

“Got it!” I replied.

I made my way to the ramp and turned to face the paras. I pulled on my flight suit to signal the men that it was time to get ready and from them to check each other’s equipment. Dashie checked my oxygen and my weapon bag that’s was strapped to my chest, she tapped me on my helmet to tell me my equipment was okay.

The red light came on next to the ramp; we all gathered together and prepared ourselves from the jump. I nodded at the crew chief to open the ramp. I always found the whine of the opening ramp unnerving. The cloud cover below the plane blocked the view of Equestria. For most of the paras this would have been there first time seeing Equestria since there banishment or there rescue during Operation Wave. The green light blinked, we all ran towards the edge.

Within moments of us jumping we broke through the cloud cover. Twilight's place was directly below us. I looked to my left and saw some of the paras free falling alongside me then I looked to my right, Dashie was there, she smiled at me. My altitude gauge on my wrist buzzed an intermittent beep we had to wait until the continuance tone was heard; the palace was getting really close. I could now see trees and the statues in the courtyard. The tone change to continuance.

“Deploy!” I order into the radio.

I opened my wings as did the rest of the paras and we glided down. I could see a solider patrolling the outer wall which was also our landing zone; it was too risky to pull out my weapon and fired at him, what if I missed? So I did the only thing I could do, I unsheathed my sword and landed on top of him.

“Geez Whirlwind a stun sword really? Get with the times.” said Dashie as we landed on the DZ.

“Don’t worry I do have my blaster. Besides a sword is a lot more quieter than a blaster. All call signs this is Night Fury proceed with mission, target call sign is Bookmark. Out.”

“Kilo One roger.”

“Lemma One roger.”

“Uniform One roger.”

“Victor One roger.”

“Golf One roger.”

“Whiskey team on me.” I ordered.

The palace was so quite all could be heard was the gentle flapping of our wings as we made our way down the corridor. I had replaced my altitude gauge with a live map of the place interior, the other teams where highlighted in green.

“Two tangos down in section Charlie 7.Over.”

“Roger that Victor One. Out.” I looked down at my map; two red X’s signaled the fallen enemies.

“Everypony maintained current speed of assault, not to far now.”

Seconds felt like minutes, minutes felt like hours but we made it to Twilight's bed chamber on time and undetected. We grouped together in the crossing corridors just outside her bed chamber. Lemma covered the left corridor, Victor the right, Golf covered the corridor at 12 o’clock, I and Whiskey team stacked up on Twilight's door.

Rainbow had her hoof on the right door handle; I had the one on the left. I was shaking and breathing heavily but slow. Dashie tapped my shoulder, I knew what she meant “Focus, now not the time to let your fear get the best of you”. I tapped her to say I was fine but my hoof was shaking like a leaf which didn't fill me with confidence. I swallowed my fear and opened the door.

I went left, Dashie went right and three soldiers followed her. My blaster was fixed on Twilight's bed that was on top of some marble stairs. The soldiers swept the room to make sure nopony was guarding her. When we got the signal that it was all clear we all moved slowly up to the bed.

I could see a bulge in the bed, somepony was defiantly in it. Dashie peeled back the covers, it was Twilight. Her horn glowed and the covers were pulled from Dashies hoof and gently cover Twilight. I couldn't breathe, I looked at Dashie she was in the same state of shock that I was. After whipping the sweat off of my brow I took aim at Twilight's forehead.

It felt wrong and right at the same time, I finally face my demon but shooting her while she slept felt like I was cheating, a battle would make me feel like that I earned my victory.

My wish came true. Suddenly the palace's alarm went off, Twilight’s eyes opened; her covers were thrown in my face. I could hear the sound of blaster fire, magic bolts and the grunts of my men. When I finally released myself from the covers, all of my men were down, Dashie was flying high and dodging Twilight's stun bolts, they lit the dark room in a menacing red light. I raised my weapon, aimed and pulled the trigger. The dead man’s click was all I heard; in my excitement I forgot to cock my weapon. Twilight turned and spotted me, her horn glowed but Dashie flew down and grabbed Twilight by her neck before she could fire.

“Whirl, your sword use it!” shouted Dashie as Twilight tried to shake her off.

I unsheathed my sword and ran towards Twilight. Everything seemed to slow down I could feel my heart racing and I could only hear myself breathing. Dashie was bucked from Twilight back and landed on the bed; Twilight fired a blot at me. I jumped and flipped, the bolt passed underneath me. Twilight was now mine; I swung my sword harder and faster than I ever did before.

Landing on the other side of the bedroom I could hear the sound of lightning and whining. I turned to see Alicorn Twilight glow white then shrink back down to the normal size of a filly, her wings were gone. She fell to the floor, her decapitated horn landed a few moments later on the marble floor with a loud ping.

I and Dashie looked at each other; we paused and tried to make sense of what just happened. The bedroom door flew open.

“Sir there is only a few of us left, was have to get out of here now!”

“What?”

“The whole of the palace guard are right outside, is there a way out in this room sir?”

“No windows no nothing.” said Dashie.

“Then we just have to fight our way out.” I said whilst finally cocking my weapon.

*

I took cover behind a column just outside of Twilight's room; Dashie was opposite me and doing the same thing. Stunned Twilight was next to her and slumped in the corner.

“There must be at least a hundred of them out there.” said Dashie.

The corridor was now covered with fallen columns and stunned bodies of Royal Guard and Para’s. About 15 of my men were still active and were using the columns for cover as were the Royal Guard. We were at risk of being overrun. In a moment of inspiration I fired at the window just behind Dashie, it shattered.

“What the buck are you doing?”

“Go, get yourself and Twilight out of here, carry her up to the C-130.”

“But…but.”

“Go Dashie that’s an order!”

She nodded and flung Twilight over her shoulder. I covered her escape with cover fire. She took one last look at me then flew away. I ran down to the rest of the men that were taking cover behind a column.

“What now sir?”

“Keep pushing them back.”

I projected the palace’s interior on my wrist monitor.

“If we can make it to section Foxtrot then we can turn left and head up the observatory tower then fly back to the C-130.”

“What about the fallen?”

“Nopony gets left behind!”

I popped a new mag in my blaster then vaulted over the column, firing fanatically as I ran towards the wooden doors that separated Twilight,s living quarts from the rest of the palace. My men followed me.

*

Section Foxtrot was now in sight, which was another cross section of corridor. We had stretchers with our stunned comrades on, five of us kept an eye out for enemy soldiers, we were moving fast but quietly. Spitfire’s Intel was right, all of the palace guards were Suns of Celestia, I didn't see one normal pony. The doors to our front opened.

“RPG!”

The rocket shot towards the ceiling and exploded right above us. Cracks started to form in the stone.

"Get clear!" We dove out of the way of the rubble just in time. After the dust settled I was on my own. The whole ceiling and the floor above must have come down.

“Night Furry to all call signs, sound off over!” I said into the radio as I pick myself off of the floor.

“We are all okay sir, you?”

“Fine. I take it you’re on the other side of this rubble?”

“Yes sir. You’re down corridor F-2 that leads to the observatory tower we are down corridor F-4 which leads to the tower on the west wing.”

“Fine I’ll head for tower F-2. Blitz you’re in charge of the squad now.”

“Ja sir, I will look after the men. Good luck sir.”

“To you too, out.”

I flew down the corridor at speed, I knew the way to the tower because I had studied the palaces lay out model back at the MoD bunker until I knew it like the back of my hoof. I flew passed a squad of Royal Guards who then chased after me. I kept on flying up the spiral staircase with the guard’s just inches away, there was no time to stop and open the door in front of me so I braced myself for impact.

I knocked down the door but I fell in the process, it was a lot thinker than I thought. I was now on top of the tower, the night’s wind whistled between the battlements. I looked up at the door and saw the barrels for my pursuers blasters.

“Lieutenant Whirlwind I believe.” said a familiar voice.

“That’s Sky Marshal Whirlwind.” I replied as I picked myself off of the floor.

“Very well then. Sky Marshall Whirlwind It’s been a long time.”

“Not long enough. Prince Blue Blood.”

He emerged from the door way, making sure not to stand on the splinter remains of the door. He was wearing gold armor even though he never served in the armed forces. We in the Royal Guard hated his guts with a passion, especially me. During an officers party he tried it on with Dashie which led to him having a black eye.

“You have something of mine.” he said.

“What? Besides a back bone.”

“You’re in no position to be insulting me. Where is my wife?”

“Well I’m not hiding her in my pocket am I. Hold on…did you say my wife?”

“I did indeed.”

I burst out into laughter. Blue Blood slapped me across the face. My grandmother could have hit me harder than he did.

“I said watch your tongue! Now I’ll ask you again, where is she?”

“That’s for me to know and for you to never find out.”

I pulled the cord on my harness; a white balloon on a long cable attached to me with blinking lights shot up and floated high in the sky. Blue Blood and the guards laughed but before Blue Bloods could say an unwitty remark I was whisked away by the C-130. I gave them all a wave goodbye as they got further and further away from me.

The winch pulled me into C-130, there was cheering and hooting from the men as they crowded around me.

“Well done sir.”

“Yeah that was awesome.”

“When we get back to base I’m first in line to try that out.”

I made my way to the front of the fuselage; Twilight was under a blanket with Dashie sat next to her.

“Is she okay?”

“Yeah she’s just stunned but…” Dashie reached into her pocket and pulled out the remnants of Twilight's horn.

“I had to do it Dashie.”

“Yeah I know.”

I sat next to her; we both gazed at Twilight’s forehead.

“Can we re attach it?” asked Dashie.

“I don’t know. But maybe Luna or Trixie will know.”

I looked at Dashie, her eyes were welling up.

“Hay it’s alright” I put my hoof around her.

“Where there's a will there's a way.”

“I hope so, for Twilights sake.”