• Published 12th Mar 2013
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Bolt of Love - Silentpegasus



Splintered Lance, Shinning Armor's oldest friend and comrade is reasigned to Ponyville to guard Twilight and the Elements. Can a designer help this battle scarred stallion cope with the sins of his past or will the pain be too much to bear?

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Chapter 4: Cutie Marks

Chapter 4

Cutie Marks

A month had passed and the ponies were adjusting themselves to the training and routine. Each recruit was issued a grey vest that could be adjusted to different weight settings. The red mane’d stallion levitated his lunch tray as he walked away from the food line and sat across from the bat mare who was sitting alone. The mare rolled her eyes at the stallion and let out a groan.

“What do you want?” She spat out.

“We’re teammates aren’t we?” He asked.

“Yeah, but why aren’t you over there with the other unicorns?” She asked. Lance looked around the room to see that the races were in sections. All the Pegasi were sitting with one another as were the Unicorns.

“I hate social group like that.” He said as he sipped his coffee. “What did the corporal call you before in the recruitment center? Half breed?” The mare gritted her teeth at the name.

“Just drop it.” She said in a cold tone.

“Look, like it or not we’re on a team. Is it so wrong that we get to know each other?” He asked.

“Just leave me alone.” She said as she ate her food. Splinter let out a sigh and ate his meal in silence. After they finished the recruits all trotted out onto the training course. The Sargent from earlier trotted in front of the squads and looked them over.

“Cadets! Attention!” The ponies instantly saluted. “At ease. Today we will be doing a ten mile gallop. The pony that comes in last place will go without dinner. Do I make myself clear?” He yelled.

“Sir yes sir.”

“And If I see any of you use your wings or horns then you’ll be doing latrine duty for a month!” The ponies shuddered at the thought. The Sargent blew his whistle and the ponies all stared off into a trot and soon went into a gallop. Lance was ahead of the pack with Shining by his side for the start of the exercise while Midnight was struggling to hold her position at the back.

As they reached the halfway mark Lance dropped back to the middle to conserve what energy he had left. He looked behind to see Midnight struggling to keep up. The white stallion slowed down so he was right beside her.

“What.....the buck......are you.....doing?” She said between pants.

“Making sure you’re okay.” He said in a flat tone.

“I’m fine now buck off!” She yelled. The white stallion let out a groan and made his way back to the middle of the pack. As they reached the last mile the white stallion was near total exhaustion. He could see the finish line from the top of the hill and let out a sigh of relief. He took a moment to collect himself and started down the hill when he heard a gut churning crack followed by a scream.

Lance looked behind him to see that Midnight was on the ground grabbing her hoof in pain. The other ponies paid no mind to her and simply went around her. Splinter took a moment to weigh his options. On one hoof he could smell victory and the stew coming from the kitchen and on the other he had an injured bat pony that probably wouldn’t even give him the time of day.

I know what I gotta do, but I’m gonna hate myself for it later. The stallion turned back and started to run against the flow of ponies causing them to shout at him.

“Hey idiot, the finish line is the other way!” Splinter ignored the Pegasus’s remark and made his way to the injured bat pony.

“What are...” Before Midnight could finish, the stallion had grabbed her by the scruff of her neck and threw her onto his back. “What the hell are you doing?”

“Finishing the exercise. What’s it look like?” He said as he felt her weight being added to his. Midnight wasn’t heavy, but she wasn’t light either and in his exhausted state her small frame seemed like he was carrying a ton of bricks.

“What’s the point? If we cross together then neither of us will get dinner.” She yelled.

“That’s not going to happen.” He said as he saw the last of the group cross the finish line. The stallion squinted to see that Shining was still waiting for them. He smiled and increased his speed a little, causing the bat mare to squeeze around his neck harder. Once he was within earshot he raised his head. “Hey Shining, think fast!”

“Uh-oh.” Shining said aloud.

“What are.....Don’t you dare!” The mare yelled as the white stallion jumped causing the mare to let go of his neck. Lance spun in mid jump and gripped the mare’s tail between his teeth. He whipped his head to the side and let go of Midnight’s tail making her fly towards the finish line. As she crossed it, she felt Shining catch her. Causing him to fall onto his back. Lance crossed the finish line completely out of breath and collapsed from exhaustion. The Sargent walked up to him and let out a sigh.

“Valiant effort kid, but you are the last one to cross. Sorry.” Lance shook his head as he got to his hooves.

“It’s okay Sarge. I knew that.” He said as he walked by the ponies and into the locker room. After his shower he deviated from the group and returned to his bunk. He withdrew a piece of paper and started to write with the quill enveloped in magic. As he finished the letter the door opened to reveal Midnight and Shining Armor.

“Sup?” He asked as they entered the room.

“Why did you throw me across the finish line?” Midnight asked.

“It was the only way for you to cross.” He said as he put the letter in the desk.

“I mean why did you come back for me? You could have crossed and gotten dinner, but you chose to go back for me. Why?” The stallion looked at her with a raised eyebrow.

“We’re teammates. Duh.”

“I still don’t get it.” She said in confusion.

“We look out for each other and help one another out.” He said with a smile.

“But....you didn’t eat.” She said in a guilty tone.

“It’s fine. One day without dinner won’t kill me.” As the words left his lips his stomach let out a violent growl of hunger. The white stallion blushed at the action. “That was just.....gas.” He lied.

“Sure it was.” Shining said in a sarcastic tone. The blue maned stallion then threw him an apple. Lance looked at the fruit in shock.

“Do you realize what the Sargent will do to you if you get caught?”

“So shut up and eat it before somepony comes snooping around.” Midnight said as she gave him an orange. The stallion looked at the fruits and smiled. The other two ponies got in their bunks and sat in silence.

“Thanks.” He said as he scarfed down the apple. The white stallion then turned his attention to the orange. As he took it in his hoof he started to peel it in a spiral fashion. Once he was done the skin was in one coiled piece and not a trace of it was on the orange fruit.

“How did you peel it like that?” Midnight asked.

“When you grow up on an orange farm you tend to learn a few things.” He said with a smile. The mare then eyed his Cutie Mark which was a pair of crossed swords with an orange in between them.

“Hey, how’d you get your Cutie Mark?” She asked.

“This thing?” Lance said as he looked at the mark. “Don’t remember, it was just there one day.” He said as he laid down in his bunk and stared up at the bat mare’s mattress. “What about yours?” The mare looked back to see a white lightning bolt in front of a black cloud.

“Same, just there one day.” She said with a gulp.

“I got mine for protecting my sister from some punk colts.” The two ponies looked over to the single bed to see the white stallion sitting upright. “I just thought.....Since she asked you and you asked her.” The two continued to stare at the Unicorn. “I’m going to bed now to prevent further embarrassment.” He said as he turned over in his bed. The two ponies in the bunk bed looked at one another and chuckled.

The next day the recruits lined up in front of the Sergeant with blank expressions on their faces. “Recruits! The powers above have instructed me to assign a squad leader.” The ponies looked at one another in confusion. “I’ve observed you all for the past few weeks and I’ve made my decision on who the squad leader should be.” Everypony remained quiet and waited to hear their names. “Splintered Lance, step forward.” Every one looked at the confused white Unicorn stallion. Lance gulped and trotted forward in front of the Sargent. “Congratulations.” The guard said as he shook his hoof and pinned a gold badge in the shape of a shield on his Uniform.

“Thank you sir. May I ask a question?” Lance asked in a hesitant tone.

“You may.”

“Why me?” He asked as a few ponies nodded in agreement.

“Yeah why him?” Another recruit shouted. Soon other ponies started to join in.

“Enough!” The Sargent yelled as he slammed his hoof on the ground causing a small cloud of dust to rise. The ponies instantly fell silent. “I chose Lance because of the training exercise yesterday.”

“But he came in last!” A Pegasus yelled.

“That’s correct and do you know why?” The ponies looked at one another in confusion. This stallion went back for an injured recruit while the rest of you bypassed them without a second thought.” He said in a rough tone. Moth of the ponies adverted their eyes out of guilt. “He refused to let a fellow comrade down and would rather sacrifice his own well being for them.” He said as Midnight lowered her head. “That is a sign of true leadership and I refuse to have it squandered.” Bunker yelled. “From this moment on you will treat him with the same respect as you would treat me or any other superior! Is that understood?”

“Sir yes sir!” The ponies said with a gulp.

“Good. You are all dismissed. Report back here in three hundred hours.” The ponies saluted and started to exit the training ground to go back inside. Splinter remained on the field taking what just happened.

“Dude congrats!” Shining said as he high hoofed him.

“Thanks. Not sure what to do now though.” He said with a shrug.

“I suggest that we head to lunch.” Midnight exclaimed.

“I second that.” Shining said as he raised his hoof. The three ponies went inside and entered the lunch room. The three took their trays and stood on line.

“Hey you.” The three looked to the right to see a red Pegasus stallion with a gold badge on his uniform.

“Me?” Lance said as he pointed to himself.

“Yeah, what are you doing on that line?” He asked.

“Waiting to get lunch.” The Pegasus let out a sigh and trotted up to him.

“You’re a squad leader. Squad leaders get the quicker line.” He said as he pointed to the line with only ten ponies on it. The white stallion shrugged and followed the grey Pegasus over to the line. Shining and Midnight exchanged blank expressions and held their places in line.

After getting his food the grey Pegasus led Lance over to a large table where other ponies with golden badges were sitting. Lance walked over and took a seat next to another Unicorn.

“So this is the rookie?” Lance looked up and noticed that it was the corporal from the recruitment office.

“Yes, sir.” The Pegasus answered. “He’s the one the Sargent selected.”

“I see. How long have you been in the guard?” The grey stallion asked.

“One month sir.” Lance said with a gulp.

“One month?” The Corporal said in surprise. “You must have some massive connections in the guard then.”

“No sir. I have no connections in the guard.”

“What about your parents?” He asked. “You’re from Missourneigh correct?” The white stallion nodded. “Your parents must be the only Unicorns in town then.”

“No sir, both my parents are Earth ponies.” The other ponies looked at him in shock. “Genetics can be very tricky.” He said with a shrug. The Corporal’s eye twitched.

“So you’re half Unicorn then?”

“I guess so.” He said with a shrug. “Hey why don’t you all sit with your squad mates?”

“Why would we want to when we can eat better food and be served first?” The Corporal answered.

“Doesn’t seem fair.” Lance said as his expression hardened.

“Who cares? We’re the superior officers and they cant do anything about it.” The grey stallion then picked up an apple and hurled it through the crowd. Lance watched as the apple collided with the back of Midnight’s head. The bar mare felt the blunt object hit her head which caused her face to hit her food tray. Lance gritted his teeth as he looked at the Pegasus.

“Why did you just do that?” Lance asked in an angered tone.

“Fun of course. It keeps the half breeds and low ranking guards in their place.” The grey stallion said with a laugh. He then picked up another apple and hurled it at the bat mare. Midnight let out a groan as she heard the piece of food flying towards her. She closed her eyes waiting for the object to collide with her head. The bat mare felt nothing. Midnight turned around to see a white hoof clenched around the fruit.

“So disrespecting your comrades is fun?” Lance said as he crushed the fruit in his hoof.

“They’re beneath us!” The Corporal yelled.

“Rank has nothing to do with it.” Lance said as he sat down beside the bat mare.

“I order you to stand up!” He yelled.

“Who are you to order me?”

“Corporal Thunder Wind, commands you to-” He was cut off as the doors burst open and three ponies in dress uniform wearing stars pinned to the front of their shirt. Everypony stopped what they were doing and saluted. The black unicorn stallion in the center was wearing aviator sunglasses. The stallion also had a bright yellow mane. The two ponies on his side were in full armor and had a menacing look about them.

“At ease.” The middle one said. The ponies all returned to their meals and sat in silence. The bat mare leaned over to Shining Armor who was as stiff as a board.

“Hey who’s that old geezer?” Shining immediately covered her mouth.

“That’s General Brass Star. One of the most decorated officers in the guard.” Shining said with a gulp. “Rumor has it that he took down an entire battalion of enemy troops with just one spell.”

“No way could an old geezer like that take down an entire battalion.” The bat mare said in a doubting tone.

“You’re right. It was actually three battalions.” The bat mare gulped and noticed that all of the color had drained from the white stallion’s face. She turned around slowly to see a pair of golden eyes behind the pair of aviators staring at her and the other two ponies. “I just don’t like to brag.” The dark stallion said with a grin. Midnight gulped and felt a bead of sweat form on her head.

“S-sir! She didn’t mean anything by-” Shining was stopped by him raising a hoof.

“What did you call me before?” He asked in a serious tone. The room became silent and focused in on the conversation.

“I-”

“And don’t try to lie to me.” He said as he narrowed his gaze. The mare could feel her hooves shaking.

“I called you an old geezer.” She said in a fear filled tone.

“I see.” He said as he removed his aviators. The two armored guards both gulped and had nervous look on their faces.

“Nice knowing you Midnight.” Shining whispered to the mare. The dark stallion’s eyes narrowed on the bat mare and then shifted to the white stallion donning a golden badge.

“You there are you a squad leader?” He asked

“Y-Yes sir.” Lance said with a gulp.

“Why aren’t you eating with the other squad leaders?” He asked.

“I prefer the company of my teammates.” He said in a worried tone.

“Don’t you mean subordinates?” The dark stallion asked.

“No sir.”

“So you’re telling me that you treat your soldiers with the same respect they treat you with?” Brass said as he cocked an eyebrow.

“Yes, sir. Although I can’t speak from experience, I was only assigned to this position a few hours ago. I do believe that anypony who looks down on their teammates have no right to be in the guard.” The black stallion glared at the three ponies and cracked his neck. The three ponies felt fear starting to dwell in the pits of their stomachs.

“Would that include me?” He asked.

“Yes, sir.” Lance said with a gulp. The black stallion’s body started to shift and a low chuckle could be heard coming from the stallion. The chuckle soon burst into a loud laugh.

“You have some real guts talking to me like that.” He said with a smile. “I like you three. What are your names?”

“Shining Armor sir!” He said with a salute.

“Midnight Star.”

“Splintered Lance.” The dark stallion pulled up a chair and sat with the three. The grey Pegasus stallion from before trotted over to him.

“Sir wouldn’t you rather sit with the other officers?” He asked.

“They’re all a bunch of stallions with poles shoved so far up their flanks that whenever they open their mouths I can see the end. I prefer sitting with these recruits.” He said with a laugh.

“Surely you can’t be serious.”

“I am serious and don’t call me Shirley.” He said with a laugh.

“But, they’re only subordinates and-”

“Now that’s why you’re only a Corporal.” The grey stallion looked at him in surprise.

“If it’s so unbearable for you, then just promote me to Lieutenant and-” The black stallion suddenly grabbed him by his collar and glared at him.

“You listen here you ungrateful little runt. I merely gave you the option of entering the guards because you’re family. You have to earn your place.” He said as he let him go. “Furthermore, you could learn a thing or two from these ponies.” He said as he pointed to the three recruits. The Corporal gritted his teeth and stormed out of the mess hall. “That nephew of mine. He’ll never learn.” The stallion said with a sigh.

“He’s your family?” Midnight asked.

“Unfortunately yes.” He said with a sigh. “Anyway, back to you three. Tell me your tales.” He said with a warm smile.

Author's Note:

Sorry this took so long.
If you got the Airplane reference then you're awesome!