The highly anticipated third part of The Oncoming Storm sires of fan fiction created by WiskeyMikeOne
The war is heating up. Whirlwind looks for ways to bring the war to an end sooner rather than later and to ease the sufferings of citizens. The elements of harmony are the only thing that can end the war quickly but there is a problem. Twilight Sparkle the spirit of Magic is loyal to her mentor Princess Celestia who is corrupted by her dark side, Solar Flare.
Until a solution is found Whirlwind must find aid from a very unlikely source which could bring him and the NLR down but he has no choice.
(I'm looking for an editor, for this story and the one previous. PM if your interested)
My moment of shock gave my sister the opportunity to roll us both over so she was now on top of me pinning my down.
“Spitfire it’s me Whirlwind!”
My words fell on deaf ears, she hit me twice.
“It’s me your brother!”
She grappled my flight suite and picked my head off of the cold metal wing.
“I have no brother!”
She started to strangle me. I don’t know what was worst being disowned by my sister or the fact she was trying to kill me. Suddenly a light blue jet flew overhead, it was Rainbow Dash. Spitfire looked up, I broke her hold on me and kicked her off, she flew backwards and I lunged for my blaster, I took aim and fired. Spitfire went limp she fell and rolled off of the wing and started to fall.
“What have I done?”
I flew after her, the dawns light now revealed the sea, I had to reach her before she hit the water otherwise the impact could kill her. My wings ached as I flapped them furiously trying to catch up to her. I grabbed her hoof and extended my wings to slow us both down but we were too close to the water. The sudden impact of the water knocked Spitfire from my grip but before she sank into the black abyss I bit her tail and swam to the surface.
When gasped for breath I saw my jet flying at very slow speed but it maintained it's altitude. I sat Spitfire in the cockpit and strapped her down in the harness then sat on her lap. I could hear Dashie voice in my flight helmet that was in the hoofwell.
“Whirlwind come in over, Whirlwind you here over?”
“I’m here I’m here.”
“What the buck was going on?”
“I’ll tell you later... my canopy is gone so I’ll have to fly slow.”
Dashie was now flying on my right and looking over too me but she didn't say anything.
“Sorry I think I’m going nuts. Is that who I think it is that you’re sat on top of?”
“It is, I’ll explain later. Right now I just want to go home, this had been one hell of a day.”
I was so relived to be back at the NLRAF airfield, not because I was tired or just wanted to get back home it’s because I was bloody freezing. I was given a blanket by one of the paramedics that were waiting at the airfield.
“Take good care of her but keep her stunned, she can get a bit violent at times” I said the the paramedics that were tending to Spitfire.
“Don’t worry sir we will.”
I watch the ambulance travel down the tar mark and onto the main road out of the airbase. Night Furry had seen better days, her canopy was gone and here were scuff marks and dents all over her. I heard some vehicles pull up behind me. A yellow towing tractor to transport Night Furry back to the hangar, another ambulance and a buggy with Caramel, Shamrock and Rainbow Dash in.
“Whirlwind you’re alive!” said an excited Caramel.
“Just about.” I replied.
Caramel came at me for a hug but froze in his tracks with a look of horror on his face; Dashie and Shamrock had the same expression.
“What?” I asked.
“Been in the wars have we?” asked Shamrock.
“Well obviously.” I replied.
Dashie flew back to the ambulance and spoke to the paramedics. I looked down at my flight suite, it was meant to be black but it was red. I touched my face with my hoof then studied the ooze.
It was my blood, Spitfire must have broken my nose but I couldn't feel anything my face was numb from the cold but I did go a little light headed at the sight of the blood. The paramedics sat me down in the back of the ambulance, Dashie came to the door.
“Whirlwind, tell me what happened?”
Caramel shut both doors then banged on them to signal the driver to go.
“Hold still Whirlwind!”
“Ah! That stuff is like acid Red Heart, what is it?”
“Just disinfectant that’s all.”
“Well it stings!”
“Oh don’t be such a baby.”
“Who you calling a baby?”
Nurse Red Heart tended to my wounds in the Castle's sick ward; I didn't want to go to Manechester Urgent Care.
“Ah ha found another piece of glass.”
“Oh for bucks sake.”
Red Heart reached for a pair of sliver tweezers that was on a little trolley next to her.
“This won’t hurt.”
“You say that every time and it always dose. AH!”
“There, got it.”
“Did you take half of my face with it as well?” I said whilst gripping mu forehead.
“Quit moaning. Tell you what if you behave like a good colt I’ll give you a lollypop.”
I looked at Red Heart her grin filled her face.
“It better be apple flavored.” I said under my breath.
The door to the ward flew open; it was Dashie, Shamrock, Caramel, Bon Voyage, Molotov and Princess Luna. I stood to attention and saluted Luna, nearly knocking over the surgical tool table.
“Whirlwind I heard about what happened, are you okay?”
“I’m fine you’re Highness.”
She flew over and inspected my face like a mother looking over her small colt who had just fallen into pile of dirt.
“I've gotten all of the glass out your Highness but it would have been much easier if it weren't for Whirlwind fussiness.”
Dashie and the others started walking over. Dashie started laughing.
“Heh heh Whirlwind never likes going to the hospital. Hay Whirl remember that one time in flight school when you fell and cut your lip and had to get five stitches. The doc hadn't even started and you were complaining about the needle."
“Ha ha very funny. Remember that time when you stole from the flight school canteen and-“
“Okay Whirl I’ll be good.”
“Did the fleet make it make to port?” I asked Bon Voyage.
“Some damage, the civilians are a little shaken but they all made it back safely.”
“Excellent. What about your friends?” I asked Dashie.
“There all fine, Rarity and the Mayor are with them now in the throne room bringing them up to speed.”
“Why aren't you with them?”
“Because I wanted to make sure you were okay first."
“Oh fair enough. By the way how did you convince Fluttershy to come?”
“I pulled up next to her in my jet and took my flight helmeted off, she recognised me straight away ad followed me to the aircraft carrier.”
“The civilians are now moving into Manechester.” said Luna.
“Sea Breeze!” Caramel ran out of the ward “I’m coming Sea Breeze, your knight in shining armor is coming for you.”
We were all stunned; Dashie shook her head and scoffed.
“He’s really excited.”
“Just then or in general?” Said Molotov.
We all laughed. Caramel had been waiting for years to see Sea Breeze again; I just hope she was part of the 3000 we saved. With my wounds attended to myself and everypony else made our way to the throne room.
I stopped to look out of the stain glass window at the troop carriers in the port offloading the rescued civilians. A long line of multi colored ponies heeded to Manechester central park to where they can meet up with their friends and families. Caramel was now at the castle wall gates jumping up and down with excitement as he waited for the draw bridge to lower over the chasm.
As we entered the throne room Intel and Rarity were just wrapping up the de-brief that they were giving to the wielders of harmony. The Mayor’s chair was empty. Intel and Rarity stood as Princess Luna entered, Rarity signaled her friends to stand up too.
“Please be seated everypony.” Luna replied.
“Where’s the Mayor?” I asked Intel.
“She went to see if her husband was one of the civilians you saved.”
“I wasn't just me you known. Hundreds more ponies are to thank, I just gave the orders.”
“But you gave them well otherwise my friends wouldn't be here.” said Rarity.
I looked at the wielders they were smiling back but I think they were a bit shocked at the state of my face. Fluttershy spoke.
“Oh my happened to you. Are...are you okay?”
“I’m fine thank you; I just had a run in with an old friend that’s all.”
I looked over towards Applejack; she was giving me a hard stare from across the table. We sat down and Luna made her way to her throne. I purposely sat next to Applejack I wanted to find out why she snubbed me.
“Whirlwind. I know.”
“Yeah your face is on wanted posters all around Equestria.”
I then remembered what she said when I met her at Sweet Apple Acres after I was betrayed by the empire five years ago.
“Yeah, you know that pony that the empire is looking for? He was her wing man. He shot her down out of jealously, why if I ever get my hooves on him I would make him regret hurting Rainbow Dash”
“Oh yeah that, well you see...”
“Don’t waste your breath. Rainbow Dash told me about what happened when we were on the ship.”
“Okay. You’re still not mad at me now are you?”
“I can see why you had to do it but it might take me some time to warm up to you.”
“Fair enough. Is there anything I can do to convince you quicker?”
“Well imagine me with no wings a black cloak and a dark blue mane and tail.”
Applejack's eyes darted back and forth in her head, and then she turned and had a look of shock on her face.
“That’s right, hello again.”
AJ looked around the room; she looked at Luna who was talking to Pinkie Pie then to Rainbow Dash then NLR banners hanging from the ceiling, then the guards then back to me.
“I never make a promise I can’t keep.” I said to her face.
Our meeting lasted a few more hours. Rarity and AJ left early to go and fined there sisters. As the rest of us were about to leave Princess Luna called me back in for a few words.
“What’s troubling you Whirlwind?”
“Err nothing your Highness...”
“You are many thing Whirlwind but you are not a liar, tell me what’s wrong.”
There was no point trying to hide it, Luna could see right through me. I took in a deep breath.
“My sister Spitfire-”
Luna’s eyes widened, I thought she knew.
“Spitfire did this to me; she also said I have no brother. I think Celestia has put her under the same obedience spell that she used on Rainbow Dash.”
Luna paused for second to take it all in; she walked towards the window and gazed out.
“I’m sorry to hear that. Before you ask Whirlwind I would be happy to reverse the spell that my sister has placed on Spitfire. I think I owe you that much. But I’m also sensing a lack of confidence from you, which has never happened before, what else is the matter?”
“The empire has some new technology that makes there aircraft invisible to radar and prevents our missiles from locking on to them. But it’s not on all aircraft it’s only present on the on the Wonderbolt's aircraft which is an aircraft I've never seen before. We also need more ace pilots, it’s just me Rainbow Dash and Shamrock and we can’t be at two places at once.”
Luna stroked her chin.
“I’ll see what I can do. Leave it with me Whirlwind.”
“No offense your Highness but what can you do. Can you magically spawn ace pilots out of thin air?”
Luna laughed “Like I said, leave it with me.”
I bowed and left the throne room. I turned to close the door but it was shut by Rainbow Dash who was hiding behind the door. She didn't look pleased.
“Spitfire is your sister!”
“Were you eavesdropping?”
“Of course I was but that’s not important now. Why didn't you tell me?”
“Well I was going to tell you after the meeting.”
“I mean why didn't you tell me years ago? You know I adore Spitfire, you've always known I always wanted to join the Wonderbolts, you could have introduced me to her and would have lived out my life’s dream.”
Dashie landed, she looked confused.
“When I was growing up I never had many friends, actually it was only you. I didn't tell you Spitfire was my sister otherwise I thought you might leave me for her or use me to get to Spitfire.”
Dashie shook her head.
“Whirlwind you can be quite dumb sometimes. I’m your friend and I always will be.”
Dashie walked passed me and rubbed her head on my neck, it was a sign of affection she winked then flew off down the corridor. “Well that went better than expected” I said to myself. I looked out of the window again; the sun was low in the sky, not even the glass protected me from the suns heat. “Celestia must be furious. We going to have it hot the next couple of days.”
I needed sleep and lots of it. On the way back to my room I felt as if I could curl up into a ball and sleep on the marble floor but I fancied a good night’s sleep. I opened the door; the moon light lit up my room I didn’t even need to flip on the light switch. I took off my blood soaked flight suite and threw it on the floor then landed on my bed.
I think I was asleep for about an hour, and then I started to dream. The previous day’s mission was playing through my head like a film. There was nothing out of place. Every word I heard and spoke and everything I saw was flashing before my eyes. Then came the part I dreaded.
Honey Bell and her last words, the image of her exploding plane was stuck in my mind I couldn't shake it, it was driving me mad, it was torture. Then suddenly Luna’s face appeared.
“Whirlwind...meet me in the high tower at midnight.”
I woke from the nightmare and sat up, the sweat dripped from my forehead and on to my sheets. I looked at the clock.
“11:44pm. Can’t I get just one good night’s sleep!”
I dragged my tired self out of bed and up to the highest tower of the castle. Before I could touch the door to the tower it was opened for me via magic. Some stairs led up to the room where Dashie was freed from the obedience curse. Luna and Trixie were waiting with Spitfire lying unconscious in the middle of the room.
“I was thinking all you wanted was a chat your highness.”
Luna shook her head “It’s a full moon tonight why should you have to wait until the next full moon for your sisters…freedom.” Luna pointed with her hoof to where I needed to stand. Spitfire was lying in the middle of a chalk outline of a moon eclipsing the sun. The torches in the room faded, Trixie stood next to me.
“For doing this again.”
“I had to choice, I was ordered by Luna.”
“Well thank you anyway.”
The moonlight on the floor now circled Spitfire and the diagram, Trixie’s and Luna’s horn both glowed. Spitfire was lifted up, the moon light intensified then faded. Spitfire was placed gently back on the ground. I went to her and propped her head up whilst Luna and Trixie preformed the stun reversal spell. Spitfire’s eyes twitched open.
See turned her head and looked at Luna.
“Yes. Welcome back Spitfire.”
Spitfire looked at me and smiled, I smiled back, she extend her hoofs for a hug but grappled my head and brought it shapely to hers, she head butted me. I was thrown off, my sword was draw out of my scabbier but not by me. Spitfire lunged at Luna with my sword but was stopped by Trixie. Trixie’s spell hit Spitfire; she fell to the floor just a few feet from Luna.
“What the buck happen!” I shouted.
“I-I don’t know.” said Luna.
“What do you mean I don’t know?”
I still to this day regret shouting at Luna like that. Trixie jumped in front of her mentor.
“How dare you speak to Luna like that!”
“How dare you stun my sister!”
“If I hadn't Luna would be where Spitfire is now.”
For some reason I couldn't see sense at the time. I felt so angry at Trixie for failing to help my sister and then stunning her.
“We will try again. Trixie back into position.” said Luna in a clam voice.
“Yes your highness.”
Once again the ceremony went through its procedure; I kept my glare fixed on Trixie the entire time. When the spell was cast a placed my sword next to Spitfire to see what would she do, attack Luna or come to me. Spitfire struggled to her feet, she looked really dizzy.
“Spitfire.” I called out from the other side of the room.
She looked at me, then to Luna who was opposite me and then to the sword by her feet.
“Make your choice. Celestia or Luna.” I said to Spitfire.
A moment passed. Spitfire grabbed the sword and went for Luna, I closed my eyes to avoid seeing Trixie’s spell hit Spitfire who was hiding in the shadows. I didn't open my eyes until Luna placed her hoof on my shoulder.
“I’m sorry Whirlwind.”
“It is I who should be sorry your highness. Please forgive me for snapping at you earlier.”
“I don’t.” said Trixie.
“Thank you Trixie that will be all for tonight.” said Luna.
Trixie diapered in a puff of blue smoke.
“What do you think went wrong?” I asked Luna.
“Maybe my sister didn't use the obedient spell on Spitfire, maybe her behavior is of her own free will.”
“It can’t be...”
“I’m sorry Whirlwind. Get some rest you need it, I’ll make sure Spitfire is kept stunned until we figure something out.”
“If that is what you wish your highness.”
I stood up, sheathed my sward and headed to the door to leave.
I stopped listen.
“There is another thing I want to discuss with you.”
“You expressed some concern regarding our pilot’s inexperience; well I may have a solution.”
“Intensify their training?” I asked.
Luna shook her head.
I took a step forward and arched my head.
“Are you giving us permission to start air raids against Imperial positions?”
“Havens no.” Luna replied.
Luna’s horn started to glow, thunder could be heard outside. Black clouds covered the sky but didn't cover the moon. The moon light intensified, Luna was now off the ground and her shadow was cast on the floor in front of me, well at least I thought it was her shadow. Three figures razed out of Luna’s shadow.
The clouds outside disappeared and Luna was now back on the floor panting and looking week. I rushed to her aid.
“Are you alright?” I asked as I helped her off of the floor.
“I’m fine. Well what do you think?”
“To be honest your highness, I don’t know what to think. Who or what are they?”
“We are the Shadowbolts.” said the three figures in unison.
I remembered Dashie telling me about them and how they tried to temp Dashie away from helping her friends to recover the elements for harmony. That shadow I saw on the floor it wasn't Luna’s, it was Nightmare Moons. I cupped Luna’s face in my hoofs and looked deep into her eyes.
“Whirlwind W-what are you doing.”
“Just checking, that’s all.” I wanted to make sure she didn't change back to Nightmare Moon. as they say "The eye's are the gateway to the soul."
I walked over to the Shadowbolts, they were stood to attention. Their flight suites were an exact copy of the Wonderbolts flight suites except for the color. Blue was replaced with purple and black which made them look sinister.
“Do they have names?” I asked Luna.
“I don’t know, asked them.”
“Private Crescent Moon.”
I looked at the captain; she was the spitting image of Spitfire. The facial features were exactly the same but her coat and mane were a different color. It unnerved me.
I walked back over the Luna and used my wing to hide our conversation.
“Is this a wise decision your highness?”
“What else could have I done?”
“You have a point but wasn't there any risk of Nightmare Moon? Your shadow did change to hers for a moment.”
Luna smiled. Her body glowed white and she transformed into Nightmare Moon in blink of an eye. I jumped backwards and ready my sword, I glanced at the Shadowbolts they were just standing there as if nothing was happening. I looked back at Nightmare Moon but all I saw was Luna. I stammered.
“My dark powers are gone but I can still condor up some help if I need it and you've seen be change to Nightmare Moon during last years Nightmare Night Festival, remember?"
"Oh yeah now I do. So the Shadowbolts...there your Royal Guard?”
Luna walked over to them and inspected them.
“There loyal to me and the Republic and will follow any orders given to them by a higher ranking officer such as yourself. They never get tired or hungry and are the perfect pilots.”
“No offences your highness but I still have my doubts.”
“Give them a chance Whirlwind.”
“Alright I will. Shadowbolts! Listen up! Tomorrow evening at 1700 hours you will be put through your paces, I want to see aggression and tactics. We will provide you with aircraft. Be warned the whole air force will be hunting you your mission is to survive and show us your skill. This that clear?”
“Sir yes sir.”
“Dismissed.” The Shadowbolts disappeared into their own shadows which was also unnerving.
“What’s wrong Whirlwind?”
“That one call Nightmare gives me the creeps.”
“Because she looks like your sister?”
“It’s not just that, it’s something else and I can’t put my hoof on it.”
“Well it can wait until tomorrow, you need rest.”
“Once again you’re right, thank you for trying to help Spitfire tonight.”
That night I was plagued by my usual nightmare but it was longer than usual. Instead of finishing when I was about to die a huge battle ensured. I was fighting my way through the army of the empire determined to get to the other side. When I had taken down my twentieth foe I saw Solar Flare on top of a cliff laughing. The ground beneath me started to rumble and split, lightning flashed from above. My head hit the floor of my bedroom and I woke up.
“And you call be lazy. C’mon Whirlwind time to get up!”
Rainbow Dash had taken the pleasure to wake me up by flipping me out of my bed. She flew above me just a few feet away from my ceiling.
“Whirl you don’t look so good, something wrong?”
“Well considering the fact that you pushed be out of my bed and on to the hard floor, nothing why?”
“You look terrible.”
“Ruff night - bad dream.”
I picked myself off of the floor and sat on my bed, I looked at my clock.
“11:45 am! Thank Faust I've got nothing planned for this morning.”
Dashie flew upside down next to me with a smile on her face.
“Err can I help you?” I asked.
“Why yes you can.”
“Introduce me to your sister!”
“Yeah about that...”
“Why what’s wrong?”
I looked at Dashie, she was right in my face I could see my reflection in her big red eyes. . “You know that obedient curse that Celestia put on you?”
“Well she hadn't put in on Spitfire.”
I got up and went to the bathroom and locked the door behind me, I need a shower. Dashie kept talking to me from the other side of the door. I told her about what happened last night.
“So what now?”
“Well Spitfire is gonna remained stunned for the time being until we can find a way to convince her not to attack Luna or myself.”
“Sounds like a big sibling rivalry to be. Thank Faust I don’t have any brothers for sisters.”
I laughed at her joke.
“Why did Spitfire run away from home anyway?” asked Dashie.
I paused before bushing my teeth and answering her question.
“Well... my dad wanted me and my sister to continue the family tradition of working in the Cloudsdale weather factory. But Spit wanted to fly and make a career of it. So when she was old enough, she left.”
“When was that?”
“Just before you and I graduated flight school.”
“So we were 12 when we graduated so how old was Spitfire?”
“Dashie you there?” I asked with a mouth full of toothpaste.
“Yeah I’m here. Sorry I never knew that she was older than us.”
I wrapped a towel around myself and opened the bathroom door, Dashie was sat on my bed and holding the framed photo of me and my family during our family holiday to Appaloosa than I had on my bed side cabinet.
“Wow now I see the age difference, by the way that cowpony hat is way too big for you. And I would never have thought that Spitfire was a Goth in her teens.”
I glanced at the photo, it was the same one I had when I was betrayed by the Solar Empire. I never left the cave without it, it was creased and torn but it was very personal. There I was with my big hat on and Spitfire dressed in black clothing and black massacre under her eyes and looking miserable. Two weeks later she left.
“How are your friends?” I asked.
“It might take them time to settle in.”
“Well Princess Luna is giving a speech at dusk to everypony who was rescued, hopefully that will clear things up.”
“So what are we gonna do now?” asked Dashie as she flew up into the air again.
I took a moment to collect my thoughts and courage, to this day the next two words still gave me chills.
“Oh yeah I forgot about that. Do you want me to lead the-“
“No no, I have to do this.”
We both remained in silence for a few moments. It was broken by a knock at the door. I opened the door and a guard stood there.
“Yes?” I asked him.
“Sir I have a letter for you.”
With his mouth he pulled out the letter from underneath his breast plate, he handed it to me. It was dark blue, padded and sealed with Luna’s royal seal this was no ordinary letter. I looked at the guard; he was looking over my shoulder.
“No no sorry sir.” He saluted me then turned away to leave.
I opened the letter; Dashie hovered above me and was reading it over my shoulder.
“What does it say Whirl.”
“Not much. Well done, good job, the usual stuff.” I gave Dashie the letter then threw myself on the bed, Dashie read the letter.
“You forgot to mention that you’re being awarded a medal for your heroism.”
“Did I. It must have slipped my mind.”
“Thanks, but it don’t seem right.”
“Colonel Anchor and his marines did all the work, we had an easy job. He deserves the medal.” I got up from the bed then went to go and put on my equipment. I always wore combat gear, black ballistic vest, black BDU trousers, black and grey long sleeve shirt and of course my sword in its scabbier.
“Whirl will just accept a compliment for one in your life.”
“Remember flight camp, you’d always say that I helped you.”
“You did. We were a team then and we still are, only now that team has grown. Of cause I accept the medal Dashie but I need to repay Anchor and his men back…somehow.”
That afternoon was time for Spitfire's interrogation I walked into her cell but she was still asleep. 1 o’clock and still asleep, typical Spitfire I thought to myself. I asked one of the guards outside of the cell for a bottle of water then went back in, Dashie waited outside with the guards but she could still see me through the one way mirror. I took a few gulps of water then threw the rest over Spitfire.
“Ah good you’re awake” I said.
“What the buck was that for?!”
“To get your attention. And revenge for all those wake up pranks you pulled on me went I was young.”
If it hadn't been for the bars I think Spitfire might have tried to hit me again. I drank the last drops of water from the bottle then threw it into the corner. Spitfire shook herself dry.
“It’s been a long time.” I said.
“Not long enough.”
“Ooo that hurt.” I said sarcastically.
I nodded at the camera, the two guards that were outside came in, one opened Spitfires cell door the other conjured up two chairs and a table with his magic. Spitfire was cuffed to the table by the guards, then they left.
“Are these necessary?” she asked.
“Very. I never thought we would meet each other again after all of these years, like this.”
“Strange, I did.”
“Yes. But you were the one in cuffs.”
I gave her a sarcastic smile and she did the same to me.
“Has Solar Flare's lies blinded you so much that you cannot she what she has done to the world around you.”
“She gave me everything and more.”
“What, your and Sorins circus act?”
“How dare you! We are pilots just like you.”
“No you’re not like me. I've had military training and you haven’t.”
“Tell that to pilots we shot down the other night.”
I had a flashback to that night. Ribbon Heart’s last words were like poison to me, I’m surprised I didn't have nightmares about that. I stood up and walked around the table and Spitfire.
“You had technology on your side. Take that away and you wouldn't have lasted five minutes in the air with me.”
“Care to prove it.”
“I already have, why else would you be here.”
Spitfire looked puzzled.
“You fell for the oldest trick in the book.”
“What, all that pitching of your jet was a trick.”
I lent into her face.
“Never underestimate your opponent.” I lent back to see her reaction. I could tell she was angry. I had her.
“I wonder if Sorin is dumb enough to fall for that.”
“He should retire and coach in that place that you call an academy.”
“Or maybe he will come to his senses and defect, then you too can be together again!”
“I said stop it!”
“Or maybe Solar Flare will give him to us! Take this old stallion away; I have no use for him now.”
“She would never do that!”
“Then explain the hundreds of ponies that we rebels rescued last night. Why were they put their, why?”
“I don’t know.” she cringed and looked away.
“I know you know don’t lie to me!”
“Whirl that’s enough!” said Dashie down the radio. I took it out of my ear and threw it into the corner.
“Tell me why!”
“There a drain on resources.” Spitfire was close to tears.
She shook her head.
“Tell me!” I slammed my hoof onto the table.
“The Suns of Celestia…there’s more of them.”
“How many more?” I lowered my voice.
“A lot…an army…like you said Whirl…no further use for us.”
The door flew open, Dashie was there and the guards. Spitfire started sobbing. Dashie went to console Spitfire.
“What did you do Whirl.”
“Just what I was trained to do, Get the information.” I walked out of the cell and made my way to Intel’s office to deliver the info.
I didn't enjoy making my sister cry but it wasn't my fault, interrogation training in the Royal Guard was all about exploiting your enemy’s weaknesses and I did just that. Did I take it a bit too far, yes I did, did I let my emotions get I the way, yes I did. Did I find out secret information that could help us in the future, yes I did.
When myself and Dashie arrived at our hangar to prepare for the Shadowbolts test later that evening we couldn't help but notice that there was a large crowd gathered outside hangar 12, we rushed over to investigate.
“What the hay is going on here? Make way coming through!” said Dashie.
“You heard the officer, MOVE!” said a pilot.
“Make way for the Sky Marshal.” said another.
When we made it to the front of the crowd we could see three purple and black painted SU 35’s with yellow lightning bolts running down the body. Tune Up and some of her engineers were examining them.
“Nice. Hay Tune Up tell the painters they did a good job” I said.
“Yeah they look awesome, I might have to get mine done as well.” said Dashie as she flew up and popped her head in the cockpit of the lead plane.
“Funny story Whirlwind, I spoke to the painters and they said that they never painted the jets.” Tune Up pointed to the corner of the hangar.
I looked at saw four painters wearing white overalls shaking their heads at me. As if to say "Not us."
“Well anyway whoever did a hell of a good job.” said Dashie from the cockpit.
“That’s the thing, nopony will admit to painting the jets.” said Tune Up.
“Well obviously they won’t admit to it.” Dashie flew up from the cockpit and over to the crowd.
“All right fess up, who broke in last night and painted these jets.”
“It wasn’t any of them.” I said.
“What? Then who was it then?” said Tune Up.
“Why it was us of course.”
“Who’s there?” said Dashie.
From the shadow of the furthest away jet came three figures. The engineers backed away and so did the crowd, I could hear some soldiers in the crowd preparing their blasters.
“Stand down everypony, there on our side. Everypony meet the Shadowbolts, they are gifts from Princess Luna.” I said.
“We are more than just gifts; we are the solution to all of your problems.” said Nightmare.
“We’ll see, but first you must have my approval. If you pass then we will put you up against the best the empire has to offer.”
“Ha! And if we don’t?” said Nightmare.
“Then you can crawl back into the shadows.” I replied.
“Take off in 30 minutes, get prepared.” I added.
Nightmare saluted then herself and the other Shadowbolts despaired back into the jets shadow. I turned to the crowd.
“That goes for the rest of you as well, move!”
“Right, you all hear the Sky Marshal get moving!” said a Sergeant.
Shamrock walked over to me and so did Dashie.
“They are a creepy bunch aren't they. Whirl do you trust them?"
"I want to but..."
“I can’t explain, I just get a bad vibe from them.”
“Me too. Nightmare Moon used them to tempt me away from helping my friends when we were searching for the elements of harmony.”
“Ah that was all in the past, besides Nightmare Moon is gone, there Luna’s creation now.” said Shamrock.
“I hope you’re right about that Shamrock. We better get ready we don’t want to set a bad example to our new recruits now do we.” Shamrock and Dashie laughed at my little joke as we left the hangar.
“Tower this is Night Furry requesting take off over.”
“Roger that Night Furry taxi to runway four over.”
“Wilco tower out.”
As I taxied down to the runway I could see all the planes lined up with their pilots in the cockpits. The ground crew were just finishing their checks on the jets. The Shadowbolts were sat in there jets at the back of the queue.
All fourteen fighter squadrons were taking part in this exercise, that a total of 275 fighters all ranging from Equine, Russian and Le Mareian planes, the Shadowbolts had no chance. An hour passed and we were now over the combat zone. It was behind the mountain as too remain out of view from Manechester's inhabitants.
“Night Furry to all call signs keep an eye out and report any movement in the sky.”
“Wilco sir.” said Shamrock.
“Roger.” said Dashie.
My head was on a swivel, I was constantly looking around. The Shadowbolts could strike from anywhere at any time. If they were smart they would aim for the squadron leaders, by taking out the veteran leaders the rookies in the squadron would be easy targets. I slid the sun shield down on my helmet; they might attack us with the sun behind them. I checked my radar, it was clear.
“Night Furry to Beast Hunter 1 anything to report over.”
“Negative sir. I’ll take my squadron down to 1000 feet over.”
“Roger. Keep your eyes open. Out.”
Another ten minutes passed and all was quiet, we had circled the combat zone then the island five times. I was thinking of scrapping the exercise then a voice came over on the radio.
“Tiger 5 here, bandit’s 10 o’clock low!”
“Acknowledge. Beast Hunter 1 they are right above you. Over”.
“Beast Hunter 1 report.”
“No answer Whirl, shall I go and check on them?” asked Dashie.
“No we will all go. Night Furry to all call sings engage hostiles at 2000 feet. Dragoon and Hell Fire squadron stay at this altitude and cover us. Distress call sign is Tempest over.”
“Let’s get em.”
I pointed my plane’s nose down and applied the afterburners. The numbers on the altitude gauge decreed. The cloud cover zipped past my cockpit, I flicked the weapon safety switch off and gripped the control stick. When I broke through the cloud cover I nearly flew into a fire ball, my aircraft shook as I pulled up to avoid it. I turned my head to see the wreckage of a MiG-29.
“What the buck!”
“Whirl our jets are being shot down!” said Shamrock.
“Nightmare come in, Nightmare respond.”
“Hello Whirlwind, what’s the matter?”
“You are only authorised to use soft munitions!”
“Well you said you wanted to see how good we are, and dummy rounds are so unrealistic. This way we show off our skill to and your pilots get some well needed experience.”
I shook with anger.
“Disengage from your attacks and report back to the airfield at once!”
“But we’re just getting started.”
I heard bullets zip passed my cockpit, I rolled to avoid them.
“Nightmare! You and your men a ignoring a direct order CEASE FIRE!”
“This a battle, there is no such thing as a cease fire.”
I heard the ping and zip of bullets hitting my plane, I was in trouble but I was more concerned about the other pilots.
“All call signs head back to the airfield. Tower; activate SAM defenses. Fire on all Shadowbolt aircraft and scramble SAR.”
“I’m not going.” said Dashie.
“Either am I.” said Shamrock.
“No you listen, Whirl there are three of them and only one of you. Shamrock and I will take care of the other two. You concentrate on Nightmare. I think you two have got something to settle."
“Fine but don’t get shot down” I replied to Dashie.
“Hay it’s me you’re talking to here.” she replied.
“Good, three times the pride three times the fall. Shadowbolts engage Whirlwind, Rainbow Dash and Shamrock ignore the other jets, there not worth the hassle.” said Nightmare.
I couldn't tell which Shadowbolt was behind me, they countered my every move if I Dashie and Shamrock were going to survive we had to work together.
“Dashie let’s try manoeuvre 12.”
“Number 12 really?
“What’s number 12?” asked Shamrock.
“A move that me and Whirl made up in training for the SEAF. Shamrock I need you to fly level at round 500 mph.”
"Are you crazy!" he replied.
"Trust her Shamrock."
"Oh fine. But if I get shot down you owe me a pint."
I broke off from my attacker, Dashie pulled up next to me. We started rolling and turning, I span clockwise and Dashie span anti clock wise, we were about 300 feet apart but always passed at the peak and base of the circle at the same time. Shamrock was flying level and out in front of us, he was the bait. A Shadowbolt went for Shamrock.
“Dashie. Brake!” I said down the mike.
I and Dashie broke out of the spiral; Dashie fired at the Shadowbolt with her cannons and scored a direct hit. At the same time another Shadowbolts manoeuvred itself onto Dashie’s tail but I had her covered. I fired and scored a direct hit. Both Shadowbolt aircraft became engulfed in blue lightning and descended to 200 feet and were guided back to the airfield, now for Nightmare. Myself Dashie and Shamrock flew back into formation.
“All right! That was so awesome.” said Dashie.
“Easy for you to say, you weren't the bait.” said Shamrock.
“Actually she was the bait when we created this move all those years ago.” I said.
“Yeah but it’s more effective with three pilots. Where is Nightmare?” asked Dashie.
“She’s properly on her way back to the airfield.” said Shamrock.
“I’ll contact tower and tell them not to fire on the returning Shadowbolts.”
Bullets whizzed up from underneath and hit Dashie’s aircraft. Nightmares plane shot upwards, I reacted instantly, I pulled up I fired my cannons. I hit Nightmares plane, it froze in mid-air. I flew passed her cockpit and looked at her, she did the same thing to me. Her aircraft had a mind of its own now and was flying back toward the airfield at speed.
"Dashie are you okay?"
"I'm fine. Slight damage to my planes right wing. Oil pressure good, controls good, engine good. Everything's fine."
"There not so good after all." said Shamrock.
"If they were that easy, then what about our pilots, how easy were they?"
I got no response from them and I didn't expect one.
My plane hadn't even powered down yet and I was out of the cockpit, the engines were still whinging. The ground crew at the airfield had to fly into my cockpit to turn off the engines otherwise she might have kept on going. I threw my flight helmet on to the tar mark along with my life preserver. I flew towards the Shadowbolts hangar. The two stallions were standing around a work beach and were laughing, Nightmare was sat on it. Crescent Moon clocked me coming into the hangar.
“So what do you think, are we good enough to be in the air force?” asked Crescent Moon.
I pulled out my blaster and shot Crescent. I hit him between the eyes; he fell stunned to the floor. New Moon went for me so I shot him. Nightmare went for the hangars side door. I fired and missed, my shot hit the door. She froze in her tracks. “Buck this!” I thought and pulled out my sword. I now had Nightmare trapped in a corner between the work beach and a locker, my sword was just underneath her chin. She smiled.
“Shut up!” I never shouted like that before, my voice echoed in the hangar.
I paused and panted, I could hear a crowd gathering at the main hanger doors.
“Whirlwind don’t do it!” It was Dashie; she pushed her way to the front of the crowd.
“Don’t worry Rainbow Dash he won’t, he’s too weak.”
“I am not weak.”
I shook with rage; my mind was going a mile a minute. Then a voice cleared everything.
“I promise I can make you strong. Do it, and you will be one step closer to victory over the Solar Empire.”
Nightmare’s mouth didn't move, her voice was now in my head. She smirked.
“Do it, your weak, the power the defeat the empire, do it, your nothing, do it, embrace your anger, do it, feel it flow through you, unleash the storm, DO IT!”
Nightmare’s stunned body fell to the floor, I stood there for what seemed like a life time. I turned my head to face the crowd; no pony spoke. Dashie looked horrified. I walked passed her and towards the crowd.
“Sergeant, have the Shadowbolts taken to the Princess immediately.“
“Yes...yes sir. But what shall I tell her highness?”
Luna and I argued into the dead of night, we argued about everything, the war, the Shadowbolts and our next step. Formality was thrown out of the window I and the princess nearly came to blows. But we both left the Royal Chamber as better friends and had a clearer understating of each of us wanted.
“Well that was one way to let off some steam, don’t you agree Whirlwind?”
“I do but I must say you have an edge on me. I can’t compete with that Royal Canterlot voice for yours.”
“Ha ha it does come in handy from time to time. Would you like me to teach you how to do it?”
“No thank you your highness besides I think it will gets on everypony nerves.”
“Oh well, good night Whirlwind. What’s left of it.”
“Good night your highness.”
The latch to Luna’s throne room door clanked and echoed in dark corridor, I made my way back to my room. Luna’s anger must have brought a storm, the windows that lined to corridor were covered in rain droplets and the mouths of the gargoyles on the window ledges had waterfalls coming out of them. My seclusion was interrupted by a voice.
“Very impressive, I never thought you had it in you.”
I turned around, nopony was there. I placed my hoof on my sword’s handle.
“Ooo do I detect fear in your voice?”
“The only thing I fear is fear itself.”
“Wise words, fine then I’ll give you something to fear.”
I heard to tap of hooves coming towards me from the darkness. My sword was now out of its scabbard and ready for combat. The figure was now in the moon light coming through the window.
“You seem surprised?”
“You bet I am. You and the other Shadowbolts should have gone back into Luna’s mind. I saw it with my own eyes. How did you escape?”
“Escape, no. Shadows are everywhere and were they are so am I. Plus I made a promise to you.”
“Think back to the hangar, what did I say?”
I now remembered the voice in my head.
“I promise I can make you strong. Do it, and you will be one step closer to victory over the Solar Empire.”
I lowered my sword slightly.
“How?” I asked.
She smirked and whispered “All will be revealed in time.”
She disappeared into the shadows. I should have reported Nightmare’s return to Luna but I and the NLR needed help and if Nightmare had a way to help then I was up for it, but what she and the Shadowbolts did was unforgivable. Seven planes shot down at a cost of 137 Million bits and two pilots injured. As long as I was in command the Shadowbolts or Nightmare will never set hoof into a plane again.
I sheathed my sword and headed back to my room, I needed a good night sleep after the day I had plus I had to get ready for tomorrow, it was going to be another long day.
The meeting room in the MoD bunker was busy the next morning, I called an emergency meeting. I was waiting for the other MoD members to sit down in their seats.
“So Whirlwind why have you called us here at this hour?” asked Boxy the Minister of Munitions.
“It must be important.” said Intel with his head buried in a folder.
“I never said that it’s wasn't important Intel.” said Boxy.
“Then way would you ask it?”
“Enough.” Interrupted Molotov.
“Whirlwind do you want to start before we start a war with each other?”
I took a minute to collect my thoughts.
“Whirl?” Dashie asked with concern when she put her hoof on my shoulder.
“Twilight Sparkle.” I replied.
The room felt silent, nopony mentioned her when I was around so for me to say her name came as a shock.
“In order for Rainbow Dash and her friends to use the elements of harmony all six of them need to be together. So where do we go from here?” I asked everypony around the table.
“Well the only thing I can think of is another snatch and grab op.” said Molotov.
“That’s a possibility, the last one was a huge success after all.” said Intel.
“But the target building is nowhere near the coast, an amphibious assault is out.” said Bon Voyage whilst taking off her white Admirals cap.
Intel picked up the remote for the screen at the edge of the table. A bird’s eye view of Twilight’s palace appeared.
“The target building is on top of Fowl Mountain, the second highest peak in all Equestria.” said Intel.
“How about an air assault?” said Dashie.
“Dashie we want to capture her, not berry her underneath her own palace.” I said.
“No think about it, a squadron of Pegasus could fly up there undetected quite easily.”
“That could work, but its thousands of miles to Equestria; they’re going to be knackered when they get there and won’t have enough energy to fight, let alone fly back with an unconscious Alicorn on their backs.” I replied.
“How about a C-130, thousands of miles up. The Pegasus could jump out and glide down to the target, grab Twilight then fly back to the plane.”
I stood up out of my chair, grabbed Dashie’s checks and kissed her on her forehead.
“Dashie you’re a genius!”
“Aww c’mon. Really?”
“Of course you are. Boxy, we will need some new equipment to pull this off, stuff like aerodynamic flight helmets and thermal flight suites. Molotov, help Intel with gathering information on the target building for an assault plan.”
“Okay and what about you and Rainbow Dash?” asked Boxy.
I was now out of the meeting room when Boxy asked his question, I popped my head back into the door way.
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.
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.
“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!”
“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.”
“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.
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.”
The heart monitor that was connected to Twilight bleeped as she lay stunned on a bed in the high security medical ward.
“Is there anything that we can do to re-attach Twilights horn?” asked Fluttershy.
“I’m afraid not.” said Nurse Red Heart.
“Can’t we use glue?”
“Pinkie Pie, that’s horrid.” said Rarity.
“Can’t Luna use her magic to help?” said Applejack.
“It’s worth a shot. I’ll ask her, but for the mean time we must keep Twilight stunned for who knows what affect it's had on her.” said Red Heart.
Red Heart left the ward; Twilight’s friends remained and crowed around her. I remained in the shadow of a cooling unit and out of sight. Each secure room was light up and decorate white, outside was in pitch darkness if not then then one way mirror would be useless plus I felt a little guilty. I had faced my daemons and had come out victorious but why did I feel so upset.
“Oh come now, you don’t feel sorry for Twilight do you?”
Two big yellow eyes floated in the shadows behind me.
“Have you forgotten about me already Whirlwind?”
“Nightmare! Leave me alone.”
“I just came here to congratulate you on a job well done. Twilight is in your custody and you can now get on with using the Elements of Harmony to defeat Solar Falre once and for all.”
A walked closer to the eyes.
“Nineteen of my men lay stunned and I've broke Twilight's horn. I can hardly call that a job well done.”
“They knew the risks, plus you have faced your fear and you won. I can sense a large weight lifted from your shoulders.”
“You have no idea.”
“So was it all worth it?”
“In a way yes but...”
“Sacrifices have to be made and every one of your actions has a consequence whether it is good or bad.”
“And what consequence have you made that you have had to deal with?”
“Not I but somepony else.”
“Whirlwind who are you talking too?”
I turned to see Dashie floating were I was just previously standing.
“I wasn't talking to anypony.”
“It sounded like you were.”
“Well you must have been hearing things. How are your friends?”
“In shock but they’ll pull through, they always do.”
“Have you told them?”
“No and I don’t think telling them what happened will help, right now we should just let things be. Now what?”
“Luna needs to reverse the stun spell then we can use the Elements of Harmony to finally end this. I’ll go to her highness now and ask for her assistance.”
I walked out of the shadows and headed towards the ward door.
“Thanks Whirl I’m gonna remain here and…”
“Dashie I was gonna order you to stay here anyway. Not because I need you here it’s because they need you here.”
I gestured towards Dashie’s friends all crowded in Twilight room. When she turned to look at her friends I quietly left. I didn't need to persuade the Princess to wake up Twilight also on that night Luna and Trixie preformed the obedience reversal spell but Twilight was still out, maybe losing her horn had put her body into a state of shock, we had to wait until morning to find out it losing her horn did indeed have side effects.
In the morning Twilight did woke up and she wasn't as shocked about her horn as I thought she would be. All that mattered to her was seeing her friends again. I gave Dashie and her friends a few days to become reunited with each other and for Twilight to learn about what was going on. Best to hear it from her friends rather than me or anypony else.
The following week I called together a meeting with the Princess, Chiefs of Staff, Dashie and her friends to discuss our next move. I walked into the royal hall just on time; I wanted to meet the families of the fallen that morning.
“Ah Whirlwind come over here for a minute.” Rarity called out to me from across the hall.
I had to apologize to Intel and Molotov who I was having a conversation with. As I approached Rarity I could see a purple mane pony behind her, it was Twilight.
“Whirlwind I don’t think you have been formally introduced to Twilight Sparkle yet, have you?”
“Well here is your opportunity. Twilight meet Sky Marshall Whirlwind commander of the New Luna Republic Air Force.”
“Actually I have met him before.”
“You have?” asked Rarity.
I held my breath.
“At his and Rainbow’s graduation party in the Royal Guard.”
“Oh how silly of me, of course I was there. So you don’t remember seeing him after that?”
“No. The next thing I remembered was waking up in the hospital with you Rarity and everypony else around me.”
“So have your friends told you about what has happened?” I asked her.
“They have…but I don’t what to believe it. How could Celestia do all that? The invasion of Russhire, the segregation, your banishment and what she did to Rainbow Dash.”
Twilights head hug low; it was a lot to take in and a lot to come to terms with.
“Luna believes Celestia has been corrupted. Like what happened with Luna and Nightmare Moon. The good Celestia is still here…hopefully.”
“Is there a way to change her back?” she asked.
“That’s what were hoping to find out today.”
Rarity hugged her friend but kept eye contact with me, she smirked.
“So you can’t remember who cut off your horn dear?”
I kept my cool on the outside but inside I was on fire. How dare see do that.
“No sorry, but it did brake Celestia hold on me and for that I’m thankful.”
“But magic is your life darling what ever shall you do now.”
“Oh don’t worry I've still got my books and you guys, besides it might grow back…”
“Well don’t worry dear I’ll find out who did this to you no matter what it takes.”
“Rarity can I have a word with you for a second.”
“Of course Whirlwind.”
I led her to outside of the throne room and dismissed the guards.
“How dare you.”
“What did I do something wrong?”
“You crossed the line.”
“I don’t know what line you’re talking about.” She was acting all smug which only pissed me off more.
“The – Don’t mention anything about Whirlwind’s history with Twilight- line.”
“She is my friend and she has a right to know.”
“That she almost killed me!”
“Oh please she just placed her hoof on your chest.”
I’m not proud of what I did next but I couldn't help myself, it was if another entity had taken over me and was controlling my actions. I shoved Rarity against the wall and pinned her down with my hoof pressing down on her throat.
“Now you know.”
I release her and I stormed back into the throne room.
“What was that about asked Bon Voyage?”
“Nothing” I replied.
Luna appeared on her throne with Trixie next to her. What followed for the next few hours was the usual crap that the politicians deal with but Luna listened to every word like she always did. Rarity kept giving me glances from across the table throughout the whole meeting.
“Thank you Mr Green Hoofs for the interesting report on grass length, now I believe the MoD has something that needs to be brought to our attention.”
“Yes we do your highness but I’m going to let Sky Marshall Whirlwind speak for us. Sky Marshall.”
“Thank you Intel.”
I stood up and the delegates started clapping, well almost all of them. When the clapping died down I spoke.
“Thank you. Mares and Gentlecolts it is now time to end this war before it escalates. Twilight, the reason why we rescued you was to complete the set. The Elements of Harmony are the only way to defeat Celestia aka Solar Flare and the empire without resorting to violence. Now that all six of you are all here we can complete this goal.”
“But aren't the elements of harmony still in that safe that only Princes Celestia can open in Canterlot castle.” said Applejack.
“Yes but I can teleport them here.” said Twilight.
“How?” asked Fluttershy.
“After the Changing attack on Canterlot during my brother’s wedding, Celestia and I agreed that I should keep them safe.”
“Were?” I asked.
I was confused and so was everypony else around the table. Twilight stood up from her seat, her broken horn fizzed and cracked with magical sparks, a white void appeared above our heads, through the bright light I could make out five necklaces and a crown. I smiled and looked at Rainbow Dash who was also in the same mood as me. The void closed and the elements fell onto the table. There was a large gasp from the six.
“What?” I asked.
“THERE STONE!” they all said in unison.
I looked down; the table had a large dent in it. Suddenly a white light engulfed them, then they transformed in to five stone balls with the cutie marks of five of the six on each of them. The crown was gone.
“What now?” asked Twilight.
“Isn’t it obvious…?” I said.
“No.” she replied.
I looked at the members of the MoD.
“Operation Infinity: The liberation of our homes.”
That afternoon I commandeered the throne room to hold a meeting with the MoD and plan out our next move. I was tired of the MoD bunker ops room, it was too small.
“I’m telling you that is the best option.” said Intel tapping an open folder on the table.
“Our forces will be too spread out if we take your idea Intel.” said Molotov.
“I agree, we need all our forces together.” said Bon Voyage.
“Well I have some information that might help us.” I started handing out red folders around the table. I gave all the members a few minutes to read the folders. One by one there head’s slowly popped up.
“Whirlwind…where did you get this Information?” asked Bon Voyage.
“From the same place that I got the Intel for the Twilight capture op, Operation Wave and Agent’s Delta’s rescue.”
“Where?” asked Molotov.
Before I could answer there was a knock on the throne room door ad it creaked opened. The guard on the other side cleared his throat.
“What is it?”
“There are two ponies here that wish to talk to you.”
“We are a bit busy at the moment, tell them to come back after the meeting is over.”
By heart skipped a beat, I turned to see my mother and father standing in the door way.
My mother let out a cry and ran towards me, crying as she ran. She hugged me hard. If it weren't for my armor I think she would have snapped to in two. I used my tail to cover the secret documents on the table.
“Oh Whirlwind I've missed you so much.”
“I think we should end this meeting, Whirlwind we will resume this later.” said Intel.
“Sure, take the folders and go to the MoD bunker and continue without me, this might take a while.”
My father remained in the door way, but he did move a little to let the members of the meeting get passed him. My mother was asking so many questions.
“How have you been, how is Rainbow Dash, are you okay, where is your sister?”
“Easy dear, let the boy speak.”
“Thanks dad. I’m fine mum.”
“No you’re not. What happened to you face?”
“What? She’s here too! Where is she?”
“In my room.”
“Why?” asked my dad as he made his way towards me and my mother.
“I didn't want her coupe up in a jail cell, so she shares my room here in the castle.”
“I have to see her.” said my mother to my father.
“Do you think that is wise dear?”
“We haven’t seen her since she was a teenager. I going to see her with or without you.”
My mother stormed off, I signaled the guard at the door with a nod to escort my mother to my and Spitfire’s room. The wooden door slammed closed and echoed, myself and my father were left alone. The first time in eight years.
“So…” he said looking over the rim of his glasses.
“Go ahead, say it. I know you want too.”
“I don’t know what you’re talking about son?”
“Don’t play dumb with me, just get it over with.”
“Fine. You should have listened to me and none of this would have happened.”
“That’s it, that is what I was expecting.” In a huff I walked out on the balcony overlooking the meadow, my father flowed.
“You should always listen to your parents.”
“Like you know everything.” I folded my hoofs onto the stone railing and set my head on them.
“I’ll be the first to admit that I don’t, but you should have listened to me when I said. Don’t apply to the Royal guard.”
“We and the rest of the country were starving, what else would you have me do?”
“Don’t lie to me; it wasn't about serving Equestria it was about making a better name for yourself, admit it you were board working in the weather factory weren't you?”
“Yes I was. The nine to five routine was horrible plus I would always have to stay after hours to get everything in order for the next morning. I never had time for anything; I never had time to relax or to hang out with my friends.”
I turned my head and glared at my father. He crossed the line.
“This conversation is over. I will arrange a room in the castle for you, mother and Spitfire.” I headed back into the throne room.
“That’s won’t be necessary. Your mother and I have a nice little cottage just on the outskirts of the city. As for Spitfire you can keep her.” Dad started to walk away, he was half way the door before what he said hit me. I court up with him at the door.
“How long have you and mum been here in Manechester for?”
“Since the Grate Rescue.”
“That was months ago, and now you and Mum decide to reunite with me!” I block his path to the door.
“We knew you had a lot on your plate, so we both decided to wait for a lull.”
“Lull? Ha! There’s a storm coming dad, and the Empire is right in its path!”
My dad nodded, smiled, walked passed me and left.
“That was interesting.”
“Not now Nightmare.” I turned to see Nightmare sat on Luna’s throne, her hind legs were hanging over the arm rest.
“Your father seems to be a bit… annoyed with you. Why is that?”
“Why do you care?”
“Oh don’t be like that Whirlwind, you can tell me anything you want. Anything.” she whispered.
I gave her a blank look, but I was actually trying to figure out what she was up to.
“My father wanted me to leave the military after my three years compulsory service was over and take the position of Director of the Cloudsdale weather factory.”
“I joined the Royal Guard.”
“Because it was more exciting and more of a challenge?” she asked.
I trotted back out to the balcony, but Nightmare stayed inside and out of the sunlight.
“Well its seems to me that you enjoyed fighting.”
“Well I admit it’s exciting but I don’t enjoy in it.”
“When was your first taste of battle? The invasion of Le Mare?”
“Nope. It was during the wedding of Princess Cadence and Shining Armour in Canterlot.”
Nightmare looked confused.
“I was just a spectator at the wedding, but when the Changelings attacked I found myself along with some other ponies trapped on a bridge. There were some school kids from Boltamare trapped with us. As the grownups we defended the kids from the Changelings, we were surrounded on both sides of the bridge. We held them off until a unit of Royal Guard came to our aid. One of them even said to me you’d make a fine soldier.”
“He was right.” said Nightmare still standing in the archway.
“You are…” I turned expecting Nightmare to be right behind me but she was gone. I could have sworn that she said the last phrase right in my ear.
It was now too late to go to the MoD bunker so I decided to head back to my room. When I opened my door I saw Spitfire lying on my bed.
“So… how did everything go with mum?” I asked.
“Don’t get me started. It took me a while to get her stop crying, and then she asked what I expected her to ask. Why did you run away?”
“And what did you say?” I said as I took off my ballistic vest.
“The truth” she responded.
“And that is?” I asked.
She sat up.
“Are you stupid or something?”
I raised my eye brow, Spitfire's eye widened.
“I haven’t told you have I?”
“No you haven’t.”
She lied back down on the bed and turned to look out of the window at the golden sunset.
“Before you were born dad wanted me to follow in his hoof steps. But I wanted to fly. The night I ran away dad wanted me to fill in an application form to join the Cloudsdale Weather Factory Patrol Unit, I refused and he went into a rage. He wanted me to do what he wanted me to do; I was being smothered by him I had to get out of there so I left.”
“Where did you go?”
“I had a very special somepony at the time so I went around his and I stayed there, I was welcomed there all the times.”
“Let me guess, was it Sorin.”
I walked over and sat next to her on the bed.
“Everything you just said, I knew already.”
“What…how?” she sat up again.
“That night you left, you and dad woke up with the shouting.”
“So why did you make me tell you the whole thing when you already knew?” she sounded annoyed and confused.
“I just wanted to hear you say it.”
Her eye’s started to well up, she lent forward and hugged me, I put my hooves around her.
“For what, leaving or the scars?”
We continued to hug for a while; I now had my sister back after all of these years. It felt good, it was like retrieving a piece of myself that has been lost for many years.
“It’s getting late. I need to get to bed, long day tomorrow.” I said as I broke away from the hug.
“Wait. Whirl. If there is anything I can do to help you just let me know.”
“What about the Empire and Celestia? You said it yourself she gave you everything and more.”
“ I've been doing a lot of thinking these past couple of weeks; let’s just say I was blinded by the light.”
I nodded and smiled. Spitfire got up off of my bed and went into her room.
“Good night little bro.” she said from behind the door.
Five months later: I was lying down on my bed on the Aircraft carrier Dusk Mist. Tune Up gave me a letter when I was just boarding the ship two days ago in the Manechester harbour. Inside the letter were a heart full scented note and a few raunchy pictures of herself in her overalls inside the hanger. I gazed at them from time to time to take my mind off of things.
The waves that hit the ship caused a genital rocking motion, if I wasn't about to invade a country I could have quite happily fallen asleep but I think the sound of the naval bombardment would have kept me awake. There was a knock at my door and a sailor walked in.
“Sir, it’s time.”
“Once more into the breach.” I scoffed and sat up.
“Thank you sailor that will be all.” He saluted and closed the door. My flight suit that was hanging behind the door sawed.
As I started to get change into my suit, I kept having deja Vu moments. The events leading up to the invasion of Le Mare was almost identical to what I was now experiencing.
When I opened the steel door that lead out to the fight deck I was hit with spray from the sea. A storm was just on the horizon to the south east, any closer and we risked losing air support. Jets flew by at top speed and were heading to Russhire, there was also several strike operations being carried out by some squadrons of the NLRAF. I along with 3rd, 7th and 10th fighter squadrons were to provide air support to the landing force. We had a huge influx of volunteers in the past few months and our numbers grew.
My jet was first in line to take off but it wasn't Night Fury. Unfortunately Tune Up couldn't modify her for carrier base take-off and landings so I had to make do with an F/A-18E Super Hornet in black, light blue and dark blue. When I was all strapped in and the ground crew had cleared me for take-off, I was contacted viva the radio.
“Night Fury this is Baseplate come in over.”
“This is Night Fury over.”
“We have somepony here who would like to talk to you sir.”
“Good luck Whirlwind, I have faith in you all.”
“Thank you, Nocturnal.” That was Luna’s codename for this operation.
“Baseplate here, we have a weather report for you, and it’s not good.”
“How bad is it?” I asked as I was going through the system checks.
“Very. The storm is approaching you fast from the south east and will be on top of you within the hour.”
“Can we proceed?” I asked as the canopy closed.
“You have a small window of opportunity, any time after that then then you risk being caught in the storm. It’s your choice sir over.”
I looked at the storm, I could see the flashes of lighting and the roar flowed soon afterwards. I looked up to the command deck and saw Bon Voyage at the window looking down at me. She nodded.
“Baseplate put me through to Colonel Zhukov.”
“Patching you thought now sir.”
“This is Zhukov.”
“Colonel can you and your men handle the sea conditions?”
“We have come too far to turn back now sir, I`ll swim back to mother Russhire if I have too.”
“Understood Colonel. Baseplate, it’s now or never, give the order.”
“Roger that sir. All call signs this is baseplate, proceed with operation Forward unto Dusk.”
I raised my hoof to signal the ground crew that I was ready to take off; I braced for the sudden acceleration of the jet as the catapult launch me and the jet into the air.
Once I was clear of the ramp I banked to get a better view of the storm, I didn't look good. Lightning was striking the waves and the rain fall was so think it looked like a wall rather than rain coming towards us.
“Night Furry this is Rainbow 6 I’m leveling off on you starboard side over.”
“Roger Rainbow 6.”
Dashie pull up next to me and gave me a wave, I responded with a nod. We had to stay together for a while and wait for the other jets to take off and for the assault boats to form up.
“Night Fury this is Baseplate. Contact. Eight Miles. There is a flight of 25 bandits coming from your northwest of your position. Turn to heading 3-1-0 over.”
“Night Fury copy. Heading 3-1-0 angles 25. Rainbow 6 you’re with me, we've got to keep those bandits away from the assault force.”
“Roger that Night Fury. King squadron form up on me the rest of you stay here and proceed with the mission as planned.”
King squadron formed up on me and Dashie just before we broke through the cloud layer, above the clouds there was no hint of bad weather, it looked like a clear day.
“Whirlwind radar contacts closing fast!”
“Got that. Tally six on my screen. I've got the two on the left; you get the two on the right Dashie?”
“Of course I do.”
Dashie boasting was cut short by the sound of machine bolt fire and the jets passing us.
“Buck!” she shouted down the radio.
“You were saying?” I performed a Split S manoeuvre and found myself on the tail of an enemy jet.
“Looks like the first kill goes to me.”
Suddenly the enemy jet reduced his speed and I over shot he was now on my tail.
“You were saying?” said Dashie.
“Ha ha very funny, could you get this guy off of my tail please.”
“One sec. Jink left now!”
As I did I heard the sound of stun bolts hitting metal, then the sound of an ejector seat firing then an explosion.
“Dashie you okay?”
“Relax I’m fine.”
I then heard the sound of bolts hitting metal again.
“Okay now I’m in trouble.”
“Give me a second.”
I turned the plane and applied the afterburners to catch up with Dashie and her attacker. He was all over her; they anticipated Dashie move and was firing just at the right moment for there bolts to miss her jet.
“Hurry up!” she shouted.
I fired a long burst, It hit the attacker right in the engine. The aircraft fell from the sky. I pulled up next to Dashie.
“Are we even now?”
“Yeah I think we are.”
“Night Fury this is baseplate we have a mission update for you over.”
“Go ahead baseplate.”
“Night Fury you, Rainbow 6 and your flight are to rendezvous with the invasion force. There are some fortified emplacements that are still operational. Steel Wing squadron are attacking the emplacements but are encountering heavy resistance from air and ground over.”
“What about the squadrons that are providing fighter escort for the bombers?” asked Dashie.
“They’re being overwhelmed by fighters.”
“Roger baseplate, were heading there now. King squadron remain here and finish off the remaining bandit.”
When I and Dashie descended below cloud cover we imminently became under attack from some fighters. The rain from the storm lashed my canopy. Dashie and I became separated but I wasn't worried, she could take care of herself.
I lost my attackers so I turned my attention to the emplacements, they were well camouflaged in the hills just behind the landing beaches. I went in for my attack; the AA fire was heavy so I stayed low to the tree tops. If I sneezed I wound have ended up with a Pine tree in my face.
The first target was dead ahead, it gave it position away when it fired its two large cannons. Lock on, fire, direct hit. Second target, lock on, fire and the same again for the remainder of the targets. In one pass I took out five positions but I seemed to caught the attention of the whole Solar Empire.
I was taking fire from fighters, AA guns, AA missiles and even heavy and light ground fire. The lock on tone rang in my ear; I hoped I had enough flares. Then as if my magic the tone stopped. I check my instruments on my control panel and everything was fine.
I was then hit by canon fire, the zip and the loud metallic clank of the rounds hitting my plane made be jump. I applied my flaps and drag fins, my attacker over shot and flew over me.
“It can’t be?” I recognised the plane; it was another SU-47.
“Is this Sky Marshall Whirlwind?” said a voice on the radio.
“Sorin. Newly appointed Captain of the Wonderbolts.”
That name brought back memories. Sorin would often come around to my house when I was a colt to hang out with Spitfire. I always thought he was so cool and I would often try to pull him away from Spitfire much to her dislike.
“It is.” I answered his question.
“It’s been a long time.”
“Yeah it has.”
“Is she safe?”
“Don’t worry she’s fine. I wouldn't let anything happen to her.”
“Good. I’m sorry that it has to be this way but you are my enemy and a traitor to the empire and Celestia. And for that reason I have no choice but to shoot you down.”
“But what if I were shoot you down first?”
“I doubt that.” he scoffed.
“Remember, I was in the Royal Guard. You and the Wonderbolts are a display team, a circus act. Your technology gives you an advantage I admit, but you lack the training and the experience of a true pilot.”
“We will see about that! There I've turned off the missile cloaking system. Now it’s a fair game!”
“Fool.” I said to myself. I pitch my nose down, Sorin followed as I let him into the hills. “Caution Altitude.” appeared on my HUD in bright red, I was just skimming the tree tops. By doing this Sorin would not be able to get a lock on me and had to rely on his canon.
“You’re smart I’ll give you that.” he said.
“You haven’t seen anything yet.”
I did a barrel rolled then pulled up. It was a risk but it worked. I knew Sorin would follow me but he was flying at slow speed so when he pulled up to follow me he stalled. I looked in the rear view mirror and saw his plane get further and further away from me. “Gotcha!”
I flipped around so I was facing him and let loose with my canon. My shots hit the air intake of his jet and blew up. He ejected safely, when the chair detached from him and his chute deployed he gave me a salute and I saluted back.
“Night Fury to baseplate. Down enemy airman known as Sorin at coordinates 2-9-6-7-1-“
An explosion rocked my jet, then another, I was hit.
“Ejector seat sequence initiated.” appeared on my HUD.
My hoofs were pulled in by the straps, the canopy was blasted off. The acceleration for being blasted upwards pushed me down into my seat. I looked down to see my F-18 explode and my attacker fly over it. It was another SU-47 but this one had a purple stripe on each wing. It was the same jet that I encountered with Spitfire during the return trip on Operation Wave.
It flew to the west, away from the battle zone. Again the pilot of that jet flew away. What a crowd I thought to myself. The tree branches slowed my decent and brought be to a halt about 15ft from the ground. I just hanged there for a few moments and thought about what had just happened.
“Me. How could I have gotten shot down?”
I unsheathed my knife and started to cut the ropes. (Before you ask, the knife would stun an opponent in a combat situation. It could also be used as a utility or survival knife) When I landed on the ground I immediately ran east because the invasion forces were in that direction and to the west was the Empire.
After a couple of minutes I stopped, I could hear voices; I took cover behind a tree. There were about five of them and they made such a racket. Stepping on twigs and talking, they were heading in the direction from which I came.
Whatever language they were specking it wasn't Equine, it was Russhian. When they passed me I had a look at them, they were wearing civilian clothes, old clothes and looked ruff. I took a chance.
“Red!” I shouted. The hoof steps stopped.
“Red!” I called out again, expecting the answer Star. But all I could here was mumbling.
“Answer or I will open fire!”
“That will do.”
I stepped out from behind the tree and held my pistol in to the air. Five scruffy looking partisans with their blasters slung around their shoulders stood there, they looked a little confused.
“Are you the pilot?”
“No I’m Celestia.” The other partisans laughed at my joke. One wiped is hoof on his jacket and held it out to me.
“My name is Mosin, what’s yours?”
“Sky Marshal Whirlwind.” I shook his hoof, he was limb and if his jaw could hit the floor it would have. The only mare in the group said something in Russhian, I think it was “Oh my god” Then they all started to crowd around me, shaking my hoof, patting me on the back, I felt like a celebrity.
After we exchanged pleasantries I was almost dragged to their HQ. Four hours before the invasion Partisan groups such as this one were to destroy objectives and attack enemy patrols. The group that I found were just coming back from there operation. They lost eight comrades.
The entrance to their hideout reminded me of my hideout in the Everfree frost. Mosin gave three sort whistle and one long one. The branches were pulled aside by two guards.
“Come, this way.” he said to me.
As I was shuffled down the stone steps I could hear an argument in Russhian coming from the room below me. Mosin ran down and kicked open the door.
“Comrades. I give you Sky Marshal Whirlwind!”
As I entered the smell of BO, cigarettes and vodka hit me. Standing behind a wooden table with a map on it was the cell leader. He had his fore hoofs the table and scar down his left eye. What followed next was a party, dancing, singing and a lot of vodka. I was hounded by the partisans all the time, they wanted to hear my story so I told them. When I was shot down not too long ago a distress beckon automatically triggered in my flight suite, so I had a few hours to spare until an evac team would arrive from the beach.
When they did arrived I was a bit drunk, I tried to maintain my discipline but I couldn't help but crack a few jokes, like when we left the hideout I dove into the driver’s seat of the armored jeep and said “I’ll drive.”
Back on the Dusk Mist I was given a warm reception.
“Welcome back sir.” said a sailor as I passed him in the corridor.
“Good to have you back in one piece sir.”
“I’m glad to be back.”
I opened the door to the bridge, Dashie, Molotov and Bon Voyage were there waiting for me.
“Sorry I’m late.” I said when I poked my head around the door.
“Whirlwind your back!” Said Molotov throwing his arms into the air.
“Terrific.” said Bon as she kissed me on each cheek.
“I’m Glad you’re safe, but…”
“You smell like a brewery.” giggled Bon.
“That is the smell of true stallion Bon Voyage plus victory and celebration.”
“And Vodka.” she replied.
“Well at least he was drinking a stallion’s drink, not your fancy Le Mareian Wine.”
“I’ll have you know Molotov; wine is more popular in the world than vodka.”
I took my chance and slipped out of the conversation before I got dragged into a debate on what’s better Rosé or Kauffman. Dashie was looking out of widow; there was a continuance flow of boats and ships heading to Russhire in the distance.
“You all right?” I asked Dashie.
“Fine. But apparently I smell like Molotov.” Dashie didn't laugh, she just kept gazing out of the window, something was wrong.
She turned her head and looked me dead in the eye.
“ We've got him.”
Sorin was sat on a chair and hoof cuffed to the table in the interrogation room on the Dusk Mist. I was behind the one way mirror with Dashie.
“Do you want me to do it?” asked Dashie.
“No, no I’ll do it. Besides you might take it easy on him.”
“Yeah okay you do it.”
I put an ear piece in so Dashie could talk to me; my eye scan was needed to enter the room. In the white room I took out the cuff keys and freed Sorin.
“What are you doing Whirl?” asked Dashie.
“Relax.” I said under my breath.
“Is that better?” I asked Sorin.
“It is thank you.”
I sat down on my chair. We sat in silence for a moment.
“She’s fine Sorin. Trust me.”
A few more moments went by.
“So now what?” He asked.
“Well you can start with, who was your wingman when you were shot down?”
“I didn't have a wingman.”
“Don’t give me that crap. Who was it?”
“I don’t know!”
I sat back into my chair and folded my hoofs and kept on staring at Sorin. I was trying to figure him out, was he lying or telling the truth. Then his eyes widened.
“Sorin who was it?”
He looked away. I had him.
“Who was it?”
He looked back at me.
“Who is it?”
I grew impatient. I threw myself away from the desk and stormed out.
“Guard. Make sure Sorin is comfortable.”
“He knows.” I pulled Dashie to one side.
“Well what can we do?”
“Persuade him. Make him comfortable; make him see the truth of things.”
“Like we did with Spitfire right?”
“Let them reunite with each other. Who knows maybe Spitfire’s new take on the empire might rub off on Sorin.”
“Rub off on him?” I raised an eyebrow.
“Um no I don’t mean like that!”
“Ha only joking. But after you saying that I might have to give Spitfire her own place.”
We laughed and began to walk down the corridor and back to the bridge.
“Could the pilot that shot you down be Fleetfoot?” Dashie asked.
“No I don’t think so.”
“Well you should know after all you are the Wonderbolts biggest fan.”
“Hmmm okay let’s think. Spitfire’s coat is yellow so her jet had yellow strips on it. Sorin is white and he had white stripes on his jet. Fleetfoot is blue but we haven’t seen him yet and…”
“Okay I get it, it’s none of them. It must be a new recruit.” I said as I opened the door to the bridge.
“Sounds like that to me.” said Dashie.
Molotov and Bon Voyage were still arguing over which is better, vodka or Wine so I and Dashie slipped passed them and both made our way on to the balcony above the bridge. We stayed there for a moment, we needed some fresh air.
Two long months hard fighting on both sides passed and we were now at the west coast of Russhire, Stalingrad to be precise. Those two months were filled with constant bombing missions, escort, offensive and defensive opps and urban fighting. The empire put up some resistance in the country side but it was the city that saw the most fighting, perceptually Moscolt. As this opp took place in Stalliongrad there was still fighting in Moscolt.
As I few above the smouldering city I could not help but think about the day that all this madness had started. Operation Phoenix seemed like a life time ago and so much had changed. My actions on that day haunted me for so long, but now was the time to bury that bad memory.
“Whirl you okay?”
“I’m fine Dashie. You?”
“A bit freaked out. You know, being back here again.”
Operation Iron Curtain was in full swing,if we took Stalliongrad then the remaining Imperial forces would be traped. Staliongrad was the only port that Imperial forces could escape to Le Mare from. Progress by our ground forces was slow, they had to clear out every building but they knew the lay out of the city our ground forces were all Russhian. We decided that Russhian forces should liberate the city and Russhia.
Every house was like a fortress. Ground forces were calling in artillery strikes and air strikes constantly. The Imperial air force was nowhere to be seen so Dashie and I were in a holding pattern above the city. I was uncomfortable, this was too similar to Operation Phoenix I think Dashie thought the same as me.
“Baseplate to Night Furry and Rainbow 6 come in over.”
“Night Furry and Rainbow 6 here over.”
“Night Furry we have several bogeys approaching Staliongrad from the west a 7000 feet.”
“Force estimates?” asked Dashie.
“Roger Baseplate were moving to engage. Out.”
Blips appeared in my radar, exactly thirty enemy aircraft were approaching us. This was strange I would have thought the empire would have sent more forces to protect Staliongrad, maybe Solar Flare knew that it was lost cause.
The air battle lasted for some time, in a lull in the fighting I looked around. We were miles from Staliongrad and over the sea.
“Baseplate how goes the ground battle? Over.”
“It’s preceding well sir. Elements of Voil and Kineth battalion have captured the final bridge over the Red River, but progress is slow for Aesta battalion.”
“Roger. What about air resistance?”
“None existence sir.”
Then it hit me it hit me hard. The air battle was a distraction.
“All pilots, brake away from the fight. Head back to Staliongrad ASAP!”
“Whirl what’s wrong?”
“Everything. Now move!”
Myself and Dashie broke off from the fight and headed at full throttle towards Staliongrad.
“Whirl! Single contact behind us, surface level moving extremely fast towards the city.” said Dashie.
“I see it!”
It was a missile I couldn't catch up with it, it was moving so fast. It flew over the port and disappeared behind a skyscraper. The bright light of the explosion caused me to flip down the sun shield on my flight helmet but it did hardly anything to help. The mountains behind the city were all lit up, a large black cloud rose up into the sky then it came, the shock wave.
I was flipped over like a leaf in a tornado, my control panel buzzed, warning me of the altitude drop. The engines had stalled, the only way to start them was to point my nose down and apply full throttle. I did so and pulled up just before I hit the water. I leveled out, I was panting heavily. I turned my head to look at Staliongrad.
“Night Furry this is baseplate what the buck was that, was that an explosion?”