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File: Armored Flurry.png (1.24 MB, 3560x3823)
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Equestria is in a state of total war.

Over two decades ago, Anonymous arrived in Equestria.Out of his element- forever separated from his previous life, friends, and family- Anon sought out a new beginning... Only to find that the role he would best play in this strange world was that of a soldier. So Anon fought. And fought. And fought. Fought for Equestria, his new home- for his comrades in arms and the only family he found in a foreign land. For Flurry- the infant child of his mentor and best friend after all he had known was lost.

But Shining Armor is gone. Twilight too. Lost overseas, in expeditions to a wild and unknown land, known only as 'The East'.

With his new home threatened once again, an aging Anonymous wields his sword and dons his armor- one last time. Not for honor. Not for glory. Not for Equestria itself. But for Flurry Heart- the mare who calls him 'Uncle Anon'... The closest thing to blood he can have in this world.

(Also featuring Thunder- an everyman pegasi who must always suffer)
(Always)

Newfags start here:
https://pastebin.com/cdi26t7W
Current Act:
https://pastebin.com/xFcmGR6P

(If you are new, get ready for a wild ride- because this shit is almost as long as War and Peace)
>>
I'm starting from the beginning of Act 24, because I can't remember at what post I left off, and can't be bothered to check an achive
>>33380104
>…
>Stepping towards your small fleet of carts, you feel a bit more at ease about the coming days.
>While brass might not be the best metal to bind the wood together, it will have to do.
>You glance over to Harvey, who quickly responds:
>”Don’t start.”
“That’s the only thing you’ve said to me since your nap.”
>He doesn’t give you a response.
>The magic suckers were the first thing to really threaten Harvey, and you don’t think he’s comfortable being on the other side of saving.
>But all the sleepers were fine and well rested.
>Burning the nest seemed to have fixed the problem.
>A minor, yet unsettling bump in your journey.
>Assuming you really are awake right now…
>In reality, you’re fairly certain you’re awake.
>Your experiences with the Entity’s parasites and Harvey’s asides have left you able to tell reality from dream with ease.
>But now, you have a couple dozen carts and wagons.
>Most will be to carry supplies, but a couple have been made to ferry passengers.
>So some of the troops can still have time off their hooves occasionally.
>Then there are a couple empty frames ready to mount…
>Well from dissembling the bullets from your near infinite satchel of ammo, the brass was needed to work as bindings.
>But that left a lot of lead and gunpowder.
>Enough to supply a couple cannons.
>Nothing big, perhaps a pair or trio of three pounders- so that the pony’s dragging them don’t exhaust themselves too quickly.
>But having a bit of artillery will help immensely.
>Starting tomorrow, you’ll be back on the road.
>Only stopping so Harvey can harvest enough metal to make your cannons.
>>
>>33380105
>…
>You arrive to an area south of Canterlot, down the mountain along a rail line.
>The trip was about twenty minutes by train.
>But, there is a nice expanse of grassland and forest on a fairly flat surface.
>Hills and mountains still within easy reach.
>And the Canterlot workforce will be close by.
“So, we’ll need to create a station here, but I think it should work as a final construction yard and testing ground.”
>Sergeant Workhorse Fabricator, or as you call him: ‘Tinkerer’ steps out of the train car to follow you.
>”It could work, but it would be a massive undertaking.”
“Most of the other work can be dealt with in Canterlot. I’ve purchased multiple ruined city blocks to set up the beginning and intermediate steps. Also the weapon’s factory for my first order can be solely in Canterlot.”
>Muharak then steps out of the train car after Tinkerer.
>”I believe this area should work perfectly. If we can reach the final stage.”
“It will…”
>You then look over to the Sergeant.
“Starting now, you’ll be state funded. But, if events allow to expand operations beyond sole military uses, you’ll be head of the new… company.”
>”I will?”
“Workhorse Fabrications. Once Tartarus is beaten back, you’ll be able to start expanding to civilian products. Profits and operations at that point will be for you to deal with, but if Equestria needs something…"
>”You’re naming it after my name?"
“Because that’s clearly the most important thing I just said."
>”If I knew that I’d become ordered to become a businesspony, I’m not sure I would have signed up."
“Imagine how many more lives will be saved by taking one pony off the frontlines in exchange for the quality of weapon I have in mind.”
>“I know, it’s just unexpected.”
“Now, I want you to search for anyone you might need on your team. Workers can be found, but if you need any more minds working with you, we’ll get you whoever and whatever you need."
>>
>>33380106
>…
>The men are encamped past the forest, you’re currently into the mountains.
>Following the river south, you have a relatively flat path through the rough terrain.
>The wagons are filled with grass, and other supplies you’ve managed to forage.
>Now, you’re waiting for Harvey to finish his work on your cannons.
>Here in this dark ravine between cliffs…
>It leaves you on edge.
>You’ve seen some of what these mountains house.
>And you’re not sure what lies under the waters of the river.
>Nothing good.
>That’s for sur-
>Something heavy rustles your hair.
>The trunk then brushes across your face.
“Hannibal… hey buddy.”
>The elephant continues to seek attention.
>You turn to face him.
“Sorry, don’t have any apples… do elephants eat apples?”
>You bat his trunk away from your face.
“I’m sure you’d like one. Or a dozen.”
>Hannibal tries lifts his trunk up again to rustle your hair.
>Once he’s done, you brush your hand against it to make sure it’s standing down.
“Just have to get the last word in…”
>He trumpets to get the last word in.
>You just nod in response.
>The elephant won.
>This round…
>You swear that Hannibal is pretty damn intelligent.
>He decides to walk off in triumph, and the bastard looks pretty smug.
>>
>>33380108
>Not sure how an elephant can look smug as he’s walking away, but he pulled it off pretty well.
>Are you sure you’re not asleep right now?
>You reach your left thumb up and bite the tip of it.
>Yeah, you’re pretty sure this is your life now.
>This last year has been more of an upheaval than your first year in Equestria.
>At least you know how to fight and lead people now though.
>But even though you have less bullshitting to do, the year has still been wild.
>However- this…
>Here and now, despite the constant threats from your surroundings, you feel a sense of wonder.
>You’re an explorer, pushing the boundaries of the known world.
>Pressing into the wilderness, far from civilization.
>Like so many of your ancestors before you.
>Discovering the undiscovered.
>Pressing into a true frontier.
>Though you have a distinct goal in mind, you can’t help but-
>”Anon?”
>It’s Fields.
“What can I do for you? A one way ticket back to Equestria is out of the question.”
>”What? No, not that. There’s still this background… energy. A magical aura. Not quite pure chaos, more of a malevolence- just uncontrolled anger and madness.”
“Would you like a bedtime story?”
>”A what?”
“Your parents never told you a story to help you sleep at night?”
>”Not really.”
“I was going to make a joke about all my stories being about war and killing, but that’s just sad.”
>”Well what I was going to say, is that maybe your friend can use it as a power source.”
“You think Harv can absorb the background magic?”
>”I said maybe.”
“Well it’s at least worth a try.”
>>
>>33380110
>…
>You set down onto the city outskirts, pulling the cloak tighter around your body.
>The cloak is something you ‘borrowed’ from a small town’s bar.
>When you were at that village, you were almost overwhelmed.
>The ponies around you…
>You could sense them.
>Before you even set hoof inside the bar, you knew how many people were inside.
>You knew where they were sitting.
>And you knew who they were.
>Now that you’re on the outskirts of a major city- you can already feel the souls within.
>Like on some level, you’re still connected to the crystal’s vision of the world.
>But back in that village…
>You could feel that there was more to one of the patrons of the bar.
>He was a changeling.
>One of the remnants.
>He didn’t want to cause harm- he just wanted to survive now that all of the queens in Equestria have been killed.
>Here…
>You know that a changeling is here.
>Not just any changeling though…
>Night.
>Somewhere out there, he’s planning his next step.
>Watching and learning about the intended targets.
>It’s on you to stop him.
>You just need to drown out everypony else…
>>
>>33380111
>…
>With your horribly named soldier now working on your project, you returned to the Palace in Canterlot.
>With Tinker getting his funding and manpower, you expect preliminary results soon.
>But, after sending word for Offense to join you, you went to the Throne Room.
>It’s been cleaned up since last you saw, but the hole in the wall you made with a Royal Guard is still being patched up.
>At least your wait for the Brigadier isn’t long.
>He soon enters from the double doors at the end of the room.
>The General is in full uniform, but you can see that his left wing is completely bandaged.
>That’s good, it means he didn’t have to lose it.
>You can’t say the same for his eye.
>A large eye patch covers his left eye.
>And as he approaches, you can see he’s limping.
“How are you doing?”
>”I’ve been better.”
>Once he reaches the foot of the throne, he speaks again.
>”Why is it always the left one? Is there not a single pony in this army that had their right eye injured?”
“Is it painful?”
>”You and Anon just got scars over yours, but I lose mine. And that’s what hurts.”
>Good to see he’s coping.
“Did you hear about Wave?”
>”His kid was… I’d rather not think about it.”
>>
>>33380114
“Well how’s Lancer?”
>”Still breathing. Barely.”
>The doctors aren’t sure how long he’ll be comatose.
>Or if he’ll come out of it.
“Feeling ready to get back into-“
>”Yes.”
“Good.”
>You grab onto a small wooden box you had brought in.
“Catch.”
>Tossing it to Offense, he reaches out his right hoof to catch it.
>However he failed to reach the hoof out far enough.
>You grab it with magic before it hits the ground.
>”Sorry. Vision is still adjusting.”
>Placing the box into his hoof, he flips it open.
>Then looks back up at you.
>”What’s this?”
“Lancer is unresponsive, Wave is off the grid, and Arrow is still adjusting to his position. Like it or not, you’re the ranking Army officer.”
>”I…”
>He starts to protest, but soon sighs.
>”I understand.”
>Reaching out with your magic once again, you focus on the items in the case.
>One at a time, you place an additional star on each shoulder of his uniform.
“Congratulations, Major General.”
>”So what happens now?”
>>
>>33380116
>You get up from the throne and walk down to Offense.
“Brairheart and Tiara will deal with most of the smaller details. In broad terms, with more divisions reinforcing the armies, there’s been a minor shift in what regions of Equestria are protected by who. The 1st remains in the heartlands, ready to move out. The 2nd remains in the west and southwest. The 3rd is going to be focused on the northwest, leaving the 5th to take over the south and southeast. The 4th is still over in the north and northeast, with a division reinforcing the Crystal Empire and it’s militia.”
>”And the training and reserve divisions are still spread pretty equally.”
“Right. I guess we should-“
>He’s cut off as a familiar pegasi bursts into the throne room.
>”Princess!”
>It’s Call…
“You better have a damn good reason for not tracking down Night right now!”
>”News from out west! The bison are saying that tribes further west are under attack, the descriptions they offered make it sound like Tartarus.”
>A brief moment of rest, then they rear their ugly heads again.
“EVERY SINGLE TIME!”
>Did…
“Sorry, I said that out loud. Somepony get Brairheart. And Call… get out there and find Night!”
>>
>>33380120
>…
>You kick open the door to Brairheart’s room.
“Admiral!”
>A voice yells from the bathroom, the door left open.
>”I’m bathing!”
>You walk over to the open door, and enter.
>Offense follows closely behind.
>And he can’t help but giggle at the sight.
>”You could have at least knocked!”
>Brairheart is laying in a bubble bath, and pulls more suds towards the portion of his body that’s sticking out of the water.
“Get up.”
>”Just give me a minute.”
>You light up your horn and start to mess with the handles.
>A moment later, you open up the shower’s tap to let out cold water.
>You then leave the bathroom as Braitheart rushes to the tap.
>Offense follows after laughing for a bit.
>Glaring at the General, you speak in a stern tone:
“What’s so funny?”
>”Right.”
>He then stops grinning.
“That was quick. Usually you can’t keep your face together that easily.”
>”Eye jokes. That’s a low hanging fruit.”
“Still hanging higher than your eye.”
>”Okay, I set myself up for that one.”
>Soon, Brairheart exits the bathroom with a towel draped over his body.
>”To what do I owe the pleasure?”
“The Bison say there might be a Tartarus incursion out west. Dry yourself off and get dressed.”
>”You could have just said so.”
“Yes, I could have.”
>>
>>33380121
>…
>Harvey holds his arms out.
>”Nothing.”
“Don’t give me that.”
>”I feel the background magic, but I can’t do anything with it.”
“You’re a lost cause.”
>”I built you four cannons!”
>They’ve been mounted to the frames and each are now being pulled by two earth ponies.
>He also fashioned a few dozen proper cannon balls and some cases of grapeshot.
>You continue to walk through the ravine as your group follows behind.
“So what’s at the end of the mountains?”
>”A few other rivers will feed into this one. Once we get to the end, the next mystery box has another boat because you’d be following the river south for some time.”
“I don’t think we can all fit into a single boat.”
>”Which is why I’m going to sap the engine of power to build a barge large enough to carry us all.”
“And how long will we be on the river?”
>”A few weeks. Past that, you’ll have to choose from a few options of how to proceed.”
“Those would be?”
>”We’ll cross that bridge when we come to it.”
“You don’t get to cliché me.”
>”You know Anon, I quite like the turn this voyage has taken.”
>Harvey changes the topic.
>”This is actually quite refreshing. You, me, and a band of three hundred against the unknown.”
“Well I’m glad one of us is enjoying this.”
>”Oh you love it too. I’ve been in your head- don’t lie. Being out here, not bound to status and bearing the weight of a nation- this is a vacation.”
“I-“
>Well, he’s right.
>You took most of your vacations in the Everfree.
>But Flurry’s life wasn’t at stake those times.
“One of these days…”
>”Oh take a moment to stop and smell the… rocks. It’s beautiful out here.”
>>
>>33380123
>…
“Now.”
>Once again, you use the lounge as a meeting room.
“Moving armies so far out west will be difficult. From the 1st army, I’ll be taking the 5th infantry and 101st airborne. Once we hit Fort Expanse, the 33rd division will split from the 2nd army to join the expeditionary force. The 21st and 51st logistic divisions will need to work overtime to keep supply lines up. If necessary, additional divisions from the 2nd army will join us.”
>Offense then speaks:
>”I’ll get word out and have the trains set up.”
>You then look to Brairheart.
“How long until the Prydwen’s sister ship is ready?”
>”Still a month or two.”
“I’d rather not take her so far from Equestira until then.”
>”Well the Air Fleet still isn’t quite a fleet again. But given the shift towards chariots housing grenadiers or unicorns, we’ve been able to repurpose several of the old style airships that were under construction into mobile air bases to house them.”
“Carrier. The word you’re looking for is carrier.”
>”Yes, I suppose. No matter what you call them, I can assign one old style airship and three repurposed ones. Each of the ‘carriers’ houses two dozen chariots of each type.”
>Combined with the ten thousand pegasi of the 101st, air supremacy will be pretty solid.
“Well see to it.”
>”We’ll see to it.”
>>
>>33380126
>…
>You stand watching the late afternoon light shine over the valley below Canterlot.
“Can you feel it?”
>Ambassador Blunt Force responds in jest.
>”A cool and brisk wind. Reminds me of home.”
“No… it’s much greater than that. Each and every attack from Tartarus so far has been nothing but a bookmark in the greater battle.”
>”My people could have been destroyed by the sundering.”
“But that was one attack. If it hadn’t been dealt with, it may have threatened your people as a whole. Now that the focus has mainly been on Equestria, there’s been one attack after another in a timely fashion. Sure, there might have been some overlap, but most of it was directed at my people.”
>”Well quit stealing out apocalypse.”
“I fear for the day that a full scale attack occurs across Equestria and our neighbors. We can stop a single pit, or a few concurrent pits, but if multiple ruptures form across the world… I’m not sure.”
>”My people have always been warriors. But yours? In recent years, yours have become soldiers. If any people can repel and defeat Tartarus, I’d say yours are the second most likely to endure.”
“And who are the first?”
>”My own, of course.”
“Heh.”
>>
>>33380127
>Force is a patriot at the end of the day.
“Well you better hope that a generation born into war can overcome the coming storm.”
>”There was a time where I’d say if Anonymous was leading your people, it would be without doubt. Now that he’s gone. And now that I’ve seen you take up his mantle… maybe. Hopefully.”
“Anon reformed warfare. By the time I’m done, I’ll have revolutionized it.”
>”Tell me that once we’ve-“
>Force stops as the door to the balcony opens.
>You turn to face the noise.
>Starlight is standing with a few unicorns of the Old Guard behind her.
>One of them is levitating a magic amplifying crystal in the distance.
“Et tu Glimmer?”
>”What?”
“What’s this about?”
>”… Some people are worried about you. They want-“
“Someponies think I’m under the parasite’s influence.”
>”Yes. They want me to check you out.”
“Then by all means. Lead the way.”
>You won’t hold this against whoever voiced reservations.
>They don’t know what your new era entails.
>>
>>33380131
>…
“Well. Before we met in the Changeling hive, I can’t say that I knew any of you personally. But each and every one of you has proven yourself. Even if I had to rescue you after the hive’s trap. This road is a hard one, but we’ll get through it. So take tonight, and rest well.”
>You’d guess Harvey is right.
>To some extent.
>Being out here is…
>Liberating.
“I mean it. I could have come out here with the most hardened veterans I’ve ever known. But you’ve exceeded the expectations I’d have held them to. I swear to each and every one of you- I’ll make sure you get home.”
>But they’ve been gone for decades or more.
“Or at least what remains of home. If there’s nothing left, I’ll make sure you have a new home waiting for you. Because if even if you’ve had your time stolen, that won’t stop you from getting what you’ve earned.”
>While you see content faces from most of the group, Harvey opens his mouth:
>”Well my time is precious.”
>You point over to him:
“Harv, you’re on thin ice.”
>”Well at least entertain me.”
“You’re Mister Illusion. Why don’t you?”
>A guitar materializes- hovering in front of you.
>”They miss the radio.”
>Grabbing the instrument, you actually get a grasp on it.
>Then you strum the strings.
“You all hear that?”
>The others nod.
“Been a while.”
>You test out a few chords.
“Want a song?”
>One of the men yells over to you:
>”Sing!”
>Alright.
>After clearing your throat, you strum a bit and begin.
“Almost heaven, West Virginia…”
>>
>>33380134
>…
>After a long hour of Starlight scanning you with magic, she pauses.
“Happy?”
>She just looks at you with an unsure face.
“I’m not infected- you would have been able to see that after a minute or two. What’s wrong?”
>”Well… you’ve been regaining your magical abilities at a far greater rate than is possible. The feats you’ve exhibited are-“
“What do you mean? Going from barely able to open a door to turning a mountainside to glass seems like a reasonable step to recovery.”
>”That’s…”
>She’s terrified at your joke.
“Okay, that was in poor taste. What’s the problem?”
>”It’s…”
“Now you’re starting to spook me. What’s wrong?”
>”I can think of two answers to the phenomena.”
>You wait for her to continue.
“Well?”
>”When you were an infant, your magical abilities would fluctuate with your emotional state. The parasites also seem to draw power and influence from emotions- primarily the more negative ones. I’m not sure whether the parasites simply awakened something within you… or in defeating the parasite, you adopted that ability.”
“I’m not sure I follow completely.”
>”Do you want me to be succinct?”
“Do you need to ask?”
>”As far as I can tell, you magical prowess is directly influenced by your negative emotional state.”
“I’m literally fueled by anger?”
>”I wouldn’t put it that way, but yes. You could say that.”
“And that’s a problem… why?”
>”I-“
>>
>>33380138
>.
“Sorry, let me explain myself. Worst case, I adopted some ability of the parasites. If so, I can use that against them should the time come- meanwhile, I can use it to protect Equestria from Tartarus. On the other hoof, this has always been a part of me. And if so, it only proves who I am and was meant to be- the Princess of War.”
>”The Princess of War isn’t the baby I knew so long ago. It’s not the child I knew, and it isn’t even the young adult I knew.”
“What does Equestria need? An infant, or a leader?”
>”Does Equestria need a leader who goes against her own nature?”
“This isn’t the old days. Tartarus can’t be beaten by friendship and love- only be iron and blood.”
>”I’m just saying that if you lose yourself to conflict, what separates you from Celestia?”
“Fear. The parasite amplified her uncertainty of the future. I don’t fear Tartarus- I respect the threat it poses, but I am not ruled by that threat. Beyond my own abilities, and that of my subordinates, I trust in the will and strength of our people to overcome Tartarus. If we stand united, then this enemy and all future ones will be dispatched: and there is no limit to the heights we can achieve.”
>”Are you trying to convince me or yourself?”
“I…”
>”Flurry. Don’t lose yourself- remember who you are. Who you really are.”
>>
>>33380142
>…
>You’ve survived in Fillydelphia in the parks and allies.
>’Borrowing’ some food from open markets when necessary.
>All of the voices- they aren’t really voices though.
>You can sense the ponies around you.
>Who they are and what defines them.
>It isn’t voices you hear, it’s the souls you can feel.
>But now that you’ve been able to narrow the souls, you’ve been following a mare leading a pair of children to school.
>Who do you follow now?
>The children, or the mother and the baby she’s carrying…
>Night could attempt to kill either duo.
>He’s not close, but you could choose to protect only half of the people.
>Do you help the mother and baby?
>Or do you protect the seven year old colt and stallion- the two who don’t know it yet, but care for each other more than just childhood friends do.
>Either way, family of one will be at risk.
>But, only by protecting the two children will two families have a guardian and survive past this generation.
>Are you to-
>Somepony familiar is near.
>And that pony is-
>Too near.
>You jump back, narrowly avoiding a punch towards your skull.
>Instead, the pony hits the building you were standing against, his hoof blooding against the bricks.
>Turning towards the pony, you begin the struggle.
>He thinks you’re-
>You jump back to avoid a jab, then block another swipe with your own left hoof.
>He’s-
>You move your neck and head to the side to avoid a headbutt.
>Then respond with a hook into the pony’s head.
>While he’s stunned, you press the advantage to grasp the pony and thrust him to the wall of the building the fight has erupted against.
>>
>>33380143
“If I was who you think I am, why would I choose this form?”
>”I can think of-“
>You have to block a kick back towards your back knees.
“You saw what he did in Ponyville. And you’ve heard what happened to other Old Guard families south of it. Now you’re thinking big again- he hit your family and command. But with the increased guard with the family in Ponyville and in the Palace, he won’t strike again soon. He’ll hit the family of command outside of those cities- and Brairheart’s family is here, Offense’s daughter is here. Think about it.”
>You pause.
“If I was Night, why would I choose Thunder’s from- and why would I try to hide that form with a cloak Why would I, Wave?”
>”Because you-“
>He attempts to strike you again, but you knew he was going to, and blocked the kick.
“Wave. I’m on your side. Both of our families are gone- taken from us. I won’t take your desire for revenge against the changeling from you. But you need to trust me- even if it’s for the first time you’ve really trusted me.”
>”How do you know I never really trusted you?”
>You press your foreleg against his neck.
“Because it isn’t trust you value. It’s duty towards your own ideals. With nothing left to lose, you only have hopes. No matter what you think of me, I want to stop Night- and you want to hope I can help you stop Night.”
>You step back from his throat.
>”Maybe I believe you…”
>That’s a start.
>>
>>33380147
“Ponies are watching.”
>Wave then speaks loudly, in a much more bombastic tone than his usual pitch:
>”Buddy! It’s been forever!”
>He then puts an arm over your shoulder, and you return the embrace.
>You also speak loudly enough for the nearby people to hear:
“You free? Let’s go get some coffee.”
>He nods, then you begin to walk down the street, returning to hushed tones:
“Offense’s daughter and Brairheart’s son are at school now. The Admiral’s wife and their baby are going about a normal day.”
>”We should split up to watch both pairs in case the changeling makes his move. Dewdrop know what I look like- I don’t want her noticing and changing her routine.”
“Then I’ll tail her.”
>”She’ll probably head back home, maybe shop for a while.”
“I know you’re wondering- no, Brairheart’s wife hasn’t been replaced by Night.”
>”How do you know?”
“I can… tell. Trust me.”
>”Well Brairheart bought the top floor of an apartment building and turned it into a penthouse. Given the changeling’s history with bombs, you should look for any tampering.”
“He’s not above bringing down a building. If we have the time, we should check to see if any nearby army stockpiles are missing any gunpowder.”
>”Not yet, he’ll still be planning his own next moves. Watching while we watch.”
>Who will notice first though?
>”The MID had a few old safehouses in the city, he could be using one of those as a base of operations.”
“He’s a changeling, why would he use a known and previously raided location as one?”
>”Fair… split now, Dewdrop’s getting too far away.”
>As Wave turns at the next corner, you continue to follow Brairheart’s wife.
>But, Night is in the city.
>You can feel it- he’s out there somewhere.
>>
>>33380151
>…
>You find Offense speaking in the fields outside of Canterlot, addressing officers of the 5th division.
>The men salute as they see you set down.
“At ease.”
>The General then looks to you:
>”What do we owe the pleasure?”
“The word from west was scattered. I want more than three divisions mobilizing for the march. In addition to those already preparing, I want the I Corps joining the expeditionary force.”
>”The entire first?”
“You heard what I said.”
>The 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th divisions will be joining the 5th and 101st, meeting up with the 33rd at Fort Expanse.
“I’d take the entire 1st Army, but that would be too much of a strain on logistics.”
>”About that…”
“What’s gone wrong now?”
>”Last afternoon, the message to start mobilizing was sent to the 7th instead of the 5th.”
“And that’s a problem?”
>”Well… their CO took initiative. They got on the trains last night.”
“How did they get the railways to give so many trains to the army without word from command?”
>”Apparently, they all paid for their own tickets.”
“What?”
>”We’re talking about the 1st Army- Anon’s Army. When they get orders, they follow them.”
“An entire division just up and left without any logistical support?”
>”Their encampment was a ghost town by the morning, support artillery and all. By now, they’re too far out to send pegasi out to catch them before they hit Fort Expanse.”
“Well I guess the 7th is part of the expeditionary force too- but have some very choice words for their CO…”
>>
>>33380155
>Maybe you need to-
>No Flurry.
>No purges.
“Just… get the infrastructure ready for a larger troop movement than expected. I’ll still take the original divisions out as soon as possible, the other four will join as reinforcements.”
>The army does have a chronic plague of taking initiative when unasked.
>But they’re ready to die for you.
>For Equestria.
>Could you ask more?
“Now, if you’ll excuse me.”
>You have some ponies to meet.
>…
>The survivors of Thunder’s attack to Tartarus.
>Three thousand soldiers who survived the slaughter.
>They’ve arrived at Canterlot.
>So, you met them on the road leading to the city.
>When you saw the force marching forward, you stopped them.
“Men of the 3rd Army, continue on to the city. From there, rest before returning to your units.”
>There is a pause, as the men they accompany are technically treasonous.
“That is an order.”
>As they separate, you’re left with a regiment’s worth of battered soldiers.
“As the Princess, I must label you as traitors. As an Equestrian, I must label you as heroes. You are the only ponies who have survived the horrors of the underworld. And while I cannot let desertion go unpunished, I cannot let your struggles and endurance go unrecognized. Who among you retains the highest rank?”
>As the ponies look around, eventually an earth pony limps forward.
>He has a dark golden coat an unkempt mane the color of stained oak.
>And he seems familiar.
“What’s your name?”
>”Lieutenant Whiskey.”
“Old Guard?”
>”I am.”
>That’s where you’ve seen him before.
>>
>>33380158
“Not anymore. From this point forward, you are Major Whiskey- leader of the Lost Regiment. These men are yours to command and promote as you see fit. They will fight on the forefront against Tartarus. And once this war has been won, only then will they be permitted to retire or rejoin the main army forces should they wish.”
>”There are others who would lead bet-“
“You now take orders directly from the throne. Is that understood?”
>”It is.”
“Good, let your men rest. Because we march west soon.”
>You then address the force as a whole.
“All of your willingness to fight and die for Equestria will not go unforgotten. After your penance- once this struggle is over- each and every one of you will be treated as the exemplars of Equestria that you are. Until that day comes, you will be the bulwark to the horrors you’ve experienced. If any of you wish to challenge that order- I’m right here. Unaccompanied and alone.”
>You wait for one to raise hoof against you.
>But none of them do.
“As long as you live, Equestria lives. Now march on.”
>So this is the new era.
>An Equestria that does not need a Princess.
>An Equestria that only requires a Leader.
>Without Anon, you must be that leader.
>For the world, you must be that leader.
>Lose yourself, or lose civilization and life as you know it?
>If it comes down to that choice…
>You’ll choose pragmatism.
>>
>>33380162
>No.
>No matter what happens, you won’t let Equestria die.
>Neither her body nor soul.
>You’ve always placed your own wellbeing below that of others.
>When you put forward a proclamation against Celestia’s tyranny, you put all other signers of that proclamation at risk.
>Those days are over.
>You will lead, and you will lead from the front.
>And when the day comes when the battle must be taken to Tartarus- you will lead the way.
>Because you…
>You are not fueled by your own anger.
>You are fueled by the will of your people.
>An alicorn born of natural cause- the embodiment of Equestrian spirit.
>No matter the reforms that revolutionize the nation, the blood and soul of Equestria will remain.
>And you…
>You have your inspiration.
>While the soldiers prepare, you know your next step.
>>
>>33380164
>…
>The pony responds in his baritone:
>”What even is this?”
“Sing. I already hummed the melody.”
>”I don’t sing.”
“Tiara said otherwise.”
>”That-“
“Should I fetch her?”
>Port then responds:
>”Fine.”
>An old song, sung by Anon.
>Inspired by his history.
>But changed for the better, and the origins adopted for a more noble cause- it can be your people’s new cause.
>https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o2jnX2y30DE
>He then clears his throat before starting:
>”United forever, in friendship and struggle: our mighty Equestria will ever endure. The great Pony union will live through the ages- the dream of a people: their fortress secure. Long live our Equine motherland: built by the people’s mighty hooves. Long live our people, united and free- strong in our friendship, tried by fire. Long may our flying flag inspire- shining in glory for all lands to see.”
>Next.
>”Through days dark and starry, while Celestia led us. Our eyes saw the bright sun of freedom of all. And Flurry our Leader, with faith in the people- inspired us to build up a land that we loved.”
>A refrain:
>”Long live our Equine motherland: built by the people’s mighty hooves. Long live our people, united and free- strong in our friendship, tried by fire. Long may our flying flag inspire- shining in glory for all lands to see.”
>>
>>33380167
>Next:
>”We fought for the future, destroyed the invader. And brought to our homeland: the laurels of fame. Our glory will live in the memory of nations, and all generations will honor her name. Long live our Equine motherland: built by the people’s mighty hooves. Long live our people, united and free- strong in our friendship, tried by fire. Long may our flying flag inspire- shining in glory for all lands to see.”
>Hold the last before a refrain:
>”We fought for the future, destroyed the invader. And brought to our homeland: the laurels of fame. Our glory will live in the memory of nations, and all generations will honor her name. Long live our Equine motherland: built by the people’s mighty hooves. Long live our people, united and free- strong in our friendship, tried by fire. Long may our flying flag inspire- shining in glory for all lands to see.”
>You pause a moment before stopping the recording.
“Excellent. Now all that’s needed is a chorus at the appropriate parts. You and Tiara will see to it. Because this song will be a symbol.”
>”Did you really need me to-“
“If there wasn’t war in the past decades, I think you’d have ended up in music. So yes- it was needed.”
>>
>>33380170
>…
>You rush to the bank of the river as Hannibal trumpets in distress.
>A large tentacle has breached the water, and has wrapped around the elephant’s foreleg.
>It’s almost as thick as your torso.
>A few prickly hairs sprout from the damp flesh- and not just wet from the water, but covered in a slime that shines brightly against in the light.
>You take aim and shoot at the tentacle with your rifle.
>As a bout of sickly green blood erupts from the tendril, it releases the grasp on Hannibal.
>Cycling the bolt of the weapon, you take aim and fire again.
>Rushing forward towards the riverbank, the tentacle retracts into the murky water.
>You fire indiscriminately to where it erupted from a couple times.
>Then you start to step back, ushering the elephant to get back as well.
>Once you’ve reached a safer distance, you turn to speak to Hannibal.
“Come on buddy, you’re smarter than this.”
>You then point over to an open barrel sitting towards the camp.
“We fill that up with water for you. “
>>
>>33380172
>He trumpets in defiance.
“Hey, that is cold and pure water from Manehattan! Keep drinking river slime, and that’s what happens. There’s no mystical forest protecting you anymore.”
>Did the elephant just roll his eyes?
“Don’t give me the silent treatment.”
>He nods before turning to trot over to the open barrel of water.
>Harvey then pops over to you.
>”Rebellious teenage phase?”
“Get back to work.”
>After a sigh, he responds:
>”Very well, Herr Anon.”
>He teleports back to wherever he was, and you look to the ponies watching you.
“Nothing serious. Just stay clear of the water.”
>Though that should be obvious.
>Can’t stay too close to the mountains either.
>Large spiders have formed cocoons in the rock, using them as hunting blinds.
>At least in the ravine, none of the giant birds you’ve seen overhead have decided to swoop down.
>>
>>33380174
>…
>Night is still far away.
>You can feel two great bouts of cold calculated rage on opposing sides of the city.
>The other being you can pick out is Wave.
>He is not… adjusting well.
>With Wave’s only family gone- duty is the only remaining aspect of his life that gives him meaning and purpose.
>But in his current state, that is the last thing on his mind.
>Only one thing is on his mind, and the second he sees Night, only one of them will be able walk away.
>There’s still decency left in there, but Wave stands to lose it.
>But far away, Night is on the move.
>Slowly but surely.
>You think he’s still searching for his targets.
>Or finding a base of operations.
>Either way, you reached Fillydelphia around the same time.
>But you, and Wave, knew where to look.
>He doesn’t.
>Or…
>He has something else planned.
>You can’t really tell.
>It’s not like you’re a mind read-
>The child is distressed.
>You can tell, as the mother rushes over to her.
>Also you’re on the roof, and she left a window open- you can hear her cry below.
>Brairheart’s wife goes over to their child, picking her up.
>As she shushes the child and promising that everything is alright, you think to what your life could have been.
>Watching over the city and it’s monuments, a single tear rolls down your cheek.
>>
>>33380176
>…
>”Brairheart says his ship will meet up with you at Fort Expanse.”
>You remain silent as Offense talks, instead looking at the staging ground.
>A couple trains have moved onto the main tracks, others are still being loaded.
>As hundreds of men pack themselves into cars and onto open flatbeds.
>Officers yell at others to be careful with explosives as they’re hauled aboard.
>Taking even a single division out would be the largest military expedition westward.
>And you’re taking eight if you count the one already stationed at Expanse, and the 7th who have already gone ahead.
>The 101st are flying overhead, breaking into their formations.
>A generation born and raised knowing only war, and a generation past them maturing into soldiering age.
>Even though over a hundred thousand men are on the march, they don’t even make up a tenth of Equestria’s active duty forces if you include the reserves and those in training.
>This will be the largest scale operation of the war against Tartarus.
>>
>>33380179
>It will take a full day for more trains to arrive in Canterlot to ship out all of the soldiers.
>In essence, this is the greatest test of Equestria’s readiness to respond in full at a moment’s notice.
>Perhaps, after looking at the numbers, a broader approach should be taken.
>Rather than a centralized march from the capitol’s staging grounds, the various army commands should have divisions ready to mobilize to any corner of Equestria.
>But-
>”Ma’am, are you sure you only want to take two dozen pegasi from the Old Guard?”
“Two dozen as a retinue will be enough. You’ll know when the Guard needs to be deployed in full.”
>”Fair enough.”
“Upset you’re not coming?”
>”I think it’d be better if you stayed here and left the Expeditionary Force to my command.”
“You’re still too bruised up. If you had any say, you’d still try to lead from the front and just get yourself hurt even more- or worse. Besides, you need to learn how to pull your own weight with paperwork and logistics.”
>”Still, without Anon, Lancer, or even Wave… How long can we keep this up?”
“The war isn’t lost as long as there’s a single pony left with the will to fight.”
>”Think you have enough soldiers?”
“We don’t know how far the beasts have spread. I want you ready to send a full army out as reinforcements if necessary.”
>”Sorry, but I can’t send Anon out to reinforce.”
“I’m serious.”
>”Right. And I’ll have Brairheart’s fancy boat ready to fly out.”
“But don’t overextend. It’s just as likely that this attack is to draw soldiers away from Equestria.”
>Now, you have some friends to meet up with on the lead train.
“Don’t burn the nation down while I’m gone.”
>>
>>33380182
Okay, I'm pretty sure that's where I left off in the last thread. Just giving a break for it.
>>
>>33380182
>…
“Now just hold still. On three: one-”
>You pop the griffon’s shoulder back into place.
>”You said on three!”
“It’s easier on both sides if you’re not expecting it.”
>One of your griffons wanted to learn how to shoot the Enfield.
>Despite your warnings, he didn’t shoulder the weapon tightly.
>To be fair, it’s mainly your fault.
>The rifle is a longer weapon than a griffon is tall.
“Move the arm around for me.”
>He stretches the joint to make sure he has a full range of motion.
“Alright, you’ll be fine.”
>While the griffon limps off, Rusty laughs before speaking to you:
>”Let me try.”
“Target rock is ten yards away, have at it.”
>You pick up the rifle and hand it to the minotaur.
>Harvey leans over and whispers to you:
>”Ten bits?”
“Not taking it, I know he won’t.”
>Rusty notices and yells at the two of you:
>”Think I can’t hit it?”
“Prove me wrong.”
>He tightly shoulders the rifle, takes aim, and tries to pull the trigger.
“Told you.”
>Rusty realizes his mistake.
>”Oh.”
>He then cycles the bolt.
>Then he fires at the roughly head sized rock you set on a larger boulder.
>And misses.
“You’re hugging the trigger too much. Again.”
>Another miss.
“Shot was low, now you’re anticipating the recoil too much. Relax a bit, the shot should surprise you just a bit.”
>Closer, but still a bit off target.
“You’ll get there. Eventually. Hopefully.”
>”The kick and smell, this is fun. Can I keep this when we get back home?”
“I’ll think about it.”
>”I’ll trade everything I own for it.”
“You’ve been gone for over a century, you don’t own anything.”
>”Hard bargain, I’ll double the offer.”
>You grab the gun back from him.
>”Fine- triple.”
“Nice try buddy.”
>>
>>33380190
>…
>After Dewdrop left the apartment to get the children from school, you were able to meet up with Wave.
>”I didn’t notice anything strange on my end-“
“He’s on the other side of town.”
>”How do you know that?”
“I just… I can sense it.”
>”Can you accurately tell his location?”
“Vaguely.”
>”So no.”
“I think I could pick him out in a crowd.”
>Wave remains silent for a moment.
>”Did anything seem out of the ordinary at their apartment?”
“No, I don’t think Night knows exactly where they live yet.”
>”Hmm… The kids have school tomorrow, so they’ll be keeping to a routine. Let’s try to find Night before he finds them.”
“Alright. Let’s head this way instead.”
>”Could he be planning something else?”
“I don’t know.”
>”You said he was on the other side of the city?”
“Yeah.”
>”The army has a regional headquarters over that way.”
“Could be another target, or the primary-“
>A loud pony then yells out to the people on the streets:
>”Clear the road!”
>The people quickly get out of the way as a drill sergeant runs a platoon of soldiers through the streets.
>”Keep it up! If you’re complaining now, just wait until we hit the stairs!”
>The training soldiers begin to run past.
>”I said keep it up! No slacking in this army!”
>The trainees are all in armor and have full backpacks on.
>If it’s anything like your boot camp, the packs should quite literally be filled with bricks.
>>
>>33380194
>…
>Morning Sunshine continues:
>”It’s just, are you sure you want to change things so much?”
“We’ve already been changed in spirit. Some of you girls are older than me, some of you are younger. But you all know the Equestria of older days is gone.”
>Autumn Leaf then interrupts:
>”Bull-honkey.”
“When you were a kid, how many ponies had their natural talents based around warfare and conflict? Now almost half of Equestrians born have a cutie mark related to direct fighting or integral parts of the war machine.”
>”If that change can happen in a generation, it can return in one too.”
>Private Ruby Flare counters her Sergeant’s words:
>”But we aren’t so isolated as we were in your days. Even if cutie marks change, non-ponies don’t have them, and they’re set in conflict. That’s without even mentioning the creatures.”
>”You don’t have any memories of peace Flare. With your skills, you should be training to be a Thunderbolt, not living this life.”
>”But this is my life, and I don’t want to be some mare made for show- I signed up for this. And now that it’s a fight against extinction, that only makes me want to fight harder.”
>”Would you say that if you knew anything else though?”
>Blueberry Blossom then tries to defuse the argument:
>”But with Tartarus attacking, it’s only brought us and our old enemies together. Ponies, minotaurs, griffons- we’re all fighting together as allies- friends. Wasn’t that what Equestria always wanted- friendship with everypony else?”
>Merry Weather then counters:
>”But friendship wasn’t meant to be formed because there was no other option.”
“Can any true friendship be forged without struggle? To truly test those bonds, something important to each person has to be at stake.”
>>
>>33380195
>Autumn then speaks to you:
>”But is a friend made through force really a friend?”
“No. Which is why we struggle together with our neighbors. We could have just let them fall on their own and fortify our own borders. Only by enduring hardship together are true bonds made.”
>And there’s been a lot of shared struggle this year.
“I helped the minotaurs, and overnight they became our most steadfast ally. We helped the Saddle Arabians, and now they’re friendly towards Equestria for the first time in decades. We fought and died with the griffons, and some of them are now openly calling for me to become their direct monarch. It took barely half a year to make bitter enemies but differences aside.”
>”Only when faced with extinction. If yaks or dogs attacked our new allies, would they be so earnest?”
“Offer one hand and arm the other. Speak softly but wield a large stick. I understand why you might question idealism, but my idealism isn’t blind. Whatever world comes out of this struggle, Equestria will be at the heart of it. If we fail, then civilized life ends. But when we succeed…”
>How to put it.
“We’ll all be tired of the fighting. And even if most of our alliances were forged from necessity, we’ll have battled and died alongside one another. There won’t be room for the grudges of the past, only the struggle to rebuild a better future. The minotaurs have a deep cultural and religious significance to this war against Tartarus; Equestria has faced multiple attacks and suffered most of the brunt so far; the griffons were spared from their own extinction. Either way, there are only two groups that survive this war- the dead and survivors.”
>>
>>33380197
That will be it for tonight. The board raids should be done now, so we should be cool moving forward.
For anyone who doesn't browse both, the Queen Umbra threads are friends and look into the story if you haven't already. If a /HoW/ thread ever dies, you'll be able to find a status post from me there.
>>
Also, I had to revise the recent pastebin links because I fucked up and posted two acts in 21 or 22. It's all settled now though
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>>33380215
I'll bump now, but I won't be around long. Hopefully the morning fags can keep us alive.
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>>33380393
This is interesting. I'll keep a tab here.
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So glad to see this back.
I've missed my Princess of War.
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>>33380104
I missed you, you beautiful bastard.
>>
Bump
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It's fucking wonderful that the thread is back. I've missed it for so long.
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>>33383670
missed you Anons too
>>33389622
Just was really busy with Christmas scheduling. Everything's looking pretty consistent from here on.
>>33380197
>…
>”So what do you plan to do when we find Night?”
“The kill needs to come quick, we can’t let him teleport away… But I take it you have something else planned.”
>”Before I left Canterlot, I got an amulet from one of my contacts. Once it’s around his neck, it should nullify his magic.”
“You’re not going to-“
>Nearing down on the area of the city you think the changeling is in, a pony shouts at Wave and yourself:
>”What about you two? What’s your excuse?”
“What?”
>”How many ponies that you know have joined the army! Why aren’t you in line as well?”
>You’ve walked by a recruitment office.
>Wave then takes over:
>”We’re busy Lieutenant.”
>”And who do you think you are speaking like that?”
>”General Red Wave.”
>The soldier looks at Wave for a moment before breaking his stern face and starts laughing.
>As he puts a hoof on Wave’s shoulder:
>”I get it. You’re busy now, life can always seem to pressing. But there’s something greater going on right now. Remember that Equestria needs you. Both of you.”
>If he only knew.
>The recruiter then looks over to some other ponies.
>As you walk away with Wave, you question him:
“You could have blown our cover. Aren’t you AWOL?”
>”If he was able to confirm who I am, do you really think he’d try to arrest me?”
“What if he did?”
>”Then he should be fast tracked to command.”
>With the other Princesses and their Royal Guards out of action, Wave is probably the single most feared pony in Equestrian society.
“Let’s just keep going.”
>>
>>33391150
>…
>A chain link fence surrounds a recently abandoned warehouse.
>Signs on the fence read ‘Restricted- military zone’
>It’s a large building, the main storage area is forty feet tall, taking up an entire city block.
>On the north side is a three story office space.
>This is one of the warehouses that spare weapons and armor were kept after demilitarization.
>And the only reason why it’s abandoned now, is that all that equipment is back in the field.
>”Not trying one of the old MID safehouses, and no pony would bat an eye at a ‘soldier’ here… How sure are you that he is here?”
“This is his base of operation, I’m certain.”
>You’re unarmed, Wave is an earth pony, and Night has magic…
“Got anything useful in that cloak?”
>”Enough.”
>Man of many words.
“How do you want to play this?”
>”Start on the south side, split up on the floor, then meet up to search the offices. He’ll probably be set up in one of those rooms.”
“And by starting on the south, he won’t be able to get view of us approaching.”
>>
Back tomorrow
>>33391154
>…
>You had to pick Wave up to lift him over the fence.
>After reaching the locked door to the warehouse, he began to pick the lock.
>When the door creaked open, you both quickly entered the building.
>You went right while Wave went left.
>The only light sources are the windows that are sparsely spaced at the top of the walls of the storage floor.
>Beams of light are separated by rows of metal scaffolds, a few empty crates still left here.
>Dust and cobweb covers many of the surfaces.
>You can feel him.
>Night is close by.
>So close…
>You glance up to the roof’s support beams.
>Empty.
>You’re not being watched.
>Yet.
>Even though your view is obfuscated, peering through the scaffolds you can see windows from the office that overlook the warehouse.
>If he’s in one of those rooms, it would only take a quick glance to notice movement from an otherwise still area.
>As you continue to press north, you pass by the side of a crate that was left leaning against the wall- startling the rat which was sleeping in the shelter.
>It runs back to the south, away from your hushed hoofsteps.
>Keep moving forward.
>You’re getting closer.
>One false step will alert the changeling.
>He could teleport away easily if he wanted to.
>But does he want to?
>His vendetta isn’t against you personally, but you survived being left for dead in Tartarus…
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>>33382868
I've missed it too. Really glad to see it back again.
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>>33391160
>As you reach the north side of the room, you look over to Wave opposite you.
>Between you lies the door to the ground level offices.
>In front of yourself are stairs leading to the second and later third floor.
>You nod to Wave, both of you understanding the plan.
>He’ll enter from here and work his way up.
>While you go to the third floor and work your way down.
>Nearing the stairs, you glance into the first level windows.
>Then give an all clear signal to Wave, who indicates that he doesn’t see anything from his angle.
>Just empty desks and filing cabinets on the other side.
>Halfway up the first flight of steps, you look down through the metal mesh the stairs and balconies are made of.
>Wave pushes open the door and enters, leaving you alone once again.
>Turning your attention to the second floor, you peer into the next set of windows.
>A peek shows the facility’s break room, a few dusty coffee cups remain alongside an old deck of cards and discarded magazines.
>The couches in there look pretty battered, any workers probably spent most of their time in there.
>Not much else to do in a warehouse of decommissioned weapons and armor.
>Rounding the corner, you start the climb to the next level.
>You can see that the windows on the top level are covered by interior blinds.
>The door itself has ‘foreman’s office’ engraved upon it.
>He’s here.
>You can feel it.
>You know it.
>And evidently, Night knows that you’re here.
>The doorknob lights up with a green aura before opening inward.
>”Is it really you, Thunder?”
>>
>>33398708
>You step into the room, turning left to face the foreman’s desk.
>Night stands in front of the desk, not as a changeling- as the ‘Captain’ you once trusted.
>”I heard you found a way out of Tartarus, but hardly believed it. Even after I peeked into your cell in Canterlot. How did you survive?”
“I didn’t.”
>”So you’re a specter come to haunt me? How quaint.”
“So, are you going to teleport away again?”
>”Not this time.”
“Pin me to the wall with your magic?”
>”Too simple… let’s settle this equally. But first tell me: how did you know where to find me?”
“Because I know every step you’ll take. Each move you make and every idea you have, I can sense.”
>You take a step towards him.
“Drop the façade. If you want to fight one on one, at least show yourself.”
>While Night reverts to a changeling, you take another step forward.
>One more and he’ll make his move.
>”That doesn’t answer my question.”
“I don’t have to answer your questions. All you need to know is that-“
>You step forward, then he springs forward.
>A knife shoots from behind his body and into his right hoof.
>Parrying his weapon away with your left hoof, you jab your right into his shoulder.
>As the dagger falls to the ground, you then jab your right elbow into his jaw.
“I knew you had the knife on the table.”
>In that moment, beyond the anger and malevolence, you could then feel something else.
>Fear.
>>
>>33398709
>”What are you?”
>You shoulder rush Night, smashing him against the desk.
>Then his horn lights up.
>A beam of energy pushes you back lifting you off your hooves and against the opposite wall.
>You break a small table and end up lying on your back in the splinters.
>After deciding to not fight fairly, the changeling then flies over to you.
>Landing atop you, he lunges his fangs into the base of your right shoulder near the neck.
>You grab one of the shattered legs of the table with your left hoof and swing it against his head.
>As he staggers to the side, his fangs tear through your flesh.
>But with him off of you, you force yourself up.
>Dropping the improvised weapon, you stand face to face with Night.
>Despite the injury to your shoulder, you punch forward with a right hook to his jaw.
>Then as he recoils, a jab to his snout with your left hoof forces him back further.
>But having to put pressure on your right hoof then caused a pause in the attack.
>While you limp and put pressure on your wound, Night takes his opportunity.
>He blasts you with another barrage of magic- sending you flying out of the still open door.
>While you are sent clear of the balcony’s guard rail, you’re thrown into the metal scaffolding.
>Bruising your wing from the impact, you can barely slow your descent as you tumble down into an empty crate three stories down.
>Lying in a pile of wood, straw, and blood, you try to stand back up.
>Barely managing to get back on your hooves, Night flutters down to face you.
>”I’ll finish the job myself this time. You can’t stop me, Thunder.”
“No. But he can.”
>A small knife is thrown into the changeling’s abdomen.
>>
>>33398712
>While Night winces in pain, he uses his magic to pull the weapon free.
>Then looks up to who threw it.
>He smirks towards Wave, who’s standing on the second floor’s balcony.
>”Of course you brought a friend. I’ll make…”
>Night then stumbles, having trouble standing.
>Then lets out a shrill scream.
>It lasts only a moment before he falls to the ground.
>Eyes still open, darting around.
>Clearly in pain, but unable to move.
>Wave then speaks to you as he descends the stairs.
>”Manticore venom. He’ll be completely immobilized as the blood in his veins boils.”
>Approaching you, the General notices your shoulder.
>”Will you be okay?”
“I think.”
>”Then if you’ll excuse me.”
>Wave pulls another knife from his cloak, and sets it on the ground next to Night.
>He then pulls yet another out.
>One looks incredibly sharp, while the other has been dulled…
“Goodbye Night…”
>He has no idea what Wave intends to do.
>And you’d rather not see it.
>Limping towards the offices, Wave speaks to the limp changeling.
>”An interesting toxin, isn’t it. Complete immobilization, but it leaves all pain receptors intact- amplifies them even.”
>The last thing you hear before exiting the storage floor is Wave whispering to Night:
>”You butchered my son then wore his face in front of me. I saw the body. I can do much worse, but enough words. Actions speak much louder.”
>As you shut the door, you can’t help but wonder that even after all Night has done, if he deserves what’s about to happen.
>>
>>33398714
that's it tonight, tomorrow's updates should be fun
>>
>>33380104
Reminder that Flurry Heart ruins the show.
>>
>>33399983
>saves the show
Ftfy
>>
>>33398714
>…
>Brairheart’s fleet detachment wasn’t at Expanse when you arrived, so you continued on anyway.
>They’ll head for Appleoosa and be there soon enough.
>But just as the sun rose overhead, you got word that the town would soon be in sight.
>So after donning your armor, you flew outside of the train and landed atop it.
>But instead of seeing a familiar silhouette of the quiet town, you were met with multiple plumes of smoke.
>You flew ahead alone.
>But as you landed, you weren’t met with a city in ruins.
>Instead, beside the trains lined up on the rail line leading back to Equestrian heartlands, you were met with ponies.
>Ponies and bison, dragging the bodies of countless Tartarus spawn being dragged towards mass graves.
>You can see bodies of beasts, ponies, and bison all still lying in the streets and the surrounding land.
>But for every pony body lies a dozen bestial corpses.
>But you aren’t met with solders.
>This cleansing of Appleoosa is left to civilians you can recognize by face, assisted by bison.
>While the ponies look towards your appearance with awe, you wonder…
>What happened to the 7th division?
>Though the locals remain star struck, a familiar bison approaches you:
>”You have matured…”
“Chief Thunderhooves.”
>”I doubted, but you did save my tribe.”
>So many bison in the town.
>Thunderhooves himself.
>What’s happened here…
>You need to be in control of the situation.
“Is the town secure?”
>”For now. You warriors marched with the sun.”
>He points west southwest.
>”Beyond out new camp. Their leader insisted my own warriors remain with the militia here.”
“Are you sure?”
>”Indeed.”
“We’ll have time to reminisce later.”
>>
>>33402132
>…
>A brisk flight leads you over the forgotten bison camp, and towards a hill overlooking a wide plain.
>In the far distance a great hoard of Tartarus beasts charge forward.
>Upon the hill itself a dozen light cannons stand ready.
>Beyond them, a trench has been dug out with ponies standing ready with bows and crossbows.
>Between them, unicorns shoot magical projectiles into the sky.
>They explode at a high altitude, leaving arcane sparks falling to the ground like the snowflakes from the first frost of the winter.
>The defending men are far less than what the 7th division set out with.
>Barely a third…
>How did they even have the time to make such a long trench?
>Well, it looks like you’ll have an answer.
>Because beside the cannons in the rear, a few ponies are standing.
>Just watching the enemy approaching.
>And there are hundred- no, thousands of beasts charging forward.
>They can’t hope to repel the enemy with the thin defensive line they have.
>It’s not even a proper line, it’s two.
>A hundred yards separate the trenches lined up against the onslaught.
>The entire center of the formation is empty, only leaving the few cannons on the hill to support it.
>If their CO is dead, you need to take charge.
>If the CO is alive, you still need to take charge.
>So you set down upon the few ponies standing to the south of the cannons- figuring what’s left of command will be there.
>You see a pegasi with his officer’s jacket speaking to a few other pegasi, unicorns, and earth ponies.
>”Excellent. Is the-“
>The runner he’s speaking to nods in your direction.
>Then he takes notice.
>”Ah, Princess. It’s an honor.”
>He salutes.
>But instead of the usual hoof over the eyebrow salute, his is at a sharper angle pointing more toward the sky.
>”Colonel Whirlwind Comet of the 7th.”
>>
>>33402134
>While his short yet well-kept mane is a golden color, his coat is rather unusual.
>His torso and limbs up until the joints between lower legs is a pale olive.
>But Comet’s coat on his head and the lower parts of his limbs are a light cream color.
>Additionally, he attest to being the colonel of the division.
>Indicating that he was the initial commander.
“What are you doing! The line are too overextended!”
>”Ah yes, it must appear that. Please, join me your highness.”
>He must have a death wish, or be mad.
>Because his tone is incredibly nonchalant.
>”Please. You might be intrigued a the magical display in sight.”
>You step forward while reprimanding the soldier:
“You’re outnumbered!”
>”Exactly”
“What?”
>”Canterlot research indicates that the enemy sense magic as easily as we can see a battlefield. Which is why I’ve had out unicorns blanket the field with arcane signals.”
>The ‘snow’ you’re seeing?
>”A fortunate timing. If we hadn’t been sent out when we were, Appleoosa would have been devoured ruin. But at the current task- one moment.”
>He looks over to the cannons.
>”Fire!”
>Fairly indiscriminately, one gun fires.
>Then after a pause the next goes off.
>And so on until the small array has gone through its salvo.
>Barely a dent was made in the Tartaran hoard.
>They’re still charging towards the ‘lines’ without pause.
>”Thankfully, you decided to send professionals to the frontier. The buffalo and local militia were barely holding before we charged from the train.”
>The enemy lines are-
>”Archers.”
>He doesn’t bother yelling.
>A unicorn just shoots a blue flare forward- prompting a wave of arrows and bolts from the trenches to fire forward.
>While the soaring projectiles wound many beasts, almost none are killed from the salvo.
“What are you doing! Everypony will be overrun!”
>The Colonel doesn’t respond to you.
>>
>>33402138
>As you glance over, you see his eyes fixed on the battlefield.
“What the he-“
>”NOW!”
>Another unicorn shoots out a red flare high over the field.
>The brightness of the light is almost blinding.
>But it soars far past the charging enemy.
>Then whilst the flare’s light still emanates in the air, the flat plains before the trenches dissipate.
>A veil is lifted as before each line, a shallow incline of grass disappears.
>The incline is filled with earth ponies wielding pikes.
>Three ranks of spears then lift towards the enemy, over allied shoulders to fill gaps.
>Behind them are another three ranks of infantry, swords at the ready to stop the enemy charge.
>The wall forms just as the charging lines would impact this primary line of defense.
>While beast bodies clash against the pike wall, arrows and bolts fire a wide volley deep into the enemy lines.
>And the cannons fire towards the center of the charge.
>The center lied between the disparate defensive lines.
>But while the magical illusion hid a proper defensive formation on the flanks, the center was lined with unicorns.
>Who shot out bolts and waves of arcane of energy- injuring and paralyzing the beasts
>Behind that rank of unicorns were a legion of heavy infantry, who took their change.
>From the unveiled center, thousands of soldiers charged forwards.
>”Signal the next phase.”
>A unicorn shoots a flare directly into the sky.
>While you watch the soldiers of the 7th push forward, their charge cutting straight through the hoard.
>And as you watch the column of men tear through the enemy, you can’t see a single pony fall in battle.
>Despite responding beasts pressing against the spearhead, the men cut down any opposition.
>And while the main focus of the attack goes forward, the infantry behind the main pike lines move forward.
>>
>>33402142
>The main advance took enough focus off of the charge itself to snowball forward.
>However while the schwerpunkt pushed far forwards, the flanks only make slow advancements.
>Your focus shifts with every blink of the eye.
>But with every new focus, when any solder is rebuffed or wounded, two men behind him take up the advance.
>The men on the field seem to be able to kill dozens of beasts on their own.
>Despite being only a fraction of their size…
>You’ve seen the opposite results in previous battles.
>These men are even more effective than grenadiers.
>Then…
>Then you see what the last flare was signaling.
>From the south, countless wings are in the air.
>The pegasi split into two.
>One wave charges into the enemy on the south side of the main push.
>The fliers who kept moving though…
>They take places over the north flank before dropping a barrage of grenades and arrows.
>And only then do they decide to dive towards the survivors.
>This is the first army.
>Anon’s men.
“So this is what the 7th has to offer.”
>>
Late night editing might have been a mistake.
Either way, I'll be back tomorrow
>>33402145
>”I intended to take another hundred miles, but the enemy numbers required a special touch.”
“The initial orders didn’t call for your division to be sent out.”
>”Oh…”
>Comet pauses.
>”So I’ll be reassigned?”
>You can see the end of the beast lines.
>Between the maneuver and the fighting strength of the men, they’ll be mopped up quickly.
“You left Canterlot in an instant with all your men.”
>”Fired then. Don’t let the men suffer for it. Think of it as my last request.”
“How many men died so far?”
>”From the 7th, two hundred from arriving in Appleoosa. Fifty- no. Sixty in this battle.”
>In a purely defensive situation thousands died under your command.
>”A hundred and twenty one the mop up is finished. Thirty maybe.
“How would you like a promotion?”
>”Never.”
>An immediate response.
“What if it wasn’t an offer?”
>”No.”
>He looks over to you.
>Light blue eyes looking into yours.
>”Execute me if you will, but I won’t leave my men.”
>>
>>33380104
Stop RP'ng you fag
>>
>>33403118
Not even rollplaying. Just a long excellent spicy lewd green.
>>
>>33380158
>No purges
>>33402149
>Execute me if you will

Breaking news from the Equestrian Heartland!
Leadership Purges Ensue!

While details are scarce, there have been a series of secret trials on the HIGHEST level, and both Generals and Ministers have disappeared from the public eye.
The natural assumption is that some great conspiracy has been uncovered within the Government, but no official statement has been made. In addition, the diplomatic reports indicate that evidence presented at these trials has been far from indisputable.

Whatever has been happening, the structure of Equestrian high command has changed irrevocably.
>>
>>33405158
>Field Marshal Anonymous has been 'missing' for months
>Acting Chancellor R.M. Lancer is 'gravely injured' and hasn't been seen
>General Offense has been mutilated
>Admiral Brairheart, a long time royalist, was untouched
>The commander of the Royal Navy, Diamond Tiara, gains political clout
>Thunder, the commander of Anon's Old Guard, has gone AWOL
>Along with General Wave- the second in command of the army
>Flurry has aligned with not one, not two, but three old enemies of Equestria

Nothing to see here.
>>
>>33402149
>…
>”Your ability to discern languages incredible.”
>”Ponies would call it by ‘special talent’ or some other.”
>Harvey continues to talk with Professor Fortitude.
>He could be doing something productive, but even a part of Discord seems to derail him.
>”From a single march or two, I dare say I’ve never seen such ability.”
>”Coming from an aspect of chaos, I’ll take that as a compliment.”
>”How far does it go?”
>”What do you mean?”
>”MaaaaaAAAaaa”
>”What?”
>”Baaa. BaAAa. Maaa’AAa.”
>Damnit.
>That’s enough.
“Harv, you’re just making sheep noises.”
>”No fun, as always.”
“Oh, I’m plenty of fun.”
>”Then show it.”
>He stops, and you entertain him for a moment- stopping the caravan behind you.
>Harvey then cracks his not really existent fingers, then produces a folk ensemble of strings.
>Reminds you of the Winter-
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xO7Xf9qBNTs
>The batard then begins singing:
>”On kauniina muistona Karjalan maa, mitta vieläkin syömmetsä soinnahataa, un soittajan sormitsa kuula saa, Säkkijärven polkkaa!”
>He keeps on:
>”Se polka taas menneitä mieleen tuo, ha se outoa kaipuuta luo. Hei, soittaja, haitarin soide suo, Säkkijärven polkkaa!”
>Fine.
“Nuoren ha vanhan se tanssiin vie,”
>”ei sille polkalle vertaa le!”
“Sen kansaa on vaikka mierontie”
>You both then sing:
“Säkkijärven polkkaa!”
>>
>>33409406
>Harvey then takes the primary role:
>”Siinä on lplatus laineitten,”
“Siinä on huojunta honkien.”
>”Karjala soi- kaikki tietää sen-“
“Säkkijärven polkkaa!”
>Now’s the quick part.
>Quicker.
>You both sing:
“Tule, tule tyttö, nyt kanssani tanssiin, kun polka niin herkästi helkähtää. Hoi! Hepo surkoon ja hammasta purkoo, sun killä on ihmeesti suurempi pää!”
>Then Harv alone:
>”Tule, tule tyttö, nyt kanssani tanssin, kun meillä on riemu ha suvinen sää!”
>Both of you:
“Säkkijärvi se meiltä on pois, mutta jäi tok sentään polka!”
>And on your own for the start of the next verse:
“Kun rakkaimmat rannat on jääneet taa, niin vieraissa kulkija lohdun saa, kun kuuntelee soittoa kaihoisaa:”
>You’re joined for:
“Säkkijärven polkkaa!”
>Now you take over the song:
“Se polka on vain, mutta sellainene, että tielle se johtavi muistojen. On sointuna Karjalan kaunoisen:”
>Both of you:
“Säkkijärven polkkaa!”
>You continue:
“Nuoren ja vanhan se tanssiin vie,”
>”ei sille polkalle vertaa lie!”
“Sen kanssa on vaikka mierontie”
>” Säkkijärven polkkaa!”
>Back to you Harv:
>”Siinä on lplatus laineitten,”
“siinä on huojunta honkien.”
>”Karjala soi- kaikki tietää sen-“
>Both of you then:
“Säkkijärven polkkaa!”
>>
>>33409409
>And the two of you continue after the strings:
“Tule, tule tyttö, nyt kanssani tanssiin, kun polka niin herkästi helkähtää. Hoi! Hepo sirkoon ja hammasta purkoon, kun sillä on ihmeesti suuremi pää!”
>Harv takes over:
>”Tule, tule tyttö, nyt kanssani tanssiin, kin meillä on riemu ja suvinen sää!”
>Then back to both:
“Säkkijärvi se meiltä on pois, mutta jäi toki sentään polka!”
>And both:
“Kun rakkaimmat rannat on jääneet taa, niin vieraissa kulkija lohdun saa, kun kuuntelee soittoa kaihoisaa:”
>And both:
“Säkkijärven polkkaa!”
>You take up most of the rest:
“Se polkka on vain, mutta sellainen, että tielle se johtavi muistojen. On sointuna Karjalan kaunoisen:”
>Both for the last line:
“Säkkijärven polkkaa!”
>Amazed that you managed to get it right after years of hearing the song, you look over to Harvey.
>He puts his hand up, and you oblige the high five.
>”That’s right!”
>The professor then interjects:
>”That’s gibberish. It simply can’t be a language.”
>Oh it can’t…
“But it is. Now apologize to the Finnish.”
>>
>>33409411
That's it for the night
Did I just spend two hours filling out what I left in my document as 'that finn song' in my word document cross referencing the video and separate translation for a simple joke segment?
>Yes
>>
>>33409414
You mad bastard.
>>
>>33380104
How many guys you waifu her?
>>
>>33412186
She'd make a good dominatrix. Unless she spergs out



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