The wind was strong as I look around at the clear blue sky. With the sun shining high above me, I feel like nothing really matters anymore. I also found myself marveling at the quietness that was around me. Well, it would be quiet if it wasn't for the clicking. I think to myself.
Using a gloved hand, I feel the mask, goggles, and helmet that fully covered my head.
If the ponies are one thing, it's productive, I chuckle as I make sure that the seals are all sealed and that my air tank is full. Feeling something tap my leg, I look over and down to see a orange filly smirking up at me.
"You ready old man?" she asks teasingly. In response, I nudge her with my boot before setting said boot back onto the fluffy white surface we stood on. I look at my daughter, my daughter... what a change from single soldier to engaged father. I look at my daughter to see that her modified chute is sitting on her back and that her goggles covered her eyes. The chute was small enough to fit comfortably between the wings, even when she extends them.
"Are you ready?" I ask, raising my voice to be heard over the wind and from behind the mask. I briefly find myself marveling at the magic that allows Pegasus to breathe at high-altitudes.
"Buck yeah, I'm ready!" Scootaloo yells, snapping me from my thoughts and causing me to look at the filly. Seeing me looking at her, she blushes and looks at the cloud in embarrassment. She then begins to stammer out an apology. It doesn't get far as I just burst out in laughter.
"It's alright Scoots. We'll blame this one on the adrenaline and excitement. Just don't say it again... especially around your mother," I reply, chuckling as I see Scootaloo cringe at the thought of what Twilight would do is she caught the young filly using foul language.
Your mother... More words I never thought I would say anytime soon. I remember when I had proposed to Twilight. We were in the park at night, just going for a walk with Scootaloo. I found myself commenting on the stars and their beauty. After Twilight agreed, I was on my knee with a horn ring held out to her. Next thing I knew, I was on the ground with a sobbing Twilight over me just nodding her head and a crying Scootaloo next to me who tried her hardest to look disgusted.
"Hey!" I hear from the orange filly. Looking down, I see her looking up at me in worry, "You okay Dad?"
"Yeah," I reply while bending down and ruffling her mane, causing a big smile to come to her face.
"Then let's do this!" she shouts before running and jumping from the edge of the cloud. Chuckling, I lift my wrist to my face to look at the watch that one of the other soldiers had let me borrow.
Three, two, one...
Feeling the cloud turn into vapor is a very unsettling feeling, especially when you know that the ground is a little over thirty-eight thousand feet below you. However, I fall through the cloud with a wide smile and push myself into a straight line before leaning forward. Once I was heading down head first, I straighten myself out and let myself dive after the orange and purple furball below me.
I watch as the ground below me begins to rush up to meet me head-on. In the perfect scenario, I would have an altimeter to watch but, this wasn't the perfect scenario. So, instead I found myself guesstimating the distance from myself and the ground. Looking to my "front", I see the village of Ponyville going along with their day. Whether they could see the two of us falling or not, I could not tell.
I thought of the Badlands. Now that the enemy was gone, all of the troops were left without homes. Anti-human feelings were still rampant in the bigger cities (besides Baltimare) so they couldn't really move in anywhere. So, instead, the soldiers of the Coalition began to build with the resources they could get themselves or buy. What became known as Salvation soon began to take the shape of a desert village. While the village is still under construction, they have houses and two water collection towers. They also have greenhouses and other water collection towers ("Moisture Towers") under construction.
In true human spirit, we try to inhabit the uninhabitable, I think to myself before turning my attention back to the fact that I'm falling through the sky at terminal velocity. Looking at the ground, I see that it's still approaching rather fast.
Were it not for the orange and purple blur she left behind, I would never have noticed Scootaloo opening her wings and coming to a glide. Going to the spread eagle position myself, I let the fabric between sewn between my arms and chest and between my legs spread out to give me "wings".
Now gliding myself, I steer myself for the Ponyville park as a certain orange filly lowers herself to glide beside me. Looking over, I see a wide smile on her face as she looks at me with her wings outstretch. Giving her a thumbs up, I watch her do a barrel roll before looking back ahead.
I wait as the wind whips by me. As I wait, I find my mind drifting off again to what had become known as "Sacrifice Hill". It turned out that the OpFor camp was positioned around a hill. Said hill was home of the OpFor command structure and three T-94 tanks. While taking the base wasn't all that difficult after we got past the berm, we now had bodies to bury. So for the rest of that day and well into the night we dug graves around the hill. When we were done, the three T-94 husks were overlooking rows and rows of graves, all marked by at least a rifle or boots.
Snapping myself from my thoughts, I notice how close I'm getting to the ground below. Looking over I see Scootaloo looking at me for confirmation. Nodding, I watch her yank the cord with her teeth, causing the purple parachute to unfurl from her pack and catch the wind, slowing her down considerably.
Satisfied that my daughter was now safely gliding to the ground below, I pull my own cord and feel as I suddenly decelerate. Grabbing the handles, I begin to guide myself for a landing in the park. Seeing the assembled ponies, I chuckle. It was always something to come into a landing with an audience. Especially when that audience contained one's fiancee.
Pulling the cords to slow myself, I lift my knees for the impact. As soon as my boots touch dirt, I slow myself down and look back to watch the enchanted parachute fold itself back into the pack. Ripping off my mask and helmet, I drop it as I watch Scootaloo coming in for her landing. I watch as she bends her knees and hit the floor to run to a stop next to me, her parachute also folding itself back.
The excited filly then runs over and tackles Twilight in a hug of doom.
"Did you see me Mom?" she yells, "Did you see me?"
"I saw you," replies Twilight with a smile as I walk over. Lifting Scootaloo's goggles from her eyes, Twilight nuzzles the filly before looking up at me.
"Have fun defying nature?" she asks playfully, pointing out that I was born without wings.
"Always," I reply as I kneel down and give her a quick kiss.
Twilight and me both look at the orange filly who looks like she might be trying to gag.
"Umm, Scoots," I begin slowly as I notice something on her coat.
"Yeah?" she asks just as slowly, worry evident.
"Can you turn a little more to the right?" I ask, motioning with my hand. Confused, the pegasus filly listens. When she does, I hear a gasp from Twilight as a large smile graces my face.
"What? What is it?" Scoots asks worriedly, trying to look back around the parachute rig.
"Take off the rig, dear," Twilight suggests as I wrap my arms around the purple mare and she wraps her hooves around me. Hurriedly, the orange filly strips off the rig before looking back and emitting the loudest screech ever.
"I GOT A CUTIE MARK!" she yells as she begins to bounce around. Sure enough, for the world to see, there was a mark on her flank depicting a single orange wing, with purple outline, that looked to be hanging from a purple parachute by black thread.
I look at Twilight with a smile on my face. Looking back at me, I see my smile mirrored on her face before we both look at our daughter, who is still hopping around the park.
I'm finally... truly... home.
"Here we stand, in a faraway land.
Enemies of the past, war staying fast.
While I don't know the people and sure can't see a nearby steeple,
I do know that my job is the same; aggressive hearts, I need to tame!
In case you haven't a clue, let me tell you.
I am a soldier!
Nothing but a soldier!
Blessed with the heart to stand and do my part,
to ensure that we are free to do as we please!
Let me tell you, so you may have a clue.
While I do fight, I only do so to make things right,
for we brought you this war, but we'll make it just another piece of lore!
And when it's all said and done,
when the enemy is destroyed or on the the run!
I will lower this blood-stained knife,
and join you all in the simple life!"
A/N: That's the end of this story. I apologize if it's a bit anti-climatic...
I do seriously hope all of you enjoyed this story and it's ups and downs. To those who want a sequel, don't worry. Most likely once I'm done with ToC, I'll begin the sequel for this. Won't be much action, I'll already tell you that. It'll most likely just delve into their everyday life as a family.
Remember to vote on the poll on my profile on what I should do next. I'm going to close it sometime tomorrow so you better hurry.
As always (for the last time), please leave a review!