North of Las Pegasus, NLR Equestria
17 September 2017 09:45 hours.
"That's the last one. Return to base", Carrot Top announced over the radio.
"Roger", replied Maverick.
A flight of five Solar Empire attack aircraft had entered the NLR North of Las Pegasus, and Lunar squadron had been sent to intercept them.
"Well at least it happened early enough in the day. We still have plenty of time", replied Angel.
It was suppose to be the squadron's night off, but with Whitemare's other fighter squadron out, they had to intercept them.
Back at the base the group had finished their debriefing in the squadron room.
"OK ponies that's it. Tex said. Enjoy your time off tonight".
"We always do", replied Ice.
The group talked as they walked out.
"So the usual spot again?", Sunfire asked Ice".
"Yep. Won't be the same without Whiteblaze, but at least we can take it out on Maverick".
"Say what?" Maverick said.
"Don't worry it's a great place", replied Ice.
Emerald Coast Bar and Grill
Las Pegasus, NLR Equestria
The Emerald Coast Bar and Grill was the favorite hangout for many Air Force and Navy airponies, including Lunar squadron.The crew would sip cider, listen to music, and watch the hijinks that often happened there.
"Not bad", said Maverick. "There was a place like this in Crystal City. It was pretty much air force only".
"So what happened when Navy or other branches showed up?" Angel asked.
"Seven times out of 10 a fight broke out. I was in the middle of a few".
"How did you do?" Sunfire asked.
"Usually I lost". And the rest burst out laughing.
"You're undefeated in dogfights but not hoof to hoof combat?" Glory cracked.
"Oooooh I've got you now." Angel said in an evil voice.
There was some commotion towards the back of the club. Maverick turned around and saw a Pegasus being pushed up a ramp on some contraption.
"What's that?" He asked.
"A landing game", Ice replied. "You ride it down and try to catch a cable with a tailhook like a carrier landing. Fail and you get your Sunday bath early".
"It's mostly Navy ponies who play it, but Air Force and Marine pilots do also", added Dahlia.
They watched the Navy Pegasus ride it down. He missed the cable and got dumped into the water.
"Whenever a Navy pony fails at it, Air Force pilots get big smiles on their faces", said Angel".
"Like the one you have right now?" Replied Glory.
She just grinned.
"I think i'll try it".
"Maverick are you sure?", replied Angel. "When an Air Force pilot fails at it, it get's spread around pretty fast.
"Like the way it happened with you?" snapped Sunfire. Angel growled.
"The tiger part of your name does fit doesn't it?" Maverick replied.
"Just go make an ass of yourself", she replied.
Soon Maverick was in the seat, and a couple of other ponies pushed the sled up to the start point.
"Hope you enjoy your bath land lubber!" A Navy pilot said.
He saluted the pony controlling the release, and she released him. He had to time it perfectly. too early was just as bad as too late. He reached what he thought was the right point and pulled the handle. The tailhook dropped and caught the wire. Cheers erupted from the air force pilots.
"Nice job Maverick!" Ice yelled.
"Ha! What do you think of that swabbies?" Angel yelled.
"Oh you're Maverick?" One Navy pony asked. "I've herd some stuff about you lately".
"I hope it was good", he replied.
"Oh yeah. I used to be on the Sea Demon and one pilot there talked about you".
"That's my brother!"
"Oh OK. Oh and my name is Lieutenant Geoffrey of the 2nd Carrier Fighter Squadron".
"Nice to meet you", Maverick replied.
"Is your squadron going to be taking part in that big mission tomorrow?"
"Yes, we don't know what part of it though".
"Hey maybe we'll meet up. My carrier the Eclipse is taking part in it", he said as he started to leave".
"If you see some SU-37's with gray wingtips that will be us", replied Ice.
Two hours later the group left for home. When they got there Tex was waiting.
"Oh good you left early".
"Why?" Maverick asked?
"I got a call. The MP's just busted up a fight between navy and air force pilots there, knowing Angel I thought you might have been in it".
"Rats. I wish I had been", she replied.
"We'll get rested up ponies. We've got the big mission tomorrow". And they went inside the barracks.
18 September 2017. 09:00 hours.
"OK pilots it's time for the Moonstone variety hour", and Tex turned on the monitor and feed, only to see her looking at something muttering.
"Is thing on?" she asked herself.
"Oh can you see me?"
"OK good I thought I had a problem there".
"That's technology for you", cracked Angel.
"OK here's what is going on."
"We have finally pushed the LoD out of our territory. However they are currently reorganising their troops and adding more just on the other side of the border North of Manehattan, and could be ready for another push forward soon. We're going to stop and decimate them there with a massive operation involving all branches of the military". She pulled up a map detailing the operation.
"The Army will stay here along the border. Meanwhile the Marines will land here and move up behind them to cut off their escape. Then Air Force, Navy, and Marine planes and Army helicopters will relentessly pound them and provide close air support. The Navy will also provide bombardment to soften up the landing point".
"Oh man. This is going to be good.", said Ice.
"So what are we doing? Maverick asked.
"You will be covering the Marines along with the Navy and Marine planes, and Razorback and Shadow squadrons".
"Dash's squadron hooray!" Yelled Glory.
"How much air resistance will there be?"
"We're expecting a lot. Mostly in the form of attack planes. If any of these come in shoot them down first. All it takes is one plane with clusters to cause major damage in a case like this".
"Wow. This is going to be one big party", Angel said rubbing her hooves together.
"Should I call in Pinkie and her crew to decorate the planes?" Dahlia asked.
"Uh, no," replied Moonstone. "As for your armament. You'll have half air to air and half air to gound, which will be clusters."
"Anything else to watch for?" Maverick asked.
"Shouldn't be, unless the Empire decides to help you out with bombing them. Right now they're tied up with keeping Trottingham out of Discord's claws."
"Alright. Let's get to it", Maverick said.
"Good luck guys", and Moonstone stopped the feed.
East of Manehattan, SE Equestria
"Multiple friendly contacts on radar", Maverick announced over the radio.
"This is going to rule", Angel said.
"Sentry 2 to Lunar squadron. Enter into your holding pattern East of the fleet with Shadow squadron".
"Roger", replied Maverick. Soon the naval forces came into view.
"Ho-ly crap", exclaimed Sunfire as they approached. "The Eclipse, Two battleships, Aegis cruisers, destroyers, half of the fleet is here".
Suddenly both battleships opened up with full broadsides from their 16 inch guns.
"Guess it's starting", Dahlia said.
"Ya' think?" Replied Angel.
The squadron pulled up into their spot next to Dash's.
"Hey Viper. How's it goin'?" Glory asked.
"Just fine", she replied. "Are you ready to kick some flank?"
"We were born ready", replied Angel.
"Well we should get the green light in about an hour, so we've got a little time to hang out".
"Roger Shadow one", replied Maverick.
"Ah Maverick, we finally meet. I've been hearing stuff about you".
"You too?" he replied. "wow it get's around fast".
"Yeah. I'm looking forward to seeing what you can do", she replied.
"How about his success at the landing game at Emerald Coast last night?" Glory asked.
"Oh that was him? I heard about it and the fight but I didn't know who it was. It took me 4 tries to get it."
Then someone else chimed in.
"Pacific 1-1 to Lunar 1."
"Is this Geoffrey?" He replied.
"Yep. Looks like we will be joining you on the ground support".
"Cut the chatter you guys", Sentry 2 said.
"Roger Carrot Head", replied Dash.
"Not you too?."
Everypony heard a thump over the radio.
"What was that? Ice said"
"Me hitting my helmet on the instrument panel when I doubled over with laughter", replied Angel.
Less than an hour later they saw some movement around the fleet. LCAC's were pouring out of the amphibious ships and patrol craft were starting to move.
"Sentry 2 this is the LRS Raven. We're climbing the mountain".
"Roger. All planes you heard him".
"Roger. All planes let's go!" replied Dash.
The planes circled around the landing craft, which were being escorted by Pegasus hydrofoils until land came in sight, then they headed off.
"Sentry 2 came on the radio.
"All planes we have multiple inbound bandits approaching from the North and East at both low and high levels".
"Roger. Shadow squadron engaging the Northern ones", replied Dash.
"Carrier fighter squadron 2 engaging the Eastern", replied Geoffrey. And both squadrons split off from Lunar.
The squadron looked down at the beach to see craters and smoldering armor everywhere.
"Don't see much movement", Ice announced.
"They're probably hiding in the jungle up there", replied Maverick. Soon the landing craft were in sight of the beach,, and almost immediately artillery fire opened up from the jungle.
"OK guys let's get them! Lunar 1 to Razorback squadron get in here too."
"Roger we're coming".
"Let's flush them out everyone", and they went into the attack. Dropping 2 clusters each down the tree line. Several secondary explosions were seen and soon armor began pouring out of the jungle.
"It worked!", Angel said. Meanwhile the A-10's of the Razorbacks had arrived, and dropped napalm on the trees, killing whoever was still hiding and preventing a retreat. Some more clusters, Mavericks, and strafing later and the LoD forces were a shell of their former self.
While this was going on the Shadow and Navy squadrons had almost taken care of the bandits when Sentry 2 came on.
"All planes we have more bandits approaching from the East and Northeast. The Eastern ones appear to be escorted by fighters".
"Roger Sentry", Dash replied. Lunar and Razorback squadrons you have 4 attackers and 5 fighters coming from the East. We're tied up here so get them".
"Roger Shadow 1", Maverick replied, and they went to engage them.
"Ice, you , Dahlia, and Sunfire go after the attackers. We'll go after the fighters".
"Roger", Ice replied, and they split off and dived to intercept them. Soon they were on their tail.
"Frogfoots. Get them!" yelled Ice. Each pony took one, and despite the Frogfoot's mobility managed to shoot them down. The 4th had got away.
"Razorbacks you've got one coming in", Ice announced.
"Razorback 1 here, i'm on him". The LoD plane got within 2 miles of the Marines before Razorback 1 shot him down with a Sidewinder.
While that was going on Maverick and the others had taken out 2 of the fighters, and chased the other 3 into the melee with Dash and Geoffrey's squadrons.
"Nice of you to join us Mav'", Dash said.
A short time later an unexpected call came over the radio.
"Sentry 2 to all planes we have 16 inbound bogeys from the West!"
"WHAT?" replied Dash.
Maverick chimed in.
"But if they're coming from the West, then...."
"Dammit Celestia!" Geoffrey yelled.
"Firebane one to all aircraft. It's time for a turkey shoot. Take out both the NLR and LoD planes". And they launched several long range missiles.
"Missiles break!", Dash yelled. An LoD plane and a Navy one failed to turn in time, and were hit.
"Dammit Pacific 1-5 is down! Get the rescue bird in here!". Soon Dash had an ID on the planes.
"Typhoons and 36As, this isn't going to be easy." Soon it was one giant furball with planes from three nations shooting at each other. The NLR had a slight upper hand though, and soon Empire and LoD planes were dropping. Dash got an LoD one, followed by Maverick and Glory getting 2 of the 8 Typhoons.
Angel laughed as she watched an LoD MIG-29 take out a Firebane 36A.
"OK that Empire pilot sucked."
Then the Firebane commander got on Maverick's tail. Below him he saw Ice with one on his, so he started a Cobra, but as he went vertical he yawed to the left and rotated the nose down, then hit the throttle, losing his tail and getting on Ice's.
"Amazing!" Firebane 1 said.
Dash was hot on a Typhoon when an LoD plane got behind her. Dahlia got on his tail which made him break off.
"No problem", she replied as she shot down the MIG.
After a period of time Sunfire got the last LoD plane which left seven Empire ones. Soon Maverick was dogging Firebane 1.
"You're not getting me", she said as she performed an evasive move, which unfortunately put her right in front of Dash.
"Goodbye", she said as she launched a Sidewinder. Firebane 1 ejected just before the missile hit.
"HA! That pilot must fly with their hoof on the eject handle."
Soon it was down to 3 aircraft when the Typhoon squadron commander got on the tail of one of Dash's wingponies.
"Shadow 6 dodge him!", she yelled. The pilot failed and got hit by cannon fire. Shortly afterwards Pacific 1-1 got the commander.
"Eject Blossom!" Dash yelled. She breathed a sigh of relief when the canopy blew and she ejected. She would land where the Marines were coming up and was safe.
The last two Empire planes tried to flee, but were run down by all 3 squadrons. Angel and Shadow 3 got them.
"Oh man. I feel sorry for them", Dash said in a slightly sarcastic voice.
"Sentry 2 to all planes, all bandits downed. Super job!"
"What's the status of the downed pilots?" Maverick asked.
"Pacific 1-5 has been rescued by the Marines, and Shadow 6 will be soon".
"Great", he replied. "How much longer will we be on station? We're getting low on fuel and ammo."
"your relief is the Firebird and Demighost squadrons. ETA 2 hours. We'll get a couple of tankers in there shortly."
"Oh god the Demighosts? Get me out of here before SHE gets here", snapped Angel.
Dash got on the radio.
"Maverick, that was great flying! That move you pulled on that Empire commander was so awesome!"
"Thanks Dash. Just doing my job".
"I hope we can team up again at some point. Even if I have to pull a few strings to make it happen".
"Anymore my stomach starts churning when I see you fly", replied Sunfire.
"I wish there was a carrier version of the Terminator", added Geoffrey "We're heading back to the carrier. Catch you some other time Lunar squadron!".
See ya'", replied Maverick.
Soon the tanker appeared and everyone topped off. 40 minutes later the relief squadrons arrived.
"This is the Great and Powerfull Commander Trixie of the Demighost squadron. I have arrived with my team and will take over the role of guardians for the troops. You may go home now."
"Remember the fighter pilot's code Angel. Don't puke in your oxygen mask", said Glory.
"Too late", she replied.
"So how many kills did we get Maverick?" asked Dahlia.
"I'll have to think about it. I lost track."
"We'll we've got plenty of time to figure it out on the way back", replied Dash.
And the two squadrons left for their home bases.