“This is Stratus squadron. We’re taking off.”
“Move, Nimbus flight! Make way for Haze squadron!”
It was our squadron’s turn takeoff. One by one, we went off on sortie. I checked the cannon mounted on my shoulder, made sure the safety was still engaged, and felt a pouch full of extra clips.
“Windhover, get your flank out there! Equestria don’t need a ground-gazer!” somepony yelled at me. “This isn’t a drill, you know!”
I nodded at her and flapped my wings. It took a moment to get used to the cannon’s extra weight and air resistance. I joined my squadron in the skies as we glided into a skein.
Princess Luna told us about our opponent. I still couldn’t believe it. Everypony still couldn’t believe it. The entire griffin army launching a full frontal assault on Canterlot’s doorstep? There were treaties, agreements, gestures of peace that should have prevented this from happening in the first place. But when I looked out that purple shield, a pall of griffins charged at Canterlot.
The skies were crowded; an enormous wing of more than seventy pegusai flew closely from one another. We were just a gnat compared to that cloak of featherheads across the horizon. Their shadows blackened the skies. The fury of an entire nation charged at us like a bloodthirsty manticore.
Cloudsdale’s air force had been obliterated hours before. We were the last air force capable of stopping this monster.
I was given the signal to release my cannon’s safety. My heart was pounding at my ribs. I could hear the cries of violent madness from both pony and griffin. My arm tensed as my hoof twitched with the cannon’s lever.
“Haze squadron, listen up! We’re outnumbered, just as Princess Celestia feared. Attack as a group. I do not want to see single pegasus out of formation.” Our captain told us.
“Stratus squadron, engage!”
“Nimbus flight, engage!”
“Haze squadron, engage!”
Our little skein charged straight into the lion’s den. Roars of shells escaping their cannon was the only sound I could hear. Our squadron’s neat diamond formation was shattered by the charging griffins. Their beating wings coupled with a downpour of cannon shells flung us aside. I fired mindlessly into the tempest of griffins, hoping that one of my shots would strike a griffin down.
As I chased one, three griffins relentlessly pursued me. I was reduced to flying through a slim corridor bordered by cannon shells. I couldn’t reach into my pouch of ammunition to reload, or else my hoof would be reduced to a bloody pulp.
I tried to alert my squadron members for help, but I could find nopony with the same white and green flight suit amidst the swarm of griffins. I called out to them, but the pursuing griffins gawked at my pleas for help. They continued chasing me though that hallway of cannon shells. I had to remove the cannon if I wanted to outrun them.
Soon, I managed to fly through that assault wing of griffins. I could see the skies again. When I turned back, the three griffins left me. Perhaps they grew tired and went on to hunt slower prey.
I saw this huge mass of griffins fly towards the protected orb of Canterlot. They arranged themselves to look like a cape flowing carelessly in the wind.
Small balls of fire appeared atop the shield. It took less than a minute for the shield to succumb to their ruthless bombing.
My wings froze.
Not even unicorn magic was strong enough to repel them.
I fled to Manehattan. By that time I arrived, the tallest buildings had been shaken to their foundations. Not a soul, out of the millions that lived there, came to greet this soldier.
I sat atop a pile of rubble, using all of my military training to calculate if Equestria could fight back. But it was impossible. At this rate, there would be no Equestria before the moon graced that crater known as Equestria.
Fine work, Versuilia. It was very exciting and action packed, yet not in a glorifying way. The ending uses some very powerful imagery, and you really convey that feeling of hopelessness one has when they are fighting a losing battle.