General "Spikewall" Dragon

by CategoricalGrant

Chapter 1: Standing Like a Spiked Wall

Load Full Story Next Chapter

Author's Notes:

I know that this is a futile exercise, but nevertheless I humbly entreat the denizens of the internet to please not launch any flamewars in the comment section.
Thank you for listening. I hope you enjoy this absurdly silly story.:pinkiehappy:

Bonus points to he who can accurately match each pony to their corresponding historical general.:moustache:

“So that’s the plan, girls,” Twilight Sparkle concluded, speaking to all of her friends in her throne room, surrounding the map. “We’ll be taking part in the Equestrian Civil War reenactment as a group this Saturday. Spike and I have gone the last three or four years and it’s just been such fun, hasn’t it, Spike?”

Spike groaned from his tiny throne next to Twilight’s. “Not really.”

Twilight Sparkle shot him a glare.

Rainbow Dash rubbed the back of her head. “Yeah, Twilight, actually I have a thing this weekend-“

“Ah Ha!” accused Twilight. “When I asked if you were all free a few minutes ago, you said you were free! You can’t get out of this one, Rainbow Dash!”

Rainbow Dash groaned in frustration. “But Twilight, history sucks! I don’t want to spend my weekend learning,” she said, spitting the last word with disgust.

“Rainbow, come on! You get to pretend to beat ponies up. You like that, don’t you?”

While Rainbow Dash would never admit that history could be interesting, her ears perked up imperceptibly upon hearing what was said. She managed a thick sigh. “Fine,” she relented.

“I’m a little nervous,” Fluttershy squeaked. “I don’t think war will be fun at all.”

“That’s the great part about reenactments- you learn, and nopony gets hurt or becomes an amputee,” Twilight explained gleefully, clopping her front hooves together. “It’s such great fun!”

“Do I at least get to be on the Royalist side this time?” Spike asked hopefully.

“Well, Spike, I figured since you were on the Rebel side every time we’ve gone, that you’d be an expert on how to fight for them! I’ve already signed you up to serve with them.”

Spike tossed his head back in exasperation. “But Twilight, the Rebels always lose!”

“Well, yeah, Spike. That’s because they lost in the real war.” Twilight shook her head at Spike, condescendingly. “The rest of us are going to be serving on the Royalist side; oh, except for you, Starlight.”

Starlight Glimmer looked up at Twilight from the undersized wooden chair she had pulled up between Rarity and Pinkie Pie’s thrones. “What?”

“The rest of have a great teamwork thing going on, and the Rebels need more ponies to fight for them, so I figure that you’d fit in better fighting for the rebels with Spike.”

“Oh,” Starlight said with feigned happiness. “…Great.”

The weekend had approached quickly. Waking early in the morning, the several hundred ponies participating from Ponyville had clambered onto the train and headed about four miles east to a rural stop, joining the few thousand from other area towns in order to recreate the first major battle of the war.

Spike and Starlight Glimmer walked away from the train station to join the other rebels, scratching at their woolen gray uniforms. “Every time Twi does this to me,” he sighed. “Every time.”

“I know how you feel, Spike,” Starlight Glimmer says. “I feel like everypony just doesn’t accept me like they say that they do. That’s why I’m marginalized here with you.” Her ears flattened against her head. “No offense.”

Spike ignored her. “You know what, Starlight? No! We’re not going to do this. We are going to fight, and this time, we are going to win. That’ll show Twilight!” He hopped on Starlight’s back. “Go- I need to see Big Mac!”

Twilight Sparkle was explaining, in meticulous detail, the order of the First Battle of Minotaur Run to her friends, who were at best barely listening.

“Then, Hoofstreet’s corps started advancing on the Royalist left- that movement occurs at the third trumpet blast.”

“Hey Twilight,” Pinkie Pie said. “Sorry for interrupting, but is it Hearths’ Warming?”

“What?” Twilight replied, confused.

“Why are you dressed up as Santa Hooves?”

“Pinkie!” Twilight screamed, exasperated. “I’m not Santa Hooves, I’m Sparkleham Lincolt, Celestia’s elected Chief of Staff during the war! He’s only the most important historical figure of the last 175 years! Didn’t you learn about him in school?”

Pinkie shrugged. “I think I’ve seen pictures of him, but his beard didn’t make him look like a weirdo clown.”

Twilight blushed furiously. “My Starswirl beard was the only thing I could find on such short notice, okay?”

“Aaaaaaaand, what’s with the chimney on your head?” Pinkie inquired.

“It’s a stovetop hat,” Twilight angrily spat. “Now, if there are no more questions, I will be in Canterlot, observing the battle from afar and conferring with my cabinet,” she said, beginning to trot out of the tent.

“Woah sugarcube, what’s the fun in leavin’ us out here baking in the sun and gettin’ shot at while ya’ll sit in Canterlot forty miles away?”

“Because, Applejack,” Twilight began in her best lecturing voice, “that’s where the real Sparkleham Lincolt was during the battle. This is a historical reenactment, after all. It must be historic!” Seeing the looks on her friends’ faces, which varied between annoyed, confused, and disgusted, Twilight continued. “But have no fear- I will be relaying instructions by letter to your new leader- General McClellity!” Twilight threw a hoof toward Rarity, as if presenting her.

“Rarity!? Why does she get to be in charge?” demanded Rainbow Dash.

“Well, for one, she’s the only one who seems to have taken any interest in this exercise.”

Rarity stood still and examined her uniform, clearly not listening to the conversation taking place. “I’m not a big fan of the fabric, but I do look quite fetching in dark blue,” she mused happily.

“Big Mac,” Spike said, poking his head into the tent serving as the Rebel HQ, “can I be one of your generals?”

“Eeyup,” replied Big Mac, who seemed to be studying a map and not really paying much attention to anything else.

“Yessss,” Spike celebrated, clenching both his claws into fists. He looked around the tent briefly, and spotting some supplies, grabbed a gold-hilted saber and general’s shoulder insignia. Quickly, he clambered once again onto Starlight Glimmer’s back. “Starlight, head to that group of ponies behind the wooden fence.”

“So, you get to be a general,” Starlight said as she slowly trotted past the small groups of ponies beginning to form. “That’s…really great for you.” Starlight’s ears flopped to the sides of her head.

Spike scratched behind one of Starlight’s ears. “And you shall be my faithful companion…and transportation.”

Starlight Glimmer craned her neck so that she could scold him face to face for not taking her feelings seriously. When she looked at him, though, something stopped her from speaking. Instead of looking nervous or giving her a cheeky grin, his eyes were coolly focused toward their destination, never wavering in the slightest. His posture, too, was flawless. Every scale on his body exuded authority. “Well,” Starlight sighed, looking back in front of her again, “anything to get me out of this scratchy uniform.”

The duo arrived at their destination: a medium-sized group of rag-tag ponies of all sorts, mostly from Ponyville, that seemed to be mulling about with no direction. Spike dismounted, leaving Starlight Glimmer free to remove her uniform. Clambering up the wooden fence, Spike gained his footing and began to address his troops. “Ladies and Gentlecolts!”

The awkward greetings and miscellaneous chatter died out as the group turned to face the small dragon standing on top of the fence. A few cocked their heads in interest at what he was doing.

“I am Brigadier General Spike the Dragon, and I will be your commanding officer,” Spike said, his voice suddenly taking on a hint of country flair. “Today, we will be beating back the Royalists and showing no mercy.”

A chorus of unenthusiastic mumbling came from the crowd.

Spike’s eyes narrowed. “When I say something, I mean it, just as when I give an order, I mean it. Now, I’d like to say that we stand here today ready to fight and die for our tradition. That, however, would be a lie. We stand here today because we have spent our entire lives being marginalized.”

Starlight Glimmer, watching from the side of the group, saw several sets of ears perk up at this.

“We are those who are cast aside; younger siblings, office interns, ex-fillyfriends of stallions who pretend that they’re totally over the breakup even though they aren’t, the guy that hangs out with a whole group of ponies only because he knows one of them pretty well… And those ponies in blue,” Spike said, pointing down the slope accusingly toward the river where the Royalist side had begun to line up, “are expecting us all to simply lay down and die so that they can win an easy victory…we will do no such thing!”

Loud shouts of agreement rose from the crowd.

“They expect us to lose because they say so; but we will fight, and we will win!”

“Yeah!” cried Rumble, standing in the front row of ponies with a drum around his neck. “My brother is making me fight over here because Cloudchaser is playing a nurse on the Royalist side. It’s not fair!” He stomped a hoof in anger.

“My husband has been making me go to these for almost fifteen years! It’d at least be nice to be on the winning team, for once,” a middle-aged mare called from the back corner.

More angered voices began to rise up.
“My Dad and I have been going to three reenactments a year since I was a colt, and we’ve only been on the same side once! Last month, I was shot eight times at the Battle of Neighttysburg. Do you know how boring it is to lay motionless in a Peach orchard for five hours!?”

“My fiancé signed me up to be over here because he thought I was going to embarrass him with my lack of knowledge about military history!”

“I’m just mad because I hate wearing gray!”

The crowd began to whip itself into a frenzy. Ponies in units adjacent to Spike’s along the line began to turn their attention to the peculiar dragon who was captivating his soldiers.

Spike held up his left arm and the crowd immediately silenced itself, anxious for what else he had to say. “Today, this brigade shall rewrite history. We will stand firm under the royalist assault, and when they are at their most vulnerable, I shall give the order, and we shall charge!”

A raucous cry arose from the unit. A few ponies snuck away from their own groups to join Spike’s. Surveying his unit carefully, Spike contemplated just how life-changing today would be for him.

“Twilight will finally lose,” Spike whispered. “And then, she and the others will pay with all the dignity they have to spare.”

“Uh, Rarity?” Rainbow Dash asked, sticking her head into the Royalist tent. “It’s almost noon. We were supposed to start the battle thirty minutes ago!”

“Darling, please,” Rarity chided as she pretended to examine letters and maps on the table. “It’s horribly unladylike to rush your commanding officer.”

“Twilight has been sending me telegrams nonstop asking me if everypony is following the battle just as it happened. Eventually, she’s going to get suspicious!”

“General McDashell,” Rarity ordered, “you will tell your corps to stand down until I give the order to cross the river!”

Rainbow Dash’s face lit up with fury as she took off, hovering above the ground. “Oh yeah? Well, nuts to you, Rarity! I’d rather be in trouble with you than have to sit through one of Twilight’s lectures!”

Rarity replied through gritted teeth. “First of all, that is General McClellity to you. And second-“

“LALALALA, I’m not listening! Time to go kick some Rebel flank! LALALA!” Rainbow Dash sped out of the tent, leaving a fuming Rarity in her wake.

Spike shifted into action as soon as the sound of the first trumpet rang through the valley. His first act was to provide structure to his troops, who seemed to have frozen immediately in either fear or confusion upon hearing the trumpet blast. “Form up, ponies!” Spike ordered from atop Starlight. “Form a rectangle, four ponies deep! Pegasi in front, Unicorns immediately behind!”

His troops scurried into position as loud booms rang out from the other side of the river, several thousand feet away. Exploding shells filled with red-colored cake flour began to rain down along the length of the rebel line.

One of the soldiers in the back of Spike’s formation got hit in his front left leg with a stray flour-shell. “Oh, Dude, you’re dead,” the pony next to him informed him. “You gotta lie down now.”

“There will be no lying down dead in my brigade,” Spike stated clearly. “If you have a front hoof or a horn you can still fight!”

The pony who was hit with the flour shrugged and simply stood on three legs.

A second trumpet blast rang out, and the bombardment halted. Spike looked along the length of the Rebel line; it seemed that his unit had been spared compared to others, where up to half of each unit was lying down, covered in red powder.

Glancing across the river again, Spike was met with the sight of about a thousand ponies in blue fording the shallow river and beginning to advance up the gentle slope where the Rebel Line was stationed.

“Here they come, soldiers! Stand firm!”

The first volley of stun ammo, shot from the horns or leg-mounted muskets of the advancing Royalists, cut through the Rebel line.

One of the pegasi on the front line of Spike’s brigade slumped to the ground, having been hit in the head with a numbing magical bolt. “I caht ffee mah faysh,” she stammered.

A second volley erupted from the Royalist line, dropping more ponies in Spike’s unit. “Return fire!” ordered Spike. A salvo of stun magic was fired, but only a few Royalists were hit. Spike spied a splash of rainbow in the crowd and narrowed his eyes. If it was Rainbow Dash commanding the Royalists coming against him, he would have to show no mercy, because she certainly wouldn’t.

More volleys came from the Royalists, reducing the Rebel numbers further. Seeing that his soldiers were wavering and slowly moving backwards away from the fence, Spike got down from Starlight and strode up to the fence, standing on it to face the Royalists with his right claw resting on the hilt of his sword. He raised his left claw upward toward the sky, with his palm facing the advancing enemy. “Not one step backward!” he ordered, not bothering to even face his troops, as it would mean turning away from the enemy. Slowly, his soldiers returned to the fence and began opening fire again.

Spike heard a cry from the unit to his left. “I can’t do it!”

Then another petrified squeal. “I don’t want to get shot! That stuff leaves you numb the whole day!”
The handful of ponies in the unit began to waver as their officer frantically tried to rally them. His eyes finally rested on the majestic figure of Spike, completely exposed to enemy fire and yet bearing down stoically upon the Royalists. “Look, ponies!” he called, “There is the dragon, standing like a spiked wall! Rally behind the Ponyvillians!” The ponies who heard this looked, and, inspired by Spike’s figure and remembering his speech from earlier, returned to their positions.

The Royalists were within less than 200 feet of the Rebel front line. Spike prepared himself for what was sure to be his finest hour. “Fix bayonets and prepare to charge!” he ordered.

His soldiers looked around, confused. Several picked up sticks in their mouths.

Spike surveyed the approaching Royalist corps one last time. His eyes settled on Rainbow Dash, who was indeed leading the advance up the hill. What’s more, she made eye contact with him and flashed a devilish smile.

There it was: that smug, self-confident smile. There is no way Dash could lose to a loser like Spike…was there? It was time that they both found out.

Spike cleared his throat.

“CHAAAAAAAAAARRRGEEEEEEE!” he cried, jumping onto Starlight’s back and tearing down the hill with his unit. The troops from the adjacent units, inspired by Spike, joined in the charge as well. Ponies from even further down the line joined in a few seconds later, particularly those who were confused and hadn’t studied the battle plans, preferring instead to go with the flow.

The Royalists stopped dead in their tracks, even as Rainbow Dash kept advancing up the hill.

“What are they doing!?”

“This never happened!”

A chorus of wild hoots and hollers came from the advancing Rebels, who tore down the hill at breakneck speed.

“I don’t know what’s happening, but I’m getting out of here!”

Almost concertedly, the entire Royalist army turned tail and ran downhill for the safety of the far riverbank.

“Where are you going, you cowards!?” Rainbow Dash cried, looking back at her shattered legions. She turned her attention back toward the advancing Rebels. “Fine! If I have to beat this entire army by myself, I will!” Rainbow Dash steeled herself against the charge. When the line was only forty feet from her, she made eye contact with Spike. Determination itself was plastered across his face as he rode Starlight downhill, the blunted point of his saber high in the air, as if it was a standard.

Something in Rainbow Dash simply broke. It was one thing to for your army to desert you, and another one to single-handedly beat up an entire army of ponies; but not even Rainbow Dash could stand in the face of such heroism. Her flight response took over her fight response, and she, too took off, fleeing for safety.

The Rebels continued their charge all the way across the river and into the Royalist camp.

An hour later, Twilight galloped into the new Royalist HQ almost two miles north of the old one. “Rarity! What the hay happened out there!?”

“Well, darling, it appears that Rainbow Dash couldn’t follow orders!”

A very scraped-up Rainbow Dash, who was missing some parts of her uniform that appeared to have been torn off, stomped her hoof aggressively. “Says ‘Ms. IllneverattackbecauseImscared’!”

Twilight was furious that something had ruined the reenactment, and her voice reflected that. “Girls! How were you routed in the first place!? You had almost 1500 ponies and they all fled the battle!”

“It was that purple and green lizard of yours,” Rainbow Dash accused. “Spike charged his whole unit downhill right at us and the entire Rebel line followed!”

Twilight was stunned. First, Big Macintosh had given Spike a command position. Second, Spike, her very own Spike, upon whom she had forced an appreciation for the final technical details of military history, had broken historical convention. Could it have been a mistake…? No, for she had made him read a three-volume set on the history of the Equestrian Civil War, and Spike had passed the exam she wrote for him with a 97%. “Sp…Spike? He…ruined the First Battle at Minotaur Run?

Off in the direction of Ponyville, a blast from a war trumpet was heard, followed by faint yet triumphant cheering.

Twilight’s eyes narrowed. “Stay here. Nopony leaves the camp until I say so!” She ran out of the command tent.

Rarity thought for a moment. “I must say, though, Spike looked rather gallant as he charged downhill. With the dark uniform, and the perfect posture, and the intensity…And how his voice carried as he commanded his forces to dog pile on you…” Rarity’s voice trailed off.
Rainbow Dash brought a hoof to her face. “You’ve got to be kidding me.”

Spike gallantly rode at the head of a massive column of Rebels as they paraded through Ponyville with much fanfare and celebration. Carts full of stolen muskets, cannons (party or otherwise), and rations were pulled along with the jubilant sea of gray.

Ponies around town eyed the scene, confused but interested.

Leading the column into town square, Spike halted, his troops following suit. His voice echoed loud and clear throughout the streets of the town, tinged by just a hint of an unnatural accent. “Soldiers of the Rebel Army! You have fought well today, and we have won as a result.”

A cheer that would grip the heart of any carpet-bagging Manehattaner with fear arose from the thousand or so ponies assembled.

“But this victory was only the beginning! In order to make sure we are never abused by others again, we must win for good. We shall camp on the outskirts of town tonight, and tomorrow we shall begin the march toward Canterlot!”

Silence reigned over the square for several seconds.

A cry arose from a single pony in the legion of gray. “I love you, General Dragon! You’re the best!”

All at once, hundreds of concurrences arose from the assembled soldiers. The entire town, including the mayor, were now watching the spectacle.

A light green colt ran up to Spike and pulled on Starlight Glimmer’s mane to get her attention. She then motioned to Spike, who turned to face the young messenger.

“Sir!” the colt saluted. “I have a letter from the General for you, sir!” He pulled a letter out of his saddlebags with his teeth and placed it in Spike’s awaiting claw. Being dismissed with a nod, the colt ran off back in the direction of the battlefield.

Spike cut open the envelope with a sharp claw movement and pulled out the mouth-written epistle, studying it carefully.

July 21, In the Year of Our Lord 2016,

To the command of Brig. Gen. “Spikewall” Dragon,

General, it enlightens my countenance to hear of the great victory won by our brave forces today on the field outside the town of Molasses. No doubt such a result was the result of divine providence acting in benediction of our noble cause.

The words of my heart being spoken, it is clear upon examination of the circumstances and order of battle that our victory was due in no small part to the gallantry and strength of virtue displayed by yourself and your command. Good commanders being in short supply, I have decided upon a course of action which shall no doubt act as a stanchion in the construction of our tabernacle of victory.

Should you choose to accept it, you are offered the commission of Lieutenant General and will be placed in command of the Army’s Valley corps in preparation for the march on Canterlot and the embankment and protection of our territory.

I humbly await your reply.


Gen. MacIntosh B. Lee, Commander, Rebel Army


Spike looked up from the letter and glanced around, hoping to find the voice of the accusatory screaming. He eventually found it, in the form of a very angry Twilight Sparkle. She landed directly in front of him.

“Just WHAT are you doing!?”

Spike casually adopted his new accent once again. “What precisely are you speaking of, dear Princess?”

“You RUINED the reenactment of the First Battle of Minotaur Run!”


Twilight’s eye twitched. “What?”

“The Battle of Molasses. The Rebels named the battles after the nearest town, right?”

Twilight began to sputter in anger. “W..B-but…We don’t use that convention because YOU lost the war!”

Spike scoffed. “Dear Madam, this war has only begun.” A chorus of wild cheers was heard in support of his statement.

“So that’s why everypony is still dressed up: you’re going to continue!? Spike, this isn’t a joke! Six hundred thousand ponies died in this war!”

Spike waved a claw dismissively. “Mostly from disease.”

“You’re trying to rewrite history so that the Rebels win! Do you LIKE slavery?”

Spike’s eyes narrowed at this, and he dropped his faux accent. “Oh, REALLY, Twi? You’re going to play that card, huh? Seriously?” He turned to face his soldiers and regained his accent. “Who among you is fighting to reinstate slavery?”

The crowd launched into quiet but clearly confused rambling for several seconds.

“And who among you is fighting because you’re pissed off that your ‘friends’, ‘family’ and ‘special someponies’ always force you to fight on the losing side of everything, war reenactments included?”

Hooves shot up from every single pony in the crowd, save for one two rows back. “Wait,” this pony said, “why does everypony like slavery?”

“No, dude,” the stallion said, “he just asked if we were pissed off at our friends and family.”

“Oh.” The first stallion raised a hoof.

“You never listen,” his friend chided. “It’s embarrassing.”

Spike turned back to Twilight. He said nothing, but his face held a cheeky, yet tired expression.

Twilight was really steaming now. “Spike, this is NOT funny. If you aren’t going to end this, than I will!” She began to fly upward, preparing to unleash a stream of alicorn magic and relentless scolding designed to dissipate the crowd of soldiers.

“That wouldn’t be very historical now, would it?” asked Spike quietly.

The question stopped Twilight in her tracks. “What?”

“It just doesn’t seem very historical,” Spike said nonchalantly. “An alicorn using her magic to end the Rebellion? I don’t recall reading about anything even close to that in the history books.”

Twilight paused. Spike was right. As much as she despised what he was doing, she had to defeat him fair and square on the field of battle, just like the real Sparkleham Lincolt would have. It was the scholarly thing to do.

Suddenly, a single stun musket shot rang out from the crowd. It whizzed past Twilight’s head, almost hitting her in the eye. “Spike!!!” she cried. “Tell them not to shoot me!”

Spike turned to his army, speaking again in his gentry accent. “Soldiers, we do not shoot at pretty young princesses, bearded though they may be.”

“I’m supposed to be Sparkleham Lincolt!” Twilight screamed. She was so disappointed that nopony understood even the most important portions of history from this period that she began to think about passing an edict requiring the entire town to attend a documentary screening.

“My mistake,” Spike continued. “Soldiers, apparently that is no princess, but the leader of those treacherous Royalists. Fire at will!”

Twilight squeaked in fear as volley upon volley of stun musket shots rang out from the crowd. She flew towards her own camp as fast as she could. As soon as she had traveled a safe distance, she began to panic. She had to do something to keep Spike away from Canterlot; if Princess Celestia ever found out what was happening, she would have Spike’s head and probably banish Twilight to the moon. And winning the historical way meant doing one thing: raising and training a true army.

Back in town, Spike sat atop Starlight Glimmer and watched Twilight slowly disappear into the horizon.

“Well…that was pretty awkward,” Starlight said timidly, clearly unnerved by the experience of standing and saying nothing while the pony and dragon she lived with argued with each other.

“My little Starlight,” Spike said, “have you noticed how much the word ‘awkward’ sounds like the word ‘opportunity’?”

Two mares in a small city near Ponyville stood observing a poster plastered on a brick wall. The poster had Twilight’s face on it, although she appeared to be wearing some sort of weirdo clown costume.

The first mare, squinting, finished reading and stepped back in surprise. “This says that everypony our age has been drafted to take place in a war reenactment! I think we’re supposed to be fighting those ponies running around in gray and talking funny.”

“That’s crazy,” the other said. “I’m not doing that, I’ve got work to do.”

“But it says that there is a 1000 bit fine if we don’t show up for mustering!”

“What!? That’s tyrranical! I’m this close to going and fighting for whoever Princess Twilight is fighting against!”

A week had passed and already the steadily growing Rebel Army, commanded from the back by Big Macintosh and led from the front by Spike, had scored a series of increasingly devastating blows against the Royalist army, which was marching to capture Ponyville under orders from Twilight.

An attendant sat in the HQ tent with Rarity and read a telegram from Twilight. “ATTACK NOW. STOP. GENERAL MCCLELLITY, WHAT ARE YOU DOING. STOP. THE REBELS ARE OUT OF POSITION. STOP. ATTACK NOW VICTORY IS ASSURED. STOP. End message.”

Rarity groaned. “Send her another telegram saying that I WILL NOT attack until such time as our new uniforms come in. I refuse to attack a numerically superior force without at least sending my soldiers to their imagined deaths in style,” she said, fluffing her mane.

“Rarity,” Rainbow Dash complained, “they’re not numerically superior at all! We have almost twice as many soldiers as they do! Your scouting parties just keep seeing the same ponies wearing different colored hats and counting them more than once.”

“Even if you truly believe that those ruffians have the taste to own more than one color of hat, the fact remains that I will not attack until I receive the new uniforms.”

About a mile and a half away, Spike was having his daily staff meeting with Big Macintosh and the brigade commanders. “Boy, I sure hope they don’t attack. We’re not ready for it and really out of position.”

“Eeyup,” Big Mac agreed.

The next day, the two armies met at the very same site that the battle of Everfree creek was fought lo those many years ago. Spike rode in front of his own soldiers in clear view of the enemy, although shooting had not yet started.

“General Spikewall,” a mare called from the newly minted 3rd Cloudsdale regiment, “please be careful, you might get shot out there!”

Spike turned to face his legions, speaking calmly but with a loud voice, “God has fixed the time for my death. I do not concern myself with that, but to be always ready, no matter when it may overtake me. That is the way all ponies should live, and then all would be equally brave.”

A unicorn from Spike’s original brigade wiped a tear from his eyes. “I would follow that dragon to the ends of Equestria and back, I would!”

Spike returned to surveying the field. “It appears, my trusty companion, that the Royalists are waiting for us to attack across that cornfield. That does not seem like it would be a good plan for us.”

Starlight looked up at him. “I guess cornstalks don’t provide a lot of cover, do they?”

Spike narrowed his eyes and glanced around at his surroundings. “See that sunken road over there?”

Starlight nodded.

“That looks like a good place to slaughter against waves and waves of the enemy. I’m gonna send Colonel Braeburn’s forces to sit there and pretend like I’m attacking their left in order to draw them into attacking us from the cornfield. Then we can hit them from two sides. Three, if that no-good, flamboyant Fancy Pants’ cavalry gets here on time.”

“What is cavalry?” A few soldiers who heard Spike asked each other.

“You’re not going to attack or brazenly charge their line, like usual?” Starlight asked quizzically.

“My ponies have sometimes failed to take a position, but to defend one, never!” Spike proudly stated. “Now it is time to mystify and confuse the enemy.”

Ten minutes and a few precise infantry movements later, an entire corps of Royalist soldiers, clad in sparkling new uniforms, charged at the Rebel line.

They got wrecked pretty hard.

A few thousand feet from the edges of the battle, two ponies sat on a large blanket having a picnic. They ate their light lunch, watching the battle while thoroughly entertained.

“Another cucumber sandwich, sister?” one asked.

“Oh, no thank you,” came the reply. “I am afraid it will dilute the flavor of this wonderful mint julep. I must say though, that I am pleased to again be able to engage in a rivalry with you in a friendly spectator sport. It has been so long!”

“Indeed,” the first pony said, savoring the light breeze and the far-off screams of battle. “I am so enjoying these battle picnics that I may just take the rest of the month off to continue them.”

A large volley ripped through the clump of Royalist troops in the cornfield, dropping almost one hundred ponies.

“Oh, dear.”

“Yes, it seems as if your team has taken a significant loss. Perhaps it will force the manager to replace its commander.”

“It will do no good, what with that brilliant commander on the Rebel side. As long as he stands there is no chance for them.”

“…Would you like a mint julep?”

“You know what? Yes, I would. Thank you.”

After Rarity’s ‘loss’ of almost 5000 soldiers in under six minutes, an increasingly desperate Twilight sacked Rarity from her position and replaced her with Fluttershy. An incensed Rarity was already planning to run against Twilight in the next (fake) election.

“General Flutterside! What do we do!?” screamed Rainbow Dash as she ran into the command tent. Shells were exploding outside, raining confetti and blood-colored flour all over the place and shaking the tent’s poles. “I need reinforcements, or we need to retreat, or…SOMETHING! Come on, help!”

“Uh…uh…” Fluttershy said, cowering. “I don’t know, General McDashell,” she said, the locks of her mane still glued to the sides of her face in Twilight’s attempt to make everything ‘perfect’. “I was supposed to be Clara Bitton, the famous nurse. I haven’t even been in a battle yet.”

A shell exploded immediately outside the tent. The noise startled Fluttershy enough that she plunged under the command table, covering her eyes with her hooves.

“Fluttershy! Come on, I need orders!” Rainbow Dash growled.

Several staffers began shouting, all at once.

“General, Colonel Lucky’s Irish Brigade is routed!”

“Our right flank collapsed! Orders, General Flutterside!?”

“There’s a Rebel regiment only a hundred feet outside the camp!”

Several more shells exploded.

“General, what do we do!?”

An ear-slicing scream was heard that forced everypony in the command tent to cover their ears. After it was finished, Fluttershy ran out of the tent and away from the battle, still sobbing,

Rainbow Dash looked around the tent at the stunned expressions of the staffers.

One of Fluttershy’s aides spoke up. “You heard the General!”

Immediately, the staffers screamed and ran after Fluttershy, leaving a very confused and defeated Rainbow Dash sitting in the camp.

Another four days had passed and Twilight had tweaked the Royalist strategy once again. Since defending in home territory was a strategy that could not withstand the tactical trickery of Spike and the strategic genius of the quiet but devilishly cunning Big Mac, she needed a new approach. So, the Royalist army would have to strike deep into Rebel-held territory in order to force the two generals to make a hasty move.

That, and the Royalist Army needed a new field commander. Fluttershy had not been heard from in over 72 hours.

Twilight heard the telltale clip-clop of hooves enter the office space she had rented in Canterlot for use as a makeshift war room. She turned around. “Ah, General Ponker, I…woah.”

Several armchair generals and military advisors trotted around, sending telegrams, writing casualty reports, and the like. Even in the somber environment, however, Pinkie Pie stood out like a sore thumb.

“Pinkie?” Twilight asked timidly. “You don’t look so good…”

Pinkie’s mane was deflated significantly. She had bags under her eyes, and her coat had changed colors to a pinkish gray, as well. “I’m okay Twi…” she choked out. “I just haven’t had any cake in…oh, weeks, now. Living on salty bread has taken its toll.”

Twilight made a strange face. She wasn’t keen on appointing a pony with hardtack poisoning as the commander of her army, but she did not have much choice.

Spike led a small party of troops through the forest. General Ponker’s advance had forced him to pull away from his relentless drive toward Canterlot, and he needed to locate the primary body of the Royalist Army so the battle plan for the next morning could be established.

The trip had been silent for the most part, with Spike quickly shushing those soldiers who had begun to talk amongst themselves. The quiet of the night, along with the cool temperature and generally joyful disposition of the party, had made for a pleasant trip.
Suddenly, a musket shot rang out, echoing back from the pine trees in the forest. For a moment, all was still, until Spike slumped off Starlight Glimmer at hit the ground with a thud.

Immediately, both a medic and Starlight Glimmer had rushed to his aid.

“Spike, are you okay?” Starlight asked, as the medic examined Spike’s left arm.

“Ow,” Spike said. “Oh, great, now I can’t feel my arm.”

“Hey, wait, those are our guys,” said somepony in the forest. Another small Rebel band emerged from the treeline, looking in shock at their beloved general lying on the ground.

“Dude, you shot general Spikewall!”

“Oh, man…Sorry!” a soldier from the group called to Spike’s party. "Sorry! My bad...oh man..."

“We’re going to have to numb your whole arm,” the medic told Spike. “Those shots are designed for ponies, not baby dragons; if we don’t do it the numbness from the blast could spread through your entire body.”

“Do it,” Spike breathed, preparing himself for intense pain. The medic numbed his arm. “Hey, that wasn’t too bad.”

“Well, yeah. I just numbed it all the way. You literally couldn’t feel anything.”

The news reached General Macintosh B. Lee an hour or so later. He turned to the messenger. “Send back this message: You have lost your left claw, but I have lost my right hoof.”

“Anything else in that message?”


The next day, the battle raged in full between the two armies. The news of Spike’s injury had not yet reached the soldiers, and they fought with as much fervor as ever.

Spike, on the other hoof, had taken a turn for the worse. There were real fears amongst the medical staff that his entire body would go numb that very day.

Starlight Glimmer tenderly placed a wet washcloth on Spike’s forehead as he lie on the ground. “Oh, Spike. You are such a hero that it took one of your own soldiers to finally wound you.”

She looked out at the battle. Cannon fire tore down the slope as Royalist soldiers charged up the hill at the Rebels.

Suddenly, Spike began convulsing, prompting the nurses and junior officers nearby to rush to his side. “They’re coming! Alert General Noteworthy! Tell Major Flitter to resupply her regiment! Move the infantry-“

Spike halted in the middle of his rambling speech. His face relaxed, he smiled slightly, and he closed his eyes. “Let us cross the over the river, and rest under the shade of the trees.”

A few of the nurses began crying. His officers bowed their heads in respect, save for one. “The general,” he asked, “is…is he…?”

Spike opened his eyes. “Seriously, guys, can you carry me to those trees on the other side of the river? I’m getting sunburned here and my entire body is numb, so I can’t move.”

Despite the ‘end’ of Spikewall Dragon, the last battle had been yet another terrible defeat for the Royalists. Twilight was running out of generals, but she had one last pick for the job.

In history, this pony was General Lee’s classmate at the Equestrian Military Academy, a perpetual neer-do-well, and a failure at every pursuit. He was also the only one that could defeat the Rebels.

Twilight did not truly want to pull her from the river campaign in the west, where the victories won were the only of the entire war so far; but she had to. With any luck, just as her real-life counterpart had been Lee’s rival, she could leverage her distrust of Big Mac into a couple of major victories and force a surrender. Twilight took a deep breath, and entered the command tent.

General Applysses J. Grant was sitting in a chair nursing a mug of cider and smoking a cigar.

“Applejack?” Twilight questioned. “Are you…smoking?”

“Ya darn right ah’m smokin’!” Applejack cried, standing up but continuing to puff on her cigar. “I need every bit of help I can get to relax!” She put her front hooves on Twilight’s shoulders. “I’ve been fightin’ out here for so long, and I haven’t slept in a day and a half. Ah NEED for us to win, Twilight!” She placed her hooves back on the ground and turned around, staring into the far corner of the tent darkly. “If Big Mac wins this fake war, ah will never hear the end of it from ‘im.”

“But…he never talks…” Twilight questioned.

“Oh, ah don’t mean it like that, Twi. Every time ah pass by him on the farm, he’ll give me the look. Every time Applebloom asks us for help studyin’ history, he’ll give me the look. On mah weddin’ day, he’ll give me to mah future husband, but not before lookin’ me straight in the eyes with that look. And you know what the look will say, Twi? It’ll say, ‘I won the Equestrian Civil War reenactment, and you lost’.” Applejack turned back to Twilight. “I can’t live like that, Twi. I will fight until death to keep that from happenin’.”

Twilight gave her a forced smile. “Well…good! Because you’re now in command of the main army.”

Applejack walked closer to Twilight. “Ah mean it. Until by literal breath ceases from my literal body and it gives up mah literal ghost, I will not stop fighting Big Mac, unless we win.”

Twilight shrunk under Applejack’s gaze. “The…troops are outside. I have to go attend to my dead child and crazy wife now, so…do me proud.”

Applejack marched off without another word and hollered to command the attention of the army. “Listen up here, you sorry bunch! Ah know ya’ll wanna go home just as much as I do, and you will as soon as we win. Until that time, ah will not hesitate to send wave after wave of you at the center of the Rebel line until they run out of ammunition and flee. We march at dawn.”

Without Spike’s strategy and inspirational ability, Big Mac’s forces withered under repeated, alcohol and nicotine-fueled attacks by his sister’s army that placed no value on ponies’ imaginary lives. Within the week, he found himself seated in Ponyville’s one-room schoolhouse, signing an unconditional surrender.

As he placed the pen down, Applejack smiled at him with a fiendish spark in her eyes.

“Was that the look you were worried about, sir?” whispered one of his aides.

Big Mac groaned. “…Eeyup.”

Twilight was ecstatic about her final victory, almost burning herself on Applejack’s cigar as she threw her hooves around her. “You did it, AJ! Er, General Applysses J. Grant! Now I can focus on Spike’s punishment!”

“Oh, a punishment won’t be necessary, Twilight,” a regal voice said from the school’s doorway.

Everypony save for Twilight and those too numb to move bowed at Princess Celestia and Princess Luna, who had snuck through the armies outside and into the surrender signing without raising any sort of alarm.

Twilight immediately threw herself at Celestia’s feet. “PRINCESS! I AM SO SO SO SO SORRY ABOUT STARTING A SECOND CIVIL WAR, BUT IT WAS ALL SPIKE’S FAULT!”

Celestia looked down at her questioningly.

“Er,” Twilight began again, “but I won. And I kept them from Canterlot, so…that’s good.”

Princess Luna stepped forward at this time. “These past few weeks have been the most fun I’ve had in a millennia!” she shouted.

Celestia smiled as well. “Indeed! My sister and I have been having picnics at every battle you have fought. It is so very entertaining! Plus,” she said to no one in particular, “I won a few million bits.”

Luna stuck out her tongue. “Yes, sister. You know that I have a weakness for betting on underdogs and those who wish to topple your rule.”
“But…But…” stammered Twilight, “you knew!? And you’re not mad!?”
“Of course I knew,” Celestia said. “It's hard to miss armies of tens of thousands of ponies exchanging cannon fire in the valley below your castle. It was quite entertaining. Even though I had money on you, Twilight, I wasn’t really sure who I wanted to win. Spike was certainly a gallant general; sort of a villain that I loved to hate.”
“But, Princess! If the Rebels had won they would have torn Equestria in two and probably beheaded you!”
“Oh Twilight,” she waved a hoof, “it’s a reenactment. Stop taking it so seriously; you were doing such a good job making history fun and accessible before.”
“But that’s not at all how it happened!”
“Really?” Celestia asked with a hoof on her chin. “I don’t remember all of the details. Even if it wasn’t 100% correct, it was still great fun. In fact, I declare that every year, one month will be set aside for an optional nationwide Civil War reenactment!”
“I expect you to win next year, Spike,” Luna added. “I was going to use that money to buy lavish things, and would like to win it back.”
Twilight’s eyes began twitching erratically.
“Hah!” Spike called from a stretcher on the floor, still unable to move. “Hear that, Twi? It’ll never be over. I’ll win one day! And then you’ll be sorry for always putting me on the Rebel side and picking me last when we play hoofball!”
The Princesses turned to leave before Celestia turned back. “One last thing, Twilight. I was a little scared when you suspended the right of habeas corpus. That was a little tyrannical, please don’t think that that’s okay to do.”
“It was a reenactment!” cried Twilight.
Starlight Glimmer watched the scene through a window from outside. “I swear, Spike, next time, your gallant voice and imposing presence will not deter me. Next time, I shall be the general, and you my transportation.”

Next Chapter: Horse's Theater (Epilogue) Estimated time remaining: 3 Minutes
Return to Story Description


Login with