Help Is on the Way
Fluttershy appeared right in front of her friends. Rarity, Twilight Sparkle, Applejack and Rainbow Dash all stood there in hope, “…I can help!” she said, before realizing that she had already been transported. “What in tarnation is happening up there?” Applejack asked. Panic quickly set in on Fluttershy and she began trotting in place, “Blade, Breeze and Pinkie Pie are still up there.” she told them, “I have to go back, Blade is in trouble!”
“Y’all aint goin alone!” Applejack said, placing a hoof on Fluttershy’s open shoulder, “Y’all will need back up.”
“Well all go!” Twilight said, “We’ll be better off together. Friends don’t let friends fight alone.”
“Yah! I’m game!” Rainbow Dash said with excitement. “I’m not so sure how much help I can be, but I’ll do all I can to help.” Rarity said with an air of sophistication. “And I’ll protect Rarity!” Spike said as he stood next to her. “Thank you Spike.” Rarity said. Twilight smiled at her friends, “Alright everypony, let’s go.” she said, and placed her hoof on Fluttershy. With a shy thankful smile, Fluttershy remembered how Blade had transported her the first time, and they all disappeared. The room they appeared in was the same Fluttershy remembered leaving. However she couldn’t find Blade anywhere. “Blade?” she called out (whispered). The ponies all trotted off of the platform, and searched the place. Near the door, Applejack found a small pool and a thin trail of blood. “Oh, this can’t be good.” she said in worry.
“Oh, they seriously don’t think this will work do they?” Zeral said as he watched the monitors. He saw Twilight as she used her magic to make her friends invisible, and when they were caught, Fluttershy used her shield to bash the guard’s heads, and apologize afterwards. Applejack caught his eye quickly. The strength in her legs seemed unreal, as she bucked guards into unconsciousness, most of the time with only one kick. His eyes trailed back to the purple unicorn as she made one of the guards float in the air, just so she could drop him on his stomach after she and her friends had passed by. “That one could be a nuisance.” he said, and stood from his chair. “I think I’ll take care of the creature somehow.”
“Ok girls, stay quiet.” Twilight Sparkle said as she neared the corner, “I need Rarity’s mirror.”
“What!?!” the white unicorn nearly shouted, and was shushed by Rainbow Dash as Applejack took the ornate pearl hand mirror from her. “You’d better not get that broken!” Rarity harshly whispered, “It’s expensive.” Spike patted her on the side and glared at Twilight. Without a word, Twilight used her magic to place the mirror so she could look around the corner. What she saw surprised her, a room full of unbonded NanoPacks. “The trail ends here.” she whispered and floated the mirror back to Rarity. Applejack rushed in first, ready to defend her friends. There in the corner, sat Blade, one arm and his side bleeding badly. “Applejack?” he asked as he gritted his teeth, “What are you doing here?”
“I’d like to ask you the same thing.” she said, as Fluttershy approached him. “Stay back!” he called out, and gripped his side even harder. Fluttershy stopped in mid step, and looked to the ground. Scattered around him, were several hundreds of silver cubes, and she was just about to step on one. “I can’t…” she said as she backed up. “Come on Fluttershy, now’s not the time to chicken out.” Rainbow Dash told her, “No I mean I literally can’t, if I touch even one of those things I get shocked.” she explained. “Huh?” asked Twilight. “It’s a failsafe.” Fluttershy told them, “Somepony who has a bonded NanoPack, can’t touch an unbound one without getting shocked. He was almost three inches away from mine and he got a single spark, I don’t what to know what happens if I make direct contact.” Twilight turned to the ground, “And with all of them so close, it just might arch and intensify.” she said and closed her eyes to focus. He seemed to glow a little, only to have the power slowly flow from him, and into the ceiling. “I can’t use my magic anymore.” she said as she stopped her focus. “Well I don’t need any of those things.” Applejack said, and began to move the NanoPacks away to make a path. Fluttershy squeaked with anticipation, “Oh, please, make sure the path is wide enough for him.” she pleaded. Rarity and Twilight both started helping to make it wide, while Rainbow Dash started picking them up off of the ground, “Gosh Rarity,” she said, “And you thought my house was a mess.”
“At least they match the floor.” Rarity spoke up, and Spike began moving some for her. Rainbow Dash landed next to Applejack, and the two of them placed themselves under his arms. “Thanks, but you shouldn’t have come.” he said, “If he comes back…”
“We’ll take care of anypony that tries anything.” Rainbow said, and dipped her head to pick up her own NanoPack. “You bet sugar cube.” Applejack agreed, and picked one up for herself. Twilight did the same while Rarity had trouble thinking about it. Her decision was made for her when Spike offered one that he had picked up and cleaned. She happily and gratefully accepted it. “Even from him?” Blade asked, and looked up behind Fluttershy. Fluttershy turned just in time to see the madman aiming his rifle at her, and she turned just right so that the bullet ricochet off of the edge of the shield. Spike jumped in front of her, and blew a small green flame down the barrel of the gun, turning the barrel red hot. “HE’S MINE!” the man shouted, and shifted the gun into a gun blade, before bringing it down on the ground where Spike once stood.
Rarity came to a screeching halt with Spike on her back. “You do not hurt my Spikie wikie!” she called out and dashed at the mad man, before turning in mid air and bucking him in the face with her back hooves. The impact was a surprise to the man, and he was disoriented as soon as he hit the ground.
“She’s tougher than she looks.” Blade said as he held his side. “I don’t know why you’re not out there.” Applejack stated, after placing her grey cube on the ground. “I lost.” he said simply, “I fought him and I lost.”
“So?” she asked harshly. “I lost at a lot of things, don’t mean I give up.”
“He’s better than me!” Blade said. “He’s also a psychopath ready to kill everypony just to get to you.” Rainbow Dash added in. Applejack shot a glare to her cyan friend over Blade’s shoulder. “I aint gonna force you to get up and fight, but I am gonna hold it against you if you don’t fight and somepony gets hurt.” she said, “I’d rather stand up to my problems then let those problems hurt others.” with that, she slid out from under his shoulder, and grabbed her NanoPack from the ground, before joining Rarity in the fight, again taking the madman by surprise. Fluttershy wiggled her way under his arm, holding him up the best she could. “Are you alright?” she asked, and he lowered his head. “Fight, even though someone is stronger than you?” he whispered to himself.
Rarity seemed to be doing fine, until the man spun around, and kicked her with his boot, sending her and Spike into the wall. “Face your problems so no one gets hurt.” Blade repeated to himself. Applejack ducked the madman’s blow, and side stepped his punch, before turning and bucking him in the chest with all her might. The kick itself was powerful, and he grabbed his chest as if hurt, only to point his gun blade at her. “My friends…” Blade said and then he heard the shot go off. His eyes opened wide, and he looked up. To his relief Applejack was unharmed, but quickly running out of room, even when Twilight jumped on the man’s back, she was quickly thrown to the same wall Rarity and Spike lay unconscious at, and continued firing at Applejack, driving her into a corner. The same sick grin was on his face, when Applejack found herself cornered. Blade steeled his eyes, and attempted to stand, only to fall back to his knees in pain. “Mine!” the man said, and slowly squeezed the trigger. “Hey!” he heard from behind him. The man closed his eyes, and turned to Rainbow Dash, “Be patient, you’ll all be part of my collection.” he said to her.
When he turned back to Applejack, he let himself go pale; the NanoPack in her mouth had surrounded her entire head and chest. “NO!” he called out, and began firing rapidly. The bullets simply melted into the liquid metal, and the gun quickly over heated. “No!” he repeated as the liquid slid its way around her hooves and slid away from her mouth. It solidified quickly, changing into what looked to be layered armor traveling up her legs, and triangle armor on her midsection and underbelly. The metal around her eyes expanded away from them and turned clear. On the outside of her legs, seemed to be some kind of tube like device, and long up curved spikes sprouted from her hips. The first thing she did was stick her tongue out, “BLAAAA!” she said, and began spitting wildly, like trying to get a bad taste out of your mouth. “That’s disgusting.” she said, and tried to rub her tongue with her hoof, only to see the actual armor around it. The devices on her legs shrank into themselves as she bent her leg, and stretched out as she straightened. “By Celestia, what happened to me?” she asked.