“Oh dear, oh dear!” Rarity whispered as she gingerly tip hoofed through the thickest parts of the ranch. Her plan for her and Applejack to sneak around and exit through the far side of the farm had been harder than she thought. “Oh, put a cork in it Rarity!” Applejack whispered back, “At least you don’t have a NanoPack that won’t work.”
“Well I suggest you get it working!” Rarity snapped. “I’m tryin, but somethin aint right. It’s like it aint even alive anymore.” Applejack told her. “I thought that NanoPacks were just machines?” Rarity asked, giving Applejack her ‘even I know that’ tone. “They aint, they think don’t they?” Applejack argued. “Yes, but not for themselves.” Rarity pointed out. “So what?” Applejack asked, and quickly shushed Rarity before pushing the white pony behind a large rock. The clanking of metallic legs quickly came and faded away. “Do not resist.” the droid said as it passed them by. Applejack waited a few seconds before lifting her head above the rock to see if it had gone. “Is it gone?” Rarity whispered. “Yah, it’s gone.” Applejack responded. “Why is this happening?” Rarity whispered, adding as much drama to her voice as was allowed, “What did I do to deserve this?”
“Excuse me? We’re all in this together.” Applejack reminded her. Rarity quickly cleared her throat, “I know, but my NanoPack hasn’t even bonded with me. Why am I being chased?” She quickly quirked an eyebrow, “By the way, how do you bond with a NanoPack?” she asked. “It just happened with Pinkie Pie, Fluttershy’s decided it would help her protect her friends, and mine just liked what I said about never giving up I guess.” Applejack told her as they continued on. “For the last time, NanoPacks are simply machines, like the ‘Super Speedy Cider Squeezy’ machine.” Rarity told her friend. “Maybe that’s why your NanoPack won’t bond with you.” Applejack teased. “Oh, ha ha, very funny.” Rarity said, but was unable to continue due to a loud thud that came from behind them. When they turned their heads around, they saw one of the recovery droids standing behind them. “Eheh, I don’t suppose you’ll let us go because of no NanoPacks would yah?” Applejack asked. “Scans have detected the presence of two unauthorized NanoPacks. One unbonded and the other disabled.” the droid responded. “I was afraid you’d say that.” Applejack said and jumped to the side dodging one of the clawed fists while Rarity dodged the other way. “RUN!” the two ponies yelped as they turned around and ran in the same direction.
The machine quickly extracted its claw from the ground and followed close behind them. “Use the trees to slow it down!” Applejack yelled, and the two of them started weaving in and out of a line of apple trees, easily crisscrossing each other. The droid on the other hand traveled along the same path only for a few seconds, before making a bee line down an open stretch. With a reach of its clawed hand, it snagged Applejack right out of her pattern. “Please, do not resist!” it said and began slowly squeezing her. “Oh no you don’t, not to my friend!” Rarity called out, and jumped onto one of the legs before leaping to the elbow and bucking it right in the head. The lurch the droid took opened it up a bit, knocking one of the cables loose. What she didn’t see was the small purple crystal that flew up with the cable and flew into the pocket of her unbonded NanoPack.
Just as quickly as it felt the hit, it reached for her with its one remaining arm, grabbed her and threw her into the dirt a few yards away. It once again looked Applejack in the eye, “You will provide my father with battle data on your species.” it said and once again slowly began crushing her. “GRAAAAAA!” Rarity heard Applejack scream as she slowly stood up, only to fall back down to her knees. “Alright,” she whispered, “If you can hear me, then please help me.” Rarity once again stood to her hooves, “Bond with me, so that I can save her, my friend.” with that, she slowly trotted, limping to the droid, and turned to weekly buck it with her back hooves. The droid stopped its assault on the orange pony, and looked down at the dirty white one with her mangled purple mane and tail. “Your attacks have no effect, why do you persist on this meaningless endeavor?” it asked. “Because…[kick]…you’re hurting…[kick]…one of my…[kick]…friends.” she told it.
The droid watched as Rarity kept on weakly kicking at one of its legs for a few seconds, trying to calculate what sort of strength could push her forward so far, and then tossed Applejack about fifty yards away. “You are obviously the more powerful one amongst the two, you will give me a more accurate data.” the machine said and picked her up. The pressure that began seemed increase every second, yet Rarity refused to scream, ‘I’m sorry,’ she thought to herself, her tears starting to flow from the pain, ‘If you really are alive, then please, help me.’ Her pleading went unheard it seemed, until a loud pop was heard and the pressure was released all at once. The shockwave forced the droids claw to open and the robot to fly backwards, landing almost thirty yards away.
The wave traveled much farther than that, washing over Applejack and the others with a power unknown, one strong enough to jumpstart their NanoPacks.
Blade and Breeze seemed to be stuck, Blade’s injuries preventing him from going much further, when the wave hit them. They hadn’t felt it, but the NanoPack in their hand extended themselves, returning to their base forms, the long sword for Breeze and the giant sword for Blade. The two brothers glanced at their weapons curiously before looking back up to the droid, and Breeze lunged forward.
Pinkie Pie kept herself behind Twilight as the wave hit them, fizzing Twilight’s magic as she lifted one of the droids, and causing Pinkie Pie to be encased in the Bubble’s armor. “Huh?” the pink pony asked as she looked through the visor. Fluttershy tried to keep out of reach as the droid that chased her reached for her, and suddenly she felt a greater weight as the shield formed itself in front of her, attaching itself to her right hoof, freeing her wings to keep her aloft. With happiness and confusion, Fluttershy lifted the shield, and drove it into the head of her attacker.
Applejack slowly stood up, hurting all over from the pressure and the Tremor NanoPack wrapped around her body. “Ho, nelly that hurt.” she said. As she opened her eyes and looked up, she met with surprise, Rarity stood there with her own NanoPack bonded to her. The diamond white armor she wore gleamed in the sunlight, the high collar trimmed with a pale gold. Three sapphire gems in the shape of her Cutie Mark were inlayed at her flank, and she wore golden crested shoes on all four hooves. She wore no helmet; instead a Tiara reached itself around her forehead with three sapphire jewels traveling from edge to edge with a piece of the Tiara following the front of her horn. Rarity lifted one of her hooves, and looked at the design.
“Oh!” she exclaimed, and turned to examine the rest of her armor. “Diamond dust!” she said, “Exquisite!” and trotted up to the recovery droid, using the shiny surface of the outer shell as a mirror. After a few seconds the droid looked to her, “This behavior is illogical, please explain.” it said. “Oh do be still, this is the first time I’ve had such a beautiful piece to admire.” she scolded the droid. “This behavior is illogical.” it repeated, “You will supply battle data.”
“Yes, yes all in due time!” Rarity told it and turned to see the other side of her armor. The droid lifted one of its massive claws, “You will supply battle data.” it repeated, and tried to smash her, the spike that followed Rarity’s horn, suddenly launched itself towards the droid, piercing the armor near its neck easily and causing the fist to sway from its path as the robot reared back, and collapse to its side. “Did I just do that?” Rarity asked, and heard Applejack as she ran by. “You bet you did.” she said and ran past Rarity to rear back and buck the droid as hard as she could, ripping the bottom half clean away from the top. “Come on, let’s find the others.” she said, and the two trotted off. Applejack stopped, turned her head side to side, and pointed her hoof, “The entrance is this way!” she said, and turned, finding herself alone, “Aw, ponyfeathers!” she said in exhasperation.
Pinkie Pie and Fluttershy were careful, making sure not to touch the droids, and when they did, Pinkie Pie never tried to control it; she just whipped it with one of her cables. Rainbow Dash used her speed to distract one while Twilight concentrated and lifted it into the air before slamming it into the ground. The two of them just kept on coming, and getting back up. By this time, Rainbow Dash and Twilight both were breathing heavily. “Not fair!” Pinkie yelled as she knocked the one she and Fluttershy were fighting to the ground, “We can’t touch them, I can’t control them, and they just keep getting back up. What can we do?” she asked as the four ponies backed up against each other. “I’ll take care of this.” they heard Rarity say, but for some reason couldn’t see the white unicorn. Darts similar to the spike on Rarity’s crown shot out of nowhere, piercing one of the droids in multiple places before it collapsed to the ground. The small crystal inside tumbled out, and sat there at Twilight’s hooves. “What the…?” Twilight asked right before Rainbow Dash stepped on it.
“Not so tough now are ya?” she taunted, then crouched down and zoomed at the thing, making sure to clobber it in what she hoped was the face. In its distraction, another set of darts appeared from nowhere and punched right through the head, chest and two of its legs. One lodged itself in the right arm joint near the shoulder, and the droid fell to the ground. Twilight went to survey the droid while Rainbow Dash touched down, “Heh, no prob, right Rarity?” she asked, and glanced around, still finding no sign of the white unicorn, “Rarity?” she asked.