The war Within
Pinkie and Big Mac stood outside of Applejack’s bedroom door, just listening to the high panicked rants of the new orange Huma-Pony, as Pinkie dubbed it, that refused to exit. “How long do you think she can stay in there?” Pinkie asked as her and Big Mac looked to each other. Big Mac remained silent as all he did was shrug and the two looked back to the door.
Down in the living room, the rest of them, minus Rarity, sat around the room, with Blade leaning against the wall to one side of the stairs. For almost no reason, Breeze stood up, and stood on his hands. “What are you doing?” Rainbow Dash asked. “I’m board!” was all he said, and shifted his hands so that he walked away from her. She let her jaw drop to the ground as he moved around the room. “Practice and balance.” Blade said, explaining it to the curious Fluttershy. Suddenly a knock at the door brought them out of their revere; Spike walked over and opened it to reveal Rarity with a saddle bag across her back. “I’m back!” she said in a sing song voice, “And it appears not a moment too soon.” she continued as she trotted into the house. She immediately turned towards the stairs, climbing them and shooing Pinkie and Big Mac down stairs as she entered into Applejack’s room.
“Hello Applejack!” she said as she cautiously entered in. The lump in the covers didn’t even move, “I brought you some things to wear!” she tried again and this time Applejack’s head popped out. Tears looked to have traveled down her cheeks, staining them a darker shade of orange, “Oh, darling what’s wrong?” Rarity asked in concern. “T’aint fair!” Applejack sniffed and sat up, keeping the plush blanket wrapped around her, “Why are we the ones changing into these…things when it’s all their fault in the first place?”
“Now Applejack, you know very well that the boys had nothing to do with this wandering spell.” Rarity scolded her, “Have you even tried your new legs?”
“That aint the point!” Applejack called out, “Just look at me!” and poked one of her legs out from under the covers. Rarity glanced at the leg, and looked up to her friend, “I am looking Applejack, and I see the strong, brave pony I know and trust, just because you look different doesn’t mean you are different.” she said kindly. Applejack simply looked to the ground, “Well when you do decide to come on out, “I’ve made you some clothes to wear, and yes, they are your style.” Rarity told her and set the saddle bag on the ground, before leaving. Applejack wiped the tears from her face using the back of one of her new arms, then looked to the bag on the ground, thinking.
Rarity came down to the rest of them, hanging her head low, “You to huh?” Breeze asked, still upside down, but this time with Rainbow Dash sitting on his crossed legs like a human. “This is actually comfortable like this.” she said with a smirk on her face and the newspaper in her hooves. “Ooh Ooh, me next!” Pinkie said as she smiled at the two and bounced in place. Almost twenty minutes of this went by before Applejack’s door opened then slammed shut. When she finally came down, she was clothed in a red flannel shirt tied into a knot in the front and the sleeves rolled half way up her forearms, and blue jean shorts that came just above her knees. Her hat sat low over her face, hiding her eyes from view while her freckles and mouth were just barely visible. “You ok?” Blade asked as she passed him. She huffed at him angrily and continued on passed everyone and into the orchard. Breeze looked to Blade, then to the door and finally to Big Macintosh, “Got any idea of what that was about?” he asked. Big Mac and Pinkie looked to each other, then back to the door silently.
Blade simply pushed off from the wall, and made his way out to the orchard, meeting Applejack as she tried to use her hands and buck a tree like normal, “There are other ways in this form you know?” he commented. Applejack looked to him, and lowered her hat before throwing her only hooves back, missing the tree entirely and losing her balance. Blade walked up to the very tree she was trying to kick, and reached up to pluck one of the apples with his hand. After taking a bight out of it, he reeled back with his free hand and punched the trunk, letting all of the apples fall into their buckets. Applejack just glared at him, and pulled her hat over her eyes again before moving to the next tree. Blade took a large bight out of the apple in his hands and reached into his pocket, before flipping it to Big Macintosh behind him. Big Mac lifted his two hooves, catching the shiny golden bit as it landed perfectly in front of him. “He heard your hoof steps.” Fluttershy told him when Big Mac looked confused and amazed.
Applejack simply grabbed a hold of the tree and began shaking it. Slowly the apples fell to the ground, and she turned to see Blade at the next tree, right before he lifted one of his feet to kick the tree hard. The apples fell to the ground all in one lump sum, and she growled at him. This time she didn’t even take the time to hide her eyes, she just passed right by him and to the next tree. “Ok, that’s it!” he said as she got ready to run her shoulder into the tree, “If it’s something to do with us, than just spit it out, I want to get back to normal as soon as possible.”
“That’s just it!” she finally shouted, “There is no normal anymore, you and your stupid war took that all away!” with that she stood up and pointed to him. “How was I supposed to know that Zeral was deathly afraid of change?” he countered. “Well next time y’all find a planet yah know nothin about, try leaving it alone!” she shouted. “I was following orders Applejack! That’s what I did before Twilight gave me my name, I followed orders like a trained dog. This planet would have been destroyed if anyone else in the academy had come down here.” he told her. “So ye’re sayin that we had nothing to do with savin our own planet?” Applejack asked. “That’s not what I said…” he told her, but she cut him off, “You think yer so special don’t you? You think yer so tough then prove it.” with that last shout she activated the tremor. She flexed her arms next to her, and bent her knees as the NanoPack fit itself around her. The NanoPack looked very different, the steel shoulder guards she had were the only pieces on top, while the canon like arms moved up to tuck themselves under her sleeves just the same way the steel legs appeared from under her shorts. Unlike her arms, the legs had changed into a plate like design for guarding.
“I won’t fight you.” Blade said and removed his NanoPack from behind him to throw it to Fluttershy. “I said PROVE IT!” Applejack shouted as she lunged for him. Blade quickly leapt to one side, allowing the punch she through to miss him completely and slam into the ground. It buried itself down to the wrist, but that was only because of the massive ring that stopped it from going any further. Applejack easily pulled the fist out of the ground and charged again, this time she began to throw a volley of punches, each one he dodged with very little room to spare.
“Oh my, shouldn’t we stop them?” Fluttershy asked as she lifted Blade’s NanoPack to her chin. She was quickly stopped when Breeze placed a hand on her back, right between her wings and her neck, “If Blade wanted to he could have ended this on Applejack’s first punch.” he said, “Look at him, he’s changed so much, and for the better.”
“What are you talking about?” Rainbow Dash asked as she watched the two warring titans go at it.
Blade continued to dodge while Applejack threw wild punches, some smashing into the ground when she lunged, and others she threw, he just side stepped.
“He isn’t fighting back.” Twilight responded, catching everypony’s attention, “Every time we’ve seen him fight, he’s always used his weapons. He relied completely on his strength to be victorious in battle, but to him, this isn’t a battle now.”
“He never turned down a fight until now, that’s why he was almost never allowed to participate in Exams. He kept getting into fights, but now, it’s like he’s waiting.” It didn’t take long at all, only three minutes and the tears started to flow from Applejacks eyes, and still she pressed on, until Tremor retracted itself back into her hair. “Why did that happen?” Pinkie asked in surprise as Applejack stopped for a moment, placing her hands on her knees. “NanoPacks draw their energy from the wielder, Applejack just exhausted herself.” Breeze explained, and was surprised when Applejack once again lunged for Blade and all he did was stand there and actually let one of Applejacks punches connect with his cheek. His head whipped to the side from the impact, yet he forced himself to stay standing. Again another punch, this time the other cheek sending his head snapping to the other side, and again he stayed standing. Again, and again, he let Applejack just punch away at him until she felt her knees give way from exhaustion. Both of his cheeks now blue with bruises, he reached out and held her up so that she could gently be guided to the ground. He could hear Applejack as she hiccupped form her tears, “Why is this happenin?” she asked between sobs. “I don’t know,” he softly responded, “But if I’m going to find out, I’ll need the help of all of my friends.” he told her, and with a smile, helped her to her feet. “What do you say?” he asked, “Will you join me?” When Applejack looked to him, he didn’t have a smile on the outside, rather his eyes shined instead, shined with the hope of a friend. Applejack let the tears flow faster, and she buried her face into his shirt, “Ah’m sorry.” she apologized, and he patted her on the back, “Yah, I know.” he said, and pointed a genuine smile towards Fluttershy. The yellow pegasus let out a squee, and smiled brightly in return as the others closed in to comfort their unhappy friend.