A New Way to Fight
Applejack just looked on as Fluttershy took the beating of all those missiles, and at the same time, shined the soothing light on her body. Seconds later, the missiles stopped coming, the two of them covered and shrouded in the dust the blasts made. The light faded and Fluttershy opened her eyes, before falling to her side. “Fluttershy?” Applejack whispered as she lifted the pegasus’ head. Applejack looked to the shield, finding it scratched in several places, but in relatively good condition otherwise. “Uhh…” she heard Fluttershy groan, “Applejack?” The Huma-Pony patted Fluttershy on the cheek, “Ah’m alright, what about you?” she whispered. Fluttershy closed her eyes again, and the Valkyrie retracted quickly, “Just tired is all.” Fluttershy said and rested her head. “Don’t worry Fluttershy, Ah’ll take it from here.” Applejack said and stood up.
Jacob breathed heavy as he tried to look through the smoke, his screen cracked from the strike Fluttershy gave him, and now his scanner was malfunctioning. “Blasted pony, now I have to do this the old fashion way.” he told himself, and jarred to the left when something smashed into him. He regained his balance and turned the massive machine to see…nothing but airborne dust. “What makes yah think Ah’m that easy ta beat?” he heard from behind him, and he turned around just in time to get a large metallic fist smashed into his screen. The glass held up, but cracked into a foggy white haze all around. Jacob reached up with one of his three remaining arms, and ripped the severally cracked screen from his view. “Useless piece of junk.” he said angrily. “Hey, watch were yer throwin things.” Applejack said from his right. Jacob turned that way, and swung his massive arms, hitting nothing except a tree. From behind him, he received another blow, this one knocking him to the ground. The human growled angrily, and used his three massive hands to push his mech back up to his feet. “You’ll pay for that.” he said, “You’ll never leave here alive now.” He watched as the dust finally settled, revealing Applejack, completely unharmed. “Wait, what?” he asked, “You were barely breathing after the beating I gave you, how are you unharmed?” Applejack simply lifted her fists up to her chin, and brought her hooves in, no further than shoulder width as she placed one hoof in front comfortably.
Jacob looked on, curious and shocked, “You intend to…box me?” he asked. “Just a little somethin Breeze taught me while helpin on the farm.” she explained, “Never really thought it would come in handy.” Jacob smiled wickedly, and had his mech crack its knuckles, all fifteen of them. “No ring? This should be easy.” he said, and lifted two of the arms to his chin, the third slamming itself into his chest and hanging out to the side.
Applejack and Jacob could almost hear the bell as it rang to start the match, both circling each other as they neared the other, waiting for the first move to be made. Jacob struck first, keeping his guard up and striking with his third arm, slamming it into Applejack’s quake pistons as she blocked. Applejack then went in and struck at the two arms blocking his chest, keeping her piston from retracting. Quickly she brought it back into place, and the two began their dance again. Jacob again struck with his open arm, reaching for Applejack’s head as she blocked it, then with his only left arm, tried punching her in the gut. Applejack quickly brought one of her legs up and allowed the metal to block the strike. She saw it coming, that same arm trying for another strike. Applejack countered, pulling back her Quake Piston and her fist, to punch the arm, shattering it just like the first, and then jumping back, gaining distance from the man, “Now we’re even.” she told him and moved in, before letting loose with a barrage of punches. First a left hook, then a right, and a left again. Next an uppercut and a straight jab that put a large dent into his armor. She quickly became relentless, striking him with everything she had, slamming her fists into his armor just about everywhere she could. Jacob kept his block near his face and upper chest, hopping to keep damage to those areas minimum. Applejack then focused her strikes to the lower chest, striking his arms only to keep his guard higher. Her rapid punches soon began to show in more ways than just denting his armor, the cracks that began to appear worried him, and he was quickly beginning to feel the blows as she threw them. Applejack reeled back with one more punch, retracting her Quake Piston and slamming it into his torso. The power behind the punch sent him flying back, his chest armor shattering as he flew, scattering across the fields. He soon hit the ground, and could just as clearly hear the bell that signaled the end of the match, the wires and flesh of his skinny body visible to all. Try as he might, his mech wouldn’t move, at least, not the arms and legs. “This isn’t over.” he warned and lit up the rockets on his back, causing him to fly off across the ground before pulling up into the air and escaping.
Applejack watched as he disappeared into the blue sky, vanishing only when it was impossible to see him. She then moved over to the sleeping Fluttershy, and retracted her NanoPack, before reaching under the yellow pegasus and lifting her up. The journey back to the cottage was spent in silence, Fluttershy was still asleep when they arrived. Applejack used her hoof to knock on the door, and Blade once again opened it up, again without his coat on. Somehow, Applejack found it easier to keep her imagination to herself this time. “What happened?” Blade asked almost angry. “Remember that boy Jacob?” was all she said, and Blade’s eyes softened. He reached out, taking Fluttershy from the Huma-Pony and taking her inside, “Did you talk to her before he attacked?” he asked. Applejack smiled and nodded, knowing that the simple smile would tell him that everything was now alright. “…Good.” he said, and used his boot to close the door, “Goodnight Applejack.” he said flatly. Applejack looked to the sky, seeing the sun as it tried to set behind the Canterlot mountain. With a smile, she turned and made her way back to the ranch, only to be stopped by Blade as he once again opened the door to call out to her, “Applejack?!” he asked, “What’s the verdict on your situation?” Applejack scanned his body, memorizing what he looked like, “Ah think, Ah’ll wait for mah dream colt instead. Ponies are a lot less…eh…showy.” she told him, and turned to walk away. Blade smiled at this, and walked back into the cottage, “What a weirdo!” he told himself, “Farm girls are a different breed all together.” and he shut the door.
Back at the farm, Applejack walked happily into the house, nearly skipping as she smiled and sat down at the table where Apple Bloom, Big Macintosh, and Granny Smith sat, waiting for her. “What?” she asked when she got the same look from all three of them, “Ah didn’t go and try ta flirt with Blade if’n that’s what yer thinkin. I left ta go apologize ta Fluttershy.” she told them. Big Macintosh just closed his eyes and shook his head, “It don’t matter what cha was doin Applejack,” Granny Smith said, “We were just a worried silly about cha.”
“Yah,” Apple Bloom told her, “You fergot to tell us where you were goin.” The sad eyes on the filly’s face were a look of worry, and it made Applejack’s heart just melt, and somehow her eyes grow heavy. ‘What the hay?’ she thought to herself, and forced her eyes to stay open. “Sorry Apple Bloom, Ah guess Ah was just too distracted with my thoughts ta think right. Next time Ah’ll remember ta tell ya’ll.” she said, and yawned deeply, “Better git yer sleep Applejack, cause you got double chores tomarrah.” Granny Smith told her and promptly fell asleep in her rocking chair. Before Applejack could complain, another deep yawn emerged from deep in her throat. “Will you read me a story before you go ta bed?” Apple Bloom quickly asked. Applejack wanted to say yes, but she quickly found herself in her own dreams as she allowed her head to rest on her arms. Apple Bloom and Big Macintosh just watched as she slept, and changed.