An Honest Living
“Your…friends…refused to abandon you?” the Angel asked as Twilight trailed behind them. “That’s part of friendship.” she explained. “I see, my solution would have been to cut the door down. With my blade detached from my frame the electricity would have no effect.” the Angel responded. “Yah, but what if Pinkie had been too close, you would have hurt her. Besides, I think Pinkie did a great job rescuing us.” Twilight said happily. “You mean Pinkie and her Bubble.” Twilight heard Pinkie Pie say as the pink pony hopped in one place until they were side by side. Twilight laughed happily as her friend walked next to her, “Yes, Pinkie and her Bubble.” she said and looked over the armor.
The bubble had changed very little, but the metal now had a slight shine of pink to it, and the balloon shaped jewel was now embedded into the armor where it hung at her neck, the golden border being the only metal of a different color.
“I think it shows the party that the Bubble has in her heart.” Pinkie said as she puffed out her chest, showing off the jewel on her armor. Twilight chuckled again, and smiled, “I think so too.” she said, causing Pinkie to grin widely. “Thanks Pinkie.” Twilight said right before the earth pony began to hop away. “For what?” Pinkie Pie asked. “For saving us and for reminding me of what friendship means to me.” Twilight explained. Pinkie instantly spread her lips into a full blown grin, “You’re welcome.” she said, and hummed another song that only she could hear.
“I’m having trouble adjusting to the others. I’ve never known that such differences existed.” the Angel told its owner. “Differences are what make us stronger than somepony on their own.” Twilight explained as she admired her friends, “I know even with your power I probably wouldn’t have made it even this far on my own.”
“How can that be?” the Angel asked, “Power can overcome many things.”
“Yes but friends can overcome anything and everything.” Twilight said. The DoublePack again fell silent, and Twilight actually worried about what the machine was thinking, “Observing this friendship has been very informative but…” she said. “But?” Twilight asked. “Nothing.” the Angel said quickly, “It requires more study.” Twilight chuckled a little, “What, may I ask, is humorous?” the Angel asked. “Oh, sorry Angel. I just thought it was funny how the two of us are so much alike.” she explained with a smile. “Alike…” the DoublePack began, and trailed off in her own thoughts.
“Hey Twi!” she heard Applejack call out, “Ah need y’all to do me a favor.” Twilight approached her friend, trying to anticipate what she would want, “What’s up Applejcak?” she asked. “Ah need you to tell the Tremor just how bad an idea it is to grow TURNIPS in an apple orchard.” Twilight let her eyes open wide, she just hadn’t expected something like that. “Huh?” Twilight asked, only to hear laughter over the PA system again, “Oh my sides.” Zeral said as he continued to laugh over the speaker, “You little creatures are a riot.”
“We’re ponies, smart guy!” Rainbow Dash called out to the seemingly never ending ceiling. The laughing died down, and they could all hear the malice coming from Zeral’s voice, “I would prefer you all dead actually.” he said. “Then why not come down here and try your luck?” she countered. “Oh please, don’t say that.” Fluttershy whispered. Zeral then chuckled as one of the walls in the hall way shined and changed to transparent. “Because I want you all to watch as you fail to save your precious world.” he said. Applejack turned to the same wall, and walked up to it, the others following close by. What they saw was the world of Equestria as it sat in the vastness of space, the sun just creeping over the edge of the planet. “We’ve been here that long?” Rarity asked in shock. “Longer…you’re too late.” Zeral said, and they all watched as a bright white beam shot out from the bottom of the Genesis Ark, and slam into the surface of the planet. Equestia exploded in a bright flash of light, “NO!” Twilight shouted, and Pinkie Pie turned away with tears in her eyes. “Something aint right!” Applejack heard the Tremor say to her, “It aint registrin.”
“Huh?” Applejack asked as she sniffed away her tears. “Ah think a massive explosion like that would show up on mah Seismic sensors.” the Tremor told her. “But, we just saw it.” Applejack said. Her shout was loud enough to echo throughout Ponyville, yet the others seemed like they didn’t hear her at all. Her mind started to race with questions, each of which pointed to only one answer, but she just couldn’t figure out how to explain it. “Zeral lied to us…somehow.” Applejack finally admitted, and somehow, the light from the explosion vanished, leaving a perfectly fine Equestria in its place. “And yet you can do nothing to warn them of my deception.” she heard from behind her, and there stood Zeral, his scythe at his side and in his old Councilor’s uniform. “You…”Applejack growled, “You…” she tried to say again, but instead turned and lunged at him, passing right through him when she reached him. Zeral simply laughed, “You can’t harm me, I’m not even here. This is a Holofield Projection.” he told her, “And you have no way of telling them of what really happened either, just look.” Applejack turned around, finding Twilight at the receiving end of Rainbow Dash’s anger. She couldn’t hear what the cyan pegasus was actually saying, but by the look on her face and the look on Twilight’s, she knew it wasn’t very friendly.
“STOP IT!” Applejack called out, and tried to run up to her friends, but hit an invisible wall about where she stood before. A small shock went through her again, minimized by the dampeners on her flank. “What the hay?” she asked as she placed an armored hoof against the force field. The shock was that of a static shock, barely felt by her as it was absorbed into her. Zeral smiled as he spoke, “This particular force field generates an electric charge when struck or touched, the harder the hit the larger the shock. I’d say it’d kill you instantly, even with the dampeners on, if you tried shattering it with your Quake Pistons. I should know, I designed it myself.” he said, and laughed loudly, “They’ll all end up destroying each other in the end!”
“No!” Applejack called back, and turned back to her friends, Twilight was now crying, Fluttershy patting her head gently, trying to ease any of the pain while Blade stood there glaring at a restrained Rainbow Dash. Rarity had moved herself in between them even though she could barely see through the tears in her eyes, and Breeze worked with Pinkie Pie to pin Rainbow Dash to the floor. “Ah gotta do somthin!” she said to herself. “Face it there is nothing you can do.”
“Yes there is.” the Tremor said to her, “But Ah need an extra boost of power.” Applejack wracked her brain for anything, before reaching back behind her, and pulling out her own necklace. “A bit unnecessary to accessorize isn’t it?” Zeral asked, “Honestly, girls are all the same no matter what spices.” Applejack slipped it around her neck, and just like with Pinkie, the necklace merged with the Tremor. Zeral backed up in surprise, “Y’all wouldn’t know honesty if it bit yah in the backside!” she said, and the two spikes on her flank flashed brightly, right before the four Quake Pistons lifted themselves up her legs and slammed into the floor. The shaking of the room caused every one of her friends to wobble unbalanced and fall to the floor, but what surprised her was the electric shockwave that spread across the entire place, snaking its way up the force field and blowing every circuit but her own that it touched. Luckily the shockwave didn’t go beyond the force field, even after it dissipated.
“What’s your problem?” Rainbow Dash asked in a huff. “Look outside.” was all Applejack told them. “I already know what’s out there, just a bunch of…” Rainbow Dash tried to say, but still turned her head anyways. She saw it, Equestria in perfect condition, not in a large pile of debris. “I don’t believe it!” she gasped. “Well believe it, cause what we all saw was nothing but a Holo…somethin that Zeral cooked up fer us. Nothin but a bunch a lies.” Breeze and Pinkie were the first to make it to the window, then Rarity, Blade and Fluttershy with Twilight close by. Rainbow Dash bit her lip, and turned her gaze away from her purple friend, ashamed for whatever it was that she had said. Even though it was only seconds, the guilt she felt just ate her up inside and quickly. She slowly made her way over to Twilight Sparkle, her good friend, and sat down next to her. Fluttershy turned her head, pleading with just her eyes to get the cyan pegasus to apologize, and the look in Rainbow Dash’s eyes told her that’s exactly what she intended to do, “I’m sorry for what I said.” Rainbow Dash said softly, “I was angry, and stupid. I didn’t mean any of it.”
“I know Rainbow Dash.” Twilight said, and moved so that she was hugging the armored rainbow haired pony, “It’s just, I started to believe it myself.”
“Still, I…I should have kept my temper. I’m sorry.” Rainbow Dash said.