The Littleist Robots
“You see, in the Academy, we’re all given a NanoPack at the age of ten. They’re all the same kind at that point, just backpacks to carry your books and other supplies. Once your NanoPack accepts you, it bonds with you, and changes to its base form permanently.” Blade said. “It can’t change back ever?” Fluttershy asked. “Nope, not unless you ask for that specific upgrade.” he told her. “What happens after it gets its base form?” she asked, and then he began walking. Curiosity kept her close by as he spoke, “Well, after it bonds with you and scans your body, it takes a shape best suited for your strengths. Once that happens, you’re immediately prepped for combat training. The better you get the more privileges you get as well. The only way to be allowed any upgrades is to complete and pass exams.”
“So when that guy…Jacob…when he talked about the final Warrior’s exam…?” she tried asking. Luckily, Blade had a hunch at what she wanted to say, “Yah, that was an exam to chose a new Warrior for the team, the very team that was sent to come here. I got my upgrade, the wing blades, while on my way here.”
“So that means…” Fluttershy said to herself. “Yah, I’ve only completed three exams including the one I took to come here. My brother, I don’t know how many he’s completed. But we never go on missions without each other.” Fluttershy stayed quiet for a few minutes, thinking, “Um…excuse me Mr. Blade…but um…” she began. “Just Blade please.” he told her. “Oh…so sorry.” she apologized, “Blade, that…um…”
“Man.” he helped out. “Oh, ok.” she said shyly, yet continued her question, “That man, said something about your brother almost dying. Did you save him?” Blade stopped in mid step, freezing in his spot. Fluttershy barely noticed, thanks to her looking to the ground, but when she did noticed, she turned to him afraid that she may have said something to offend him. Silently she gulped, and chanced a look at his face, finding his eyes wide with alarm and fear, “Um, Blade?” she asked, “Did I say something wrong?” Blade quickly shook the shock out of his head, “Sorry Fluttershy, I don’t…talk about it.” he said and walked past her. ‘Why did she have to ask?’ he thought to himself, ‘Why did she have to bring up that memory? Why?’ The more he thought about it, the faster of a walk he made, until Fluttershy was galloping to catch up. “Um, Blade, please wait uAAAAA!” she said, as she tripped over something on the ground.
After hearing her cry, Blade turned around to see her lying amongst a spread out pile of shredded robot parts. Walking up to her, he scolded himself, ‘Stupid, stupid Blade. You find someone else that you can trust and you get her hurt by thinking of the past. You promised yourself you wouldn’t do that again.’ When he reached her, he knelt down to help as she lifted herself up, “Owie!” she said to herself as she kept one eye closed. Opening that eye, she lifted herself completely off of the ground, “I landed on something.” she said and looked under herself. Blade followed her gaze and the two found a small grey box about the size of her hoof. “That’s an unbonded NanoPack.” Blade said in a hidden surprise. “Looks like there using mass-produced NanoPacks as central processors to use their Xacrimon cores as robot power sources.” he said completely unaware that Fluttershy had been lost in that explanation. When he reached down to grab it, a small spark of electricity arched to his finger. In a shocked pain, he retracted his hand. “Shoot, I can’t touch it, because I already have a bonded NanoPack.” he said, and looked around. “Um…can I ask why?” Fluttershy asked as he stood up and grabbed a nearby saddle bag, one that surprisingly had her Cutie Mark on it, and emptied it out by turning it upside down. “Once you’ve bonded with a NanoPack, you can’t be accepted by another. It’s kind of a failsafe to keep someone from getting too much power.” he told her, and turned bag inside out.
“Has anypony ever had more than one NanoPack?” she asked as he grabbed the small grey cube and flipped the bag right side out again, with the box inside the bag. “Once, but it was far too much to handle.” he told her as he set the bag on her back, “I was told in my warrior’s history class that once someone was accepted by two NanoPacks at the same time. This created the first and only DoublePack in existence, but it ended quickly, and in disaster. The warrior’s power was so great that it destroyed the wielder, the DoublePack, and the planet that they were on.” he told her, and gently fastened the strap of the saddle bag around her stomach, making sure to leave her wings unhindered. “There,” he said, “Now if you get into trouble, at least you can try to bond with it.”
Twilight groaned as she opened her eyes, “Oh, I have a headache.” she said and let her vision clear. “That’s normal for this transport, normally we go up and not, well into caves.” said a female voice. When Twilight opened her eyes, she saw what looked to be a green woman, with fish fin ears, and tentacle hair. She was looking at a large screen on the wall that was flashing numbers. The walls themselves she remembered as the cave of the dragon she and her friends made move because of his snoring. Twilight stood up quickly, and found herself lightheaded. “Oh, look at all the pretty colors.” she said dreamily before shaking her head, and lowered her horn to the lady. “Alright you, where are my friends? Tell me now!” she demanded, only to hear maniacal laughter from her right. “You, little creature, are in no position to give demands.” Zeral said, leaning against one of the cages. “Oh, yah?” she asked, and concentrated on a spell. It was supposed to be a harmless spell, one that would have just scared him, but instead she found herself surging with a power she had never felt before, and it hurt her, “GYAAAAAA!” she screamed.
Back down at Ponyville, Blade lifted his head towards the mountain, “I heard a scream!” he said. “You did?” Fluttershy asked. “Definitely and it sounded like the unicorn that gave me my name.” he told her, and walked in that direction. “Unicorn?” Fluttershy asked. Blade nodded and told her, “Yah, the purple one with the stars as her Cutie Mark.” Fluttershy gasped in realization, she knew who it was, “Twilight.” she explained.
The pain didn’t disappear with the strange energy; instead it just slowly faded, very slowly. Twilight found herself breathing heavily, almost like casting a really powerful spell for the first time. “Councilor Zeral, you said it would be painless!” the girl said. Zeral smiled wickedly, “I guess I was wrong!” he said and pulled his NanoPack from his side. The small handle quickly changed into what looked to be a large barrel gun, “Remember S-1937-Trilli, you can be replaced if anything unfortunate should happen. These unicorns are essential to the project. We’ve tried controlling them, but their horns and magic make it impossible for mind control,” he explained, and then under his breath mumbled, “The blue loudmouth in the magician costume proved that.” and looked to the scientist again, “So we’re just going to make sure they don’t use their magic against us until the project is complete, understand?” With those last words, he lowered his eyes angrily, waiting for her to defy him. Trilli, grunted, but said, “Yes sir.” and sat back down. “Good girl!” he said and lowered his weapon, keeping it in his gun form and walking out the cave entrance. Trilli turned back to Twilight, her eyes pleading for forgiveness. “I…I’m sorry.” was all she said and turned back to her computer.
Fluttershy looked straight up at the cliff side. The mountain she remembered as the journey to wake a dragon from its nap. Silently she gulped, and steeled whatever nerves she had. “Stay behind me!” Blade said suddenly, and reached up to grab hold of a ledge. Fluttershy simply flapped her wings and followed closely. “At least this time it isn’t full grown dragons.” she whispered to herself. “You faced dragons?” Blade asked as he continued to climb. “You heard that?” Fluttershy asked in surprise. “My brother has a special blessing given to him by a beautiful shaman he saved on the planet, Kelfrost. Kind of a deceptive name because it has a tropical climate.” he said. “What blessing is that?” Fluttershy asked. “He can move around without making a sound because of wind cushions that deaden any sound he makes when he lands on the ground. You can’t even hear him walking, he just kind of shows up if you’re not paying attention, even if he wants you to hear him.” he told her. “And you can hear him?” Fluttershy asked. “No,” Blade said as he noticed small pebbles roll down the cliff side next to him, and looked up to see his brother standing there. Breeze’s eyes were empty, unfocused, and the tiny device around his head told Blade why. “I just trained myself to notice the little things,” he said, “like the mind control device strapped to his forehead.”