The Turn of a Battle
Zeral quickly grabbed Applejack by the back of her NanoPack as she tried pushing him further away. Burying his feet in the ground, he lifted her up and tossed her aside, quickly using the scythe to deflect the rapid shots of Rarity and her Sapphire. “Insolent creatures!” he called out, and dashed in, lifting his scythe high into the air, and was quickly bucked by Applejack and her Tremor. He sailed through the air until he struck his back against a tree. Zeral sat there, and shook his head before placing his hand against his mask, finally feeling the crack in the shell, “What?” he asked. “It’s too deep my lord, the regeneration program is taking longer than expected with this damage.” the Reaper told him. “When did this happen?” Zeral asked as he turned just in time to dodge three of Rarity’s darts. “When the yellow one hit us in the face.” his NanoPack replied. Zeral ran past the tree, and into the orchard of Sweet Apple Acres. “Yer in MAH backyard now!” he heard Applejack call out, and she chased him as quickly as she could. “I’m right behind you Applejack!” Rarity called out.
Fluttershy flew up as fast as she could, until she thought for herself that the ground below her would be safe. “Well, here goes!” she said and placed her shield in front of her, “Move a little to the left.” she heard the Valkyrie say, “If that’s alright.” Fluttershy moved to her left, just as instructed, “There!” her NanoPack said, “This should put you right in the middle of the blast. I just hope we can make it through this.” Fluttershy was just about to say something, but she saw the light in the sky grow larger, “This is it!” she told herself, and lifted her shield, bracing herself for it, and pushed as hard as she could when the beam slammed into her shield. ‘I’ve got to hold it, at least until the power goes out.’ she thought to herself.
Twilight flew through the skies quickly, trying desperately to make it to Ponyville in time. “I believe we have a critical problem!” she heard the Angel say, “Fluttershy is attempting to restrain the Ark Cannon Blast!”
“That’s a good thing, right?” Twilight asked, “She has what Blade called a level ten Ion Deflector.”
“Wrong! The Ark Cannon is a level nine energy beam.” the Angel reminded her. “Level ten is higher than level nine!” Twilight argued. “They’re not rated the same way!” the Angel responded, “Her shield will only hold it for a little while, but eventually, the blast will destroy her and her shield.” Twilight nearly jumped in fear as she pushed her rockets even harder.
“I can’t hold it!” the Valkyrie cried. “We have to, otherwise we lose!” Fluttershy reminded. “I know, but…” her NanoPack said, and suddenly they both heard a loud crack. Fluttershy looked up to her shield, watching as the new crack in the middle began spreading slowly. “Oh, no!” she called out. “What do we do?” the Valkyrie asked. “I’m…I’m thinking…” Fluttershy said, “I’m thinking!”
“FLUTTERSHY, GET OUT OF THERE!” she heard Blade call out. With a cry, she pushed even harder, her fear telling her to fly away, but her heart telling her to keep going. Suddenly she found herself pushed away, tumbling through the sky until Blade himself grabbed her from her fall. “We lost.” she sobbed as she hung from his hooves, “Not yet!” he said. Fluttershy opened her eyes to ask what happened, but saw him looking up. There she saw another pony wearing her armor and using her shield. Fluttershy looked down to herself, finding nothing but the Element of Kindness around her neck. “VALKYRIE!” she cried out, and flew out of his hooves quickly. When she approached the mysterious pony, she could see a mane and tail styled just like her own, except the hair was silver in color. The coat of fur on the head of the pony was golden in color just like the feathers on her wings. “What?” Blade asked as he joined Fluttershy at her side. “Hi!” the pegasus grunted as she pushed against the shield. “Are you…?” Fluttershy asked, receiving a smile and a nod in return, Fluttershy then looked up to the shield, looking as the crack got bigger and spread out three different ways. No more words were exchanged, instead Fluttershy looked back at the Valkyrie, into the eyes of the pony who looked strikingly like her, and wrapped her in a hug. “Thank you,” she said, “I’ll miss you!” The Valkyrie simply nodded and watched as Fluttershy flew out of sight, looking back to the NanoPack to see if she was still there. “Let’s get this done,” she said, and narrowed her eyes at the cracking shield, “I can do this! I won’t give up!”
“Stubborn creatures!” Zeral said as he ran through the orchard. One of Rarity’s darts once again zoomed by him, forcing him to turn, only to have Applejack ram into him. He slid across the ground a great distance, only stopping when he rested against one of the apple trees. The tree shook with the impact, dropping several of its fruits onto his head, “I hate apples!” he growled. “Yah?” he heard the orange earth pony ask, “Well I aint sellin em to yah!” she said, right before she used her back hooves to kick him in the chest. He flinched as he was pinned between her powerful legs and the tree behind him. “Rarity, now!” Applejack called out, and from up high in one of the trees, Rarity faded back into existence, her horn aimed right at him. “This…ends…now!” the unicorn growled at him. “You are right!” he said, and reached up just in time to catch the dart she launched. “Your invisibility was the only thing standing between me and your destruction.” he told them and lifted his scythe, “Now watch as your friend perishes in front of you.” Thinking fast, Applejack used her Quake Pistons to throw him through the tree behind him. He skid to a quick stop and lay there as the tree fell on top of him, covering him in the leaves and branches, “Ah hate doin that to a good tree.” she said as she ran to Rarity’s side. “I do believe that he is still awake.” Rarity said as she dropped down to the ground.
Zeral lifted himself out of the green leaves of the fallen tree, his scythe still in his hand, “You will die slowly as punishment for your actions.” he said, and the two of them took off.
“We gotta git some space between us and him.” Applejack said, and turned just as Rarity faded out of her vision, “I’ll try to give you that distance!” she heard her friend say, and stopped in her tracks. “Rarity?” Applejack asked, as she turned her head, “Dadgum it girl, doncha dare go and face him alone, invisible or not.” she quickly ran off in the direction she thought Rarity had gone.
“One, two, three, who do I see?” Zeral taunted, and again lifted his hand to catch Rarity’s dart. He turned right to her, his eyes glowing a deep crimson red, “You cannot hide from me anymore.” he said, “You can hide your body, hide your sound, and hide your presence, but you cannot hide your warm blood.” He touched his finger to his mask, and chuckled, “I have thermal imaging, and I can see you lit up like a Christmas tree.” He quickly turned his scythe into a gun, and again was knocked down by Applejack. The orange earth pony was quickly picked up by Rarity’s magic, and hauled off as the unicorn reappeared. “Uh, why are we runnin?” Applejack asked. “Because he can see me, even if I’m invisible.” Rarity explained. “Huh?” Applejack asked, “Even Pinkie Pie couldn’t do that!”
“Apparently he can see the heat of my very body.” she explained to the curious earth pony. Applejack gulped hard, “So in other words…” she asked. Rarity nodded as she answered, still hauling the helpless pony above her, “Yes, we are without a plan and the tides of battle have turned again.” she said, and continued running as quickly as she could. Zeral stayed lying on the ground, his fist clenching harder and harder before he lifted himself up to his feet, “I’m going to enjoy killing the two of you.” he growled and slowly pursued the two speeding ponies, “Then after you two, I’ll destroy your precious castle and both of your princesses.”