“Fluttershy!?” Rarity whispered in surprise, “What are you doing here?”
“Oh, well um…I just thought that you guys might want some help is all.” Fluttershy said innocently. “Your friends will need more than you to help save them.” they heard Zeral say as he leaned against one of the empty tanks. Fluttershy let her ears pin themselves against her head, and swallowed hard, “Y…y…you let my f…f…friends go.” she said and gulped again, “Or else.”
“Alright!” he said calmly. Fluttershy sighed in relief, “Oh thank you, I just couldn’t think of that ‘or else’ part.” she told him, and was startled again when Pinkie Pie laded right in front of her. At first Fluttershy thought it was Pinkie just being random again, but soon looked into the pink pony’s eyes.
The pupils were almost nonexistent, and the smile that usually dominated her face, was nowhere to be found. “Pinkie?” she asked, and chanced a glance behind the pink pony, only to find every pony in Ponyville, except the unicorns, appear out from behind the tanks. Fluttershy then looked to Pinkie’s forehead, and found the very device she remembered seeing on Breeze’s forehead. “No.” she whispered. Zeral then laughed, “I can’t believe it, this is far too easy!” he said, and moved to one of the nearby computers, “You pony’s have been far too simple minded. Especially you, naive little creature.” with those words he pressed a series of buttons on the keyboard. The result was an electrical surge that powered right through the unicorns, each one grunting in pain as the magic was drained from them. “This machine is designed to force the unicorns to use magic, and then drain that magic down to the last 20% of their life force. Then when they’re fully recovered, we’ll do it again, and again, until we have enough of their magic that we no longer need them at all.” he ranted and laughed maniacally. When he stopped, he turned to her, “You, my little creature, will unknowingly lead your kind against the other Councilors in one month, starting a war that will not only destroy your kind, but your world as well.” and pointed his finger to her, “Get her.” was all he said, and the others began to surround her, the pegasi from the air and the earth ponies from the ground.
“Oh my!” Fluttershy told herself, and turned to Applejack. “Applejack, it’s me, Fluttershy!” she said. When Applejack didn’t respond, she looked up at Rainbow Dash, “Rainbow Dash, you know I don’t like pranks like this.” she tried, hoping to get her friend to snap out of it. When that didn’t work, she noticed how tight the circle had gotten, so she quickly jumped out the top, and flew to the far side. The others slowly turned to look at her, still fluttering there. Zeral smiled in his delight, “Come now, wont you resist? I find running away from mind controlled friends incredibly boring.” he said and snapped his finger.
Rainbow Dash took off at high speeds, tackling Fluttershy out of the air. When she hit the ground, Rainbow let her go to take back to the sky. Fluttershy opened her eyes, finding Applejack about ready to stomp on her with both of her back two legs. Instantly, Fluttershy rolled out of the way, and was lifted up by Pinkie Pie before thrown towards Spike. The little dragon inhaled deeply, and Fluttershy made a last minute decision to open her left wing, causing her to spin in mid air, and Spike’s green fire to burn the bottom of the saddle bag. The moment she landed, hard on her side, the bottom ripped open, and the NanoPack inside came flying out. The small grey box hit the wall first, and Fluttershy landed on top of it.
She heard a clapping noise as she tried to stand back up, her head pointed down and her hair covering her eyes, “Impressive,” Zeral told her as he walked closer to her, “I never expected you to try so hard without hurting you friends.” He knelt down in front of her, and smiled with delight.
“How dare you!” he heard Fluttershy whisper. “Excuse me?” he asked, cockily placing his hand up to his ear and turning his head to listen better. When she lifted her head back up, her face showed pure rage, a rage that frightened even him. “How dare you!” she repeated, “How DARE YOU!” With one of her hooves, she stood on the NanoPack, and glared at him, causing him to stand tall and walk backward. “HOW DARE YOU USE MY FRIENDS LIKE PUPPETS!” she screamed, “THEY ARE NOT YOUR TOYS!” Zeral fought the fear the crept up his spine, fought it so hard that he had to use words.
“Heh, if you want to use that term, all of your world will be my playground.” he said. Fluttershy’s eyes seemed to grow even fiercer, “Not now, not ever.” she said, “I’ll never let you win, I’ll do everything I can…to protect MY FRIENDS!” The moment she finished her words, the little grey box, flattened and crept up her leg, spreading as it went. The moment that happened, she looked down at her hoof, and screamed before she started shaking it wildly.
“Impossible!” Zeral shouted and drew his own NanoPack and quickly changing it into a gun, before aiming it at Fluttershy and pulling the trigger. The shot that rocketed out passed right by Fluttershy as she impressively, yet unpredictably danced around the cave, struck the glass case holding her friend Rarity. The glass shattered as the bullet continued on, stopping only when it struck a large rock “How is this happening?” he asked in frustration, as he kept firing but kept missing. It seemed like every shot he took ended up freeing one of the unicorns, first was the blue and white Colgate, then Trixie, Sparkler, Dinky, and Sweetie Belle. It seemed as if nothing he did was going right, “Get them!” he shouted at the earth ponies and pegasi.
The NanoPack had covered all four of her legs, surrounded her waist and flank, and moved over her head. Suddenly it bulged on her right side, making a large circular disk. Just as quickly as it had started, it stopped crawling, and seemed to solidify, forming into shapes and designs that seemed to flow together.
First the metal on her head, stretched up on her near her ears, sharpening and thinning into five feathers sprouting from a helmet piece on the sides. The helmet itself only reached from the side pieces and crested at her forehead, ending in a set of three jewels, one large, set in the middle, and two that looked like arrows above the top of the larger one. The metal on Fluttershy’s legs and torso, also hardened, into what looked to be armor, ordained with gold and silver trim. The large disk shaped itself into a shield, with an enlarged version of her Cutie Mark on the front and a curved line of light blue near the bottom. “No,” Zeral said, “No, no, NO!” and he pulled on the front of his gun, stretching it out into a longer barrel, with a handle on the side. The moment he pulled the trigger, it fired a large light blue ball of what looked to be energy right at her. “EEP!” she squeaked, and tucked herself behind the shield. The line on the bottom began glowing, and the blast collided with what looked to be energy, and then moved around her in a bubble shape, scorching the ground and everything behind her. “No, impossible!” Zeral whispered, “An Ion Deflector!”
“If I were you, I’d leave now.” they heard from the cave entrance. When Zeral turned to the opening, he saw Blade standing there with Breeze hanging on to him. “You…You were…” Zeral started. “Actually, I have Fluttershy to thank for my survival, if I’d have tried to apply my elixir myself, I would have probably died from blood loss while I was unconscious. She saved my life, just like she just save the freedom of all of her friends.” Blade said, and moved off to the side. All of the pegasi, and earth ponies just stood there, looking to the now freed unicorns for what they hoped was answers. “I’ve…” Zeral tried to say. “…lost old man.” Breeze finished, “No more.” Zeral glared at the two, until one of his computers went off beeping out an alert that drew the attention of everyone in the cave, “Energy Tank, maximum capacity.” the machine said. When he turned, he saw the one unicorn pony that was still contained, Twilight Sparkle, lying on her side in what looked like pain and exhaustion. With a grin, Zeral ran to the tank next to her and grabbed it quickly removing it from the machine, “Emergency Transport.” he called out, and vanished, as Blade let his brother slide to the ground and dashed forward, trying to reach him. Clenching a fist, Blade lifted his face to the ceiling and shouted, “ZERAL!”
Days after the incident, Ponyville was once again bustling with activity, Twilight walked out of her library and stretched her neck, “I finally feel like a new pony!” she said, and made her way to the outskirts of the town. There she found Fluttershy’s house. “Do you have to?” the yellow pegasus asked as Blade exited the building. Her NanoPack had disappeared completely, and she only knew that she still had it because Blade had told her that no matter what, your NanoPack stays with you for life. “Yes I do Fluttershy.” he said flatly, “Now that Breeze is up and patrolling the town, we need to find a place to live for ourselves.” Fluttershy blushed, her cheeks and face turning bright red, “Um…you could always…” she said and finished almost inaudibly, “…stay with me.” and purposefully hid her face behind her hair. Blade had to strain to hear her again, “I’m sorry.” he said, and Fluttershy turned away from him, “Well, at least let me know when and where you get settled in.” she said sadly. “No, I mean sorry, I didn’t hear you.” he said, and gave her the shadow of a smile as she turned to look at him. Fluttershy looked up to him happily, and squeed.