"Do you really trust them Twilight?" asked Rarity as the last boulder behind them moved into place, sealing their exit.
"Don't worry Rarity. You saw how they reacted when they saw you. I doubt they'd lie to us if they knew you were with us. Besides, if they don't open the path back, we can always open it ourselves." said Twilight, pointing at Applejack, who grinned and kicked her hind hooves into a wall. The tunnel shuddered slightly and the ceiling shook violently, causing a cloud of dust to descend..
"Careful there dear. I don't want any rock pieces and dust in my mane." said Rarity, gallantly stepping ahead. Applejack followed, speaking under her breath, "If this 'ere tunnel falls yer mane'll be the least of yer probl'ms."
Their slow advance continued for an uncountable amount of time, but what Rarity presumed was about 10 minutes. Then she stopped abruptly, and others nearly crashed into her plot.
"Hey Rarity, we stopped. What gives?" asked Rainbow Dash, obviously the one most annoyed about the fact that they were moving so slowly.
Rarity looked around herself, "Did you notice that there were no traps around here? We've walked for a few minutes and there was not a single trap in our path. Isn't that a little bit weird? Are you sure that the Diamond Dogs aren't setting us up into something?" she asked, scared. If only Spike was here... He'd smell out the danger right away... she thought. Twilight walked up to her, the magic from her horn burning brightly, and patted Rarity on the back.
"Don't worry. We were probably lucky. Maybe the dogs activated all traps when they first ventured here? Maybe there won't be any traps." she said, before taking a step forward... and putting her hoof down right onto a pressure plate. Suddenly, sounds of a moving mechanism could be heard.
"Ya had to jinx it Twilight, didn't ya?" said Applejack, looking around her nervously and waiting to see from where the trap would fall. Suddenly, PInkie's tail started twitching, and she shouted, "TWITCHY TAIL! SOMETHING'S GONNA FALL!"
Applejack pushed Rarity and Fluttershy to the side, then she herself rolled onto the ground. Rainbow Dash did the same with Twilight Sparkle and Pinkie Pie. Within seconds, just in the spot where they were standing there was a huge piston arm extending from the ceiling. Within seconds after falling, the piston retracted into the ceiling and slid into place, leaving no trace of its earlier existence.
The ponies gathered around the spot where the piston fell, then looked back at the way they came. Fluttershy spoke quietly, "Maybe we should leave now?"
Rainbow Dash chuckled, "Fluttershy, it's just getting good! Scary, but fun! Don't worry, I'll make sure nothing bad happens to you." Then the cyan pegasus flew behind the yellow one and nudged her to keep going. Now a bit slower and more careful, the ponies walked in silence, taking care where they stepped.
"Fool!" shouted the leader of the Ninja Dogs as he slapped his subordinate with the Palm of the Golden Dragon, knocking him into a wall. He rarely tolerated failure, but today he finally had somepony to catch. His subordinate got back to his paws and looked at his captain apologetically, licking the blood which flowed from his mouth, "Sorry sir, but the lever was already down for that one, so I thought that I was supposed to flip this one upwards." His leader walked up to him.
"Well now you know. YOU ALL KNOW! ALL of the levers must be DOWN. The ponies are not to be hurt until we ambush them. You just have to make sure all traps are clear and that they get to the chamber. Now GET TO WORK!" he shouted, to which his Ninja Dogs scattered into the shadows to take care of the trap control mechanisms. He himself grinned. A prey, no matter how small, was still a prey.
Twilight examined the door before them. It was a large steel construction which seemed to have no key and shifted slightly under her touch.
"I think we might have to push it open. It's good that there were no more traps after that huge piston, otherwise we'd be in a bad situation. Come on ponies." said Twilight as she focused her magic on the door. A purple glow surrounded it and it shifted slightly. Rarity joined her in the effort while Applejack drove her front hooves into the ground and pushed back with her hind hooves. Fluttershy and Pinkie Pie were also contributing while Rainbow Dash flew back and forth, repeatedly pushing into the door. After a minute of effort, something gave way and the door swung open.
The silence was suddenly broken by a loud sound of moving machinery. All of the ponies dropped into the room, and before they managed to get a good look around, there was a huge flash of light and the room lit up brightly.
Standing before them was a gigantic Dragon, and beside it, a gigantic version of Rover. They weren't in flesh though. They were made from wood and iron. Two huge robots against six relatively small ponies.
"What are those?" exclaimed Twilight, looking at the robots. Suddenly, the mouths of both the Dragon and the Dog opened up widely to reveal Rover and Spot.
"How do you like our War Machines, ponies? We didn't think that their testing would make so much shocks and noise." said Rover, grinning.
"What are those? What do you think you're doing?" shouted Rainbow Dash at them.
"What are we doing? We're exacting revenge. You puny ponies pushed as about a bit, and now your entire puny town will pay!" shouted Spot.
"See Twilight? I told you we shouldn't have trusted them." said Rarity, and as Twilight opened her mouth to speak, Applejack cut in with a shout.
"If ya think ya'll be attackin' Ponyville, ya better think again! Come on girls!" and with that, the farmer pony galloped at the robotic Dog, followed by Rainbow Dash.
"I don't think so." said Rover, grinning. He clapped his paws, and out of the shadows, six shapes leapt out of nowhere at an incredible speed. Metal chains flashed momentarily and within a few seconds all of the ponies were held down with chains.
Rainbow Dash started trying to fly out of them while Applejack tried breaking them, but to no avail. Twilight tried her magic but it was sapped by the chains they were defenceless. Before them stood six Ninja Dogs, split into two rows of three and forming a path for the Dragon machine which was currently opening up to reveal a huge cannon aimed at them.
"Feel honoured. You're the first ones to feel the force of War Dragon Cannon, courtesy of the inventive pony twins." exclaimed Rover, moving levers to adjust the shot more carefully.
"Pony twins... do you mean the Flim-Flam brothers?" asked Twilight after a moment of thought. Something in her backpack shuddered, but she ignored it.
"Like I care. And you shouldn't care either. You're about to stop thinking anyway!" shouted Rover, slamming his paw on a button. At the exact moment, a blurred shape jumped out of Twilight's backpack and just managed to divert the cannonball in mid air towards a wall. Then he landed.
"Can I get something straight here? You think that those bulky pieces of scrap metal will destroy Ponyville? Ha! Not on my watch they won't." said Spike, grinning slyly. Rover momentarily seemed surprised, but then turned to be angry.
"It's that damn dragon. Get him!" he shouted. The six ninjas jumped forward at Spike, but he bent his knees at the last second and at the moment where the dogs crashed into each other, he uppercutted right into their noses, sending them flying back.
"Wow. I actually thought it would be harder than that. It seems I was mistaken." laughed Spike, taunting his enemy.
"SPIKE! I TOLD YOU NOT TO FOLLOW US!" roared Twilight. She was grateful for this blessing of Spike defending them, even a little impressed about how he handled the ninjas, but also furious that he didn't listen to her. He looked at her.
"Twilight, I didn't follow you. You took me with you in your backpack. Loopholes Twi'. You really oughta watch out for those." he said. Twilight opened her mouth to say something, but reconsidered. He simply outsmarted her. She closed the mouth, but then opened it again in a shout, "Look out above you!" Grinning, he suddenly disappeared, in his place the gigantic claw of the robotic dragon. He appeared a metre or so beside it.
"I'm a lot faster now, doggies." he said towards Rover before leaping into the air and right at him. In mid air he breathed in.
Gotta fire up now. Don't fail me! he thought, after which he blew towards Rover's face. The dog moved back, but all that came out of Spike's mouth was a tiny emerald flame... again.
"Oh no..." muttered Spike. Rover grinned and punched him square in the stomach, sending him flying into the wall above Twilight. Then he sent out the other hand of the robotic dragon to punch him even further into the wall. When he removed the hand, Spike dropped onto the floor.
"Spike!" shouted all of the ponies. He coughed slightly, then got onto his knees, "I won't be able to go on for long. I'm nearly drained. Get out of here." he whispered before leaning over Twilight's chain and breathing some flame onto it. It might've been small, but it was still strong enough to melt the chain. Then he dropped, unconscious.
Twilight felt her magical prowess return to her instantly. Re-fueled, she instantly lit up her horn and teleported everypony and Spike back to Ponyville.
Rover stared at the place where the ponies were just a second ago. The shadow of the Ninja Dogs leader appeared beside him, "They've escaped!" he said, but Rover dismissedly shook his paw.
"No matter. Visit the twin ponies, and tell them to speed up the pace with that third robot. We're going to greet those escapees son enough."
The machine beeped steadily. Not too slow, but not too fast either. The green trail re-coloured itself over and over, showing the patterns of Spike's heart.
"Is he going to be okay?" asked Rarity, and the doctor turned to her, "The heart's alright and the scales took a hard beatin', but overall he seems fine. He's gonna stay unconscious for some time though I'm fairly sure he'll wake up again."
Rarity leaned over and kissed Spike on the cheek. Twilight put her hoof on Rarity's back, "I know you'd like to stay here and watch over him, but we must talk to the Mayor at once. Our matter cannot wait."
Rarity wiped a tear from her eye with her hoof and trotted away along with everypony else. As the doctor turned to follow them out, Spike's body twitched slightly. It was not a case of the physical, but of mental disability that he was in.