52w, 1dSkyrim Equestria
Twilight could feel the intimidating stares of Flim and Flam behind her. She didn't need to turn around to tell who they were, or how angry they were. For now, maybe she could pass herself off as an employee who wandered into their office, but staring at a wall can only do so much good, and wouldn't last long. Sooner or later, Twilight would need to turn around, but they couldn't be recognised. Only the colour of her and Applejack's coat and mane were visible, the lab-coat disguises performing well under the intense pressure, covering their cutie marks. She heard the door creak into a close behind her.
Damn it. What'd he say?
Twilight wanted to look around the room desperately, in hopes for anything to be discovered that could help them, but it seemed Applejack as well as Twilight knew that one wrong move would lead to their faces being identified. From this view, there was nothing.
But what about outside her field of view? Applejack still had her saddlebags on. Twilight's was lying on the floor, mid-stuffed with papers. She could only have faith that the cider screen bomb was still in Applejack's. She had been carrying it. Right?
"Speechless, ain't ya? Equestrian Innovations property is not to be handled lightly, especially by the likes of you Fillydelphian Feats crooks!" One of the brothers said with disgust in his voice.
"And don't you pretend that you're not! Fillydelphian Feats have always been pokin' their spoilt, city-funded noses into our business, but no more!" The other added.
For now, Flim and Flam assumed that they were apparent run-of-the-mill corporate spies. This must have happened a lot in Manehattan, or at least when it concerned Flim and Flam. Their release of frustration proved an agreeable distraction from Twilight's hidden agenda. She could hear their hooves pace forward and backwards, even on the soft, red carpet.
She prayed that her illusion spell would keep her horn from glowing as she rustled around Applejack's saddlebags carefully. She pictured her magic coursing through the bags slowly, bouncing off and then daintily sailing around the other objects and equipment. Grasping the tools until she could find the cylindrical, metal weapon.
"...And don't you worry about the press!"
"We'll make sure that they hear how Fillydelphian Feats tried to steal secret company objectives and have you reported for attempted burglary and trespassing!"
Twilight hoped that Applejack was coping well, she dare not risk looking, but the cowpony had yet to buck them upside the head. However, the problem was with the cowpony's obvious stetson hat. Not many Manehattanites were seen wearing them, if any. Fortunately, Flim and Flam were far too occupied boasting their power and swelling with pride at the initial conclusion that they were right. Just like with the Super Speedy Cider Squeezy.
Cloak. Pie. Tot. Another tot. Twilight's concentration was diminishing rapidly, it had only just occurred to her that she had no idea how to use the longed-for weapon. Cold ring thing! That must be the pin!
"Too chicken to turn around, eh? Don't worry, lucky for you, the security are on the way now, they'll deal with you trouble-makers."
Need to hurry! Need AJ's attention. Twilight focused on getting a firm grasp of the object, and tried poking the stood-solid mare in the side with it through the saddlebags. Without a way to gauge her understanding or not, she pleaded to Celestia that she understood the signal.
"Wait just a second, aren't you them-"
Now or never!
Twilight yanked the cylinder out, almost ripping off the saddlebag's button, and held it raised in the air.
"RUN!" She yelled as she tore the ring from the rest of the contraption with her magic. She turned to meet face to face with the enemy. Their astounded faces matching hers perfectly. She expected the bomb to remove brief memories, so a few seconds of her exposure couldn't hurt. Time slowed down for Twilight, as it does, allowing her to spot Applejack beginning a charge out as she threw the bomb with as much force that she could muster. She held her breath in both anticipation and protection from the imminent gas.
The bomb hit the floor just behind the two brothers, then ricocheted off of the closed office door they were guarding and rolled calmly through the moustachioed one's legs. It sat there as both brothers stared in confusion at it.
Why isn't it going off? WHY ISN'T IT EX-
The room was instantly filled with an orange, hazy vapour, clouding Twilight's vision. She squinted her eyes as the fumes enveloped more of the office she was standing in, trying to make out the door. Since when did this office get so long? She really did not want to get knocked out. Again. Applejack would have to pull her out.
Wait, where's Applejack?
She heard a grunt followed by a booming smash. The outside light reflecting from the white beautiful walls now revealed itself, shining a heavenly light on her saviour. Applejack had applebucked the door down.
She ran fast, but cautiously to the broken down door. Minding not to trip over the unconscious duo. As she got out, she breathed the best lung-full of air she had ever breathed in her life. "Twilight! Get yer cloak on! We gotta get outta-"
Applejack stopped as she stared at the purple unicorn's side. Twilight joined with worry. What? There's nothing there.
She face-hoofed. "There's nothing there!" She took another long breath, and headed back in to retrieve her saddlebags.
When she returned, Applejack was fully cloaked. These outfits were REALLY convenient. Applejack's cloak design did not differ much, simple orange stripes instead of red led up the cloak into the black hoof, which was circled by an orange glow on the cape. The rest was the standard black. "Twi! Hurry!" She shouted, quite muffled through yet another orange coloured mouth bandana. At least it was darker than Pinkie's.
Twilight scrambled to put it on. How did she do it so fast? Time-limits and pressure was never Twilight's friend. She hopped around on two legs as she put the other two through the suit, losing balance momentarily. The outfit reached up to her back, which had to be finished by pulling the cape over. Like being eaten. By clothes.
As she was pulling the hood over her head, a security guard stallion equipped with a wooden baton came rushing around behind her, through one of the many intersecting corridors.
"Duck!" Applejack called as she bucked twice. Once for a pie to be sent soaring into the air from her already opened saddlebags, and another to roundhouse-buck it into the poor guard's face. With the amount of force that looked as though was behind it, Twilight was surprised it didn't take off his head. Twilight didn't remember ducking, but apparently her instincts and reflexes were getting sharper as she watched the passed out security pony from her place on the floor.
She spoke before lifting the bandana up to her mouth. "How did you know it would be a knock-out pie?"
"Ah didn't. I thought ah only had the one ah used on getting them lab disguises."
"So, was that a normal pie?" She asked in concern.
"Yep." The two mares looked at the unmoving guard.
"He'll be ok, right?"
Applejack just observed in silence for a moment. "Erm, yeah. Ah'm sure." There was a slight twitch from the guard's leg, and then resumed motionlessness. "See? Fine. Now c'mon, get some of them devices ready and attach 'em to your side. I gotta feelin' there's gonna be more than just one patrol."
"Left! To the left!" Twilight called. The two mares navigated through yet another of the gleaming white corridors of the research and development level. It would be safe to say the halls matched with the Canterlot maze in terms of coordination. Countless times had the unicorn and earth pony ending up right back at the office. It would have been much easier if the guards were not so intent on blocking every possible route.
"Another two behind!" Applejack alerted.
"I got 'em!" Twilight shouted as she stopped, turned and knelt her head down, pointing at the charging stallions. Another gust of wind, much like with the Blueblood contract, from her glowing horn forced the guards to the ground. They slid back down the immaculate corridor, squeaking along the floor. She resumed the sprint to Applejack, who was stood reading a sign.
"Back to the lobby! It's this way! C'mon!" They found the way to the ground floor, but Twilight was uncertain that it was safe. She raced after the country mare and tried to get her attention.
"Applejack! Wait! Don't you think-" Twilight stopped as she hit into a stiff Applejack. She rubbed her head as she caught view of what had the mare frozen in shock.
"Think they'll be waitin' fer us?" Applejack finished for her. Twilight and Applejack could see from their position on the first floor above them, filling the entire bottom level, were dozens of guards. They were blocking the exits, circling the area, and occasionally sending out squads into different sections. Twilight ducked behind the see-through glass balcony and face-hoofed. "Gotta plan?" Applejack hoped.
"Well. We could... surrender?" Twilight said sheepishly. Applejack just looked at her with a bemused expression.
"Hey! They they are!" One of the guards warned. The mares heard the voice from the opposite side of the first level, which was now swarming with guards propelling themselves at Twilight and Applejack. They were some distance away, but it did not give them enough time to formulate a plan. Applejack had already came up with one apparently. She jumped onto the stair-rail that lead to the bottom floor and slid down it.
"What're you doing?!" Twilight called as the mare disappeared from sight.
"Ah dunno!" She heard from below, voice fading out.
Twilight looked back at the guards on her level getting closer. "Ohnononono!" She said fearfully as she launched herself onto the rail to follow. There were still guards down there, but at least they were closer to the exit.
She hit the floor painfully, landing face first, and looked up to see Applejack defending herself from two security ponies with rectangular shields. She was bucking the shields back, but with severely reduced power. It was compressing her blows well. That said, cracks were beginning to form. Behind the two shield-ponies stood other four more guards preparing to strike.
Twilight could hear the enemies above running down the stairs. She jumped into action and ran to Applejack.
The once-tranquil lobby was now alive with orders, shouting and hoofsteps. The main focus for the guards seemed to be defending the exit. Pony after pony wearing light security armour stepped through the entrance doors and past a wall of shields that were completely sealing off the escape. The regular non-shielded ponies were armed with wooden batons, used for defending themselves from attack, but also useful when tackling targets and keeping them down. Equestrian Innovations were well prepared for these situations.
Twilight arrived at Applejack's side. She telekinetically grabbed one of the two shields that Applejack was not bucking, and tore it from the security's grip. She then flung it at the other shield which exposed the attacker, allowing Applejack to buck him in the chest. One shield pony down. A few dozen regulars now advancing.
Unfortunately, Twilight's use of magic had caught the attention of the unicorn security. They fired a barrage of spells together that attempted to subdue her, flowing magic ensnaring her body. It locked up her movement and activity everywhere. Except her horn. Being the element of magic definitely had its perks.
She reversed the streams into the individuals firing them, blasting them backwards as each different coloured magic essence was overcome by her dominant purple beam. She created a wind torrent to circle her, causing the cape to glide in the air. There was no point in it, it just made her look cool.
Applejack was grappling on the floor with a baton-wielding mare, alternating positions on top and below her as she tried to hit her off. Twilight offered a buck to the assaulter's ribs, significantly less powerful than an Applejack-buck, although it did the trick, giving the mare a breather.
The sound of hoofsteps behind Twilight demanded her attention. The ponies she had escaped from the first level has arrived down the stairs. They were now surrounded.
Twilight ended up back-to-back with Applejack. "Any last words?" Twilight moaned tiredly before sending smaller bursts of magic at her side of assailants.
"Don't be givin' me any of that talk! We'll get outta this. Ah promise." Applejack grabbed a pie with her mouth from her saddlebags and placed it on the floor. "Could ya fill that up with tots? Fast." Applejack broke a baton with a falcon-buck, sending the guard running scared.
After seeing their opportunity for enclosing the criminals, the security had fully encircled them.
Twilight pathetically bucked the air while grabbing a telekinetic hoof-full of tater tots from her saddlebags. Fortunately, the guards were backing away. They must have thought she was as tough as Applejack. She couldn't blame them with the intimidating sanguine and black logo on her back. She would have to change that to purple.
She punctured the pie's shell, stuffing it with a random assortment of tots. The mini-explosive pie was then clutched between Applejack's hooves, and delicately but powerfully thrown at a gap between two shields protecting several others.
It erupted into in a rainbow coloured flurry of goop. It spread over the two shield ponies and bound itself to the ones they were suppose to protect. Screams and cries of disgust were noted as they tried to get the horrible mix of substances off of them. The unlucky ponies near to them backed off. There were definitely a few stink tots in there, the smell was far too distinct.
"Bad news. That was the last pie." Applejack said as she took a more defensive stance rather than attacking anypony that came close.
Twilight acknowledged this by bringing out the Clairifier that was attached to her side. It was not the best in these close ranged situations, but her horn needed a rest.
It had already one éclair loaded, but it could use more of a kick. Using a bare minimum amount of magic, she gathered up two tots and placed them inside it. Red and blue. With no time for breathing techniques she fired with a hoof.
The éclair hit a shield. It threw up a screen of blue smoke and sheeted a section of the attackers with red paint. The incoming opposition were clearly disorientated by it, dropping their shields and trying to clear the smoke. Some were slipping over the paint.
"WHY ARE WE BEING BEATEN BY PIES AND PAINT? GET THEM ALREADY!" An angry security officer next to the doors shouted to his insubordinates in a gruff voice. "BRING THE CELESTIA-DAMNED HOSE! TEAR GAS TOO!"
"The hose?" Twilight questioned Applejack, the guards had given them much more room for some reason, they had stopped attacking all-together.
"Ah dunno, but it sounds bad."
Then came the hose. Row after row of security officers dragged along a long red fire-hose from outside the lobby, aiming it directly at the two open mares. "FIRE!"
Twilight instinctively formed a magic bubble shield around the two of them. High-propulsion water thrust against the shield, deteriorating parts as Twilight struggled with her magic to keep it composed. Applejack slipped a hoof outside the purple shield for a second to bring one of the riot shields. Never would Twilight have thought they would be on the receiving end of a riot-control weapon, nor ever have the chance to use one. Are we criminals?
Yes. And it's pretty darn exhilarating.
Tear gas. It was yet another thing Twilight thought she would ever have the displeasure of experiencing, so yet another thing that proved her wrong.
Small canisters, much like the cider screen bombs, were thrown at their feet. Twilight couldn't do anything. The magic shield demanded her full attention. She could only stand there as they came closer and closer towards her through the air. It turned out that riot shields were useful baseball bats. Applejack swung the heavy defense rectangle between her hooves somehow and hit a home-run straight back to the opposition. They dispersed as the incoming object stung and clouded their vision.
There was a second tear gas grenade that landed straight under Twilight's legs. Pain surged through her head. Her eyes began watering and shield was slowly dissipating. The gas was slowly filling the shield, trapping the horrible stinging sensation inside. All the while being bombarded by the pressurized water.
Applejack's hat suddenly slid through Twilight's legs, rolling the annoying canister out of the shield along with the hat itself.
The hose stopped. Finally. Twilight collapsed in exhaustion as the shield came down. They were completely exposed.
"FOR THE LOVE OF CELESTIA, OUT OF WATER ALREADY?" Shouted the leader. He definitely had a way with words. "EVERYPONY CHARGE!"
Twilight lay on the floor, staring at the horde of messy ponies ready to pummel her into the wall. Applejack came slowly closer to her and lay down bedsides the unicorn. They were only coming from the exit now, the flanking squads had merged into the main, forming a spearhead directly at the two. Twilight's energy was drained, Applejack was on the verge of melting with sweat.
"It's been an honour fighting with you Applejack. Be sure to write from prison." Twilight said staring at the ground. Applejack could only join her, disappointed that she couldn't keep her promise. They had given up, there was no chance they would make it out.
As they lay in the middle of the lobby, about to be overcome by ponies. There was a faint rumbling.
The onslaught was halted as everypony stopped. The rumbling started to reverberate the entire building. Plants, reception equipment and, indeed, ponies themselves toppled onto the floor, unable to keep balance as the earthquake grew louder and more ominous.
Everypony, friend and foe, was flabbergasted at the behemoth that crashed through the front entrance. Ponies ducked and dove as the entire wall crumbled down upon them. Half of the building looked demolished.
The monster that caused it could only be comparable as an iron ursa major. The machine was some kind of carriage. Coated completely black, it literally shook Equestrian Innovations' foundations. It had a set of spotlights above its armour, currently unlit. It rolled in on seven huge wheels either side. They were unlike the usual wooden carriage wheels, however, instead they were made of rubber- increasing it's friction and allowing off-road terrain capability.
The machine stopped halfway through the entrance.
A Black Hoof suit revealed itself, sticking out on top of the giant, in control of it. This suit's variation had blue lines, logo and bandana. A familiar, upper-class stallion's voice shouted from behind the shadowed hood. There was an old-fashioned smoking pipe visible, sticking out from the hood.
"Tally-ho!" The stallion exclaimed. "I just happened to be in the neighbourhood and noticed you two in a spot of trouble. That and three bottles of Stalliongrad vodka gives you an wonderful rush, don't you know?"
"IT'S ANOTHER ONE OF THEM! GET 'IM!" The gruff commander yelled.
Fancypants looked around his surroundings for a second. Guards attempted to climb the tank, before he fired his Clairifier to pick them off. One officer successfully scaled the goliath and attempted to engage Fancypants. A lucky baton swing had the white-coated aristocrat's pipe plummet to the ground.
"That was my best pipe! You bounders!" The officer was flung off of the beast by a blast of azure magic. The officer would have had a severe case of death had not Fancypants also cushioned his fall with levitation. "I don't mean to hurry you along, but it is in the best of all our interests if we get the hay out of here." He said, directed at the two mares, still in awe.
They were completely captivated just staring at the vehicle, but now with the guards sufficiently distracted they decided to pick up the pace and continue. They ran to it, Applejack remembering to pick up her hat as they went, and stopped at one of the front tires. The single tire was bigger than both mares combined, plus more.
"Are we 'sposed to climb this?" Applejack called out.
Fancypants' head suddenly popped out above them. "Oh, right! Ladders! Busy here, give me a second!" Another climber was thrown over the edge screaming, again slowed by levitation, along with a set of wooden, rickety ladders. "Not the highest quality, I'll admit. This is just a prototype though." It was only vaguely similar to the new Super Speedy Cider Squeezy, if only by size. It did not look as though it served the same purpose.
Applejack quickly jumped on and began escalating. Twilight held off a few of the persistent attackers with simple wind throwing spells. Once an acceptable space was available, Twilight put a hoof in between two ladders and howled. "GO!"
The deep engines began their call once again, and all Innovations' raiders scampered off in fear. Twilight hung on for life as the vibrations alone shook the ladders. She began to rise up the ladders as the vehicle reversed out of the colossal gap in the wall. Derpy could have a new competitor for destruction.
Twilight began to feel the refreshing cool air in downtown Manehattan as they reached the streets. Shrieks of horror came from the many citizens in the roads and on sidewalks as the behemoth bulldozed its way down the street. It's width filled both lanes.
"Sorry! Excuse me! Just going to squeeze in here if you don't mind!" Fancypants' warnings appeared to be noticed as carriages were run off the road. The vehicle was bigger than most moderate sized buildings, so carriages and carts were not a problem if need be crushed. Still, everypony got the message and moved. They eventually came to a more wide street, and an exit out of Manehattan.
Twilight's ride had a slow pace to it, but it was faster than walking. She finished the climb to find Applejack and Fancypants sitting down on an exquisitely inviting set of chairs. Fancypants had the steering mechanism in his hands, he had to stand up from time to time to see over the vehicle's massive bumper. The upper platform they were on had sets of chairs and scarce amount of actual navigation equipment. Twilight had guessed from looking at the hatches on the black, metal floor she trod on, that it's other controls and functions were down below somewhere.
"That's quite an entrance, Fancypants. Thanks!" Applejack said tiredly, lying down on the long set of seats behind the main driver's seat.
"It's nothing a few lawyers and duct tape can't fix. And believe me, if I weren't as drunk as I am now I would have never been as reckless to come here and assist you. Nevertheless, you are both welcome." Fancypants said over his shoulder.
Twilight took a seat next to Applejack and joined her in a state of relaxation. Even if they were solid metal seats, it was better than Equestrian Innovations' floor. Staring at the sky above, Twilight asked Fancypants, "So why are you here anyway? Manehattan's a fair distance away from Ponyville and Canterlot."
There was no response from the blue-maned stallion, alarming Twilight. She stood up in her seat to see Fancypants slumped over the steering wheel. Applejack joined her. "Fancypants? Ya'll ok?"
A faint snore came from under his hood, almost invisible to the ear due to the sounds of the engine.