Batmare: Year One

by Muramasa


Run

It was Saturday again, which means that it was time to meet with the girls. Applejack was grateful, and probably would have had a smile on her face if she wasn't wincing in pain with every single step she took. Gritting her teeth, Applejack trudged forward to Sugarcube Corner trying to ignore the pain the best she could.

Applejack was superior to any minor crook in Ponyville, that she knew, but that didn't mean that they couldn't hurt her. Applejack had bruises all over her body, and she had to wear her black coat to hide a majority of them; at least it protected her from the cold, thought the Ponyville winter was still strong enough to chill her bones. It was freezing, painful, and extraordinarily uncomfortable, but the Batmare had certainly endured worse; Applejack wasn't going to let it ruin her favorite part of the week, that was for sure.

Once again, Applejack was hoping for a lead. Ever since she had paid Commissioner Sentry that visit just about a week ago, she hadn't heard anything about him. She didn't know when his sister would arrive, but she did understand that if he didn't get back to her somehow, she would have to get back to him, because she definitely needed him. Without a guard contact, her job would become harder than it needed to be, something she didn't need; if he won't work with her willingly, he'll do it forcefully.

The door to Sugarcube Corner was soon in the distance, and Applejack noticed they had once again changed the font on the sign, which she found confusing,but rather irrelevant. She opened the door to the establishment and was surprised to find many balloons and other assorted party items on their meeting table.

"HAPPY BIRTHDAY, APPLEJACK!" they screamed. Applejack quickly remembered that it was December 22nd, meaning that it was, indeed, her birthday. She had been so caught up being the Batmare that she had completely forgotten it. Her pleasant surprise quickly turned to horror when she realized her friends had gotten up and were about to envelop her in a group hug.

DEAR CELESTIA, NO! thought Applejack. She tried to move away, but it was too late, and her friends all simultaneously crushed her in a massive hug. Applejack could feel every bruise and cut as her friends pushed down on each one, letting the intense pain linger throughout her body. It took an incredible amount of willpower to not scream, but she did have to wince in pain; her friends eyes were closed, so it thankfully slipped by unnoticed.

The group hug broke up soon (not soon enough) and Applejack was led to the table. There were presents at the table, though Applejack knew what was in them; it was a running joke when her birthday came around to give her money, which she always gratefully donated to charity. She always stated that it was the only gift she needed, and always detested physical gifts on her birthday. She sat down, and her friends chorused in a rather off key rendition of "Happy Birthday" before presenting her with a cake straight from Sugercube Corner.

Applejack requested they eat the cake first, and so they all dug in, beginning small talk while they ate; it only took a little while before the conversation went where she knew it would eventually go. Not that it mattered, of course, because Applejack was absolutely ready for it.

"So, how about this Batmare?" asked Rarity. Rainbow Dash pumped her hooves in the air and began to mock up various action scenarios.

"She is so AWESOME! Fighting crime where the guard won't, using fear to keep the criminals in their place! And totally EPIC martial arts! I'm sure glad that she's in Ponyville now, I actually feel safe walking down the streets at night!" The rest of the group raised an eyebrow at that sentence, and Rainbow Dash's face began to flood with a pinkish glow. "Err...I mean, I could totally take them on, of course, but you can never be to safe, ya know," she added.

"Oh, don't worry about it, Rainbow, we know the criminals here are scary...that being said, should the Batmare really be taking the law into her own hooves?" asked Rarity. Rainbow Dash rolled her eyes very visibly, while Fluttershy shrunk a little bit further into her chair.

"I'm with Rarity. The Batmare seems really scary, and what if she messes up? She could put the whole guard in danger!" Fluttershy remarked. Pinkie, who had said she needed to take care of some things in the back room, suddenly popped up right behind Fluttershy, causing the whole group to let off a surprised scream. Pinkie Pie didn't particularly seem to care.

"She won't mess up! She has tons of cool gadgets and Kung Fu skillz! I think she's doing a lot of good!" Pinkie said. After the group had gotten over the shock of her suddenly appearing, Twilight decided to throw in her two cents on the matter.

"I have a really good friend of mine from Canterlot named Action Shot. She works for the Daily Planet, usually as a photographer, but she had to write an article on the Batmare just recently. She compiled data from a week before the Batmare made herself known to the week after the Batmare made herself known; despite only having actively fought crime twice so far, the overall crime rate in Ponyville dropped 23%! What the Batmare is doing is making herself a symbol, not just some street vigilante. I'm glad she's here!" Twilight stated. She had Fluttershy nodding her head, but Rarity didn't seem too convinced.

"Applejack, what do you think of this whole Batmare mess?" asked Rarity. All eyes turned to her, and she gave a grin; there was nothing to be afraid of.

"I'm with Rare on this one, sorry," she began. "The guard is trying the hardest they can, and they don't need some street vigilante to fix that. Also, I donate quite a lot of bits to the guard, so I'd hope they aren't being one-uped by some random mare in a bat costume," joked Applejack. The rest of the group laughed, and the conversation moved elsewhere; exactly what Applejack had intended to happen.

The day went on, and when it was time to break, Applejack didn't have any new information. She found it surprising, as rumor in Ponyville spread like wildfire, but she figured that Black Mask was lying low for the moment and wouldn't be trying to draw too much attention to himself; after all, he certainly knew that she was coming after her, so if he was a smart criminal, he would probably being trying to seem as inconspicuous as possible.

I need to go out tonight. The best birthday gift I could get is some new info on Black Mask, though I have a feeling that's a gift I'll have to find myself, thought Applejack. As she was walking back to her manor, she made a mental note to pick up a copy of the Daily Planet before she got home; she was interested in reading that article posted by Twilight's friend.

It was rather windy tonight in Ponyville, which Applejack was rather happy about. More wind meant more noise to disguise herself with, making tonight that much easier for her. Unfortunately, she couldn't really use the wind to her advantage, as she hadn't found anything of importance at all going on in Ponyville; no robberies, no smuggling, nothing. Applejack tried to shake off her boredom, but as time went on, she found it harder and harder.

Well, if there isn't any crimes taking place, I should probably be happy about it, thought Applejack. She decided she would brush up on her grappling maneuvers, as that way she may see something that needed her attention whilst slinging around the rooftops. She stood on two legs, rested her hoof on the grapnel gun's firing mechanism, and launched into the night sky.

She was getting much better at it now. Her control improved every night, and she had successfully unhooked her grapnel and pounced on a criminal just two days ago, something Applejack was rather proud of. Because she was so comfortable with the gadget, she took the time to look around and see if she could spot any trouble. While nothing appeared in the first few minutes, Applejack finally saw a scene near a back alley around town hall.

It was eerily familiar.

She could see two parents with a young colt backed against a wall. A stallion was threatening them with some sort of weapon, and everypony looked frightened; the young colt appeared to be crying. Applejack stared at the scene for what seemed like centuries before she promptly slammed into the wall of a suburban home. Once she came to her senses, Applejack realized she was still dangling from the building; her grapnel gun hadn't detached She did so, and landed soundly on the ground, before immediately shooting off again towards the scene she had found.

Not again, thought Applejack as the scene once more came into view. They were still in the same position, but the mugger was becoming increasingly violent; she didn't have much time before something terrible happened. Once she made it to the top of one of the buildings that made the alley, she got a good look of the scene below her. It seemed as if the mugger was about to attack, as his weapon was raised in the air (Applejack could now see it was a crowbar). Gracefully, the Batmare descended from the building, and landed right in the middle of the two parties.

The mugger reeled back with a scream, causing him to trip and fall to the ground. He looked up, and upon seeing the Batmare, began to slowly back away from her, his already scared countenance turning downright terrified.

"It's the freakin' bat!" he exclaimed. He tried to shuffle away, but Applejack was much too fast, and quickly grabbed a hold of him. She yanked him upwards and pushed him against the wall, and poured all of her angst, fury, and depression into her right hoof. She threw punch after punch after punch, and she knew her hoof would be in bad shape the next morning, though she didn't seem to care. Red slowly crawled upon the stallions face, until it was completely crimson, and it was then she finally dropped him. Turning around, the Batmare was greeted with the horrified looks of the family she had just saved.

"Run," she said. They obliged, quickly fleeing the scene. Why they would make the mistake of walking down a back alley this late at night, Applejack would never know, but then she thought back to her own scenario years before.

Why did we? she thought. Sighing, Applejack began to restrain the criminal with a nylon rope, a new addition to her utility belt. He put up no fight, as he was completely unconscious, and Applejack had only just began to see the damage she had inflicted upon the criminal, and her eyes widened in shock.

Dear Celestia, I could have killed him...I have to stop making this personal. I'm the Batmare, not Applejack. There's no need to be that harsh, she thought to herself. Satisfied with the restraint, Applejack turned around and began to make her way back into the city. Right before she launched her grapnel gun, however, she noticed a figure on top of a nearby building.

It had the shape and form of a mare, and it wore a suit similar to hers. Her suit was more of a navy blue, however, and her eyes had a light blue filter as opposed to the Batmare's white eyes. She wore what looked to be a light purple trench coat over the suit, and a fedora of the same color with a navy blue rim. She had also had a navy blue cape, and the buckle that attached it to her chest was a big black letter "M". The mare had been watching her, and upon seeing the Batmare look at her, immediately began to flee in the opposite direction.

I don't think so, thought Applejack, shooting her grapnel gun and launching after her. As she soared in the air, Applejack could see the figure running across the rooftops. She had no grappling abilities, but she could certainly jump from roof to roof with ease. Applejack began to focus as she drew closer, making sure her next move was perfectly planned out; if she messed up the landing, she'd loose her.

Here we go! she thought as she shot the grapnel off again. It hit the side of a nearby building, and Applejack used her momentum to swing around it. At her highest point, she detached the hook, and began a free fall straight towards the fleeing mare. Applejack couldn't help but grin; her calculations were spot on. She landed right on the mare, and they both tumbled to the ground.

the Batmare popped right up, only to see that the mysterious mare had done it faster. They both stared each other down before Applejack finally spoke.

"Why are you watching me?" she asked. In response, the mare charged right at her, and delivered a right hoof aiming straight for her face. Applejack only had just enough time to throw up her hooves to block, and it took all of her effort to not let her defense collapse.

"In due time," she replied. Her voice was extremely deep, and heavily distorted; she was using some sort of voice disguise mechanism. She tried to bring up one of her back legs, but Applejack pivoted away, at the same time shoving her backwards. It seemed as if the mare was about to fall on her back, but she instead did a complete back-flip and landed on her four hooves; she quickly reset herself in a bipedal combat stance.

Damn, she's fast! thought Applejack. As quick as she could muster, Applejack slung two batarangs from her belt and launched them towards the mysterious mare in one fluid motion. The mare leaned to the side to dodge one and did a quick jump to evade the other before rushing in again. Applejack grit her teeth and rushed to meet her.

I'm done playing defense, Thought Applejack as brought back her fist. The mysterious mare adjusted accordingly, though her punch never came; instead, her left hoof went into motion instead, and landed right in the gut of the mysterious mare. She didn't even grunt, instead immediatly firing back with a punch of her own; the Batmare easily dodged it and finally launched the right hoof, which connected with the mysterious mare's face. That was enough to make the mare cry out, and she retreated backwards. Applejack could barely see the bloodstains where she had hit her.

"Not bad, though it won't be enough," said the mare. Before she could make a move, the Batmare moved first, initiating the charge. The mysterious mare stood still, and when the Batmare was only a few feet away, threw her hands up. Unfortunately, the Batmare wasn't going for the upper body, and she performed a leg sweep that brought the mysterious mare to the group. The Batmare tried to take advantage of the prone mare and launched her hoof down as fast as she could, but it wasn't quick enough; the mysterious mare rolled over, and delivered a devastating kick with both of her backlegs at the Batmare's face. That sent her sprawling towards the ground, and when she opened her eyes, the mysterious mare was already on top of her.

the Batmare launched her back legs upwards in the same fashion the mysterious mare had just did, though it never connected; the mysterious mare saw it coming, and grabbed a hold of both backlegs, flipping them upward. The Batmare used this momentum to somersault backwards and land in a bipedal combat position.

"Who are you?" asked the Batmare. The mysterious mare didn't answer, so the Batmare charged yet again, and threw an onslaught on punches. The mysterious mare did her best to block them, though some of the Batmare's punches fell through, a couple in the stomach and one in the face. The flurry was stopped when the mysterious mare caught one of the Batmare's forehooves and twisted it to the side, causing the Batmare to cry in pain; she followed up with hard kick to the gut, which pushed the Batmare foward at least five feet.

"I'm the Mare Do Well," said the mysterious mare. The Batmare slowly got up from the ground, clutching her stomach and breathing hard. The Mare Do Well, still in a bipedal stance, began to slowly walk backwards towards the edge of the roof top.

"And I find you very interesting, Applejack," she said.

What!? thought Applejack, wide eyed. She began to sprint towards Mare Do Well, but it was of no use; Mare Do Well leaped backwards off the edge of the building in a spread eagle formation. The Batmare sprinted towards the edge to look over it, but there was no sign of the Mare Do Well; in fact, there was no trace of her going in any particular direction after leaping from the building. Applejack gave a long sigh before hitting her communicator button on the side of her cowl.

"Mosely?" she asked.

"Yes, Master Applejack?" answered Mosely. There was a silence before Applejack continued.

"I need to clear my head, and I also need some advice. I'm going to be staying at Twilight's tonight, OK? I'm going to drop off the suit before I go, of course, but I just wanted to let you know. Also, I want you to use the batcomputer and look through any records you can access that contain the phrase "Mare Do Well". Got it?" asked Applejack.

"Absolutely, Master Applejack. Anything else?" asked Mosely.

"No, that'll be all. Thank you," she replied. Giving off another sigh, Applejack turned off the communicator and began grappling through the roof tops towards the Batcave.