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Guilt

Spitfire entered Rainbow's house livid. "Rainbow Dash, where the buck are you?!" she shouted into the seemingly vacant home. She was soon rewarded with the sound of hand steps running up the stairs from the workshop.

Glory appeared moments later. "How may I help you ma'am?" she asked politely. Spitfire noticed she was blocking the stairs.

"Where is Rainbow Dash?" Spitfire asked, not in the mood for games.

"She isn't here at the moment. Can I take a message for you?" the unicorn asked. Spitfire narrowed her eyes at Glory.

"No. I'll wait until she gets back," the fiery mare replied, an edge to her voice.

Glory seemed worried at this. "Are you sure? She may be a while longer," she said, as though she wanted Spitfire to leave.

Spitfire was about to make a retort when she heard the bay doors opening downstairs. "I thought you said she wasn't here," Spitfire said rounding on Glory, scowling.

"Oh she must have just got back," Glory replied. Spitfire knew the unicorn was starting to panic, but she did a good job of hiding it.

"Whatever. Just move so I can go down and talk to her," Spitfire said angrily.

Glory stayed where she was. "Oh, heavens no. It's a complete mess down there. Why don't we stay up here and I'll fix us a pot of tea?" she offered.

Spitfire got right in Glory's face. "Move," she said threateningly. Glory seemed to behaving an internal debate.

"Alright then, but Ms. Dash will have my head. She said she didn't want to be disturbed," Glory said.

"I thought she just got back. When did she tell you that?" Spitfire asked.

Glory's eyes widened at her mistake, but she stepped out of Spitfire's way. The two mares made their way down stairs and Spitfire could swear she heard a lot of heavy machines working in the workshop. "What is she doing down there?"

"Hey, hey, careful. It went on easy enough, you should be able to get it off pretty easy," Rainbow's voice carried up the stairs.

Spitfire stopped cold. "Is she... in there with somepony?" she asked hesitant to continue. Glory looked at her with surprise.

"She must have brought a date home," she said, shrugging.

"Perhaps if you stopped squirming it would come off easier," T.A.N.K.'s voice said, making Spitfire's jaw drop.

The fiery pegasus pressed her hand against the panel to open the door before bursting in. "What the hell is... going... on?" she asked her question trailing off at the sight before her. Rainbow was suspended about three feet above the ground by five mechanical arms. The arms were removing what appeared to be a suit if armor. "What the hell is that?!" Spitfire shouted once she found her voice again.

Rainbow looked over her shoulder in surprise. "Dammit Glory you couldn't keep any pony out for a few more minutes," Rainbow complained.

"With all your squirming it will be another hour before the armor is removed," T.A.N.K. quipped as one if the arms managed to detach one of the arms from the armor.

Rainbow was about to argue back, but Spitfire interrupted. "Hey! Let's stay on track here. Is this what you've been working on?" she asked looking at a piece of battle scarred armor as it was pulled below the floor by an arm.

Rainbow searched for what to say. "Yeah. It's sort if an upgrade from the one I built in the caves," she replied, giving in.

"In the caves? Wait is this how you escaped from those terrorists?" Spitfire asked in disbelief.

"Yeah. I didn't really stick the landing though. That's why you found me without it," Rainbow explained.

Spitfire looked even more shocked. "Landing? It flies? You can fly?" she asked incredulously.

"It's a bit rough, but yes it is flight capable," Glory pitched in.

Spitfire almost cracked a smile, but remembered why she came and hardened her expression. "You didn't happen to take a trip to Saddle Arabia a few hours ago did you?" she asked narrowing her eyes.

Rainbow winced as the last piece of armor came off and stepped off the platform, fixing her clothes as she went. "Yes. Was it all over the news?" Rainbow asked excitedly.

"No," Spitfire replied, Rainbow's smile faded.

"But there was that news stallion there," she stated, annoyed.

"Well the government thought it would be a bad idea for your personal war to be public knowledge so they kept it a secret," Spitfire retorted, before shaking her head. "That isn't the point though. Rainbow, you could have died! Do you have any idea what that would have done to me and Caramel?" She asked, tears coming to her eyes at the thought.

Rainbow stopped and rubbed the back of her neck, her face looking down. "I didn't really think of that," she admitted. "But everything turned out okay in the end. No hard feelings right?" Rainbow asked looking at her longtime friend.

Spitfire looked even angrier now. "No! This isn't okay! You have no idea how guilty I felt after your accident and then we all thought you were gone when you got captured. And I couldn't help but think that if I hadn't rushed your audition you might have been a Wonderbolt instead of a terrorists target," Spitfire yelled, tears falling from her eyes.

Rainbow looked shocked. She turned to Glory who looked uncomfortable witnessing something this personal. "Spitfire, I had no idea-"

"Bullshit!" Spitfire interrupted. "You know when you came back I knew something happened between you and your dad, but it is ridiculous that you'd go this far just to try and prove you're better than him. Well you aren't. You're just as uncaring of the people closest to you as he was. You really wanna prove you're the better pony? Stop acting like child!" Spitfire yelled as she started walking towards the door. Rainbow just stood there in shock. Just as she opened the door Spitfire turned around. "It's good that you can fly again," she said quietly, slamming the door behind her.

/////////////////////////////////

"Yes I understand what you're telling me general but-" Caramel said, but was quickly interrupted.

"No buts about it. Those were your company's drones in the hands of our enemies. I'd like to know how that happened," General Hurricane demanded.

Caramel thought for a moment. "There was a shipment headed for Saddle Arabia about a week ago. They must have robbed it," Caramel reasoned.

"Why were you shipping anything to Saddle Arabia? We already got our drones, who else is even out there?" the General asked.

"It was going to a private military company that had just opened operations there," Caramel informed, as his mind started to catch up with where the General was going with this.

"Did this company have a name?" inquired the older stallion.

"Not on record," Caramel said, the big picture finally clear to him.

"Caramel you seem like a good hearted young stallion, but you can't be so naive as to not see what is happening here," General Hurricane said.

"You're insinuating that the shipment was meant for the terrorists," Caramel replied.

"Exactly. Who told you where the shipment was going?" The General asked.

"Jet Stream. He's head of the shipping department. He's been helping me with the transition,". Caramel explained. "I thought I could trust him," He sighed in disappointment.

"It's not your fault son. My people will handle it from here. They'll be there by tomorrow to make the arrest. Just try not to tip him off," General Hurricane said.

"Yes sir," Caramel said, ashamed he had been fooled so easily. He had suspected something was off about the shipment, but to think that Jet Stream was selling weapons to terrorists was unbelievable.

"Now on to the other matter I wanted to discuss with you," the General said, moving the conversation along.

"Ah, yes the armored pony. I can assure you that we don't have anything as advanced as what you described in development. Whoever stepped in wasn't using any registered Dash technology that I'm aware of," Caramel informed.

"Are you sure? I spoke with Captain Spitfire about this earlier and she seemed to be keeping something from me. Are you?" General Hurricane asked.

Caramel couldn't think of anything. "I'm sorry sir, nothing comes to mind," he repeated.

"Well let me know if you think of something," the general said, hanging up.

Caramel set his phone on the receiver, leaning back in his chair and closing his eyes. He had had a long day and he was dreading having to call Rainbow about the Energy Project later.

Caramel's eyes shot open at the thought of Rainbow. How she had come up with the energy project yet had barely worked on it. How the companies only supply of Vibranium was destroyed in her care. Rainbow hadn't been the same since she back from her captivity.

Caramel pressed the button on his desk to call his secretary. "Ms. Pen can you schedule me an appointment with Rainbow Dash?" he asked.

"Of course sir. I'll call her assistant now," Ms Pen replied.

"Thank you," Caramel answered, taking his hoof off of the button. "Rainbow what have you been up to?" Caramel wondered.

/////////////////////////

"Rainbow are you going to be okay?" Glory asked her boss with great concern.

For a moment Rainbow said nothing. Neither of them had said anything after Spitfire stormed out. Glory wasn't sure how Rainbow had been affected by the tirade and Rainbow had no idea what to say. "Ummm... yeah, I'll... I'll be fine. Just gotta.... work on.... something," Rainbow said, trying to seem okay.

Glory was about to call her bluff when her phone rang. "I'm going to take this. I'll be right back and then we can talk," the unicorn said as she answered the call, receiving a nod from Rainbow. "This is Glory Bell, how may I help you?" she said into the phone as she left the room.

Rainbow walked over to her desk and sat down. I never thought how anyone would react if I got hurt or worse. Spitfire seemed angry, but not because of what I did, just that I did it. Is this really the path I have to take to get past my feud with dad? the pegasus wondered to herself. She laid a hoof on the Reactor in her chest and traced the edge of it slowly. It was the first thing that she and her father had done together. She looked at the old Arc Reactor sitting on her desk next to the tape Comet had given to her.

Then, just as Glory returned, a thought struck the Pegasus. "Why did he use all the Vibranium on one Reactor?" Rainbow asked aloud.

Glory stopped confused. "Pardon?"

Rainbow looked up at the unicorn. "The old Reactor. It has enough Vibranium on it for two Reactors. I never really noticed before," Rainbow explained.

Glory frowned in confusion. "I'm afraid I don't understand," she said, raising an eyebrow.

Rainbow rolled her eyes. "If we had put a second reactor in the MK-I chest piece it wouldn't have taken as long as it did to power up. My dad almost died because of that. So why did he use all of the Vibranium on my reactor instead of making a second one for the suit?" Rainbow asked, the gears in her head working in overdrive.

Glory thought for a moment. "It sounds like he was more concerned with your survival than his own," the unicorn said matter-of-factly.

Rainbow looked a little surprised. "No, it can't be that," she said dismissively. "I know there was a reason for it. He probably wanted to see how powerful one could get," she reasoned, her mind trying to make sense of it.

Glory frowned at this. "Do you really want to make your father out to be the bad guy so badly?" she asked.

"He was a bad guy!" Rainbow shouted, Glory cringed at her bosses aggression. Rainbow regretted shouting, but remained adamant. "I'm sorry, but if you ever got the chance to meet him you'd understand," Rainbow explained.

"Really?" Glory asked unsure. Rainbow nodded. "I'll have you know when I take a job I do my research on who I'll be working for. And from what I learned about you, it didn't make any sense that you got this job," Glory pointed out. Rainbow was about to argue, but Glory kept going. "You were a high school drop out, you had no experience with advanced technology and you presented a financial risk to the company, what with all of your bad habits at the time," Glory rattled off.

Rainbow was dumbstruck. "How do you even know all that?" she asked, bewildered.

"I said I did my research. Anyways, tell me if you think it makes sense that you even got this job? Or is it possible your father pulled some strings in order for you to have a chance of flying again?" Glory asked.

Rainbow wanted to argue. She wanted to tell Glory that she was wrong, but she couldn't. She started to wonder why she got her job. There must have been other choices, better choices. So why was she chosen?

"I... need to think about all this. It's a bit much to wrap my head around right now.

Glory smiled. "Well don't take too long. You have an appointment with Caramel tomorrow at eight," Glory informed. Rainbow perked up at this news. "He has a few things he needs to discuss with you," the unicorn explained.

Rainbow nodded. "Good. I have a few things I need to tell him too," she replied. "For now how about we get some shut eye though? I'm exhausted and I want to go over some redesigns on the armor," she said.

"Sounds good to me," Glory replied, as Rainbow got up and lead the way upstairs.

///////////////////////////

Ghost stepped out of the helicopter as it landed in the middle of a camp in an unknown location, just as night began to fall. He had taken a small amount of time to recover from his second encounter with Rainbow Dash and her armor. Diamond Dogs were milling about the camp, each one moving with purpose.

A Diamond dog approached Ghost from the crowd, a radio in his paw. "She said she wanted to speak to you as soon as you arrived," the dog said holding out the radio.

Ghost signs as he took the radio. He was about to speak into it when it crackled to life. "How much longer do expect me to put up with your failures?" the mare on the other end asked.

Ghost looked around himself before replying, curious as to how his employer knew he had the radio. "The armor still had flaws. I'm sure Dash will soon perfect her design-" Ghost began.

"It doesn't matter if it's perfect!" his employer snarled. "If we get the armor now, we will have a weapon more advanced than any military weapon on the black market," she explained. "But if we don't get it before long, Dash will have an armor we can't take from her," she finished.

"I understand, but there were no weapons on this new armor. If we wait, we can have the best version," Ghost reasoned.

The voice on the radio let out a sigh of frustration. "I don't think you understand. There is no perfection to Dash's design. That's the beauty of it. She will always be able to make modifications, upgrades and new designs. The potential is limitless," the mare explained. "However the better she makes the armor, the more difficult it will be to pry her corpse out of it."

"I understand," Ghost replied, as the purpose behind all of the rushed plans became clear. They needed to get Rainbow out if the way before she discovered how powerful a weapon her armor was. "What is our plan now?" Ghost asked.

"We will have to take more drastic actions from now on. I need you in Equestria. Jet Stream has been discovered and I need you to make sure he doesn't talk to the authorities," the mare ordered.

"Very well, but how sure are you he's been made?" Ghost asked. Jet Stream had been a very useful asset, even if he was just in it for the money. They would be hard pressed to find anyone else on the board of Dash industries as eager to work with terrorists.

"We heard Caramel talking to the General over the wire tap in his phone. We're sure," the mare replied.

"Then it can't be helped. An unfortunate loss. Will I be given any other tasks while I'm visiting my homeland?" the mercenary inquired.

"Yes. Kill Rainbow Dash and retrieve the schematics for her armor and anything else regarding it," Ghost's employer commanded.

"And Caramel? Should I eliminate him as well?" Ghost asked, considering the threat the stallion posed.

"No. He may be useful to us as leverage in the event we are able to recapture Dash. Leave him be for now. He will play his part," the mare asked.

"As you wish. I'll report in when I'm done," Ghost replied. The mare on the other end didn't respond. "I'll take that as a goodbye," Ghost said to himself. He turned to the Diamond Dogs rushing around the camp. "You there," he called out to a dog rushing by him. The dog stopped and saluted. "Get me a strike team prepped and ready to move out. We leave in the morning," Ghost ordered, walking past the dog and into the infirmary.

Ghost laid down in an empty cot and set his sword on the table next to it. Ghost eyed the blade for a moment. "Yes Caramel will play a part, but much sooner than you think oh mysterious employer of mine. I wonder how Rainbow would react to her assistant being taken prisoner. Might be able to just bargain for the armor," Ghost told himself as he fell asleep, dreaming of his revenge on Rainbow Dash.

Author's Note:

Okay I need to get my damn computer fixed. This us getting way too frustrating to do on my tablet. Any who next chapter well be getting to something very exciting and completely unplanned. Ghost's back story. I never really planned to go over this when I started writing thus for one reason. I didn't know what it was. Then I looked him up on a wiki and was astounded his perfect he was for Rainbow's first villain. Stay tuned.

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