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MK-I

Comet Dash awoke with a start as he felt somepony prodding him with a finger. He blinked a few times clearing his vision. Rainbow’s scowling face came into focus.

“Come on, we need to get started.” she whispered, beckoning for Comet to sit up. “They expect us to have something for them by tomorrow, so I figured we should be gone before then,” she said, quickly walking over to the table where most of the pieces of the suit lay.

“What time is it?” Comet groaned as he clambered off of his cot, rubbing his eyes to clear away any sleep that might remain.

“It doesn’t matter, let’s just get to work,” Rainbow answered, her voice abnormally stern.

Comet stared at Rainbow for a moment. “Since when did you become the responsible one while I slept in?” He asked, raising an eyebrow.

“The other day, when I realized that the thing I want most is to get home so things can get back to normal between us,” Rainbow replied coldly, as she began sorting through the parts.

Comet frowned. “Rainbow I’m sorry for what I said the other day. I really am. I haven’t been as careless with anything as much as I have been with the you,” he paused, expecting some sort of snarky comeback from Rainbow. Instead, there was only silence. Comet sighed. “Please don’t push me away when we’ve come this far.”

That seemed to catch Rainbow's attention, as she stopped taking inventory, and turned to look directly at Comet. “I just want to get out of here. If you want any chance at patching things up, start helping me,” she said sternly. “Cause if you don’t you’ll be dead by tomorrow.”

Comet looked away before he responded. “Okay,” he said in defeat. Before either of them could begin working properly, however, the doors slammed open and in walked Ghost with an entourage of Diamond Dogs.

“Up bright and early I see,” He said, his voice oddly upbeat. “Good to see you taking initiative. You seemed so opposed to cooperating before. It’s almost suspicious that you’d work so diligently now,” he continued, glancing at the table. He walked over to it and began to inspect the components.

“What’s the point in fighting? I’ll be here until I die, so I might as well keep myself occupied,” Rainbow answered, beginning to sweat as Ghost picked up one of the shin guards.

Ghost turned towards Rainbow, quietly setting the metal down on the table. “I see. Just keep in mind who’s in charge,” he said, his voice taking on a threatening tone as he started towards the exit. “You two stay here and watch the door,” he ordered to a pair of Diamond Dogs who nodded in response as the group exited the room, the doors locking behind them.

“He knows,” Comet whispered, eyes wide. “He knows we’re trying to escape.”

“But he doesn’t know how,” Rainbow was quick to reply. “We’re going to give them a hell of a show on the way outta here,” she added, almost smiling. “Let’s get to work."

“This isn’t a good idea anymore." Comet said. "It was a nice plan, but what if it doesn’t work?” He asked, his tone worrisome.

“Then we die. Just remember that if we do nothing they’ll kill us eventually anyway. And I'd rather die trying to escape then just sitting on a cot,” She said, looking her father in the eye. “Now let’s get to it.” Comet nodded, his heart warming at his daughter’s confidence.

They moved their work directly under the camera in the corner so that they couldn’t be seen and started by hooking the power cables up to the ARC Reactor. "I can handle this. Start welding the chest plate,” she said, leaving no room for argument.

Comet used his magic to levitate the pieces of armor over to their corner along with the welding torch. The bright flame melted the pieces together quickly, although that did nothing to relieve the tension. If they were caught with the suit half finished that would be the end of it.

After nearly a half hour of work the chest plate was done and Rainbow was ready to add the sensor’s and hydraulics into the Reactor. “Get the bolts for the hydraulics and connect them to the shin guards,” she ordered as she began hooking the cables into the adaptors on the sensor pads.

“Got it,” Comet said as he used his magic to speed up the process. While he was at it he started attaching the flamethrowers and a rocket launcher with four projectiles on the forelegs of the suit. He noticed Rainbow scowl at the additions, but since she didn’t say anything he continued.

Outside the door they heard a voice distorted by static. “Where are the prisoners, we can’t see them on camera?” a voice asked angrily.

“Just a moment,” one of the dogs outside replied.

The two ponies looked at each other in fear. Then Comet had an idea. He quickly rushed to the door and just as it opened he threw his body against it slamming it shut. “Don’t come in yet. We haven’t finished. We wanted it to be a surprise,” he shouted. He knew it was an abject lie, but he needed to stall for a bit longer. Looking around he saw the work table and the cots. He pulled them over with his magic and wedged them against the door.

“Open the door!” the Diamond Dogs shouted on the other side. “The boss wants a status update!”

“We’ll be done soon!” Comet replied, looking over his shoulder at Dash as she slipped her arms and legs through the gauntlets and leggings and connected them to powercables. She then stepped into the boots, making sure to connect the fuel lines to the back pair for the thrusters and put on a pair of thick leather gloves so she could maintain her grip.

“I need help with this part,” she said, tilting her head towards the body part of the armor. “And then put the last bolts in the feet,” she whispered as Comet came closer. He used his magic to fit the chestplate over her body and started bolting it to another similarly shaped piece that went over her back. With that bolted Comet began working on the bolts in the feet.

“Is it charged yet?” he asked.

Rainbow attempted lifting a leg. Once the suit was charged it would be simple, but at the moment it wouldn’t budge. “No, let’s just finish putting it together and wait,” she said as she looked at the last piece to be added.

Comet followed her gaze and looked at the helmet that they had just finished the previous day, just before going to bed. As he grabbed the helmet with his magic, he recalled what kept him up late that night and saw the camcorder lying on the ground not far away. It must have fallen there when he moved the work table. After making sure the helmet was secure he grabbed the camera in his magic and pulled out the tape.

“Here, hold on to this for me,” he said as he slipped the tape into an empty compartment in the armor.

“What is it?” Rainbow asked curiously.

“Just some notes on how to improve the armor design when we get back,” he told her, not meeting her eyes. “It’s not important right now. Are we good to go?” he asked, a little more urgently than before.

Rainbow tried to walk again and got her leg about halfway off the ground before it fell again. “Almost just a few more minutes,” she said, before they heard a loud BANG come from the door.

“They’re onto us. They’ll be in here any minute now,” Comet said, fearfully as his nerves began to fail him.

“Just a little longer,” Rainbow said, almost as if she were praying. The banging became more and more frequent as Rainbow repeatedly tried to lift her left leg. “Come on,” she pleaded with the armor.

Comet back up against the wall directly opposite the door. Moments later the objects he’d put in the way, scattered as the doors, burst open with a loud clang. Diamond Dogs poured in guns drawn and ready. Just as they were about to fire, their eyes widened in shock and Comet heard a hissing noise. He looked to the right and saw Rainbow standing there arm raised with a rocket lit. A second later the back of the projectile burst into flame as it rocketed forward.

Before the Diamond Dogs could retreat, the entrance to the room lit up with an explosion. Comet’s ears were ringing and once the dust had settled. after a moment he heard a voice.

“Let’s go, get up. Back up will be here soon,” he heard Rainbow’s muffled voice. “Stay behind me,” she ordered, taking a step forward. My movement is slow and clunky, but at least now we’re moving, Rainbow thought.

The pair made their way to the door and were greeted with a wall of gunfire. “Get back!” Rainbow shouted, shoving her father back into the room before advancing on her aggressors. Bullets ricocheted off of her armor harmlessly, allowing her to move in close. She swung an arm at the closest enemy knocking him out cold. Another tried sneak up behind Rainbow and to hit her with the butt of his gun. Rainbow swung her other arm and sent the dog flying backwards.

The remaining Dogs simply stared at the armor clad pony for a second before turning tail and running down the cavern.

“Let’s move,” Rainbow called, her father emerging from hiding and following behind her as she went.

“Are you alright?” he asked, concern evident in his voice.

“Ask them,” his daughter replied, indicating the dispatched enemies. “Now let’s get out of here,” she said, before her father could continue. She started walking, moving faster as the suit gathered more energy. Comet followed closely as he could without getting too close to Rainbow as she fought off any attackers hiding around corners.

“Why aren’t you using any of the weapons I put in?” Comet asked, after they’d made their way through at least a dozen Diamond Dogs.

“I’m trying to save ammo,” Rainbow replied, as she slammed another terrorist into a wall. “I’ll use the weapons when I need to,” Rainbow finished, holding up a hoof to shield her father from enemy fire. “Get back! This is hard enough without you getting shot,” Rainbow growled as she shoved him behind her.

“I’m not entirely comfortable letting you do all the fighting,” Comet mumbled, his voice drowned out by the gunfire.

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

Ghost watched as his troops ran around setting up blockades for their former captives. “You just can’t find good help these days,” he said to himself as he walked over to the weapons laid out on a table, grabbing only a pistol. With that he walked to the exit of the caverns and waited.

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

Rainbow turned back to the problem at hand and lit the second rocket. The missile flew across the cavern and detonated against the ceiling above the Diamond Dogs, burying them in rock. Rainbow and Comet had pushed their way almost to all the way through the cave system when they noticed sunlight around the corner. The pair grinned as they followed their now retreating enemies.

They rounded the corner and Rainbow’s eyes widened in surprise. Ghost stood in there way gun raised. Rainbow moved in front of her father just as Ghost started shooting, every shot bouncing off of her protective shell.

“Very impressive. I see your time with us was not completely wasted,” he commented, as Rainbow lit another rocket, launching it right at their former captor’s feet. Ghost simply stood his ground as the rocket exploded beneath him.

Rainbow smiled as they continued forward. “Finally. Been wanting to shut him up,” she said, as she entered the dust cloud her rocket had made. A glinting to her right caught her eye. She turned just in time as Ghost lunged at her, sword drawn.

“I’m not the kind of stallion to die so easily,” he said as he moved to strike again, this time aiming at the hydraulics in Rainbow’s legs. To the pegasus’ surprise the iron piston in the left leg was severed without much force from the blade.

How the hell did he do that? she thought as her attacker came at her again. Rainbow lit one of the flame throwers, fire pouring out of the nozzle at the end of her right arm, engulfing the terrorist. Ghost dodged to the side with ease and attacked from the left since Rainbow’s suit was damaged in that leg.

While Rainbow and Ghost fought, Comet began searching for a loaded weapon and soon found a shotgun that had been dropped. He picked it up magically and aimed at Ghost before firing.

Ghost flinched as the shot seemed to hit him, but he quickly refocused on Rainbow and continued his assault. How is he still standing? Comet asked himself, as he pulled the trigger again only to hear a hollow click. “Great, empty,” he said dropping the weapon.

Rainbow attempted to dodge the next strike, but wasn’t nearly fast enough. With that the hydraulics in both of her legs were damaged, significantly slowing her down, but she was still able to move a bit.

Rainbow had begun preparing her final rocket when she felt something lodge itself between her helmet and the body armor. “The most important lesson in any fight is to find the chink in your opponent’s armor and exploit it,” Ghost said from behind her.

Just as Ghost was about to fire he felt somepony tackle him from the right and saw a dark coat attempting to pin him to the ground. Comet was attempting to wrestle the weapon from Ghost when the gun fired. Comet’s eyes widened as he fell off of his enemy.

Ghost got up and pointed his weapon at the stallion, but just as he fired an iron clad hoof slammed into his side, knocking him into the supply room, where all of the weapons were kept. He hit the wall and a small box of grenades fell off a shelf and landed infront of him. He looked up angrily only to see Rainbow lighting her last rocket. The world seemed to slow down as the projectile launched across the room.

Rainbow threw herself over her father as the rocket detonated, setting off the rest of the explosives in the room, creating a larger explosion and caving in the room.

“That oughta do it,” she said as she turned to her father. Her eyes widened when she saw the blood and the bullet hole on his lower abdomen. “Oh Celestia. Dad just hang in there I’ll get you out,” she said beginning to panic.

“No,” Comet said before coughing up a small amount of blood. “I’ll j-just slow y-you down. G-go,” he told her as the life began to fade from his eyes.

“I’m not leaving you to die!” she shouted.

Comet looked at his daughter’s eyes through the visor of her suit. The one thing they had built together. He lifted a hand and laid it against her chest, right where the ARC Reactor was and said his final word. “Mistake.” Then his eyes went cold and his hand fell.

Rainbow stood there in shock. Mistake. The word rang in her mind over and over. Mistake?! she thought angrily as tears began to stream from her eyes. His last words and all he has to say is that saving me was a mistake?! I’ll show him!

Rainbow began walking towards the mouth of the cave and was greeted by almost a dozen Diamond Dogs, who all opened fire as soon as they saw her. Rainbow just stood there, letting them waste all of their ammo. Once they stopped she started lifting her arms, the suit responding and setting her in an offensive position. She then lit both of her flamethrowers and torched everything the fire could reach.

The dogs screamed as they tried to escape the fire. Few were successful. Out of the corner of her eye Rainbow saw a group of enemies aiming RPGs at her. Damn. The suit can’t take much more damage. Definitely not a rocket.

Rainbow lifted a panel on her right hand and punched the button as hard as she could, activating the thrusters in her boots. Her lift off was slow at first, but after only a minute she was moving fast enough to avoid the unguided rockets.

Rainbow flew through the air and could almost feel the wind in her mane like when she was younger. She closed her eyes for a moment to savor the one good feeling she’d had in years. Before she could enjoy herself too much though a loud clang alerted her to her suit’s damage. She hadn’t been sure before if she’d be able to get far in the air. Now she knew.

“Oooohhh Craaaaaaaappp!” she shouted as the sandy desert rushed towards her. The suit absorbed most of the impact, but the crash, rendered it useless as she bounced several yards before coming to a stop.

Groaning the pegasus tried to lift herself from the wreckage, wincing when she put weight on her right leg. “Ugh, could just one thing go right for me?” she asked nopony. She started getting up and noticed a small square object on the ground a few feet away. Moving closer she saw the tape Comet had put in the suit for safe keeping and it was surprisingly undamaged. Mistake, Rainbow thought as she picked it up. I'll show him, she told herself as she started walking, wanting to put as much distance between her and the Diamond Dog’s as possible.

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

Back at the destroyed camp the Diamond Dogs ran about trying to salvage anything that was left. One of them was checking a few weapons near the entrance of the cave when a white clad hoof landed on his shoulder.

“Forget the salvage,” Ghost commanded. “Just find a radio or get one working. I have a very unpleasant conversation to have with our employer,” he continued as his lacky ran off to do his bidding. Ghost scanned the horizon of the desert. “Where are you?” he asked, scowling under his mask.

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

Rainbow limped as she dragged herself through the desert, in the direction of the setting sun. Eventually she collapsed, her energy spent. “So this is how it ends?” she asked herself in defeat. Just as she was about to drift into unconsciousness, she heard a faint, but familiar sound. Helicopter? she thought, as she lifted her head.

The sound grew in volume until a pair of helicopters rose above the horizon. “HEEYYY!” Dash shouted, her last bit of adrenaline kicking in at the hope of rescue. Somepony onboard must have spotted her, because the helicopters came to a stop and landed several dozen yards from the pegasus. Rainbow limped towards them as the doors opened up and Equestrian soldiers poured out, weapons at the ready.

One of whom was familiar to Dash. Spitfire came running out of the chopper and nearly tackled Dash. “Hey, not so rough. Damaged goods here,” Rainbow commented, wincing as she was pushed onto her bad leg.

“Sorry, just… just don’t ever scare us like that again,” Spitfire said, her eyes glistening at the sight of her friend. Her expression shifted to one of worry as she realized Rainbow was alone. “Where’s your dad?” she asked. Rainbow simply frowned, avoiding eye contact at the mention of her father. “Rainbow I’m so-” Spitfire began.

“Don’t, please,” Rainbow interrupted. “I just… I just wanna go home right now,” she finished.

“Yeah, Yeah let’s get you back,” Spitfire agreed, helping her injured friend into the chopper.

Author's Note:

And here we have the first bit of action and I'm rather proud. Unfortunately due to Avenging Hobbits being a workaholic he will no longer be cowriting with me. However I have some good news as well. The great Bramblestar, formerly my proofreader has accepted my invitation and will be providing me with his vast wisdom as the new Co-writer of Iron Mare. You can find the link to his page in the story summary so please go check out his stuff. I haven't yet myself but I will as soon as I get the time.

Anyways stay tuned folks, I'll be spending a good portion of my time on finishing Spider Mare.

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