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New Assistant

Rainbow hummed to the beat of her music as she sat in her workshop drawing up the schematics for her new armor. She already had the exo-skeleton for one of the boots done, but she was having trouble getting the wires connected right and the robotic arm holding up a magnifying glass wasn’t helping as much as it was suppose to. “Okay, T.A.N.K., you’re not really helping when I have to work around you,” she told the A.I.

“My apologies ma’am. However it might be good to inform you that performing upgrades on the machines you built almost eight years ago might be of some help,” T.A.N.K. informed.

Rainbow sighed as she finally finished with the boot. “Yeah, didn’t I design you to do that yourself?” she asked.

“That was part of the upgrade you designed four years ago and forgot to install,” T.A.N.K. countered calmly.

“Right well I suppose now's as good a time as any,” the pegasus said as she set down her tool and wiped her hands on a greasy rag. Just as she was about to take the cover off of the robots control panel she heard the doorbell upstairs.

“You have a visitor ma’am,” T.A.N.K. said.

Rainbow sighed in annoyance as she got up, making sure her shirt hid the ARC Reactor. “You’re supposed to tell me that before they get to the door. It’s called security,” she said as she made her way upstairs and to the door.

She opened the front door to see a white unicorn mare with a white coat and flowing purple mane and a white business dress. Three diamonds adorned a purple hoof bag resting at her side . “Ah you must be Glory,” Rainbow said pleased that her new assistant had finally arrived. Glory simply nodded and gave Dash a warm smile.

“It’s an absolute pleasure to meet you,” Glory said giving a slight curtsy to her new employer.

“I know,” Rainbow replied grinning. Glory raised an eyebrow at the rather arrogant response as Dash started walking back into her house. “Come on in and make yourself at home,” Rainbow invited.

Glory followed Rainbow inside and looked around. In the two days since Caramel had left Rainbow hadn’t bothered cleaning up after herself once. Soda cans littered the floor and couch in the living room and dirty dishes were stacked everywhere except the sink “You have a lovely home,” Glory complemented, hiding her grimace.

“Thanks,” Rainbow replied disinterestedly as she walked into the living room and pushed a few dishes onto the floor where most of them shattered. “Have a seat and tell me about yourself,” Rainbow told the mare as Glory sat next to her.

“I’m not really sure there’s much more I can tell you that wasn’t on my résumé,” Glory replied.

“No not your qualifications, just you. I need to know if I’m going to be able to live with you or if you’ll need to get an apartment somewhere else in Cloudsdale,” Rainbow informed as she started shaking a few of the cans on the end table, trying to find one that wasn’t empty.

“Oh I’m very easy to get along with,” Glory smiled, before looking at the mess around them, her smile quickly fading. “I also don’t mind cleaning up after myself,” she continued, trying to hint that Rainbow should do the same.

Rainbow looked Glory in the eyes as she took a sip out of a can with something left in it. Her eyes widened and she immediately spit the foul liquid out of her mouth. Glory watched this spectacle with surprise. “Ugh. Sorry about that. Anyways, yeah the daily cleaning will be part of your responsibilities,” Rainbow informed as she got up. “That and keeping my schedule straight. Caramel should have provided you with a copy of that.”

Glory perked up and began searching through her bag, eventually locating a piece of paper. “Yes I have that right here,” she said holding the paper up for Rainbow to see. Rainbow inspected the schedule for moment. She then took the paper from Glory and tossed it away.

“Clear my schedule. We’re going to need a lot of free time for the project you’re going to be helping me with,” Rainbow told her as she got up.

Glory followed after her. “And what may I ask will I be helping you with?” Glory inquired.

Rainbow turned around and stood nose to nose with Glory. “This is the part of the interview where I decide if I can trust you,” she said in an almost threatening manner. Glory tensed up as though ready to retaliate to an attack.

The pair held eye contact for almost a full minute before Rainbow seemed satisfied. “You’ll do,” she said smirking. “Meet me downstairs in an hour and I’ll give you the details,” Rainbow called as she returned to her workshop.

Glory stared open mouthed as her new boss left the room. “Do you honestly expect me to clean this mess in an hour?” she called out.

“No.” Rainbow’s voice carried from down stairs. “That’s what T.A.N.K. is for.”

“Who’s Tank?” Rarity asked, confused.

“A pleasure to meet you Ms. Bell. I’m Ms. Dash’s computerized butler,” T.A.N.K. answered from the speakers in the ceiling, making Glory jump a bit. Before the mare could respond a small blue line lit up on the floor leading off into an unknown part of the house. “If you’ll follow me, I’ll show you to your room and you can take some time to get settled in,” Tank informed.

Glory began following the lighted path. “Thank you very much, but I must ask. Is Ms. Dash always so… overwhelming?” Glory asked, unsure how exactly to describe her boss.

“Only on a good day. It’s when she’s quiet you should worry,” T.A.N.K. answered.

“Good to know,” Glory replied sarcastically. “Why did she tell me it was my job to clean this place then?” Glory questioned, a bit annoyed at what seemed to be a joke.

“Ms. Dash was simply trying to make your workload seem like a lot to handle to see how serious you were about this job,” T.A.N.K. informed. Glory nodded her head in understanding. “She also likes to mess with ponies,” T.A.N.K. added.

“Oh, really, I couldn’t tell,” Glory quipped.

“Here we are ma’am,” T.A.N.K. said as Glory reached a door about halfway down the hallway from the living room. “I’ll leave you to get settled, but I advise you not to keep Ms. Dash waiting too long. She get’s impatient.”

“Noted,” Glory responded as she opened the door to the room and stepped in. It was rather spacious, considering what Glory had expected. “This will do nicely,” she said to herself, as she pulled her phone out of her bag. She selected the contact Mother and sent the following message: New job is going swimmingly. Will call in a few days.

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

Rainbow shut off her music when she returned to her workshop, having planned to speak with Glory about what she might be able to do to increase the effectiveness of the ARC Reactor or if possible build a replacement.

She quickly spotted the thruster boot she had just finished before Glory had arrived and put a box over it to keep it hidden. Can’t trust her with that secret. Not yet at least.

Rainbow then sat at her desk for almost thirty minutes before letting out an exasperated sigh. “What is taking her so long? She only brought one bag,” Rainbow complained.

“Ms. Bell is currently submitting her handprint on the access panel just outside,” T.A.N.K. informed his creator.

Before Dash could respond the door on the far side of the room opened and Glory walked in. “Is a hand scanner really necessary?” she asked slightly annoyed.

“It will be for the project we’re working on,” Rainbow replied as she started removing her shirt. Before Glory could protest at the brazen act, the article of clothing was thrown to the floor and Glory gasped as the faint silver glow of the device imbedded in Rainbow’s chest came into sight, between the cups of her bra.

“What is that?” Glory asked, seemingly mystified.

Rainbow smirked at her assistant’s shock. “This,” she replied tapping the object,” is the Artificially Refined Crystal Reactor or ARC Reactor,” Rainbow finished in a grand manner, as though she were demonstrating a new plane to the military. “There’s a cluster of shrapnel, courtesy of my captors, trying to dig into my heart,” she continued. “This device powers a magnet to keep me alive,” she finished her explanation.

Rainbow allowed Glory a moment to process this information before continuing. “Now I want you to tell me how you think it works,” Rainbow instructed.

Glory took a cautious step forward. “May I?” she inquired holding out a hand towards the Reactor, but not quite touching it. Rainbow nodded and Glory placed her hand against the reactor, tracing a circle around the edge. “Is this Vibranium?” she asked almost shocked. Rainbow nodded again. “Then I can only guess that unicorn magic is stored in the crystal and then replicated through the Vibranium,” Glory analyzed, looking to Rainbow for confirmation

Dash smiled at the explanation. “Exactly. I’m impressed. Now for the hard question. Can you see a way to improve it?”

Glory once again closely inspected the device. “Hmm… well the crystal seems to have a rather rough cut to it. If we could improve the cut we may be able to stabilize the energy contained preventing a leak of energy,” Glory said as she continued her inspection.

“And what if I wanted to power something else with it without removing it?” Rainbow asked as she put her shirt back on. Damn, she’s on a roll here, she thought, smiling at the success of her new assistant.

Glory looked at the pegasus in confusion before answering. “Well I can’t say I know much about Vibranium, but perhaps if we had more we could create a small network of adaptors along the exposed portion of the Reactor,” Glory said as she took a step away, finished with her inspection. “May I ask what you intend to power with it?”

“No,” Rainbow replied simply. “I’ll tell you when you need to know,” she explained as she walked over to her desk on the far left wall. She opened one of the drawers and pulled out a few pieces of paper. “For now just fill these out and send them to Caramel at Dash Industries HQ. He’ll make sure we get everything we need.”

Glory looked over the blank order forms. “And what about more Vibranium?” she asked. “It’s only found in Wakanda if I’m correct.”

Dash rolled her eyes at this. “My dad made a few deals with them back in the Minotaur wars and got a small stockpile of the stuff. Most of what we had went into Captain Equestria’s shield, but there’s still a little leftover,” Rainbow explained.

“I see,” the unicorn said as she picked up a pen from the desk and began filling out the forms.

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

Spitfire arrived at Rainbow’s house for the first time since the inventor’s return. She had been unable to get any time off from work due to Dash Industries making several huge deals with the military in response to Rainbow and Comet’s kidnapping.

The reason Spitfire was visiting Rainbow was to tell her off about appointing Caramel head of the company. Spitfire placed her hand on the scanner next to the front door. After a soft beep, the door slid open. “Rainbow!” she shouted into the house. After about a minute she heard the sound of footsteps racing up from the workshop downstairs.

Spitfire was about to start yelling again as Glory came into view. “I apologize,” she started. “Ms. Dash is currently busy with a phone call. Is there anything I can do for you?” Glory asked politely.

Spitfire eyed the unfamiliar mare for a second. “No. I need to talk to Rainbow ASAP. She’s got some explaining to do,” Spitfire explained. “I’m Spitfire by the way,” she introduced herself offering a hoof to Glory.

“I’m Glory Bell, Ms. Dash’s new assistant,” Glory replied, shaking hands with the pegasus.

“I guessed. Considering quitting yet?” Spitfire asked with a smile, her anger beginning to fade, but not forgotten.

Glory blinked in surprise. “Oh heavens no. This is the first job I’ve had that actually had something to do with Artificial Crystal Technology. And I must say the project Ms. Dash has me working on is absolutely fascinating,” Glory told Spitfire, the joy from the work showing on the unicorn’s face. However Spitfire couldn’t help, but think there was something in Glory’s words that seemed forced. Shaking her head Spitfire brushed the thought off as stress from work.

“You don’t have to call her Ms. Dash. She’s fine with Rainbow or just Dash. It used to bug her when Caramel called her Miss,” the fiery mare said, smiling at Glory’s formality.

“Are you sure? She hasn’t said anything to me,” Glory replied, slightly confused,

Spitfire quirked an eyebrow. “Really? Maybe it’s just Caramel then,” she said. Talking about Caramel reminded Spitfire why she’d come in the first place. “Sorry, but if you’ll excuse me I really do need to talk with Dash.” Spitfire started towards the stairs leading towards the workshop.

Glory started to panic. “No wait. She’s on the phone. She said she doesn’t want to be disturbed right now.” Glory chased after Spitfire, trying to stop her.

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

“Yes I know we only have a small amount, but-” Rainbow was cut off.

“And yet you seem to think I can magically make the board agree to just handing over a pound of Vibranium that’s worth millions right now,” Caramel replied from the other end of the phone.

Rainbow sighed. “It’s important Caramel. I really need this,” she pleaded.

At that moment the door to the workshop opened, allowing Spitfire and Glory into the room.

“Rainbow, we need to talk,” she said sternly.

“Just a minute,” Rainbow told Spitfire, covering the mouthpiece of the phone.

“The board is considering auctioning off the Vibranium. If you don’t give me a really good reason they should give it to you instead, I can’t do anything to help you,” Caramel argued.

“Okay, okay just give me a second,” Rainbow replied, trying to think of something. Out of the corner of her eye she saw Spitfire impatiently tapping her hoof on the ground, brow furrowed. Great what’s she pissed about. Rainbow turned her chair and saw Glory standing behind Spitfire. “I got it,” she told Caramel. “Tell them I’m working on an energy project. Something that’ll get those Green ponies to stop protesting about the smog from their factories.”

Caramel was silent for a moment. “Can you give me any details?” he asked expectantly.

“Yes the technology has been tested and works, we just need to find a way to build it on a larger scale,” Rainbow said.

“I’ll see what I can do,” Caramel replied. “I’ll call later and tell you how it goes.”

“Sounds good. Talk to you then,” Dash said as she hung up. She then turned to the angry mare in the room. “What’s up Spit? I’m kinda busy,” Rainbow said hoping to just bypass the argument that was about to ensue.

“What’s up? How about Caramel is running your company so you can just slack off. Are you even actually planning any energy project for the company or are you just saying what you need to to get what you want?” Spitfire asked asked angrily.

Rainbow turned sat down in front of her holographic display table. “Yes I have an energy project to work on. I wasn’t planning on sharing it with the company, but if that’s what it takes to get the materials I need then so be it,” she said as she she pulled up a schematic of the ARC Reactor she and Glory had been making. “I just need to make it bigger, so they don’t think of it as more than a generator.”

Spitfire looked at the display. “Isn’t that the thing in your chest?” she asked.

“Yeah we’re making a new one,” Rainbow answered distractedly. “Hey Glory come here and check these equations,” she told her assistant.

“Yes mam,” Glory replied, eager to move closer to the conversation.

“Why? What’s wrong with the one you have?” Spitfire asked, gazing at the design.

Rainbow thought for a moment. “Call it a spare tire.”

Spitfire looked at Rainbow, unsatisfied with the answer. “Fine don’t tell me. Just know that the way you’re going you’re pushing everypony that cares about you away. We just want to help,” Spitfire told her friend as she headed for the stairs.

Rainbow watched as her best friend left, sighing as she thought about how difficult she must be making things for Spitfire and Caramel. I’ll make it up to them soon, she thought, as she turned back to watch what Glory was doing.

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

A few days later found Rainbow and Glory working on the Vibranium cover that would go over top of the new Reactor.

Rainbow was busy mapping out the exact shape of the Vibranium network that would go over the top of the new Reactor. It was a simple design. A triangle with each point connected to the outer ring and a smaller triangle within which would be held in place with small steel rods connecting to the insides of the first triangle.

“Okay T.A.N.K., that should do. How long will this take?” Rainbow asked as she walked across the room to where Glory was working.

“Approximately three hours,” T.A.N.K. replied.

Rainbow quirked an eyebrow. “That long? What gives?”

“Vibranium is a very delicate material. The slightest miscalculation could result in an explosion,” T.A.N.K. replied simply. “However if you think you can do it faster, you’re welcome to try by hoof.”

Rainbow gulped at the response. “No thanks. We’ll do it your way. Slow and steady… doesn’t get us killed,” she mumbled the last bit. “How are you doing Glory?” Rainbow said moving on to the unicorn’s part of the project.

Glory was using her magic to carefully chisel away at one of Dash Industries more efficient storage crystals. “Just fine. I don’t understand why T.A.N.K. can’t do this as well though,” she complained.

“Because before I was in those caves I never had a project involving artificial crystals. Never needed them. Physics always made my creations work,” Rainbow explained as she inspected the work Glory had done so far. “Be sure not to chisel too much away.”

“I know,” Glory replied. “It’s only the thousandth time you’ve reminded me,” Glory muttered as she set down the chisel. “That should do it.”

“T.A.N.K. what do you think?” Rainbow asked. closely inspecting the crystal.

“A perfect fit for the conduit and the Vibranium power adaptor,” T.A.N.K announced.

“Awesome. It’s gonna be awhile before T.A.N.K is done. You wanna go out and get some food?” Rainbow asked Glory as she walked towards the door.

“Absolutely. I’m famished. You haven’t let us take a break all day,” Glory complained.

“Oh quit your bitching. We needed to get done, so we can start moving on to the next step of the plan,” Rainbow defended.

“And what might that be?” Glory asked interestedly.

“You’ll see tomorrow. Now come on I know a great Saddle Arabian place not far from here,” Rainbow said as she pushed her assistant out of the door.

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

Caramel sat in his office going over paperwork. He hated the tedium of the work, but he also wanted to help Rainbow get through whatever it was she was going through.

Caramel flipped through a stack of order forms the board had approved by the board earlier that day when one of the shipment locations caught his eye. “Saddle Arabia? I didn’t know the military had any bases there,” Caramel spoke to himself as he hit the intercom button to speak to his secretary.

“Ms. Pen, do you know if the military has any installations in Saddle Arabia?” Caramel asked as he inspected the contents of the shipment.

“Not that I recall,” the mare on the other end of the line answered. “Why do you ask sir?”

“No reason, just trying to understand something,” he responded, as he found the manifest for the order. “Five Phoenix UAV drones, five T-220 mountable chain guns, twenty units of thirty millimeter ammunition, twenty Dragon rockets,” Caramel stopped reading as he scanned the rest of the list. Assault rifles, Anti-Aircraft missile systems and a few dozen units of grenades were being shipped. “What is all this for?” Caramel asked as he picked up the file and left his office.

He walked past Ms. Pen on his way. “Go ahead and take your lunch break, I might be awhile,” he told her, only getting a nod in response.

Caramel made his way to an office down the hall. The label on the door read Jet Stream: Head of Shipping. Caramel knocked on the door and waited for a response.

“Come in,” Caramel heard Jet say from within.

Caramel opened the door and waved to one of the few ponies on the board of directors that didn’t make Caramel think sinking the companies stocks might be a good idea. The stallion sitting behind the desk was a white pegasus with a graying blue mane.

“Sorry to bother you Jet, but I was looking through some of the shipping forms and noticed there’s a rather large shipment headed for Saddle Arabia,” Caramel said as he approached the stallion’s desk.

“That is correct. A private military corporation just set up shop in that area and needed a kickstarter,” Jet informed the younger stallion.

“I see. The form doesn’t actually have the recipient's name though, it just says the name of the city it’s going to,” Caramel pressed. Something was off about this order and the earth pony knew it.

Jet just grunted in annoyance. “Their boss is apparently having trouble deciding what to call the company so we just did the next best thing. Sorry if this is causing you any inconvenience, we just wanted to be done with that stallion as soon as possible,” the pegasus informed.

Caramel thought he saw the stallion gulp and decided he’d have to be more discreet about looking into this. “I understand, just make sure to send me a memo next time,” Caramel said forcing a smile.

“Sure thing,” Jet said, smiling back. Caramel left the office without looking back, missing the glare Jet had shot him.

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

Jet Stream sat in his office for a few more minutes, staring at the door Caramel had just walked through. After a moment of thought he picked up his phone and dialed a number.

After a few minutes of ringing he heard somepony pick up. “What do you want? I’m busy,” a mare said on the other end.

“There might be trouble with future shipments. The stallion Dash had take her place is suspicious,” Jet said, worry evident in his voice.

“Is there going to be any trouble getting this one to Ghost?” the mare questioned, her voice taking a dangerous tone.

“No mam. Everything will go accordingly, but are you sure this will work? What if Dash doesn’t show?” Jet asked, curious.

“She’ll show up. You just make sure Ghost get’s what he needs. And if Dash’s pet becomes a problem… take care of it,” the mare told him. “Or I’ll take care of you.” The line went dead.

Jet put the phone back on the receiver and leaned back in his chair, before releasing a nervous sigh. He then looked at the phone again and picked it up dialing another number. “Yes sir?” a stallion asked.

“Have Caramel followed and don’t get caught,” Jet ordered. “Keep him away from any sensitive information.”

“Yes sir.” Jet hung up the phone again feeling a little more at ease.

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

“Oh my Celestia, how can you stand to eat that much?” Glory asked Rainbow as they arrived home again.

Rainbow chuckled. “I was gonna ask you how you can eat so little,” she replied.

“It’s called pacing oneself,” Glory answered.

“Ma’am if you’re ready, the new Reactor is complete,” T.A.N.K. announced.

Dash smiled as she turned to Glory. “Now comes the hard part. Let’s go,” she said leading the way downstairs. Glory followed close behind curious as to what was next.

As they entered the workshop the lights flicked on and a small compartment opened up from the wall next to the door. “Grab the Vibranium and the conduit and be careful with em,” Rainbow instructed as she continued over to the table they had left the Crystal on before.

Glory joined her moments later. Dash opened one of the drawers on the table and pulled out a large screw driver and a few steel bolts. “Alright, connect the conduit on the back end,” she told Glory, who used her magic to comply. Once they were finished they attached the Vibranium face plate and repeated the process. “Now we just need to give it life,” Rainbow announced, picking up the Reactor and holding it up to Glory.

Glory’s eyes widened. “You want me to turn it on?” she asked slightly shocked.

Rainbow rolled her eyes. “No that’s T.A.N.K.'s job,” she replied sarcastically. “Yes I need you to power it, you’re the only unicorn here.”

Glory shook her head at her bosses rudeness. “You could be a little nicer,” she mumbled as her horn began to glow. The magic seeped into the crystal and the Vibranium began absorbing it and replicating it just as the one in Rainbow was doing, except the new one had a light blue glow to match Glory’s magic aura.

“Perfect,” Dash said grinning. “Damn good job Glory.”

Glory smiled at the compliment. “I must say that wasn’t so hard,” she replied.

“Cause that wasn’t the hard part,” Rainbow countered as she removed her shirt.

Glory blinked in surprise, seeing the mare in her bra again. “I beg your pardon?” she asked as the pegasus clambered onto the table and laid on her back.

“This would be better if we had something to hold me down,” she commented as Glory stared at her in shock. “Alright,” Dash began as she got comfortable. “I need you to remove the old Reactor and replace it,” she said.

Glory stared in surprise at the absurdity. “What?” she asked shocked.

“Take out this Reactor, it just twists out and then pull the wire at the end, and then replace it with the new one,” Rainbow instructed, preparing herself for the pain. “Use your magic, just to be safe,”she instructed as Glory took a step closer.

Glory concentrated on the Reactor in Rainbow’s chest and a blue glow surrounded the normally silver light. Rainbow grunted as Glory started to turn the device, twisting it out. After a minute of this the old Reactor came loose.

“Okay, now we gotta be quick once you pull the wire out. If you move too slow I die. Got it?” she asked the unicorn with a serious expression.

Glory nodded in affirmation as she plucked the wire out. Before Glory could do anything else Rainbow started screaming in pain. “Put it in!” the pegasus grunted as she tried to calm down.

Glory acted quickly, using her magic on the new Reactor she attached the wire to the magnet and Dash immediately felt the Shrapnel begin to settle again. Glory finished screwing in the new Reactor as Rainbow got up.

“Are you alright?” Glory asked.

Rainbow took a moment to calm down as she climbed off the table. “Yeah, yeah, I… I just… Need… a minute,” she replied breathing heavily, putting her shirt back on.

Glory looked at the pegasus with worry. “Are we doing that again anytime soon?” she asked.

“Yeah, next week we put your’s in,” Rainbow replied as her heart began to slow down. Glory looked horrified for a second and Rainbow started laughing. “I’m just kidding. No we’re done for now. Let’s get some sleep and we’ll kick off part two tomorrow.”

“Sounds good to me,” Glory replied as they approached the stairs.

Author's Note:

And here we are again.. Next time we get into the creation and testing of the MK-II Armor. Hope you enjoyed.

Stay Tuned. Yeah I'm kinda makin that my slogan at this point. Not very original, but I like the sound of it.

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