• Published 3rd Jul 2013
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Sol Umbrae - Dream Bolt



Twilight Sparkle is sent to a new world to face an old threat, only to find that this new world shares a lot more history with Equestria than she suspected.

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As the Eggman Watches

Chapter 9: As the Eggman Watches

“Ugh! I’m so bored!” Sweetie Belle groaned. “I wish something would happen!”

“We’ve tried everything to get our Cutie Marks, and not one thing has worked!” Scootaloo complained. “And now Rainbow Dash and the others are off in some other dimension, probably having the time of their lives!”

“Well, we can’t just sit around doin’ nothin’!” Apple Bloom stated. “How about we go get some milkshakes or somethin’! That’ll be fun, and we can have an official Cutie Mark Crusader meetin’ to… discuss… the….”

“To discuss what?” Scootaloo asked.

Apple Bloom didn’t respond. She just stared, her eyes as big as saucers.

“Um, hello? Apple Bloom? Equestria to Apple Bloom, do you read me?” Scootaloo said, waving her hooves.

Apple Bloom continued to stare, and took a few steps back.

“Are you okay, Apple Bloom?” Sweetie Belle asked. “What’s wrong?”

“B-b-b-bu… big… w-w-what….” Apple Bloom stuttered, pointing behind them.

Sweetie Belle and Scootaloo turned around, and their mouths suddenly dropped open. There was a huge glowing portal behind them, and through it was flying the biggest airships the little fillies had ever seen. Alongside them, thousands of robots were pouring through.
The three fillies were rooted to the spot, staring in awe at the sight.

Suddenly, there was a loud clang as a robot landed in front of them.

“Equine lifeforms. You are now under the rule of the Eggman Empire.” the robot said in a flat, metallic tone. “Surrender.”

The fillies screamed and ran. They dashed over the hills, heading for the one place they thought of to go to: Ponyville.

But as they came over the hill, they stopped in shock. The streets were filled with robots, and ponies were running everywhere, screaming and shouting. Some were fighting against the robots. Above them all, in a strange hovering vehicle, was the most unusual, fat creature, with a bald head and a grand moustache, who was shouting down to the masses through a bullhorn.

“Now here this! This land of Equestria, or whatever you call it, is now under the jurisdiction of the Eggman Empire! Those of you who resist will be roboticized! Those of you who don’t resist… well, you’ll be roboticized anyway. Gyah ha ha ha ha!”

“W-what are we going to do?” Scootaloo asked.

“And what does ‘robotitituzashun’ mean?” Apple Bloom pondered fearfully.

Suddenly, Scootaloo turned about. “Hey, where’s Sweetie Belle?”

Scootaloo and Apple Bloom suddenly shared a look of dread. Without thinking, they whipped about and started dashing back to the hill where they had seen the portal.
When they reached it, they saw the scorched ground from the robot’s jetpack. But neither the robot, nor Sweetie Belle, were anywhere to be seen.

*************************************************************************************************

“Dr Eggman, I have brought a subject for roboticization.”

Eggman turned towards the robot that had just entered, holding a struggling white unicorn filly.

“Roboticizing a little filly?” Eggman cried. “What kind of monster do you think I am?”

For a brief moment, in the robot’s arms, Sweetie Belle’s spirits lifted.

“A terrible, heartless, and brilliant one, master.”

“Exactly!” Eggman cried, dashing Sweetie Belle’s hopes that this strange creature had any compassion. “So, let’s get out little subject ready!”

“You meanie!” Sweetie Belle shouted. “My sister Rarity is gonna wallop you when she gets back!”

“Oh, I am already aware about Rarity.” Eggman said with an evil grin. “But without the Elements of Harmony, your little pony friends aren’t a threat to me. After all, I have the Elements in my grasp!” Eggman gestured towards a purple chest which lay on the ground next to him.

“I can’t actually open it,” he admitted, “but so long as it is out of your little friends’ reach, they are no threat to me. But don’t worry. In a minute, you’ll be by robot slave, and none of this will matter.”

Eggman gestured, and the robot put Sweetie Belle onto the roboticizer platform, while a round glass tube slid down over her.

“Initiate roboticization process!” Eggman cried.

There was a bright light, and lightning coursed through the tube. Sweetie Belle closed her eyes tightly as it crackled over her fur. She felt her hooves grow cold, turning into metal. And then….

*************************************************************************************************

“This will never work.” Scootaloo whispered, wearing a costume made of boxes painted silver.

“Sure it will.” Apple Bloom said, wearing a bucket with holes cut out on her head. “And anyways, we’ve got to get in there and save Sweetie Belle!”

“How do we know she’s in there?” Scootaloo asked, pointing towards the giant, egg-shaped tower which the lead air ship had deployed in the middle of Ponyville.

“Because that’s where their takin’ everypony to be robotatitasized!” Apple Bloom replied.

“But what if they don’t fall for it?” Scootaloo asked.

“Then switch to plan ‘B’!” Apple Bloom whispered back. “Now hush! We have to make the guards think we’re robots.”
As Scootaloo and Apple Bloom walked up, the robot guards turned towards them. “Identify yourself, units.” they said flatly.

Apple Bloom cleared her throat. “I am… er… Robopony, and this is… um... Scootabot!”

“I haven’t seen you around here before.” the one guard said.

“They must be some of those prototype units the master has been working on.” the other replied.

“We are here to… um… perform maintenance on the thing which robotototasizes ponies.” Apple Bloom stated.

“The roboticizer? Very good, it needs to be in top working order!” the first guard said.

“It will be very busy in the next few days.” the second added. “We need to keep it running as smoothly as possible. Please pass. The roboticizer is in the big door at the end of the hall.”
The guards opened the doors, and Apple Bloom and Scootaloo trotted past them.

“Scootabot? Seriously?” Scootaloo whispered as the door closed behind them. “Either these costumes are better than I thought, or robots aren’t very bright.”

They walked towards the end of the hall. On either side, hordes of guards stood. Apple Bloom and Scootaloo were both afraid that one of them would notice and say something, but none of them did.

As Apple Bloom and Scootaloo walked up, the big doors to the roboticizer room opened. The two ponies saw the rotund form of Eggman towering over them, bent over a control panel.

“What is it now? I’m very busy!” Eggman shouted.

Apple Bloom threw off her helmet. “We are here to demand that you free our friend, Sweetie Belle!” she shouted, pulling out a hooffull of rocks.

“Yeah!” Scootaloo chimed in, tossing off her costume and revealing her scooter underneath. “And leave Ponyville!”

Eggman stared for a moment and raised an eyebrow, stunned at the sight of these two fillies who dared to challenge him. Then an evil grin came across his mustached face.

“Why of course.” he replied. “I would love nothing more than to reunite you with your friend.”

He turned about. “Sweetie Bot! Your friends are here to see you!”

From the shadows, a pair of green eyes lit up. Slowly, a small figure emerged. It looked like Sweetie Belle, but now her mane and fur were made of metal, and here eyes were glowing optical sensors.

“Capture them!” Eggman ordered.

“Yes, master.” the robotic Sweetie Belle replied flatly.

Before the stunned Apple Bloom and Scootaloo could respond, Sweetie Belle leapt at them, tackling them to the ground.

“Sweetie Belle, it’s us!” Scootaloo cried. “We’re your friends!”

“You will be subjected to roboticization.” the robotic Sweetie Belle said flatly.

“Don’t you remember us?” Apple Bloom asked, her eyes tearful as she beheld her changed friend. “Apple Bloom and Scootaloo? The Cutie Mark Crusaders?”

Sweetie Belle paused.

“Remember?” Scootaloo chimed in. She began to sing. “We are the Cutie Mark Crusaders, on a quest to find out who we are….”

Suddenly, the robotic Sweetie Belle joined in. “And we will never stop the journey, not until we’ve got our Cutie Marks!”

“What are you doing?” Eggman shouted. “You aren’t programmed to sing! Throw them in the roboticizer!”

“But… they’re my… friends.” Sweetie Belle stated. Her voice sounded strained, as is she was struggling very hard against something.

“You don’t have any friends! Now throw those ponies in the roboticizer!” Eggman screamed.

Sweetie Belle’s horn crackled. There were a few sparks, and then suddenly, Sweetie Belle shook her head.

“They are my friends, and I won’t let you hurt them!”

“Why you little…!” Eggman growled, lurching towards them. But he didn’t get any further, save to cry “Oof!” as Sweetie Belle bucked his fat stomach. He went soaring across the room, slamming into the wall on the other side.

Sweetie Belle stared in surprise. “Did… I do that?” she asked.

Scootaloo hopped onto her scooter. “Come on, let’s go!” she cried. “Sweetie Belle! Apple Bloom! Hop on!”

Apple Bloom grabbed on as Scootaloo took off, but Sweetie Belle lost her footing, and fell off.

“Hey! Wait for me!” she cried, running after them.

Suddenly, the world was a blur around her. Before she knew it, she was far ahead of Scootaloo and Apple Bloom, and had slammed face first into the door.
The door slid open, and the two guards stared down at Sweetie Belle.

“It appears the master has improved his models.” the first commented.

“Indeed.” the second agreed. “You look much better than those two robots we let in earlier.”

“Gangway!” Scootaloo shouted, shooting through the door and past the guards, with Apple Bloom holding on for dear life behind her.

“Hey, was that Scootabot?” the second guard asked.

Sweetie Belle was on her hooves again as quick as she could be. This time, she knew what to expect a little better, and by the time that the alarms in the base were going off, the Cutie Mark Crusaders were far away.

*************************************************************************************************

Eggman shakily got to his feet, just as a robot walked into the room.
“Unit 798 reporting, sir.” the robot said. “I just wanted to inform you that the unicorn ponies’ magic may interfere with the mental conversion of the roboticizer. I recommend we compensate with a higher frequency to ensure a lack of free will.”

“You don’t say….” Eggman hissed.

“Also, we are having difficulty with a few of the new models.” the robot went on. “Some of the animal batteries have put up quite a struggle, and cannot be properly contained in a typical robot shell.”

“Then put it in one of the prototypes!” Eggman shouted. “And next time, deliver these reports to me before we begin roboticizing the populace!”

*************************************************************************************************

Back outside their clubhouse, the Cutie Mark Crusaders were discussing what to do about the current situation.

“We gotta tell Princess Celestia!” Apple Bloom stated. “She can help us!”

“We’ve got a more immediate problem on our hooves!” Scootaloo cried. “What the hay did they do to Sweetie Belle? I mean, look at her!”

Sweetie Belle shrugged. “I don’t know!” she replied. “All I remember is everything going all fuzzy, and then I heard you guys talking and singing, and it was kind of odd, and I tried to sing, too. And then I felt like I was waking up, and then I found myself standing over you and looking like this!”

“And did you see how she bucked that fat gut across the room? Or how fast she ran?” Scootaloo asked. “She’s got, like, some sort of super-awesome superpowers!”

“I think they changed her into some sort of robot pony.” Apple Bloom stated.

“What?! And I missed my chance?” Scootaloo moaned.

“It’s actually not very fun.” Sweetie Belle replied. “I think they brainwash you or something, so that you only obey this Eggman dodo. I mean, I could kind of tell that I was doing stuff, but it wasn’t me doing it.”

“Well, this Eggman has gone far enough!” Apple Bloom cried, stomping her hoof.

“I agree!” Sweetie Belle said, stamping her own hoof, and staring in surprise as her blow crushed a rock into sand.

“Hey, that Sonic guy said he fought this Eggman when he was a kid!” Scootaloo reminded them. “So why can’t we?”

“And who knows? Maybe we’ll even earn our Cutie Marks from it!” Apple Bloom added.

The three of them put their hooves together above their heads. “Cutie Mark Crusader Freedom Fighters! Yay!”

*************************************************************************************************

The Cutie Mark Crusaders made up their mind to sneak down and investigate Sweet Apple Acres to see if anypony was still there. As they approached, everything was silent. The ground was broken and charred with the signs of battle, and some of the apple trees lay broken, uprooted, or burnt on the ground.

Apple Bloom dashed down the hill, her heart in her throat, but she didn’t dare shout for her family, afraid that there would be robots waiting there for her.

The house looked empty. Apple Bloom ran up, then slowly opened the door. Scootaloo and Sweetie Belle were close beside her. Apple Bloom looked into the darkness, straining to see.

Suddenly, a golden light enveloped her, whipping her inside. She suddenly found herself pinned underneath the hooves of a mint-colored unicorn mare.

“Gotcha, robo… oh, sorry.” the mare said. “I thought you were a robot.”

“Seriously, Lyra, look at the poor filly.” a pale yellow earth pony mare said, pushing her curly blue and pink mane from her face. “You scared her half to death.”

“We can’t be too careful, Bon-Bon.” Lyra replied. “Those robots could be back at any minute!”

The door suddenly burst open, and Scootaloo and Sweetie Belle charged in.

“All right, let her go!” Scootaloo cried, holding a rock in her hoof.

Lyra dropped Apple Bloom and screamed. “Robot!” she yelled, pointing at Sweetie Belle.

“It’s okay, it’s okay!” Apple Bloom cried. “She’s okay! It’s still Sweetie Belle in there!”

“Apple Bloom?” a pair of voices called out.

Suddenly, from out of their hiding places, Apple Bloom saw the familiar faces of Big Macintosh and Granny Smith emerge. They dashed over and scooped her up in their hooves.

“We thought y’all were captured!” Granny Smith said, giving Apple Bloom a squeeze. “Oh, we’re so happy to see ya safe and sound!”

“Eeyup!” Big Macintosh agreed.

Other ponies began to emerge from their hiding places, surrounding the fillies and welcoming them in. Some of them looked with shock at Sweetie Belle.

“That’s what they’re doing to us?” a pale yellow mare with a curly orange mane asked. “They’re turning us into robots?”

“’Fraid so, Ms. Carrot Top.” Apple Bloom replied.

“Awesome!” a white unicorn with a spiky blue mane and purple sunglasses cried. “That would be totally wicked if that happened to me!”

“It isn’t like that, Ms. Scratch!” Sweetie Belle said. “I don’t know how I broke out of it, but the robotitotization makes your brain all loopy-like, so you serve that big fat guy with the mustache.”

“Really, Vinyl.” a grey pony with a soft English accent and a flowing black mane stated. “You don’t honestly think that this Eggman would be doing anything to us that we would enjoy, do you?”

“Aw, lighten up, Tavi!” Vinyl Scratch replied.

“I told you to call me Octavia, and this situation calls for anything but lightening up, Vinyl.” Octavia replied. “Ms. Lyra Heartstrings is right. Those robots could be back at any minute. Sweet Apple Acres may be well-built, but it is hardly a fortress.”

“She’s right.” Bon-Bon agreed. “We need to get to somewhere safe?”

“But where?” Carrot Top asked.

Scootaloo jumped up on a table. “Alright, everypony listen! I met someone who comes from the same world as this Eggman bozo, when Twilight Sparkle and Rainbow Dash and their friends were on an important mission from Princess Celestia. He said he used to fight this Eggman guy when he was just a kid, and that there was one place where he could always hide and defend. The forest!”

Everypony gasped. “You mean go into the Everfree Forest?” Bon-Bon cried out.

“That’s insane!” Lyra cried. “Even for me!

“Now hold on just a gol-dern minute here!” Granny Smith shouted above the hullabaloo. “I went into that forest lots of times as a filly, and I still lived to a ripe old age. T’aint nothin’ in there we all can’t handle if’n we stick together!”

“What about timberwolves? Manticores? Cockatrices?” Carrot Top asked.

“Phooey on them!” Granny Smith replied. “When we founded Sweet Apple Acres here, this was nothin’ but wilderness. We had ta learn how ta deal with all sorts of nasty varmints. And anyhoo, it’s either go into Everfree, of become one’a them souped-up wind-up toys. No offense, Sweetie Belle.”

“None taken!” Sweetie Belle replied.

“This idea is outrageous.” Octavia stated. “But… perhaps outrageous enough to keep this ruffian from pursuing us.”

“That’s the spirit, Octy!” Vinyl Scratch cried. “And if anyone tries to mess with us, I’ll just give ‘em a taste of my
WUBS!!!” She whipped out a giant, wheel-mounted subwoofer set.

“Then it’s settled!” Granny Smith cried. “To the forest!”

*************************************************************************************************

The ponies trudged through the forest, warily looking to and fro. From time to time, they saw unfriendly eyes glaring out at them, but nothing they encountered dared attack such a large group of ponies.

“W-where exactly are we headed?” Carrot Top asked.

“You’ll see!” Granny Smith replied.

Finally, they stopped in front of a ravine. Granny Smith pointed across.

“There you have ‘em!” she exclaimed. “The Everfree Ruins!”

Everypony stared in shock. “Woah. Time out, Granny!” Vinyl Scratch exclaimed, shaking her hooves in front of herself. “We’re hiding here? This is, like, the most haunted place in the entire Everfree!”

“Aw, nuts to that!” Granny Smith replied. “That’s just a bunch of hooey. The Everfree Forest is dangerous enough without silly ponies making up stories!”

“But there’s no bridge.” Bon-Bon pointed out. “How will we get across?”

“Big Mac?” Granny Smith said. “Please help us cross.”

Big Macintosh silently walked over to a large nearby tree. Swinging his powerful legs, he bucked the tree over, knocking it so it landed across the ravine.

“Now, everypony take your supplies and git on over!” Granny Smith cried. “This’ll be where we’ll be stayin’ for a while!”

*************************************************************************************************

As the ponies sat around the fire later, Apple Bloom sniffed sadly.

“I wanna go home.” she whimpered.

“Me too.” Scootaloo agreed.

“Now, don’t you fret.” Granny Smith said brightly. “It’s just like a campin’ trip! Try and think of it that way, and might seem so bad.”

“Yeah, if by camping trip, you mean we lost our homes and have to hide from evil robots.” Scootaloo said dejectedly.

“Now, don’t you worry.” Bon-Bon said calmly. “This is only going to be for a short while. Once Princess Celestia finds out about this, she’ll come and save us.”

“But Sweetie Belle said that Eggman has the Elements of Harmony!” Apple Bloom said.

“Then we’ll get ‘em back!” Lyra cried, jumping to her hooves and pumping her forelegs like fists. “We’ll be unstoppable! This’ll be just like that adventure we had before! Right, Carrot Top?”

Carrot Top sighed. “I… I don’t know. But we’ve faced some bad times before, and gotten through, and somepony always saved us, even if we had to save ourselves. I guess we can make it.”

“We will make it.” Octavia stated firmly. “And Lyra is right. If we can, we must try to get back the Elements of Harmony. Twilight Sparkle and her friends may be gone, but they might find a way here to retrieve them. Or… well, I don’t mean to be a pessimist, but if the worst were to happen, and Twilight Sparkle and her friends could not return, perhaps we could find somepony who could use the Elements.”

“Rainbow Dash is coming back no matter what!” Scootaloo shouted.

Octavia flinched. She had forgotten that some of Twilight’s friends had family here.

“Forgive me.” she said apologetically. “If anypony could find a way back, it would be them. And I doubt Celestia would leave even one of her subjects lost far away from home.”

“Yeah, don’t worry!” Vinyl Scratch reassured the fillies. “Trust me, I was there at Canterlot when Chrysalis attacked, and I assure you nopony’s gonna take down Twilight Sparkle and her gang. This Eggman chump is totally toast when they get back.”

Bon-Bon leaned over and whispered to the fillies. “I think you should check on your friend.” she said softly. “She seems… really distraught. It must be really hard for her, with all she’s having to go through.”

Scootaloo and Apple Bloom traded glances, then looked out at Sweetie Belle, who was staring at the sky.
Softly, they walked up to her side.

“I heard what you guys were saying.” Sweetie Belle said. “And Eggman said Rarity isn’t coming back.”

“That’s a lie!” Scootaloo cried. “They’re all coming back! All of them!”

Sweetie Belle lowered her head. “Scootaloo? Apple Bloom? I’m scared. I’m really worried about Rarity. I miss Ponyville, and my mom and dad.”

“You sound like you’re handlin’ it better than us.” Apple Bloom stated. “I was bawlin’ my eyes out a while ago.”

Sweetie Belle shook her head. “That’s just it. I’m sad, but I can’t cry. I even tried to, but it didn’t work.” She sighed. “I can’t even cry. I’m not a real pony at all.”

“Of course y’all are a real pony!” Apple Bloom said, putting a hoof on Sweetie Belle’s shoulder. “You’re our friend! And that’ll never change!”

Sweetie Belle raised her head as a breeze blew through their manes.

“Do you feel that? The wind?” Sweetie Belle asked.

“Yeah.” Apple Bloom and Scootaloo replied.

“Well I don’t.” Sweetie Belle replied. “I can hear things, lots more things than before. And I can see all sorts of things I never could before as well. Nothing’s dark to me; I can see in the dark as easily as I see in the daytime. But I don’t feel anything.” She stomped her hoof angrily. “Why can’t I feel anything?!”

“Sweetie Belle, it’s going to be okay….” Scootaloo reassured her.

“No it’s not!” Sweetie Belle shouted, the robotic tinge obvious in her voice for a moment. “You know what? I didn’t tell anypony, but when I went out into the woods to collect firewood, a timberwolf tried to gobble me up. All it did was break its teeth on me. It was like when Pinkie Pie’s pet alligator bites you. I was too scared to tell anypony! You know why? It wasn’t the timberwolf that scared me, it was me! Now I’ve become scarier than a timberwolf! I’m a monster!”

Without warning, Sweetie Belle dashed off into the woods, leaping the ravine in a single bound.

“Sweetie Belle!” Scootaloo and Apple Bloom called after her.

“Aw, ponyfeathers.” Vinyl Scratch said, getting to her hooves. “Big Mac! We’d better go get her!”

“Eeyup.” Big Macintosh agreed, getting to his hooves as well.

“Vinyl, it’s not safe out there at night!” Octavia said. “Do be careful!”

“Hey, when am I not careful, Octy?” Vinyl Scratch asked with a grin.

“Most of the time, actually.” Octavia retorted.

Granny Smith suddenly looked about. “Where in tarnation are little Apple Bloom and Scootaloo?”

“Aw, they must have gone after Sweetie Belle!” Vinyl groaned. “Sweetie should be safe enough; I mean, she’s probably tougher than most of us since that robotification thing. But the other fillies could be in real danger!”

“Then we must find them immediately.” Octavia stated, getting to her hooves.

“Wait, Octy, this is dangerous. You should stay here.” Vinyl said. “Big Mac, me, and my bass cannon can handle this.”

“I’m not defenseless.” Octavia replied evenly, strapping an ornately decorated rapier to her side. “I didn’t spend all that time learning those fencing lessons for nothing. I thought you of all ponies would know that by now.”

“Enough talk! Let’s get those fillies!” Big Macintosh cried, dashing over the log bridge. Octavia and Vinyl Scratch followed closely behind as they followed the three fillies into the eerie blackness of the Everfree Forest.

*************************************************************************************************

Sweetie Belle plowed through the forest. Had she been able to cry, she would have been weeping, but now she had to bear her sorrow silently, which only made it worse.

Suddenly, from out of the bushes, a cockatrice leapt out. Sweetie Belle screamed and fell back as the cockatrice bore down on her.

But, to the cockatrice’s dismay, its petrifying gaze had no effect. Sweetie Belle began to realize it, too. She was already metal, the stuff of earth.

Shakily, she got to her hooves. She aimed her horn at the cockatrice, hoping she might be able to muster enough magic to throw it into the bushes.

“Go away, you meanie!” she cried.

Suddenly, to her shock, laser bolts began to erupt from her horn. The cockatrice squawked and ran for its life as Sweetie Belle accidentally singed the surrounding rocks, trying to control her fire.

As soon as she willed it, the lasers stopped. Sweetie Belle could only stare in shock at the still smoldering surroundings.

Had Rarity been there, and her mom and dad, Sweetie Belle might have thought that it was even kind of cool that she had these powers. But right now, she just felt very scared, and she wished that everything could go back to the way it was. She curled up on the ground and covered her eyes. Hey eyes were tearless, but inside, she was sobbing.

*************************************************************************************************

“She went this way!” Apple Bloom cried, galloping down a trail of crushed foliage that Sweetie Belle has smashed through. Logs had been knocked away, and small boulders flipped.

“Wow.” Scootaloo said, looking at the trail of destruction as they galloped along. “If she wasn’t so scared and sad about it, it could be pretty cool to be a robot.”

The two fillies dashed through the forest, following the trail of debris left in Sweetie Belle’s wake. They were so intent upon following the trail, that they didn’t notice the surrounding odor, growing stronger and stronger.
Suddenly, there was a rustling in the surrounding woods.

“What was that?” Scootaloo asked, giving a jump.

Apple Bloom looked about, and suddenly noticed the bad smell in the air. A smell like decaying leaves and rotted meat.

“Timberwolves.” she whispered.

She and Scootaloo looked about with terror in their eyes.

“Run!” Scootaloo cried.

The two fillies began to run faster than they ever had before in their lives. But wherever they turned, they saw glinting green eyes running beside them, herding them along.

They burst out of the foliage into a clearing. Suddenly, timberwolves leapt out all about them, circling them, surrounding them.
Apple Bloom and Scootaloo grabbed onto one another and screamed as the circle slowly closed in.

Sweetie Belle’s ears heard the screams, and for a moment, fear filled her little heart.
But where her friends were involved, Sweetie Belle wasn’t a coward. She leapt to her hooves. Her new abilities let her scan the area. Internal scanners quickly revealed the location of two young ponies.

Sweetie Belle was off like a flash, crashing through thorn bushes without so much as blinking, leaping over pits and ravines at least five times her own length.

As she neared she felt her sensor abilities growing weak. Her scans showed that the surrounding rock had some sort of magnetic effect that was interfering with her sensors.
“Dumb sensors.” she muttered. But she was close enough so that her heat-sensitive eyes could pick up the signatures of her friends.

She dashed towards them, leaping out of the bushes and clearing the ring of timberwolves to land directly next to Apple Bloom and Scootaloo.

“Sweetie Bell!” they cried in relieved joy.

Sweetie Belle stomped her hoof, and her horn crackled with electricity.

“You leave my friends alone!” she shouted at the timberwolves.

One timberwolf got too close. Sweetie Belle fired a laser that scorched its nose, sending it leaping back, howling. Another leapt at her, but she bucked it away, sending it flying into a bush.

“I said, leave them alone!” she shouted.

Suddenly, the air was torn by a shrieking thrum, and a large group of timberwolves went flying.
The fillies turned to see Vinyl Scratch with a large subwoofer set mounted on her shoulder, which she was firing like a sonic cannon. Beside her Big Macintosh and Octavia leapt out.

With his little sister in danger, Big Macintosh was a storm of rage. He had lost his parents to the timberwolves, he wasn’t about to lose anypony else.
The ground shook as he brought his hoof down upon a nearby timberwolf, then he spun about and bucked a pair clear over the treetops. Meanwhile, Octavia gracefully danced through the wooden beasts, slashing them down with her rapier.
The timberwolves were quickly defeated, and Big Macintosh hurried over to the three fillies.

“You okay?” he asked.

“Mm-hm.” they nodded, feeling relieved. All three of them grabbed Big Macintosh in a hug.

“Thank goodness. They’re safe.” Octavia breathed, sheathing her sword. “And Vinyl, you can stop shouting after those timberwolves. They can’t understand you, after all.”

“Yeah, but loud noises help keep creatures away.” Vinyl Scratch replied. Then her face lit up. “Speaking of which….” She pulled out a record and put in into her bass cannon, and the air was suddenly filled with loud dubstep beats.
Octavia sighed and shook her head, but as the little group went back to camp, with Big Macintosh carrying the little fillies on his back, not a single creature disturbed them.

Which was just as well. Vinyl was disturbing enough.

*************************************************************************************************

“I’m sorry I ran away and made everypony have to come find me.” Sweetie Belle apologized.

“Aw, we understand.” Granny Smith said kindly, giving the little filly a pat on the head. “You’re goin’ through an awful lot right now.”

“And any way’s you saved us!” Apple Bloom cried. “You ain’t a monster! You’re a hero!”

“More like a superhero!” Scootaloo squealed, her fears now forgotten. “You were like, ‘pow!, and then you went and zapped them, and it was like, ‘fzzzt!’, and then you whipped around and went ‘bam!’, just like that, and….”

“I… I did, didn’t I?” Sweetie Belle said, cheering up.

“Yeah, kid.” Vinyl Scratch said brightly. “You’re totally a hero!”

“I am?”

“Indeed.” Octavia stated. “You kept those timberwolves off long enough for us to come rescue you three, after all.”

“I… guess I did.” Sweetie Belle said, her metal mouth twisting into a smile.

“Now I’m sure we’ll be able to change you back to normal,” Bon-Bon assured her, “but until then, you might find that this isn’t so bad.”

“Yeah!” Lyra put in. “I mean, being a robot could be awesome!”

“And we all love you just the same!” Granny Smith stated.

“Eeyup!” Big Macintosh agreed.

Sweetie Belle gave a hug to Scootaloo and Apple Bloom. “I guess, you’re right! I may be Sweetie Bot on the outside, but inside, I’m the same old Sweetie Belle.”

“That’s right.” Granny Smith said. “Now you fillies better get off to bed. Tomorrow might be a little busy, ’cuz we have to round up the other ponies who escaped, and we have to make this place a little more homey. And don’t fret! The princesses will save us! They always do!”

Author's Note:

And now for something completely different.

We get to see just how Ponyville is reacting to the Eggman invasion. The Cutie Mark Crusaders and a good deal of background ponies get their time in the spotlight now. After all, do you really think that somepony like Big Macintosh or Vinyl Scratch would be taken in so easily?

Also, you may see a few unusual references between the background ponies. These are references to another fanfic I'm working on, but haven't published yet. Just in case you get a bit confused.

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