• Published 21st Jan 2017
  • 574 Views, 48 Comments

One Colt Army - VIRAnimation

The Cutie Mark Crusaders have been foalnapped, and it is up to one young colt to save the day! Can Rumble make it in time?

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Gabby Gums

DAY 2 – 7:30AM
The entire stretch of hallway leading up to monitoring room, the girls were fraught with worry. In the time that it took for them to cross from his play area to there, they had learned that the colt went by the name of Dox, expressed an uncanny fascination for his toys, and was remarkably ignorant towards the emotions of other ponies.

The way in which he'd belittle them, tripping them up and then reveling in his mischievous delight, might indicate that he was aware of the emotional anguish he inflicted upon others. His lack of response when other mercenaries mimicked his actions suggested otherwise. He would stare at their interactions and then carry on, spending no time to stand by in amusement as he brought the girls into the recording station.

Once inside, they were met with an unfamiliar sight. Mounted on the far wall was an array of large monitoring screens, each recording various locations on the base. An assortment of buttons and switches were assembled on top of a control station. Before the station were two ponies, who were both lulling their heads back in forth as if struggling to stay awake.

A third, with a cigar firmly resting in his mouth, was sitting on the other end of the room next to a small round table; standing on top of the table was a television set which emitted a dull, incessant static. The stallion smacked the television and muttered, “Damn thing's busted.” He then ran his hooves across a newspaper and lazily flipped through the pages.

Coming upon a section that made him laugh, he said, “Take a look at this. They have an article in the daily that talks about one pony's devastation after the loss of his magic and cutie mark. Now he must live forever talent-less... Just grow a pair, ya crybaby.” He then dug the end of his cigar into the picture of the stallion's face in the newspaper and burned a hole in the paper before tossing it into the trash.

“Attention, peasants!” Dox cried.

Immediately, all the occupants of the room stood at attention, sweat dripping down their faces as they fidgeted in place.

“I demand that you vacate these quarters immediately.” He eyed the three ponies menacingly before continuing, “My new partners here will be taking over your station and monitor these cameras for a bit.”

"Hey, we're not your partners!" Apple Bloom snapped. She was about to continue when she was interrupted by Dox, who placed his hoof over her mouth.

There was a collective sigh of relief from the operators, who unquestioningly yielded control of the station to the colt and fillies and exited out of the door they had just come through. Shutting the door behind them, Dox placed his hoof over a scanner, which captured a print of his hoof; the sound of the door latching could be heard.

“Here's what you're gonna do,” Dox said as he directed the fillies to the monitors. “You're gonna scan through every camera in the facility and write about all the embarrassing things you find about my father's mercs. I'll be back to check on you in an hour to check your progress. Don't disappoint me.”

His veiled threat was not very subtle, and he let those words simmer as he trotted over to the door, pressed his hoof to the scanner once more, and left them alone to their devices. After a moment, they heard the familiar locking mechanisms securing them inside.

Once alone, the Cutie Mark Crusaders was nothing to interrupt them from brainstorming another daring escape from the clutches of these nefarious villains. Apple Bloom studied the screens for a moment before she turned to her companions.

“I reckon I have a plan for gettin' us out of here.” Apple Bloom made sure they were listening closely before she said, “Scoots, I want you to look for a way out of this room. There might be a way to get that door unlocked. Sweetie Belle, you and I are gonna look for an escape route.”

“But Apple Bloom. What if he comes back? He was pretty rough with you earlier.” Sweetie Belle shuddered at the thought of Dox tormenting them again. She'd sooner be compliant to his demands than see him hurt either of her friends again.

Apple Bloom reassured her by placing a hoof over her withers. “Look, I know you're scared Sweets. I am too. I don't rightly know what I'm doin', but I ain't about to do what this Dox fella wants just cuz he asked us to. I ain't gonna let him touch you.

“Even if he did come back now, nothin' would look outta place since we're gonna be lookin' through these cameras anyways,” Apple Bloom said before she began pressing buttons on the console at random, trying to figure out how they worked. Shooting her a quick glance and still sensing her worry, she gave a friendly smile.

“Okay,” Sweetie Belle said weakly before joining her on the console, and together the two of them set their sights on learning the controls. There was one grouping of controls, each with three types of buttons, for each of the monitors. After messing with them for a short while, she discovered that one set adjusted the direction of the camera, while another adjusted its zoom. The final would patch through the audio feed picked up by the camera.

While studying one of the cameras, Apple Bloom spotted two stallions standing at ease just down the hall from them, talking animatedly back and forth with one another. 'Listenin' in on them might tell us somethin' about them,” She said as she pressed a button. The sound of their voice suddenly began to emit into the room.

“You think Raden's losing his shit? He's snapping at the smallest of things these days. Why I just saw him complaining about the phone lines being down during one of his comedy shows the other day,” One stallion said to another as they stood guard at their post.
“What do I care?” The other stomped his hoof and gave a his compatriot a glare. “He's only in charge because Trench Bloodhoof used his influence in the Black Panthers to promote him directly. If it weren't for that, I'd have personally left Raden dead long ago in the mines. Alex Brightwing is the rightful leader of the Black Panthers.”

“What are you talking about? He seems like a pretty alright chief to me...”

“You don't know nothin', do ya? We wait at beck and call for Bloodhoof. We put up with his bastard of a son or we’ll get thrown into the mines with the slaves and other traitors. And what does Raden do? He lets it happen! Well, I'll let you in on a secret. We're planning a coup. We'll steal the Black Panthers back from Trench, and we'll do it with or without Raden.”

“Shh...Raden's coming. He's going to hear you.”

“What do I care? Let him hear. He's not gonna do nothin'.”

Raden entered the room from a door on the opposite side of the hallway and eavesdropped on the guards. His demeanor, initially placid, shifted into one of seething anger. He did nothing to interrupt them.

“Well, I do. And I'm not comfortable talking about mutiny.”

The second stallion gasped in shock. “You're one of them aren't you? You damn loyalist. This conversation's over.”

Annoyed, Raden stomped back into his room to sulk.

While thinking of how well the scene would fit into a Gabby Gums issue, as much as the mere thought of it disgusted her, Sweetie Belle turned back to her own station and scanned through the monitors for anything of interest on her end. Finding two other ponies in the midst of a discussion, she decided to listen in on them.

“Psst, hey Bob. Can I tell ya something?”

“What's up?”

“While I was going through my rounds the other day, I caught this hilarious footage that I think you should totally check out.” He pulled out a mobile device. Straining her eyes to concentrate on the video, she zoomed and adjusted the focus until she could clearly see the scene play out. The image was somewhat distorted, but there was no mistaking the colt on the stallion's device. It was Dox.

"Oh noes, the Gak monsta's gonna have its way with me, some hot stallion save me," Dox said as he held a pony figurine in one hoof and Gak – a sticky green material that was somewhere between a solid and a liquid - in the other.

"Mwahahaha, I'm gonna enjoy this,” he said in imitation of a monster's voice. He then proceeded to emit a cry as he pounded the Gak against the figure. He meshed the goo until it enveloped the doll. He then picked up a GI Colt doll, whose design drastically differed from the previous doll. “Don't worry, my love, I'll save you from the perverted Gak!”

He made a fake death sound as he squeezed the doll and crushed the head of the pony doll. “You're too late Dox, I took your wife's prized treasure and her life along with it. You must be torn apart about it."

“I don't know what that means, but I know how to defeat you!” He smashed the two toys together and flung them together on the floor. He then let out a cackle in delight. “Victory is mine!”

The other stallion looks at his friend, "You know Trench will kill us if he finds out we're making fun of his son?"

“What he doesn't know won't hurt him,” The first said just before putting his mobile device away.

Sweetie Belle's attention was diverted when Apple Bloom nudged her. “Sweetie Belle, in case we can't find a way outta here right away, do you reckon we should write these events down for the Gabby Gums issue?” The farm filly asked. Before waiting for a reply, she was already pulling out a notepad and pencil, and she began to furiously scribble down the notes.

“It can't hurt, I suppose,” Sweetie Belle said as she weighed their options. For all the careful planning they were doing, it wouldn't do them any good if they were placed back in confinement, under the trained eye of a guard, if they didn't appease Dox before the enacted on said plan. But that meant knowingly hurting the feelings of others, even if those feelings belonged to rotten villains.

“Whatever we do, we don't have much time before he gets back,” Scootaloo said from the door. Her attention was still focused on the security mechanism. “I can't figure out how this thing works at all.” she muttered before smacking her head against the door; a loud thud echoed in the chamber, and the pegasus filly groaned in defeat. “I hope you have another plan Apple Bloom, because there's no way we're getting through here.”

While Apple Bloom stood up and joined Scootaloo over by the door, Sweetie Belle turned back to the monitoring station. As her eyes scrolled across the monitors, one of the screens caught her attention as she saw somepony skulking from one bush, followed shortly by an older mare, before disappearing behind another. “Is that who I think it is? No, why would he be out here? I must be imagining things.”

“Girls, we're on television,” Scootaloo stated.

Turning back around, Sweetie Belle saw Scootaloo in front of the tv on the far side of the room. She fiddled with it until she managed to turn up the volume.

Curious herself, she got up and trotted over to the television. The broadcast was distorted, its incoming picture intermingled with static, but she could still make out a picture of them on the screen, outlined by a box entitled 'FOALNAPPED'.

“...Three fillies by the name of Apple Bloom, Scootaloo, and Sweetie Belle have vanished without a trace yesterday. Their teacher, Ms. Cheerilee, reported them to have been heading towards one of their classmate's home around three in the afternoon, but they never reached their destination.

“Thunderlane, who was home at the time of the disappearance, states that they never came by to drop off his younger brother's, Rumble, homework. He also confirms that in addition to the missing girls, his brother is also nowhere to be found. A note found in the colt's room suggests that a suspected foalnapping has taken place. If you spot any illicit activity, do not hesitate report the offense at 555-AMBER, as the lives of these poor fillies may be at stake.

“In other news, Dr. Hooves' new invention has led to new breakthroughs in the science of magic and its restoration properties. Salted Pair, who has been suffering his loss of magic since the Tirek incident, has this to say...”

Slipping in between them, Apple Bloom made her way to the television set and flipped the power off. “Girls, we're tryin' ta find a way outta here. We ain't got time ta be watchin' the telly.”

The sound of hoofsteps suddenly present down the hallway alarmed them to the possible return of Dox. “Girls, he’s comin’! We need ta get out of here,” Apple Bloom said.

“What about sticking to the plan? Didn’t you say we were going to fool him if he came back early?” Sweetie Belle asked as she heard the hoofsteps grow louder.

“I know what I said, Sweetie Belle, but I don’t rightly feel like that’s an option. Truth is, I was plannin’ from the start to get at least you outta here. I ain’t about to let that pervert touch you.” Apple Bloom didn’t wait to hear her response before continued to search up high and down low.

“Yeah, as much as it pains me to say it, Apple Bloom’s right. I think you’re in more danger than we are,” Scootaloo said, agreeing with the farm filly.

Shuddering with disgust, Sweetie Belle nodded in understanding. Together, they dropped all pretense of quietly planning their escape and desperately looked for an exit. The three of them dashed all over the room in search until one of them spotted an air duct on the ceiling. “Over there!” Scootaloo shouted.

They wasted no time in climbing on top of each other, forming a pillar with Sweetie Belle at the top in an attempt to reach the duct. Even with the added height, she had trouble getting a grasp on the metal grating of the duct. Being fastened in place, the infuriating object wouldn’t budge right away even when she had managed to smack her fore hooves into it.

When it finally did break, they could already hear the door unlatching. Sweetie Belle glanced down at her friends worriedly. With the duct being so high in the air, and with them having so little time as they did, there was only enough time for one of them to make it out of there before Dox reentered the room.

She could have left; she should have, but she instead hesitated. It was assured that Dox would not take kindly to this overt act of defiance. In her absence, he would very likely bring harm to Scootaloo and Apple Bloom.

Apple Bloom must have sensed her hesitation. From the bottom of the pillar, the farm filly shifted her weight, nearly toppling them over. “Hurry! He’s just on the other side of that door, and at least one of us has ta go tell Ponyville where we’re at. I know it ain’t a good plan, but it’s the best we got.”

Sweetie Belle gave a nod of affirmation and steeled herself, grabbing onto to the edge of the duct to pull herself up. With Scootaloo readjusting her so that her hooves stood on top of the pegasus’ head, she was given the final push she needed for her to bring herself the rest of the way.

Then she heard the door open.

“Hey girls, how’s the article coming…” She heard Dox say. She tried not to look down at him. The cat was out of the bag now. She groaned as she put all her strength into her forehooves. She could already feel them bruising against the rigid edge of the passageway, but the pain was dulled by the adrenaline coursing through her veins.

Suddenly, her hind hooves grasped at air, and she could feel herself slipping despite her best efforts to hold herself up. In a final act of desperation she tried to give herself another push with the help of her magic. When her expectations were met with the realization that the magic would not come at all, she was already halfway into her spell. How could she have forgotten that her magic was still sealed?

By that time, she was dangling with only a single hoof keeping her from falling back into the room below her. Her appendage screamed in agony as it endured her full weight; switching tactics, she swung about and tried to wedge herself into the confined space with her hind hooves.

She miscalculated and fell.

“No!” She screamed as her back slammed roughly into a warm body below. Tears welled up in her eyes as she stared up at the air duct, open and inviting yet out of reach. Would she taste freedom ever again?

She could hear Apple Bloom groaning from below her. She was about to check on her to make sure she was okay when she was roughly grabbed and pulled up. Abruptly, she came face to face with Dox, who was none too pleased.

“I thought I told you not to run again!” Dox yelled as he slammed her face into the wall, and then she was out cold.

Normally, Raden did not count himself as being the type of pony to get flustered easily, but the extenuating circumstances as of late were simply too much to simply brush aside.

There he was, sitting in a desk and pouring through their staff records for the hundredth time that hour, chasing phantoms that weren’t there. Only, they were, and the fool outside his door confirmed as much. There were traitors in his midst, scheming to overthrow his command. He needed to figure out who, and fast, before Trench made it back to the base this evening.

With a frustrated sigh, Raden set his electronic pad down and rubbed his temples. “Bloody hell, now what am I going to do? I broke the boss’s rule, and now this. Blimey, I’m so screwed, I can forget being privy to his inner circle, let alone remaining command of this station after this. And all for what, to achieve the respect of his spoiled son and a few extra bits? As if the bloke respects anypony but himself!”

Leaning back in his chair, he tried to put the situation to the back of his mind for just a few moments by flipping on a television that was sitting next to the pad on his desk. As soon as the machine powered on, he was met with a blast of static deafening his ears. Irritation setting in, he snapped the power back off, nudging it across the desk with more force than he had meant to use.

“I can’t even relax…The bloody cable line’s been cut. It must be Dox again.” For a moment, his eyes were fixated on the device; the few laughs the spoiled colt derived from this came at the expense of his beloved Pay-per-view, his one true form of escapism as of late.

He then eyed a phone on the other side of his pad with trepidation. He swallowed hard, finally working up the nerve to call his boss. Grabbing the phone, he dialed the digits - buttons sized appropriately to operate by anypony - of his boss’s number.

The phone rang once, and then twice. On the third ring, there was an answer on the other side of the line. For a brief moment, there was nothing but silence as his entire train of thought was derailed by Trench’s voice.

Hello? Who’s there? Is this Alex? You know I hate your silent types the worst. All action and no talk. I can never predict what you will do next, but assuredly it’ll be nothing smart. The lot of you seem to have brains the size of peanuts.”

“I do quite loathe to be mixed in with the lot of them, sir. I fancy myself as being of a higher stature in life.” There was a forcefulness to his voice that he could not quite suppress, much to his chagrin. His appearance was everything, and showing weakness was unbecoming. He needed to show his boss that he was resolute, now more so than ever; being newly assigned as the commander of the Black Panthers did not give him justification over any screwups.

Oh, it’s just you Raden,” Trench responded. “I know you’re not like the rest of them. That’s why I put you in charge after all. Do you have a progress report of this week’s net avenue in jewels ready to deliver?”

“Actually, no. I have something else that is sorely in need of discussion.” Raden carefully constructed his thoughts before forming them into words; it was key that the bloke didn’t misinterpret him. “Under the orders of your son, we have come under the acquisition of some. . .merchandise.”

What kind of merchandise?” Trench asked, aggravation clearly present in his tone. “This better not be what I think it is. You know how much I hate surprises.

This was it. He’d either immediately demoted and thrown in the mines with the rest of the traitors and slaves down in the mines, or granted the highest commendation possible by Prince Bloodhoof for honoring his son’s request. “He requested that I foalnap the Cutie Mark Crusaders.”

An unsettling silence overtook their conversation. Raden counted the seconds passing by, and with each second that passed, his anxiousness grew. He gripped the phone tersely and pursed his lips.

We’ll discuss this when I land.” By the way Trench’s voice was dripping with anger, there was no doubt in Raden’s mind that he was in trouble.

Raden intended to quell his anger by delivering a series of platitudes and apologies for not handling the situation better, but before he could respond, however, he heard the sound of a click, indicating that Trench had ended the connection. For a moment, he stood stalk still and stared at the wall.

There were few moments where Raden felt true rage. This was one of those moments. Before the phone had even left his hoof, it had already been smashed into several pieces, and when it hit the wall on the far side of the room, the resulting debris scattered in every direction.

His was vaguely aware of the vigorous roar that escaped his lips as the television and the rest of the contents of his desk were brushed off the table from an intense shove. He then flipped his table in a show of great strength.

In the aftermath of the destruction, his breath was staggering. Other than the sounds of his labored breathing, the room was eclipsed in silence once more. The damage did nothing to diminish his anger, nor his uneasiness.

Author's Note:

A sight for sore eyes for Gabby Gums, who is forced into resurrection by the CMC through extenuating circumstance. Unwilling to participate, what lies in store for them next?