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Credit to Team; Homesick; Pauling; Hot Potato

Pinkie ran out of spawn, a smile plastered on her face. Unbeknownst to her however, a RED spy waited on the RED battlements, scoping for his next victim. ‘The Pink one does the same thing every time. Bounce through the door, kill everything in sight, I stab her when her back’s turned. Might as well cut the time’ He saw her drop onto the bridge. ‘Perfect. I’ll just jump down and…’ Before he finished he saw a strange twitch in her tail. She stopped on the ramp in. He jumped down, landing right behind her like a ghost. Before he could uncloak, however, she threw a fierce kick backwards, nailing him in the head and dropping him to the ground, dead. Pinkie turned around, surprised, but shrugged and continued inside.

“What just happened?” The Spy rubbed his head. “There wasn’t anyway she could have heard me”

“Hey, Frenchy! Y’wanna shape shift inta something who’s helping get rid of dat damn heavy that’s spawn campin?” The red scout ran past him, opening the door to reveal that she was just outside their door, mowing them down.

“Feh. Typical” He cloaked and walked toward the door. The demo ran out in front of him, and she turned to attack him. The door shut before he saw the aftermath. He got close, once again invisible, but stopped as he heard her voice on the other side of the door.

“Ear flop… eye flutter… knee twitch”

‘Great, she’s lost her mind. Now I can call it a mercy kill’ He walked out the door and she turned around, cracking her front hoof into his invisible jaw, killing him

“What the hell!?” He respawned, holding his head. She’d hit him in the same place. “There’s no way she would have known!” He ran out the door, furiously hunting for her. But any time he got close, somehow she would know. Dropping from the battlements, right outside BLU spawn, even hiding on the bridge, she always got him first.

He was nearly foaming at the mouth as he grabbed the Dead Ringer. As he dropped down from the battlements, he saw her. Pinkie’s minigun started spinning. He ran at her, taking several minigun bullets. After a few he dropped the fake corpse and maneuvered behind her, dropping the cloak and swinging wildly. He missed once, and she turned around.

“WHY”

He swung and cut her arm.

“DON’T”

Another swing that missed.

“YOU”

A slash across her other arm.

“DIE!!?”

Pinkie backed up, than pulled out boxing gloves from behind her back and hitting the him square. She looked around confused. Dash walked up to her.

“Hey Pinkie, what‘s up? I haven‘t seen you all day. You okay? You seem kinda freaked”

“My Pinkie sense has been going off all day, but nothing is happening. Plus, every time I try to shake it off I keep hitting some invisible thing!” Pinkie looked around, eying the sky.

Dash looked over the dead spy and pieced it together. She threw an arm around her friend. “Pinkie, I think you’ll be fine. C’mon, I need some power to clear the court” Pinkie followed Dash, still looking around.

RED Spy sat in the respawn, humiliated. “Screw it, I’m going after the Bunny from now on”

-----

The crew sat around their fire, sharing their stories of the day, and just generally chatting. Everyone seemed to be in good spirits, except for Applejack, who’s eyes were transfixed on the fire.

“Anything wrong, Applejack?” She looked up and noticed that Twilight was staring at her, concern obvious on her face.

“Yeah, I’m fine” She tried to put on a smile, but her eyes betrayed her.

Twilight looked at her skeptically. “AJ, you know you’re terrible at lying”

She sighed. “I guess I’m just homesick. I miss Applebloom and Big Mac and Granny” She thought of the farm, and her family

Twilight looked down. “I think we’re all getting that way. I haven’t seen Spike since… How long have we been here?” She worried about the letters to Celestia that she couldn’t do. Any time she learned some new lesson about friendship, she wrote it down and placed it her saddlebag. But she was quickly running out of paper and down to her last quill. Hopefully they could get it working soon.

“Almost 2 months” Rarity said almost immediately. “Sweetie must be positively worried sick” She hoped that her sister had stayed with someone. With her only caretaker gone, Sweetie couldn’t fend for herself for two months.

“I bet Gummy’s bouncing off the walls without me there” Pinkie imagined that she would open the door and find her room torn to shreds, bite marks everywhere despite Gummy’s obvious lack-thereof. The image made her giggle slightly.

“I hope the animals are doing ok without me” Fluttershy looked at Angel, who was in a fierce staring contest with the soldier. ‘Angel is one of the few that can handle himself without help. Oh, I hope someone is taking care of them’

“Well The Great and Powerful Trixie does not have time to worry of home! For she travels across the land, making the world her home!” Even with her usual volume, she cast a doubting look downward. “Still… Trixie would hate to see her last tour end in such controversy. Rallied into a magical duel and then never seen again?” She shook her head. Everyone had grown used to her, and now Trixie had to work even harder to put on her façade.

“And I’ll bet you’re missing Scootaloo, Dash”

“I guess,” Dash said in a melancholy, sotto voice. In truth, while she missed the kid who treated her as an idol, she realized she didn’t have near as much as the others to go back to. The Wonderbolts and Scootaloo where the only reasons, really. Her heart reached for her throat as she fought back the thought. But she dared not show this to the others. If there was one thing she refused to show, it was weakness. To her relief the topic changed to something cheerier.

Derpy lay away from the group, notebook laid out again. While the others talked amongst themselves, she preferred to not let the others see her write. Everyone tended to label her as scatterbrained, or dumb, and she’d grown to accept that she couldn’t change it. Not at the moment, anyways. She shook the mask off, customized so that it only covered her muzzle, and grabbed the pen in her mouth.

‘Dearest journal.

I fear that my pages may become to vast too hold in this journal. As I write I am nearing the final twelve or so pages, so I shall try to be more brief in order to extend their longevity.

I have overheard Ms. Sparkle say that she is having difficulty understanding the blueprints. The most difficult part seems to be the understanding of this universes spatial relation to our own. However, it seems that once we figure out the location, all that would be left to do is acquire a large enough power source to run the teleporter. The blueprints for it have been modified accordingly.

The others have began talk of home. It’s peculiar, they seem to avoid the subject when possible, trying to push past the anguish to work on the solution. I find it quite commendable.

I miss her so much. It rends my heart to think that I may never see Dinky again. It is my sincerest hope no harm may come to her, or me. She needs her mother…’

A few tear drops smudged the ink before she even realized she was crying. She wiped her hoof across her eye and signed off, closing the book. As she went put it away, she felt a hand around her shoulder. She looked up into the reflective glass of the Pyro’s eyes, who seemed concerned. She sniffled, and laid the notebook out. After reading through the pages, the Pyro nodded solemnly and sat beside her. It seemed strange, but she felt safe around her new friend. She fell asleep, letting the fire dancing be the last sight before she drifted to sleep.

-----

“Ms. Pauling, how do our mercenaries fare today?” Ms Pauling heard the voice behind her, her eyes trained on the screens showing every facet of 2-fort, RED and BLU. The gaunt Administrator took a drag from her cigarette.

“The usual, Ma‘am”

“Why, you seem as though you don’t have your usual enthusiasm”

“Long night, I guess” ‘Which isn’t a lie’ She thought. She stood up, letting the Administrator take her usual seat.

“Well, get to work on your duties. We are not paying you to slack off”

“Yes ma’am” She grabbed her clipboard and headed to her usual office, her head swimming. The day before she had been tasked to watch the cameras, and had overheard the Sniper’s conversation. She had tried to forget her actions that day, but the story had dredged it back up. ‘It’s not fair. I was under orders! It was him or me!’ The night had been spent, not watching the cameras, but watching the old tapes. The first day's specifically.

She sighed and looked at the first item on the clipboard. She grimaced as she picked up the phone and dialed. “Mr. Hale?”

“Ah! It’s that plucky Ms. Pauling! I suppose you’re calling about the new weapons for the season?“

“Yes”

“Well, I don’t have them”

“What do you mean - “

“Fired the men in R&D. Buncha slackers, all of them. Spent a week on a shotgun! Aren’t hats the easier solution?”

“No Mr. Hale, You were supposed to have new weapons“

“Welp, sorry little lady, I don’t have any”

“Not a one?”

“Would a hippie protest sign work as a weapon?”

“I suppose, but… Mr. Hale? Mr. Hale?” she hung up as the other line went dead. She hated talking to that man. “Those ponies… they’re changing everything. The routines, the people, everything… I don’t think this is going to end well…”

"Ms. Pauling" Her intercom buzzed.

"Yes, Administrator?"

"Drop whatever you're doing. I have a new order for you" ...
-----

Angel relaxed on Derpy’s back as they walked, looking for new enemies. The two had become unlikely friends for a simple reason: neither had to say a word to communicate. The two hung around each other, Angel handling bigger and farther away targets and Derpy taking closer foes. He pulled the helmet over his eyes, starting to nod off. A jarring stop woke him up, however. He looked up to find them on the edge of the bridge. He cast his eye down the planks to see the enemy Pyro standing still on the other side, looking at them. ‘Taunting us’ Angel decided. He picked up his rocket launcher and fired. The Enemy didn’t move. Just before the rocket hit, a burst of air emanated and the rocket changed it’s course right back to them.

Derpy ducked quickly, the rocket flying over her head. She stood back up slowly. Angel looked back at the scorch mark on the wall, and turned back around to see a flare hit him, setting him aflame. He felt a second one hit, much harder. With the last of his strength he pulled the trigger again before falling limp. The enemy blasted the rocket back, but she was ready this time, hitting the second trigger and sending it back herself.

The enemy sent it right back, unmoving. Derpy returned it, also unmoving.

Enemy.

Her.

Enemy.

Her.

The rocket flew back and forth on the bridge, it’s two combatants only movement being the pull of a trigger. The world seemed to move in slow motion as she calculated exactly when the hit the trigger.

She sent it back a final time. ‘I’m out of ammo!’ The foe hit the second switch and the flamethrower clicked. A panicked look downward and the Pyro dodged to the right, the hot potato rocket slamming into RED base. An air of tension between the two lasted for an eon. Her opponent slowly lowered the flamethrower to the ground, and walked across the bridge, no weapon in hand.

She stayed on her guard. ‘It’s a trick’ It felt like a lifetime before the firebug crossed the bridge. She gawked at a gloved hand being extended. Tentatively, she grasped it, and they shared a firm handshake. The Pyro ran back across, grabbing the flamethrower and disappearing into the building.

She sat there for a little bit, trying to piece together what happened. When she came out of her thoughts a white paw was waving in front of her face. She looked at an angry Angel, who jumped on her back and pointed toward the building. She smiled beneath her mask and charged forward.

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