MLPU: The Invincible Iron Mare

by TheInvincibleIronBrony

First published

Rainbow Dash is Iron Mare.

Rainbow Dash, a talented young flyer, rich, inventor of some of the most advanced technologies in Equestria and to the pleasure of stallions every where, single. However her cushy life takes a turn when she is mortally wounded and taken hostage by a radical Diamond Dog terrorist group. But Rainbow creates her greatest invention in order to escape. When her back is to the wall Rainbow Dash will become The Invincible Iron Mare.

Cowritten with General Soarin(Chapter 4 and on.)

Co-written with Avenging-Hobbits (Prologue-Chapter 4.)

Picture borrowed (without permission heh) from AlienFirst on Deviant Art


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“Today’s the day,” Rainbow Dash grinned as she pulled the pair of goggles over her face and adjusted her flight suit. She thought herself to be one of the greatest stunt flyers to come out of Cloudsdale. Her thoughts were correct, as she had been given the opportunity to try out for her idols, the Wonderbolts, Equestria’s most famous flying team. All at the young age of seventeen. Ever since she had received the news, she’d been preparing her routine for months in preparation and she felt more than ready. She took a deep breath and entered the stadium that the Wonderbolts used for their practice. Off to one side of the arena, was a table sculpted out of cloud. Seated there were Spitfire, Captain of the Wonderbolts, well known for being the youngest captain in Wonderbolt history, and Soarin, the co-Captain of the team. Both were dressed in their Wonderbolt uniforms

“Rainbow Dash?” Spitfire asked, looking down at the clipboard she held in her hooves.

“Did my mane give it away?” Rainbow joked, a smirk playing on her lips.

“She’s funny,” Soarin commented, giggling slightly.

Spitfire simply glanced towards Soarin. “Well that won’t get her through this,” she said sternly, turning to give Rainbow a hard look. “Okay, here’s the deal kid,” the yellow pegasus began,”We don’t have a whole lot of time today, so you can’t have a long routine. We would prefer that you do a favorite stunt or something like that. Make it a good one.”

Rainbow Dash blinked in surprise. One trick? I prepared a whole routine dammit, the pegasus thought. Instead of voicing her thoughts, she continued to smirk, doing her best to project her aura of confidence. “Works for me,” She replied.

Spitfire nodded. “Alright then.”

Wasting no time Rainbow spread her wings and took off, aiming for the upper atmosphere high above the flying city she called home. She climbed until the city below was nothing more then another white dot in the sky below. She paused, taking in the view. goes... Taking a deep breath, she flipped over backwards so that she was facing the ground and fell into a straight dive.

Back in the stadium, Soarin and Spitfire watched with interest. “What’s she doing?” Soarin asked.

“Something stupid,” Spitfire replied with an uninterested tone , shaking her head.

In the air Rainbow Dash could see that the stadium was rapidly coming closer and closer. A mach cone began to form around her. Rainbow’s body started to vibrate with the forces of the air buffeting her body, causing her to have difficulty keeping control. she noticed that she had begun to drift off course. Come on you got this, the cyan pegasus thought to herself as she pushed forward regardless of the danger. Just a little can do it... Then, the worst possible scenario became a reality. The wind resistance became too much for the young Pegasus’ wings to handle and she spun out of control.

Meanwhile down below, Spitfire and Soarin’s concern grew as the tiny blue dot came closer and closer, now moving about erratically.

“What’s going on?” Soarin asked, looking at Spitfire expectantly. Spitfire kept her eyes fixed on the dot.

“I don’t know...” she replied.

All of a sudden, they were greeted by Rainbow Dash’s voice screaming at the top of her lungs. “Oooh CRAAAAAPPP!” She shrieked as she hurtled through the clouds that made up the floor of the arena, her body nothing more than a multicolored blur to their eyes.

“Did she do that on purpose?” Soarin asked blinking, seemingly unable to process what he had just seen.

“No and at that speed she’ll be paste if she hits the ground,” Spitfire said, bolting into action with Soarin not far behind.

Meanwhile, Rainbow Dash panicked as she tried to right herself, the moisture from the clouds she’d passed through making it that much more difficult to get her feathers back in the right positions. “No, no, nooooo!” the frightened pegasus shouted as she saw the ground quickly growing closer and closer by the second. She looked around wildly, searching for something to slow her down. She noticed a cloud drifting lazily in the distance. She quickly began tilting her body in its direction, sending her tumbling in the direction of the cloud.

Once she was close enough she reached out for the cloud, hoping to grab it and hopefully slow her descent. She cheered on the inside when her hands came in contact with the cloud, unfortunately her speed proved too great and she wound up pulling the cloud along for the ride. Her speed had dropped significantly due to the cloud, but the tree tops of the forest below were still getting closer. Rainbow started scanning the trees looking for the tallest one she could get too. Deciding on an oak a few hundred feet away she waited for the right moment and then pushed downward on the cloud and towards the tree.

Dash started to panic again when the cloud left her grasp, but quickly focused on the tree. Seconds before she collided with the top of the tree she tilted her body towards the nearest branch and attempted to grab it. The branch snapped off due to the force but slowed Rainbow down enough to regain control. What Rainbow Dash hadn’t counted on was the rest of the tree. All of a sudden she felt her head impact the trunk of the tree knocking her unconscious as everything went white . Her suddenly limp body then proceeded to fall through the trees limbs, hitting each one hard until she slammed into one branch back first, her wings crushed between her and the bark with a sickening crunch.


Spitfire and Soarin meanwhile, tried to catch up with the falling pegasus, but she had been moving much too fast for them. They had lost sight of her once she had hit the tree. Spitfire immediately went into a steep dive in the direction of where they had last seen the rainbow maned pegasus.

“Spitfire wait!” Soarin shouted after her, worried that his friend would repeat the younger mare’s mistake at that speed. Spitfire however seemingly didn’t hear him.

Spitfire meanwhile, reached the tree Rainbow had hit and immediately began searching it for the fallen Pegasus, her eyes darting around. She saw several snapped and broken branches, along with some feathers. She let out a sigh of relief when she caught sight of the blue pegasus, sprawled out rather awkwardly across a particularly large branch. However, the branch, as large as it was, was noticeably damaged by the impact and looked as if it might break at any moment. Spitfire quickly swooped down and grabbed younger pony before she fell any further.

Spitfire felt her stomach turn when she saw the condition of Rainbow. Her body was battered and bruised, a cut on her forehead was bleeding profusely and worst of all her wings looked like they’d been run over by stampeding buffalo, bent in unnatural ways. “Oh dear Celestia,” She heard Soarin say, horror in his voice.

“Don’t just hover there, we need to get her to the hospital,” Spitfire said sternly, motioning towards Cloudsdale above them.

“Right,” Soarin said nodding as he helped Spitfire lift the young mare and they flew as fast as they could back to Cloudsdale.


“Why today?” Muttered a dark grey unicorn with a dark orange mane. He was Comet Dash, founder and CEO of Dash industries, still wearing his suit from his previous appointment. He had been interrupted in the middle of a very important meeting with the information that his rambunctious pegasus daughter had suffered an accident. He had been forced to cancel the meeting and take the first hot air balloon to Cloudsdale and now walking through the halls of Cloudsdale General, searching for the room his daughter was in. He noticed a lot of the Pegasi he passed staring at him with surprise or shock on their faces. “Cloud walking spell.” Comet Dash shot at a nearby pegasus who was looking at him with jaws wide open. The pegasus quickly averted his gaze, instead deciding to study the patterns on the cloud floor.

Comet Dash halted when he heard a familiar voice shout in anger from down the hall.

“What the hay do you mean I won’t fly again?!”

Letting out a frustrated sigh, Comet Dash began walking again, giving the confused pegasus doctor staring at him who had just exited the room a dirty look. “Just get out of the way,” he ordered, leaving no room for argument. The doctor complied without question. The unicorn entered the room and glared at its only occupant. On the bed was a very angry looking blue pegasus mare with a rainbow colored mane. She was hooked up to several machines that beeped and hummed and had an IV in her leg. She was covered in bandages, the majority of which were around her head and abdomen.

“Dad! What are you doing here?” she asked, seemingly shocked at her father’s surprise visit.

“My daughter nearly kills herself and I’m expected to stay on the ground until she gets better?” he asked in a disinterested tone. Rainbow Dash shifted in bed.

“If you were anypony else’s dad I’d believe that,” Rainbow retorted, sounding quite annoyed. “Why are you here?”

“Because I was interrupted during a weapons demonstration because you screwed up your audition,” he stated matter of factly. “But I guess you’ve already paid for your failure.” he said, looking around the bed at the machines.

Rainbow glared back at him. “I nearly died and all you have to say is that I failed?” she asked, sounding beside herself with anger.

Comet Dash simply rolled his eyes and sighed. “No, but I’m hoping the loss of your flight will give you some perspective on life,” he countered. Rainbow only glared at him. “I told you that trying out was a bad idea and that you should wait until you’re older, but you didn’t listen. I don’t even see why you’re wasting your time with all this Wonderbolts business anyways. It’s a waste of time,” he paused, sitting down next to Rainbow, who was now looking out the window.

“Rainbow...listen, you’re a smart girl. You’ve got quite a brain in you...” he paused again, collecting his thoughts. “I heard the diagnosis. If only because you screamed it loud enough so that I could hear it in the hall,” he continued.

“What are you talking about?” Rainbow Dash grumbled, looking at him.

Without responding, Comet Dash reached into his jacket and pulled out a rather weathered book, setting it on the bedside table. The title read Mechanical Theories: a Guide to Unconventional Machinery.

“What am I supposed to do with this?” she asked.

“Rainbow, as much as I might feel that you’re obsession with flight is rather childish, I still see that you are one of the most driven and dedicated flyers I know, and, I know from experience that you can’t be kept on the ground if there’s a way off of it.”

Rainbow raised an eyebrow. “Are you suggesting that I start making flying machines?” she asked.

Comet Dash simply shrugged. “If that’s what you want. The way I see it you can either just lie down and live as a flightless pegasus or you can make something of the hand you’ve been dealt,” he explained.

Rainbow looked back at the book. “I’ll think about it,” she said after a long silence. Comet took that as a sign that he should leave and made his way to the door.

“I hope you make the right choice,” he said as he opened the door and left.

Rainbow looked at the door as it closed, considering what her father had told her. She turned back to the book. She closed her eyes for a moment trying to imagine what her life would be like grounded. To never be able to feel the wind in her mane, or to sit on a cloud to watch the sunset. It was all lost to her now. She felt a tear rolled down her face. She let out a quiet sigh. “If that’s what it takes...” she said as she reached out a hand and picked up the book.

The Demonstration

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Caramel let out a bedraggled sigh. The muted music from down below was an indicator of only one thing. Once again his boss was shirking her responsibilities to tinker in her workshop. He made his way down the stairs, clipboard in hand, and put his hand on a scanner next to the door at the bottom. He braced himself for the inevitable blast of loud music which would greet his ears once the door opened. The music hit him like a tidal wave, as he stepped inside and turned towards the radio mounted on the wall, lowering the volume to something a little less deafening.

“Hey?! What happened to my music?!” The other pony inside, a cyan pegasus popped out from behind the single engine plane she was working on. Her expression changed from anger to bored once she caught sight of Caramel. “Oh. It's just you.” She ducked behind the plane again and continued to work. “What do you want Caramel?”

“I just want you to know I’m considering finding a new job,” he said rather bluntly as he neared Rainbow Dash.

“Why? What’d I do now?” asked Rainbow Dash, as she pulled pieces off of the engine to the plane. Her hooves and face were covered with a generous coating of engine grease and oil and the black t-shirt and jeans she wore seemed to be permanently stained. Her mane was unkempt and it looked as if she had been up all night. Which she had.

“You’re still here,” Caramel said, motioning towards the workshop, his voice betraying his frustration. “You’re supposed to be on your way to the test site to demonstrate the UAV.”

Rainbow Dash rolled her eyes and grumbled. “Oh that. Can’t you do it? I’m a bit busy,” she said as she continued tinkering with the engine. She moved a hand around, apparently feeling around for something. “Say Caramel…hand me the eight millimeter wrench please…”

Caramel let out a sigh and leaned down to pick up the small wrench on the ground handing it to the blue pegasus.

“Here, and as for this project,” he motioned towards the chariot. “You can finish that later. This is an important business deal and you’re just here tinkering. I know that thing works you were flying it yesterday. Now can you please get ready?” he asked, his voice terse.

There was a pause as Rainbow looked up at him, pouting like a five year old. Caramel simply looked back down at her, keeping his expression stern. She actually looked rather cute with her pout and the grease on her face. Finally, Rainbow let out a long over dramatic sigh.

“Fine,” she said annoyed, getting up and setting the project aside for later. She made her way over to the bathroom on the other side of the room and started washing the grease off of her hands and face. Caramel following close behind her. “I don’t get why we can’t do this here. I have enough space outside to do the demonstration.” She said as she continued to rub off the grease from her arms and face, motioning towards the nearby window. Caramel casually glanced out of it, to be greeted by the open air of the skies above Equestria.

“Because not all of the ponies attending are pegasi,” he said flatly.

“Well neither are you and you’re here,” she pointed out, splashing water on her face and motioning towards the cloud floor below their feet.

Caramel paused and glanced down at the cloud beneath his feet. The only reason he was standing here right now and not plummeting to his death was because of several cloud walking spells that came as part of his job as her secretary. Thank Celestia for unicorn magic, he thought. “I’m paid to be here,” he finally said as he shifted his focus over to the papers on his clipboard. “Speaking of which I have some documents that need your signature. Mostly stuff for the R&D department and a notice of vacation,” he said, holding out the clipboard and a pen.

Drying her hands on a towel, Dash raised an eyebrow. She took the papers and pen and went through them. “Who’s taking a vacation?” she asked as she started signing, not really paying attention to what was written on the papers.

“I am, for the weekend,” Caramel said. “I figure you’ll be up north for a few days for the demonstration and signing off on sales, so I decided I’d take some time off,” he finished. “Get my feet on solid ground for the first time in a few months.”

Rainbow looked up from the papers and smirked. “Oh so that’s why you’re mad. As long as I’m still here you can’t leave, is that it?”

“Yes actually, so let’s get you on your way,” Caramel said, smiling as he took the clipboard back once Dash had finished signing everything.

“Fine, I’ll see ya when I get back. Don’t redecorate while I’m gone,” the mare said as she walked out the door.


Spitfire let out an annoyed sigh as a familiar plane landed near the private jet she was standing in the door way of. The smaller plane's engine shutting off once it had stopped. Rainbow Dash climbed out wearing an expensive suit and started towards the stairs leading up to the jet.

“You know I honestly thought you’d take me seriously when I agreed to be your liaison for the military. I don’t know why, but I did.” the yellow mare said glaring at her friend.

Rainbow Dash simply shrugged as she walked by. “I think I remember you offering to take the job, because you felt bad about the accident,” she pointed out once she had reached the door leading inside the airship. “I don’t know how many times I’ve told you it wasn’t your fault, but any complaints you have about your job are on you,” Rainbow finished.

“That doesn’t mean you have to try to make things difficult,” Spitfire countered as they entered the aircraft and closed the door. “You always try to pass your responsibilities onto Caramel so you can just sit in your workshop all day tinkering,” she said, trying to be stern.

“He’s my assistant, isn’t that his job or something?” Rainbow questioned, taking a seat near a window. One of the flight attendants left in the direction of the cockpit to let the pilot know they were ready to go.

“No. His job is to assist you with your job, not do it for you,” Spitfire countered, taking the seat across from Rainbow.

“It’s the same thing,” Rainbow argued.

“No it isn’t,” Spitfire assured the other pegasus. “But that’s beside the point,” she said before Dash could make a retort. “Let’s get some work done. Why don’t you read me your presentation speech?”

“I didn’t write one. Figured I could just wing it,” the cyan pegasus said off handedly, looking out the window with a bored expression on her face.

Spitfire gaped at this. “You know what, that’s fine. When your dad cuts off the funds for your personal projects, then you might understand that the company isn’t just there to put money in your pocket,” the fiery maned pegasus said, throwing her arms in the air and giving up trying to reason with her companion.

“Ooh, I’m shaking,” Rainbow said sarcastically, as she whipped out a pen and started drawing designs for her next project on a napkin.


The rest of the trip passed uneventfully, with neither of the two pegasi speaking as the jet made its way towards the northern border of Equestria. They eventually landed at an airport at a military base the near northern border of Equestria, which was mostly a barren wasteland. Perfect for testing and demonstrating new technology.

Rainbow was introduced to several important ponies from the equestrian military, not that she’d remember any of them the next day. They took a short drive by motorcade to an area far enough from the base that nopony without authorization could see the demonstration, escorted by at least a dozen armed soldiers. It would be bad for business if the designs for new Dash technology were leaked to the competition.

After a short set up they were ready to go. Rainbow Dash, sporting a pair of stylish sunglasses, took one last sip of the drink she was drinking and trotted up in front of the group of military personnel. Clearing her throat, she began.

“Gentlecolts, I have for you today the next great step in aerial recon,” she spoke into the microphone, her voice echoing across the empty terrain. “For far too long we have put our brave mares and stallions in harm’s way for missions that only require looking at a situation. So what is the point of sending soldiers into danger just to do a camera’s job?” Rainbow asked rhetorically. She paused, as if awaiting a response. “Well quite simply, there isn’t one. So without further ado,” she said pausing at the sound of jet engines approaching, “may I present,” she paused again as everypony in the group in front of her turned to the west as an object came hurtling towards them.

“The Phoenix,” she said dramatically as the object whizzed by barely twenty feet above the heads of the spectators blowing hats off of several heads. It looked like a small plane, but there didn’t seem to be a seat for a pilot. “The first in Dash industries line of unponied aerial vehicles,” Rainbow concluded, earning several gasps, oohs and ahs. The Phoenix did several acrobatic stunts before zooming off in the direction of the base.

“How is it controlled?” asked the General of the Equestrian Army, General Hurricane.

“Remotely,” Dash answered. “The pilot for this one is sitting in one of the cars behind you,” she continued pointing in the direction of one of the armored vehicles. “Anypony interested can place an order now. The paper work should have been sent to you with the invitation to the demo,” she informed, walking over to a table off to the side of the group and taking a seat, anticipating hours of signing her name on documents.

Spitfire approached from the back of the crowd, a pleased look on her face. “Not bad for a last minute speech, but try to be prepared next time,” she said, looking around at the gaggle of military ponies who chattered amongst themselves ecstatically, obviously impressed by the demonstration.

Rainbow smiled a smug grin. “I’ll try, but you know how busy I usually am,” she pointed out.

Spitfire rolled her eyes. “Yeah sure. I’ll see you back at the base. I for one am exhausted,” she said walking back to a vehicle that was preparing to leave.

“Sure thing, see ya later.” Rainbow called out to her as she trotted away.

Half an hour later Dash was half dead from boredom. She was still filling out orders for the Phoenix as the demonstration had caused quite a positive reaction amongst the representatives. A rumbling sound caught her attention all of a sudden and she turned to see another armored car join the rest. She raised her eyebrow at this distraction, trying to figure out who it could be, as she herself had arrived rather late for the demonstration in the first place.

She felt her shoulders sag when she saw her father, Comet Dash, exit the vehicle dressed like any other buisness pony, his gaze immediately finding his daughter at the table.

She let out a frustrated sigh as he walked up to her. “I don’t need a baby sitter,” she said defensively.

“Really, cause I hear a different story,” he countered, looking rather unimpressed. “You should have been done with this,” he motioned towards the dozens of contracts on the table. “hours ago. And you would have been if you had been on time,” he said his voice now laced with disappointment.

Rainbow Dash grumbled. “Well I’m sorry I don’t have time, seeing as how I’m always making new things for your company,” she retorted, eyeing the older unicorn with disdain.

“Our company.” He replied pointedly. “You’ll be inheriting it. So long as you remember not to bankrupt us,” he told her, annoyed.

Rainbow was about to respond when suddenly a distant boom caught her attention. “What was that?” she asked.

“Hit the deck!” shouted one of the soldiers standing guard.

Before either of the Dashes had a chance to react, there was a thunderous explosion as one of the armored cars exploded in a shower of sparks and flame. The force of the blast sent them backwards several feet, with the two of them slamming into the ground with force. Panicking Rainbow tried to get up, but a tremendous pain lanced through her chest and she fell back onto the ground, unsure of what to do.

Gunshots could be heard as the soldier ponies tried to fend off the attackers. She heard somepony rush to her side, but couldn’t see who, as her vision had begun to blur. The unknown pony was shouting something that she couldn’t hear in her fading consciousness.


Rainbow’s mind was addled as she began to come around. She could still feel the pain in her chest, but it was duller than before. The first thing she noticed was the feeling of her legs being dragged along the ground, a set of clawed hands holding her arms as they dragged her through the tunnel.

“Get the boss. We have the ponies,” a voice shouted from her left. She groaned at the noise grating against her sensitive ears. The sound of footsteps and a door opening reached her.

“Sir, they’ve returned. The mission was a success,” a nervous voice said.

“Finally. It’s about time you Diamond Dogs did something right,” the leader said, their voice sounding like it was being electronically distorted. More footsteps could be heard approaching and then somepony gasped. “What did you morons do?!” shouted the leader, causing Rainbow to wince. Her ears were still ringing from the explosion earlier, and this random pony’s shouting certainly wasn’t helping. To Rainbow he looked like a white blur.

“W-we brought you the pony,” one Diamond dog said hesitantly, sounding like he was confused.

“You idiot!” the white blur hissed. “She’s half dead! How are we going to get her to build us a weapon if she’s dead?!” the white blur asked dragging a grey blur into Dash’s view. Before any of his cronies could make an excuse he continued, “Just get her to the doctor. I want her alive,” he said, glancing at the cyan pegasus as Rainbow’s vision slowly shifted back into focus. “Oh she’s coming around,” he said, sounding amused. He then brought a fist down on her head, making the world go black again.


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Rainbow Dash’s eyes opened slowly. The world around her seemed to be spinning wildly, as if she were trapped inside a clothes dryer. Her vision was fuzzy and she felt confused and frightened. The last thing she remembered was an explosion of sound and a sharp pain in her chest. Her vision steadily cleared she looked at her surroundings. The room she was in appeared to be a part of a cave system, the dusty brown walls surrounding her. She tried to sit up properly on the cot she had been laid down on. The pain in her chest was still there, but had subsided somewhat. Now it was more like someone had punched her in the chest with all their might. To her left was a small table which caught her attention, more specifically the cup of water on it. It was then she realized that her mouth was parched. She reached for the cup and lifted to her face, hesitating when she caught sight of the islands of dirt drifting in the water. Gross… she thought as she slowly lifted the cup to her lips and took a sip. The water tasted foul, like someone had poured liquid iron in it, but her growing thirst forced her to down the rest. She grimaced as she set the cup back on the table.

As she set the cup down, her hand brushed against a large object on the table. She looked at what appeared to be a car battery. Attached to the battery was a thick black cord. Rainbow followed the length of the cord with her eyes until it disappeared out of her field of vision. She searched the room for a mirror, spotting one on the wall behind her above a broken, rusty sink.

Grunting in exertion, she picked up the battery by a strap attached to it, and she walked over to the sink, stumbling most of the way. Her legs felt as if they were made out of jell-o. She set the battery in the basin of the sink as best she could and propped her arms on the edge, leaning on it for balance. Her eyes widened when she saw her reflection. Her chest was wrapped heavily in bandages, beneath a dirty brown shirt. The cord attached to the battery disappearing beneath the wrappings.

Rainbow started to undo the bandages, her heart beating faster with every layer removed. After about a minute she had removed just enough of the bandages to reveal a circular device implanted in the center of her chest. It was about the size of her fist and looked like it had been welded together in a hurry. Rainbow began to hyperventilate as she tried to figure out what the object could be. Had they implanted a bomb in her? And what kind of bomb? Was it on a timer? Would it explode if she moved again?

Before her thoughts could wander any farther, a door she had failed to notice in her dazed state opened on the far side of the room and in marched a pair of heavily armed Diamond Dogs, escorting her father between them, his business attire in tatters and covered in dirt.

“Dad!” she shouted, as she began to stumble in his direction. His guards raised their weapons before she could take a second step. Rainbow halted; fearful they’d shoot her if she moved closer.

Comet looked at their captors with disgust. “Oh, what is she going to do in her state? She can’t even go anywhere without lugging that battery around with her,” he said, sounding vaguely disappointed. The Diamond Dogs seemed to agree with him as they relaxed and lowered their weapons.

“You will start work in the morning. We will have everything you need by then,” one of the guards said as they exited the room, closing and locking the door behind them.

Once they were gone Rainbow looked at her father in confusion. “Dad, what’s going on? What do they want from us?” she asked nervously.

Comet held up a hoof and sat down. “They want me to build weapons for them,” he stated bluntly.

Rainbow was shocked. “That’s crazy. Why would you make anything for them? You said no right?” she asked. Her father didn’t respond. “Right?” she repeated.

“They have us at gun point. I don’t exactly have an advantage here,” he said, looking somewhat tired. Rainbow gave him an angry look, but didn’t respond. Instead she turned her attention back to the battery in the sink.

“What is this?” she asked, catching the stallion off guard. Her father glanced towards the battery.

“Oh that? Well, when we were attacked, you took a large amount of shrapnel in the chest from the first explosion,” he began. “It was deep and most of the shards were making their way to your heart. The doctors, and I use that term very loosely, implanted an electromagnet and it’s being powered by that battery,” he informed her.

Rainbow looked at the battery and glanced at the reflection of the device in her chest. “How long is it going to last?” she asked quickly figuring out that a motor battery isn’t a sufficient power source for an electromagnet.

“I’m not sure. Maybe a week, maybe less,” Comet answered vaguely, looking down at the ground. “They’ll be bringing in my equipment tomorrow. I could really use your help,” he said, almost looking desperate.

Rainbow glared at him. “You want me to help you build weapons. Weapons that’ll most likely be used against Equestria,” she said, her voice beginning to rise in volume. She stared at her father for a few minutes before answering. “No.” With that Rainbow grabbed her battery and walked over to the cot she had woken up on. She lay down and turned so that her back was to Comet.


Rainbow Dash was jolted awake the next morning by the sound of the doors bursting open with a loud clang. She propped herself upright as Diamond Dogs started carrying in equipment and supplies that she assumed were for her father. She scanned the room for him, spotting him sitting at a table near the center of the room, a thin trail of smoke rising from his work place. Rainbow got up from her cot, grabbed her battery from the table and started to approach the table. Before she’d made it halfway another pony stepped in her way.

He wore a white full body suit with a matching cloak. Rainbow couldn’t see his eyes, but she knew he was glaring at her. “Is there something about this situation that makes you think you get to make decisions?” he asked, calmly.

Rainbow looked at him unsure of what he was getting at. “I don’t understand,” she said, the pony’s presence making her nervous.

“Apparently. You see we captured you. We have guns and explosives,” he spoke calmly as he began circling her slowly. “Now we want you to make more, because we are in charge. You do as you are told. You don’t get to say no,” he said, stopping in front of her.

Rainbow was about to speak but was interrupted. “You don’t need her to do anything, I can handle this by myself,” Comet Dash said, without looking up from his task.

“I don’t care,” the white clad stallion said. “She works or she dies. That’s the deal.”

“From what I hear, I’m already dying,” Rainbow said reaching back to hold up the battery to the mystery pony’s face. “So make all the threats you want, you’ve got nothing on me,” she pointed out, smirking at her victory.

The mystery pony walked across the room to Comet Dash, pulling a long sword out from under his cloak as he walked. “What are you doing?” Rainbow asked concerned. The tone in her voice caught Comet Dash’s attention. He turned around to find the strange pony approaching him.

“You say we have nothing to persuade you with,” he said raising his sword, high as he came to stop in front of Comet. “You know I wonder how exaggerated your hate for each other is,” he said as he brought the sword down.

“STOP!” Rainbow shouted. The white clad pony stopped the sword an inch from Comet’s face. The older stallion’s eyes were wide with fear. The tormentor turned to face Rainbow again.

“I’ll help make the weapons, on one condition,” Rainbow spoke, her confidence shaken but slowly coming back to her. The masked pony nodded, seemingly agreeing to whatever the condition was. “You let my dad go when the power runs out,” she said indicating the battery.

The white clad pony stared at her for a minute. “Agreed,” he finally said, sheathing his sword and making his way to the exit. “Now get to work,” he said coldly as he left.

Comet looked at his daughter, staring at the ground in her defeat. “You know they won’t let me go right?” he asked, as the Diamond Dogs finished bringing in the supplies.

Rainbow waited for the last one to leave before she answered. “Yeah…I know. That’s why we’re going to make a way out,” she added, walking over to the table. She picked up a pen and some paper that Comet had been using for designs, making a few quick sketches.

After nearly an hour of sketching Rainbow slid a small stack of papers to her father for him to inspect. He looked through the sketches, raising an eyebrow at them. “None of these are whole,” he said, sounding disappointed. “Did you want me to complete them?”

“No. It’s a complete design, just drawn in pieces,” Rainbow said, a smirk appearing on her face.

Comet looked back at the sketches. Once he realized what he was looking at he glared at his daughter. “Are you serious? This is insane!” he told her incredulously.

“Well we don’t really have a lot of options. Plus this is like walking out in tank armor. We just follow my specs and we’ll be fine,” she said, very sure of herself.

“That’s not the problem. We don’t have a sufficient energy source,” he reasoned. “We can’t power it.”

Rainbow lowered her gaze defeated. “We can figure something out. Maybe if we got more car batteries or something,” she suggested.

“Oh please, your magnet is simple compared to this,” he said pointing at the device in her chest. “Twelve batteries like that one couldn’t run this contraption for more than a few minutes,” he scoffed.

“Fine then you come up with something,” Rainbow challenged, turning away in frustration.

Comet sat back at the desk staring at his daughter’s sketch in thought and then glanced at the device in her chest. “I have an idea, but I’ll need your help,” he said.

Rainbow perked up. “Seriously? You need my help?”

Comet nodded. “Yes, I do.”

“Alrighty than, what do you need?” Rainbow asked, secretly eager to get started.

“I need you to go through the materials in those boxes,” he said pointing to a few crates, “and start making a power transfer conduit for an energy storage crystal. Make it so that it can fit into your magnet,” he instructed, as he started digging through some pre-made designs. “Here are the blueprints you’ll need,” he said handing her the paper.

Rainbow looked at the designs in confusion. “Wait, back up. Are you building a replacement battery?” she asked, pointing to the one she already had.

“Something like that,” Comet commented. “Now get to work. We need to get this finished before you die,” he said as he started digging through a box of artificial crystals.

“But it doesn’t matter if you store a bunch of energy in the crystal, it’ll run out eventually,” Rainbow pointed out.

“Let me handle that part, you just work on the conduit,” Comet instructed tersely as he pulled out a roughly circular crystal.

“Fine,” Rainbow said, irritated at her father’s dismissive response. She started digging through the boxes pulling out the tools and materials she’d need. She started connecting a few wires the way they were in the designs she was working off of.

She and her dad worked in silence, the buzz of power tools and the hiss of the soldering iron was all that could be heard. Rainbow looked up from the conduit, gazing at the finished product. She could have done better at home, but this would do for now. She looked up to see her father working on the other side of the table. He’d been cutting the crystal into the right shape and looked like a jeweler, occasionally stopping to sharpen his tool.

“I finished the conduit. How much longer is that going to take?” she asked pointing at the crystal.

“I’m almost done. I just need to install the vibranium,” he said as he pulled out a ring of some dark metal. It was just large enough to fit around the top of the crystal. He laid the ring in place and then picked up a clamp and a set of small steel staples.

“Vibranium?” Rainbow asked. “What’s that for?”

“It’s a natural shock absorber. Any energy that touches it gets thrown back out with more force. With this crystal,” he said picking up his creation, “the energy output will be stored and then absorbed back into the vibranium and then the process repeats over and over again endlessly,” he explained as he finished bolting the ring onto the crystal. He grabbed the conduit Rainbow had made and placed the crystal into the contraption.

“Now we just need to give it life,” he said as his horn began to glow, a silvery light enveloping it. The light extended to the glorified battery. The vibranium ring absorbed the magic and pushed it into the crystal, creating a bright white glow from the object.

“Whoa,” Rainbow said impressed. “So what is that?” she asked pointing at the replacement for her car battery.

“I call it an Artificially Refined Crystal Reactor. It’s an idea I had after the Minotaur war,” he explained, a touch of pride in his voice.

Rainbow cringed at the name. “That’s a little long. Why not just call it an ARC Reactor?” she asked.

Comet’s blinked in surprise. “That’s… actually not bad,” he said smiling at the idea. Rainbow smiled at the compliment. As far as she remembered it was the only one he’d ever given her.

“Now,” Comet said, grabbing her attention, “let’s put it in shall we,” he said a little too cheerfully, “just lie down on the cot and we’ll get started.”

“Umm… is this going to hurt? Should I be knocked out for this?” Rainbow asked nervously, eyeing the reactor.

“Yes it’s going to hurt and, yes, you probably should be on some kind of anesthetic, but we don’t have anything to put you under so you’re just going to have to deal with it,” he said bluntly as he pushed her towards the cot. Rainbow lay down hesitantly.

“Ya know I’m suddenly not so sure this is a good idea. I mean if that’s powering my magnet than what are we going to use to power the suit?” she asked, quickly growing nervous at the idea of her father playing surgeon on her. Rainbow pulled the neckline of her shirt down to expose the adapter in her chest.

“That’s why we’re going to need to leave it uncovered. So we can hook a power cable to it,” he said as he started inspecting the device that was already in Rainbow. “My Celestia, this thing is going to be difficult,” he muttered. He grabbed the clamp he’d used earlier and latched it onto the device and started trying to twist it.

“GAHH! Careful, that’s delicate!” his daughter shouted at him as a spider-web of pain shot through her chest as the device twisted around. Comet rolled his eyes as he unscrewed the battery adapter the rest of the way, Rainbow letting out a gasp of pain.

Without the magnet being powered she could feel the bits of shrapnel as they carved a path slowly towards her heart. They felt as if volcanoes were exploding inside her chest and spilling lava all over her body. “Hurry, put it in, put it in!” she yelled urgently, teeth gritted in pain.

Comet quickly connected the wires to the magnet at the bottom and inserted the reactor. Rainbow gasped, her whole body twisting and contorting as her father twisted it into place. She started breathing heavily as the pain in her chest subsided; telling her the shrapnel had stopped traveling through her body.

“How do you feel?” Comet asked, nervously as his daughter sat up in the cot.

“Like I just got electrocuted,” she said, beginning to calm down. “Next time we stick the experimental tech in your chest and see how it feels.”

Comet laughed. “That sounds like you’ve made a full recovery,” he said helping her up. They made their way to the mirror so Rainbow could see. She stared at the mirror.

“I’m not gonna lie,” she said, tracing the edge of the Reactor with her hoof. “This is kinda cool,” she said with a smirk.

All of a sudden Rainbow found the world around her spinning as she slipped to the ground. She all of a sudden felt as if something had sucked the air right out of her lungs. “Ooph,” she grunted as she hit the cold stone of the floor.

Comet dashed to her side, helping her up. “Come on you’ve had a long day. Let’s get you to bed,” he said as he guided her to her cot and laid her down to rest.

As sleep began to claim her Rainbow looked at the blurry sight of her father. “Thank you…” she said sleepily as she drifted off.

Comet’s eyes widened. That was the first time he’d heard her thank him. In fact if he recalled this was the first time they had worked together to create something and he had to admit it wasn’t a bad feeling. He smiled softly as he watched the cyan mare sleep. Then she started snoring like a buzz saw. Comet let out a sigh as he lay on the ground. “Another restful night for me,” he said wryly as he closed his eyes.


View Online

Rainbow and Comet had gotten up bright and early to begin working on the armor. Of course, in the dankness of the cave, it was hard to tell the time of day, so most of the time, they simply made due with guessing the time. Rainbow busied herself shaping a piece metal into a chestplate, while on the table across from her, Comet prepped an empty mortar shell to act as a fuel tank.

Rainbow sighed in satisfaction as she finished hammering the right curve into the metal plate. She set it with a few others on a table in a small pile. Her father had insisted that they make the chest plate in pieces, both to avoid suspicion, and so that when the time came, they could weld them together. They had to be careful of what they were doing, due to the camera high up on the wall in the back left corner.

Rainbow's eyes scanned the table for the next project to keep her mind occupied. If there was one thing Rainbow hated more than anything else, it was boredom. She cast a quick glance towards her father, who was still absorbed in his own task, as the characteristic glow of magic and sounds of tools being employed seemed to indicate.

Figures he'd be distracted, She thought grumpily, turning back to the table and starting to gather the materials she knew would be needed to allow the ARC Reactor to power the hydraulics in the suit's legs and arms. She held her hand out for a few seconds reflexively, expecting to have the correct tool to be laid in her hand, ready for use. When the tool didn't appear in her hand, she looked to her left in frustration. She expected to see Caramel, who usually stood at the ready to help her back at home. The sight of a cave wall only managed to remind her of her current state. Right...I’m not at home, she told herself sadly, turning back to her work. As she worked, she was reminded of how much she actually needed an assistant, since actively reaching for tools and not having them instantaneously handed to her hadn’t been a real problem for quite awhile. Especially when she first got T.A.N.K. up and running.

“Yeah...I could do with some help from T.A.N.K. right now,” she muttered, turning the wrench and thinking back to the time she first got her computerized friend.


“So what is it?” Caramel asked, looking at the computer screen over Rainbow’s shoulder.

Rainbow let out a content sigh and leaned back, a proud look on her face. “It’s a digital assistant,” she answered, turning to face Caramel, who now had a slightly worried expression. “Don’t worry I’m not replacing you. This is just to help me run simulations on new tech as I build it,” she explained, patting him on the shoulder as she got up from her seat.

“You spent two weeks programming a computer and at least three dozens robots to make a digital me?” he asked, following her. Rainbow shook her head.

“No. It’s supposed to help me with making my designs and such. Celestia knows I need someone who can help me whenever I need them,” Rainbow replied as she walked to the other side of the room.

“Alright then, if you say so. Got a name for it?” Caramel asked, raising an eyebrow.

Rainbow paused, putting a hand to her chin for a moment. “’s a...Technology Application Network... Knickknack,” she answered, trailing off at the end.

Caramel smirked slightly. “Did you really want it to spell T.A.N.K. that badly?” he asked teasingly.

Rainbow simply gave Caramel her own smirk in response. “Oh come on Caramel, you know that’s an awesome name,” she said, internally acknowledging the lame name. The sound of her stomach growling. “Hey, you wanna get pizza or something?” she asked, desperate to change the subject. Caramel shrugged.

“Yeah I guess,” Caramel agreed, trying not to chuckle.

“Awesome!” Rainbow said, starting up the stairs, with Caramel close behind, an amused smile on his face.


“RAINBOW!” Rainbow jumped at the sound of her name, snapping her out of her memories. “We can’t afford to get distracted right now. Get back to work,” her father ordered her from across the room before the sound of tools and magic started up again, returning to whatever it was he was doing.

“Yeah I know,” she shot back, more embarrassed that she’d been caught daydreaming than anything else.

“If you did know that, then you wouldn’t be wasting time spacing out over there,” he replied, the sound of a hammer loudly strike some metal for emphasis.

“Oh, I’m sorry I’m not completely focused, being held hostage. This isn’t exactly a night at the club for me,” Rainbow replied, her voice dripping with sarcasm. “Where I’d much rather be if it were up to me...”

“Trust me, if it were up to you, you’d just be picking out a stallion for a one night stand,” Comet replied, still focused on his work.

Rainbow practically bristled at this and found herself reaching for a wrench to throw at him, but held herself back. “You know what,” she said, her anger barely held in check as she dropped the wrench. “We’re wasting time sniping at each other. How about we just finish this and we can get back to avoiding one another once we’re out?” she grumbled, still trying to keep from exploding in anger.

“Okay,” came Comet’s unexpectedly calm response. Rainbow turned to see him staring at her as if she sprouted a second head.

“Uh...alright then,” Rainbow said awkwardly. She hadn’t expected him to agree so quickly. Then again he probably hadn’t expected her to say anything remotely responsible. They both went back to work, an incredibly awkward silence falling between them.

Rainbow decided to return to work and started twisting a bolt into place with a socket wrench. Once it was tight enough she attempted to pull the wrench off only to find that it was stuck. She grabbed the tool in her teeth and pulled as hard as she could, muttering and grumbling under her breath. The wrench all of a sudden popped off of the bolt and sent Rainbow tumbling over backwards and onto her back.

She looked up to see her father staring at her. “If you use a wrench a size bigger than the bolt it should still be able to grip the bolt without getting stuck,” he suggested, as he used his magic to help her up.

“Uh... thanks,” Rainbow replied awkwardly as she was pulled off of the ground. Comet simply nodded and returned to his work as Rainbow turned back to the device she’d been working on. She grabbed the wrench she’d just used and looked at it for a second. After a moment of consideration she put it back with the other tools and grabbed a slightly larger one. She started twisting the next bolt in. Once it was tight enough she pulled on the wrench and found it came off much easier than the previous one.

Rainbow looked over her shoulder at her father. He still seemed like he was more focused on his work than anything else. This was the first time he’d done anything fatherly. Rainbow smiled at the thought before shrugging and returning to her own work.


The pair of captives had stopped for a lunch break when their captors brought what appeared to be brown slop. Rainbow was poking hers with a spoon.

“Don’t be childish, just eat it,” Comet said from his spot across from her at the table and took a bite of his own slop, visibly grimacing at the taste.

“And you’re telling me not to be childish,” Rainbow replied smugly, a smile forming on her face.

“At least I’m eating. Come on now, we’ll need our strength,” Comet replied.

“And what pray tell do you need to keep your strength up for?” A voice said from the door. Both Rainbow and Comet looked to see the terrorist leader, standing in front of the closed doors.

Rainbow and Comet’s eyes went wide. I didn’t even hear the door open, Rainbow thought.

“For building your weapons,” Comet answered, quickly recovering his composure. “Can’t build on an empty stomach,” he explained.

“Of course, how silly of me,” the stallion said, not sounding amused at all. He walked over to their table glancing at the food as he stopped near them. “And how goes your progress?”

“We’re moving along. We came up with a new power source for anything else we make,” Comet said, pointing at the reactor in Rainbow’s chest. “Rainbow wanted to test it with her magnet before we put it in anything explosive,” Comet explained. Their captor looked at the soft glowing machine and then at Rainbow.

“I may not live for much longer, but I’m willing to try anything that’ll put the suffering off for a little longer,” Rainbow said, hoping he wouldn’t inspect the device itself.

“Very well. When you have finished eating, return to work. I’d like results within the week,” he said as he made his way over to the door. Rainbow and Comet looked at each other in relief. They turned back towards the door to see that their captor had seemingly disappeared.

“Seriously, how does he do that?” Rainbow asked out loud, eyebrow raised.

“I’m not sure but that stallion gives me a bad feeling,” Comet replied.


The next day Rainbow had finished the complicated wiring the armor would require. They had used sensors from a guided rocket that helped missiles avoid hitting walls on the inside of the legs. When Rainbow lifted her arms or legs the sensors would activate the hydraulics and lift the suits legs. It would be slow and clunky, but they were working off a box of scraps in a cave. They could only do so much and still fly under the radar.

That task finished Rainbow moved on to the next step. The actual hydraulics. She started looking through their supplies for pistons and cylinders she would need. She found an unopened crate labeled pistons. “Dammit,” she grumbled as she inspected the rusted nails keeping the top of the crate in place. She glanced at the box of tools and spotted a crowbar among the many wrenches and hammers. She grabbed it and attempted to jam it into the space between the crate and the lid, only to miss and smash her hand between the container and the crowbar. Rainbow jumped back letting out a shout of pain. Shaking her hand, she sat down in defeat, contemplating how to get the crate open.

“Need a hand?” Comet asked, seemingly smiling at his daughter’s predicament. Rainbow opened her mouth to decline his offer, some half baked plan to explain why she didn’t need help, but her father simply put a hand on her mouth. “Instead of wasting time why don’t we just get the crate open,” Comet suggested, removing his hoof from Rainbow’s muzzle.

“Yeah okay, magic the stupid thing open,” Rainbow replied, rolling her eyes in annoyance.

Comet shook his head. “Why is it so difficult for you to accept help when it’s freely offered?” he asked.

“Cause it’s never really free,” Rainbow replied, crossing her arms. “Everypony either wants something in return or benefits just as much as you do,” she replied cynically.

“That’s a little harsh,” Comet replied. “No one ever helped you without asking for something in return?”

Rainbow’s mind immediately thought of Spitfire.


“So how goes the new job?” Spitfire asked as she sat down in Rainbow’s living room. During Rainbow’s year long recovery, Spitfire had managed to become a close friend of hers, and now frequently checked up on her.

“No job yet. I have to go back to school and get a few degrees apparently before I even qualify, but if I can build something that can get me back in the air then it’ll be worth it,” Rainbow replied, shifting to get a little more comfortable. “I also have to get an assistant to keep my schedule straight because my dad doesn’t trust me to show up to class on time by myself.”

“So you’re really giving this a shot? I mean we could always look into experimental surgeries or something. I’m sure the Griffins have something. Flight is a pretty huge part of their society. Being a cripple there is like being a criminal here,” Spitfire replied, eyebrow raised.

“We’ve looked into just about everything and this is the only shot I’ve got that’s gonna get me back in the air,” Rainbow said, her brow furrowing slightly.

Spitfire sighed, “Look Rainbow, I’m sorry for what happened...” she said, leaning forward slightly. “I kinda think this is my fault and all.”

Rainbow shook her head. “Nah, it’s not your fault Spitfire. Relax. I just hope Dad doesn’t lose all the funding he has before I even get a chance to work on anything...” she said, annoyed.

“Why would he lose his funding?” Spitfire asked, her voice curious.

“Oh, his military liason quit on him a few weeks ago so now he doesn’t have anyone to talk up his products to the military big wigs and without their contracts Dash Industries will go under in a matter of months,” Rainbow said, rubbing her forehead. “All this business stuff is frustrating.”

“I could take the job,” Spitfire offered, her face obviously showing that she was quite happy with a way to potentially help Rainbow.

“Thanks for the offer, but you kinda have to be in the military to take the job,” Rainbow replied, a wry smile on her face.

“I am in the military. Captain Spitfire of the 205th Airborne,” Spitfire replied, smiling as well. “I joined as soon as I turned eighteen.”

Rainbow gave her a bewildered look. “Oh,” she said, blinking a few times. “You never mentioned that before.”

“Well I’m sort of a poster pony more than anything. The Wonderbolt’s shows raise money for the military,” Spitfire replied, leaning back in the couch slightly.

“In that case as long as my dad’s cool with it, looks like the job is yours,” Rainbow replied as she made her way to the phone in the corner of the room. “Not like he has much choice in the matter anyways. Thanks for the help, I could really use a little less stress,” she said, giving Spitfire a quick glance.

“Don’t mention it,” Spitfire replied smiling.


“Okay well usually ponies want something in return,” Rainbow replied, after a long pause as her father used his magic to jam the crowbar under the crate’s lid, wrenching it off in one go.

“No, you just haven’t met the right ponies yet,” Comet countered. “Or maybe you just haven’t been paying any attention to them.”

Rainbow had no response for that. She started thinking about how she’d treated Spitfire and Caramel over the years she’d known them. She had never really shown them that she actually appreciated them. Sure she’d said thanks before, but she’d always made their work difficult and usually for trivial reasons.

“I’m not a very good friend am I?” she asked, looking down at the ground.

Comet paused, averting his gaze. “I wouldn’t know,” he finally said. “I never tried to be friends with you,” Rainbows eyes went wide at these words. “But the more time I spend with you the more I regret that.” he added, his voice low.

Rainbow smiled as tears began to form in her eyes. She wiped them away before she spoke. “Why don’t we just skip the argument and say we share the blame fifty fifty?” she suggested.

Comet smiled. “Spoken like a true friend,” he answered. “Now let’s get back to work. I wanna treat you to dinner once we get outta here.”

“Sounds good to me,” Rainbow replied.


Rainbow and Comet had been working on the armor for five days and it was nearly complete. They had made sure to keep all the pieces vague in shape and had made dummy designs of some mobile guided rocket system to keep their captors from getting suspicious.

The leader, or ‘Ghost’ as the pair had taken to calling him, had frequently checked in on them, although if he in fact knew what they were actually planning he never admitted it.

Rainbow was currently working on a control panel that would activate the thrusters her father had finished a few days earlier. The Dash’s had become quite the team in the days since they had truly become friends. They weren’t quite at the stage of being a true family, but Rainbow was hopeful for the future.

Rainbow looked over to where her father seemed to be making more fuel tanks. She raised an eyebrow wondering why they would need anymore than what they had.

“What are you making?” she asked as he connected the fuel tank he’d made to an iron tube.

“A flamethrower,” he said without looking up. “Figured we could put a pair on the arms,” he explained.

“That’ll just weigh me down. The armor will be enough to get me through the guards,” she said, mildly annoyed.

“And what about me?” he asked, setting his project down. “We don’t have the materials to build more than one suit and I certainly don’t want to fight those terrorists bare handed. You’ll need to be able to clear a path for me. This is the best way,” he said, his voice somewhat curt.

Rainbow wanted to argue with him, but deep down, she knew he was right. “Sorry, it just always bugged me when you took my inventions and weaponized them,” she said as she grabbed a wire cutter, making sure the wires were the right length, so as to not leave slack, but still be long enough to reach the parts of the armor they needed to reach.

“That’s why the military bought them though,” he replied, turning to look at Rainbow

“Which is why we’re here,” Rainbow was quick to point out, turning away from her work as well.

Comet looked down, almost as if he were ashamed. “I wish we could have avoided making death, part of our legacy, but military funding was the only way we could fund projects to help ponies,” he said, approaching Rainbow.

“Oh please, you can’t seriously expect me to believe you care about helping the world,” she spat at him angrily.

Comet’s face tensed up slightly. “I thought we were passed this. You know I fund projects which could solve world hunger or even deforestation,” he replied, insulted.

“Yeah you have all the time in the world for that but you couldn’t even show up to one of my flying competitions when I was younger. It’s like you didn’t even care,” she said. She knew it was petty, but she felt like making him feel the way she always felt.

“Oh of course I don’t care. I didn’t care when I gave you a job after your dreams fell through. I didn’t care when you wanted to make planes and didn’t have the money. I didn’t care when the board disapproved of how you spent company money,” he said, growing louder with each example.

“You did all that to try to groom me to take over the company one day. You never cared about what I wanted. In fact, I seem to remember you calling my dream to be a Wonderbolt childish,” Rainbow shot back.

“It was. That wasn’t a practical use of your time. Especially given all the money I poured into giving you the education most unicorns would kill for,” Comet retorted.

“Exactly. Most unicorns. You seem to have forgotten I don’t have a horn,” Rainbow replied, waving a hoof over the empty space on her forehead. “That’s what you’re really ashamed of isn’t it? Your daughter has wings instead of magic.”

“Had wings,” Comet said, the look on his face making it evident that he instantly regretted his words. Rainbow’s eyes widened in shock. “Rainbow I’m sorry I didn’t-” he tried to recover but Rainbow ignored it.

“Let’s just get back to work,” she said sharply, turning away from her father and continued working, hoping the stallion didn’t notice the tears that had begun to form in her eyes.

Comet meanwhile, didn’t know what to say. He knew he had crossed a line, but apologizing wouldn’t be enough. Why is it so hard to talk to her? he asked himself, sitting down and silently turning back to his work.


Rainbow didn’t speak to her father the rest of the day. They ate in silence and she even went to bed early to try and avoid him.

Comet meanwhile, tossed and turned in his cot unable to fall asleep. He got up to stretch his legs a bit and started digging through the boxes of supplies, trying to work on something to keep his mind off of the fight. He still felt horrible about what he said. “And just when things were going well,” he said to himself.

His hand bumped against a smooth rectangular object in the box he was digging in. He reached in with his magic and pulled out a small camcorder. It was probably intended for recording tests of whatever Ghost thought his captives were working on.

Comet glanced at Rainbow sleeping on the other side of the cave. He sighed as he set the camcorder on the table and used his magic to turn it on and start a recording. “Hello Rainbow. I’m not sure if you’ll ever see this, but I need to say it, even if you don’t hear it,” Comet began, pausing as he thought of what to say. “I’m sorry I wasn’t a good father.”


View Online

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Is it charged yet?” he asked.

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

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

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

“What is it?” Rainbow asked curiously.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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


View Online

The flight back to Equestria was held in silence. Spitfire didn’t know what she could say to get her friend to open up about what happened. Rainbow simply looked out of the window as the helicopter flew over the wasteland.

Somehow just looking out the window made Rainbow angry. It’s about all she felt since her father had died in her arms leaving her nothing, but a notes on how to improve the armor they’d created. There’s nothing to improve. Probably didn’t need the weapons either, Rainbow thought arrogantly. She knew Ghost probably would have killed her as well without Comet’s contributions to the suit, but she just wanted to be angry.

Spitfire unable to take the silence anymore spoke up. “So... Caramel has been worried sick about you,” she informed.

This caught Rainbow’s attention. “Really? I thought he’d be happy about his vacation being extended,” she replied. The thought of seeing her assistant again alleviated the anger slightly.

“He cut his vacation short as soon as he heard you were missing. He personally made sure I’d have everything I needed to find you. Probably would have come to get you himself if he were aloud,” the fiery mare said, watching Rainbow’s interest in the topic grow as they continued talking.

“Somehow I have a hard time believing that. You’re telling me the stallion that complained whenever I had him help me with the dirty work in my workshop wasn’t just a little happy with me gone?” Rainbow asked, finding it difficult to believe anypony had missed her that much.

“Of course not,” Spitfire replied, confused. “He’d be willing to do almost anything for you,” she continued.

Rainbow wanted to argue that, but past experience proved Spitfire’s point. “I guess so,” she said, returning to staring out of the window.

Spitfire looked at her friend sadly, wondering what had happened to the snarky mare that she knew before.


As the chopper landed on the runway of the army base that Rainbow had left nearly a week before she noticed a black sedan with tinted windows and in front of this stood a familiar pony. Caramel approached the chopper before it had even finished landing, seemingly eager to see it’s occupants. Rainbow opened the doors and stepped out once the propellers started to lose speed. She was wearing a thicker shirt to keep the ARC Reactor a secret from the public. Spitfire had seen it, but didn’t ask about it. The pocket on the front of the shirt was currently holding the tape her father had given to her.

Caramel threw his arms around the mare a soon as she was within reach. After about a minute he pulled away blushing and wiping moisture from his eyes. “It’s good to have you back Ms. Dash,” he said in an almost professional manner.

“You too Caramel. Now if you don’t mind I haven’t had anything but brown slop for about a week and I’m in the mood for some real food,” she said as she started limping towards the car.

“Shouldn’t you get your leg looked at?” Caramel pointed out.

“Yeah sure, I’d just like to get a daisy salad in me,” Rainbow argued, looking at Caramel who didn’t seem pleased with the answer. “Fine, schedule something with my doctor, but I’m getting my food on the way,” she conceded, rolling her eyes.

“Good,” he said as he opened the car door for her. Once Rainbow was in he turned to walk to the other side of the car, but was stopped by Spitfire.

“Make sure she takes it easy for awhile. She’s been through alot and not just the leg,” Spifire told the stallion as she began walking away.

“Sure thing,” Caramel confirmed as he got in the car with Rainbow.

“What was that about?” Dash asked quirking an eyebrow.

“Oh nothing. She just wants you to stay off your hoof for a while,” Caramel explained.

Rainbow rolled her eyes. “I’m fine. It doesn’t even hurt that bad,” she told him as she pressed it against the floor of the vehicle, gasping as pain shot up the appendage.

“Yeah, hospital first,” Caramel told the driver who nodded and started the car. Rainbow grunted in disapproval, but didn’t say anything as they started moving.

“So what else did I miss while I was gone?” she asked Caramel.

“Not much. The big news right now is you being found and Spider-Mare,” Caramel told his boss.

Rainbow gave Caramel a confused look. “Spider-Mare? What is that, a circus act?” she asked.

“No she’s actually a Super Hero,” he informed. Rainbow gave him a disbelieving stare. “You’ll see the videos. She’s all over the internet.”

“Yeah well we’ll see if she’s popular enough to overshadow my homecoming,” Rainbow said with confidence, not liking the idea of sharing the spotlight.

“Really? That’s what has you worried?” Caramel asked, incredulously.

“Hey, awesome ponies gotta fight for the top spot. You wouldn’t understand that though,” Rainbow said seriously, waving a dismissive hand at Caramel.

“Oh come on Rainbow, we have bigger things to worry about than that,” Caramel argued.

“Like what?” Rainbow asked.

“Like how you just inherited Dash Industries,” Caramel pointed out. Rainbow’s eyes widened. “You’re going to have to hold a press conference and tell the public what direction you’ll be taking the company,” Caramel explained.

“And what if I just wanna run it into the ground?” Rainbow asked bitterly.

Caramel was taken aback. “What are you talking about?” he asked in shock. “I mean I get it if you don’t want to run the company, but without the funding it gives you, you can’t work on your personal projects anymore,” he pointed out, raising his voice.

Rainbow wanted to argue back, but didn’t have anything to counter with. “I’ll think about it,” she said turning away from Caramel.


A day later Rainbow was stepping out of the car with a cast on her back hand. They had arrived at the Dash Industries Headquarters in Canterlot. Rainbow rarely ever came here and was surprised to see how many reporters had shown up for the press conference Caramel had scheduled the day before. She was wearing one of the few suits she owned and had been talked into wearing make up for the event.

“I thought you said it was going to be small?” Rainbow asked Caramel as he followed her out of the car and up to the main building.

“Compared to how many ponies wanted to be here, this is small,” Caramel said, checking over his clipboard, to make sure the rest of Rainbow’s week was scheduled correctly.

“Fine let’s just get this over with,” she said huffily as she stepped up to the podium that had been set up for her. As soon as she was in front of them, the crowd exploded with questions.

Rainbow winced at the barrage of noise. “If everypony could just calm down,” she shouted into the microphone,” we can begin.” It only took a moment for the crowd to calm. “Very good thank you,” she told the crowd. “Now I’m sure you all want to know what happened to me in the past week,” Rainbow began, grabbing everypony’s attention,” but that’s not why I’m here today. Today I’m going to tell you where the future of Dash Industries is headed.”

“I’m sure everypony here is aware of my less than stellar record of staying out of the press,” she began. “And with that in mind we have to ask ourselves, is Rainbow Dash, the party mare of Cloudsdale, really ready to lead a company that provides the military with it’s most dangerous weapons? Can we trust her to keep these weapons out of enemy hands?” she asked the crowd rhetorically. Rainbow saw Caramel in the back of the crowd, a suspicious look on his face.

Spitfire said, he’d do anything for me. Let’s test that, Rainbow thought. “It is for that reason I will be turning over control of the company to somepony I see as trustworthy until they decide I’m fit to takeover,” she continued. “And that pony is my assistant Caramel.” The reporters flew into a frenzy at this and Rainbow saw Caramel’s jaw drop as several reporters turned to him and started asking him questions.

Rainbow pushed her way through the crowd to Caramel and started pushing him back to the car. “No more comments for now,” she concluded as they climbed into the vehicle and the driver started the engine.


“What was that?!” Caramel shouted as he found his voice. They were about halfway to the airport where they would take the private plane back to Cloudsdale.

“Not so loud,” Rainbow complained. “What that was, was me promoting you. Congratulations,” Rainbow said leaning back in her seat.

Caramel became flustered as he tried to find the right words. “I didn’t want a promotion. What makes you think I’m anymore fit to lead the company than you?” he asked.

“I don’t,” Rainbow replied simply, giving no further explanation.

“Then, why did you just put me in this position?” he asked, trying to calm himself.

“Because I don’t want the company. I really couldn’t care what happens to it,” she explained.

“What are you talking about? Without the company you’ll lose your funding,” Caramel argued. “We talked about this yesterday.”

“Which is why I put you in charge. The board will guide you on keeping the company running. but you’ll keep them from locking me out,” Rainbow explained.

Caramel took a moment to process this information before realization hit him. “Are you seriously sniping at your dad after he died?” he asked with a disappointed.

Rainbow whipped around to look at Caramel. Her eyes were starting to tear up and caramel regretted bringing Comet up. “Do you know what he said to me as he died in my arms?” she asked. Caramel simply shook his head. “Mistake,” Rainbow said. “His last breath and he uses it to tell me that saving my life was a mistake,” she explained. Caramel gulped as Rainbow continued. “After that, what the hell makes you think he deserves to have me run his company? I never wanted to work for it,” she finished, angrily.

The pair sat in silence. “I’m sorry Rainbow. I’ll keep things running for as long as I can, but I don’t know anything about running a company. Eventually you’ll have to take over,” Caramel said.

“We’ll see about that,” she replied defiantly.


The next day Rainbow watched as Caramel packed the last of his things into boxes and handed them to the movers to take away.

“You don’t have to move to Canterlot,” Rainbow told him.

“Unless you want the board to start working on how to shut you out I do,” he replied.

“I know. It’s just this place will be pretty empty with just me and T.A.N.K.,” Rainbow explained sadly.

“You could always take on a new assistant,” Caramel suggested.

“No way. I’m not just gonna replace you like that,” Rainbow said, shooting down the idea. Caramel sat on the frame of his bed and twiddled his thumbs awkwardly. “You already hired someone didn’t you?” she deadpanned.

“Well no, but I put an ad in the classifieds and there have been a few applicants,” Caramel explained as he pulled his bag out of his closet and reached in for the resumes the applicants had given him. “I’m pretty sure a few of them even have experience with technology,” he added.

Rainbow flicked through the papers disinterestedly. Most of the applicants looked either way too high strung for Rainbow’s liking or their experience with technology was very basic. Just as she was beginning to lose hope that any of them would be of help to her, she saw the accreditations of one Glory Bell.

“Glory Bell, majored in Crystal refinement from Canterlot University. Discovered several unique uses for artificial crystals including spells that increase the storage capacity of a magic containment crystal. Has yet to find a job worth her time,” Rainbow rattled off, looking over the previous work experience, which was the only thing that seemed unexceptional.

“Interesting,” Caramel commented, hoping this was what Rainbow was looking for.

Rainbow looked at Caramel for a moment. “Well she’s not you, but I’ll give her a call,” she said, earning a triumphant look from her former assistant. If’s she half as good as she seems to be then we can throw together a new ARC Reactor. Improve the design, Rainbow thought as she tapped the device in her chest with a finger, further inspecting Glory’s qualifications.


Ghost watched as the Diamond Dogs scanned the desert. They had tracked Rainbow this far, but there didn’t appear to be much in sight. “She’s surely beyond our reach by now,” the cloaked pony told himself.

One of his subordinates approached him, a radio in his paw. “It’s the boss. She wants a status report,” he explained.

Ghost sighed as he took the radio. “I don’t have anything new to report. We haven’t found Dash or the machine she used to escape,” he said raising the radio to his mouth.

There was silence for a moment. “I’m not interested in Rainbow Dash. Just get your hooves on the suit. From what you described to me it could be just the weapon I need to make my mark on the world,” a voice replied, distorted by static.

“Understood mam, but I must ask, how do you intend to rebuild the armor if its creators are either dead or out of your reach?” Ghost asked.

“Nothing is out of my reach. Dash will give us what we want whether she’s aware of it or not,” the voice explained.

Just then Ghost heard one of the Diamond Dogs shouting. Rushing over to the spot where the dog stood, the wreckage of the armor was barely hidden by the sand that had attempted to cover it.

“We have found the armor,” Ghost spoke into the radio.

“Good, now piece it back together and figure out how it works,” his employer commanded.

“Yes mam,” Ghost responded, picking up a piece of the armor. he held it up to the sun, the light pouring through the eye holes. Now all I need is a rematch with that mare and this will be the best day in months.


Rainbow walked into her workshop, the lights flicking on as the sensors detected her. “Alright T.A.N.K. wake up. We’ve got some work to do,” she said, turning on her holographic display table.

“It’s good to have you back mam. Will this new project have anything to with the device in your chest?” T.A.N.K. asked, his voice projected around the room.

“It has everything to do with that. It’s called the ARC Reactor and it’s going to be the power supply for the project,” Rainbow explained. “I want you to run a diagnostic on it and tell me how much power it’s putting out,” she ordered as she started recreating the armor she’d built in the cave in front of her in a three dimensional display.

“Very well. Running Diagnostic,” T.A.N.K. replied.

Rainbow started spinning the armor around, removing pieces she wouldn’t need now that she had access to better tech. The hydraulics were the first thing to go, replaced with a system of small gears to move the limbs. She then started working on streamlining the rest of the suit so it wasn’t as bulky and fit her form a little better.

“Diagnostic complete. The device appears to be putting out approximately six gigajoules per second,” T.A.N.K. announced, catching Rainbow’s attention.

“Well we’ll just have to do better than that won’t we,” she commented as she continued working on the suit design.

“I am unable to detect any improvements to be made on the current design,” T.A.N.K. replied.

“Don’t worry about it. I’ve got an expert who’ll be working on that exclusively in a day or two,” Rainbow replied, looking over her creation.

“Be careful mam, ponies might start thinking you don’t have all the answers,” T.A.N.K. quipped.

Rainbow rolled her eyes as she turned to the computer screens that covered one wall. “Let’s start a few simulations for the new design and label the project MK-II for now,” Rainbow said.

“Will this be added to the Dash Industries database?” T.A.N.K. inquired.

“No. That company bastardizes everything I make. Let’s see if we can make something more than a death machine here,” Rainbow replied as she watched the screens, taking notes on what she could improve for the future. “Just wait til the world get’s a look at my new toy,” Dash smirked as the simulations played, most of which were going as she had hoped.

New Assistant

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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.

Trial and Error

View Online

Rainbow woke up early for the first time in her life. She wanted to check the progress on the other thruster boots she’d had T.A.N.K. working on while she and Glory were working on the Reactor. "Gonna need something thin," she told herself as she put on a shirt made of a thin material, so the ARC Reactor could connect to the parts of the suit that had been finished.

Entering the workshop Rainbow called out, ”How’s the progress T.A.N.K.? We ready to test yet?” she asked.

“Yes ma’am. Are you going to inform Ms. Bell about the intent for the Reactor today?” the A.I asked.

“That’s the plan,” Rainbow replied as she tapped a few commands into the display tables console. A holographic Mark-II armor materialized as part of the floor began to open up in the middle of the room, revealing two very heavy looking boots and a pair of matching gauntlets, all attached to a harness of cables. The cables connected the boots to a circular device that was designed to fit into the Reactor for the test phases.

“Alright T.A.N.K., wake up Glory and send her down for me. Time to get to the fun stuff,” she ordered as she started inspecting the boots. She hadn’t installed the armor plating yet so the circuits were visible and easily accessible while the tech was being tested.

Rainbow started inspecting the wiring to make sure everything was as it should be. Glory walked through the door while she was checking the gauntlets.

Glory raised an eyebrow at her boss, laying on the floor. “It’s a little unlady like to lie down on a dirty floor,” she commented as she approached her boss.

Rainbow looked up at her, slightly surprised Glory was able to sneak up on her. “The floor isn’t dirty, T.A.N.K. cleans it every morning before we start working,” she defended.

“Regardless, it’s uncouth,” Glory continued as she looked at the boots. “What are those?” she asked.

Rainbow smiled proudly at the boots. “Those are the first step. Thrusters in the boots will be powered by the reactor and should keep me in the air better than your average fuel. The gloves are for keeping me in control of my flight path,” she explained.

Glory’s eyes widened. “In the air? Do you mean you intend to fly with those?” she asked receiving a nod from Rainbow. “That’s impossible,” the unicorn stated.

Rainbow smirked. “Care to put your money where your mouth is?” she challenged, approaching Glory.

“I don’t bet. It’s beneath me. Besides you pay me, you’d just be getting your money back,” Glory said, taking a step away from her boss.

Rainbow sighed in disappointment. “Well there goes my fun. Whatever just help me get the harness on,” she ordered as she walked back to the boots and stepped into them. Glory approached and used her magic to lift the harness over Rainbow’s head. The pegasus fit one arm through the strap so it went cross ways around her chest. “Okay now connect the adapter to the Reactor,” Rainbow instructed. Glory complied and fit the circular device over the Reactor. After about a minute a few lights clicked on in the circuitry of the boots and gauntlets. Rainbow picked up the gloves and fit her fingers into them as the center of the palm began to glow.

“Now what?” Glory asked, with skeptical look on her face.

“T.A.N.K. start recording,” Rainbow commanded. The monitors behind her desk on the far side of the room came to life displaying Rainbow from various angles of the room. “Glory I need you to use the holo display to monitor the power output of the Reactor,” she said as she stepped into the boots, activating the pressure pads inside causing the boots to latch firmly to her hooves.

Glory walked over to the display table and activated it with a wave of her hoof. A display of the Reactor popped up with ratios and percentages showing what the current output would be if they activated the boots now. “Output is at twenty percent,” Glory stated. “We should probably turn it down to about five for safety.”

Rainbow chuckled as she lifted a foot, testing the weight of the boot. “Glory you gotta be a little more adventurous than that,” She said, flicking her hand at the unicorn and activating the thruster by accident. The force of the thruster sent Rainbow flying across the room and onto her back.

“Oh my goodness! Dash are you alright?!” Glory asked startled.

The pegasus groaned as Glory trotted over to see if she was okay. “Never mind. Turn it down. A lot,” Rainbow said, grimacing as she sat up.

“Enough adventure for today ma’am?” T.A.N.K. asked from above.

“Hardy har,” Rainbow replied sarcastically. “Let’s just get some work done,” she said as the phone rang. “Now what?” she grumbled as she walked over to her desk and hit the button for the speaker phone. “You’ve reached the Dash residence. Leave a message after the beep,” she said as she inspected the glove that had launched her across the room.

“I don’t know which is worse. The fact that I know this isn’t your machine or that you don’t sound nearly as snarky as your voicemail,” Caramel replied.

Rainbow rolled her eyes. “Kinda busy right now Caramel. What’s up?” She asked, trying to hurry things along.

“I need a progress report on the energy project,” Caramel said.

“Yeah sure. We’ll have something for you like next week or whatever,” Dash replied, not really paying attention.

The phone was silent for a moment. “You didn’t get any of my messages did you?” Caramel asked, annoyed.

“What messages?” Rainbow asked, more to Glory than Caramel.

Glory’s eyes widened at Rainbow’s accusatory glare. “Ummm…I’m not sure. I don’t remember Caramel calling,” she replied.

“That’s because I called your cell Rainbow,” Caramel defended, growing more annoyed by the minute. “The board wants you in Canterlot making a presentation for your energy project in two days. If you aren’t here they’ll lock you out. So whatever you’re working on is now second priority,” Caramel continued.

Rainbow rubbed her forehead. “Okay, okay, we’ll be there. Just chill out,” she replied.

“I’ll chill out when you give that presentation and don’t be late,” Caramel commanded. “And for Celestia’s sake don’t just wing the speech last minute.”

Rainbow smirked. “Got it. Ya know you’re cute when you get all frustrated,” She commented, hoping to get Caramel to hang up.

Caramel was silent for a moment. “I… um… I… have… work to do,” Caramel replied awkwardly and with a click the conversation was over.

Rainbow snickered at the flustered stallion as she moved away from the desk. “Well that takes care of that. T.A.N.K. start working on some power dampeners for the thrusters. Let’s not make the same mistake twice,” She told the A.I. as she walked back to where the boots and gloves had come from and took them off. The floor swallowed them as Rainbow walked away, Glory close behind.

“Glory, I’m gonna need you to write that speech for me while we work on making a bigger Reactor for the factory in Canterlot. Now I just need to find a substitute for the Vibranium,” Rainbow continued as she walked towards the door.

“Umm… I’m not so sure I could write it in a way you’d be comfortable speaking,” Glory informed hesitantly.

“That’s fine. You’ll be doing the presentation. I figure there’s two of us so let’s split the workload,” Rainbow reasoned as they made their way upstairs.

Glory glared at the other mare. “So why am I the one going to Canterlot while you’re here building…What are we building anyway?” Glory asked, realizing the boots purpose hadn’t been fully explained to her.

Rainbow stopped at the top of the stairs. “A suit of armor,” she replied simply.

Glory gave her an unsatisfied look. “Armor that flies? Why do you need something like that?”

Rainbow glared at her. “Cause that’s what me and my dad built to escape and I can do it better without hi- uh…with better tech,” she corrected her mistake too late.

Glory’s mouth hung open. “I’m sorry ma’am. I didn’t mean to upset you. Umm… perhaps if you tell me more about your new design then I can help you along,” she suggested.

Rainbow rubbed the back of her head. “Well it’s gonna be a really simple design. Just protective armor and a flight system. Need to work on the power output though. It’d be helpful if you could work on that,” Rainbow said as she started towards the kitchen.

Glory thought for a moment as she followed Rainbow. “Could you use a railgun effect?” she asked, surprising her boss.

“What?” Rainbow asked confused.

“Sorry. I mean for the bigger Reactor. You could set up a system similar to a Rail Gun, except in a circle. Using a conductive metal alloy could create a a similar reaction to the smaller Reactor, but without the Vibranium it will probably only last a few years,” Glory explained.

Rainbow stared at her for a moment. “I thought you worked with crystal technology. Where’d you learn… any of that?” Rainbow asked as she opened the fridge and pulled out a bottle of amber liquid.

“I minored in theoretical physics,” Glory said simply. “Was that not on my resume?”

Dash raised an eyebrow. “No. How could you forget to put that on your resume?” she asked. Rainbow poured the beverage into a couple of glasses that rose out of the counter and pushed one to Glory.

Glory eyed the drink for a second. “Oh no thanks. I’m not much of a drinker,” she said. Rainbow shrugged and sipped her own drink. “Anyways, we need a metal for the Reactor-”

“We use a curved iron rod and shoot it through a ring of copper. The iron should create static as it travels through the Railgun and the copper collects it and stores it a centralized crystal for output,” Rainbow interrupted. Glory looked at her boss impressed.

“And here I thought you just made things that flew,” she commented.

“Had to power them with something. Your Railgun idea is what brought the big picture to me,” Rainbow admitted.

Glory smiled. “Well then I say we take half credit each,” she suggested.

“Sounds good to me. Now you get to work on that speech and I’ll draw up the designs and see if this theory is actually safe,” Rainbow said as she set her glass down and walked back down stairs.

Glory waited until Rainbow was out of sight before she walked to her room. Once there she grabbed her phone and sent a text to the contact marked mother.

Going to Canterlot on business. It would be nice to see you while I’m there.

Glory then closed the phone and grabbed a pen and paper and started writing.


Glory arrived at the Dash Industries HQ a day and a half later, dressed in her business dress. She decided it would be best if she met with Caramel before the meeting so that they could go over the project before it was presented to the board.

After several wrong turns she finally found the stallions office and knocked.

“Come in,” Caramel said from the other side, distracted.

Glory entered with a smile. “It’s very nice to meet you sir. I’m Glory Belle, Rainbow Dash’s new assistant. I was hoping to go over some of the specifics of the energy project with you before the presentation,” she explained as she took a seat after shaking hands with her predecessor.

Caramel wore a confused expression. “Oh, okay, but where’s Rainbow?” he asked, already fearing the worst.

“Oh she stayed in Cloudsdale to work on her personal project. I’m here to give the presentation in her stead,” Glory stated, smiling as she spoke. Her expression changed as she noticed Caramel didn’t seem to be reacting.

Calmly the stallion picked up his phone and dialed a number.


Rainbow was just finishing installing the power dampeners when the phone started ringing. “T.A.N.K. speaker phone,” she called out distractedly.

There was an audible click as the T.A.N.K. answered the phone. Rainbow was about to answer, but was interrupted by Caramel’s voice. “Rainbow the presentation starts in eight hours. It should only be a four hour flight from Cloudsdale. You should have plenty of time to get ready and be here on time. If you aren’t I will personally cut your personal funding,” he said coldly, a click indicating he’d hung up before Dash could say anything.

Rainbow froze as her mind caught up with what was said. “Dammit. T.A.N.K. work on the kinks in the dampeners while I’m gone. Should be back by tomorrow,” Rainbow ordered as she walked towards the stairs to get cleaned up. “And get my suit ready.”


“The Reactor will also save you millions on the power bill each year,” Rainbow finished as the presentation came to an end and the slide show ended. “Any questions?” she asked.

“Yes,” Jet Stream said from the left side of the table. “You were given access to our supply of Vibranium for this project yet the design you’ve shown us doesn’t use any. What happened to it?” he asked, suspiciously.

Rainbow thought for a moment. “An unfortunate test rendered it unusable. On the bright side I won’t be billing you for the hole in my house,” Rainbow joked, cracking a joke and earning a few chuckles from the rest of the board. “Plus with the money you’ll save using the Reactor, it’ll make up for the cost of the Vibranium,” she pointed out.

Jet smiled at this. “Very well then. Just tell us what you need and we’ll start the construction and testing immediately.”

Rainbow gulped. “Umm… I’ve actually been a bit busy with a personal project lately. I would be more than happy to hand over the designs to your R&D staff,” she offered, waving a hoof at Glory, who was sitting off to the side of the room.

Glory reached into a bag and pulled out a thick file. Rainbow took it from her and slid it across the table for the board members to look at. “All yours. I may just need a few weeks to myself,” she said, hopefully.

The board began discussing and from the sound of it most wanted the Reactor. The only quiet stallion in the room was Caramel, who had spent the entire time glaring at Rainbow.

“Well it seems the decision is unanimous then. Thank you for this generous contribution, Jet said to Rainbow, who nodded in recognition “Your father would be proud.”

Dash froze for a second before forcing a smile. “Not a problem,” she said, without her usual confidence. Taking this as a sign they could leave Rainbow turned to Glory and motioned towards the door.

Before they’d made it halfway down the hall somepony called after them. “Rainbow, I need to speak with you,” Caramel called, still glaring. “Follow me,” he said as he walked past them. It didn’t take long for them to reach his office. Caramel walked inside and Rainbow followed.

The stallion stopped Glory before she entered. “I apologize, but I need to speak with Rainbow alone for a little while,” he told her.

Glory looked at Rainbow. “Go see some sights while you’re in town. I’ll catch up with you later,” the pegasus said. Glory nodded and turned around, the door closing behind her. Before Glory could take a few steps she noticed a stallion standing be the printer and, oddly enough, not printing anything. She continued towards the exit pretending she hadn’t noticed.


Rainbow sat in a chair and looked at Caramel expectantly. “Soooo…. What’s up?” she asked nonchalantly.

Caramel looked at her like she’d just told him the ancient pony gods were real. “Is that all you have to say?” he asked angrily. Before Rainbow could speak he continued. “I asked you to give this presentation. Then you pull a classic Rainbow Dash move and make your assistant do it for you,” he told her accusingly.

Rainbow glared at the stallion. “I told you I’m still recovering,” she defended.

“Oh of course. You’re still recovering. You have the time to exploit the unwanted promotion you gave me and work on secret projects and waste valuable company resources, but when somepony else asks you to do your job it’s too much. It’s suddenly time to recover again,” Caramel seethed. “You know I finally get why Spitfire got angry every time you tried to get me to do your work for you,” he finished.

Rainbow looked down ashamed. “So what you want me to say I’m sorry?” she asked, hurt.

Caramel shook his head. “No I want to hear you say you understand what I’m saying. That you understand why you can’t just push your responsibility onto everypony else,” he told her, starting to calm down.

“Well I don’t!” Rainbow snapped. “I don’t understand and why should I?” she asked rhetorically. “You know it’s not like my dad died in my arms or anything. It’s not like I wasn’t held captive by terrorists for a week. It’s not like my dad called me a mistake with his last breath,” she said quieter, but still angrily.

Caramel shook his head in disappointment. “That’s the second time you’ve tried to guilt me with what happened to you. It won’t work a second time,” he stated, with determination. "You want time to recover. Fine. I’m shutting down your company funding,” he told her as he sat at his desk.

Rainbow was shell shocked. She got up and walked to the door trying not to cry. “Rainbow I want you to know I’m doing this for you. I really do want you to take the time to recover,” Caramel said more calmly as Rainbow opened the door. She gave him one last glare before slamming the door shut. Caramel sighed in frustration.


Glory walked through Canterlot’s business district, scanning the crowd periodically. It didn’t take long to spot who she was looking for in a nearby cafe. She walked over to the table and sat down across from the other mare.

“It’s good to see you Fleur. How have you been?” Glory asked, cheerily.

Fleur regarded the mare with a smile. “I’m fine. How are you… miss…” Fleur trailed off searching for the name.

“Glory. Sorry I know my method acting is a little difficult, but it’s entirely necessary,” Glory stated.

Fleur smiled. “It’s not a problem. I could use a little escape myself. I do miss the field work,” she said wistfully.

Glory looked at her concerned. “Is something the matter?” she asked.

Fleur pulled herself back to the moment. “Yes and no. I had to discipline Pinkie and I had a very difficult time keeping myself stern,” she informed.

Glory smiled at this. “Yes well, I’m sure she’s enjoying her assignment if it can be called that. Watching weather wasn’t it?” Glory asked.

Fleur nodded. “Yes, but I think we should discuss Dash. What have you learned?”

“Quite a bit actually. She escaped her captivity in some sort of high tech armor and is attempting to build an upgraded version. She has me helping her so it won’t be difficult to keep a close eye on things, but I’m worried about what she intends to do with it,” Glory informed.

Fleur looked concerned. “Is the suit weaponized?” she asked.

“No. It’s only truly unique quality is that it flies,” Glory said.

Fleur’s eyes widened. “That sounds impressive. Is there anything else we should know?”

“Not that I’m sure of. Oh, I do believe that Dash’s former assistant Caramel is being shadowed by a shady fellow from Dash Industries security,” she finished.

Fleur nodded as she got up. “We’ll look into it. Keep up the good work,” Fleur said as she walked away.

Glory’s phone began ringing as she waved goodbye. “Hello?” she asked, after putting it to her ear.

“Meet me at the airport in ten minutes. We’re going home,” Rainbow spoke from the other side, sounding very emotional.

“Yes ma’am,” Glory replied as she picked up her bag and started trying to hail a cab.


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Rainbow kicked the door open as she and Glory got home. “Get some sleep. We have work to do tomorrow,” Rainbow grumbled angrily.

Glory hadn’t been told what had put Rainbow in a foul mood. “It’s hardly that late,” Glory reasoned. “The sun hasn’t even finished setting yet.”

“I don’t care!” Rainbow shouted. Glory was taken aback and Rainbow regretted letting her anger get the best of her. “Just go to bed and I’ll see you in the morning,” she said as she walked towards the stairs leading down to the workshop.

Glory wanted to argue, but decided it would be best to just leave Rainbow be for now.


Rainbow arrived in the workshop and looked at the neat and orderly space T.A.N.K. maintained. She walked over to her desk and stared at all of the little knick knacks she’d collected, most for no other reason than they were too expensive for anypony else to afford. With a swipe of her arms she cleared the desk of it’s contents and began angrily kicking them away and stomping on them. She didn’t stop until she saw her old Reactor glowing silver in the middle of the clutter.

Rainbow picked up the reminder that she wouldn’t be alive right now without her father. “T.A.N.K.?” she called into the emptiness.

“Yes ma’am?” Tank answered, a slightly concerned inflection in his voice.

“Remind me to incinerate this at some point,” Rainbow told him as she deposited the Reactor on her now empty desk and began sorting through the debris on her floor for any other reminders of her father. She found the tape he’d given her and tossed it on the desk as well. “That too.”

“Are you sure about this? Your father’s notes could provide us with remarkable enhancements to make to the armor,” T.A.N.K. commented.

“No it wouldn’t. My designs are awesome. There really isn’t much anypony can do to improve them,” the pegasus replied as she walked towards the door, just as angry as when she entered. “I can do this without him,” she told herself as the door closed behind her.


Rainbow walked into Glory’s room the next morning to wake up the unicorn so they could get started early. The first thing she noticed was how spartan the room appeared. It didn’t really fit Glory’s personality, but Rainbow pushed that thought to the back of her mind and turned to the unicorn in the bed. “Hey get up,” Rainbow said, tapping Glory on the shoulder.

The unicorn responded by groaning and rolling over. Rainbow rolled her eyes and started walking out of the room. “T.A.N.K., play her the emergency special,” she said as she shut the door behind her.

Seconds later sirens of all sorts could be heard from Glory’s room and a loud thumping told Rainbow the unicorn had fallen out of bed. The cacophony stopped as soon as Glory opened the door to her room and stumbled out, her usually cared for mane in disarray.

“What was that?” she asked, as soon as she spotted Rainbow at the end of the hallway.

“Something I came up with when Caramel had lazy days,” Rainbow said with a smirk, however her smile faded at the reminder of her former assistant. “Anyway, we have work to do, so hurry up and get ready,” Rainbow said as she turned around walking away.


An hour later Rainbow was sitting at the display table in the workshop and getting a little impatient with Glory. “T.A.N.K. where is that mare?” Rainbow asked exasperated.

“She’s at the door,” T.A.N.K. replied as the door opened and Glory walked through.

“Sorry I took so long. I had a little trouble getting my mane right,” she said as she joined Rainbow at the table. Rainbow wore a look of utter confusion. “What?” Glory asked.

“You realize we’re going to have to do some dirty work right?” Rainbow asked. “Ya know. Grease, oil, lubricant. The whole works,” she explained, Glory’s expression changing from questioning to horrified as she continued.

“But can’t T.A.N.K. do that sort of thing for you?” she asked, hoping she could protect her mane.

“He’s not a slave, he’s an assistant,” Rainbow countered, seemingly offended by the suggestion.

Glory thought about this for a minute. “But aren’t I your assistant as well? Why do I have to do… ugh… dirty work?” Glory asked, cringing at the thought.

Rainbow rolled her eyes, fed up with Glory’s stalling. “Can we just get started? I’m not getting any younger,” Rainbow said as she approached the middle of the floor. “T.A.N.K., bring up the boots,” Rainbow said, ignoring the glare Glory was giving her. The floor opened up and the platform with the boots rose up. Rainbow stepped into them. “Glory the harness please,” Rainbow requested. Glory’s blue aura surrounded the harness and fit into place around the pegasus’ chest, fitting the power conduit over her clothes and the Reactor.

“How are we on power output?” Rainbow asked as Glory pulled up the holographic display.

Glory looked over the readouts. “We’re at five percent output,” she answered.

“Okay then. T.A.N.K. start rolling cameras,” Rainbow told the AI. The screens flickered on displaying different angles again. Rainbow let out a breath as she tested the weight of the boots. “Alright, hopefully we don’t have any interruptions this time,” she joked.

“So I shouldn’t have ordered that pizza,” T.A.N.K. quipped, earning a smile from Rainbow.

“Okay. We’re ready to go. And three…” Rainbow took another breath,” two…,” she got into a takeoff position,” one.”

The boots powered up and Rainbow began to feel weightless as she was slowly lifted off of the ground. Rainbow activated the gloves to keep herself steady as Glory gawked open mouthed at the success. Rainbow’s legs felt wobbly, like she was trying to get her sea legs, only in the air.

“Okay,” Rainbow happily looked down to see she was about two feet off the ground. “Go ahead and kick it up to ten percent,” she told Glory.

The unicorn placed a finger on a holographic dial and twisted, turning up the power. Rainbow could feel herself rise another few feet in the air, the added thrust making it more difficult to stay in one place. Her wobbling limbs started pushing her towards her desk.

“Oh crap, crap, crap,” she cursed as she tried to steer herself back towards the middle of the room. She overshot and wound up headed straight for Glory. “Whoa, look out,” she warned, as Glory dove away from the table and out of the way, just barely avoiding getting singed by the thrusters.

Rainbow was quickly getting control of the boots and started leaning where she wanted to go and pointing a boot or two in the opposite direction, a familiar feeling pulling at her gut. Once she was situated back at the center of the room she turned to Glory. “Alright, drop the power slowly,” she told the unicorn. Glory walked back to the display table and turned the dial again, Rainbow dropping from the air the more she turned.

Once she was back on the ground and the boots were off, Rainbow jumped out of them. “Yes! I can fly again!” she shouted happily.

Glory looked at her boss with some concern. “Are you alright Rainbow?” she asked hesitantly.

The pegasus’ head snapped in Glory’s direction. “Are you kidding me?” she asked like the unicorn was crazy. “I flew. For the first time in almost fifteen years, I was flying,” she explained as her adrenaline began to wear off. “I almost had that feeling I used to get when I was younger,” she continued wistfully, remembering her childhood.

Glory looked at Rainbow. “You know I think that’s the first genuine smile I’ve seen from you,” she commented, catching Rainbow’s attention. “So what are we going to do to celebrate such a successful test?” Glory asked.

Rainbow chuckled at the unicorn. “Nice try, but we still have work to do before we celebrate,” Rainbow told her as she got up. Glory’s face fell at this news.

“Okay then T.A.N.K., let’s test the armor plating next,” Rainbow said and the floor opened up again, a mechanical arm holding up what looked like a titanium plate.

Glory looked at the plate confused. “And how exactly are we to test that?” she asked.

Rainbow grinned as a platform rose out of the floor holding a simple pistol. “By shooting it,”Rainbow said simply. She picked up the gun and pointed it at the plate. Rainbow fired the weapon and the recoil sent her shot way off course and into the wall behind it. She let out a frustrated growl and heard Glory snickering behind her.

“Oh like you could do any better,” Rainbow said mockingly.

Glory smiled and pulled the gun out of Rainbow’s hand with her magic. Without even taking a moment to aim Glory fired three shots and hit the plate three times in a triangular pattern. Rainbow stared at the bullets that seemed to have only slightly dinged the plate. Glory simply stared at her smiling.

“Whatever. You used your magic. That gives you an unfair advantage,” Rainbow complained. “We need a break anyway,” she said trying to change the subject. She started walking towards the door and left without looking back.

Glory watched her boss leave and dropped the gun out of her aura and caught it in her left hand, firing one shot right in the middle of the other three. She smiled and followed Rainbow out.


Rainbow poured herself a drink as Glory came up the stairs. “Is this how you celebrate everything?” Glory asked looking at the bottle Rainbow was pouring from.

Rainbow set the bottle down. “Pretty much. Is that a problem?” Rainbow asked.

“Oh heavens no. You’re a grown mare, I can’t really tell you what to do,” Glory began.

Rainbow gave her a quizzical look. “But?” she asked, knowing Glory had more to say.

Glory took a breath. “But this may not be the best idea considering your recent trauma,” she finished, giving Rainbow a sympathetic look

Rainbow looked at the drink in front of her and then back at Glory. “You have no idea what I went through. How do you figure you know what the best way to deal with it is?” Rainbow asked, glaring at the unicorn.

“I don’t know what you went through that’s true,” Glory admitted. Rainbow smirked at this small victory. “But,” Rainbow’s smile faded,” I have been through my fair share of trauma. I’d rather not go into detail about it right now, but I can tell you that shutting out the ponies that care about you isn’t going to help,” Glory told Rainbow. “You have to want to get better, to get better,” she finished.

Rainbow looked at her assistant. “You think I don’t want to get better?” she asked, anger in her voice.

Glory gave her a sad look. “No I don’t. I think you’re holding on to your anger,” she said.

Rainbow gave her a hard look. “And? It doesn’t matter what I’m holding on to. That’s my business. You are my assistant. So assist me when I need it and stay out of my business,” Rainbow said, downing her drink as soon as she was finished.

Glory stood there a little shocked at Rainbow’s treatment of her. “Well I have a few simulations to get to. Why don’t you take the rest of the day off,” Rainbow told her as she exited the kitchen, grabbing the bottle of alcohol on the way out.


Twenty-four hours later, Rainbow found herself in the workshop alone. She’d once again given Glory the day off, because Rainbow was still a little ticked about their conversation.

Rainbow was currently working on the operating software that would run the suit once it was finished. “Doesn’t Dash Industries have a new comms program?” she asked out loud.

“Yes, but it’s only in the prototype phase and isn’t quite ready for use yet,” TANK answered.

“Well I say we do ‘em a solid and finish it. Pull up the program,” Rainbow said, her eyes on the screen. Seemingly random data began to appear along with schematics for phones and earpieces. “Let’s see, well we won’t need the whole phone so let’s just integrate the earpiece into the suit and maybe put a PA system in based off the phone,” she said inspecting the actual programming.

“That’s a wonderful suggestion. However the actual problem the R&D staff is having is more to do with signal tracking,” T.A.N.K. informed.

Rainbow gave the data a very interested look. “Really? Well maybe there isn’t a problem to fix,” Rainbow said. “Is there anyway we can make this look too expensive a project for the company to continue funding?” she asked.

“It’s possible, but there will be repercussions. Some employees may lose their jobs,” TANK said.

“Well that’s an unfortunate risk we’ll have to take,” Rainbow said as she got up and stretched.

“Very well. Also Ms. Spitfire has just arrived and is waiting for you upstairs,” TANK informed.

Rainbow rolled her eyes. “I ask for a few weeks off and no one wants to leave me alone,” she grumbled. “Send her down. I can talk while we work this out,” Rainbow said as she activated the display table and started moving around bits of code here and there.

Seconds later the door opened and Spitfire came through. “I’m not really sure which step melting down on your friends is on the road to recovery, but I’ll bet it’s not towards the end,” the fiery mare said as she entered the workshop.

Rainbow sighed. “So you and Caramel are still talking. Even after he moved to Canterlot. Something I should know?” Rainbow accused.

“Yeah. You should know talking is that thing friends do when they have a problem,” Spitfire said sarcastically. “Speaking of which, you seem to be having a problem. Wanna talk about it?”

“I’m not sure what problem you think I have-” Rainbow was interrupted.

“You got bitchy with Caramel for doing what you asked him to do,” Spitfire said, her brow furrowing. “Not to mention you taking advantage of his loyalty,” she continued.

“Is this going somewhere?” Rainbow asked, getting annoyed.

Spitfire glared at Rainbow. “Yeah. This is going somewhere. You alone,” Spitfire told her. “Unless you let us in,” she said a little quieter. Rainbow turned away and pretended to inspect the code on display. Spitfire quirked an eyebrow at the numbers flashing before her. “You can start by explaining this,” she said, confused.

Rainbow considered what to say for a moment. “It’s my personal project,” she answered.

Spitfire gave her a curious look. “I thought that was your personal project,” she said, jabbing a hoof at the ARC Reactor in Rainbow’s chest.

Rainbow looked at the device. “That’s… part of it,” she said, trying to remain vague.

“So what’s the rest of it?” Spitfire asked. After a few more moments of Rainbow not answering, she sighed. “You know I feel like I’m actually losing information every time I come here now,” she said as she got up.

Spitfire paused at the door. “If you ever want to open up you have my number,” she said as she left.

Rainbow turned away from her work as soon as the door was closed. “T.A.N.K. get to work shutting down that communications project. I… I need to take some time to myself,” she said as she made her way out of the room.


Glory walked through the streets of Cloudsdale intrigued by almost everything around her. Including the buildings around her.

“Enjoying the sights?” a voice asked behind her.

Glory turned to see a pegasus stallion in a suit standing next to her while she was admiring city hall. “Very much so. I’m curious as to how these building stay together without ever dissipating,” she told the agent.

“Unicorns aren’t the only ones with magic,” the stallion answered.

“I can tell,” Glory replied. “I take it I’m to give you my progress report,” she guessed as she continued walking, the stallion close behind.

“Those are my orders,” he answered.

“Well I don’t have much to report. I talked with Fleur in Canterlot just the other day and Rainbow has been giving me an inexcusable amount of time off,” Glory explained.

“Is there anything to report at all,” the stallion asked tonelessly.

“Yes. Rainbow is becoming increasingly volatile. She’s been snapping at her friends and myself whenever we try to broach the subject of her time in captivity,” Glory explained.

“That’s a key part of this investigation,” the stallion pointed out.

“Yes I know. I’m only pointing out that I may need more time undercover,” Glory said.

“I’ll talk to Fleur about getting your deadline pushed back. She did want you to keep a better eye on Dash though. See if you can be more helpful with her project,” he told her.

“I’ll see what I can do, but I may not be her assistant much longer if I have to keep pressing the main issue. Her psychological evaluation was the main priority of this investigation,” Glory said.

“That may be irrelevant if the armor she’s working on can be replicated,” he informed her.

Glory stopped. “Are you talking about weaponizing it?” she asked.

“Yes,” the stallion answered simply.

“I’d have to advise against this. This kind of betrayal could make an enemy out of her that we can’t afford,” Glory said, her voice betraying her concern.

“That’s a risk we may have to take,” the stallion informed. “I think this should be good for now. Oh and Fleur wanted me to inform you we’ve taken care of your predecessors shadow.”

Glory became interested in this. “Any idea who he was working for?”

“Not exactly, but the evidence points to someone with in Dash Industries. We’re looking into it,” the stallion informed.

“You couldn’t get much information from the interrogation?” Glory asked.

The stallion stopped. “The shadow resisted during his capture. The casualty was unfortunate.”

Glory gave the stallion a suspicious look. “I see, well I must be getting back,” she said, turning back towards her home without looking back. The stallion nodded and started walking in the opposite direction.

Glory stopped and looked back at the stallion. That is concerning, she thought to herself.


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Rainbow Dash was sitting on the couch in the living room when Glory arrived home.

“Heeeey,” the pegasus began. “Where ya been?” she asked, slurring her words.

Glory looked to the table in front of the couch and saw the empty bottle lying on its side. “Did you drink all of that?” she asked, a bit shocked.

Rainbow looked at the bottle, bleary eyed. “I dunno. Maybe,” she answered.

Glory shook her head. “Alright then, let’s get you to bed,” she said as she walked over the drunken mare.

“No, I’m… I’m fine, just a little…,” Rainbow said, trailing off at the end.

Glory waited a few minutes before speaking. “What you are is drunk and what you need is rest,” she said as she put Rainbow’s hoof over her shoulder. “Now come on. It’s time for bed,” she finished.

Rainbow yawned in response. “Kay, fine,” she grumbled as she allowed Glory to lead her to the drunk pony's room. They stumbled through the hallway with difficulty, but Glory was able to keep them from falling over.

“Here we go,” Glory said as they finally reached the room.

“I… I got it,” Rainbow slurred as she stumbled to her bed. She fell to the ground about halfway there and Glory rushed to her side to help her up, only to find Rainbow’s face now stained with tears.

“Rainbow what’s wrong?” she asked with concern.

Rainbow sniffled. “I am. I think. I don’t know. I’m angry and I’m avoiding everypony I care about. That’s not right. They want to help and I won’t let them,” she babbled.

Glory didn’t know what to say. To her it seemed that Rainbow knew what her problem was, but didn’t know how to deal with it. “The only advice I can give you is to talk with your friends. They’ll understand,” she told the pegasus.

“And if they don’t?” Rainbow asked. Glory was baffled by the question, but Rainbow continued before she could speak. “You wanna know why I made T.A.N.K.? So that no matter what I’d always have a friend who wouldn’t leave me. How could he? He’s my house,” Rainbow informed, tears pouring down her face. “I always act all busy and shut ponies out without thinking about it. Not because I wanna be alone. Because I deserve to be,” she finished hanging her head.

Glory was shocked at the what she’d been told. “Rainbow, why on earth would you think you deserve to be alone?” she asked, confused.

“Cause I do. What have I ever done to deserve anything else?” she asked rhetorically. “I push all my responsibilities to Caramel, cause I know he won’t screw it up like I will. I’m always making Spitfire’s job difficult,” she rattled off as she grew even more upset.

“Rainbow!” Glory interrupted sharply. Rainbow looked startled at the exclamation. Glory spoke once she knew Rainbow was listening. “I think what you’re really afraid of here is having your friends depend on you and letting them down. So you let them down before they can get their hopes up,” Glory said as she helped Rainbow up off the floor. “And that’s not fair. Too them or yourself,” she continued. “What you need to do is stop feeling bad about pushing everypony away and start letting them in,” the unicorn finished as she helped Rainbow into bed. “Now get some sleep and try to remember this through the hangover tomorrow,” she said, Rainbow was already snoring. Glory smiled as she used her magic to lift the covers over the sleeping mare.

“Good night then,” the unicorn whispered as she left the room and shut the door.


Rainbow woke up the next morning with a splitting headache. “Ugh… Never doing that again,” she grumbled, running a hand through her bedraggled hair.

“Never doesn’t seem to last very long for you,” T.A.N.K. replied.

Rainbow groaned. “Not now T.A.N.K. I’m having a rough morning here,” Rainbow replied as she dragged herself out of bed, barely registering she was wearing the same clothes she had on yesterday.

The pegasus made her way to the kitchen where she found Glory cooking breakfast. “What are you making?” she asked catching Glory by surprise.

“Oh, I was just making us some breakfast. Thought we could talk,” she said as she took a pan off of the stove and slid some eggs onto a pair of plates.

“Oh… umm… thanks,” Rainbow said awkwardly.

“Are you alright?” Glory asked, quirking an eyebrow at her bosses behavior.

Rainbow smiled a little. “Yeah, I’m cool. Just not used to being made breakfast after bitching at somepony,” she joked.

Glory smiled. “Well I’ll take that as a compliment,” she replied. “So how’s the hangover?” the unicorn asked.

“Throbbing,” Rainbow replied. “I need a drink,” she continued.

Glory glared at her. “That’s what caused it in the first place,” she said as her horn began to glow. She started going through the kitchen until she found what she was looking for. She pulled a glass out of the cabinet and filled it with water from the tap. She then pulled a tube out of the medicine cabinet and dropped two tablets from it into the water, where they immediately began to fiz. “Drink that,” Glory said sliding the glass to Rainbow.

The pegasus looked at the concoction with a noticeable grimace. She took a deep breath and then downed almost half of the liquid, before the foul taste became too much. “Ugh… Celestia, that’s disgusting.”

Glory chuckled at her boss. “Maybe this will serve as a lesson for next time,” she suggested.

Rainbow snorted. “Not likely. This isn’t my first hangover and it won’t be my last,” she told the unicorn as she gulped down the rest of her medicine, grimacing the whole time. “So did I do anything stupid or embarrassing?” she asked, curious.

Glory stopped, a bite of eggs inches from her mouth. “Nothing horrible,” she said vaguely. “You just talked for a while. Told me the reason you were pushing everypony away,” Glory explained, eyeing Rainbow with concern.

“Oh,” the pegasus said, hanging her head in apparent shame. “Sorry, I didn’t mean to unload on you,” she apologized.

“It’s not a problem,” Glory assured. “However I think there are a few ponies you should have told other than me,” she hinted.

Rainbow sighed, knowing Glory was right. “I know, it’s just hard admitting I need help is all. Being crippled kinda does that to a pony,” she informed.

Glory tried hard not to glare. “It’s not about needing help. Caramel and Spitfire genuinely care about you. They just need to know your going to be okay and right now they’re pretty certain you aren’t,” Glory explained.

Rainbow thought about this for a moment. “Yeah. I’ll talk to them soon, but in the mean time,” she began as she finished her meal. “We have some work to do. So hurry up and eat,” she said as she left the room.


Glory arrived in the workshop to find Rainbow strapping on what looked like the arms of the armor, still missing the protective plating. “What exactly are we testing now?” she asked, with some concern.

Rainbow looked up, surprised by Glory sneaking up on her. “Nothing big. I thought we’d try some magnets in the gauntlets for grip,” she explained. “Picking heavy stuff up while in the suit would be very helpful.”

“I see,” Glory said, questioning whether this was a good idea. “I am curious though. What kind of magnet will you be using?” she asked, stepping closer to inspect the leggings. “Because if I recall, a strong enough electro magnet could tamper with some of the internal systems, like say the A.R.C. Reactor,” she pointed out.

Rainbow smiled as she tested her footing. “I know. The power dampeners for the thrusters will also be limiting the energy supply for the magnets. So long as I don’t get them to close together I should be fine,” Rainbow explained.

“Very well. How are we testing them?” she asked.

Rainbow thought for a moment. “Oh, I got it. T.A.N.K. do we have any scrap metal left over from the rest of the armor?” she asked.

“Not much. You were very specific on how much you needed,” the A.I. replied.

“Well bring whatevers left up here. We’re gonna put it to use,” Rainbow said.

“Put it to use how?” Glory asked, quirking an eyebrow.

Rainbow smiled. “You’re gonna throw it at me,” she explained, making Glory’s jaw drop in surprise. “Don’t worry, so long as the magnets work, I’ll be fine.”

“That’s comforting,” Glory mumbled as the floor opened up and a few pieces of scrap metal appeared. Glory looked at the scrap, some of it seeming a bit jagged where it had been cut or melted. “Are you sure about this?” she asked, lifting a smaller piece with her magic and inspecting it.

“Yes I’m sure,” Rainbow responded, rolling her eyes. “Now throw it,” she said, holding up a hoof.

Glory looked from the shrapnel to Rainbow and shrugged. “Fine,” she said, her aura flinging the metal at the pegasus. Rainbow held her hoof in it’s general direction and the shrapnel connected with the magnet and stuck to her hand.

“Ha! It worked,” Rainbow cheered just before the weight unbalanced her. “Oh crap,” she hissed as she fell over.

Glory walked over to Rainbow and helped her up, the piece of scrap disconnecting from the magnet. “So was that the desired result?” she asked.

“Sort of. It’ll work better with the full suit. I’ll be able to hold more weight then,” Rainbow explained as she moved to the middle of the room. “Speaking of which, T.A.N.K. is the rest of the armor ready?” she asked.

“The MK-II is ready for basic testing,” T.A.N.K. announced.

Rainbow smirked at this. “All right let’s see how it fits then shall we?” she asked rhetorically.


Ghost sat in the back of a truck as it drove through the desert. He looked out of a window and saw a small village in the distance. "Phone," he said holding out a hand. The Diamond dog sitting next to him laid a satellite phone in his hoof. Ghost hit a single button and held the phone to his ear waiting for an answer.

"What?" An annoyed voice asked.

"Just checking in. We're nearing our destination," he informed.

"Don't bother me with meaningless reports. Let me know when you're done. Other than that stay off this line. I need it open for my contact in the company," Ghost's employer said angrily.

"My apologies ma'am. Any news from the company?" the mercenary asked.

"Just get your job done," the made said, a click from the phone told Ghost the conversation was over.

Ghost glared at the phone before turning his attention to the dog beside him. "Tell the others to surround the village and wait for my orders. Once I give the signal they are to kill all. No survivors," he ordered. The dog started talking into a radio, relaying the orders to his comrades. "This should be an interesting reunion," Ghost said to himself, smiling.


Rainbow stepped into the center of the room and looked at the leggings made of circuits, wires and a thin metal frame. Glory was sitting off to the side paying close attention. "Okay T.A.N.K., initiate suit up," Rainbow said.

As soon as the words had left her mouth the floor opened up as it usually did, but the space quickly grew larger than usual. Glory stared in shock as mechanical arms started attaching new pieces to the armor, starting with exo-skeleton and inner circuitry, with even more arms screwing in bolts to hold the entire thing together. Next came the armor plating. Pieces of silvery metal were lifted into place , attached over the exoskeleton and bolted into place. Rainbow made sure to tuck her mane under the armor as the helmet was fitted around her head. Once it as on the mask slid into place with a cling and Rainbow stood in the middle of the room in full armor.

"This is truly impressive, Rainbow," Glory stated, unsure how else to describe what she was seeing. "Is this what it looked like when you escaped?"

Rainbow let out a laugh at this. "Not exactly," she answered, her voice computerized from the P.A. system. "This is way better," she commented as the HUD came to life in front of her eyes. The monitor was displaying power output and even options for flight paths. This sparked Rainbow's curiosity.

"Well this all very exciting, but it's about time for lunch don't you think?" Glory asked as she started towards the door.

"Initiating armor removal," T.A.N.K. stated.

"Actually I think we may need a test flight," Rainbow said as she started testing her weight, finding it much easier to lift her legs with the full armor on.

Glory's jaw dropped. "You can't be serious. There are several things we need to test before that. We need to make sure the suit won't put the Reactor under too much stress for starters," the unicorn explained.

"Not to mention whether or not it's actually safe to fly with nothing but the armor to protect you in case of a crash landing," T.A.N.K. commented.

Rainbow rolled her eyes. "Oh please. This thing could take an artillery shell and be fine," Rainbow countered. Glory still looked unsure. "T.A.N.K. start listening in on ground control. I'd like to avoid getting spotted," she said, ignoring the look Glory was giving her.

"Which would be easier if you waited until nightfall," Glory grumbled.

"Glory get to the console and keep an eye on energy levels. Let me know when they drop below fifty percent and then I'll come back," Rainbow said hoping that would appease the unicorn.

Glory glared at the pegasus for a moment. "Fine," she said, giving up trying to convince Rainbow that this was a bad idea.

"There's a headset on my desk. You can use that to talk to me," Rainbow said as she turned towards the bay doors on the far end of the room. "T.A.N.K., open the doors," she said smiling. The doors slowly started to slide towards either side of the wall they were attached to, revealing the open sky just outside Cloudsdale.

Rainbow pressed her feet into the boots softly, activating the thrusters, followed quickly by the flight stabilizers in her palms. Once she was high enough above the ground, she pointed her palms backwards and pushed as hard as she could on the sensors and activating the full power of the thrusters. Rainbow was out of the workshop in seconds, leaving a smoke trail as she soared above the forest Cloudsdale floated above.

The pegasus smiled inside her helmet, the screen inside showing her a sight she hadn't seen in a long time. Open skies.

"Glory you there?" She asked after a few minutes.

"Yes. Where are you?" Glory asked, sounding befuddled.

Rainbow took a glance backwards and laughed. "Looks like about half way to Canterlot if I stay the course," she answered. "Sounds a little boring though, let's see what this thing can do," she said as she adjusted her hands to push her up. She did a small loop back on the direction of Cloudsdale.

"Don't do anything stupid," Glory said.

Rainbow smiled. "Wouldn't dream of it," she replied as she righted herself with a quick spin and dropped into a steep dive. As she dropped her speed increased. After a few seconds she heard a loud boom and eased up on the throttle. She quickly came to a full stop a few hundred feet above the forest and looked up. She watched as a circle of rainbow colors spread out from where she had just broken the sound barrier.

"Glory, do me a favor and look out the doors. Tell me if you see it," Rainbow said admiring the spectacle.

"See what?" Glory asked. Rainbow heard the unicorn get up and walk over to the doors. "Wh-what is that? Rainbow did you do that?" She asked, sounding awestruck.

Rainbow smiled. "Yes I did," she said as she hit the thrusters again and started doing several tricks she hadn't been able to in a long time.


Ghost looked down at the village from the hilltop, he and the small troop of diamond dogs with him had stopped on.

"Sir. Everyone is in place," one diamond dog said, giving a quick salute.

"Very well then. Attack," Ghost commanded. The dog spoke into a radio quickly and moments later Ghost watched a rocket fly from a hilltop on the other side of the village and explode upon impact with a house near the edge of the town. More rockets began appearing from hills and rocky outcrops around the village, followed by an invading force.

Ghost watched as the Saddle Arabian ponies began to run in fear, trying to escape their attackers. "Now we wait," he said as he watched the carnage below.

Round Two

View Online

Rainbow landed inside her workshop as soon as Glory had told her the suits power was dropping below fifty percent. "That was amazing!" she exclaimed as she landed.

"You aren't the only one who thinks so," Glory said, indicating a monitor behind Rainbow's desk. Rainbow looked at the screen and smiled inside her helmet. The news was playing what looked like her Sonic Rainboom on a shaky camera.

"This footage of what appears to be a Sonic Rainboom, something thought to be a myth, was shot by a hiker in the White Tail woods earlier today," the news mare said with a fake smile.

The stallion next to her smiled a little more naturally. "I tell ya those woods are like the Everfree forest of new age myths. First the Green Giant sightings and now this. Hey maybe that's where Spider-Mare is from," the stallion joked.

"Oh come on. She's on the news enough. Talk about the Rainboom," Rainbow complained.

"Is that really the issue here?" Glory asked rolling her eyes.

"With her, fame is always the problem," T.A.N.K. said wryly.

"It's not the fame, it's the competition," Rainbow defended, still looking at the news.

"Well, I think you should more worried about getting less publicity. Could you imagine what would happen if the public saw you in that armor?" Glory asked, noticing Rainbow had yet to take it off. "Speaking of which, are you going to get out of that? It must be uncomfortable."

Before Rainbow could reply, she was interrupted by the T.V. "Breaking news report from our correspondent in the Saddle Arabian conflict, Lucky Shot. It appears a village just a few miles from an Equestrian Forward Operating Base is under attack. Lucky what's going on over there?" the news mare asked as the screen switched to a green stallion standing in a desert, wearing a bulletproof vest as explosions and gunshots were heard in the distance

Rainbow and Glory looked at the screen intently. "I don't have a lot of details at the moment Scoop, but the attackers appear to be Diamond Dogs," Lucky said, grabbing Rainbows interest when more. "I'm unsure what the reason for this seemingly unprovoked attack is, but the Diamond Dogs are taking hostages in order to keep our military out of the conflict. It's difficult to watch, but I will stay with the story as long as I can," the stallion assured as the pony with the camera panned away from the speaker to the actual conflict.

"As you can see the Saddle Arabians are unable to defend themselves," the stallion's voice could be heard trailing off distractedly. "Hey, hey get a shot of that guy," Lucky said, the camera panning again to another hilltop on the other side of the village. Rainbow could just barely make out a white dot on top of the hill. The picture zoomed in and Rainbow's jaw dropped in shock.

"That's not possible," she said in a low voice.

Glory looked at the armored pony with worry. "Dash, what's wrong?"

"That pony," the pegasus said indicating the white clad figure on the screen. "I killed him when I escaped," she explained.

Glory's eyes widened. "Are you sure?" she asked in disbelief.

"I shot him with a rocket. I'm sure," Rainbow said, anger starting to boil in the pit of her stomach at the sight of Ghost. "T.A.N.K. map a course for Saddle Arabia," Rainbow ordered as she started walking back to the bay doors.

Glory was shocked. "Rainbow the suit needs to recharge. Plus we aren't even sure if it can handle combat," Glory said, trying to get in Rainbow's way.

"Well we're about to find out," Rainbow said, walking past Glory. "Keep an eye on that report. Give me updates as necessary," she continued as she activated the thrusters.

"Rainbow they have hostages. You'll get somepony killed," Glory said, trying to grab the suit with her magic to stop Rainbow.

"Way I see it, those ponies are going to die if nopony steps in to help," Rainbow said, the face mask flipping upwards, revealing the anger in her eyes. "Glory when I said what we'd be doing, did you really think I planned something else for armor that could take a missile to the face and hold up?" Rainbow asked.

Glory looked her boss in the eye, and after a moment released her magic. "I was hoping it wouldn't just be about revenge," she said, lowering her head.

"Every hero has to start somewhere. We don't all get to be saints like Spider-Mare," Rainbow said as she lifted higher off the ground. "I'll be back soon," she told the unicorn before taking off at top speed, following a glowing line on her HUD.


A burly Diamond Dog watched with satisfaction as his unit separated the stallions from the rest of their prisoners. "Put them against the wall. We need to show the Equestrians we're serious," he told his men, who smiled at the order. The stallions were quickly lined up and their families were forced to watch, the foals crying at the thought of losing their fathers.

The lead Dog was about to give the order to fire when a thunderous boom was heard overhead. Everyone looked up to see a prismatic explosion of color in the sky, with a rainbow trail headed their way.

"What is that?" one of the Dogs asked as a silver object came into view.

"It must be the Equestrians responding. Shoot the prisoners," the lead dog ordered.

Just as one dog raised his weapon to shoot, the object from the sky landed on him with a metallic thud, crushing the dog.
The rest of the terrorists and the Saddle Arabians looked on in shock as a pony shaped figure climbed out of the small crater.
It looked around at the attackers and hostages. "You have one chance to surrender," it told them, its voice distorted electronically.

The lead dog pointed his gun at the armored pony and opened fire, his comrades following his example. The pony just stood in place as bullets ricocheted off of the metal plating.

"That's kinda the answer I was hoping for to be honest," it said as it launched forward, propelled by the thrusters on its feet, at the nearest diamond dog, crushing him against a wall. It then picked up its enemies gun and threw it at the next target hitting him square in the head.

As the armored pony attacked his men the lead dog snuck off behind a wall and pulled out a radio. "Sector D is under attack by an unknown enemy. Hostile is heavily armored, but doesn't seem to have any weaponry," he stated, and sat waiting for a response.

"It's about time she showed up. Sit tight we're sending the drones your way," Ghost said from the other end.
Before the diamond dog could respond further a metal hand smashed through the wall he was hiding behind and wrapped around his neck. The pony ripped him through the wall and threw him on the ground. Just as it was about to crush his head under foot a Saddle Arabian stepped forward.

"This Dog murdered my family. Allow me to end his dishonor," he said his eyes filled with anger. The armored pony regarded the interrupter for a moment, before glancing at the dog.

"He's all yours," it said, lowering its foot and walking over to the wall it found him behind. The dog looked away from the armored pony to see the Saddle Arabian pointing a gun at him. He was shot before he could protest.


Ghost watched from his hilltop where a mobile command center had been set up. Five Diamond dogs sat in the back with military laptops in front of them, each one looking like it was meant for video games.

Then he heard the boom. Ghost looked up at the sky, staring in slight shock at the Sonic Rainboom. "That was unexpected," he said as an object hurtled out of the sky and landed somewhere near the center of the village. Gunshots could be heard shortly after and Ghost heard his radio crackle to life.

"Sector D is under attack by an unknown enemy. Hostile is heavily armored, but doesn't seem to have any weaponry," a captain said, the fear evident in his voice.

Ghost smiled. "It's about time she showed up. Sit tight, we're sending the drones your way," he told the Dog, knowing the soldier wouldn't survive. The white clad pony turned to the dogs in the mobile command center. "Bring the Pheonixs around to Sector D. Our guest of honor has arrived," he told them as the dogs activated their laptops and started maneuvering the controls.


Rainbow walked over to where she had found the Diamond Dog hiding and inspected his radio. "Who were you calling?" she asked herself.

"Dash? Can you hear me?" Glory's voice said over the comm system.

"Loud and clear Glory. What's up?" Rainbow asked dropping the radio.

"You aren't going to believe this, but... well look up and tell me you see them," Glory said, worry in her voice.

Rainbow quirked an eyebrow as she turned her head skyward. Her eyes widened at the sight of the five drones headed in her direction. "T.A.N.K. scan those drones. I want the make and model," Rainbow said as she prepared to take off.

"I already did. They are the Phoenix drones you demonstrated before your capture," the A.I. informed.

"Oh, now they're just trying to piss me off," the armored pony said as she launched into the air to intercept the drones.

Just as she got in their sights, Rainbow noticed the rockets and machineguns mounted on her creations. "That's new," she said, changing course right before the guns started spinning up, firing hundreds of bullets. The armor protected Rainbow from what hit her. "Damn. T.A.N.K. keep them on radar, I don't want any surprises," Rainbow said as she watched her radar. Two of the dots following her broke off from the main group and started moving in from the sides.

"Wait for it," Rainbow said to herself, keeping a close eye on the two dots. "Now!" she shouted, propelling herself to the right, colliding with one of the drones. The drone was torn apart as Rainbow crashed through it, the debris knocking a wing off of the other drone, sending both spiraling out of the air.

Rainbow quickly recovered from the collision and looked to her radar to see the remaining Phoenix drones still on her tail.

"Ma'am, the drones are locked on to you," T.A.N.K. warned, as an alert flashed onto Rainbow's HUD.

"Noticed," Rainbow said, as she glanced at the falling wreckage from the destroyed drones and fell into a steep dive to catch up with it. The drones behind her fired their missiles just as Rainbow activated a magnet and grabbed a wing from the debris. She threw it behind herself and was rewarded with the sound of an explosion. "Well that's one," she told herself.

"Two missiles remaining," T.A.N.K. informed.

"Okay let's try something a little trickier," Rainbow said with a smile. She turned herself around and set herself on a crash course with the missiles. Just before she collided with them she rolled out of the way and passed the projectiles, which changed course and followed after her.

"So far so good," Rainbow said as she set herself in the path of the drones. She increased her speed as a smirk formed on her face. "Surprise, assholes," she said as she dropped out of the way and watched from her dive as the missiles collided with the drones.

Rainbow started laughing in her helmet. "Oh man that is classic. Take that Spider-Mare," she celebrated.

"There is one drone remaining," T.A.N.K told her, putting an end to the celebration.

Rainbow turned in the air to see the last Phoenix headed right for her. "Oh, you wanna play? Well then come and get me," Rainbow said as she flew straight at the drone. The armored mare smashed into the drone without blinking. The debris from the drone exploded around her.

"Ha! Nopony beats Rainbow Dash!" she cheered as she tried to correct her flight path again. After a minute of struggling she saw what the problem was. A chunk of the drone had jammed itself into her thruster boot, disconnecting the wiring and disabling the thruster.

"Crapcrapcrap!" Rainbow shouted as she plummeted to the earth for the third time in her life. She hit the ground hard and was a little dazed as she picked herself up out of the crater she had made. "That wasn't my worst landing," she said as she climbed out of the hole, only to be greeted by an army of diamond dogs. As soon as they saw her the terrorists opened fire.


Ghost watched from the ground as the final drone was destroyed and Rainbow dropped out of the sky. Needless to say the masked pony was seething at the constant failure of his men.

"I always have to do everything myself," he said angrily as he drew his sword from beneath his cloak and started walking towards the village. The Diamond Dogs in the command center, simply watched in confusion.


Rainbow had just finished knocking out the last Diamond Dog when she heard a voice behind d her. "Its good to see you've made upgrades to your design. The last one lacked style," Ghost commented, noting that Rainbow's armor looked well worn from her battle up to this point.

"You should have seen it earlier. Looked even better when I started taking out your army," Rainbow said as she turned to face her enemy.

"I think that's enough pleasantries. My employer needs that armor and I don't think you'd be willing to just hand it over," Ghost said as he started walking forward.

"Really Ghost. You think your going to just take it from me?" Rainbow asked as she used a magnet to pick up one of the fallen diamond dogs gun and propelled it at her enemy. She couldn't have been more shocked when the gun seemed to just pass through Ghost as though he weren't even there.

"Ghost? What an appropriate name. I think I'll stick with it," he said as he lunged forward sword first, truing to stab Rainbow Dash.

Rainbow dodged out of instinct and was glad she did. Ghost's sword passed right by her head, shearing off a chunk of her helmet.

How can he do that? she thought, wondering what the sword was made of.

Ghost swept Rainbow’s legs out from underneath her and kicked her onto her back, jumping into the air and stabbing downwards at Rainbow's head. She just barely moved out of the way in time, but noticed what looked like a computer screen on Ghost's left forearm. Her eyes widened

"T.A.N.K. I need the magnets overloaded now," Rainbow said as she kicked a leg upwards, knocking Ghost off of her.

"The power dampeners would prevent an overload," the A.I. informed.

"Of course they would," the mare said annoyed as Ghost lunged at her again. Rainbow stumbled backwards to avoid the stroke, but the blade sheared off a piece of the left shoulder plate.

That's it, Rainbow told herself as she formed a plan in her mind. Rainbow charged into to attack and Ghost responded by swinging his sword upwards at her. Rainbow dodged the stroke, but stuck one of her hands in it's path. The sword readily sheared off the end of a layer of metal and exposed the inner circuitry. Frayed wires stuck out of the glove and Ghost laughed.

"Well that looks important," he said as he stabbed at the wires, cutting through several more inside the armor.

"It was. That was the power dampener to a very powerful magnet," Rainbow said as she charged power into the magnet and swiped her hoof at Ghost's left arm. Ghost jumped back and lunged forward again. Rainbow kicked another gun from her earlier fight at the charging stallion.

Ghost was stunned when the gun collided with his head knocking him off his feet.

"So you use a lot of stealth tech then," Rainbow said approaching Ghost. "Its funny really. I'm pretty sure my dad's company made a system similar to the one strapped to your leg," she said as she stood over the stallion. "So what are you, a disgruntled employee or something?"

Ghost flinched at this. He then rolled away from Rainbow and swung his sword again, aiming at Rainbow's head. The armored mare lifted a hand and charged her stabilizer. She then hit Ghost with a blast of energy that knocked Ghost back into a house.

"Did I forget to mention the dampeners were for my thrusters too?" Rainbow asked, the sarcasm barely noticeable over the exhaustion. "T.A.N.K. scan for a heat signature," Rainbow said as she stood up and started checking her thrusters.

"No signatures detected," T.A.N.K. informed calmly.

"Good cause it's gonna take awhile to get this stabilizer back in working order. I don't really feel like walking home," Rainbow said as she started reconnecting wires. Once she was done she launched into the air and flew home, an unfamiliar feeling in her stomach.


Spitfire arrived at the Air Force base in Cloudsdale. She had received an urgent message about the attack in Saddle Arabia and was curious as to why her bosses wanted to see her about it.

She arrived outside the office of her superior, General Hurricane, and knocked. "Come in," a gruff voice said from within.
Spitfire entered and saluted. "You wanted to see me sir?" she asked.

"Yes. I assume you are aware of the attack earlier today?" Hurricane asked. Spitfire nodded, but kept quiet. "Well there was an interesting development during the attack. Several Phoenix drones and an unknown vehicle were seen by our satellites. We had to shut down a news broadcast to keep things quiet," the General explained.

"What do you need me for sir?" Spitfire asked, more confused than when she had arrived.

"We need you to tell us if Dash Industries is working on any experimental technology. Whatever intervened in the attack was more advanced than anything we have. Is there anything you can tell me Captain?" Hurricane asked, giving Spitfire a searching glare.

Spitfire immediately thought of the project that Rainbow was working on, but she didn't think it was possible that something so small could be so dangerous. "Nothing comes to mind sir. Is there anything else I can do to help?" she asked in her most official voice.

The General stared at her for a few more moments. "No, that's all. You are dismissed," he said. Spitfire saluted and departed, a destination in mind. Rainbow you have some explaining to do, she thought to herself.


Hours after his defeat Ghost pulled himself from the wreckage of the home and looked at his left arm where the fried controls were. Most of it was fine, but Rainbow had rendered the intangibility drive useless "She is getting more and more infuriating each time we meet," he said to himself as he pulled out a radio from beneath his cloak. "I need immediate evac," he ordered to the Diamond Dog on the other end.

"Yes sir," the dog replied without question.

Ghost sighed. "Well this is going to be an unpleasant week," he said as he started shimmering. After a few seconds all traces that a pony had been in the village a moment ago were gone.


View Online

Spitfire entered Rainbow's house livid. "Rainbow Dash, where the buck are you?!" she shouted into the seemingly vacant home. She was soon rewarded with the sound of hand steps running up the stairs from the workshop.

Glory appeared moments later. "How may I help you ma'am?" she asked politely. Spitfire noticed she was blocking the stairs.

"Where is Rainbow Dash?" Spitfire asked, not in the mood for games.

"She isn't here at the moment. Can I take a message for you?" the unicorn asked. Spitfire narrowed her eyes at Glory.

"No. I'll wait until she gets back," the fiery mare replied, an edge to her voice.

Glory seemed worried at this. "Are you sure? She may be a while longer," she said, as though she wanted Spitfire to leave.

Spitfire was about to make a retort when she heard the bay doors opening downstairs. "I thought you said she wasn't here," Spitfire said rounding on Glory, scowling.

"Oh she must have just got back," Glory replied. Spitfire knew the unicorn was starting to panic, but she did a good job of hiding it.

"Whatever. Just move so I can go down and talk to her," Spitfire said angrily.

Glory stayed where she was. "Oh, heavens no. It's a complete mess down there. Why don't we stay up here and I'll fix us a pot of tea?" she offered.

Spitfire got right in Glory's face. "Move," she said threateningly. Glory seemed to behaving an internal debate.

"Alright then, but Ms. Dash will have my head. She said she didn't want to be disturbed," Glory said.

"I thought she just got back. When did she tell you that?" Spitfire asked.

Glory's eyes widened at her mistake, but she stepped out of Spitfire's way. The two mares made their way down stairs and Spitfire could swear she heard a lot of heavy machines working in the workshop. "What is she doing down there?"

"Hey, hey, careful. It went on easy enough, you should be able to get it off pretty easy," Rainbow's voice carried up the stairs.

Spitfire stopped cold. "Is she... in there with somepony?" she asked hesitant to continue. Glory looked at her with surprise.

"She must have brought a date home," she said, shrugging.

"Perhaps if you stopped squirming it would come off easier," T.A.N.K.'s voice said, making Spitfire's jaw drop.

The fiery pegasus pressed her hand against the panel to open the door before bursting in. "What the hell is... going... on?" she asked her question trailing off at the sight before her. Rainbow was suspended about three feet above the ground by five mechanical arms. The arms were removing what appeared to be a suit if armor. "What the hell is that?!" Spitfire shouted once she found her voice again.

Rainbow looked over her shoulder in surprise. "Dammit Glory you couldn't keep any pony out for a few more minutes," Rainbow complained.

"With all your squirming it will be another hour before the armor is removed," T.A.N.K. quipped as one if the arms managed to detach one of the arms from the armor.

Rainbow was about to argue back, but Spitfire interrupted. "Hey! Let's stay on track here. Is this what you've been working on?" she asked looking at a piece of battle scarred armor as it was pulled below the floor by an arm.

Rainbow searched for what to say. "Yeah. It's sort if an upgrade from the one I built in the caves," she replied, giving in.

"In the caves? Wait is this how you escaped from those terrorists?" Spitfire asked in disbelief.

"Yeah. I didn't really stick the landing though. That's why you found me without it," Rainbow explained.

Spitfire looked even more shocked. "Landing? It flies? You can fly?" she asked incredulously.

"It's a bit rough, but yes it is flight capable," Glory pitched in.

Spitfire almost cracked a smile, but remembered why she came and hardened her expression. "You didn't happen to take a trip to Saddle Arabia a few hours ago did you?" she asked narrowing her eyes.

Rainbow winced as the last piece of armor came off and stepped off the platform, fixing her clothes as she went. "Yes. Was it all over the news?" Rainbow asked excitedly.

"No," Spitfire replied, Rainbow's smile faded.

"But there was that news stallion there," she stated, annoyed.

"Well the government thought it would be a bad idea for your personal war to be public knowledge so they kept it a secret," Spitfire retorted, before shaking her head. "That isn't the point though. Rainbow, you could have died! Do you have any idea what that would have done to me and Caramel?" She asked, tears coming to her eyes at the thought.

Rainbow stopped and rubbed the back of her neck, her face looking down. "I didn't really think of that," she admitted. "But everything turned out okay in the end. No hard feelings right?" Rainbow asked looking at her longtime friend.

Spitfire looked even angrier now. "No! This isn't okay! You have no idea how guilty I felt after your accident and then we all thought you were gone when you got captured. And I couldn't help but think that if I hadn't rushed your audition you might have been a Wonderbolt instead of a terrorists target," Spitfire yelled, tears falling from her eyes.

Rainbow looked shocked. She turned to Glory who looked uncomfortable witnessing something this personal. "Spitfire, I had no idea-"

"Bullshit!" Spitfire interrupted. "You know when you came back I knew something happened between you and your dad, but it is ridiculous that you'd go this far just to try and prove you're better than him. Well you aren't. You're just as uncaring of the people closest to you as he was. You really wanna prove you're the better pony? Stop acting like child!" Spitfire yelled as she started walking towards the door. Rainbow just stood there in shock. Just as she opened the door Spitfire turned around. "It's good that you can fly again," she said quietly, slamming the door behind her.


"Yes I understand what you're telling me general but-" Caramel said, but was quickly interrupted.

"No buts about it. Those were your company's drones in the hands of our enemies. I'd like to know how that happened," General Hurricane demanded.

Caramel thought for a moment. "There was a shipment headed for Saddle Arabia about a week ago. They must have robbed it," Caramel reasoned.

"Why were you shipping anything to Saddle Arabia? We already got our drones, who else is even out there?" the General asked.

"It was going to a private military company that had just opened operations there," Caramel informed, as his mind started to catch up with where the General was going with this.

"Did this company have a name?" inquired the older stallion.

"Not on record," Caramel said, the big picture finally clear to him.

"Caramel you seem like a good hearted young stallion, but you can't be so naive as to not see what is happening here," General Hurricane said.

"You're insinuating that the shipment was meant for the terrorists," Caramel replied.

"Exactly. Who told you where the shipment was going?" The General asked.

"Jet Stream. He's head of the shipping department. He's been helping me with the transition,". Caramel explained. "I thought I could trust him," He sighed in disappointment.

"It's not your fault son. My people will handle it from here. They'll be there by tomorrow to make the arrest. Just try not to tip him off," General Hurricane said.

"Yes sir," Caramel said, ashamed he had been fooled so easily. He had suspected something was off about the shipment, but to think that Jet Stream was selling weapons to terrorists was unbelievable.

"Now on to the other matter I wanted to discuss with you," the General said, moving the conversation along.

"Ah, yes the armored pony. I can assure you that we don't have anything as advanced as what you described in development. Whoever stepped in wasn't using any registered Dash technology that I'm aware of," Caramel informed.

"Are you sure? I spoke with Captain Spitfire about this earlier and she seemed to be keeping something from me. Are you?" General Hurricane asked.

Caramel couldn't think of anything. "I'm sorry sir, nothing comes to mind," he repeated.

"Well let me know if you think of something," the general said, hanging up.

Caramel set his phone on the receiver, leaning back in his chair and closing his eyes. He had had a long day and he was dreading having to call Rainbow about the Energy Project later.

Caramel's eyes shot open at the thought of Rainbow. How she had come up with the energy project yet had barely worked on it. How the companies only supply of Vibranium was destroyed in her care. Rainbow hadn't been the same since she back from her captivity.

Caramel pressed the button on his desk to call his secretary. "Ms. Pen can you schedule me an appointment with Rainbow Dash?" he asked.

"Of course sir. I'll call her assistant now," Ms Pen replied.

"Thank you," Caramel answered, taking his hoof off of the button. "Rainbow what have you been up to?" Caramel wondered.


"Rainbow are you going to be okay?" Glory asked her boss with great concern.

For a moment Rainbow said nothing. Neither of them had said anything after Spitfire stormed out. Glory wasn't sure how Rainbow had been affected by the tirade and Rainbow had no idea what to say. "Ummm... yeah, I'll... I'll be fine. Just gotta.... work on.... something," Rainbow said, trying to seem okay.

Glory was about to call her bluff when her phone rang. "I'm going to take this. I'll be right back and then we can talk," the unicorn said as she answered the call, receiving a nod from Rainbow. "This is Glory Bell, how may I help you?" she said into the phone as she left the room.

Rainbow walked over to her desk and sat down. I never thought how anyone would react if I got hurt or worse. Spitfire seemed angry, but not because of what I did, just that I did it. Is this really the path I have to take to get past my feud with dad? the pegasus wondered to herself. She laid a hoof on the Reactor in her chest and traced the edge of it slowly. It was the first thing that she and her father had done together. She looked at the old Arc Reactor sitting on her desk next to the tape Comet had given to her.

Then, just as Glory returned, a thought struck the Pegasus. "Why did he use all the Vibranium on one Reactor?" Rainbow asked aloud.

Glory stopped confused. "Pardon?"

Rainbow looked up at the unicorn. "The old Reactor. It has enough Vibranium on it for two Reactors. I never really noticed before," Rainbow explained.

Glory frowned in confusion. "I'm afraid I don't understand," she said, raising an eyebrow.

Rainbow rolled her eyes. "If we had put a second reactor in the MK-I chest piece it wouldn't have taken as long as it did to power up. My dad almost died because of that. So why did he use all of the Vibranium on my reactor instead of making a second one for the suit?" Rainbow asked, the gears in her head working in overdrive.

Glory thought for a moment. "It sounds like he was more concerned with your survival than his own," the unicorn said matter-of-factly.

Rainbow looked a little surprised. "No, it can't be that," she said dismissively. "I know there was a reason for it. He probably wanted to see how powerful one could get," she reasoned, her mind trying to make sense of it.

Glory frowned at this. "Do you really want to make your father out to be the bad guy so badly?" she asked.

"He was a bad guy!" Rainbow shouted, Glory cringed at her bosses aggression. Rainbow regretted shouting, but remained adamant. "I'm sorry, but if you ever got the chance to meet him you'd understand," Rainbow explained.

"Really?" Glory asked unsure. Rainbow nodded. "I'll have you know when I take a job I do my research on who I'll be working for. And from what I learned about you, it didn't make any sense that you got this job," Glory pointed out. Rainbow was about to argue, but Glory kept going. "You were a high school drop out, you had no experience with advanced technology and you presented a financial risk to the company, what with all of your bad habits at the time," Glory rattled off.

Rainbow was dumbstruck. "How do you even know all that?" she asked, bewildered.

"I said I did my research. Anyways, tell me if you think it makes sense that you even got this job? Or is it possible your father pulled some strings in order for you to have a chance of flying again?" Glory asked.

Rainbow wanted to argue. She wanted to tell Glory that she was wrong, but she couldn't. She started to wonder why she got her job. There must have been other choices, better choices. So why was she chosen?

"I... need to think about all this. It's a bit much to wrap my head around right now.

Glory smiled. "Well don't take too long. You have an appointment with Caramel tomorrow at eight," Glory informed. Rainbow perked up at this news. "He has a few things he needs to discuss with you," the unicorn explained.

Rainbow nodded. "Good. I have a few things I need to tell him too," she replied. "For now how about we get some shut eye though? I'm exhausted and I want to go over some redesigns on the armor," she said.

"Sounds good to me," Glory replied, as Rainbow got up and lead the way upstairs.


Ghost stepped out of the helicopter as it landed in the middle of a camp in an unknown location, just as night began to fall. He had taken a small amount of time to recover from his second encounter with Rainbow Dash and her armor. Diamond Dogs were milling about the camp, each one moving with purpose.

A Diamond dog approached Ghost from the crowd, a radio in his paw. "She said she wanted to speak to you as soon as you arrived," the dog said holding out the radio.

Ghost signs as he took the radio. He was about to speak into it when it crackled to life. "How much longer do expect me to put up with your failures?" the mare on the other end asked.

Ghost looked around himself before replying, curious as to how his employer knew he had the radio. "The armor still had flaws. I'm sure Dash will soon perfect her design-" Ghost began.

"It doesn't matter if it's perfect!" his employer snarled. "If we get the armor now, we will have a weapon more advanced than any military weapon on the black market," she explained. "But if we don't get it before long, Dash will have an armor we can't take from her," she finished.

"I understand, but there were no weapons on this new armor. If we wait, we can have the best version," Ghost reasoned.

The voice on the radio let out a sigh of frustration. "I don't think you understand. There is no perfection to Dash's design. That's the beauty of it. She will always be able to make modifications, upgrades and new designs. The potential is limitless," the mare explained. "However the better she makes the armor, the more difficult it will be to pry her corpse out of it."

"I understand," Ghost replied, as the purpose behind all of the rushed plans became clear. They needed to get Rainbow out if the way before she discovered how powerful a weapon her armor was. "What is our plan now?" Ghost asked.

"We will have to take more drastic actions from now on. I need you in Equestria. Jet Stream has been discovered and I need you to make sure he doesn't talk to the authorities," the mare ordered.

"Very well, but how sure are you he's been made?" Ghost asked. Jet Stream had been a very useful asset, even if he was just in it for the money. They would be hard pressed to find anyone else on the board of Dash industries as eager to work with terrorists.

"We heard Caramel talking to the General over the wire tap in his phone. We're sure," the mare replied.

"Then it can't be helped. An unfortunate loss. Will I be given any other tasks while I'm visiting my homeland?" the mercenary inquired.

"Yes. Kill Rainbow Dash and retrieve the schematics for her armor and anything else regarding it," Ghost's employer commanded.

"And Caramel? Should I eliminate him as well?" Ghost asked, considering the threat the stallion posed.

"No. He may be useful to us as leverage in the event we are able to recapture Dash. Leave him be for now. He will play his part," the mare asked.

"As you wish. I'll report in when I'm done," Ghost replied. The mare on the other end didn't respond. "I'll take that as a goodbye," Ghost said to himself. He turned to the Diamond Dogs rushing around the camp. "You there," he called out to a dog rushing by him. The dog stopped and saluted. "Get me a strike team prepped and ready to move out. We leave in the morning," Ghost ordered, walking past the dog and into the infirmary.

Ghost laid down in an empty cot and set his sword on the table next to it. Ghost eyed the blade for a moment. "Yes Caramel will play a part, but much sooner than you think oh mysterious employer of mine. I wonder how Rainbow would react to her assistant being taken prisoner. Might be able to just bargain for the armor," Ghost told himself as he fell asleep, dreaming of his revenge on Rainbow Dash.


View Online

Rainbow arrived at Dash Industries HQ and looked up at the enormous building. She had made sure Glory had cleared her schedule for the day so that she would be able to arrive at her meeting with Caramel on time. She even dressed in a suit for the occasion, although that was mostly to hide the reactor under more than one layer of clothing. She wasn't sure what he wanted or even how Rainbow was going to explain what she wanted to tell him. "Well here goes.... something," she said to herself, pushing her nerves aside as she strode into the building.

She quickly arrived at Caramel's office and looked to his assistant, sitting at a desk just outside. "Hi there. I'm here to see Caramel," Rainbow stated, approaching the mare's desk.

The assistant looked up and smiled. "Just a moment please," she replied as she pressed a button on her phone. "Sir, Ms. Dash is here," she spoke into the receiver.

The phone was silent for a moment. "Really?" Caramel's voice asked. "Ummm.... send her in," he finally said. Caramel's assistant motioned for Rainbow to continue.

Rainbow walked through the door to her friends office. "Wow, you're really here," the stallion inside commented, surprised. He glanced at the clock on his desk. "And with time to spare."

Rainbow rolled her eyes as she sat in a chair across Caramel's desk. "Funny," she replied sarcastically. "Is it that big of a deal I'm here on time?" she asked with a smile.

Caramel chuckled at this. "Rainbow, in all the time I've known you, you have never been on time for anything. Not even your own birthday party," Caramel explained.

"Its called being fashionably late," she defended. The two shared a smile and then Caramel's expression hardened and Rainbow knew it was time for business.

"Rainbow I got a call from General Hurricane the other day about the attack in Saudi Arabia," Caramel began, instantly catching Rainbow's attention.

"That's actually why I'm on time. I've-" Rainbow began, but was quickly interrupted.

"Was it yours?" Caramel asked, trying to remain stoic.

Rainbow froze for a second. "Umm... well yeah. It... umm... How did you find out?" she asked, a little surprised at this revelation.

"I put the pieces together. Plus I know you. So what did you make?" Caramel asked leaning back in his chair.

Rainbow thought about his answer for a moment. "Well it's... armor," she replied. Caramel looked like he was about to get angry. "Okay I know that was stupid," Rainbow said quickly," but I had a good reason." Caramel calmed down enough to listen. "Those terrorists were the same ones who caught me. I was-"

"Are you kidding me?!" Caramel interrupted, surprising Rainbow with his outburst. "This was all about revenge? You nearly got yourself killed over a grudge? Do you have any idea how stupid that was?" Caramel interrogated.

Rainbow was almost too surprised to respond. "Wha... I was... I saved those Saddle Arabian ponies from terrorists. I'm a hero!" Rainbow argued.

"No you aren't. You didn't go to Saddle Arabia to help. You went there looking for a fight. That's not heroic its petty," Caramel countered.

Rainbow bit back a reply, seething inwardly. "They had my drones," she said, wanting an explanation.

Caramel sighed at that. "That's already being handled. The head of shipping was working with the terrorists," Caramel explained. Rainbow looked surprised. "But that's not why I wanted to see you," Caramel continued before Rainbow could change the subject.

"Oh I know. You wanted to see me so you could tell how immature I'm being!" Rainbow snapped.

Caramel sighed. "Actually yes, that's exactly the problem," he said. Rainbow looked offended. "Rainbow, I'm worried about you. Ever since you got back you've been different. You're angry all the time," Caramel explained, a worried expression on his face.

Rainbow searched for a response. "Well almost dying does that to a pony," she replied.

Caramel looked shocked. "What does that mean?" he asked perplexed. He didn't recall any mortal injuries when Rainbow returned and Spitfire would have mentioned stopping at a military hospital.

Rainbow took a moment to think before she reached a hoof to her shirt, unbuttoning the first few buttons and revealing the circle of light hidden beneath. Caramel's jaw dropped.

"What the hell is that?" the stallion asked bewildered.

"Something my dad thought up. It's keeping a cluster of shrapnel out of my heart," Rainbow explained.

Caramel stared in awe before a thought struck him. "Wait, he saved your life? How can you hate him for that?" he asked.

Rainbow's expression soured. "He used his last breath to tell me I was a mistake," Rainbow said harshly.

"Rainbow, your dad made a lot of mistakes. You weren't one of them," Caramel assured.

Rainbow blushed a little at the comment, but she didn't have a response. "Maybe you should've told him that."

Caramel frowned. "Rainbow you have got to move on. Find a way to get some closure and move on," Caramel advised.

Rainbow looked unsure. "I'll think about it," she said as she got up. Neither pony said anything as Rainbow left.


Ghost watched through a rifle scope as Rainbow exited the building. He had found a perch on top of the building across the street, giving him a clear view of all of his targets. He considered just pulling the trigger right there. He had been ordered to eliminate her. "No. One defeat warrants just killing her, but twice calls for something a little more," he said moving the rifle so it pointed at a window on the building," personal." Ghost observed Caramel making a phone call and smiled.

"First things first though," he said, switching his aim again, this time bringing Jet Stream into his line of sight. He reached for his radio and brought it up to his ear. "Team one, status report," he demanded.

The radio crackled to life with a Diamond Dog's voice. "The M.P.s have been dealt with. We are enroute now. Waiting on your go," the dog reported.

Ghost smiled at the news. The team that had been put together was much more competent than the other Diamond Dogs he had worked with. "Good. Once you've reached the Cloudsdale air base, meet with our contact. He'll give you the cloud walking spell. After that wait for my word. And try to take Dash alive. She could prove very useful to us," Ghost ordered.

"Understood," the dog replied.

Ghost switched the channel on his radio. "Team two, Are you in position?" he asked.

"Yes sir, but we may want to get moving soon. Theses ponies seem nervous with a group of Diamond Dogs hanging out in their capital," the dog on the other end replied.

"We wait for nightfall," Ghost replied, switching off his radio. "This all ends tonight," he said with a smile.


Rainbow arrived home unsure of how she should feel at the moment. She had been mulling it over the entire way home.

Glory appeared from the kitchen as soon as the door closed. "How did it go?" she asked sounding hopeful.

Rainbow struggled to answer. "I... It...," she said stumbling over her words.

Glory spoke at this. "It sounds to me like maybe you got what you needed out of it," she guessed.

Rainbow sighed. "I don't know. He already guessed it was me in the armor. Some General told him what happened after the news got shut out," Rainbow began. "And then he tells me what I did was petty," she explained, sounding frustrated. "Was it?" the pegasus asked, sounding unsure.

Glory considered her answer. "Perhaps he didn't mean what you did, but why you did it. Revenge is a destructive path that leaves nopony with anything," the unicorn explained.

"But I won," Rainbow argued.

"So what are you going to do now?" Glory asked sternly.

Rainbow was taken aback. "What?" she asked.

Glory stepped forward. "What now? You've had your revenge. You got what you wanted. So what are you going to do now?" Glory repeated.

Rainbow racked her brain for an answer, but couldn't come up with one. "I... didn't really think about it," she said, looking down.

Glory looked disappointed. "I thought so. You were so consumed in your revenge and trying to prove yourself better than your father, you forgot about the ponies who care about you. Spitfire blames herself for your capture. Caramel is being shut out completely. How are you going to continue living when you're alone?" the unicorn asked. Rainbow simply looked down, feeling ashamed. After a minute without replying Glory continued. "Perhaps you should take some time to think about it. I'm going to go get dinner," Glory said moving towards the door. She turned back to Rainbow. "Try to remember the ponies who have always been there for you," she said as she opened the door and left.

Rainbow stood where she was for a few minutes before moving towards the stairs to her workshop. She had always thought better while working.

She entered her work space and looked around at it. Some of the damage from testing the armor was still visible, but Rainbow didn't seem to care. "T.A.N.K., pull up the armor. Let's take a look at the damage," she said moving to the middle of the room.

"As you wish," the A.I. replied. The floor shifted as the damaged armor was brought up. Its silver sheen marred by scorch marks and dents from her battle.

Rainbow looked at the armor and tried to think of a few ways to improve it, but couldn't. "Ugh... what am I missing?" she asked herself as she walked over to her desk and sat down. She stared at the armor, unable to figure out what needed to change. With a groan she rested her head on the desk and looked to the right. Her eyes widened when she saw the tape next to her previous reactor. She picked up the tape and looked at it for a moment.

"T.A.N.K. I thought I told you to incinerate these," she said setting the tape on her desk.

"I apologize ma'am. Your multiple near death experiences have everyone distracted," T.A.N.K. quipped, earning a smile from Rainbow.

After staring at the tape for several minutes Rainbow made a decision. "Do we have anything here old enough to play a tape like this?" the pegasus asked.

"There should be some form of VCR here somewhere," T.A.N.K. replied. Rainbow heard a mechanical sound behind her and turned her chair to see a panel below her monitors open up and out came a dusty tape player. "This should do," the A.I. said.

Rainbow smiled as she pushed the tape into the player. The screen came to life with the image of Comet Dash sitting in a dimly lit corner of the cave they had been held captive in.

"Ummm... Hi, Rainbow. I'm really hoping you didn't wait too long to watch this. I dont want you distracted tomorrow," the unicorn began, rubbing a hoof on the back of his head. "I'm not really sure where to start. I owe you so much more than a simple apology. Not just for what I said earlier in the week, but for the past twenty years," Comet said, looking tired.

Rainbow was confused. Thought this was supposed to be about the armor, she thought to herself, unsure where this was going.

"I was never much of a father," Comet continued. "I pushed you away from an early age and by the time I realized what I'd lost it was too late. You hated me," the stallion explained, looking towards his feet. "I still can't seem to get things right. I guess I just wanted you to be like me so much, I forgot you had dreams of your own." Comet stopped for a second, looking like he was gathering his thoughts. "A few days ago I thought things were getting better, but then came the weapons," he said, seemingly ashamed. "I knew the armor could protect you mostly, but I was scared it wouldn't be enough. I wanted weapons on the suit, not because I didn't trust your design, but because I didn't trust my work on the armor to be enough. I wanted to be sure you could protect yourself." Comet chuckled to himself. "I couldn't even explain that right. Celestia, what I told you wasn't even close," he said hanging his head.

Rainbow could swear she saw a tear on his face. She sat in her chair, mouth open as she watched in disbelief. "Since the day you were born I feel like the only thing I've done right is putting the ARC Reactor in you," he said, a wistful smile playing on his lips. "I think that will be a very fond memory for me. The first time I made something with you. The first Dash family creation," Comet announced. The stallion recomposed himself and stood up. "Well, we have a big day ahead of us tomorrow. I better get some sleep," he said, static consuming the screen soon after.

Rainbow sat in her chair, unable to comprehend what she had seen and heard. "Caramel was right," she said looking at the silver armor in the middle of the room.

"Ma'am?" T.A.N.K. inquired.

Rainbow sat up from her chair and walked over to the armor. "How long would it take to make a new suit?". Rainbow asked looking the old one over.

T.A.N.K. took a moment to respond. "Going off of the current design it would only take a few hours at most," he replied.

"And if we wanted to put in a few upgrades?" Rainbow questioned.

"Depending on what we install, it could be a few more minutes or several hours," the computer informed.

Rainbow thought for a moment. "Good enough," she responded. "Don't bother with the power dampeners. The flight stabilizers make pretty good weapons. And put some kinda shielding between the magnets and the rest of the internal circuitry. No point making that a problem," she said inspecting the hooves of the armor.

"Anything else?" T.A.N.K. asked.

"Yeah bring up a list of small arms the company sells. I'm sure we have what we need here to make most if it," Rainbow said as she approached her desk.

"That's not usually your style ma'am," T.A.N.K. commented.

Rainbow shrugged. "Everypony has been telling me I should make a few adjustments in my life," she replied as she pulled her phone out of her desk. She selected Spitfire's number from her contacts and held the phone to her ear. Rainbow was disappointed to hear it go straight to voicemail.

"Can't get to you right now. Leave a message," Spitfire's voice said.

Rainbow waited for the beep before talking. "Hey Spit, it's Rainbow. I think you know that already though, which is why you aren't talking to me. Anyway, if you listen to this I want you to know you were right. Glory should be coming back with dinner soon. I'd love to have you here," she said, hoping Spitfire wasn't to mad at her. "Alright. See ya maybe," Rainbow finished, hanging up and throwing the phone on her desk.

Rainbow sat at her desk for a few more minutes before looking at the ARC Reactor sitting on her desk. She picked it up and inspected it, the silver light shining as bright as it had the day it was made.


Spitfire set her phone down on the coffee table in the living room of her modest apartment after listening to the message. She was reluctant to believe Rainbow had changed, but at the same time Rainbow had sounded different. She weighed her options for a few minutes before deciding. "The hell with it," she said as she stood up and walked towards her door. "Last chance she's getting though," Spitfire said closing the door behind herself.


Glory happily walked home, several bags of groceries held in her magic. The pillowy streets of Cloudsdale were shrouded in the darkness if the night, lit only by the street lamps that seemed to be spaced so that they left patches of darkness between each one.

Glory continued despite the darkness and hummed to herself. Just as she was rounding the corner towards Rainbow's house she thought she heard a clicking noise behind her and whipped around. She was faced with an empty street, nopony else in sight. She narrowed her eyes searching for the slightest movement but saw nothing. She turned back to her path and continued, keeping an ear out for any other strange noises.

It was just seconds later Glory heard another click and just as she was about to turn, felt cold metal pressed against the back of her neck. She froze in place as a distinctly canine voice whispered in her ear.

"Don't move pony. We'd like it if you stayed in one piece. You're more valuable that way," the dog said, it's breath making Glory's nose wrinkle in disgust. She didn't move. She simply glared straight ahead.

Home Invasion

View Online

Jet Stream sat in his office, scratching his head at the order forms on his desk. "Some ponies really need to work on their penmanship," he said to himself as he tried to decipher the chicken scratch.

"I hope mine was never that bad," a voice from the shadows said.

Jet Stream was startled from his work, his head snapping to the cloaked figure in the dark corner near the door. "Ghost?" he asked beginning to calm down. "What are you doing here? If somepony sees you, I could get arrested," the business pony inquired, annoyed.

"Oh that's not a problem," Ghost said, earning a questioning gaze from Jet. "You see, you've already been found out. We eliminated the officers sent to arrest you, but if you don't disappear it will have been pointless," the white clad stallion explained.

Jet began to sweat as he got up from his chair. "Then I need to be hidden," he guessed. He turned around and his face paled as he noticed the sword in the assassins hand.

"Not exactly the plan, but I can assure you won't be found, if that's any comfort," Ghost stated as he slowly approached Jet.

Jet backed away fearfully until his back met with the window behind his desk. "No wait. I can pay you," he said, almost whimpering. Ghost hesitated for a second and Jet took that as a sign to continue. "Whatever she's paying you, I can double it. Triple it even," he explained.

Ghost tilted his head in confusion. "Is that it?" he asked, as fear quickly returned to Jet's eyes. "You seem confused. You see it isn't about the money for me. No it goes back many years," Ghost said taking a step closer to his victim. "You see I actually used to work here. Military development. I created a stealth system unlike any other," he explained holding up his hoof, showing off the repaired controls on his suit.

"I can enter a locked room without a key or even a lockpick," he said taking a step forward. "And without anyone knowing as well. But that wasn't good enough apparently. The board said it wasn't suitable for military use. I persisted and demonstrated by robbing them while they sat in their chairs," Ghost said, stepping right up to Jet and placing the sword at his throat. "And they fired me. I showed them they were wrong and they fired me," Ghost said angrily, pressing the blade a little harder.

The assassin took a moment to calm himself. "So I'm sure you can see how insulting it is to me that you would pay me not to kill you with the technology you didn't want to pay for," Ghost stated, a hint of his former anger in his voice. Jet was sweating bullets and on the verge of tears. "Oh don't be like that," Ghost said. "At least die with some dignity." Ghost drew his blade back before driving it into Jet's heart.

The stallion's body slid to the floor with a thump as Ghost wiped the blood off on Jet's blazer. "That's one problem down. Time to check on Caramel," he said as he left the room


Caramel sat in his office unsure what to do. He'd spent the whole day debating whether or not to tell General Hurricane about his revelation. Caramel knew he had a legal obligation to inform the General, but he'd known Rainbow for years now. He couldn't just turn her in after everything they'd been through. Rainbow had made mistakes recently, but was starting to discover a side to herself none of those close to her knew she had. On top of all that General Hurricane never seemed to have his mind all there. There were rumors he even had a black ops unit dedicated to hunting myths.

Caramel was brought out of his thoughts by a soft knock on the door. "Who is it?" he called curiously. After a few minutes of no response the stallion got out of his chair and approached the door. "Ms. Pen, I swear you forget-" Caramel began as he opened the door, only to be met with the barrel of a gun and a smiling Diamond Dog.

"Surrender pony. We need you alive," the dog said as it pushed the door open revealing at least four more dogs, all with guns pointed at Caramel. Caramel froze in fear, unsure what he could do against such odds.


Rainbow looked at the clock in her kitchen and tapped her hand impatiently on the counter. "Where is Glory with that food?" she asked herself. She had been sitting in the kitchen for almost an hour waiting for the unicorn and Rainbow's hunger was starting to make itself known.

The pegasus heard a knock at the door and jumped up, hoping Glory had finally returned. "It's about- Spitfire?" Rainbow asked, not believing that her fiery maned friend had shown up.

Spitfire rubbed the back of her head, feeling awkward. "I got your message. So.... you wanna talk?" Spitfire asked.

Rainbow nodded dumbly before recomposing herself. "Yeah. I also have something I'd like to show you," she said leading the way inside. Spitfire followed her friend down stairs, her curiosity piqued.

"Not to be rude, but you mentioned food in your message," Spitfire reminded.

Rainbow laughed awkwardly. "Yeah, Glory should have been back by now. Not sure what's taking her so long," she said, not seeming to worried about it.

"You don't wanna go look for her?" Spitfire asked as Rainbow opened the door to the workshop.

"Nah. Glory's a big mare. She can handle herself," Rainbow said, walking up to the display table and turning it on. Spitfire rolled her eyes at Rainbow's lack of interest. "T.A.N.K., pull up the new design in full detail," Rainbow said almost instantly an image of an armor popped up.

Spitfire quirked an eyebrow as she noticed what looked like rockets in the forehooves and shoulders. "You're making new armor with weapons?" Spitfire asked with concern.

Rainbow nodded. "I've had a little closure with my dad and I'm done competing with him," she stated. Spitfire didn't seem convinced though. Rainbow looked back at the design and sighed. "This armor and the reactor are the first projects we ever worked on together," Rainbow continued, putting a hand to the blue light in her chest, shining through her shirt. "I felt connected to him for the first time and turns out he felt the same way. I know I probably shouldn't get back in the armor, but it's all I have of him. I can't give it up either," Rainbow finished, looking at Spitfire, who seemed surprised. "What?" Rainbow asked.

Spitfire shook her head to clear it. "Sorry, but this sounds like its coming from a completely different pony than the Rainbow Dash I know," Spitfire said. Rainbow looked down in shame, but Spitfire pushed her chin up. "I didn't say that was a bad thing."

Rainbow smiled and both pegasi turned back to the armor design. "It could use some color," Spitfire commented, a little put off by the silver. "Hey T.A.N.K. can we see it in yellow," she said and was greeted by the hologram changing to an almost gold hue.

"I'm not flying around in that," Rainbow stated, giving Spitfire a playful shove. A red lock of Rainbow's mane fell in her face, the blurred color blending with the armor's. "Hey that's not bad. Put some red in it," she said. The armor rendered again, this time a with red covering most of the suit, complemented by the yellow rather nicely. "How long will it take to finish it now?" she asked.

"Approximately twenty minutes," the A.I. announced from above.

Spitfire looked at the armor impressed. "It looks great," she complimented.

Rainbow was about to say thanks when the power in Rainbow's home suddenly went out. "The hell?" she asked out loud, concern in her voice. It only took a few seconds for the emergency backup generator to kick in, but Rainbow still had a worried look on her face.

"What's wrong?" Spitfire asked.

"The emergency power only supplies power to vital systems in case of a black out. Those systems are T.A.N.K., the phones and the doors," Rainbow explained. Spitfire still looked confused. "The security system is off," she stated as though it were obvious.

"Why did you design it like that?" Spitfire asked, baffled by Rainbow a lack of foresight.

"I never thought about getting attacked at home," Rainbow replied. Just then a gunshot was heard upstairs followed by the front door getting kicked in.

Spitfire looked around and noticed the armor hanging up on the other side of the room. "Can't you use that?" she asked pointing at it.

Rainbow glanced at it and shook her head. "I need the assembly pad to get it on. Besides its too damaged to work right," she said. "We need to hide," Rainbow stated looking at her desk. Spitfire nodded and the pair made a quick dash for the desk, slipping behind it just as the door was blown off its hinges by explosives.

"Search the room," a voice said. Rainbow remembered the accent and knew it was the Diamond Dogs. She and Spitfire stayed still as flash lights lit up the workshop.

There wasn't a lot to search and Rainbow knew they'd be found quickly if they didn't do something. She peeked over the desk and saw four dogs searching the room while a fifth inspected the armor hanging in the corner.

"This is it," he said. "Contact the chopper, tell them we have the armor," he said.

"Hang on," another said looking at the chest piece. "It looks like something goes here. Maybe the power source," he suggested. The dog scanned the room with a flashlight mounted on an assault rifle. Rainbow ducked as the light passed over the desk and stopped. "What's that?" he asked.

Rainbow heard footsteps approaching. "Looks like the thing Dash had in her chest. Think its what we need?" Rainbow's eyes widened as she realized they had found her old ARC Reactor.

She looked at Spitfire to tell her and was surprised when Spitfire leaped over the desk to tackle the dog. "Weapons down or I kill you friend," she ordered, trapping the dog in a headlock. The dog responded by slamming Spitfire into the desk causing the mare to lose her grip and fall to the floor. Just as the dog was about to shoot her, Rainbow jumped out from behind the desk.

"Don't shoot!" she yelled, holding her hooves up. "You need me right? Let her go and I'm all yours," she said.

"Rainbow no," Spitfire said.

"It's either that or they kill us," Rainbow argued.

"We actually don't need you though," one dog said raising his weapon, surprising Rainbow.

"Wait!" the leader said approaching Rainbow. "Look at her chest. She has a new power source. There must be something wrong with the old one," the dig reasoned, pulling out a pistol and pointing it at Rainbow's head. "How do I remove it?" he asked. When Rainbow didn't answer the dog pointed the gun at Spitfire.

"No wait," Rainbow pleaded. Seeing no way out she answered. "Push it in, turn it to the left and pull it out," she instructed. The dog followed her instructions and removed the reactor.

As soon as it left her body, Rainbow dropped to the floor in pain. She could feel the shrapnel pushing through her body trying to get to her heart.

"Rainbow!" Spitfire shouted trying to get to her friend, but a dog held her back. Just outside she could hear what sounded like a helicopter and moments later the bay doors slid opened, pushed by more Diamond Dogs who had arrived by the helicopter hovering at the end of Rainbow's landing strip.

"Get the armor onboard and call Ghost. Let him know we're done and heading back to base. Hopefully he's finished in Canter lot by now," the leader commanded, before glancing the ponies. "Kill them," he ordered as he started walking to the helicopter with the ARC Reactor.

The dog holding Spitfire shoved her to the ground and Spitfire looked at Rainbow who had begun shaking in pain. She then heard a gunshot, but instead of pain, Spitfire felt the Diamond Dog fall on top of her.

All eyes in the room turned to the door as Glory rolled into the room, two pistols held in her magic. The unicorn fired three more shots in quick succession before the dogs could retaliate and the rest of the dogs around Spitfire dropped to the ground.

Spitfire heard something clink and saw the old ARC Reactor roll out if a dead dogs grip. She leaped towards it and dogded behind the desk just as the rest of the dogs got over their surprise and started shooting back at Glory, who dodged behind the holographic display table.

While the unicorn fended off the attackers, Spitfire started pushing the reactor into the hole in Rainbow's chest. She twisted it into place and Rainbow gasped as the magnet was reactivated.

"That's not comfortable," she said, almost hyperventilating. Spitfire pulled her into a hug and nearly started crying.

"Don't ever scare me like that again," Spitfire said, wiping her eyes.

"I hate to interrupt the moment, but I could use some help!" Glory shouted over the gunfire. "Rainbow, can you get in your armor?"

"T.A.N.K. can you get us connected to the power grid again?!" Rainbow shouted.

"Already working on it. Power should be restored momentarily," T.A.N.K. replied.

"Work fast," Glory said as she popped out from cover and fired three shots, taking down another dog in the process.

"Keep them busy!" the lead dog shouted. Rainbow peeked out if cover to get a look at him and immediately noticed the machine gun mounted on the helicopter. The gunner opened fire and Rainbow ducked back behind the desk as bullets whizzed by them.

At that moment the lights flickered back on and alarms started going off. "Dammit," the lead dog cursed as he jumped into the helicopter. Get us out if here," he said to the pilot.

"But we still have dogs on the runway," the pilot argued.

"Just do it!" the leader shouted. The pilot nodded and started steering the helicopter away from Rainbow's house.

As soon as the machine gun was out of the picture, Glory jumped out of cover and shot two of the remaining dogs, leaving just one more. The dog raised his weapon, but Glory shot him in the leg and grabbed the gun in her magic, ripping it out of the dog's paws. She was just about to pull the trigger when Spitfire stopped her.

"Wait," she said, before turning to the dog. "Your leader said someone named Ghost was in Canterlot. Who is he and what's he doing there?" Spitfire asked.

"I won't talk," he spat at them.

Rainbow trotted up behind her friend. "Ghost is the pony that held me and my dad captive. We only need to know what he's doing," she said. She turned to the dog. "Talk or my assistant is gonna put a cap in your knee," Rainbow ordered. Glory pressed a gun to the dog's leg to drive the point home.

"Wait, wait," he said fearfully. "He was ordered to kill Jet Stream and capture a pony named Caramel," the dog stammered.

Rainbow's eyes widened. "T.A.N.K. is the armor ready yet?" she asked urgently.

"Ready and waiting ma'am," the A.I. replied.

Rainbow stepped onto the assembly pad and the mechanical arms sprouted from the floor and started assembling the armor.

"Rainbow, what are you going to do?" Spitfire asked, watching in amazement.

"Save my assistant," the armored mare replied.

"I'm your assistant," Glory said confused.

"You also know how to take down a room full of terrorists. I'm thinking you weren't completely honest on your resume Glory," Rainbow told the unicorn who laughed awkwardly in response.

"Point taken. On that note I'd like to inform you my name is Rarity actually," Rarity informed rubbing the back of her head. Her former boss' jaw dropped at this. "I work for a world peace keeping organization," she said.

Rainbow shook her head as the helmet was placed on her head, the face plate falling over her face with a cling. "We'll talk later," Rainbow replied as she activated her thrusters. "Right now I have some place to be," she said, as the thrusters propelled her through the room and out of the bay doors.

Spitfire stared in awe. "That was pretty bad ass," she commented. Rarity nodded in agreement.


View Online

Caramel sat on the on the floor of his office, staring fearfully at the guns the Diamond Dogs were pointing at him. How did they even get past security? the stallion wondered as one of the dogs approached.

The door opened, catching Caramel's attention. A pony wearing a white cloak and mask entered and inspected Caramel from a distance. "Very well done Captain," the strange pony said, looking at the dog that had knocked on the door before.

The dog smiled. "There was no problem Ghost. He didn't even fight back," the dog informed, smiling at Caramel

"That's a shame," Ghost said. "I was hoping we'd have to rough you up a bit before she got here. It always makes things look better for us," the stallion said, approaching Caramel.

The dogs all looked at their leader in fear. "The boss is coming?" one asked almost shaking.

Ghost laughed at this. "No, no. Not her," he told them noticing how they relaxed. "But I'm expecting Dash to arrive soon and I was hoping to have her to myself," the white clad pony continued. The dogs gave him confused looks. "Has the team in Cloudsdale reported back yet?" he asked, without looking up from Caramel.

Caramel was beginning to feel uncomfortable, with the way Ghost looked at him. "They were able to capture Dash and were in the process of taking the armor and its power source, but a pony they weren't prepared for took them by surprise," the dog informed. Ghost looked up with interest. "They were able to escape with the power source, but that's all."

"And what of Dash?" Ghost inquired. The report had also gotten Caramel's attention. He was silently praying Rainbow was okay.

"She is most likely dead, but it was not confirmed," the dog reported. Caramel started to feel dizzy when he heard that, like he'd just been on a carnival ride.

She's... dead? Caramel felt a tear fall down his face.

Ghost didn't seem happy either. "Well, I certainly hope you're wrong or this will be difficult to explain," Ghost said as he whipped out his sword and stabbed the captain in the stomach. Ghost twisted his body, flinging the dying Diamond Dog at his comrades, catching them off guard. Ghost lunged at the next dog and cut his throat before he could react. The remaining two dogs got up and opened fire on their leader.

Caramel watched, baffled as the bullets seemed to harmlessly pass through Ghost's body. Ghost approached the dogs and when they ran out of ammo finished them off.

Caramel as horrified by the spectacle. "Why did you do that?" he asked in disbelief, his jaw hanging open.

Ghost started rummaging through the dogs supplies, mostly taking any grenades they had. "Because I am here for the same purpose Dash now lives for. Revenge. I have suffered defeat at her hands twice now and she must pay," Ghost explained.

"But Rainbow's dead now," Caramel argued, hanging his head.

"You have to have more faith in her," Ghost said, picking up a pistol and gathering a few extra clips for it.


The sound grabbed the attention of both stallions. They looked out if the window to see a burst of color and rainbow streak headed right for them.

Caramel noticed Ghost was distracted and ran for the door. Ghost turned too late, and only saw the door slam as Caramel left. Ghost shot through the door a few times before turning back to the window. "This is gonna be tougher than I thought," he said as he ran to the door, phasing through it.


Rainbow angled herself towards the window of Caramel's office, figuring that would be where Ghost would hold him. Once she got close she flew through the glass and landed in the office. "Caramel!" she called out, noticing the room was empty. "Damn where is he?" she asked herself as she held up a hand. The thruster only took a second to charge before blasting the door off of its hinges.

Rainbow scanned the cubicles for any signs of life. "T.A.N.K., sweep the building's security cameras. Find Caramel and Ghost," the Pegasus said as she started for the elevator.

T.A.N.K. responded after a few seconds. "Caramel is in the southern stairwell three floors down and Ghost is not far behind," he reported.

Rainbow charged her thruster again and blasted a hole in the elevator door. "Gonna need to move fast," she told herself as she pointed a hoof down the elevator shaft. A targeting reticle popped up on her H.U.D. and she fired a small rocket from a compartment on her gauntlet. "Detonate," she commanded as soon as the rocket was about five floors down. The projectile exploded blasting a hole in the door to the twentieth floor. Rainbow jumped into the hole she made and flew down and out of the elevator shaft.

Rainbow quickly flew to the door to the stairwell and plowed through it. She could hear gunshots just above her and looked up. She saw Ghost shooting at the floor above her, presumably at Caramel.

"Caramel!" Rainbow shouted as she aimed her hand at Ghost and fired a blast at the assassin. Ghost ducked, narrowly avoiding the blast. Seconds later Caramel appeared at the top of the staircase Rainbow was sitting at the bottom of. "You okay?" Rainbow asked, not seeing any serious injuries on the stallion.

"No! I'm gonna have a heart attack!" Caramel shouted. "I thought you were dead," he said quieter.

Before Rainbow could respond Ghost started shooting at them again. "We'll have a heart to heart later," Rainbow said firing her stabilizer at Ghost again. "Start moving down stairs," she ordered as bullets bounced off of her armor.

Caramel nodded and started running downwards. "It's just you and me now Ghost," Rainbow called out, looking upwards, trying to spot her enemy.

"Oh good. I was beginning to think we wouldn't get some alone time," Ghost replied. Rainbow pointed a rocket where she heard the voice and fired. The missile detonated and Rainbow started searching the smoke. Ghost jumped out of the smoke and swung his sword at Rainbow. The Pegasus launched into the air to dodge and fired both of her stabilizers at Ghost. The blasts passed harmlessly through the stallion. Ghost grabbed a grenade from his belt and pulled the pin before dropping it over the rail.

Rainbow lunged after it, knowing it would kill Caramel. Ghost jumped after her. Rainbow caught the grenade with a magnet just before it got far enough to reach Caramel. However the explosive went off in Rainbow's hand and the blast shot her through the wall and out of the building. The Pegasus righted herself in midair and turned back to the building. She glared at Ghost as the assassin went after Caramel again.

Rainbow shot through the air and collided with Ghost. The two went through the opposite wall and crashed through several cubicles before they stopped. Rainbow lifted a hand to fire a thruster, but Ghost swung his sword and it cut through the first layer of the armor, rendering the thruster useless. He did the same thing when Rainbow raised her other hoof. Warning lights, were flashing in front of the mare's face.

Ghost stood over her with his sword raised. Rainbow twisted her legs in the armor, activating the flares. Bright red flames started shooting out of small compartments on her legs. Ghost stumbled backwards blindly. Rainbow got up and fired a rocket at Ghost. Ghost turned just in time to see the projectile. It hit the ground at his feet and exploded.

Rainbow waited patiently for Ghost to reappear. When he didn't come out of the smoke swinging Rainbow sighed in relief. A few minutes later she heard footsteps behind her. Rainbow turned and saw Caramel coming from the stairs.

"Hey Caramel. You hurt?" Rainbow asked.

"Is it over?" he asked looking at the destroyed office.

"Not yet," a familiar voice stated. Rainbow tensed as Ghost materialized out of thin air behind Caramel putting his sword to the brown stallion's neck. Caramel winced as the blade dug into his skin.

Rainbow didn't move, fearful of what Ghost would do if she did. "You can turn invisible? What don't you have?" she asked angrily.

"Your armor," Ghost replied. "If you'd be so kind as to get out of it, it would make my job much easier," he said.

"Rainbow don't! He'd just gonna kill us anyway," Caramel said. Rainbow glared at Ghost as she tried to come up with a plan. Then an idea came to her.

Rainbow raised a hoof and a rocket came out ready to fire. "That's not such a good idea," Ghost said tilting his head towards Caramel.

"Just do it," Caramel said, accepting his fate.

"Don't be a drama queen Caramel. If he goes intangible anything he's touching does too. That includes you," Rainbow informed firing the rocket. Ghost's eyes widened as he caught on. With no choice he activated his system with a twist of his wrist and the rocket passed through both stallions harmlessly, exploding on the wall far behind them. Startled by the explosion Caramel fell through Ghost's hooves and instantly became solid again.

Once Caramel was out of the way Rainbow activated the thrusters in her boots and tackled Ghost across the room, activating a magnet and swiping it over the device on Ghost's arm before he could react.

Rainbow stood over the defenseless terrorist and looked down at him. "Well, well. Looks like you win again," Ghost said as he looked up at the mare. "And this time I have no means of escape. At least I won't have to suffer the wrath of my employer," Ghost commented.

Rainbow raised a hand over Ghost's head. "No, Rainbow don't!" Caramel shouted.

"I'm not gonna kill him," Rainbow said. Both stallions looked at her in surprise. Rainbow's face plate slid over her head, revealing her face. "There's somepony else he answers to. If I kill him we can't know who that is," Rainbow explained. "Besides," she continued," I'm over the whole revenge thing," she stated.

Caramel smiled. Ghost simply laughed. "Oh you'll regret this," Ghost said.

Rainbow rolled her eyes and gave Ghost a sharp tap on the head, knocking him out with a grunt of pain. Caramel winced at the blow. He then looked at Rainbow, who seemed to be smiling. "So what now?" he asked.

"You're fired," Rainbow said, shocking Caramel.

"I... uh... what?" Caramel stumbled over his question.

Rainbow laughed. "Things aren't working out with Glory... eh, Rarity," Rainbow explained. Caramel quirked an eyebrow at the correction. "So I need my old assistant back," she finished.

Caramel smiled. "And who's going to run the company?" he asked.

"I think I can take it from here," Rainbow said. Before they could continue the sound of sirens blared outside of the building. "What took the cops so long?" Rainbow asked annoyed.

Caramel smiled. "No big deal. A hero took care of things," he said, surprising Rainbow. The two smiled at each other for a few moments. Caramel looked away a little embarrassed. "You may want get out of here. Cops tend to ask questions," Caramel suggested.

Rainbow looked at her flight stabilizers. "Can't make it all the way home. Probably gonna have to have a press conference about all this anyway. Mind if I crash at your place for the night?" Rainbow asked Caramel.

"Yeah. As long as you don't actually crash into it. My insurance doesn't cover super heroes," Caramel joked.

Rainbow laughed. "Got it. I'll see ya later then," she said as she jumped into the air, activating the two working thrusters and started flying rather unsteadily towards Caramel's home.

The Announcment

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Rainbow and Rarity sat on either side of Rainbow's desk in her new office. She had been given an office on the top floor of the Canterlot HQ. Rainbow was currently looking over a set of cue cards. "Are you sure about this? I mean the armor is my bodyguard? That seems a little flimsy to me," Rainbow said, not sure about the content of the cards.

Rarity sighed in annoyance. "Listen Rainbow. If every pony just knew it was you, it'd bring a lot of unwanted attention to you and those close to you," Rarity explained, knowing what Rainbow wanted to say to the press, waiting in the buildings lobby.

"I get that, but can't we just tell them it was a super hero," Rainbow suggested. "We wouldn't be lying exactly."

Rarity rolled her eyes. "Absolutely not. Spider-Mare is enough of a problem. If you came out to the worlds as a super hero we'd start having ordinary ponies dressing up to fight crime. It would create a problem that S.H.I.E.L.D. isn't prepared for," Rarity explained.

Rainbow nodded, a forced smile on her face. "Right the secret organization of super spies. Between you and me I think you and your friends are enough of a secret. Things like this are bound to get out at some point, why avoid the inevitable?" Rainbow asked.

"Because postponing the problem gives us time to prepare for it," Rarity argued.

Rainbow was about to respond when the door opened and Caramel walked in with a newspaper. "They're ready for you downstairs," the stallion said.

Rainbow looked at the head line if the newspaper and smiled. "Hello," she said happily, snatching the paper. "The Iron Mare," Rainbow announced showing Rarity he paper. "That's catchy. Not technically right, but that's just details," the Pegasus said, smiling at the article.

"I've read it. I was hoping you wouldn't," Rarity stated, giving Caramel a disapproving look. Caramel smiled sheepishly.

"Rainbow asked for it and I'm her assistant. I was kinda obligated," the stallion said, rubbing the back of his head.

"Awe sweet!" Rainbow exclaimed, catching Rarity's attention. "Look, right here they call me a super hero," Rainbow said, cheering inwardly. "Come on they already think I'm a hero, let's give the ponies what they want," Rainbow suggested.

"What they want and what they need are not the same thing," Rarity countered growing increasingly annoyed.

Rainbow sighed in defeat. "Fine I'll read the stupid cards," she relinquished, grabbing the pieces of paper and heading for the door. Caramel opened it and Rarity followed the pair out.

"Thank you Rainbow," Rarity said with a smile. "You'll be hearing from us in the near future," she told them as the elevator across the hall opened. Rarity stepped inside and Rainbow and Caramel watched curiously as the floor indicator went up. Rainbow looked at her assistant and smiled.

The pair stepped into the next elevator and Caramel hit the button for the first floor. "So what do you think of me being a super hero?" Rainbow asked smiling.

Caramel frowned. "I'm not a fan of the idea of you being in constant danger, but I know you enough to know you can't stay out of the armor," Caramel said. His frown quickly became a smile. "It is nice to see you flying though."

Rainbow smiled at this. "It's great to be back in the air," Rainbow said, wistfully. Rainbow looked at Caramel and saw him fidgeting. "You okay?" Rainbow asked.

Caramel looked nervous. "Yeah. I was just thinking. As a superhero... well all the best ones have a... ummm... well a love interest..." Caramel trailed off as he noticed the amused smile Rainbow was giving him.

"Caramel are you asking your boss out on a date?" Rainbow asked, scooting closer to the stallion.

Caramel searched for the right words. "Umm... yeah," he admitted, twiddling his hooves awkwardly.

Rainbow let him stew before replying. "Sure. When?" she asked shocking Caramel.

"Ummm.... tomorrow at eight?" he suggested.

"Sounds great," Rainbow said as the elevator stopped and the door opened. Spitfire was waiting for them and lifted an eyebrow at Caramel. "Are you sick Caramel?" she asked, concerned.

"He's fine," Rainbow answered stepping out of the elevator. Caramel nodded in agreement, following his boss.

"Okay then," Spitfire said as the stallion walked off, a dumb smile on his face. “Anyway you ready?" Spitfire asked Rainbow.

"Ready or not, here I go," Rainbow replied as she walked into the main lobby, where a mass of reporters were waiting. They exploded into questions as soon as Rainbow stepped up to the podium that had been set up for her.

"Please, settle down. Rainbow won't be answering any questions at this time," Spitfire announced, nodding for Rainbow to proceed.

"Ahem," Rainbow cleared her throat before continuing. "There has been some speculation on the events of last night, that I was directly involved in the fight between the hero Iron Mare and her unknown adversary," Rainbow started, noticing Spitfire glaring at her.

"That's not on the cards," Spitfire whispered in Rainbow's ear.

"Sorry," Rainbow replied, turning back to the crowd. "Right so I'm just gonna tell you the truth here," the Pegasus said into the microphone. "The truth is," she began holding up the first card. Before she went any further she stopped. Thinking about her last days with her father. The reactor and suit they'd made and put together. S.H.I.E.L.D. wanted her to hide that? Spitfire gave Rainbow a nudge, bringing her out if her thoughts.

"The truth is," Rainbow said, setting down the cards and pausing for effect. "I am Iron Mare," she announced, the press erupting into questions as Spitfire face palmed.


View Online

Rainbow sat in her workshop going over the designs of a new armor. The MK-III had been too damaged to bother repairing so she moved on to another design. The new design was made from a denser metal and had a few extra tricks in it.

Rainbow's stomach growled in protest to her continued work. "Okay time for a break," she told herself. She made her way upstairs and to the kitchen where she started making herself a sandwich. Just as she was about to take the first bite the lights turned off.

Rainbow put her sandwich back on the plate and looked around suspiciously. "T.A.N.K.?" she called out. She grew more concerned when there was no response. Rainbow got up and edited the kitchen. As soon as she rounded the corner to her living room a voice called out.

"I am Iron Mare," the cultured voice spoke. Rainbow whipped her head towards the living room where she could just barely make out the silhouette of a stallion standing at the window in the far side of the room. "That's a very powerful statement. And very dangerous," the stallion said.

"Do I know you?" Rainbow asked, glaring at the stranger.

The stallion, wearing a trench coat and black pants, turned to her and walked around her couch slowly. A horn lit up on his head and Rainbow could see a mustache on the stallion. I am Director Fancy Pants of S.H.I.E.L.D.," the stallion said with authority, the name of the organization sparking Rainbow's interest. "And I'm here to talk to you about the Harmony Initiative."