The Cutie Mark Crusaders have been foalnapped, and it is up to one young colt to save the day! Can Rumble make it in time?
One day Apple Bloom, Scootaloo, and Sweetie Belle are on their way over to Rumble's house when suddenly they are ambushed by two unfamiliar stallions. Foalnapped, they are taken to an underground lair for all sorts of nefarious deeds. Unbeknownst to the dastardly duo, an unwanted visitor has hitched a ride.
Outgunned and outmanned, Rumble must use his quick wit and gut instinct if he and the girls wanted to make it out unscathed. The dangers his villainous foe posed would be trecherous, but with a little luck on his side, he would take back what wasn't theirs.
DAY 1 - 3:03PM The Cutie Mark Crusaders had just had another day in school and they are walking over to Rumble's house to give him a surprise present for once he started getting better. Two days earlier, Rumble had come down with the feather flu, which prevented him from being able to fly, and as the illness was contagious, he had stayed home so as not to pass it to the other foals.
Facing Sweetie Belle, Apple Bloom asked, "So, what do you think of the 'Get Well Card' I made for your coltfriend, Rumble?"
Taking the card in hoof, Sweetie Belle studied the card and responded with a sweet lilt to her voice, "I think its a beautiful card for my Rumbly Wumbly, but I think the time I'm gonna spend with him will be even better."
"Man, you been dating Rumble for like six months already. What do you see in that kid?" Scootaloo asked incredulously.
"Well for one, he's not like the other colts as he's very confident, and brave, but most of all, he's the most sweetest, most loving and caring colt I've ever met. Oh, and he's handsome and knows how to treat a lady."
Scootaloo stared at her pointedly before rolling her eyes. "Yea, like how he grabs your hoof in class and sucks on your hoofnails one by one and leaves drool all over them."
"Well... Rumble is silly with him liking my hoofsies and the rest of yours also, but I kinda like how he suckles on my hoof and sometimes touches parts of my hoofnails with his tongue. It kinda tickles, so I don't mind at all," Sweetie Belle said. "But remember he also sometimes kisses me and cuddles me too."
Apple Bloom added, " Yea Rumble can be a little weird for a boy, but you gotta admit that we're happy that Sweetie Belle has a nice colt that she can trust."
A soft smile playing on her lips, Scootaloo said, “Oh, right. I guess that makes sense.”
As the CMC are a half a mile away from Rumble's house, they hear the sound of crying from the bushes. Apple Bloom went over to the bushes to investigate."Who's there?"
Speculating over the source of the noise as she and Scootaloo followed in suit, Sweetie Belle said, "It might be some lost pony in need of help."
Unbeknownst to them, a towering stallion stood, camouflaged, at a nearby tree with a device in hoof. Upon reaching the shrubbery in question, Apple Bloom revealed a tape recorder hidden underneath. The shrill cry of somepony emanated from the recorder once more.
"It's a trap!" Apple Bloom shouted just as they heard the blare of something detonating pierce their ears. They looked down to see a canister spewing out gas all around them. Hacking back at the putrid residue filling their lungs, they quickly realized that whatever it had been was paralyzing them. Their last lingering thoughts before passing out were ones of fear and anguish.
Once they were out cold, the stallion stepped out of the relative cover of his hiding spot. Before him a truck suddenly arrived. Getting out of the vehicle, a lumbering stallion with a huge build trotted over to them, picked the three crusaders up in one fell swoop, and flung them into the back of the truck.
“The plan is proceeding accordingly,” the first stallion said cryptically as he glanced at his surroundings. It was a remote area of Ponyville, largely uninhabited due to the fact that the nearby houses were new and not yet bought by potential witnesses. “But first we need to bind them.”
Meanwhile, Rumble was at home peeping through his window through a telescope, trying to get a good look into Flitter's window. Normally he used said instrument to look at the stars, but he always found himself drifting to her window in curiosity.
He wasn't sure what possessed him to suddenly look away from the window. A sixth sense was telling him something was wrong, prodding at him until finally he shifted his attention to a nearby park. Rumble noticed a stallion, an earth pony, who was about Thunderlane's size, getting out some equipment he identified as an anti-magic strapping device of sorts.
His suspicions rising, he took out his 35-mm camera to the telescope and attached it to the telescope and began to snap away, planning to submit his findings to Thunderlane to process and report the illicit activity to the royal guards. He additionally captured the license plate of a truck which he presumed to be theirs.
Next, the unidentified pony retrieved another device, this one meant for inhibiting the use of somepony's wings. As the pony carried out his ministrations, it dawned on Rumble that he might be kidnapping somepony. When the stallion knelt down, it appeared as if he was snapping the devices on some ponies just outside his line of sight.
Despite the clear intention on the stallion's part to conceal his actions, when he placed one of his gadgets on one of the ponies, their mane, pink with violet stripes in color, swished into focus. Rumble could see their white coat of fur as the mane returned to its resting place. He knew only one pony that fit that description. Sweetie Belle! Rage overcame him.
"Sweetie Bell! Those mules are going to pay for this!" Rumble shouted before running into Thunderlane's closet and retrieved some of his weapons and ammo that he got to keep during his mentor's time as a Equestrian Guard. Finally, he tied off a bandanna across his forehead before turning back to his window. Without a second thought, he shattered the glass and leaped out and charged towards the kidnappers.
He dove to nearby bushes, concealing himself from the villains, and began to eavesdrop on their conversation. Unfortunately, he had no luck in discovering where they were planning to take the victims, but from his new vantage point he could now clearly recognize them as the crusaders. By that time, the stallion had just finished ensnaring the them with his mechanisms and was now getting back into the truck. His cohort pulled the down the truck's back door, obscuring Rumble's view of the girls.
Silently, Rumble approached the truck from behind the foliage, careful not to make too much noise so as to draw their attention his way. Beads of sweat trailed down his face as he snuck along, both from still coping with his sickness and worrying over being caught red handed by the offenders.
When they were looking away, Rumble quickly rolled underneath the vehicle and latched himself onto the vehicle, thankful they had not spotted him yet. When the sound of the engine roaring nearby could be heard, it was not long thereafter that they began to pull away from the park. They made several turns before it became apparent where they were headed-the Everfree Forest.
The Everfree Forest was a place of unimaginable dangers, one not to be reckoned with. Having no roads or posted signs, it was a place easy to get lost in if one was unfamiliar with its landscape. The forest was full of Timberwolves, wolves comprised of twigs and leaves and an assortment of other forested debris and had the putrid stink of rotten eggs. Additionally cockatrices dwelled in these parts, creatures who could stare down an unsuspecting individual and render them immobilized through fear and even encase them in stone. These were just a few of the many creatures that lurked around.
Deeper into the forest the truck drove until it came upon the opening of a cave. The click of something being pressed resounded in Rumble's ears just before a hidden opening revealed itself. Despite his best efforts to hold on until they passed through that barrier, when the truck ran into a bump, he was flung away from the vehicle. By the time he slowed to a stop, the secret door had shut behind the truck.
Getting up, Rumbled dusted himself off and tried to shake of the new-found soreness all over his body. Realizing that he had missed his opportunity to invade their secret base, he cried out in anguish, “Sweetie Belle!”
Undeterred from attempting to rescue the girls, he limped towards the face of the mountain in search of another way inside. His eyes fell onto a nearby keypad, hastily obscured in foliage.
Trotting over to it, he wiped the pad free of leaves and shook his head in disbelief. “No matter how hard you try, this just sticks out like a sore thumb. What were they thinking?”
Pulling out his screwdriver and anti-shock gloves, he proceeded to disassemble the keypad.
The massive room that imprisoned the Cutie Mark Crusaders as they woke up was about as intimidating as it was big, and it was at least twice as large as the common area of Carousel Boutique. Unlike the extravagant décor of the boutique, however, the walls were barren and cold. Its sole feature was the entrance on the far side of the room, barred shut by reinforced plating.
The aroma of something sweet wafted through their noses. Their stomachs grumbled, reminding them of a meal that had long since passed. They could feel the onset of a slight weariness overcome them momentarily as they surveyed their surroundings. A table and chairs stood near the door; they could just make out two bowls laid out on top, presumably the source of the appetizing smell.
They all tried to get up and walk to the table, and they all failed. Bound via either rope, restrictor, or both, their movement was severely inhibited. They could do nothing but struggle in their hold. With the additional binds disabling their magic and wings, Sweetie Belle and Scootaloo in particular felt powerless. An abhorrent goop stuck to Sweetie Belle's horn, while wraps painfully restricted Scootaloo's aerial movement.
Suddenly, the sound of the two kidnappers unbarring the door and arriving into the room drew their attention. The one out in front who seemed to be calling all the shots held a communicator in hoof. Stashed away on his belt was the familiar audio recorder which had been used to lure them into a trap. The stallion's build, size, and fur color was equivalent to Thunderlane's, but he sported a dark blue mane and tail. From their binds, they could just make out the cutie mark on his flank as being that of a bloody ax, which potentially represented an executioner. His red eyes seemed to glow as he glared at them with the intensity of an aggravation he couldn't quite disguise.
The stallion's accomplice stood beside him. A large blue-colored Pegasus possessing similarly red eyes stared down at them with disinterest. The net Cutie Mark on his flank was not nearly as flashy as the leader's, but it didn't diminish his menacing stature.
At the leader's order, the right hand man trotted over to them and removed their folds to allow them to speak.
"Hey, whats the big idea?" Apple Bloom shouted immediately.
At the same time, Sweetie Belle cried, "I want to go home."
"You screwed with the wrong filly! Just you wait, when Rainbow Dash gets here she'll-” Scootaloo screamed.
Her voice was suddenly drowned out by the assistant's shout as he interrupted her."Quiet!"
Right up until now, the whole event had been surreal, possibly even discountable as nothing more than a sick prank. When the stallion yelled, however, the sound of a pin drop could be heard. Fear was beginning to set in for the Cutie Mark Crusaders as realization of the gravity of the situation dawned on them. They were in deep trouble.
They began to cry, terrified for their lives at being subjugated in the hands of these dastardly foe. “Who are you monsters?!”
Another pointed stare from the assistant had them quivering in fear. When it appeared as if there would be no further interruptions, the villains introduced themselves. The leader was the one to speak. “Though I find your annoying cries quite appalling, I shall deign an introduction to quell your...curiosity. My name is Raden, and this here is my assistant, Alex. We are anything but monsters. We simply abduct ponies for our boss's nefarious plots. We. Are. Mercenaries.”
Alex grunted in acknowledgment at his introduction before he trotted over to the far side of the room and grabbed a chair. Its legs grated against the cold metallic ground as he made his way back over to them. When he reached them, he struck the chair against the floor loudly and sat down. One of its legs creaked under the stress of the blue-colored Pegasus' weight. “Time to contact the client. You or me this time?”
An irritable sigh escaped Raden's lips as he shook his head uneasily. “You know I am loath to engage in talk with this client. I find his crude choice of words rather … dreadful.”
For the first time since they had woken up, Scootaloo dared to take action. Her binds were still fastened tightly as she wriggled in place. “I don't care what you want from us. I won't have it!” She managed to edge over to the chair and kicked one of its legs out from under Alex, who went teetering over the side. She couldn't completely contain her snicker as she watched him smack his head against the floor.
The Pegasus emitted another grunt as he tended to a now quickly forming bruise, but he didn't seem quick to get up and return the favor. His associate, on the other hand, looked furious. “You have quite the nerve, if I do say so myself. If the client hadn't expressed his utmost interest in you, then I wouldn't hesitate to wipe the smirk off your face. Well, no matter. Once I exchange you three, I shall be moseying along my way as I count all the money you've made me.”
"You're horrible! You'd really do that?!" Sweetie Belle cried despairingly.
"Wait until my big sister hears about this. She ain't gonna stand for it!" Apple Bloom yells almost simultaneously.
Raden chuckled hysterically as he fought to stand upright. When he calmed down, he sneered down at Apple Bloom. “Oh I think your sister will find it quite the challenge to find you indeed. We are over thirty miles away from Ponyville, under a heavily fortified structure hidden deep within the mountains. You are even free to scream all you'd like; go on, try it. No one will hear you within the confines of these walls. The moment anyone dared to tread too close, our security cameras and turrets setting the perimeter around our base would let us know immediately. You can kiss your old lives goodbye!”
At that moment, an incoming signal patched through to Alex's walkie-talkie. Picking up his handheld device, he answered in a rough tone, “Talk.”
“Uhh...Well, you see...” The voice on the other end of the line sounded quite nervous. Alex looked ready to smash his handeld walkie-talkie, but he remained firmly in place as he waited for the other guy to finish his report. “I was wondering if somepony followed you, because camera three seems to have gone on the fritz again and-”
“Would you quit your bellyaching and go check it out? That camera is always on the fritz.” Replacing the walkie-talkie back at his side, Alex turned to his partner and said, “Incompetence. Next time, we go alone, or not at all.”
In the midst of their conversation, Apple Bloom whispered to her compatriots, “We gotta get out of here somehow. Help me untie this rope. Come on, there ain't much time.” Following her instructions, the crusaders began to chew through their rope whilst keeping a watchful eye out to make sure their captors hadn't caught on to their scheme. They were not about to go quietly if they could help it.
“Hear, hear!” The earth pony replied jovially.
By this point, save for the specially crafted devices atop Sweetie's horn and Scootaloo's wings, the three fillies were very nearly freed. Any moment, when the time was right, they would bolt for that door. They would stake everything on the chance for freedom.
“What about the truck?” Alex asked. “You got it this time?”
Raden sighed once more before turning for the door. “I suppose. Just keep an eye on them.” He walked out. Having perfect confidence that Alex had everything handled, Raden did not bother shutting the door behind him.
With his partner's departure from the room, Alex turned back to the crusaders, ready to sit down for a long and boring evening with the captives.
Instead, he was met with the jarring excitement of three fillies galloping past him on every side. He sputtered and turned, trying to grab at least one of them. Whether he was too slow or they were too spry, all he managed to catch was air as they passed beyond the opening and spilling out into the hallway.
Alex darted after them all the while yelling, “Come back here!”
Raden was cruising down a particularly treacherous path leading straight down into an underground gorge near their base. Stalagmites were scattered about on the ground below him and on the ceiling above. When they had first moved into this base some years ago, they had carved out a path down into the gulch. This place had served as the perfect place to discard their trucks.
Now that the deed was done and the CMC in their hands, Raden had need to destroy his truck. Anyone could have spotted him transporting the fillies in it. At best, having it in his possession made him suspect; at worst, it would incriminate him. He needed to destroy it! How? By driving it straight into the biggest bucking pool of lava at the bottom of this underground ravine. After all, there were countless more in the vehicle bay. As he reached the pool of lava, he leaped out of the truck and rolled across the ground. Coming to a stop, he got up and dusted himself off. “Now to retire to my quarters for the evening.” For a moment he trotted back up the path before realization dawned on him that he had yet to contact his client. “I suppose that can wait until morning,” he said irritably. The walk back to base was longer and more strenuous than the travel down.
Several twists and turns into the base they went. They were pretty sure they were lost by now, but with the mercenary right on their tail, they had nowhere else to go but forward. “We need to do something fast, he's gaining on us!” Scootaloo cried as they rounded another corner. “I would, but I still can't use my magic.” Sweetie Belle glanced worriedly behind her to see that the burly stallion was still on their trail, no more than ten paces behind. She shuddered as she tried to block out the thought of him catching them from her mind and not entirely succeeding. Rolling her eyes, Scootaloo darted out ahead of them and poked her head into one of the side rooms. Retrieving barrels of materials from inside, she bucked them past her friends and straight into Alex, who went toppling to the floor. Jumping back up moments later, he continued the chase, looking no worse for wear as together they rounded another corner right and nearly into a flight of stairs leading down. They leaped down the stairs, three steps at a time, and came upon a storage room with no way out but the way they had come in. The girls gasped and came to a halt. Turning back around, they saw that Alex had closed in on them and was now towering over them. He looked ready to pounce, but he stood still by the stairs, not wanting to give them another opening to escape. "What are we gonna do now, girls?" Apple Bloom asked as she gulped nervously.
After having cut a handful of wires, Rumble had just finished disassembling the keypad lock in front of the gate. Jumpering two wires together, he bypassed the locking mechanism entirely, which caused the secret door to recede into the wall and reveal the entrance into their hide out. He let a sigh of relief as he wiped sweat from his brow. That could have easily backfired on him and tripped an alarm, but thankfully, no such backup circuitry seemed to be set in place.
“That was the easy part,” he thought to himself as he approached the gaping hole in the side of the mountain. At its entrance was a long, twisting cave, more than large enough for a truck or two to fit through.
He heard the whirring of a camera overhead. Reflexively, he flung a knife into the air, and it spun wildly until it dug its razor sharp edge straight into the obtrusive object. A smile played on his lips as he marveled at his handiwork. "Now, to go find my Sweetie Belle and the other Cutie Mark Crusaders." He then proceeds down the long path through the tunnel.
The dimness inside the tunnel rendered the truck's tracks almost imperceptible – the grooves left behind were distinct to Rumble's hooves – along with anything more than a few hoof steps away from him as he tentatively made his way deeper and towards a declining slope. He wasn't sure how long the cave went, but after some time he could see light filtering through from the exit on the other side. The opening spilled out into a valley, lush with vegetation indigenous to a jungle, that likely stretched on for miles.
In stark contrast to the stale smell coming from within the cave, the pungent aroma of the soil and flora of the jungle overwhelmed his senses for a brief moment as he took in the scene before him. The illumination of the moon overhead captured the beauty of the plant life. If he hadn't been so pressed for time, this might have made the perfect field trip for him, the crusaders, and all his other classmates at the Ponyville Schoolhouse.
Rumble glanced up at the moon for a moment in contemplation. It had nearly reached its summit, and perhaps within the hour it would being to recede in the sky. He judged the time to be somewhere between late evening and early morning, which would give him a few hours to get the jump on the crusader's abductors.
The feeling of leaves brushing across his knees as he passed under the copse of trees was soft, and the rain forest was brimming with wildlife; he could hear the buzzing of nearby insects, the croak of frogs, and the cries of a bird of prey gliding through underbrush to feast upon their next meal. He could feel the rise of humidity in the air with each step he took into the rain forest.
At the sound of crackling branches from above, he glanced upward. The bright yellow eyes of a black-coated creature, standing tall and menacingly, met his gaze. Launching itself from its perch, it rapidly dove straight for him. He fell back onto his hindquarters and scraped across the ground in retreat. Deftly landing on the ground, the panther looked up to him and snarled, letting out an insidious growl. So much for a school field trip.
Rumble's heart was racing as he rushed to retrieve a knife from his gear and warily held it in front of him. No amount of training seemed to displace the anxious feeling he got right before combat, and he had never went up against anything feral like this before. Its intimidating stature as it approached had him at edge; he wouldn't be able to outrun it, yet he needed to keep it more than a hoof's throw away. If it pounced on him, it would be all over.
His eyes widened with fear as it leaped toward him. He rolled away from the oncoming threat and scrambled to his hooves. Upon its landing, Rumble turned away and bucked its face into a nearby tree. He flung his knife at the beast, which lodged itself into the creature's midsection, who yelled out in anguish and clawed at the foreign object until it dropped to the ground and away from it.
Sprinting through the underbrush, he hopped across rough terrain and skirted logs and other natural debris with a very angry panther in tow. It leaped nimbly across the land with much more ease than he, becoming almost a blur to his eyes as it darted behind trees around him, and it was quickly gaining on him.
Over a log and under a half fallen tree Rumble went. He had to think fast, or else he was going to become food before he got the chance to save the girls. Suddenly the sight of a paw lashing out at him caught his eye. Tucking and rolling, he ducked under the offending appendage and into a dip in the ground underneath a large branch.
An idea springing to his mind, he pulled the branch back as the panther reared back with both of its fore-paws, readying itself for the final blow. Right as it lunged after him, he released the branch, sending it hurtling into it. A twig caught its eye, which closed reflexively, and the panther growled in pain.
Impulsively, Rumble fell to the ground in fright. He trembled as he backed away, momentarily staring at the lumbering animal before he reached for his rifle to silence the beast once and for all. Remembering where he was, he mentally berated himself. If even one colt was out on patrol, he would be detected in no time flat. While a silencer was equipped to the rifle, it would still be loud enough to be heard by anypony nearby.
By the time he planned out his next move, the panther had returned its attention back to him. Dashing away, Rumble looked desperately in every which way for a path to safety. There was none, however, that immediately presented itself to him.
The creature attacked him once more, this time managing to connect one of its paws into his side, and he instinctively fell with the strike, hoping the assault would leave him little more than grazed. It eyed him, licking its muzzle in anticipation.
Cornered! Every step he took backward was matched with a slow step forward by the hungry animal. It was at this point that he realized he had no choice. He would have to use his rifle and hope that it would be quiet enough not to rouse suspicion. Tentatively reaching for his weapon, he continued to back away slowly, hoping that the panther would not strike at an inopportune time as he readied himself.
The abrupt lack of feeling ground underneath his rear hoof distracted Rumble. Over the course of the chase, they had stumbled upon the edge of a cliff. A quick glance down told him that it was maybe a ten to twenty foot drop. Despite the dangerous drop, it may have been the best chance he had to get out of this alive.
Letting out a cry, the panther struck out at him for a final time. He would have to chance it; jumping over the side, Rumble held out his hooves in front of him and plunged to the ground at an alarming rate. Below him was another copse of trees leading farther into the valley. He needed to catch the branch of one of them on his way down, or he would not come out of this unscathed.
In mid fall, he waved his hooves through the air, trying to swim closer to the trees. It didn't really work, but he had little else to lose at this point but to try something to increase his chances of survival. In doing this, he nearly missed his opportunity. His hooves caught onto the branch but only for a moment before it snagged at him and caused him to lose his grip. Landing ungracefully, Rumble let out a groan as he tended to his sore muscles. That had to have pulled one of his appendages in the wrong way, and he rubbed it gently before reinserting it painfully back into place.
Had he still not had the feather flu, the drop would not have been a problem in the first place, but with a glance up at the top, he could see that at least he had put himself out of harms way for the time being. The panther was staring back down at him for a moment before it disappeared from the cliffside.
Breathing heavily, Rumble wiped his brow and pressed himself against a tree. With him no longer being in immediate danger, his adrenaline rush was beginning to subside, and his fatigue was setting in. Having need to rest for a moment to tend to his wounds, he allowed himself the chance to catch his breath and wrap the cuts in bandages and recheck his gear.
That was a close one. He was suddenly thankful of the training Thunderlane and the others had given him. Without it, he would surely have been dead by now. There was more danger where that came from, however, and he needed to get move on before long.
A quick look into the rain forest – the thicket of trees more densely packed than the last – told him that it was time for him to get out his night vision spectacles. They were a quick reach into the pack, and they fit snugly onto the bridge of his muzzle. Taking them out, he flipped on the infrared. The forest seemed to light up a bright green. He would not let himself be overtaken like that again; he had lost too much time already.
The sounds of a nearing helicopter caused him to stop in his rumination. Suddenly appearing over the edge of the cliff, its razor sharp blades spun boisterously as they kept the machine aloft and blew leaves away in their motion.
Hovering in place for a moment, the helicopter shined a light directly onto Rumble. He held a hoof over his face to block out the light, and he couldn't see an object that abruptly struck his head. Letting out a cry of anguish, Rumble rubbed his head that now sported a bruise and looked down to see what appeared to be a communication device of sorts. Upon picking it up, he studied it in greater detail until somepony spoke through it.
“That was a nasty fall back there. Are you okay little colt?”
So alarmed was he that he almost dropped the device. He shouldn't have been startled by the crackling sound of somepony speaking into the it, yet here he was panicking. Pressing down on a red button on the top of the communicator, he said, “Who is this? Are you one of them?”
“One of who?” There was a brief silence before the mare's voice patched through once more. “Oh you mean Raden and Alex? Oh heavens no. I was just on my way to their base for a little pay back for what they did to me back in Manehatten. Why are you here anyway? This is a dangerous place for a foal to be, don't you think?”
Rumble had to stop himself before he broke the device with his tight grip. Didn't she think he already knew that? “I can't let that stop me now. I have three fillyfriends who need rescuing!”
“Wait a second … They're abucting foals now? The nerve!” The communicator cut off into silence for a moment. The helicopter veered a little to the left before it righted itself. “Sounds like the little 'prince' is abusing his privileges again. I pray you never have the displeasure of meeting Dox. He can be a real pain in the flank if you ask me.”
“Sounds like we have a common goal. You mind setting down so I can catch a ride?” he asked into the communicator before looking at his surroundings and realized that the suggestion was impossible to carry out.
The mare affirmed his conclusion. “This terrain doesn't exactly provide me the conditions for setting down my copter. However I can provide aerial support where I can for the time being. And if we're going to be partners in this, we'll need some introductions. I'm Rez, an Equstrian Guard and former Black Panther Merc, although I'm not too fond of that title nowadays. I'm just glad that I got out of that group alive.”
“I'm Rumble, and what do you mean by alive? Just what are they doing?!” There were a lot of missing pieces to this puzzle that he didn't understand. Who was Dox? Why were they here? And then there was the question of the abduction.
“There's a lot to fill you in on, but right now you've got to get a move on. There's a patrol due to arrive on this side of the jungle in just a few minutes. I was just going to go in guns blazing, but if you can take out that patrol, then we can get the drop on these mercenaries before you can make two shakes of a lamb's tail.” The helicopter then elevated itself until the sounds of its rotors were nothing more than a dull whir.
“Understood,” he said before putting the communicator away and shouldering his gear onto his back. He trudged as carefully as he could through the forest with his infrared glasses on. While the spectacles provided him better sight in this dark, he cursed at himself silently at not realizing before that the teeming wildlife was making it difficult for him to spot any dangers lurking nearby.
This proved to be a problem when sometime later he stumbled his way right into the patrol pony's path. He tried to hide before he caught the guard's attention, but he was spotted anyway.
“Who goes there?!” The guard asked as he pulled out a rifle. “I better call this in.”
Reaching down for his knife, Rumble discovered that it was missing. Of course, it was still back where he had left it with the panther. How could he have overlooked that in his check?
“We have an intruder. Yes, I'll dispatch them right away.” So much for secrecy.
Dashing around the trees, Rumble placed himself behind the stallion for a better vantage point. Pulling out his gun, he pointed it at the guard and fired. The projectile's trajectory was low, and it made contact with the pony's hindquarter.
The pony yelped as he dove around behind a tree. “That was a lucky shot you made.”
Choosing to ignore the villain, Rumble hopped and rolled behind another tree, hoping to throw off the guard's sense of his location. Shrubbery rustled underneath his hooves as he crouched and took a few steps alongside some bushes. Daring to peak his head out from the bushes, he was unable to find the mercenary. It had appeared that he had had the same thought in mind.
“Come on out, and you won't have to suffer.” From the sound of the stallion's voice, he could tell that he was still somewhere near where he was last seen. He stifled a chuckle at the guard's mistake. In trying to get Rumble to reveal his position, he had telegraphed his own. He was wise enough not to return the favor.
Even with the knowledge of the guard's position, he was still safely secure behind one of the trees across from him. If only there were some way to get him to come out of the safety of that tree. Surveying the area around him, Rumble looked for a way to flush the stallion out. His eyes finally rested on a pebble beside him. That would do the trick nicely.
Flinging the stone into a bush nearby, he hoped that would be enough to garner the patrol pony's attention. He held his rifle steady as he waited for any sign of his adversary.
“What was that?” The guard steadily made his way over towards the bush with his gun raised. Firing at the bush, the guard smirked and pushed the shrubbery aside to reveal nothing. His grin was replaced with a frown, and he began to look around in search for the intruder. “Where did he go?”
Rumble had him right where he wanted him. He pressed down on his trigger and discharged the rifle. Bullets went soaring through the air, but none of them had reached his target. In his haste, he hadn't properly aimed. Whether it was the infrared sensors throwing off his aim or his nerves, it didn't matter. He had blundered.
He flung his glasses at a nearby tree in frustration. He could hear the glass crackle against the hard surface of the tree, but he didn't pay much attention to it. This was his first true mission since undergoing his training under Thunderlane; heck, he hadn't even fully completed his course yet, but he should have been able to make the shot at this distance.
“There you are.” The guard closed the distance with his gun raised, limping along the way. At the sight of Rumble, who was having greater difficulty seeing in this dense copse of trees at night without his spectacles, trying to shoot at him once more, the stallion fired at his weapon and effectively disarmed the colt. “I've had enough lead for one night, squirt.”
Looking down at the colt, the guard stopped to scratch his head in contemplation. “What are you even doing out here, kid? And why are you armed? Didn't your mother teach you not to play with guns?”
With his shoulders slumped, Rumble shied away from the grown-up. “Heh, I don't suppose you'll just let me leave?”
The pony sighed and cocked his rifle. “Tough luck kid.” He shuddered as he pointed the barrel at Rumble's head. “I've never had to kill a foal before. I'm sure to have nightmares after this.”
Growling was the only warning the guard had before he was suddenly pounced upon by a panther, the same one that had attacked Rumble earlier. In his struggle with the creature, the guard had managed to find himself pinned beneath the panther, the side of his gun the only thing keeping its teeth from digging into his flesh.
The guard gave a guttural laugh as he felt his strength weakening. “Heh. Done in by this mangy cat. Can't say I didn't deserve it, though, for thinking about killing a mere kid. Do your worst, you fleabag.” Obliging his request, the panther drug him by the gun, which the pony held onto as if it were his final lifeline, and pulled him into the bushes. Together, they both disappeared into the night, but the sounds of their fight continued unabated.
Rumble couldn't watch the scene play out before him. Trotting back up to his rifle, he picked it up and walked away from the carnage. Pulling out his communicator, he spoke into the radio. “It's done. But he warned the others before I could stop him.”
“Good work.” Rez gave a sigh of relief before she continued, “And I wouldn't worry too much about that. It was a long shot anyways. The sounds of the Equestrian Copter was bound to gain their attention anyways.”
In spite of her reassurance, Rumble cast a disappointed look at the ground. The plan hadn't gone as smoothly as he liked to thus far. Thunderlane had warned him of this; plans rarely ever went smoothly.
“While you were handling the patrol, I spotted a clearing up ahead where I can land. It's about two miles due east of here. It might not be directly going towards their base, but it will be much faster overall. It's right about a twenty-two mile trek through the forest otherwise.”
“Twenty-two miles?! Why do they own such a large amount of land? How could they have purchased all of this?” Rumble held onto the communicator firmly as he began his two mile hike through the woods. He felt his way around tentatively with each step he took. Once or twice he stumbled, but thankfully he caught himself before he tumbled.
“Purchase might not be the most appropriate word. More like acquired through some underhanded tactic against the royal estate. Something about the fabrication of being the long lost heir of Prince Bloodhoof whose castle stood on this very land. What you're looking at right now is none other than the property of Trench Bloodhoof.
“As for the why, Trench discovered a plethora of priceless jewels deep in caverns beneath your feet, and he's used them to achieve the greatest wealth in all of Equestria. But it's all undeserved, and I will bring Bloodhoof and his operation down.”
“How do you know all of this?” Rumble asked. By now he had grown more accustomed to the darkness, and his steps were taken more quickly. He must be quicker still if he planned to make it to the base by dawn. Luckily, no more predators had surfaced to impede his progress. For now.
“Well, you see … I kinda eavesdropped on him gloating to his friends. It wasn't like I was trying to or anything, but they caught me listening in on them. I was their prisoner for two years, working as one of them. For all I know, the others are too, with Trench holding something over them and making them work for him. Sure, he pays well on the surface, but it's not exactly the kind of field that comes with benefits. Or stability for that matter. Heck, some of the things we did were downright shameful.”
Rumble was at a loss for words as he continued walking along a bumpy trail through the forest. He could once again hear the dull whir of the helicopter's rotors; Rez must be somewhere overhead, though he couldn't see through the top of the trees.
Taking his silence as disappointment, or maybe even resentment, Rez continued in a murmur, “Listen, I'm not exactly proud of what I did, but I'm not one of them anymore. I hope you don't hold it against me.”
Shaking his head in disbelief, he said, “Rez, you were never one of them. You said so yourself. You were a prisoner.” The thought of Rez being forced to do Trench's dirty work, whatever it may be, had him at unease. If she what she said was true, then the guard may have also been coerced. He certainly seemed regretful in hurting him. His blood was boiling at this point. Trench! How dare he use others in this manner and foalnap the crusaders!
“Thanks Rumble. That means a lot.”
Off in the distance he could hear the helicopter touching down and its engines shutting off. He must be nearing the extraction point and one step closer to bringing down their whole operation.
On his trek to the extraction point, the end of the trail opened up into a sizable clearing hosting Rumble's immediate destination. The grass beneath his hooves was damp; he idly wondered if it had recently rained or if the ferns in the jungle retained moisture for longer periods of time. In either case, the sensation provided him one last lingering respite before he made his way into the Equestrian Copter. An unsettling worry of failure firmly gripped at him as he seated himself next to Rez, who was eyeing him with a friendly smile.
Sensing his uneasiness, Rez said, “Well, aren't you a cutie?” She winked at him in a light-hearted manner and ruffled up his mane playfully. “Don't worry about a thing. We'll get your fillyfriends back, just you wait and see.” Her smile faded and her eyes cast downward in doubt for a brief moment before she flashed him another smile. “The good guys never lose.”
In her mannerisms she expressed no more confidence about the success of this mission than he felt. He had thought that the worry would fade with experience, and certainly to some extent it undoubtedly would, but perhaps he had been wrong about it going away entirely. Did Thunderlane feel the same way before his missions?
“Right, I guess I shouldn't dally. This copter won't fly itself.” As Rez shifted in her seat, Rumble noticed for the first time since entering the helicopter that she had been wearing combat ready garments. A full-body latex suit hugged her frame; it didn't look like it would stop a bullet, but he supposed it would allow her the excellent mobility one would need to get out of tight situations.
Additionally, her physique was alluring, which caused Rumble to swallow audibly. He looked away uncomfortably. Rather than giving attention to her attire, he tried to focus on formulating a plan of attack whilst waiting within the confounds of the transport. Despite his efforts to maintain his composure, he found himself eyeing her out of corner of his eye.
In rapid succession, Rez pressed down on the ignition button and flipped on the exterior lights to the helicopter and pulled back on the cyclic with a booted hoof to propel the vehicle off the ground. She then ran her other hoof through her blue mane. “So, what are your fillyfriends like?”
The dull hum of the propellers resounded through the cabin as Rumble looked out the window of the copter at the jungle below. He shuddered momentarily, the memory of the patrol pony dying coming back to him unbidden. Trying to ignore the banter, he instead turned back to her and asked, “How long until we reach our destination?”
Other than the quick glance she gave him, nothing of her cool demeanor told him that she was in any way affected by his dismissal of her question. Still, he became immediately aware of it and wished he been more amicable and a little less direct. That gruesome scene must have gotten to him more than he had initially realized.
While monitoring their altitude and trajectory, Rez made slight adjustments in the course with the cyclic. “By my calculations, if we maintain our current speeds, we should be there in about … twenty to thirty minutes. You doing okay? You look pale as a ghost.”
An eerie silence drowned all the noise inside the cabin as he returned to staring out the window. Gazing back at him was his reflection, displaying all of the worry and vulnerability within his expression. They had become more pronounced with the end of their conversation; there was nothing now to distract him from the horrors he had seen.
The realization that this entire time she might have been trying to preoccupy his mind suddenly dawned on him, and he broke eye contact with his own reflection to glance back in her direction. A stern look was present on her face, one that came with the knowledge of a possibly grim outcome just beyond the horizon. Perhaps in actuality, it had been her own mind she was trying to preoccupy.
He suddenly found the floor interesting to look at as he contemplated over what to say to break the silence once more. Despite her friendly tone so far, Rez was still nothing more than a stranger to him. Beyond having a common goal, he didn't know that much about her. Was it wise for him to open up to her and divulge privy information to a mare he had only known for a few hours?
By the merits of her actions and the way she carried herself, Rez's motivation seemed genuine. Had she not, he could very well still be hiking through the rough terrain of the jungle or possibly even be dead at the hands of that guard. He shook his head ruefully; he could trust her, and talking to her about the crusaders and his past would take his mind off everything for a moment.
“The girls are about as sweet as you can imagine. No way in a million years do they deserve what's happening to them, Ms. Rez.”
At the sound of his voice, Rez's ears perked up. “Roger that.”
Rumble looked up to the mare, who encouraged him to continue by shooting him a smile. By this point, the tension was ebbing away, and Rumble chuckled in spite of there being nothing remotely humorous about his tale. Thoughts filled with Sweetie Belle, he recounted his first interaction with the fillies, growing more excited as his story unfolded.
“. . . So there I was, snapping passes back to my teammate, Pipsqueak, left and right. We were down in score, and we only had a couple of minutes left on the clock. Everything hinged on me not fumbling the ball. Did I mention how tough they were? I mean, they were good.” Rez only nodded in affirmation as she made another minor adjustment to her course.
“Well, I was a little too rough with the ball and sent it soaring into the bushes. We called time out and I followed after the ball beyond the playing field. In search of it, I stumbled my way into the path of the crusaders, who were in the middle of their own game.
“With my eyes trained at the ground, not taking note of my surroundings, I hadn't actually seen them yet. I ended up bumping into one of the girls. The next thing I know I'm on the ground, and this filly by the name of Sweetie Belle landed on top of me.
“With a filly's body being completely foreign to me, I was nervous about putting my hooves on her to gently pull us apart, and so I squirmed from beneath her and tried to untangle myself with as little touching as possible. Not realizing that she was trying to do the same, I think I actually caused her to lose balance and fall back on top of me. She tried to catch herself, but all my moving led to her smacking my muzzle unexpectedly.” Rumble scratched his withers shyly, his cheeks heating up as he recalled the fond memory.
“Without meaning to, I opened my mouth to cry out in pain, but I was muffled by her hoofsy. In spite of myself, my tongue brushed up against it, startling her. I'm ashamed to admit it, but it kinda tasted good. I must sound like a creep. ” A frown adorned his features as he ran his hooves back and forth across the fabric of his seat.
Amused, Rez shook her head and chuckled. Patting his withers, she told him, “Everypony has their tastes, kiddo. Nopony can blame you for that . . . so long as you don't go forcing yourself onto them.”
“I wouldn't dream of it, honest! It's not like I'd do that. Especially not to Sweetie Belle.” He felt his voice weakening as the horrid picture of him doing that to anypony lingered in his mind. Outlandish as it was, it disgusted him to the point where he nearly convulsed, and it took him clenching his eyes shut and gripping a hoofful of cushion stiffly for him to calm down.
“Easy there, I didn't say that you would.”
“I know. It's just hard for me to picture somepony doing that to her. she's really sweet. After I had startled her, she jumped away and landed right on my ball, flattening it accidentally. I quickly apologized and tried to run away in embarrassment. That was when she called out to me.
“She said to me, 'I'm sorry too. Here have our ball.' As it turned out, they were just about to leave anyway, and they were going to have somepony stitch the broken ball back together again.” By the time he finished his story, his throat was parched from all the talking. He had gone on longer than he had meant to, but now that he was finished, the discussion left him feeling rejuvenated.
With a smile on his face, Rumble raised his head to see that the base was now coming into view. As far away as it still was, he couldn't make out any of the details yet, but its appearance filled him with anticipation.
An oncoming itch at the back of his head caused his thoughts to wander over the mare sitting next to him, and he became earnestly curious of her own background. He asked, “What about you, Rez? Before you mentioned something about a pony named Dox.”
“Oh Faust, Dox!” Upon hearing the pony's name, Rez was seething. She tightened her hold over the cyclic, and it threatened to buckle under the tension. “I'd rather not think about him right now. I really don't want to remember all of the horrors he inflicted upon me over the course of my imprisonment there. I'm sorry.”
By this point they were hovering just over the base, and Rez pulled back on the cyclic until they came to a full stop. Judging by the way her eyes scanned the ground below him, she appeared to be in search for a place to land. “I haven't been entirely forthcoming. The truth is, I've been really worried about your friends ever since you've mentioned them.”
Perturbed, the foreboding declaration left the sensation of a pang in his heart. Concerned, he asked, “What do you mean?”
“It's best I don't go into too much detail, for it may cloud your judgment in the hours to come. Let's just say . . . that Dox is a demented soul. I've never seen anypony as crazed as he is. If my fears are correct, your girls are in grave danger.”
Rumble could do nothing but stay silent as he soaked in the new information. With every piece of knowledge he learns about these mercenaries, they infuriated him more. Just what did these ponies do to Rez to make her this afraid of them, and what were they going to do to the crusaders, to Sweetie Belle?
“Blast!” Rez pulled back on the cyclic and directed the helicopter away from the structure below. He was just about to question her concerns when she continued, “They've made significant upgrades to their fortifications in the time that I've been away. I guess they prepared for my eventual return. We'll have to land a safe distance away and investigate their defenses from the ground.”
A couple of miles away from the site, Rez led the vehicle to a quickly nearing view of a clearing in the forest. Slowing their descent, Rez punched buttons on the console and made swift adjustments with her cyclic. Despite her expertise at the controls, the landing was hastily made, and the cabin shuddered roughly as the helicopter's wheels touched down.
Rumble didn't pay the landfall much attention, though, and upon exiting the cabin and setting hoof down onto soft grass once more, he said aloud to himself, “Hold on, Sweetie Belle. We're coming for you.”
DAY 2 – 7:00AM
When her consciousness returned to sunlight filtering in through nearby windows the next day, Sweetie Belle was disoriented by new surroundings and the pressing throb in her head. Upon feeling the discomforting sensation of her binds, tightly woven to the point where it stung her extremities at its focal point, she was immediately on alert. Reminded of their position, she took in her surroundings with the faint awareness of her friends being close by.
Distinguished from the rest of the base by the vibrant warmth it provided, the expanse around them was out of place to the comparison of the cold, barren enclosure they had familiarized themselves with. Polished mahogany panels lined the walls; they sported family photos, mostly of an unicorn stallion and his son, and artwork of a Maretorian influence. At the center of the back wall hung the largest painting, a colorful rendition of a dressed white-coated unicorn colt, his cobalt mane slicked back neatly, standing tall and proud.
In contrast to the methodically arranged artwork that adorned the walls, the rest of the room was in a state of disarray. Sprawled about the floor were toys of various shapes and sizes, some shattered beyond recognition. One particular grouping of toys that stood out to Sweetie Belle were the pony dolls that stood erect on top of a luxuriously crafted coffee table before them. They were contorted in a menacing fashion; some were missing limbs and a couple even their heads.
On the table, just off to the side, was a poor illustration of an undefined mass leering down at a number of ponies. In each of the ponies eyes were x marks. Overhead, in the sky, was both the sun and the moon, fractured into a multitude of pieces. Entitled at the top of the illustration was Fall of Canterlot.
Possibly the most disturbing article present in the room, however, rested on top of the table at its center. Every issue of Gabby Gums ever released was spread out on top of it. On its last issue, which accommodated a picture of the Cutie Mark Crusaders, a large red circle was made around them.
Caught in a daze, Sweetie Belle shuddered and panicked. Taking in quick breaths, she unconsciously edged away from the table and gave out an exasperated cry. She suddenly became aware of the soft cushioning of a sofa supporting their weight. Every which way she looked, her surroundings screamed danger!
“Sweetie Belle, it's gonna be ok-okay.” Apple Bloom whispered in hysterics. Clearly as disturbed as she, the farm filly was desperately trying to keep the three of them calm and collected. Unsurprisingly, this was a futile attempt. There was no possible way one could maintain composure under these circumstances.
When they heard the sound of a door barging open, they fell into dead silence. Holding her breath as if to will away whomever had just entered their quarters, Sweetie Belle stood absolutely still and clenched her eyes shut. Pursing her lips, she swallowed hard and found her mouth dry. I . . . I want to get out of here!
The sound of a colt's voice shattered her dream. “Aw, you shouldn't sleep the day away, my little dearies.” He grabbed a hoofful of her mane and pulled her closer. She could feel the breath on her muzzle, and she opened her eyes in spite of her unrelenting fears. In front of her stood the very same colt from the painting on the wall. “Rise and shine!”
Releasing her from his grips, the colt picked up the top issue with the picture of the crusaders and flung the rest of the table's contents onto the floor. She flinched at the sound of the clatter, but her gaze remained fixated on the deeply disturbed individual in front of them. With the issue in hoof, the colt seated himself on top of the table and crossed his hindquarters.
As he turned the pages in the article, he mused over the entry and told them, “I don't see why you stopped doing this. This stuff was pure gold. Although, I think with my own personal touch, I wouldn't have stopped at mocking them for the small stuff. I would have destroyed their lives!” Flinging the article in their faces, they all shouted in terror as he invaded their personal space with a mischievous smile playing on his lips.
“You know, I think that's a great idea. Why don't we create our own Gabby Gums? You can write about all the things you used to!”
Too terrified to voice her objections, Sweetie Belle continued to edge herself away from the colt until she reached the corner of the couch, where she curled up and shivered involuntarily.
Having found the courage to stand up to him, Apple Bloom did not share her troubled emotions, at least not to the degree that impeded her ability to stand up to the boy. “We ain't gonna do that again. What we did back then was down-right mean. I reckon the townsfolk are still unhappy 'bout it.”
“No!” Taking Apple Bloom by the back of her head, the colt slammed her painfully against the table. “We will. It'll be fun. Or maybe you'd rather I do other things to your friends. I fancy the unicorn.”
“Please, anythin' but that! Fine, I'll do it.” All trace of resistance evaporated from Apple Bloom's pleading voice. Sweetie Belle could not help but feel the dread overcome her as she imagined the implications of the boy's statement.
Releasing Apple Bloom to unceremoniously plummet to the floor, the colt said, “That's more like it.” He then one by one went up to all of them and released them from their binds, opting to leave the mechanisms that inhibited their flight or magic in place. When he finished undoing the ropes that secured their hooves, he continued, “You better not run again, or you'll be sorry. Now get up. There's much to do.”
Directing them to the exit with a hoof, he led them into an adjoining hallway. Towards what destination, Sweetie Belle did not know, but regardless of the journey's end, the dangers had never been more real than they were now. As she listened intently for any signs of help to arrive, she could only hope that rescue would soon be on its way. But the only sound she could hear was their own hoofsteps resounding against the cold tiled floor of their imprisonment
DAY 2 – 7:30AM The entire stretch of hallway leading up to monitoring room, the girls were fraught with worry. In the time that it took for them to cross from his play area to there, they had learned that the colt went by the name of Dox, expressed an uncanny fascination for his toys, and was remarkably ignorant towards the emotions of other ponies.
The way in which he'd belittle them, tripping them up and then reveling in his mischievous delight, might indicate that he was aware of the emotional anguish he inflicted upon others. His lack of response when other mercenaries mimicked his actions suggested otherwise. He would stare at their interactions and then carry on, spending no time to stand by in amusement as he brought the girls into the recording station.
Once inside, they were met with an unfamiliar sight. Mounted on the far wall was an array of large monitoring screens, each recording various locations on the base. An assortment of buttons and switches were assembled on top of a control station. Before the station were two ponies, who were both lulling their heads back in forth as if struggling to stay awake.
A third, with a cigar firmly resting in his mouth, was sitting on the other end of the room next to a small round table; standing on top of the table was a television set which emitted a dull, incessant static. The stallion smacked the television and muttered, “Damn thing's busted.” He then ran his hooves across a newspaper and lazily flipped through the pages.
Coming upon a section that made him laugh, he said, “Take a look at this. They have an article in the daily that talks about one pony's devastation after the loss of his magic and cutie mark. Now he must live forever talent-less... Just grow a pair, ya crybaby.” He then dug the end of his cigar into the picture of the stallion's face in the newspaper and burned a hole in the paper before tossing it into the trash.
“Attention, peasants!” Dox cried.
Immediately, all the occupants of the room stood at attention, sweat dripping down their faces as they fidgeted in place.
“I demand that you vacate these quarters immediately.” He eyed the three ponies menacingly before continuing, “My new partners here will be taking over your station and monitor these cameras for a bit.”
"Hey, we're not your partners!" Apple Bloom snapped. She was about to continue when she was interrupted by Dox, who placed his hoof over her mouth.
There was a collective sigh of relief from the operators, who unquestioningly yielded control of the station to the colt and fillies and exited out of the door they had just come through. Shutting the door behind them, Dox placed his hoof over a scanner, which captured a print of his hoof; the sound of the door latching could be heard.
“Here's what you're gonna do,” Dox said as he directed the fillies to the monitors. “You're gonna scan through every camera in the facility and write about all the embarrassing things you find about my father's mercs. I'll be back to check on you in an hour to check your progress. Don't disappoint me.”
His veiled threat was not very subtle, and he let those words simmer as he trotted over to the door, pressed his hoof to the scanner once more, and left them alone to their devices. After a moment, they heard the familiar locking mechanisms securing them inside.
Once alone, the Cutie Mark Crusaders was nothing to interrupt them from brainstorming another daring escape from the clutches of these nefarious villains. Apple Bloom studied the screens for a moment before she turned to her companions.
“I reckon I have a plan for gettin' us out of here.” Apple Bloom made sure they were listening closely before she said, “Scoots, I want you to look for a way out of this room. There might be a way to get that door unlocked. Sweetie Belle, you and I are gonna look for an escape route.”
“But Apple Bloom. What if he comes back? He was pretty rough with you earlier.” Sweetie Belle shuddered at the thought of Dox tormenting them again. She'd sooner be compliant to his demands than see him hurt either of her friends again.
Apple Bloom reassured her by placing a hoof over her withers. “Look, I know you're scared Sweets. I am too. I don't rightly know what I'm doin', but I ain't about to do what this Dox fella wants just cuz he asked us to. I ain't gonna let him touch you.
“Even if he did come back now, nothin' would look outta place since we're gonna be lookin' through these cameras anyways,” Apple Bloom said before she began pressing buttons on the console at random, trying to figure out how they worked. Shooting her a quick glance and still sensing her worry, she gave a friendly smile.
“Okay,” Sweetie Belle said weakly before joining her on the console, and together the two of them set their sights on learning the controls. There was one grouping of controls, each with three types of buttons, for each of the monitors. After messing with them for a short while, she discovered that one set adjusted the direction of the camera, while another adjusted its zoom. The final would patch through the audio feed picked up by the camera.
While studying one of the cameras, Apple Bloom spotted two stallions standing at ease just down the hall from them, talking animatedly back and forth with one another. 'Listenin' in on them might tell us somethin' about them,” She said as she pressed a button. The sound of their voice suddenly began to emit into the room.
“You think Raden's losing his shit? He's snapping at the smallest of things these days. Why I just saw him complaining about the phone lines being down during one of his comedy shows the other day,” One stallion said to another as they stood guard at their post. “What do I care?” The other stomped his hoof and gave a his compatriot a glare. “He's only in charge because Trench Bloodhoof used his influence in the Black Panthers to promote him directly. If it weren't for that, I'd have personally left Raden dead long ago in the mines. Alex Brightwing is the rightful leader of the Black Panthers.”
“What are you talking about? He seems like a pretty alright chief to me...”
“You don't know nothin', do ya? We wait at beck and call for Bloodhoof. We put up with his bastard of a son or we’ll get thrown into the mines with the slaves and other traitors. And what does Raden do? He lets it happen! Well, I'll let you in on a secret. We're planning a coup. We'll steal the Black Panthers back from Trench, and we'll do it with or without Raden.”
“Shh...Raden's coming. He's going to hear you.”
“What do I care? Let him hear. He's not gonna do nothin'.”
Raden entered the room from a door on the opposite side of the hallway and eavesdropped on the guards. His demeanor, initially placid, shifted into one of seething anger. He did nothing to interrupt them.
“Well, I do. And I'm not comfortable talking about mutiny.”
The second stallion gasped in shock. “You're one of them aren't you? You damn loyalist. This conversation's over.”
Annoyed, Raden stomped back into his room to sulk.
While thinking of how well the scene would fit into a Gabby Gums issue, as much as the mere thought of it disgusted her, Sweetie Belle turned back to her own station and scanned through the monitors for anything of interest on her end. Finding two other ponies in the midst of a discussion, she decided to listen in on them.
“Psst, hey Bob. Can I tell ya something?”
“While I was going through my rounds the other day, I caught this hilarious footage that I think you should totally check out.” He pulled out a mobile device. Straining her eyes to concentrate on the video, she zoomed and adjusted the focus until she could clearly see the scene play out. The image was somewhat distorted, but there was no mistaking the colt on the stallion's device. It was Dox.
"Oh noes, the Gak monsta's gonna have its way with me, some hot stallion save me," Dox said as he held a pony figurine in one hoof and Gak – a sticky green material that was somewhere between a solid and a liquid - in the other.
"Mwahahaha, I'm gonna enjoy this,” he said in imitation of a monster's voice. He then proceeded to emit a cry as he pounded the Gak against the figure. He meshed the goo until it enveloped the doll. He then picked up a GI Colt doll, whose design drastically differed from the previous doll. “Don't worry, my love, I'll save you from the perverted Gak!”
He made a fake death sound as he squeezed the doll and crushed the head of the pony doll. “You're too late Dox, I took your wife's prized treasure and her life along with it. You must be torn apart about it."
“I don't know what that means, but I know how to defeat you!” He smashed the two toys together and flung them together on the floor. He then let out a cackle in delight. “Victory is mine!”
The other stallion looks at his friend, "You know Trench will kill us if he finds out we're making fun of his son?"
“What he doesn't know won't hurt him,” The first said just before putting his mobile device away.
Sweetie Belle's attention was diverted when Apple Bloom nudged her. “Sweetie Belle, in case we can't find a way outta here right away, do you reckon we should write these events down for the Gabby Gums issue?” The farm filly asked. Before waiting for a reply, she was already pulling out a notepad and pencil, and she began to furiously scribble down the notes.
“It can't hurt, I suppose,” Sweetie Belle said as she weighed their options. For all the careful planning they were doing, it wouldn't do them any good if they were placed back in confinement, under the trained eye of a guard, if they didn't appease Dox before the enacted on said plan. But that meant knowingly hurting the feelings of others, even if those feelings belonged to rotten villains.
“Whatever we do, we don't have much time before he gets back,” Scootaloo said from the door. Her attention was still focused on the security mechanism. “I can't figure out how this thing works at all.” she muttered before smacking her head against the door; a loud thud echoed in the chamber, and the pegasus filly groaned in defeat. “I hope you have another plan Apple Bloom, because there's no way we're getting through here.”
While Apple Bloom stood up and joined Scootaloo over by the door, Sweetie Belle turned back to the monitoring station. As her eyes scrolled across the monitors, one of the screens caught her attention as she saw somepony skulking from one bush, followed shortly by an older mare, before disappearing behind another. “Is that who I think it is? No, why would he be out here? I must be imagining things.”
“Girls, we're on television,” Scootaloo stated.
Turning back around, Sweetie Belle saw Scootaloo in front of the tv on the far side of the room. She fiddled with it until she managed to turn up the volume.
Curious herself, she got up and trotted over to the television. The broadcast was distorted, its incoming picture intermingled with static, but she could still make out a picture of them on the screen, outlined by a box entitled 'FOALNAPPED'.
“...Three fillies by the name of Apple Bloom, Scootaloo, and Sweetie Belle have vanished without a trace yesterday. Their teacher, Ms. Cheerilee, reported them to have been heading towards one of their classmate's home around three in the afternoon, but they never reached their destination.
“Thunderlane, who was home at the time of the disappearance, states that they never came by to drop off his younger brother's, Rumble, homework. He also confirms that in addition to the missing girls, his brother is also nowhere to be found. A note found in the colt's room suggests that a suspected foalnapping has taken place. If you spot any illicit activity, do not hesitate report the offense at 555-AMBER, as the lives of these poor fillies may be at stake.
“In other news, Dr. Hooves' new invention has led to new breakthroughs in the science of magic and its restoration properties. Salted Pair, who has been suffering his loss of magic since the Tirek incident, has this to say...”
Slipping in between them, Apple Bloom made her way to the television set and flipped the power off. “Girls, we're tryin' ta find a way outta here. We ain't got time ta be watchin' the telly.”
The sound of hoofsteps suddenly present down the hallway alarmed them to the possible return of Dox. “Girls, he’s comin’! We need ta get out of here,” Apple Bloom said.
“What about sticking to the plan? Didn’t you say we were going to fool him if he came back early?” Sweetie Belle asked as she heard the hoofsteps grow louder.
“I know what I said, Sweetie Belle, but I don’t rightly feel like that’s an option. Truth is, I was plannin’ from the start to get at least you outta here. I ain’t about to let that pervert touch you.” Apple Bloom didn’t wait to hear her response before continued to search up high and down low.
“Yeah, as much as it pains me to say it, Apple Bloom’s right. I think you’re in more danger than we are,” Scootaloo said, agreeing with the farm filly.
Shuddering with disgust, Sweetie Belle nodded in understanding. Together, they dropped all pretense of quietly planning their escape and desperately looked for an exit. The three of them dashed all over the room in search until one of them spotted an air duct on the ceiling. “Over there!” Scootaloo shouted.
They wasted no time in climbing on top of each other, forming a pillar with Sweetie Belle at the top in an attempt to reach the duct. Even with the added height, she had trouble getting a grasp on the metal grating of the duct. Being fastened in place, the infuriating object wouldn’t budge right away even when she had managed to smack her fore hooves into it.
When it finally did break, they could already hear the door unlatching. Sweetie Belle glanced down at her friends worriedly. With the duct being so high in the air, and with them having so little time as they did, there was only enough time for one of them to make it out of there before Dox reentered the room.
She could have left; she should have, but she instead hesitated. It was assured that Dox would not take kindly to this overt act of defiance. In her absence, he would very likely bring harm to Scootaloo and Apple Bloom.
Apple Bloom must have sensed her hesitation. From the bottom of the pillar, the farm filly shifted her weight, nearly toppling them over. “Hurry! He’s just on the other side of that door, and at least one of us has ta go tell Ponyville where we’re at. I know it ain’t a good plan, but it’s the best we got.”
Sweetie Belle gave a nod of affirmation and steeled herself, grabbing onto to the edge of the duct to pull herself up. With Scootaloo readjusting her so that her hooves stood on top of the pegasus’ head, she was given the final push she needed for her to bring herself the rest of the way.
Then she heard the door open.
“Hey girls, how’s the article coming…” She heard Dox say. She tried not to look down at him. The cat was out of the bag now. She groaned as she put all her strength into her forehooves. She could already feel them bruising against the rigid edge of the passageway, but the pain was dulled by the adrenaline coursing through her veins.
Suddenly, her hind hooves grasped at air, and she could feel herself slipping despite her best efforts to hold herself up. In a final act of desperation she tried to give herself another push with the help of her magic. When her expectations were met with the realization that the magic would not come at all, she was already halfway into her spell. How could she have forgotten that her magic was still sealed?
By that time, she was dangling with only a single hoof keeping her from falling back into the room below her. Her appendage screamed in agony as it endured her full weight; switching tactics, she swung about and tried to wedge herself into the confined space with her hind hooves.
She miscalculated and fell.
“No!” She screamed as her back slammed roughly into a warm body below. Tears welled up in her eyes as she stared up at the air duct, open and inviting yet out of reach. Would she taste freedom ever again?
She could hear Apple Bloom groaning from below her. She was about to check on her to make sure she was okay when she was roughly grabbed and pulled up. Abruptly, she came face to face with Dox, who was none too pleased.
“I thought I told you not to run again!” Dox yelled as he slammed her face into the wall, and then she was out cold.
Normally, Raden did not count himself as being the type of pony to get flustered easily, but the extenuating circumstances as of late were simply too much to simply brush aside.
There he was, sitting in a desk and pouring through their staff records for the hundredth time that hour, chasing phantoms that weren’t there. Only, they were, and the fool outside his door confirmed as much. There were traitors in his midst, scheming to overthrow his command. He needed to figure out who, and fast, before Trench made it back to the base this evening.
With a frustrated sigh, Raden set his electronic pad down and rubbed his temples. “Bloody hell, now what am I going to do? I broke the boss’s rule, and now this. Blimey, I’m so screwed, I can forget being privy to his inner circle, let alone remaining command of this station after this. And all for what, to achieve the respect of his spoiled son and a few extra bits? As if the bloke respects anypony but himself!”
Leaning back in his chair, he tried to put the situation to the back of his mind for just a few moments by flipping on a television that was sitting next to the pad on his desk. As soon as the machine powered on, he was met with a blast of static deafening his ears. Irritation setting in, he snapped the power back off, nudging it across the desk with more force than he had meant to use.
“I can’t even relax…The bloody cable line’s been cut. It must be Dox again.” For a moment, his eyes were fixated on the device; the few laughs the spoiled colt derived from this came at the expense of his beloved Pay-per-view, his one true form of escapism as of late.
He then eyed a phone on the other side of his pad with trepidation. He swallowed hard, finally working up the nerve to call his boss. Grabbing the phone, he dialed the digits - buttons sized appropriately to operate by anypony - of his boss’s number.
The phone rang once, and then twice. On the third ring, there was an answer on the other side of the line. For a brief moment, there was nothing but silence as his entire train of thought was derailed by Trench’s voice.
“Hello? Who’s there? Is this Alex? You know I hate your silent types the worst. All action and no talk. I can never predict what you will do next, but assuredly it’ll be nothing smart. The lot of you seem to have brains the size of peanuts.”
“I do quite loathe to be mixed in with the lot of them, sir. I fancy myself as being of a higher stature in life.” There was a forcefulness to his voice that he could not quite suppress, much to his chagrin. His appearance was everything, and showing weakness was unbecoming. He needed to show his boss that he was resolute, now more so than ever; being newly assigned as the commander of the Black Panthers did not give him justification over any screwups.
“Oh, it’s just you Raden,” Trench responded. “I know you’re not like the rest of them. That’s why I put you in charge after all. Do you have a progress report of this week’s net avenue in jewels ready to deliver?”
“Actually, no. I have something else that is sorely in need of discussion.” Raden carefully constructed his thoughts before forming them into words; it was key that the bloke didn’t misinterpret him. “Under the orders of your son, we have come under the acquisition of some. . .merchandise.”
“What kind of merchandise?” Trench asked, aggravation clearly present in his tone. “This better not be what I think it is. You know how much I hate surprises.”
This was it. He’d either immediately demoted and thrown in the mines with the rest of the traitors and slaves down in the mines, or granted the highest commendation possible by Prince Bloodhoof for honoring his son’s request. “He requested that I foalnap the Cutie Mark Crusaders.”
An unsettling silence overtook their conversation. Raden counted the seconds passing by, and with each second that passed, his anxiousness grew. He gripped the phone tersely and pursed his lips.
“We’ll discuss this when I land.” By the way Trench’s voice was dripping with anger, there was no doubt in Raden’s mind that he was in trouble.
Raden intended to quell his anger by delivering a series of platitudes and apologies for not handling the situation better, but before he could respond, however, he heard the sound of a click, indicating that Trench had ended the connection. For a moment, he stood stalk still and stared at the wall.
There were few moments where Raden felt true rage. This was one of those moments. Before the phone had even left his hoof, it had already been smashed into several pieces, and when it hit the wall on the far side of the room, the resulting debris scattered in every direction.
His was vaguely aware of the vigorous roar that escaped his lips as the television and the rest of the contents of his desk were brushed off the table from an intense shove. He then flipped his table in a show of great strength.
In the aftermath of the destruction, his breath was staggering. Other than the sounds of his labored breathing, the room was eclipsed in silence once more. The damage did nothing to diminish his anger, nor his uneasiness.
When Sweetie Belle’s consciousness returned sometime later, she noticed her movement was impeded by the constraints of an uncomfortably taut rope. A number of wires ran along the the ceiling and walls into the serviceable equipment around them.
Apple Bloom and Scootaloo were already conscious on either side of her. Scootaloo, who continued to fight against their captors with all her might, was struggling against their constraints. Apple Bloom, on the other hoof, was meek by comparison. Every now and again, her eyes trailed over to Sweetie Belle. She finally let out a groan of frustration when their captor stepped into view.
“I don’t rightly know why you brought us here, and I don’t care.” The filly shot her another glance, her brow drawn in worry. “If you lay one hoof on any of us, you’ll be sorry!”
“It’s funny.” Dox smacked the service station behind them. “I remember specifically warning you of the consequences of opposing me. I will not allow you to ruin everything for me. Perhaps spending a little bit of time in the mines will teach you naughty fillies a lesson.”
“I’m not going anywhere with the likes of you.” Scootaloo said as she took the rope into her mouth and began chewing it. One of the rungs binding them snapped.
“Then perhaps I shouldn’t wait until then.” The colt took an exposed wire in his hoof and shocked Scootaloo into submission. She cried out in agony, which resulted in the farm filly’s shout in protest. When Dox struck her with the wire, she too bit back in pain as she quieted.
Dox turned to her, and for a moment it appeared as if he was contemplating delivering the same treatment to her. He ran his hoof along her chin instead, which sent shivers down her spine.
Suddenly, the door barged open with a resounding crash.
“What in the bloody hell is going on in down here?” Raden stood resolutely in the doorway. His anger was all but subdued as he approached them. “You’re down here cutting our lines again, aren’t you? We very well need those to be working!”
“Who do you think you’re talking to?” There was no timidness in Dox’s voice although it was almost too quiet to hear. “I can take everything in your life that you hold dear with the clap of my hooves: Your money, your title… I can even take away your crew. And you talk that way to me?”
All of the confidence Raden possessed mere moments before drained away from his face. His shoulders slumped, and he took a tentative step back.
“Do not oversell yourself, Raden. You are nothing but an insignificant pawn in my father’s grand design. There is no reason to fret, however, so long as you do your bidding, and I command you to fix what our little prisoners so wrongfully destroyed in their escape attempt.” Apple Bloom tried to object, but Dox smacked her she could get in a word edgewise.
“Understood.” Raden let out a sigh as he backed down from his confrontation altogether. He stared down at the three fillies forlornly and bowed his head. “I shan’t question your authority any longer. Take them to the mines as punishment, while I fix the bloody mess only they could have made.”
“As if we would waste our time trashing this room instead of-” Scootaloo cried in pain as she was zapped again.
Raden exited the room while Dox unfastened them from the post. He gave a cackle as he readjusted the rope to fully secure them in his grasp. He pulled them into the hallway, where they passed the distraught mercenary leader on his return trip with a bundle of cords wrapped around his shoulder. He murmured a quick apology to them before he disappeared into the maintenance quarters.
Dox took down a series of passageways until they come to an elevator. Once they were inside its interior cabin, Sweetie Belle’s attention was drawn to the panel next to the door. There were buttons, which ranged from zero to ten, arranged along two columns on the console. A danger warning for toxic gas on the lower three floors was inscribed on a label mounted below them.
Her breath hitched when Dox pressed the button for the bottom floor. The expressions on the other girl’s faces when she glanced over to them were mixed. Scootaloo bit her lower lip and clenched her eyes shut, while Apple Bloom shied away from Dox and toward the corner of the cabin, which lurched downward shortly thereafter.
It finally came to a stop when it reached the bottom, where it opened out into a cafe as the door receded. The residual stench of oil fumes wafted through her nose.
She wasn’t able to take stock of the scene as she and the others were dragged. She hesitantly trudged close to the wall as they continued into the naturally forming interior. The walls were grimy to the touch as she ran her hoof along its rough surface.
One of the nearby slaves caught her attention when he screamed out as he stumbled into a hole. His cries died away as the sound of a thud emanated from below.
Sweetie Belle’s ears fell back. she could already tell, even without peering over the edge, that the unfortunate pony had come to an untimely demise. The disinterested looks in the other slaves suggested that they were no strangers to this type of occurrence.
She was forced away from the wall with a firm tug as she assessed the weary state of the ponies around them. She was terror-stricken, and she ground her hooves into the dirt as Dox brought her and the other fillies to a nearby rocky outcrop. Embedded in it were brilliantly shining gems of all shapes and sizes.
“You will harvest these prized gems for my father and I without delay.” The colt untied them before he pointed to some rusted pickaxes which laid haphazardly on the floor around them. “Those are your tools.”
“I refuse to do your bidding,” Scootaloo said with a terse frown adorning her features.
She was promptly shoved into the ground by the colt, who looked less than amused by her disobedience. He glared at Sweetie Belle and Apple Bloom. Apple Bloom picked up one of the pickaxes in her teeth and teetered to one side due to its sheer weight. Just as she regained her balance, Dox snickered and kicked her over forward, and the utensil fell from her mouth.
“Oops. I didn’t see you there,” Dox said as he walked over to a relatively suitable spot to oversee their work. A gas mask, encased in magic, hovered over to him from the nearby pile of tools. He placed it over his face and took a deep breath of fresh air.
Sweetie Belle was reminded of the nasty fumes which penetrated her nose, and despite her best efforts, she couldn’t stave off the oncoming cough.
“Hey, what about us?” Apple Bloom said. “Why don’t we get a mask as well?” “Why should I care for the safety of my toys, who hold no meaning to me other than the satisfaction of watching them break.” A sinister smile played on Dox’s lips. “If you hurry, then you won’t be here long enough to be affected by it much anyways. Now get working, you mules!”
“Did he… just call us mules?” Sweetie Belle asked.
“Let’s just get this over quick and get out here,” Apple Bloom replied with a groan. She hefted the pickaxe in her mouth and walked over to the outcrop next to Scootaloo, who was reluctantly smacking away at the gems.
Sweetie Belle grabbed at her own pickaxe and struggled for a moment. As she joined her friends, her longing to escape this unending nightmare escalated.
DAY 2 – 10:00AM
Their survey as they skirted around the perimeter led them to an area that was somewhat less secure by comparison to the well guarded entrance. Rumble crawled through the bushes and brushed them aside to peer at the facility before them. A control box was mounted along its back wall.
As he backed away and let the brush return to its resting position, he turned to his partner, who returned after a quick endeavor. Sweat matted her hair but otherwise didn’t appear affected.
“There is a small window of entry along the south wall where the cameras aren’t facing,” Rez said. “If we get to that wall, then there’s a chance that we can get inside undetected.”
“I sense a but coming,” Rumble replied.
“But,” she continued. “We have to act fast. There is a patrol walking the perimeter every ten minutes. That doesn’t give us much time to act. And there is still the matter of the patrol guns at the front.”
“I might have a solution to that problem as well.” Rumble crawled back through the bush and pulled it aside to reveal the cable box. “It’s a long shot, but that box might have security overrides to disable those guns.”
“We can’t risk it.” Rez frowned and shook her head in dismay. “If we cut the wrong wires, we could alert them to our presence faster than a gunshot wound. We are also spending what precious time slipping past the patrol. We’ll have to find another way of dismantling those guns. Come this way.”
They quietly approached within viewing distance of the facility at the other end of the copse of bushes. The structure’s entrance was heavily fortified with a metal sheet lining the door. A half dozen turrets were spread around the premises, and they swiveled about freely in constant rotation, ready to engage any uninvited guests.
By the time the turrets completed one full rotation, a patrol consisting of two pegasi stallions came around the bend. Bolt action rifles rested freely upon their shoulders as they marched stolidly and energetically.
When the guards turned away and began receding toward the other end of the facility, Rumble, with Rez close behind him, kept to the bushes and followed after them.
“On my mark, we go together.” Sweat glistened down Rez’s fur as her ears twitched. She shook her head and muttered something incoherent under her breath. “I hope you know what you’re doing.”
“I’ve done it at least a dozen times in training. I could do this blindfolded,” Rumble lied. “We’ll be in and out of that panel lickety-split.”
The truth of the matter was that Rumble wasn’t entirely certain he could. It was no lie that his training covered the basics of circuitry, but it did not extend much beyond that. If it were complicated, his deductive reasoning skills would only take him so far in isolating the power to the turrets.
Rumble watched anxiously as the cameras panned back and forth. A lump formed in his throat as he tried to swallow, and his eyes flickered between them as he waited for Rez’s signal. The seconds prolonged into minutes, and he dug his hooves into the ground.
“Now,” Rez said just loud enough for him to hear.
They broke out into a gallop toward the building. The journey only took seconds, but it felt much longer. One of the cameras nearly spotted them as they closed the gap. When they reached the exterior, they hugged against the wall and hurried over to the panel.
Rumble could see that several cables ran through the panel when he opened it. There was nothing to distinguish the correct cable from the rest; that was what he was afraid of. He pulled out his wire cutters and strained in his attempt to select one. He placed the cutters up next to one, hesitated, and then pulled back to reselect another.
“I’m going keep a watch for the guards while you take care of that,” Rez said suddenly. “I’ll let you know if the turrets shut off.”
Rez peered around the corner once she stepped up to it. She pressed her hooves into the wall, and then she peered over the side for a moment. She then signaled to Rumble that the coast was clear by winking.
Rumble returned his attention to the panel. He flicked a tongue out between his lips and squinted his eyes in concentration. Finally, he clenched his eyes shut and randomly cut one. There were sounds of mechanical structures powering down off in the distance.
“Hey, that did it.” Rez ran over to his side. “The turrets are down. Very nicely done, little one. And not a moment too soon. The guards are just about to round the corner.”
“This way!” Rez grabbed his hoof and pulled him along. As they neared the corner on the other end of the exterior, she gave him a sideways glance. “We can avoid detection if we head in this direction, but we have to hurry.”
Suddenly, he stumbled across a stone. His balance was only momentarily affected, but the action slowed them temporarily. They were spotted before they were able to round the corner, and he could hear one of the guards shouting upon spotting them.
“They’ve spotted us,” Rez cried. “We have no choice but to turn and fight them now, or they’ll alert the others of our presence.”
Rumble stopped mid run to answer her call. The guards were already upon them by the time he turned around, their rifles pointed and ready to fire.
If it were not for Rez’s quick hooves, that might have been the end of him. Well placed hits sent each of their weapons careening a safe distance away. She followed up her assault by flipping over and smacking them with her rear hooves.
The guards were prepared, however, and they caught her appendages before they fully connected. They pulled her back, which caused her to lose balance. A well placed strike from each of them knocked her flat onto her belly, and one of them dug his hoof into her back before she could react.
“Think you can handle one little colt?” The guard standing over Rez teased the other.
“He doesn’t look so tough.” the other guard, with a smirk planted across his face, stepped toward Rumble menacingly. He made an attempt to grab at him, leaning forward and extending his hooves around the colt.
He skirted under the guard and made a mad dash for Rez. He hopped over her and onto the first guard’s back. He wrapped his hooves around the guard’s neck and pulled back, causing the mercenary to release pressure on his companion.
This was all that was needed for Rez to interject their quarrel with successive strikes that sent the stallion teetering to the ground, where he laid writhing in pain.
Rumble finished knocking him out with a kick of his own before he turned his attention to the remaining guard, who was sprinting across the field toward the front entrance.
There was no time to think. If he didn’t act quickly, the mercenaries would be alerted of their presence, and all their effort scoping the fortifications over the course of the last few hours would all go to waste. Rumble rolled across the ground and picked up one of the fallen rifles, aimed, and fired. The guard, shot in his hindquarters, landed on the ground with a resounding thud, and he held himself to stave off the pain.
Rumble dropped the rifle when he was suddenly pulled into an embrace by Rez, who surprised him by tightening her grip on him and planting kisses each of his cheeks.
“My little hero!” Rez stroked his main before releasing him. “I think it’s time we proceed.”
DAY 2 – 12:30PM
Only three hours have passed since the crusaders first entered the cave. The searing heat, in conjunction with the foul gaseous odors, made for abysmal conditions. Sweetie Belle looked over to her left. Apple Bloom looked ready to keel over from exhaustion. For the better part of the last hour, she had been dealing with an oil vein she had unwittingly struck. Sweetie Belle felt sorry for Apple Bloom, who was still trying to pat the oil out of her wet mane, as she turned her attention toward Scootaloo. The orange Pegasus, energetic as always, was still smashing through rock at an alarming rate. It was thanks to her that they had already almost filled up the fifty wagons of gems tasked to them by Dox. Their exhaustion, however, was already borderline overwhelming.
Sweetie Belle wasn't immune to the effects exhaustion was having on her body either. Her hooves were filthy after the long hours of mining for gems. She could practically feel the grim on her poor mane and tail.
“I think you're about done here for today girls.” Dox clapped his hooves.
“So, can we go up for air now?” Apple Bloom said.
“When I say done for today, I do mean yes. Now, follow me to the elevator” The CMC put down their pickaxes and take off their helmets.
There was an eagerness to their step as they trailed behind Dox. They gave a collective sigh of relief once the elevator doors were closed. The putrid gases were almost immediately vented out and replaced by fresh air. The elevator lurched into movement once Dox keyed in the correct floor.
Once they were on the fourth floor, Dox led them into the showers so they could rinse after being in those caves for an indeterminate amount of time. Dox watched them clean off as the girls felt slightly uncomfortable with a stranger colt they only meet early today watching them. Once they got done showering off, Dox then ordered the girls to follow him back to the monitoring station.
When they arrived back into the monitoring station, Dox gave out new orders. “Alright girls, now I want you all to finish writing on those juicy reports on the mercs, and this time, I'll be watching ya.”
The girls realized that they have no choice now since Dox is now gonna be sitting in the room watching them while he's in his own chair.
Sweetie Belle turned back at some of the different channels when she noticed that the same video camera feeds that showed the outdoors are offline.
“Aww, I was hoping you two can write about someone taking their business in the woods. Oh well, there's still a lot of spots to check out girls,” The white colt said in disappointment momentarily before his smile returned.
“Say Dox, we're just writing about ponies you don't care for right, not ponies who are decent?” Apple Bloom responded.
Dox then had a nasty thought in his mind.
“Girls I know exactly who you should write about,” Dox switched the monitors to show two officers in their bland white offices, all of which are having a conversation.
“Hey, mind explaining why you’re not gonna be here tomorrow?” One of the middle ranked officers said to the lower ranked officer.
“It's my daughter’s tenth birthday tomorrow and she's expect.....” The rookie is cut off by the officer.
“Well your daughter is lame and all she thinks about is puppies and clothing! and she's a mule who wears glasses which makes her inferior.”
“Hey!, Don't talk about my girl like that!”
The middle ranked officer bursts out laughing. “You think I give a damn about you? Well now you’re about to get a beaten for wanting to ditch our group! You’re as lazy as Raden!”
“Well at least he didn’t act like…”
The officer cut him off as he ganged up on the guy as he beat the crap out of him until he cried and coughed up blood.
“Looks like supporting Raden and having a daughter keeped you from doing your job!” The officer proceeds to press a button which alerted somebody to go into their room now. Alyx entered the room after hearing the alarm.
“What's going on in here!”
“They beat me for caring about my...my....family…”
Alyx struck the officer’s face and knocked him out. “Looks like this traitor's being demoted to being a slave....forever! Officer, strip him of his uniform and restrain his magic. He's going to the mines.”
They were shocked by what they saw.
“That's terrible!” Scootaloo screamed.
“Why they just do that?” Apple Bloom questioned.
“Write about how funny that guy is or I'll take you back to the mines with him!”
“But...” Apple Bloom pleaded. “I'll do anythin’, we won't escape again. We promise!”
Dox was not buying the idea at first. he then got an idea, however. “Did you say anything?”
“Yes!” The farm filly cried with tears in her eyes.
“Alright, here's the deal. I'll leave you alone in this room if you promise not to escape again. But only if you actually write about losers like him and the other traitors.”
Sweetie Belle said, “What’s in it for us?”
“You do all of that while I'm out of this room for the next 3 hours, and I'll actually play with you three, I'll even give you a break in my bedroom”
Apple Bloom was about to say something when she was suddenly interrupted by Scootaloo. “We accept.”
“Good, I'll be back in about three hours, and there better be plenty for my 1st issues of Gabby Gums.” Dox left the monitoring station while once again locking the door where only mercenaries and Dox can open easily.
“What the hay did you just sign us on?” the farm filly faced Scootaloo and struck the control panel with her hoof.
“Look, I know what you’re thinking, but look don’t worry. We have three hours to find a new plan. We can act like we're continuing to write by the time he gets back, if nothing else.”
“Well.... I guess it can work, as a Temporary Solution” Apple Bloom responded calmly before switching back to anger “But you agreed to us to be in his playroom, if he does anything to us, especially Sweetie Belle, I will kick your flank if we ever escape”
“Girls, please don't worry about me.” the unicorn filly said, “We're doomed to heed his demands. Did you see how much he wanted us to embarrass?” Raden's voice patched through on one of the security cameras before Sweetie Belle could finish. Apple Bloom noticed and began recording the feed.
Raden was sitting at a control terminal striking away on the keyboard.
“Alrighty, time to change the main overwrite password for all the rooms in the base,” Raden said as he starts typing in a password. A voice from the computer announces that the master lock code has been overwritten and that any door or room can be accessed or opened with it. “Good, now to head to ground level. I gotta let the higher ranked guards up there know to tell my boss about the new code”
Apple Bloom pressed a button. The video feed locked on Raden, rotating camera views to maintain focus on him. Raden passed by them, just on the other side of the door, in a manner of minutes. approaching a elevator from within the camera in it, shows him going from Room 4 all the way to Room 10 Ground level, the last camera that works that shows Raden before he goes outside shows him leaving from a hallway to enter a huge room with a center desk in the middle and 2 more rooms at the far left and right. Flipping to the camera on the opposite side shows Raden opening up a huge door which of course shows the lush outdoors as he walks out.
Apple Bloom, having already written the code down somewhere, asked the other fillies in the room. “Girls, we finally have a ticket out of here, but we gotta find out how we can even use this thing.”
Sweetie Belle and Scootaloo looked around the room for clues before eventually finding a small button underneath the hoofprint scanner. Scootaloo presses the button and sure enough, a keypad pops out from the left side of the scanner which allows for a key combination to be used instead of a print scan.
“Hey girls, I brought up this keypad thing but I don't know what it does,” Scootaloo said.
Apple Bloom ran up to her and took a good look at it “Sweetie Belle, mind punching in this code into the keypad?”
“Well, I suppose....” Sweetie Belle punched in the exact code that Apple Bloom has written down, and sure enough, the door unlocked.
Sweetie Belle stuck her head out the door for a while, she can see that the hallway is empty at the moment though this was quickly shortened as she closed the doors immediately when she saw approaching shadows.
“Well it ain't much, but I reckon we're off to a good start so far,” Apple Bloom said. While it’s almost impossible to sneak out without being detected, as guards were still roaming around, they had a better chance if they did it now. “Yea, maybe we could even tell it to anyone who could take us out if they leave” she said. Sliding the keypad back into its spot so it doesn't look like it's been engaged, they go back to the stations to find baddies to write about while also trying to find someone who disagreed with the mercenaries enough to sneak them out.
“Look at here, I think we found our escape plan,” Sweetie Belle pointed to a delivery Pegasus stallion who's carrying a huge case the size of a stallion unpacking a vending machine in the fifth floor, not only that, but looking at the clipboard he's holding, there's a machine that he marked as the last thing to check on that says to take one machine back to his dealership for repair. Sweetie finds the marked machine, “If we can sneak inside of that opened machine, we can make an easy escape, when he gets back to his business, he'll find us, notice that we're missing and report us to Ponyville as being found”
“Sweetie Belle, as silly as this plan of yours sound, I think It just might work” Apple Bloom agrees with Sweetie Belle and writes down the location and time that the pony should be picking the soda machine up for transport.
By the time the alarms ceased, it was perfectly safe for Rumble and Rez to walk into the base. Rumble looked around and saw the cameras, inactive, suspended high above by a [something, I’m not sure what].
Rumble thought about asking Rez about what Dox and the others are like.
“Rez, I know this was a horrible experience, but could you tell me more about this so-called Dox and his henchmen?” Rez felt disappointed but she had to let it all out.
“Dox is perhaps the biggest pain in the flank you will ever meet. Trench alone raised him, as a spoiled colt who only thinks of himself. When I was forced to babysit for him, he treated me like I was one of those disposable army stallion figures. Every time I tried to keep him in line, he would step on my hooves and punch me, and even bite me if I got too close.”
“Sounds kinda like one of the students who used to go to my classroom, till he got expelled for striking Cheerliee and Dinky Hooves in the face.”
“That's not even the worse part. He'll play this game where he would pretend that I'm some defenseless mare, tying me up and then.... He'd hit me with a bundle of cables while smearing Gak all over me. He’d then poke me with toy planes or ponies. He’d pretend I mutated into a monster after trapping me in what he called a ‘Gak Cocoon’. After firing his toy missiles at my eyes, he’d pronounce me dead. ”
“Ouch. That must have really hurt. I hit a filly with one of those in school once, myself, but it was only an accident. I didn't know that Zipporwhill was passing by when Dinky Hooves, Pipsqueak, Sweetie Belle and I were playing. Zipporwhill forgave me, and Pipsqueak and I both gave her a hug and a kiss before she went to the doctor's office.”
“I see. Was she alright, at least?”
“Yes. Zipporwhill was such a nice forgiving filly that we didn’t get into any trouble, either. she actually came and played with us the next day; we were a lot more careful where we aimed our toy missiles after that.”
Rez raised a hoof over her mouth, barely managing to stifle a giggle.
“It's alright, Rumble. We all make mistakes.What you did wasn’t intentional, unlike Dox. Oh, and there's something else I wanted to tell you about Dox because well... he might attempt it with the CMC…”
“What would that be?”
“One day, before I managed to escape, he tied me up in his bedroom and tried to have his way with me. I still remember his raunchy breath on my face as he planted kisses all over my face. I was just some doll for his amusement.”
“Before I escaped, he tried to screw me. Literally.”
“After he was trying to take away my air while kissing me too hard, he turned me around and spread my hind hooves open. That gave me an opportunity to kick him straight in the face. With Dox knocked out, I managed to untie myself, then made a straight run to the nearest air vent, climbed all the way up to the ground level floor though not before shutting down the power to the whole security systems put in place, I went to the exit, ran through the jungle and then managed to get out of there.
“Wait, if he tried to do that, then, we better start running as fast as possible! I ain't gonna let that bully do that to my Sweetie, nor will he have his way with Apple Bloom and Scootaloo.”
As the two ponies continued walking, Rez suddenly noticed a turret emerging from the ground.
“Duck!” She grabbed him, and they tumbled as one into the nearest barrels right as a turret popped out. “It looks like a dead end Rumble, but not for long. Follow me. I know what's powering the front turrets.”
Rumble followed Rez through a bushy path until about an hour and a half later when they arrive at another spot where there's a small single floor building with only one room.
“Wait here.” Rez snuck by the building and broke open the door.
A guard on the other side appeared surprised by the sudden entrance. “Hey, you're not supposed to be in...”
Before the guard could react, Rez placed a rag over his muzzle. He wasn’t able to put up much resistance before he was out like a light. Once he laid unconscious on the floor, she began disrobing him with the intent to disguise herself as a mercenary..
Rumble, having seen it through the window of the hut, decided to go in with Rez and try to figure out how to shut off all the outside turrets.
“Wanna do the honors again, Rumble?” She pointed at a key attached to a console.
With just little effort, Rumble managed to power off the entire turret system for outside.
Looking around the room, Rumble found a locker with a couple of suits, one of which appeared to be Rumble’s size. He grabbed the uniform, and once he put it on, their disguises were complete. The two headed into the nearest elevator to begin their search through the massive base.
DAY 2 – 3:30PM
A hoofful of notes were sprawled haphazardly on the floor of the monitoring station room. Dox was pouring through them carefully, giving each of them a sideways glance every now and again.
The monitoring station room on the fourth floor, which once had just a few notes of paper is now full of notes on paper as the Cutie Mark Crusaders had written about so many bad apples that worked for Trench Bloodhoof and supported Dox. There were enough articles for a whole month’s worth of Gabby Gum issues and the Cutie Mark Crusaders had just got done putting together the first three articles which will be issued daily.
“Nice job girls., This looks very promising,” Dox doesn't bother checking the notes or issues as he got too excited that they already did three issues of Gabby Gums for today and the next two days.
“You’ve been very busy.”
“Why yes, we're sure your fine friends will love our issues,” Apple Bloom said, refering to Trench’s loyal henchmen, despite it being humorous only to those that despised Dox.
“Now that you’ve done this much you three can come with me to my playroom for your reward.” The Cutie Mark Crusaders started following Dox as he leaves the monitoring station. Dox pulls out a walkie-talkie and speaks into it “Hey guys, all of you may head back into the monitoring station now because I'm done for now” As the Cutie Mark Crusaders follow Dox into the hallway, Raden was standing from near the door to his office watching Sweetie Belle when suddenly a piece of note paper has dropped from her mane. Walking by to check it out, the crusaders get worried that they're getting busted as they turned around and seen Raden looking at it. Obviously, Raden realized the girls wrote down his own override code but backward. Raden could have told on the Crusaders by running at Dox and telling them what they dropped, but rather than giving Dox more respect, Raden chuckled back at the Cutie Mark Crusaders and gave a look to them saying that Dox is such an idiot and him literally just left the piece of paper right where it's at. The crusaders sigh from relief that Raden seemed to not get on to them immediately, they wondered why he didn't bust them this time. Raden goes back into his office and wonders how long this will last.
Suddenly an emergency light goes off in his own office. Raden pushes on the teleprompter and speaks up.
“What in Equestria is going on!” Another voice suddenly speaks up. Surprisingly it was actually from the mines which were the last thing he was expecting something to happen considering he left a paper of his own passcode in the hallway. “Raden, there's a massive riot going on in the mines, everybody's pissed for some reason, you gotta get your flank down here now! And bring some heavy weaponry, the elevator is blocked by protesters!”
He proceeds to suit up, grab himself a pump action shotgun and a gas grenade launcher, he immediately runs up to a painting in his room. The big painting turns around to reveal a private mini elevator which actually stopped at openings of both Air vents and certain paintings in rooms. Trench actually placed small openings in walls of certain rooms and air vents which allowed for mini elevators to access certain destinations quicker.Only Trench, Dox, and Raden himself knows about these hidden elevators. He pushes a button which brings him all the way down to the air vents of Floor 0 slamming at a fast speed.
Back in Dox's playroom, the girls decide to take a seat as they look at each other. Before Apple Bloom can say a response, Dox starts talking to them.
“So. Apple Bloom they call you, tell me about what you like doing?” “Well.......” She felt really nervous about telling more about herself to someone who just admitted to wanting them and having them kidnapped “I'm just a filly who likes to work on the farm with mai sister AppleJack, and my brother Big Macintosh. My sister is very strong and we both buck for apples since we run a huge Apple and Cider business”
“Very nice, now tell me where your address is at, because.... I'm curious about your cider”
“Uh...” Before she can respond, the colt responded, “Oh they won't find out I'm responsible for your kidnapping, once they find the tracks, we'll no longer be in this land!, If the guards ever raid the base, Me, daddy and the higher rank Mercs will have moved out of the land, including with you 3 coming along with us.”
“I understand, well if your dad takes you to Ponyville, go to Sweet Apple Acres, you will find my sister and well you be able to buy all of our Apples and Cider that you can want” Apple Bloom teared up a bit after hearing about this new info.
“Very Nice Apple Bloom, say, you look very cute” Apple Bloom is startled by his words but had to give out a response. “Why thanks, but I'm into som..” She was interrupted as Dox pulled her in for a kiss. He gave a really hard kiss on her bottom lip for 2 seconds before pulling away.
“What in tarnation do ya think ya doing?”
"I wanted to see how your lips felt and taste like. So what do you think Apple Juice?”
“Uhh, I hate to break it to you but I know someone who kisses better than you” He got annoyed so he grabs Apple Bloom by the neck and slams her into a wall. “You better tell me his name!”
“Pipsqueak, he knows how to kiss girls properly, he's like around my age though not as young as Sweetie's.....”
"Pipsqueak, Really!" He suddenly busted out laughing at Apple Bloom much to the annoyance of the girls. "You're really dating a tiny colt!. You should be hanging with someone closer to your size or older, like me"
“I Hope he had funtimes with you in bed because I'm gonna sleep with ya”
The girls are all in a shock when they just realized that Apple Bloom has been marked for being in Dox's bed for perverted games.
Dox then approaches Scootaloo next to ask her some questions, “So, why do they call you Scootaloo?”
“Because I'm very fast and talented with my Scooter that's why”
“Hehe, will guess who ain't gonna be riding it anymore” Dox pulls Scootaloo and tries to break her hind hooves but was met with a punch in the face. The 3 fillies laughed at Dox’s misery as his nose started bleeding a bit before eventually stomping his hoof down, keeping them quiet.
“Time for my last filly, Sweetie Belle, tell me all about yourself?” Sweetie Belle was really scared but she had to play along. “Well, I'm the younger sister of beautiful fashion clothes designing pony, I like to sing which I can hopefully earn my cutie mark in, I also like spending time with my one prince”
“Prince..... Well, I wonder who that prince is?”
“Rumble, he's such a very nice colt for someone almost Pipsqueaks age, He takes me to the park, we snuggle and kiss, he hugs me, and he gets silly sometimes too, sometimes he even licks and sucks on my hoofies, can't blame him since my hoofies get special treatment at the spa to look as fabulous as possible, But most importantly, he respects me and tries his best to protect me against….”
“Hahaha, so this Rumble's just like me, drooling over ponies” Dox interrupted.
“Uh Dox, I'm comfortable with Rumble sucking on my hoofies only because I feel comfortable near Rumble and letting him do it plus it kinda tickles and feels funny in a nice way, plus Rumble always snuggled near me or we're cuddling while he does it. It would feel uncomfortable if something or someone else tried to.... “
She can feel her left hoof being grabbed by his magic as he started sucking on her hoof.
“Like this” Dox said muffled while he sucks away on her hoofnails. He starts drooling a bit, eventually getting grosser, Dox purposely pushed out thick mucusy saliva as opposed to normal saliva that someone typically produces while drooling. Pulling her hoof out immediently, Sweetie Belle is in shock that there's a smeered trail of Dox's thick saliva. Obviously, Rumble drools a lot of saliva too but never pushed out the thick saliva that Dox had just done. The Crusaders look at Sweetie Belle and Dox with disgust for what he did.
“Ahhhhhhhhhh!!” Sweetie Belle screamed and ran to the sink in Dox's bathroom so she can wash the contamination off from her hooves that Dox left behind.
“You just traumatized Sweetie Belle Dox, she probably definitely doesn't want any of your rough kisses now” Dox slaps Apple Bloom after saying that
“You shut your Apple Mouth this instant! Besides, I'm saving my plans for Sweetie Belle for tomorrow in the morning while you 2 can stay by yourselves. Yep, I changed my mind about sleeping with you 1st Apple Juice” Dox suddenly decided that he wanted to do something else with the CMC before sending them back into the Monitoring Station.
“Way to go Scootaloo, you see what you agreement lead us to?” The Farm filly whispered to Scootaloo. “I know but our plan should carry out soon I hope”
“Say, how about we play a game girls”
“What kind of game, the grossing us out game that you did with Sweetie Belle?” Scootaloo said. “Nah, it's even better than that” Dox proceeds to tie the CMC up again in rope and blindfolded them as he starts carrying the CMC to the play carpet in the middle of the floor. Dox starts gathering up all of his toys including monster dolls, 3 liters of Gak, buildings, and of course dangling wires.
When he removes their blindfolds, the CMC see that they're surrounded by toy buildings and sees that He has a video camera pointing at them. “Alright girls, ready to act on this play?”
“Uhh, I guess” The orange filly responds before Dox replied back “Good, time for the act”
The CMC can feel themselves being lifted as Dox literately picks them up using his own magic, he moves Apple Bloom over to Scootaloo while he acts out a scene next to an additional set that looked like a pony doll house.
In Dox's own Voice he pretends to make the girls talk.
“Warrior girl, Girlvill needs our help” He pretends to make Apple Bloom say this to a Scootaloo. Pulling Scootaloo very hard bumping into Apple Bloom “What is it dismal!”
“This is really dumb” Scootaloo whispers to herself.
“You gotta hurry, there's a slime monsta who just captured our princess, we gotta help her” He pretends again to have Apple Bloom say while he speaks Scootaloos line here “Oh noes, my princess is gonna get exploded by da slime, I gotta save her nawo”
He then has Sweetie Belle bonded onto the floor with the city buildings at. Taking out 2 liters worth of Gak, he smeers it all over her body. Sweetie Belle felt really uncomfortable seeing as she had been captured before by actual slime that Rumble has rescued her from a while back (Which turned out to be a Changeling Slime trap) and now she's reliving that fantasy, only except it's not a teasing role play with Rumble, but with a huge jerk of a colt that she barely knows who had her kidnapped and had already shown his main intentions.
The white colt proceeds to fake a voice for the helpless Unicorn. “Haelp, I'm' gonna be slowly mutating into a monsta, haelp!!!!!!”
He starts moving Scootaloo and Apple Bloom to the city scene. Doing the voice of Scootaloo's character again, “Don't worry my girlfriend, I'll save ya” Dox suddenly dangles a bunch of cables over Sweetie Belle and Scootaloos heads while also smearing Gak all over Apple Bloom.
In Apple Blooms Character Dox said, “Noooooo I'm cocooned and turning into a monsta!!!!!!” He then said for Scootaloo, “Uhh ya filthy Tentacles can't do this to me” Meanwhile Dox says “Noooo I'm Too hawt to be done this early!!!!” while dangling wires over Sweetie Belle.
“Too late for me, you will all die,” He said in the new monster voice as he slammed the Gak covered Apple Bloom at Scootaloo knocking her to the floor. He picks Scootaloo back up and says this. “Noooo my hawt backup, mutated into those evil disgusting mostas, you will die!”
A fake missile is shot at Apple Bloom which then Dox slams Apple Bloom to the floor. “We defeated the mosta but at the cost of my backup” he fakes sniff cries as he then pretends to make Scootaloo say this, “Alright, time to save my girlfriend from being mutated further” Dox takes a real knife and makes it look like Scootaloo is slicing the cords from her and slicing the cords over Sweetie Belle. “And naw to undo the mutation and eliminate the gak” He lifts all of the Gak off of Sweetie Belle as he puts all of the Gak back in their containers”
“Awww Mai Hero!” He pretended to make the unicorn say as he moved the 2 together, suddenly, he forced Scootaloo and Sweetie Belle's lips together while Dox makes a lot of kissy sounds.
He puts them all down, undoes all ropes that prevented them from moving their hooves during the play, and then yelled “The End!” The Crusaders take all of this time to get cleaned up again as it was almost time to head back to the Monitoring Station.
It been a good long while since Rumble and Rez started walking around the main base. After searching around the main floor of the base for a good long while, they finally stumble upon the main elevators of the base.
“So that's where the other rooms are at?” “Those prison room floors, maybe the Cutie Mark Crusaders are in them”
The two closes the main elevator door as they get ready to start searching by each room. “If your friends are literately in bigger trouble from any escape attempts, let's start with the prisoner rooms 3, and 2” With Rez hitting the Room 2 button, the elevator proceeds down. “If you ever feel ill in these rooms, you can borrow my gas mask” “How so” “These red marked floors 3, 2, 1, and 0 don't have clean air, they're entirely using the dirty air from the caves. Despite this caution, Rumble is still excited to see his filly friends again once they locate them.
Arriving in Room 2, they arrive in a hallway of nothing but prison cells. The air smelled like a mixture of indoor air and oil. There's like 2 pathways left and right which lead to other prison cells as each wall side has over 50 prison cells since there are cells at the end of the long walls too, there's a total of 300 prison cells.
“Rumble you check that side and I'll check the other side, we'll meet up back at the other end to check the middle,” Rez said to Rumble as they both pick sides. Rumble walks to the left to check the cells that are on that side while Rez walks to the right. As Rez passes by, she sees some prisoners who she recognized as once being mercs who actually did dirty work for Raden and Alyx. They call her name out as she walks pass them begging to be set free but she didn't have time to talk to them nor did she trust them, she had one goal in mind and that's to locate the Cutie Mark Crusaders.
Eventually, they finally meet up on the other side of the room where they check the middle cells before eventually heading back into the elevator.
“Damn, they're not in here, guess it's time to check room 3” Both being disappointed, Rumble pushes the 3rd number button and they're taken to the next prison cell room.
As soon as they stepped out of the elevator, they noticed that someone else called for it as it was going up. “Rumble, we gotta hide now, I think someone's on to us” The 2 ponies climbed up to the nearest air vent and hid there till the elevator came back down. By surprise, the elevator seems to actually be going up to Floor 8 after stopping at Floor 4. “That was a close call” Rumble said to Rez. They get back out to continue searching the cells.
Room 8 was a room that was basically like a shopping mall for Mercs. It was probably the 2nd biggest room in the base aside from the storage room in Room 9 and Room 4 with the biggest room actually being Room 1. Room 8 had small fast food restaurants of popular chains (Of course unlicensed as the food for the actual brands were acquired through 2nd market means since they don't wanna risk having the base caught if they had an actual license from the companies) also some local home made food restaurants, one of which is a sushi place that serves the deadly puffer-fish delight which the sign on the place says “No poison deaths since 3 months with a 10 months crossed out and 5 days before it crossed out and of course even one of them being since 20 hours crossed out”
There are ATM machines and video rental markets and a small theater that plays mostly arthouse movies, finally there's a stand that not only sells the local Ponyville and Cantelot newspapers but also a stand for the Local Blank Panther Merc's news which is actually news being reported going on throughout the base. Dox emerges from the elevator that he just came back from as he has a pulley containing 2 huge cardboard boxes full of Vol 1 of the new Gabby Gums. He picked the right spot right next to the newspaper stand and proceeds to make an announcement using the intercom that is said to everyone clearly in Rooms 10-4. “Attention everypony, I would like to announce that Gabby Gums, the number 1 magazine for Gossip is now available for purchase! Only 2 bits!”
Although it was heard clearly in those rooms, it can still be heard muffled a bit in Rooms 3 and 2. Rumble and Rez are both shocked to hear the voice. “Oh no, please don't tell me they're making them write Gabby Gums again?” “Gabby Gums? That's Dox speaking Rumble looks like we know what he's making the girls do now”
“How did he know that they used to write those articles” “Tell me all about it Rumble” “A while back the Cutie Mark Crusaders got a task at writing for the Foal Free Press. Diamond Tiara wanted the girls to write about gossip on innocent ponies and their private lives and well... it didn't end well.”
“You should tell me about Diamond Tiara some other time, right now, you gotta find out where the girls are at. Dox is on the 8th floor in the Black Merc Market” “He's making my Sweetie Belle do this?, I'm gonna hit him so hard he'll...” “I want you to just find Dox and see if you can get info on where the girls could possibly be at, but whatever you do, don't use your real name! He may be easy to take out but if he gets suspicious, he can call security at any time”
“Got it Rez”
“Alright Rumble, I'll continue searching this cell and I'll start looking into Floor 4. When you get enough information, meet me in this air vent shaft” Rez gives Rumble a drawing of how he can get to Floor 4's air shaft quickly from Floor 8 as it requires taking a path that Rumble can climb down at and then there's a spot that he's supposed to meet at that is right next to the Monitoring Station
While Rez continues her search, Rumble takes the Elevator from Floor 3 all the way to Floor 8. It's a huge relief for Rumble now when the elevator doors closed since he didn't have to smell the bad air in the prison rooms anymore. The elevator arrives at the 8th floor as he's greeted by a bunch of Merc's in a huge crowd while he struggles to get through.
Once through the crowds, Rumble realizes that he's at their shopping and entertainment center. Rumble looks at one shop called the “Bonds Book Store” and seeing a copy of a racy book, Rumble jokes about It being “More like Bondage and Plots bookstore” before turning around to see a gun shop where he noticed a sign saying all Gas Grenades and Shotgun ammo is out of stock. Rumble continues moving forwards till he reaches a spot where there's a line of Mercs, including some with their own foals giggling while reading articles of both Merc News and Gabby Gums, Rumble finds a copy of the new Gabby Gums on the floor which someone has dropped and Rumble takes a good look at the article.
The 1st page has a headline which showed an image of Raden being really ticked off at a few mercs while there's a line made at the expense of Raden a bit. Rumble couldn't stop laughing as it seems like the Crusaders are writing about the more serious looking and bad Mercs including a picture which showed Alyx falling Asleep while sitting on a toilet and of course an image of a prisoner guard sucking his hoof. Rumble recognized Alyx and Raden as the ones who kidnapped the CMC but still laughed at the images of them along with the prison guard pony.
Rumble followed the line to see where the issues are being sold at. After a few minutes, he finally reached face to face with a white unicorn colt who can only be described as Dox.
“You wouldn't happen to be Dox right?”
“Hello my fine merc and yes it's me, what's your name?” Rumble needed to make up a fake name fast since it is possible that the CMC might have been forced to tell Dox about their classmates. “My name is Thunder, and I came here to talk about this funny issue I just read of Gabby Gums” Rumble stares at Dox for a bit waiting for a response. Rumble can already figure out the features of Dox as being kinda tough and being around Button Mash's age.
“Hehe, glad you like my 1st issue, but you can thank Gabby Gums for these reports. Of course, I hadn't read through these but it seems like everyone likes them”
“Hahaha, Gabby Gums sure knows her stuff. Say, do you know where I can meet Gabby Gums?”
“I'm sorry, but Gabby Gums isn't available at the moment but maybe in the next few days they will be available to chat with”
“They' you mean more than 1 Gabby Gums?, Do you know where they're at now?” Dox starts getting suspicious but didn't want to disappoint the nice looking pegasus merc that he hasn't seen before. “Gabby Gums crew is in their place in a locked monitoring station on the 4th floor, but they shouldn't be bothered right now. I got a special surprise for a certain unicorn” Rumble is shocked where he noticed that he's, in fact, talking about doing something with Sweetie Belle now, Dox actually seen his shocked face and gotten even more suspicious and wondered if that merc is one of the colts the CMC talked about earlier. “Say Thunder, how old are you?”
“Two years younger then you look” Rumble replied.
As Rumble starts walking away and stood near a air vent, Dox realized that the Merc outfit looked too similar to one that he wore many months ago prior to losing it. He starts remembering how the CMC mentioned about Rumble being slightly younger than Apple Bloom but around her age, but before Dox even realized it and made the connection, he was interrupted by a familiar voice.
“Telling others about your merchandise I see” Dox suddenly looked up and of course, a proud standing Unicorn merc in a business suit is in front of him, he has a brown coat, black hair, and blue eyes. “Uh, hello dad?” It was sudden, Trench Bloodhoof is back in the base now and went to go see his son 1st.
“My son, what is this your selling here” Trench Bloodhoof picked up an issue of Gabby Gums and started giggling at an article about a Merc who fell asleep drooling while in his Hovercar, he started laughing even more at a few more pages till he got exhausted. “Why Dox, this has got to be the most entertaining magazine I ever read”
“And it's all thanks to the Cutie Mark Crusaders”
“Well son, I kinda want to talk to you about that. I really wished you didn't beg Alyx and Raden to kidnap foals your age. We don't wanna take the risk of grabbing attention for kidnapping kids just like you, which is why it's against our policy, However, since we beefed up security with turrets now, I'll give you a pass for once”
“Why thanks, dad, you're the best” Dox runs up to Trench Bloodhoof and hugs him while Trench returns the hugs.
“There's just one thing though Dox, I wish you didn't have them write about my prized officer Raden, he's too important for us”
“Wait a sec I didn't say they co.... “ Dox flips through the pages of the article and recognized that most of the articles are about Mercs that are actually friends with Dox and respects him. He also realized that none of the certain merc targets he picked for them to write about are on the issue.
“Uh dad, can you get someone to take over selling the issues for me, I gotta take a long break for a sec”
“Sure thing Dox, besides I gotta discuss things with Raden and Alyx”
Dox suddenly ran towards one of the posters near the arthouse theater and punched the area of the poster of a pony's chest, the whole poster turned around to reveal a hidden elevator for instant access to any room in the building. “Stupid Mules, they think they can cheat out that easily, well I'm about to give them a taste of my own medicine” Immediately pushing one of the numbers for a spot in Floor 4, it had immediately started dropping fast. Rumble had witnessed the hidden elevator but decides to immediately climb down the air vent to reach Rez.
6:10PM Rez is still standing by the air vent wondering what's taking Rumble so long. She suddenly sees the Monitoring Station open up to reveal the Cutie Mark Crusaders.
“So Sweetie Belle, which floor is the soda machine at again? The apple filly responded. “Floor 5, now follow me.
Rez watches as the girls run around the hallway looking for the elevator before eventually bumping into it. “Girls, I think we found it” the orange filly replied before they all walked into the elevator and closed the doors. Rumble suddenly slides down the vent bumping into Rez. She made a small grunt before Rumble said an apology.
“Sorry if I bumped into you, I got important news to tell yo..” Rez covers Rumble's hoof to explain what she see. “I just saw the Cutie Mark Crusaders, they actually walked out of the Monitoring station and into the elevator for Room 5”
“Really! That Is amazing but we better distract.....” Suddenly they heard a loud slam next to the wall with a painting they can see from looking out of the vents. The painting flipped over to reveal Dox who is very mad. “Rez, you get into the monitoring room and monitor me and the crusaders while I try to distract Dox in Room 5” “Got It” Rumble climbs up the air vent so he can reach the 5th floor.
“Alright ladies, lietime is over! Dox approaches the Monitoring Station's door and opens it up. Rez can only know what's gonna happen next.
“Celestia Peeving Damnit!!” Dox swore up a loud slur of S, P, and B bombs as he starts throwing a huge tantrum. The anger only got worse as he witnessed a pre-written report for the next issue which shows Dox playing with his Dolls. “Those bastards are gonna wish they never tricked me like this! I'm going!!! to!!!” His anger is silenced as Rez fired a silencer gun at all the camera's monitoring around where the monitoring station is at.
Before Dox can even leave the monitoring station to investigate, Rez took huge action, jumped out of the vents and closed the doors on him, but not before throwing an EMP Grenade in the monitoring room that completely screwed up the monitors preventing Dox from even viewing through the camera's while he's locked inside for a while. Pulling a huge statue next to the wall where the air vent is at, she blocks the door enough with it so that Dox is temporally unable to escape for a while. She runs to the painting while she tries to figure out how to make it engage as there's no overwrite button like with any other doors.
Back in room 5, The Cutie Mark Crusaders had just found the opened soda machine that they had seen. “Well girls, time to cram ourselves in” the apple pony responds as she removes the support things for holding the soda so that they can easily fit in and also throwing them through an incinerator dispenser next to one of the walls. By the time Rumble finally reached the air vent of Floor 5, the Crusaders have successfully locked themselves in the soda machine and Rumble sees no trace of them aside from some hoof marks that picked up dust on the floor. Rumble realized that the girls are hidden inside of the soda machine.
Rumble turned around and noticed that one of the panels in the air vent has lowered down to reveal an elevator like light. He sees Rez's hoofies as she proceeds to duck down and climb near Rumble to tell him what happened so far.
“Good news Rumble, I locked Dox In the monitoring station, the bad news is that he might be able to escape”
“See those clear faint marks, it looks like the CMC locked themselves in that soft drink machine” Rumble points his hoof at the machine in question.
“Well I can see the girls are resourceful, but they will never get pass the bio detector that we passed through”
“Well Rumble, when we went inside, there was a red ball on the sides of the door, it is capable of checking for living things through inanimate objects like metal boxes and cardboard boxes. Every time it senses something blocking the scanners from clearly scanning a whole part of someone's body, it'll automatically trigger an alarm”
“So that means the girls are still in danger!”
“Not unless I can help, Rumble, I want you to stay in this air vent and watch for Dox or the soda delivery pony. If it's the soda pony, watch him and try to distract him a bit while I'm gone, it'll buy us some time, and also, if Dox does escape, be warned he knows how to use a tracking spell. If he tracks the CMC's tracks, they'll get busted earlier too. Stall Dox or the delivery pony in any way you can until I shut off the bio-scanners”
“Got it Rez, but how will I” Rez gives Rumble a watch that has no numbers on it. “Now Rumble, this watch is designed to let me send you silent flashes, press that button once and it'll let me know to alert you if finished the job yet, if it blinks once, I'm not there yet, if twice, then I'm almost there, I'll blink it 3 times suddenly once I get the scanners shut off.
“Rez....... thanks for helping me”
“No problem Rumble, that's what friends are for” Rez leaves through the secret elevator to Room 10 which happens to be where the control panels for disabling entrance security will be at.
“I hope Rez knows what she's doing”
DAY 2 – 6:30PM
It has been a few minutes since the Crusaders locked themselves inside of a soft drink machine. Scootaloo is staring at Apple Blooms face while Sweetie Belle is right underneath them seeing their flanks. Suddenly, they hear a door open with the sound of something on rollers. They can hear a muffled voice that is almost audible through the thick doors of the soda machine.
“Hmm let's see, Serial Number is #071119, Date of Purchase is just a few months back, yep, this is the one they told me about. Ice Cooler motor has short-circuited. Well, guess it's time I start packing this baby up”
The Crusaders can feel as the machine they're inside of being pushed around as the unidentified stallion is struggling to get the machine onto a wheelie for easy transport. Rumble can easily see the stallion struggling to carry the machine which thankfully for him, he doesn't have to do much.
“Well, looks like either I'm not exercising properly or they still left some drinks in the machine, guess I'll open it up.......Once I get back to base”
Rumble was almost in shock that it almost seemed like he was gonna open it up but relieved to hear the last sentence from him.
“Guess I'll call in my 2nd helper to come help me with this” Rumble sits down and waits to see how long it takes, but suddenly decided to hop out of the vent once he heard climbing noises. Silently opening the air vent, Rumble decides to risk a crash into the next one and attempted to fly to the next air vent despite having the feather flu. Surprisingly Rumble has recovered enough to fly but his wings still acted up a bit almost making Rumble crash on the floor instead of the next air vent on the other side while one of his feathers fell. Once in that air vent, Rumble decides to pay attention to the other air vent that he just heard climbing noises from.
Sure enough, he sees a colt climbing out of the air vent. It was indeed Dox, and it seems like Dox is pretty mad. Rumble noticed that Dox was looking around the room with the soda stallion and when he looked at the soda machine, Dox got really suspicious. Thankfully, before he could even use his tracking spell, Rumble fired a slingshot rock directly at Dox's horn. Not only did this let out a huge ouch from Dox, but it caused him to bleed a little which made it painful to cast any kind of magic for a while. Unable to try his magic tracking spell or any other spells, Dox decides to give up and headed to the elevator presumingly back to Floor 4.
“That was a close call” The pegasi whispered to himself”
Back on Floor 10, Trench Bloodhoof arrived to have a chat with Raden who was waiting to speak with him, unfortunately, he's curious why Alyx is not here yet and Raden has some scuff marks and blood on his hooves.
“Ouch, what happen to you, Raden?” “Well Trench, 3 hours ago there's been a huge riot in the mines, everyone's refusing to work and they're beating each other up. I was containing it for most of the time till I forgot about telling the guards outside about the new code and well... Currently, Alyx is still handling the problem. Though I think he's breaking my rule of not killing anyone since I only fire my gun in the air to get their attention to shutting up or if they tried attacking, shooting at their hooves. I knocked so many rioters out with Gas Grenades with the intent of teaching them how to not fight”
“So you just left Alyx to your own dirty work, not that it matters cause..” Before Trench can even finish his sentence, Alyx arrives from the elevator all covered in dust and some dried up blood on his face.
“Hey Raden, Trench, guess what, I managed to teach all of those traitors a lesson and now they're working again.”
“But how!” Trench said in a voice.
“Well its simple, I just beat the crap out of them and shot everyone in the hoof and their chests, regardless if they're attacking or not”
“So you just went on a shooting spree!” Before Raden could even ask the next question, Tench had a new thing to say.
“Alyx, as ruthless as your violent actions are, You actually got those turds listening.”
“But Trench...” “Hold it, Raden. For that Alyx, I'm giving you the same rank as Raden, you can start your new job immediately, tomorrow you will be getting your own office but for right now, you may use my private office in Room 8”
“Got it” Alyx receives a key to Trenches office in Room 8 and proceeds to head there. “Now as for you Raden, I'm sorry what I'm about to say, but considering your failure to controlling that situation, I'm afraid I'm gonna have to demote you to your previous ranking as a regular Merc for both security and mining”
“It's because of the CMC thing right?” “Actually I was going to reward you for that actually before I heard about Alyx's success, Just feel lucky I still consider you trust enough to not make you a slave in the mines. You have about a few hours to clean out your office and desk. But hey, you may still use our secret elevators if you want”
“You have my word” Raden then headed back into the elevator where there's a Mare dressed in a soda machine uniform standing there. “Sorry sir but are you heading to Floor 5 to” Just go to your destination, I already had a crappy day”
In one of the control panel rooms on the same floor, Rez finally got inside with no one around through one of the secret elevators to avoid being seen by Trench Bloodhoof. Determined to shut off the bio-scanners before anyone comes in, she locks the door and starts looking at every button combination. “OK, this button should do it.” The password screen is brought up and punches in the code.
Back on Floor 5, Rumble notices a Mare who's also dressed in the soda company uniform has arrived to meet up with the similar Pony.
“Here I am, ready to lift this machine back to headquarters”
“Sure thing” Sure enough, both of the two ponies are successfully lifting the machine up and putting it on the pull thing. Raden was also watching as the machine is placed on the pulley and felt something off about the need for two ponies to hold a defective huge machine, but he just took his private hidden elevator back to his office for cleanup. Rumble pressed a button to send a beep message to Rez and soon afterward, he got two beeps letting Rumble know that she's almost got it.
The two ponies start moving the machine to the elevator where Rumble was just about to follow them, the elevator closing was the last thing he saw as he started getting dizzy, when Rumble realizes what was going on, it was too late as he passed out. A silent gas grenade was thrown behind him by none other than Alyx, who just decided to try out the new hidden passages system he read about in Trenches office where he heard the sounds of a young colt through. “Adios brat!” the Stallion whispers.
Back at the override station, Rez is almost done confirming to have the Bio Scanners overwritten. However, there was a huge flash of light as a stun grenade was rolled into the door blinding Rez. The last thing she could see before darkness was a bright light as she heard the sound of Dox's voice followed by complete darkness and the feeling of a rag over her mouth.
“Looks like your revenge plan didn't turn out hot after all mule!” The young colt replied before noticing the switches that were set to turn off the BioScanners. Realizing that he got hit in the horn when he saw the soft drink machine, he quickly leaves the room and quickly uses the hidden elevator to go to Room 9.
Room 9 is the other room that you can access through outside of the base since there's a deep hole in the terrain that has a short tunnel to it. it is the Vehicle storage facility where all of the land vehicle's are stored at and park at. The soda machine ponies arrive to load their soft drink machine with the Crusaders into their parked Soft machine truck.
Once that's all done, the male pony who drove the truck here proceeds to engage the engine. Just as soon as they passed the exit and into outside, suddenly the alarms sounded blasting through the speakers. Knowing they're in deep trouble, they stopped the truck. The Cutie Mark Crusaders hopes have all been smashed when they hold the sounds just a few seconds after the truck started moving. “Well girls, we tried” Apple Bloom stated.
Trench Bloodhoof and Dox arrived at the spot where the truck is at and Trench Bloodhoof approached the driver while Dox opens up the back of the truck that was just closed a minute ago.
“Uhh sir, what seems to be the problem”
“I'll tell you whats up, Dox's playmates are trying to run away from us and we suspect that they're in your truck” The girl passenger spoke up “Uh sir we don't know why you'd think that, we're just taking a defective soft machine back for repair”
“With three Brats inside!” Suddenly they got out of the truck to see that the Cutie Mark Crusaders are being pulled out of the soft drink machine one by one by Dox.
“Oh hey aren't those the Cutie Mark Crusaders, they been missing for......” The driver never got to finish his sentence nor did his passenger as Alyx fired a net at all two of them. “Oh hey, looks like they tried to rat us out.
Trench Bloodhoof stared at the Crusaders with an angry look at his eye “This is how you repay my son, just running off from us like a traitor!”
“But sir, how can you just approve of us being slaves to your own son?” Apple Bloom tried to use her cute eyes to change Trenches mind
“Look at here young girl, you think you all belong back with your family and sisters", throwing a newspaper discussing their disappearance on the gronud, "But lets face it, had you not fallen for Raden's trap, you would have all been back home right now, and also, your failed savior” Trench drops a fallen feather of what was exactly Rumble's feather, some of it blew particles at Alyx which caused his wings to erect and sneeze a bunch of feathers.
Sweetie Belle could only think of tearing up when she noticed Rumble's feather. Trench continued to lecture the Crusaders,
“Oh don't worry, he's gonna have a permanent home in our cell”
“Whats going on here” Raden who just about to leave in his personal hovercraft heard the conversation outside which made him decide to go outside on foot to hear what was going on. “Dox I was wanting to ask you about my appearance in this issue you made the girls write about me”
“Raden, you're the reason why the girls almost got away!” Alyx shouted in anger as he pushed Raden aside. “I had nothing to do with their escape whatsoever, I was too busy dealing the with the Rioters for one” “Enough of you two, Raden, I changed my mind about you, tomorrow in the morning, you will be leaving this facility for good. You're fired! Pack your junk up and go back to Manehatten.“
“Fired, dude, I had to put up with your bastard child for a while, he's been screwing up the cable systems, he's been bribing mercs, and he's been taking pictures of”
“How can you say such things about Dox Raden” Alyx continues to defend Dox while Raden thinks of a comeback, now normally, he was gonna use the CMC's own issue of Alyx to get him back on his side along with Trenches, but just seeing the CMC tearing up and the fact that Trench just fired him made him reconsider. He tried to give the CMC a saddened look but Alyx pulled his face in. “Look at me when I'm discussing important crap!”
Dox approached Raden and proceeds to talk to him “Hey dude, here's some of the dough I promised for you” Raden was about to grab it but the little colt pulled the money away. “Hehe, did you even thought I was gonna give you my dough in the 1st place.” Dox continued taunting Raden.
Raden looked at the CMC briefly one more time and noticed that Alyx left his private elevator up to the ground level. He was pointing his hoof at its direction while Raden tried to give a sign language telling one of them to try to rescue Rumble. Apple Bloom was the only one who understood the sign language and made a run for it while everyone else is still distracted. The other girls noticed that Raden is helping them find Rumble, Unfortunately for Sweetie Belle and Scootaloo, Trench Bloodhoof got done with a conversation with Alyx and placed three nets around where the girls were trapping Sweetie Belle in one net, followed by Scootaloo in another one and the third one just going over a rock that Apple Bloom left behind, Trench Bloodhoof wasn't even looking with his own eyes, assuming they're all there.
“Alright guys, Dox, you can come with me to the castle, you can take any one of the fillies with you, two of them will have to be punished I'm afraid.
“I'm taking the White filly with me”
“Alrighty, son” Trench grabs the bag with Sweetie Belle and carry her to their personal hovercar and starts driving off into another roadway which leads to a totally different building in the land.
“Raden, wanna do one more task, who should work the mines and who should be in the cell?”
Not wanting to get Apple Bloom busted, he quickly jumps the gun and accepts the offer. “Alright, I'll take Apple Bloom to the prison cell right here, you can take Scootaloo to the caves”
Scootaloo obviously heard what Raden is saying but also knew that he sent the real Apple Bloom to go save Rumble and just knew that salvation is still near.
Alyx alerted the office Mare on Floor 10 to take Scootaloo to the caves as Alyx has two other ponies to take care of.
DAY 2 - 7:00PM
It was starting to feel really cold for both Rumble and Rez as they just felt like they awaken from a nightmare, they can feel that they're able to move freely and had successfully gotten up, even Rumble's wings can engage freely, however, they are still dizzy and once they saw the blurry bars in front of them with the figure of a Blue Pegasus, they realized that they're royally screwed.
The blue angry Pegasus scratches his wings causing some feathers to fall off, his wings erected 4 times like it was sneezing a bunch of feathers.
“Little brats, Little brats, this is your new home”
“The hell do you want Alyx!” Rez Screamed. “Where're my fillies!” Rumble yelled.
“Listen up you little brat! You gave me the feather flu and now I'm crippled for a couple of days now in Flight, all because of you!” Rumble managed to avoid contact with his diseased feathers to avoid catching the Feather Flu as Rumble is starting to recover from the Feather Flu.
“Hey you have no right to.......” the angry mare yelled
“And you escapey, you may have had luck the 1st time but it looks like your luck has run out! Now if you excuse me, I got some important errands to run while you two rot here for the rest of your life” Alyx starts heading out of the prison room and into Room 8.
Rumble begins crying as it appears they had failed their mission. “So, this is what it's like for the Crusaders now” Rumble starts sniffing as he's tearing up.
“Oh don't think of it that way Rumble, things could always be worst, least we're not placed in a cell next to some creep waiting for the shampoo to be dropped. There's a lot worse things we or the crusaders could be in, maybe Ponyville's already investigating your footprints to their base, and the royal guards are probably finally tracking my location”
“But I'll never see the Crusaders again” Rumble continues to sob some more. “Listen, kid, I know its tough to lose someone, but at least we have each other for the time being. Tell you what, if this happens to be our last moment together should they put us in separate prisons, what would you like to do”
“Well, I guess we could play some cards or....”
Suddenly Rumble was caught by surprise when his lips meet with Rez's lips. Rumble knew that it was very wrong to be kissing another Mare's lips other then the one filly he choosed to stay true to a few weeks ago, considering how hopeless it seems, it appears that maybe he can enjoy as much while they're still trapped. Plus, he's sure Flitter wouldn't mind that he liked kissing other mare's should they somehow escape.
“Hehehe, that..... felt really nice Rez: Rumble then collapse with his tongue out.
“Rumble, get your tongue off the prison floor, its filthy” Rez proceeds to put her hoof on his tongue and that's when he realizes that she was stripped of her outfit and hoof shoes, Rumble can only feel and taste the huge blast of her painted white hooficure job from a week ago and he started sucking away at her cute white hoofsie's.
“Heheehe stop it Rumble, this is silly!” She couldn't keep control as she pulled Rumble in for a hug and cuddle while Rumble continued tasting her hoofsie's. She gets Rumble to stop so she can kiss his cheek Rumble points at the same spot she kissed him at telling her to kiss his cheek again. As soon as she pressed her lips to his cheek again, Rumble sucked on her white hoofsie's while he looked at her face and she looked at his face which ended as soon as he pulled away at the same time she pulled away. The two Laughed and Rumble asks her to kiss his cheek for as long as she can while he continued suckling her hoofsie's.
Two Mares and a colt were sitting in the Room 10 office when they saw the Office Mare in a really angry mood, she's forcefully pulling Scootaloo dragging her to the elevator. “You have been a pain in my flank brat!” The orange filly replied “But what Dox did to us is wrong, you can't just” The Office Mare slaps Scootaloo in the mouth and face to shut her up while kicking her. “I don't give a flying feather! All I care about is my job and that's that, and for that, You shall not be wearing safety gear for where you're going!”
Suddenly, the Colt spoke up. “Ohhh looks liked ur in troboe! Wait till I tell mai friend abau..” One of the mares slaps his face too.
“Don't you ever dare tell anyone about that prisoner! You wanna get us investigated by the royal guards! You're grounded!”
The Office Mare puts on her gas mask and once reaching the elevator pushed the Floor 0 button two times to confirm it. As the two descend down into the caves, what they didn't know was that in a hidden vent near the elevator door, a certain Apple Filly was hiding near listening to the whole conversation. “Better go check the prison rooms for Rumble, fast” Apple Bloom here's a familiar voice when she was about to push one of the Button's.
“So he's the one trying to get you three out of this crumbling down Mercenary. Apple Bloom turned around and seen a dark colored earth pony crawling back to the other vents while he left the keys to his own office behind alongside the keys to his personal Hovercraft.
It has been many minutes since being inside a bag. Sweetie Belle had no idea that all along, Rumble, the one colt she really loved actually was coming to her rescue all along, only to have been captured. Had she not hesitated back during Apple Bloom's 1st escape plan in the monitoring room, she could have been able to at least get to Rumble, should she spotted him, and possibly made a run for it outside. She didn't know that the triggered alarms were only for living things behind metal objects and not just passing through living things.
Sweetie Belle was pulled out of her bag and thrown into a dungeon cell. She looked up to see the face of Trench Bloodhoof. “Alright little girl, this is where you will be sleeping at till Dox wakes up. Tomorrow in the early morning, Dox will take you to his personal play area, You will behave this time you little mule or else!”
Trench Bloodhoof slammed the prison doors and left to his personal headquarters. Sweetie Belle climbed up one of the bars and looked out to see a huge field of woods around her. She can see the far away Castle that Celestia is at, indicating where Cantelot is at. When she looks closer to the ground, she can see a small building which is presumingly the one she has been in for the past twenty five hours up until now. She's no longer in the same spot but instead a castle, complete with top floor dungeons and everything. Sweetie Belle starts thinking about how she really misses Rarity and how much she misses her along with her classmates, the other crusaders, Button Mash, Pipsqueak, and of course, her prince Rumble. The more she thought about her friends and sister, the more she began to cry, knowing that she's was gonna be stuck here to be Dox's toy for the rest of her life.
One thing that didn't stop Sweetie Belle from bursting into loud tears for good was that Apple Bloom managed to sneak away inside of the building, Unfortunately she assumed that Apple Bloom is just gonna get recaught anyways thus forever having no chances of escape.
DAY 2 – 8:00PM
Apple Bloom spent a good amount of time figuring out the controls to this secret elevator figuring out which rooms it can take her too and what other features it has. She just figured out that Rooms 3 and 2 are prisoner rooms. She has just got done searching Room 3 through the vents seeing that the only prisoners in the room where either other traitor mercs or a rock that Raden left that was supposed to be her. She pushed a button to take her to Room 2 where she's dropped immediately to Floor 2. As she peeks through a hidden painting's cutout holes in that floor, she sees the two Soda machine ponies being placed in a cell together by Alyx. Once that was done, Alyx went and took the elevator to the caves which then gave Apple Bloom the OK to exit through the painting.
Rumble and Rez got done with their kissing games with Rumble already lovestruck a bunch with so many of Rez's pink kiss marks on both his cheeks, lips, and tongue while Rez's white hoofsie's are starting to wear slightly from Rumble sucking on them, so they decided to play some cards for a while. They heard a noise from the prison room coming from the middle of the cells.
“Did you hear that Rez?” “Looks like Trench is here to separate us, guess a decoy in the prison room seen us and is here to separate us”
Apple Bloom heard the voice of Rumble and Rez and immediately ran to the other side and started searching for them.
Rumble attempted to fly one more time to see if he could at least stay in hovering mode without falling. Before he could look to the sides of the prison bar, he got too excited that he's able to stay afloat. “Hey Rez, I can fly again”
“Really Rumble, that's awesome, maybe you could try to open that vent on top of us”
Rumble attempts to open up the vent but then he realizes that the vent was locked shut on the top. It would appear upon further inspection that the screws where fused together with the vents. It would require really dangerous metal cutting equipment to break open the vents again. “I'm sorry Rez, but it seems like they planned ahead. Guess we're gonna still be stuck here”
“Not anymore you don't” Rez and Rumble can't believe what they have heard as soon enough, Rumble can see Apple Bloom running towards them out of the cell.
“Apple Bloom!” Rumble shouted out in excitement. “Rumbly” Shouted out the Apple Bloom
“I thought I'd never see you escape Apple Bloom. How did you manage to do it?” Rumble replied happily
“Well, it's a long story, but the newly appointed leader of those Black Panter Mercs was too stupid to leave his private access elevator out in the open outside when we got caught escaping through other means, so I just hopped in and started searching for ya, and guess which one of our kidnappers and formal Merc leader pointed out the elevator for me” Apple Bloom showed Rumble and Rez the keys to Raden's Personal Hovercraft and Office.
“So the soda machine plan failed huh” Rumble replied. “I was so close to shutting off the Bio-Detection readers before I heard Dox's voice before getting gagged and blinded. Rez said in disappointment.
“You was watching us Rumble making sure we escaped?”
“Yep, well I didn't get to see you but Rez did see you and I distracted Dox with a slingshot to help buy you time”
“My name is Rez, I'm an Equestrian Guard and I've been helping Rumble track through this land to get to you”
“And I see you have taken quite an interest in Rumble too,” Apple Bloom remarked snarkily.
“Well we just kissed and we didn't really do..” Apple Bloom puts her hoof on Rumble's mouth. “Say no more Rumble, all that matters is that I've found you” Rumble is really excited but also forgot that he was tasting Apple Blooms hoof. Apple Bloom took noticed and giggled before removing her hoof from his mouth “I know you like kissing girls Rumble, but now ain't the time for hoofsie's Rumbly, nows da time to get you out of here and save Scootaloo and Sweetie Belle”
“Right Apple Bloom, but how can we, the vents are sealed shut and..” Apple Bloom punched in a code on the keylock which unlocked the door allowing Rumble and Rez to step out.
“I see you girls have been quite resourceful” Rumble replied, “Yea Rumble, when Dox forced us to write Gabby Gums reports, we were given access to all the Camera's in this building, We got ahold of the overwrite lock code for all of the doors in here”
“So now that we're free, let's go get Sweetie Belle, Scootaloo and get out of here” Rumble shouted out.
“Rumble, this is gonna be hard to explain, but I think Dox took Sweetie Belle with him to a totally different building, and I don't even know where it is”
“Wait, he took Sweetie Belle!, I'm....going.....to......”
“Hold on a sec Rumble, I do know where Scootaloo is at for right now. We can go save her 1st but 1st we need to arm ourselves. Rumble, Rez, follow me” The three ponies got into the Elevator, just before pushing the Button, Rumble said thanks to Apple Bloom and gave her a hug and peck on her cheek. Apple Bloom kissed his cheek back and pecked him on the lips a bit.
Once at the stop where the painting is at, Apple Bloom inserts the key and unlocked the painting. Once inside the office, Rumble, Apple Bloom, and Rez found some body armor to put on. There were three weapons, Apple Bloom took the revolver, Rez took Raden's shotgun which still had ammo and Rumble took a Laser pistol. Just as soon as they're about to leave, they heard the door open a bit. The three ponies armed their weapons just in case it was Alyx or Trench.
Raden stepped into the room and noticed the three ponies all pointing his firearms at him though Apple Bloom having good faith in Raden lowered her gun down as soon as he entered. Raden didn't want to either be shot nor did he want to get revenge on them, but notice that they are putting their guns down. Rumble had something to say.
“So, you're the one who abducted the crusaders. Guess who followed you all...”
“Raden started blushing while feeling depressed, “Hold on a sec, before you actually call the royal guard on me and this base, there's something I want to tell you! I had no intentions whatsoever of kidnapping some school fillies But guess who tried to raid me out. Raden ran to his TV and brought up a VHS player and played back a backup of an original tape. “Thank Celestia I keepted this backup, Dox burnt my original copy” the video starts playing as it showed Raden in his office from the day before the girls abduction.
“Hey Raden, I was wondering if you could get me the Gabby Gum Fillies!
“No I can't, it's against Black Panter Merc's rules and I'm not risking my job.
“Oh well that's too bad because I was thinking of editing this tape of me pretending to be tortured with your voice from these monitor clips of your enjoying yourself to adult pay per view”
Raden was suddenly in shocked that Dox actually had the power to get him enslaved if he didn't do what he was told. On the surface of the video Dox showed to himself, he was just making some grunting sounds as if he was pretending to be hurt. The other tape had Raden enjoying himself too much while watching "inappropriate programming".
“So what it will be? Plus I'll give you 100bits every day”
“You have my word Dox”
“Thanks, Raden, you're awesome” Dox gave Raden a tight squeeze before leaving the room laughing happily”
After the video came to an end, Rumble, Apple Bloom, and Rez were all in shock. “So basically Dox threatened you over a stupid Audio Tape edit if you didn't kidnap us for him!” Apple Bloom yelled.
“Well, to be honest, Dox's edits are good enough to fool anyone. He did get 3 innocent ponies in Ponyville arrested by the Royal Guard with his audio pranks” Rez told Apple Bloom.
Raden let out a sigh for a bit before he got ready to tell his long story.
“For many many years, this facility all belonged to me. We basically just minded a few gems for our purposes for our own land and our people. Then, my vice president at the time Alyx sold my facility to our neighboring businessman Trench Bloodhoof and since then, its been going down the drain ever since he expanded the mining of gems. I thought that things would get a lot better but no, Dealing with Dox and realizing that my solutions will just cause more trouble for me than him, bribery, distortion, lies, and, I had just enough. I know exactly what I'm about to do now, but since you're here, I figured I'd let you do my task, Rumble, or so they called you, mind calling the Royal Guard on this whole base.
Rumble was unsure if he'll accept an offer from the same pony who he saw strapping restraining equipment on Sweetie Belle and Scootaloo, but seeing that he's actually serious about turning back on the mercs, Rumble took a seat and dialed the Royal Guard number.
“Hello, this is Ponyville Royal Guards, what kind of emergency do you have?”
Raden asks Rumble to give the phone to him as Raden speaks out his 1st words.
“Hello, this is Raden, formal Executioner for Manhattan Prison and formal employee of the Black Panter Mercs, I am calling to inform you that there's a lot of Illegal Activity going on in this private land! Trench Bloodhoof illegally acquired the land through shady methods, he illegally bought out the Black Panter Mercs through forged documents, The mercs have been kidnapping citizens one by one and just imprisoned 2 employees of Manhattan's SoftSe soda bottling company, both the building and the castle are illegally transmitting free cable and under the command of the new leader of the land, kidnapped and abducted the Cutie Mark Crusaders”
Realizing that Raden told almost all of the truth save for the kidnapping of Crusaders part since reality Raden did the kidnapping, it appears that Raden is taking in a new lead to Apple Bloom and the others. What voice came on next is one that even Rumble recognized.
“The Crusaders, My little brother's friends, kidnapped by your formal men?”
“Yes, currently I'm In the room with Equestrian Guard Rez, One of the Crusaders, and....”
“Did my Rumble follow the mercs when they took the Crusaders, is he here?”
Rumble took the phone from Raden to talk to his older brother Thunderlane.
“It's OK Thunderlane, me and Apple Bloom is alright”
Thunderlane let out a loud squee in excitement. “Oh Rumble, I'm so glad your OK, did any of the mercs try to hurt you!”
“Not exactly but I did finally found the girls kinda, Apple Bloom is with me right now and I'm about to go look for Scootaloo and Sweetie Belle right now”
“So I see you did go after to save the girls, glad to see you actually took action, But I gotta warn you, Rumble, this isn't a game, Mercenaries are dangerous and you could have been killed, just thought I'd remind you of that. So tell me where's the location of the mercenary building?”
Raden takes the phone from Rumble and proceeds to speak. “Go to the Everfree Forrest, fly through a path with wheels till you reach a closed in a cave, fly over it and you should spot a huge small flat building in the largest clearing. We're currently in that building, Rumble's about to go down the mines to save Scootaloo. Trench Bloodhoof and Sweetie Belle are in the castle building, which we will be heading to next”
Raden can hear another voice through the phone “Hey Can I talk to mai Sugercube, I heard she's OK” Raden hands over the phone to Apple Bloom while he gives Rumble instructions “Alright Rumble, here's what your gonna do, take my elevator, and my Laser Pistol with you and this gas mask, The caves are crawling with Toxic Fumes and it's very hot in here”
“Got it, the Pegasus responded as he got on the Elevator with his gas mask on.
“One more thing Rumble, These tools are for when you find both Scootaloo and Sweetie Belle” Raden hands Rumble two devices, one is for disengaging and engaging Magic Suppression devices and another for engaging and disengaging flight suppression. Rumble goes down into the caves while Apple Bloom hands the phone back to Raden.
“So glad to see my sugar cube happy again, but I hope Rumble and your other friend find Scootaloo and especially Sweetie Belle, who knows what Dox is planning with Her”
“You have my concerns Apple Jack, Rumble is already on his way, he'll be back with Scootaloo soon”
“Alright Raden, I trust you to keep an eye out on Apple Bloom while Rumble looks for Scootaloo, and thanks for the personal phone number on your hovercraft. We shall call back as soon as we're ready to raid the land” The phone call ends while Raden sat down with Apple Bloom patting her head a bit while waiting for Rumble's return. Rez on the other hand went back into Room 2 to let the soft drink vendors out of prison.
It has been a long while since things have quieted down in the caves after Alyx and Raden took things into their own hands. A lot of the Mercs and Slaves have been resuming their work since Alyx shot so many ponies in the caves.
The hardest working pony in the caves wasn't a Merc or a Formal Merc denounced into a slave, A Orange Filly who's been working very hard under these harsh conditions has already filled up a bunch of carts with Diamonds and Gems. Despite the impressive strength, she's being whipped every minute by Alyx, being told to work faster who's wearing a jacket covering his wings to prevent the spread of the feather flu to any other pegasus in the caves. “Mind stop whipping me, you're only making me bleed more in this..”
Alyx whips her again.
“Silence Scoots! No pain no motivation to work!”
An elevator has arrived with a youngish looking colt wearing heavy body armor and packing a Laser Pistol as the only line of defense. A crazy Merc tried to attack the little guy but jokes on the attacker as his hooves got a taste of laser piercing through which hurt really badly. The merc cries in pain as his hoofnail is bleeding from the shot.
As Rumble walks past the Merc who was in pain, he can see the serious damage he caused to the pony, Rumble almost felt sorry about shooting the merc despite him attempting to attack him. Rumble was wondering around the cave until finally, he stumbled upon Scootaloo.
To distract Alyx from Scootaoo, he slung a rock at Alyx's head. Alyx started running directly at the direction the rock came from while shouting, “Who threw this rock at me!”. Rumble got out of the way and ran over to Scootaloo.
“Psst, hey Scoots” The orange filly's attention has been acquired but unfortunately she didn't recognize Rumble in that uniform what so ever thanks to the Gasmask covering most of his face.
“Huh, how did you know my name”
“I've come to get you out of here” “I don't know you and I'm busy” Soon enough, Rumble revealed his face to Scootaloo which then caused her to jump right at him.
“I'm really glad to see you Scootaloo, but you're really crushing my chest”
“How did you managed to escape!” Rumble had to answer quickly as Alyx was approaching back.
“It's a long story, but thanks to a formal merc, we got a ticket out of here” Rumble turned around after Scootaloo got off of Rumble and noticed that Alyx isn't anywhere anymore. “Scootaloo, knock on that tile near the rock, bringing a secret elevator to where Apple Bloom is at. You gotta get out of here now! But 1st let me undo this” Rumble pulls out Raden's tool and attached it to an opening in the bonds keeping Scootaloo from using her wings. Twisting the device around, he was able to remove the suppression devices from one wing at a time before eventually, Scootaloo is finally able to use her wings again.
Scootaloo starts running while attempting a flying start before crashing as of course Scootaloo still hasn't learned to fly, while Rumble is about to go get his mask back.
Suddenly, a huge laser fired from somewhere destroying Rumble's mask. Everyone in the caves started to panic as it seemed like someone hijacked one of the walker mechs again. Rumble started running for the same elevator that the others were running towards but suddenly a walker mech fired a missile at a ceiling that caused that part of the cave to collapse. This effectively sealed Rumble from being able to use the regular elevator and a laser was also fired at the doors to the secret elevator which already came back down after Scootaloo arrived safely in Raden's office. This caused the doors in the secret elevator to be fused stuck thus preventing Rumble from making any escape! Suddenly Rumble can see an approaching Walker Mech stepping towards where Rumble at as a familiar voice is heard!
“So Rumble, you escaped the prison cell, well you may be able to get your friend out of here, but there's no way in hell your leaving this cave alive! Now prepare to Die!”
Rumble was in shock, he was on the run, using his flight skills, he was able to dodge multiple laser shots from Alyx while firing his Laser Pistol at parts of the mech though while causing very little damage.
The mech then fired some heat sinking missiles at Rumble. Thanks to Rumble's good flying skills, he managed to get the missiles to hit the ceiling on top of the mech instead which caused a few heavy rocks to fall on Alyx's mech causing some damage in the process.
“You wanna play dirty eh, well suck on this!” Alyx fired every single missile that was in the mech depleting all missile ammo and unfortunately, Rumble wasn't able to use the same tactic to cause damage to the mech again since there were too many missiles, Rumble flew at the spot where the regular elevator was caved in at and once Rumble got out of the way, a huge blasted hole was made which had revealed the spot where the elevator was at again but also destroyed the whole support for the elevator to even come down. In other words, if one went down in that elevator, the elevator would fall down from the support rails and can no longer go up, so the only way up is through climbing the vents.
As Rumble continued to dodge Alyx's lasers, Rumble noticed a few pipe bombs on the ground. Rumble flew to the pipe bombs and grabbed each and every one of them. Lighting the 1st one, he threw it behind him as Alyx was chasing him around the area of the cave.
The 1st Pipe Bomb blew up around the left foot of the Mech which while not destroying it completely did destroy the support brackets for stable fast moment, thus Alyx could no longer have the mech running at cheetah speeds and must move slowly now to avoid causing more damage to the leg.
Rumble flew back at the Mech again and threw another Pipe Bomb, this time on the head of the Mech. Alyx was wise to have ducked down to avoid as much damage from the blast as possible, so as soon the bomb went off, Alyx ducked so that the only damage he will receive is glass cuts and maybe a 1st-degree burn.
The happy young pegasus was laughing at his success as he pretty much screwed up Alyx's mech good. But that victory was short-lived. Alyx saw a barrel of toxic gas's that was sealed near an area and has opened fire at the barrels. The barrels exploded and once then, Alyx put his Gas Mask on. Rumble can already start feeling the effects of the toxic gas as he was getting dizzy. Eventually Alyx had a clear shot and sure enough, fired a laser at Rumble's rear, causing him to crash down next to where there's a hole pit at.
Rumble managed to get up despite bleeding a bit from the attack and noticed that Alyx Is on the other side of a huge hole who appeared to be charging up a huge laser blast that he's about to fire at Rumble to finish the job.
“This is it, Rumble, you had your fun, now its time to die!”
Just as it had seemed hopeless for Rumble, he noticed that there was a glowing red circle down the huge hole that he was near. Not only that, but Alyx was standing near some more toxic gas canisters that are just waiting to burst open. Rumble pulled out his Laser Pistol one more time and fired a straight shot directly at the barrels. A huge green explosion happened and the entire right leg of Alyx's mech has been blown off and of course, the mech started falling down though not before Alyx ejected himself out of the mech flinging him to the top of the ceiling which allowed him to hide in a hanging part of the cave to be as away from the toxic gases as possible. Alyx is unable to get down, and the only way he'll be able to get back to the ground safely is for someone to get into a hover mech in the storage facility. Too bad the only person who can reach the mechs is also the colt who put him up the rock in the 1st place and Alyx's phone seemed to be broken in half.
Having successfully placed Alyx in an inescapable situation and sending his mech down the deep lava pit, Rumble gets himself up and proceeds to walk all the way to where the destroyed elevator is at. Seeing the airshaft, Rumble started climbing his long way up while also taking really long breaks since he's in so much pain.
It was 10:00PM, just an hour after fighting Alyx and just then did he finally reached Floor 4. Crawling through the vents, he poked himself out of one of the shafts and made an emergency drop to the floor, passing out from breathing in too much toxic air from the caves and the slightly unpure but still toxic air in Rooms 2 and 3. It would be a while before Rumble would be able to wake up
DAY 3 – 1:00AM
The young pegasi immediately started hearing voices in his head of Apple Bloom and Scootaloo calling out his name in tears. It felt like five minutes ago when he passed out yet after five minutes of passing out, he was unable to remember the blacknesses or sounds of two hours ago, feeling like the times he went to sleep and it feels like an hour of sleep but in reality he sleeped for nine hours. The voices of Apple Bloom and Scootaloo crying for him to wake up continued to echo through his head till finally, he opened his eyes. He was suddenly treated by Apple Bloom and Scootaloo, both of which were on top of him and with Scootaloo's hoof in his mouth. Rumble immediately got up and wondered if he was accidentally sucking on Scootaloo's hoof, considering that Scootaloo didn't really like having her hooves in anyone else's mouth. Rumble did drool over Scootaloo's hoof a bit while he was still recovering and Rumble put out a smile at Scootaloo.
“Uh, you didn't see that Scoots”
Scootaloo placed her hoof back in Rumble's mouth and Rumble slowly sucked on and tasted her hoofsy. “You know I kinda find this cute Rumbly” Rumble giggled when he realized that Scootaloo didn't mind Rumble sucking on her hoof at all and she smiled back at him. Scootaloo removed her hoofsy from Rumble and proceeded to help Rumble up, after which, Apple Bloom and Scootaloo pulled Rumble in for a very tight hug.
“Is everything fine with Rum......Oh, my sweet Celestia, you're bleeding!” Rez yelled in shock as she seen the new red spot made on Rumble. While it wasn't bleeding as much before, Rez knew that she will have to apply healing cream over Rumble's wound, otherwise he'll start to get an infection.
Bringing Rumble back to Raden's office, Raden immediately applied a healing solution over Rumble's rear where the laser wound was at. Rumble let out a painful ouch before eventually getting over it. A medical bandage was placed on Rumble's rear which should keep Rumble feeling well for a while. “Rumble, get some rest for about another two hours. After which you may go after Sweetie Belle next” the formal merc replied. “But what if Dox is already doing horrible things to..” “I doubt it, you got about two and a half to four hours before Dox wakes up from his sleep. Trust me, I've babysitted that little shit before”
Rumble decides to lay down on Raden's couch for another two hours while Apple Bloom and Scootaloo sat down with him keeping him company. Rumble played a few card games with the rescued Crusaders along with Rez and Raden while they all waited for Rumble's wounds to heal.
DAY 3 – 2:55AM
The telephone started ringing once again in Raden's office which just alerted the ponies in the room who with Rumble, Scootaloo, and Raden where playing a game of Battleship while Apple Bloom and Rez were playing the same card game that the others were playing an hour ago. Rumble decides to answer the phone seeing that it's not his turn yet.
“Uh hello, this is Rumble speaking...”
“Oh hi Rumble my little squirt, did you rescue my loyal fan, Rumble? “
“Scootaloo got so excited when she heard Rainbow Dash's voice that she ran to Rumble and took the phone. “Hi Rainbow Dash, it's great to see you again”
“Nice to talk to you again too Scootaloo, listen, we just got done arranging a huge army of Pegasi flyers to storm through Trench's property, and we're gonna be heading your way soon to meet up with you”
“Actually Rainbow Dash, we're gonna be heading straight to Trench Bloodhoofs castle soon, Sweetie Belle is still trapped there and I'm going with Rumble and the other crusaders”
“Alright Scootaloo, we'll storm the remains of the Merc facility, then after we round up all of the merc's and meet up with Rez and Raden, then we'll head to the castle, and remember Scootaloo, be safe, and stay strong”
The phone signal ends and sure enough, it was 3:01PM, Rumble's wounds had fully healed as Raden peels off the bandages from his rear. Raden hands Scootaloo an outfit similar to the one Apple Bloom and Rumble are wearing and gives her an UZI. Just before Rumble, Apple Bloom and Scootaloo makes the leave, Raden hands them all Gas Masks and gives them all Gas Grenades similar to the ones that he also used to control the rioting mercs and to capture the CMC in the 1st place.
“Listen up foals, Trench Bloodhoofs castle is on the straight dirt path road up the mountains. Once your about 10 miles close, you will be passing through security turrets, however they're not programmed to hit my vehicle, so if they point at you, do not open fire, get to the castle, approach it from the front, get inside the castle, one of you go into the basement inside to the controls, that is where you can shut off the turrets from at. The huge door at the entrance of the hallway is Trench Bloodhoofs bedroom. Leave him to the Pegasi when they get here. The east wing leads to the prison tower, that is where Sweetie Belle might be at”
“And the west wing is Dox's bedroom” Scootaloo responded. “Yes it is, now go foals, while it's still early. “But wait, won't the Biosensors...” Rumble gets interrupted by Raden yet again. “Not with this” Raden pulls out a wireless remote and gives it to Rumble. "Flip this switch when you're in the bay before you leave"
Apple Bloom, Scootaloo, and Rumble took the Elevator to Floor 9 where Raden's Hovercraft is parked at. When they arrive, Rumble is immediately greeted by the Mare officer who Rumble has seen before when he entered the base through room 10. Scootaloo remembers her dragging her into the caves in the 1st place. The officer was really angry and seems eager to jump at one of the fillies as she's standing up so she's a lot taller to them.
“What are you 3 little shorties doing here, you know foals aren't allowed to be here without...” Rumble makes a quick move and kicks the Mare Officer directly into her stomach, she falls down and started crying. “He e e ellllp, I've fallen, and I can't get up!”
“Oh get over it!” Rumble yelled at the Mare. As Apple Bloom giggled at the Mare's misfortune, Rumble inserts the key to Raden's personal Hovercraft in the front seat door which opens to reveal a very nice console controlled setup. There were six seats with the 1st three seats consisting of the driver's seat and two passenger seats. The other two seats were for optional laser turrets though they can also manually be operated by the driver and passengers.
Shutting the door, it was suddenly pitch black save for the front driver window that showed the parking facility, that is till Rumble turned the keys again on the ignition which powered on all of the lights inside of the hovercraft and the lights on the control panel. Moving the joystick a little bit, Rumble was starting to get used to how the Hovercraft moved. Despite having no driver license whatsoever and no driving experience aside from a few arcade games, Rumble managed to figure out the controls and finally started driving out of the base, passing through the automated doors and out into the jungle where Rumble instantly spotted the road path.
A loud series of beeps emitted from the console which displayed a phone number indicating that someone's calling through Raden's Hovercraft.
Rumble pushed the answer call button which put Rumble on Speakerphone.
“Oh good heavens Rumble, is that you?” It was suddenly clear that it was Rarity speaking to Rumble in the hovercraft.
“Yep, I'm on my way to get your sister back now”
“Please hurry Rumble, Sweetie Belle needs you, and I heard all about this Dox fellow. Can't believe that kid would have his parents support such a thing like that” Rarity faints as the thought of what Dox's intentions are appeared to have hit her head very hard. “Wait, you're operating a Hovercraft!”
“Yep, I'm borrowing this from a friend, and I'm starting to get used to it”
“Well that's nice Rumble, but you know those Machines aren't indestructible, so try to avoid any crashes as possible”
“Will do Rarity” The phone hangs up and Rumble notices that they were about to crash into another hovercraft. Thankfully Rumble moved out of the way and managed to avoid a collision.
“That was a close call Rumble” Scootaloo replied as they make their way to the castle.
Back in the caves, Alyx who was still sitting on the hanging ceiling rock sticking out had just repaired his phone. Destined to get out of here, Alyx makes a phone call to his boss.
Back at the castle, Trench Bloodhoof was dreaming about all of the money the Crusaders will be making him. His dream came to a sudden halt by the sound of his own phone. He made a loud grunt and answered the phone.
“This better be important!”
“Trench, I need an escort, I'm stuck on top of a cliff rock in the caves and there's no way to drop down!”
“Oh it's you Alyx, wait a sec, how?”
“One of the intruders escaped, I tried finishing one of them off in a huge mech and well...”
“Say no more Alyx, I'll be heading my way to the base immediately”
“Good, but you better have a way out of here too, the railing on the Elevator got destroyed no thanks to that intruder having me aim....”
“You idiot! That intruder was trying to seal you in! When I arrive, I am not gonna be happy!”
The phone is hanged up, Trench continued stomping across the hallway as Dox approached him after being woken up by Trench's rant.
“Uh daddy, what's going on”
“Oh nothing son, I just have to deal with a newly employed idiot, don't let anyone in the house OK” Trench Bloodhoof made his way outside and got on his own personal car on wheels. Trench Bloodhoof started driving his way down the path, but immediately seeing some white lights in the distance, he turned to an alternate path where's there a alternate entrance to the cave which is what the Merc's used to use prior to Trench Bloodhoof acquiring them.
Dox having already wakened up approached the dungeon and gave it a loud knock. Sweetie Belle started to wake up and she was suddenly greeted with one voice.
Room 10, normally with two guards and an Office Mare is now an empty room. Normally there would be at least two guards there during the night shift, but all of the Mercs were either called out to the Mines or are in Room 8. Arriving through the elevator is a struggling Office Mare who was still in pain from getting punched by Rumble earlier, crawls her way back to her seat. She decided to take a seat and prepare to hit the alarm button on the desk. “This peeving thing ain't working!” screamed the Mare Officer when the alarms fail to start up. She can see lights shining through the windows as she pulls out a Revolver.
There was a huge banging on the door, she refused to open up the door. As soon as she aimed her revolver at the door should it break open. One of the glass windows gets broken. Suddenly there was a huge swarm of flying Royal Guards heading directly towards her. One of the guards pins her down while the rest of the guards start checking every floor in the building. Rainbow Dash emerged from the door and automatically took the guards place of pinning the female merc down as Rainbow Dash delivered a huge rant.
“So I heard all about what you did to Scootaloo you piece of trash!” Slam, Rainbow Dash smashed the Mare's face in with her own hoof as she starts begging for mercy. Rainbow Dash refused to hear her apologize as Dashie will never trust anyone who has struck Scootaloo.
The guards come back with all of the rounded up Mercs that are in the rooms of Room 10 which consisted of about just 4 of them, including the one in one of the control rooms.
Princess Twilight Sparkle step through the doors and gave a command to the royal guards. “Guards check Floor 8-4, There's a lot of Mercenaries needing explanation”
Back at the castle, Dox had just got done bringing Sweetie Belle into his bedroom. The bedroom was like a study room but with a bed, one couch, some lighting, and a fireplace. He decided to tie her up, with rope tieing her front hooves behind her back and a mouth gag placed around Sweetie Belle's mouth. Sweetie Belle lifts herself up to see what's in front of her and noticed Dox standing right in front of her.
“So I see you're really excited for what I'm about to do” Sweetie Belle switched from a huge sad face to a face of anger as she knows that she didn't want what Dox is wanting to have. “Here, let me remove your gag 1st” Once the gag was removed from Sweetie Belle's mouth, Sweetie Belle spoke up.
“You mule, how could you just take me away from my friends and lock me in a huge dungeon!” “Hehe, why your such a loud mouth indeed. The moment I laid eyes on you, you look like the nicest most corruptible innocent filly ever around my age. You have the markings of such a corruptible and helpless filly, that I have no choice. Sorry Meanie Bitch, but your mine now”
“Wait a sec” Sweetie's mouth was interrupted when Dox walked behind her and kissed her lips for a good while. Determined to keep Dox distracted from going all the way, she played along and started kissing Dox back. The two broke the seal as Dox and Sweetie Belle pulled away.
“Wow, I never knew you were good at this Sweetie Belle. Do you do this often with your so-called Rumble, or Is he too interested in your hooves to kiss you and you just practice with your girlfriends!”
Sweetie Belle got really mad, She really wanted to teach Dox a lesson but unfortunately, her magic was still suppressed, plus her hooves are tied behind her back. The sounds of anger were about to let in a huge crash. In the spite of irony, A huge crash can be heard crashing through the Castle main entrance. “What the.. intruders! In my home?” Dox was really scared about what was going to happen but he wanted to do something really quick before he investigated.
“Now my new Fillyfriend, before I get abducted by whoever's breaking in, mind spreading your legs?” He put his hoof on Sweetie's mouth stopping her from answering. “Hah, you're gonna do it anyways” Dox was in front of Sweetie Belle tearing open some wrapper and putting something on in him.
"This should protect me from your disgusting diseases" He was just about to mount himself on top of Sweetie Belle. Just before Dox's bottom front can even make contact with Sweetie's bottom and legs, an unknown fully clothed in merc clothing colt jumped right at Dox, pushing him aside and killing all chances of Dox being able to have his way with the young filly. The unicorn colt grunted in pain as he attempted to get back up, only to get hit in the face by the armored colt.
Right then and now, the entire power is cut off leaving only the fireplace light as the source for everyone in the room to see. Knowing that this Armored attacker snuck in some backup that got into the Control Station in the castle. Dox was quick to pull out a Revolver shooting the Colt in the leg crippling the colt for a bit and then running off to the Control Station. Thankfully thanks to the combat armor, Rumble's injury to his leg isn't severe since the bullet didn't pierce all the way and his leg will fully be able to recover faster than if he wasn't wearing protective armor.
Just as soon as Dox reached the wing that leads to the main entrance, another armored pegasus who appeared to have gotten electrocuted ripping the power cables with her own mouth attempted to pin down Dox and took away his revolver in the process. After a rough fight between Dox and the Pegasus, he knocked off Scootaloo's gas mask. A smoke bomb was thrown by an earth pony in armor which gave the other pegasus time to run off before Dox can find out Scootaloo's identity.
Dox did indeed recognize Apple Bloom by her bright red mane as for Rumble and Scootaloo, their mane's can't easily be identified that easily for Dox. Especially once the power went out. Dox wanted to shout a insult at Apple Bloom, but he noticed the other Pegasus Colt in armor walking over to Sweetie Belle and made the run for it though while struggling due to his crippled leg.
Sweetie Belle couldn't recognize who the colt was who just got shot in an unimportant spot, just before she can recognize his Mane style, Dox ran up and pushed the young colt back, knocking off his Gas mask, revealing Rumble's face to Dox. As Sweetie Belle tried moving herself to see the colts face, Dox's rear got in her way as he about makes his final speech.
“If it isn't Thunder, or so I say Tumble!, You thought you can play hero, coming all by yourself and getting aid from your dismal sidekicks. Well no more!” Dox walked towards Rumble to kick him in the area it hurts the most. Rumble punches Dox directly back at a spot where there was a cage hanging from at. Dox's nose started to bleed as he screamed in huge pain.
Rumble pulled out a laser pistol and fired directly at the chains, the cage starts falling down, Dox only finally noticed the cage but sure enough, Dox was surrounded by the bars of the foal sized cage as he tried to lift it up to no avail, as the cage weighed almost half a ton. Now with Rumble out of danger aside from his injury, he 1st pulled out the small bullet that was piercing through him, applied some healing cream over the spot, wrapped it in a bandage and started making the move towards where Sweetie Belle is at.
Sweetie Belle gets a good look at her knight in merc armor and she couldn't believe what she was seeing. Her one and only Rumble emerging from victory over Dox's defeat. Sweetie Belle got very excited and wanted to shout to Rumble.
“Rumble, Oh I'm very glad to see you!” the happy filly shouted.
“When I noticed you girls being captured, I just had to follow you in the truck and get all of you back, I wouldn't let such a thing happen to you Sweetie Belle” Rumble replied as he was cutting off the rope binding her two front hooves and undoing the magic suppression device from Sweetie Belle's horn. He grabbed Sweetie Belle's right hoof and kissed it tenderly. Dox was furious about what Rumble was doing and so Rumble was about to give a speech.
“You see this Dox” Rumble continued kissing her hoof like normal and her cheeks like normal “This is how you're supposed to treat a filly” Rumble hands Sweetie Belle some flowers and jumped right at Rumble pinning him down in a tight hug.
“Thanks for theses Flowers Rumble, I was wondering if we could pick a more comfortable spot”
“Good Idea” Sweetie Belle uses her magical strength to lift both of them onto the couch and with Rumble being on top of Sweetie Belle instead now. Rumble grabbed Sweetie Belle's cute hoofies and started sucking on them while Dox is forced to watch. After a few minutes of them, while Sweetie also leaves kisses over Rumble's cheek, Rumble and Sweetie Belle both started kissing each other on the lips in a very passive way while Dox is really upset.
“No!, Please stop it, he's not your type, I'm the perfect size, perfect age, and perfect colt for you ya damn mule!” Sweetie Belle puts the gag over Dox's mouth while Rumble and Sweetie resume.
“Rumbly” “Yes Sweetie?”
“I love you” “I love you too Sweetie Belle”
“That was supposed to be me on her!!!!” The angry Dox yelled as he shielded his eyes from their act.
“Oh, my Celestia!” Rumble and Sweetie Belle heard the familiar cry of Rarity as she snuck up behind them. Rarity walked past them though while turning her head to them and approached Dox.
“Oh thank heavens you're here, he's doing your sister without her consent and he put me in this buckin!.... owwwwww” Rarity seen past Dox's lying and cast a spell on one of Dox's regions putting him in huge pain.
“How dare you try to have your way with my sister! Who knows what trauma she could have experienced had you gone along with your perverted plans!” Rarity stops the torture spell and lifts the cage while placing a metal magic suppression device on Dox's horn. “You have a lot of explaining to do young man!”
Rumble and Sweetie Belle got off of each other as they stood near each other while the other Crusaders gathered around and stood next to Rumble as Rarity started beating the everlasting crap out of Dox for what he was gonna do to Sweetie Belle. Dox was crying in tears but he has already made his mistake, they can see that there was absolutely no zero redeeming factor about him, the girls and Rumble continue to beat him until he's black and blue. Rarity removed him from the cage afterwards and tied him in rope while she waited for the guards to come.
DAY 3 – 5:00 AM
Alyx has been stuck in the cave for about several hours already. Since making an emergency call about an hour and a half ago, he's been waiting for Trench Bloodhoof to come to his rescue. Normally Trench would have been here about 30minutes after the call but apparently, it seems like Trench is taking the old path to the Mines which had been sealed up many years ago.
Sure enough, Alyx was right as he noticed an old caved in area suddenly exploding leaving a whole bunch of debris all around the ground. He looked down and seen Trench Bloodhoof who was just about to start making his walk towards one of the Hovering Mechs to get Alyx down from there.
“Hey Trench, what took you so long”
“Oh nothing, but it looks like our entire operation is surrounded by the Royal Guard! I don't even know who would even reveal our location to us.... unless.......... Raden!
“That traitor, should have sent him to the mines instead of firing him”
“Look here Alyx, I'm gonna get you off of that cliff, we'll leave through the old exit I reopened, and with the 20 billion backup bits I made from the mines in my stay place in the castle, we can start over again, move out of this land and find a new source of income. It'll be slow but we gotta keep the money flowing even after our empire collapses down”
Trench Bloodhoof gets inside of his mech and proceeds to hover above the pit while reaching the cliff that Alyx is on. Alyx makes the jump and lands safely on top of the mech, getting inside of the Mech and after fastening his seat belt, Trench pilots the Mech back to the ground and they get off the Mech and back onto the ground.
“Alright Alyx, now we head back to my castle, get my son, and then bail out of this area. I know a perfect deserted spot next to Manehattan that will be perfect for starting over at”
“Starting over in the Dungeon!” Trench Bloodhoof turns and noticed that suddenly a bunch of Royal Guards started dropping down from the destroyed elevator and started chasing after Trench and Alyx.
Trench Bloodhoof makes the run for the private elevator and attempted to unwield the fused doors while Alyx makes the run out of the way Trench came. Alyx was making a run through the long cave path that Trench just came back from and as soon as he seen Trench's car, it seemed like salvation was so close as he attempted to open the front door. A stun grenade blew up right in his face as he was being chained up by Rez.
Surprisingly, the fused shut door for the Private Elevator blew away which Trench managed to dodge the debris and noticed Raden standing inside of the elevator who's packed with his shotgun.
“Thank goodness your here Raden, we're getting raided, let's take the elevator out.....”
Trench hears the clicking of a shotgun as Raden aims his weapon towards Trench Bloodhoof as the guards surround Trench Blood and Alyx who was dragged back by Rez and puts hoof cuffs all around them. It seemed like Salvation was so close for Alyx and Trench, seemed like their bailout plan was so close to succeeding, and yet, thanks to a formal Merc turning against them, all hope is crushed as Raden and the Royal Guards started escorting them outside through the original cave entrance for interrogation and arrest.
As the royal guards start chaining up Trench, Alyx, and plenty of other Mercs, Dox was still recovering from all of the injuries he received from Rumble, the Cutie Mark Crusaders, Rarity, and even Thunderlane, He sees that all of them went outside to have a chat with the royal guards. Dox used this opportunity to untie himself from the rope. With the ropes untied, he quickly makes a dash for a emergency window exit and tries to find out where his dad was at. He ran off into the forrest hoping that he can reach the base from there.
Dox stumbled upon his dad's secret elevator holes, which is burred underneath dirt, but can take him to Trench's office. Stomping on the ground, he activates the elevator, immediately having it take him directly to his dads office.
When he reached his fathers office, he was suddenly greeted by Princess Twilight Sparkle who gave him a sharp angry look at his eye.
"Oh Princess Twily, n..n...nice....." Twilight casted a spell that knocked him to the wall. Rainbow Dash tied the little colt up and threw him on the floor.
"Looking for your dad Dox!, you're in big trouble for what you and your dad did to the Cutie Mark Crusaders" Rainbow Dash yelled while she called for the guards to come pick him up.
"Dox, you're actions where the most inappropriate I've had ever seen from a colt, and I'm afraid that what you dad did was equally as wrong. You are not gonna ever see your daddy ever again!" Twilight Sparkle said to the colt as the guards take him away, going back to the 10 floor, leaving the building and right outside of the enterance. Dox sees his one and only father being taken away as Raden drags him and throws him in the prison carriage. Alyx along with Dox's friends where all sitting inside of the carriage chained up and ready to be taken to prison.
A grayish blue pegaus with a pink bow approaches Dox as he starts crying. "So, I heard about what you did to all three of the girls. You been watching too many perverted slime cartoons"
"Who are you ya stupid Mule!"
"My name is Flitter, I'm Rumble's babysitter, and you have been a very bad colt from what I heard from Rumbly, and for that, you must be punished"
Dox knew he was gonna get it now, Rumble and Raden approaches Dox spotting a huge sackbag. Dox tries to run off, but Rumble blocked his path and Flitter pinned him down. The last thing Dox was able to see before being engulfed in Raden's thick sackbag was Rumble and Flitter flipping the bird with their feathers as Raden placed the sack over Dox's head.
1 Month Later
The month has passed since Dox has been under Equestria's Juvenile Detention Center. For the past month, bad fillies and colts had pushed Dox around for a good while. The prison cell was very large, with concrete floors, rusty walls and hard cell bars. The most embarrassing thing to have happened to Dox so far was closing his eyes for what he thought was snucked in ice cream, instead, a tough filly bit his lips causing him to bleed and cry out for his daddy.
A voice announced on the speaker for Dox to approach the jail bars. This seems like good news for Dox, announcements like this tend to happen to foals who are ready to be granted freedom from the cell. The Mare guard opens the cell door for Dox and he steps out of the cell. The mare stopped him and informed him of a visitor coming to see him.
The exit door opened, Dox was hoping to see someone who he could recognize. A familiar voice of a certain earth pony greats him with shimmers.
"Hello, Dox!" Raden calls his name out as Dox tried to back up.
"Uh....hello Raden... uh... nice to see you again" Dox weakly tried to sound normal as Raden looked at Dox for a bit more.
"The royal guard rehired me as Executioner and because I want to give you one more chance, I'm giving you the option to be adopted"
"Ad...adopted.... But you suck......you're even...."
A much bigger colt approached Dox from behind. "He Doxy, ready for some pain now" The colt was just about to punch Dox.
"Please take me outta here!, I'll do anything Raden, I'll give you that payment, I'll polish your axe, anything, just get me outta here damnit!" Dox was very impatient.
"Shush... maybe if you politely spoke up, I'll accept your offer"
"OK, can I please get out of here" Dox replied trying to sound innocent.
"Alright, but 1st of all, no movies or video games.... 2nd..."
Dox screamed and threw a fit knowing that he's gonna be punished by Raden for the rest of his life. He immediately ran back into the cell, not realizing the mistake he made as Raden chuckles and leaves the room.
"So welcome back Dox, you're ready for some pain time" The colt pins Dox down while 2 young fillies prepare to stomp all over Dox.
In the bedroom of Rumble's home, Flitter, Rez, and the Cutie Mark Crusaders where all taking turns brushing Rumble's mane. Rumble was re-reading the old month newspaper article on how he and Rez managed to take down an entire merc operation and free the Cutie Mark Crusaders. As they got finished smoothing Rumble's mane, Flitter and Rez both give him each seperate hugs while kissing his cheeks.
Rumble started blushing as the Crusaders took notice. all of the Crusaders then took turns planting Rumble with kisses all over his cheeks.
"Please fillies, one at a time please" Rumble giggled as there where too many fillies trying to kiss him.
"Oh Rumble, we just can't help it, your cheeks are such super cute "Apple Bloom responded while blushing.
"Yea, and you was very brave to go out to save us all by yourself. "Scootaloo said.
"Well Crusaders, I did had help from a really nice intelligent mare, right Rez" Rumble replied.
"Why yes Rumble, but what you did by yourself was really impressive too" Rez replied.
"This is for everything you have done for us Rumbly" Sweetie Belle gets on top of Rumble and the two share a deep kiss for a good few seconds as they both pulled away. Rumble grabs her hoof and starts suckling on her hoofnails for a little bit, before kissing on Apple Bloom's and Scootaloo's hoofies some more.
"Uh... Rumble" Sweetie Belle asked Rumble in confusion on why he's suckling on their other hoofies too.
"Sweetie Belle, I think he wants to kiss all of us and suckle our hooves" Flitter responded while looking at her hoofies.
"Rumble, as much as I really want you to be committed just to me, I don't mind if you like both of us Rumbly" Sweetie Belle remarked snarkly as Rumble's expression went to full on smirk mode. Rumble was about to go in to kiss both Flitter and Rez's lips. Rez puts her hoof over Rumble's mouth as he starts suckling on her hoofnail once again.
"Hold on a second Rumble, I think we're gonna do this in a different way. Rumble, wanna play truth or dare?"
Rumble gulped a bit as he couldn't believe what he was hearing. No one has ever asked him to play a kissing game, let along one where he can get all of the Crusaders and his babysitter and of course, the new female guard who he befriended while rescuing the girls.
Rumble screamed out a yes, as he prepares to take a seat with the girls, sitting next to Sweetie Bell and Flitter holding their hooves, and facing directly at Rez and the other girls. No matter how the game goes tonight, Rumble has one last thing to say to Rez before they begin.
"Thanks, for everything you done for me and the girls" Rumble replied as Rez gave him a soft kiss on the top of his head.