|Friendship Is Magic: Prime: Act III
Author: Darkryt Orbinautz PM
The Grand Finale to the series has arrived! The Little Ponies head out into space to find Discord, unaware of what the Autobots have done to him, and what happens next is a series of events that will lead to the ultimate battle for the fate of the Earth between Optimus Prime and Twilight Sparkle! Wait, what? Now featuring the Bonus Story, "The Reign of Starscream".Rated: Fiction T - English - Adventure/Sci-Fi - Chapters: 19 - Words: 237,697 - Reviews: 40 - Favs: 17 - Follows: 9 - Updated: 01-25-13 - Published: 05-27-12 - Status: Complete - id: 8157409
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Disclaimer: Both Transformers and My Little Pony are the properties of Hasbro. This is a non-profit work made by an independent contractor outside of the official company's notice intended for non-profits entertainment and speculative purposes only.
Darkryt Orbinautz presents...
Previously on Friendship Is Magic: Prime...
"Jack say anything about those Ponies having missiles?"
Optimus clenched his hand into a fist and gritted. "Starscream..."
Starscream repeated the process, cutting another piece of the 'D.E.' and stabbing it into Rainbow Dash's cloud Cutie Mark. This process repeated until everypony had one in her Cutie Mark.
Just as Pinkie and Applejack were to buck the Autobot's ankle servos out, Bumblebee fired his blasters the ground, the impact of the lasers kicking a huge dust cloud.
"Hey!" Applejack protested. "What's going on? Why can't Ah- AAAAGGGH!"
They were Decepticons! By choice!
"I am Optimus Prime, and I do not have to tolerate your slander."
Whipping her head back, and at Rarity's urging, Twilight levitated the rock bludgeon Rarity had used to knock out Bulkhead and smacked Optimus Prime with it. It took a few hits before the Prime finally fell backwards, joining his comrades on the ground and forming an inverted triangle.
"Autobots! On your...heel...struts..." Optimus ordered, his voice losing volume as he gave the order. Using his elbows to try to get up, they gave out under him and his optics blinked out into black as he faded into unconsciousness.
Rainbow Dash, Rarity, Pinkie Pie and Fluttershy all regrouped over at Twilight's side.
Twilight levitated the rock bludgeon just over Optimus Prime's head.
"Let's end this."
Aboard the Nemesis...
"Lord Megatron." began a warrior's voice at the sight of the demonic Lord Megatron entering his chambers.
"Why have you requested my presence?" Megatron replied.
The warrior bowed. "I wish to request to be dispatched after theses...'Ponies. I will not underestimate them.'"
"Both Airachnid and Breakdown have failed to locate them." Megatron informed him.
The warrior smirked. "I would think that that would be a vote in favor of my request."
Megatron smirked as well, admiring his Second-in-Command's turn of phrase. "Very well. Go forth, my faithful Lieutenant, and bring... me... their...HEADS!"
"Fairness is an illusion. Neither effort nor intention holds title to the nature or form of either the present or the future. And if the sincere effort has no title, what interest can the bellow or the lamentation hold?"
Friendship Is Magic: Prime: Act III
Chapter IV: Enemy Mine
Episode Synopsis: Applejack learns some truths about Starscream from an unlikely source.
Twilight Sparkle raised the rock bludgeon up higher, so as to make sure that it would smash Optimus up when she brought it down.
A GroundBridge opened up behind the Autobots, and a extremely rapid stream of red lasers sped out of it and into the rock, blasting into smaller rocks and pebbles too small to hurt a Cybertronian.
Optimus, awoken by the commotion, rolled over onto his stomach and looked up at the GroundBridge hopefully. "Ratchet?"
"Oh great! Another one?" Pinkie Pie complained.
"Eh, we'll take him down too!" Rainbow Dash boasted.
The sound of an engine roared out of the Bridge...but it wasn't an ambulance engine.
A navy-blue F-35 Lightning jet with yellow rims on it's wings materialized from the Bridge, transformed as it rose up over the Autobots, the glare of the sun obscuring it's robot mode's features until it landed expertly on it's feet between the Ponies and Autobots. It's colors were the same in robot mode as in jet, though with silver upper limbs. It's head was pointed and very vaguely Samurai-like in shape, with a strong-looking chin and fancy decorations on it's Decepticons insignia, located just to the left of the cockpit in his chest.
"I had a feeling those Dark Energon signatures would lead me to you!" He shouted.
"You...are?" Twilight questioned.
"First Lieutenant Dreadwing."
"I know who you are, Faithful Student Twilight Sparkle!" Dreadwing spat. He reached behind his back and pulled out a silver tube like device with a bayonet- the trademark Gatling gun of Dreadwing's family line. "My master has demanded the heads of you and your friends. As First Lieutenant, it is my responsibility to execute his demands to the best of my abilities."
Pinkie Pie gasped. "Oh my gosh, Twilight, I don't think we can take him!"
"Because he's awesome!"
"How do you know that?"
"Well, duh! Only the most awesome bad guys get their own songs!"
FRIENDSHIP IS MAGIC: PRIME: ACT III SOUNDTRACK:
Song 3: On Wings of Dread
Performed by: Dreadwing, Background Chorus.
Genre: Power Rock.
Length: Medium. (1:45-2:00)
The sky will quake in fear
For the Seeker Captain is here!
Shooting through these- damned -sandy- winds
Your time here... has come to an end.
You haven't fought an opponent quite the same as me
and that is why you will sing my name!
Megatron has given me a task
A task which I do intend to fail
I will make sure that
the young of your world will know of your tale
It's the least I could do,
seeing that I intend to end it soon!
You haven't fought an opponent quite the same as me
and that is why you will sing my name!
With my expertise in arms,
you will not trot away
without some very severe harm
Streaking through the scorching desert waste!
Flying up a dozen miles high!
I kill on sight and without haste!
Thousands of Autobots have been snuffed
Falling off this wings of dread
FROM THIRTY-THOUSAND FEET UP!
(Guitar and drums continue on their own for a few seconds.)
You haven't fought an opponent quite the same as me
and that is why you will sing my name!
Rainbow Dash flew up and launched herself straight at Dreadwing, intent on bucking his chest-cockpit. She made contact, but her hooves bounced right off and wiggled in pain.
Dreadwing chuckled and knocked on the area, which produced solid noise. "Polymer fusion: Not glass." He then swatted Rainbow Dash away with his Gatling.
Rarity levitated another huge rock out of the ground with her magic and threw it at Dreadwing. Dreadwing removed one of his hands from his gun, reached over his back again, and pulled out some sort of ninja star thingy with a plate resembling his wings and a red circle on it. He threw it at the rock, revealing the thingy's purpose as a bomb as the pebbles resulting from the explosion went everywhere. The Seeker Captain then shot Rarity with his gun straight on, knocking her to her stomach.
Pinkie Pie charged straight at him, intending to buck him in the foot. Dreadwing raised his leg backwards and punted Pinkie a good distance.
Fluttershy shot up into the air and affixed Dreadwing with a sudden change in her eyes. Her infamous 'Stare'.
"Put that gun away, mister!"
Dreadwing, his face one of horror, slowly did as instructed. He then whipped out another device. This one was a triangle that split in two. His cell phone. He aimed at Fluttershy.
"How is that thing gonna stop Fluttershy's Stare?" Rarity questioned.
Dreadwing pushed a button, and an image of Fluttershy appeared on the cell phone's screen. He pushed another, causing a camera flash to go off which blinded Fluttershy. Fluttershy was trying too hard to cover her eyes to notice Dreadwing charge at her to punch her in the chest, bringing her back to the ground.
Twilight's tail began swiveling around, her horn alight. Lasers began shooting from her horn. Dreadwing quickly whipped out a silver sword that ended in a curve that he used to deflect each shot. One of them rebounded off the blade back at Twilight, blasting her backwards.
Twilight levitated another otherwise unmovable rock from the ground and threw it at Dreadwing, who jumped into the air and onto the rock. He slammed his sword through it, cutting it in half. The gravel defeated, Dreadwing jumped into the air, the sun casting a self obscuring shadow on him. He threw down 10 more of the triangular bombs, one of which caused an explosion that sent all the Ponies flying. Then another one did the same, and the after repeated the actions, and so on until the bombs had reached zero in Dreadwing's hand. The Ponies felt less then enthused with the prospect of continuing battle after having been juggled around like soccer balls so much, so Twilight signaled for a retreat. The five Ponies began galloping away back towards their cave.
Dreadwing snarled, transformed into his jet mode, his Gatling gun mounted under his canopy and firing on the equines as they ran away.
Twilight levitated a cactus out of the ground and threw against Dreadwing's cockpit, temporarily blinding him with the cactus juice that splattered from the impact.
"Hurry!" Twilight urged.
Starscream sat with his legs criss-crossed in the cave, awaiting the Ponies return. He tilted his head up to see five of them rushing to get in the cave.
"Twilight? What's wrong?" Starscream questioned, getting up out of the cave.
"There's a 'Con after us! He's too savvy for us to take down!" Twilight yelled as she rushed inside, the other four girls following behind her.
Starscream turned his head to the sky to see the Ponies attacker. "Is that...Skyquake?" Starscream shook his head back and forth. "Regardless of who it is..." he readied his arm rockets. "He threatened my living weapons!
A robotic beetle came blitzing out of nowhere towards Dreadwing, impaling the Lieutenant on its horn and then slamming him into the cave's outer walls repeatedly before shaking him and tossing him into the trees.
Dreadwing transformed, the branches that were supporting him getting caught inside his joints and giving out from the sudden change in mass. "Commander Dreadwing, requesting emergency GroundBridge..."
Starscream looked up at the beetle. "An Insecticon? Here, on Earth?"
Fluttershy came galloping out. "Oh, good boy, Bob!" she exclaimed.
"BOB?" Starscream screamed.
"Oh, yes." Fluttershy explained. "Bob is an Insecticon I did some medical work on, and we've been keeping him with us since." Bob landed, Fluttershy floating up to nuzzle his head.
"Eh, not to sound...ungrateful, Fluttershy." Starscream said, walking around Bob in circles to inspect him. "But why did you not take Bob with you on your first encounter with Optimus Prime? I cannot help but think it would've ended more in your favor..."
"Oh, he tried to come with us." Fluttershy replied. "But I didn't want him getting hurt."
Starscream was unable to keep himself from laughing uproariously to the point he landed on his back. "OH! HAHAHAHAHAHA! Get...oh ho... hurt. HAHAHAHA! Oh, Fluttershy!..." Starscream took in a few deep breaths and scrambled back to his feet. "If you will notice..." Starscream raised his claw and struck Bob's hide with it, a few friction sparks dropping down from the impact. Starscream clutched his claw in pain, and his next sentence was extremely squeaky. "The hide...of an Insecticon...is extremely...tough. OOoh...I shouldn't have done that."
Fluttershy looked down somberly. "Oh...I don't know. I don't think I could live with myself if I let Bob get hurt."
"Fluttershy..." Starscream said, shaking his claw to rid himself of the last vestiges of pain. "Bob will not get hurt."
Fluttershy pointed to Starscream's cheek. "What about that awful scar on your cheek? What's keeping Arcee from giving Bob one just like it?"
"I, unlike Bob...am not an Insecticon." Starscream replied. Starscream crouched down and lifted Fluttershy's chin with his finger. "Send Bob after Optimus and the Autobots, and he won't have a single scratch on him...I promise." Starscream put on his best reassuring smile.
While Fluttershy thought about this to herself, the other girls came out to thank Bob for the rescue.
"Oh, yes!" Starscream exclaimed. "How did the rematch go?"
"Good and bad." Twilight answered. "We had the Autobots on the ropes, but then Dreadwing showed up and pounded us..."
Starscream grunted. "Hmmph, well, I suppose as long as all six of you are all right..."
"Yeah," Twilight assured him. "Me, Rainbow Dash, Rarity, Pinkie Pie, Applejack...wait..."
Starscream and Twilight looked around.
Optimus, Bulkhead and Arcee all dragged and limped themselves through the GroundBridge into the Autobot base.
"What happened?" Ratchet asked. "Arcee looks someone smacked her with a cloud!"
"Someone did." Arcee replied coldly.
"Ratchet," Optimus called forth. "the Ponies that had been hunting Discord have taken up usage of the Dark Energon."
Ratchet grinded his teeth together. "Clearly, these Ponies should be considered every bit as deranged as the Decepticons...hey, where's Bumblebee?"
Bumblebee came through the GroundBridge, an unconscious Applejack hanging by the tail in his hand. The scout gestured towards his catch, beeping a 'Taaa-daaa' kind of beep.
"Excellent work, Bumblebee." Optimus complimented. "Ratchet can remove the Dark Energon, then we can send her back to her companions through the GroundBridge."
Ratchet huffed. "If these Ponies wish to throw their bodies into waste with the Dark Energon, I don't see why we shouldn't let them..." In spite of his complaints, Ratchet took Applejack from Bumblebee and proceeded to the medical room.
"Say..." Bulkhead asked groggily. "Wasn't that one wearing a hat?"
Optimus nodded. "I'd imagined that she will want her belongings back when she departs...Bumblebee, do you-" Optimus turned to Bumblebee, only to see Applejack's hat perched atop his head.
"...That's cute, Bumblebee."
Dreadwing walked through the GroundBridge, covered in branches, leaves, and twigs.
Megatron pursed his undead-looking lips. "I take it by your...environmentalist change in wardrobe, that you were unsuccessful in your mission?"
Dreadwing hocked a twig out of his mouth and got on one knee. "I am sorry, Lord Megatron. I did not underestimate the Ponies, but I had no warning I would be facing an Insecticon."
Megatron grimaced and growled. "Airachnid! Go use your unique ability to seize control of It!"
"But my Lord..." Airachnid said as she stepped forward. "I tried already, and-"
"THEN TRY AGAIN!"
Airachnid drew backwards. "Of...course my Lord." Airachnid walked off slowly.
"Lord Megatron, I would wish to go after the Ponies' again." Dreadwing requested.
"I will...consider your request, Dreadwing."
"One more thing, My Lord...I notice that hole in Airachnid's chest still isn't repaired."
"...That is none of your concern, Dreadwing." and on that ominous note, Megatron himself began to walk out.
Ratchet set Applejack on her back, her legs splayed out on the Autobot's slanted standing repair bed. As he walked away, the bed stood upright and the glass doors sealed Applejack inside the chamber with a hiss of steam.
"Now, let's get ourselves a proper diagnosis, shall we?" Ratchet asked himself, pulling a lever down on a medical exam terminal.
"Hey, Ratch! What's up?" A perky voice asked. Miko and Raf had entered the room and were climbing onto a elevated platform.
"If you must know," Ratchet snapped, as cranky as ever, "What's 'up' is that this pony here has taken to using Dark Energon, and Optimus has assigned me to remove it from her."
Miko and Raf looked at the unconscious Applejack inside the medi-chamber. "That's...a pony?" Raf asked, adjusting his glasses.
"Alien pony." Ratchet corrected him.
Miko put a finger to her lips. "Say, if you're suppose to take the Dark Energon out of this thing, wouldn't be better to just, y'know, yank it out?"
Ratchet stammered and tensed his fingers. "Ah dat gat! I have no idea how much of or how long the Dark Energon has been in her system! This is a delicate medical process, and I must have the right information to utilize the correct treatment! If I used the wrong thing, it could make the situation worse!"
"But isn't all the time you take scanning her more time for the Dark Energon to corrupt her?"
Ratchet's runic looking optic twitched at Miko's good point. "I...it...It has be removed gently!"
"Why not just yank it out?"
"Because that...that would..."
Raf continued looking at Applejack as Ratchet and Miko descended into childish arguing. "So...that's an alien pony. I wonder what other Earth fauna could be out there?" Raf's wondering was interrupted by noticing the Pony's ears twitch. "Uh...guys?" Raf asked tugging at Miko's shirt.
Miko dismissed him. "Not now, Raf, the adults are talking."
"Just yank it out!" Miko yelled at Ratchet.
Raf gave up and looked back at the pony inside the chamber. Her eyes twitched slightly, before opening all the way, showing their light purple inside dark purple coloration.
"Uh, guys...this is kinda serious!"
"We are in the middle of an important, well thought-out discussion, Rafael! REMOVE IT GENTLY!"
Raf started biting his fingernails. By now, the Pony had regained enough consciousnesses to climb down from the bed and knock on the chamber doors. Pushing her hoof against the side of the door forcefully in just the right area with just the right pressure, she caused the sliders the doors were on to scrunch up, which made the doors open slightly. She then put her hooves in between them and pushed them open with all her might until the gap was big enough for her to fit her entire body into. Raf was awed, and got the feeling she might've able to do that even without the Dark Energon enhancing her.
She dashed out of the chamber and began galloping out the room. Raf, seeing that Miko's and Ratchet's argument was going to stop anytime soon, ran out after her.
"REMOVE IT GENTLY!" Miko screamed, so caught up in her debate she forgot her original standing on it.
"YANK IT OUT!" Ratchet screamed back, having done the same.
"REMOVE IT GENTLY!"
"NO! I'M YANKING IT OUT NOW, AND YOU CAN'T STOP ME!" Ratchet stomped towards the chamber, only to see the doors ajar and the bed devoid of Ponies, Dark Energon enhanced or otherwise. "Where'd she go?"
"You were saying Raf?" Miko asked, turning towards where Raf was and putting her hands on her hips. "Raf?"
Applejack galloped with purpose through the floors of the Autobot base. Ah gotta get outta here! She soon found herself in hallway that forked left, forward, and right. "Ahhhgg! Which way do ah go?" she yelled out loud.
"Why do you need to go at all?"
Applejack turned her neck backwards to see a small human in a orange sweater vest, extremely large square-shaped glasses, and large head that seemed too big for it's body adorned with brown hair that looked like a crown of equally-over sized leaves.
"That's nun' of yer business, Window Eyes!" Applejack snapped, taking up a pounce ready pose.
Raf frowned. "You know, it's rude when you call people names...It can hurt their feelings."
That made Applejack feel bad. "Oh...Ah'm sorry, ah didn't mean it like that...Ah just know them no-good ragtag Autobots brought me here, so ah know ah gotta get out!"
Raf raised an eyebrow. "Who told you the Autobots were no good?"
"Star-" Applejack put a hoof to her mouth, remembering that Starscream said to not mention his name.
"You...you were going to say 'Starsceam', weren't you?" Raf questioned.
Applejack curled his lips on themselves and put on her best poker face. "No. No. It's this lovely stallion named 'Star' who-"
Raf gave Applejack a sort of 'I don't buy that for a second' look.
"All right, fine! Yes, it was Starscream. What about it?" Applejack snapped.
"Well..." Raf said, rubbing the back of his head. "Starscream's a lying, cheating Decepticon. Decepticons aren't exactly the most reliable 'bots around."
"He told me he left the Decepticons...and when he tried to join the Autobots, they nearly killed him!"
Raf made an confused noise. "Nnnngh...that's...technically true."
"Well, if that's true, ah don't see much point in continuing this conversation!" Applejack scraped her hoof and snorted.
Raf bobbed his head back and forth. "How can I convince you that...I got it!" Raf reached into his pocket and pulled out his orange cell phone and dialed Agent Fowler.
"Rafael? What's going on?" Fowler's voice barked through the phone.
"Hello, Agent Fowler." Raf said, not forgetting his manners. "I need you give the Autobots a vote of confidence."
"Ummm...All right." Fowler answered nervously.
"I'm gonna put you on speaker phone." Raf pushed a button and turned the phone around.
"Special Agent William Fowler. Who's there?"
"Errr...Applejack." Applejack replied, not used to talking someone she couldn't see.
"Applejack?" Fowler laughed. "What kind of cockamamie name is that?"
"Ah'll have you know it's a traditional Apple Family name!"
"Apple Family? What, do you have a granny named 'Granny Smith'?"
"Y'all leave my granny out of this!"
"Wait, so you actually do- never mind. Raf here tells you don't trust the Bots, is that right?" Fowler questioned.
"Not as far as Ah can chuck a dragon." Applejack replied flatly.
"Well, what if I told you that I got caught by these sons of glitches called Decepticons who-"
"Ah know who the 'Cons are." Applejack cut him off.
"Right, well, those creeps kidnapped me, interrogated me, and I did my best not to tell them anything. Not even when they started sticking me with that Energon prod. I couldn't take it any more, and was about to spill the beans when the 'Bots rushed into the room and drove that no-good Starscream off!"
"Starscream?" Applejack questioned.
"Soo...do you believe me now?" Raf inquired.
"No." Applejack informed him. "But...ah'll give the 'Bots the chance to tell me their side a' things."
"RAF, GET DOWN!"
"I won't let you hurt my friend!" Miko screamed, charging at Applejack with a fire axe in hand. Applejack didn't miss a beat and slapped Miko in the face with a hoof, knocking Miko out and causing the human to drop her axe as she fell the floor.
"What's going on over there?" Fowler barked over the phone.
"Uh..." Raf gaped. "Um...I'll call you back." Raf put his cell phone away.
Ratchet stomped his foot in the space between Raf and Applejack. "Watch out! I'm an licensed surgeon!" To emphasize his point, Ratchet converted his arms into short, broad arm blades with a chee-chnk.
"Yer not making the best first impression, ya know." Applejack told him.
"Yeah." Raf said, getting from behind Ratchet's foot and walking over to Applejack. "She's been duped by Starscream."
"We haven't proved that yet." Applejack reminded him. "Though Ah am gonna give y'all bots a chance." Applejack looked over towards Miko, who was still knocked out, and the axe Applejack had knocked out of her hand. "...Ah'm not so sure about her though."
"We are still not sure about her." Ratchet snarked with as he converted his blades back into hands.
Raf and Miko (Having since gained consciousness) guided Applejack the guarded stairs to the human-sized break room in order for her to talk with the other Autobots. Miko clenched her fire axe throughout however.
"Go on!" Raf encouraged once they had reached the top, pushing Applejack forward.
Applejack looked back and forth between all five of the gathered Autobots. It was a bit overwhelming to be able to see them at eye level.
"Applejack." Optimus addressed.
"Optimus Prime." Applejack replied.
"I have been told you wish to hear our version of events, as it were?"
"...Yeah. So, what's yer story, Prime? Can ah call you Prime?"
Optimus nodded. "Yes. However, in order to tell you of the discrepancies in Starscream's story, you must first tell us what he told you."
"Right." Applejack traced her hoof around in circles. "Well, he said that he worked for Megatron, that you and Megatron were friends and served in the War For Cybertron...that you and Megatron attacked, screaming you should be made leaders for your service, and separated after that 'cos you couldn't agree who got on top...and that he tried to keep Megatron's madness from getting too out of hand, then left the Decepticons on here on Earth when it got too much. He also said that when he tried to join you, you almost killed him."
Arcee turned and walked away, her back 'wings' swiveling down dejectedly and hanged her head.
"Much of that is true, including the part where..." Optimus cleared his throat, looking at Arcee mournfully. "WE tried to execute him on the occasion that he tried to align himself with us. However, Megatron attacked long after mine and his separation."
Bulkhead scoffed. "'Tried to keep Megatron's madness in check, my afterburner! Starscream gave Megatron all of Trypticon Station's supply of Dark Energon, which Buckethead used to make Cybertron go dark!"
"Go dark?" Applejack questioned.
"Megatron took the Dark Energon that Starscream had formerly guarded." Optimus explained. "And plunged it into Cybertron's core, rendering the planet unable to support our biological needs."
"Ya mean...this Dark Energon ruined your home?" Applejack questioned. Optimus nodded stoically.
"Gah! Get it out get it out get it out!" Applejack squeaked, yanking the Dark Energon splinter from her Cutie Mark. If the Dark Energon ruined a homeworld, there's no way it wasn't evil in some fashion, and she didn't want to have something that evil in her Cutie Mark.
"Errm..." Ratchet grunted nervously.
"Wut? Is it my Cutie Mark? What about-" Applejack looked at her Cutie Mark to see that a little blood was visible from the cut the shard had left. Her blood had turned a purplish-pink color. "What in the hay?"
"It would seem..." Ratchet took up the explaining over from Optimus. "That the Dark Energon had been in your system long enough for it to taint your blood. I'll need to run a few test to figure out to deal with it."
"Why not just pump her up with normal Energon like you did with Raf?" Miko questioned.
Ratchet raised his finger to say something reprimanding, then his jaw slowly dropped. "Miko! That's brilliant!"
"Ehhh...Ah'm not so sure." Applejack objected. "Energon isn't that great for Ponies. That's part of how Starscream convinced us to use the D.E. in the first place."
Ratchet furrowed his browplates and hmmed. Then he snapped his fingers. "I got it! The Synth-En!"
Miko and Raf got doubtful expressions. "You mean that stuff that made you go all turbo-charged and crazy?"
"OH! I'm sorry, Miko." Ratchet said, his shoulder antennae wiggling agitatedly. "Do you have a BETTER IDEA?"
Ratchet looked to Optimus for permission. Optimus shook his head. "No. The effects may be negative, but at least there is some precedent for regular Energon on Ponies. There is no precedent for the effects of the Synthetic Energon." Optimus turned to Applejack. "I'm sorry, Applejack, but we will have to expose you to an amount of Energon radiation. Will that be okay?"
Applejack backed away. "Ah don't know...are y'all gonna use me to bargain for my friends' undying servitude or something?"
"Applejack, you have my word that we will not subject you to the radiation any longer then is absolutely necessary, nor we will take advantage of any impairment you may develop in that time."
"Pinkie Pie Promise?"
Optimus frowned. "I...am not familiar with a 'Pinkie Pie Promise."
Applejack set about explaining the exact methods of the sacred, unbreakable Pinkie Promise.
"What?" Ratchet balked.
"I...believe I understand. I'll shall take the oath." Optimus said. "Applejack, We will not take advantage of your vulnerability while we work to clear you of your Dark Energon contamination. Cross my heart and hope to fly, stick a cupcake in my eye-AHG!" Optimus winced, having stuck his hand too close to his eye.
Applejack chuckled. "Heheh...Twilight did that on her first time too."
Twilight, Starscream and friends were trotting in their cave, more concerned with how they were going to rescue Applejack then locate Optimus, when Pinkie Pie stopped suddenly.
"Pinkie?" Twilight asked. "Is something wrong?"
Pinkie turned her head to Twilight. "Nothing. Just...had a thought."
"What was it?" Dash inquired.
"Oh, just something about something silly..." Pinkie half-fibbed. It was silly to think that Optimus had just made a Pinkie Promise...but that was what her Pinkie Sense was telling her.
"Are you prepared, Abigail?"
"Optimus, mah name's not- never mind." Applejack shook her head. "As Ah'll ever be."
"In the chamber." Ratchet instructed, pointing at the open, slanted bed that Applejack had escaped from.
Applejack walked to it at steady pace, before stopping suddenly, a solemn expression on her face. "...Y'all take me to my friends when we're done, right?"
Optimus and Ratchet exchanged uncertain glares. "We will do what can be done." Optimus assured her.
Applejack's nodded and climbed up onto the bed and laid on her back. The restraints came to life and poked at her, pinning her down. The bed made itself up right, the glass doors closing again.
"Activating Energon radiation exposure." Ratchet pulled down a handlebar lever on a control panel, and light blue light filled the chamber, turning Applejack into a shadow. Applejack tensed in the chamber.
"Are you feeling ill already, Abigail?"
"Nope, just nervous..."
Ratchet drummed his fingers against the lever, monitoring the Energon levels. "Radiation level slightly above minimum...18%...21%..."
"Ah'd really appreciate ya not narratin'." Applejack informed the Autobot.
Ratchet nodded. "Sorry."
A few minutes passed before Applejack complained of feeling a little woozy.
"Hang in there, Abigail!"
A few more minutes after that...
"Say, Ah thought they were four restraints in here?"
"Then why are there nine of 'em?"
"Radiation level's at 43%." Ratchet noted. "Optimus?"
"Get her out of there."
Ratchet pulled the level back and pushed a button. The blue light faded, and steam hissed as the doors open, keeping Applejack out of view.
"Are you alright, Abigail?"
"Ah feel plumb drunk..." Applejack complained. The steam had faded by now, showing a very wobbly-looking Applejack, who somehow managed to fall flat on her back with her legs tied in knots.
"You look drunk." Miko commented.
Ratchet approached the pony with a Cybertronian sized injection device, prompting Applejack to tense up. "I'm just taking blood sample. Do those exist on your world?"
"Yeah..." Applejack answered with boredom. "Just let me know when ya stick it-"
"Really?" Applejack asked, rolling onto her stomach. "Ah didn't feel a thing."
"That, my dear Applejack, is the power of science!" Ratchet explained proudly. He leered at the less then a quart of red blood in the canister. "Now, let's see here..." Ratchet walked off to a corner of the room to put the blood inside the proper testing equipment.
"Hey guys!" Jack announced, walking into the room. "Sorry I'm late. Mom wanted my help with stuff at the hous-" Jack cut off at the sight of Applejack.
"You!" Applejack accused, pointing a hoof and recovering enough to stand up straight. "Ya sent us on that wild goose chase after Discord in that cavern!"
"Wild goose chase-?" Jack wondered. "No! He was there!"
"Well, he wasn't! On top o' that, the cave came crashing down on us!" Applejack spat.
"Pardon me for interrupting, Abigail..." Optimus put himself in the conversation. "But did you say Discord wasn't at that cavern?"
Optimus crooned his neck. "Most troublesome...Discord, placated by the powers of his own magic being turned against him, was more then willing to do as told and stay within the cavern's confines. If he is no longer there, then either he has undone his own power...or someone else has moved him."
There was a moment of heavy silence in the room, as neither scenario was a good one.
"What about the cave-in? How'd that happen?" Applejack grilled Jack.
"I don't know!" Jack complained, throwing his hands open. Optimus hmmed.
"Abigail, you said the cavern caved in?"
"Yeah. Went straight to smithereens. Starscream dug us out, so we figured he couldn't be all bad..."
"Abigail, you are aware of the rockets infused into Starscream's arms?"
"Yeah...? Ah don't see how..."
"Agent Fowler and myself found the kind of rocket propellant that Starscream uses on the rocks left over from the cavern's collapse." Optimus explained. "I do not have solid evidence, but I believe that may have, in fact, been Starscream who brought the cavern down on you, fully knowing that you'd trust him if he rescued you from the rubble."
"That does sound like something Starscream would do..." Ratchet said, picking up a see through fiber material case with some tweezers.
"Why-! That no good-" Applejack's tirade was interrupted by Optimus.
"As I said, I have no solid evidence; It is circumstantial, at best. It would be best to seize Starscream and interrogate him before making any conclusions."
Applejack scratched her head. "Well, now how we gonna do that?"
"We find him." Optimus answered blankly. "You will help, will you not?"
Ratchet cleared his throat.
"Assuming, of course, that your blood test was positive in its result." Optimus amended.
"Thankfully..." Ratchet began. "No traces of Energon, Dark or otherwise."
"We were hiding in a cave some distance away from the shipyard." Applejack explained, rushing out the door and beckoning with her hoof for them to follow. "Come on! I'll lead you there!" She galloped out of the room...then came back in with a nervous smile on her face.
"Uh...which way is the exit?"
The Ponies, Bob, and Starscream sat down in the cave, at a loss for what to do.
Twilight signed. "Ah hope Applejack is O.K..."
Pinkie's Pinkie Sense was telling Applejack was okau for some reason, but she didn't want to tell Twilight that and raise her hopes if that turned out to not be the case.
"I swear, if those Autobot trash cans hurt her, I'll buck them so hard they'll have to-" A green light coming from outside of the cave interruped Rainbow Dash's tirade. The five Ponies and Two Ex-Deceptions edged to the cave's entrance to see what it was- A GroundBridge. Out of the GroundBridge came Optimus, Arcee, Bumblebee and Applejack.
"Starscream!" Optimus shouted, his and the other Autobots' arm blasters raised. "We know you're in there, and that you've lying to the Ponies! Yield now, and we may yet avoid conflict!"
"How did they find us?" Rarity squealed.
"You've been lying to us?" Rainbow glared at Starscream.
"No!" Starscream insisted. "Applejack must've fallen for their lies, which is how they found us!"
Twilight tilted her head. "I don't know...Applejack isn't fooled easily."
Starscream bared his teeth. "Well, uh...we're not going to just...surrender to them like that, are we?"
Twilight the others looked at Starscream, then to each other. "No."
"Girls?" Applejack called out. "It's all right! Optimus doesn't wanna fight if he don't have ta'!"
Arcee and Bumblebee tensed.
A huge robotic beetle came rocketing out of the cave at them and speared Optimus in the chest with it's horn.
"An Insecticon!" Arcee exclaimed. Bumblebee bleeped.
"Bob!" Applejack exclaimed in return. Bob pinned Optimus to the ground. Lifting himself up as much as the pressure from Bob would let him, Optimus saw Starscream and the other Ponies run out the cave and split up in different directions, most of them going solo, save Starscream and Twilight, who went together, and Fluttershy, who floated up to the sky to give Bob commands.
"The Insecticon is a distraction!" Optimus realized. "Autobots, split up and engage pursuit!"
Arcee and Bumblebee did as told, both transforming and picking a pony to chase after. Bumblebee tagged Pinkie, while Arcee did her best to 'snipe' Rainbow Dash's location.
Applejack looked back and forth between the fleeing Autobots, her friends, and the pinned Optimus.
"GO!" Optimus ordered. "I will hold the Insecticon!"
Shrugging her shoulders, and seeing that nopony else was following her, Applejack decided to go after Rarity.
Bob lifted Optimus into the air, then shook him off his horn, causing the Autobot Leader to plummet. Optimus made a swift recovery from the impact, and back-flipped to his feet just in time to avoid being body slammed by Bob.
"Fluttershy, call off the Insecticon! I merely wish to talk!" Optimus requested.
"No!" Fluttershy shot at him, still believing Starscream's words over Optimus'. "Get him, Bob!"
Bob transformed into robot mode and charged at Optimus. Optimus grabbed Bob's side as the Insecticon carried him backwards, the corners of his square-shaped fingers leaving a tally mark shaped scratch on Bob's left side. Bob threw Optimus off and on his stomach.
"Urrggh..." Optimus groaned, pushing himself up with his arms while Bob advanced on him from behind. He looked to his left.
Just as Bob was beside Optimus and was raising his claws together to strike the Prime, Optimus wheeled over and smacked Bob in the face with an uprooted cactus. Bob stumbled, cactus juice blinding his vision and cactus needles breaking harmlessly against his face. While Bob wiped the juice out of his visor, Optimus observed the cactus in his hand, then looked up at Fluttershy. He tossed the cactus aside, spread his legs and raised his arms in a clear bracing for impact.
Fluttershy raised an eyebrow. "...What are you up to?"
Bob finished wiping away the juice, roared, and charged at Optimus again. Optimus did nothing as Bob punched him in the gut, then backhanded him in the face, causing him to stumble. Optimus recovered from the impact and...just stood there with his shoulders relaxed.
Fluttershy stared in confusion.
Bob grabbed Optimus and hurled him at the forest, Optimus' shoulders hooking on some branches. Optimus disentangled himself from them, then continued to do nothing as Bob charged at him again.
Bob shrieked at Optimus. Fluttershy dropped down in front of Bob with a cry of "Wait!" Bob was confused, but obeyed. Fluttershy turned away from Bob to Optimus. "You...don't want to fight, do you?"
Optimus shook his head. "No, I do not. 'The best way to win a fight is to avoid it completely.'" he quoted.
Bob squealed, Fluttershy turning to examine in response. "No, it's okay, Optimus just wants to-...is that a scratch?" Fluttershy pointed to the scratches Optimus had left on Bob's side.
"But...Starsceam said you wouldn't get a scratch! He promised!" Fluttershy exclaimed, tenderly rubbing the injury.
"Starscream...says a great many things."
Fluttershy looked at Optimus mournfully, seeing that, between Starscream's failed promise and what the Prime had said, it was unlikely he was anything like Starscream made him out to be. "...I'm sorry, Optimus."
"I do not believe you are to blame for anything, Fluttershy...but I accept your apology nonetheless. What matters now is convincing the others of Starscream's deceitfulness." Optimus transformed and drove into the woods, Fluttershy and Bob following behind.
"Rarity!" Applejack shouted as she galloped through the woods. "Rarity, git' over 'ere! Ah need to talk to ya!"
"I'm sorry, Applejack, but I believe you have been fooled by those dreadful Autobots!" Rarity shouted back, throwing a loose branch at Applejack from her hiding place.
"No!" Applejack snapped, turning around constantly in a effort to find Rarity's hiding spot. "It's Starscream who's been fooling us! He's an manipulative son of a glitch!"
"Oh, Applejack, listen to yourself! Would a son of a glitch have save from that awful cave when collapsed on us!"
"He would've if he had caused it in the first place!" Applejack growled.
Applejack darted her head back and forth. Where was she? An unexpected 'tnooooooom' answered her question.
"Aw no." Applejack denied. "Aw scrap no."
The torpedo-shaped ship the Ponies had hijacked was rising up into the air, no doubt being piloted by Rarity on the inside with her unicorn magic.
"Rarity, you get down from there!" Applejack shouted.
"No can do, Applejack." Rarity said through some sort of intercom speaker in the ship. "Though I would be more then willing to let you come up here so I can some sense into you."
Applejack sneered her lips. "No, Ah need to talk some sense into ya! Optimus isn't such a bad guy!"
"He has a horrible fashion sense! How can he not be a bad guy?"
"Yer always telling me Ah ain't got no sense of fashion! Do ya think Ah'm a bad guy?"
Rarity didn't have a reply to that, so she piloted the ship to point the bow at Applejack.
Applejack scraped her hoof against floor. Now what? Optimus rolled up beside her and transformed, and Fluttershy floated down on Bob's beetle back.
"Applejack, can you explain the Decepticon ship?" Optimus questioned.
"We used that to get here." Applejack replied. "Rarity's in there right now."
"Mmmmh." Optimus went.
"Rarity!" Fluttershy yelled delicately. "Optimus doesn't want to hurt us!"
"Oh, you too, Fluttershy? Honestly, I can't- why are there 12 of you?"
Optimus, Applejack and Fluttershy all exchanged glances. "Rarity, there are only four of us." Optimus offered.
"But the radar's showing...20 now!" Rarity yelled. Jet engines overhead explained the source of mystery.
"Decepticons!" Fluttershy squealed pointing upwards. There was squadron of at least 16 Vehicon jets soaring on through, clearly intent on assaulting the Ponies' vessel.
"Oooh!" Rarity lamented, her magic coursing through from one of the ship's controls to another in pursuit of any weapons it might possess.
The Vehicons opened fire, red lasers emitting from their canopies and leaving red rings of energy they dissipated against the hull.
"Fluttershy...would you be willing to allocate a space for me on Bob?" Optimus asked.
Fluttershy stared confusedly.
"I have an idea..."
Rarity climbed on top of the control panels to get a better view of the outside through the bridge's windows. "Oh dear..." The Vehicons swerved and somersaulted as they fired. Rarity clopped her hooves against the controls boards in fret. "Don't panic. Don't panic. It's unlike a lady to panic...the ship's big and Optimus is riding Bob...I'm sorry?" Rarity did a double take at the sight. Bob was in flight, Optimus sitting behind Fluttershy on the Insecticon's back.
Optimus shot from his arm blasters at the Vehicons, blasting their wings off and hampering their flight, if not blasting smoking craters in them and causing to crash as wrecks of parts.
"Rarity!" Optimus shouted. "Land the ship! You may choose not to trust me, but know that the Dark Energon is a twisted substance that exist only to destroy both those around it...and those that wield it."
Rarity looked on through the ship window, uncertain of how to react.
"Please!" Fluttershy added.
Rarity pursed her lips, unable to resist a request from Fluttershy. "...Landing the ship now!"
"Two down, three to go..." Applejack noted as steam hissed off of the ship's landing.
Pinkie galloped as fast she could, but even that didn't seem enough to shake Bumblebee. Bumblebee bleeped something at her in that strange language he was forced to use.
Beep Bleep Beeeooo.
"No way hose! You're not fooling me with your double talk!" Pinkie yelled at him.
"Wait...you can understand me?" Bumblebee asked in surprise.
"Well, yeah? Why not? I mean, all you're doing is beep bleep bleep clic-cli wheeeooop!" Pinkie made a perfect imitation of the beeping language, and even made a coherent sentence in it too.
"Huh..." Bumblebee signed. It wasn't easy to find someone who wasn't an Autobot and understood his bleep speech. The longing feeling he started getting caused him to slow down long enough for Pinkie to whip out her Party Cannon and blast him, the force of the explosion making Bumblebee spin out enough for Pinkie to put a good distance between him and her.
"Pinkie! Starscream is lying to you and your friends!"
"Starsceam said you and the Autobots were liars!" Pinkie yelled as Bumblebee closed the distance between her and him again.
"Well, I guess you'll just have to pick who you want to believe!"
"Then I'll just assume you're both liars!"
"Oh, but dearest Pinkie...you do know what 'assume' stands for?...It makes an ass of me and..." A throaty voice rasped.
A purple explosion came in between Pinkie and Bumblebee, blasting them away from each other and sending them on their backsides. When the dust cleared, Pinkie found herself under the unforgiving hellish gaze of Lord Megatron.
Megatron began charging up his Fusion Cannon. "You!"
I was gonna make more stuff happen in this chapter, but decided to make that happen next chapter, because making 'The Stars My Destination' as large as it was seems less like a good idea every time I read it. Besides, this way, I can make that Act III has more then six chapters! (As opposed to the last two acts, which had six chapters each.)
You know, I did some math, and in order Act III to exceed the word count of Act 1 and Act II combined, it would have to be 63352 words to exceed them both combined by just ONE word.
So we have Applejack, Jack, Wheeljack, who Bulkhead calls 'Jackie'...Why are there so many Jacks in Hasbro media?
...I've noticed that I always have to update real late at night. Nuthin' I can do about it, sadly.