Mary's hooves clinked softly against the dingy concrete of the subway station. A train whooshed past in the distance. though a quick scan showed that it was no threat to her. The tunnels offered plenty of cover but little in the way of mobility for flight- according to her sensors, there was less than 23 cm of clearance between the top of the cars and the tunnel ceiling, too small for her to fit. Though the space between the sides of the cars and the narrowest tunnel was 103 cm, which she could fit through without too much trouble. That gave her several possible avenues of escape or attack should they become necessary.
Mary cautiously trotted about the subway station, taking measurements of the space between trains, or between the trains and the platforms, the voltage readings the trains put out, that sort of thing. All in al, aside from her flight capacity being hampered by the close quarters, this seemed an ideal environment to battle in. The trains provided both cover and supplemental electricity, not to mention the lighting of the station itself- though the flickering implied that the grid system here was not particularly robust or efficient. A scan of a passing train confirmed that they sped by at sufficient speed for her ramjets to initialize- if she could hold onto one, it would propel her fast enough for sustained flight. Seeing as how there was not enough space for her to use a JATO burst, this was very comforting.
Thus far, there had been no other life forms of note in the station- there were always verminous creatures and microorganisms, but it was strangely empty of pony life- until the clop of hooves drew her attention to the entrance. A pink, sparkly pony with a hammer stood there- steady pulse, height and weight within normal distributions, altogether unremarkable. Mary knew she was here to fight, but this pony hadn't shown itself to be an opponent as of yet. She turned her attention back to the lighting fixtures, though she kept her body positioned in such a way as to allow her sensors to monitor the stranger. Her tentacles probed at the light socket, yanking out the bulb and taking a read on the current into it. The current was too unstable to use as to recharge, but it could suffice for a short burst or to recharge a taser pulse. Not great, but not bad, either.
Her sensors blared to life as the strange pony trotted towards her- then broke into a run with her hammer poised to strike. Mary instinctively fired her JATO- which was effective in moving her out of range of the strike, but as she lacked space for sustained flight, her hooves kicked up a shower of sparks against the concrete floor as the rocket pushed her away from the pink pony. Mary cut the JATO the moment she was clear, rolling back to her hooves easily enough. The pink pony was on her almost immediately though, her movements erratic and difficult to analyze. Mary leaped to one side just in time to avoid another hammer blow, which hit the concrete floor hard enough to crack it. Mary deployed her tentacles, using one to grab a fixture above her head and swing her back towards the pink pony, who rolled to one side and readied that hammer once again. Mary had calculated, based on seeing her target's movements, that she would be quick to seize any opening for a direct assault. Seeing Mary's exposed sides as she swung past was sure to be a tempting target. Sure enough, the pink pony charged and swung her hammer, which Mary's other tentacles easily wrapped around as she rolled her body, redirecting the hammer's momentum to tear it from its owner's grasp and send it clattering across the station floor.
without its weapon, Mary presumed this pony was no longer a threat. "Protocol dictates introduction of the self to unregistered entities. My designation is M4-R3. Requesting your designation," Mary said, sitting down. The pink mare was exhibiting signs of amusement, which Mary found puzzling. This was not the sort of environment conducive to mirth as she understood it.
"Name's Glint," it said, moving cautiously around her. "You're just full of surprises, aintcha? I've never seen a robot that wanted to be buddies before."
"Heuristic Analysis - statement is 98% probable. Likelihood of other M4-R3 units still operational and in possession of organic sapience are statistically impossible."
"So there's nopony like you is what you're saying, huh? Almost makes me feel bad for what I have to do," Glint said, lunging towards her hammer. Mary jumped in between Glint and her hammer, striking downwards with both front hooves. Glint dodged- the lunge had been a feint- but didn't quite dodge all the way and caught a hoof to the shoulder. It stung, but it wasn't bone-crushing, and more importantly she was clear to get to her hammer.
Mary knew that if Glint had her hammer, she would need at least 80cm clearance to effectively swing it. If she was within that range, the force would not be transmitted by the hammer head, but by the shaft, significantly weakening the impact. At that close a range, striking or slashing weapons would be pointless, a the same lack of mobility would affect her as well. That left the tasers. Mary reared up on her hind legs, switched her forehooves to the taser extensions, and dove after Glint. The momentary pause to switch weapons had given her opponent a brief window- and Glint, seeing Mary bearing down on her, decided not to attack her, but rather the nearby support column of the station itself. Huge chunks of concrete fell off from both the site of the blow and the top of the pillar, as it groaned loudly and began to topple.
Mary ran a few calculations in her mind- at the spped at which the pillar was falling, and her own momentum and the time necessary to turn or dodge, she would not be able to avoid the pillar. However, if she accelerated into it, she was statistically less likely to be struck by enough debris to pin her down. Mary fired the JATO booster in her tail, angling it up and to the right to give her a slight spin, like a football. The spin proved crucial, as several pieces of debris struck her but as she was already rotating, the impact glanced off of her rather than knocking her off her trajectory. After what seemed an eternity, she emerged from the cloud of dust, shut off her JATO, and landed with a loud thunk. There was a louder thunk as Glint's hammer connected with her flank, knocking Mary sideways onto the tracks. The blare of a train horn made it clear that she did not have time to diagnose the damage. Pulling up the specs from her initial scans, Mary squeezed herself against the tunnel wall- and in a moment of inspiration, detached one of her taser extensions- it had been damaged in the landing anyway- and tossed it onto the tracks just as the train came hurting past.
Mary's initial scans were quite correct- there was very little space between her and the massive train hurtling past. If she'd had to breathe, the slight distension of a deep breath would have been enough to cause the train to scrape against her- luckily, as a gyndroid, Mary did not require breathing to function. Slowly, carefully, Mary inched her way along the track, in the direction the train had come from. The brief flashes through the car windows gave her a split second of visibility as each one passed, but for a gyndroid, a split second was a very long time, indeed. She turned her head as far as she was able towards the front of the tunnel- there was a gap in her sensor readings. A flat car, from the look of it. That, combined with the partial readings of the other side of the tracks, gave Mary a plan. It required absolutely perfect, split second timing...
As the car before the flat car passed, Mary lashed out with a tentacle, grabbing the back of the carrier car. It yanked her off her hooves, into the space over the flat car. Had it been a carrier car, she would have been smashed against the ceiling. As it was, she was being dragged behind a full size car, in the space above a flat car, with about a tenth of a second before the end of the tunnel where she had been thrown onto the tracks to begin with. With a roar, the train entered the boarding area of the station, Mary let go of the carrier car and fired up her ramjet flight engines, and banked sharply away from the train.
Glint heard more than saw something metal crunching under the train after she had kicked the robot onto the tracks. She wanted to wait until the train left, though, just to make sure. An unfamiliar noise, similar to the rush of the train but higher, made her wonder- she looked up just in time to see Mary collide with her at nearly top speed, sending the pair of them tumbling along the boarding platform, before smacking into a bench and bouncing apart. Mary's servos whined as she got to her hooves- she would need repairs when this was all said and done. "Unit designated 'Glint' claimed I was full of surprises. Analysis shows that statement to be 100% probable."
Glint slowly got to her hooves, coughing. There was blood, both on her coat and on the bench they had collided with. Her breathing sounded labored, as if she had broken ribs. The hammer lay between them, its shaft splintered. "Yeah..." she said, through gritted teeth. "You're not the only one, though," she said, smiling, before pulling a brick of clay-like material from her saddlebag. She stuck a pair of wires into it and hurled it upward, where it stuck to the ceiling with a satisfying 'slap'. "I bet you already know what that stuff is, don'tcha?" Glint said, waving a small box with a switch that the wires on the blob connected to. She held it up for Mary to see and grinned. "I don't know how that train didn't smash you into spare parts, but I guaran-damn-tee this will!"
"Highly illogical. You would be destroyed in the blast as well," Mary replied, as her processors worked to find some solution. The ceiling was too low to fly up, as she needed more space to takeoff. It was too high to climb, even with her tentacles. And even if she could, there was no way to do it before Glint pushed the button and blasted them both into paste.
Glint shrugged. "Maybe, maybe not. Here's a fun thought- let's try it out and see, huh?" she said, placing her hoof on the plunger.
Mary's analytic engine fed her a probable scenario in the moments before Glint pushed the plunger- a probably of 85% that she would rather blow them both up than lose. Mary scanned the area around her- the only thing she could feasibly reach before the explosion was set off was a chunk of concrete, barely two pounds. She could throw it, but such a light piece of debris couldn't possibly dislodge the explosive, nor would it knock Glint unconscious, even if she hit her dead on. That just left one possibility... Mary crammed the fragment into her JATO tail and fired a burst, bracing her hooves against the floor. The effect was exactly as planned- the fragment was launched with considerable force right at Glint, who saw it coming and ducked out of its path. "Is that the best you-" she said, watching it fly down the tunnel. She turned to gloat, though her face fell as she saw Mary, holding the severed end of one of the wires in one hoof and her taser deployed in the other. "...got."
Mary had used the momentary advantage of Glint ducking under her projectile to jump up, grab the wiring, and slice through it- with the circuit broken, the explosive would not trigger when a current was applied. However, the other end of the circuit was still in contact with Glint- she was holding the detonator in her hooves in a death-grip. Which meant if a sufficient current was applied to the severed end of the wire that did not lead to the payload, it would travel back along the wiring and reach the detonator itself. Mary turned her taser on, touched the probes to the broken wire, and send a pulse of 1.2 amps at 50,000 volts back along the line. The detonator didn't explode, though it- and all the wire that current had gone through- burst into flames before melting into a puddle of superheated plastic goo.
And when the detonator melted, Glint's hooves- which had been squeezing it tightly- mooshed right through, and touched the wires inside. Which completed the circuit between Mary's taser and Glint's body. There was a loud 'pop' and a puff of smoke, which were difficult to distinguish from the 'crack' and smoke of all the burning wires and melting things. When the smoke cleared, Glint lay ten feet away, her vitals erratic. Mary trotted over to her, wafting through a thin haze of acrid smoke, concrete dust, twinkling flames, and the stench of ruination. Mary looked down at Glint, her sensors scanning over the prone pony. "Threat detection negative. Unit designated Glint no longer poses any threat."
Mary turned around and walked up the stairs and out of the subway station. She did not want to risk it collapsing on top of her while she was recharging or repairing herself. She powered down her systems to their lowest usage levels, that way she could recharge but would still be able to resume system functions and escape should a threat arise.
Glint trotted down the steps leading into the underground. Ahead of her, the glowing arrows Discord had mentioned, pulsated leading her forward. It had been a surprise for the mare to see the glowing arrows that morning. It had already been a couple days since the tournament originally started. Others must have fought already. She wondered who had already been knocked out of the tournament? Who had they fought? Where? How had they died? Did they scream?
Coming to a stop, Glint looked around, the last arrow was still there, pointing her further downward, but where had that thought come from? She didn’t want anyone to die. This was supposed to be just a simple competition, fight till the person is incapacitated. Shaking her head the crystal pony hopped on. She didn’t want to keep her opponent waiting, that would be rude and more importantly, the audience watching from their homes were probably growing more impatient. She wondered who or what she would fight. What brought them to this city to fight for the amusement of others and the confused dragon?
Reaching the bottom step, Glint immediately scanned the surrounding area. It was a wide platform extending down a rather vast tunnel, pillars supporting the world above. On either side of the platform, the ground dipped further down, each with tracks running along the middle. Along the middle area, aged and chipped concrete slabs made up the floor, the occasional bench and trash can jutted from the ground. Likewise, lights dangled from the ceiling, each bulb trying its best to light the tunnel, a slight flicker suggesting that it needed to be changed soon. Down the lowered path to Glint’s left, a light began to glow, and just as soon as she noticed it, a train rushed passed, filling the middle with a torrent of rushing air.
Noticing that there were no longer any arrows pointing her way, Glint decided that this must be where she was supposed to fight her opponent. Unsheathing her warhammer, the mare looked ahead of her, grinning as she noticed movement ahead, getting closer, her grin grew larger as she saw who it was she was going to fight, it was indeed pony shaped, but the thing had a what seemed to be no eyes, or if she did, they were covered by a visor of some kind, the mane and tail were certainly there, but weren’t made of any form of hair, and instead were replaced by metal appendages, each reaching out to the creature’s surroundings, unscrewing lightbulbs moving along it before putting the bulb back in place, or extending out to the tunnels, pillars, and ground. The rest of the pony was likewise lacking in fur or anything that made a pony a pony, save for its shape. Coming to a stop, the creature addressed Glint, "Protocol dictates introduction of the self to unregistered entities. My designation is M4-R3. Requesting your designation,”
Glint mentally wrote out what the robot was saying, drawing the numbers and letters in the air. “Oh oh oh thats like Mare! hehehe, a robot named mare thats awesome. Anyways I’m Glint, and this is Dent, my hammer.” she explained gesturing to her warhammer. “Anyways you must be my opponent soooo…” the mare trailed off, before bursting into a run towards the robot.
Closing the gap, Glint swung at Mary, who effortlessly dodged the hammer, sending out a group of tendrils, wrapping around both hooves and hilt, wrenching the weapon away from Glint and across the ground. “Aww its not nice to take something that isn’t yours!” Glint grinned, pinning her hind legs on Mary’s shoulders. “You take whats mine? I take some of whats yours!”
Pushing with all of her might, the crystal mare ripped free from the robot’s grasp, taking with her, a cluster of tendrils twisting and sparking as they lost their grip and fell to a clump. M4-R3 however, reeled back taking up an aggressive pose as her mechanical mane and tail lashed out. Raising her hooves to cover her face, Glint tensed as metal prods stabbed into her, sending her skidding backwards.
Taking the opportunity, Glint once again reached for the exposed metallic tendrils, which immediately retracted at her reach. Looked like the robot had learned from the first time, that was fine, there were other ways. Charging forward, Glint pressed the attack, leaping toward Mary, who responded, activating some form of rockets on her feet, sliding away from the lunge and closer toward one of the subway tracks, but away from Glint’s hammer. Her eye twitching toward the hammer, Glint sprinted forward. Unfortunately it seemed Mary had anticipated this, her mane reaching for the blunt weapon likewise.
Realizing she wouldn’t beat the metallic mane’s speed, as she approached her hammer, Glint instead changed her target to that of Mary’s tendrils once again. Grinning as she grabbed a small clump, the crystal mare felt the cords tense back, trying to escape her grasp. “Ah no! not this time robot. Here, you look tired how bout you sit back and recharge!” Thrusting the metallic prods into a nearby light fixture, Glint grinned as she saw the other fixtures dimming as Mary’s metal body convulsed before finally falling limp as the light’s fuse burst in a shower of sparks.
Panting, eyes twitching, Glint, passed by her hammer as she approached M4-R3. “Ya know. This time. I want to do this with my own hooves.” Reaching the robotic pony, Glint picked up Mary by her head. Before running the head into nearby pillar. “It was REALLY nice to MEET you Mare!” Glint continued, banging the robot’s head against the pillar with each punctuation. Denting and breaking metal plating, exposing circuitry and motors beneath. “Ah, good finally get to see the real you. Glad we could have this exper-“ Glint paused, tilting her as she heard the horn of an approaching train. “Well, trains coming Mare. Don’t want you to MISS it!” Glint began again, running Mary into the passing train, sending a fresh shower of sparks, shrapnel, and oil as the subway, ground away at Mary’s metallic body. While glint continued to hold her there. However, unbeknownst to Glint, Mary’s last free forehoof, altered, changing into a taser. Thrusting the stun gun into Glinting Blow, the crystal mare, paralyzed, fell forward into the train, tumbling with the car’s momentum across the edge of the station walk way. Eventually sliding to a stop, as the shredded robot crumpled to the ground.
Laying there, Glint’s eye continued the twitch as she laughed, “Ah…ha…hahaha. Hahahah!” Struggling to her numb legs, the mare barely held her own weight. “What a shocking development! Ha,hahaha, Mare, if you were still functioning, I hope you understood that joke!” Limping forward, Glint reached her hammer, picking it up, she swung it into the metal mess that was Mary, “Better safe than sorry. I think I win this round. You come see me when you get yourself all fixed up. Sheathing the warhammer. Glint, pushed the remains of Mary into the subway tunnel, before limping up the stairs. Using the hoof rails for support as her body continued to regain feeling. Below, she a broad smile spread across her face as the sound of a coming train filled the station, mixed with it the shattering and grinding of metal.
A mini Roleplay, set in an alternate dimension where Discord defeated the Mane Six and has been running amok unchecked. Discord is now hosting a challenge as the final chance to defeat him. Can Equestria and the world be saved?
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