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DerpRavener

To Catch Thieves [Open, with a slight condition]

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The moon was in the middle of the sky, bathing Vanhoover in a pale glow as a group of ponies stood in an alley, stealing glances at the bank opposite them.  They were speaking about something in harsh whispers, leaving it clear that they were arguing even if the topic of discussion wasn't entirely clear.  The small, hovering drone which floated unnoticed above the alley, was only catching snippets of the conversation.  As a general purpose unit, that it could even get a few words at this distance was a minor miracle, but it was no matter.

 

BROODMARE, the closest thing the drone had to an operator, already knew why those ponies were there.  They were here to rob the bank across the street.  She was here because they were going to do that, or more specifically how.  They'd found a new tool, that they were planning to use to break through the vault, and while the android didn't need the tool itself she did need the parts.


Now BROODMARE was just waiting for them to make a move.  She was patient, she could be here all night, but she didn't think the same could be said for them.  They were bound to make a move soon, and BROODMARE wanted to be able to move when then did.  She inched the hovering drone closer too them, while she herself crept from her spot one building over to the adjacent rooftop.

 

 

 

[I'm alright with pretty much any character joining, with the caveat that I'd like to at least start things off at a lower scale.  So that means none of the really powerful characters, or if they are involved have them just be observing, or for some reason or another not fighting at full strength.]

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Dolor couldn't sleep. Even after all this time, she was no more used to the beds ponies used than when she started. She couldn't sleep, so she went for a walk. 

 

The minotaur was wearing her armor and carrying her hammer, mostly in the hopes of finding something to hit along the way. She paused in front of the alley, tilting her head as she looked at the group in it. 

 

"What doing?" She called to them, looking from them to the bank across the street. "Too late for bank, yes?"

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The group in the alley all froze for a moment, before recoiling slightly and grouping up into a little cluster.  Almost as though they were trying to keep something concealed, though they could have just as easily been clumping together after being startled.  The one standing in front recovered first, putting on his most disarming smile before shaking his head.  “The bank?  Oh no, we weren't doing anything with the bank.  We all live here,” he gestured around to the surrounding buildings, “and we like to meet up some times.  Discuss things.”  Hopefully that would be enough to satisfy the wandering hero who'd suddenly appeared.

 

BROODMARE, watching this unfold through the eyes of a drone, panicked at first.  What was a hero doing here!?  This could ruin everything!  What if the device can't taken in as evidence?  Or caught in the crossfire?  BROODMARE had to do something about it, otherwise the hero and those thieves would start fighting and...and...

 

It would be the perfect distraction for somepony to swoop in and nab the device they'd been planning to use.  BROODMARE considered her options.  On the one hoof, it would be an easy way to get what she wanted out of this adventure, and if it worked out the perfect cover to BROODMARE's presence here.  On the other, the device they'd been planning to use might get caught in the crossfire, or worse yet attract the hero's attention herself.

 

Either way, she would need a little more time to get in position, so she would let things play out as they would as she moved herself to the rooftop overlooking the alley and called a few more drones into position.

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Dolor tilted her head at their response, not sure if they were being truthful or not. The Minotaur approached them slowly, her stature letting her tower over them. 

 

"You sure? What you hiding?" She asked, trying to see if there was anything in the middle of the little group. She even cast a little light, shining up from the ground in the middle of the group. 

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The minotaur, while not seeming to have fully clued in to what was going on, was not mollified by their half-hearted explanation either.  She was advancing on the group, and was sure to see what was buried in their midst any moment now.

 

Watching all of this from the rooftop, BROODMARE decided that enough was enough.  She couldn't care less what happened to the would-be thieves, it would just be one less cluster of criminals in the world.  But that hero might confiscate the device, or destroy it in her zeal to capture the criminals and secure the situation.

 

This BROODMARE could not allow.  Acting through her drone, she had it abandon all sense of subtlety, revealing itself and coming to an ominous hover over the alleyway.  The ponies and minotaur would have about half a second to observe it before it fired a laser at the pony deepest in the alley.

 

Just as BROODMARE had intended, all Tartarus broke loose.  Several of the ponies simply turned and ran, escaping into the alleys if they could, and if not actually trying to run past Dolor.  Several more turned and grabbed improvised weapons.  One even threw a rock at the drone, which clipped it and knocked it off course, though it would be able to recover.

 

Amid the chaos, BROODMARE herself leap down from the rooftop, landing next to the drill and deploying another drone.

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Dolor tilted her head at the sight of the drone, not sure what to make of its sudden appearance. Where had that come from? Did it belong to the ponies?

 

Well, one of her questions were answered as it fired a laser at the ponies and most of them ran away. She saw no reason to try and stop them, they hadn't done anything wrong really. Plus, there was the more immediate problem of the drone thingy. 

 

Following up on the rock that was thrown, she swung her hammer at the thing, knocking it away if not destroying it if her swing connected. After that, she looked back towards the thing they had been hiding, tilting her head at the new figure. 

 

"What you do? Who you?" Dolor asked, approaching her. There was another drone thingy with her, but that didn't make her bad. Maybe she was a hero too. 

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BROODMARE had let her drone get a little closer to the combat area than was really wise.  She found this out when she realized that the hero was close enough to the drone to swing her hammer at it.  Fortunately, the drone was small enough that it made a tricky target, and BROODMARE caught what was going on at the last moment.  She directed it to perform evasive maneuvers, the jerky, random motions keeping it functional, but not undamaged.  The hammer clipped it, and sent it reeling.  The impact left the drone's repulsor and the network relay worked fine, but the sensors were now flaky and the beam emitter would need to be completely rebuilt.

 

This was not how events were supposed to play out.  The hero hadn't reacted to gang simultaneously rushing in all directions and arming itself, which in turn meant the gang saw more opportunities to escape and were thus reluctant to fight.  In the distinct lack of ensuing chaos, BROODMARE was exposed.  But she was committed now.  The only way out was through.

 

BROODMARE took a moment to give a reply of sorts to the hero's question.  “I Am No One,” she called out, as she grabbed the drill and started to run deeper into the alleyway, meeting and snagging the damaged drone out of the air while on the move.  Maybe she could escape after all, if she could get far enough away while the remaining beings were still cautiously watching each other.

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Dolor looked around at the ponies for a moment as the other figure ran off, giving a stomp as if to tell them to behave before she began her charge towards the fleeing figure, giving a battlecry of sorts as she ran. This drone lady seemed like the actual threat, especially considering she fired on the ponies, so she was not going to let her escape.

 

"Stop! I go easy if give up!" She called as she ran, her power building up a bit before she swung her hammer, flinging a ball of light towards her foe to try and disorient or blind them for a moment.

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BROODMARE hadn't been expecting the ball of light.  Granted, one never completely knew what to expect when it came to heroes or villains, but she had figured that a minotaur in plate mail with a hammer would be melee focused.  And so when the minotaur released a ball of light, the golem had turned her head back, to see what was causing the lightshow, only to take it in the face.  Her optic sensors were momentarily overloaded.  It was easy enough to fix, but between the need to focus and the inability to otherwise see where she was going, she needed to slow down.  She wouldn't be getting away so easily.

 

When her sight was restored, BROODMARE whirled to face her attacker, releasing a few more drones in the process.  The drones ascended, taking up positions overlooking the alley, hopefully out of reach while they provide fire support.  If there was one benefit to the gang turning tail, it was that she likely wouldn't have to worry about them interfering, and she could focus on her lone enemy.

 

The minotaur offered to go easy if BROODMARE surrendered.  As though that had any meaning for her.  “I am not a pony,” she replied.  “If captured I do not go to prison, I get dismantled.”  She did not attack immediately however, instead waiting for the minotaur to make the first move.  If they are to fight, she wanted to see her enemy's opening move, and she was additionally curious if the minotaur had anything more to say.

 

Spoiler

Don't mind the changing voice colour, I've just changed how I characterize her voice since I last posted.

 

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"Dis-mane-told?" She repeated, or at least tried to, tilting her head a bit as she looked at the mare. "You no pony? Then you no go to pony jail. You no steal, you no go to jail at all." She shrugged, not really seeing any point in charging in yet. She attacked, sure, but she didn't really hurt anyone. "Why you fire at ponies?"

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The minotaur was willing to speak, which BROODMARE chose to take as a good sign.  It meant that despite her blunder, the situation was more hopeful than it first appeared.  There were limits however, he could only spend so much time in the open before her creator would catch wind of her.  If proper authorities got involved, that would only be a matter of time.  She would have to choose her words carefully, and speak efficiently.

 

To that end, BROODMARE attempted to answer as many questions at once as she could.  “I have found it is overall safest to steal from thieves.  While they are often willing and able to fight me in turn, they cannot go to the authorities without risking themselves, and I am arguably preventing crimes, reducing the public's concern over my actions or existence.  I need some sophisticated components for maintaining myself and my drones, and I found a group of thieves planning a heist using some suitably complex devices.”

 

Anything BROODMARE might have said next was interrupted when she heard the faint hum of something flying overhead, and paused.  Strictly speaking, she didn't know it was the one chasing her, but she wasn't willing to take the chance.  “I'm out of time,” she said to the minotaur, her drones returning to her as she did so.  “If you want to ask more questions, I'm staying in the sewer.  Meet me there.”  She turned to flee once more, though taking no action to stop the minotaur from following her if the latter so chose.

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