Chapter 8:



While Lucky has gotten as used to wearing the muzzle Lester put on her as she can, she suddenly remembers the discomfort of wearing it. The ridges dig into her snout, and the belt squeezes tightly against the back of her head again. That same desperation to be rid of this oppressive piece of wire she felt when he first put it on her comes back like a roaring tsunami.

She’ll get this thing off and bite his nose off this time, she vows to herself. Lucky crouches low and growls at Lester, changing her vocal setting so that it sounds deeper and more vicious.

Lester doesn’t startle at the sound, and just smirks down at her, as if to say, “That’s it?”

Lucky begins to slowly slink back once she realizes that he’s not intimidated by her at all. She glances at his hand, and notices that he still has the remote. If Lucky wants to get them all out of here safely, she needs to get rid of it, and quickly.

She notices that the sound of keyboard buttons being pressed and the slinking of parts being moved has stopped. “What are you doing? Keep working!” Lucky snaps at them.

“But Lucky—” Viper starts.

“I know I was too weak to stand up against him before, but it’s different now! This time, he’ll be the one left muzzled like a dog.” Lester has dictated every part of her life up since she got here. Lucky won’t let him do whatever he wants anymore! Not to her, and not to her friends!

Lester throws his head back and cackles. “Y-You’re so…! SO naïve!” Lester clicks the button on his remote, and Lucky freezes. She tries to move, and while she feels her limbs twitch, they don’t respond.

Lester kneels down and grabs her by the jaw. “You’re so eager to leave this place, but do you think out there is anywhere out there better than in here?”

“At-At least out there I can find out who I am and-and decide my own future!”

“You’re such a brat,” Lester says, sticking his fingers through the wires of the muzzle and squeezing her mouth shut. “You don’t understand anything about how the world works. Maybe if you were still human, you’d have some rights, but now? Your decisions mean less than nothing!”

Lucky’s ears twitch. “So…we really were human?”

Lester frowns and releases her face. “Have you decided that I’m going to answer that?” He kicks her, and she goes flying into the scrap pieces.

Pain shoots through her body, and she wishes that hadn’t been a feature that was included in her design. She looks around frantically, and she notices that Viper is still furiously typing at the keyboard. His face looks tense, and the wiring underneath his fur looks like its bulging from the strain.

When she looks up, she realizes she’s pressed right up against the machine. She can’t tell if Bliss is on the conveyor belt again or not from this angle.

While she’s worried for them, nothing can compare to the sheer dread that manifests in her at the sight of Panic Button slowly inching his hand toward the remote in Lester’s hand.

His eyes are glowing the same way they did when he used his noise cancelling abilities, so Lucky knows that Lester may not be able to hear him, but what if he gets caught? Lucky suddenly recalls that Panic Button actually frequently snatched things off of Lester in the past. Even if the stakes are much higher, he's done it dozens of times before. Lucky closes her eyes. It’s hard to have faith in others. Especially in times of crisis, especially in front of the man that makes Lucky wonder if she really is naïve and powerless in this unfamiliar world.

Still, she believes in Panic Button anyways.

Much to her surprise, Panic Button doesn’t slowly try to slide it out of his hand. He snatches at it quickly, the remote in Lester’s hand and then in his in the time it takes to snap your fingers together.

“What—” Lester starts, confused. He looks down at his hand, and then at Panic Button making his escape up onto the tubes of the machines, and puts it all together. “You idiotic lemur! Can’t ever keep your grubby hands to yourself. No wonder you ended up like this!”

Lucky slowly gets back up on her paws, her system still trying to get back up to speed after being frozen for so long, and begins to growl again. Lester eyes bulge as he sees the way her eyes redden. “Oh no—!”

Lester leaps up in the air like a jumping flea as he attempts to dodge Lucky’s lasers. She doesn’t stop to give him a moment to breathe, think, or move as she shoots off her lasers like bullets. Lester is so busy trying to dodge that he doesn’t notice Panic Button dropping down from the ceiling with a hammer in hand and banging it down on his head. “That’s for what you did to Bliss, you jerkwad!”

Lester drops to the floor instantly. Lucky prods at him for a moment, wondering if he’s still alive or not. When she detects life signals, she can’t help but marvel at the resilience of the human body, even if it will never compare to artificial ones like theirs.

Lucky lifts one of her ears. “Nice assist,” she tells Panic Button.

He laughs, and the nerves that seemed nonexistent earlier begin to come out all at once. Th-Thanks,” he says, his hand shaking as he gives her ear a high five. “But just so you know, I’m never doing that again.”

“I guess that means I’ll have to rescue you next time to make up for it, then.”

He scratches the back of his head. “Let’s hope we don’t have to go through something like this again.”


“Finally!” Viper cries out, his voice filled with exasperation.

“Did you finally figure it out?” Lucky asks.

“Can we really fix Bliss?” Panic Button chimes in after.

Viper looks over at the conveyor belt with a relieved expression. “Thanks to the two of you, we managed to get a decent number of parts for her, and I was able to figure out how to reverse the system. We’ll be able to put her back together in less than 30 seconds.”

“Did you hear that, Bliss? We can fix you!” Lucky says excitedly. She peers over the side of the conveyor belt to speak to her as Bliss waits to be reassembled.

“You all are amazing,” the pony says. “Truly. I don’t think that anyone has ever…”

Lucky tilts her head. “Hm?”

“Ah, it’s nothing.”

“Alright, all systems are ready,” Viper announces. “Are you prepared, Bliss?”

“I am.”

Viper presses a button on the keyboard, and the machine whirs to life. It’s just as loud as before. This time though, the noise fills Lucky with hope and anticipation. “Let’s get started, then.”