Enter the Eggman Elite
Gamma, with the guidance of the Mane Six and their dragon Spike, has much learned much from traveling through different parts of Equestria. He has been to three places. The Crystal Empire to meet Princess Cadence and her husband in Shining Armor, Twilight's brother. Canterlot to gain the honorary audience with the Pony Sisters of Princesss Celestia and Princess Luna, and down south of Ponyville to Appleoosa. His souvenirs are a halberd he got from visiting the guards of the royal palace and bushels of apples from Applejack's cousin, Braeburn. Though Gamma can't really eat them, he gave the apples to the Mane Six and Spike. It was a three-days trip altogether before they came back home in Ponyville on the fourth day.
At the same time, Doctor Eggman has been looking through Gamma's visual to pinpoint strategic locations. He sent his bee-sized spies in these regions and planted cameras, along with those un-visited in parts of Equestria. Meanwhile, his advanced robots conduct special operations for his grand scheme.
"I am worried." Princess Luna said to herself sometime after a day of Gamma's visit. "I'm not sure what to make of these humans." She and Celestia had heard stories of their capabilities, but questions of their morality are answered ambiguous at best. "Starswirl the Bearded said that majority of the humans are generally in the middle; neither good nor evil. Each individual human is different, but they are a few exceptions." Humans can be a good friend to all; or beings of pure evil. If they fall to the latter, Tartarus and death would be too good of a punishment for them. Their alignment, from the humans she saw in her secret mission, is also dubious. Normally she would astrally go back to the airship and spy on them again to confirm her search.
"But I haven't been able to gain access to the ethereal realm," Luna mentally said. She tries to ethereally travel to the Everfree time and again, only to be blocked by a mysterious power. It has grown a supernatural barrier around airship, and it's slowly growing by the minutes of each passing day to encompass the Everfree.
"What was the being aboard their metal fortress? Is it a human? No, it can't be." Humans naturally don't use magic. This is confirmed as the ones aboard the stationed airship favor science instead. "Is it the being, Mephiles?" She remembers the black creature with no mouth, but he was present with the scientists the last time she checked. The unknown must be something else entirely, but is it working for the humans, or is it the other way around?
Luna didn't bring up the unknown being to her sister, not just out of pride from admitting defeat to another being in the astral realm. She didn't want to take action too soon against the humans, despite having an enigmatic aura. According to Twilight's report and based on what she saw on the scientists, they only wished to study this world.
But then from her gaze outside the Everfree, the Princess of the Moon has spotted a few machined beings, called robots by the humans, interacting with ponies traveling the road and in the air. She was pushed away by the mysterious force before she can see what happens. Luna sent the guards to investigate those areas, only to find the ponies missing. Some ponies had carriages, and they too are missing, saved for their wrecked transportation and their former belongings in tact. Now she feels powerless, unable to travel astrally or enter the dreams of ponies. She counsels her sister regarding guards' investigations and the matter of security for traveling ponies.
It is the fourth day in the morning after Gamma decided to travel to Equestria with the Mane Six and Spike. They returned to Ponyville by train.
"Wait, what's going on?" The Mane Six and Spike were shocked upon arriving home. Gamma had remained quiet. They have spotted an extensive number of guards in Ponyville. A sign that it is under curfew.
"What's going on here? Why are there so many guards?" Twilight, as a student of Princess Celestia, asks the question to a nearby sentry at the train station.
"Ma'am," answered the guard, who recognizes Twilight. "We have reports of ponies traveling out on the roads and in the air disappearing. The Princesses have ordered extra patrol to keep our cities safe."
"This has been going on everywhere?" Rainbow Dash pops in. They didn't see any extra guard patrol in their of trip of Gamma's tour.
"So far, we're starting with Ponyville. The rest of Equestria should receive the extra protection. For now, we've asked civilians to stay in the their towns and cities for their safety." The guard concluded. "It is strange that ponies traveling by train are left unharmed for the past three days." He lastly noted.
"Three days?" The six ponies and a dragon were wondering. That's the same amount of days when they assisted Gamma's tour of Equestria. They didn't see extra guard patrols in their travel of Canterlot and the Crystal Empire, though it's understandable there's already plenty to protect royalty. But they didn't see any when in Appleloosa, even though the ponies there can protect themselves with bison by their side.
The Mane Six and Spike went into town to see more guards in the streets and in the sky. The marketplace remains open for those who needed food and supplies, despite the inconvenience with merchants prohibited from leaving. Arguments can be heard between the merchants, guards, and customers who needed supplies. There's also complaints by Ponyville residents on how their friends, families, and neighbors have gone missing. Normally, the Mane Six would try to make an effort to calm the atmosphere, but a monotonous voice spoke behind them.
"Carbon emissions levels detected in the vicinity," said Gamma rotating his head to scan the air. The Mane Six and spike were confused. Twilight slightly understands the 'carbon' part, but needed Gamma to verify. "Carbon dioxide levels in the air have increased. This occurs from burning fuel," according to his scans.
"Fuel, like coal or firewood to the fire?" Spike asked.
"That is correct, however, the emissions in the air are foot-printed in kerosene." Gamma said to the oblivious ponies and dragon. To clarify, Twilight and Gamma exchange knowledge on the resources used in Equestria compared to the ones on Earth, with humans commonly using oil for air travel. A substance either undiscovered or uncommonly used in Equestria.
"They use oil?" Applejack asked, thinking of vegetable oil for frying pans.
"Humans use fossil fuels from underground and the ocean." Gamma corrected.
"Underground? Not unlike mining?" Rarity asked, who frequently excavates jewelry.
"Affirmative, but from deceased animals." Gamma continued.
"Animals?!" Cried Fluttershy
"Animals deceased over long periods of time. From hundreds to millions of years underground." Gamma reassured.
"But our vehicles don't use, kara-scene?" Rainbow Dash tries to pronounce. Non-pegasus ponies use hot air balloons, airships, and helicopters for air travel; and they don't have whatever humans use as fuel. "If you're saying that humans are the only ones using that kind of fuel for air travel," Rainbow Dash wondered.
"But the only humans," Pinkie continued. "We saw are Doctor Eggman and the Mod guy."
"Correct. But further scans indicate recent activity after Eggman's arrival in Equestria with the Egg Carrier." Gamma stated further.
"So you're saying," Pinkie raises her voice. "Then Eggman must be behind these disa-"
"Shh! We can't know for sure." Twilight said while magically shutting Pinkie's mouth. They wouldn't want to cause a riot in town. Thankfully, the grieving ponies around them are too busy arguing with the guards.
"It is a possibility." Gamma confirmed. "Eggman's robots and vehicles can be powered by kerosene if they need a rocket boost."
"Guess that means we'll have to pay a visit to the Egghead." Rainbow Dash pounding her hoofs, wanting to pick a fight with him.
"We will talk things over with him if he is indeed behind it all." Twilight said. "But for now, we need to get ready. Head back home and get what you need. And once we get clearance from the guards, we'll get to the bottom of this in the Everfree." The Mane Six split up to their designated homes, with Spike coming along side Twilight's. Fluttershy asked Gamma to come along with her.
Rainbow Dash was going to fly up to her home in the Cloudominium, but she spotted something black armored in the clouds. She fly towards it. It wasn't a guard, but something else more akin to their robot friend.
"Gamma, you can fly?" In their past trips, Gamma shown that he can jump and hover, but not fly up. "Hmm...you sure look like him." She said to the flying armored being with big claws. She notices the 101 on his exterior and remembering the 102 on Gamma. "Are you in anyway related to Gamma?" She asked but got no answer. "So Eggman is behind these disappearances, isn't he?!" She said with a more abrasive attitude, but no response. She decides to stick her tongue in its face. Inflate her checks. Make silly faces for a reaction but got none. "Say something already!" Rainbow Dash yelled, and finally she got an answer.
Applejack went to her home to see if everything's okay. When she got there, she hears barking.
"Winona?" Applejack dashed to where her dog would be at around their barn. She spotted Granny Smith, her brother Big Mac, and her little sister Apple Bloom staring at something around their apple trees. "What the hay is going on out there?" Applejack asked her family. She spotted a figure that the family were staring and their dog, Winona, barking at. A being in armored blue, dreadlocked-like hair, red eyes, yellow muzzle, yellow gloves, and standing on two legs. The height seems to the same as reaching Applejack's head.
"Well, that's just it," Granny Smith said. "We were all minding our own business when suddenly Winona starting barking."
"Eeyup." Big Mac nodded.
"We're not sure how he got there," Apple Bloom. "But so far, he's just standing around."
The blue being spots the one with a hat, identified as 'Applejack' from its information data. He pounded his yellow gloved knuckles together before grabbing onto an apple tree and launching it at the family.
"Lookout!" cried Applejack.
Pinkie Pie was hopping out to her home and workplace in the Sugarcube Corner. Thinking that they're going to meet up and talk to Eggman, she felt that she needed to bring in refreshment for the occasion. She forgot to bring them in the past when they met Eggman.
"That's not true!" Pinkie yells at...me, the one writing?
"I was going to give Eggman some sweets, but you didn't mention me or give me any lines!" Pinkie cried."Well...I...forgot...yeah..."
"What?!" Pinkie cried."Hey, at least you gave him something offscreen, right?"
"Yeah.""Then it shouldn't be a problem. Move along!"
Pinkie was going to the her house when see spotted a similar vehicle that Eggman rode above town. "Hey, he's here already?" Pinkie hops around buildings until she can see him in close range from a rooftop. "Hey, you're not Eggman." The vehicle is the same as what Eggman rode, but it has a different driver. This one is metallic with red eyes more egg-shaped.
"Hey." Pinkie jumps to him, or it, for everything word. "Are. You. ByanychanceworkingwithEggman?"
The being didn't say anything. It did bring up a round object from the vehicle and drops it in front of the marketplace. Pinkie initially thought this was a party ball, but her Pinkie senses are tingling of imminent danger.
"Mmhmm." Rarity had already got into her Carousel Boutique. "Last time I gave him a silver silk. I should probably give him something for our talks, and hopefully not get physical as Rainbow Dash is implying." Rarity doesn't want things to be violent, so she comes up with a fashionable gift instead. "Maybe I should give something dashing, but wait!" She remembers. "He's walking on two legs! Oh dear, it'll be hard work to adjust." She is not used to making dresses for bipeds, save for Spike. "Maybe they have their own fashion designer...
"Rarity!" Her sister, Sweetie Belle yelled.
"Just a minute." Rarity dismisses her while still thinking about which fabric she should give, until her cat, Opal, screeched. "Oh I know, you two are bored and all but..." She notices her wall of the Carousel Boutique was knocked down and a silver-back being with spikes on the head is robbing from her treasure chest of precious gems.
"So Twilight?" Spike asked. "What do we need back home?"
"I'm going to need to take notes. Hopefully we'll talks things out first and not get reckless with whatever Rainbow Dash is thinking."
"But won't he be hostile? I mean, he is the one behind the disappearances."
"Maybe, maybe not. Whatever is it, I'm hoping we can discuss this without a fight."
"I am afraid it will not be possible," said a familiar being in front of their library.
"Mephiles, what are you doing here?" Twilight asked inquisitively.
"Nothing personal." He disappears.
"He can teleport?" Said the surprised Spike. They both look around for Mephiles, but then... "Twilight!" Spike cried from being thrown in the air.
"Spike!" The lavender unicorn tries to levitate her dragon to him land easily, but she got a beat down. Struck from every direction until Spike landed a drop on her.
"Ow..."they both groaned.
"Just doing my part of the job." Mephiles reappears in front of them.
Fluttershy gallops quickly to her cottage. So much so that Gamma needed to be in wheel mode to catch up to her.
"May I inquire why are we accelerating?" Gamma asked while traveling along side her.
"I need to check up on Angel Bunny and all my other animals." Fluttershy answered. "I had given them all the food they need for about three days." When they got to their destination, cottage is ransacked.
"Angel!" Fluttershy shouted as she closes in to the cottage entry. Her house is a mess, with no animal seen. "Everyone?!" She dashed in every animal shelter, but no one.
"Two unknown entities detected." Gamma detected in his scanners. One tall and the other short approaches from the outside.
"Ba-ha! Ha-ha!" The tall one makes a distinctive laugh. "We sure did a number on the place."
"Yeah, in our last visit." the short one said.
"We were to ordered to meet up with a Gamma here, so which one is that?" the tall one had to ask.