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Broken/stuck by Anon_01

By SlavePonyGeneral
Created: 2020-12-18 23:56:52
Expiry: Never

  2. >"Hey Mike, the saleroom is done."
  3. >"Good job, have a nice weekend and leave the front door unlocked"
  4. >"Sure thing, cya"
  5. >This is odd. You have been here for a long time and this is the first time they left the front door unlocked.
  6. >There's some curiosity in the air and while Mike is in his Office you faintly hear the other ponies whisper to each other.
  7. >Its half an our since the store closed and as Mike comes out of his office the voices hush immediately.
  8. >He is on his way to your cage. This means trouble. You're in for a beating, if you are lucky. If not...
  9. >You try to distance yourself as far away from the bars as your chain allows it. As if it would help you.
  10. >"Hello there sweety."
  11. >While he opens the cage you realise a difference in his attitude, he is... almost casual.
  12. >"Come out."
  13. >You hesitate a second, before crawling out. Standing up you realise how much your joints hurt.
  14. >Suddenly the doorbell rings while someone's entering.
  15. >"You are lucky sweety."
  16. >Mike is turning to the guy who just entered.
  17. >"Hey, you must be Anon, perfect timing! I was just about to get her ready."
  18. >"Hi, you're Mike right?"
  19. >"Yes, Its a pleasure to meet you."
  20. >"And that is 'it'?"
  21. "It? Really? I'm not an object, I'm a living being, you dumb monkey!"
  22. >That felt good.
  23. >These moments when you are about to get sold are the only moments when you really can fight back.
  24. >Mike won't hit you infront of his customers. You guess it's because its a bad impression if he damages the products they are supposed to buy, infront of their eyes.
  25. >You can almost hear that Anon guy rolling his eyes. And Mike is surely grinding his teeth right now.
  26. >You haven't raised your head to face them yet. Those humans don't like staring, a lesson you learned the hard way.
  27. >You'll pay for it later but right now you enjoy your victory, this one won't buy for sure!
  28. >"May I?", asks Anon with a gesture you don't quite fetch.
  29. >"Go ahead."
  30. >"It is still your property."
  31. >"She's all your, wouldn't matter anyway."
  32. "Property? I can still hea..."
  33. >Your vision is suddenly shifted down to right. Pain. You see a blurry ground as your tears work their way towards it.
  34. >You bite your lip trying to hold it back, not making a move, not a sound.
  35. >"Nice, dude! You gotta show them who's boss!" Mike almost seems exited.
  36. >You hear a sigh and see Anon rubbing the back of his right hand on his pants.
  37. >"Anything I should know?",he asks
  38. >"No, not really"
  39. >You are fighting with your tears and the fact the he just ignores you, after hitting hitting you in the face doesn't aid you in your struggle.
  40. >Your left cheek burns like someone set it on fire. This wasn't your regular shutup-slap, it was with the intention to hurt.
  41. >A slight taste of blood forms in your mouth.
  42. >"How many previous owners?"
  43. >"Five, where she was longer then a month.", Mike answers.
  44. >"Ya'kiding? Fine then, any skills?"
  45. >"The usual. Nothing special."
  46. >"But she does know how to use a toilet right?"
  47. >"Of course. Look, she doesn't look like much but..."
  48. >Talk about adding insult to injury...
  49. >"Fine, fine. Do i need anything special? What about the diet."
  50. >"Nope, just like your regular horse, hay and vegetables will do, even fruit if you bother.", Mike explains.
  51. >They keep on talking which gave you time to gather yourself. The longer they talk the more nervous you get.
  52. >Please, Celestia, not this guy.
  53. >"Ok I'll give you the papers, you fill them out and mail them back. I can put them into the system from here."
  54. >"Good, can you drop her off?"
  55. >"Sure was gonna load her up either way."
  56. >"Thanks, Mike."
  57. >After that Asshole gave Mike his address he left.
  58. >You had cruel owners but nobody punched you before you were even handed over.
  59. >But right now you got a moment while Mike is busy.
  60. >You are still chained but you can move around a bit.
  61. >Stretching feels really good after you've been in that box all day. It isn't tall enough to stand and there is not much room to move.
  62. >Mikes coming back, after he locked the front door and went to his office.
  63. >You know what happens next. After he unchained you and put you on a leash, like a dog, you both leave through the back-door.
  64. >Once you are about to get in the back of his van, you get a bad feeling.
  65. >This is strange.
  66. "Mike, listen..."
  67. >He shows you the trigger for the shock collar in his hand.
  68. >"You are not going to cause me more trouble, are you? Now get in."
  69. >As long as the collar is on your neck you are forced to comply.
  70. >While he closes the doors of his van you can hear him say something.
  71. >"Consider yourself lucky."
  72. >You hate this van. Nothing makes you feel more less-than-a-pony than being treated as cargo.
  73. >This isn't your day. You even tried to plead to Mike.
  74. >You have changed.
  75. >Back in Equestria you were a member of the guard. You were proud.
  76. >You stomach turns in disgust, pleading to this slavetrading, raping, cruel piece of shit.
  77. >But what choice do you have.
  78. >You don't want to get back but that Anon guy didn't really leave a good impression either.
  79. >You touch your cheek, it still hurts a bit.
  80. >Stuck between a rock and a hard place...
  81. >The van stops and the door is opened.
  82. >You get out.
  83. >The sun is already setting, now that you are in this suburban area.
  84. >There is Anon standing on the front-yard of a house.
  85. >This is actually the first time you can really see him. Pants, black hoodie, normal height.
  86. >Dark hair, dark eyes and pale skin.
  87. >Mike pulls your leash.
  88. >"Come on, lets get it over with"
  89. >You trot behind him.
  90. >"Here you are, your pony, your leash, your trigger for the collar and the keys"
  91. >"Thanks, could you off-leash her?" Anon replies.
  92. >"Are you sure?"
  93. >"I got the trigger."
  94. >"Ok now she is yours, Anon."
  95. >"Hey this is for your troubles."
  96. >Anon reaches Mike some money
  97. >"You didn't need to but I'll take it anyway, thanks."
  98. >"Enjoy your weekend."
  99. >"You too, bye."
  100. >"Bye."
  101. >Anon and you watch Mike drive away, then he tilts his head for a moment.
  102. >What now? You should keep your head low for the time being.
  103. >"Follow me."
  104. >He tuns around and walks toward towards the house, not looking at you once.
  105. >Ok, he punched you for speaking up and insulting him, maybe you should comply.
  106. >But you won't do it just obediently.
  107. >After a few steps he stops, you didn't even start your first.
  108. >Suddenly a wave of pain rushes through your body. Your limbs are cramping up.
  109. >You try to catch your breath, as he slightly looks over his shoulder.
  110. >"Follow me."
  111. >The shock brought you to your knees.
  112. >And he just starts walking to the door like nothing happened.
  113. >And you better start walking to if don't want to enjoy another shock.
  114. >You start to move even though it hurts.
  115. >He is already inside.
  116. >It's getting tense now.
  117. >You carefully make your way inside and walk past him.
  118. >As the door closes behind you can't help but feel afraid of what's to come.
  119. >Your hooves click on the parquet. Its a hallway with white wallpaper, no pictures, no furniture, nothing.
  120. >Maybe he just moved here.
  121. >He snaps his fingers which immediately gives him your attention.
  122. >Pointing his finger to the room on left, he begins to talk devoid of emotion.
  123. >"This is your room."
  124. >This leaves you astounded.
  125. >He points to the room on the other side of the room.
  126. >"That is the bathroom. And the room behind that is the kitchen, there are vegetables on the table."
  127. >He locks the door behind you.
  128. >"I don't want to see your face until tomorrow."
  129. >All you do is nod and go to your room.
  130. >What the hell?
  131. >You look around the room after turning the light on.
  132. >Anon has gone to some other room, leaving you to your yourself in your new 'home'.
  133. >There's a bed for one person, a desk, a shelve with some books and a window.
  134. >You're puzzled.
  135. >Are you supposed to use the bed? Are you you allowed to use the bathroom and kitchen to your liking?
  136. >What happens if you run into him?
  137. >Why did he bring you here?
  138. >Whats going on?
  139. >Natures is calling you but you decide to wait a few minutes.
  140. >There is no sign of him so you walk over to the bathroom.
  141. >As your hooves touch the parquet you can hear it clicking which almost gives you are heart attack.
  142. >Careful now! You tiptoe to the bath and do your business.
  143. >Should you take a bath? No risky moves today, although you could real'y use one.
  144. >Back in your room you decide to sleep on the floor even though you there's a bed. The carpet is a massive improvement over the cold hard cage, you spend the past in, anyway.
  145. >You turn the light out.
  146. >As you settle down the tension fades.
  147. >Your whole body aches. Confined to the cage, got punched and shocked, what a shitty day.
  148. >Your consciousness fades away.
  149. >Discord is laughing as the portal opens. You cower in between the other guards, one screams, the other one just lies there, no movement at all. The barricade shakes under the impacts.
  150. >Stand up! Your rear legs don't work there's so much blood. The pain...
  151. >Stand up!
  152. >With a scream you stand up and find yourself in a dark room.
  153. >A nightmare.
  154. >Right, you're at Anon's house. Its still the middle of the night.
  155. >Half dizzy you sneak into the bathroom to wash your face.
  156. >On the way back you see some blue light shining under one of the doors.
  157. >Careful you walk over in the dark hallway.
  158. >You can't hear anything inside so you place your hoof on the door.
  159. >You shouldn't do this.
  160. >You push.
  161. >He is going punish you if he is there.
  162. >Your hoof still keeps pushing.
  163. >Maybe he just left the lights on. Its still the middle of the night.
  164. >The door opens slowly.
  165. >No, no, noooooo!
  166. >As the door opens you see what seems to be the living room.
  167. >A couch, a table infront of a large TV.
  168. >It's kinda dark, the only light sources are some blue LEDs and a computer.
  169. >With Anon infront of it.
  170. >Oh shit!
  171. >It doesn't seem like he is aware of you yet.
  172. >Hasty you start to walk backwards into the hallway.
  173. >The parquet!
  174. >The sound of your hooves touching the parquet of the hallway seems like a thunder echoing through the house.
  175. >He stands up removes something from his head and turns on the light.
  176. >Your Heart starts racing, and your eyes wide, as terror builds up inside you.
  177. >There he is, looking at you. Bloodshot eyes, with dark circles around them. His face is so pale it's almost unreal. And in sharp contrast to his black hair and hoodie.
  178. >He points to the table. His bony hands have a purple touch on them.
  179. >He seems more like a monster a than human. If there is a difference.
  180. >Are you still having a nightmare?
  181. >"Touch anything and you are dead!"
  182. >You can hear the anger in his voice.
  183. >There are some bottles on the table as well as cigarettes, pills, medicine and a mirror with some powder and a banknote on it.
  184. >He makes his way over to you.
  185. >You cower in fear knowing that this wont end well.
  186. "No, no, please no!"
  187. >Please let this be a nightmare!
  188. >He grabs your collar and yanks you up.
  189. >You try to resist as he pulls through you the hallway.
  190. >You have been beat up so many times since the war and had even worse. And knowing what will happen you cry and scream.
  191. >Knowing it doesn't make it easier, in fact it stirs up the memories you don't like to remember.
  192. "No please! I won't do it again! Please, let me go! Please, Master!"
  193. >You try to fight his pull.
  194. >He opens a door. It is your room.
  195. >With a yank he sends you flying.
  196. >The impact is hard and it hurts, but not as much as your neck though.
  197. >Here you are lying on the floor all you do is whimper and cover your head, hoping it will be over soon.
  198. >You can hear his accelerating steps.
  199. >Then he stops.
  200. >Nothing happens for a few seconds.
  201. >"Fucking pony! I said 'till tomorrow, cunt!"
  202. >Then the door is shut and you are alone again.
  203. >You crawl up to the backside of the room and face the door, waiting until you fall asleep again.
  204. >You wake up to the sound of running water.
  205. >The room is bright, it must be past noon.
  206. >You are still clinched to the wall opposite of the door.
  207. >What should you do now?
  208. >He is clearly in the shower.
  209. >You decide to stay exactly where you are for the time being. Every encounter you had with Anon so far resulted is a lot of pain for you.
  210. >Then you hear a knock on the door.
  211. >As the door opens you see him, wearing sweatpants and a t-shirt and eyes are still a bit bloodshot. He looks rather exhausted.
  212. >"Come with me."
  213. >That's the last thing you want to do right now.
  214. >But that guy has a short fuse, that's for sure.
  215. >You follow him to the living room. Where he sits down on the couch.
  216. >"Sit down."
  217. >He points to the other side of the couch.
  218. >You make sure to sit as far away from as you can.
  219. >All you can do right now is carefully watch him.
  220. >He takes one of the blisters on the table. Takes a pill out of it and puts it in his mouth.
  221. >He takes on a beer can opens it and drinks throwing his head to the back.
  222. >That seems to be some medication, but you have never seen someone flush it with beer.
  223. >Its almost as if he doesn't realize you are here.
  224. >Now he turns to the mirror and starts hacking(chipping?) the powder.
  225. >Why would you do that? Its powder!
  226. >Forming it to some lines he takes banknote and snorts it up.
  227. >This is gross and it even seems to hurt!
  228. >He takes another sip of his beer and lights up a cigarette. You hate these things, the smell is awful and it scratches in your lungs.
  229. >Then he leans back on the couch and relaxes.
  230. >This whole procedure seems so strange.
  231. >This person is a walking enigma to you. One that inflicts pain.
  232. >"So, what's your name?"
  233. >Is he going to have an actual conversation with you?
  234. "You are supposed to give me one."
  235. >"What's your name?"
  236. >Your name has no meaning in this world. It's the name your parents gave you, the one your friends used, before everything fell apart.
  237. >You're a slave now. Your name is the only thing you own and you won't share it with these monsters.
  238. "My last master called me shimmer."
  239. >"Ok, fine, horse it is."
  240. >That stings.
  241. >Horse? Really? Why doesn't he just call you slave?
  242. >Like you are a dumb animal, not even worthy of a real name.
  243. >This degrading asshole.
  244. >But right now you don't dare to act up.
  245. "As you wish, master."
  246. >It's difficult not to go overboard with the spite in your voice.
  247. >"Master, I like how that sounds. But you will call me Anon."
  248. >You nod. Wondering why he doesn't want to be called master if he likes it.
  249. >"I guess you will do basic housework for starters. But don't touch the stuff on this table."
  250. "Or I am dead, right?"
  251. >"Exactly."
  252. >He takes a sip of his beer.
  253. >"Stay here for a moment."
  254. >You take a look around. This shouldn't be too difficult, the place is not really dirty, just a little dusty. At least if you leave the table out of consideration.
  255. >Anon returns with a plate,there are apples and carrots.
  256. >"Eat, horse."
  257. >It will take a while for you to get accustomed to that name.
  258. >He is watching you as you eat, which makes you really uncomfortable but you haven't eaten in over a day.
  259. >"Are you able to wash your back?"
  260. >You start to cough.
  261. "What?"
  262. >"You need a shower, horse. As far as I know, you have to clean the fur thoroughly or you will only work the dirt deeper into it. So can you wash your back?"
  263. >He has a point, as much as you hate to admit it.
  264. "No, i can't."
  265. >You hear a sigh between his sips.
  266. >"Get into the bathroom once you are finished."
  267. >He stands up and leaves, which makes your meal much more enjoyable.
  268. >At least no physical pain up until now.
  269. >You go to the bath and Anon arrives shortly after you.
  270. >As he reaches for your collar you flinch for a moment.
  271. >You hear a click and the collar falls to the ground, which literally takes a load of your shoulders.
  272. >"Get in."
  273. >He turns the water on and washes your back. He is rough.
  274. >You feel so vulnerable right now.
  275. >"So your fur is actually white, huh? Do you need help anywhere else?"
  276. "No, thank you, Anon."
  277. >He suddenly stop at one of your rear legs.
  278. >"Interesting."
  279. "What?"
  280. >"You should be able to do the rest yourself."
  281. >Then he leaves and you finish washing yourself.
  282. >This feels good. It has been ages since you've been this clean.
  283. >After a while you walk back into the living room.
  284. >Anon is on the couch snorting that powder, and drinking beer.
  285. "I am finished, Anon."
  286. >"Fine then get out of my face, horse."
  287. "Are not going to put the collar back on my neck?"
  288. >He starts to laugh. That catches you off guard.
  289. >"Do you even realize the situation you are in? Go to your room, horse."
  290. >There is no collar on your neck which could shock you, but that guy isn't afraid of hitting you.
  291. >You don't have any interest in spending any time with him anyway.
  292. >So you make your way to your room.
  293. >Back in your room you lay down in the bed and try to organize your thoughts.
  294. >You actually feel decent, you are clean and had a good meal, even your collar is off.
  295. >You haven't been this well in a long time, but something is off.
  296. >This guy has punched you, for insulting him.
  297. >He shocked you as ignored his order, and when you stumbled in the living room he threw you across this room.
  298. >But why did he stop there suddenly? He walked towards you before he left.
  299. >He asked you for your name and when you didn't tell him he picked a cruel one.
  300. >This guy is a total asshole but you can see a sense of reasoning in his actions.
  301. >As long as you didn't mess with him he didn't do anything to you.
  302. >He made sure you are clean and fed, other than that he doesn't seem to care at all.
  303. >Why does he allow you to run around without the collar?
  304. >Why are you here?
  305. >Mike acted strange when he let you out of out cage.
  306. >Consider yourself lucky? Why? He saw me slapped in the face right in front of him.
  307. >Anon came after the shop close and he didn't pay, he just handed him some money in some strange way. And Mike reply was off too.
  308. >There are so many odd things.
  309. "Do you even realize the situation your in?", that's what he asked.
  310. >You have to get to the bottom of this.
  311. >But for now you try to relax.
  312. >You had a decent night and spend the day wondering what the best course of action is.
  313. >No sign of Anon until past noon again.
  314. >When you hear the sound of running water subsiding you wait a for few moments. He doesn't knock.
  315. >You go into the living room.
  316. >He sits on the couch, doing what seems to be his 'morning' routine.
  317. "Hello, Anon."
  318. >"Horse."
  319. >You start grinding your teeth.
  320. >This doesn't make your plan any easier.
  321. >You decided to talk to him, hoping he doesn't attack you out of the blue.
  322. >You sit down on the couch, in the same spot where you sat yesterday.
  323. >Anon takes a quick look at you and goes back to whatever it is he is doing there.
  324. >He looks even more exhausted than yesterday.
  325. >Where do you start? You should be careful. Its' better to test the water first.
  326. "What are you doing, Anon?"
  327. >"I'm having breakfast."
  328. "I beg your pardon."
  329. >He chuckles a bit.
  330. >"I'm taking my medicine and I'm doing drugs."
  331. "Are you sick?"
  332. >A moment ago he seemed rather enjoyed, but after your question he is getting angry.
  333. >"Careful, horse!"
  334. >This guy really has a short fuse. Your question was kinda dumb, true, but getting angry over it?
  335. >You wait a few minutes until his mood returns to a 'normal' level.
  336. "May I go to the kitchen and eat something, Anon?"
  337. >"Help yourself, wander around, take a stroll in the garden, but you better start to work if you want to keep your ability to eat solid food."
  338. >You are sure that he is serious about the last part.
  339. "Aren't you afraid that I will run away if I'm alone in the garden, without the collar?"
  340. >"Go ahead, if you think that's clever."
  341. >What?
  342. >He pauses for a second and takes a deep breath.
  343. >"Here is what will happen: The Police will find you and beat you to a bloody pulp, maybe rape you, maybe kill you."
  344. >"If they don't kill you, you will be brought here. Where you will be beat to a bloody pulp and maybe killed."
  345. >As painful as is it, you don't doubt his words. You have seen the cruelty of their kind, you have felt it.
  346. >"With the tattoo on the inside of your ear, they can find your owner, which is me. So here is your first rule don't annoy me, Horse!"
  347. >He is an expert a making you feel horrible, maybe that's some kind of profession in this world.
  348. >Letting his words sink in, you know you are at his mercy. You are so done for.
  349. >"Were any of your previous owners black folk?"
  350. "No, why would that matter?"
  351. >"It's rumoured that they treat their slaves worse the white people, which is really funny."
  352. "Funny, really?"
  353. >"Not too long ago the white people enslaved the black people."
  354. "If they know what it is like, to be a slave, why you they participate? And why would they be more cruel than white people?"
  355. >"That's human nature, put in role of the master, they behave like one, and happily dish out the same pain they received."
  356. "Thanks for enlightening me."
  357. >"But slavery was banned in this country."
  358. >Your jaw drops to the ground.
  359. >"But... what?"
  360. >"So why do you think, you were enslaved, knowing that we have had some kind of history with slavery, and banned it?"
  362. You are now anon
  364. >You're having an ordinary Sunday afternoon.
  365. >Snorting speed, diping mdma-crystals, you have some alcoholic beverage and your antidepressants.
  366. >Ready to play video-games all day and beat your dick for hours.
  367. >When you can't control the cursor any more, because your hand moves on its own, thats the sweet spot!
  368. >But something is off...
  369. >There's a pony on your couch...
  370. >A talking one...
  371. >A slave...
  372. >Hey, maybe she'll listen to reason, you said to yourself.
  373. >You have been ranting on how hopeless her situation is, as if she didn't already knew...
  374. >She's looking at you with her silver and blue mane, sad eyes and and a facial expression best described as resentment.
  375. >But the ringing of the doorbell ends your conversation abruptly.
  376. >You put the drugs away and rush to the bathroom to wash your face.
  377. >Zombie mode engaged
  378. >Pale as snow, a scratch wound on the neck and hyposphagma. You'll play the flu card, if need be.
  379. >As you open the door you see a familiar face.
  380. >oh common
  381. "Hello, uncle."
  382. >"Anon you look terrible, got a cold again?"
  383. "Cold, the flu, I don't know."
  384. >"And the neck? Don't tell me the pony did this!"
  385. "No, no, god forbid. You know how clumsy I can be, hey do you wanna come in?"
  386. >Please say no, please! I might be contagious, think of your health!
  387. >"Yes, I came to check in on how you are doing."
  388. >Oh for fucks sake!
  389. >You lead the way to the living room and and sit down.
  390. >As he enters the room, he stops for a moment.
  391. >"No, collar?"
  392. >There's some disappointment in his voice.
  393. "Yep, I explained the situation to her."
  394. >"I told you how to handle them..."
  395. "And I did."
  396. >"Fine then."
  397. >As he sits down between you and your pony you quickly check the table for evidence of your current activities.
  398. >"Aren't you going to thank me?"
  399. >Thank him?
  400. >Like you ever wanted a fucking pony!
  401. >That's one of those presents with an intent.
  402. >Getting you to interact with other beings.
  403. >Getting you to take over responsibility for a living creature.
  404. >Helping you to get your place to a 'decent' home.
  405. >As always he thinks he very clever, doing everyone a favour... as if.
  406. "Sure, thanks uncle Charly."
  407. >After your dad passed away, whenever your mom was at her limits with your attitude, she called Charlie in.
  408. >Hoping it would help to form you into an 'decent' human being, like your siblings.
  409. >You have always been the black sheep of your family.
  410. >"So how did you name her?"
  411. "Horse."
  412. >Stoic you watch him break into laughter, as your ponys's expression gets more hostile.
  413. >You should send her off quickly.
  414. >"As usual your creativity is dripping out of your every pore."
  415. "You know me."
  416. >As you reach for your beer to get rid of the bitter taste of the speed running down your throat Charly turns to your pony and tries to touch her.
  417. >She has been silently sitting there up until now.
  418. >Oh fuck! Noooooooo!
  419. >To late, there you have it, she snaps at his hand, only barely missing it.
  420. >"Come here you!"
  421. >This spirals out of control!
  422. "CHARLY! My home! My pet!"
  423. >Stopping his swing, he turns around to you.
  424. >"They are not pets, boy! They are alien creatures! I should have known you weren't up to the task."
  425. >Anger wells up inside you.
  426. "You forced this problem horse on me, expect me to be grateful and lecture me in my own home? Really?"
  427. >"She has to be punished!"
  428. "And I will!"
  429. >You cover your right eye, which is starting to itch.
  430. >Come on isn't it common knowledge not you touch someone animal without permission? You knew about her attitude!
  431. >Staring at your pony you muster your most commanding voice.
  432. "Horse, to your room!!"
  433. >Angry as you are she'd better behave.
  435. You are now "horse"
  436. >You simply couldn't help yourself!
  437. >It was more of a reflex than conscious decision.
  438. >In the middle of the the act of biting of one of his uncle's fingers you could barely stop yourself.
  439. >And now your in trouble!
  440. >If a gaze could kill you'd be so dead by now.
  441. >"Horse, to your room!!"
  442. >His voice is almost thundering.
  443. >One wrong sound and he will go for your throat, of that you are certain.
  444. >So you carefully get off, walk around the couch and trying not to get to close to either of those.
  445. >You take your leave and go to your room.
  446. >Back in your room you can't help but worry.
  447. >You have so messed up.
  448. "Celestia help me!"
  449. >Based on your previous experience with Anon you are in for a world of hurt.
  450. >But why did he stop his uncle? Maybe he wants to have all the fun to himself.
  451. >Ok calm down! What are your options?
  452. >Run? Now is your chance! But Anon described what would happen pretty convincing.
  453. >Fight him? Those humans are almost double your size. Even if you manage to defeat you're going to be put down.
  454. >Accept your punishment? Maybe he sends you back to Mike.
  455. "No, no, no!"
  456. >You shake your head in disgust.
  457. >He's going to have his way with you again!
  458. >Beating you up, holding you down, inserting his...
  459. >You're almost about to vomit, when you're able to shove the thought aside.
  460. >You could plead for anon's mercy. Anon's mercy?
  461. >You are so going down.
  462. >So if I'm going down maybe you should go down with a fight...
  463. >You can hear a heated discussion outside, but you can't understand anything through the closed door and a hallway in between.
  464. >After a while you hear the front door being slammed.
  465. "Ok here it comes."
  466. >Bracing yourself for what's to come, you wait but nothing happens.
  467. >You're waiting for what seems to be half an hour until the door opens.
  468. >As Anon enters you see two objects in one of his hands, the collar and a belt.
  469. >"Do you have a fucking death-wish horse?", he says rather calm.
  470. >He's steadily walking towards you.
  471. "Look, I..."
  472. >"I'm your last fucking beacon of hope in this fucked up world, and you DARE to attack my family!"
  473. "But he suddenly..."
  474. >The punch comes fast and hard almost knocking you off your hooves.
  475. >"I won't be trampled on by my on slave!"
  476. >This punch is doesn't even compare to the first one you received, and you taste your blood.
  477. >He takes a deep breath before getting on eye-level with you. And you cover your throbbing cheek.
  478. >"Now here is what will happen."
  479. >He shows you the belt and the collar.
  480. >"You choose."
  481. "What? Choose?"
  482. >You have a considerable trouble to speak.
  483. >"Either you choose the collar and try to behave..."
  484. "And what is the other option?"
  485. >"I'm going to fuck you up so badly, that you'll never try to act up again"
  486. >For a second you consider the belt.
  487. "Collar."
  488. >"Wise decision."
  489. >You barely manage to hold back the tears while he locks the collar around your neck.
  490. >The pain only being half of the reason.
  491. >"Good night, horse."
  492. >As he leaves the room you whisper.
  493. "My name is Snowflake."
  495. You are still Snowflake
  496. >You wake up to find yourself in an empty house and start your day with bathroom business.
  497. >Looking in the mirror you see dark shade under your coat at the position Anon struck you.
  498. "Oh come on..."
  499. >As you touch the spot you flinch away due to sharp pain
  500. "Ouch! Bucking monkey..."
  501. >Seems like grabbing a bite has to wait.
  502. >Your view slowly shifts lower, to your neck.
  503. >With a groan you touch your shock-collar.
  504. >Why in equestria did you do that.
  505. >He was an obnoxious asshole before but now, after your attack, this is going to be hell.
  506. >Anon isn't around to inflict any pain on you which is a good thing.
  507. >But you are alone and there is nothing to do.
  508. >So you wander around the house, looking for anything to spark your interest.
  509. >But there is nothing. Its a house like any other, only more spartan.
  510. >No pictures on the wall not much stuff in the rooms.
  511. >After checking room after room your last step is the living room.
  512. >The table in front of the couch is tidy. No bottles, cans, blisters or other things left.
  513. >Walking around you look through the windows at the garden.
  514. >Until you realize the key is in the lock of the door that leads to the garden.
  515. >Did he forget it? Is this some kind of trap? Or doesn't he care at all?
  516. >The urge is to strong to resist
  517. >After unlocking the door you step outside and take a deep breath.
  518. >Following the brick floor you step on the grass
  519. >This soft ground under your hoof brings a smile to your face
  520. >How long has it been...
  521. >Everywhere these humans walk the ground is hard and lifeless
  522. >But this lawn, the soft and cool ground feels so good
  523. >You take a step and then another and before you know it you are galloping around the garden
  524. >Fresh air flushes your lungs, the chilly wind running through your fur and the warmth of the sunlight on your skin, the soft ground under your steps
  525. >You start running as fast as you can
  526. >This feels soooooo good
  527. >You run until stamina forsakes you and let yourself fall to the ground
  528. >Looking at the sky and listen to birds chirp and the sound of your breath and your beating heart
  529. >How much you missed this! It almost feels like... freedom...
  530. >With this thought your mood turns sour again.
  531. >You stand up to take a look around.
  532. >The only things between you and true freedom are a small fence and a shock-collar
  533. >And there is no one that could stop you right now
  534. >As your heart and mind have a fierce battle your legs carry you towards the fence
  535. >It would be so easy, one jump... just one little jump...
  536. >This burning desire...
  537. >You would be free
  538. >But for how long?
  539. >In time someone will find you
  540. >Maybe the person will help you
  541. >How are the chances for that?
  542. >A damn monkey! Helping you?!
  543. >They will find you and try to bring you back or have you for themselves
  544. >Maybe you could resist, fight them if necessary
  545. >The memory of pain flashes through your head
  546. >The punches and kicks, the burning feeling of a bullet ripping through your flesh
  547. >But for a moment you would be free and that harsh future is so far away
  548. >You are stuck staring at the fence for what feels like an eternity
  549. >This wont get you anywhere
  550. >Biting your lip, until the point you are afraid you'll tear it open, you finally manage to turn your gaze away
  551. >With a bowed head and a sigh you trot back to the door that leads to the living room
  552. >Halfway there a movement inside catches your attention
  553. >Anon is sitting on the couch doing something
  554. >How long have you been there, staring at the fence? Did he see you?
  555. >Taking another sigh you open the door
  556. >Ok here we go...
  557. "Hello, Anon."
  558. >"Horse."
  559. >Him calling you that still hurts and angers you but less so then before
  560. >Did he not catch your name? Or does he choose to call you that way?
  561. >Please be the first
  562. >After cleaning you hooves at the doormat you step in and hop on the couch
  563. >There is no reaction, he just keeps eating his soup
  564. >His hand is shaking slightly which makes some of it drop back into bowl
  565. >Actually this is the first time you see him "eat" anything
  566. >How do you start?
  567. "Listen, Anon, yesterday I...
  568. >"Its okay.", cutting you off mid sentence
  569. >He catches you off-guard again
  570. "What?"
  571. >Despite his calm voice you doubt him
  572. >"Its partly my fault for not sending you off, partly my uncles for lacking basic courtesy and partly yours for attacking him."
  573. "Are you serious?"
  574. >"Maybe i didn't make myself clear enough.", he sights
  575. >"I'm spelling it out for you. Here is a exemplary list of things that annoy me: Drawing on the wallpapers, breaking my dishes, shitting on the floor, burning down my house and ATTACKING MY FUCKING FAMILY."
  576. >He pauses for a moment
  577. >"So if you think real hard you might be able get a pattern. And whenever you do something, anything, ask yourself if it could annoy me, before you do it.”
  578. >He is definitely still pissed. And him treating you like you are stupid makes you pissed too.
  579. "I get it okay?! I'm sorry!"
  580. >"Maybe i should make rule NR. 2 not attacking anyone. Yup, i think we'll go with that"
  581. >Does he even listen to you?
  582. "I made a mistake okay? It won't happen again!"
  583. >”Look I'm not cruel, but from now on I'm going shock you for every stupid shit you do.”
  584. "Not cruel!?", you hiss
  585. "You almost electrocuted me for slacking! You punched me and threw me around!”
  586. >You can see his eyes dart down and to the upper right before he starts to chuckle.
  587. >He is so god damn IRRITATING!
  588. >”, hehe."
  589. >"Okay maybe I am cruel, even more the reason to behave. You have done nothing but to mess with me."
  590. >Did you?
  591. >Even if it were true, what did he expect?
  592. >After finishing his bowl he lays back and lights up a cigaret
  593. >Problem horse, beacon of hope, forced, the lack of care for you, annoyance, letting you have free reign over the house and garden...
  594. >Nothing makes sense
  595. >At least he treats you better than Mike
  596. >Does he?
  597. >At least he doesn't ra...
  598. >Your coughing rips you out of the line of thought
  599. >cigaret smoke
  600. >"Well I'm heading out, you can go back to staring at my fence or whatever makes you happy."
  601. >Happy...
  602. >He stands up with his bowl to leave the room
  603. "Anon."
  604. >"Yes?"
  605. >You will hate yourself for what you are about to do
  606. >But everything else will get you nowhere
  607. >You close your eyes and take a deep breath
  608. "May i join you?"
  609. >Yep you hate yourself, big time.
  610. >He doesn't answer
  611. >You can see him facepalm, standing there for a solid 10 seconds
  612. >"Fine.", he say with an annoyed tone in his voice
  613. >As expected its not what you expected
  614. >"Do you remember rule NR.1?"
  615. "Yes."
  616. >He points to cheek before he asks
  617. >"Do you remember rule NR.2?"
  618. "Yes i DO!"
  619. >Regretting your question already
  620. >"You remember the thing i told you about shocking you for every shit you do?"
  621. "I get it okay! I wont act up!"
  622. >"Then you may follow me. Don't fuck this up!"
  623. >Slipping on a jacket he heads to the front door and you follow...
  624. >Before he opens the door he shows you the trigger of your shock-collar
  625. >"Remember i got this in my hands all the time."
  626. "I know..."
  627. >Both of you leave and start to walk the suburban streets in the direction of the multistory buildings
  628. >There are almost no people outside only a few cars now and then
  629. "So, uum, where are we going?"
  630. >"We are meeting a friend of mine."
  631. >He has friends? A guy like that?
  632. "uh-huh"
  633. >"Is there still enough food in the kitchen for you?"
  634. "There are some fruits left but not much."
  635. >"Good. I'll buy some tomorrow."
  636. >Is he going to hunger you?
  637. "Its not enough for both of us for today."
  638. >"I don't need any, haven't eaten since Friday my stomach cant take much today."
  639. "Are you making fun of me? Its Monday!"
  640. >"No."
  641. >He cant be serious.
  642. >You both continue in silence for a few minutes.
  643. >The awkward silence is beginning to bother you.
  644. "What did you do all day?"
  645. >"I worked."
  646. >Do you have to worm everything out of him?
  647. "So what do you do for a living?"
  648. >"I work in industrial maintenance."
  649. "So you repair stuff?"
  650. >"Kinda."
  651. >Yes you have to.
  652. >You turn into a park.
  653. "Do you..."
  654. >"Hush.", cutting you off.
  655. >What a douchebag
  656. >He starts to rummage in his pockets which makes you slightly worried that he might shock you again
  657. >Both of you make your way further into the park in the direction of a person sitting on a bench
  658. >Sweatpants, jacket, skullcap, badly shaved.
  659. >Anon takes something out of his pocket before greeting him
  660. >"Hi, Josh"
  661. >"Hey Anon, how are you doing?"
  662. >A odd handshake
  663. >"I'm doing alright, how about you?"
  664. "Fine, fine, want a smoke?"
  665. >They guy on the bench lights himself up a cigarette before of offering the box to Anon.
  666. >Anon takes a cigarette out of the box lights it up and puts the box in his pocket.
  667. >Did he just steal that guys cigarettes? He has his own.
  668. >Anon sits down next to him, which leaves you in front of both.
  669. >"So you got yourself one of those, sweet.", the guy says
  670. >"Yes there was an acquisition."
  671. >"Acquisition? You're not having her have have her way with you?"
  672. >"Horse, would you kindly show the gentleman your face?"
  673. >The guy starts burst out in laughter
  674. >Which makes this even more humiliating
  675. >"You didn't name her horse did you?"
  676. >Ok don't mess this up, Anon made himself clear about the rules
  677. >Even if it angers you, its best get over with it fast
  678. >You turn your head around and present your face to the guy, grinding your teeth
  679. >"I didn't think you were that kind of guy, Anon. What did she do?"
  680. >"She attacked my family."
  681. >"Shit, and that's all you did? I would have messed her far more."
  682. >"Well, I'm a gentle soul."
  683. >Gentle? Him? Does he make fun of you again? Does he actually believe it?
  684. >You could smack his face right now.
  685. >Why do people react this way towards him? His uncle was almost the same.
  686. >"Don't let your guard down among them, Anon. You cant trust them."
  687. >"Yeah sure.", Anon says with an annoyed look on his face.
  688. >"Well I#m off, cya."
  689. >"Bye, Josh"
  690. >Both stand up and Josh leaves
  691. >The two of take the same way you came back
  692. "What was that about? We came all the way for a few minutes of chatter?"
  693. >"Yes we did."
  694. >You roll your eyes.
  695. "You still have his cigarets."
  696. >"I know."
  697. >Oh come on
  698. >What was this all about?
  699. >Your conversation is followed by silence until you reach the end of the park.
  700. >You should have stayed home
  701. >A distant voice shouts something
  702. >"Sir, wait!"
  703. >You look around while walking next to Anon
  704. >There is a guy walking fast towards you, a police officer
  705. "Anon. There is someone calling you"
  706. >"Where?"
  707. "Look behind us."
  708. >He stops to take a look.
  709. >"Oh fuck. Stay next to me."
  710. >He has a worried look on his face as he starts walking towards the police officer
  711. >"Hello."
  712. >"Sir, is this your pony?"
  713. >"Yes it is, is there any problem, officer?", Anon says with a forced smile.
  714. >"It has neither leash nor muzzle strap, sir. This is a public park, children play here."
  715. >"Don't worry."
  716. >Anon bends over to you and grabs you by your collar
  717. >Pain rushes through your neck and you can barely breathe as Anon yanks you up
  718. >You struggle to stand on your hind-legs and get some air
  719. >"See, she behaves."
  721. >Fighting for breath you forelegs kick out.
  722. >You struggle against the panic that rises in you.
  723. >Calm down!
  724. >Panting you try to keep balance on your hind legs.
  725. >Try to reduce the weight on your neck as the collar cuts deep into it.
  726. >Tears and anger emerge.
  727. >Out of the corner of your eyes you can see him.
  728. >He doesn't even look at you while you grasp for air.
  729. >He just looks at the officer.
  730. >All he has given you so far misery.
  731. >And yet he hasn't doesn't even LOOK at you while he is choking you.
  732. >You gulp in between hasty breaths as you clench your teeth.
  733. >It takes a few moments until you find a balance that it less painful.
  734. >And he lets go.
  735. >As your legs connect to the ground you start to cough.
  736. >Your heart is racing and your still grasping for air.
  737. >Is this where it led you?
  738. >You tried to stop it!
  739. >You have always been there for anypony in need.
  740. >Struggled so hard.
  741. >Fought for them, fought against them.
  742. >Always tried to protect.
  743. >Tears fall down to the ground, you still stare at.
  744. >>"I'm going to let it slide this-
  745. >The fury in your chest numbs your prudence.
  746. "He is" -your voice is coarse and interrupted by coughs- "doing drugs."
  747. >
  748. >You can hear him rummaging through his pockets.
  749. >"That was rude, she cut you off. Do you want to?"
  750. >Anon sighs.
  751. >"They are prescribed. Antidepressants and cold medicine."
  752. >As he talk you start to realize that if they take you, you might end up there again.
  753. >Back in the shop, like a mere object to be bought and sold.
  754. >A tool be punched, kicked and shocked is you don't work.
  755. >To be used.
  756. >A gag mixes with the coughs.
  757. >You don't know why but somehow you had to do something, anything.
  758. >You are just so fed up with this.
  759. >They won't help you.
  760. >But it felt good venting your anger.
  761. >To fight back a least a little.
  762. >Not to suffer alone.
  763. >>"You said she would behave."
  764. >"Look I just got her recently, she's been returned dozens of times."
  765. >"She learned not to act up the hard way, her tongue might be a bit loose still. Always tries to mess with everyone."
  766. >>"Sir, I have to ask, why would you take in one of THEM in when you are sick yourself?"
  767. >"I can use some help around the house and well..."
  768. >The sound of the gravel moving makes you look at Anon who changing his posture.
  769. >"...she was one of the first and I may have a soft spot. But she still needs to learn her lesson."
  770. >Out of the corner of your eyes you see the police officer getting closer to Anon.
  771. >He takes it out his hand.
  772. >Your pupils go wide.
  773. >There is a click.
  774. >Searing pain spreads through your body.
  775. >Your body cramps up.
  776. >You cant breathe.
  777. >You can't even move your eyes as your body tenses.
  778. >There are no thoughts.
  779. >Only pain.
  780. >"Hey."
  781. >As every muscle in your body tenses, your vision shift lower to the ground along with your whole body.
  782. >It sears.
  783. >"I think that's enough."
  784. >The vision gets blurry.
  785. >It burns.
  786. >"Enough!"
  787. >Your legs yield to the weight of your body.
  788. >Even though your eyes are shut you can't grasp a clear thought.
  789. >Greedy lungs soak in the air.
  790. >>"I-I don't know..."
  791. >"Have you lost someone?"
  792. >>"My brother..."
  793. >All you can do is lie and gasp for air.
  794. >"I'm sorry to hear that."
  795. >>"J-Just remember the laws next time."
  796. >Rushed steps move past you and fade in the distance.
  797. >The sound of moving gravel is next to you.
  798. >But you wait for the pain to numb.
  799. >When you slowly open one eye you see Anon.
  800. >He hunkers next to you.
  801. >It's odd.
  802. >He looks... unhappy.
  803. >This is the first time you've seen emotions on his face, other than him going off.
  804. >You close your eye again.
  805. >He mumbles something under his breath before he takes a deep breath.
  806. >"Can you walk?"
  807. >It takes some effort for your numb legs to push you up.
  808. >"Let's get you h..."
  809. >He sighs.
  810. >"Let's go back."
  811. >Anon stands up and turns around to lead the way.
  812. >Weary steps keep you next to him.
  813. >Not a word is spoken as you walk.
  814. >Your legs are heavy, but you have no problem keeping up with him.
  815. >The ways seems to be longer than before.
  816. >Once you reach your destination he lets you inside.
  817. >The door to your room passes on your left as your legs carry you to the living room.
  818. >Clumsy your body moves up the the couch and cowers.
  819. >There hasn't been one coherent thought since you've been in the park.
  820. >As if the world moves around you. Without you.
  821. >You feel lost.
  822. >Helpless.
  823. >Alone.
  824. >A clang.
  825. >You look up through teary eyes.
  826. >There is a glass of water on the glass table.
  827. >The vision is blurred but you can hear Anon's voice.
  828. >"Drink something."
  829. >He sits down, a little distant from you.
  830. >Head sunken in your forelegs you sob.
  831. >The rhythmic clicking of a blade on a mirror is barely louder than your muffled cries.
  832. >You can hear him snort.
  833. >A painful but whispered "Fuck" escapes his lips.
  834. >A cigarette is lighted up before he leaves the room.
  835. >Just a moment later he returns and settles himself back on the couch.
  836. >With a hiss his beer can opens. A deep breath.
  837. >His eyes rest on you as you cry away the pain.
  838. >Minutes tick away but the tears don't stop flowing.
  839. >Then he moves closer and carefully puts his hand on your withers.
  840. >It is cold.
  841. >His icy touch sends a small shiver up your spine.
  842. >But somehow you don't mind.
  843. >After a moment his touch soothes your sore muscles.
  844. >He carefully strokes your back.
  845. >Light and soft movements that neither reach your neck nor your hips.
  846. >How long has it been since someone touched you without good intentions?
  847. >How long have you been in this forsaken world?
  848. "Anon."
  849. >His hand leaves your back.
  850. >You raise your head to face him over your shoulder.
  851. "Why did you do it?"
  852. >His head sinks, eyes pointing to the floor, away from you.
  853. >"I'm sorry," he says with a coarse voice.
  854. "Why are you doing this?"
  855. >"Look, horse, I wasn't the one-"
  856. "My name is Snowflake! Why?! Why do you do this!? Why am I here!? What... what is all of this supposed to mean?"
  857. >Tears well up again along with anger.
  858. >He moves back a little, his face expressionless.
  859. >There is no answer.
  860. >He moves his attention back to the small mirror on the table, as you let your head sink into your hooves again.
  861. >"You know, you should try to understand that I'm not your enemy."
  862. >You can hear him snort that stinking powder.
  863. >"I may be your best friend."
  864. >You are speechless.
  865. >He stands up and takes the utensils into his hands.
  866. >"Try to get this into this thick skull of yours."
  867. >With that he leaves the room, leaving you behind.
  868. >Angry, hurt, confused and alone.
  871. >When you wake up the house is empty again.
  872. >The food in the kitchen is the way you left it yesterday.
  873. >He didn't eat, just as he said.
  874. >The house is quit.
  875. >A prison with unlocked doors that you don't dare to leave.
  876. >Isolation your only company.
  877. >After eating you make your way to the couch in the living room.
  878. >Your eyes wander through the windows to the garden.
  879. >He got you here.
  880. >Food and shelter.
  881. >Harsh punishment but no harm for harms sake.
  882. >But why? He has not really demanded anything nor has he wanted you around.
  883. >He isn't even interested in you, it is more like you are a bother to him.
  884. "Not my enemy?"
  885. >Reflecting, pictures of the past days emerge.
  886. >You were just a recruit in Canterlot.
  887. >Despite your parents advice you wanted to become a royal guard.
  888. >Ever since you visited the castle.
  889. >It's no place for a mare... an earth pony. Settle for something different...
  890. >You tried anyways. You had too.
  891. >Got into fights in the barracks almost every day.
  892. >When you left your post to check after strange sounds it was your captain who chewed you up and spit you out.
  893. >He had you running circles for in the rain for hours.
  894. >You thought you'd cough out your lungs.
  895. >An earth pony who could not follow orders under all those unicorns and pegasi.
  896. >When you collapsed after the last round on the muddy ground, the night only illuminated his magic, he said something similar.
  897. >"You are a tough nut to crack, I'll give you that, rookie. I'm not your enemy, but you have to follow orders if you want to make it."
  898. >You'll never forget your parents tears, when you finally made it.
  899. >They were so proud.
  900. >Even Soft Breeze was there in the crowd.
  901. >The grey pegasus that got always bullied.
  902. >You take a look at your flank.
  903. >The scars look like deep scratches on the shield.
  904. >All a thing of the past.
  905. >Because of him.
  906. >Gritting your teeth you hiss the traitors name, "Discord."
  908. >You awake on the couch where you feel asleep last night.
  909. >You inhale deeply and try to clear your mind.
  910. >It still morning and Anon must be working right now.
  911. >When you push yourself up, your sore muscles hurt.
  912. >You feel like shit.
  913. >A shower and a meal always made you feel better.
  914. >Despite some problems you manage to get decently clean without messing up the bath.
  915. >Drying yourself off on the other hand isn't that easy.
  916. >Towel thrown over your back, you take a look over in the mirror before you go into the kitchen.
  917. >Through the fogged mirror tired eyes look at you. A messy mane. The bruise in your face is better but the burn-marks at you neck are clearly visible.
  918. >Your fetlocks are unshorn and your hooves...
  919. >You thinking of what your captain's words and you let yourself drop to the floor.
  920. >Arriving in the kitchen you check the fridge.
  921. >Butter, beer and ketchup.
  922. >Odd, even for humans. As far you cant tell anyways.
  923. "Does he eat at all?", you ask as you close it again.
  924. >Still groggy, you eat the last of the fruits that are in the kitchen with poor appetite and rest you head on your forelegs.
  925. >Closing your eyes there is the only though on your mind.
  926. "Now what?"
  927. >You could get out into the garden and do some light workout, you finally have more than the bare minimum of food and can freely move around.
  928. >Getting into a decent shape after all this time should be your priority but after what happened yesterday...
  929. >You sight deeply and get of the chair to wander around in this new and still unfamiliar prison of yours.
  930. >These empty walls. Not one picture.
  931. >Ending up in your own room you stare down the empty street through your window for a moment.
  932. >No movement aside from one or two cars that occasionally pass.
  933. >Out of boredom you start looking through the books on the shelf.
  934. >Religion, Art, Science, barely any Novels and many nonfiction.
  935. >A book about history is the only one that is even remotely interesting.
  936. >There is a layer of dust covering it.
  937. >As you blow it off you are engulfed in a cloud of it.
  938. "Maybe-" *coughing* "-I should start cleaning after all."
  939. >More bored than interested you skim through the pages of the big book.
  940. >From relics and paintings to photographs.
  941. >With every page the pictures seem to get more dreadful.
  942. >When you turn the page and it is difficult at first to make out what exactly the picture shows.
  943. >You gasp.
  944. >The black-and-white picture shows bodies piled up on bodies of the dead in pits.
  945. >There is only one question on your mind.
  946. >As you stare at the picture your lips start to form words, "Did he know?"
  947. >He had to.
  948. >Disgusted you close the book and head back to the bed.
  949. >He voluntarily opened a portal not to tartarus, but to hell.
  950. >What is wrong with those humans?
  951. >Do they ever do anything that doesn't make others suffer?
  952. >You rest your head and drift of.
  953. >Memories and thoughts mix to vigorous haze as you drift into sleep again.
  955. >A bang.
  956. >Groggy, you raise your head.
  957. >The room is half-lid by the setting sun. The book still lying on the floor.
  958. >It has to be the front door.
  959. >He must be back.
  960. >You are not eager to meet him.
  961. >But neither are you eager to stay in your room.
  962. >As you stand up you wonder about your own reasoning.
  963. >He is a piece of shit.
  964. >But still you seek contact.
  965. >He has beaten you, shocked you, is unfriendly and doesn't seem to give a crap about you.
  966. >But on the other hoof he stopped the officer.
  967. >He didn't push you.
  968. >He doesn't force you to do stuff.
  969. >Never touched you.
  970. >Doesn't mind you.
  971. >Is this isolation driving you crazy?
  972. >When you were in the cage at Mike's you had others.
  973. >You shake your head.
  974. >You will never go back there.
  975. >Opening the door you see him disappear in the kitchen with a brown paper-bag in his arms.
  976. >He provides food and shelter.
  977. >A moment later he steps out to get to the living room.
  978. >The disgusting stench of meat and dripping lingers in the air.
  979. >You follow the trail to the living room where it mixes with cigarette stench.
  980. >Anon seated himself in the middle of the couch and unpacks some fast food.
  981. >The clicking of your hooves on the laminate seems to catch his attention.
  982. >You can see his head move slightly to your side as he switches through the channels with the remote.
  983. >"Hey."
  984. >Despite the stench you move around past the TV to your spot on the couch.
  985. >A little disgusted you look at the mushy burger.
  986. >"Food is in the kitchen."
  987. "How can you eat that?"
  988. >"Listen h-," he sighs, "Snowflake, that is none of your business."
  989. >You tilt your head.
  990. >Flipping though the channels he stops at some documentation.
  991. >He picks up the dead animal pressed between slices of bread and takes a bite with one hand while fidgeting on his cell with the other.
  992. >You don't mind the TV.
  993. >Anon looks like a mess.
  994. >Bags under his eyes, wounds...
  995. >But his hands don't look that odd anymore, still shaking a little.
  996. >Instead of blueish spots around the joints and deathly pale skin it has become a more consistent skin tone.
  997. >Almost normal.
  998. >He binges the burger, with the soft drink not paying you any attention.
  999. "Anon, can we talk?"
  1000. >He stops eating to look at you out of the corner of his eyes.
  1001. >"We'll talk tomorrow."
  1002. >No.
  1003. >"Anon."
  1004. >He licks his fingers clean and takes the soft drink in one and his cell in the other.
  1005. >Sipping on the straw he types something in his cellphone while the voice and pictures of the documentation wash over the both of you in the dimly lit room.
  1006. Giving a angry swish with your tail you ask a little more forcefully, "Anon?"
  1007. >He lights up an other smoke and leans back.
  1008. >"Not now."
  1009. "I have been here for days," you bark.
  1010. >"Isn't this better than the cage?"
  1011. >He exhales the smoke that forms ribbons and circles in the colorful light of the tv.
  1012. >"I said tomorrow."
  1013. >You want to say something, ask something, but the words don't come.
  1014. >"I've got my own problems."
  1015. >The cigarette is stubbed in the ashtray and pillows are moved.
  1016. >He lies down on the couch.
  1017. >Minutes pass in silence.
  1018. >The documentation ended.
  1019. >The next one is about ponies.
  1020. >The introduction show pictures of the first battle when the portal opened to this hellhole, graphics, dissection.
  1021. >Your stomach twists.
  1022. "Anon, why?"
  1023. >"I told you we'll talk tomorrow."
  1024. "Anon, why?"
  1025. >With an annoyed huff he sits up again.
  1026. >"You really wanna go there? Now?"
  1027. "I want to know!"
  1028. >He rests his head in his hands and takes a deep breath.
  1029. >"When the portal opened it was like an alien invasion or a gate to hell had opened."
  1030. >"You and all the other creatures attacked in the middle of our country."
  1031. >This isn't right.
  1032. >"The police officer that shocked you, he lost his brother to these ethereal beasts."
  1033. "We tried-"
  1034. >"No! I haven't really slept and this is my first meal in days! I explain, you listen!"
  1035. >"By the way I didn't want him to fry you but you left me no other chance to safe both our hides you idiot!"
  1036. >Your eyes widen in disbelief.
  1037. >"I save you and you repay me with snitching to the police the moment I buy some fucking coke to come back down."
  1038. >"Your war-beasts went rampage on civilians. Houses, schools, hospitals, malls, everything in their wake."
  1039. "We tried to-"
  1040. >"No! And here is another thing. Your bare existence is a spit to the face of everything we believe in. You fucked our religion, our science and everything we knew. That is why they hate you! I could gut you and wear your intestines as a hat and the people would just think that I am a weirdo.
  1041. "But," you reply, your voice barely above a whisper.
  1042. >Anon grabs another cigarette and sinks back into the couch.
  1043. >He takes a drag and exhales slowly.
  1044. >"I can barely keep myself awake and I have another double shift tomorrow."
  1045. "We tried to stop them."
  1046. >His hand points to the screen.
  1047. >"Tell that to the dead."
  1048. >The screens shows black bags lined up in rows.
  1049. >Tears start form.
  1050. >"I'm sorry but that's the way it looks and either you shut up or fuck off to your room."
  1051. >He lowers the volume of the TV and rests his head on the pillows.
  1052. >You keep staring at the footage.
  1053. >That is what happened.
  1054. >You never thought about their perspective.
  1055. >All this suffering and all of it started with kindness.
  1056. >You look back at Anon who lies there with his eyes closed.
  1057. >He looks beat, tired but somehow peaceful.
  1058. "They hate us. What about and you?"
  1059. >Shifting his head on the pillow he mumbles, "I'm tired."
  1060. >He drifts away as you see the pictures.
  1061. >Aerial perspective of the first day. You can't perceive much.
  1062. >Explosions and gunfire.
  1063. >Infografics.
  1064. >Dead bodies and crushed vehicles.
  1065. >Radio transmissions.
  1066. >Politicians.
  1067. >The camps.
  1068. >You keep watching until the TV shuts off and the only sound in the dark room is Anon's breath.
  1069. >He is just lying there, resting and defenseless.
  1070. >Then you sneak off the couch and into your room to digest todays events and get some sleep as well.
  1075. >The next morning you feel better.
  1076. >At least physically.
  1077. >Anon is already gone so you got the house to yourself again.
  1078. >You must have sleept heavily since he didn't wake you.
  1079. >The mirror reveals a much more healthy look.
  1080. >After a breakfast in the stocked kitchen you start the workout in the garden.
  1081. >It is not very big but you can make short sprints.
  1082. >Being locked away for so long took its toll on your stamina.
  1083. >You run 5 laps and sprint one track.
  1084. >Then you repeat.
  1085. >And again.
  1086. >And again.
  1087. >After half an hour of laps you are panting heavily.
  1088. >You have to give it your all!
  1089. >Five minutes later you collapse on lawn.
  1090. >The dew on the blades of grass soothes your aching muscles.
  1091. >You turn to lie on your back and look at the clear skies.
  1092. >As you try to catch your breath you listen to the sounds of your environment.
  1093. >All you can hear are the croaks of ravens in the distance.
  1094. >You close your eyes and feel the warm sunlight on your coat.
  1095. >What now?
  1096. >You need to get back in shape but other then that?
  1097. >The royal guards are gone, at least in this world.
  1098. >He told you what would happen if you decided to leave and you believe him.
  1099. >His version of what went down...
  1100. >For now you are stuck here and whether you like it or not you need his protection.
  1101. >You raise a hoof to your face where he hit you.
  1102. >What the hell is it with him?
  1103. >You're not becoming a housemaid.
  1104. "Whatever."
  1105. Breathing in deeply you say, "time for some laps."
  1107. >When Anon returns you lie on the couch, all legs stretched out and unable to move anymore.
  1108. >Everything hurts.
  1109. >Eating, moving and even breathing.
  1110. >You just crack an eye open when he enters the living room.
  1111. >He stops for a second to look at you before he says, "Hey."
  1112. "Hey."
  1113. >Speaking hurts too.
  1114. >"What happened to you?"
  1115. "Workout."
  1116. >Anon breaks into laughter that soon mixes with coughing.
  1117. >"Shit girl."
  1118. >He starts to beat on his chest with his knuckles.
  1119. >"You tryin' to kill me?"
  1120. >Is that the same Anon you spend the last days with?
  1121. >Not only does he look different in his overall and vest but even his skin looks different.
  1122. >Not to speak of personality.
  1123. >Anon disappears into the kitchen only to reappear with a glass of water.
  1124. >"Drink something."
  1125. >You do your best to give an affirmative nod.
  1126. >He disappears again and you can hear the shower running.
  1127. >You on the other hoof manage to push yourself up and take the glass of water between your unsteady hooves and drink.
  1128. >Anon, now in clean clothes, comes back with a pizza on plate and starts his PC.
  1129. "Anon."
  1130. >Between bites he replies, "yes?"
  1131. "Did you lose someone?"
  1132. >That gets him to turn around. His face barely having any expression.
  1133. "You know... that day?"
  1134. >Anons swallows the piece of pizza.
  1135. >"Two friends."
  1136. >
  1137. >
  1138. >
  1139. "I..."
  1140. >"Did you kill them?"
  1141. "What? No! I..."
  1142. >"Then don't worry."
  1143. >He turns back to the monitor again.
  1144. >You can hear the computer mouse clicking.
  1145. >Music starts playing.
  1146. "What?"
  1147. >Still staring at the computer screen he replies, "were you unnecessary cruel or did you rape someone?"
  1148. "Of course not!"
  1149. >"You were one of the first. You just followed orders."
  1150. "How in Equestria...?"
  1151. >Anon takes another bite.
  1152. >"Besides, Josh was no close friends just someone I hung out with from time to time."
  1153. "We didn't attack you. We tried to save you. I tried to save you!"
  1154. >Now Anon sets down the piece of pizza and turns around.
  1155. >His mouth opens but he stops for a split second.
  1156. >"I told you what happened from our perspective. I think it is about time to tell me yours."
  1157. >You just stare at him with your mouth hanging open.
  1158. "H-how did you know I was there?"
  1159. >Anons resumes to munching his pizza.
  1160. >Between bites he says "Your scars, you have been shot. Your coat. I had my suspicions and your reactions gave it away."
  1161. "I... I don't know what to say."
  1162. >"No problem."
  1163. >"So what happened that day?"
  1164. >You just stare at him.
  1165. >"I'm not angry, I just wanna know."
  1166. "I don't get you."
  1167. >He sighs and turns around again to grab another slice.
  1168. >"So. Your version."
  1169. >You close your eyes and take a sip of water in an attempt to calm yourself.
  1170. "Discord, the master of chaos, he opened a portal to this world. He used his magic to control the beasts and send them here. Manticores, Ursas, Cragadiles,... We tried to stop them."
  1171. "But he used his magic to turn some of us against you."
  1172. >With a slightly raised eyebrow Anon asks, "one guy?"
  1173. >You take a deep breath.
  1174. "He is the element of chaos in our world."
  1175. >"One guy opened a portal and made these monsters attack us and the got your troops to join?"
  1176. "Yes he did."
  1177. >"No wonder no one believes you."
  1178. "It's the truth!"
  1179. >"I have one question though. Why?"
  1180. "I don't know."
  1181. >"So he decided out of the blue to fuck two worlds over?"
  1182. >When did the constant cursing stop to bother you?
  1183. >You close your eyes and try to recall the events that lead to the demise.
  1184. "I don't know all the details but when Fluttershy died something changed."
  1185. >"Who is Fluttershy?"
  1186. "She was one of the elements of harmony. She befriended him and saved equestria many times with their group of friends."
  1187. >Anon just munches the slices while he listens.
  1188. "After the death of Fluttershy things started to change. He changed. He became bitter, resentful and then he disappeared."
  1189. >Anon lights up a cigarette.
  1190. >"And you couldn't stop it?"
  1191. "Without the elements of harmony, without Fluttershy we couldn't."
  1192. >"And before she befriended him?"
  1193. >Rubbing you chin with a hoof you think back.
  1194. "He was turned to stone for over a thousand years after he brought chaos all over Equestria."
  1195. >"So there was no way to stop him? I guess if you are powerful enough to bend time and space there are not many vulnerabilities."
  1196. >Your eyes wander to glass of water between your hooves.
  1197. "Yes."
  1198. >"And what about you?"
  1199. "I was a royal guard."
  1200. >"Some kind of elite?"
  1201. "No, just a guard."
  1202. >Anon turns around to change the music while you reminiscent about the days back in Canterlot.
  1203. >"So now, lets talk about our situation."
  1204. "What do you mean?"
  1205. >"I don't want any more fuck-ups."
  1206. >When did you get accustomed to them cursing all the time?
  1207. "Yes."
  1208. >"Hey, listen Snowflake."
  1209. >You raise your head to look at him.
  1210. >Anon bends over.
  1211. >"You remember the rules right?"
  1212. "I do, Anon."
  1213. >"Sure you do but I want you to follow them."
  1214. >"Look, I want you to use your fucking head. Attacking my uncle and snitching was retarded and this *will* get you killed."
  1215. >"If there is something that is wrong you tell me. You' don't act on it."
  1216. >"If someone slaps your ass you tell me. I'll handle it."
  1217. >"Here is the thing: I am not only your slaver but your shield. Your fucking lifeline and the only thing I expect you to keep this place clean."
  1218. >"Do your job and you can have good life here."
  1219. >A good life.
  1220. "Not being raped and food alone don't make a good life!"
  1221. >"So what do you want? I can't set you free."
  1222. "You can but you won't."
  1223. >Anon's expression changes to an annoyed one.
  1224. >"If I set you free anyone that catches you can claim you and that won't end well for you."
  1225. >"So there is only one option, you play nice and I will do the same."
  1226. >As if you had any other options!
  1227. "Fiine."
  1228. >"I want you to promise me that if there is an issue you talk to me before doing something stupid."
  1229. >Trying to get him to act beats getting shocked by a mile but will he really act in your interest? This guy?
  1230. "I promise."
  1231. >"You better keep you word, Snow."
  1232. >Anon stand up and goes to the kitchen to grab a beer.
  1233. >When he returns he lights up another cigarette.
  1234. >The stench will never leave you coat.
  1235. >"Lets talk benefits. Do you want anything? Any hobbies? Workout and sitting on the couch can't be all that you do all day and TV is garbage."
  1236. >You are pretty bored.
  1237. >If you wouldn't have to recuperate that much there would plenty of time.
  1238. >There are no other guards to play games with, to talk to. There is no royal library and no gardens.
  1239. >"Anything?"
  1240. "I-I really liked to grow things."
  1241. >"You like to work in the garden?"
  1242. >You weren't really allowed to mess with the royal garden but you always grew some flowers and herbs, even when it was just in a pot in the barracks.
  1243. "I do."
  1244. >Anon raises his eyebrows with a faint of a smile.
  1245. >"Awesome. The garden is yours, I fucking hate it. Just tell me what you need and tell me what you wanna do. As long as it doesn't look like shit I'm fine with it."
  1246. >You get up and walk towards large window to the garden.
  1247. >Everything is cut down to the bare minimum.
  1248. >The patches are starting to fill with fallen leaves but it is not too late.
  1249. "I could plant some everlasting-pea, crimson clover and corn salad."
  1250. >"Sure, whatever, just write it down."
  1251. >Anon tosses some paper and a ball-pen.
  1252. >You take a moment to just look at him.
  1253. >He somehow reminds you of the novel of Dr. Madmane, two opposite characters sharing one body, switching when they drink the potion.
  1254. >Do human drugs do that to you?
  1255. >You know that ponies react different in different circumstances.
  1256. >The more extreme the circumstances the more ponies can freak out.
  1257. >But why would anypony willingly do this to himself?
  1260. >Anon sits at his PC, hunched forward towards the screen.
  1261. >His character sneaks through the corridors.
  1262. >You rest on the couch.
  1263. >The last days have been... normal?
  1264. >At least the closest thing to normality you have gotten since stepping into this forsaken world.
  1265. >You occupy yourself in the garden or read something.
  1266. >Working the cool soil again.
  1267. >You have also been able to regain some of your strength and stamina.
  1268. >Being in good condition would be a stretch but you gained some weight again.
  1269. >He on the other hoof just gets up at 5am to work until the afternoon.
  1270. >Then he plays or watches something and goes to sleep.
  1271. >You don't like these games he plays.
  1272. >Human games are all about killing and waging war.
  1273. >About defeating an enemy.
  1274. >About getting stronger through fighting.
  1275. >The one he currently plays is the one you hate the most.
  1276. >Kill all the enemies or set up a bomb.
  1277. >Every day is the same with him.
  1278. >You rarely have any real conversation.
  1279. >You know what it feels like to just want some peace and quiet after a tiring day, but everyday? You just don't understand him.
  1280. >Sometimes you just watch TV.
  1281. >Anon is mostly annoyed by the news channels you tend to watch.
  1282. >It is all trash and only half the truth in his opinion.
  1283. >Sometimes he shows you articles and documentations.
  1284. >What they show often twists your stomach.
  1285. >Some things are so crazy and disgusting that you can't believe it and tell him to turn it off.
  1286. >He is not affected by these terrors.
  1287. >But he is right.
  1288. >What humans do to ponies is not as special as you thought.
  1289. >They do it to each other constantly and you are afraid of the things that go on where there is no one watching.
  1290. >There are places where you can buy humans cheaper than ponies.
  1291. >There are places where they they hurt each other for pleasure or lust.
  1292. >This world is no place for ponies.
  1293. >Your physical needs are met and Anon just lets you be but being trapped in this place...
  1294. >You just drift.
  1295. >When you were in Equestria you always had ponies around you.
  1296. >Your parents and friends at home or your fellow guards or just chatting with strangers or staff.
  1297. >You had a goal.
  1298. >He hasn't even looked at the garden yet.
  1299. >It is not like there is much growing in late fall but still.
  1300. >Out of boredom you even began cleaning.
  1301. >It is not that you give in to your role as a slave but you simply need a way to occupy yourself.
  1302. >Despite being a *thing* owned by another person you don't want to be a freeloader you tell yourself.
  1303. >Anon didn't seem to notice your efforts but when he saw you cleaning there was the hint of a smile on his face.
  1304. >The ball-pen you used to write down the plants was your first own possession after Anon decided that it was gross that you used it with your mouth.
  1305. >It serves to take notes and use the remote.
  1306. >Anon kept his promises and got you the things you wrote down.
  1307. >He even got some novels and a ponypad for you.
  1308. >A keyboard with 2 levers and large buttons designed for ponies so you could use the PC.
  1309. >It is still very bothersome even if you appreciate the gesture.
  1310. >There are a few sites that have got your attention thought.
  1311. >There is a place for ponies to chat, there are news and millions of products and informations.
  1312. >But you rather actually do something.
  1313. >When he is stuck in his routine maybe it is up to you to get something started.
  1314. >Nothing changes until you change something after all.
  1315. "Anon."
  1316. >No reaction. He is completely immersed.
  1317. "Hey, Anon."
  1318. >He hisses a "wait" over his shoulder and continues to mumble something into his headset.
  1319. >You spy over his shoulder and see his character sneaking around.
  1320. >You see a muzzle flash and avert you head.
  1321. >"GG, see ya," he says before he sets down the headset and turns towards you.
  1322. "Anon, I'm bored."
  1323. >"So?"
  1324. >Closing your eyes for a second you take a breath.
  1325. "Can we please do something?"
  1326. >He rests back and sighs.
  1327. >"Anything in mind?"
  1328. "I don't know. Anything..."
  1329. "Just please let us go out. I am going mad trapped inside here."
  1330. >Anon rolls his eyes.
  1331. >"We're in the suburbs. Parks, houses and a few shops are all there is."
  1332. >The memory of your last trip to the park flashes up for a split second and you flinch.
  1333. "Can we just go for a walk? Talk? It's not healthy to stay inside all day."
  1334. >He rises an eyebrow.
  1335. "Please."
  1336. >"Fine," he sighs.
  1337. >You can't help but smile as you jump down the couch and head towards the door like a filly.
  1338. >While you wait at the door Anon grabs his stuff.
  1339. >When he walks up to you, you see the leash in his hand.
  1340. >"Are you gonna behave?"
  1341. >Now it is your time to roll your eyes.
  1342. "Yes, master, I will be behave."
  1343. >With a smirk he puts it in his pocket.
  1344. >"Good I don't want to drag you like a fucking dog."
  1345. "Then why are taking it with you," you ask.
  1346. >"The law. There are places where I have to leash you up."
  1347. >As he grabs the handle and pulls you already slip through door.
  1348. >"Hey, I want you to stay close!"
  1349. "alright," you yell over the shoulder as you run towards the sidewalk.
  1350. >You stretch and yawn while a pissed Anon stomps after you.
  1351. >"I mean it! Don't make me shock you!"
  1352. "Don't worry. I'm just happy to no longer be locked away."
  1353. >This earns you a scowl from him.
  1354. >"Don't worry. Sure..."
  1355. "Anyway where do we go?" you beam at the grumpy human.
  1356. >He looks around.
  1357. >"There is a small forest and an italian place just past it."
  1358. >Most you had until now was vegetables and fruits.
  1359. >There is nothing wrong with this but some hot food would really be nice for once.
  1360. "Let's go."
  1361. >While the two of you walk the empty streets you can't help to notice the spring in your step.
  1362. >Anon notices too.
  1364. >"Cool that your so happy but stay close to me or I swear to god I will fry your ass."
  1365. >You look at him over your shoulder and can't stop yourself from smiling.
  1366. "I am just so happy to be out of that prison."
  1367. >Anon stares blank faced at you for a second.
  1368. "Anon."
  1369. >"Yes?"
  1370. "You are doing that again."
  1371. >He tilts his head and raises an eyebrow.
  1372. >"What?"
  1373. "You always do that... you look like you froze."
  1374. >"So?"
  1375. "There is something on your mind again and you won't tell."
  1376. >He keeps staring.
  1377. "There! You do it again!"
  1378. >You purse your lips.
  1379. >"Fuck of girl, we're outside so lets go."
  1380. >"Just stay close, I mean it Snowflake."
  1381. >Rolling your eyes you reply, "yeeeees, I promise."
  1382. >"Let's go."
  1383. >The both of you head left and you let your gaze wander.
  1384. >Houses.
  1385. >Driveways with cars.
  1386. >Occasionally you see a human or two, all well wrapped up.
  1387. "There really is not much going on here?"
  1388. >"As long as there is no alien invasion it is pretty boring here."
  1389. >You scowl at the human walking next to you.
  1390. >"People live here because there is not much crime. They drive to work, they drive shopping, they drive to clubs and they drive home."
  1391. >"So there really is not much going on here."
  1392. >Five minutes later you begin to understand why Anon sees no reason to go outside much.
  1393. >There is absolutely no-
  1394. >You stop.
  1395. "Hey Anon do you hear that?"
  1396. >Turning around he asks, "what?"
  1397. >Giving a nervous swish with you tail you try to pinpoint the sound.
  1398. >"What's going on, Snow?"
  1399. "There is... crying."
  1400. >"I hear nothing."
  1401. "It's right past the turning to the left."
  1402. >You move towards the direction of the sound Anon close behind you.
  1403. >The is a pained scream in the air.
  1404. >There is shouting.
  1405. >Anon seems to pick it up now too.
  1406. >You arrive at the corner and your eyes go wide.
  1407. >Nostrils flare.
  1408. >A beige mare with a brown mane lies on the sidewalk.
  1409. >She cries in agony while a tall men next to yanks her leash.
  1410. >He shouts in fury.
  1411. >His boot connects with the mares barrel.
  1412. >Her eyes go wide in shock of the impact.
  1413. >There are two people passing by that cast quick glances at him over the fuss he causes.
  1414. >Then they just walk by.
  1415. >Your lets hoof takes a step.
  1416. >Then your right.
  1417. >Then your left.
  1418. >You want to charge, to tackle him, to get him away from the mare.
  1419. >You want to shout at the humans passing by.
  1420. >You want to kick and scream.
  1421. >But you stop.
  1422. >You watch back over your shoulder and see Anon.
  1423. >His left clutches the leash.
  1424. >His right hand is reaching into his pocket.
  1425. "We have to do something Anon!"
  1426. >"It is not our business."
  1427. >Another scream pierces the air and his eyes shift to the mare.
  1428. >Clenching your teeth you take a step towards Anon and grab his leg between your hooves.
  1429. "I beg you! We have to help her!"
  1430. >Anon looks into your teary eyes and then back to the mare.
  1431. >"Fucking..."
  1432. >The leash disappears back into his pocket and he starts to run.
  1433. >"Hey! Hey you!"
  1434. >The man looks up from his pony to take a look around.
  1435. >You chase after Anon.
  1436. >"What," shouts the man as Anon closes in on him.
  1437. >Anon flinches as he stops before him.
  1438. >The wailing mare opens her eyes again.
  1439. >She looks at the human then at Anon and then back to you in confusion.
  1440. >A thick drop of salvia is dripping out of her mouth.
  1441. >One eye is swollen the other red from crying.
  1442. >She gaps for air.
  1443. >"I really need your help! My mom! There was an accident and my phone died!"
  1444. >All of you look at Anon in shock.
  1445. >"Where is the nearest public phone? Please, I need to get there, I need to know what is going on!"
  1446. >Anon's voice is rough and cracking.
  1447. >The man looks around and scratches his head.
  1448. >"There is one on the square and one at the post office."
  1449. >"Thank you," Anon says as he starts to hurry in the direction the man pointed to."
  1450. >You stare in disbelief.
  1451. >"Snowflake!"
  1452. >Giving a small nod to the mare you start to chase after Anon.
  1453. >What in tartarus?
  1454. >A couple dozen yards Anon turns into a street and starts to cough.
  1455. >"I really need to exercise more..."
  1456. "What was that?"
  1457. >He takes a deep breath.
  1458. >"I stopped it."
  1459. "You didn't tell him to stop."
  1460. >"He stopped. Besides if I told him to stop he could have just given her an extra kick to prove a point."
  1461. "His point?"
  1462. >"He can do to her whatever he wants."
  1463. >You raise a hoof to your chin.
  1464. >This does not sit right with you.
  1465. >Was that smart or cowardly?
  1466. >He got him to stop.
  1467. >You sigh.
  1468. "Thank you, Anon."
  1469. >Anon lights up a cigarette.
  1470. >"I almost fried your ass."
  1471. "I know."
  1472. >Anon takes a drag.
  1473. >"Glad I didn't have to."
  1474. >Hmm.
  1475. >Then he continues to lead the way towards your destination.
  1476. >The two of you walk in silence until you make it to the forest.
  1477. >Before he flicks the smoke into a nearby drain he takes another drag.
  1478. >Leaves rustle under his boots as you head inside.
  1479. >You take a moment to take it in.
  1480. >The movement of the leaves.
  1481. >The smell of moss.
  1482. >"Coming?"
  1483. "Sure."
  1484. >Something still bothers you.
  1485. "Why didn't you protest against what he was doing?"
  1486. >"I can neither change humans nor can I change laws. All I can do is break up situations."
  1487. >You hang your head.
  1488. "It's just..."
  1489. >"I don't like it either but this is what it is."
  1490. "You are a slaver yourself."
  1491. >"Maybe."
  1492. >You kick a small branch out of the way.
  1493. >Anon gives you a curious glance.
  1494. >"What would you have me do? Buy his mare or protest for liberation? Last time took some two-hundred years."
  1495. >"As long as there are more of you coming through the portal all we can do is deal with this shit."
  1496. >There are coming more?
  1497. "I still don't understand you humans just picked slavery up again so easily."
  1498. >Pinching the bridge of his nose he replies, "internment camps cost tax-payer-money and Equestria is full of resources. Oh and slave-labor."
  1499. >Equestria.
  1500. >Despite the opportunity you haven't looked up the current state.
  1501. >Are you afraid of what you will find, of the damage that has been done?
  1502. "Do you know how Equestria is?"
  1503. >"Near the portal it is all mines and plants and military. They squeeze everything out of there as long as the portal is open."
  1504. "Have you seen it?"
  1505. >"Yep, it looks like a third world country."
  1506. "A what?"
  1507. >Anon looks down at you.
  1508. >"It's fucked."
  1509. >You know plants and military bases.
  1510. >Since your capture it is where you have spend most of your time.
  1511. >Everything near the portal really looks like this?
  1512. >The cities and villages, the willows and forests.
  1513. >The streets of Canterl-
  1514. >"Come on, we are almost there."
  1515. >You shake your head and take a deep breath.
  1516. >Is this all coincidence?
  1517. >He has the tendency to disturb you when your mind wanders to dark places.
  1518. >A mechanical beast like him?
  1519. >Calm down.
  1520. >He resolved the issue and he got you outside.
  1521. "Coming."
  1522. >A couple of steps later you are by his side again.
  1523. >The sky has become a dark gray by now and the streets are illuminated by the lights of houses, cars and lanterns.
  1524. >As you match his pace you try to take in as much of your surroundings as you can but your mind slips back again to your thoughts.
  1525. >You should map out the strests and gather intel.
  1526. >Capture doesn't relieve you of your duties.
  1527. >You protected her.
  1528. >Didn't you?
  1529. >You look up to Anon.
  1530. >He faces straight forward and marches towards his destination.
  1531. >A couple of weeks back you wouldn't even have been able to keep this pace.
  1532. >Things are improving.
  1533. >It might not be much in the grand scheme of things but for the mare it means the world.
  1534. >Despite the deception somepony- no someone cared enough to help her.
  1537. >As soon as you leave the forest the gentle rustling of leaves is replaced by the sound of steps from boots and hooves on stone.
  1538. >The sidewalk is plastered with tramped down and dried up bubble gums and other stains.
  1539. >For a second you hesitate to step onto the spots.
  1540. >This must be closer to center of the town.
  1541. >The traffic increases and there are more people on the streets.
  1542. >You see a man dragging a stallion behind him.
  1543. >In the fading light you can't make out much but his figure.
  1544. >A hanging head dragged by the leash.
  1545. >You can't help touch the collar that is on your neck.
  1546. >Maybe you are not so bad off after all?
  1547. >You almost bump into Anon as he turns left into a site infront of a well lit house with large windows.
  1548. >There are a few wooden benches and folded sunshades.
  1549. >The door opens and woman hurries out.
  1550. >She carries a couple of cardboard boxes and hurries towards her car.
  1551. >By Celestia, the smell!
  1552. >Your stomach grumbles.
  1553. >Anon chuckles.
  1554. >"Guess veggies don't cut it, do they?"
  1555. "shutup," you mumble.
  1556. >In front of the door he stops and takes a look at door.
  1557. >He takes a deep breath and his head raises towards to sky.
  1558. >"Fucking..."
  1559. >On the door are multiple signs.
  1560. >Red circles with a red line crossing them. Inside are symbols, dogs, cigarettes, ponies.
  1561. >This is nothing new to you but every time you see it, it feels like a small punch to the stomach.
  1562. >Anon bows down and takes the leash out of his pocket and latches it onto your collar.
  1563. >"Mind tethering yourself up for a minute?"
  1564. >Now it is your time to look to the sky, curse and sigh.
  1565. "Fiiiine."
  1566. >You take the leash in your mouth and turn around to choose one of the benches to sit on.
  1567. "Huwwy ub!"
  1568. >Instead of running away you just pick one of the wooden benches and sit down.
  1569. >When did you become so compliant?
  1570. >You throw the leash over the rest and try to grab the dangling end.
  1571. >Before you manage to tie yourself up when Anon returns with two menus.
  1572. >"Sorry, let me grab that."
  1573. >His hand reaches towards your neck and with a *click* you are free of your burden again.
  1574. >A slave that chains herself up.
  1575. >Despicable.
  1576. >Anon lays the opens the menu and lays it in front of you while putting the leash back into his pocket.
  1577. >"So what do you want," he asks as he opens his own.
  1578. >You scan the catalog in the yellow light that shines through the window.
  1579. >Pizza, Pasta, Salads...
  1580. "Can I choose anything?"
  1581. >You had fruits and salad every day.
  1582. >"Yup."
  1583. >Honestly you eyed the pizza Anon shoves down his throat everyday.
  1584. >If it weren't for the meat...
  1585. "I'd like a pizza with mushrooms, onions and paprika."
  1586. >"Kay."
  1587. >Anon reads the menu for a little while until a grumpy waitress appears.
  1588. >"Did you decide on your order?"
  1589. >"Yeah, one large with with mushrooms, paprika and onions and tortellini with ham and cream sauce."
  1590. >Anon picks up the menus and hands it towards her.
  1591. >"Oh and please cut the pizza."
  1592. >"Coming right up," she says.
  1593. >As she turns around she shoots you a withering glare.
  1594. >A cold shudder runs down your spine.
  1595. >"Are you cold," Anon asks.
  1596. "A bit, yes."
  1597. >"You got a coat."
  1598. >You roll the eyes at him.
  1599. "It is almost winter."
  1600. >"But you are outside all day in the garden."
  1601. "Yes, and I either do a workout or work on in the garden. That keep me warm."
  1602. "Now I am just sitting."
  1603. >"I didn't think your kind needed cloth," he says as he lights up another cigarette.
  1604. "Actually we do."
  1605. >Anon leans forward and tosses his jacket into your face.
  1606. "Hey!"
  1607. >"Put that shit over your shoulders."
  1608. >What the?
  1609. >Isn't the remote for your shock-collar in the pocket?
  1610. >"I got some old hoodies you can try on, or we can order some shit."
  1611. >You observe his face for any hints of trickery but he really seems sincere.
  1612. >As you take his jacket between your teeth to move it over your shoulders you can see him flinch a little out of the corner of your eyes.
  1613. >You close your eyes and take a deep breath.
  1614. "Thanks."
  1615. >"No prob."
  1616. >"I just don't want your body secretions on my cloth."
  1617. >What in the hay?
  1618. >Anon leans back against the wooden rest.
  1619. >"Actually-" he takes a drag and stubs out the butt "-you did good today."
  1620. "Good..."
  1621. >"You didn't fuck up."
  1622. >Avoiding trouble and accepting what is going on is doing good?
  1623. "So?"
  1624. >"There is something I wanted to talk about. I might have to leave you alone a couple of days while I am on construction."
  1625. >Him being around or not is basically the same.
  1626. "And?"
  1627. >"There is a certain service. You get a device on one of your forelegs and it operates the locks."
  1628. >"You could go out and shop and all of the kinds of stuff."
  1629. >You eyes go wide.
  1630. >"Within certain limits of course."
  1631. >The house would be yours and you could roam free?
  1632. >"I thought about getting that but I don't want my crib to be a slave-shelter when I return."
  1633. >You stare at Anon, mouth hanging agape.
  1634. >"Don't get the wrong idea, you are still not allowed on playgrounds but you can shop with some RFID and call the police."
  1635. "I- I don't know what to say."
  1636. >"But if I weren't there you would have done something retarded so I am not sure yet."
  1637. "Buck off, Anon!"
  1638. >Frowning Anon replies, "calm down girl."
  1639. >"I don't want to lock you up so I have to be sure you won't cause any trouble."
  1640. "And when will that be?"
  1641. >"Not sure yet, but the current project is coming to a close."
  1642. "I thought you were doing maintenance?"
  1643. >"Yeah we do construction too. Whatever pays the bills. Lately it has become quite a shitshow."
  1644. >"Anyways, back to not fucking up. I'm having some guys over this weekend and I expect you to be on your best behavior."
  1645. "Yes, sure."
  1646. >"Last time my uncle almost lost a finger."
  1647. >You stomp your hoof on the bench in protest.
  1648. "I!"
  1649. >You take a deep breath and avert your gave to the grey plaster.
  1650. "I don't like to be touched by humans. I'm sorry, okay?"
  1651. >"Just don't fuck up again and we're cool."
  1652. >You give a tiny nod.
  1655. >One hour later you are back at home.
  1656. >You could have made it faster but you are so stuffed that you were simply unable to walk fast.
  1657. >You drag your heavy body towards the living room and with the last of your strength you pull yourself up onto the couch and collapse.
  1658. >When humans say large pizza they really mean LARGE.
  1659. >The last time you had such a feast was during the summer sun celebration.
  1660. >None of the guards wanted to have duty during the festivities so you drew straws.
  1661. >Sometimes you just have to be lucky.
  1662. >A sly grin sneaks itself on you face.
  1663. >You had way to much apple cider and started to rag the guards.
  1664. >Cider one hoof, a slice of pizza in the other and a blurry vision.
  1665. >You cringe a little at the memory.
  1666. >Two weeks cleaning the barracks. Worth it.
  1667. >Suddenly something drops on you.
  1668. >It is soft and warm.
  1669. "Anoooooon."
  1670. >"Try it on."
  1671. >After considering just taking a nap you push your heavy body upright and drag the cloth off your head.
  1672. >A hoody. Dark blue, almost black.
  1673. >You dig yourself into the the woolen cloth.
  1674. >Damn.
  1675. >This really is comfortable.
  1676. >You begin to understand why he always wears tho-
  1677. >Your thoughts are disrupted by Anon breaking out in laughter.
  1678. "What," you hiss at him.
  1679. >Gasping for air Anon replies, "you look so punk-rock."
  1680. "What."
  1681. >Gasping for air Anon signs you to wait.
  1682. >He fishes out a small mirror.
  1683. >Somewhere between the white blotches you can make out your reflection.
  1684. >Grey eyes and your ears peek out of the hoody.
  1685. >Your blue and silver mane is messy and hanging down almost down to your muzzle.
  1686. >You have healed. No more bruises tainting your white coat and you even put on some wheight after being kept barely alive at Mike's.
  1687. >But the mess that you see is unfit of your position even after the fall.
  1688. "Anon."
  1689. >"Don't like your punk-look," Anon asks with a grin.
  1690. "Can I ask you for a favor?"
  1691. >"Shoot."
  1692. "Can you comb my mane?"
  1693. >Anon's eyes go wide.
  1694. >"You're fucking with me, right?"
  1696. >A couple of minutes later you sitting on the ground in a very uncomfortable position.
  1697. >Your eyes are closed and you are taking deep breaths as the human sitting in your back mumbles insult at you.
  1698. >This is your most vulnerable position a earth pony has.
  1699. >You can feel the pull on your hair as-
  1700. "OUCH!"
  1701. >"What?"
  1702. >You turn your head to look at him and bark.
  1703. "Have you never combed hair!?"
  1704. >"I don't fucking comb. I get it cut."
  1705. "Grab my hair if there are knots! You are ripping my mane out!"
  1706. >"Yeah, whatever."
  1707. >After he finishes your cheeks start to light up,
  1708. "C-could you comb my tail too?"
  1709. >"You're fucking kidding me," Anon protests.
  1710. >You grab the pillow you're holding a little tighter.
  1711. "And d-do you have so scissors?"
  1712. >His hand lets go of your mane and you can almost feel his sharp breath on your back.
  1713. >"For fucks sake!"
  1716. >Yesterday must have been the best day you've had since you stepped through the portal to stop discord.
  1717. >You were unharmed, fed, well rested and even groomed.
  1718. >Your mane and tail cut and orderly and your fitness almost on a level that was worthy of your guard duty.
  1719. >This day...
  1720. >It has been raining non-stop.
  1721. >You had some tea and read story book.
  1722. >"Hansel and Gretel"
  1723. >Even their children's stories are horrifying.
  1724. >A story about cannibalism that ends with a witch burned alive in an oven.
  1725. >Somehow it reminds you of Anon.
  1726. >Aside from the first few days he just kept and fed you.
  1727. >Maybe he wants you to get fat so he eat you.
  1728. >Right now you face bigger problems though.
  1729. >Since there is not much to do right now you used your ballpoint-pen to start Anon's PC and click on the guest account he made for you.
  1730. >The damn chair always keeps spinning.
  1731. >You move the pointer to the search bar.
  1732. "Ooooooohkay."
  1733. >You take a deep breath.
  1734. >You put your hooves on the PonyPad.
  1735. >Left lever on yellow, right lever position 4, push: e
  1736. >Left lever on red, right lever position 2, push: q
  1737. >Left lever on yellow, right lever position 5, push: u
  1738. >Left lever on yellow, right lever position 4, push: e
  1739. >Left lever on blue, right lever position 1, push: s
  1740. >Left lever on green, right lever position 7, push: t
  1741. >Whoever invented autofill is your favorite human on this planet.
  1742. >You scroll through the search result.
  1743. >Aerial photographs of the landing zone show what you imagined it would be.
  1744. >Roads and plants, trucks and even a railroads.
  1745. >You scroll over the headlines of articles.
  1746. >Many are about resources deals and victories.
  1747. >The wildlife...
  1748. >The resistance...
  1749. >Canterlot has been taken.
  1750. >You just stare at the headline.
  1751. >Mom, Dad, the guards, your friends...
  1752. >"Just two months after assuming the position of commanding general General Robert Smith finally did what his predecessor could not do in 3 years. Canterlot is taken."
  1753. >"The siege of Canterlot if finally over as the defenders surrendered."
  1754. >Your eyes start to tear.
  1755. "Why," you shout as you smack the tabletop.
  1756. >Trying to calm yourself you rest your head in your hooves.
  1757. >Breathe.
  1758. >If it has been this long the pegasi must have evacuated all civilians!
  1759. >They must have!
  1760. >Your home, your school, the baracks... ruins...
  1761. >The flag of the USA risen on Canterlot Square still makes your eyes tear up.
  1762. >You have fought against wild beasts on the borders but you never imagined smart beasts to take the heart of Equestria.
  1763. >Jumping off you head towards the large glass sliding doors the seperate that living room from the garden.
  1764. >You should be there.
  1765. >You should at least tell them.
  1766. >What happens to ponies in this world. That surrender is not an option.
  1767. >You push your head against the cool glass.
  1768. >Canterlot.
  1769. >Everfree.
  1770. >It is not that far, is it?
  1771. >You get back on the chair and start work yourself through the articles.
  1772. >"Under constant attacks by the beast of the forest..."
  1773. >"Desert in the south..."
  1774. >"Los Pegasus..."
  1775. >"Smokey mountains..."
  1776. >"Dragon attacks...
  1777. >They have control a fifth of Equestria.
  1778. >You move the pointer to the shutdown button.
  1780. >It is Friday afternoon.
  1781. >Anon comes through the door, carrying a beer case.
  1782. >He is still wearing his work clothes.
  1783. >"Hey mind taking the snacks out of the trunk for me?"
  1784. >Oh right.
  1785. >Anon has people over today.
  1786. "Sure."
  1787. >You walk up towards the door but hesitate for a moment.
  1788. >There is no collar on your neck.
  1789. >Anon lets you take it of when you're home.
  1790. >It's just to the car right?
  1791. >Still you make haste as you step outside.
  1792. >You push your forelegs up to and look inside the trunk.
  1793. >Beer, softdrinks, veggies, snacks and a single frozen pizza.
  1794. >A bad feeling spreads through your stomache.
  1795. >You try to shake it of and grab a few bags of chips in your mouth and hurry back inside.
  1796. >It's nothing, right?
  1797. >Anon passes you, uttering a quick "thanks."
  1798. >You deposit them in the kitchen and hear the door getting shut.
  1799. >"I'm going to take a shower. If someone rings your let them in."
  1801. >Somehow you're eager to have some other people over but what he bought...
  1802. >You can hear him climb the stairs just to return a minute later and disappear in the bath.
  1803. >As if on cue the bell rings and you open the door.
  1804. >A huge human stands before you.
  1805. >His hoody matching yours, just a larger.
  1806. >Much larger.
  1807. >The chubby human looks down on you.
  1808. >"Anon here," he asks frowning down on you.
  1809. "Yes, you can come in."
  1810. >The human pushes past you and heads towards the kitchen to grab a beer.
  1811. >He opens it with a lighter and throws the cap on the counter.
  1812. >Then he rummages through the snacks.
  1813. “Make yourself at home...”
  1814. >Ignoring you he heads towards the living room and sits down.
  1815. >The bad feeling in your stomach gets stronger.
  1816. >A few minutes later Anon steps out of the shower to greet the guest.
  1817. >"What's up Steve?"
  1818. >Steve shoves a fist full of chips in his face and mumbles "'s cool."
  1819. >Anon gives him a nod.
  1820. >While the two of them talk about work and acquaintances you store the beer and food away in the kitchen.
  1821. >It doesn't take long until two more guests appear.
  1822. >They drink beer and one of them, George, has a large glass-pipe.
  1823. >The sweet smell of his weed fills the room as he lights it up.
  1824. >Then he exhales a cloud of smoke.
  1825. >You have taken your place on the couch next to Anon most next to the edge of the couch and close to his PC.
  1826. >George gets up and looks at the garden.
  1827. >"Hey Anon, what happened to your garden?"
  1828. >"I don't know. What happened to my garden?"
  1829. >"It is the first one I've ever seen that blooms in fall."
  1830. >You can't help to puff out your chest a little.
  1831. >Anon gets up to take a look at it too.
  1832. >"Huh"- he turns to you- "good job Snow."
  1833. >Don't smile!
  1834. >You smile.
  1835. >Anon walk back towards his PC, "let's get this party started."
  1836. >Music and LED-lights are turned on and all the guys drink, eat and smoke you decide to poke Anon.
  1837. "Hey, can I have a beer too?"
  1838. >Anon raises an eyebrow at you.
  1839. >"Sure."
  1840. >They play some video game and have smalltalk.
  1841. >The game is a ‘jump and run.’
  1842. >And you are actually fine with it.
  1843. >Actually you are somewhat enticed.
  1844. >A cartoon character running through level and climbing platforms.
  1845. >"Hey, Slave, get me a beer."
  1846. >You turn your head to look at the source.
  1847. >Steve.
  1848. >He scowls at you, holding his empty bottle into your direction.
  1849. >"Are you deaf," he asks raising his voice.
  1850. >You turns to Anon who is browsing for some electronic music and lights up a cigarette.
  1851. >"I'm talking to you, you dumb animal."
  1852. >"Don't you talk shit about my horse, my horse is amazing," Anon says, still staring at the PC-screen.
  1853. >"What you're now all lovey-dovey with *them*?"
  1854. >"Shutup."
  1855. >"You're fucking her?"
  1856. >Anon lets his left arm sink and takes a deep breath.
  1857. >With a cigarette in his mouth he pauses the music.
  1858. >Then he turns his chair around to face Steve.
  1859. >He raises from his chair and his arm makes a wide motion towards the door.
  1860. >"Thank you for dropping by."
  1861. >The room is silent.
  1862. >Then Steve puts down his bottle on the table.
  1863. >"No reason to get all sensitive, asshole."
  1864. >"Fuck off, she is not your slave, fuckface. How about some manners."
  1865. >Anon turns to face you.
  1866. >"Hey Snow, would you be so kind and get us a couple of beers from the kitchen," he says with a fake smile.
  1867. >You give a small nod.
  1868. >"And besides," he continues, "whats your problem with Snowflake? She may be an idiot but she got a heart and a spine and that more then most of the fucks out there have."
  1869. >Unsure about how to feel about the situation you jump off of the couch and head towards the kitchen.
  1870. >You grab a tablet and put a few beers on it.
  1871. >"Got a bleeding heart for them now you gentle soul?"
  1872. >"Would both of you calm down?"
  1873. >"Hey you know what happened to him."
  1874. >"I'm just stressed out, calm down!"
  1875. >You place it on your back and carefully walk back into the living room.
  1876. >Anon takes a small zip lock back, filled with a white liquid, out of his pocket and throws it at Steve.
  1877. >"Shut up and start chopping, bitch. What am I paying you for?"
  1878. >"If you want to know something ask her and don't fuck with her."
  1879. >Anon turns around to start the music again.
  1880. >You carefully walk around the glass table so everyone can take a beer.
  1881. >This is not going to be good.
  1882. >Maybe you should head back to your room.
  1883. >As the white liquid is spread on the mirror the atmosphere changes.
  1884. >Out of the corners of your eyes you can see them glancing as the liquid turns into powder.
  1885. >The one sitting next to you, George, two feet apart, turns to you.
  1886. >"So how long have you been here, what did you do in Equestria?"
  1887. "I-"
  1888. >Anon spins around, "oh yes," he glances towards Steve and back to you, "you were a gard-"
  1889. >His eyes jump to your flank.
  1890. >"You were a smith in some backwater town right?"
  1891. >"You don't know?" 'skip' asks.
  1892. >You take a look at your cutie mark and then back at Anon.
  1893. "Yes, I was a- a smith..."
  1894. >"I don't really care," Anon replies.
  1895. >The talk continues about your previous masters.
  1896. >You can't even remember how many.
  1897. >20? 30?
  1898. >You tell George about the internment camps.
  1899. >About the plants where you sorted trash or cleaned furnaces.
  1900. >About the farms where you picked crops.
  1901. >Anon, 'Skip' and Steve play the game, drink and snort powder or eat some pills and drink beer.
  1902. >With the mood getting more relaxed you decide to stay around just a little longer.
  1903. >Every time Anon snorts a line of powder you give him a quick glance.
  1904. >Make you should head to you room.
  1906. >By the time they beat the game it is already dark.
  1907. >"Time for the main act," Anon exclaims.
  1908. >The mirror is passed and everyone snorts. Beers are opened and cigarettes lit.
  1909. >He stops the music and all of you stare at the big screen.
  1910. >You are kind of curious what all of them gathered here for.
  1911. >The screen turns black.
  1912. >There is some faint music.
  1913. >It is instrumental.
  1914. >White names appear on the screen.
  1915. >There is the sound of explosions.
  1916. >A soldier runs through a trench.
  1917. >His dark helmet bobbing as he moves.
  1918. >He slams himself into sandbags.
  1919. >Bullets are whizzing by.
  1920. >You can feel the bags vibrating as the sand is flung into the air.
  1921. >The sand rattles on the helmet.
  1922. "Sarge!"
  1923. "Sarge!"
  1924. >You stretch you hoof to shake him.
  1925. >He just lying on the bags.
  1926. >You push him and scream.
  1927. "Sarge!"
  1928. >His helmet falls off.
  1929. >There is blood.
  1930. >It runs down his white coat with bits of flesh.
  1931. >You scream.
  1932. >Things are breaking.
  1933. >There are screams.
  1934. >"Grab her legs!"
  1935. >Lights turn on.
  1936. >The soldiers grab you.
  1937. >The drag you through the concrete corridors.
  1938. >You try to kick, to bite, to scream.
  1939. >The hands keep you locked.
  1940. >You fall.
  1941. >"Hold her!"
  1942. >They grab you hind legs and press you down.
  1943. >You tail clenches down and you scream.
  1944. >You cry!
  1945. "Not again! Not again!"
  1946. >You fight against them!
  1947. >You buck.
  1948. >You struggle until you pass out.
  1950. >When you open your eyes you are in your bed.
  1951. >There is a sound at the end of your bed.
  1952. >It is Anon.
  1953. >He sits there taking a sip of his beer.
  1954. >His mouth is clenched and his hand rubs on his thigh.
  1955. >"You with us again?"
  1956. "What happened," you ask with a coarse voice.
  1957. >"You freaked out. You and your kind really tend to ruin my weekends."
  1958. >You rest your head on the blanket.
  1959. >"Do you want me to send them home?"
  1960. "please"
  1961. >"Fine."
  1962. >He raises and heads towards the door.
  1963. "Anon."
  1964. >"Huh?"
  1965. "I don't get you."
  1966. >"Whatever."
  1967. >Your muscles ache as you try to face him.
  1968. "You are like smoke."
  1969. "I can't live like this."
  1970. >"I'm your last stop."
  1971. >He steps through the door and turns off the light.
  1974. >Be Snowflake.
  1975. >After waking up you step into the living room to examine the damage.
  1976. >The rack of the coffee table is pushed against the wall.
  1977. >Fragments of the glass plate are swept up beneath it.
  1978. >The floor is stained by ash, beer and the brown water of the glass pipe.
  1979. >Anon is nowhere to be seen.
  1980. >It was not intentionally but you feel remorse none the less.
  1981. >You decide to do what he said he bought you for.
  1982. >It is the sixth time in weeks.
  1983. >After cleaning up you take a bath to relax you aching muscles.
  1984. >You heat the water up to the point it almost hurts and step inside the tub.
  1985. >After a few seconds and warm water feels great.
  1986. >Not being able to focus your thoughts you just glance through the steam and rest your back against the tub.
  1987. >You swing your hips a little in the warm water to create waves.
  1988. >They run down the the length of the tub and back to your chest.
  1989. >Your body swings in the rhythm of the water.
  1990. >So soothing.
  1991. >Anon wasn't angry or if he was he didn't show it.
  1992. >Maybe you should give up and just take it as it gets.
  1993. >You were right to worry but for different reason.
  1994. >Despite your panic attack and ruining his *party*, living room and weekend and despite him being on drugs...
  1995. >Maybe his wrath will come down on you later?
  1996. >He was just to off to be angry.
  1997. >Speaking through clenched teeth, running his hands up and down his thighs...
  1998. >He was even more sweaty than you.
  1999. >But for now you just let the tiny waves crush down on your chest.
  2000. >Anon doesn't return that day.
  2001. >He doesn't return the next day either until late at night.
  2002. >Pale as a ghost he just gets to his PC and sits down.
  2003. >He doesn't mind you.
  2004. "Hey Anon," your gaze wanders to the floor and you take a deep breath.
  2005. "I'm sorry."
  2006. >Without looking at you Anon replies "not now. We'll talk tomorrow."
  2007. >If there is one thing you have learned is that this is your cue to leave.
  2009. >After Anon sobered up he wasn't angry.
  2010. >He told you that you owe him a new table.
  2011. >With that the incident was done.
  2012. >Anon even stopped playing his games when you were around.
  2013. >Instead he did some other stuff at his PC.
  2014. >Mostly he listened to music and got drunk.
  2015. >With all the overtime he did and the lack of his favorite hobby he is always pissed.
  2016. >Sometimes you just sit on the couch and watch something.
  2017. >Or at least try to.
  2018. >He just flicks through the channel with angry groans.
  2019. >Click. Business channel.
  2020. >"Fuckers."
  2021. >Click. Documentary on space.
  2022. >"For retards."
  2023. >Click. Two fat women fighting.
  2024. >"Disgusting."
  2025. >Click. A church.
  2026. >"Stupid."
  2027. >A documentary on drugs.
  2028. >"Bullshit."
  2029. "Hey Anon," you say as you watch some DEA officer talking into a microphone.
  2030. "Is there anything you believe in?"
  2031. >"I believe in love."
  2032. >You turn to look at your slaver with a raised eyebrow.
  2033. >You give him a small poke.
  2034. "Didn't take you for a romantic"
  2035. >He chugs down the rest of his beer and gives you a scowl.
  2036. >"It is the only explanation. There is no other way someone could live with these bags of bones skin and fat."
  2037. >You roll your eyes and sigh.
  2038. >What did you expect.
  2039. >Click. News channel.
  2040. >Shootings, fraud, murdered ponies.
  2041. "Are you okay with this?"
  2042. >He lights up another smoke and opens one more beer.
  2043. "How do you humans deal with this?"
  2044. >The circles around his eyes are darker than usual.
  2045. >"I... what do you want?"
  2046. "I want this madness to end."
  2047. >"You could make a website."
  2048. >His negativity must be rubbing off on you.
  2049. "Can we just go for a walk?"
  2050. >Click. The screen goes black.
  2052. >He really did it.
  2053. >He got you the device.
  2054. >"Green is okay. Yellow will make it beep. Red will fry your ass," he points at the map on the screen.
  2055. >It's something.
  2056. >"Raise you arm or leg or whatever over the pad and hold it there to pay."
  2057. >If there is a store that serves ponies...
  2058. >Still this thing must have been expensive.
  2059. >"Hold the red button for 5 seconds to call for help. There is a service center that can call the police."
  2060. >Human police. That is something you’d really like to avoid.
  2061. >"The yellow one is for locking and unlocking the door to the house."
  2062. >"If someone kicks you, you tell him that destruction of private property is a criminal offense."
  2063. >Just take a deep breath.
  2064. >"If some hits his pony you walk past."
  2065. >Your breath hastens.
  2066. >"If someone is about to kill his pony tell them it is public nuisance."
  2067. "I get it!"
  2068. >Just look at the bright side Snowflake!
  2069. >You can finally walk free while Anon is away on the job.
  2070. >As long as you stay in the green area.
  2071. >Which is basically just a few roads and the forest.
  2072. >But it is the most freedom you had in three years and more than the vast majority of ponies has in this world.
  2073. >After three days alone at home you start to miss Anon.
  2074. >You have met a few ponies on your walks but their slavers wouldn't let you talk.
  2075. >The humans you encounter glare daggers at you.
  2076. >Eleven days later you are happy to see him again.
  2077. >But Anon just drops off his stuff and goes away visit some of his friends for two days and the sleeps through the complete sunday.
  2078. >The first frost has rendered any gardening useless.
  2079. >Free food, free shelter, an allowance, workout and sleep.
  2080. >You start to hate even the good things of this world.
  2081. >You need a change of scenery.
  2082. >Just two more weeks and he has a few days off.
  2084. >Friday afternoon.
  2085. >You rest on the couch wearing your hoody.
  2086. >Your tail swishes to the right.
  2087. >Four weeks since the last time you really spend time with Anon.
  2088. >Since you spend time with anypony really.
  2089. >The first snow has gently fallen to cover the ground.
  2090. >You are in top condition.
  2091. >There is not a single spot in the entire house.
  2092. >Four weeks since he had friends over.
  2093. >Since you had a panic attack.
  2094. >The sun is already setting.
  2095. >You've read every book.
  2096. >Your tail swishes to the left.
  2097. >He is late.
  2098. >You have read every article the about equestria.
  2099. >He should already be here.
  2100. >Your tail swishes to the right.
  2101. >You've watched a thousand cat videos.
  2102. >Wait!
  2103. >There is a car!
  2104. >It is coming up the driveway!
  2105. >You jump off the couch and rush to the door.
  2106. >The lock turns.
  2107. >Tail swishing in excitement you put on a grin.
  2108. >It is genuine.
  2109. >The door opens.
  2110. >You tail clamps down.
  2113. >"Where is Anon?"
  2114. "He's not here."
  2115. >Charly glares down on you.
  2116. >You can smell the stench of booze from him.
  2117. >It is the stench of liquor.
  2118. >His lips disappear behind his beard as he presses them together.
  2119. >Then he pushes you aside and kicks the door shut behind him.
  2120. "What are you doing," you bark after him.
  2121. >Not looking back at you he replies "waiting for Anon" over his shoulder.
  2122. >He disappears in the kitchen.
  2123. >You hear the fridge open and get shut again before he reappers with a beer in his hand.
  2124. "Is Anon okay with you being here?"
  2125. >"He better be."
  2126. >His eyes. It is not just spite. Your duty has taught you to see when someone is looking for trouble.
  2127. "Come back soon," you whisper to yourself.
  2128. >They are not on good terms.
  2129. >Or they weren't the last time he was here at least.
  2130. >After you almost bit him they had a fight and Anon messed you up.
  2131. >You left your tracker-armband in your room.
  2132. >Better put it on, just in case.
  2133. >"Hey horse, what happened to the table?"
  2134. >With a nervous flick of your tails you step towards the living room.
  2135. "We had an-" you pause a second to find the right words "-had a small accident."
  2136. "And my name is Snowflake."
  2137. >Anon's uncle seats himself on the couch.
  2138. >"He should be back by now."
  2139. "Yes he should."
  2140. >Charly a seat at the couch next to him.
  2141. >"Sit down, horse."
  2142. >You glance back towards your room.
  2143. "My name is Snowflake," you repeat.
  2144. >"Keep me company while I wait for him to return."
  2145. >You climb up the couch and take your seat.
  2146. >Not next to him but not far away either not to upset him.
  2147. >You put on a smile.
  2148. "Why are you here?"
  2149. >He takes a sip of the beer he took out of Anon's fridge and scowl at you?
  2150. >"Am I not allowed to visit my nephew?"
  2151. "You had a key so I think you should be."
  2152. >"Don't question your superiors, horse."
  2153. "I told you my name is Snowflake."
  2154. >"Right."
  2155. >He shifts towards you and rests a leg on the couch.
  2156. >"So how have you been these past weeks?"
  2158. >Forty minutes and another beer later he still interrogates you.
  2159. >He chugs down the rest of the bottle and hands you the bottle.
  2160. >"Get me another one."
  2161. >You should take this opportunity to sneak into your room to get the armband.
  2162. >All you need to do is wait.
  2163. >Anon's shift must be over by now.
  2164. >He surely is on the way.
  2165. >You just have to wait it out.
  2166. >Don't cause a fuss.
  2167. >"I'm talking to you, horse!"
  2168. >You force a smile.
  2169. "Of course, sir."
  2170. >You grab the bottle out of his hand-
  2171. >"Hurry up."
  2172. >You take the bottle into you mouth and hurry towards your room.
  2173. >Setting the bottle next to the door you raise yourself to press down the handle.
  2174. >"Where do you think you are going?"
  2175. >You freeze like a foal with a hoof in the cookie jar.
  2176. "I was just-"
  2177. >"Come here."
  2178. "Just one second please."
  2179. >His voice is getting lower, louder and his head is getting red.
  2180. >"I gave you and order!"
  2181. >You want to say that you are not his slave and that this is not his house.
  2182. >But you don't want things to escalate.
  2183. >This is close to critical mass.
  2184. >You drop back to your hooves.
  2185. "Yes, sir."
  2186. >As you walk you lower your head and close your eyes for a slpit second to send a prayer to Luna, Celestia or whatever god this rules this world.
  2187. >Please hurry Anon!
  2188. >"Sit down," he says pointing to a spot direct next to him.
  2189. >You slowly move up to him and sit on on your haunches.
  2190. >"I hoped Anon taught you some manners."
  2191. "He did, sir."
  2192. >You give a tiny nod to sell your point.
  2193. >"Last time you attacked me."
  2194. >Another deep breath to calm yourself down.
  2195. "I am sorry, sir. I was punished and learned my lesson."
  2196. >"Stretch out your head."
  2197. >What?
  2198. >Last time he tried to pet you.
  2199. >He just wants to confirm?
  2200. >Tail nervously flicking you close your eyes, clench your teeth and stretch your head towards him.
  2201. >And wait.
  2202. >There is the sound of his cloth as he moves.
  2203. >His hand touches your head.
  2204. >You flinch a little.
  2205. >His hand moves down and his thumb rubs your cheek.
  2206. >Every fiber of your body wants to get away from the humans touch.
  2207. >"You monsters can be pretty."
  2208. >His hand wanders down towards your chin.
  2209. >And to your neck.
  2210. >Anon where are you!?
  2211. >His hand slides lower to your collar.
  2212. >"I can understand Mike."
  2213. >Your eyes go wide and you push yourself away.
  2214. >He has your collar!
  2215. >"Oooh what's wrong?"
  2216. "No..."
  2217. >"Do you miss him?"
  2218. >His grip tightens, making it difficult to breathe.
  2219. >"Don't tell me Anon hasn't fucked you."
  2220. >Your eyes well up.
  2221. "No, please!"
  2222. >Pushing his hands away tightens the collar around your neck.
  2223. "No please," you gasp.
  2224. >His other hand reaches for your neck as he topples you.
  2225. >"I'll teach you how to be a good little slave!"
  2226. "Anon!"
  2227. >You can't breathe.
  2228. >He is lying on you now.
  2229. >There is a small clink of his belt buckle.
  2230. >His stinking breath twists your stomach as he says, "I'm your master now."
  2231. "Anon," you wheeze, trying to get away.
  2232. >You can feel his thing pressed at your crotch.
  2233. >He grunts and presses you down harder.
  2234. >"Snowfl-"
  2235. >ANON!
  2236. >Charly releases his death-grip on your neck a bit.
  2237. >"Hey boy."
  2238. >There is shock in Charlies eyes.
  2239. >Anon roars and jump over the couch at his uncle.
  2240. >Then both of them fall down with loud thud.
  2241. >Charly tries to push Anon away but the younger man wrestles him down and raises his fist.
  2242. >"AHHHHH!!!"
  2243. >With a dull smack Anon's fist knocks Charlies head back against the floor.
  2244. >He raises it again only to let it crash down again.
  2245. >His panicked uncle tries to protect his head.
  2246. >"Rapist," Anon screams at him before he swing to the side of Charlies head.
  2247. >Smack.
  2248. >Drop of spit shoot out of his mouth as he screams insults at the unconscious man.
  2249. >"You piece of shit!"
  2250. >Smack.
  2251. >"I'll kill you!"
  2252. >Smack.
  2253. >The thing you see is not Anon.
  2254. >It is a wild beast.
  2255. >His hand raises again.
  2256. >You launch yourself off the couch to tackle Anon.
  2257. "STOP!"
  2258. >His elbow hits your ribs, knocking the wind out of you.
  2259. >He is up and raises his fist.
  2260. >It is red with blood.
  2261. >His eyes are full of primal rage.
  2262. "Anon!"
  2263. >He blinks at you and and takes a look back at his uncle.
  2264. >There is a small cough of blood.
  2265. "It's enough."
  2266. >Anon presses his palms into his eyes.
  2267. >"Fuck. Fuckfuckfuck FUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUCKKK!"
  2268. >As you try to catch your breath Anon rushes into the kitchen only to return with a beer and a small bag of his drugs.
  2269. >He walks up to his uncle and kicks him in the stomach.
  2270. >"Thanks for drinking my beer your bastard!"
  2271. >There is a small pool of blood building up next to his head.
  2272. "We need to get him to a hospital."
  2273. >"Shutup, Snow, I need to think!"
  2274. >Anon chugs down half the bottle and crashes the white rock with a lighter.
  2275. >He takes out a bill and snorts.
  2276. >"Ahhhhh fuuuck!"
  2277. "Anon!"
  2278. >"Are you okay?"
  2279. "I'm okay but we need to get him to a hospital."
  2280. >"No."
  2281. "What?"
  2282. >"This won't kill him. Sadly..."
  2283. "How do you know!?"
  2284. >And turns around to you.
  2285. >His eyes are glassy and his face devoid of emotion.
  2286. >"I know."
  2287. >Then he turns around further crush the rocks and take another hit.
  2288. >You point your hoof at the bleeding piece of shit on the floor.
  2289. "What happens next? We need to do something."
  2290. >"Fuck"- a shudder runs down Anon's body -"shut up for a moment."
  2291. >Anon closes his eyes.
  2292. >Then he throws his head back.
  2294. >He pulls out his phone.
  2295. >"Pick up you piece of trash! Pick up!"
  2297. "What are you doing, Anon!?"
  2298. >He stretches his arm towards you raising his index finger.
  2299. >"Shhh."
  2300. >"Ymous here. I need a favor."
  2301. >Anon rolls his eyes as you watch him walking up and down the room, always glancing at his drugs.
  2302. >"Put me on the E-job tomorrow."
  2303. >He clenches his fist.
  2304. >"I know the regulations! And since when do you fucking care about them?"
  2305. >"My uncle had an accident and we can't cover the bills. I *need* the money."
  2306. >Anon glaces down at his uncle-
  2307. >"It is bad, I can barely make out his face anymore," he says with a cracking voice.
  2308. >He takes a deep breath as you just watch him.
  2309. >"How many times have I worked off the clock for you? How many times have have I taken all this shit? While these *fucks* were busy swinging their balls from left to right I worked!"
  2310. >"Have I ever asked you for a favor? And I am not even asking for myself but for family! This is a once in a *lifetime* request!"
  2311. >There is silence.
  2312. >"Thanks. I'll be there."
  2313. >Anon presses a button on his phone and takes a deep breath.
  2314. >"Guess thats it..."
  2315. "Anon what in the hay is going on?"
  2318. >Anon picks up the black gym bag he dropped in the hallway and spills his content on the ground.
  2319. >"Put everything that is not cloth on the couch!"
  2320. >He rushes to the staircase only to return with his hands full of cloth.
  2321. >He throws it on the couch and rushes back into another room.
  2322. >When he returns you grab his legs.
  2323. "Stop! Anon, please stop!"
  2324. >He freezes.
  2325. >"We have to hurry!"
  2326. "Anon, talk to me! What is going on?"
  2327. >"You're going home."
  2328. >
  2329. "What?"
  2330. >"Did he...?"
  2331. >Anon' eyes wander towards your hips.
  2332. "You were just in time."
  2333. >You close your eyes and tighten your grip around his leg.
  2334. "Thank you, Anon."
  2335. >"Why did you stop me?"
  2336. >You point to your cutie mark.
  2337. "I protect people."
  2338. >"Even him?"
  2339. "Even him,” you nod.
  2340. >"I should have killed him, that would buy us more time."
  2341. "Time for what?"
  2342. >Anon kneels down.
  2343. >"I'll get you to Equestria."
  2344. >Mouth hanging agape you stare in disbelief.
  2345. "Have you lost your mind?"
  2346. >"I'll explain later. Just do as I tell you. Trust me."
  2348. >The gym back is half full with all kinds of things from cloth, cigarettes, tools, meds and various other things.
  2349. >Anon picks up the pocket knife from the couch.
  2350. >He steps towards the unconscious uncle of his.
  2351. "Anon, don't do it," you beg.
  2352. >"Calm down."
  2353. >He bows over him and searches man mans pocket.
  2354. >He takes out cellphone and crushes it with his feet.
  2355. >Then unplugs the phone and takes the it under his arm and picks up the bag.
  2356. "We need to go."
  2357. >Anon snorts another line and moves towards the front door.
  2358. >You follow him.
  2359. >He switches the light off and the two off you leave into the darkness.
  2360. >With the knife folded out he stabs the two front tires of Charlie's car.
  2361. >"Alright time to bail."
  2362. >The both of you get into the car and Anon starts the engine.
  2363. "Can you please tell me what is going on?"
  2364. >While staring down the empty roads and snuffles and gives a harrumph.
  2365. >"Shit is fucked."
  2366. "I can tell as much..."
  2367. >"I'm going to jail for this and that means your fate is sealed."
  2368. >"But my boss has some construction in Equestria and I'll bring you there before I get arrested."
  2369. >"Better take a good leak, you're going into the bag."
  2370. >You deflate into the backrest.
  2371. >Trying to process the input.
  2372. "Just like that?"
  2373. >"Just like that."
  2374. "Won't they search your bags?"
  2375. >"Nobody cares about some tools of a construction worker. They wave us through when we get in and only frisk on the way back."
  2376. "Sounds to good to be true."
  2377. >"It is."
  2378. >Anon takes a smoke out of his pack and lights it up.
  2379. >When he lower the window the wind and noise from the highway starts to flood the cabin.
  2380. >"I have no idea what happens once we're through the portal and if he calls the police before we're there we are screwed."
  2381. "That's why you tossed the telephone into the back and cut his tires?"
  2382. >"Yes."
  2383. >"Gotta meet at the venue at 4 a.m. Try to sleep."
  2384. "Why are you doing this?"
  2385. >"To save your life."
  2386. >Anon turns on the radio.
  2387. >The clock shows 22:53.
  2388. >Maybe you should've stopped Anon a little later.
  2389. >He raises the volume high enough to drain out the sound of the car.
  2390. >Metal.
  2391. >You won't get much sleep tonight.
  2393. >You look through the window of the car as Anon drives down the highway.
  2394. >The city is is a sea of light in the darkness of a clear winter sky.
  2395. >The lights of the cars in the distance look like a giant glowing snake.
  2396. >Anon clenches the steering wheel.
  2397. >Metal booms out of the speakers.
  2398. >You try to make heads or tails of the situation.
  2399. >The piece of shit tried to rape you.
  2400. >Anon...
  2401. >He almost killed him.
  2402. >Then he called his boss to get on a project.
  2403. >A project in Equestria.
  2404. >And now he is going to smuggle you there.
  2405. >Anon doesn't even notice you as you watch him.
  2406. >His dilated pupils stare into the distance.
  2407. >If there is one thing you hate about him it is his silence.
  2408. >You can't tell what he thinks.
  2409. >You can only tell that there is something on his mind.
  2410. >He barely gives you any information ever.
  2411. "Hey Anon," you say as you turn down the music.
  2412. >"Huh?"
  2413. "Why do we have to run?"
  2414. >"I fucked up an elder citizen. I'm going to jail."
  2415. "But he tried to rape me!"
  2416. >"Who they are gonna believe? Some punk with a criminal record or and elder citizen?"
  2417. >Anon groans.
  2418. >"Have you seen his face? I'm *so* fucked!"
  2419. >"And if I go to prison you're going into the grinder."
  2420. "Running away from the police will only make it worse!"
  2421. >"Not running will kill you."
  2422. >He faces you.
  2423. >"Not metaphorically, not maybe. They will put you down!"
  2424. >Why? It is him who attacked someone. How can he be so sure?
  2425. >He faces the road again and hits the steering wheel.
  2426. >"Fuuuuuuck!"
  2427. >Somehow you’re no longer afraid of his outbursts.
  2428. >When did you begin to trust him like that?
  2429. >You shake off the thought.
  2430. "So we have to get to the portal before he regains consciousness and calls the police," you mumble to yourself
  2431. >"I should have killed this son of a bitch!"
  2432. >The hatred in his eyes.
  2433. >He would have.
  2434. >There is one question on your mind though.
  2435. "Could you have gotten me to Equestria before?"
  2436. >Anon shakes his head.
  2437. >"Don't get the wrong idea. I asked a favor to get on this project and this is not a plan. It is a gamble."
  2438. >"I have no idea how to get you from the portal to freedom."
  2439. >"And even if it works you're probably getting smoked or captured."
  2440. >It is not that you think Anon is lying.
  2441. >You should be happy.
  2442. >This is a way home but you don't feel it. It is so abstract.
  2443. >The thought of ever getting home is so distant.
  2444. >It is like a flame. You can tell someone it has hundreds of degrees that it will hurt but it takes a touch to really understand.
  2445. >Before that they're just words.
  2446. >Anon takes an exit ramp.
  2447. >Only the main road has streetlights.
  2448. >In the darkness you can make out buildings like the ones in the suburbs.
  2449. >But there is nobody that lives here anymore.
  2450. >Some houses are simply squalid.
  2451. >Other fallen into ruins or burned down.
  2452. >Most were damaged in the fighting.
  2453. >There is the footprint of an Ursa Major in what used to be a front yard.
  2454. >In the distance you can see a blue glow.
  2455. >It is the portal that Discord opened.
  2456. >There are floodlights and trucks in the distance.
  2457. >Anon turns into one of the abandoned side roads and stops the car.
  2458. >"We got some hours to kill."
  2459. >He bows over to you and takes a CD-case out of the glove-box.
  2460. >Then he takes out the small bag and credit card.
  2461. >"Try to sleep."
  2464. >You flinch as something shakes you out of sleep.
  2465. >"Hey, wake up."
  2466. >In shock you hit the attacker with your forelegs.
  2467. >A familiar silhouette pulls away into the distance.
  2468. >"Argh! Fuck! Stop it!"
  2469. "Anon?"
  2470. >"Yes. Who the fuck did you expect?"
  2471. >He rubs his arm.
  2472. "Sorry Anon! Did I hit you badly? I was just-"
  2473. >"Take a leak," he commands while examining his arm.
  2474. >"It is almost time."
  2475. >A minute later you lie in a gym bag.
  2476. >Various hard objects press into your sides but you manage.
  2477. >"Whatever happens no sound and no movement, Snowflake. No matter what happens."
  2478. "How long will it take?"
  2479. >"An hour? I have no idea."
  2480. >He begins zip up the bag.
  2481. "Hey Anon," you push a your right hoof outside.
  2482. >"Huh?"
  2483. "Thank you."
  2484. >”Yeah, whatever.”
  2485. >The bag closes.
  2486. >You can hear Anon grunt as he lifts up the bag.
  2487. >After being carried for a while there are voices and the sound of a car. You are lifted and set down.
  2488. >The car stops a few times and there are voices.
  2489. >You can feel the pressure as it accelerates and climbs a slope.
  2490. >Your eyes go wide in the darkness and your jaw drops.
  2491. >Magic.
  2492. >You can feel it in the air, in your muscles, even smell it.
  2493. >This can't be real.
  2494. >You bite into your foreleg to ensure you're awake and to muffle your sobs as you start to cry.
  2495. >Equestria.
  2496. >Home.
  2497. >You’re home!
  2499. >Your teeth dig into your skin so hard a that a fraction of you is worried you might rip your skin.
  2500. >You've thought about this moment so often.
  2501. >In the way you think about growing wings and flying away.
  2502. >The way you think about something that would be nice but will never happen.
  2503. >Have you given up hope?
  2504. >Your teeth dig into the skin just a bit deeper.
  2505. >Don't make a sound!
  2506. >It will all be in vain.
  2507. >Your tears and snot run down your face and into the cloth you're lying on.
  2508. >Equestria.
  2509. >You barely register the sounds of the car or the voices or the lights that shines through the zipper.
  2510. >But at some point you feel as you are lifted with the gym bag.
  2511. >You are carried.
  2512. >Then you are carried up the stairs.
  2513. >A bolt slides into a lock.
  2514. >The light blinds you as the zipper is opened.
  2515. >Anon stares down at you.
  2516. >"Get out."
  2517. >Unable to form any sentence you nod and climb out of the bag.
  2518. >"For fucks sake. That's gross, Snow."
  2519. >His voice is barely above a whisper but carries his anger none the less.
  2520. >He tosses the stained clothes into the corner of the room as you take a look at the around.
  2521. >It is a small white room with a single bed, a sink and a small wardrobe.
  2522. >There is an alarm on the nightstand next to the bed and a small table with a little chair.
  2523. >The clock show 4:45.
  2524. >Through the tiny window you can see the equestrian sky.
  2525. >Celestia still hasn't risen the sun.
  2526. >Is she still alive?
  2527. >Is this eternal night now?
  2528. "Anon, is there still day and night here?"
  2529. >"Yep, but it's random. Maybe to mess with the military or something," he says as he rummages in the bag.
  2530. >He takes out some tools and a black can and a shirt.
  2531. >You avert your gaze as takes of his T-shirt and sprays deodorant on his body.
  2532. >Out of the corner of your eyes you can see small shadows on his wrists.
  2533. >When you peek again you can make out the ribs on his chest.
  2534. >The intense smell of the can almost suffocates you.
  2535. >"I'm off to work. Maybe I can come up with something."
  2536. >He pushes the bag into the cabinet.
  2537. >"Take a blanket and hide. I'll be back later."
  2538. >Still almost whispering he says, "see you after work."
  2539. >The bolt slides into the lock again and you're alone.
  2541. >15:45.
  2542. >There is more commotion in what you suspect to be a hallway so you hide under a white blanket in the wardrobe.
  2543. >If they find you here...
  2544. >You can not risk it. This is the belly of the beast.
  2545. >There were two sunrises and sunsets by now.
  2546. >The sisters are still alive!
  2547. >When it was dark you pried through the window with the help of the chair.
  2548. >All you can see is a thirty yards of grass and large fence.
  2549. >There are a couple of lanterns and two watchtowers.
  2550. >Soldiers on patrol.
  2551. >Behind the fence there is a plain field and after that there is the Everfree Forest.
  2552. >You never thought you would miss it.
  2553. >15:55.
  2554. >The key is inserted into the lock.
  2555. >You hold your breath.
  2556. >The door opens and you hear a heavy sigh.
  2557. >"Snow?"
  2558. >The door is shut and you reveal yourself.
  2559. >"You know the white blanket is really good to hide you."
  2560. "Have you figured anything out?"
  2561. >Anon looks like a mess.
  2562. >Staying awake all this time takes a toll on him.
  2563. >"We've got a shot. I need you to get back in the bag."
  2564. >A hoof moves forward towards the gym bag.
  2565. >You shake your head.
  2566. "What is the plan?"
  2567. >Anon pours himself a glass of water, gulps it down and then splashes more water into his face.
  2568. >"Not now, Snowflake."
  2569. >His shoulders sink and he looks takes a deep breath.
  2570. >"Just fucking do it okay?"
  2571. >You crawl into the bag again.
  2572. >It is not about trust but the lack of communication.
  2573. >Letting him do it without knowing what is going on, without a way to help...
  2574. >Not knowing what is on his mind...
  2575. >You hate it.
  2576. >Maybe, hopefully, it is the last time you have to endure it.
  2577. >He watches you step inside the back through the mirror.
  2578. >"Pray to your whatever thingies that this works."
  2579. >You do.
  2580. >He rests his weight on the sink and takes a few deep breaths.
  2581. >Then he continues to splash water into his face and rubs the towel into his face.
  2582. >When he stops his face is red.
  2583. >Aside from the blueish lips and his the black spots under his eyes.
  2584. >You watch as he puts on a hoody and the vest.
  2585. >He takes screwdrivers and other tools and puts them into his many pockets.
  2586. >He turns around to you and bows over.
  2587. >"Pray."
  2588. >The zip-lock closes over you.
  2589. >You can feel how you are lifted and swung over his shoulder.
  2590. >Anon's breath is heavy as he hurries.
  2591. >While he takes some stairs all the stuff in the bag presses into your back.
  2592. >He stops to open a door and marches forward.
  2593. >With every step you send a little prayer towards the two princesses.
  2594. >Please!
  2595. >After all that happened, the fighting, the death, the torture, the rape, the camps and the facilities.
  2596. >Just this one time!
  2597. >"Stop!"
  2598. >This is a command by a person authority.
  2599. >A soldier.
  2600. >"Hey, I need to go to CS-sixteen-one."
  2601. >You can feel Anon shift his stance.
  2602. >"Who are you," the voice asks.
  2603. >He pushes against your side.
  2604. >Anon takes out a cigarette and lights it up.
  2605. >"Anon Ymous, Berg Services for Miller Industries. I need to get on site 16."
  2606. >"No one is cleared for the rest of the day," a different voice says.
  2607. >Anon shifts again.
  2608. >His arm rest on the top of the bag.
  2609. >The zipper moves just a tiny bit.
  2610. >"I forgot some tools on the site I just need grab real quick."
  2611. >Anon takes a drag.
  2612. >
  2613. >"We need to relay this to HQ," the first soldier explains with a sigh.
  2614. >The zipper opens just a tiny bit more.
  2615. >"Look, I forgot some equipment on site and I just want to pick it up before something happens to it, okay?"
  2616. >Anon's hand reaches into the bag, pushing it open just a little more every moment.
  2617. >You hasten your breath.
  2618. >"I'll ask for some escort," the soldier replies.
  2619. >Anon shifts again.
  2620. >"Listen, there is a sensitive and expensive device, a induction meter. I know where I left it and I'll be in and out in less than a minute."
  2621. >There is a moment of silence.
  2622. >There is rustling of a wire-fence.
  2623. >Closing your eyes you take a deep breath.
  2624. >"Hurry up," the voice groans.
  2625. >"Thanks, you're saving my ass!"
  2626. >Anon starts to jog.
  2627. >"I owe you one!"
  2628. >Anon starts to hasten.
  2629. >He is almost running.
  2630. >Suddenly you fall.
  2631. >Something sharp digs into your back and then you are set down.
  2632. >The zip-lock is ripped open.
  2633. >"Get out."
  2634. >You wiggle out of the bag.
  2635. >Around you is a construction site, unfinished buildings and fences.
  2636. >Behind Anon there is the base.
  2637. >On the other side there 150 feet towards the forest.
  2638. >"This is goodbye, Snow."
  2639. "Goodbye, Anon."
  2640. >You flex your legs, ready to make a dash for the forest.
  2641. >The sprint of your life.
  2642. >You take a deep breath and face him.
  2643. "Thank you."
  2644. >You close your eyes.
  2645. >Freedom.
  2646. >Just a sprint and you are free.
  2647. >Just...
  2648. "Hey Anon"
  2649. >Releasing the tension you turn around.
  2650. >"What are you waiting for? Beat it!"
  2651. "Why did you buy me?"
  2652. >Anon's mouth drops.
  2653. >"Now? We don't have time."
  2654. "Tell me."
  2655. >He stares at you in disbelief but you don't budge.
  2656. >"Are you insane," he hisses.
  2657. >You stare into his eyes.
  2658. "You never told me."
  2659. >His hands move to his head an he drops back on his butt.
  2660. >"I didn't buy you, you idiot! I picked you up! They we're going to euthanize you and I got you for free. It was cheaper than getting rid off you."
  2661. >"You were unsellable. Now fuck off," he hisses.
  2662. >Your eyes go wide as things fall into place.
  2663. "If I had a beer and a hit more you'd be dead now fuck off!"
  2664. >What?
  2665. >He?
  2666. >What?
  2667. >Pictures move in front of your eyes.
  2668. >"We don't have time for this."
  2669. >Mike chaining you up before Anon arrived.
  2670. >"They will check soon."
  2671. >The few bills he handed to Mike after he brought you to his place.
  2672. >"Hey Snow you need to go."
  2673. >The way Anon fucked you up at first.
  2674. >"What is wrong with you?"
  2675. >The first weeks you spend.
  2676. >"Go you idiot!"
  2677. >He just took you in?
  2678. >Something shakes you.
  2679. >"Bounce you piece of shit!"
  2680. >*slap*
  2681. >A spike of pain rushes through your cheek.
  2682. >"Go!"
  2683. >Tears run down your face.
  2684. "Come with me."
  2685. >You see Anon pull his arm back.
  2686. >Your vision spins as you fly back.
  2687. >"Run!"
  2688. >Digging your hooves into the ground you get up.
  2689. "Come with me, Anon."
  2690. >"Have you completely lost your mind?"
  2691. "You hate the your world even more than me! What is waiting for you?"
  2692. >"Prison? Being homeless? Drugs? Bitches? Who gives a shit? Just run!"
  2693. "I'm not going without you!"
  2694. >He hunches forwards and grabs you by the collar.
  2695. >Then he pulls you close.
  2696. >"If you don't run you are dead! You hear me? They will kill you!"
  2697. "Come with me."
  2698. >"I knew it! I fucking knew it! That is the reason!"
  2699. >In the distance you can here a shout.
  2700. >"Ymous? Where are you?"
  2701. "You're responsible for the life you save."
  2702. >He just stares at you in disbelief.
  2703. >Anon turns around and shouts "COMING!"
  2704. >"Fuck you! I am going to murder you, you dumb fucking animal," he barks at you.
  2705. >His insult don't hurt.
  2706. >He pushes you away and stands up.
  2707. >"Blackmailing me with your life? I knew it! I should have fucked you up way harder."
  2708. >He places a foot on your chest and pushes.
  2709. >"Run!"
  2711. >You don't move.
  2712. >A sprint and you are free.
  2713. >But the time is running out.
  2714. >Why?
  2715. >Maybe...
  2716. >No.
  2717. "Come with me Anon."
  2718. >He frantically looks towards the base and then back to you.
  2719. >The sweat on his forehead is glittering in the sunlight.
  2720. >The scowl he shoots you is almost makes you regret your choice.
  2721. >One could easily mistake it for hate and contempt but that is not Anon.
  2722. >It is anger.
  2723. >Anon's hate is cold. It is like poison.
  2724. >"I am going to beat the shit out of you for this."
  2725. >He picks up the bag and you let go of the breath you were holding.
  2726. >You can't help but to smirk a little at this victory.
  2727. >Then he takes a step and another and another.
  2728. >Your legs move beside his.
  2729. >Faster and faster.
  2730. >You always wondered how Pegasi felt.
  2731. >This must be it.
  2732. >Anon on the other hoof sounds like a dying engine.
  2733. >Every step gets you closer to the dark forest.
  2734. >Towards Everfree.
  2735. >The swath the Ursas made when they charged...
  2736. >Towards Discords domain.
  2737. >As you reach the first trees you're afraid Anon is going to collapse.
  2738. >He slams himself against the nearest tree.
  2739. >His heart is pounding like a jackhammer.
  2740. >This isn't good.
  2741. >You can't stay here!
  2742. "We need to get deeper! They will see us!"
  2743. >Anon coughs hard and spits.
  2744. >Gasping for air he looks at you and then back against the base.
  2745. "Don't you even dare!"
  2746. >His hand searches for his pockets.
  2747. >You know what he is thinking.
  2748. >But the shocker is back on earth.
  2749. >Anon realizes it too and you can make out the exact moment he curses you.
  2750. >You bite his blue pants and give it a pull.
  2751. "Hwee nee' dww go!"
  2752. >Without giving a verbal reply Anon follows you deeper into the forest.
  2753. >The moment you can't see the base anymore you turn north.
  2754. >Going deeper is dangerous.
  2755. >Anon stumbles behind you and you give him quick glances to make sure he hasn't turned around.
  2756. >A couple hundred feet from where you entered you can hear sirens in the distance.
  2757. >You need to hurry.
  2758. >If they send choppers you will need to get further inside the forest.
  2759. >You don't want that.
  2760. >Your ears perk out to make out any sounds.
  2761. >There is wheezing and coughing behind you.
  2762. >Clothes are ripped by plunder seeds.
  2763. >Sirens in the distance.
  2764. >There is a jeep and shouts.
  2765. >You march and march.
  2766. >The noise in the distance gets quieter and quieter.
  2767. >By now you're heavily breathing yourself.
  2768. >When the sound in the distance is not to be heard anymore you duck into a rotten trunk.
  2769. >Anon drags himself towards you and half lunges half stumbles into you fist forward.
  2770. >You don't dodge his clumsy swung fist as it connects with your face.
  2771. >More a jab than a punch.
  2772. >He collapses onto you and rolls over.
  2773. >His chest is rising and falling in a rapid motion.
  2774. >"Fu-"
  2775. "We need to hurry."
  2776. >"I..."
  2777. "Get up we need to go."
  2778. >"...fucking..." he coughs.
  2779. Getting back on your feet you reply, "you done?"
  2780. >”...hate...”
  2781. >You rub your cheek.
  2782. >””
  2783. “Get up.”
  2784. >Anon turns around and pushes himself up.
  2785. >His hands are shaking and his face is crimson red.
  2786. "Can you walk?"
  2787. >"Of course-" Anon coughs "-just... I need a moment to catch my breath."
  2788. >He fumbles in his pockets to take out another cigarette.
  2789. “Now of all the times?!”
  2790. >Anon nods as he lights up the smoke and seats himself on the trunk.
  2791. >If he is out of breath you can’t cover ground and you have minutes at best.
  2792. Planting yourself on your haunches you say “hurry up.”
  2793. >Still rubbing your cheek with your forehoof and take a look around.
  2794. >"You know you could be farther and there wouldn't be soldiers on your back right?"
  2795. "I know."
  2796. >"Then why?"
  2797. "If they catch me I have a hostage."
  2798. >"Didn't take you for that kind of dude," he chuckles.
  2799. >"Hey come over here."
  2800. >When you face Anon his hands reach your throat.
  2801. >You don't flinch.
  2802. >He pulls a little and then your collar falls to the ground next to your covered forelegs.
  2803. >You stare at the device made of leather, metal and electronics.
  2804. >Anon takes his cell and opens it.
  2805. >He takes out the battery and a tiny card and tosses both into his bag.
  2806. >"Guess that's it."
  2807. "What was that?"
  2808. >"They can track me with my phone as long as there is power and they know the device."
  2809. >"As for the collar... it doesn't have GPS on its own but you won't need it anymore."
  2810. >You should feel happy about it.
  2811. >But right now it is just an object that is falling to the ground.
  2812. >Maybe it will all come crashing down on you once you are no longer chased by humans and in Discords territory.
  2813. >You have seen it many times.
  2814. >When you fended of the beasts of the Everfree or monsters of different remote regions.
  2815. >During the fighting it is like terrible stuff doesn't affect you.
  2816. >Some break right then and there to weeping and crying bundle of misery but most just...
  2817. >...just delay their reactions.
  2818. >You are more worried about you hoodie being ripped to shreds by vines right now.
  2819. >You take of the black piece of cloth off and place it in the gym bag before turning back to Anon.
  2820. >It is still dangerous here and his face has returned to his normal pale color.
  2821. "Anon, lets go."
  2822. >He takes a look around searching for something.
  2823. >Then he stubs out his cigarette on the mossy bark and puts it into plastic foil of his cigarettes.
  2824. >"Right."
  2825. >You take the lead. The only real option is north towards Canterlot Mountain.
  2826. >Past Ponyville into the direction of the Rambling Rock Ridge and then towards the Foal Mountains.
  2827. >If the news on the internet were accurate this route should have very little resistance and brings you closer to your kind.
  2828. >Then you need to decide where to go.
  2829. >Fillydelphia, Baltimare and Manehatten on the east or the Crystal Empire in the west.
  2830. >It will take one or two days until you have to make that decision.
  2831. >Anon being with you it will probably-
  2832. >His eyes are focused on you.
  2833. >Calm.
  2834. >Tired.
  2835. "What?"
  2836. >"Nothing."
  2837. >Rolling your eyes you turn around.
  2838. >"You were thinking and I didn't want to interrupt you, Snow."
  2839. >Huh, that new.
  2840. >He explained himself.
  2841. >But this is a new situation.
  2842. "That's considerate of you," you smile.
  2843. >How much do you actually know about him?
  2844. >"Whatever..."
  2845. >With soldiers on your back and being in hostile territory this is hardly the time to think about it!
  2846. "We need to get away from here. This place is not safe."
  2847. >"For you."
  2848. "Anon," you hiss.
  2849. "I don't want to get ripped apart by timber wolves and they are the most friendly beast here!"
  2850. >Flinching Anon replies, "calm down!"
  2851. "The beasts that killed all your people come from here," you explain.
  2852. "We are not that deep inside so there won't be Ursas but this place is not your regular human forest. We need to get going, Anon."
  2853. "We need to cover as much ground as possible while there is still light."
  2854. >Whats that?
  2855. >It was as if the corners of his mouth?
  2856. >Did he just smile?
  2857. >You shake your head.
  2858. >You almost got raped last night, escaped into freedom and are on the run with your slaver.
  2859. >He hasn't slept or eaten in a couple of days by your guess.
  2860. >The both of you are stuck between two enemy territories.
  2861. >You’re seeing things.
  2862. >You need to get going.
  2863. "Let's go."
  2864. >"Right," he says in a low, dragged voice as he gets up.
  2865. >He rubs his face and pics up the gym bag.
  2866. >"Lead the way."
  2867. >Step after step you move forward.
  2868. >It is weird how he accepts the role of being subordinate.
  2869. >Not that he was bossy or something.
  2870. >He was wasn't he?
  2871. >Looking back he just didn't bother you unless he expected consequences...
  2872. >Now the roles are reversed.
  2873. >But...
  2874. >He could just have waited a little and all would have been in vain.
  2875. >The soldiers would have been on the way and you would have been captured or barely escaped.
  2876. >But he didn't.
  2877. >He put your well being first and now it is him, the human, that is trapped in a hostile world.
  2878. >Wouldn't you be faster without him?
  2879. >So why?
  2880. >Who is the real Anon?
  2881. >The ignorant jerk? The violent brute? The annoyed guy? The just person? The one who sacrifices everything? The junkie?
  2882. >This line of thought won't get you anywhere.
  2883. >You shake your head.
  2884. >"You 'kay, Snow?"
  2885. >You will need to process this later once you are safe.
  2886. Glancing over your shoulder you reply ,"I'm fine. I just need to... I-"
  2887. >You take a deep breath.
  2888. "We should concentrate, Anon."
  2889. >He arches one brow as he looks at you.
  2890. >"'Whatever."
  2891. >It is strange how this place can even look more hostile than before.
  2892. >Three years ago.
  2893. >Branches formed like claws are swinging with the wind.
  2894. >The glow of fireflies in the distance looks like eyes tracking you.
  2895. >The vines seem like they are trying to shackle you and most likely they really do.
  2896. >Your ears dart around picking up any sound that is not the clumsy human following you.
  2897. >You can hear him tumbling and trying to catch his balance and now and then.
  2898. >His heavy black boots crush little sticks and compress the moist ground as you make your way away from the army.
  2899. >Should you cover your tracks or get more distance between you and your pursuers?
  2900. >The most important thing is that you stay close to the edge of the forest.
  2901. >Just close enough to see the light of the fields.
  2902. >It was easy to get lost before Discord threw two world into war but now...
  2903. >Everything was easy then.
  2904. >Your duty. The expeditions. Your family and peers. The captain and the princesses. The patches for your plants. The bars and boutiques of Canterlot. The training. The library. The festivals.
  2905. >A part of you wants to go deeper inside the forest and kick the living shit out of him but that would be suicide.
  2906. >A dead guard can’t protect anyone was what captain Lion Heart said.
  2908. >The both of you walk until the sun sets again.
  2909. >For the third time today.
  2910. >It could be evening or a strategical sunset.
  2911. >You don't know.
  2912. >Behind you there is flicking. The flicking of a lighter.
  2913. >Anon hisses curses.
  2914. >"Hey Snow, do you know how to make fucking fire?"
  2915. "We can't make a fire. It is dangerous."
  2916. >"I'd burn this fucking forest to the ground if it meant I could light a smoke."
  2917. >Huh- maybe that’s not a bad idea.
  2918. >You shake your head.
  2919. "Do you know what time it is?"
  2920. >"Nah. My cell is dead."
  2921. "Maybe we should set up a night camp?"
  2922. >"Sure, whatever I need a smoke."
  2923. >Rolling your eyes you stop and listen.
  2924. >You should be close to the ruins of Ponyville.
  2925. >There must be a small stream nearby and while you're moderately hydrated you could see Anon's veins popping out earlier.
  2926. "We could set up a camp for a few hours but we need to get further first."
  2927. >There is a loud groan behind you.
  2928. >Walking closer to the edge of the forest you can see the lake glistering in the moonlight.
  2929. >In the distance there is what used to be Ponyville.
  2930. >You turn around to face your human.
  2931. >His eyes followed yours and stare at the ruins.
  2932. >His pale skin reflects the moonlight on this glade.
  2933. "Can you put on a hood? You're glowing like a beacon."
  2934. >Anon covers his mouth as he laughs.
  2935. >"Says you."
  2936. Raising a brow you ask, "what?"
  2937. >"You look like a disco ball."
  2938. >Raising a leg you look at your white coat.
  2939. >Buck.
  2940. >You always hated the next part.
  2941. >Especially now.
  2942. >Sighing you move towards the trees, away from the grass towards the dirt of the forest.
  2943. “Turn around, Anon.”
  2944. >Biting your lip you lie down on the cold floor and turn on your back.
  2945. >You close your eyes as you squirm on your back to work the dirt into your coat.
  2946. >When you open your eyes you look at a bedazzled Anon and blush.
  2947. >"Hor-"
  2948. "Not a word!"
  2949. >He stares at you dumbfounded before he pulls a hoodie out of his bag.
  2950. "That's mine," you protest.
  2951. >"Really?"
  2952. “I said to turn around!”
  2953. >You shoot him another scowl and he rummages until he pulls out another hoodie and puts it on and the hood over his head.
  2954. >Sometimes you envy humans.
  2955. >While Anon searches his bag for something you continue to work the dirt inside your coat.
  2956. >The haunches are problematic but you'd rather die then ask for help with this.
  2957. >Getting clean was one thing but this is hard enough as is.
  2958. >"Fuck yeah. Fire."
  2959. >He lights a cigarette. This is probably the longest time you have seen him awake without one in his hands.
  2960. "Hey Anon, how exhausted are you," you ask as you get up.
  2961. >The orange glow of the cigarette reveals the forms of his face under the hood as he takes a drag.
  2962. >"A little."
  2963. >He makes the impression as if he is going to fall into pieces but especially with his drugs this can deceive.
  2964. "Do we need to make a night camp or can you go on?"
  2965. >"I can't sleep right now."
  2966. "Fine, let's move."
  2968. >Be tired.
  2969. >Be really tired.
  2970. >Be dragging your sore legs and aching hooves the the shrubs.
  2971. >All this exercise in his little garden was not enough to compensate for a good days march.
  2972. >You paused at little stream to drink a little.
  2973. >Anon bitched about not boiling the water.
  2974. >Humans seem to have sensitive stomachs despite consuming all that trash.
  2975. >He snorted a line of the back of his cigarette pack, cursing as he spilled some of the white powder and drank anyway.
  2976. >The two of you passed Ponyville and are near east of the Canterlot Mountain.
  2977. >The terrain is getting more and more hilly and tt is getting cold in the shadow of the mountain.
  2978. >On the bright side it would take only a couple of hours to get out of the forest.
  2979. >A whole day marching at a snail's pace.
  2980. >Anon reminds you more and more of a bird.
  2981. >His frantic moves, twitching, convulsing and jerking at seemingly random things.
  2982. >His moves are rash and clumsy.
  2983. >It is getting dark again.
  2984. >And so damn cold.
  2985. >Your body feels heavy.
  2986. >You can't tell the time.
  2987. >If it takes as much of a toll on the humans as it does on you, you can only applaud the sisters.
  2988. >The unregular days really mess with you.
  2989. >So far you have been lucky. Not one attack even if you spotted a Cragadile.
  2990. >You press your eyes shut for a moment and blink a few times before you take another look around in the fading light.
  2991. >If it weren't for the trees you could stargaze the night sky you missed so much.
  2992. "Anon we should set up a camp."
  2993. >"Yeah," he says through clamped teeth.
  2994. >The both of you gather some dry wood to build a small fire.
  2995. >After some of your advice and without burning himself or clenching down on the lighter so hard it doesn't work the both of you manage to make a small campfire.
  2996. "Who is doing the first shift," ask as you stare into the small flames.
  2997. >"Shift?"
  2998. "One of us has to be awake to warn the other if something happens."
  2999. >Anon rests against the trunk of the tree next to the fire.
  3000. >He is breathing into his hands.
  3001. >"Sleep."
  3002. >You can see his breath.
  3003. >You can see your own.
  3004. >Damn it really is cold isn't it?
  3005. >A few steps and you are at his side.
  3006. >You rest your head against his shoulder.
  3007. "You're trembling."
  3008. >"Huh?"
  3009. "You didn't notice?"
  3010. >You feel his body shift as he shakes his head.
  3011. >"N'really."
  3012. "Are you sure you can stay awake for a couple of hours?"
  3013. >"'s alright. Can't sleep now."
  3014. >Your eyelids close.
  3015. "'How long?"
  3016. >"’til I collapse."
  3017. "Just wake me up..."
  3018. >"Yeah."
  3019. >You can feel his body shift with your eyes closed.
  3020. "Why did you buy me?"
  3021. >"Told you."
  3022. "No. I mean why did you pick me up? You could have just let me die."
  3023. >His whole body shifts in an uncomfortable way.
  3024. >"’m not a cunt."
  3025. >His swearing...
  3026. "And why did you come with me?"
  3027. >”Fuck you.”
  3028. “Why?”
  3029. >"Trying not to be as much of a piece of shit as the rest."
  3030. >"Don't get the wrong idea."
  3031. "I could have escaped and you would have gone back."
  3032. >Anon shifts and you feel the vibrations of a murmur even through the thick fabric.
  3033. >"Maybe."
  3034. >”Thanks, by the way.”
  3035. "You care, don't you?"
  3036. >He deflates uncomfortably against the trunk.
  3037. "You threw your life away."
  3038. >"Was trash anyways."
  3039. >His shoulder is warm. Or at least warmer than the air.
  3040. >Like a big shivering sweaty messy teddy bear.
  3041. >Is he good at telling lies or bad at telling the truth?
  3042. "You care."
  3043. >"I care about not bein' as shit as 'em."
  3044. "You're not."
  3045. >"Fuck you, Snow."
  3046. "Whatever."
  3049. >You wake up as something pushes you.
  3050. >"Wake up, Snow."
  3051. "Be right there ,cap'," you mumble with your eyes still closed and snuggle up against the piece of cloth that sits between your head and the cold and hard bark.
  3052. >You pull your legs closer to yourself as a shiver runs down your spine.
  3053. >Something is shaking you.
  3054. >"Wake up," the familiar voice commands.
  3055. >Yawning you open one eye.
  3056. >Tiny eyes glint in the darkness.
  3057. >"Snow, wake up," it the voice hisses.
  3058. "'non? What's going on?"
  3059. >His eyes dart into the darkness behind you.
  3060. >There is panic in them.
  3061. >Ears perking up you you listen and carefully get back on your legs.
  3062. >Anon's heavy breath. The crackle of the embers. The rustling of leaves in the wind.
  3063. >With slow and steady steps you turn around.
  3064. "What did you see?" you whisper.
  3065. >"The shadows. They move."
  3066. >You take a deep breath and stare into the darkness.
  3067. >Eyes moving from stem to stem, from shadow to shadow.
  3068. >Nothing.
  3069. >No unusual scents.
  3070. >You look back at him over your shoulder.
  3071. "Anon, are you seeing things?"
  3072. >He jinks back a bit moving his thumb to his jawbone.
  3073. >With his mouth open he ducks and points towards a tuft of fallen leaves.
  3074. >You lower your body and crouch towards it.
  3075. >As give it a push with your hoof it caves in.
  3076. "What did you see?"
  3077. >Anon rubs his red eyes.
  3078. >"It was like a... a black cat? It moved."
  3079. "That's just leaves, Anon."
  3080. >Taking a deep breath you get up and rub your eyes.
  3081. >The insomnia must really be getting to him if he is seeing things.
  3082. >Three days now maybe?
  3083. >No wonder his mind is playing tricks on him.
  3084. >You chased ghosts around plenty of times as a recruit.
  3085. >But this is still hostile land.
  3086. >Keeping your head down you turn around to face Anon.
  3087. "Are you alright, Anon," you ask with a hushed voice.
  3088. "I think you need to r-"
  3089. >"Who are you," a voice echoes thrugh the darkness.
  3090. >You swing around towards the voice.
  3091. >"Who are you?"
  3092. >The stern voice of a female.
  3093. >Female soldiers?
  3094. >A mare?
  3095. >Changelings?
  3096. >Gaze darting through the darkness you take slow steps back.
  3097. >The fire?
  3098. >The embers?
  3099. >His tools?
  3100. "Anon, grab something," you bark.
  3101. >He stumbles towards his bag.
  3102. >He trips and falls to the ground.
  3103. "Anon!"
  3104. >"Who are you," the voice shouts.
  3105. >Friend?
  3106. >Foe?
  3107. >Why would they reveal their position if the could just-
  3108. "AMBUSH!"
  3109. >You thrust your hooves into the the ground, yanking yourself around.
  3110. >Yellow slit-pupilled eyes open.
  3111. >Leathery wings spread.
  3112. >Orange glow reflects of polished metal.
  3113. "Anon!"
  3114. >"AAAAHHH!"
  3115. >His face is twists in pain as the blade pierces his shoulder.
  3116. >A hoof crushes down on his head.
  3117. >You charge at the gray pony.
  3118. >There is weight on your back!
  3119. >Something pushes into your neck!
  3120. >You can't keep your balance!
  3121. >Withing the blink of an eyes your face is pressed into the dirt.
  3122. "Don't hurt him!"
  3123. >"Who are you!?"
  3124. >"Where do you come from," the voice screams at you.
  3125. >You struggle against the weight.
  3126. "Let him go!"
  3127. >Anon claws his good arm into the ground and pulls himself towards you.
  3128. >"Snow!"
  3129. >Anon growls in pain as he is hit again.
  3130. >"Who send you," the voice screams into your ears.
  3131. "LET HIM GO!"
  3132. >"Where do you come from!?"
  3133. >You stick your hooves into the dirt and push.
  3134. >But the creature on your back is too heavy.
  3135. >"TELL US OR HE DIES!"
  3136. >You press your face into the moist ground and whimper with tears running down your face.
  3137. "Stop! I yield! Don't hurt him! Please!"
  3138. "Please stop."
  3139. "Just stop."
  3140. "I beg you, please don't."
  3141. >It is enough.
  3142. >Just stop it.
  3143. >No more blood.
  3144. >Not one of the few that tried to help.
  3145. >"Who are you!?"
  3146. "I am Snowflake of the royal guards of Canterlot."
  3147. "I was captured and being sold as a slave before Anon brought me back."
  3148. "Please don't hurt him!"
  3149. >"Tell us the truth!"
  3150. "I served under Shining Armor and Captain Lion Heart and fought in the battle of Everfree!"
  3151. >"Liar!"
  3152. >”Get away from her,” Anon screams.
  3153. "Lion Heart died next to me in a trench by a bullet to his head!"
  3154. "Sturdy Hooves, Silver Streak, Rough Diamond, Crystal, Hard Shell..."
  3155. "All of them died."
  3156. >The hoof on the back of your head presses your face deeper into the ground.
  3157. >For a moment the only sound is Anon's pained screams.
  3158. "Anon! Stop!"
  3159. >"Stay on the ground!"
  3160. >The pressure lessens.
  3161. >"Tell your monkey to stop!"
  3162. "Anon! Stop!"
  3164. >Be Anon.
  3165. >They yell.
  3166. >There is something warm running down your face.
  3167. >Into your eye.
  3168. >It smears your vision.
  3169. >You are blinded by the fire and by the moonlight.
  3170. >The shadows attack Snow.
  3171. >Her eyes are ripped open.
  3172. >She is crying.
  3173. >She yells something.
  3174. >You try to shake the shadows off.
  3175. >Try to push yourself up.
  3176. "Get away from her!"
  3177. >So heavy...
  3178. >Your muscles give out.
  3179. >Something hard presses on your throat.
  3180. >"NOOOO!"
  3181. >You wheeze and gasp.
  3182. "snow"
  3183. >The world fades to black.
  3185. >Be Snowflake.
  3186. >The fibers of the ropes that bind your forelegs and hindlegs together cut into your skin with every tiny step you make.
  3187. >The grime of sweat and dust on your coat heats up your body in the roasting sun.
  3188. >Breathing is a strain with this leather muzzle.
  3189. >You are tied to the back of a wooden cart.
  3190. >Every time it rocks you raise your head to see if Anon is alright.
  3191. >His pale body is lying limp between bags and boxes.
  3192. >It has been almost two days now since they ambushed you and he is still unconscious.
  3193. >No movement, no sound.
  3194. >This is the longest he has ever been knocked out.
  3195. >He slept sixteen, twenty or even twenty four hours after his excesses but you're past 32 now.
  3196. >Wake up Anon! Please!
  3197. >A young corpsmare patched him up.
  3198. >More filly than mare.
  3199. >You can catch her glance at you from time to time.
  3200. >Her messy pale pink mane is cut short and her horn has something wrapped around it.
  3201. >Her ribs show through the light beige coat of hers.
  3202. >A gauze for her cutie mark.
  3203. >Her hooves kick up the dust of the parched ground with every step.
  3204. >The valleys north of Canterlot have always been a beautiful place.
  3205. >As a child your parents always took you here during holidays.
  3206. >Green fields and crystal blue lakes.
  3207. >Mighty oaks towered in the forests.
  3208. >Now it is just seared branches and dried riverbeds.
  3209. >Ever since the humans hunted down the pegasi there was not a single cloud in this area for months or maybe even years.
  3210. >Hard to tell when you are trapped in a different world.
  3211. >And not a single drop of rain has fallen here.
  3212. >The only water for miles is the stream that leads to Horseshoe Bay far to the east.
  3213. >Out of the corner of your eyes you can see her spying at the other members of her squad.
  3214. >The night guard stayed behind.
  3215. >Most likely recon or patrol.
  3216. >An earth pony stallion and a surprisingly bulky unicorn stallion carry the cart.
  3217. >They pant as they brace against the work collars.
  3218. >A group of one pegasus, three earth ponies and the sergeant, a unicorn mare with a chestnut brown coat and a dark maroon mane.
  3219. >They all walk in formation in front of the cart.
  3220. >Except the corpsmare.
  3221. >Swishing her tails she takes another shy glance and casually closes the distance.
  3222. >"Hey."
  3223. >Her big green eyes connect with yours.
  3224. >There is a weak but gentle smile on her face.
  3225. >Her horn is bandaged with piece of cloth in the color of her coat and horn.
  3226. >Under the bandage there is a crack running down from the tip to the base and loses itself in her fur.
  3227. >"Is it true? You were you on the other side?"
  3228. >You nod.
  3229. >"Really?"
  3230. >Startled by the volume of her own voice she covers her mouth.
  3231. >"Oooh."
  3232. >Flicking her tails nervously she moves her head next to yours as you trot next to each other.
  3233. >"I'm Gentle Ray but everpony just calls me Lucky. Y-you are Snowflake right?"
  3234. >You nod.
  3235. >Lucky?
  3236. >You shake your head and nod in the direction of Anon repeatedly.
  3237. >"The monster?"
  3238. >You shoot her a scowl and the mare deflates.
  3239. >"I- uhm it..."
  3240. >Just tell me!
  3241. >You narrow your eyes at her.
  3242. >"He is in b-bad s-shape."
  3243. >Letting your head hang you stare at the ground.
  3244. >The clods under your hooves look like floes.
  3245. >"I n-never treated them! Maybe he is a-a-alright."
  3246. >"When we reach the village-"
  3247. >Raising your head to point into the distance and face her again.
  3248. >"The village?"
  3249. >Villages have doctors!
  3250. >You nod sharply.
  3251. >"A c-couple of hours and he will be alright," she says with a fake smile and nods eagerly as if to convince herself.
  3252. >"Howling Winds went ahead to report."
  3253. >They know you're coming!
  3254. >By the time you reach the the village they will have confirmed your identity and treat Anon!
  3255. >It may not be much but you can share your intel with the E.U.P.
  3256. >And when mares like 'Lucky' are drafted now then they will need every help they can get.
  3257. >How soon will you join the guard again?
  3258. >See more or your friends and fellows die?
  3259. >"Hey are you alright?"
  3260. >Lucky bumps her shoulder into you.
  3261. >"Cheer up. Everything is g-going to be alright."
  3262. >"The princess-"
  3263. >"LUCKY," the sergeant screams.
  3264. >"Don't talk to the prisoner!"
  3265. >Lucky jumps, startled by the angry shout.
  3266. >"Get over here!"
  3267. >"Y-yes, ma'am," she replies as she canters to her leader.
  3268. >A couple of hours.
  3269. >You look at the rope that is connecting you with cart and then to those who tie your legs together and back to the stallions with their harnesses.
  3270. "HNNGGG!"
  3271. >Listen!
  3272. "HMMMNGG!"
  3273. >You try to kick some clod towards the soldiers.
  3274. >Bucking ropes!
  3275. >You try push yourself up with your forelegs and kick some clods in one motion.
  3276. >You almost face plant.
  3277. >Again.
  3278. >While pressing yourself up you scrap your hooves over the dry ground.
  3279. >A few pebbles bounce forward.
  3280. >Almost!
  3281. >You take a few quick steps forward and dig the tips of your hooves into the ground.
  3282. >Taking a breath as deep as the muzzle allows you, you tense your muscles.
  3283. >LISTEN!
  3284. >With a strong push clods and crumbs fly into the air to rain down on the soldiers.
  3285. >"What in tartarus?"
  3286. >The band halts.
  3287. >Baring her teeth the sergeant stomps towards you!
  3288. "Hnnn!"
  3289. >She presses her forehead against yours.
  3290. >"What!?"
  3291. >You feel her hot breath on your face as she stares into your eyes.
  3292. >"What do you want,"she barks in your face.
  3293. >You point towards the two ponies before the cart, towards the rope around your neck that leads to the cart and then to the ropes around your legs.
  3294. >Then back to the ponies pulling the cart.
  3295. >"You serious?"
  3296. >Staring into her brown eyes you nod.
  3297. >A yellow glow engulfs her horn and she pulls the knife out of the sheath of her shoulder.
  3298. >She levitates it just inches in front of your eyes.
  3299. >"No tricks."
  3300. >Then she cuts the ropes that tie your legs together.
  3302. >The rope tied to the front of the cart cuts deep into your chest with every step you take.
  3303. >Every time the carriage rocks it cuts even deeper and you clench your eyes shut.
  3304. >Still...
  3305. >Three ponies pulling is faster than two.
  3306. >And speed is the thing you need the most right now.
  3307. >Hang on, Anon!
  3309. >Be Snowflake
  3310. >Be lying on your side.
  3311. >The orange light of sunset shines through the bars of your cell.
  3312. >They form four rectangles with fuzzy edges on the rough and cold ground.
  3313. >Half of the water they gave you you spilled on your coat to cool you down and to soothe the aching welts on your skin.
  3314. >You lie half on the stone, half on the straw, trying to deal with the exhaustion and discomfort.
  3315. >Even though you're tired you couldn't sleep.
  3316. >The first time you saw somepony die was the same.
  3317. >Vivid spirit.
  3318. >Vivi...
  3319. >She was nosy and loud but everyone liked her.
  3320. >Sometimes she would just jump into conversation of others with a wide smile.
  3321. >The white mare was fresh in the guards and trying to gain some stripes.
  3322. >On a patrol she jumped forward when a hydra attacked.
  3323. >Seconds later she lay on the ground with broken ribs and blood running out of her mouth.
  3324. >Back in Canterlot her family already heard the news.
  3325. >When they saw her broken body and started to cry it felt like somepony ripped out a part of your heart.
  3326. >When you closed your eyes that night you saw her face.
  3327. >Anytime you closed your eyes you heard her screams.
  3328. >Now you see Anon's face, twisted by pain and the blood running down his face when you shut your eyes.
  3329. >Anon has been carried of the the local clinic.
  3330. >His limps dangled lifelessly as the pulled him of the cart.
  3331. >He has been in bad shape before but this...
  3332. >Humans can take some heavy beatings.
  3333. >They can survive all kinds of attacks and lose a lot of blood before they die, right?
  3334. >It is just another day of sleep and a pill for him, right?
  3335. >The roots of Manacups help with this kind of injury. Maybe you can find some?
  3336. >He is a source of intel and that makes him valuable. They will take care of him.
  3337. >This is Equestria.
  3338. >Things will work themselves out.
  3339. >Right?
  3341. >As you lie on the rough cobbles you breathe in the cold air and think about the last couple of years.
  3342. >The fights and the camps and the violence and the first auctions and then the shops.
  3343. >Your slavers.
  3344. >You can't even remember most of their names.
  3345. >Maybe you don't want to remember.
  3346. >It was just 'master'.
  3347. >Just another guy with a whip or a shocker or a club.
  3348. >Just another brute or rapist.
  3349. >Anon said he had a fancy for being called master but decided against it.
  3350. >You always wondered why if he could just order you to call him that anyways.
  3351. >Pushing yourself up onto sore legs you wander in circles in the cell.
  3352. >Maybe you should call him master and try to push his buttons when he wakes up.
  3353. >Tell your monkey to shut up, she said.
  3354. >A smirk crawls it's way onto your faze.
  3355. >Your collar lies somewhere in the Everfree.
  3356. >Maybe when all this is over you can look for it.
  3357. >And when he is blackout drunk again you can put it around his neck.
  3358. >You'll call him 'monkey'.
  3359. >He will scowl at you and light up a cigarette mumbling about something.
  3360. >When he cuts your mane you will grin as he rants and rants.
  3361. >He'll be fine.
  3362. >It is just his hard shell that he-
  3363. >A loud screech interrupts your thoughts as the door to the cells opens.
  3364. >You turn around to see two ponies entering.
  3365. >It is the sergeant and a pegasus. The blue wonderbolt uniform covers his gray coat.
  3366. >There is a scar running down his right cheek.
  3367. >Your pupils dilate as they connect with his yellow eyes.
  3368. "Breeze?"
  3369. >He stops dead in his tracks.
  3370. >You dash towards the metal grid the separates corridor from the cell, push yourself up an put on your hoof through the bars.
  3371. "Soft Breeze? Is that you?"
  3372. >"Snowflake."
  3373. >His voice.
  3374. >He walks towards the bars and rests his frontal against the cold metal.
  3375. >You blink the tears away.
  3376. "Breeze! Sisters above, I am so happy. You're alright. You're alright!"
  3377. >"How," he asks with a cracking voice.
  3378. >"We all thought you were dead. How did you come back?"
  3379. >You take a deep breath.
  3380. "It is a long story."
  3381. >He steps back and turns towards the sergeant.
  3382. >"Let her out."
  3383. >"Can we really trust her? Three years missing and suddenly returns with a human," the mare asks.
  3384. >Breeze takes a look at your cutie mark.
  3385. >The silver heater-shield with the round top and the scar running along it.
  3386. >"There is no pony I trust more than her."
  3387. >With a huff the sergeant says "fine."
  3388. >Her horn lights up and the key levitates out of one of the pockets of her uniform in a yellow glow.
  3389. >Scowling she pushes the key into the lock and you can hear the bolt slide.
  3390. >The door swings open and you push yourself away from the bars.
  3391. >You walk towards the door frame and stop and squeeze your eyes shut for a second.
  3392. >The breathing of the two ponies.
  3393. >Somewhere far in the distance there are the songs of birds.
  3394. >"What are you waiting for," the sergeant asks, raising an eyebrow.
  3395. "I never believed that this would happen."
  3396. >"What?"
  3397. >You take a large step forward.
  3398. "That I would ever be free and back in Equestria."
  3399. >A exhausted smile forming on your lips you look at Soft Breeze.
  3400. "Or that I would ever see my friends again."
  3401. >He steps forward and wraps his forelegs around you in a tight hug.
  3402. >"Welcome home, Snowflake," he says.
  3403. >The pressure on your welts hurts but you don't care.
  3404. >How long has it been since you were hugged?
  3405. >You pull him tighter just enjoying the comfort of a friend.
  3406. >Something hard taps on your shoulder and you can hear him wheeze.
  3407. "Ohhh! Sorry! I-"
  3408. >You let go of him and give him a gentle pad on the withers.
  3409. >His head hangs low and he takes some deep breaths.
  3410. >"You're *cough* as strong as ever I see."
  3411. "And you're as much of a wi-"
  3412. >"Are you done?" the mare snarls at you.
  3413. >You tilt your head to the right and give her a blank look.
  3414. >"I'll show you your room," Soft says.
  3415. >"You will leave for the Crystal empire in three days," the mare declares.
  3416. "What about Anon?"
  3417. >"The ape?"
  3418. >You give a tiny nod in reply.
  3419. >A sly smile appears on her face.
  3420. >"He better be ready to walk by then."
  3423. >The bright sunlight shines through the large window past the single potted orchid on the windowsill into the mint green room.
  3424. >Sitting in a comfy seat you read 'Splinters of Love'.
  3425. >A cheesy romance about a carpenter from a small town that moves into the city.
  3426. >Not your really your jam but you haven't read this one before.
  3427. >Three years and not even an announcement of a new Daring Do title.
  3428. >When it comes to war not even literature is safe.
  3429. >To your right is Anon lying on a bed in a hospital gown.
  3430. >Both the gown and the bed are make-shift to accommodate for his size.
  3431. >An IV-bag attached to his skinny arm. He has lost a lot of weight and you can clearly make out his muscles.
  3432. >The past two days you have been catching up with Soft Breeze and talked to the ponies the village.
  3433. >The little colt that was so into poetry is now a drafted soldier in the Wonderbolts reserve.
  3434. >During the attack of Canterlot he and the other pegasi evacuated all civilians.
  3435. >Although he doesn't know where they went he saw your parents make it out of the city safely.
  3436. >Good news are rare these days and these news. Your family is safe!
  3437. >What more could you ask for?
  3438. >You flip the page.
  3439. >The last chapter and the tycoon and his wife conspire against the carpenter.
  3440. >Their daughter learns the truth and renounces her family to live a humble live with her loved one.
  3441. >They walk into the the sunset to make a their own destiny free of all the weight of the past.
  3442. >*Sniff*
  3443. >You must have caught a cold.
  3444. >What a cheesy book!
  3445. >*Sniff*
  3446. >Closing the book you stand up and move towards Anon.
  3447. >Your raise a hoof and push his arm.
  3448. >It just limply dangles back and forth before it comes to a rest.
  3449. "Wake up."
  3450. >You give it another push.
  3451. >And another.
  3452. "Wake uuuuuppp."
  3453. >Putting both of your forelegs on the bed you push yourself up and poke him with your forehead.
  3454. "Anoooooooooooon."
  3455. >How long can he be out of it?
  3456. "We have to go tomorrow," you whine.
  3457. >You slap your head against his rib-cage.
  3458. >With a loud wet cough he pulls his arms in front of his chest and hunches away from you!
  3459. "ANON!
  3461. >"The FUCK, Snow?"
  3462. >You place a hoof on his leg.
  3463. >"You're the worst pony I know."
  3464. With a relived sigh you say "I'm so glad you're okay!"
  3465. >He pulls his arms to his body as he hunches away with his eyes closed until the medical tube starts to stretch.
  3466. >"Ouch."
  3467. >You watch him erect himself, blinking a couple of times and press his eyes shut.
  3468. "Slowly! You're weak."
  3469. >With his palm he presses into his eyes and starts to rub his face.
  3470. >"The fuck?
  3471. >Glancing around he asks "What the? Where the hell are we?"
  3472. >His hand reaches to his frontal and pokes the suture.
  3473. >"Fucking..."
  3474. >He takes a look around the room before his gaze wanders back to his infusion.
  3475. >Carefully he probes the crook of his arm and gives a little pull to the needle that is fixated with tape.
  3476. >"Why is there a needle in my arm?"
  3477. "You don't remember anything?"
  3478. >"Forest, fire, shadows... it's kind of a blur. What happened?"
  3479. "Well the short version is that a patrol team captured us and brought us to this town and now you're being patched up."
  3480. >Still poking the needle he asks, "how long was I out?"
  3481. "Over three days-" you point at his shoulder "-you got me worried."
  3482. >"That's a record..."
  3483. >"...thanks," he mumbles under his breath.
  3484. >Before you can reply he pulls off the plaster bites down on his teeth and start to pull on the needle.
  3485. "Anon, stop! What are you doing," you bark at him your eyes going wide.
  3486. >Without a sound the needle slips out of his arm and a small red drop of blood appears on his arm.
  3487. >He wipes it away with his thumb.
  3488. >"That doesn't belong there."
  3489. >You sink back and rest on your legs.
  3490. "How are you feeling?"
  3491. >"My everything hurts."
  3492. "Figures."
  3493. >Craning his neck he looks at your neck and shoulder with an raised eyebrow.
  3494. >"The fuck happened to you? They whipped you or somethin'?"
  3495. >Your hoof touches your breastbone.
  3496. "The welts? No, they are just from the ropes."
  3497. >"Ropes?"
  3498. >Pushing yourself back from the bad you turn towards the seat.
  3499. "*Anyways* I got you a little something!"
  3500. >A few quick steps and you are next to it and pick up the gym back with your mouth.
  3501. >It still smells of sweat.
  3502. >You turn around, walk towards the bed, rear yourself up and place the bag next to him.
  3503. "Open it," you say with a grin.
  3504. >Raising an eyebrow again he looks at you and then back at the bag.
  3505. "Go on," you nudge him.
  3506. >You study a his face as he opens it and grabs inside.
  3507. >When he pulls out the bottle with the apple tag you can't help but smirk.
  3508. >"Apple juice?"
  3509. "No you goofball. That is cider."
  3510. >Anon's jaw drops.
  3511. >"No way. You didn't!"