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Bros in Equestria Bonus Story: A Night at the Opera

By Mandroid
Created: 19th December 2020 01:16:41 PM
AIE Safe Anon OC Rainbow Dash Slice of Life

  1. >Year 1820 in Equestria.
  2. >The night of the big opera.
  3. >You and Anon had gotten into the habit of performing this opera once every twenty years or so.
  4. >You both knew it like the back of your hands before you came here, and what with the names of the characters well...
  5. >You really couldn't say no.
  6. >Anon was peeking out of the curtains as the music played and signaled the start of the show.
  7. >"Big crowd."
  8. "It's always a big crowd."
  9. >"Bigger crowd then. I swear, half these ponies are just here because Celestia and Luna are."
  10. >You rose from your seat and cricked your neck before you threw on your costume, a simple lab coat.
  11. "Well then, let's give them a story to remember, yeah?"
  12. >Anon smiled as you head to the curtain. "Knock em dead "Tom"."
  13. "Remember to be evil this time, "Al"."
  14. >You walked out into the spotlight as twang of a guitar string started your first part.
  15. >You fiddled with a screw in your hands as you spoke your lines.
  16. "My father worked the mines until the day it took his life."
  17.  
  18. "It stole him from his only son and it stole him from his wife."
  19. >You walked to one side of the stage and looked out of the audience.
  20. "And I swore upon his grave, someday I would make things right."
  21. >You turned and walked back to the other half of the stage as stage crew wheeled out diagrams of machines.
  22. "So I learned how to bend steel. I learned how to make it move,"
  23. "and I watched as it withstood all the hell we put men through."
  24. >You picked up a metal glove.
  25. "With hands of iron, there's not a task we couldn't do."
  26. >You drew some equations Anon and you talked over on the board.
  27. "They've waited so long for this day,"
  28. "Someone to take the death away,"
  29. "No son would ever have to say,"
  30. "My father worked into his grave."
  31. >As you drew, magically manipulated props of mechanical men came marching out from backstage, with Anon at the rear.
  32. >Anon stopped on the opposite side of the stage from you and put one hand in his jacket pocket while the other rested on a cane.
  33. "Tom, listen to yourself, then listen carefully to me."
  34. "If you replace the working parts, you get a different machine."
  35. >A smile parted his lips.
  36. "The man who turns the wheels, they will follow"
  37. "Anywhere he leads."
  38. >Anon walked to the backdrop of the city behind the two of you.
  39. "We've spent our whole lives searching for a way to make a better world."
  40. "Giving everything to them, asking nothing in return." he said as he shook his head.
  41. >He turned to you with a sinister grin. "Well here it is: our chance to take back everything we've earned." he said as he clenched his fist.
  42.  
  43. >You continued to draw.
  44. "They've waited so long for this day"
  45. >"They've waited so long for this day"
  46. "Someone to take the death away."
  47. >"There is no price they wouldn't pay."
  48. "No son would ever have to say,"
  49. >"For someone else to lead them"
  50. "My father worked into his grave."
  51. >"Don't turn your back on me!"
  52. >You walked slowly to the window overlooking the city. This was wear your character realized that he had to activate the machines to keep his promise of a better city. A promise you yourself could relate to...
  53. >You stared at your hands.
  54. "What will I become with the things I will create?"
  55. "I never said that men should bow. I never said that men should break."
  56. "I only want what's best."
  57. >You lower your head.
  58. >A blue mare came out from stage right and had the spotlight shown on her.
  59. "The one I love, she works so hard, she works her hooves until they bleed."
  60. "Some of the pain that she endures would bring a strong man to his knees."
  61. >Your face hitches.
  62. "I only want to help."
  63. >Anon shook his head on the other end of the stage. "You are a fool."
  64. "You underestimate the character of man." you say looking back.
  65. >"They are weaker than you think"
  66. "You think that they'll surrender if you bind their working hands. But they are strong"
  67. >"Just wait and see." Anon seethes.
  68. >You clench your gauntleted hand and walk to the front of the stage
  69. "We will build cities in a day!"
  70. >Anon put his hand on his forehead and shook. "Men would cower at the sight."
  71. "We will build towers to the heavens
  72. >"Man was not built for such a height"
  73. "We will be heroes!"
  74. >"We will BUILD heroes!"
  75.  
  76. >Your face fell and you reluctantly reached out a hand to a large metal leaver.
  77. >Across the bottom of the stage, the lights flickered as machine props behind you sparked to life.
  78. >You watched the machines "below" you.
  79. "They've waited so long for this day,"
  80. "Someone to take the death away,"
  81. "No son would ever have to say,"
  82. "My father worked into his grave."
  83. >You slipped on another gauntlet.
  84. "Men sleep tonight with hands of bone. They will awake with hands of steel."
  85. "And with these hands we will destroy. And with these hands we will rebuild."
  86. >You let the fire in your eyes grow as you shout.
  87. "And we will stand above our city, rising high above the streets."
  88. "From tops of buildings we will look at all that lies beneath our feet."
  89. >You stab both your hands into the sky.
  90. "We will raise our hands above us, cold steel shining in the sun,"
  91. "And with these hands that will not bleed, my father's battle will be won!"
  92. >You exited stage right as Anon surveyed the machine army, stopping right in front of a single one with an angry red eye who's glow seemed to grow by the second.
  93. >He shuddered briefly before he exited stage left, the machine man following him a few paces behind.
  94. >You re-entered stage right as the backdrop changed to a city street.
  95. >You mumbled under your breath about the consequences of your actions, letting the audience only hear a word every so often.
  96. >As you were lost in thought, a carriage passed you and reached stage left just before you did.
  97. >The lights darkened as the scene changed.
  98.  
  99. >You walk back out onto the stage after a quick outfit change, looking over the audience as the scene shifts.
  100. "What have I done?"
  101. "Though I did not pull the trigger, I built the gun that he holds in his hand."
  102. >You look up to the sky.
  103. "Last night I dreamed I climbed to the top of a mountain of metal and for miles I could see the destruction of man."
  104. >Your face grows grim as you walk back and forth over the stage.
  105. "I will not be the father of death."
  106. >You pull a small photo out of your pocket, caressing it slightly.
  107. "Darling Emily, everything that I have done, I have done for you, but it's turned out all wrong."
  108. >The stage lights up as the music swells/
  109. "Can I take it back? Can I turn off this machine before it destroys everything that I've loved?"
  110. >You looked over the crowd in horror and rage.
  111. "I will find a way to make this right!"
  112. "I will find a way, Emily."
  113. "I will not be the father of death!"
  114. >The light on you dimed and instead revealed a cobalt blue mare walking into another set, a letter in her grip.
  115. >Your darling Emily...
  116.  
  117. >"Tom?" she called as she walked inside.
  118. >The lights grew to reveal a figure rummaging through a desk, it was Anon.
  119. >Startled by the sound, he turned to look at Emily. A sinister smile crossing his face.
  120. >He motioned behind Emily, causing a machine to slam the door shut.
  121. >Emily turned to Anon frightened as he got out from behind the desk.
  122. >"What are you doing here?"
  123. >"Let me take you away."
  124. >"I'm not going anywhere."
  125. >"He will be nothing when this runs its course."
  126. >"He will be everything that a man is supposed to be."
  127. >She moves to the window and looks out over the city, this girl had a nice voice...
  128. >"If the shadow blocks out the sun..."
  129. >"There will be Light!" the choir to the side sang.
  130. >"If it stays 'till the sun is set...
  131. >"There will be Light!"
  132. >"If the sun never shows its face again..."
  133. >"There will be Light!"
  134. >"No matter how dark the city gets... there will be..."
  135. >Anon gave a DAMN good evil glare as Emily sang.
  136. >He turned to the machine and slid his finger across his throat, spurning the robot into action.
  137. >It clambered towards Emily as Anon glided out the window.
  138. >Emily tried to follow Anon out the window, but the machine caught her hair.
  139. >Even as she tried to scream, the machine moved. Ripping a steel blade across her neck and sending a splash of blood across the wall.
  140.  
  141. >You walked into the set moments after, crossing over into the room where the grisly murder had taken place.
  142. >A bright red light pulsing outside the window drew your eyes towards it.
  143. >Emotions played across your face, drawing a few gasps from the crowd.
  144. >The machine tossed the still dripping knife into the room before it leapt off the stage.
  145. >Sirens came from offstage.
  146. >You knelt down next to Emily, pulling her as close to you as you could, your body silently hitching.
  147. >Real guards, actual ones from the city, started kicking at the door.
  148. >You brushed the hair from Emily's face and kissed her forehead as a single tear rolled down your cheek.
  149. >The door bucked and splintered, rousing you from your mourning.
  150. >You pocketed the note and slipped to the window.
  151. >The buzzing sound of spells charging filled the silent concert hall.
  152. "The robot, didn't you see!? It had a red light behind a blast shield and it killed her!"
  153. >The guards, to their part, looked to you confused and charged their spells more.
  154. >Your head sunk as you turned and throw yourself from the window.
  155. >Gasps of shock came from the crowd as the well practiced guards fired their spells.
  156. >You grunted as you hit the ground below.
  157. >Dammit...it was only a few feet but it still hurt...next time Anon plays Tom.
  158. >At least your magic immunity helped sell the scene.
  159. >You rolled over and pushed yourself shakily to your feet as the sirens grew louder and ran off stage.
  160.  
  161. -Anon PoV-
  162. >You were born for this moment.
  163. >Finally getting to put to use all those "dance lessons" Michael Jackson videos had taught you.
  164. >As Mous ran offstage, a gaggle of reporters came in to take his place behind you.
  165. >Above all your heads was a screen, one that was due to go live any moment.
  166. >You held your cane behind your head with your back to the audience, popping your shoulders and sliding it across in tune with the music.
  167. >As the drums joined, you began twirling the cane on circles on either side of you, prancing around as the reporters assembled.
  168. >You glanced up at Luna and Celestia's box seats, they both seemed to be enjoying it. Luna was enraptured by the story despite seeing it over a dozen times and Celestia seemed to be following your cane twirls.
  169. >It was good to put on a performance for good friends.
  170. >You strutted in front of the reporters and slammed your can onto the ground.
  171. "Tonight the streets are red, the lights are blue and blinding."
  172. "No sign of the "Good Doctor," but the siren's wail and whining Tell us he'll be found."
  173. >You walk in rhythm to the window behind you and overlook the city.
  174. " I can almost hear the hounds..."
  175. >You grinned a bit as the lights of the city flashed.
  176. >You turned back to reporters, dancing as you walked.
  177. "What kind of man builds a machine to kill a girl?"
  178. "No he did not use his hands. "
  179. "Like a smart man he used a tool."
  180. "But just the same!..."
  181. "How can you question who's to blame?"
  182.  
  183. >The reporters all took a step forward. "What was her name?" they shouted.
  184. >You waved a dismissive hand.
  185. "It doesn't matter. Now listen..."
  186. >You toss your cane up into the air and spin around on your heels before catching it and hoping in the air.
  187. "The Good Doctor" has to pay!"
  188. >A red countdown appeared on the screen over your heads, drawing the reports attention.
  189. >You bent your head down to whisper to only you and the crowd.
  190. "When I say he was a monster, when I set fire to his name."
  191. "It does not matter where you hear it from, whether truth or lies, it gets said all the same!"
  192. >You glance up at the coundown, stabbing your cane towards the reporters.
  193. "Whatever's on the table plays!"
  194. >You glance up back as the countdown as it ticks down to 1 minutes, 46 seconds.
  195. >The reporters keep blaring questions at you as you slip into the studio.
  196. >A pane of glass sparates you from the reporters as they flap their gums.
  197. >The mics weren't on...the cameras weren't rolling...so you spoke to yourself.
  198. "There is a flame I have been fanning."
  199. "There is a fire waiting to catch."
  200. There is a hell that has been building from the moment we first met."
  201. >58 seconds to air.
  202. "If there ever was a time, If there ever was a chance, to undo the things I've done and wash these bloodstains from my hands."
  203. >49 seconds to air
  204.  
  205. >Your eyes grew more deranged and excited as seconds ticked away.
  206. "It has passed and been forgotten."
  207. "These are the paths that we must take."
  208. "Cause you and I, Tom, we are men  And we can bend and we can break."
  209. >40 seconds.
  210. "If you think that you can run."
  211. "If you think that you can stand."
  212. "Well you forget who turned this city on. "
  213. >The automated lights in the studio switch on as you throw you cane up and catch it again.
  214. "You forget who plugged this city in!"
  215. >30 seconds to air.
  216. "They'll not switch it off again."
  217. You straightened your tie, knocked the wrinkles out of your suit jacket and faced the camera lens.
  218. "One by one they're tuning in."
  219. >15 seconds.
  220. >You looked over the audience as they watched hypnotized by the events unfolding.
  221. >Just as planned.
  222. >3 seconds...
  223. >You clear your throat as the blinking red light goes solid.
  224. >Your face appears on the screen above the audience, their eyes snapping up to it.
  225. "Hello, people of the greatest city on the planet."
  226. "It is my great honor to announce the new telescreen's that will be sending a constant stream of information to you all."
  227. >Your face grew serious.
  228. "As you all no doubt know, a murder was commited by my once associate Dr. Thomas Light."
  229. "I want to assure you all that he will be caught and brought to justice, I will not allow such blatant disregard for the law go unpunished."
  230.  >You grow a small smile.
  231. "I promise you all, I will make this city safe again."
  232. >The guards, the reporters, all the city folk looked up at the screen.
  233. >And they trusted it's words completely.
  234.  
  235. -Mous PoV-
  236. >You sat in a defendants chair as the scene changed.
  237. >You kept your head low and arms close as the music lightly filled the hall.
  238. >Extras walked around in a mock trial with and spoke without sound.
  239. >You were to be depressed over loss here, you had lots of practice doing that.
  240. >Your voice was kept soft as it was amplified over the audience.
  241. "Emily, The crowd has gathered here but it is not because of you."
  242. >You shake your head.
  243. "Emily, the taste of blood in their mouths, I can't imagine what they'll do."
  244. "But it doesn't matter what they'll do to me."
  245. >You shift in your seat a bit
  246. "Emily, have they forgotten you when they set their sights on me?"
  247. >You look up at the shadow cast by a noose hanging from the ceiling.
  248. "They will hang me from the rope tonight."
  249. "Will you be waiting there for me?"
  250. "Will our souls remember where we said we'd meet on the way out of this town?"
  251. >Tears began to well up in the eyes of both you and the audience as the scene hit them.
  252. "I'm leaving one way or the other, Emily. There's nothing left here for me now."
  253. >You pulled your head closer.
  254. "Emily, it's so quiet now. It's like the calm before a storm."
  255.  
  256. >You look up at a screen with Anon's face on you.
  257. "They will punish me for what he did to you. But either way it's all my fault,"
  258. "'Cause I made the man who laid his hands on you."
  259. >You shoot your head as you shouted.
  260. "And I would tear him down, but I feel like a dead man and what can a dead man do?"
  261. >Smoke came from backstage with the silhouette of Emily shining out.
  262. >"This is not your fault!" she yelled.
  263. "I'm leaving one way or the other, Emily."
  264. >"This is not your fault!"
  265. "There's nothing left here for me now."
  266. >The lights intensify on the court as they reach the end.
  267. "Here comes the blow..."
  268. "We find the only man who loved her..."
  269. "We find the only man who'd give his life to see her once again..."
  270. >"We find this man..."
  271. >"Not Guilty!"
  272. "Guilty... I am Guilty!"
  273. >The sentence had been dealt; not guilty.
  274. >The judge, jurors and lawyers all left the courtroom, leaving you alone in the defendants stand.
  275. >As the lights on the set died, lights outside the court windows intensified.
  276. >Along with shouts of anger and rage.
  277.  
  278. >You sat in the stand, simply waiting.
  279. >A group of guards came and escorted you from the stand out of the courthouse.
  280. >They paused at the doors and prepared for what was outside.
  281. >As they swung the doors open, the angry mob outside's screams intensified.
  282. >It was utter chaos in the city.
  283. >"Give us the doctor!" they shouted.
  284. >The guards hurried you along through the crowd.
  285. >"Give us the rope!"
  286. >The guards kept the mob away from you as you were pushed into a carriage
  287. >The mob pounded on the windows of the carriage as it left.
  288. >"Give us his hands!"
  289. >"Give us his feet!"
  290. >You could see the rage in their eyes.
  291. >"Give us the doctor!"
  292. >"Give us the rope!"
  293. >You kept maneuvering through the sea of protesters.
  294. >"Give us a grave!"
  295. >"Give us a shovel!"
  296. >"Give us a marker!"
  297. >"Give us the doctor!"
  298. >"Give us the rope!"
  299. >The carriage slowly made its way to the train station, every stallion, mare and foal in the city slowly marching after you.
  300. >In the vacant silence of the station, you could hear the dull roar of the crowd as they came closer and closer to the station.
  301. >In utter apathy, you stepped onto the train right as the doors shut.
  302. >As the train pulled away, your looked up to the angry face of Anon at the top of the tower you helped build.
  303. >He screamed and hollered and drove the crowd to new levels of frenzy as he drove you out of this city and took complete control.
  304. >Thomas Light was gone.
  305. >Your name tarnished, your work stolen., your love murdered.
  306. >But the city...
  307. >The city was still alive.
  308.  
  309. >The train picked up and shot you out of the city as fast as it could.
  310. >Behind you, things changed.
  311. >A relentless army of robot workers marched out and began to tear down the old city, replacing it with a sleek new modern one.
  312. >Ponies followed the metal monsters out as they rebuilt the city, standing in awe of what laid before them.
  313. >No longer would they toil in factories or risk life and limb in mines, the city would now take care of that for them.
  314. >The single screen that transmitted Anon's face now sent the same picture to hundreds of others, filling the city with his word.
  315. >His words, his workers, his conviction, turned the city into a steel plated heaven.
  316. >Years passed.
  317. > A new generation grew up in the steel city, one that had never been told about the old by the previous generations.
  318. >Why would they? What point was there in telling everyone about the craphole the city used to be?
  319. >The people of the old city had been given a gift in the form of a new one, given by a kind man with an endless supply of steel hands.
  320. >And gifts could be taken back.
  321. >Fear settled in over the city, keeping them silent and safe.
  322. >Despite all that, rumors started.
  323. >Rumors that a demon with a single red I would take you away at night if you had even a dissenting word on your lips.
  324. >Some children grew up hating the city and the machines that had their hands around the necks of the people.
  325. >There was one boy in particular.
  326. >His name was Joe.
  327.  
  328. -Anon PoV-
  329. >You stepped out on stage in your Joe outfit.
  330. >Playing two characters was practically a necessity, Wiley barely got any time.
  331. >You step out into the light and overlook the city.
  332. "The city doesn't know what's coming,"
  333. "She doesn't feel the heat."
  334. "The city won't know what hit her,"
  335. "What knocked her out into the streets."
  336. "The city is thinking that it's over,"
  337. "and she's already fast asleep."
  338. "So I'm breaking out of here tonight."
  339. "I am ready."
  340. >You walked along the shining city in disgust of what it had become.
  341. "We're given only what we need,"
  342. "Only the chance to survive."
  343. >You glance up at the broadcast tower.
  344. "And even then, it's a coin toss,"
  345. "A roll of the dice."
  346. >You look at the complacent masses of the city.
  347. "There's gotta be something better,"
  348. "Something that feels more alive."
  349. "So I'm breaking out of here tonight."
  350. "I'm breaking out of here."
  351. >You chase after a mare a ways ahead of you, trying to convince her of the state the city is in.
  352. "You've got to feel it girl, Feel the wind pick up."
  353. >The choir to the side of the stage sung with you.
  354. "It feels like something's gonna change,"
  355. >"Something's gonna change."
  356. "But there's no use putting it in drive if all the wheels are stuck."
  357. >You grab her shoulder.
  358. "There's somethin' wrong here."
  359. >"Something's wrong here."
  360. "Like this whole city wants to scream, but no one makes a sound."
  361. >She keeps on ignoring you as she walks into a restaurant.
  362. "But, you've got to feel it, baby."
  363. >"Something's wrong here."
  364. "So I'm going to find out what it is and I'm going to tear it down."
  365.  
  366. >You slide up next to the mare and grab her ear to whisper.
  367. >She may have been ignoring you all night, but you had her attention now.
  368. "The engine's running, baby."
  369. "We don't have time for goodbyes."
  370. "I know you can't come with me."
  371. "I see that look in your eyes."
  372. "So kiss me fast cause there's no time to lose."
  373. "Leave the light on I'll come back for you."
  374. "When everything is said and done, I swear I'm gonna make it right."
  375. >You steal a quick kiss, swearing you can hear Luna stiffen a bit.
  376. "I'm breaking out of here tonight!
  377. >The girl smiled and rose a hoof to slap you, but you were already gone.
  378. >You kicked open the door and jumped on your bike to tear into the streets with fire in your blood.
  379. >As you rode, you screamed out against the silent city.
  380. >High above, citizens yelled at you to keep your voice down for all of your safety.
  381. "I'm so tired of giving up."
  382. "I am so tired of giving in."
  383. "You wake up knowing things should change, not knowing where to begin."
  384. "This city won't say where she's going, and she won't speak of where she's been."
  385. "So I'm breaking out of here tonight..."
  386. >As you race, the denizens of the city open their windows and lean out, gasping and speaking in timid voices in a chorus of fear.
  387. >"Don't turn your back on the city." they said.
  388. >You ignored the voices, you were the only one who hadn't turned his back.
  389. >You kick the shifter.
  390.  
  391. "Say a prayer for all the children still sleeping.
  392. >You shift to 3rd gear.
  393. >"Don't turn your back on the city."
  394. "Say a prayer for all the fathers who still remember."
  395. >You shift to 4th.
  396. >"Don't turn your back on the city."
  397. "Say a prayer for all the girls who've learned to stand up."
  398. >"Don't turn your back on the city."
  399. >5th.
  400. >"Don't turn your back on the city."
  401. "Say a prayer for all the boys who won't surrender."
  402. >The lights on the stage and indeed in the entire theatre go out save for the one directly above you.
  403. "Sometimes I just want to drive until the streets run out."
  404. "I want to burn until there's nothing left to burn about."
  405. >Who do you know like that?
  406. "This city's waiting for a better day."
  407. "When I get back there will be hell to pay."
  408. >The lights pulse brighter and brighter.
  409. "But, if I'm the only one left standing, I will not be afraid to fight."
  410. "I'm breaking out of here tonight!"
  411. >You keep racing.
  412.  
  413. "I feel a fever coming on me, burning out of control."
  414. "And I hear nothing but the static."
  415. "For years now there's been nothing but the static on the radio."
  416. "If you can hear my voice outside these walls, if you can hear me sending out this message tonight, then break the silence, send a signal back."
  417. "I'm coming, all I need is a little guiding light."
  418. >The music keeps pounding as you keep riding.
  419. "...If you can hear me." you add as an afterthought.
  420. >"Don't turn your back on the city..."
  421. "If you can hear me...Don't turn your back on the city."
  422. >You keep riding next to the rails for a while, eventually leading to the slums of the city.
  423. >Even here, the telescreens were buzzing.
  424. >You heard footsteps behind you as you stepped off your bike and reached for the knife in your boots.
  425. >You whirled around to face your potential attacker.
  426. >It was a grey haired Mous.
  427. >You were about to speak when he raised a finger and pointed behind you.
  428. >You turned around to see a single pulsating red light from the alleyway behind you.
  429.  
  430. >Mous took a few steps towards you and you him.
  431. >You recognized this face, the face of the Demon of the City.
  432. >You felt yourself grow more excited.
  433. >You stay where you are as you talk to him.
  434. "I've seen your face in the shadows."
  435. "I've seen your face in the places I wasn't meant to be."
  436. "I've heard them whisper about you."
  437. "I've heard the men in the bars and I've seen the women lock their doors at night."
  438. "Lock your doors tonight."
  439. >You take a few steps towards him as he continues you glare past you.
  440. "They say your eyes are on fire."
  441. "They say you'd kill a man for walking the wrong side of the line."
  442. "The wrong side of the line."
  443. "But men, they say a lot of foolish things and in the end the only words I can find to believe in are mine."
  444. >You walk towards him as the choir prepares to join you.
  445. "They say:"
  446. "This city."
  447. >"This city."
  448. "She's been dead."
  449. >"She's been dead."
  450. "For years now..."
  451. >"For years now,"
  452. "For years now..."
  453. >"For years now,"
  454. "So death is,"
  455. >"So death is,"
  456. "Not something"
  457. >"Not something"
  458. "Not something that scares me."
  459. >"That scares me... "
  460. "That scares me ..."
  461. >You take a step closer.
  462. "There's worse things."
  463. >"There's worse things."
  464. "Than death here.
  465. >"Than death here."
  466. "They told me..."
  467. >"Keep quiet."
  468. >You thrust your arms into the air.
  469. "I will not be told where to stand!"
  470. "I will not be told what to say."
  471. "Not by man or machine, Not by you, not by anyone tonight!"
  472. "You're gonna have to do better than fear."
  473. "You're gonna have to step out of the shadows and fight!"
  474.  
  475. >You point a finger at him.
  476. "And when they see your face again, They will know what it means to have fear dragged out into the light."
  477. "Drag it out!"
  478. "They say:"
  479. "This city."
  480. >"This city."
  481. "She's been dead."
  482. >"She's been dead."
  483. "For years now..."
  484. >"For years now,"
  485. "For years now..."
  486. >"For years now,"
  487. "So death is,"
  488. >"So death is,"
  489. "Not something"
  490. >"Not something"
  491. "Not something that scares me."
  492. >"That scares me... "
  493. "That scares me ..."
  494. "So come on!"
  495. >"Come on."
  496. "Come on!"
  497. "Step into the light!"
  498. >The machine behind you lurches to life and steps from the shadows.
  499. >Mous visible tensed as the machine walked forward.
  500. >You slowly backed away from the bike, getting close to Mous in the alley.
  501. >The machine never charged up its magical canon in its hand, instead leaning forward with a large blade in it's fist.
  502. "This city."
  503. >"This city."
  504. "She's been dead."
  505. >"She's been dead."
  506. "For years now..."
  507. >"For years now,"
  508. "For years now..."
  509. >"For years now,"
  510. "So death is."
  511. >"So death is.
  512. >"Not something.
  513. "Not something that scares me!"
  514. >"That scares me."
  515. "That scares me.
  516. >"That scares me."
  517. "There's worse things."
  518. >"This city."
  519. "Than death here
  520. >"She's been dead."
  521. >"For years now."
  522. "There's loss and there's silence and sadness!
  523. >"For years now."
  524. >Your hands were shaking.
  525.  
  526. >"So death is."
  527. "So come on!"
  528. >"Not something."
  529. "Come on!"
  530. >"That scares me"
  531. "Just open your mouths and receive it!"
  532. "That scares me."
  533. >The machine continues to march forward, making sounds over and over.
  534. >In time, those sounds resembled speech.
  535. >"This city."
  536. >"She's been dead."
  537. >"For years now."
  538. >"For years now."
  539. >"So death is."
  540. >"Not something."
  541. >"That scares me"
  542. >It repeated those words over and over like a mantra.
  543. >You leaned forward and charged the machine, intent on going down fighting.
  544. >You slammed into it and rolled along the ground with it.
  545. >The machine got on top and put its hands around your throat.
  546. >You clawed at the metal covering it, looking for a chink in the armor.
  547. >Your hand found the magic canon in its hand instead.
  548. >You were able to twist the hand and blast the machine.
  549. >When you got your eyes open, the machine was several feet away with a smoldering hole in its chest.
  550. >You grabbed a pipe and prepared to bash its skull in, but Mous stopped you.
  551. >"I built this. It's mine to destroy." he said.
  552. >With surprising speed, his right hand shot to Joe's boot and withdrew the knife. With his left hand he grabbed the machine by the jugular-shaped electrical conduit at its throat and sliced. A single swift blow. The eye went dark. The machine was dead.
  553. >He turned to face you, your labored breaths drowning out the telescreen.
  554. >"My name is Thomas Light..." he said.
  555. >He walked over to the lifeless machine and motioned for you to assist him.
  556. >You both dragged the remains into the alley.
  557. >Mous sheathed the knife in your boot and examined the machine.
  558. >With a few deft movements, he pulled the dark green helmet off its head.
  559. >"Here... try this on."
  560.  
  561. >You and Mous needed a plan.
  562. "This city's sleeping like a soldier trapped inside of an iron lung."
  563. "Machines can keep you breathing but what happens when you find a new war's begun?"
  564. "Flip a switch and turn it off,  you won't be able to breathe."
  565. "So either way you're a casualty."
  566. >You walked around as your mind processed what was happening and your pulse quickened.
  567. >You clench your fist.
  568. "I've got this burning like my veins are filled with nothing but gasoline."
  569. "And with a spark it's gonna be the biggest fire they've ever seen."
  570. "Cut me down or let me run, Either way it's all gonna burn..."
  571. "The only way that they'll ever learn."
  572. >You point to the telescreens.
  573. "We've got to turn it off, Flip a switch."
  574. "Light up the night!"
  575. "There is a city that this darkness can't hide."
  576. "There are the embers of a fire that's gone out, But I can still feel the heat on my skin."
  577. "This mess we're in, well you and I, Maybe you and I, We can still make it right."
  578. "Maybe we can bring back the light."
  579. >Mous paces around with his hand on his chin.
  580. >He turns back to you.
  581. >"At the heart of the city there is a building that looks down over all there is."
  582. >"And the man in the tower controls it all without raising a single fist."
  583. >"It's like they gathered up the city, they sold it to the devil and now, It's gone to hell and they wonder how."
  584.  
  585. >He walks closer to you.
  586. >"Well, a friend once told me: Men, they would follow any man who would turn the wheels."
  587. >"Now the wheels are spinning out of control;  what would they do if we held them still?"
  588. >"If you destroy the working parts, what you'll get is a broken machine."
  589. >"A beacon of light from a burning screen."
  590. >"Light it up."
  591. >"Light up the night."
  592. >You both clasped your fists and sang together.
  593. >"There is a city that this darkness can't hide."
  594. >"There are the embers of a fire that's gone out, But I can still feel the heat on my skin. This mess we're in, well you and I, maybe you and I, We can light up the night."
  595. >You both made a plan, a simple yet effective plan.
  596. >You would make your way to the central transmitter and stop the broadcasts, taking out Wiley's eyes.
  597. >With those out, Mous could re0enter the city and kill wiley.
  598. >Mous walked into home and handed a bag of explosives to you.
  599. >"There is a city that this darkness can't hide."
  600. >"There are the embers of a fire that's gone out, "But I can still feel the heat on my skin. "This mess we're in, well you and I, maybe you and I, We can light up the night."
  601. >"There is a city that this darkness can't hide."
  602. >"There is a fire that will burn through the streets of the city, and we will stand in the light."
  603. >"We will stand in the light, you and I."
  604. >"You and I."
  605. >"We can bring back the light."
  606. >The assassin dead, there was no better time.
  607. >Mous locked the helmet under your chin and handed you the bag.
  608. >"Go!" he shouted.
  609.  
  610. >You hopped on the bike and sped back to the city.
  611. >You head the news reports as you passed each telescreen.
  612. >"Incident as cities edge."
  613. >"Armed assailant."
  614. >"Threat to public safety."
  615. >Ignore it all, just climb.
  616. >You raced through the streets faster than ever before.
  617. >The world seemed to ebb around you as you came closer and closer to the imposing spire and the giant telescreen on top of it.
  618. >You were gonna climb to the top of the world.
  619. >The street ended and you jumped the curb, launching you into the front steps of the tower.
  620. >The bike lost traction on the smooth marble and slid across the floor.
  621. >You were thrown off it just as the bike launched into the air and crashed into the steel doors, erupting into flame.
  622. >You rolled on your stomach as you slowed yourself, sirens bursting to life around you.
  623.  
  624. >You push yourself up and run to the stairs, jump the flames left by the bike.
  625. >After what seemed like an endless number of stairs, you reached the top of the tower.
  626. >You kicked the door in and stepped into the night air.
  627. >Have to act fast.
  628. >You threw the bag down next to the transmitter, reached inside and grabbed the detonator.
  629. >You held as tight as you could and ran for the stairs.
  630. >It took three steps for the bomb to go off and throw you into the air.
  631. >Mous had almost reached the plaza.
  632. >He watched the flames erupt from the top of the building and set the sky on fire.
  633. >As he watched the debris fall to the earth, he saw one piece that could only be a human body.
  634. >His fears were confirmed as the body landed with a dull thump and he pushed his way through the crowd.
  635. >As he stood in the center, another explosion shook the ground. Then another and another and another still.
  636. >In the distance, he saw as the telescreens burst into flame and splintered.
  637.  
  638. -Mous PoV-
  639. >You understood at once.
  640. >There had been no mistake, this was all part of his plan.
  641. >A man who had spent his entire life fearing for his control wouldn't be done in by a pack of explosives.
  642. >You turned your head and caught glimps of a red pulsating light at the edge of the city.
  643. >Another transmitter.
  644. >You had stopped nothing.
  645. >You fell to your knees at the knowledge that you had sent a young boy to die.
  646. >A voice came over loudspeakers shouting about insurgent forces and commanding the frightened men and women to return home.
  647. >Red lights sprung up all around you as thousands of mechanical soldiers poured in.
  648. >At the same time, the stage lights died down and left a single spotlight on you as time seemed to slow.
  649. "Emily, a crowd has gathered here and once again they fail to see."
  650. "You can't just set the world at someone else's feet and not get trampled underneath."
  651. "And I think somehow Joe knew it, he paid the price he thought he had to pay, but Emily, that debt was meant for me..."
  652. >You tap your fingers on your chest twice.
  653. "That debt was meant for me."
  654. >You look up to the sky.
  655. "This is not the world my father knew."
  656. "This is not the world, I know, he would have wanted me to build, But I can't undo it now."
  657. "It's like a train, and all its cars are filled with steel, that I would stop if I knew how."
  658. "And it is bearing down on me..."
  659. "So I will stand here with my shoulders square and tall, and when the whistle blows, not falter, but when the crash comes I will fall."
  660. "With so much steam and steel behind it, I won't slow it down at all."
  661. >Your head sinks.
  662. "Oh God..."
  663. "Oh God..."
  664. >You look up at the encroaching red lights.
  665. "Here comes the arm."
  666.  
  667. >And now...this part...
  668. >You hated this part...
  669. >It always hit close to home...
  670. >Emily trotted out onto the stage. Christ, she was even blue too.
  671. >She orbited around you on your knees with a benevolent look about her.
  672. >"Thomas, Please don't cry for me."
  673. >"I know you never meant for this."
  674. >"I love you completely, just remember that. If I should leave you now,"
  675. >"Then in my final hour, I pray this letter finds you well before it all goes to hell."
  676. >"He could never cage the world. It's too big for anyone, and soon the dark will pass.
  677. >" I want so much to be with you but in my heart I know, Tom, the city needs you now. This city needs you now."
  678. >"This city needs you now!"
  679. >Your eyes snap open as the choir sings. "THIS CITY!"
  680. >You look around at the turmoil and destruction.
  681. >Screams came in every direction as desperate and terrified people ran past.
  682. >This city needed you now.
  683. >And not just this one.
  684. >You looked down at Anon's face and snapped the helmet off him as you stood.
  685. "Joe, when you see Emily, tell her to wait for me."
  686. >Your eyes snap forward.
  687. "'Cause I still have work to do..."
  688. >With that you turned and walked away.
  689. >You walked around machines and around terrified citizens.
  690. >You were going to save this city and all its people one day.
  691. >Count on it.
  692.  
  693. >The lights came back on and illuminated the audience as they practically brought the roof down with their applause.
  694. >You and Anon joined the other members of the production on the stage and waved at everyp0ny.
  695. "Next time, you play Light."
  696. >"Hating our destined role, are we?"
  697. "Maybe I just don't like being tossed from windows? Not to mention I could work that cane better than you did."
  698. >Anon laughs "You wish."
  699. >The applause lasted forever as ponies, nobles, and princesses alike shared their thoughts on the play.
  700. >You all take each other's hands and hooves and bow, bringing the performance and night to a close.
  701.  
  702.  
  703.  
  704.  
  705. (Authors note 8 years late: CUH-RINGE)

Prose Equus 26: Bleeding Gods.

by MAndroid

Prose Equus 25: Windows to the Past.

by Mandroid

Prose Equus 24: Death Sentence.

by Mandroid

Prose Equus 23: Spooky Scary Symbiote.

by Mandroid

Prose Equus 22: Dust and Crypts.

by Mandroid