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Fracture 10: I'm Dreaming of a Dead City.

By Mandroid
Created: 19th December 2020 01:23:07 PM

  1. =Fracture 10=
  2.  
  3. >There are very few things that can unnerve you.
  4. >Wars and combat, the horrors of what some ponies could do to others, you'd seen that and more in your life on the road.
  5. >But you'd never seen a simply SILENT city.
  6. >The towers, the roads, the empty carriages, they were all silent as the grave.
  7. >Even the animals seemed to want to stay away from this place, no songbirds sang and no distant hooves or paws rang out in the distance.
  8. >You sneak along a wall and peak around to spy them.
  9. >Rotting carcasses stand as still as statues in the middle of the streets, waiting until their master called on them to move.
  10. >+Stay low, avoid notice+
  11. >Right...
  12. >You creep along the wall and head into a small building.
  13. >The stairs up to the second floor are covered in papers as you climb them.
  14. >+Office building, probably abandoned in the attack+
  15. >Knives out, you sneak along the wall with windows and peer outside.
  16. >:Damn, it's worse than we thought:
  17. >Stretching from where you were now all the way to the large castle serving as the seat of power in Trottingham was a veritable horde of the undead.
  18. >Damn...this was going to be harder than you thought.
  19. >A lot harder.
  20. >You creep along the wall and head back downstairs, heading out the back door again.
  21. >Alright, new plan.
  22. >Get through the city, don't get seen, try and figure out what's going on and try and find if there's anyone still alive.
  23. >And try not to get turned into a zombie in the process.
  24.  
  25. >You were sneaking along the wall on a street on the northern side of the city.
  26. >The benefit of having to evade the undead is that they weren't the brightest bulbs around, nor the most aware. You had gotten within ten feet of one without it turning its head.
  27. >At the moment you were scouting, trying to work out where the undead were the thickest and what the best way to get into the city center was.
  28.  >+Force is not an option, not alone+
  29. >*Subterfuge would be too slow*
  30. >Maybe hit and run tactics to thin the heard a bit would work...
  31. >You peer over the broken wall next to you and eye one particular undead.
  32. >A mare who looked in her mid-thirties with the standard slack jawed and dead eyed face. Her hooves were a mass of cuts and scrapes from what you guess was dragging them along the ground.
  33. >So that means they don't feel pain...
  34. >+Problematic+
  35. >Maybe there's a way we ca-
  36. >Your thoughts are interrupted by a heavy mass of muscles and feathers slamming into you at high speed and tossing you several feet back.
  37. >You try bring your arms up to cover your face, but strong talons grab your wrists and slam them back onto the ground hard.
  38. >"Who in the hell are you, dweeb!? What are you doing here?" she hisses into your face.
  39.  
  40. >You try to wrest your arms free, only to find that this griffin bitch had you pined six ways from Sunday.
  41. >Dammit...
  42. >She slams your hands again. "Answer me!"
  43. >You glare up at her. Healed cuts on her face, some mussed up feathers, bags under her eyes.
  44. >+She's been fighting+
  45. >:There may be others:
  46. >You sigh and meet her arresting gaze.
  47. "I'm here on a favor to the captain of the Canterlot Guard, so I suggest you relax."
  48. >Her glare doesn't lose any of its fire.
  49. "What the hell are you doing here?"
  50. >She grimaces. "The Hegemony got word of attacks on Pisa, I got picked to go check it out."
  51. >She glances over you. "What in the hell are you supposed to be?"
  52. >Bitch.
  53. "I'm a human and my name is Anonymous. Do I just call you "Griffin Bitch"?"
  54. >She punches your shoulder. "Gilda works too."
  55. >The sound of moans and shuffling hooves on the other side of the wall puts both of you on alert.
  56. "They're coming here."
  57. >"They must have heard us."
  58. "Are you alone here?"
  59. >"No."
  60. "Get us there."
  61. >"Good plan."
  62. >You scramble to your feet as Gild runs, not flies, into a house away from the undead with you following close behind.
  63.  
  64. >Gilda hops over a broken barrier and waves you into a dilapidated house. "Come on, come on, hurry up!"
  65. >You run through the door and take cover behind a wall, Gilda quickly walking past you and dragging a piece of sheet metal off the floor. A passageway leading into blackness stretched out underneath it.
  66. "Homey."
  67. >"Just get inside!" Gilda shouts.
  68. >You lift your foot but pause at a nagging doubt.
  69. >+Dark. Confined spaces. Unknown ally.+
  70. >*This smells like a trap*
  71. >The sounds of moans behind you hasten your choice.
  72. >:Not like we have much else to do! Move it soldier!:
  73. >You move down the stairs quickly into the darkness, Gilda hoping inside and dragging the cover back over.
  74. >You could hear her feathers ruffling and her claws scraping over the sound of your own heartbeat.
  75. >"Follow me." she says through the darkness.
  76. >Steel plated boots and griffin talons scrape against the stone tunnel.
  77. >You're on edge the entire time, waiting for the moment when you might be ambushed.
  78. >The thought that you may die down here in the cold dark with all those walking drones up there...
  79. >It wasn't a nice thought.
  80. >That moment never comes, however, as a light at the end of the tunnel grows ever closer.
  81. >The two of you step out into a small basement made of stone, several ponies and a few griffins were sitting in various states of dejection, almost all of them had wrapped wounds. In the rear of the room rested a single table with several older ponies and griffins standing around it.
  82. "What is this place?"
  83. >Gilda sighs. "This is every living thing we were able to find in Trottingham."
  84. >You look around the room again, there can't be more than twenty or twenty five ponies and griffins here.
  85. >You snort.
  86. "Grim."
  87.  
  88. >Gilda shrugs off your comment and walks ahead of you towards the rear of the basement. "C'mon Dweeb, you're gonna give us a hand."
  89. >:It's interesting that she thinks we're here just to help her:
  90. >Not like we have anything better to do...
  91. >You follow Gilda to the table with the older ponies and griffins around it.
  92. >One pony, an older stallion even by these standards with a grey coat and stark white mane quirked an eyebrow at you. "Oh? And what have you brought me this time, Gilda?"
  93. >Gilda jerks a talon thumb back to you. "Calls himself a "human", Doc."
  94. >The stallion slicks back his hair and extends a hoof. "Professor Bill Neigh, university of Canterlot and visiting family when...all this happened."
  95. >You grasp the hoof and shake.
  96. "Anonymous. Former Royal Guard and current...traveler."
  97. >He glances to the knives on your back. "Well you may be the traveler we need, come here."
  98. >Neigh motions you towards the table which has a map of the city on it, several marks dot the map in certain locations.
  99. "What's happening?"
  100. >"What do you know?" Neigh answers.
  101. "Only that there are a couple thousand undead in this city and a ram named Grogar is apparently to blame."
  102. >The professor nods. "That is more or less the extent of it. Grogar was the ruler of a city called Tambelon some few hundred or thousand years ago. He was a Necromancer with the power to raise the dead to serve him."
  103. >Neigh sighs and slumps his head. "And it appears he is back and has targeted us."
  104. >You glance at the map.
  105. "Any ideas?"
  106. >Neigh raises his head again. "One."
  107.  
  108. >"We." Professor Neigh points to a red X at one part of the map. "Are here. In the eastern residential district, with a semi-thick horde of the dead around us."
  109. >He points to another X, this one blue and in the center of the city. "Grogar is here at the old Keep that served as the center of power here, that's where the undead are the thickest."
  110. "Okay..."
  111. >"Grogar's power comes from the bell he wears around his neck, also the only thing keeping him "alive". If we can take that bell..."
  112. "We kill him."
  113. >Neigh leans back. "In essence."
  114. >...Gentleman?
  115. >+A sound plan if it can be done+
  116. >You mull it over a bit before looking down at Neigh.
  117. "Alright, I'm in. What's the plan."
  118. >He visibly calms. "Good...we need all the help we can get for this."
  119. >Neigh leaves the table and addresses everyone else in the basement. "Alright! It's time to get this going! Everyone get ready to move!"
  120. >Whoa, wait.
  121. >:This is happening NOW?:
  122. "We're doing this now?"
  123. >"No other time, we need to move against Grogar now." Neigh says.
  124. >You roll your shoulders and flex your fingers.
  125. "I'm ready."
  126. >"No you're not." Neigh says.
  127. >He walks past you and points to a cloth covering what looks like another room. "Go through there and talk to Gear, he'll help you out."
  128. >Neigh walks past you and leaves you to yourself.
  129. >:Help us?:
  130. >*Yeah, right...*
  131. >You walk towards the curtain and enter into a shower of sparks. "Eyes!" someone calls.
  132. >You shield your eyes from the mini sun and blink away the dots it brings. Vision clear, you catch sight of a grey mare levitating a band saw over her head and removing a welders mask. "Who in the hell're you supposed to be?"
  133.  
  134. "I'm the guy who was gonna save your ass until I went blind!" you growl, lowering your arms.
  135. >Gear chuckles. "I'll by yerself? That'll be the day."
  136. >:Fuck you too, lady:
  137. >She levitates her tools onto various nails hanging around the room. "So what can I getcha, handsome?"
  138. >You finally lower your arms. "Professor told me to come here before we go do this, said you could help."
  139. >Gear removes a pipe from her mouth and blows three rings of smoke. "May have somethin' for ya."
  140. >She levitates a rather plain looking broadsword over to you in its sheathe.
  141. >"Got this from a guard warehouse a little after it all went down, none of us here no how to use it right but..." she takes another drag and blows the smoke out. "You I think may know your way around it."
  142. >You snatch the sword out of the air and draw it. Sharp, well polished, balanced at the hilt.
  143. >+The previous owner of this weapon cared for it+
  144. "Yeah...this'll do nicely."
  145. >You secure the sword on your belt and move to leave the room.
  146. >"Not so fast, got something else for ya."
  147. >Gear is levitating a polished bronzed shield up from the workbench she was on, it was battered and scraped, but you could make out the symbol of Trottingham on its face.
  148. >The most curious factor was that the edge was sharpened down so that it was almost as sharp as the sword.
  149. >"Just because I like ya." Gear says with a smirk.
  150. >You secure it on your arm and slam it against the stone wall, the cutting edge going in a good few inches.
  151. >Whoa...
  152. >"Magically enchanted." Gear remarks.
  153. >You can feel the others smirking as well.
  154. >*Oh baby doll~...*
  155.  
  156. >You drag the tip of your new sword along the concrete wall as you walk out the house into the street.
  157. >That attracts the attention of the dead, the entire street by the look of it.
  158. >The rest of your companions join you in the door, Professor Neigh looking up at you. "What now, Anon?"
  159. >You grip the sword tighter and bare your teeth.
  160. "We kill them again."
  161. >You burst out of the doorway towards the first shambling corpse and stick your sword up to the hilt into its head.
  162. >The blade rips through the skull with a bit of effort as another corpse shambles closer to you.
  163. >You bash it with your shield and spin around to the others.
  164. "DON'T JUST STAND THERE! KILL SOMETHING!"
  165. >The others jump off the porch and attack as you dive back into it.
  166. >The familiar feeling of fire in your veins and the taste of iron in your mouth drive you further into the horde.
  167. >You bring your shield to the front and kick off with your feet, slamming into the first undead in your way and pushing everything behind it as far back as you can.
  168. >The pile of slowly writing dead flesh falls easily after some jabs, stabs, slices and stomps.
  169. >From behind you, you can hear the sounds of the others in combat with the dead.
  170. >Lack of experience was cast in a new light when your enemies were just a pile of rotting flesh and bone.
  171. >The only advantage they had was in numbers, an advantage the four of you were happy to remove.
  172. >As you rush a particularly large zombie, you peak over at the unending waves behind him leading to the center of the city.
  173. >Towards Grogar.
  174. >Towards the slaughter.
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