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Father of the Night 22: Catching Fire.

By Mandroid
Created: 19th December 2020 01:39:34 PM
AIE Safe Anon OC Applejack Anondad

  1. =Father of the Night 22=
  2.  
  3. >You sit in the shadows waiting.
  4. >Word travels fast in Equestria and therefore so must you.
  5. >Your followers and you have vacated your hideout in Canterlot, too many prying eyes.
  6. >It was a mistake to go there in the first place, arrogant. And your mission brokered no mistakes.
  7. "When can they expect us?" you hiss out.
  8. >One of your followers looks at a watch. "We move in three hours, sir."
  9. >You nod.
  10. >Three hours.
  11. >Three hours was all you had to wait until this nation of tyrants would know your name.
  12. >Three hours until you would change everything.
  13.  
  14. >Jesus Christ, three hours.
  15. >You turn to Bruce.[spoiler][/spoiler] "By all that is holy, tell me we're almost there."
  16. >Bruce turns form looking out the window. "We will arrive shortly, Mister anonymous, be patient."
  17. >You roll your eyes and grumble as the mare next to you chuckles. "C'mon now, Anon. I walked all the way ta Manehatten when I was just a filly and yer sayin' ya can't handle one little train ride?"
  18. >You rub your eyes.
  19. "I'm not the biggest fan of travel, AJ."
  20. >"Not even fer this big fancy shindig?"
  21. "Not even for all the charitable parties in the world."
  22. >"You came to get me all the way in Goatham, Mister Anonymous."
  23. >Shit, he had you there.
  24. >Quick, lie.
  25. "Yeah, well, couldn't leave you there all alone..."
  26. >I said lie, asshole.
  27. >Bruce continues to slowly wag his tail as he looks out the window of the speeding train.
  28. >"You came here once, Miss Applejack?"
  29. >AJ nods and looks out with him. "Yup! Back before I got my cutie mark. I stayed with my Aunt and Uncle Orange and tried to be a city-girl but...just wasn't in the cards."
  30. >Bruce looks up at her. "Do you regret it?"
  31. >AJ grins. "Nah. They're my kin an' they always will be, but I don't got what it takes to live in the big city. Learned a lot though."
  32. "Does it smell like piss?"
  33. >AJ tilts her head. "More like gas."
  34. >Of course.
  35. "Who goes to these big parties, anyway?"
  36. >"They're mostly regional. A bit too small for the Princesses, but many socialites from across the kingdom arrive." Bruce says.
  37. "And they ALWAYS show up?"
  38. >"My father had many friends, sir."
  39. >AJ rubs her chin. "Come to think about it, I reckon I remember hearing that feller Filthy Rich mentioning he had to go to this as well."
  40. >Bruce shrinks a bit. "Yes...I am aware that Mister Rich and his...daughter will be there."
  41. >Shit...
  42. >What's eating him?
  43.  
  44. >The second, the literal SECOND you're off that stupid train, the three of you are shuffled into a cab and driven from one side of the city to the other by a midget donkey cab driver and thrown out into the lobby of some swanky hotel and told to go to the top floor.
  45. >"Manehattan hospitality" AJ calls it.
  46. >The doors to the party open to reveal it already in full swing. Ponies and the occasional griffin or zebra mingle around the room talking business or gossip or what have you. A table of delicacies is laid out on one end while a four string ensemble plays on the other.
  47. "And here I am in a rented tux..."
  48. >"I told you that we should get Miss Rarity to prepare you several." Bruce says.
  49. "How would we have had it done before we had to leave?"
  50. >"The idea is to have it ready BEFORE you need it."
  51. "How was I supposed to know that I'd spill juice on my tuxedo?"
  52. >"Cuz ya eat like a starvin' duck, Anon." AJ says.
  53. "Food is a rare and precious commodity when you arrive here with only the clothes on your back."
  54. >The three of you walk in and immediately hear "Over hear, old bean!"
  55. >He had a sixth sense, you swear.
  56. >You put on your smile and turn. [spoiler][/spoiler] "Fancy!"
  57. >"Tante!" Bruce exclaims.
  58.  
  59. >You lead your little group over to Fancypants and his wife in the corner.
  60. >Hooves and hands are shaken and hearts are warmed as honorary aunt and nephew hug in the middle of the floor.
  61. >"I say, riveting party! Old Thomas knew how to organize a soiree, I tell you."
  62. >Applejack looks around, the blues in her dress contrasting with her coat. "Ya got that right, Mr. Pants. I aint never seen so much class in one room before! 'Cept at the Gala."
  63. >Fancypants chuckles. "My dear it is made all the better by your being here." he wiggles an eyebrow. "Est-ce mon garçon Anonymous vous demander ici?"
  64. >You and AJ glance at each other.
  65. "What? I heard my name."
  66. >"Mr. Pants, I don't understand you when you talk all fancy, s'there any way you could use a more common tongue?"
  67. >Fleur giggles behind him and bats his haunch. "Be kind, dear! It is a party, after all."
  68. >Fancy laughs once more and steps back. "Of course dear, you're right."
  69. >Uh...right.
  70. >Whatever.
  71. >You glance down, Bruce's eyes are scanning across the room.
  72. "See something, little buddy?"
  73. >He blinks and snaps himself away from whatever trance he was in. "Huh? Oh. I'm sorry, I was worlds away."
  74. >"I do believe I shall attempt to "mingle" with those in attendance, as my father would have done." he says adjusting his tie.
  75. >You nod.
  76. "Don't get yourself hurt."
  77.  
  78. >You were moving now, cloaked in the shadow of the city.
  79. >It was imperative you stay hidden, stay out of sight until the time was just right.
  80. >A proper entrance, one that conveyed strength, could make or break you.
  81. >One of your soldiers, a Diamond Dog, comes down the tunnel ahead of you.
  82. >"We are directly underneath the tower, sir. "
  83. "How long until we can get inside?"
  84. >He scratches his chest. "It will take us a bit to get the gate open, but from there we are free to move as we wish."
  85. >You wave him and the others behind you onto the gate, which they immediately start cutting into.
  86. "Οι πυρκαγιές εξαπλώνεται."
  87.  
  88. -Back at the party-
  89. >You rub your chin in contemplation at this stallion's words.
  90. "You have merit, Mister Saxon, but I do not believe a career in politics is in the cards for me."
  91. >The blue stallion smirks and rests a hoof on your shoulder. "Come find me in a few years." he says before trotting off.
  92. >Hmm...
  93. >What a nice man. A bit strange, however.
  94. >You pick your drink, a glass of freshly squeeze grape juice, up off the floor and walk through the room.
  95. >Many of these faces you recognized, at least slightly.
  96. >Back when these events were hosted by your parents, you never really ventured away from them.
  97. >But these people were expecting you, expecting a Mane to appear. You would not disappoint. Neither them nor your parents spirits.
  98. >As you make your rounds, you see a face that is not blurred by the haze of memory, one you see almost daily, in fact.
  99. "Diamond Tiara?"
  100. >The pink filly turns to look at you, her coat contrasting off her jet black dress. "Oh, it's you. I should have figured YOU'D be here."
  101. >She looks you up and down. "I thought we were supposed to dress up, not just wear what we wear every day."
  102. >You find yourself puffing your cheeks. [spoiler][/spoiler] "It's important to dress appropriately!"
  103. >She rolls her eyes and sips her milk.
  104. "...Why all the black? You did not seem the type to dress in such dour colors."
  105. >"Uhg. If you -MUST- know...a boy made me decide to wear it?"
  106. "A boy?"
  107. >"Yes, I...met a boy who dressed in a lot of black."
  108. >...
  109. "A boy?"
  110. >She scoffs. "Yes Bruce, a BOY. One of those things that are the opposite of girls."
  111. >You scowl.
  112. "I know what a boy is, Diamond Tiara. I -am- one."
  113. >"That's up for debate." she mumbles.
  114. >You decide you do not like this girl much.
  115.  
  116. "Have I met this boy? Does he go to school with us?"
  117. >"Uhg. No Bruce, he does not. I met him in town."
  118. "Doing what?"
  119. >"None of your business!" she snaps.
  120. "I am simply asking!"
  121. >She puffs her own cheeks and sets her glass down, leaning towards you.
  122. >"I met him after he caught me stealing something in the middle of the night so THERE!"
  123. >...
  124. >...What.
  125. >That was incredibly familiar.
  126. >You lean back and recollect yourself. You have to play this innocent.
  127. "You...steal things?"
  128. >Diamond Tiara looks away from you. "Well, business is not exactly "booming" right now for Daddy, Mister Billionare."
  129. >Oh...Right.
  130. >Stealing for her family...
  131. >Admirable, if misguided.
  132. "...How can you afford to come to this event if business is not going well?"
  133. >Diamond Tiara picks up her glass and trots away.
  134. >"We were INVITED, Bruce. Stop being nosey!"
  135. >...Invited?
  136.  
  137. -Anon PoV-
  138. "So it JUST feels like a necklace?"
  139. >Applejack sips her drink. "Ah don't know what you think it WOULD feel like, Anon."
  140. "Well I don't -know-, what's an Element of Harmony SUPPOSED to feel like? It's a big bad magical artifact, you'd think you'd feel, I dunno, more honest wearing it."
  141. >"You saying I'm not honest?"
  142. "Applebloom still believes in Santa Claus."
  143. >AJ blushes and looks away. "Aint nothin' wrong with that..."
  144. "Because as we know, Applejack believed in Santa until she was...?"
  145. >AJ grumbles.
  146. "Didn't catch that."
  147. "...Fourteen." she says with a sigh.
  148. >You chuckle and swirl your own drink.
  149. >AJ looks out over the crowd and back to herself. "Ah fell so dern out of place here..."
  150. >You look over.
  151. "You look good in the dress, you're fine here."
  152. >AJ giggles and shakes her head. "Nah, I didn't fit in here years ago and I sure don't right now. Not like you do."
  153. >You cock an eyebrow. [spoiler][/spoiler] "Me? What'd I do?"
  154. >"Ya came here as just another rough-and-tumble farm hand, worked the fields from dawn till dusk and lived in a barn on my land."
  155. "I also drank you under the table, but go on."
  156. >AJ rolls her eyes. "But as soon as ya got him in your life, ya picked yourself up and threw yourself into this life."
  157. >She bops you in the arm. "Just goes to show how much ya care for the youngin'."
  158. >You down your drink.
  159. "Aaaahh, he's a good kid. Weird, but good. And I kinda have to, right? I'm all he's really got in the world...hell, he's pretty much all I have too."
  160. >AJ sips her drink. "He aint ALL you have, Anon."      
  161. "Now what could you mean by that, A-"
  162. >Whatever she meant would have to wait as a kart full of food is pushed through the door and slams into the windows across the room.
  163.  
  164. >Guests and party goers shout in surprise. Wondering who could be interrupting their party in such a violent way.
  165. >They quickly get their answer.
  166. >Through the broken doors enter ponies in long coats. And not just ponies, zebras and griffins too. ... A lot of them now that you think about it.
  167. >They take up positions in the room and corral the guests away from the door, and you soon figure out why.
  168. >He's huge. He defies huge. Whenever you think of "huge" in the future, you'll think of this guy.
  169. >He squeezes through the door one muscled arm at a time until he's all the way through and standing tall, his horns almost scraping the ceiling.
  170. >He's wearing a heavy coat that reaches to the ankles of his cloven hooves, on his face sat a grotesque mask that echoed his labored breathing into the silent room.
  171. >He throws off an exaggerated bow before speaking, his voice coming with a low hiss that does nothing to mask the power behind it.
  172. >"Mares and Gentlecolts..." he begins. "You may call me...Will."
  173. >"You are Equestria's elite, those in power, the movers and shakers of your flawed society."
  174. >He starts to walk around the room, you can hear and FEEL the floor straining underneath his weight.
  175. >"It is through YOUR actions that the Princesses in Canterlot are able to maintain their rule, maintain their dominance over the OTHER races of this planet! The Zebras, the Griffins, the Minotaur. For YEARS your kind has maintained absolute control over the power in this world by controlling the sun and the moon itself."
  176. >Will grabs a nearby table and flips it over, it lands ten feet down the room. "We are here to properly illustrate exactly what that control accounts for."
  177. >"Now hold on just a minute!" a voice calls.
  178.  
  179. >From out of the parameter of zebras and griffins strides Fancypants, his nose held high and determination in his eyes.
  180. >"You dare come into this, a philanthropic party, and preach of your oppression? I see clothed and equipped soldiers led by a leader who seems to be wearing a rather impressive mask."
  181. >Fancy jabs a hoof towards Will. "You sir are a mockery to every upstanding pony, griffin, and minotaur who TRULY suffers! The ones for whom these philanthropic deeds are for in the first place!"
  182. >For a moment, an emotion flashes in Will's yellow eyes.
  183. >Outrage.
  184. >He doesn't show it, however. The hulking minotaur walks over in front of Fancypants and places two fingers on his horn, lifting him into the air as if he were a toy.
  185. >Fleur gasps behind you as Fancypants winces and struggles in Will's grip.
  186. >"Unicorn..." Will rumbles. "The higher caste..."
  187. >With the smallest flick of his wrist, Will tosses Fancypants across the room and into a refreshment table, bouncing off it and rolling behind.
  188. >"MON DIEU!" Fleur exclaims, running over to him.
  189. "Right there with you, Fenchy!" you say following.
  190. >Fancypants is laying on a heap on the floor, his chest rising in a stead pattern but a small trail of blood streaming from his nose.
  191. >Fleur mutters as many prayers as she knows in her native tongue and you just glare at Will.
  192. >"Where is his flaunted magic now, I wonder?" he says before turning back to the crowd.
  193.  
  194. >AJ stands between Will and the crow,  she must have maneuvered herself over there when the trouble started. She keeps her head low and glares daggers at Will, herding the rest of the guests away from him.
  195. >You notice that one little blue guest is missing.
  196. >Will towers above the guests again, making more than a few of them quake with fear.
  197. >"A fire is spreading, and from the ashes of the old world, we will create a shining future. One where we are not forced to carve out our lives under your hooves."
  198. >A loud roaring sound comes from the doorway that Will and his men came through. Two metal karts, the same ones that heralded Wills entry into the room, come rocketing through the door spouting fire from their backsides and leaving clouds of smoke in their wake.
  199. >The karts slam into two of Will's thugs and slam them against the far wall.
  200. >From the smoke shoots a claw on a cable that grabs one of the griffins by the talon and drags him into it.
  201. >You hear a squawk of surprise that's cut off with a loud "CRACK!" and then silence.
  202. >From out of the smoke came the blue colt who had disappeared. But as The Batmane, not Bruce Mane, his suit seeming to absorb the light cast by the lamps and his cape coalescing around him.
  203. >"Hooves may be good, but I find myself partial to two hundred pounds of food being thrown in this case."
  204.  
  205. >Batmane walks out of the smoke and stares down the minotaur.
  206. >"...Will. The unbreakable Will of the people. Very poetic." he says.
  207. >Will looks the boy who just took out three of his men over. "Ah, and you would be The Batmane. I've heard the tales about you from the news...as well as firsthand accounts.
  208. >He brings his big meaty hands together in a slow rhythmic clapping. "I admire the way you broke the gangs oppressing that town, Batmane. Very impressive."
  209. >"Hmm. I try to make a point of my fans not being psychotic thugs." Batmane says.
  210. >"I'm not a fan, I am simply giving the respect my adversary is due." Will retorts.
  211. >Batmane's eyes narrow. "If you know what I did in Ponyville, then you know that you won't win. You are no gangs."
  212. >Will fills the room with calm and bone chilling laughter with that mask of his. "Aaahh...no, I am not the two gangs you defeated."
  213. >Will rolls his shoulders and lets his coat fall off him, revealing his MASSIVE muscles that made up his entire upper torso.
  214. >"But you are not unbeatable, boy."
  215. >Bruce widens his stances and lowers his head.
  216. >"Your are proud after your past victories." Will says. "Victories bought due to your enemies underestimating you, you should not rely on that."
  217. >Bruce remains silent and scrapes his hoof along the ground.
  218. >Will waves his hand and his men pounce.
  219. >Your stomach drops for just a moment before more roaring comes from the hallway and three more food karts rocket in.
  220. >Batmane flips over the oncoming karts, the trio of Dogs that were attacking him are not so lucky and go smashing into the wall behind them.
  221. >"Preparedness is more reliable anyway." Bruce says as he lands.
  222.  
  223. >The second Bruce is back on the ground, he whips his grapple out and fires at Will, it wraps around his shoulder and pulls Bruce towards the minotaur.
  224. >The hulking monster rolls with the pull and narrowly dodges two hooves to the face.
  225. >"You rely on surprise and speed to defeat your opponents, you'll find those are less than effective here." he taunts.
  226. >Bruce lands on a table and jumps off back towards Will, this time going at his feet.
  227. >"And you are top-heavy." he says, firing his grapple into the wall and diving between Will's legs before pulling the line taut.
  228. >What would fell a normal foe barely deters Will as he catches the line and simply pulls a chunk of the wall out.
  229. >"Clever!" he cries, bringing up his fist.
  230. >Bruce narrowly dodges the punch and rolls away, Will chuckling. "Using your terrain to your advantage. An amateur, if effective, tactic."
  231. >Bruce rights himself and reaches into his belt, unleashing a flurry of those little ninja star things at Will.
  232. >The minotaur raises his arms in front of his face and slowly stomps forward. "Such careless waste of resources! Truly a champion of the elite"
  233. >Among the flurry of projectiles, one happens to embed itself in Will's arm, he doesn't even blink.
  234. >Until it beeps.
  235.  
  236. >Will's eyes go wide as electricity arcs over his body from the black projectile, causing Will to convulse and filling the room with the smell of burning hair.
  237. >"RRRAAAAGH!" Will shouts, tearing the shuriken from his arm and crushing it. "A trick! Cowards weapons!"
  238. >A line shoots past Will's head. "An effective distraction!" Bruce shouts as his grapple pulls him towards Will's head, his hoof cocked back with a sparking brass-knuckle device on it.
  239. >That would normally be the end of it.
  240. >That SHOULD have been the end of it.
  241. >But it wasn't.
  242. >As Bruce near, Will swerved his head out of the way, letting Bruce sail past him. On his way past, Will reached his hand up and grabbed Bruce's cape.
  243. >He wrenched his arm back and swung Bruce into the air.
  244. >"Fool me once, shame on you." Will says.
  245. >He spins Bruce around by the cape over his head before releasing him.
  246. >Towards the window twenty stories high.
  247. >"Fool me twice, shame on me."
  248.  
  249. >Bruce impacts the window with a sound you couldn't describe. Whether it was the sound of the glass cracking and breaking or his bones snapping against the three solid inches of the stuff, you couldn't say.
  250. >All that matter was that he blew through it with no inclination of slowing down.
  251. "OH GOD, NO!"
  252. >Your legs start moving without you telling them to, faster than you thought they could towards the window.
  253. >You snag Bruce's grapple along the way, still stuck in the wall behind Will, and leap out the broken window.
  254. >"ANONYMOUS!" you hear AJ shout. " Sacrebleu!" Fleur mirrors.
  255. >The building had a slight curve to it before giving way to a straight drop-off that Bruce was now rolling down. You slide behind him doing everything you could to pick up speed.
  256. >Gotta save him, just gotta.
  257. >You stretch yourself out as the line from the grapple uncoils behind you and you reach your hand out to reach Bruce before he falls off the sheer drop.
  258. "BRUCE! COME ON LITTLE BUDDY, HELP ME HERE!"
  259. >He doesn't respond.
  260. >Fuckberries.
  261. >The drop-off was fast approaching, you had to hurry.
  262. >You strain the muscles in your arm to stretch yourself even further than you had before, all the while hoping that the line behind you wouldn't give out.
  263. >All you could think about was his body bouncing off the hard concret below an-
  264. >NO.
  265. >NOT THINKING ABOUT THAT.
  266. >STRETCH YOURSELF BEFORE YOU WRECK YOURSELF, FOOL.
  267. >Almost...
  268. >He was inches away from both your hand and the ledge now.
  269. >Almost...
  270. >A lucky bump in the roof slows Bruce down just enough for you to grab him by the hoof and pull him close.
  271. "GOTCHA!"
  272. >Now you just had to worry about that ledge.
  273. "SHITSHITSHIT."
  274. >You feel your legs start to slip off and almost crap your pants as you hit the stop trigger on the grapple. It lets out a horrifying KERCHUNK as the line catches and leaves you dangling about ten feet from the ledge.
  275. >Okay...
  276.  
  277. >You look down at Bruce and wish you hadn't.
  278. >His face was torn up from the shards of glass, several large one sticking out of him, his breathing was labored and shallow and blood trickled from his nose and a bit from his mouth.
  279. "Oh god...hold on buddy, we'll fix you right up."
  280. >Please let him be able to be fixed.
  281. >Now you had to figure out how you get back up dangling he-
  282. >The whole building seems to shake from up above.
  283. >You hazard a glance and see Will standing near the window, stomping on the line to get it to break.
  284. "OH THAT MOTHERFUCKER."
  285. >Shit shit uhh...
  286. >You didn't just jump out a window to die here.
  287. >A glance to the lets you see a window washer's platform hanging some distance away.
  288. >It'll have to do!
  289. >You prop your legs on the side of the building and run until your momentum declines, then you run the other way to build up more.
  290. >That game of extreme pendulum continued three times, all the while with Tons of fun up there trying to kill you.
  291. >At last you swallow what could be your last breath and let go of the grapple.
  292. "FUUUUUUUUCK!"
  293. >The two of you sail through the air and clatter to the ground of the platform, you brace yourself as it shudders and shakes under the force.
  294. >Up above, a loud SNAP heralds the line going limp and the grapple falling down below.
  295. >You follow it as it falls and see flashing blue and red lights at the base of the tower. The local guards.
  296. >You look back up at Will and glare as much hate into the guy who hurt Bruce as you could, and to his credit, he just stands there and glares as much hate back at the man who saved his enemy.
  297. >And then he grabs his coat and walks away, probably intent on evading the guards.
  298. >As soon as he's out of sight, you collapse onto your ass and cradle the broken colt in your arm as the day comes crashing down on you.
  299. >All the while, you only have one thought.
  300. "We'll fix you up...I promise..."
  301. >Here's hoping you can keep that promise.

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