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Hiatus: What a regretful world

By DocInTrouble
Created: 6th April 2021 11:06:57 PM
Modified: 6th April 2021 11:10:10 PM

  1. *****new update*****
  2. (2018-10-15)
  3. Added chapter 0, modified the other chapters a bit
  4.  
  5. Previously known as the 8th sin
  6.  
  7. Work in progress.
  8. Ponies: Mane 6, Starlight.
  9.  
  10. “An ominous and uncanny man opened a mine in the middle of an Israeli desert. Little was known about him, other that he bought Human and Equestrian slaves alike, including Anon, Starlight and the mane six. Everyone was trying to make the best out of their situation, each in their own ways, carrying their very own regrets, hoping for a better tomorrow; until Anon stopped hoping and instead, took the matter in his very own hands.
  11. Chapter 0: The ordeal of the nightman.
  12. > “What are you wanting hear to?”
  13. > “Good, Master, your Equestrian, better, not quite but better,”
  14. > “So, Chaya Arbel or Yitzhak Yedid?”
  15. > “Hum… Yedid,”
  16. > The man puts the vynil in the gramophone and plays the music.
  17. Myth of the cave “1. The Crystal Hope” - Yitzhak Yedid
  18. > Someone knocks; the mare stifles a gasp, worried. ‘Bedroom’ says the man with his lips. She walks silently, using special hoof slipper toward the bedroom. Replacing his hair, pulling and stiffening his blue pyjama dotted with the Israeli flag, the man walks up to the door.
  19. > A searing cold spreads inside the house as soon as the man opens the door, despite the hot April night outside.
  20. >
  21. > “Masā' al-khayr, Mister president,”
  22. > “Masā' al-khayr, mister…”
  23. > The lanky man hands the Israeli president a notepad and a pen, “Let’s cut to the point, you should sign and thus, approve this document… Also, is Eadhara' Allah getting used to Human weather?”
  24. > The President’s face, lit by a light hanging above his doorframe, pales, “Absolutely not!”
  25. > The frail man laughs since he knows that Arabic etiquette dictates that beating around the bush is more much polite than outright saying no.
  26. > “Your Minister of Finance and your Minister of Development of the Negev and Galilee have already approved it,”
  27. > “What are you-”
  28. > Ignoring him, the man continues, “Your President and Deputy President of your Supreme Court have verified the legality of the document. It has also been verified by the State Comptroler, here are their respective signatures,”—the man points several signatures on the document—“I strongly suggest you to sign, who knows what might happen if the public learns that their very own president, and many of his cabinet have… A stable relationship,”
  29. > The President swats the notepad out of the Man’s hand, “Ya eben al shar-moo-ta! You think I am afraid of you, filthy American?”
  30. > “Not at all, however, if you do not value the opinion other countries will have of you, then surely, you would value-”
  31. > The President aggressively strikes his left palm with his right fist, “Kol khara ya kalb! I am calling the police for trespassing,”
  32. > The President closes the door and turns around. Right in front of him, the man he just closed the door on is sitting on a couch, resting his feet on the coffee table, pointing the sole of his feet toward him; literally showing that he was under his boot.
  33. > “How is Amal, still hoping for a miraculous recovery?”
  34. >
  35. > The President replaces his hair, tug on his pyjama and nervously turns his ring around his finger, trying to regain some composure, “Who are you?”
  36. > “The man who can cure her Merkel cell carcinoma, on three conditions…”
  37. > The nervous leader sighs and shakes his head, “…Ya hasrety, and the evening was going so well,”
  38. > The mysterious man points the dresser near the Arab, on top of it, the notepad and the pen.
  39. > “That’s one…” Sighs the man before clenching his right fist. Cerulean and ultramarine flames erupt in the crannies of his hand. Slowly, calmly he puts the side of his fist on the couch, right next to him. An eruption of light blinds the standing man momentarily. Someone takes a deep breath and neighs in surprise.
  40. >
  41. > When he regains his sight the slave owner is left speechless. He sees his Eadhara' Allah, resting her barrel on his laps, her head against his chest as he tenderly pets her.
  42. > “And that’s two… In exchange for a parcel of barren land in the desert, and this mare, I will cure your daughter’s cancer,”
  43. > “Eadhara,” Orders the man, snapping his fingers and pointing besides him. Infuriated at the lack of respect He had just shown. The mare, confused, scrambles off the stranger’s laps. Once on the ground, she ambles toward her master, like she has been taught.
  44. “Flower Cup, I know where Hoof Flour is,”
  45. > The mare stopped dead in her tracks, eyes wide open.
  46. > The man spoke Equestrian fluidly.
  47. >
  48. > “He is with Lil’ Wine and Sugar Sweet…”
  49. > The stranger had just named every member of her family. Her husband, her foal and her filly… Shaking, confused, unsure of what to do. She looks up to her master, seeking advice.
  50. > “Eadharaaaaa…” The master is eying the stranger, and he is getting impatient.
  51. > “You know, Sugar Sweet told me the other day that she misses her lavander Mother…”
  52. > The mare lowers her gaze and trembles. That was her nickname back in Equestria, since she always wore the same lavender perfume.
  53. > The President subtly presses on his ring’s gem to reduce his stress. To his dismay, it fizzles and crumbles into dust.
  54. > “Hoof Flour told me that, if I ever were to find you, I should tell you this: ‘I fought your parents for that fine booty, I married it and it is legally mine. Don’t you dare offer it to anyone else, you hear me?’”
  55. > Not expecting it, the mare chuckles and calms down, “That, he sure did… That haunch lover imbecile,”
  56. >
  57. > Memories of happier days resurface in her mind. Early morning spent making lunchboxes for the foals, then, she would tend gardens, a job she enjoyed. When the little ones were back from school, they would do their homework, as long as she could catch them before they sneaked away to avoid doing them. After supper, they would both play with their friends, as long as they were back before dark, otherwise, she would fetch them back and harangue them until late during the night.
  58. > Meanwhile, she would cuddle with her husband and ask him how work was and then she would talk about her own work. More often than not, she was the one talking all the time.
  59. > Until finally, bedtime arrived, and she would lean on him during the night, especially the long and cold winter ones. During those nights, he would sometime even spoon her.
  60. >
  61. > These memories which had resurfaced in her mind where now flowing down her cheek.
  62. > “I miss them so much…”
  63. > “Then, let me ask you a question, who are you, Eadhara' Allah or Flower Cup?”
  64. >
  65. > She ponders the question for a while, before walking toward him, apprehensive, agitated, but filled with conviction, “If… If… Can you… Are they…”
  66. > The uncanny man grabs her and puts her on the couch, besides him, “Yes, I can reunite you all… As my slaves,”—He turns his gaze toward the other man and speaks English—“Mister the President, we both know what that ring is supposed to be, however, it is not strong enough to cure her, but I can give you one…”
  67. > The Israel man had enough experience in politic to realize when bested. He had already lost face, and from the glimpse of Equestrian he had understood, He had masterfully undone weeks of mind breaking and probably strengthened her resolve in merely a few well-placed words.
  68. > Not only that, but the matter of the ring worried him more than the fact that he, the president, somehow ended up in this very situation right now.
  69. > “How do you correlate with the sudden disappearing of my ring?”
  70. > “Your ring was faulty; anyone with the simplest sensitivity to magic could sense the magic flowing out. I reckoned that it would run out this evening,”
  71. > Defeated, the Israel man picks up the document, “So, that mare, and some land in the desert, and I will get a proper ring…”—He looks at the man with raised brows—“Right… At least use a jambia when you will backstab me,”
  72. > The stranger chuckles, “I do not strike from behind, if I do have to strike…”
  73. >
  74. > Every country are trying to develop their own magic, however, most are developing their warfare by drilling Unicorns. Very few aim to create magical devices, so the prospect of getting his hands on a magical ring was very tempting, not just for saving his daughter.
  75. > But mostly, he had fought teeth and nail, dabbled into underhand tactics and under the table transaction just to get enough capital to buy the ring. Yet, it seems it wasn’t enough to save her…
  76. > The politician rubs his face and yawns, not out of disrespect; he was simply that tired physically and mentally. After replacing his glasses, he starts to read the document.
  77. > The more he reads, the more he frowns.
  78. > “Put bluntly, you are going to create a mine in the middle of the desert, and we are to close our eyes on anything related to it?”
  79. > “Bluntly, yes…”—The man clenches his hands together and another blue flame shines in his palms—“Just sign the contract, give me that mare, and I’ll be on my way… After giving you this ring, of course,”
  80. > The room’s temperature drops at an astonishing rate. A dark mist creeps around the man. The floor under the couch and the wall behind frosts as it expands outwards. He splits his hands slowly and sighs. Floating in the air where his hands were, a ring, dark as the night slowly turns sideways. Folding his right thumb, pinky and ring finger, pointing his middle finger and index up, he extends his arms toward the politician, and the ring moves.
  81. > He puts down the notepad and the pen, and tries to take the ring with his right hand. As soon as the ring touches his hand, it breaks into a snake and crawls swiftly on the top of his hand before coiling at the base of his ring finger. The whole finger flashes dark for a moment.
  82. > By the time he had pulled his hand back, the ring had already turned into the exact copy of the previous ring. Aghast, the mare shakes on the couch, untouched by the ice and cold.
  83. > “So…” says the politician, moving his hand to inspect the ring on all sides, “What’s the third condition?”
  84. > “You will owe me one, naturally,”
  85. > “…”
  86. >
  87. > The President sighs, “Who are you with, the east or the west?”
  88. > “With myself…”
  89. > The politician crosses his arms, unabashed, “I’m not against putting myself… Between a rock and a hard place was it? But before doing that, I have to know which one is which,”
  90. > “Mhmm, a sound requirement, however, I reiterate that I am, all. Alone,” Says the man, deeply lowering his tone when he pronounced the last word.
  91. > The politician is nervously crumpling his pyjamas under his hands as he tries his best to remain stoic, “I’ve heard rumors about secret experiments in other countries, however, they were still trying to light a candle without blowing an arm up, and we are talking big here, Russia, America, not Lesotho. And you, out of nowhere, acting all magic like an Uri Geller claim that you do not own your powers from someone else?”
  92. > “Great acumen, especially given the fact I am telling the truth…”
  93. > “…”
  94. > The mysterious man leans back on the couch and slowly pets her head. She frowns and glances at both man, before mulling.
  95. > “You said you heard rumors, Mister President, what if you hadn’t heard everything?”—the spindly man invites the other to sit down—“What if there were people who knew long, looooong before you?”
  96. > The other man sits down on his arm chair, irritated.
  97. > “What if, there were forces working in the dark, long, long before Plato’s philosopher left his cave, and discovered the physical world?”
  98. > “What if those forces were the one who freed him?” Smugly asks the politician, regaining his confidence.
  99. > In response, the stranger grabbed her and made her lean on his chest, gently replacing her mane behind her right ear, chuckling, “Clever, but wrong… What if the real question, and it’s answer, was further down the abyss?”
  100. > The mare shivers at his touch. Why was it so dreadfully cold?
  101. > “… You’re begging many questions here, so let me ask you this, why was he allowed to leave in the first place?”
  102. > The man smiles with all his white, clean and perfect teeth, “Good health is a crown worn by the healthy than only the ill can see,”—he looks at the mare and sighs—“And you both wear it magnificently,”
  103. > “...”
  104. > The politician leans back, rests his left ankle on his right knee and thinks. He has seen many videos of unicorn teleporting things, or themselves, however, they always produced a sound or light of some sort. Yet this man had done neither when he teleported himself.
  105. > He pulled his cellphone out of his pockets and tried to activate it. As he expected, it wasn’t working, neither was the clock on the wall.
  106. > His residence phone ranged, uncomfortable, he looked back at them, and the mysterious visitor invited him to go answer. He nodded and left the living room.
  107. > The mare chuckles, despite feeling the biting frost digging deep into her coat, “You’re toying with him, aren’t ya?”
  108. > Smiling, the man gently pushes her off him, “Preposterous understatement,”
  109. > Despite the candid exchange, the mare was struck by the smile he showed her.
  110. > Conspicuously fake.
  111. >
  112. > Noticing her reaction, the man stops and lowers his gaze, disheartened.
  113. > “Yusaeiduni Allah…” Says the politician in the other room, the tone was of disbelief, and of fear. After a few more words, he hung up and walked back to the living room, shocked.
  114. > “So, are you regaining hope, mister President?”
  115. > Not feeling like laughing, the Arabian takes a deep breath to calm down and look at the document once again. He didn’t have many reasons to refuse now… Besides, he didn’t have much to lose, a barren spot in the desert, secrecy and a slave; it wasn’t much, really.
  116. >The man sign. The notepad and the pencil disappeared as soon as he was done signing. Confused, he looks at the couch, no one was there anymore. The frost was just as absent.
  117. > Appall, he looks down at his hand. The ring was still there. So does the pile of ash that was his previous ring. He looks around, but nothing indicated that he just had a visitor.
  118. > A knell made him jump. He looked at the clock on the wall.
  119. > An hour had passed; he took out his phone and turned it on.
  120. > The screen lit and he saw that he had two messages. The first one was a pub about girth enlargement. The other one was much more ominous.
  121. He who fights with monsters should look to it that he himself does not become a monster. And if you gaze long into an abyss, the abyss also gazes into you.
  122. > “Ya dahwetyyyy…” Muttered the Arab to himself.
  123. ***************************************************************************
  124. > Flower Cup and her new owner are walking toward a black car, barely visible in the light of the night. A driver with white gloves and hat, practically the only visible parts of him, aptly opens the door so they could sit in the back. She gasps as soon as she hops inside, realizing how freezing cold the interior was; barely warmer than the house. She could see her breath turning to mist.
  125. > The Master sat shortly after her and buckled his seatbelt, visibly not bothered by the temperature. The driver closed the door.
  126. > “Here, Miss Flower Cup, a woolen blanket…” sighs the man, neatly tucking her with the blanket she hadn’t notice before, coiling it around her before putting her seatbelt on. She could nonetheless feel the cool seatbelt on her fur, digging into her warmth.
  127. > “M… May I ask why it is so cold inside?”
  128. > He chuckles, “A man suddenly teleports you on his laps, argues with your master, talks to you in Equestrian, mentions your family and is able to use magic. Yet you want to know why it is cold in his car?”
  129. > “…”
  130. > The car’s engine starts and they start moving. He takes out a metal container out of his suit and opens it. The strong smell of alcohol tickles her nose mercilessly. He, on the other hand, takes a lengthy swig. When he finally lowers his arm, he speaks, “Want some?”
  131. > The mare smirks, “You know you don’t have to drunk me if you want to get between my legs…”
  132. >
  133. > Instead of cheering him up, the joke lowered his spirit. He nonetheless smiles and takes a straw out of the door’s storage space. He inserts it into the bottle and moves it toward her mouth. Not wanting to make the situation more awkward, she extends her neck and sucks the booze out of the straw. As she fills her mouth, searing warmth coats the inside of it, along with a creamy vanilla flavor. Surprised by both, she coughs a bit but keeps the liquid in her mouth.
  134. > The man looks away, eyeing the passing streets from his window, “Easy girl, after you suck, you swallow… That’s the rule,”
  135. > She swallows the booze and feels pleasant warmth invading her body. It was so nice to drink tasty alcohol because she wants to, not cheap and diluted ones to drench her and dull her senses so she would… Be more cooperative.
  136. >
  137. > She chuckles after emptying her mouth, “You got me there, nice-”—She sees the man’s sad reflection on the window—“One…”
  138. > An awkward silence settles in.
  139. > “You want to know why this car is cold?”
  140. > He pulls the straw out, put it in bag serving as trash can and finishes the rest of the bottle in one swig.
  141. > Once done, he closes the bottle and puts it back in his vest.
  142. > “Because warmth is a luxury not everyone is able to afford in this world…”
  143. > “…”
  144. >
  145. > She struggles against the blanket and manages to unbuckle her seatbelt. She moves toward him, sits beside him, unbuckles his seatbelt, pulls it toward the middle buckle and buckles both of them under one seatbelt. Once she is done, she pulls the blanket and put it on them both as much as she could before finally snuggling against him. Ignoring the strong frost bite the belt inflicted on her coat.
  146. > “I don’t have magic, or hands, so I can’t pull the blanket like I would to,”
  147. > Befuddled, he does not react.
  148. > “C’mon big guy, a cute girl is snuggling against you and wants you to pull the blanket up, this might be the closest you’ll ever get without paying her…”
  149. > He pulls the blanket over her, mechanically, without warmth, but with a timid smile.
  150. > “But… Why?”
  151. > “Because you’re a good guy. Because you didn’t look at me like you were looking at a slave, or as a sex object. Because you treat me as a person, not merely as a Pony, because everyone deserves warmth, but mostly, it’s because…”
  152. > Her voice cracks, “Because you called me by my real name… Because you gave me hope to see my family again… And Because…”—She cries in his chest—“You reminded me of… Who I really am,”
  153. > He shushes her calmly, looking at the streets by the window, letting her cry the tears she was punished for showing.
  154. >
  155. > After a few minutes of crying, she falls into Morpheus’ arms.
  156. > The driver stretches his neck backward and it passes through the head-rest, blinking with one white eye nearly as large as his head.
  157. > “Next time, don’t forget to open and close the door for yourself…”
  158. > The creature buzzes and pulls his neck back. Frowning, the man takes the bottle of alcohol out and inspects it. He chuckles.
  159. > “Yeah, you’re right; I drank the wrong bottle… Well, now I know that these soporifics are effective against Ponies and griffins… Well it’s a blessing in disguise, that way; you’ll be able to fly us back to the mine while I take a nap…”
  160. > It bubbles and hisses his anger. After all, no one likes to works overtime, even supernatural creatures.
  161. > The man chuckles, “Yeah, I know I’m an asshole…”—He looks at the mare and sighs—“That’s why, I cannot afford warmth…”
  162. > The creature splits its body and throws a bit of its mass on the backseat. Once it lands, it splits again into white sculptures. The first one represents the man looking up, eyes closed, sitting and crying on a couch with the back of his right wrist on his forehead. The second one is a man playing the violin with a sad face, the third one is handing the first one an Oscar, in tears, and the last one is crying with snot coming out of his nose, giving the man statue a sash with the word *drama queen* written on it in black.
  163. > Shrugging, he looks at the mare’s face; wet by tears and yet, a peaceful sleeping beauty.
  164. > “Warmth… Everyone deserves it?”
  165. > He brushes his cold hand on the warm coat to wipe her tear; she shivers at the touch, making him jerk his hand back.
  166. > “… You never know what you have until it’s gone… Then, regrets fill the hole you have inside your chest,”
  167. ***************************************************************************
  168. Chapter 1: The ire in *fire*
  169. *Thud* *thud*
  170. > The sound of a lonely pickaxe echoes in the dismally dark tunnel, heard only by a quartet of guards, armed to the teeth. Leading the group was, surprisingly, the mine owner himself.
  171. > The group is slowly traveling further down the earth tunnel, steadily, warily; their heavy boots pummeling the littered slope. On their guard, they are afraid that, at any moment, a demon would leap out of the shadows to tear every single one of them into mincemeat. Many men trudged the path under their feet before.
  172. > Fewer walked it back.
  173. > One guard breaks the overbearing silence, “We’ve been wa’keng straight for how ‘ong now?”
  174. > Omer activates his electronic watch, the screen lights in a green hue, revealing an Arabic visage, drenched with sweat.
  175. *Thud* *thud*
  176. > “About… 8-9 minutes,”
  177. > “Ya khabar abyad! And you tellen’ me that thees abeed dug thees all be hemself?”
  178. > The ground rumbled as detonation shockwaves spread through the rocks, sending a cloud of dust and sand on the group’s head.
  179. >
  180. > “Yes, Marid…”
  181. > The man that spoke was the mine owner, an uncanny and dread individual, slaves and mercenary alike would say.  Amongst them all there is, however, one man that can be considered his favorite.
  182. > Only He and God know why he deserves this title.
  183. >
  184. > He takes a lengthy breath and exhales hoarsely, sending shivers through the guards’ spine.
  185. > “This abeed, or slave, in English, has a name, Marid… You better watch your tongue, if you don’t want to get fired…”
  186. > The Arab named Marid gulps, “Y-Yes ser…”
  187. *Thud* *…*
  188. > Up until now, pickaxes were their guide for the right path to follow, as they rang in quick succession. But now that the sound vanished, in the quiet umbra, their anxiety rises. Fear creeps up on them as an unnaturally cold draft passes through their vest, through their cotton clothes, through their pores.
  189. > “Putain, what’s this cold all of a sudden?”
  190. > Silence, one of the man scratches his nape, another one coughs his discomfort. None of the guards are eager to proceed further. The man in a suit has a cold sweat sliding down his temple, is it excitement, is it apprehension, is it fear? Even He wonders.
  191. > “Sir, can you remind me why we have to keep the lights off? We've been walking in the dark, and for a while at that, and-”
  192. > “Shhhhhhh, there is no need to see when we can hear… And we are close, I can feel it,”
  193. > Everyone stays silent, trying to hear something else than their own breaths.
  194. >
  195. > A blue flame appears in the middle of the dark, startling the guards. Another one appears, near the the first one, a frightened neighing echoes in the mine, The flames darts further down the mine as swiftly as an arrow.
  196. > “Caerulī Terror…”
  197. > “W-w-w-what was that!?”
  198. > The mine owner chuckles, “A good sign…”
  199. > The man walks forward, filed with confidence, contrasting with everyone else’s lack thereof. Since the tall and thin man now acts as the guide, they have no choice but to follow him deeper in the mine, or risk spending a few hours stumbling in the dark, trying to find an exit.
  200. > “Let’s get him out they said, it’ll be nice they said…”
  201. > “Shut up Omer, you won’t live long if you keep worrying like that,”
  202. > Every guard break into nervous chuckles.
  203. > After all, Omer meant Long-living in Arabic.
  204. >
  205. > A guttural roar erupts in the mine, startling the guards, cutting their laugh short. It was hoarse, it was low.
  206. > It felt like it came from lowest circle of Hell.
  207. *THUD* *THUD* *THUD* *THUD* *THUD* *THUD* * THUD* *THUD*
  208. > The pickaxes suddenly resumed, creating a ghastly rhapsody crescendo.
  209. > “Ya dahwety… ” Says Marid, extending the last syllable, “What’s that sound? Not the yell I mean, I know what eet was, but…”
  210. > “This sorrow… It is so sad, and yet, so beautiful…”
  211. > “Heu… Ser?”
  212. > He harrumphs.
  213. > “…About that sound, Marid, the ground here is… Special. Pickaxes produce a peculiar sound when they strike,”
  214. > Nervous, Marid thighten his grip on his gun, “…Sheeeeeet,”
  215. > Omer walks forward and clears his throat, “Sir, no disrespect, but you didn’t answer me, why can’t we use flashlights down here?”
  216. > The man clicks his tongue in annoyance, “It reminds him of the fire… And that reminds him of her too much. He prefers to be in the dark, alone. It… Calms him,”
  217. >
  218. > From the depth of the cave come the growls of what is referred to as a man. The group halts in response. They had found what they were looking for; troubles, some would argue, a madman others would say. The truth was, regrettably, far less promising than what the rumors promised.
  219. > The guards take a deep breath, unsure of what to do. They went pretty deep down this rabbit hole to pull that lunatic out of it, but the rumors they heard had made them wary of the man, if he can still be called one. He has a greater renown than the mine owner, but it is only worth a gossip or two. It’s interesting to spread hearsays about the owner because there IS an unexplained mystery to solve. For that slave though, there is a simple, boring reason to explain his actions. Madness.
  220. > How unoriginal, how mundane, how tacky… His violent nature made him quite unapproachable to boot, making it increasingly difficult to gather more information to use in the canards whispered around the table during mealtimes.
  221. > Over time, the rumors turned into self-explanatory and fitting nicknames, based on his behavior instead of speculations; Tearful waif, Bible mouth, the Caveman, Madnonymous.
  222. > Madnonymous was especially fitting and became the De Facto name that stuck to him.
  223. >
  224. “Get out…”
  225. > He talks first, with a hint of excitement in his voice, “Mister Ymous… I require your help; would you like to be a farrier today?”
  226. “No… Get out, Master, and the four others, get out…”
  227. > Sparkles come out of the dark, signs that metal was being struck against rock.
  228. > “How does he even know we’re four? eet’s peetch b’ack down here,”
  229. > “Maybe he heard us talking?”
  230. > “Mister Ymous, we both know I was merely being polite, and thus, wasn’t asking…”
  231. “…”
  232. > The sound of buckets being lifted in the air and colliding against one another signaled movement, Alice was coming out of the hole.
  233. “Yes… Master,”
  234. ***************************************************************************
  235. > You exit the tunnel, peering as the brightness of the sunshine pains your eyes, greatly.
  236. “Sunshine… Sunshine’s too bright…”
  237. > You drop the content of your buckets in a nearby cart. Colorful sand, stones and sandstone; everything you have been mining since morning now forms a hefty heap in front of you. Layered in two half; multicolor and normal grey, brown, yellow, black rubbles. A Mexican ladybug falls from the depth of the bucket and lands on the top of the pile. Harnessed to the cart are a relatively muscled orange mare with a yellow mane, and a sad pink one. When you finish emptying the buckets, you clap your hands and they start to pull. The cart does a little shake.
  238. > But does not move.
  239. “…”
  240. > Wondering why, you go take a look at the mares. The orange one is talking in a foreign tongue. Foreign, albeit strangely familiar… As if you knew the words, but their meaning now eludes you, for obscure reasons.
  241. >
  242. > “C’mon Pinky, stop crying for Pete’s sake, giddy up ‘nd pull! If ya don’t, they’ll clean our plows!”
  243. > The pink mare rocks back and forth on her back, wincing, holding her hind hooves.
  244. > “I… I can’t! My hooves are killing me! Stupid horseshoes…!”—She clenches her teeth around one and squeaks in pain—“Who’s Pete anyway?”
  245. “…”
  246. >
  247. > Right hand on the chin, left hand under your right elbow, you ponder.
  248. > Seems like the pink Pony has painful hooves… It should not happen. The desert dryness may dry their sole, but they should have horseshoes long enough that there is a safe space between the ground and the sole to prevent sharp rubbles to pierce or be in contact with it, but not long enough to hinder them as they dig the hard soil, or pull the carts on the sand.
  249. > In any cases, if you want to learn more about her condition, you will have to examine the hooves more closely. Since she is swaying back and forth, you cannot get a clear view of them. You will have to tell her to stop moving, but, what was the word again? When you want a Pony to stand still, at the ready…
  250. > You spend most of your time alone in the tunnel, so your interaction with them is far and few in-between, plenty of time to forget the wo-
  251. > A skeleton-like hand gently rests on your shoulder. It is cold, even if the gesture was filled with warmth.  It is only when you turn your head that you realize it is your Master’s. Why was he here anyway?
  252. > Oh right, he wanted you to be the farrier today.
  253. “Oh, right… Farrier,”
  254. > He smiles a fake smile with his pristine teeth, and simply extends his right palm toward the two mares. You frown in response.
  255. > Master is quite smart, it is most likely not a coincidence that there are Ponies with hooves problem just outside of your tunnel. It was his plan all along to bring problematic horseshoes in front of your tunnel, to save time, perhaps?
  256. > “Hey,”
  257. > You hear the orange Earth Pony gulping.
  258.  “Oh right… The word is *Hey*, thank you, Master…”
  259. You jerk your head and let out a quick, harsh “Hey!” in their direction.
  260. > The standing mare straighten herself and looks forward like she should, but the pink one is  quivering, looking at you with tears in her eyes, silently begging you to reconsider, probably.
  261. >
  262. > She heard it, and you know it. You are all in the same boat. You have to obey the hierarchy. Master, Guards, some Humans like you, Equestrians and the rest of the Humans. She just needs a little push to obey.
  263. > You crouch beside her, open your eyes wide, pucker your lips a bit and tilt your head slightly on the right. This is not the first time you use this face, and Ponies are particularly sensitive to it.
  264. > You gazes meet for a few second. She sobs and averts her eyes; then she looks down, submissive, and sways her body to the right to push herself on her hooves. A muffled scream of pain is uttered. She trembles, struggling between obeying and giving up because of the pain.
  265. > Alas, she falls down again. Annoyed, you growl, sending her in another fit of tears.
  266. >
  267. > You are so pissed off at the farrier right now, because clearly, his poor work is the reason why this usually cheerful Pony is unable to stand, let alone work. Her attitude was a breath of fresh air in the mine, practically the only one. This farrier was smothering it with his poor job. Really, it makes you mad.
  268. > You get back on your feet, with clenched teeth and fists.
  269. “Where is that farrier, I want to have a word or two with him…”
  270. > “Today menu is mystery meat soup, mister Ymous…”
  271. > You process the answer for a few seconds. You jerk your head back a little, incomprehension on your face, and look at your Master’s face; it is expressionless, jaded, dead serious.
  272. > More dead than serious you think, but you keep that to yourself.
  273. “Really?”
  274. > “No, it is potatoes, vegetables and camels, for meat eaters. I fired him,” Says the spindly man, putting the emphasis on the word *fired.*
  275. >
  276. > Although you want to crack a smile at the joke, you know what he meant by fire, which takes all the fun out of it, and all the anger you had toward the ex-farrier by the same occasion.
  277. > Either he shot him, or he torched him. That is what Master does when he *fires* someone. He also likes to let people know they made a huge mistake by using this one lame pop culture reference. The mafia kiss of death. More often than not, getting kissed was a premise, and the conclusion was at gunpoint, or at the stake.
  278. > Now that you think about it, it IS one way to kiss someone goodbye…
  279. > “NOOOOO! PINKY USEFUL! NO FIRE PINKY! PINKY USEFUL, PINKY USEFU-U-U-UL!”
  280. > You gulp, she spoke the human tongue, albeit with a very thick accent, and she was crying.
  281. > Because you spend all day long in the darkness of your tunnel, you are unaware of what happens outside. The other slaves, however, do. Seeing how she desperately tries to stand up again, without any success this time either, you can guess the farrier was fired fairly recently.
  282. > She most likely misinterpreted what she heard, but still, this one little mare reminded you so much of her, and the mental image of her burning on the stake…
  283. > Your breathing accelerates, your pupil dilates; you can feel the flames, their heat licking at your skin. Unbeknownst to you, you were starting to hallucinate. You hold your head with your hands as the sudden migraine stuns you. You start shaking from head to toes as a little girl appears in front of you, upon a pile of log, smiling, as a match is thrown.
  284. ***************************************************************************
  285. > Your master takes your head in his skeletal hands, and you see his eyes turning black as death, his skin thinning, until his head lights in fire and only a flaming skull remains.
  286. > You look into his eyes and you feel the blood of innocents staining your soul.
  287. > Your mind goes blank as a roar leaps by itself out of your mouth as you feel their pain…
  288. >
  289. > No one was operating heavy machinery at that time; otherwise some would have been blissed by the ignorance.
  290. > Everyone in the mine, their instincts having detected danger, stopped their work to listen to it. The walls, echoing the voice, strengthened it and allowed it to reach even the deepest part of the mine.
  291. > The cry was ancient, originating from the olden primitive times where mankind had to defend itself against wildlife. For both Equestrian and Human alike, hearing that horrendous wailing was traumatising. The former quivered in fear as they believed a horrible earthen creature had infiltrated the mine while the latter, having instinctively recognized a fellow human, were traumatized to hear such profound lamentation coming from one of their own. Those vibrations reached the ears of many, striking their heart, overwhelming them by the sheer brutality of the regrets it carried. Many would later describe that roar using different words.
  292. > It was the sound only the quintessence of madness could produce; it came from deep within the husk of what was once a living creature. It was from a soul, tormented and afflicted by the purity of the melancholy it had reached. A hoarse, throaty cry, unleashed by having one’s sanity crumbling, gnawed from within by a never-ending sea of remorse constantly eroding it.
  293. > It was heart-rending, as the air vibrating through beastly vocal cords was oozing distress.
  294. > It was bone-chilling, a wave of bloodlust, of revenge; a wave of threat spreading through the hollow corridors of the mine. The evil intents piercing through those inside the guts of the earth like a hot knife in butter.
  295. > The hatred was so omnipresent, many Equestrian actually spoke of the windigoes that would come to spread famine and cold, the later would had least be a nice of change of weather many agreed.
  296. >
  297. > Regardless of how people would describe it later. Everyone consciously reached the same conclusion shortly before the blood freezing end of the roar.
  298. > Something was going to happen, and it would take more than a bath to contain all the blood this cry had promised.
  299. > Then at last, it was gone. And the silence was worse in itself as it emphasised the conclusion everyone reached, since none knew if it would be their very blood that would be spilled, or not.
  300. >
  301. > Many a Pony ended in the embrace of each other’s. Danger was what their ears had told them. Running away was the only thing they wanted to do, but where to? They were trapped in the middle of the desert, whence would they find a source of potable water other than the mine’s water tank? No, they had to stay. They could only hope that the guards would protect them from whatever horrible monster made that noise.
  302. > Not that the guards themselves felt safe, even when loaded with firearms. The anti-magic alloy of the guns and bullets might pierce through magic barriers and be immune to magic telekinesis, hence making it safe to wield around Unicorns, but there were still Equestrian creatures gifted with skin or scales sturdy enough to withstand the amount of firepower their custom rifles produced; namely, cragadiles, larger dragons or Tatzlwum. All of which none of the guards had ever heard the sound of. It wasn’t wrong to think at the time that something along those lines was in the mine.
  303. > Alas, the truth was going to disappoint many a story seeker, as it was merely the sound of madness coming from a man that had now lost everything.
  304. > Including his sanity.
  305. > A boring, common story in the mine, edgy, sure, dark, but of course, original? Probably not.
  306. > Just like life sometimes.
  307. ***************************************************************************
  308. > “Anonymous, are you alright?”
  309. > You are sweating bullets, your breathing is ragged and your fingers are painfully sore. You look down, and you see a thin stream of blood dripping on the ground, coming from your mouth. You also realise you have your thumbs up to the first joint in your mouth, and that they are crushed between your molars. You can taste the iron and sand that is on your hands as you move your thumbs out of your mouth, feeling your teeth being pulled by the dented skin.
  310. > Surprisingly, your Master right glasses’ temple is resting on his chin. Chuckling, he releases his hands on your head, replaces his glasses and a few strands of loose hair on his head.
  311. > Still bewildered; you touch your own head where he held it. You can still feel the fingers’ tip on your skin, and you can even feel the mark they left with *your* fingers’ tip as you brush the surface.
  312. “What… Just happened?”
  313. > “Hallucinations, mister Ymous, and you punched my face,”
  314. > You open your eyes wide. Now that you can feel your senses coming back, you do feel like your right knuckles have struck something, hard. Suddenly realising you just punched your master, you kneel and look down.
  315. “I’m sorry Master…”
  316. > What else can you say that he does not know already anyway?
  317. > A jumentous odor invades your nose; you suspect at least one horse nearby you pissed herself. Your throat also hurts like there was no tomorrow. You suspect having… Lived up to the name of Madnonymous once again.
  318. > Heh, shit happens, or more accurately, you lost your shit, but there is not much you can do about it now.
  319. > Surprisingly, he merely chuckles at your apology, “We both know you aren’t responsible…”
  320. “…”
  321. > You are really thankful to have a Master that forgives you and helps you when you have your hallucinations… Religion and he are the two only things that allow you to keep your sanity, or what’s left of it.
  322. > He walks toward the cart and speaks Equestrian, “No, if there is someone responsible, it is you, Pinky Pie…”
  323. > Harnessed and holding her throat with her hooves, she has nowhere to go, she nonetheless tries to put a distance between her and her Master, which is steadily decreasing the aforementioned distance.
  324. > She looks around, searching for an idea, and she do gets an idea. She frenetically tries to stand up, one more time.
  325. > In her haste, she falls forward, pulling the cart with a jerk, throwing some of the sand and dirt on her, adding some brown and yellow shine in her pink mane. The orange mare has her teeth well dug in her lower lips as she keeps staring in front of her, adding a thin stream of red on her orange throat.
  326. >
  327. > The mine is relatively silent, only the distant sound of pickaxes and oblivious babies’ cries can be heard, as even the wind seems to hold its breath at the scene that will unfold shortly.
  328. > He approaches his slave, carefully, gracefully, takes his glasses off; he passes in front of the pink Pony, and stoops down beside her fellow slave.
  329. > He whispers something in her ear and, very gently, taps her chin twice. She stoically opens her mouth, and he deposits his glasses between her teeth.
  330. > “Get up, mister Ymous…”
  331. > You obey, and observe, trying to push your hallucinations somewhere far, far in your mind to forget it.
  332. > If she bites down, she will break his lens, and the sharp glass will cut her mouth. It was already unpleasant per se, but the real sword of Damocles hanging above her head was the punishment she would receive, if, she breaks his glasses.
  333. > Ignoring the whimpering slave behind him, he gently, carefully, takes her cowgirl hat off. He moves his arm sideway, and extends it toward you, without taking his eyes off his slave. In response, you walk forward and take it.
  334. > “Pull on your fingers, mister Ymous, less it worsens…”
  335. > You look at your fingers, and indeed, they are in bad shape.
  336. > They are crooked; dislocated joints on most.
  337. > You did not felt the pain because of the adrenaline, but you should probably replace the joints before it runs out. You put the hat under your right arm and proceed to reposition your fingers by pulling at them.
  338. > You replace them with gruesome pops, and you can feel the bones grinding one another to regain their original position.
  339. > It is quite uncomfortable, and painful, it also grinds…
  340. >
  341. > You are torn between trying to forget, and trying to understand… What just happened. Your torso hurts and you have several hoof marks on both your chest and your abdomen. You have a transparent and bubbly liquid on the back of your hands, more specifically, between the index and the thumb. It reminds you of saliva, but it shouldn’t be yours, you may have bit your thumbs, but then it would dribble down your thumb, toward your wrist, or at last, down your palm, not on the back of your hand; without forgetting that your thumbs and your indexes are extremely painful when you try to clench your hands, as if you had squeezed…
  342. > You look at the pink Pony, coughing, holding her throat; several clearly red but unclear lines circle it.
  343. > Your fingers hurt… As if you had squeezed, or, strangled, something.
  344. “…”
  345. > No, you already had too many things to regret, so it was better to forget your hallucinations. To repress it all…
  346. > Meanwhile, He unties the orange mare’s ponytail mane. With his left hand, he tenderly runs his thin and long fingers in her hair. Commencing by resting his fingers on the scalp and leisurely making his way up to the end, he combs the strands of hair gently. With his right hand, he holds the bottom of her mouth and caresses her cheek with his thumb, moving it from the cheek, toward the chin. She proudly does not react. Not showing any displeasure at being taken care of.
  347. > And certainly not showing any form of pleasure from it.
  348. > Onlookers would think that, by doing so, he is showing his dominance on his slaves, that he puts the emphasis on how she is but his plaything. However, that is not the case.
  349. > Your Master is young, despite appearing relatively old. He is greying, and his forehead is receding. His face is wrinkling, but his hands are smooth, and he still has the vigor of youth; his eyes are still alive and alert.
  350. >
  351. > “Tell me, miss Applejack, have you ever seen Anonymous in such a state, before?”
  352. > She folds her ears backward, and slowly shakes her head. She had a hunch of where he was leading her, and she really did not enjoy the thought of it.
  353. > She desperately wants to look at her friend, but he is standing between them. Unable to answer, she can only shake her head or nod, something which Pinky won’t be able to see.  
  354. > “Now, there is no need to ask, but I am sure Anonymous would never reach such depth on his own, don’t you agree?”
  355. > Disagreeing would be a lie, and lying to Master, even a white lie, brings sever punishments. Besides, she was the element of Honesty and she genuinely abhorred the thought of lying.
  356. > On the other hoof, agreeing would imply she approves punishing the culprit. Was she going to value her obedience or her integrity? Authority, or solidarity? Self-preservation, or empathy? Cowardice, or courage? Submission, or rebellion? Her honesty, or her friendship?
  357. > Her Master, or Pinky Pie?
  358. >
  359. > As she ponders, Pinky stays still, her ears constantly moving back and forth. Did she want to listen, or not? Yes? No? Yes, or no?!
  360. > She decides to hold one ear in each position, reaching a ‘maybe’, before looking away and holding her ears against her head with her hooves.
  361. > No, nonononono, she had to trust her friend Applejack. She wouldn’t… No, there was no point thinking about what she won’t do since she won’t do it, right? She didn’t want to be punished, but she didn’t want her friend to be punished either…
  362. >
  363. > You, Anonymous, do not know what is happening right now. Master is usually the kind of person that will shock by his subtle and witty brutality. For example, mocking you with the mystery soup, before landing the bomb by explaining what happened to the farrier. It is not like him to make people stew in their own mind, making them torment themselves like that. You thought he was going to kiss that pink slave goodbye, but instead, he is creating an unnecessary suspense like that, why? Why was he combing her? It made no sense.
  364. > It probably would if you could speak horse though.
  365. >
  366. > He takes a lethargic breath in, yet, exhales it so softly that you were not able to hear it. His shoulders dropping were the only clue you had that he indeed exhaled. Now you understand.
  367. > You cannot see his face, but you know that Master is sad, extremely sad. As sad as an elderly, flipping the pages of an album in December. Reminiscing on the good old days where there were children running wild in the snow, giggling, without a care for the world; and a caring mother, preparing a feast for Christmas Eve.
  368. > As sad as this one man, crying alone, in his now silent and empty house, next to a Christmas tree; next a testament.
  369. > Next to a loaded gun.
  370. >
  371. > Maybe despondency would be a better word to describe him. Every movement he does requires the minimum effort, and for a very good reason. He could not afford to waste his energy. Something has drained him while you were-
  372. > In one, cold, monotone breath, he pulls you out of your thoughts, “Mister Ymous, would you be as kind as to put the hat on Pinky, and unharness them? Also… Applejack,”
  373. > The rest of his sentence is lost in Equestrian. It does not concern you, so you simply put the hat on the crying mare, and undo the harness on her. Once you are done, you will undo her friend’s. It is an easy task, since her fear of you paralyses her and the other one has to remain still anyway.
  374. > Master points the ground a few paces in front of Applejack. She walks forward and lifts her head, as if she was looking at something.
  375. > Raising a brow, you wonder what she could be looking at; following her gaze, you look at the sky.
  376. > The sun…
  377. > You blink and avert your eyes.
  378. > Why would she be looking over there…? Maybe she lifted her head for something else, if that’s the case, why?
  379. > She contracts her throat and coughs a bit. A very faint cracking sound comes out of the glasses. She freezes.
  380. > In a rapid succession, her body language changes. Her iris contracts, her breathing becomes ragged, her tail twitches from side to side, her ears flop down and she trembles. However, your Master takes a protracted breath in, and sighs for a very long moment. The hoarse sound of disappointment has an unpleasant vibe to it, like always.
  381. >
  382. > You could somewhat understand his disappointment. It doesn’t seem like it, but he is constantly fighting tooth and nails to get his hands on very specific slaves.
  383. > He reunites families together, he does not forces foals to work in the mine, instead, he buys slaves whose cutie marks involves education or teaching. When someone is sick or wounded, he finds ingenious ways to allow them to both rest, and still be useful in the mine. He occasionally serves fruits, vegetables, and even sweets from time to time.
  384. > He gives so much to his community, and yet everyone avoids him like a literal plague or disappoints him. Maybe they know things you do not about him, but you doubt it. You were amongst the first ones to arrive and be given a pickaxe. Although you were alone most of your time, you had all the time in the world to hear people gossiping during the meal breaks. You doubt Master only shows his good side when he is with his favorite slave, you have seen him fire real troublemakers with your own two eyes. Not the kind of troublemakers that were rebellious or the ones that self-declared themselves a prophet, a guru, a leader of freedom. No, real troublemakers were the ones who collapsed entire galleries willingly, or those who have tried to kill him, and where fully aware of what they were doing. Those that were not in psychosis, depression, or any other mental illness you have never heard about.
  385. > No, he only fires sane, dangerous and uncontrollable troublemakers. If he fired the farrier, it must mean that he willingly put the slaves’ health in danger, and that he did not heed his warnings. Maybe it was a bit overkill on his part, but he genuinely wants his slaves to be happy and healthy. Those that act otherwise are given several harsh warning, and then, fire…
  386. > Yet, in less than an hour, one of the slaves gave you a mental breakdown and the other wasn’t even able to keep a pair of glasses in her mouth… Plus, she betrayed his trust. Of course, glasses can be changed, but still. It is understandable that he is dispirited right now
  387. >
  388. > He puts his fingers on her scalp, and speaks with foreign words again, “I am. deeply. disappointed. Applejack…”
  389. > He slides his nails along her hair and gives her a brand new Pony tail. Despite the grime, sand, grease and dryness in her hair, Master is able to give her a very nice looking pony tail. In response, she shakes from head to hoof.
  390. > “Mister Ymous, would you be as kind as to do the same with her tail?”
  391. > Wait, seriously?
  392. “You want me to make a ponytail, with a Pony tail?”
  393. > Your Master smiles, a faint one that disappears in the blink of an eye, but it was there. That is the subtlety you know Master is able of.
  394. > He is not your friend, but you simply think of him as a nice person burdened with unfathomable responsibilities.
  395. >
  396. > He walks in front of her as you walk behind her, and you both crouch. You start to untie her tail. Fearful, she turns her head back to see what you are going to do. In response, you look at her, with a deadpan face.
  397. > What, she thought you would spit roast her? As if…
  398. > Seeing your Master extending his arm, you steal a glance and you see him grabbing the hat. He moves it in front of him. You can see the interior. Why would he-
  399. > The moment you looked away, Applejack realises that she also looked away. She jerks her head back in front of her, but the momentum ejects a stream of saliva and blood out of her mouth.
  400. > It is blocked by the hat.
  401. >
  402. > Maybe she looked above, as to not drool on the glasses?
  403. > Must have chocked on it when the puddle in her mouth went down her throat…
  404. > “Deeply disappointed…”
  405. > He extends his right hand, palm pointing upward, just under her mouth, and she places the glasses in it. In exchange, he neatly puts her hat back on, and tucks her front hair under it, before wiping the sweat off her brows with his thumbs.
  406. > The glasses didn’t have blood or saliva on them, somehow, luckily.
  407. > “Your shift is over…”
  408. > “N-No… No, please Mas-”
  409. > Ignoring her plea, He simply puts his glasses on.
  410. > He pushes the glasses’ bridge up his nose. His right lens falls down on the sand. Meanwhile, you comb her tail with your big fingers. It is not an easy task. Small and long fingers like your Master are much better suited for this task, but not your Master, obviously.
  411. > “AAAAAAHYA!” Screams the pink Pony, startling her friend, her dusty tail brushes against your face. You exhale air out of your nose to express your annoyance.
  412. > “T-There, P-Pinky, H-hey!”
  413. > You look in her direction. There is blood and a loose horseshoe on the sand; she is pulling the nails out of her right hind hoof with her mouth.
  414. > The thing is: hooves are the equivalent of human nails, except we do not walk on them. Still, there is no blood, no nerves, and therefore, we can hammer nails in their nails.
  415. > So why is there blood?
  416. >
  417. > Pinky tries to get up once again, and this time, she uses the cart to lift herself. Unfortunately, since there is nothing holding it leveled anymore, she only manages to tilt it forward and shower herself in rock, sand and dirt. You sigh, discouraged.
  418. > Your Master takes his lens off the ground and walks away while the heap of soil buries her completely, “Mister Ymous, today, I am going to acquire a new group of slaves, most are the slaves’ relatives. I would appreciate it, very much, for you to be done before I come back… Probably in the evening, or during the night,”
  419. > A yellow Pegasus swoops by and drops a toolbox on the sand. Her barrel is heaving and she is abundantly sweating.
  420. > “Ah, Fluttershy, great timing. As you can see, Pinky Pie is unable to pull the cart, and I’ve just dismissed Applejack for the day. Anonymous here will check your horseshoes, then, you’ll pull the cart down the slope,”
  421. > She fixates the blood on the sand, mouth wide open, breathing hard.
  422. > “Hey,”
  423. > She does not react, even if her ears moved toward him. You can see his shoulder rising and lowering. He sighed, most likely. You start to feel that your hands can easily pass through her tail without pulling a knot or two. So you make a ponytail on a Pony tail.
  424. > Somehow.
  425. > You remember those videos you watched alone at night, *How to make braids in three easy steps.* *I want a ponytail.* *Little girls hairstyles for dummies.*
  426. > You feel like crying, but no tears are coming out. You have already cried them all in the early morning, in the dark tunnel.
  427. >
  428. > You sigh, and lift yourself off the ground. The toolbox the Pegasus just dropped most likely contains farrier tools. But right now, there is a Pony stuck under a heap of rubbles. You gently tap Applejack’s flank with the back of your hand, hinting her that she is now allowed to move, and start digging to uncover her friend. She more than happily obliges and starts to dig along with her forelegs. Meanwhile, your Master had taken out a bottle of water and was holding it out for the Pegasus to greedily drink from.
  429. > After unearthing the mare a bit, she manages to push her head out to cough dust and take a deep breath, inhaling the dust she just coughed once again. Happy to see that she was fine, the orange mare hugs her coughing friend, ignoring the fact that she was spitting saliva and dust on her back. Jaded of this warmth, you walk toward the tool box.
  430. > The sooner you are done playing the farrier the sooner you will be able to go back to your tunnel.
  431. > As you approach your Master, you can see him pulling the water bottle out of her reach. She extends her neck a bit before nickering. She is, however, still breathing just as hard as she was before. She turns her sad gaze toward him, as if she was pleading for more precious water.
  432. > “Now that you’re listening, Fluttershy, you’re going to pull the cart down the slope, alone… The blood you saw came from Pinky Pie stabbing her sole to pierce the abscess that had formed under it. Also, I’ve just dismissed Applejack. Bring the cart in the loading zone, and go take a shower before you overheat. Then, go in my precious truck…”
  433. > The Equestrian tongue is definitively familiar… But the meanings of the words are still eluding you… Bah, no point in thinking too much over nothing. You have a job to do.
  434. > You reach and open the toolbox. Sure thing, there is a lime, horseshoes, nails… Where’s the hammer though?
  435. > “Just take a sledge, mister Ymous… The usual hammer, along with several tools went missing a few days ago. I suspect the slaves will rebel soon…”
  436. > A sledge…? Well, if you hold the sledgehammer near the head, you could-
  437. “Wait, rebellion?”
  438. > “Oh yes, you see, I was in quite the haste when I began to hire guards and buy human slaves, and the consequence was that…”
  439. > He tenderly pats the Pegasus head and she jumps away in fear. He clenches his hands into fists, and relaxes them shortly after. You know that, just like you, your Master has anger issues, but he does quite a masterful job at maintaining it under control.
  440.  > “That… I may have let a few weeds grow amongst the buds. Mostly humans, but a few Equestrians too… Thus, I have to dispose of them, and a rebellion is the perfect way to do so, don’t you think?”
  441. > There is truth in what he says; rebellions have consequences, and casualties.
  442. “Let me guess, you will make sure to reduce the unnecessary casualties to a minimum by regrouping the problematic individual together so they tear each other’s out, and when  you will regain control, you will sentence the remaining troublemakers to death?”
  443. > Your Master simply smiles with all of his teeth. You think it is the first time you ever really saw him smile, a genuine smile.
  444. > It also means he approves your reasoning.
  445. “And let me guess, those three Ponies are major elements in your plan, especially the orange one, because she broke your glasses, and because you dismissed her, correct?”
  446. > “Oh, everyone is always part of my plans…”
  447. You smile, and continue, “Heh, The rebellion will happen when you’ll be away, and when you will bring the relatives, the guilt trip will make them all feel so horrible that you will kill two birds with one stone, because it will also give you so much more levers to use…”
  448. > “Really now, wouldn’t they have less reason to obey if they do not need to behave in order for them to see their relatives?”
  449. “That’s… A fair point, however, I doubt they would want to risk their life once reunited with their relatives. After all, if they rebel, it would be because of despair, most likely of never being able to see their relatives ever again. By giving them their relatives, you would effectively fob them, and break their unity. They would worry too much about their siblings, especially their offspring, to coalesce into an organized revolt, temporarily. A risky gamble to stall time, but an effective one,”
  450. > You stop to think about what you just said… Is there something missing in your reason-wait, if he brings relatives, what about the weeds’ relatives?
  451. “About the weeds, did you buy their relatives too?”
  452. > “Wouldn’t everyone discover the plan if I didn’t?”
  453. > True, it would be too weird a coincidence to not have their relatives. There are quite a few smart individuals in the mine, and you are among them. Everyone might have a hand to play, some might have good ones, and some can rely more on their skills than their hands to win the game, but ultimately, Master is the owner of the deck.
  454. > He does all the paperwork, from assigning the daily tasks of every single slaves and guards, to planning the mine expansion, along with the supplies, and seeking slaves scattered to the four corners of the world to find every relatives of the slaves currently working in the mine. He knows most slaves by their names, and knows their family extremely well.
  455. > Truly, a nice guy burdened with unfathomable responsibilities
  456. > You remember the story of kýklos, a Minotaur, mother of three, never spoke a word, you practically had to force-feed her, otherwise she would not eat. She acted as if she only wanted to waste away. Conversion disorder Master called it. How sheer anxiety and stress could cause paralysis, seizures or blindness is a mystery to you, but she was broken as broken can be. She even rammed your Master into a wall at full throttle once. He ended up with broken ribs, which pierced the left lung and caused it to collapse. You had to swing your pickaxe to hook her horn, turn around and bend over to get her off him. She was quickly subdued after that. Even if blood was gushing down his vest, he took the time to kneel down, and asked her if she wanted to see her offspring Plíris, Ékvasi and Proélefsi again.
  457. > She broke in tears and blared wanting nothing else but her babies. You doubt she understood more than the name of her children, but she gave an answer in English, so you are pretty sure she only knows this sentence. Nevertheless, he started to speak Equestrian, and she nodded, before resting her forehead on the ground. She couldn’t do much else with half a dozen humans, and you, pinning her down.
  458. > Then, the very next shipment of slaves arrived a few days later; she was reunited with her family. You could hear the joyful moos and the blaring even deep down your tunnel. You were so envious at that time, and thus, furious, you stormed into his office and waited for him to leave the mine entrance and get back in there. You wanted details, not that it would help you in any way, but you wanted to make him feel guilty for you. Or at least, convince yourself that he was the one responsible for putting yourself in such a state, and not you. Not only were you punished for behaving like that, he had left a note for you explaining in details why you were the only one responsible, and that you should stop projecting your emotions. It even explained in details that, although it would have seemed that he was simply holding the children in hostage, to make her devoted to him, it wasn’t the case.
  459. > When he promised he would find them, he didn’t have a clue of where they were. He finally concluded by saying that, the day he was rammed, he made her promise to behave properly if she ever wanted to see them again.
  460. > Yeah, when he says that everyone is always part of his plans, he does not lie… It’s also weird that the Greeks name the Minotaur with slaves name instead of their own…
  461. >
  462. > Your Master gives you a water bottle, pulling you out of your thoughts.
  463. > “Do not think too hard mister Ymous, your brain will overheat, just like that one mare besides me…”
  464. “…Heh, right,”
  465. > “Well, it would appear I have some last minute changes to do before I can leave… Meet me in my office before you head toward the farrier’s tent…”
  466. “Will do…”
  467. > Great, that was great news… Every time you go in his office, it’s because you want to forget things, and if he is telling you to come to his office personally, it must means that your hallucination this time was more than you want to deal with. What else could it be, slave of the month?
  468. > Unlikely.
  469. > Over time, you have learned to depend on him, in a give and take relationship. You may be a slave, but you simply consider him as your superior. There is, however, one thing you are truly grateful for; it is the fact that he can help you forget things. You know how dangerous it sounds, that he could probably mold you however he wants over time, and make you forget your own ego, but…
  470. > You just can’t deal with your regrets anymore, and the best way you found to get rid of them was forgetting what you regret in the first place.
  471. > That was the plan, the simple plan, because you can’t stand the pain… You can’t stand it anymore…
  472. ***************************************************************************
  473. > “Are you alright sugar cube?”
  474. “Why… Didn’t-*cough* you *cough* help me…?”
  475. > “Heu…”
  476. “…”
  477. >
  478. > Pinky Pie slowly pushes her *friend* off to look at her in the eyes. Unable to look back at you in the eyes, Applejack looks away; the guilt was overwhelming.
  479. “But why…? I… I thought he was going to…”
  480. > You massage your throat latch and coughs several times. The sheer terror you felt at that moment was still lingering in your head. His face reminded you of Big Mac’s coat, but you could clearly see his teeth…
  481. “I… I thought he was going to beat me, but then, he, he… I didn’t knew what he was going to do, was he going to choke me? Was he going to break my neck? Was he going to bite my face off? I-I-I-I-I didn’t know, Applejack I DIDN’T KNOW!”
  482. > You quiver in fear as you replay the scene in your mind. You look down and cross your forelegs on your barrel, as to protect yourself.
  483. >
  484. > You shake your head, the neck movement makes you cough several times. It was in the past now, he was sane now, no need to… No need to traumatise yourself with that, okay? Just think about something else, yeaaaaah, something else would help, but what…?
  485. > Your sore neck?
  486. > Nonononono, stupid Pinky Pie, think about something else! Talk to Applejack, your friend, she…
  487. > She will help you think of something else… Like, why she did not try to help you?
  488. > …
  489. >
  490. “I didn’t know what he was going to do! *cough* I tried to… *coughs* to-*coughs*”
  491. > “…”
  492. “I kept looking at you, and you saw it, you saw me, and you saw him… He was strangling me, but you…”
  493. > You raise your head, slowly.
  494. “You just stayed there, w-why?”
  495. > Applejack moves to put her right hoof on her friend’s shoulder, “L-Look Pinky, I’ma sor-”
  496. > You swat the leg away before it reaches your shoulder.
  497. “I’m not asking if you feel sorry for what you did, because I already know you do, silly… I’m asking you why you stayed there,”
  498. > You didn’t want to be reassured, not now at least, you wanted answers… You are sick of pretending like everything’s fine. You want things to be fine, sure, fine as… As fine can possibly be in your situation right now. But to be able to make things fine, you need to know what is not fine exactly. So you have to ask…
  499. “Aren’t we friend?”
  500. > “I…”
  501. > Dread, anger and stress were all bottled up inside of you like the bubbles of a soft drink. This very soft drink was shaken with a paint mixer by this… Man so much that you were ready to burst. But you didn’t want to, because you knew that if you did so, you would be really-really-really-rrreeeeaaaally mean to your friend Applejack.
  502. > But you have to know why you need to pretend all the time, why did everyone change… Applejack would never have stayed there if she wouldn’t have changed.
  503. “Aren’t friends supposed to help one another?!”
  504. > “Y-Yeah, that’s true…”
  505. “So why?”
  506. > “I, I…”
  507. “WHY Applejack, why?”
  508. > Grabbing your *friend*’s shoulders, panicking, shaking, you wanted answers.
  509. > You were asking because you did not understand. You were asking because you needed to be reassured. You needed to know that your friend, Applejack, had a very good reason for not helping you.
  510. > Applejack knew you weren’t reproaching or criticising her. But she couldn’t bring herself to speak, and you didn’t know why. You couldn’t understand your friends anymore! Just what in Equestria’s happening to them!?
  511. > As Applejack raises her gaze, she realises, when she looks in your eyes that you are struggling. You are struggling to quell your doubts. You are fighting as hard as you could to maintain the images you have of your friends. To convince yourself that the humans did not change them; that you are still all good friends that can rely on each other’s.
  512. > “…”
  513. “Please, Aj… Answer me, say something!”—Pinky gently shakes her friend’s shoulders a few times—“Say something… I-I’m sure you must have had a very good logical, rational, easy to understand reason that I didn’t understood because I was too afraid, right? RIGHT?”—your right eye twitches twice—“Riiiiiiiiiiight?!”
  514. >
  515. > Applejack knew. Everyone but Pinky Pie knew that it wasn’t the case anymore. No one has had the courage to tell you that harmony was a thing of the past. That the humans have won the mental tug of war; that they are chipping everyone’s will each time they punish them. Each time they reward them for being obedient and submissive. Each time they found themselves genuinely happy to be rewarded for acting like slaves, or just, not being punished all the time…
  516. > No, Applejack thinks; the humans would never have been able to break them. He did, their current Master. He is the reason why she remained there and bit her lip. He knows ways to break people, way too many ways…
  517. > Unable to bear Pinky’s staring, she looks away, again.
  518. > The pink mare sways to face her again.
  519. >
  520. “N-NONONONONO don’t look away Applejack, if you look away, it means you don’t have a very good logical and rational and, and, and easy to understand reason that-”
  521. > “I COULDN’T, PINKY PIE…! I couldn’t,”
  522. “But, but why couldn’t you…? That’s what I’m asking you, why couldn’t you help me? Why? Apple-*hic*-jack…”
  523. > Aghast and unable to understand why your friend would ever do such a thing, you only stare at her eyes, shifting from one eye to another, searching for an answer, unsure where to look for it with your watery eyes.
  524. > You have repressed as much emotions as you could over the past few months, but there is no more room inside of you, either you had to let go some of it or…
  525. > Or you would need to change, to take things out, to make some space to repress more.
  526. >
  527. > Applejack closes her eyes, too ashamed of herself.
  528. > “…”
  529. “Why Applejack, tell me wh-”
  530. > “BECAUSE…”
  531. > She sighs, resigned, saddened, “Because ah didn’t want’a be punished…”
  532. > There, the truth was out, and never in her entire life had it felt bitterer.
  533. >
  534. “…”
  535. > “L-Look, sugar cube, ah know how it sounds, b-but, you don’t know how horrible it is to-”
  536. > With a sheepish smile and a curious look, you ask juuuuust to be sure you really understood, a-after all, you aren’t as good to understand things as Twilight and Starlight are.
  537. “You… You would have let me die… Because you didn’t want to be punished?”
  538. > “N-No! Ah swear I would’ave stopped him before… And-and the Master was already tryin’ to calm him down!”
  539. “Oh… Right… Master *was* trying to do something…”
  540. > The pink mare sadly lowers her gaze and cries. Now unhindered by the shattered dam of hope, tears are simply flowing down your cheeks. Without any sounds, without any sobs.
  541. > “L-Look sugar cube, Ah, Ah know it’s not-”
  542. You lift your head, block your nostril and inhale hard, sucking the tears back, “N-No, no, it’s-it’s fine…”—you smiles despite letting your ears resting limply against your head—“If, if you didn’t want to be punished, then, then I guess it’s…”
  543. > You massage your throat latch, trying to spread the lingering sensation of human fingers, to numb it down along with the physical pain, as you know that the other kind of pain won’t be numbed anymore…
  544. > Yeah, you didn’t need all the other things right now; Pinky Pie is a cheerful girl, so… So if she has to change, to be less sad, then, wouldn’t it mean that, it’s the best thing to do?
  545. > Y-Yeah, M-Maybe, Ma and Pa and Maud and Marble and Limestone were right, they weren’t happy all the time, and digging rock and sand all day is… Is kind of like home.
  546. > Yeah, Pinky Pie is just a surname, Pinkamena Diane Pie is Pinky Pie’s real name…
  547. >
  548. > Pinkamena Diane Pie looks away, with a partially deflated mane, “It’s… It’s a very good logical, rational, and easy to understand reason after all…”
  549. > Her tail twitches, Pinkamena knows what is going to happen, but she does not care.
  550. > A toolbox is dropped on the ground, startling Applejack.
  551. > Anonymous is towering them, proud, mighty.
  552. > Deep in thoughts.
  553. > He points the orange mare with his lime, “Hey,”
  554. > “…”
  555. > Madnonymous was still fresh in her mind, hence, she stands at the ready, head held high, tail out of the way, straight barrel, juggling with crushing guilt and sheer dread. Quivering like a leaf, out of fear? Out of guilt? Out of shame and anger? Probably a mix of them all she thinks.
  556. > Ironically, she now has a mean to escape this emotionally charged situation.
  557. > And it was to obey like a good slave.
  558. > Again.
  559. > Her friend simply lowers her head, resigned, thinking about Granny pie’s song… No, she couldn’t just laugh it off to make her fears disappear…
  560. ***************************************************************************
  561. > You kneel in front of her and lift her right foreleg to examine it further.
  562. “…Healthy thick frog, no ridges, hmmmm there’s a ring though… That shouldn’t happen. Rings indicate a change, in diet, in work, or in health. That’s what Master says…”
  563. > To make sure this is not just a coincidence, you look at the other hoof.
  564. “The left one also has a ring on the outer wall…”
  565. > A blue Pegasus flies down near the trio, holding the head of a sledgehammer with her forelegs. You smile and take it. This mare was the mine translator. Very few Ponies and even fewer humans are able to speak both Equestrian and English properly. She is a very valuable slave.
  566. > You signal the cowgirl to turn around, and she obeys. She presents her haunches to you, and her tail is neatly out of the way once her rotation is completed. However, her legs aren’t spread enough. You gently tap her inner thighs and she spreads her hind legs.
  567. > You hum approvingly, Master and you like obedience. Still, you need to start somewhere with her condition, at least the translator’s here.
  568. “Hey, translating Pony, ask this mare what she’s been doing these past few weeks,”
  569. > While she translates, you take a look at the hind hooves. They also have rings…
  570. > “…She says that her job didn’t change much, she’s occasionally allowed to work over-overtime, doing the part of weaker Ponies. Otherwise, she’s pulling heavy carts all day long,”
  571. > Her inflamed lips are saying otherwise… You gently place your hands on her hips, and slowly make your way to her butt cheeks, as to not scare her. You spread them a little, to get a better view. She reacts by taking a sharp breath and lifting her hind legs in the air, but she doesn’t buck.
  572. > It was a good thing too, one of the best ways to be punished is bucking someone, slave or not. Seems she has learned over time to repress this reflex, probably the harsh way.
  573. > “…She forgot to mention that yesterday, she volunteered to satisfy the males, she usually doesn’t, but, since Pinky Pie couldn’t stand on her legs, she had to…”
  574. > Some mare volunteer and their schedule change a bit. You’re not sure why, or how, but the results is that these mares *are* ready to… Satisfy the males or something. Not any mare can do that job whenever they want; otherwise, they get irritation like that. And you have no idea why. Master does not tell you everything after all.
  575. “Yeah, I think I get the gist of it…”
  576. > There was fresh meat on the menu, so they feasted.
  577. >
  578. > So, her job stayed the same; there is only two other reasons why there is a ring. Either she has health issues, or something happened to her diet. You decide to ask about the former while you look under her hooves.
  579. “Had a cold, a little headache, anything lately?”
  580. > Her hind hooves have great frogs, thicker than you have ever seen. You doubt she has any kind of problem digging in the soil or pulling the carts. Her tendon must also be in superb condition. Clearly, she has been doing back-breaking work every day since she was born. Well, since she was able to work that is.
  581. > “…Nothing out of the usual, always a bit thirsty, always a bit hungry…”
  582. “Hmm…”
  583. > Her fore hooves, however, are in relatively bad shape.
  584. “Seriously, two nails per hoof? Did that imbecile only put two nails on her fore hooves?”
  585. > You really hope that it did not allow sand and rubbles to get between the hoof and the horseshoe. However, as you pull the horseshoes off with your... Shoes puller? you can see sand coming out.
  586. “Fucking imbecile… Now I understand why Master fired him…”
  587. > The mare’s tail is moving from side to side, gently tickling your skin each time it moved. You think your tone is stressing her, maybe. Better do something about it. You are just in the perfect range to get a hoof in the face. She just has to lean forward on her forelegs and bucks at full force. You could lose teeth, or worse, it could break your neck.
  588. “Tell her I’m angry at the poor job the ex-farrier did…”
  589. > You shake your head, you are not a real farrier, or a vet for that matter, but you do know one thing or two about the job of farrier. For example, how to put and remove a freaking horseshoe!
  590. > Well, he is dead now, may he rest in pieces, hehehe…You brush the sand off the sensitive sole and replace the horseshoe.
  591. >
  592. > You are done replacing her horseshoes. You lift yourself up and you take a closer look at her condition. Her neck and shoulders are a little thinner than they should be and you can see, albeit faintly, her ribs if you look at her flanks. You put your right hand on her spine, and slowly make your way toward her tail head. You can feel just a little bit of fat around it. That is… Quite worrying.
  593. “Ask her if she was a hard worker before being enslaved…”
  594. > “… Anon, asking a slave what it was before-”
  595. “Did I stutter? Because I think I didn’t,”
  596. > “…”
  597. > You roll your eyes, you were a blacksmith before becoming a slave, but now, you are a slave. Big deal! Someone has a control over your life and you are not *free*, big deal… People should just come to term with it and make the best out of their situation, instead of whining about the past.
  598. > Including you…
  599. >
  600. > “…She says she was a well-known hero, and a farmer. She used to buck apples, plow, and sell apple products,”
  601. “Hero? Yeah sure, anyway, tell me something, since I’m not used to seeing Ponies. Do you think a farmer mare, that spent her days doing hard labor should be thin like this?”
  602. > She takes a closer look, examining her from head to hoof and raises her brows.
  603. > “Now that you mention it, I can think of a few Unicorns that are even bigger than her, and Unicorns aren’t known to be fit or whole…”
  604. “Swole, the right word is swole…”
  605. > You get to work and change her other horseshoes, it is annoying to hold the sledgehammer just under the head to nail them, but you make do.
  606. >
  607. > You are now done with her, so you tap her back to get her attention, and you signal her to turn around again. She turns around and mutters a few words.
  608. > “…She thanks you for taking care of her horseshoes and… And for not taking advantage of her,”
  609. “What, you mean, when I spread her cheeks?”
  610. > “I… I guess so?”
  611. > You are completely befuddled.
  612. > “Exodus 22, Whoever lies with an animal shall be put to death, so of fucking course I’m not going to rape a Pony…”
  613. > The yellow Pegasus hovers closer to you, and she dusts her pink friend off. Now that you think about it, she was silent for a long while.
  614. > Coming from her, that is quite alarming. She was always the cheerful Pony, always trying to brighten everyone’s mood. Everyone’s except yours of course. You made it very clear when she arrived that you did not want to be bothered with *parties*, *friends* and *smiles*.
  615. > You wanted to mine, to forget, not to cover your sorrow with something else.
  616. >
  617. > However, what the Pegasus said worries you. That mare, Applejack, if you remember correctly, thanked you for not taking advantage of her. This means that either she is constantly targeted for- No that would not make sense, she is clearly too proud and unbroken to be constantly the subject of rape. She wouldn’t have tried to buck you back then otherwise. Maybe she thanked you because you fixed the uncomfortable horseshoes, and then she thanked you for not taking advantage of her but that’s probably not a coincidence; most likely, she thought you would take advantage of her horseshoes as a lever to have sex with her and that would actually make sense for why the farrier was doing such a bad job. That is probably why he did that, he was trying to use her hooves as a lever to have sex with her, which would make sense. Really, you know that the average human thinks differently when it is imprisoned, either it will regress to a more primitive version of themselves, will break to submission and accept their life as slaves or they will try everything they possibly can to gain some sort of control. The only reason why no one tries to escape must be because you are in the middle of the desert. Yeah, sure, try to escape without even a bottle of water when you do not even know where the north is. If, however, like in this case, it is impossible to gain enough control that they can escape they might try to get some sort of control by creating gangs, creating *laws* and *rules* amongst other slaves to show their dominance, to try to form clans or gangs as a mean to protect themselves. This will lead to hatred and territory wars amongst them or if there is a good leader there might be-
  618. > There might be a rebellion, didn’t your Master said that there wou-
  619. > “A-Anon? Are you alright?”
  620. >
  621. > You become conscious of your rapid breaths, of your trembling hands, of your dried mouth, of your rapid heartbeat and of your vertigo. You think the shrink said you were at risk of hyperventilating at some point… Well, with the amount of meds you are taking each day, it is surprising you are even able to walk.
  622. “Yeah, sort of… I just need to sit down…”
  623. > You try to sit down, but you pretty much just fall on your coccyx.
  624. “Ouch,”
  625. > You just had to calm down, to take deep breaths, and to calm down…
  626. “I just realised a lot of things at the same time…”
  627. > Ironically, if you want to calm down, you have to focus on something, on a task to be done, something to do.
  628. > So far, you were examining this mare; she is thinner than she should be, especially if she is a hard worker, and an Earth Pony to boot. There is only one possible explanation, she eats less; unless she has contracted a disease, but like they say in the medical field, when you hear hoof beats, think horses, not zebras. In other words, always seek the most common explanation, as there are much more chances that a common problem arise, instead of a rare one. The best way to become thin is by eating less, not contracting a disease which makes you thinner as a symptom.
  629. “Pegasus, ask her when did she decided to eat less,”
  630. > “…”
  631. > She frowns and blinks twice; she nickers an answer.
  632. > “She says she has no idea what you’re talking about,”
  633. > You sigh and shake your head, “Exodus 23… Laws of Justice and Mercy,”
  634. > The orange mare lifts her gaze to look at you; she takes a step back, trembling. Then, she takes a step forward and closes her eyes. You are happy that she remembers being told to stay where she was. You also know that, over time, the other sinners have learned that when you say the word ‘Exodus’, it means someone did something that displeased you. That is the Bible mouth aspect of you…
  635. “Do not spread false reports,”
  636. > She shakes her head, distressed. She makes wide gestures before resting her right hoof on her heart.
  637. > “She says that she genuinely have no idea what you’re talking about. She even swears it on her heart. And this is coming from me, but she is the element of Honesty, so her words should be considered as verifiable facts…”
  638. > Not believing her, you smirk and raise your right brow.
  639. “Really now? I’m just supposed to believe her words like that?”
  640. > “Anonymous, no disrespect, but if you could speak Equestrian, you’d be able to ask anypony here and they would all tell you the same thing. If there is one Pony, only one, that always tells the truth, it is Applejack,”
  641. > You roll your eyes, annoyed.
  642. “Master is carefully planning our diets, and if I remember correctly, she arrived after me, she was in the second batch of slaves…”
  643. > You cross your arms, unimpressed, “And she was thicker than that… She, somehow, lost weight since then. She is sick, and she doesn’t admit it, or she eats less than she should,”
  644. > The Pegasus thinks for a while, before translating. You can clearly see confusion spreading in her orange face as she understands your words.
  645. > “…”
  646. > “She says that you might be right, she cannot be absolutely sure she is not sick, or that she is eating less than she should, but if there is one thing she can confirm, is that she never skipped a meal, nor shared her meal with anyone else, since it isn’t allowed,”
  647. > Left hand under your right elbow, right hand on your chin, you mull.
  648. > You look at them one by one, thinking. They are good friends, if you remember correctly. Usually, Equestrians eat with their family during mealtimes, so they usually look alike, however, she and the others are all of different colors and all have different mannerisms… There’s her, who always has a bigger bowl, the pink one which more often than not has sweeter things to eat, and then there’s… Her, the yellow one.
  649. >
  650. > Something catches your eyes. Although slaves are not underfed, it is extremely hard to gain weight; Master takes quite a lot of precautions to avoid that. So why was the yellow Pegasus nicely plump?
  651. > A sentence comes to your mind, “Do not think too hard mister Ymous, your brain will overheat, just like that one mare besides me…”
  652. > Overheat… Hmmm, overeat?
  653. >
  654. > Every pieces of the puzzle connects with one another. Slaves are rarely out of breath; sure, they might breath faster and harder when they work, but nothing like she did when she arrived today. Also, Earth Ponies are the one usually pulling the carts. However, the pink one can’t even walk, the orange one could, but it would be really straining for her in her current condition. However, the blue Pegasus works as a translator, and not as a laboring slave, so she wouldn’t be the one pulling it down. Also, your Master dismissed Applejack, which means that this cart has no one to pull it, except that frail yellow Pegasus. It would be extremely harsh, but not unreasonable, to make her pull the cart down. It could be her punishment for…
  655. “…Wait,”
  656. > How do you know Applejack was dismissed? You do not remember your Master ever mentioning that…
  657. “Ask her if she is dismissed,”
  658. > “…Yes, she is,”
  659. > You rub your face with your hands; you’ve been over-analysing stuff for a while now… For now, your Master gave you a clue. That yellow Pegasus is somehow involved with the food issue.
  660. “Ask that Pegasus if she works in the kitchen,”
  661. > “…Yeah, that’s not her main duty, but she often finishes her work by preparing meals,”
  662. “Then tell her to stop stealing a portion of Applejack’s meal for herself,”
  663. > The translator jerks her head back and frowns in surprise, not following you in your reasoning.
  664. “Look, you’re a translator, so translate. I’m tired of thinking right now; I have a job to do. This pink slave stabbed her sole to release the pressure of her abscess; once I’m done pulling the horseshoes she’ll go straight to the infirmary to get it disinfected. Then I’ll have to walk to the other side of the mine, with that heavy toolbox, to replace the dead farrier,”
  665. > You snap your finger to get the wounded mare’s attention. You point yourself, then your eyes, then her hoof. To make sure she understands, you make an hoof shape with your right hand, turn your palm upward and tap the *sole* of it with your left hand. She gets it and gets on her back, holds her hind legs in the air, and put her tail between her legs, to cover her genitals.
  666. > “… You don’t mind if I tell her that in private?”
  667. “Tell her what?”
  668. > “That… She is stealing food?”
  669. “ Oh right, that. Don’t give a damn. If Master is making her workout, it’s because she’s fat. He’s playing dumb to mock her, since in facts, he is well aware of what she is doing in everyone’s back,”
  670. > “Alright…” She hints Fluttershy to follow her, and they discuss a little further.
  671. >
  672. > First thing first, you will need to know where the abscess is on her other hoof. You crouch to be leveled with her hooves and you gently grab the leg, making your way to the tip. You tighten your grip a bit, to let her know you will not let go, you point yourself, and you point her sole. Reflexively, she pulls her hoof back and she shakes her head, quite quickly.
  673. > You sigh. She is a ball of nerves; she is afraid of being afraid. Even if she really does not want to she will buck as soon as she feels the slightest amount of pain.
  674. > As you look at her, you can see blue and red fingermarks around her neck. Bruises, most likely.
  675. > Right, you choked something back then… It’s no wonder she is shaking like a leaf. To begin with, she needs to calm down. She doesn’t look like the kind of person that would paralyse in fear, so it is useless to try scaring her even more. Unfortunately, you’re not that great when you want to allay people’s fear, it is even harder now because you just tried to kill that someone.
  676. > You sigh. There is no way you can interact with her without increasing her panic. A third party needs to be involved.
  677. > You lean back, look at the other slave and whistle with your lips. Applejack raises a brow, you point her friend and you shake your hands, as if they were shaking out of fear. You point the standing mare again, you point a spot besides her friend, and you join your wrist, bending your hands forward as to mimic hooves holding each other’s. She swiftly nods and sits beside her friend, who, after a few seconds of reluctance, throws herself in her arms… Legs… Whatever, they are now hugging each other’s. The pink mare burying her face in her friend’s barrel, like a scared child clutching a relative before getting vaccinated, would be cute, if it was merely a childish fear of needles, but she’s actually completely terrified of you, and for very good reasons.
  678. > You wave Applejack to signal her that you will touch the leg. She transmits the message, Pinky Pie calms down enough for you to safely touch the hoof to know where the abscess is.
  679. > You gently brush the wall of the hoof but she jerks and neighs, hysterically. You lean back, but she doesn’t buck.
  680. > “P-P-P-Pinky useful, P-P-P-Pinky useful, Mad-”—she shakes her head—“A-Anonymous, Pinky useful! PINKY USEFUL!”
  681. > You raise a brow as Applejack shushes her. The idea of getting lame seems extremely terrifying to her.
  682. > At this rate, she is going to be unmanageable. You’ll have to reassure her, what a pain…
  683. > You gently pat her flank, which causes her to stifle a breath and utter several jerky whines in rapid succession. The other Earth Pony pats her reassuringly, resting her chin on her fluffy and sandy mane, softly whispering comforting words, her stern stare locked on you.
  684. > “It’ gonna be okay, don’t worry, ah ain’t gonna let him hurt you, Ah swear,”
  685. > “…Pinky promise?”
  686. > She smiles warmly and moves her left foreleg, “Cross my heart and hope to fly, stick a cupcake in my eye…”
  687. > “Okay…”
  688. > She stares you back, “Yeah, I am not gonna let him hurt you…”—she takes a deep breath and her stare turns straight into a glare—“This time,”
  689. >
  690. > Yeah, you do not need to speak Equestrian to understand her words, although you maintain your poker face, your heartbeat accelerated. That piercing stare resembles Master’s, except it is filled with bloodlust and hatred, not grief and regret.
  691. > Applejack’s breath forms a cloud as soon as she exhales, making you frown and jerk your head back.
  692. “Woh…”
  693. > “Ap-p-plejack… You’re cold,”
  694. > “What the hay yer talking about? I’ma tryin’ to-”
  695. > “N-No, you are cold, like, for real!”
  696. > Confused, Applejack leans her head back and sees frozen specks of pink hair on her friend’s head. Her ears flop and her eyes narrow.
  697. > “Woh…”
  698. > Did she just try to imitate you? Well, in any case, she is not breathing cold air anymore, which is great. So, where were you… Ah, right, you need to reassure that Pony.
  699. “Yes, Pinky useful… Pinky useful,”
  700. > She snorts and looks at you, with teary eyes, “Pinky useful?”
  701. > You nod, with a reassuring smile.
  702. “Pinky useful,”
  703. > She looks away for a second, before turning her gaze toward her friend, “Applejack, Pinky useful?”
  704. > “Heu…”
  705. > Pinky starts to speak in Equestrian, Applejack nods in response. Seems she didn’t know what her friend was saying. Still, Pinky buries her face again, this time, crying a little less. That was an improvement. You thought it was in the sole, but you merely touched the wall, and shit hit the fan. It was too big of a reaction to be caused by fear. Her problem is in the wall, maybe an abscess? Maybe it is even worse, considering the pain.
  706. > The Pegasus come back. The blue one sits beside you and the yellow one flies toward her friend, and asks about the situation, putting a reassuring hoof on Pinky’s right shoulder.
  707. “So, was I right or was I right?”
  708. > The blue Pegasus rolls her eyes. You conclude she approved.
  709. “So, ask her where it’s painful, that’ll quicken things up,”
  710. > They exchange a few words, and Pinky pokes the side of Applejack’s hind hoof.
  711. “So, the quarter, heh?”
  712. > “It started to hurt shortly after she got her shoes…”
  713. > You lift your arms in the air, annoyed.
  714. “But of course, it’s the farrier’s fault… Was it painful when he nailed her?”
  715. > “…She remembers that the last hits were indeed painful,”
  716. > You sigh.
  717. > You look around and find one of the nails she pulled off herself. You compare the length of the hoof with the length of the nail.
  718. > The nail is barely shorter than the hoof. You also notice that the hoof is actually warmer than it should be. Warm means inflammation, inflammation means infection, usually.
  719. “It’s not because the hoof is thick that you can just nail however you want. You need to take in consideration the hoof fragility, sensitivity, the nail type, size, the kind of horseshoe you want to use, and where you want to make the holes in. Now, I’m not a vet, nor a real farrier, but let’s just use common logic here. You dug a nail, and it didn’t stay in the hoof, most likely, the nail dug too deep toward the sole…”
  720. > You whip the blood off the nail with your pants, and you put it in the toolbox.
  721. “So, we have, at least, one nail, maybe more that is nailed too deep, and possibly infection, because the hoof is warm… Okay, tell her that her condition is not serious, for now, but we will need to pull the horseshoe out. If we don’t, severe complication could occur, and that a lame horse is not useful…”
  722. > Pinky takes a deep breath in, you know she recognized the last word, and that is what you wanted.
  723. > “…She wants to know if it’s going to hurt,”
  724. “Well, she pulled the other horseshoe by herself, it should hurt less than that… However, she will need to be on her stomach, I will pull the heels of the horseshoe downward and outward, otherwise… Ouch,”
  725. > She rolls on her stomach and you can see the sole of the hoof. Naturally, she hides her regions again, not that you care much, but you kind of find it cute.
  726. >
  727. > It is awkward, but you turn around and kneel down, trapping her hoof between your thighs. You can feel the leg tensing up. You pucker your lips, deep in thought. This position is dangerous…
  728. “Can someone make sure her other leg does not kick me? Worst case scenario, she hits my arm, the nail is pulled in the wrong direction, and I damage the hoof,”
  729. > The translator nods and holds the other leg with her weight, before nickering some words to reassure the patient.
  730. > Once you are safe, you take a pair of pincers in the toolbox, and pinch the space between the hoof and the horseshoe, she quivers in fear and you can hear someone shushing her.
  731. > You notice that there are clenches in the hoof. Now, you think you should rasp them with the lime, but on the other hand, it would cause her pain, a lot. You barely touched the hoof and she nearly bucked you. Grinding the metal against the painful hoof doesn’t seem like a good idea. Especially if the infection is just above the nail, making it vibrate would be really bad. Luckily, the clenches are barely sticking out of the hoof, so it should not be too bad. Seems like it was also rasped before…
  732. “Here goes nothing…”
  733. > You are strong enough to rely purely on your arm muscles to push the horseshoe in a ‘X’ pattern, with the heel being at the bottom of the x, so you can do it more precisely than if you had to use your weight to help you.
  734. > She screeches in pain. Thanks to your thighs muscles and your weight resting on her leg, she does not raise it high enough to strike your balls, However, you can hear the translator grunting as she holds the other leg. Once you are done with one side, you quickly switch to the other one, you can hear some neighing of protest, but prolonging it wouldn’t be better. You pinch the other side, and she squirms under you.
  735. > If this continues, she’ll make you push the horseshoe in the wrong direction. You need to shock her, even for a second, and you know what to do.
  736. “PINKY USEFUL?”
  737. > She freezes, you use this opportunity to push the other side, she screeches in pain again. She probably pulled the horseshoe that hurt less first, leaving you the most sensitive one. What a pain, hehehe…
  738. “Tell her the worst part is done,”
  739. > It calms her down, but now she cries a lot. You can feel judging eyes on you, but you do not care. The faster you are done playing the farrier, the faster you are back to your hole. Now, it does not mean you were doing a poor job like the other farrier, you are doing the right things, only quicker than it should be done, maybe, you do not know. You are a blacksmith for crying out loud, not a farrier.
  740. > You pull each nails out one by one, and each time, she stifles a moan. Finally, you pull the horseshoe off. Her hoof is now completely naked, with a few stream of blood leaking out of the holes.
  741. “There, it’s done…”
  742. > You lift yourself up, and you can hear her chuckling and sobbing. You turn around, and she is looking at the sky with a smile overflowing with relief while timidly moving her hind hooves. Seems she is grateful to have the nails taken off.
  743. > “She says thank you,”
  744. “Heh… My pleasure, but now, we will need to replace the shoes…”
  745. > There is no need to replace them.
  746. > The translator translates, Pinky stops moving and jerks her head forward to look at you, eyes wide open. You break into laughter.
  747. “Just kidding, just kidding… Now, tell her orange friend to carry her to the infirmary. Both of her hind hooves have holes; it would be preferable to avoid sand getting in them,”—you wait for her to translate—“They’ll probably, I don’t know, pour disinfectant in the holes, and bandage them. She will probably stay in bed for a few days, then, when the hoof gets better, proper horseshoes are going to be applied,”
  748. > She whines in disappointment. You shrug, by the time she will be able to walk again; another farrier will have replaced you. You grab her and put her on her orange friend. Once she is comfortably straddling her, you snap your finger and wave the duo away. They nod and leave.
  749. > You are left with two Pegasus now. You take the sledgehammer and tap your hand with it, looking at the plump one.
  750. “So, I’m going to look at your hooves now…”
  751. > She already seemed traumatized by you before seeing how you handled Pinky pie, but now that your words were translated, it reached a whole new level of fear. With a coy smile and a few back steps, she nickers something.
  752. > “She says her hooves are fine…”
  753. > You drop the sledgehammer’s head down, lean on the shaft and laugh.
  754. “Then there is nothing to be afraid of,”
  755. > “… She is really sure that there is no reason to waste your time on perfectly healthy hooves,”
  756. “Hey!”
  757. > She stops and eeps.
  758. “Look, if there is really nothing worth mentioning about your hooves, then this will take less than one minute… If you want to be done even quicker, get on your back and I’ll get a look at each sole real quick,”
  759. > She hides her blush behind her mane and shakes her head. You roll your eyes.
  760. “Figures… No need to translate that,”
  761. > You kneel besides her and put her right foreleg on your left thigh, her hoof resting on your left knee. As you examine the hoof, a jumentous odor invades your nose.
  762. > Now you know which one pissed herself. This is going to be a fun examination… Might be a part of why she wasn’t so eager to get her hooves examined.
  763. > You stop moving for half a second, as you realize something, but you continue examining her.
  764. > You do not remember seeing her before your master took your head in his hands… She arrived quite later, so how come she smells of piss?
  765. > You have heard rumors of slavers having weird fetish or downright dangerous paraphilia, and although the water is rationed for the slave, Master would never allow a slave to smell like piss… He would order her to take a shower and punish her by delaying her next shower or something…
  766. > You notice a missing nail and replace it without the need to put much attention to it, as if you were doing this by rote. You were focusing on this smelly inconsistency while examining the other hooves.
  767. > That jumentous odor came after your hallucination, and Master would have never allowed her to smell like that before coming to report or something. Somehow, she must have been afraid of… Madnonymous, and she was already nearby, or could she have heard your roar and…
  768. > A flash of yourself strangling the pink mare comes to your mind; you remember the sensation, the pulse of her heart beating erratically under your palms. She was drooling on your hands, and she looks at her friend with tears in her eyes.
  769. > That would explain the bubbly liquid on the back of your hands…
  770. >
  771. > You violently shake your head. You were digging dangerously close toward your repressed memories, or something you probably do not want to remember. You had to think of something else… Right, you were done with her. You had to play the farrier, and, and be done before your Master comes back…
  772. “Yeah, nothing wrong with the hooves… Now, I guess you have to pull the cart down, right?”
  773. > She looks at the cart and fear takes over her complexion. You snap your fingers and wave her to follow. Reluctantly, she obeys, and you harness her, while she remains silent. Once it is done, you turn around and gather your tools in the box.
  774. “Girl, let me give you a tip. You have the frog of a baby. If you have to brake, brake with the toe, not the heel…”
  775. > “Anonymous, harness me with her,”
  776. “No can’t do…”
  777. > “W-Why not?”
  778. > You close your tool box and begin your long walk toward the farrier’s office. As if you wanted to leave this place as soon as you could, as if, staying here would bring bad memories to the surface.
  779. “If Master wanted you to pull with her, he would have ordered you to,”
  780. > “What tells you it’s not the case?”
  781. “It’s you… Look, that’s her punishment for stealing food alright? Master is not stupid as to force a mare Pegasus to pull a cart full of dirt down a slope without a very good reason to do so,”
  782. > You are tired of dealing with all this bullshit. Your fingers hurt, your head hurts, your throat hurts, and your torso hurts. You are replacing someone that could not do his job properly, and you are going to work in the hot sun. Your pale skin will more than likely get sunburns, because you spend the most of your time alone in a dark tunnel.
  783. > You know you are going to regret leaving that tunnel today… You are already clenching your hand on the toolbox’s handle, you are already angry-
  784. “Fuck, I still need to go see Him…”
  785. > You turn around and walk toward his office. However, as you turn around, you nearly bump into his eyes leaking darkness and lit by two red dots.
  786. > You blink and look at him, completely confused. You do not think your eyes deceived you, but you aren’t even sure of what you saw exactly… In front of you is Master alright, with his piercing sad gaze, not two red dots in the middle of dark spheres…  
  787. > “Is something wrong, mister Ymous?”
  788. “Thought I saw something… Anyway, should you not be in your office?”
  789. > “It would appear that I do not have the leisure to await you, so I decided to accelerate thing a bit… You also forgot the pile of dirt created by Pinky…”
  790. “Oh right, that…”
  791. > He takes out a pocket watch, holding the chain with his fingers tip.
  792. > “It doesn’t matter, just relax and listen to me…”
  793. “Yeah yeah, I know the drill, thank you; look at the watch… Listen and let you fiddle with my brain…”
  794. > He sighs, “Mister Ymous, I have already told you many times, that hypnosis cannot and never will allow anyone to be mind-controlled, I could never, for example, ask you to kill yourself, as it goes against your survival instinct. I can, however, make you believe that you are going to kill yourself, that is the difference,”
  795. > You are constantly haunted, day and night, by that one dreadful day. It has been what, half a year already? Half a year you continued to live and relive that day she was murdered and she thanked you…
  796. > You… You had enough of it. You did not want to remember her smile, filled with relief nor the sparkles in her eyes as… As she knew that you were going to save her.
  797. > Even if it meant, even if it meant…
  798. >
  799. “Just get on with it…”
  800. > With a great deal of pain spreading across his face, as if he could feel the depth of your suffering,  he makes a sideway pendulum movement with the watch, “Only if you are willing to do something, without hypnosis, can I control you and force you to do the aforementioned something… If you do not want to do it, or it goes against your values, it will fail. If you regress, it is because you want to regress; your brain wants to regress…”
  801. > You were already long gone as he suggests you to live up to your name of Bible mouth. As he reminds you that the lord will forgive you if you obey, if you perform a proper redemption. If you obey your Master… As per the Exodus.
  802. ***************************************************************************
  803. Chapter 2: My little angel.
  804. “Next…”
  805. > Today your Master told you to check the Ponies hooves. You have spent a bit of your morning and the whole afternoon checking hooves and being translated by a mare just as enthusiastic as you. Although you have a lot of free time to think, you more often than not get lost in thoughts.
  806. “Next…”
  807. > The farrier was *fired* and you can understand why.
  808. > ¼ Of them have a hoof problem, and the great majority of them are Earth Ponies. The Pegasus and Unicorns can just fly or lift themselves up or down a mine layer after all.
  809. “Next…”
  810. > How did you end up there you wonder… Ever since you can remember, you have been kind to your neighbour.
  811. “You have a missing nail here, I’ll fix that…”
  812. > Really kind; you have been taught after all. Out of all the commandments, which is the most important?
  813. > Now that was easy, Love the lord like he is your Master or something like that.
  814. “For the love of… Look, you’ve been trying to pull the nails out, and now your hoof is infected, you fucking idiot… I’ll pull the horseshoe out, and then you go straight to the infirmary…”
  815. > You are supposed to be digging right now, however, the calluses on your hands have ripped off and blisters are forming over your wounds. Your Master said that if that happened, you would take a break…
  816. > It is really convenient that the farrier was fired today; the day after it happened…
  817. > Really convenient…
  818. “Next…”
  819. > Someone is talking behind you, “…on,” But you do not hear it.
  820. > Really, who was he to get in the way between your guilt and your pain?
  821. > “… An-ON!”
  822. > You do not notice that the line of slaves have been disbanded, you were just waiting for the Ponies to come up to you, like an automatism. You were, lost in thoughts.
  823. >
  824. ‘Matthew, 7:12 So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.’
  825. > Fucking hell, you can understand why he does it, but it is not an excuse for-
  826. > You receive an electric shock on your spine, it is loud; your vision fades, you fall on the ground, confused.
  827. >
  828. > That was comeuppance…
  829. > You are a slave, after all; how lucky of you to have an owner that knows you so well, he can even prevent you from harboring demons.
  830. > “…ill listen? He’s big but if he’s deaf…”
  831. > There is no point listening unless directly spoken to. You have a job to do and redemption to think about. Distractions are not tolerated.
  832. > Because you have been taught.
  833. >
  834. > “I assure you… work of three men,”
  835. ‘Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.’
  836. > “…ly what I’m afraid of, I don’t want to lose 3 men to kee… at the catch? He only feeds on human flesh or som…”
  837. > You just have to catch your bearings.
  838. >
  839. > “…35% discount, take it or keep him; I’ve asked for quality workers, and what do I get? A brain-dead oversize zombie?”
  840. > “Thirty… B-But I can’t-”
  841. > “You can, and you will boy, or else…”
  842. ‘Romans, 13:9, The commandments, “You shall not commit adultery,” “You shall not murder,” “You shall not steal,” “You shall not covet,” and whatever other command there may be, are summed up in this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.”’
  843. > “F-FINE! B-But you’ll pay for transport and… And-AND don’t expect a re-refund!”
  844. > “I was doing this business long before your parents were in THEIR parent’s thoughts boy; you’re going to give me thirty-five and you’ll pay for everything, or else I’ll make sure your business goes under, is that clear?”
  845. > “…”
  846. >
  847. > You take the sledgehammer back in your hand and lift yourself off the ground. You were ordered to nail some horseshoes on the Ponies' cracked hooves today.
  848. > You are nailing metal.
  849. > On horses.
  850. > In the middle of the Israeli desert.
  851. > Since the only tools you had were sledgehammers and nails, you have been hammering very, very, VERY lightly, all day long. As a former blacksmith, it's been very annoying.
  852. > No, in fact, you need the physical pain. It helps with the guilt of your sinful past, but hammering lightly didn’t hurt at all…
  853. > “Do you consider YOUR business as your religion?” Smugly says the child.
  854. > Degrading you to a simple farrier is not what irks you. It is the fact you would do a better job than the official farrier, blindfolded. The, hehehe, SOLE reason they have cracked hooves is that the ex-farrier hammered the horseshoes as hard as he can to get the job done faster.
  855. > You sigh. Now now, you have been sent here because of your wrath… You need to learn to control yourself.
  856. > “Why the hell would it matter anyway? Yeah, I worship my money; you got a problem with that, boy?”
  857. > “Anon, nail,”
  858. > “What!? You’re refusing my offer?”
  859. > Ah, now you were directly spoken to. You know your owner would never order you to keep nailing after being Tased. You both know you were going to keep nailing horseshoes after getting your bearings again. You are going to nail something else. Someone, to be more accurate, and you heard him admitting his religion was money, that he was worshipping cash...
  860. > Completely unforgivable.
  861. >
  862. ‘Timothy 4:1, 'But the Spirit explicitly says that in later times some will fall away from the faith, paying attention to deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons.' Peter 2:3 'and in their greed they will exploit you with false words; their judgment from long ago is not idle, and their destruction is not asleep.'’
  863. > You wonder why it was not specified that it was ‘divine’ judgment or ‘damnation’ instead of ‘destruction’. Must be due to translations you guess, after all, there are, what, a hundred version of the bible or something?
  864. > “I never said that. I ordered Anon to nail one last time, that's all...”
  865. > You turn around and gaze down upon the elderly, reddened with anger. He was really full of wrath. You are not sure if it is the knuckles or the cane that creaks under the pressure, but you did hear a cracking noise.
  866. > He was a World War veteran, probably. But your Master asked you to nail. And you will obey.
  867. > Because you have been taught.
  868. >
  869. > You lift the sledgehammer above your head and speak.
  870. “Do not fear death, for it is not the end, but merely, the beginning,”
  871. > “W-WHAT!?” Screams the man.
  872. > Wait, what was the right wording again? Shad... Shadabase?
  873. > You know Muslims really like to follow their traditions. Allah, Bramha, God, it does not matter, it is all one and the same to you. Just thinking about religious wars and hate is enough to make your blood boil. 'My god is the real one, you're a heretic!' is the adult equivalent of 'My father is stronger than yours!' except they are all brother and sisters, ironically.
  874. > But religion is important… You lower your arms and look at Junior for confirmation.
  875. “Don't Muslims say... Shadabase or something?”
  876. > Junior looks at you, incomprehension splattered on his face. Then, he smiles, heavily, as he realizes where you are going.
  877. > “It's shanada,”
  878. > The elder, outraged, bursts wrathfully.
  879. > “IT’S SHAHADA YOU IGNORANT BRAAAAT!”
  880. > Ah, right, you remember, it was shahada.
  881. > The brat titters and looks at the man, smirking, “Inna lillahi wa inna ilayhi raji'un,”
  882. > “Inna lillahi wa inna ilayhi raji'un,” You repeat.
  883. > Verily we belong to Allah, and truly to Him shall we return. That is the translation. Both it and shahada are used when someone is going to die, it is their last rites.
  884. > In this context, however, it is the equivalent of saying 'Say your prayers'.
  885. > Or more accurately, the old man just did.
  886. >
  887. > As soon as the choleric man realizes your intention, the redness of his face drains, replaced by a ghostly pale white. He trudges away, weighted down by his own age. You, on the other hand, dash, raise your arms, leap and smash his skull to smithereens, cleaving him into a ‘U’ shape.
  888. > Blood spurts everywhere; on you, on the sledgehammer, on the sand, on Junior.
  889. > Everyone, Ponies mostly, turn around at the sound of flesh and bone being crushed under metal. Some retch, some quiver in fear. Some are eyeing each other before nodding.
  890. > Why a relic of the past like this old man did not bring any weapons or bodyguards? You have no idea.
  891. “Your maker is awaiting you, do not linger, Hell always as a special place for heretics,”
  892. >
  893. > In retrospective, he may have been a Muslim, but he admitted worshipping money, and that is heres-
  894. > You drop the sledgehammer on the sand.
  895. > You realized something, something awful.
  896. “Oh no,”
  897. > You rue your action.
  898. > You have killed your neighbour.
  899. > You have sinned…
  900. > You start to cry.
  901. > Yes, you, and only you… It is your entire fault… You failed your Master's test, you were not supposed to literally...
  902. > The brat sees you crying, it angers him, he thrusts his Taser toward your neck and-
  903. > “JUNIOR!” calls a female voice.
  904. > He looks away for a second. You look at him and think.
  905. > No, it was not you. HE made you sin.
  906. > Why? Have you not been kind to him? Why did he not stop you before you committed this grave sin?
  907. > “WHAT IS IT NOW?!”
  908. > Looking around, you notice it for the first time since you are here. You see the slaves for who they are. You realize they were not afraid of divine judgment. They were not here for repentance, for redemption, only you were.
  909. > They were slaves… All of them.
  910. > Exodus 21: The laws about slaves. You remember.
  911. > The sound of flesh against knuckles is heard in the relatively silent surroundings. You turn around just in time to see her crash on the sand. His right hand is clenched in a fist. He punched her you conclude.
  912. > She looks at him before spitting a tooth out. You know what this means.
  913. “She can now leave, Master,”
  914. >
  915. > The boy turns around.
  916. > “The fuck you just said to me, you abeed?”
  917. > Clearly he is underage, but not by much. The boy was just the nickname his father, your real Master, always called him. But clearly, he was testing you… Fitting moment to judge your determination, you reckon, because there are only two reasons stopping you from murdering him: One, killing him, or making two wrongs do not make a right; and two, you are determined to get your redemption, although, you are not sure if you will ever get it now, it was better to not kill anyone else, just to be sure.
  918. “Exodus 21, laws about slaves: 'If he, the master, knocks out the tooth of his slave, male or female, he shall let the slave go free because of his tooth.'”
  919. > He blinks, incredulous.
  920. > “Is that some Bible bullshit?”
  921. > You clench your fist but relax them shortly after. Many a man or women have had much harsher tests of their faith and knowledge; yes, in hardships, there is the word ‘hard’ for a reason. Your Master is really insightful. Such provocation was more than manageable.
  922. “No sir, it is not from the bible, it is from-”
  923. > “I DON’T CARE ABOUT YOUR RELIGIOUS BULLSHIT YOU FREAKING IDIOT!”
  924. “…”
  925. >
  926. > You are angry… The sin of wrath has very profound roots inside you, hence, you are happy that he allows you a chance to resist the temptation.
  927. > “FUCK YOUR GOD, FUCK MY FATHER, FUCK THE PRIME MINISTER, FUCK AUTHORITY FUCK YOU ALL!”
  928. “…”
  929. >
  930. > …What? S-Surely there must be something you have not read or been taught… Y-Yes, it is another test… A-After all, Exodus 22, You shall not revile God, nor curse a ruler of your people. And your owner would never…
  931. > The young man throws a temper tantrum and vigorously kicks the corpse of the old man.
  932. > No, Junior would, Master would never… The mine ownership goes to his son when he is away, so he is your Master, for now.
  933. > Closing your eyes, you stop breathing. When did wrath ever have such strong grip on your soul? Junior is both able to incur your wrath to such degree, and to show you how pitiful one is when controlled by this sin.
  934. > Truly remarkable.
  935. > Now exhausted, the boy stops kicking the old man. He grabs the Pegasus by the ear, drags her toward his tent and shouts, “WHEN HE ISN’T AROUND HERE, I AM THE MASTER. COME WITH ME YOU FUCKING SLAVE! YOU’LL MAKE ME A MAN, BECAUSE THAT’S WHAT IT TAKES TO BE OBEYED, RIGHT? I’M NOT A MAN SO YOU WON’T LISTEN TO ME, RIGHT?!”
  936. > You clench your fist with such force; your knuckles are beyond white and you can feel your nails piercing your palms. This mare is a virgin, and even if you are conflicted between treating her as your Master’s livestock or slave, you do know that if he takes her virginity, he will have to marry her, or pay a hefty sum to her father… Exodus 22, laws about social justice dictates as such.
  937. >
  938. > “J-Juni-Master! Ouch-ouch-ouch! W-wait!”
  939. > You notice she has a very thick Equestrian accent.
  940. > He turns around and puts his small thumbs in her eyes, forcing them inside. The mare screams in pain.
  941. > “DON’T YOU DARE TALK BACK TO ME YOU FUCKING HORSE!”
  942. “HEY!” You roar; the boy jumps, the mare straightens.
  943. > Your voice echoes multiple times, despite being in a surface mine. You can be really loud if you want. After all, you can spend days without saying a word…
  944. > The mine is silent. The only sound around you is the soft howl of the wind across the sand.
  945. > You open your eyes and breathe deeply. The air is dry; it reeks of blood and other less savory fluids.
  946. >
  947. > You know your Master wants your salvation as much as you, but you cannot let Junior sin to test you. Maybe preventing Junior from sinning was the test… In that case, you nearly failed.
  948. > He clearly needs to be reminded about Exodus 21 and 22.
  949. “Exodus 22, Whoever lies with an animal shall be put to death,”
  950. > The mare, understanding the *hey* wasn’t meant to her, wobbles away, holding her eyelids. Luckily, his thumbs were small and weak due to being pampered in his upbringing. At worst she will have a sty.
  951. > He, however, looks at you, reddening before one’s eye. His whole face is red. Some facial blood vessel threatens to bursts. He shrills at the top of his lung before uttering some words.
  952. > “Do you… Have the slightest idea… How infuriating, not having authority, never being taken seriously, is?”
  953. > You have a hard time wrapping your head around such flawed thinking.
  954. > Still… You have to answer.
  955. “Weren’t you screaming your anger about authority a moment ago? I fail to see how you can both be hateful toward authority when it disadvantages you, but you’re grateful when it benefits you… Aren’t you greedy, Junior? Did your father not properly teach you what a sin was?”
  956. > Silence.
  957. > Every slave walks away from you and Junior. You can hear a blue Pegasus chuckling though. Maybe you were too vague, you can simplify things.
  958. “Heu… Basically, if you want people to stop treating you like a kid, stop behaving like one, Junior…?”
  959. > Somehow, it made things worse… Somehow.
  960. >
  961. > He tenses every finger joints he has, crooking them as they tremble; proof of his uncontrolled anger.
  962. > “Y… D… HKK…”
  963. > Oh no…
  964. > You failed the test. Junior is now completely possessed by wrath.
  965. > With clenched fist, Junior scurries toward you, shrilling like a mad kid. You know that as a slave, you have done nothing wrong; you followed the rules, you obeyed your Master. You may not be Hebrew or Muslim, or even Israeli for that matter, but you know you have rights. If not from the Charter of Human Rights, then at the very least, from the Exodus.
  966. > There is a jerry can nearby, yes…
  967. >
  968. > The boy reaches you while you were looking at the cans; he pummels your chest in vain. You have worked in the forge for nearly ten years before becoming sinful and being sent to a mine. Your muscles are as hard as the stone you have pickaxed all day long, every day, for months now.
  969. > But this is not the only reason why he pummels in vain; you are also crying your sorrow away. You have become a sinner again, you have failed the last test God had given you and led a child into Morning Star’s arms.
  970. > No, you had to do something. You use your big right hand and grab one of his thin arms. He struggles against the grip.
  971. > You know what to do. Yes, you need to purify him, to cleanse him of his demon.
  972. > You take the Taser out of his hand and throw it down several layers below.
  973. > You have pierced through the bottom of the barrel. Even God will not forgive you anymore. Your mind is away, lost in religious disillusions.
  974. > The mine’s shrink called it dementia.
  975. > You called it your self-righteous suicide.
  976. > He said that the past was a nice place to visit, and to move on from; not to stay.
  977. > You told him that the circle you are running in is only complete when the outcome is the origin. You weren’t sure why.
  978. > After sighing, he said “As a psychologist, I’ll tell you that no matter what amount of pain you inflict yourself, you have to forgive yourself first to move on,”
  979. > He got up and pushed the tent’s flats, inviting you to leave.
  980. > “As a human being, I’ll tell you that, even Allah wouldn’t see it as a sin if you take your own life…”
  981. > That was the last time you saw him, your last session.
  982. >
  983. > Lost in thoughts, you do not feel the child fearing for his life. You do not hear him scream to get his bodyguard's attention.
  984. > A man jerks up from its chair and looks around, completely lost. Knocking the L’chaim kosher vodka bottles nearby with his foot. A Mare with a rainbow mane rushes and rams him before he can take his gun out. She screams something in Equestrian but you do not hear. You have to purify this child.
  985. > The world changes, you can now see the demons around you, all the demons are male. All the demons are human.
  986. > You can see them from below when you look deeper inside the mine, they are far below, they are riding their jeep around the layers of the surface mine. They are slowly coming for you.
  987. > You take the man’s holy gun and purify the demon's head, sending his sinful ectoplasm all over the Pegasus’ coat. She freezes as the demon becomes limp under her.
  988. > Convenient, you think, that the head is also demons’ weakness.
  989. > The child is crying tears of joy, finally, this cherub is freed from his oppression and is eager to fly back to the sky, but you do not do things half-assed, you will have to purify him first.
  990. > Yes, Mama didn’t raise no lazy boy. You will cleanse him thoroughly.
  991. >
  992. > You purify his legs with the holy gun first before pouring the holy water from the holy can on the sinful grime covering his angelic essence.
  993. > Everyone’s happily cheering for you. They are so eager to help that they tug on your holy gun. You lift it in the air in response, stopping them in their track as they behold the artifact.
  994. > You laugh heartily, soon little angels, soon this child will be sent to God and he will take care of his little lamb, nursing him back to the Garden of Eden.
  995. > The demon had a blazing purifier, you are aghast at using a defiled relic of good, but this child’s purification comes first. You flip it open, turn the wheel and a bright purifying flame emerges.
  996. > The blue mare is attracted to the holy light like a moth is attracted to a flame; she tries to snatch it from your grasp, it offends you greatly. You swat the insolent horse back on the ground.
  997. “AWAY THOU DEMIRITOUS ICARUS, LEST THE BLAZING LIGHT MELTS THINE WINGS ANEW!”
  998. > You step on her, maintain under your foot and rest the holy gun on her forehead. You wince from inflicting pain to a creature of God, but for one moment of suffering, God gives eternal and infinite love.
  999. “THOU SHALL NAY HINDER ME AS I SHALL BATH THIS CHERUB IN PURIFYING BLAZE!”
  1000. > She freezes and closes her eyes, her forehead swelters from the barrel’s heat. She opens her eyes and realizes how precarious her situation is. Jerky breaths come out of mouth as she weakly shakes her head.
  1001. > Luckily she is far enough that she will not be touched by the blaze once the holy water is lit. Meanwhile, the other angels are rushing toward you. You probably should not have shouted that you had a holy light since they are all ready to leech it off. You raise your holy gun above them and shoot a few rounds.
  1002. “TEMPT ME NAY YOU FALLEN ANGELS! FOR DIVINE JUDGEMENT IS SWIFT AND RUTHLESS!”
  1003. > They hesitate long enough that you managed to purify the child with the blazing purifier.
  1004. > Everyone cheers at your resolve, especially the cherub, yet the angel under your feet is too fascinated by the blaze to cheer for you. Nonetheless, as the light grows, so does their lust for it. You cannot fail again. The unholy ground all around can easily snuff out the sacred blaze. Putting the holy gun down, you grab the cherub in your arms before throwing it down one of the mine’s level.
  1005. > You rue having to take your now burning clothes off, staying in your underwear. What a sinful sight it must be for them to see. But you cannot stop now. There are demons approaching still, even if they have to drive all the way up to you. This is it, the moment of truth, the moment to die as a man, and to live on as a martyr. You are not breakable, you are indestructible. You are a master of war and they will discover a war they are unable to win.
  1006. >
  1007. > You take the holy fire weapon and aim down to the bottom of the mine. You have no choice but to pair your holy gun with exorcism if you want to protect the angels.
  1008. “Regna terrae, cantata Deo, psallite Cernunnos. Worryment nay feel, for Anonymous will allay thine distress and ward you!”
  1009. > You shoot, the angels cheer for you. The demons fire back clumsily as they drive around on unsteady dirt. You nonetheless dive into crawling. You are no daredevil, no matter which definition you give the word.
  1010. > You look around; maybe you will find a ruse to outwit the hellish fiends; after all, you are not trained to use this holy weaponry and your exorcism only has limited powers.
  1011. > You see Cerberus, the guardian of hell besides you, but you aren’t even surprised. Of course you are in the pit of hell, you have failed so many times that even God has abandoned you and decided to throw you in hell before your time.
  1012. >
  1013. > If only you had seen one of these Lucifer-be-damned imps riding him before; maybe you could manage to send it toward the cluster of fallen angels riding their hellhound. Now is not the time to pity your lack of initiative, it IS the moment to show just how much of it you have. Screw the exorcism; you can just use Cerberus himself! Even if it costs you your own life!
  1014. > Wait, you are already dead, since you are in Hell…
  1015. > Trifling matter!
  1016. > You head toward the beast. You struggle as the ramps turn into snakes but you are faster than them! You climb and sit on the chair located in his collar. There are so many magical rods in front of you…
  1017. > You decide to push them all, including the pedals. Cerberus growls angrily at your incompetence, but you do not care. The angels are being defiled by the demon’s unholy weapons of murder; you have no time to lose.
  1018. > Although God has abandoned you, you silently pray to him to give you one last chance of redemption.
  1019. > You flicker some lights, you push on the brake and you turn the wheel.
  1020. > Begrudgingly, Cerberus starts to obey! Praise the Almighty Lord! He has not forsaken you completely!
  1021. “Full speed ahead! Let us be the vanguard and martyr of these pure angels!”
  1022. > You hear neighs beside you. A yellow Pegasus with a pink mane is tied to the wheel.
  1023. > Anonymous be damned! Again you are making mistakes! How can you be so blind as to not have seen her!?
  1024. > She has to be purified before she crashes into the demons. You take the holy gun in your hands, aim and-
  1025. > Cerberus rams into a wall. You wobble.
  1026. > He must have been groggy from his rude awakening.
  1027. > The wobbling forces the angel on you, making you drop your holy gun off Cerberus, you curse your clumsiness.
  1028. > There is no time to waste; you have to force the rope of burden off her neck. You cannot hope to defeat an angel by hand, and even if you do, you would need a holy gun or purifying water and blaze to send it back to God.
  1029. > You grab the rope and pull hard; you pull harder, using your feet, your hands, and your back muscles. You pull. You pull hard enough that the rope reddens with blood. Pulling with forces even you did not know you had only manages to make the rope dig deeply into your hands. Giving up is not an option, not when God gave you one last chance; but brute force might not be the solution you reckon.
  1030. >
  1031. > Cerberus rams once again in a wall, you crash in his collar and are sent off him. You manage to catch one of the ramps. You have broken ribs and your left shoulder is most likely dislocated, but you know your devotion can push through any forms of pain. You climb back up and look at the rope. It won’t come off the wheel, it angers you deeply.
  1032. > How can you make the rope come off the wheel?
  1033. > HOW CAN YOU MAKE THE ROPE COME OFF THE WHEEL!?
  1034. >
  1035. > A moment passes, you can hear her tears. You do not blame her; you are such a disgrace that if you were in her position, you too would think it is hopeless. If only the rope would... COME OFF!
  1036. > An idea comes out of your brain as your burning wrath floods it. If the rope won’t come off the wheel, could the wheel come off Cerberus instead?
  1037. > You sit on the chair and position your feet to push the wheel past its axis. By the Lord himself, that pain tearing through your chest and arm as you push beyond your limit is, also, beyond whatever punishment you have ever received, but you know it is not even a glimpse of the eternal damnation Hell has in reserve for you, a fitting comeuppance.
  1038. > The angel understands the idea and starts to hit the wheel with her hind legs.
  1039. > One time, two times, three times; the fourth time, the wheel breaks!
  1040. > The sudden pressure release sends a flood of pain through your pain, however your *UGHU* of pain is smothered as Cerberus starts a rodeo in response. You can barely glue yourself to the chair but the angel is now freely swinging around everywhere.
  1041. > It will not be long until she falls down Cerberus; you throw yourself in the air and manage to grab her leash with your wounded hands.
  1042. > How?
  1043. > Trifling matter!
  1044. > You pull her closer and grab hold of her. She clutches on you like her life depended on it. Not that far off you think. But no matter what happens, you know she will be in God’s hands, you can only try to be the one that brings her to him. And to do so, she must safely get off Cerberus and not be captured by the demons.
  1045. > It is quite the drudgery to walk up to the ramps. Wobbling with broken ribs as the angel holds herself on you, hooves on your shoulders, is unbearably painful. Let alone the disgrace of being in your underwear.
  1046. > But you will bear with it. You have to, you have to…
  1047. >
  1048. > Cerberus slides down, and you can see hell once you put a foot out of his collar. It will soon slam itself against the wall. This time, given the angle, it will bounce off the wall and head down to a lower level, whether you are still on or not will only depend on you. She saw it too, and she now looks at you, expecting a savior out of you.
  1049. > You are but a miserable sinner…
  1050. > She lowers her head and cries in your chest, you can feel each spasm of tears coming out of her barrel, but she is calling God in her Enochian tongue, you know it.
  1051. > “CELESTIA HELP ME, I DON’T WANT TO DIE!”
  1052. > You do not deserve an angel that is willing to beg God to help you, not after what you have done…
  1053. > Truly, humans do not deserve angels… In any cases, you have to jump.
  1054. “Do you trust me?”
  1055. > She vigorously shakes her head. You doubt she understood the words, but she must have understood the intention. Still, you agree; you would not trust yourself either if you were in her divine shoes.
  1056. > You jump off holding her in your hand. Maybe her wings will spread and allow you both to glide at least?
  1057. > Nope. You remember you are in Hell, there is no way she can open her wings; the damn demons must have done something to her. It cannot be that she is too scared to even think about it, right?
  1058. > Right…?
  1059. >
  1060. > The landing is a success, but the unnameable agony that spreads through your chest as her weight pulls it down forces you to stumble forward, toward the abyss.
  1061. > You forcibly push her off you as you roll toward the edge.
  1062. > You hold on to your life onto the ledge as your body slides and passes into the void. You are barely holding yourself with your arms.
  1063. > It is ironic. You are already in Hell, what would you lose anyway, your life?
  1064. > You cannot lose something you have already lost.
  1065. >
  1066. > She gets up, completely terrorized, your gazes meet, and she skews her head left and right, looking for something maybe?
  1067. > Oh, nope, she gallops and leaves you to your fate.
  1068. > You do not judge her, she can still make it if she runs now, and you are stuck here anyway… Yet, you cannot allow yourself to fall; the angels are not all out of Hell and there are still demons shooting at you!
  1069. > Speaking of the devils, one of them manages to shoot your shoulder; the dislocated one, luckily. It wasn’t doing much for the moment anyway so you are fine with it being hit by that unholy ammo.
  1070. > You try to swing your legs against the wall to get a foothold, unfortunately, you find none. It is a race against time, either your arm will let go or they will aim better. You cannot pull yourself with your broken ribs and one dislocated arm, so you pummel the wall with your feet to create an artificial foothold.
  1071. > Before you can make significant progress, Icarus comes running toward you, breathing heavily, and… You both wonder how she could help you in your situation. Bullets are flying past your head or they hit the wall around you. She cannot risk flying under you and lifting you with her wings, she would risk getting shot. So how could she help you?
  1072. > Pull your hair with her mouth?
  1073. > She has an idea, or at least that is what her complexion implies. She runs away.
  1074. >
  1075. > Not a bad idea in itself you ponder, it would just have been better to have it before running after Cerberus…
  1076. > She comes back with the yellow angel and offers you the wheel.
  1077. > Brilliant!
  1078. > You can drag her down as you fall-Oh wait, they will pull you out… That was the idea, right?
  1079. > Brilliant!
  1080. > You grab it with your disabled arm, as taking it with the other would have let go of the only support you have.
  1081. > They pull. Agony spreads through you. The pain seriously makes you reconsider if it would not be better to fall instead.
  1082. > A bullet hits the ledge and sends dirt in Icarus’ eye; she grunts and pulls even harder. You approve her determination as you push yourself up with your other arm.
  1083. > They manage to pull you up, they are completely exhausted, legs shaking, drawing dried breaths from the dusty air.
  1084. > You can understand Icarus being exhausted after chasing Cerberus, but the yellow angel was not that far when Icarus galloped to her and brought her back… Nonetheless, you have to put some distance between the demons and you, there is no time to lose!
  1085. > You grab the leash and force her to piggy ride you as you take Icarus in your arms and run. You were much less tired and much better fed than them, even if your rations were laughable at best.
  1086. > Wait, if they gave you the same food they fed angels, then you must have the strength of an archangel! Maybe that is the reason you are able to sprint the distance you have traveled with Cerberus while carrying two heavy angels.
  1087. > How?
  1088. > Trifling matter!
  1089. >
  1090. > You arrive in front of the other angels, completely oblivious to the pain your body is suffering, with underwear ruining your scarred birthday suit. They are flabbergasted. Especially the purple horned and winged angel. Icarus blushes as you let go of her.
  1091. > The yellow angel is downright red tomato.
  1092. > One of the angels offers you a bucket of water. It does not take long and there is only a bucket left.
  1093. > …
  1094. > And an angel, of course…
  1095. > Of course…
  1096. > With a burp and a gag reflex, you point toward the setting sun and prepare to heroically shout orders.
  1097. > Then, you remember you have only slowed down the demons. And that running away in the desert without water, food or plan is just suicide. Well you know how to survive in the desert, search for the mountain as water tends to run down, walk during the night, sleep during the day, do not drink cactuses' water and do not play with scorpions. But they are horses… At least camels have water reserves…
  1098. > You suddenly realize you might have done something bad… There is no way they will be able to flee to heaven right now.
  1099. > “Human…? Speaks… Eengleesh?”
  1100. > The purple angel starts to talk to you in the mortal tongue.
  1101. “Yes, angel. Are you the one in charge?”
  1102. > The Pegasus that was talking to Junior arrives with a med-kit. The Purple angel talks Enochian, the sacred language of the angels.
  1103. > The angel that translates walks toward you and translates the purple angel’s words.
  1104. > It is well translated.
  1105. > “So… Yeah, Archangel Twilight, here, wants you to take… Cherub Fluttershy with you. The angels cannot all leave Hell at once, but only you can drive the jeep. We will fill your… Horn of abundance with… Angel food and wish you… Godspeed. Is that all Twilight?
  1106. > Archangel Twilight nods. Cherub Fluttershy does not.
  1107. “You do well to shake your head, Cherub Fluttershy, because your rank is much higher. You only answer to God and Seraphims, in that order,”
  1108. > The Pegasus translates, fake leader Twilight panics, you raise your hand in the air.
  1109. “I understand you tried to pass me a test, and I succeeded, but now I know what my duty is. To free you all from Hell. To do so, I will require the best help I can get, and the best is indeed your true leader,”—you move your palm toward the yellow Pegasus as if you were presenting her—“Cherub Fluttershy,"
  1110. > Your idea is translated. Cherub Fluttershy and her sharp shrill is the only confirmation you need.
  1111. ***************************************************************************
  1112. Chapter 3, My Little Angel: Friendship is Dead.
  1113. > “WHAAAAAAAT!? No girls, I can’t, I won’t-”
  1114. > “You CAN ‘nd you will, Fluttershy. This human mah be delusional, but he seems like the only one around here that can both drive, AAAAND will actually try to help us. Besides… They’re going to make us dig and dig and dig ‘til we can’t dig no more…” Says the orange Earth Pony.
  1115. > The blue mare replies, “So yeah, if there’s only one of us that can escape, it’s got to be you Shy. You wouldn’t be able to take much more than that anyway,”—she elbows Fluttershy’s ribs— “And have you seen the fine piece of male you’ll be fleeing with? Your very own prince charming, here to save the princess!”
  1116. > A white unicorn mare rolls her eyes, “Oh Rainbow Dash, P-LEASE! Refrain yourself from making such unsavory jokes,”
  1117. > “Whaaaat… I’m trying to cheer her up, I swear…”
  1118. > “Yep, the prince charming, in all his naked glory, covered in blood, scars and dirt, sweating like a pig, here to save the princess…”
  1119. > “Ghurk, Twilight, I didn’t mean to…”
  1120. > “And, And he had a gun and he… He…”
  1121. > Everyone look at her, Rainbow Dash misinterprets her intention and speaks up to her.
  1122. > “And he carried us all the way back, just like Roadroof!”
  1123. > “It’s Rockhoof, Rainbow Dash, and he was no prince charming… Ah would at least appreciate it if you could remember the name right,”
  1124. > Rainbow Dash, seeing that she was digging herself deeper with each sentence moved her right hoof dismissively, “Ah forget it,”
  1125. > A pink Pony suddenly emerges from the empty bucket, startling her friends, scaring the Hell out of the human.
  1126. > “C’mon girls, we barely have the time to throw a feast and a farewell party! Every second count!”
  1127. > The skittish Pony throws a drape over the jeep, and when she theatrically pulls it back, the back seats are filled with fuel, food, and water.
  1128. > The human points Pinky and starts to spout gibberish. The translating Pegasus walks toward him to listen.
  1129. >
  1130. > “Pinky Pie, darling, now is simply not the time for parties! Now's the time to be composed… To have a cool head on our shoulders and, and… So what if we get punished for something a human has started, and which we had nothing to do with? Right? Right!?”
  1131. > The mare that is talking, named Rarity, has a twitchy right eye.
  1132. > Twilight walks toward her friend, “Calm down Rar-”
  1133. > “I MEAN, IT’S NOT LIKE THIS HUMAN JUST TORCHED OUR MASTER’S FIRST AND ONLY COLT ALIVE! BEFORE THROWING HIM DOWN SEVERAL HUNDREDS METERS DOWN OR ANYTHING! RIGHT!? RIIIIIIGHT!?”
  1134. > The Pegasus brings the med-kit for the human’s hands, meanwhile, the mares named Twilight Sparkle, Starlight Glimmer and Fluttershy moves toward him, to follow the plan. Rarity blowing up a fuse wasn’t part of the plan, and Twilight couldn’t afford to spend time trying to help her friend. Fearful, Pinky hides behind her orange Earth Pony and blue Pegasus friends: Applejack and Rainbow Dash, respectively; the three of them are spooked as they witness Rarity's anger bursts.
  1135. > “AND IT ISN’T LIKE HE COMPLETELY WRECKED THE ENORMOUS TRUCK THAT WAS THE APPLE OF OUR MASTER’S EYE, ONE OF A VERY LIMITED FEW; NOR WAS IT LIKE HE REPEATED IT EVERY. SINGLE. DAY! RIIIIIGHT?! RIIIIIIIIIIIIGHT!?”
  1136. > “This is a nightmare!”—Rarity looks around and spots a shovel that she magically and repeatedly smacks her face with it—“Wake. Up. Rarity. Wake up. WAKE UP!”
  1137. > Her collar activates, sending shocks through her neck.
  1138. > Applejack dashes toward Rarity, while looking at Rainbow Dash “You take the shovel, I’ll handle her!”
  1139. > “Got it,”
  1140. > She leaps on the shovel while AJ tackles Rarity down and holds her down. She’s a crying mess.
  1141. > “Calm down Rarity! CALM DOWN WILL YA!?”
  1142. > Rarity uses her whinny voice to cry and talk, “I DON’T WANT TO CA-A-A-A-LM DOOOOOWN! I WANNA WAKE UUUUP! THIS IS A NIGHTMAAAAAAAARE… I DON’T WANT TO BE PUNISHED; I’VE DONE NOTHING WRO-ON-ON-ONG!”
  1143. > Even though she’s an Earth Pony, widely known for their superior strength, Applejack struggles to maintain Rarity down.
  1144. > “Ghurgh! T’gall’s really out of it!”
  1145. > *DONG*
  1146. >
  1147. > Suddenly, Rarity’s face turns metal. Or more accurately, something metallic covers her face. Applejack, confused, pulls her head back to get a better view of the situation.
  1148. > A bucket was smashed against Rarity’s face, bending the metal to match her profile. The farmer mare stops maintaining her down, lifts her gaze and blinks twice, incredulous at the mare in front of her, a unicorn with a lilac coat, named Starlight Glimmer.
  1149. > “W-What? She’s calm now… Right?”
  1150. > Starlight pulls the bucket off her face with her magic. Rarity has cartoony birds flying and tweeting above her head.
  1151. > “Gah… Tweet tweet little birds, Hehe… He… He… Hehe,”
  1152. > “W-Well I can’t argy with that…” says Applejack, scratching her scalp under her cowboy hat.
  1153. > Starlight, satisfied, or at least, taking Applejack’s befuddled reply has a sign of approval, trots toward the human again until Rainbow Dash blocks her path.
  1154. > “Hey! You can’t just hit Rarity with a bucket like that!”
  1155. > “What? Is there a proper way of hitting Rarity with a bucket I’m not aware of?”
  1156. > “Ghk… You…!”
  1157. > Starlight sighs, “Look, it’s neither the time to throw a party, a feast, a temper tantrum or anything, really. Besides, look, she’s still herself, she’s just… Calmer now, isn’t that what you two wanted?”
  1158. > They both turn their gaze toward Rarity. She sighs, having regained her senses, “…It’s fine, we’ll just keep digging dirt all day long, and dream about dirt all night long and… And witness our coat drying up like dried grapes. We breathe in the dry sand, our sanitation’s sand, but it’s nothing to get white hair out of… Let's look at the bright side!”
  1159. > Rarity smiles a creepy smile, scaring the four other mares, “The sun’s giving us sunburns to keep us warm at night so that’s definitively a plus. Having sand in our mane’s very fashionable right now… But we’re wearing horribly painful and unfashionable metal nailed in our hooves, and, and…”
  1160. > She starts to cry again, “And at least my tears are going to clean my faaaaace…!”
  1161. > Applejack sighs, “Here we go agai-”
  1162. > Rarity wails, “WAAAAAAAAA-A-A-A-A-AH!”
  1163. > Rainbow Dash speaks to Starlight, while looking at Rarity, “WELL, I mean, sure, I guess, but-”
  1164. > As Rainbow Dash turns her head to face the lilac Unicorn, she realizes she was already long gone, talking to the human.
  1165. > The Pegasus grunts; she glances back and forth between the shovel and Starlight before sighing and shaking her head. It wasn’t worth it.
  1166. >
  1167. > Rarity pulls her mane down with her forelegs.
  1168. > “I can’t live like this anymore! I want out of here! Right-now!”
  1169. > Applejack pins her down, again, “Oh no you don’t! You’re gonna stay right here, right there, and calm down…”
  1170. > Rarity lifts her blurry gaze and sees an orange orb looking down at her, frowning, blocking the sun from her view but leaving the corona around Applejack’s head, giving her the impression that the sun was looking down at her.
  1171. > “Even the sun’s bullying me-e-eeeeee!”
  1172. > “The sun?! What the hay’re you on about?”
  1173. > She remains silent.
  1174. > Applejack looks at the bucket again. There is a clear outline of Rarity’s face dented on it, which means that both sides of the bucket have been deformed on impact. She winces and pulls her ears back, “Oh, right… Geee, bucket must’ve hit hard something mighty rare… Ah feel sorry for ya…”
  1175. >
  1176. > Pinky has been silently observing the whole scene; her mane deflates, she lowers her head and turns her ears back. After all, every one dislikes each other a bit more because the girl just wanted to have fun. The good ol’ fun they always had back in the days, back in Equestria. Yeah, the more she thinks about it, the more Pinkamena Diane Pie sounds like the right choice to stop making her friends unhappy…
  1177. > Or at least, that's what she convinces herself of.
  1178. > Rainbow Dash flies toward them and points the remnant of the old man, “So, Uhm, what are we gonna do with… I mean, who was he anyway?”
  1179. > Pinky answers, “…He was Junior’s grandfather and-”
  1180. > Rarity jerks back up, startling Applejack, “THE OLD MAN WAS MASTER’S FATHER?”—She manages to lift herself back up and magically wrest the shovel out of Rainbow Dash’s hooves to smash her face again—“WAKE. UP. RARITY. WAKE. UP-”
  1181. > Applejack tries to tackle her again but Rarity was prepared this time, she strafes and Applejack lands face first on the sand. Rainbow Dash, using the distraction to her advantage, flies toward the shovel and grabs the handle with her mouth, pulling away with her wings, engaging Rarity in a tug-of-war between wings and magic.
  1182. > “Let go of it you…”—a flash of green passes through her eyes and her voice lowers drastically—“BRRRRUUUTE!”
  1183. > Her horn’s magic starts to darken into shades of electric violet and glowing neon green. Cinder smoke comes out of her neck, below her collar, proof of how much electricity is passing through it, heating the metal until it burns her coat; also proof of how much she cares about it.
  1184. > Rainbow Dash, panicking, decides to push instead of pulling, accelerating the shovel’s speed.
  1185. > *PLUNCRACK*
  1186. > The shovel lands with enough force to break its dry wooden shaft. The metal bends more precisely on Rarity’s outline this time.
  1187. > “He… hehe, Tweet tweet… Little… bir-”
  1188. > Her face plops down gracefully on the sand, dragging her body along into the sweet embrace of Morpheus’ arms.
  1189. >
  1190. > Applejack flares up in anger, taking the wooden shaft in her hooves and shoving it in front of Dash’s face, which had landed meanwhile, “WHAT THE HAY WERE YOU THINKIN’ RAINBOW DASH?!”
  1191. > “I thought, I thought that… I…”
  1192. > “WELL, OBVIOUSLY, yah. Thought. wrong! That could as well have snapped her neck!”
  1193. > Rainbow Dash’s pupils shrink, her ears glues on her skull; her wings, held tightly on her barrel. She was getting more and more fearful of her friend.
  1194. > “I didn’t want to have Nightmare Rarity appearing and, and… I had to calm her down and then I remembered what Starlight did, and…”
  1195. > Applejack thrust the broken shovel on the Pegasus’ barrel.
  1196. > “’ND you panicked Rainbow Dash! That’s what you did!”
  1197. > She holds the shovel’s parts with her hooves and looks down, submissively,
  1198. > Applejack walks closer to her, puts her orange hooves on her blue shoulders and whispers, “Now listen to me Dash, we don’t need no fancy magic mumbo-jumbo to get back to Equestria, we don’t need Twilight or Starlight. They wanna send Fluttershy away? Fine by me. It hurt mah heart to say this, but the gall can’t do anything on her own. If we want to get back home one day, we have'ta keep our strength and play the role of the good lil’ slave. And breaking tools mean punishment, you hear me?”
  1199. > Rainbow Dash nods, sadness invading her face progressively.
  1200. > “Luckily for us, their plan of using a delusional human to sneak Shy out backfired so much, a broken shovel’s going to be the least of our… Master’s… Concern. We just hav’tah bear through the punishment, and keep digging. Ah just know there’s a portal under our hooves, I can feel it in mah guts… After all, we’ve been diggin’ dirt and sand for months now, and so far, the soil yielded nuthing.
  1201. > Applejack tries to smile reassuringly, but is not very successful at it, “And when we do find one, we keep our mouth shut and sneak out all at once and stomp it down. That’s the plan…”
  1202. > Rainbow Dash silently nods. It wasn't the first time they discussed the plan, and indeed, it was better to destroy it, since every other portal were closed. Another one opening could very well be the downfall of Equestria, and they knew that between friendship, and their home, even though the choice was heartbreaking, they would need to abandon their friends here, until Equestria rebuild itself and decide rescue the rest of the Equestria at a later date.
  1203. > The last thing Rarity remembers before falling unconscious, besides the obvious birds, was begging for Luna to come and free her from this nightmare.
  1204. ***************************************************************************
  1205. > Pinky Pie suddenly emerges from the empty bucket, startling her friends.
  1206. > On the other hand, you have nearly browned your underwear. The skittish angel neighs and nickers, throws a drape that came from God knows where over the jeep, and when she pulls it back, the back seats are filled with fuel, food and water.
  1207. > That is definitively witchcraft if you have ever seen any. You point her.
  1208. “What manner of bewitchment is that?! Exodus-”
  1209. > “Anon, your hands!”
  1210. “…”
  1211. > Now that you look at them… You already had bleeding blisters even before smashing the old man… And even before that, you touched the harness, the coat of those mares, and then you have been nailing dirty nails on dirty hooves all day long. You pulled a rope, nearly ripping your hands off, you poured holy water, you held a blazing cherub with them; you held an artifact, most likely soiled by the demons; you held on to the dirty ledge after manipulating all those rods and the wheel. You touched the dirtied coat of an angel, you were pulled by the dirty wheel, only to run while holding Icarus’ dirty coat shortly after…
  1212. > Your hands are the most graphic things you have ever seen, without any doubts, it will get infected, badly.
  1213. “Now that you mention it… I would really like some bandages and disinfectant if you can spare any. But I’m sure with your angel powers you’ll be able to heal those flesh wounds, right?”
  1214. > The Pegasus was rummaging through a med-kit.
  1215. > ‘Was’
  1216. > She froze.
  1217. >
  1218. > A horned lilac angel approaches you; the Pegasus translates, “Anonymous… Are you really relying on angels, for mere flesh wounds, like you said so yourself?”
  1219. > Good point there, you could do without, but… Demons may take many shapes, some are fallen angels and some are the souls of twisted mortals. Both are great at deceiving…
  1220. “I thought angels were always supposed to help mortals in need of assistance? I mean, Your very reason to exist is to love humans as much as you love our Lord almighty,”
  1221. > She smirks, “Only lambs of God, are you?”
  1222. > Touché, but, she can say his name, that’s a pretty good sign, yet.
  1223. “Are you the one that decides whether or not I am? Do you have the authority to judge something of this importance?”
  1224. > She is pushed in a corner and she knows it.
  1225. > The Pegasus takes the bottle of disinfectant out and cherub Fluttershy gently flies up to your hands.
  1226. > The horned Unicorn looks at her purple friend. In your mind, they are both purple… Just of different shade. You should find a way to differentiate them. Oh right, one of them have wings, but you should at least know their names.
  1227. “May this mortal be bestowed the gift of knowing your names?”
  1228. > “Twilight… Sparkle,”
  1229. > Her voice was weak… It looked as if her coat was fading to gray.
  1230. > “Starlight Glimmer,” says the other.
  1231. > She was in pristine condition, proud and haughty. The duo worries you greatly, something doesn’t feel right.
  1232. > Cherub Fluttershy lands and gently rubs her muzzle against your wrist, the horned angels’ gaze meet but you do not see it as you move your own toward the cherub. A bucket of water with a rag is besides her, she hovers, level with your face, and hints that she wants to clean your visage; you nod and close your eyes. The wet and tepid rag feels chilly once it touches your warm skin. It is soothing.
  1233. >
  1234. > Starlight and Twilight use as much magic as they can; their poker faces were so great you didn’t notice that, being magically suppressed and trying to extract foreign matters out of your wounds was excruciating enough, but their own collar shocked them for inappropriate usage of magic.
  1235. > Fluttershy distracts you, “Anon… Why are you helping us?”
  1236. “Because it is the last thing I can do to earn my redemption…”
  1237. > “But you wouldn’t want to be deceived by demons, right?”
  1238. > That is true, it would be the pinnacle of your mistakes.
  1239. > So far.
  1240. > And you are still in Hell.
  1241. “Mhm-hm…”
  1242. > A purple maned angel starts to screech in Enochian, yelling at the pink witch. She takes cover behind Icarus and an orange angel. You feel a vague familiar feeling of them, have you seen them before?
  1243. > “But even God makes mistakes you know?” Says the cherub, plunging the dirtied towel into the clean water, pulling out a now clean towel out of dirtied water.
  1244. > Her words shake you to your very core, but maybe it is a test… Or she is a demon and you are going to smack a bitch very soon, or she is an angel that is testing you.
  1245. > She continues, “I mean, was Lucifer a mistake? He rebelled against God and took a snake appearance to deceive Eve-”
  1246. “First,”—you take a deep breath since you are now quite displeased and will need to explain to pass the test—“Lucifer was second only to God, but he had been gifted with something the angels didn’t have. The potential to sin. You cannot be righteous or pious if crookedness and the impious do not exist… There are no means of comparison,”
  1247. > Do not mistake Satan, the Devil, the snake, and Lucifer. Because they are not the one and the same. Lucifer is a cherub, Satan is theorized to be Lucifer’s name after being cast out of heaven, the devil is another name for Satan and the snake is a fucking snake, period.
  1248. > She smiles her brightest smile; since you focus on her face, you fail to notice her legs shaking as she passes the towel on your hairy chest, cleaning the dirt that was stuck to the blood of your victim.
  1249. > You do notice, however, when the unholy bullet is pulled out of your shoulder.
  1250. >
  1251. > Archangel Twilight pushes an upside-down bucket behind you for you to sit on.
  1252. > You sit down and twirl her rope of burden around your right forearm, pulling cherub/demon Fluttershy toward you while leaving your hands free to be disinfected, sewn and bandaged.
  1253. “Second… God let-”
  1254. > A white horned angel starts to screech in Enochian and repeatedly hits her face with a shovel, forcing you to focus on her.
  1255. > Wasn't she screeching to the pink witch not long ago?
  1256. > The pink angel is definitively a witch. You remember there is some holy water on the holy hound, or jeep, as the humans call it…
  1257. > She is tackled by an orange angel and Icarus grabs the shovel. The white angel whines and cries in response.
  1258. > Twilight and Starlight glance at each other’s, Twilight shakes her head. Starlight nods. She cancels her magic and walks toward the trio, visibly pissed off, “For the love of…”
  1259. > You aren’t sure of what she says, but you see her lifting a bucket and-
  1260. > *DONG*
  1261. > And being very effective with it…
  1262. >
  1263. > Cherub/demon Fluttershy rubs her muzzle on your face. You focus on her.
  1264. “Second… God let Lucifer act, why do you think he did?”
  1265. > You told her that he had the potential to sin. And if he does sin, the point of comparison is created. That is what God wanted; she should know that much if she is a demon and she would know the answer whether she is an angel or a demon…
  1266. > She places a strand of hair behind her left ear, mimicking human behavior; she smiles with closed eyes.
  1267. > “Oh, I don’t know, you tell me Anonymous, after all, you… You should know, don’t you?”
  1268. > …
  1269. > You are completely lost.
  1270.  “You don’t know…? But I should…?”
  1271. > Demon/Cherub Fluttershy is having a cold sweat, even though she is dehydrated.
  1272. > The more you think about it… The less you think you are in Hell actually, maybe you are just talking to… Ponies?
  1273. > You vaguely remember a distant sinful past… There were screaming, blood, feathers… Were you not shooting at humans back then?
  1274. > You shrug the thought off. You always lose your composure when you think about the past…
  1275. “So, tell me, Che-rub Fluttershy… What was Lucifer’s angel rank again?”
  1276. > The Pegasus translates, you intensely watch her ears. They flicker backward.
  1277. > Archangel Twilight speaks but you raise your hand in her direction, she stops.
  1278. “Forgive my insolence, but I asked cherub Fluttershy, are you telling me that as a cherub, she cannot answer such a simple question? That’s blasphemous!”
  1279. > Demon/Cherub Fluttershy takes a deep breath in; the other horned angel comes back and resumes her healing, pulling the skin to close slits on your hands, expertly moving the disinfectant before stitching the skin with a needle.
  1280. > The Pegasus opens her eyes with conviction, “Well you said that Lucifer was second to none but God, so he must have been a Seraphim, correct?”
  1281. > Lucifer was a cherub, and Archangel Michael defeated him once, he was an archangel, second lowest tier of angels. Also, the correct term is ‘a seraph’. Besides, she must have said that on the premise that as a cherub, she has the second lowest rank under God… Reusing your own words… That is highly suspicious… You are going to test her instead.
  1282. “Then what was his role?”
  1283. > Guarding the Lord’s throne.
  1284. > “To sin, otherwise, why would God let him-”
  1285. > You cut her short, you were going to corner her with her own words.
  1286. “But you said that even God made mistakes before… Are you telling me he made a mistake by creating Lucifer knowing exactly he would betray him? If he was made to betray him, wouldn’t it mean that God didn’t make any mistake since he did betray him?”
  1287. > You pull the rope closer, your nose practically boops hers. You are glaring at her with less than holy intents.
  1288. “Final question, what is the role of cherubs?”
  1289. > The Pegasus translates; you can see panic gaining them all.
  1290. > They may not be angels, but maybe they are not demons after all…
  1291. > Otherwise, they would have already attacked you. Depending on her answer, you will…
  1292. ***************************************************************************
  1293. > Fluttershy is clearly panicking.
  1294. > “What is he saying?” Whispers Twilight.
  1295. > “She’s contradicting herself, if Lucifer's role was to betray God, how could he have made a mistake?”
  1296. > The human pulls her closer to him and speaks.
  1297. > “Finale question, what’s the role of cherubs?”
  1298. > Twilight knows that it is not cherubs, but cherubim; humanity and humans, cherubim and cherubs.
  1299. > If she speaks, it is all over, but Fluttershy doesn’t know anything else than what Twilight gave her! She never thought that this muscled and slow human would know his religion so much… She always thought he must have been taught through religious institutions rather than learning from the books themselves!
  1300. > Her months of careful planning are being reduced to naught, and there is nothing she can do about it! Cherubs’ role is unclear from what Twilight managed to learn. They are both the guardian of Eden’s garden and directly serve God, but she never said it to her friend!
  1301. > Fluttershy answers, “Cherubs, like all angel, are there to give assistance to mortals in need of help…”
  1302. > Twilight shakes her head, it’s all over…
  1303. ***************************************************************************
  1304. > They are clearly not demons, nor angels.
  1305. > They are Ponies, you are not in Hell, and you remember everything.
  1306. 'Madnonymous'
  1307. > The laboratories.
  1308. > The slaughters…
  1309. > You have been drenched out of your wits like an animal to quell the night terrors.
  1310. 'Madnonymous'
  1311. > You have created and lead movements against Ponies slavery.
  1312. > Yet you have been captured by zealous pro Ponies slaver and…
  1313. 'Madnonymous'
  1314. > They captured your daughter, you know they did things to her they did not do to you.
  1315. 'MADNONYMOUS'
  1316. > The yellow Pony is petrified in fear, but you are not even aware of your malevolent glaring, as you are staring at your past, not at her.
  1317. > One day, you were reunited, but…
  1318. 'Madnonymous'
  1319. > They poured gasoline on her and had a box of matches…
  1320. 'MADNONYMOUS'
  1321. > She is quivering on her haunches; your traits are deformed by what can only be defined as *madness.*
  1322. > There were grinders, sandpaper grinders everywhere that dreadful day…
  1323. 'Madnonymous'
  1324. > Either it was the grinder or it was the match they said.
  1325. 'MADNONYMOUS'
  1326. 'MADNONYMOUS'
  1327. > You remember someone lighting a match and throwing it.
  1328. 'MADNONYMOUS'
  1329. 'MADNONYMOUS'
  1330. > And she…
  1331. 'MADNONYMOUS'
  1332. > And she thanked you. God… What have they done to her…?
  1333. > MADNONYMOUS! MADNONYMOUS! MADNONYMOUS! MADNONYMOUS! MADNONYMOUS!
  1334. >
  1335. > Everything happened because of these Ponies… You remember these ones are called *Elements of harmony*. They fiddled with a dimensional portal. They said they were not supposed to land in 'this' human world… If Ponies did not exist, there wouldn't be Pony slavers, there wouldn't be Ponies movement, and there wouldn't be Pony slaver, and… And, Lily…
  1336. > The white angel screams and speaks in Equestrian, you remember having learned it.
  1337. > “THE OLD MAN WAS MASTER’S FATHER?”
  1338. “…”
  1339. > “WAKE. UP. RARITY. WAKE. UP-”
  1340. > Her voice pulls you out of your madness. And you realize, albeit a tad late, that you have a mare that is one hair close from falling apart, just in front of your face. You look away, now was not the time to pop a boner.
  1341. > God, what have they done to you…?
  1342. >
  1343. > You, as humans, were the one that started it all. Slavery is from human origin. Racial war is of human origin. Hate crimes are of human origin.
  1344. > Genocides are from human origin.
  1345. > You remember your mother’s voice. “Remember Anon, A circle is only complete when the outcome is the origin,”
  1346. > That voice was hers, you remember, you remember so much now…
  1347. > Eh, your origin was a fucked up upbringing, but your daughter was raised with care. You even spoiled her on the side every now and then.
  1348. > Who wouldn’t love their child?
  1349. > Your father, apparently.
  1350. > *PLUNCRACK*
  1351. “…”
  1352. >
  1353. > “Remember Anon, A circle is only complete when the outcome is the origin,”
  1354. > You finally understand these words…
  1355. > You turn your gaze toward the yellow Pony and smile. If you want to break the circle, you will have to destroy the origin.
  1356. “Close enough… I will gladly accept Cherub Fluttershy’s help,”
  1357. > Everyone freezes.
  1358. > Oh no, did you spoke in Equestr-
  1359. > Wait, you know that you make scary faces when you remember your past, and that is what you have been doing for a while. If that is the case, then… You know they will stay stuck on *afraid* mode unless you *reboot* them. You are not Bible mouth, you are not Madnonymous, even less Tearful waif.
  1360. > You are Anonymous, a blacksmith, not a slave. You were blaming yourself for what happened, but that was not your fault.
  1361. > You remember the shrink’s words ‘As a psychologist, I’ll tell you that no matter what amount of pain you inflict yourself, you have to forgive yourself first to move on’.
  1362. > You weren’t quite there yet, but you don’t hold yourself responsible anymore. It was a step forward, a step out of your past… It felt so good to be yourself again.
  1363. > You take a deep breath in, as you enjoy the pleasure of feeling your sanity coming back. But now, they are unsure whether you are Madnonymous, or Bible mouth… Well, Bible mouth would torch Pinky, Madnonymous would get illusions and shit. Bible mouth is much easier to deal with, so you will play the role.
  1364. “But now, I have a pressing matter to attend to…”
  1365. > You lift yourself and head toward the jerry cans scattered around the mine.
  1366. > They have already healed your shoulder enough that it shouldn’t bother you too much. And at least your hands’ skin isn’t shredded anymore. They are bandaged and disinfected.
  1367. “Exodus 22, 18: Do not allow a sorceress to live,”
  1368. > You know she is not a witch, and threatening to burn her alive contradicts with Exodus 22, do not mistreat foreigners. But you have a numbing anger that screams inside of you. You know they are trying to use you for their own plans. You are done being used by others. Your father did, the slavers did, and even now the Ponies you tried to protect, the Ponies that you didn’t want humans to enslaves, the Ponies that cost you your daughter…
  1369. > Are trying to take advantage of you, Anonymous?
  1370. > You swear you are going to ask them to hold a grenade.
  1371. > They will use their mouth.
  1372. > Ponies do not know what grenades are…
  1373. ***************************************************************************
  1374. > Twilight and Starlight grimace in agony as the human moves further than their magic’s effective range. Fluttershy, meanwhile, is still sitting still, quivering, having irregular breaths and thick beads of sweats forming on her coat.
  1375. > “What, what did he…”
  1376. > Twilight cannot finish her sentence but the Pegasus understands.
  1377. > She shrugs “Something about Exodus 22 and sorcer- Oh dear, he was pointing Pinky Pie when he first said that…”
  1378. > She quickly flies over to the human to lecture him. She is too far for Starlight and Twilight to hear exactly what is said, but they had other priorities, mainly, catching their breath as smoke kept coming out of their collars.
  1379. > Pinky Pie slowly approaches them with a bucket of clean water and rags. They levitate them, soak them and apply the soothing cold water on their neck, hoping the water would dribble between their skin and the collar. Relief spreads on their face as the tepid water cools their scorching collars, which brings a shy smile on Pinky’s face. The situation was extremely bad, but, if they were happy, then it, even if barely, lifts a teeny weeemsy bit of burden off her pink shoulders.
  1380. > Starlight sees Twilight trying to dip the rag in the bucket again, but she misses it completely. Worried, but wanting to avoid being too straightforward, she tiptoes around her question, “Twilight… How did you…”
  1381. > She hints at the upside-down bucket using her eyes.
  1382. > “Oh… Right. I just… Endured it…”
  1383. > Twilight is looking at Pinky but was answering Starlight. Although Starlight is beside Pinky, Twilight is definitively looking at her pink friend. The Unicorn grinds her teeth hard, very hard, as she realises Twilight is now blind, and in her anger, she turns around and bucks her mentor down.
  1384. >
  1385. > Pinky quickly steps between them to shrill at Starlight. “HEY! WHAT WAS THAT FOR?!”
  1386. > Starlight rolls her eyes, “Pinky, Twilight, over here, is blind because she used too much life force, she’s literally draining her own life because her magic pool’s depleted!”
  1387. > Pinky clearly has no clues what that meant.
  1388. > Starlight face hoof herself and grunts, “Urgh! It’s like… Her stomach’s empty and it’s starting to digest itself! And we need her magic to open a new portal!”
  1389. > A moment passes; Twilight is writhing on the ground. Pinky tries to say something, but only tears are coming out. She groans and ends up taking the rag to draw two bars on Twilight’s cutie mark, before throwing it back in the bucket.
  1390. > Twilight now has a *=* drawn over her cutie mark.
  1391. > Pinky Pie stares dagger at Starlight, which is taken aback by the brutality in her eyes, even if veiled by her tears. However, she is much too offended at Pinky’s jab at her past to even care about Pinky’s state of mind.
  1392. > “Why would you even-”
  1393. > Starlight is cut short by Pinky sliding on the sand and closing in, looking at her squarely in the eyes, as she shrills in her face, “I don’t see any difference between ‘old’ Starlight and ‘today’s’ Starlight!”
  1394. > Starlight is baffled by the poison in Pinky’s voice, but her survival instinct kicks in, and she slowly walks back. Pinky, in response, slowly walks forward.
  1395. > The Pink mare shoves her fellow slave back with her hooves each time she was getting too close to her, “Do you even consider US as your FRIENDS, or as a MEAN to get what’s been stolen from you! Hun!? HUN!?”
  1396. > Starlight is pushed one last time, and she falls down on the ground, flabbergasted. Pinky lowers her head to bark at her face.
  1397. > “SHE’S DYING ON US AND THE ONLY THING YOU CAN THINK OF IS BUCKING HER, BECAUSE HER BATTERY'S OUT OF JUUUUUICE?!”
  1398. > “N-NO! It’s… It’s not-”
  1399. > “QUIIIIEEEEEEEEEEETTT!”
  1400. > Starlight always knew that, if Pinky was able to know everyone’s personalities, she must also be able to hurt them where they are at their weakest, and today, her fears were proven founded. She realises that, the friends she so desperately yearned for in her life, are abandoning her… Or was it the other way around?
  1401. >
  1402. > Pinky snorts and wipes her tears off.
  1403. > Enough was enough.
  1404. > She draws her head back, and speaks.
  1405. > “Old Pinky died today, Pinkamena Diane Pie is born. No more laughs, no more parties. No more friends and no more pain...”
  1406. > She glares at Starlight with malevolent intents before coiling her mane around her ex-friend’s neck and pulls upward, forcing her to hold on to the ground with her forelegs, or risk being choked.
  1407. > It also allows her to literally talk face to face, “And just because we were friends once, I’ll tell you this, Starlight Glimmer. Out of any Pony I know, you’re the one that’s the closest to humans. You think like them, you act like them. You feel empty inside and because of that, you force others to accept you. To accept your way of thinking, because you’re unable to think otherwise,”
  1408. > She snorts hot air on her face and let go of her neck, letting her fall down on the sand.
  1409. > She turns around and brings the bucket closer to Twilight with her mane.
  1410. > “I’m glad my sister isn’t here to see you right now…”
  1411. > “H-HEY! That’s going a bit far Pinky!”
  1412. > Pinkamena ignores her and turns sideways. She takes the rag, wrings it out of excess water and clean Twilight’s coat with it. The princess is too weak to even respond, she is not even startled by the sudden tepid water cooling her warm coat under the blazing desert’s sun.
  1413. >
  1414. > Starlight sighs and lowers her head low.
  1415. > Still, she could help Pinky clean Twilight’s coat, right?
  1416. > Holding on that hope, she walks toward them.
  1417. >
  1418. > “Look… I’m sor-”
  1419. > “A corpse shouldn’t talk…”
  1420. > “W-what…?”
  1421. > Pinkamena turns her right eye and jadedly looks at Starlight, “I don’t mind working with you to get back to Equestria, but I’m not doing it out of compassion… Also, you’re dead to me Starlight, that’s why corpses shouldn’t talk,”
  1422. > Starlight stays silent, completely devastated by that one sentence
  1423. > “N-no, please Pinky wait-”
  1424. > Pinkamena uses her tail to smack her face.
  1425. > “My name’s Pinkamena Diane Pie, Starlight, and I’ve said a corpse shouldn’t talk… You’re dead to me, but Pinky Pie is simply dead; dead to everyone. Old Pinky died today, Pinkamena Diane Pie is born. No more laughs, no more parties. No more friends... And no more pain, I’ve just said that, weren’t you listening?”
  1426. > Starlight shivers at the word, ‘die’. There was no such term in Equestrian as far as she knows…
  1427. > Twilight painfully puts her forelegs on her friend’s shoulder, “Please… Pinky…”
  1428. > Her mane barely puffs up and she starts to cry once more, “Please Twilight, so many Ponies died… I’ve been hurting so much, I can’t do it anymore… I, I just can’t…”
  1429. > Twilight, unable to hold her head up, leans on her friend’s barrel, “Then I’m… Going to bring you back… One day… Promise me… You’ll come back… Then, Pin…”
  1430. > She loses consciousness. Her tail whitens and her cutie marks fade. Pinky Pie only buries her face in the fading brittle purple mane and lets her tears flow down in silent sobs.
  1431. >
  1432. > Starlight tries to leave since heavily emotional situations are uncomfortable to her, but Pinky’s tail holds hers down, preventing her from moving away.
  1433. > “Starlight, Twilight’s so weak right now, what do you think they will do… With her?” Pinky squeezes her friend tightly as she finishes her sentence; as if letting go would doom her. As if it was the last time she would be able to squeeze her friend.
  1434. > Twilight, limp as a corpse, does not react. She barely breaths against her friend’s dry and dirty pink barrel; the only proof that she is still alive.
  1435. > Starlight understands the pause and her choice of words. Pinky was afraid that they would get rid of Twilight; because they would do something with her, not to her. She has also heard many a tales of what happens to slaves that are unable to work; the dreadful knackers, amputation and transformation into mere sex object, or breeding mares. Thankfully, no one has ever seen or heard of any Pony that met such fate ever since Ponies have been enslaved. They were just threats the slavers told them to keep them in line.
  1436. > At least, that's what she hopes… Well, during the months she’s been here in the mine, no one ever died of exhaustion.
  1437. > They died for other reasons.
  1438. > And they were all humans…
  1439. > She trots up to Pinkamena and puts a reassuring hoof on her, “Everything will depend on how we manage our Master’s anger… The plan was to blame everything on the human, but I’d… I’d never thought he would go as far as completely destroying the largest truck and burn down his first colt…”
  1440. > She sits down beside her friend and sighs heavily, taking a rag and resuming Pinky's work, “The plan was so simple… Manipulate the broken human and turn his religious zeal into a rebellion. Creating the perfect way to ignite the fuse, using Junior’s hatred and ambition against his grandfather… But he wasn’t supposed to… He should have understood sooner that obeying Junior would have caused him to sin. Everything went downhill at that moment. Burning the colt alive, wrecking the machine… But the worst is that…”
  1441. > She gulps, Pinkamena notices her discomfort.
  1442. > “I’m afraid he was playing dumb all along…”
  1443. > Fluttershy trots up to them and sits, giving Starlight a helping hoof with the second rag, “He wasn’t…”
  1444. > They look at her with as much enthusiasm as sarcasm can support.
  1445. > “It’s worse than that, girls… He came back to himself…”
  1446. > “What do you mean?”
  1447. > Shy turns toward Pinkamena, still shaking.
  1448. > “He was gone in his religion… But he became the man he was before being sent here, for better or worse…”
  1449. > Pinkamena titters, “And let me guess, it’s worse than Madnonymous?”
  1450. > She stays quiet.
  1451. > The element of laughter bursts into laughter, surprising the other mares.
  1452. > “We’ve got a princess of friendship and magic that has lost: her title, her magic and now, she's losing her friends. The element of kindness' going to leave her friends because she's soooo kind. Ironically, the Pony that enslaved a whole village is using slavers' methods to escape slavery. The element of generosity's selfishly trying to steal the free seat of the jeep through her bombastic drama. The element of loyalty's hurting her friends. The element of honesty's plotting behind our back and the element of laughter's sick of trying to be funny all the time…”
  1453. > She giggles for a while. Fluttershy is resigned, Starlight’s downright scared.
  1454. > She calms down into a serene smile, “Who would have thought that there was a worse future than those where Rainbow Dash wouldn't have succeeded on her first sonic rainboom…”
  1455. > The three of them stay silent. Applejack continues to scares Rainbow Dash with her plan and Rarity is having grim and dark nightmares involving glue factories.
  1456. ***************************************************************************
  1457. Chapter 4, You are Madnonymous.
  1458. > Trolling that Pegasus is all good and fun, but once you are back with the rest of them, you get the feeling that something has happened while you were gone. Rebooting them by threatening to burn the pink Pony is useless now. The purple winged and horned Pony is whitening, and her friends are gloomy around her. One of them is unconscious and the two others are scheming something for sure.
  1459. “Are you so convinced that she's not a witch that you would put your life at risk?”
  1460. > “I... Yes,”
  1461. > “Very well...”
  1462. > You spotted a motorcycle and some ropes while foraging for Jerry cans. Pinky Pie, or at least, that is what she said the witch was called, packed quite an awful amount of food compared to the water she managed to gather. If you make some place here and there and reorganize the supplies, you will be able to tie a motorcycle on the jeep.
  1463. > In fact, that is exactly what there is in the jeep, food water, and fuel. You will need much, much more than that if you want to escape. Clothes, weapons, money, your slave contracts, somewhere to go, a compass or a map and much more, but the rest would be optional.
  1464. > You start to take out the food but a stallion comes running toward you with the broken, Heh, *holy gun.*
  1465. “Let me guess, he'll say I have to deal with the remaining hu-demons?”
  1466. > The Pegasus shrugs.
  1467. > The stallion slows down to a gait and breaths deeply, “P-Please human! You've got to deal with the other guards!”
  1468. > The Pegasus looks at you, curious.
  1469. “That's a yes...”
  1470. > Your hands have been cleaned, disinfected and bandaged; it will make it hard to shoot. Especially when the visor, the handle, and the canon are broken. Nonetheless, you take a look at the gun, to see if it is still usable. You open the magazine after tampering with it for a while. There are two bullets inside.
  1471. “How many demons left?”
  1472. > The Pegasus translates the number 7. You can speak Equestrian so you just play along to keep your image. You notice a crate of grenades besides the pineapples, inside, there are grenades with blue pins mixed in them. Blue pins grenades are fakes more often than not used in training.
  1473. > You conclude that either the pink Pony thought they were mini-pineapples, or the jeep was already loaded with grenades. Also, how come you have pineapples? Where the Hell did she found them? But right now, you need to deal with the guards, not with pineapples.
  1474. “Do they shoot you on sight?”
  1475. > “What do you mean?”
  1476. “You're nearly all winged angels, and right now, the situation's very chaotic, so are they shooting anyone that passes near them?”
  1477. > “No... Not unless we provoke them, I guess...”
  1478. > You hand the Pegasus a grenade while putting the gun’s strap around your chest.
  1479. “They will shoot me on sight and my holy gun is too defiled, it might be able to take two demons down but those holy pineapples will shatter anything around them once they're activated. About 10 meters radius,”
  1480. > She trots away, fearing for her life, you understand her reaction, if someone would show you something and tell you it is a bomb, you would probably have the same reflex.
  1481. “They explode after a few seconds...”
  1482. > You point the different parts of the grenade.
  1483. “You pull the ring and you MAINTAIN your grip right here, it's very important, you maintain the long pin AGAINST the body of the gre-holy pineapple. Because once the pin moves, you only have a few seconds to throw it, or distance yourself from it,”
  1484. > You kneel down to her level, to emphasise your words, and explain your plan to deal with the guards.
  1485. “They will shoot me long before I can be close enough to throw it at them, and if they see ME throwing the holy pineapples, they will scatter and the sacred bombs will never hit. If, however, you fly above them and throw it in their hell hound...”
  1486. > She raises her brows and slowly lifts her head, getting the gist of your idea.
  1487. “Hold the holy pineapple in your mouth, press your tongue against the pin, ask another angel to pull the ring, drop it and scatter. Besides, you will need to be quick, otherwise, you will be too close to them and then they will shoot you, out of suspicion,”
  1488. > She opens her mouth to answer but she looks at the stallion and nods.
  1489. > “I'll do it… For God…”
  1490. “For God... ”
  1491. > She yells at the stallion and they both leave, leaving you alone with every grenade, having taken none… They come back and take a blue pin grenade.
  1492. efangelist.files.wordpress.com/2014/03/grenade-and-pin.jpg
  1493. > Seeing them taking a blue one nearly gives you a heart attack, so you stop them.
  1494. “The blue ones are more likely to explode earlier than you want... Humans should handle them,”
  1495. > “Oh, well, thank you, Anonymous,”
  1496. > You nod and look at them flying away after they switched for a real grenade. You lied to them, but you were lied to for months. Plus, if they ever want to fight back against the guards when you are gone, they will use the real one first but then… Hehehe.
  1497. > You look around; you are in the mine entrance… There are an awful amount of vehicles, You will take a jeep, but it leaves tracks in the sand. You would prefer to take the motorcycle but it might not have enough space for supplies or fuel. You should probably take the jeep, extra fuel, less food, more water, one motorcycle. A shovel, a sledgehammer, some drapes, or even better, a tent, and some weapons. But most importantly, you will need your and Fluttershy's slave contract. If the slaver still has it, he can legally claim that his slaves are stolen or missing.
  1498. > You prepare your jeep while making a mental plan, dropping the food out of the jeep.
  1499. > Let's see… The Ponies are eating less and drinking far more than you. Both you and she will probably easily last one week or two without food, but you desperately need to restore your hydration first and foremost…
  1500. > You steal a glance toward the mine’s water tank near the entrance. Slaves are gathered there, making a line. Water is usually rationed; it didn’t take long for opportunists to gather. It is extremely nice to see that most of them are ponies, and they aren’t barbaric like human to just pile on everyone at the same time.
  1501. > Leaving the jeep, you walk toward the water tank and, cutting in line, fill two bottles. You do not care about cutting in line as you got a gun and you are twice as big as most other humans, let alone the ponies, and you are well known as ‘Madnonymous’ so no one questions you.
  1502. > While you fill the bottles, you ponder. It's extremely convenient to have a big tank of water close to your slaves, where they can see it. It increases obedience and allows only short respites…
  1503. >
  1504. > Now that the bottles are filled, you make a bee-line toward Fluttershy, she needs to be re-hydrated as soon as possible. Not because she is in danger or anything, but while her body absorbs the water, you can think, and the water she will drink now will allow her to last longer before using the jeep’s water supply.
  1505. > She sees you approaching, and she starts to quiver. Once you are close to her, you kneel and open one of the bottles, before giving it to her. She eyes you fearfully before taking it carefully with her hooves. She does not drink though. You feel like rolling your eyes, but you need to keep your bluff, so you need to respect them.
  1506. “Deereenk!” You tell her in horrible Equestrian.
  1507. > She is even more scared than before; she looks at the lilac Pony.
  1508. > “He knows Equestrian? Since when?” The Latter asks.
  1509. > This is bad, you know that the Pink Pony and you were good friends, if she opens her mouth, your cover might be blown.
  1510. > You discreetly look at her, before glancing at Fluttershy. You are going to flee with her, which means that she is going to be at your mercy. You just hope the Pink Pony understands the threat and keeps her mouth shut.
  1511. > Luckily for you, she takes the hint, “You should drink Fluttershy, your body is frailer than ours and the water you will drink now won’t be from d-jeep’s reserve,”
  1512. > You look at the jeep, before raising a brow, as anyone that does not speak Equestrian would. Jeep was a human word after all. Also, the way she pronounced it was funny and cute…
  1513. > Fluttershy speaks up, “B-But-”
  1514. > “Fluttershy, he wants you to drink, so drink, follow the plan…”
  1515. > “B-But!”
  1516. > “WILL YOU DRINK ALREADY!?” Shrills the Earth Pony, surprising everyone. Forcing you to grab the water bottle in mid-air, as Fluttershy dropped it out of fear.
  1517. > Something must have snapped in her mind, you have never seen, or heard her angry at her friends before, she always preferred to sneak out of tense situations, and, if she needed to, would cry when she knew she was alone, or with you, who doesn’t speak Equestrian, and thus, wouldn’t talk about it to her friends.
  1518. > “Pinky…”—Starlight rolls her eyes—“Pinkamena, you can’t just-”
  1519. > “Scream orders and force people to do what you want them to do? Afraid someone’s going to trample your authority? Hun?”
  1520. > “W-What?”
  1521. > “Don’t you what me, miss; you know exactly what I’m talking about, do you think we don’t know why YOUR magic whirlpool or whatever’s never depleted? That’s because everyone else’s doing YOUR share of work will you’re smooching Master to gain his favors!”—Pinkamena raises her right hoof to prevent Starlight from cutting her—“Yeah, right, we all know it’s not about you, and the favors YOU’RE asking for concerns all of us. You know it, we know it, everyone knows it, but everyone’s afraid of you because they think you’re a snitch, AAAAAAND because of that, everyone respects you! WHILE I’M… I’M…”
  1522. > She does not finish her sentence. Instead, she shoves Twilight off her and on Starlight, quite carelessly. Starlight uses her magic to prevent the princess from falling on the ground.
  1523. > Pinkamena lifts herself, wipes the sand off her butt with her tail and leaves toward the mine in silence.
  1524. > Finally, you thought to yourself, the drama is over. You hand the water bottle back to your protégé, and this time, she obeys, she drinks. Deeply saddened by the situation. When the mare is far enough, Starlight breaks the silence.
  1525. > “What’s gotten into her? It’s not my fault if the Master came to me, I didn’t ask for all this attention on me-eee!”
  1526. > You stay silent; Fluttershy prefers to chug down the water instead of answering, since that gave her a very good reason to stay quiet.
  1527. > “I… I guess I do enjoy it a bit, being respected, but I’m also a victim here, and-and I’ve asked him to do something about our… Punishments, but he wouldn’t hear any of it,”
  1528. “…”
  1529. > Fluttershy stops drinking and turns around to look at her. Starlight realises something.
  1530. > “Oh, maybe… I should have mentioned it to you…?”
  1531. > Fluttershy, finishes the bottle and speaks up, “Why didn’t you?”
  1532. > Starlight, feeling the collar heating up again, decides, after a few hesitations, to let Twilight rest on her, and not on the dry sand, “W-Well, I…”
  1533. > Fluttershy puts her right hoof on Starlight’s shoulder, reassuringly, but maintains a stern face. She wanted answers, but would not judge her based on them. Starlight knew she was trapped, so she simply sighs, letting her shoulders slump down.
  1534. > Meanwhile, you open up the second bottle and hand it to Fluttershy. You are out of fucks to give about this anyway. You were getting out of here, and all this shit drama was making you lose your time. The yellow Pegasus looks at the water bottle, with big eyes, with apprehension.
  1535. “Deereenk!”
  1536. > She looks at you, she looks at Starlight, ironically now being the one needing reassurance.
  1537. “Deereenk...” You repeat.
  1538. > She shakes her head. You feel like kicking her muzzle in a ‘this is Sparta’ fashion, but you control yourself, you will have the last laugh in the end, oh yes you will… In any cases, you are not giving her water IF she is thirsty; you want to fill her belly with water so that your water supply can last a few more hours, like Pinky said. You should also be careful with water. Too much when dehydrated and underfed and her cells will bloat to compensate, reducing sodium in your blood. It is deadlier than dehydration simply because of the speed at which you are going to kill yourself.
  1539. > Yet, you do not know how much water they can hold in their stomach… Probably less than four liters, right? She already has two litters in her, so you will closely monitor her reaction as she drinks the other bottle.
  1540. “Deereenk, Cherub Fluttershy,”
  1541. > There is not even a hint of suggestion in your tone; she sees it in your eyes that you will not take no for an answer, and since she does not like your murderous stare she fearfully takes the bottle and opens her mouth to slowly swallow water again. You can see the pain she feels with each gulp, followed by a muffled whine. It is slow, plus, she swallows less and less water each time. It is painfully slow, but after half a liter you stop her and nod.
  1542. > You 'gently' take the water bottle, to not scare her, and head toward the water tank again.
  1543. > You can hear her eeping in fear from behind. A smile forces itself on your face, you were not going to fill the bottles and ask her to drink again. You were just going to take as much water bottles as possible in the jeep.
  1544. > You are sadist on the side, but you really enjoy it when they deserve or want the pain. You loathe bullying or free violence, violence is a tool, a mean, a last resort; not a goal or an answer. After all, you have led anti Ponies slavery movements, and you secretly find the little Ponies cute... Girly, cartoony, full of lovely colors, so innocent and pure.
  1545. > You are going to suck a dick before you admit it though.
  1546. > Would not be the first time anyway you bitterly think.
  1547. >
  1548. > Cutting in line again, you fill a good amount of bottles, since it is a tedious process you lose yourself in your thoughts again.
  1549. > The other slaves should understand to not mess with you, and keep their mouth shut, even if you cut in line, again. Well, the Ponies do, the others are just afraid because, well… You are really muscular compared to them. Also, you are the guy that was mumbling religious quotes all day long, the guy that woke the whole mine up with your night terrors; also, you just torched Junior with a smile on your face. But mostly, it is because you look like a normal human being right now, contrasting with the months of zombie behavior prior today. You are the sane ‘Madnonymous’, which was the one that constantly cried, which murdered Alexandro, and the one that strapped pickaxes on your forearms because you broke them both, to keep mining. The pain helped with the guilt you felt at that time…
  1550. > Yeah, the more you think about it, the more you would get out of the way of a guy like yourself. Especially the sane ones, because they lower your guard over time and can calmly explain the reason why they do some fucked up shit, while the insane one are easy to predict. They will do something crazy and stupid as soon as they can, but not the sane ones like yourself…
  1551. > You have been gaining your life with the forge. An extremely outcast and weird job in the 21th century, you agree, but in your eyes, there is nothing better than hammering a piece of metal to clear your mind. The impact on your muscles, the heat of the forge, the subtlety of restoring antique firearms, or forging your own tools, being self-sufficient, except for the raw materials, of course; everything was just great.
  1552. > You nearly spilled water while you were day-dreaming. So you switch to another bottle, and another, and another…
  1553. >
  1554. > You decide that after twenty bottles, it should be fine. There was still another twenty left and there were fewer than fifty human slaves in the mine. Most of them are still a few layers down in the mine. Giving a water bottle to a Pony is mocking them anyway, they cannot hold it, open it or drink with them effectively; they prefer to share a bucket, just for convenience.
  1555. > There are even have *Ponies water only* buckets. Some kind of none written rule between humans, Ponies and other Equestrian creatures... You have already drunk a bucket of water yourself so you are fine but you are afraid that since you drank too much, you will suffer acute hyponatremia, or, in English, low sodium presence in blood due to external variables, in this case, drinking too much water. In the worst case scenario, the additional water will bloat your brain and crush it against the skull since it is a hard surface, leading to permanent brain damage, but that is just the worst case scenario. Nonetheless, you remember where the Ponies salt blocs are, and after putting the water bottles safely in the jeep, you enter the supply tent and grab the first salt bloc you can find.
  1556. > You start to lick the 'intact' side. The raw salt burns your tongue, but you ignore it. You are just incredibly pissed off about your situation right now, delayed with soap opera drama, losing months of your life because of your grief… Needing to lick a bloc of salt because of your delusional self… Yeah no, you are not going to dwell or wallow on that. You are going to make them pay, with the overdue interest.
  1557. > A human enters the tent and faces you, licking the block salt, dead serious. There is only one thing left to do in that case, and you know what it is.
  1558. >
  1559. > You keep licking while staring at him like a predator, completely naked, except for a dirty piece of underwear.
  1560. “Envying the bloc?”
  1561. > You grin and rub your crotch with your other hand. He slowly backs away and leaves the tent. When the flaps close, you can hear him skitter away.
  1562. > A rumor about Madnonymous spread that day, and the salt blocks became much less tasty for the Ponies ever since then.
  1563. >
  1564. > You will bring a bloc as there was none in the jeep. Could always be useful...
  1565. > Inside the supply tents, there is everything anyone could need. Guns, clothes, food, equipment, the whole thing. It is also one of the only places you can gather what was not in the jeep. First of all, clothes.
  1566. > You look around and find several piles of clothes, you take some with pockets, you do not care about what you are going to wear, as long as it fits, it should be useful. Anyway, wearing clothes is extremely important in the desert, the sand could rasp your skin, and the sun will give you sunburns. The worst thing is how sweating in the desert is practically useless.
  1567. > So, sweat is water, when the water takes the energy from your warm body, it evaporates, in other word, the water takes the energy of your body, or heat, and use it to expand, it evaporates. Now, the desert sun gives so much energy to your sweat that it uses the warmth of the sun, instead of your own body, to evaporate. In other words, you are sweating without cooling off.
  1568. > Now, clothes are important in the desert because air itself is a great isolator. If there is a small pocket of air between your skin and your clothes, that air is not going to be heated by the sun, therefore, the amount of heat your sweat will absorb will mostly come from your very own body. And when that happens, you will cool off.
  1569. >
  1570. > Keeping that in mind, you take Minotaur size clothes, since they are slightly bigger than you. Nothing fancy really, you wear some kind of white Arab robe with long sleeves and long pants. Jeans-something jacket used by militaries, or rebel groups. Lots of pockets for grenades and ammo clips, although it is a bit dusty-
  1571. “… Wait, dust?”
  1572. > You would have understood if it would have been sand, but dust has a peculiar unmistakable smell to it. You take the clothes off to look at the clothes label, and it makes you laugh.
  1573. “Fucking wool, they’re trapping the supplies…”
  1574. > You knew that the Master was smart, but smart enough to think that far ahead, putting traps in case one of the slaves tries to flee? Now that was on a whole new level of smart. But now, what kind of tissue you want right now… Cotton is warm, but if wet, you are going to freeze because water evaporates extremely slowly under it, even in the desert. So cotton is best for deserts because if you sweat under it, it will take its time to properly evaporates and cool your body, but being drenched in it would be problematic.
  1575. > Wool is fucking warm. Always warm. Even in the rain, you will stay warm. So basically, wearing wool clothes during the day, in the desert, and calling it a suicide is an understatement. But deserts are freezing cold during the night, so having a set of wool might actually be useful.
  1576. > Polyester, nylon and whatnot, you don’t know… But you know you do not want wool that keeps heat or cotton that keeps humidity in your underwear or socks. Still, there’s a probably many reasons why cotton is so popular…
  1577. > You pucker your lips, if only you had access to internet to make a quick goggle search… You pride yourself in your knowledge, but even you do not know everything, not that you weren’t trying.
  1578. > Well, Cotton socks and underwear it is.
  1579. > You look more carefully at the clothes, and decide to wear a black Arab dress, robe, whatever; a long pair of pants and an Arab hat that covers your nape and ears, all made of cotton. You also take three pairs of underwear and socks made of nylon, the same jacket as before, a pair of boots and a complete set of wool.
  1580. > The boots should not really matter; you will be driving for a while, and the worst case scenario…
  1581. > Well, it is better to have feet bleeding as the friction caused by the boot grinds it like sandpaper than wasting your chance of escaping. So, to resume…
  1582. > Deserts during the day are hot, during the night they are freezing. Wool is good during the night. Cotton during the day, wool during the night, best plan ever.
  1583. > Lily didn’t like wool…
  1584. >
  1585. > You wrap everything (except the block of salt) in a thick woolen blanket.
  1586. > You hear explosions in the distance.
  1587. > No gunshots.
  1588. >
  1589. > SEEMS like the Pegasus succeeded; you doubt you will find any usable weapons except for this cabinet now. Luckily, you are the first that knows about it. Knowing the human race, as soon as they realize the guards are dead, they will try something.
  1590. > Now it depends on whether or not the ‘something’ involves taking over the mine until the owner comes back, while being outnumbered 10 Equestria to 1 human, or trying to form an alliance against the owner.
  1591. > You seriously hope they are not stupid enough for that…
  1592. > You are seriously depressed because you know they are going to do exactly that.
  1593. > There are absolutely NO means to restrict the Pegasus, and most of the ponies are Pegasus, it is an open mine and the metal fence all around it is mostly for decoration and to keep the desert wildlife away. Ponies can buck them down and humans can climb them up. So why didn’t anyone tried to escape before?
  1594. > Because you’re in the middle of sweet fucking nowhere and because most humans are natives from colder areas of the globe. They can barely handle the heat, even less survive in the desert.
  1595. > Ponies are covered in fur, so it is even worse for them. But no matter how you look at it, you fail to see the point of keeping Ponies. It might save a few bucks to have Pegasus flying up and down the mine with buckets of dirt, Earth Ponies digging specific areas and loading the truck instead of doing it with machinery; and Unicorns able to do both jobs. But the maintenance cost would probably cut the profit down to three digits. If there is any, really. Ponies eat a lot of wheat and other vegetables, they also need a lot more water, and they work much less than humans because of their fur and the heat… This one mistake in your Master’s plan seriously annoys you, because you cannot find any logical explanation, but you will have all the time to think about it on the road.
  1596. > You take your gun and aim for the cabinet’s lock.
  1597. > Once you open it, the humans are going to be humans. Fucking imbeciles…
  1598. > You will need to be quick and hide the ammo boxes, since the advantage of having guns won’t be unique to you anymore.
  1599. > Or, maybe you could… Pick the lock with magic? Well not here, obviously. That human might have been the first, but he certainly was not the last. You’ll need to hide the cabinet first.
  1600. > You let go of the gun and see if the flap at the end of the tent would let you slide the cabinet under. There is nothing behind the tent after all; only sand and a fence.
  1601. >
  1602. > You do have enough space, so you proceed to slide the cabinet under it. Then, you leave the tent with what you needed.
  1603. > As you walk toward the jeep, you realize there are quite a few Ponies eyeing it every now and then. Looks like they are actually protecting it… Are you that important to them? Or are they waiting for you to properly load it before trying to take it?
  1604. > You unload the items you are carrying inside the jeep, on your guards, expecting something to happen to you.
  1605. > You know the Ponies are pacific by nature, lack of predators and conflicts and all. Unicorns can lift about twenty pounds maximum before their collar activates, and it has to be simple telekinesis. It is more than enough to be deadly…
  1606. > For now though, you will need her help for the cabinet.
  1607. > Once you are done unloading, you move toward the sane and conscious Unicorn near Fluttershy.
  1608. > If the Unicorns really want to kill, they could move blood vessels, tear hearts or crush brains, lots of ways to kill with merely twenty pounds. Just squishing testicles could distract for long enough to deal a fatal blow.
  1609. > You arrive in front of her; you wave her to follow you.
  1610. > She raises a brow, Fluttershy signals her to follow you. Starlight looks down before nodding and starts following you.
  1611. > You are going to ask her to lift the lock’s pins with her magic as if she was using a key. You wave her to follow you behind the tent. She lifts her right hoof in the air and holds her ears down. She is obviously uneasy at the request,
  1612. > She is probably thinking you are going to try to rape her. Even if you wanted to, you would just *try*, and you both know it.
  1613. > You both know it…
  1614. >
  1615. > You arrive in front of the cabinet and point the lock.
  1616. > She approaches, curious. When she realizes what is inside, she takes a step back, lifts her right hoof fearfully, lower her ears backward, and looks at you, in that order.
  1617. > You roll your eyes. You have to show her you are only going to throw the ammo away, because…
  1618. > Oh for the love of God this is going to take a while! Explaining why firearms are dangerous, how they work, why bullets are dangerous, why you want to throw them away…
  1619. > You move your hands near the gun- you SLOWLY move your hands toward the gun, not wanting to scare her or anything. She does not trust you but she does not feel threatened, let’s keep it that way.
  1620. > You take the magazine out to show her the bullets.
  1621. “Bullets…” You raise two fingers.
  1622. > She raises her right brow. You take the bullets in your hand and put the ammo back in. You point the trigger and press multiple times. Nothing happens, of course. You put one bullet in the magazine and mimic pulling the trigger.  
  1623. “Bam…”
  1624. > You sound like a retard but how else can you explain the firing mechanism of human’s current projectile weapons to someone that does not speak English? No, just human for that matter.
  1625. >
  1626. > You put the other bullet inside and mimic pulling the trigger two times.
  1627. “Bam Bam,”
  1628. > You repeat in reverse order. Her eyes open wide, as if she understood how the firearms work.
  1629. > Immediately after though, she takes a few steps back and shake her head, looking at you with suspicion. Clearly, she must be aware that she should not be aware of that, and that knowing this could lead her to trouble.
  1630. > You point the lock with your finger, she raises a brow. You raise your brows, shrug, load the gun and aim at the lock; putting your finger on the trigger.
  1631. > “W-Wait!”
  1632. > You were already in position to shoot, so you simply turn your eye in her direction.
  1633. > She sighs, “For Twilight, I owe her that much…”
  1634. > She gathers magic in her horn and her collar activates. You have no idea how it knows what is an appropriate use of magic or not, but it does.
  1635. > After a few painful moments, the lock opens and tears flows down her neck.
  1636. > Good Girl. You would pet her but being treated like an animal is fucking insulting. You know by experience. Instead, you nod approvingly. You open the cabinet and take an ammo box.
  1637. > You have absolutely no idea what is the name of your gun, nor the ammo size, so you drop your broken gun inside and take the ammo out of the magazine, pondering.
  1638. > Should you warn her about humans, should you explain to her that the middle of the bullet’s flat side is the only real thing that is important? Or should you tell her you know Equestrian?
  1639. > Personally, you do not really care about them. If you could press a button and kill everyone in the mine you would do it. Just to stop their suffering. You have tried to help them before, those damn Ponies… Had you not done so, your daughter would still be alive and you would not have to visit shrinks, again.
  1640. > You turn toward her and you see her crying thick flows of tears.
  1641. > You are as good with emotions as monkeys are with space technology. Well they did send some chimps in space, so there might yet be a chance for you. Anyway, you know she is now definitively crying because of something unrelated to you. You remember vaguely during your zombie months that she was a strong and independent mare.
  1642. > You remember that one time in the mine. They were yelling that you had to go dig down there, you do not remember why.
  1643. > The mine collapsed.
  1644. > No, even before that.
  1645. ***************************************************************************
  1646. > You heard people coming down the tunnel.
  1647. > “W-W-W-W-W-WHY IS THERE BLOOD DOWN HERE?!”
  1648. > “Don’t panic Twilight, just get out and let me investigate,”
  1649. > “NO STARLIGHT, GET BACK, IT MIGHT BE-”
  1650. > “QUIIIIIET!”
  1651. > “…”
  1652. “…”
  1653. > You walked past a mare, covered in blood, eyes infected, a shovel bandaged around your broken left arm, a pickaxe bandaged around your broken right arm, both dripping blood; holding the handle of a bucket filled with sand with your mouth.
  1654. > “Just… What in Celestia's name…”
  1655. > You were in front of the entrance; you dropped the bucket down and kicked it upside down, letting the sand flow out of the bucket.
  1656. > You lifted the bucket by the handle with your foot and put the handle back in your mouth.
  1657. > A purple alicorn blocked your way as you were going back inside the mine.
  1658. > “S-Sorry but I can’t le-”
  1659. > You dropped the bucket, bended over to her face and shouted as hard as your body could handle it. Only one syllable came out of your throat.
  1660. “RAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH!”
  1661. ***************************************************************************
  1662.  
  1663. Chapter 5. Anonymous in Regretland.
  1664. > Your memory is still very blurred, and remembering gives you terrible headaches, God you shouldn’t try to reminisce too often…
  1665. > Yeah you have to escape, let’s focus on that. To do so, you need help, and the mares’ help was insufficient. Oh, they did a lot, you can give them that, but it is not good enough. You need Starlight ‘Master’s pet’ Glimmer on your side. But how…?
  1666. > You remember she always wanted to know your past; in fact, everyone wants to know your past. But maybe she would be more willing to help you if she understands your motives; if you, somehow, get captured again, you will need someone else’s help at one point to escape again. What better person than the Master’s pet? She has access to areas most do not, and she has enough authority to not draw too much attention on her, if, she does need to push her weight around. Also, you doubt you will be the only one trying to escape. However, Glimmer will probably be able to secure the most optimal resources for you, or at least, prevent others from getting them.
  1667. > And you owe her some… It’s, it’s distant, but you do remember it. Fuck your memory is hazy…
  1668. > Still, the fastest way you can imagine getting her on your side, without words, would be with drawings. That is what you are going to do.
  1669. > You kneel and draw on the sand with your index. You draw a stickman. That is going to be you.
  1670. “Anonymous…”
  1671. > You draw another man besides, a shovel and pickaxe for hands. You draw tears on its blank face. That is also you.
  1672. “Madnonymous…”
  1673. > You look at her; at least, she stopped crying. You got her attention. You can now waste a lot of time talking about your plan… Wonderful.
  1674. > “Wait, I remember that day… Twilight and I were supposed to replace you, if… You were still alive,”
  1675. > It’s not like you are supposed to know what she is talking about. So you just snort and continue drawing. You draw a big thought bubble over the first stickman. Inside, you draw a stickman holding a little stick girl’s hand, she is wearing a dress. She is hopping, happy.
  1676. > “Is that… Your filly- I mean… Daughter?”
  1677. > She said daughter in human, so you nod; you draw another thought bubble, over Madnonymous’s head. Inside, you draw Anonymous crying over a grave. The epitaph goes as follow:
  1678. Here lies Lily Ymous
  1679. 2011-20-
  1680. “…”
  1681. > You stop. You can’t continue, and you just want to punch yourself because of it, you were getting emotional, and that was a waste of time. She’s dead, and it’s been a while too, just… JUST GET OVER IT ALREADY!
  1682. > “So that’s…”
  1683. > Ignoring her, trying to do the same with your emotions, you move your hand to draw another case. You draw yourself reading the journal; there is a picture of an enslaved Pony as headline.
  1684. > You were going to make a series of images on the sand; a chronology of your past…
  1685. > No, before that, you snap your fingers; she looks at you, wondering. You sternly look at her, put your left index and thumb on the right corner of your mouth before moving to the other side of your mouth.
  1686. > Zip it.
  1687. > You point your index at the drawings, her and move your fingers for a *zip it*. She nods
  1688. > You nod in response.
  1689. >
  1690. > You draw yourself in front of a crowd, holding the same enslaved Pony marked with a cross. You draw your group confronting another group, with the original enslaved Pony, uncrossed.
  1691. > You keep adding people in the second group. You keep adding people... As you add more people, you erase some of whom were with you. You are now alone, holding your own banner.
  1692. > She frowns, probably trying to extrapolate. You step back to have more surface to draw on. You draw a calendar, implying time passed.
  1693. > Then, comes the hard part…  You clench your fists, take a deep breath…
  1694. > And let go. She sits down, waiting patiently.
  1695. > You draw the moon, and yourself, tied, forced to watch a fire.
  1696. > You stop.
  1697. > “…”
  1698. “…”
  1699. > “W-What happened then?!”
  1700. > You tilt your head and slowly move it toward her, frowning; eyes wide open, puckering your lips a little. She raises her right hoof in the air, turns her ears backward and looks down, rubbing her left foreleg with her right hoof.
  1701. > “S-Sorry… It, it’s your past so… I shouldn’t…”
  1702. > You do not need to speak the language to understand what she says. Just with the tone you could have figured her intents.
  1703. > You redraw the scene where you are tied again, and again, and again, with subtle details changes, including a clock each time.
  1704. > For starter, you are furiously trying to fight against your restrains. Trying as hard as you can to break them, a different way each time, each scene…
  1705. > After about seven scenes, you stop and wave her to take your place. She moves and examines the scenes one by one.
  1706. > She shakes her head, not understanding.
  1707. > You drew a clock each time, time passed between shots. You point it to her.
  1708. > “Oh… Ok, so time passed, then what?”
  1709. > You are crying again, you are so pitiful. You point at the first image’s fire.
  1710. “Lily…”
  1711. >
  1712. > Silence, she tilts her head, then, realisation dawn upon her.
  1713. > “W-What? T-That’s not your daughter... It’s… It’s a fire, Anonymous…”
  1714. > You point the second scene. You are struggling against your bounds, looking at the flames.
  1715. “Lily…”
  1716. > “C-C’mon Anonymous, that’s not funny at all…”
  1717. > You point the third scene. You are struggling against your bounds, looking at the flames.
  1718. “Lily…”
  1719. > “No… It can’t be…”
  1720. > You point the fourth scene, not even looking at it. You turned your head so she does not see you crying the tears you barely managed to muster since morning.
  1721. “…”
  1722. > ”…”
  1723. > You point the remaining fires in succession.
  1724. “Lily… Lily… Lily…”
  1725. > “It’s so horrible… I’m-”
  1726. > You show her your palm, you are not done yet. You draw the scene from another point of view, there are two stickmen laughing and pointing you; they are holding enslaved Pony banners.
  1727. > You link the seven scenes to the last one and point at the clocks.
  1728. > “Several hours…”
  1729. > You link the first image, the one in which you are holding a newspaper, to the last image. You cross the newspaper, and then you cross the last image you drew, the two stickmen laughing at you.
  1730. > “If we wouldn’t have been enslaved… You wouldn’t have lost Lily…”
  1731. > Starlight frowns, “ARE YOU BLAMING US FO-”
  1732. > You show her your palm, and this time, it is not to be taken lightly; you let her know with your gaze. You draw Ponies with aureole and angel wings, crying. Around them, you draw men with horns, tails, and tridents, poking the Ponies.
  1733. > “…”
  1734. > You owed her at least that… Also, now that she knows, she should be more willing to help you if you ever need help unrelated to escaping the mine with Fluttershy.
  1735. > You lift yourself and start to erase your drawings. You will now need to tell her what you expect will happen now, in three images. As soon as humans will realise they have the timeframe to get some weapons, they will try to make a coup or something.
  1736. >
  1737. > You draw humans with guns and ammo boxes, shooting Ponies.
  1738. > You draw humans with guns beside Ponies.
  1739. > You draw humans with ammo boxes; they are all searching for the guns.
  1740. > You link the third group with the first.
  1741. >
  1742. > As long as they have bullets, they will desperately look for the guns, so you need to get rid of bullets. In any cases, you know that some ingenious humans will be able to create some makeshift weapons, there are knifes in the kitchen and wood can be salvaged just about everywhere, great to carve a tube or something to put the bullets in. Or just plain opening the bullets, gather the gunpowder and make bombs. Guns aren’t dangerous, bullets are. Without bullets, guns are no better than clubs.
  1743. > You point the second group before throwing the ammo you won’t need as far as you can, including the ammo in the magazine of weapons you won’t take.
  1744. > She gets the idea and uses her magic to spread the bullets even farther and further from each other’s.
  1745. > Her collar activates.
  1746. > “I… I can handle… That much…”
  1747. > You freeze.
  1748. > You have realized something…
  1749. > You draw the dead human you have shot and taken the gun from, before pointing at your old broken gun.
  1750. “Holy gun bullets?”
  1751. > She instantly realizes the danger and gallops away. You feel like hitting your face with your knees. Of course the humans are going to try to loot the dead guards, you completely forgot about it.
  1752. > No use crying over spoiled milk. While she gallops away, you look more carefully inside the unlocked cabinet, and decide what, other than guns, you will bring. You’re going to keep a few guns, a machete, a bullet-proof vest, why the Hell would they even have-
  1753. > Oh, maybe other slavers would try to raid, maybe. It is not unheard of; the scarcity of the remaining slaves drove their value through the roof, tempting many to steal slaves to sell them back again. Even owning a house slave puts you at risk, merely for the fact that you have a slave in your house.
  1754. > The portals are closed, and the black market was exceptionally swift and efficient… As if the governments turned a blind eye to it.
  1755. >
  1756. > Seriously, that is part of the reason why you lead anti-slavery movement, to criticize and spread awareness. You asked every radio station to let you have, not a show, not an hour, a mere 5 minutes. You wrote to every news stations you heard of, with a completed, exhaustive list of juicy scandal worthy information, reports, witness reports, with the dates, even the precise hour for some. Pictures of local, provincial, and even federal authority figures seen buying, or using Ponies. And the word *using* took many forms...
  1757. > Copies of slave contracts, and evidences of the government trying to sweep it all under the carpet. Most, in fact, were evidences of the government trying to sweep it under the carpet. You also hinted that many other associations like yours had similar reports. GreenFreedom, Ponies have rights, Pony live matters, and yours, Pony liberty, all had similar reports, making the sources concrete solid.
  1758. >
  1759. > You sigh, leaning your head on the hard, dry mahogany wood of the cabinet.
  1760. > You all dropped the reports at once, on the web, to journalists in radio stations, in news stations, in the newspapers, all around the world, all at once, it was the plan, to overwhelm everyone at once, scattering the sources, making each organisations, except Ponies have rights, underground sister companies of Ponies have rights.
  1761. > You bang your head, hard, on the wood, cracking it loudly, as the dryness of the desert weakened it.
  1762. > What the fuck happened then? You just don’t know what went wrong… You dropped the report in the morning, as it was agreed on, you went to work, and then you got a call…
  1763. ***************************************************************************
  1764. “Anon’s listening, who’s speaking?”
  1765. > “… Listen to me, Mister Ymous, Stop everything you’re doing right now, and take Lily to a good long vacation…”
  1766. > Whoever he was, hanged up. The sweat dribbling on your skin was partly due to the hot furnaces and you pummeling metal, steel wrought by pure elbow grease; but now, that sweat was freezing cold. You knew you were playing with fire, but you made sure to be fireproof. Everyone used air gapped computers to communicate with each other, even using onion routing. Then, you all went to a random place with internet, far from your usual environment, in your case, you went to a coffee shop, in another city; and you all opened your air-gapped computers, with a dead dropped sneakernet usb key. Uploading it all at once, at the same time, then ditching the computer and usb key.
  1767. > You quenched the unfinished knife in a bucket of water, smothered the fire, took off your apron, and rushed back inside, heading toward the bathroom. You needed to cool yourself, to analyze the situation very, very carefully. You opened the front door, slammed it shut, locked it, and went straight in the shower, only taking the time to take your phone and other valuables out of your pockets; once you were in, you turned the cold tap all the way and tensed as the breathtaking contrast of temperature pierced you to your very core. It was cold, freezing cold, but you were burning, not literally of course, but you could feel waves and waves of heat spreading through your veins, despite the squall of liquid ice soaking you up to your bones.
  1768. > No matter how cold the water was, no matter how dizzy you felt, your heart pummeling against your ear-drums or your shaking hands could distract you from the impending doom you felt. Some of the names you leaked yourself were in the news already with the Russian interference during Tromp election. You were not playing in the small pond anymore, you were at sea, but you were sure as Hell that they would never track you back.
  1769. > How come someone contacted you, the why, you could not care less, it is the how that matters.
  1770. > A man in the middle attack? Unlikely, what would he have found, the computer was brand new. Fake WAP? No, same problem. There was nothing INSIDE the computer, or the USB key that could relate you to-
  1771. > “Daddy, is everything okay?”
  1772. > Your little angel was talking to you from the corridor. It is common sense to leave some dirty clothes on the bathroom’s floor when taking a shower, so of course she would be worried, especially since you slammed the door shut, you thought.
  1773. >
  1774. > You turned the tap off, and sighed, you were worrying her. You should crack a dad joke to soften the mood. Let’s see, she asked if everything was okay… OK… Oh, why not a chemistry joke?
  1775. “No girl, not everything is made from Oxygen and Potassium,”
  1776. > She sighs, “Daddy, you’re dumb,”
  1777. “I am not dumb, Lily, I am… Your father,”
  1778. > You are not able to see her, but you know she shook her head, “Dumb and lame… And bald,”
  1779. “Hey, I told you already, I tried to follow that one slap man training, they told me I shouldn’t, but I didn’t listen. I didn’t listen and that’s what happened…”
  1780. > “… I’m going to watch some TV,”
  1781. “Don’t forget to turn it on, because just looking at it is-”
  1782. > She groaned and slammed the door, you chuckled.
  1783. > You heard a car braking in front of your house, and your blood froze.
  1784. > You quickly got out of the shower and dialed the cops, making sure the phone was on the speaker. As soon as you heard someone on the other end of the phone, your daughter shrieked.
  1785. > You wanted to scream her name, but instead, you bit your lower lip until you could taste iron in your mouth. Chances are, they were here for you, not for her. The only chance you had lied in the element of surprise… They had guns, most likely, a SWAT team maybe? You were in the bathroom. What could you use as a weapon? Soap?  Shampoo? Water?
  1786. > Water, you had water, hot water, boiling hot water, and a bucket, in the closet. You did not knew how many they were, and you were most likely going to get captured, even though it felt like an extremely badly scripted movie, the adrenaline rush was there. The door opened, and a terrified little girl emerged in the doorframe, too scared to even care about you wearing clothes and being soaked from head to toe. You put your index in front of your mouth, to signal her to stay quiet, and put the phone near your mouth, walking toward the closet.
  1787. “Just listen, you’re on the speaker, record the call, I’ll pass you my daughter,”
  1788. > They already record the call, you genius… No really, that’s Nobel Prize worthy genius level…
  1789. > You handed the phone to her; she nodded and took it with her shaky little hands. You grabbed the bucket and started to fill it with hot water.
  1790. > They shot the lock off, shouting, “MOVE, MOVE, MOVE!”
  1791. > You heard them coming inside with their heavy boots, opening doors, “Clear… Clear…”
  1792. > You turned the tap off, silently, before positioning yourself behind the door.
  1793. > You couldn’t possibly win, maybe, but there was no point reassuring your daughter that everything was fine. Shit hit the fan so hard it broke the fan, and she was smart enough to understand it. But more importantly, the sight of your daughter, terrified because of what you did, was unbearable. You had to do something, even if it was stupid.
  1794. > As dumb and out of place as it sounds, you remembered that she always said you were her hero, a super papa.
  1795. > What is a super hero that can’t even protect its very own family?  A failure that’s what. You were a single father ever since her mother died, and you would prefer to die than to let her be an orphan.
  1796. > …
  1797. > You grinned at how silly the thought was. Seriously, where’s your Nobel Prize?
  1798. >
  1799. > You could hear them approaching, you timed yourself right and swung the hot water bucket as hard as you possibly could in a vertical axis, rotating yourself to face them. They screamed in pain, they were two; the first one got the brunt of it in the chest, as the gun’s cannon reached the bottom of the bucket, preventing you from aiming higher, also allowing you push it higher than your body, preventing him from shooting you.
  1800. > You roared and bull rushed both of them out of the bathroom. Despite being heavily swollen, you surprised yourself, you did not thought you would be able to push two trained soldiers rushing in an opposite direction, must have been due to adrenaline rush you thought afterward.
  1801. > As you pressed your head against the chest of the first one, you noticed a flashbang, you rammed the second one into the wall, breaking it, making him stumble backward, stopping your charge. You reached for the flash and pulled it, but you only un-pinned it. You let go of it, kicked him down on top of the second one, before dashing inside the bathroom again, closing the door this time.
  1802. “OPEN YOUR MOUTH LILY!”
  1803. > You plug your ears with your fingers and distanced yourself as much as you can, turning your back to the door, waiting, mouth wide open.
  1804. >
  1805. > You felt the shockwave coursing through your veins, and you felt your lungs being crushed by it. There was a shrilling sound in your ears. You had to keep yourself steady with your hands on the walls, but now was not the time to be dizzy. You opened the door and looked on your right, to see if the way was clear. You barely managed to not fall on your side.
  1806. > A third man was hiding being your sofa, most likely blinded by the flash. Now was the chance, you headed toward the two men on their back, and you stumbled on the first one because you were disoriented.
  1807. > You saw a tactical knife in your fall, and you reached for it, before slicing the first man’s throat. You could see it in his blinded eyes, the panic, and the desire to live, tears, even.
  1808. > You knew he was but a man, that he too, must have had a family, and that he did not wanted to die. It pained you up to your very core, but you were in the same position as that guy. You had something to do, and you did not want to die. He was ordered to do his job, but not you; you chose to leak all this information. That was the difference.
  1809. > He was much more a victim of your own actions than you will ever be. But…
  1810. > You had something to do, and you did not want to die. You had to protect your daughter. You had to do something…
  1811. > You rolled on the side, and crawled toward the second man. Yet, you are held down by someone, a strong hand, with a death-grip.
  1812. > You turned around, and you saw it in his empty gaze, as he desperately held you with both of his hands, that he would do anything he could to save his teammate. You saw it in his eyes, darting left and right, trying to see the murderer that you were, trying to kill you with his glare. You could see it in his eyes, the loyalty of the marines, or something, you didn’t knew what corps they were, swat maybe? You do not know…
  1813. > You could see in his eyes, the path you were heading down, and you could not bear to look at him.
  1814. > You could feel all the hot blood warming your soaked pants. You reached out and bitterly stabbed his bicep. His eyes opened wide; you were deafened, but if not, you swore you could have heard him scream in pain. However, instead of letting go, his grip only grew stronger.
  1815. > He too, had adrenaline flooding his system; he too, had hysterical strength.
  1816. > He too, was fighting with his life on the line to protect someone dear to him, in his case, his partner. You were effectively trying to murder a second innocent.
  1817. > Was your convictions worth more than the life of two humans?
  1818. > You rued, but it was about Ponies, and your Lily, much more than it was about your own humanity.
  1819. > Although you were crying, you grabbed his helmet with one hand and drove the knife through his eyes with the other, feeling the blade piercing the soft orb before reaching the harder-than-you-thought gelatine that was the brain, driving the knife up to the hilt. You felt his eyelids trying, in vain, to close on your fingers; you simply turned the blade as much as you could in the orbit.
  1820. > You retched loudly, but you only heard silence. You could feel him using his other hand to try to push you out, and then he stopped, and went limp, except for the hand grabbing you, which softly, slowly, weakened until you felt it slide down your leg, and thump on the ground.
  1821. > You were already past the point of no return, so you had to continue… Your monstrous acts.
  1822. > You knew there was still at least two more left to go. So you crawled beside the second man that was trying to get up. In fact, he was already kneeling. You weakly reached out and stabbed the foot he was using to push himself up, unbeknownst to you, you had pierced up to his Achilles heel, piercing it, making him stumble backward on his ass.
  1823. > He took out his gun and aimed, but you were already rolling away when you saw him take hold of the gun. He started shooting, and stopped.
  1824. > Only later you realised, he stopped, because he could have shot his ally.
  1825. > You were gaining your senses back so you could lift yourself and crouch toward the first man’s gun, and aim at the second, they were wearing cagoules and military grade helmets, but without face protection. And clearly, the man was still blind. You took your time to aim, and you pressed the trigger, three bullets went in, and you saw his eyes bulging out.
  1826. > This time, you vomited to your heart’s content. It was so horrible, so disgusting… Clearly, it was not like the movies, you knew it, of course, but you didn’t thought it would be like that…
  1827. > You aren’t out of the wood yet, your ears are still ringing, you could hear the gunshots, but even then, it felt like the sound was muffled. If there were reinforcements, they would arrive soon, with all of their senses. You needed to gain time to get your bearings again.
  1828. > You spotted the second flashbang, and you pulled it in a similar fashion than the previous one, but this time, you held it and looked in the corridor to the left. Two more SWAT like individual were coming toward you, and they aimed at you, but you were already back inside the room before they could shoot. You think they shouted something, but you still threw the flashbang as hard as you could. It bounced off the walls a few times, since your aim was total shit due to the previous flashbang.
  1829. > You repeated the same procedure, get away, crouch, open your mouth, etc, but this time, the grenade had much more walls that would absorb the sound, and you were much farther away from it. The shockwave still hit you like a truck, but you could handle it.
  1830. > You waited a few seconds, until you could stand without leaning on a wall, and tried to mimic the stance of military commando, slightly crouched, bent a little forward, looking through the aim, and you looked at the corridor. Either you nailed it or you looked like a bloody imbecile.
  1831. > No one but you know there is a minimum three persons left, and two were in the room, for sure. You didn’t have the time to guess, so you went in. You looked at the right at the end of the corridor, no one, so you looked left, and you had two persons aiming at you, but you were faster, and nimbler, and less disoriented. You shot a few rounds, and you think you got one of them in the chest, before taking a few steps back and hide behind the corridor.
  1832. >… Would common walls stop bullets?
  1833. > Fuck no they would not!
  1834. > You crouched low as you heard bullets passing on top of you, as soon as it stopped you turned around and aimed carefully this time, willing yourself to aim, instead of blindly shooting a bullet proof vest. The reticle was in front of one of the man’s face, and you pulled the trigger, before feeling a searing pain in your stomach. Despite the stopping power of the bullet that would most likely bend you in half through sheer pain, you held your ground, and grit your teeth; before aiming at the second man hiding behind the kitchen counter. You could see a trail of blood. You leaned over the counter, and looked at the man, bleeding from his leg. Your eyes met, and you could see him grimace in fear, trying to implore your mercy.
  1835. > You pulled the trigger, and like every time, the eyes bulged out.
  1836. > You took a breather, and you felt blood coming out of your asshole, out of your guts, and odors of shit started to mix with the chemicals and black powder lingering in the air. You leaned on the counter; standing with a bullet in your guts was too much. The searing sharp pain as you felt your bowel tearing with every movements, it was too much for the modicum of adrenaline you still had.
  1837. > You took down four SWAT members, without any preparation, not bad in itself you ponder, but those were still murders.
  1838. > You waited, looking at the front door, aiming at it, expecting more to appear.
  1839. > You were going to protect your daughter, you were going to protect her, she was the only thing that mattered in the whole world, screw the Ponies; between your daughter and them, the choice was obvi-
  1840. > “My my…”
  1841. > Someone, pale, tall, lean, wearing a black suit entered your house.
  1842. > So you shot.
  1843. > Although he wasn’t wearing a bulletproof vest, and that you clearly had him in your reticle, nothing happened. Or, to be more accurate, it was as if he absorbed the bullets, or that you were shooting blanks.
  1844. > “You surprise me, Mister Ymous, and that is-”
  1845. > You crouched, and took out the dead guard’s flashbang, but when you threw it at him, he extended his right arm, pressed his ring and pinky finger on his palm, extended his thumb, and pointed his index and middle finger up. And then, the flash bang was disassembled into its simpler component, including a large rectangular case, it gives you an idea.
  1846. > “…Quite, a feat… Hmm?”
  1847. > You aim at the largest component, close your eyes, open your mouth, and shoot. The kinetic energy of the bullet piercing through the case created enough heat to ignite the powder.
  1848. >
  1849. > From that point on, you vaguely remember feeling smug, before something, a force, pushed your head forward, and downward.
  1850. > You later understood that something, or someone, grabbed your head and smashed it on the counter so hard you lost consciousness…
  1851. ***************************************************************************
  1852. “…”
  1853. > It’s useless to think about the past, unless you want to avoid repeating the same mistakes again, but there’s nothing to worry about. However, something caught your attention in your memory…
  1854. > Your daughter’s death is linked to Master, since the man that disassembled the grenade that day, was him. On this matter, you are even, in your book; you destroyed the truck, ruined the mine, and torched his son, alive.
  1855. > Just like Lily… Well, there is no proof that he was linked to it, but, it’s too strange to think that he wasn’t involved in it… It’s just impossible.
  1856. > You wipe the tears off your eyes and focus on your current task, trying to escape.
  1857. > You regret having done that, as sand and dirt were rubbed against your eyes.
  1858. > It burns…
  1859. > You stomp the ground.
  1860. > Fuck… It really burns.
  1861. “…Fucking idiot,”
  1862. >
  1863. > After a while, the burning sensation lessens.
  1864. > Now that you think about it, two handguns, a rifle, and a shotgun are going to be hard to explain once you leave the mine, and try to get a house in Israel…
  1865. > Now that you think about it, Usa is probably the only country that is stupid with its firearms politic…
  1866. > It also makes you realize you have no real mean to pay for a house…
  1867. “Right, about that…”
  1868. > You arrive with a slave Pony, a jeep, military supplies with no licenses whatsoever. No cash, nothing, in a town; if that is not suspicious, having a relatively well known female yellow Pegasus as your personal pet would be.
  1869. > You could always sell Fluttershy to a brothel to get the minimum cash for a house, work a bit-Why not pawn her? They are considered as objects… You trade her for a loan and pay the loan back. That is what pawn shop do, they buy and sell shit, but they also *rent* your objects, if you do not come to get it back, they will sell it…
  1870. > Your brain realizes the stupidity of such endeavors. Fucking IMBECILE! Yeah, selling her or pawning her will automatically alert the real owner.
  1871. > So will selling military supplies…
  1872. “…”
  1873. > Dyeing her and making her whore would not be so bad…
  1874. > It would allow you to… Hehe…
  1875. > Plug some holes in your escape plan…
  1876. “heh, hehehe…”
  1877. > You love puns.
  1878. >
  1879. > You go under the tent with your hands full of weapons and emerge inside.
  1880. > The tent is full of looting humans.
  1881. >
  1882. > You have been so lost in your thoughts you didn’t even hear them.
  1883. > There is only one way to not alert them because you are carrying weapons, and to make them go away.
  1884. > You drop the weapons in a corner and head toward the salt blocks. You take one and lick it.
  1885. “Let’s have some fun girls…”
  1886. > They turn toward you, slowly. Obviously, they are all male.
  1887. > You rub your crotch and slowly walk toward them.
  1888. > They look at each other’s, uneasy.
  1889. “Tongue’s on fire, I’m going to need your ‘hoses’… Hehehe,”
  1890. > The one closest to you remains unabashed, he opens his mouth, “Fuck off you frea-”
  1891. > You smash the block of salt on his face, before he has the time to react, breaking his nose, knocking him out cold. You grab him, bend him over on the table, and pull his pants down. Next, you walk toward the one that is closest to you.
  1892. “Or maybe I’ll line you up and breed you…”
  1893. > Weakened by running around like headless chicken, after a long day of mining, confronted with such a freak that was easily twice their size and loco; and the very possibility of being raped seriously reorganized their priority. Maybe some clothes and bandages were not worth the risk.
  1894. “Just lie down and let me touch, I promise you it won’t hurt much…”
  1895. > You are getting a hard-on from the stimulation of your hand.
  1896. > Some have already fled; some are just avoiding you, slowly backing away.
  1897. “Oh yeah, run away, I love fast food…”
  1898. > That was the final blow, they all fled. You stop rubbing your crotch.
  1899. > A rumor spread that day.
  1900. > And there is nothing you can do about it.
  1901. > So why bother?
  1902. >
  1903. > You quickly wrap your weapons in a blanket and try to make it look like there is a human under it.
  1904. > You slide the knocked out guy behind the tent.
  1905. > You leave the tent, mulling over your objectives.
  1906. > Where were you again, weapons, house, money… Oh right. Whoring Fluttershy…
  1907. > “I’m going to dye your coat green and your mane blue, you’re going to be called ‘Butterfly’ and you’ll whore to pay the rent, otherwise, we’ll get captured and we won’t be able to save your friend,”
  1908. “…”
  1909. > Yep, not going to work… You have already made her brown the sand when you remembered your past, and from what you do remember, the Master himself had to create specific punishment, otherwise, she would break. She is unable to even endure the slightest punishment, and she is probably going to have nightmares about your face for a while… You did glare at her when you remembered… Who you were.
  1910. >There is no way she will be able to bed a client, at best, you will need to tie her and advertise her as rape material…
  1911. > If only they had given you the retard Pegasus with bubbles on her flank, she is quiet but at least, she would be useful…
  1912. >
  1913. > Well, let’s not put the bull before the carts, first of all, you have to plan how to escape from the mine, and from the pursuers. Usually, a runaway slave is dealt with bounty hunters or the local police. However, considering the things you have done, and that you are His favorite, you doubt He’ll let the matter of capturing you to someone else.
  1914. > If the mine owner’s smart, or just not a total retard, he will search the desert first. Thinking you are going to be dead or lost. After all, you will leave with supplies, and a jeep. Most were lucky to sneak out with a bottle or two. But you did so much shit that… Clearly going back is not an option. Thus… He will look for the jeep’s track. That extra blanket will be a fine track eraser. You just have to put it behind the car and let it touch the ground. You will just have to be careful when driving backward.
  1915. > You approach toward the car. It is getting late. You drop everything inside, and inspect the items you have gathered.
  1916. > Enough clothes of good quality. Two sets of clothes, one for days and one for nights. Two blankets, one that is woolen, the other one is cotton but it is hiding two handguns, a rifle, a shotgun, six handgun clips, 3 rifle magazine, 12 shotgun gauges.
  1917. > 24 grenades, 12 are blue.
  1918. 1... 36…”
  1919. > 60 bottles of water, about, what, 2 litter each?
  1920. > 60 rations of human food and 40 for Ponies…
  1921. > Seems like someone put them back inside, there is just no place and they should all eat it instead of you. You only need half of that.
  1922. > You got a lot of fuel, you do not know how much, but it is five jerry cans. No fucking idea how much those jerry cans can hold but…
  1923. > They have trapped grenades and clothes, you just hope they did not trap the jerry cans too. Busting your motor would suck big time. You remember seeing the guards equipping themselves with what was in the cabinet. So it should be safe to use them. Oh, also, your block of salt, handy.
  1924. > What else do you need…?
  1925. >
  1926. > Right, shovel, sledgehammer, slave contracts.
  1927. > And the lighter you used to burn Junior… Could always be useful.
  1928. > You see movement on your right; you hear the Ponies neighi-
  1929. > Something hard strikes your face. You wobble down on the ground, broken nose, the pain and surprise forcing your eyes closed.
  1930. > By the sound of it, it was a shovel.
Anon Dark Slavery Mane 6 SPG Psychological

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