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Stripped Screw

By Neighpalm
Created: 2023-04-27 02:22:21
Updated: 2023-05-07 04:31:59
Expiry: Never

  1. When you're at the bottom, there's nowhere to go but up. One would hope. I found out that there's always somewhere lower to fall to, that you're always able to fuck things up even worse.
  2.  
  3. Zephyr's Tale - man that story gave you some serious brainrot a few years ago didn't it? Just how the fuck did you get here? You get a chance to look up from what was arguably the deepest sleep you'd had in years. A small room with comfortable blankets and pillows underneath you, and ponies. Ponies. A tv on the wall was playing an early episode of FiM, Twilight was talking about something and waving a pair of yellow tickets around. Your ears began to ring as your eyes moved to another pair of ponies that sat outside the screen. They were watching the show unaware of your presence.
  4.  
  5. You stared for a few seconds, trying to determine that you were looking at something real. You bring a hoof up to rub your eyes... A hoof? You stare at the gray stump of a limb that felt like your arm, a cold sense of terror crawled over you as you rapidly became hyperaware of fur all over your body, it was like being covered in ants. An alien sensation erupted from your sides as a new limb contorted, you look back to see a wing.
  6.  
  7. Everything goes blank for what feels like just a few seconds, you can hear a familiar voice screaming through some kind of muffled barrier as if you were underwater. "Do you know where we are? We have to get out of here!"
  8.  
  9. This sleep, it was painful. Your body ached like you'd run a marathon and gone a few rounds against Mike Tyson. A real boxer, not like Andrew Tate. You'd kick his romanian ass. You were now a little more focused on the room around you, it was dark and you were on a concrete floor. You could again hear that familiar voice, this time through a small vent near the ground. Another pony!
  10.  
  11. "You need to keep quiet, he'll hear us. Who are you?" the muffled voice asks.
  12.  
  13. You tried your best to remember your past, but everything came back blurry, the more you tried to fill in the details the stranger it got. It felt like you, but alien to you. You whisper the words that came to mind, "Stripped Screw. Who are you?"
  14.  
  15. "It's getting harder to remember, you need to get to a computer."
  16.  
  17. You stare in confusion, "A what?"
  18.  
  19. The voice goes silent for several seconds, "Damn it all. Do you have any idea where you are?"
  20.  
  21. You were a pony, from Cloudsdale, and you didn't know where you were. The pony on the other side of the wall speaks up again, "Do you know who Zephyr is?"
  22.  
  23. "No, who's that?" your response is another aggravated sigh before they speak up again.
  24.  
  25. "I can't stay to talk, I'll find you again when you can get to a computer. Don't tell anyone we've been talking, okay?"
  26.  
  27. You nod, "Uh huh." and the presence on the other side of the vent fades, leaving you alone in the dark to contemplate your new existence. Just where were you?
  28.  
  29. The only source of light in this dim room came from the gap underneath the door. You became aware of the heavy weight on your neck, a metal collar connected to a chain that tethered you to the ground opposite the door. This place was scary and cold, you were afraid to call out for help or maybe try and talk to the pony through the vent. You sat in tense, shadowy silence for what felt like hours before a commotion outside the room caught your attention. Footsteps coming down and stopping in front of the door. Two pillars cut the light coming under the door, revealing the looming form of a stranger. From the shape you knew it was a man, and from the stance you could tell he wasn't happy. A clenched fist on either side drew your attention as he stepped silently into the dark.
  30.  
  31. The extra light showed you more details of his form; namely a deep blue patch under his eye and a bandage across his nose. He spoke up in a low tone.
  32.  
  33. "Are you ready to apologize?" he asks, "Not just me, but all the ponies."
  34.  
  35. You stay silent, more confused than anything. It only seems to make this guy get angry.
  36.  
  37. "Who are you? Where am I-"
  38.  
  39. An open hand collides with your face, cutting you short as he starts to yell. "You had your chance to be good! Now we're doing it this way. You're not coming out until you apologize."
  40.  
  41. "What did I do?! I don't remember! Don't go!"
  42.  
  43. He pauses and stares at you for a brief moment before closing the door behind him, leaving you in the dark again. You look down at the chain and give it a few tentative pulls to no avail. You lean down to the vent and whisper into it again.
  44.  
  45. "Hey, are you there? Who was that guy?"
  46.  
  47. There is no reply, your friend is gone for now. He said he'd be able to find you if you could get to a computer. Your head swam with blurry thoughts as you tried to figure out just what a computer was and why it seemed to be such a fleeting memory like a dream you couldn't seem to fully remember. A few extra times whispering into the vent got you nothing. It seemed as you laid down on the concrete floor and curled into a cold ball of pony that your friend spoke to you.
  48.  
  49. "I'll have to help you get to a computer, so if you want to get out of here you'll need to do what I say, okay? Get to a computer and I'll be able to really help you."
  50.  
  51. You bolt to your hooves, pushing your muzzle against the vent eagerly, "Hey buddy, yeah. You help me get out and I'll help you get free too."
  52.  
  53. "It's a little more complicated for me, but I know how to get you out."
  54.  
  55. -----
  56.  
  57. You awoke in another daze to the sound of the door unlocking, with a groggy mind swimming between dreams and reality you're dazzled by the blinding light from outside the room. A human form fills the doorway, standing motionless as you desperately squint through your eyes in the hopes they'll adjust to the light. You look at the vent, then to the human's hand which held a small dish. He was less intimidating than before, entering the room with steps that didn't clack angrily off the concrete floor.
  58.  
  59. Halfway across the room he stops and kneels down to look at you, setting the dish down. It looked like diced vegetables and made you painfully aware of an aching void in your midsection, pangs of hunger were making themselves known. Despite an attempt to stand up, your legs seemed to disagree and remained still. You looked around the room to see a few bits of diced vegetables scattered around on the floor before your eyes went back to the man.
  60.  
  61. "You're calmer, are you finally ready to eat?" he asks, carefully inching the small dish your way.
  62.  
  63. "What's going on?" you look at the small bits of zucchini then back to the man, "Who are you?"
  64.  
  65. He pauses, "You weren't listening at all when I explained this yesterday?" you stare at the ground wondering why you were forgetting things.
  66.  
  67. Your ear flicks up and you look at the vent, hearing your friend speak up in a hushed whisper, "Keep him talking."
  68.  
  69. He doesn't seem to hear, grabbing a hold of your chin to angle your face to look at him, "I don't like repeating myself, but I'll tell you one last time okay?"
  70.  
  71. The noise through the vent goes quiet as the man starts to talk, "There's a lot to explain, so do me a favor and listen. You're a pony. I made you like this, and when you're better I'm going to give you to someone to be their pet. You might not remember a lot, and that's my fault. I tried a new process that would help your memories match your body so you could be like a pony from Equestria." He reaches over cautiously, "You're Stripped Screw, and you're from Cloudsdale right?"
  72.  
  73. You nod, you had a few vague memories of living there like a childhood neighborhood. It was all blurry and the harder you looked for details, the more they evaded you. Were you really from Equestria or was he doing something to your memories? Nothing seemed to connect...
  74.  
  75. "You can call me master for now, until I can give you to your new owner." he says. You weren't paying attention, your sight was drawn to another pony stepping into the doorway. "We need to work through some of these violent episodes, when you first woke up you started screaming and attacking the others. This is the first time I've been able to come into the room and actually talk to you without you trying to attack me. I really need you to eat now." As this man inches the dish toward you once more, the pony begins to creep up behind him. It was a bright blue pegasus stallion with a wild pink mane, he holds a hoof to his chin and mouths a silent 'shh', you divert your attention as the pony lunges and bites onto the man's forearm, causing him to shout in pain.
  76.  
  77. "Hit him between the legs!" the stallion growls, fighting to hold the man still enough for you to lunge forward and ram his crotch. The stallion pulls you towards the door as the man collapses, groaning in agony. You're able to shut the door and engage the deadbolt from the outside, locking him in the dark room.
  78.  
  79. You realize a few links of chain is dangling from your neck, when had you somehow managed to break it? You wondered this for a few seconds before the colorful stallion bumps you to get your attention, "Computer. Come on, we probably only have a few minutes before he gets through that door. He's a strong guy."
  80.  
  81. You hurry up the stairs after him, "W-wait, who are you? Where are we really?" the eerie basement gives way to a cozy little home at the top of the stairs. The stallion turns around, "Hush up, we can talk about this in a minute, help me find a computer. Call me Dummy." he whispers. You can hear the muffled pounding on the door downstairs. Dummy frantically goes through the rooms, backtracking to follow you into a room you recognized as an office, it had a big wooden desk and... A computer!
  82.  
  83. "Jackpot!" Dummy whispers, going around the desk to climb into the chair, you rear up to look at it.
  84.  
  85. "What do we need the computer for?" You ask.
  86.  
  87. "He was able to wipe out a lot of our old memories from before, make it so we can't remember our old names." Dummy grins maniacally, hooves tapping carefully on the keyboard, "But he couldn't make us forget everything and there's no way he could change my government record, Screw." You can still hear the man beating on the door downstairs as Dummy gets shaky from the stress of battling against time, "I still remember two things, I was a pilot and I remember my airman number. It's just a matter of using that number to pull up my record and get all that info back inside my head."
  88.  
  89. As Dummy frantically went to work on the keyboard, all hell broke loose at once. Dummy began to shout, swearing to Celestia as you head the pounding downstairs end in a heavy crack. Another pony walked into the room, staring you down with a baleful glare. A white pegasus mare with a green mane. "GODDAMNIT! Screw run! We're fucked! He changed the records!" you look at the computer screen to see Dummy's pilot information had indeed been edited, the webpage showed a grinning picture of the stallion and not a bit of information related to his old life.
  90.  
  91. Name: Dummy
  92. Weather Patrol ID: 38383839
  93.  
  94. It was a scan of some kind of Cloudsdale flyers license. The mare began to shout, "Master! He's in here! Maaasteeer!"
  95.  
  96. You quickly do a scan of the room, Dummy was gone! He'd left you alone! That guy was going to fucking kill you when he got up here! You quickly put together a half-baked plan and barrel straight through the mare to the main room as the man came running up the stairs, "Dummy!" you call out, making a break for the front door, where the fuck had he gone?!
  97.  
  98. You weren't quick enough to open the door and the man grabs the metal collar you were still stuck in. You were slammed into the ground by the neck, your head cracking loudly against the tile floor by the front door. Your eyes slowly closed as the man wrestled your limp body into submission.
  99.  
  100. You woke up again in the basement, although now you were in a cage as the door was no longer there and light was allowed to pour in. Your head pounded and your prodding hooves did nothing but make it ache more. Bandages around your head showed that your mane had been shaved off. You laid back down and closed your eyes wondering where everything had gone wrong in your life - what little of it you could remember...
  101.  
  102. -----
  103.  
  104. Back to square one, maybe even worse now. The crate you're in has a plastic liner on the bottom and a small padlock on the door. Light streamed in through the wrecked door, giving you enough to examine the cage. From upstairs, it seemed to be silent enough that you could guess they had gone to sleep. The relative time remained a mystery without any outside light sources. Your ears perked as you hear Dummy's voice coming through the vent.
  105.  
  106. "I'm sorry, buddy. I didn't think he'd get through that door so quickly." he sighs sadly, "It was a bust anyways, we need to get out of here. You don't have much time."
  107.  
  108. "Why'd you ditch my, jerk?"
  109.  
  110. "No one knows I still live here, Screw. I've been hiding in the walls since before Zephyr came here. He thinks I'm dead, that I escaped and died in the wild."
  111.  
  112. "That doesn't explain why you left me? I got my flank handed to me." you frown at the vent, Dummy might be able to see it.
  113.  
  114. "If he caught me, it'd be over for the both of us. But I can still get us out if you trust me."
  115.  
  116. "Why should I trust you after that?"
  117.  
  118. Dummy goes quiet for a bit, but you can feel his presence on the other side of the vent, "What other choice do you really have? You can escape with me and we'll get help, or you can stay and be at this guy's mercy."
  119.  
  120. You don't need more than a second to consider your options here, "Okay. I want out."
  121.  
  122. Dummy guides you through the next few minutes of undoing a latch by warping the frame of the cage, with it open, you could slide the plastic liner out of the cage. Under it was a very wide grid of thin metal bars. While the walls around and above you gave little more than an inch of space, the bottom of the cage without the plastic liner had more than enough space to squeeze through if you could lift the cage. Once you'd gotten the plastic floor out of the way and slipped out of the cage, Dummy stepped into the doorway and smiled. "I knew you could do it, buddy." he says, "Let's head upstairs and see if the coast is clear. Things are too quiet..."
  123.  
  124. You head towards the light and up the stairs, very careful to not make any creaking. It all seemed too easy, this guy was smart if he was kidnapping ponies but somehow you were a step ahead. Was he letting you escape to catch Dummy? You anxiously opened the door and looked around the main room of the house, things were dark. You looked out into the shadowy night sky through a window as Dummy trailed you through the house. This was too easy, there's no way it was just this much of a cakewalk to get... out?
  125.  
  126. You listen carefully, moans coming through the wall adjacent. There was loud sex going on in the next room, gross... You creep slowly towards the front door, just this lock between you and freedom. The noises in the next room slow down and stop as you fumble with the deadbolt in your mouth. Dummy nudges your flank, "Hide." he says, leaving you a few seconds to click the lock open before tucking yourself behind the couch as the bedroom door opens and you're privy to the afterglow of that man and two mares. Dummy has disappeared on you, but he gave you the warning. He'll be coming back, or finding some way to help you.
  127.  
  128. Your heart pounds furiously as you try to stay silent in your hidden spot just a few feet from the unlocked front door. You just needed a few seconds to fumble with the handle and get it twisted and the door would be open!
  129.  
  130. You could hear the distinct voice of the white mare from earlier, she sounded short of breath as she spoke with another female you'd yet to see. The longer things went on, the more anxious you got, Dummy wouldn't leave you, right? "Is that a bruise? Our new pony didn't hurt you earlier, did he?" a male speaks up from the kitchen. You cower even further into your hiding place, hoping to just become invisible. "No master, he just pushed past me. Why would he want to run so badly?"
  131.  
  132. "Something's not right with his head, the nanomachines were supposed to rewrite his memories to make him like that story he had up on FimFiction. It was really different than what I did with you, Zephyr, you still remember being human."
  133.  
  134. A second voice speaks up, "He's a bad pony, master. You're smart and wouldn't make mistakes like that, you fixed my head after all. The issue has got to be him."
  135.  
  136. "He doesn't have any memories of being human, Autumn. From what I was able to gather before he bit me, he has no idea where he is or what's going on. He's afraid-"
  137.  
  138. Damn right you were afraid, you'd been chained up, put in a cage, and had your head cracked open in the past 24 hours! Of course you wanted to leave.
  139.  
  140. You hear a chime in the bedroom, freezing up in terror. Was it an alarm? Did he see you? "Oh, my computer should be unlocked now. Someone mashed the keyboard until it locked up for a few hours."
  141.  
  142. You can hear the heavy footsteps moving back towards the bedroom pause halfway followed by a gasp. The door to the basement swings open and you can hear the man rushing down the stairs, "Shit!"
  143.  
  144. "What is it, master?!" Zephyr rushes towards the basement with a gentle clop of her hooves followed by Autumn.
  145.  
  146. "He's out! Stay in the kitchen!"
  147.  
  148. They stop at the top of the stairs, "How'd he get out!" Zephyr calls, "I told you he was bad!" Autumn chimes in.
  149.  
  150. Your heart was racing, the stress of hiding and the shouting was getting to you. Dummy was gone still and you could only imagine what would happen when you were caught. IF! If you were caught, stay positive! You can hear the man pacing around the house, opening the kitchen cupboards and looking around for you. Autumn and Zephyr go back to the kitchen as he told them, while he looks around gradually moving towards the living room to check the door.
  151.  
  152. "It's unlocked..." he says, quickly heading back to the bedroom, "Zephyr! Autumn! Come with me!" he says, you hear a dresser opening and some shuffling before the three of them head for the front door. You weren't worried about the man seeing your hiding spot near the door so much as you were worried Autumn would find you. She seemed to have it out for you. From the shadows, you watch as the trio rush outside into a late-night rain. The front door left ajar and whipped open by the wind, you see Dummy come to a stop by the door and look directly at you, "Now run." he says, before disappearing into the night outside.
  153.  
  154. You did what you needed to do, you slipped out of your hiding spot and ran out through the front door into the heavy rain after Dummy. He cut to the side and went straight for the tree line, on the far side of the yard you could see a bright flashlight cutting through the darkness but not looking where you were headed. Voices called out loudly through the howling rain as you made your way into the forest.
  155.  
  156. "Screw! Screeew!" You could hear Zephyr shouting, "Come back! Please!" your only worry was if she'd seen you or was just calling out.
  157.  
  158. Your hooves and adrenaline carried you deep into the forest, chasing after the occasional glimpse of Dummy as the two of you made it out. You felt lighter than air as you ran, right up until you felt heavier than lead the moment you slowed down to take a breather. You'd been running for who knows how long, it was the early hours of dawn and the rain began to let up a bit to make way for the golden and purple sky to dazzle you. Freedom. You stared up across the mountain range as Dummy came up next to you and patted you on the back. "You did it, buddy." you look at him, he was already dried off mostly, and he wasn't that winded. You sat down, still soaked but now feeling weak all over. Your stomach ached with hunger pangs, your muscles burned, your joints cried out. You were out of shape...
  159.  
  160. Dummy frowns with concern down at you, "We gotta get you something to eat. I don't think you've had anything at all since coming here." you nod.
  161.  
  162. "How far are we? Where are we going?" you ask, Dummy doesn't answer, instead pointing down across the valley to something just over the next mountain with a hoof. It looked like a house and a big long clearing of trees with a straight road in front of it.
  163.  
  164. "We're far, but not as far as we want to be. Over there is our ticket out of this place." He says as he points to the distant house, "The visitors who come to buy a pony, if they fly in, they'll land their planes at that little airstrip."
  165.  
  166. You look at Dummy's wings, then your own. "Couldn't we just fly ourselves out?"
  167.  
  168. Dummy raises an eyebrow, looking you over, "You think you're in any condition to fly? We're taking a plane and getting out of here. I have some contacts that can probably help us out."
  169.  
  170. "Are we coming back to help the others?"
  171.  
  172. "At some point... We just need to get out of here before he tracks us down. This operation didn't go smoothly but we made it out. He's hunting for us, but he doesn't know we know about that airstrip so odds are he won't be looking for us in this direction. Come on, we can't wait around long."
  173.  
  174. "You... You said you had someone who could help us?"
  175.  
  176. "Yeah, despite the circumstances I still can't tell you too much." Dummy says, brushing the question off, "Top secret stuff."
  177.  
  178. You get up, legs feeling shaky, and follow Dummy as he trots off down the valley towards the building in the distance that was now your sole beacon of hope to get out of this wilderness in which you're currently being hunted. The man could have gotten a clue and be on your tail, soon every noise in the forest sounded like it could be exactly what you feared, that he'd somehow step out in front of you and Dummy and drag you back down to that cage in the basement.
  179.  
  180. Now was not the time to be weak, you power through the aches and keep trudging forward through the end of the rainstorm down the mountainside. He wouldn't get you...
  181.  
  182. "Dummy?" you ask, piercing the silence of nature in the early morning, "What's his name?"
  183.  
  184. He stops walking, turning to look back at you as you catch up, "I can't say I know for sure."
  185.  
  186. As the sun begins to rise in the east and climb up over the mountains, you can see Dummy making note of the direction, "He lives north of the airport, maybe 4 miles." he smiles at you, "Here we are. The airstrip - our ticket out of here." he points to a massive clearing ahead and watches carefully.
  187.  
  188. "So... What are we doing here?"
  189.  
  190. Dummy points to some strange unnatural shapes across the long patch of pavement, things you couldn't identify as anything other than just a plane, "We're stealing one of those and getting out of here." he says with an excited grin. "I was trapped for so long, I never thought I'd get out."
  191.  
  192. You stop Dummy, staring at him questioningly, "Why me? You had no problem getting out without my help. Why did you need me?" he seemed to have this plan for a while, what was his plan for you?
  193.  
  194. "Let me put it like this, ponies don't have as much capability for working with tools as humans do. There's miles and miles of wilderness all around here and a rather sophisticated network of tracking for, we're not walking out of here without being spotted. That's what he's waiting for, for you to try following the trails the cars take to get out of here so he can locate you. I just took you through the dense forest down the mountainside, he won't be expecting you to know about the secret airstrip, much less how to take a plane out of here. Normally, a pony can't operate one, but the two of us will be enough to co-operate that plane."
  195.  
  196. Dummy points across the clearing again, to a smaller bright blue and green plane. "Two seats and minimal computers, we might actually manage it. He'll be completely blindsided." the pegasus grins, before going serious again. "We'll check out the plane first and see if it has a GPS, maybe we can find out where we are. We'll have to find the keys and the cockpit's a good place to start."
  197.  
  198. The strip of pavement is long enough to stretch out seemingly into the horizon and Dummy is quick to usher you across the clearing before the two of you get spotted. The hangars on the opposite side are open, each one providing a different plane with 3 walls and a roof. As you tail Dummy down the line of buildings, he's careful about passing in front of the open hangars, constantly stopping to listen but he gets you down to the small and colorful plane.
  199.  
  200. It has two seats in tandem, an open cockpit, and the engines on top of the wings. Dummy climbs up into the front seat, telling you to keep watch as he fiddles with the plane's controls. You take a look at it, the plane was pretty dusty and left you wondering whose it was and how long it had been here. You look out across the airport and see nothing, it's almost scary how alone you two are. Your ears perk up as you hear a dull hum from behind you, the plane quietly comes to life.
  201.  
  202. "Battery seems to be holding up..." Dummy says, turning off the lights of the plane as he flips a few more switches, "Ancient GPS seems to be working."
  203.  
  204. "I thought you said we needed the key to start it."
  205.  
  206. Dummy focuses on the tiny screens for a few seconds more before answering. "Yeah, we can run the computers and lights, but the engines need the key. I don't have the tools to to hot wire this thing." he sighs, shutting down the plane, "Airstrip here is unregistered and the GPS isn't getting enough signal to pinpoint where we are but it looks like somewhere between Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming..."
  207.  
  208. "Is that bad?"
  209.  
  210. "Well, we're really out in the middle of nowhere. Plane's radio isn't working so we can't call for help either." Dummy says, his worry becoming visible. "We need to get that key, I have no idea what kind of security might be on the airport itself. I'll stay back and make sure the plane is ready to go for when you get the k-" Dummy froze and his ears perked up, you heard it too.
  211.  
  212. Something was in the distance approaching, you look down the length of the runway and see a plane in the distance lining up to land. Dummy scrambles back into the cockpit to shut off the plane entirely. "Oh fuck, the transponder! They can see us!" Dummy switches all the screens off and ducks as a larger plane comes to land, scraping loudly on the runway.
  213.  
  214. "Must be your buyer..." Dummy says, "Probably didn't get the call that you're not for sale anymore." he smirks.
  215.  
  216. For a second, he lets you relish in your achievement. Being bought was bad, right? Whatever route you chose to go with Dummy was terrifying and felt like you shouldn't be doing it. You smile proudly.
  217.  
  218. "I guess we can check around here, not sure where else it could be on an empty airfield." Dummy says, "Fuck, this is our only way out of here..."
  219.  
  220. You take to looking around the hangars, opening cabinets and pulling drawers. You found tools, old yellowed papers, old catalogs, old bags of chips. Everything you found was coated in dust and cobwebs. It seemed like people should be here using these things. Moving over to the next empty hangar you continued your search until you got to the end of the line of hangars. At the end of the row there was an attached shed with a double door. Pushing it open, you were greeted with an aged fabric swivel chair and a desk, on the wall above the desk was a small locker labeled 'KEYS'. It was an old security shed probably, some of the papers were from Park County Aviation Authority, a lot of mostly useless papers that were airport maintenance requests.
  221.  
  222. Main gate not working, front office needs a light replaced, grass needs mowing... Nothing much of interest. The papers were all old and disorganized, they felt stiff and stuck together as you tried to pull the fragile sheets apart. Your focus went up to the locker, you pulled it open and looked through the labeled keys. One was to the mower, another went to the front office, a third went to disposal. Below that were keys that looked more personal. One had a rusty metal keychain that used to say CIRRUS, a few others had a spongy keychain and stickers. They weren't the key you were looking for, the one you were seeking had a simple key on the ring and a faded yellow squishy ball meant to make it float in water probably, the logo written on it matched the plane Dummy was at. You listened carefully as the other plane rolled around the airport towards a large pavement lot where planes could be parked, this unfortunately put you right in the line of sight... You ducked back into the security shed as the plane parked nearby. If you ran now you'd be in direct sight for the run back around the corner to the cover of the hangar line. If they saw Dummy, you were both finished and if they saw you, Dummy might try and run.
  223.  
  224. You watched from the shadows of the security shed as the plane came to a stop and went quiet. It was large and had a loud set of spinning blades on the nose and two sets of wings. You didn't get a chance to see who got out of the plane as a large SUV came to a screeching halt and went through the gate onto the airfield up to the plane. You saw... Him! He got out of the SUV tailed by Zephyr and Autumn, he looked to be in a rightful panic talking to the man who got out of the plane. You couldn't hear what was being said due to the wind, but Zephyr and Autumn still kept glancing around nervously, like they were looking for you. You glared at them through the tiny bit that the security shed door allowed you to see out.
  225.  
  226. The group of them got into the SUV and drove off rather quickly. You grabbed the key you needed and hurried back around the corner and down the line of hangars to Dummy whose mood improved when he saw you had a key in your mouth. "Nice job! You get a chance to see who just arrived?"
  227.  
  228. "No, they all got in a car and went back up the mountain. The man looked like he was worried, I think he doesn't know we went this way."
  229.  
  230. Dummy grins, "Slipped away right under his nose. Okay, enough waiting around, let's get this thing started!" he squeaks, climbing up into the front seat, "The two of us can definitely fly this thing, I just need your help to keep the plane steady while I mess with switches and levers, okay?"
  231.  
  232. You nod, feeling an incredible sense of excitement. The first escape was exhilarating and the run felt like you'd finally attained control of your life. But this feeling? Freedom was at hand, if you and Dummy got this thing working, you'd be away to where that man could never get to you!
  233.  
  234. You kept an eye out while Dummy attempted to get the plane going, thankfully there was no one else coming, the road out towards the man's nightmare house was empty and things were silent until Dummy began to crank one of the engines. It rumbled and the blade spun around a few times while Dummy fiddled with the levers before it suddenly kicked and the engine roared to life. The plane inched forward out of the hangar when the other engine came to life.
  235.  
  236. Dummy waved a hoof at you, shouting over the engines, "Come on! Get in! Let's get the fuck outta here!" he cheered as you climbed up into the back seat. The plane rolled out and down towards the far end of the runway. The plane stops right before turning onto the runway as Dummy checks the skies one final time, then turns back to look at you, "We got enough fuel for a good trip, but getting over the mountains is gonna cut it short." he warns you before you're pushed back into your seat as the plane punches forward and the engines rev up.
  237.  
  238. You squint through the wind before you feel your gut drop and the ground beneath you fall away. Airborne now, you were home free. The ground continued to drop away as Dummy pulled back on the yoke and you both climbed. In spite of the plane's climb, the mountain range ahead pitched up steeply. The engines roared as Dummy frantically fiddled with the levers and then pulled back harshly. The trees zipped by just under the plane as you barely cleared it, the next ridge ahead was going to be easier to clear.

Horsegirl

by Neighpalm

Stripped Screw

by Neighpalm