Hawknia greets the morning with her sister Cita. It wasn't an easy night for Cita, learning that her memories are just bits and pieces copied from Hawknia. She's even begun to doubt her college years. >Hawknia has a broken front leg, but it is healing >The Typhoon Clan, a foreign gang with tendrils in Seaddle, is on the lookout for whoever took their explosive expert >The Typhoon Clan was involved in a Corporate killing, but as long as Hawknia keeps her head down, they won't be able to pin it on her. >Cita's kidnappers arranged it so that she was sent to their location. It was mentioned that the whole thing was arranged quickly. >Cita's kidnappers were involved in a Mana-Cart accident, allowing Cita to escape. She does not recall where it happened
Sheeva has had to deal with another job ruining her appearance. She spend the day changing the way she looks and doing odd jobs. She's currently driving around with Whitne-yi, a drunk Gryphon who many people owe many favors too. Currently, a pony by the name of Potok is dealing with the situation. >This cart is carrying important papers. >There are several locations that have been sent to Sheeva from a previous employer. They are most likely dangerous.
Jenner is setting a metal hoof into unknown territory after being discharged from the hospital. Following an old lead by a deceased coworker, Jenner will struggle to seize a future. >Sent directions by friendly but cautious people over the Com-Link >The Hospital has stated that they only received Jenner from a much closer clinic >News organizations blame the dead CFO for embezzling funds. This is a pseudo-lie. >Important data storage systems containing their company's work were stolen
Sympathy Pain was finally able to return to work after her first Running job. She now shares the house with Rhodon Emera, a pony slowly becoming Crystal and heir to monstrous import company, as well as Alowishus, a robot capable of learning new physical actions Open Seam built from scraps. >Rhodon is about to make a call >Alowishus is still inside her house >The Runners were exposed and have gone into hiding or are leaving the city
>>646473 It's always thick at this time. The sea breeze, the cars, and the factories are always making it dense. At least the it isn't coming from the Forest. Things always get worse when the fog rolls in from there.
Cita finally got up and starts ruffling through your cabinets.
"Are you really this poor?" She says sarcastically and with tired eyes.
Precious Fleetwings is a homeless pony about to lose even that. After a thwarted pickpoketing attempt, she was finally able to get warm food. Unfortunately she was shot at right after. Now there is a scary looking group right outside her 'home'. I hope she can move quick. >Her laptop is talking to her >The laptop is afraid of the people outside, one person in particular. >Who were the girls who had the flash drive in the first place even working for?
>>646474 "Alright Rhodon… You know the number right? Oh and when you do call, maybe you should talk to your father first, ease him up, tell him that you're okay, and say that you were rescued by a nice nurse Lady alright? Don't forget to tell that you were taken good care of as well!"
>>646475 "You try getting a well paying job with no references or job history or even a proper diploma.." I reply grumpily and look around my closet for something normal enough to blend in on the street.
>>646477 "Uh huh." He says in compliance. It takes him some effort to reach the phone.
You, on the other hoof, are immediately swamped the moment you clock in. There are sick Gryphons whose numerous limbs hurts, a repeat wino or two, and then there is the pregnant filly who just walked in through your door.
"Miss Sympathy, my tummy hurts." Rhodon mentions after getting off the phone.
>>646478 There's a few rags and accessories lying around that might pass as an ensemble if you were drunk and hit over the head with a hoofball bat a few times.
"Mine are fake, so why couldn't you make your own? Maybe we can ask my OW OW OW!" She yells as she quickly holds her head.
>>646481 "…Not a traditional one. No.. I did have my team, and the scientists were pretty fatherly. Particularly one Donkey, Dr. Orglog, he helped me understand a lot of things about being a gryphon and where eggs normally come from."
>>646483 "Hmm those suits are probably still after you.. or me.. " Then I suddenly smile "Hey, maybe they just wanted me, so that I could do a job for them. A real assassination contract would pay so much. We could have steak."
>>646485 I go recheck the address and get dressed in those rags ignoring her negativity. "Well, decide if you want to use that secretary cash to buy us breakfast. I'll do what I can to cover you if you do."
>>646487 "Well, do you see any helicopters or mini turrets or rocket launchers around? I think those are required for crazy action stunts." "Also my leg is still broken. And we know nothing about what these suits are capable of." I sigh. "But I am hungry too, I think there is an ATM nearby, and fast food should be safe enough, maybe some kind of burger."
>>646490 "Oh, I'll do more than that…" Dig out his bag and hand it off to him, then heave the drunk into the passenger's seat. "Sorry to run, but I gotta get the rest of these delivered. Nice meeting ya!"
>>646479 Oh goddammit that's the third pregnant Filly this week! And the matter with Rhodon doesn't help either Ugh, I'm so glad I had that break yesterday, else I wouldn't have the mind to deal with this bullshit. Should I roll 4 times? Each to deal with every problem?
>>646500 "Sure. I don't see why not. You have the agility for stuff like this its clear." I set the feather on her head. "For today the lesson is being silent and blending in. Getting to the ATM and pulling out cash without catching any attention. Think you can do it?"
"I've been mugged three times." It takes her a while to admit that it happened three times in a row.
>>646506 "Just a glass of water. But I could only get one of the maids to pick up." His health and his mood starts to pick up. "Everyone was worried, and she sounded relieved when I said I was okay and where to find me. They said they'd find a ride for me! Oh, and maybe you can come too! And Seam!"
At the same moment, an out of place Mana-Cart begins to pull up.
>>646508 "Alright.. Well. When you walk, you need to walk upright, with confidence, you need to scan the road around you, look at the corners. Keep your head down, and don't linger in eye contact with anyone, but know they are there. If someone tries to talk to you, just nod or say 'good day' in reply and move on.." I go over these city roaming tips for several minutes.
>>646508 Oh shoot Let's stick close to Rhodon and watch that car, see who will come out of it "Seam is at school right now though… I'm sure he would love to come but he can't miss classes! Uh… Maybe you could invite him to play on the weekends or something?"
>>646518 >>646521 She looks like she's part of some comedy routine. It's hilariously bad how she tries to act incognito. But that might be the jitters getting to her. She manages to regain her composure and not look like a living example of Copy-Paste.
A crowd of people appears, since it seems many take their breaks at the same time. Cita winds up in a line, which should make her safer as there is no chance of someone just nabbing her.
Except you do see another odd Pony. He seems to be staring in her direction and pacing around.
>>646524 I do a practiced smile as I glance at the picture "I see… Could you please inform me of his name, sir? Also the name of the mother and the address receipt of course, as well as your documents and preferably, the colt's documents as well, if you have them"
>>646528 I keep smiling "Sir, we need documents to approve any takeoff of our patients, and we need them to look for the patient. This colt may not even be here anymore or could have never been here in the first place, who knows? The only way we can know is through documents."
>>646530 I can't go too far, but far enough that no one will bother us.. just into an alley should be okay. Put my sword on his neck. "Hey, don't scream, just answer my questions calmly. And you might even walk away from this."
>>646532 "The game of street interrogation. The rules are like this. You will answer me calmly, promptly and honestly. Don't follow my rules and we have problems." Wait for him to answer. "Why are you stalking me?"
>>646532 I remain calm, still holding on that fake smile ''Sir, please keep in mind this is a public place and silence is appreciated. Now I will repeat myself if you had not heard me correctly. But We are not sure if this colt is even here, If you would like, I could make a reception call and ask through the speakers if anyone has seen him.''
>>647021 Try to back off and calm him down ''Sir! Direct assault to one of the Clinic's workers is a terrible crime! Please drop your weapon and calm yourself! This is a family enviroment!'' I shout, trying to kick some sense into the big guy '1d10' Penitence
>>647030 I winch a little bit, but it would be odd for a mugger not to take all of the cash.. just nudge him a little more into the open so he can be seen quickly.. Get onto the roof and hide. '1d10+1' fly '1d10+3' stealth
>>647030 Wasn't there a little button under the counter to call for the cops in situations like these?! I struggle to get up, glancing at Rhodon who is hiding to see how is he doing, before turning to face this buffalo guy '1d10'
"Oh, they have a new Soylatte that is totally unhealthy, but I don't care anymore. And there's a burger with, get this, THREE SOYPATTIES! I know I said I wanted steak, but I'm sure I want to drown in guacamole with my burger!"
She's squawking loud enough that she's attracting onlookers' attention.
>>647062 ''That fool just tried to hit me in the middle of work, I am not letting him go before I whoop his ass and remind him to not mess with the crew of Petey's Clinic!'' I say as I turn back to them and head to the Banger pony, maybe punching his face will be easier? '1d10+1'
>>647086 In one blow, you've removed all his teeth and sent him unconscious.
There's a drunk Gryphon in an industrial Mana-Cart without a windshield. A Pony and a Dog lay on the ground next to a mana-kart full of bullet holes.
>>647087 He looks down at his picture when you move, and you can tell he's focusing on what's going on inside. He can see Cita, and he's walking closer to the restaurant and has opened up his Com-Link.
>>647088 It's standard procedure, you all practice what to do in case of fire and everyone follows it eventually while the clinic burns. Rhodon hides underneath you as the place goes up in flames and the police finally arrive.
>>647090 Shoot the pony in the leg with the dog's gun, then leave them there; classic case of an attempted robbery gone wrong. Now, get in the cart with all the papers I need to deliver and drive off. Don't want to fall behind, after all.
>>647109 Damnit… gonna have to switch the plates for this cart now… Pull on in and nod to him. "Sorry if I'm late, ran into a bit of trouble. I think you've got someone who didn't want these getting delivered."
>>647118 "There was a pony stalking us. Stalking you. He had a picture of us." I land in a space between the building looking around the corners cautiously, my feathers stiff and standing on my paw tips. '2d10'
>>647124 "He was well dressed, and he called someone. Probably back up." I narrow my eyes and look at the buildings around us. Anywhere building I can perch in to look out for a bit, maybe a dark window that I would be able to open? '2d10'
>>647122 Dang now found myself facing a dillema Abuse of this situation or look humble Well For Seam's sake, I couldn't afford being humble… I lower my head ''Well Miss…I'm very thankful for the offer, but I don't want a thousand bucks, or a fancy house…If you could, in any way…I just wanted to get me and my little brother out of this city…Or at least live in a better, safer place for him…I don't want to raise him in the slums anymore and without my parents with us…Rhodon was a sweetheart by the way, always polite and obedient. He even became friends with my brother…'' I give him a sweet smile
>>647130 I can wait. But I doubt my clone is willing to. And we'd lose time on the trail of that guy. Instead I'll take a breath. "Okay. Lets just circle around, maybe we can spot him and his friends.. follow them or something." '1d10+1' flyin' '2d10' spot check
>>647128 "Remarkably admiral. While Rhodon described you as a good person, I thought you were going to be just another mercenary."
"Which makes this all the harder." She pulls out a gun and shoots Boer.
>>647136 "Ugh, people only know about magic when it benefits them. But that'll change soon." He leads you down a few steps in the non-descript building they have. "See, it's dangerous, so I can understand why lots of people ignore it. But do you know why it's dangerous?"
>>647139 "Cuz people don't know how it works, so it keeps blowing up in their faces?" I gently but firmly grasp his shoulder. "Look buddy, I just beat down two guys cuz they started shooting at me. If this whole vague shit is to draw me into a trap, it's gonna end badly for ya."
>>647145 "Found them. Alright.. Now.." I look at her with a frown. "I really am not used to having someone else here.. we need to hide you somewhere nearby.." '2d10' look for a nice spot to hide her where she won't be spotted.
>>647153 Okay, Fuck. This. Shit. Grab him, slam him against the wall, and keep his neck trapped under my hoof. "Listen, dipshit. I have had too many people trying to kill me in the past few days for me to put up with these vague generalities. Talk. Details. What's in that Room? Either answer me straight, or I crush your windpipe, go back upstairs, and drive to the next dropoff. You UNDERSTAND!?!"
>>647158 "Follow them a bit, Kidnap a kidnapper maybe. If I don't come back by noon or you hear my screams get yourself back to my place as quietly and safely as you can.. It should be safe since they are after you not me.."
"The future of the world and of Magic. Your delivery confirmed my theories, and now all I have to do is input them. Right now, we all have to live in squalor because of the Forest and its weird magic. But in there, well, imagine what it would be like to be able to have your own home. With a yard, instead of these apartments?"
>>647161 She resembles the Cita you rescued just yesterday. She looks up to you, but this time manages to at least keep her head up as she nods in agreement.
>>647164 All right, loosen my grip, but still follow behind him, ready to strike. "With my medical bills? I'd never be able to afford something like that. And I've gotta say, I don't think it's the Forest that're shitting everything up. It's ponies. Or donkeys, or what-have-you… people screw someone to get what they want, screw someone else just cause they can, and all you can do is try to keep your head above water."
>>647166 ''Rhodon I don't know what's going on here but get down!'' I shout as I hold her down ''Ruining everything? Miss I don't know who you are but don't fucking kill a guy in front of me then point a gun to my head! What the hell do you think you're doing?!''
>>647171 "…Neat as that sounds, I'd be a bit more careful if I were you. Those corporations aren't going to like the idea of losing business. If they catch wind of something like this, you and everyone you meet on the street is dead." Follow him, but only enter the room if he goes in first.
>>647170 You're just a shadow. These guys aren't exactly pros, making it obvious that they're looking for you. Their Cart is stuck in traffic, but the new Pony you see is a Unicorn female, talking into her Com-Link.
>>647174 "There's no one who would like to stop it. Everyone likes to think of them as Non-Equestrians, but there's a pony or a goat or someone else at the top. And they can see the Forest approaching. As much as they like profits, they'd need to be alive to enjoy them."
He walks in and shows you his invention. A contraption in a closed off room, perpetually spinning.
"See that glowy thing in the middle, it's absorbing the nearby magic. It's already making this whole place safer. And with the paper you brought me, I'll be able to up the efficiency of it!"
"They took a risk funding me, I had to fight for every bit, but at last!"
>>647177 "Yeah, yeah, I'm keeping my eyes on the road. I'm not gonna be like those idiots. I swear, they get into an accident on a street like that?" The female Unicorn says.
"Don't get so riled up, you'll crash too. And I for one, don't need to meet with the boss if we fail to catch her."
>>647183 "Aaaand their competitors probably hired someone else to do the exact same thing, and want you dead so their guy can finish first. Seriously, up your security." Info on this could sell for a serious chunk of cash. There anything around I might be able to grab and sell off?
>>647185 "Just what is that lady thinking? Sending us, US, out on a wild Gryphon chase. We have better things to do, you know."
"Watch the road!" The male adds.
There's a pony working on an Electrical shed by the road. His truck is loaded with tools.
>>647186 "Not for this. You need special equipment, lots of it. And plenty of people to use it. They can try to steal their way in, but it'll never work." He laughs. "Besides, all the good scientists know to lock a little up here." He points towards his head.
"I, just wanted someone else to witness this thing with me. As it is, it'll barely be able to purify a city block. No one believed in me, I'm almost certain that the company keeps paying me because they forget to write me off. If my coworkers leave, they might all just forget about me. But with this, it'll take a load more research."
>>647197 "Well, that's pretty neat, but what happens to the magic once captured? Are you gonna be dumping filled cells in some dump somewhere and turning nearby residents into spider-ponies or something?" Just a quick glance around, nothing risky. This guy's unhinged as it is. '1d10'
>>647192 Lots more, though traffic is starting to thin out as they knock on your windows. They have some metal pipes on them.
They knock on the window again.
"Didn't you hear? You gotta pay up!"
>>647199 Lucky, this guy is packing some heavy gear. He's got a thick, long screwdriver that could probably double as a fencing saber in a pinch.
>>647201 "That's where the real money gets made, or at least where I can pitch it. It'll be a Catalyst. A strong one. Better than all the rest. They won't even have to hide it. Just get the other groups to bid on it, or sell it in bulk."
"That's the dream, of course. I wanted a witness, now I'm worried what the other groups are getting."
He blabs on, but your eyes are aimed at older samples. The notes are all over the place, and a few have already been broken.
>>647669 Ah fuck he asked for his mother… ''Rhodon we…have to get out of here fast'' I feel a tight squeeze in my chest, pursing my lips I close my eyes and kick the door as hard as I can with a hoof '1d10'
>>647677 Let her keep the wallet, look at the last number talked to on the phone, I bet it was her boss. "So.. what's you names? What are you doing out here circling our turf? You don't look like a gangster."
>>647677 ''Not much of words huh?…Alright, lemme think of something…hmngh…'' Look around, can I recognize where I am or can I find myself in this place? If not, let's look for a street sign to see where am I
>>647680 Well, that's not too bad at least… ''Are you good for walking for a while?'' Ask her as I head down the street, hoping this might be the right way, if I see we're getting lost…Maybe I shouldn't ask anypony I meet…Look down at myself and the others, how are we looking? TOo badly beaten up and bloody?
>>647681 "Why would I want…" You can hear the gears in her head spinning. "What's your fee?"
>>647682 You look as bad as you feel. Boer keeps clutching her wound, and Rhodon hasn't stopped crying since Boer stopped earlier. What little clothes you had left after the fire are even more damaged.
>>647683 "How about.. 300. That'd cover my membership fees for the month and leave me a little change for good food.." I sigh as if I were imaging the food. "Tell me about the target, what's special about her? Dangerous or trained?"
>>647686 "Alright.. where should I take her when I find the bitch?" I say with a hint of joy in my voice. "Are you gonna do something bad to her? She owe your boss somethin' Come on, I love a good story."
>>647686 ''I'll find out about her and just…What the hell was all that…'' I mutter to her, glancing at Rhodon, I want to say something but I can't…Not right now ''What about Rhodon…What we'll do with him?'' I whisper to her again
>>647690 It's 2:00 PM. Classes will be ending soon. At least he won't have to see you as you are. The streets are quiet right now as the sirens from the Clinic fire can still be heard. Everyone is keeping their head down as the rain pours too.
>>647691 "Yeah right. I'll give you my number. Send me her pic and I'll come get her, I don't do so first."
>>647702 "He's just down the hall. What's going on, who are these people?"
>>647703 It's going to be a while, since they're stuck in the middle of a road with a dead Cart. The female goes off on her phone to everyone while the male walks around, glancing up, trying to find "you". It's about an hour later when their new ride shows up. Two other well dresses Equestrians are inside the fancy Mana-Cart, a Crystal pony and a Pegasus.
>>647708 It's a textbook chase where you come out the victor. They followed protocol of taking side streets and detours, but you were able to follow them through the city. Not even getting close because of the rain was able to stop you.
They pull in to a large facility full of buildings and warehouses. A lone guard asks for ID.
>>647709 The Secretary helps you fill out the form, but not before the Principal Zebra shows up and asks about "the nature of this emergency?"
>>647716 It's an automatic garage, the door closing with no one there. Inside the warehouse, you can see that it hides an underground area. You can feel the ground slanting.
There are several other cars you can hide behind.
"I knew you were dense, Dosako, but not that much. How did you not notice your partner was being mugged?"
>>647717 You've only got some change on you. Carrying money in large quantities in that neighborhood was dangerous.
As for friends you could trust, there is the Donkey Du Berry. She's always slacking off, but she at least invited you to her house a few times and accidentally told you were she keeps the spare key. Boer cautions against that, though.
>>647719 The lights flicker while they berate each other. They head in through the only door available, arguing even further. If you were to look through the window, you'd see the that it's a long hallway with numerous other doors.
>>647718 I don't think it could be enough to buy some new clothes for all of us, sadly… And well, Du is pretty much the best choice we have right now, why would Boer advice against that? Let's go head to her house
>>647726 She unfurls her arms, revealing one of them to be missing shortly before the elbow. The rest of her is pretty big, as if you'd been binging on candies since you left Aqualesia and even before.
"Who are you? Please, let me out…" She says meekly.
>>647727 The weather plays havoc with your senses. It's hard to see anyone else through the stormy weather now, but it is hard for them to see you.
"Us. And Raiku. Rhodon told us about you when he called. Our phones are tapped."
>>647737 Roll my eyes. "First off its you that looks like me. Second off, I don't have time to explain it, I need to look for other copies of us, this place is collecting us for some reason.. Did they ask you anything? Let a clue slip?"
>>647745 "Okay.." '1d10+1' open one of the bigger carts with darker windows? "..you should be able to hide in here while I look for others. Think of your kids and keep quiet Acino.. Its important you don't tip them off about me."
>>647745 ''We'll Just be found, unless I somehow can run away to the other side of Equestria with Two kids, and even then, they STILL can find us…Running forever won't solve this…But I…I just don't know what to do anymore…'' I sit down and exhale deeply
>>647748 I look over the latch with a cringe but give Acino my best confident face. "I'm like the super spy version of you. I'll create a way out." "That said, wait here in case I find more so we can leave together.. but if someone besides me comes, then start the car and barrel down that door to escape. Just get out and go somewhere safe, but not your house since they'll look there, a neighbor or something." I explain while helping her into the cart.
>>647757 ''I know we didn't had much time together, but… I had fun, I like you Rhodon…It felt like I had another little brother that I had to take care of…'' I rub my neck
''You know…Part of the reason I don't want to let go is because…I…Have this stupid hope t-that…That we could live together…'' I start stuttering ''And I wouldn't even mind taking care of you and Seam t-together…I thought we could…B-be a f..f-f…'' I can't even hold back the tears anymore, staring at him like that breaks my heart, and leaving him just makes it worse.
>>647764 "Nah, family doesn't owe family kid. Don't you know how that works?" I pat her head gently. "Going back for more, if those goons come out make a break for it. Don't worry about me." then turn back without even waiting for an answer, gotta go back in the hallway.
>>647762 ''R-Rhodon I can't…I-I can-an't stay with you…It's dangerous…P-please understand, you have to understand…'' I sniffle
''Don't you w-want to be back with your dad?…L-live happy with all the toys you want and living in a pretty house? S-safe with your father?…You know I can't give you any of that…I can't give you the safety and the happiness you need to grow healthy…I have to run…To hide…For Seam and for you…'' Wrap him up in a hug, a tight one filled with love
>>647768 "You" are putting up a good fight. Looks like you've managed to knock down one of the Ponies and are wailing on him. The Female Unicorn is trying to concentrate to pull you off, but her magic keeps failing.
You can easy sneak up to them, the hallway hasn't been cared for very well. Lots of litter everywhere.
>>647772 I shake my head ''N-no no…Sorry…I just got so emotional…And you two are so alike…heh…I looked at you two and it was almost like you found a new brother…'' I slightly pull out of the hug, wiping the tears with a hoof as I look at Rhodon ''But yeah…Rhodon…What about your dad and living a calm life?…''
>>647775 ''Rhodon….Oh Rhodon…'' I usually wouldn't let myself get so emotional like this But you know what to hell with it ''Alright…A-alright…You can stay…We-we'll be…A family…'' I smile and hug him back, holding him close to me
>>647782 "Sorry. I don't smoke." check the bodies of these two for badges to access more of the building '2d10' "It doesn't really matter if you believe me, there are a bunch of gryphons, innocent gryphons, trapped in here, I'm gonna rescue all that I can. You don't wanna help, you can wait with the cart while I go on ahead."
>>647793 Pull the sword out cleaning it and look at her and then the pony my mind turning wondering if I made a mistake.. "Think you can save him? If we kill everyone here we might not learn anything. I saw some restraints in the other rooms we can use if you can manage to save him.. so we can question him.."
>>647794 "I swore an oath, but on these two, I'm going to forget it. I can keep him stable enough, but he's going to die if we don't get to a hospital. I can kick the other one a few more times, that might wake him."
>>647795 With a quiet sigh I'll finish off this pony. "..They didn't teach me holding back.." "Think you can handle restraining that guy you were beating up? I'll investigate this room a little, maybe there is a hint about their boss here."
>>647797 "Just so you, or is it I, know, I do this for a living. I'm always assigned to the crazies." She manages to tie the Crystal pony's limbs behind him using his own clothes. It's a tight knot, he isn't going anywhere.
The door he came through is partially opened. Looks like he never closed it all the way.
>>647804 "How am I expected to read these notes!? A decade of education, and a kitten would have better writing than them. Beryl, hurry it up!"
The person there should be obvious, with one major difference. Her fur is whiter with age, the spots starting to become the same color as the rest of the fur. Her feathers are more separated, a little looser.
>>647819 "I.. I didn't care about the lies, as long as I had a purpose.. but.. I've been out of that for years, none of my contacts.. maybe none of them were even real.." I shake my head thinking of the past. "I didn't care about it, I was.. fulfilled by being good at my job, being better than anyone else.. Then I lost that.. I was lost for months, I didn't know how to get a real day job, wound up with one that barely pays the rent.." Then step a little closer to her. "Then I did start to care, I demand a better explanation."
>>647827 "Just that I was genetically engineered to be an assassin.. They also took credit for it, and mentioned how ridiculously expensive it was.. The way they told it I thought there might be another out there, but.. I thought they'd be assassins too.. Not normal citizens.." Then my wings flare with anger. "If you knew about me, why didn't you come find me? I could have worked with you! Retrieved all these clones for you."
>>647840 "So they heeded my advice after all. I guess I can't blame you for how you came out too much."
"Which are your strongest memories, training as it were, or other activities? If they took my advice, did they have you go into the woods to learn "tracking", learn how to sow "wounds"? Did you have a "friend" you snuck out and talked to?"
>>647846 "…Yea, that stuff.. That happened.. And a lot of training in simulations.." I glare at her. "Why do you keep talking like you were directly involved? What's this, some twisted immortality project?"
>>647855 "Then lets stop it. There are more than enough of us out there. Lets stop them from cloning more. Steal the formula, kill the scientists that know it, delete all their research." "Its what we are good at. Destruction."
>>647861 "Toys. Pets. Trophies." She points at the Nurse. "Do you know why you were given that job at that hospital? Did you ask the child why she was so insistent on guarding that sick jenny? Or that fat hen, do you know who she is married to?"
"Each of them, custom ordered. That child back there, did you know she will never get bigger? Do you know why? The fat one, do you think she's just the victim of an unfortunate accident?"
>>647864 "Because some fat executive somewhere wanted one. They had some idiotic plan about making money, and then you were presented as tools to do so, sullying ME and everything I wanted to do! You are so close to my goal. With you, I know I only need a little more to succeed!"
>>647868 "My intention was to harbor the next generation of true Gryphons. We've lost our way in the world. Most of the ones you'll see outside are much closer to that hen. Content to make money and feed themselves with the provided food. But with the return of magic, we can return to power."
>>647869 "I always did feel like I was superior to everyone else, to ponies, to gryphons.. I do long for something else.." Bring myself right next to her, "That's you isn't it Mother, your thoughts, your inspiration." Then press the gun right up next to her chest. "Your curse."
It's a slow night for the Bartender Raito Tailwind. But it is to be expected, the Swinging Tail Bar isn't usually packed during the week. Just the occasional Equestrian tired from work who needs to forget a bad day, or an anxious Lady Zebra hoping to find him willing to do after hours work.
>>648536 Nigishu does her usual slow walk towards you, trying to scout out the other regulars, to make sure they aren't cops or informants. She's done it a few times and they pay her no heed as she sits on one of the corners and beckons you over with a green business card.
>>648537 Eye the girl up with a flash of silver from my synthetic eyes. What is she wearing tonight? You can tell a lot of a girl's mood from what she's wearing. Move over slowly, pacing in time with the music playing in the background. "What a lovely sight."
>>648539 Swirl together in a single small, tall glass the purple liquors and green hazes of her usual drink, long rays of gold reflecting off the surface coat. With just two fingers of my talon, push the glass towards her. "On the house." Let the talon fall down on the card, picking it up and reading it.
>>648540 She takes to it like a babe suckling on their mother. The whole thing goes down in one motion. When she puts down the glass, she becomes one of the regulars. Remember, don't give her too much, she's the crying type when drunk.
"It's an easy gig, just straighten up a group of boys and girls getting too confident. They've been giving us lip, or is it beak? Eh, they've been reneging on paying us our due for services rendered. Simple job right up your alley."
>>648541 Pocket the card, going quickly into a pretense of business, a series of entirely pointless, practiced motions to make the untrained observer lay off my back. "I thought the deal was over, Nigishu."
>>648543 Let the lens over my eyes glimmer as I stare back into hers. Then break away from the serious, deadly glare, my beak spreading up in a grin. "Well then, how lucky the two of us met. Two non-cruel souls in the midst of the night."
Her face goes back to her practiced smile, every bit of her going through the motions. She orders another drink before heading out, something sweet to wash out the taste of the day. And at least she tips decently.
The rest of the regulars begin to clear out, their rides waiting for them, hoping for a good tip from an inebriated customer. This leaves you and a green business card with an embedded chip in a bar that could use a good cleaning.
>>648546 The water starts coming down as the city weeps for its soon to be dead, the sound of the only physical lock in then place clicking in place.
Outside, you see a few Taxi-Carts sweep the street for drunks to pick up and charge a hefty fee to take home. Ahead, over the river, you can see the splendor of the business district, the towers trying to reach higher and higher.
>>648548 The place is the same as always. A ratty apartment over some stall in the business district where even the roaches refuse to do business. There's still a few peddlers outside offering their goods, but I'd recommend against them if you haven't had your shots for the year.
A Pegasus carrying saddles full of fast food appears and flies in front of the second story window. After knocking, a big Diamond Dog opens the window and begins chatting it up. Even from your distance, you can hear the yells of Equestrians in the third floor as they watch the game.
>>648549 Delivery under 10 or it's free. Not even a superhero could make it. Take my eyes off the night-flier and keep them on the road. For today, I will just walk down this road and back to my place. Not trying too hard to avoid troubles.
>>648550 There's more than a few drug pushers giving you glances from blind alleyways. It'll be a coin toss if they're legit or just junkies looking to rob you. There's the hoofful of prostitues offering you a good time, several of them already stoned and a few more looking like they just came out of elementary school.
From here, the rest of the route is going to be full of packed Mana-Carts trying to do deliveries before the sun rises and a few break ins.
>>648552 Well, it seems you caught a potential thief in the act. Your eyes spot a Gryphon trying to jimmy open a window lock. She's a bit thinner than the Gryffs you're used to seeing frequent your bar.
Best yet, she's only a few floors above a little noodle stand. There's a few ponies and a Buffalo there, at least you know you won't get terrible food poisoning there.
>>648561 "I'm sure the cops will love the half finished job you have going on here." Smile, umbrella held over my head as we float midair. "Care to answer a few questions, out of the rain?" With one talon, point downwards. "There's free noodles in it for you."
>>648566 "Thought she was a thief, eh?" The Old Horse laughs as Mina becomes indignant. "I keep telling you to change the lock, but you never listen, just like my daughter."
"Yeah, I'm Mina Studeri, the [i]thief you caught. It's actually my house, but I always fly in. Very few ways to get in unless you have a pair of these to help you get up there. So what brings a big strong Gryphon like yourself here?"
>>648567 "I'm actually disappointed, Mina. Thought you'd be the perfect girl for the job, but I might have been mistaken. You see, I need the lay of the land around here. Figured a thief would know." Then give her a long look, not letting those words die in my mouth. "But a local might too."
>>648569 Ignore the question, breaking up the throwaway chopsticks and blowing cold air on the order. Take a long whiff off the soup and smile, waiting for it to cool down. "Raito. And no, I'm just looking for some lost kids."
>>648572 The Old Chef gives a cold laugh. "Then you can just throw a stone outside and hit one of those. Lazy, good for nothings, they don't actually try to find real work like my Mina here."
"Pops, not so loud." She says to him with care. "I wouldn't mind helping you find whoever you're after. I can use the distraction since I'm between jobs again, as long as we can keep this in the down low."
Despite being less than agreeable at times, Nigishu does go out of her way to help you. The chip has a video of their base from when an underling of hers went to visit, and she has numerous photos of the three main individuals you should focus on, with notes.
A Pegasus, a Diamond Dog, and Buffalo she hoofs as the ones leading the others to hold out. You can distribute the pictures to Mina's Com-Link if you wish.
>>647213 I look at one of the gems for a moment… That could bring a lot of money… But I've come this far doing… not honest work, but I earned every chip of it. Not sure I want to give that up now. "By the way, what would happen to the, like, unicorns and such caught in it's radius? Wouldn't that be bad for the- >>648670 someone's coming." Get up beside the door and get ready to jump whoever's coming in.
>>648673 "You could blow one up if you managed to dig the spellbooks out for something that flashy. As they are, they can do any one spell, but you'll spend more time recharging it. That's what we're trying to work on, since only the specialized catalysts are working easily nowadays."
>>648675 "You'd probably knock them out. Unicorns and Crystal ponies rely on Magic more than an Earthie or a Goat. Thing is, you'd have to tie them to it 24/7. There's so much ambient magic…" He trails off.
You get a strong vinegar-y smell.
>>648676 "You shouldn't have picked this line of work if you wanted that." The Chef adds as he picks up the plates.
"Here, I've seen the insides of their building, at least the second floor, from when I'm making deliveries for Pops."
>>648680 "Sorry, sorry. Just need to make copies."
"You got the backstory on his work? We'll be visiting several others. Always on the brink of a discovery, but they can never make one. It's a lost cause." Whitne-yi laughs. "Oy, mind if we make off with one of your failures?" He asks in a mocking tone. "Maybe this Earthie here can make use of it. Come on, it's their first day!"
>>648689 "Hmm, how can I? Aha!" The scientist claps his hooves. "Will you be doing more deliveries with Whitne-yi in the next few days? Your movement is the perfect catalyst for my tests. Just use my catalysts and use my tools for measurements of the area. Maybe they just don't work well here."
>>648690 "It's cold out and they don't take care of themselves, I should be able to pass. Worst case, I write it up as us being set up."
"They do it in more secure areas." He locks a door. "With more security." He locks a second dorr, but waits for the beep. "ANd those companies don't have so many focused on magic." He gives a camera the finger, and a door begins to fall behind you. "And these are the saner ones that we do overland delivery with. Imagine the ones they actually guard."
Before you lies the cold, dead body of your "mother". Her blood is still trickling out, but much slower, in this forsaken laboratory. In the next room, you have an unconscious guard who had been coming after you, along with several other dead bodies. Acino, another copy of you that is missing her front left leg, is waiting for you in the car you broke into. Inside the car is a smaller, angrier duplicate of you waiting with her "sister", a sickly Jenny.
>>648701 Your delivery Gryphon is arguing with an Earth pony guard. He's supposed to keep an eye on an apartment complex holding several individuals you've been tasked with "taking care of."
>>662717 "Hey buddy, you keep holding yo9ur girl up like this and she's gonna leave your butt. I'll try holding her down at the Rocket Lounge, but you better get he*HEY* I have him on the phone, he's on his way! You owe me, okay!?" *CLICK*
>>662724 …. I need to get a tech pony to track all these numbers for me. This is so much harder without any backup.. Leave the guy here, and fly to the van, I recall telling them to leave if I took too long.
>>663119 I'm not in a good mood, this situation has got my feathers more than a little ruffled. Smack the alarm clock a few times. "I might have one, check the fridge, my food is your food for now." Point in the direction of the fridge.
>>663138 Shake my head. "Her goals.. I still don't get it.. but it didn't turn out how she hoped." Seeing the little one I calm down and smile. "Well, of course, but only as long as she eats all her fish and vitamins."
>>663144 get up and kind of lean down so I'm eye level with to Yuna. "Actually. I don't know if its safe for you to go home. I'd like you all to stay here until I can make sure. They kidnapped you once and might do so again.."
>>663157 I sigh at Acino. "Its better that they don't know anything, that way they can't be questioned." Then turn my attention back to Yura "I could go alone if you're too tired from this, you'd have to tell me where you live and what the medicine is called so I can find it."
>>663166 Your damaged limb is feeling much better, one of the perks of being a corporate product. A few of the big feathers have been knocked out of place, but Cita and Acino can probably help with that.
>>663168 Peering into your main room, it looks like a sleep over for refugees. City bought a lot of supplies from the local stores, so everyone is covered. Acino has the little Donkey with her, while Yura both leans her head on and pecks at her pillow. Cita has a new Com-Link with her, or at least the refurbs you see being hawked around.
>>663173 I look surprised. "What? No. Of course not." The look over at the other three with concern whispering to Cita "but if tonight didn't stop the ponies hunting us, then we may have to get new identities. New lives. Be prepared for that."
>>663175 I nod. "I understand Cita, I'm going to do everything I can to get you back to your old life, I just wanted you to be ready in case.. Just don't say anything to the others yet, they are still in shock." Let my eyes linger a moment on that serious note and then cough a bit stretching my wing. "Can you help me with this feather? I just can't quite reach it."
>>663183 "Yep, lets get ready." Pick up my swords, and rope, and look through my closet for a something decent so I don't stand out in the rich part of town, like a dress, hopefully I have two so Cita can wear something..
>>663184 Both of you are still young, you could pass as the daughters of almost anyone in the city as long as you aren't wearing rags. Cita borrows some of your clothes, and a small jacket to cover anything else up.
>>663196 "For once, I'm hoping it's just a few regular rent-a-cops they have."
The flight over to the apartments isn't very eventful. You only fly into a few other Gryphons and Pegasi at this time of the week, and make good times with a couple of breaks for Cita.
You wind up about 2 blocks away from one of the Checkpoint entry ways. Behind the big fence, a huge helping of proper apartments and homes surround a hill. Even when it was new, your apartments never looked that nice.
So far, seems like this checkpoint is less packed than the one you normally have to go through. There's a small line, but only a few people with two guards checking IDs.
>>663209 "Yea, we just got back from this great party, you wouldn't believe who was there. Ooh tell them about the thing that Ollie did, that trick with the cups! You saw it right?" I nod encouraging her spreading my wings to describe it.
>>663212 The clearly labeled buildings make everything here easier. even finding the apartment on the seventh floor isn't hard. Thing is, you can see some movement through the curtains. Their parents must still be inside.
>>663215 Ah, of course. Worried parents up through the night. "Cita, you think you can knock on their door and get them to check the hallway? You could hide and pretend to be the Yura. I'd go in the window and get the medicine while he's distracted."
>>663228 "At this time of night? It'll all be turned off. Worse, I have to sign in to access my notes, so everyone would know." She racks her head for a moment. "But there's one thing we can do. Break into the house and steal my dad's Com-Link."
A few back alley twists and turns to shake any followers and you find in your self in the modest Establos District. Nothing as big or as glamorous as where you've been, but you can tell they have a decent share of money from such a nice house, even a block away.
There's actually a bit of traffic and a late night Walker and couple tend to pass by every few minutes.
"Part of me just wants to turn the key and go sleep in my bed."
>>664421 The Cart passes by at a slow pace, the windows tinted so the passengers aren't visible at this time of night.
Strolling up to the house like you own it, you easily get around to the back and grab they key. The garage door doesn't put up a struggle. Now all that remains between you and the house proper is a single door.
Inside, you see a normal house. Their TV is thinner and nicer than yours, and you can smell fresh fruits, even though they are locked away in the refrigerator. Cita goes off towards the charging area of the Com-Link.
"It's dead, I'll have to charge it for a bit before I can use it."
>>664425 You don't find any noticeable bugs, but they've got a lot of technology toys you could hack to listen in on them. Anyone coming to repossess the clones would probably have one or two hackers on their payroll.
The Com-Link reach 5% charge as you looked around and Cita was grabbing blankets.
>>664428 Wait they must have seen the lights we turned on, or heard us talk. I face claw and then put a chair up against the front door so they can't open it. "Cita, we have to go now, they noticed us."
>>664436 Take to the air, forcing her to do so as well to get her answer, which I give with a grumpy scowl. "Its like I was saying about not leaving notes and not going home, they knew where you worked, of course they knew where you lived and were waiting for you to come back."
>>664439 "The transfer might as well wait. I'm sure there's a million an two things tracking the Com-Link, just like the internet said." Cita takes a deep breath. "You've got any beer? After all this, I just want to get hammered."