>>28529142 >There's also some genuine loyalty building up there Nah. Corona is playing the long con. She's only using anon. Once she gains his trust enough to be in a position where she has a decent chance for freedom and escape, she's going to seize it.
>>28529160 "T-Thunderlane?" > Your own voice is shaking now, the rush of adrenaline finally wearing off and fire in your belly cooling from the raging inferno it had been moments earlier. > "Yes, Cadance?" "Go - go get Anonymous. Now. Yourself, not anypony else. Now! > "I..." > He falters. > Not because he is afraid of Anonymous, you realize from the way he looks at you. > He is afraid of what you might do. "I'll be okay, Thunderlane. We'll be okay." > Perhaps not so literally, considering how you'd thrown the guard around. > But close enough. "Hurry now. Somepony will have heard that and will be coming to investigate. Anonymous needs to see this before it gets out of control." > That phrase - out of control - finally seems to get through to Thunderlane. > Without another single word he is out the door; raising your voice, you call after him: "And send a doctor up, if you see one!" > Then it is only three of you in the room. > Silently you turn, climbing up onto the bed beside the filly - Cotton Cloudy, Thunderlane had said her name was. > She is still standing on the bed, frozen by shock, barely able to move. > Not until you stretch a wing out across her back, gently but firmly pressing her into the mattress. > All at once she seems to collapse, legs folding beneath her. > You join her, keeping the wing stretched out over her like a sheltering blanket. > After a moment, Cotton Cloudy tucks her head into your ribs and you feel the first heavy sob rack her body. > Laying your neck comfortingly over her, you twist your head just enough to lay a sharp, piercing glare in the direction of the man curled trembling in the corner. > He somehow curls even more tightly into himself, clutching at the wrist you'd twisted. > Not merely shocked. > Not even enraged. > Terrified. > He is terrified of you. > Understandably, too. > That Anonymous did not suppress his slaves' magic was a mercy. > As he'd put it, he could no more take that than tie a man's hands and expect him to work.