The trials and tribulations of managing your own personal pony village.
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!F9CBa509ak 2016-09-25 11:35:11 No. 28500546
"Relax, Mocha. I'm not asking for the key to the future or anything. Just... advice."
> "Well, I, ah..."
> Her tail curls beneath her a moment, voice still slightly trembling.
> "...I meant what I said, Master. Just think about what you would do for another, um, another person."
> More softly, she adds:
> "When I was a filly, my mother used to reward me by setting aside a whole night to do fun things together."
"Unfortunately, I don't think of 'fun' or out at a good restaurant is going to solve this particular issue."
> "...oh..."
> Her despondent voice is accompanied by the maid almost seeming to try and shrink back into her uniform and hide herself from you.
> Sighing gently, you beckon her over.
> Mocha Cream approaches, ears flat and eyes downcast; she jumps slightly when your hand settles amid her thick mane and begins to rub.
"Don't have to be so jumpy. I may've woken up looking like hell, but that doesn't mean I'm going to bring it."
> "Thank you, Master."
> Gaze finally rising to meet yours, Mocha's cheeks tint with a touch of pink.
> Her ears flick underneath the touch of your hand, but she doesn't tense up or shy away either.
"You have any family here, Mocha? I don't ever remember you mentioning them."
> And you had spoken to her before - light chatter with breakfast, or while she laid your clothes out.
> "No, sir. I... was sold separately from them. "
"...ah. I see. Before this?"
> "Two sales ago, sir. We were... captured together, but sold apart at the first sale. You bought me from my first owner."
> Now she hunkering down again - though from your presence or against the weight of those memories, you can't tell.
"Your husband?"
> "Parents, sir."
> Then, more softly:
> "I'm only fifteen..."
> Eyes snapping down, you study her more closely.
"...and how long were you with your last owner?"
> "Three years, sir..."
> Mentally adding on the time she's been your maid, you feel your frown deepening.
"... first sold when you were ten? That's a bit young."

!F9CBa509ak 2016-09-25 11:36:12 No. 28500551

> "Nine, sir..."
> Thinking back, you try and remember what you were doing at nine years old.
> Certainly not working.
"Well, I suppose I have to thank you for not deciding to run off with the rest of them, then."
> "I, ah.. you're... welcome? But, um... we weren't asked."
> "The ponies who work in this house. Nopony trusts the house slaves."
> That, you suppose, made sense.
> Yet you'd never particularly thought about it before.
> Unconsciously your hand begins to run through her mane again.
> Mocha Cream tilts her head slightly, as if unsure of how to react to this.
> Yet, as before, she does not show any sign of discomfort.
"Tell me, Mocha... do you think you're capable of taking care of another pony?"
> "Taking care of..."
> Her head tilts again, the first real motion she'd made since your hand started moving through her mane.
> "I... suppose so. I've never been asked to before. I, um - the three of us in my room, we mostly look out for each other..."
"It'd probably be easier than taking care of me."
> You can't quite bring a chuckle up to follow that, though.
> "Well, um... you are the Master... sir. But, can I ask what you are planning?"
"Just an idea. I think I might know a way to make up for part of what I've done."
> Rising, you deliver one final pat on the head.
"I'll keep you updated. For now, I'm going to go down and see about this extra shift."
> Lighting her horn, Mocha quickly begins cleaning up the remnants of your breakfast.
> "Yes, Master. Ah, will you be needing anything for your arm?"
> Arm?
> Glancing over abruptly reminds you of the thick bandage still bulging beneath your sleeve - obvious, unless you had a coat.
> The painkillers - and the far greater throbbing of your head from the previous night's indulgence - had been enough you'd almost forgotten about it.
> Unfortunately, it was still far too warm for a proper jacket.

!F9CBa509ak 2016-09-25 11:37:18 No. 28500557

> And considering who you were going to see...
> Sighing gently, you nod.
"Yes, Mocha. See if you can go find the lightest jacket I have."
> ...
> Even from a distance, you can tell the camp is abustle with unusual activity for a Sunday morning.
> Certainly ponies were usually at work, usually working on the town itself, but it was somehow different from a typical working day's busyness.
> Seeing this is far, far different.
> Though the security officer at your side does draw a few looks, and you sometimes do get the feeling that they are slowing and pausing as you pass.
> Finding Cadance is thankfully quite easy.
> She sits on her haunches at one in a long row of benches, horn alight and a pair of eyepieces held up to her face to see the tiny charm she currently works on.
> A human might not be able to use magic, but you can certainly feel it:
> Skin prickles at the ambiance of energy in the air as you walk between the rows of unicorns at work, the flow of energy channeled by dozens of horns hard at work.
> The enchantments they produced were simple things, relatively:
> One for keeping mosquitos away, a charm against sweating, a localized levitation spell for hovering desk displays...
> Absurdly simple pieces, and from what you understood nothing a talented enchanter would have wasted their energy on back in Equestria.
> Here, though, the market was vast.
> Cadance drops the eyepieces as you approach, setting the magic down in her telekinetic grasp.
> She issues you a curt bow, but it's more businesslike than groveling.
"I'm impressed you pulled it off. How many are you missing?"
> "Only a few here and there. I'm filling in for one of them here."
"So I see. I mean what I told you last night, by the way - I'll see the funds transferred immediately."
> More than a few ears turn in your direction, though none of the ponies openly look up from their work.
> They must've heard of your promise through Cadance, but to hear it confirmed directly...

!F9CBa509ak 2016-09-25 11:38:39 No. 28500566

> "We... appreciate it, sir. Everypony does. Especially because of why-"
> You cut her off before she can go too far down that path.
> "If I can ask, sir... the ponies who aren't here today. Will the guards be looking...?"
"No. Not unless you decide to send them looking; this isn't a shift I asked for, so it's no skin off my back if some skip it."
> Wincing sharply at your phrase, Cadance still manages to put in a strong shake of her head.
> "Absolutely not. Everypony here is here because I asked them to be, not because I forced them."
"An easy thing to say now."
> "What do you mean?"
> Your mouth turning up in a bitter smirk, you simply shake your head.
"If accepting that not everyone will always follow directions was always so easy, none of this would be needed. I do hope you remember what I told you about leaders making hard choices?"
> Brows lowering to narrow her eyes, she snaps back:
> "I don't believe I could forget that now, Master."
> Hiding your own wince draws a considerable amount of mental fortitude.
> "Is there anything else, Sir? If not, I'd like to continue on my work here."
> No, she wouldn't.
> Her words might say she does, but tone and body language only say she wishes to stop speaking to you.
"No, that will be it."

> Yawning a wide, hard yawn, you raise one hoof to scratch at the tip of your muzzle as you wait beside the guard station.
> The rush of ponies heading for their work stations had long since passed, but it was still the early morning yet.
> A distinct chill still hung in the air and sleep had not yet released the last vestiges of its grip on your body.
> Missing your typical rest-day yesterday on the extra shift had cost you.
> Monday morning were never good, but this one was somehow worse.
> At last the side-door to the guard's station opens; the man who emerges carries a clipboard in one hand and a coffee cup in the other.

!F9CBa509ak 2016-09-25 11:39:47 No. 28500574

> The latter draws your envy; real coffee was a luxury rarely seen in the camp, and the "instant" stuff the humans produced never tasted right.
> Still, you draw yourself up as he sets eyes on you - if for your own well-being than anything else.
> "Well, you're on time. Color me surprised."
> About typical.
> The sergeant had never been a friend of yours, and it'd gotten worse after you'd taken Rumble's lashes.
> He still wasn't ready to let you forget you'd 'backed up a rebellious runt'.
"Good morning, sir."
> "Nothing good about it, smartass. Now c'mon - we've got a good dozen delinquents to round up today."
> You'd never been able to prove that being shifted to this duty wasn't an unofficial punishment either.
> Certainly he knew that you hated finding ponies who hadn't - or couldn't - show up at their morning shifts.
> Especially the ones who could, but didn't.
> Walking through the streets, you catch the eyes of a few ponies moving from one part of the camp to another.
> Most shoot quick, nervous glances in your direction; the human security guard speeds their hooves out of sight.
> Though technically not late, nopony wanted to be cited for delinquency.
> A few, though, had harsher emotions bubbling behind their eyes.
> Those you meet with your own gaze, calm and veiled, refusing to show either fear or hostility to meet the hatred they directed at a pony who'd cooperate with the hated captors.
> It wasn't as if you didn't understand, after all.
> Watchpony might be a volunteer position, but as far as you were concerned it was no more an option than the fence that locked you in here in the first place.
> It wasn't, a voice at the back of your mind whispers.
> You were just taking the easiest path, selling out your fellow ponies.
> Long practice squashes that voice, though.
> The nights when your guilt kept sleep from you were long since passed.

!F9CBa509ak 2016-09-25 11:41:07 No. 28500583

> It helped that the first pony on the list was absent, and the second you spotted vanishing down the corner of a street a few blocks distant.
> Nothing, of course, was said to your accompanying sergeant.
> All the other bunkrooms you peer into are empty, their occupants off to start the day's labor.
> Third on the list is unfortunately still in his room when you arrive, buthe thankfully raises little fuss - sitting with downcast eyes as the sergeant with you writes out a report on his tablet and sends it off.
> Smartly refusing to give him a reason to recommend anything more than a mild cut in luxury rations.
> When he is done you walk the young stallion to the door, speaking softly.
"Now, Hoops, do I have to walk with you the whole way?"
> "No, Mister Thunderlane."
> He shakes his head softly, eyes still on the floor.
> "I'm a good pony. I - I just overslept. I know it was my fault."
"Where do you work?"
> "Cloud-jar packing, Mister Thunderlane."
> You grimace softly, ears falling and blowing a soft huff from your nostrils.
> Pushing clouds around all day, and after the extra shift the day prior?
> No wonder he'd overslept.
"Well, I'll trust you on that. You'll be there in... ten minutes?"
> "Five, Mister Thunderlane."
> Five, to cross the camp?
"No need to gallop. If you arrive exhausted, you won't be able to work. Take ten, and if anypony asks tell them I said so."
> "...thank you, Mister Thunderlane."
> Even as his grey tail vanishes into the distance, you can't help but feel your heart sink a little bit.
> The way he'd called you 'Mister Thunderlane'...
> That wasn't respect driving that.
> "You still gawking at his ass, or can we get moving now?"
> Ignoring the implication, you shake your head.
", sergeant. I'm done."
> Somehow you manage to keep the annoyance from your voice.
"Where are we going next?"
> "Ah, Drizzle. Block C-15."

!F9CBa509ak 2016-09-25 11:42:57 No. 28500599

> Halfway there, though, the sergeant's radio squawks to inform him the pony in question had turned up at the medical clinic, obviously too ill to work.
> Privately, you breath a sigh of relief.
> One less pony you'd have to chase down.
> Instead you head to a nearby block for another pony on the list.
> As you reach the block of rooms she lived in, the sergeant calls back:
> "You wait at the end of the hall in case she runs, I'll go in and get her."
"Got it, sergeant."
> Nevermind that Cotton Cloudy was a pegasus, and could quite likely 'run' out the window if she wanted.
> Settling on your haunches, you watch the sergeant vanish into her room.
> ...wait.
> Your ears swivels, something having dragged its attention.
> Yes, there it was again - the creak of a bed, behind another door several paces down.
> Trotting up to it, you call in:
"Hello? This is Thunderlane, with the watch. Is anypony in there?"
> Pressing an ear to the door, you barely catch the creak of a shifting bed from inside.
> Somepony was in there, for sure.
> It wasn't her room, but...
"Cotton Cloud, are you in there? You've been tagged as delinquent, we're here to find you."
> No response.
"Whoever's in there, I'm going to have to come in."
> Reaching for the master key hung on your neck, you slip it between your teeth and quickly unlock the door.
> Stepping in, you're met by an apparently-empty room:
> Four cots, a water tap, a small shelf/nightstand for the few treasured possessions they would have...
> ...and a lump, buried beneath multiple blankets on one bed, that sniffs softly.
> Approaching, you sit on your haunches beside the bed and put on your best reassuring-voice.
"Hey. Cotton Cloudy, is that you?"
> Sniff.
"Listen, you've been tagged as delinquent, but you're not in too much trouble yet. So, please come out?"
> Nothing.
"If you're sick, I can take you too medical. You won't be in trouble."
> Still silence.
> Celestia above, you hated this job.

!F9CBa509ak 2016-09-25 11:44:55 No. 28500608

"Cotton? I'm going to have to pull the blanket off."
> "No... please, just leave me alone."
"I'm sorry, Cotton. I can't do that, but I promise I won't hurt you, okay?"
> "Just go..."
> Reaching forward, you grip the edge of the blanket in your teeth and yank.
"Now, why don't you get up and we can ta-"
> The smell hits you like a hurricane-blast.
> Cotton Cloudy, curled into a tiny white-and-blue ball on the bed, peers out with red-rimmed eyes, ragged wings wrapping around herself to replace the blanket you'd taken.
> For several long moments, you stare dully at her - trying to reconcile your memories of the energetic young filly you'd once known in Ponyville and the grown mare once again reduced to a shocked and broken foal in front of you.
> The stench of old sex and stale semen grows only stronger.
> Heart thudding you fall back again on your haunches, mind whirling.
> "Please, don't tell them. Just go away..."

- Go find the sergeant first. He needs to know about this; he'll be able to make sure she don't get in trouble.
- Get her to the medical building immediately. She's been assaulted; her safety is your foremost concern.
- Don't take Cotton Cloud anywhere; instead, try to find Cadance. She is your leader and needs to know about this.

Or suggest your own alternative.

!F9CBa509ak 2016-09-27 04:57:23 No. 28518028
"Alright, Cotton."
> You reach out to touch her shoulder lightly.
> She flinches, wings tightening down against her sides.
> Were you not supposed to touch her?
> You didn't know - you'd been a weatherpony, a Wonderbolts trainee for Celestia's sake!
> Nopony had ever told you what to do with a pony who'd been raped!
"I'm not going to report you, okay? You're not going to be in trouble."
> Eyes watery, she gives the barest nod.
"But I have to take you tot hte medical building. They'll be able to help you there, and I promise you won't be in trouble."
> "N-No. Nopony can... they'll smell it!"
"You're hurting, Cotton. They'll be able to help you, but you have to come with me."
> When she doesn't move, you pull the blanket back up over her - folding it repeatedly until it rests across her back, draping like a giant cloak.
"There. You'll be all covered up. Now, get up?"
> With some prodding, you're able to get her out of bed and on her hooves.
> It's clear, though, that actually convincing her too walk down the street wouldn't be anywhere near as easy.
> Sidling up to her, you drop your belly to the floor and spread a wing.
"Climb up on to my back, okay Cloudy? You're going to be okay."
> With a fair bit of nudging you're able to convince her to do so, scrambling up to settle draped across your withers.
> Thank Celestia your back had mostly healed up by now - nothing more than a dull irritation at the weight.
> She squirms uncomfortably at contact, and it belatedly occurs to you that such intimate position might not be best for a pony who'd just suffered such trauma.
> There was a chance it'd been a stallion, after all.
> Such things were rare - and, from what you'd heard, often lead to 'punishments' handed out long before the owners ever heard of it.
> But the alternative option - the more likely one...
> Your shudder is mostly hidden by the padded sections of your uniform.

!F9CBa509ak 2016-09-27 05:00:38 No. 28518053

> Stepping out into the hallway beyond, you glance back and forth.
> No sign of the security officer you'd been paired with, although a few doors further down had been opened.
> Was he searching each individually?
> Setting out, you march out to the road and off towards the medical clinic.
> Cloudy was certainly heavy - a full-grown mare, albeit a bit on the small side - but you manage.
> Mercifully, the streets were mostly cleared out from the morning rush now.
> The few ponies you pass spare only a little glance, none getting close enough to catch a whiff of Cloudy's humiliation.
> As your world focuses down to taking one step after another, a worrying thought creeps up out of the back of your head:
> Why hadn't you told your sergeant you'd found Cloudy and were taking her to the clinic?
> What'd made you check the hallway before heading out into it?
> Anonymous' guards weren't all gentle balls of love and kindness, but raping a slave...
> It wasn't terribly likely.
> But then, why had he ordered you to wait outside?
> Hoops was, if anything, the more risky of the two should he fight or flee.
> Yet there'd be no orders to hang back there...
> Tucking your head down, you put a bit of extra speed into your steps.
> As the clinic comes into sight, you twist your head look back at Cotton Cloudy.
> She was still hunkered under the blanket, purple eyes tinted red nervously flicked from spot to spot.
"Almost there, Cotton."
> "O-Okay..."
> Opening the front door with her on your back is going to be impossible, so instead you knock insistently until a scowling nurse sticks her muzzle out from within.
> In an instant, it seems, you are surrounded by a whole team - gently lifting Cotton from your back and lowering her onto a stretcher, ushering you into the clinic and away from her.
> The blanket is pulled away, and then quickly replaced the second they realize why you'd brought her in - not a word needed as they wheel her off to a proper room.

!F9CBa509ak 2016-09-27 05:02:15 No. 28518061

> Just as quickly as it'd begun, the entire hustle seems to vanish in a moment leaving you standing alone in the lobby almost shocked by the whiplash of it all.
> At last a nurse trots up to you again, clipboard floating in her magic.
> "Thunderlane? We'd like to just get some basic information on how you found her."
"Of course..."
> Thankfully the nurse's demeanor was professional - had she held this profession back in Equestria? - and if she held any ill-will towards ponies on the Watch, never did it come up in her tone with you.
> If anything, she seems mostly concerned for Cotton Cloudy's wellbeing.
> As the last of your answers is jotted down, you finally work up to ask a question back:
"Is she alright?"
> The second you blurt the words out, you realize how incredibly stupid they seem.
"...I mean, I know she isn't - but, I mean, is she..."
> What do you mean?
> You don't actually know.
> Sighing, the nurse puts her clipboard down.
> "She is - not suffering from any severe injuries. Physical ones, anyhow. However-"
> The sudden cut-off in her words draws your gaze.
> She's hiding something.
> Spotting your look, the nurse drops her eyes to the floor and huffs heavily, her tail swishing and nostrils flared.
> "May I ask you something, Thunderlane?"
"Of course?"
> "Completely off the record."
> Jerkily you nod.
> "You're in the watch. Who're you watching? Is there a way for you to report one of... them?"
"...what're you saying?"
> "There's bruising on her wings, near the base - where she was grabbed. It's - not the first time we've seen it on her..."
> An icy ball forms in your stomach.
> No pony could do that without magic, and a unicorn wouldn't bother focusing on the wings...
"...she's been here before?!"
> "Not - not for this! She was - she's taken some lashes, a couple weeks back. Before the big escape. We always thought it was from rough handling there, but this time it's fresh."
> The ball expands, filling your entire lungs with an icy chill.

!F9CBa509ak 2016-09-27 05:06:38 No. 28518087

> "If - if we'd known to look for any injuries... under her tail back then, we might've known. But nopony did..."
"Can you look after her here for a while? Put her off in a side room somewhere?"
> "...of course! We aren't going to throw her out! She's in 223."
> Getting to your hooves, you turn for the door.
> "What're you doing?"
"I've a sick feeling I just flew into a thunderstorm nopony saw coming... but I'm damn well not going to let Cotton Cloudy get hit by it."
> All but fleeing the clinic at a gallop, you charge to the guard station at a pace that leaves your sides heaving, coat running with sweat, and lungs burning.
> The desk officer's eyes rise as he catches you stumbling in through the door.
> "Thunderlane? Where the hell've you been; Sergeant Albero reported you missing-"
"Had to run to the clinic. Listen, I need a huge, huge favor?"
> Eyebrows continuing their migration up his forehead, the desk officer frowns but doesn't stop you.
"The, uh - the list've ponies who've gone through pretty serious violations, right? I need to know what one pony got some lashes for."
> "...well, I can look that up, but I'm wondering-"
"I can't wait. This is -"
> Swallowing and sucking down a few more lungfuls of sweet air, you steady your body and collect your thoughts.
"Sir, I just had to drop off a pony at the clinic who'd been raped, and I've reason to believe it wasn't the first time. Now - whatever you think of us, please just-"
> "What's her name?"
> "The pony you want records on. What's her name?"
"Cotton Cloudy, pegasus, mare, white coat -"
> "Yeah, yeah. Got her - uh, delinquency. Got caught out after curfew at night. Four times, got lashes for the last three."
"Reporting officer?"
> Frowning the desk sergeant squints at his screen.
> "Sergeant Albero. He's not on patrols at night, though..."
> Celestia above...
"Thank you. I - I just had to know for sure."
> You're halfway out the door before he calls again:

!F9CBa509ak 2016-09-27 05:07:43 No. 28518098

> "Hey, wait! You've still got the rest of your rounds-"
> Anything else is lost as you again set a hard pace straight back to the clinic.
> Everything was coming together, and the picture it painted - not one bit.
> Anonymous, you're certain, would forgive you.
> But you wouldn't forgive yourself if you let this one go.
> Being a watchpony meant turning on your brothers and sisters.
> Now, at last, you had a chance to stand up to defend them.

"I'd like to see Corona, if she able to?"
> "Certainly, Your Highness right this way."
> The room you're lead to holds eight beds, but only one is filled.
> Corona lays in the furthest one in a corner, resting on her haunches with her tail wrapped around her legs - distantly gazing out the windows.
"...thank you, nurse. That will be all for now."
> A subtle bow, and the third pony vanishes leaving you alone with Corona.
> Moving to the side of her bed, you seat yourself on the tiled floor and patiently wait.
> At last Corona speaks, her voice somehow seeming tired and sore despite her days of rest.
> "What do you want?"
"To see..."
> How you are doing?
> The answer to that is obvious.
> How your recovery is going?
> Just as painful.
> How is it that it was easier to speak before a whole crowd of ponies, convincing them to do more work, than it is to speak to this single one?
"...if there is anything I can do for you."
> "You - you can go away."
> The sheer venom in her voice actually makes you recoil.
> Wings drooping, you bow your head.
"Perhaps - I - it's hard to admit it even to myself, but perhaps the reason I came is to beg your forgiveness?"
> Silence holds for several long moments.
> At last Corona drags her eyes from the window to actually face you, and when you do the sheer pain in them again forces you to jerk back.
> "Forgive you? Why should I forgive you? You sold me out, a sacrifice to that monster. You - you abandoned me."
"...he demanded-"

!F9CBa509ak 2016-09-27 05:09:27 No. 28518107

> "And did you even stand up to him? Did you even think of what you were doing?"
> Standing up now despite the trembling that appears throughout her body, Corona glares down at you from atop the bed.
> "You - you think you're still a princess. You think you're so fucking special, but you just save yourself and all your little 'friends' and throw the rest of us into the fire..."
"That is not-"
> "Not true? Do you even know what he did to me in there?"
> White mane flipping wildly, Corona snaps her head back and forth.
> "I - it felt like - like my whole body was on fire. I thought - I didn't know how long I'd been in there. A day? A week? No way to tell time, I - I kept being woken up, everything burning. I thought my back was going to break when I couldn't hold myself up, my legs were going to fall off..."
> Legs folding beneath herself, Corona collapses to the bed sobbing.
> Rising, you approach and reach out to place a hoof on her withers - only for her to snap out a leg and knock it away.
> "Don't touch me, you - you - traitorous whore!"
> A few moments more of sniffles and heaved breaths, and Corna speaks again:
> "I begged him - pleaded with him - called him Master, swore to never run away again.. I remember he came back - had an electrical prod - don't even remember what I did, but I must've hurt him somehow..."
> Rolling over onto her back, Corona spreads her hindlegs and points to where a small pad of gauze has been taped over her teats - patches of white standing out on her dark-blue coat.
> "You see this, 'princess'? This is what you gave me too. It hurt - everything hurt so much - they'd put me in that box sometimes, then take me out and stretch me out again, hose me down, shove food in my mouth. Couldn't see, couldn't smell, couldn't hear, bridle in my mouth - he had a fucking electrical prod, Cadance, and he just held it there until I pissed myself! Didn't know how long it'd been until I got out and saw-"

!F9CBa509ak 2016-09-27 05:16:44 No. 28518157

> Anything more she said goes unheard; an uneasiness that had been building in your stomach from the moment you'd set foot in the room finally reaches a peak.
> Magic grabbing the nearest waste basket, you barely bring it under your mouth before being violently sick into it.
> Yet when you look up - spitting to fruitlessly try and clear the taste from you mouth - you find Corona staring at you with the same dull, angry look.
> "...I was sick a lot too, you know. Wouldn't let me sleep, made me sick too. Have you ever gone without sleep for days, Cadance?"
> Without waiting for an answer, she immediately continues:
> "No, you haven't. Because you're an alicorn and you're so fucking special they'd never actually do anything that bad to you."
> "Shut - just shut up!"
> Eyes squeezing shut, Corona again rolls back onto her belly - mercifully hiding the evidence of her torment from you.
> "And even when I got out, I know it's only because I told him to do this - all of this - to my best friend instead. I - I became you. I was willing to sell her out to him. And th-then he tells me M-Merribelle is d-dead!"
> The last word is drawn out into another long cry.
> Finding a tissue box in the corner, you hold it out to Corona.
> She does not take it, instead burying her muzzle in her hooves.
> At last her cries fade.
"If it's my shame you're looking for - I've rightly earned that. This..."
> "No. Shut up. Nothing you say could ever make up for being in there."
> Dragging her head back up, Corona glares at you with a truly withering gaze.
> "You're disgusting, 'princess'. You should've been the one protecting us, but you're picking up the whip and sacrificing us for your own damn safety. Selling us out so Anonymous can get your daughter back."
> Your ears fold down and tail snaps to your legs, and a tiny vicious grin appears on Corona's lips.

!F9CBa509ak 2016-09-27 05:23:12 No. 28518204
> "What, thought I wouldn't hear about that? Well, congratulations - you get to see your daughter again and I can't close my eyes without being back in that room. I hope you're happy."
> "And then, you couldn't even be bothered to come and see me because you were too busy getting everypony to work even more for him!"
"That is not true. Not one bit."
> You try to force some strength back into your voice, but even then it comes out sounding hollow.
> The truth is, you betrayed this pony.
> No matter how much you may deny it - say the circumstances forced your hoof - the Tartarus that Corona experienced was your decision.
> Apparently satisfied with the obvious distress she had put you in, Corona lowers her head to the bed.
> "...I don't want to see you again. Leave, 'princess'."
> It'd be entirely possible for you to say 'no'.
> But you find your legs carrying you away from Corona's bed, out from the room - mind in a daze.
> Not until you collide with a dark-grey blur that comes speeding around a corner, hooves squeaking and sliding on the smooth tiling, do you finally snap back to reality.
> Just in time to meet him in a tumble of wings, legs, and aches.
> "O-Oh... Cadance, my apologies..."
> Extricating yourself and standing upright again, you shake your head.
"No, I should have heard you coming... Thunderlane?"
> "Yeah - I'm sorry, but I have to -"
> Something has made him seriously distraught; yet as his eyes focus on you, they widen slightly.
> "- actually, can you keep up with me?"
"...of course?"
> And so you find yourself keeping a rapid clip as Thunderlane explains.
> With each word you find the icy mess still swirling in your stomach growing ever colder, ever heavier.
> If he was right about what he suspected...
> Yet, when you reach the room he comes to a sudden halt in front of, the door is locked and refuses his attempts to turn the protruding handle.
> One ear goes to the door, and Thunderlane pales.
> "Sweet Celestia, no -"

!F9CBa509ak 2016-09-27 05:28:29 No. 28518245

> Anything further is drowned out as you wrench the door open with your magic - lock tearing away in a puff of dust and terrible crunch.
> Thunderlane is first through, his voice carrying out within:
> "Sergeant - stop! This isn't -"
> Stepping through behind him, you survey the nightmarish scene within.
> The mare on the bed, her hindquarters reddened, face streaked with tears, yet tail lifted - an image of a pony who knew what was happening, and not to resist.
> The man behind her, his pants pooling around his ankles, eyes narrowing and mouth splitting into a snarl as his face transitions from shock to rage.
> The way he gripped one of her wings, crushing the delicate feathers and twisting the muscled limb beneath.
> "Get the fuck out of here, sla-"
> ...
> Something snaps deep inside of you.
> A limit, finally reached.
> The ice pooling in your belly from the instant you'd laid eyes on Corona again ignites into an awful, rage-fueled fire.
> You'd been whipped, humiliated, and forced into the sadistic choice of giving a mare to satisfy your owner's lust for vengeance.
> But now?
> Now, you would not be stopped.
> You do not feel your horn ignite, nor the magic spread through you like a scalding wave.
> But you certainly know what happens next.
> Cotton Cloudy and Thunderlane alike duck - the former with a squeal - as the man flies overhead, slamming into the wall back-first before collapsing to tumble over the cabinet beneath and to the floor.
> With a toss of your head, your magic picks him up again - this time impacting him into the drywall with sufficient force to crack it.
"YOU -"
> The voice you project is enough to rattle the room's furnishings.
"- WILL NOT -"
> Another flick, this time pulling him from the wall to plow into a crumpled pile on the floor - flecks of paint following his downward trajectory from the splintered wall.
"- HURT -"
> That he is completely exposed, flopping about, does not even register to you.

!F9CBa509ak 2016-09-27 05:31:26 No. 28518270

> Later you would realize that at that particular moment, it was probably the last thing on his mind either.
> Horn blazing, you send him scooting across the floor directly into the cabinets - his impact marked by an explosion of particle-board fragments as they collapse.
"My ponies are my charge, and despite everything - every humiliation I receive here - I will spend every breath I can to protect them!"
> He comes up, impact cushioned by the bedding in the cabinets - but blood still running down the side of his face.
> Somehow having managed to grab his pants and slip his fingers into the taser's holster on his belt.
> Again your horn flares, and his hand twists until something pops and the weapon clatters to the floor.
> That he does not cry out probably has more to do with the air being driven from his lungs.
"You dare - dare! - to not only rape her, but have her whipped for the time she lost at your mercy?! You are - I - I don't even have words for what you are!"
> Gathering your magic, you simply press down - driving him into the ruined cabinet with enough force to bring him back to his knees, and then completely down as he at last screams out.
"You are a monster, evil in the shape of a living thing! I thought I knew evil, but you..."
> Someone is calling your name.
> Hooves on your flank.
> ...and everything snaps back again.
> Thunderlane is at your side, his eyes wide and shocked.
> No, not just shocked.
> Fearful.
> He'd never seen you like that.
> Twisting your head, you lay eyes on Cotton Cloudy.
> Though she'd not even moved from her spot on the bed, she too bore the same expression.
> More slowly now, you turn back around to look at the bleeding lump of a man curled moaning in the ruins of the cabinet.
> And, in truth, feel the same jarred and horrified expression appear on your face.
> Where had that - that anger, that cruelty, come from?
> ...what had you just done?

Now what, /spg/?
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