"So, you're not even a griffin, but some alien?" Gilda was still trying to wrap her mind around the fact that I wasn't even from her universe. Don't blame her, I just dropped the human bomb on her. Still haven't told her about the fandom yet, I think I'll let that sit for now.
"Yes and no. I am an alien, and I wasn't a griffin, but I am one now. I told the guy I didn't care what happened to me, what I looked like, as long as I wasn't something lame like a dog or a cow. Apparently, he had a sense of ironic humor, and made me into Griffin the griffin. As far as I can tell, I'm entirely griffin now, nothing left of what I was but my memories."
"So, what else about these 'humans'?" She asked.
"Well, we eat pretty much the same stuff griffins eat. Fruit's, veggies, grains, although no hay, flowers, or grass, and meat, but it has to be cooked. Think of a human like a really tall monkey, with no tail, and the only fur it has is on the top of it's head. Less suited to agility and strength, and more suited to stealth and cunning. One of the favorite human pass times is problem solving. Puzzles, riddles, whatever makes us think. The other favorite human pass time is treating others like dirt. There's just something satisfying about dominating someone, making them feel worthless, watching them cry. I normally keep to myself, but bullies liked to pick on me. They stopped though, well, mostly, after I started doing it back, and found that I was much better at it than they were. So, they started coming in groups, and then they got authority on their side and I couldn't fight back unless I felt like getting in deep shit.
"You know, I know a certain purple unicorn who would just looooove to meet you." Gilda said. Time for me to have some fun with her.
"Let me guess, she's an egghead who loves books so much her house could be a library, and she'd murder me with questions about my world." I knew exactly who she was talking about.
"Don't do that, it's just freaky." She said wide eyed.
"Well, I AM a freak." Foreknowledge for the win.
After a couple days, Gilda's minor burns were fully healed, and we were ready to set out. We spread the map in front of us, and looked for a place to go.
"Well, from what you've told me, Gem Fido is a death trap. I'm not looking forward to going to dragon country any time soon, and Black Marsh sounds terrible. That leaves exploring the rest of the Dominion, the jungle, volcano land, and Equestria. Equestria seems nice enough, but we'll have to go vegan while there, I don't feel like getting thrown in a jail for eating one of the citizens, and since I looted these gems, we'll have plenty of cash while we're there, so we can get by. Volcanic wastes are full of criminals, who are probably disturbingly like me, and I've had enough dirty air in my world for a life time. I come from a pretty cold climate, so I'm not a fan of the heat. Then there's the jungle. Lawless, some adventure, a bit of a fight, but not as much as a dragon. Maybe pull an Indiana Jones and grab some loot from an ancient temple or something."
"Indiana Jones?" Gilda didn't get the reference.
"Only one of my world's biggest badasses. Raids ancient temples for priceless relics, which he sells to a museum for big money. From what you told me about Daring Do, he's pretty much the human version of her, and from what you've told me of the jungle, it's going to be like the jungles of South America. Too bad just like Daring, he's just fiction."
"Daring Do's not fiction, those books are based on her adventures. Sure there's a little creative changes, but it's all real. She's actually there right now." Gilda said. I was taken aback.
'Right, of course she's real. Duh. Just because things like that don't happen in my world doesn't mean they don't happen here. Just like dragon slaying doesn't happen in the real world.'
"Well, sounds good enough to me! Although, unless we feel like flying over the ring sea, we'll still have to go through Equestria. Maybe we stick to the shore. I've been to the beach enough times to know how to survive there too."
Gilda agreed, and the two of us took off, carrying our stuff in some backpacks I lifted from the diamond dogs. She insisted on carrying our stuff, because I had been feeding her for about the past week, and I had my great sword to carry. Besides, she was the better flyer, and the stuff we had wasn't that heavy. We found the shore pretty quickly, and started heading west. It was getting late, so we settled down for the night. We didn't have to worry about being hunted that much, since most things didn't go near the shore, preferring to stick to the cover of the forest or mountains. Still, we weren't going to take any chances, and I offered to take first watch. When my watch was over, I woke Gilda for hers.
"Hey, your turn. Something happens, get me up, k?"
Night was uneventful, and we both got up early.
"Hey Grif, I was wondering about something. On my watch, I found a hole with a bunch of rocks in it, filled with water. It definitely wasn't natural." Gilda told me.
"Ah so you found it. Watch was pretty boring, so I decided to get some food for today."
"We can't eat rocks moron." She said.
"No, but we can eat clams."
Seriously? She didn't know about clams? Then again, griffins lived in the mountains. They probably don't go to the shore that often. Diamond dogs eat gems, and ponies don't eat meat. Whatever lives in the jungle probably stays away from the shore, so not knowing about them is completely reasonable.
"They look like rocks, but they're actually a kind of shellfish. They bury themselves in the sand in the area between high and low tide. Ya just dig your feet into the sand, and if you feel something hard, pull it up. If it's flat, it's a sand dollar, and you throw it away, or make jewelry or whatever, if it's round and oval, it's a clam. You put them in a hole or a bucket full of water, and leave them over night. They spit out all the sand inside em, and then you crack em open, like this..." I put my claw along the line, and split the muscle in two.
"Then ya eat em. You can eat them raw or cooked. You can put them in a stew, or place them on hot coals, and eat them straight. As long as we're by the shore, we'll find plenty, and since, by your reaction, they're not widely known, there's no chance of over fishing them. They're only found in salt water though, so we won't find them by rivers. As long as we stick to the sea, we'll never starve." I said, sucking down the clam meat. Sure, it was chewy, but that was half the fun. Think of it like fish and salt flavoured gum, except a little tougher, and you can swallow it.
Gilda cracked one of her own open, and choked it down.
"Trust me, in a few days, you'll get used to it. Once we get to Equestria, we'll buy a pot and some buckets. Then we can cook them, and clean them out in fresh water. That'll be a lot better than raw, and from a salt water hole." I laughed. She laughed weakly. She didn't buy it. Still, it was better than starving, and she'd get used to it eventually. We ate the clams, (what, you expect us to carry them? Those things are freaking heavy!) and then headed out. At the end of the day, we were a day away from the Equestrian border. Eating some rabbit meat we saved, (sorry Fluttershy) and some berries we had found, we settled in for the night.
"Hey, Gilda, get up." I whispered.
"What? It's way too early for my watch." She was annoyed at having to wake.
"We've got company. 4, If they think they can sneak up on us at night they're wrong. Can't tell what they are yet though, I just saw the flash of their eyes." She was awake now. We were far from dog country, but we were just as far when I ran into that hunting party before. We were close to Equestria, but why would ponies come to the Dominion? Still, we had to figure out what they were before taking any action. Since we were heading to Equestria next, being wanted for murder would not be a good start.
Gilda took to the air, while I hid behind a small sand dune. Our eyes were much better than theirs, be they ponies, dogs, or whatever. They came out of cover, and I could see that they were on all fours. Moving at that pace, dogs were normally upright. They were chatting, making a lot of noise. Judging from that, they weren't here for us. They probably didn't even know we were here. I motioned to Gilda, who flew down, and we approached the group cautiously. Gilda didn't like ponies very much, so we decided I better do all the talking.
"Heya, what's happenin!?" Gilda was surprised at how I changed my tone. I whispered that I didn't want to come off as someone like me, since I'm not the nicest person, and would rather see if they were useful, hostile, whatever, before I screwed things up. The four ponies looked at me and laughed. One of them tripped on it's own feet and fell.
"Geez, their freaking drunk of their asses. No wonder they're all the way out here, and at night. Must'ave been one hell of a party for them to wander all the way here."
"Wanna throw em in the ocean to sober em up?" Gilda asked.
"Nah, they're so drunk they'll probably drown. Let's just leave em there. They'll snap out of it eventually."
"Come on, it'll be funny." She said with pleading eyes.
"True, but still, no. If anything, we should wait for them to pass out. Then you lay down next to that guy, and when he wakes up, say, 'Hey handsome' and watch as he pisses himself." My idea was met with a light tap to the skull. We both started laughing like we were the drunk ones.
"Hey dude, what ya doing in a net?" One of the ponies asked his friend.
'A net? Why is there a net?'
"Hey Gilda, looks like some mutts are crashing their party."
"I'm letting you call this one."
"What?" She didn't get it.
"Well, we can let those dogs drag the ponies away to be slaves for the rest of their lives, and we get left in peace. Odds are we won't run into any more dogs, since they'll be busy hauling them back home. Then we make Equestria tomorrow, and continue on our way."
"Or?" She asked.
"Or, we jump in and save them. We kill the dogs and loot them, get to be the hero's, and blow off some steam." As we were talking, another one of them fell, also trapped in a net. The third was still face in the sand passed out from being drunk, and the fourth, a mare, sat there in fear. She started yelling for help. Gilda face-clawed.
"Ugg, fine, let's go bail them out."
She took to the air, and I drew my weapon, holding it in my mouth. It was a little too heavy to carry this way, so the tip was in the sand. As I ran at the group, it drew a thin line in the sand. Gilda let out a shriek, and the dogs looked up.
'Nice distraction.' I brought my blade up, in a diagonal slash, and severed one of the dog's arms. I reared up, took the blade in my claws, and made another cut on the same angle, in the opposite direction, making a deep gash across it's chest. The rest of the dogs looked at me. The leader, carrying chemicals, took one of the vials and threw it. Gilda landed on him, burying his face in the sand. The vial landed harmlessly in the soft white grains at my feet. I picked it up, and chucked it, making it shatter on the third one's face. He passed out. The fourth one ran. The fifth one ran to his leader. Gilda and I walked to the trapped ponies, and took their net's off. The leader had gotten his face out of the sand, and turned to face me.
"I wonder how dog meat tastes?" I asked, not actually wanting an answer, (I heard it's terrible). He whimpered and ran. The dog I had slashed wasn't dead, but he was wounded, he ran as well. The fifth one grabbed his passed out partner before heading into the woods.
"Damn, I guess we don't get to loot them now. That sucks." Gilda said, coming up beside me.
"Oh well, you win some, you lose some. Although I think we won a bigger one by letting them go."
"What do you mean?" She asked.
"Well, they're gonna run home with their tails between their legs, and they're gonna tell their alpha about how a pair of griffins kicked their asses. Don't forget that these guys are here to catch us, these ponies were just a more enticing target. There's no need for net launchers if the prey can't fly, and we're still in griffin country. Telling their boss that the five of them, prepared to catch griffins, were beaten by two of them after they wasted their net's on a bunch of hapless ponies will be embarrassing. Not only will they be humiliated, but their boss is gonna tell the other alphas. The two of us suddenly went to the top of the badass chain. We've got a reputation now. They're gonna be afraid of us."
"Won't they just come after us, with bigger numbers?" She asked.
"Yes, they will. But that's the thing. They're cowards. They are probably afraid of their alphas, after all, if they weren't, they'd take them down to try and become the new alpha. It's pack mentality. They are taking a rabble, and trying to temper it into an effective fighting force using fear as the pressure. There is strength in numbers, but that's the only strength they have. Put pressure on the right spots, and they fall apart. You see how fast they ran when you buried the squad leader's head in dirt? He's the leader because they are afraid of him. You beat the leader, so now they're even more afraid of you. If we beat an alpha....."
"The whole pack falls in line." Gilda finished my sentence. "And if we beat all the alphas..."
"Stop, we don't need to beat ALL the alphas, just most of them. The rest will fall in line after that, because they don't wanna lose their position. But yeah, after that, we own Gem Fido."
"Then why are we headed to the jungle instead of there?" She asked.
"Because they are alpha's for a reason. We have no idea where these guys are in the chain of command. We beat them easily, but I don't know if we can take an alpha.... yet. We'd have to fight through a small army first, then deal with the alpha himself. I have no idea how tough they are, but they must be reasonably strong. Sure, I'm a crazy badass, but I'm no trained fighter. That's why were headed to the jungle."
"So, we train a bit in the jungle, get tough, then what?" She asked.
"Then, we make a pack of our own. We get a bunch of loot, get rich, and head to the volcanic wastes. Odds are, since it's a crime nest, we'll be able to find some criminals for hire. Mercenaries of all flavours. We'll want some unicorns for magic, and some dogs, since they know the most about underground, and anyone else we can take with us. Diamond dogs have loads of gems, the prospect of pillaging their holds will be motivation enough for the job, after a bit of pay. We get a boat, sail west, completely avoiding the marsh, then north, into the dragon lands. There, we arm our little crew with scale and bone, and if we're lucky, get a dragon with us, then head back to the Dominion. We take any griffins who want revenge, or their families back, and we slam into the northern most lair on the border. The ones closest to the borders will be the most heavily defended, since they face attack, but the ones inland won't be, since they are protected from outside threats by distance. We'll have to scout them out, but that's why we're getting some hounds of our own. Once we take down an alpha, we'll have more dogs, and a larger army. Then we take another, and another, and keep gathering momentum. Not only will we have the dogs, but any slaves we liberate will be more than happy to take up the cause."
She was taken aback. It was actually a pretty good plan, although a lot could go wrong along the way. Most of it would depend on how adaptable we were, as well as our abilities of persuasion. Having a giant sword made out of a dragon's scale would definitely help persuasion, all I'd have to do is tell the story of how I got it. Luckily, humans are the kings of adaptability. It's how we lived. It's how we thrived. It's what we do.
"And when did you have the time to think of all this?" She asked.
"Just now. Well, I was working on it for a little bit before, but this is when I got all the pieces put together. It's a pretty good first plan, but we can change it along the way if we need to."
"What makes you think the griffins, or anyone will follow you?" Gilda was asking an awful lot of questions. It was a little annoying, but I couldn't just leave her in the dark. I'd need her for it too.
"Well, the griffins will follow me if we get that far, because they've been looking for someone to lead them for the past 900 years. They have their pride, and a fire in their hearts. If they see us, leading a small army, telling them to come with us, get their friends and loved ones back, and make the dogs pay for ever crossing us, odds are they'll fall in. As for the others, this thing on my back. How'd I get it? Oh, I just killed a black dragon and ripped the scale off his dead body, then chopped his arm off for the handle. No biggie. I don't know about you, but killing a dragon brings some pretty serious street cred. That and greed is one of the easiest ways to control others. We're gonna go raid a poorly defended hole full of precious gems, who's with me?"
I have to say. Even with my sarcasm, I make a pretty convincing speech. At least I thought.
"Bahahahaha. You had me going there. Taking over Gem Fido? That would be the revival of the Dominion! Come on, get your head out of the clouds." She looked at me, and saw that I wasn't laughing.
"You're serious?" She said with her mouth agape. I am nothing if not ambitious.
"Hey, we might not make it that far. Then again, we might. If we fail, we only die. If we succeed, you and I rule a country three times the size of Equestria. We're just gonna go as far as we can, and have fun along the way."
"You AND me?" She asked skeptically.
"Well yeah, you'll have been there with me for the whole ride. Can't just cut you out of the equation."
"You're crazy you know that?"
"If I wasn't crazy, I would be dead. In fact, I would have told that guy at the café to piss off, and wouldn't even be here. Crazy brought me here, crazy killed a dragon, crazy wasted 10 diamond dogs, in groups of five, which we now know is the standard for their hunting parties, and crazy just might take over the world."
"What about Equestria. Assuming we get that far, there's no way we can go up against the princesses. Their army isn't that much, but it doesn't have to be. They're GODESSES." She said.
"True. We couldn't attack Equestria, because those two hold the ultimate power. Even if we could beat them, then there would be nobody to raise the sun or moon, and we'd have dug our own graves."
"So then what?"
"Once we own a country, we send her a hundred letters a week, all of them asking her stupid questions, such as 'Do you like bananas?', until she get's so pissed off that she tries to do something about it. In my world, messing with someone till they do something out of character, then laughing at their reaction, is known as trolling. I'm exceptionally good at it. I asked that diamond dog what dog meat tasted like. Given the fact that we just kicked his ass, I wanted to drive the fear straight to his heart. Celestia is probably a serious pony, having to run a whole country, and I'd love to see her lose her cool."
"So, once you take over the Dominion and Gem Fido, if you get bored, you're going to prank the only beings in the world who you can't beat? Forget liking bananas, you ARE bananas."
"And I love every second of it."
ON THE MOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOONNNNNNNN!!!!!!!! Just remember that Griffin is a brony, he's seen the fanfics, the animations. While everyone else would just think it's funny, he'd think it's hilarious.