56w, 2dAussie Bronies
The mare instinctively threw herself to the ground, waited for them to pass before getting back up. Despite the fact that she was wearing a hood, and in the dark, could not be seen. She trotted down the dark street, and turned into a dark alleyway. She stopped only to look at a poster that had caught her eye. It was a wanted poster. She looked over it, unable to understand what it said, as it was written in nederlands. All that she was able to make out was ‘Twilight Sparkle’, and ‘5000 cheval francs’. She promptly enveloped the poster in her magic and ripped it off the wall, crumpling it up into a ball and tossing it into a gutter. She trotted down the alleyway, and reached out with her hoof and began banging on a door. She waited for a moment, and listened as rain began to fall in the background.
The door’s mail slot opened, and she discovered a pair of eyes looking back at her. The mail slot closed again, and the door opened.
‘You are late’, the doorman said.
‘It was unavoidable’, she responded. She looked up at the doorman, his Heinrich, and he was a schäferhund. Heinrich was far bigger than she was, what with his shaggy fur and his razor sharp teeth, he was an imposing figure to any who would casually meet him, and however, she knew him well enough to know he was just a big softie.
She trotted inside and Heinrich closed the door behind her. Twilight Sparkle pulled the hood off her head and shook her head, her mane falling back into place.
‘You have the payment?’ Heinrich asked.
Twilight Sparkle rolled her eyes at the question. ‘Of course I do’, she said as she opened up her cloak and pulled out a small bag that she had clipped into the storm harness she was wearing for convenience, tossing it over to Heinrich. ‘Two hundred gulden, minus my fee, of course’.
The bag landed at Heinrich’s paws, making a sound, the satisfying clink of a bag of coins, exactly as they should. ‘Yes, yes of course’.
Twilight smirked at the schäferhund before her. ‘What? You’re not going to check and see if I cheated you?’
Heinrich shook his head. ‘No, I trust you, so far you’ve never given me any reasons to suspect that you are cheating me out of the money for my goods, why would you start now?’
‘Maybe I thought I could get away with it?’ Twilight said with a grin as she trotted up to the schäferhund and gave him a gentle kiss. ‘Maybe because I know that under that gruff exterior, you’re nothing but a softie’.
Heinrich chuckled and the two trotted out of the antechamber of the building farther into Heinrich’s Workshop. Twilight looked around at the messy room, filled with several work benches, a forge, and an ammunition press. Everything that Heinrich needed to make his weapons. Heinrich was a black market weapon’s dealer, he made all his own equipment, and Twilight ferried to buyers and collected the payment. To say that they were business partners was something of an understatement. Their relationship had started out as one of simple business; however, it had evolved into a more... personal connection.
Heinrich liked Twilight a lot; he remembered when he had first met her. She had sought him out, she had been in the market, not for weapons, but ammunition, and had learned that he specialised in both. She found him and wanted to buy ammunition for a revolver that she’d been carrying.
Heinrich had given her revolver a look over, the Emerald Ordinance No.4, 11mm magnum revolver was a fine weapon, to be sure, but to admit it would be damaging to the schäferhund pride. He’d scoffed her over it, to manufacture a design of kangaroo origin, or any ammunition for it was an affront to all schäferhund. Naturally, he refused... but Twilight had shown to be... persuasive. Twilight hadn’t looked like much, but she had proved to be quite the master in the matter of intimate relations.
They had met in the middle on the ammunition, he agreed to make some for her, but Heinrich had also convinced her to make her primary weapon a submachine gun of his own people’s design, the Maschinenpistole 9, though he was not able to convince her to part with the revolver all together, citing ‘sentiment’ as the main reason.
It did not take long for Heinrich to learn that Twilight was a fugitive from the law; he only needed to walk outside to see wanted posters with her picture on it from the Police Internationale. Twilight Sparkle was wanted for several including theft, assault occasioning actual bodily harm, extortion, and, as the two of them liked to add as a joke, jaywalking.
Heinrich was fine with that, however, most, if not all of his friends were criminals. He was technically a criminal himself. Bundesrepublik Schäferhund required weapon merchants to be registered, and their incomes taxed heavily. Likewise, there were limitations on what they were allowed to produce. Most of these laws were recent after Bundesrepublik Schäferhund had been accused of being ‘the promoter of violence and disharmony’ by the Crown Princess Celestia of the Principality of Equestria some fifty years ago, resulting in a trade embargo being placed on them. It had lead to many schäferhund to migrate out of the Bundesrepublik and into the Nederlands, and the Österungarischereich to continue their operations as gunsmiths. The embargo on the Bundesrepublik had eventually been lifted, Bundesrepublik Schäferhund and Österungarischereich, being the two major schäferhund speaking countries, however kept many of the restrictions to appease the Principality of Equestria. After all, who dared to argue with a living goddess?
Heinrich knew that Twilight Sparkle was Equestrian. Equestria was the unicorn nation, after all, despite the fact that it had other races in it. It didn’t bother Heinrich, for he also knew that Twilight Sparkle was an outcast and a criminal in her own country. If anything it made them closer, and now, they were both lovers, and partners. Heinrich made weapons; Twilight would go out and deliver them. Despite being a unicorn, and the fact that a unicorn outside Equestria was a rare occurrence all together, Twilight was a master of blending into the background. Heinrich figured that it had something to do with the unicorn race’s mystical abilities. Heinrich didn’t complain, she could go many places unseen, while he could not. Schäferhund were much larger in size than the other races of the continent. He couldn’t hide in plain sight if he wanted to.
It didn’t help that the other races on the continent were all herbivores, while the schäferhund were carnivores, in times past, wars between schäferhund, and particularly the cheval, were frequent and victories for the schäferhund armies would often end with them feasting upon the slain enemies, granting them the reputation for being savage and uncouth. They hadn’t cared then, savage and uncouth, were only words after all, it wasn’t a concern for them as long as they continued to win. In more recent history, however, the political climate of the continent Europa had changed much, The Cheval Second Empire and Kaiserreich Schäferhund had been at war with each other, the Imperial government of the Kaiserreich had been over confidant and had been overwhelmingly defeated by the cheval, whose use of airborne tactics (which it had not been able to do in wars prior, due to the heavy barding that had been worn by cheval soldiers) had lead to a swift defeat and outright collapse of the Kaiserreich. Tensions between schäferhund and cheval were still distrustful; however they no longer warred openly, and were generally more concerned of others. In particular, the Twin Gryphon Kingdoms, whose society, had flourished in recent years since they had entered the industrial age.
That was politics, however, and Heinrich was not interested in politics. What he was interested in was money, and as a result, he would sell to anyone who would buy, within reason, and without being stupid. He was smart enough to know who was a legitimate buyer, and who was a member of the Police Internationale. Twilight was especially helpful with that, as her unicorn abilities gave her a number of edges in detection.
Twilight did have a few quirks, but as far as Heinrich was concerned, that was of little consequence. Everyone did, though; he did note that Twilight’s were rather odd. She was a bit of a perfectionist, she liked things to be neat, tidy, and well organised, and she would often go through his things and sort them every once in a while, and then resort them a week later, but what Heinrich thought was most odd, was the strange book that Twilight carried with her at all times. Not exactly a practical thing, as the book was large, bulky and barely fit in her saddlebags. Every time Heinrich asked about the book, Twilight would snap at him that it wasn’t any of his business, and go to lengths to keep him from looking at it.
‘Ohhh Heinrich...’ Twilight called out to him.
Heinrich trotted around the corner, Twilight was in his bedroom, laying on his bed, stroking the bed suggestively.
‘Yes Twilight?’ Heinrich asked playfully.
‘Oh it’s been such a long day... and I could use a little... relaxation, couldn’t you?’ she asked giving him a wink.
Heinrich chuckled. ‘And here I thought you would never ask’.