by P-Russ

Chapter Zero: The Run

Chapter Zero:
The Run

Peace reigned in a small valley nestled in the foothills of the dog's head mountains. The evergreens towered over the rocky slopes, guarding against the harsh winds and rains that plagued the lands south of Equestria. It was late fall, almost winter. the underbrush of the great foothills forrest already being covered by light dustings of snow and frozen dew, sparkling in the evening twilight like so many winking torches, reflecting the deep orange and red of the setting sun. All was quiet save for the quite chirping and whirring of the insects native to these woods.


"Oi! Watch ya head mutt!"

"I would, but I am one with sack, so shove it up yer a-"

"ENOUGH! Dustear, Rockpaw, both you be quiet now. Alpha no like it when we late. we just need to drop traitor off cliff and go back, maybe alpha leave us some gems when he done with feasting."

Four figures shambled out of the underbrush, twigs snagging on their tough canvas vests and pants, adding to the already large number of tears. Two of the silhouettes were shorter than the others, a good deal stockier as well. One of these smaller figures was lugging what appeared to be an industrial sized sack of rocks.

"Easy for your to say, you beta, you get to eat anyway!" said Dustear

"And as beta I says SHUT UP! Be like Gemdust, he quiet entire time!"

The second of the two taller shadows looked up as his name was called. Having not payed any attention to the scene playing out behind him, he shrugged and continued trudging along the winding path toward their destination. As he crested the eastern ridge of the valley, the falling sun cast its meagre light onto the shadowy party. They were all canine in appearance, the smaller two looking half way between Bull-terriers and Pugs, both with a dull grey coat. Of the other two, one looked to be a kind of Wolf-hound, the other a Doberman.

"We are near, silence would be the best course of action from here on out." rumbled the wolfish Gemdust, glaring pointedly at the others, "We do not know if the predators are out in force tonight, and I for one would rather not find out."

"You start to sound like yer bastard of a father, you ain't a traitor too are ya?" said Rockpaw, who was swiftly silenced by a glare from Gemdust that would curdle milk from a mile away.

"He have point," growled the beta, "maybe we need two bags?"

"Law a paw on me, Bloodtooth, and you will lose it. The actions of my father were his own. Now leave me be!"

"You call me beta, because that what I am. You beta no more! Not since your father was beat by the new alpha. You remember that!" said Bloodtooth, growling.

Gemdust's ice blue eyes hardened to diamonds as he met the gaze of the beta. Neither party willing to flinch, neither wanting to look away.


They both turned their glares to Rockpaw, who had broken another branch while trying to get around the immobile betas, past and current.

"heh... Sorry?" he whimpered under the full force of the two towering figures.

Snorting, Gemdust turned and continued leading the way up along the ridge.

About twenty minutes later, they arrived at their destination. A ravine that split the earth as if it had been tilled by the giants of old

"You two, get 'im out of the bag before you toss 'im over, no good to waste it."

The two grunts nodded their agreement. They quickly undid the twine around the opening of the sack. As they shook it open, a large shape rolled out, unfolding to become a large, unconscious, wolf-hound, even larger than the two betas. He had a white and black pattern on his fur, looking like he had a cloak on, black on his head and back, leaving his muzzle, the tips of his ears, the end of his tail, and his underbelly a shocking white. At least that is what he would have looked like, if he weren't covered in soot and blood.

"Well, lets get 'im off den, I'm 'ungry!"

"Yous always hungry Rockpaw, just start pushin' him."

"No, Gemdust does it, he push the traitor off the cliff!" said Bloodtooth.

Gemdust sat there, head down, looking anywhere but the broken form laying before him. When he heard this, his ears laid back and his eyes harded yet again, as he glared toward the new beta. Softly growling, he stood and walked toward the body, which was now laying at the edge of the ravine, on of his fore-paws hanging off the straight drop. Getting down on his knees, Gemdust laid his paws on his father's chest. Feeling the faint heartbeat of the unconscious dog, he made a show of straightening his vest, quickly slipping a small stone box into his paws, and into the paws of the fallen.

"Give me that twine," siad Gemdust, "If you are going to make me do this, then I will do it right."

Dust ear tossed the bundle of string to the wolf-hound. Gemdust deftly tied the unconscious dog's paws together, hiding the
box between his large limbs.

"You're lucky this time dad, at least you'll survive tonight,"mumbled Gemdust, "I can only hope that mother has the same luck, probably not though." raising his voice he said, "Alright, off ya go."

He pushed the large dog off the edge of the cliff, listening as it bounced down the side. Closing his eyes he waited. The wait was not long, or drawn out. In a matter of seconds Gemdust had gone from silently kneeling at the edge of the ravine to laying on his side about a head shorter.

"HA, he never saw it coming, boss is gonna like dis!" cheered Dustear, "We be eatin' tonight for sure!"

"You might have, if you had done anything!" snapped Bloodtooth as he jogged back into the forrest, wiping the blade of his now uncovered sword as he went, "Now get moving, we need to be back at den before sun down."

The two remaining dogs whimpered and quickly followed the beta back into the depths of the tall trees.

Back at the den


"We not know alpha, maybe the traitor took it?"

"THAT IS IMPOSSIBLE, He had no time to get it! I challenged him BEFORE he got back to his burrow."-the alpha sighed and rubbed his eyes-"Calm yourself Firestone. YOU THERE, what is your name?" he barked to one of the sentries.

"Grinder, alpha!" he said back

"Bring me the traitor's bitch," Firestone ordered. as he watched the sentry leave he muttered to himself, "maybe that whore knows, and maybe she will talk when she learns that her mangy mate, and their shit of a pup are both rotting in the woods. Even if she doesn't I never swore that she needed to die quickly. I might even have some fun with her."

Maybe this was a complete failure of a night. Ah, well... Nothing goes completely to plan anyways, this just means that I will have to hurry the invasion preparations. Those ponies won't know what happened

Firestone slowly grinned at the thought. That grin kept growing, developing into a cackle, and from there, a full laugh, born from malice and hatred.

"Yes,"he said between the booms of laughter, "Even if that weakling survives and manages to warn them, I will have the full force of the Diamond Nation behind me. Maybe the High King will even let me keep a fief in the pony-lands."

That does remind me though, I should send a scout to the bottom of that ravine. I should know if the chase begins, isn't that right brother?