by Ghost Cobbraaa

Chapter 10

"Now remember, we can't just go in and start shooting at every living thing there. We need to take this carefully!"

Chuck looked around the garage room as he listened to the magenta pony. Chuck remembered his name was Shifty Cuts; it was probably not his real name, but that's what everyone called him. He examined the other three ponies in the room. One was a very drunk pony with a gray coat and a long glossy blond mane named Derpy. Chuck knew that she was way too drunk to participate in the operation, so he wondered why she was even there. Probably ponies were too polite to ask her to leave. Another pony was an indigo unicorn with a blue and white mane named Lyra. The last member was an all white stallion who looked like one of those garden variety Royal Guardsmen, minus the uniform.

Shifty continued speaking:

"There is a list of ponies that we need to keep alive at all cost. If these ponies die, then the whole organization will collapse in a less than orderly manner. First on the list is Granny Smith." Chuck raised his hoof, indicating he had a question. "Yes, private?"

"Why don't we want to take Granny Smith out of the picture?"

Shifty looked almost annoyed at the question. "Because she is the tape that is holding a very unpredictable and unstable organization together. If she dies, then there will be nopony to give out orders. There will just be a bunch of very well-connected gangsters and thugs doing whatever they damn well please."

"Oh. I see.”

"As I was saying, if you see Granny Smith, Applejack, or Braeburn, be sure to take them prisoner. We have no reason to believe that Granny or Applejack will be there, but we are almost certain that Braeburn will." Chuck briefly spaced out as he remembered the conversation he had had with the drug farmer just the previous night. He snapped himself out of it and continued listening. "So that will be Lyra's cue to come in with Chuck through the east entrance and secure the area. Is that clear?"


"Uh, huh."


"Now you three just sit tight and go to sleep now." The soft yellow pony shut off the lights to the living room.

"Thanks, Fluttershy."

"Yeah, thank you."

"Thanks a bunch."

The three had been in search of Rainbow Dash well into the night, lost in the Everfree Forest, before they came across Fluttershy's cottage. Scootaloo softly set her head down on the plush pillow the three were sharing on the couch. The heaviness in her eyes grew as the weariness of her journey set in. She pulled the blanket over her neck, with her back to Sweetie Bell, who seemed wide awake, and felt her thoughts clearing into peaceful nothingness.


Fluttershy stared as two of the fillies slept in shared comfort. The third, who was in the middle, placed her hooves around the other two in a snuggle before closing her eyes, prepared to sleep. For Fluttershy, it was impossible to stare at the three sleeping fillies and not smile. So young, so innocent, so ignorant of the troubles in the falling empire they dwelt in.

There a was a soft knock at the door. Fluttershy immediately rushed to the door and unlatched the deadbolt. Standing in the doorway was Apple Pie. She was a dark orange mare with a curly red mane. Fluttershy had called as soon as the three fillies arrived.

"You have the little ones?" Apple Pie inquired in an excited whisper. The eagerness and joy in her voice was undeniable.

"Oh, yes. They came about an hour ago. They're just asleep now, so it's best to be quiet."

"Great. May I see them?"

"They're just on the couch over there." Fluttershy aimed a hoof toward the couch that was bathed in the moonlight that was seeping through the window above it.

Apple Pie rushed over with a delightful smile. She examined the three fillies as they cuddled up together in their slumber.

"Awwww..... They're precious," she whispered, turning her head in the direction of Fluttershy.

"So, what do you think?" Her gentle monotone voice betrayed the uneasiness she was feeling.

"Five hundred bits for each at the very least!"

Fluttershy released a breath she didn't realize she had been holding.

"Oh, thank Celestia. I could pay off my taxes for a few months with fifteen hundred bits. How soon can you bring the money?"

Apple Pie brought a hoof to her chin in thought before replying.

"Maybe an hour. I'll bring over the tranquilizer, too. Don't want them waking up on their ride to Manehatten, now, would we?"

"Oh, no. That would be awful."


Rainbow Dash had boarded a train to Canterlot the previous night. The magenta pony said that he couldn't accompany her because he had business to attend to. If what he was saying was no lie, then this could be her chance to help the country she loved. And to help Applejack.

She shut her eyes in pain. Not physical pain, but emotional pain, as if her heart had sunk right down to her stomach. Applejack was kind and caring, but only to her. It was painfully obvious how she didn't give a flying feather about anypony else. Rainbow Dash couldn't bear the thought of her being so privileged and rewarded for her crimes. She takes life away, and so she earns this extravagant life of wealth and drugs? She wanted to trade places with the ponies getting stomped on by the Apple Family so badly. Yet, she still wanted to jump in Applejack's hooves.

She had to somehow show Applejack that what she was doing was wrong. The back of her mind, the logical part, told her that Applejack was a ruthless and psychotic killer that had no empathy or remorse for anypony but herself and Rainbow Dash. She would kill for Rainbow Dash. The love was real.

The pegasus examined the ponies riding the train. It was just a regular, dirty old metro with a lot of very tired ponies. She might as well rest now. In the afternoon, she would be off to see the pony that was orchestrating the fall of the Apple Family. She just hoped that she could at least convince her to keep Applejack safe.


This was it. The moment Chuck has been waiting for. The moment he earned. He put a clip in his handgun and put it in his holster. He then grabbed his Thompson sub-machine gun and loaded a large drum into the bottom that held about a hundred and twenty rounds. With one hoof, he brought the yellow bandana over his mouth and lowered the sunglasses. One brown fedora later, and his clothing was ready. A shiver went from his ears down to his flank down to his back hoofs. If asked if he was nervous, he would reply with a stern 'Fuck yeah, I am!'

The silver pony had never held a gun before this day, let alone do anything like this. All he could keep telling himself was, 'it's for the good of Equestria.'

Then he remembered the reason why he had gotten involved with the Humble Equestrian Militia in the first place: Scootaloo.

"Oh, Scoots..." he whimpered quietly to himself as a small bead of water rolled from his eye down his cheek. He had taken in the little filly and had been raising her as if she had been his own since his brother's death when Scootaloo was only a year of age. All he wanted was to see her grow up in a country she could be proud of; but when he looked around, he saw a sad country that had peaked many years ago.

The Apple Family had the Equestrian economy by the balls, leaving Granny Smith to manipulate everything and leave thousands to starve at her will. That power over the economy meant power over politics. No one wanted the economy to crash and turn Equestria back into a developing nation like the Zebra Republic, so all the senators and the princess herself all sucked up to the criminal scum.

That was the place Wood Chuck's dear Scootaloo was growing up in. It was inevitable that she would one day grow old enough to see just how bad things were. She would probably get caught up in drugs, like all the other children, and make nothing of her life. Living in sorrow. Chuck had to stop this. For Scootaloo, if for nopony else.

"You ready, Wood Chuck?" the voice of Shifty snapped him out of his thoughts.

"Uh, yeah. Just a little nervous."

"That's to be expected. On the count of ten, the whole team moves out and goes into position. That clear?"

The group of four mumbled agreement. Chuck held tightly to his sub-machine gun in anxious anticipation for what would happen next.

Sugarcube Corner was just across the street. He would need to dash at lightning speed to get over, bust in the window on the left side with Lyra, and shoot at anypony that wasn't on the 'don't shoot' list, and arrest the ponies that were. He briefly wondered where they would take the ponies they arrested, but decided to save that question for later.

"10... 9... 8... 7... 6... 5..." Shifty paused in the count down. Sweat rolled down everypony's faces as the realization that someone in that room just might die today sunk in. Tears streamed down Lyra's face, yet she held her head held high in proud determination.

Chuck reached over and placed a hoof on hers. She turned at him in confusion.

"It's gonna be alright." He flashed a reassuring smile. An unspoken 'thank you' came back to him in the smile Lyra returned as she wiped the tears off her face.

"... 4... 3... 2... 1. GO!"