• Published 20th Jul 2013
  • 3,168 Views, 61 Comments

Bottom Of The Ladder - GeodesicDragon



Sequel to Top Of The Charts. Freshly released from jail, Anon has returned to Ponyville. The townsponies don't want him back — but there is another, far more pressing, issue to contend with.

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Plan In Motion

After Haywick left to go and find Lyra, you realised that you forgot to mention Bon Bon to him. However, he came back with her in tow an hour later; she grins wickedly upon seeing your injuries, making you conclude that she only followed him so she could gloat.

"So the rumour is true, then; the big bad human got his flank kicked." she laughs. "Well, it couldn't have happened to a nicer scumbag, but it goes without saying that you deserve a lot more." She doesn't notice Haywick rolling his eyes as he leaves, giving you a sympathetic smile. "Anyway, why in Tartarus did you want to see me, Anon? There is nothing you have to say that can—"

"I know where Bon Bon is."

Lyra turns her gaze to meet yours so fast, you could have sworn you heard her neck cracking. "You what?" she asks. "How?!"

You put your arms behind your head. "After the Dogs shoved Vinyl into a cage and beat the shit out of me, they began talking amongst themselves. One of them said something about 'the sweet maker pony who needs to be taught a lesson in respecting her betters.' And given the fact there is only one such pony in Ponyville, I immediately guessed he was talking Bon Bon."

For the first time since you got back, you see Lyra's face take on an expression other than anger or smugness. "So the Dogs did get her..." she trails off for a moment, but it's not long before she's glaring at you again. "I don't know why you think this information is going to make me like you, Anon, because to me it's just bad news coming from a bad guy; I will always hate you for—"

"Okay, fine," you interrupt. "I guess you won't want to go and rescue her before they actually take her to the labour camp." Lyra stares at you blankly. "Oh, did I not mention that they were going to stay at their camp for a couple more days before heading back?"

"They are?" Lyra asks, prompting you to nod. "Well, that's great; I'll go get the guards to head over there and bust their skulls!"

But Bon Bon isn't even at the camp.

We know that, but Lyra doesn't. Anyway, shush; I'm deceiving.

"Oh, no." you shake your head. "While I won't deny that the Royal Guard are good at their jobs, I can safely say that they will not be tactful about this; they'll rush to the area, but the clanking of their armour will give the Dogs enough warning to clear out before they even get there." You fold your arms and give Lyra the sort of piercing look your maths teacher used to give you while you were dithering at the blackboard. "Seriously, Lyra, if you tell the guards about this, then Bon Bon is done for."

Lyra stomps a forehoof into the floor. "Then what the hell am I supposed to do, Anon?!" she shouts. "Because I'll be damned if I'm going to sit idly by while those filthy mongrels do Celestia, Luna and even Discord knows what to the mare I love!"

Ha, I knew those two were a thing!

Not now, damn it.

"I feel well enough to discharge myself from here," you reply. "I can take you to the camp, then distract the Dogs long enough for you to bust out Bon Bon. They had the element of surprise the last time, but this time it will be different; I know a few tricks of my own that will help me keep them busy."

Lyra seems to be on the verge of tears. "Y-you'd do that for me, after everything I've said and done to you?" she asks, her voice cracking with emotion. "Anon, I... I don't know what to say."

"Don't say anything." you swing your legs over the edge of the bed and climb down. "Just go and wait outside while I get ready."

Lyra nods and leaves the room; as soon as the sound of her hoofsteps fades, you make a pyramid with your fingers and smirk.

Okay, that was the easy part.

I assume the hard part is making sure she doesn't suss out what your actual plan is before you can spring the ambush?

It should be fine as long as I can keep playing on her feelings for her marefriend, by tugging at the ol' heartstrings.

I see what you did there.

Oh, shut up, it wasn't intentional.

With that out of the way, you leave the room and head to reception.

***

You trudge through the forest with Lyra following close behind, your breath turning to mist in the cold air. She took what you said to heart; nopony is following you, which is definitely the last thing you, Vinyl and Octavia need right now. You suppress a shudder as you think about what the Dogs would do to the three of you if you inadvertently led an entire division of Royal Guard to their hideout.

"How much further, Anon?" Lyra whispers.

"Just a few more minutes," you whisper back. "When we get there, I'll distract the Dogs while you run to the cages and get Bon Bon. And be quick about it; my sleeves can only hold so many tricks."

Lyra nods. "Got it," she says.

Sure enough, you get to the camp a few minutes later. There are six Dogs in the area; three are standing guard, while the other three are huddled around a small fire surrounded by three large tents decorated with the Rockpaw crest.

"Looks like the cages are behind the tents," Lyra says eagerly. "We go on three. One... two... th-RRRRREEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!"

As soon as she hits three, you grab her around the waist and hoist her onto your shoulders. The squeal of shock she lets out is more than enough to attract the attention of the guards, who immediately come over to you; one of them attaches a magic dampener to Lyra, who is flailing her hind legs around in a desperate attempt to kick you in the face.

"You bastard!" she screams. "You bastard, bastard, bastard, BASTARD! I never should have listened to you!"

"Ah, shut up, ya damn pony!" one of the Dogs sticks a gag over her mouth. "Save yer strength for working!" He takes her from you and hands her to one of the others, who puts a sack over her head and proceeds to unceremoniously dump her in a cage.

You dust your hands together. "There we go, gentlemen, one freshly delivered slave," you say, trying your best to sound evil. "This particular mare has a close connection to another slave, namely the sweet maker; having the two of them together will ensure that there is no trouble, especially if you threaten to punish the other when one of them does something wrong."

"Good job, Anon," one of the guards says. "Y'know, when the Overseer said that you was workin' for us now, we was kinda sceptical." He pats your shoulder. "But now... now we can see that yous has got a knack fer this kinda work."

"What can I say?" you shrug. "Survival of the fittest, am I right?"

As the dogs cackle uproariously at your quip, you gaze into the slowly dying embers of the fire, and wonder just how much lower you'll have to sink before your plan bears fruit.