• Published 8th Nov 2013
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Harmony's Warriors: X-Questrians First Class - Avenging-Hobbits



The humble beginnings of one of the most important superhero teams in all of Equestria: The X-Questrians. Set in the Harmony's Warriors Universe.

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Act I - 03 - The Path We're Riding

Act I:
"In the Beginning"

Chapter Three:
“The Path We’re Riding”

Fleur stared at her plate, licking her lips at the sight of the large, fluffy chocolate chip pancakes. She was about to reach out and gobble them up when the pastel pink unicorn across from her spoke up.

“So, Fleur, how’s the last couple weeks been?” Eleanor asked as she levitated the syrup over and poured some on Fleur’s pancakes. Fleur looked towards Eleanor, subconsciously preparing her ‘innocent filly’ voice before speaking.

“They’ve been just fine, Mrs. Silverho-” She stopped herself mid sentence, unsure if the correction was from genuine affection or just an act. “I mean... Mom,” she answered, reminding herself to use the term “mother” or “mom” instead of their full names. She was supposed to be playing the innocent adoptee, so acting her age was most unadvised. “Thanks again for letting me stay here.”

“Think nothing of it,” Alkanet said, still reading his newspaper. “Doing good for others is always its own reward.” he added, and Eleanor nodded in agreement as she went about preparing another plate of pancakes.

“Fleur, dearie, can you please go and wake your sister? It’s going to be school in about an hour and I want her to be ready.” Eleanor asked, and Fleur looked up from her pancakes and nodded, more to stay in character than anything else.

“Alright, Mother,” she said, hopping out of her chair and trotting out of the dining room.

As she rounded a corner, and, once she knew she was alone, the deceptive mare casually shifted back to her naturally scaly blue coated form. She knew all too well that staying very long in a single form would lead to a headache, so she was sure to shift back to normal whenever possible. Of course, she still wasn’t entirely sure how the Silverhoof’s would react if they saw her like this, so she was sure to only ever do it when she was one hundred percent sure she was alone.

Last thing I need is a panicked rich family on my hooves… she thought worriedly, slinking up the stairs and to Cupcake’s room. She leaned up against the door, and she could hear the sound of pop music coming from inside.

“Go away,” came the meek voice inside that Fleur recognized as Cupcake’s.

“Cupcake?” She knocked on the door lightly “It’s me Fleur,” Fleur said as gently as possible, taking notice of the somewhat sad tone in the young filly’s voice. “What’s the matter?”

“It’s all too loud,” came Cupcake’s response in a hurt and vulnerable voice. Fleur furrowed her brow slightly.

“Loud? What do you mean too loud? The music?” she asked, already tinkering with the doorknob and picking the lock with one of her hair pins.

“No...the thoughts,” came Cupcake’s response, almost sounding like a cry now. Fleur felt a pain of sympathy for the younger filly, if only because of the sheer pitifulness in her voice. She managed to unlock the door and open it slowly. She could have sworn she heard something burrow along the bed and toss a pillow towards the door, and Fleur peaked in to see a large, conspicuous lump on the bed. The music was much louder now, and with a slight look of irritation, Fleur lifted the needle off the record, causing the music to cut off mid-verse.

“Cupcake, I know you’re under the covers,” Fleur said, shooing away the cat that had been sleeping on the bed gently and sitting in its place. “Do you…” she hesitated, being somewhat alien to the advent of comforting others. “Do you want to talk about it?”

There was a long pause, before the lump in the sheets shifted and Cupcake poked her head out from underneath, her eyes dominated by the two heavy bags underneath and her mane a horrid tangle of pink. She slowly slid towards Fleur and leaned against her.

“I can still hear everypony’s thoughts…” she groaned, emphasizing her words by pulling on her ears with her hooves as if to cover them. “I barely had any sleep last night and I have such a headache now.” she burrowed her head into Fleur and the older mare tensed slightly.

She wasn’t exactly used to having such obvious, unrequited affection poured on her, not even from one of her many past lovers. It felt awkward to have the little filly begging for comfort, especially when Fleur herself knew she wasn’t the best pony to refer to in times of trouble. However, she also knew full well of how vile some ponies’ minds could be. To be stuck hearing every thought around you, without anyway to filter them out would be a difficult experience for an adult, let alone a filly who seemed no older than twelve. She felt her mothering instinct returning, as the little filly, with her blue coat and sad eyes, only managed to bring back memories of Fleur own lost child. Despite herself, she found her embracing Cupcake warmly.

“Do you want me to help you try and stop that?” Fleur offered gently, gently tipping Cupcake’s head upwards so she could look the filly in the eye. Cupcake raised her eyebrows ever so slightly, moving a hoof to wipe her tears away from her violet eyes, begging for help.

“Y-You can do that?” she asked, swallowing and sniffling slightly.

Fleur shrugged slightly. “I can try at least,” she said, shifting on the bed slightly. “Have you tried focusing on just one sound?” she asked, and Cupcake looked over towards the record player.

“Well...I hear music to try and drown out everything else.” Cupcake said, rubbing an arm self consciously. “But lately, it just isn’t helping like it used to, I mean,” she sniffled back some of the tears. “It does sometimes...but...”

“Have you tried focusing like I suggested?” Fleur asked, recalling her suggestions to try and help Cupcake. Cupcake nodded slightly.

“Yeah I’ve tried, but when he’s there picking on me, I can’t focus and it makes it even worse.”

“Who?!” Fleur asked incredulously, forgetting that she was not this filly’s mother. “Who picks on you? Who and where?”

“My older cousin Crafty Crate,” Cupcake replied, looking down at the ground. “Usually whenever there’s a family reunion or when he bumps into me at school.”

Fleur lowered her eyebrows. “Is that so?” she asked, rubbing her chin as a plan came to her mind.

“Yeah huh,” Cupcake replied. “And no matter what I do, he always gets me.”

“Well,” Fleur said, looking down and giving Cupcake her best comforting smile. “Guess what?”

“What?” Cupcake asked, her expression intreating.

“Take heart that I’m going to make sure that this...Crafty Crate doesn’t bother you anymore,” Fleur declared with great resolve filling her voice. “Since you and I are going to the same school, I’ll stick around and make sure that nopony, cousin or not, bullies you while I’m around.”

“Really?” Cupcake asked, her eyes widening slightly. “You… you mean it?”

“Of course! What do you suppose sisters are for?” Fleur answered, giving Cupcake a tight hug. “Now then, get downstairs before I eat your pancakes for you.”

Cupcake’s eyes widened. “Pancakes? Really?!”

Fleur nodded, giving Cupcake a sly grin. “Yeah...with chocolate chips and syrup and everything. I had to fight with all my might to make sure I didn’t eat them all…” she then looked up at the ceiling with a smile on her face. “Who knows how long I can keep myself from it…”

“I won’t let you do that to my syrupy goodness!” Cupcake giggled, and with that hopped off the bed, seemingly forgetting her previous woe. Fleur in the meantime, began to straighten the filly’s sheets, and couldn’t help but feel a warm and satisfied smile creep upon her muzzle. For good and for bad, that filly named Cupcake was under her protection, and she was proud to admit that.

“What was all that about?” came the voice and head of Alkanet, peaking around the corner into her daughter’s room. Within a flash, Fleur was in her filly form, with Alkanet apparently none the wiser.

“Oh nothing, just reminding Cupcake that I’ll be at school with her so she has nothing to worry about, Dad,” she answered truthfully.

“Oh…” Alkanet responded, smiling slightly. “Well... thank you for that. Poor dear has anxiety problems something fierce, “ He continued, before trailing off as he fiddled with his tie, “And could you be a dear again and help me with this confounded thing.”

“Sure thing, Dad.” Fleur replied, her horn alight.

//////////////////////////////////////////////////

Now this wasn’t the first time that Fleur had pulled “the young filly” stunt. She had lived quite a long time, and over the years, would occasionally wax nostalgic about the simpler life of a child, not to mention the free room and board that came with it. As such, she had often attended a school while in disguise, and the one thing that never seemed to change, no matter the country or the species, was the ritual of greeting the new kid. From the teacher who is happy to see a new face, to most of the class lost in their own thoughts and grunting noncommittal answers, to that one pony who swore to be your lifelong enemy, if only to be the counter for the other who wished to be your lifelong friend.

The more things changed, the more they all stayed same, she thought idly, looking over the classroom as the teacher continued introducing her.

“...and I hope you will all be very nice to young Miss Silverhoof, and do your very best to make her feel extra welcome, alright?”

“Yes Misses B.” came the droning response of the students. The teacher nodded and looked at Fleur.

“Now, Fleur honey, until we rearrange the seats, you can take the empty desk near the door, is that alright with you?” she asked, and Fleur nodded.

“Yes, that will be fine, Mrs. B.” she answered, making sure to maintain her childhood aura.

“Okay then!” Mrs. B said, clasping her hooves together. “Now, will everypony open your math books to page 282?”

////////////////////////////////////////////

Cupcake sat at her usual table, eating her usual lunch food, in her usual way. The only difference was the smile on her face, which stood out in sharp contrast to her normally introverted personality. Across from her, Fleur sat eating her food as well.

“So,” Cupcake spoke up, looking at Fleur. “How’s your first day going?”

“Its school, hasn’t changed much since the last time I went through it,” Fleur nonchalantly answered as she took a bite from the food. She grimaced slightly. “And I guess that the quality of school food hadn’t changed all that much either I’m afraid…” she added with a mutter.

“Last time?” Cupcake asked, causing Fleur to raise an eyebrow. Cupcake thought for a moment, before her face lit up in recognition. “Oh, right! Sorry. I forgot how old you really are.” she said, looking back at her food and continuing to eat, her expression much more serious than before. She held her tongue for a moment, wondering if she should really continue the line of questioning. It wasn’t a long battle though, as childlike curiosity won over proper edicate within moments.

“Just how old are you?” Cupcake found herself asking, and Fleur gave her a rather surprised look.

“Cupcake, you should never ask a mare her age, it isn’t polite,” Fleur answered. Cupcake bit her lip slightly, looking away.

“Sorry…”she murmured, only to have Fleur give her a slight snicker in return.

“Oh don’t worry, like I said, you’re a filly. I suppose though that there’s no real harm in telling you,” she said, before tapping her chin slightly. “If my memory serves me correctly, I will be around five hundred years of age come next Tuesday,” she said, puffing her chest out ever so slightly. Cupcake stared at her for a moment, her eyes wide.

Around?” Cupcake finally said, and she couldn’t help but feel her voice elevate to a noticeably more shocked sounding cadence at the information.

Fleur nodded. “Somewhere around there, yes,” she continued, idly poking her food with a fork. ”But many of my earlier memories are either very vague or lost to me...I guess memory is funny that way.”

Cupcake raised her eyebrows slightly, her curiosity beckoning her to continue. “Really? Do you remember your parents?” she asked innocently, and Fleur bit her lip slightly, her expression souring to match.

“I never really knew my mother,” Fleur stated simply, poking the food a little more sternly. “I was raised by my father till I was twenty or so, and I left because I did not want to put up with his mushroom habit.”

“Mushroom habit?” Cupcake asked, tilting her head. Fleur nodded.

“Yeah, he had a habit of eating ones that made him…” she hesitated, her eyes drifting about for a moment. “Absent minded to say the least. Very good wizard though, I’ll give him that,” she then added, scooping some food into her mouth and chewing tersely.

“Wizard? Like in the books?” Cupcake asked, surprised that something that was supposedly only existing in fantasy had apparently once been real. Fleur nodded.

“He was known as Raistlin the Red,” she said, swallowing her food and looking down at it with disdain. “But, like I said, regardless of his magical prowess, mushrooms were his first love. I guess history doesn’t look fondly on the empty headed….” she trailed off, obviously not wanting to continue the tangent. Cupcake nodded slightly, scooping some of her own food off the plate.

“Sorry for asking...I really shouldn’t have.” she said, and Fleur shrugged.

“Not your fault. I’ve had this conversation quite a few times. I guess it’s not everyday a psychic twelve year old meets a five hundred year old shapeshifter is it?” she answered with a slight smile. Cupcake shrugged slightly herself.

“No I guess not…” she said, chewing on her food quietly, wondering what to talk about next. However, her thoughts of conversation died when a familiar cloud of cruel, abusive and dullard foreign thoughts came rolling into her brain. Cupcake’s good mood instantly deflated, as she knew that brain pattern very, very, well.

“Well... if it isn’t the nervous nelly Cupcake herself,” a gruff and unwelcome voice sneered, and Cupcake saw a large shadow loom over her. She closed her eyes tightly, trying to focus on something other than whatever horrors Crafty Crate might have had in store for her.

“And would’ja lookie here! She even has friend!” Crafty laughed, sitting down next to Cupcake and looking at Fleur with a sarcastic expression. “So tell me, nervous nelly Cupcake, how much of your allowance she set ya back, eh?” he asked, putting his huge arm around Cupcake and forcefully pulling her into a very one sided half-hug.

“What? No, she’s… I mean….” Cupcake could only stammer as her mental focus waivered letting in all the random thoughts and images come flooding into her brain, quickly overloading her. It felt as someone was drilling a knife into her skull, while simultaneously forcing her right next to an amplifier at the loudest rock concert ever. She honestly wanted nothing more than to crawl into a corner or under the table, curl into a ball and cry. In fact, tears had already begun to bubble in her eyes when she caught Fleur looking at Crafty with an incredible sternness.

“Its okay, Cupcake,” Fleur said, her voice strong and resolute. “Your sister’s got this,” she said as she rose up from her seat and walked over, leaning into Crafty Crate’s face. “Big colt, picking on a filly. Exactly who do you think you are?” she asked, leaning even closer so that she was mere inches from him.

Crafty Crate meanwhile, eyed Fleur with bemusement, arching an eyebrow and sneering. “Names Crafty Crate. What’s it to ya?”

Fleur nodded slightly. “Crafty Crate... as in Cupcake’s cousin Crafty Crate?”

Crafty Crate nodded slightly in return, his expression changing to one of mild irritation. “Yeah, that’s right. Like I asked, what’s it to ya?”

A sly, conniving smile slowly spread across Fleur’s face. “Well Mr. Crate, since you seem to be a slow colt, I, Fleur Silverhoof, her older sister, am going to introduce you to a whole new world of horror.”

There was a pause as Crafty Crate and Fleur stared at each other, before Crafty let out a bellowing laugh.

“You? Scare me?! You’ve gots to be joking!” he cackled, a huge grin on his face. Fleur simply nodded.

“That’s quite right, Mr. Crate,” she answered, her voice dropping at least three octaves to resemble some sort of horror movie monster. “Quite right indeed,” and with that, she shifted into a large, black dog, with eyes glowing bright red. She let out a low growl and lunged towards him, barking wildly. Crafty’s eyes widened to the size of dinner plates and he practically rocketed out of the chair, turning tail and flying away as fast as his wings could carry him. The giant black dog, however, smiled smugly and shifted back to once more resemble Fleur, and she primped her mane and puffed out her chest. All around, several students looked towards Fleur with quizzical expressions, only to be met with Fleur eyeing them venomously. The others all quickly refocused their attention elsewhere, obviously not wanting to run afoul of Fleur.

“And that, my dear, sweet Cupcake, is how you deal with bullies,” she said, taking her seat next to Cupcake, who looked at her with equally wide eyes. The young filly managed to catch of what was going on in Fleur’s mind, and felt herself feel just a little better at the reaffirmation that Fleur did in fact, genuinely see herself as Cupcake's sister.

"Thank you, Fleur," she said, pulling Fleur into a hug, with a smile she would wear for the rest of the day.

//////////////////////////////////////////////

Four years later...

“Rise and shine!” Came a voice, giving Carrot a sharp nudge in his shoulder. Carrot let out a groan of disapproval. His head felt as it had been crushed in a vice, and the rest of his body felt as if it were made of melting wax. His eyes slowly looked around, finding himself in a dark room, with the only light coming from an old, worn out light bulb hanging from the ceiling, providing an ugly mustard yellow lighting. Looming over him, with a calm and contented smile on his face, was General Gustav.

“And how are we feeling this fine morning?” The griffin asked, giving Carrot a large, toothy grin that, if Carrot didn’t know better, would have been seen as inviting. Carrot simply glared hatefully at his tormentor, who let out a long sigh.

“Alright then, not really open to talking are we?” Gustav muttered, shaking his head. “Shame, since I had hoped I could teach you to do great things with your powers, but alas, you seem dead set on not cooperating with me.”

“You killed my mother!” Carrot hissed, before swinging a fist towards Gustav, which Gustav simply halted mid swing by grabbing it with his talons. He then twisted Carrot’s arm painfully, and the colt bowed over in pain.

“You ponies are all the same. So obsessed with temporal attachments,” Gustav muttered, shoving Carrot to the floor. “I killed my mother too, but you don’t hear me constantly whining and crying about it like some weak housewife.” he then turned towards the doorway. “Now, I’ll be back in an hour or so with a friend of mine, and then we three will have a nice long discussion about your abilities. Regardless of your willingness to cooperate.”

And with that, the griffin left the room, closing the heavy door behind him and leaving Carrot alone. Carrot let out a pained groan and rubbed his sore arm. As he looked around the room, a part of him wished that the past several weeks had just been a terrible dream, something that he would wake up from and find himself back in his room, the smell of his mother’s cooking wafting from downstairs, calling for him to come and eat. But alas, as much as he wished that this was all a dream, every day he was reminded, in one way or another, that this was very much real.

The next hour passed slowly, with the steady ticking of the clock on the wall being the only indicator of time passing. Carrot had now made due with quietly huddling himself in the corner, fearing what Gustav had planned for him. He wondered if it would include some kind of torture, most likely involving needles, knives, and Carrot strapped to a table.

The sound of the door opening across the room caught his attention, and Carrot backed away in a panic. Standing in the doorway was a figure who stalked towards him, slowly and deliberately. It didn’t look like a griffin, since it was smaller and lacked the beak and claws. It had red glowing eyes, and its body seemed to be made out of black clouds that billowed behind the spectre, which cornered Carrot into the corner of the room. By now, the colt was quivering in fear, terrified as to what the monster might have in store for him.

“P-please, lea-leave me alone!” he whimpered, waiving his hooves in a panic, which only caused the light bulb on the ceiling to swing around wildly, throwing shadows around the room. The monster leaned in close, reaching out a black cloaked claw.

“No please don’t hurt me!” Carrot cried out, closing his eyes tight and curling up in a ball.

“Hurt you? Why would a mother ever hurt her son?” Came his mother’s silken voice. Carrot felt a hoof gently wipe away a tear from his cheek and he opened his eyes to see his mother, standing in the place of the black demon of before.

“M-Mother?!” Carrot stammered, his eyes wide in complete shock. “Wh-what are yo-you do-doing here?”

His mother smiled warmly at him. “I’ve come to keep you company,” she cooed, gently pulling him into a hug. Carrot looked around in confusion, looking for the monster that had been attempting to harm him only moments before, but no matter how many times he turned his little head, the room was just as empty and stark as before, with the door left wide open.

“Now calm down, dearie,” his mother said, bringing a familiar feeling of belonging back to the frightened foal, gently stroking him to calm him down. “I’m here, and I’m not going to leave you.”

The words of comfort, coupled with the warmth of the hug, felt like a tepid balm to the small orange child, and he returned the hug as tightly as his little arms would let him, letting out a long stream of tears. “Mommy I thought you were dead!” he cried, clutching her tightly. As he did so however, he felt an odd chill run through her and she started to melt like wax in his fingers, slowly dripping away and collapsing around him. He had barely a second to take any of this in when the voice of Gustav caught his ears.

“Did you like that Carrot?” Gustav inquired, his thick griffin accent fowling the loving moment between mare and son, as he stood in the doorway with another, shorter and stouter griffin who wore a white lab coat. Carrot looked over at Gustav in confusion, unable to wrap his mind around what had just happened.

“Wh-what happened?” he stammered, voicing the first thought that had come to his head.

Gustav walked over slowly and methodically in response. “Whatever do you mean, Fohlen? Your mother came to visit you. Why so confused?” He feigned ignorance with a sadistic grin across his beak. “Didn’t you enjoy the feeling of her embrace? The warmth of her touch? Her soft voice, comforting you in your darkest hour?” Gustav asked, coming to a stop in front of the stunned Carrot, who simply looked up at him with a broken and empty expression.

“It wasn’t real,” the colt murmured, looking directly into Gustav’s eyes.

Gustav sighed slightly. “But it made you feel better, did it not? Is that not that the important part?” he leaned down so that he was at eye level with Carrot, the child’s expression gaining hateful momentum with each passing moment. “Anyways, who actually cares that it wasn’t real?” he asked, only to have Carrot punch him in the face. The light bulb above them mimicked Carrot’s motions, swinging widely to the left, as if it were attached to Carrot’s hoof by an invisible cable.

“I CARE!” The colt cried, his voice tight in rage. Gustav exhaled forcefully, his golden eyes losing any semblance of kindness they might have once had as he looked down upon his new ward with nothing but disdain. He then greeted Carrot with a slap across the face so violent, that it caused Carrot to go sprawling onto the floor unconscious.

“Insolent whelp,” Gustav hissed, standing up and turning towards the other griffin and straightening out his uniform. “As you can see, Dr. Eno, Subject M has been most uncooperative,” he said calmly, walking over to the other griffin. “He is an awfully independent little upstart, so I would advise you to be careful around him,” as he spoke, he looked up to the light bulb, which still swung around as if it had just been struck with something. “Also, be sure to never have any metal in the room. His powers make it so that it can easily be wielded against you. Make sure everything is either wood or plastic. Understand?”

“Yes,” Dr. Eno replied, rubbing the bottom of his beak. “Especially when compared to your other pet project. She at least wasn’t as obviously violent.”

“Well, that’s because she was half-dead from blood loss, mein Doktor,” Gustav was quick to reply, giving Eno an accusing glance. “But yes, even discounting her physical injuries, her mind was weak. This little imp is quite strong. But we’ll deal with it…” he looked over the young new prospect as a child would their present on Hearth’s Warming eve. ”In due time.” he then walked past Dr. Eno and out the door. “Get him ready for the Ludovico treatment. Perhaps that will do the trick.”

“Yes,” Dr. Eno replied, his voice low as he walked up to get a closer look at the unconscious colt, a disturbing smile crossing his face. “Yes it might…”

/////////////////////////////////////////////

Carrot lay on the mat in the middle of the sterile white room. He stared at the opposite wall, completely silent. He could no longer be sure exactly how much time had passed since his internment here had begun. The only way to tell another day had dawned was that, each morning at exactly eight in the morning, Dr. Eno would arrive, bringing Carrot to a lonely, empty room where the colt was to spend the next four hours being put under all sorts of treatments and experiments. It had gotten to the point where he was no longer referred to by his name, but rather, by the number that was branded onto his wrist.

By now, his sense of what was real and what was fake had eroded, having been blurred by Gustav’s constant deceptions and mind games. The only things that Carrot knew was set in stone was his burning, volcanic hatred for the feathered freaks around him, and that his powers, which apparently only ever affected metal, were steadily growing in strength. In fact, as of the last few days, they had been particularly strong, and he had noticed that Gustav seemed to be looking rather ill as of late, frequently leaving a session early, rubbing his forehead and muttering in what sounded like pain. That was when Carrot began to carefully scheme within his cell whenever he had the chance, planning each and every new detail of his hopeful and eventual escape. For, if his assumptions were correct, and his powers were increasing in power, he might have the slimmest of chances for escape. And that hope was enough for him.

His ruminating was interrupted, however, when the door opened and in walked Gustav himself, dressed in his standard jet black uniform. This time, he was flanked by two grunts, eyes obscured by their helmets.

“Hello, Carrot, and how are you today?” Gustav asked with characteristic false kindness, taking a seat next to Carrot. Carrot noticed that as he sat down, he rubbed his head again, obviously once more irritated by whatever was causing his headaches. Carrot however, said nothing, simply looking towards Gustav with hatred. Gustav simply stared back, his expression souring.

“I see, the silent treatment again;” Gustav continued, rubbing his forehead briefly. “And here I thought you would have learned to not do that by now.” He added with a sigh, before looking directly at Carrot with narrowed eyes. As if a switch had been flipped, Carrot felt the world shift and warp around him, sending hundreds of thousands of fiery embers to dance along his skin. His bones started to feel as if they were being crushed and ground into dust. Just when Carrot felt he couldn’t withstand the pain anymore, something decidedly unexpected happened.

On the desk across the room, a radio let out a static filled wine before dying and several light bulbs spontaneously exploded, startling Gustav and causing the hellscape to evaporate. As for Carrot, he felt as if he had just had been injected with pure energy, and he knew that now was the time. With a quick flick of his wrist, he tore the weapons from the guards and, with a few quick flicks of his wrists, was quick to dispatch them.

Something was off, however, and as it dawned on him, the cowardly griffin known as Gustav Le Shaw had rounded the corner. Carrot gave chase after the source of all his pain and anguish, dead set on finally ending the monster’s existence.

He ran as fast as his little legs could carry him, chasing after the man that ruined his life from within the prison and murdered his mother in cold blood years ago. As he continued to mow down any griffin that cared cross him, he felt no exhaustion and he did not tire. His rage fueled his body now, and no amount of hallways, stairs or idiot, scum guards was going to keep him from his bloody vengeance and the recompense that had only received the down payment of a chocolate coin.

Anger taking the place of adrenaline, he was soon instead greeted by the sight of Dr. Eno cowering behind a heavy oak desk, stuffing a bag full with gold bars, something that didn’t surprise the young colt in the slightest.

Where is he?!” Carrot seethed, pistol whipping the conniving doctor to stun him, then pinning Dr. Eno to the wall, still sitting upon metal chair and pointing the revolver hard at his skull.

“Wh-who?!” Dr. Eno cried, struggling against the chair that held him pinned to the wall.

WHO THE HELL DO YOU THINK?!” He took a breath and wiped the spit from his muzzle. “GUSTAV!” Carrot barked, now disgusted at the griffons cowardice. “Tell me where he is right now or, I SWEAR TO CELESTIA UP IN HEAVEN ABOVE THAT I WILL SHOOT YOUR DERANGED BRAINS OUT!!

Dr. Eno looked around frantically, his breath coming in short, desperate pants. “Gu-Gustav? I-I d-don’t know! P-pl-ease!” the meek scientist begged, slithering down to grovel at Carrot’s, which only gave him less and less reason to leave the doctor alive every second.

YOU’RE LYING!” Carrot announced fervently. Carrot threw the griffin across the room, his anger once again fueling his muscles. “YOU KNOW EXACTLY WHERE HE IS! NOW TELL ME! TELL ME NOW, YOU GRIFFON SON OF A BITCH!!

“No, no! I swear! Please, you have to believe me! All I know is that communications are down! Something to do with the sun!” Dr. Eno stammered.

Carrot narrowed his eyes. “Then where. Would. He. GO!?” he snarled, pushing against Dr. Eno with all his body weight.

“I told you, I do not know! Look in the desk! He must have a list of safe houses or something! Just please don’t kill me!” Dr. Eno begged. Deep inside, Carrot felt a sick sense of satisfaction at seeing the griffin, who was almost twice his size, quivering and cowering away from him, blubbering like an infant. “Please! Have mercy!”

“Did you bastards give Peppermint mercy?! DID YOU SHOW ME MERCY?!”

Dr. Eno gave Carrot a brief, deeply confused look. “Wh-who is Peppermint?” he asked, his voice quivered as he made increasingly pitiful blubbering sounds.

Carrot growled in disgust at who had once been so quick to torture him as a child, ensuring every last moment outside of his cell was a living hell. “Peppermint was… my… mother!”

“I… I… I’m sorry!” The griffin wailed, and Carrot took a step back. The griffin was scared of him. Carrot was finally in control of something, and it felt wonderful. With a look of cold satisfaction, he held the revolver up against Dr. Eno’s head. “Please, I’ll give you anything you want!” Dr. Eno fell to his knees and at Carrot’s hooves, blubbering. “Just let me go.”

Carrot felt a large, sadistic smile cross his face at the sight of the terrified creature. He looked to the desk and changed his psychotic grin to one of stern and steely resolve. “Thank you, mein Doktor,” he whispered into Eno’s ear, before pulling the trigger. “But I think the list will be enough.”

The griffin’s body jerked backward and went limp as it spilled to the floor in a pool of blood. Carrot ignored the carcass or the blood on his own body, though, instead electing to focus his attention on the locks holding the desk drawers shut. The locks were promptly rendered null and void and as Carrot tore through the open drawers like a hurricane, he concentrated on the lists and the maps, quickly scanning them, hoping to find some clue as to where Gustav might have disappeared to.

Carrot now had a goal.

He had a purpose.

Gustav le Shaw was going to die by his own hooves, and if anyone, be they pony or griffin tried to stop him, hinder him or get in his way, he’d dispatch them without a second thought. He had a taste of power, of being able to defeat an enemy. And nothing was going to take that feeling from him. He tucked the maps and lists he needed into a large leather briefcase, before quietly taking a lighter and setting the papers on the desk aflame, starting the seed of a greater inferno that began to take the entirety of the facility.

And as he left the burning corpse of the once great military installation behind him, a stern belief stood unwavering within the back of his mind.

Vengeance would be his if he had to rain all the fire and fury of Celestia upon Gustav Le Shaw to do it.

Author's Note:

And here we take a full on swan dive into the dark pool.

Yippie.

Okay, I feel I should explain this since obviously it might be a little ambigious.

In my universe, Gustav's actions are fueled by really, only one thing. The enjoyment of watching other's suffer and the acquistion of power. Nothing else really. If he can rule a city, or a country or even the globe, all that matters to him is that he caused suffering to as many people as he could on the way to get there. The power is a bonus for him.

Also, he does, in fact, have powers. And they are:

kenetic energy absorption
the projection of incredibly realistic illusions, which make the victim think they are seeing, feeling, hearing, smelling the thing he wants them to see

That's how he was able to make Carrot's mother appear and to torture Carrot.

As for the other things, the previous victim of his, the filly, is Apple Bloom and she is the Winter Soldier .

Dr. Eno is named after musical producer/composer/arranger Brian Eno, for no reason then because I liked the name.

And yes, Fleur is more then 500 years old. Let that sink in.

And we'll be seeing Crafty Crate again....eventually...just watch.

The next chapter of the story will show them as adults and finally get to the main plot, with flashbacks as necessary to help fill in gaps.

ONWARD AND UPWARD!

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