• Published 15th Dec 2013
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Prompt-A-Day Collection - Admiral Biscuit

A collection of random stories from the Prompt-A-Day group's challenges

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2: "Getting Them was the Easy Part"

"In retrospect," they said, irritated, "getting them was the easy part."

“Tell me about it,” I muttered. It was supposed to be a simple gig. Ransom. Of course, everypony knows that you don’t go after your primary target directly; that’s just stupid. There’s security to consider—we were clever, but we probably couldn’t think of anything that a contingent of Royal Guards hadn’t already thought of, and planned to neutralize.

The secondary targets were a bit risky, too. Sure, they didn’t travel around with a phalanx of Royal Guards, but they were powerful ponies in their own right. Element bearers was just the first of their accomplishments. All of them were known to be cunning and resourceful; the pink one was rumored to be able to defy the very fabric of reality when she so chose.

But the tertiary targets—there was a plan. Three foals, none of them could use their powers yet, and we knew that anypony’s heart would bleed for them. We could set the ransom however high we wanted, and—

Which led us up to today.

The foalnapping had gone off without a hitch. Really, it was too easy. Scar had just dropped down on them with a small airship—borrowed from the Royal Hangars—and before he’d even begun his ‘free candy’ pitch, they’d jumped aboard.

There was a bit of a dicey moment when the pegasus tried to take the controls, but Peg-leg Pete offered them one look at the ballast control panel, and their eyes lit up like . . . well, like the ballast control panel.

And then the ship was at cloud height, and they couldn’t have gotten off even if they’d wanted to.

The transfer went off mostly without a hitch—it was harder to corral them than we’d imagined. The pegasus was easy enough; she was just staring out at the clouds passing by. Scar dropped a bag over her head easy as you please.

The unicorn weren’t much trouble, either. She was sittin’ by herself, running her hoof across the floorboards. Seemed kinda lost without her friends to tell her what to do. I think she’s a little slow.

It was the earth pony that was the biggest challenge. She’d somehow got herself up in the rigging—shinnied up a rope, most like—and was galavantin’ around topsides like she didn’t have a care in the world. Never mind that a fall from that height’d left nothing but a stain on the ground. Peg-leg Pete—bless his heart—convinced her that everyone else was playing pin-the-tail-on-the-pony and got a bag over her head. Spun her around a few times, and watched her stagger right across the gangway onto the other airship.

And then we got them back to the lair, neat as you please. Tossed them into their cell. Sent a letter to Ponyville demanding ransom. Sent a hooffull of hair off of each, just to prove we had ‘em. They didn’t like that too much . . . except for the unicorn. She said something about cutie marks, all three cheered, and then they were cuttin’ their own hair off.

That was this afternoon. Now it’s roundabouts midnight, and I’ve never been so scared in my life.

Them three are demons. They belong back in Tartarus. Five minutes—five everloving minutes—and they were out of their cell. Don’t know how. I barred the door myself.

The airship’s gone. The unicorn accidentally set it on fire. While using the engine to make toast.

The earth pony re-organized our lair. By re-organized, I mean destroyed. She knocked down all the walls, presumably with the intent of putting them back up again in some other order. However, before she could, the lumber was confiscated by the pegasus, who had an inkling to build a really cool scooter park. She even convinced the earth pony to help her.

Scar fled before the frame of the airship had cooled. I don’t blame him. Peg-leg Pete, bless his heart, stayed until the pegasus suggested it would be cooler if he pretended to be a helpless stallion, tied to a Catherine Wheel covered in fireworks. How the hay did they get fireworks?

So now I’m barricaded in my office, trying to dig my way out the other side of the mountain before they find me. Celestia help me, I think I hear scraping outside my door.