• Published 7th Jan 2014
  • 1,575 Views, 29 Comments

Mane-iac's Return - Art Inspired



She made a mess of things. It took two whole gallons of calming gel just to lock her up. Unfortunately, Arkhoof Asylum had another inmate who'd been waiting for her own chance at revenge. Maretropolis had more than just one nut to worry about.

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Part Two: Leaving Home

Even before getting on the road, the two were already bickering about their next course of action. It was the forked road incident, where they had two paths they could take. One lead to their old cells where some items await them that might help with get out.

Another road was to simply fight their way through the forces and fences that tried to keep them caged. The only problem with that was the two both agreeing they might need further supplies. However, Mane-iac put up the fight when she declared she absolutely needed to get out of those walls that she’d had great discomfort in watching for five whole months.

Despite that, they returned to their cells, only because Poison insisted on being ready to fight. All throughout the empty, cleared out halls, she complained far too loudly about how her supplies and favorite, special gun was left back there. When questioned about how she got her things in, she simply said not to worry about that. Mane-iac, being insane, shrugged it off as they reached the end.

As the door opened, Mane-iac was shocked to see bodies laying everywhere. Not a single drop of blood tainted the floors or walls, nor anyone inside the room dead or alive, and yet, some of these ponies seemed to be motionless. Mane-iac, however, didn’t dare find out the truth unless unfortunate circumstances that were beyond her ability to control happened.

“Hey,” Poison said after noticing her accomplice giving a concerned expression. “Wanna know what-”

“No!” Mane-iac looked at her with an eyelid twitching. “Don’t care. They’re out of our way.”

Shaking her head, the flower maned pony walked in, her friend seeing the gun on the counter. It was a hoof grip that wraps around the right foreleg. Just aim, point a hoof to the floor, and it fires. Unlike other guns, though, Poison Joker’s signature trinket was a shade bluer with three or four flower petals dangling from the edges.

“I said, do you want to know what sort of plan I’ve got cooking up? Or, perhaps you want me to save your life first, proving my plan will work because you’ll be along with us since you’ll owe me your life?”

Mane-iac, who’d walked into the other cell, her old one, sounded unassuring. “Let’s just get out of here. After that, based on how you do, I’ll think on it. Never trust a mad mare at first.”

“Takes one to know one.”

Joker wasn’t without reasoning, even when being without the ability to comprehend logic very well. She knew in order for them both to escape unscathed, she’d need to share her supplies. Mane-iac was given pain killing pills for if she got shot and had already used her first aid kit. Along with that, the two also had bandages to keep them from bleeding out.

“I’ve only got fifteen seeds in this,” Poison Joker voiced, showing off the gun as they regrouped at the table. “Those seeds numb their bodies. If a little stronger, it’d kill them clean. That’s where our big heist comes in.”

“Enough!” Mne-iac shot up to the ceiling. “We were in agreement! Nothing about what we do once outside these cursed walls until I have my freedom!”

Frisking her mane aside, Poison giggled lightly. “Oh, come now! We have plenty of time. The cameras are all on old, looping tapes. We can get the jump on them at anytime we so please. For now, though, I’d like to talk.”

Her grin wasn’t very bright. Instead, it almost invoked fear within Mane-iac’s being. She lowered herself down more, her eyes stuck on her rescuer. “What do you have in mind?”

“Simply put,” she began, “I think we should start out with improving both of us. Two against seven is hardly the way to go, and we’re not out for their base, or a new head quarters. No, we just need… an army.”

“How do we get that?” Mane-iac asked forwardly, following along with little trouble.

“My seeds sprout very weak, unbloomed plants that are too puny to take full, physical shape. With a power up, however… Before you ask,” Poison rose a hoof. “No, we aren’t robbing the bank, a jewelry store, none of that.”

The mare across from the Joker ventured to question one last thing. “Where to, then?”

With a wicked grin, she simply said, “Government owned research facility Double P. It’s there that they're working hard to create a concoction that enhances our own enemy's powers. We’re going to turn the tables on them, though, and share the spoils amongst ourselves.”

Mane-iac’s mind surged with visions of new, chaotic powers being shot out from her mane tips. If there was one thing she enjoyed hearing about more than mane domination, it was the possibility of newer, better powers she could use to her advantage. “Although I’m still not entirely convinced, you’ve peaked my curiosity. How is that even possible?”

Cocking her wristed gun, Poison said, “Beats the hell out of me, I don’t think much of it. All my informant was able to give me before dying was your location, a few little details, and the fact that the Power Ponies are sending one of their own along to get our package. Next thing I know, I’m here.”

Mane-iac looked at her sharply. “Just who did you kill?”

Smiling even more as her new friend lowered herself down slowly, Poison admitted, “I killed the scientist who started the project. The Powers will be sending their own because in a few minutes, they’re going to find out their dear friend who was only trying to help them... was murdered.”

Mane-iac walked quickly passed her, saying, “You mean we actually don’t have that much time! Let’s get moving then!”

She punched her way clear through the steel double doors to see at least three startled guards pulling out their weapons. They were immediately dishoofed, knocked unconscious and ransacked for keys. At that time, it was all or nothing. They’d reached the moment that fated which way their lives would go. As the doors slid open smoothly, alert guards shielded themselves against Mane-iac’s hair with magic.

Unicorns, strong and steady reflected every attack she dished out, so with her partner in crime stopping her with a hoof, she sprouted forth flowers complete with prodding stems forward. Like darts ripping into a thin wall, they punctured through, pointing at the ponies behind the pink shields. Just like that, they became helpless, lowering it for their mistresses. Once they bowed, Mane-iac realized the dirty work here. “Good lads,” Poison complimented.

She walked by, but stopped before what looked like the commander. Her hoof rested on his neck, and before Mane-iac could comprehend why she would stoop so low, a prickly vine shot itself through her sleeve and into his body, and then slithered right back up her shirt. With him falling to the ground with white eyes, the uncontrollable maned mare demanded to know, “Why would you do that?! He wasn’t in our way!”

She simply gave a glance, and smirked. “It’s so that they don’t forget who they were dealing with. They’ll never forgive me for this, and I highly doubt they’ll forget waking up to their beloved officer laying in a pool of his own body fluids.” She raised an eyebrow suspiciously. “I thought you were beyond feared. Surely, you can kill a little…”

Mane-iac looked away, frowning. “I’m more of a rogue, only killing when I need to. If I can slip by a small group without them noticing me, then I will.” She approached, scowling. “From this moment forth, you will do your best to behave yourself, and save tendencies like that for only when you absolutely need to harm another.”

As she walked by, being watched, Mane-iac heard Poison say, “Rogue, huh? Interesting…”

Down the hall, they walked, Poison Joker explaining her abilities while keeping her eyes wide open for the possibility of an ambush. “I can spray joke toxins that makes everypony hallucinate and start attacking each other, I can pierce their skin with a needled root, paralyzing them for an hour or so, or I can just touch them.”

“That’s the most common,” Mane-iac predicted with a nod.

“Yep. Just gracing them with a flower makes them mine, or in some cases, about as close to mine as I can make them. Though, somepony like you, or the Power Ponies are harder to battle. You and them, and I have all built up an immunity to other powers thanks to our own might. Consequently, that makes the fights longer than they should be. That’s about to change, though.”

Mane-iac smiled as they approached the lower levels of the building. “Once we get these new powers, we’ll have a home field advantage.”

In agreement, they faced elite soldiers waiting for them just around the corner, and Commissioner Gelding leading the doomed troops. He was the one who’d first stood up for the Power Ponies during their court days, but mostly the Masked Matter-Horn herself. There were ponies out there even the Mane-iac wished harm on, but thinking about it briefly, she realized Poison would likely kill him if she allowed it.

Nopony needed to be hurt, though. Poison Joker knew her part once being given a wayward glance from her accomplice. As for the Commissioner, he was about to be cut down rather harshly. “Well, it’s come to this,” he said in a scratchy, deep voice. "I can't allow you to leave, you know...

Poison stood forth. “Nice to see you again.”

His eyes squinted. “I should’ve guessed that murder we busted you for was just a small piece of the puzzle. You’ve killed countless, and got away every time without ever even being seen. How we caught you back there baffled me. What baffles me more, though, is how I couldn’t see the plan that was laid out right in front of me.”

Mane-iac snickered, “Your father always did do a better job.”

With that, he gave the word. “Open fire.” A thick haze of blazing gun smoke filled the room as bullet after speeding bullet was shot directly at the two, but every fire was missed somehow. “Enough, stop!” yelled the commissioner. “Can’t you idiots see? They’re holographic!”

His words couldn’t have been more true. Just before walking right into the opening, Poison pulled off one of her better tricks. When one’s only ability was limited mind and body manipulation, they learn to stretch their capabilities. A simple, unnoticeable blue mist of her spores was all it took to get them to empty their rounds.

“What now?” the lieutenant asked.

“Ah, reload your weapons! They must’ve run off…”

“On the contrary…” A weave of frame-crushing hair engulfed the room, slamming everyone around Gelding to the walls, and then the ground. Some landed with broken bones, others with bloodied faces, but only the chief leading the parade was left standing there, flinching at the green spirals hovering over his head.

“Look at him,” Poison said as she exited the corner, her follower closely walking behind. “Did he really think he’d get the jump on us here? Perhaps in the hallways, but here?!”

“Oh, I know! Look at him… shivering. Tell us, Commissioner, on a scale of one to ten-”

“Zero!” The chief went for his gun, firing its six rounds loosely, missing both the mares with every shot. He stopped clicking after the third time, finally realizing he’d run out of bullets, and stumbled a bit after realizing he'd somehow lost track of his targets. Tossing the useless thing aside, he peered left and right, head held low, and his eyes wide, still scanning the immediate area. “Where’d they go…?”

“Psst!”

He looked straight up, tried to jump out of the way, but was caught by tethers too strong for even him to break. Finally as the two wished him to be, the Commissioner hung from the ceiling, incarcerated within a cocoon of Mane-iac’s green locks. “Let’s go,” Mane-iac insisted, headed for the front door. All that lied ahead was the waiting room, and then, eventual freedom.

“Wait! I wanna humiliate this swine! And then kill him, too!”

“What?!” Mane-iac asked in disbelief. “I thought I made myself crystal clear!”

“Think about it! Manie, baby! This isn’t a normal pony who’s taken up their job just because they had to! This is someone who has chosen his line of work, creating trouble for both of us! He knew he had this coming. We end him here, and it’s WAY smoother sailing from here on out!”

“NO!” The Mane-iac rose high, her eyes wild with rage. “We do this my way, or NO WAY AT ALL! GOT IT?!” Poison didn’t say anything. “I’ve never had to kill in order to cover my tracks. Returning enemies keeps things sizzling, and having standards is MY CHOICE!” She lowered herself down again, breathing rapidly. With a deep breath and closed eyes, she finished, “You will not drag me down that road…”

It was silent for a few seconds. The two of them stared at each other for a little too long, making sure one another was calm enough for them to resume the objective. Then, without another word, they left Arkhoof Asylum’s innards, and wandered out into the cold, foggy air of Maretropolis.

Of course, the specialists who they justly faced was merely them ringing the doorbell. If the Mane-iac wanted out of her prison, her hoof might just be brought up to murder again. This time, no familiar drug from a past life was going to help her along. She’d do what she needed to on her own this time around.