• Published 7th Jan 2014
  • 1,591 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 Three: Into the City

As a young filly, Poison Joker used to walk right into all sorts of surprises. She’d be startled at first, but then got over it after seeing her birthday cake. The very same memory surged through her head as she came out into the opening, trotting right into an all out last stand. Being the villain who’s not going down when finally so close to what they’ve been working on, Poison showed a smile, one most unlike the kind she’d beam as a little girl. She wasn’t one to mess with, after all.

As a few of her most hated combination of words were spoken, she grew ever more angrily overjoyed.

“Freeze!”

A pony behind the blue and red flashing caravan chimed in, “It’s all over!”

“You’re surrounded!”

And finally, the helicopter above head. “Give yourselves up!” It was a new model justly released last year as a solo combatant. It’s only big enough to hold one stallion, and was quick, too. The targeting system, however, as Mane-iac would soon learn,was still in premature beta testing stages.

The Joker’s friend even had to rest a hoof on her shoulders to stop her from doing anything rash. “It’s alright, we can get through these guys easy,” Mane-iac said. “I have everypony targeted. The moment I rise into the air, spray some of that toxin of yours.” She looked out into the frenzy of blue uniformed ponies waiting for them to make a move. “Obviously, this is one huge misunderstanding.” She slowly started to rise. “We were only-”

From left to right, everypony except her, Poison Joker and the helicopter fell to the ground like a wave of sleeping gas happened to pass by them all. “We don’t have time for this!” Mane-iac turned to the pony standing next to her, opened mouthed. Her hovering hoof, and the smoke coming off of her wrist gun’s chamber told Mane-iac everything she needed to know. Just like that, the rounds were emptied. “Let’s go! Get us into the air, now!”

Acting quickly, a thick lock of hair wrapped around Poison, and Mane-iac shot each other into the air aiming right for a nearby roof. The asylum’s history came back to Mane-iac as she climbed the walls like a spider. Holding onto her ally proved difficult while running from a flying hunk of metal-made machinery that fires bullets. As she dodged left and right, she quickly relapsed to the first time hearing about this place.

When the walls first opened up, the whole facility acted as a prison on an island just off the coast of the Bright District within Maretropolis. Mane-iac was still a little, innocent girl at that time. Upon the very first day, so many inmates had been brought in that they were able to strategically devise a severe breakout. The tragedy ended with an alarming death toll, and with the jail being considered worthless afterwards, one man stepped in to take it upon himself to refurbish the place, and make it his own.

Eliot Arkhoof, a grizzled, old stallion barely alive transformed it into an asylum for the intense, and/or criminally insane. He’d spent his whole life savings, and a bit more towards renewing the structures, and hiring staff. Yet, it was still a mystery as to how this place still stayed standing. The owner, Eliot himself disappeared ten years ago, and to this day, is still presumably dead. It was in his will, however, that the remainder of his money went to servicing, and running Arkhoof Asylum for as long as his money could, which was still quite a long time.

He’d taken care of business for this place with an odd goal in mind just before he vanished, and so, some believed he was somewhere inside the asylum. The major conflicting thing with the city hall was the undeniable fact that everyone that went in came out worse. However, its doors remained open because of another undeniable fact. So long as the criminals that are sent there stayed inside, they didn’t do any harm towards others outside, within the urban streets. So, it was decided right before Mr. Arkhoof’s death that his asylum would stay in tip top shape long after his kid’s kids grew up.

If it wasn’t for the gobs of money Eliot had somehow garnered before his mysterious death, his cherished ex-prison would’ve been demolished long ago, and maybe, more innocent ponies would’ve been saved from its maddening walls. Those walls, however, were being turned into swiss cheese thanks to the miniature helicopter that kept on chasing the Mane-iac and Poison Joker.

As they lunged down to the cracks and jumped onto the next high tower, that pony-controlled junk just kept tailing them expertly. It wouldn’t even lighten up on the fire power. Luckily, Mane-iac was still able to resolve through the chaos and reached the bridge. She stood there, noticing the loud vibration in her ear had stopped. She turned around along with Poison in the middle of the road to see the helicopter merely floating there. He was out of ammunition.

“Damn it all! Hold still, I’ve still got a rocket!”

Together, the two mares asked, “Rocket?!”

“Aha, here we go!”

Just like that, the idiot shot away, the single, mega-powered explosive device heading right for them. Mane-iac acted quickly by pulling herself up in the cross beam, hurling forward and grabbing the rocket with her mane. She pushed it straight up, and in the split second, landed underneath the enemy. She was trying to sent the thing flying into the ocean, but unfortunately, it wouldn’t be that easy.

“Haha!” the pilot laughed tauntingly. “It’s remote controlled. You’d better start running!” He wasn’t lying. Just before hitting the water, it jet streamed up, into the air, turned down and targeted onto them yet again. With little choice, Mane-iac and Poison Joker ran as fast as they could across the bridge tying the asylum island and the mainland together. The helicopter flew above them, and announced, “They’re coming to get you, Barbra!”

The rocked sped towards the galloping couple, but dipped suddenly, destroying the middle portion. Like nothing, the road crumbled behind them quickly. Mane-iac could even feel the heat coming off from the explosion. Soon enough, they reached the other side, and stood amongst rather familiar buildings once more. Across the way, the bridge crumbled and broke, fumbling into the ocean, and fuming smoke where it’d been struck.

“Awe, damn it all!”

Mane-iac looked up, the helicopter swaying around within range. It was at that moment, Poison hastily offered, “Kill him!”

“What?”

“He’s going to call in backup!”

Mane-iac looked at him, saw through the dark glass, and caught on. In his hoof was a communicator. If they let him live, every guard within a hundred yards of them would be alerted of their escape, and current location. Crouching down, her mane slung her towards the capsule-sized vessel. With all four hooves, she knocked it clean into the water below. She’d hoped he would live, but that reality wouldn’t come to pass. Just as she landed back down on the ground, another explosion triggered below her. There was no way he was walking away from that.

“Nice kill,” Poison complimented.

“I tried to spare him…”

Poison turned around, grabbed her friend and pulled her aside from the edge. “Look, you did what you had to. We all do that. You just do your thing in a much more stable manner, I can respect that. However, you can’t be afraid to kill.”

Mane-iac snapped back, “I’m not afraid of anything!”

“Are you sure?!” Poison turned around swiftly, almost smug in attitude. “The more you take out, the less you have to deal with later on in life. I learned that the hard way. That’s why we need these new powers.”

“What do you mean we?” Poison Joker turned around, her eyes wide, and her mouth open. “I told you I’d be judging, and I determine you to be unfit to help me get my revenge! You’re far too trigger happy when the situation looks grim. My henchcolts did a better job at keeping their cool than you.”

Poison Joker growled, “We both have a kill! You killed the chopper, and I killed the commando! Which of us is more evil? Neither!” She sat down, her voice trying to calm itself. “I just… I spent so much time, and put forth the effort because I saw a way for the both of us to gain from your imprisonment, and instead, we can’t cooperate for a second, all because of this stupid life or death deal.”

“It’s not stupid,” Mane-iac said. “Rogues like me are prone to combat between another individual or two if the circumstances are right. You’re more of an assassin, one of the old ones too. You attack on instinct and aim to hurry along, but at checkpoints, you think it alright to waste time!” She sighed for a moment, and then said, “Alright, okay… I promise to try and ease up on your decisions on killing so long as you do your best to limit yourself, and in return, let’s just hurry along at safe points. On the road, I like to look around for supplies.”

“Understood,” Poison said with a nod. “We’ll adapt, I suppose.”

Mane-iac looked around. Beyond the city bridge rested the whole town waiting to have all of its residence’s manes frizzed up beyond repair, but even more importantly, a Power Pony headed for their treasure. “Let’s move on. I feel like we’re being watched…”

As Mane-iac took the lead and hopped from rooftop to rooftop, a shadowy, purple figure rose from a high up pedestal. His wrist loomed up towards his mouth, and after a brief period of static, a soft voice came in. “Darling? How’s it looking up there, Hum-Drum?”

“Fine, fine… I’ve got my sights set on them right now,” the dragon reported, then smiling. “Yep, they’re headed towards Mistress Mare-velous. I think she’s gonna need back up.”

The mare on the other end began to complain. “Oh, poo. I just got my mane situated! It’s always getting rustled when dealing with the Mane-iac!”

Hum-Drum stood, the moon light hitting his eyes. “It’s either you, or Zapp, and she’s not the best choice for this mission. If you want, I’ll meet you there.”

“... Fine, you win! Just… Hummy, stay out of trouble. If you got hurt, Matter-Horn would never forgive me.”

“Yeah, well, she wouldn’t be happy with me if you AND Mare-velous got yourselves in a pinch, either. Let’s just get in, take em’ out, and get back to the base before they’re able to steal the upgrades.”

After he hung up, Hum-Drum leaped off the ledge. Pointing some kind of gun at the next building, he resumed sneakily stalking the two from above like a spider. One thing he’s learned as a rogue is that they never look up. His investigation consisted of almost losing them three times throughout the chase, and a few cuts from sharp corners. Other than that, he arrived at the building next to the complex structure. One would never even find it without exact instructions. It was just a glass window that opened up into stairs. It promptly lead straight to the government owned research facility Double P, which to Hum-Drum’s great discomfort had little security due to it being nothing more but a research facility.

Inside was dark save for a few glimmers of metal. Poison walked forth, found the light switch, and flipped all thirteen on. The whole chasm lit up brilliantly, revealing an edge before the two. One more step forward, and they would’ve fallen into a huge ring of iron. Down below, on a small balcony was a small stand, about the size of a filly. The rest up above was dry stalagmites hanging loosely, and everything downward was a visible bottom. Any normal pony would probably die from the fall, but these were no normal ponies.

“Let’s go!” Poison jumped over. As for the Mane-iac, she found the stalagmites amazingly sticky, and easily climbed across them with her mane. Now, before them stood the very thing they’d been searching for, and no pony was even there yet to stop them from juicing themselves up. “How does this work?” Mane-iac asked, looking at her friend curiously.

The instrument was that of a huge needle, the kind used for rather painful injections. It was shiny, though intimidating, too. Within was some blue liquid, or was it jelly? Mane-iac couldn’t tell. She wasn’t sure how this would work itself out, or if it was even a good idea to give it a try in the first place. Poison, however, seemed about as ready as ever, for right then and there, she grabbed it by the end.

“Bottoms up!” Just like that, the sharp needle slid deep inside her neck. She gave a gruesome, curled face, and allowed all the energy within to fill her body up with its potency. Upon it poking out, she held onto her neck with a flowery hoof, stopping herself from bleeding much, and preventing any of the drug from dripping out. “There,” she strained to say. “All done.”

The Mane-iac backed away. “Nuh-uh.”

“Oh, relax! It’s not that bad!”

“You just injected yourself with who knows what! Is it even working?”

Poison giggled, and hurtled over. “Oh… It’s working alright.” She coughed a little, and then stood. “I’m letting it simmer. Go ahead, it’s not that bad.”

Mane-iac looked at the syringe, and asked, “Are you sure?”

With her friend nodding her head, Mane-iac walked up to it. Dumping the used one into the trash and replacing it, just as it shows on the picture monitor, she pointed it up to her neck, took a deep breath, and penetrated her skin with tightly closed eyes. The feeling of her bloodstream being pumped full of that muck gave her the chills, but at the same time, she could already feel herself evolving.

It left, and Poison came to her aid, covering up the open wound with her other hoof. As it was quickly healed, the two rested on the hard, cold ground, huffing at the change they were close to undergoing. At first, the weight was far too overwhelming for them, and they blacked out for a few minutes. Upon awakening again, they couldn’t help but to gasp at each other.

Poison Joker’s mane had grown slightly, now with lively roots that could reach long distances, but beyond that, no real physical change occurred. Her powers, however, were forever changed. Everything about her was ten times more deadly. Her needles couldn’t just lull others to sleep. They could also kill if that was what she so wished. That went the same way with her new fog power. It could be a regular fog, or a dense death trap. It was entirely her choice. Despite her being a forward assaulter, her powers resembled the lighter side. A stealthy approach to things.

As for the Mane-iac, she was dramatically changed. Her locks were now much more flexible, and faster, but that was just the beginning. There were now eight separate, ebony spikes connected to most of her mane, though none on her tail. They curved like pieces of a giant ball, and at the top, a giant, dark red eye lit the way. Their nature, though, was much more destructive than their owner knew at first.

In their moment of admiration for their new, untapped powers, however, one of three heroes showed up, if only too late. Hum-Drum had heard of Poison Joker, and even battled the Mane-iac himself, but never was he brought up to face them both. Would he be able to outwit the two mega-powered villainesses, or will the wrong move leave him looking like comedic relief yet again?