• Published 10th Jun 2014
  • 2,061 Views, 72 Comments

Blood, Meth, and Tears - Hot Blooded Hero

A man wakes up near the Crystal Empire, and he plans to build himself a crystal empire.

  • ...

Eggs and Erosions

Darren honestly thought that the interview was going well for him so far. He made sure to go all out for this one too: clean-shaven, hair combed, new suit, the works. The interviewer seemed pleased with his answers so far, and as he looked through his resume and his reference letters, he had this look that telegraphed how much of an impression Darren left on him. He really hoped to get this one in the bag as well, for every other position he applied for rejected him for 'better qualifying' candidates. This was his last interview for a real job before he had to wait for another to open up, but he was actually much more confident about this company, as they had two waiting spots that he was sure any competent person could get, and he was very much hyper-competent.

However, doubt interrupted his high-flying confidence when a frown creased his interviewer's face. The older looking man looked to Darren, almost with a judging expression. "Listen, Mr. Whitaker, I want you to understand that there are many other qualified people currently applying for these two positions that we have open here today, so there is one important question that I feel I must ask you before we consider you to be one of the new members of our team." The man laced his fingers and leaned forward onto his desk. Staring dead into Darren's eyes, he asked, "What makes you think that you deserve this job more than them?"

Darren opened his mouth to answer, but a lump in his throat stopped him from speaking. He could have said anything to put himself in a better light than any of the dozen other applicants looking for a job same as himself. He could have said something, anything generic like, 'Because I'm sure that I could put more effort/be more loyal/give more heart for this company than any of your other applicants' with an extra little 'sir' to kiss him up a bit.

But instead, Darren decided to be courteous about his competition.

He stuttered a bit under the interviewer's harsh gaze and said, "I guess I don't know. You could choose any one of us. I'm not really anything special."

Even Darren knew, as it left his mouth, that it was the wrong answer.

But the interviewer made no show of disappointment, simply picking up the documents Darren left on his desk and nodding slightly. He slipped the documents into a drawer and said, "Well, Mr. Whitaker, it was a pleasure meeting you, and we'll be sure to let you know if we've accepted your application." He smiled an obligatory smile, one Darren could see was absolute cardboard, and shook his hand. "Have a nice day."

Darren reciprocated his smile. "You as well, sir." He turned around and opened the door to the room. To his surprise, someone had their hand on the door-handle to open. He noticed that the hand belonged to a very admittedly attractive young blonde.

She excused herself in and the interviewer welcomed her warmly with a grin that said something else about him. He said something to Darren about closing the door on the way out, but he beat him to the punch. He almost stumbled in the backlash wave of nervousness that hit him after he left and made his way to the building's main exit. However, as he reached the front door, he heard a single female voice speak from behind him.

"This is odd," said the voice.

Out of reflexive curiosity, he turned to the source of the voice and stopped when he saw a taller, darker-blue horse with a flowing mane, weird wings like that one pegasus, and a horn.

"Your appearance here doesn't match your description at all," she spoke again.

Walt's eyes opened slowly as he awoke from the strange dream, which was already fading to a memory of only having been there. He lied there in bed for a few moments to observe the pattern that the plaster in the ceiling had formed and noticed how oddly reminiscent it was of his own apartment bedroom before he was evicted. He then wondered why his mind lingered on such a thing in the first place and started a meta-logical thought process that was eventually interrupted by another coughing fit. He decided to then throw it out altogether in favor of getting up out of bed.

His first thought was of morning sustenance, but his second was of how that could wait until after his hygienic routine was complete. A quick brush of his teeth and a donning of his freshly-washed and only set of clothes left him feeling ready for the day.

'But ready for what?' he asked himself.

He supposed that the local authority figures of this world, or at least this nation, have been informed of the newly discovered species, to which he might have to prepare for a meeting about later on. He would also need to apply for citizenship if he was going to make any living at all, especially since he didn't want to be anymore of a burden to his lovely hosts than was necessary. He definitely wanted to live off of his own efforts and no one efforts. Hell, maybe if he earned enough, he'd payback his hosts by a thousand-fold and support them in any of their times of need.

And it would be completely out of gratitude. Completely.

But before any of that...

"Who wants eggs?" he called out to the master bedroom.

Sally came into the living room wearing a bathrobe and rubbing the sleep out of her eyes. "Oh, Walt you don't need to-"

"But I want to." He found where they kept the pans and picked out a sizable one. "For some reason, I felt the urge to cook this morning, and it's the least I could do for the ones who are letting me take shelter in your wonderful home."

She looked at him with a little concern. "Are you sure?"

Walt looked back and smiled. "Yeah, of course. It's fine, I promise."

Sally returned the smile and pulled up a seat at the kitchen table. "Then I guess I'll take my eggs over-easy."

Walt turned back to the pan and poured in some vegetable oil. "Where's Spelunker?"

"Oh, he leaves for his work early. They spend most of the day searching those caves for anything different." She sighed and put a hoof under her cheek. "All of it looks the same if you ask me, and I don't understand what those university buffs see in studying them."

Walt opened the fridge and got four eggs. "I suppose it's how they're formed and what they're made of that interests them." He cracked the first two and poured them into the oil, taking a moment to hear them sizzle and cook. "The chemical compounds that react and compile slowly over time to crystallize into many different natural structures that looked as if they were always there, when truly it's a matter of the right circumstances at the right time to erode them..." He cracked the other two and did the same."...and build them back up into what we see them as now. It's a change that's always happening in them even though we don't see it, and by the time you do notice, it's already something completely different. It's like a stream eventually growing into a river." He looked through the spice cabinets next to the fridge. "Do you happen to have any garlic salt?"

He turned back to see Sally's eyebrows raised in questioning. "Now where did that come from?"

"Where did-" He paused. "I guess it just... came to me?"

She shrugged and said, "Third shelf. It has a green label. Oh, but not a lot on mine, please. I don't like it too salty."

Lightning Dust stood around one of the less busy parts of downtown as she waited for her contact. She paid an old friend in Cloudsdale a visit after she realized that moving meant her supply would be limited. He said he knew ponies around the Crystal Capital who could continue to supply her, but it had to be at higher rates. Of course, she took up the offer, but had to scrounge around for the extra bits, including taking the hundred bits her parents gave her for food to last the few days, which she honestly thought was even a bit much for that long. She eventually resorted to pawning off some of her old records when she thought it wouldn't be enough, and that maybe she could negotiate the supply to a lower price.

'It will be fine,' she told herself. 'I'm sure the price isn't even that much higher than they were.'

She was already starting to get the shakes, and even when trying to squash the urge to, she still kept rubbing her foreleg like there was an itch that she could never get at. She began to worry about whether the contact would even be there, even though she had only been waiting there for ten minutes. She searched up and down the street frantically with her eyes, every moment seeming like another hour.

Eventually, she heard someone ask her from her right, "How much?"

She nearly jumped, not realizing that the inconspicuous unicorn mare beside her had even walked up to her. She managed to process the previous question and stuttered out, "An ounce, please."

The mare chuckled. "Heh, first time I've ever heard an obvious user have manners. That'll be thirteen-hundred."

Lightning nearly shouted, but kept her voice low. "Thirteen?! Yo, the going-rate back in Cloudsdale was eleven!"

She let out a low whistle. "That's pretty fuckin' cheap if you ask me, but you're not getting that here. Thirteen or I walk."

Lightning sighed and recounted her bits. The currency only amounted up to twelve-hundred-fifty, and she cursed her luck. She sighed again and said, "Fine, just, uhh... Just four 8-balls."

The unicorn laughed, very amused, and slapped her on the back amicably. "Look at you, trying to be all 'economical' and what-not. Tell you what." She placed a few baggies of the supply into Lightning's own. "If you can sell that, I can let you keep an ounce for free. Or I could pay you if you prefer that. Whatever. We got a deal?"

Lightning opened the bag that the unicorn stuffed the stuff into and counted nine ounce-sized bags. She felt the temptation of their contents calling her to accept, and it wasn't like she couldn't use the extra cash anyhow. However, she knew that slinging would mean trying to keep up a quota and taking her time to clean out a good amount of her given inventory, and she wasn't even sure if she had a secure place to keep her stash hidden from her parents in their own ho-

"I'm in," she felt her mouth say.

The unicorn shook her hoof and said, "Great! Just be sure to have the dough back here next week." She started to walk back the way she came, but paused in mid-stride. "And I expect all of it here. Bits and unsold product if you got any. Otherwise..."

Lightning felt the tip of a blade touch her throat, held by a glowing magical grasp that was obviously the unicorn's. The mare looked back to her with a serious stare.

"You best hope we leave you on your family's front lawn as a wreck rather than a corpse."

Lightning gulped as she held the stare for a few prolonged seconds, then the blade released her. She saw the unicorn mare leave as if she was just continuing a morning stroll, not looking back even once. When the mare rounded the corner, Lightning let herself breathe again, and stumbled to the wall of the building beside her. She wasn't sure anymore if this was any better than pawning off all of her own stuff. She turned around and began walking home.

She really needed a hit.

Before Lightning knew it, it was already two in the morning, the next morning, and she used up the last of the crystal trying to chase a high she didn't know would never come back to her. She looked around to see a mess of refuse, broken glass, and food stains all over the couch and carpet, while the TV was still on playing a stupid infomercial that she knew no one else was watching. She groaned, knowing that the mess had to be cleaned before her parents got home, even though it was still a couple of days away, but she still didn't expect to have to do any cleaning anywa-

Wait a second.

Lightning jumped off the couch and dove for the bag that the crystal was in. She searched through the bag urgently, looking for what she hoped against hope was still in there. She then turned the bag on its end, dumping out its contents in a more desperate attempt to hope that it was still in there.

But even she knew there was nothing left. She wasted it all in one session, and most of it wasn't even hers. She had no idea of what she was going to do to pay them back, nor of what they were gonna do to her if she didn't.

And what if it wouldn't just be her? What if they went after her parents? They didn't deserve this! Why did she even decide to take the deal? Why did she even come to her parents in the first place? Why didn't she remember to use her money for her bills than just more crystal?!

Those questions ended one level deeper, but Lightning wasn't ready to question herself on that.

She would get through this. She always found a way out. Through everything that she had been through, she knew there was always a better solution, one that would end with everyone happy. She was sure she would find it, because that was just how things worked. How everything worked.

She grasped at her head as she laid there on the floor, tears already threatening to break through.

She would find a way.

She had to.

Author's Note:

You can find out a lot about drugs through Google.

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