• Published 10th May 2016
  • 1,945 Views, 422 Comments

The Titan's Orb: Rising Storm - Old Man Dusters



While Callum and the Mane Six continue their quest to find the shards of the Titan's Orb, their path ahead grows only more deadly as they are now stalked by a relentless shadow that will stop at nothing until they are vanquished...

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Chapter Twelve - Happy Birthday


The road back to Paulo’s compound was difficult to find due to it being the middle of the night, but thankfully I had remembered the basic route from my initial trip to the Blood Family. The biggest issue was the constant stalling of the jeep I had stolen, my brother had taught me the basics back when I visited home, he taught me how to hotwire a car and how to drive. But the constant need to change gears confused me, if I ever owned a car in the future I’d certainly be getting an automatic.

There were no other cars on the road so I was given plenty of unsupervised practise to handle the jeep and I eventually got the hang of controlling the manual gear changing. I got lost at least four times on the way, but after about three hours of driving up and down the route I finally found the same dirt road that led to the back of Paulo’s compound.
I stopped the car and got out, deciding to walk the rest of the way as to not get detected by anyone. The night was completely silent and incredibly cold, it was most likely below freezing temperatures, there were a few patches of snow dotted here and there from previous snowfalls. In the distance, I heard a wolf howling and smiled, I loved wolves, it was nice to take a moment to appreciate life again.

I reached the compound walls and found the place I had jumped over beforehand; I leapt forward up to grab the ledge, I clambered up onto the wall and then dropped down to the other side, my UMP slipped off my shoulder and clattered onto the ground loudly, alerting a nearby guard.

“Quem está aí?” A female voice growled.

A torch was turned on and a large beam of light started waving around, trying to spot me.

{Just come out, we’re on their side anyway.}

“It’s Bruce! I’m Paulo’s friend.” I told her loudly.

“O que?” She grunted.

“You speak English?” I asked.

“Sem inglês, venha fora agora!” She barked.

I stepped out into the torchlight and saw the guard, she was in Paulo’s militia gear and pointed her gun at me as soon as she saw me, then I remembered I was still wearing the Blood Family Guardsman gear and knew I appeared like an enemy to her.

“Largue a arma!” She ordered.

“I speak English; I don’t know what you’re saying.” I told her.

Largue a arma!” She yelled.

“I work for Paulo, where is Paulo? You understand? Our boss, Paulo!” I said frantically.

She eventually realised that I didn’t speak a word of Portuguese and that I wanted to see Paulo, so she approached me still with a gun upraised and gestured for me to follow her. I calmly did so and let her lead me through the compound, we entered Paulo’s courtyard where I was being directed towards the prison.

“Woah hang on, I’m not going to the prison, I want to see Paulo, like, now.” I said.

The woman ignored me and brought me to the prison door, I huffed in annoyance as I knew I was going to have to sleep in a cell for the rest of the night. She took my UMP away from me which I allowed, but she then put her hand on Kroksbane.

“Ah, no. I hold onto this one.” I told her.

She gritted her teeth and tried hard to take Kroksbane, I grabbed her wrist and looked her in the eye.

“You can take the gun, but not my knife.” I spoke in a threatening tone.

We made eye contact for a good five seconds before she eventually backed down and released the knife, and in turn I let go of her wrist. She took me to an empty cell and opened the door, I walked into the small room and she shut the door behind me. The door was locked and the guard went back to her patrol, I assumed she would inform Paulo in the morning.



The cell was colder than outside; the metal structure of the cells had taken in so much of the cold that touching the walls with my bare fingers was almost painful. I sat in the middle of the room and looked at my phone, there was an unread text from Twilight.

[We can’t wait around any longer, everyone is starting to panic without you to guide us, along with the fact we can’t accurately tell where the next orb shard is without your phone.]

I smirked, before typing out a reply.

[Well that will make you think twice before teleporting me to the other side of the country…
What are you doing awake at three o’clock in the morning anyway?]

A few seconds later, my phone buzzed.

[I went for a walk, needed some time alone.]

[You’re outside? It’s bloody FREEZING!] I replied in shock.

[Thermic Hide, the same spell we used on the airplane to get back and forth from Brazil.]

[Ahh, fair enough… And it’s spelt “aeroplane” by the way.] I teased.

[It’s a plane, in the air, so it’s called an “air” plane.]

I tutted as Twilight ended up making the same misconception that most Americans do.

[Twilight, it’s called an aeroplane because it was designed as the world’s first fully aerodynamic vehicle.
It’s short for “Aerodynamic Plane”.]

I received no reply after that, so I assumed I’d pissed her off by proving her wrong. I didn’t take it to heart as I knew she was struggling, I hoped she was okay after killing someone, whether she remembered it or not. I remember my first time, it put me into deep shock before breaking down many weeks later.

It wouldn’t be long before I rescued Bunnie and Dijla from Paulo’s grasp and I would be back on track with the main objective, with the ponies at my side. I missed them, dearly.
With my friends in my mind, I curled up on the ground and tried to get some rest, while the cold made it difficult to begin with, I was absolutely shattered from the lack of sleep and could drift off eventually...



I woke to the sound of somebody entering a severe coughing fit in the cell beside me, I groaned as the sound had very abruptly awoken me. I sat up and rolled my shoulders to cause some very satisfying clicks and crunches in my stiff joints, thankfully my Guardsman Gear was quite padded and had kept me relatively warm throughout the bitter night. I looked at my phone to find no further word from Twilight, I assumed she’d be making her way to my location with the others, I needed to get Bunnie and Dijla into safety very soon.

The person in the cell next to me eventually stopped coughing and I heard the other prisoners muttering to one another in loads of mixed conversations.

“My fellow captives, would anyone happen to know when the next prison guard is arriving? I’m a busy man with a tight schedule and simply MUST speak to someone with higher authority, and I don’t feel like starting another rebellion just to get some attention.” I asked loudly with a posh tone.

A couple of people started laughing, and then I heard a voice alone.

“No… Fucking… Way… IS THAT YOU CALLUM!?” A male voice shouted out.

I tilted my head on one side, not recognising the voice myself.

“And who might you be?” I asked.

It was then when I heard a nasally, high pitched voice of someone impersonating a child.

Magnum!

“WILLIAM!” I shouted.

It was William Snape from Captive Corner back in Brazil.

“What the hell dude!? How’d you wind up in prison for a second time!?” I shouted across to him.

“After escaping from Brazil I thought I’d steal a couple of the drugs littered around the compound, I thought I’d sell them and earn enough money to get a ticket back to my home in New York.
I guess I stuck around for too long, loads of guys turned up and captured everybody they could, me included.
I’ve been peddled to three different prisons now!
The last place I was at was some crazy island in the middle of nowhere, there was this crazy psycho dude; he mentioned Ingeo in Brazil was his cousin or something, it was absolutely mental!
Then some bloke called Jason escaped and caused loads of problems for the business, so most us were shipped around to different prisons to make sure none of us were rescued or something.
Next thing I know, I’m being put into a shipment container and being taken here to Portugal!” He explained.

I whistled in astonishment, poor William had been a captive all this time. When I rescued Bunnie and Dijla I’d be sure to free the prisoners here and hopefully he’d find his way home.

“How did you wind up in here anyway?” William asked.

“Funny story actually, I work here!” I laughed.

“What!?”

“Yeah, I’m working for Paulo to save Bunnie, his daughter. Basically I had to help destroy some rival gang that was causing some trouble, so I had to sneak in and destroy them from the inside, I got back here last night and was mistaken for one of them, so the guard lady locked me up in here.” I told him.

“Jeez, so you’re like, one of these guys now?” He asked.

“To an extent I guess, I’m currently a bad guy, but I’m fucking up worse guys in the meantime.” I said.

“I understand man. Well, when you get the chance, would you mind doing an old friend a favour and help me get the hell out of here?”

“Nah, I think you’re much better off as a slave.” I teased.

“Magnum?” He cooed in his stupid nasally voice.

“Ugh, fine. I’ll help you out I suppose.” I chuckled.



A little while later, the prison door was opened and I heard some footsteps coming towards me.

“Essa porta aqui.” A female voice spoke.

My cell was unlocked, and the door was pushed open; the same guard from last night stood in the doorway, only to be pushed aside by a very excited Paulo in a fancy salmon pink suit.

Brucey!” He shouted.

“Eyy! Paulo!” I replied.

He came forward and gave me a hug, before holding both my shoulders.

“Why didn’t you come to see me when you returned?” He pleaded to know.

“I was going to, when Big Tits decided to lock me up for trespassing.” I said, nodding at the guard.

Paulo turned to look at her, and then pulled his handgun from his waist and shot her in the chest; she yelled out in agony before slumping to the ground and dying.

“My deepest apologies Bruce, never again shall you be mistreated under my roof!” He exclaimed.

He put the handgun back into its holster and gestured for me to follow him, I took my phone which was on the floor and placed it in the front chest pocket of my Guardsman vest. We made our way across the courtyard which was still under a very thin blanket of snow, thankfully I didn’t have to walk across it with bare feet this time.



“So Bruce, I assume the usual? Rum?” Paulo asked as we reached his quarters.

“You know me too well.” I replied.

He went over to a counter and took the Lambs Navy Rum from inside, along with his signature skull shaped shot glasses; he lit up a cigar and offered me one, to which I happily accepted. I was stressed from my time in the Blood Family and decided a single cigar wouldn’t kill me. Paulo lit mine for me and I sat back in the chair opposite his desk, taking in a toke; my lungs were filled with a strange warmth, as I exhaled they felt tingly and cold, as though there were mint leaves in them. It was a strange sensation to say the least, but was certainly calming.

“Before we begin…” Paulo said, clapping his hands.

The doors behind him burst open and Bunnie came out in a sleek black dress, she was carrying a tray with a cupcake on it, the number 'seventeen' written on top with icing.

Happy birthday!” Bunnie and Paulo both shouted.

“Holy shit, I completely forgot!” I laughed.

Bunnie placed the tray on Paulo’s desk and ran to give me a hug, I held her tightly and made sure I didn’t burn her dress with the cigar.

“Bruce, my good man. I have thought carefully about your birthday present, and a reward for your services to me. Starting from now, I have forgiven my daughter and wife for their crimes, and wish for them to live happily in my quarters along with you as my right-hand man.” Paulo told me.

I looked to Bunnie, beaming.

“That’s… Bloody hell… Paulo I don’t know what to say…” I said, utterly gobsmacked.

“You needn’t say anything my boy, it is the least I can do. In the grand scheme of things, Bunnie is my flesh and blood, and as disobedient as she is, I suppose some part of me loves her.” He told me, chuckling.

Bunnie dipped her head respectfully to her father and pulled up a chair beside him, eager to listen in to my experience with the Blood Family.

“Now then my dear Bruce… Tell me everything!” Paulo ordered with a wide grin, taking a shot of his rum.

“Well then…” I said teasingly, taking another toke from my cigar.

I blew the smoke at Bunnie playfully before I went into describing all the events within the Blood Family’s town, no detail was left out as I told them what happened right from executing Rahim and drinking his blood, to the raids I’d carried out, all the way to killing their Pit Champion and then holding off an attack from Hoyt’s men.

Hoyt! HERE?” Paulo barked.

“I don’t know if he’s here in the flesh, only loads of his men.” I replied truthfully.

“Were they wearing yellow armbands?” He asked.

“Yeah, why?”

“The Privateers, Hoyt’s personal mercenaries. He’s here.” He growled.

Paulo angrily took a large toke of his cigar and then took another shot of rum, then exhaling the smoke through his nose like a very pissed off dragon.

“Killing Rahim most likely caused Hoyt to attack, what’s the word on Maxim here?” I asked.

“I executed him the day after you left.”

I hummed, thinking that Hoyt would probably see Paulo as a threat now.

“You technically still work for Hoyt; do you think he’ll attack us?” I asked.

“Our relationship has always been very brittle, I only started working with him because he worked with Ingeo, who was my friend, since he died I’ve been nothing but a loose end. If he’s here personally, he’ll attack for sure.”

I downed my shot and poured myself another, trying to think up a plan of defence.

“We need to inform every unit, the guardsmen, the militia, the raiders, we all need to be on permanent watch and make sure nobody gets in or out of this compound. Go into full lockdown.” I suggested.



That’s when I heard the door behind me open.

“I don’t think that will be necessary.” A voice spoke.

I saw Paulo’s eye open in shock and he reached into his jacket for his gun only for a gunshot to ring out into the room, Paulo fell back into his chair and blood began to leak out from the gaping hole in his chest.
He looked at me, and spluttered blood as he tried to speak. He croaked, before slumping back, dead.
Before I could move, I felt the barrel of a large handgun placed at the back of my head.

“I would highly appreciate it if you didn’t try anything stupid, these bullets are expensive and I wouldn’t want to waste one emptying your skull.” The assailant growled.

Two men with rifles marched past me and seized Bunnie, she struggled and tried to get away, I watched in horror as one of them rifle-butted her in the side of the head, knocking her out cold.

“Get his wife.” The man behind me ordered.

More men ran past me and into Paulo’s private quarters, where I heard gunshots ring out and some of the slave girls’ dying screams, I then heard Dijla shrieking and struggling. I stood to my feet, desperate to help, only for the gun to be pressed harder into my head.

“I won’t ask you twice.”

I felt a hand on my shoulder, which pulled me back, I turned around to look at the man.
He looked to be in his forties, maybe fifties. He was tanned and had dark brown hair, he was wearing a black suit with an unbuttoned red shirt, allowing me to see a gold chain around his neck.
This was Hoyt Volker.
His gun was a Desert Eagle, it was no surprise it had torn such a large hole into Paulo, it was an extremely high calibre gun.

“I’ve been waiting to meet you; I’ve heard so much about you.” He spat.

Before I could reply, Hoyt smacked the side of my head with the handgun; I stumbled to the side and dropped to my knees, my head now ringing. Everything was fuzzy and the side of my head painfully pulsated, I felt a small amount of blood slowly sliding down my cheekbone.
I shook my head slightly in attempt to get a baring, only for Hoyt to smack the back of my head, I fell face first to the floor, I was still conscious, but barely. Everything was just swirling colours and I couldn’t hear anything but white noise, everything was going numb except for my head, which pounded like an African drum.
I felt Hoyt’s foot on my shoulder, before being rolled over onto my back. I could only make out the shape of Hoyt’s body as I blindly reached out to grab him, he pushed my arm aside and knelt beside me. He grabbed my jacket and lifted me slightly, and then headbutted me in the face, turning everything black…



It felt like hours that I’d been unconscious, and as I slowly began to feel my senses again, I felt nothing but sheer thumping agony in my head; it felt as though I were upside down as my blood was rushing to my head. I opened my eyes to find everything was still blurry, I blinked a few times and shook my head; while this caused the pain to increase, it restored my senses a bit and I noticed that I indeed, WAS upside down. I looked up to my feet to see I was suspended by some rope wrapped around my legs, hung on a meat hook in Paulo’s food court.
Either side of me were dead pigs, gutted and suspended on meat hooks of their own, my hands were bound behind my back and I could only just move them about.
I looked around at my surroundings to find I was completely isolated in the butchery, but I didn’t know for how long.

“Think Callum, think…” I muttered to myself.

{Allow me, I literally live inside your brain, I think better than you in my sleep.} Conscio spoke.

“Well, at least you’re still alive.” I grumbled.

{Yeah, well I won’t be for long if we don’t get out of here.}

“Then get to thinking, mister Smarty Pants.” I groaned, trying to ignore the agonising migraine.

I looked around and then up at the rope around my legs, I felt the tightness of the bindings around my wrists and used my fingers to feel them, it was one of those annoying plastic zip-ties that were almost impossible to undo, especially without being able to see them behind my back.

“Right, course of action?” I asked.

{Okay, well you know the saying ‘bend over backwards’?}

“Got it.”

With all my core strength, I bent my knees to raise my body up and curled backwards, I slid my hands up the back of my legs and was just able to reach the meat hook.

{Just imagine how stupid you look right now.} Conscio teased.

“Not! Helping!” I grunted, barely able to keep my position.

I was currently in the shape of a circle, and wasn’t doing my lower back any favours. I gripped the upper part of the meat hook and used my upper strength to hold my body weight, allowing me to push my legs up and take myself off the hook. I carefully lowered my legs and then let go of the hook, landing on my feet; I was still dazed from earlier and didn’t have my arms free so I was unable to maintain my balance and fell over almost instantly.

I coughed a few times and let myself get a complete baring of my senses again, before lying on my back and tucking my legs in, allowing me to loop my arms around to the front of my body. From there I could unlock the zip-tie and free my hands.

“Right,” I sighed heavily, “Now to free Bunnie.”



I went over to the door of the butchery and listened to make sure there was nobody outside, I heard nothing and opened the door that led to the kitchen, and then to the canteen. At least sixty of Paulo’s men lay in the canteen, dead, Hoyt must have ordered a complete execution of the gang.

I reached for Kroksbane to find it wasn’t in its sheath, I’d been stripped of my weapons. All I had was my phone, which was still snug in the chest pocket of my Blood Family tactical vest.
With Kroksbane absent, I went to the kitchen and took one of the filleting knives, it was thin and razor sharp and would make an adequate replacement for now.

I made my way through various rooms to find dead bodies littered everywhere, I searched and searched the compound to find nothing. I went outside and headed to the prison, everybody was dead; I went over to William’s cell and looked through the peephole, I was too late, he was amongst the dead.

“Fuck…” I growled.

From outside I heard a scream, Bunnie’s scream.

I charged outside and looked around frantically, I then heard Hoyt angrily yelling at her to shut up; it came from back inside the compound, I rushed inside and ran to Paulo’s quarters, where I found two of Hoyt’s Privateers guarding the entrance, they pointed their guns at me and both ordered me to freeze.

{We walked right into that one…} Conscio hummed with frustration.

I gritted my teeth and held still, they approached me and forced me to drop the knife and enter Paulo’s office. The desk had been moved to the middle of the room, and in one corner I saw Bunnie and Dijla crammed into a portable dog cage, both beaten and bloody. Bunnie looked at me, tears streaming down her face.

“You took long enough to get down from that hook, I’ve waited nearly three hours for you.” Hoyt spoke.

He came through the doorway on the other side of the room, and sat in Paulo’s old chair. I looked around to see how many Privateers were in the room, that’s when I noticed the room was full of barrels.

“Ah, you like the new decorations? Each one of them is full of a certain liquid, made from gasoline, dissolved styrofoam, and powdered magnesium. Do you know what that is?” Hoyt asked me, leaning back in the chair.

{Napalm…} Conscio muttered.

“Yes, I do.” I replied, clenching my fists.

“Good, that saves the chemistry lesson.” Hoyt hummed, picking his fingernails.

One of the Privateers pulled up a chair opposite Hoyt and ordered me to sit down, I did so and looked at Bunnie whom was quietly sobbing into her mother’s chest.

“Now, let’s cut the small talk. You have been causing a lot of trouble for my business, so much trouble that I’ve had to come here to sort this mess out myself.
First, you fuck up my best supplier in Brazil.
And then you come to Portugal and cause Paulo to lose interest in working for me.
Then I hear that you had infiltrated the Blood Family, whom were some of my best customers.” He ranted.

“Let us go, and I’ll leave your business alone.” I told him.

At this, Hoyt laughed.

“Such a generous proposition Bruce, Callum, whatever the fuck your name is.
You see, there was more than one mole around, not just Maxim; more than half of Paulo’s guards were my personal employees, and a few of them happened to mention you have a certain love interest.”

He stood up and pulled out his Desert Eagle and pointed it at Bunnie, I stood up out of my chair.

DON’T HURT HER!” I roared.

Hoyt pulled the trigger, only for the gun to click.

“Oh, silly me, I forgot to put the magazine in.” Hoyt said sarcastically.

He reached into his pocket and pulled out a large magazine, then inserted it into the handgun.

“Let her live, I’ll do anything Hoyt, please just let her live.” I begged.

Hoyt shrugged and lowered the gun, before clicking his fingers. One of the Privateers came over and handed him a remote, it had one big red button.

“Once I press this button, this entire compound goes up in smoke in five minutes.
Now, I’d love to sit around and play games with you, but there’s a cunt named Jason who’s causing as much trouble as you are on one of my islands; I’ve recently been told he’s set fire to my plantations and killed Ingeo’s cousin, Vaas. I daresay he pisses me off more than you do.”

Without warning, Hoyt pressed the button.

“While I’d enjoy watching you burn, I have places to be, and I can’t have you around as a loose end. Just know that your beloved Bunnie is going to die screaming.” He spoke, dropping the remote.

As the remote clattered to the ground, Hoyt raised his gun towards me, and fired.

NO!” Bunnie screamed.

The sheer force of the impact knocked me to the ground, it was numb for a few seconds as I fell, it felt as if I were frozen in a block of ice as I couldn’t move a muscle.
Then the pain struck.
A sharp, indescribable pain spread from my chest and outwards, I couldn’t breathe, I couldn’t speak, I just clutched my chest tightly and curled up into a ball on the floor, unable to even scream due to the sheer agony currently engulfing my entire torso.
Hoyt said nothing as he walked around the desk and left the room with his Privateers; once he was gone, Bunnie started shaking the cage, shrieking wildly in complete despair.



I was expecting things to turn dark at this point, or to feel cold, or to see a white light. Anything that would feel like death, but no such feeling came; the pain simply continued to overwhelm my chest. I slowly moved my hand onto the hole in my jacket, and then looked at my hand to find no blood, only a very hard, rectangular lump; my phone.
My phone had stopped the bullet...

I very shakily reached into my pocket and pulled out the device to see the screen had completely shattered and the back contained a large bullet, flattened due to the force of the impact.
Twilight’s upgrades had seriously strengthened the metal and had allowed the phone to save my life, alas it was now useless, but at least I was alive.

My chest was still in utter agony and I assumed my ribs were broken, it was extremely painful to breathe, I coughed and the pain intensified, I clutched my chest and keeled over. Bunnie continued to shake her cage violently.

Callum!” She screeched.

{Shit. This whole building is going to blow.} Conscio reminded me.

I got to my knees, and then used the desk to prop myself up and look at Bunnie and Dijla.

“You’re alive!” Bunnie gasped.

I wobbled around to the side of the desk and then stumbled forward to the cage.

“How aren’t you dead?” Dijla asked in disbelief.

I showed her the phone, dropping the now useless device on the ground.

“You are the luckiest man alive…” She sighed.

I coughed painfully and inspected their cage, there were three bolt locks, all of them padlocked.

“Where are the keys?” I wheezed.

“I think Hoyt left them somewhere in Paulo’s bedroom; hurry!” Dijla cried out.

I went through the door into the former gang leader’s quarters and made my way to his room, my chest still in agony. I reached his room and tore open every drawer and cupboard in search of the key.
That’s when I heard a noise behind me, a strange whirring noise, like a howling wind.
Then, a white light.
It looked like a small flame, flickering in mid-air; and then it began to grow larger; it suddenly flashed, engulfing the room, I closed my eyes so the light didn’t blind me.



When I opened my eyes, I was greeted by none-other than Twilight Sparkle.
She looked different, her mane was matted and mangled. Her fur was full of dirt, her ordinary lavender colour was almost completely gone, it was more of a brownish plum colour.
She didn’t look herself, not in the slightest.

“Twilight…” I coughed.

“We feared the worst, hearing the gunshot.” She said, not bothering to say hello.

I looked out the window of Paulo’s bedroom to see the others, just outside the building. All five of them looked different, even from the window I could see Rarity’s mane hadn’t been styled and her fur was grey, opposed to her usual pearly white.

“We need to get out of here, this whole building is rigged to explode in a matter of minutes!” I told Twilight.

“I’ll teleport us out of here.” She replied.

Her horn began to glow before I stopped her.

“Wait, no. There’s people in here, I need to help them.”

“There’s no time.” She said, looking at the barrel of napalm at the end of Paulo’s bed.

“We have about three minutes now, that’s enough time to find the key in this room.” I said frantically.

“I have just travelled the country to find you, I will not be put at further risk for your sake.” She spat.

I whipped around and glared at her.

“I am saving these people Twilight.” I growled.

She grunted and began to help me look around for the key.

CALLUM HURRY!” Bunnie screamed.

{We’re not going to find the key in time, I’ve been counting, we’ve got less than fifty seconds.} Conscio warned me.

“Twilight can you teleport three people at once?” I asked.

“No, it’s hard enough teleporting one human. Your bodies aren’t as compatible with my magic; it would completely drain my mana as I don’t have much left, I only have enough for you and me.” She told me.

I punched the bedroom door, putting a hole through the wood.

FUCK!” I shouted angrily, before looking back to Twilight.

“I need you to burn the lock off a cage, can you do that at least?” I pleaded.

She nodded and we both rushed back into the office; Twilight came around the corner and both Bunnie and Dijla stared at her in complete shock.

“What is THAT?” Dijla asked nervously.

“No time to explain.” I replied hastily.

I pointed to the bolt locks and ordered Twilight to burn them off.

“I won’t be able to burn all three locks at once.” She told me, frowning.

Stop fucking around and burn the locks!” I boomed angrily.

Twilight flinched and quickly charged up her horn, before a purple laser shot forth and began burning the first lock, two seconds later it snapped, and she got started on the second one.

“Hurry… Hurry!” I shouted, tears in my eyes.

Bunnie and Dijla were both shaking, the second lock snapped.
Twilight was about to start on the third lock when Hoyt’s remote began to beep rapidly, signalling the napalm was about to go off.

“There’s no time.” Twilight spoke.

I looked at her, my eyes wide, and then to Bunnie.

“Callum… I love you…” Bunnie breathed.

“Burn the last lock! BURN IT!” I screamed at the top of my lungs.

Twilight’s horn lit up, and I felt a warmth around my body, and saw a purple aura around me.

“Callum, I love you so much…” Bunnie told me, tears streaming down her face.

Before I could reply, there was a flash of white light and everything disappeared. I reappeared outside the compound and hit the dirt, I rolled onto my back and gasped as the pain shot through my chest again.
I stood up as fast as I could and tried to run back into the compound, only for the entire building to burst into flames, the sheer force of the explosion knocked me back.

BUNNIE!” I bellowed.

I stood up and tried to run back into the building only for Rainbow Dash and Applejack to run forward and hold me back, it took every ounce of their strength to stop me.

“Callum you can’t!” Applejack shouted.

GODDAMN IT, LET ME GET HER OUT OF THERE! GET OFF ME!” I screamed, shaking violently.

“Callum it’s too late, there’s nothing you can do!” Rainbow Dash cried out, desperately holding me down.

I shook and shook, and was eventually able to break free from Applejack and ran towards the compound, dragging Rainbow Dash behind me as she clutched onto my leg.
I reached one of the windows, only for a burst of napalm to splutter out and hit my shoulder, I felt my lower neck burning and yelled in agony, unzipping my tactical jacket and throwing it to the ground.
Applejack reached me and wrapped her hooves around my waist and pulled me back, both ponies were able to drag me away from the building, kicking and screaming.

“I’m sorry Callum… I’m so sorry…” Applejack said, bursting into tears.

“No… No… No, no, no, no, no, NO, NO! NO!!” I howled, dropping to my knees.

I watched helplessly as the napalm consumed the entire compound.
I let out a gut-wrenching wail as I felt my heart break into a thousand pieces, I screamed into the air as loud as humanly possible, the ponies could do nothing to console me as I felt myself die inside.
Nothing could describe this emotion… No pain I had ever endured could compare to this…



I must have been knelt there for at least an hour, sobbing and sobbing until I had no more tears left to shed, the flames eventually began to shrink as the whole compound was reduced to rubble and ash.
I had cried so much that I couldn’t cry any further, I just knelt there with my mouth wide open, saliva and mucus dripping to the ground, creating a small sticky puddle.

“Callum…” Rainbow Dash breathed, unsure of what to say.

I didn’t respond, I just remained still, completely broken in spirit and soul.
Applejack wiped her own eyes, as she had also been crying, and then put a hoof on my shoulder.

“Sugarcube… Babe… We need to get going…” She sniffed.

I couldn’t move, I couldn’t think, I didn’t even feel alive. Fluttershy came over and put a hoof on my shoulder, her mane fell over the side of my head and was comforted by its silky touch against my cheek.

“You don’t have to say anything; you don’t have to do anything. You can sit in a corner for days if it’s what you need, but not here okay? We need to get away from this place before more people come, we can’t be seen by anyone, I know you’re hurting, but I also know that you understand.” She whispered into my ear.

Her buttery voice gave me enough strength to stand, I wiped my nose and took a step forward, that one step was all it took until the shock overwhelmed me, and I passed out, collapsing to the ground.

Bunnie was dead…

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