• Published 19th Dec 2016
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The Pieces Lie Where They Fell - Evilhumour

A thousand years after the death of Mane Six, a new generation of Bearers are chosen.

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Chapter Four: Wind Breaker

Chapter Four

Wind Breaker

With a half held back yawn, Wind Breaker shook his head as he began to wake up and wince as he started to feel himself sobering up. Rolling to the side to reach his pack, he reached inside and felt around for his light alcoholic bottle as he had work today, thankfully.

True, it was just some construction for the Honour Festival but any work helped him pay his debts as a Hatchery griffon as well as give him some spending money for food, his drinks and any surprise expenses or sudden splurges that came up.

Tilting his head back as he sucked on the bottle, he kept a bit of his attention focused on how much he was drinking just to get to that sweet spot where he could function.

Pausing to check himself and see if the alcohol was working by doing his little test, Breaker promised himself he would try to deal with his problem tomorrow again. Feeling only a hint of irritation at his promise, Wind Breaker let out a dry chuckle and said, “Well, I guess that’s dealt with.”

Rubbing his throat after another stab of irritation, he dropped the bottle into his pack, clinking against the other bottles of booze, closed the flap, clicked it shut and put it under the bed so it wouldn’t be stolen while he was out.

It was still a crapshoot that it would still be there if he hid it or not, but better safe than stuck sober for a while.

With a bit back growl at his throat burning again, Wind Breaker shook himself as he rolled himself out of the bed and spread out his wings as he let out a proper yawn. Rubbing his eyes, he tilted his head as he heard other griffons and workers for the festival waking up and chatting with each other in their own rooms. He grinned to himself; this had been one piece of luck that he got this room all to himself despite how busy this time of the year was.

His room, and a few down the hall were all singles for various reasons, ranging from heavy deposit to a specialty client to others refusing to bunk with the guy.

His room…

...It seemed his reputation from Caring Sisters of the Virtues Hatchery preceded him a bit, and there were no takers joining him.

He ruffled his reddish gold coat and swished his tail as he thought of the Hatchery. Even though the Hatchery was one of the better ones in the Upper, he still hated his time there and got his most of his issues from that place, like almost every other Hatchery griffon he knew.

At the very least he didn’t have to dye his coat and feathers to more pleasing and proper pony colours anymore..

Doing his utmost to refrain from taking another shot for courage, he picked up his proper saddle bags and went through it to make sure his papers were in place, his funds had been untouched and that his debt balance was still correct.

And as much as he would have liked it, his Ledger remained untouched and unchanged since yesterday. Only an Inspector could do that and they were impossible to bribe. Partly due to their training, but most due to the fact that any change would appear in every other Ledger as well as the Master Ledger and a griffon could actually fight a false charge if such a thing happened.

Which, again due to ponies making sure that their system seemed to be perfectly well thought out for all but the griffons that came from Hatcheries, was near impossible in itself due to the fact that all the Ledgers had every Hatchery griffon’s magical signature embedded in it, and it was an easy process to check with just a plucked feather, consent or choice of which feather not always needed or asked. So having a false charge was all but impossible and the ponies were able to tell themselves they were doing the right thing and nothing needed to change, especially not a system that was created over eight hundred years ago for a problem that no longer existed, that made them second class citizens because they were raised in a place that they had no choice in, that made them obligated to repay that ‘kindness’ back their entire life or else, that had made the Free griffons population smaller than the Hatchery griffon and hear constant talks about finally properly absorbing the griffon lands into Equestria by ponies and griffons alike!

Wind Breaker reached under the bed and took out a drink from one of his stronger bottles and start to gulp it down before stopping himself.

Placing the bottle back, Wind Breaker placed a talon over his head; he overdid it again and he would need to be careful to not get caught.

Lucky for him, he was good at not getting caught.

With all that moping done with, he finally left the room, locked the door, placed the do not clean sign on the door and went downstairs to eat the provided breakfast meal before everypony else came downstairs…

“Hey look, it’s wettle old Wind Bucker,” Diamond Back chuckled at him with a couple of the other griffons from the Hatchery, all sitting at a table near the prepared food that the Blade family had ordered for the workers. It was Apple product but free food was free food. “Looks like he woke up from his nappy.” He mimed drinking from a bottle before laughing again.

“Very funny, Diamond,” Wind Breaker muttered, rubbing his throat as he went to grab a plate of food. “Just like the other times you made that damn joke.”

“You are sober, aren’t you?” Diamond had suddenly moved over to Wind Breaker, and glared at him.

For the longest time, Wind Breaker and the rest of the griffons at the Hatchery had thought that Wind Breaker was just shrimpy but it turned out that Diamond and his friends were actually the large ones due to their heritage of being mountain griffons when a Free griffon had passed by. Diamond and his friends had gone right on with bullying him over everything they could and due to his mouth, few other griffons in the Hatchery defended him.

“Sober enough,” Wind Breaker snapped, moving to a table away from them but was grabbed by Diamond.

“If you do anything to ruin this for us,” Diamond growled threateningly, reminding Wind Breaker that despite everything Diamond Back was still Lead Griffon or chosen as Lead Griffon when their Hatchery was chosen for something and the Caring Sisters reached out to ‘trusted’ griffons to do work in their name for a very slight decrease in their debts. And as Lead Griffon, his job was to make sure that no griffon messed up.

“I’m fine,” Wind Breaker put more bite in his voice, ears slightly red as he could hear the slur in his beak. “Now let me eat my breakfast in peace, arlight?”

DIamond just glared at him and squeezed his shoulder harder before letting go and stalking his way back to his seat, keeping a fixed glare on him and his saddle bags.

As if he would bring a flask or a bottle on the job; he wasn’t a fool and going to risk the job by having alcohol on him in case there was a surprise inspection.

If they did suspect, he could always hope they’d believe he had a speech impediment or hope that Diamond would cover for him.

Lifting a fork of the discount sausage to his beak, Wind Breaker let out a tiny prayer to the Goddesses that nothing would go wrong today.

With a grunt, Wind Breaker lifted the two-by-four and flew over to the back of the stalls, placing it next to the pile of other wood that Sharp Tack and Quick List had brought in for Hard Hammer and Sharp Saw to prepare them into proper roofing and walls for the unfinished stalls for the Honour Festival.

He didn’t know how the pony work crew failed to finish everything as they had unicorns to help them but there was no complaints from him. Any work helped clear his debt to the Hatchery and, as he wasn’t a girl, he couldn’t use the easy way to clear his debts.

He paused, perching on top of a stall, thinking of the so called ‘easy’ way. While it was open to every female griffon that went to a clinic, he could only count on a single talon of how many female griffons he knew that got pregnant solely to sell their egg in exchange for the removal of a massive chunk of their debt.

Wind Breaker let out a tiny shiver at the horror stories of what happened to griffons that tried to back out of the donation path; the trials were always infamously nasty and they always ruled against the griffon for stealing government property and jailed them. They also had their debts from when they had left their Hatchery tripled, and had their debt passed down to their child as further punishment and detriment for other griffons to try and break contracts with the government.

Of course, that was just what happened in the Upper where things were prim and proper; it was supposedly far worse in the Middle and the Lower.

Still, he wasn’t a changeling and he had some rights and they would be respected by the laws. If he was a bug, it would be a miracle if anyone helped him if he needed it.

Shaking his head, he looked at the pony couple walking through the festival and gave an annoyed snort. He wasn’t sure why the Blade family allowed what had to be their grandson walk in with his marefriend when the representative from the Blade family was supposed be around today. Maybe he sent the kid- who wasn’t really a kid, had to be his own age-in first as some half assed attempt of foal sitting?

He looked around the civilian festival, eyeing the stands already up and running for tonight’s start and wondered how they were going to pull it off. They hadn’t even finished all of the curly things that were supposed to be meet together above at fountain of the Virtues.

His ear flicked as he heard Diamond Back talking to his friends as they took another break from the arch thingy, with the supplies dangerously close to the edge…

It seemed if time slowed down as he saw the mare walk under the scaffolding and supplies about to tumble downwards.

Pushing himself off of the roof he was on, Wind Breaker shouted, “LOOK OUT!” as he crashed into her, pushing the mare away from where the supplies smashed into the ground.

With his heart racing in his head, he looked over the yellow mare to make sure she was okay. “You good miss?” he asked, offering to help her up while kicking himself inside as he forgot to hide his slur.

“Yeah,” she replied, her snout wrinkling as she no doubt smelt his breath. Pulling her upright, she thanked him.

“No problem, miss,” he bowed his head forward as he was taught by the Hatchery when talking to a mare. “It’s a good thing I was watching what Diamond Back was doing, or not doing or this could have got a lot worse.” He turned his head to see Diamond being yelled at by Tight Schedule for the near accident. He turned to the mare and flashed a smile as he patted her on the shoulder. “Really glad to see you are okay, miss.”

“I’m fine,” she repeated with a smile on her face that caused his throat to twinge. “Really, I’m alright and thank you for saving me, mister...”

“Wind Breaker,” he replied, swallowing a bit of air and clicking his beak.

She seemed to calm down, her smile becoming true. She held out her hoof out to him and began to introduce herself when her coltfriend flew in the middle of them.

“PAGE TURNER!” he shouted as he landed, facing him down and seemingly drawing that sword on his side. “What happened‽” the bat pony growled at him, his coat on end.

Well two could play at that game...

“I saved her, buddy,” he said in a clear of tone as possible, puffing his chest out. “That idiot over there,” he pointed at Diamond Back before glancing over the colt again to see the signet ring on the right wing, telling him that this was a direct member of the Blade family and was his boss. Still, he was too caught up in the moment. “Wasn’t watching what he was doing and almost dropped a full ton of shit on her.”

“Is this true?” he asked the mare, Page Turner nodding her head. He turned back to him and bowed his head to him. “I thank you then, good sir and both he and you are fired for negligence and improper conduct.”

WHAT?!” Wind Breaker screeched. “I just saved her from being hurt, you ass-”

“And I thank you for that,” the plothead hissed at him as if he were at fault! “And if you do not leave now, I will have security remove you from the premises.”

He was furious at this and so close to saying something he knew he’d regret before he stopped himself.

Throwing his arms in the air, he stormed off from the ungrateful bastard and make a beeline back to the inn.

He hated stuck up noble brats like that foal of changeling, if anypony spoke up against them, they would do whatever they wanted to get even and, like an idiot, he opened his beak when he should have scrapped and bow-.

Whoa there, buddy-birdy,” a female voice chuckled out from in front of him. It was a minotaur with a dark violet coat and a freaking hammer tied to her back. “Where’s the fire and do ya need an alibi?” She laughed again, lightly punching him on the arm.

Wind Breaker roamed her with his eyes, taking in her blue-black mane before snorting and shaking his head. “Get out of my way,” he grumbled, moving to get past the overly cheerful mare.

“Oh come on there, pretty birdy, tell ol’ Vix-Lei what’s wrong,” she chimed in, pivoting on her hooves to stand next to him, pulling out her hammer to twirl it in front of them.

“I don’t see how it’s any of your business,” he snapped, clicking his beak angrily at her.

“It ain’t but it bums me out to see anyone glum, so tell me chum,” she turned her hands around quickly to bring the face of the hammer down onto his head, revealing it was a cloth hammer and not a real one. “What’s got your feathers so twisted up?”

Smacking the hammer away, he turned to face the minotaur-Vixie Lay or something and glared at her. “I just got fired for bullshit reasons after I saved his mare’s life! So if you don’t mind, I’m going to back to my hotel room, get drunk and pretend that this day never happened, alright?”

“Alright, alright, I get it, geez,” she said holding her hands up at him as if to defend herself from him. “Try and help a person out and that’s what you get? Feh.”

With a growl and a snort, Wind Breaker watched the crazy minotaur walk away before shaking his head.

“At least this day can’t get any worse,” the griffon muttered to himself, stalking back to the hotel for a quiet night.

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