• Published 7th Aug 2018
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Equestrian City: Side Streets - Malcontent

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"Initiations" (Sweetie Drop/Lyra/AEGIS)

Initiation
By DarkMalcontent
Proofs by Alisia
Zap Consult

“You don’t have any kids, do you, Lyra?”

Lyra snapped her thoughts clear and turned to the only other occupant in the elevator, her new boss, Sweetie Drops. “No, ma’am. Never found the time.” She answered, adjusting her fitted archer gloves and looking over to her. The green tones of her outfit contrasted her superiors more casual leather jacket and gloves, topped off with the right eye patch she hadn’t been able to ask about yet.

“You came straight out of the academy didn’t you? No time for a family?” Drops stared straight ahead, watching the numbers of the elevator slowly change as they dropped down past the sub basement numbers. “You were part of the Disaster Relocation, if I recall your file?”

“Yes, ma’am, after I finished schooling I was noticed by AEGIS and given a full scholarship.” Lyra nodded, standing back at attention out of habit, her arrows clattering together as she moved.

“Good. I prefer my teammates single and without kids.” Drops looked over to her. “I've got a kid myself and she's been nothing but a distraction. Around your age.” She turned back and looked over a file folder she had been holding. “She's in prison at the moment. I forget why.”

“Sorry to hear that ma'am.” Lyra frowned a bit but maintained her composure. An uneasy silence filled the elevator as it began to slow down. “What are the specifics of today's assignments?”

“Well you know as well as I do as a part of AEGIS you'll be expected to respond to meta human issues that threaten the safety of The Canterlot Commonwealth and its citizens.” Drops said casually as she flipped through the pages in her folder. “Anything from surveillance and intelligence gathering to all out confrontations if we need to.”

Lyra nodded.

“Today being your first day on real rotation duty, how was orientation, by the way?” she turned and smirked already aware of how dry orientation was. “Fall asleep often?”

“No ma'am, just perhaps once.” Lyra relaxed a bit as the elevator stopped and the doors opened with a low ding following from a speaker.

“Good. Let's get started then. Give me a full rundown on the current top level issues we have in the city.” Drops began to walk ahead of her subordinate, putting the folder under her arm.

“Current top level issues are the newly risen S class villain known as Mistress Mayhem.” Lyra followed at a quick pace, the quiver on her back jostling as she caught up. “Meta human female, appendages of many, a very nasty character who seems to be dead set on well..”

“Mayhem.” Drops smiled and rounded a corner. She waved at several guards at a post, their sudden snap to attention relaxing as she passed.

“Mayhem has been sighted on several recent robberies involving explosive and other bomb making materials. Intelligence believe well have a full fledged A type bomb scenario if we don't stop her soon.” Lyra hurried her discussion along. “Based on how powerful she is she's one of the worst threats we've had since the disaster.”

“Correct.” Drops pulled out an ID card from her jacket pocket and slid it across a scanner, the door it was attached to opened with a loud series of locks disengaging.

“Director Drops, you do know that I am more suited for field operations then interrogation?” Lyra asked as they walked through an even more narrow hallway.

“I'm familiar with your file, recruit.” Drops sounded a bit annoyed as they walked down to a large set of secure looking doors, two security guards standing up and saluting her.

“Begging the Director’s pardon, then why on my first day am I being brought to the holding cells?” Lyra finally asked, semi frustrated. “Does the Director find me lacking?”

“The Director finds you very qualified.” The doors began to open, parting in the center and signing into the clipboard at the station. “You also haven’t been in the face of anything but training simulations. You’ve never faced a Meta human in the field, or up close.” She turned and stared at her new recruit. “Have you?”

A silence filled the air between them but was quickly broken by the headstrong recruit. “No ma’am but I assure you I’ve--”

“That changes now.” Drops interrupted her and motioned her to follow into the holding cells, the large metal doors slamming shut and a series of locks re engaging.

As the echoing sound of the doors still resonated in her ears, Lyra looked up and around her, eyes wide as she took in the whole room they were in. A grid pattern filled the entire walls around them and then began to pulse a deep blue glow.

“Director…?” Lyra asked, but stopped as she turned around to find her superior being held in a chokehold.

Holding her new boss was a massive creature of fur and scales towering over her by at least a foot. The creature was humanoid but lacked several standard characteristics. Most of the human features were warped and combined with that of a feline or lion like animal. On its back was a set of splayed bat wings. Fangs dripped with saliva and it hissed then roared at the new recruit.

No words left Lyra as she dove out of the creature's swipe at her. Its massive paw hit nothing but air as the green skinned girl twisted mid dive, her bow already half out and snapping to a ready and locked position. Landing with a dull thud on her knee pads, she was already pulling an arrow out of her quiver and knocking it into place, her eyes trained down the sights. “Look out, Drops!” she shouted as she let the first shot loose, the sound of her string snapping in her ear.

The arrow sailed true and steady and pierced the left eye of the creature. A wail and growl of anger left its huge jaws and it struggled to keep its grip, but did not entirely let go. Drops passed out at roughly the same time from apparent lack of air and hung limply in the creature's arms. Another arrow sunk into the shoulder and the third missed its mark and sliced the ear of the angry humanoid.

“Crap.” Lyra cursed and went wide eyed as a huge scorpion like tail came sailing down at her, a new weapon the creature displayed. “Whoa!” she rolled left and pushed backwards to leave the reach of the potentially deadly point on it. “You're just all sorts of wrong.” She snickered and knocked a new set of three arrows, each with a flat warhead on them instead of her regular razor tipped default. “Let's see if you like the sensory overload!”

The three arrows shot up and the flash bangs on them detonated above them all, only Lyra shielded her eyes in time and shook off the concussive sound as it rang. The facade of her one liners and seemingly overconfident bravado starting to fade as she looked to see it hadn't done much but make the creature angry.

“Well that's a let down, those were new too. Oh well,” she muttered and dodged again as another tail swipe and paw grab nearly grabbed her this time. “Where’s security when you need them?” Lyra spun a dial on the back end of her quivers bottom and the pointer locked onto a red dot. “Let's see how you like thermite.” She said and pulled a custom arrow out, just in time to be lifted off her feet by the creatures paw and raised high in the air.

The angry beast roared at her and drew its scorpion tail back for a lethal strike. The rush of air from the beasts mouth made Lyra flinch. “Ugh. You have awful breath.” She remarked, opened her eyes and stared defiant. “But that won't be a problem much longer!” she said as her right arm broke free and drew back the arrow in her hand, ready to throw it point blank range. “You ain't leaving here.” She said finally, only to have Drops hand grab her wrist.

“Alright. That's enough.” Drops said, her apparent fake state of unconsciousness apparent now. “Kill it. I've seen enough.” She adjusted her eyepatch as she finished the order.

“Simulation terminated,” an automated voice announced as the grid lines faded and turned off. At the same moment Lyra fell to the ground as the holograms hold on her disappeared and she lost her grip on her seemingly last arrow.

“Oof!” Lyra grunted and returned to a ready stance, grabbing her bow.

“Stand down.” Drops disarmed the warhead on the arrow easily to Lyras dismay. “You did good.”

Panting from adrenaline and complete confusion, the new recruit changed from fear to anger. “Ma'am...what the hell is going on?”

“I've been doing this a long time, Lyra. Longer than you'd believe.” Drops handed her the parts back and dusted her jacket off. Standing up straight now, she turned and looked at the bewildered operative. “Seen a lot of new operatives come in, top of their class, and be entirely sure of themselves and their abilities, with good reason.” She holstered her own sidearm that she’d lost during the mock scuffle, checking the clip before she did. “Seen a lot of them freeze when they came face to face with something like you just did.”

“Which was what exactly, ma’am?” Lyra asked, converting her bow to a straight compact mode and holstering it behind her . “I’ve never seen anything like that.”

“That was what Diane described as a Manticore.” Drops answered, motioning her to follow towards the other end of the simulation room, the doors at the other end opening slowly, revealing a similar hallway and a pair of smiling guards. They both saluted Lyra and her superior as they passed. “Just one of many rather unpleasant critters we have been training to deal with.”

“Where exactly are we getting this intelligence from, again, Ma’am?” Lyra kept in better step with her as they rounded another corner, passing another set of guards. The doorway was labeled ‘Diane’ with several different rules and warnings posted around it. “You mentioned...Diane?”

“You’re about to meet her.” Drops answered.

Their boots clicked differently on the concrete floor as they entered, the hallway now vastly different in its construction. The entire set up looked more modern and secure in it’s composure, as half the hallway was a solid concrete wall on the right. On it’s left, a full sized layer of plexiglass and reinforced metal slats on it, with only various air holes drilled into it.

Closer examination by Lyra and it became clear to her it was a giant holding cell of some sort, like one would make for a hamster or wild animal perhaps. The decoration was simple, with a bed, a toilet and privacy screen. A table and a chair sat in the center of the room, lit by a single overhead light bulb that flickered occasionally.

Sitting in that chair, facing away, was a slender female figure, dressed in a prison jumpsuit, an embroidered patch on the shoulders remarked that the wearer was indeed dangerous. Her hair was a light pink, but lay entirely straight and past the middle of her back, revealing a similar pink flesh tone. A lonely tune hummed from her, as she played what appeared to be solitaire with a deck of cards, holding up a joker from the deck and looking it over absently.

“Hey, don't be rude, say hello.” Drops said confidently, stepping forward.

The figure stopped and looked straight forward, giggling at something, then set her pack of cards down and began to slowly turn her head, her blue eyes coming into view for the first time. Several facial scars and other blemished became apparent to Lyra as she did. The one overwhelmingly striking feature was that, despite her apparent isolation in the cell and all the wounds on her, she had nothing but the brightest if not eerie grin on her face. Brushing a few stray bangs out of her eyes, she hooked the hair behind on of her ears and eyed up the two girls.

“Hello, Director.” She said, a high pitch contrasted by her slower speech pattern. “I see someone actually passed the manticore test.” She grinned wider, almost making Lyra step back.. “Hi there, I'm Diane,” she said with a giggle that echoed through her cell.

Author's Note:

A brief but important look at how the background government agencies are working in Equestrian City!

Next up we've hopefully got an Applejack side story so stay tuned and comment away!

Don't forget we've got a discord to hang out in.