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What Makes Me a Good Demomare?

“…Some say that when the moon is right… and the ground is fresh… The Horseless Headless Horsemann will rise from his grave again and reek havoc on the living once more” The Sniper looked around slowly, the light from the campfire highlighting his features in shadow. The girls were all huddled close together, shivering from the story he had finished. He gave a light laugh and retreated from the flames, casting him in a much more pleasant light. “’Corse that won’t happen again. Ol’ Silas hasn’t shown up since Halloween last year. And I doubt he’d grace us with an appearance this year”

“How on earth did you defeat him at all!?” Twilight was playing the story in her mind. A monster destroying the team, it’s jack-o-lantern grin belaying the carnage it wrought.

“A lot of bullets”

“RAUGHHH!!!” The ponies all let out a shrill scream at the Pumpkin headed Creature turning the corner, arms extended and flailing a brutal looking axe. Their screams were intermixed, however, with laughing coming from Dash, Pinkie, and the team.

“Oh, we got ‘em good, didn’t we?” Pinkie snorted, tossing an arm around the monster. It grabbed the stalk on top of it’s head and lifted up, revealing a hysterical Demoman laughing. Dash rolled over on her back, giggling fiercely.

“’S a good thin’ I kept these, ‘eh?”

“Very funny!” Twilight seemed more annoyed at the prank than the rest.

“Ah lighten up! Here!” The Scotsman tossed her a bottle of the liquor with three X’s emblazoning it’s side. She pushed the bottle away disdainfully.

“I’m sorry Twilight. It was just a prank. You’re not mad, are you?” She wanted to be mad at the laugh at her expense, but one look into Pinkie’s eyes made any anger she had at the joke dissipate.

“I guess it was kinda funny…”

“The Great and Powerful Trixie knew it was a joke all along! After all, this pumpkin head is so obviously a mask” She picked it up and thumped it.

“Actually that’s his actual head. We kept it after we defeated him” Trixie screamed and dropped the jack-o-lantern. It rolled and landed right side up, staring at her. Everyone shared a laugh at the spectacle, and Twilight didn’t feel as bad.

They continued to tell stories as the night dragged on, about homes, about families, and even stories of their newest conquests, until the Heavy told a grisly story about how he killed an Engineer once. After that, everyone went to bed, hoping they could forget the Russian’s sadistic tale.

------

Twilight awoke with a start. Something wasn’t right. She looked around, and a glow in the courtyard caught her eye. ‘Ugh. They forgot to put the fire out again’

She groggily walked into the court and froze. The campfire was nothing but embers at this point. Instead the glow was coming from the discarded pumpkin. As Twilight watched, it rose up, bringing with it a giant body, draped in ragged cloth. The lavender unicorn scoffed

“Nice try, Dash! It won’t work twice!”

“What’re you talking about?” The voice behind her sleepily asked.

“Pinkie then?” The pink pony lifted Twilight off her feet in response to her name. A cold chill went down her spine. Slowly her friends started gathering around, watching the arms pushing with all their might to free itself from the ground. They were frozen in fear as it walked slowly over on it‘s bone legs to the gruesome axe. When it grasped the handle a purple glow enveloped the weapon. Then the candle-light eyes saw the girls. It walked over menacingly, crouching down to their eye level.

“BOO!!!!”

“THE HORSEMANN!!!!!” They scattered and the beast laughed, giving chase.

Pinkie fired wildly, hitting it in various places. The Horsemann laughed, not even acknowledging the bullets. The minigun gave an echoing click, and Pinkie grimaced.

“RUN!” Twilight was firing explosive after explosive, but to no avail. The pink party pony turned to run, but it was too late.

“Pinkie!” Twilight turned tail before she saw her friend‘s death, but as she did a multi colored blur rushed past her. Dash started circling the Horsemann quickly, firing inwards. It laughed and stuck the axe out. Dash tried to maneuver out of the way, but her inertia was to great and the axe ended her assault. He stepped forward, looking for his next victim. A sharp swing into his knee answered that. He looked down and saw Angel, smacking him with the shovel‘s thin side. He leaned down close, and shouted another terrifying “BOO!!!!,” A sound so inherently terrifying that even Angel’s hair stood on end, turning him into a big cotton ball with a helmet. The Horsemann raised his axe and swung. Right before the blade made contact, however, Fluttershy grabbed the bunny’s tail and pulled him away. She threw him on her back and ran, all the while muttering “Ohmygoodness Ohmygoodness Ohmygoodness!” under her breath.

Derpy ran in, billowing fire around, but a swift strike ended the firebrand. Trixie had huddled into a corner. He charged at her and Trixie screamed. “Over here, Bone-brain!” Twilight caught his attention. She ran at top speed while he followed. Everything she had she threw at him, explosion after explosion. With her back turned, however, she didn’t see the wall until she slammed into it. The impact dazed her, and when she realized where she was, a looming shadow covered her.

It raised the axe, the point gleaming in the moonlight. With a horrible laugh and a swift move, the axe flew towards her

-----

“AH!” She screamed, sitting bolt upright. The scream pierced the silence around. ‘What… a… nightmare?’ She looked around, taking in the silent night. Her friends all were fast asleep, perfectly safe.

“Twilight?”

She turned around and caught sight of a concerned Fluttershy. “Are you okay?”

She felt her heart start to slow down from it’s cadence, and her breathing returned to normal. “I… Yeah, just a nightmare”

“Oh, my. Do you want to talk about it?”

Twilight looked over, the Horsemann’s Jack-o-lantern sitting and smiling. She kicked it away, and it rolled under the stairs and out of sight. “I think I’ll be fine, thank you” Fluttershy nodded, and laid her head back down. Twilight curled up and closed her eyes.

-----

“Shoot!” She erased the mark on the page. “That’s not it either!”

A drunken Demoman swaggered in, spotting her in the corner of the room. “Oy! What’s the problem?”

She sighed. As the days drug on, she was getting more and more aggravated with the Scotsman who refused to let her work uninterrupted. “The same as always. I need to concentrate, so could you, you know,” She shook a hoof. “Scoot?”

“Y’know, ye could at least do me job while ya do the same thing every day”

She didn’t look up “I am,” She said, pointing to the door way. He looked in the direction and saw half a dozen placed haphazardly around the door frame.

“Ye cannot to anythin’ with that!”

“Hey, there’s no way they can get through that door!”

“An’ what about th’ other door!”

This made her lift her head. She shot a look to her right and indeed found the other door into the intel room completely unguarded. “Oh”

“Lass, y’need ta take a break from the prints! It’s warpin’ yer mind”

“I can’t. I have to get these done. The sooner I can figure this out, the sooner we can get home”

“Ye been starin at the same sheet of paper fer three days now. And ye’ve made how much progress?”

Twilight furrowed her brow. “Your point?”

“Go have fun, take yer mind off! Blow up RED fer a while!”

“I don’t find killing fun! I’m only doing it because we signed up for your jobs! We all are! No one here would be okay with killing if it weren’t for that whole ’regenerating clones’ thing. Why can‘t you get that through your drunken skull? Now could you leave me alone? Some of us have actual work to do instead of being useless drunks all day”

“Look here. My job is no easy task” He snatched the paper from her.

“Hey! I need that!”

“You’ll get it back when you do what ye said ye were gonna when ye offered to take me job: blow up the REDs!” He bolted away, yelling over his shoulder. “When ye’ve done e‘rythin I do e‘ry day, the prints’ll be right back on that table ya love so much!” Twilight gave chase, but the Scotsman knew the base much better than her, and she quickly lost sight.

“I can’t believe this. He’s gonna put us all in jeopardy for this?” She levitated the weapons she had been provided. “Fine. The sooner I get this done, the sooner I can work” She paced toward the Spiral, but stopped at the base, where a familiar bottle sat. On it was a note: ‘You may need this - Demo’ She scoffed, but grabbed the bottle. If she took it, it meant one less bottle for him to get drunk on.

-----

The sun stung her eyes slightly as she wandered onto the battlements. ‘Maybe I have been down in the intel for too long,’ she thought. She jumped down, Grenade-launcher primed. The Scout jumped down and she fired, hitting him square and gibbing him. ‘Ugh. I’ll never get used to that’ She avoided the blood and ran into the building. She fired another bomb, and a hapless Engi turned the corner at just the wrong time, taking the explosive between the eyes. Twilight ran around the corner, hearing the sentry beeping just a second after it noticed her, and moved swiftly out of the rockets path. A few stray bullets wounded her knee, but she was fairly unscathed.

‘Ok Twilight,’ she mentally prepped herself. ‘What is the best course of action? Let’s see… The grenades do their best when hitting directly, so I should hit the sentry with them head on!’ She turned the corner and fired a single bomb before the sentry’s chain guns tore her apart.

‘Ok, maybe not’ She trotted back to the Sentry, hiding behind a wall and studying it again. The Engi had retaken his place, vigilantly watching for her now.

‘So if the direct grenades didn’t work… the sticky bombs, maybe? How many should I fire? I don’t want to waste my ammo… I’ll run a test. Let’s see what one can do,’ She fired a spiky bomb next to the machine and detonated it. Nothing seemed to happen.

‘One isn’t strong enough, so, two, maybe?’ She fired two next to the machine, and again detonated them. Some smoke slowly drifted out of the machine, and Twilight mentally cheered.

‘Yes! Ok, two more, and - ‘ She heard a clang of metal on metal, and her brain jumped to the last time she’d heard a similar sound: Applejack fixing her own sentry. ‘Shoot, that’s right, he can repair it,’ castigating herself for forgetting something so obvious.

‘I’ll save a little time, so let’s go with four, th-’ Her thought didn’t end, however, as the RED Spy backstabbed her, standing still in the RED base.

She respawned. “Ugh! Ok, one more try!” She ran this time, blowing up all that stood in her way. She got back to the corridor with the sentry. ‘Four’ She shot the bombs and detonated them quickly, hearing the sentry explode. She rounded the corner and was met with an irate looking Engi, who had a glowing shotgun pointed at her. ‘Oh, I recognize that, it’s the Frontie-’

-----

‘r Justice… Shoot’ She had done her job, but at the cost of her life and time.

‘Maybe he’s put it back. After all, I did blow a sentry up. Demos do that, I remember it from the training,’ She thought as she ran down to the Intel, but the corner where she was working didn’t hold the blueprints, only a note.

‘Sticky Jump’

“Well fine” She ran back up to the battlements. “Maybe if I sticky jump across the bridge I’ll be able to get the prints back” She sat by the door , making angles with her hooves. “Ok, than I need an angle of-” She flinched as a light crossed her eyes. “What the hay? Who’s-” A sniper shot answered her question.

She ran back out, this time getting her angle down from behind a large piece of sheet metal hiding her from sight. “Ok, so I want the maximum amount of thrust, and this thing can put out 8 at a time, so…” She fired the stickies one at a time into a tight dot. The Unicorn positioned herself over them and jumped, detonating them at her perfectly calculated time. The force from all eight was too much, however, promptly blowing the poor mare to smithereens.

“Too many. It’s ok, learn by doing,” She was trying to keep from getting angry at the constant mess-ups, but that was becoming a chore. “How about one. One won’t kill me” She put the bomb in the same place, and jumped, again getting the timing perfect. She flew through the air, landing halfway on the RED battlements. She struggled to get up, but a shadow informed her of another presence. She looked up and sheepishly laughed at the Soldier.

“Um… Hi?”

-----

She sat in the respawn room. A quick check had not only found no blueprints, but no note as to what to do next. She looked around. “I shouldn’t be dying this much. What am I doing wrong?”

“You’re too uptight, Twi” Dash spawned. “You’re thinking about it too much. Just let yourself go”

“And how, pray tell, you come to that conclusion?”

“Twi, the Demoman routinely uses high explosives with one eye AND while being constantly drunk. If he’s doing all that, well, I think you’re over thinking this whole problem. I gotta go. Got an Engi that‘s giving me trouble,” She left quickly. Twilight looked back at the bottle she had packed away. ‘You may need this’ She sighed. ‘I can’t believe I’m going to try this’

She opened the top, and took a few tentative sips before coughing and choking. The drink was so strong that Twilight wondered how she could drink it at all. But once the initial burn wore down, she took a few drinks.

And a few more.

And a few more.

The alcohol burned her throat and her cheeks heated up. She’d polished off a third of the bottle before her brain caught up with the amount of alcohol in her system. “Alright, le’s do this!” She ran out of the steel door.

All at once her instincts started taking control. It was as if the weapons knew they were in the hands of somepony inebriated, and were helping her. She fired a sticky at the base of RED’s building, blowing herself up to the battlements. She landed on a very surprised Sniper, who got the brunt force of the bottle smacking him in the head. She ran from the body, and spotted a Level 3 guarding the entrance to the spiral. Eight stickies hit the ground in front of it, and she giggled when the Engi and the wandering Heavy and Medic team also got caught in the blast. The Unicorn barreled down the ramp, hitting the Pyro in the chest with a grenade and clobbering the Spy with the bottle when she heard the soft uncloaking sound behind her.

The intel laid unguarded after her rampage, and she grabbed it, heading back the way she came. The top of the stairs was in sight, but in the way was a RED dispenser, taunting her. She fired the grenades twice, and the machine exploded in a shower of sparks. Down the grate and out the door she went.

“Home free, baby!” She yelled, but a yell from behind her pierced her ears. The sound of a man screaming. She turned, and saw what was making it: The RED Demo, bearing down on her at an incredible speed with a sword in hand. She tried to jump out of the way, but the sword caught her, and she and the intelligence fell in the center of the bridge.

-----

She awoke in the spawn room with a clear head. “But… That doesn’t make sense! I was drunk out there, I can’t just be fine now!” She tried to figure it out, but no conclusion made sense to her.

She jumped down, wishing to finish what she started. She grabbed the case on the bridge and ran back unimpeded. She stepped onto the caution tape in front of the desk.

“Success. We have secured the enemy intelligence,” The loudspeakers announced

“Well done lassie” The Demo stepped out from the corner, the prints in hand. “As I promised, ‘ere ya go” He tossed the prints to her, and she unrolled them back onto the floor in her little corner.

“Thank you”

“Now do ya see what I really do?”

Twilight lowered her head. “I’m sorry I called you useless earlier”

“Ah, I didn’t care about that. Soldier’s called me useless more times than he can count. What I cared about is you puttin’ so much work inta somethin that wasn’t movin. I bet ye can get a lot farther now,” He sighed. “Look, I know I’m not what ye wanted. Yer a smart girl, ye’d have been a good Sniper, or Medic. ”

“Now now, I won’t have my friends putting themselves down on my behalf. You must be smart, you taught me a lesson, right?” She smoothed the plans out, and gave them a look over. “It was just what I needed, apparently, cause I can already feel myself figuring this out a little bit more”

“Aye, yer welcome. I’m gonna go back to base, though” He turned, but she stopped him.

“Can you answer one question really quick?”

“Aye?”

“When I died I was drunk. Yet I was completely lucid when I respawned”

“Them regenerators got rid of the Alcohol in yer blood stream, just like mine”

“So that means…”

“Yep. E’ry time I die I start from scratch. I’ll tell ya, though, without the spawn I keep wakin up with hangovers. I think I nee ta cut back a little,” He chuckled and ran off. Twilight looked at the plans with new eyes, going over the new math. But before she did, She set a little something up under the Intel…
-----

The Enemy has captured our intelligence!

Click

The Enemy has dropped our intelligence.

-----

“So close!” She erased another mark. The Engi stood next to her, going over the designs.

“So what’s the problem?”

“It’s the power supply. There’s just no way to supply enough energy to maintain the bridge for long enough”

The grey mare wandered in, a mailbox gripped in her teeth as her half-mask dangled around her neck. “Oh, Hi, Derpy. Sorry, I’m really busy, can you come back later?” The girl peered over Twilight’s work, and put the mailbox down, grabbing a pen. “What? No! Don’t!” Twilight sputtered as the mail mare wrote a few lines out. She put the pen down and Twilight looked over the marks.

“Ugh, who knows how far you’ve set us ba… wait a second…” Twilight crunched the number’s introduced by Derpy’s seemingly random scribbles. “She… That’s it!” Twilight furiously drew a few more improvements. “Engi! She’s done it! She figured it out!” Twilight launched over the table, grabbing Derpy in a bear-hug. “We’re going home!”

Engi looked over the plans. “Well I’ll be. I think these will work perfectly” He rolled them up, placing them in the pouch on his pants. “I’mma start building this. I should have it done by tomorrow, if I do it right,” She smiled. “I suggest y’all tell yer friends” He walked out of the room while Twilight spun Derpy around happily.

“Why didn’t you tell anyone?”

“Speak… Not… Ugh!” She shuffled through her bag, producing a journal. She handed the book to the Unicorn. “Read… Going” Derpy grabbed up the mailbox and left the room. Twilight opened to the first page, and took in the elegant hoofwriting. She sat down and started to read, until a thought struck her.

“Where’d she get a mailbox?”

-----

She closed the back page carefully, wiping her eye with the back of her hoof.

‘I never knew,’ She thought. ‘She doesn’t deserve her reputation, and I’m gonna fix this when we get back’ She put the journal in her bag and looked at the clock. ‘Oh my, it’s so late,’ She thought. ‘I wonder why no pony came to find me. Probably partying and completely forget’ She imagined Pinkie partying without a care and a smile plastered on her face.

But when she walked into the court, no one was to be seen, except for Applejack.

“Twilight! There you are! You gotta come! Something bad happened!” Applejack ran into the respawn, and Twilight followed closely. The door opened and she gasped.

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