• Published 6th Feb 2013
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The Cutters - Priceless911



During an era of war, Three Mercenaries with unknown pasts have rule over all battlefields of every nation... yet there was good reason they were so feared.

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Motherhood

The pregnant mare made her way through the forest as fast as she could, but with her body slowly going into labor, it was very difficult for her to continue. The mare looked up at Dragon Mountain as she leaned against a tree trying to control her breathing, “Please… Please not yet little one… I need to find shelter first…”
Serenity left her scythe and her needles next to the tree she was against so it would lighten her load, as she struggled to push herself further towards Dragon Mountain hoping to find a cave at the base but as she continued, she started to feel weaker and weaker with each step.

Luckily, a pegasus was flying by as he spotted her from above. The kind pegasus landed as he asked, “Um miss? This area is very dangerous for ponies, I would suggest hea… wait… are you alright miss?”
Serenity looked at the kind pegasus and replied, “sh… shelter… please… I'm… I'm having a foal…”
The pegasus immediately reacted, “uh oh, alright ma’am, just stay calm and try to hold on.”
Scy gave him a look of frustration, “N-not my decision here…”
The pegasus replied, “Yea… sorry, let’s get you back to my cabin… my wife will know how to handle this.”
As the Pegasus opened his wings so that Serenity could climb on his back, Serenity spoke through her pain, “My… my name is Serenity…”
As the kind pegasus started running as fast as he could back to his house, he replied, “Stone… My name is Black Stone. Don’t worry my wife will know how to handle this.”

About an hour later, a mare wearing a bandanna in her mane was sitting outside planting flowers as her husband came sprinting up, “SOPHIA! This mare is going into labor! We need to help her!”
Sophia nodded her head as she replied, “Alright then let’s get her inside, get some water from the well and the towels…”
Black helped the future mother off his back then went to do as he was told while Sophia helped Serenity into the one of the rooms, “its ok miss, we will do everything we can to help.”
Serenity removed her cloak and laid on the bed “Th-thank you for your kindness.”
Sophia smiled, “Sometimes it only takes a little kindness to divert us from the world’s cruelty.”
For the next few hours, Black, and Sophia Stone did everything they could to help Serenity deliver her newborn foal.

Shortly after the delivery, As the former mercenary laid in a bed, she asked, “Mrs. Stone? How… how is my foal?...”
Sophia smiled, “Congratulations Ms. Serenity… you’re the mother of a healthy Pegasus colt.”
Sophia trotted up to her with her colt, and laid the newborn in his mother’s arms. As Serenity held her young pegasus she smiled as she spoke to her sleeping foal, “Hello little one… welcome to the world.”
The little foal slowly opened his eyes and smiled at his mother, Sophia stood to the side smiling at the sight, “He has your eyes.”
Black stood at the doorway as he spoke to his wife, “Honey we should set up another place at the table tonight. I wouldn’t think of sending Ms. Serenity away after what she just went through.”
Sophia smiled, “That sounds fine but maybe you should help with the foal. At least till she gets back on her hooves. Could you find a way to make a small bed for the infant, I think the mother needs her rest.”
Black then went into another room and returned with a thick blanket and fixed it into a bun next to Serenity in the large bed so they could place the foal inside and allow them both to get some rest.

As the mother and son fell asleep, both Black and Sophia continued their day with their usual errands. It was that night as the couple sat down for dinner that Serenity came into the room after resting. As soon as Black saw her he smiled, “Well look who’s finally awake. I hope you’re feeling better.”
Serenity smiled, “I am thank you… I apologize if I'm being a burden.”
Sophia shook her head, “there is nothing to be sorry about, I wouldn’t feel right letting a mother have a foal in the middle of the forest.”
Black added, “As caretakers of this mountain, I can’t allow something like that to happen. Helping you wasn’t only my duty, but it was the right thing to do.”
Serenity nodded her head, “well for what it’s worth, I'm grateful for your kindness. I should probably be leav…”
“Nonsense! At least stay till morning. I can’t send you away so soon. Both you and your foal need rest.”

Serenity felt concerned, “I wouldn’t want to intrude further.”
Sophia replied, “Not at all, consider yourself a guest, Ms. Serenity.”
“Please… just call me Serenity.”
As the mother sat down Black asked, “So Serenity, what do you do for a living?”
Serenity Hesitated, “well… I used to be a soldier, but when I became pregnant I gave it up.”
Sophia nodded her head, “I understand that, war is no place for a foal. So what about his father?”
Serenity lowered her head, “he… he’s not here.”
Black sighed then replied, “I'm sorry to hear that… don’t worry, soon the wars will end and then we won’t lose any more fathers to senseless fighting.”
Serenity though that it was better for them to think that rather than to know the truth so she just replied, “I only wish he could have been here for this. he would have been happy to know he has a son. So how long have you two been married?”

Sophia blushed as Black replied to the question, “About a month now, and we couldn’t be any happier.”
Sophia leaned against her husband and added as she blushed, “in fact, we’ve been planning on having a foal of our own. But I worry about Blacks job.”
“What?”
Black sighed, “Sophia, we’ve talked about this. The Dragon elder has told us numerous times that our family will be safe to travel this mountain as we please. He has assured us that he and the rest of the dragon clan will look after us and keep us safe from any harm.”
Serenity was confused, “Dragon clan?”
Black smiled, “I am the pony who is responsible for keeping peace between ponies and dragons in Equestria. it isn’t the safest job in the world. But it is absolutely necessary so that the dragons don’t harm ponies, and ponies don’t try to settle in dragon territory.”

Sophia nodded her head and added, “and I worry that having a foal in this type of environment isn’t safe.”
Serenity shook her head and smiled, “Sophia… look at your husband, he took in a helpless mare who was going into labor, and he didn’t hesitate to do everything needed to help me in my time of need. I don’t know much about dragons, but anypony who is willing to help a complete stranger is the kind of pony who will protect his wife and foal from anything.”
Sophia Smiled and replied, “you know Serenity, you’re right. But I wouldn’t call you a stranger, because around here. you’re a friend.”
Serenity lowered her head as she replied, “oh… no… you… don’t need a friend like me. “
Black replied, “why would you say that?”
“Trust me… you don’t want me as a friend…”
At that moment the Foal in the other room started to cry so, Serenity just stood up and went into the other room before Black could reply.

Later that night just before dawn, Serenity sat in the bed with her newborn sleeping in her arms. As she watched him sleep soundly, she started asking herself, “Do… do I really deserve to care for such an innocent soul? How many have I killed? How many fathers, sons, and siblings did I remove from this world? And yet, I want to be here for this little one. I wanna watch him grow up, make the right choices, and eventually have a foal of his own. But do I deserve that privilege?”
As she asked herself these questions, The little foal opened his eyes and smiled at his mother. Serenity couldn’t prevent herself from smiling back at the adorable foal, as she replied to her questions, “you don’t care about what I’ve done. Do you?”
The colt reached out and taped his mother on her muzzle as she held the little foal closer to her face. Feeling the young colts hoof on her face, only made the mare tear up as she smiled, “All you know in this world is that I'm here for you… and no matter what, I'll always keep you safe.”

Serenity laid the foal down in the rolled blanket, then she got up and left the room looking around the cabin for the couple who took her in. When she realized they were asleep, she went back in her room and decided, “I can’t let these ponies get involved any further, I need to leave now while I can.” Then while the little foal became interested in the color of his own hooves, his mother started fashioning together a foal carrier out of a blanket she pulled from the bed. Then she placed the newborn in the carrier, put her cloak on over it and left the cabin with no concern in telling the couple that she was leaving. As she made her way into the forest, her first idea was to retrieve her scythe and needles from the tree she left them beside before she met black. After traveling for some time, just as the sun began to rise, Serenity found the tree where she left her scythe, but she became worried when she found that both her scythe and needles weren’t there. As soon as she noticed they weren’t there, she started to since that there was a presence nearby. Out of worry, she took off her baby carrier, and laid both the carrier and her sleeping foal down on the ground, as she looked around.

Finally, she heard a voice come from the brush behind her, “This Scythe… I’ve only seen it once in my life. But I'll never forget it. it’s the same scythe that took the life of my brother in the griffin kingdoms a few years ago.”
Serenity turned around to see a pony carrying her scythe, while observing the blade in a gloating manner. She was worried that if others knew that she had a foal, then they would start targeting him to get to her. After leaving her newborn on the ground next to the tree, she started trotting into the open while she spoke, “if you really want to honor your brother’s death… then you will leave here and enjoy your life to the fullest. Otherwise, if you stay here any longer, then you may discover information that will prevent me from letting you live.”

The stallion didn’t pay any mind to her warning as he replied, “I'll honor them by killing their murderer!”
With the final word of his sentence, The vengeful stallion charged at the ex-mercenary with her scythe held at the ready as the nervous mare, watched closely at his attack and the way she would counter it, so it would in no way endanger the sleeping colt as he laid just feet from where she was standing. As the Stallion swung the scythe, Serenity easily dodged the blade and gripped the scythe staff with both her front hooves as she got closer to him and warned him again, “final chance… Leave or die.”
With those words, Serenity continued holding the scythe as she swung both her rear hooves in and kicked the stallion in his jaw causing him to release the scythe and fly a few feet before hitting the ground rolling. As the Stallion quickly shuffled to his hooves, he mindlessly tossed the needles at her. With absolutely no concern in her enemy’s actions, Serenity knocked away the needles and held the scythe at the ready.

As the stallion drew his sword, the young foal started to cry from his mobile bed where he was lying. Hearing the cries the stallion looked over at the carrier as he spoke, “A Foal? The reaper has a fo…”
The stallion immediately stopped talking, as he slowly looked down at his chest to see a needle sticking out. As he looked back at the reaper, she sent three more into his chest causing him to fall to the ground, wheezing in pain. The dying stallion looked up at his killer as she trotted towards him with fire in her eyes. The stallion pleaded for his life in a wheezing voice, “m-mercy…”
She unconcerningly looked into his eyes and replied, “You already know too much. To keep my foal safe… you must die.”
With that said, Serenity raised her scythe high, and brought the blade down on his neck, ending the stallion’s life.

Looking down at the dead stallion, only disappointed the ex-mercenary even further. She hoped that she would never have to take a life now that she was a mother, but this only proved that her legacy as The Reaper could never be abandoned, and to keep her foal safe, she had to keep him secret from the rest of the world. As the little colt laid in his carrier crying, Serenity left her scythe sticking out of the dead stallion’s corpse, trotted to her crying foal, and picked him up. When the infant realized who picked him up, the little foal stopped crying and smiled at his mother. Serenity smiled at the little foal and spoke, “as long as I'm here… you will never need to be afraid little one.”
All of a sudden, the little foal looked to the side and smiled at another figure that was standing next to another tree a few feet away.

When Serenity looked, she saw Black Stone standing there with an expression on his face that could only come from a pony who witnessed the entire fight. Without showing any concern in what she had just done, Serenity placed her foal back in his carrier, put the carrier on then proceeded to remove her weapons from the lifeless corpse that was lying on the center of the clearing. After sheathing all her needles and picking up her scythe, She placed the hood of her cloak over her head and spoke, “I told you I'm not the kind of friend you want to have… and this is the reason. Because of your kindness in my hour of need, I'm giving you a chance… if you tell anypony, griffin, dragon, or creature, who I am or what I have with me… I'll be back, and I'll kill both you and your wife. You have been warned…”
And with those words, The Ex-Mercenary vanished into the forest leaving nothing behind, but a corpse and her warning to the stunned stallion. Shortly after she was gone, Black sighed, and replied to the absent pony’s words, “You have my word, None will ever know you were here, or that you’re a mother. Good luck on your journey… Friend.”

Miles away in a distant land, two mercenaries entered Gryphus and started making their way to the castle as Blade asked, “did the king’s messenger say anything about the job?”
Traipse replied, “Nope… he only asked to see us.”
Blade sighed, “Then why are we here?”
“The Griffin King is the closest thing to a friend we have, so if he wants to see us personally then I see no harm in traveling here to see him. Besides, right now thing are going slow for mercenaries, so maybe he will have some work for us.”
Blade looked at Traipse and replied, “Are things going slow for mercenaries? Or just The Cutters?”
Traipse gave her an irritated look, “What are you getting at?”
Blade shrugged her shoulders, “Let’s face it try, Ever since the boss left things have been going downhill.”
“Watch it Blade.”
“Look, I'm only saying that the reputation of The Cutters was built on her skills and name. But now with her gone, we barely have a name anymore.”

Traipse lowered his head and replied, “The Cutters were built upon two, and so long as two remain, we will still exist.”
Blade sighed, “I just don’t understand why the boss would leave like she did. she didn’t say good-bye, she didn’t give us a reason for leaving, and she didn’t even say where she would be. She just told use to meet her in Kestrel, then never showed up.”
Still hiding the truth, Traipse added, “She made her choice… and I won’t hold that against her. So drop it and keep moving.”
Blade shook her head and replied, “if you’re not holding it against her, then why have you been tense and grumpy since the day she left? You’re not even yourself anymore Tri.”
Traipse stopped in his tracks and sighed, “If you don’t like it… then you’re free to leave too.”
Blade felt bad as she put her hoof on his shoulder, “I know how it feels to lose the pony you love Tri. but when she left, she left us both, please remember that.”

Traipse sighed, “maybe it would be best to find us a room for the night… no offence but I’d rather be alone for a while.”
Blade smiled, “I know what you mean, if I hang around you any longer than your grumpiness will give me wrinkles.”
Traipse could only smile, “then I'll see you after my visit with the king.”
Blade nodded her head as she turned and trotted away, “I'll be there.”
As Blade trotted away, Traipse stopped her, “Hey Blade? If you were given the chance to end your life as a mercenary, would you?”
Blade laughed, “And what? Live the life of a boring noble? Please, the day I stop being a mercenary is the day I fall in love, and settle down to have a family, and I’ve yet to meet a stallion that can handle me.”

Traipse could only laugh, “Same here I don’t think a stallion like that exists.”
Blade nodded her head as she continued down the street and out of Traipse sight. Traipse then turned and proceeded to the griffin royal palace to meet King Harpy. As Traipse entered the large castle, the a few guards spoke to him, “Mr. Traipse… The king is expecting you. he is currently in the royal ball room.”
Traipse gave them a friendly nod as he made his way there. After entering the ballroom, Traipse saw the king looking at a few patterns for decoration. The king pointed one out then turned to Traipse, “Welcome Mr. Tri, it’s been a while hasn’t it?”
Traipse smiled, “Not really, it’s only been about four months since our last encounter, which I'll have to apologize for, the Xian thought they could successfully invade your nation but I continued to tell them it was a useless attempt.”

The king could only laugh, “Well the job of a mercenary is to find himself on both sides of the war isn’t it, but I digress. Where are your companions?”
“One is getting us a room in town while the other… she is no longer with us.”
The king nodded his head, “Then that will explain the letter we received.”
“Letter?”
The king reached into his robe and pulled a letter out then handed it to Traipse, “about a week ago we received a letter with explicit instructions that it be handed to a member of The Cutters. And we were warned that if the letter’s seal was ever broken by anypony other than The Cutters, that they would be hunted down and killed. I suppose it was The Reaper who sent such a letter?”
Traipse smiled as he opened the letter, “Yes I'm sure…”

Traipse read the letter to himself quietly, then smiled as he mumbled to himself, “A son.”
The king was concerned, “What was that? Is everything alright?”
Traipse smiled and replied, “Yes everything is fine, can I ask that you notify me whenever you receive a letter from her? Traveling will get in the way of receiving mail.”
the king replied, “of course, The Cutters and the Griffin Kingdoms have a trust that can only be made by friends.”
“Thank you your majesty, I'll see myself out.”
The king stopped him, “Wait Mr. Tri? Would you like to attend my ball this evening? Not as a mercenary but as a guest, it’s the least I can do for the history that we share.”
Traipse asked “Really? What’s the occasion?
The king replied, “I have been betrothed, this is a royal wedding ball.”
Traipse smiled, “normally I would decline… but this is a special day for the both of us so I'm ok with it. Besides Blade could use some R and R.”