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Lucky Card and two of his guard ponies turned toward the voice in my Equestria dreamscape. The unicorn mare in his detail deliberately looked the other way down the alley covering their backs. The other three ponies searched for the origin of the voice.
"Up here!" Said the voice again.
Looking up Lucky saw a young pegasus mare casually standing on a fire escape platform about 20ft above them. Lucky out of the corner of his eye he saw one of his earth pony stallions shake his head slightly which told him all he needed to know.
He'd seen the stallions check overhead when they'd stepped out in the alleyway. This mare had not been there when they'd looked up there. Some how this mare had slipped past their first line of defense.
The mare was looking down at them and smiling. She was a deep crimson red with brilliant yellow-orange mane and tail done up in the style that was the current craze. A short, snug, little black dress flattered her figure. If Lucky Card had met at his club or any restaurant or a concert in town he'd have bought her a drink asked her what her name was.
Here in this alleyway however all of his alarm bells were going off. This wasn't just a chance meeting; which meant she'd known he was leaving and the location of the secret passage.
"You're the stallion who runs The House of Roses aren'tcha?" Said the mare with a happy, bubbly voice.
"Maybe?" Said the stallion his eyes never leave the mare. "Who might you be?"
The mare giggled vapidly. "Oh! I'm sorry! I didn't introduce myself. My name is Sunrise and I just arrived in Manehattan last week from Las Pegasus. I'm dancer and I heard that maybe you hired dancers? I'm really good!"
In one smooth motion the mare vaulted over the fire escape railing and proceeded pirouette all the way down to the ground, landing in a stylish pose with her wings spread.
"Taadaaa!" Said the mare. Dropping down on to all four she started sauntering toward Lucky Card. "So are you hiring or......."
Before the pegasi could take three steps the unicorn mare had shot forward and blocked her progress. as she did this one of the two earth ponies took up watch looking down the alleyway. The other continued to scan the windows and fire escapes for other ponies.
"Don't come any closer to him!" Growled the unicorn mare. The crimson pegasi stopped and slowly raised a front hoof.
"Whoa, whoa, sister! I don't want your stallion I just want a talk to him about a job. Well me and my friends."
"Are your friends in Manehattan to?" Asked Lucky Card.
"Yes they are!" The vapid, bubbly demeanor vanished from the mare, and very sly smile replaced it. "In fact they're already here with us."
Then the lights went out for Lucky Card.
Slowly lucidity and a sense of awareness returned to him. Along with a screaming headache and constant droning rumble in his ears. With eyes still closed and after shaking his head a couple of times he came to the conclusion that the rumble wasn't coming from inside his head but from some outside source.
Also that he was bound and suspended face up off the ground. A quick check also confirmed that his abductors had clamped an inhibitor ring onto his horn. Finally opening his eyes found himself in what appeared to be small storage room or large supply closet from the numerous, utilitarian shelves in his immediate field of view. Based on rumble he assumed he was in one of they many factories that operated in the city of Manehattan. Whatever was running it made the room rattle, vibrate and even sway a bit. There were no windows visible from his point of view, and the only light was from a single, dim electrical light directly above him.
As he continued to come to grips with his predicament the voice of that damn pegasus mare spoke to him from shadows. Although it was no longer vapid or bubbly.
"Well. Look at who's awake again. Did you have a pleasant nap?"
Slowly the sounds of hoofs approached him. Then the crimson mare's head came into view above him. For a moment she stared at him coldly for a few seconds; then she stepped away out of view. As the mare wandered out of view she resumed speaking.
"You're a smart pony Lucky Card. You must realize that your trouble by now. Depending on how you act you can make this get better or worse for you."
The stallion laughed. He'd worked his way through the Association over the last 12 years and had been threatened by fellow associates, members of opposing Associations, representatives of local law enforcement, and various inhabitants of Manehattan. Besides he ran gambling establishment so he knew how to bluff.
"Girl, the only one who's in trouble is you! Look I'll give you credit for somehow getting me away from my bodyguards, but I can assure you that this will only go to go downhill for you from here on out. Tell you what! You let me go and maybe my Association won't kill your entire family along with you. Heck you're good looking I might even spare you if you play nice. If you know what I...."
A hoof suddenly grabbed his horn and yanked his head back, and he was distinctively aware of the sensation of cold steel against his throat. The pegasus mare's face filled his vision. She was grinning wickedly at him.
"I don't think your Association is going to be threatening me or anyone for awhile. Early this morning your House of Roses was raided along with a dozen or more other establishments run by your Association. I think they have bigger problems than looking for a misplaced lieutenant!"
Lucky Card kept his best poker face on. His house had been visited numerous time by the authorities and it also ended a the same way. A stern warning, some fines, and occasionally a few arrests which his Association smoothed over with City Hall in a few days. He laughed again.
"Going to have work on your threats sweetheart! We get visits all time from....."
"They found your card room under stockroom. They found that other room behind it. They found the ponies you kept trapped there. They found everything." Whispered the mare.
Suddenly Lucky's heart was racing. The mare continued speaking
"And no pony at City Hall is going to be coming to rescue your worthless hide! Along with the raids the mayor, the city exchequer, the head district attorney, the chief of police and a good portion of the Manehattan police force were taken into custody by forces under direct orders from Princess Celestia and Luna. You and your Association have fucked with the wrong ponies! You worthless piece of shit!"
Okay this was going downhill fast! Thought the stallion. "Hey look sweetheart I just managed the books and took care of the club. I didn't..."
The mare's eyes seemed to burst into flames. "My name isn't Sweetheart! It's Bloodfeather you sad excuse of a pony!"
Still pulling his horn back the Bloodfeather removed the hoof-blade from his throat. A couple of seconds a new object came into view it was a golden pendant with a scale engraved upon it. It was so close to his face that he had trouble focusing on it at first. However as he parsed its meaning a shiver ran through him.
Bloodfeather notice his change in attitude. "Good! You do recognize this and what it means!" She let go of his horn and once again started pacing around him. "I am a Scale Bearer! I am not somepony that a two-bit thugs like you can threaten! By Royal decree myself and the other members of my team have been bestowed the power to decide life and death!"
There was a groaning creak and suddenly the floor underneath Lucky Card swung away and bright light and a buffeting wind and a howling roar pounded his senses. Turning his head as far as he could all the stallion could see was clouds and the ocean far, far beneath him. In horror he now realized he wasn't in a factory, but the cargo hold of an airship several thousand feet up in the air out at sea!
Lucky Card felt a heavy weight crash down on his chest. Looking back up he found Bloodfeather now sitting astride his chest. Wings spread wide and her mane twisting in the wind and bloodlust in her eyes. She lowered her head and screamed at him."I know what it's like to be one of those ponies you trapped in that room! I know what kind of things your special customers did to them! I was 12 years old when ponies like you took me and put me in a room like that! For 2 years I was drugged, tortured, abused, raped, and humiliated for damn bits! I'd given up all hope when a raid like what happened this morning freed me from that never-ending nightmare! I was saved and Princess Celestia took me in and gave me back my dignity! Gave me back my self-worth, and gave me my purpose in life! To serve her and Equestria, and to hunt down monsters like you!"
Bloodfeather snapped open the hoof-blade on her right front hoof again.
"Now! Either you cooperate with us and the Crown, and tell us everything you know! Or I'm going to dump your damn guts into the ocean, and then I'll dump your lifeless body into it a couple minutes later! So Lucky Card do you feel lucky now!?"
To be continued.
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Spill your guts, figuratively. or.... try to learn apotheosis..
Hope he has some points in perception and wisdom.