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 Dammed Dogs

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PostSubject: Dammed Dogs   Wed Apr 11, 2012 1:41 am

The first time Southpaw met ponies, they tried to kill him.

It would have been reasonable if the conflict had been one of surprise, leading to chaos and confusion, but what actually happened had all the traits of an ambush. The horrible thing was it shouldn’t have succeeded. His pack had both heard and seen them coming, but how were they supposed to react to the promise of fresh meat after starving for ages? They had fire pumps, usually used for exploding pockets of gas from a distance, but were equally effective a cooking the next potential meal. A pity then, that giant mole rats weren’t armed with anything beside their teeth and claws. If they were, then perhaps they would have been more prepared for the inevitable onslaught.

He had been left to take care with the excavation, meaning of course that he would get the smallest share of the food. It also meant that he was the last one to be shot at. There was no question of fight or flight; he scrambled for his life when he saw the ungodly masked freaks. He cast aside his fire pump half way through the narrow passage he fled into, disabling it, but he kept his pick. A diamond dog and his pick were one. A stray bullet must have hit the oil reservoir, he supposed, because an explosion caved in the passage behind him, separating him from...them.


The second time he met a pony, they tried to save him.

Pack dead, water out, no food in sight. He was dying. He didn’t even have any gems, so he definitely had no excuse for it. He still had his pick though, so there was hope, he told himself, ignoring the laughter from the bowels of the earth itself, seeking to claim him.

Hope came in the form that was fearsome at first. The hard, steady knocks of a hoof against rock, the same sound he heard before the slaughter. There appeared to be only one now, but Southpaw was next to helpless, unable to lift even his pick. When it injected him with something, he thought that all that was left was the cold embrace of the earth. So when he found the strength to grip his pick, he was surprised. So was the pony, it seemed, as she was trying to steal it.

“Mine,” he growled through a dry throat. Some of his strength had returned, but he was still dreadfully hungry, thirsty and all round feeling bad. The pony nodded, and let go, dropping a water bottle.

Then going away. Southpaw stared at the pony, then at the bottle, wondering if it were some sort of trick. Figuring he was damned anyway, he drank. It wasn’t a trick.


The third time Southpaw met ponies, they tried to...
He was stronger now, but still alone. Well, he still had his pick. And the water bottle. He was nearer to the surface, he knew. The rock was different, and the air smelt...wrong. He rested his pick to the side and sighed. He probably wasn’t going to find any gems here, only trouble.

It just that...going down made him feel uneasy, though he knew it was the way home. It wasn’t something that could be explained by common sense, just a gut feeling. He shrugged and lifted his pick again, swinging it...

...and striking concrete.
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PostSubject: Re: Dammed Dogs   Wed Apr 11, 2012 3:33 am

Singing echoed off of the tunnel walls as Double Barrel, a dirty yellow unicorn, pulled his cart behind him on the rails. It was a jaunty tune and it kept his spirits up in the dark tunnels with only a lantern to show him the way forward. He was a trader of moderate wealth who made runs between the Horsna stations and a few select independents. He would often go to Polis as well, but he much preferred the dark tunnels over the intense brightness of Polis. He got scammed his first visit by a pony selling sunglasses. He had no choice but to buy to keep his eyes from frying. Going to Polis also meant he'd lose more money than he made. There was just so much to see and do there, it astounded him. So long as he kept to Horsna he would be fine... if there weren't any mutants on that particular day, or a bandit ambush. Not being the most perceptive of ponies, he couldn't hear the pick against the concrete or notice the cracks forming in the wall in front of himself.
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PostSubject: Re: Dammed Dogs   Wed Apr 11, 2012 10:51 pm

It was a fact mostly unknown to Ponykind that Diamond Dogs adored music. Understandable as Diamond Dogs did not widely advertise the fact. But it was true that if all you had in life was a pick and the hard rock in front of you, a tune made life worth living. There was a reason why it was called 'Rock and Roll'.

So Southpaw definitely did hear the singing, and he definitely knew it wasn't of Diamond origin. Too sickeningly sweet with no real meaning behind it. Tapping the rock, he tried to determine how thin the wall was between him and his new target. If he was lucky, he could knock the...

He listened again. Yes, there was only one set of footprints, and he was hauling a cart. Whatever it was, it could be stolen from, and it smelt like...fresh meat would be availiable. Good. The moles he had eaten so were sickly beasts, hardly enough for a meal.

With this renewed vigour, when the singing was at his loudest, Southpaw swung his pick to smash the wall preventing him from his prize.

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Spoiler:
 


If Paradise Blossom speaks in red, she is speaking Neighponese.

I do my best now and am preparing. Please wait warmly until it is finished.
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PostSubject: Re: Dammed Dogs   Wed Apr 11, 2012 11:07 pm

To say that the trading pony was scared when the wall suddenly collapsed in was an understatement. He'd heard no rumbling or anything. And this wasn't a tunnel that was under collapse advisory either. There was only one logical thing a pony could do in this situation. And that was 1), give a startled yell. 2), jump up into the air. And 3), run forward as fast as possible. The third option of course took him over the pile of rubble, which made his cart fall over sideways and himself with it, spilling the contents all over the railing.
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PostSubject: Re: Dammed Dogs   Wed Apr 11, 2012 11:22 pm

Southpaw scrambled over the spilled merchandise, searching for things to loot. Tossing away a toy 'twuck', examining a flask of water and choosing to keep it, tearing through clothes... He picked up a fearsome looking rifle, similiar to the ones that had fired at him. He walked over to the upturned pony, pointing the weapon at the unfortunate equine.

"Meat."

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The maiden, the mother, and the other one.

Spoiler:
 


If Paradise Blossom speaks in red, she is speaking Neighponese.

I do my best now and am preparing. Please wait warmly until it is finished.
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PostSubject: Re: Dammed Dogs   Wed Apr 11, 2012 11:29 pm

Double Barrel of course flipped over sideways with the cart, being fastened into it and all that. He flailed helplessly in the straps, fearfully pointing a hoof strapped shotgun at the monstrosity. "D-d-don't shoot! Stay back!"
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PostSubject: Re: Dammed Dogs   Wed Apr 11, 2012 11:42 pm

Southpaw's fear overrided his hunger so he drew back, trying desperately to figure out how to work the damn thing. The weapon was designed for hoof not paw. He cursed himself for not thinking about that particular flaw. As he retreated, he stumbled over a lamp. His eyes widened. Light. Light was the enemy. Light meant death. A lesson Southpaw knew only too well, seeing so many of his bretheren die in an explosion. Fire stole the very air itself, and fire pumps were the harbinger of many a murder.

With a roar, Southpaw smashed the hateful thing with the useless weapon, ruining both and casting the tunnel into darkness. Eyes were useless, and the ear and nose ruled.

_________________
The maiden, the mother, and the other one.

Spoiler:
 


If Paradise Blossom speaks in red, she is speaking Neighponese.

I do my best now and am preparing. Please wait warmly until it is finished.
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PostSubject: Re: Dammed Dogs   Wed Apr 11, 2012 11:48 pm

Double Barrel's fear intensified as the life giving light was extinguished by the beast. The first blast of his shotgun was aimed only in the mutant's general direction. The force of the blast spent him just a bit to the side, making his second life saving shot blast harmlessly into the wall.
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PostSubject: Re: Dammed Dogs   Wed Apr 11, 2012 11:55 pm

Southpaw screamed as the shot went off, which trailed into whimpering. He felt that one! He swore it grazed his ear. He flinched at the second shot discharged, and curled into a ball. Projectiles were not something they used, as the winding tunnels and chance of ricohet made them ineffectual. But in wide open caverns like this, they were something to be feared.

"Food," he growled into the darkness, picking up his pick and creeping towards the pony's scent, "Need food."

_________________
The maiden, the mother, and the other one.

Spoiler:
 


If Paradise Blossom speaks in red, she is speaking Neighponese.

I do my best now and am preparing. Please wait warmly until it is finished.
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PostSubject: Re: Dammed Dogs   Thu Apr 12, 2012 12:10 am

Squeaking could be heard by the canine's superb hearing, even over Double Barrel's begging for mercy. The distinct squeaking of mutated rats known as lurkers. The mole rat looking abominations would almost never attack groups of ponies, even in a swarm. But they would attack solitary ones. And these heard the distinct sound of... well a pony being a pony.
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PostSubject: Re: Dammed Dogs   Thu Apr 12, 2012 10:02 pm

Everything was wrong. The rock he felt was wrong. The air he smelt was wrong. And what he heard...sent shivers down his spine. They sounded very much like mole rats, but they were off, somehow.

"Shut up," he growled at the air. "ShutupshutupSHUTUP!"

He felt his way to the pony. It was an earsore. It needed to be quiet, now.

_________________
The maiden, the mother, and the other one.

Spoiler:
 


If Paradise Blossom speaks in red, she is speaking Neighponese.

I do my best now and am preparing. Please wait warmly until it is finished.
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PostSubject: Re: Dammed Dogs   Thu Apr 12, 2012 11:28 pm

This was Brown's second time out of the station. Much unlike his last one, he was terrified out of his mind. Not only were they in territory few ponies were known to use, but their purpose was to hide for their own sake.

His mother appeared to be hardly that bothered by all this though, despite the extreme circumstances in which they left the station. She knew that Brown was not at fault for any of this, but she had to get him to a safe place and find out just how far her enemies wanted to go. If her son was at risk, she couldn't let him return to his normal life on the station. She pushed aside such thoughts for now as they began to boil over into her other worries hidden behind her partially sober face.

"Brown. Your breathing like a rabbit in heat. You will wake the dead if you keep it up." She sighed, stopping to give her son a moment to collect himself. Brown was not having a good day. He stopped and stayed close to her, looking to the ground. Shala put a hoof to his shoulder, opening her mouth to comfort him with words.

But they never came. Her each twitched, and her eyes looked about alertly. Within a quick moment, Shala drew her AK from her back and held its butt stock to her cheek. The barrel flashing and cracking through the relative silence of the cave. The sound rebounced throughout the cave as lead spit out and through her target. One lurker was dead.

"Brown...Get your gun. We have to move."

"WHAT?!"

Shala winced at his loud response. She looked down and smirked in realization at her fault. "Oh, sorry. I shouldn't have put that so close to your head."

"HOSE HUBERT'S BED?"

Shala pulled his gun out with her aura and shoved it in front of him. "We move." She exaggerated her lip movements to him before pushing him to move down the tunnel at a swift pace.
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PostSubject: Re: Dammed Dogs   Fri Apr 13, 2012 2:34 am

Double Barrel fumbled for his knife to cut himself out of the tangled mess his harness had become. With one well executed cut he fell onto the ground and immediately scrambled forward. All involved parties could hear the pained squeaks of the lurkers as the frightened pony barreled through them, not stopping until he hit somepony else.
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PostSubject: Re: Dammed Dogs   Sun Apr 15, 2012 3:39 am

THWACK went his pick as Southpaw pinned a lurker to the ground. He didn't know what it was, but even in his hal starved state, it smelt repulsive. Of course, one did not make a swarm, so he had to do it again and again. As he smelled the pony fleeing, he knew that he should have simply just killed him outright before rummaging through his useless wares. Now he had to run, else he got fired upon by monsters.

He scrambled back towards whence he came.

_________________
The maiden, the mother, and the other one.

Spoiler:
 


If Paradise Blossom speaks in red, she is speaking Neighponese.

I do my best now and am preparing. Please wait warmly until it is finished.
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PostSubject: Re: Dammed Dogs   Sun Apr 15, 2012 4:57 am

Shala and Brown were making quick progress. They so far were able to stave off a few lurkers with Shala firing off shots at them. All the while they were on the move ahead to where they believed things would be better off.

Brown was the first to happen upon him. Almost literally. He saw an overturned cart and ran to it in a panic to get some cover. He was surprised when he collided with another pony.

Shala deviated slightly and was on the far side of the cart, solely focused on shooting lurks as they came.

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PostSubject: Re: Dammed Dogs   Sun Apr 22, 2012 4:06 am

The scared pony ran straight through the swarm of lurkers, through Shala's gunfire, screaming "MONST-!" but was cut off when he collided hard with Brown, sending them both flying topsy turvy over each other.
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PostSubject: Re: Dammed Dogs   Sun Apr 22, 2012 4:44 am

Southpaw was in his cave, around a corner where light couldn't reach him. He kept an ear out for trouble, anyway. However, as well as the sounds and smells from the concrete tunnel, he could sense something in the vibration of the rock that...okay, he couldn't actually sense through something like that, he was just a humble digger. But there was a creeping feeling of something is there behind me. Despite what some may say, being between a rock and a hard place is not desirable Diamond Dog-wise.

He whimpered.

_________________
The maiden, the mother, and the other one.

Spoiler:
 


If Paradise Blossom speaks in red, she is speaking Neighponese.

I do my best now and am preparing. Please wait warmly until it is finished.
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PostSubject: Re: Dammed Dogs   Sun Apr 22, 2012 6:00 am

Brown didn't even see it comming. There was almost a dust cloud as the two ponies collided with each other. There was a solid thunk as Brown's head hit, followed by the sight of a very dizzy eyed and loudly groaning pony on his rump.

Shala was firing away, her eyes sharp and popping off shots at anything she could get an eye on. Eventually things began to die down and her guns went silent. Looking around a bit longer, she spoke aloud to no one in particular with her gun ready.

"Every pony alright?"

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PostSubject: Re: Dammed Dogs   Tue Apr 24, 2012 3:21 am

The frightened pony made no mention of being all right as the collision had rendered him almost incapable. All of his current dedicated brainpower was dedicated toward groaning and twitching.
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PostSubject: Re: Dammed Dogs   Tue Apr 24, 2012 4:08 am

" 'ello, pup."

Those who were in charge of security and order were called 'The Duke's Dogs', or 'Reservoirs' after the everpresent tank of oil to fuel their fire pumps. Unlike other fire pumps, these weren't designed to explode pockets of gas, but for another purpose entirely.

One of them was pointed at Southpaw.

Like all the other Reservoirs, this one was fully clad in tough, fire proof, gear, with only a couple of holes for sensory purposes. "We found a whole group of our dead brothers, killed by projectiles," it growled, "Explain."

"M-monsters," Southpaw managed, pointing the way to the site of the ambush.

A pause. "Up," it ordered.

Southpaw complied, and was shoved into motion, holding his pick in the air with both hands in a sign of captivity. To his horror, he was marched not down to safety, but back to the 'wrong' tunnel where 'they' were. The Reservoir followed, keeping the pump pointed at Southpaw.

The stench hit him again as he entered the tunnel, and he heard a grunt behind him, the only emotion apart from anger he had ever experienced a Reservoir display. The novelty of the event was somewhat ruined by his impending doom, though.


_________________
The maiden, the mother, and the other one.

Spoiler:
 


If Paradise Blossom speaks in red, she is speaking Neighponese.

I do my best now and am preparing. Please wait warmly until it is finished.
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PostSubject: Re: Dammed Dogs   Tue Apr 24, 2012 5:32 am

Shala looked once more for anything else that may be a threat before reloading her gun. "I said is EVERYPONY ALRIGHT!" Shala shouted, now a bit worried. She moved over to where she saw Brown go and found two very dizzy groaning ponies sitting in place.

"Great. I find two ponies fresh off the merry go round. Get up and grab your gun. This place might not be safe yet."

She quickly turned to face the source of what sounded like steps coming from down a tunnel. Her rifle leveled at the entrance while she moved to hide behind the overturned cart.

Brown groaned and stumbled about, picking up his revolver and tossing it around in his stupor in ways that would make any pony uncomfortable. "WHAT?" He shouted, still deaf from earlier.

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PostSubject: Re: Dammed Dogs   Tue Apr 24, 2012 5:36 am

Double Barrel raised up, almost subconsciously reloading his hoof strapped shotgun with preloaded shells, he fell back onto his belly, scooting with his back legs toward the feminine voice. "I'm... I'm going to be fine... keep an eye on that hole in the wall..."
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PostSubject: Re: Dammed Dogs   Tue Apr 24, 2012 6:06 am

The Reservoir growled at the voices. "Keep in front of me, unless you want to roast," he ordered Southpaw. The digger gulped, keeping his hooves raised. He was going to die, he knew it, he was going to die. Every time he tried to slow his steps, a sharp shove from behind pushed him forward, to his fate. He was now just a distraction. A target. Bait. A pawn rready to be sacrificed for the good of the Duke.

_________________
The maiden, the mother, and the other one.

Spoiler:
 


If Paradise Blossom speaks in red, she is speaking Neighponese.

I do my best now and am preparing. Please wait warmly until it is finished.
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PostSubject: Re: Dammed Dogs   Tue Apr 24, 2012 6:18 am

"BOWL ON THE DOLL?" Brown said to the new pony. Shala quickly silenced him with a kick.

"Stop shouting! You're smart enough to know how pointless that is." She looked at the entrance, trying to pick out a figure in it. "Brown, do a light."

"WHOSE A KITE-"

Shala kicked him again. "LIGHT!"

Brown nodded and took a moment to concentrate, not being so good in his dizzy state. His horn lit up and he peered his head over the cart to aim it at the entrance.

Immediatly, Southpaw was lit up in sight, and they was barely a sight behind him of the one with. Shala aimed her gun steadily at them. "Hold it right there! We got guns and are not afraid to use them!"

"Paid to muse th-?" Brown started and was just as quickly swatted by his mother's tail.

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PostSubject: Re: Dammed Dogs   Wed Apr 25, 2012 3:51 am

Once he got to the safety of the cart he shakily raised up and pressed his back against his livelihood. "Best buck up, boy and get your gun on them!" He raised himself up on his back legs with his shotgun mounted foreleg mounted on the cart, trained at the creature coming toward them. A hoof mounted shotgun was small, not as large as an actual combat shotgun, best used against critters at very close range or the wide scatter would make the weapon useless. It's why he favored the weapon. He rarely needed to fight anything but a few mutants here or there in the relatively safe Horsna lines.
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