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Father of the Night 31: The Prodigal Son Returns.

Mandroid Sep 10th, 2013 156 Never
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  1. =Father of the night 31=
  2.  
  3. >You caught the first train out of Ponyville after the broadcast.
  4. >Miss Applejack wanted to come but dad more or less forbade it. You agreed with him, this was not the place for someone inexperienced.
  5. >This was...a whole new game of hoofball.
  6. >The benefits of money was a private train car, the benefits of being right after a national declaration of terrorism was that you now had more or less a private train. You and dad sit alone in the car.
  7. "...You didn't have to come."
  8. >"I wanted to."
  9. "What you said to Miss Applejack applies to you as well, this is not a place for the inexperienced."
  10. >"I can handle myself." he says, hefting a crowbar he had procured.
  11. >You're silent for a bit.
  12. "I...don't want you getting hurt, like Twilight was..."
  13. >You bristle a bit, just a bit and not as much as you did when you first moved in, when he reaches over and puts his hand on your shoulder.
  14. >"And I'd be a terrible dad if I let you go out on your own and get hurt."
  15. >You let yourself have that moment, leaning into his hand as he scratches your ears.
  16. "Right...well, Nightwing will be meeting us at Goatham, as will Shining Armor."
  17. >"Do we have any way to call for help if we need it?"
  18. >You dig into your belt and pull out some slips of paper and a box of matches.
  19. "Twilight gave me these, they're enchanted matches that replicate the dragonfire Spike uses to send letters to Princess Celestia. I can use them to send messages to Twilight."
  20. >Anonymous nods. "Good, let's not be caught with our pants down again."
  21. >The train rounds a hill and lets you see the high-rise buildings and black clouds above Goatham. Spotlights from below shine up and illuminate the clouds like miniature suns.
  22. >"Think we can do this, buddy?"
  23. "...We have to, sir."
  24. >Otherwise Goatham might not be there anymore.
  25.  
  26. >The train arrives at Goatham quickly and you and Anonymous run out of the station to the bridge.
  27. >Goatham was a city that was divided into two boroughs, there was the mainland old city and the new city that sat on an island in the bay. Many bridges connected the two halves of the city and that was where the guard had stationed themselves.
  28. >You immediately seek out the one who lead them.
  29. "Captain Armor."
  30. >He turns and looks down to you. "Batmane, I figured you'd show up here."
  31. "I go where I'm needed."
  32. >Not to mention this was more than a bit personal.
  33. >Shining Armor looks up at Anonymous. "Why's he here?"
  34. >"Are you going to turn down help right now?"
  35. >Shining Armor chews that over. "Fair point."
  36. "What's the situation?"
  37. >Armor grimaces and points a hoof high into the sky. "That cloud's all that's keeping the Parasprites that voice on the television spoke about from descending onto the city."
  38. >What!?
  39. "They're here already!?"
  40. >He shakes his head. "Two explosions went off before you got here, they were high-rise water towers that had sugar dumped into them, they flooded the areas of the city below them."
  41. >You stroke your chin.
  42. "And the sugar water called the Parasprites..."
  43. >"If two towers brought the numbers my pegusi have told me, a third will make that cloud matter as much as a piece of tissue paper."
  44. >He turns back to you. "We have to get ahead of this, Batmane."
  45. >"And that we shall, Captain." comes a voice.
  46.  
  47. >Descending from the late night sky comes a pony on blue wings in a black costume. Shining Armor and the rest of the assembled guard stare in slack jawed awe at the pony they knew they knew, but were smart enough not to mention by name right now.
  48. "Nightwing, I'm glad you could make it."
  49. >"We couldn't stay away after that broadcast, Batmane."
  50. >You nod and reach into your belt, pulling out a scrap of paper and writing the situation on it along with "Tactical advisement?". You strike a match and send the embers flying away and in a few minutes they recollect into a scroll.
  51. >You unfurl and read it.
  52. >"The city will be in panic, you need to funnel all the citizens off the island and to safety."
  53. >You nod your silent agreement to your unseen partner and stow your things.
  54. "Nightwing, the citizens will be rioting."
  55. >Indeed you could hear them from here.
  56. "I need you to funnel as many of them as you can out over the bridges to safety. Captain, can you handle them all?"
  57. >"We can damn sure try." he says.
  58. >Nightwing nods her agreement. "You may count on us."
  59. >Anonymous walks up next to you. "What do we do?"
  60. >You look over the city.
  61. "You and I must investigate and find ensure that no more bombs go off, let's go."
  62. >And with that you both wordlessly run into the city.
  63.  
  64. >You and Anonymous make your way into the city.
  65. >You pass the market streets and banks, the businesses and shops, even past the new Mane Enterprises building.
  66. >Along the way you encounter a few fleeing and panicking citizens, you steer them towards the bridges.
  67. >Soon you both enter into the older section of the new city, the parts build right after construction began.
  68. >The very familiar parts.
  69. >You both walk slowly through the deserted streets built in ages past during the cities golden age
  70. >To your right is...a movie theatre.
  71. >You hear Anonymous stop. "Is tha-"
  72. "Yes."
  73. >"...If you want to go another way."
  74. "This is the fastest way to the docks and they're the most likely target, it makes sense."
  75. >You can feel yourself slipping back into your old way of thinking. The cold and closed off mindset that you used to ensure you wouldn't get hurt.
  76. >Anonymous looks it over. "Looks abandoned..."
  77. "It was closed some years ago."
  78. >He turns around and looks down a familiar alley at the familiar bench sitting in it.
  79. >"Right down there..." he mutters.
  80. >You haven't moved. Anonymous looks down at you and frowns.
  81. >"Come on...let's keep going."
  82. "Yes, let's."
  83. >The two of you take a few steps when a loudspeaker  cues up.
  84. >"Hello? Hello!? Is this on?"
  85. >You know that voice. You and Anonymous wheel around to try and catch sight of the instantly recognizable voice from the television broadcast.
  86. "Show yourself!"
  87. >"No!"
  88. >You scrunch your face. You don't know why you thought that'd work.
  89. >"Are you watching us?" Anonymous says.
  90. >"Maybe." answers the voice.
  91. "Who are you!?"
  92. >"Yuk yuk yuk yuk yuk yuk." His throaty laughter echoes through the entire street. "Just a humble little home grown Goathamite jokester...But please-"
  93. >The doors to the old theatre slowly creak open.
  94. >"Don't let my word be all you go off of."
  95. >You and Anonymous both exchange a glance.
  96. >And then you start to walk towards the entrance.
  97.  
  98. -Music http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_5qygtIVFUI -
  99. >You and Anonymous head through the front door of the theatre.
  100. >The years had taken their toll on the building. The wallpaper was peeling and the ceiling had paint chips hanging like bats from it.
  101. >Dust coated every single surface from the front desk to the floors.
  102. >You couldn't blame someone for thinking this place dead and abandoned save for the active loudspeakers.
  103. >"Come one, come all, to the First Goatham Theatre! Tonight's showing; Goatham City's Last Night!" it says.
  104. >"This Jokester guy is starting to annoy me." Anonymous whispers.
  105. "Just power through...it's what I'm doing."
  106. >The two of you continue to creep through the hallway. "You know this is a trap, right?"
  107. "Obviously."
  108. >"What do you think it'll be?"
  109. >You ponder.
  110. "An ambush would be simple..."
  111. >You hear Anonymous stumble a bit and the slight "twing" of something taut releasing its pressure
  112. >"Oh shi-"
  113. >The sign above the ticket stand sparks and dethatches as gravity takes hold of it and it swings towards you both.
  114. "Down!"
  115. >Anonymous dives flat on the ground, you jump off to the side.
  116. >A bit too slowly, however. The corner of the sign catches you in the waist hard.
  117. "HLORF!"
  118. >"Br-Batmane!" Anonymous shouts.
  119. >You land in a heap and rub the impact spot.
  120. "I'm fine..."
  121. >You do, however, notice something off.
  122. >Your belt is missing.
  123. >As you look around and spot it, reaching a hoof to retrieve it, you hear another click.
  124. "Oh no..."
  125. >The ground beneath you shudders and shakes before it swings open and plunges you and Anonymous together into a pit.
  126. >You both land in a heap and pull yourselves up.
  127. >"Really guy? The old pitfall cliché?" Anonymous asks.
  128. >"Oh I haven't -started-." the Jokester says.
  129. >Another shuddering and the walls on either side of the pit begin to close in.
  130. >"Craaaaaap."
  131. >Dad needed to learn to keep his big mouth shut.
  132. "This wasn't an ambush..."
  133.  
  134. >"AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAAA! YOU "FELL" FOR IT!"
  135. >This wasn't god.
  136. >"Batmane, the walls!"
  137. "I see them."
  138. >The pit was a good ten feet deep, too high to leap out of for both of you.
  139. >Alright, you need a plan.
  140. >You reach into your belt fo-
  141. >Your belt is up above, along with your grapple.
  142. >...Crap.
  143. >"Batmane!?"
  144. "No grapple!"
  145. >"OH HOW WILL THEY GET OUT OF -THIS- ONE!?"
  146. >Anonymous' brow furrows. "I'll SHOW you, funnyman!"
  147. >He runs to the closing wall, crowbar in hand, and kicks off of it. He strains his arms far and with a resounding "CLANG!", gets the hook of the crowbar onto the lip of the floor above.
  148. >"Give me your hoof!"
  149. >You gallop up to him and leap into the air, your hoof locking into his hand.
  150. "Alright I ha-WHOA!"
  151.  
  152. >Anonymous swings his arm forward and releases you at the apex, sending you flying out of the hole and back into the lobby above.
  153. >As you run back, you hear the sound of sneakers hitting the concrete you were laying on.
  154. >You reach the hole and stick your hoof back in.
  155. "Alright, now you!"
  156. >"Go."
  157. >What?
  158. "...What?"
  159. >Anonymous looks up at you the same way he used to when he didn't want you going out. "You heard me, go. The entire city is at risk and all their lives mean more than just mine."
  160. >The walls continue to slowly close, there's not enough for two Anonymous' now.
  161. >He wants you to leave...
  162. >Leave and save the city, save all the people in it...
  163. >And leave him to...
  164. "No..."
  165. >"What?"
  166. >Anonymous is closing his eyes and turning sideways just to fit now.
  167. >You grit your teeth and grab the crowbar, raising it over your head .You also pray to Celestia this works.
  168. "NO!"
  169. >You jam the crowbar, straight end first, into the space behind the closing wall.
  170. >Sparks fly and the room is filled with the terrible noise of gears trying to eat something metal whole. But you hold it steady and jam it in deeper until the walls sputter, pause, and finally stop. Smoke bellowing from behind them.
  171. >You wipe your eyes and head back over to the hole where Anonymous is staring up at you in wide eyed shock.
  172. >You take advantage of him not saying anything.
  173. "Now give me your damn hand and get your flank up here!"
  174.  
  175. >After a few minutes, you haul Anonymous out of the hole and go pick up your belt.
  176. >Anonymous sits panting for a bit as you slide the belt on.
  177. >"...You should have left me."
  178. >That lights a fire in your stomach, one you have to pat down for fear of shouting.
  179. "No."
  180. >"I'm sorry?"
  181. >You trot over to him, staring right into his eyes as you do.
  182. "I said no. Never. I will never leave someone who needs my help, least of all you."
  183. >He sighs and looks away. "Batma-"
  184. "No."
  185. >You poke him in the chest with your hoof.
  186. "-You- never left -me-. Even when it was in everyone's best interest. You have been by my side helping me since day one, despite how hard I made it sometimes."
  187. >Swallow the nerves you'd felt tickling the back of your throat.
  188. "It was because of -you- that I stopped being so...angry at everything. You who forced me to be better than just what I was and let me find the path to doing so instead of just making me do it your way, I can't repay that with all the bits in the world."
  189. >He remains silent and looks into your eyes.
  190. "Thanks, dad."
  191. >The Jokester comes over the loudspeaker grumbling. "Ohh....that is so SWEET. Like a fairytale storybook..."
  192. >Doors at the end of the hall open into the viewing hall.
  193. >"Come in! Come in...we have so MUCH we can talk about..."
  194. >Anonymous looks at you and grabs a piece of lumber in lieu of his crowbar. "Are you ready?"
  195. >You nod.
  196. "I am. Let's finish this."
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