A Rush for Freedom. Chapter 1: Trixie Unchained

May 7th, 2017
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  1. >My name is Vasiliy, and I am an executive in a major Russian corporation.
  2. >I’m not at the top of the ladder, but I’m high enough for my age.
  3. >Some time ago, there was a series of explosions across Russia.
  4. >From the epicenter of each explosion came beings of an unknown race and species.
  5. >On the bright side, one explosion happened to be in center of Moscow.
  6. >A new right-wing party appeared and easily took control after the incompetence of the current leaders was made known.
  7. >They turned out to be too right-wing, radically changing our government overnight.
  8. >We finally negotiated a ceasefire with those creatures, but both sides had refused to give up their prisoners.
  9. >With the new party in place, there was no one left who cared about the fate of the prisoners which lead to some strange laws.
  10. >Last weekend, an old friend and I talked about these laws and we found some loopholes.
  11. >We came up with plan to profit from that, but first, we needed a pony.
  13. >Yet another potential customer stands before me.
  14. >Well, “customer” is one way to put it.
  15. >The euphemism helps to downplay the fact that I’m the only thing up for sale.
  16. >Judging from bits and pieces of his conversation with my auctioneer, it seems he put in an order for me a few days ago.
  17. >So, that’s why they haven't beat me for three days.
  18. >"Do you have a… private room? Where I can examine the goods?”
  19. >Oh fuck.
  20. >That is what he is buying me for.
  21. >The auctioneer knows it, too, judging by his reaction.
  22. >I’m led from my cage to a room with no windows.
  23. >The auctioneer shakes his head and closes the door, leaving us alone.
  24. >A quick glance at the “customer” does little to ease my fears.
  25. >His eyes glare down at me, as if lit by a perverse fire.
  26. >Slave or not, I will not accept this.
  27. >Pain I can live with, but not shame.
  29. >"Look, calm down. You don’t have to do anything, I’m going to buy you anyway."
  30. >Why is he whispering?
  31. >"Actually, the salesman owes me, so I get you for free, but that doesn’t really matter right now. Can you write?"
  32. >What kind of question is that? But finding no answer, he asks again.
  33. >"Can you write? People say you are at least half-sentient, like dolphins. But, heh, dolphins aren’t nearly smart enough to write anything."
  34. "Of course-"
  35. >He puts a hand to my mouth.
  36. >"Quiet down, you hear how quiet I am?" he whispers with a slight tone of urgency.
  37. >These aliens, who call themselves "humans", they really don't know anything about us? Even after war?
  38. "Of course I can write."
  39. >"Here, show me."
  40. >This paper and pen he placed before me are asking for a little "Fuck you".
  41. >He glances at the cuss and laughs nervously.
  42. >"Ha-ha, good enough. Now, can you act?"
  43. >That was unexpected. What exactly does he want?
  44. "Yeah, I kinda used to do it for a living."
  45. >"Perfect! If you aren’t lying to me, then I have a deal for you."
  46. >"I can re-sell you to some decent person, and you’d be put to work on household chores and treated alright."
  47. >"Or, you can help me with some… stuff. You would have to be hurt once, and only once. It might be risky, and if I fail, I don't know what’ll happen to you, but if I succeed, I'll give you money and freedom."
  48. >Is he a genie?
  49. >Is this real?
  50. >What kind of help does he need from me?
  51. >And why would he even bother asking, if he is going to legally own and control me?
  52. "I... I will be free?"
  53. >"If we’re lucky. On paper, I think you would own yourself, but for all intents and purposes you would be free."
  54. >This is not what you expected from a prospective owner.
  55. >He is probably fucking with me.
  56. >Actually, no, there is no way he’s not fucking with me.
  57. >Why would he offer freedom? He can just buy me and do whatever he wants.
  58. >It’s intriguing to say the least. And after all, I am the Great and Powerful Trixie, magician and daring adventurer.
  59. >At least I always pretended to be one.
  60. >But no matter how little of that was the truth, would I be the pony to pass up such an offer?
  61. "I choose freedom."
  62. >His look softens a bit.
  63. >"Good, we don’t have much time. When we come out, pretend I was a pervert."
  64. >Something tells me that story would be better than the truth.
  67. >God damn 16:00 traffic jams.
  68. >I just got a fucking pony.
  69. >What the hell am I doing with my life?
  70. >If I fuck up, I lose everything.
  71. >The boss gave me the go-ahead in the morning, but if I fuck up, the company won’t help for a minute.
  72. >I don't blame them, of course. I would never let my subordinates do something like this unless I wasn’t involved.
  73. >This is insane.
  74. >"So, why so quiet?"
  75. >Shit, the pony’s talking.
  76. >The pony with a horn.
  77. >Her aquamarine fur and light mane stand out against the warm brown interior of my car.
  78. >And that metal thing on her horn. They said not to touch it under any circumstances. What does it do? It can’t be natural.
  79. >This talking pony-unicorn is my slave.
  80. >I know the world has always been a bit fucked up, but has it always been this bad?
  81. >I need to calm down, she was bought for a specific reason. Maybe it’s time to start talking to her about that reason.
  82. "Well, what is your name?"
  83. >"I am Trixie. And what is yours?"
  84. >That is a ridiculous American name.
  85. >Almost as ridiculous as everything to come.
  86. "I'm Vasiliy. And I need your help."
  87. >"You already said that."
  88. "Right, right."
  89. >Where should I begin?
  90. "You see, long ago, there was an empire known as Rome..."
  91. >Probably not the best place to start. But now I might as well continue.
  93. "They had slavery, and they needed it, considering the technology they had."
  94. "They used it for labor, but some clever people in big cities used it for something different."
  95. >Now she looks worried. FUCK. Explain yourself.
  96. "Slaves there, like you ponies now, had right to own property and were freed from taxes."
  97. "Because of it, any deals that were made by slaves were not checked a lot since government had no interest in it."
  98. "And so, some people abused it."
  99. >She becomes less worried. Good.
  100. >"So that is what you need me for?"
  101. >Huh, we got a clever pony. Clever enough at least.
  102. "Yeah, something like that. But it is very tricky."
  103. "New laws were taken rash, and our law system obviously was not made with taking into account half-sentient beings."
  104. >"We are not half-sentient!"
  105. >At first you gonna prove it.
  106. "I don't care, but that how law makers see you."
  107. >"Your law makers are crazy!"
  108. >Welcome to Russia, my comrade.
  109. "No shit. Anyway, laws will be patched up, but there is time before it"
  110. "I pray it is just enough".
  111. >Now there is silence.
  112. >Long silence.
  113. >Finally, I have some time to calm down.
  114. >"What have you said about me getting hurt?"
  115. >Fuck that was sudden.
  116. >You need to calm down.
  117. >Calm. Fucking. Down.
  118. "Well, everything in time. But don't worry, I get you medical assistance as soon as possible after that."
  119. >Now she looks worried again. Now we are on the same ship.
  121. >I am starting to understand what is happening.
  122. >At least, there are reasons why my owner looks like neurotic.
  123. >Human's cities are huge. They are even bigger than Manehatten.
  124. >He travels with me in some bank, where he left me in this strange machine for a hour or so.
  125. >Then to some office, where he registers me somewhere.
  126. >Not just that, but also my signature.
  127. >By new laws I need his permission on every deal, but still it is I who make a deal.
  128. >At least he says so.
  129. >Now we went out of town, to "his friend".
  130. >He knocks, and "his friend" opens the door.
  132. >"Hello there."
  133. >Anon, can you have at least decency to be dressed up in a workday?
  134. >Yeah, you do most of the job by the phone, but is it so much trouble to have something more than a robe on yourself?
  135. "Hello, can we-"
  136. >"What do you have here, an alien pony?"
  137. "Yes, man, I thought we agreed on that."
  138. >"Agreed on wha- Oh. Man, I assumed we were just drunk rambling."
  139. "WHAT?"
  140. >Is he... is he serious?
  141. >You went through all the trouble, prepared for the risks, and now he is bitc-
  142. >"I'm joking. I just haven't thought you will start this fast."
  143. >Calm down. He always been like this.
  144. >This is his way of friendship. Always getting me on nerve, to reassure himself that we are still friends.
  145. >And he always knew when and where to hit for maximum damage.
  146. >Someday I will just beat the shit out of him.
  147. "So can we go in? Have you prepared documents?"
  148. >"Yes, but what about other stuff?"
  149. "That's why I came here. You are closer to a vet."
  150. >"Fuck. Ok, come in. I will go find stuff. Jesus, couldn't you gave me a call?"
  151. >I could, but I didn't.
  152. >Guess this is a way to refute his behavior.
  153. >Still, it was not appropriate, since it could mess a little timing.
  154. >Everything is fucking good.
  155. >I planned it through.
  156. >I have back-up options.
  157. >But not for this part.
  158. "Trixie, right?"
  159. >She looks confused and irritated. Am I really going to do this?
  160. "I am going to sell you to my friend we came to. On the paper of course. Then we will break contract after some time."
  161. "But my deals can be checked in any moment, so contract should be broken for believable reasons to not bring attention."
  162. "This reason will be unsaid defective conditions of the goods"
  164. >"So, I’m no pony physician. Especially no alien pony physician."
  165. >"Do you know what kind of damage can we do to your body, that will not be noticeable at first glance, but stay for more than a month?"
  166. >That is not kind of question I ever thought I would need to answer.
  167. >So that is what he meant.
  168. >Well, I agreed myself on such condition. At least he had decency to warn me.
  169. >And he looks like he doesn't want it to happen either.
  170. >Relax. This is nothing compared to the interrogations.
  171. "Sorry, but are there any other options?"
  172. >Have you said something wrong? Why he looks so angry?
  173. >"Of course there fucking are, but it is fail safe. It surely looks like something sensible on paper, and I don't fucking want to risk more than I already do!"
  175. >He is your owner, Trixie.
  176. >If he wants, he could do whatever she wants without consent.
  177. >He is on edge, and if he will not get an answer, he will probably just guess.
  178. >Not from cruelty, no. Just for safeness of the cause.
  179. >I knew types like that even in homeworld.
  180. >But what am I going to answer?
  181. "Maybe here, on the inner side of legs, nearby elbow?"
  182. >What was that noise?
  183. >And now owner of house showed up again.
  184. >"Okay, I found mat, knife, syringe and Novocain, is that enough?"
  185. >Now I really don't like this.
  187. >I'm Anon, formerly a lawyer.
  188. >And my story starts with a drugged pony, bleeding out in my living room.
  189. >Fuck.
  190. >Why we came up with that idea?
  191. >Of course, I want to come out clean with my money, but why we haven't thought out this part?
  192. >Well, it looked like the easiest part.
  193. >It actually is, but now there is pony bleeding out in my living room.
  194. >You, two idiots, of course, didn't take into account blood pressure.
  195. >Tourniquet was placed correctly, but still blood comes out a little bit.
  196. >My fucking carpets. Why I found such small mat.
  197. >Why we are doing it in my house in the first place?
  198. >If he gave me a call before, I would call my boys to drive the van to my house.
  199. >And, we could wait a little and I would do that right now.
  200. >But this fuck wouldn't even listen the proposition to wait for a fucking hour.
  201. >I know him.
  202. >Vasiliy always been like this.
  203. >Now he is covered in blood.
  204. >That what you get for being impatient.
  205. >"What are you waiting for? Grab the mat with me!"
  206. >This pony is heavy.
  207. >Not like other body which ruined my previous carpets, but still.
  208. >Good thing I’m living out of town, since neighbors don't see over the wall what kind of shit sometimes happen there.
  209. "Now your leather interior is going to be fucked up too."
  210. >"What? Of, damn."
  211. "Maybe you'll take my car instead?"
  212. >As he jumped into the driver's seat he stopped for a moment.
  213. >"No, don't worry. You stay here, and take out the documents."
  214. "I know, go already."
  215. >Now I need move the furniture to cover up bloodstains.
  217. >Need to check out how I look.
  218. >Damn, like Patrick Bateman, minus rain suit.
  219. >If cops stop me, it would be really awkward.
  220. >Good thing they never show up here.
  221. >Not that I would get in trouble, but it would take a time.
  222. >And probably bribe, this is Russia we are talking about.
  223. >There still is a taste of iron in mouth.
  224. "Trixie, are you ok?"
  225. >"Kinda not, I assume. Bleeding mostly stopped, but I don't feel my leg."
  226. >That is bad.
  227. "Is it because tourniquet, blood loss or painkillers?"
  228. >"How would I know? But it doesn't feel like I lost too much."
  229. >That is good.
  230. >Also, her voice sounds really high.
  231. >"These painkillers are really strong! They are worthy of The Great and Powerful Trixie!"
  232. "Ok, now shut up please."
  233. >For some reason, I can think clearly for once.
  234. >Everything just as planned after all. Mostly.
  235. >"When they said I'll become slave, I imagined something different."
  236. "Well, I don't know how to be a slaveholder either, so think of me and my friend as employers."
  237. >We are close. I hope Anon isn't an idiot, called a vet and warned them.
  238. >"You mean the one-"
  239. "Yes, his name is Anon. Most of the time you will spend with him."
  240. >"And what it is all about?"
  241. "Since you will need to partake in some deals, he will teach you what you need to know. He is- was a lawyer."
  242. >"I'm not sure I'll remember what you said."
  243. >Right, painkillers.
  244. >Finally, we are here.
  246. >It was 2 hours.
  247. >Just enough to think some stuff through.
  248. >I'm getting neurotic.
  249. >Well, it is hard not to be, when your career depends on actions of a pony.
  250. >How ridiculous does it sound.
  251. >Finally, pony is back. She is sleeping on a wheelbarrow.
  252. >Vet now is gonna name the price.
  253. >"Well, that was educational."
  254. "What do you mean by that, mister?.."
  255. >"Ivanovich. I used to work with the horses, but this is an alien one, right?"
  256. "Oh, right. I get it."
  257. >"So, everything is done, there was nothing serious, thanks to your quick reaction, but since she is alien one, and urgency of surgery, there would be additional payment."
  258. "Oh, ok, how much?"
  259. >"2000$, I assume. Also, injury was quite suspicious. How did she get it?"
  260. "It was an accident. And you want 2100$ specifically in dollars, right?"
  261. >"Yes. And I understood you, no questions."
  262. >Thanks, Russia, for the way you are.
  263. >There must be enough in wallet. Good thing I cashed it when I was in bank.
  264. "Back in the 90s, right?"
  265. >"You look too young to say things like that. But yeah, there is something of that."
  266. >"Now, lets go in my office, you will sign the check, and I’ll give you a list of needed food and medicine. Since she is alien one, some unpredicted stuff could happen, so call me when you need."
  267. >Now, let's grab this pony and proceed
  268. >Goddamn she is heavy. Is she gonna wake up soon?
  269. >That breath. And that warmth.
  270. >She sure is cute, isn't she?
  271. >With the mess that was happening in my head last two days, I haven't looked at her all that time as a living creature.
  272. >Just economic asset.
  273. >I have pet pony.
  274. >We have, with Anon.
  275. >At least, he is more stable person, and he will handle her properly.
  276. >Sleep, my pony. Big guys gonna handle this.
  277. >And then big guys gonna fix their lives with your help.
  279. >Now I shouldn't move my front left leg for at least three days.
  280. >And walk as little as I can for month, while artery is healing.
  281. >It was damaged not as much as it looked at first, and that quick fontaine sure scared the shit out of me.
  282. >Out of them too.
  283. >That day, these two humans bought a lot of "pony related stuff".
  284. >That was nice, but I bet the purpose of that was to "just have less troubles".
  285. >"So, these is stuff you should search in documents. If you find, give it to me or Vasya, whoever is with you."
  286. >Right. I need to pay attention.
  287. "Listen, Anon, I’m not trying to slack, but I still don't understand why you need me to know this if you could check documents yourself?"
  288. >He is gasping. Looks like he is tired of telling me all the stuff.
  289. >"Trixie, you are going to carry out deals, and to the clients we will be presented as a consultants. We need it for a psychological effect."
  290. "Psychological?"
  291. >"It was a year, but still people are not used to idea of talking ponies. What to say about having deals with them."
  292. >And I’m still not used to idea of owning the company.
  293. >"Vasya stages every deal. He contact potential clients, from the name of your company, and purpose a very sensible deal, in a very sensible way."
  294. >"Some of them will be done without your involvement completely, but sometimes a meeting needs to happen."
  295. >This still makes zero sense.
  296. >"You then, when you meet the clients, talk stuff same sensible way he wrote before to them."
  297. >"And since they are businessman firstly, it will not make them bitch out."
  298. >"But after they see you, they will stop looking for a scam here."
  299. "There is one?"
  300. >He laughs. There surely is.
  301. >"Let's just they, not in a client’s case."
  302. "Is what you are doing legal?"
  303. >"Yes, yes. The most legal. Using the law is legal, right?"
  304. "I don't know already."
  305. >Now he laughs maniacally. Sure, these two humans complement each other.
  306. >At least this one is not neurotic.
  307. >"Ok, I think that is all for today. Would you like a tea?"
  310. >All this time, he showed a lot of care.
  311. >Not too much, but he looks like a good person overall.
  312. >But he have some quirks.
  313. >He is not doing anything wrong, but he haven't even changed his mood when earlier he cleaned your privates after bathroom.
  314. >When called out on that, he laughed and answered "My sense of shame died in 19 years, and don't ask how."
  315. >He also said that "Good person doesn't need shame, sensibility is enough."
  316. >That sounds ok, but still worries me.
  317. >"Tea is ready, take your cup"
  318. >This house feels empty. Too empty.
  319. >Tea is hot, so it can wait.
  320. >"Can you tell me what is your world like?"
  321. >It is, what they call there, "humane" at least.
  322. "My world is- was nice. Before you showed up."
  323. >"Well, it is not us who exploded tons of civilians."
  324. >Oh, that's how they excuse themselves.
  325. "We haven't done it!"
  326. >"So it is just a coincidence that you started to show up out these portals, that just by coincidence appeared in the epicentres of explosions just by coincidence right after they happened?"
  327. >There was some pain in his voice.
  328. >"I understand, that you probably is just another soldier, and you have no connections with that, but we, humans, aren't idiots. So don't defend your government. We had every right to declare war."
  329. >But should you have used this right?
  330. >And is it true?
  331. "Portals for us were as much of surprise as for you."
  332. >He calmed down. Still, there is some pain in the air.
  333. >"So, there were explosions on your side too?"
  334. "No..."
  335. >He shaked his head.
  336. >"I'm calling that bullshit. But..."
  337. >He gasps. Clearly, it is personal to him.
  338. >"Look, I don't want to argue about something I have a very little knowledge."
  339. >"Why don't you tell me instead what your world was before all this happened?"
  341. >That's hard question.
  342. >Now probably there will be some pain in my voice.
  343. "It was a good place. Not the best, but good one. I personally had some troubles, but after 5 years I finally fixed my life."
  344. >And it is destroyed again.
  345. "I have one friend, she is a good mage. She helped me out a lot when I needed it. When she volunteered I was scared, but after some time I volunteered on the front too. Don't know what happened to her since I was captured."
  346. >"I can relate to that. *sip*And generally speaking?"
  347. "Generally? Huh, the princesses are mostly good, they really care about citizens, but the new one is a bitch. I know her personally, so I know what I am talking about. Good thing she actually doesn't even have a power even to change laws."
  348. "Our guard was joked about by everyone. Now, they showed themselves in action, and it is hard to joke about something like that."
  349. "Officials and nobles were giving some trouble, but most of the time they did good."
  350. "Oh, and trade was booming. You know, in short time we get so much new countries to trade. First, Crystal empire appeared, then griffons become less aggressive, Yakistan broke out of isolation, changelings stopped being... changelings, as a matter of fa-"
  351. >"What are names you used in last sentence? We were dealing with just one country, not the world, right?"
  352. "Well, yeah. You thought we are the only sentient species in our world?"
  353. >"What? There are more sentient species?"
  354. >So he really thought that.
  355. "Why there wouldn't?"
  356. >"I don't know, we, humans, are the only one on this planet."
  357. >So they judged other by themselves.
  358. >I don't blame you, it should have been hard for you, humans, to be sole child of your planet.
  359. >Now I’m going poetical, aren't I?
  360. "And what about you? What was your world before?"
  363. >He takes a very long sip.
  364. >Right, tea. it must be cooled already.
  365. >Actually, it has a strange taste. As... Bathhouse?
  366. >Really, how tea can have a taste of coal and smoke?
  367. >These fingers. I'm still not used to a look of it. Our anatomy is so different. How did he put a ring on one of them?
  368. >"That is hard question"
  369. >Well, i don't think it should be easy one.
  370. >"As they say, you cannot plan anything in Russia for more than a 5 years."
  371. >"As a system, our country exists only nearly 30 years, and it was constanlty changing a lot."
  372. >Well, we had a lot of changes too in last 5 years. Don't act like you are someone special.
  373. >"Right before the start, we had difficult diplomatic position, corrupted government that did some strange stuff, and a little bit of civil unrest, just unrest, nothing more."
  374. >Well, there is something about this tea. I don't know what, but there is.
  375. >"And now new government is not really corrupted, but somewhat psychopathic, we are on the verge of nuclear war, and commies on the rise. Kinda makes you miss old days."
  376. >I need to adopt to this world. It looks like they have a lot of terms that we don't have.
  377. "What is "Nuclear"? And "Cummi-"?"
  378. >"Commies. They want to have a regime of "peace and love"."
  379. >What is the catch here? Why i sense awful lot of irony in his voice?
  380. >"In that kind of regime, if you are really "lucky", you will get some active Georgian for ruler."
  381. >Now he is just amusing himself. Doesn't even try to explain.
  382. >"And about "nuclear". It is complicated, but what i meant is that our world can become unsurvivable."
  383. >Oh, so it is something like Tirex?
  384. "But you said "nuclear war"."
  385. >"Yes, our whole planet could go to shitter, through war."
  386. >They must have some really fearsome weapons if they can take out a planet with that.
  387. >I just hope it is not those "russians" who have them.
  388. >What he is saying sounds awful, but he doesn't look either upset or in pain.
  389. "Were there anything good?"
  390. >And now he does look.
  391. >"Well, i was a lawyer, and i had a nice life. You know, people always say how bad society works, how they have no possibilities, but there were always tons of possibilities, you just need to work hard for them."
  392. >"These people also liked idea of getting back in USSR, so sure they would talk something bunkers."
  393. >There sure are a lot of undergoings of everything he says.
  394. "Also, why you decided to enslave us?"
  395. >He gaspes. Clearly, it is something questionable for them too.
  396. >"A lot of reasons. And you are not slaves, you have awful lot of rights for them. It is illegal to harm you for fun, sexually assault you, you also have a rights to own property, companies and some other rights."
  397. >"The trick is, only one who could defend your rights are your owners."
  398. >Isn't exactly what "slavery" means? Persons being owned, and depend on everything on will of owner?
  399. >"If there will be more than enough evidence, police will take an action, but until that they wouldn't even care enough to form a protocol. Also, if you do something illegal, it would be your owner who would be prisoned."
  401. >Now i can at least move my leg.
  402. >Anon said "Unfortunatly, i am too busy to explain everithing, so i'll teach you only important stuff. If you are curious about something, i'll give you some books."
  403. >Maybe, Twilight became such a nerd because her parents were like this.
  404. >They are so obssesed with technology.
  405. >We to appreciete them, but not on this scale.
  406. >Literally every aspect of their life is dependent on them.
  407. >He showed me some machine, called "computer", started explaining me how to use it before he understood that buttons are too small for my hooves.
  408. >And now he is talking into something like radio, but it has no wires attached to anything and it is smaller than my hoove.
  409. >That is so alienating.
  410. >Now, thinking about it, is it how earthponies and pegasus see us?
  411. >We too operate daily with levitation and other easy spells, something they couldn't partake in.
  412. >I never thought about it.
  413. >"Yes, i need you to take care of it by yourself. I warned you that i'll be too busy to surpervise every deal for now."
  414. >"Yes. Yes. Take care. Fuck, another one. Yes, Boris?.."
  415. >All this time, i haven't checked his sleeping room.
  416. >Not that he forbid it, but all this time my movement was restricted by leg.
  417. >He carried me all around the house, but this room.
  418. >Maybe he has his secrets here?
  419. >Or maybe, Trixie, he just didn't need it.
  420. >Shut up, Trixie. I'm curious anyway.
  421. >Maybe this is a bad idea?
  422. >I said, shut up.
  423. >Okey, what is behind th-
  424. >WHAT IS THIS?
  425. >What in the name of Celestia? Is it-
  426. >"Trixie, where are you?"
  427. >What is wrong with him.
  428. >"Oh, here you are."
  429. >I thought that soldier was joking, but they really do this.
  430. >"What are you look- Oh. I guess you didn't expect that."
  431. "W-w-were you fighting the war with deers?"
  432. >"What? It is just a hunting trophy."
  433. >Hunting trophy.
  434. >That were his words too.
  435. "Why are you so cruel?"
  436. >"What is cruel? He didn't suffer a lot, i'm good shot after all."
  437. >Is that how they think?
  438. >"Sheesh, i guess i'm not helping."
  439. "Would you be happy if it was done to you?"
  440. >He stumbled a little. A little.
  441. >"I guess if it was done to me i would not feel anything already."
  442. >Is that how they think?
  444. >How could i relax her?
  445. >I don't think he will learn stuff is she stays in shock.
  446. >Very humane, Anon. She just saw a separeted head of kinda simular species, and all you care is her progress.
  447. >Well, fuck. I don't think head of a gorilla would scare me.
  448. >Also, how simular deers are to ponies?
  449. >And do they have there deers too? Are they sentient?
  450. >Maybe she had a deer friend...
  451. >Way to put it, monster.
  452. "Are deers in your world... Like you?"
  453. >"What?"
  454. >She is still shaking. But doesn't ablige warm milk i gave, so we are on a good track.
  455. "Do they... talk?"
  456. >"What? No."
  457. >She sips. You need to make her talk, Anon. As she talk, she lose the track of thought, so she will slip som-
  458. >She will relax. She is not on testimony, Anon.
  459. "It is just... Why would you do it? To boast?"
  460. >"I don't know, i just got a discount on stuffing, and result looked nice, so i placed it..."
  461. "How can corpse look nice?"
  462. >Actually, that is a good question.
  463. >I don't even know what the point.
  464. "Why corpse would automatically become not nice? Deers are beautiful."
  465. >"So you kill them for that?"
  466. "No. It is just..."
  467. >Hunt gave me thrills before I got involved in "business".
  468. >It was like... ultimate proof that you are still alive?
  469. >I don't know. Now i have enough of that anyway.
  470. >And is that answer she would take?
  471. "Listen, you wanted to look in my room, right?"
  472. >Private space, have you heard about that?
  473. >Well, she is practically a slave, so it would be just salt in a wound.
  474. >"Yes."
  475. >Curiosity killed the cat.
  476. "Trixie, let's do this way: I'll put it down and hide somewhere, and after that i'll show you interesting stuff here, ok?"
  478. >Room actually looks nice. It is a bit messy, not consistent with style but has good interior.
  479. >Well, I couldn’t notice it first time for obvious reasons.
  480. >Large bed out of red wood, futuristic closet, and old desk with.
  481. >”Do you have these in Equestria?”
  482. >Also, a piano and gramophone. He clearly haven’t planned interior of this room.
  483. “What do you mean?”
  484. >”I mean this. It is called a piano. It is-”
  485. “Yes, of course! Do you think we are tribals or what?”
  486. >”Well, no, just… I thought you are different species from another world.”
  487. ”So me talking the same way didn’t concern you?”
  488. >”Actually… Well, you have undisguisable accent, so I thought you just learned it.”
  489. “I have. But your language sounds very Yakistanish for my ear.”
  490. >”I’ll pretend I understood what you are talking about.”
  491. >Maybe he thinks that I was afraid of that thing on the wall.
  492. >But who am I to judge? I killed too. After all, I was a war prisoner.
  493. >And now slave of quirky upper-class colt.
  494. >Man. By Celestia, it is hard too correct yourself sometimes.
  495. “Do you play it?”
  496. >”Huh? The piano?”
  497. “No, the feelings of mares.”
  498. >”Hah, good one. Well, I used to, haven’t practiced for long time.”
  499. >As he sits before piano, he tries out different passages
  500. >”Well, could be worse. It was a year, I believe. Primarily because I changed line of work.”
  501. >”Piano helped me. I had a habit of playing it.”
  502. >”You know, sometimes when I had no idea what to look for in case, the officials don’t cooperate, and your client isn’t making it easier, one composition helped me to concentrate. Now, let’s say…”
  503. >He started playing, something a lot like a waltz.
  504. >”I guess it was hardwired in me then.”
  505. >As he smirked, he continued, with much more passion. Mistakes happened then and there, judging by his reactions, but for me, it still sounds pretty.
  506. >And pretty strange. I’m no musician, but I don’t remember any waltz sounding so… ironical?
  507. >There must be a better way to put it.
  508. >Grand chords taken place of humble melodies, and then they shift around again.
  509. >As composition progressed, his face showed more anger. Chords sounded more compulsed, emotional.
  510. >He ended it with two loud chords.
  511. >”Well, better than expected.”
  513. “What was it?”
  514. >”It was Shostackovich’s. At least shadow of it. I’ll better show you sometime how it really should sound.”
  515. >Shosta… Ah, I will not remember that anyway.
  516. >”And what your line of work nowadays?”
  517. >His face shows more than wonder. As he looks around the room, he stops his glance on gramophone.
  518. >”Of course! Now about what I brought you here for.”
  519. >He quickly jumped to a lower part of desk, from which of he got out some vinyl’s.
  520. >”You know, this shit is hard to get. Half of that I got from my father, and half of that I bought in student years, from some drunkards on Arbat or some other places. ‘Cause another way it would cost fortune.”
  521. >He looks like he will not return to my question.
  522. >”There is different stuff. Soviet pop groups, some Soviet rock. Heh, “Civil defense”. Some foreign stuff. Oh, Pink Floyd, father’s one. Uh, sneaky bastard, you still hadn’t told me how you got- Khem-khem, sorry. What kind of music do you listen?”
  523. >He surely likes his collection.
  524. “Whatever I choose for my show usually.”
  525. >”You were showman? Eh, show woma- Hm, how to-”
  526. ”Yes, I am showmare. I used to be illusionist.”
  527. >”Huh, really. But don’t you have magic in your world?”
  528. >That is… kind of out of place.
  529. “Yeah, we do. How it is related?”
  530. >”Isn’t the whole point of illusionism is to fake magic?”
  531. >Oh, you better not mean it.
  532. >”And what the point of illusionism in the world where magic exist?”
  533. >You better not mean it.
  534. “Eh, you know… Yes, there is some “fake magic”, you know, but the real one used too.”
  535. >“Then what is the point?”
  537. ”What do you mean?”
  538. >”I mean, why would people be attracted to “fake magic” if there is real one and it is normal?”
  539. >Relax, Trixie. Relax. He doesn’t know what he is talking about.
  540. >He is wondering, not stating. He is not that bitch.
  541. “Well, it is still spectacular, you see. After all, it is not “magic” ponies are searching for, but show.”
  542. >”Huh. So, it is like circus tricks basically, right?”
  543. >I can kinda understand his logic, but it is still a little insulting.
  544. “Sort of. It is… illusionism, you know.”
  545. >”Right. Right.”
  546. >That awkward silence.
  547. >”So, what about human music? Wanna hear it?”
  548. >”Yes, wouldn’t mind. What about… this one?”
  549. >At first he wonders, but then he grins.
  550. >”Are you sure?”
  551. ”Well, do you mind?”
  552. >”Oh, no, “Civil defense” is one of my favorites, it is just very specific, you see.”
  553. >Now we will see.
  554. >He puts vinyl in gramophone and starts the machine.
  555. >some strange noises come out of the speaker.
  556. >What is with a quality of record?
  557. >And now some drunkie starts to “sing”.
  558. --Peace or war? Peace or war? Peace or war? Peace or war? WAR!--
  559. >That is some good start.
  560. >Now I wonder if Anon really have any taste in first place.
  561. --God or death? God or death? God or death? God or death? DEATH!--
  562. >He looks like he really enjoys it.
  563. >What is wrong with humans?
  564. --Love or fear? Love or fear? Love or fear? Love or fear? FEAR!--
  565. “What about-“
  566. >”Understood, not your type of music. Lets find something else.”
  568. --Freedom or whip? Fre-
  569. >Now, needle off the vinyl. She clearly was not prepared for some deep russian stuff.
  570. “So, what about some old pop music?”
  571. >Before Trixie could answer, my phone started to ring.
  572. >God damn it, what do they need me for so early?
  573. “Sorry, Trixie, wait a minute.”
  574. >It is Roller.
  575. “Yes, I’m listening.”
  576. >It better be important, you fuck.
  577. >“Stitcher, I need some consulting.”
  578. >I understand that position of my right hand was sudden for you, but can you at least try to act on your own?
  579. “Everyone needs it once in a while. What is your question?”
  580. >“Lets discuss it personally; I’m already near your house.”
  581. >That is some quality work, Roller. Not warning your boss and fall on him like snow on the head.
  582. >I’m really proud of you.
  583. “Okay, wait, I’ll open the gates.”
  584. >Why I chose him?
  585. >Well, it is not like I had options. Since I became a little busy with that pony, I needed someone to take charge of the deals.
  586. >And all I need when I don’t have any other concerns is “treasury” and “discipline department”.
  587. >Both represented by one group.
  588. >So, as I went outdoors, my remote for some reason worked only after third try.
  589. >Maybe it is time to change the batteries.
  590. >Roller drove up in his Lexus and stepped out of the car with worried expression on his face.
  591. “Greetings. Be my guest. Would you like a tea?”
  592. >”I’m not for long, we just have problem with one deal.”
  593. “Still come in. It only April, and I’m in only the robe.”
  594. >He sure fucked up.
  595. >Jesus fucking Christ, why they can do no shit without me?
  596. >Well, if they could, they wouldn’t be your subordinate, after all.
  597. >Oh, that is fucking great. He doesn’t even take off the shoes as he goes in.
  598. “Do you all have something against my carpets?”
  600. >”Sorry, boss. Anyway, it will be fast, so…”
  601. >Start talking, dumbass.
  602. >”The deal is today, but shipment cannot be driven out of Moscow because of BOLO.”
  603. >Why would he concern with something so easy?
  604. ”Is techie is missing?”
  605. >”What? No.”
  606. “Then have you changed license plates?”
  607. >”Yes, of course.”
  608. “Then hide the shipment and wait for end of police operations, what the problem?”
  609. >”Shipment must be done today, Stitcher.”
  610. “So, you cannot warn client that shipment will be late for some days?”
  611. >”No, cause they need it today.”
  612. >Good Lord. If he made a deal with “vory”, I’ll kill him right-
  613. >”Do you have problem?”
  614. >Oh, Trixie came to the living room and probably heard all that.
  615. “Oh, don’t worry, Trixie, nothing serious.”
  616. >”Oh, you have a pony, Sticher? She looks nice.”
  617. “Don’t change the subject, Roller. Why you made so suspicious deal?”
  618. >”Well, client was checked, and deal sounded nice…”
  619. “Roller, we don’t trade paper clips. We trade arms. You understand that all precautionary measures I make for at least some reason?”
  620. >”I haven’t made a mistake! Police is out of my control.”
  621. “And that is why you made a deal without back up variant?”
  622. >”That was a back up variant, Sticher!”
  623. “Are you ins-”
  624. >”You trade arms, Anon?”
  625. >Oh. Of course, she didn’t know.
  626. “Ehm, yes, Trixie. And I want you to not tell anyone that.”
  627. >For some reason, her face didn’t change.
  628. >A hour ago she screamed when she saw my room, but now she doesn’t even react.
  629. >What is up with that pony?
  630. “I guess I need to go myself. Trixie, sorry, but can you spend another day without me?”
  631. >”Maybe I can help?”
  632. >Why would she ask this?
  633. “Unless you can make whole truck of guns and ammunition invisible, hardly.”
  634. >She smirked and laughed a little. I didn’t even joke.
  635. >”Then you are lucky, since I’m The Great and Powerful Trixie. This is minor feat for someone like me.”
  636. >Is she serious?
  637. ”Trixie, I appreciate the joke-”
  638. >”No, really, I can do it. The only thing that I need that thing out of my horn.”
  639. >Okey, unicorns can do magic, I heard about that. But something like this?
  640. >No, seriously, what the fuck?
  641. >”Sticher, I see you have some good tricks up your sleeve.”
  642. >This certainly will not end well.
  644. “So, I heard from Balm some minor details…”
  645. >We are already in Moscow.
  646. >I hope Techie is not drunk and is still at the place.
  647. “What else worrying is there about deal you made?”
  648. >”Fuck you, Sticher. Everything okay.”
  649. “Yeah, except the pigs are now looking for our truffles, and we need to transport it today somehow.”
  650. >”Relax, your pony got it covered.”
  651. “Why do you think so?”
  652. >”Khem-khem.”
  653. >Oh, maybe it was rude to talk about her when she is on back seat.
  654. >”Sticher!”
  655. >It is good that she understand better not to use my name, but there is so much salt in way she spoke it.
  656. >”Why does this man trust me more than you?”
  657. “Because it is his only option he is not gonna get some additional stuffing.”
  658. >Now Roller looks at me wondering.
  659. “What? Or do you think that I gonna let my subordinates fuck up everything?”
  660. >”What always gets me is your honesty. Any other boss would just stab me when I don’t expect it.”
  661. ”Roller, I respect my staff. That’s the only way you fuckers gonna do your job properly, or redeem yourself when you fucked up.”
  662. >Okey, we got to the address.
  663. “Now pray to gods Techie is on place”.
  664. >This is one of my many “protectorates”.
  665. >Car repair service that agreed to serve as a safehouse in exchange for protection.
  666. >Plus some services with huge discount.
  667. >After all, we are multi-goal business.
  668. >4th type of criminal transnational organizations.
  669. >Systematical committing of traditional property crime, crime against person, its life, health or integrity on professional level.
  670. >God damn, I’m still thinking that way.
  671. >At least it distances me from what we are actually doing.
  672. >Maybe that is why I had decided to learn the law.
  673. >We are not so big, but in two years, I expanded what I got in first place, and now we trade mostly with Benelux, while keeping trade with Caucasus and Harkov in Ukraine.
  674. >And that is only arms trade. So much more stuff my boys are doing nowadays.
  675. >And with that “attitude”, I wanted to raise my daughter.
  676. >You are fucking nuts, Anon.
  677. >At least I stay away from drugs.
  678. >”Ok, I’ll call Techie.”
  679. >As Roller said it, he turned the keys and quickly jumped out the car.
  680. >I went out myself, the usual scent of dust and smoke filled my nostrils. Service should really run this place like proper business and clean place once in awhile.
  681. >Anyway, now is not time for mysteries.
  682. “Okay, Trixie, a little bit to me. There.”
  683. >Even though she can walk, she needs some help with different heights. And she is still a little heavy.
  684. >”What is this place, Anon?”
  685. ”Well, it is one of my safehouses. More proper name would be base, but it is not big enough to call it that yet.”
  686. >”So, you're really going to take that thing off my horn?”
  687. >”Maybe. I need to hear what Techie will say. Oh, here he is.”
  688. >This old man served me well. Does his job, cares nothing but money. No wonder Somov hired him in first place.
  689. >”Okay, youngsters, what is your problem today?”
  690. >”We need to take that thing off horn of that pony.”
  691. >After Roller’s words, Techie stumbled a little, scratched his head and rushed his hand in back pocket.
  692. >”Go into garage, I’ll figure something out after a quick smoke.”
  694. >His face is too close.
  695. >His smokey breath is hitting my nose.
  696. >”Alright, pony, what do we have here?”
  697. >Those two just leaned and looked at all this without blinking.
  698. >This “Techie”’s veiny hands ran down my horn.
  699. >”Just as I thought.”
  700. >After this words, this old man stood up and started to search for something in some pile of…
  701. >Is it spare parts or rubbish?
  702. >”So, is it possible?”
  703. >Anon’ voice were shaking a little, while his hand waving was somewhat punctuated.
  704. >”Dick knows, youngsters. I’ll do my best, but be prepared to drove off this truck, ‘cause it can send signal to the police.”
  705. >Now Roller grabbed his head and started moving around.
  706. >”Please tell me you are joking.”
  707. >”I’m not, Roller. Oh, here they are.”
  708. >Techie took out 5 big latticed panels and rushed towards some corner.
  709. >”Pony, come here and stand there.”
  710. >What are they for?
  711. >And in this corner, there is such panel already in floor.
  712. >Teche handed panels to Anon, who stood nearby, grabbed some instruments from his desk, and placed himself on floor panel next to me.
  713. >”Roller, you know what to do. Help me out with Sticher.”
  714. >This “youngster” took one of the panels and placed it on side of one on the floor.
  715. >Anon followed the example.
  716. “Will you make a box with them?”
  717. >”Yeah, but it is only one point four and some shit meters wide, so don’t push me too much, pony.”
  718. “My name is Trixie.”
  719. >”Whatever, pony.”
  720. >After side panels were placed, last one was placed on the top.
  721. >Techie sat down and grumbled.
  722. >”Make sure they fit perfectly.”
  723. >After final check-ups on cage, he moved closer to my face.
  724. >He pulled and twisted device on my horn a little, with no result.
  725. >“Strange. How it is fixated then?”
  726. >In the meantime, those two started arguing again.
  727. >Techie started doing something with his instruments and pulled ag-
  729. >”Wow, pony, are you crazy?”
  730. “It… electrocuted me.”
  731. >He frowned, and turned to those both outside.
  732. >”Stop scratching with your tongues, better hold the cage.”
  733. >As they basically laid down the cage from opposite sides, Techie turned to me.
  734. >”Now it will be painful, try to hold yourself. It will be quick.”
  735. >You promised it will be only once, guys.
  736. > I nod my head to signa-
  738. >”Here, done. And now lets hope it is broadcasting in usual frequency.”
  739. >Shit, where are his manners?
  740. >”Why me, Trixie? Why not Roller?”
  741. >Anon’s voice was a little higher than usual.
  742. “What are you talking about?”
  743. >”You swunged your horn… just in right place.”
  744. >Oh shit. I hope it was side of horn, not its point if that is the case.
  745. >In meantime, Techie rotated some tumbler on one of his devices. When he stopped, some strange noise came out of this.
  746. >”We are good. Now, how to stop it.”
  747. >After some rotating and looking he stumbled a little and then bursted with laughter.
  748. “What is so funny?”
  749. >”It’s just… It is just... Wait a little.”
  750. >After like 2 minutes of him laughing his ass off, Techie closed device from my horn.
  751. >”It is done, you can dismantle the cage.”
  752. >With a strange look, anon and roller pull off the panels, Techie and me are not in cage anymore.
  753. >”Heh, they really haven’t worked on these for long. I expected it to take for two or three hours, got all the instruments, but government really wanted just to get rid of you, so they made them as cheap as possible.”
  754. >”Are you sure, Techie? ‘Cause it is my pony, and if something happens, I’ll be responsible.”
  755. >”Don’t worry, Sticher. Can I play with that thing for few days?”
  756. >”Sure, but don’t mess it up.”
  757. >”Who the hell do you think I am, youngster?”
  758. >Roller breathed out and started with slow voice.
  759. >”Now, Trixie, get in the back of truck.”
  761. "So, as soon as doors open, you start the performance. Are you sure you can cover all of this?"
  762. >"Don't worry, "Stich". I've done things much more spectacular."
  763. "You need to perform opposite of spectacular, Trixie."
  764. >"I know, I know. I got it covered. Trust me."
  765. >Why would I? There was no sensible reason for you to agree on this in first place.
  766. >Maybe all she wants is her horn being freed?
  767. >Who knows. At least I got back up plan.
  768. >Roller closed the doors, and walked to the driver's seat.
  769. "I'm going with you."
  770. >"What for? You want to be caught if it fails?"
  771. "This pony is my property, which means i'm resposible for her."
  772. >Am I wrong, or I heard a little "Ahh" with Trixie's voice?
  773. "Her actions percieved as mine, so I'll be locked up anyway if it fails."
  774. >Now it was a little "Pfff".
  775. >"Fair enough, Sticher. Your manners also will be a help if pigs stop us."
  776. "That what i'm saying. Just let me grab my piece from your car."
  778. >It is mud under my hooves, on something that was meant to be the road.
  779. >Some wooden barrel plug between my teeth pulls on cheeks because of something behind.
  780. >Leather and metal chafe fur to ribs and spine from friction.
  781. >I run to nothingness, with some weight pulling me back.
  782. >As I turn my head back, I see cart attached to me.
  783. >On front seat, Vasiliy кeigns, trying to simultaneously hold rein and big file.
  784. >He is failing last one, so some papers slide out of it and fly off behind the cart.
  785. >His glance is pointed strictly straight, disregarding everything around him.
  786. >And behind Vasiliy, Anon is sitting.
  787. >He gives an aura of royalty, sitting backwards and posing for something on the right.
  788. >He raises his right hand with phone in it, holding it with two fingers from the back.
  789. >From Anon’s arms fall down broken chains.
  790. >And around us are crowds of humans and their depressing, monoblock buildings.
  791. >Some of these people are praising us, but most of them frown and shout out curse words.
  792. >Anon’s and Vasiliy’s laughter is echoing in my head, as everything shakes.
  793. >As I turn my head on the front, I see more shouting heads and depressing buildings.
  794. >And glimpse of Canterlot somewhere far away.
  795. >No matter how hard I run, it doesn’t get closer.
  796. >And in a moment, everything disappears.
  797. >It was no mistake who was standing before me.
  798. >”Now, you are first unicorn who I found in this realm of humans.”
  799. >Her dark blue fur, ephemeral mane, big silhouette, wings and horn were standing out in never ending whiteness.
  800. “Oh, my princess!”
  801. >As I bowed down to her, something in me turned upside down.
  802. >In last days, I haven’t seen anyone from Equestria even in dreams.
  803. >Even though I saw her only on podiums, at least fifty meters away from me, meeting her still is so intimate.
  804. >”No need for formalities, Trixie. We are in your dream after all.”
  805. >In dream? So that is why everything so… surreal.
  806. >”But it is real me. And your appearance in this realm was a surprise.”
  807. ”What? But I have dreams all the time!”
  808. >”Yet there were no dream realm in this world, so I’m working on establishing it there.”
  809. >Of course. Humans had no magic, after all.
  810. >Again, everything shook.
  811. >Wait, if it is true…
  812. “I’m sorry, princess, but I must get up. I shouldn't have fallen asleep in first place.”
  813. >”Trixie, I’m your princess.”
  814. >So, she will order me something?
  815. >”I don’t know your situation, but you should contact other ponies. I can contact earthponies and pegases, so I’ll give my orders through them. For now, find whoever you can and organize.”
  816. “Sure, my princess. Crowns will be untouched.”
  817. >”Equestria will stand, soldier.”
  818. >And so, everything turned black.
  819. >Is it still a dream?
  820. >Ouch.
  821. >So, front right leg is in pain, so I guess it is reality.
  822. >Couldn’t they left at least some openings in walls? I can’t see shit.
  823. >Was it all a dream, or it was really Her Majesty?
  824. >Why I would be first unicorn in dream realm of this world?
  825. >It is not like I have something spe-
  826. >Oh, that makes some sense.
  827. >Still, there is no way to tell if it was really Her Majesty.
  828. >But even if all of that was a dream, it makes sense to follow these orders.
  830. “Yokoroniy babay, we are on high way already, why do you want me to slow down?”
  831. >”I don’t want additional attention from pigs to our truck.”
  832. “You understand, that driving carefully is what actually brings attention?”
  833. >”Anyway, what is your back up plan?”
  834. “What?”
  835. >”You said you got it covered. If your pony will not succeed, what will you do?”
  836. “The usual. Speeding out while you shoot the pursuit with my piece.”
  837. >”And you blame me for not thinking through?”
  838. “Hey, shut up. I’m your motherfucking boss, Roller.”
  839. >Some green coat appeared out of nowhere, two hundred metres away, hailing us over with his striped stick.
  840. “Speak of the devil.”
  841. >”Man, are you sure.”
  842. “Relax. Play it cool, I got it covered.”
  843. >As I stop, green coat walks to my cabin and gives the salute.
  844. >”Inspector of SIRTS Denis Antoshin, your documents please.”
  845. “Roller, in glove box.”
  846. >I really got it covered, if Trixie was saying truth.
  847. >”This truck belongs to the “Dalnobo” company.”
  848. “Yes, sir, and we have permit from the owner. Here it is.”
  849. >”Can I check your passports?”
  850. >For those, who work only in black market, it would be the turning moment. We, however, are mostly in grey area.
  851. >”Why isn't the trustee driving?”
  852. “Well, we are taking turns. You know, truck driving and shit.”
  853. >”So, you transport something for your company?”
  854. “No, we will get cargo in 17:00, so we decided to use it for our purposes since company is ok with that if we will get back in time.”
  855. >”Do you have any guns, by any chance?”
  856. “Of course.”
  857. >Now, green coat is a little staggered.
  858. “I have hunting rifle on backseat.”
  859. >”Can I check documents on it and gun itself?”
  860. “Of course.”
  861. >Documents are totally fine, if there will be any questions, it will be about a gun.
  862. >”Why it is loaded?”
  863. ”According to clarifications to hunter’s law from Ministry of Jurisdiction, I can keep my gun loaded on any of immovables, since it is legal, according to older additions, to use it for defense of my property.”
  864. >”What are you, a lawyer?”
  865. “Former one.”
  866. >”Oh, but I haven’t meant that. Why it is loaded?”
  867. “Oh, you know. These times it is never too safe.”
  868. >”Don’t you trust the police?”
  869. >He-he-he. He-he-he. Like there would be a reason even if I were law-abiding citizen.
  870. “Well, there will be at least 10 minutes until you come.”
  871. >”Mind if I check cargo box?”
  874. >”Are you sure?”
  875. >”Yes, since there will be a lot to explain. These are the papers.”
  876. >We stopped, and I hear some voices getting close to the doors.
  877. >Looks that show is about to start.
  878. >”Citizen, mind if I look what is inside first?”
  879. >”Sure, sure.”
  880. >They are next to the doors.
  881. >Okay, Trixie, relax. You’ve done it a lot since starlight taught you this trick.
  882. >Don’t worry, 3 month of lack of practice is nothing.
  883. >Suddenly, bright light starts burning my eyes.
  884. >Show starts.
  885. >Celestia, why do you not control this sun also?
  886. >Would you turn it off a little bit?
  887. >”What the hell is this?”
  888. >”It is pony.”
  889. >One silhouette is Anon’s one, but second…
  890. >”Well, yeah, but-”
  891. >”As I said, documentation is here.”
  892. >Well, second guy has bright green coat over what looks like military uniform, except it is blue.
  893. >Like cops in Manehatten.
  894. >”Ehh, it looks fine, I guess. But why whole truck for one pony?”
  895. >”Well, my car would be a mess if I used it for it, and truck is company’s one.”
  896. >Looks it works out pretty well.
  897. >Does he really not see it?
  898. >”It is alien one, right?”
  899. >”Well, duh, she has a horn.”
  900. >”Oh, of course. Hello, sweetie, what is your name?”
  901. “I’m the Great and Powerful Trixie!”
  902. >”Oh my god, it is so awesome. How much is two plus two?”
  903. >Again?
  904. ”Your square face, monkey.”
  905. >”Hey!”
  906. >Anon is waving his fist in the air behind cop’s back.
  907. “I’m sorry. I just don’t like when humans think we are idiots.”
  908. >”Ah, never mind.”
  909. >Cop turns his glance to documents again.
  910. >”Well, everything is okay, except that trustee is not driving, and with gun… Looks like we need to check things out on outpost.”
  911. >Anon hands some another document to cop.
  912. >”I’m sure there is no need for it.”
  913. >As cop opens the document, he stares at some little paper with multiple “5000” number over it.
  914. >”Well, haven’t you thought on getting foreign documents? Like European or American ones. It would save you a lot of trouble.”
  915. >What in Tartarus is this cop talking about?
  916. >”We are working in internal market, so we have no use for them. But we have more of them.”
  917. >What in Tartarus Anon is talking about?
  918. >”That would work too.”
  919. >Anon gives some another document, with another paper with numbers on it.
  920. >Cop takes both these papers in his pocket and hands all the documents back to Anon and salutes.
  921. >”Safe travels, citizen.”
  922. >And then, curtain falls.
  923. >Show is over. For now.
  925. >Now, we are finally in meeting place.
  926. >It worries me that it is still in Moscow province, but everything about this deal is worrying.
  927. >At least Roller made meeting on trusted construction site and bribed them to take a holiday.
  928. >Also, by his words, my boys are now escorting client to place.
  929. “We did it. Roller, we fucking drove out truck full of guns from fucking BOLO zone.”
  930. >”I know, right? And we are on place a little time ahead.”
  931. >As I stop engine, I jump out of the car and run to the cargo box.
  932. >Rusty lever of gates resist a little, but gives in after a moment, and doors open.
  933. >Magnificent pony lays right in front of me, squinting a little.
  934. >Before I understand it, I already jumped in the box.
  935. “Trixie! Let me kiss you!”
  936. >”What?”
  937. >She resist a little, but gives in after a moment.
  938. ”Good job! Good job, my little pony!”
  939. >”What has gone into your head, monkey?”
  940. “I haven’t seen it! I haven’t, and cop didn’t too! That cop was watching on this stuff and haven’t seen any!”
  941. >Maybe I was too rush. Now fur stuck on my tongue, lips and in my teeth.
  942. “What do you want? What do you want, I’ll do anything!”
  943. >”Jesus, Sticher, we haven’t ended our job. Everything can still fuck up.”
  944. >Roller come out of the truck too and watched me from outside.
  945. “Shut up, Roller. Let me relax a little.”
  946. >”An-Sticher, you make me uncomfortable.”
  947. “Ah, of course. Sorry.”
  948. >I stand aside from Trixie.
  949. >I really need to chill out.
  950. “So, now we are waiting for boys and client?”
  951. >”Yes. They will be in half an hour or so.”
  952. >It is noon already.
  953. “Okay, Trixie, let me take you out.”
  955. “Into the discard.”
  956. >”Man, have I lost again?”
  957. ”Yes. Shuffle the deck.”
  958. >”Trixie, you grasped the rules quickly.”
  959. >”Of course. The Great and Powerful Trixie knows her ways-“
  960. >”Is it them?”
  961. >A truck showed up on the horizon.
  962. “Yeah. Jeweler coming with our boys, right?”
  963. >”Yup. His stuff must be in luggage boot.”
  964. “Okay, games can wait then. I’ll go catch my piece.”
  965. >My rifle silently waited for me in driver’s cabin, while glovebox opened by itself and papers were all over passenger seat.
  966. >Better shove them somewhere else, who knows who can see them.
  967. >Not like this information is touchy, but I don’t want it on display.
  968. >When I came back, Roller were jumping off the cargo box, where his piece were lying.
  969. >He prefers handgun, which is understandable for man who rolls around.
  970. >”Is there gonna be fight?”
  971. >Oh, Trixie, you still have a lot to learn.
  972. “No, and that is the way to ensure it.”
  973. >She raises her… eyebrow?
  974. >I haven’t thought about it, but why they have eyebrows?
  975. >As truck droved closer, our boys in van showed up, pulling ahead of them and stopping nearby us.
  976. >Six gentlemen went out of the car already prepared, in vests and helmets and, obviously, with rifles.
  977. >Truck, in meantime drove nearby and stopped too.
  978. >It looks like client is newbie, having only two man accompany him.
  979. >He even had office suit on him and glasses for reading.
  980. >Would Vasiliy act like this, if he were operating in such business?
  981. >At least those two guards have normal clothing and handguns.
  982. >Deal is in power, I guess, so no preying on them.
  983. >At least in the start.
  984. >”So, is it presentation or what?”
  985. >Client have a sense of humour.
  986. “Yes, but we wouldn’t like to elaborate it.”
  987. >As he stumbled a little, he continued.
  988. >”Who are you? I was dealing with Roller.”
  989. “I’m his God and Savior, and you better respect his beliefs. Call me Sticher.”
  990. >”I’m Sergey. Does it mean that deal was changed?”
  991. “It depends.”
  992. >So, now it is the hard part.
  993. “You are trading gold for our shipment, right?”
  994. >”Yes, and it was checked with Roller supervision.”
  995. “Don’t you mind if it would be checked again?”
  996. >”It would take precious time, but of course.”
  997. >As I nod to my boys, they call Jeweler out.
  998. >One of client’s men and Roller accompanied him to cargo box.
  999. >”Is that your pony?”
  1000. “Yes, she is mine.”
  1001. >”What is her name?”
  1002. “None of your business.”
  1003. >It took like half an hour, and my patience were starting to run out.
  1004. “Mind if I take a look too?”
  1005. >”Sure, no one is holding you.”
  1006. >He is clearly newbie. Is it hard to understand for him, that some things people say to each other are for others to hear?
  1007. >One my another boy taken place where I was standing, and I walked to the doors of their cargo box.
  1008. >Jeweler were sitting with his stuff, measuring some coin.
  1009. >”As far as I can tell, they are not fucking with us, boss.”
  1010. >There was huge box with coins in them, standing before him.
  1011. “Wait, why so many?”
  1012. >”It is not clear gold, boss. But its price of all of them is good one.”
  1013. >Roller showed up from the corner, where he was smoking.
  1014. >”Sticher, it costs thrice the price of our shipment. I’m telling you, this is good deal.”
  1015. >Well, we have some needed connections, so clearly we can profit from that.
  1016. “Can you hand me one of those, Jeweler?”
  1017. >”Sure, boss”
  1018. >Without stopping his work, he handed me one of the coins from the top.
  1019. >It looks a bit off, for some reason.
  1020. >Maybe it is about size that is not common.
  1021. >Or unicorn with wings in regalia, that is pictured on it.
  1022. >As I flip the coin, everything becomes clear.
  1023. >Made in Canterlot Princesses Bank, 1007.
  1024. >What the hell, Roller?
  1025. “So, why you haven’t told me the most important thing, Roller?”
  1026. >”What are you tal-”
  1027. “You know what I am talking about!”
  1028. >Fuck this guy.
  1029. >No, this is some serious shit.
  1030. >As I walk back to client, I raise my gun.
  1031. “You fucked up. Gentelmen!”
  1032. >I love my boys.
  1033. >They carried out my orders before I even gave them.
  1034. >Before those two “guards” could react.
  1035. >They are on the point of five men, ready to practice a little.
  1036. >”What are you doing? I thought we ag-”
  1037. “Trixie, you wanna hear a good joke?”
  1038. >All that time she was just standing near our truck, nervously watching all of this.
  1039. “Nobody speak, nobody get choked.”
  1040. >Client went from wondering to suppressing his anger.
  1041. “It is Equestrian gold.”
  1042. >My boys were a little amazed. Trixie, in mean time, was shocked. Third time a day.
  1043. >”A-a-nd so? Does it changes anything in our deal?”
  1044. >Stop playing the dumb one. I know what you are doing.
  1045. “Roller!”
  1046. >He only noticed what is happening and ran to me.
  1047. >”What?”
  1048. “Was the perimeter checked?”
  1049. >”O-o-of course. Sticher, what are you doing? We would be interested in client like this.”
  1050. “Oh, I’m more than interested. How did you get it, Sergey?”
  1051. >”I wouldn’t tell secrets of how I run the business, even with guns pointed at me.”
  1052. “Too bad. Wanna know why?”
  1053. >Now he doesn’t even suppresses his anger.
  1054. “Getting shit like that… There are only two groups who could manage that. First one are those who operate under the same “krisha” as me. Second one is officials.”
  1055. “And I know everyone who operates under the same “krisha” as me.”
  1056. >Now, my boys are not just threatening. They are waiting for the order.
  1057. “So, if you want to buy at least three more minutes of your lives, you better start talking.”
  1058. >Probably, client is now regretting going there. But at least he starts.
  1059. >”Trixie, Thorax sends you his best wishes.”
  1060. >What the fuck is he talking?
  1062. >This is not the right moment.
  1063. “Wait!”
  1064. >Think, Trixie, think.
  1065. >“What?”
  1066. >Anon is waiting, waiting for answer.
  1067. “You don’t need to kill him! He is not what you think!”
  1068. >To the Tartarus. It is not persuasive in a bit.
  1069. “For me, this is exactly reason to kill him.”
  1070. >Shit, shit, shit.
  1071. >I finally managed to contact someone from Equestria, and he is about to get killed.
  1072. >How can I avoid that.
  1073. >It is not like I can just tell the truth…
  1074. >Wait. Who said that?
  1075. “It is changeling!”
  1076. >”Cha-What?”
  1077. “He is from Equestria. His species can take many forms and masquerade anyone.”
  1078. >”Are you serious?”
  1079. >As Anon started laughing, all these people in the vests joined him.
  1080. >”Why do you try to defend him with such bullshit? You are working for them too, am I right?”
  1081. >One of the man in vests pointed gun at me after these words.
  1082. “Believe me! Serge- I don’t know your real name, but show them!”
  1083. >As “Sergey” turned his head, he raised his eyebrows.
  1084. >”Show them what?”
  1085. >Of course. He is masquerading for some mission, and its safety must be more important to him then survival.
  1086. >When we started to use them as spies, it was one of the rules for them, obviously.
  1087. >He must secure secret from enemy, which is government of thi-
  1088. >Wait.
  1089. “They work against officials too, Changeling. Your secret will be secure.”
  1090. >”Sergey” turned back and pointed his glance to Anon.
  1091. >”I hope that you will really save this secret.”
  1092. >As his silhouette started to change, everyone backed off a little, even two of his guys.
  1093. >Now, there were colorful changeling standing before everyone.
  1094. >”What are you, a rainbow vomit?”
  1095. >Now, that comment was inappropriate one, Anon. Even if you are on the edge.
  1096. >”Are these two like you, ehh…”
  1097. >”Elirax. No, these two haven’t known this either.”
  1098. >I think it was dumb question, since faces of these two say it all.
  1099. >”Now, can you pull down weapons and talk like civilized people.”
  1100. >Anon raised the hand, and everyone relaxed.
  1101. >Bloodbath was avoided.
  1102. >What have you done, Trixie?
  1104. >After Elirax finished his private talk with Anon, I ran to him.
  1105. “Can I talk for a moment? Is everything okay?
  1106. >”Yes, we reached agreement. He will make sure that my secret is safe.”
  1107. >As he told it, his two guys walked nearby us with boxes of coins. Looks, like everything is almost done for Anon.
  1108. “I… Does one important mare contacts you?”
  1109. >”Yes, of course. She is communicating lots of us in this world.”
  1110. “I want to talk with some other ponies. And your kind too, of-”
  1111. >”Not possible. We operate alone, communicating only through our common acquaintance.”
  1112. “Well, do you know how to contact someone else?”
  1113. >”No, and don’t wish too.”
  1114. “Why?”
  1115. >He smirked and blunted out.
  1116. >”As these “humans” saying goes: the less I know – the less I could confess in interrogation.”
  1117. >Clearly, he quickly adapted their ways.
  1118. >After all, he is changeling.
  1119. >”Thanks again, and good luck.”
  1121. >Anyway, now, when we changed our cargo, almost everything is done.
  1122. >That rainbow vomit stands before me, while my boys chat with these two and stand around me.
  1123. ”So, deal is done, how about drink for it, Elirax?”
  1124. >He is nice person, but nevertheless slick one.
  1125. >”Sorry, but we still need to ship it.”
  1126. ”Heh, anyway, you know how to contact me. You owe me a favor, remember?”
  1127. >Man, what can I do with aid of shapeshifter?
  1128. >It is even difficult to imagine such shit.
  1129. >”Yeah.”
  1130. ”Can I shake your hoof at last?”
  1131. >”Of course.”
  1132. >I like my boys.
  1133. >They understand orders without words.
  1134. >While with right hand I’m shaking rainbow hoof, my other hand behind my back is in fist, with pointed out thumb and pinky finger.
  1135. >I never specified what my gestures means, but my boys understand them nevertheless.
  1136. >Maybe because I adapted them from Somov.
  1137. >God may rest his soul.
  1138. >Two “guards” in a moment were shot down to the ground. It took like 10 or 11 shots of my boys.
  1139. >It deafened me a little.
  1140. “As we agreed, I will save your secret. I’ll lend you Roller for a day, just return him in one piece.”
  1141. >“O-of course. As we agreed.”
  1142. >And now, everything is done.
  1144. >He casually ordered to hide bodies.
  1145. >He casually ordered to get him a car.
  1146. >And now, he was casually driving it.
  1147. >”Sorry for that slap, I was a little off at that moment. You started shouting, cursing us, and I reacted somewhat instinctive.”
  1148. >He doesn’t even sorry for what he have done.
  1149. >”So, are you going to talk, or what?”
  1150. “Why have you killed them?”
  1151. >”Well, now, without additional ears, I can explain it. Thanks for waiting patiently and not bitching out.”
  1152. >Is he really judging me for opposing something that cruel?
  1153. >”You see, this rainbow fuck was worried that those two will give out his secret to guys he is working with.”
  1154. “It was his idea?”
  1155. >”No, idea was mine, but problem was his. He agreed on that solution. And now he owes me.”
  1156. “Who is he working with?”
  1157. >”He have not said it, but what is clear is that it is neither competitors nor officials. And that is all what is important to me.”
  1158. >Does he really thinks it is okay?
  1159. >”And again, you are war prisoner yourself. Don’t you think that bitching about killing is something hypocritical from your side?”
  1160. “I… I protected my homeland.”
  1161. >”And I’m protecting my business.”
  1162. “But I still mourn everyone I killed.”
  1163. >”How many have you killed?”
  1164. “Ten. Ten humans.”
  1165. >”You see? You can afford mourning every one you killed. I have no bad feelings to them, but still, it is hard to mourn every one if it is more than fifty.”
  1166. >I decided to help him, because I wanted to see how their shadow economics work.
  1167. >I was prepared, that things like that can happen in human world.
  1168. >But to the fact that this is casual? Absolutely normal?
  1169. >Maybe, that “overpopulation” I heard about before has something to do with that.
  1170. >Who knows?
  1171. >I’m afraid to understand them.
  1172. >And still I need to.
  1173. >If I ever return to Equestria, my knowledge should help.
  1174. “What does “krisha” mean?”
  1175. >”Eh, it is hard to explain. Basically, it is protection racketeers. They protect you for money or favors. But is not just that. They also offer additional services for additional payment, like “sending someone a message”, disrupting deals of your rivals, and a lot of different stuff.”
  1176. >”You can say that “Krisha” is justice you hired for your needs.”
  1177. >Justice?
  1178. “So, “krisha” are cops?”
  1179. >”Heh, yeah, very often, but not mine. I work under the protection of Marinovsky, successor of Somov. I can protect my business from small threats, but there is a lot of big fish, and Marinovsky is the biggest in Russia.”
  1180. >He is reckless. Brute. Slick.
  1181. >Honest. Adventurous. Brave.
  1182. >Just type of stallion I wanted in sixtee-
  1183. >Wait a little, Trixie, what was that?
  1184. >What the fuck am I thinking right now?
  1185. >I’m just confused. It will go away.
  1186. >He is murderer. And monkey.
  1187. >He is beast, and I am his proper-
  1188. >HOLD ON, TRIXIE.
  1189. “Maybe some music? Vasiliy somehow had it in his car.”
  1190. >”Yeah, sure. I’ll turn on some radio.”
  1191. >He attached his phone with some cord to front panel, touched the screen a little, and music started.
  1192. --Ah, Sharik, I was chained up before like you…--
  1194. >Suddenly, radio stopped, as someone called me.
  1195. >As I push to answer call, his office rat voice fills the cabin
  1196. >”Hey, dipshit. I’m already near your house, where are you?”
  1197. “I… needed to take a control of some deal, I’ll be back in twenty minutes.”
  1198. >”Have you left unicorn alone?”
  1199. “No, she is with me. Trixie, say hi.”
  1200. >Looks like she is still had not used to all our technologies, judging by her face.
  1201. >”H-hi.”
  1202. >”I hope she wasn’t involved in any of your shit.”
  1203. “Em, man, can we discuss it-“
  1204. >”What? She was, right? Trixie!”
  1205. >”W-well, I volunteered.”
  1206. >Curse words rained heavily. Trixie was a little uncomfortable, so I showed her with gestures to just wait it out. After five minutes he finally calmed down.
  1207. >”Anyway, just as agreed, I bought the stuff”
  1208. “Listen, since we have a lot to talk about, maybe you will stay overnight?”
  1209. >”Fuck no. I need to be in Moscow tomorrow.”
  1210. “Well, the meeting is appointed on 16:00, right?”
  1211. >”…You know, okay. I need to relax. Come faster, I will go shop in meantime. Later.”
  1212. “Later.”
  1213. >As call ended, radio started playing again.
  1214. >Trixie was staring out windows, looking on construction sites and people running around.
  1215. >Rest of travel we mostly haven’t talked.
  1217. --Mobile Radio. We have some news---
  1218. --Hello, Moscow. It is 14:00, and major news for now—
  1219. --Today, American president publicly denounced Russia for placing Iscander systems on border with China. He threatened to use economical means if, citation, “warmongering like that continues”. First to react was Sergey Figov, here are his words—
  1220. -->If our American partners see our adequate reaction on concentration of army on our borders as “warmongering”, they probably should have not placed renewed nuclear weapons on bases of Chernogoriya. Do they have more rights on independence, or what?—
  1221. --Another news, Ministry of Justice did a report in Parliament about so-called “Alien package”. They argued, that in ten days of acting of these laws already paid one tenth of military budget, and holes in them wouldn’t be abused if infamous “Alien Coexistence” pact will pass. Left-wing parties criticized reporter for biasedness, calling “Alien package”, citation, “legalization of slavery”.
  1222. --Mobile radio. People’s news---
  1223. --Well, again, Parliament cannot agree on anything, right?—
  1224. --It is easy to understand him, Second Dj. After all, these “ponies” bringed us only troubles--
  1225. --I wouldn’t say so, First Dj. Like yesterday, Cumsomeoil Truth reports, private agent donated two “ponies” to Orphanage №8 of St.Petersburg. Children were happy to such gift, and ponies themselves were positive, even though, as its written, they had some problems--
  1226. --Like what?--
  1227. --Like “children pulling tail and mane”, that is what!--
  1228. --That made me remember, independent statistic, published by RussischeSweine Zeitung, says that finally, first time in this year, last quarter had negative growth of number of orphans.
  1229. --Anyway, we have some more news that are close to us, commoners, right after next song--
  1230. --People’s news. From people, to people--
  1232. >Turns out, Anon has secret -1 floor.
  1233. >Wooden interior, three or more rooms.
  1234. >Main one has big “acoustic system” and table.
  1235. >Now in that room also stands 5 bottles of vodka, baked potato and some other food.
  1236. >Plus documents.
  1237. >I don’t know where leads second door.
  1238. >And we are behind third one.
  1239. >”Man, are you sure it is ok to be naked around her?”
  1240. >”Vasya, she is naked all the time, what is the big deal?”
  1241. >It is hot and wet here.
  1242. >And… how to put it?
  1243. >Say it as it is, Trixie.
  1244. >Their dicks are just on the level of my eyes.
  1245. >”Trixie, is it okay? Maybe you will sit on the ground instead?”
  1246. “No, I’m fine. It is not that hot.”
  1247. >They call it “banya”.
  1248. >And Anon acts like nothing is happening.
  1249. >Well, I have no big deal about nakedness, but I thought humans are not in clothes only in intimate moments.
  1250. >Or maybe it is one?
  1251. >”Fuck, it is stinking with horse now! Anon, why you thought this is good idea?”
  1252. >Stinking? I was pretty clear even before this “banya”.
  1253. >And what is wrong with my smell? Anon is stinking with blood, and I mean not only metaphorically.
  1254. >When he was opening a bottle with knife for some reason he misjudged a little and hit his hand.
  1255. “I… What is the point of it?”
  1256. >”What? Isn’t it relaxing?”
  1257. “Yeah, it is like spa I visited back in equestrian, but hotter.”
  1258. >And they laughed.
  1259. >”Spa! Man, can you believe it? Ponies had spa! They had no fireguns, but already had spa!”
  1260. >Does Vasiliy knows? Does he know what kind of business Anon is doing?
  1261. >”Don’t say it, Vasya. Trixie, maybe you even had a pedicure?”
  1262. “What, of course no!”
  1263. >”At least you had some sanity.”
  1264. “…It is called hooficure.”
  1265. >They turned to me and laughed again.
  1266. >Their… reproductive parts wiggled around in tact of their laughter.
  1267. >By Celestia it is disturbing.
  1268. >”So, you like tender care, right?”
  1269. “Yes, Sticher.”
  1270. >While Vasiliy haven’t stopped, Anon’s face turned serious.
  1271. >Have I said something wrong?
  1272. >Well, he did wrong, why would I care.
  1273. >”Then, maybe I’ll give you some.”
  1274. >WHAT?
  1275. >”Are you serious, Anonosha?”
  1276. >He stood up and went down to me.
  1277. >Is he really going to do it?
  1278. >I… I’m not ready.
  1279. >What? What have you said, Trixie?
  1280. >Haven’t I misheard?
  1281. >You are not ready? You want this?
  1282. >No, no, no, don’t you even think about it!
  1283. >Don’t let that ape violate you!
  1284. >”Lie down.”
  1285. “Y..yeah.”
  1286. >What are you doing, gal? You do know what is going to happen?
  1287. “But Vasiliy is here…”
  1288. >”Ha-ha, that doesn’t matter.”
  1289. >Are they going to do it both?
  1290. >Anon leaned over me, as his relief body taken my whole sight.
  1291. >He grabbed something, and stood up in his full height.
  1292. >Branches. There were branches of some tree.
  1293. >Strikes. Many little strikes on my back.
  1294. >Leaves were messing up my fur, with every hit they stimulated my stained muscles on my back.
  1295. >Shivers went through my body with every touch, as they formed symphony of vibrations.
  1296. >And he started to hit harder.
  1297. “Ah!”
  1298. >Now came tetrachords. With every hit he went a little down my spine, as he attacked my buttchecks with series of decisive blows and laughed.
  1299. >I cannot oppose it.
  1300. >I can only submit.
  1301. >My heart started to race.
  1303. “How is it, Trixie?”
  1304. >I stopped the branch massage for a moment.
  1305. >For some reason, she hasn’t answered.
  1306. >Her eyes rolled over, and breath fastened.
  1307. >”Is she okay? Is it a heat?”
  1308. “What?”
  1309. >”I meant, “overheated”. She has a fur, she could have badly taken the temperature around here.”
  1310. >Well, it was fine before.
  1311. >After some little slaps on her face, she haven’t reacted, only mumbled something.
  1312. >Fuck. I guess she really have a overheating.
  1313. >”We need to cool her off.”
  1314. “Yeah, I know. Go open the second door.”
  1315. >Vasya rushed out of banya, as I grabbed Trixie.
  1316. >She tried to grip on me in return.
  1317. >Ah, it feels nice.
  1318. >Who thought she would take a branch massage like that?
  1319. >When we deal with it, I hope Vasya will do it for me.
  1320. >And now I cannot even run, since floor is sloppy.
  1321. >As I walk out off banya, air hits me.
  1322. >Ah, here it is, normal floor.
  1323. >”I will go back for now.”
  1324. >Go, go, Vasya.
  1325. >And now, as I run, I hope it will return consciousness to Trixie.
  1326. >Here we go. Yupikayay!
  1328. “Fuck. Relax, horse!”
  1329. >Ouch.
  1330. >My fucking ribs.
  1331. >Why she struggles so much?
  1332. >Cold water of my swimming pool quickly returned her back.
  1333. >”What are you doing?”
  1334. >Well, since we are here, some fun wouldn’t wind.
  1335. “Take a big breath!”
  1336. >”Wha-“
  1337. >As I dived with her to the bottom, she started hitting me again.
  1338. >Now my spine.
  1339. >I wouldn’t mind some “resistance”, but pony’s hooves are fucking hard.
  1340. >As we came up, she stopped the struggle, gripped to me and started to look around.
  1341. >”Are you crazy?”
  1342. “Ha-ha, maybe I am.”
  1343. >After that she spitted the water that got in her mouth when we were diving.
  1344. >Right in my eye.
  1345. >Of course, I splashed some water in her face in return.
  1346. >And then we both laughed.
  1348. >”So, Anon, your compensating for daughter isn’t that healthy.”
  1349. >The fuck he knows if it is healthy?
  1350. >And Trixie has nothing to do with my daughter.
  1351. >”Not that your attachment to her was healthy in first place.”
  1352. “The fuck you said right know?”
  1353. >”Don’t get me wrong, I understand that you are not that type, but you cared for her too much.”
  1354. “What do you mean?”
  1355. >”I mean you got in “business” for her sake. And lost her because of that. Isn’t it telling?”
  1356. >Maybe I just need to punch some shit out of him?
  1357. >”Ouch, not that hard. My back is sensitive.”
  1358. “Sorry, now turn around.”
  1359. >While Trixie hanging around vodka, we decided to not stop banya session.
  1360. >Branches are biting in little wound on hand, but it doesn’t mean that Vasya will go out tomorrow unwhipped.
  1361. ”Listen, you had no daughter. When you got one you will understand.”
  1362. >”Well, then it will take long until we reach consensus.”
  1363. “And yes, I lost her, but I’ll take her back someday. This motherfucking bi-”
  1364. >”Hey, relax, man! I know.”
  1365. “Then why have you started?”
  1366. >He struggled to answer for some time. Or maybe he just wanted to enjoy massage in silence.
  1367. >”All I’m saying is that pony is for deal. Don’t attach to it.”
  1368. “And be like you, yeah? Not attaching to anything?”
  1369. >”Ok, it is your turn.”
  1370. >As I lied down, he grabbed branches and continued.
  1371. >”You know, I really have problems with that. But business is business.”
  1372. “What are you standing? Start already.”
  1373. >Hard touch of branches in a good heated banya really revives the body.
  1374. “And who are you telling that to? Today I… I…”
  1375. >”I don’t wanna hear about it.”
  1376. “Then who if not you?”
  1377. >He stopped for a moment, and slapped my butt with full strength, then continued.
  1378. “Hey, that is gay!”
  1379. >”That is what I was going to say.”
  1380. “Listen, is it really hard to hear out a friend?”
  1381. >”If he is murdering people on constant basis, then yes. We have talked about it already.”
  1382. >Yes, we have.
  1383. “She witnessed all of this. I… I don’t know how explain it.”
  1384. >”Well, there is no need if she witnessed it.”
  1385. “Stop with your jokes!”
  1386. >”I’m not joking. Turn around.”
  1387. >Now he is looking upside down right in my eyes, as he started hitting my chest.
  1388. >”Relax. There would no need to think about it. You are gonna come out clean, and never work in this sphere again.”
  1389. “And where would I go? They will not let me live here. And what if they will find my daughter?”
  1390. >”You made the preparations with Marinovsky?”
  1391. “Yes, I have.”
  1392. >”Then don’t worry about your daughter. I appointed two meetings on next week, start preparing Trixie intensively please.”
  1393. “Of course, and why only two?”
  1394. >“Because third one is totally on me. Here, stand up. How do you feel?”
  1395. “Like a newborn! So, into the pool?”
  1396. >”Yeah, as I count to three.”
  1398. >As these both returned from the pool, they started drinking from the get-go and made me join.
  1399. >”You see, Trixie, Mattis’s approach to war is about every element understanding bigger picture and their place in it, so that they could use their initiative for advancing when orders doesn’t cover situation on the ground. I argue that this approach is just as effective in business, so you need to understand our plan.”
  1400. >So, for humans, business is a war? I wouldn’t understand that coming from Anon, but Vasya thinks so too?
  1401. >There must be something completely wrong with human nature.
  1402. >”We are going to buy more than fifty one percent of one of the biggest russian companies, OilPron and transfer this share to Exile Mobil.”
  1403. >Wait, what?
  1404. “Why we are needed? Cannot they do it themselves?”
  1405. >”Ah, Anon, what are you teaching her? See, Trixie, it would take them one step closer to local monopoly, and government doesn’t like shit like that.”
  1406. >Well, why would your psychopathic government would be against it?
  1407. “Is it the company you are working in?”
  1408. >”No, I work in Company, you see. I had connection with Exile executives, since they bought ten percent of Company three month ago, and I would get nice place if we will succeed, but for now, on paper, I’m not with them.”
  1409. >Anon bit some potato and started.
  1410. >”So, short version, these meetings will be with major shareholders. You will need to have backstory and knowledge prepared.”
  1411. “What will it be?”
  1412. >”Well, knowledge will be given to you, but backstory… Let’s say that you are pony which accepted idea that she will never come home and decided to go big there. Since the easiest big thing to notice is oil trade, you went there.”
  1413. >Is it… Is it fake backstory?
  1414. >Do they know what I’m thinking?
  1415. >Will I really never come home?
  1416. “A-and where my money came from?”
  1417. >”Truth or fake?”
  1418. “I guess both.”
  1419. >”Well, it came from Exile specifically for this operation. But backstory is complicated, at least our version. Let’s say you shared very important information with officials for an exchange of possibility to have business here. But you are trying to hide it, by backstory of trading valuable information with pony traders.”
  1420. >This looks too complicated.
  1421. “Are you sure? There are tons of moments where it could fail.”
  1422. >”Well, that is why we are saying it to you. Maybe some ideas?”
  1423. >Two guys, making economical frauds to get local monopolies. Who do they remind me of?
  1424. >Anyway, shit is serious.
  1425. >The way they said it about me never coming in Equestria…
  1426. “By any chance, is there way for me to return home?”
  1427. >This question made Anon uncomfortable.
  1428. >”Well, you see, for now, no. But Russia is very random place, especially nowadays, so in month or two it can become possible.”
  1429. >”And if it will become possible, Moscow is the best place for trying it, since Equestrian Embassy is in center.”
  1430. >That addition Vasya made can be important.
  1431. >No, it sure is important.
  1432. >What if…
  1433. ”Guys, I have better backstory.”
  1435. >What this pony says is crazy. Looks like Vasya agrees with me.
  1436. “Wait, so you understand that with backstory like that our plan needs to cha-”
  1437. >”Shut up, Anon, Trixie must be up on something.”
  1438. “But what will we do about government share? How will we get permission to visit embassy? Center is no-man’s zone.”
  1439. >”Just shut up and let me think.”
  1440. >Shacks were not touched by anyone except me.
  1441. >Why the hell we even bought them for?
  1442. >”So, about government share…”
  1443. >Shit, pony started talking again.
  1444. “Well, yeah, it is the biggest problem.”
  1445. >”Maybe we should contact officials that watch over OilPron? Maybe if we make agreements with them, everything will be okay?”
  1446. >The fuck.
  1447. >So, we are hiding from official this whole deal, and what she offers is to contact them?
  1448. >Fuck.
  1449. >”I can try pull my connections with Embassy question. But government share… They have it specifically to control shit like we do. Getting their attention… It could work, but it is too risky.”
  1450. >Looks like we still have our “hivemind” with Vasya.
  1451. >”But this would actually be needed with your original plan, thinking about it.”
  1452. >Fuck.
  1453. >I hate now Trixie because she is right.
  1454. >Contacting officials would not give us additional risks actually. It will just confront them on early stage of the plan.
  1455. >And Vasya started laughing like maniac.
  1456. “What is funny, office rat?”
  1457. >”Hah, well, it looks like we have damaged her leg for no good reason.”
  1458. >Wait, what?
  1459. >We ruined my carpets for nothing?
  1460. >Listen to yourself, Anon.
  1461. >You damaged leg of alive creature, and all you care is carpets.
  1462. >”Well, Trixie, you exceeded my expectations.”
  1463. >We are going to prison, right?
  1464. >”They don’t call me “Great and Powerful” for nothing.”
  1465. >”Ha-ha. Then let’s drink. For ladies that are present here! Cheers!”
  1466. >”Cheers!”
  1467. “C-cheers.”
  1469. >Those two bought me special oval device to put on a head for operating computer with eyes and voice.
  1470. >As a halo was put around my eyes, Anon said, ”Look to point, wink to click.”
  1471. >And today me and Anon are driving somewhere, while I try to operate with portable version of this machine.
  1472. “So, where are we going, your business again?”
  1473. >”No, some personal stuff. I just thought… Well, you will see. Anyway, you got how to work with that?”
  1474. “Yeah, kinda. There is so much information in this “internet”. I don’t understand how you navigate in this.”
  1475. >”You will get it after some time. Use Vasya’s links for starters.”
  1476. >Oil trade is what Russia is famous of.
  1477. >And politics always revolved around that.
  1478. >And it looks like a very complicated sphere.
  1479. >I’m kinda amazed by goal-orientation of these humans and which systems they came up with.
  1480. >Judging by information in links, they had immense unused amounts of oil, but OilPron’s refineries cannot get it due to previous barbaric exploitatoin of these supplies.
  1481. >And new government supported enterpreneurs in this field by getting land owning laws right.
  1482. >Even though nowadays the price of oil is not the best, there are tons of possibilities in this sphere.
  1483. >Especially for someone completely new.
  1484. >But old players just don’t wanna end it, and more than that, government sold some part of its share to biggest oil companies.
  1485. >All of this sounds too fishy to pass up.
  1486. >Suddenly, car stopped. I hadn’t even noticed how time has passed.
  1487. >”We are at place. Please be polite.”
  1488. “Alright. Put off this holla-hoop.”
  1489. >”Got any questions?”
  1490. “Too much to ask right now actually. Who we are meeting?”
  1491. >”My past.”
  1492. >As I closed the machine, Anon took off the device.
  1493. >I jumped out of the car and regretted it the moment i touched the ground. Fucking leg.
  1494. >Anyway, this is fine.
  1495. >Some woman and little girl waited for us.
  1496. >So this is why we came here?
  1497. >”Daddy! Daddy!”
  1499. >I haven’t seen her so long.
  1500. >They traveled here from Samara, just for that meeting.
  1501. >I need to thank my ex for not complaining to much about it.
  1502. >”Daddy, is this pony for me?”
  1503. “Emm, no, darling. It is my pony. And she is helping me with my work.”
  1504. >“Can you give me her, and buy a new one?”
  1505. “Listen, darling, it is sentient creature. You cannot just go and…”
  1506. >Ohh, but you can.
  1507. >I still don't know how adjust to... "owning" someone.
  1508. “Listen, you cannot have everything. But I’ll buy you some other nice stuff, okay?”
  1509. >”Okay, daddy.”
  1510. >That sad voice is like claws on the heart.
  1511. “Now go in car with pony and wait. I need to discuss some stuff with mommy.”
  1512. >Trixie surely wasn’t prepared to deal with child.
  1513. >When they went in, my ex started.
  1514. >”So, first, it was prostitutes, and now this?”
  1515. >My biggest mistake in life was marrying the philologist student.
  1516. “What are you saying?”
  1517. >”Listen, I read Octopus, they posted what this pony trade is actually about.”
  1518. “So, you are still believing any leftist bullshit you meet?”
  1519. >”Aren’t you-”
  1520. “Can we do it once at least without this? When you fly off in Chile?”
  1521. >She stumbled a little.
  1522. >”In Tuesday. Why not some normal country, like France or England?”
  1523. “Because in Chile our organizations have no roots. Please stop being an egoist and think about safety of Nadya for one moment.”
  1524. >This betraying bitch surely cannot get why I agreed on them leaving me in first place.
  1525. >”Please just don’t take it too long. We need to prepare for a flight tomorrow.”
  1526. >I will take meeting with my daughter as long as I want, bitch.
  1527. “Sure. I need some business to do to.”
  1529. “Now, where do you want to go, darling?”
  1530. >”I want to ride a pony!”
  1531. >Shut up, Anon. Stop interpreting innocent words of your daughter so pervy.
  1532. “Darling, pony has problems with walking right now. But what about some make-ups?”
  1533. >”Anon! What are you-”
  1534. >”Yay! Make ups! Trixie, can I touch your mane?”
  1535. >”Well, it is… fine.”
  1536. >Trixie surely wasn’t prepared for this.
  1537. >Ah, darling. She is growing so fast. This year she is gonna be five years old already.
  1538. >Only moments ago I holded her in my hands, feeding from bottle.
  1539. >And she is so mature for her age, too.
  1540. >I hope there in Chile they will find teachers that will continue developing her talents.
  1541. “How your learning is going, Nadya?”
  1542. >”I performed in my musical school’s concert last week!”
  1543. “Oh, I’m proud of you! I guess I need to thank your violin teacher a lot.”
  1544. >”Yeah, he is so nice. Other kids too.”
  1545. >Now she doesn’t show it, but she surely doesn’t like idea of changing place.
  1546. “Don’t worry, you will find new friends, even better ones than these.”
  1547. >”Sure, daddy. But when we will return?”
  1548. >I don’t wanna lie to her. But I cannot ruin her day today.
  1549. “When I’ll come for you, we will travel back. I promise you.”
  1550. >Technically, it isn’t even a lie.
  1551. >Stop. Stop thinking about it. Don’t let your feelings ruin the day.
  1553. >Anon’s daughter surely messed with me a lot.
  1554. >This whole day felt like some kind of weird rollercoaster.
  1555. >Damn, this whole week felt like it.
  1556. >”Thanks for not complaining. I will return the favor.”
  1557. “It is your second favor you owe me.”
  1558. >”Hah, true.”
  1559. >This whole day Anon tried to fake his happiness as hard as he could.
  1560. >”So, what do you want?”
  1561. >Shops, houses and parks passed by us.
  1562. “I would be happy to meet other ponies.”
  1563. >”Well, that I can do. Just not now. Let’s finish the current stage of the plan first.”
  1564. “Yeah, sure.”
  1565. >He scratched his head and machine-like grabbed out his phone.
  1566. “Don’t hold it in yourself.”
  1567. >”What?”
  1568. “It is obvious you are worried. Tell me about it.”
  1569. >”Well, we don’t know each other for long, so-”
  1570. “Listen, you whipped me with a bunch of branches. I think it makes us pretty close.”
  1571. >What are you saying, Trixie?
  1572. >”Well, I don’t think one banya to- Oh. So that is how it felt for you.”
  1573. >He started laughing, like I told some nasty joke.
  1574. >”Hah, you know, you are kinda right. If it was like that for you and you have not opposed the whole thing, I guess we are pretty close.”
  1575. >So, by submitting my bo-
  1576. >Don’t start it now, Trixie!
  1577. >”I… it was my last time I will ever see her. She is not coming back.”
  1578. >Is he gonna...
  1579. >”I cannot risk her safety. Maybe fifteen years later, maybe, but not sooner.”
  1580. “Is it because… our plan?”
  1581. >”Yes. If someone starts hunting me when I go out of business, it is okay. But they could go for her, and that is what I cannot deal with.”
  1582. “So, wait, you will go out of business?”
  1583. >”Yes, “that” business I mean. This is why I partake in scheme in first place, you know.”
  1584. “And what about Vasiliy?”
  1585. >”As he said, he gonna get some real career boost with that. That is his whole life, career I mean.”
  1586. “B-but we could do so much more! Considering the stuff we will do-”
  1587. >”Do you remember those two?”
  1588. >Oh.
  1589. >”If we gonna go for more, in best case scenario we will be in prison. In worst, we will repeat their fate.”
  1590. >This is ridiculous. I still don’t get how these humans can live like that and not go insane.
  1591. >Or maybe they already did.
  1592. “But isn’t it the reason to go up to the end? Why we should just take it as a given?”
  1593. >He gasped.
  1594. >“Because it can be taken away too.”
  1596. >Okay, room is ordered, everything clear, and Anon with Trixie finally drove in.
  1597. >While they went out of car, Trixie looked around in amazement.
  1598. “Has something happened, Anon?”
  1599. >”No, nothing, we went to tailor, clothing will be ready tomorrow. Here is her stuff.”
  1600. >When he gave me eye tracker, Trixie started.
  1601. >”Why these buildings around so huge? They are even higher than in Manehatten.”
  1602. “Actually, no, Manhatten is-”
  1603. >”Manehatten, Vasya. That is what she said. It is Equestrian town.”
  1604. >Why the fuck are they so Americanized?
  1605. “Well, I guess, welcome to Moscow City, Trixie.”
  1606. >”But I was in Moscow before.”
  1607. “No, Moscow City – is special district of Moscow.”
  1608. >”Vasya, they repaired after explosions too fast. Looks like they never happened.”
  1609. “Well, district changed inside, even if looks the same, I assure you.”
  1610. >”I haven’t visited it for two fucking years. Always only around it.”
  1611. “And you are leaving it right now. I don’t want to be taken a shot with you in public.”
  1612. >”Right, right. Take care.”
  1613. >”Why are we moving here for this week?”
  1614. “I kinda run there all the time, so I don't wanna spend time on driving. Besides, it's on Company's paycheck, not mine.”
  1615. >When we got up in our room, she acted pretty chill and started work with laptop.
  1616. >”Vasiliy, can you help me?”
  1617. “What is the matter?”
  1618. >”I’m still not used to this machine. Can I find Geneva convention here?”
  1620. “Here it is. But why you are interested in it?”
  1621. >”Well, I heard about it from captured soldiers I interrogated, and kinda know what it is, but interested in exact wording of it.”
  1622. “Wait, what? You interrogated captured?”
  1623. >”Yeah, our group was disrupting your logistics mostly, so capturing and interrogating was one of our main things.”
  1624. >Of course. She was a soldier before.
  1625. ”Are you… comfortable talking about it?”
  1626. >”Well, why wouldn’t I? I wouldn’t like to answer “If I killed before”, but everything else is okay.”
  1627. >This is… not what I expected.
  1628. >”You see, your soldiers always firstly said only name, rank and serial number, but when they learn we don’t have any convention about war prisoners, they started shitting pants.”
  1629. “Are you such brutes? Why you had no convention about war prisoners?”
  1630. >”Because there were no need for them before.”
  1631. >Well, that is quite understandable.
  1632. >”And your forces are not really better. They excused themselves, since pony aren’t human, Geneva convention doesn’t apply to us. Hence I had very “fun” three month in military camps.”
  1633. ”Well, I hope you can understand us. Our point of view. We are not Big Bad’s or something.”
  1634. >”Of course, you are not that powerful to be them.”
  1635. “Not powerful?”
  1636. >”Listen, in last seven years we suffered through danger of eternal night, manifestation of chaos, Crystal Crisis, Tirek’s tyranny, two changeling attacks, one almost overtook capital, second succefully overtook all powerful positions. I get that your noisy guns are scary, but we suffered through a lot worse.”
  1637. >It sounds like they really did.
  1638. >”Like, bitch princess failed again solving the problem, that is all. Those who believed in her cult of “magic friendship” lost hopes, but for normal ponies it is just, as I read in that machine, “SNAFU”. And I fucking warned everyone that she is a failure. Wasn’t last attack of changelings a total proof of her uselessness?”
  1639. “Can I ask stupid general question?”
  1640. >”If it is not too stupid.”
  1641. “How'd you fight us. How'd you you reverse engineer our technologies so fast?”
  1642. >She laughed.
  1643. >”Well about reverse engeneering, we are not some barbarians. We had technologies before, even computer-like ones, we just used them primarily in medicine. And we have a lot of talents. After all, everypony has some special talent.”
  1644. >That sounds…odd.
  1645. ”Every pony?”
  1646. >“Yeah, haven’t you noticed tattoo on my butt? It is called cutiemark. Everypony has one, it represents his or her special talent. And yes, they just magically appear when they discover it. I said it a lot to your interrogators, since it is what our forces understood they will get this information anyway.”
  1647. >So, she is not just some eccentric with tattoo on a butt? Kinda nice to know that.
  1648. “But how you fought? When remnants of old government were in power, until elections half of year ago, war with you was a meat grinder.”
  1649. >”Well, we used everything we can. Control of weather, Pie family for control of terrain, agreements with griffons, dragons, diamond dogs. And when your tactics started being sane, we just mainly “hit-and-run”ed, as you call it, partisan warfare.”
  1650. >So, officials were not bullshitting. They can actually control any battlefield.
  1651. >But why would they hide existence of all those other creatures?
  1652. “Anon told me about those other… sentients.”
  1653. >After some dinner, we talked mainly about her part of the job and some other general stuff.
  1654. >It was late, so we decided to watch some TV before sleep.
  1656. --It is “Right to Vote”, and we returned after ad.--
  1657. --Our theme today is “Alien Coexistance” Pact, so let’s hear now its opposers. Fatinovsky, why do you think we shouldn’t ratify it?--
  1658. -->Listen, In Monday report of intel was published, but everyone just read what was floating on above.--
  1659. -->Have anyone read it at all? This is horrifying, let me say.--
  1660. -->Equestrian government is ran by immortal tyrants, that stopped tons of reforms in past.--
  1661. -->How do they treat our captured soldiers? Is anyone interested here about it? Or you wanna forget about it as soon as you are elected? Let me educate you!--
  1662. -->We purposed them exchange of captured, but they decided instead to “reform them”.--
  1663. -->About their reformation... There was cult in their outskirts that basically destroyed personalities of their members and portrayed that as good. We have sometimes stuff like that too, that is not what is interesting.--
  1664. -->After destroying that cult, they “reformed” their leader and appointed her to work on government, through connections with higher ups.--
  1665. -->This former leader was developing inhumane strategies against our forces. Everyone remembers these numbers from early days. More than 85% of combatants lost in action in one battle! Even Nazis were not as brutal!--
  1666. -->For her, only dead Russian is good Russian!--
  1667. -->And now what? She was appointed on “Alien Reformation Committee”!--
  1668. -->Former cult leader and blood-thirsty general now decides how our boys are living, and they hide it behind word “reformation”!--
  1669. -->Our government after all of that even considers idea of peace with them? We need to destroy this tyranny, and free ponykind from oppression under which they lived more than thousand of years!--
  1670. --Crowd clapping.--
  1672. >As darkness so thick I couldn’t see my hooves approached, lights shined again.
  1673. >With life like this, it is hard to differ dream from reality.
  1674. >Different ponies were standing in exotic clothes, while Russian soldiers were guarding them.
  1675. >Me and my squad were one of them.
  1676. >We stood in circle, and started dancing and singing.
  1677. ”Fly away on wings of wind to our native land, dear song of ours.”
  1678. >And we started moving around as we danced.
  1679. ”Where we have sung you at total freedom, where it was so free for us together.”
  1680. >And other ponies joined us. Jewelry on our bodies moved like on its own.
  1681. >Somewhere aside Vasya stood.
  1682. >Nearby him sat in full royal regalia Luna.
  1683. >And ponies stopped, while soldiers started dancing with their rifles as partners. And singing too.
  1684. >”Sing songs of praise to Market! Sing! Praise the power and valor of Market!”
  1685. >My squad, again, came in and joined, me being in center.
  1686. >Somewhere out of crowd, Anon rushed to us, in his usual jeans and black leather jacket.
  1687. >He started circling around me, while my squad distanced more and more from me.
  1688. >Vasya started singing too.
  1689. >”Do you see the captives from the distant land; do you see my beauties, from Equestrian soil? Oh, tell me, Princess, tell me just one word: if you want to, I will sell you any of them.”
  1690. >I started flirtingly dance toward Anon.
  1691. >And my solo became duet.
  1692. >Such passionate duet.
  1693. >”ENOUGH!”
  1694. >Everything frozen on place, as Luna approached me.
  1695. >”I was contacted by one of changelings. Looks like you work towards the goal.”
  1696. >Of course. It is just a dream.
  1697. >Nothing more.
  1698. >It was not my feelings.
  1699. >I would never-
  1700. >”But humans you work with… Tell me more about them, aside from what I have witnessed.”
  1701. “Well, my Princess, one of them trades arms, the other is executive in some “Company”. They own me, of course.”
  1702. >”And what do they do to you?”
  1703. >It feels really awkward to speak about it with dreams like that one.
  1704. “Actually, nothing that bad. We are working together on one scheme to get rich, and as an addition – establish Russian-Equestrian partnership on political arena.”
  1705. >Majestic face of princess stood in awe.
  1706. >“Are you really that persuasive? Why would they risk so much?”
  1707. >Oh, she misunderstood me.
  1708. “They care only for personal gain. They had plans before, I just changed a little.”
  1709. >She still cannot believe me.
  1710. >”Then, how this scheme is going?”
  1711. “In Tuesday I’ll join action. For now, I’m preparing. There is a lot to learn.”
  1712. >”You were not learner type.”
  1713. “Well, if I can profit from that – why not?”
  1714. >”Is that even possible?”
  1715. >I cannot hold truth and laughter.
  1716. “No, we are risking a lot. Also, Princess, can I ask something?”
  1717. >“O-of course.”
  1718. “Maybe our government should change its higher ups?”
  1719. >”WHAT?”
  1720. >Shit, it is dream, but it is still real Luna. What are you thinking, Trixie?
  1721. “Don’t misunderstand me, but humans have remarkable history. And country that was previously on place of Russia collapsed because they couldn’t change in time their higher-ups. For us, I though, maybe something like constitutional monarchy would work? I’m not expert, I just question how we could solve some of our problems.”
  1722. >”You just want to remove Twilight from power, don’t you?”
  1723. >Well, that is too…
  1724. >”You understand that in dreams I can read minds of hosts?”
  1725. “Oh, sorry, my majesty!”
  1726. >”Nevermind. Just think a little before asking next time. And for your schemes… I’ll send word to embassy. Not much of help beside, I cannot just dismiss our operations to help you.”
  1727. >B-but I haven’t hoped in first place for that.
  1728. >”Good. Depend on yourself only. And good luck, you will need it.”
  1729. “Thanks, my Princess.”
  1731. >Well, room I took has some special sight out of the windows.
  1732. >It is hard to describe feeling of drinking coffee in the morning while watching sunrise above destroyed center.
  1733. >Portal nearby former Parliament, right where previously stood one restaurant, “The country that do not exist”.
  1734. >Military outposts all around, and long perimeter right over the river.
  1735. >And ruins as far as you can see.
  1736. >Now Trixie got up too.
  1737. “Good morning. I’ll be leaving in one hour, so let’s go for some breakfast.”
  1738. >She yawned and lazily said.
  1739. >”Yeah, sure.”
  1740. >Suddenly, doorbell rang.
  1741. >When I approached the door and checked the peephole, I saw some young man on other side.
  1742. >”I’m sorry, have you asked for change of cleaner today?”
  1743. “Well, yeah. Last time bed wasn’t cleaned at all.”
  1744. >”Can I go in? I need to know how much to fine her.”
  1745. “Yeah, sure.”
  1746. >What type of idiot I am?
  1747. >I understand there was no way for me to predict it, but this approach – it is classic.
  1748. >As soon as I opened the door, some soldiers grabbed me and threw in center of room.
  1749. >Even more of them went in room and pointed guns at me and Trixie.
  1750. >After half a minute, some man in suit went in.
  1751. >”You appointed meeting with us on Wednesday, but we decided to not lose time.”
  1752. >It was Minister of Economic Growth.
  1753. >It was fucking Minister of Economic Growth.
  1754. >”So, what have you wanted to discuss?”
  1755. “We appointed meeting with Sta-”
  1756. >”He is my bitch anyway, so I am the one who decides.”
  1757. >Look, I believe in our new government.
  1758. >After all, I fucking voted for them.
  1759. >But I hoped that at least they will change their instrumentary when they will come to power.
  1760. “Why so much fuss? Aren’t you busy man? Don’t you have more important stuff?”
  1761. >After he clicked with his fingers, some soldier hit me with a butt of rifle.
  1762. >”I’m sorry, I am only three month on my position. So I stick to my old ways. You cannot blame me, you understand their efficiency.”
  1763. >In meantime, Trixie tried to articulate me something, moving glance above her head.
  1764. >”Don’t even try, pony. If you use magic, you will be so fucked that everything that happened before will look to you as a nice dream.”
  1765. >Oh, so that is what she meant. Why minister understood it before me?
  1766. “We are going to buy OilPron stocks, and you are part of interested in this company. We wanted to to… reach some agreement.”
  1767. >”Well, I’m in all ears. How Exile owning major stocks of it going to profit Russia?”
  1769. >Where does he know it from? Have Vasya informed them fully already?
  1770. >And, forgive me my Griffon, but…
  1771. “What the fuck is going on?”
  1772. >Soldiers started to look to each other. This unknown man laughed.
  1773. >”Civilized business meeting, that is all.”
  1774. >Vasya articulated, that he haven’t informed them. His face is so obvious to read.
  1775. “Look, I’m the one making the deal, so you need to talk with me.”
  1776. >”Well, no. You are just some stupid gal that serves proxy owner to this man.”
  1777. “If I was not on the point right now, I would fuck you up so bad for these words.”
  1778. >Some soldier moved to me but was stopped by unknown.
  1779. >”No need. I guess we could have a talk with her.”
  1780. >Okay, Anon told me about such actions once.
  1781. “Why you done it now? We still own nothing besides credits. We cannot rewrite anything on you.”
  1782. >”Oh, yes, credits. From the banks that are on one foot with Exile, while one of their connections in Company is your advisor. Do you think that officials are stupid, Trixie?”
  1783. >Well, it is no surprise he knows my name.
  1784. “Look, I don’t know what you imagined, I have completely different goal. I don’t work on them.”
  1785. >Yes, backstory. Remember it now!
  1786. >”But this man, as my information sources say, reached informal agreement with their Russian chapter.”
  1787. >Fuck. I have no information on that.
  1788. >”To be honest, yes. I reached agreement with them, to get them stock on price of credits.”
  1789. >Are you digging up our grave, Vasya?
  1790. >”And this pony is registered on some Anon. Huh. We have common acquaintance with him. Vasya, you were in one orphanage with him until twelve years old, right?”
  1791. >”Yes. He is my random acquaintance I used for proxy, he has nothing to do with that.”
  1792. “Listen, does it change anything? What do you want?”
  1793. >”I want to know. I want to see personally punks who thought they can interfere in my plans.”
  1794. “But are we interfering?”
  1795. >”Look, I’m a honest man. I work for my country, saved its economy in two month, and now some international company wanna take major stocks of previously owned by government business.”
  1796. >Think, Trixie, think.
  1797. >Improvise! Show must not stop!
  1798. “Yes, they gonna acquire stocks, but not major!”
  1799. >”Say what now?”
  1801. “Vasya agreed to transfer them stocks on price of credits. For nowadays price, it would be major, but it will not be if we raise the market price of its stocks”
  1802. >”Well, yeah, you do not need to teach me economics.”
  1803. “Shut up for a fucking minute and let me finish, please! We organized meeting in first place to talk out this part.”
  1804. >Now he sits patiently.
  1805. “You are part of the government, right?”
  1806. >”Yes, I’m one of the ministers.”
  1807. “So, there are huge amounts of oil where already active refineries are placed in West Siberea, that are owned by OilPorn. And I developed a plan how to take them out.”
  1808. >”Minister” laughed.
  1809. >”Look, pony, humans aren’t idiots. Do you think we just haven’t taken them? This supplies are destroyed for use.”
  1810. “Yes, but humans aren’t ponies.”
  1811. >Now “minister” sits patiently.
  1812. >”What do you mean by that?”
  1813. “Look, Russia has already too much enemies, and less trade partners than you want. And we started all this to start working with you, in meantime fucking up Exile plans and establishing Russian-equestrian partnership.”
  1814. >Now soldiers lowered rifles a little, starting to look to each other.
  1815. “You don’t have magic. You still have no information how to use it in any industry. While friend of mine back in Equestria has at least two other friends, that can for sure at least raise efficiency of your refineries and search out tons more.”
  1816. >”It doesn’t sound believable.”
  1817. “Look, does excavation on kilometer down without any machines or instruments except lamp sounds believable to you? Because we do it. We even did such shit in war, if you remember.”
  1818. >”Well… huh. I never… But oil price is even lower than in 2006. How are you gonna raise it?”
  1819. “We don’t need to raise it, only price stocks of our company. If oil price would fall lower, it would even be good, since we could drive out our competitors. And revitalizing such refineries, if successful, would do both. Only thing that could compete is one American unused supply, but for it to be profitable price for oil should be forth as much. And that is where we need you.”
  1820. >”M-me?”
  1821. “Since we work in your interests, and fight oаf biggest companies that are trying to conquer market of Russia, and establishing new trade rout, we need you to help make it happen. We need our deals to be checked as fast as possible, and pull your connections in Foreign Affairs to grant us permission to visit Equestrian Embassy. In addition, we will give them incentive on what you are interested from them.”
  1822. >Vasya turned to me and raised his eyebrows as much as he could without tearing up his face.
  1823. >”Well, this is interesting idea. But why would we need you to do it?”
  1824. “Because, if something goes wrong, we will answer, not you! You could just put all blame on us, and lose almost nothing if ceasefire will be broken.”
  1825. >”Minister” sat in silence for two minutes. Vasya started sweating like crazy.
  1826. >”Boys, usual program. You two, it is nice to have business with you.”
  1827. >While “Minister” got up and walked out of room, soldiers grabbed us and put blinding folds on our eyes.
  1828. >Then they roped us and moved out somewhere.
  1829. >Vasya repeated word “Fuck” until he was hit in a face, judging by a sound.
  1830. >They were driving us somewhere for an hour. In silence.
  1831. >Then we were taken out of car and put on knees.
  1832. >Blinding folds were put off.
  1833. >It was some empty glade, and line of soldiers stood in front of us in five meters.
  1834. >”No, you cannot do it! Please, no!”
  1835. >Vasya lost his shit completely.
  1836. >Me? I was shot so many times I don’t even care already.
  1837. >It was nice adventure.
  1838. >Goodbye, world. I just hoped I could see my home once more.
  1839. >Some clicking, then shots.
  1840. >All around us, in the ground.
  1841. >When fire stopped, one of soldiers approached us.
  1842. >”He agreed. Additional terms of agreement will wait you in your room.”
  1843. >Curtain lowered. Show is over.
  1845. >I never going to mess with officials again.
  1846. >I never going to mess with officials again.
  1847. >"Vasya, are you okay?"
  1848. >How does it look like?
  1849. >I just cannot. Hold it.
  1850. >It is insane.
  1851. >And so I laughed as fucking maniac.
  1852. >Those soldiers already left us, alone, in some unknown place.
  1853. >Trixie untied herself with magic, and started untying me.
  1854. “Hah, Trixie, you are the best capital I ever acquired!”
  1855. >I just cannot hold laughter.
  1856. “How you said all of that? Without any showings?”
  1857. >”Well, being showpony and partisan taught me to be indifferent to audience, either if it is six fucks that do not understand what “stage magician” means either some soldiers with sick fuck ordering them.”
  1858. >I almost died.
  1859. >She almost died.
  1860. >And she doesn’t even fear.
  1861. ”If you were human, I would fuck you right there!”
  1862. >”Th-thanks, I guess.”
  1863. >Now I can get up.
  1864. >Is calling Anon a bad idea now?
  1865. >Well, I don’t know where we are, so better go to road and find some sign.
  1866. “Trix, if we stay alive for a fucking month, I don’t care if you are pony, I will marry you!”
  1867. >”Vasya, you are a little off.”
  1868. “Yeah, I know. I just… Fuck. I never felt so alive.”
  1869. >”Welcome to the club, buddy.”
  1870. >And she hit me at butt with her hoof.
  1871. >God damn it, what am I doing with my life?
  1872. >Oh, sign says Alabushevo - 1km. Of course.
  1873. >Good thing Anon lives on that direction.
  1874. >He is not gonna believe our story.
  1876. “Fucking minister? Are you kidding?”
  1877. >”No shit, man! I was amazed myself.”
  1878. >”No, Vasya, you were shitting yourself.”
  1879. >Those two fuckers, Vasya and pone, that is fucking something.
  1880. ”Well, I grabbed the horn device from Techie, he neutralized its effect, so you can put it on. It is in drawer.”
  1881. >”Also, yeah, why hasn't the official done anything about my horn being freed?”
  1882. “Well, why should we, then?”
  1883. >”Well, why would we have then?
  1884. >Pone again has a point.
  1885. “Fair enough. Keep it close anyway, just in case.”
  1886. >”Trixie, I know you had backstory already, but now, you know, with that little improvisation I wonder...”
  1887. >”Wonder what?”
  1888. “Well, now your backstory is kinda our new plan.”
  1889. >The fuck Vasya said?
  1890. >”I mean, it is not like we have anything to lose now. We are seconds away from another shooting, and next one will be real.”
  1891. >Goddamn. What have I gotten into?
  1892. >I could just continue my business, make a fortune from Ukraininan markets, while keeping up other markets and slowly expanding.
  1893. >But no, I wanted to launder all the money, fast. Illegal arms trade is violent and dangerous, they said.
  1894. >While this is what fucking legal business looks like. No, you know, that was a rushed decision.
  1895. >”Look, Anon, Trixie, I always got that pony world with its magic is kinda tons of new frontiers and it will excel not just Russia, but humankind after some time, but now we gonna partake in it! With help of government!”
  1896. “You are forgetting about Exile. You know, they can do this shit too.”
  1897. >”You know what? I don’t even care now. I’ll will manage somehow, I hope. If not, you know, risks are totally worth it.”
  1898. >There is some sense in these words, but we wanted to do some economical scheming in first place, not new business.
  1899. >”B-b-but I bluffed. Of course, I know some ponies, but this is too huge. I don’t think I’m ready.”
  1900. >”Ha-ha, you cannot be ready for success, Trixie!”
  1901. “Maybe it is too early to be happy, Vasya?”
  1902. >”Of course, of course. It is just… Chances like this are once in a lifetime.”
  1903. “Get your shit together, you need to fake work in Company for now.”
  1904. > "Yeah, yeah, sure. But as soon as I have a bone to throw to headhunters, I'll fucking leave. And these Chinese fuckers will hate me for being late.”
  1905. >”Headhunters? Anon, what is Vasya about?”
  1906. >Well, here we go again.
  1908. “Here, Trixie, do you like it?”
  1909. >It was almost evening, when tailor called.
  1910. >If they would work so fast every time…
  1911. >Then I’ld be out of money. Official ones only, of course. I know it is important, but still, it costs too much with that urgency.
  1912. >Raspberry-colored coat and pants, black casing and white tie. A suit that really fit the time.
  1913. >”Well, it fits, but… I don’t know. Does it fit my fur?”
  1914. “In my opinion, yes.”
  1915. >And Vasya came.
  1916. >”So, how it is going? Wow, Trixie, looks nice.”
  1917. >”Thanks, Vasya. But… Can I order one more thing? Not urgent, but it would be nice.”
  1918. >Well, I would need to check my official ac-
  1919. >”Of course, I pay, what do you want?”
  1920. >”I… Hat and cape. Illusionist like. With stars painted over it. I had it like this before.”
  1921. “I’m sorry, but this sounds a little… You know, I take out my cape and magic hat…”
  1922. >Vasya looked at me and laughed, while Trixie raised one eyebrow.
  1923. >”What is funny about that?”
  1924. “Nothing, I’ll explain you later. Okay, for Vasya’s money, whatever you wish.”
  1925. >”Hey, fuck you, Anon. You have tons, why so greedy?”
  1926. "Look, you offered it yourself. I just went with it."
  1927. >”Ah, I just hoped you would start shitting me. Nevermind, I’ll go talk to the tailor.”
  1929. >”So, Trix, get in, I’ll be beck in 3 hours. Need to verify some shit for the Company.”
  1930. >Room was just like when we left it, except some notes were lying on the table.
  1931. “Is it… how you do business, Vasya? Under the point of a gun?”
  1932. >”Sometimes. Hah, every time like the first one. Market is a warzone, and with Moscow City it is quite literary. We are in the center, after all, in the gray zone.”
  1933. “Gray zone?”
  1934. >”Well, after explosions, this place was destroyed too and is now under ceasefire. From there to the Kremlin was declared a zone that we hold, but… Let’s put it this way, there is no laws in Moscow City. Only formalities. After all, there are no cops here, only military.”
  1935. “And how are the deals done there? They should be checked after all.”
  1936. >”There are companies that bought rights from the government to do these procedures and take all the risks, simplifying a lot. After all, no one is sure that explosions around portals won’t happen again.”
  1937. >So, everyone here is fine with possibility of dying in any moment or what?
  1938. “So, about that minister. Do you know him?”
  1939. >”No, only heard about. He became known only six months ago, even though he was active all the time as it seems. Like, no one knew him. Then he pulled off some insane stuff on wall street right before their systems failed and some random deals started to … It is a long story. Anyway, he became Minister of Economic Growth because it was obvious he knows stuff.”
  1940. “You could become higher official in 3 month in Russia?”
  1941. >”Well, if you are such legendary figure in certain circles, then of course. Stockers even gave him nickname “Agent of chaos”.”
  1942. >One person also disappeared from Equestria six month ago.
  1943. >As Vasya was speaking, he grabbed the notes.
  1944. >Look, there is some gibberish on the note, is it Equestrian or what?”
  1945. >And handed…Handed, huh?... this one to me.
  1946. “Yeah, and It looks like personal one to me. Can you read out loud the one you hold?”
  1947. >”Well, yeah, sure, then you will translate yours to me.”
  1948. >After some coughing, he started.
  1949. >”So, now you decided to work for me. I expect that Vasiliy will have problems with Exile because of that, but I’ll not help you with that. You can count only on secrecy of your plan with me. Also, I hope you understand that I cannot help you with anything about the work of officials. Your deals will be accounted fast, but if you run into problems with other branches of government – I’m no help. So, don’t act like you are untouchable. Now, about Embassy. There are a lot of problems, but all of them are manageable. But again, you must understand I have my own interests, and so you would need to help my connections. I’ll inform you about it closer to the date, but be ready and understand, that you are going to visit it not on your behalf nor on behalf of company, but on behalf of all sensible people out there who are interested in cooperation with Equestria. And, you would need to transmit to Equestrian embassy some of my interests. I hope I don’t need to explain them. Our current most important problem is Equestrian economical system, especially their currency. Also, we are worried about how they are gonna operate on global market through us. They have tons of diamonds, so they need to be warned about them. And, of course, you need to discuss war captives fuss. They don’t want to deal with our government on that question, so we need to know if they would deal with a private company.
  1950. That is all you need to know. That is all I need, for now. Additions will be communicated after visit. And I hope I will be welcomed on your party when the deal succeeds.”
  1951. >After he finished he looked at me. Looks like he isn’t going to discuss it until until he heard my note.
  1952. >Fuck, this is hard to translate simultaneously.
  1953. “Dear Trixie, it is good to know you are in good shape and health. Also, it looks like you still hold your grip. Let’s say, I work with a gentleman that visited you. I’m sorry for such inconvenience of his actions, it was my idea. Still, I’m glad that without communication we headed in one direction. I worked with humans longer than you, of course, so I hope you will listen to my advice. They think differently from us, and your experience on battlefield will not be of much help – there they showed only one side of their heart, while, of course, it is much more complicated. They are more like me, more adapted to my ways, if you get it. Their systems are so complicated that they look like chaos for Equestrian eyes. I still don’t know whether I love or hate them for that. I would like to visit you in my true form once and actually give you some advice. With care,.. “Agent of Chaos”.”
  1954. >I don’t need to pronounce his name. Looks like telling most of that to Vasya is already a mistake. There was a little more
  1955. >”P.S. Knowing that you are stubborn mare, let me give you hint. I am not working with that gentleman. I am that gentleman.”
  1957. ”Well, we are at place. I hope you remember the shit about Islandish Petroleum.”
  1958. >”Yeah, Vasya, you don’t need to explain it again.”
  1959. >If we fuck up this stage, the whole plan goes to shitter. Good thing is that it is hard to fuck it up.
  1960. >This company is interested in selling off their part, after all.
  1961. >The problem is that they can know what happened in crazy yesterday.
  1962. >Trixie is in her official "New Russian"-like suit, documents are ready.
  1963. >Secretary approached us.
  1964. >”He is waiting for you. Come in.”
  1965. >Head of Russian branch was a little disheveled. It looks like these are not his best days.
  1966. >”Wait, where is she? I thought the buyer will come herself.”
  1967. “Well, this is her. Trixie Lulamoon, in person.”
  1968. >Head of Russian branch sipped his coffee.
  1969. >”Okay, never mind, sit down.”
  1970. >His accent cuts the ears a little. It is not that strong as Trixie’s one, but still.
  1971. >”So, you want to put me out of a job, right?”
  1972. “Well, you could put it this way. I thought you are interested in the deal.”
  1973. >”Yes, of course. But… A fucking pony?”
  1974. >”Mind your language, I’m your client. What does my race mean for business, anyway?”
  1975. >”Nothing, it is just… Fucking Russia, why I agreed to come here in first place?”
  1976. >He grabbed a package of smokes out of his suit and opened the window.
  1977. >”Listen, why would a pony want to buy it anyway?”
  1978. >”Well, since it looks like I’m gonna stay here, I would like to have a growing business and be rich, you know?”
  1979. >He lighted cigarette. Trixie, after yesteray, was totally gonna handle this.
  1980. >”The fuck? Growing business? With oil prices like that? You don’t look dumb, so stop hiding shit from me.”
  1981. >I hope Trixie isn’t gonna go full program today.
  1982. >”Vasiliy, can you explain it to him?”
  1983. >What? She… oh, that is how we are doing stuff, Trixie?
  1984. >You haven’t looked it up yesterday, have you?
  1985. >Well, not like I can blame her for that.
  1986. “So, what is your problem? These stocks surely will give Islandish more gain if you sell them and and invest this money somewhere else. After all, your interests are more in Atlantic, not in Asia.”
  1987. >”Look, I know interests of the company. But I don’t know your interests, and my interests are not entirely in line with the company for now.”
  1988. >What? H-how? He works for company, and by profiting your employer, you profit yourself. The fuck he is saying?
  1989. >Maybe... oh, Anon should still have it. Jesus, I should have listened to him.
  1990. “So, you don’t need to know our interests, but what about us serving your interests?”
  1991. >”Like what?”
  1992. >Ah, now, calling “Faggot” number.
  1993. >Now, beeping.
  1994. >”Yeah, are you finished already.”
  1995. “Oh, Sticher, hello. Look, my client needs some help, do you still have a case?”
  1996. >”Listen, fuckface, am I an idiot to drive around with case full of undocumented money?”
  1997. “So, sticher, how fast can you transport it?”
  1998. >”Look, you dismissed the idea yourself, and now you ask me-”
  1999. “How. Fast.”
  2000. >”… I guess in half an hour. Where do I bring them to?”
  2001. “To the client’s building. I informed you about it.”
  2002. >”Ok, but you are putting me in trouble now, so after I gonna wrec-”
  2003. >And end the call.
  2004. “So, what if we offered you material help for your troubles?”
  2005. >Client was staggered a little.
  2006. >”Well, is it five zeros or…”
  2007. “Six. And safe passing in some airport when you will need it.”
  2008. >Disheveled smoker scratched his head and grabbed some whisky bottle from one of the shelves.
  2009. “You surely have some safehouse already, right?”
  2010. >”Right. But this gonna take a month, and who knows what-“
  2011. “One day. Officials are on our side, so everything is gonna go fast.”
  2012. >”Well…”
  2013. >He opened the bottle and drank whisky right from it a little.
  2014. >”You know what? Alright! We have a deal!”
  2015. >As he sat down, he signed all the documents I handed to him, one by one after reading them, sipping down more and more whisky every time.
  2016. >”Here. That is all. Has your man come already?”
  2017. “Should have.”
  2018. >”Then I will come out with you.”
  2019. >When we went out of his office, he handed out his part of documents to some workers, gave orders, and proceeded with us out of the building.
  2020. >There, Anon was waiting.
  2021. >Here we gave case to the head.
  2022. “What are you planning to do next? Maybe, you will come to our business?”
  2023. >”Fuck no, I’m tired out. I am leaving. This is too much. Fuck Russia, fuck Islandish, fuck everything. Every day like fucking last… Now this is my last day! I was waiting to do this for three years already, thought that company gonna… Ah fuck it. Goodbye. I hope we will never meet again.”
  2024. >And so, disheveled gentleman proceeded to his car. Everything about how he moved said that he really meant it. Anon, clearly not knowing anything, whispered to us.
  2025. >”The fuck I just saw?”
  2026. “Well, i am not sure, but let’s just hope he isn’t going to kill himself in next two days.”
  2028. “Hello, where the fuck are you, Vasya? You and Trixie haven’t contacted me for two days.”
  2029. >”Sorry, man, running around, you know. Right now I’m kinda busy too, being hostage and all that shit.”
  2030. >Judging by his shaky voice, they interrogated him pretty intensely.
  2031. >The fuck?
  2032. >”Look, the deal with main shareholder kinda went to…”
  2033. >His voice got smaller, and another one appeared.
  2034. >”As you can hear, your friends are alive.”
  2035. “Are you pranking me or what?”
  2036. >”Attitude of this fuck unnerves me too. Looks like he already doesn’t care about his fate. Anyway-”
  2037. “Where is Trixie?”
  2038. >”She is in safety. You don’t need to worry about her. You two tried to mess with wrong people, so we need to discuss a lot.”
  2039. >I definitely heard this voice somewhere. But who is this?
  2040. >”I’ll send you address. If you don’t appear there in next hour – your friend will disappear.”
  2041. “What do you think of yourself? Who do you think I am?”
  2042. >”Well, in this fuck’s phone book you are named “Faggot”, so at least I know most important stuff about you.”
  2043. >I definitely heard this voice. Is this…
  2044. “Marinovsky, is that you?”
  2045. >The other end went silent.
  2046. >“Wait, I now recognize your voice too. Stich?”
  2047. “Yeah, that is me. Hasn’t Vasya recognized you? Hasn’t he said anything?”
  2048. >”Well, no, this partisan was tight lipped.”
  2049. “Look, I thought I warned you that I will be doing some stuff on legal market.”
  2050. >”I haven’t thought you will pick oil industry! Jeez, well, at least we first time heard each other on the phone.”
  2051. “Yeah, but I still would like to meet right now.”
  2052. >”You’re right. Look, just come to the hotel where he lives, my guys will show you the way to our room.”
  2053. “And about Trixie?”
  2054. >”Shit, man, let’s discuss it person, okay. No need to take your guys, firstly, it wouldn’t help you even if I wanted to sign last deal with you, and second, I respect my protectorates.”
  2055. “No need to tell me that, man.”
  2056. >”It is just you always act rash in fucked up situation, so just cool off. We will solve this fuck up, okay?”
  2057. “Okay, I’m hanging then. Will be in hour or so.”
  2058. >I will never got tired with Vasya. How the fuck he messed with Marinovsky? Hasn’t he thought anything?
  2059. >”So, boss, what do you think?”
  2060. >Owner of car-repairing service still stood before me.
  2061. “It is not your problems.”
  2062. >”No, I mean gold. As I said, I will have revisal in next week, so…”
  2063. “Oh, fuck, couldn’t it wait until that week?”
  2064. >”Look, boss, I know about our agreement, but this is not like I made it all up, so…”
  2065. “I’ll get it out in a week, okay? I need to find secure place and secure passage to it firstly.”
  2066. >”Okay, then I will place it in new found room, since who knows, maybe I’ll be not here when you come for it.”
  2067. “Some troubles?”
  2068. >”No, I’ll just be absent for three days. My brother died, so all relatives will be gathering.”
  2069. “My sympathies. So don’t worry, gold will be out, I respect my prote… Oh, fuck it, just do your job. Bye.”
  2070. >Near the car Roller waited for me.
  2071. >”Some troubles?”
  2072. “Fucking yes, some problems my ass. I’ll be off for unknown time period, so just finish the deals and don’t do anything else until I return.”
  2073. >”How long you will be out, Sticher?”
  2074. “Who knows, Roller… This fucking Marinovsky, why he never warns me about his business on MY territory?”
  2075. >”Because you are his bitch?”
  2076. “Watch your mouth, shithead. After this gold deal you need to work a lot for returning your position.”
  2077. >”Sorry, boss, but really – he is your “krisha”. He doesn’t owe you anything.”
  2078. “Well, he owes a lot to a lawyer who still has all documents from the cases when he protected him in court.”
  2079. >”So it isn’t just a rumor?”
  2080. “Just shut up and leave. Do your fucking job!”
  2083. >As I wake up, pink walls surround me.
  2084. >Women in underwear bettering themselves nearby mirrors, making hair and lipstick.
  2085. >As I stood up, some of them give me strange glance, and one of them runs out of the door.
  2086. “Where am I?”
  2087. >My head hurts nearby right eye, as some of the women run towards me and help me stand.
  2088. >“Are you okay, sweetie?”
  2089. “I… don’t know.”
  2090. >”Don’t worry, owner is of your kind, she will look out for you. No need to worry for a thing starting today.”
  2091. “Of my kind?”
  2092. >”She is unicorn, just like you.”
  2093. >The fuck?
  2094. >As soon as I think about it, door opens, and some unicorn with guards enters the room.
  2095. >It is Rarity.
  2096. >”Help her! Girls, leave her, you have job to prepare for!”
  2097. >One of the girls in underwear, the one who was leaving the room, approached Rarity.
  2098. >”And what about Hectahexs?”
  2099. >Now finally I noticed, that one of her limbs is metallic one. Rarity gasped and answered.
  2100. >”Look, I’ll give them when you got on stage. I don’t need you “glitching” right now.”
  2101. >One of the guards took me on hands and went back to the Rarity.
  2102. >As we left the room, gray light surrounded us. Bass sounds echoed and grew louder as we moved. And i heard Equestian for once.
  2103. >”Hello, Trixie. Sorry for the head, we already punished fuck that knocked you out. Don’t need to worry, we already treated you. It will be okay in no time.”
  2104. >It all is really strange. Am I in dream again?
  2105. >Now, thinking about it, Rarity still has a device on her horn.
  2106. >And at least i can speak my native language for now.
  2107. ”Nice to see you… Can you let me go myself?”
  2108. >As Rarity gestured, guard landed me carefully.
  2109. >”Are you sure, darling?”
  2110. “Yeah, I just… need to adjust.”
  2111. >”I mean, you can still have concussion. Trixie, whatever disagreements we had before, now I really care about you.”
  2112. “Thanks, a mare who doesn’t know what stage show is.”
  2113. >Okay, it looks like I can walk. And what strange, I don’t have any dizziness, just weakness.
  2114. >Rarity glanced at me frowning, then gasped and looked other way.
  2115. “It feels not like concussion, but painkillers aftereffect.”
  2116. >”Oh, yeah, you have been treated on head, you were hit pretty hard, no skull breaks, but flesh were… And your leg! What these brutes have done to it?”
  2117. “Oh, it was before, my owners did it.”
  2118. >”Ehh, what a filthy creatures!”
  2119. “No, I kinda agreed on it.”
  2120. >Eyebrows of Rarity widened.
  2121. “It is long story. It was treated already. So, how you ended up here? You weren’t serving in military, as I remember?”
  2122. >”It is long story too, darling. Let’s just say in human world, legally, I don’t even exist.”
  2123. “Oh, you can say it all. Last days I was learning how to fuck with laws 24/7.”
  2124. >”Well, it would be easier…”
  2125. >Sounds were becoming clearer, and now not only bass echoed, but also some young girl’s moans, speaking unknown language and coming… electric?
  2126. >Something similar to tricks Vinyl did on her parties, but overly abused.
  2127. >”Trixie, can you handle loud sounds?”
  2128. ”Not right now. And what these sounds are?”
  2129. >”Modern human music. I don’t even know where to start with it, really. Anyway, let’s then come into my room.”
  2131. --Oh, I love my ugly boy, so---
  2132. >”Yes, darling?”
  2133. >Her Russian sound strange, with... less accent then me? Did she really use it all the time? Does she thinks in Russian?
  2134. >Looks strange to operate such small objects with a hoof. Usually it is earthponies who are so able with hooves…
  2135. >Well, she is tailor… I don’t know.
  2136. >”Yes, she is alright. What? Are you sure?”
  2137. >She moved away phone and looked at me and parleyed in Equestrian.
  2138. >”Your owner is Sticher, right?”
  2139. “Yes. You found him?”
  2140. >She moved phone back to ear and continued speaking in Alien.
  2141. >”Yes. Look, I don’t know anything, pancake. Okay, I will be waiting you. Kisses.”
  2142. >As she hanged the call, she widened her eyebrows and gasped.
  2143. “Who was that?”
  2144. >”My lo… owner. Anyway, what were you asking.”
  2145. >Oh, her story.
  2146. “So, you were one of the slave-owners?”
  2147. >She gasped dramatically, as always.
  2148. >“Oh, you too. Look, it is not slavery. I volunteered to take some for reformation, after all, I’m Element of Harmony. I gave them good conditions, honest work in my boutique, and mentorship on reformation. And I haven’t bought them, I just gave some money as guarantee of return.”
  2149. ”You do understand that humans have it practically the same with us?”
  2150. >”Huh, no… it is just… they own us!.. Oh, goodness…”
  2151. “Anyway, Equestria is far away, what happened next?”
  2152. >”But I treated them well! Why they would do it?”
  2153. “It looks like your owner treats you well too, and just because that it is totally okay?”
  2154. >”Look, me and panca- my owner… it is complicated.”
  2155. >Oh, it doesn’t look that complicated to me.
  2156. “Wait, so you like human cock or what?”
  2157. >If she attacks me, well, saying it totally worth it.
  2158. >”And what is wrong with that, you, fake magician? At least I’m honest with my feelings, while you tried to hit on Starlight when Twilight got you turn-around!”
  2159. >Trixie. Hold yourself. She didn’t mean tha…
  2160. “Oh, so your assumptions on my feelings towards that bitch and my friend totally excuse your degeneracy?”
  2161. >”Look, you are here because I let you.”
  2162. “And what will you do to me? I don’t think your owner will be nice when his deals with Sticher will be broken because you did anything to me! And more than that…”
  2163. >I levitated sofa on which she sat.
  2164. “Right now, right there, I can do anything to you, and you can do nothing to stop me.”
  2165. >She gulped.
  2166. “Also, who is your owner?”
  2167. >”M-m-marinovsky…”
  2168. >Oh shit. Is this man Anon told me about? Is it…
  2169. >Shitshitshit.
  2170. >Okay, let’s place her back.
  2171. >”L-l-looks like Starlight training improved you.”
  2172. “And actual fight, you know. While you were fucking with war prisoners, I fucking defended my country.”
  2173. >Easy now, Trixie. Even if she wasn’t really your friend, speaking softly, it is long ago. Relax.
  2174. >”Can you be little less rude, please? I haven’t talked to you in such manner.”
  2175. >Well, she is right. Action on the field and working with criminals haven’t improved my lexicon.
  2176. “I’m sorry. So, you were brought here by some human prisoners?”
  2177. >”Yes, in Manehatten portal it is not only military of humans that operate nearby. Some pretty tough organization operates there too. They bought me and artifacts my humans were hiding from me.”
  2178. “Manehatten… I heard it connects to Vladivostok. How you ended up in Moscow?”
  2179. >”Well, I was bought from them by powerful figure. And now, I rule this club and some of his other stuff.”
  2180. ”Like what?”
  2181. >”Well, he cares about ponies, really. So whenever he finds abused one, he finds a way to get it, and then I look after them. You were brought there in that manner, after all.”
  2182. “But I wasn’t abused.”
  2183. >”Well, we couldn’t verify it, since you were knocked out, all we knew is your leg.”
  2184. “And that is why you damaged flesh on my head or something, right?”
  2185. >”Look, don’t you remember what happened? I was only told about it, but still you tried to mess with my pancake’s business. His operatives acted rashly, you tried to resist and…”
  2186. “Wait, what? Last thing I remember – we went to deal with main shareholder of OilProm, then it is kinda shady.”
  2187. >”Well, it looks like you tried to mess with his protectorate.”
  2188. >Oh.
  2189. >Well, of course.
  2190. ”So that is how this shareholder betrayed Minister of Economic Growth! Shit, since he was one of the attainder from his stock manipulations, the only way to still hold acquired stocks, don’t obey Minister and survive is…”
  2191. >”Trixie, what are you talking about?”
  2192. “You don’t know anything about business of “your pancake”, right?”
  2193. >”I know, but I don’t get into details. And why you know so many details?”
  2194. “Well, because I’m the one who tried to make a deal.”
  2195. >Rarity doesn’t take me seriously, right?
  2196. “Don’t wanna be my own trumpeter, but I own 15% of OilProm.”
  2197. >”60%.”
  2198. >What?
  2199. >Rarity gasped, placed her hoof on forehead for some time and then started.
  2200. >”The deal was signed and verified, all documents are in this desk, and I should have been made you rewrite it on needed person, but situation changed, and right now our owners decide what will happen next.”
  2201. “Then get me to them! I own the company that owns the stocks!”
  2202. >”I’m sorry, but that is not possible right now. Let’s wait for them to come.”
  2203. >Thinking of which, she owns something in human world too.
  2204. “Also, what is that club?”
  2205. >”Do you want me show it to you?”
  2207. >”Maybe you will untie me already?”
  2208. “Really, Marinovsky, I’m already here, untie him.”
  2209. >”Look, until I get clear picture of what the fuck is happening and what you two are doing, Vasiliy will be tied. So, can you explain why the fuck you threatened my protectorate to sign the deal?”
  2210. >Swollen Vasya’s face changed in amazement.
  2211. >”The fuck? You are Marinovsky? Shit, I thought you were working on Exile or some shit. Fuck, that explains a lot.”
  2212. >”Not to me! So start talking!”
  2213. >”Sticher, you sure?”
  2214. >As I nod, he starts ranting at full speed.
  2215. >”We haven’t threatened him, he almost agreed on the deal as he tried to bitch out, saying he would sell only 20%. Then Trixie, do you hear me, Trixie, I’m just her fucking consultant that got money for her from Exile and got lists of names for OilProm headhunters to trade for a good position in it…”
  2216. >”Fucking slower, please!”
  2217. >”Sorry. So, she told him that officials got interested in us and offered help for protecting some of their interests.”
  2218. “Marinovsky, when we acquire main stocks, we plan on intense work towards partnership with Equestria.”
  2219. >Ultimate ”Krisha” softened up, worries went out from his scarred face.
  2220. >”But he uses my services, why would he worry about…”
  2221. >”That the joke! She then reminded him that “krisha” is mainly protectorate racketeering, racket, you get? That when he has nothing to offer – his “krisha” will bury him alive. And since oil prices no shit will continue to fall, while he is not that good in this business, he could take the money and leave, and that our “krisha”…”
  2222. “She probably meant me.”
  2223. >”Agrees to ensure his safe passage out of this country.”
  2224. >Marinovsky really started to wonder.
  2225. >”So you knew he was my protectorate?”
  2226. “Of course not, if I had – I would discuss it with you!”
  2227. >”Yeah, Trixie basically was bluffing. Last days show that she really is good with it.”
  2228. >After some small silence, Marinovsky continued.
  2229. >”So this fuck lied to me to get both money and stocks?”
  2230. “Well, you do services like that.”
  2231. >”Not for usual pay, let me say. Okay guys, I will let you do your stuff, since Sticher has already proven dozen times his loyalty, if you agree to help me out later too.”
  2232. “Shit, man, whatever you want.”
  2233. >”Then sorry for troubles. Wanna return him the favor? I will even organize it for you for free. Principles and shit, you know.”
  2234. ”I would happily participate in that show, Vasya, what do you think?”
  2235. >”No, thank you. I’m just a man who wishes be untied.”
  2236. “Also, where is Trixie?”
  2237. >”In the club, with my pony.”
  2238. “You too have a pony?”
  2239. >”Yes, but I haven’t thought of using her for such action. I am more classic with that, if you know what I mean.”
  2240. >As he untied Vasya himself and stood up, all I could is wonder.
  2241. “Sorry if it is personal, but… It wasn’t just rumors that you are horsefucker, right?”
  2242. >”Look, if you have little blackmail on me that doesn’t already matter in New Russia, it doesn’t mean I cannot punch the shit out of you.”
  2243. “No, man. I don’t judge you for that, I just…”
  2244. >”Well yeah, it is true, if that somehow helps you. Are we clear?”
  2245. “Look, all I care is Trixie…”
  2246. >”And I am not just “horsefucker”. Have you ever talked to ponies? They are… better than humans. Not so fucked up at least. All I care is my diamond, you know? So stop worrying about “Trixie” or whatever her name is. Can a man have at least some soft spot?”
  2247. “Easy, man, I said already, I don’t judge you.”
  2248. >As Vasya warmed up muscles after being tied, he asked.
  2249. >”Wait, by “Club” you mean the one below there, with entrance on second floor bathroom?”
  2250. >”Yes, that one.”
  2251. >”So, let me straight. I knew you had in protectorates all Russian big OCGs, but you also had in it one of the main oil companies and fucking Hectahexs?”
  2252. “Well, you said OCGs already, so what makes you wonder that he owns trade of this new drug?”
  2253. >”Yeah, but… shit. How the fuck officials let you do that?”
  2254. “Let’s just say, we have ideological commons with some higher-ups. Plus, FBR always worked with me, not against.”
  2255. >Vasya started massaging his face.
  2256. >”Fucking Russia. Anarcho-feudalism at its fucking best.”
  2258. “So, how come such cultured pony to run such vile place? I thought it is profile of Pinkie.”
  2259. >Rarity and I were sitting on VIP places, from which all shit was seen. Music hit ears loudly, so we are basically shouting to each other.
  2260. >”Well, what to ask from pony who has no connections with nobility and Manehatten higher-ups. You see, in animosity sits intrinsic, fundamental beauty which commoners like you will not understand.”
  2261. ”And these Hectahexs…”
  2262. >”They are made with magic. It is basically enchanted amphetamine with painkillers added to not suffer pain shock.”
  2263. “Ampheta… What?”
  2264. >”One of the human drugs. Stimulant.”
  2265. “Wait, how humans enchant them?”
  2266. >”That the joke, darling. The group that got me – they sold some artifacts to my pancake, and one of ponies he acquired came up with that use.”
  2267. “Who?”
  2268. >”Me. I offered him such use of it.”
  2269. “It is barbaric use of magic!”
  2270. >”You aren’t the one to tell that!”
  2271. “There is no Twilight around, stop licking her pussy!”
  2272. >”Mind the language!”
  2273. >Music consisted of moans of little girls, basses and strange stuff, some of which I heard on Vinyl parties, ormented in chaotic pile of sounds.
  2274. “What is that?”
  2275. >”It is called “breakcore”. Lolicore specifically, top trend right now in higher society of humans.”
  2276. “You call these degradants “higher society”?”
  2277. >”As I said, you don’t get it.”
  2278. “Also, why the fuck such chaotic music became trend?”
  2279. >”Because thanks to Hectahexs, now it is possible to dance under that music.”
  2280. >Women I woke up around were dancing on little podiums around the main hall. Well, dancing… I don’t know if this world fit. They basically changed erotic stances every moment without even moving. It looked just as video of striptease with token out 23 out of every 30 frames. Their limbs were just like teleporting from one place to another, like detached from the other part of body. The chaos of main dancing pool… is indescribable.
  2281. >”They call this dance “glitching” out there.”
  2282. “So it is trend only for Hectahex users?”
  2283. >”Yes, for now, it is only in Russia, but there are already a lot of rumors about clubs like this in music society worldwide. We are basically legend no one sure even exists. Also, of course, such music exists not only in clubs and listened by some people, mainly “gamers”, I assume.”
  2284. “Gamers?”
  2285. >”Don’t you know anything about human society?”
  2286. “At least more than you. And what I know about them useful stuff, like history and basics of their market.”
  2287. >”You totally don’t see big picture, darling. Their culture… It went far longer way than ours. Even if they are brutes like Yakistanians, we have a lot to learn from them.”
  2288. “You call that culture?”
  2289. >”Yes, it is part of their trends, you know! Their culture is wide, there is far more, what you see is just dark bottoms of it, which still has a lot to offer as an idea and personal experience. Until you learn what “metamodernism” is, don’t even try to understand beauty of it, but of course such commoner like you doesn’t even know what “postmodernism” is.”
  2290. “And that is why you fuck with worst criminal of Russia?”
  2291. >”Mind the language, Trixie!”
  2294. “Look, fuck you and your clubs. You already have two of them on my territory, and I let you open one in Donetsk only for the sake of supporting Reizoko Cj. Your monopoly on this drug is nice and all, but this will damage business of my protectorates. Go to Petersburg and Kaliningrad with that shit.”
  2295. >”Already, Sticher. And you are mine protectorate, so stop bitching.”
  2296. “Look, our agreement serve interests of both sides, I don’t want it to change, and I assume you don’t want it too.”
  2297. >Vasya interfered in our dialog.
  2298. >”Look, since we gonna have business with Equestria, maybe you will make Vladivostok gang stop going full “Roadside Picnic” and gain artifacts only from closed official research facilities, plus share some with us, and for that you will get permissi… I mean agreement to help you with making three more clubs you want?”
  2299. >Marinovsky got silent for a little.
  2300. >”Sticher, what do you think?”
  2301. ”Well, if it will go like that, I’m fine. I’m ready to return to them even more artifacts if I make some deals with Equestrians.”
  2302. >”And what if not?”
  2303. “Then they could have part of Caucasus market.”
  2304. >”Well, I will talk about that. Consider it done.”
  2305. >In meantime, former shareholder stopped digging his grave.
  2306. “Are you sure they not gonna search for him?”
  2307. >”Well, officials will not miss him certainly if you warn them through your connections.”
  2310. >As he fallen on the ground, I gave back gun to one of the Marinovsky’s employees and taken off the glove.
  2311. >”Boys, get this clean!”
  2312. >After they started following the order, Marinovsky looked at us.
  2313. >”Anyway, since I wanted to excuse you for your troubles, both of you, what about me giving you entertainment for this evening, since we go to my club anyway for Trixie?”
  2314. “Look, no problems…”
  2315. >”Oh yes, after all these days I definitely need to get wasted, besides, an- Stich, we need to celebrate success of this stage our plan anyway.”
  2316. >Last time we were in that club it haven’t ended good, but…
  2317. “Fine, whatever. I have a lot to forget too.”
  2319. “Where are you going?”
  2320. >”My sweetie will be here in half an hour, so need to get dressed and…”
  2321. “Wouldn’t it better in your case to stay naked for you?”
  2322. >”Oh fuck you, Trixie.”
  2323. “My-my, the language!”
  2324. >”Ugh. Boys!”
  2325. >As she shouted that, three bodies moved to her.
  2326. >”Let her walk around, just make sure she does nothing fancy.”
  2327. “Wait, Rarity!”
  2328. >”What now?”
  2329. “You said you give shelter to ponies. Where they are?”
  2330. >”You search for someone?”
  2331. “You know, some ponies miss their home at least. I would be happy to meet anyone else.”
  2332. >”They are not here. Entrance is closed for use for at least two hours, so…”
  2333. “And how “your pancake” gonna go in?”
  2334. >”He has special passage, with code only he knows.”
  2335. “Fuck. Okay, you go prepare your flank.”
  2336. >As she went to her room, I moved from the VIP places on the main floor. Music finally started to sound like music, but still shitty one. Also, windows on the top floor silenced some sound, so now it hit more
  2337. than before. How they even handle this noise? And I thought on VIP floors it was already too loud.
  2338. >As I approached the bar, people started checking me out. Both men and women.
  2339. >I hate these degenerates.
  2340. >At least I still had the suit on. Now I understand why humans wear clothes all the time. Without it these animals would just fuck without stopping.
  2341. >Thinking about it, how they knew about my leg? Were they undressing me?
  2342. >Ugh…
  2343. >Finally, bartender noticed me.
  2344. >“Oh my, what a guest! Your orders?”
  2345. ”Shot, no, glass of vodka please.”
  2346. >”We serve only in shots.”
  2347. “Then give me whole bottle. I’m sorry, I don’t have cash right now, but I can…”
  2348. >”No worries, madam, ensurer of your safety will happily take it on himself. After all, you are here because of him.”
  2349. “Fuck you, I’m not Marinovsky’s bitch! Give me recipe to sign, idiot!”
  2350. >He called some guard and talked something with him, after which he gave me shot, bottle, pen and recipe.
  2351. >”What happened to you?”
  2352. “What do you mean?”
  2353. >”Your head. It looks recent.”
  2354. “Also, I still haven’t looked, what is there?”
  2355. >”Bold area nearby ear. With scar.”
  2356. >After signing recipe, looks like I can start the bottle.
  2357. “Well, it is Marinovsky’s boys who done it.”
  2358. >”I am sorry, but are you sure you can talk about this person like that safely?”
  2359. >Well, here we go.
  2360. >Cheers!
  2361. >Ugh, still not enough. One more.
  2362. “Look, I haven’t said anything bad about Marinovsky himself. More than that, I don’t even know who he is. All I know is that he needs to take closer look to those he employs.”
  2363. >Cheers!
  2364. >Ugh, need some food. Where the fuck Anon is?
  2365. “So can you at least entertain main shareholder of OilProm, for fuck’s sake? What do you have there besides this jiggling pool of bodies?”
  2366. >You know, there is something in that music.
  2367. >“Well, if you have enough money, there is some… vile entertainment. But you need to be verified at first.”
  2368. >If he know about Marinovsky, maybe… Let’s take a luck.
  2369. “I’m Sticher’s pony, have you heard about him?”
  2370. >He again approached some guard, then returned.
  2371. >”Come after 10 minutes, if it is true, we will let you in.”
  2372. >Cheers!
  2373. >No, certainly…
  2374. “Have you anything to chew?”
  2375. >”We don’t serve food.”
  2376. >Fuck.
  2377. >No, there is really something in this music.
  2378. >Let me show these humans about their “glitching”. They can have “stimulants” and shit, but I have true magic!
  2380. >”What? The fuck? Are you sure? You haven’t took anything? Sorry, sweetie, but… Did she damage anything? Then just let her do whatever she does!”
  2381. “Problems, Marinovsky?”
  2382. >”It is nothing, just… Your pony got drunk and now danced while “teleporting all around” or some shit.”
  2383. >He turned back to phone.
  2384. >”Anything else? Oh, okay. Will be coming. You too.”
  2385. “So?”
  2386. >”It is nothing, just… you will not like it.”
  2387. “What else are you hiding?”
  2388. >”Well, nothing bad for her, just… you will probably see.”
  2391. “What, pussy? Fucking shoot already!”
  2392. >This vile entertainment turned out to be underground fight club. Club inside the c… anyway.
  2393. >Fighters took hectahexs, and entertainment was to just watch them and make bets.
  2394. >Fuck those pussies, I’ll show them how their handmade magic sucks.
  2395. >”Trixie! What the fuck you are doing?”
  2396. >Near the door stood amazed Anon. Well, amazed is a soft word for emotion his face showed.
  2397. “I’m going to dodge the fucking bullet, so don’t get in my way, this shit needs concentration, you know.”
  2398. >He got on the stage and shoved off man with the gun.
  2399. >”Five minutes ago I learnt that you have beaten the shit out of some guy…”
  2400. “Hey, it was honest fight. With magic, of course, but he was “on” too. Referee can prove my words.”
  2401. >”And now you try to… How much you drank?”
  2402. “Half a bottle. Wanna continue with me?”
  2403. >Anon just grabbed me and went out. People in the room were not happy, since they already made bets on the result.
  2404. >As we moved on the stairs, music started echoing.
  2405. “Oh, so you wanna dance with me?”
  2406. >”Shut the fuck up! Are you thinking what are you doing?”
  2407. “Well…”
  2408. >”What if you couldn’t dodge? Haven’t you considered the risks? You are drunk already!”
  2409. >Oh, he worries about me.
  2410. >It is so nice of him.
  2411. >Music hit the ears, as I subconsciously started moving.
  2412. >There is something in it, after all.
  2413. >We moved in VIP places, to one of the tables. Nearby others rich looking persons were resting, while making out. On one of them danced woman I saw at pink room.
  2414. >”Trixie, this is Marinovsky. Your new ”krisha”.”
  2415. >This man with scar on a forehead leaned toward us.
  2416. >”Actually, no, I will just take more from you, Sticher. I like it keeping simple.”
  2417. “Nice to meet you, I’m the Great and Powerful Trixie.”
  2418. >”Heh, I’m well aware of that.”
  2419. “And where is Vasiliy?”
  2420. >”He is in the pool.”
  2421. “Oh, shit, then let’s join him!”
  2422. >”No, I already heard about what you did, so no. Let’s just small talk.”
  2423. “Whatever the fuck you want. Now place me on sofa, my Savior!”
  2424. >Face of Anon looks really tired. After he placed me on sofa, he grabbed glass of some green liquid and rested himself.
  2425. >”Look, Trixie, I care about you and all, but we have agreements, so the last thing I want is you fucking all this shit up! I need to thank you for solving this deal and shit, but… Look who I needed to bring into just for your sake!”
  2426. >”It is fine, Sticher.”
  2427. “Ah, sorry. I don’t even remember how I done it, thanks to whoever left this scar.”
  2428. >”I already punished this fuck, you can-”
  2429. “Yeah, yeah, I heard it, can we leave already?”
  2430. >”Wait.”
  2431. >Marinovsky placed his big hand on the table.
  2432. >”I promised to return you for your troubles. This fuck rented penthouse in hotel above, with him taken out of picture maybe we go there with some… escort of your choice?”
  2433. >Anon nodded silently.
  2434. >”Trixie, wish to spend night with somepony?”
  2435. >Pony, huh?
  2436. “Give me top prostitute you have.”
  2437. >”Well, we have-”
  2438. “Rarity.”
  2439. >Marinovsky collected his hand in fist as he heard that.
  2440. “I’m joking. Just bring everypony. I… miss company of someone my kind. It was nice to see Rarity, but… we had long story of disagreements, let’s put it this way.”
  2441. >Marinovsky relaxed.
  2442. >”Understandable. I must assure you, they do it voluntarily, I don’t-”
  2443. “Yeah, Rarity already explained it. You just let them be, but do additional gifts for human cock lovers. Actually, you know what? Bring me one human woman too!”
  2444. >Anon turned to me.
  2445. >”You sound too drunk, Trixie. Are you sure?”
  2446. “Ah, no sense of humor in you two. Let’s first leave this place and then decide, okay?”
  2448. >My fucking head. Handle it, Anon, you can do it…
  2449. >As I come out in the kitchen, light turns on.
  2450. --Good morning, Alexander. It is 8:00 AM, August 7th--
  2451. >Is it this early? No shit head hurts that much.
  2452. >And throat.
  2453. -- Weather is 17 degree in Celsius, sky is cloudy--
  2454. >So, he got some nice stuff in this penthouse.
  2455. >I hope he had some mineral water too.
  2456. -- News for today: Crimean People’s Republic agreed to ease up military control of Black see, allowing free trade through it.
  2457. >Well, that is really nice way to say “stop raiding”.
  2458. >And looks like I’m lucky. Two bottles of Essentuky rest on top shelf.
  2459. -- News from Kharkov: Novorosiya legalized usage of bitcoin currency in official deals, including for taxes.--
  2460. >Looks like that man was really interested in our western borders. To set program prioritize news from out there…
  2461. >Oh, now it is gonna be easier. Head finally clears.
  2462. --News from Beijing: Chinese government called placement of Isca--
  2463. >So this is control panel, I guessed it right.
  2464. >Finally this thing have shut up.
  2465. >Anyway, looks like 3 hours was enough. Hardly I could got asleep now, so at least I need some coffee.
  2466. >Strange noise filled the air. It repeated, I assume it is doorbell.
  2467. >As I grab handgun on my way, I look in monitors on the entrance.
  2468. >One woman stands on other side, no signs of others neither in hall nor on stairs.
  2469. >Vasya could use such surveillance in his apartment. Maybe I wouldn’t need to save him that often.
  2470. >As I open the door, young gal in red dress that ends right on thighs, with fancy handbag, triangle-shaped earrings and cut-off ponytail looked at me with her deep blue eyes while blushing.
  2471. ”I’m sorry, girl, what is your name?”
  2472. >”Hello, -uh, I’m Stella.”
  2473. >Right, so she is…
  2474. “Sorry, you are little late already. I can still let you in, but you know. I cannot offer that much.”
  2475. >As I move out of door hinge, she comes in. Her heels click on the floor with every step.
  2476. >Sure it is a shame she haven’t come in time. Surely, she is nicer than those I slept today with.
  2477. >They are beautiful and all, but this one – she is attractive as crazy.
  2478. >Surely, she should bring a lot of money to pimp.
  2479. >Anyway, she came to the kitchen with me, on some distance. I put gun back on the shelf.
  2480. “Want some coffee?”
  2481. >”Oh, thanks. It is nice of you. Can I sit down?”
  2482. “For sure. Get comfortable.”
  2483. >Submissive one, eh? Just my type. I really like how she plays her role.
  2484. >As coffee gets ready, I grab it and sit down too next to her.
  2485. “I’m sorry, but all people here are sleeping, and I’m not in the mood…”
  2486. >”It is okay, I can come later.”
  2487. ”That is fine, I would like to return you for trouble coming any way.”
  2488. >Well, it better be long than not.
  2489. “Okay, show me what you got.”
  2490. >As I said it, she looked at me from below her forehead, grabbed out some notes out the handbag and searched something in them.
  2491. >The fuck?
  2492. >”So, you are the Anon? You own… Trixie, right?”
  2493. >The fuck is she doing?
  2494. “Well, yeah.”
  2495. >”My private informers passed me information that she owns the company, which contacted with Islindish-”
  2496. ”Who are you?”
  2497. >She looked at me with humble smirk on her face.
  2498. >”I thought you remember me. Stella Malkina, Octopus Press. You agreed yesterday to answer some questions.”
  2499. >Oh, so she is not prostitute?
  2500. >Well, journalist in not that different profession, after all.
  2501. >”So, do you know where head of Russian chapter of Islandish disappeared?”
  2502. “Is this an interview?”
  2503. >”No, it is investigation. I understand that you don’t want your name figuring in news connected to this, so all I need is just advise on where to start looking, since you promised you know something.”
  2504. >Once more, strange echoed.
  2505. “One moment.”
  2506. >As I went to entrance, I seen on Trixie on monitors with some jockey boy.
  2507. >Stairs were clear once more, so I opened the door.
  2508. >She stood with messed hair and half dressed off suit, with scar near the right ear shining on furless skin.
  2509. >”Thanks, now you can go.”
  2510. >Jockey boy turned to the elevator and hit the button.
  2511. >As she entered in, she went directly to the kitchen.
  2512. >Here she found half-emptied bottle of Essintuky and quickly finished it off.
  2513. >”So, what about Islandish?”
  2514. >Trixie looked at Stella amazed, it was clear she hasn’t noticed her and her question got her out of guard.
  2515. >”Anon, why you talk with prostitutes about business?”
  2516. >Journalist froze in awe.
  2517. “Trixie, mind the language, she works on press.”
  2518. >”Even worse. When our pony journalists tried to investigate how we question prisoners, we used to “mistake them for combatants”, if you get what I mean.”
  2519. >Stella cleared her throat and responded.
  2520. >”That is another proof why your country should not exist.”
  2521. >Of course, Trixie wasn’t happy to hear these words.
  2522. >”Excuse me, wannabe-”
  2523. “Trixie, go get yourself in order. You look like shit.”
  2524. >”Same to you. You even haven’t even got dressed. Why do you think I thought she was a prostitute?”
  2525. >Wait, I’m what?
  2526. >Oh, really, I only have pants on me, which aren’t even zipped. Why then journalist haven’t… oh.
  2527. >That is why she reacted that way.
  2528. >God damn it, Anon. Making innocent gals blush again, just like on your prom.
  2529. “I’m sorry if I made trouble for you with my appe-”
  2530. >”It is fine, just… zip it.”
  2531. >As I did, Trixie left the kitchen.
  2532. ”Well, about Islandish… After we contacted him, he seem troubled, so my bo- I observed what he will do next, just in case. Turned out nothing really bad – he just took a plane in Goa. Looks like he wanted to fresh his mind.”
  2533. >”And is this due to lost of OilProm stocks by them?”
  2534. “Wait, how did you knew that?”
  2535. >”Just a guess.”
  2536. >Now this journalist got her head up and looked straight in my eyes.
  2537. >Shit.
  2538. >We calculated everything, but we forgot about the press.
  2539. “How many people hold information you have?”
  2540. >”Just me and my informer. But it cannot be hidden for long, even in Moscow City.”
  2541. >Fuck.
  2542. >These walls are soundproof, so we could…
  2543. >No, Anon, stop. Death of journalist will raise only more questions.
  2544. “I get it, you want sensation, but do you understand that all we did was legal, and the only thing you will achieve will be-”
  2545. >”Raise.”
  2546. >Fuck.
  2547. “What if, instead of short-term gain, you will have long-term one?”
  2548. >Think, Anon, think.
  2549. >”I’m listening.”
  2550. >Okay, what if…
  2551. “What if I would provide even more sensational news in a week? We will contact you firstly and give you private interview with as much details as we will be allowed to give you.”
  2552. >Yes, Equestrian contact is what I can offer to her.
  2553. >”Sounds like a bluff.”
  2554. “Look, you are the one who have what others don’t. If we don’t give you what we promised – just post what you have. You will post it if we succeed too, but with more details. Plus, we will grant you one international level sensation. Again, with private interview.”
  2555. >She looked in ceiling for some time, then turned back.
  2556. >“I’ll be busy for three days with my current topic anyway. But in 4 days your deals will go public anyway, and half of federal channels belong to Company, so I cannot guarantee anything besides these 4 days.”
  2557. “So what is your answer?”
  2559. >While Anon needed to resolve some more questions, I and Vasya went to the office of OilProm.
  2560. >After some fuss with the security, they got what is happening and let us in.
  2561. >As we elevator doors closed, Vasya moved his tie.
  2562. >”Firstly, we need to visit accounting department.”
  2563. “Why so? I thought we had a lot of shit to learn first.”
  2564. >”Yes, but Anon got into this mess first off to wash off money. Let’s solve it right now.”
  2565. >In accounting department, Vasya pushed them hard.
  2566. >He made it clear he knows about some oil was sold to Chinese on incredibly low price, hence making it legal by adding some zeros to the numbers will only solve problems.
  2567. >And then, one another woman visited department.
  2568. >Dark colors of breeches, jacket and skirt, short-heels shoes reflected strictness together with square small glasses and bright-red coloring on her modest in size lips…
  2569. >By Celestia, looks like yesterday kinda affected me.
  2570. >I wonder how old is she.
  2571. >”Vasiliy? What are you doing here?”
  2572. >Looks like they know each other.
  2573. >”Mariya Somova, I’m accompanying new main holder of company.”
  2574. >”Is it a joke? Answer already!”
  2575. >”Well, as I said…”
  2576. >This woman grabbed radio from her pocket and shouted.
  2577. >”Security! Unauthorized personal in C-10!”
  2578. “Wait, we got it clear on security. I’m owner of main stocks-”
  2579. >”One pony without magic restriction! I repeat, pony with magic!”
  2580. “Listen, Mariya.”
  2581. >”I don’t know what you got in mind, but you know well what we do with corporate spies, Vasya! Don’t even try to escape.”
  2582. >”Look, I’m not spying! Quite the opposite, I had InfoBase of all people employed by The Company!”
  2583. >Woman finally moved radio from her face.
  2584. >”Then what are you doing here?”
  2585. >”As I said, I accompany new main holder. I have permission from her owner.”
  2586. >“And who is it? This pony?”
  2587. “Yes, I own 60%, and we have all the documents are with us to back it up.”
  2588. >Woman bitten her lower lip and placed her right hand on forehead.
  2589. “Okay, I’ll check them, and if this is true, then… I don’t know what happens with Russia. Come to my office.”
  2590. >As we followed her on other floor, we came to her cabinet, as she closed the door.
  2591. >”Who is your owner, pony?”
  2592. “My name is Trixie, and my owner is Sticher.”
  2593. >”Sticher? Who is that?”
  2594. >Looks like it was not the place for nicknames. Vasya moved front.
  2595. >”She means Anonymous.”
  2596. >“Anon? That lawyer you contacted with my father?”
  2597. >”Yes, now a lot changed. He now does part of his former business.”
  2598. >“So, you are from Marinovsky?”
  2599. “No, but we checked everything with him.”
  2600. >After these words she grabbed the telephone and called.
  2601. >”Yes. Hello. Look, some Company’s employee and pony came to our offices. Yes, Trixie. So what they say is true? Okay, but how… No, it is my business! Okay, I got it. Good luck.”
  2602. >As she hanged the call, Marina collected her slim hands and looked right side from her.
  2603. >”Okay, can I ask one question?”
  2604. >Vasya looked at me.
  2605. “Of course.”
  2606. >”Why- No, how you got it? I know stock prices of our company are lowest on the stock market, but not that low!”
  2607. “Agreements with needed people.”
  2608. >”Of course! We work on government again? Six month, six month we stayed independent, and now…”
  2609. “We will do some services for them, but only them. We are not going to cooperate with them on long-term.”
  2610. >”Of course! I heard the same words in 2001. God damn it.”
  2611. “Look, you are…”
  2612. >”Technical director. It is written on the door! While last months stocks were changing the owners, no one of them actually did something. I, it was I who runs this place.”
  2613. >”Marina, let’s be honest, you got this place only due to your fath-”
  2614. >”And what? Haven’t I proven my effectiveness? Ugh!”
  2615. >After hitting the table, she stood up and approached her bookshelf. Form there, she got out glass and bottle of jinn.
  2616. “Marina, I see you understand we have a lot to discuss.”
  2618. >”Okay, we dealt with your Anonymous’s cash. Let me tell you, after four or five years it will be investigated for sure, so you are risking with OilProm name. So you have done it only for half a billion dollars?”
  2619. “Not quite. You see, after some time stock owners will change-“
  2620. >”Of course! Why wouldn’t you? Buy in crisis, sell while prices go up! Some geniuses you are!”
  2621. “Let me finish!”
  2622. >Sarcastic smile washed of Mariya’s face.
  2623. “And we are here to give OilProm direction in which it will go after we sell our part to needed people.”
  2624. >”So, you are proxy owners for now, or what?”
  2625. “Well, not quite. We plan to make good for two countries, while also getting reward for that, of course.”
  2626. >”So who is that? Cosohex, XMKX? Considering the speciality of Vasiliy?”
  2627. “No, we… Okay, I’ll just tell it directly: we plan to end war between Russia and Equestria.”
  2628. >After long second of silence Marina bursted with laughter.
  2629. “What is funny?”
  2630. >”It is just… oh wow… I thought we run for profits there, not for good of people! Crazy thought, right?”
  2631. “Look, i-”
  2632. >Vasya came into the cabinet.
  2633. >”Okay, I finished with headhunter. What are you laughing at?”
  2634. >”Vasiliy, are you… Ha-ha… Are you seriously gonna use OilProm for ending war with Equestria?”
  2635. >”Yeah, sure, it will give profits both to us and to OilProm.”
  2636. >Mariya stopped laughing, as Vasiliy sat next to us.
  2637. >”Wait, this is serious? Why then we don’t end civil war in Ukraine, since we already started peacekeeping? Or resolve Caucasian question?”
  2638. “Because it is not profitable. Ukrainians couldn’t offer us magic and new ways to excavate, after all.”
  2639. >Now smirk disappeared too.
  2640. >”Wait, so you are planning to get for company some alien tech? Make ponies work for us?”
  2641. “Both. Of course, it would involve a lot of lobbying and pushing narrative on mass population, but we will get equal rights for human and ponies in both countries.”
  2642. >”So, you have connections in Russian government?”
  2643. “Kinda accidentally, but yeah, we got some. We still need to do some favors for them-”
  2644. >”But what about other side?”
  2645. >What does she mean?
  2646. >”Look, who can guarantee, even if it is possible to arrange, somehow, that Equestria will agree?”
  2647. >What she thinks-
  2648. >Well, she is kinda right. Even if, and this is big “if”, Luna is on my side, there is three more-
  2649. >Two more princesses to deal with.
  2650. “I heard one my friend got high position through that war. Since we are on the same wave of thinking, it looks like government of Equestria favors position of ponies like me.”
  2651. >”Still, I see it hardly working. Equestria is more profitable as colony than as partner, even with all that magic.”
  2652. >Vasyliy decided to put in his penny.
  2653. >”If you are about their economy, then don’t worry, we took that into the account.”
  2654. “I think, in a month or so, their economy will change drastically.”
  2655. >Marina leans with her body towards the table.
  2656. >”Look, I don’t think you get it. You don’t get the scale of our company. Whatever you are planning- it is huge. Really huge. And you plan to do it in short time. While we have tons of problems we need to deal right now. You understand why you even got the possibility to buy such huge stocks? Because they were bought by former owners while oil was 36. Now it is 43, and they got possibility to sell stocks higher, and why wouldn’t they? Economists predict another fall, in next months.”
  2657. “And that is exactly what we were thinking.”
  2658. >”Don’t you get it? We will be lucky if we contain our current clients.”
  2659. “It will be not that hard when Company goes bankrupt.”
  2660. >”What?”
  2661. >Now again it is Vasya’s chance to shine.
  2662. >”Mariya, you see, they have no government subsiditions. Plus, their witch-hunt on middle-levelers like me will stab them in the back. You got the base of many people willing to change the workplace, thanks to me. Moreover, I was the one who contacted for them Cosohex. I know what to offer to them.”
  2663. >She doesn’t look decided.
  2664. >”You understand that is not enough? There are tons of-”
  2665. “And that is why we need you. I planned to work all weekend, getting to know all of shit we need to deal with, get clear picture. Vasiliy is my advisor, for now, but it is not enough. Could you handle it, get us all major reports and analyze with us?”
  2666. >Mariya poured some jinn in glass, grabbed it and looked in for some time.
  2667. >”Like I ever had a weekend last year… Of course.”
  2669. ”So, Trixie, are you coming or not?”
  2670. >”Anon, can we visit Gubkina first? I need to solve some stuff with their rector.”
  2671. “Look, embassy probably can wait, but patrols on the border – not.”
  2672. >”Right, right. I am just…”
  2673. >As she came into the car, Trixie removed her tie.
  2674. “Look, this is really important. We don’t go there on our only behalf, but also on behalf of those who couldn’t get this admission. Minister of Economic Growth asked me for a lot of favors for his connections.”
  2675. >”Why he couldn’t do them himself?”
  2676. “Because if he tried to resolve it himself through Foreign affairs, it would be governmental act. But we are private agents, so no one will ask government for that.”
  2677. >As I start engine, we drive out from the parking lot and move directly on highway.
  2678. “And please, put this thing on. I don’t want to have problems with patrols.”
  2679. >Trixie put on her horn magic repressor, on which Techie played a little, and opened window.
  2680. >“I want my old life. Not stage one, I don’t hope for it already. Really, organizing partisans was less stressful than this.”
  2681. “Well, you agreed on the conditions yourself.”
  2682. >”Why the fuck Caucasus is so fucked up? Why they continue endless wars? How I gonna run business with this shit going on?”
  2683. “Oh, they aren’t that different from Slavs in that regard, at least now.”
  2684. >”Don’t even start with Ukraine, I’ll fucking kill you if you do it. And Chinese fucks! They find a way to cause us troubles without even wars! At least I have Vasya to deal with that shit.”
  2685. “Have you slept today?”
  2686. >”Yeah, six hours. I needed to be in good shape today, since embassy is finally available. I will probably meet some Princess, and I must show them Great and Powerful Trixie or some shit. Fuck.”
  2687. “You curse a lot today.”
  2688. >”Because I’m fucking tired! I watched my mouth 24/7 due to corporate ethics and shit. Give me a break. I will have embassy to deal with too.”
  2689. >As we move to the entrance in “contested zone”, first gates open.
  2690. >After quick check, they watch our luggage. Since we reglamented all of this, and all of this was given to us by different officials through Minister, they granted us pass for eight hours.
  2691. >As we passed second gates, “contested zone” started.
  2692. >And we are first “private agents” to enter it.
  2693. >Roads are even worse than in a countryside, which is hardly achievable.
  2694. >”Why you have such huge contested zone here? I doubt that Equestrians had claims on them.”
  2695. “Well, you see, in areas of explosion some anomalies happen. Vasya loves mentioning “Roadside Picnic” not without basis on this theme. Of course, there are no artifacts, but it is obvious that we still don’t know whether it is safe to live here again.”
  2696. >Destroyed buildings, big chunks of concrete lying on the roads. And empty, burned skeletons of cars.
  2697. >And I remember driving those streets without any back thought.
  2698. >Finally, we came close to what used to be traffic jam when shit hit the fan.
  2699. >Czech hedgehogs of cars.
  2700. “Here we will go on foot. “Country that does not exist” is half an hour away.”
  2702. “Okay, let’s turn here.”
  2703. >”Anon, is it close?”
  2704. “Yep, it is an hour away.”
  2705. >As we come, sight of a long street opens to us.
  2706. “Let me tell you. You have your pony magic, but this place – it used to be real magic.”
  2707. >Metal trash lying around, yellow grass busting out of the tiles, and dirt covering the sides.
  2708. “This is Arbat, my friend. Place of true wonders. Formerly, at least.”
  2709. >I would have never imagined to see it in that state.
  2710. >”What are you-”
  2711. “I remember in my youth I was often here.”
  2712. >As we move along, I see more destroyed facades of two centuries old buildings, “stalinka”s and disrupted roads.
  2713. “You could always find people there. Young musicians, poets, punks, intellectuals – it was welcoming to everyone. This was the place where you could drink with gopnik, punk and skinhead together, while discussing Hegel’s dialectics. That is true magic in my opinion.”
  2714. >And it is gone.
  2715. >I haven’t thought about that before.
  2716. >The major thing I thought about last year was father's fate, so I didn't have time to think about Arbat.
  2717. >And Prechistinka, so to speak. Sadovaya.
  2718. >Yeah, maybe all these politics and snobs died in that explosion, but what about all these wonderful places?
  2719. >And my father…
  2720. >”I’m sorry, but punks, gopniks… Who are these people?”
  2721. >Oh, right.
  2722. “I’ll tell you later.”
  2723. >”And don’t mind my question, but where are the bones?”
  2724. >What?
  2725. >”I mean, if there were explosion on your side, and it was in the middle of the day, where are the… leftovers?”
  2726. >Her curiosity… No, well, she has right to wonder.
  2727. “These explosions were not usual. They had all stuff wrong about them. They like had no epicenter. And from other things, there was no leftovers. All living matter… burned to ashes.”
  2728. >Ah, after all these months, it is not that hard to handle yourself on these topics.
  2729. >Breathe in, breathe out.
  2730. “And it wasn’t napalm-like either! If it was like napalm, there wouldn’t be so much destructions of buildings and roads. I don’t know. All these people died, and we now couldn’t even bury them properly. Their ashes are already roaming on the streets with all that dust.”
  2731. >”So I breathe in dead people… Huh, just like in old days.”
  2732. “What?”
  2733. >”I mean, before the capture. Not like I battled all my life. Not literally at least.”
  2734. >Well, that pony got priorities right, lemme tell ya.
  2735. “Wait, you said you were a stage magician before the war, right?”
  2736. >”Yes, what about it?”
  2737. “Well, if this place was intact, you would definitely appreciate it. I tell you. Too bad you have to trust my word on that.”
  2738. >As we moved, we approached that one place which had been in this state even before all of this.
  2739. “And this was Tsoy’s wall. Her-”
  2740. >Here, right where I pointed with my hand, stood a man.
  2741. >The client which… wait, it isn’t a man, right?
  2743. “Vomit face, is that you?”
  2744. >Changelling turned to its true form.
  2745. >”Nice to see you both too. Maybe use my name next time?”
  2746. “Nah, I wouldn’t risk giving off your name in case I am mistaken.”
  2747. >The changeling's frown eased as anger left his face.
  2748. >“So, you didn’t do it from snarkiness?”
  2749. “Doesn’t matter. How did you get here and what are you doing?”
  2750. >”Well, changeling’s worth is in its secrets.”
  2751. >Trixie move to the front and looked at the wall.
  2752. >”Have you made these graffiti’s?”
  2753. >”Oh no, they were there before.”
  2754. “Even before portals opened.”
  2755. >Trixie looked at it some more.
  2756. >”But how it is still there? I mean, why it is intact?”
  2757. “As I said explosions were all wrong.”
  2758. >Vomitface gave us a sideways glance.
  2759. >“Well,if you don’t mind me, I have stuff to do.”
  2760. >As he said it, he disappeared. Just like Trixie and shipment when the cops had been checking us.
  2761. “I guess we need to watch our back with types like him.”
  2762. >”Not really, Changelings stopped doing bad stuff to ponies at least year ago.”
  2763. >I didn’t know what to think about that comment.
  2764. ”Well, I’m not a pony.”
  2765. >His voice came from somewhere on the left.
  2766. >”And I can still hear you.”
  2768. “Okhotniy Ryad, the next station is Chistiye Prudi.”
  2769. >”Could you stop it? And jeez, how much subway stations are there? We meet one every 10 minutes!”
  2770. “Ah, sorry. I just feel kinda nostalgic. You know, it was good times when there weren't a million civilians dead.”
  2771. >”And could you stop that too? I get your “Russian Tragedy”.”
  2772. “Well, if you couldn’t handle it from me, how you gonna hold it on press-conference?”
  2773. >”Oh, right, press-conference. Of cour-”
  2774. “You're gonna escape, right?”
  2775. >And she thought she could hide it?
  2776. >”What do-”
  2777. “You gonna escape as soon as we walk in embassy, right?”
  2778. >”Why would I try?”
  2779. “Look, press conference today gonna be very huge thing, and you just forgot it? I don’t buy it.”
  2780. >”Then I don’t need clients like you.”
  2781. >Hush, gal.
  2782. “Excuse me?”
  2783. >”Look, I’m no idiot. I get what will happen if pony that just bought a huge Russian company ran off back in Equestria. I’m sorry, but I love my country and don’t want the ceasefire to end.”
  2784. >Oh, of course.
  2785. >”I’m just not used to it, you know? Running company and shit. Last days I even forgot I need to sleep, I needed Vasya to remind me.”
  2786. “Sorry, I just-”
  2787. >”Have trust issues? Oh, don’t need to tell me that, I kinda noticed.”
  2788. “You must understand that I had all the reasons for that.”
  2789. >”Ah, don’t mind me. I’m like that too.”
  2790. >As we turn around the corner, white wound of the world becomes seen.
  2791. >Behind “Country that doesn’t exist”, restaurant across the road from former Parliament.
  2792. >Some things happen just in right places.
  2793. >That restaurant is the only part of building that looks not fucked up.
  2794. >And portal… it shines out from where the store was. “Modniy…” Nah, I don’t remember it.
  2795. >What is funny is that these pony ambassadors even left the old sign.
  2796. >As we approach, cloud around the entrance shines, and doors open. Lights are working here, somehow, but insides are really empty.
  2797. >On walls decorations are in place, but there is only one table.
  2798. >Behind it, sit two ponies and one… Horse?
  2799. >Man, is it hard with these aliens.
  2800. >All of them are horned, but big one has the wings.
  2801. >On the right sits a stallion with white fur and blue mane, gentleman looking with jacket and moustache and stuff like that.
  2802. >On a left sits pink-purple pony with purple mane, in humble dress.
  2803. >The big one has the crown, no clothes, pink fur and differently colored mane.
  2804. >As Trixie comes in, she rushes to the one on the left.
  2805. >”Starlight!”
  2806. >”Trixie!”
  2807. >As they hug, unintelligible sounds come from them.
  2808. >Sounds like… their language? Who knows.
  2809. >Big horse coughed in her hoof, reminding them of the situation.
  2810. >Mares released each other from hugging and stood on different sides of table.
  2811. >”We are honored to meet you; I am Mia Amore di Cadenza, Princess of Crystal Empire and Chief Ambassador from both Equestria and Crystal Empire. The other ambassador, on right from me, is Fancy Pants, former Mayor of Canterlot. I also invited Starlight Glimmer, former head of Special Task forces and current head of Alien Adaptation Program. It is the first time we meet private agents from Russia.”
  2812. >Gosh, that accent. And I thought Trixie is hard case.
  2813. >As they bow to us, I bow in return. But not Trixie.
  2814. >”Do we really need all these formalities?”
  2815. >As all straighten up, Cadenza glanced at both of us.
  2816. >”Well then let’s get started.”
  2817. >Finally, I can drop the burden of this case. All these documents and stuff making my shoulder sore.
  2818. “I would want to get through all messages that people sent through me to you firstly. Well, this is letter from Moscow State University, they would like to share some knowledge. And this is the artifact they made. It is prototype, probably too simple by your standards, but I was told that this thing changes color depending on the mood of the one who holds it. ”
  2819. >”And what does green color mean?”
  2820. >Pink pony asks too much from me.
  2821. “Look, read the letter later, I don't know the specifics, I'm just doing someone a favor.”
  2822. >And like this, I got them the message from Potanin, which was interested in weather control, like all of us, a word from Macrohard’s Russian chapter, Ministry of Healthcare and many others. Looks like Ministry of Economic Growth really has a lot of connections out there.
  2823. “But this all is for later, let’s discuss our case.”
  2824. >Trixie was getting impatient.
  2825. >”Mia Amore di Cadenza, why are you of all princesses the ambassador?”
  2826. >Pony in royal regalia coughed a little.
  2827. >”Trixie, I heard some stuff about you from my sister-in-law. And a lot from Starlight. My opinion on your personality is shady, could you please not make it worse?”
  2828. >Trixie eased her temper.
  2829. >”As for your question, Trixie, firstly, I already rule different species. Secondly, I already dealt with Yaks, and it is somewhat similar. And last, but not least, this portal leads to Crystal Empire.”
  2830. >After princess finished her speech, white pony started said something on equestrian.
  2831. >Trixie turned to the right.
  2832. >”Not many. Some Manehettans and Rarity for now, but we are gonna search for more. And i insist of usage of russian during the meeting/”
  2833. >”Rarity? She is here? I… She disappeared far away from front. She is well, right?”
  2834. >”Do you have something personal for her?”
  2835. >”What do you mean?I’m married col-”
  2836. >”I mean message. Do you have any personal message to her for me to pass?”
  2837. >”Oh… no, not particularly. Just send her my regards and sympathy.”
  2838. >Pony on the left stumbled a little.
  2839. >”Well, I would like to get some information about human psychology, if that wouldn’t be problem for you, Trixie.”
  2840. >Do they even notice me?
  2841. >”I am sorry, but can we finally start talking about actual reason of our visit.”
  2842. >Pony in regalia narrowed her eyes and said something on equestrian somewhat intriguingly.
  2843. >”You must have misunderstood us, Princess. I’m mainholder of Oilprom, and I came here in that role, not as former soldier.”
  2844. >The “princess” raised one of her eyebrows.
  2845. >”Former?”
  2846. >”Let’s not discuss it, it is not what we all are here for.”
  2847. >Pony on the left placed one of her legs on the table.
  2848. >”Wait, “Great and Powerful”. Let’s discuss it. Because I don’t remember releasing you from service.”
  2849. >”Well, Starlight, you didn’t, but Princesses did when they stabbed us in the back.”
  2850. >Pony on the left worriedly looked at the pony in regalia, while white stallion looked aside and covered right side of his face. Silent smile of “princess” froze on place, as her eyebrow ticked a little.
  2851. >"What. Did. You. Say?"
  2852. >But Trixie couldn’t stop.
  2853. >”Ah, nothing, just Motherland forgetting those who fought for it and got captured. You know, it was Equestria who refused the exchange of captives. Thanks to you, princesses, I had three month of “joyful” interrogations, and even after that you refused to get me home.”
  2854. >Smile disappeared from princesses face.
  2855. >But Trixie couldn’t stop.
  2856. >”Cadenza, heh, “darling”, I get it is difficult topic with a lot of complications, and I am a little subjective, even though I believe I have all rights to be like this, so to evade the shitstorm let’s just drop the theme and do some business, right?”
  2857. >Gentleman pony turned back to “princess” and mumbled something to her on Equestrian.
  2858. >”Right. My apologies. I thought I was speaking with an Equestrian citizen, but I was mistaken. So, what does the mainholder of Oilprom want from our humble country?”
  2859. >Starlight placed hoof on the“princess”s shoulder.
  2860. >”Your Highness, she means wel-”
  2861. >”Oh no-no-no. If she wants it this way, she will get it that way.”
  2862. >Bitterness on Trixie’s face is indescribable.
  2863. >”Right. Well, our main topic is what we declared – we want open chapter of the company in Equestria. I imagine… Fancy Pants, for example. Yeah, he could serve as its head, since he is a capable businesscolt, as I remember from the papers.”
  2864. “Ah, I’m sorr-“
  2865. >”Human, we are not speaking with you.”
  2866. >That “princess”, let me tell you.
  2867. “And this is your chief ambassador?”
  2868. >Starlight covered her eyes with a hoof, and “gentlecolt” coughed a little.
  2869. >”What do you want, human?”
  2870. “Look, forgot to mention. You need to understand one thing. If you want real peace and coexistence with us,humans, – you need to totally change your economy.”
  2871. >”Who are you humans that we should bend t-”
  2872. >White colt disrupted speech passage of “princess”.
  2873. >”What do you mean exactly? That we should orient more on resources, or industrialize in the “human” manner?”
  2874. >”Princess” snarked a little.
  2875. “Well, it would be nice to do too, but main problem is not it. Look, I and Trixie stumbled not so long ago on your currency nearby Moscow, and it was traded to us not as currency, but as gold it consists of.”
  2876. >Cadenza’s eyes tried to escape the contact, while “gentlecolt” continued to be interested.
  2877. >”And what is with that?”
  2878. ”Well, you see, your currency is based neither on funds it represents neither abstract characteristics like GDP. Your currency is based on cost of its material, right?”
  2879. >”Well, yeah, it is good, right?”
  2880. “No, it is not. With basics of your economy like that you are non-profitable as partner to Russia, only as a colony. Like it or not, it will lead to end of ceasefire sooner or later. If you really want peace, you want to make it profitable for both sides.”
  2881. >”And why do you care about that?”
  2882. “Well, it would be hard for us to do business with you during the hot war, you know?”
  2883. >Princess interrupted the one meaningful conversation we almost started with that “gentlecolt”.
  2884. >”What could be more profitable than saved lives? Why would they want a continuation of war?”
  2885. “Well, exactly because it would save lives. Russia has a lot of other enemies right now, and Equestria has a lot of stuff to offer against those threats. Not even starting with emigration and demographic crisis.”
  2886. >Starlight again turned her face to “princess”.
  2887. >”Your Highness, I assume you invited me to remind you that humans aren’t just “brutes”. Look, I’ve dealt with them in the field, both on the front and in civility, and let me tell you…”
  2888. >As “princess” looked down, Starlight looked at me.
  2889. >”They are a lot worse. They are a talentless, egoistic bunch that will do whatever it takes to survive. So we get you have troubles, but leave ponies out of this!”
  2890. “Well, a million of Russians are dead, so it is too late.”
  2891. >”What? We encountered less than a third of that!”
  2892. “So, there were no explosions on our side? Because a fucking proof of it is just outside of this building! It is fucking mirror let me tell you! Approach it and look in the eyes of country that does not exist!”
  2893. >I am going poetical, aren’t I? A little “fed up with their shit” too, so to speak.
  2894. >White colt nervously scratched his moustache, as Starlight’s vein on forehead bulged. “Princess” lifted her head and looked at me.
  2895. >”Why do you humans believe it was us who did that?”
  2896. “Because who el-”
  2897. >”STOP!”
  2898. >Everyone looked at Trixie.
  2899. >”You know, I will not ask for understanding. Let’s just pretend, for a second, that we want peace, let’s at least pretend we respect each other and that we want prosperity of both ponies and Russians. Just… fucking pretend at least.”
  2900. >Well, yeah, conversation went kinda wrong.
  2901. >”Mia Amore di Cadenza, we brought some literature. If there are any fucking economists still in my country, I want you to give them these and let them decide how to change monetary politic of Equestria. Is this okay, Your Highness?”
  2902. >”Mind your langua-”
  2903. >”I could end ceasefire by just rushing toward the portal, Princess. So I fucking repeat, is it okay?”
  2904. >”Y-yes, this sounds reasonable.”
  2905. >Trixie gasped out.
  2906. >”Okay, sorry, kinda pent up in me. Now, Your Highness, is it okay for us to open Equestrian chapter of Oilprom? Would you consent to it?”
  2907. >Cadenza’s face disfigured in anger, as Starlight holded her for shoulder.
  2908. >”Your highness, we have opportunity to peace. We should trust her, looks like she knows what she is doing.”
  2909. >”She threatens us with war!”
  2910. >”And do you want it break out again, Your Highness?”
  2911. >”Princess” gasped and continued.
  2912. >”Well, I guess there is nothing wrong with that.”
  2913. >”Fancy Pants, would you like to be head of equestrian chapter of my company?”
  2914. >”I-I’m sorry, but I’m not a specialist on natural resources.”
  2915. “It is okay, you will have a lot of assistance, since some fired workers of oil company got enlisted and now are equestrian captives. You will just need to buy them out.”
  2916. >”Yes, what Anon said. And company promises to cover these expenses in a month.”
  2917. >”Well, then I have nothing to lose, so I agree.”
  2918. >”Starlight, my dear fucking friend. Would you kindly provide Fancy Pants with names and addresses of these people and their owners?”
  2919. >”Trixie, you are my friend, but this is private data, and I canno-”
  2920. >”Okay, I’m going in Equestria, see you in Canterlot.”
  2921. >As she started walking towards the door behind them, beside which supposedly portal stood, Starlight rushed to her.
  2922. >”Yeah-yeah-yeah, okay. I’ll do it. Relax, Trixie, we are your friends. You don’t really want to end ceasefire, right?”
  2923. >”Starlight, human crimelords were more cooperative than you, my only friend, so, understandingly, I'm a little doubtful.”
  2924. >”I’m sorry, but I didn’t know. What if this human forced you to act like that? He is your owner.”
  2925. >Forced? I’m not some punk, what does she think of me?
  2926. “Where we are right now, purple one?”
  2927. >She looked at me in wonder.
  2928. >”In the embassy, duh.”
  2929. “Hence, judicially, it is Equestrian soil, right? Hence, I theoretically couldn’t act as her owner. From the moment she stepped in here – she was absolutely free.”
  2930. >Starlight looked back to Trixie.
  2931. >”I’m sorry if I insulted you. Look, it was all crazy back in Equestria, I didn't know what to think. I will do anything possible for you to return sooner.”
  2932. >”Thanks, Starlight. Don’t take it personally too. It is just business. And you wouldn’t imagine how crazy it is out there.”
  2933. >Heh, that is true.
  2934. >”What is funny?”
  2935. >Oh, it was out loud?
  2936. “Well, you see, Russia from the moment the portals opened, is the definition of “madness”. You know, after death of so many civilians, news started takling about magical horses with a serious face… You see, people kinda were not prepared to this. I even remember when a lot of people claimed this was the Judgment day, and ponies are demons from hell. There still are some out there.”
  2937. >Trixie laughed back.
  2938. >”Look, Anon, I browsed the Internet some, it doesn’t look that Russia was a sane place even before these portals.”
  2939. “Heh, touché.”
  2940. >Trixie returned to my side and cleared her throat.
  2941. >”And as that, The Great and Powerful Trixie thanks you for both welcome and cooperation. As that, let’s sign papers and work out details.”
  2943. “I guess interactions with crimelords kinda did a favor for you.”
  2944. >”Anon, why did you act so… Humble?”
  2945. “Because I was not the one making a deal. Since it is not really my business, I haven’t pushed.”
  2946. >”What do you mean “not your business”?”
  2947. “I mean I washed off my money already. I can ran off to Chile whenever i want, if Marinovsky let me, of course. It is Vasya who is interested now.”
  2948. >”And you missed the opportunity to deal with them on contraband of artifacts?”
  2949. “Well, you see, they still don’t trust us a lot, obviously. But in the next visit… I get that getting artifacts from Equestrian Government directly is a sweet pie, don’t treat me like idiot. Plus, there will be problem with actual shipping of them.”
  2950. >”And what about that changeling?”
  2951. “Yeah, I thought about that too. Maybe. It is not like I will have freedom to act now anyway.”
  2952. >”What do you mean?”
  2953. “Well, the moment we get back from contested zone, our faces will be in every TV for three days at least. That is why I delegated control of operations to Roller and some others.”
  2954. >”Look, the amount of money which I washed off… it is ridiculous one. How did you get it?”
  2955. “Simple. When Russia stopped assisting Novorossiya after change of government, I was the one who started contrabanding them stuff.”
  2956. >Trixie turned to me.
  2957. >”What? You make money off war?”
  2958. “Yeah, what is wrong with that? Have you forgotten what kind of business I run?”
  2959. >”It is just… no! The one thing I witnessed – that is one thing, but you support fucking war!”
  2960. “And? It gets tons of cash!”
  2961. >”Do you don’t care about these people?”
  2962. “Why would I? Do they care about me?”
  2963. >Trixie opened her mouth and raised hoof, but then closed.
  2964. “Look, for example, you kinda grasped that artifacts is new trend, promising business and all that shit, congratulations. What do you think artifact contraband is all about? Do you think we sell it to researchers, which find a way to better human life or some shit? No! They are used in fights and drug production of Marinovsky, plus rich sickos who like rare stuff buy it. Really, you sound like a banker from 90’s, who believes that OCGs are “golden minds which will save Russia”. And guess where bankers like that ended up? Lying in some fucking woods, probably. And I tell you this only because I kinda befriended you. Of course, it is really early to speak about true friendship, but you are cool chick, and I don’t want to find your body in Phirsanovskiy’s forest after one hour trip to Zelenograd. Be fucking careful. Especially with your tongue.”
  2965. >After some silence she humbly said:
  2966. >”Thanks.”
  2967. “For what?”
  2968. >”For “Cool chick”.”
  2969. “Oh, nevermind. Here is the car, anyway. Start preparing your face for cameras.”
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