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(PIE) SPARCS: Ch2

Mar 30th, 2013
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  1. SPARCS: Ch2
  2. >Be year CE 2097-ish on Earth
  3. >Feb 17th, 22:39:14
  4. >According to the blinking clock on the wall
  5. >”So, like, you worship the sun?”
  6. >Cloudchaser puts down her bottle and gives him a glare
  7. >”No, we follow the Celestial Diarchy, The Princess Sisters, Celestia and Luna”
  8. >The three of you are at a bar in a cheaper part of town
  9. >Cloudchaser and your ‘friend’ Broseph
  10.  
  11. >”So Celestia is the sun one, right? Does that make Luna the evil one or something?”
  12. >”No! I mean, sort of. She was evil but the Elements of Harmony made her better”
  13. > Broseph took a long swig of this drink before cocking his eyebrow
  14. >”What?”
  15.  
  16. >Over the past few weeks you ran into Cloudchaser a lot. Sometimes you found her, other times she found you, or the two of you just ran into each other
  17. >Walking downtown, getting groceries, eating at a lunch cart, going to the festival
  18. >Apparently she was staying in Bay City for a bit, doing something
  19. >She was a bit vague on that part
  20. >One day while eating lunch with her it just sort of came out of your mouth. An invitation to a bar with your only other friend that weekend. Why not? It isn’t every day that you can get drunk with a xeno. And besides, she seemed like a pretty cool person… pony... girl…
  21. >You still aren’t sure what the proper pronoun is
  22.  
  23. >The conversation drifted a bit as you just sat in silence enjoying your drink
  24. >”Is it like Christianity then, one is the ruler and the other a fallen angel or something?”
  25. >”No, not really. They’re real, or were real”
  26. >Broseph’s face turned sour
  27. >”Are you implying something?”
  28. >Now you knew Broseph, and he wasn’t a real religious man, nor was that his real name. He was the type of guy who would screw anything that moved, and some things that didn’t. He was also the type of guy who mixed some Preppers, Viagra, and Smartex to see how long he could masturbate. It was 32 hours. Once he broke into a car to switch out a pass-key lock and nothing else, just to fuck with some stranger. Another time he took you to a park and just walked around together, and whenever you saw a couple displaying any form of affection he would yell “NOT ON THE FIRST DATE” while he started dry humping you.
  29. >In short, Broseph was a bit of an asshole, but a fun asshole
  30. >”I-I didn’t mean it like that. I meant that they were rea- physically with us. They lived in a city called Canterlot and you could actually see and talk to them.”
  31. >He kept his sour look and glared at her
  32. “So they were like living gods?”
  33. >”Yea, sort of. Not the same idea of gods I guess.”
  34. “Like a pharaoh or something?”
  35. >Her puzzled look urged you on
  36. “Pharaoh, ancient Egyptian god-kings.”
  37. >”Well sure. But they were actual gods, moving the stars, intense magics, controlling the moon…”
  38. >The rest of the night blurred with the drinks
  39.  
  40. >01:31:19
  41. >It was late
  42. >Broseph left the two of you as he caught the last metro a half hour ago
  43. >Now it was just you and a hovering pony walking down… uhh…
  44. “What street are we on?”
  45. >”Wh- *HIC* what? I was following you!”
  46. >Cloud drifted into your side
  47. >”Where are we- you- we going? Anyways?”
  48. “I thought I was taking you to a hotel or something”
  49. >She blushes a bit and then sticks out her tongue
  50. >”Yea, I bet- *HIC* bet you would like that, huh?”
  51. >A quick mental image enters your head of you on a bed with her on top of your-
  52. “Yea- wait, no. I was just taking- You have a hotel room- There’s-“
  53. >You pause with a breath and try to think out what you’re going to say through your drunken haze
  54. >Cloud is giggling and flying backwards in front of you, looking at your flustered face
  55. “Okay. You’re in Bay City, and I remember hearing that you were just visiting for a while, so I assumed that you were staying at a hotel or something”
  56. >”Yea… sure… that’s exactly what you had on your mind”
  57. >The two of you continue walking for a bit before you look over at her again
  58.  
  59. >She meets your gaze, bats her eyes and flies a bit overhead, doing some sort of lazy loop before she slows down. Then she finishes by burning her very slow speed on a few lazy orbits around you before coming to a stop in front of your face again
  60. >”He- *HIC* Hey. Can I ask you a question?”
  61. >You stop
  62. “Sure… what’s up?”
  63. >After fidgeting a bit she responded
  64. >”Actuall- *HIC* ly I think I’ll ask you tomorrow. It’s important, like REAL important. And I want to b- *HIC* be sober for it…”
  65. “Alright…”
  66. >”Just… remember that cart near the fountain with the tortilla and bean things?”
  67. “Burritos”
  68. >”Yea those, meet me there tomorrow for lunch”
  69. >She flies off a bit before turning back
  70. >“Please…”
  71. >With that she climbs a few stories and beings to go off towards wherever
  72. “I hope this isn’t some weird xeno thing…”
  73. >Then with a mental flick you reactive your VHFT
  74. >[VHFT: Enabled]
  75. >[VHFT: 3194 local nodes detected]
  76. >A flood of advertisements and solicitations appear in your vision, only to be silenced as you bring up your mapping software
  77. >[VHFT: Destination- Home. Route calculated. ETA: 35 min]
  78. >…Just enough time to get home and sleep for a few hours before going back to work
  79. >God damnit
  80.  
  81. >Another day at work
  82. >It was pretty much the same as always. This time you were called down to another building to see why they couldn’t connect to the VPPnet. A half of a day of troubleshooting later you found out that a cable wasn’t plugged in. Fifteen seconds later you decided it was lunch time.
  83. >As you strolled into the concrete park you saw her, sitting on the top of a bench looking around for you in the crowd
  84. “Cloud! Hey!”
  85. >”Oh! Anon! Umm… are you hungry?”
  86. >The best thing about these burritos you could say was that they were cheap. The cart’s scrolling screen was cracked at the bottom, making the lower half of the display a constant oily-black. After getting a pair she led you to a small divider under metal shading where the two of you began to eat
  87. “So, what did-“
  88. >[VHFT: New msg from B. Freeson. “PRINTER BROKEN, I NEED HELP!”]
  89. >[VHFT: New msg from B. Freeson. “SERIOUSLY, ITS BLINKING AND SHIT!”]
  90. >[VHFT: New msg from B. Freeson. “I GOT A MEETING IN 2 MIN I NEED HELP!”]
  91. >You immediately acknowledged it and realized your lunch is going to be cut short
  92. “Ugh… Sorry. Something just came up, so this has to be sorta quick.”
  93. >”Huh?”
  94. “I just got some messages that I need to take care of… What did you want to talk about?”
  95. >You said as you tapped the side of your head
  96. >She looked at you, took a deep breath, and said
  97. >”Well… would you say that we’re friends?”
  98. >Friends?
  99. >You think back on everything you’ve done together over the past couple of weeks
  100.  
  101. >The night you ate at that noodle place, the one with the hologram sign that was fun to walk through. It was all you can eat, and so the two of you did, until the owner noticed a pony was eating in his place and tried to kick you two out. After a few scripts and tags you left, but not before making the sign of a noodle bowl turn into a giant dick
  102. >Or the time she asked about the ocean-side park, and guilt tripped you into going with her. The two of you spent hours walking, talking, people watching, and eating vending machine snacks. In fact you weren’t even the biggest oddity on the beach that day, a trio of boddy-modders who could be best described as ‘Sea People’ were making a scene
  103. >And then there was the time you met up with her on accident as you were heading down the red-light blocks… and you had to awkwardly explain to her that the ladies out here were selling…
  104. “Yea, yea you can say we’re friends. What’s up?”
  105. >She lets out a deep sign
  106. >”I need help. With something big. HUGE! It’s with a farm”
  107. “A farm?”
  108. >”Yea, let me explain. I’m not really here on vacation or sightseeing, I’m here on business. I’m from The Hoof-“
  109. >[VHFT: *Search* The Hoof: The largest pony-controlled territory. Located north of Nairobi, Kenya]
  110. >A map of the area popped into your peripheral
  111. >”Some ponies were kidnapped. We don’t know who or why, just that they were taken. I managed to track them here, to Bay City. And after searching I found out they were in Cargill Ranch”
  112. >[VHFT: *Search* Cargill Ranch: Livestock farm]
  113. >More pictures and stats started to pour into the overlay
  114. >”And… they are… they are being treated horribly. Absolutely horribly, like some sort of messed up nightmare. I can’t let them live like that. I… You have to see it for yourself… I’m going to save them but I can’t do it alone…”
  115. >[VHFT: *Search* Cargill Ranch: Established 2064]
  116. >”So, I’m asking… can you help me?”
  117. >[VHFT: *Search* Cargill Ranch: Subsidiary of TerraFirm]
  118. >Shit
  119.  
  120. “Shit… Cloudchaser…”
  121. >She eyes you up with a mixture of hope and fear
  122. “Cargill is a subsidiary of TerraFirm”
  123. >”So…”
  124. “I work for TerraFirm”
  125. >”I don’t understand”
  126. “Look, TerraFirm owns that farm, sort of. And I get paid by TerraFirm. I can’t just rush in and break out a bunch of ponies. Why would they even be there in the first place?”
  127. >Her face turns to anger
  128. >”Are you serious? You are willing to let those ponies suffer so you can keep your job? Fuck you!”
  129. “Fuck me for wanting to keep my job? The fuck? My job is what allows me to eat you idiot!”
  130. >”How can you put your job over innocent pony’s lives?”
  131. “How do I even know there are ponies there, huh? How don’t I know you aren’t making this shit up!”
  132. >The argument escalates for a few minutes afterwards until it is abruptly ended with a slap to your face from her hoof as she flew away
  133. “Fucking xenos…”
  134. >It’s not like it was reasonable for her to expect you to commit breaking and entering on your employer. Hell, you don’t know anything other than the fact that she thought she saw some other xeno ponies on a farm. Seriously?
  135. >You lean down and start to finish your now cold burrito
  136. >And what if she was trying to play a trick or she was a spy or something. Fucking hell, you can’t believe that you were friends with her. Was all of that just to get you to do something with a farm? Why would she even do that?
  137. “*MUNCH MUNCH*”
  138. >To steal some livestock, which may or may not be xeno ponies… but will certainly get you fired…
  139. “*MUNCH*… *MUNCH*….”
  140. >But
  141. “*Munch*…
  142. >What if she was right?
  143.  
  144.  
  145. >Being an Omni-Tech meant that you had a somewhat different boss than most people
  146. >You had The Superintendent
  147. “OoOoOoOoOoOo, Scarrryyy!”
  148. >He was so obviously synthetic, his skin was bone white with a gray undertone, ports sticking out of odd places, a dead unwavering expression on his face at all times, and he always wore that black suit. Even in the heat of summer he always wore that suit. Never sweated either.
  149. >His office was a sterile gray thing, no pictures, no decorations, just two chairs, a metal desk, another chair behind it, some monitors, and a too-bright light on the ceiling
  150. >He also didn’t like being disturbed
  151. >”Five minutes. What do you want?”
  152. “I want to talk about Cargill Ranch. I think there may be something going on-“
  153. >”A Ranch. As in, farming, agriculture, animal husbandry?”
  154. “Y-yea, it’s a few hours outside the city and-“
  155. >”You are an Omni-Tech, an over glorified handyman. In Bay City. The communications hub for Terra Firm. Your job is to help ensure everything runs correctly. Not to go farm. Is there anything else or are you going back to work now?”
  156. >You bring up a doc from your wetware, the Omni-Tech job duty description
  157. >/cmd -find “inspection” || “search” || “review” || “assessment”
  158. >One thing you learned, you were never wrong as long as you had paperwork saying you weren’t wrong
  159. “Uh, sir. Omni-Tech regs, 8.4.1.c says that one of the duties is to do general inspections on any and all TerraFirm property-“
  160. >”No. Denied. It’s a waste of time and expertise to send you to look at a damn farm.”
  161. “A waste of time? Sir, do you know what it is I exactly do here?”
  162. >You spend the next several minutes listing off all of the mind-numbingly boring and wasteful work you do; paper jams, data entry, janitorial work
  163. “I’m just saying that doing a surprise inspection would mean that I’m actually doing my job for once”
  164. >”…Alright, fine.”
  165. >With a few twitches of his fingers the screen in front of him changes between windows and forms before stopping.
  166. >”Forms are being sent now. Just one thing. Why?”
  167. “Why what?”
  168. >”The Ranch. You have no history of farming. No tendency of outdoors recreation. Why do you want to go there?”
  169. “…I just want to see some ponies”
  170.  
  171. >Alone, you stepped out of the beat up pickup and took a look around
  172. >Cargill Ranch
  173. >It is a huge thing in terms of land area; large muddy grazing fields, a series of sheet metal and concrete buildings, some large, others small, a collection of rusted white storage tanks, some brick and mortar housing. The entire place was a mis-mashed collection of rusted and worn buildings with different forms and styles, plus a few newer, smaller, structures. In between the massive tanks and the biggest collection of barns was a fenced off junkyard of ruined farm equipment
  174. >” ‘Ey there! Can I ‘elp you?”
  175. >A worn and grizzled man in boots, jeans, and a stained shirt walked over to you
  176. “Yea, I’m Anonymous. From TerraFirm, N.Amero Team 51. Doing a no-notice inspection of this place.”
  177. >The man pinged up as the Foreman of the farm as you handed him a plastic paper sheet with everything on it
  178. “If you scroll to page three you can see that the authorization-“
  179. >”Meh, dun care. If ya wana look at a bunch n cows n stuff go ahead. Leme show ya”
  180. >It was a ranch, a husbandry farm. The constant smell of cow dung, flies, and their moaning moos invaded your senses. Each barn you were shown were essentially the same things. A bunch of cows forced into metallic spaces just wide enough for them to stand in, storage sheds, barrels and barrels of feed and chemicals. Nothing really that surprising
  181. >”We ain’t got dat many problems round ‘ere. There was a bit of some of dem thuggery goin’ on a bit ago, but I got dat sorted out real good.”
  182. “What else has been going on?”
  183. >He shifted uneasily a bit before continuing
  184. >” ‘Ell, we had some problems with cash a bit ago, but I got dat squared away. Just, eh, re-asserted some stuff and whatnot”
  185. >A quick glance between bars showed you were a bit closer to the storage tanks. A bright red and orange sign was under one of them acid warning labels
  186. “Hey, what’s the tanks of acid for?”
  187. >”EH? Of, dems for makin some Ferro-Chloride packets
  188. >[VHFT: *Search* Ferro-Chloride: Attempting to connect…]
  189. >”Used as a meat preservative, keeps it all fresh and whatnot.”
  190. “Is it a problem?”
  191. >”Naw, naw. Only if ya swim in it before it gets mixed. Acidic and stuff ya know, melt the flesh right off ya body.”
  192. >You cancel your search as your eyes narrow on a smaller, more worn down bar near the edge of the junkyard
  193.  
  194. “What’s that building down there?”
  195. >He shuffles a bit before answering
  196. >”Tis just a old thing. I mean it’s a barn, but dun be no good. Empty now. Spilled a bunch of something nasty in it, not good ta enter. But dun worry, all the other ones we saw, just gotta show you da crew quarters and then we done here-“
  197. >Something’s not right
  198. “Let me see that barn”
  199. >”Look! I gone and told you dat, that barn ain’t safe. There chemicals and vapors and hazards and stuff. Dangerous. I ain’t gonna have some city inspector wind up dead ‘cause he ain’t got no sense in him”
  200. >You pull out a pair of leather gloves he gave you and put them on
  201. >”An’ it’s all illegal and stuff. You ain’t supposed to enter nowhere that’s toxic, damn near kill you. There no need to go down there, if ya want to see some papers I got about the spill-“
  202. >You reach over and grab the plastic document from his pocket and click through it to the third page before waving it in his face
  203. “I have full authority, and full responsibility. Let me see the damn barn”
  204.  
  205. >The foreman grudgingly led you to the barn, with three other farm hands joining you
  206. >”In case of sumtin’ happenin”
  207. >Around a few moments later your VHF shot up a warning
  208. >[VHFT: Unable to connect. Conflicting signals detected]
  209. >You look at the foreman
  210. “What’s with the signal out here?”
  211. >”Eh… just bad receptions all”
  212. >He says but doesn’t look at you
  213. >When you all finally get to the barn things stood out
  214. >Fresh tire tracks, a rusted wall but brand new door, some sort of animal sound coming from inside
  215. “Open the door”
  216. >”Now, are ya sure? ‘Cause spills are mighty deadly-“
  217. “Just open it”
  218.  
  219. >The inside was a lot darker, no windows or openings to the outside allowed light to shine in
  220. >A damp heavy air hit you like a freight train with your first breath
  221. >Barely audible moans, wet hacking coughing, an occasional whining, sniffing, agonized breathing
  222. >Something wasn’t righ-
  223. >The bright glare of the lights turned up, temporarily blinding you before you could see everything
  224. >Colorful, pastel, xeno ponies
  225. >In a factory farm
  226. >Locked in small metal cages, their faces stuck with dried food and mud, their coats dirtied with dark splotches. Most of them had some sort of sickly look to them with sunken eyes or open sores. As you pass them walking down the row they shiver slightly, lowering their head or looking away, afraid to meet your eyes. It takes a moment before you realize that some of them are the flying type, but they are missing large chunks of their wings. A lot of others are the magical ones, but have scars and stumps on their head, quietly whimpering or blankly staring off into the distance
  227. >You turn around and see the foreman with a pistol in his hand, and the farm hands behind him armed with a crowbar, shotgun, and stun-stick
  228. >Just play it cool and try to get out of here alive-
  229. “What the fuck is this?
  230. >The foreman shuffles towards you and glares
  231. >”None ya’ fuckin business dats what!”
  232. >Paperwork! You can’t be wrong with paperwork!
  233. >/cmd -find “xeno” || “ponies”
  234. “A-According to TerraFirm reg AG-14.4.1 this shit is illegal-“
  235. >”Ya, And!?”
  236. “And you can’t be doing this!”
  237. >”Shut yer fuckin mouth”
  238. >He grabs your collar and slugs you right in the jaw
  239. “*Cough* What the fuck is going on? Why?”
  240. >As he pulls you out his trio of farm hands follow
  241.  
  242. >”Why? WHY!? Some damned city boy come over here and tell ME how to run a damn farm! HA! And then he got da NERVE to say it like I’m doin it wrong!”
  243. >He continues dragging you with a crazed look in his eyes towards the junkyard
  244. >”Like you gonna come to MAH HOUSE and tell me this shit!”
  245. “H-Hold on! Calm down! This isn’t anything to-“
  246. >*SLAP*
  247. >”BOI! Do you know da shit I gotta deal with?”
  248. >”I sell animals! Mah father sold them, and his mother sold them. But it ain’t like it was back then. I gotta spray these damn pesticides everywhere to keep the damn hoppers off, but damn if they don’t make ya cough up blood. I gotta spend a third of all my damned money just to buy drugs for these fuckin milk bags, antibotics, sterioids, geneoids, hemorrhoids, fuck it!”
  249. >He gets near a large metal tub and stands you up next to it
  250. >”I gotta pay my farmhands to keep workin, those damn thugs to leave me alone, TerraFirm to fucking keep the lights on, spare parts to keep the machines working. Fuck, I even gotta pay the damned milk man to BUY this shit! And what, some fuckin’ city boy dun’t like the way I found to make ends meet? “
  251. “What? How are you making ends meet with xeno ponies?”
  252. >He kicks you into the tub
  253. >”I finally found sum’body that can help me, pay us a bit. All we had to do was watch those damn ponies for them. And you sure as hell ain’t gonna ruin that for me… For everyone”
  254. >The three farm hands nod in agreement
  255. >He cocked his gun and aimed it at your head, your heart started racing
  256. >”Mickey! Get that damn acid bath goin for disposal-“
  257. >*WHAM*
  258. >A purple blur hits him square in the chest, knocking him over
  259. >Cloudchaser gets up and screams
  260. >”RUN!”
  261.  
  262. >It’s a few moments later
  263. >You and Cloudchaser are catching your breath in the junkyard
  264. “What the hell are you doing here?”
  265. >”What am I doing here? I’m here to rescue ponies, what are you doing here?”
  266. “Investigating them. Seeing if they had anything to hide?”
  267. >[VHFT: Unable to connect. Conflicting signals detected]
  268. “Shit, look, something is jamming me from calling. Did you see a-“
  269. >*DING DING*
  270. >Shots pinged off the scrapped machine behind you
  271. >You and Cloud scatter as you run towards the chemical tanks
  272. >But before you could get to cover the crowbar wielding farm hand appears
  273. >He sees you sprinting towards him and gets into a defensive position, only to have you barrel into him at full speed, knocking him down
  274. >The crowbar hits you on the back but with no leverage he can’t cause any real damage. You retaliate by wailing on his face with your fists, eventually grabbing it and pressing your thumbs deep into his eye sockets. Blood starts to drip as he screams in pain, grasping your hands to try and pry you off
  275. >Another yell behind you followed by a shot make you abandon the crowbar and search for cover
  276. >You sprint between pipes, narrow tanks, and rusted machinery until you think you lost him
  277. >Another yell is heard, this time more feminine
  278. >Seeking the source you find a metallic scaffold against one of the larger tanks. On top is a tuff of hair you know belongs to Cloudchaser. Climbing the scaffold is stun-stick, with the shotgun farm hand keeping her covered and preventing her from flying away.
  279. >You speak to yourself in a frantic internal dialog
  280. “Shit, okay, shit…”
  281. >Now would be the best time to get out of here, while they are distracted by the pony you could-
  282. “Damnit, I can’t leave her…”
  283. >The gun wielding farm hand is trying to get an angle on her, standing far away from the scaffold and right in front of a collection of pipes. Pipes which are leading to several tanks…
  284.  
  285. >In an instant you begin to analyze the pipes, which direction they are supposed to flow, which valves control what, where pressure isn’t supposed to build
  286. >And you began creeping toward a gearbox, hopefully reaching it before the guy with a stun-stick reaches Cloud
  287. >Lower right valve, full open. Middle right, full open. Y-Switch, to the lef- I mean right! To the right! Release valve, closed. Right side valves, full open.
  288. >It took a few moments, a few moments that you hoped Cloudchaser had
  289. >Rumbling and creaking were the first things heard, as the farm hand looked behind him
  290. >Then in a pressurized rush of a chemical cocktail something broke and flooded the ground with a sickly brown color. The farm hand was knocked over, and started to scream as it ate away at him. He tried to crawl away only for his clothing, skin, and muscles to melt away in the acid wash.
  291. >Cloudchaser was off in a dash before you could see her, leaving the man on the scaffold to cough and cry in horror as the toxic sludge pooled beneath the metal supports
  292. >You took this opportunity to run away
  293. >It took a while to get to the gate. You had to crawl and hide as much as you could, avoiding the now yelling groups of farmhands out for blood. Eventually you got to it, but were stopped in the middle of the road by a small crowd of armed farmhands. You struggled, but they grabbed you and took you to the main farm house.
  294. >The moment you entered you were assaulted by a disgusting chemical smell
  295. >On the ground in front of you was a dirty blue tarp with something fleshy on it
  296. >”WHAT THE FUCKING FUCK DID YOU DO?! WHY ARE DA CHEM ALARMS GOIN’ OFF? WHERE’S KAY AND JIMMAH?”
  297. >[VHFT: Local node found: TF-Pickup271]
  298. >”WHAT THE FUCK?”
  299. >*CRACK*
  300. >You fell on the ground, holding your now broken face
  301. >[VHFT: Relaying…]
  302. >Rage, despair, and disgust filled the small crowd in the front building. The remains of the men, who were trying to kill you, lay in front. From the back a man entered with a series of tools and a look of hate
  303. >[VHFT: Connected to TerraNet]
  304. >You didn’t panic when the crowd surged around you
  305. >[Anon: <Data Dump to SUPER… 31%> ]
  306. >You didn’t scream until you saw the basement
  307. >[Anon: <Data Dump to SUPER… 86%> ]
  308. >You didn’t cry until they stopped hitting you and strapped you to the table
  309. >[SUPER: Hold on. Help incoming]
  310. >And you didn’t truly fear until they got the nail gun
  311.  
  312.  
  313. >It is now later, much later
  314. >You are in the Superintendent’s office
  315. >You were bruised, broken, torn up, and kicked around. The bandages, splints, and drugs kept you up. You love those ER medics.
  316. >Next to you is Cloudchaser, who was a bit luckier with just a small brace on her wing and some bandages on her back hooves.
  317. >The Superintendent sat across from you behind his metal desk. Several cables ran out of his sleeve and into a jack on the surface.
  318. >”After reviewing the sensory data, I can say that you were in the right Mr. Anonymous. Records verify your story. Cargill was in the wrong. Treating xenomorphs in that manner is against regulations.”
  319. >His head twitches to refocus on Cloudchaser
  320. >She bore a somewhat blank expression that had hints of anger underneath
  321. >The Super began speaking in a slightly different tone
  322. >”Ms. Cloudchaser, on behalf of TerraFirm I owe your people an apology of sorts. Employees acted against the directives of their employer’s contractors. Consider this your official apology.”
  323. >”What about the ponies?”
  324. >”The employees in question are having remedial actions being taken against them. Do not expect any more trouble from them. If you or anyone else wishes to press charges I can get you the number of the legal office”
  325. >”What. About. The. Ponies?”
  326. >The Superintendent leaned in a bit as his tone changed back to ‘normal’
  327. >”This is TerraFirm’s fault. But not really. We will take care of them. Medical treatment. Shelter, food, water. They are guests of TerraFirm for now. Once better they will go to-“
  328. >”The Hoof. That’s where they’re from, that’s where you’ll return them to.”
  329. >”…The Hoof. Central Africa. Very well. But they will remain guests until transportation is arranged.
  330. >He leaned back and stared at her for a few moments
  331. >”Ms. Cloudchaser, where are you staying?”
  332. >”N-nowhere. I sleep on the clouds at night”
  333. >What? She lived outside this whol-
  334. >Wait, on the clouds? WHAT?!
  335.  
  336. >[SUPER: New assignment]
  337. >”A place to stay. Why not with Anonymous?”
  338. >[SUPER: Take her in]
  339. “Uh, yea. I guess I can. I have a small apartment on the south side.”
  340. >She looks at you and then back to the Superintendent
  341. >”Why should-“
  342. >”Investigation. I’d prefer not to have key witnesses going somewhere.”
  343. >[SUPER: Watch her. Don’t let her leave without escort.]
  344. >You nod along as much as you can through the spine brace
  345. >”This is an unfortunate affair. Ponies hurt. People killed. Those responsible will be punished. But we must abide by the method of the law. You are one key part of that method.”
  346. >[SUPER: Keep her content. Two reasons. One, intelligence asset to this case]
  347. >”They’d better be. Did you even see what they did do them? Horns cut off, wings sheared, bones broken-“
  348. >”Again. I offer a formal apology.”
  349. >[SUPER: Two, diplomacy. Don’t want another enemy]
  350. >You sigh and look on
  351. >”Well… yea… an apology is a start…”
  352. >[Anon: Really? Can’t you get someone else to do this who isn’t fucked up?]
  353. >”Do not worry. We will provide. Payment for our oversight mistake.”
  354. >[SUPER: Look at line 117 of Omni-Tech Contract]
  355. >”For now, stay with Mr. Anonymous. He will ensure your safety and wellbeing”
  356. >/cmd -find “117”
  357. >[Line 117: Taking care of unexpected assets]
  358. >Damnit all
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