1885 replies and 46 files omitted.
"I see," Iron replies with a little nod "so basically I should beat these folk up before they bolster their defences?"
"Well, I don't know if I would use such strong language as 'beat,' but if somepony were to remind them who is in charge of Baltimare... well, it would go a long way"
"I see," Iron replies with a nod "but would they really be intimidated about having some of their goons being reminded of the ruler of Baltimare?"
"Then remind the head." She answers succinctly
"Got it," Iron answers with a nod "consider it done."
With a determined, proud strut, he starts to go to the door before his ears straighten sharply as he stops. "Uh... how do I get to North Point?"
"Thanks," he promptly replies before continuing his confident strut "should I go back here to report directly, by the way?"
"You may. I am not the only one interested in killing this problem in the cradle, but I think we would prefer a bit of... deniability, in case this goes badly"
"Got it," Iron replies before going out with Sands in tow.
Having gotten outside, he turns to his companion mare. "So, any opinions on the ensuing 'discussion' I am about to provoke?"
"Do you know who the Ginovicci are?" She asks him
"No," Iron replies with a shake of the head as he starts the trek towards North Point "what can you tell me?"
"They are a splinter of a much larger syndicate in Wingbardy, and are no small players in Manehattan. Not at all. This is a very power family known to have many hitgriffs and carry out many killings. I don't think they will cow easily."
"Do they have some sort of duel to demand respect or do they understand with enough knocked out griffins?"
"Respect is a big deal for them, and they have something like a sense of honor. But I doubt they'd accept a duel. Well, maybe. But they are the type to shoot you as you walk down the street."
"Do you have any advice on how to properly spook them?"
"If I had to say any one thing, make them think there are more of you, and more of you coming. If possible, try to make them think they are under attack from a political faction - any of them. Money is a powerful force, and a powerful motivator. But it loses against ideology. Money isn't worth dying for, ideology is. They know this, and they fear the political factions because of it."
*chitinous clicking noises*
I think we left off with Spark asking the wolves to go with him into the forest.
Alright, Spark’s turn for dialogue
"A quick look around won't hurt. So what do you say?"
“What is it, exactly, you are looking for?”
"Just looking for trouble I suppose you could say, before it finds us."
“There is more than enough trouble that comes to us. We have no need to look for it.”
"Then how do you suppose that you stop trouble from returning time and again?"
She shakes her head
“Stay out of the affairs of others.”
"You can only come to that point if you can keep your land a place where that can hold true. Right now you are up against something that doesn't have that same ideal. If you don't, then you will always involve yourself in the affairs of others on their own terms."
"I see," Iron replies, pondering on how he'd be able to do such a thing "...is there any candidates which I can ask for an outfit of theirs? Anything to make them think I am from a political faction that you know of?"
Makade walks in rather angrily
"We've had others involve themselves on their terms for a thousand years now! Ever since the ponies came in and drove our kind into the darkest forests we have been, at best, vassals of the ponies, unable to do much without their prior approval. We know outsiders do not share our ideals. The ponies' ideal has been to dominate over everything around them, be it rocks in the earth, the trees, or other creatures. This is nothing new for us, only for you ponies, to experience for yourselves what we have for for many years. We are not going to get involved in any offensive matter that leaves our own lands unguarded. Not without reward or benefit."
Waabishki bares her teeth towards Maakade, but remains in a serious stance when she turns back towards Spark
"I don't think you understand. We are weak. We know we cannot fight our enemies off forever, or by decisive force. That is why I had faith in you, what I thought you were here for. When you came you I though you could help us to secure peace, or at least, to secure backing. Now you tell us you fight.... something. Changelings, is it? We have fought Changelings before, and of that Makade can tell you better than I. We do not want more war, certainly not unsupported war. That will destroy us.">>130980
"The Popular Front usually wear no clothes or civilian clothes, save for a black and red bandanna, tied around the head or covering the muzzle. The Equestrian Liberation Front can vary, they prefer to have old Equestrian military uniforms. When this fails, they wear civilian clothes, often with a small Equestrian flag bandanna or cloth protruding from a pocket, or if no clothes, then the same flag bandanna or cloth around the neck. Garrison troops will always wear uniform, generally khaki or dark green. SSA will be completely normally clothed in the scouts, but wear black uniforms in raids.."
"...I think the Popular Front are the most likely to try and kick their flanks, considering their whole murdering and upholding those ideals they despise," Iron offers thoughtfully "not to mention it will have the added effect of potentially antagonizing the wrong ponies and and be seen by the majority as a bunch of rabid killers even more."
"Popular Front is... 'Decentralized.' Some of them follow a hierarchical structure and many of them are, well, the exact opposite of that. Some of them have no issue with the gangs and some of them do. In order to sell this, you have to make them believe there is a particular reason why they are being targeted, and how they were found out. The bad reputation of the gangs isn't necessarily enough. Not when almost no one knows they are there."
"What about spreading rumours they have been oppressing the denizens there?"
She turns her head
"Are you trying to start an uprising or something?"
"More like ensure they do not become a problem later in case they try to tighten their grip on that area without making sure I get its benefits," Iron clarifies "and I will do whatever it takes."
"Okay.... But what does that mean, exactly?"
"Well," Iron starts "I do want to get every possible ingredient Cauldron will need so that we keep our options open and cater to every possible request given."
"But... what was that about the rumor? What is the plan? How? How do you do these things?"
"Total victory," Iron answers "do not give them any sort of thought to betray what I wish. I was simply planning to be a physical reminder, but your input does left me wondering if only that would work out."
Silver wipes some sweat off his brow.
"Whew...if nothing else, this is good way to show what happens when you detonate bomb right on top of pony. If undead ponies are at all representative, that is."
Mala's eyes widen at this quote, and he moves and places a piece of flesh on the rocky shore
"Actually, ponies are much squishier">>130990
"However powerful you may be, they will not be afraid of you. Beatings, even killings are all just a part of the business. They are not afraid of any one pony, or other creature.... But if you are just the first taste of something bigger, especially if it isn't
just business to you... They might not care to stick around. And if you are into business... well, maybe
they could be put into a negotiating kind of mood with a strong enough kick to the head."
Iron nods softly, considering the backing of the most powerful, established Baltimare gang. "So all I gotta do is make them think there are more of me that will come back if they try to one-up me again, right?"
"Well.... there could be more of them too... You must make them think they will not win"
"Hmm. Maybe. Then again, I have never seen actual pony blown up by bomb, and ponies I have fought have been battle hardened like me."
He looks over the collection of body parts they've gathered.
"As for this, I do not think there is much else we can do while water remains. Let us do other task, like moving rocks."
"So excel individually and then declare there are more like me that will come if they do not conform," Iron concludes with an assertive nod before tentatively glancing at Sands "...right?"
Silver can see that the more easterly portion of the Quarry has a higher elevation, and thus lower water. At some portions, mud and branches stick out of the water, with trees and dirt having evidently accumulated over the bottom of the quarry as time went on. These are what Feather Duster spent most of his time moving. Now, Feather Duster is by the damaged and blown out entrance, moving these rocks to the side. Dr. Grant is by the entrance as well, looking at bricks. On one cloth is the fleshy particles Silver and Mala, the remains of what was Green Basin, parts of a mare in a decayed white dress, and a Mummified pony. On another canvas is pieces of armor, a ruined bicycle, a lantern, and a sheathed large sword.
Feather Duster stops, and looks at Mala kind of strangely as he approaches.>>130996
"Well, yeah. More or less. Make them think there will be more, or there could be."
Silver can't help but look over at the sword as he trots to the two ponies. If it's any comfort to the two professors, Silver seems relaxed while around Mala. He points out the sword on the tarp to the professors.
"Where did you find that sword?"
Feather duster speaks for the first time. His voice is a bit higher, younger, and less polished than Grant's or Peer Review's
"It was right there" he points with a wing to a bare spot sort of in the center of the rocky area.
"Next to the... to the, to the body with armor"
"Got it," Iron agrees with a grin before blinking softly "so what will you do when I start the reminding process?"