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It has been a year since the world went to hell. A year ago life was normal. The sun was shining, the sky was clear, and of course, everyone was happy. People lived normal lives, going to work. Kids went to school, played sports and video games, and other.... clandestine activities for those that were daring. The air smelt clean, their was no need to worry. That all changed the moment that a scientist group called Salem's Followers had experimented with chemicals such as Betruim Eatnos, a chemical agent that was nade from stem cells, nigerogeon and other compounds. It was designed to wipe out large groups of life, but Salem's Followers were after other uses. They combined it with substances like VX, Z53, FF51 and others. The result was not immidiate. The scientists all got sick, but were dismissed as just a.... stomach bug. The chemicals soon went airborne, and very quickly all of the population was infected. Even the dead were affected. In the course of 20 days, the scientists had turned, becoming bulking walking monstrosities. Soon after, most of the infected turned, none quite as.... insane as the original scientists, but still freaky. The zombie apocalypse had started. 

 

Now, after a whole year, the world had changed. The disease had spread across the world, with only small pockets of people who had higher then normal immune systems who managed to fight off the infection. Their was nearly no safe spots left in the world, even military bases had gotten over run. If the dead hadn't taken it out, raiders had taken it over. The smaller cities had the least casualties, but were still over run. Their was a small safe zone, defended by any and all survivors of the town who were trying to make a living, but if you hadn't been their from the start, they were skeptical due to the constant threat from raiders. The safest place in all of Equestria is Ponyville. After Canterlot was overrun, any survivors had headed down to Ponyville. Most of the town was walled off. The ever free had been completely walled off from town, and the outskirts are swarming with raider holdouts and zombies, but everything else was still online, they had power, they had food and water. It seemed perfect, but that made people careful.

 

Thats where our story starts, a year after the apocalypse, scattered survivors destined to meet, strangers destined to be friends. 

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A bead of sweat drips from Sky's face as he holds himself up, trying to pull himself onto the roof. Rain was pounding onto his head, the roar of lighting and thunder cancelling out most noise. But the noise of the dead, was still loud as hell. He pulled himself onto the roof he was on, picking up the pack he had thrown up here and taking out his waterproof cover, going under it and panting roughly. He started thinking about how it had all gone to hell.

 

A year ago, he had been a member of the military, specializing in weapons, knives and acrobatics, but he had been terrible at taking orders, always making stupid jokes and wise cracks. He had made it through training, and his first year with clashes after clashes with the brass, until finally they had enough of him and had him dishonorably discharged. After that, he had gone to live on his own, living on a secluded farm. His skills had dimmed during that time, but he had gotten fitter from just the exercise he could do, and the fun he could have. Though that month was peaceful, right after it had gone to hell, as zombies took over the farm and he had been forced to run. 

 

Skyzipper is a 21 year old Pegasus who has Light red hair that is around neck length, hanging loose and free for the wind to blow as it felt fit, along with light red tail which he had cut short, but normally was quite long. His eyes were a reddish pink. He was a little short compared to most of the people his age were, but that lighter weight allowed him to be more agile, and although he was tough, his smaller physique made him a weaker target, harder hits having a more lasting effect. His coat was originally a clear ocean blue, but currently he was covered in mud, his fur having turned a more brown blue. Around his neck was a white bandana scarf that hides a fox necklace. It was perfectly clean, holding sentimental value.

 

Sky sighed, laying their. Right now, he was heading for Ponyville, the closest settlement, and from what he had heard, the most..... protected settlement. He sighed, wanting it to be over already, then he heard the rip, and felt a cold trickle hit his face. He groaned, threw off the cover and stood up, pulling drenched red hoodie over his head. His military camo tracksuits were drenched and had cuts in it from all the bush running he had been doing these last few days. He pulled out his canteen, taking a drink. He needed to get moving. He hopped to meet some new people who he could just travel with. Seeing the spot lights in the dinstance, he perked up, getting down off the roof and starting his walk towards the town of Ponyville, making sure to avoid any and all walkers. 

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A year had passed since the day everything had changed. Cities taken apart, civilization itself had been torn asunder. In this world of chaos, betrayal, murder and death, a group of three girls walked towards Ponyville, aiming to see if the rumours of it being a haven of safety were indeed true.

The girl at the head of the pack was the most dangerous, armed with a machine gun as well as all the ammunition she could carry. She wasn’t short, standing at only 5’10 with fire-red hair and tail, as well as ignited amber eyes, and her coat, a softer orange. She was only 24, but despite this, she carried a world on her shoulders and the mere look on her face said it all. She always had a slight grin, and in this new twisted world, she bloomed. Ember Rose had always been unstable, but in the cruel world she now lived, it was a sick paradise. Although, her paradise was all for naught if the girls who accompanied her were to fall.

The second girl was only a few inches short than Ember, and only a year younger. At 23, Midnight Rose had grown into the body she was meant to have, with slight curves, should the world be normal she’d be described as attractive. Her hair and tail were a soft light blue, her eyes saffphire in colour and her coat, a light green-blue aqua colour. She had a large bag on her back, carrying many of their groups supplies. While she’d always been the silent one of the trio, she’d always been the toughest, ensuring the girls survived the coming crisis regardless of what they encountered or what they had to do. In this cruel world, her coldness was a fortune all of its own.

And that left the final girl of the trio, and she was yet another mystery. She wore glasses, needed for her poor vision of her emerald green eyes. Her coat was a clear white, her hair/tail a beautiful silver. She was the smaller, standing at only 5’7, and the youngest at 20 to her older sisters of 24 and 23. She carried a much smaller bag, filled with books, notes pens, anything that would allow her to document that which occurred. A kind and loving girl, science had always been a calling of hers, the ability to understand everything that existed in reality around her. There must be a reason they were suffering, and if they could suffer, in her eyes, the opposite could be done. For each action, there must be an equal and opposite reaction. The creation of this virus, in her mind, spelled a single solution. There must be a cure. It was the mission Cryie Rose had set herself upon.

The girls made their way into Ponyville, setting themselves a small camp near the former library tree. Cryie Rose sat at the remains of a desk, writing a storm onto one of her reports of the local area she was keeping track off. Midnight Rose was taking a stroll around the camp, and Ember Rose stood guard near Cryie. The three Pegasi sisters had been together since day one, and knew nothing but eachother company.

 

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Yang Xin Li stood in the rain, looking up at the wall that protected Ponyville from the dangers of the world. Being only 5'2", any wall would look magnificent, but it's just tall to Li. Most would call it a sign of hope, believing that pony-kind will forever be protected. But Li knows that's a lie, for hope is what drives ponies to fight, not stay within walls that can only keep out the undead for so long. At least she'd be able to get supplies here, about one of the only good things about Ponyville. Maybe she was being too pessimistic; she had promised to change after leaving the guild a year ago, being an assassin since she was 10 left too many invisible scars.

 

The 20 year-old Qilin took a deep breath and let it out slowly, water dripping from her light purple mane. It was really short bob, only going down to the bottom of her head with a long thin ponytail from the bottom of her bob that reached down to the bottom of her torso. Her bangs covered the right side of her face while a white mask covered the left, a mask that looked like it was crying tears of blood. She wore a white sleeveless cheongsam shirt that had burgundy buttons and designs on it and black tights. Even though she is 20, she had the looks and the voice of a 14 year-old, which was an advantage being an assassin and all, but it made her feel self-concious ever since she met...but that's not important right now. On her side were her twin broadswords, sheathed in a redwood scabbard decorated with a golden dragon. 

 

"I should hurry, I might be able to find what I'm looking for here." Li said, walking next to the wall to find the gate. "I wonder if she's still alive..."

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The bushes of the everfree rumbled. As if a beast were inside. And a beast indeed come out. He had fur; silver like steel. And a ragged blue mane which curled natrally around his broad shoulders. He was normal height for a stallion, maybe an inch or two taller. But what was most remarkable about him was his face. A rugged leathery face with sharp features. If he was underwater he could easily be mistaken for a shark.  A whole year of walking across the country including the everfree had made him lose some weigh. His muscles were strong and wirery. And his gut thin and hungry. 

 

He wore a torn makeshift armor. A steel workers apron which he modified into a t-shirt like garment. Held in shape by some rather dapper suspenders. The last piece of his original outfit. And pants which where thick wool on one side, cheap leather on another, Hastily sewn togather one sleepless night in an eery  laundromat. He had spats that were comfortable, but not good for running.

 

He stumbled out of the bush and saw the light .... he had not seen the comforting sight of electric lights in a year.  Ponyvile, salvation.

      He fell to the dirt his body finally having some relief. This year had felt like a week. Quick violent days and nights. And when he could sleep it was never enough. But now he had reached civilization, safety. And probably the only of both, left in the entire planet.

 

"Maybe ... I shouldn't" he said internally "right when i finally start to think I belong in this world. It goes and changes on me. I probably have more in commen with the ghouls anyway. No morals, spent the last days just trying to fill my stomach. Yeah I don't belong in that nice warm place anyway. My family is likely dead, who else really matters ..." 

 

just then the sky broke and the rain hit him. "This dirt ... feels good. And the rain is nice and cool." He licked rain off his lips giving his throats some moisture. And then despite his internal agony he got up; like he always did. "No! My whole life; 23 years, every day of it; I fought too hard to just give up like this. I will reach ponyvile and figure it out there; like i always did! Ok everyone and everything watch out beacause old Mack is back!" He then strode thru the streets. A glare on his sharklike face. Ready to do whatever it takes!

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It wasn't long before Sky reached the fortified settlement of Ponyville. The moment he entered the massive clearing around the town, he heard a bullet whizz past his head, and though he instinctivly ducked, he knew where it was from. He raised his hands, looking up towards the wall. On it was a guard, by the look of it one of the more... hot shotty guards who is trigger happy.  

"Keep your hands up. Name, age, reason. No more" He yelled down, firing another round at him just to scare him, or so he thought.

 

This time when the round went past he didn't even flinch, knowing it wasn't going to hit him. He looked up, calling back. "Skyzipper, 21, and the reason of everyone you jackass. Shelter" 

 

After he called that out, he noticed the guy aiming at him, only for what looked like his boss come up and hit him on the head. Sky could hear them talking, and within a minute the gate opened, and he walked through.


The town of Ponyville hadn't changed that much, except for the number of soldiers and tenants. All around you could see what looked like society. Their was ponies selling their merchandise, apples, foods, books, all different kinds of luxury items. Lots of tents and sleeping bags could be seen, showing just how many people lived here now. Nearly all of the buildings were in bad shape, as expected, but were still stable, and ponies could be seen going in and out. The streets were suprisingly clean, and despite all the outside world had happening, it looked..... mostly normal in here. 


Despite all the happyness and.... well friendly ponies, their were still some more.... rough acting who looked more... broken, who were selling more age apropriate items such as some basic weapons and ammo, though none of it really looked up to Skys standard, despite how weapon crazed he was. In his bag, he had about 2 canteens for water, and a small bag of food, not much, but just enough for the rest of the day. He had his lock pick, a lighter and his fire starting stuff. He used to have sleeping bags, but he had to ditch them from a sudden walker strike. Weapon wise.... He was crazed, having four combat knives in sheathes, two on his chest, and the other two in his bag, for now. He had a disassembled M4 Carbine rifle. He two clips for it, but he needed to save them, so he was keeping it in his bag for safe keeping, the clips to. On his sides, he had two pistols, two MK23 pistols, with silencers laying in his bag. 

 

He had other small items, such as a compass and a pair of Binoculors, but he was starved for most valuable things. He headed towards the market place, hoping to find himself something good.

 

He searched it for an hour, and didn't find anything. He groaned. He had used to live here, and despite how good the place looked, it seemed to different. He sighed, heading towards the former oak tree, pulling out a canteen and a apple to eat.

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The Pegasi sisters had already arrived at Ponyville, and had set themselves up as nicely as the conditions had allowed. They had their ‘home’ set near the towns library, a large tree in its heart. It was far from ideal in Embers eyes, but one look at Cryie asking to be near books was impossible to resist, and so, they’d set up their little slice of home.

Cryie had moved into the library itself, the pegasi had sat herself down at a desk using a notebook to record what she’d learnt, about both the community and the infected, as she called them. She’d learnt a great deal, mostly due to observations from afar, as well as a few corpses that Ember had been able to provide. But she knew she was far from understanding them properly, she knew barely enough to get by. She wore a simple shirt and jeans, nothing flashing, nothing to attract attention. She had a single desire, to get through her investigation. Sat down at a desk, constantly, almost obsessively, running a finger over her glasses that sat perched on her face, she reviewed her information.

Leaning against the corner of the inside of the library, Ember looked very much out of place. Wearing a long brown trench-coat and armed too the teeth with her rifle, pistol and knives, along with her cropped hair and bandana, she looked the part of a thug, a brute for hire, instead of the eldest sisters looking out for her sibling. Her rifle hung lazily from her right hand, and she lit herself a cigarette. It was far from the worst form of coping, and only solidified her image as someone who you don’t mess with, ever.

As the eldest and youngest were ‘bonding’, the middle child went shopping. Midnight was far from a fool, and knew the high possibility that they’d need to move. In order to prepare for this eventuality, she looked for items that would increase her faimilies chance of survival, weaponary, supplies, food, even clothes. She’d successfully managed to trade for some food, and swiped several packs of cigarettes when the person she’d passed hadn’t been paying attention, along with a single grenade, although she didn’t know what type. She had a small smile as she traded and stole, no one ever seemed to think she was up to no good, they saw a girl with a fake smile and assumed she was an innocent little creature. She continued roaming, poking her nose around, acting the innocent girl, seeing what items people were willing to trade, and what items she could steal from under their nose.

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Li finally found the gate and asked to enter. The guards opened up for the 'child' and closed the gate once she was inside. Why do they need to ask? No one should be taking advantage of the state pony-kind is in right now, that is just despicable. We all have an enemy, the undead. There should be nothing more to that.

 

Li arrived at the market and looked around for supplies, resting her hand on her blades just in case she feels a strange tug on her backpack. She stopped at a fruit stand and started picking out fruits. "I'd like to pay for these." she said, grabbing the owner's attention and giving him the bits. "Shopping for your parents kid? You should be careful. It may not look like it but we are in rough times; not everyone is your friend here." the owner warned, giving Li her change. "Thanks, but I can take care of myself perfectly well."

 

She walked off and continued looking for supplies, buying nuts, fire starters, water purifiers and more. Once Li was done, she sat down on a bench and looked around. Maybe there is a place for Li to train here, there is nothing more relaxing than cutting things up.

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mack walked down the streets, tall ... stern. He stopped ... his powers of observation were impeccable; almost a weakness. Out of the woods came several well armed ponies with rifles. They came towards him and one of them said "sharp eyes cowboy. Were long patrol, keep the road safe from zeds and bandits. I assume your trying to get to town?" 

 

Mac starred at him. His expression unchanged. He wanted to tell him how he was a fellow warrior. Fighting a war for survial. How he lost his dream and goals. And now didn't even know what his life meant and stood for. He didn't really want to go to ponyvile. But he had no choice. As if it were his fate to enter that town. Not of his own free will; if the stuff even exists. 

 

He opened his mouth and it came out "mmmm ... rrmmm" a year and a few weeks of not saying a single word had taken toll. The shocks his brain went thru both physically and mentally didn't help either. The patrol eventually took him.    They brought him into a little processing unit in the town. He was sat in a small sterile room. It felt like days but was only hours. Eventually an interviewer came in. Even if mac could find his speech. He had not a Thing to say to her. He occasionally acknowledged her by looking into her eyes but stayed silent. More time passes and he was brought to a hospital. He overheard something about how they thought he was in shock.  The security of the hospital was frighteningly poor.There were guards but they were overworked. Mack simply walked out the back door. Passing a doctor who was smoking and nodded to him. 

 

Ponyville was ... exactly what he expected. A place full of ponies who likely wanted to hurt him or take his money. He came out of the everfree with nothing! His last knife caught and lost in thick brush. He walked along cautiously. But to anyone who saw him he was a statue. Eyes forward, fists tight. Face cold and emotionless. He found a trash heap and rummaged thru it. He stopped halfway thru ... painful nostalgia from his childhood of doing the same thing. He shook it off and continued. Eventually finding a perfectly shaped preice of steel! He wrapped some rags around it; and with some work it would be his knife! 

 

He walked past the trading area. Purphaps he could salvage some material to start a forge fire. He looked around; but then stopped! He swung his neck and raised a fist. Somepony came close and was primed to pick pocket him. It was a girl a  blue mare, with calculating eyes. She about his age and it seemed she was like him trying to take what she could from not just him but everyone! He starred at her. His frown turning into a snarl. Letting her know if she came closer it didn't matter if she was a pretty girl just trying to survive he would beat her dead, here in this street! That was the way he lived his life always!

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It only took Sky four minutes to make it to the old Oak tree, but in that time he had seen over a dozen issues with this place. Their were some hotshot guards harassing a few people, and since the guards are total authority, he couldn't step in.He had seen some... what looked like back ally trading in the dark, one trick he had learnt over the years was how to see in lower light. He had seen a lot of smaller things, like area's not looking defended and just some little faults, but he took little notice. By the time he made it to the library, he had finished his apple, throwing it in the nearest bin. He looked at the Library, and nearby, sort of.... watching it, The girl wasn't short, standing only maybe half an inch taller then him. Her fire red hair looked cool, reminding him of his own sort of. Her soft orange coat looked a bit scruffy, showing she had actually done stuff. He couldn't see her eyes, making him a little weary, and the machine gun she was holding.... he was a little jumpy.

 

He quickly walked past her, not wanting to draw her attention, but as he walked by he caught a dirty look, one that told him if he messed around with her he was going to suffer. He gulped, and once he was inside he sighed in relief. 

"Okay.... she is scary... Now to fi...." He started saying, then suddenly blushed when he saw another girl in their. He was embarrased, he had just been talking to himself, quite loudly, she might have heard. He quickly dashed over to a small pile of books on the other side of the room, looking for something time passing to read, settling for a book on weapon parts. He glanced up from the book, the small blush he had from the nearly embarrassing incident hidden. As he glanced, he noticed she had glasses, and from a little reflection he could see a sort of green, making him guess her eyes were a green. Her clean White coat, and her silver mane and tail... To sky it looked like she could actually shine. He quickly burried himself in his book, trying not to take attention of the girl studying on the desk.

 

 

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So far Midnight had to call is a success, not only had she purchased the supplies she felt her family would be needing, but additionally ‘borrowed’ several items from others who just weren’t paying enough attention to their wares. It wasn’t HER fault they weren’t paying attention, she was simply reaping the benefits for her family to survive the odds, nothing more. Her walk through town came across an interesting sight indeed, a male who seemed, almost like an animal in her mind. She had been about to approach and ask about local foods in the forest, after all, one should learn about the land to survive, right as he snarled at her! She took herself a step backwards, how dare he! Her right hand slipped onto her waist, where a scabbard and handle of a blade existed, her eyes staring at him. Did he know what she was, or was he simply careful? Part of her was tempted to cause a scene, turn the locals against him, but she doubted it would prove beneficial.

“I-I’m sorry sir…I-I didn’t mean to frighten you…” she stuttered out, playing her role of the ‘scared girl’ in this cruel world, backing away from him. She had to play the part, no matter how much she hated it. This society ran by a certain set of rules, and she knew how to play each role she was given despite her hatred of the system.

 

Ember slowly smoked her cig, relaxing against the wall as she waited. She hated waiting, but Midnight knew best. As much as Ember didn’t want to admit it, Midnight was the only reason they’d lived as long as they had and so she’d learnt to trust in the judgement of her younger sibling. After all, what was family for if not trust? She quickly spotted him, he was walking towards the library. Cryie’s Library. She glared at him with glowing eyes, if he made one wrong step towards her sister she’d gun him down like the animal he was. He entered the library, and Ember watched through a shattered window, carefully overwatching her sister. If he so much as walked towards her, the urge to gun the fool down would rise.

 

Cryie continued her studying, at least, until she heard a voice calling someone scary. She couldn’t not look up to see him, her green eyes protected by her glasses scanned over him and the girl quickly made a mental assessment on the individual, although she knew she’d need more data before being able to make any proper conclusions about him, if she bothered to make any at all. She went back to her studies, before frowning and tapping the ground with her foot. Her conclusions weren’t reaching a comprehensive argument, on one hand it made sense, yet she had no proof to support her theory about the infection. She let out a sigh as she closed her writing book and starting walking through the library, looking at each book and trying to find any that were science related. Eventually, with a stack of nearly 5 books about chemical reactions, she walked over to the boy who had entered.  

“Excuse me Sir….” She asked, her voice as soft and innocent as the girl looked behind her glasses “Would I be allowed to borrow the books you’re not reading, o-or at least take a look at them please?”

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As Li was resting on the bench, she spotted a young mare and a stallion staring each other down at the market. The stallion seemed to be blinded by paranoia, naturally putting the mare on guard. The mare, although wearing a pleasant mask, was still transparent enough for Li to notice her hand next to her blade. Normally Li would just ignore things like this, but she made a promise to change, and stopping a fight from happening is the first step.

 

Li got up and approached the two of them, resting her hand on her weapon in case things didn't go as planned. "Sir, please calm down; Ma'am, you too. Pony-kind is already at war with the undead. It is foolish to fight amongst ourselves at a time like this. Save it." she said, stepping in between them. 

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Mac watched her as she stepped back. She put her hand on her hip 

"have to assume it's a gun, maybe I could rush her; but not in my condition. She doesn't want to fight; not here. Better to strike first. Not give her the chan..."

 

his thoughts were interrupted by a young girl dressed in Asian style clothes and two swords. She was trying To stop them from fighting, noble but foolish in her execution, mac learned when he was far younger to never rely on the morality of others. Not to mention; he disagres with the core of her idea that ponykind is cabable of uniting and working togather. But still he admired such courage from a small child. 

 

Mac looked between them both. After some spasms from his tounge he opened his mouth. He owned deep voice; But a beautiful one, like a gentleman or a singer. "Your a brave one" he said looking to Li "and your a sneaky one" he said looking to Midnight. 

 

Mac was content to walk away at that point and leave it at that. But he wanted to see how they would react. Who these girls really were. 

 

mac didn't know why he was intrested in them. After all they weren't his family or anypony worth caring about. This sudden change in his heart scarred him and he wondered where and why it came up all of the sudden. 

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Sky finished reading his book quickly, dropping it to the side, and grabbing a new one. He continued to do this, finding more and more boring, then he started reading a adventure book. As he read, he heard... well what sounded like tapping, and books being knocked over. He ignored it the best he could, though he did look over to see what was going on. He put his book aside, reaching for one close to him. It was about how the apocalypse started. He thought it might be good to read, putting it aside and then finding another about complex medicine, herbal, chemical, just medicine. 

 

As he was about to start reading it, he heard the girl start walking around, and from what he could tell grabbing books. He gleared out of the corner of his eye, noticing a book which looked to be about chemical reactions, though he couldn't tell what kind or anything, just the little part about it. He stopped looking, though then she suddenly... walked over to him, asking him about the books around him.

 

"Y....eah sure. Feel fr..rree to look around and grab some.... Y....ou might like these" He said, picking up the two he had just found, and around him their might be more, though he hadn't looked. He held them up towards her in one hand, staying seated. 

 

"N...ames Sky" He said, doing his best to hide the cliche blush he had as the cute girl talked to him. He didn't mention how she might like them, having a feeling she might be a little annoyed if she knew, or at least, her friend outside, as he was guessing it, if she suspected anything.

 

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Midnight put a look of shock on her face, as if ‘How dare this girl imply I was doing anything wrong, its HIS fault’. “I didn’t wanna…he snarled at me first!” She said to defend herself, using the argument of a child. Thankfully the situation seemed to escalate no further, and despite the snap of being ‘sneaky’ from the male, Midnight was confident she was seen as the victim in the situation, despite the scabbard she had on her hip. She turned to the other girl and paused. She looked young, and she would have dismissed her as such was it not for the way she held herself. Not an action she could control without thought, but to Midnights keen eye, the girl seemed heavier than her age suggested, although she doubted she’d be out of her teens.

“T-thank you” she said calmly, not wanting to address her as ‘girl’, nor ‘Miss’ or ‘Ma’am’. “I was just walking past and he snapped at me..i-I don’t even know why…” She was, in part, telling the truth. While she suspected he somehow KNEW she was a pickpocket, even though how she had no idea, she hadn’t done anything to provoke him, simple…walk in his direction.

 

Cryie’s eyes quickly latched themselves onto the books Sky offered, placing her stack on the table and quickly flipping through them both. She picked both of them, one on medicine, the other on weapons and frowned. Slowly it dawned on Cryie that the man had said his name, and she had answered him with silence.

“Cryie” she said eventually, and would have said more, if Ember hadn’t entered the library, a feral look in her amber eyes. Cryie quickly spun around, and moved towards her, and after several hushed words, Ember, while still shooting daggers at Sky from her eyes, exited the library once again. Embarrased, Cryie turned around to Sky. She felt she owed him an explanation at the very least.

“I sincerely apologies Sky, Ember has always taken her duties that extra step, even when it is not required of her” she slowly returned to pick up the books, before pausing at the book he was reading, well. Had been. It was sitting at his feet, an…adventure book? Cryie frowned, what was the purpose of that book? It didn’t serve any point, yet there it sat. She couldn’t stop herself.

“We’re in the end of all days, mutants threaten our very existence…and you’re reading a childs adventure novel…?”

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Li sighed with relief as the stallion left the scene. Brave, what a strange thing to say. "Brave because I tried to change? I guess it's possible. After all, bravery comes in different shades, each with their own scars." Li thought, turning to the mare."Don't thank me, I wasn't doing it for you." she said, adjusting the mask on her face.  The mare seemed to be continuing her facade, even though she no longer needed to. Was she trying to trick her? If so, she either has a different personality that she shows away from the public eye, or she has a baby face like Li does. 

 

"Anyway, try not to cause anymore trouble. Shove your hands down your pants if you have to."

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(sorry this took so long. x.x procrastination is one of my strongest traits.)

 

The rain came pouring down. He readjusted the scope. After wandering for three days through Everfree, he had stumbled across a small family of deer. It consisted of two doe and a buck. The deer was a good find. He hadn't eaten for two days, and the pelts would be helpful to keep warm. He held his military carbine steady, he'd have to make this count, he only had half a magazine for the rifle. He pulled the trigger and the gun let out a soft *pfft* through the suppressor on the barrel tip, dropping one of the does. The remaining Deer saw their fallen family member before they began to prance away. He readjusted his scope.

 

-three weeks earlier-

Tailwind sat at the fire with a fellow survivor he had met that day. He was cleaning his rifle as she huddled up against the fire shivering intensely. He wore a camo hoodie and a pair of cargo shorts and combat boots. He had a Kurki knife strapped to his leg. "So its a community that's relatively safe?" Tailwind asked the mare sitting across from him. 

 

She nodded. "Yes. I hear that its one of the only safe places left in Equestria."

 

"Sounds to good to be true." He replied causing the two to fall silent, only the roar of the fire could be heard. Eventually lulling them into sleep.

 

-later that night-

 

Tails was waken up by a heavy lurching sound like someone was throwing up. He looked around to see what was the source of the noise. It was dark, making it hard to see anything but eventually his eyes stopped on the outline of the mare bent over. "Hey." Tails said quietly to the mare. "Are you ok?" She didn't reply, instead looked at him slowly, bringing her face into the light glow of the remaining fire. she had blood coming from her eyes and mouth. She let out a growl before charging Tailwind.

 

-the next day

 

Tailwind buried the body of the mare. He didn't really know her but they shared a fire so he felt obligated to do something for her. He discovered a bite on her thigh after the struggle, it looked like the bite had been there a while and she had to have been fighting the virus for a few days. He stamped out the remaining cinders and gathered his supplies, taking some of what he needed from the mare's before setting out for ponyville.

 

-present-

 

Tails wiped the sweat and water off his brow. He stored the pelts and as much of the meat as he could carry. He wrapped the meat in some waxpaper and stored it in ziplock bags.before stuffing as much as he could carry without getting slowed down. He picked up his bag and continued through the forest. He kept an eye open as he trodded through the heavy mud, keeping his guard up so he wouldn't get jumped. He came to the edge of the forest and could see ponyville, and its wall. He grew excited but kept himself in check. It could still have been overrun. 

 

He circled the town, just barely in the trees, enough not to be noticed in the rain. He continued sneaking around till he found a guarded entrance. And Guarded meant people. Tails slung his gun on his back and approached the gate. "DON'T SHOOT!!! i'M A SURVIVOR!!!" He called out, coming out of the treeline into view of the guard.

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Cryie... such an innocent name. Sky couldn't help but give her a smile when she said that, then the 'guard' walked in, a feral look to kill in her eye. He just stared though. It was frightening, but he didn't really want to show it. Besides, it was a safe zone, he should be fine, if she did pull a weapon on him, she would be shot down by everyone else. He couldn't hear the talking between the too, but by the voices, he had a guess that they were sisters, and how she came barging in when she spoke. He still had a little smile on is face when she turned back around to face Sky.

 

"Its all good, your sis just wants you safe, your lucky to have someone like that" He responded with, his smile showing no fear, which he had a feeling she might not be used to, after her sis had walked in. He went back to reading his book, getting through a page before he heard her say something.

 

"It may be the end of days, but i loved these books before the infection started. They remind me of the world to come, the world that well.... we will see again. I have faith that one day this nightmare will end, and even if it doesn't, im living my life how i want to live it" He responded with, laughing a little. He couldn't help it, just how... confused she sounded. He didn't know why, but he just couldn't help but giving the chuckle.

 

"Don't you do anything just to live?"

 

 

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Midnight wondered if the girl was being factual or rude, and opted to assume factual. It was interesting to see her, uniqueness, and refreshing if she was honest with herself. After endless conversations of Ember wanting to murder everything and Cryie hiding behind her glasses, things became slightly stale. While the likelihood of adding someone of the pack was nil, she allowed herself merely a moment to imagine if they could, before her brain destroyed the fantasy and replaced it was the reality of the situation. An extra mouth to feed wasn’t worth it.

She gave the young girl a small bow “Well, I thank you very much regardless of if you wish for it” Midnight said, an, odd, taste in her mouth. On one part, she’d said it because that’s what was expected of her role within the new world of society, despite the girl asking her not to, but on the other hand, she had saved her from a possible embarrassing situation of having to defend herself in the town, which would have caused chaos, and she’d likely be kicked out and drag her sisters with her. “If I can be of assistance to you, I’d be happy to help…miss…?” Midnight felt like she may be pushing her luck, and threw a glance to the male as she spoke.

 

 

Cryie had to admit, she was slightly impressed. He could work out that Ember was her sister? While it wasn’t out of the realm of possible guesses, since as sisters, their faces were similar even if they were differently coloured.

But that’s when he explained, or at least, tried to explain, why he was reading that, childrens book. It was for enjoyment? But it provided nothing of gain, no knowledge, no answers, just an escape from reality. She tried to quantify it in her mind, only to come up with many alternatives that were more effective and would place him in a better position. Unable to stop her line of questions, they escaped.

“I do, I read, I study and I examine. You ask what I do to ‘live’, well, I think therefore I am. I’m alive and, in this world, it’s my responsibility to try make it better. Reading a children’s book…i-I’m sorry, but I fail to see its use in the world” she said softly. She had no intention to be rude to the stranger, Sky, but the girl wanted to understand everything, and he was no exception. While ordinarily she’d be capable of withholding the questions, she didn’t this time. “E-even as an escape it is less effective…so why waste your energy on it?”

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Li said nothing when the girl thanked her, nodding her head slightly when she bowed.  "Sorry, but I don't need any help. I have already survived on my own this past year, I'm sure that I can take care of myself." she said, crossing her arms. "Also, call me Castor. The way you say 'miss' is awkward and therefore uncomfortable for me to hear." Without thinking, Li used her assassin name. She disliked it because it was a boy's name, but she was so use to it that it came right out of her mouth. "Anyways, I'm going to find a firing range to train. Maybe our paths will cross in the future."

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Tailwind stepped into the gated community and looked around at Ponyville, and was surprised at how well they were doing. They seemed to have food, water and electricity, making it easily one of the better off groups of survivors. He was getting excited thinking of all the this safe haven held for him: a hot meal, maybe someplace warm to sleep and best of all, people. But despite all this, he had no idea what he was supposed to be doing. He thought if there was survivors,one of them would give him a tour and tell him the rules, instead, he just met the guard who asked him three questions then let him in. He stood awkwardly by the front gate and waited for a bit before shrugging and walking into the market. 

 

Tails walked away from the trading area with a triumphant look about him. He was able to trade his pelts for some much needed ammo and some meat for a pack of smokes and some matches. He set his pack and rifle down against the wall and pulled out a cigarette. Nearby he heard some people talking, it sounded like two girls. He watched them talk while he smoked,it seemed the younger one commanded a lot of authority. She also seemed friendly enough to talk to about getting the lay of the land here. He put out his cigarette storing the remaining half in the box before approaching the two of them. "Umm excuse me." He said trying to get their attention. "I'm new here and i don't quite know how things work here, could one of help me?"

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Once Li had finished talking, a stallion came into the picture and asked for...help of some sort. Smart, asking a qilin wearing eastern clothing about "how things work here". Doesn't her appearance yell out "foreigner", assuming he was asking her in the first place. Should Li offer help to this stallion even though she couldn't possibly know more than he does? "Sorry, can't help you there. But if I were you, I'd just stay out of trouble." she said bluntly, shrugging slightly before resting her hand on her weapon again. 

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The town had gained seven new survivors, but it was about to lose a lot more. The town of Ponyville had never been challanged, not even once. Their was constant guards with fully auto weapons, and a insane amount of armed survivors inside. The town had been safe since the infestation started, but that was about to change. Gunshots, and lots of guards yelling and mobilizing could be heard and seen by pretty much everyone inside. It wash hard to tell what was going on, but from the sounds of it, ponyville, was getting attacked for the first time. 

 

The gunfire was constant, but from the sound of it, neither side was taking casualties, yet.

----

From what she said, Sky had gathered that she was really... well smart, but a little socially troubled. She seemed to only like doing things logically, and anything other than that seemed alien. He chuckled slightly, his mind trying to understand it, but having a little trouble, which he found funny.

 

"You may be 'Alive' but your not 'living'. By living i don't mean actually being alive in flesh and blood, i mean doing things you enjoy. For me, its st-" As he was talking, he eard the gunfire, and the stomping of boots running towards it. He quickly snapped to attention, the book dropping. 

 

"I thought this town was meant to be safe!" He said, picking up his bag and pulling out his dissembled M4, assembling it with speed and efficiency, and loading a mag into it. He knew that their were guards for this place, though if all went bad.... and they got in he wanted to be able to keep himself, and those near him, safe. 

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Things became rather chaotic very quickly. Something was going on outside the walls that can only be an attack, a rather harsh reminder of the humiliation of being trapped inside a cage. 

 

"Forget what I said, it looks like trouble found us first. Ponyville is packed with survivors and guards so fighting them off is not impossible. It is only fair that we pitch in for the temporary shelter this town has offered us, but I won't blame you if your morals stand elsewhere." she calmly said, taking a step forward. She maybe running head first into danger, but Li will never forgive her self for committing an act as dishonorable as running from a battle. Even though it is better to live one day as a lion than to live 1000 years as a sheep, Li will make sure she lives a 1000 years as a lion; dying early isn't something she plans on doing. 

 

She looked back at the stallion and the mare, expressionless behind her bangs and mask. "Come, my cousins. The call for blood is loud and clear, but I'll make sure that it is ours that will not spill."

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Ina way, Castor was correct. It only stood to reason, they were protecting them, so they sound fight to protect the villiage in return. Had Midnight been on her own, she would have considered it. But she couldn’t, not out of fear nor cowardice, but love.

“I am sorry” she said Caster, a girl she, somehow, liked. Her plain honesty was refreshing in its own ways, even if it was slightly too poetic for Midnights taste. “But I cannot go out there to fight. I have my sisters to look after, and I will not leave them. They’re all I have left and I need them”. Giving Caster a slight bow, she turned around and walked away from the gunfire, heading straight for the library. Her sisters were there, waiting, and there wasn’t a snowballs chance in hell she was leaving them behind.

 

Cryie opened her mouth to disagree with the male, to argue that Living, using his terminology, was a purely subjective construct created by society along with values of being worthwhile to society, but she was rudely interrupted by gunfire. She reacted instantly, a flinch. She hated gunfire, it meant danger. She watched Sky move to construct his rifle, and her eyes watched with scientific fascination. She’d always wondered how rifles were put together.

It was at that very moment Sky loaded a clip, that Ember, the red-haired girl burst into the library. Her rifle was less elegant than Skys M4, but would pack much more of a punch. She pointed it at Sky, and only didn’t pull the trigger, not because she didn’t want to kill someone who had a rifle near her sister, but because Cryie shook her head at Ember.

“Grab your books, second Mids gets here we’re looting n’ booting” Ember said simply, grabbing a large bag on the floor and aiming outside the library, preparing to light up anyone who dared come near her family…Although she had one glare at the male in the library…If he made so much of a step towards her sister that looked threatening, Ember promised to light him up.

The youngest sister nodded her head, grabbing all the books she thought she'd need, plus whatever scrap paper she could write on later, and started placing it, carefully, into her own backpack. She muttered to herself, but made no attempt to resume her talk to Sky. Her entire focus was getting her stuff and preparing to look after her sisters.

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