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By Cuddlepug   |   
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© 2012 - 2020 Cuddlepug
Chapter 10 of My Little Pony: Orange-Cross Empire, (OCE), entitled Death From Below.

OCE is the spiritual successor to Hospice, which can be found here: [link]

While it is not required that readers check out Hospice first, it is advisable, simply for the fact that it establishes a lot of what will be elaborated upon in this narrative. However, it is still very possible to view Hospice as a singular work, as its particular themes are concluded by the Epilogue. In addition, efforts have been made to ensure that OCE can be enjoyed by its own merits and content.

OCE follows the lives of two very different individuals, and how they are brought together through a common interest. In addition, the corporate world around them begins to spiral out of control, consuming all of Ponyville and, ultimately, Equestria in its wake.

Artwork by *Polar59
Comments11
anonymous's avatar
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Rated-R-PonyStar's avatar
I like that you make the henchpony a father. It gives him more personality then a simple gun for hire. If anything this chapter shows us how ruthless he is and how big of a threat he is to your main character. Orange seems to be much more dangerous then Cross and I hope Cross can come up with some way to counter attack. Reason being is I personally would like to see these two become somewhat dead-even in terms of power before something goes wrong and all hell breaks loose.
Cuddlepug's avatar
Both sides of the Orange-Cross equation have their areas of expertise. Orange is more of a crook than Cross is: Cross isn't pleasant, but he doesn't appear to do many things that could be considered illegal. Orange, comparatively, quite clearly pays to have others murdered. With any luck Cross will find some way to strike back against Orange.
FredAFKTH's avatar
FredAFKTHStudent General Artist
This is a much more mature chapter compared to others, but it keeps the same pace and great narrative found in the rest of your story.

I really liked the fact that we enter yet another character's point of view, giving more depth to the story.

As always, some little details may come important later, as pointed by Gidran, breaking a promise, and maybe even his daughters asking for a souvenir.

Great chapter, great work, and sorry for the short comment.
Cuddlepug's avatar
Thanks for the comment, as always! You're right in saying that the chapter has a mature edge to it that isn't found in other chapters - Gidrán's parts are very much more involved in the gangster-styled world that exists between Orange and Cross. As for the promises and the souvenirs, keep an eye on future chapters - every detail is always important later.
TurkeySM's avatar
TurkeySMHobbyist Writer
That must be one odd looking revolver if a pony can stick his hoof in that hole where the trigger is.

The title...did the font change? It looks a little off. Anyway, explanations for the title are appreciated as always. There's the obvious death present in the chapter, but I'm more curious as to what subtle meanings and references there might be.

Well, Gidrán has become a lot more like Cross in my eyes. They both have loved ones whose lives are very important to them, but they still play this dark game filled with vice, danger, and death. At this point though, Gidrán seems to have more genuine care for his loved ones, as Cross still cheated on his wife and what not. In sum, this formerly no name thug pony has become a lot more likeable oddly enough now that I've seen his better side in terms of being a father. Still, he's a murderer and a bringer of destruction, and being a father doesn't pardon that. If anything, this whole chapter is a juxtaposition of sin and innocence. I particularly took note of that washing of the hooves thing since it reminds me of a "washing away of sin" type of action. It's kind of like how in Macbeth Lady Macbeth goes on about the whole blood on hands bit. Anywhoo, Gidrán holds his daughter with blood stain hooves, and if anything, it reminds me of how the narrator held on to Rarity with fire stained hooves.

A couple of other notes regarding Gidrán. Um, the whole smoking thing. I have a feeling he didn't smoke when Farleigh was conscious because he might be used to not smoking around his daughters. It's not mentioned like that in the chapter of course, but it's something I like to infer from it. I also like how he admits that he's not a good pony. No rest for the wicked indeed. And he never did get a souvenir for his kids did he? Another broken promise I suppose.

Dreadfuls is certainly an interesting name. Anyway, he really did have something dreadful happen to him, har de har har. Nothing much else to say about him, just another job for Gidrán I suppose.

When one of the dock ponies said "My back is killing me!", I laughed since I knew that he really would be killed a bit later.

None of this Lusitano-Cross stuff surprises me. Cross' letter a bit back already hinted that something like this might happen. A cooperative agreement between the two I mean. On the business front, it seems things are going to heat up once Cross sees what's been done.

...

Sorry, I had to interrupt myself to do something, and my mood for writing is kind of gone. It was a great chapter; it really was! I can't wait to see how much more you flesh out Gidrán, and I just personally hope that his love for his family shines through in the end. But that's just my idealism talking at the moment; I'll see how he goes and changes eventually.
Cuddlepug's avatar
With the gun, I conform to the idea of 'cartoon logic' or 'cartoon-story logic'. Suspend logic and it works; the idea of a pony firing a gun at any point is largely difficult to comprehend. You could possibly get away with a pony firing a larger gun with two hooves, but even that isn't particularly realistic. There will be more guns in the story, so I imagine we're just going to have to get used to it!

The font has changed slightly: the guy who made my original ones isn't around as much nowadays, and I lack the program that features the same font. They're just headers for the sake of DeviantArt, anyway: when this thing goes .pdf and eBook, it won't matter. As for 'Death From Below', it matches the graffiti in Old Manehattan scribbled around. Gidrán tells us that it's disenfranchised ponies attempting to strike out at the wealthy elite. It's definitely a point about class warfare, as well as representing the killing in the chapter.

Gidrán is a bit like Cross, although I'd say that he's a bit of a nicer guy, if such a thing is possible given what he does in this chapter. I don't think he's a particularly conniving character: instead, he just seems to follow orders and views killing as part of the job. Gidrán definitely cares a heck of a lot about his two daughters, and while we don't know right now why he kills, we can assume he has his reasons for working for Orange.

Excellent that you picked up the 'washing away of sin' motif. I deliberately set that bit in a graveyard - usually found around churches - to get that religious incentive behind him washing his hooves. Very sharp point of observation! As for his smoking, there are really two points to be made there: firstly, you're right that he respected Farleigh's wish because of his own daughters. Secondly, he didn't smoke during this chapter despite buying tobacco. It's interesting that he didn't, but it's hinted that his killing of others is having some effect on his mental state: he becomes dizzy when making his way up the stairs in his apartment, and he seems to wash the blood away in the fountain quite fiercely.

As for the souvenir for the kids, that's going to crop up again in a later chapter, so don't forget that. At the moment, it does constitute as another broken promise, but there is something else regarding that. As for Penny Dreadfuls, the name is derived from short horror stories distributed through England a couple of hundred years ago. They were usually minor tragedies. Sweeney Todd is considered to be a penny dreadful by many, which naturally fits quite well with the cutting of Dreadful's ear in this chapter.

Naturally, things will heat up between the three big ponies (Cross, Lusitano and Orange) after this. Gidrán's love for his family will also continue to add depth to his character.
doctordapples's avatar
Yeah, a very big fan of Penny Dreadfuls' name.
Cuddlepug's avatar
It's a cool name, yeah. Sad that it couldn't really be used for a character's name outside of pony fiction, else I'd want to use it again.
doctordapples's avatar
He has a cousin named Video Nasties.
Catnipfairy's avatar
CatnipfairyHobbyist Digital Artist
Oooo, its in the henchponys point of view. Thats unexpected. Its nice to know more about him, shows that hes not heartless like he seemed. Also, outer ears are made of cartilage, not bone, stupid : P
Cuddlepug's avatar
I totally thought horses were different because the ears are erect. Also, makes it easier to change this into a general fiction ;P But thanks: changed it.
anonymous's avatar
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