TextDownloadBusiness evolution By differential_Sloth #### David crossed the open ground between his house and the barn; dew clung to the grass and leaves, and a light fog persisted in places. Waking up before dawn was rough, but with the way business was it paid to start early. On the way, David pushed a gloved hand in his pocket and fished about for his key. ‘Come on, where the fuck are you?’ He muttered. After some awkward searching, David found the key ring. With a sigh of relief, he opened the barn door and stepped inside. The interior of the building smelt bad, but it was warm, and David had a developed a decent resistance to fluffy shit. Still, he looked forward to the warmer months when he could leave the barn shutters open 24/7. A flip of the switch changed the inside lights from a dull, warm orange to harsh florescent white. The reaction from the residents was immediate. ‘Scree!’ ‘See pwace huwties!’ ‘Peep peep!!’ The chorus filled the barn until David pressed down on the button next to the light switch. "BZZZZZZZZTT!!" The harsh electric buzz drowned out the fluffies' cries and shut most of them up. The only ones who still made noise after David let his finger up were young foals and new adults. ‘Alright,' David hung his jacket on a wall hook and picked up a clipboard from a desk by the door, 'let's get this started.' The barn was divided into two sections; the front half had forty small pens divided into eight rows of five, each home to a mare in various stages of pregnancy or with nursing foals. On the opposite side of the barn was a larger pen for the studs, eight in total. David walked to the mare pens and took notes on each. As he passed, the mares averted their gaze and curled around their foals if they had any. There were sobs and whines, along with a quiet ‘Pwease nu take babbehs yet.’ David ignored all of it; nothing he hadn’t heard before. Inspection finished, David returned to the desk and compared his notes to those from the past few days. ‘Hmm, 14 and 23 look ready to harvest,' he muttered. '35 should pop by tomorrow.' David added the morning's notes to the records, put them away and went to the equipment shelf. He got a sturdy basket with a well-worn canvas lining and strapped an extendable baton to his belt. Then, it was back to the pens. Seeing David return with the basket, the mares became more agitated. They tried to hide in a corner or curled tighter around their foals, protecting them from view. David went to pen number 14 first. Inside, a cream colour mare with a light orange mane lay curled around her foals, facing away from David. ‘Hey. Hey!’ He kicked the pen wall with his boot. ‘Time to hand your foals over.’ 'Nu!' The mare said. 'Meanie Mistah take wotsa babbehs!! Nu can hav dem!’ ‘The hell I can’t,’ David stepped over the pen wall and hauled the mare up by the scruff of her neck. ‘Screeee!!! Huwties!! Bad upsies!!!' ‘Peeep!!’ ‘Mummah!! Mummah!!!’ Her foals panicked; some stood on their hind legs, desperately reaching for their mother. With practised motions, David crouched and scooped one after another into the waiting basket. ‘Speee!!’ ‘Nu!! Nu take babbeh!!’ ‘Nu wan go!!’ One filly clung desperately to his hand. ‘Wan be wif Mummah!! Eee!!’ David shook her into the basket and snatched the last two foals. Stepping out of the pen, he dropped the mare and went to pen 23. ‘NU!! BABBEHS!!!’ The mare furiously tried to climb the pen wall, scrapping her hooves on the smooth pine. ‘GIV BACK BABBEHS!! AM TUU WITTWE!!’ ‘Mummah!! Mummah sabe babbeh!!’ ‘Nu wike!! Wan go back!!’ ‘Can it,' David shook the basket. The foals screamed and tumbled into a tangled sobbing mess. When he got to pen 23, David found a similar situation. The pure sapphire blue mare lay curled around her foals, desperate to keep them hidden and safe. Unlike 14, mare 23 looked up at David, meeting his gaze with wide, tear-stained eyes. ‘Pwease nice Mistah, nu take babbehs gain!' She pleaded. 'Nu wan babbeh gu way! Awways giv Mummah an babbehs wowstest heawt huw-' *Click* The baton extended with a flick David’s wrist. He showed the dull black shaft to the mare; she trembled, and fresh tears poured from her eyes. ‘Nu, pw-pwease nu sowwie stick,’ she choked out. ‘Hand em’ over now, or I promise you’ll get it.’ The mare looked at the baton, remembering previous run-ins with the cruel implement. It took a few seconds for her to break. ‘Uuuuhuhuuu!! She uncurled from the foals and scampered away. ‘Huuuhuhu, s-sowwies babbehs huhuuu!’ ‘Spee! Nu!!’ ‘Mummah! Nu weave Babbeh!! The foals stumbled after their mother but didn't get far before David scooped them into the basket. Second litter harvested, he stepped out of the pen and walked away. On the way, he noticed the mare in pen 35 looking at him. ‘What?’ The mare, pale yellow with a white mane, hid behind her forelegs and whimpered. David shook his head and sighed. Still, at least she was timid; that made harvesting her foals a low drama affair. David left the front section of the barn and entered the back section, where the trainers and weaned foals lived. There were two large pens along one side of the barn separated by a dividing wall; one for colts, the other for fillies. David put the basked down near the dividing wall and deposited the foals into each pen by sex. ‘Eee!' A blue colt squealed as he slipped from David's grip to the pen floor. Fortunately, no harm was done. Once inside, both groups of foals scrabbled at the dividing wall. ‘Bwudda!! Bwudda hewp!!’ ‘Wan go back tu sissies!!!’ One colt screamed. ‘Sissies!!!’ Must have been the only colt in that litter David though. Meanwhile, the trainers had arrived. ‘Bad babbehs!!’ A male trainer scolded the new arrivals. ‘Get way fwom waww! Yu nee weawn how be gud fwuffies nao!’ ‘Nu wan we-weawn!!' A grey, almost silver unicorn said. 'Nu wan!! Wan be with Mummah an-' The second trainer, an orange earthie, stepped forward and plucked the colt off the ground. 'Eeeep!! Nu upsies!!' The foal squirmed in the trainer's grip as the gelding carried the unicorn to a far corner of the pen. Rising from the floor was a section of 6-inch orange pipe, high enough that weanlings couldn't climb in. The trainer approached the pipe, held the colt over the rim and dropped him in. ‘Eeeee!’ There was a soft *splash* from the pipe, then 'SCREEEEE!!!' an ear-splitting scream. 'SQUEEEE!! MUMMAH!! MUUMMAHHH!!!' Weanlings in both pens ran for their beds, cowered where they stood or made a beeline for the litter boxes. ‘BUWNIE WAWA!!! REEEE!! SABE BABBEH!!!’ The unicorn’s brothers ran to the pipe and beat on it with their small hooves. ‘Giv Bwudda back, meanie!!’ ‘NU HUWT BWUDDA!!!’ ‘SQUEEE!!! EEEEE!! *KWACHAK!!! HACK* EEE *HAK-HAK*’ The colt’s screams turned to harsh strangled coughs, then stopped ‘Dat am wat happen tu bad babbehs!’ The orange earthie said. ‘Am wat happen tu babbehs dat nu wan weawn!’ ‘Dat am wight,’ the first trainer said. ‘Nao fowwow Fwuffy, dummehs.’ Freshly cowed, the new arrivals followed the trainers to be oriented. ‘*Sigh* Why's it always the unicorns?' David muttered. It was lost revenue and another job to be done. He'd learnt the hard way not to leave dead foals in the bleach pipes for any length of time. After the litter boxes were emptied and cleaned, David donned a long rubber glove and fished the unicorn out. He dumped the corpse in a bin and returned to the front section to clean the pens there. David returned to the house a little after 7:30am, and was greeted by the glorious scent of fresh coffee. 'No dramas in the barn this morning?' Heather, David's partner, asked. ‘One unicorn took a bath when he talked back to the trainers,’ David got a mug from the drawer and poured a cup. ‘Is it too much to ask to have a cup already poured?’ ‘If you didn’t change what you had in it every week,’ Heather flipped through apps and pages on her tablet. ‘What colour was the dropout?’ ‘Grey. Almost silver.’ ‘*Sigh* Fucker,’ Heather took a bite of her toast. ‘How many are ready to ship?’ ‘Let me think,’ David sat down with his mug and took a long drink. ‘Fourteen, maybe sixteen.’ ‘We can't stretch to twenty?' Heather asked. 'These guys in Augusta are doing pretty well. If we don't keep up as suppliers, they'll drop us.' ‘Is this the Fluffy World guys?’ ‘Fluff-World, yes' Heather confirmed. 'Trust me, Dave, these guys will to blow up, and we need to be in that blast wave.' ‘Not sure that simile works.’ ‘Well, good thing it wasn’t a simile.’ 'Fucking whatever.' David waved his hand. 'I hated English.' ‘Yeah. Anyway, since we’re here-,’ ‘Oh boy...’ ‘-there’s some stuff I want to talk about,’ Heather brought up her notebook app. ‘Now, I’ve mentioned this about a thousand times already, but we need to take the foals away much sooner than we are now.’ ‘Why? I’ve got these things broken just fine,’ David said. ‘Haven’t had to hit any of them for a month.’ ‘They’ll fuck you, babe. They will fuck you,’ Heather ate more of her toast. ‘These things aren't like dogs, they-’ ‘Heather, I’ve got them under my thumb,’ David assured her. ‘There’s no problem.’ ‘Okay, but you’re still gonna look like an idiot. Right,’ Heather went on ‘expanding our production. If we keep a few of the best foals, we can have another twenty or thirty breeders by Autumn.’ ‘Yeah? Where we gonna keep them?’ David finished his coffee and went for another. ‘We’re doing fine, but we don’t have the money for a bigger barn.’ ‘Maybe if you’d stop buying a new gun every week.’ ‘I do not buy a new gun every week!’ ‘You could at least not spend almost four thousand when you do,’ Heather pressed. ‘Babe, come on,’ David held his arms out. ‘Those kangaroo riders have the worst damn gun laws on earth, and they turn around and make a damn AR? I had to check it out! Besides, their dollar is fucking dogshit compared to-’ ‘Enough,’ Heather held up her hand, ’I haven’t had nearly enough whisky to tolerate your gun talk. I know we can’t have a bigger barn at the moment’ she flipped through more pages on her tablet, ‘which is why I’m having Jimmy put something together.’ Heather turned the tablet around and showed David. ‘Cages? It thought we were only talking about getting them.’ ‘We were,’ Heather took the tablet back, ‘but with how the market’s looking, I bumped it up the priority list.’ David let out a breath; ‘Okay...’ ‘It’s a wall of twenty-four, six long by four high. Four will fit in the same place as the pens we have now. Do the math.’ ‘Sounds like a lot more shit to clean up,’ David said flatly. ‘That’s what building a business is about, honey,' Heather smiled, 'cleaning up ever-increasing piles of shit.' ‘*Sigh* Well, you’re not wrong there.’ David took a sip of his second coffee. 'Fuck, that's good stuff. So do we have a pickup today? # ‘Eeee!’ ‘Peep! Nu wike!! Babbeh nu wike meanie-’ “BZZZZZZZZTT!!” David quashed the fluffies’ complaints with the buzzer, grabbed the clipboard and set about the morning routine. There were no litters ready for weaning that he could see; the mares never let their foals near the food dishes when David was around, so he went by mane length. Based on that, the litters in 6 and 11 would be ready by the end of the week. During the inspection, David couldn’t help but notice sobs coming from a far pen. He paid them no mind, such things were as common in the barn as bad smells. He worked his way down the rows and soon reached the second last. Now that he was close, David could tell the crying was from 35. 'Sounds like someone's popped,' he mused. 'Ok 35, let's take a look at… You bitch,' Six foals, all beautiful colours and mostly pegasi and unicorns were crushed to death on the pen floor. Nearby, mare number 35 lay in a ball, crying her eyes out. David saw the blood on her hooves and put together what happened. The mare foaled sometime in the night and rather than lose her litter again, decided to kill them. Dollar amounts flashed past David’s eyes, followed by red. He dropped the clipboard and ran back to the house, punched the code into his gun safe and pulled out a shotgun. Such was his anger, David fumbled with the shells and dropped some on the floor trying to load the tube. With a handful loaded, David violently worked the slide and rushed back to the barn. He grabbed 35 by the tail and yanked her out of the pen. ‘Screeeee!! Bad upsies!!!' The mare cried, distracted from her sorrow for the moment. David carried the pale yellow fluffy out of the barn and threw her underhand away from the building. 'Eeeee-ooof!!' She came down hard, and one of her forelegs snapped from the impact. 'SCREEE!! WEGGIE!!' The mare rolled and tried to cradle the wounded limb. 'Owwies!! Mummah! Mu-' *BKOOM* The first shot took a chunk out of the mare’s side. Before she had the chance to scream *Shashuk-BKOOM-Shashuk-BKOOM* David fired shot after shot. The clouds of buckshot chewed up the mare, ripping out chunks of fluff and flesh and took one of her legs off. Shashuk-BKOOM-Shashuk-click-Shashuk-click.* It took another few dry fires for the fact the gun was empty to sink in. David, ears ringing from anger and the gunshots, stomped over to the mare and picked up the mutilated corpse. Not missing a beat, he returned to the barn. ‘Alright shit-pigs, listen up!!’ He strode over to the mare pens and held the body, dripping blood, over each. ‘You murder your foals, you end up like this bitch!!’ He yelled over the screams and cries. ‘And just for that,’ David added, still in the grip of his anger, ‘none of you fuckers get fed today!!’ With that, David left the barn and tossed the mare’s body into the woods that surrounded the property. Finally done, he trudged back to the house; Heather was standing in the doorway with messy hair, bleary eyes, and a rock hard expression; 'I take it they didn't use lube?' ‘Shut up,’ David pushed past her and went to his gun room. 'I told you they'd do this!' Heather called after him. David didn't answer, absolutely not in the mood to talk. 'You gonna tell me what they did?' She said when he returned to the kitchen. 'Explain why it was necessary to start a fucking gunfight?!' ‘The bitch killed her foals!!’ David yelled. ‘Happy?!’ Heather crossed her arms. ‘What the fuck do you think, David?’ He went to speak, but the anger made his mouth seize up; David let out an incoherent yell of frustration and slumped into a chair by the table. While he cooled down, Heather set the coffee machine off and put a full mug in front of him the second it was finished. ‘Go on, get that in you; I’m not talking about this when you’re pissed off and decaffeinated.’ David took the mug and drank, ignoring the burn on his tongue. A few minutes later, after more coffee and deep breathing, most the anger left his body. ‘You good?’ David nodded. ‘Good. So, how do you feel about taking the foals way earlier now?’ ‘In favour,’ David said flatly. ‘Excellent,’ Heather said. ‘How the fuck do we do it though?’ ‘We’ll think of something. What’s important is we’re on the same-’ “I take back the life that I gave you! I take back, all my fucking money too!” ‘I know what this is about,’ Heather picked up her phone. ‘Heather speaking. Oh, hi Mrs Lovefield. No, everything's fine,' David refilled his mug while heather talked. 'No, just a herd trying to get into our feed shed. Yeah, Dave killed the Smarty. Ok, thanks for checking on us. Bye.' Heather hug up and looked at David. 'You'd be fucking lost without me, you know that?' ‘Yeah,’ David admitted. ‘Problem is sometimes I don’t know if I want to kiss you or hit you.’ Heather grinned, stood up and pecked David on the cheek. ‘Jump on the tablet and handle the paperwork for once. I'll sort the fluff balls out.' ‘I don’t see how that’ll make me feel better,’ ‘You can always go back down there.’ David sighed. ‘It’s on your bedside table, right?’ ‘Yep.’ Heather walked away, then turned back. ‘Oh, Jimmy’s coming over today.’ ‘Why?’ ‘The first cage is done,’ Heather said. ‘He’s delivering it.’ ‘Alright then,’ After losing such a valuable litter, jumping the gun on the cages didn’t seem so annoying. # ‘Easy, easy, a bit to the left,' David guided Jimmy as he lowered the newly fabricated cage bank from the bed of his truck with the attached crane. 'And it's down!' David gave Jimmy a thumbs up; he carefully let the lifting straps go slack, and stepped away from the crane controls when he was happy the cage unit was stable. ‘You like it?’ ‘Yeah, looks pretty good,’ David said, walking around them. ‘Pretty good? Look at these!’ Heather pointed out the slid out litter boxes by the front of each cage. ‘This is brilliant!’ ‘Yeah, we had some problems with fluffies jumping out when folks opened the main door.’ Jimmy walked up to the cages. ‘We put in this little door too, so you can get stuff in and out easier,’ he pointed out the small sage door within the main one. ‘Shit, you think of everything,’ ‘Not everything,’ Jimmy shrugged. ‘Little brother’s more the brains than I am. I just know how to weld it together and drive the truck.’ ‘Well you’ve done a fantastic job, Jimmy,’ Heather said. ‘What do we owe you?’ 'For this? Bout, four grand. I'll cut delivery since you're so close.' David felt his gut tighten. Heather was un-phased. ‘You can have one and half in cash now,' she said. 'We have some outstanding accounts; once they're settled, we'll pay off the rest.' ‘Sounds good,’ Jimmy said. ‘You get the cash, and I’ll figure how we move this inside.’ Heather went to get the cash, while David and Jimmy went to the barn. ‘Any thoughts?’ ‘Nothing fancy, just put them in through the roller door right there,’ David said, pointing it out. ‘These cages shouldn't be too tall for that.’ ‘They’re not, made sure if it.’ 'Great. Still, moving it in will be the hard part.' ‘I’ll put it back on the truck and bring it closer,’ Jimmy said. ‘Then, just need a strong crew.’ 'Well alright, you do that, and I'll sort out the crew.' ‘Sure thing,’ Jimmy returned to his truck and lifted the cages back into the bed. Heather came about the same time and stood by David. 'They didn't make it too tall, did they?' 'No, it's good,' David told her. 'We just need a bunch of beefcakes to get it in.' ‘I’ll have Rachel wrangle some of her gym friends to help,’ Heather suggested. ‘They won’t get weird about the fluffies, will they?’ ‘Heather shrugged; ‘Not our problem.’ ‘Yeah, guess you’re right.’ # ‘Nu! Nu wan go in nyu meanie housie!!’ ‘Well, you’re going in.’ David shoved the green mare into the cage and shut the door. The mare spun and banged on it with her hooves. ‘Nu wike! Nu wike!! Wan owd housie-’ *Bang* ‘Cut it!’ Heather held the sorry stick where the mare could see. ‘Or, you’ll get this across your tits!’ The green fluffy yelped and retreated to a back corner of the metal box. David popped the next mare, dark grey with a pink mane, into the cage next door. Unlike the previous fluffy, the grey mare meekly accepted her new home. David and Heather had spent the afternoon after installation moving the mares and were partway done. The pair held up for a while, debating whether to move the foals as well. They decided to move the blind foals and leave the older ones and their mothers in the old pens for now, since there were only four mares with litters close to weaning. ‘Alright,’ David stood back and admired the new set up. ‘Looks good.’ The unit sat squat and firm on the barn floor. In the cages themselves, the broodmares came to terms with their new abode. Or at least, they made an attempt. ‘Nu wike dis! Nyu housie am meanie housie!!’ ‘Tuu cowd! Soon mummah nu wike!!’ ‘You’ll get used to it,’ David said, then turned to Heather. ‘We’ll put some towels in for beds; that’ll do them.’ ‘Good thinking. Now,’ Heather went to get a basket,’ help me clear out these pens.’ ‘Now?’ ‘Yes, now,' Heather returned and started clearing out the old pens. 'I've got two more cage units ordered. They'll be ready by the end of the month.' ‘Are we gonna have eight grand by the end of the month?’ ‘If not, we’ll pay them off in stages. Is that really such an alien concept to you?’ ‘My family always paid for things outright.’ David pulled out the old beds and piled them by the wall. ‘That explains a lot.' Heather removed the ratty plush toys from each pen and dumped them in the basket. She intended to put them in the new cages, but it wasn't a priority job. 'Once we've cleaned these out we'll tear them down, then we'll earmark some fillies to keep.' ‘Sure thing boss,’ David said, not a little sarcastically. Then, ‘Oh shit, I just thought of something.’ ‘What?’ ‘We haven’t kept track of who the foals’ parents are, have we?’ ‘No,’ ‘So, if we grab new mares from out there,’ David pointed at the back wall, ‘and their fathers are still here,’ ‘We could end up with dads fucking their own daughters’ Heather finished. ‘Yep. Think that’ll be a big problem?’ Heather thought for a moment. ‘I don’t want to risk it; with these things’ genetics, who knows what might happen?’ ‘So we won’t source from our fillies?’ ‘No, we’ll still do that,’ Heather said. ‘Not from what have now, though. From now on, we keep track of who each litter’s parents are,’ David groaned at the prospect of more notes to take each morning. ‘Until then, we keep an eye out for good ferals.’ ‘Got it,’ David said. ‘Well, I’ll get the tools,’ he walked to the door. ‘Be right back.’ # A week and a half after the first bank of cages arrived, Jimmy delivered the second unit. This time, he brought his brothers to move the cages into the barn right away, and the unit was installed within the hour. ‘Looking good so far,’ he commented when it was in. ‘How many more you gonna put in here?’ ‘We’re thinking two,’ David said. ‘One back to back with this,’ he pointed out the newly installed unit, ‘And the last one right here. Turn the space next to it into more storage.’ ‘Okay, one more.’ Jimmy said. ‘I’ll give Heather a call later and make sure. Where is she, anyway? She always supervising.’ ‘She's busy with some of the broodmares,' David said, skipping the details. Unfortunately, despite David's warning, a few more mares decided to kill their litters after they'd foaled. Like last time he was ready to kill the lot of them, but Heather talked him down. ‘Babe, leave them to me,' she'd said, adding 'There's something I've wanted to try for a while.' That something was applying extra strength heat rub to the mares' udders. Heather saw it come up frequently in the discipline forums she subscribed too and wanted to know if it fixed severe behavioural issues, not just shitting on the floor and raping seat cushions. ‘SCREEEEEE!!!! REEEEEEE!!!!’ Minutes after Heather rubbed the Bengay into the first foal killer’s udders, she was screaming her lungs out. ‘MIWKIE PWACE BUWNIES!!! HEWWWP!!!! SQUEEEEE!!!!’ The mare withed and struggled in the restraint harness she was trapped in. ‘That’s what you get for killings your babbies, bitch!’ Heather said, moving to the next in line. ‘Nuuu!! Nu buwnie sowwies!!!!’ The pale green broodmare thrashed against the leather straps that bound her as Heather drew near. ‘Fwuffy am sowwies!! Sowwies!!! Jus nu waned babbeh go way gain!!! Nu waned heawt huwties!!!’ ‘Can it, foal killer’ Heather squeezed a generous amount of cream on her gloved hand. ‘Don’t even pretend you’re sorry, yet.’ ‘Eeeep! Nu touch miwkie pwaces!!’ The Mare squawked when she felt Heather rub the Bengay in. ‘Don't kill your fucking foals!' Heather moved on to the last in line. The mare, sunset orange and younger than the others, whimpered and cried. ‘*Sob* Huuuhuhu pwease, Fwuffy sowwies! Sowwies fow giv babbehs fowewa sweepies! Pwomise nu du id gain!!’ ‘Oh, you won't' Heather rubbed the Bengay into the mare's teats. 'I guarantee it.' She'd left the mares to scream and writhe in pain for about four hours. Two were awake when she returned, moaning and crying in hoarse, croaky voices. The third in line, though, wasn't moving. A quick check of the mare's pulse brought Heather's back down; the fluffy had passed out from the pain and wasn't dead. ‘Alright, did we learn anything?' Heather said as she sponged off any remaining heat-rub. The feeling of the washcloth on their inflamed udders brought new rounds of croaky rough screams. 'Not going to murder any more of your foals or tell anyone else to?' ‘Huuu, n-nu. Fwuffy nu huwt babbehs huhuuu...’ ‘Good girls,’ Heather finished cleaning off the mares and took them back to their cages one by one. ‘They fixed?’ David asked. ‘We’ll have to wait and see. Anyway, grab a couple of studs,’ Heather walked to the desk and picked up the clipboard. ‘Might as well put 17 and 9 in foal while we’re here.’ ‘Just them?’ David grabbed two stallions out of the pen. Neither complained much, knowing they were about to enjoy some special huggies. ‘For now; we’ll do some more tomorrow. Ok,’ Heather scribbled notes while David put the stallions in with the mares, ‘stud 5 is with mare 17, and stud 2...’ # It was the early evening a few days after the second cage unit was installed; David and Heather were settled down for the night. Heather retreated to her office to draw, and David was busy cooking kebabs for the two of them. Over the YouTube video he had on for background, David heard distant thunder, a storm rolling in from the east. 'Hope it gets here before bedtime,' David had liked watching storms from the porch since he was little. *Rumble* ‘Are all the barn shutters closed?’ Heather called from her office. ‘Yep!’ David called back. *Rumble-ap* ‘What the?’ There was something odd about that last rumble; David swore there was another noise just under it, like a knocking or- *Tap ta-Rumble* A tapping, from the front door. It wasn’t a person knocking, and David had heard it too many times already to mistake it for anything else. ‘We’ve got visitors!’ He called. ‘Can you deal with it?’ ‘Still cooking!’ David said back. ‘And I got the last ones.’ ‘Alright!’ In the office, Heather put down her pencil and went to the front door. Opening it, she saw a group of fluffies on the porch; one mare had foals on their back, and another mare’s older offspring cowering under her. Hearing the door open, one of the fluffies looked up; its eyes went wide and a relieved expression washed over its face. ‘Nice hoomin!’ The stallion said. ‘Yeah, that’s me,’ ‘Nice hoomin, pwease wet fwuffies in! Big sky munstahs am cumin an fwuffies nee hide!’ ‘Pwease nice wady!’ The mare with foals on her back added. ‘Meanie sky munstah wan num babbehs!!’ ‘Peep peep!! Sabe babbeh!’ ‘Pwease nice wady; fwuffies nu can keep famiwies safe fwom-’ ‘Okay! I get it,' Heather opened the screen door. 'Get in.' The fluffies rushed inside, cheering and thanking her. 'Hey!' The fluffies stopped and looked at her, 'I didn't say you could go wherever you want; follow me.' ‘Bud-’ Heather spun back around. ‘Do as you're told, or I'll put you all back outside.' The fluffies followed Heather to the laundry without a word. She threw some towels on the floor and put down a water dish, and litter box kept ready for this situation. 'You'll get some food in a minute.' She told the fluffies. 'If you do poopies or pee-pees anywhere but here,' she pointed to the litter box, 'you'll go back outside.' Yells of understanding and promises of compliance came from all the fluffies who could speak. Heather left the laundry and went to the kitchen. ‘What do we have?’ David asked, tending to the kebabs. ‘Two families,’ Heather reported. ‘Both of them have foals. One litter is all chirpies, the other looks close to weaning age.’ ‘Nice,’ David lifted a kebab off the hot plate. ‘What about the other stuff? Colour, health, that shit?’ ‘All good. No shit browns or puke greens,’ Heather started to clear up some of the mess in the kitchen. ‘Even better. How many are we keeping?' ‘The stallions have to go,' Heather said. 'We don't more right now, and they'll just cause problems. Besides, we can take some colts if we want. Just record which mare they were born too.' ‘Sounds like a plan,’ David put the rest of the finished kebabs on the plate and turned off the stove. ‘We’ll take care of it tomorrow. Come on, that storm sounds like it’s about to hit.’ # Morning came, and after tending to the barn David and Heather went to the laundry to sort out the fluffies. As Heather had guessed, it was two mated pairs sticking together. The one with the older foals explored the laundry. The family with the chirpies sat on their bed and tended to their young. When David opened the door, the stallions went to meet them. ‘Hewwo nice hoomins,’ one stallion said. ‘Hey,’ David said back, acting friendly. ‘You guys good?’ ‘Yes nice Mistah hoomin.’ the second stallion replied. ‘Fwuffies bein gud.’ ‘Awesome,' Heather crouched and gave each stallion a quick pat on the head. 'Listen, guys, we need to take a quick look at your babbies.' Both stallions stiffened. ‘Wai?’ The first one asked. ‘Wai wan wook at babbehs?’ The second asked more aggressively. ‘We just want to make sure they’re okay,’ Heather said calmly. ‘Besides, do you think we’d want to hurt them after we saved you from the sky monsters?’ The stallions glanced at one another, and their body language relaxed. ‘Nu,’ the second one admitted. ‘That’s right,’ David said. ‘Now go get them, please.’ The stallion nodded and went to get their families, who were watching on. After a little convincing and assurances, the mares came over with their young. Heather started with the older litter since they ran up begging for her attention. ‘Yay! Big upsies!!’ a blue and yellow earthie cheered. ‘Wub big upsies!’ Heather ignored the filly and scribbled notes on her colour and who she was related to. Next was a pure white unicorn colt; Heather deiced he was a keeper, and so was his dark red sister. Heather took her notes and moved on to the last two older foals. Both were good but nothing special, so they'd go to the training pens. Next, Heather looked at the chirpy foals, no more than a few days old. ‘Pwease be cawefuw!’ Their mother said, ‘Babbehs am onwy wittwe!’ ‘Don’t worry, I’ll be careful,’ Heather said as she examined the foals and made her notes. Of the five, she deemed three, one colt and two fillies, suitable to keep. ‘There you go, all good.’ ‘Tank yu nice wady,’ the mare said, hugging her foals close one after another. ‘Babbehs am otay?’ 'Yes, they're fine.' Heather assured the mare, then stood and turned to David. ‘You deal with the stallions,’ she said quietly. ‘I’ll get the rest into the barn.’ David nodded and turned to the two males. 'Hey fellas, I want you to come with me.' ‘Wai?’ ‘Got some special food for your families,’ he told them. ‘Otay!’ The second stallion said. ‘Fwuffy be back soon speciaw fwend!! Bwing back wotsa gud nummies fow famiwy!’ The stallions’ families cheered and bid them good luck as they followed David out of the laundry and into the back yard. David led the pair to the property line and pointed at a large rock. ‘You’ll find the food near there. Go on.’ The stallions walked forward and searched the area. ‘Nice Mistah,' the first stallion said, 'fwuffies nu can find num-' *POW* ‘SCREE-’ *POW* Two shots from David’s pistol, a suppressed 22WMR, yielded into two dead stallions. He admired his handiwork, two clean head-shots, then tossed the bodies into the brush. While David disposed of the stallions, Heather took the mares and foals to the barn. ‘Whewe nice wady taking fwuffies?’ One mare asked, concerned. ‘Somewhere safe for you and your foals,' Heather told her. The answer calmed both mares, and they turned their attention back to their young until Heather entered the barn. The smells and noise from the other fluffies, mostly the perpetually miserable broodmares, set them on edge. ‘Huh? Wat am dis pwace?' The first mare asked. 'Whewe does oda fwuffies? Wai day so saddieeee!!' The mare yelped as Heather pulled her out of the basket and carried her to the second bank of cages. 'Eeee!! Wai giv bad upsies?! Wai huwt fwuffy?! Am gud fwuffy!!!' ‘Mummah!!!’ ‘Whewe take Mummah?!’ ‘Nu take Mummah way!!’ ‘Put fwuffy down!’ The mare continued, squirming in Heather’s grip. ‘Nee be wif babbehs!! Babbehs nee mummah!! Nu!!’ Heather opened a cage door and shoved the mare inside, closing the cage before she could scramble out. ‘Nu!! Nu wan meanie housie!! Wai nice hoomin du dis?! Am gud fwuffy!!’ ‘Because you belong to us now.' Heather said, coldly. 'That's your new home, and your job is to make babbies for us.' ‘Babbehs?! Fwuffy hav babbehs!!!’ ‘Not anymore, they're ours too.' Heather told the mare, then returned for the second. The fluffy lay in the basket curled around her foals who chirped and peeped in terror. ‘Screee!!’ The mare screamed when she was lifted out of the basket. ‘Nuu!! Nu take fwuffy!! Babbehs!! Babbehs!!!!’ Heather took the mare to cage 42 and shoved her in. ‘Speciaw fwend!! Speciaw fwend hewp!! Sabe Fwuffy!! Sabe babbehs!!!’ Mares secured, Heather took the foals into the back section. Of the weanlings, she put the white unicorn and red filly into a small pen of their own and put the sibblings in the training pens. 'Nuu! Nu wan!!' The blue and yellow filly from earlier jumped up and down, scrabbling at the training pen wall. 'Nu wan!! Wan Mummah!! Wan Bwuddas an sissies!!! Mummah!!! Mummah sabe-' 'Bad Babbeh!!' The filly spun and saw a trainer looming over her. 'Stahp bein bad babbeh!! Babbeh am hewe tu be gud fwuffy so can get nyu mummah ow daddeh.' ‘Nu wan nyu mummah an daddeh!!!; The filly screamed. 'Wan Mummah an-' the trainer stepped forward, and the punted the filly onto her back. ‘Screee!!’ If Babbeh nu weawn be gud babbeh, yu go in munstah howe!’ The filly froze; ‘M-must-ah h-howe?’ The trainer pointed at the pipe rising from the floor. ‘Munstah howe giv bad babbehs wowstest huwties an fowewa sweepies,’ the trainer told the filly. ‘If Babbeh am bad babbeh, yu go in munstah howe.’ Tears poured down the follies face, and she trembled in fear. Finally, she managed a few words. ‘*Sob* N-nu wan!’ ‘Den fowwow Fwuffy,’ the trainer turned. ‘Nao.’ The filly stumbled after the trainer, extremely upset but cowed by the threat of death. Her brothers did the same, beaten into line by the threat of death and some sorry hoofies. With them dealt with, Heather returned to the chirpy foals. ‘Peep peep peeep!!!’ ‘Peeep! Peeeeep!!!’ ‘Cheep!! Peep peep!!’ The pudgy balls of fluff squirmed and peeped loudly, searching in vain for their parents. Heather scooped them out of the basket and put them in a makeshift chirpy pen they had. She’d bought it off a friend who used to rear guinea pigs, and David made some modifications. Heather put the chirpies in the pen, and they made a beeline for the artificial feeder. The foals latched on to the rubber teats and drank for all they were worth. ‘That's their answer for everything; "dwink miwkies"' Heather said in a mocking tone. 'Enjoy it while you can.' She gathered up the baskets and left the back room, meeting David outside. 'That went well,' ‘Sure did.’ David agreed. ‘Gave me an idea too.’ ‘What?’ ‘Well, since these little bastards sniff around this place so much,’ David said as they walked to the house, ‘might as well set some traps and see what we catch.’ ‘Okay,’ Heather nodded, ‘sounds good.’ # A week had passed since the ferals arrived at the house, and the mares still hadn’t accepted their new reality. ‘TAKE MUMMAH TU BABBEHS NAO!!!’ One screamed as David passed on his morning inspection. ‘WAN SPECIAW FWEND!! *BANG BANG* WAN BABBEHS BACK!! DAY TUU WITTWE!! NEE MUMMAH AN MIWKIES!! *BANG*’ The second chimed in, beating her hooves on the cage door. *Bang, Bang* ‘Cut that shit out!’ David smacked each age door with his baton. ‘That’s your new home, you’re not getting your babbies and special friends back, and your job is to make-’ ‘BABBEHS!!! *BANG* TAKE TU BABBEHS NAO!!!’ The first mare yelled over him. ‘Goddammit,' David gave up trying to discipline them, for now, and moved on to the few old pens that remained. In one lived the last mare with a litter. 'Time to say goodbye, mummah,' David reached down and plucked away the foals two at a time. ‘*Sob* huuhuhuu, *Sob* B-bai babbehs. M-mummah newa fow-*Sob*-get yu huuhuhuuu,’ ‘Nuu!! Wan stay wif *flick* Spee!’ 'Quiet,' David put the filly in the basket; the teal unicorn held her forearms over her nose, sobbing deeply. ‘Pwease nu huwt babbehs...’ the mare said, meekly. She was well and truly broken, having spent close to a year as one of David and Heather's broodmares. Such were the perils of trying to get into their feed shed. David carried the sobbing foals away and distributed them into the training pens. One filliy, a lovely shade of pink, ignored the trainer’s orders again and again. ‘*Sob* Mummah!! WAN BE WIF MUMMAH!!’ After three attempts, the old mare gave up and deposited the filly in the bleach pipe. ‘SCREEEEEE!!! REEEEEEEEE!!!’ Her pained screeches filled the room for about half a minute before she died. With that taken care off, David checked on the foals taken form the ferals and returned to the front section, putting the 39 into her cage. ‘No problems?’ Heather asked when he came into the kitchen. ‘Those ferals won't shut the fuck up,' David poured his first coffee of the day. 'Other than that, no problems.' ‘Give them the Bengay treatment,’ Heather said, ‘that’ll teach them. I’ll help you with it in a minute.’ ‘Cool. Oh, there’s about eighteen foals ready to go. Twenty if our guys are happy to take some that are a bit rusty.’ Heather shrugged; 'They can polish 'em up in the store, I'll tell them twenty.' ‘Nice,’ David sat, enjoying his coffee and muffin. ‘So. I was thinking about taking the foals when they’re little.’ ‘Mmm?' Heather didn't look up from her tablet. ‘Biggest problem is knowing when the mares pop,' David said. 'We can't watch them all the time, even with cameras. We gotta sleep sometime.' ‘So we need an alarm?’ ‘Exactly,' David sipped his coffee. 'But it's got to be a special alarm.' ‘Special how?’ ‘Think about it; these things cry and scream all the time,' David explained. 'An alarm that works off the noise, it'll always go off. That won't help us.' ‘No, it won’t,’ Heather ate a piece of her toast. ‘So, what kind of alarm do we need?’ ‘Well, I've been talking to a friend of mine and he has a few ideas for us.' ‘Which friend?’ ‘Denis. He does security systems and smart home stuff.’ ‘Oh ok,’ Heather nodded. ‘So what’s he thinking?’ ‘Eh, it'll be easier if he explains it,' David said. 'It involves cameras and computer programs. He explained it to me, but I forgot some of the fine points.' ‘That’s fine. When is he coming over?’ ‘Just after lunch. 2o’clock I think he said.’ David said. 'Cool,' Heather pulled up the planner app. 'I’ll need to shuffle some things around, but that'll be great. Good work.' Just as David said, Denis arrived a little bit after two in the afternoon. ‘This was a pretty interesting problem,' Denis set up his laptop and laid out some equipment. 'It took some brainstorming, but I've got it cracked.' He picked up something the size of a bottle cap. 'Each cage gets a camera this, which live streams 24/7 to a server. Pretend it's my PC for now,' Denis put the camera down. 'On the server is software that uses a little AI and other tricks to figure out if the mare the camera sees is foaling. If everything lines up, it sends out an alert.' ‘To what?’ Heather asked. Denis shrugged. 'Whatever you want; TV, your phones, could even do up a light board if you want.’ ‘Probably just our phones,’ David said. ‘How about a trial run?’ ‘Sure thing,’ Denis turned his attention to the laptop. ‘Got some stock footage that will trigger the program just fine. Ok,' he turned the laptop around, 'observe.' On the screen was a bloated dam, shuffling about on a nest. ‘Huu tummeh am tuu big,’ the dam whined. ‘How wong tiww babbehs? Nu wan tummeh be big nu, eep!’ The fluffy jolted and looked at her belly; ‘SCREEE!! OWWWIES!! TUMMEH OWWIESS!!!’ David and Heather saw the dam's abdomen contract, and a spurt of fluid run down her backside. 'BIGGEST POOPIES!! BIGGEST POOPIES!!! BABBEHS CUMIN!!!' *Beep. Beep. Beep. Beep.* An old-style pager on the table started to beep. Denis paused the video and picked it up. 'And there's your alarm. ‘That’s awesome,’ Heather took the pager from him. ‘How long did this take?’ ‘Couple of weeks. I’ve done security stuff similar to this before.’ ‘How long will it take you to get this running here?’ ‘Hmm, let me think,’ Denis gazed up at the ceiling. David tells me you've got 120 cages,' ‘We’ll have 160 soon.’ Heather added. 'Ah. Well, we'll wait till those are and do it in one hit,' Denis took a note pad out of his bag. ‘Saves us any integration headaches. Hardware and installation won’t be tricky, just getting everything to play nice together.’ ‘So, time estimate?’ ‘For hardware and software, maybe a week,' Denis said. 'With some help, I can install all the cameras and wire them up in a day. The hard part will be setting up the server and getting the programs to work. Nothing I can't manage, it just takes time.’ 'Ok, that sounds good to me.' ‘Me too,’ Heather said. ‘Now, what will it cost?’ ‘Well, the boss won’t let me discount because we’re buds,’ Denis said. ‘But, I know you guys always settle your debts. So, make a $1000 down payment now or in a few days, and we can work out a payment plan from there.' David and Heather looked at each other. ‘Give us a moment.’ Denis stood. ‘I’ll wait by my car.’ Once he was gone, David and Heather talked. ‘Do we have $1000 spare?’ ‘The Fluff-world account doesn't come in for another week,’ Heather said, looking over her spreadsheets. ‘We can smanage, but it’ll be a stretch, and leave us short.’ ‘Damn…’ ‘This is your guy, sweetie,’ Heather reminded him. ‘Yeah, I get it,’ David sighed. ‘So, what do we do?’ 'Anything in your gun safe you don't use anymore?' ‘Are you kidding me?’ Heather’s expression proved she wasn’t. ‘*Sigh* There are a few things I can get rid of…’ David admitted. ‘Great. Organise that when we’re done here, and don’t even think about bringing anything back.’ ‘Alright,' David said, 'At least we won't have more murdered foals.’ He stood and went to get Denis. David and Heather agreed to the terms and said goodbye. # ‘Mistah! Nice Mistah!!' David turned to the pen housing the young fluffies taken from the ferals who’d turned up a while ago; ‘What do you want?’ ‘When get see famiwy gain?’ The red filly asked. ‘Miss Mummah an Daddeh! Wan pway wif bwuddas an sissies gain!’ Yeah, won’t happen. Her father was dead, her mother was a broodmare, and her sibblings (save the white unicorn) were long gone. ‘No idea.’ ‘Wai!?’ The filly squawked. ‘Wai nu can see famiwy?! Wan be wif Mummah an Daddeh an bwuddas an sissies gain!’ ‘Dat am wight!!’ Her brother pipped up, aggressively. David made a mental note to keep on top of the unicorn, given their propensity for “smarty” bullshit. ‘Wan go back tu famiwy, nao!!’ David looked at the pair for a while. Another few weeks, maybe a month, and they’d be about ready to go to work. He and Heather hadn’t done much to them other than feed and water them, plus basic discipline. Well, David thought, maybe it’s time to tell them what’s what. He walked closer and stared down at the two young fluffies. ‘Alright, here’s the deal; you two aren’t going back to your family. In fact, your family doesn't even exist anymore.’ The young fluffies looked dumbfounded, trying to comprehend what they’d heard. David went on. ‘You belong to us now, and soon you’ll be working for us too,’ he pointed at them, ‘making lots of babbies.’ The mention of babbies perked the filly up a little. ‘B-babbehs? Am gun be, mummah?’ ‘Yep, lots of times.’ ‘Dat, dat soun wike fun,’ a small, cautious smile crept over the filly’s face. David snorted; ‘Yeah sure.’ His reaction confused the filly, but she didn’t get a chance to talk before her brother took over. ‘Wat boud Bestest Fwuffy? Wat Bestest Fwuffy gun do?’ 'Put babbies in mares,' David told him. 'Not your sister, though.' ‘Bestest Fwuffy knu dat, dummeh!!’ The colt yelled, insulted. ‘Bestest fwuffy knu nu can giv Sissies spe-’ David reached down and flicked the colt’s nose. ‘Squee!!’ The colt fell on his backside, and he held his forelegs over his face. ‘Don’t you ever call me that again, you little shit!’ The colt looked up and nodded, cowed for the moment. ‘That’s the other thing; do what you’re told and behave, or you get hurt. Understand?’ ‘Y-yes nice Mistah!’ The filly said, voice cracking and full of fear. ‘Fwuffy be gud! Nu wan huwties!!’ ‘You better be,’ David turned and left the young fluffies. While he was over, he deiced to check on the younger foals. They’d opened their eyes and were on their way to weaning off milk, but wouldn’t be ready for their new roles for a while yet. At least they weren’t as crabby or demanding as the older ones. Done with his work in the back section of the barn, David returned to the front section. ‘How’s it coming along Denis?’ ‘Good so far,' Denis said, elbow-deep in a cage. 'I tell you, it's easier putting these cameras in the empty cages. Should have this last unit knocked over soon.’ ‘Sweet,’ David checked over the word Denis had done; the wires coming from the cage racks converged into larger bundles in conduits laid along the walls. They ran to a previously unused corner of the barn modified to house the server and other control units for the alarm system. To save a bit of money, David did the prep work himself. ‘I’ll have the server and other stuff by Thursday,’ Denis said. ‘I’ll bring it here in the afternoon and set it up. Friday is when the fun begins.’ David nodded, put some things in order and went to help his friend. With David’s assistance, Denis finished installing the cameras and wiring the connections together earlier than expected. ‘Alright,’ Denis said, ‘that’s the cameras and wiring done.’ ‘Fantastic. Can’t wait for no more murdered foals.’ ‘Take them away right after they're born, huh? Yeah, more guys are doing that now. How are you going to feed them?’ ‘Still working on that,’ David said, ‘Gonna use milkbags?’ ‘What bags?’ Denis pulled out his phone; ‘Take a look.’ The video showed a pen full of pine mulch with a dozen or so young foals. Most were gathered around a pair of mares strapped to the wall; they'd been quad amputated and blinded, with a feeding tube forced into their mouths. The mutilated fluffies strained against their bonds, and David could just hear their dull moans over the foals. 'There you go; milkbags.’ Denis put the phone away. ‘Gonna use em?’ David shook his head. ‘No, no way Heather will agree to that. She has her limits.’ ‘Really?’ Denis looked around, ‘Don’t get me wrong, I don’t judge how people make a living if it’s legal. Is a few milkbags worse than what you’re already doing?’ ‘I dunno,’ David shrugged. ‘But I promise you, Heather won’t go for it. We’ll shell out for some kind of auto feeder; they’re not that pricey.’ ‘Suit yourself.’ Denis packed away his tools. ‘I’ll see you tomorrow.’ # ‘Okay, you two,' the red filly and her unicorn brother looked up at David's voice. 'It's time to start work.' 'Wat nice Mistah meee!' David lifted the now young mare out of the pen and put her in a basket. Her brother went in a second basket, and David carried them to the front section. He placed the unicorn in the stud pen first, then took the red filly to the cage banks. ‘W-wat am does?’ the filly asked. ‘Wat am does, nice Mistah?' ‘Your new home,’ David opened a cage, number 72, and put the young mare inside. She looked around the cage with its bare metal walls and simple towel for a bed. 'Nu wike dis!' She turned to the door. 'Nu wike nyu housie, nice Mistah!' ‘Well, too bad.’ David turned and headed for the stud pen. There was no sense delaying the inevitable. 'Nice Mistah? Nice Mistah wait!!' The young mare, now number 72, tapped on the cage door. 'Pwease!! Nu wike nyu house!! Wan go back!!!' ‘Okay,’ David stared at the stallions milling about in their pen, ‘who will it be?’ ‘Pick Fwuffy!!’ A dark orange earthie demanded. ‘Fwuffy wan speciaw huggies gain!!’ ‘Nah, not you,’ the earthie produced good litters but was rough, and David didn't want the new broodmare to get banged up too badly. 'You'll do,' David picked an emerald green and royal blue pegasus for the job. He was more gentle than some of the other studs. ‘David carried the pegasus from the stud pen to cage 72 and put him inside. ‘Who am yu?’ The young mare asked, backing away. ‘Wai meanie Mistah put yu hewe?!’ 'Fwuffy am sowwies,' the stallion said, not meeting the mare's gaze. 'Fwuffy nee giv speciaw huggies, ow meanie Mistah giv both fwuffies huwties.' ‘N-nu, Fwuffy nu wan,’ the mare backed away from the older stallion. ‘Am sowwies,’ he repeated. ‘Nee du id, ow gun get bad huwties! Fwuffy pwomise nu be-’ ‘Nu! Fwuffy nu wan!!’ The mare yelled and turned away from the stallion. He swallowed the lump in his throat, whispered a final apology and jumped on the mare. ‘Eeeep!!’ ‘Fwuffy twy be fast,' he said and went about his work. ‘Nu! Nuuu!!’ The mare tried to wriggle away but there was no room, and the much stronger stallion had her pinned. ‘Hewp!! Mummah!! Bwudda, hewwp!!! Screeee!!!’ ‘Sissie? Sissie!’ The white unicorn stood up on the stud pen wall. ‘Sissie!! Wat happenin?!’ ‘SCREEEE!!’ ‘SISSIE!!' The unicorn tried to clamber up and over the wall to rescue his sister, only to get knocked down by another stallion. ‘Stahp id dummeh!’ The black and yellow pegasus yelled. ‘Keep duin dat, an aww fwuffies get big sowwies!!’ ‘Bud fwuffy nee sabe sis-’ The Pegasus smacked the unicorn in the nose with his hoof. ‘Yu nu can sabe yuw sissie, dummeh!! Nu can get oud! Fwuffies gun be hewe fowewa.’ The pegasus said wistfully, and walked to his area of the pen. The unicorn struggled to his hooves; though shocked form the hits and the older stallion’s words, he was determined to aid his sister. The unicorn went back to the wall to attempt another escape, when ‘Hewwo,’ The unicorn turned and saw the dark orange earthie, flanked by two other stallions. The earthie was smiling, but there was something in his eyes the young unicorn didn’t trust. Still, he decided to respond. ‘H-hewwo…’ ‘Fwuffy am nyu,’ the orange stallion said. ‘Y-yes.’ Nice f-fwuffy wan be fwends?’ The Stallion’s smile grew wider, and something inside the unicorn cried out in fear. ‘Yes, Fwuffy wan be fwends wif nyu fwuffy,’ the earthie took a step forwards. ‘Nyu fwuffy can Fwuffy an fwends’ speciaw huggie fwend.’ ‘W-wha?’ The earthie closed in on the unicorn. 'Big dummeh Mistah keep fwuffies hewe so can hav speciaw huggies with pwetty mawes. Bud, Fwuffy an fwends wan mowe speciaw huggies.' He walked in a slow circle around the young stallion, who flinched away. ‘Dat mean, fwuffies nee fwend fow speciaw huggies. Nyu fwuffy am gun be dat nao.’ The young unicorn was still fuzzy on exactly what “special huggies” were and what they involved. But, the earthie’s behaviour was anything but friendly. He tried to back away, but the orange stallion’s friends blocked the unicorn’s path. ‘Whewe fwend goin?’ The earthie looked the unicorn right in the eyes. ‘Fwuffy stiww wan tawkies.’ ‘Fwuffy wan tawkies tuu,’ a Purple and white unicorn stepped forward. ‘Fwuffy wike nyu fwend. Wike nyu fwend wots.’ ‘Nyu fwend am pwetty,’ the leader’s second lackey, another earthie who was yellow all over added, coming right up to the unicorn and saying his ear ‘Am pwetty wike mawes am pwetty.’ The unicorn shook uncontrollably, and tears streamed down his face. Gut-wrenching panic and fear filled his body; he desperately wanted to get away from the older stallions, but they had the unicorn penned in, and his body wouldn’t listen. With his focus on the purple unicorn and yellow stallion, the leader stepped around the back of the young unicorn, ready to pounce. Just before he could mount his newest victim, though, *KNOCK KNOCK* ‘Hey!! I told you fucking perverts to save it for the mares!!’ David’s kicks to the pen wall and loud voice scattered the three would-be rapists. Though self-appointed rulers of the stud pen, they still feared him. The white unicorn felt a wave of relief wash over him; he turned to thank David for saving him, but he’d already left. The unicorn’s heart sank, then froze solid when the orange earthie spoke again. 'Hoomin nu am hewe aww dah time.' He didn't want to, but the unicorn turned and looked. The smile on the earthie's face turned his blood to ice. 'Fwuffies see nyu fwend soon.' The leader gave the stallion one last smile and walked away. The young unicorn stood on shaky legs for a few seconds, then collapsed into a ball. ‘*Sob* Uhhuhuh *S-Sob* M-mummah huhuu *sob* sabe Babbeh huhuuu *sob.*' From their corner of the pen the three top stallions snickered at the young stallion, and the others just ignored him. There was no friendship or bonds of any kind among the stallions; they were only concerned with themselves, and more than welcomed a new victim to distract the three tyrants for a while. David returned soon after with the green pegasus, who retreated to his little corner of the world and hunkered down. David looked at the stud pen a moment, then shrugged and walked off. He knew well the new stallion was in for the prison shower experience. The three little fucks who ran the stud pen would probably make their move the second he left. David could easily stop it happening but didn't care too. The worst outcome from the three rapist stallions' activities was some blood and jizz in the litter boxes; serious injuries were rare, so he let it slide. Still, David checked up on the unicorn following morning. As expected, the three rulers ran a train on the young unicorn at some point, and probably more once. David found the white stallion curled in one corner of the pen crying his eyes out. He could see a few spots of dried blood near his tail, evidence of what had gone down the previous night. There was no point doing anything about it, though, short of getting rid of the three rapists. Given the quality of their litters, no way that would happen. David shrugged and went about his routine. # *Beep beep beep! “Fifty. Three.” Beep beep beep! “Fifty. Three.”* David put down the magazine he was repairing and rushed out to the barn. In cage 53, a mare with copper orange fluff lay on her side, struggling with labour. ‘SCREEE!! PWEASE CUM OUD BABBEHS!! NU WAN HUWTIES NU MOWE!!’ ‘Peep! Peep peeeep!!’ ‘Cheeep! Peep peep!’ On the cage floor, two foals squirmed about in a shallow pool of fluid. David rushed to grab a birthing kit, came back and opened the cage door. As he reached in and grasped the first foal, a third emerged from the mare and fell to the metal floor. It wriggled about helplessly until David grabbed it and reunited the tiny unicorn with its sibblings. Two more foals came out, followed by the tattered remains of the placenta which David gathered up too; the mare's ordeal was over. ‘*Haff, haff, haff...* She lay panting for a few seconds, before struggling to her hooves and turning to clean her foals. But, there where no foals to clean. ‘Wah?’ ‘Cheep cheep!!’ ‘Peeeep!!’ ‘Cheep! Cheeep!!’ The mare turned to the cage door; on the other side, she saw David, standing with the basket in one hand and a foal in the other, examining it. 'Babbeh?' She stepped forward. 'Nice Mistah? Wai hav babbehs?' ‘Because they’re ours, dumbass.’ ‘B-bud Mummah nee giv dem wickie cweanies an miwkies!’ The mare protested. ‘Babbehs nee wickie cweanies an miwkies!! Mistah awways wet-’ ‘Not anymore,’ David put the foal back in the basket. ‘A few of you bitches ruined it for everyone, so cope.’ As he walked away, David heard the mare bang on the cage door. ‘Nu, nu! Nu take babbehs!! Day nee miwkies!! Mummah nee giv babbehs miwkies!!!’ David ignored her, and another mare muttering something about if she was good, unlike the others, she’d get to keep hers like the old times. Fat chance, honey. David walked to the back room, past the stud pen where the rulers helped themselves to the white unicorn, again. ‘Enf enf enf enf enf!!’ ‘Squeee!!! Nu enf poopie pwace nu mowe!!!’ The young stallion squealed. ‘Hewp!! Hewp!!!’ ‘Enf enf enf!!!’ ‘Sick little bastards,' David closed the door behind him and went to the side opposite the training pens. He set the basket on a bench-top, laid out a fresh towel and put the foals on it, dabbing them clean with wet wipes. ‘Cheep cheep!!’ ‘Peep peep!! Peeeep!!’ The five pudgy foals wriggled and crawled around on the towel, desperate for a teat to latch on to. David heated up a small bottle of formula and placed the teat near a dark green earthie squirming around on his, her, back. The filly waved stubbly forelegs in the air, searching for her mother. David placed the rubber teat close to the foal’s mouth, and within seconds it latched on. ‘*Suckle suckle suckle*’ The filly drank deep from the bottle, batting and kneading at the rubber teat. ‘Chirp?’ A unicorn, dark orange with the hint of a white tail, turned to the noise. ‘Cheep, cheep!!’ The foal crawled across the towel fast as his limbs would take him, desperate to get at the milk. David saw the little colt coming and rolled him away with a finger. ‘Speeee!!! Peep, peeeep!!!’ ‘Wait your fucking turn,’ David said. ‘And you, hurry the fuck up.’ Soon, the green filly pushed the teat away, burped and let out a string of happy chirps. David moved the bottle to the unicorn and fed the noisy bastard, then moved on through the litter. Last up was a black earthie with what looked like a blue tail nub. David put the teat near the filly’s mouth; like the others, it started to drink with enthusiasm. Only a few seconds in, though, the filly went stiff and pushed the teat away. ‘*Hack, hack,*’ ‘Oh come on, not-’ ‘*Hwurk!!* The filly vomited up the formula over her chest. ‘*Kaff kaff,* Cheep cheep!!’ ‘The fuck do they keep asking to be fed if they can’t eat?’ David put the bottle away and picked up the runt. *Thwack!* The impact with the edge of the table broke the filly’s neck so completely her head dangled like it was attached by rubber bands. David tossed the body in a bin and distributed the healthy foals among the feeding pens. After checking the formula tanks, he went finished up and went to his gun room. # ‘Well, someone looks happy.’ ‘Someone is happy,’ Heather tapped away through her tablet as David got his morning coffee. ‘Very god damn happy.’ It was nearly two months since the last cage unit was installed. In that time, their output increased dramatically, good considering their main customers were also expanding. 'Two more Fluff-world stores are opening next month, both close enough for us to supply.' Heather looked up at David. ‘Sweet,’ David sat down with his coffee and muffin. Though the daily routines weren't any better, the work was paying off and far better than before. ‘We’ll have plenty ready for both.’ ‘Great. I’ll let them know,’ Heather said, tapping away through tabs and messages. The pair sat in silence for a while, eating breakfast and dealing with other aspects of their business. After a second cup, David broke the silence. ‘So, what’s the next stage?’ ‘Next stage?’ ‘Come on babe, you know we’re not staying at this level forever,’ David said. ‘I was waiting for you to tell me we’re putting more cages in soon.’ ‘Not now, I think we’ve got as many as we can handle, and they’re not all full yet.’ Heather said. ‘But yeah, I’ve been thinking about the future.’ ‘OK, let’s hear it.’ ‘Alright,’ Heather put the tablet down. ‘We’re going to need help soon. You need another pair of hands in the barn,’ ‘You’re fucking right I do,’ ‘And I need a secretary.’ Heather looked down at the tablet. ‘There’ll be at least twenty notifications when I pick that up again.’ ‘Alright, more employees. Shouldn’t be that hard.’ ‘I hope not,’ Heather said. ‘Also, we need to think about how big we want this business to get.’ ‘I thought you wanted to keep pace with our buyers,' ‘Yeah, I know,’ Heather admitted. ‘But, *sigh* I’ve been watching how much these guys at Fluff-world are growing, and other guys who will want good suppliers,’ Heather trailed off. ‘I guess I didn’t think things would move this fast.’ David looked at Heather for a while; ‘That doesn’t sound like you at all,’ ‘Well, I guess I'm just worried. I look a few months and years down the track, and if things keep going, I see the business getting bigger than I'm used to.' David shrugged. ‘So? Basics don’t really change, and things are running fine so far.’ Heather took a deep breath. ‘Well, if it’s not just us working. Still, you’re weren’t exactly in favour of expanding before. Why the change?’ David thought for a moment, then said ‘Because it worked.' ‘That’s it?’ ‘Pretty much. I'm not a genius, but show me something works, and I'm in. So, however big you want this to get, I'm with you.' Heather smiled, reminded of why she started dating David in the first place. She was about to talk when the birth alarm went off. David sighed heavily and got up; 'Of course, it didn't happen while I was down there. I'll be back soon.' ‘Ok,’ Heather said, and picked up her tablet. As she feared, it was full of notifications again. Heather set about answering them and decided to advertise for an assistant that day. Uploader differential_Sloth, January 19, 2020; 01:08 Tags author:differential_Sloth breeder explicit fluffy-dies foals-die industrial_abuse punishment rape runt-dies soon-to-be-mill Source Unknown Locked No Parent None Rating Explicit Comments January 19, 2020; 04:06 - Reply Fugger: I hope this series continues. The industrialization theme is great. January 19, 2020; 13:07 - Reply Anonymous1: This was great. Too many of these stories are just sadbox from the fluffy's POV, this gave us the owner's perspective. The abuse was impersonal and industrial in nature, not the bland psychopath edgelord bullshit cluttering up the booru. More like this, please! January 19, 2020; 15:28 - Reply cuis: They sure need a more proper way of disposing of dead fluffies than throwing them in the bushes. January 20, 2020; 09:32 - Reply Anonymous2: @cuis: They could just bury their bodies and use the earth they bury them at to grow inexpensive plant based food for the fluffies. January 21, 2020; 20:16 - Reply ZaWarudo: I love this shit, man. I'm hoping for a continuation. January 24, 2020; 00:03 - Reply Gardel: Good story tho for an AI surveillance $1k is waaaaaay too cheap even as a downpayment Also I feel heather isnt doing much January 25, 2020; 03:15 - Reply Fiberglass: Fluffies crushed and dehumanized by the cold unfeeling apparatus of business...good...brings joy to my cold black heart.