It had been like any other night in Ponyville. The streets were empty, many of the ponies had turned in for the night, and Luna’s moon shone down from above with the stars. Crickets continued to chirp their nocturnal song while one by one, the lights in the small rural village went out.
It seemed perfect.
Well, it was, until the peaceful quiet was abruptly shattered by what looked like a second sun appearing briefly in the night sky as a meteor tore overhead. Ponies cried out in terror, foals screamed for their parents, all of the local critters were thrown into a cacophonic frenzy.
Many of the rudely awoken ponies gathered outside of town hall, trying to glean any information they could from the bedraggled mayor of the town. The mayor did what she could, but her efforts were ultimately in vain.
Some distance from town hall stood a proud, tall tree. However, it wasn’t just any tree. Somepony’s home was carved into the very living wood. Lights shone through multiple windows whilst the tree’s leafy green branches continued to sway in a gentle breeze.
Within the building paced one Miss Twilight Sparkle, the personal protégé of Princess Celestia. Unlike most of the other ponies, the mare was still awake when the event happened, busily researching and writing an essay for her dear mentor. The report in question lay forgotten on a nearby podium while the unicorn continued pacing.
The shockwave following the event had rendered her library home a total mess. Books were shaken off of the many shelves in which they were kept, and dumped into disorganized heap on the floor. Twilight winced as she surveyed it, sighing as she settled onto her haunches. If there was a silver lining to this whole disaster it was that tomorrow was reshelving day anyway.
Twilight’s ears perked up. The whole mess in town square was audible from her home, despite the windows being closed.
“The horror! THE HORROR!”
Celestia’s mane, those mares are loud. Twilight thought with a hint of amusement. She was still trying to find something, anything on this phenomenon in the wide selection of books available in her library. Twilight’s mind was far too alight with questions to do anything else.
“What could this mean?” the unicorn thought aloud as she headed for the stairs up to her loft.
What had happened? Why did it happen? It wasn’t some mere meteor, Twilight was certain. She had witnessed meteor showers before, and this was no meteor. The fact that it happened directly after that mysterious blast was no coincidence. A thousand possible scenarios were running through her mind.
Seriously, what could have caused that?
Although she had read that the planet had been struck by meteors far before the dawn of recorded history, nowadays Luna (and Celestia during the former’s one thousand year imprisonment) was responsible for anything regarding the night sky. Meteor showers, auroras, she did them all. Twilight sincerely doubted that Luna would deliberately cause such destruction. She wouldn’t waken half of Equestria with that racket just to get them to see her night.
The night sky became visible through her glass balcony door when the mare reached her loft, and far off in the distance she could see a plume of smoke rising from the forest where the mystery object had struck Equestria.
At the foot of the bed was a small basket, and within, her baby-dragon assistant Spike was curled up, fast asleep. Twilight couldn’t help but grin at the fact that her #1 assistant had managed to sleep through the whole thing.
She suppressed a giggle as she affectionately tapped the sleeping dragon on the head with her hoof. “Oh Spike, how you manage to sleep at a time like this is beyond me,” she said with a smile on her face.
It faded as the small violet scaled reptile started moaning in his sleep. His face contorted and he quivered slightly.
In her already bedraggled state, Twilight immediately became worried, “S-Spike!” she whispered as her pulse started picking up, “What-?”
“Gurk…UUUURP!” Her words were immediately cut off as the sleeping dragon belched out a narrow stream of green flames, narrowly missing the unicorn by inches. Twilight fell onto her rump with a startled cry as the swirling fire rapidly condensed into a scroll. “Mm…Rarity …” muttered Spike.
Twilight blinked once as the roll of parchment fell to the ground. The unicorn allowed herself a sheepish laugh, wordlessly berating herself for not recognizing what the dragon was doing. Her horn went aglow as she lifted the bound scroll into the air with her magic.
She undid the seal and unrolled the letter, her eyes going wide as she quickly read the recognizable neat cursive written on it.
My faithful student,
You are likely aware of an event that has recently transpired. Regrettably, as of now, I have no further information for you, although my sister has her suspicions. I would ask that you refrain from taking action at this time.
As I write this letter, Luna is preparing to depart for Ponyville. She has stated her desire to speak with you personally, so expect her to arrive soon.
Twilight lowered the parchment, her expression one of surprise. Princess Luna was coming? Twilight hoped that she had taken her lessons on quiet speaking to heart.
Twilight’s brow perked in curiosity. What could the Night Princess have to speak to her about? If one of the Princesses was getting involved, Twilight could only conclude that it was serious. This new development served to make her even more anxious. Was it Discord again? An even more ancient evil that was sealed long ago? She had so many ideas as to what it could possibly be, and none of them were good.
While she rubbed her eyes, she let a long, drawn out sigh pass through her muzzle. Well, it looks like she was going to have a visitor at this late hour. Twilight glanced over the railing and peered into the library below.
Well, she thought as she surveyed the mess, walking down the stairs, I guess there is no harm in starting reshelving early …
A Princess was coming, and Twilight decided she might as well make her home presentable. In addition to having to complete her essay, she had a lot to clean up. She suspected that she needed to take an excursion into her basement as well.
So much to do, so little time.
As she reached the ground floor, she decided that she should check the basement first, given the fact that her sensitive lab equipment was stored there.
That line of thought was cut off at the sound of somepony’s excited knocking on the door.
Twilight couldn’t help but smirk. She knew exactly who knocked like that.
“It’s open, come in-” she started, but didn’t even get to finish as the front door burst open and the very manifestation of hyperactivity shot into the tree-house in the form of a poofy pink party pony. “…Pinkie!”
With a smirk on her face, Pinkie Pie happily bounced around the table in a loop, as per her usual behavior. “Twilight Twilight Twilight! Did you see the shooting star earlier? Of course you did! Everypony did? Well you know what? I did too! Isn’t that funny? I was in bed then suddenly my Pinkie Sense woke me up and I was like ‘GAAAASP!’ because my Pinkie Sense almost never goes off at night, but it did, and first my tail went all twitchy, then my knee got all pinchy, and then I looked out the window and it looked like it was daytime. But it wasn’t daytime because the moon isn’t out during the day, that’s just silly. But then I saw the shooting star and then…”
She was abruptly cut off as Twilight thrust a leg into her yapper. Seemingly oblivious to the fact, Pinkie Pie kept blabbering, her words muffled by the hoof.
“Um…Pinkie? Do you think you could keep it down?” she released the energetic mare and gestured up at her loft, “Spike is sleeping.”
“Oopsie! My bad! Widdle Spikey-Wikey needs his sleep!” said Pinkie, before starting up again…in a whisper this time, “…and then I was all like ‘GAAAASP!’ again because I’ve never seen a shooting star that bright or noisy before…”
Twilight facehoofed, but couldn’t suppress a smirk. It was just Pinkie being Pinkie after all. The mare’s eyes drifted to the still open door, when she realized that Pinkie didn’t come alone. A familiar cyan pegasus leaned in the doorframe, looking back at her with drowsy, half-lidded eyes.
Rainbow nodded at Twilight. “Good evening…er…night…whatever,” Rainbow mumbled, her statement punctuated by a yawn.
“Good morning Rainbow,” the unicorn replied. The mare tapped the wooden floor with her hoof as the two continued to stare at each other while Pinkie continued babbling. “Hey, you actually used the door this time,” said Twilight good-naturedly, attempting to make small talk as she began lifting books with her magic and putting them neatly on the shelves.
The mare laughed sheepishly, “Well, sometimes even a pony as awesome as me can’t always make a big entrance,” the pegasus blew a stray strand of hair out of her face, “Pinkie dragged me here,” she muttered, eying the still yapping earth pony.
“…I had to help the Cakes with the Pound and Pumpkin, because that big boom woke them. I was going to go back to bed, but then my eye got twitchy, which means that I should go see Twilight. And then I told Gummy that I was going out but he didn’t say anything because he’s an alligator and then I left Sugarcube Corner and I went a hoppin’ this way, but then I bumped into Rainbow, and my Pinkie Sense told me I should bring her too and here we are!” when she finally finished, she had a wide, goofy grin plastered on her face.
Twilight was looking at the pink mare with a blank look on her face before finally sighing. How Pinkie was able to keep up such boundless energy, even though it was past midnight, was beyond anypony’s range of comprehension. Twilight couldn’t help but feel a twinge of envy.
“So whatcha doing?” said Pinkie.
Twilight glanced around her at the large mess in the library before sighing once, “Well, I thought I’d start cleaning up these books before…”
“Cleaning up at one in the morning? Sheesh Twilight! Are you loco in the coco? Super-smart-smarty pantses need their sleep too!”
“Pinkie…you’re up too,” said an exasperated Twilight.
“Oh yeah,” Pinkie said sheepishly, “Well I was sleeping but then my Pinkie sense started a twichin’ and then I…”
“Pinkie,” said Twilight, “I know, you told me already.”
Pinkie put a hoof to her chin before getting an inquisitive look on her face; leaning in closer, she was inspecting Twilight as if she was scrutinizing a patient. “Aw, it looks like someone is all anxious and frowny faced, no wonder why my eye was a twitchin’! I think we need to do something about that,” she started to bounce happily, “And you know what the best way to cheer somepony up is right? A PA-…”
“Pinkie!” Twilight once again thrust a hoof into the hyper pink mare’s mouth, “Now is not the time. I got to get this mess cleaned up before the Princess shows up and…”
The other mare gasped through Twilight’s hoof, jumping back with her mouth agape.
Immediately, Rainbow’s ears perked up. “Woah!” she raised her hooves, “The Princess is coming here?”
Twilight nodded, “Yes, Princess Luna should be arriving-“
“Ooh ooh ooh it’s Luna, not Celestia?” Pinkie exclaimed, “Remember back on Nightmare Night and she came to town and I was all like ‘Aaaah!’ and you were like ‘She’s not going to eat you!’ and then I was like ‘I know!’ and you were all ‘Huh?’ but this isn’t Nightmare Night anymore so I’m not going to be scared because Nightmare Night is the time to be an all-out scaredy-pony…”
Rainbow nudged Twilight on the shoulder, “Twi, do you know what’s going on? I mean, the whole…explosion thing?”
The unicorn sighed and shook her head, “Hopefully, the Princess will clarify a few things.”
“Indeed,” spoke up a new voice.
All three mares’ ears perk up as they looked around for the speaker. Finding nothing, Rainbow immediately became tense, “What? Who’s there!?”
Twilight’s eyes went wide as she recognized that voice; her gaze shot over to the hot-headed pegasus, “Rainbow! It’s her!” she warned.
“Huh?” Rainbow looked at her with a confused expression.
They felt her presence before they could actually see her. The room instantly seemed to become a tad chillier. Shortly after, Luna appeared in the front doorway. Everypony’s mouth went agape. It wasn’t like she just walked in; she just materialized from the shadows. In the place they were certain that nothing stood before, was Princess Luna in all her glory.
Almost acting on impulse, all three mares sunk into a low bow. None of the mares realized that the Princess had gotten any closer until they heard her breath in to speak.
Oh please don’t use the Royal Canterlot Voice…please don’t use the Royal Canterlot Voice…
“Rise,” said Luna at a manageable volume.
Oh thank Celestia…
All three mares obeyed. Twilight stood and her violet eyes met Luna’s blue ones. Much like her older sister, Luna drew a strange feeling of awe from everypony. The way her indigo coat gleamed in the faint candlelight, the way it reflected off of the crescent moons on her flanks, and the way her long, starry mane billowed behind her without the aid of wind…she was quite the sight.
“Twilight Sparkle, we…I…greet you.”
“The pleasure is all mine Princess,” said Twilight.
Luna glanced at the other mare, “Brave Rainbow Dash and lively Pinkie Pie too it would seem.”
“Ooh, ooh, remember me Princess, remember me?” said Pinkie whilst Rainbow Dash seemed to swell with pride.
“Yes, I remember,” said Luna curtly. Twilight watched as the dark alicorn’s eyes swept around the disheveled room. Twilight hoped that she wasn’t judging her housekeeping skills.
Luna brought a hoof to her mouth and cleared her throat, “I apologize for this visitation late into the night, but I felt that it was of utmost importance that I speakest to thou.”
“Princess Celestia said that you were coming, but she didn’t say why or what for,” explained Twilight.
“I was observing my night sky and in doing so, I noticed something high above, suspended in the heavens,” said Luna as she began pacing, “I know not what it was, but I do know that this was more than some mere meteor.”
“I thought as much,” said Twilight.
“Well if it wasn’t a meteor, then what was it?” interrupted Rainbow, “Ooh, was it aliens? Because that would be awesome.”
“Even I know not what has transpired,” said Luna, “Which brings us to the purpose of this visit. Tonight, I will be heading into the forest. I would request that you and your friends accompany me.”
Twilight looked at Luna with a quizzical expression, while Pinkie miraculously remained quiet, “Princess, not that I doubt your judgment, but what could my friends accomplish that you couldn’t on your own?”
Luna sighed, “You and your friends are capable of wielding a magic that has slipped beyond the reach of my sister and I long ago.”
Twilight’s eyes widened with realization, “The Elements?”
Luna smiled and nodded, “With my sister’s permission, I have brought the Elements of Harmony,” she gestured to a saddlebag she was wearing which Twilight hadn’t notice before, “I will not lie, we will be journeying into the unknown. It may be dangerous. I do not wish for you or your friends to put yourselves at risk out of an obligation to me.”
Twilight gaped at the Princess while she pondered the words she had just heard. The last time the Elements were brought out was when Discord had escaped. Could this object that had fallen from the sky be as bad as or even worse than Discord or Nightmare Moon? A chill settled in her gut.
But Twilight wasn’t about to let her fears get in the way of stopping a potential threat to her beloved Equestria.
“You can count me in,” said Twilight, with an air of determination in her voice.
“Me too!” said Rainbow, the mare puffed out her chest.
“Ooh me three!” Pinkie cut it, “I guess this is my why eye was a twitchin’ because remember when I said that…?”
“Yes Pinkie, I do remember,” said Twilight, in the same tone as before.
Luna nodded, a smile gracing her muzzle, “We…I thank you for your assistance in this matter Twilight Sparkle, Rainbow Dash, and Pinkie Pie,” said Luna, gratefulness evident in her voice. Her ears perked up at the lingering sound of confused ponies congregating around the town square. “While you are gathering your friends, I will attempt to alleviate this situation,” she tilted her head in the direction of the raised voices, “When you are ready, I will await you at the forest’s edge.” With that, she seamlessly blended back into the shadows, her hoofbeats completely silent.
Predictably, it was Pinkie who broke the silence with an excited squeal.
“We’re gonna have an adventure, Twilight! It will be just like a party except those a whole lot more walking and less games and stuff and maybe it will be more like a camping trip…” a gasp, “We’re going camping! We’ll sit around a campfire and share stories make smores and stay up late! Ooh! I love smores! There so chocolatey and marshmallowy ! But we’re already staying up late so…”
“I wonder why we may need the Elements…” Twilight thought out loud, “Luna sounded worried, could it really be that dangerous?”
Abruptly, Rainbow was in her face, “C’mon Twi! Maybe aliens crash-landed in Equestria!”
The unicorn shrugged, “I don’t know, maybe.” Twilight noted to herself that she didn’t deny the notion of aliens. The very idea that some other life exists out there in the universe was always a fascinating concept even to one as academic as her.
“They’re coming to suck out our brains with bendy-straws !” Pinkie’s eyes went wide with horror and her hooves shot to her cheeks.
This elicited an eye roll from the lavender unicorn, “Pinkie,” said Twilight, “Nopony is going to get their brains sucked out, that’s just ridiculous.”
“Well, what are we waiting for? Let’s go get the girls!” Rainbow said excitedly, “We have some aliens to find!”
Twilight smiled and gave a minute nod. “Indeed we do.”
Unlike the remainder of Ponyville, the entirety of the orchard known as Sweet Apple Acres was draped in a pleasant silence. Hundreds, if not thousands of apples glimmered faintly in the radiant moonlight as they hung from their trees.
But the ponies that lived here were wide awake, and right now, one of them was silently cantering through the vastness of the orchard.
Even in the dark, the mare known as Applejack could instinctively navigate the land on which she lived. From l iving and working on the farm for years, she knew the property like the back of her hoof.
And she was worried.
That mighty ruckus that had lit up the night made her immediately concerned for her sister’s wellbeing and that of her little friends. The whole mess likely had the three young fillies scared.
Ever since her parents had died, it was her unspoken duty of the elder Apple siblings to look after their youngest sister, Apple Bloom. The little filly had coerced her into letting her and her friends have a sleepover. Not just any sleepover, however. The Cutie Mark Crusaders had convinced Applejack to allow them to camp out at their little clubhouse. AJ had protested valiantly against it, but the Crusaders had ensured their victory when all three fillies had simultaneously gave the older mare the CMC special; each filly wore a pouty expression of unadulterated cuteness, powerful enough to sway even the most resolute mind.
They had succeeded.
Now, Applejack was on her way to check up on her little sister and her friends, as a good sibling should. Her brother, Big Macintosh was preoccupied with calming down the matriarch of the household, Granny Smith. The gentle red stallion had a natural talent for soothing their dear grandmother. The old mare was babbling in a frenzy, raving about how ‘They’ were a coming. She refused to elaborate further when Applejack pressed for details.
Applejack sighed as her gaze drifted skyward. What had caused that? Shooting stars don’t light up the sky like that, not in the slightest. As an earth pony, Applejack could recognize something natural when she saw it, and that thing definitely wasn’t natural. The mare groaned as her stare returned to the ground. Like the rest of the town, the orchard was not spared from the sheer power of that shockwave. The large number of apples shaken from their trees littered the grassy turf. This would set them back.
She and her brother had a busy day ahead of them.
Several minutes later, the object of her worries came into view. Nestled in a seemingly unimportant corner of the orchard stood a small structure, the pink and red clubhouse built into one of the trees. It was well out of the way, so trespassers would be unlikely to stumble across the hangout of young Apple Bloom and her friends unless they knew where to look.
Applejack couldn’t help but smirk at the new observatory that poked out of the top of the tree. That wasn’t there when the mare had bequeathed the old clubhouse to her sister. Apple Bloom had constructed that herself with some help from Big Macintosh. The filly sure knew her way around a hammer and saw.
As the farmpony walked up the ramp leading to the clubhouse, Applejack couldn’t help but notice that there were no lights shining in the windows. If they were rudely awakened, the mare knew that the Crusaders had at least a lantern with them. Her frown deepened when she put her ear to the door.
There was no noise. No excited chatter or anything .
Did them fillies seriously sleep through that ruckus? Applejack thought as she peered through the heart-shaped opening in the door. In the shadowed interior, Applejack could faintly make out three sleeping bags arranged in a circular pattern, and she relaxed when she noticed that they seemed to be occupied.
Though a mote of concern formed in her gut the longer she continued to stare.
Applejack reached for the doorknob, and slowly opened the door. It creaked faintly as it swung open, and the mare stepped inside, doing her best to remain silent. Never taking her eyes off of the sleeping bags, Applejack closed the door behind her, the faint *click* resonating throughout the small clubhouse.
“Apple Bloom?” the mare whispered as she approached to unmoving shapes beneath the sleeping bags. They did not stir as she got closer. It was then that Applejack noticed that several items were conspicuously absent. The hooks on which the Crusaders hung their capes and saddlebags were vacant, and the lantern Applejack had left for the fillies was gone.
And worst of all, the forms hidden by the sleeping bags were not moving, at all.
A cold lump formed in Applejack’s stomach as she contemplated the situation. She reached out for the nearest bag, dread filling her heart. The mare was being honest with herself, she much as she wish it weren’t true, she knew what she was going to find. Grabbing the corner of the sleeping bag, slowly, she pulled back the cloth .
She felt like her heart had stopped.
Where there should have been a slumbering filly was naught but a pillow, cleverly placed as to throw off the casual observer. Frantically, Applejack checked the other two sleeping bags to find them lacking fillies as well. Clenching her teeth as her eyes darted to and fro, an indescribable fear built in her chest.
“Apple Bloom! Where are ya!?” she yelled, as if hoping that the little filly was just hiding. “Scootaloo? Sweetie Belle! Answer me!”
She bit her lip and twisted her hooves into the wooden floor. It didn’t take very long for the pieces to fall into place in her mind. She had a very strong inkling as to where to fillies had disappeared to, and where they were going. Her legs were wobbly as she left the clubhouse, and her gaze locked on to the distant plume of smoke rising far in the distance.
She just hoped that her suspicions about that mystery object were untrue.
Her heart racing, she jumped down to the ground and sped off back towards the farmhouse at a full gallop.
“Agh…my aching…” the Lone Wanderer thought aloud as he shakily loped about the darkened bridge. It was dead silent, save for the distant unsteady hum of some distant, auxiliary generator that had miraculously survived the crash. While a few of the flickering lights remained intact, the majority were cracked, shattered, and otherwise offline…permanently. A live, still sparking wire dangled down from above, which the injured human had to carefully sidestep to avoid.
Although he survived the crash, it went without saying that he didn’t get through it unscathed. A quick glance at his Pip-Boy displayed a cartoonish figure of a human, the leg and the torso outlined with a dotted line, and the normally smiling figure was frowning. Corresponding with that picture, the live human wearing the device was walking with a heavy limp, and each breath send a jolt of pain through his chest.
It shouldn’t last long… he thought hopefully as he walked towards a heap of debris piled near one of the bulkheads. Under most circumstances, he would usually administer a few stimpaks to rapidly heal the damage, though those were in short supply at the moment; in addition, excessive stimpaks tended to make him drowsy, something he couldn’t afford in the current situation. However, with cybernetic enhancements and his mutations, the damage should quickly heal to an acceptable level.
At least I hope so… he thought as he closed the distance between him and a junk pile. He crouched and examined the heap closely. A hint of a pleased smile tugged at his lips when he noticed the corner of a familiar weapon poking out of it.
While his battered armor was sort-of intact, most of his weaponry had gotten separated from his body. He awoke to find himself only with his sidearm and his blade in his possession. With a grunt, he grabbed the end of the minigun and tugged it. It came loose easily, the remaining shifted debris resettled with a loud clatter.
The Wanderer’s smile faded when he saw the state of the weapon, it was damaged beyond repair. Of the six barrels the weapon possessed, each of them was pointing in a different direction. The motor was missing, and the frame was heavily dented. A dismayed sigh passed from the human’s lips as he dropped the decrepit weapon to the floor.
Great…stranded in an unknown place without a heavy weapon… he thought glumly as he left the minigun’s mutilated remains in his wake. He took a deep breath as he pondered that thought. Unknown place…unfamiliar…alien… he was still having trouble wrapping his head around that fact. A glint of light out of the corner of his eye caught his attention. He turned to it to find that the luminosity was coming from beyond the large viewport at the front of the bridge. While safety shutters had closed over the majority of the portholes, this one remained open, jammed by a large piece of metallic debris. Tentatively, the human limped towards it, quivering with apprehension at what he was going to see.
He nearly tripped down the stairs as he was limping; quick reflexes saved him from a nasty fall as he righted himself. When he finally reached his window to the outside world, he gently placed his hand on the damaged glass as he peered out.
Directly below him, he cringed when he saw the destruction caused by his little crash. Trees, perhaps hundreds of them, were flattened before him like some sort of tree graveyard, blackened and burnt. It was like just any other sight he was used to in the Wasteland, destruction. Scattered fires could be seen glittering in the darkness, their wispy smoke rising in the air. But as the human’s gaze went farther and farther away from the ship, he could feel his breath catch in his throat.
First, there were trees stripped bare of their leaves, and then there was green. Live, green trees. Thanks to cybernetic enhancements in both eyes, he had no trouble seeing them in the low light. Although there were a few trees scattered along the route to Jacobstown in the Mojave, there was nowhere near as many there.
This was a forest, an actual forest, with far more trees than he could count. The green treetops extended all the way to the horizon, and beyond them, he could see a distant mountain range dominating the skyline, their high peaks capped with snow. The moon hung high in the sky, its pearly white surface pockmarked by craters.
The sight alone caused the magnitude of the situation to hit the Wanderer with the subtlety of a rampaging yao guai. Forest…not wasteland…alien world…not home… the human’s entire body began quivering as the revelation washed over him. He slowly sunk to the floor, his body suddenly feeling much heavier.
Not home…not home…lost… his heart was racing in his chest as he cradled his pounding head in gauntleted hands. A sense of hopelessness and fear washed over him like he had never felt before. As the situation currently stood, he was stranded on some alien world with no way to get home, where it quickly became apparent that he would likely be stuck here forever. The human took deep heaving breaths while sweat poured down his face. Also, who knew if this planet could even support a human? For all he knew those trees outside could have an arsenic-based biology and the air could be pure methane.
Unlikely, but still.
It felt as if someone had dropped a heavy weight on his heart. He clamped his eyes shut and gritted his teeth. The people of the Wasteland looked to him as a protector, someone to silently watch over them, to keep them safe from harm. He even heard some eccentric individuals refer to him as a Messiah…and they meant it.
Who would help them now that he couldn’t?
His eyes snapped open as he felt a pang of resentment begin form in his mind.
Why should I care? He thought darkly.
Over the years, he had grown weary. Multiple times, he just wanted to find peace, something that just doesn't exist in the wastes.
Many of the friends he made were either dead or scattered, so much had gone wrong, and he had no tolerance for betrayal. The human’s expression darkened as a hint of vindictive anger flared up in his heart. He’d never forget how that skinless rat Roy Philips stabbed him in the back, or how that warmongering bitch Moore screwed him over, despite what he did for NCR. While it did indeed get MPs on his ass, it felt so satisfying to head-butt her. Many of the peaceful agreements the Wanderer had forged between NCR and the other factions of the Mojave were ruined due to that woman’s actions.
Just the thought of it caused some deep-buried rage to bubble up in the Wanderer. With an agitated yell, the human’s fist pulled back and he punched the viewport out of pure frustration. Much to his surprise, the already weakened glass shattered under the impact. He felt a brief jolt of panic as a blast of warm air rushed into the ship and into his face, but he quickly calmed down when he realized he wasn’t choking on it.
He cocked his eyebrow out of intrigue. He could breathe this planet’s atmosphere? That’s awfully coincidental. Without a second thought, he extended a probe from the end of his Pip-Boy and stuck it out the viewport.
“Scanning,” the plucky voice of his AI announced. The human took a deep breath of this new atmosphere and wrinkled his nose; the air was heavy with the scent of burnt wood. Moments later, the device on his wrist beeped, and he brought the display up to eye level.
What he saw surprised him. The atmosphere was almost completely identical to the one he was familiar with, albeit with slightly heightened carbon dioxide levels, though he assumed that was because of all the burning wood in the clearing below. The Wanderer snorted. What are the odds of-
His thoughts were cut off as the entire ship shuddered. He cursed silently as his stomach lurched, bracing himself in the frame of the viewport all the while. He could hear the sound of some heavy object crash off in the distance. The tremors ended moments later. When nothing happened after a few seconds, the human relaxed.
This place was dangerously unstable. He decided that now would be a good time to find his things and get out, preferably as soon as possible. Slowly, he rose to his feet, grunting as soreness shot through his chest. He shot one more glance out the window as he ascended the stairs. He couldn’t help but wonder: what was he going to find out there? There would be time to discover that later. Though he could adapt to and survive in pretty much any territory, the human felt a pang of anxiety as he realized that he was most likely the only human on this planet.
It didn’t take him long to find his other equipment. Much to his dismay, his rifle had suffered a very similar fate to that of his minigun. The casing was cracked, the laser array was totally destroyed, and the mirrors and lenses that he had painstakingly aligned by hand were shattered. Though, by some stroke of luck, the laser rifle’s power module had remained intact. He had sacrificed many recharger rifles and restful nights in the name of science to develop this particular hardware. Though he had no particular use for it at the moment, he pocketed it anyway, no sense in letting it go to waste.
He groaned again when he took a quick once over of himself. He had spent many nights awake in the laboratories of Big MT to get this armor right. He managed to cram just about every bit of tech he could find into a single suit of power armor with the power of science, and it was dismaying to see this particular marvel of engineering in such bad shape. Neither his barriers nor cloaking field were functional, though the emblem painted on the shoulder plate remained unscathed. As minor a detail as it was, it was something personal.
He quickly and silently checked his inventory. Pistol, knife, rations, spare power cells, grenades, both pulse and plasma, canteen…unfortunately empty. Hopefully he’d find a source of clean water somewhere in the forest.
It looked like he found everything he could scrounge together. But now he faced a much more important dilemma: How exactly was he going to get out of here? The main door to the bridge had sealed when the ship had crashed, and it was unresponsive; the nearby panel was unpowered. He gritted his teeth when something within the ship groaned, echoing loudly.
The human’s keen eyes quickly turned on the room, scanning for anything he could use, his brow furrowed. Now what could I…ah! He felt a pang of curiosity as he eyed a panel protruding slightly from one of the bulkheads. He began to walk towards it briskly.
He abruptly stopped when he felt something crack under his boot.
Eyes darting downward, he lifted his foot, his eyes widening in surprise at what he saw. Quickly, he bent over and scooped up the damaged object and held it at eye level.
It was his old Brotherhood of Steel holotag.
Several months after his victory over the Enclave at Adams Air Force Base, he was named an official member of the Brotherhood of Steel, one of the first outsiders to join them . The young human had risen through the ranks quickly, becoming the youngest member ever to reach the rank of Star Paladin at age twenty one.
The holotag was the only thing in the wasteland that had his actual name on it. In becoming the Lone Wanderer, he had essentially shed his identity to become the man that the wasteland needed. The name on the tag served as a reminder that even after all that had happened, he was still human. Just once, he wished that someone would call him by his actual name again. The few who did were either dead or missing.
But sadly, a long crack was running the length of the tag, and the display no longer worked. The Wanderer sighed sadly as he pocketed the broken object.
“Are you okay, best friend?” asked his AI.
Even she won’t call me by my name… the human thought ruefully. “I’m fine…” he grumbled as he continued his approach the panel he saw earlier. He stopped a few inches from it and cupped a hand to his chin. He ran his other hand across the metallic surface, examining it closely. He traced the edges of the panel with his index finger. He could have sworn he saw one of these before.
Now where did I…ah-ha! The metaphorical light bulb clicked on in his head. This was one of those hatches that lead to the system intended to carry garbage off to the waste disposal. He figured he could use the tunnels to get to where he needed. The human shuffled uncomfortably on his feet. He could still remember the unpleasant trip he had when he absentmindedly walked into one of the trash containers on the first alien ship.
Hopefully, the crushers are offline… the Wanderer thought blithely as he continued to test the panel for weaknesses. He turned back to the bridge; his lips curled upward when he caught sight of a long, thin piece of metallic debris.
Retrieving it, he wedged the end of the beam into the gap between the panel and the wall. Holding the rod firmly and both hands, he gave the beam a mighty shove towards the bulkhead. The metal groaned in protest as the human attempted to pry open the hatch. It came off moments later, clattering to the ground with an ear-splitting clang. Tossing the now unneeded metal rod to the floor, the man peered into the new opening. It was dark, and the only sources of illumination were dim red lights set into the ceiling every couple of meters. Unsurprisingly, the scent of garbage was thick in the air. Wrinkling his nose, he vaulted over the threshold. Conveniently, there was a set of walkways hugging against the walls. The floor was slanted and a rail, set into a lowered groove, ran down the middle of the passageway. The tunnel extended in both directions, curving out of sight.
The human had found his escape route.
I hope… he thought as he started walking, the tall man disappearing into the shadow.
“Um…I’m not sure that this is such a good idea,” said the small white filly known as Sweetie Belle.
She and her friends, also known as the Cutie Mark Crusaders, were trotting along in the Everfree Forest. It was dark, as expected at this time of night. The only source of light was the steady stream of moonlight that managed to poke through the rare gaps in the trees, and the lantern that was being held in the maw of the filly known as Apple Bloom. Aside from the sound of crickets and unseen critters, the only other noise breaking the silence was the rhythmic sound of several pairs of hooves on the earthen ground.
“What? Are you scared?” asked Scootaloo, her wings buzzing excitedly, as she practically skipped along.
The unicorn nervously hoofed at the dirt. “No…well…I mean, we did promise Applejack that we wouldn’t leave the orchard,” her light green eyes swept over both of her friends, specifically Apple Bloom, “Isn’t she going to be mad at us?”
Apple Bloom said something in response, her words made unintelligible by the lantern being held in her mouth. Scootaloo rolled her eyes, “Yeah, but we didn’t Pinkie Promise, did we?” she hopped again, “Besides, that was before…it happened!” said the small orange filly.
”It,” of course, being the strange meteor that had disrupted their little get-together. After very little deliberation, the energetic young fillies quietly crept away from the farm, towards the forest. High above the crash site, a plume of smoke hung in the air. Through the dense leaves, it was barely visible. They used it to guide them to their goal. The crash had occurred well out of the way of the normal road that led to Zecora’s place; the fillies hesitated briefly before straying from the path.
Sweetie Belle shook her head, a slight tingle going down her spine when she saw a pair of glimmering eyes peering out at her from the underbrush. She relaxed when they disappeared a moment later, “But, remember what nearly happened the last time we went into the forest alone? If Fluttershy hadn’t been there…” the filly trailed off. The crusaders shared a collective shudder as the image of Twilight Sparkle, petrified by a cockatrice flashed through their young minds.
Scootaloo quickly cut off her doubts, “Ah, don’t worry about it…besides, after the lesson Fluttershy taught that monster, it knows better than to mess with us! Besides, maybe with this we will finally earn our Cutie Marks!” she said with pride. Predictably, every filly present was suddenly moving along with a spring in their trot. “So, what do you think we’re gonna find?” she said, changing the topic.
Sweetie Belle’s ears perked up, “Ohh! Maybe it’s some sort of giant gem! I mean, I’ve never seen a shooting star up close before!” suddenly feeling more cheerful as her mind was drawn away from thinking about what creatures may be lurking about.
“Maybe it is something that nopony has ever seen before! We’ll be famous, and I’ll be just as cool as Rainbow Dash!” She swooned slightly at the thought. “Maybe it was…aliens!” exclaimed Scootaloo with a hop, and Sweetie Belle gasped, “That would be so cool!”
Apple Bloom rolled her eyes, “Mmmmmphmm, dose r’nt rrl…” said the red-maned filly.
Scootaloo raised an eyebrow, “What was that?”
“Ah thaid…ptooie!” she spat out the lantern, “Ah said you’ve been readin’ too many of them comic books.”
“Oh really?” Scootaloo approached her friend and stood chest-to-chest with her, “What do you think it was?”
The little filly shrugged.
“Then how do you know it wasn’t aliens?” questioned Scootaloo.
Apple Bloom snorted, “Ah dunno. But whatever it was, it ain’t nat-ur-al,” she said. In fact, the whole forest seemed…off, period. It was subtle, but the further they went into the forest, the quieter and quieter it got. That was far more unsettling than it normal was. There was always some critter lurking about making noise. It felt as if an unnatural blanket of silence fell over the forest.
Just then a chilly breeze decided to blow through the trees. The three crusaders felt lucky that they decided to bring their warm capes with them. Apple Bloom frowned, even something with the air seemed off. As an earth pony, the young filly was well attuned to these sorts of things. She shrugged off the rapidly swelling sense of unease. “Ah don’t know what we’re gonna find…” she whispered, “But ah know we ain’t got a find it standin’ round here.”
The orange filly before her smiled, “Now you’re speaking my language!” she said energetically. “Last one there is moldy hay!” Scootaloo blurted before bolting towards their goal.
“Hey! No fair!” stammered a dejected Apple Bloom as she grabbed the lantern in her mouth and gave chase to her pegasus pal.
“Wait for me!” said Sweetie Belle as she trailed behind her friends. The night was soon filled with the light pitter-patter of little hooves rapidly beating the forest floor as the fillies raced along. It was soon that the trio began to notice something strange. The farther they went, the brighter it got. Shooting a glance skyward, Apple Bloom’s eyes widened in surprise when she noticed that the dense canopy of the forest was getting less and less thick; more moonlight shone through the gaps. It was like back home, how plenty of Apples were shaken from their trees by that awfully loud blast. Fallen leaves crunched beneath their hooves as the galloped, it sounded like they were running around the Whitetail Woods during the autumn months.
The whole impromptu race was brought to a sudden halt when the crash site came into view. The little pegasus skidded to a halt, her hooves stirring up a small cloud of dirt. Not expecting it, Apple Bloom collided with her friend, and Sweetie Belle soon after. The three of them tumbled down a short incline, landing at the bottom in a yelping mass of tangled limbs, hair, capes, and feathers. The lantern tumbled a few feet away with a clang, though thankfully it remained intact.
“Oof! Watch where you’re going!” exclaimed Scootaloo as the fillies awkwardly separated from each other, and scrambled to their hooves.
“Ah’m not the pony who stopped! Why’d you go and do that fer?” Apple Bloom retorted while she tried to shake dirt out of her mane.
“W-what is that?” squeaked the final member of their group. The other fillies turned to her to find her transfixed on the display of sheer destruction before her. Apple Bloom and Scootaloo joined Sweetie in her gawking as the scent of burnt woods purveyed their nostrils. Hundreds of trees were flattened and scorched in a clearing hundreds of feet across.
Such destruction was unheard of in Equestria. The three beheld it with a look of both awe and fear, but what really caught their attention was what was in the center. There, at the end of a furrow that it had torn in the ground as it had crashed was the object that they had desperately sought.
“Um…girls,” stammered Apple Bloom, “Ah don’t think that this is just some meteor…”
Scootaloo turned on the spot and looked at her incredulously, “Ya think?”
Luna’s moon shone overhead as a party of four mares passed through the open, welcoming gates of Sweet Apple Acres. Rows and rows of virtually identical apple trees passed them by as they trotted along. So far, Twilight had managed to recruit her friend Rarity for Luna’s task with relatively little fuss, Twilight was surprised when she they came upon the fashonista’s boutique and found the white unicorn to be completely awake and leaving her house.
“Thanks again for agreeing to this on such short notice,” Twilight stated as she threw a glance in the white unicorn’s direction.
The mare returned the gaze, her face and crystal blue eyes framed by her immaculately styled mane. Twilight couldn’t help but be amused that Rarity found the time to do her mane under the current circumstances. “Think nothing of it darling. Besides, I wanted to check up on my sister anyway. Celestia knows the trouble she and her cohorts get themselves into,” she replied with a hint of a smile on her lips, “A lady knows that it is rude to deny her friends and her Princess in their time of need.”
Hovering above them, Rainbow Dash snorted, “Whatever, I just wanna see the aliens,” she grunted as she landed next to Pinkie Pie.
Pinkie Pie giggled, “Be careful what you wish for, Dashie! Before you know it…bendy straws!” she exclaimed, dramatically gesturing with her hooves. “Maybe it will be like a camping trip! We can sit around a campfire and tell spooky stories and make smores!” she blinked, glancing at Twilight, “Hey Twilight, do you think aliens like smores?”
Twilight rolled her eyes, “Pinkie, Rainbow, we don’t know exactly what we are dealing with here,” she drawled, “Don’t overexcite yourselves.”
Rainbow was about to retort when the mares heard raised voices. In unison, all four pairs of ears perked up.
“Is that Applejack?” Rainbow thought aloud.
The party of four exchange quizzical glances and set down the path to the farmhouse a moment later. A sense of worry began to well up in Twilight’s gut as the voices drew closer. Something was up, she was sure of it.
“Ah can take care of it, Big Mac!” Applejack’s voice echoed in the distance. “Ah need you tah look after Granny Smith! If she realized that they’re missin’…”
Now it was Rarity’s turn to worry. The quartet picked up the pace, and soon after the sight of two familiar earth ponies framed in the light of a lantern came into view.
“Applejack!” shouted Twilight. Both ponies wheeled around and looked at the approaching unicorn with surprise etched on their features. Twilight didn’t miss the worried look in their eyes. “What’s going on?”
“What in tarnation…? Twilight?” Applejack said with confusion as her gaze swept across she and her friends, “What’re you doing round these parts?”
Twilight noticed that the orange mare cringed when her eyes swept over Rarity.
“Princess Luna paid us a visit recently, she needs our help with whatever it was that landed in the forest,” Twilight explained.
The orange mare shuffled on her hooves uncomfortably, “Eh…this thing…is it dangerous?”
“We don’t know, but until proved otherwise we will assume that it is,” replied Twilight. The farmpony paled further, her irises shrinking.
“It’s aliiiiens!” Pinkie Pie chirped, hopping in place. Visible beads of sweat began to form on the orange mare’s forehead.
Twilight cocked her head, “Applejack…? Is something wrong?”
“Who’s missing?” Rarity added, walking up Applejack, “Where’s Sweetie Belle.”
A stray bead of sweat worked its way down the farmpony’s temple as her mouth contorted into a strained smile, though it was more of a grimace. “Ah…well…uh…”
“Oh for the love of…” Rainbow Dash butted in, pressing her muzzle up to the stammering Applejack’s face, “Spill the beans already!”
“The girls have gone missin’!” Applejack blurted out, her eyes darting to and fro.
“Whaaaaaaaat?” Rarity gasped, her eyes going wide.
“Ah’m sorry Rarity!” said Applejack. “Ah think they’re headin’ for the forest!”
Everypony gasped at that fact, “Into the…for-? Oh…oh dear… Rarity swayed, her eyes going wide. She was visibly shaking, her chest rising and falling rapidly. “I…I don’t feel so…” pacing a hoof over her face, the mare keeled over backwards. A quick spell from Twilight kept the mare from sullying her pristine white coat.
“How the hay’d you lose ‘em!?” questioned Rainbow Dash. Her #1 fan was amongst those fillies.
“Ah don’t know! Ah just went to check on ‘em after that…thing fell and they were gone!” Applejack nearly yelled.
Pinkie Pie hopped over to her orange friend, “Don’t worry Applejack! Maybe they just went to go party with the aliens and…WoooOOOOOoOOOOoOAAaaah…” the mare’s entire pink body was suddenly shaking uncontrollably. A lump formed in the pit of everypony’s stomach as they watched the spectacle.
“Er…Pinkie…” asked Twilight when the party pony’s spasm ended, “Please tell me that wasn’t your Pinkie Sense just now…”
The earth pony did nothing before she nodded once. Everypony cringed. They know what that particular Pinkie Sense symbolized. The doozy, the most dreaded and most unpredictable of all Pinkie Senses.
“Er well…what’s gonna happen?” questioned Rainbow Dash.
Pinkie Pie shrugged, “I dunno, but I know that it’s going to be something that nopony will expect.”
“But does it say where the doozy is?” Applejack said anxiously. The tension in the air was almost palpable as everypony waited for Pinkie’s response.
The party pony furrowed her brow, “Everfree…Forest…”
A cold, hard lump formed in Applejack’s stomach. A doozy in the forest, the same place she was certain her sister was currently running off to. Her knees suddenly felt shaky and weak; her brother seemed to notice and shot her a concerned stare. She took a deep breath to calm herself. She had a sacred, unspoken duty to protect her little sister, the same sister who was probably in terrible danger at the moment.
Straightening her hat, she threw a glance down the path, a look of determination in her eyes. She knew what she needed to do.
“Alright, I’m with you gals,” she murmured, her voice hard. Her friends shot her a surprised look at her sudden change in demeanor. She knew that every moment she stood around thinking about it, the closer her sister was getting to danger. She turned to her brother, “Like I said before, Granny Smith needs you Big Mac. Don’t you worry; ah’ll bring Apple Bloom back safe and sound.”
Sighing once, the stallion nodded before heading back to the house.
With a little bit of finesse, Applejack hoisted the unconscious Rarity onto her back. She shot a glance at her friends, “Well what are we waitin’ around fer? Let’s get movin’!”
“Woo! Adventure time adventure time!” Pinkie Pie said excitedly, before putting her hoof to her chin, “I guess it’s too late to pack the ingredients for smores eh?”
While the rest of the mares look at Pinkie with dumbfounded looks on her faces, Twilight resorted to slapping her forehead with her hoof, “Ugh…Pinkie Pie…”
“What? They are delicious!” Pinkie’s voice echoed in the air as the now party of five galloped away from the farmhouse.
The Wanderer gasped as another loose floor plate gave way under his boot. He managed to keep his balance as he found solid footing on more stable ground.
His foray down the waste tunnels was brought to an abrupt halt when he found it to be blocked by a destroyed garbage container. However, he did manage to find another hatch, which led to his current situation.
He appeared to be silently stalking down an abandoned cell block. He cursed his poor luck. Creepy tunnels, abandoned hospitals, old, underground facilities, he could tolerate all of those. The man absolutely hated cell blocks, especially if they were dark. He couldn’t help but shake the feeling that there was something hiding in one of those containment cells. Having passed several with both his pistol and knife drawn, so far the only sign of the cells’ past residents consisted of dark stains on the floor.
He didn’t recognize this part of the ship; the generators beside each of the doors were much larger than the one that had been by his own cell. The human had a sinking feeling that these cells were intended to contain much larger specimens.
A shiver went down his spine, something felt…off. The silence was unnerving. Coupled with the poor lighting, the resultant atmosphere was so tense that it was as if he could cut it with his knife. The slightest noises made him jump and fervently aim into the shadows with his weapon.
A loud crash made him do just that. It was distant ; it sounded like some piece of heavy metallic debris just dislodged and impacted heavily against the floor. That was not the first time it had happened. He wasn’t sure if he was just jumpy, or if it was something he had to be truly worried about. He considered the possibilities.
He had survived the crash, what was to say that he wasn’t the only one?
“Hostiles sighted!” his AI chirped. The Wanderer’s stance went tense, “Just kidding, best friend!”
“Oh ha, ha, ha, very funny,” the Wanderer groaned, wiping a few beads of sweat from his forehead. The AI wasn’t making this any easier, “Knock it off, please.”
“Awww, party pooper.”
He rolled his eyes as he turned the next corner, passing another pair of containment cells. The more he looked, the more he realized something. He had not come across a single carcass, neither alien nor otherwise since he started his trek. Where had all the bodies gone? He could distinctly recall making quite a mess throughout most of the ship. Perhaps they all were ejected out of the ship or…wait, what’s that?
He spotted something peculiar about one of the doorways. He kept his sight on it as he noiselessly crept forward. The metal framing the cell door was dented outward, but it looked like something did this deliberately. It wasn’t damaged by the crash; it pried apart by something very strong. The remains of the barrier generators flanking the doors were even larger. It went without saying that whatever was held in this cell was very big.
Tentatively, the human took a deep breath, and stepped inside. The interior of the cell was wide and spacious under a high, arched ceiling, another sign that the former occupants of this room were large. But what caught his attention was what appeared to be gouges in both the walls and floor. Slowly, the Wanderer crouched down, and examined the nearest mark closely.
His face paled when he realized what he was staring at. They weren’t naturally there, he was sure of it, the way they had been carved in was very reminiscent of a certain wasteland monster; He didn’t like the thought of facing one of those down here under the current circumstances. His gaze wandered over to the mutilated entranceway. The pieces began to fall into place in his mind.
A faint growl penetrated the silence.
The human’s eyes snapped wide open at the noise, sweat beading on his forehead. No! Not now! Soon after, the unmistakable sound of heavy footfalls began echoing down the corridor.
Shit! He cursed inwardly. Attempting to take on one of those creatures in such an enclosed space now would be stupid. His eyes darted around the room he found himself in, before settling on a small hollow next to the door. Silently, he raced over to it as the unseen monster drew closer. Sucking in a deep breath, the Wanderer stepped into the hollow, his back flat against the wall.
His heart raced as the footsteps stopped just outside the door. The human held his breath. He could hear it shift around; it was sniffing at the air. The claws on its feet ground against the metallic floor.
A short while later, the monster turned around, walking back in the direction from whence it came. The Wanderer’s heart raced in his chest while the sound of the footsteps gradually got quieter. Finally, the ship was silent once more. The human let out a drawn out sight of relief, slumping back against the bulkhead.
He was snapped back to attention as another tremor rocked the ship. Quickly and quietly withdrawing from his hiding spot, the human cautiously peered out into the corridor. Much to his relief, he found the coast was clear. Although he didn’t see it with his own eyes, he was certain that a deathclaw was lurking in these halls.
That wasn’t just an overactive figment of my imagination, was it? He thought tentatively, as he continued down the cell block, away from whatever was lurking in its shadowy corridors. He sighed and set aside that hypothesis for now. Sidestepping a stack of fallen crates, he continued on.
He snapped to attention once more when the human heard a faint tap. He brought the weapon to bear, aiming it into the darkness. Still reeling from earlier, an acute sense of dread washed over the battered man. Finding nothing, the Wanderer relaxed.
It was then that an abomination dropped out of an air grate directly above him.
The sudden noise caused the Wanderer to yell out in surprise before the abomination tackled him; his stomach lurched as he was thrown to the ground. The man yelled as the monster tried to aggressively claw at his face, he raised his forearms to shield himself. The monster shrieked as its claws raked against the human’s armor. The Wanderer focused on the thing that was pinning him down. It was hard to believe that this thing used to be human, even more so than feral ghouls.
That horrible face, those shiny black eyes, those rows of jagged teeth…there is nothing left.
Recovering from his brief shock, the Wanderer brought his armored fist back and drove it into the monster’s skull. Grabbing his dazed assailant by the shoulders, he threw it off of him. The human scrambled to his feet as the abomination slammed against the nearest bulkhead.
The human raised his pistol when the abomination prepared to pounce again. The Wanderer fired thrice, the darkened corridor lit up briefly with flashes of emerald green light. The first two shots hit it in the chest, while the third caught the monster between the eyes. Its shrieks were cut off as it dropped like a stone.
Putting another shot into its head for good measure, the Wanderer’s short and frantic breaths once again gave way to a sigh of relief. Although he would never admit it to anyone, the abominations sickened and terrified him. He knew that he had been experimented on, and he knew he could very well have been turned into one of them as well.
The whole idea of just twisting members of his fellow species into these things for no other reason than for science made him furious. He had seen how the abominations had attacked even the aliens; there was no controlling them.
The human glanced down the hallway and listened closely. Thankfully, whatever other monster lurking in these halls had either been disinterested in his little scuffle, or was a product of his imagination.
Sighing, the Wanderer silently kneeled down next to the corpse and gently put his hand on its mutilated face. The fact that this thing used to be human sent a chill in his gut.
Empty words, but nothing else could be said.
As he rose to his feet, a very familiar shriek rang throughout the wreckage, echoing throughout the halls. He gritted his teeth at the sound. It felt like a stab to the heart each time he heard the cries of these abominations. He heard another shriek, and another.
It was time to go. There were monsters lurking in the dark…and they were after him.
This is a rewrite. Original Chapter: 2/24/12. Rewrite written: 11/17/12. Posted: 12/05/12
Edited by Gravity's Rainboom and q97randomguy.
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