Just an aspiring writer. Not really anything special.
14w, 3dI LIVE 8 comments · 68 views
36w, 6dGuys 11 comments · 146 views
44w, 2dWell then 5 comments · 127 views
49w, 5dToday 14 comments · 137 views
50w, 6dShe asked 9 comments · 130 views
51w, 5dwat 13 comments · 165 views
56w, 3dI... 7 comments · 78 views
57w, 6dGuys, get this 14 comments · 54 views
58w, 1dBe on the lookout... 4 comments · 37 views
60w, 5dWow! 9 comments · 101 views
I just sat there, fuming silently, considering the pegasus’s remark. I mean, I was a visually pleasing unicorn! My coat shined with all the colors of the rainbow in the sunlight, and my mane was an electric blue! And my eyes were still gold! How could I be scary?
The Crimson Hooves pony cleared his throat, glancing in my direction. With a start, I realized that I was positively glowing this time; so many sparks were running through my coat. With a sheepish grin, I toned down the light show, eliciting another small chuckle from the dark earth pony and a sigh from the barnyard. I felt my cheeks go red as I realized that sparking alone could be cause enough for someone to be afraid of me. I mean, how many unicorns in the galaxy spark with lethal doses of electricity?
Glad, for once, that I listened to my rational side and put my safety harness on, my eyes merely widened as the bus lurched off of the ground, only to come back down with a disorientating harshness.
I glanced back behind the bus and saw a sickening, bloody heap on the ground. Fearing that our driver had just run over somepony, I called out, “What did we just hit?” Anxiety got the better of me, and instead of my voice coming out like a mature 19 year old, it came out as a squeak.
The bus driver laughed. It was the first time I had heard his voice, and if I could visualize it, it would be a gold-plated bucket of grease. Sickeningly smooth with sheen over it that made it somewhat bearable to stomach.
“Fear not, my little pony. We didn’t run over anypony; or, at least, anypony important. Bahahahaha! Buuuuut seriously, all we ran over was a skag,”* the driver informed me.
“A skag?” I questioned, rolling the word around on my tongue. The Crimson Hooves pony just sighed, but I could see the questioning looks on the pegasus and the other earth pony as well.
“Yes, yes, a skag. A wild animal, native AND exclusive to Discord!” the driver whinnied with mock pride. “They’re like wild dogs,” he continued, and the grey earth pony noticeable jumped, “except three times as territorial, twice as ruthless, and infinitely more savage. Oh, did I mention the fact they have armored plating around their front haunches and face?”
Suddenly, my small SMG seemed woefully insignificant.
“Don’t worry your pretty little head off, mare,” the driver said, eyes flashing at me through the rearview. Obviously, my concern for my firepower showed in my face. “The skags you’ll find around Fillystone aren’t going to pose you any great threat. Of course, the farther your travels take you into our beloved Discord, you’ll find stronger foes. So, naturally, you’ll need to become stronger, and find better gear.” Raising his voice so that the other ponies could hear, he said, “That goes for all of you! If you think the equipment you have now is going to keep your alive long enough to find that precious Vault of yours, you’re not going to last long!”
“Alright, oh-so-wise bus driver,” the pegasus mare snorted. “If you know so much, then tell us, how do we accomplish such goals?”
I chuckled at that. The pegasus was spirited, and by the way she talked, she wasn’t much older than I was. She also had taken her goggles off, so I could clearly see her eyes. They were a striking, deep pink. I almost giggled at that. Almost. But something told me not to even so much hint at laughter around this pony.
“Don’t take that tone with me, missy,” the driver intoned gravely. “I’ve seen more foolish adventurers meet their end not a mile out of town because they didn’t have enough supplies, or weren’t strong enough to fight their enemy of choice, or their gun was a steaming pile of shit.
“So here is how it works on Discord. There are a lot of people needing help, see? Even in Fillydelphia, where we’re headed now, there are lots of honest ponies struggling against the odds just to survive. Anyway, all those ponies have jobs they need done. Discord is lacking in a governmental system, see? There is no order on Discord,” the driver had to stop for a second and chuckle at his unintentional pun.
“So they turn to ponies like you four. They offer up jobs in exchange for money, or a reward of some type for the completion of that job. It’s a simple process; you take the job, do it, then get paid. Plus, you get to feel good about helping out folk that couldn’t otherwise accomplish what you can. And the reward is usually worth it.
“Other than that, simply scavenging, or doing some raiding on bandit camps can yield a good reward. That takes balls, though, and usually strength. Also, simply being observant is crucial. Ponies leave stashes of ammo and money in all sorts of places. Dumpsters, safes, lockers, and even toilets,” the bus driver grinned. “And, of course, any bandit ponies you kill are bound to have some ammo and money on them.” My stomach churned at the thought. Even though I had steeled myself for the horrors I was sure to face on Discord (and no doubt commit some myself), my conscious and moral side abhorred harming another pony.
Suck it up, a little voice in my head chimed in, you’re this far already, are you going to turn and run now?
Startled out of my thoughts, I looked up.
I glanced over at the dark earth pony. His crimson eyes were aimed towards me.
“Hi there,” I said tentatively.
“Hello. I’m Rhodan,” the pony introduced himself, sipping up his bag and scooting it next to me before plodding over. I shivered involuntarily.
“Hi Rhodan,” I said in a small voice, eyeing his insignia. He followed my gaze to his armor.
“Oh, don’t worry about this,” he said comfortingly, “I’m not part of the Crimson Hooves anymore.”
“Anymore?” I squeaked. “You quit?”
He eyed me carefully. “Let’s just say I didn’t like the direction the company was headed.”
“So, what, they just let you walk out?” scoffed the pegasus, clearly eavesdropping. “Forgive me if I don’t believe that the Crimson Hooves just let you walk out!”
“Oh, they didn’t let me walk out, you know,” Rhodan chuckled at the thought. “I had to shoot my way out. With this measly assault rifle,” he nudged the duffle bag with a hoof.
“Well, if it got you out of a Crimson Hooves base, it shouldn’t be that bad,” I pitched in. Rhodan chuckled again.
“No, I assure you, miss unicorn, it’s about as worthless as a steaming pile of slag. It’s fallen out of repair, I’m afraid, and it wasn’t very decent to begin with.”
“What make is it?” inquired the pegasus.
“It’s a Dahl. Surplus from the Great Race War.”
“Ouch,” replied the pegasus, “my sniper is a Jakobs. ‘If it took more than one shot, you weren’t using a Jakobs!”
The confusion I had on my face must have been apparent, because the next thing I knew Rhodan was whispering in my ear.
“Throughout the galaxy, there are ten prevalent gun manufacturing companies. First is, obviously, Celestia Weaponry; founder of the Crimson Hooves, and whatnot. Their guns are pretty easy to tell apart from the others, as they only use a white material, which the makeup is unknown except to the head honchos, and use a black detailer. Their weaponry has a greater power and magazine size than others. They also have smaller advantages in accuracy and fire rate. Gun collectors all firmly believe that Celestia guns are among the very best.
“The next manufacturer is Dahl. They were the main producer of guns for the earth ponies Great Race War and much can be chalked up to them for the earth ponies lasting as long as they did. Their guns are camouflaged in different patterns, and boast exceptional recoil reduction. Only problem is, they aren’t very accurate to begin with, so they had to compensate somewhere.
“Next up would be Hyponion,” he began, and I jumped a little. “What is it?”
“I grew up on a ship name Hyponion,” I mumbled. Rhodan raised his eyebrows.
“Well, I’ve never heard of such a ship.”
“It’s probably nothing,” I said, bowing my head toward the floor, scraping a hoof against the floor and instantly regretting it as a layer of filth instantly covered it.
Rhodan sighed and continued, “Hyponion weapons are usually strikingly red. They’re acclaimed for their high accuracy and recoil reduction. Beyond that, they keep to themselves. Rumor has it they broke off from Celestia Weaponry before the Great Race War, but it’s only a rumor. And I can say from experience that Hyponion weapons are some of the most reliable you can find.
“After them we have Jakobs,” Rhodan continued, and the pegasus’s chest puffed up with pride, “whose guns are always made of wood, instead of synthetics. They have no slots for any sort of modification, but have damn near the highest damage of any gun throughout the galaxy.” He snorted. “Personally, I never held any love for their guns, as all too often their meager magazine size killed some of my brothers in arms. They were busy reloading as our Vladof-armed opponents filled them with lead.
“Which segues nicely into our next company, Vladof. Vladof guns boast serious fire rate. However, accuracy, and recoil reduction suffer because of it, which makes me shy away from them as well. It doesn’t matter how fast you shoot if you can’t hit a damned thing. Their guns are usually orange with black detailing.
“Maliwan guns, on the other hand, are precise, quick to reload, and have all the slots a pony could ask for to upgrade their weapon. In fact, they have always included every single modification slot that’s available on all their weapons, making them a favorite of ponies who like to cut up their enemies with under barrel bayonets while setting them on fire OR melting them in acid OR electrocuting them OR making them explode into bits with ammo mods while looking through a scope and firing an extended magazine. Maliwan guns, well, you’ll know them when you find them.”
Did he even breathe through that monologue?
“Anypony, the next manufacturer is Tediore. They’re affectionately referred to as the ‘baby’ company in arms manufacturers, simply because their design is so simple. The quality suffers, sure, as none of its core attributes stack up to its competitors, but they’re cheap, accurate and quick to reload. In fact,” he added, glancing at my haunches, “I’d wager that Tediore made your little SMG there.” I glanced down to see if he was right, and sure enough, the Tediore logo was emblazoned on the stock of the weapon.
“I’d advise replacing that with something better when we make it to Fillystone,” Rhodan remarked. “Perhaps with an S&S Munitions SMG? With S&S, you have an extremely large clip that doesn’t suffer from accuracy or fire rate! The only problem is the difficulty in reloading,” Rhodan frowned, “and believe me when I say I’ve had that problem before. S&S guns are a trademark stark yellow, with, once again, black detail.”
Black detail again? Honestly, some ponies need to be more creative in their work.
“And the last of the bunch is Torgue, the biggest rival of Jakobs,” Rhodan continued, ignoring the jeers and “boo’s!” from the pegasus. The grey earth pony shifted slightly. I noted his shotgun was made by Torgue. “Torgue takes pride in their metal-synthetic blend, using it as a reason they’re better than Jakobs. And in their defense, they do have a much higher fire rate with power that almost rivals Jakobs themselves.” Rhodan frowned, “but, as usual, the major shortcoming of these weapons is their lack of accuracy. So you end up spraying a bunch of bullets everywhere.”
“Not like that matters for shotguns, little pony,” came the gravelly voice of the grey pony in the back.
“True enough,” conceded Rhodan.
Wait a minute…Celestia Weaponry, Torgue, Vladof, S&S Munitions, Tediore, Jakobs, Maliwan, Hyponion, and Dahl…that was only nine!
“You said there were ten weapon manufacturers,” I said, confused. “I only counted nine.”
Rhodan chuckled, “ah, miss unicorn, I forgot to mention the last one. Eridian weaponry isn’t manufactured, per se, but found. It’s among the rarest in the galaxy, and doesn’t use ammo at all; it uses an onboard energy cell that recharges itself. You’ll know one if you see one because of its silvery sheen and aerodynamic design. Very alien, very skillfully crafted, and very powerful.”
“You know a lot about Eridian weaponry,” the pegasus quipped. “Why is that?”
“Because, you see,” Rhodan grimaced, “My former commanding officer used to have one. And he used it on me a few times, as punishment for insubordination.”
“Insubordination? What the hay did you do?” I asked.
“I refused to kill colts and fillies.”
“Now that you’re all filled in, miss unicorn, do you have any questions?” Rhodan asked politely.
I shook my head and smiled at him, “and please, just call me Genesis.”
After my tutorial to the basic gun manufacturers, and after groaning to the news that we were still a good 5 hours out of Fillystone, I undid my harness (the thing was chaffing like crazy!) and settled down in the hay next to Rhodan, trusting in him not to let me fly through a seat in the event of a crash. As the wheels turned and the silence on the bus resumed, I found myself drifting off to sleep…
…and my dreams were filled with guns. I was perusing through an old style weapon store, where weapons were shown under glass display cases, and saw nine weapons, each from a different manufacturer. I almost asked the nameless, shapeless store pony where I could find Eridian weaponry, but remembered that those were so unheard of that I would probably just get strange looks.
I jumped a good foot in the air. My name was being called by a voice I could not describe to you. It was a voice that wove itself into my ears and made small fireworks blossom behind my eyeballs.
“Genesis, look up.”
I had no choice but to obey. That voice was so compelling, so intriguing, there was just no refusing it. So I looked up, the weapon store dissolving to a static white around me.
And there, hovering in front of me was the most beautiful mare I had ever seen. Her coat was a midnight blue, and her cutie mark was a crescent moon that I only read about in books. It was against a backdrop of pure black, and her cutie mark was duplicated by a decorative necklace she wore, which was made out of a pure black material.
But that wasn’t even the most glorious thing.
Her tail and her mane were a flowing carpet of stars; her horn was sharp, lethal, sexy, and many other adjectives. And her wings were spread apart, one wing easily as long as I was.
And she had both a horn and wings. Which only made her one thing; an alicorn.
“Genesis, you must listen to me,” the alicorn spoke softly, but I was compelled to fall to my knees as her voice graced my ears. “When you get to Fillystone, you will be tempted to not leave the bus. Refuse the temptation, and step off the bus. You will be greeted almost instantly by a funny little robot. Do everything he says.
“Who I am is not important. What is important is that you trust me. I know I haven’t done anything to earn that trust, but my advice will help keep you alive. I’m here to help you search for the Vault, and I will do everything in my power to help you find it.
“My time is short, and I must go. Just remember, my little pony, I will be watching. And know that you go forth with my guidance and protection.”
“Of course,” I found myself whispering as I opened my eyes. Rhodan looked at me curiously, while the pegasus and the other earth pony had drifted off into sleep. I just looked up at Rhodan sheepishly and smiled. “It’s nothing.”