Brax was right. We needed to find shelter, the snow was very thick and the wind was very strong. It was hard to see and it was very dark despite there being four hours of the day remaining, the snow was hoof deep and my hooves were freezing from the snow that melted on my socks.
I spotted a well preserved building through the heavy grey snow blowing an almost 90 degree angle and pointed a woolly forehoof at the building to indicate we were going to shelter there.
I opened the door telekinetically and stepped into the smashed atrium of the two story building and the door closed behind Midnight who was the last come to through.
“Ohhh, its cold out there” Midnight muttered ruffling her wings.
I could hear the wind howling outside as well as banging of metal with the occasional rumble of thunder.
I walked over to the smashed reception. All the terminals were busted and no paper work or anything remained.
I assume this place was looted. However I took a quick look around anyway and found nothing. I walked over to a door behind the reception door and wrapped my magic around it. It was locked. I picked at the lock and it swung open.
I then took a peep inside and it was a rocky tunnel that led down under the building. Brax and Midnight were both behind me. I felt a familiar curious feeling rise in my chest and I started down the steps telling my companions “it doesn’t hurt to poke around while we wait the storm out?”
I went into the dark tunnel and turned my pipbuck light on. The tunnel walls reminded me of the tunnel out of my stable, which was funny enough when the tunnel came to an end with a huge Cog Stable Door with a big white “23” embedded in the middle.
“Ohh” Midnight gasped “Do you think that there are ponies inside?” She whispered in my ear.
“Could be” I said with a smirk, secretly wanting to leave the ponies alone. I most certainly would not want strangers entering my stable.
“Well I think we should take a look, who knows, your water talisman might be inside” Brax grumbled.
I rounded on him “Do I look like a thief?” I said through gritted teeth. “I am not robbing this stable.”
“You wouldn’t be robbing it. I seriously doubt the ponies inside are still alive” Brax said deeply.
“What makes you say that?” I asked.
“The fact that the stable door is unlocked” he whinnied and pushed a hoof to the device that was made to open the door from the outside.
A familiar whining sound filled the air then the sound of metal on metal and finally a heavy wrench as the stable door was pulled inwards then rolled to the side to reveal an extremely familiar stable opening area. Unlike my own stable however it was far from clean. The metal walls were covered in surface rust and were incredibly grimy.
We stepped inside and it felt like I had stepped back home. I could hear the hum of the lights, the clop clop sounds of our hooves on metal. I opened the security door then trotted forward to the next security door with Midnight and Brax at my hooves.
I stepped through this security door and when I did I noticed that something was wrong, the door that was the overmares office in my stable was just a flat blank wall, the forward corridor was longer than the one in my stable and the corridor on the right was shorter.
I started down the longer corridor with Midnight and Brax following from behind. Some of the lights in the hall flickered, they were very dim compared to what I was used to.
“Amethyst” Midnight whispered, “Do you know where you are going?”
I shook my head feeling a little bothered by the layout of the stable before replying “The layout is different to my stable.
I looked at my pipbuck; it gave a detailed map of the stable which compared to stable eighty six was completely fucked up.
The overmares office in my stable was on the top floor, the floor we were on. The overmares office was 5 levels down, one level above the bottom level. The residence was structured the same as stable eighty six but one level down putting two floors between the atrium and the residence.
I could not find where the talismans were kept. I looked on the maintenance wing on the bottom floor and unlike stable eighty six this stable had two reactor cores instead of just one. This made me wonder what the additional electricity was for.
I assumed the talismans to be on the bottom floor but on the way I wanted to stop by the atrium, clinic and my own room.
I needed to go to the atrium for reminiscence, the clinic for healing supplies and what would have been my room in my stable but I merely wanted to take another look.
“ok” I said to my companions. “We will go to the atrium to. Umm. Look for food” I made up wildly knowing that no food would be left anyway, “Then we will go to the overmares office to check on the status of the place, find out what happened here and check the talismans.”
They both nodded.
We went down a level and a red blip to my surprise popped up on my EFS, I then facehoofed thinking back to my stable which was filled with turrets, robots and other things that were capable of defending it. If I was not mistaken we were intruders and the stable would take the necessary measures to ensure we were killed.
“Stables have heavy defence, just a heads up” I whispered to Midnight and Brax behind me.
I felt Midnight tense as she walked into my hind quarters as I stopped abruptly.
“Owh sorry Amethyst” Midnight whispered as I peered around the corner.
I saw a robot similar to the ones that we utilise at stable eighty six. It looked kind of like a bin with a curved head, four arms and rolled around on wheels. We used them for cleaning and I used to do maintenance on them. This one was listed as hostile but I was never aware that they had weapons.
I pulled out the sniper rifle and filled it with some of the bullets that matched the gun. I dived around the corner, the robot’s head opened to reveal a small hole. I hit SATS and hit the bot right where I knew the CPU was as it began to shoot red lasers from the head piece. With a single shot the bot collapsed sparking.
“Nice shot” Midnight said looking at me.
“This stable filly knows how this stuff works” I replied smugly as I looked at my Pipbuck to ensure we were on the right track.
I trotted forwards and around the robot I shot and turned a corner. Four turrets aimed directly at me, four red lights on my EFS. I shot back around the corner as a bullet tore out a piece of metal from the corner of the wall which ricocheted and hit my barding with an iron punch against my sore hind leg. It did not penetrate but made me wobbly on my hooves.
“Amethyst are you hurt?” Midnight asked looking concerned.
“I’m fine” I replied as I put away my sniper rifle. “We are not going to take them out unless we shut them down” I told the two of them.
“I’ll take them out” Brax said confidently. Getting into a battle stance and diving around the corner. I could hear lots of energy weapon fire, the sound of rapid machine fire followed by little explosions. The red blips went out one by one until they were all gone. I looked around the corner to find Brax lying on the ground. His armour was pieced in several locations and his bug like eye casings were cracked. His armour began to repair before my eyes until it was as good as new.
Brax’s voice rumbled from the suit of armour “The healing potions in the armour are doing the work. I’ll be ok.”
Sure enough about a minute later he was on his hooves again. “Where in the blazes did you get that armour?” I inquired him, very curious as how he got such a high tech piece of equipment.”
His head turned towards me “Found it and modified it myself. It was actually built for a Pegasus.” He gave a small cough before he grumbled “Fuck, I’m out of healing potions.”
I pointed a hoof to indicate that we should keep moving as I told him “We will find some healing supplies in the clinic. But first we need to find the overmares office to shut down the security systems.”
* ** ** ** *
After sneaking down five floors and exhausting all my ammo for my sniper rifle and my standard rifle we reached the overmares office. There were five red blips inside which I assumed to be turrets. I picked into the overmares office which unlike stable eighty six had a conventional lock rather than a card swipe.
I did not want to take any chances so I concentrated on my shield spell asking Midnight and Brax to stay away as I could not envelope more than myself with the shield.
Confident in my shield, I opened the door and turret fire peppered my shield as I ran inside and skidded across the shiny floor to the back of the room towards the terminal. My shield collapsed as I darted behind the overmare’s upturned metal desk and levitated it as a shield which began to take the turret fire with loud clangs, peppering the table with indents. I then magically connected my pipbuck to the terminal and hacked it. This one I actually had to back out of before getting the password. I deactivated the turrets and four red blips went out.
There was still one red blip left. I looked from behind the table and saw a metal robot. It was quite large and I had never seen anything like it. It was pony shaped and was made of stainless steel. It was shaped to a mare however was larger than even Brax would have been.
I quickly downloaded the stable diagnosis and the last few vocal entries in haste, she turned her head towards me and she opened her steel muzzle “What are you doing in my stable intruder?” She was talking in a proper pony voice. It sounded like an actual pony. “Get away from my terminal you stupid pony” She screeched.
“I-I” I just stammered. I couldn’t come up with anything. I pulled out my shotgun as I saw the side of the pony open and a weapon expanded from her back pointing over her head. The barrel was as long as her body and as wide as a dinner plate.
My ears perked back as I heard the sound of charging. She then said in a wicked voice “Prepare to be annihilated intruder scum”
Midnight and Brax burst into the room and Midnight shouted “Amethyst who are you…” Her voice faded out as she fell into a battle stance and began to fire at the pony robot. Brax too fell into a battle stance and fired at her. The weapon fire did nothing to her. I ran as the charge completed and she fired. With blinding light and feeling of heavy heat I was blasted to the side and hit the opposite wall.
I got back up in haste and checked myself. I was not injured and my pipbuck gave no indication of any further injury. The table I was hiding behind no longer existed. And the wall where the terminal was nothing but a huge molten hole that led into the room behind the overmares office.
The huge laser gun then withdrew as I fired at her with my last weapon with ammo. As with Brax and Midnight my weapons did nothing.
I could hear the robot laugh as double miniguns expanded from her sides.
I threw my shield spell back on and ran at her as they powered up pulling out my pipbuck cable as I did so. The minigun fire struck my shield causing it to collapse as I dived under her. I felt screaming pain as bullets entered my forelegs, hindlegs and body. My body was on fire from pain as I plugged my pipbuck into the socket beneath her and shut her down from my pipbuck.
I felt her collapse onto me and I blacked out.
* ** ** ** *
I woke up crying to see my mother’s face. She was smiling at me in a way I did not think she could ever manage “Aww Amethyst” she levitated me up and held me close. I noticed that I was tiny. I would have only been about four. I do not remember this. Mother pulled out a little stuffed unicorn pony. She was white and she had a curly purple mane. Mother gave a little giggle and she pushed the pony into my hooves giggling “Here we go Amethyst. Play with Rarity.”
I grabbed the stuffed toy and held it close. I was no longer crying. Mother then levitated me into her room and slept with me as if I was a stuffed toy too. I too fell asleep.
I fell through darkness and hit a solid black floor in a familiar dimly lit room. I heard a clop, clop sound and saw a levitation field shaped in the shape of a scythe.
“So Amethyst. We meet again” came a deep scary rumble of a voice. A skeletal pony wrapped in black robes trotted through the darkness, his scythe levitated next to him.
“What do you want?” I asked.
He considered me for a moment before he advised “You of course. But not yet.”
“Let me go” I demanded.
“You don’t want to stay for a chat?” he moaned “Why don’t you want to talk to me?”
“Talk about what?” I inquired.
I gritted my teeth “What about him?”
Even though I could not see his face I could tell he was enjoying himself.
“Well seeing as you don’t want to talk to me I’ll let you go then.” he advised jokingly. “See you next time Baby Amy” he then laughed harshly before my vision faded black.
* ** ** ** *
I felt incredibly sore. I way lying on a smooth cold surface and I felt pressure over much of my body yet the weight of my barding was not present.
I opened my eyes and my vision was slightly blurry. I was staring up at the slightly rusted ceiling with high tech machinery around me.
A scared voice came from my right “Amethyst? Are you awake?”
I lifted my heavily bandaged foreleg into the air to indicate I was indeed awake. My head felt too heavy to lift.
“Amethyst you crazy kamikaze pony, you nearly died” Midnight babbled.
“Sorry” I mumbled. I wasn’t sorry for getting hurt. I was sorry for causing them to worry.
Braxes voice came from nearby “You will be fine. We are just lucky this clinic is well stocked with Healing Potions and other useful healing things”.
“Was somepony talking about my father by any chance?” I asked in a small voice.
“No” Midnight advised “Why?”
“Nothing” I mumbled “Must have been a dream.”
“Isn’t your dad in the stable with your mum?” Midnight asked timidly.
“My Dad is dead” I replied “I never knew him.”
My eyes burned wishing I did know my father. The memory I had while I was out would have been after he died. Mum told me he died not long after I was born.
“I-I’m sorry Amethyst” Midnight said mournfully.
I shook my head my eyes feeling watery “Don’t be” I muttered.
That left me wondering about that skeletal pony. He seemed to know about my dad. Wait a second I thought. All this just happened inside my head, why was I worrying over fake thoughts generated inside my brain?
I wanted to get to my hooves, so I rolled off the gurney and hit the floor “Owie” I gasped.
Midnight helped me up “Gee Amethyst what is it with you and falling to the floor when your hurt?”
I shook my head as she helped me to my hooves. I looked at my body. About sixty percent of my body was wrapped in blood stained bandages. The wrappings were not what I would call professional but they would have stopped the blood loss well enough. I noticed that Midnight was covered in my own blood. It must have been her who got me to safety.
I levitated the wrappings off and found that my wounds were all healed. But my body was now caked thickly in blood. I looked in the cracked mirror and my face was bloody as well. It seemed that I was lying in a pool of my own blood after I lost consciousness.
I pulled my now very damaged barding back onto my bloody and smelly body. I left the socks and the scarf in my saddlebags. It wasn’t cold in here so they were not needed.
I did a double take on the mirror. With my ripped and damaged barding, my blood caked mane, tail, face and legs I looked almost indistinguishable from a raider. The only difference was that my eyes were kinder and brighter and I wasn’t wearing pony bones and my teeth were not rotten.
“Thank you for saving me” I muttered to my two companions.
“No problem” they both said in unison.
I felt ok for now and was ready to move but I still felt very stiff and exhausted.
“How many healing supplies do we have?” I asked nervously.
“Plenty” replied Midnight, “We looted everything that can help us in this clinic.”
I levitated out my shotgun and pulled the door open into a corridor near the atrium.
“Amethyst you should rest first” Midnight said following me out.
“I am fine” I replied wanting to finish what we came here for and get out.
At least the turrets were not of any worry.
Since we were so close to the atrium I made down the right corridor.
I heard Midnight burst out “Amethyst don’t go that way.”
“I turned around and inquired “Why?”
“Just don’t.” She whined “Please Amethyst you don’t want to see what’s down there.”
This did not make it any better. Now I had to see what was down there.
“Amethyst don’t!” a deep rumble spoke.
I stopped, about to walk through the automated atrium doors. It was most unlike Brax to recommend me something. But then again how well did I know him?
Midnights face was of concern. I turned and walked through the atrium doors anyway. The moment I stepped through I had wished I had listened to Midnight and Brax.
The atrium was filled with hundreds of pony skeletons. Some were huddled together. I could see the skeletons of fillies, colts and foals. The benches were positioned exactly how my own at home would have been. The atrium was the homely place where I would eat, play and have fun with Berry when I was younger. It was also the place where most of the bullying I had endured throughout my life occurred. Seeing it like this was wrong. These ponies were like the ponies I lived with at home. What happened?
I saw my vision go blurry as hot tears began to fill my eyes. My tears broke their banks I then felt the tears run down my face. At this point I could not look anymore. I turned and left back through the door into the corridor where Midnight and Brax were waiting for me. Still walking with a limp I said in a croaking voice “let’s go and finish up here. I don’t think I can stand being here much longer.”
This stable began to make me feel home sick even with its wrong layout.
“On second thought” I mumbled “I think I might take a quick rest” actually wanting to listen to what happened in the stable and look at the water talisman reports and location.
I crawled back onto the gurney which was stained with my blood ignoring it because most of my body and barding was covered in it anyway.
I then pulled out my ear bloom which I hadn’t used since I was in my own stable then plugged it in and played the first audio file which turned out to be the welcome message to the first overmare which I did not remember downloading.
I am Scootaloo and speaking as Vice President of Stable Tec. If you are hearing this message then that may mean that code red has been activated and...
“The world has been rent apart and I will probably be dead.
“oh my. Goddesses, we lost the war…
“If… If you are hearing this. Fuck. I’m sorry…”
“Shush Applebloom I’m recording”
“Right sorry about her and let’s not get into that.
“Stable Tec has appointed you backup Overmare. The currant Overmare may seem to look like a robot however she is very much alive. She is indeed an actual pony built from the hard work that stable tec has worked tirelessly for the best technology we can offer. She has successfully been migrated into a robot. She is made primarily of artificial material however still contains many biological functions. She does indeed have an actual pony running her. We did this to avoid any issues that may occur should an AI be placed as Overmare and to ensure that one single Overmare will always be the Overmare for the length of the time which you may be shut inside.
“Which hopefully will only be a few months or years at most.
“This is where you come in. Should the Overmare become disruptive or threaten the livelihood of anypony in this stable, it is up to you to ensure she is deactivated, and you will assume the Overmare position. As backup Overmare it is your responsibility to ensure that should anything go wrong with the robotic overmare you take her position. Should this occur it will be your responsibly to run this stable to the best of your abilities. I have total faith in you and this is why you have been chosen.
“Sweet Celestia. I am sorry.
Please, and thank you. From all of us here.
Scootaloo must have been the mare that ran or assisted with running Stable Tec. Her speech despite being very unprofessional was touching. It was due to her hard work that I was alive in the first place. I loved my stable and still wished I was inside with its comforts. It’s just that in this one. Something had gone wrong.
That message also answered my question on the robot in the Overmares office. That was the Overmare. The reason she sounded like an actual pony was because she was indeed an actual pony. The mere thought of this made me feel sick. That was not technology. That was torture. I could not imagine being a robot, with my own feelings and everything that makes me, me. The Overmare survived whatever those ponies in the Atrium did not, and has been in there however many years? Probably in emotional turmoil. I was glad I shut her down. At least she did not have to suffer anymore.
Coming out of my reverie I opened the files on my pipbuck and went through to the earliest note I had downloaded.
Entry made by Overmare Bot 1554A
“I have several ponies working on Reactor two. It seems to be having problems with keeping power up without overheating. We ran a test and could only pull it up to 40% before it began to overheat…
“Without the second reactor we will probably have to start sacrificing power to keep the stable watered”.
Reactor difficulties seemed to have been occurring. I thought of our own reactor. Even though I had been in maintenance I was never allowed near the reactor. Only the engineers worked with it. So I had no idea how they operated or ran. I went onto the next audio file.
Entry made by Overmare Bot 1554A
“The Reactor core overheated again and we had to throw the emergency generators on to keep it cool…
“I have every maintenance pony currently working to keep it cool…
“We cannot risk the chance of a meltdown to occur. I have already written up evacuation plans should they be necessary, however the ponies supervising in the reactor room have advised myself that they have the situation under control. Should it get any worse I will need to order a cold shutdown which will put our water supply at risk…
This will only occur if absolutely necessary.”
I had a feeling of what happened to this stable already. What really stumped me was how it would put the water supply at risk. The water talisman we had back at the stable used almost no electricity as the pumps kept the water flowing.
Entry made by Overmare Bot 1554A
“Code Red has been ordered. The fuel rods inside the number two reactor have melted and the outer chamber is in risk of breaching as temperatures soar inside the reactor core. All the ponies inside cannot be contacted. I fear the worst.
“I have ordered all ponies into the Atrium. I fear this will kill everypony should it get out of hand. We cannot evacuate the stable as it is still far too toxic outside…
“Warning Reactor Two Outer-Core breached. Temperature inside reactor four thousand five hundred degrees Celsius – Warning Reactor Two…..
I pulled my ear bloom out. My eyes were damp and I realised why the clinic glass window was cracked.
“Amethyst? Is something wrong?” Midnight whispered to me carefully.
I nodded muttering “Just found out what happened in here.”
Midnight looked curious to know but I did not tell her.
I looked at my pipbuck map to see where reactor core two was and found it on the far side of the stable. Like my stable these were situated on the lowest level. I pulled up reports I downloaded from the overmare’s computer. The stable electricity was generally stable for most of the hundred years it was operational. However in the last twelve months of this stables operational time, the power fluctuated heavily and reactor two was having overheating problems.
I moved onto the other reports to try and find the water talisman report to see if it was still operational.
After about five minutes of scanning carefully I could not find the water talisman report. Instead I found “Water Production Report.”
I read the short description of what this meant.
“Water Production Report
“Water production from the desalination and rad-treatment plant located at level eight between reactor cores one and two.”
I facehoofed. This entire excursion was a complete waste of fucking time. Fuck the goddesses. I banged a forehoof on the gurney in frustration.
“What is it?” Midnight asked looking at my clearly angry expression.
I looked at her before once again letting all my anger out “There is no FUCKING water talisman. What a waste of fucking time “I bellowed.
I paced before raging on “This fucking stable uses a desalination and Rad-whatever the fuck it says to treat GROUND water”.
I clenched my teeth trying hard not to pick the gurney up magically and throw it out the clinic window.
“Amethyst… Calm down” Midnight demanded.
“No. I. Will. Not” I retorted. I wanted to rage and smash everything in sight.
Midnight looked like she was trying to fight something, but her face relaxed and she walked over to me before cooing softly “Amethyst. You need to calm down. You’re a very angry pony but please do not take it out on us.”
All I could think of was, what… the… fuck
Then Midnight pulled me into a hug and she pushed my muzzle into her breast as she held my head close. My vision fogged and I felt my body become limp in her arms. Her sweat smelt sweet and my vision swirled as all my anger seemed to dump away. My face flushed as my breathing slowed and my worries began to wash away. My heart seemed to flush with emotion as I was held by the pony I loved.
Brax grumbled from not too far away “Look out Midnight, Amethyst is getting hot over you.”
Midnight shot him a look that I could not see, but I was too sore, too emotionally exhausted to care what he thought. As long as I was held by Midnight like this I felt safe.
Once again I got the overwhelming feeling of wanting to nuzzle her. Midnight did not pull away as she petted me whispering “Keep calm Amethyst. We are your friends. You don’t need to get angry at us. We care for you.”
I couldn’t fight it anymore. I rubbed my muzzle against her neck and felt a release of emotion. I felt Midnight tense and I felt a little guilty of succumbing to my emotions but at this point I did not care.
“Ok Amethyst, that’s enough” Midnight whispered.
She broke away from me and I pouted and whined “A little longer?”
Midnight shook her head and Brax stepped forward whispering in a very loud and audible whisper “Are you trying to encourage her?”
Midnight moved to keep me out of the conversation and I heard her whisper something in-audible.
Brax replied his voice carrying quite well “That’s not the way I see it. Be careful Midnight.”
Midnight shook her head and turned. She smiled at me before she advised “So are you ready to keep moving?”
I nodded, thinking it was time to get out of here.
* ** ** ** *
We walked back over the threshold of the stable door. My head was hung in disappointment. I slammed a hoof on the control panel to shut the door behind us. I could not believe I almost got myself killed, and wasted all that time in that stable not to mention the emotional turmoil of stepping into a stable, to find all its inhabitants to be nothing but bones, killed after a radioactive explosion ripped throughout the stable to walk out with nothing but healing poultices, bandages and potions.
“Come now Amethyst, don’t be disappointed” Midnight coaxed “We took a chance and it didn’t pay off. We will get there next time right?”
She wasn’t pulling off the fake composure very well I thought.
I just sighed “Yeah. Well. Whatever, I guess” I always failed I finished inside my head.
It was dark outside but the blizzard had stopped leaving about a foot of snow outside. I was too tired to go wandering around in the dark so I confided in my companions. They agreed to stay in here the night. I was personally glad not to be sleeping inside the stable tonight. I could not and would not do that with hundreds of pony souls haunting that place.
We all huddled at the back of the building and gathered some scraps of paperwork for bedding. We all took off our armour and lit a small fire fuelled by a mixture of paper and broken furniture, which we were to sleep around to keep warm. My armour was so foul I was happy to get out of it.
After gulping down some food I curled up on the pile of paper and fell asleep.
* ** ** ** *
I was lying in a bathtub filled with hot water. The water was turning red from the blood matting my coat. I pulled out my bar of soap and began to telekinetically attack my maroon coat with the soap, causing the blood to come off and reveal the white coat fibres beneath, Using the soap telekinetically, I cleaned every inch of my body to try and take off all the blood.
I washed my mane and tail which hid the blood and dirt very well with my shampoo from my stable and by the time I was done I was lying in what looked like hot bubbly blood soup.
I heard the door open and my head perked up at the door. Midnight entered the bathroom.
“Midnight?” I asked shocked “I’m, I’m Bathing”. I tried to hide myself using the walls of the tub. But that did a load of good. She just walked up and put her forehooves around my forelegs and lifted me out of the bloody water causing my tail and mane to steam water everywhere. She was on her hindhooves and she had me lifted onto mine, water streaming onto the floor, my white coat shinning wet and matted to my skin.
“What? Midnight? What are you doing?” I babbled.
“You” She whispered.
“Wha-what?” I tried to pull away but she pulled me closer, my breast against hers and my wet coat soaking her own, she then planted a kiss on my mouth. I relaxed then returned the kiss as she slipped a tongue in.
Sweet Celestia! My heart jumped in triumph. When she broke the kiss, my head was swirling even more, “Midnight, I love you” I cooed softly.
“I love you too” Midnight whispered, planting a kiss on my horn.
I pushed myself against her nuzzling her neck “You are my special somepony?” I asked feeling pressure rising in my chest.
Midnight whispered “Always, my special pony.” She then put a hoof on my head and stroked my sopping mane.
“I love you Midnight” I repeated, “You are my special pony who will love me forever.”
I sat bolt upright and blinked. Midnight was in my face. Still in the old building next to the fire we lit before we went to bed. Aww I thought, it was only a dream. I now felt annoyed at Midnight for disrupting it.
Midnight looked concerned before asking “Are you ok?” she said very awkwardly and I could hear Brax snickering.
“What?” I asked suspiciously “Did he do something to me while I was asleep?” I grumbled squinting at Brax who had a hoof in his mouth to stop any sound from coming out.
“No” Midnight proclaimed, “You were muttering, I mean saying, stuff in your sleep.”
My heart sank. Oh sweet goddesses no. If they heard any of that? I felt heat rising in my face.
“Like what?” I muttered dreading what was coming.
But all I heard was Brax stifle and laugh really hard, “Oh my, Amethyst. You” He choked tears streaming out of his eyes. “You are the cutest. Thing. When you are dreaming.” He fell into a fit of extremely bizarre giggles that I would never have thought possible of grumpy old Brax.
When he got hold of himself he put on a high pitched and annoying tone “Oh Midnight. I love you, are you my special somepony?” He then laughed even harder.
I felt so embarrassed. This would have been close to the Lily Incident with Glenda. My eyes watered and I laid back down, and began to cry silently, hiding my tears and face from Midnight so she would not see.
“Amethyst?” Midnight said softly as she touched my hoof “Are you?” I felt it withdraw as she bellowed “Brax you fucking dickhead shut the fuck up. Amethyst is crying.”
Brax stopped immediately.
“What’s wrong?” Midnight asked kindly.
“Nothing is wrong” I choked. “Nothing but being embarrassed, no it’s always the same. I get laughed at for everything. I can’t even dream silently. I always fuck up.” I took a gasp of air wiping a forehoof over my bloody face “I’m sorry Midnight. I can’t control what I dream about.”
“I know that, I’m not the one laughing at you.” She told me. “I do agree with Brax that you are very cute when dreaming and muttering but we should not have been listening. And for that we…” She glanced at Brax “Are sorry.”
Brax grumbled “Yeah. Sorry Amethyst. I didn’t mean to… make you cry.”
I nodded but I knew more was coming as Midnight opened her muzzle.
“Was what you were muttering true?” She asked politely
I wanted to lie, but I couldn’t. I let out a sigh before telling her “Yes. Yes it is. I know you don’t love me Midnight. I accept that, as I said, I dreamt about it. I can’t control my dreams, or my fantasies. You are a true friend, I respect that. I’ll try not to make you feel uncomfortable.”
Midnight smiled and gave me a hug.
I hugged her back, “As long as were friends, I’m happy” I told her.
“Happy to be your friend Amethyst” she told me.
* ** ** ** *
We were now trudging through the icy snow from the blizzard the night before. My hooves were freezing as once again my socks were wet from melted snow.
The buildings were getting larger as we walked towards the centre of New Saddle. Brax was guiding us to the township as I did’t know where it was, and only had “MAS Building” marked on my Pipbuck.
My socks were now leaving pink behind in the snow as I trudged through it. The blood in the socks was bleeding out into the snow from them as I walked. It made me feel rather gross and unclean.
I could really use a break, I thought. I felt exhausted emotionally and physically after all I had been through just to get here. Winter hadn’t even set in yet and my hooves felt like frozen ice. Maybe I should see if I could find water proof ones when we got to New Saddle, I thought.
I turned to Brax to ask how much further we had to go when gunfire broke out down an alley way between two larger buildings. My EFS showed three hostiles and a single non-hostile. I heard the scream of a mare and I turned to the alleyway, my ears perked to pick up any noise and I heard another scream that tore at my heart. I ran into the alleyway. A side door ahead of me that lead into one of the buildings opened, and a light purple mare with a dark purple mane wearing a small woollen coat ran out screaming. I heard gunfire, her side peppered with blood.
She hit the ground and skidded across the asphalt. Two raiders followed but a third stepped back into the alleyway. I pulled out my Shotgun and slid into SATS. I fired on the first which hit on bullseye then turned the spell onto the second and missed. The stallion that I missed turned his gun on me and I activated my shield just as he fired. The shield sparked as the bullet glanced off causing the shield to collapse.
I pulled back into SATS and shot the second raider, which caused his body to splatter all over the poor mare that was lying on the ground. I turned my gun on the final raider but with a ptttattzz I watched her glow orange before turning to dust before my eyes.
I instantly turned my attention to the unconscious mare on the ground. I had notice that she was a unicorn, and that she would have been a few years older than Midnight, but quite a bit younger than Brax.
With haste I pulled off her woollen jacket and checked to make sure she had no obvious broken bones, my eyes swepped over her cutie mark. It was a Red medical cross with a white heart in the middle. I then looked at her hind legs. My heart sank as I saw that her leg was twisted at an odd angle.
“Amethyst, how are we going to heal her, she has a broken leg?” Midnight muttered to me.
“I know, I know” I moaned. I tried to remember what was taught to me those many years ago, when I wanted to be a medical mare. Mother was right. I never did have the patience, aptitude or brains to become a fully qualified medical mare. But I was taught how to put bones back into place.
I prayed to Celestia that she was out enough to not feel any pain. I telekinetically grasped her leg and pushed it back into position, as taught to me over ten years ago. I then pushed two healing potions down her throat and watched her wounds heal. I moved her leg and it mended. I hoped that my mediocre abilities were enough and that it had mended properly.
She was still unconscious but she had not lost what I would call a lot of blood. I had lost more in the past 24 hours.
She came round and I felt my heart leap. She let out a moan before feeling her mended leg and checked herself. She then looked up at me and her eyes filled with fear as she tried to get up.
“No” I begged “I’m not going to hurt you”. I realised I must have been rather terrifying with all this blood on me and my torn barding.
She looked at me, then at Midnight who shook her head, to Brax who was hidden behind that huge bug face mask.
I teetered; I really did not like blowing my own horn so I uttered “I’m the so called ‘bright white mare of stable eighty six, we saved you from those raiders.”
Her blue eyes filled with understanding and she smiled before saying in a rather kind voice “Thank you…uhh?”
“Amethyst” I finished for her.
I helped her to her hooves and she did a quick check of her body looking for injuries. Her horn then lit and she let out a sigh of relief before moving her injured leg.
“You did a good job on my leg” She advised me.
“Uhh yeah, no problem” I muttered, feeling a little awkward.
“My name is Alyshia by the way.” She advised. “Are you all heading into New Saddle? “She asked.
“Yeah we are” I told her feeling less awkward,” just to pick up some supplies and have a short rest before heading off again.”
We began to walk with Alyshia by our side, “I’ll come with you guys for now, I’m heading into New Saddle and you guys could use some help with the…” she seemed to have issues finding the right words “Poshness of the tower.”
I forgot to introduce my companions. I tried to find a way to introduce them but I stuttered a little before I managed to start speaking, “Midnight.” I pointed a hoof at the beautiful white Pegasus, “Brax.” I then pointed a hoof at the stallion in his armour.
She waved a hoof at my companions. Midnight simply waved back saying “Nice to meet you Alyshia.”
Brax just kept walking and did not say anything.
I sidled over to Brax and spoke to him in a baby voice “Aww Brax, you big grumpy pony, you could at least look excited, we have another companion.”
I could feel him glare at me. He finally retorted “Maybe she will distract you from Midnight?”
It was my turn to glare at him “She’s like ten years older than me Brax.”
He facehoofed. This left me confused.
Midnight butt in, “He’s making fun of you Amethyst. He’s saying if it’s a mare, she’s fair game… To you at least.”
“That’s not true” I grumbled.
“He’s only pulling your mane.” Midnight laughed.
“Am I missing something here?” Alyshia interrupted quietly.
Midnight and I looked rather uncomfortable and Brax now had his opportunity to embarrass the both of us in front of our new companion.
And it was Brax who spoke first. What came out of his mouth surprised me “let’s just say that there is some… romance going on between these two.”
“Hey that’s not fair” Midnight piped up, “It’s Amethyst who is doing all the romance.”
“Who is encouraging her?” Brax shot back.
Midnight coughed and Alyshia looked over to me and she smiled in a reassuring way.
Well that went better than expected I thought.
Footnote: Level Up
New Perk: Stable Filly – when in cramped conditions (Such as a cave or stables) your close ranged weapons deal 25% more damage.