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Level 1:A Rude Awakening
The wasteland: unforgiving for many, death for so many more. It is, however, home to many secrets, one of which was an unmarked stable. This stable, like many others, was meant to serve as a shelter for many ponies. It lay in the far northern part of Equestria, where the only nearby settlement was a burnt out military base. Though one would at first glance think the stable lay abandoned, there was one pony in this stable. That pony was me, and I didn’t even know it; I'd been in an experimental stasis pod since before the bombs fell.
The stasis pod screeched open with a sound only comparable to that of a banshee’s wail. II fell to the floor still unconscious, unaware that over two hundred years had passed and that everything I knew about the world had drastically changed in that time. When I awoke I found myself staring into what I thought were the eyes of another of the Equestrian Skyguard; I yelped and would have jumped back if I hadn't been lying on my belly on the floor. After the initial shock passed I noticed that something was off: the insectoid armor was there, but there was nopony in it.
As I got up I noticed my reflection in a nearby broken mirror; I was able to look myself over and see that my cutiemark was a winged heart, my coat was snow white, my eyes were a light sky blue, and a light grey spiked mane and tail ‘that color since birth’, almost as spiked as my CO with a mane almost as long as well, How long was I in stasis?. As I looked around the room I saw it was rectangular in shape with a single stasis pod, a window covered in filth, a cabinet, and two doors, one looking like it would never open again (having a dent in it so large that one would think it was hit by a freight train), the other marked with a sign that told me it was an analysis chamber. Turning to look at the stasis pod, I noticed a plate on the bottom of it.
Magical Ability Induction Tests
I didn’t understand what it meant at all, but before I could think further on it an automated voice came over the stable’s pa system: “TEST SUBJECT #185-SA, PLEASE REPORT TO TEST ANALYSIS CHAMBER” The voice was without emotion and sounded vaguely like that of a young colt just out of kindergarten.
Needless to say, since I had no idea where I was or even who I was, with only the number on the pod as a clue, I decided to do as the voice had said. I entered the Analysis Chamber only to be met with a small windowless room that had only had a single desk in the middle of it. The desk seemed to have a structure on the back for scanning whoever sat in it, with a pole from the middle back of the seat going up about halfway to the ceiling and all the way down to the floor. The device had 5 metal rings that went out about 90 degrees from either side of the pole and were spaced apart so they evenly separated the pole into 4 even segments.
My legs were starting to get sore as I waited in the doorway for something to happen, so I decided to take a seat at the desk despite the nagging feeling in the back of my head that this was a bad idea. When I sat at the desk the computerized voice spoke again: “COMMENCING ANALYSIS OF TEST EFFECTIVENESS”, after which the rings glowed brightly with a pinkish-purple tinge; there followed a series of beeps, and then a printout emerged from the desk:
Test Subject #185-SA Analysis
Test subject exhibits signs of wing degradation, may need to relearn how to fly
Test Subject shows signs of magical enhancement, may be able to use
rudimentary levitation spell despite being born a pegasus specialized
Pip-Buck required for spell to be used, subject’s files transferred to new
WARNING! possible feedback if spell used beyond user’s skill level
Current Pip-Buck Levitation Spell capabilities
levitate lightweight items and weapons
use max of 2 items at a time in telekinesis
I was a in a test of giving a portion of unicorn magic to non-unicorns? I could hardly believe what I had read on that piece of paper. So many of my memories were missing or out of place. I could remember my family, my earth pony mother and two unicorn sisters, but I had no memory of my father. I found what the computer said were my belongings back in “Test Room 18”, as I had found out it was called by the computer. Among my belongings in the cabinet were the rest of the set of armor I had seen the helmet of when I woke, a photo of a light blue mare with rainbow-colored and very spiky hair (I knew her to be my old CO), a jacket with a nameplate on the front that read “Lieutenant Silver Aura” on it (the jacket looked to be similar to that of the pilots in the next item I found, a book called “The Early Days of Flight”), a DataCell, and a PipBuck that looked like it had burnt out from being left on for way too long.
The computerized voice spoke again after I put on the jacket and picked up the PipBuck: “PLEASE DEPOSIT OLD PipBuck ON EQUIPMENT TRAY AND PICK UP REPLACEMENT”. After it had said this, a wall panel I hadn’t noticed before opened and a tray slid out; on the tray were a shiny new looking PipBuck and, surprisingly, a pair of saddlebags.
“Wh-what do I do with these?”I asked, feeling strange that my voice had cracked when I tried to speak
“SADDLEBAGS SUPPLIED TO CARRY PERSONAL BELONGINGS TO YOUR QUARTERS IN IRON HOOVES MILITARY BASE”
Well, that cleared that up. I decided to put the armor into the saddlebags before putting them on. I carefully slipped the PipBuck onto my left foreleg, noticing that it had automatically brought up a user’s manual. After reading through the manual I downloaded the data from the DataCell and read it, discovering that it was a letter to me from one of my sisters
Subject:Good Luck Brother
We all miss you Silvie, and before you reply saying not to call you that mom told me to make this letter memorable so I figure why not make you blush one more time before you start that secret military training or whatever it is. Silver Feather said to remind you about the party we have planned in 2 months and that you should try to get leave for it. We all know how you loved that book so we decided to send you a jacket designed off the picture you were always staring at. We all wish you good luck on the training, or mission, or whatever it is.
As I finished reading the letter, memories of the many fun times I had with my sisters started to return to me. Memories of playing tag in the park, memories of playing dressup (partially against my will), even memories of eating breakfast. The last memory that came back was of when I said goodbye for the last time before coming to this place. That last memory was the most painful to remember, causing me to have tears in my eyes. I kept thinking about the letter for several moments before realizing that I had overlooked something when I had come out of the analysis chamber.
There was only one way out of these 2 rooms, and it was blasted in so badly it probably wouldn’t open even if a Steel Ranger tried to open it. I went over to the door and pressed the button to open it, but nothing happened, not even a whisper of a mechanism coming online. I started to get worried after the third try with the button failed and even the override didn’t work. Did it let me out only to keep me prisoner in this room? I started banging on the door with my hooves as the realization of being trapped finally sunk in. “Let me out you stupid computer! Open the door!” I yelled. I kept banging on the door till the computer’s voice came over the PA System again
“MALFUNCTION IN TEST ROOM 18 DOOR PLEASE BACK AWAY AS FAIL-SAFE IS INITIATED”
At that I backed away, eyes going wide as I herd loud screeching sounds from the door frame. The door slowly moved up till the bulge stopped it, leaving barely enough room underneath for me to get through to the hallway. There was a terminal next to the door and barely enough light to see. As I looked further down the hallway, to the right I found more terminals and test rooms. After reaching a door at the end of the hall I decided to turn around and try to look into the other rooms I had passed.
As I looked into the first one on my right, I was able to see what looked like the skeleton of a pony who was crushed by the ceiling collapsing as they were leaving the analysis room. The pony’s left foreleg seemed to have been thrown across the room to land next to the stasis chamber; an explosion seemed the likely cause of death, as well as the cause of the cave-in.
The next room was on my left and a bit further down the hall; I looked into it I saw another pony skeleton. This one appeared to have fallen out of the stasis pod, and I couldn’t tell if they died getting in or died getting out. I shuddered to think that it might have been me in there instead.
The last room before mine was again further down the hall and this time on my right; looking in, I assumed this room was numbered 17. The stasis pod seemed to still be closed, but as I looked closer I saw another pony skeleton inside the pod. The room must have still had a little power, though, since there was a faint glow from the pod.
I didn’t bother looking into the next room; I already knew what was in it. Beyond Test Room 18 was a stairway leading up to the atrium. There were crates stacked in this room, with a recreational area to the right from where I entered; 2 pool tables were there with military security bots in front of them. The bots were either off or recognized me, because they didn’t move even once. As I looked up I saw that the lights in this room were brighter than the ones in the hallway below. I also saw the overmare's office window on the far wall, as well as, to the left of the window, a sign that read "Cafeteria". Lower, on the far right and far left, were two doors without any indication of what lay beyond them.
Heading to the far left door, I found that it lead to another hall that turned to the left. As I went down the hall I was able to make out a sign next to an empty doorway indicating the Reactor was to the right beyond the sign going straight was another stairway going up. Following the hall up the stairs and to the left again, I was able to make my way to the Cafeteria, which seemed to have no dividing wall between it and the atrium. Two more security bots stood motionless.
After eating some food from the cafeteria and wandering around aimlessly in the reactor level for what felt like an hour, I finally found my way to the main entrance. As I approached the controls to the giant gear-shaped door, I noticed a terminal on a desk in front of some crates similar to the ones in the atrium. When I got close to the terminal I was disappointed to see that it was rusted and the screen was just as burnt out as my old PipBuck. After making sure the terminal really was dead by pressing the power button about 5 times, I went over to the door controls. As I pulled the switch to open the door I was praying that the door still had power. My prayers were answered with the near deafening sound of the door mechanism coming to life and sliding the gear out of the doorway.
After getting beyond the door, the mechanism began to close it again and nearly took away all the sense of hearing I had. Once the door had closed I looked back and saw that there was no number on the giant gear. I found this to be very strange, since all Stables were supposed to be numbered. I shrugged it off and followed the cave wall to the entrance. As I got outside I noticed the cloud layer covering the sky and wondered if there was a storm planned to happen soon.
Nearby was the wreckage of a military base with a crater just on the other side of it. I remembered this place; I had looked out on this base just before following the science pony into the stable that I decided to call Stable 0 (my new PipBuck seemed to just call it “The Vault”). The last time I saw this base it was in pristine condition, the buildings standing tall without a scratch on them, but now the base was just a shell of what used to be there.
As I approached the base my PipBuck told me it was once “Iron Hooves Military Base”; I hardly recognized it now, but I was still able to make it to the building that housed my quarters. When I pushed the door open I was greeted with a sight I hadn’t seen since before I entered The Vault, and even out on the battlefield it had not been this bad. Corpses were everywhere, some on hooks, some just lying on the ground, some even looking like they had been partially eaten. The room was shaped similarly to most reception areas, with a desk in the middle and on either side stairways leading up to balconies. I saw ponies with strange armor at the top of the stairs to the right (the ones that I knew lead to the officers' quarters and the offices of some of the science ponies) and managed to make my second dumb decision since leaving The Vault.
“You are trespassing on the grounds of the Equestrian Army; state your business or leave now!” I commanded the two unfamiliar ponies. This was probably not the smartest idea given the situation.
They just turned and stared at me, and it was only then that I saw one was a Unicorn mare carrying a revolver while the other was an Earthpony buck with a dagger about half the length of my own leg (which made it a good 9 inches long). I realized all too late that I had made a mistake in judgement. I dove behind the desk just in time for my right flank to get grazed by a 34. caliber round from the revolver.
The pain was as though Celestia herself had jammed a knife made of sunlight into me, but I knew that now was not the time to think about such things. I quickly activated my PipBuck's Eyes Forward Sparkle with my hoof and saw that I had taken a nearly crippling blow to my leg. At least I thought it was that bad since the EFS showed a “severe laceration detected” message on part of the display. My best chance for survival would be to take down the dagger-wielding earth pony and use the dagger against the other pony.
Fortunately luck was on my side as when the dagger pony swung his weapon he just missing my head, leaving an opening for me to headbutt the pony and gain control of the weapon. Without thinking I used it as fast as I could, slicing into the pony’s eyes, blinding him. As luck would have it I had time to get back behind my cover before 3 more shots rang out from the unicorn, causing the wounded earth pony’s head to explode in a gory sticky mess and leaving most of the parts of my coat that weren't covered by my jacket covered in blood and guts instead.
I had decided that using one of these corpses that littered the ground in the room might make enough cover for me to get close to the unicorn pony. But even if I was lucky, it seemed I wasn’t that lucky; the unicorn came around the desk and fired off another shot that hit my left side, knocking me back to the floor.
I thought I was dieing after I felt the bullet hit me, but something didn’t seem right. I know the bullet hit, but I was still alive; I was lying on the floor looking dead, but still alive. That’s when I remembered: I had put the armor into my left saddlebag! I decided, though, that letting the unicorn think she had killed me was the better course of action right now. As she drew closer I held my breath in hopes that she would not figure out I was still alive. I could hear her speaking of all kinds of deranged torture she would do to make sure I was dead. As she got close I struck taking the dagger and jamming it into her chest. Blood spurted out from the wound, covering my face in more of the red sticky mess. She dropped the pistol almost as soon as I plunged the dagger into her.
I had started to search the bodies after the battle when my PipBuck beeped and a message popped up on it: “Radio configuration complete, 1 station found”
“Well, that’s a relief; I thought you found radiation, or another killer pony.” I sighed. Returning to my search, I noticed that both these ponies had bottlecaps on them, which I found strange. I decided to take the 50 caps, as well as the pistol, 15 rounds for it, and a key with the name “Commander Skyhoof” on a name tag.
I managed to find my way to my quarters in the west wing of the building, running into about 7 more of those ponies with the strange armor. Each one had a few bottlecaps, but mostly they had melee weapons I didn’t need. The dagger seemed to be in the best condition out of all of them. I did, though, find an ammo box with 15 more rounds for the pistol. I had not been willing to use the spell from my PipBuck to levitate the pistol yet, still uncomfortable with my new abilities.
Once in my quarters I went to the bathroom and found my medical box still safe on the wall, with a combination lock that I easily undid. Inside were two healing potions and three bandages. I used some of the bandages on my wound, which still felt like Celestia had put a knife made of sunlight into my side. Then I locked and barricaded the door with my desk, which was luckily right next to the door already. I headed over to the bed and let myself fall forward onto it, wondering just how long I had spent being infused with low level magic in the stasis pod. I quickly fell asleep, feeling at least somewhat safe with the desk blocking the door.
New perk:Unnatural Talent(Rank 1):you can now use telekinesis to lift rifles and shotguns, for each rank of this perk a new spell will be unlocked by your unique altered DNA.