Level 5:Unsettling Developments
The ponies of Sunset Bay were nothing but kind once the Enclave had been taken out, one of the ponies even gave me a recovery potion saying it was for luck. We stayed in town for one night before departing from the town. The Dashite Unity had already opened up the bay to the rest of the town as a public location, the ruins of the supply building were still burning but the flames were dieing down.
As we left Tigerlilly’s inn I thought I saw something out of the corner of my eye, but when I turned to look it was just a group of colts and fillies playing. A sight I had not seen when the Enclave controlled the town. I hadn’t even seen children when we first arrived, I thought now that it was because of fear of the Enclave.
Approaching the gate I began to see the reason why the Enclave was feared. Remembering the events of the past day I saw that the Enclave didn’t care if you were a Pegasus or not, they would take you if they thought you were a threat. The children must have been hidden away to keep them safe.
“hold up, I know it was because of you both that we are no longer living under the Enclaves hooves so to speak. I would like you to have this” the guardpony set a box at my hooves. Opening it I saw several recovery potions, 2 rolls of healing bandages, and a disused magical energy pistol.
“Thank you but are you sure you don’t need them?” I was unsure if the town was well-enough off to be giving such a gift. Especially after the recent battle.
“Everyone in the town agreed that we needed to do something to thank you for what you did, these are currently all the supplies we can spare. The rest of the supplies we have are going toward healing those who were hurt in the battle.”The Guardpony then turns to Iria “we have a gift for you as well. This is so you can help to protect otherponies in the future.” the guard then slid a magical energy pistol that looked in slightly better condition than the one I received and a box of ammo to Iria.
“Th-thank you, it really means alot to me that you are so forgiving of my past”I could tell she was blushing.
“I’ll keep track of the medical supplies, from the map we should try to go west of here; the captives are in a building just east of a mountain.” Cloudy Melody then packed away the healing supplies in her saddlebags as we prepared to leave.
“We better get going soon then.” I looked to Iria and saw her wearing her old Enclave armor, but with a light blue paint job over a few sections of the armor, she refused to wear it again without those changes, and she refused to wear any other armor as well. Needless to say I checked for tracking devices in the armor to make sure it was safe to take with us, there were none. “You ok with the armor Iria, we could always buy you some combat armor similar to Cloudy Melody’s”
“This armor is fine... I want to remember what the Enclave did to me. I want to pay them back somehow, and I have to make up for what I did when I was with the Enclave. Wearing this armor can’t atone for my sins, but it’s a start on the road of my punishment for what I did.” This was how she was acting since she put that armor back on after it was painted.
As we left the town and turned right I got the strange feeling of being watched again. Looking up I saw birds flying overhead I got the same feeling from them as I did from the children when we left the inn. There were even the same number of birds as children. I shook it off thinking it was just because of having just taken down a Enclave base, and thinking they were watching me now because of it.
Before we got too far from the town I turned to look back, seeing a caravan leaving the town. They had a strange 2 headed cow with them with packs on it's back, it was followed by 3 armed guards. The merchant was at the front of the group leading the cow. Seeing this I realized that the so called merchant that had brought me and Cloudy Melody to Sunset Bay was severely under-prepared to make a trip in the wasteland, if we found him again he was going to have some explaining to do.
The trader leading his caravan waved to us before heading south, I decided if I saw him again I would buy something to help support his caravan. Sunset Bay was kind, and I was determined to return that kindness anyway I could. We started to make our way north to reach the market district of the city. The buildings around us still standing tall despite most falling into the crossroads or plazas.
"So what exactly are we going to do when we reach the next Enclave base? Same thing as the last one?" Cloudy Melody asked, I had to admit she had a point.
"I hadn't thought of that yet, I think we could probably try for the stealth approach again. But if we do then I think it will need to be adjusted since we don't have a town of ponies to help us this time I bet." I responded.
"Well if it's the base I think it is then we should be able to sneak the prisoners out between the shifts of guard duty. That would give us a 5 minute window to get everyone out without being detected" Iria informed us/
"Wait... we would need to get into the base first, how are we going to do that? Wouldn't we need..." at that moment I herd the unmistakable sound of a filly crying.
Running toward the source of the sound I came to a stop at the entrance of a shop, inside was a young filly crying over the corpse of a full grown buck. The body was horribly mutilated with a gash running from it's neck to it's flank. Blood plastered the walls of the room and the filly's face and mane as well.
"What's wrong Silv... oh Celestia. No foal should have to see this."Cloudy Melody was right.
"Come on little one, we should get you out of here."I walked up to the filly until I felt teeth grabbing my tail. Turning around I saw it was Iria."What's wrong? Do you see the attacker?"
"That filly, don't you remember her from the inn? How did she get here so fast?"Iria asked me, and in that moment I froze.
She was right, it was the same filly. Same mane same coat even the same cutiemark, I didn't notice before but the mark looked like an amorphis blob, like it couldn't decide what it was supposed to be. It was then that the filly spoke, with a male pony's voice.
"Aww, it looks like the disguise didn't work, get up Geo Neon" the filly began to transform, her neck elongating, becoming more beast like. Her, now his body grew to the size of a full grown pony razor sharp blades forming from the front hooves. The blades each tipped with a hook like design, the eyes of this thing becoming blackened and the color changing to blood red with no pupils. Sharp teeth formed from the maw of this thing. The same was happening to what I had thought was a corpse.
"You know my name is not Geo Neon, it's 256-GN, and your's is 621-NR" the thing that had been a pony corpse spoke as it transformed, the voices of both sounding warped and demonic. There was something way to familiar about the names it said.
"B-but, I checked the other rooms in The Vault, everypony else was dead!"I was shocked, I had no idea what was going on unless some other facility used the same kind of test subject naming.
"OH would you look at that, it looks like the boss was right, 185-SA WAS alive. But it looks like he chose not to follow our leader. He has taken on untalented ponies as his companions."the first beast said a PipBuck now forming on it's left bladed leg
"The boss gave instructions if this should happen, we are to eliminate all of them, my favorite part is when we get to absorb the energy from the unicorns we kill."the second said, a PipBuck forming on it's leg as well.
The beasts both lunged forward bringing up their bladed legs and attacking, the blade of the first beast striking me across the chest sending me flying into a wall dazed. I herd gunshots ring out as Cloudy Melody and Iria moved to engage the beasts. Iria was fairing well with the magical energy pistol. and Cloudy Melody was also doing well.
I brought out a healing potion and drank it down healing my injured bones from the attack. I waited for the potion to take effect and floated out my assault rifle firing at the head of the second beast. Cloudy Melody had already hit it a few times all over it's body but not the head. My shots struck home hitting the beast in the eye causing it to stagger before falling over, the brains of the beast now leaked out from where it's eye had once been.
Iria had caused much damage to the first beast and with her last shot before having to reload scored a direct hit with it's eye by chance causing the beast's bran as well as the rest of it's body to become a pink pile of dust, the PipBuck all that remained of the thing.
Walking over I asked "Why didn't they attack after throwing me to the wall?" A shadow of an Pegasus dashed across my sight on the second floor before disappearing seemingly into a wall. "Did you see that?" I pointed to where I saw the shadow.
"See what? There's nothing there." Cloudy Melody told me."Are you feeling alright?"
"y-yea, must just be the shock of their names." I quickly checked both PipBucks, they had indeed come from The Vault, but the warnings on their PipBuck screens show that their minds had been attacked during the battle with us. "I think I can use one of these PipBuck's as spare parts for the Dash's Lightning, the micro generator should be able to be fixed once I get the right parts." I tried to cover up my concerns with looking for parts in the PipBucks.
After tinkering with the PipBucks and Dash's Lightning for a while I held the blade up and said "here goes nothing" Focusing on the blade I turned on the micro generator and brought the sword down on the blade leg of the second survivor, Upon doing so bolts of electricity could be seen jumping along the length of the blade leg. "Success! The Dash's Lightning should be able to hold enough of a charge for several attacks before needing to regenerate it's energy, this should come in handy in the future."
"And we can finally see how your blade works, after 200 years"Cloudy Melody said, I still think she needs to learn not to try to make light of everything like this.
"You waited 200 years, I only had to wait a day"Iria reminded Cloudy Melody.
"Well the good thing is that Dash's Lightning is now working, which means we have more protection in case of attack, and a quieter weapon to use for stealth" I told them both. I really hoped that traveling in the wasteland wasn't going to be like this everyday.
Turning to leave I saw the shadow again. This time I began to fly up the stairs(literally), my wings were beginning to feel better with this bit of exercise. When I got to the top of the stairs I found nothing there.
"What's up Silver? Not more of those things I hope" Cloudy Melody ran up right behind me.
"I-I don't know, I could have sworn I saw something up here... but now... I'm just not sure" I responded.
Moving to the second floor window I became glad we had moved several shops away from the one where the dead bodies now lay. Descending from over the field just outside came a earthpony whose legs never touched the ground though it did come close, I could barely make out a box with a levitation field around it for it's cutiemark. The pony was accompanied by 3 birds that upon reaching the ground became a Colt and 2 Fillies, all 3 with the same cutiemark.
"shh, we have to move quickly and quietly, I'm not sure what happened last time will help us this time around." I motioned to Cloudy Melody and Iria to get down. We began to make our way to the first floor and to the basement. "If I remember right there should be a way to the sewers down here, I don't want to be here if that floating pony comes looking. I would rather not find out it's powers if I can help it."
"I agree, but where is the way to thew sewer once we get down there?" Iria asked me.
"It'll be in the far corner I would assume, let's hope I'm right."I said as I opened the door to the basement as quietly as I could.
Freezing before heading down I listened for the survivors we were trying to get away from.
"Did you hear that?"one of them said, sounded like it was mimicking a colt's voice"sounded like a door opening"
"It was probably the wind"another said, this time a gruff full grown male pony's voice.
We carefully made our way down the stairs, me and Iria using our wings to keep our weight off the steps as much as possible and Cloudy Melody being helped by Iria to put as little weight on the stairs as possible. I looked around seeing many boxes piled up, most of which were piles of moldy cardboard by now. We searched for the entrance to the sewers my E.F.S. helping me keep track of the 4 survivors up top. Finally we found the entrance and not a moment too soon, above I could barely make out the sound of the Gruff voice giving orders to the others
"Search the nearby buildings, someone did this, and we don't want to return to the boss without bodies of the attackers!"
We quickly went to the sewer entrance, lucky that it was able to be opened easily, we dove in as soon as it was opened and ran down the hallway not paying much attention to what was around us as we went. Through a door we found the main sewer and started running to the west according to my E.F.S. compass. None of us dared look back to see if they were following us. We kept running until we hit a dead end, looking for the nearest exit we saw a door to our right, dashing through it we were able to keep going until we found a ladder leading back to the surface.
Checking my E.F.S. I made sure there was nothing up top that was going to attack us. No red marks, I lead the way up and ,using my levitation to help slightly with the weight, lifted the sewer cover. We had made it to the edge of the city, ahead lay a ruined road leading to the west. Not wanting to chance the survivors finding us we started moving on the road.
"So, there's floating ones, and transforming ones. What other ones of those things are there?" Iria asked.
"Probably about as many as there are spell types. If what Silver Aura said is right and they are survivors of The Vault." Cloudy Melody Responded.
*SKSHZZZ* the RadRoach disintegrated as I sliced it's head off with the Dash's Lightning, a pile of blue dust left where the bug was.
"I just hope that most of the other survivors aren't as crazed as they were."I said "I don't know who their boss is either but I wouldn't want to meet them right now."
Up ahead lay a small looking town, what appeared to be a factory was part way up a mountain next to the town. As we approached the sun was beginning to set, we decided it would be good to rest there for the night. When we got into the town we looked for a inn.
"Found it!" Iria called to me and Cloudy Melody, we both went to where Iria was and saw the sign on the front of the inn, it read " Darkness' Shadow Inn, what a strange name for a town."
"Well, it's better than nothing" I said walking into the inn "Hello, anyone here? We'd like to rent a room" I called as I saw nobody at the counter.
"hmm, oh... oh my, visitors... we haven't had guests in a long time." an elderly mare came out to the counter from a back room "Please do come in, the room will be 10 caps, each."
"Why so cheep? Most inns I know of charge 25 caps a night per pony." Iria said as she came in.
"Don't complain about getting a room cheaper here than other places Iria" Cloudy Melody responded, she seemed a bit more mature since Iria joined us, maybe she saw Iria as a little sister as well. "I'm sorry if we offended you by saying it was cheap."
"oh, no dearie, your friend is right, we do charge less than other towns. but given that we don't get many visitors we don't feel right charging much to the few we do get." the Elderly mare said
I got out 45 caps for her and said "Here, I don't feel right paying you so little for the 3 of us."
"Why thank you, let me get your key" she looked around at the keys and levitated one to the counter, it was then I noticed she was a unicorn, her horn was so withered and small I hadn't noticed it in her grey mane."you're in room 2 on the second floor"
"Thank you, we'll head right up." I levitated the key with me as I walked up the stairs and followed the balcony to room 2.
"that's quite a trick dearie, levitating the key with your friend, and without your horn lighting up either" the mare said to Cloudy Melody
"oh, I'm not levitating the key, he is." Cloudy Melody said before following me up, Iria following closely behind her.
The room was rather small, with only one bed and a couch that looked like if somepony the size of Cloudy Melody or I were to use it then it would break.
"Iria you might have to take off your armor, I think Cloudy Melody and I will need to use the bed, I doubt the couch could support either of us" I said
"I thought you were going to say that as soon as I saw the couch, oh well, it does look comfortable" Iria said moving to the couch and removing her enclave armor, she was asleep as soon as she hit the cushions.
"After you Cloudy Melody." I said gesturing for Cloudy Melody to go before me in getting into bed "Ladies first."
"How chivalrous, eeee, I can't believe we will actually be in the same bed!" so much for more mature, she got her armor off and slipped under the covers of the bed and waited for me to join her.
I opted for sleeping with my jacket as my blanket and sleeping on top of the covers so that there was something between me and Cloudy Melody so I wouldn't invade her personal space if one of us rolled in our sleep. Soon we were both asleep as well.
Darkness, I couldn't see, the world was so dark. I took a step forward and suddenly I could see, I was home. Back in Ponyville with my family, it was the day I was to leave to join the Equestrian Skyguard. It was also before my family moved north to be closer to me like many families of the ponies who were at the base near The Vault.
Something wasn't right though, I didn't see my family anywhere. I ran to our house and opened the door, inside it was horrible. Blood stained the walls floors and ceiling, I couldn't see the source and I ran upstairs. Running into my and my sister's room I found them, dead and still bleeding...and him.
A Pegasus pony that looked exactly like me, but almost pure black. the only part of it that wasn't black was it's eyes and cutiemark, the eyes glowed red, and the cutiemark was mine but at the same time it wasn't. There was a knife stabbing the heart of my cutiemark, blood was in a pool under the heart and the wings had changed to that of a bat.
"I only did what comes natural, after all, it is my special talent, to destroy all things light and good." the dark me said in a ghostly mockery of my own voice.
"N-NO, I-I-I HOW COULD YOU!? GET OUT! GET OUT! GET OUT!" I yelled at the thing.
"Silvie, I'm ok, I know you can beat this, just believe in yourself." I turned to see who spoke and a bright light over took my vision.
I woke up with a start, and in a cold sweat. Outside I herd the screaming of a Filly, wasting no time I rushed to the window and saw something dragging a filly off, I couldn't make out the shape of whatever it was, before I could turn to wake the others I herd a older mare screaming "NOOO, DON'T TAKE HER, PLEASE!"
New Perk: Diagnostic Mind(2):With this perk it becomes easier to diagnose errors in machinery or injuries, for each rank you gain a permanent boost of 5 to Science and Medicine
Dream Perk: The Light:You don't know what it is, but it saved you from the darkness. This perk gives Survival + 10