• Published 24th Feb 2017
  • 202 Views, 2 Comments

Fallout Equestria: E-201 - Striker1959


When the world ended in Balefire it can’t be said there weren’t those who tried to survive in the aftermath that was wrought. There were survivors from every aspect of society, but few did so much to ensure that there was something left...

  • ...
 2
 202

Entry 2: Survivors

Twenty Four Hours post-Last Day

Exhaustion. No matter how much coffee one can chug into their gullet it still finds a way to creep back to the forefront and drag on your mind. “Is there anything we can do?” I wondered aloud. Spark was standing next to me as we both stared at the footage from the ventral gun camera. We were hovering over the port city of Neighfolk... Or at least what’s left of it. On the screen I could see ponies running about in the rubble-strewn streets below. While I can’t tell what they’re saying down there I can take a wild guess at what every single pony down there is trying to do.

“Not unless we want to break the seals and irradiate everyone aboard.” Spark muttered.

They were trying to find clean food and water. They were trying to find a way out of the city. And more importantly they were trying to survive.Yet if we did anything we’d be dooming ourselves for nothing. Odds are good that every pony down there will be dead of radiation poisoning within a matter of days even with the proper medical attention. “Helmsman?”

“Yes Captain?” The young colt replied.

I sat down in my chair and knew that my grim facial expression was on display for all to see. “There’s nothing we can do here. Get us out of here.”

***

Patrol Picket E-201, Cpt. Steadfast Commanding
Equestrian Royal Navy
Captain's Log, Two Weeks After “Apocalypse”

I know that it’s navy protocol for officers to keep a daily log of events and occurrences, in addition to inspection reports and the like, but to say that we’ve done poorly at enforcing that protocol in light of recent events can readily be forgiven. Our team of mechanics have kept 201 running properly, especially impressive given the circumstances, and for the most part the initial feelings of dread that we all felt on that first day have seemingly melted away to be replaced by cold practicality required to survive in the radioactive environment that was once our nation.

That being said the last two weeks haven’t been uneventful. Within hours of the last bombs falling the cloud cover over the country became total, leaving Equestria looking a shade closer to gray. But it obviously wasn’t by result of the bombs from what we can ascertain. It appears that in the aftermath of losing Cloudsdale the entire pegasi population broke away from our millennia old nation and sealed the clouds to prevent radioactive fallout from reaching the surviving pegasi.

Seven Days post-Last Day

“What is it now Spark?” I groaned as I walked onto the bridge.

“We’re not alone.” Spark answered, pointing to the comms station. “We’ve been picking up on Pegasi radio chatter for the last half an hour.”

“What are they saying?” I asked. By this point we had assumed that the Pegasi were responsible for the massive cloud cover over the country, but hadn’t seen or even heard from any Pegasi since the bombs fell.

“Take a listen.” Spark said as he hit the switch to the bridge speakers.

“Say again Overcast? Your signal is garbled.”

“I said that the cloud cover is still intact over the heartland with no signs of radiation bleeding through.”

“Overcast…” I muttered. “That’s a Thunderhead. Comms, open a channel.” I got a thumbs up from the comms officer as the broadcast light lit up on the terminal. “Overcast, this is Captain Steadfast of the Naval Picket E-201. Can you hear us?”

We stood in silence for five minutes, receiving only static on the channel that the Overcast was broadcasting on. “I don’t think they can hear us…” Spark whispered in my ear.

“Overcast to command, is the General available?”

“Just a moment Overcast…”

The radio gave off a static for a few seconds before coming alive once more. “Overcast, this is Spitfire. What’s the situation?”

“Sir we’ve received a radio message from the captain of a Navy airship, hull number E-201. What should we do?”

“Son of a bitch, they heard us.” said Spark.

“You know the protocol Captain. Don’t respond and continue with your current operations."

“Did my ears just deceive me?” I asked Spark.

My first officer simply shook his head. “I don’t think they did.”

“That's it then…” I muttered. “We’re all alone.”

Over the still-active radio frequencies that we shared with the Air Force we keep hearing the familiar names of pegasi airships reporting back to some Enclave that the cloud cover is still holding. While we can’t see the Thunderhead class vessels above the clouds they’re clearly up there patrolling the cloud cover for signs of decay and damage resulting from the nuclear fallout that is afflicting the world below them. We’ve attempted to make contact with the ships but have received no direct response. Instead we’ve picked up on Enclave officers reporting attempted contact from an active Navy picket and informing their compatriots that they were continuing to ignore us. It isn’t clear if they know we can hear them but after the third day we simply stopped monitoring those channels. It's clear that the Pegasi aren’t concerned with what's happening down here. Keeping the destruction down here in mind I can’t blame -

Fourteen Days post-Last Day

“Captain to the bridge, now!” Came Spark’s voice over the intercom.

As I’ve done hundreds of times prior I ditched my logbook on my desk and strolled out onto the bridge. “Alright I’m here.”

“Listen to this.” Spark said as he turned the speakers on. It was a series of beeps, definitely in some sort of patter. “Does that sound familiar?” He asked.

I listened for a few more seconds before I shook my head. “Can’t say it does.”

“I guess it’s a good thing that you’ve never heard a naval distress beacon before.” Spark said with a chuckle, the first real smile crossing his face for the first time in weeks.

As good as it is to see the young stallion smile in times as dark as these a major sticking point comes to mind. “What’s a naval distress beacon doing in Chicacolt? There hasn’t been a major naval presence in the city for decades.”

That simple question brought Spark crashing back into reality hard, assuming his sudden shift from elation to outright downtrodden is any indication. “Do we at least have a location of the signal?” He asked the communications officer.

“I can do you one better sir.” The mare replied, switiching the monitor to the camera on the dorsal turret. “We can see…” She stopped as she looked up at the screen. I would’ve added something myself but I was just as confused. In the middle of a large scrapyard a few miles away on the Chicacolt River was a ship. Not an airship, but an actual ocean going ship. Even at the distance to the craft I could make out the outline of the guns lining the deck on the screen.

“Commander, I believe it’s safe to say that I may stand corrected.”

“Agreed.” Spark noted. “Helm, set a course for that salvage yard!”

As I hopped into my chair to ensure I was on the bridge when we got to yard I started thinking back on my history classes at the academy. If I remember correctly there was some sort of blunder many years ago where a retired cruiser, the Chicacolt herself if I remember correctly, was sent to some small time scrap yard to be broken up instead of one of the proper navy yards… But I was under the impression that the Navy paid the yard to cut the ship up anyway.

It only took us a few minutes to reach a position over the yard, and the gun camera revealed a new mystery. That cruiser down in the yard, up on stilts and all, was in fact the Chicacolt if the name painted on the side was any indicator. But that ship was retired decades ago, and although it was obviously never broken up how did it go unnoticed for all this time?

“Captain, I think someone is down there.” Called out the weapons officer.

“What makes you say that?” I asked.

The officer simply pointed out the front view screen. “Because I can see them waving at us.”

Entry Continues

I must apologize for the record’s sake. I left this entry unfinished yesterday as my first officer, Spark, had barged in with incredible news. As we started heading away from our observation position over the city of Chicacolt we picked up a naval distress call coming from fifteen miles outside the city. When we arrived over this “Nuts and Bolts Salvage Yard” I was rather surprised at what we saw. On stilts overlooking the river was an old protected cruiser, the Chicacolt herself, guarded by a squad of Royal Marines. While I have no idea how the old cruiser was still intact many years after its official retirement, the Marines were more than welcoming when we put down and went to investigate. For our luck the radiation around the site was just above background so we would likely be fine here as long as it stayed that way. But those marines were but a sign of something far greater. In the office was a hidden passage that took us to a vast military bunker beneath the yard.

I met with the commanding officer, a young stallion named Porter. As it turned out he was hand-picked to lead this “Cold Storage” initiative developed in cooperation between Ministers Applejack, Sparkle and Commander Meteor Shower of the Royal Guard. He had been handpicked by the renowned commander for his position in what is easily one of the most unusual projects I’ve ever seen. It's not the equipment that this unit has been allocated that has me raising an eyebrow, but what they’ve been assigned here to protect. Cryopods, and there’s hundreds of them lining the lowest level of this complex. From what Porter has told me they were based on prototypes constructed for Stabletech, but these are an improved version that include lead lining to prevent radiation from affecting the occupants, air and water filtration systems, and non-perishable food stores capable of lasting up to five years if properly rationed amongst the facilities’ maximum population of 750 souls. With a battalion of four hundred ninety-nine and twenty scientists I can see those stores lasting far longer.

But I can’t say I’m not a bit concerned. From what I can ascertain by reading through the personnel files and discussing the project with Porter, every single pony in this facility isn’t leaving anyone behind. They’re all either orphans (which I believe makes up about 80% of the personnel on site) or had cut all ties with their families for one reason or another. Maybe I’m getting paranoid but from my perspective it seems as if this unit was meant to survive the end of the world. They have no ties to what was lost that would cause them to abandon their posts and they can extend their supplies indefinitely through use of the cryogenics technology in the facility. The officers here were all selected by Commander Meteor Shower because they were not standard. In addition to a lack of connections these ponies are all incredibly smart and creative. In the world we see now those skills and traits makes these ponies worth their weight in gold. And this project has advanced by leaps and bounds in the nine months since the Commander signed the agreements with the ministers for funding and technical support. I wonder, but with his position close to the Princesses did the Commander know that it was a matter of time before the Zebras decided to use the Balefire weapons? Did he see something that suggested that ending the world was the end to the war that the Zebras were aiming for? I can’t say for certain… But by appearances it certainly looks that this project was established in preparation for a future outcome that left Equestria in ruins.

The facility staff has already set to work in aiding our repair crews make welcome modifications to our NBC systems to ensure they continue to work. From what the lead scientist has told me the external filters to the system are at present 70% plugged with fallout material. They’re taking improved filters from the facility and are fitting them in place of the stock equipment. From what I’m told while we will have fallout material that sticks to the filters, we’ll actually be able to clear them using either compressed air or one of the air talismans that they’re supplying.

We’ve also received a water talisman to augment the filtration system. With that we shouldn’t have an issue with supplying fresh water for our crew, and Porter has happily restocked our food stores from his sizable stockpile. While the stuff isn’t all that tasty, the Sergeant in charge of my on-board Marine contingent assures me that he can prepare the rations in such a way that they’re more palletable. Hopefully he’s right, because I doubt that the canned bread has gotten any better since I was in boot camp.

In the meantime we’ll use this facility as a base of operations. There are a number of other facilities in the region that we can search for both supplies and signs of survivors. With that in mind we’ll keep up with reports but I’ve ordered all crew to reduce the interval of personal logs to at least once per week. While they’ll likely never be read by the brass I want to ensure we keep track of what happens as we navigate this strange new world that we find ourselves in. Maybe what we write here will help those who come after us understand our struggle and inspire them to ensure that our world never suffers another fate quite like this one.

Author's Note:

As of June 5th, Forrest-M has finished the second audiobook chapter;

Anyone got questions? Like what you're seeing so far? Hell, maybe have some gripes? There's a comment section and the Mirrorverse Codex. Read and comment away, because I want to hear from you fellow denizens of this corner of the internet. Until next time gang!
-Striker