• Published 6th Apr 2016
  • 1,500 Views, 42 Comments

Fallout Equestria: Black Cat - Rixizu



Break Point is a simple pony that just wants a simple and easy life. That is shattered when she accidentally causes the death of the son of a powerful crime lord. Now she must fight for survival.

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Chapter 46

“What a day.” Break signed wincing as she sat on the hard rock. Her body ached from the various wounds she’d received in that crazy battle against the steel ranger. Part of her fur had been singed off, leaving it uneven in certain places. Still, she still lived which she always considered a bonus. The problem was considering her next move.

So many different and violent organizations were after her head now. It was questionable if she’d ever see the Enclave again, but the Steel Ranger would likely shoot her on sight now. It made rescuing her cousin that much more difficult. At least the Knights of the Heaven thought her dead. It shouldn’t be too difficult to reconnect with Ray and Scavenger. Yes, reuniting with her allies should be her first step. Break leaned against the stone cliff and winced. Maybe after a good night’s sleep and a bath first. Hopefully, she’d come across some traders and get some healing potions. Though, not being able to fly slowed her down somewhat. The last scenario she wanted was the Rangers to spot her in the air and shoot her down.

After deciding she’d rested enough, her aching body lifted from the rock she’d sat on and she used her gravity powers to speed along her walk. From her PipBuck map, she knew Calluna wasn’t far. It wasn’t far from the Knight’s base and Ray should be lurking in the city somewhere. It was where they’d agreed to meet for the plan to steal the bone. The Knights thinking she’s dead might prove an unexpected advantageous advantage. While the city was a day away, Break figured she’d make it there by morning if she continued nonstop.

Angry buzzing caught her attention and she flew to the right as a barrage of stingers flew her way. Monstrous mutant bee creature flew to greet her from an outcropping of rocks and Break recognized them instantly, Hell Bees. These nasty little critters not only had singers with enough poison to down eight ponies but had dripping fangs that spewed acid if you got too close. Another barrage of stingers flew towards her, but her stand deflected them. After realizing their attacks were pointless, the bee monsters flew in stings poised to rip her to shreds. Break extended her stand ready to pummel anything that got close.

“Hold on!” A familiar young voice said. “How many times have I told you not to attack random ponies? It just caused problems. It’s not like you even eat ponies!” The monstrous creatures bowed their head in shame obeying the filly’s commands.

“Breezy?” Break said equal parts relieved and excited. She’d felt guilty leaving the filly alone and was glad to see her safe.

“I thought it was you, Break.” Breezy tackled Break with an enthusiastic hug.

“What are you doing here?” Break asked after Breezy disentangled her from the hug.

“I’m helping these guys out!” The tiny filly puffed her chest out with pride. “They’re having a bit of a turf war with some giant ants. I’m acting as a mitigator to settle the conflict peacefully.”

It never ceased to astonish Break that Breezy could actually speak with and befriend the various mutant beasts of the wasteland. In the short time they’d been separated, the filly had grown several inches and gained a new level of confidence. Breezy was sure growing up fast. Not a bad thing considering where she lived. The wasteland had spoiled many foalhoods.

“Sounds like a noble cause.” Break winced as a bee monster flew close to get a better look at her.

“I’ve heard you’ve been up to a lot too!” Breezy grabbed white Break’s leg admiring it with wide amazed eyes. “So many adventures and bad guys beaten!” The filly practically swooned in her presence.

“I try to do my best for the wasteland.” Break shifted uncomfortably at Breezy’s obvious hero-worship of her.

“Come!” Breezy pulled at Break’s leg. “You look terrible. How about you spend a night at the hive. My Hell Bee friends would love to have you as a guest!”

“Well, um.” Break didn’t relish being surrounded by countless monster bees but didn’t have the heart to refuse the cute little filly. She let Breezy guide her into a cave which led into a giant hive.

Bees fly everywhere and they gazed in their direction when they entered the hive. They looked hostile when they noticed Break, but relaxed when they spotted Breezy. Break let out a breath she hadn’t realized she’d been holding. Before she knew it, Break found herself in a tea party with the Hell Bee Queen herself. The creature was ginormous who’s abdomen filled most of the chamber behind her. She drank daintily from a cup of tea that a drone had placed before her. Breezy and the queen exchanged a conversion that Break didn’t understand. The filly tried to convey what the queen was saying, but the conversion was full of incomprehensible in-jokes and references. It forced Break to sit around awkwardly and smile and nod when she was spoken to. Still, Breezy enjoyed it so Break didn’t protest.

“I mean really? You’d think Drone 23 would know better!” Breezy laughed and the queen joined her. Despite being a monster bee thing, amusement was clear of her face.

“I’m sorry Break,” Breezy said, “we’ve left you out of the conversation, haven’t we? When Queeny and I get going, we kinda refuse to stop!”

“It’s fine.” Break enjoyed the tea she'd been given. Impressive for creatures without hooves. “Well, things have been a bit exciting, but nothing I can’ handle.”

Breezy’s face lit up. “Is it true you destroyed an entire army of raiders single hoofedly? It’s been the talk over the radio!”

“I did help stop a raider army, but not by myself.” Break replied.

“Amazing!” Breezy stood on her chair eager for more information. Break gave an abridged version of the story which removed any references to stands or powers. Such nonsense wasn’t needed and only complicated things.

“You worked with the Cosas?” Breezy scrunched her nose in disgust. “Needs must, I suppose.”

Break laughed. “Robin isn’t so bad. He’s pretty nice once you get to know him.”

“Oh, I get it!” Breezy winced, giving her a sly look. “Is he handsome?”

“It’s not like that.” Break said in protest. “He’s just a friend.”

“Sure!” Breezy sang the kissing the tree song and Break rolled her eyes. Despite only being able to speak with buzzing and dancing, the Queen Bee and the drones joined her. It added to Break’s embarrassment.

“Anyway.” Break coughed. “How’d you end up the mitigator between bees and ants?”

It was Breezy’s turn to flush with embarrassment. “Well, things have never been very friendly between the two queens. They’ve been rivals forever and ever. Somepony needed to step up and help. It’s tough enough surviving in the wasteland.”

“I’m very proud of you.” Break ruffled the embarrassed filly’s mane.

“Stop it!” Though Breezy clearly enjoyed the attention.

They spent the next few hours talking and monster bees even had some spare food they were willing to donate. Break’s pack was stuffed with food as she left the cave. While relieved to see Breezy well, Break had a mission to perform. Besides, with both the Enclave and Steel Rangers after her, staying in one place seemed unwise. She didn’t want to put the Hell Bees or Breezy in danger.

“Come back soon!” Breezy was disappointed that Break had to leave soon, but Break’s promise to return in a few days heartened her. The monster bees waved goodbye with the filly and it struck Break how cute the bees were, monstrous appearance aside. She supposed a pony couldn’t guide a book by their cover, even if they had poisonous stingers that could kill a pony in agony in moments.


---

“There she goes,” Breezy said watching Break disappear into the distance at surprising speed. Almost like the older mare was flying, but Breezy dismissed such nonsense moments later. Break wasn’t a pegasus.

Carol said something and Breezy nodded her agreement. Break had seemed anxious during her entire visit. Even if she’d been smiling, you could tell something worried her. Were some bad guys after her? Breezy recalled the many bad guys her friend had defeated, thankful the Princess of the Wasteland was always so thorough during her reports.

“I pray she’ll be okay.” Breezy made sure to send a silent prayer to both Goddesses. There didn’t seem much she could do besides that. Still, Break was a hero and could take care of herself. I would all work out, she hoped.

“Come, I want to get an early morning.” She had a big day tomorrow. The Queen of the fire ants was finally willing to commence talks. It’d taken much cajoling and bargaining to arrange this meeting. The ant queen was a proud Hymenoptera.

Hopefully, by tomorrow peace would reign in this section of the wasteland. In the insect world at least. Break could handle the other part.

“A trap?” A soldier, Libby, expressed her concern that the ant queen might attempt something underhoofed. She wasn’t lacking in ambition.

“I hope not.” I’d been a miracle she’d gotten this meeting in the first place.

“No, I’m not sure what that means,” Breezy replied, answering the question Libby had asked. The ant bragged that their Queen and many of their soldiers had become invincible. She stated she could crush the bees at any time. The reason she still hadn’t launched a full-scale war remained a mystery. What this power the queen boasted about was, Breezy couldn’t guess. Maybe she’d uncovered some impressive pre-war tech? Regardless, this made negations, delicate. Well, nothing worthwhile in life was easy.

Breezy brightened. “Good idea, Libby. I’ll ask around to see if anyone has seen something. The mole rats always have great info about stuff. Learning what this power will prepare us if things go south.

After traversing the hive to the other side of the hill, they found Breezy’s favorite source of gossip, Paula. The mole rat was old and had lost a leg to a stray mine. She let her great great great great grandchildren do the running around while she sat in her favorite rocking chair.

“Yes, it’s me, Paula.” The aged mole rate had completely lost her sight, but her nose was deadly sharp as ever. It remained a source of pride to the old clogger.

Paula greeted her warmly, rocking her chair while her children ran about gathering good and random junk. Breezy brightened when she noticed some old block toys. The old mole rate gave her a warm smile and let Breezy put the find in her knapsack. What would Breezy do without her? She was too small to scavenge by herself. The risks were too great. The last time she attempted it on her own, she’d been captured as a slave. She shook her head, forcing out the bad memories and focusing on the task at hoof. The old mole rat listened with rapped interest as Breezy explained her predicament. The answers she received surprised her.

“An old bone?” Breezy replied incredulously. “How could that help anything? I get that, but still. What a stupid thing to brag about!”

She’d feared the ants had found a Megaspell of something. A dusty old bone was worthless. At least they didn’t have to worry about the Ant having a crazy advantage. It’d only been a transparent bluff.

“Oh, you have gumdrops?” Breezy brightened. “And are they still good? Sure, Paula, I would love to share them with you. You spoil me.”


---

“Over here, fly girl!” Brick Layer waved a hoof commanding Aurora to come over and join him and his friends. His workspony hat sat next to him well worn, but also well maintained on the tabletop. The bar used to be a hardware store, but the owner had converted nicely that you almost didn’t recognize the change. Prewar memorabilia was framed and hung on the walls. They weren’t anything too fancy consisting of mostly old magazines and newspapers, but a certain crown jewel caught the eye. Framed in one of the pictures was a piece of a stained glass window depicting the Goddess of the Sun herself. This is how the bar earned its name, the Stained Sun.

“Newbie!” Acrylic rose his beer in salute.

“Hey, guys!” Aurora sat in the stool between them and waved over the barkeep, getting a beer of her own. She grimaced when she pulled the mug towards her lips but smiled when she found it surprisingly good. She chastised herself again for assuming surfaceers drank mug and wallowed in filth. They were just ordinary ponies trying to make the best of their hard surroundings. They enjoyed good food like anypony back home.

“Nice, right?” Brick Layer said with a laugh. “Don’t let Topple fool you. She might look butch, but her cooking and brewing skills are top-notch!” He gave the barkeep a wink.

“And don’t make this one trick you into paying his bar tab!” Topple rolled her eyes. “Always trying to get out of paying his bills, this one.”

“Why pay for drinks, when you are as dashing as me!” Brick made a pose.

Aurora shook her head at her coworker’s antics. “I keep that in mind.” They bantered like this for several minutes and she found she liked her coworkers. They were hard workers and she’d always appreciated that trait. She made sure to note every word, gaining some insight in the town’s people and what they were like. It was possible the murder sat in this room and she wanted to notice anything odd.

Before she could ask about recent gossip, a scowl formed on Acrylic’s face. “Look who it is!”

A middle-aged unicorn sauntered into the bar like she owned the place. From the expression of the other patrons, they weren’t too fond of the newcomer either.

“One wine please.” The mare said without preamble. “You know what I like.”

The barkeep said nothing and hoofed over a staggeringly ancient wine bottle and Aurora gapped. That bottle must cost several hundred caps at least. Instead of hoofing over any payment, the mare gave a tiny nod of her head and sat at a table in the corner. She poured herself a generous portion in a wine glass, making sure everypony in the room caught what she’d done. A smirk twisted her lips as she enjoyed the scowls she was receiving from the room.

“What the hay is that about?” Aurora asked.

Brick Layer sighed. “That’s Spring Rain, don’t mind her.”

“Where does she have the money to pay for that?” Aurora asked.

“It’s her special talent.” Topple said. “She’s got the power to purify water with her magic. Her water tastes like it came from freshly rained spring water.”

“No way.” Aurora knew many ponies had amazing special talents, but for a unicorn to have this power was extraordinary. A nasty suspicion formed in her mind. “And she uses this to lord over everypony?”

“Yep.” Brick Layer said after a resigned sigh. “Even the Cosas. Not for a minute passes without her reminding everypony that the town survives only because of her.”

Fresh pain erupted through Aurora’s throat choking on her drink as this news struck her brain. “Even the Cosas?” The others gave her a grim nod and she marveled at this revelation. Clean water was important, but why would such a dangerous group bend over backward for such a mare? The barkeep winced when Spring Rain leaned back on her chair, putting her hooves on the table.

A blood-curdling scream howled from outside startling everypony in the bar. A distraught mare ran into the bar, her clothes in shambles. Ponies ran to see what the trouble was helping the mare to a bar stool.

“Piano Key, what is it?” A stallion asked.

“Oh, it’s horrible!” The mare cried into the stallion’s shoulder. Any attempt to cox answers from her failed. The questions only made her more upset. Aurora passed the mare her drink, attempting to calm her down. Piano Key downed the entire drink before staring into the distance.

“What’s wrong?” Aurora said, full of compassion. This time the words got through and the mare stammered her reply.

“My husband, Melody Blues, he’s dead!” The mare broke into hysterics again. “They killed him!”

An unease ripped through the bar. Only Spring Rain seemed unaffected by the display, more bored than anything. She continued to drink her wine like nothing had happened. Ponies continued to cox the mare into saying more, but it would take more time for the mare to calm down.

Brick Layer sighed as they exited the bar. “Three guesses about what happened.”

“Could it be the serial killer I’ve heard about?” Aurora asked.

“Fraid so. You’ve picked a bad time to come to town.” Brick Layer leaned against a wall for support. The life had drained from him. “Fifth death in town. Sure this is the wasteland, and it’s tough everywhere. But things like this shouldn’t be happening.”

I need to see the crime scene. It might have some clues, but what excuse can I use? In a flash of inspiration, Aurora had an idea.

“Where does Piano Key live?” Aurora picked the most obvious place the mare might have found her husband’s body. “Her husband might still be alive! It’s a long shot, but it wouldn’t hurt to check.”

“But!” A flash of alarm crossed over the stallion’s face. It quickly turned to determination. “You’re right. No harm in checking.” He pulled out a sidearm and led Aurora through town. Aurora pulled out her own sidearm hurrying after him.

They approached a small shack in the outer parts of the city next to the great wall that surrounded Zinnia. Already Aurora knew she was in the right place. Ponies surrounded the shack curious on what the commotion might be. Nopony blocked their way as they approached. She thanked Celestia no Cosas had arrived on the scene yet.

Brick Layer motioned with his gun to wait behind him as he entered. If the killer was still there, he wanted to be at risk first. A noble sentiment, but Aurora readied her stand to freeze anything that might attack him.

A wave of a familiar coppery scent filled her nostrils as she entered and it overwhelmed her. The shack she entered into was a humble abode. An old mattress sat in a corner on the floor and various hoof made knickknacks sat on shelves. A table took up most of the room of the shack covered with bags of groceries. In the corner stood several musical instruments loved and well maintained. It wasn’t a bad abode for a wastelander. What spoiled it was the body laying over the mattress.

The sound of Brick Layer came from outside as the poor stallion was unable to keep his stomach after looking upon the body. It took a considerable effort of will not doing the same, but Aurora persevered. She must if she were to do her job. Like Wrecking Ball had described earlier, this stallion had his body turned inside out. Dear Celestia, how could any stand do this?

After almost losing her lunch too, Aurora averted her eyes. Instead, she looked around the scene of the crime for any clues. Though she wasn’t sure what clues she could find. Stands were invisible to normal ponies and didn’t leave any physical trace of their existence. While a seemingly fruitless endeavor, she searched anyway, concluding it couldn’t hurt.

Everything in the shack seemed in order, and nothing appeared stolen. This couple had nothing worth stealing even if they did, forcing Aurora to conclude the killer crime had no real motive beyond the sick thrill of it. Aurora sat her head on the floor, hoping to find mud or strange hoofprints, only to find nothing. She was about to surrender her search, but something caught her eye. Under the table came a peppermint flavor and a quick search revealed a piece of gum placed under the table. While disgusting, it revealed a real clue. The piece of gum was still fresh and there were no other pieces of gum under the table. The owners of the shack weren’t in the habit of sticking gum under their tables.

What does that leave me though? Should she assault everypony that likes gum? It wasn’t much of a clue, but it gave her at least something of a start.

“What are you going in here?” A voice said and Aurora rose from the floor to find a grey stallion with an orangish-red mane glaring down towards her.

Aurora’s words froze in her mouth when she realized what compromising position she’d just found herself in. The stallion before her was the infamous Robin, a captain of the Cosas and the boss’s right hoof pony. And he’d just found her in a crime scene.

“I came here to check if this stallion was okay after his wife panicked in the bar.” Aurora’s words sounded lame to her ears, but she continued. “I wanted to do what I could to help the investigation!”

“Fine,” Robin replied, “but leave this to us. This is my job. I don’t want civilians getting in the way. Scram before I get any more annoyed. If I discover that you’ve tampered with anything, your hide will pay for it.”

Aurora nodded and scrambled to leave the captain in peace. She heard Robin mutter to himself. “Freaking outsides, do they think this is a game?”

It was lucky he hadn’t come to the instant conclusion she was involved, but she supposed being a complete outsider who had arrived days ago made it unlikely she was the killer.

“Robin give you a hard time?” Brick Layer asked as they walked back to the bar.

“No, he lectured me and sent me off.”

This statement amused her friend. “Sounds like him. Now that he’s back, the investigation should go smoother.”

“Back?”

“We went after the Black Cat, but came back with his tail between his legs!” Brick Layer’s voice held obvious pride when he mentioned Black Cat’s name.

Aurora started, amazed at this sudden revelation. “What?”

“Black Cat, she’s a local here.” Brick Layer said with false modesty.”Grew up here. She and her cousin Green Mile.”

“No way! The Black Cat?” What were the odds she’d stumble upon Break’s hometown? “You have to tell me more!”

“Her parents were actually one of the first settlers after they left Stable 11.” Brick Layer replied. “Curve Ball and his wife New Frontier. Nice folks. Long gone sadly. Own the local bowling alley for years.” She spent the next few hours grilling the stallion about Break and her family forgetting momentarily about the grisly murders and her mission.

She got so distracted by the conversation, she accidentally bumped into two stallions carrying an old piece of equipment. The machinery toppled over and she used her stand to hold it upright and stop the momentum of its fall. The ponies carrying it were confused by the machinery’s strange fall, but glad it hadn’t broken on the ground.

Aurora cursed for summoning her power revealing it to anypony who might be watching. A chill went down her spine certain that she had been observed. She looked around and found a shadow that had disappeared down an alley. She cursed again when she realized it was possible that it was the killer. Whoever they were, Aurora was certain this couldn’t be good.