• Published 4th Apr 2013
  • 2,396 Views, 98 Comments

Fallout: Equestria - Gaia Prevails - John Colt



The Wastelands! Where everyone is his special kind of crazy. I can, however, claim that I'm special! Nightmare freaking Moon wants me to be her new host. Umm... fun stuff...

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Chapter Fourteen: Plan

Charter Fourteen

Plan



We arrived at the shack in time, way before nightfall. The carriage let itself be pulled really easily, and with the three of us swapping every few hours, we were able to maintain a pretty fast speed. I wasn’t used to watching out for the clouds, but both Cirrus and Turbulence claimed they saw pegasi peeking down from above, observing us. Our trick of using a secret exit had worked, we didn’t run into an ambush, but we're a sitting duck for an airborne attack. We could, of course, abandon our carriage and they could fly me around, but that’s a ridiculous idea, especially considering I had already made up a better one.

“Ten o’clock.” I stated after I looked it up on my PipBuck. It was the cue for starting the plan. “Shall we go through this again?”

“Not like we haven't talked it through a few times.” Turbulence voiced with sarcasm, but quickly saved himself after the glares he received from Cirrus and me. “Buuut, our lives are on the line sooo... let’s go over it... again.”

“Walk us through it again.” Cirrus nodded, and returned her attention to the campfire we’ve made, as if she could find more instructions in there.

“So.” I sighed “As our lives are on the line, as Turbulence pointed out, we go through the plan... again.” The last word I especially emphasized, before I paused before and continued. “I’m gonna take the first watch for the night. This shows them we are taking turns. It’s highly unlikely that the Enclave will make a move on me. If, they probably snipe me, there is not much I could do against that. Fortunately I don’t think they are going to do that, because they could have done so already, while we were traveling.”

Different than the first time, they both nodded now. During lunch, they had defended the Enclave, that they are not gruesome murderers. Then I had to remind them that their government... their former government to be exact, killed its own people just because they knew of me. After that, they always kinda just agreed with me on my plan. I knew they had their doubts, but they didn’t voice them, they... trusted me. There was something unsettling about that somehow.

“Cirrus will take the second watch for the night.” I looked to her to make sure I had her total attention. “As the Enclave thinks you’re still a double agent for them you’re gonna fly up to them.”

“Effectively making her a triple agent.” Turbulence threw in his commentary, receiving another glare from Cirrus and me.

Craft appeared next to me; my eyes hushed shortly to her, but I concentrated back on Turbulence. I don’t want to make the impression of seeing her a lot. “Wait, isn’t it my job to be the comic relief?”

I ignored her and continued. “Turbulence, I’m sorry that my plan has no role for you, and only relies on them believing Cirrus, them doing what I expect them to do, and me talking. You don’t get predetermined lines, because you are an informal pony, formal sentences will come very unrealistically from you. You have your instructions where to lead a discussion for a few scenarios.”

“Or do I count as the villain of the story.” Craft asked herself.

“We have to do lots of improvising, but you can mostly be silent and leave it to me. If it fails and after they kill me you can simply say you were too afraid of me to speak up unsolicited. Best case scenario then is that they drag you back to bible camp and revow your loyalty or something.”

“Best case scenario is we are getting away with it,” Cirrus corrected me. “and alive at that.” She rightfully added.

“Can I be villain and comic relief?” Craft nodded. “Yeah, I think that can work.”

“You want to know what you are?” How am I getting so easily annoyed by her? “You’re cumbrous!”

“I don’t even know what that word means.”

“You’re in my head, of course you know what ‘cumbrous’ means.”

Cirrus and Turbulence seemed to do their best not to comment on me talking with somepony who wasn’t really there. It just had to make me look insane, with all that happened and the plan I just made I might as well be.

I stood up and cleared my throat. Craft has successfully distracted me, and there was really no reason to talk about it another time. “You know what, Turbulence was right, we were through it often enough. And it won’t go down how we like it anyway and we’ll have to improvise.” I almost turned to walk before I realized I was the one who had keep watch first. “Get a portion of sleep, guys. Goodnight.”

To not appear as unsettled as I was, I couldn’t just sit down again, so I turned to walk a little outside of our camp. The warmth of the fire was too much for me anyway.

*** *** ***

“Aideen.”

I was immediately awake, as I had already expected to not be able to get a full night's sleep, but I also expected it to be Cirrus' voice who wakes me up because the Enclave arrivd. What I hadn’t expected was Turbulence with a calm voice. No, it wasn’t calm, it was... awkward, pressed.

“What’s going on?”

“We have a visitor... I guess.” A visitor? He didn’t say more, so I quickly stood up and maneuvered around him out of the carriage, while he woke up Cirrus too. We did not have a proper scenario planned out for them coming in Turbulence's watch... But it wasn’t ‘them’ it was only ‘a visitor’, a single pony.

Outside, at the slowly dying fireplace, sat a pegasus mare. She had an almost white, very pale turquoise coat and an emerald mane. “Good Morning, Aideen.” While she pronounced my name right, I didn’t like who she emphasized it. It reminded me of how Craft tries to mark her superiority, but the star with wings at both sides on her armor's shoulders and chest told me that this mare was only an Enclave Colonel. If it’s less than some ancient, bodiless monster, I can deal with it. “I’m Colonel Foehn.”

Oh, that’s why she pronounced it right, her name is way more unpronounceable than mine. “Colonel Foehn.” I did my best to say it right.

“She’s pretty.” Craft voiced her opinion.

“If I would have known I was going to have an important pony visiting, I would have combed first.” I tousled through my mane; calling her an ‘important pony’. Pointing out something I lack, which she has, obviously worked well (and if it’s only a well-groomed mane), as she gave me a smile.

“So, you’re Aideen?” It was more a rhetorical question than anything else, so I didn’t answer, and let Foehn continue. “What kind of name is that?”

I was used to ponies making fun of my name. In the stable we have had a weird way of naming our foals, so everypony else from Stable Eight has a similarly awkward time when meeting with new ponies. “One that gives ponies a headache. Oh no wait, that’s yours.”

Foehn narrowed her eyes. I believe she was both impressed that I found a comeback to her opinion of my name, as well as my knowledge of winds. ‘Foehn’ is a type of mountain wind. Among the things it causes, like warm air, are headaches due to the pressure.

I continued. “So we can insult each other or we can get down to business.”

“Business? What makes you think I want to do business with you?”

“The fact that I’m still alive.”

“There is nothing I want from you, so...”

I interrupted her. “So why am I still alive?” Foehn narrowed her eyes again. “I’ve been thinking; as I don’t believe in the goodness in the hearts of ponies, the reason I’m still walking and talking is that somepony decided I might be useful. And the same somepony, while being a Colonel, decided she has to take the job of coming down here into the dirt to extract information from some wasteland ponies. Information she would get anyway if she would let her subordinates extract them.” I paused to read her expression before I continued. “But that would mean she wants that information for herself, no other high ranking officer should know the information she hopes to acquire.”

She was... smiling? “Continue talking.”

“For the first time in wasteland history, a lot of territory is actually claimed by somepony; a city, a group, and whatever the unity is. The amount of territory for a single faction increases, as the total amount of factions decreases, it’s only logical, but surprisingly, as of late, there has been little to no movement. Red Eye is collecting slaves for some reason, and Crimson is refining his army. Sure, there is the goddess, who is still converting ponies; but she doesn’t actually take territory, only dominates the places her minions seem to go and then leave again. Anypony who plans to play a role in wasteland politics has to ask oneself: What if all they do is send a message? ‘Dominating? Yes, we can.’ But the real question is: Why would she send it?” Where the hell is all this coming from? “Honestly, if you were immortal and had all the time you want, wouldn’t you hide out until you had the numbers to conquer everything in one go? You wouldn’t announce it. The only reason you would do it is, if it is a lie and you only need ponies to believe it.”

“This is a nice theory, you certainly thought a lot about it.” She complimented me on this theory I improvised in about 30 seconds. “But don’t let me interrupt. You seemed to have been in the middle of something.”

“The wasteland as it is at the moment, is a tinderbox. We all know something is going to happen... soon. The only open question is, who is going to make the first move? Whoever it is will take control of the battlefield. Sure, the Enclave can wait out the war down here, and then be up against a single, very powerful faction. That will be harder... and where will you be then? Some old mare barking orders around in the council?”

Judging by the way the corners of her mouth twitched I seem to have hit a sore spot; yes, this mare wouldn’t miss out on action, and she hates the thought of growing old and retiring at some point. “So what are you gonna do?” She was keeping calm pretty well.

“I can get you good PR. The Enclave needs to be the savior of the wastelands, not just another faction fighting for power. Also, after you guys took over, you cannot simply put a pegasus in charge of everything, you need ponies down here who you can place in charge.”

“You want to rule the wastelands?” Foehn was laughing. It was a genuinely amused laugh. I couldn’t blame her. After all, it truly just sounded like I want to rule the entire wastelands. Shit, improvising is hard. “So tell me, what would make you loyal?” That I can answer.

“I only want the Crimson Company. Taking it over will be an easy feat, it’s a more... personal thing between me and Crimson. This part of the plan where I take it over is mine and I don’t need help, I, however, need help with Red Eye's Army, in case Crimson's loyalists don’t take the change of leadership too well. And about my loyality? I tell you outright I have none, and that’s honesty, a trait you can’t get around easily. Best course of action is to stay loyal to you, there is nopony else I could stay loyal to who might give me a better deal. I cannot gain anything from betraying you, and I actually think you and I can become good friends.”

Having already felt her gaze gliding over my body I think it’s only proper payback to check her out too. Doing so right after I told her I wish to become friends with her should appear like I have a sexual interest in her; I hope this works in my favor. Even though she wore armor I could tell Foehn has a very well-toned body. Hmm... Craft has already called her pretty, and I actually have to agree. For the first time after I had my breakdowns and realized how fucked up I am, I meet a new pony; was I... for the first time... thinking about another pony as... desirable?

I looked over to the carriage where Turbulence and Cirrus were looking out from. They seemed like they could use a bowl of popcorn for watching me and Foehn talk. Yeah, I hope I was putting on a good show. Turbulence's eyes... I turned my gaze to her again and saw a matching pair of sapphire blue eyes. The two had green coats too, he had told me, of course, that he had an older sister, but until now I didn’t notice the family resemblance. I’ve just checked out my friend's sister, who happens to be about ten years older than me; this is awkward.

“And what about me? Where do I fit in your new world order?”

“I trust that a mare as smart as you has a plan of her own. Let’s rewind to the part of your plan I’ve already revealed: ‘You are here in the dirt with us, searching for information your comrades won’t get’. What do you think I’ve been doing? You think it was a random act that made me go visit you guys above the clouds? I actually planned on a confrontation like this, but I couldn’t have hoped for a outcome as good as this... having you here.” Crafts plan... Has she known that? I’m not even sure where I got all that stuff that came bubbling out of me. “The Enclave sustains itself by keeping up the status quo of ‘the wasteland is inhospitable’ and ‘our citizens can only survive above the clouds’. You even go as far as killing ponies to keep that up, but once you make a grand move against the wastelands, after all, officially there is no life down here, so you cannot move against something that doesn’t exist, right?”

“Well, yes, but...”

“The Enclave needs a reform of its own. The council thing works for you pegasi when nopony seems to know what’s going on. Poor Cirrus for example. She comes around to visit a friend and as there is no Enclave officer in town she has to play CO for the rest of her life. I mean, what’s up with that? But I’m not here to tell you how to run your government. Well, it’s not your government now, is it? Ponies are easier manipulated by imagery, you guys need a face, a representative ruler.” I saw a glow in her eyes. “I don’t know if I’m just lucky to run into pretty and cute pegasi mares, if you’re all like that, or if I just think pegasi are exotic. Well, gaining power in the Enclave will be your part, I trust you can work out a plan.”

“You think you can persuade me with compliments? You think my looks would have anything to do with the council choosing a face for the Enclave? And you think I want to be a mere face?”

“‘Yes’, ‘yes’, and ‘be patient’. Compliments? Oh come on, you have eyed me, I’ve seen that. You see, I only voiced my opinion. Good looks are the easiest way to persuade the feeble minded, why wouldn’t you use all the traits you happen to have? And once you are representative ruler you simply take more power. Nopony gives it to you on a silver plate. The key is patience, don’t get too greedy at first. You’re a smart mare, you’ll figure it out.”

“This plan is very far fetched.” The glow in her eyes were telling me she was thinking something completely different.

“Plausible deniability then.” I gave a laugh, I knew I had her. “So what do you say? General Foehn?”

*** *** ***

It came as a surprise to me that, after everything that happened to me, I’ve finally developed a character trait I like about myself. I liked to cook. Equipped with an impressive amount of ingredients and those zebra recipe books I’ve taken with me, I was able to conjure great meals ever since we arrived in Hufstein; we feasted like royalty. Having bought lots of kitchenware and even an alchemy set to extract juices of some exotic herbs, I felt myself becoming quite a chef, or at least so I’d like to think. Utensils and cooking books alone don’t make a chef, it’s the fiery passion for learning new and eating tasty. I explained my newly found passion to the fact, that up until now, I could have never freely decide what I get to eat each day.

The amount of caps I spend on stocking up on exotic ingredients, or buying a more comfortable carriage, furniture for my house, a set of tools and precision instruments, spare parts for all kinds of things was only a fraction of the shattering amount we made from selling a few of the items we scavenged from the facility. The banned edition of the ‘Sword Mares’ went, for a ridiculously high price, to a collector. Why anypony would collect comic books or willing to pay insane prices for them, I don’t know, but I also don’t even attempt to understand.

Although we did not sell Cirrus' and Turbulence's Enclave stuff. Both, the armor and the uniform might be able to come in handy at one point. We also didn’t sell my slave barding, I doubt anyone would buy it and I really wanted to see it burn. I could have expected the smell, so in retrospect it was a really bad idea, but it was something I felt like doing. The smell is still in my nose, but at least I’m easing it with extracting the fluid of some herbs by making them sweat it out and catching the condensation.

If you have the proper kitchenware, or rather alchemy set, and all the ingredients (and I do), this condensation can be made into an awe-inspiring salad dressing. Right now I’m making a different version than I did yesterday, I started experimenting around a little bit with the recipes, and while I never reach orgasm-level tastiness with my experiments, I’m still learning a lot and it was better than canned goods.

As Cirrus was clinging to my left foreleg, lost in a memory, I had to regulate the whole kitchen with my magic. It wasn’t a problem, I knew about my magical surge of being able to control multiple objects already. Being touched isn’t much of a problem either, her mind was not in the present, so I was in total control of the situation. Ever since my panic attack I have tried to completely avoid being touched by them, but having Cirrus, utterly helpless clinging to me like that was actually kind of nice.

She was watching ‘Failure, part 1’. After my initial paranoia I realized that ‘failure’ at this point in time means that Spellfield and Celestia failed to properly make Twilight an alicorn. How could you even make somepony an alicorn? It’s not the first time I was thinking about that question. They said they couldn’t use the method Celestia used, and they obviously couldn’t use Craft either, wait... “Craft! I need to ask you a question.”

I startled Turbulence, who fell of the couch, where he had been reading a book and was now staring over to me. Our views met, and he started smiling for doing something, but quickly took a serious expression as I was trying to communicate with Craft. She hasn’t talked to me in a week, and the last thing I heard her say was a comment on Foehn's appearance. While I appreciate it that she wasn’t bothering me, it also made me somewhat nervous. It feels like she is a naughty kid you know you should watch out for, but can’t because she is freaking invisible.

“Ja?” Craft was lying on Cirrus back and petted her head. I received a quite seductive pat of her eyelashes. “What might thy Craft do for you today, mistress?” She was wearing black lingerie... she was rubbing herself onto Cirrus... No. No! She was not. She has no physical body, she’s only trying to bother you.

I cleared my throat first. This would be so much easier if she would just... ahhh... I don’t know how I expected her to behave normally. “I was wondering...”

“Yes?” She was sliding on top of Cirrus closer towards me, a feat that would be physically impossible. Craft was so near... She’s not real, she’s not real, she’s not real. “Trust me, it will feel real.” Nahaha... no.

“Are you gonna make me an alicorn, like you did Luna?” I can’t believe I managed to speak. In the corner of my eye I saw Turbulence twitching. He surely hadn’t expected that question.

“Selene.” She frowned. “Her name’s Selene.”

“Selene.” I repeated after her.

“Would you like to be an alicorn?”

“I haven’t really thought about it.” I really haven’t. “I’m the only one in our group without wings, so it would be nice to keep up with Turbulence and Cirrus, I guess. But that immortality thing? No thanks.”

“Good, because I didn’t plan to do it anyway. You’re a unicorn. I can already easily channel magic through you.” She slid off Cirrus and walked around the table. For some reason she was unclothed, and her usual naked self again. This was... better. “And you’re only a joyride for me, I think burn you out before I reach Pegas... You have to understand you don’t have the requirements I look for in a host. Neither does our cute little Cirrus here.” She traced Cirrus' cheekbone, then looked over to Turbulence. “And I don’t like stallions in general.”

“What is she saying?” Of course, he’d like to be kept up to date.

“Cirrus and I are not suitable hosts, and she doesn’t like you.”

“Don’t tell him that.” Craft pulled a face.

“You’re constantly mean to me, why can’t I tell him you’re mean to him?” I explained. “But if I understand you right... you are going to leave me?”

“Fair enough,” She nodded. “and yes. I’ll leave you. Trust me I’m not gonna stick around to watch you ‘play house’.”

I didn’t expect her to actually leave me, so I have to ask again. “I... have a chance for a normal life?”

“You’re still fun, but I know the end of your story. You can try and enjoy the pathetically mundane as much as you want, after I’m gone. You even have enough money to settle down this instant. Go buy a rocking chair, why don’t you... but look, suitable hosts are not too easy to come by, and there are a few things I want you to do before I make it a priority to look for another host.”

“Uhmm... sure, what do you want me to do?” It can’t be something too awful, can it? But hey, I would even consider drinking blood out of a babies skull to get rid of her for good. (Consider, probably not actually do it.)

“Your funny little deal with Foehn for example. I know you only used it to get time, and save your friend's precious, little cutiemarks, but I also know you can’t stop thinking about how you actually going to do it...” She smiled. “And that’s what I want you to do. Conquer the Crimson Company.”




*** *** ***

Footnote: You have reached Level 12!

Mix up a brew: You gain +5 points in Cooking and Medicine.

Skill Note: Cooking has reached 50.
Skill Note: Barter has reached 50.

Quest: Memories of the Future
[ ] Find out why the Memorhedron has planted on you.
[ ] Optional: Watch as much Memories in the Memorhedron as possible (7)

new Quest: the new Boss
[ ]Optional: Gain allies of different factions in the area around Colt’s Well. (0)
[ ]Make a coup in the Crimson Company.
[ ]Trigger a reform of the Enclave for it ton have an representative ruler.
[ ]Manage for Colonel Foehn to get elected as representative ruler of the Enclave.
[ ]Optional: Solve world hunger and cure cancer while you’re at it, because it won’t get any more complicated.

Author's Note:

Aideen is improvising good I think... seems that her cutiemark indicates that she... *gets strangled by the spoile fairy*

I think I announced chapter 14 to be called "branding" to indicate the issue of saving our dear Dashites cutiemarks, but I guess not...

and it's short... again, yes sorry...
I had way too much production problems with this one, that month was too little time for me
no, actually it was really hard writing the conversation with foehn
the last scene, aideen thinking and talking with craft was so much easier ^^"

so, have some foehn

and btw. askblog: http://gaiaprevails.tumblr.com/
ask stuff I forgot to say in the story or something you like me to explain in the future if something might not have been clear

JC signing out, and as always Gaia Prevails!