• 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 Fifteen: Education

Charter Fifteen


“What is Craft saying?” Turbulence inquired again. “She’s leaving you after you’ve done something for her?”

“Yeah, basically.” I confirmed. How do you tell your friends that the ancient evil wants you to do that impossible task you’ve made up while improvising?

“Okay...” It was obvious he wanted to say something else, so I simply said nothing and waited for him to go for it. An encouraging smile should do. “Err... Shouldn’t we... I don’t know... Shouldn’t we make sure Nightmare Moon does not get a suitable host?”

Oh yeah... Somepony else would have to deal with Craft then. I was passing on a curse, that would make any normal pony go crazy. Also we couldn’t have a Nightmare Moon running around with full power or something...

“I don’t care. I just want to get my life in order, and if it means I have to sell an innocent down the river, then so be it. Life’s not fair.” I was thinking the opposite though. When it comes down to pulling the trigger, so to speak, I doubt I will be able to go through with it.

Not like Craft would give me a choice. I know all to well that she can simply take over and make me do whatever she wants. I have absolutely no leverage against her. The moment she grows sick of me I have no way to stop her from leaving my body and possessing some other unfortunate pony. It’s completely out of my control, but if I keep telling myself I’m okay with it, it might feel less ‘out of control’ for me, as I practically ‘allowed it to happen’.

I sighed. Who am I even trying to fool? But I also really... REALLY want her to leave me alone.

“Aideen...” The way Turbulence said my name had something in it I really couldn’t stand. Reason said he was trying to comfort me, but insaner head prevailed and told me it was pity. As he was already out of his comfortable reading position anyway he stood up and walked towards me.

Just when I wanted to answer I felt Cirrus moving again and I had to quickly retrieve my hoof from her. With the mare touching me having while her consciousness back, it immediately weirded me out. She gasped in surprise by the quick removal of her headrest.

“So?” Glad for the perfect opportunity to change the topic I asked about the memory. “Do you understand better now why I want to watch these memories?”

“Ahh... hmm...” Of course Cirrus had to adjust a little bit to the real world again. “Kinda. It’s nice background information, about stuff that... well... stuff that is actually not very secret, but the background is quite interesting to know.”

“What was it about?” Turbulence sat himself at the table to us.

Cirrus cleared her throat. “It felt really weird, I was in a body that was foreign for me and I couldn’t control it, but thats Memory-orbs in general, I guess. So, I was in this zebra-guy, Spellfield. He was in his office in that unicorn school. Then Twilight Sparkle came in, she looked like she was in her early twenties.” Her expression and tone seemed like she was surprised that she had the hots for a mare she had only seen as a mare in her forties until now. “She was polite, but obviously quite hurt by him because she wanted him to judge her dissertation again; she felt unfairly treated.”

This wasn’t at all what I had expected. “Unfairly treated? How so?”

“Yeah, yeah, I was getting to that. She had compared her work to others who scored more than her points, and thought of them as being worse. Although she was of course polite and didn’t want them to get worse grades. He agreed to read hers again and judge it again. He flew through the first few pages then he closed it again. I didn’t try to keep up with his reading speed as I didn’t understand anything about magic anyway. Then he failed her. If she wanted a fair judgment from him then he wouldn’t let her pass.”

“What? Why?”

“Will you let me finish?”

“Ahh... yeah, sorry.”

“Spellfield practically accused her of stealing. She only took the theories of other, like Starswirl, and a few others, whose names I can’t recall. Starswirl was at least somepony I’ve heard about, so I can remember. Anyway, she took their stuff and she has had, according to Spellfield, no original thought in it, while a dissertation is exactly supposed to be that. He told her she had a great future ahead of her, but she has to experiment herself and stop simply gaining knowledge out of books. This was exactly the reason why Celestia let her stay in Ponyville, to get practice in the Magic of Friendship. Spellfield then gave her another year to write another dissertation, while she should keep in mind that she should bring in her own ideas and stuff. He made her accept it by saying stuff like this dissertation should be a milestone in her shining life, and not just like any other dissertation of a random pony, she is the element of magic after all, nopony would want to read Starswirl's theories in a new light again, but her opinion and thoughts.”

I nodded along the story. That seemed like something Spellfield would do; manipulating Twilight into doing something that would make her stand out more and getting her to think about magic. Making somepony magically aware or something seems like a good start of making someone into an alicorn... Hmm... Even though he labeled that memory ‘failure’... although I already knew he failed to make Twilight an alicorn.

“You were eager to interrupt earlier. Now that the story’s finished, you won’t comment?” I felt them looking at me, but I had my train of thought.

History told me that Twilight wasn’t an alicorn, why would there be a multipart memory explaining it? It was an impossible task to begin with? Unless they had Craft at their disposal, or whatever turned Celestia into an alicorn it is pretty impossible to do so... Well, not really. There is a timeline where they had succeeded, or there had been one...

“Aideen, it’s unsettling when you go quiet. Craft isn’t... talking to you at the moment or anything?” Why is Turbulence so paranoid about Craft?

“Wha..? Yes, I meant, no. Craft isn’t talking to me.” But she was still sitting at the table with us. “Ahh... Mulitverse theory makes my head hurt.”

“Err...Multiverse? What do you mean?” Judging by both their expressions they have no idea what the hell I’m talking about. They hadn’t had the privilege of a shitload of boredom in their adolescence and read scientific analysis about random stuff to kill time.

“There has to be a timeline where Twilight Sparkle became an alicorn, it must exist, or have existed at one point, or... must have been in reach for Princess Celestia to latch onto while... futurewatching, or whatever you call it.” This seemed to have been too much for Craft as she burst out laughing. “What?!”

“What ‘what’?” Craft and Turbulences confusion changed from confusion to another type of confusion.

“Not you, her. Craft.” It is weird explaining to someone what is going on when I could see it clearly in front of me. “She’s laughing.”

“It’s funny, because you ponies truly are pathetically limited creatures.”

“Limited...wha... what?”

“You see, if the universe would have been created 5 minutes ago along with your memories and everything you wouldn’t be able to tell.” What..?

I thought about what she said for a while before I could utter my confusion. “What?”

“Imagine you are an ant, and for some reason you land on a train. It’s a freight train, so there is nopony on board. A pony somewhere in a train station controls it and tells the tracks to what line it should switch. The train is moving smoothly, so no vibration that indicates the train is actually moving.” Where is this going? “So without an understanding what a train is, that the train moves, how the train moves, how it switches tracks, or that a pony is controlling it. Now you, my little ant, are trying to grasp the way another train moves and what route it took. In the eyes of a pony it’s hilarious, because it knows the ant lacks the senses to observe the train, or even grasp the amount of distance it traveled, because for an ant this is further than it will ever get on its own in a lifetime.”

How do you respond to that? “What?” Nailed it!

“Oh Aideen, you are adorable.” And with that she faded away into nothingness.

*** *** ***

Later the same day I was lying on a bench in the park, overthinking my future course of action. Would I be able to pull off a coup? Take control of the company? I don’t want to rule. I want the ‘pathetically mundane’, as Craft said, a normal life. Something I have no idea how to achieve, planning to overthrow Crimson might be easier. Figuring out Crimson, discovering his weaknesses, what he knows about Gaia Prevails, and what he hopes to gain from me personally has to be easier than to deal with my own weaknesses and what I hope to gain from it.

I let one hoof slide off the bench and touched the fake grass. Not knowing what actual grass should feel like I didn’t mind it. The Company has had a real park; not that I’ve had the privilege to ever go in there, only high ranking officers and the rich were allowed in there. They had, of course, the former orchard of Stable Eight, but also possess a concealed amount of seeds for various other plants. The seeds are treated as the sacred artifacts they are; a symbol of the reincarnation of the land.

But they do not use them... yet. The wasteland is not a nutritious place. In the Company’s very own religion they wait for ‘the month of bloodshed’. It’s a stupid name for a prophecy, especially in the wasteland where every month is a month of bloodshed. I wasn’t able to recall the exact saying of the prophecy but I got the core. It was something along the line of ‘the beginning of the month of bloodshed... marked by the big explosion’ then something... uhh... the month is split up in a week of feathers, a week of raindrops, a week of ashes, and a week of seeds.

Only in the week of seeds are they allowed to sow out. Religion, it’s a great tool to control the feeble minded. And those who are intelligent enough know exactly why they don’t immediately start sowing. I’m pretty sure Crimson started that religion himself, he has freaky knowledge after all. He knew about what Craft will look like for me so his guards can catch me. Just what does he know? Does he know about Craft being the Nightmare Moon-entity? Does he know about the future to make prophecies?

Any theory... Come on brain, come up with something!

Hmm... I got nothing...

I need more information.

A ball flew in my direction and I surprised myself by having the reflex to instantly catch it with my magic.

“Our ball...” A group of roughly twenty foals, approximately in their pre-teens had been playing in the park too. I had seen them, but had been able to ignore them until now, about two thirds of them were zebras.

“Here you go.” I gently threw the ball back causing half of them flee in panic. Ah, well... I could have seen that one coming.

“It’s yours, we don’t want it anymore.” That’s just perfect. How do I get out of this?

“Class, what’s going on?” A stallion stood up from the bench not far from mine. He had called them ‘class’, so he was their teacher and this was a school class.

“The evil mare touched our ball.” Oh come on!

“Jandro! Apologize to the nice lady. As far as I can tell she has done absolutely nothing wrong.” A voice of reason! I wasn’t evil, this is just the zebras freaking ability to... oh yeah...

“No sir, this is my fault.” Go Aideen, improvising. If you can convince Foehn of something implausible I can get them on my side too. “I shouldn’t walk around in public.” I stood up from my bench and gave them a formal bow of submission. Then I took the best tender, yet firm tone I could muster, an educating tone... something I wish my teachers would have talked like. “Kids, listen up. It is good to listen to your instincts. It is the responsibility of your parents and teachers to tell you about all the things there are in the world to prepare you for it, so when something happens you can properly judge a situation and react accordingly. For you earth ponies and unicorns who have probably no idea what is going on, your equine brothers and sisters, the zebras, have the natural ability to sense the flow of energy. At the moment, their senses tell them I have a power inside of me they learned to associate with either ‘evil’ or something they don’t know, and ‘the unknown’ can be equally scary.”

Well, it seems I have gotten their attention. While the non-zebras had only little idea of what’s going on, the zebras were intrigued. On one hoof they had no idea how actually to react to an ‘evil person’, on the other they surely hadn’t expected me to start explaining.

Better hope this works...

“My name is Aideen, I’m a acolyte of Annulet, and about two weeks ago I managed to defeat an evil spirit. I know it will rise in power again, but I had no way of actually disposing of it. So I locked away in the only place I know it can never hurt anyone again... that is except for me. I locked it into my own soul, for one day, when I die, I can guide it into the world beyond. This is my burden to carry, and I shouldn’t make you uncomfortable.” I bowed again, but kept my head down this time. “For that I am truly sorry if I upset some of you, please accept my apology.” And then I waited.

After a short while the teacher finally spoke up. “Miss Aideen, I’m deeply humbled by your presence.” He bowed to me in return. “You should not have to ask us for to accept your apology, rather it is us who have to ask forgiveness. Forgive us for our rudeness.” He looked at the zebra colt who had called me ‘evil mare’ earlier. “Jandro?”

“I’m sorry, Miss Aideen.” The colt named Jandro looked to the floor in shame.

“It’s quite okay. As I said I should have been more careful.” I gave a warm smile. “I promise the ball is not cursed, go play again.” I didn’t have to say that twice as most of the group was chasing after the ball immediately after.

The teacher however remained with me and sat on the bench next to me. “My name is Shining Light, I’m the teacher of this group.” Shining Light was an earth pony in his late thirties, he had a yellow coat and a silver mane, his cutiemark was a smiling sunflower.

“Yes, I have concluded your profession already.” I nodded, and continued to smile while watching the foals play. “Educating foals is the most important task a pony can have. You have a quite honorable profession, Sir Light.”

“Why, thank you. But I don’t imagine it is a profession any less honorable than one where you do actual good, like trapping evil spirits in...” He paused and look in my direction. “in ahhh... your body.” I’m pretty sure what his eyes were doing at the moment, and when he realized it too he started stuttering. “I... I apologize, I... I-”

“You do not need to apologize for something that, again, is truly my own fault. I... am aware of my traits and their effects on stallions. I’m not wearing my vestments, because... I have fulfilled my duty, and am now tainted by evil; I’m not an acolyte anymore. It feels like I am nothing anymore...” Just what am I trying to achieve here?

“You... ahh...” He’s assuming the worst. I need to end this before it gets out of hoof.

“I have a place to stay and enough money for the time being.” I turned then to face him. “Really, don’t worry about me, Sir Light.”

“Hmm... I would have liked to offer you a position as a teacher at the school.” A teachers position? Huh... When everything is done this might actually be a profession I could see myself doing. “Unfortunately we don’t have the proper funding to add another teacher to our staff, no matter how much we would need it.” He sighed.

“Then how is the next generation supposed to be better prepared for...” I gestured in direction of the city’s gates. “everything that’s out there.”

“It’s not what’s out there that I’m worried about for them, but what’s in here. The most gruesome creatures the wasteland has brought forth are those who should know better. This is what I’m fighting for. For us to be better.”

“To make ponies better, and zebras too, of course; Truly, an honorable goal, but I’m afraid as a schoolteacher you can only do this for a few foals at a time.”

“Yes... That’s why I...” He stopped.

“What is it?”

“Nothing.” It’s never nothing. “It will never work to begin with.”

“To you want me to quote some wise ponies?” Shining Light was a teacher, I hope he knows enough motivational quotes.

“I know, I know, not trying is like having lost already, and stuff.”

“Is your plan as far fetched as planning on trapping an evil spirit in your own body? Then I would understand how you think you couldn’t do it.” I feel bad about using my fake accomplishment to prove a point; way worse than I have felt about lying to all those foals.

We shared a laugh. “Touché. So... I have tried already. For twelve years. Hah! That sounds ridiculous. Actually I’ve tried only three times, but all four years and so...” Does he mean..? “Look at me dancing around the issue. To have an impact on the world, or rather this city I have been trying to get elected as mayor.” He paused to check my expression. “Well, you’re not laughing, but I didn’t expect that reaction. You look like you want to run away.”

He might think I was planning on an escape route, but actually the gears in my mind had started working for a completely different reason... I started smiling. “Let’s go win an election.”

*** *** ***

Footnote: Level progress: 25%

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 1: Hufstein
[X] Get a candidate for Mayor on your side
[ ] Help your candidate gain publicity.
[ ] Help your candidate gain popularity.
[ ] Optional: Manipulate other candidates.
[ ] Help your candidate win the election.
[ ] Optional: Rig the election.
[ ] Optional: Win in a landslide.

Author's Note:

Soooo.... as you notice the first scene here is the immediate continuation of last chapter last scene
I'm not on the schedule I'd like to have, but that means I have to make compromises.
also I had way too much social bonding the past week (like 3 nights) to properly write
I apologize for the incredible shortness of this chapter

I ended the last chapter where Craft said she wants Aideen to make that coup in the Company, but in the first draft, the first scene here was planned on there, while I had also planned that Aideen burned the stuff she was just cooking, because she was distracted, but this I completely scrapped because it was an useless "funny scene", but not nessecary in any way and I am somewhat under timepressure ^^"

*chrm* the rest of the chapter should have been longer too, but has always ended with the revelation of Shining Light running for mayor. When I actually wrote it it felt stupid that Aideen would get to know about it when she looked at the bulletin board where everyone can post an ad and see his election poster. But I really like the way I worked it out while not completely rushing it ^^"

I don't know if I regain my schedule, but at the moment I'm trying to get a chapter out in 6 days again to get back to mid-week.

anyway, see you tomorow in my blog (I'll talk about the inferiority of non-alicorn-Twi in FoE to alicorn Twi in the show)
JC signing out, and as always Gaia Prevails