• Published 9th Jan 2014
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Fallout: Equestria: All That Glitters Is Not Gold - Inkwell_the_writer_horse

When Knick-Knack, a scavenger and adventurer, finds a memory orb revealing a secret, pre-war stronghold, untouched since the days of the royal sisters, but when he realises that the defences of the fortress are too much for him to handle, he relies

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Chapter One: The Best Of The Worst Of The Wasteland

I sat, hunched over the bar, quietly sipping on the bottle of sparkle cola, staring at the various graffiti that had been drawn and carved onto the bar over the years, some pre-war and some post-war. The residents of New Appleoosa sit in their favourite seats and watch me intently. I told no one of my motives for renting out the taverns unused store room. I hear a forced cough behind me, and follow the dark brown unicorn, now standing at the entrance of the back room, motioning his head behind him.

I pushed myself off of the stool by the bar and began to walk towards the back room, joining the unicorn. We both walk into the back room, the door locking behind us. The back room was the model of post-war efficiency, with bags packed with supplies and then stacked in the corner. At the back of the room stood a small army of ponies in varying shapes and sizes, some armed to the teeth, wearing huge pieces of blood-stained and battle worn armour, while others merely wore Stable-Tec jumpsuits or rags. The brown unicorn came to my side, a stack of paper held by his head in an aura of purple magic. He began to talk.

“Here, these are the profiles of all the ponies who wanna join the heist crew.”

I turned my head towards the unicorn, pleasantly surprised.

“Oh really, all the contestants have profiles?”

“Easily compiled with a few questions and a series of small tests.”

He grinned at me, proud of his own menial accomplishments.

“Very nice.”

I said, taking the profile from the top of the stack and walking by the mercenaries, all eager to join in the adventure I had promised in radio broadcasts and scattered flyers.

I came eye to eye with an earth pony, with eyes, bloodshot and closed to a squint and a jaw jagged and scratched and scarred from years of being pushed to the dirt, they were familiar scars. He wore two bullets around his neck, live rounds that, probably, fit into the two revolvers strapped to either side of his flank. I broke eye contact with him to stare at his profile.

“Double Barrel, former raider and prisoner of the NLR, quickly escaped after being released on probation and became a gun for hire once outrunning the NLR border patrol. Highly skilled with small weapons and repair, you’ll be a good gunmen, welcome to the crew.”

I jerked my head towards the table in the center of the room, and he walked towards it, taking a long swig of the flask he’d just taken from his saddlebag. I threw the profile to the ground, an aura of purple magic quickly engulfing the paper before it hit the dirt. I held my hoof out, expectantly, as another profile floated towards, engulfed in the same magic aura.
I stood close to a unicorn, skinny, and young, but with a face aged beyond its years by the wasteland. He wore a dirty Stable-Tec jumpsuit, he wasn’t the only one wearing one, but he was the only actual stable dweller here, the eyes are a dead giveaway, reddened from enough crying for a lifetime condensed into a few long weeks. I focused on his eyes and he lowered his head, before quickly returning my intense gaze.


He spoke loudly and with a firm tone, and with a glare so furious that, even I, was taken back.


I stammered confused.

“The profile is wrong. My name is Dweller.”

I glanced down at the profile. Name: Muffin Top. He hasn’t been taking to the wasteland, as evidenced by the multitude of bullet holes and scars that adorned his frail body and his rejection of his own name. I read the profile aloud, just to spite him.

“Muf- Dweller, former resident of Stable-Tec “stable” preservation shelter, designation: stable two. Narrowly escaped the steel ranger massacre of the stable, at which point I’m guessing he took this as the first job he came across. Highly skilled hacker, lockpick, thief and, apparently, makes a hell of a banana nut muffin.”

He stared daggers at me and gave a sly smirk, before winking and whispering to him.

“You’re in the band.”

He nodded and took his place, standing beside Double barrel at the table. I, again threw the profile to the ground and the unicorn, again, caught it before it even hit the dirt, he takes pride in his work, no matter how menial.

I walked up the line before coming to a dead stop in front of a griffon, an unusual sight at meeting like this. Most griffons were part of mercenary guilds, the talons, mostly, Gawdyna Grimfeathers’ little private army

“I’m not looking for Gawds thugs on this one. Take a hike.”

As I began to continue down the line the griffon pushed her face close to mine, angrily whispering down my ear.

“I ain’t one of Gawds thugs, pal.”

I could tell I had struck a nerve, so I slowly walked back in front of her. I looked her up and down, she was a soldier, no doubt about that. It was only now that I’d noticed that her armour had no markings, I mean, it had scratches, bullets holes and signs of wear and tear, but there was no paint, like on most mercs. She was a lone wolf, I was intrigued, surprised and just a little bit turned on. I held my hoof out and the unicorn dropped the griffons file onto it. I began to read.

“Tail Fire, former mercenary for the talons but left after a ‘difference of opinion’ resulting in two dead talon squadrons, a burned down caravan and a commanding officer with a limp’”

“Where did you get that?”

She snapped at me, tilting her head forward in a bid to look intimidating.

“My buddy, ol’ horn head back there, used some kind of truth spell on you. You probably don’t remember it, but you told him everything on this piece of paper.”

I slapped the paper in my hand before turning to the aforementioned unicorn.

“Ain’t that right?”

The fear on his face was obvious as he hesitated to nod his head, ever so slightly.

“It also says you’re highly skilled with big weapons and energy weapons. You’re also a girl, and, in case you didn’t notice, this expedition was shaping up to be quite the sausage fest. You’re in, hit the bench.”

I waved her towards the table where Dweller and Double barrel had began to share a bottle of whiskey.

The team was starting to take shape, and the idea of actually knocking over a pre-war facility was beginning to seem tangible. I walked further down the line, when my attention was caught by two ponies, a stallion and a mare, both standing at attention next to each other, too disciplined to just be wasteland mercs. I raced further down the line to get to them, stopping in front of them and frantically looking them up and down.

“Okay, what’s your game? Who sent you?”

The mare looked nervous, but the stallion put his hoof out in front of her, stepping in front as he defended himself and his female companion.

“We don’t work for anyone, sir. We’re just two wastelanders looking for a score.”

I snapped my head back towards the unicorn and he quickly levitated the files of the two ponies towards me. I stared at the files for a brief moment before shooting a look into the eyes of the stallion in front of me.

“You’re a steel ranger.”


He was deflated now, I had him on the ropes. If I kept my persistence, he’d spill everything.

“Now you listen here, I don’t want no steel rangers getting in on my heist! I found the memory orb!”

He stood tall and spoke loudly.

“The steel rangers only want our share of the job, after we get that, you can do whatever you want with the facility.”

I looked to the mare behind the ranger.

“Cream Soda. Medic, right?”

She peered out from behind her companion, nodding.

“Okay, you’re in, but, your boyfriend’s staying put. I don’t like having too many steel rangers behind, especially ones with such a destructive skill set as yours”

I stared into the eyes of the steel ranger as his partner crept from behind him and joined the others at the table. I spun around, walking towards the table where my team resided.

“I have my team, the rest of you can leave, hit the bar, it’s on me.”

The remaining candidates erupted in excitement and cheering as they poured from the backroom into the main lounge of the bar, all but one. The steel ranger left behind the rest of the crowd, his unbreaking eye contact with cream soda quite noticeable.

When all had finally left I motioned my unicorn assistant to lock the only entrance into the room and dim the lights. I pulled the dirty cloth from atop the table to reveal a large, pre-war holographic map display. I walked to the opposite end of the table from where everyone else had sat, leaning on it, the orange glow of the holographic display of the pandora storage facility casting an ominous, light across my muzzle.

“Alright fillies and gentlecolts, here it is, the big time. This is the largest pre-war storage facility belonging to the ministry of wartime technology. It has laid dormant for almost two hundred years, but that all changes now. See, when I decoded that memory orb, the radio broadcast wasn’t the only thing I found. It was the memory of a zebra spy, a member of a small invasion force. They were our predecessors, in a way, they were planning on robbing this place, too, but they screwed up, got caught, and immediately shot. They got caught before even getting within sight of the facility, because, back then, there was wiretapping, anti-zebra propaganda and citizens looking out for Equestrias best interests, but their is none of that now, it’s a dog-eat-dog world, but we are not dogs, we are wolves and this is our wolf pack. The zebras plan didn’t work then, but it’ll work now, because we don’t need to be stealthy. We could blow up half of the fucking world to get this done, and we probably will.”

“So what’s the plan?”

Tail Fire asked. Short, simple and professional, I could tell she would be essential to this operation.

“We head east with a caravan until we come across train tracks, I know a train runner who owes me a favour, he’ll take us to the end of the line, which is the pandora facilitys command outpost, about three clicks south of the actual facility. Once there, we have our hacker disable the primary defence system, making way for our thief to get to the control room from the roof and disable the emergency lockdown system. After that, we make our way into the facility from the north side. The north side was heavily damaged in the war, there’s no wall, we can just walk in and make our way to the lower levels via the express elevators littered throughout the garage.”

“Wait, there’s a garage in this place?”

Dweller sat up, now, lifting his his chin from the table, and seemingly more interested in the life changing heist he’d blindly joined.

“Yea, held a couple of jeeps, a few tanks and a vertibird, but, even if he had a driver or a pilot, I wouldn’t hold out too much hope of any of these vehicles are still in working condition.”

I stood up much straighter, mentally preparing myself to explain the next part of the plan.

“Once we hit the lower levels we have to make our way through two virtual battlefields, the balefire bombardment testing ground and the radiation chambers.”

“Don’t sound too tough, why’d ya put together such a big crew for a job like this?”

Double barrel grunted out in his gruff, husky voice. I lowered my head closer to the display and spoke.

“It may not sound like much, but trust me, this is serious. The virtual battlefields, as the name would suggest, are recreations of famous battles from throughout pony history, used as a training technique until it proved too dangerous. The simulations use highly advanced androids to populate the battlefields, they use live fire rounds, and are more ruthless and brutal than any raider or zebra you’ll ever meet. As for the balefire bombardment testing area? Imagine a mine field populated by mines that make your skin melt off, and each with a range of twenty five miles. It doesn’t help that the bombs are held on the ceiling, too. Not much is known about the radiation chambers, why they were created or what they produced, but judging by what ambient radiation has done to the creatures out here, it’s hard to imagine what concentrated doses would do to a creature. Once we make it through all of that, we reach the crust, a nickname given to the lowest level of the facility, which contained a royal military bunker, a vault for prototype technologies with the designation: asset and some kind of facility called the last chance, but I know very little about that particular part of the facility.”

I exhaled and looked up at my team, a group of the best of the worst of the wasteland, brought together by greed. I lowered my voice to just above a whisper.

“This is your last chance, if you want out, now’s the time. Walk out that door, no one will think any less of you or blame you if something goes south.”

No one moved, they just sat waiting for someone else to get up.

“Alright then. We leave at the crack of dawn, pull up a bedroll and get some rest, you’ll need it.”

I left them, making my bed in the broken bathtub of the back rooms bath room. I slept easy that night.

Author's Note:

This story got reviewed, here's a link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fPBjOa6Eq_I&list=FL6Pbwwir6WJeenCHZ4_q7Mw&index=1

That is all.