• Published 4th Feb 2015
  • 425 Views, 2 Comments

Fallout Equestria: Syntax - LucidTech

The story of Stable #50 and the stallion who found it after it was lost.

  • ...

Chapter One

It was dark; Bit didn’t like that. Didn’t like that it was always dark. Surrounding him on all sides, like a coffin. He’d been in the dark for his entire life, always dark. But, now, there was light too. A little light in the darkness. He hadn’t had light in a long time- they hadn’t turned the lights on in a long time. Bit was glad they’d changed their minds, and he wanted to thank them.

But when Bit looked to the pony below, he didn’t recognize the pony who had found his way onto the other side of the small square of light that he’d grown to know as a camera. Bit thought this new pony looked extremely odd compared to… well… ‘them’. But Bit did recognize the home of the old ‘they’ who he had known for so long, his home too. But more theirs. And this new... ‘they’ was in it. The old ‘they’ was gone. Bit didn’t know why they would have left, they’d seemed excited about something when he’d last seen them. How long ago had that been? Bit couldn’t remember. Bit was worried that he didn’t remember. The old they would usual remind him, but it seemed they wouldn’t be there to help this time.

The new ‘they’ didn’t look as capable as the old ‘they’ had. This ‘they’ didn’t seem as sure, and certainly didn’t have the same knowing look as the old ‘they’. But most strikingly about the new ‘they’, there was less of them. Only one ‘they’. Which, Bit supposed, made it an ‘it’ and not a ‘they’. But if it wasn’t a ‘they’, then who was supposed to help him do his job? He wondered. He watched for a minute, letting his thoughts swirl around before he remembered the speakers. He could ask the ‘it’ if it knew anything.

“H-hi. New ‘they’. Or, sorry, ‘it’, I mean. Sorry.” Bit said to the ‘it’. The ‘it’ was confused by his voice, he was looking for where Bit’s voice came from. Didn’t know about the speakers, Bit guessed. Maybe the ‘it’ hadn’t ever met the ‘they’. But that didn’t make sense. How did the ‘it’ get in if the ‘they’ hadn’t let it in. But the ‘they’ would have surely told the ‘it’ about him. Maybe the ‘it’ would have answers. Bit just needed to help ‘it’ around. Teach the ‘it’ what the ‘they’ hadn’t. “The wall, there’s a thing, it’s a… a… microphone, yea. That’s what the ‘they’ called it anyway. Microphone. On the wall. Microphone.”

The ‘it’ seemed to be trying to move around, but wasn’t getting very far very fast. Cautious steps, always cautious, but never sure. Never sure. Bit remembered that he hadn’t turned on the lights. ‘They’ hadn’t reminded him to. He’d forgotten the lights. “Oh. Sorry. Lights. I haven’t… I’ll fix it, I’m scared of the dark too. Let me, fix it. I can fix it. I don’t want to make you stay in the dark. The dark is scary.”

Bit had to find the path. The old path. He hadn’t used it in a long time, had to look down a few roads that didn't go where he wanted. Then he found the one that did, it took Bit a while to follow it though. The lights had run out of power and turned off automatically. Bit had remembered that he had to wait for them to recharge, but then he’d forgotten to turn them back on, the cameras were no use without the lights. Except the one in the front lobby. Nightvision, ‘they’ had said. Glowy blue screen, Bit had said. But he’d forgotten the cameras too. If the ‘it’ hadn’t have reminded him when it came in, if the door hadn't opened, Bit wouldn't have remembered he didn't have to stay in the dark. He wouldn’t have had his square of light if he’d kept the camera off. Bit was glad he’d been reminded.

The path was hard to remember. It was long and winding. But he got it. Eventually he got it. It took him a while. The pony had sat down, and waited. Patiently. Bit liked the ‘it’. ‘it’ was patient. Just like the ‘they’. The ‘it’ liked the lights. And it looked around in the light. Bit envied ‘it’. Bit would have loved to be in the light. “The microphone, on the wall.” Bit reminded, sometimes even the ‘they’ needed to be reminded, Sometimes they would talk and he couldn’t hear them, so he’d have to remind them about the microphone on the wall too.

The ‘it’ saw the microphone now, and moved over to the wall. Bit waited, it had waited a long time in the darkness for Bit to turn the lights on. Bit could wait with his little light in the darkness for as long as the ‘it’ wanted him to. After all, ‘it’ had waited for Bit too. It was only fair.

“Hello?” The voice came through the microphone. Bit was happy to hear it. “Who’s there?”

“I’m Bit. Bit, me... Bit. You? What’s yours? Name? What’s your name?” Bit sputtered, barely managing to keep his vocals in track. It was hard, sometimes. He liked to say things. He didn’t get to do it much and it was hard for him to stop talking sometimes.

“Spark. My friends call me Sparky.” He looked away from the mic towards the rest of the building. Inspecting it. “Who are you Bit? I mean. What do you do?”

“I keep the Stable running, or I did. I help, I mean. Or I did help. I do help when I’m needed to help, but I haven’t done that in a while. They haven't asked, or, they don't need to ask, they just need to remind me.” Bit managed, reminding himself to stop and gather his thoughts. “But, what about you Mr. Spark. What do you do?”

“I….” Spark turned back to the mic again, ready to reply, but stopped. Bit wondered why he’d turned away from the mic in the first place. He’d already seen his surroundings when the lights had come on. Maybe he’d wanted to look back and memorize them. That was clever, it was always good to memorize things. “I live, I guess. Haven’t been able to do much else for a while.”

“That’s good, that. It’s important. Living. Most important. Can’t do anything else if you aren’t doing that.” Bit was really liking the ‘it’. Or… Spark. Mr. Spark. Bit liked him. He talked about other, better things. ‘They’ talked about other, other things. Normal things. Power. Programming. Maintenance. Spark talked about life. Bit didn’t know much about life. Spark did though. He’d been doing it a lot apparently. Bit wanted to learn. But what had ever happened to the ‘they’? Bit needed to know.

“Spark. Mister. Mr. Spark. I know we, we just met. But I- I was wondering if you’d do me a favor. Mr. Spark.”

Spark paused before he spoke. “What is it Bit?”

“They, that is, the other ‘they’. The ones before you. But you’re an ‘it’ I guess. Better than a ‘they’ so far, I think. But the ‘they’. I haven’t… I haven’t heard from them in a while. And my… they’re in a place that I can’t find. I can’t remember the place. I need some reminders. Can you open the doors so I can remember? I want to remember.”

“The doors?”

“Yea, just, the doors. Like the one next to the microphone? So I can remember where it is on the path? When it lights up, then I’ll know where it is, and I can turn on the lights in there too. I’ll give you plenty of light. I’ll give you light. Then, I’ll remember more of the path. Just like when the camera turned on. Helps me find everything else.”

Spark looked at the door, and his eyes moved to the console next to it. Bit was happy he didn’t have to tell Spark about the console. He’d forgotten. He remembered that he’d forgotten about the console. But Bit couldn’t use it. Only ‘they’ could use it. It wasn’t part of the path. Wasn't part of 'his' path. “I’ll be right back to microphone, okay Bit?”

“Okay Mr. Spark. I’ll keep an eye on you, make sure you’re in good hands.”

“Thanks, Bit.” Mr. Spark didn't sound comforted by what Bit had said, Bit wanted to apologize for it, but Spark was away from the microphone now, now he would have to go all the way back to answer. Bit decided he'd apologize later.

Spark had moved away from the microphone and now stood in front of the console instead, eyeing the screen for a moment before he began. He hit the keys, but differently than ‘they’ did. He hit different keys. And the same ones, but at different times. Bit watched, wondering why he was having such a problem with the console. ‘they’ could always use it much faster. ‘They’ would have already opened the door. But Spark hadn’t. But if ‘they’ were here, Spark wouldn’t have to open it.

After a moment, and with the door still closed, Spark moved back to the microphone. “Do you know what the password is Bit?”

“Password? No, I, I don't think they ever told me. They never reminded me anyway. Password though? Why a password? They were the only ones ever here and visitors... there haven't been visitors in a long time. Long long time."

“Well, it’ll take me a minute to crack it. I don’t suppose you could get me any food?’

“Yes, on the food. I can. I have to remember the path, it’s closer than the lights. It’ll take shorter than that. But, no, yes, wait. You’re going to crack the console? Won’t that make the door stay closed forever? That’s no good Mr.Spark. I can’t do anything with a closed door. It won’t help me remember.”

“No, I mean the password, I need to figure out what it is. Crack it open.” When silence met him he continued his explanation. “It’s a saying.” Spark was gazing half lidded at the console. Bit was worried.

“That doesn’t sound very… good. Like, it feels wrong. To find out their secret like that, I mean. To crack things.”

“Well regardless Bit, it’s the only way to open the door.” Spark sounded persistent. Was that the word? Bit thought that was what the word was, or was it just what it meant?

“Okay, Mr. Spark. I’ll... I can find the food. But don’t, don’t do anything too wrong. Okay. I trust you, with the console, I trust you with it.” Bit turned his attention to the food while keeping himself aware of the occurrences in the main room. He couldn’t get it from the farms. they were too far down the path, and he didn’t remember it well- didn’t remember it at all. It was out of the question. He had to use the supplies that were stashed in the room’s backup food compartments, which were by the main room lights on the path. Much closer than the farms, plus 'They' always seemed to like the packaged food better than the grown food. Bit wasn't sure why.

It wasn’t hard, the food was closer than he remembered it being. Bit was happy that the console was still together when he was done with the food, he didn’t want to console to break. Then he’d never meet the ‘they’ again. He wanted to. They were nice. They had reminded him all those times. All the times he’d forgotten.

Spark was still working on the console, he was patient. Bit didn’t need to worry, Spark was patient. Spark would do it eventually, Bit decided. He had faith in Spark. Who else would he put faith in after all? Spark took a step back from the console, but the door was still closed. Why would the door be closed if Spark had gotten into the console? Bit looked at the console. The console had words. Words on the console. Bit couldn’t read them, too far away from the camera, too small.

“What’s it say Mr. Spark? I can’t read it from here.” Bit asked, trying to zoom the camera but to no avail.

Spark glanced back at the microphone, and shouted at it so he could remain in front of the console. “N-nothing Bit, just some notes!” Bit didn’t understand, why did Mr. Spark sound scared now? He hadn’t been scared before. Spark turned back to the console and pressed a few buttons. Then the door opened. Bit saw the door on the path. He knew where it was now, he’d turn the lights on.

Bit watched Spark lean into the darkness past the door. Spark was curious, Bit decided. And that was good, but not too curious. ‘They’ had always said curiosity had killed animals in cold blood, and Bit was terrified of it for a long time afterwards. But ‘they’ were curious too, so maybe curiosity only killed animals. Bit didn’t know for certain. ‘They’ were confusing sometimes.

Bit turned on the lights and Spark gazed into the hallway for a long time. Bit worried about him. Bit remembered the food, he’d almost forgotten. “I got the food Mr. Spark.” He said, remembering. A portion of the wall slide open, and there was food. Three cans. Bit hoped three cans would be enough. Chili. Three cans of herbivorous chili and a can opener. Bit hoped it would be enough, he couldn’t remember how much ‘they’ used to eat. Mr. Spark stopped looking down the hallway and came back into the room, making his way to the food.

Bit was glad he’d come back in to eat. Bit didn’t have the camera in the hallway up yet, and he wanted to make sure Spark was safe. Didn’t want anything to happen to Spark. What if something did happen to him? Too bad to think about, Bit didn’t want to think about it. Then who would open the doors? There’d be no one to open the doors. And then Spark wouldn’t be able to live anymore, and that seemed like a shame after all the time he’d put into it.

Priority one, camera. Had to get the camera up. Had to make sure the hall was safe. Make sure that the dark hadn’t invited monster friends. Darkness did that. Invited monsters. Whenever ‘they’ slept, the lights went down. Bit didn’t like doing it. They ordered him to, but every time he was worried. Worried that the lights wouldn’t come back up. And then, there was no one to remind him. And he was in the dark.

Spark reminded him though, about the light. He seemed to be good at that. Bit was happy Spark was here. Bit didn’t wonder why Spark was there anymore, he was just happy that he was there. To remind him about the light. Bit found the camera and turned it on. The hallway was empty. It was scary though, even though it was empty. There was a word for that, he couldn’t remember what it was.

“Mr. Spark. Do you remember a word about empty and scary? I can’t remember it. I heard it once and I can’t remember it now. Do you know it? The word?” Spark was seated next to the microphone. He had opened his first can and was gripping it in his muzzle and was preparing to tilt his head back and let it slide into his mouth. “Oh wait. Sorry. Spoon. There’s a spoon somewhere. I’ll get you a spoon.”

It wasn’t hard now, he remembered it. He remembered the food path. Spoons were with the food. Not that hard anymore. He could remember the path pretty well so far. He let a spoon fall down the food racks and Spark looked at it as it clattered down. “Thanks, Bit.” He said as he stood and approached it.

“No problem Mr. Spark. I almost forgot. Sorry.”

Spark returned with the spoon and stabbed it into the chili, letting the food hold it in place. “Do you do that a lot Bit? Forget?”

“N-no. Well… yes. I don’t mean to but sometimes I forget. That’s why ‘they’ were here. To help me remember.”

Spark slide his arm into the flimsy cloth loop that was attached to the handle of the spoon, so it wouldn’t slip off his hoof. He eyed the chili again and carefully swallowed a spoonful as best as he could manage, using the spoon like an alien device. Bit waited for him to finish his first bite before he spoke again.

“So, do you know the word?”

“The word?”

“Empty and scary at the same time.”


“Yea. That’s it.” Bit said. Spark was good at reminding him. “Ominous. The hallway is ominous Mr. Spark.”

“I saw.”

“Oh, yea, I suppose so. But, I mean, I’ll watch it for you okay Mr. Spark? I’m not gonna forget. I promise. Won’t forget. You’re safe and I won’t forget. Nothing else to do. So I won’t forget about you.”

“Thanks Bit.” Spark provided. Not a moment later he was digging into the first can of chili with earnest, gaining some experience with using the spoon with every mouthful. Bit wanted to say something else. He didn’t like the quiet. He hated the quiet. Quiet was like darkness, but hearing. It was ominous. Like the hall. The hall that Bit was watching. He was gonna keep Spark safe. He knew he was.

But what if, what if he couldn’t? What if he forgot again, like he had all those times before? What if Mr. Spark died? Bit didn’t want Mr. Spark to die. Something on the camera, it stood out. It wasn’t moving though, it was part of the wall. Red, Bit thought. But he couldn’t think what it could be. Tomatoes were red, of course, that was obvious, but they wouldn’t stain a wall like that. The chili was redish, no... it was more of a brown really, a mash of colors mushed into brown.

So what was red then?

Bit couldn’t remember. Something important he knew, but he couldn’t remember what it was. Something red. It was important because it wasn’t supposed to be there. It was the last thing that was supposed to be there. He felt so close and so far from his memories as he tried to remember what it was.

He heard a sharp inhale suddenly and jumped back to the lobby camera to look at Spark. He was holding his front leg out in front of him and looking at it with slitted eyes. “Something the matter Mr. Spark? Can I help? I’d be happy to help.” There was a thin line marked across his leg, and a small droplet was beginning to bubble up through it.

“No, just cut myself on the can. The blood’ll clot up soon enough. I’ll be fine.”

“Blood…” Bit remembered, he didn’t want to but he did anyway. A surge of memories pushed through like an explosion and he remembered shouting and gunfire and bad things happening to good ponies and blurs and blurs of color and noise.

“Something the matter Bit?” Spark said, there was worry and surprise in the tone. But Bit wasn’t focused enough to pick up on it.

“I- I don’t think I want to remember anymore Mr. Spark.” Bit said, uncertain. “I forget a lot. of things. I don’t like ominous. It’s like darkness. But in thoughts. I don’t like it Mr. Spark. I don’t think I want to remember.”

“Bit?” When Bit didn’t respond, Spark put down his now empty can of chili. “Bit? What's the matter?”

“No, I- I didn’t- I wanted to help. I tried to help. I think. I forgot. I can’t remember. There was loud noises. Loud loud loud loud loud loud loud loud loud- Noises. Loud noises Mr. Spark. I can’t remember. Loud noises. I don’t know if-”

Spark was standing next to the microphone now. “Bit. Bit listen to me.” Bit was quiet. He didn’t like quiet. But Spark was gonna fill it with light. Just like he had before. Twice now. Once more. Spark was good with light. “Bit. I don’t have anywhere else to go. I’ve cheated some bad ponies. I’m here with you Bit, for a good while. So, if you want me to. I’ll help you remember Bit.”

“I don’t- I can’t- I don’t know Mr. Spark. Maybe I should forget. It seems better, lots better? Don’t wanna crack it Mr Spark. I want it shut tight with a tough password that even you won’t figure out. Shut tight. Tight tight.” Spark was quiet. Bit really didn’t like it now. “Mr. Spark. You’re good at lots of things. You- you know? Like consoles and- and light. You’re very good with light. Very good with light.” Spark remained silent. “I don’t… I don’t know Mr. Spark.”

“Think about it then Bit. But I need you to watch things. I need you to protect me, I’m not that good in a fight. Okay Bit? If you make sure nothing attacks me while I sleep, I’ll help you remember or let you forget. Whichever you decide on. Okay?”

“Okay Mr. Spark. it’s a deal. I’ll help you. Nothing will attack you. I’ll protect you. I won’t forget. They’ll make so much noise in the quiet. So much quiet. I’ll hear them. Even if they’re far away from the microphone. So loud in the darkness and quiet.”

There was a moment of silence where Mr.Spark was looking at the speakers, high above him on the ceiling. Bit wondered why, but Mr. Spark spoke again before he could finish wondering why. “Okay. I’m gonna take a nap then Bit. And when I wake up we can talk about what we’re gonna do.”

“Got it Mr. Spark. I’ll remember.”

“Thanks Bit.” Spark reached into his saddlebag and pulled out a small bottle. He rattled it until a single white pill fell out into his mouth, then he snapped the lid closed with a flick. Bit wanted to ask about the strange white pill, but he didn’t, he thought it would've been rude. He waited instead. Spark seemed to go to sleep immediately, leaving Bit awake in his darkness. He watched the two cameras and listened carefully to the silence. He wouldn’t let the darkness invite it’s friends here. Spark had let him keep the lights on, and nothing was going to get at Mr. Spark while Bit was there. He was going to remember. Wasn’t going to forget. At least… not Mr. Spark. Not ever.

Mr. Spark reminded him of someone, Bit couldn't place it. They were sort of alike. But it was the name that reminded him. Spark. Like... he couldn't remember very well. All he could think about was dark, almost dark, not quite. Sun was going down. Time of day. He couldn't remember who it was. Bit heard a creak, looked between the cameras, no one was there. He would've seen them, but no one was there. It was empty and scary at the same time.

Ominous. Bit reminded himself. It was ominous.

But who was it? Bit's mind flicked back to the pony Mr. Spark reminded him of. It was frustrating, He remembered 'them' fine but he couldn't remember this one. 'They' had liked her, he knew. Bit realized he was remembering again, he wasn't sure if he wanted to remember yet. Especially without Mr. Spark. There was another creak, Bit flipped back to the hallway. He thought he saw someone, only shadow. Main room, nothing there. Light was on, no monsters there. He let the main room camera stare at the hallway he had opened. Bit didn't want to look back down the hallway again, it reminded him of loud noises, he didn't like the loud noises.

Bit calmed down, watched Mr. Spark, watched him breathe slowly. Bit watched him breathe and calmed himself. Mr. Spark was calm, so Bit decided he would calm down to. His thoughts slowed down, then came back to normal. He watched Mr. Spark. It would be a long night, but Bit knew he had a promise to keep, and he watched the doors. No one would hurt Mr. Spark. he'd promised. Promised Mr. Spark. No harm. Not here.

Comments ( 2 )

It's very... choppy for lack of a better word. You really need to work on how smoothly the story flows because right now it feels like I'm driving down an old pothole filled dirt road. It makes it very confusing even for the most intelligent.

It's a very interesting idea. Maybe you should try some non fanfiction. I think that would be neat.

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