• Published 17th Sep 2014
  • 2,071 Views, 33 Comments

Fallout Equestria: Days Long Gone - Raikage77



Back in the old world it was World War 3, then I ended up in this world, thinking it would be different. I was wrong. I geuss it really true what they say. War ...it never changes.

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Memory-5: Come Home Soon

Memory-6: Come Home Soon

"Don't be held back by someone else's bullshit in fake memories. The one path that you've chosen yourself, is the truth of your universe."

I hate searching for a job. Even with the help flyers, it seemed like I was getting no where at all. I really didn't want to ask Celestia for help just yet. You'd think there would be ponies lined up to hire the guy who helped in stopping Discord, right?

You'd be wrong.

Sure, I'll be one to admit I'm nothing special. Not like Twilight and my other friends. But, I thought that at the very least with my accomplishments over the years, I wouldn't have to look as hard for places to work. It had been close to a week now since I had quit my last job, much to Silverware's dismay (to him I was one of the best bodyguards he'd had in a while). Thing was, I just couldn't work for a pony who treated others like that, and I was sure he understood my views.

...At least, I hope he did.

I walked down Mane Street with one last flyer in my hand, looking it over. The next place I was going to check out was a shooting range that had just opened up about a month ago, a little ways from the griffin market. And, since I had no problem with firearms, it seemed like a good place to check out.

There were lots of ponies out enjoying the sunshine, most of them were unicorns with some earth ponies and pegasi mixed in. Canterlot was the unicorn capitol of the world, as well as being the capitol of Equestria. Some ponies smiled and waved at me, and I did the same. Today seemed like it was going to be a good day, and despite not having a job at the moment, I was in a pretty happy mood.

Eventually, I stood right in front of the building from the flyer, the muffled sound of gunshots coming from inside. It was a two story warehouse type establishment with a sign over the front doors that read: Celestial Shooting Range, just like the flyer(that also added: Equestria's first choice in firearms training).

Yep, this was the place. I smiled a little and folded up the flyer, putting it into my pocket. Then, I walked forward and pushed open the double doors leading inside.

Bang!Bang!Bang!

It was much louder, the sound of semi-automatic weapons became even clearer. It made my ears ring a little bit, not being used to being so close to guns this loud. The actual range was a few meters to my left; in two of the six booths, side by side, were two ponies, a unicorn mare and a earth pony stallion. They looked like they were having a challenge of some kind.

"Ah'll show ya who th' best shooter is, partner," the earth pony said, after dropping the handgun out of his month to reload it. "Gotta try better then that."

The unicorn mare in the next booth, snorted. "Oh, please, Shuffle. Guns were made for unicorns, you know that," the mare taunted. Her gun was floating in the air, surrounded by a light blue aura. The empty magazine fell out, and a new one magically slid itself to take it's place.

I knew that guns existed here, and have for a while now, but the only ponies I'd ever seen fire one was either Big Macintosh, or Applejack. They were both earth ponies, so I was used to the whole -tongue the trigger- thing(as weird as it was seeing it at first). I'd never seen a unicorn fire a gun, though. Seeing it now, it just made clear the fact once again that magic made everything easier.

Big Mac can reload pretty fast, but seeing the magazine actually float into the gun, which was also floating, with such ease. I don't know, it was kinda like cheating to me.

The gunshots started up again when the two went back to their challenge. The gun using magic recoiled a bit. Compared to the earth pony way of shooting, though, it was minimal.

"Those two never know when to call it a day," a elderly female voice said in amusement behind me. I was expecting to see a mare, but when I turned around, I was surprised to see that the speaker was a griffon. "They've been at it for almost three hours now."

I starred at her, noticing that one of her claws were covered in large scars going all the way up to her shoulder. I didn't mention anything about them, out of trying to be polite. "What are they trying to prove?" I asked the elder griffon. It was more so to keep the conversation going then anything else.

The griffon rolled her eyes. "Who's race is better at shooting. Though, it should be clearly obvious who's better out of the two."

I turned back to the firing range. "It's the unicorn, right? I mean, levitation just seems a lot easier then using your mouth."

"Exactly what I said. But Shuffle doesn't seem to agree." the griffon said with a grin. "Though, I'll give it to those earth ponies, they are a persistent bunch. I would've never believed they could shoot a gun, let alone hold it, it I hadn't seen it for myself first claw. It's a pretty weird method." So, looks like I'm not the only one who thought that the tongue to trigger thing was odd. Nice to know. The griffon then added, "But there is a race that's better then both, ya know."

I looked back to her. "Really, who? Pegasus ponies?" Wouldn't they have to use they're mouths, too? Or, could they use their wings as fingers? I've seen some pegasi, including Rainbow Dash and Scootaloo, do push ups with them.

The griffon gave a hearty chuckle. "No, of course not. It's griffons, ma boy, we're the best when it comes to weapons of any kind," she said, her beak forming a cocky grin. "Others just don't compare. You've probably never been told this, hell, half the ponies shooting guns don't know, but firearms were originally made by griffons."

I blinked. This was news to me. "Really?" I said in surprise.

She nodded. "Yep, come over 'ere for a second, child, I wanna show you something." She motioned me with her scar covered claw. I followed her over to one of the tables holding the antique guns that were just for show. She picked up one of the handgun models(a nine-millimeter cutlass), the same way an ordinary person would. "Look closely at the design. The grip. The trigger. Do they look like they were made for hooves?"

I shook my head. "Actually, no. They don't," I answered.

She gave another nod, then stood on her hid-legs, aiming the gun with both claws. "That's because guns were never intended for pony use, at least not at first." She put the gun back on the table and went back on all fours. "They were made by griffons, for griffons. And trust me it's a lot easier to shoot when ya have claws. Or, whatever those dull claw things you have are."

"They're called hands, ma'am," I corrected her.

"I see, hands, huh." She uttered, before getting back to the conversation. "Anyway, ponies may have taken the designs and such that the Griffon Empire traded with them for gems years back, and took them a few steps forward. I'm sure you heard of the magical energy weapon prototypes. But the original idea, that was all us, baby." She finished, with more then a hint of pride.

That ...actually made a whole lot of sense, and here I was thinking ponies made guns first. Though, that did raise a good amount of questions. One of them being the one I was highly curious about at the moment.

"Where did the idea for guns even come from?" I asked the griffon.

She motioned for me to sit down in a chair next to the table, which I did. After taking a seat in the chair in front of me, she began answering my question. "Now, if you want to know where the idea came from, you need to know a bit about griffon history," she started. "You don't mind, right?"

"Uh, well-."

"Of course not. If you did ya would have never asked an old hawk like methat kind of question." She interrupted, grinning. "Ya see, child, the Griffon Empire is united under one flag. But, the same couldn't be said around three hundred years ago. At that time the entire country was split up into five different states after the fifth emperor had died from sickness fifty years before, though most speculate that he was poisoned. Anyhow, Each kingdom was ruled over by a warlord. This was known to us griffons as the Great Division. Any questions so far?"

"Uh, just one," I said. "Did they ever find out who poisoned the king? If he was poisoned at all."

She shook her head. "Not exactly, though there are theories out there, one being that it was the emperor's own brother trying to get his claws on the throne."

"So, there's no actual proof?" I asked.

"Not in what we've found, no. Not that it really matters now, the damage caused by the old emperor's death has already been done and over with. Shall I continue?" I gave a nod. "Alright, so during that time, the five states that came about after the emperor's death were in constant war with each other, fighting over things like land and resources. Hell, back then I wouldn't be surprised if they fought over a bad trade."

"Wow ...that bad, huh?"

"Yep, there's one thing you should know about griffons, child. When we fight a war, we go all out; griffons are known as a warrior race for good reason." She explained, tapping her left index claw on the table. "It was no different back then, we followed a warrior's code(most still do), and the one thing you never did was break a contract. If you swore your allegiance to a warlord, it stayed that way until the contract was completed." She stopped for a moment. "Now, as for firearms, the griffons had many inventors trying to make names for themselves. The warlords soon began spending large amounts of money on new weapons and styles of armor, in a race to out do each other. At around that time one inventor, Silver Talon, drew up the design for the first firearm ever made, far more advanced then any crossbow, and just as deadly. She called it a musket."

"The first four warlords she went to didn't take her design seriously because of a few minor flaws, so she took them to the last warlord, who ruled over the east. He gave her a chance, unlike the others, supplying her with a limited amount of money to make it. She had enough to make three, and she proved their power by using them to kill a manticore."

"Whoa! Hold up a moment, she killed a manticore, with a musket?" I interrupted, not meaning to be rude. "Are you sure?"

The elder griffon chuckled, not seeming offended that I was questioning her tale in the slightest. "Well, it's either that, or she killed a dragon as some say," she replied. "I, for one, think that's just something griffons came up with over the years, a manticore is much more believable, don't you think?"

"I guess, when you put it that way, killing a manticore might not be impossible." A dragon would be impossible to kill. Even with a modern gun, I knew that for a fact without even having to witness it being tried.

"Anyway, after that," she continued. "The eastern warlord started having smiths help produce muskets for his army from better materials, using them, and later, bigger and better firearms to crush the other warlords, uniting the states under one banner, his banner. The empire's been like that ever since."

"So, this is this something all griffons learn in school?" I asked.

She smiled. "Of course, all children are taught the history of their country, rather their Equestrians or the zebra nation," she replied. "As I've said before, though. Griffons are warriors. Yes, we teach our young academics like reading and such, but we also teach them how to hunt, how to fight, and how to survive in the wild. We are hunters, after all."

I guess it's true what they say, you learn something new everyday. I never knew much about griffons to began with, but I've been curious, so hearing something new about their culture from the mouth of one was welcome.

"Thanks, I have something new to tell my daughter now," I said, smiling. "One of our old neighbors used to be griffons, so she's always wanted to know more about them."

"Well, I'm happy to share. Though, I don't think you came here for a history lesson for an old hawk, am I right?."

Oh, right. God, I hate it when I get sidetracked so easily. Ya came here for a job, Steven. "Uh, right ...you see, I found this flyer," I pulled the flyer out of my pocket, and placed it on the table. "It said you were hiring, and that you were looking for someone to lend a claw around here."

"Yer quite right, as you can see," the griffon said, gesturing around building with her claw. "This is a big place, and I'm not as young as I used to be. So, I need help keeping it cleaned and presentable."

"Soo, you're looking for a cleaner of sorts, then," I asked, plainly. Cleaning really was not my thing.

"Yep, that's right." The owner must have sensed my disappointment, because she then added. "There will be other benefits, of course."

"Benefits like what, exactly?" I asked, curiously.

The old griffon grinned. "Firstly, you'll get to use the range for free, as well as one other if you decide to bring a friend. It's only fair since you will be cleaning up the place. And, since I like you so much, I'll teach you a thing or two about firearms."

Alright, this was something I had to think about. I put my palm under my chin, tapping my finger on my cheek; I hated cleaning, if anything, the house was only clean because I never let it get too messy in the first place. One the other hand, however, I could use the shooting range for free(and never fire a gun before, so it was a plus), along with being taught by someone who had years of experience with guns. I'd also be getting paid, it was a job.

The latter out weighted the former in my mind, and the bits I had saved up would only last so long.

My mind was made up. "Well, ma'am," I said finally, a minute later. "Looks like you've got yourself a deal."

"Great, I thought you would," she replied. She held her claw out for a shake. "By the way, the name's Hawkeye, ex-member of the GSF."

I smiled, as I shook her claw. "Nice ta me ya, Miss Hawkeye. I'm Steven. Um ...if you don't mind me asking, what's the GSF?"

"It's the Griffon Strike Force."

"Ah, I see, so you're a military veteran," I stated.

She gave a proud nod. "You bet. Almost everyone in my family is military in one way or another."

After we broke the hand-claw shake, Hawkeye got up from her chair. I stood up also as she spoke. "Now that we're introduced, you can come back to my office and sign the paper work." She motion for me to follow her with a claw and began moving towards a gray metal door at the back of the building.

I raised an eyebrow, but followed. "Paperwork?"

"Yes, paperwork, child. A contract of sorts. I told you that griffons follow contracts, so you sign, and your job here is official."

"Alright," I uttered. What was with that grin on her face, and why did it feel like I was about to sign my life away.

XxxxX

For the last week almost since I began my new job, things have been going well. I didn't want to admit it, but being a cleaner wasn't as bad as I had first thought. Sure, I hated cleaning bathrooms and cleaning the range of bullet casings; true to her word, though, Hawkeye began teaching me how to shoot.

My stance was getting better, but I had yet to actually shoot at any targets, because, as the elder griffon had stated: 'stance is everything, you must master one before you can get better at the other'. She was like an old martial arts master, and in a way, she was a master. Her skills using guns were no joke, and I witnessed that for myself first hand when she bulls-eyed two paper targets at the same time with a pistol in each claw.

I felt bad for admitting it, but that was something no pony other then a unicorn could possibly do.

"I can honestly say that I love you,
so why can't you say it, too.
All the times we've spent together,
on this night that'll last forever."

I tapped my foot to the beat of the music as I sat on the couch. I didn't have to be at work for another two hours, so I decided to relax until then, just listening to the radio in peace. It was only nine in the morning; I was still quite tired, but if I went to sleep now, I'd wake up late, and I doubt that would be the type of excuse my new boss would want to hear.

A little while later, I got a knock on the door.

Bam!Bam!Bam!

Actually, it was more like banging then knocking. I rose up from my stop on the couch and walked over to the door, unlocking and opening it. Standing there on the porch was one of the princess's earth pony guards, and from the way he was breathing, it seemed like he galloped all the way here from the castle.

I raised an eyebrow at him, giving him a look of concern. "Uh ...are you okay?"

The solar took a few more moments to catch his breath, then looked up at me. "Sir Steven, Princess Celestia needs you to come to the palace at once," he said, sternly. "It's urgent! The elements are being gather as we speak."

The elements? That meant that she was calling on Twilight and the others! I starred down at the guard. "What happened?" I asked, with the up most seriousness.

"The princess will brief you when you arrive. But, right now we must make haste! Please, come with me!" The guard didn't even wait for a response, he just turned and galloped off towards the palace. I quickly closed and locked the door, then sprinted to catch up to the blue earth pony.

If the guard was acting like this, it had to be serious. But, exactly how serious? Did some old enemy of the princesses past come out of hiding? If that was the case, then what the hell did they need me for, I couldn't use magic; sure I was highly resistant to it, but that didn't help much in the past. I could still be effected if the caster was strong enough.

"Whatever, I'll find out when I get there," I uttered out, as I turned down the next street.

XxxxX

The throne doors were magically pushed open by one of the unicorn guards stationed outside the door as I walked in. The long red rug leading up to throne where the princess of the sun and the moon sat, both looking as divine as they had before. From what I could see everyone was accounted for, including a few extras like Apple Bloom, Sweetie Belle and Scootaloo.

"So what's up-!"

I would have continued greeting them all, but the looks on their faces kept me from doing so. It was complete expressions of either sadness or grief, or both, even Pinkie Pie's mane had deflated for crying out loud, and that didn't happen often. I stopped near the steps of the throne, my mind was racing to try and think of a reason.

What in the world had happened to get everyone like this?

"What's going on here? Is it Discord again?"

Oh God, what if this was Discord all over again. The last thing I want is for that crazy dragon, thing, whatever he is, to twist my mind again. Being that guy's jester, almost hurting my friends. Not to mention I needed so much therapy to get over the complete mind fuck he put me through.

Celestia gave me a sad look, then shook her head. I didn't like that expression, whenever she was sad, that meant something was terribly wrong. "No ...compared to something like this, I would rather it had been Discord." Oh no ...this has got to be really, really bad for her to say something like that.

Apple Bloom trotted up to me with her head down, when she looked up at me, I saw that her eyes were red and puffy from crying. She put a hoof on the back of my hand. "Steven ...Ah, Ah don't know how t' tell you this, but," she stopped for a moment. "There's been incident at Little Horn."

I felt my heart run cold. Little Horn ...oh God, please don't let it be the school. "Incident! What incident?" Apple Bloom sniffle, but said nothing, so I turned my attention back to Celestia. "What's going on? What happened at Little Horn?"

Luna answered me this time. She sounded just as sad, if not sadder, then her sister. "We got a report this morning," she began. "A guard charged with protecting the school opened fire on a zebra convoy wagon that apparently got too close, thinking it was enemy troops ...he was wrong, and one of the zebras-." The night blue alicorn didn't look like she wanted to continue, so Celestia took over.

"It was a terrible mistake. The wagon was full of refugees, but by the time they noticed, it was already too late. One of the zebras retaliated by sneaking into the school and setting off a pink cloud agent."

"Wait ...p-pink cloud, as in cotton candy pink cloud, right?" I knew of no other pink clouds besides those. Or, maybe that was what I wanted to think in some form of hope.

Twilight shredded that hope into tiny pieces. "No, this is way worse then anything Discord would make," she replied in an angry tone of voice. "This pink cloud is made from necromantic magic. It was made to kill, and kill slowly at that. The cloud itself has high levels of magical radiation, so staying in the cloud for too long is harmful, even if you are wearing a radiation suit. We have medicine for the radiation, but even if that doesn't kill you, the toxins in the cloud will."

Celestia gave a nod, then added sadly. "One of the teachers, Sergeant Buttercup got her class out in time by levitating them out of the second floor window, but ...I'm sorry, Steven, Rose Blossom. She wasn't among those students."

At that moment, it felt as if my whole world came crashing down around me. They was an uncomfortable silence in the room. The only thing that coursed through me was disbelief at what I had just heard.

Out of nowhere, I gave a small chuckle, getting a surprised look from everypony. "C'mon, guys, this is just mean," I said, nervously. "Y-you shouldn't joke around like that." Denial.

"Steven ...darling, you should know us better then this. We're not joking in the slightest," Rarity said, sadly looking down at her hooves. "I'm sorry. But, this is the truth."

"No, no it's not." I argued. "Things like that don't happen in Equestria. They just don't." I turned, giving a weary grin. "So stop kidding around, and tell me what's really going on. I mean, who put you up to this, you can't honestly think this is funny."

"Steven." Celestia trotted down from her throne until she was on the last step, right in front of me. Way was she looking at me like that? "I know this isn't something you want to hear. Believe me I do." She reached out to put a hoof on my shoulder, but I stepped back, knocking it away. Her expression saddened even further. "Steven ...Rose Blossom is-."

Deny it! God damn it, deny it!

"Stop lying to me!" I turned and faced everyone of them, glaring as I backed away from Celestia. "All of you, just stop! Joke's over!"

"We would never lie to ya 'bout somethin' like this, sugar cube," Applejack said.

I shook my head, ruffling my hair with my hands. This was not happening! This was not real! Rose was coming back home! She was!

I tripped over my own feet, falling on my backside. "You can't expect me to believe something like that!" I continued. "My baby girl's coming home. She gonna show me all the spells she's learned. And, and she gonna be just fine and happy as always!"

I felt a hoof on my shoulder. I glanced up, seeing that it was Apple Bloom. She was crying.

And, I didn't seem to notice.

But my tears were starting to break to the surface as well.

I starred up at her with pleading eyes, trying to hold back the sobs that threatened to come forth. A part of me wanted this to be a lie, but another part knew that my friends would never lie to me.

"Apple Bloom," I said. "Please tell me that this is not true ...Rose Blossom, she's okay, right?"

"Ah wish Ah could, Steven. But," she sobbed a bit. "Ah'm sorry, R-Rose Blossom's gone."

The denial had set in, and now it has passed, leaving me with nothing but an ache in my chest. It felt like, my heart was being squeezed by cold hands. My little girl ...my pride and joy was ...I didn't even want to think about it.

I let out a small cry, placing my hand over my face, my other hand gripping the rug. "No ...oh God, no. My little girl." Apple Bloom hugged me, trying to comfort me as I broke down into a sobbing mess.

"Ah know …Ah know it hurts, but Ah'm here for ya. We all are," she whispered gently. "It's gonna be okay."

"N-no it's not," I uttered. "Rose Blossom, all she wanted was to make me proud, to show me that she could handle herself without me. I made a mistake, I should have never let her go. I knew something like this would happen."

"Ah loved Rose, too. That little filly was like a niece t' me. This is all ma fault, Ah should have never built th' school ...if Ah hadn't, none of this would've happened."

I was upset. I was heart broken. But, I couldn't blame Apple Bloom for this ...no, someone else was at fault. The soldier who opened fire on innocent refugees, the zebra who bombed the school. At the core of it all, though, there was only one who could be blamed for all of this grief and misfortune. And it wasn't Apple Bloom.

"No, Apple Bloom. It's not your fault." I muttered. I pushed out of the hug as gently as possible, and stood up, glaring at the one mare who caused all of this. "This is all your fault, Celestia."

The others gasped. Twilight was quick to jump in and back up her teacher. "Steven, I understand that your mad. We all are, but how could you say that? The princess is hurt by this just as much as we are."

"Twi is right, it ain't no ones fault but them zebras," Applejack added. "Ya can't blame the princess fer this."

"Oh, really. Fine, then tell me this. Who was the one who picked the soldiers who'd guard the school, Applejack, huh?" I began, before pointing at the princess of the sun. I was angry. I had to blame someone, and Celestia was the first one to come to mind. "Who picked where the school would be built, right at the border of the same nation we're fighting. Celestia, that's who!" I turned my attention back to the alicorn, glaring. "I told you. I warned you that putting the school that close to the zebra nation was dangerous. But, you said it would be fine, that nothing would go wrong, the zebras were friendly. You promised me that it would be safe for her, Celestia. Now thanks to you, and your poor decision, my little girl ...she's gone, and she's not coming back, ever!"

Everyone in the room was speechless, and Celestia looked down, utterly defeated. I let out a shaky breath, I couldn't stay here anymore, I needed to leave. Without a second thought, I turned and started walking towards the double doors of the throne room.

That was when Scottaloo's tomboyish voice called out to me. "Steven!" When I did stop, she flew over to me, hovering just above my shoulder. "You can't just leave, we have to talk about this. I-I don't think you should be alone right now."

"There's nothing to talk about," I said, glancing over at her. "I want to be alone." I continued walking.

"But-."

I stopped and turned. "Just leave me alone! What part of let me be do you not understand! Do I have to say it another way!" I yelled at her. Scottaloo stop in midair, a hurt expression forming on her face. I frowned. I walked the rest of the way and shoved open the doors, getting the two unicorn guards attention. Nothing needed to be said, they didn't say a thing to me, but the looks of pity they were giving told me that they knew about what happened.

When I got home, the whole house seemed ...different, empty. Rather then being homey, it was complete torturer, the memories of all the times me and Rose had played here. The birthday parties and even the small conversations at dinner.

And what made it all worse, was that Rose Blossom's birthday was coming up in a few months. My little girl was suppose to turn ten. I fell next to the coffee table and started sobbing loudly ...there was no more angry, just crushing regret.

I should have kept her home, put Rose in another magic school. If I had went with my gut, Rose would still be here now.

"I'm so sorry, baby girl," I cried. "I'm so sorry."

Little did I know at the time, what would happen to my little girl could be seen by most as something worse then death.