• Published 17th Jan 2015
  • 347 Views, 6 Comments

Fallout: Equestria - Curtain Fall - Requiem Mori


War rages in the north, raiders striking isolated towns. But there strikes are more organized and more dangerous than before. And behind all this, lies an ancient secret that can change the fate of many, or doom them all.

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Prologue: Pack Mentality

Fallout: Equestria - Curtain Fall

Prologue: Pack Mentality

The hoof slams against the side of my head, even as I turn with it, lessening the blow. A good hit, considering everything. I force a smile onto my face, knowing it would infuriate my captors more than anything I could say. A thin trickle of blood runs down the side of my mouth, even as I eye the other ponies. The one who hit me was a dumpy little stallion, his mint coat splattered with blood. None of it was his, however. I recognized his type from a mile away. If not for the chains binding my hooves, he wouldn’t dare strike me. A coward at heart, used to barking orders and expecting others to jump to attention. A dog that is all bark, and no bite. I suppress a sneer as I see his horn, even as I tower over him. He fancies himself a lord amongst ponies, a leader and a commander. Let us see how the dog fares in a room with a wolf. The mare with him eyes the chains on my hooves, then looks back up at me. I give them a slight rattle, just to remind her that I’m bound. If she were the one in charge, this would be far more dangerous. She’s careful, cautious. Perhaps she does not quite trust the chains to hold a pony like myself, but dares not voice her complaints. A full head taller than most, I’m large, even for an Earth Pony. The pegasus mare doesn’t seem to trust my strength, even as her companion seems to puff himself up.

“I’ll ask you one more time. Who are you, and what are you intending?” His voice is almost refined, the voice of one used to speaking, and of being listened to. Such a silly little pony. So secure in his supposed strength that he fails to see the world around him.

My own voice is gruff as I remain somber, ignoring the blood splattering on the floor. “I say once, da? Give smoke, then talk, not before.” My tone has been destroyed by years of smoking, but what is a mare to do? They’ve been a part of my life so long that I’m just used to it now, Tartarus take the consequences.

He looks at me in severe irritation, raising his hoof to strike me. Before his blow lands, however, his companion moves to block him. “Mayor, it ain’t worth it... just let her have a smoke, and then see if she be givin’ us answers... I ain’t thinkin’ that hittin’ her be doin’ much now anyways...” She steals another look at me, her green eyes lingering on my smoke grey coat.

I smile again, feeling the warm blood trailing down the side of my mouth. “That all?” Spitting to the side, I snort, chuckling as I see the stallion’s anger rise again. “Please... I get hit worse by little filly.”

His companion presses her hoof onto his leg, forcing it down. “Please don’t be hittin’ her fer that Mayor...” She looks into my eyes, shuddering slightly at my crimson glare. “Ah dun think it’s a good idea... let’s just see what she has ta say.” The mare looks back at the stallion. “Alright Mayor?” Even as she asks him, she offers the end of a cigarette, which I take, letting her light the other end.

As smoke fills my lungs, I slowly exhale, letting it leak from the corners of my mouth. Not bad... not as strong as I like, but not bad. The mayor looks at me impatiently, clearly waiting for me to start talking, even as I see the sun setting on the horizon. I debate taking another long pull before responding... but such luxuries can wait until later. There’s business to do now. “Smoke Screen.” I blow some of the smoke at the mayor, much to his apparent discomfort. “I am Smoke Screen.” My lip curls up in a smile as the two in front of me don’t seem to recognize the name, but one of the guards starts to move forward.

“Excuse me, Mayor?” The guard seems to brace himself for the explosion, almost preemptively cringing from the other stallion.

“Yes, what is it?” The mayor snaps at him, clearly not appreciating the interruption.

“Her name... I remember seeing it in a report... something about raider activity?” He looks up at me, past the dark charcoal front to my otherwise blood red mane. Brushed to one side, it hid some of the scars on the right side of my face, a legacy of my life until now.

“R-raid-”

The mayor never gets to finish as I snap the chains holding my hooves to the ground, the metal links only slowing me down for a moment. With a vicious lunge, I have the mayor by the throat, my hooves threatening to snap his neck like a twig. “Not just raider... Dusk Raider.” As if to punctuate my point, sirens start to blare as gunfire erupts outside. The mayor of New Neighington, a small town to the north. Rules with an iron hoof, demanding everything go his way, growing fat off the proceeds that his father had hewn out of the Wasteland, creating this lonely trading outpost. Most importantly to me, however, a coward. “Drop weapons, or I break him, then you, da?” My hooves on the mayor, I keep an eye on the guards, seeing them hesitate. The mayor’s assistant shuffles her hooves slightly, weighing her chances at taking me on, or rescuing the mayor. The sour look on her face betrays her thoughts of her chances without the others to back her up. The mayor, in the meanwhile, is squealing for his guards to listen to me, desperate to save his own hide. Roughly, I swing him around, using the smaller pony as a shield even as his guards continue to hesitate. “Now, let make deal, or you be very unhappy pony, da?”

~~~~~~~~~~

My ears flick as I hear gunfire, pressing down as I hurry about my business. Nothing to see here. See, funny. Not for the first time, and not for the last, I curse the loss of my eye. While I had grown used to it, the hard patch covering the empty socket was a constant reminder of what I once had, and what I’ve now lost. What I’ve lost. A joke, perhaps, considering I’m told my parents named me Lost Hope. Still, as names go, there are worse ones out there. My breath escapes from the mask I wear in a white vapor, the cold biting into my bones. My duster helped against the cold, but I was content in the anonymity that it granted me. To be fair, other than my eye, I was fairly unremarkable. Just a brown earth mare with a shotgun on her side and a knife on the other. Even the eye itself wasn’t too noticeable, as I tried to keep my mane over it, hiding the injury. Doesn’t do to let others know that my accuracy was rather terrible at anything other than point blank range. Still, it wasn’t a bad life I had, though it wasn’t good either. And the cold only made it worse. The merchant in front of me seems to be distracted by the gunfire as well, but this was the Wastes. Ponies got shot all the time. Surely it would die down soon? I clear my throat to get his attention again, several small bags on the counter. “So what ya say, pardner? These herbs fer those shells.” I had found several medicinal herbs, carefully mixing them into a minor healing poultice. Nothing too fancy, but far cheaper than a healing potion, that’s for sure. He nods his head, pushing the small box of shotgun shells over in exchange for the bags. I’ve dealt with him before, so he doesn’t feel the need to open the bags, just as I don’t feel the need to examine the shells.

Still, I hear the gunfire, crackling through the air, and the whoosh and crump of heavier ordinance. This was not a normal event. Not anymore. Still, if there was something I had learned through scraping my survival out of the wastes it was this. Don’t get involved, especially if nopony’s paying you for it. All it did was get yourself shot or worse. I snort slightly. I tried to play the hero once. I was fortunate to survive the encounter. I start to head away from the sounds of fighting, wondering if New Neighington would still be here next time I was up this way. Probably not. I had heard things about the mayor in the streets. A shame, really. As far as towns go, it’s not the best, but it was passable. Still, time to head out before the walls come crashing- My thoughts are cut off as the pony next to me is cut down in a sudden and brutal burst of fire, causing me to jump back, even as blood splatters the ground in front of me.

His killer quickly fires another burst, but I duck behind a stack of crates, even as wood chips fly over my head. “Lost Hope... ain’t a good place ta be right now, girl...” I pull up my shotgun, ducking back down as the top of the crates explode into more splinters, bullets raking the top. Typical raider behavior, it seems, just firing and... wait a minute. My ears flick. No, it’s not just indiscriminate firing, which means... My shotgun hits the ground as I whirl to face another raider with my machete in mouth. Covering fire. I should’ve known they were keeping pony’s heads down, but that’s not something most raiders did... who were these ponies? Still, I had one advantage over the unicorn mare in front of me. Magic is a powerful force, and one that I respect, even if I don’t understand it really. At this range, however, my own natural advantages come into play. She barely has time to bring up her rifle before my blade slashes down, hacking at her with the strength of an earthen mare. That’s the last thing she sees, even as I tilt my head down, letting the wide brim of my hat shield my eye from the blood. A shame, really. Still, it’s apparent that the fight isn’t going well... time to leave again, hopefully nopony will stop me again. I pick up my shotgun, sliding the sword back into its home. I am many things, but I’m sure not a hero.

~~~~~~~~~~

I wipe the blood off my hooves, the mayor lying dead and broken before me. Foolish ponies, thinking they could buy me off, then responding with violence when it doesn't work. It would have been so much cleaner if they had just given in. After all, I listen to nopony but myself. I do not take orders, especially from weak cowards. I ignore the pain along my side where a bullet had grazed me, leaving a weeping wound. Hardly the first one I’ve taken, and not enough to slow me down. Besides, I can’t show weakness. Not around the others. Funny, really. My raiders would die for me, and they do on a regular basis. But as soon as they think I’m vulnerable, they’ll turn on me just as quickly. I take a long pull on my cigarette, letting the smoke fill my lungs. Wretched habit, I’m told, but it matters not to me. Still the mayor’s assistant is the only living pony in the room, except for myself. I look at her battered form lying on the ground in front of me. Foolish, to try to fight me by herself, to match her strength against mine. Was she attempting to avenge her comrades? Make a last defiant stand perhaps? Foolish, but also brave. “What name... you fight well despite... everything.” I stand over her, my powerful frame dwarfing hers.

She coughs slightly, hacking up a bit of blood. “What does it matter? Ya just gonna kill me anyways... just make it fast.”

I smile as I kneel down next to her, lifting her face to look at me in the eyes. “Nyet... I see strength in pony, I respect that. I will let go once find what looking for, da?” I grin, looking at her as the town starts to burn around us, ashes rising into the dying light of the sun. “Or I offer job, if mare want. Not want any pony, only strong. I think can use you, or you go on, find other place.” I stand back up, letting her head back down. “But you need decide. We leave soon I think.” She’ll answer in her own time, if at all. The promise of power and security is enough to win many ponies to my cause, but I only want certain ones. I take a long pull on my cigarette again, letting the smoke fill the air as I watch the town fall around me, ashes and dust blotting out the dying light, bodies lining the street. No, I do not wish the weak. Their only use was to pave the road for the strong. I learned that lesson, amidst the bodies of countless battlefields. The strong survive, and the weak exist for them. I exhale, smoke blowing from my nose and leaking out of the corners of my mouth. Today was, indeed, a good day.

Comments ( 6 )

Well, that's one way to start a story.

Lessee where this goes...

5516070

Oh, I know where it goes. Getting there is the complicated part. :raritywink:

5516725

I know where it goes.

I don't, and that's usually the fun part. :scootangel:

5516758

That can work as well. :pinkiecrazy:

not bad, but your paragraphs are a bit heavy, making it hard to follow. I bet if you broke them up a little, you will have n easier read. other then that, I'll keep an eye on this.

5520866

Thank you, I'll keep that in mind!

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