• Published 6th Feb 2016
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Fallout Equestria: Fogwhistle - Super Hurricane

When the world needed the truth, they were locked away. Now a Bookworm of vast knowledge is freed after 2 centuries, and soon the very future of Equestria lies within the secrets he keeps.

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Ch 2 Everyday's a Dog Day

Chapter 2 Everyday is a Dog Day, Whew!

"I think it's fair to say that the promise of confidentiality is based on the confidence that what you're being told is true, ... You lose right to any confidentiality if you lie. Sources are whistleblowers - they're people who'll tell you the truth to change something."

Present Day, Congait (Old Kongo) (or rather 1 and a half years before Littlepip leaves the stable)

Someone once told me that war never changes. I responded bluntly with a hoof to the jaw followed up by a loaded plasma barrage point-blank into his chest til he was nothing more than a cooked carcass with giblets on the side. On the battlefield, war is always changing all around us, from the sneaky to the brute, from the tactical to the unbalanced, evolution of war always varies on the one who has the advantage. Heck, at one time, we were smart enough to install satellites in orbit to see everything and everypony, but now, we are all stranded in the thick fog of war that pits us all against one another for survival, dominance and the need to change things for the better, regardless what the cost may be.

Equestria is merely a fraction of the violence, carnage and devastation that the rest of the world endured during the war, and even now, rebuilding it from the ashes is what the Enclave plans to do...but in a slightly more dangerous region. One in which the fog of war is actually a advantage for one such as my brilliant self. Really wish I was in Equestria instead of Zebrica though, given it's three or more times the size of that burnt-out radland.

"Damn, if I'd look any more fresh, I'd be the stud of the world." I said, gazing merrily at the chipper gray Pegasus in the chipped mirror making duck-lip poses. Truly, there was no one more dashing and clean-looking than I after a few minutes in the Haz-Mat Shower inside my private quarters. Then again, most Enclave officers don't even have a shower in their tents which earned me quite a bit of grief in general.

But whatever, I'm perfectly happy with the rank I hold now, no need to go any higher given the added responsibilities I have. Head Commander Shady Smog, that's what most call me when they see this handsome, roguish mug...why am I kidding myself? Almost no one in the Enclave sees who I am under that ridiculous air filter mask due to a contract I signed on as a recruit.

Tch, and now I have a loose split-end on my brown mane, carefully parted 3:7 in the front and cropped in a fashionable way but doesn't get in my gleaming blue eyes, oops, almost got caught loving my own reflection again. Probably the unicorn DNA in me from my great-x5-father, I think, since my family has always been attracted to our own reflections, and the fact we're extremely narcissist in general.

Apologies to those who have that condition though. Either way, I was perfectly decent with my looks despite wearing that stupid helmet in public, knowing full well my face would bring the ladies come by the Vault-full. Or Corral, seeing that I am currently stationed in a small village over in Congait, Zebrica known as Neo Oasis. (The old Oasis was in Everfree Forest, naturally.) Checking to make sure my cot was rolled up, my toothbrush cleansed and rinsed, and my footlocker locked tight, I casually placed the sour-smelling rebreather helmet over my head.

Ughh, strawberries. Minty Fresh must have gone through my equipment again for laundry day, blasted jerk. Still, all systems green, E.F.S. and S.A.T.S. functioning normally and my ammo supply of energy cells was at full capacity for my blaster. I'll admit though, even though I got this rusty, yet trendy Pipbuck off a trader for 200 caps, the radio function was shot and the compass was not exactly useful due to the magnetic fields Zebrica was known for. Stupid magic bullet thing doesn't work half the time either without causing my gun to explode in mid-burst since it can't determine how the weapon usage is set.

'Let's see what we can do today. Perhaps run the men through a series of drills, or fire at those pesky buzzards, or beat up a gang of Trappers?' I thought, pushing aside the tan tent flap out into the dusty, crowded camp outside. Naturally, the 90 degree heat struck me hard and fast, forcing me to sweat a little bit through my hooves given I have yet to adapt to such warm climate.

As usual, it was a cornucopia of both chaos and order, with the Enclave 78th Southern Battalion/Volunteer Corps acting as the main defenders of Neo Oasis and the locals, well, they just kept to their business trading and building with the zebras and various equine species that came by. For those unfamiliar with the first Oasis, it was basically some fancy city deep inside the center of the Everfree Forest in Equestria made out of trees and plant magic, but was quickly abandoned once word of bombs falling came to the attention of the deer population. Of course, from what our archeologists and researchers found from samples from the forest, the former Oasis inhabitants poured various mixes of zebra potions into the roots to speed up the forest's growth and evolution so it would be able to defend itself during their departure to a reserved Corral in Zebrica for the next 200 years. So yeah, we hang out with deer, zebra and bucks, so what?

All the same, it felt kinda natural to live in a town surrounded by trees that weren't murderous, with good fertile soil and enough talismans to get clean water from the toxic rivers nearby. And in return, our Volunteer Corps provide security, fed the hungry and treat stuff like chronic wasting disease on the poor deer with certain potions that not even zebra shaman can replicate. And by town, I mean square houses made of plywood, demolished bricks, rusted metal frames, cardboard and so on, shanties according to the locals.

Part house, part shop, they served to shelter deer and other equines awhile providing special services and goods. Us? We mostly set up a barbed wire fence, layers of sandbags (which thankfully were not radiated), a few guard towers, a shooting range, a mess hall, several cantonment barracks for soldiers, armory/ammo despots, and specialized single tents for pegasi like me, in the center of Neo Oasis.

Am I rambling again? Huh. I tend to have a bit of long-windedness sometimes talking to myself, but then again, the snazzy black hat on my mane makes it hard to engage in conversations with the lower ranked officers on base. Not to mention the occasional chuckles of the smoking ice cube on my rump from the stallions, whom I discipline harshly but fairly with push-ups. Tch, it's not my idea to have something like that tattooed on my butt for the rest of my life, but it's sorta why I got ranked so high. More on that later though.

Here and there, the vendors sold fresh fish recently caught from the radiated streams, offer fresh tap water via LifeStraw technology, cut up wild boars for jerky and the occasional steak (note, our boars, due to the megaspells, ended up several times their natural size and are drawn to the soil Neo Oasis has, making them easy prey for the pitfall traps), sew up traditional congait clothing and various assorted textiles, and so on. Aside from the usual gang propagenda posters of centuries gone by, this was one of the few cities that equines of all ages prosper without going to bed hungry or thirsty, so long as they don't hurt others in the process.

So anyhow, I'm just minding my own business taking in the exotic culture of the zebra street vendors selling their wares and dodging the occasional street urchin (who on occasion like to steal my near-limitless supply of empty wallets), when I heard the thunderous clapping of hooves coming towards me in a thick cloud of dust and dirt.

"COMMANDER! BIG, BIG, BIG NEWS!" Naturally, all hoof traffic came to a stop as the Enclave Recon Armored scout known to me as Acid Drip rushed in and tackled me hard, knocking my light-barded body to the ground as well as some of the wind out of my lungs. Even the giraffes nearby, as mellow as they normally were when guarding the shantytown area, readied their shock-spears in expectation of a sudden attack.

"Ooof....Acid, you had better have a darn good reason for crashing into me like this." I grunted, slowly turning over on my side before getting back on all fours wobbly-like.
"Sorry, Commander. But we just got word from a scouting patrol several miles from here of a sighting regarding General Arrow Wing. Since you weren't at the tent, I was scrambling all over and some of the dirt got in my visor." Acid saluted, his head held low as to not meet my eyes. With a brief snort, I glowered at him with a bit of impatience at the news offered.

"And? Several miles where exactly? It's been at least a week since we lost track of his convoy, seeing that most of his escort and his personal Bombing Chariot was torn apart for meat and scrap metal, with him being the only body not found at the crime scene." I growled, recalling the S.O.S. signal and all the charred bodies on the decayed soil outside the village.

"Well, thing is, it's at that Elephant Graveyard site that has recently been covered over with a dome of bones. You know, the one that those pesky Laughing Dogs have been hanging around, shooting missiles poorly at Raptors and such?" To this, I nodded as I recalled such a settlement existing. Unlike Equestria, in which the Diamond Dog's personal castle was destroyed by a Balefire Egg, some of them swam for miles on end to Zebrica for their 'cousin's' sanctuary, the Hyenas. Give or take some radiation and inbreeding after a few hundred years in the Corrals, and poof, the Laughing Dogs were created from the fusion of those two races. Pains in the hindquarters if anything, but mostly kept to themselves looting, defacing and devouring the dead all over Zebrica.

"And you're certain they saw him in that area? Last I checked, there were at least 40 of those mangy beasts roaming about, and a lot more inside." I queried, knowing that if we mounted a rescue mission and suffered even minor losses, High Command would clip my wings in a heartbeat. Heck, they'd do that if the general wasn't in the Laughing Dog's clutches.

"Pretty sure, and they seem to be wearing leftover Raider armor. In any case, you're needed at the War Room." That made me flinch a tad. Had I mentioned how much I hate raiders, the absolute vermin of this world? One of my first commands once I got to this continent was pest control, and yet somehow, they were able to flee back to the Equestria wasteland via Saddle Arabia before the bombing runs splattered their remains across the savanna.

"Tch...well, at least I can pretend they're raiders." I muttered to myself, annoyed that I wasn't able to exterminate the raiders/slavers completely (but I had saved thousands of lives in the process and freed hundreds more from slaver captivity). Trotting into the red War Room Tent, I counted at least 5 or so Lieutenants in full armor sitting around a plastic table with a 3-D hologram of Zebrica, along with it's various landmarks, the terrain, and so on. Naturally, none of them saluted me per my original orders as I stood in front of the table with Acid stationed nearby the entrance to deter eavesdroppers.

"So, what'd we got? I got the gist of the situation from Acid, but are they interested in ransom or something?" I asked around the room, somewhat racking my brain for their names without much luck.

"Hmmph, although that might be the case, we have been intercepting chat on the short-wave radio transmissions around Congait and Neighgeria. Apparently, those mutts knew EXACTLY what they were doing and plan to have a bit of a hand-off for fresh balefire eggs and launchers." One of the Lieutenants snorted, banging the table with his hoof causing the hologram to destabilize for a few seconds.

"Oi, oi! Careful with that, it took me three weeks to salvage new parts for the projector." Another exclaimed, shooting daggers at the hoof-banger angrily, who merely shrugged in a lax fashion.

"From who? Most of the factories that manufactured those weapons were scorched to dust, and the dragons certainly keep to themselves in their private corral bunkers." I inquired patiently, knowing that missions were underway to restore those factories in order to give the former slaves regular jobs with a 45 cap per day salary. Corral bunkers, btw, are like massive underground 5-star hotels compared to the usually dangerous, cramped Vaults, in which the Talismans never go out and fresh, non-rad food is available for their populations, and without any govt experiments for that matter as well. Only zebras and Zebrica native species can go into them though due to the high security around the doors and walls.

"Who else? The infamous General Coney, the mad shaman Unira. He and his legions of religious soul-snatching fanatic hybrid zebras have been a pain in our hindquarters long before you've arrived, claiming multiple victories by stealing the souls of fallen commanders and extracting intel on everything they know." A slightly, more built Pegasus said, poking a green button on the projector to reveal a rather stern-looking zebra with a long horn protruding from his forehead, sporting a thick handlebar moustache and wearing the typical green LRA (Luna Republic Alliance) military fatigues. Next to him were multiple hybrids like Zonkeys, Pegaras, Zebgons, Llbras, Zebels, etc, all decked out in reinforced liquid armor barding from head-to-toe, armed to the teeth (both figuratively and literally, of course).

"Tch, zebra hybrids. Ever since Corral 18 and 19 were conjoined, those random patchworks have been popping up all over doing odd jobs and causing havoc. Word is that Coney's been abducting pegasi, unicorns, mules and anything on four legs for 'pure species' experimentation and burning entire villages to the ground, killing anypony that is unfit for proper breeding or soldier brainwashing." A gruff-sounding Enclave officer stated, which I admit soured my mood somewhat. No matter what, kidnapping colts and fillies for drafting irritated me. "We can't allow the general to get into Coney's grubby hooves, given under enough torture, he'll break down and reveal all sorts of classified data on the progress we've made over the past 5 years."

"And we certainly cannot negotiate, correct? That's off the table?" I asked, only to receive distant nods, in which I grinned slyly, "In that case, gentlemen, we take the element of surprise to our advantage and take him back."

"Don't be absurd! Just because you've been the top ace in the last 13 War Games don't qualify you for a search and rescue mission-"

"Actually, it does. As far as I'm concerned, the old ways won't work on these mangy beasts, and given into account it's located on Tatzlwyrm turf, we need to move quickly before the exchange occurs or those things will decide to eat the general and anyone nearby." I noted, recalling those decrepit creatures ate a Vertibuck that last time I visited that spot (luckily, the crew bailed out just as the muscular tri-jaw crushed it inward with a gut-wrenching explosion).

"If it's all the same to you, we'll offer our assistance in freeing this general of yours." A male zebra said calmly, decloaking his presence nearby on the left side of the table, somewhat taking the group by surprise with shouts and cries of astonishment. "Although you may not have the numbers, you should have more than enough weapons and equipment for my brethren to prepare themselves for a full-on assault."

"Deal." I smirked beneath my mask, causing a few Power Armored lieutenants to gasp and faint from shock. "Always did admire the various equines in this place, it'd be an honor to fight alongside if just for this venture. Armory is the red shack to the left of the mess hall, tell the Quartermaster here I give full authority for gift transfer."

"As you wish, we'll be ready at the gates for army conjoinment in several minutes once all of our forces are properly armored and armed." With that, the zebra cloaked himself once again and vanished through the folds in the tent, awhile I was seemingly glared at menacingly at by the heavily armed pegasi.


"You know what. You just handed over Celestia knows tons of our gear and weapons to this city's ragtag militia just to boost the numbers up a little bit, without even consulting us." One of the Enclave officers growled, in which the others concurred with him.

"Hmmph, that stuff was getting old anyways, relics of the past and unfit for modern warfare. If anything, I gave them proper hand-me-downs, awhile giving our forces the new and improved Power Armor that have been manufactured by Steel Mill and his co-horts in the 3-D Printing Factory a few miles from here. Lighter, more mobility, but durable enough to take a tank shell and not shatter. I merely gave him the hand-me-downs, as well as those useless battle saddles that don't fit on our backs. Besides, I've seen them in action, they'll do quite well for this mission. Dismissed." That, of course, was an order, in which the sullen lieutenants left quickly without further complaint.

'With any luck, we'll be done long before supper.' I thought, tapping a few buttons on my pipbuck to initiate a full charge of AP for the mission ahead. As well as sending a coded transmission to the upper fleet to inform them of the general's capture and retrieval, though I knew all too well they would be partially against it. Whatever, those old coots didn't scare me given their lack of real-life war experience. Checking over my uniform barding once more to make sure it was at 100% strength, I steeled myself as I proceeded to walk over to the wooden arches entrance.

Roughly 10 minutes later, my confidence held out upon seeing the rows upon rows of over 200 equines standing slightly apart from the 100 Enclave Pegasi, all decked out in old school recon/power armor, or even their own personal barding and battle saddles. Among them, I picked out Bongos, Buffalo, Bushbucks, Duikers, Elands, Impalas, Oryxes, Gerenuks, Sables, Waterbucks, Roan Antelopes, Rhinos, a few Hippos (who although were not equine, came for the battle), Sitatungas. Gazelles, Kudus, long-faced Hartebeests, haggy Wildebeests, Kobs and of course, a lot of zebras from the crowd.

"Good to see all of you can make it. But before we go, I'd like to remind all of you that the war is over, and that we should all consider each other equal regardless of what we look like. If any of you think otherwise, you're on front-line cannon fodder duty with Gem Bolt over there." I said calmly, pointing to the 8 foot tall heavily-armored Pegasus standing at full attention in the front. Naturally, Gem Bolt had no weapons and had the simple duty of charging straight-on no matter what. Nopony or otherwise took my offer thankfully, meaning that my lessons on equality were working well enough, or maybe they were too scared to be blown apart in the first wave.

"Very well then, everypony and equine stick close, my device is fully charged for a two-way Fast Travel (though a return would take several hours to charge)." I stated, locking on the coordinates of our future destination awhile making a note to see if Airtanks can be transported via this method later on.

Needless to say, a flash of golden light nearly blinded me as the Fast Travel essentially de-atomized and re-atomized me and the others in a matter of seconds, which as one could imagine, was disorienting and woosy to those who were unused to traveling with this method, but not my battle-hardened shock troops who quickly helped the recruits to their hooves. I shook my head to remove the dizzying spots from my eyes, feeling only barren dirt beneath my hooves unlike the fresh, green grass of Neo Oasis. Apparently, our 'spawn point' was less than a mile away from the graveyard which loomed menacingly in the distance, in which our presence was hidden by a massive 40 ft balefire blast crater. No clicking from the Pipbuck though, which meant the half-life had been spent quite some time ago.

"Eh, me head. That smarts-" Everypony shh-ed the annoying, complaining Bongo, as Gem Bolt lumbered over to the edge of the crater to peer out.

"7 Tangos, most of them on the outer rim with sniper rifles. I count roughly 2 packs of 30 by the entrance...all armed with Hellhound Claws and sawed-off shotguns, though their lack of ammo belts show they've been wasting rounds. We need some sort of distraction to split them up." Bolt stated over his silent communications link.

Tch. Even though the shotgun rounds weren't much of a threat, those makeshift custom claws could carve our armor quite easily. Still, I had a very simple plan, flexing my wings outward and nearly knocking over a gazelle packing Uzi heat on her battle saddle. Focusing on the air moisture around me (which was humid, despite the record heat Zebrica was known for), I slowly began to condense and reform the water vapor into a thick, puffy steam cloud that was emitted around and outward from my body in a matter of minutes, simply by mixing cold and warm air masses with water droplets inbetween. Of course, although it didn't faze the other Enclave soldiers, the others just gawked and gasped backing away from the dense, thick fog that was building up and out in all directions around me.

Yep, that's what my mark symbolizes, though that's not the only form of 'gas' I can control, but right now, there was a imprisoned general to save. The fog rose higher and higher, expanding in all directions as I pushed myself to the absolute limit, knowing that by perspiring my weather magic could cause the fog to stay in place for the next few hours around the graveyard dome. To put it simply, those mangy hounds would have only a few inches of visibility, not enough to target on sight.

A flick of the hoof was all the signal Gem needed to charge right in like the maniac pony he was, thundering and clopping the dusty floor with raging eyes going 0 to 40 mph in less than a few seconds. Gonna say, I like his work ethic even with all that armor on as he plowed, trampled and gutted multiple targets in the way with his bare hooves, and in under a minute, I could clearly hear the loud boom of the front of the boneyard gates splintering and exploding on impact with the muscular Pegasus's head, as he continued on in a straight line. Unfortunately, given my plan, Gem was to continue going straight til he reached the other side and then back to base, meaning the rest of us were to clear out and eliminate any hostiles inside the base. So basically, easy part over for him, hard part for us.

So we carefully moved in towards the miles-high compound made up of bleached white centuries-old bone stacked on top of each other, a mammoth dome with attached elephant skulls protruding from the sides, in which dog-mounted rifles pointed out of the eye sockets and mouth. Okay, I'm not much on description on enemy bases, but I can honestly say it's the most ill-defended settlement in Zebrica. Even a filly could break in with a crowbar. But the walls were reinforced nonetheless of the toughest bones around, so barging in the front gate was our best option.

Even as I studied the dusty, barren terrain leading up to the bone-made cavern, I recalled that this area was only a small stain of corruption compared to most of Zebrica. Not even the most vile territories in the Equestrian Wasteland compare to the terrors I've seen these past three months, terrors that caused many a commander to flee in sheer panic before being shot into particle dust for desertion.

For example, entire forests of trees that move on their own power, leaving only the skulls and leftover armor of platoons in their wake. Living sandstorms popping out of nowhere, sucking victims dry until they are nothing but mummified husks that are eternally preserved sinking into the dunes below. Mines filled with hundreds of thousands of Laughing Dogs, forcing zebras and ponies to bust rock for raw jewels and gold in exchange for little food, water and rest plus whippings and the occasional forced love we despise. Ancient, talisman-made guardians stirring up trouble and forcing dragons to leave their caverns to feast on nearby villages. And those were a few of the smaller problems we face.

So anyways, because of the megaspells our idiotic ancestors fired centuries ago, this entire continent was a nightmarish deathtrap, and the non-equine locals were mostly crazy because of it. Well, save for the Legate, but most of them left for Equestria for some unexplained reason. Eh, bunch of weirdos, good riddance to them.

Naturally, this is the part in which we are all heroic galloping in through the sheet white mist, shooting down perched camping snipers on the skull roosts and at the same time, trying to do it in a cautious manner. Why cautious? Because as I said before, Tatzalwyrms can feel vibrations on the surface and could burst out at any time, that's why no explosive equipment was allowed on this mission. Kinda a cakewalk actually, though we did end up with a few lucky shots hitting a bunch of gazelle that reverted back into one with multiple wounds. Did I mention that a bunch of these Zebrican equines have magic of their own stored in their horns? No? Hmm...

In any case, we came through the battered remains of the front gate, and instantly Laughing Dogs who were cowering before opened fire blindly through the fog, in which I gave the word to strafe and flank on various sides. I could plainly see that the graveyard extended for at least 5 miles given the gaping tunnel of bones Gem left in his wake, as well as the trampled corpses in his wake. Here and there were the cries of the fallen in the thick white mist, as horns and hooves gored through soft barding and flesh, or chewed rapidly through with spark battery-fueled laser fire.

More and more roars, barks and yips could be heard as I could tell that they were rallying to bottleneck areas of the bone tunnels across from us, using narrow gaps in the corridors to duck and fire behind. With a wave and clockwise turn of my hoof as I took cover behind a half-eaten elephant corpse, I signaled for a tear-gas grenade to draw them out coughing and hacking, in which laser fire and bullets tore them to bloody chunks. Once I was certain the way was cleared, I signaled to have the tunnel widened and have Bongos close by to check for any of those rapid beasts approaching awhile we did so.

Come to think of it, they were still quite on edge despite the fact the old armor should keep them protected, but given their ears are like a 10 mile sonar, I suppose next time I'll offer them something to ease the tension to flee. Woops, stray round nearly clipped my flank, have to keep to the walls and find proper cover before returning fire with my blaster. Did I mention It's kinda stupid that everypony lower ranked gets battle saddles, but Enclave commanders are EXPECTED to hold the stupid gun with our mouths and aim at targets? Sure, the fact it's a regular blaster meant no recoil, but it was still tricky to use.

And now the rhinos, ever so slow on the run up, now barged through the hailstorm of gunfire, stampeding and ruthlessly goring dogs left and right. Heck, the small caliber bullets barely slowed them down even on the places without rusted enclave armor. Their ropy tails, now with the long stingers, lashed out to gut the survivors that avoided trampling by sliding next to the walls due to the low vision rhinos have.

Signalling the others, we moved in into the main zone of the bulbous skeletal structure, as various teams spread out down makeshift hallways to seize nearby armories and food storage areas (the latter being dozens of corpses). It was there we were confronted with the majority of the laughing dog armada, perched onto several dozen ledges across from us and taking careful aim with grenade launchers, automatic machineguns and the occasional bola sling. Above us, however, was an ivory cage made of elephant tusks suspended above roughly a 100 ft in the center of the room. The laughing dogs, their vision not affected by the thick fog that was now dilapidating from all around me, smirked gleefully with short yips and chuckles.

So basically, the rhinos forced most of the dogs onto the further half of the room, and my group filled in the other half. And of course, seeing that I have no luck to begin with, our missing general was up in that cage given into account I could make out a hoof sticking out one of the bars. Naturally as rehearsed, those with wings would climb up the walls assisted by the sharpshooting Boer Goats awhile I lead the rest of the regular crowd into the fray, targeting those with the most potent weaponry/thickest barding first and then mowing down their leaders, then the sub-leader and finally the grunts and ammunition suppliers. A simple, yet effective plan I dare say so myself, as I clopped my hooves together twice to signal the second one of those mangy fleabags attempted to get a fix on us.

"Hahahahahahhahaha! So, the mangy ponies have come to play, ehahahaha? Good, more bodies to sell!" The Laughing dog who announced that was immediately vaporized by one of the Bushbucks carrying a prototype LAER rifle on his back, smirking nastily as the mob of Dogs began to fire towards us once more, most of it minor small-arms fire that ricocheted off our thick armor. I, of course, strafed amongst the herd as they counter-fired their more effective plasma rifles and laser weaponry at the hordes, melting and disintegrating them as they ran at us full-tilt.

"Sell this, ya mutt." I muttered with the laser pistol in my mouth, annoyed that once again, the S.A.T.S. was still unavailable due to the long, long recharge rate. 'Probably shouldn't have wasted those shots on target practicing crows.' I thought, scolding my need to get my aim down pat. Blasting a hole through a particular spotted laughing dog, I could see pretty much all the carnage around me with my 270 degree vision (since everypony has that sort of thing, given our eyes are on each side of our skull instead of straight forward like those maniac super-apes way out in the rad jungles).

And by carnage, I mean a whole ton of horns and fangs clashing against each other, goring and ripping into exposed flesh with yelps of fury and outrage. By now, most of the batteries of the power cells were depleted so hoof to paw combat was initiated as a result for those with depleted ammunition. Others simply took upon themselves to plow through the hordes that leapt upon them, trampling and stomping wildly with their hooves despite losing blood from the bites and claw cuts inflected over time. Those who made it to higher ground shot off the snipers on the ridges one by one with the deadly precision the Enclave was known for, taking flight to drop off spare ammo belts here and there to those who called out for a reload.

Of course, to me, all I cared about disabling the bastard's capability to blow both themselves and my group in the process. Being as insane as they were, by blowing themselves up, they could create fresh cooked meals for many, many more of their corpse-eating brethren, like those sacred rituals when zebras in funerals place their dead to be eaten and taken away by vultures. Twisting my head to take in my surroundings, I fired upon the left paw holding a dead mutt's switch attached to his leather vest, causing the laughing dog to howl in agony since I ended up cauterizing his arm in the process before a Wildebeest gutted him from behind in their typical sneaky fashion.

"Keep up the pressure, don't let even one break the perimeter or reinforcements will be pouring in!" I yelled, just as 3 bullets impacted my barding and wobbled off, making me wince given the pain wasn't fully absorbed. 'Tch...should've got the Dragonhide Barding, that liquid kelvar does wonders.' I thought, returning fire awhile strafing around another bonepile.

Of course, given into account how time is so slow in war, we mostly finished off the alpha leaders of the pack in a matter of minutes. Not that we didn't suffer some casualities due to the laughing dogs crude full-auto submachinegun handling, as quite a bunch of Sables and Roans were sent to the back on stretchers for quick operations of surgery and medical application. To put it bluntly, once we thinned out the pack on the left and right flanks, it was relatively simple enough to cut down the rest by a volley of plasma grenades from above, melting the least resilient into green radioactive goo piles and heavily scalding the armored and fiercer ones into a berserker frenzy. Once they lost their minds and discarded the armor entirely, I directed the rest of the Enclave (or at least, the remaining members who weren't maimed, slashed or throat severed) to utterly eradicate them before with a full assault, head-shots only.

"Is he well? Can he get up on his hooves?" I asked one of my lieutenants...Dusty Sands, I think his name was, as he hovered down and landed nearby as I uncapped a MRE bar from my satchel, admiring the carnage of war that I orchestrated. The taste of 200 year alfalfa and oats was a bit bitter when I chomped into it, but whatever, beggars can't be choosers when the factories that produce this stuff are still in the midst of being repaired. I topped it off with some Neo Oasis Water from the canteen, the taste of cherries still lingered inside of it. Ugh.

"Well...I can't say he'll be running for a while, and they apparently tore off a wing just to try eating it on a makeshift bonegrill, using ancient medical remedies to seal up the wound. We could graft up a new one with the new stem cell implant, but it may take a month for it to grow to a adult stallion's size." Sands said plainly once I finished wetting my tongue, reminding me that we were seriously lacking in the science applications. "He was a bit incoherent for the most part, but assured me and the other medics that none of our classified information was extracted despite the senseless torture sessions and pre-war drugs applied."

"So basically he didn't talk. Good to hear then. Request a immediate retreat extract with a signal flare for Med-Raptor pick-up at the rendezvous point." I breathed a sigh of relief, when out of the corner of my 270 degree vision, I spotted a small pack of particularly muscled Laughing Dogs that managed to break out of the assortment of Enclave, laughing gleefully awhile mauling and ripping apart my soldiers as easily as tissue paper. "Darn it!"

Removing my laser pistol out of the holster with my mouth, I turned to Sandy with a fixed glare. "Continue on the mission, I have to stop them from getting reinforcements and/or blowing up the place." Naturally, he saluted proudly awhile puffing out his chest and proceeded to rally the stallions who were trying to keep the other lethal beasts at bay. Myself, I galloped full-throttle with wings pressed on both sides after the two mutts, attempting to lock on to their mangy flea-infested tails.

And ended up down on a slippery, gooey slope of foulness where the half-eaten corpses were laid before skinning and the like, skidding and rearing my front hooves bouncing off walls and bodies through a pitch-black corridor. 'I am REALLY going to need another shower after this.' I thought, attempting to right myself up awhile checking the SATS for red markers of my targets. Taking off my gas mask (Celestia it stinks!!!!), I chomped and lit up flashlight from my satchel aiming it forward.'I may have ended up really far below or something, can't even hear gunfire or anything.' I thought, shaking in place to get the majority of grime off my coat as I walked through the narrow passage for what seemed to be a hour or so.

Of course, what happened next caused me to gape in amazement dropping my flashlight illuminating the vast cavern made completely out of rare, colored gems of every shape and size. 'This....this must be worth thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of caps!' I thought, knowing that this amount of gemstones would fetch a far price of the plastic bottlecaps (since unlike in the Equestrian wasteland, plastic water bottlecaps are worth a lot more in Zebrica...currency is tricky nowadays). May end up affording some more turrets or a trade route mercenary convoy.

No, no, no, focus!!!! Those mangy mutts fled down here for a reason. Can't exactly climb back the way I came, so there must be a hidden passage in his jewel-embedded chamber. Reaching down to my blaster, I flicked the safely off with my tongue and began to wander in my regular sneaky fashion. Wait. It's dark, what the heck am I doing? Flicking on the Pipboy's external light, the cave was illuminated once more enough for me to see where I was going. Of course, it took me several minutes before I came across the first one lying on the ground with his throat mangled and chewed off, tongue hanging out in their comical fashion.

"Weird, maybe a falling out occurred?" I thought, right before a gelatinous glob of acid hit my right side, knocking me off balance onto the floor. Okay, maybe not betrayal, more like a ambush by the creatures that live in these caves: the Tyzalwyrm Hatchlings. Smaller than a Doberman and uglier than sin, they emerged from the soil and popped out of the walls, munching on the diamonds like they were made of rock candy studying me. Thankfully, there were only about ten of them that I could see with my Pip-boy, and no adult-sized ones by far.

"Fine, you guys want to go so badly, I'll send you to Tartarus itself!" Getting up to my hooves awhile wincing at the pain inflicted (as the acid had managed to burn my skin considerable through the non-armored par of my uniform), I took careful aim and blew the nasty wyrm's 'head' clean off in a spray of gore, in which the other hatchlings took that moment to charge right into the slaughter I was about to unveil upon them. Namely my secondary weapon, the Thousand Suns railway rifle of which my Pip-buck produced for me, unleashing a widespread automated hailstorm of steel spikes that I spread left and right at those crude brings that constantly spat at me with acid spit.

And yes, it hurt like heck and a half seeing it felt like a cup of hot coffee being poured on my tail, but given it took about half a minute to exterminate them all, I counted the melted skin tissue and exposed muscle tendons battle scars. 'Now...let's see
what you got...' I thought, weakly walking over to the fallen body and doing some scavenging. His gun was lousy beyond any repair, only a few .45 rounds, some radiated lamb chops and oh! A stimpack, lucky! Snatching that up, I carefully injected it into a major artery and brought it out again, allowing the wounds to patch up rather nicely though the remainder of the burning pain existed.

"Next time, I'll bring a bucking medic." I hissed, reloading a new magazine of railway spikes into the chamber and set it back into storage for the time being. No doubt the lack of a suppressor caught the Laughing Dog's attention, but I kept on the trail through the narrowing tunnel, galloping at top speed with wings pressed tightly to fit through.

Call it destiny right then and there, but I paused for what seemed like ages when coming across a single stalagmite made of pure gold in my path. Then again...a quick lick with my overly sensitive tongue confirmed it was Amber. Strange that a single apple was suspended inside of it, but hey, a apple that had seeds untouched by the toxic radiation of this world? Okay, mainly in Equestria the radiation exists, but pure apple seeds were worth big caps back home where our scientists can learn ways to replicate and clone them for feeding the starving pegasi populace.

'This may sting like heck, but I'll ignore it for now.' I thought, walking several feet away from the frozen apple, planting both frontal hooves into the floor and judging the distance and velocity with my 270 degree hindsight. With my tail tucked lower than usual and my body fully braced, I slammed a explosive back kick 75 mph into the center of it, shattering the pillar like glass. "Ow...." I moaned for a minute or two, hopping one hind leg from the next to try and ease some of the pain jolting to my brain and decided to try a bit of Addictol to numb the bitter sting.

Ah, that's the stuff, even if it was ironic when applied multiple times. No matter, shuffling my flank around, I located the apple lying on the floor...but oddly enough it was a yellow-colored one. Or golden, I didn't know for sure. Regardless, I may have had some second thoughts but the temptation to gain those seeds for a early retirement made me reach down, snarf the apple off the floor with my rather long tongue, chew and then spit the seeds into one of my uniform pockets for safe storage.

Of course, to say the experience was trippy would be lying, as the entire cavern was suddenly whited out into non-existence, suspending me in a endless void that stretched out to the farthest corners of reality. Like a canvas that had yet to be painted on, with me as the lone speck in the center. Naturally, I gaped in wonder taking all this in for what seemed to be a eternity when images of the world appeared like holograms, but they didn't seem to be from 'my' world. No...these seemed to be images from a time when the world wasn't at war, of the ones who would be heads of the ministry, joking and having fun. Almost like they were friends? I could see Cloudsdale, not in shambles, of Canterlot not covered by Pink Cloud, of Ponyville not as a Raider dumping ground, with the inhabitants carefree and happy and not attempting to kill one another over a can of radiated beans. But even then, I could see a bit into the future afterwards, of Twilight and Discord, of Flam and Flim's 'magical substance', of alicorn projects and black budget projects that I clearly wasn't cleared for.

And then the library stacks formed out of the nothingness, solid, nonburnt books by the thousands piled on top of one another in long rows around me. I could see charts, blueprints, graphs, memos, entire archives of the past popping up all around me, almost over-stimulating my own intelligence. It was like a treasure trove of the greatest secrets of the pre-war era, locked away for centuries, but now I could see all of it and not retain a scrap of what I just learned since there was far too much to know. Naturally, I was so preoccupied by what surrounded me that I missed the flittering of rather huge wings behind me, followed by a light tap to the left shoulder.

And that's when I turned to look up at the behemoth, incredibly ugly-looking winged caterpillar-like creature looming over me with it's studying multi-compound eyes, just it shouted out in a voice that shook the heavens and basically frazzled and overloaded my brain to the point of blacking out: "WHAT THE HECK IS THIS?"

Yep, I am not a very lucky pega-
You blacked out! LEVEL UP!

Natural Perk: Level Head- +3 Perception when in a firefight, though SATS will often be switched off at those situations. Also, you may end up being unwilling to cooperate with others despite the large numbers you command.
Born to Lead- Your high charisma makes your soldiers follow you into battle...though they won't take a bullet for you. You may also be able to trick those with certain mindsets to loan you lots of caps or information.
Specialty: War of Fog- Casts a widespread weather spell of deep fog to disorient and partially blind foes unsuited to such measures for several miles, lasts about 15 minutes. Costs a lot of AP.

Author's Note:

And that's about it for now...though I may make a new chapter in the next few months, though it may not be as long. I just want to give a shoutout to Kkat for inspiring me and making a wonderful Fallout Crossover fic.