Equestrian Space: Short Stories

by Shirlendra

The Old Terraformer

In a small dusty town on a dusty moon in the far reaches of the Equestrian solar system sits a small dusty general store. Where a positively ancient pony brushes dust from the dusty shelves of the store. The Sun is a permanent fixture overhead but citizens have learned to live with the constant sunlight over the years. The pony was once a prominent Terra-former back in the days when that meant something in the system, but now those days are passed and the pony is content to do a bit of midnight sunbathing and read the news, but not the current stuff. No, this pony prefers to read outdated news.

Of course, if this pony read current news or listened to gossip talk shows the pony may have taken precautions. But the pony did not, and so walked home without a care in the world, unbeknownst to the pony there were rumors of strange goings on around the smaller colonies. Disappearances some say, Murders whispered others. Ships mysteriously vanishing, strange goings on.

But none of these things bothered the old pony because, as was determined earlier the pony did not keep up with the news. Now, as the sun hangs in a nearly permanent high noon the pony walks along the same dusty path, in it's same dusty jacket and hat as always. Admiring, once again the ingenuity of ponies. The ability to create livable, breathable air and atmosphere from near nothing, the ability to shape the worlds and the moons to their will and wondered briefly as it did every day if improvements could be made to the weather processor to allow for heavy enough clouds to cover the sun, just for a little while.

Lost in it's own thoughts the pony failed to notice the silence as it neared it's domicile, a three story affair of glass and concrete of the ponies own design. If the pony had bothered to activate the dwellings proximity sensors it might of noticed the alarm being tripped, but there was never a need, few ever came through the town and it was the kind of place you knew every-bodies name. Safety, always a priority was once again forgotten out in the rim by those who feel it is safe to leave a front door unlocked, in case a neighbor needed a cup of sugar. But as the pony opened the door, stripped out of the dusty clothes and took a shower the only thing going through its mind was how nice it would feel to be dust free again and enjoy the cup of coffee and the news.

A fine thought, not nearly as fine however as the high velocity round which found it's way through the base of the ponies skull and into the view-screen. As the mist containing the ponies last thought settled onto the coffee table and the mug of slowly cooling coffee. A figure steps out of the artificial shadows created by the blinds over the windows to block out the overhead sun. The figure looks over the rapidly cooling corpse, wrapped in the bathrobe and stillness. The figure growls through it's suits built in communications, "Only Equestrian."