Ponyville Bouquet

by Cascadejackal

Chapter 1: Red Buttons That Do Stuff


By Cascadejackal


This is a non-canon spin-off of my other fic, FoE: Wasteland Bouquet, and I'm assuming most of my readers are at least passingly familiar with it and the characters there-in. If you haven't read it yet, please do. ^_^

If you read this first, be warned that there will be spoilers.

I hope you enjoy this little adventure and that our favorite group of caravaneers makes you laugh and smile. So, without further ado, on to the story!



Steel hooves clanked and echoed throughout the abandoned facility, an army of robotic ponies freshly awoken from their two-hundred year slumber by long-dormant security systems and sent in pursuit of those who would intrude upon the buried past.

Said intruders were presently taking shelter in a large, circular room, firing through the only doorway in or out and trying to avoid the answering storm of magical energy that crackled and hissed past them, scorching the far wall, the mechanical horde a wall of unfeeling steel that filled the corridor, pressing ever closer.

The largest of the group, a grey griffin by the name of Ibis, stuck the barrel of his shotgun around the doorway and fired blindly, rewarded with the sound of breaking metal and a small explosion as the heavy weapon, loaded with slugs as always, did its job. "Shot, you doing okay?" He called out to a young, charcoal colored earth pony filly, who glanced over at him with a scowl.

"I hate robots!" She slammed a fresh clip into her hunting rifle and reared up onto her hind legs, leaning out to get a clear shot at their assailants and opening fire without hesitation. Though her weapon was longer than she was, the filly handled it with practiced ease, working the bolt with one hoof and bracing the barrel with the other. "They're stupid!" She bit down on the trigger, placing shots into the metal ponies with an accuracy and speed that would leave most marksponies green with envy, turning another death-dealing machine to scrap with every second or third shot. A small beep from the device on her foreleg made her duck back behind cover. "And SATS keeps running out!"

"At least you can hit things without it!" The griffin waved his claw at a cream unicorn mare who was cowering behind a bank of machinery several feet away, her horn glowing green as she levitated her revolver up and fired blindly down the hallway. A few small clanks could be heard, the weapon lacking the power to seriously damage the ponytrons. "Lily! Aim, for Celestia's sake!"

"Shut up!" The cream mare yelled, refusing to leave the protection offered by the ancient piece of unfathomable machinery. "It was your idea to come here in the first place, Ibis!"

The griffin fired a few more times before ejecting the drum magazine from his weapon. "Shot's Pipbuck said we should come here, not me!" The empty drum was replaced with a full one. "Ain't that right, Shot?" He leaned out and fired, taking the leg of a ponytron off at the joint before ducking to avoid getting his head burnt off by an answering burst of crimson magic.

The filly nodded and broke cover just long enough to put a few rounds into the crippled machine's head, rendering it nothing more than an obstacle to slow the unceasing advance of its brethren. "Yeah! And right now, it's telling me I'm nearly out of bullets!"

"I'm running low myself! Rose, you nearly done? We're getting hammered!" The griffin called out again, this time to a white unicorn mare who was bolting back and forth between terminals and banks of switches, ripping access panels off and diving into their innards as she attempted to get the relic of a machine working.

"Almost." Despite the situation, she sounded perfectly calm, only raising her voice enough to be heard over the staccato beat of gunfire and iron hooves. She popped her grease-covered face up to blink at her companions. "I've never repaired a prewar teleporter before, and the maintenance manual was kinda worn out, but I think it's almost ready." She ducked out of sight again, her voice muffled as she rewired, hotwired, and jury-rigged the system. "I just need a few more seconds."

"We may not have that long!" The griffin yelled out, punctuating his sentence with blasts from his shotgun. "They're gonna be in here soon!"

The white mare scrambled out of the machine and started flipping switches, a small, satisfied smile creeping across her face as lights came on and a low hum filled the room. She kept low as she made her way to the cream unicorn, poking her shoulder with a hoof. "Lily, I need you to listen, okay?"

The cream mare nodded, reloading her revolver and floating it up to fire blindly again. She was starting to freak out.

"When the green light over there comes on..." The white mare pointed to a large light set into one of the many control panels. "Hit the red button..." She pointed to a very big button, surrounded by a yellow and black striped square. "And think of someplace safe, okay?"

"O-okay! What'll that do again?!"

The white mare rolled her eyes, less than impressed with the cream unicorn's lack of knowledge. "The teleportation spell takes a destination from your mind. You think of someplace safe, and it'll send us there. Understand now?"

"Green light comes on, hit the button! Got it!"

"Good. Can I use your gun?"

Nodding, the cream mare levitated her revolver and some extra bullets to her companion, frowning when the white mare took the weapons grip in her mouth. "Rose! Use your magic for once!"

The white mare blinked, a white glow surrounding her horn and the bullets as she stuck her head up and opened fire. When she ducked to reload, there was one less machine approaching the room, proving that aiming properly made all the difference. The cream mare, meanwhile, was crawling towards the button, eyes fixed on the light, waiting for it to turn green, going over her instructions in her mind.

Green light, hit button, think of somewhere safe. Green light, button, safe place. Green light... Hey, green light!

She raised her hoof and bashed the red button as hard as she could, the hum building to a low whine, the air crackling as a powerful magical charge gathered. Her trio of friends continued to fire at the endless wave of mindless machines that was only moments from overwhelming them, and she did her best to tune out the constant barrage of noise, desperately trying to think of anywhere safe.

Safe... Safe... Where's safe?! Oh, if only that place in Rose's storybook was real! What was it called? Ponyville? Where those Element of Harmony thingies were? And why's everything glowing all of a sudden? I feel-

A wave of blindingly bright magic washed through the room, and none of them were able to feel anything. When the glow faded, the room was empty save for smoke and sparks coming from the machines. As the first ponytron stepped into the room, it registered no signs of life, and the new information travelled back through the security systems. After a moment, their work seemingly complete, the steel army turned and began to clank back to their resting places.

Soon, the facility was silent once more, the ancient systems charged with protecting the building not concerned with where the intruders had gone, only that they were no longer present.

A/N: Well, things are off to a roaring start! Where will our intrepid group of friends end up, and what adventures await them?

This is just a side-project for me to work on when I need a break from Wasteland Bouquet, but I'll still be giving it my all!