Fallout Equestria: Tales of Chicacolt

by volrathxp

Chapter 1: The Moose... is Loose

Fallout Equestria: Tales of Chicacolt

Chapter 1: The Moose... is Loose

I, am Mulia Mild. Behold, my chocolate mousse moose. It will trample all your treats, be given first prize, and make me the greatest chef in Equestria.

In the dark city that is Chicacolt, heroes are born every second, and destroyed every two seconds.  It's a trippy thing when you think about it.  Every day somepony new tries to rise up and save the Wasteland, and they're put down just as easily.


Yeah... really trippy shit indeed.  I think.. No wait... lost it.  Oh there it is again.  I think it would be pretty cool if somepony could actually do some real good in Chicacolt, in the Wasteland as a whole.  Like that Ministry Mare... she was pretty... and so colorful... and...


And... purple!  Yeah man... she was purple... that was cool.  I don't know where I was going with that... Oh well...

“MOOSE!!!” A voice shouted from next to the chocolate stallion.  The Moose slowly looked over at his associate, a tan earth pony mare named Chocolate Swirl.  He waved his hoof in a sloppy wave.

“Oh, hey there Swirl.  Like... how long you been there?” He said.  Chocolate Swirl lifted a hoof to her face, and groaned.

“Moose, you've been staring at the fuckin' wall for like... five hours now.  I've been trying to get your attention!” The mare exclaimed.  “Seriously... have you been eating the sugar out of the bag again?”

“Umm.... no?” The Moose replied.  “At least I don't remember...”

“Ugh... Moose.  You're needed down on the factory floor, pronto.  There's some problem with the chocolate spinner,” Swirl said, groaning.  “Get your rump down there!”

“Okay, okay, I'm goin'.  I'm goin',” The Moose said, standing.  He looked back at the gray blank wall he had been sitting in front of.  Idly, the stallion tried to grasp some of the deep thought he had while he was 'meditating', but nothing came to mind.  He sighed, following behind the tan mare.  The two ponies made their way through the myriad of tunnels and pipework that belonged to the Marzipan Mascarpone Meringue Mafia's chocolatier extraordinaires, the Chocoholics.  Eventually they found themselves on the factory floor, where several of their number waited next to a highly complicated (at least it was complicated to The Moose) machine.  Their ears perked up at their leader's approach.

“Boss, we got a big problem.  The machine's kaput,” one of the earth ponies, a dark chocolate stallion aptly named Dark Chocolate, said.

“So... fix it?” The Moose said bluntly.

“That's the problem.  We can't fix it,” Dark Chocolate replied.  “One of the parts is broken.”  He pointed at the stirrer machine, indicating the worn sets of gears.  One of those gears was broken completely in half.

“So... find a new one?” The Moose continued on.  Dark Chocolate sighed, glancing over at Chocolate Swirl.

“Sugar bag again?” He said.  Swirl nodded, not meeting Dark’s eyes.  Dark Chocolate groaned in annoyance.  “Boss... we don't have a new part.  We're gonna have to go out and get one.  For that, we need your help.  Everypony needs to pitch in and all.”  The rest of the assembled ponies chattered in agreement.  The Moose nodded thoughtfully, before speaking once more.

“Alright, let me know when you've got the part,” The Moose said simply.  Dark Chocolate's eyes widened.  He grabbed a hat off of one of the other earth ponies, screaming into it.  After several minutes, he squashed the hat back on his hapless associate.  He coughed, and narrowed his eyes at the Moose.

“Boss... if I may.  What I'm saying is that you need to help us search for the new part,” he said.  The Moose blinked several times.

“Oh.  Far out.”

“So... here's what we're gonna do,” Dark Chocolate continued.  “Me and Cherry Cordial will go check out the abandoned offices to the west.  Meanwhile, you and Chocolate Swirl will go search the junkyards to the south.”  Chocolate Swirl's eyes widened.

“Oh no no no no,” she said.  “You can't do that to me Darky.  No way.”  Dark Chocolate shrugged.

“Sorry, Swirl.  But you know somepony's gotta keep an eye on the boss at all – hey where'd he go?” The stallion replied.  With a stealth that a pony of his size should not have possessed, The Moose had wandered off into the factory.  The rest of the factory was huge, but The Moose knew exactly where to go.  He always knew where to go.  The storage room where the sugar was kept.  The Moose really liked sugar.  He wasn't sure why, but it always made him feel pretty good when he had some.  He pushed open the door, inhaling the sweet sweet smell.

“Oh shit, he's in the sugar room!” The stallion heard a voice from behind.  Thinking as quickly as he could, he dove into a pile of empty sugar sacks.  The door slammed open, and the stallion froze solid.  Maybe if he stayed still long enough, they'd just leave him alone with all of his precious sugar!  Maybe he'd –

“Moose.  Come on, out of the bags,” Chocolate Swirl said as a bag fell off the pile, revealing The Moose.  The tan mare had a disapproving look on her face.  The Moose grumbled.

“Come on man, I just wanted some sugar,” he said.  Chocolate Swirl sighed.

“Okay.” She said.  “Fine.  But only a little bit.  We gotta get going to find that gear, remember?”  The Moose looked up at the mare blankly.

“Gear?” He said.  “What gear?”  Chocolate Swirl facehoofed.

“Seriously?  You were just there three minutes ago!” She shouted.  The Moose grinned sheepishly.  Chocolate Swirl sighed and yanked out several small packets of pure sugar from the shelf next to them.  She handed them to her illustrious leader.  The Moose took them gratefully, ripping them open and practically inhaling the white crystals.  He stood quiet for a few seconds as the sugar took effect.  A dopey grin formed on his muzzle.

“Pretty colors... oh hey there Swirl, how long you been there?”

It took Chocolate Swirl every ounce of energy she had to not strangle the earth pony leader of the Chocoholics.  A vein throbbed in her forehead as she groaned.  After several moments of glaring at The Moose, she hung her head in silence.

“Why me?!”


After the several agonizingly difficult minutes that it took Chocolate Swirl to yank the Moose out of the sugar room, the two earth ponies made their way out of the factory and into the empty streets of Chicacolt.  The Chocoholics' home base was a stone's throw away from the MMMM's main operations, but still far enough out of the way that travel between the two locations was potentially dangerous.  Thus, Chocolate Swirl had armed herself before the two left.  The Moose on the other hand, simply followed along behind the tan mare, his sugar buzz kicking in full swing.  The Moose never really cared about going outside the factory, and he usually never had to.  So why were the others making him leave now?

“Come on, Moose,” Swirl said.  “We've gotta get a move on, and find that gear.”

“Huh?  Oh.  Right,” The Moose replied, looking at the mare.  His skittering gaze had landed on the beautiful curves of the word ‘Sugar’, protruding out of the rubble on a half-destroyed billboard for Sugar Apple Bombs.  Mmm... those sound kind of good, he thought.  Chocolate Swirl rolled her eyes and turned around, continuing her bouncy trot along the street.  The Moose attempted to trot, but couldn't quite get the gait right, instead falling into a lumbering motion akin to a pony sliding on ice skates.  He slid right into Swirl's backside, knocking her to the ground.

“Moose!” Swirl shouted.  “Would ya cut it out?!  Geez!”

“Sorry, Swirl.  Say... where are we going anyways?” The Moose said.  Chocolate Swirl groaned.

“We're going to the junkyards,” she said simply.  “Hopefully we'll find the part there to fix the chocolate stirrer.  Now come on.  We don't want to take too long.  If we're out after dark, we may have to deal with unexpected company.”  The Moose, not really understanding what Swirl was talking about, nodded anyways.  As long as he got back to his sugar bags, he was okay with whatever they did.  The two ponies continued along, Swirl occasionally having to stop and urge her boss forward.  Eventually, the southern junkyards came into view.

The southern junkyards were on the outskirts of the city, and were largely uninhabited.  They were home to many a treasure, if one were to look hard enough.  The Moose had never been there before personally before now, and he chuckled as he admired himself in a shiny bumper sitting on a pile of junk.  It was so shiny!  And the way it made his ears look was funny, too!  He could hear Swirl over on the next pile of trash, sifting through it, looking for something.  The Moose consigned himself to sitting.  The earth pony pulled open another packet of sugar, having managed to sneak an extra one out of the sugar room without Swirl seeing.  The Moose grinned widely, inhaling the sweet sweet white stuff.

So... like I was saying beforehand, I think it'd be pretty sweet if that Ministry Mare came back, The Moose thought.  She was cool.  Purple.  And... I wanna say pretty.  Yeah... pretty purple colors.

“Moose!  Shit, come on man, we gotta get going!” A voice shouted from across the junkyard.  The Moose looked up slowly to see Chocolate Swirl running across a pile of trash towards him.  The tan mare was nursing what appeared to a hole that was spurting pretty red liquid out of her shoulder.  The Moose blinked.

“Oh hey Swirl... how long you been th --” The Moose started to say before Chocolate Swirl bowled into him, latching onto his tail with her teeth.  The mare ran as hard as she could, literally dragging the sugary stallion across the junkyard.  The Moose yelped in response.  “Hey man, whatcha pullin' my tail for?!”

“M'eve 'ot 'ompany,” Chocolate Swirl said, her mouth full of The Moose's greasy tail.  A gunshot rang out in the distance, a bullet whizzing past The Moose and into the dirt next to the two ponies.

“What'd you say?” The Moose asked.

“I said –!” Chocolate Swirl snarled, dropping the stallion's tail out of her mouth.  The tan mare tripped over her front feet, hitting the ground next to The Moose.  She sighed.  “Ponyfeathers.”  A shadow loomed over the two.  Swirl rolled over, grabbing her pistol out of her holster with her mouth.  She tongued the safety, disengaging it.

“Well well, two little ponies, out and about,” a harsh voice said from above.  A minotaur in power armor stood a few feet away, an assault rifle held in his armored claws.  “Don't remember telling you MMMM fucks to intrude on our territory.”  Chocolate Swirl narrowed her gaze at the minotaur.  This is bad, she thought.  This is really bad.  Why did I have to get stuck with Moose?  I'm gonna die out here, and it's all his fault!

“Hey man, who are you?” The Moose said.  The stallion was sitting on the other side of the massive beast, his eyes wide, but not with fear.  Swirl groaned.  He must have snuck out another packet when I wasn't watching him, she thought.  Just bucking great.  The minotaur spun about, blinking.

“How the fuck did you...?” He said, shaking his head.  “Fuck it.  You're on our turf now.  And the Cult of Iron Will doesn't take too kindly intruders.”

“We're just scrounging for a part for a machine,” Chocolate Swirl said, spitting the gun out of her mouth.  “Even you religious quacks can see that.”  The minotaur sneered.  “So be a peach, and let us go alright?  I couldn't find anything anyways.”

“I don't think so.  You were caught trespassing on Cult Territory, and I don’t feel like bringing you back for the Arena.  You get to die,” the minotaur proclaimed, lifting his rifle.  He moved forward towards Chocolate Swirl, when suddenly he went tumbling to the ground, his gun clattering out of his armored hands.  Swirl's eyes widened when she noticed that The Moose's leg was stuck out just underneath the minotaur's small legs.  The stallion was laid out flat on his back, snoring.  Chocolate Swirl groaned as she stood, picking up her own pistol and holstering it.  The minotaur was scrambling to try and get back up, the weight of his power armor making him awkward.

“Moose!” She shouted.  The Moose snorted in response, rolling over.

“Come on, Ma... five more minutes,” he muttered.  Chocolate Swirl growled, reaching out and biting down on one of The Moose’s floppy ears.  She gave it a solid nip, and the earth pony shot awake with a yelp.  He glared at Chocolate Swirl.  “Swirl?  Man, what is your problem?  Tryin' to sleep here.”

“Moose if you don't move your rump, we're gonna get creamed!” The mare yelled, pointing past the chocolate colored stallion.  The Moose glanced over, seeing the minotaur finally regaining his feet.  The Moose's eyes widened as the sugar kicked in full force, making the minotaur appear like he was a massive dragon that was breathing purple fire.  The Moose jumped to his hooves immediately.

“Shit, Swirl!  Why didn't you tell me there was a dragon?!” The Moose exclaimed, his feet moving far faster than his brain.  Which in the cosmic scheme of things, wasn't that fast.  The Moose fell over his front hooves in front of Chocolate Swirl, who facehoofed.  The earth mare grabbed onto The Moose's tail once more, dragging the stallion as hard as she could.  The Moose could only stare as he was yanked through the junkyard.  Chocolate Swirl grimaced as she watched the minotaur retrieve his missing weapon.  Swirl dragged the other earth pony around a particularly large pile of junk.  She huffed as she glanced out.

“Come out, come out, my little ponies,” the minotaur called out.  “Come out so that I can kill you.  I owe you that much for your insolence.”  Chocolate Swirl sighed, looking around for any sort of exit.  A section of the fence had fallen over nearby, providing a way back out into the city.  Swirl looked down at The Moose, groaning.  The chocolate earth pony had passed out again.

“Dammit, Moose,” she said.  “Why do I have to get stuck with you!”  The Moose rolled over, his hind legs in the air.  “Oh for fuck's sake.”  Swirl kicked The Moose in the side, forcing the stallion awake.  The Moose grumbled.

“Swirl?  What are you doing?” He said.  “Chocolate stirring ain't for another four hours.”

“Moose, we need to move!  There's a minotaur out there who wants to kill us!” Chocolate Swirl said.  “Come on!”  The Moose flopped over in a tangle of lanky limbs that somehow ended with him upright and standing.  He stretched his neck back and forth, grumbling at the popping sounds it made.

“Man... I think my sugar fix is coming down,” he said.  “What's this about a minotaur?  Where are we?”

“In the southern junkyards, Moose,” Chocolate Swirl said, glancing out from the junk pile.  The minotaur was still out there, searching through another large pile of trash.  “Fucking Cult of Iron Will, they think they own everything.”

“Oh.  Umm... like, I think we should probably go through that fence over there,” The Moose said, pointing across the junkyard.  Swirl sighed.

“Fine.  But you have to keep up,” she said.  “You go, I'll cover you if he sees us.”

“Swirl?  No, man.  You can't do that,” The Moose replied.  “We gotta like, do this together, man.”  Swirl nodded.

“Alright, fine, sure, we'll go together,” she said.  “Now come on!”  The two earth ponies bolted from behind the junk pile, drawing the attention of the Cultist.  The minotaur lifted his rifle, spitting a stream of lead towards the fleeing ponies.  Bullets struck the hard ground, kicking up dust into the air.  The minotaur cackled.

“Yes, run!” The power armor-clad beast shouted.  “Run, ponies!  I will find you!”  The two ponies beat hooves across the downed fence and onto the pavement.  A stray bullet struck the fence, ricocheting off and into Swirl's flank.  The tan mare yelped in pain as she hit the ground.  The Moose, not totally sure what to do, stopped in his tracks.  I gotta, like... help her!  Like that Ministry Mare babe would! The stallion thought, running over to where his friend lay, groaning as she held a hoof on the wound.  Blood poured forth from her flank.

“Moose!  Run!  Get back to the factory, now!” The mare yelled frantically.  The Moose shook his head fervently.

“No!  Swirl, come on, you can make it.  You gotta make it,” he said, grabbing onto the mare.  “Do you got something to patch it up?”  Swirl groaned loudly as he tried to move her.

“In my... in my bag... purple bottle,” she said.  “Hurry!”  The loud footfalls of their attacker sounded from beyond the fence.  The Moose scrambled to Swirl's side, digging through her saddlebag and yanking out a bottle in his teeth.  He moved back over, uncorking it and pouring a bit of it on her flank.  The wound began to stitch itself up immediately.  Swirl's face scrunched as she stood back up.  The Moose looked back up at her, smiling.  “Ooohhhhhohhhh, that’s the ticket... thanks, Moose.  Now let's beat street!”  The Moose nodded ecstatically, the two ponies galloping through the streets.  They ducked into an alley and into an open dumpster, breathing hard as the minotaur passed right by.  Chocolate Swirl held her breath for several moments of silence.  When nothing else happened, the mare let out a massive sigh.

“I thought for sure we were goners!” She said.  The Moose nodded.

“I thought we were gonna be like, breakfast, man,” he replied.  “Scrambled.”  Chocolate Swirl chuckled loudly, and sighed again.

“Moose, you did alright, you know that, right?” She said.  “Seriously though, thanks.  If it weren't for you, I'd be dead right now.”

“All in a day's work for The Moose,” the chocolate stallion said, posing.  His dramatic gesture was spoiled with a wince, and he put a hoof to his forehead.  “Ugh... my head feels way off, man.  I need me some sugar.”  Swirl rolled her eyes, reaching into her saddlebag.  She produced a stick of flavored sugar, a pre-war treat known as a Filly Stick.  The Moose's eyes lit up.

“Only if you promise to help me find that stupid gear,” Swirl said.  The Moose nodded immediately, grabbing the confectionary item out of the mare's hooves and downing it in mere seconds.  The stallion grinned widely, a dopey expression covering his face.

“Pretty colors,” he said dreamily.  His eyes focused on Swirl, who groaned.  “Oh, right.  Sorry, Swirl.  Where are we finding this 'gear' thingy anyways?”

“Well, if the junkyards don't have anything, we're going to have to check one of the factories we haven't repurposed yet,” she said.  “Trouble is, there's likely to be some security there.  We'll have to be careful.”


“Please hold still while you are being incinerated.  Thank you and have a pleasant day,” a robotic voice cut through the still air.  A jet of fire issued forth from the Ponitron's shoulder mounted flamethrower, earning a curse from Chocolate Swirl as she ducked underneath.  She fired her pistol in return, causing sparks to fly from the robot's legs.  Finally, the robot shuddered and fell over, repeating the same thing over and over.

“Error Error Error Error”

Chocolate Swirl sighed.  That had been the third of those blasted robots to show up since the two friends had entered the abandoned factory.  At least there hadn't been any turrets... yet.  Swirl glanced back behind her to where The Moose was sitting.  The stallion was busy studying a poster on the wall that creeped her out to no end.  It was a poster of that infernal Ministry Mare, Pinkie Pie.  The text on the poster had long but faded away, leaving the eternally creepy stare of the pink party pony.  Chocolate Swirl swore that the eyes on the thing were following her.  The Moose was far too busy staring back at the thing to even notice her, let alone the Ponitrons roaming the hallways.

“Moose, come on.  We're not even to the factory floor yet,” she said.  The Moose held up a hoof.

“It's like she's following me with her eyes, man.  So... so awesome,” he said, taking another swig of sugar from Swirl's second Filly Stick.  His eyes bugged out and he grinned as he stood.  He turned away for a moment and then back, screaming “Ah hah!” at the poster.

The poster, despite the fact that it was a poster of Pinkie Pie... did not move.  Chocolate Swirl facehoofed.

“Moose, we don't got all day.  I told you already, you gotta help me with this,” she said.  The Moose groaned, sucking down the rest of the sugary treat.

“Alright, I'm comin',” he said.  “Don't get your... umm... gee... I kind of lost where I was going with that.  Bye pink pony.  I'll be watching you too... forever...”  The Moose waved at the staring Ministry Mare and slouched after Chocolate Swirl as the two made their way through the offices down to where the main factory floor was.  This particular abandoned factory had once been a Sunshine Sasparilla factory, as evidenced by all the bottles lying around everywhere.  Chocolate Swirl silently hoped they would find the part they needed, or at the very least the others had found it already.  More time spent with The Moose meant more times that her eye twitched, more times she had to resist the urge to kill the other earth pony.

The stairs heading down to the factory floor came into view.  Swirl groaned in annoyance when she realized that the stairs had collapsed in on themselves, making travel to the factory floor all but impossible.  The only other route down was through the broken elevator they had seen a few halls back, as neither she nor The Moose had seen any other stairwells.

“Shit.  Moose, we gotta backtrack.  Stairs are all busted up,” Swirl said, feeling defeated.  “Gonna have to try and see if we can get that elevator running.”  The Moose nodded mutely, wheeling around to slowly follow the tan mare back the way they had came.  Swirl stopped in front of the rundown elevator and began to inspect the control panel.  She sighed.

“It's missing a fricking spark battery,” she said after several minutes.  She looked over at The Moose.  “You think you can poke around and see if there's an extra spark battery around, Moose?  I'm gonna try and jury-rig it, but if that doesn't work, I'll need an actual power source.”  The Moose blinked once.  He blinked again.  He blinked three times.  Swirl's face turned bright red.

“Umm... sure, Swirl,” he said.  The Moose started off down the hall.  After walking past several closed doors, he stopped at the poster of Pinkie Pie.  The eyes followed his every move.  The Moose stared down those eyes fiercely for seven whole seconds before tearing his gaze away.  What was I doing again? The stallion thought.  Something about a spark artery...?  I dunno, I didn't think that even existed.  The Moose shrugged.  It would come to him eventually.  It always did.

The stallion caught a flash of movement out of the corner of his eye.  A whirring sound emanated from down the hall, followed by a clicking noise.  The Moose turned, seeing a Ponitron rolling down the hall towards him.  The robot stopped directly in front of the chocolate earth pony, its red sensor scanning him.

“Halt, present identification.  Omega-level threat protocol is in place,” the robot announced.  The Moose blinked, saying nothing.  The robot repeated its statement.  “Halt, present identification.  Omega-level threat protocol is in place.”

“Pretty colors,” The Moose replied.  The robot said nothing for several long moments, before its sensor turned green.

“Identification override accepted.  Thank you and have a pleasant day,” it said, turning away from the stallion. It rolled away down the hall.  The Moose shrugged and started walking after it.  Maybe it knew where to get some sugar, he had supposed.  The robot stopped at a room, whirring as it opened the door.  Beyond  the door was what appeared to be sparkly paradise to The Moose.  Blinking lights and glowing boxes lined the walls.  The Ponitron scooted across the room, inserting itself into some sort of recharging pod.  The Moose walked in and sat down in the middle of the room.

“Wow...” he said.  “Pretty colors.”  The Moose looked around.  Many of the lights in the room were blinking ridiculously fast.  There were very many different colors from red to green to blue to yellow.  The Moose couldn't really make sense out of them all.  The more he stared, the more he fell into the sway of the lights.  He grinned widely, swaying in time with the blinking.  “Man... these are some excellent pretty colors...”

“Password accepted.  Would you like to launch program?” A metallic voice said from inside the room.  The Moose glanced up at the monitor on the wall.

“Umm... yes?” The stallion said.  The monitor began to scroll several lines of text.  The Moose blinked several times as the terminal beeped loudly.  A picture of a pink earth pony appeared on the screen.  Her blue eyes twinkled with glee.

“Hi there!!” She shouted.  “I'm Pinkie Pie and we're sure to be the bestest of friends!”  The Moose lifted a hoof.

“Umm... hi,” he said.  The pink pony on the screen gasped loudly.

“Omigosh omigosh!  You're a new pony!  It's been so long since I met a new pony!  What's your name?!  Oh do you like cupcakes?!  Do you like sasparilla?!  I love cupcakes and sasparilla!  Especially together!!!” She rambled on.  The Moose stared at the screen.  He blinked, and then nodded.

“Pretty pink pony,” he said.  “Pretty colors...”

“The colors are pretty aren't they?  You know what my favorite color is?” The computer Pinkie said.

“Umm... pink?” The Moose said.  The virtual Pinkie Pie gasped again.

“You're right!  It's pink!” She shouted.  “Wait a second... were you snooping around in my stuff?”

“No?  Who are you again?” The Moose said.

“I'm Pinkie Pie!  You know, the Mistress of Marzipan, the Superlative Sugar Slinger, the Ministry Mare of Morale!” The virtual mare replied exuberantly.  The Moose's ears perked up.

“Did you say sugar?” He asked.  The pink pony bounced up and down inside the computer screen.

“Yup yup yup!  I love sugar!  It's so yummy, especially when you put it in things, like cupcakes and pastries and – “ The mare chirped.  The Moose lifted a hoof.

“Do you have any?” He said.  “Sugar?”  The mare looked out from the screen, confused.

“Ummm... I don't think so,” she said.  “I mean, I'm just a computer program so I don't really have hooves, and even if I did have hooves I don’t know that I’d have any sugar although I’d like some sugar that sounds really good right about now don’t you think?!”  The Moose hung his head, groaning.

“Man... that sucks,” he said.  He let his hoof drop, hitting the power key on the terminal's keyboard.  The monitor began to go fuzzy.  The virtual mare's eyes widened as the monitor began to shut off.

“Hey wait!  What are you doing?!  Hey –!” She began to say as the screen went dark.  The Moose sighed, pacing the room.  He really needed the sugar!  The Moose flopped over, hitting the ground with a *thud*.  He glanced back from the floor at what he had tripped on.  It appeared to be a large battery with the image of a lightning bolt on its side.  The Moose picked himself up and nosed the battery.  Shrugging, he picked up the battery and shoved it in his saddlebag.  Deciding that there wasn't anything else in the room worth looking at (pretty colors weren't everything after all), he moved to the door and pushed it open.

“Moose!” He heard a pony down the hall calling for him.  Chocolate Swirl appeared out of nowhere, startling the chocolate stallion.  The Moose yelped, hitting the ceiling and back to the ground.

“Swirl?!  What the heck man?” He said.  “What are you doing?”

“Looking for you, you doof!  Where the hell have you been?” Swirl said.  “You've been gone for like... twenty minutes!”

“Found a room with pretty colors, Swirl.  Check it out,” The Moose replied, pointing back at the control room.  Swirl groaned.

“No time, Moose.  We gotta get that elevator fixed so we can get the hell out of here.  Now did you find that spark battery or not?” She said.  The Moose blinked.

“The what?” He said.  “Oh... you mean the box with the lightning bolt on it?  Yeah man, it's in my bag.  Super trippy.”  The Moose looked back, pulling the box out of his saddlebag.  Chocolate Swirl's eyes lit up.

“Great.  Let's get that elevator up and running,” she said, snatching the spark battery out of The Moose's mouth, grinning widely as she trotted back down the hall towards the broken elevator.  Swirl carefully inserted the battery into its compartment.  The lights on the elevator's buttons illuminated and Swirl squealed with glee.  She pushed the button for going down, grinning as the doors slid open.  Swirl motioned to The Moose to follow, the stallion glancing about as he stepped inside the box.  “Alright, let's see here.  We want to go down to the factory level...”  She pressed the big button that said FACTORY, the elevator shuddering to life.  The doors closed and the box lurched downwards.

“Trippy sounds,” The Moose said.  Chocolate Swirl chuckled as the elevator finally came to a rest on the factory floor.  The doors slid open, a grinding noise accompanying it.  Chocolate Swirl poked her head out of the elevator, holding her pistol by its mouth grip.  She nodded after she didn't see anything moving.  The two ponies stepped into the cold and lifeless factory, the only sounds the soft clip-clop of their hooves.  Swirl looked around carefully, motioning at the massive machinery in the room.  The machines sat silently, ancient giants of a bygone era.  The Moose stepped slowly behind Swirl, the tan mare stopping in her tracks.

“Look, Moose,” she said, pointing up at the largest machine in the room.  It appeared to be some form of press machine.  Swirl didn't exactly know what was made here, but maybe the MMMM could come back to this factory and repurpose it.  Swirl decided to report it to Apple Danish as soon as they got back to their own factory.  The press machine was mostly intact, but still falling into disrepair due to the ravages of time.  Sitting pristinely in one of its internal compartments was a silver gear.  Swirl grinned.  “Alright, that might work!  Let's get that thing and get the fuck out of here, Moose.”

“Umm... okay,” The Moose replied hesitantly.

“Oh, come on, Moose.  We'll get the gear, get out of here, and then it's back to the sugar room for a little celebration!” Swirl exclaimed exuberantly.

“Sugar...” The Moose said, nodding.  “Alright, Swirl.  But like, how do we get it down?”  Chocolate Swirl screwed up her face in befuddlement.

“Hmmph.  Hadn't thought of that,” she said, looking up at the machine.  “Alright, I guess we're gonna need to get up into that box up there.  Looks like those catwalks go right near it, we can jump off and get right to it.”

“Okay,” The Moose said, following behind Chocolate Swirl as they made their way towards the stairs up to the catwalk.  Swirl took a hesitant step onto the metal stairs.  They groaned underneath her weight.  The tan mare started up the stairs, stopping once she reached the catwalk.  She motioned to The Moose.

“Feels pretty safe,” she said.  “You can come up.”  The Moose nodded, placing his own hoof on the catwalk.  It creaked under the pressure, but held firmly as he made his way up onto the catwalk next to Swirl.  She moved forward, stopping just above the massive machine.  The silvery gear could be seen plainly from where they stood.

“Shiny wheel,” The Moose said.  Chocolate Swirl rolled her eyes.

“Right, Moose. Shiny wheel,” she said.  “Now help me get down there and we'll be able to get out of here.”  She hefted a leg over the railing, preparing to drop down to the top of the machine.  The Moose walked over, taking hold of Swirl's barding.  The mare steadied herself, letting her back legs down onto the machine.  She dropped the rest of the way with a *clang*, landing in a heap.  She stood shakily and started stalking her way over the top of the ancient press.  The Moose sat on his haunches, watching as the mare crept along.  She reached out with a hoof, carefully reaching for the gear.  Swirl grunted as she touched the edge of the silver wheel, wrapping her fetlock around it and pulling back.  The gear dislodged from its spindle, falling away into Swirl's other hoof.  Swirl grinned widely, standing up and holding the gear triumphantly in her hooves.

“I got it!  I got it!  I got --” she shouted as she was interrupted by a sharp groaning noise.  The machine rumbled underneath the mare.  Swirl's eyes widened as a large piece of the machine fell away to the factory floor below.  “Shit shit shit!  Moose!”  The Moose's ears perked up as Swirl leaped from the massive metal monstrosity to grab onto the railing.  The Moose stood, lending a hoof out to pull the mare over onto the catwalk.  Swirl huffed, lifting the gear triumphantly once more.  She placed the silvery wheel into her saddlebags and looked down at the machine, which was falling apart at its seams.  Pieces of metal struck the ground, screeching and howling as they hit.  The Moose put his hooves up to his ears.

“Like... turn down the volume man,” he said.  Swirl sighed.

“Come on, let's get out of here,” she said.  “We gotta get back to the factory.”  The Moose nodded mutely.


The two ponies stepped out of the factory, the rays of the afternoon sun warming their coats as they made their way into the street.  Chocolate Swirl sighed.  In just a few hours she could be done with this assignment and back to doing what she loved best – making chocolate.  The tan mare smiled as they walked along.

“You know, Moose, things are lookin' up,” she said.  “We've got the gear, we're all in one piece... it can't get any worse!”  Chocolate Swirl grinned widely as she turned away from her hapless leader and stepped forward.

...right into the barrels of a shotgun.  Swirl's eyes widened as she glanced up the barrels, seeing an ugly looking brahmin behind them.  His left head sneered a toothy grin.  The other stared blankly, chewing its cud.  Two earth pony stallions that were even uglier than the brahmin stood on each side.  Each one carried spiked boards in their teeth.

“Well, well, well, lookee what we got here, boys,” the brahmin said.  “Couple of bakers.”

“Heh heh yeah, bakers,” one of the earth ponies said.  The brahmin groaned.

“Shut up, you,” he said angrily before turning his attention back to Swirl and The Moose.  “Now listen up, here you two jackasses.  We're gonna make this very clear.  Give us your stuff, and you live.  Easy peasy lemon breezy.”

“Don't think so, Cowpone,” Chocolate Swirl snarled.  “Why don't you go back to the shit hole you crawled out of?”  The brahmin chortled loudly.

“That's funny, you hear that, boys?  Funny guys,” he said.  The Moose simply stared at the exchange, peering closely at the brahmin, who growled under his breath.  “What are you looking at, funny guy?”

“Pretty colors, man,” The Moose said.  The brahmin's eyebrow twitched.

“What... the fuck?” He said, turning his shotgun onto The Moose.  “Are you stupid or somethin'?  I'm talkin' to you, you fuckin' prick!”  The Moose blinked.  After a long moment, he blinked again.  The brahmin glanced over at Chocolate Swirl.  “Is he really stupid?”

“Umm... just a little special,” she replied.  “Look, we're just on our way back to our factory.  Cut us some slack, would ya?”

“No can do, baker.  You see, you fucks really messed us up when you took out da boss,” the brahmin said.  “So now, give up the stuff, baker, or lose those pretty brains of yours.”

“First of all, eww.  Second of all, your boss was stupid enough to attack Theater.  He was a fucking moron, and you know it,” Chocolate Swirl said.  “You don't have the guts to attack us.  Not when I've got my secret weapon.”

“Umm boss, I don't like the idea of this secret weapon,” one of the earth ponies said.  The brahmin snarled.

“You bucking idiot, she's bluffing!” He shouted.  “Now get them!”  Chocolate Swirl grinned, pulling a white packet out of her saddlebag and tossed it through the air.  It landed on the brahmin's back.

“Moose!  Get the sugar!” She yelled.  The Moose perked up, a sharp grin emerging on his face.  He leaped through the air, landing on the brahmin with a cry of ferocity.  The brahmin yelped loudly as The Moose pounced, knocking him to the ground.  Chocolate Swirl grinned, whipping out her pistol and firing into the ground before the two nail-board wielding earth ponies.  “You boys brought nails to a gunfight.  You should have brought at least a knife.”  They looked at each other, their eyes wide with fear.

“GIVE ME THE SUGAR!!!” The Moose roared, searching ravenously for the white packet.  He snarled, crawling all around the brahmin.  The brahmin flopped over, trying to aim its shotgun back over at the stallion.  The Moose spied the packet, sitting in between the mutated cow's heads.  The Moose grinned, slamming his hoof down and grabbing the packet, knocking the brahmin's left head to the side.  The cow went back to the ground, unconscious.  The Moose chuckled with glee as he lifted the packet and tore it open, downing the white substance like it was the essence of life itself.  He sat upon the brahmin gloriously sucking down sugar.

“Boss?!” One of the earth ponies exclaimed, dropping his nail-board.  The nail hit the pony's hoof, causing him to yelp in pain.  The Moose grinned widely, his eyes spacing out as he flopped to the ground in front of the group of ponies.

“You sons of bitches want to meet the rest of my secret weapon?” Chocolate Swirl said, her eyes alight with fire.  The two other earth ponies shook their heads.  “Then get your boss, and get out of here.”  They nodded, trotting over and dragging the unconscious brahmin away.  The Moose sat up, a dopey expression on his already stretched face.

“Oh hey there, Swirl.  How long you been there?” He said.  Swirl groaned loudly.

“Moose, come on.  Let's get back to the factory, alright?” She said.  “You've been out in the sun too long.”  The Moose swayed in time to some invisible tune, chuckling to himself.

“All you gotta do is smile, smile, smile,” he sang exuberantly, laughing as he fell over onto the ground.  “To these happy friends of miiiiine!”  Chocolate Swirl facehoofed.

“Moose... never change,” She said, snorting.  The Moose fell over, laughing loudly.  “Alright, alright... fine.  Let's go home.”  She walked up, grabbed the stallion by his tail and started forward.  The Moose chuckled and sang the rest of the song as his sugar buzz kicked into full swing.

“Pretty colors... man.”