Fallout Equestria: Foreshadow
Chapter 2: Exposition
“Nothing quite like putting your pen down on some paper and seeing what comes out.”
As I started to consider the situation I was in, I felt the cold steel push harder on the back of my head. “Come on now, I said tell me the story. What’s wrong? Cat got your tongue?” The voice laughed, I realized at that point there was a feminine tone to it. I had thought it was a male at first with how low this pony had been speaking.
“N-no…” I said quietly, not wanting my brains to be out of their original and hopefully, only residence.
“Then do tell me what happens to be wrong? Are you not comfortable enough?”
“I-I would prefer I-if you move t-the g-gun bar-barrel away from m-me.” I said, scared for not only my life but for Fauna’s as well, the filly’s eyes wide with terror in front of me, not daring to make a single move. I felt the steel move from my head and I let out a sigh that I had been holding in for awhile, only to feel a hard crack and a sharp pain to the side of my head, sending me reeling to the ground.
“Is that better?” I looked up to the pony that had started this cruel act and fretted in what I did see. The mare had an orange coat, with a bright yellow mane on top of her head, in a Mohawk style, I knew in an instant from just those few features, this pony was a raider. My eyes quickly glanced down and noted her armor, scrap iron and such arranged in a manner that if she slammed into someone else, it would no doubt cut deep and maybe even impale someone on the makeshift spikes. Her horn glowed softly with a color of magic matching her coat. The gun she had just struck me with floating to in front of my face. “Now then, I’m bored. I don’t wanna hear the story you were just about to tell anymore; I wanna hear a new one, one where you fucking explain to me why you killed my gang members!” She flung the gun against my face once more, the raw taste of iron filling my mouth as I spat out some blood.
“I-I… what?” I asked. I had thought many of the gang members I killed were just by themselves, no big deal! I even flung the bodies out to the manticores, leaving their supplies still near them, so nopony could even think I took them out. How could somepony have figured me out?
“I bet you’re so fucking smart! Killing them and leaving the bodies out. You had me fooled for a bit. So I thought it was just some fucking manticores I had the bad luck to deal with. Went out and looked for a place to hide out in and scare the pack off with a few sniper bullets. After a few days of sniping off the odd manticore, I see who else but some pretentious fuck coming up from a place I had personally looked at! Hanging a Celestia damned sign on that gate had me fooled! I’ll give you that, that was smart.” I started to slowly back away in terror, to which she pushed the gun deeper against my forehead. “I said don’t fucking MOVE! Now where was I, oh yeah. You fucking came out of there and went on scavenging off the manticore I just killed. So I got to thinking when you went back in, ‘Huh, if somepony lives there, then my idiot gang might have tried to go in.’ then I put two and two together and what do you get? A FUCKING MURDERER!” She laughed crazily and pistol whipped me again, the now becoming familiar taste of blood filling my mouth again. “So now, I’m gonna get fucking revenge on you for taking out about half my gang.” She smiles as the hammer of the pistol pulled back. “Any last words fuckass?”
I took a deep breath as I looked between her legs. “Just three, duck and cover.” I smirked and quickly rolled on my back to my hooves, jumping towards a pile of rubble, landing on top then rolling down as I felt a shot hit right where I would have been a second ago. I then heard a large boom as blood and body parts flew high above me, landing only a few feet away. I looked over and saw what was left of the raider mare’s face, wearing an expression of ‘oh shit’ if I ever did see one.
I got up and trotted towards the blast zone, blackened by the explosion I looked towards a hardware store where I saw a little green hoof waving at me. “I think that was a pretty good throw.” Fauna says as she popped up, holding one of my favorite inventions. Not so much an invention as a throwback, I had looked at schematics for old timed explosives in many of my military texts and recreated them as best as I could. Timed grenades, something I gave to Fauna to use as distractions or as a weapon normally. I’ve tested them near raider camps, they would hear it, go and smirk, thinking somepony had pulled a dud grenade before exploding into tiny bits, much like that mare had done.
“I agree, pretty excellent, and nice work on the time, I had just long enough of a window to escape.” I smiled at her. I ruffled her mane, noticing then that she had gotten some blood in it; I decided to check my own body. I looked at my glasses, not anything notably different. My mane had a bit of blood in it as well, so I shook that out. Then my scarf, it had gotten quite a few blood spatters on it. I sighed as I started to rotate it, making it appear clean at first glance again.
“Umm yeah… I totally put the perfect time in it.” She giggled and started to trot. I got a bit flustered and angry.
“You mean after all those times I showed you how to, you still don’t remember?!” I said, after all, she didn’t kill me but well could have.
“So do you wanna finish that cutie mark story now? I mean since crazy lady is dead and gone.” She said, attempting to change the subject. I accepted her bait and sighed, deciding to scold her later I simply started to tell my story from the point I left off at.
“Well, after finding some paper and a pen, I looked through a peephole, seeing my mother fighting the mole rats. She was very elegant in a few ways, even when she smashed her shotgun into a rat’s side to keep it away from biting her. I couldn’t help myself to not try and describe all the actions, and before I knew it, my hoof was writing what I was thinking. As mother’s hoof came down and gave a satisfying crunch, I knew that she had defeated another one of the terrifying beasts.” I quoted, smiling a bit as we trotted down the road, away from what had just happened. “I was too focused on writing; I barely noticed the flash of light that filled up the cabinet I was in. My head span with delight as I kept writing down the battle my mother had participated in. My mother then came to the closet and opened it up, smiling as if she wasn’t covered in the blood of a horrible mutated beast. She gave a glance to my flank, then to the paper I was holding in my hooves and she smiled brighter, sweeping me up into a big hug. She was telling me how proud she was, and I didn’t know at all what she was speaking of. I asked her why right before she called my father into the room. She pointed at my young flank and I looked, seeing what you see now.” I smiled, shaking my rump with a bit of pride. “A blue notebook with a quill passing over it, and what is represents is my ability to write down almost any event, and add a special flare to it.” I ruffled Fauna’s mane for what had to have been the fourth time that day and chuckled. “And that my dear filly is how my cutie mark came to be.”
She sat down and gave a clap of her hooves. “That was better than the last time you told it Page! I liked how you quoted your first book, what was the name of it again?” She trotted again, thinking with a confused look on her face. “A Mare’s Triumph?” She asked, smiling.
I nodded my head yes as we exited the city. “Yup, that’s it!” I gave her a wide smile.
“That mare said something about the gang being hers right?” Fauna asked after we trotted in silence for a minute or so.
“Yeah, I think she did. Perhaps she was the gang leader?” I said in an inquisitive tone, thinking back on what she had mentioned. “She said that I killed about half of her gang, I guess they might not have been too strong but, you never know, I might just have gotten lucky, perhaps the turrets took out a few of them as well.” I chuckled happily.
“About half?” Fauna inquired.
“That’s what she said before hitting me in the jaw a few times, which by the way, is still sore.” I reached up and rubbed it, cringing a bit in pain.
“What about the other half?”
“Other half?” I asked, tilting my head, as if it were such a weird thing to ask.
“Yeah, I mean, you killed one half, which means there’s another half.” Fauna chuckled and shook her head. “You know what, never mind, not like those raiders got half the brain in them to work without somepony smart in their lead.” She added.
I smiled and let out a happy sigh. “You’re right, I’ll bet as soon as that mare left, they started going crazy and ended up offing themselves with something stupid.”
“Yeah like a lead eating contest!”
“Or hot potato with a live grenade.” I added, laughing with the filly as we trotted.
After another hour, the darkness had started to set in. but luckily for us, we weren’t too far from Fauna’s town that we couldn’t make it, in fact the light from her home was within view of our location.
“There’s home! Come on Page!” Fauna giggled and started to run ahead of me.
“H-hey, Wait up!” I said a bit exasperated from all the walking we had done. “Where does she find the energy?” I asked myself under my breath as I started to chase after her. After a full minute of running, we arrived at the entrance of her town, ponies trotting by in what seemed to be some late night errands. As right as Fauna was about there not being too many ponies, I still felt a bit out of place as I followed behind the leafy colored filly.
“Fauna!” A loud gruff voice said to my left, a voice I had recognized a few times.
“Daddy!” Fauna moved and jumped into her father’s hooves. They hugged for a few moments and I smiled.
“Looks like you managed to get that dust bunny out of his hiding place.” The grey stallion said with a laugh, letting his daughter down. “So Page, how did she manage to get you out, a trail of candy?” He let out a bellowing laughter that shook me a bit.
“My sweet tooth isn’t as big as yours Granola.” I said, giving a small smile. “No she just, reminded me what might happen if I stayed there for too long.” I re adjusted my glasses. “But truth is I’m only staying for a week or so, I need to make sure not too many ponies get rid of my supplies and such.” I said.
“Well, we’ll welcome you here at my place so long as you ain’t too much of a nuisance, like the first time we met.” The stallion smirked and gave me a strong pat on the shoulder.
“Oof!” I said from the pat. “You got hit by worse Granola, from the stories you tell me you were hit with a super sledge and only broke two ribs. My Inktip couldn’t have done much.” I replied to him, rolling my eyes.”
“Heh, you remember what I said after you stabbed me with it?” The stallions leaned in; much like her had done that day. “The pen might be mightier than the sword-“
“But I’ll bet a gun blows both those out of the water.” I finished for him and we both laughed heartily. “Then I said, ‘Who’s that from, Mareietta Waltz?’ And you replied with-“
“’No, Granola Bar!’ Then I socked you right across the face with my gun.” Granola gave me a big hug. “You’re lucky my filly thought you were cute or else you wouldn’t be much more than a bloodstain on the floor.”
“Dad! I do not find him cute! He’s cool to hang out with but he isn’t cute at all!” Fauna vehemently denied my relative attractiveness, making me a slight bit annoyed with every word that she said.
“Well Gran, can we get some sleep? The walk here was pretty tiring and I know I need a good rest.” I said, looking around. I had never been to Fauna and Granola’s town, but it looked modest enough, shacks built from an assortment of wood and metal. A large one built of bricks marked, Town Hall. Nothing much more, a few signs explaining which was what store and such, but nothing that should catch my interest right of now.
“Sure kiddo, I’ve got a spare mattress I save for visitors if we trust them enough.” He pats my back. “And no offense but I think we can trust a pony who can barely skin a rabbit!” He laughed at my expense, bringing me to one of the shacks that must have been his own home. The shack wasn’t too large, surely enough to fit three ponies easily, but any more would get cramped. The inside was nice and homely, two sides to the place, a room in the back, which I assumed was the restroom. A stove and fridge were to my left as we walked in, so I assumed that area was the kitchen. Granola pulled out a mattress from under a bed and smiled. “You can sleep next to Fauna for right now; hopefully we can find a job for you tomorrow.” He said, patting the mattress.
I smiled and nodded my thanks before taking off my saddlebags, shoving them underneath Fauna’s bed I flopped down onto my own, slipping into a blissful sleep, away from all the stress of what had happened today.
Dreams plagued my peaceful rest, I wish I could recant them as I could when I would wake but alas, they seem lost to me. All I know was a figure stood in front of me, in all the changes of scenery, there was that shape, a pony definitely, however I could not tell if it was a mare or a stallion. The shape seemed to just stand and watch, watch as I stumbled through the trials of my rest.
My eyes fluttered as I awoke to the sound of something frying on the stove. My hooves moved to rub what of the night held left for me out of them. As I yawned and rose from my bedding I noticed a small filly standing on a stool.
“Moring Page! I’m making bacon, want some?” She asked, smiling back at me.
“Umm sure, did the town come across some radhogs not that long ago?” I asked, stretching as I rose, the satisfying pops and cracks of my joints sounding and feeling like music to my ears.
“Yeah they caught some about a week ago; everyone in the town got a share, so I thought that I would make your first morning here special.” She moves her attention back towards the sizzling pan. “Can you grab that plate by the counter? I can’t reach it.” She asked, pointing towards the two plates sitting not but a few feet away from her. I silently questioned her laziness but still grabbed them and hoofed it over to the Fauna. She put the bacon she was making on a spatula and then divided the pieces evenly onto our plates. “Eat up! After we do, we’ve got to get you to town hall; dad came in while you were sleeping and said there’s a job perfect for you. The new pegasi put it up, said something about unfinished business that they wanted someone to take care of. I don’t know why my dad would think you can do it, but you might as well check it out.” The filly gave me a smile. I returned it with a questioning look, gnawing on a piece of hot bacon as I burnt my tongue and dropped it, breathing on what of it was still in my mouth, eventually swallowing the piece.
“Hot!” I said, panting as Fauna giggled then hoofed me a glass of water, surely irradiated, but water was water. I gulped down a fair bit of it and smiled; looking to the plate I gave it a moment before attempting to eat it again. “So the pegasi want somepony to finish some business for them.”
“And your dad thinks I can help them?”
“That’s what I said dummy!” She reaches over and bops me on the head once. I gave her a small smile and then finished my meal.
“I’ll go ahead and check it out, hopefully he doesn’t intend to send me on some sort of escort mission, and I’m not the type for that.” I waved as I then picked up my saddle bags from under her bed, then trotted out her front door, and then looked around the town, spying the brick house with the sign above it that indicated it was indeed the town hall. My hooves made heavy steps as I trotted towards it. The town itself was pretty quiet; nopony was really out and about. My way towards the town hall seemed to take an eternity, which was odd; I knew in the back of my mind that I could just say no to the job if I honestly thought it was too much for me. Never the less I still knew that I was dreading this moment. I just wanted to run, return to my library and spend my time reading my books, scavenging every so often then re ordering the books with what I had found.
As I opened the door to the town hall I let out a breath of air I had been holding, not out of relief, but out of necessity. I spotted Granola and waved; he returned the gesture and trotted towards me. “Morning Page, got a job you might be good at. We need somepony smart with tech, you came to mind first.” He started to explain.
“What’s the job?” I asked the question that had been on my mind since Fauna told me about it.
“Well, Summer Drift, one of the pegasi we found not too long ago, said they had left an important piece of tech near the area that they had fallen from, maybe about a day’s trot north.”
“What’s the catch?” I asked, knowing full well if it were that easy they wouldn’t send me.
“Well, when they fell, a group of robots started attacking them. So they were lucky with what they got, so we need somepony who might know some way of stopping them to go up there and retrieve the tech.”
“Pulse grenades, alright great job, just find somepony who’s good enough to blow them robots up and I’ll be go-“ I had turned around to start to walk away.
“Whoa there, we don’t have any pulse grenades, and besides, I know you’re good at the robot thing. You damn told me that you once reprogrammed a whole lot of them to dance the samba from 100 feet away!”
“I did that because I had found a hacking device, which I traded about a month after that, for supplies for the next six months!” I sighed. “You know I’m not the combat kinda pony Gran, I understand what you’re trying to do, but please just give me a job with helping Splints. I’ve even got the book he wants.” I pleaded. Gran sighed and nodded. “Fine, I understand. Sorry for pushing you Page, I’ll sign you up for medic duty with Splints; we can send somepony who knows how to fight. You don’t know where we can get some of those pulse grenades, do you?” He asked. I gave a small smile and nodded, pulling out five grenades from my bags. He gave a small whistle. “Damn Page, you have been packing some serious boom.”
“Well I know how to make them from spare parts. But here are the ones that are the best against robots.” I pointed to the slightly blue tinged ones. “These are EMP grenades; they release an electric field that surrounds the grenade in roughly the same radius as a blast zone. They shut down electronics and magical matrices like no one’s business.” I smirked then points to the other two grenades, the red colored ones. “These are Pulse grenades, they release a strong shock wave that if it hits you, your brain stops working from shock. Similarly, it shocks a robot’s processing units into stopping as well, so they work perfectly on both.” I explained to Granola. “Just tell the pony you send that Red can hurt them, but Blue cannot. So use the Red ones when you are sure you won’t get hurt.” I finished my explanation. “So where’s Splints?”
“Hard to miss a tent labeled ‘Medic’” Gran smirked at me as I hoofed over the grenades.
“Very funny, good luck to the one they send out.” I said, leaving the town hall behind me, and that silly quest.
Footnote: Level Up
Jury Rigger: You know how to build some of the most dangerous things, out of the least useful stuff! If you have Schematics for an object, you can substitute certain items and still get the finished project!
Authors Note: Thanks to all who have started reading my story! I’m still very much inspired by KKat, SwimmingEagle, and InkSplash. Keep up the good work guys!