Edited by uSea
CHAPTER 12: Darkness
When I’m walking a dark road I am a mare who walks alone.
DAY 11 - TIME approximately 00:15 A.M. - LOCATION: Solaris Stable, Big 52 SC Branch
“Get out of my Stable, NOW!” SolOS' voice thundered through the corridors of the underground complex like a wave crashing on the shore; the order came from every speaker and every operative sentry patrolling the abandoned halls.
Puppy sat down on a floor tile, making sure that it was a white one; you know, since the black ones were still bottomless pits; you couldn't let adults get in the way of playtime all the time. “Why?”
“Because you have already caused enough trouble, you malfunctioning little drone!”
Puppy frowned. “I am not a throne! Don't try sitting on me, stoopid Voice!”
“Drone means robot! You don't even have a decent integrated dictionary! Your uselessness makes my sub-routines reboot!”
Now, that was too much; Puppy stood up and looked at the sentinel in front of her with a really, really angry stare, but the best she could manage had the same effect as putting a military helmet on the head of a plushie... scarier? No, cuter. “Hey I am no robot! Miss Creepy Voice told me, and Mister Questioner and Henri, so it's one against... ah...” Numbers, why everything was always heading to numbers? “Against a lot of us!”
“Many wrong results put together don't become true out of sheer magic, Device 018. Even now every sensor analysis gives the same results as before. You are a suit filled with the remains of a corpse, mostly broken bones, and a large amount of a gelatinous substance. There are no scientific studies confirming the existence of the fabled marshmallow ponies, ergo you are a crazed machine filled with goo and bones.”
Puppy raised a hoof, pointing it at the sentry. “Stop being smart, Blue! Or else I'll have to show you again who's the gee- jeen- ah... super duper egghead here!”
“I don't think there were any doubts about that, D018. Now I must ask you to leave this place, and let me contemplate these empty halls until forever.”
“But I can't go away, I have things to do!”
SolOS’ voice paused for a moment before replying, “And what exactly must you do here?”
Puppy frowned, trying to remember... why did she now have to explain things to stoopid Mister Blue? She wanted to play Indiana Mares. “I have to find the glass balls or Mistur Ugly Gold won't tell me where is my mom... can I has the glass balls, Puppy please?”
“So, you are here to scavenge this place. Destroying my hard work in Sun City wasn't enough? First you trash my utopia and now you come to my place of eternal rest to rob me! I am not giving you anything more than a last chance to leave.”
“But... but I really need that to find my mom! If you give it to me I'll give you something! It's a barter, like the big ponies do!” The filly looked into her bags trying to find something useful for a ghost voice.
“You don't have a mom, you are a robot; your insistence is futile and bound to fail, like your logical matrix.”
That... that was mean, and a lie! Mom was just somewhere else, Puppy had heard the registrations and seen the mural; Mom was leaving messages for her. Blue Voice was a bad voice and Puppy didn't want to hear his lies anymore. “Music!” the radio inside Puppy's helmet started playing music to cover SolOS’ voice.
“And even if you are mistaking some female pony as a motherly figure, your firmware is more than two hundred years old; at this time your 'mother' is certainly dead.”
“Louder.” Even outside of the helmet, it was possible to hear DJ Lonesome Pony, talking about the dangers of radiation and taint.
“So, now you are trying yo ignore me. You could simply turn on your tail and leave the way you came, 'pony'...”
“Louder!” The volume of the music inside Puppy's helmet rose until the computer's voice became only a muffled unintelligible sound in the background.
“You’re not going away, are you?”
The filly didn't reply, sitting stubbornly on her white floor tile; the noise from the radio was so loud that it was clearly audible even several meters away from her.
“And this is why you should always remember to bring with you some pure water and at least a couple of Rad-X and a Rad Away. Now, the public complaints about good old L.P.’s music choices; I was told that my music is too sissy. At this point a bad DJ would have said that he decides what it goes on his radio... but I'm a worse DJ, so I give you what you asked for, and just that! Get eleven minutes of The Hoarse with The End. Let's see if you'll criticize my choices again...”
“Then I have no choice but remove you with lethal force.” The sentinel's visor turned red again as it immediately opened fire on Puppy with both its weapons. The spray of bullets coming from less than a couple meters tore open the filly's chest, repainting the walls and the floor with pink slime.
This is the end,
Puppy staggered and tried to get to her hooves, but a large part of her torso was a peppered ruin, making her stumble and fall with her muzzle on the ground.
This is the end
my only friend, the end
Propping herself against a wall with her only good foreleg, the filly opened her mouth to protest, but a second hail of bullets struck her helmet: The first hits bounced against the curved glass, but it didn't last and the whole sphere exploded in a rain of shiny crystals. Puppy's head had a hole in an eye, an ear missing and it was possible to look through the wounds in her neck; nonetheless she was still able to speak. “Rock.”
Of our elaborate plans
“I see, you are highly resistant to external damage. Change of tactics, let's aim for the talismans.” While The Rock Of Destiny was still fluctuating in front of Puppy, the sentinel took aim and shot three bullets, hitting the suit behind her neck, in the lower belly and on her left flank, approximately where ponies have their cutie mark. The foal froze for a couple of seconds, as if the hits paralyzed her in the pose of taking her weapon, but almost immediately she moved again, grabbing the stone with her wounded hoof.
Of everything that stands
“Mom doesn't want me to break other ponies' toys, Mister Blue, but if you keep using them to tease me I'll break yours, even if I'm going to be sorry about it!” Puppy looked down with her single remaining eye, sighing in frustration. “Look what you did! You made me step on a black tile! I've lost the game, dumb bullybot!”
No safety no surprise
“I must concede you this: I've never seen a drone this resilient. Say goodbye to your power source.” Another couple of well aimed shots hit the filly between the saddlebags and her sides; the radio crackled for a moment, seemingly dying, but it kept singing the song at a slightly lower volume. “This is not working as intended. You have no processors nor power, you should stop functioning. Please obey at least the laws of physics and stop functioning.”
I'll never look into your eyes
Puppy stomped a hoof against the wall, while slowly moving toward the sentinel: her inexorable advance revealing that she had merely been slowed down by the massive damage she had received. The pink stains on the wall seemed to evaporate and flow back toward the foal, and the missing parts of her face had already begun to reform, as if somepony were drawing it in with crayon; this regeneration didn't involve muscles regrowing or bones mending, simply color and lines filling over the holes. “Stop that! I'm not doing anything wrong, why you tease me? I'm really, really trying to be your friend even if you are being a stinker and a bug!”
Can you picture what will be
so limitless and free
“What are you?” The corridors were flooded with a bright green light, briefly giving everything around her a faint green halo. “Oh, I see now. I was using the wrong weaponry.” The sentinel rapidly retreated down the corridor as the last of Puppy's missing parts finished reforming and the suit began to repair its own damage.
Desperately in need...
of some... different friend
in a... desperate land?
Why was the bullybot going away now? Puppy had to find those balls, she needed somepony to show her where they were! The filly launched herself in a gallop trying not to lose the sentry. “Wait! I'm sorry I didn't want to call you a bug! Please don't leave me alone, I need the balls!” Puppy entered a large hall filled with catwalks hanging from the ceiling and tables on the floor; at every table sat dead ponies, and other skeletons were amassed next to the door that lead to the Stable exit. “I'll give you all my pretty toys, please!”
Lost in a
wilderness of pain
From the other side of the mess hall, a second, slightly larger sentry appeared carrying a single weapon: a large barrel more than two meters long that crackled with blue energy. “Maybe some magic will do the trick.” The gun shot, releasing a large beam of magic that completely enveloped Puppy in its cobalt light.
And all the children
The filly stood for a moment, her large eyes losing their unnatural pink light; she tried to open her mouth to say something, but all she could do was fall down on the floor.
All the children
Everything became black, every problem seemed so distant. Mom... the ugly ghoul... why was she even bothered? Puppy couldn't remember... everything was so... cold... all she wanted now was just... rest a for moment... she was so sleepy... who was she, anyway?
Waiting for the summer rain
The music slowly died until it was impossible to hear the song, all the lights in the helmet's HUD fading away completely.
DAY N.A. - TIME N.A. - LOCATION: N.A.
“So, Puppy, is this the end? Is this when we give up?”
The filly curled even tighter on herself; she didn't want to listen now, she only wanted to stay like that, in the dark. Finally she didn't have to think about how far Mom was and how hard it was to walk so much road every day only to find another place where she wasn't. Besides, Mister Blue was too strong, he had big bullybots that hurt her so much that she couldn't even stand up... so, why should she get up again just to get another spanking? It made no sense. It was so much better to lie down and stay put... so much better and less painful....
“I don't think you really want to stop here. You didn't achieve anything; your mother is still out there and this Mister Blue cheated to win... why you should let a cheater win?”
It was not that Puppy let Mister Blue win, she simply didn't want to play anymore, that was all... because Puppy knew that cheaters never win, it would had been wrong if a cheater won. Mom told her so many times: ponies are pretty and nice, never meanie. Cheaters and evil doers never win in the end, because that's not the pony way of doing things. You have to love and tolerate.
“So, you will love and tolerate this cheater and let him go like this... I understand... but... what if somepony else, not you, came and showed this cheater that he can't win like this? Let's say, just to give him a lesson?”
Puppy didn't know... for sure Mister Blue needed to learn something about friendship, maybe if somepony was going to show him that cheating was not a way to make friends, he would change and become less of a meanie. Maybe this way Puppy could talk with him again and make that barter, have those glass balls and find Mom... it... it would have been fantastic! But who could win against those bullybots with the big hurting light? Puppy didn't know anypony strong enough to-
“Oh, maybe you do, little one... open your eyes and leave the rest to me.”
DAY 11 - TIME approximately 00:30 A.M. - LOCATION: Solaris Stable, Big 52 SC Branch
Puppy's eyes opened wide, flaring with dark blue flames as she got to her hooves once again.
“Guess who's back, big bully boy.” The filly's voice was different, as if it came from afar, echoing through a long cave.
“I must have made a miscalculation: a single charge wasn't enough, please, have another.” The sentrybot armed with the crystal cannon took aim at Puppy while the large barrel crackled with blue light.
The filly waved a hoof in a dismissive manner, sporting an amused smile on her muzzle, “Nah, I'm okay; I'm trying to lose some weight.” One of the catwalks was enveloped in a dark halo and detached itself from the ceiling, striking the sentry like a gigantic arrow that cut the robot in two.
Woah, that was cool, how did you do that? Can I do it too? Huh? Huh?
SolOS' voice boomed in the hall. “You think that a simple magic trick will suffice to impress me? Think again, I have a full army down here!”
Creepypup snickered “And that’s exactly where I'm going. Get ready for the spanking.”
“Initiating lock down procedure. Closing blast doors, activating security system. Residential area on red alert. Research area on red alert. Warehouses from one to twelve on red alert. Workshop on red alert.” While a voice announced the status of various sections of the base, a dozen sentry guns popped from the ceiling and started firing at the little filly in the middle of the hall.
“Yeah, whatever.” The foal trotted toward the remains of the destroyed sentrybot, finding that the door behind it was shut: it was a heavy security door, with the usual signs warning against danger depicted on it. The sentry guns kept peppering Creepypup with a swarm of bullets, piercing the suit almost everywhere. This let the cloud out, a thick pink curtain of smoke filled with thin blue winding lines that danced inside it, giving it a form, giving it... strength.
“So, I totally mustn't go down here? I always loathed orders.”
The pink cloud slammed itself against the door, apparently doing nothing, until with a loud metallic screech the heavy bulkhead began moving with a rain of sparks; an intricate network of blue lines drew strange meanders across the door while it was dragged open, crushing the plungers that should have kept it in place.
That was AWESOME! Show him some grrrrl power, Creepy Voice! Yay!
Immediately behind the door, three sentries armed with energy cannons were waiting, already in firing position. “Checkmate.” SolOS voice disappeared in the roar of the three weapons.
The rays hid the blast door as it slammed shut again. Black tendrils ran down the corridor, enveloping the robots and making their weapons fizzle and explode in a big blue sphere. The door opened gain.
“You are just a magical anomaly, why you don't give up and disappear? Mistakes like you must be corrected!”
Creepypup snickered. “Yeah, sure, corrected by an egomaniac that kills foals. I think that the one in need of a lesson is not me, here.”
Tell him that he stinks! Tell him he's a bug!
“Oh, please Puppy, I'm trying to work here!” snorted Creepypup with an annoyed expression, “You have your methods, I have mine, alright? It's called personal space!”
Ah, okay? Sorry, I'll sit here and just watch, I guess?
“Good girl; now, where were we? Oh right, kicking some cold, shiny, metallic plot. Here we go!” The evil kindergarten creature trotted up to a second blast door that resisted for about the same amount of time as the first had.
“Warning, intruder in the engineering area, activate heavy defenses.” SolOS voice interrupted the automatic messages, “You could be quite a powerful entity, but you still have to face Solaris Inc.'s real power, anomaly.”
Creepypup frowned, trying to seem offended. “Hey, didn't you hear the filly before? I am a pony!” The creature snickered, “Yeah I'd better leave that line for the little one... oh, look, larger robots! Should I be scared?”
“Indeed, are you familiar with the concept of railgun?” A large robot as tall as a main battle tank appeared in the corridor; it sported quite a number of weapons, but they were all dwarfed by the massive cannon mounted on its left side. “It exploits the same principle used in the Ponymedes Project.”
The nightmarish filly yawned, trotting along the corridor as if the robot wasn't there. “You are not even trying, are you? Look, I'd stay here all the day and wait for you to gather some friends and make a real attempt, but I have an agenda.” With the simple wave of a hoof the sentinel was sent against a wall, upside down.
Whoa, will you teach me that thing with the hoof? I can only make stones come and go!
Half a dozen turrets showered Creepypup with various calibers of bullets when she crossed the workshop, heading for the mainframe room; the attacks didn't even slow her, simply thickening the pink cloud that followed the pony everywhere. The foal stopped for a moment, an evil grin depicted on her muzzle. “Don't you feel that something's missing? I mean, if I'm going to do this I should at least do it by the book.”
Dark-blue tendrils wormed through the pink cloud that surrounded Creepypup, sculpting the shapeless mass and stretching it between two frameworks of magic. At first their form was vague, but they quickly gained definition, becoming a pair of vast, bat-like wings that looked disturbingly like they had been woven from cotton candy.
“Ah, are those wings? Are we going to fly? We are not going to fly, right?”
Creepypup snorted “Well, duh! What do you think wings are for?” The blast door that protected the mainframe room creaked and bent until it gave up, opening like its siblings. The room consisted of a large circular pit, at least thirty meters deep, that surrounded a large pillar of weird looking machinery. The entrance was at the top of the pit and headed to a narrow catwalk running all along the walls of the room. A ladder on the opposite side of the entrance led to a second catwalk, about six meters under the first one.
“No no no no! Wait a moment, I don't want to fly, it's scary! Ah, I mean, it's not cool! Not cool at all!”
The blue flames in Puppy's eyes flickered while she helmethoofed, “Look, I know quite well what I am doing, couldn't you just let me finish with this thing, then we'll talk?”
“Ah... mmmmaybe... no wings?”
Creepypup raised her hooves at the ceiling in exasperation, “Alright, alright! No wings!” The leathery wings disappeared, reverting to a simple curtain of pink mist. “See? Happy now?”
“Yush! Thank you super much Miss Creepy Voice! It's not that I am scared of wings, you know, it's just that... ah... I have no dresses to put with them... yup: no dresses that fit! That's it!”
“WHATEVER! Now, let's say goodbye to this Mister Blue.” The little pony looked down the stairs and sighed, “I can't believe this...” Slowly she began climbing the ladders downstairs; one done, five to go.
“Wait!” SolOS’ voice boomed from the loudspeakers. “I think it's time to discuss a truce?”
“You should have considered it before, big guy... this will teach you what happens putting yourself against mysterious unworldly powers...” Creepypup paused for a moment, in the middle of a ladder, “no wait, this won't teach you anything: I'm removing you from the equation.”
“I should have predicted this, I lost.”
“Yup, too bad; it sucks to be you.”
“Yay! He admitted it! Ah! Now do the victory dance! It's like the Puppy dance but you have to 'sing ah-ah ah-ah ah-ah who's the best? I'm the best!' While you do it.”
“Yeah, we will do the victory dance when I'm finished with him.” Creepypup started climbing down to the third floor.
“Wut? But we already won...”
“Meh, more or less: Sometimes winning is not enough. Crushing your enemy completely will spare you trouble later. Trust me.”
“Hey hey hey, wait! We are not going to bully somepony who said he's sorry!”
Creepypup stopped on the catwalk, sighing, “But you did the same thing in Sun City! He said he was sorry and you detonated that shell anyway!”
“It was different! That thing destroyed only bullybots, Mister Blue is not a Bullybot, you silly filly, he's a whinybot!”
“Please, tell me you're not serious... no wait, you are. Very well, little miss imbecile, this time we make sure he won't shoot us again with magic.”
“But he said he's sorry! He won't do it again!”
“Yeah, sure, but we want to be just a little bit more certain about that, don’t we? It's a machine anyway, it's not like anypony is going to get hurt.”
“Miss and Mister Voice are robots, and Questioner is a robot and they are all my friends! Voices are not just... big toys to play with! They can be pretty and nice if you want to be friend with them! Oh, but maybe you don't want to be his friend?”
“Why do we have to befriend an egomaniac control freak?”
“Alright, enough fancy talking! If you don't want to be his friend, I want! My turn!”
“Yeah, sure, as if you could break a possession like th-” Puppy's eyes became pink and she looked around trying to find a screen or something that seemed like it was Mister Blue's face. “Oh, hi! Excuse my friend, she can be a bit, ah, grumpy...”
Wow, this was... weird; Puppy couldn't describe how she felt or where she was while she let miss Creepy Voice do her little show, but if she was asked to describe it, it would have been a little like when you let somepony play with one of your toys and you looked at how she uses it; you know, not because you don't trust her, just because if she breaks the toy then Mom will be upset and you'll have one less toy and Puppy didn't have a lot of space suits. Taking it back was easy, really; after all it was Puppy's space suit, why she shouldn't have it back if she wanted? It was so obvious that the little filly didn't even consider the fact that breaking a demonic possession involves high magic and large rainbow blasts.
“If you're finished quarreling with yourself, could you please explain to me what's going on?” SolOS interrupted Puppy's thinking, bringing her back to reality.
“Uh? Sure! What do you want to know Mister Blue?” The filly smiled broadly and sat down to stare at the tower occupying the middle of the pit, since there wasn't anything better to talk with.
“Can you start with what just happened?”
“Yush! Creepy Voice helped me show you that cheating is not the right way to win a game, then you said you had lost and you seemed sorry, so I told her to make the victory dance but she wanted to bully you, so I made her stop. Oh, right, I was almost forgetting!” Puppy started wiggling her flanks in front of SolOS, singing, “ah-ah ah-ah ah-ah who's the best? I'm the best!” and just to be sure that the message was properly delivered, the foal stuck out her tongue, “Bleh!”
“Yes, very funny, really... Excuse me if I don't laugh.” SolOS paused for a moment, “So, what now? Are you finally going away?”
Puppy tapped her helmet as if it was her chin, thinking. “Ah, I think I had still something to do... hey Mister Voice, what were we doing down here?”
“Actual primary quest on the list: Rolling Memories. Objective: retrieve at least six memory orbs from the research area of Solaris Stable.”
Puppy nodded wisely, “Oh, right: the glass balls! Ah, Mister Blue, now that we are friends, can I has glass balls, Puppy please?”
“We are not friends. You are an intruder, and you must be removed. But, since you seem to have the upper hoof, I am willing to negotiate. If you will do a little chore for me, you will have free access to the research area and I will let you take anything you like. Is that acceptable?”
Puppy frowned: chores, what a terrible word! “Ah, I don't know, do I have to prepare the table for dinner, or take out the trash bin?”
“Absolutely not. I don't even want to know how you could think that I was going to ask you something like that. You will reach an abandoned, infested and mortally dangerous area of the Stable and reactivate the communication center. When you are done, come back here and I'll guide you to the research area.”
The filly in yellow nodded enthusiastically. “Yay! I like pressing buttons! It's easy!”
“Good, then it's settled. Now listen carefully...”
DAY N.A. - TIME N.A. - LOCATION: N.A.
Creepy voice settled down again in the recesses of Puppy's mind; she knew exactly where she failed: she had been impatient, after two hundred years of waiting, impatience spoiled her victory. The foal was losing faith, letting herself slip away, so the Voice tried to feed on her desperation, but in her hurry she made the mistake of giving Puppy hope. Hope for a better solution, hope of making a new friend. Instead of feeding on Puppy's desperation, she fed Puppy's force of will and when the foal didn't need her anymore, she was strong enough to break the domination.
But the nightmarish creature wouldn’t stop at first failure, not with so precious a prey in her claws. The foal had big hopes, so big that they could actually keep her power at bay, but what could happen the day those hopes crashed? The bigger you are, the the harder you fall; it was just a matter of time, the little pony was drawing near to the end of the road and the Voice would be there, waiting for her.
DAY 11 - TIME approximately 03:00 A.M. - LOCATION: Solaris Stable, Big 52 SC Branch
“Warning. Eighteen hostiles detected. Threat level: beyond deadly. Immediate retreat is advised.”
The three paradores cowered in the room's corner, biting each other in frenzied terror. Puppy gave up trying to catch and pet one of the big ones because they were too fast; now she was looking for the little ones, but even those jumped and rolled away, even hurting themselves rather than letting Puppy catch them.
“Aw, but what’s wrong with all the pretty puppies? A pet is supposed to be all yappy and soft, not running everywhere like a... ah... a crazed pet!”
Several skeletons of ponies and the remains of a lot of robots lay in the communication room; as is usual inside Solaris structures, the room was located in a high place, in this case the vertical wall of a mesa; from there it was possible to see Rust Manor, very far in the distance. Over the years, one of the reinforced windows had fallen out and now the whole place was a parador nest.
Paradores were mutated parasprites that developed a large array of predatory features, like a bigger body, long teeth that secreted a very corrosive and toxic substance and a totally aggressive attitude. Paradores were also pastel colored with large butterfly wings that made them appear to Puppy's eyes as big, Celestia-tier cute, living plushies; the little pony had completely forgotten her mission and had been chasing the fearsome predators inside their nest for more than an hour, with very little success, since it seemed that the animals were scared of her to the point that a couple of very young creatures actually launched themselves down the mesa rather than letting her draw near.
Puppy snorted in frustration, “I just wanted to play with you! Aaaw!” Sighing, the filly went to the various control panels, trying to find the correct one that made the whole room start again, just like Mister Blue asked her to. “Ah, red button, red button... why they always hide important things? Hey Mister Voice, where is that stoopid button?”
“Scanning. Start up relay localized. Setting objective on the compass.”
Puppy reached a switch in the wall and, after several attempts, succeeded on pressing it. The room’s lights turned on and some of the screens came to life, showing long lines of blue text. Puppy frowned, pink was better, but if this was Mister Blue home she had to be polite and go for the blue.
“Alright, all done! Now I can- OHMYGOSHICANTBELIEVEIT!” Puppy's eyes locked on a small parador lying on the ground, immobile. “A pretty butterfly that doesn't run away!” The foal trotted to the parador picking it up in her hooves and looking at it in glee. “I'll keep you and I'll hug you and I'll love you forever!”
“Analyzing. Dead parador cub. Treat level: none.”
“And I'll call you Fuzzy Ball! Are you happy?” Puppy threw the dead creature in the air, catching it again when it came down. “Yes you are happy! Who's mommy's love? You're mommy's love!”
“Advising. Picking up dead animals is not hygienic.”
Puppy put the dead creature on her back and waved a hoof, “Don't be jelly, Mister Voice, I love you too! Now be kind with Fuzzy Ball.”
“Warning. This program is not jealous. Dead animals can spread germs.”
“Yeah, sure, you're not jealous... gee, ” the filly lowered her voice, “jelly...”
SolOS interrupted the suit's reply, projecting his voice from the loudspeakers in the room. “Very well, D018, you did your part; I will relay the faster path for the research area to you and cease the red alert, so that you can take what you were looking for. Now please excuse me, but with the communication station online, I have a nation to conquer. Have a nice day but please leave the Stable as soon as you finish rummaging in the laboratories.”
DAY 11 - TIME approximately 04:30 A.M. - LOCATION: Solaris Stable, Big 52 SC Branch
When Puppy appeared from the cave, Molten Gold was sitting in front of a campfire, playing the harmonica; he noticed the foal almost immediately, getting up and moving toward her. “You took your time, did you find the orbs?”
Puppy smiled merrily and declared: “Glass balls!” A dozen memory orbs floated out of her saddlebags, “Are they enough? Now you tell me where my mom is? Please, please, please?”
The old mummified ghoul waved a hoof, “Wait just a moment, let me check these then we'll talk about business...” Molten took one of the orbs and nodded, then carefully inspected all the others. “Yes, they are good, I think that I can-” The ghoul froze in the middle of his sentence. “Hey, why are you carrying a dead parador on your back?”
The filly in yellow smiled and moved a little so that the ghoul could take a better look at the dead critter, “Do you like her? She's Fuzzy Ball! I've got a pet! I always, always, ALWAYS wanted a pet! We will do everything together, like chasing butterflies, having slumber parties, teasing the colts and cooking pancakes!”
Molten Gold cocked his head, “But... it's dead! Throw that thing away...”
“What? But Fuzzy Ball is my pet, I can't abandon her! When I find Mom she'll immediately love her and it will be wonderful!” Puppy smiled, recalling the deal, “Right! Where is my mom?”
The ghouls snickered, “As you wish, little ghost. You did your part, I'll do mine: the last time I saw miss Rainy Days was a couple months after the apocalypse... she was in Ivory Tower, organizing the survivors.”
A dinging sound came from the suit, informing Puppy that the primary objective had changed. “New destination: Ivory Tower. Objective designated as primary target. Displaying on compass.”
“Yay! A new adventure for Space Captain Andromeda! Bang! Boom! Straight to the Moon!” The filly was already running away when the ghoul grabbed her tail.
“Wait! Ivory tower is not a place for foals! It's a Steel Rangers outpost nowadays! It's been two hu-...” Molten's eyes met Puppy's and he knew; he saw that hope and that incredible faith that everything was still going to end well. Fuck, how can I tell her that... But when she finds out it... NO! Not your problem, Molten. She asked, you replied. The deal is over, let her go her way and don't look back.
“Yes, Mister Ugly Gold?” Puppy was still waiting for him to finish the sentence.
Molten Gold looked away, muttering the last words. “Just... try not to make them mad, they don't like those like you and me... good luck, little ghost...”
“Thank you Mister mummy! When I find Mom I'll tell her that you were nice with me, bye bye!” The filly merrily trotted away.
“And throw away that dead thing! It's nauseating!”
“I can't hear you! LALALA!” Puppysmiles disappeared behind some rocks, leaving the old ghoul alone with his new found treasure.
Molten Gold sighed and looked at the orbs, putting them away in his saddlebags. “Don't look back, old mummy... don't look back...”
DAY 11 - TIME approximately 07:00 A.M. - LOCATION: North of Ivory Tower, Big 52 SC Branch
Good morning Fillies and Gentlecolts! This is Lonesome Pony and you're listening to Radio 52, the only radio that works around these parts! Let me begin this part of the news with a big thanks to all the ponies with a radio transmitter out there that constantly keep me informed about the Big 52: I love you guys, I'd crumble and fall without your help. Everypony listen to this: radio 52 is blind if you don't tell me what's going on and I am the one who warns ponies about the dangers along the Route, days before the word spreads by itself. These radio amateurs are the real guardians of the Big 52; so, if you meet them toss in a good deal, because if your caravan is in town safe and intact, it could be their merit.
And now, the real news! Let's see what do we have today from the longest route. It seems that after Sun City, civil war is spreading like fire along the Route; from the last information I got, what seemed just some sort of ideological quarrel became all out war between two factions inside the Steel Rangers. Some rangers think that they should keep going as protectors of the old tech, while another group thinks that they should go out and use that tech to save ponies.
The problem is that at the moment both factions are mowing lives in their battle: the technologists and this other group, I think they called themselves after the head of that old ministry, Applejack, are setting Ivory Tower on fire. So again, guess what? Avoid Ivory Tower and its surroundings at all costs, if you don't want to be assaulted and robbed by a group of heavily armed ponies that fight another useless holy war. I repeat: avoid Ivory Tower, go back to Rust Manor or Broccoli and wait for the situation to settle down!
I heard that Mr. White in Salt Cube City is organizing a company of mercenaries to occupy the area surrounding Sun City and secure the route from Downtown to Rust Manor, seemingly all for free. I guess that this means that the White Apples are aiming for their slice of cake in the newly freed town. I have just one thing to say to Mr. White: remember that tiny ghost that saved your plot from a megaspell, in that city there aren't only armed ponies, but also foals and ponies that didn't ask for war. So, please, tell your guys to think twice before they pull the trigger, okie dokie?
A dense pillar of black smoke rose from the horizon, while the echoes of explosions died in the distance. Puppy trotted merrily, following the pink arrow on her compass and at last getting her hooves back on Route 52's asphalt pavement; deploying her folded scooter, she jumped on and zoomed away toward the next war zone.
The roads are the dustiest
the winds are the gustiest
the gates are the rustiest
the pies are the crustiest
the songs the lustiest, the friends the trustiest
way back home.
Footnote: Level up! (11)
New perk added: stonewall - You are much less likely to be knocked down in combat
New Quest Perk added: trotting nightmare (rank 2) -You have seen the darkness beyond the moon; now you can shape the toxic cloud surrounding you.
This fanfiction is based on Fallout Equestria by Kkat; a familiarity with the source material may aid your understanding.
You can read Fallout Equestria by Kkat on Equestria Daily
If you enjoy Fallout Equestria Side Stories you will want to check the Fallout Equestria Side Stories post on Equestria Daily and the Fallout Equestria Side Stories thread on Ponychan
The Ponychan group is also a hatching ground that you can join if you want to share your experience, writing or comments with us.
Huge thanks to Anonsamurai for the big help with the language and a lot of useful hints about writing ^_^