• Published 29th Jun 2013
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Fallout Equestria: Tales of Chicacolt - volrathxp



Tales from a broken city told in episodic format.

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Chapter 3: 'Joy and the Giant Vine

Fallout Equestria: Tales of Chicacolt

Chapter 3: ‘Joy and the Giant Vine

Nothing can stop the Smoooooze….

Not all tales from this corner of the Wasteland are tragic. In the remote town of Arlington, just south of Chicacolt, the ponies there have just made acquaintances with the most unusual of pairs. A being known as a Smooze by the name of Finishing Touch, and a griffon cub named Featherjoy have traveled to this place with their friend, one Professor Osmosis, the leader of the organization "The Seekers of Truth". They have come to help the ponies of Arlington rebuild, and to seek ancient truths from beneath the town's Stable.

*****************

“You called for us Professor?” asked the Smooze as he and a small gryphon cub walked into the Lab. In that cluttered space of science, reading a half-dozen pre-war books and glancing at a terminal screen was Professor Osmosis.

“Ah, yes. Finishing, Featherjoy good to see you. Thanks for coming down so early” said the bright blue unicorn stallion as he looked up to the new arrivals, only to be nearly knocked from his seat by Featherjoy’s leaping embrace.

“Morning Professor!” Featherjoy said as she left the Professors arms.

“What do you need help with Professor?” asked Finishing Touch, smiling at the embrace of his two closest friends.

“Right, yes. As you two know I’ve been looking into some of the books that we’ve found and information we’ve come across here in the Stable. It points to another smaller research facility on the other side of the Stable that we’re hopefully opening later today and I was hoping that my favourite little assistant,” said the Professor as he ruffled the blue tipped feathers on Featherjoy’s head “would be interested in joining the research team that’s going in?” at this the young gryphon’s eyes grew wide with excitement.

“Oh, can we go Touch? Can we please please please!?” she called rushing over to the Smooze.

“Hold on one moment Featherjoy. Will it be safe Professor? After what happened at the temple and all the trouble with Truth Seeker...” asked Finishing Touch.

“From what we’ve seen so far the Stable defenses have been deactivated, and the research in this area was low key environmental studies.” The Professor said, gesturing to the open books before him. “Studies of light and enclosure on bone growth, that sort of thing. I will however, be sending a few security gentlemen down with you... Just in case.” the Professor said as he walked back to his desk. “It’s up to you Finishing, but I think this will be perfectly safe. Otherwise I wouldn’t send you two in... After all the trouble I caused you two recently” the stallion lowered his head as he recalled the harm that befell the two only a few weeks ago.

“None of that was your fault and you know it. If it wasn’t for you coming to our aid we wouldn’t have made it out at all” Touch said as he walked up to Osmosis “We’ll go on this little expedition, it will be good to see how things are actually done around here”

At this Featherjoy jumped in the air “Yes!” she called out. “Oh, I’m gonna need to get my things ready! I need my notepad and pens and... and.. Actually Professor what will I need? I..I’ve never actually done this before..” She asked scratching the back of her head.

“You shouldn’t need much else my dear, just note down anything you notice, just like when you help me with my other research and don’t touch anything till Researcher Artifact tells you it’s safe” chuckled Osmosis.

At this the young gryphon nodded “I’ll do my best Professor, I won’t let you down!” she called as the practically flew out of the room to get ready for her small adventure.

A few hours later three earth ponies, a gryphon cub and a smooze waited by a door with ‘Environmental research’ written on the top as one of the ponies worked on the terminal by the door. “I should have the door opening in just a moment... there we go!” called the cream coloured mare as the door started to rise from the floor. “Now, lets see what we have in here shall we my little gryphon?” asked Researcher Artifact as she glanced down at the gryphon.

“Yeah, I wonder what we’re going to find in here...” she said with a hint of worry creeping into her voice, the enthusiasm from before seeming to have completely left her.

“Don’t worry Featherjoy, everything will be okay. Just think of all the research you'll be able to go through with everyone when we get back and the secrets that you’ll be the first to see in nearly two hundred years” reassured Finishing Touch as he placed a gloopy hand on Featherjoy’s shoulder. Nodding and smiling at the kind and encouraging words from her friends the young gryphon walked into the previously sealed room.

What little light that penetrated the darkness of the room came from the now open doorway the single live Stable-Tec terminal that sat on the far side of the room. “Let’s see if we can get the lights back on shall we?” asked Artifact to no one in particular as she moved over to the terminal and started to access its systems, a few moments later what lights that remained bathed the room in light.

“That’s better, now lets see what we have here shall we Featherjoy?” Asked Finishing Touch as he looked around the room with his young gryphon companion.

With a small leap Featherjoy landed on one of the tables as the group started to search the area “Hmmm, I think I have something here” called Researcher Artifact “it seems like they were working on the effects of radiation on the local flora and how to counteract the effects. Some notes seem to point toward medical applications as well... interesting” mused the researcher.

“If you say so Arti, I don’t know if I trust anything created by radiation to actually help ponies, all it seems to do is bring us problems. Just look at them damn ghouls, they’re created by radiation right?” called one of the guards, a dark gray stallion as he rummaged through the shelves.

“Now, Iron Sights, you know better than that. Not all ghouls are feral, we’ve met many nice and friendly ghouls over the years. You can’t paint them all with the same brush, that would be like saying all Alicorns are bad and we just know that’s not true. Isn’t that right Feathers?” replied Artifact as she smiled at the small gryphon, who nodded in response with a big smile on her face.

“Yeah, Radiant Star saved us all from Seeker! Even you Sights.” The stallion only grumbled in response, to which the other occupants of the room giggled at.

“Gerr, there’s nothing here!” Called out a annoyed gryphon, as she pushed a 200 year old cup of the desk in frustration “I’ve got to bring something back to the Professor!” she pleaded as she turned to look at the smooze who was inspecting one of the walls.

“Now Featherjoy, what’s the Professor always told you about being impatient and rushing things?” He said as he glanced at the gryphon. “But it would seem there may be something here - I can feel a small gap in this wall that isn’t anywhere else in the room. Artifact, can you see anything that could open this on the terminal?” Asked Finishing as he still pressed himself to the wall.

Turning back to the computer the mare nodded and searched through the computers files once again. “Let me see, ahh here we go ‘Compartment One. Status - Sealed’ let’s open it and see what we have, shall we?” Pressing the button on the terminal caused the compartment to open up. Featherjoy flew the short distance to perch on the shoulder of Finishing Touch “What’s in here Touch?!” she wondered once she landed on her friend.

In front of the two was a strange sight, sat on a cradle was a peculiar looking stone that pulsed with a green glow, the room itself was covered in vines that seemed to be growing from a small potted plant next to the stone. The vines clung to every available surface and burrowed deep into the solid metal floor. “Oh wow, what do you reckon this is?” asked Featherjoy as she started to scribble down notes in her notepad “it seems to giving out some kind of... energy? maybe it’s feeding the plant and causing it to grow all big n’ stuff?”

“This must be what they were using to conduct the tests on the flora.. Seems like they had some success. But why was it sealed away?” Mused the smooze as he turned to the researcher.

“We’ll we’re going to have to run some test on this, find out if that things even safe to move and how far those vines go down. It’s not giving off any harmful levels of radiation, so it should be safe to take a closer look at” The mare replied as she trotted up to the smooze, “I didn’t see anything about controlling it the test on the monitor, but I’m not the tech wiz. I’ll have Hard Drive look into it, see what he can find”

“You sure it’s not dangerous? It doesn’t exactly look friendly?” asked Finishing Touch as he leant closer to get a better look at the stone.

“Positive, PipBuck’s not picking up any dangerous radiation levels from it. If the research into the flora went really wrong it would’ve been a lot harder to open. I’m going to send for the Professor to come down and take a look at this” replied Researcher Artifact as she nodded to one of the guards who trotted off to find Osmosis.

Jumping off from her perch after hearing it was pretty much safe Featherjoy fluttered to a landing next to the stone. “The vines definitely started from this plant pot. It looks like the growth rate has been sped up by whatever this is” she said as she poked the stone. As her claw touched the stone it released a bigger pulse of green energy, causing the vines nearby to grow around the small chamber caging the small gryphon inside. “Ahhh, Touch! Whats going on!” Cried Featherjoy as she jumped away from the stone, panic sharpening her voice as she fell.

“Featherjoy!” called out Touch as he slammed into the vines that covered the once open compartment “Keep calm, we’ll get you out of their. Just don’t touch anything else till we know what’s going on... “ said the smooze, trying to calm himself as much as the trapped gryphon cub.

“Touch, what’s going on? Get me out of here... I don’t like it in here, the vines are still moving...” whimpered the cub as she curled up into a ball “Touch... Help...” Pounding on the other side of the vines, Finishing Touch attempted to force his way past the vines

“I.. I can’t get in. It’s too tight.. What are we going to do?” He begged Artifact, looking toward the mare, fear gripping his eyes, hoping she would know what to do.

”There maybe some way we can open up a gap to get her out, we could possibly cut a hole in the vines?” Suggested Iron Sights from the side of the room as he approached the two.

“I don’t think that’s a good idea, we don’t know if any vibration could set it off again... And burning them could spread to the other vines. But we’ll find a way Touch, we’ll get her out” Said the researcher as she placed a hoof on the smooze’s shoulder.

“Maybe something in the compartment? They may’ve had someway to remove the vines after testing... Let me have a look at the terminal again” Pondered Artifact as she moved back to the terminal. Leafing through the files once again, nothing seemed to point towards a way to free the cub. “Nothing here, sorry Touch. All we’ve got is a plan of the lab.... Wait, looks like there should be some air vents or something? They may be small enough for her to climb through, see if she can see any Touch.” She suggested, smiling at the smooze who nodded in response as he moved back to the vines.

“Featherjoy, can you hear me?” He asked.

“Touch! Wha...what’s going on? I’m.. I’m scared, I don’t like it in here!” The gryphon shrieked as she rushed to the wall of vines.

“I know ‘Joy, we may have found a way out, can you see anything that looks like an airvent?” Asked Finishing Touch as he leant against the vines.

“Ermm, I can’t.. Wait, yeah I see something in the ceiling that looks like a vent. It’s all busted, some of the vines have gone up it.” chirped the gryphon as she stood “I can probably fit through it!”

“Just.. Just be careful Featherjoy, we don’t properly know where it leads...” Said the smooze with concern in his voice. On the other side of the vines, Featherjoy readied herself to jump up to the vent and climb her way to freedom.

“I’m going in Touch, I’ll..I’ll see you on the other side...” Said the young gryphon as she lept and flapped her way up to the vent, digging her claws into the vines that wound their way through. Dragging herself up the vine Featherjoy managed to get into the vent and start to squeeze her way along the shaft, hoping to find her way to freedom.

“Where will that vent shaft lead Artifact? Do we even know?” asked the smooze as he moved back over to the terminal next to the researcher.

“Ermm, by the look of things, it should be a standard air vent, so it should have several openings along the way that she can get out of. Closest one to us... Looks like it’s back in the hallway, at least I think.” Answered Researcher Artifact as she looked over the floor plan for the labs. At this Finishing Touch ran back out into the hallway looking for the air vent that would grant his friend her freedom.

“I can’t see it, where is the vent?” worried the purple smooze as he frantically looked around the hallway “She.. She’s going to be so scared, I need to be there to meet her..” He mumbled as he paced up and down the hallway looking for the vent.

“Touch.. Calm down” reasoned Artifact as she and Iron Sights stood in the doorway smiling down towards the other end of the corridor “I have a feeling everything will be fine.” She gestured down the corridor as Professor Osmosis trotted down with what looked like a small gryphon covered in two hundred years of dust and dirt, Featherjoy perched on his back, hugging his neck. Her eyes grew wide as she saw her friend, jumping from the back of the Professor she charged towards the smooze “Touch! I got myself out!” she yelled as she jumped up to her friend and embraced him in a hug.

“‘Joy, Oh thank Celestia you’re alright..” He mumbled as what looked like tears rolled down his face. Seeing this Featherjoy leant back, concern covering her face

“Touch.. What’s wrong, I got out and I’m okay” worried the gryphon.

“He’s just very happy to see you’re okay Featherjoy, isn’t that right Finishing?” said Osmosis as he walked up to the two friends, placing a hoof on the shoulder of the smooze.

“Yes, I just didn’t want to see you get hurt again because of me, it’s just like that blasted temple all over again...” said Finishing Touch as he glanced down away from the two.

“That’s not true at all!” Shouted Featherjoy as she hugged her friend even more.

“Tell you what you two, why don’t you go and get a drink and some snacks... and maybe a wash while I take a look at this with Researcher Artifact? You can come back when you’re ready, if you’d like.” Said the Professor as he patted Featherjoy on the head and walked towards the lab towards the remaining two earth ponies.

“Hey, how come I can’t get anything!?” Complained Iron Sights, only to receive a knock to the back of the head from Artifact

“Oh do grow up Iron, I swear you still act like you’re a foal. What would mum think if she saw you still complaining like this when you don’t get your sweets..? Now come on, we’ve got work to do.” She said as she turned back into the lab with Osmosis and a slightly wounded Iron Sights.

“That sounds like a good idea, what do you think ‘Joy?” Chuckled Finishing as he turned back to his friend as he carried her down the hallway. “Yeah! That sounds great!" She chirped happily as she moved to rest on the smoozes shoulder. “So.. How did you find the Professor first anyway...?”

*******

“So, what do we have here?” Asked the Professor as he walked back into the lab with Researcher Artifact and Iron Sights “and would someone care to explain what happened here?”

“Well, we found what looked like a stone in the compartment” replied the researcher as she walked up to the vine covered compartment “It seemed to be giving off some strange green glow, but my PipBuck wasn’t picking up any dangerous levels of radiation from it. That’s when Featherjoy touched the stone, which apparently caused the vines to grow at a greatly increased rate trapping her inside” explained the mare.

“Hmm, so it reacts to contact, or at least it seems to. I wonder what they were testing and where this came from.” Pondered the Professor, “Any idea how we can get into it?” Joining the other two at the vine covered alcove , Iron Sights tapped his hoof to the vines. When nothing seemed to happen

“Well, now that Feathers out, we can try to cut the vines free and see if we can get to it that way?” he suggested.

“We can try that, if we take care with the cutting to minimize any vibrations that could cause it to activate again...” The Professor nodded to Sights as Artifact shrugged.

“I’m not sure what else we could try” said the mare. “Right, go and get your tools Sights and while you’re out grab Hard Drive, see if he can get anything out of that terminal.” Continued the Researcher, nodding as Iron Sights left to go about his task.

A few minutes later Sights returned with some cutting equipment and Technician Hard Drive, “I hear you had a terminal that needed looking over Artifact?” Asked the green unicorn stallion as he pushed up a pair of glasses on his face, smiling at the mare.

“Ah, yes. Right over here, it has a little bit of information on it regarding the tests that were taking place here, but I think some more maybe hidden somewhere else. I couldn’t find anything, I was hoping you could find something more..” replied Researcher Artifact as she led him to the Stable-Tec terminal.

“Do not worry Artifact, I’ll find the hidden information for you in a jiffy!” said the Tech as he sat down infront of the terminal “Anything for you my dear. How would you feel about dinn...” Started to ask the stallion was interrupted as the Researcher walked off.

“The answers still no Drive...” heading back to the other side of the room to the chuckling, smiling face of her brother as he began setting up the cutting equipment. Slumping his shoulders in defeat, as he logged on to the terminal

“Right.. Ermm yes. Anyway, onto the task at hoof.” Glancing through the files on the terminal it didn’t take him long to find evidence of a hidden set of files that seemed to have been deleted very quickly. “We definitely have something here, but it looks like it was deleted, probably when everyone left the stable. Let me see if I can get them back” he mumbled to the others, only to be joined by the sound of power tools revving up as Iron Sights started to cut at the vines with a saddle mounted saw.

“Sorry, what was that?” Called the Professor, shouting over the sound of the saw as he turned to Hard Drive.

“I may’ve foun.. “ he started to yell only to be drowned out as the noise from the saw grew in volume “I.. never mind” he mumbled as he turned back to his work, attempting to piece together what bits of the deleted files he could find, after several long minutes of searching Hard Drive managed to retrieve a partially deleted report on the terminal. “Hey, Artifact... ARTIFACT!” he shouted to the others, only to be greeted by stares from the others as the sound of the tool died down.

“No need to shout buddy, we’re only over here” called back Iron Sights, allowing the power saw to cool as he inspected the results of his labor.

“Right.. right, sorry. Well I’ve found something anyway. One of the reports wasn’t fully deleted, I’ve managed to put part of it back up.” pointing to the terminal screen.

“Ah, great work. Let’s see what it says shall we?” Asked the Researcher as she glanced at the Professor as she walked towards the monitor followed by Osmosis.

“Right, so it would seem that the last thing they were testing was the prospect of speeding up growth of plant stuffs to be used as food, probably for the front lines where it may’ve been difficult to get food to the troops.” Said Hard Drive as he read over the document “but something caused them to cancel the experiments.. Listing something about... Wait that can’t be right.” The sound of cutting started up again briefly in the background.

“I’m nearly in, won’t be a second” called Iron Sights.

The sound of ripping vines filled the room as Sights pulled free the remaining part of the vines, falling back as the piece came free. “Oghff, right. I’m in” said the stallion as he stood back up, looking inside the compartment he was met with something new. “What the heck is that? That wasn’t there before.” He called out as he gazed upon the new resident of the alcove, inside now wasn’t just the stone but 5 large green pods that emitted a green gas around them. Rushing back over to see what Iron Sights was on about the Professor gazed at the new residents of the alcove.

“Oh wow. You say these weren't here before?” Asked Osmosis.

“No, just the stone was inside previously” said Researcher Artifact as she left Hard Drive, still gazing at the monitor, tapping away at the terminal.

“This could be what the previous inhabitants of the Stable had been researching, if we can get this stone back home to Canterbridge, we could possibly find where they went wrong. Bring food to the inhabitants of the wasteland!” Said Osmosis excitingly.

“Erm, guys..” Mumbled Hard Drive at the computer.

“We’ll need to find a way to move the stone from the cradle” Ignoring Hard Drive as she talked with the Professor.

“Guys.. “ Called Hard Drive again.

“We can see what set’s off the effect and maybe find... “ mused the Professor only to be interrupted by the Technician.

“GUYS! I really think you should see this!” He shouted to the rest of the group as they turned towards him. “I.. I think these pods are what caused the other researchers to abandon all this. One report mentions some kind of creature to came out of the pods.. By the sound of things it mimics the last thing that touched the stone” Panicked Hard Drive, “Reports say that once they got out, they turned hostile towards anyone that got too close to them and that any attempt to make contact was ignored completely”

A soft hissing noise came out of the compartment that housed the stone and the new pods, only to be followed by a popping sounds and a screech. “Oh shit!” Called out Sights as he jumped back from the alcove “one of the bloody things just opened” throwing off his saw he quickly grabbed his shotgun in his mouth. The sound was repeated four more times as the other pods opened, only to be drowned out by a blazing siren and yellow flashing lights as all other lights went out followed by the door slamming shut. “What..” called out Hard Drive as the terminal shutdown, flashing up the message ‘Quarantine in effect, biological spores detected. Please stand by’ “Oh.. We’re so screwed. What now...?” He asked to the others.

******

Meanwhile, safe and sound outside the Stable, Finishing Touch and his freshly cleaned gryphon companion Featherjoy sat. Over looking the one vibrant town of Arlingtion, recently destroyed in a attack by the Steel Rangers. But with the aid of the Seekers the town is once again being rebuilt. Looking up at the smooze the young gryphon smiled “It’s good to see so many ponies getting along and helping each other, isn’t it Touch?” She said.

“That it is Featherjoy, just shows that there is still hope for the world.” replied the smooze as he stood up, “How about we go get you something to eat?” he smiled at Featherjoy as she nodded and jumped up to his shoulders.

Walking a bit further into town, the two soon found a small vendor selling food to the ruined town. After acquiring a bit of food the two walked into the town itself, the sound of rushing hooves greeted the two as a group of five young colts ran around the corner. “See, told you it was real! An’ you lot said I was lyin, still not sure what the ‘ell it is..” called one black earth pony colt as he faced the group.

“Hey, don’t be so mean to my friend!” called Featherjoy from atop the smoozes shoulder, jumping down to face the group “his name’s Finishing Touch and hes my best friend!”

“Wow, a gryphon too. Now this town’s just gettin interestin with you Seekers of whatever ya called turnin up!” Chuckled the colt as Featherjoy just glared at him. “Sorry, where’s me manners. How’d you do, my names Urchin. At least that’s what everyone calls me.” Gesturing back to the others “these are my ponies and this’s my patch. Not much to look at, nothing posh , but we makes do wiv what we ‘ave, ain’t what right boys!” Said the young colt, smiling back at the others as they cheered with their leader. “I didn’t mean no disrespect to ya friend, we’ve just never seen one of his kind before.... Ermm, what are you anyway?” He asked glancing up at the smooze.

“Well, we don’t properly know. It’s a long story but that’s why I’m with the Seekers. But like my friend said, my names Finishing Touch and this is Featherjoy” said the smooze as he pointed down to the still angry gryphon.

“Nice to meet ya” said the colt as he walked up to Featherjoy and held his hoof out, smiling at the gryphon, shaking the hoof with her claw she smiled back at him. Fluttering back up to the shoulder of her friend, looking back down at the colt and his friends she waved to them as they ran off, no doubt to go and cause more problems for the local ponies of the town.

“Well he was rather nice, don’t you think Featherjoy?” asked Touch as he turned back towards the Stable hidden deep below the town.

“Ermm, yeah I guess he was nice, a bit rude at first” she replied. “We heading back to the others? I’m sure they’ve found something out by now.” she said to her friend.

“Yes, they’ve probably worked someway to get back to the stone” said the smooze as he walked into the Stable.

“I’m.. I’m sorry about that Touch.. I didn’t know that would happen” said Featherjoy as she looked down at her claws.

“It’s okay, no one blames you for what happened as everything was okay in the end.” Said Touch as he glanced at her and tickled just under her beak, making her giggle.

As the two neared the lab, they were greeted by a flashing yellow light illuminating the hallway. “Oh that can’t be good Touch, we better hurry” said Featherjoy as she jumped from her friends shoulder and flew down the hallway, followed by her smooze friend. Coming to the now sealed door to the lab the two stopped and banged on the door.

“Professor, you in their? Can you hear me?” shouted Finishing Touch as he banged on the door, trying to find away inside.

“Touch, lift me up to this thing!” shouted the gryphon as she rushed to the terminal on the side of the door as the smooze lifted her up. Pressing a few buttons on the terminal suddenly the voice of the Professor came out of the speakers on the terminal.

“Hello? Touch is that you?”

“Yes, Professor, we’re both here! What happened!?” Asked the small gryphon, talking into the terminal. The voice of the Professor once again crackled over the speakers.

“We’re not quite sure. We cut open the vines that covered the alcove that contained the stone, but we we did we found 5 large green pods. These pods apparently contained some kind of green creature. They aren’t attacking us yet but I’m not sure how long that will last.” said the stallion, worry thick in his voice.

“We’ve no way to open the door from inside here, th.. the terminal has shut down. So, if you’d kindly get us the hell out of here!” Screamed the voice of a very panicked Hard Drive, followed by the sound of a angry mare shouting something in the background.

“We’ll see what we can do Professor... But we can’t see any option on here to open the door from the terminal. It keeps on flashing ‘Quarantine in effect, biological spores detected’...” Said the smooze as he glanced over the gryphon.

“Wait, I have a idea! If we can cut the power to the door, will that unlock it?” She asked frantically to the others behind the door. After several minutes the voice of Technician Hard Drive came over the speakers.

“It-it may do, but then we won’t have a way to open the door, that thing looks pretty heavy!” His voice now a lot calmer than before.

“I could possibly lift the door if I can get under it. But how’re you going to cut the power, ‘Joy?” He asked the gryphon as he glanced down.

“I saw some cables that lead into a big box while I was in the air vent, it looked like the other ones I’ve seen around the Stable. I think that’s the power box for the door” she said glancing back up at the smooze “I don’t know what else we can try, and we gotta try, Touch!” Closing his eyes, deep in thought for a few seconds he nodded to her.

“Okay, as long as you keep yourself safe and don’t do anything silly. Just cut the power then come straight out” he said as he lowered her to the ground.

“Right, I’ll be back as soon as its down.” Announced the gryphon as she ran down the hallway, back to the air vent that granted her escape a short few hours ago.

“Don’t worry Touch, she knows what to do. I’ve never met anyone like that cub before, I’m sure she’s going to grow into a fine gryphon one day and on that day you’ll be proud to be the one she learnt so much from.” Said Osmosis, calming the smooze as he watched his young and first friend run down the hallway.

“Yes, I know she will too Professor. I just hope she lives her life and stops putting herself in so much danger” replied Touch. A few moments later the power went out, the wall terminal shut off, the flashing lights stopped and the door lifted from the floor slightly allowing the smooze to flow under the door.

Poking his head under the door he smiled as he saw the 4 ponies. The Professor and Artifact stood by the door, with a very panicked looking Hard Drive sat in the corner as Iron Sights stood aiming hid shotgun at the five small gryphonish green creatures, who now stood directly in front of the group slowly inching their way closer. “Oh, hello Touch, great to see you. But if you’d kindly open the door that would be great” said the Professor as he smiled down at the smooze who simply nodded in reply as he slipped back under the door.

Gathering as much of himself under the door as he could, Finishing Touch started to reform himself and slowly raise the door from the floor. “You're doing it, Touch. Just a bit more!” Cheered on the Professor from inside the lab. As he turned back to the others a shot rang out inside the lab, blasting back one of the spore creatures but doing little damage to its tough green hide. Another few shots rang out as Iron Sights blasted back the others, attempting to keep them at bay while the door opened.

“We need to get out of here now!” Called Iron Sights as he re-loaded his shotgun while the green spore creatures regained their footing.

With the door half way up Touch moved as much of himself to one said as he could “Quickly, get out now. I’ll close the door and trap them inside” he said to the others as they quickly fled the lab. As soon as the last pony left the lab, Finishing Touch slipped away from the door. But something held it in place, one of the vines had grown along the wall and was trapping the door half way up.

“Oh, crap. That’s not good” called Iron Sights as he blasted one of the creatures back into the room. Looking at the others around him the Professor nodded.

“Only one thing left to do, as my good friend the Doctor.. “ He was drowned out temporarily by the blast of another shotgun round hitting a creature in the leg “used to say, Run!”

The remaining ponies and smooze started to run as fast as they could down the hallway, running into Featherjoy as she left the air vent. Being grabbed by Touch as he ran past her, placing her briskly on his shoulder. “What’s going on!? Why are we running?” She asked to the others.

“Running now, explanation later!” shouted Iron sights as he and the others ran for their lives. Running down another corridor the group came to another large set of quarantine doors that was open. The Professor, now panting heavily from all the running shouted to Featherjoy.

“We need to close those doors, Featherjoy can you be a darling and run ahead and get ready to close them when I say?” She nodded and lept from the smooze shoulder, flying at great speed down the hallway. The young gryphon latched onto the terminal and swung to a stop, tapping away at the controls.

As she got to the control terminal, the creatures turned the corner and charged at the ponies at a greater speed. “What the hell, why are they so quick now!” Yelled Hard Drive as Sight’s blasted a few more shots at approaching creatures.

“We need to hold them back while Feathers gets the door ready!” Yelled the Professor as he lit his horn, flinging a bolt of blue light at a pod creature, knocking it back down the hallway into one of the others.

Dodging a shotgun blast one of the creature leapt at Hard Drive only to receive a buck to the face for it efforts. Turning towards the others with a big grin on his face “I got one!” he cheered, only to narrowly miss a attack from another one. He screamed as he jumped aside, only for the creature to be enveloped in purple goo and flung back at the other small green gryphons

“I’m ready Professor!” Called Featherjoy, still gripping to the terminal.

“Come on everyone, through the door now!” he shouted as he jumped over the threshold, only to be followed by the rest of the group. “If you’d be so kind Feathers!” The Professor quickly called to the gryphon as she slammed a command key, causing two large door to close either side of the corridor trapping the five creatures inside.

A new command popped up on the screen ‘Quarantine in effect, biological spores detected. Purge hallway 5B? Y/N’ Quickly tapping Y the gryphon saw the hallway covered in flame, seeing the creatures contained within disappearing to the flame.

“Oh.. Well. That was a certainly interesting afternoon.” Hard Drive called sarcastically as he panted for air from the floor.

“Yeah, you didn’t do too bad Drive, I half expected you to fall and become plant food for a second” Said Iron Sights as he helped his sister up off the ground. Smiling at Sights the Technician just chuckled as he flopped his head back to the ground.

”Professor, I think I need a vacation..” he moaned from the floor.

“Oh, come on now Drive, this is half the fun” joked the Professor as he stood up from the floor “I’ve not had a good run like that in.. Well it’s been quite a while and everyone’s okay, thanks to our feathered friend” he continued, walking up to Featherjoy and ruffling the feathers on her head as she sat on Touch’s shoulder and smiled at the Professor. “But now, now we need to find a way to deal with the stone. Suggestions anyone?” He asked to the group.

“Well, looking at the quarantine zones through the Stable, I think there must be a way to purge the lab. Maybe from the Overmare’s office?” Suggested Artifact “but I don’t know how viable it’ll be to work with the stone, I think the best thing to do should be to send it back to Canterbridge for safe storage in the vaults. If we can get it away from the vines we could probably make a sealed container to transport it home in.”

“Yeah, I unfortunately have to agree. This thing is far too dangerous. Mr Drive, would you be able to check on the Overmare’s terminal for a way to purge the vines from the area? We’d best get everyone out of the surrounding area to be on the safe side. Could you and Iron see to getting everyone out?” Said Osmosis as he nodded at Artifact “We’ll explain everything when we’re done. Featherjoy, Finishing would you care join me and Drive in the Overmares office? ” Said Osmosis to the two..

“Of course Professor” said the smooze as he and the rest of the group split up to go about their tasks to save the Stable. It didn’t take long for the group to arrive in the two hundred year old office, sat in the middle of the office was a large semicircle desk with a large terminal resting upon it with a large bank of monitors occupying most of the wall behind it.

“If you would Mr Drive?” said the Professor, smiling at the stallion as he gestured to the terminal. “and Featherjoy, if you could watch the monitors and tell me if you see the room with the stone in it please?” He asked to the small gryphon who nodded.

“Sure thing Professor, come on Touch!” said the enthusiastic cub as the smooze walked over to the screens. “Ah, yeah found it... Says ‘Lab 5’ on the screen” pointing towards one of the monitors at the top, fluttering her wings from atop her friend.

“Right, I’ve got in the terminal... Bringing up the lab reports for lab 5... Project Green Dawn, gotta be it. Only project from that lab... Oh damn, it won’t let me start a purge in just the lab. It’s reading spores all over the lab and the surrounding corridors” Said Hard Drive as he stared at the terminal. “Professor, I’m going to need to purge that whole level, from 5A all the way to the lab and the connecting air vents.” He said, looking up towards the blue unicorn.

Nodding at the techichine “Do it, we don’t have a choice. We’ve got no idea how far these vines will spread if we don’t do something” said the Professor as he walked up to look at the monitors, awaiting the flash of flame to stop the plants growth.

“Okay, starting purge in five seconds...” Announced Hard Drive as he pressed a few more buttons on the terminal, glancing back at the monitors along with the others. A few moments later a bright flashing light filled several adjacent monitors followed a few seconds later by a bright flame filling the rooms and corridors. After several long seconds a beep sounded from the terminal, flashing up a message on the screen ‘Purge of level five complete. No biological spores detected. Repeat purge? Y/N’ Hard Drive tapped N, and the flashing lights stopped on the monitors.

“Right, lets go and check on the others.and see about getting this thing out and away from the town... I may also want to tell Muddy Waters what happened. That’ll be a fun conversation” Osmosis grumbled as he lead the others out of the office as Featherjoy and Touch chuckled together.

“I’m sure it won't be as bad as you think it’ll be, she’s a nice mare.” Smiled Touch as he walked with the Professor “Just tell her what happened and that we’ll get rid of it so it won’t effect her town.”

“Yeah, I guess when she sees that we have the town best interest at heart she won’t be too mad that we came close to something going very wrong” He replied back to the smooze.

*****

After inspecting what was left in the lab and finding no evidence of the vines anywhere Featherjoy and Touch joined the Professor and the others as they explained what happened to the towns leader, Muddy Waters and a few other mares and stallions.

“We’ve purged what was left in the lab and surrounding area and we’re going to look into removing the stone from the lab and send it back to Canterbridge to be stored away in our secure vaults till a time we can safely destroy it.” Announces Professor Osmosis to the group, some of them clearly not happy that a dangerous situation was narrowly avoided and started to shout for some kind of punishment for the ones responsible.

“You’d want to punish a young child for a simple mistake? One that none of us could see happening and would have probably done ourselves?” Said Iron Sights as he stepped in front of Featherjoy as she dropped her head at the shouting ponies.

“We came here to help you rebuild this town, we give you assistance in every way you ask and in return all we ask for is access to the stable to see what we could find to help not only this town but the Wasteland as a whole.” Called Touch as he walked up beside the Professor, some of the crowd clearly still not happy with having the smooze creature here in town. “We’ve only began to scratch the surface of what this Stable may contain and after being trapped in a facility myself for years, who knows what we could find. Some of it may be bad, but some will help with town. We’ll be removing the artifact so it will never endanger this town or you ponies again” he shouted over the crowd. “But you won’t pin this on my friend, she didn’t do anything wrong and she even risked herself to help this town. So before you jump so quickly against someone, find out what the whole story is first!” He growled in anger at the crowd, darkening in colour as glared at the shouting ponies.

“Touch... C-c-calm down, you’re scaring them.” mumbled the gryphon from atop her friend as she placed a claw to the side of her friends head. Turning to look at the small cub Touch dropped his head

“Sorry, I shouldn’t have shouted, just know we are working along side you all, rebuilding this town with you” He said as he glanced back up at the group.

“Don’t worry, We’re thankful for the help the Seekers have given us and we’re willing to help you get rid of this stone as soon as you can. We don’t want it in this town, but we do want you” said Muddy Waters as she stepped away from the group heading towards the smooze and gryphon. Smiling back at the mare, Touch nodded in agreement.

*****

Several days later Researcher Artifact, along with the aid of her team had fabricated a special steel box that would allow them to transport the stone and its cradle to Canterbridge to be stored away safely. After loading the stone into the steel box it was loaded onto the back of a caravan, awaiting transport back home.

“Looks like it’s all loaded up and ready to go” Said the Professor as he walked along with Artifact inspecting what’s left. “The caravan will take the safest route, we’ve also had a couple of volunteers from the town to escort it and stay in Canterbridge.” Turning to the stallions pulling the caravan “Good luck, see you guys soon” he called, waving farewell as the started to head off out of the town.

“Let’s just hope they make it, last thing we need is that thing becoming lost out in the Wasteland. But we’ve got some of our best going with it.” Said the mare as she watched them leave, turning back towards the town she noticed the Professor still watching them, “Don’t worry Osmosis, we’ll be heading home soon. We’ve just got a bit more work to do here. Come on, lets go find the others.”

“Yeah, soon we’ll be home.” Looking out in the direction of Canterbridge, smiling “I’ll be home soon my love. Just a little bit longer” He mumbled to himself, turning back walking towards the town. He came along the sight of Featherjoy running around with a group of other young ponies, being chased by a young black colt, a big smile on her face. Standing off to the side smiling and chuckling to himself at the joy of his friend living her life as a young child should, simply having fun in this hard time and during such hardships.

He walked over to join the Smooze and smiled at the sight, thinking to himself ‘I’ve got some great stories for you and great people for you to meet, but I’ll just be a bit longer my love’.

Author's Note:

McMesser’s Notes:

We'll, this is my first attempt at any real form writing and I’ve actually really enjoyed it. So I think I’ll be giving this ago again sometime soon. So thanks to Volrathxp for pushing me to try writing in the first place and Wirepony for working his arse off to make this readable. You guys rock so hard, I loves ya!

For more background into the Smooze and friends, he first appeared in Fallout: Equestria Starlight http://www.fimfiction.net/story/17890/20/fallout-equestria-starlight/chapter-18-faith-unbroken and then later in the two part chapters
http://www.fimfiction.net/story/17890/26/fallout-equestria-starlight/chapter-24-return-to-dust-part-1
http://www.fimfiction.net/story/17890/27/fallout-equestria-starlight/chapter-25-return-to-dust-part-2 all written by the amazing Volrathxp..

Volrathxp’s Notes:

As stated before, this chapter was one not written by me!  It was written by our good Smooze friend, McMesser (who is also pre-reader/editor for Starlight and Tales of Chicacolt).  This chapter arose out of Wirepony and myself pressuring McMesser to pick up the computer and use it to write a little, rather than just using it to bash heads in (it’s far cleaner this way, trust me).

Expect to see this as a separate story at some point, but for now, enjoy it as an addition to the “Tales” short story family.

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