• Published 21st Sep 2013
  • 2,476 Views, 148 Comments

Fallout Equestria: Ashes - Relyet

Another Fallout Equestria Sidestory. Two ponies walked across the wasteland, trying their hardest not to be heroes, not to make friends, and not to change the wasteland.

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Chapter 1: Walking

Fallout Equestria: Ashes


Chapter 1: Walking

It's dangerous to go alone! Take this.

Two ponies walked across the wasteland.

I was one. He was the other.

We'd been walking the day before. And the day before that. As far back as I could remember, we walked. Sometimes we stopped walking and stayed in places. I talked to ponies, He didn't talk. We would walk someplace, ponies would die. The other ponies would give us caps, and we'd walk someplace else. Today, we were walking someplace else.

He grunted at my side, and I refocused my eyes. Down the road, we were coming up on a pair of concrete boxes with wide glass windows, twins on opposite sides of the road. Two long wooden beams extended to block the path painted in fading blacks and yellows. Ponies were milling around the boxes and inside them. Dirty ponies, in dirty armor. One was watching us through a pair of binoculars. His lips flapped and the others drew themselves up, watching us too. We walked. When there was ten feet between us and the roadblock, a voice cried.

"That's far enough!" One of the dirty ponies detached himself and strode up to us, looking us over with a critical scowl. I knew what he was seeing would make anypony suspicious, it was more of a question of which was more so. The crimson unicorn mare bearing a broadsword across her back and an obscuring gasmask across her face, or the massively muscled stallion standing nearly two heads higher than anypony there. It probably didn't help that He bore a cutie mark of some kind of bone, snapped in half, on His flank. "You two get split up from one of the scout groups? Which band d'you work for?"

He was speaking to Him, counting on His large size to equal authority. He would be sorely disappointed.

"No band, just us." I answered softly. Or tried to. My mask usually turned my words into a harsher rasp that seemed to make ponies uncomfortable. He certainly looked uncomfortable as he swapped his gaze to me.

"Freelance then? If you're lookin' for work you'll find it in Pyresteady. It's just north here, y'can't miss it." He made a head motion back at the other dirty ponies, and they brought their weapons up. He offered an insincere smile. "Hope you're good at y'work too, 'cause we're gon' need fifty caps from each a' ya fer not bein' a citizen. Y'know, the toll."

I stared at him beyond my lenses. He looked back, fidgeting suddenly. I raised one of my hooves, and felt another, heavier hoof on my shoulder. I looked back at Him, a tan cloth sack with our caps in His mouth. I dropped my hoof and reached out with my magic, drawing a stream of little metal disks out in a green cloud. I counted them out slowly and dropped them in a pile at his hooves, and stepped around him. He gave a startled noise but turned it into a shout at the other dirty ponies that we were free to pass. The wooden beams raised and we walked.


We couldn't miss it. It was a town ringed in concrete slabs leaning on stacked shipping crates, and tall towers with square platforms out of which long barrels jutted. Towers placed sporadically around the wall belched smoke and flame into the air. The jets of flame reminded me of my own cutie mark, only mine were green. I could feel the heat in the air when we got close enough to the entrance. The gateway, formed from two doors formerly belonging to a train car, lay on a pair of tracks set in the dirt and welded to the top of the entrance. They were wide open, I noted. A place like this, that radiated such outward wickedness could afford to keep its gates open without fear of foolish attack. A place like this was dangerous.

We only got a few second glances when we passed under the gate. From it I could see in a straight line down the middle of the town, the dirt road bisecting the buildings that rose up to the left and right in uneven rows. A lot of the buildings were truly buildings, the kind built before the war, with all four walls and a roof, some as many as three stories high. Clinging to the sides of the proper structures like parasites were more typical wasteland buildings thrown together from sheet metal and hunks of wood. As we trotted down the main street I noticed it seemed to split the town in two more than just in the literal fashion. To my left, the buildings were in worse shape. I didn't see a single unsmashed window, and many a door bore graffiti expressing the attitude of the raiders you were likely to find within, ranging from hostile to psychotic. Only once or twice did I glimpse a fresh corpse repurposed as some kind of wall decoration. I imagined in a town like this, such as it was, it made no sense to string up ponies by their entrails to dissuade intruders when your neighbor would be just as crazy as you. Maybe those ponies were just too used to the ever present corpses to give them up. The few ponies I saw occupying the streets and alleys were the mangy sort, with ragged barding that was two parts intimidation and spikes to every one part armor.

To my right, the contrast was so sharp as to be jarring. The buildings weren't exactly clean, but they weren't blood stained or heavily graffitied. The ponies that walked that half looked better groomed and geared, wearing combat barding or freshly laundered pre war clothing. Most of them, anyway. The ones that weren't were pitiable creatures that dogged the heels of the cleaner ponies with their heads down, wearing gleaming bands of metal around their necks.

I stopped looking to either side and kept pace towards the towering four story building whose entrance lay square in the middle of the road. The only building that bridged the gap between this curious dichotomy I was strolling through. It was obviously the place to find the work. The entry way lacked a traditional door, instead opting for fancifully carved, swaying saloon doors. Out of everything, I disliked them the most.
"This place is irritating."

I stopped short of the doors to inform Him. He grunted and shrugged, looking away dispassionately. I sighed, and pushed the doors in with my magic before striding through, making sure to ease them shut as well so they wouldn't pendulously swing back and forth behind us. From the sight of the doors, I had been dreadfully expecting to hear- Oh, there it was. A piano, pushed up against one wall. Thankfully it looked like somepony had been thrown into it sometime in the past, rendering it unplayable. Everything else fit though, there were rows and rows of rustic round tables seating ponies from either of the cliques I'd seen outside, drinking, gambling, and.. laughing. We'd seen these sorts of 'watering hole' buildings enough times walking in the south that it was obvious whoever furnished this one was trying too hard. Hating to repeat myself but unable to help it, I sighed again and weaved through the rows. A few of the denizens peered over their cards to jeer at one or both of us, but otherwise we received a wide berth. Filling all of one wall on this first floor, the bartop was where anything important was likely to happen. I approached the edge and one of the mares working behind it turned to greet me. She had a doughy looking body, and a pumpkin orange coat under a yellow mane drawn up into a bun behind her head . Her fixed grin faltered a touch when her eyes met my lenses, but not much.

"C'n ah help you, sugah?" She drawled at us.


A searching stare. I thought I would have to explain further but she pointed to the right, across the room at a broad square of wood hung up on the wall, a word crudely burned into it. I recognized the word 'JOBS'. The entire thing was covered with papers, and nails for ponies to hang them from.

"Y'all new here, huh? Bounty board's over yonder.."

"No. Bigger work. More caps." I cut her off, only giving the board a cursory glance. She dropped the grin all together and cocked an eyebrow. She peered up at Him and hissed.

"She dense or somethin'?"

She received a silent, stony stare and decided I was still the more preferable to talk to.

"That ain't how it works here, sug'. The big boss gives out the big jobs, an' only to the ponies what prove they got what it takes. You two tumbleweeds sure is tough lookin', but it takes more than that to-"

"Speak with him?"

Her looks grew increasingly frustrated each time I cut her off, but she talked too much, and it was taking too long to get to the work. She looked like she would refuse us, or maybe start talking too much again, before pointing to a little slanted speaker box set into the bartop next to one of the registers.

"He's a busy stallion, but ah'll give him a buzz."

I nodded and she sidled over to the box, pressing a button with a hoof and ducking her head low. She whispered, and I gave her half of the conversation little attention. The work 'spooks' came up clearly once or twice. She returned to us with a half-smile, half-grimace.

"He's sending somepony down, just take a seat." She gave a hoof motion towards the main room and the sea of ponies. Not all the tables were full, it was mid-day still and most of the patrons were probably out doing whatever it was they did to earn the caps they spent here. I picked a table against one of the walls, so I could settle into one of the chairs with my back to said wall. He just stood, not even bothering to test if one of the rickety chairs would hold him. Opposite my wall was the far wall that the barmare had pointed out, with the board that said JOBS. It also had the staircase that led up to the higher floors. After... some amount of time a pony descended and his determined eyes met my lenses. He made his way towards our table, and in his wake more than a couple of the chattering barflies turned from their cards and cups to watch. His coat was a dark brown the color of wet dirt, with a close chopped square of rusty red for a mane. He wore a barding made of overlapping layers of some leathery hide, black and brown. He smiled pleasantly and helped himself to one of the chairs, sliding into it and placing both hooves on the tabletop between us.

"Sooooo, you're the spooky ponies what got our Bitter Drink's mane all on end?" He chortled, looking over to catch the dirty glower from the barmare before leaning further over the tabletop. "Now, how can I help y'all?"

Repeating myself. I do not like it.

"Show us to the boss with the bigger work and quit wasting our time."

He recoiled, the fake smile vanished and replaced with a scowl. His head crouched towards the grip of a mouth pistol jutting from the holster near his shoulders without a hint of stealth, hovering halfway there.

"Little Miss, I don't know what tribal pit you two squirmed out of, but around here things are different. Big jobs are for the big players, ponies what earned some respect 'round here, not two specs of dust blown in on the mornin' wind. Now if you ain't gona lookit the board, or buy a drink, you better just get up'n go." He reached a hoof out, presumably to tap against my chest and hammer home his words. Before his hoof came close to brushing my coat, He was there over him, and had his jaws snapping down on the nape of his neck. With a heave and a whip of His neck, the brown stallion was flung across the room and came down on his back, in the center of one of the occupied tables, sending caps and glasses and alcohol into the air when it broke under his impact. Shouts went up, confused or angry, and more guns came out, aimed at Him or me, or somepony else entirely. Before anypony could start shooting, a little wood box near one of the registers let out a piercing buzzing noise that brought an end to all others. With everypony quiet this time, I could easily hear the voice that crackled out of it.

"What seems to be the commotion down there, Miss Bitter?"

"The spooks! They.. the big one just tossed Mudslide!" The soft mare pressed the button on the side and replied, keeping half her focus on levitating the revolver over her head.

"I see... Please be a dear and send them up then, and give them my apologies." The cool voice instructed through the box. The mare narrowed her eyes at it and us, before lowering the barrel of her revolver an inch and gesturing to the stairs with it.

"Mister Joe will see you now.. he apologizes for any inconvenience." She recited stiffly. I slid out of my chair and joined Him in trotting to the stairs, enjoying this lovely silence over the previous din. I made sure to peek down at the dirt colored buck groaning under the heap of wood as we passed by, and give him a taste of my lenses.


The second floor of the building was mainly rooms. Bedrooms. Open doors peeked in on bunk beds, cots, and the odd lone full sized mattress, and closed doors emitted the disgusting sounds of ponies.. coupling. I overtook Him with a groan and followed the curving hallway, coming on the second staircase and bounding up it. The third flood had larger rooms, as well as a railed balcony that extended and wrapped around the whole front of the building with empty doorframes leading to and from it. I slowed back down and trotted this hall casually, making for the room with metallic box smashed into the wall beside the door. The box read 'Administration', as the barmare had told me it would. I stared at the box for a moment before lifting a forehoof and thumping it on the door.

"Enter!" We were bid. I glanced up at Him, He was looking down at me calmly. I shrugged. Grasping the handle in my magic, I pushed the door in on a stallion. He was standing next to a desk, one large chair behind it and two more in front of it. He approached and gave a polite nod of his head

"Come, please, sit, I'm sure you'd like to get this over with quickly."

He was a large buck with a blue gray coat. Not as large as Him of course, he wasn't a walking tower of muscle and scar tissue, no, his size was due to being clad in half a carts worth of metallic armor. It was similar to the suits of powered armor worn by a Steel Ranger, but of many different models and paintjobs. He wore what looked like the bottom half of one of those Ranger helmets, stripped down to just the respirator and some tubing that connected it to the suit. It covered his muzzle and we could only see his eyes and... his hair. His hair was a broad, bright orange wedge that rose up and jutted forward off his forehead so sharply and firmly I thought it could have served as a weapon on its own.

Striking mane style aside, this pony didn't irritate me, this was good. We followed him back to the desk and I drew myself up into one of the offered chairs. He crossed over and eased his considerable weight into the metal bench on his side, cocking his head back and giving us a good look.

"You have to forgive Miss Bitter, we do get so many cocksure young upstarts prancing in here hoping to build themselves a fearsome reputation in as little time as possible, I'm afraid she lacks the eye to see real talent when it seats itself at her bar." He shook his head, his somber tone suggesting he truly shared our plight, then mercifully cut to the chase. "You want a big job, the kind I usually only give out to my gang leaders and lieutenants. Considering you tossed one of the latter like a sack of old apples, I'd say you've got the right attitude at least. I'll give you a chance." He pulled open one of the desk drawers and laid out a sheet of paper before us. It had black writing and lines, with larger, sloppier writing in red over the lines. I ignored most of it but for the symbol in the top right corner, a crude sigil of an eye, bloodshot and weeping. Or dripping blood. I couldn't tell.

"One of my gangs, to the north and west of here, has forgotten the terms of their contract and started straying too far into the peaceful town of Little Cliffside. I told them when they joined up that they could set their base that close, but they had to stick to road traffic, caravans, and the like. Too many incidents inside Cliffside, and I catch gruff from the NCA goons with their hooves in that town..."

I started to take back what I thought before. He was starting to irritate me with his talking, spilling out details I was certain we wouldn't require for the job. Thankfully I didn't have to interrupt him, he seemed to be wrapping up.

"I've already wasted enough time sending stern warnings, so now I'd like to dissolve their contract, and for you two to dissolve them." He pushed the paper closer, tapping his hoof over the bloody eye in the corner "They call themselves the Bloodshots. Just follow the signs with that painted over."

I didn't like looking at that eye, so I nodded and used my magic to fold it over and slip it into His saddlebags. I climbed down from the chair, he rose with a metallic whirring.

"And before you go, let me make up for my lack of manners and properly introduce myself." He came back around the desk and drew himself up in front of us. "My name is Bazooka Joe, welcome to Pyresteady."

I looked up at Him after the odd display of etiquette. It was odd enough to even earn a facial expression from Him. He returned my look and gave a half shrug, so I cleared my throat, brought a booted hoof to my chest, and simply stated.


Then shifted my hoof to the side.



We walked. We were walking north and west, towards the sinking sun hidden behind the clouds and mountains. The regions around and beyond Pyresteady were a sandy badlands, populated by hills and rocky outcrops. Plenty of places for enterprising Raiders to establish a new base almost overnight. We had found the first sign a few miles out of the gate when the sun was still (presumably) high in the sky, an old metal speed limit sign on the side of the road painted over with the red eye with an arrow pointing off into the hills. Now we followed them as the sun steadily reclined across the horizon.

Crunch walked beside me. Bazooka Joe, to his credit, had only given a single chuckle and suggested it was an odd name, but fitting. I hadn't bothered to answer that, and we left. I supposed Crunch actually had a better name once. Thinking back was difficult, but I recalled when I had finally asked him. We had been walking, like always. I looked up to him from an even greater distance than I did now, so I had been smaller. He stopped walking and looked down at me with that stony, steady gaze for a long time, then walked off the road and found a half buried skeleton. He tugged it into place, put a single bone in front of me, and placed his broad hoof on it. Then he started to lean, and in a second the limb had cracked( matching the image on his hindquarters, I noted at the time). He looked at me and then did it again with another bone, grinding his hoof left to right that time...

So I called him Crunch. He answered to it, so I must have at least been close. He grunted, and my eyes focused behind my lenses. We had crested a particularly tall hill and looked down on a small bowl shaped indent in the earth, filled with sand, that stretched out for a ways before returning to more solid ground on the other side. In the middle of the bowl, a single concrete skeleton had had everything done to it that could turn it into a suitable base of operations. Holes had been patched with sheet metal, and toppled over carts were littered around its base to be used for cover. With the darkness deepening around us, I couldn't clearly see any more of the red eye sigils slathered everywhere, but I knew they must be. The setting sun also meant a few fires had gone up around the base that we could see ponies standing around and cooking over. There weren't that many. A score, Joe had said, maybe more if they picked up any stragglers. We sat and watched them until the last of the meager sunlight faded behind the hills. I knew now my emerald mane, tail, and the lenses of my goggles would be gleaming with a wavering green light that would carry across the dustbowl. I started down the outer rim and trotted towards the fire.

I made it almost into the outermost campfire before the first shot, from some single shot rifle, hit the dirt next to me and I stopped.

"Y'missed, you idjit!" Came a gruff voice from a reclining older buck.

"Isat a ghoul?" Asked a mare, standing behind the shooter.

"Whatever you are, turn yer ass 'round and go back the way you came." Another stallion, younger, and glaring at me down the length of his rifle. I started trotting again.

"It's comin' closer Rawhide, git it!" The panicky mare started in alarm. There was a harsh metal rasp and clunk of a bolt drawing back with more effort than it should need and being pushed down again.

"I said get goin' 'fore I put a bullet between those headlights!" The stallion squinted. I was in the ring of light cast by the burning wood, he could've made out my pony shaped silhouette. A bullet sailed wide past my head and stuck sand a few yards back. My knowledge of firearms and battle saddles was... limited, but the presence of duct tape in several spots around the contraption was probably a bad sign.

"Yer blind as muh granny!" The gruff buck who sported a ridiculous amount of facial fur.

"Quit throwin' my concentration off. I gotcha now, bitch!" By the time he got the rusty bolt to slide into place properly, I was standing five feet from the trio, and he brought the rifle to bear on me at a range even he couldn't manage to miss.

Then Crunch sailed in from the darkness behind them and landed on his back, turning him into a screaming heap. At that moment, I decided Joe was wrong, his name was perfectly okay. The other two turned their eyes to their fallen (smushed) comrade, the mare starting to shriek. My horn lit up, the sword slipping from my back and sailing through the air in an arc. A moment later and the buck got a much needed shave.

Okay, so it was a bad joke. But then, death isn't funny.

I stepped over the headless corpse and towards the mare, still screaming in sudden shock, and pushed the tip of my sword into her throat. Her screaming died down to wet gurgling and I sighed, pulling back.

"THE FUCK IS GOIN' ON OUT THERE?!" A shout from one of the holes in the building that a creative pony would call a window. The other ponies from the other fires had started fleeing across the sandy ground towards the building, a daring few backpedaling and spraying fire into the night. They slammed the metal double doors shut behind them just as the last one made it through, but we were in no hurry as we approached the doors.


"-some kinda fuckin' monsters!-"

"All green an' glowin'! Pack a' ghouls I tell ya, they already got a bunch a' those poor bastards downstairs-"


These ponies were loud. After bucking the doors in on top of the brave few who stayed behind to guard the front, Crunch and I split up when the single hallway became two going in opposite directions. Mine led to (other than more loud ponies) some stairs to the second floor. From the sounds of office furniture being hurled around a room downstairs, I figured Crunch hadn't quite found his own set yet. Shrugging, I nudged open a door that read 'Administration' just enough to slip my sword through. The ponies inside yelled something I couldn't make out when I closed the door again, and peppered the door with buckshot and bullets. Nothing got through, as I'd learned through trial and error that doors reading 'Administration' favored towards being bulletproof. Whatever an 'Administation'-er had been before the war, they seemed paranoid of being shot through their doors. I could still see through the nice big window in the middle of the door to guide my sword though, and proceeded to cleave off the forelegs of the pony reloading the shotgun with her mouth, then turned its edge on the other two, relishing the fact that they weren't nearly as loud on this side of the door.

Continuing on the second floor I stepped into a much larger room taken up by several tables stacked with filthy cookware piled up with.. food? It looked like food. I'd seen this sort of layout in other office buildings before, a cafeteria. The opposite wall had a large square hole in it, with a countertop jutting out, and I could see through it into another room that contained stoves and ovens and other cooking surfaces. And I could see another pony. Her back was to me, and she didn't even seem to notice I'd entered. She was standing up on her back legs, standing over a bowl on one of the counter tops, using her forelegs to hold the bowl and a spoon in her mouth to stir. I crossed the cafeteria and entered the kitchen through the doorless frame. She still didn't turn away from her stirring, and seemed to be humming some tune to herself. Her coat was an irritatingly vibrant yellowgreen, like the color a grape would be if it decided it wanted to be the sun. Her mane was an equally shocking shade of magenta, but it only covered half her scalp, the other half had been shaved away. Just as I decided I would enjoy killing this pony who irritated my eyes so, she turned away from the counter and dropped to all four hooves facing me.

"Naughty!" She shouted with her brow furrowing. "I told you, you CAN'T lick the batter, you have to wait until it's cooked!" She tsk tsked at me. I could see the bowl and batter in question behind her. It was pulpy, and red. Dismissing her raving, I levitated my sword higher so she would see it clearly. The patronizing smile that spread across her muzzle was not the reaction I expected.

"Aaaw, you want to help chop the veggies? I appreciate it, but that simply won't do." She pointed up at my hovering blade "Y'see, that's not a knoife." She turned her head towards the countertop, suddenly adopting an strange accent for.. some reason, and when she drew back she had a cleaver the length of a pony's leg clenched between her teeth.

"THAT'S a knoife!" She giggled around the handle and posed with the blood streaked piece of oversized kitchenware. I had had enough, and swung my own blade down at her head. Only for her to nimbly jump back, landing on her forehooves and balancing on them, her back half raised into the air in a hoofstand.

"Oh, you don't wana help me with supper, you wana distract me with a game of tag! Well, your plan is destined to fail, b'cause my iron attention span simply can't be broken! Can't, I tell you!" Her fierce glare dropped from me to her own forehooves, supporting her, and she cocked her head. "..Have my hooves always been that color?"

I swiped at her hooves, hoping to lop them both off at once so she'd fall on her incessantly prattling face. She hopped. She bent her forelegs and hopped over my swipe, doing some kind of summersault in the air and coming down to smash one of her hind hooves into my face. Or, rather, the space on my gasmask between the two lenses. Either way it was a kick to my face that sent me off my hooves and back into the front door of an oven. Sailing on without my magic to stop it, my sword ended up lodged in a cabinet door.

"You're. It!" She punctuated the two words by prancing from her left legs to her right legs and back again, shaking her rear end in some kind of victory dance. I pushed onto my hooves and my horn flared, wrenching my sword from the cabinet so hard it tore the door with it and sent the wood showering ahead of it at the mare. She ignored the wood chips, but turned her neck and caught my blade with the cleaver still in her mouth. She flicked her neck again and turned the blade away, hopping onto one of the counter tops and starting to do some sort of jig. At first I thought she was just dancing again, and rushed in to close the gap, but suddenly she brought her hoof down and kicked, and this time kicked up more than just two century old dust. The kitchen knife sailed through the air entirely too gracefully for having been kicked, or maybe I was just bitter because it found my shoulder in its flight path and sliced a deep gash into it.

"Noooo cheating! Tag is a game for hoofsies!" She wiggled one of her hooves in my direction to demonstrate. Gritting my teeth, I raised the sword to prepare a strike, and she kicked out again, only missing removing a portion of my ear because I ducked. To avoid further frustration and flying knives, I slammed my sword back into the leather harness hanging from my side and charged the countertop. She cartwheeled away and I gave chase, my entire world shrinking down to the need to end this mare.


We were still at it when Crunch entered the kitchen. The gash in my shoulder had gained some playmates in a series of nicks and cuts up and down my sides and neck from running around a kitchen full of sharp edges. She was also looking worse for wear, I had managed to catch her a couple times and slam her into various very hard surfaces. The first time I tackled her she gave a dismayed wail that she was 'it' now, but when I raised my hooves to start stomping her face in, she kicked my gut and rolled away, gleefully telling me that I was already 'it' again.

I was still it when Crunch lazily entered the kitchen. We were both panting and bleeding, but she still grinned maniacally at me. She'd lost the cleaver a tackle or two ago. When she caught sight of the massive stallion in the doorway, her attention snapped fully onto him.
"Oh, another new friend! Wana play too? This one isn't very good at it.." I was on top of her before she could finish taunting. It was only the weight of my body keeping her pinned, I didn't have the effort to physically push her down. I used it all up raising my hoof over my head and swinging it down against the side of hers. It rolled to the side from the strike and I rolled off of her, panting on my back. A bark escaped my mask that you could mistake for a hoarse laugh. It wasn't, but you could mistake it for one. If you wanted to.

The not-laughter was short lived, as I saw her shape sitting up beside me. I saw her thrice damned neon green body loom over me. I tried to call out to Crunch to.. crunch her. Quickly. Oh so quickly, she's going to, quickly Crunch, stop her, smash her into paste, quickly, before she-!

She brought her hoof down in the center of the filter jutting out of my mask, a rough approximation of where my nose would be.

"Boop.. you're it again.."

She passed out.

I passed out.


"-And I thought she was gona get me but I threw a ladle at her at the last second-"

I groaned. I was still out. I was having a nightmare. That's why I still heard her voice.

"-didn't mean it before, she's REALLY good at tag! Is she good at any other games?"

Or I was dead, finally, and in hell, and it was populated by a thousand loud ponies just like her..

I felt a shaking around my shoulders and opened my eyes. Green and magenta filled my lenses.

"You're right, she IS awake! Good mornin', sleepy head!" She cooed at me. I smacked her face away from mine and sat upright. We were outside the building, by one of the campfires. We was not the nice, comfortable 'we' I was used to. Crunch was there, sitting next to the fire, and she was there a foot away from me, grinning that idiot grin. I continued scrambling to all four hooves and stepped backwards away from her and towards Crunch.

"Now you're going to get it, you.. you irritating.. thing!" I growled, and lit up my horn with every intention of ripping my sword from my side and putting so many holes in her she'd have to-
I felt a heavier hoof on my shoulder. I turned to gaze up at him. His head shook. The movement was ponderous, glacial, but he shook, and I felt a deep sinking in the pit of my stomach.

"Why not!?" I railed at him. Other times, I could accept he was right. They didn't deserve it. There was an easier way. Wasn't worth it. But this time. His hoof pressed harder into my shoulder and I hissed. He was pressing on the gash, the one she'd inflicted on me with a kicked kitchen knife. I looked back at her. She was sitting on her haunches looking at the both of us, a broad grin plastered across her face. Her face which was bruised and puffy. I hated that face so much, and yet it was there before me and not sliced to ribbons.

I sighed and raised myself up from the battle stance. I took the smallest step towards her as I possibly could and bowed my head, reciting old worlds.

"You were a worthy adversary and I.. gnnh.. I have marveled at your skills. It would be an honor if you would join your path to ours and walk with us."

It was a struggle to force the words out, but I managed, and raised my head, hoping against hope to see her face screwed up in confusion, to see her shake her head and suggest she.. I don't know, was the princess of Gumdrop Land and had to return to her subjects before they missed her. That sinking in my stomach grew deeper when she rose to her hooves and cocked her head

"Oh cool, where're we walkin'? Goin' on a nature hike or somethin'?"

That counted as accepting in his book, I didn't waste time pleadingly turning my lenses to Crunch to check. I hung my head, turned towards the lip of the dustbowl, and started to walk. Crunch was soon walking beside me. And so was she.

Three ponies walked across the wasteland.

I was one. He was the other. She was...

"Hey, d'you wana sing a song?"

... Annoying.

Footnote: What? Looking for a SPECIAL? Do I look like some kinda protagonist to you?!

Okay, fine,

S: 4
P: 4
E: 9
C: 2
I: 7
A: 7
L: 5

(Here goes nothin'. Huge thanks to KKat for building up this awesome world for me to splash around in! Extra thanks to the mods over at the Wasted Days sim for the use of the Little Cliffside setting!))