• Published 20th Nov 2013
  • 2,213 Views, 33 Comments

FoE: Snippet Story - Windrunner



Set at various points in the Fallout: Equestria universe. Each chapter is intended to be a unique story unto itself. So many references, both ludicrously obscure and blatantly obvious. Even the title. No, not that. You will never figure them all out.

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Plinth

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The young zebra was hungry and cold. She was always hungry and cold. All of them were. This place was secluded and easily overlooked which is exactly why they stayed here. The community was small, but thriving. Her mother desperately tried to teach her what she needed to survive, perhaps even to replace her someday. Her leadership saved them time after time. The young one really wanted no part of it. All she really desired was food. She wished she could run away run away from this painful world so full of cruelty and mistrust. If only there was anywhere she could run away to. There just wasn't. A zebra was not particularly trusted in the wastes. No one really was.

Perhaps griffons could be trusted to follow their exacting contracts, but a pegasus or zebra finding themselves alone out here was in an entirely different kind of trouble. No help would just happen to materialize.

"Darling dear I hate to say, there simply is no other way. Our food is not growing. Our water soon will not be flowing. We must find some other place to be going." Her mother and a ragtag band of their kin eked out a living in this desolate area far from ponies and their ilk. Their little hidden settlement sat near the edge of a huge inland swamp.

"There once was a trail heading northwest to a river we will now search for in stress. If its still there is anybody's guess." Hidden as they were there was no contact with the outside world. Fear of being discovered ruled the day, keeping them from venturing too far. Reluctantly they packed their meager belongings. A trip such as this was a frightening proposition to the young zebra and most of the others. There was no choice as the deep wellspring they relied on was now only barely providing water anyway. Water which was now turning a sickly pale yellow as it dwindled. The taste was becoming ever less palatable. Soon it would be impossible to drink or use in any way. The cause was completely unknown.

As much as she wished for things to change, this tiny village was the only home she knew. Having to leave here hurt in some way she could not quite describe. Before their supplies started to dwindle her mother was teaching her their tribes traditional fighting methods. For her young age she was nearly the same size as an adult. It was a strict discipline requiring sheer focus and timing. All of them would be having an easier time if there was only more food and water to go around. Keeping up the drills was tiring to the point of exhaustion without it. Her mother insisted anyway. She might have need of it soon. The group gathered around with their belongings. They loaded up on everything.

Wooden water flasks and whatever else seemed like it might be useful. All took a last lingering reluctant look back at their home. Far off to the east above the treetops a structure could just be made out. Ominous and foreboding. It was much farther away than it looked. No one here ever went far enough to reach it. Mountains to the south hemmed in their little encampment against the forest. It was as safe here as anywhere else. None ever left this place. For the last twenty years this forested mini paradise kept them secure from prying eyes, slavers or any of the endless list of dangers outside. Now there was absolutely no choice but to move on.

There were almost no weapons to speak of thanks to their long seclusion from the rest of the world, save for the odd sharpened wooden stick they kept prepared to ward off any wandering animal that might come across them. Even that did not happen very often. Their leader raised her voice.

"A town once built upon the road is where we must get, where ponies may live their lives out yet. If so, our passing may make them quite upset." Her words were fraught with distress and worry. Would ponies really be there? Would they let them pass? A fight was the last thing this little tribe wanted.

Slowly one by one they all turned away from their home. Tears welled in many of their eyes as they set out to face an unknown world, a world each fully expected to cause them even more suffering. Old tales told them ponies did not trust or treat their kind well, possibly with good reason. They could not really know. It was so long since any of them left this place. The only other option would be to try heading for the old zebra lands, but to pass that way would mean braving what looked to be an endless expanse which they may never find the end of. If there even was an end. For all they knew the zebra homeland could be entirely gone, wiped from the face of existence in retaliation over a war barely now within memory.

Almost everyone knew a vast war was why the world was now mired in all sorts of misery, but not the how or why. Even knowing these things would make little difference to most. This was the reality. The world ended in fire. Somehow life did not. Knowing only they must find a source of water, as well as a place to live was a disheartening prospect. They now numbered only around 20. Thirteen of their kin succumbed to various ailments as the water began to turn. Even their expert knowledge of plants and potions was useless. Fighting anyone would be a last resort they could not really afford. From here some travel to the west would be required before they could head northwards in earnest upon the ancient trail.

Now was the time to go, before there were no supplies left for the journey. It really was the only reasonable decision. Staying here would only lead to all of them dying. Straying farther from home than ever before instilled a cold fear of what lay ahead.

"I'm scared." She shook slightly. Her mother looked at her as they took a step beyond the long-time boundary.

"Be not afraid. Death may be inevitable, but it can be delayed." Forming a quiet line they walked off into the haze.

---

The pieces slowly taking the board to sing their song. Which moves will be right, and which will be wrong?

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