• Published 20th Nov 2013
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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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In forgotten times during the great war when fighting and the carnage it leaves behind were commonplace, the recently formed equestrian military found itself on the receiving end of countless skirmishes and battles. Taking the brunt of this wave of increasingly brutal combat was quickly taking a heavy toll on the inexperienced combatants. Both sides were taking increasingly heavy casualties, as the body count mounted so did the ponies desperation to find an endgame to this barbarity. Few thought this could carry on for more than a year or two at most. On it went, two years, four years, each year dragged into another and this hope faded. A means to counter the zebra war machine was not proving so easy to find.

Both sides reached the conclusion they needed new weapons and tactics. On the pony side special research groups were formed. Some of these groups were given far too much freedom to engage in any manner of experimentation. What the zebras did is anyone's guess. This lead to many grand developments, a few of which held the promise of stopping the enemy in their tracks. Dead in their tracks. Anything and any price to overwhelm the aggressors, and enforce pony dominance once more. With every loss, and every zebra sent packing the ponies pride in their new army grew ever deeper. It is said such pride goeth before destruction.

The battle raged for three terrible days. Clash after clash for three ragged, violent days. Some of those participating in this battle would suffer mental issues for the rest of their lives, still fighting in some way. Those who survived just another kind of casualty. The embattled third battalion barely held the line as pony and zebra alike hurled themselves into this nearly mindless slaughter. Why the zebra forces were fighting with such renewed intensity this time around was a complete mystery. What gave them such strength? It was almost unnatural how hard they fought. It was quickly becoming apparent they may actually punch a hole in the already tattered defenses.

All manner of shattered equipment, and the formerly living ponies which carried it lay scattered across the battlefield. The commander and captains overseeing this, on the verge of collapse themselves, some injured and even dying still gave orders to the beleaguered defenders.

"Scout! Where is that support?" The commander was seriously injured himself, having been attacked by two zebras that somehow slipped through the line. Through sheer luck he and an alert second lieutenant took them out, but not without cost. The bedraggled scout, covered in mud and shaking almost didn't make it back to deliver a report.

"Sir, fourth platoon has been mired in a prolonged firefight to the west. Air support has been drawn off due to unexpectedly heavy resistance, and the terrain is making it difficult for command to coordinate troop movements. Some ground support is heading our way though." He huffed heavily. The sound of gunfire amidst smoke that drifted across the whole area was ceaseless. Looking through binoculars almost nothing distinct could be discerned. The cries of injured and fallen could occasionally be made out. While the intense fighting wore on they could not be reached. This was by far the worst fight the army ever engaged in to date. From within the din of battle a strange new sound could be made out.

An earth pony wearing full heavy armor strode directly into the battle. This action would normally be considered insane. He was walking straight up a zebra held rise that was lost to them hours ago. Was he crazy? The commander managed to spot this and watched in rapt horror as the pony casually marched right into them. All four armored hooves seemed to be sparking.

"What is he doing!?" His death was certain, but as all the zebras gathered and fell upon him he struck the closest, causing a short intense flash as it sent six of them flying, sparks shooting off in all directions.

The commander cursed, stunned at this sight.

"Who is he, and what is that pony using?" He looked to the visibly shaken scout. He'd endured a great deal to get back here. Stepping closer to use the high distance binoculars he pulled himself together enough to answer.

"One of the elites from second division. I think they were calling those power hooves or something. He must have got ahead of his unit somehow, sir." They could only stare as he waded through opposition, knocking opponents aside. His armor was taking some glancing hits, but being so close to the enemy made him less of a target.

By himself he was practically turning the tide of battle in their favor. Attention on both sides was turning towards the hill where this was taking place. More and more zebras were converging on this lone fighter as he knocked away their spears and swords, sparks showering with each hit. Pony forces that saw this were desperately trying to provide cover fire for this lone combatant, they were too far away, many still engaged even as zebra units fell back in droves. He was driving a wedge straight through their ranks that they must take advantage of. All eyes fixated on this scene as an unusually large, lightly armored zebra wielding an energy sword attached to a thick cable strode forth, the power pack strapped to his right foreleg.

Stepping into the fray out of the haze the large zebra hurled the electricity encircled sword at him, catching it as he knocked it back. All the other zebras stepped far back to hunker down and watch. This zebra spun the weapon, throwing it once more to bounce off his armor leaving a jagged tear down the left side. This was no ordinary combatant. The sizzling sword was pulled by the cable to land in their grip again. The pony ran at his opponent, over and over he slashed the sparking weapons at the zebra only to barely miss and come away with yet another tear across his armor. Soon he would be in serious trouble. Other fighting practically ceased by this time.

The ponies could not approach and offer support while the rest of the zebras held this position. They did take advantage of this time to pull wounded out of harms way at last. The two fighters spun and twisted, trying to find any gap in the others defense. Armored as he was made him slower. So closely and intensely they were fighting that no clear shot could be taken. At such great range it would risk hitting this champion of pony kind. Another rake across his armor proved this was by no means an even match. Both knocked the other away to bolt against yet again, striking weapons throwing off showering sparks everywhere. These two locked in mortal combat seemed to notice little else.

This titanic clash came to a sudden end in a most horrifying way. Time itself felt as if it slowed when the pony desperately threw himself towards the zebra, directly striking the swords power pack at nearly the same instant the sword was swung in wide to slice through his armor and pierce his own. The zebra was blasted away as the pack exploded from the charge to roll and land slumped, obviously dead. The pony took two lurching steps forward and stopped. The stunned silence was broken as a terrible thud came from within the armor, flames shot forth from the many slices in the sides and out from the cracked visor.

For a moment this horrific sight stood, his head tilted to the left before the whole suit went crumpling forward and to the side as it crashed into the ground. This momentary hero fell, and with that the battle was over. In almost the blink of an eye all the zebras withdrew into the dust. Whatever pushed them to fight this hard dwindled as one of their best fell. Both sides had enough for now. The carnage for the moment was finally at an end, but this could hardly be called a victory. At best it would allow only a brief respite before a new fight would be taken up elsewhere. Gathering the fallen was a grim task sure to sicken even the hardiest souls. The bloodied army would tend their wounds and fight another time.

Many proud heroes met their end this day, he was merely another. Somewhere out of sight a zebra buried a small box before slipping into the shadows with the rest.

- - -

That just had to hurt, probably a lot.

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