• 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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Dance of Distant Waters


The science vessel 'A Priori' was the most well-equipped research ship ever conceived by combined pony intellect, an idea put forth oddly enough by the ministry of arcane sciences. Constructed in secret, it was a calculated gamble. It was a standout asset from the outset. From the very moment it was launched it proved itself to be of enormous scientific value. A small army of scientists, combat engineers, biologists and magic specialists practically lived on this powerhouse, if not always harmoniously. It held little in the way of conventional armaments, despite this it was considered to be a match for even their largest battleship.

Experiments on everything from powerful repulsion field generators to magitech disruptors were tested from aboard this floating platform. No expense was spared. Where the funding came from, who knows? Somepony was paying, and no one really cared otherwise. It plied the waves for many years. A prestigious -- and dangerous -- post for the ambitious, those that knew about it anyway. At her heart she was powered by a colossal twin engine bank. Some sort of reactor was aboard, but almost nopony knew what fueled it and none would say anything on the matter. Well-built by any standard her one mission was simple enough.

Seek any and all means by which they might overcome their adversaries or protect themselves. A rather broad scope, some might say perhaps too broad. Mishaps and pursuant damage to the ship itself were commonplace. Aside from the near-constant repairs it held up well. During one of her continual forays she seemingly went out of control for a full hour, then actually disappeared without a trace for an entire day without any explanation. When contact was reestablished not one of the crew could remember anything about what happened. None appeared worse for wear and were right back on the job. The incident cemented her reputation in inner circles.

On the very final day of the war she was heading for a small hidden port somewhere to the southwest end of Horseshoe Bay for minor repairs yet again. This time a shielding experiment had gone terribly awry blowing a small section of deck plating right off, resulting in a small fire which raged through an auxiliary lab and wounded several of the crew. She would never reach the port. As she was already damaged, even she proved no match for the incoming blast, despite her protection. It spread across the water amplifying itself into an enormous wave, then engulfed the ship and shoved her far off course. The instruments told them what was coming. At that moment, the great hulk was tossed about like a toy.

Everypony aboard died despite their best efforts to stave off the blast using a combined magic dispersion and kinetic energy diffusion device. The crew did their very best to save her and themselves, but pooling the combined power of all the unicorns and ships power shunts was still not enough. The captain whose last received order was to keep the ship as far away from shore as possible could not lock her course or engage the self-destruct mechanism before he too succumbed. Somehow, be it by divine providence or who knows what, with no living crew and her throttles left open full-bore she was cast adrift for nearly 160 years.

As it eventually took to ground a terrible scream echoed from the twisting hull like some agonized spirit abode within her, wailing in sadness. After slamming through a reef and somehow still afloat the immense hull -- abused for so long -- gave way and shattered almost in half. Finally, after all the decades randomly meandering across the sea aimlessly like some great lost ghost she had unceremoniously smashed into the shoreline where she dug an enormous groove and was ripped nearly in twain, spilling untold contents as it slowed to a halt and settling ironically close to her intended destination.

The uniquely well-crafted and tuned Parsley and Company engines still powered the broken propeller cranks for a full half-hour before completely destroying themselves, hurling the last huge propeller nearly a hundred meters from the remains of the ship. The bulk of the once mighty ship is now eerily quiet and still. Sitting in her watery grave half-submersed, the once proud vessel itself just another hapless victim of war. There it lay forgotten like so many other things. The whole purpose of her existence was to find ways to save lives, but in the end she could not even save her own crew or herself. A support vessel named 'Aurora' was escorting her to port and fared even less well.

The ships themselves were an experiment in automation, requiring only a skeleton crew for normal seafaring operations. This was one of those times for the escort. The initial shockwave caused the comparably tiny craft to careen into the side of the much larger ship sending it to the bottom of the sea mere seconds later. With little warning and no chance the smaller of the two exploded on impact with the heavily armored hull to sink beneath the waves in so many pieces, taking her crew along with her as they were pushed apart. Incredibly, the larger ship took almost no damage from this collision, likely owing to the activation of the diffusion units.

To the very end the massive research vessel continued collecting data. The instrument banks performed dutifully until the last minuscule spark of energy reached them, fulfilling at least that much of her purpose to the last second. There were few official records of either ships existence. If anything, they were phantom vessels from the moment construction began. Their history gone, none recall the tale of the poor lost ships, and they were hardly the only vessels lost at sea during that great conflagration. It was a miserable end for any. Quiet enveloped the vessel when the engines finally spun down for the last time. Who knows what the fine ship may have seen in her unguided wanderings? Perhaps her story is not yet over.


Or, maybe she was just out of her depth.

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