• 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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Skytrail's Meteorite Rocket Train to Nowhere


Most hope for a good life. That hope was taken away from many when war came upon them. Seemingly overnight whispers of violence and death of a sort unheard of flashed across the whole of the world. What is the world? Is it just the chunk of things in sight? Is it far more than that? The length and breadth of Equestria could be lay waste and ruin. None would believe it could not be stopped. The only rule of inevitability is that it must be. All the land consumed with turmoil and strife. Perhaps it truly was inevitable. The shiny veneer and bright colors of the world must eventually turn, and expose the ugly truth for all to see. Many things happen in war. The great, the small.

None are safe from the clutching grasp of pain and terror. Disillusionment settled in and best efforts were for naught. The truth fell behind closed doors and stayed there. The quiet hush already settling before the bitter quiet to come. What is the truth? For this there is no right answer, not here, not now. It is soon to be buried. So many voices about to fall forever silent midstride. So it would seem. Some guessed at the end. Some, hoped it would be alright. Their benevolent protectors of the good would surely save them. How could it be otherwise?

The Skytrail line. The two fastest train engines in all Equestria ran it and bore his name. He made sure of that. Both could travel at or near over a hundred miles an hour. An impressive feat for trailing a maximum 17,000 tons of steel. Stopping required a great deal of distance ahead. They were built to run as an express out towards the furthest reaches of the equestrian borders and could quickly be converted to heavy freight or passenger configurations, or a mix thereof which was less common. Only two of them made it into production due to the tremendous engineering difficulties inherent in building them.

From the necessarily indirect line to the Frozen North, far to the east and the lonely Griffonstone Station which sat far from the place itself, and all the way to the edge of the mysterious southern regions they ran. Once or twice in a long while one even ran all the way there and back. An occasional enticement for any zebra daring enough to come visit, or a pony interested in foreign lands. Before the war consumed any notion of friendliness or promotion of tourism. Daily living didn't stop during it, simply getting a whole lot harder. The railways worked overtime and then some, moving troops and equipment all throughout.

Eventually this put the second liner class engine out of commission due to heavy wear, leaving only one of the supremely valuable commodity. She was built to take punishment, but never envisioned to run non-stop for near on twenty years with barely any time for maintenance. It held up surprisingly well. Engine one was fitted with armor plating, as it was still occasionally called upon by the military to make the now very dangerous trek south to haul whatever dwindling amount of coal they could bargain for from their enemies in trade. As the only remaining heavy engine it was much too valuable to risk being destroyed. Becoming a truly rare sight to see it loaded down in such a way and powering along back north.

When it was first built it was a source of pride. Now whenever it steamed in with a hefty load of greatly needed items, one of relief. Even after almost two decades of continuous research, spark reactors were still nowhere near enough to supply all of the power generation needs being placed upon them. Two of them were already offline for repairs from the strain, even intended as they were to run far longer. He never imagined his trains would be appropriated by an army that simply didn't exist at the time. The brainchild of a dedicated group of engineers, he made the most major contributions. They took his pride and joy from him.

It was true ponies hearts lifted whenever they saw the sleek outline of the former express pulling in wherever it may. This was not how he wanted it. It should not be like this. It was for the wrong reasons. Skytrail was a bit of an odd pegasus, railways caught his eye at an early age. An inventor of some renown by the age of twelve, he held many interests. A genius they called him. It all seemed so far away now. As for many others the endlessly dragging war drew down on his resolve, and some of his compatriots were long buried. When the first one went, it was just a fluke. Something that couldn't possibly happen again. Just in the wrong place at the wrong time. A total accident he got caught up in it.

Then it happened again, and again. Now, it didn't matter at all. Nothing did. The reports flashing across the radio they equipped the train with, an arcane device barely a decade old, rattled out the truth of the now. They'd gone mad. Ponies were dying, everything was, and he was going to as well. He'd hopped in his train, once his pride and joy. No one would care anyway. As he pushed the throttle forward and the great engine slid out of the station for the very last time, the tears fell. Fully loaded with supplies as it was, still it operated with nary a groan. All he ever wanted was to make those around him happy. The war tore that from him and everything else.

Oddly, as the lumbering engine wound up speed, he found himself staring out at the beautiful countryside that would soon lay wrecked and wreathed in fiery doom. For once, he was actually enjoying his creation. It was just too bad it took the end of the world to let him do so. It was alright to do this. After all, this was the end of all things. Some far off flashes could just be seen. He would be reaching the end of track in this direction pretty soon. Either that or the approaching destruction would get him. Didn't really matter which happened first. He might even outrun it.

"Before I go, let's see what you can really do. How about that, girl?" He said as he punched the throttle forward to max, a position it would never be put in normally. As if in answer to his question the powerful train engine, his finest creation, whined and hurtled forward down the tracks to reach speeds unknown. As the track end marker came into view far down the line, he closed his eyes, feeling unusually happy for a change.

- - -

Just easier than dealing with the pain.

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