• Published 20th Nov 2013
  • 2,410 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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Plant Life


The heavy tracked cargo hauler robot had forcibly ground its way forward away from the destroyed military base for a great many years. Its singular mission was simple, find suitable uncontaminated ground and plant the valuable cargo of seeds inside. Everything ranging from staples to exotic flowers. Nothing was overlooked. Contained within were detailed instructions concerning the care and maintenance of both the robot and the cargo. Ultimately it escaped the destruction of the base after having been buried for decades, entombed within the rubble. The aftermath of something having gone terribly wrong with the world. Hope was pinned on this lowly machine. Little more than a hunk of metal and instructions.

The internal chronometer ceased functioning many cycles ago. Only the tracks gearing and motors remained intact out of the many instruments inside, save for the instruction units only goal. Save the cargo at any cost. Do anything to this end. After countless attempts the heavy machine finally smashed out of the rubble into a barren wasteland devoid of all life and little hope of reaching a suitable location. The lonely machine silently searched the area only to find mass ruins, contaminated beyond all hope. Many pony skeletons were noted and logged. Among them the base commander. The very one which dictated the machines instructions ages before. Out of all luck it somehow survived the explosion, trapped below.

Now free to begin it rumbled ahead in a continual search pattern. No signs of life were detected by sensory inputs anywhere. Only more emptiness. In this state of silence it moved on, and on. Ever ahead seeking some hint of potential. In all the years since freeing itself it had found no suitable ground or environs even close to what was required. On it sought, probing mountains and fields devoid of any potential for life whatsoever. Slow and lumbering the ancient rusted machine trundled onward. Towards a goal which may well be impossible to find or reach. Very rarely, it would use a single test seed to verify and wait to see. They never grew and on it would go. By now it lumbered ahead, grinding, slowing more and more.

This mere bundle of rotors and gears rolled through once great valleys, protected cleverly against magical radiation, along with great electrical storms it could and did encounter. If life existed here, it did not find any in over a century of long dragging travel. Nothing could live here. A lack of water sources or any other usable resources the only lasting legacy left behind by the great war that at last fell on all in an instant. A flash in the tiniest second of time as doom descended. The crashing destruction carved throughout the emptied land the only real monument to the dead who fell where they stood, often through no fault of their own and in either ignorance or innocence of reality closing in. Almost none were truly safe.

This rugged machine was nothing special. A machine and nothing more, given over to a task just short of impossibility. Driven only by its orders. No one was around to see it trying to perform this important mission. No one anywhere and nothing to witness it futilely searching year after year through a destroyed open wilderness. The mapping systems were the only other thing still functional on this ancient piece of technology roaming seemingly at random across the endless deserts of befouled land and ruin. Where it started from a great hindrance which delayed it perhaps too long to be of any value. The singular order its only goal to achieve.

By now the ancient spark battery bank within was nearing empty with nowhere to go and no one to attempt recharging them. Slow and grinding it worked its way ever onward toward that elusive goal. Time and again to test and find the soil impossibly flawed. A more futile task could not be imagined. Over and over, mile after slowing mile it traveled. All the while carrying this small flashpoint of actual hope in a hopeless land, to no avail. The great engine within sputtering and groaning under the strain of lifetimes without care it moved on once more. The endless empty tracts of waste and destruction behind it serving no purpose. A backdrop to suffering and pain. Were it anything more than a machine, it may have given up.

The grand piece of old technology still barely intact continued this mission, alone in silence. The world surrounding little more than a playground of regret. Had it started out from some other location, perhaps it may have succeeded by now. Perhaps not. The luck of the draw is fickle at best and chances given are few to count. Running low on test seeds the groaning machine topped yet another rise to survey only more barren land to search. Another hill to pass where no other sound could be heard. In this silence, the noise generated by the motor and tracks was grandiose and would likely be horrifying to note from afar. If only any were around to hear. No ears to prick and no one to aid in this lonely sojourn.

Terribly far in the distance, perhaps the ruins of a city. Maybe nothing at all. A machine bearing the smallest fraction of possibility still finding nothing as it meandered across rocks and steep perilous regions of shattered ground. One final time it sought somewhere, anywhere which might give the slightest indication of being capable to bear true life amidst lifelessness. at last it performed a final test. Sitting in stillness and silence as the shuddering ancient mechanical armatures planted one last seed and gently covered it, using the remainder of the internal water reserves. The very last of the test seeds was now exhausted as it waited, one final time. Days passed until finally it determined this course of action useless.

It could now only utilize the more valuable seeds within, but this was not to be. As the ancient tracked marvel topped one final rise the right track gave way, snapping in half to send the entire thing sliding sideways into a gulley where the motor gave one final terrific rasp and smoked for hours. Internally this masterpiece of old engineering could only note one last thing. Mission: failed. It lay there smoking for a whole day before silence took it. Were it anything other than a mere machine it may regret all this, but it was nothing more. There it would remain, just another dead machine.


But it still tugs at the heartstrings, does it not.

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