• Published 29th Jan 2014
  • 1,247 Views, 18 Comments

Fallout: Equestria - Beyond the Looking Glass - Prorook363



A Crystal Pony is plunged into the Equestrian Wasteland alongside her Stallion companion and must endure the hardships of a cold, desolate world. But how long can innocence thrive in a world of dread and misery?

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IV. Blood Diamond

"What if the Devil was the Muse, and the Muse was but a myth...?"

I awoke not long after, screaming aloud as a nightmare had developed in my mind. In my visions, I saw my body in pieces, being consumed by demons more foul looking than the cannibals I narrowly escaped, and I was awake and alive to conceive every sensation.

My scream had awoken Orion, sending him flailing in my direction as he crashed towards me for sleep had drained him of all energy. I laid their crying as he tried to consolidate me, but his attempts were met with yet another scream. He had placed his hoof upon my wound.

Taking note of my injury, Orion looked at it for an eternity before turning back to the soaked, filthy saddle bag on his side. It was a miracle it was not lost in the waves. He pulled out some strange needle in his mouth, and before I could ask, he drove it into my shoulder without warning. I clenched my teeth as it dug into my muscles, and as quickly as I felt the pain, it went away.

Orion had apologized. But losing all faith and reason, I quickly snapped.

“Sorry? SORRY!?” I shouted as I gritted my teeth. Orion moved back as his mouth widened. He saw the flare in my eyes, the tremble in my voice. He knew all too well.

“…Starlight…please - ”

I regret what I said to this very day. I regret all of it.

But what did a pony like me know of life?

“Where were you Orion?!” I choked, “Where were you when I needed you the most, huh!?”

Orion said nothing, looking down as he tried to take every painful word that struck him like dagger. I would not accept it though. I wanted him to feel my pain. The time for survival was gone. All reality had left. All that was left was anger.

“I couldn’t find you…I looked everywhere for you - ”

“NO! You cant - you don’t…”

I was speaking without reason. I was but scraps of emotion.

“Starlight - ”

”HOW CAN YOU DO THAT? WHY? I TRUSTED YOU!”

I was on fire. My mind had become a storm of emotions, and it attempted to tear apart anything in it’s past. I was speaking more than I should. Everything was being exhumed from my heart, mind, and soul.

Tears were bursting from my tear ducts; Orion narrowed his eyes as he choked on the inside.

“It’s always me!” I shouted, causing Orion to look at me with distant eyes. “I’m cursed, I know I am! Just…everything…I…”

I wanted to shout, scream, throw anything and everything. I was moving in and out of consciousness as futility overcame me and my mind shattered into dozens of pieces.

“WHY WAS IT ME! WHY ME!?”

I had collapsed underneath my hooves as I withered and crumbled on the floor, only to have an assailant on me as quickly as I fell.

“Don’t say that Starlight. Don’t say any of that. None of that is true…”

“You don’t know what I saw! You don’t know how it feels to be tormented and tortured - ” I shot, “I know that it’s true, there can be no other way!”

I felt my mind was savoring every moment of my brokenness.

“No” Orion boldly stated as he held me close, “It’s all lies. None of it is true. Nothing is your fault, it is not your fault…”

He continued to coax me as the war raged within me, but I did not make it easy for him. I would not allow him to have the final say. I retaliated, I fought. I wanted to bring him down to my level.

But Orion just glowed.

“You’re angry…” he said softly, “…And you have every right to be…don’t let that destroy you…don’t let it tarnish who you are - ”

“Listen to yourself!” I shot. “Do you not see what those ponies did?”

The anger had bloomed once more.

“You had one of those monsters, and you let him go! You didn’t kill him!” I snapped, “You let him go, even after what he did to me! How could you do that - ?”

“Because I could not let my anger get a hold of me!” Orion shouted, cutting me off as my mouth trapped shut. His collective image quickly shifted as I offset something inside of him – something I will never forget.

“If I killed that pony, killed him for what he did, I would have let this world beat me! You don’t know how bad I wanted to, after seeing you like how you are! YOU DON”T THINK THAT?!”

Orion became enraged, rising higher with his voice.

“If I killed that pony, no matter who he was, his blood would have been on my hooves and I wouldn’t have stopped there! That’s why I didn’t kill that creature! That’s whyyy - ”

Orion’s strength rapidly trailed off as he collapsed to the floor with an agonizing moan. My fractured mind instantly pieced the shattered fragments together, giving me back my sanity as I ran to Orion in aid.

As I came close to him, his wound had already revealed itself in entirety, causing me to gasp loudly as fear and shame overcame me. It was wide and explicit, exposing muscle tissue and deflating the color of his red coat. It was a turbid orange, and it appeared to be growing in size as the minutes passed. He was struck with those acidic pellets that rained hell on us the night before. And it was killing him.

I tried to say something, anything in response to this. But I could say nothing. After the tension between the both of us, after everything I had just said…

I had broken the only bond I shared out here in this hell…and it was all my doing.

Time passed and my mind only stayed blank. Orion said nothing, only breathing deeply as his injured wound became alive with each throb.

Moments drifted by without meaning before the silence became broken.

“…It’ll be fine…” he panted, never lifting his gaze to take a look at me. He tried to suppress my fear, but it did not work. I had already seen the wound, and it seemed as if he knew that as well.

I fumbled to provide a reaction, for only moments ago had I scrutinized this injured stallion. I hated myself with every meaning of the word.

“…No, I won’t leave it like that…I can’t…”

My mind was erratic, processing any and all possible solutions, only for them to be knocked aside by other incoming thoughts. Finally, a possible resolution was found within the frenzy.

“What about that shot you gave me…the one in your saddle…?”

“…I used the only one on you…”

“…I’m not going to leave you like this…I’ll find help - ”

“No, leave it be. It’ll heal, just give it time.”

But the wound was not going to heal. I had managed to examine the wound around his side, and caught a glimpse of what had been causing him this pain.

I tried to reason to him, to tell him that I would leave to get help, but he refused.

“If I don’t, you’re going to die. Please Orion, let me-”

“No.” he stubbornly asserted.

His words shook me and it tore the heartstrings within me.

They battered me around, for I knew this was my entire fault. I wanted to find ponies, find something that looked close to the old world I had envisioned weeks ago. And I blamed him all for it…

Orion was on the brink of death because of me, and I needed to save him.

So without a word, I got up and I left. He called for me as I walked off, but his shouts meant nothing to me. Only his health and well-being cared. I cared not what he would think of me afterward.

He was my friend, and I wasn’t going to let him die.

{***}

The winds moved lifelessly, swaying in opposing directions without purpose. They were lost, crashing into anything they could find in hopes of meeting fulfillment, myself included.

Despite my injury, I was now capable of walking without difficulty. My shoulder seemed to have been miraculously healed by the needle Orion had gave me, a selfless act that weighed heavily on my conscious a I moved farther away from the injured stallion and through the twisted remains of trees.

“Well, this is interesting,” the voice suddenly snickered, brandishing me from all sides as I passed through the forested graveyard. “Here you are, risking your own dear life for your paltred pawn. Is this not what you attempted to flee from though? Sacrifice? Is it only a convenient proposition ruled in your favor, a double standard that disrupts the balance of ethics and morality? Was it not that which you ran from? Did you not free yourself from that wretched hole to alleviate an overwhelming burden?”

The questions came rapidly, sending my mind into a flurry of motion. My head grew heavy, and with that, weighed down my legs. As my mind continued to rage, I leaned myself against a charred gnarled tree that carved upward into the still air. My mind had become my own enemy, and it had set itself on destroying me. In a world where I could not trust any other pony, I couldn’t even trust myself. Even Orion, who I prayed to trust once more, had fallen short when I needed him….

I was growing tired and weary and with that came a dreary bitterness that I could take no more.

“I don’t know what you’re talking about! I am not sacrifice anything!” I groaned loudly, gnashing my teeth as I felt my weight fall against the tree.

“Nonsense” it quickly retorted, “There is no other way about it. You are here risking what is most precious to you for something so dear to you…”

“No…no, this is different…” I pleaded, fighting the predisposed philosophy I was forced to uphold all my life.

“Then it seems the notion can only be conceived in times of convenience, when all that truly matters is your own selfish intentions.”

“Shut up…I’m not going to let Orion die…”

“He longs to die child. You are forcing the hand of death to do your bidding, for this is out of your control-”

“Stop! Stop lying now!”

I wrapped my forelegs around the burnt tree as I was mentally beat into submission, struggling to stave off the coarse voice that battered my mind.

“Shut up and leave me alone!” I shouted, causing a disturbance in the gothic silence. The voice let out a heavy chuckle as I envisioned it smiling a wickedly.

There was no longer doubt upon the identity of the voice; this was not my mind’s doing. This was an unknown entity symbiotically sharing my conscious – and trying to drive me into madness.

But I still denied it, out of fear and paranoia.

“I’m not going insane, I’m not going insane…” I chanted, clenching my eyes as I felt an isolated wind swirl around me.

“Oh you can’t help that,” it responded coyly, “We’re all mad here. I’m mad. You’re mad-”

“I am not mad…”

“You must be,” said the voice, “otherwise you wouldn’t have come here.”

“I didn’t choose to come here, I had no choice!” I retorted, my nostrils flaring in anger and rage.

The voice did not let go though, and longed for the final say as it elegantly remarked, “Call it what you will.”

And with that, it disappeared from my mind, leaving only my rage and bitterness as I had wandered aimlessly through the forest. I turned back to see if I had maintained a straight path, and by a miracle, I had. The voice’s words began to pluck at my sanity though, swaying me from the task at hand. This was no longer my doing, but of something larger than I. I longed for answers, but I knew only pondering on what meaningless info I knew would only drive me to madness.

So I continued to walk onward for minutes until I stumbled upon a rundown building within the middle of nowhere.

It was in shambles, and it looked no different from any other, but there was something strange about its existence. And although my mind restrained me from taking action, I knew I had to help Pyro.

I ventured closer to the house and realized that a grey fog had just rolled in, sweeping away the trees from my vision. Thankfully, I remembered the angle and direction of my entrance, so it would not prove an issue to return back to Orion.

As I entered the house, a strange aroma invaded my nose and it brought me an extravagant sensation that shook my body. It was a sweet, melodic smell that soothe my nerves and put me into a state of trance. As I glanced about, I had just noticed that smoke hung carelessly above the small dark room, created by glowing candles that were freshly lit.

My content was quickly shattered at the conception of the freshly lit flame, for it made me realize that I was not alone in this house. I questioned whether to venture forward or turn back. To explore the house would result in the confrontation of a possible savage, but to return back to Orion without materials meant a broken promise. As I conflicted with the possibilities of my actions, a physical voice had quickly broken the natural quiet.

“Why, hello dearie.” it greeted cheerily. I was not expecting any voice however, so once I heard it, I frantically bolted for the door which had naturally bolted shut. I tried to open the door, but it remained tightly shut as if another force was holding it from the other side.

“Oh, what’s the matter?” the voice continued, shocked and surprised. “Is everything okay darling?”

“No, the door won’t budge!” I responded, noticing the frantic tone in my voice. Seconds had passed before I had realized how foolish I was acting. I looked down to see that I was elevated above the floor, resting all my weight against the door as I clung onto the handle for dear life. My eyes quickly shot open and my body that hung on the door froze in place as I felt my cheeks flush red.

Out of embarrassment, I quickly resumed my “elaborate” attempt to flee while my ears burned hot red. As I continued to pull on the door though, a gentle hoof touched my back that gave me a quick sense of ease. It was soft and warm, like a motherly touch that could tend to the wounds of anypony.

“You are grief-stricken dear,” she continued, as if she knew me for a long while. The old mare looked at me with tired heavy eyes, but it was a look only for me.

“Why…why are you talking to me…” I stammered, oblivious of what to feel or think. I was scared, meeting ponies who long ago wanted to kill and eat me for sport. But as I stared into this old mare’s eyes, I felt peace and serenity.

“You have journeyed a long way,” the old nanny said to me, “I can see it in your eyes.”
The nanny then examined my coat and mane, staring at the dull shading that lay dormant like a dead star.

“And I’m sure you know that yourself.”

Her words buried underneath my skin, pouring into my mind and heart as she managed to crack it slightly open. It was the first, soothing voice I had heard in a long while. It was like a flowing fountain that poured crisp, purified water into its untainted stream. And I was the straggler who longed to taste its nourishing flavor…

I did not say anything afterward and let the old mare do all the talking. Orion had not left my mind, but I believed she could have helped him if I was able to open up to this old mare.

She offered me a meal, one that I regretted eating as soon as I felt the warm liquid soup touch my tongue. My taste buds combusted with joy, overriding my olfactory senses, and displacing me into an overwhelming feeling of satisfaction. I requested if I could have some in a container to go, in which she asked why. She probably expected me to compliment her dish, but I moved past histrionics and went straight for my goal.

“That poor dear,” the old mare told me as I informed her of what happened to Orion. I refrained from telling her of my raging rampage; It was not something that I could have ever expressed in words.

I nodded my head and asked if there was any way she could help. She nodded her head and then moved out of the kitchen, leaving me to finish the remnants of my dish.

When she returned, she had with her a small saddle bag in her mouth which she placed on the table.

“This is what I can spare, but I hope that it helps dear,” she wished, brushing her thin white hair back. I glanced into the bag and took note of numerous materials that could have proved useful. Although I had little medical knowledge, I knew enough that could have helped Orion get through for the weeks to come

As I began to move the items about however, my hoof clanked against a roughly shaped item, concealed underneath a cloth in the corner of the bag. I tilted my head to the side and stared at it for a short while before finally reacting to what I was looking at.

I reached in and pulled the cloth out with my mouth, gently placed it on the table, and looked back into the bag. As I stared down at the strange item though, I had realized what it was. And when I looked at the old mare who smiled at me warmly, I shook my head in reluctance.

“I’m sorry…” I said, “But I can take that…”

The old mare had shifted her expression into that of confusion, as if I had just said something extremely disrespectful. She moved close to me and looked into the bag, wondering what I was talking about until I showed her personally. She was reluctant to heed my request.

“Dear, don’t be silly” she said with tenderness, “this is a scary place for a mare, especially one like you who has an injured friend to care for. You don’t want to take any chances, do you?”

I began to tap my hoof on my mouth as I looked down at the small, miniature weapon encased in a black coat, bearing a single blue dot that glowed brightly. It called for me to bear it, and hold it against those who caused Orion and me harm…

I wanted nothing more but to refuse the call, but the old mare had brought Orion into the picture, and she was right. I needed to keep Orion safe, and I needed to do so in the best way I could.

With a heavy sigh, I picked the weapon up in my mouth and put it into the bag, followed by the cloth that blanketed it as it fell in with a slight thud. At that moment, the mare smiled. And I smiled in return.

But time was wasting, and I needed to move quickly. So I gave the mare a hug and thanked her for everything she had done.

“No,” she sympathized, “thank you for keeping an old mare like me company.”

My heart felt warm when she said that, and I could do nothing more but hug her a little while longer. Quickly after, I took the food and materials, placed it in the saddle, and took my leave, bidding farewell to the old mare as I left the house and made my way through the forest once more.

As I continued to walk, the mare’s persona looped in my mind, proving that maybe there still was a chance for caring ponies to exist. She was a pony I had no struggle speaking to. She was a listener, someone that I thought could harvest all my secrets and not tell a single soul.

She was another pony I could have talked to, one that had a different texture and character. She was one of the many ponies I had been looking for all along, and it made me determined to continue my quest after Orion was healed, and even helped me dream of the two of us laughing off the past as we set forth on adventure once more.

When I returned, Orion had looked out into the forest, awaiting for my –or another creature’s – presence. Upon noticing me he quickly turned with a look of worry, which shifted into a look of shock.

“You came back…” he marveled, looking at the bag resting on my side.

“…I would never leave you...” I replied as I lay down by his side and examined the wound once again.

There was a short, still silence after that remark, one that contorted my stomach into an uncomfortable position. I felt a burning desire inside Orion, one that longed to say something in response, but he never spoke. He simply remained quiet as I examined his wound, hoping all the while that he would speak his mind.

It had grown bigger since I left, and small insects had tried to enter the wound only to have the toxin kill them before they could even enter the wound.

“Is it bad?” he asked. It seemed as if he had grown numb to the pain.

“No.” I lied as I rummaged through the bag, “It just needs a little work.”

“Do you know how to work medication?” Orion asked, before coughing violently. As he lungs expanded hashly his wound became alive, oozing blood and poison that rand down his mangled coat.

Orion winced and felt a terrible pain overcome him. It was all in his face.

With a red bottle in my hooves, I quickly gave it to him so he could drink the substance. Quivering, he gulped the bottle as best he could, restraining from dropping the bottle as it began to drip from his mouth.

Finally, after he had drunk the entire thing, he dropped the bottle as he felt a terrible burn tear at his wound. He gritted his teeth as tears began to flow down his face, and I quickly bandaged the wound as best I could. When I was finished, the pain continued to batter Orion, leaving me to hold onto his head as he shivered in my forelegs.

Guilt weighed heavily on me that day, for I knew I would be the death of Orion.

{***}

Two days passed, and nothing had changed. With what little resources we had, we set up camp only a few trees down from where we once were, Orion hobbling alongside me as he tried to fight the agony. I had considered moving to the old mare’s home, but the walk would have proved too problematic for Orion, who was becoming weaker by the hour.

Although the medication had left him alive, the pain was becoming unbearable for him. He became ill, coughing until his lungs ached and vomiting until his stomach was pumped dry. It came to a point where Orion asked me to forget about him.

“I’m not going anywhere without you,” I asserted, kindling the small campfire around stones I had found.

“Yes…you, need to go,” Orion wheezed. He had so little energy that speaking became a physical adversity. “I’m only wasting materials you’ll need…to continue looking for….others…”

“It doesn’t matter. I’m the reason you’re like that right now. I’m not going to leave you like this, I can’t!”

The discussion of my failed dream had opened a healing wound, forcing me to pour the contents that were once held at bay within my wounds.

Orion remained silent as his coughing fits became more violent. I kept close to him at all times.

“Please…go…I’ll only drag you down. I now know that I was a fool for coming out here, for bringing you out here…please forgive me…”

“No! It’s because I was selfish that I led us there. It’s my fault you got hurt because I wanted my way!”

I felt tears waiting to break through my glassy eyes.

“Listen…what happened…was not your fault…you had no…no control of the situa-”

“I just wanted us to be happy…” I choked, staring down at Orion who looked at me silently. His side was inhaling and deflating slowly, and it hurt me to see him that way. The once vibrant and confident image I had of him was slowly withering away as I continued to watch this infection claim him piece by piece, sucking the colors from his frame just as the darkness of this world had done to me.

“I’m sorry Orion,” I apologized, “I’m so sorry…I didn’t want this for you…I didn’t want you to get hurt…”

“Don’t be…” Orion spoke, “It was me that pulled you out…”

“Because I was going to die-”

“And…you had no…no control over that…”

I wiped my tears as I listened closely to Orion’s next response.

“This world…you belong elsewhere, far from...all this evil…”

“It is not your fault…” he continued, wincing twice in pain, “It’s not even this world’s fault…they deserve a spirit as kind…humble…determined…but they…they can’t care for it…”

Orion convulsed harshly as he grasped a hold of his side. I rushed to his aid, but he held out his hoof in protest which kept me at bay.

“…you are a blessing for this world…” he said, “and whether you like it or not…you are hope…but that is up for you to…show this world…show them that…it is possible…to do right amongst a realm…of wrongs…”

Orion’s words struck me heavy, and I felt my nerves tense up in fear and worry. His words repeated through my head, and I was speechless. I could only nod and hold Orion’s tired body that quickly fell into a state of rest.

“I believe…I fulfilled my purpose…” Orion coughed, causing me eyes to quiver, “But…I…I need to finish it…I can’t let it end…not- not yet…”

“Don’t talk like that, please…you’re going to get through this, you are…”

“…Promise me Starlight...please promise me…listen…”

My mouth stood agape as it moved without purpose. I tried to offer a response, but I could not. Orion was becoming weaker by the second and it had become clear that my greatest fears would come true. I had questions, comments, pleas that burned in my mind that I longed to vent. But Orion was growing fainter by the second. His light was dying out, and I feared that I would let another opportunity slip through my hooves. I clenched my eyes and feebly nodded my head as I held Orion, hoping to keep him clinging onto life for a little while longer.

“Please Starlight…” he said softly, his voice succumbing to the night, “…don’t forget me…”

He sounded weak and feeble, like a young filly seeking their lost parents. It shattered my heart to see my very foundation wither before me and I could do nothing but choke.

It was a promise that sealed an inevitability. It was one that would seal a harsh fact of reality, one that I could not bear to face. I grasped a holder grip of the stallion, afraid to let him go. I wanted nothing more but to keep him with me, never to let him leave without me. But Death was winning this battle, and I had no control over the situation.

“I promise…” I cried as I buried my head into Orion’s body, avoiding the infectious wound draining him of life. I felt his chest slowly press against my coat as his breathing became slower, and I cried, knowing that anything I did would prove futile.

I kept close to him as his vital signs were physically dissipating. His Pip-Buck showed a dawn silhouette, highlighting ever limb with the word CRIPPLED. It was so disheartening that I had to tilt his foreleg just to rid of the ominous orange glow that resonated from that electronic shackle.

Before long, the beating of his chest stopped, and his soft breathing became still. I trembled at the presence of death as it loomed overhead, taking my only friend away from me to an unknown land of peace and serenity. I longed for the same gift, but Time had other plans for me.

The darkness had closed in once again. The voice had returned once more. I was once again alone.

“I warned you…Death was coming…but you did not listen…” without warning, the voice retreated, hushing the winds as it swept around me and shut the world out.

I huddled close to the deceased body of Orion, crying through the night as dark thoughts crawled into my mind.

{***}

I was awaken by a flurry of savage voices, foreshadowing large outlines that shut out the bleak light that tried to break through the thick skies. They muttered and conversed as I began to spin my heard about, glancing at strange ponies with dark armor who eyed me with lust and anger.

“It’s awake now,” one of the voices shot, which created an onslaught of dialogue.

“Oh fuck, she’s dull!”

“Is the poor brat sleeping underneath a dead horse?”

“Probably a friend, watchu think?”

“There’s really only one way to find out…” one smirked. Without even thinking I had immediately casted myself over Orion’s body, hoping to shield his corpse from any harm. The ponies all laughed at my meager attempt, which quickly transitioned to anger.

“Get off that corpse!” one yelled, kicking my side as I rolled off the body of Orion. In what felt like a split second of pure instinct, I quickly surveyed the camp for the small medical bag the old mare had provided me.

It was beside Orion, a few paces behind where he laid unmoving. Despite my depressed mind, I quickly scrambled for the bag and reached for the clothed item inside, quickly flopping it out and pointing it in the direction of the armored ponies who had begun to slowly move in my direction with arrogance.

Upon seeing me with a weapon, they all froze in place. They looked at me with shock and bitterness as I shook uncontrollably with the dark piece of metal in my hooves. But that did not last long for I began to fumble with the weapon, for I had no experience with such a cursed thing. I struggled to keep it in my mouth as a form of intimidation (as a means to actually kill those savage defilers) but I was a lost cause. Before long, when they began to approach me, I choked and sputtered down to the floor, sending the gun flailing out of my hooves far from my reach.

Seeing that all was futile, I tried to crawl back to Orion and shield him from these monsters, but I was immediately restrained by two stallions who held me tightly without remorse, even battering me to keep me from fighting.

“How much do you think she’ll go for?” one of them spoke as they pulled me away from the large squad circling around Orion. I tried to kick and fight, but it was useless.

“Are you kidding? There’s something special about this one...I’m sure the damn thing can go for thousands of bottle caps, maybe even more!”

“Hmm, you think we should have a little fun with our new product before we see her on the market? Ya’ know, give it a little testing…” the stallion began to laugh wickedly as he lifted me up and looked into my eyes, which had begun to shake wildly with raw emotion. I was a pathetic mess, and the purple stallion laughed at my fear.

“Nah,” the other stallion sighed, “the old mare’s soup made me a little heavy. I ain’t up for that right now.”

“Ahh, you ain’t no fun…”

The world was but a ruted carnival, suited with sick games and twisted fantasies. My mind could process only so much at once, and at that moment it was noteven capable of breaking. The pieces that remained were close to dust, being crushed beneath the hooves of both Time and Death.

That old mare, whom I had naïvely trusted, betrayed us. I told her everything, without hesitation or though, and she sold me out. And she cared not if my friend was injured or not…

They had dragged me to a small camp, full of crates and tents. They tied me to a pole. They Beat me for sport. With a swollen eye and fresh tears I looked at my attackers as they returned from there break, which was dedicated to washing my blood off of their hooves.

One had discussed whether my abuse would be uncalled for, given that I was to be auctioned soon (which I pleaded alongside, much to my humiliation). The others shot down the notion though, with one even replying, “A pretty mare with a tender flank was still worth a good amount of bottle caps.”

After the beatings, they returned, only to mock my stupidity and taunt my innocence.

“The little shit didn’t even know how to fire a gun…where the hell did she even get that anyways?” one of the ponies shot as they gave me a cold death stare that caused me to curl up. Another pony looked down at me as I shivered pathetically, and shrugged. “It doesn’t matter. The jackass thought she could be protected by a weapon…she thought so wrong…”

But it was all clear now. The old mare had lied to me, tricked me to become bait for these monsters. To think I had trusted her, to be so gullible.

I was tricked. I felt betrayed. And worst of all, I sold myself out without even thinking.

She knew that I had no chance, even with a weapon. If anything, it was nothing more but an accessory, a prop jesters would use to please the royal court. I was but a joke, and like all jokes, I was disposable with both elaboration and blind chance. She smiled through it all, knowing surely that I would fulfill that image.

That day, I had cracked like a vile of wine, leaking the content of goodness out into the soiled air.

Orion was gone, his body left to satisfy the needs of the wicked.

What I had promised, everything he had told me, was something I wanted to dearly cherish and value.

I couldn’t do it. I was beaten, broken. The world had won.

New Perk: Shattered Glass - Wasteland Extremes have taken a drastic toll on your mind and body. All S.P.E.C.I.A.L. slots are deducted by one point, but your Damage Threshold increases by +2.