• Published 10th Jun 2014
  • 3,398 Views, 180 Comments

Fallout Equestria: Sins of an Alicorn - Alchemystudent

Nyx awakens to find herself in the Equestrian Wasteland. Her goal, survival in the wastes, can she hope to do it alone?

  • ...


“Well, no real hero asks for it. They wouldn’t be a hero otherwise, now would they?”

I chased after Scootaloo, watching as my best friend kept ahead of me. I giggled as the filly always seemed to outrace me in our games. Behind me, I could hear the shouts of our friends as they raced us. Turning around, I saw the orange filly stopped before me. PAnting, I asked, “Scoots, what’s wrong? Why did you stop?”

“We’re monsters, aren’t we?” Scootaloo said, now an adult. Her face was turned away from me.

I was still a filly as I watched her grow and I reached out a trembling hoof towards my friend, “Scoots, what do you mean?”

“I am a monster because I wanted to see ponies suffer for their crimes,” Scootaloo said, turning to face me, her face now devoid of her old mirth and now filled with a hint of cruelty, “I am a monster Nyx. We all are...it’s just some of us are better at hiding it.”

I shook my head, “No, you’re wrong! I‘m not a monster anymore! I’m-”

“A killer,” came a voice.

“Nightmare Moon!”


I could hear more and more of the voices chant various insults my way. With a frightened look I shook my head, trying to run. But everywhere i ran, the taunting voices seemed to grow louder and louder.

My eyes shot open as I woke up from the nightmare, quickly trying my best to wipe it from my mind. As my sense of feeling came back to me, I felt something warm and feathery asleep next no mer. Looking down at my chest, I saw Swiftblade sleeping contently against my body, as if he was trying to warm me, “Why is he sleeping next to me?” I thought to myself, as I slowly moved away from the warm body of Swift and moved away a little.

Making a few steps out of sight from him, I flew up into the sky and grabbed a cloud. Pulling the fluffy cloud way from the barrier , I brought it down to my level and started it to rain a little. Once I was satisfied with the dripping water, I quickly began to run my hoof through the dripping liquid, intent of completing my speed training. It had to have been at least twenty minutes before I heard Swift's hoofsteps behind me, “You know, it is sometimes better for you to tell someone about you nightmares. Fears tend to cloud to the mind.”

I grunted as I failed to move my hoof past the water, “What made you think I was having a-”

“I saw you trembling and whimpering. You looked like you needed a companion to comfort you,” Swift said as he watched me continue my exercises. “Now, talk. Let it out.”

I let out a growl as my hoof once again got wet from the dripping water, “I guess,” a sigh escaped my lips, “I’m still reeling from what I had saw back at the stable last night.”

“You mean the experiment?” Swift asked.

As the rain began to empty out from the cloud, I nodded solemnly, “I just can’t believe that S-somepony from the past of Equestria could do that,” looking over my shoulder at Swift, adding, “How could she!? The stables were meant to protect ponies and she went and began to perform some sick experiments just to fix what was wrong! Why?! Didn’t she know how much blood would be spilt?”

Swift sighed as he walked next to me, handing me some of the mirelurk meat that I had caught from the battle two days ago. As I hungrily began to eat, Swift looked away from me and to the cloud cover, “We all have done something in our lives that we regret. Sins that continually haunt us, be they small or big. Why do you think we are living in this world now, because ponies made mistakes. and we have to pay for it.”

“But,” I said, walking up to be by his side, “We shouldn’t let our lives be guided by our mistakes. Like Nightmare Moon, don't you think she would deserve a chance to show the world that she isn't just a monster because of a mistake she had made.”

“I would not know,” chuckled Swift. “I never met the mare. But, I suppose it would be up to her if she wanted to let the past define her.”

“And you?” I asked him.

“I try not to let myself be held by the chains of my past,” he said, taking flight.

I couldn’t help but smile at that, and closed my eyes for a brief second. In my head I tried to return the memory I had of scootaloo, my friend who helped me so much, “That’s usually a good way to approach life.”

“Come on,” Swift said, getting some distance on me, “We need to get moving, we are still ten days away from Vanhoover.”

Ten days?! If I could fly we would make it there in two!” I silently cursed my desire to hide my alicorn hood from my friend for a moment.

Within four days of our journey, we had come across a small town. From the first glance a I looked down upon it, I noted it looked like it was made from the old ruin of a strip mall. I had recognized it because it was one that me and the girls had visited when we tried hike across Equestria for our graduation trip. When we neared it, I couldn’t but marvel at how well the ponies were able to use the ruins to their advantage. Some of the shops looked like they had been turned into small apartments, while I noted an old soda shop was turned into a bar. Once we were in the center of the small town, Swift tapped my shoulder, “I’m going to go and restock on supplies, you head into the bar and see if you can some jobs for us.”

I looked at him, questioningly, “Why?”

“Because, our dealing with the traders used up the last of our caps,” Swift said. “And we don’t nearly have enough food and drink to get us through the next five days, even less if we have to head somewhere else.”

I nodded in understanding, before turning around and beginning to walk into the bar. This was when I caught sight of the town’s name, “Hmmmm, Mallow’s Treat, nice name.” I said, stepping into the bar.

When I stepped into the bar, my ears were hit with a slow tune that I instantly recognized. It was one of Sapphire last songs before she retired, a duet with Rara about a light fading away. There was a soft sigh that escaped my lips as I began to relate to my feelings at the moment. My ears flicked as I heard the bar keep say something to me as I sat up to the counter, “Problems?” he asked in a gruff voice.

“Just thinking about an old friend,” I said, my heart still feeling the hurt at Scootaloo’s actions. “It’s nothing really major, just get me a Sparkle Cola.”

“Ah, a light weight are a?” he asked, as I nodded. It was true, I didn’t like to drink. Even if the last time I let myself get that drunk was how me and Babs got started with our relationship.

“Um, yeah,” I said, watching him walk to the back to pull out the bottle. As I waited, my mind began to think about my other friends, what were they hiding from me. What about my mother, what did she do during the war that she kept behind my back. Did all of my aunts do something horrible that led to this hellhole? I tried my best to get rid of this sickening feeling in my stomach. I smiled when the drink came to me, and I began to drink slowly, hoping the cola could help settle my stomach and help keep me focused.

That was when the door slammed opened and six unruly ponies came walking in. The biggest one, an earth stallion with a green mane, smirked when he looked at me sitting there, “Hey, that’s my seat!”

“Is it?” I asked.

“Yeah it is!” the stallion said, his blue coat showing through some of his dirt and grime.

“I thought these seats were for everypony,” I said, drinking slowly.

The stallion growled, “Well you thought wrong! You know who I am? I am an Elder Brother from the Children of Nightmare! We rule this little town, and what we say goes! You got that? If I say that is my seat, then that is my seat!”

“Very well,” I nodded, moving off the seat, not really wanting a fight, even if that would help relieve so much stress.

“Wait,” the stallion said, his blue eyes glaring at my sword, “It that a sword? I can’t believe this, ponies are still whimpy enough to wield swords in this day and age. You suicidal or something? There is no way that little blade of yours is going to match up to my gun. Though, if you want to test it...”

As he trailed off, I shook my head, “I have no desire to show off my abilities, for I have nothing to prove.”

“Heh, knew it. Swordsponies always back away like little wimps in the presence of a gun,” the stallion chuckled.

As I walked away, I watched with a scowl as the other four ponies began to cause trouble, harassing and picking on the patrons. While I had finished my soda, I heard a unicorn mare talk to a young stallion, “Come on babe , how about you dance for me?”

“I’m sorry, but my husband wouldn’t like it. I want to be faithf-”

The yellow mare interrupted, “Dance, or I get to make you scream for me instead.” she giggled, pulling out a dagger.

Shivering, the stallion began to dance for the mare, tears welling up in his eyes. Smirking, the mare then said, “Now, how about you come here and put your -”

Stepping in front of her, I put my blade out in between the two ponies, “I believe that the stallion is uncomfortable. Leave him alone.”

“Oh, the swordspony is giving me orders?” she giggled as I heard the music change, this one being one of Rara’s upbeat numbers. The mare lifted her chin and smirked, “How about you prove to me how tough ya are and punch me right in my chin.”

I looked over my shoulder at the bar keep, “Sorry, I might end up ruining your bar.” Turning back to look at my target, I delivered a hard right into the chin of my opponent, sending her flying into a collection of tables. From behind, I could hear the growls of her friends.

With uncanny timing, I ducked under the knife of one of the attacking ponies. As he tried to recover from his slice, I charged my horn with a lightning bolt spell and shot it out at him, dropping him to the floor spasming from the shock. Turning to my side, I watched with a small hint of confidence as two earth ponies leapt at me with their blades drawn. In a second, I drew Dusk and cut them across the chest in mid-flight. The two earth ponies fell to the ground, screaming pain. Turning to look at the big stallion and his partner, I picked up several of the tables and chairs and threw it at the smaller pony, knocking him out with the debris.

The earth pony growled as he pulled out the large minigun that he held behind his back, “Oh, is that how you like to play? Well, this is a first run minigun that I found in a weapons shop not too far from here. And it’s been dying to turn a pony into raw meat.”

There was a suppressed chuckle that escaped my lips as I looked at the model. It was an early one, the type that they made years ago before moving to the more stable models later on. This one was very unique.. .because these versions had a chip in their barrels that could make them break if hit in the right spot. As I could hear the minigun warm up to unleash its torrent of bullets at me, I moved in for the strike and slashed my sword at the barrel of the minigun, cutting it in half.

The stallion watched in shock as I ruined his barrel, before letting out a scream of pain as I cut across his chest. Stepping to his side, I double bucked him in the ribcage, causing him to stumble into the bar table. Grabbing him in my magic, I lifted him up and threw him out the window, to the cheering of the bar patrons.

As I walk to the window of the bar, I watched with a small bit of glee as the stallion slowly got up, pulling glass out of his leg, “Y-y-you! You won’t get away with this, I’ll bring my brother here and he will kick your ass!”

I shot him a look that begged him to make good on his threat and then watched as he ran away. Turning my head to look back at the bar keep, I blushed, “Sorry about what I did.”

“Eh,” the stallion shrugged, “This wasn’t the worst fight that this bar had seen.”

I chuckled a little at this as the younger stallion that I had saved earlier smiled and waved his thanks to me. couldn’t help but smile, feeling good about helping an innocent pony. Walking back to the bar, I took a quick drink of my Sparkle Cola, “Why do you let those ponies like that walk all over you?”

“Protection,” stated the stallion simply.

“Protection? You are sacrificing dignity and your own self worth just so you can feel safe?” I asked, unable to believe what I was hearing.

“Hey, it ain’t my idea. If you got a problem with it, maybe you should talk to the mayor, it was his idea,” the stallion grumbled.

Frowning, I put my caps onto the table and walked away from the stool. Once I walked out of the bar, a young stallion with a green mane and blue coat came to me, “What just happened, I saw a Middle Child from the Children of Nightmare run out of the town with a huge cut in his chest!”

“ I did it, because he was both-”

“Did you know what you just done?” asked the stallion, “You have just ticked off his older brother and now he is going to come here and make you pay!”

“Look, Mr.-”

“Mayor Broken Heart,” the stallion said, growling.

“He and his goons were bothering and messing with the ponies in the bar, and I taught them a lesson,” I said, not caring for the look he was giving me.

“Of course they were messing up some of the ponies in there, that is what they do,” Broken said, looking to the edge of town, “We let them do what they want to us, take what they want, and in return they protect us. All they ask of us is to let one of our own go with them once in a month, and then our villagers come back unharmed.”

“So, you are willing to put up with being bullied just so you can feel safe?” I asked, turning to look at the angry shadow that was coming from the edge of town. Glaring at the mayor, I told him, “I will be back.”

As I walked towards the large stallion at the edge of town, I noted that for a unicorn, he was massive. It was like a muscle had decided to grow a pony body around itself. I chuckled as the memory of a white pegasus flew through my head, “Ok, which one of you is the a-holes that hurt my little brother?”

“I did,” I said, standing in front of the hulking unicorn.

“How dare you?” he growled, his grey coat shining in the dim light through the barrier, “Do you know who I am? I am an Eldest Child from the Children of Nightmare. That means I pack a lot of glory in this town. We take what we want and do what we want, and return, the ponies here are safe from raiders and monsters. Those who don’t tend to end up very unhappy.”

“Yes, I can see that,” I said, looking over my shoulder at some of the townsponies hiding behind what they could.

“Now,” the stallion said , wiping his hoof, trying to look in my eyes to intimidate me. “Here’s how it’s going to go down. you apologize for what you did to my little brother and his friends. Otherwise, it’s going to end up becoming very unhappy for you. Got it?”

“I got it,” I said, not moving from my spot.

“Good, now apologize! And if you try anything funny, lay a hoof on me, and I will go and get my boss and bring our thirty soldiers with me,” the stallion said, smirking.

“I’m sorry,” I said calmly.

A haughty laugh came from the stallion, “See,there is nopon-”

“You didn’t let me finish,” I said, holding up a hoof. “I am sorry that the wasteland has allowed ponies like you to be born. I am sorry that the horrors of the wasteland has forced ponies to bow to monsters like you in order to be safe. I am sorry that ponies like me have come too late, and I am sorry that heroes seem too few and far inbetween to stand up to monsters like you. And I am sorry that I had to let these ponies spend more than a minute basking in your horrifying presence,” I said, carrying a smirk that told him to hit me, and he tried. he pulled back his hoof

It is the simple things in my life that bring me the most joy. Running through a valley of flowers with my best friends, listening to Sweetie’s latest song, and seeing the look of an opponent as he realizes that the pony he was going to hit was now suddenly gone.

As I jumped about ten feet in the air to dodge the punch of the stallion, I slid my sword out of my sheath and held it above my head, “Up here!” I shouted, bringing the stallion’s attention to me as I floated in the air. The look in his eyes as he saw me was priceless. My smile grow as I slammed the dull side of my sword into his skull, forcing his head down. Once I landed on the ground, I rammed the hilt of my blade into the stallion’s forehead, raising his head up to bear his chest. I then slammed my hooves ten times into his chest in a rapid fire attack. Moving to his side I slashed my blade across his stomach and chest. I then followed with a slash into his legs , making him fall to his knees. With one final move, I jumped above his prone form and slammed my hoof into his back with a satisfying crack and then landed in from of him.

All in all, the entire assault took nine seconds, to the ponies that watched me, I might as well have been a black blur. I turn to look at the trembling little brother who quickly ran to his big brother and began to drag the fallen stallion away, “You’ll pay for killing my brother!”

“I didn’t kill him, but he is going to be wishing he was,” I said as I sheathed my blade.

“I don’t care, you’ll pay for this!” shouted the little brother, “I am going to call the boss and he is going to come back to wreck this town and destroy you. All of you!” and with that, he ran away.

There was a smile on my lips as I walked away, one that quickly faded as I heard only a few ponies clapping for what I had just did. Others just looked at me like I had just ruined their lives. The others walked and began to mutter prayers under their breaths. The most damning pony in this group, was Broken, who stepped forward towards me with a horrified look in his eyes, “Do you know what you just did? You have just doomed us all!”

“At least I did something!” I said, stepping up to the mayor and glaring daggers into his eyes.

“No, you have doomed us all!” Boken argued. “Thanks to what you have done, you have just invited hell upon us all.”

“You were willing to let those bullies walk all over you just to feel safe,” I said, shaking my head.

The stallion growled looking down at the ground, “That’s the way it is in the Wasteland! You have to sacrifice something in order to survive! Be it pride, your soul, or even your own ideals. You have to give up a little of yourself if you want to live,” he then turned away from me, “We aren’t all heroes, we don’t all have powers like you.”

“That doesn’t matter. You don’t need to have a lot of power to stand up for your pride or who you are!” said, grinding my teeth in rage, “Sometimes you just need to be brave and not give into what your fear tells you.”

“Haven’t been in the Wasteland long have you kid?” asked Broken. “You think that all you need is a brave heart and a good mind and it will all turn out ok? Just wait and see, all of your little ideals will go down the toilet when the Wasteland finally breaks you.”

“It won’t break me,” I said calmly.

“Whatever,” he said walking away. “How about you do the smart thing and leave. MAybe if I can talk to the leaders of the Children of the Nightmare to spare us.”

“I’m not leaving,” I said.

“What?” asked the stallion, his look showing shock.

“I said... I’m not leaving. I am going to stand right here and fight that entire army when they come here tomorrow. I will protect this entire town, alone if I have to,” I said, looking around at the various ponies.

“You crazy?” asked Broken. “That’s thirty soldiers that you are facing, plus Shatter Spike, the leader. He’s a pony that is said to wield a mountain of a sword capable of crushing a pony. And you are going to face all of that alone?” aksed Broken. As I calmly nodded, the stallion put his hoof to his forehead and shook it, “You are crazy.”

“I’ll do whatever it takes to protect ponies when they need me,” I said as Broken began to walk away from me.

“You seem to have made some trouble for us,” Swift said from top of a building. With a soft flutter he landed at my side, “Challenging an entire battalion of soldiers, just to protect others. Though, I doubt the townsponies deserve your mercy.”

“What do you mean?” I asked.

“Come,” Swift said, nudging his head over his shoulder. As we walked away, he asked, “How did you jump ten feet in the air during your fight by the way?”

I blushed and chuckled, “Unicorn magic on the hooves.”

After a few short minutes of walking, we came across a mare as she sat at a small mound of dirt. Turning to look a Swift for an explanation as to who she was, I heard him begin, “This mare is mourning her son, who is under that mound of dirt.”

“I see,” I whispered. “There is more to this story, isn't’ there?”

“A year ago...” swift said, watching as the mare cried. “Her son tried to stand up against the Children of Nightmare and he died in the process. That is not the troubling part. What is troubling is that, when he tried to fight them, the rest of the town watched as the soldiers killed him. While they beat, shot, and ripped him apart, the townspeople could only look on. Not one stepped up and helped him. Now, they won’t even remember him with a grave marked.”

“Oh my stars,” I gasped, and then looked at him. “How did you find out?”

“I helped her buy some flowers,” Swift said. Then he looked back at and stared into my eyes, “Do you still think this town is worth saving?”

I looked back towards the town and then back to Swift, “This changes nothing. I don’t care what they did, I am still going to protect those ponies and save them. There are children here who don’t deserve death and whatever they have planned for this town”

“Even when confronted with the truth of their sins, you will not back down,” sighed Swift. “You are impressive.”

“I also want to prove him wrong,” I said, looking back at the town. “The mayor thinks that in order to survive here you have to give up a part of yourself. That your ideals are just something you can throw away when life gets to hard. I can’t stand that way of thinking.”

“Even though it is true,” Swift said calmly. “The Wasteland does that to ponies. Takes your ideals and your world view and destroys it. You either then give up, or die watching your world crumble.”

I began to lead Swift into town as we talk, “I can’t believe that. I refuse to believe that this place is such a hellhole that it sucks out all goodness and will from you. It doesn’t have to be that way.”

As we walked back through the town to find a place to sleep, the mayor came up to me, “So, are you planning on leaving us now? Good, maybe I might be able to talk to the children and have them lessen the damage to our town.”

“I’m not leaving,” I said plainly.

“What? Why? This isn’t your town, this isn’t your fight! You can just leave and never look back,” the stallion said.

I looked away from him, “I never can’t leave a town that needs me. Even one with a group of ponies that are willing to throw away their lives just to be safe.”

“You’re insane, this isn’t your fight,” the stallion said, watching as I walked away.

“The moment I came here, I made it my fight,” I said calmly as I made my way to a small shack that Swift had gotten the two of us.

It is a strange feeling to laying on your stomach underneath the cloud cover, when you cannot see the stars. Back before the war, there was a comforting feeling I would get whenever I slept under the stars on the balcony of my home. Like I could feel a strength coming from them that would beam itself into me. Or like a blanket that would keep me warm and safe. I could still feel the stars and moon from where I laid, but the fact I could not see them was like I was feeling a ghost at my side. A long and sad sigh escaped my lips as my emerald eyes gazed out at the barrier, trying to remember the placement of the stars.

“You should be asleep, there is a big battle tomorrow,” Swift said, flying up to the roof.

I shrugged as I moved to the side, “I tend to feel stronger at night. Sleep doesn’t always come easy to me.”

“Hmmm, a night pony,” Swift sid as he laid next to me. “ You are full of surprises.”

I let out a slight giggle and then looked back up at the sky, “Do you think I’m doing the right thing, staying and fighting?”

“No, I don’t,” Swift said. “For what they have done, they deserve what is coming to them. They deserve to have their town destroyed; however, there is the fact that you are doing this to prove a point. The idea that you want to become a symbol of hope to these ponies and prove their thoughts about the wasteland wong, that to me... is the right thing.

A smile crossed my lips as he said this, “You know, I think we talk way too much about our ideals and why we fight... I don’t think we do that much as friends.

“Oh, is that what we are?”he chuckled as he watched me roll my eyes. “I thought I was just here as your foil.”

“You are more than that,” I said, looking at Swift with half lidded eyes. “You are the stallion who keeps me in check, and helps to remind me that not everything is so black and white. That there are some ponies who think that they have to kill in order to protect others.”

“And you are the naive child, thinking that all she has to do to be a hero is to have a strong heart and a noble cause,” Swift said. Then he smiled for the first time in a while, “And we need ponies like you.”

“...you, do?” I asked.

“Yes,” he said. “Ponies like you are bright lights in this world. Ones that help to show that there can be good if we try. I can be ashamed when those lights fade, so we should cherish them often.”

I blushed at the compliment and tried to change the subject, “So, tell me, favorite book.”

Swift seemed taken aback by this and then took a minute to think about it, “The Dragons Riders of the Sun.”

“No way,” I said shocked. “I didn’t think you would love a foal’s series.”

There was a light chuckle coming from Swift’s throat, “What, I enjoy the nobility of riding dragons to fight for the princess. Ponies giving their all to wage battle against the darkness, no grey area. Just the good and the bad.” Looking back at me, he asked, “What did you think that I spent all of my years reading battle guides?”

“Well, yes,” I said, plainly.

“I’ll have you know, I could be quite a wild child when I was younger,” laughed Swift as he reared his head back. ‘It’s just like how I know you were probably not always a soft innocent mare.”

“”Oh, I could tell you stories. I mean, “ I laughed a little, “Me and Babs used to be wild little mares when we were on missions.”

“Babs? Your friend? Swift asked.

“Marefriend, actually,” I sighed, “We broke up after about three years. Our lives as... wandering missionaries was too much for both of us. We worried over each other too much. Kind of like with Rumble actually.”

“Ah, so you prefer both,” Swift nodded. “You seemed like a mare who would love both sides.” Looking into my eyes, he asked, “Favorite training memory.”

“Oh no,” I said, holding up a hoof defensively, “Too embarrassing. You first.”

“Me? I can assure you, I was always a perfect student,” he bragged. As he notice my look of disbelief, he sighed and said, “One time, I accidentally cut my sensei's top knot.” This caused me to laugh and roll on the roof.

This was how our night carried on. We talked about the most random of things, learning a bit about each other and generally just being friends. It had a feeling I had missed for a long time... a feeling of home.

It was in the middle of the day when I saw the Children of the Nightmare walking towards the town, just east of where they had a small little guard tower to look out for threats. I had already positioned myself near the entrance and had waited the entire time for them, letting myself become immersed in the dead Wasteland, listing to the small foals play in front of the parents who were scared for their lives. With a quick adjustment to my cape and my eyes narrowed at the incoming group of thirty, I walked towards them. Swift was at my side, flying high over head while I opted to walk, the dust lightly coating my hooves.

Once we arrived to where the Children of Nightmare had been walking, they all began to growl at us. Behind them, a large earth pony stallion stood, his green coat contrasting with his fellow soldiers. On his back, I noted something very large and metallic, “Alright, who is the pony that hurt my little brothers?”

“Me,” I said, stepping forward and glaring up at the stallion, his large muscles rippling as he moved to look down at me.

“So,” he growled, “This little bitch was the one who took two of you out? Look, I know we are all knew to the Children’s family, but try and give us some pride!”

“Who are you, Children of Nightmare?” I asked, looking at him, trying to figure out what was the large weapon on his back.

“We, are the ones chosen by the Nightmare to bring the true queens of Equestria back home,” the stallion said. “Our numbers are many, like the blackness of the Nightmare, and we are strong, much like you are. I admire your power, why not join us and use your gifted strength correctly?”

“I am using it correctly,” I said defiantly. “I am using it to protect the ponies that are behind me.”

The stallion began to laugh at this, “You think that's what your power is meant for? To protect these worthless beings?” I said nothing, but nodded. “HA! Then you are a fool! We are gifted strength to lord it over others, especially those like in the village. They quickly sacrificed their souls just to let us protect them, and you are wasting your power on them? Why?”

“Because, it’s too easy,” I said, looking down.

“Easy?” The stallion asked.

“Easy to give up what your beliefs and your ideals just to be safe,” I said. “I could easily just give up right now. Leave this place and let you do what you want to it. But... I won’t let the Wasteland beat me that easily. I refuse to believe that this place is so cruel, so broken that a mare who wants to do good will sacrifice her morals at the drop of the hat.” In my mind, I could see Scootaloo and her experiments, the memory quickly replaced by her younger self and I smiled. “We are stronger than that, and so am I.”

“No, you are weak,” he turned to look at his men, “Kill them, then ravage the town. It’s time they remembered how weak they are.”

I looked over my shoulder at Swift, “If one of them gets by us, they could kill somepony. Don’t let a single one get through.”

Understood,” Swift nodded and flew straight into the crowd of ponies.

I have to admit, there was a certain beauty and grace to how Swift fought. Swooping down with his wings extended, slashing at the ponies in front of him like a large bird of prey, it was like watching a dancer begin her dance. When it was appropriate, he would use his wings to give him flight and aim his handgun to take out some of his opponents at a distance before switching back to his blades. I noted that sometimes a pony would get a cut on him, but that seemed to drive him further on.

As for me, I was still figuring out what I was like as a fighter. Charging my horn, I sliced the ground in front of the soldiers, causing them to slip on the ground and open to a lighting strike from my horn. Running into the crowd, I slashed at one of their hind legs before spinning around to stab one through the shoulder. One of the soldiers managed to strike me across the back with a pipe, leaving me open to a gunshot into my armor. With a grunt, I stepped back up and slashed both the gunpony and pipe weidler in one strike.

Behind me, I could hear three gunshots being fired and I rolled out of the way. Racing towards them and out of the way of a machete pony, I slashed at one of the gun wielders, taking three shots into my armor and getting my leg scratched in the process. As the other two reloaded, I froze the guns to their mouths. However, while I used my magic, I felt a shotgun blast hitting my side and sending my body to the ground. Getting up, I saw one pony wielding a machete and bringing it down onto my head. With minimal effort, I blocked the blade, and again when he tried to cut my neck. With a quick slash, I struck his chest and stabbed a pony behind me in the side. When three got near me, I leapt into the sky and struck them with a powerful lightning bolts.

While I lowered myself to the ground, I watched in horror a Swift was getting outnumbered. At that point, I wished I was faster, but then I thought about one other spell I could use. One I hadn’t since my... let’s call it my rebel phase. Mainly because I didn’t know if my current powers were up to it or not. Concentrating hard, I felt my power seem to expand for a few minutes, then quickly contract. With a little thump, I had landed on the ground and panted, feeling like I had half of my power with me. Smiling, I watched as my clone got up and proceed to make swift work of the ponies at Swift’s back.

Panting, and feeling the drain on my magic from the clone, I took her back, just in time to dodge the twin blades of two other ponies. The two then attacked again, managing to cut into my forelegs. Before the could strike again, I struck out with my sword and sliced their chests. With a shake of my head, I looked up as the stallion began to walk towards me, shaking the ground, “Think you are going to be able to annihilate Grid’s gang? Let’s see how sure you are when you take on the Mauler!” With that, he reached behind himself and pulled out a giant blade. It didn’t even look like a sword, it was more like somepony took a giant slab of metal and put it on a stick. With a giant swing, he brought the sword down upon me.

In a flash, I brought up Dusk and blocked the strike. The impact of the attack was so strong that it pushed me into the ground, cause a small crater and creating little divots under my feet. Grid smiled at me as he pulled the blade away and slashed crossways at me. Faster than he could blink, I leapt onto the flat of the blade and rode it it through it’s arc. When he turned to look for me and saw me standing on the flat of his sword, I raised my hind leg and kicked him hard into the face.

When I landed back onto the ground, I looked up in time to watch the blade coming for my head. With a quick movement, I blocked the sword, and again with another strike. Time and again our blades clashed against one another, sparks flying from the collision of metal against metal. With one attack, we began to grapple our blades against one another, the sparks flying as we pushed against each other, “I’m impressed,” Grid smirked, “You are the first pony ever to last more than five minutes with the Mauler.”

“I’m just full of surprises,” I grinned, pushing away his blade and slashing his chest.

Grid let out a yell of pain before swiping and slashing at me. I was impressed by the rate of speed that the stallion was able to swing that sword. I figured it’s due to his muscle mass and probably some drugs. I also decided at that moment to forgo figuring out his strength and opted instead to keep the fight going as our blades clashed again and again. As only point, he slashed just to the side of me, kicking up a loud of dust that blinded me for a second. In that brief moment, the stallion punched me hard, sending me back a few feet. As I recovered from the punch, I barely had time to dodge the next slash as it cut into my armor. I screamed as the blade managed to cut into my flesh, leaving a trail of blood from my wound. Growling, I went in for a double strike, only to get it blocked by Grid.

It was during my attack, I noticed a chip in his sword. With a smirk, I let my horn glow a faint red, heating up the spot in the sword by increments and weakening the sword. When he lifted his blade up again for another strike, I made my move and slashed at the weak point in the blade. My sword cutting in deeply into the weak point, I broke the giant blade in half. As Grid looked on in shock, I slashed his chest three more times before cutting into his forelegs. Taking a leap into the sky, I moved above his back and slammed my hoof into his spine, forcing him to the ground. Before he could recover, I moved to his front and punched him repeatedly with my hooves, some of my hits giving out a satisfying bone breaking crack.

Laying on the ground in front of me, he began to beg, “Well...go on, finish me!”

“No,” I said, sheathing my sword, “I took a vow a long time ago to never kill. I made that vow as a way to prove to myself and others that you don’t need to sacrifice yourself or your beliefs in order to survive here. I took the vow in defiance of the Wasteland because I still believe in an Equestria where ponies don’t need to kill in order to mete out justice. I am not going to will you, but what you are going to do is use your talents to help protect this town without hurting other ponies. You are going to be guardians of them for free and help them in whatever way you can. And if I find out that you are hurting them and bullying them... I will be back. And trust me,” I said, my eyes glowing a faint green behind my slitted irises, “I will know.”

After a day of rest, me and Swift found ourselves on the road again. We had refilled our bags with food and some caps for money, plus a couple of canteens of water. I had a small smile on my face as I walked, “That’s what I needed, a chance to save lives and help ponies.”

“And what did it do for you?” Asked Swift.

“It helped me deal with Scootaloo,” I said, sighing. “I now see that, in spite of her sins, she was still trying her best to save ponies. She may have been misguided, but she still tried. I am still afraid of what other secrets lie in wait for me about the other ministry mares, but... I think I can handle it a little betert now.”

Swift smiled as his pipbuck’s radio came on “Good Morning Wastelanders! DJPON-3 with the news here! It seems a small little town just outside of Detrot was saved by a mysterious pony that many are calling the Shadow. A mare who took on an entire army by herself, and get this...s he didn’t take a single life. This isn’t the first time I’ve heard of this little mare. No, it seems this shadow has been kicking flank from Ponyville to here and along her journey. All without killing. I don’t know how you can keep doing this Shadow, but if you can keep this up even in front of the worst of the Wasteland, I salute you! And now for some music.”

“The Shadow?” I asked, cocking an eyebrow.

“It’s your title, many Wasteland heroes gets one. It shows your fame and strikes fear into your enemies,” Swift said.

“I would rather be known for my heroics, rather than feared by others,” I said, smiling a little.

Swift arched his shoulders, “At least, they are starting to know you, my naive Shadow.”

Footnote: Level Up!

New Perk: Light on Your Toes: Your speed training has made your reflexes better than ever! Attacks have a 20% chance to miss you.

Author's Note:

This chapter, has a reference to High Plains Drifter, one of my all time favorite Westerns. When I cam up with this chapter, I decided I wanted to write something that would show Nyx dealing with the fact that, in spite of her desire to stay true to her ideals, some of her family and closest friends might have failed in that regard. I alos wanted to show a little bit of her own determination and ability to hang tough.

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