• Published 9th Apr 2012
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Fallout: Equestria - Memories - TheBobulator



One crazy pegasus, one roboleg, a contingent of Steel Rangers, and an adventure of infinite detours. Put all that together and what do you get? A rip-roaring mosh pit wrecking its way across the Wasteland, leaving nothing but confusion in its wake.

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Chapter 31: Won’t it be so snug with me inside you?

Chapter 31: Won’t it be so snug with me inside you?

“I don't know what we're going to face in there. But whatever it is, I know we need to face it together.”


You know, I had felt so incredibly clever when I came up with this plan.

I’ve always known I wasn’t a smart pony, but for a few glorious minutes I felt like a smart pony. I had been literally dead, yet I managed to kinda outwit Death itself and come back to life! I had come up with an unorthodox solution to a problem that even a council of ancient beings hadn’t been able to solve! I had linked together the various puzzle pieces of my life's experiences and concluded there was a single demand that would solve all my problems: Stuff my soul into a small wooden doll that was shaped like me!

“Holy crap I can move things with my mind,” Sparkle said, grinning like a lunatic as she stared down at the tiny wooden doll that was me.

I wasn’t feeling so smart anymore.

Let's review. My soul was now stuck in the little wooden Frosty figurine Sparkle had made however many weeks or months ago. My body was currently being possessed by Ice Storm, who turned out to be some ancient evil wendigo who wants to destroy the world. Sparkle has no idea that Ice Storm isn't me, so she let him escape and now he's Celestia-knows-where probably screwing everything up. And now Sparkle thinks she's a wizard.

Woo. Go Frosty. You rock.

In light of her incredible revelation that she had spontaneously developed super magic powers, Sparkle was still prancing around the room and generally losing her goddesses-damned mind. Every few steps she would stop, point her face in the general direction of an errant object in her workshop—to which nothing would happen—but cheer anyway. It brought a metaphorical light to the dingy shack, seeing Sparkle so happy. Ignorance was bliss, after all.

On the topic of revelations, I did find out that in my ethereal form I had a good two-pony-lengths of space that I could freely traverse before I was stopped by an angry transparent red barrier. However, I was somehow allowed to push this barrier around which translated into knocking my minifigure in the corresponding direction.

Anyway, back to Sparkle gluing the metaphorical ice cream cone to her head and me yelling at her for trying to one-up me.

“No! Sparkle, you grilled cheese, it’s ME. You’re not magic!” At this point I’d already figured out that she couldn’t hear me. That didn’t keep me from trying, but it did progressively raise my nonexistent blood pressure with each second.

This second chance of mine was going to be a complete trainwreck and Sparkle Cola was the engineer asleep at the brake.

Then she started intently staring at something on the workbench. “What? What are you looking at?” I demanded at the crazy mare. Obviously she didn’t react, but I traced her vision which ended on a stray nail on the table. “You can’t possibly still be trying.” As if she’d heard, she stopped. She balanced the nail up on its head and went back to staring at it.

“Damn it, Sparkle. You can’t—like—uuuuugh,” I groaned. Fine. If Sparkle wanted to be magic, maybe she could be magic for a day. I floated my ghost butt over to the nail and gave it a tap. To my surprise, it didn’t budge in the slightest. I tried again, this time with determined force. Again, nothing. It felt like I was trying to move an immovable object the size of a, well, nail. It took all of my ghostly might pressing against the standing tip of the nail to finally topple it over.

“Siiiiiiiick.” Sparkle marveled at herself for a bit. She strutted around the room while making zapping motions at random things. After a celebratory screech, she dashed out the room.

“Is this what it’s like dealing with me? Aren’t I supposed to be the one dumber than a pigeon in a snowstorm? I can see why Rumcake is so pissy.”

I tried to follow to see where she was going, but ended up slamming face-first into the angry red wall of anti-fun. I couldn’t physically follow her. Right. For now I was forced to listen to Sparkle’s rabid screeching coming from outside. The arbitrary barrier surrounding my little figure clearly wasn’t going to let me pass on through it, but as my gaze swept over Sparkle’s messy work space I found myself staring at my soul doll again.

So my entire existence revolved around this dumb trinket. I was clearly not allowed to move very far from it. My lack of physical form also prevented me from picking up my soul doll and throwing it across the room so I could follow it. As I floated in thought, circling around the limited space I had and listening to the dulcet tones of Sparkle still losing her damn mind, I ended up taking another good look at the barrier again.

Just past the edge of the table, my safety zone went through the back wall and came back into the room by the door. “Hey. You go through a wall, mister invisible wall,” I scolded the red barrier. Then on a whim of a thought, I decided to mush my face through the back wall. The chain of logic went like this: I can only move within the red space, so clearly the other side of the wall is fair game. Thank the goddesses that I was actually right. Or who knows, maybe it wasn’t going to be the end of the world. Point being, my head was now protruding out of a wall.

Huh. Ghost powers were kinda awesome. Awesome in a limited scope, but being able to go through stuff was the coolest thing ever. I could peek into bathrooms. The possibilities! But for now, I was watching Sparkle prance in circles around Rumcake. Hello, fat Rumcake.

This was the first time I’d seen him out of armor in an incredibly long time, so I couldn’t quite remember if he used to be this much of a lardcake. That being said, he was splotched all over with yellow paint—mostly all over his haunches and tail for whatever reason—and he was busy attempting to paint this excuse for a house we were in. He was mostly just standing there, painting one spot over and over again with the brush clamped in his mouth.

Still prancing, still overly joyous by the metaphorical ice cream cone on her head, Sparkle exuberantly shouted, “Hey! Hey, guess what?”

Without even looking away from the wall, Rumcake grumbled, “What?”

Sparkle stopped bouncing. She joyously spun on the tips of her hooves, shrieking to the world, ”I can move things with my brain.”

Fat Rumcake halted in mid-brush. He let out a great exhausted sigh, letting the brush fall to the ground. Once that sentence had processed in his mind, he thudded his head against the wall—yes, the wall with wet paint on it—and groaned, “…It’s two in the afternoon. How drunk are you?” When he raised his head, a portion of his stupid pink mane came back blotched in a fine yellow glop.

“No, really! See?” Watching Sparkle attempt to use nonexistent magic was quite possibly the bright spot of my week. The look on her face was like she was trying to take the meanest shit in the world while trying to finish a crossword puzzle. Simply. Amazing. “Hang on, I’m still sort of trying to figure out how it works.”

Rumcake, clearly not believing any of Sparkle’s bullshit, just stared at the fixated mare and let her give herself a hernia. After watching for an uncomfortably long time, he let out another tired sigh. “Riiiiight.” Suddenly, he didn’t look like the spry abusive stallion I’d met at the start of this adventure. He looked old. Fat. Tired. Fat. I legitimately felt just the teensiest bit bad for him until I remembered how fat he’d gotten. Fat Rumcake pointed at one of the many full buckets of paint and told Sparkle, “Pass me the next bucket of paint with your brain then.”

After only managing to make her face red with nothing to show for it, Sparkle finally gave up. “By the way, I still don’t get why you’re painting our hovel yellow.”

The saying about polishing a turd came to mind. They were literally painting corrugated tinfoil and wood paneling the color of moldy mustard. In theory it tied the whole hovel together, but in practice it just looked like a patchy smeared mess spotted with rust. “It makes it look nice,” Rumcake lied.

“Why not paint it some other color? Like green?” Sparkle pointed out.

Once again, Rumcake began painting the wall with his face. This time with a single thump, he said, “The only colors of paint left in existence are somehow only yellow and blue. I am not going to look at a big blue building when I come home every day. The last thing I want to see is blue.”

“Two things. One, since when we were planning to stay here permanently? Two, you can mix the colors, you know. Yellow and blue make green,” Sparkle once again sensibly pointed out.

Rumcake looked at the section of wooden wall and sheet metal, then back to the buckets of paint. “I am not mixing eight billion liters of paint.” With a heavy sigh, he cautiously stepped off the makeshift scaffolding he’d built. “Besides, I already got one wall finished.” He gestured at the patchy yellow paint scheme that he looked so obviously proud of. “I mean, considering I’ve been mostly using my tail it looks great.”

Oh. So that’s why some of those patches looked suspiciously butt-shaped.

But yeah. That was basically day-to-day action for Fat Rumcake and Sparkle. Rumcake never answered Sparkle’s question about when they were planning to move on from this dive. He’d spend a few hours attempting to paint, Sparkle did literally everything else for this dysfunctional household of two, and I did my best to send a spooky ghost message to either of these two idiots. I wasn’t very successful—Sparkle was still secretly convinced that she had somehow gained magic powers. No matter how much I attempted to guide genius magician Sparkle to any writing implement, she would default to the same excited giggling that came from me making anything move.

I would have already blown out my own brains if I had them. Sparkle literally couldn’t identify a hint if—as in, when—one hit her in the face. On the bright side, it was probably better that Sparkle wasn’t a squeamish spook-terrified crybaby. Most of my efforts in advanced spookology had no effect since I simply had zero idea what I was doing. Possessing small objects allowed me to rattle them. Doing that didn’t seem to affect anything else at the moment, so I largely left them alone.

Anyway, that was life with idiots. Everything was not okay at all.

But hey! Thanks to my innate aura of attracting the strangest of company, I was about to ruin the goddesses-damned shit out of Rumcake and Sparkle’s terrible sitcom. Things had been clearly boring for far too long and the universe decided that it needed to return Violet to the mix.

She just showed up out of the blue one day—and I’d almost missed it! By the time I’d caught on to what was going on outside they had already passed exchanging pleasantries and moved onto basically yelling at each other. I took up my favorite wall spot to shove my face through to watch the rest of the interchange.

In addition to “patchy”, Violet’s robes could now safely add “dusty” to its description list. If I didn’t know better, it was like watching Rumcake yell at a giant Violet-shaped dust bunny.

“It’s nice to see some things never change,” I sighed to myself.

Hearing the commotion, Sparkle came trotting out of their patchy yellow butt-printed hovel. Violet took this opportunity to re-introduce herself. “Greetings, dimwits. I have returned in search of Frosty.” Some things never changed. Violet was still just as friendly as ever!

Speaking of things that hadn’t changed, Rumcake still hadn’t finished painting. Most of what he was doing now was filling in the gaps between all the buttprints all over the walls with his teensy little paintbrush. He carefully set down the brush in his mouth back into a pot of yellow paint and said, “Well you just missed her by about a week. She’s gone.”

The dust bunny indignantly huffed, scattering bits of itself and revealing Violet’s scrunched muzzle underneath. “I have a hunch the Frosty you think I’m speaking of isn’t the Frosty that I am speaking of.” She paused and seemed to change topics. “There’s a thing called ‘studying’ that you two are clearly unfamiliar with. Did you know this town’s forbidden documents wing of the library is surprisingly well-preserved?”

“You’ve been at the library this whole time?” Sparkle remarked.

Violet scoffed, causing a portion of her fluff to floof away. “Don’t patronize me. Just tell me where I can find a Frosty and a calendar. Maybe even both.”

The two Rangers simultaneously blurted, “What?”

“Woah, woah, woah,” I said. “Back the exposition train up. Who jump cuts into the middle of a scene? Start from the beginning because I have no idea what is going on!” Nopony heard me of course, but it helped my own sanity by screaming my frustrations at the deaf world around me.

Violet ignored them, instead stating, “I’m coming in for tea. This can wait until I’ve had something to eat that isn’t paste.” She began to walk toward the far side of the butt-hut and to the door that I couldn’t actually see because of the space I was limited to. Dumb red barriers.

Rumcake hesitated, casting a glance at Violet then to the paint, then to Sparkle, then back to the wall. “We don’t—”

Once again, Violet elected to ignore the voices directed at her. “I’m going inside and eating the first thing I see.” She pushed past Sparkle—who didn’t bother stopping her at all.

The clearly confused Rumcake halfheartedly tried to stop Violet since Sparkle clearly didn’t want to bother with it. “No—”

Before Rumcake could stop her, Violet skirted around the corner and disappeared from sight. A moment later, we all heard a door slam, followed by a faint unamused observation. “I’m eating this alarm clock.”

~~~~~

They never did find a calendar. A thought occurred to me as they were searching—was a PipBuck the only way to accurately tell time in the whole Wasteland? I never even used that function the entire time I had been alive and now I felt cheated. Instead, Violet had opted out to snack on a jar of marmalade that Sparkle had helpfully dug out of storage.

Me being the bored ethereal being I was, I returned to the nearby radio which had become my new source of entertainment over the last few days. It hadn’t taken long for me to figure out how to possess the device. Every few minutes I would force a burp-like squeak out of my new body’s speakers. Too bad nopony seemed to particularly care about what I was doing. Bored once again, I figured it was time for me to get out of here.

I ejected myself out of the radio, the world around me re-materializing as the radio’s interior faded away. As it just so happened, at that exact moment Sparkle was leaning over the radio, presumably trying to figure out why it kept on burb-squeaking. Caught off guard, I accidentally hurled myself right into the side of Sparkle’s giant friggin’ head. The world around me flickered, then faded away again as I fell—into Sparkle?

Unlike the radio, it turned out that plopping into somepony’s head was a bit of a different thing altogether. I found myself disjointedly pulled out of thin air and roughly thrown to the floor somewhere that I didn’t recognize.

For some odd reason, the inside of Sparkle’s head looked a lot like the interior of a well-maintained shed. The wood flooring was scraped and clearly needed a good sanding, but the walls seemed to be in good shape—new coat of paint and everything. If I ignored the fact that there wasn’t a door, everything looked reasonably normal. Tool racks lined the walls, each carefully categorized and arranged by size. Each wall looked to be dedicated to a particular thing; there was a workbench for loading ammo and tinkering with guns, a table scattered with smaller toolboxes for presumably more generic projects, then the last having multiple tiny clamps, magnifying glasses, and all sorts of small-object-manipulation devices all over it. I wisely decided to not touch anything on the off chance that it ended up scrambling Sparkle’s brain.

“What just happened?” I did a few test hops, some cautionary prods, and an aggressive wall bop as well. Gravity was indeed on and so was collision. Good to know. I also belatedly realized I shouldn’t have done that. On the bright side, Sparkle didn’t spontaneously turnip-fy so there was that. Knowing that, I poked around a little bit more. Worst-case scenario at least I had enough space to dramatically pace back and forth in case I got stuck and/or bored in here.

Weirdly enough, the last wall of tools didn’t have anything on them. There were clearly spaces and pins reserved, but nothing occupied them. A small pile of wooden crates and cardboard boxes took up the space where a workbench would be. None of them were labeled.

“Okay, either there’s some weird nightmare demon crabs in that box or I’ve clearly watched too many horror movies,” I snarked to nobody.

Sparkle’s crabs aside, I decided a little poking around wouldn’t be a terrible idea. What was the worst that could happen? Me dying?

…Well, actually the worst thing that could happen would be Sparkle dying, but that was incredibly unlikely. If my brain could handle the ravaging it got, I’m sure Sparkle’s brain would be fine.

While I rummaged and generally made a mess of Sparkle’s make-believe storage, a new thought occurred to me. What would happen if I somehow died again? Would I be more dead? Deader? …Alive? Best not to think about that. Then in the bottom chest, I caught a glimpse of a shiny object buried underneath all the other junk. Trapped below the cobbled-together pistols and bits of paper was a chunk of unidentifiable chromed technological-looking doohickey.

The top part—or what I presumed was the top part—looked like something that belonged on a medallion. Both faces were blank, but shimmered in the nonexistent light source in Sparkle’s head. The bottom looked suspiciously like the bit attached to all of my PipBuck plugins. Clearly all I needed was to plug this bad boy into my PipBuck—

I found myself holding the device over the space of my left leg where my PipBuck used to be. Right. If only I still had one.

…Wait.

Poof. PipBuck.

Poof. UI Overlay.

Poof. Cake.

A girl could get used to this. Especially after a second cake.

Poof.

Once my post-cake revelation cake celebration ended, I turned my skills back to figuring out exactly what I was supposed to do with this PipBuck add-on I was holding. I had already plugged it into the PipBuck I conjured up for myself. Out of the things I could conjure, a solution was not one of them.

The bottomless cake helped.

Poof.

I scrolled through the PipBuck’s list of tabs. Inventory… did “magic PipBuck device” fall under consumables or miscellaneous items? One look at the quest tab made me gag at the length of the list and the number of unchecked boxes there were. I skipped that entire tab without giving it a second look. Back to items. Miscellaneous? It wasn’t under Equipment for whatever reason. Certainly wasn’t a weapon. Aha! Quest items.

Wait. Waitwaitwaitwait.

How the butt licking buck did this thing even know what qualified as a quest item? More importantly, why wasn’t a PipBuck upgrade considered equipment?

“Screw it. What’s the worst that could happen?” I clicked the activation button anyway and whatever this upgrade doohickey was spun to life with a quiet whirr. When nothing happened, I clicked the button over and over again in the hopes that something other than an error noise would happen. Instead, what I managed to do was skip the introductory popup that usually accompanied these things. “This is the absolute definition of complete bullshit.”

A second later, I heard a new voice in my head.

There was something not quite right about Violet showing up out of the blue. Maybe I’m just hungry.

I got a little confused at this stage. The other Frosties hadn’t followed me out of my body. Moreover, I hadn’t heard from them in a long time and this new Frosty sounded suspiciously like Sparkle. Identically similar, even. Several seconds later I realized that those were actually Sparkle’s thoughts floating by.

Also I’m starting to notice my armor is getting a bit tight lately.

“You’re actually just fat,” I absently spoke aloud.

All the errant narrative Sparkle-thoughts suddenly screeched to a halt. “WHO SAID THAT?” The real world Sparkle whirled around in circles, surprised, searching for where I’d said that from.

Wait. She heard that? Rummaging through Sparkle’s garbage could wait. Mischief time.

“Your hips,” Sparkle’s hips replied. Well, rather I replied for her hips. Unfortunately being in her head didn’t give me control of her magical butt powers. Whatever.

Nooooo, not agaaaain. I don’t want to exercise! I can only have so much sex in one day!

Way, way, way too much information. “First of all, I’m not sure you understand what exercise actually is. Second, it’s not your hips. It’s just me.”

“WHO??” Sparkle screeched again.

“Me. Frosty. Hi. Again.” After a momentary pause—mostly Sparkle screaming her head off, really—I politely asked the screaming banshee, “Hey, go get Violet for me? I can’t quite leave this room.”

Out of polite courtesy, I forced myself to not pry into Sparkle’s thoughts. Moreso it was because most of the things Sparkle was thinking had been mundane to the extreme or disconcerting. They weren’t things I wanted to narrate over or listen to for the most part anyway. At the moment though, most of it was screaming. Mental screaming, of course.

And actual screaming. Couldn’t forget that. “Violet! VIIIOLET! I’M HAUNTED!” Sparkle screamed at the top of her lungs.

“No, you’re not,” came the nonplussed report from Violet.

Mental screaming joined the physical screaming, filling my ears with nothing but Sparkle going, “HEEELP! I don’t want to be magic anymore!”

An equally bored Rumcake answered in a way as if things like this had become a commonplace occurrence. “Violet, please go see what Sparkle is stuck in now. You may be the only pony in the Wasteland that can help her.”

“You two are useless without me.” That end bit got louder, meaning Violet was in the same room as us now. Excellent.

Now that I knew what I was doing with my ghostly self, it was time to move onto something more serious. Violet was the intellectual powerhouse of the team after all, so it was time to get her filled in on the action.

I pulled myself out of Sparkle’s head and let the dingy shack load back in. Eventually I was able to differentiate what was reality and what was made up. Sparkle was curled up on the floor, crying and hysterically wailing about not wanting to be magic anymore. Standing over her was Violet, just as nonplussed as ever. Good ol’ Violet. Time to say hi. I spun up my ghostly legs and dived at Violet’s head, the environment of the shack slowly fading away again.

The inside of Vi-vi’s head wasn’t at all like what Sparkle’s had been. There were like, uh—have you seen that part of The Haytrix where the hero dude goes like “hey I need some guns” and just walls of goddamn guns fly out of nowhere? It was exactly like that, but with walls and walls of nothing but books. This was an overwhelming amount of information to process. Where did I even start looking? Between fiction and autobiographies?

Who’s there? I know you’re in here.

“Uuuuuh.” I scrambled for something witty to say. “…No you don’t?”

But now I do.

Eerie red smoke began to flow out from under the shelves and in my direction. Before I had a chance to make another smartass comment, the red smoke started closing in on me, coalescing into distinctly angry dragon-shaped heads full of giant-ass Frosty-shredding teeth. I smartly decided to scoot away to safety. Just as I was getting to the other end of the aisle, one of those dragon heads emerged out of the ground to block the passageway. It turned its wispy head and its eyes flared into life.

Clearly its vision was based on movement. I didn’t move.

It growled at me.

I screamed like the little filly I was.

Threatened by my incredible Sparkle Cola impersonation, it roared back at me. Louder.

I whined at it, “Can we talk about this? C’mon!”

The smoke monster froze right where it was, its glowing red eyes fading to normal. “Oh. It’s just you.”

The formerly menacing dragon-monster imploded in on itself, then with a magical crackle a floating sparkly orb appeared in its place. The form of a crazed, self-centered mare—who wasn’t me, by the way—popped out of the floaty colorful ball.

Violet stamped over to me with this weirdly annoyed look on her stupid face. “Why wouldn’t you introduce yourself first? Knowing you, you could have just opened up with ‘Hello, is it me you’re looking for?’ at least!”

Ah good, she knew exactly what I would do. “Because that would have made sense.” In the theme of Violet’s earlier theatrics, I willed a burst of confetti into the air. “Tadaah! Magic!”

Rainbow confetti rained down upon Magic Mare, antithesis of fun. “I hate you.”

Maybe she just needed a hug. “I love you too,” I agreed, smoothly sliding into Violet’s comfort zone. She didn’t react negatively, so I gave her a tight lovable squeeze.

“Stop touching me,” Violet quietly grated into my ear. Since she sounded seriously annoyed, I politely slid away. It was at this stage Violet took stock of the situation we were in—or rather, the situation she was in. I was just along for the ride. “And get out of my head,” she added.

My first instinct was to make a snarky remark, but Violet looked upset so I decided upon a slightly less snarky one: “Help me, Violet Dusk. You’re my only hope.”

The myriad of bottomless bookshelves vanished into the ether after a wave of Violet’s hoof. A series of couches, chairs, and other comfortable-looking sitting implements emerged out of the ground. There was a squishy bean bag the size of a small space station that had my name on it, then had my face in it after I body-dived right into it. Once I swam to the surface of its beany bagginess, I caught Violet giving me a disparaging look. “Would you like to start with how you’re in two places at once?” she asked. A quill and notepad popped into existence nearby.

Poof. So did a cake.

“There isn’t a simple explanation,” I mumbled through a face-full of generic pastry. “I died, Ice Storm took my body, I went to the afterlife, it sucks, and then I’m back here—and here’s the part that you’re probably gonna like—so I figured that putting my sparkly bits into this creepy doll as some sort of ‘soul jar’ or whatever they called it was a good idea. So now my soul is limited to moving in an area the size of the cone of shame.” Violet arched an eyebrow at me, but continued writing. “You’d be surprised what I can do when I’m paying attention.”

My half-eaten pastry vanished in mid-bite. “Then knock it off with the cake. I want you paying attention.” Just as magically as it had appeared, all the furniture melted back into the floor and left me lying on the ground looking like an idiot. Violet had been prepared and was already standing on her hooves. She chucked the notepad off into the distance and vanished into thin air with a poof of purple dust.

“What.” My vision slowly faded out to white, accompanied by an orchestra of white noise. “Why. What the shit is happening? I don’t like this transition at all!”

The next thing I knew, I had a first-pony view of a table. A half-eaten biscuit and a limp juice box sat dejectedly to the side, more out of necessity because of the huge-ass tome taking up most of the table. I attempted to push it aside, seeing as I understood exactly nothing written on the pages, but found myself unable to move any part of my body.

Instead, a faint jingle burst from the center of my forehead and the pages in front of me began to rapidly flip forward. They finally stopped on an empty page. A tan hoof pushed an ink pot and a quill into view—Violet’s hoof!

It wasn’t hard to put two and two together. I was riding around in Violet’s head before—now I was watching the Violet Dusk channel. I was seeing whatever she was seeing. Whether or not this was safe or if this was what I needed to happen was anypony’s guess. This was also probably somepony’s fetish, but thankfully for Vi-vi it wasn’t mine. Yet.

“There. No more distractions. Now where were we?” Violet still sounded dubious about my attention span but continued anyway. “Somehow I doubt it, but do you remember performing your attunement spell?”

Was that supposed to mean something to me? Well, I guess it must because Violet was asking me about it. Likely I had been confused at the time and therefore cast the memory to the void.

Loudly sighing, Violet clarified, “The thing with the circles, Frosty.”

To my credit, I attempted to bring up the relevant memory. It began to float up to the surface of my mind, but incredible lack of interest put a stop to that. The last thing I wanted to do was learn the same thing again. I was going to save whole pages of my autobiography by not thinking too hard about it.

“Pretend I do.”

Somehow, Violet accepted that. “Okay then. So starting with the concept of magick, we’re going to scoot on over to an older concept that it—”

Using my innate power of incredibly short-term attention span, I zoned out. Even better, Violet couldn’t even see me zone out. She couldn’t even tell I was spending her whole lecture trying to posses what remained of her biscuit. Trying and failing, unfortunately. Logic dictated that I needed a whole biscuit to mind-control. Common sense dictated that this was a stupid idea.

At a point where it sounded like Violet was wrapping up to some sort of conclusion, I paused what I was doing just for the end bit.

Just in case Violet actually expected an intelligent answer, I quickly lied, “Yeah, okay. I didn’t understand most of that. Explain it to me like I’m five.”

Violet let out a trademark Violet sigh. “Fine, look at it this way—you’re a cookie. I’m a different cookie. The idea is to become one singular dessert instead of two separate cookies.”

“I’m an oatmeal raisin cookie,” I brightly suggested.

Violet ignored me, of course. “Sure, whatever. Anyway, your cookie is inside a bag. My cookie is its own bag because of reasons that don’t fit inside this poorly constructed metaphor. The idea here is—”

“I only have one raisin because I am an oatmeal raisin cookie, not an oatmeal raisins cookie,” I clarified.

Violet made this disgusted ‘I can’t believe I expected nothing yet I am still disappointed’ glare at nothing. One of these days, I’d make her laugh. Once she was sure I was done, she simply continued where she left off. “The idea here is to introduce a third party—excessive application of magic ice cream—to turn our separate cookies into a single cookie sandwich before this metaphor falls apart.”

I actually understood it when she put it like that. Wow. “I think I get it. I basically need to be inside you and out of this doll, right?”

“Close enough. Your soul will still be in the doll, but whatever. I know that asking you questions about how any of this works is a pointless endeavour, so to put a long explanation short the two of us need to become a singular magic-powered entity so that I can investigate the link between you and the doll with my own magic.” She dinked the spark-battery-painted-vase contraption. “And you benefit as your active range should be able to be extended to what my magical reach is. For the sake of science, I am willing to let you occupy my body for a few days.”

“I’m not sure this counts as science, but at least it sounds kinky on paper. Won’t it be so snug with me inside you? All. Night. Long.”

Violet actually turned red. “Y-you don’t swing that way, idiot.”

With a huge shit-eating grin on my face, I sang, “Just because I’m not gay doesn’t mean I can’t think lewd thoughts.”

Yet another sigh came from Violet. “I can only be thankful that I cannot see, hear, or experience your thoughts.”

Yet.

“Stop it.”

~~~~~

Once we had set some boundaries—as in, Violet aggressively laid down walls and barriers and I politely watched—Violet went to work doing what she did best. We had agreed that I would stay inside the safety box that she had built to put me in and as long as I stayed inside it we could still be the best of friends.

Suitably enough, once the walls had appeared the environment shifted from “arcane library of evil” to “foal-proofed book bunker”. I could still hear Vi-vi and I could still communicate with her, I just wasn’t allowed into the rest of her mind. She even gave me crayons to play with!

Halfway through the yellow crayon Violet got my attention by tapping my metaphorical fishbowl. “I think I have a solution for this roommate situation we have here. Clearly you’re being intrusive and an overall inconvenience to me. I can rig together a resonance totem and we can find out if spiritual resonance makes a sound.”

I stopped eating the crayon. “A what for the what?”

“It’s a magic microphone,” Violet sighed.

Violet dumped out a satchel of random crap all over the floor that she’d apparently hoarded for just this occasion. Using her superior knowledge and 75+ tinkering skill, she cobbled together the aforementioned magic microphone out of a bunch of glowy rocks, stick-like implements, and a tape recorder—all held together with liberal application of duct tape. The finished product reminded me of the other totem she’d made a while back. I didn’t care enough to try to remember what it was, but it was probably some three mana 0/3 garbage ability totem anyway.

Point being, we now had this dinglebopper that neither of us quite knew what to do with. Violet expectantly stared at it, even giving it a motivational prod. “Well? Try it.”

I still had no idea what to do with it. “I don’t know how.”

“Ugh… I bet the Lightbringer didn't have to deal with such interesting companions all the time. Having to do all the intellectual lifting around here is just frustrating,” Violet grumbled to nopony in particular.

Hearing a title, as in a capital-letter-and-followed-by-a-cool-splash-screen title piqued my interest. “Who?”

“The Lightbringer,” Violet clarified. “Apparently she's the lucky mare that saved Equestria. A real hero-type, from what the DJ has been ranting and gushing about non-stop.” Violet made a face. “In fact, I’m pretty sure the DJ desperately wants to have an intimately personal interview with the Lightbringer. I sure hope she has better standards than that. Where were you while all—”

I interrupted her with an indignant huff. “Just because a radio dies doesn't mean it goes to the great big happy outlet in the sky where it gets to graze with the hot plates. I was ultra busy— ”

Violet facehoofed. “Being dead,” she finished for me. “Right, I'm still trying to process that without accidentally delving into specifics.” There was an awkward pause where she didn’t bother saying anything to follow that statement up and I didn’t have anything more witty to say. She hummed and muttered things to herself as she returned to tinkering with the odd bits of junk still arrayed around us.

So at a certain stage of this master plan, I should find a way to bring the Lightbringer into this. She sounded like the real hero-type. Maybe she could help me put a stop to all this Nightmare bullshit.

Note to self, figure out where the hell she went. Is. Will be. Maybe she had a house with a door to knock on. Maybe all I’d have to do was prop up a sign somewhere that said “Heroes Apply Here” with a contact address for Rumcake.

Now that this specific step of “Operation Nuke Ice Storm”—name pending, of course—had been temporarily resolved, there was the new problem of exactly what to do next. My alpha team was a flaming dumpster fire of platitudes. Besides the very obvious fact that Tangerine was still very much dead, goddesses rest her soul, the rest of the Rangers didn’t seem like they even wanted to pick up their guns again. Riverbed was retired, simple as that.

What I needed was a B-team.

But who would it be? I couldn’t quite figure out anypony else that would remotely consider helping me. As I slowly filtered through the ponies I’d met—and not killed—I found the list to be quite short. I had zero idea where the shit I’d left Butt Slave, not that he would help me anyway. There was also, uh… probably the hoof-ful of Rangers still back in Happy Hills that probably liked me.

Hey. That was a solid idea. Thanks, brain.

First things first, I had to figure out how to work this stupid sound totem that Violet had created. “So how does this work?” I asked, floating my ghostly self around it as if that would somehow reveal a solution.

Violet picked up the magical dinglebopper and balanced it in her hoof. “Well it should project sound.” The two of us regarded it expectantly, each hoping the other would make a move. She busied herself with subtly perfecting it with minute tweaks to bits of tape and poking the gems stuck to it.

After extended inaction from both of us, I broke the silence since I still had no idea what to do. “Well I figured that part, but how do I make it work?” I gave it a ghostly prod, to which it failed to react in any way.

“That’s still out of my area of expertise.” Rather indignantly, Vi-vi added, “You haven't been very forthcoming about what it's like to be an ethereal spirit, so I don't have much to work with here. Just possess it and tell me what it feels like, and we'll work something out from there.”

Part of me already knew how to ‘use’ this totem. If at all, it was just like any other everyday object I’d been messing with for the past few days. I was just mildly terrified that my undying soul would get stuck in it forever and I’d have to put up with listening to Violet blab for all eternity. “Fine, fine. Let me try something.” I hovered closer to it, pressing my ghostly hoof to it. “If I die, I’m going to haunt you to death.”

“You’re already haunting me.”

“MORE,” I shrieked just before diving into Violet’s health hazard device and therefore escaping the rest of the conversation.

~~~~~

I wasn’t sure what I was expecting when I jumped into Violet’s science fair project. My preconceived notion of it would have been something like the radio—mechanical, unimpressive, slightly edgy and clearly a working hazard. This place was… special in its own right. Presumably a horrific amalgamation of household objects that should not all be one singular object would also invariably twist what the uh—inside?—of it looked like.

So picture a room. Like, a nice open circular room. Got it? Good. It’s made of wood. The table in the center of the room was made of wood, and on top of it was a lamp that was made of wood, powered by an electrical cord going into nothing that was also wood, and of course the lightbulb itself was made of thin strips of wood.

If that wasn’t terrifying, then the duct tape holding it together was because there wasn’t anything but empty void past the holes they didn’t cover. Stuck under those bits of tape were fragments of plastic or wiring or whatever the guts of a tape recorder looked like. Every now and then a giant gemstone would appear in the center of the room, flicker, ponder its existence, then decide that life wasn’t actually worth living in this state of limbo and commit sudoku in a glorious shower of colorful dust.

In five words, I summarized what I was looking at. “This is literally the worst.”

The yellow gemstone beside me agreed, then exploded.

Okay. So Vi-vi said this was supposed to do something about sound. Sound. Things that make sound.

Poof.

Hello, mister radio.

Poof. Poof. Poof.

And mister table, chair, and boom mike.

An impulsive need to play make-believe overcame me. I pulled that boom mic right up to my nose, just barely touching the mesh. In my best deep, almost sultry voice, I began my test. “Gooooood afternoon ladies and germs, this is your captain speaking. We’ve reached our cruising altitude of just under believable capacity and you’ll notice I’ve turned off the fasten seatbelts sign. Drink service will begin momentarily once the captain finds her copilot.”

After several failed attempts and several seemingly wasted one-liners, I came to the realization that I probably needed an audio output device to hear Violet. One magical pair of headphones later, Violet’s voice came through. “Hello? Can you hear me in there?”

“Yes! Yes. Yeah, just a bit of user error. You’re coming through loud and clear.”

“What’s it like?” Violet’s tinny voice asked.

I cast my gaze over my brand new office space. “Terrifying. Empty. Made of wood. I made myself comfortable.”

“Does that entail causing my resonance totem to bounce?”

Furrowing my brow, I glanced at the setup that I conjured up. “Did it?” I scooted myself a smidge farther away from the table out of paranoia.

“What did you do?”

“Uh. Remodeling?” I hesitantly responded. “It wasn’t that drastic, I swear.”

“Interesting.” The sound of pages flipping followed by some extremely excited noises dominated the remainder of our conversation.

Since it sounded like Violet was temporarily done with this, I needed something else to keep myself occupied. I tinkered with my magic radio and headset configuration on the off chance that one of the many knobs and switches would somehow make Violet sound less grainy. In the middle of twisting the fine adjustment knob, I realized something profound. Why didn’t I just magically poof in something better?

Poof.

Behold, the magic of television. And magic. With my brand new wall-to-wall TV, I could keep an eye on what Violet was doing on the Vi-vi channel.

Poof.

And why did I need the microphone? Adding a transmitter to my imaginary PipBuck meant that I could use the speakers on Violet’s doodad without actually having to possess it.

Poof.

And some cake. Calorie-free, gluten-free, everything-free cake was probably my favorite part about not having a body by far. MMmmmm. Free cake.

In the middle of my cakefest, Violet interrupted me with a question out of nowhere. “Hey Frosty—when you were properly alive, did you ever experience post-traumatic stress disorder?”

Now that I thought about it—considering all the incredibly violent things I’d done, it came to me as strange that I didn’t. The logical answer would be something along the lines of ‘I was so evil I didn’t care’. The more likely answer was probably ‘I was too stupid to notice’, but the answer I ended up giving was, “I can’t suffer a traumatic event. That’s because I am the traumatic event.”

“That’s… Should I just fill in ‘mental illness’ as your answer then?”

“If that’s what makes you feel better, go ahead. ”

“I… see…” Violet trailed off in thought, already working on a completely different page in her book. “So using the limited information that I have been given, I believe we should be safe to proceed with this arrangement.”

I had absolutely no idea what Violet was on about, but I pretended to anyway. “Is it though?”

With a trademark Vi-vi sigh, she began to explain. “As long as your soul is actually stored in the doll and simultaneously bonded to me, I should carry the doll for both my mental safety and for your convenience. I’ll attach the totem to it as well so that you can talk to everypony without invading their personal space like you are right now.”

Oh, okay. Cool. “Uh, thanks Vi-v, er, Violet.”

“And as much as I would like to kill us both with alcohol, you are the only living and/or unliving thing that has seen the other side and returned.” To a point, I felt insulted. How often did friends come back from the grave? “I would greatly appreciate it if you could delve into more detail at some point.”

Note to self, fill in Violet about being dead. “Yeah, yeah. Sure thing. I’ve been putting together an action plan while I’ve been ignoring you. I’ll fill you in with the nerd herd so I don’t have to explain this twice.”

“I am already extremely concerned.”

~~~~~

So far, my tentative plan was that we go back to the other Rangers, figure out how much of a fighting force they had left, then go find the Lightbringer to see if she could do something about this flaming dumpster fire of evil. Along the way we could try to pick up some straggling Enclave forces that aren't currently interested in trying to murder everything.

Oh yeah, apparently most of the former Enclave forces—seeing as the cloud cover had been vaporized to kingdom come—really didn’t like the idea of touching dirt. I didn’t really have my own opinion, since I’d really gotten used to licking dirt and being dead hadn’t really changed what I thought. However, there were apparently a number of so-called hippies that thought the Wasteland wasn’t that bad.

To be specific, I was the one calling them hippies. I tuned out that part of Violet’s debrief. We needed those ones and not the super duper angry germaphobes to help us.

It was nice to be around friends again. Violet had brought me and myself—as in, the doll with my soul in it and me attached—back to the two Rangers. We congregated around their coffee-dining-countertop in their ‘kitchen’ for an ad-hoc meeting that I made Violet call.

I cleared my intangible throat. “Okay, I know I’ve never been serious once in my life, but you need to please just listen to me for once.”

“Voice! It’s the voice from my head!” Sparkle screamed, evidently still losing her mind.

Violet gestured at the Frosty-doll-radio abomination currently resting on the table. “It’s just Frosty. As in the real Frosty and not the one you two were living with. She’s inside the figurine.” Catching a look from Fatcake, she added, “No, I’m not entirely clear on the details either.”

We needed to save the world! I didn’t have time for explaining right now. They’d have to make do with the short version. “All you need to know is that you’ve actually been socializing with some asshole that isn’t me and using my body since he’s a cunt.” The confused looks on Rumcake and Sparkle’s faces meant I wasn’t doing a good job at all. “Oh my goddesses, now is not the time. There is a lot I need to—”

“Are we not going to…?” Rumcake gestured at my doll, a.k.a. the thing holding my soul to this mortal coil. He paused, glaring at it, then picked it up in his hoof. “You mean Frosty’s in this?”

“I told you it was haunted!” Sparkle scooted ever so slightly closer to Rumcake. “Frosty, how could you?” she whined, also fixing her gaze on the doll as well.

“Guys. You don’t have to talk to the doll. I’m right—what the buck put me down right now,” I abruptly started yelling the second Rumcake decided to toss it up and down in the air. “Put me down! Violet, turnip him before he breaks me!”

Instead of unleashing turnipey retribution onto Rumcake, Violet caught my soul doll in her magic and gently placed it back onto the table. “Please don’t break the potentially volatile soul containment object.” Thankfully, Rumcake listened to Violet’s warning. Sparkle didn’t seem to need it, what with still being wary about her former second favorite doll in the whole wide Wasteland coming alive.

Rumcake still looked a bit overwhelmed, opening his mouth several times without any words coming out. Eventually he settled on: “Frosty is inside the doll. Is this a joke, Violet?”

“Do I joke?” Violet retorted.

That seemed to shut him up quick. “Good point.”

“And I’m not inside the doll!” I jumped in. “That’s just where my voice is coming from because of Violet’s thingy she attached to it. I’m floating right here in the room with you.”

“So…” Rumcake looked around the room, attempting to find somewhere to fix his attention to instead of my doll. He eventually gave up and went back to talking at my doll like a moron. “What’s going on? What’s so serious that you can’t leave me alone?”

I heard the beginnings of an angsty monologue beginning to form and decided to cut to the chase before Edgecake could upstage my incredibly important announcement. “Holy shit fine all you need to know is that the leader-thing of the league of super ultimate evil hijacked my meat sack and is trying to bring back some bullshit about the end of the world.”

“What?” went Rumcake.

Equally as confused, Sparkle voiced the same sentiment. “What?”

Excellent. Now I had their attention. “Oh, so now you want the whole story.”

Seeing the obvious confusion around the room, Violet admitted, “If it makes any of you feel any better, I’m just as lost.”

I sighed, “Look, just work with me here.”

I told them everything I was sure about Ice Storm. It wasn’t a lot, granted, but it was enough. Fragment of Night, ancient wendigos, plans to end the world, whatever—evil whispering, blah blah blah. Things he’d said to me, things he tried to do—I told them all of it. I still had no idea why he was so interested in me in the first place, but given that the first thing he had made me do was try to recover all the missing memories locked within my brain, it probably had something to do with that.

Close to the end of my explanation I also chose to tell them about my alternate personalities and my deteriorating mental condition, moreso to make me feel better about one or two related incidents. Most of it wasn’t useful information, but I really just needed them to believe me first and foremost.

After I’d finished my spiel, the room went silent. The others maybe needed a moment to process the wildly somewhat outlandish story they had just heard.

There were clearly conflicting emotions running through Rumcake’s brain. With what he’d just learned, I hoped that he would realize that at least some of my problems had stemmed from my insanity rather than any malicious intent. He continued to ponder, periodic flickers of confusion and anger crossing his face before finally saying, “You know what? I believe you.”

I metaphorically let out a sigh of relief. “Good, otherwise this plot point would have been pretty pointless if you guys didn’t.”

Instead of suffering some sort of internal struggle about rights and wrongs and whatever my current situation classified itself as, Sparkle went, “What.” We all ignored her.

So now that everypony was filled in, I proceeded to continue with the hodgepodge plan that I came up with. “Anyway, all I know is that we have to stop Ice Storm from ending the world again. Further than that I don’t really have a plan at all besides ‘hit it very hard’.” Correction: I had a plan, but it was more of several fragments of many plans that needed to become one singular plan. “We could use any help we could get.”

“We could go back to HQ,” Rumcake mused. “I don’t think the Inquisitor would be on board with the idea of ‘let’s go on a crusade with Frosty's ghost’, but if you think one of you two can convince him you can try.”

While still looking thoroughly confused, Sparkle still pointed out, “Worst case scenario I think you can pull rank on some of the Paladins and force them to come on our spooky crusade. It’s not like any of them can say no until the Inquisitor says otherwise. As long as we leave before he finds out, of course.”

The exchange was suddenly and rudely halted when Violet leapt up from her seat with a shout. "Wait, wait, wait. You guys actually have a headquarters? With a base, and other Rangers, and a commander?” She glared daggers at the other two living ponies in the room and waited for an explanation.

Rumcake confirmed with a nod. “Of course. I’m technically supposed to be in charge of tactical deployment. If not much has changed we took over the settlement outside our bunker and we should still run the place.”

“I’m part of it too. Membership has its perks,” I added helpfully.

Clearly that wasn’t the response Violet had been hoping for. Vi-vi pointed at my soul doll and screeched, “Frosty is a Steel Ranger? What have you all been doing this whole time then?” With an annoyed huff, she took a second to compose herself then continued, “I thought you guys were just a bunch of wanderers."

“I wonder if they know we’re still alive,” Sparkle pondered out loud.

Poor, poor Vi-vi flopped onto the ground, groaning in exasperation, “I cannot believe you idiots have a headquarters. How have you not made your presence more known?”

Sparkle scooted over to Violet to gently pat her head. “We, uh, aren’t great at getting things done.” In a surprising turn of events, Sparkle attempted to steer the conversation back toward my ingenious plan. “Frosty does have a point, though. We should head back to base first. If you can convince the Inquisitor that evil you is a threat, we’ll have an army to fight back.”

Just as I thought I could get back to attempting to explain my shoddy concept of an action plan, Rumcake decided to derail us yet again. “Can we quickly go back to the ending the world part? How does an immaterial being in possession of the world’s dumbest pegasus end the world?”

I crossed my forelegs—which didn’t visually do anything for the living ponies who couldn’t see me—and snapped at Rumcake, “First off, that’s rude. Second, no idea. But apparently these things tried to destroy the world twice before so I’d bet anything he’s going for a hat trick.”

With a chuckle, Rumcake said, “It’s just Evil Frosty. How hard could it be?”

“If he’s anything like me, he’ll have scrounged up a couch and a TV. By the time we reach him he might finish the first season of Waterfall and we can murder him before he finds out there isn’t a second season.” Too bad things couldn’t actually be that easy. Ice Storm was a crafty asshole, after all. “Unfortunately he’s not me so of he’s like any raid boss, we’ll have to fight through an ocean of tanky minions and the inevitable mid-boss or two before reaching his death arena murderpit of penultimate doom. Luna knows how charismatic he is—I wouldn’t doubt he’d have his own fanatic cult by now. Don’t get me started on intricate puzzle rooms. Or life-size chess.”

“…I’m going to ignore that first part. And that last part,” Rumcake declared.

Even though I had all this figured out, this still clearly wasn’t a plan. There wasn’t enough information just lying around for me to make Violet come up with a better plan. “I assume at some point we find out where Ice Storm constructed his fortress of solitude,” I guessed. “Something as evil as he is has to be incredibly obvious, right?”

Violet delved back into her trusty tome of seemingly infinite knowledge. As it hovered at her side, flipping itself through pages and rearranging bookmarks, she sighed. ”I will see what I can do about finding the Fragment of Night. I have an idea of where to start.”

“Do we know anypony else to bother for help?” Any problem could be solved with liberal application of force, and one this severe meant that any additional help would greatly improve our chances of saving the world. What I really needed was more friends with guns.

Sparkle began to trot out of the room in search of something. As her tail vanished out the doorway, she yelled back, “What about Riverbed Ransom: cuddle monster for hire?”

Oh. There was an idea worth considering. Too bad she had already decided to stop adventuring for a life of relaxation. “All I know is that she retired after taking all of my money,” I reminded them.

“Our money,” Rumcake interjected.

I spoke over him, continuing, “And I’m not sure if she’d be okay with risking her life again to be honest.”

“If we find her we find her.”

Sparkle returned, laden with cans of soda. She passed one to Violet, who thanked her in turn, then chucked the other at Rumcake’s head. Rumcake’s face failed to notice, let alone catch it and it ended up bounced off the wall behind him. After taking a sip of hers, she offhoofedly blurted, “Five caps says we’ll just randomly find her now that you’ve said that.”

Screw it. This was probably as planned as we were going to get, considering how much of a logistical hellhole our team was. “Anyway! So our plan is as follows: Get back to the Rangers, find out where the legion of super evil is, find Riverbed, then save the world. No biggie. And not necessarily in that order.”

I mentally added ‘find the Lightbringer’ to the end of that, but I still wasn’t sure if that would be possible. Real heroes had better things to do than save the world. All the real heroes were too busy with their angst and brooding anyway.

Speaking to the room as a whole, Rumcake suggested, “You should go pay your respects to Tangerine before we leave. It’ll be your last chance to do it.” Solemn words for sure. They probably would have had exponentially more emotional impact had he been saying to to me rather than the doorway.

Now that I thought about it, I’d already done exactly that, hadn’t I? We hung out, we went on a date, we said our goodbyes. “I met Tangerine while we were dead. I already paid my respects or whatever.” As I mentally recalled the events, the whole guilt-trip make-out moment we shared made an appearance. Thankfully, nopony could see me turn bright red. “In fact, I went way above and beyond in paying respects!”

Violet paused in her book-flipping adventure. She stared in my general direction—whether by luck or by intuition was anypony’s guess—and asked in a suspicious tone, "What do you mean by that exactly?"

"Nothing!” I blurted. “Nothing. Just being random."

The book snapped shut. Violet narrowed her eyes at the space over my left wing. “Go pay your respects.” Wow, she looked super angry.

“I already did!” I whined.

“Then I will, and you’re going to come with me whether you want to or not.”

~~~~~

Tangie’s memorial was… I’d rather not get into it. It was simple, memorable, and they’d carved an encouraging poem into the slab of rock, and let’s leave it at that.

Thank the goddesses I’d been able to at least be there for her at the very end.

Ugh.

Uuuuugh.

I just wanted to go back to not regretting every moment of my life. This isn’t supposed to be some dark and gloomy edgefest. Jump cut.

~~~~~

On the bright side, since I didn’t have a body I didn’t have to walk. Unfortunately for these other meatbags, they had to trek and eat and sweat as usual these past three days. It turned out that after I’d gone to the great beyond, the whole “oops we accidentally blew up the entire Enclave but hey look it’s the sun a-aaaa-aa-a” thing radically changed how shit worked in the Wasteland. We had literally not been attacked, burgled, or even heckled the entire time, making for a terribly boring journey.

It was peaceful. Nice, granted—but boring.

And it was about here in the middle of this rather uninteresting plot point did Rumcake open his big fat mouth.

Fatcake clanked to a stop and motioned for the rest of us to do the same. After several seconds, he informed us, “We should be close to the old baron’s manor. Keep an eye out for it.”

Barely holding back laughter, Sparkle managed to stammer, “And this manor… is it opulent? Regal, even? Something something on the moor?” She snorted and burst into wild giggling.

“What? I don’t—look, I don’t even know what a moor is. The apple chips lady said there was something funny about it and that we should check it out on the way,” Rumcake explained. Without waiting up for the rest of us, he continued onward. For some dumb reason we followed.

I temporarily left the safe haven of Violet’s face and floated myself next to Rumcake. I didn’t need to, but I felt it was necessary. “Why did you even accept a fetch quest? The world might end any second.” My voice still came out of my doll several steps behind him and that’s the direction he ended up looking. For my own sanity I floated back a bit so there was some concept of eye contact.

“Please. The world can’t end without me being there. I’m the main character,” Rumcake boasted.

Sparkle scoffed. “You would be the worst main character. What kind of self-respecting gamer would voluntarily spend days and days doing nothing but building furniture and decorating? If anything, Violet is the only pony here proactive enough to be a main character.”

That was a pretty good point. Violet had probably done the most in terms of anything out of the three of us combined. “I wouldn’t doubt it. She has that stoic ‘I don’t care enough about anypony ever’ protagonist attitude,” I agreed. “I still want to say I’m the main character if this is a movie. Like, there are way too many shenanigans I get away with.”

For once, Violet joined in. “You do realize that making me the main character would make you the annoying yelling companion fairy, right?”

“I refuse! I’m too cool for being the tutorial character.”

Pointing to Violet’s robes, Sparkle laughed, “Too late. You’re already a small yelling item attached to the main character.”

“Nooooo!” I paused, conjured up a big red button labeled ‘NO’ and bopped it. “Noooooo!”

“All of you are the pimpliest of nerds, I get it,” Rumcake groaned from the front.

Banter aside, we continued onward toward Rumcake’s stupid fetch quest since it wasn’t too far out of the way. The road we ended up taking had branched off of the main streets a while back and we were somewhere haunch-deep in the middle of desolate hilly nowhere. Perched on one of the taller hills in the area was a sprawling, slightly decrepit mansion surrounded by a cobblestone and wrought-iron fence.

Casting back her hood, Violet regarded the building in the distance. In her mind’s eye, I watched her reconstruct the building’s facade. Boarded windows became shimmering stained glass, pillars rebuilt and intricate designs flowed across several walls. “This must have been a pretty house back in the day,” she noted.

Using the magic of make-believe television, I manually zoomed in on the building in the distance. “You mean the manor on the hill?” As I zoomed closer, I cocked my head at it. A strange rocky outcrop jutting out from the land caught my attention. It looked… A lot like… Oh. “The one with the giant penis on the front lawn?” I asked.

Violet tilted her head as well. “That’s not a—” She paused, narrowed her eyes at what I was also looking at, then came to the same conclusion that I did. “Oh. Oh my.”

“Relax. It’s just a rock formation,” Rumcake grumbled.

With a hint of longing, Sparkle breathed, “It is the longest, girthiest, marbleyist schlong I’ve ever seen.”

On the other end of the spectrum, Violet grimaced.“‘Marbleyist’ isn’t a word. Erect, however, is an unsettlingly accurate word here.”

Wait a minute…

The usually jovial Riverbed had a slight frown on her face and a quieter tone to her voice. “I’ve finally hoarded enough caps to retire. I’m done, Frosty. I’m gonna head back and buy that mushroom farm I’ve always wanted and sell hooch for the rest of my life. Settle down, y’know? Get a suitor, make some pretty little foals, build a giant statue of a mondo-sized schlong for the front yard—you know, normal life things. Dying isn’t really on the docket.”

With that startling revelation from mister brain, I found myself yelling out, “HOLY CRAP GUYS I KNOW WHO LIVES HERE. Violet! To the gate!”

Huh. Look at that. Universe was finally throwing me a bone.

The mansion’s front gate looked like any evil mansion’s would. They were several meters tall, much taller than any non-pegasus could jump and tipped with massive twisting spikes at the top. Sections of the iron bars were reinforced with sheets of scrounged metal and makeshift barricading as well. The stone pillars beside the gate had a small metal box mounted to it. An intercom, most likely.

“Push the button! Push the button! Ding dong, anypony home?” I chanted, encouraging Violet to do just that.

Rumcake tested the integrity of the gate by bouncing his helmet against it. “The gate’s locked,” he informed us rather unnecessarily.

“Hey, look over there.” Sparkle pointed at somepony off to our left by the far end of the mansion. Indeed there was a pony’s head protruding from around that corner. The poor blue guy looked confused. “Is that somepony? Hey! Over here! Friendly!”

At the sound of the voice, he turned his head, caught sight of us, and vanished out of sight with a flicker of a yellow tail. It didn’t look like he was coming back.

Dryly, Violet grumbled, “Oh good, you scared him off.”

“Not my fault.”

While these two clowns were busy terrifying the local populace, Rumcake apparently still hadn’t let go of trying to force his way in. He gently pushed at the gate again, eyeing the lock built into the center of it. “Hey, Frosty, can’t you just float through the other side and unlock it?” he asked in Violet’s general direction.

I floated myself out of the totem and through the gate to check if there was a latch on the other side I could attempt to flip. No luck. I supposed I could search for longer, but that was a lot more work than I was willing to put in. “Yes, me and my ghost powers can just do anything. Just ask Violet. I can’t do shit.”

Without moving his gaze, he tilted his head at the stubbornly locked gate. “Violet?”

Giving him a dirty, almost insulted look, she snapped, “I’m not breaking into somepony’s potentially heavily armed fortress. Look, let’s just just buzz the intercom and hope somepony nice is on the other end.”

Rumcake took several paces back. He looked the structure up and down, judging it. “We could blow the gate,” he brightly suggested.

Thanks to my bullshit magic connection with Violet, I managed to experience the feeling of a snarky comment coming before she started talking. “If only two of you were in power armor. Walking into it should already enough.” She flatly glared at the two Rangers, both of whom weren’t being helpful at all.

This time Sparkle trotted forward and placed an armored hoof on the gate. She appeared to give it a full-bodied push, causing the aging metal to creak dangerously but refuse to give in. Since it didn’t work on her first attempt, she gave up and plopped onto her butt. “I tried,” she called out. “I don’t know what this thing’s made of but—”

The intercom suddenly burst to life with a crackle of static. The pony on the other side dropped the microphone, hit their head on something, then bellowed a string of curses that I could almost hear even without the intercom. After a short wait, a voice finally said, “Howdy! Thanks for not busting down my gate, guy. Guys. I’m almost out of rocket ammo for the turrets. And uh, I guess blown you guys up too. Anyway, come on in and have a drink!”

Speak of the molester and she shall appear. Convenient.

The wrought iron gates ponderously creaked open like they did in those old horror movies. Just like a horror movie, the three of us and myself shared dubious looks with each other before hesitantly following the broken pathway to the grand entrance. It was probably safe, seeing as it was Riverbed, but the multiple gun barrels still tracking our every step really didn’t make us feel any better. Well, specifically them. I was already dead.

The second we made it inside, a mess of brown fur and blonde hair tripped down the stairs to greet us. “Heya, guys! Nice of ya to drop by.” Riverbed picked herself up off the ground, dusting off her coat of dust. “C’mon in! Sit down and relax. I’ll be there in a second!” She scrabbled a bit on the worn marble tile before vanishing into an adjoining room.

Staring after the wild earth mare, the three other living ponies hesitated to budge from their places. Violet was the first to recover. She loosened her robes, tossed back her hood, and made sure to carefully wipe her hooves on the raggedy carpet in the entry hall before tromping into what looked like a sitting room of some sort. Me being magically attached to her, I slowly ended up floating along with her. The two Rangers, after silently conferring with each other, popped out of their armor, folding them up into their strangely compact piles. They loaded the armor up onto their backs and followed Violet in.

For a slob like Riverbed, the quality of these couches and sofas were impressively high. The same went for the tables, miniature tables, and other miscellaneous furniture. Besides needing a thorough cleaning, everything was as intact as the Wasteland would allow. Where’d she get all this stuff? Violet was already lounging on one couch, leaving Sparkle and Fatcake squished together on the other.

Faintly, Riverbed’s voice echoed across the house. A second later, Riverbed tramped in with a baggie of various drinks and bagged snacks. She dumped them onto the table and flopped herself onto the floor next to them. “Help yourselves, guy. Guys.” She reached into the pile and retrieved a bag of apple chips. “So, where’s Frosty? Why’s she not with you?”

“Oh yeah, this is Frosty.” Violet pulled my statuette from its secure place inside her robes and unceremoniously chucked it onto the table. It bounced once, then fell over onto its side because of the giant sound device I was using strapped to it. “It’s a really long story,” she sighed.

From my end, I forced my soul doll to wobble in place as if to say hello. “It’s really not,” I began to explain, to which Riverbed inhaled the whole bag of chips and began to choke. “The short of it—”

Violet rudely interrupted me before I could get to the point. “It’s a really dumb story.”

I tried to come up with an excuse. I’d been through a lot, after all. All the adventuring, the dying, the un-dying… “All right, you got me there,” I admitted.

Once she recovered, Riverbed’s face lit up. She did a little impatient dance on the spot and sang, “Oh, I guess now that we’re all together, lemme introduce you to the doggies!”

“What?” Rumcake squawked.

Sparkle followed that with an equally puzzled, “Who?”

Riverbed stuck a hooftip into her mouth and loudly whistled. At first, nothing happened. I wasn’t sure what she was doing and neither did anypony else. That is, until we heard the thumping. Then the distinct sound of hooves scuffing against tile. That was all quickly followed by the loud thud of somepony running into a stationary object, then more galloping. One after another, three ponies suddenly burst into the room, tumbling and clambering over each other.

Their momentary excitement died down under Riverbed’s stern glare. They obediently shuffled past her and lined themselves up. Riverbed proudly spun around on her haunches and declared with a hoof flourish, “This is Angel Cake and this is Petunia and this good boy is Dumpling!” She pointed at each pegasus in order, ears perking up and barking when their named was called. Barking. Like, “bark”. Not the sound “bark”, but the word “bark”.

Right. So for some odd reason, Riverbed was now collecting whole ponies for whatever nefarious purpose. The three pegasi didn’t appear to be here against their will—the collars around their necks weren’t the explodey flavor on first glance—and they seemed well-taken care of.

In order, we had Angel Cake—his coat was a dirty shade of white, streaked with mud and dirt from apparently rolling around outside. Every time he tilted his head, his long floppy yellow mane bounced in the opposite direction. His eyes were bright, golden, curious, and intently following Riverbed’s pointing hoof.

In the center, squished between the other two pegasi was the one called Petunia. She clearly wasn’t a happy camper. Her baby-blue coat was the cleanest of the three and her sandy yellow mane had been tied into several haphazard curls with lengths of ribbon.

Loud snuffling brought my attention to this fat idiot on the end, appropriately named Dumpling. He was easily the size of two ponies occupying the space of a single navy blue blob who had recently eaten a freight train and several train cars full of ice cream. That also meant that his wings were purely decorative capacity. An unruly mop of turquoise mane covered his eyes, leaving his muzzle poking out. It seemed like he was fixated on the food in our saddlebags.

We collectively waited for the three to introduce themselves. Riverbed continued to hold her pose, as if we would eventually burst into applause. Nopony did, of course. The two Rangers didn’t react in the slightest. I couldn’t tell if Violet was confused or bored.

After several extensive seconds of nothing but the sound of armor creaking and tails swishing, Sparkle finally asked, “What do you mean by doggies and why don’t they talk?” An excellent point, which prompted all of us to turn our attentions to the sitting pegasi. They didn’t seem to grasp any idea of what was going on. “Are those even their names?” Petunia—the female in the middle—tilted her head adorably at the two Rangers and flicked her ears a few times.

Riverbed tilted her head at the first one in line—Angel Cake. “Guy, just look at their butts.” With a bit of maneuvering, she shifted him so that his cutie mark was visible to us. The five of us intently stared at the butt in question.

As we examined the dome-shaped cake on this random pegasus’s butt, I snarkily pointed out, “Of course that’s what you’d do.”

The only interested pony in the room took it upon herself to investigate. “Could we please get to the real questions? As in, are they actually capable of normal speech?” Violet paced around the sitting pegasi, all of whom in turn regarded her with cautious curiosity. “This seems a bit… inequine. Barbaric, even.”

“Not my fault, guy. They came this way!” Riverbed defensively raised her hooves in protest. One of the pegasi barked in agreement.

At this stage we were all starting to sound like a broken record. “What?”

Now that she was no longer being regarded like some form of psychopath, Riverbed eagerly nodded. She gently pulled Petunia by the chin over to Violet. The clueless pegasus didn’t seem to mind at all. “Yeah. Lights on, but nopony home.” Riverbed explained as she began to pet the pegasus behind the ears. “They seemed so adorable and helpless so I took them in like the good samaritan I am!” Riverbed looked unnecessarily proud of herself.

Several more seconds went by as we all processed her completely insane explanation. Very slowly, as if unsure of what he’d heard, Rumcake asked, “You taught them to bark?”

Yet more proudly, Riverbed added, “And fetch! I just finished with fetch training too, guy.”

Violet flatly restated, “They. Bark.”

While still petting Petunia the domesticated pegasus, Riverbed pouted and whined, “They wouldn’t chirp, guy! They gotta tell momma if they’re hungry or if they wanna go out, so I taught them to bark. And yes, fetch.” All three pegasi began to bark in response to the word ‘out’. After shushing them, she turned to the side and quietly added, “Dumpling is the only one that isn’t quite housebroken yet but I’d say I did pretty buckin’ good.” The fat one barked back.

“As the resident bird I’d like to point out that pegasi can’t chirp. We warble and coo because those don’t require the use of a beak.” I would have made my own noise to demonstrate had I still had a body to work with.

Without taking her eyes off Petunia, Sparkle dumped another bag of chips into her face and asked, “Couldn’t you have just taught them language? Speech, alphabets, whatever we’re doing right now?” The pegasus’s own eyes were intently fixed on the now-empty bag of chips.

Riverbed noticed what Petunia was looking at and gave her a bop on the nose. “Guy. I can barely words on my own, let alone teach.”

Violet hadn’t yet touched any of the stuff that Riverbed brought in. She was busy writing something down into her book. “On one hoof it would have been the right thing to do with the whole ‘rehabilitate the brain-empty pegasi’ thing, but the last thing we want is three other pegasi that sound exactly like Riverbed,” she observed between scribbles.

The thought of that made me laugh. Just imagining it sounded stupid. “Can you imagine it though? Guy! Guy. Guy. Guy.”

Violet looked up. “Guy?”

Then Rumcake joined in. “Guy! Guy!”

“Guy!” cheered Sparkle.

“C’mon, guys. Guys. I get it—it’s funny. You can stop now,” Riverbed whined.

“Guy.”

“Guy?”

“Guuuuy.”

“Guy, guy.”

Over the next minute or so, the ‘guy!’-ing died down to a few weak giggles and gasps for breath.

Once she was sure we were quite done, Riverbed growled, “So what’s up?” She was clearly not happy about the guyfest.

Silence. The Rangers didn’t want to pipe up and Violet was busy writing smut. “We need to save the world,” I told her. Fitting, since it had been my idea.

Riverbed stared at my little soul doll on the table, waiting for the punchline. Then sensing I was actually being serious, she replied, “Dang. That’s cool, guy. I wish I could come, but I’ve got pets to take care of. Also Lovebug gets confused if I don’t validate his existence three times a day.”

Once again pausing, Violet blurted, “What.”

“Yeah! My darling Lovebug doesn’t know the next thing about takin’ care of the pega-pets, so I gotta stay here and do that.” Riverbed looked unnecessarily proud of herself.

“Excuse me, who?” Rumcake asked, as if he hadn’t heard right the first time around.

“Holy shit you actually have a suitor,” I marveled to nopony in particular. “Wow. Look at you with your whole life together. Here I am living a literal metaphorical dumpster fire.”

Without hesitation, Riverbed began to explain, “He’s my hubby-wubby! Came with the place, actually. Turns out the glowshroom caves under this castle-house-thing lead out to a tar pit just over the horizon. I found him lost, wandering, and nibbling on the purple ones the other week. Turns out we have a lot in common! We’re into the same stuff, we’re both basically retired from fighting the Wasteland, and we love to bang! Cute little guy, too!”

Emphasizing every word, Violet asked, “You found a pony. And decided to marry him.”

Out of all of us, Sparkle seemed the least fazed. “It’s been two weeks since we last saw you and you’re already married, have pets, and a house. What—no, how did you do this.”

“If it makes you feel any better, guy, we’re not really married. Hubby is just more adorable-sounding. He’s my suitor!” Oh right. She’d said something about finding a suitor at one point or another. Point to Riverbed, I guess. “He helped with the whole training the pega-pets deal. For a pony named Dead Drop he’s really handy with behavior stuff, fixing stuff, and sex stuff!”

Riverbed happily grinned to herself. The rest of us all shared a sentiment of having learned a little too much about her.

On the topic of sex stuff, I added, “I’m actually just really disappointed that you—out of literally everypony I know—don’t have an evil sex dungeon at this point.”

In a very small voice, Rivs muttered, “I didn’t say I didn’t.”

Violet grimaced. “Everything was perfectly strange right up to that last part. Thank you for that incredibly weird mental imagery I just had.” She returned to writing. I couldn’t be bothered at this point to find out what in case it actually was smut.

“What the buck is wrong with you?” Rumcake snapped. Leave it to Rumcake to ruin anything a mare ever dreamed of.

In the meantime, I floated my ghostly self out and around Casa de Riverbed to see if there was anything else interesting around. Riverbed, Violet, and Sparkle were trapped in an endlessly looping argument over how impossibly responsible Riverbed had gotten. To her credit, the the areas I could explore—thanks to Violet’s extensive magical range—were clutter free, relatively free, and reasonably fortified with boards over windows or automated turrets. Eventually my spooky wanderings led me back to one of the pegasi—Angel Cake, specifically.

The more I stared at this floppy pegasus, the more I realized I was getting bored of not having a body. On the bright side, I got to poke around as a spooky spooky ghost and do ghost things that alive-me wouldn’t have been able to do. For example, I decided to poke my head into his to see what he was thinking of.

Nothing. This guy’s head was literally full of nothing. Blinding whiteness as far as the eye can see. Off in the distance was a fenced off area which seemed to have some sort of interior decorating. Strange, though—this guy’s head was nothing like Violet’s or Sparkle’s. Did I do something wrong this time? As I pondered these probably meaningless questions, I floated my way over to the fence.

The fence was a simple chain-link fence, and it wasn’t even locked. I simply trotted my way in and only became more confused. “Wow. There really isn’t anything in here.” Just a plastic food bowl on the ground, its accompanying water dish, and a collar. I shuddered a little when I looked at it, unbidden reminders coming to mind.

I plopped onto my butt in the center of this pegasus’s deserted playpen. This wasn’t what I had been expecting when I broke in here. There wasn’t any privacy to invade, no personal items to vandalize, nothing. “Huh…” I muttered to myself. Just as I was thinking about leaving this pegasus to terrorize Riverbed’s mind instead, I cut that thought short. Riverbed’s mind was the last place an imaginary pegasus like me should be. Being a creepy ghost might not protect me from whatever the cuddle monster had in mind.

Inspiration suddenly popped into my head. While Ice Storm had been riding shotgun, he spilled a few secrets about ghostly bullshit. C’mon, brain—gimme the quote!

Ice Storm hesitated, then rolled his eyes and settled himself. “There are three states a phantom like myself can take. Haunt, Possess, and Manifest. The first is simple and self-explanatory—sit in something. Specifically something, and not someone. Possession is what I’m doing to you—hanging out with a living thing. Manifest is a weird one. It draws on local ether to form and meld a solid shape, with varying results to the target being inhabited.”

Now wasn’t a bad time to find out if I could possess somepony as a creepy ghost. Of course I didn’t know the next thing about ghost things, but it really couldn’t be that hard. Ice Storm had made it sound easy as cake, after all.

And I was getting really good at cake.

Poof.

As I mentally searched for focus, I found myself losing sense of the immaterial world. Whatever I was doing, it was working! I held onto that feeling like a rabid hound on a fat kid. A strange feeling tingled in my back, in my wings, the back of my neck.

Then I opened my eyes. I sure felt different.

“Did it work?” I asked out loud, to my surprise at the sound of my voice.

It worked! “Woah. Ew, is that my voice?” I felt… dirty. Not grimy—but that sort of dirty wriggly feeling you got when your heebies got jeebies and tried to escape from your skin. “Wait.” I test-tapped my hooves—all four of them—and to my utter joy, found I had full control. “Woo! Woo. Oh right. Uh, whoever you are I’m just gonna borrow you for a bit,” I apologized out loud.

At the sound of my discovery, Riverbed stopped yapping about her new friends at my old friends. The next thing I knew, I—my new body, rather—was being violently shaken. “What did you do?” Riverbed screeched into my closest ear.

After all the ringing and shaking, my train of thought seemed to have derailed with it. “I, uh, don’t really know. Gimme a second to figure this out.” There was still something strange about having a body that wasn’t mine. It was like barding three sizes too big, and even moving around gave me a weird shuffling feeling in either my ghosty legsies or my real-but-stolen legsies. It also didn’t help that the body I was in was larger than my former meat sack. The weight distribution was off, and my haunches kept brushing something between—

—something between my legs.

With my head still tucked between my legs and my eyes as wide as saucers, I told Riverbed in a tiny voice, “I’ll be right back.”

“Nuh-uh. Bad!”

It was time for experimenting! For science! “You can’t stop me!” I crowed, eager to begin the, heh, ‘science’. A sudden blast of freezing cold water put a damper on my burst of excitement. “Aaaaah! Why do you have that!?”

Clamped firmly in Riverbed’s mouth was a spray bottle full of water. “Because you won’t stop chewing on the furniture!” She gave me another squirt on the end of that statement.

“It’s not me!” I wailed, excitement gone. Both me and the pony I was occupying wanted to be the farthest away from Riverbed as possible.

“It is you!” She continued to pelt me with intermittent blasts of cold water.

I was suddenly jarred out of pega-vision in mid-cower. At first, I thought it was the water spray. Then I heard a voice—not mine and not one I recognized—which made me jump. “This is a restricted zone. No entry.”

It took a moment for me to reorient myself to my surroundings and locate the voice. “Who the—oh, really? There’s one of you in here too?” And here I was thinking that I’d left all this behind me. For lack of a better description, I was currently being ordered around by a mannequin wearing Enclave Officer’s duds. And it thought it could tell me what to do.

Whoever this pegasus was, they had an Officer taking up space in his brain like I had before when I had my body. I temporarily put that weirdness on the backburner to focus on the task at hoof. Officer Frosty had been bad news—nastiness to the extreme and fanatically by-the-book. This… thing?... barely gave off a hint of being menacing. Maybe it was to lull me into a false sense of security?

I put on my evil tough guy face. Whether or not the Officer costume was intimidated I couldn’t say, but it did make me feel better about standing up to it. “Guess what, asshole? I’ve already dealt with your bullshit before.”

“Hostile action will be met with deadly force.” It tilted its head downward and seemingly tried to glower at me, but lacked the facial features to do so.

This guy couldn’t be that tough. Even though Officer Frosty was literally an unstoppable force and I hadn’t even beaten her, this guy was at least ten times less threatening. “Yeah? Bring it. I’m not scared.” I leaned back onto my haunches so I could brandish my hooves at it.

There was blur of motion from the mannequin’s hoof and the next thing I knew, I was out like a light.

All right, no free body for me. Got it.

~~~~~

Now that I was body-less again, I returned to the safety of Violet’s head to sulk. After several explanations and a fluffy towel, I got Riverbed up to speed with my current situation. Rumcake and Sparkle periodically pitched in with their own version of events—which I ignored for the most part. I was busy trying to fix my hastily created plan.

We really needed Riverbed in the party.

Okay, not really. We would probably be fine without her, but the universe was literally dangling her right in front of me. I might as well try to get her help while I was here. One last ditch effort or something dramatic.

I had to drag Violet along too, what with being stuck to her. “Hey. I need to talk to Rivs. Take me over there!” I mentally-telepathically-psychically told her.

“I’m not even going to bother asking why.” Violet grudgingly picked my doll up from where it had been lying and stuffed it into her hood. She trotted over to Riverbed and simply told her, “Hey. Frosty wants a word with you.”

It was worth a try asking, after all. “Hey, can I have a moment?” I asked, somewhat redundantly.

Riverbed eagerly nodded. “Sure.”

“In private,” I added. I wasn’t quite sure what I wanted to say yet but Violet was probably the least judgmental pony I could trust with my feelings.

Riverbed glanced at the doll, then to Violet, then her face lit up and she nodded harder. Eagerly bouncing, she blurted, “I’ll get my toybox!”

To my amusement, Violet turned an alarming shade of red, either out of incredible rage or embarrassment. “Not that kind of private!” I hastily added.

“Aww. Fine.” Riverbed pouted, then led me to a sort of reading room. Several bookshelves lined with various small trinkets and very few actual books filled a majority of the room. A battered chair and a fleecy rug were the only other objects of note in the room, seeing as the wall-to-wall window was boarded up with sheet metal and a hole for a machine gun turret. She plopped down in the chair, which creaked alarmingly in the act.

Violet levitated my doll out of her hood and dropped it onto the nearby chair. After giving Riverbed a suspicious glance, she chose to sit down on the throw rug as far away as physically possible while still being in the same room. Now that I had Riverbed’s attention, I took a deep metaphorical breath before pleading, “I need your help. Please. The world might end, there’s some huge evil asshole running around in my body, and I don’t know what to do. Help me? Please?”

“Huh.” Riverbed stared at me appraisingly. Well, at the doll. I was floating directly in front of her. Even though we’d already asked for her help, I was really hoping asking again in a more dramatic fashion would change her mind. After hmm’ing and umm’ing for a good long while, she finally sighed, “Eeeeeeh… ‘kay.”

I was in the middle of preparing an ‘all right, it was worth a try’ speech before her words registered. Perking up, I asked, “Really? Just like that? What happened to taking care of the pets?” As I whirled around to yell the good news at Violet, she was clearly less than interested in our conversation and was nose-deep in her book again.

“Eh, as long as Lovebug takes ‘em out for walkies and feeds em, then they’ll probably be fine.” In an instant, her entire demeanor changed to an intensely serious one. She brought her nose right up to the doll. “Guy, for you I’d bang you anytime, anywhere.”

She looked weirdly hyped about that aspect and I wasn’t sure if she was planning on executing that plan before or after I got my body back. “That makes zero sense.” Both ways, I was seriously weirded out but relieved that she was on board.

Riverbed threw her hooves in the air. “Besides, I’m your biggest fan! If evil you is being a butthole, who other than the great Riverbed Ransom to dominate her into submission.”

“That’s not how—” I started, then cut that thought short right there. The universe was finally letting me have my way after all the shit it had thrown at me. “Screw it. I’ll take it. I’ll take it! You have no idea what this means to me.” I remembered just then that Riverbed said she was retired and done with fighting. “Wait, but I thought you were retired,” I asked on the tail of the thought.

Riverbed sighed, almost dramatically. She got that far-off stare that everypony did when they reminisced about stuff so I let her have her monologue. “Ever since I settled down, every day's been the same. Wake up, feed the doggies, poke the mushrooms, have sex, make food, have sex, turn on the distillery, clean up after the doggies, go to bed, then sex again. It's the same routine every day, guy. I mean, I'm pretty cool with the whole ‘no threat of dying’ thing but that's just it—there's something missing in me that’s been bugging me, you know, guy?”

My jaw was still hanging open by the time she looked to me for a response. Violet came to the rescue, and spoke up. “I think you’re missing condoms, honestly,” she answered, equally stunned by Riverbed’s schedule.

“Making booze isn't as fun as the manual said it would be,” Riverbed whined. “There aren't even giant spiders I have to fight down there! It's that spark for adventure, guy! I'm getting bored here.”

Adventure? Adventure!? Look at Riverbed Ransom, total slut for hire. I’d kill the entire population of a small township to live the Ransom life. “You literally bang three times a day. How can you be bored, especially after three whole sex? Per day!” I shouted, mostly out of irritation.

Without missing a beat, Riverbed paced past Violet and to the other side of the room. “I think I need to get out more, guy. I’m game for one more run if that means going on one last romp with you.”

I involuntarily shuddered. “Don’t say romp.”

“Lemme make sure Lovey knows about it.” She trotted away to the doorway and shrieked at the top of her lungs, “Hooooooney? Lovey! I’m going out!”

A voice—male, deep, swoonworthy, and extremely distant called back, “Whyyy?”

“Hang on, I’ll be back,” Riverbed informed me, then went off in search of her suitor, still screaming at the house in general, “I’m going out! For a while! Do you know how to use the microwave?”

~~~~~

It had taken a lot of screwing around and digging through all the stuff Riverbed had stashed in her house, but we were finally ready to roll. Our team—Rumcake, Sparkle, Violet, Riverbed, and the stupid doll that was me—stood outside in the courtyard, peering off into the distance. Ice Storm was out there, and he was using my body to do whatever nefarious things ancient evil ghost spirits do while they plot to destroy all living things. We were the only ones who knew, and so we were the only ones who could stop him.

“Don’t you hate it when you stretch and, like, the most erotic moan comes out of your mouth, and everyone immediately looks at you, and you’re like ‘I can explain’, but it’s just too late,” Sparkle mused.

Time to go save the world.


Footnote: Level up!
Current Sub-perk: Not applicable.

Achievement Unlocked: The Three Mouseketeers (Plus That One Guy) – Collect three or more characters to assist you in completing the final quest.

Achievement Unlocked: Deus Ex Sparkle – Begin the final quest after continuing in NG+ mode with Junior Paladin Sparkle Cola’s help.
Party Perk Acquired: Field Mechanic – Any gear left in Sparkle’s inventory overnight will be slightly less broken.

Achievement Unlocked: I Have, And Will Always Love You – Convince Rumcake Rum to assist you for the final quest after failing his character arc.
Party Perk Acquired: Absolute Command – All other party members under Rumcake’s command cannot suffer the “Panic” status. Rumcake also gains +5 speech for every other living female party member.

Achievement Unlocked: You Idiots Aren’t Half Bad – Convince Violet Dusk to assist you for the final quest.
Party Perk Acquired: Knowledge is Power – Violet gains additional spell attack damage for every intact, readable pre-war book in the party’s inventory.

Achievement Unlocked: Look, But Don’t Touch – Convince Riverbed Ransom to assist you for the final quest.
Party Perk Acquired: Offensive Defense – Mines and Turrets deployed by Riverbed activate 50% quicker. Party fortifications are 25% more sturdy. All party members will always feel slightly violated upon waking up.

Author's Note:

Remember that I subsist on comments and feedback.

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Comments ( 58 )

HELL YA its good to have you back NEVER fade away

please I agree with Mike never stop making stories of this caliber or I will forever be sad and depressed and we don't want that do we! :pinkiehappy:

Chapter 31: Won’t it be so snug with me inside you?
ci.memecdn.com/7449504.jpg

I didn’t care enough to try to remember what it was, but it was probably some three mana 0/3 garbage ability totem anyway. - You play Magic? :rainbowderp: And holy Luna ALL the references! Yay Riverbed aka best earth pony is back.

I absolutely loved the interactions between the group and it always puts a smile on my face. I really loved the crude humor throughout this chapter. Hope to be here again!

Awesome chapter

8070674
Thanks for the clarification! If I wasn't so goddamn lazy I'd fix it.

8071030
Crude humor is what we do best here. More to come.

8071087
Welcome back and thanks!

8070394
Not the oiling

Ah yes, the phallic statue that Riverbed totally hasn't been trying to sit on. I love that adorable cuddle rapist.

Frosty is back:yay:

I shall read this as soon as I can after work!

Finally got enough free time to sit down and read this and I was so happy to realize that I spent most of the chapter grinning like an idiot at Frosty's antics and the constant bombardment of just random funny things both toward the characters in the story or the readers out here. I've said it before and I'll say it again. This Fallout story has always been my favorite in terms of comedy and that's what drew me into it in the first place. Keep up the great work! :twilightsmile:

I am very happy with this chapter. Even given how long it is, I still find myself wishing it were longer. I can wait patiently for the next chapter, though.

8082214

No need to be angry, guy. This is something that did get addressed further down the line and as it stands it's still more readable than the legacy chapters. Which parts seemed to have caused problems?

8082912 This specific part 8082214 was referring to were the sections in that chapter where Frosty's multiple personalities were all talking at once. Those parts were intentionally meant to be a bit confusing because it was from Riverbed's POV and it represented how difficult it is for the other characters to understand Frosty's mad mind.

Granted, nearly every comment for Ch. 27 talked about how confusing it was to follow the events of that chapter (even outside of those specific points), so the idea was a bit of a bust.

Okay, a week and two days later I finally got off my lazy rump to read this and Damn was it good to see Frosty and the Lunch Squad back :yay: it's been far too long since I last read your story and I'm probably going to have to reread the early chapters just to remember what Happened :twilightsheepish:

I was actually curious how'd you make the whole Frosty being a ghost attached to a toy thing work and you did it suprisingly well.
And I will admit, I'm surprised as the Gang that Riverbed actually became responsible :rainbowderp:

“Ever since I settled down, every day's been the same. Wake up, feed the doggies, poke the mushrooms, have sex, make food, have sex, turn on the distillery, clean up after the doggies, go to bed, then sex again. It's the same routine every day, guy.

“Guy, for you I’d bang you anytime, anywhere.”

All party members will always feel slightly violated upon waking up.

Oh how I missed Riverbed:rainbowlaugh:

And another great chapter as always Bobulator :derpytongue2:

This seems a bit… inhumane. Barbaric, even.

inhumane.

human

What? Didn't think ponies had human words, guess i was wrong.

8092930
Look man, I can't wedge 'pony' into literally every word relevant to the word 'human' or 'person' or '-body'. It's a story about magical talking nuclear horses that already doesn't make any sense as it is. Let it go.

8094432
Just givin' you shit, one word ain't gonna break the story. If it was in any serious capacity i would have offered a replacement for it. I did come up with Equinity after some thought though. Don't know if you still get told this, but your writing is great.

8094904

come up with Equinity

Pfft, I told him the same thing but he's a big stubborn butt.

8094904 8095778 But "inequine" sounds awful. And is a lot more confusing in context.

8095810
I can't say I agree on either point. I don't think it sounds awful so much as it sounds slightly odd because it's not the term we're familiar with as a society. As for it being confusing, I really don't see why. If someone's in the pony frame of mind (everypony, etc) as they probably are when reading pony fiction then contextually it makes perfect sense. I'm not the only person to have used the term in their story and I've never seen a complaint levied against the word's use.

But at the end of the day it's your call. You're the editor guy.

8095810
So does everypony and every other pony pun in the show, but within the pony universe they make some amount of sense. Perhaps if you look at it like another language/dialect then it might sound a little less odd to you. As for being confusing in the context? Not really, kind of obvious that you can substitute 'equin-ity' for 'human-ity' and 'in-equine' for 'in-humane' when it's pretty easy to tell that it's another word pun.

Woo, new chapter! Keep up the great work! I loved seeing this update in my favorites bookshelf.

ALLLLRRRIIIIIGGGHHHT!!! New Frosty fun time! Yes yes running late on this one, blame a bunch of stuff popping up as well as work and just general life crap, now let's see what best insane pega-pon now less insane toy-pone with an insane pega-pon body being piloted by psycho evil villain that she needs to get back is up to!

Chapter 31: Won’t it be so snug with me inside you?

“I don't know what we're going to face in there. But whatever it is, I know we need to face it together.”

Best Out of context quote that I think I can guess the context to, but that second one.... BUWHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA If it involves Frosty's mind.... good luck, you'll need it.

You know, I had felt so incredibly clever when I came up with this plan.

I'm sure you did, that's how ALL your plans work. Right up until you faceplant over something you should have seen coming.

I had come up with an unorthodox solution to a problem that even a council of ancient beings hadn’t been able to solve!

Because no one has ever been as 'special' as you Frosty. Or as insane in the best possible ways to think this was a good idea. Lot easier to think outside the box when you have no concept of what the box is in the first place

Stuff my soul into a small wooden doll that was shaped like me!

Sounds legit.

I wasn’t feeling so smart anymore.

:rainbowlaugh: Poor ghost horse.

Let's review.

Good call, been awhile. Also,this is Frosty so, she likely needs the recap herself.

probably screwing everything up.

Which is different then what you'd be doing with your body.... how?

Woo. Go Frosty. You rock.

Whoo-hoo!:yay:

Ignorance was bliss, after all.

........ nah to easy.

It took all of my ghostly might pressing against the standing tip of the nail to finally topple it over.

Okay, so she can interact with the physical world, can't pass through items, but can't exert much force at all. These are some odd rules, but long as they stay consistent. Given this is Frosty... how long till she starts just bashing her head into everything out of exasperation? And will that end up being some secret trick to doing things she discovers?

I can see why Rumcake is so pissy.

Well, he isn't exactly blameless in all this either. But yeah, this stuff could get on a stallion's nerves. Then again Sparkle has had a REALLY hard last few months....

“Hey. You go through a wall, mister invisible wall,”

Why is the image of her scolding it like this so amusing?

I decided to mush my face through the back wall.

:facehoof: I was actually right about her slamming her face into things... and much quicker then I thought.... I really thought I was joking....

Point being, my head was now protruding out of a wall.

So, can go through walls, but not through solid objects? Or is it a case of will? Of having to WANT to go through, versus trying to move it?

I could peek into bathrooms.

Frosty.... you ponies are naked most of the time anyway. Unless you are adding scat urination fetishes to your growing list of oddities, what would be the point?

He was mostly just standing there, painting one spot over and over again with the brush clamped in his mouth.

Well, he's let himself go... and also looks like in quite the funk.... do kind of feel sorry for the poor colt.

he thudded his head against the wall—yes, the wall with wet paint on it—and groaned

Frosty has been a very good influence on him it seems.

“It makes it look nice,” Rumcake lied.

Just for the sake of having something to do and to try and feel useful? Attempt to fight back the insecurities and pain of the last few weeks and months through keeping busy doing anything you could?

The last thing I want to see is blue.”

Ouch

“I mean, considering I’ve been mostly using my tail it looks great.”

Okay then.... I guess that works?

she would default to the same excited giggling that came from me making anything move.

Okay, so, stuck there a while, but clearly something has to change. Just using this to give Ice a good head start? Really hope she gets through to them soon, this is turning very depressing to see them this beaten down. Guessing Violet will be the one to figure this out?

the universe decided that it needed to return Violet to the mix.

HEY! WHOOOO!

“Greetings, dimwits. I have returned in search of Frosty.” Some things never changed. Violet was still just as friendly as ever!

:facehoof: And the fate of Equestria rests in their hooves.....

The world is so boned.

“I have a hunch the Frosty you think I’m speaking of isn’t the Frosty that I am speaking of.”

Okay, guess having a pony with an ability to think and reason is an advantage. Now what finally tipped her off something was odd?

“Don’t patronize me. Just tell me where I can find a Frosty and a calendar. Maybe even both.”

Odd requests.

“I’m going inside and eating the first thing I see.”

You do know you didn't clarify that with first 'edible' thing you see.

“I’m eating this alarm clock.”

:rainbowhuh: So..... are they ALL getting even more eccentric over time?

Caught off guard, I accidentally hurled myself right into the side of Sparkle’s giant friggin’ head.

Possession time? Seemed like the only way for her to interact if Violet didn't have some magic for it.

For some odd reason, the inside of Sparkle’s head looked a lot like the interior of a well-maintained shed.

Makes sense. So, have to find the controls? Or no actual possession, just popping into her head as a passenger?

I wisely decided to not touch anything on the off chance that it ended up scrambling Sparkle’s brain.

.. Can't argue with the logic that you'd end up doing that somehow. Dead non-disease ridden Frosty really can learn.

Gravity was indeed on and so was collision.

At this point, her thinking about these things in gameplay terms.. it's just adorable.

“Okay, either there’s some weird nightmare demon crabs in that box or I’ve clearly watched too many horror movies,”

Likely the later. Though, if you manage to find her subconscious.... So these places Sparkle hasn't built yet, or old places she took down to try and hide from?

…Well, actually the worst thing that could happen would be Sparkle dying, but that was incredibly unlikely. If my brain could handle the ravaging it got, I’m sure Sparkle’s brain would be fine.

Yes, because your brain held up SO well under that treatment...

Best not to think about that.

The mantra of your life.

I found myself holding the device over the space of my left leg where my PipBuck used to be. Right. If only I still had one.

Cue price is right fail music.

Poof. UI Overlay.

:ajbemused:

A girl could get used to this. Especially after a second cake.

So, cakefied, good. Now, focus Frosty... "Harem of hot sexy stallions" Damnit Frosty!

The bottomless cake helped.

:facehoof:

One look at the quest tab made me gag at the length of the list and the number of unchecked boxes there were.

On the one hoof, those would not be there, this is not how it works in FoE.

On the other, Frosty is an idiot so likely does not know that.

On the third... okay that is funny.

How the butt licking buck did this thing even know what qualified as a quest item? More importantly, why wasn’t a PipBuck upgrade considered equipment?

Because it doesn't but we'll pretend it does. And so it never gets removed from your inventory if you go someplace that takes all your stuff.

There was something not quite right about Violet showing up out of the blue. Maybe I’m just hungry.

Com unit to let her talk to Sparkle/hear her thoughts? Oh boy, direct access to other ponies thoughts... this cannot end well.

and this new Frosty sounded suspiciously like Sparkle.

And the fact she is just so used to this, she automatically just assumes it's yet another voice in her head.... it pretty well sums up the insanity here of Frosty.

The real world Sparkle whirled around in circles, surprised, searching for where I’d said that from.

How does she know this?

I don’t want to exercise! I can only have so much sex in one day!

Ummmm well... okay then...... Also, with who out here?

Out of polite courtesy, I forced myself to not pry into Sparkle’s thoughts. Moreso it was because most of the things Sparkle was thinking had been mundane to the extreme or disconcerting. They weren’t things I wanted to narrate over or listen to for the most part anyway. At the moment though, most of it was screaming. Mental screaming, of course.

Riiight you totally didn't look. Though, kind of lost here. What is going on? All we've seen is Frosty able to hear what Sparkle is thinking, yet now 'digging through her thoughts' huh? The whole time scale and what is going on makes no sense. Yes now it's screaming, but where is the rest coming from if all she's doing is screaming? kind of lost here.

“You two are useless without me.”

Or without Frosty.

meaning Violet was in the same room as us now. Excellent.

So she can hear everything Sparkle does? Again how'd she know the real Sparkle was moving before this then?

have you seen that part of The Haytrix where the hero dude goes like “hey I need some guns” and just walls of goddamn guns fly out of nowhere?

:facehoof: Story... I still both hate and love these parts. They make NO DAMN SENSE in the larger context of the world of FoE, and yet, I can't not grin.

Between fiction and autobiographies?

Given this is you Frosty... go see if she has a coloring book section, it might be more your speed.

Clearly its vision was based on movement. I didn’t move.

Just all the :facehoof: and yet :rainbowlaugh: Also, of course Violet can tell the moment anything goes wrong in her head like that.

l. “Oh. It’s just you.”

I am not surprised in the least this is happening. Which says something about this story.

Knowing you, you could have just opened up with ‘Hello, is it me you’re looking for?’ at least!”

This is frosty.... not enough insult/pop culture lameness to be her intro line.

She didn’t react negatively, so I gave her a tight lovable squeeze.

May not be literally insane from microbes eating your brain while a ice demon fucks with the rest.

But Frosty is still Frosty.

but Violet looked upset so I decided upon a slightly less snarky one:

Proof that she really isn't totally insane anymore.

Poof. So did a cake.

Despite some snark.. I really am loving this it's just so... so.... so FUN! I am grinning this whole time. Even through the facepalms.

“You’d be surprised what I can do when I’m paying attention.”

And not in a body with a swiss cheesed brain.

This was also probably somepony’s fetish, but thankfully for Vi-vi it wasn’t mine. Yet.

Even Frosty know it's only a matte of time....

“Somehow I doubt it, but do you remember performing your attunement spell?”

Because of course she already knows some spells for this. Does make sense.

Using my innate power of incredibly short-term attention span, I zoned out.

Truly her greatest power.

Logic dictated that I needed a whole biscuit to mind-control. Common sense dictated that this was a stupid idea.

:rainbowhuh: ... I need to stop trying to make sense of Frosty.. it only leads to headache.

The idea is to become one singular dessert instead of two separate cookies.”

Wait, she's talking about merging together? Okay... this is odd.

“I only have one raisin because I am an oatmeal raisin cookie, not an oatmeal raisins cookie,” I clarified.

:facehoof: The only mystery... is why Frosty hasn't been killed much much earlier then she was.

“The idea here is to introduce a third party—excessive application of magic ice cream—to turn our separate cookies into a single cookie sandwich before this metaphor falls apart.”

"So you want us to have a threesome?"

I basically need to be inside you and out of this doll, right?

OH!!! I see, that makes sense. Now how badly will this screw everything up?

Won’t it be so snug with me inside you?

Roll credits. And yup figures that was the context of that.

“Just because I’m not gay doesn’t mean I can’t think lewd thoughts.”

Maybe being dead opens up your thoughts to exploring more possibilities.

She even gave me crayons to play with!

D'awwww how sweet. Frosty, those are to PLAY WITH, not eat! Do not forget that.

I stopped eating the crayon.

:facehoof: And no I did not look ahead, she is just that predictable.

nd 75+ tinkering skill,

I guess I can just chalk all this stuff that simply does not work! in the context of FoE and treats it to much like a game as Frosty just being insane.

And an idiot.

all held together with liberal application of duct tape.

All problems can be solved with a liberal enough application of duct tape.

I bet the Lightbringer didn't have to deal with such interesting companions all the time.

SQUEEEE Littlepip references! And good timing, she would be getting famous right now. Also, no, no, nothing even close to this.

I’m pretty sure the DJ desperately wants to have an intimately personal interview with the Lightbringer. I sure hope she has better standards than that.

:rainbowlaugh::rainbowlaugh::rainbowlaugh:

Well give DJ a break, it's been a bit since Homage has gotten to make Littlepip whinny, and they need to work out how to let Celestia get in on the action.

Speaking of, wouldn't the revelation that "hey Celestia is back!... kind of" also kind of be big news?

Violet facehoofed. “Being dead,”

The rare case when Frosty actually has a solid, logical point over Violet. Savor these moments Frosty.

So at a certain stage of this master plan, I should find a way to bring the Lightbringer into this.

:raritystarry:EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE

*Commenter.exe has experienced a joy overload error and needs to restart.....

Okay, what did I miss? Oh..oh... EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!

*Commenter.exe has experienced a joy overload error and needs to restart.....

Okay enough of that... and yeah that would be AWESOME yeah she's in the SPP now, but could still help out, and even if not her directly, the rest of the group is out and about.

My alpha team was a flaming dumpster fire of platitudes.

That is being very generous.

What I needed was a B-team.

Well that worked well for SPD

I had zero idea where the shit I’d left Butt Slave,

That sub plot really went somewhere.

Hey. That was a solid idea. Thanks, brain.

Well, she's an idiot, but not a TOTAL moron. Still given these are the Reject Rangers... that is only an upgrade because well.. it's better then the nothing you have now.

“So how does this work?” I asked, floating my ghostly self around it

Wait how can she hear Frosty if Frosty is out of her body? though she could only hear if Frosty was talking while inside of her. Yeah Story, it's back to being confusing on the details here.

“If I die, I’m going to haunt you to death.”

“You’re already haunting me.”

“MORE,”

I have 0 doubt she could find a way to be even more annoying.

and commit sudoku in a glorious shower of colorful dust.

Still hard to follow the details... and yet still so damn hilarious when you stop thinking and just enjoy the insanity.

And mister table, chair, and boom mike.

DJ-FR0S-TEE?

“Hello? Can you hear me in there?”

Yet, she could here and speak to her out there too......

And some cake. Calorie-free, gluten-free, everything-free cake was probably my favorite part about not having a body by far. MMmmmm. Free cake.

If only Celestia had know about this power before sealing her soul in the SPP......

did you ever experience post-traumatic stress disorder?”

:pinkiegasp: Seriously... you saw just a small fraction of the shit she's gone through.... WHAT THE HELL DO YOU THINK!? But... yeah, maybe just a TONY bit.....

The more likely answer was probably ‘I was too stupid to notice’,

In part yes. More to the point, you WERE suffering a prolonged, rather severe one, but kept ignoring things and trying to avoid thinking about it, thus never actually moving past it.

“That’s… Should I just fill in ‘mental illness’ as your answer then?”

Diagnosing what is wrong with her could become a lifetime career for somepony.

And as much as I would like to kill us both with alcohol,

Wait where did this come from?

you are the only living and/or unliving thing that has seen the other side and returned.”

And of course her interest is solely in study. Oh this is going to be so fun.

“I am already extremely concerned.”

You are not the only one......


Okay bout the halfway point and this is a huge chapter so, post this while I work on the rest.

So far SO GLAD FROSTY IS BACK! Both Frosty and the story. She is just, FUN! Again, snarky, joking, not caring... but not a fucking asshole either. Well still an ass, but in the fun way. Though maybe a bit to much, though again my normal issues with all the game stuff that, while hilarious, does not fit the FoE 'Verse well. But at this point, it's just become the more of less defined 'voice' of the story and how it does things. But fun loving, not brutal, murderous Frosty, combined with actual narrative point and a clear goal? YES PLEASE!

TBC soon. ish....

8115998 Your comments are the best. I'm just the editor and I love reading them.

The real world Sparkle whirled around in circles, surprised, searching for where I’d said that from.


How does she know this?

I suppose this wasn't made as clear as it could have been. I imagined this scene taking place in a "room" that was literally inside Sparkle's head, that therefore moved when she moved. Frosty knew that Sparkle was spinning around in circles because the room started spinning around.

Though, kind of lost here. What is going on? All we've seen is Frosty able to hear what Sparkle is thinking, yet now 'digging through her thoughts' huh?

"Digging through her thoughts" here meant digging through the objects in Sparkle's tool shed.

Knowing you, you could have just opened up with ‘Hello, is it me you’re looking for?’ at least!”


This is frosty.... not enough insult/pop culture lameness to be her intro line.

No, it's exactly enough, actually. :rainbowwild: Hello, Is It Me You're Looking For?

Wait how can she hear Frosty if Frosty is out of her body? though she could only hear if Frosty was talking while inside of her. Yeah Story, it's back to being confusing on the details here.

That was the point (well, one of the points) of the "merging". I suppose this wasn't clear. Violet can hear Frosty wherever now, but others still can't, which is why Violet made the magic radio thing.

and commit sudoku in a glorious shower of colorful dust.


Still hard to follow the details

Yeah, Frosty's brain is really hard to follow sometimes. The word Frosty was looking for was "seppuku". Instead she used "sudoku".

Okay, guess having a pony with an ability to think and reason is an advantage. Now what finally tipped her off something was odd?

...Somehow we completely forgot to include a scene. The hell?

Do you remember Violet's "Frosty Feather Quill"? The one she's used in the past to locate Frosty when she'd gone missing. Violet's (intended) explanation of how she discovered there were two Frosties was because her Frosty feather started pointing to two different locations at the same time. That's why there are lines like this in the chapter:

I caught Violet giving me a disparaging look. “Would you like to start with how you’re in two places at once?” she asked.

So there are references to a scene that somehow didn't make it into the chapter. Woo.

I'm like 99% sure that what happened in the first half of the chapter is some kind of vore.

im hoping u will keep working on more chapters i like what ive read so far keep up the great work

After all of that my biggest question still has to be what the hell did the Enclave do to those poor baby pegasi?

nice story, cant wait for more!

I took a long time to catch up, so long in fact that I questioned why I was reading the story when all I could remember was the plot being really, really random. I ran back a chapter to remind where we left off and was pleasantly reminded why this is on my watch list when I sniggered aloud on a train fairly quickly.

I'm pretty sure I lost it at "... But I only have one raisin, otherwise I would be an oat and raisins cookie." Also skipping over the memorial to Tangie. I would have really frowned on Frosty for that if she didn't take Tangie for shakes and everything else in the afterlife, so as it stood that was also pretty well done. Bleeeeh!

I'm beginning to suspect that my sense of humour is somewhat infantile. In any case, keep up the good work, the style is really a pleasure to read, especially with the oddball characters merged with it.

8158968
Welcome back! I do my best to keep everyone entertained through this flaming dumpster fire.

8134135
Things

8119849
Conceptual vore, I guess. The... best kind? I guess???

r u going to finish this story?

8167079
Gosh, I hope so. Progress is slow.

8167085 cant wait how many more chapters will there be

8167085
i understand progress im writting a story my self but havent figured out a title or even chapter names yet plus writters block sucks

Hey this was pretty fun to read. Frosty's antics are quite amusing

8167085
Whatever you do, don't give up! Great things take time.

It's almost disturbing how Frosty's intelligence has continued to drop throughout the story. Will she end up like the other three mind-wiped pegasi? There's a clue there, that one of the "doggies" has an Officer character...
I'm kind of glad Frosty hasn't been sexually active, since that's probably a good way to spread the "Raider Virus," and non-pegasus ponies have no resistance to it.

How are you so funny at this im laughing my ass off to the jokes and refernces

Omfg this is the best book I've read nooooooooooooooooo! XD

Will there be a sequel after this or is this a one story thing?

STOCKHOLM SYNDROME EVERYWHERE

8494296
I literally popped into Fimfic today and saw the pile of notifications you left for me.

Dude. You're awesome, but slow the heck down! I'm still trying to get stuff written while dealing with job and life stuff. Glad you're enjoying the ride and thanks for all the commentary you've left behind.

Violet dumped out a satchel of random crap all over the floor that she’d apparently hoarded for just this occasion. Using her superior knowledge and 75+ tinkering skill, she cobbled together the aforementioned magic microphone out of a bunch of glowy rocks, stick-like implements, and a tape recorder—all held together with liberal application of duct tape. The finished product reminded me of the other totem she’d made a while back. I didn’t care enough to try to remember what it was, but it was probably some three mana 0/3 garbage ability totem anyway.

You man like every low coast blue spell ever.

...wai.

BLUE MAGE DETECTED. BLU MAGE DETECTED!
DEPLOY RED DECK! DEPLOY GREEN DECK!
DEPLOY THE MUVAFUKIN' BANE OF JACE, FOR TEH LOVE OF ALL THAT IS UNHOLLY!

I just wanted to go back to not regretting every moment of my life. This isn’t supposed to be some dark and gloomy edgefest. Jump cut.

Has anybody noticed that Frosty has a degree of 4th wall awareness yet?

Are u coming back to this story I really like it

looking forward to the next chapter, in the meantime I'm going to read some other FoE fics and maybe some library books that I recently checked out.

Frosty should "test out" the male Pegasus with Riverbed.

I don't know if you're even still around, Bobulator, but I really hope you come back and finish this story myself. I'd try to write a fan-fanfic to end it, but I wouldn't do it justice, wasteland or otherwise.

Longer I wait the more I loose hope of an update, hope everything's alright with yourself

I presume this story is dead now.

I am waiting for 2 years now and still no update. Well, was a good story until the end.

Labpony

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