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Chapter 6: Feathers

Reverence of the End
By NitoKa

Chapter 6 - Feathers

"I'm not giving him cake! I'm ASSAULTING him with cake!"

Initiating Personality Switch, Subject: Spring Bell

Prepare to switch in 3, 2, 1...


"Uhg...." I moaned as my eyes fluttered awake. "Where am I?" I said aloud, examining my surroundings. Well to say the least it was grey... Very very grey, also kinda dark except for the one light in the middle of the room. I was laying on a small dirty mattress, which included a small blanket which seemed it was stained a bit in blood...

I quickly did a once over of myself. "Hooves, still got those. Nose? Yup! Two eyes, a mouth, ears, wings. Check on all fronts. Hair? Still ginger!" I smiled. Though I had noticed some bandages around my legs and such, one on my head and a wrap around my midsection. I was alive, but obviously I had been in some sort of accident or battle.

"Think. Think. Think." I tapped my noggin as I started to remember. "Enclave Recon, Third class, specialty is sniping... Names obviously Spring Bell... As for how I got here..." I looked around. " I haven't got the faintest idea." I said to myself. "Also I have to work on this talking to myself thing, I ain't gonna find some pony who wants to be with a crazy pony. Well... Not soon at least." I laughed dryly to myself. I honestly remembered everything except how I ended up here, it was odd to say the least.

"Birdie, you awake?" A male voice called out as I heard doors opening and hoofsteps come down. I quickly laid back down and pretended to be asleep. If they wanted me awake, then I wasn't about to give them that. But of course, like this I couldn't see them.

"Thought not." The male voice chuckles lightly. "I hope she does wake up soon, I don't want to keep tube feeding her." The voice sighs. "At least she's cute, for a pegasus." The voice added with a small chuckle.

"I'll have you know I'm down right sexy!" I sat up and said to him, following it up with an, "eep!" I turned red, embarrassed that not only I had given myself away but I did it with a comment like that. The pony that was looking at me, now blushing himself, was a pink unicorn. When I say pink I mean like he was pinker than Pinkie Pie, and that's saying something. His mane was even similar to hers, poofy all around. He was wearing a drab brown robe that had a hood that I seriously doubted fitted around his mane.

"So... Good to see you awake Birdie." He smiles shyly. "I'm Scribe Burst, Bubblegum Burst. Friends call me 'that annoying colt' or just Gummy." He smiles.

"Don't call me Birdie. I'm Enclave Recon, Third Class Spring Bell." I said back, noticing he was being mostly respectful. "Friends call me Spring." I said.

"Alright Birdie." He snickered. "Well I suppose you would like to know how you got here and why you're in a cell?" He asks, to which I nodded. "Well, you're at Ranger Base Blossom." He starts. "As for how you fell through the clouds, I don't know, but we found you on one of our scavenging trips. You had crashed into what seemed to be a grocery store, specifically the area out marked cabbages." He snickers again. "Sorry, jus remembered a good joke about two cabbages and seven Diamond Dogs." He says, I would have to hear that one later. "But you brought back here, fixed up by our medics in hope you could tell us about the Enclave. Oh, I was assigned to watch over you while you we're comatose. I've had to tube feed you, bath you and all that." He sighs. Wait, bathe me?! "It's been about a month since we found you. I'm glad you're up that means I can stop giving you exercise as well. Your wings are hard to move around you know."

"Is there any place on me you haven't messed with?" I ask both jokingly and worried.

"Just the important areas." He shrugs. "I am a gentlecolt you know, I'm not going to be all raider like and rape you." He sighed. "Unlike what you Birdies think, we're not all bad." He says.

"Good." I say. "And I thought so, it seemed stupid that after 200 years not a single one of you earthbounders had made some sort of organized society." I say smirking. "But, you know, I'm not gonna give you shit on the Enclave, especially since I'm not even that important." I say chuckling.

"Oh, well Carrot Stew is gonna try anyways, or else Elder Baster is gonna kill you." He shrugs. "And call me crazy, but I don't think you want that, neither do I."

I stared at him surprised. "K-kill me!? D-don't I have any other use?" I asked scared.

"Besides information? Not really. We don't know your skills and you're an Enclave solider, you could betray us at any moment." He says simply, though I don't think you could do something like that personally." He says sighing.

"S-Sniper." I say. "I was a sniper for them." I add. "Not too bad either, but to be honest I was far from the best."

Bubblegum raises an eyebrow. "Well... We do need mort spotters and snipers." He says. "I'll try my best but I recommend you at least give some info." He starts to walk away. "I'll go inform the others you're awake. Good luck Spring Bell." He says before trotting out and up the stairs.

"Well buck." I said to myself mad that this was happening to me. 'I need to think of a way out of this. Maybe tell them some strategies the Enclave uses, maybe they'll be satisfied with that?' I thought to myself as I heard larger, heavier hoofsteps come down the stairs and two armored ponies arrived. "Better get up and moving Feathers, Stew ain't got all day for your plot." One of them said, sounding female. With a humph I got up and went in between them as they started to lead me up the stairs. Surprisingly, the base was lit with what seemed to be sunlight, panning in from windows, though there was artificial light as well.

Soon I was led to a small room with a chair and a table, well two chairs and a table. I was instructed to sit in the farthest seat, so like a good little prisoner, I did. A few moments later another armored pony comes in but this guy doesn't have his helmet on. He has a short buzz cut of an orange mane, his face was stern, like that of an old drill instructor. "Well? This is our little caged bird?" He asks the soldiers next to me. They nodded slightly and he looked back to me. "Then, what is your rank, we know you're Enclave, you were wearing the uniform when we found you so don't try to fake it." He says with piercing eyes.

"Recon. Third class to be exact." I replied. "I was a sniper for them." I looked back at him, but not with disrespect.

"Alright, then let me ask you. What are you Enclave doing in the wasteland right now? You seem pretty active all of a sudden."

"I honestly don't know. Last I remember, my commanding officer told my squad that we'd be going on a lot more courier mission. Getting supplies down to ground troops and the like." I said. "I wasn't high enough ranked to get the details, but I do remember going to a tower near Hoofington." I finished.

The commanding pony in front of me thought for a moment. "Alright, how do i know you're telling me the truth? What if you're lying?" He asked staring right at me, fire in his eyes.

"Because if I am, then you'll kill me." I said smirking. "And unless down here, ponies would rather die than live and have a chance at life, I'll take the living please." I add.

He huffs slightly and looks to the guards. "Take her back." He waves his hoof as the guards poke me and I stood up. As they start to lead me out I noticed Bubblegum right outside the room, nodding with a small smile.

"Actually, Head Scribe Worm wants to see her if that's okay." He says holding out his hoof. The guards start to lead me in a different direction but Bubblegum stopped them. "Actually, he doesn't like you armored ponies stomping around in his lab. She seems civil enough to me." He smiles. "So why don't you two just go and relax somewhere?" He says.

They looked at each other and shrugged. "Fine, but watch yourself Gummy, I don't want to have to fill out the paperwork for your death because you got cocky and thought the Enclave solider was just an easy mare." I scoffed and chuckled, attracting the guard’s attention. I looked down with my smirk as they trotted away. Bubblegum came up to me.

"Heya Birdie, how'd everything go?" He asked as he started to trot in the direction the guards were about to lead me. "Good news for you, Worm wants to see you and test some things." He says.

"Not Birdie and test what exactly?" I ask, thinking about what they could do to me, like cut off my foreleg and replace it with a metal gryphon claw... Wait that might be pretty cool, but I don't think I'd want to wait for it to pay off.

"Oh Bro just wants to look over your anatomy, see if he can't make something for you, to suit you." He says.

"Bro?" I ask, slightly confused.

"Umm yeah, Head Scribe Gummy Worm is my big brother. By at least 10 years, so don't be surprised if he looks really old." He laughs as we enter a lab looking room, and I had the sudden urge to fold in my wings, so I did so. "Wormy! I brought Birdie!" Bubblegum yells.

"Hold on! I'm coming!" A distinctly older voice called back as a door in the back opened and out came a pale blue coated, red manned stallion stepped out. He was wearing a pair of glasses, so small that the just seemed to hang on his nose, not on his ears. "This the mare you've been caring for heart and hoof for the last month?" He asks.

"Yeah, she says she was an alright sniper up above."

"Sniper... Hmm I think I might have something for you. But first." He pops up and in front of me. "I just need to take some measurements." He pulls out a roll of measuring tape. "Sorry if I squeeze something." He says kindly as he starts to wrap the tape around me in several areas, though I stopped him when he started to measure my flank. I do have standards you know.

"Well, if all goes correctly and I make the appropriate bribe and such, you should be a scout for us." Worm says. "And I'll get to work on getting you the appropriate armor and weapon." He says and needless to say, I was surprised to say the least.

"So, why do you two trust me already?" I asked confused.

"That's easy, you're civil." Bubblegum said happily. "You have been very very cooperative with us so far. You seem to have some skills and honestly, you don't have a choice. It's either our offer or death." He says looking me in the eyes.

"This is good. I like this." I say nodding furiously.

"Good, I’ll make some recon armor for you and try to get some sort of gun for you. Maybe a rifle." Worm shrugs.

"I appreciate this a lot guys." I smiled and hugged them. "I'll make sure I won't disappoint you." I said.

"Alright, so then, follow me, I need to take you back to your cell." Bubblegum said to me. "I'm afraid you're not trusted by the rest of the base. They think you're gonna go all ninja made of us or something." He rolls his eyes.

I laughed. "As if. There’s no way I'm even going back up to the clouds... They probably already gave the files to my parents saying I'm dead." I said sadly.

"Ouch, I'd heard rumors about how serious they were about that but I didn't know it was true." Bubblegum said to me as he walked me back to my cell.

"Yeah it's true... Wait!" I looked back to my flank and gave a sigh of relief as I saw my cutie mark, a blossoming rose, still there. "Good, they didn't a brand me yet." I smiled as Bubblegum looked at me with a smile and a nod.

"I coulda told you that much!" He laughed. He sat nearby my cell as I closed the door on my own accord. "I look forward to you working with us." He said as I laid down. For somepony who’s been asleep for about a month, I was really tired. I slowly started to close my eyes and fell asleep.


I was surrounded by darkness, only I was in this space, completely alone. Except I felt that I was being watched, tested. Suddenly, I saw someone in the distance. I flew to them, trying to catch up. I finally caught up to the pony and was shocked when I found that it was a mare I had never seen before. She was small, but not filly sized. She had this weird hood around her that was pink and accented her already rose colored coat. She had a necklace with several multicolored crystals around it. Her cutie mark seemed to be a large dotted X. She smiled at me as she her leaf green mane poked out of her hood, her yellow eyes shining at me.

"W-who're you?" I asked her.

"A finder!" She said happily. She seemed like a normal earth pony, no horn or wings. "I find ponies that are or will be needed soon!" She smiles.

"Needed for what?"

"Well duh! Don't you know anything about anything? Needed for the wasteland! One of my friends already found this really cool unicorn mare from a Stable and she's gonna go off. My friend found a doozy! And you might just be one too!"

"What do you mean? For one, I'm not even that good at anything, so how in the hay could I save the wasteland?" I ask.

"Well you won't be doing it alone! Nope nope! Lotsa ponies are gonna help you! Not just you, but there's these two others, you'll meet them later. But all I came here to tell you is that you need to go into the big hotel. You'll meet the stinky old mare there, that's a good pony that you should keep! But I'm telling you too much already, you should do this yourself, I'm not some kinda walk through or something." Finder starts to trot off.

"H-hey! None of that made like any sense! Explain it better please!" I yelled. She turned to me and gave a chilling smile. It wasn't happy, it wasn't angry, I didn't seem to be any kind of emotion, only a feeling.

"What fun is there in making sense?" She asked before I felt the world around me melt away.


"Birdie, rise and shine."

I woke up in a cold sweat, gasping for air as I looked out of my cell and saw Bubblegum. "You okay?" He asked. "Bad dream? What was it about?"

"I... I don't remember." I said honestly.

"Whatever, I'm sure it wasn't important." He says with a smile. "Well, I'm sure my brother has at least your gun ready. Let’s go check on him." He says getting up and opening my cell. I got up slowly, stretching myself of before moving out and following him.

We arrived soon in Worms’s lab, with Worm working on something on one of the tables. Bubblegum chuckles and waves his hooves. "Hey, big bro, put down that dohicki and give this mare her gun." He says to his brother.

"Oh, Gum, yeah I found this one rifle... It isn't the best we had but it’s really old. I'm surprised it didn't break already." He moves to another table where there was this hunting rifle. Its barrel was rusted a bit and the stock was made of wood, and had a small crack going up it.

"You sure this thing can still even fire?" I asked curious.

"To be honest? No. I haven't tested it yet. There is the shooting range outside if you can get Baster to let you out with a gun." Worm told me. I looked to Bubblegum and he nodded then turned around, leading me to what I could only assume would be this Baster's office.

We entered a rather large room with a few monitors in it, mostly showing pictures of the outside. In the middle of the room was a semicircular desk with a chair in the middle of it. In the chair was a tan pony with a grey mane, wearing a brown robe similar to Bubblegum’s. He looked at us with a small smile.

"Ah, Mr. Burst, I see you brought our new Pegasi friend. May I ask for the reason you brought her here?" He asks, his voice flowing smoothly, very calming.

"Yes Elder Baster. You see, my brother and I believe that she could help us out in the lab as a sort of courier for us, going out and collecting sample and materials we need to use to study pre-war tech." He says. "My brother has found a rather old rifle that nopony seems to want to use, so he wants to give it to her for her own protection out there. Now we're not sure if the rifle works and she wants to test it out on the shooting range. Will you allow this sir?" He asks.

The elder seems to think for what was about a minute but seemed like an eternity to me. He smiles. "Well, if our Head scribe thinks it’s a good idea for us to let this Pegasi have a gun, then why shouldn't she test it?" He says rhetorically. "Well Mr. Burst, are you prepared to accept the consequences if the Pegasus betrays us?" He asked Bubblegum.

"Of course sir!" Bubblegum said with respect.

"Then I see no problem. You two are dismissed." And with a wave of his hoof we returned towards Gummy Worm. He had been prepared for us to comeback with positive news, considering there was a small saddle bag (only one) with a box of .32 caliber rounds right next to the rifle.

"You're ready to go whenever you like." Worm says to us.

"Alright I'll take her to the range. You pack anything for her?" Bubblegum asks.

"Nope. Just some bullets." He says, still working on something that neither Bubblegum nor I could see.

I grabbed the rifle and slung it over my back after I had put the saddlebag on. It hung just below my wing, but the strap went over it. I hadn't tried to fly yet, at least not so soon, but I'm willing to bet that I can't. "So where's the shooting range?" I asked them.

"Oh just follow the signs on the walls, they show you how to get out of the base. After you get out, it's to your right." Bubblegum instructs me. I nod happily as I go out of the room, examining the walls for instructions on how to get out.

I eventually made it... After going in several wrong rooms and almost getting shot nine times. But I was outside now. I went to the right as some guards watched me closely, making sure I wasn't about to go all insane and kill every pony around me. I quickly found the shooting range and rested me new rifle on a pile of rubble. I loaded it and looked at the targets. They were a bunch of patched together junk put in the relative shape of a pony.

I breathed in deeply, looking down the iron sights of the rifle, aiming at the farthest target, I fire one shot then let out my breath as the bullet nicks the shoulder area. "Damn." I curse. I breath in deep again as I reload and take another look down the sights. I take the shot and it pierces the chest. The words of my trainer come to mind. 'Don’t go for fancy, aim for the chest, easier target, even if the head looks big.' I smirked and reloaded, taking another breath and aiming at the targets head, taking the shot and hitting it where the mouth would have been. "I always did hate ponies who talk too much." I said chuckling. I slung the rifle on my back again. At this moment I noticed the rifle had a small plaque on it, and it seemed that it used to have an engraving on it before, but it had been worn down. That's a little odd, considering engravings take a long long time to wear down. I shrugged it off and went inside of the base again, making my way to the labs.

"It shoots fine?" Worm asked.

"Good enough." I answered.

"That's good, because I've got our first job for you."

"Oh really? What might it be?" I asked.

"Well you see, there's a small group of ghouls at a nearby hotel. They've been terrorizing our patrol groups a bit. We're gonna need you to head on in there and get rid of them, any way you can. Talking, shooting, hell, tell them a good ghost story and scare 'em off, I don't care. We just need to patrol safely through there." Worm informs me.

"So then, my armor?" I ask.

"Not done yet, but if you find any scrap metal ill use it to reinforce it. But right now you'll have to go armor less." He tells me and I sigh.

"You at least got anything I can use to heal myself or do anything to help me?" I ask desperately.

"Well I can sneak some healing potions, Med-x and I think we've got some Dash." He said. "But only a little bit of it. So try not to get hurt." He tells me.

"That's fine. I'll probably hiding a lot anyways." I reply. "Now when do I leave?" I ask.

"You can go in about an hour, by then I can get your supplies." Worm tells me. "But right now I recommend you go get something to eat. We can let you into the mess hall but don't expect a happy welcome." He chuckles. "Gums in there, probably waiting on you."

I smile and turn around, heading back to the wall and looking at the directions. I follow the way towards the mess hall and am greeted by the loud sounds of ponies talking and laughing. Strangely enough, you'd figure as soon as I enter the room it would have grown silent and every pony would have been watching me and judging me, but nope, nopony cared.

I got in line and grabbed a tray, got what I think was food and left the line, spotting Bubblegum sitting by himself. I sat down next to him and smiled. "Hey, how's it going Gummy?" I asked.

He looked at me and smiled. "Pretty good Birdie. I bet Bro told you what job we had?" He asked

"Yup, he's gonna get me some medical supplies before I go though." I told him. He nodded and then ate his food, which I couldn't help but notice, seemed like actual food. I was used to slop from training camp so I didn't really mind that much as I ate whatever it was I had got.

"Yeah, I'm going to give you some advice though, don't go crazy on the ghouls, some might be sane and friendly. The way you know if they aren't are when they let out this loud scream or moan." He tells me.

"I've seen ghouls before. I've been near the ground before on missions. They still creep me out though." I say shuddering a bit.

"You know, you get to keep anything you find." He says. "I suppose you know our currency down here?" He asks and to which I nod.

"Yeah you guys use bottle caps, which I’ll admit is rather intelligent, considering that caps are easy to carry around and are rather abundant." I said. Bubblegum just gave a look at me and chuckled. "I'm just gonna tell you that I recommend you pick up anything you can and sell it to the ponies here so they can fix up that gun." He points to it.

"Where'd you guys get this gun anyways?" I asked. "It's really old and even has a plaque on it with some sort of name."

"Really? What name?" He asked.

"Oh it's too worn out for me to read." I reply, sighing. "I don't know exactly what to do, I wish I could read the name on it but eh." I shrug. I finish up eating and get up, looking to Bubblegum. "I'll be going to prepare them I'm heading out." I said and waved.

I made my way back down to the cell and left the door open, laying down to rest my legs for a bit. I was startled when suddenly a small bag was thrown onto my stomach. I opened my eyes and saw Worm, standing there with a smile. "Better get going Spring, you want to get there before nightfall." He said as i got up and put the bag in my singular saddlebag.

I start on my way. "Hey, where am I supposed to know where to go anyways?" I ask. Worm smiles.

"Well the Elder won't like what I'm about to do but here." He hooves me a small device that he places around my hoof. "That's a modified Pipbuck. It doesn't have S.A.T.S. but it has an inventory counter spell as well as a map spell." He explains. "Also, it's almost indestructible." He laughs.

"So I just look at the map and I know where to go?" I ask.

"Yup, now get going, the Eyes Forward Sparkle should be coming up now."

As he says this I suddenly gained some sort of HUD on my eyes. I smiled. "Oh, I recognize this, I had some power armor training and they had E.F.S. spells on them automatically."

"Alright, now for the last time, get going!" He pushed me and I frowned.

"Fine I get it! I'm going I'm going!" I say as I make my way out of the base and out into the ruined remains of Manehatten.


Level up!

New Perks:

Fallen Pegasi: You've seemed to have fallen from the sky! You gain an extra +10 to your damage threshold.

((Well finally, I've written my 6th chapter! So then I hope you enjoy it! Editing should be pointed out in the comments!))

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