• Published 28th Oct 2014
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The Wraith. Pre-Wasteland memories (Fallout Equestria prequel) - The Old Plug

Cloud Fixer remembers pre-wasteland Equestria

  • ...

The Wraith ch.3 Pre-wasteland memories.

They seemed close. They were still friends. War never changes but it changes everything.

That's the last time I ever witnessed the Ministry Mares working so closely together. The atmosphere of familiarity and quick acceptance when faced with a shared goal washed away in what seemed like moments. My assignment to Cloudsdale's M.O.A. facility as project leader for the Powered Pegasus Program was in place, as well as the rank Senior Chief Master Sergeant. Leave it to Rainbow to have a rank system more Awesome than any other. I spent almost all my first M.O.A. pay to get my dress uniforms properly sewn and decorated. The service slashes on the sleeves alone made me look like a Zebra. Given the circumstances, it wasn't funny.

The M.O.A. facility was a lot less flashy. It was a thunderous grey cube, windowless, on the outskirts of the industrial district, three floors tall, with one gigantic door to the rear, and one standard door in the front. What was not seen was my hanger, two floors below and possibly three times as large. All 25 suits hung in their own parking bay with easy access to all the needed tools and equipment for any specific mission. We disassembled suit number 1 for a test rig. Rarity sent her best gem matrix scientists to work out a possible replacement for the old crystal matrix with a more stable gem based system. The Ministry of War Time Technology allowed me to obtain and test numerous weapons for our suits. That also meant I got my hooves on Xavier.

The tests proved the extreme cold had altered the Void matrix spell and the round, though not unstable, needed a lot of work. With this in mind, I wanted to keep a close eye on developments.

What was nice about being an operative for the M.O.A. was that I had a staff! I also had the Rainbow Dash school of paperwork, funding, and delegation of authority! Most of my duty as Chief was a daily "yes" and "no" session with my secretary with a bit of "sign here" added to the mix. This actually left me time to get my hooves dirty in the day to day maintenance of the suits and the upgrades we wanted.

Zephyr Wind, Zippy, was my right hoof. Buckmeister Storm (How the buck did everypony get Buzzy out of that?) was my left. When we had to go to the various social functions, as mandated by Rainbow Dash, we all looked like a black buffet on which somepony had upended a salad bar. She approved of this arrangement because it meant she would not have to attend. No, we were not commissioned officers. The commissioned officers, who had been around longer than two weeks, steered clear of the Shiny Old Spooks. Those two always had my six, my back. Both came from Noble Pegasus backgrounds and they could steer me though the royal court intrigue and gossip with ease. And yet they really did not care for that part of their lives. They wanted the same thing I did. Get your hooves dirty, fix what needed it, get the day's missions in the air and back again.

The M.O.A.'s maintenance teams were top notch. We still stuck our hooves into the hard problems and this resulted in some very heated "Discussions" about the "hows" and "whys" of the E.A.V. suit. That generally cleared all maintenance personnel out of the area. Buzzy and Zippy also started to fly the suits for maintenance and troubleshooting. This left me time to pen myself into a few of the scheduled missions, which is how Equestria lost it's greatest lover.

Reid Longquill (Yes, that's what the paperwork said his true name was...) was assigned to us as a primary pilot in the early days of our program. As time passed he flew the suits like he had been born to them. This made him something of a braggart. Not too unpleasant, unless you started talking mares. By his own word, he was goddesses' gift to mares, though to see some of the fine mare flesh he kept company with was heartbreaking to this old plug.

The first year of our program ran without a hitch. Recon, Point Strike, and Rapid Response Air Defense kept our lives busy. "Yardstick" (Yes, that was his call sign. It seems to have been some other culture's way of measuring six hooves. Of course he would assign that to his attributes...) He ran the gamut of all missions assigned and performed them to the letter. So on the day I penned myself into the lead slot on a high speed, low level Recon of a "Sensitive" Zebrican facility, Reid had a few choice pointers for the "Old Plug".

We ran checklists smoothly and take-off was almost automatic. From our cloud base, powered take-offs were no problem and we were at cruising speed and altitude quickly. Even at the speeds the E.A.V. could achieve there was time to get bored before you got to the target.

"Yardstick, Fix here, run through way points for the mission."

"Copy Fix. Way Point 1 cleared at 40,000 hooves at full power on my mark..MARK. Way Point 2 in fifteen minutes descending to 20,000 hooves at full power and descending to 10,000 hooves to hit the box at Way Point 3 with full sensor suites active. Out of the box to Way Point 4 climbing to 40,000 hooves and hit Home Plate at full power. So FIX! You been out with any good Mares lately? No, I don't mean taking Zippy to dinner because Buzzy is usually there too."

Oh boy, I thought, I'm going to get the 101 on "Mares according to Reid".

"OK Yardstick, just too pass the time, let me in on your "Big" secret."

"OH Fix! That was low! You saying I get my fine stable due to my life's endowments is just so wrong. I feel it's how I make them feel wanted and..."


"WAIT! Yardstick!"


"AA Tracking!"


"Get separation! I've got High"


"Copy Fix! I've got Low!"


"THE BUCK! Yardstick! I'm still in the track!" I could see rows of red globes rising toward us.


"Same here Fix! How are they tracking us at this speed?"


"Yardstick! I have visual of........"

"HOOF!" Reid's voice rose to a scream in my headset. Below my hooves, sparks flew from the the power pack on the back of his E.A.V. and the world flashed green.

I was still climbing when a pressure wave hit me, tumbling me like a leaf in a gale. OH BUCK! The world started to spin and training took over. Power to OFF, fold your wings, splay your legs, slowly extend your wings, stop the spin, stop the spin, stop the spin, "STOP THE SPIN!" I heard myself screaming as the spin finally slowed. Power to one. Still at.....30,000 hooves! All systems green, power to full and climb! I took a moment to look down, and I wish I had not. The area was covered in green flames that revealed a large defensive battery awash in those flames.

I set my course for Home Plate and made the call, "Yardstick come in.....Yardstick! Do you copy?"

The comms broke in, "Forward Air Control Bravo 1. Fix! We lost Yardstick's track! What's your status?"

I hear Goddesses! My body starts to shake. It's the relay signal! "C-c-c-copy Bravo 1" Breath! "I-I-I'm green." Get your head back on! "R-returning to huh-home plate," I replied and simply made my way home.

But the flight back was anything but simple. I went over the mission in my head. Did we Buck it up? We followed protocol for an AA attack. We were hitting our marks. We had no active pings in the area before we got stuck in the track. The size of that battery was another question. A fence of AA thousands of hooves wide right through our flight path? A wall of red balls leaping skyward. Reid's last call. What the BUCK exploded? Reid's power pack was hit? Reid's power pack was hit. OH BUCK, REID'S POWER PACK!

Comms squawked, "FIX! You're going to overshoot Home Plate! Slow down and bring yourself home!"

"Copy Home Plate." I cut power to 1 and touched down.

I knew Zippy and Buzzy would meet me but, Rainbow Dash? Both my faithful crew chiefs began breaking down the suit right there on the pad. Rainbow Dash stood a few paces just looking, saying nothing. I whispered to Zippy, "Why's the Boss here?"

Zippy looked up at me, her face solemn, and went back to getting the last of the suit off of me. As Buzzy released the waste talisman unit, Rainbow piped up. "Sergeant Storm! What is the count on the I.W.S?"

Buzzy blushed,"One count each, Ma'am!"

Just for one instant I thought I saw Rainbow loose her stern composure. I almost wished I heard the signature "Snerk", but she went back to looking past me. At this point I was able to step out of the boots and completely out of the suit.

"Get the waste unit to the medics. We can skip the urinalysis, Chief. So, to answer your first question," Rainbow focused on me, "attention to orders!" We all stood at attention. "Senior Chief Master Sergeant Cloud Fixer you are, until further notice, grounded. A board of inquiry will be convened and this matter will be investigated. The data tab from your suit, now."

Zippy removed the tab and gave it to Rainbow. "Thank you Sergeant Wind. Now Chief I will be taking over as your debrief officer. I believe you need time to clean up. Meet me in your office in 30 minutes. Dismissed."

Rainbow turned and walked toward the offices. Zippy quickly produced a clean M.O.A. body suit and a "Guest Flyer" clean up kit. I smiled at her, "Zephyr, I have a locker with all my kit in it."

She held up the kit,"They sealed your locker, Cloud. Tartarus! They emptied your office too!"

Buzzy came to my side,"They want us to take your suit and put it in the shipping bin over there without cleaning or touching anything!" He motioned to a large yellow lockable bin just a few hooves away. He looked me in the eye and smiled,"It would have been nice to just clean it. You used the waste talisman pretty hard." He bumped into my side and we both broke into a chuckle. Zephyr even let out a "Snirk".

The levity was needed, but it was quickly replaced with the gloom of the situation. I looked at my two best friends,"OK. You two keep this place running till I'm back. We'll get through this somehow. I'm counting on you." With that I turned and went to the showers.

I stood in the shower stall fore hooves on the wall head just under the shower. Hot water rushed through my mane and down to my tail. The black and red of my mane was giving way to silver in places. Old Plug. Reid had joked calling me that and somehow I didn't care. For all I know he was right. Pasture time? You tried it once before. Didn't work out so well, did it. Again my thoughts began to grind through the day, the mission, the loss of Reid. "I didn't BUCK THE POOCH!" I had to scream something, so there it was, I didn't Buck the pooch and I honestly believed it. The blow dry stall left my mane and tail in poofs that was the style for one pink Ministry Mare, not me. I took the time to brush out the mess and looked much more presentable. "So this is it." I huffed to myself. I donned the black M.O.A. body suit and walked to my office.

I passed though the open door to see Rainbow seated in my office chair. I thought to myself that this was probably a good time to shine up my military bearing. Coming to attention and giving a sharp salute, I reported. "Senior Chief Master Sergeant Cloud Fixer Reporting as ordered, Ma'am!"

Rainbow returned the salute, "At ease Fix. Please close the door."

I came to rest and turned to close the door. With an easy click the door closed and turning I swear I caught Rainbow eyeing me up! She cocked her head, "That Body suit looks great on you Fix! Not exactly what I thought an "Old Plug" would look like."

I stuttered, then coughed, but then something angry took over and I growled,"Commander Dash!"

At first she looked shocked, but then she scowled and cut me off rising out of the chair with a growl of her own,"Right now Commander Dash and Chief Fix are off the desk! The shoes come off. NOW! We know each other. I fly this suit just as much as you or the next flyer! TATARUS! It's Fix and Rainbow now! Flyers! Warriors! Comrades! What the Buck went wrong, Fix? I've studied the tab for over 30 minutes now! I don't get it! Yardstick...GAH! Reid flew right through a radar guided fence of AA and had little or no previous tracking alarms! BUCK! Your suit gave no warning until it was too late. You're here because you went high and Reid is not because he went low. By the book! Solid break! Would have commanded the same maneuver if I had been there!"

I was dumbfounded! She had tears running down her face! She called me "Old Plug"! OH SWEET LUNA'S FULL MOON BACKSIDE!

"Dash?" I started,"Did you and....GAH! It's none of my business."

She composed herself a little,"I said the shoes were off, Fix, and the answer is, yes. He just seemed to make me feel......wanted? I called you an Old Plug. That wasn't fare. Tartarus! Look at me! The grey is creeping in and yet he made me feel like a filly, if only for a little while. And no I will not let that color what goes on here! But we do have to do the full investigation. So all your papers, forms and data have been confiscated. But for now I think we need to go and get a proper debrief going!"

I looked incredulous. "Are we not doing that now, Dash?"

She wiped her face and straightened her uniform, "No we are not. O'Grady's bar and grill is around the corner, just exactly where I had them build it. Now, if you will follow me, Chief? OH! and by the way Fix, no you didn't"

Now I looked quizzical. "Didn't do what Dash?"

She looked back as she walked through the door. "Buck the pooch, Fix. Now are you coming or do I have to go back on my word and make that an order?"

Later, ponies passing outside the bar heard, "SERGEANT OF THE BAR! CALL THE ORDER!"

A low deep voice that carried,"To those who have gone before...Salute!"

"Glasses down!" CLANK!

That's how we lost Equestria's greatest lover forever and our sobriety for several days.

The Board of Inquiry and investigation cleared me of any fault one week later. Exactly the amount of time it took for all of us to sober up.

Author's Note:

I will address some concerns now. Some of my friends wanted time lines. This is the chance to show you a fine resource.
Now to make a few assumptions on this.(Remember even Kkat disputes certain "Time Lines".)
1. At most we are only four years into the war. The "Great War" was "officially" declared by the Zebra nation when Luna took office.
2. The overall conflict lasted for decades. Border, trade, and economic, disputes way before any true outbreak of total war.
3. Military technology is a dark place. Most of these things come as a great surprise to the "Civilian" populace. To have a suit that may have been a happy accident, is not too far off the mark. In our world, jet engines were on paper in 1921. Weapons and defense technology is staggering in its scope!
4. The M.O.A. is a blank slate. Nopony knows what Rainbow Dash does with her ministry. Covert operations are way to much fun to pass up. Keep an open mind ....PLEASE!
5.You would think the ministry mares would scramble to get every drop of technology, magic, and resources in the very early days of the establishment of their ministries. So an instance of cooperation is not far fetched.
6. You don't like Twi being an Alicorn.....TOUGH! Read "Starlight"http://www.fimfiction.net/story/17890/fallout-equestria-starlight
Get over it! All stories after the original F.O.E. are not cannon. Enjoy the playground!
7. This is supposed to be entertainment......ENJOY THE PLAYGROUND! HAVE FUN!

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