• Published 7th May 2012
  • 1,524 Views, 23 Comments

Fallout Equestria: Equestrian Wetgrave - primepersephony



A flightless pegasus pony from stable 22 finds his way out into the Equestrian wasteland.

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Ch2: A Drowning Situation

There’s something you should know; I should have died that day, there was only one thing that kept me from actually perishing, but I didn’t know what till much later. You should take note.

The gear shaped door of Stable 22 whined and rolled back into its original position. The last of the light I’d ever see from my stable was now gone, and I was left in infinite dark oblivion. Besides from the cold temperature that never stopped getting worse, my senses were all blinded from that point on. A few moments in the darkness left me to think in the confusion. Was this the outside world? Dark and empty? Had I been lied to about my chances of survival?

The sound of power running through a flickering light brought me back. Along with it, a rotating red light cycled through the entire room, its glow giving me clues to what I would likely be facing. Turning around to see what was in my surroundings, the ‘blinking’ red light revealed another stable door. What? I turned around, to check if I hadn’t just made a full circle in a confused daze. But sure enough, the original door was there, along with a control panel. However this control panel was different.

I once came across some of the original blueprints and designs, that that had been used in the construction of most stables. Illustrations of the generators, water talismans, and the Overmare’s office, and tons more, were very clearly drawn out, and defined.

The stable door control panel in this case was feverishly different. The mechanism I’d seen in the prints, were a simple stand alone feature, directly built next to the door ,and had a somewhat cheap yet somehow a rather robust design. This one had actually been built into the steel wall door frame itself behind a glass screen.

I checked around some more, but there was no clear destination to be found. It was all just one large cave, with the stable doors on two of the opposing walls, and small pair of stainless steel doors, that didn’t look like they’d move much without a command. I tried activating the stable door console, hoping this was my way out, but no such luck.

Looking around again, I saw a series of vents that were all laid out together on the opposite wall from the steel doors. Curiously, they were all on ground level. Most times vents were high up on a wall and unreachable without a ladder.

I looked up to the original stable door wall, where I expected to actually see those vents, and...there were more vents there, with fans clearly visible through a grate. I looked back to the ones on the floor, this time noticing that these ones were much more different, in comparison with the ones high up with the fans. These seemed to be more... like drainage.


Suddenly, almost on cue, I heard a single droplet of water hit the floor, it echoed through the room with absolute clarity, drawing my attention. I looked up again, this time to the rocky ceiling, I saw several long, spike like rocks. Stalagmites? Or stalactites? And why were they glazed with a thin coat of water? Now that my mind focused strictly on deciphering this new clue, figuring out why there had been differences in the stable design, I wondered why there were single water droplets falling from the rocky ceiling.

If there was a natural water source already, in the form of an aquifer, why not have a water treatment plant instead of a water talisman that was, according to my knowledge, extremely expensive? Then again, the stable was built for longevity, and relying solely on an aquifer might have complicated things for the long term.

Another thing I noticed was the complete lack of any kinds of pony remains... I mean, wasn’t this supposed to be the wasteland? What if somepony like me had just chosen to not move at all? Did they just refuse to leave, and hope whatever crime they committed could or would be forgiven? Then by extension be let back into the stable? Or had their death been so horrific or terrible that nothing remained of them?

I took a few steps forward, in effort investigate. SPLASH. My hooves had suddenly gotten wet and I looked down to see a fairly large puddle of water that I’d just stepped into. The water was freezing and sent a singular shiver up my spine from my hooves. If this is what the wasteland was going to be, cold, wet, and dark....well this wasn’t my expectation at all. (I had been expecting something much more warmer)

Even with the emergency light cycling around the room, it was still difficult to see. I spent most of my time squinting to see anything at all to be fairly honest. With every pass of the red light, it seemed my vision adjusted to the dark. The ground shined and, on closer inspection, I noticed not one, but a series of large water puddles. Most of the floor had been soaking wet, and I wouldn’t be particularly happy with getting my hooves drenched.

I’d been standing still for a few minutes now... was this it? No, it wasn’t, My answer came to me when the other and larger stable door, started to rumble, echoing the instructional videos of how to take care of megaspell generators: when the generator started to rumble, nothing good was going to happen. I immediately applied that principle to my situation. The gear sent a bone shattering screech up my bones, my hooves rushed up to cover my ears, and my eyelids slamming shut.

First came the sound of more intense droplets, then the noise of a never ending flush entered my ears, replacing the ringing, and disorientation I felt after the screech. I stumbled forward from my lack of balance, landing flat on my face, my mouth tasting the water on the floor, it was unpleasantly salty.

My eyes opened to find that the other stable door had in fact opened, and now copious amounts of water had already begun to fill the area that I was in. Then my mind came to the conclusion It had been looking for. I was in an airlock.

My confusion turned to absolute fear, as my understanding of the situation improved, though I wished it hadn’t. The salty taste of the water meant that this was, in fact, seawater, which determined that Stable 22 was built, not under an aquifer, but the mighty ocean itself.

I had been only outside the stable for no more than five minutes and I knew for certain I wasn’t coming back

The steel stable door had only just moved into its tracks, and it started to give free passage to the liquid behind it. The room been already up to my chest in water. The wave of unrestricted water came moments after the door cleared some distance. I only had moments to react, but instead of doing something productive I simply said ‘’Fuck.’’ It hit me like I had run into a wall at full speed with a bucket on my head. Suffice to say, it was really strong, and I had been completely unprepared for the force. My body cried out in agony as I was thrown against the original stable door just a few meters behind me.

If the water hadn’t already been chest high moments prior cushioning the blow, I’m sure the bones in my back would have shattered on impact. I was now underwater. All the sounds I had heard before were quickly replaced with ones that were drowned up themselves. My eyes clamped shut again, reeling from both the blow and the stinging of the salt water that had taken up residence in them.

I was in panic mode, my hooves scrambled to gain a slippery footing even with all the pain. When they did, I managed to pull myself up to the surface, but barely. I feared to open my eyes, not wanting burning water to torture them anymore. Even though I’d been hardly standing on my hooves, I still felt like I was going to be washed under water again. Thinking straighter then I had in the last seven seconds, I gasped for a final breath of air before before being taken under again.

Suddenly, just as my head passed under the water surface, I felt my head be smashed against the stable door violently. The only air in my lungs threatened to escape at that very moment, but I somehow managed to hold my breath. I could still feel myself being thrusted and pulled out somewhere, probably deeper into the ocean where the would be no air to breath. I guess the Overmare had been wrong about their being oxygen. Perhaps she meant just the element and not the breathable type that I know I love.

I started to feel myself slow down, instead of being thrust around like I was flying, it was more like I was floating, rising up for all knew, to the fabled sky of my ancestors. But I was trapped and surrounded by liquid. I felt myself curl up as I just didn't have the willpower to move after such a strong blow from both the of the stable doors. I might as well have just tested them for structural strength using my own body to do so. They passed the test with flying colors, I might add.

It wasn’t long before my lungs started to burn from the lack of oxygen, upset that I’d denied them any for such a long time. I was tempted to open my mouth and pry the oxygen from the water itself, but I knew with absolute certainty if I did I’d be dead. My lungs once again cried out, I could feel them searing, burning. I became desperate, opening my eyes to try and look for anything at all to help me. However, what I got was another trip to burning eyes land.

That’s it, I could hold my breath no longer and I felt what surely must have been air bubbles assault my face and my mouth filled with the bitter and overwhelming taste of salt being forced down my throat. I clamped my mouth shut immediately after. I thrashed hopelessly against the water, hoping for anything at all, anything that would change my situation at all. My hooves bashed into something, and then I started feel them go limp, as if they decided to die on me. I suddenly wish I had been instantly vaporized when I left the stable.

My lungs in such terrible pain as they were, demand that my mouth open for air. ‘’GASP’’ I felt my head exit the water. I finally got the breath I deeply desired. Almost immediately I started coughing and hacking up the water I’d consumed on my way to the surface. I was hardly able to catch a breath at all between all of it as I was still bobbing below the surface.

My heart felt It wanted to rip itself out of my chest with each coughing fit I had. I somehow felt as if I was being pushed out of the water all of a sudden, and I managed to finally catch my breath and not cough so badly... but at least now I had air.

I wasn’t sure how I was going to survive now that I had gotten to the surface. I didn't even know how to swim in the first place.

I opened my eyes. The painful water stung at first as expected, my vision blurred through water. I whipped my head around, trying to acquaint myself with my surroundings. As I looked around, I started to panic again, this time dipping under the surface of the water once more. I was wildly spinning about, looking for anything.

Suddenly, due to my spasm, the sight of a large bright red object made it into my vision. With no better thought then survive I started to ‘swim’ in that direction. My panicked spinning had actually been useful, because it turned out the large red object was a floating buoy.

I desperately tried to get some leverage on the buoy, my body flailing and my hooves doing their best to get a handle on the situation. I struck luck once again; I don’t know how but my hooves managed to get a grip around the solid metal beams.

The buoy started rocking side to side because of me, but it wasn’t threatening to capsize. I was hanging off the buoy with a death grip on it, my trial for the moment had ended, and now I was safe for a bit. Now that I wasn't going to drown horribly, my curiosity overcame me. I looked around in the immediate vicinity. With a series of blinks, my eyes now cleared from the blurring and stinging effects of the water and my immediate vicinity became much more clear.

Fog. Fog everywhere. I’d never seen it before, outside of pictures in my science books. It hung endlessly over my vision cutting it off several in all directions. When I reached the surface I’d attributed my lack of vision due to simply water, but this wasn't the case. The fog was so thick I felt as if I could reach out and grab it with my hooves like a mysterious cloud I’d never encountered before. But I hadn’t dared let go of this buoy.

Overtime I relaxed. My forelegs had started winding down from their overexertion, I was occasionally groaning after coughing up what seemed to be an endless supply of bitter sea water (salt is such a terrible thing now). My head still hung over the side of the buoy just above the water. I was feeling nauseous from the swinging of the buoy and unmotivated to do anything.

Cold. I was realizing how much more chilly I was getting, my legs had since been numbed out by the freezing temperature. My mind flashed back to an earlier time. A warmer time. I was reading a book in the stable library back when I was a younger stallion. The book in my hooves was named ‘Common Illness Treatments’. Open on some page, my hoof traced under the word hypothermia.

My mind snapped back into action. I wasn’t sure of how long I’d been soaking in the freezing water, I may have been safe for the last hour or two, but that was going to change if my core temperature would continue to plummet like it already was.

I tried getting my hooves up on one of the higher supports of the buoy, trying to see if I could mount myself up on top and allow me to recover or at the very least buy some more time. I reached up onto the horizontal metal but I couldn’t wrap my hooves around it to pull myself up.

I can't panic. If I panicked now I would lose focus, and start experimenting the effects of mental confusion that came along with hypothermia. That I couldn’t allow. If I’m going to survive I needed to think straight the entire way through.

I examined the buoy more closely. It was a bright red still, with seaweed wrapped around most of it. The horizontal beam I was reaching for was just beyond my foreleg length . It became clear to me that the solution I was looking for wouldn’t be the buoy itself. Dammit, Champ, think.

‘’Okay...’’ I started to talk to myself, trying to calm down. ‘’A buoy is a fabricated buoyant marker that floats on top of the water, normally meant to guide ships, alert anything in the water of a potential hazard,’’ I sifted through the uses of the device trying to find an indication of what to do next. ‘’Some serve as a emergency communication device, and others are linked together to form a fishing line that can be dragged.’’

I my heart jumped, I was looking in the most obvious spots for a clue or a lead that might potentially save me and forgot to take a really thorough look. I shifted along the side of the buoy making my way to another side. I kept my eyes looking at the water. As I moved around the circumference of the floating marker I ran into something that prevented my movement.

I brought over one of my legs and pulled up the deterrent. ‘’A line!” Just as I had expected, this buoy had served as a fishing device, and it appeared this buoy was at the end of the chain, because I’d only ever managed to find the one. I don't know how I never saw the wire till I felt it. It was fairly thick and colored a jet black , but strangely the net that should have been tied to it was missing.

With nowhere else to go, I decided that grabbing the near floating wire and pulling myself to whatever it was connected to was a much better Idea then freezing to death. I fell into the water, my forelegs had let go in pursuit of my goal of long term survival. Instead of my pathetic excuse of ‘swimming’ along the wire, I instead pulled myself forward with my hooves. Although my vision was less than optimal from the thick fog, I still felt like I was making progress towards my ultimate goal of survival. This wire was my only lifeline, no pun intended, and my last chance at survival.

I spent a lot of time in the water, pulling myself along the wire. I’d come across five buoy’s so far. Each was a checkpoint in the long road ahead. Their goal was obviously to keep the support wire that kept the finishing net in the optimal position, and they achieved that goal phenomenally. I had rarely had to pull myself under the frozen watery threshold to simply continue holding on to the wire.

The fog had remained consistent during the entire time, it's cloudy mist impairing my vision , and it was starting to drive me insane. The lack of vision, or a clear goal made is somewhat difficult to proceed between buoys, even when I did reach the next buoy I didn’t feel as if I got anywhere. It felt as if I was traveling through the frozen waters, on an endless line of buoys that would stretch for miles long, and at the end, I’d have been still be in the same hopeless situation. And that would be bad.

My forelegs started to ache after the seventh buoy. I’d spent the last...hour (It felt like an hour) maybe dragging myself along the line. My body had started to take its toll from the arduous amount of battery it endured. My sides felt crushed, like my ribs had broken off and started to stab my innards. My teeth were chattering from the cold, so much that I feared they would just shatter to pieces. I also found it difficult to continue going on. At many points I tried to rationalize with myself, try to get myself up on top of the next buoy and try to get warm again, and I knew that was the wrong choice if I wanted to live anyway. But the thing is, the longer this went on the more likely I was to just give up, and accept defeat and my fate that came with it.

Suddenly, I stopped moving, my body despite my pleas, had finally won out in its argument. I wasn’t getting anywhere, for all I knew, I was going to die of exhaustion before the ice water could claim me. So, I might as well live out the rest of this life in a way that wasn’t so depressingly freezing and miserable. So with my stop, with the last buoy I’d passed only a few feet behind me, I gave up. And in some odd way, it was peaceful, and I was ready to die. I also knew that this way might be better, if I did find the end of the line, and it turned out not to be a solution, that I wouldn't wouldn’t be disappointed. Better not get my hopes up for nothing and waste the precious time I still had freezing and in a very sore pain.

‘’Look just be careful, I want you to live ok?’’‘ The words of Cherry Tart filled my head. I looked around expecting to see her with me out here in this terrible place, but nothing, I was hallucinating from the freezing water and hearing her voice as a result.

My mind flashed back to Cherry. I saw her lying still on the hospital bed, unmoving, with the shrapnel of the canister spread across her body. I remembered what I told her. The same words she’d told me but I’d been paraphrasing. It was at this moment I felt extremely guilty, here I was giving up, without hardly trying, and she was probably still fighting for her life back in the stable.

No I can't die; not like this. Not without giving it my all.

If I did give up I wouldn’t be able to live with myself (ya know, on top of the fact I’d caused a tremendous amount of pandemonium in my home which in turn got me kicked out, but that's not the point.) I may not be worth a pony pie but I’m sure if Cherry knew where I was she wouldn’t expect me to give up, just like my quest for flight.

With a small bit of my renewed will to live, I took my almost uncontrollably shaking hoof and placed it forward, back onto the wire forcing myself with every movement.. My hooves felt sore, and I expected to have work grooves into them from the wire’s rough and sharp texture. Despite all the pain that I already endured, and that which was undoubtedly catching up; I moved forward into the fog along the last hope of my survival ‘effort’.

The ‘swim’ was long, grueling, and repetitive. I was about to give up again, and this time I’d just keel over and wait out the rest of my life. But something wasn’t allowing me to do that. Something caught my attention, deeper into the fog, I saw something abnormal. I squinted my eyes, hoping I could focus better that way. A dim red light was what I could see, blinking in and out at a steady pace. Is this the end of the line?

My curiosity managed to motivate me further. I was drawn in to know whether I was right about being hopelessly lost on the ocean, condemned to rise and fall with the waves until I perished and sank to the bottom of the sea or something, and it's chilly oppressive nature would become my wetgrave. I won't lie, I had little hope of anything remotely useful being at the end of this journey.

As I continued my approach. The dim red light that I assumed marked the end of my ‘adventure’ had started to shine through the fog, becoming brighter, and more keen. It was like cutting through the encroaching blinding veil that permeated my vision. My hooves had lost feeling long ago but I knew I was forcing myself harder than I had before. That little bit of hope in the back of my mind screaming loud enough for me to hear. Before I knew it I was staring at a lopsided buoy, which seemed rather odd. The buoy’s I’d encountered up to now had always been swinging with the waves, but this one hardly moved, and was at an off angle.

Suddenly I felt something brush up against my knees. I looked down into the dark water, wait it wasn't dark at all, and I saw my hind legs brushing up against a coarse and heavy....dirt. Except it wasn’t brown like the soil I knew back in the stable, it was a very pale yellow.

Sand! My heart jumped in joy as I recalled from a book the name of this Celestia loving form of dirt. I looked back up the blinking buoy, I could see now that it had been lodged into the sand, seaweed gracing this beloved buoy with a blinking light that pulled me to this.... island. I looked around, and although the fog blocked most of my vision, but something told me I wasn’t in the clear yet.

I finally made my way out of the water. At a knee level depth I gave up pulling on the wire, this time getting up on all fours. Bad idea. I was hardly able to stand. I found myself stumbling my way onto the island. Here's a game, let’s guess what brought me down and dropped me on my stupid face like an idiot, was it A: the weight of the water soaked into my stable utility barding? B: the extremely exhausted and numbed legs I was trying to stand on? C: the fact that walking through loose sand and water was difficult to keep my footing? Or D: I wanted to make out with the sand. If you said E: all of the above, then bingo, you win all you can eat sand just like me.

Yum sand.

I gagged instantly, the rough, bitter, seawater, and downright terrible taste of sand made me wish I could puke. My muzzle had been buried deep in the sand, even getting my nose. This was not enjoyable at all, and I now kinda felt like me and sand got off to a bad start. If she didn't taste so bad I’d be cool with her.

Regardless, I found myself more or less out of the ocean.

I was unwilling to move but the freezing water washing made me yelp in surprise. I jumped to my hooves and stumbled a few more feet toward the buoy before falling over again. This time avoiding eating the sand, as I still tried to spit out the remaining grains that felt like they grinding against my teeth. If I hadn’t already been shivering still, I’d have shuddered in disgust. This adding to the fact that the sand really really bugged me wherever it touched, it was like I was in some kind of sludge that was like crawling across my body. But despite my extreme discomfort I didn’t feel inclined to fix the problem.

Now I felt the need to stay put and take time to relax I busted my ass to life, and now was a time for a break. I no longer gave a flying shit, I just wanted to lay down for a bit, so I closed my eyes and listened. The sound of a soft wave of water rushing against the sand and then pulling out sounded like natures form of breathing. I have to admit I liked this part of the wasteland. It was so different from the stable, it was.... I started to realize just how confused I was starting to get.

Shivering, lethargy, delirium, apathy, rapid heart rate....It was all there. All the symptoms of a mild state of hypothermia. It was a wonder that I’d figured that out considering how much danger I was in. Also, I was still freezing so I could only expect for my situation to get worse soon if I do nothing. Soon I might find it difficult to do anything because the mental effects of hypothermia only get worse. I was surviving, but barely.

With sheer reluctance and overwhelming want to do nothing at all; I sat there, head still in the sand. I was still on the clock, and I was wasting my time.

Cherry.

My mind flashed back to the violet mare, her orange hair shining in some kind of haze like that of a dream. I could see her smile, it reminded me of some of the happier times.

I snapped out of my dreamlike state. I found myself onto my hooves somehow, the sand below had been trashed aside. Apparently I did this. I didn’t remember getting up myself but I had done it, and from the looks of it I had done it violently.

Now that I was up on my feet, I was in no hurry to drop back down into the sand for a death nap. I ran down what I remembered of how to treat hypothermia. I had to get rid of any wet clothes.

I pulled down the zipper of the stable utility barding, extremely thankful that the sand didn't manage to jam it. To my surprise, when I did manage to pull apart the two pieces of fabric that connected with a zipper, the silver chain along with its key swung into my field of vision; I’d forgotten all about it. I paused to take another look at the key. It was an old style aluminum key with the bright yellow number six that marked it. Then I made a sudden realization. Where in Celestia’s great world am I going to use this?

With the zipper done I managed to will myself out of the now heavy with both sand and water clothing. It was a trial because the barding stuck to my coat due to being immensely wet. It was especially difficult at the end of my limbs, especially on my left foreleg with the PipBuck (Oh, I’d completely forgotten about that too) . My energy had all been everything but totally gone and my body was more sluggish and unresponsive than it had ever been. It was a wonder I actually managed to get out of the barding at all; while only falling down once in the process. With a kick I freed myself completely from the drenched clothing. It landed on the sand slumping together.

I immediately regretted that decision.

A cool gust of wind peppered me. The residual cold water froze again, and I found myself uncontrollably shivering. My teeth felt like they would shatter from all the chattering. I lacked the patience to put my stable barding back on, so I just threw it over my back for some protection. I needed to find shelter now and not screw around with my barding any longer.

I turned to look around; the island became more clear to me as the fog seemed to have receded. It looked like the wind had the single benefit of helping resolve my hindrance of vision. Like a ghost from out of nowhere a structure had appeared. It was faint and it seemed to be much larger than the tool shed back in the stable. I really don’t have an Idea of how to compare it. I couldn't tell what it looked like from this distance however.

I slowly trotted (if you can call it that) my way to the faint building. On top of the sand, the uncomfortable grainy feel of it made me cringe, which further made me uncomfortable since there was still some sand in my teeth. I felt (and I bet looked) like the definition of dysfunctional.

The building came up agonizingly slowly. Walking in sand was tricky, every step I felt l sank a little, not like the wet sand where I feared to sink in entirely, just sinking enough to make walking difficult.

The construct was built completely out of the the same concrete that Stable 22 had and had a long box like appearance, however it was much more weathered. Dirt, sand, and seaweed stuck to the walls almost looking as if it belonged. There was only one obstruction in the otherwise perfect wall; a metal door, which led inside. The door itself was heavily rusted. So rusted in fact, most of the bottom part of the door was either missing or about to fall off completely. The hole was large enough for me to to probably crawl under.

I tried opening the door, my hooves maneuvered the door handle which surprisingly wasn’t rusted as badly as the door itself. CLICK. The door failed to budge more then just barely. As if on cue, another gust of wind broke on my back, causing me to shiver like crazy again. I need to get out of this wind. Trying again resulted in nothing. In desperation I started throwing my weight around trying to either push or pull the door open. Still nothing.

I was about to try and buck the door, but when I took a few steps back to do that, the bottom part of the door came back into my vision, its gaping hole included. Ooh... I could probably just crawl under that. I felt like an idiot now. How could I miss something so obvious. Oh right, I was freezing and suffering from mild hypothermia.

I peeked through the hole in the door, hoping to get a clue at what I would be expecting to find. Nothing but darkness it appeared. Great more vision impairment, not like I’ve had enough of that already. It’s not like I have a conveniently placed flashlight hidden up my nose or posterior that I can pull out.

Beep Beep Beep. I looked down at the source of the sound. It was my PipBuck. I brought it up to my eyes. The screen had a faint neon display and the words ‘’Connection Lost’’ blinking in and out. I could only wonder what that meant. But on the other hoof I think I solved my lack of light problem. I facehoofed. Geez Champ, forget completely about the PipBuck’s light function, its not like you used it at all when working on your projects.

I turned on the light of my PipBuck, the familiar neon green glow filled my face, blinding me a bit. Alright all I need to do now is explore. Another breeze sent chills down my spine, once again reminding me I was still on the clock. I got on my knees and crawled under the rust ridden door, my back barely rubbing against the metal, which had become quite sharp, almost blade-like due to the oxidation from the rain I guess.

On the other side, my PipBuck chased away the darkness, but it was still difficult to see since the room was fairly large and my light not strong enough to get rid of all the shadows. Strangely this felt like back home.

From what I could see, there were several piles of small long crates over in the corner of the room. Most had been torn apart and their contents (several small bags of something) spilled or the remains of the contents littered about. There was also a wall with similar style steel doors that had been in the stable ‘airlock’. These ones, however, were not broken and looked brand new. Next to them there was a glowing box wall terminal just like the ones back in the stable itself. Without checking the rest of the room I was drawn to it.

My hooves splashed in a puddle of water as I walked over to the terminal. Wondering where the water came from, I looked up, like when I in the airlock. This time the ceiling above had several small holes in it, so the water might have been rainwater instead of the seawater which I’d nearly drowned in the last time I ignored a puddle like this. I shuddered heavily at the thought of drowning again.

The terminal wasn’t in the greatest form either. It had actually started to rust itself a little bit, and the display screen had been unreadable due to the moisture creating a fog like look under the glass. The buttons seemed to work though, because when I pressed them with my hoof, the computer beeped a muffled response.

This I can fix, using my... erm... ‘refound’ PipBuck. I connected it to the terminal and with a click my PipBuck had beeped a new response that went along with a successful connection. Finally something was going my way. Now that I had access to the information, all I needed to do now was give the terminal the command to send the files. The aforementioned problem had a fairly simple solution as well.

Since the monitor of computer was unreadable, I would have have to either fix up the monitor or get a new one. Both of those solutions at this time were probably undo-able. However, the PipBuck and the computer use a similar visual output design methods. Meaning that if I were to say switch the AV wires from the monitor and plug them into my PipBuck, I could then run the video feed on my PipBuck’s screen instead.

However now’s not the time for that. I still was suffering from hypothermia, and was very much at a great risk. With some reluctance, I disconnected my PipBuck and continued to search the room.

I turned away from the monitor. Looking into the darkness once more, my PipBuck’s glow revealed small metal box on the wall; it’s nature compelling me to search it first. It was a faint pink, with a cross, and several equally fainted butterflies adorned to it. This was a medical case that I’d seen in the stable’s medical wing. Maybe this would be solution I need to this case of hypothermia. ACHOO. I sneezed. I was catching a cold too. Great. Just fantastic really.

On closer inspection, it turned out that the medical box had also begun to rust. I feared that if water had entered the container that the medical supplies might have completely decayed, there was a reason they supplies had these kind of containers,after all. I wasted no time in opening it.

Opening it slowly, the case squeaked from the rusted bolts holding the cover on, already my hopes were low, but to my amazement, a health potion rolled around on the back of the cover. SQUEE. Wait, did I really just do that? Regardless, there it was, my remedy.

When it comes to healing potions, there's a lot I’m unsure of. For one up, until this point I’ve only seen or heard of healing poultices being administered through an IV drip, but since I don't see anything here that would help me inject the fluid, I wondered if I could just drink it like a cough syrup.

Also I wonder if a healing potion would even work for hypothermia, sickness, or even a viral infection. So many things that are left unclear. The only things I did know in regards to healing potions, is their amazingly awesome...I honestly have no clue besides healing. Yay for being ignorant in the way of medical healing, knowing way too much about geology (which isn’t even a real science), and by too much I mean that none of that knowledge was particularly useful in the first place. I am not a clever pony.

Oh what the hell, it couldn't hurt (but it probably really could). I popped off the cap of the healing potion, and pulled it up to my salted face. I took a sip from the potion and felt my body tingle in warmth. My flank and I think my lungs felt as if I’d just been born new again, and were much less whiny and painful to deal with however felt fairly sore now. So it worked if I drank it. Sweet. Also good move on putting your life in danger there testing out a theory. Sometimes I hated my own smartassness.

Although the health potion probably did wonders for me, I had a distinct idea that it hadn’t done anything to help my case of hypothermia besides give a little comforting warmth. Back to the search I guess.

In another section of the room, which I was beginning to realize, was strangely empty. There was a hammock, hanging from long rubbery pipe-like tubing off a low hanging ventilation shaft (also rusted; had the rain touched nothing?).

I trotted over, inspecting the hammock; it was somewhat old, but very much still in good condition. On the hammock lay a blanket, a crimson plush one. It seemed so invitingly warm, I couldn't resist wanting to just climb in, bundle up with the blanket,and rest. But before allowing myself any respite, I threw my dripping stable utility barding on the low hanging pipe to dry.

Crawling into the hammock was a much harder task than I’d thought as it swayed side to side. Out of frustration I jumped in on my back. I expected to hit the floor, but what I got instead was the dizzying swing of the hammock with my new-found panic while inside it.

Okay slow down... no more swinging please. I felt sick but eventually I slowed to a stop. I tried moving under the blanket, but only found myself rocking again. I tried moving very slowly, carefully, this time trying to balance myself in the hammock so it wouldn't tilt over. This worked phenomenally better than I hoped. Yeah no; I fell, my stupid ass to the cold hard floor.

CRASH! my fall had caused a pile of junk, that was just laying around there to fly abroad. ‘’Ouch’’ I said simply, finding myself wrapped in a long rope, almost tied up. Wow I really am great at getting into a gratuitous amount of trouble.

The red blanket fell on top of me, as if to add to my humiliation. I thrashed my way out from under it, discarding the nice comfy thing to the floor, just before realizing I was cold, and picking it to throwing around my body.

I looked back up to the hammock. This time I was going to snuggle up for good. With a gentle grip of my hoof, I managed to use it as leverage and rolled into the hammock. This time I actually did it.

I expected to land into the comfiness that I expect it would provide but no. I yelped in pain as I’d landed on something, in the middle of the hammock. The object was under me where I couldn’t see it. Oh well... I shifted around and knocked it somewhere more harmless, but it was still in the hammock. Now was I was perfectly set to sleep.

______________________________________________________________________________

‘’What are you ya doing, Champ?’’ The voice of a violet coated orange maned filly came.

I turned from my preoccupation, which was the construction or theory crafting of a new invention. I looked back to see my best friend pulled up beside me with an inquisitive look plastered on her face. ‘’Mom is letting me do some cool stuff!’’ I returned, my voice squeaky and young.

‘’Oh cool! She just makes me do boring writing and work all the time.’’ Cherry lamented. She paused, and then jumped in excitement. ‘’Guess what!’’

‘’What?’’ Her excitement caused me to get excited as well.

‘’No silly! You’re supposed to guess.’’ She laughed. Oh of course, silly me.

I couldn’t think of anything to say and just said ‘’Ummm, ummm, ummm...’’ A colt with no imagination. How ironic.

She twisted to her sides, showing off her flank, now with a newly adorned cutie mark. I have to admit I was insanely jealous because I lacked one of my own. Now she had one, that had to do with... was that a tart or a pie?

As if she could could read my mind. ‘’It’s a pie! I got it when I was cooking one with miss Hairtrim in the atrium.’’

‘’Oh! That’s really cool!’’ I was very envious. She found out what she would enjoy and be good at in life, and here I was still blank on my olive-yellow flank. ‘’ I wish I had my cutie mark...’’ I said sadly.

‘’Maybe... your experiment will get you one. ‘’ she offered with somewhat of a mischievous look in her big green eyes.

‘’Really? do you think so?’’ I turned back to my task almost instantaneously. Wanting to rush it to completion. Instead of actually getting anything done, Cherry put her hoof on my shoulder, and pulled me away from my work.

Except, when I turned around, it wasn’t Cherry at all. ‘’Mommy!’’ I cried discarding everything and jumping into her open hooves. I was happy. How could I not be? I was wrapped in the forelegs of my mother and nothing could take away my happiness.

__________________________________________________________________________

I awoke to the sound of dripping. A very concerning amount of it.

Interrupted from a kind dream, I groggily opened my eyes as a drop of water landed directly in my right eye. I groaned at the discomfort and lifted myself up on this wiggly bed. As soon as I sat up, a weight rolled onto my belly.

‘’What th-!’’ I screamed and found myself plummeting off the hammock again. The shock of the concrete floor hadn’t come; instead in its place I found myself falling into a body of water.
I would have screamed another obscenity but I was too busy drowning again. Panicking, I scrambled to get on my hooves. The sloshing of water made that a little difficult but I ended up right side up and out of the water again. The object that scared the living soul out of me fell onto my head and out of instinct I caught it in my forelegs, falling on to my haunches and back neck high in the water.

It was a skull. A ponies skull. It was a fucking pony skull. A real live (erm dead) pony skull.
This was the most terrifying thing I have ever seen, and I was unsure how to react other than throwing it to the other side of the room and start jumping around like an idiot. Where in hell was I?

‘’Okay okay, calm down Champ, it’s just a scary skull, probably fake even.’’ I don’t know how I managed to calm down, but I guess it was the ‘cooling’ effect of the water. Oh and how much there actually was!

Shocked, I wondered how there was so much water in here. I held my PipBuck out of the water, its green light glowing off the water’s surface. The water was knee high and I could tell from the residual taste from my new ‘wake up call’ that the type was salt water. Lovely. Oh this place really sucked. I have no clue how so much salt water could get into this room

Suddenly I realized there was a bone chilling sound that had been present the entire time I was freaking out. The howling of some creature that came and went with no consistency it almost sounded like it was saying in pain ‘’Whhhhhooo....’’...wait, could it be the wind? I’d heard similar sounds during my flight attempts, nothing that sounded like it was dying of course, but this did match certain descriptions I’d read somewhere about the wind.

DRIP DRUP. That was the sound of water leaking through the ceiling. This time it seemed like it was going to flood with the amount of water pouring in trying to drown me. This was bad. In no time at all I’d be up to my head in sea water.

I looked for the entrance of the shack. The old rusted door that had its bottom part missing, that had allowed me to get through was now no longer there. It had sunken beneath the deeps of the liquid wetness. I needed to hurry, otherwise I’d get caught inside, and probably end up like... that other pony. I shivered at the thought and not just from the freezing water. Was it never not freezing cold?

I pressed my body up against the wall, using my hooves to help locate the door, and getting a grip on the hole so I could use my foreleg to guide me through quickly. I readied myself, preparing for the eventual dive, this time taking a deep breath. I wasn't sure I was ready for it, but I couldn’t give up yet.

Plunging below once again, I felt water rush up my nose from the flip I made to force myself through the gap. It was so unpleasant I nearly lost my breath. But I made it to the other side alright. I came to the surface of the water outside. This wasn't what I was expecting.

Water was pouring down onto the me and for as far as I could see into the distance like a gigantic shower. Much harsher and colder then a shower, it made the ocean water incredibly unstable. I was being lifted, rocked, dropped, and even rocketed against the concrete wall.

I barely managed to have myself float, and that was the problem. I was outside, there shouldn’t have been any water this high. But now the beach I had been on was gone. Now it was drenched in the ever present ocean. Not only that but the howling I heard from inside had picked up with a passion, launching seawater into my face and blowing past my ears. It wasn’t long before I realized the problem.

Suddenly my vision flashed. The brightest light I’d ever seen blinked in with an ear shattering crack and BANG over in the distance great bolts of light that arced off in all directions towards the ocean.This was a storm, a lightning storm. From what I read about them in books, they were caused by air pressure, and cumulonimbus clouds made by Pegasi. These elements charged ions in the air and eventually a giant bolt of electricity would hit the ground. It bears mentioning that the book failed to describe just how unbelievably strong and frightening it was. The lightning struck several more times in the distance as bobbed up and down, staring at the magnificent display of power.

There was nothing for me out here, so I turned around and used my forelegs again to force myself through the small hole in the door again. Water rushed up my nose once again, causing me to cough up my heart when I made it through the back inside. I really really dislike water.

The water on the inside hadn’t filled up much more than it had before I’d left. It was still up to my shoulder, and I could still manage moving around in the water, if not with a little difficulty. Sometimes with such a smooth floor, I would slip and take another unintended plunge, but aside from my ego, I was fine. Although I was starting to feel my heart being dipped in ice, I was now back onto the clock.

I had a clear clue however on how I was going to get through this situation. The computer I checked with earlier, back when I was suffering from hypothermia (I might still be, but I could tell that my thought processes were a lot more clear now) that was probably the control to the steel double doors, that I’m sure led deeper into the building, hopefully to safety.

I made my way towards the computer which hadn’t been touched yet by the water. I realized that now the moisture or fog that had been clogging up the glass had been caused by the humidity of the area. Once again my perception had failled me.

I activated the computer. The keyboard flipped down, allowing me to input commands into the system. Without knowing what to press, I’d have no chance hacking the computer if it had been locked up. So I ignored it (and the freezing water) and placed myself under the entire device. Below where the keyboard connected to the computer; were the wires that made this thing work. Strange...The panel covering the wires connectors was gone.

Oh well. The less resistance the better. Removing the protective paneling allowed me to easily pluck the video connectors from their designed input and stabbed into my PipBuck. A progress bar presented itself on my PipBuck, and the screen loaded up.

The PipBuck immediately presented me with something odd. There was mysterious file labeled ‘’ added to the hardrive. I tried accessing it. However the only response I got from the file was a message saying that it had been encrypted.

No password was needed. Finally something that wants to work with me today. The display (proudly disclaiming part of Robronco industries) Allowed me two options. The first was a text file and the second was a door command override. I deeply wondered what would be written in a document called ‘The end of the world’ and my curiosity got the best of me. Sometimes I hate my sense of curiosity.

Oh goddess no...

I cant believe it...they actually did it, those sick mother fuckers...didn't they get that that bombing us with megaspell, would only cause us to drop our bombs them? Hadn’t they heard of mutually assured destruction? Was blowing up the world in a Celestia damned attempt of spite worth it? Did they think it would really be that bad if we won the war? The sore losers.

And now everything is gone...my home, my wife, my....baby filly...Oh my goddess, I’ll never see her sweet blossom eyes again... it was only yesterday that she had her fifth birthday, I wasn’t even there. I was too busy with work that day... what the hell have I done with my life, I missed my fillies birthday. Then, to make it up her, I called... when she asked ‘’Daddy why can’t you come home?’’ I didn’t even know what to say. Now with the end of the world....Oh dear Luna... I worked so hard supporting the war effort for my family’s safety and neglected them way too much.

I wish I would have played dolls with her; just once, I always told her maybe later, I believed it too. I thought I’d see the day where my little girl would grow up one day and become a painter. She always loved those hoofpaints, I remember her making a mess out of my face one day...the happiest day of my life at the carnival fare with my her and my wife.

And here I am. Dying from depression and whatever else I’ve been poisoned with. I fucked up...

It was sad reading that. I wasn’t sure how I felt for that poor guy. But I guess I would figure that out later. I pressed the button.

With a hiss, the door opened. The water of the room already equalizing out with the new opening. If I could hurry I could shut the door on the other side and buy myself some time to search for another escape.

I disconnected my PipBuck, the sound of a negative click indicating its loss of connection with the terminal. I pushed my way past the door, fighting the water that was threatening to knock me over. I made it to the other side, instinctively looking for the control switch that would shut the door like back in the stable.

To my surprise, it was where I would have expected it to be, had I been still in the stable anyway. Too my greater surprise it worked accordingly. The double doors struggled to shut off the flow of liquid running into the room, but eventually did, cutting off the rushing water. I was now sealed inside a room that wasn’t in danger of flooding anytime soon. It felt good to have some security and safety, if only for the moment. Celestia knows what was going to happen to me next.

‘’Welcome, prospective subject!’’ I jumped at the sound of a voice booming through the room. I turned around to see that a new and much larger monitor had lit up with the face of a very happy cartoonish pony in stable barding marked with a familiar ‘22’.

‘’Um...hello?’’ I said, looking around for a source of the voice earlier. I could see nothing, the only light source coming from the computer.

‘’Why, hello there subject!’’ The cheery voice returned ‘’I hadn’t expected to receive any more of you from the stable, after the elevator had been disabled and systematically destroyed by the last couple.’’ It became clear to me now somepony was speaking through the computer to me.

‘’Wait, there was an elevator?’’ I imagined my entire near death experience from drowning being meaningless and wasteful. I was pissed.

‘’Of course there was! Weren’t you briefed on your assignment?’’ Wait, an assignment? What the hell, the Overmare hadn’t said anything about this. ‘’Such disregard for protocol this Overmare of yours. In any case, the last couple of ponies were intent on destroying it, and despite my protests they continued on. The nerve! It’s a shame really, prospect full subject five never made it, my microphones registered his scream as the elevator broke from under him.’’

‘’It pleases me to carry out my primary function to another stable volunteer.’’ The animated pony shrunk in appeared and looked down in a sore full glow. ‘’That is unless you’re a scavenger…wait, you are, aren’t you?’’ The pony became very hostile looking. ‘’You aren’t wearing your regulation Stable-Tec barding!’’ The sound of mechanical arms with nasty looking end’s with what I could only imagine were some kind of weapon. ‘’Time to blast you!’’ Yep, definitely weapons. I hate it when I’m right.

I panicked. Out of the frying pan and into the fire. ‘’Uh uhhh…’’ were the only sounds I could make as I backed up against the door, my muscles tensing as the skeletal metallic arms approached. I really, really should have brought my utility barding with me. Lights from the arms illuminated and blinded me. I had no place to run. I was going to die.

‘’Oh, my apologies,’’ The lights dimmed and the clanking sound of the metal arms came back as they moved away. The cartoon pony also lightened up to its original state. ‘’It appears you have the Overmare’s blessings with you...’’ What…did I just narrowly live again? I nervously neighed in confusion. ‘’...At least she’d respected some of her assigned duties, otherwise I might have reduced you to a less then optimal state.’’ I looked down to see the metal key (labeled ‘six’) hanging around my neck.

‘’Waah…’’ Did I almost just die?

‘’Ah, you poor soul. Were you told nothing?’’ I shook my head. ‘’ Well for starters, as an emissary of the Stable 22 you are to-‘’ I cut him off

‘’Wait hold on, let’s start easy here, okay?’’ I admit, I was overwhelmed with this thing. ‘’Who… are you?’’ I was dumbfounded, the animation of stylized pony had it’s expression change to one even more happy.

‘’I’m glad you asked!’’ it beamed. ‘’I am Clear Use, prototype artificial intelligence developed by a collaboration of Stable-Tec and Robronco industries.’’ Not sure if I find this really awesome, or really terrifying. ‘’I am the operation and caretaker of the chosen ponies from your stable.’’ Wait a moment Chosen ponies? Emissaries?

‘’Okay, Clear Use, I was under the impression that only criminals from the stable were exiled, not chosen.‘’ Did the Overmare set me up for something she never talked about?

‘’ERROR!’’ The sound of something more electronic boomed.

‘’Sorry, but the information you are requesting does not exist.’’ What the hay? The original voice came back as if nothing happened. ‘’This information has been requested on four different occasions by your counterpart subjects.‘’ I guess some of the other ‘subjects’ were also led to believe that they were exiles as well. The animated pony looked sad now to express... I guess its failure to give me the useful information I wanted.

‘’Erm… That’s alright?’’ I wasn’t sure if I should be comforting a computer whom only a minute ago was pointing weapons at me.

‘’No no no, I must do my very best to give you all the information you need, or my programming will all for naught.’’ The picture was now crying…

‘’Oh… well in that case…um…’’ I thought back to what it said earlier. ‘’Tell me about being a ...chosen pony or whatever you were talking about.

‘’Gladly!’’ The picture of the pony was happy again. ‘’Your duty as Stable 22’s chosen pony is to travel to the assigned Stable-Tec facilities in Ponama city and deliver the information that you PipBuck has provided.’’ Huh? I thought back to earlier, when my PipBuck had displayed a neon green ‘disconnected’ onto the monitor and the new encrypted file on the hardrive. It might have been connected to the stable’s network.

‘’Um…hold on a minute Clear Use’’ The computer said something that I ignored. I was more concerned about checking the files that my PipBuck had stored on its hard drive. The file from before, the one that I’d seen back when I was accessing the audio file of the survivor… I was still uncomfortable hearing his desperation and sadness. The file, the one I’m sure was part of this duty Clear Use was talking about.

‘’What is this information you want me to deliver?’’ I asked the computer.

‘’Oh, it’s an updated roster of Stable 22’s population, genetics, and Stable 22’s assigned experiment’’ The cheery voice explained.

‘’What experiment?’’ I asked.

‘’CLASSIFIED’’ The electronic voice came back.

‘’I’m sorry subject six, but that information is apparently not available to you.’’ The regular voice of Clear returned.

‘’I noticed…’’ And I was frustrated. I hadn’t known about any experiment before, but then again…Clear Use was making a ton of contradictions to things I knew. I felt the need to spite him ‘’So why should I go all the way to a place I’ve never heard of, in a wasteland full of cold water, for a purpose I have I could care less about.’’

‘’Oh! Of course!’’ The pony jumped in surprise ‘’You must know, that accomplishing this task will net you a great reward.’’

I rolled my eyes. ‘’Yes, like?’’

‘’The chance to rejoining the Stable 22 or any other stable of your choosing!’’ Now that was a reward if I ever heard of one, considering how many times I’d nearly died out here already.
‘’Now what did I have to do again?’’

Clear Use explained, in great detail, that my singular goal was was to take the information on my PipBuck from point A (being here) to point B (being the Stable-Tec office in Ponama city). Simple enough, really. However, he did mention that the world was... ‘Very likely infested with hostile creatures, both sentient and non-sentient; not to mention environmental hazards as well.

The whirl of the winds bashed against the walls of this ‘strong house’ as Clear Use called it, reminding me of my impending doom. I felt it was only a matter of time before the whole building fell apart, although Clear Use tried to convince me otherwise. He’d given me contradicting information on what I knew already and I wasn’t going to trust him (or it) just yet.

‘’The probability that the structural integrity of the Strong House fails is a mere 5%!’’ Yeah, sure… ‘’You should probably try to calm down and relax. Have some tea, I can tell from my sensors that you’re quite alarmed.’’ The pony on the screen looked concerned.

Really? Calm down? ‘’Why shouldn’t I be?’’ I yelled in frustration ‘’I just got thrown out of my stable, nearly died a few times already, and I don’t have any food or drinkable water!’’ The computerized stallion, jumped in a joyous way.

‘’Have you forgotten about the store box already?’’ He chimed. This time the metal skeletal claws from earlier illuminated the room. Up until this point I’d been only been able to see the monitor, and whatever its dim light had revealed to me. The light from the Clear Use’s mechanical arms revealed a long section of real sturdy looking lockers that ran the entire circumference of the room. Besides the lockers, the room had the only other feature of being pristine and almost reminiscent of home. I’m not ashamed of wishing I could take back everything I’d achieved in science for the security and safety of the Stable.

‘’Ah, here it is. Storage unit six.’’ Clear Use said, his light focused on one specific locker on the other side of the room.

I approached cautiously. I wasn’t sure why, just expecting the worst to happen at this moment as it had before when I wasn’t prepared. The steel blue locker was bare of anything besides a large yellow ‘6’ in the middle of the Stable-Tec emblem. On closer inspection there was a keyhole on the side of the locker. I wasted no time in taking the key from around my neck and inserting into the hole. The locker opened up with a whine from lack of oil, I guess.
The light from Clear Use made the contents inside visible.

Each item was placed on a separate level. Two saddle bags, both made out of a synthetic elastic fabric that was very light and stretchy, there were also zippers that would seal shut and cause the bags to become waterproof (might be quite useful). Six bottles full of fresh water (dear Celestia, I was getting thirsty). Three orange packs of yellow juice labeled ‘Rad-Away’. Three more beautiful health potions (So happy for that). And finally, a box like piece of equipment which had a handle designed to be placed in the mouths of ponies. The front of the apparatus had a hole in it that seemed to run throughout the length of the device.

‘’That is an AEP7 model Magical Energy Laser Pistol, the latest innovation in magical laser technology. Boasting a decent damage output, a generous magical energy battery size, a tight shot grouping at range, strong resilience to extended use, and instant impact nature, it is your greatest form of defense in the ruins of Equestria.’’ I was in love. This was technology I’d never even thought possible. I wondered desperately how it worked, and I almost wanted to disassemble it to find out how it worked. But I wasn’t in the position to do that, considering the storm outside, lack of workbench, and lack of tools.

‘’How does it work?’’ I asked him, it, whatever.

‘’The weapon was designed for usage by the mouth.’’ I should have guessed.‘’By using your tongue, you pull the trigger which will cause the weapon to fire in the direction you’re pointing.’’

‘’That’s not what I meant…’’ I sighed. A gust of wind hit the side of the building, along with the sound of water bashing against the concrete. ‘’Forget it, I have better things to do.’’ Looking back into the locker where I’d found the magical energy weapon, I found two other items. One which was built out of the same fabric as the saddlebags and bore the same markings, was a kind of storage device for the weapon itself that could be wrapped around my body just above my right shoulder, like my tool pouch back in the stable. Clear Use called it a holster.

The other device, or should I say devices, were two small magical energy cells that I bet were ammunition for my brand new toy.

I opened one of the bottles of water while fitting one of the power packs inside the weapon. The delightful liquid quenched my dry throat. Ironically I was surrounded by more water than I had ever imagined and none of it to drink. The energy cell fit into the weapon with a nice click, I could hear the sound of the weapon hum as it charged up.

I gripped in in my mouth and pointed the wall of lockers. It gave a really odd metallic taste and already I was intimidated by this piece of equipment. I realized it was designed to kill, and if used incorrectly, I could cause some serious and irreparable damage. I didn’t want to fire this thing even if I had to know it’s intended use. But by accident, the weapon fired, sending out a lance of red light that glanced off the side of one of the lockers leaving scorch marks worthy of those left by a welding machine. Scratch that, I was terrified of this thing. I could have accidentally killed somepony had I been in the stable with this thing, like I had done with my flight experiment. This brought a whole new meaning to ‘a slip of the tongue’ and it was damn cool, yet scary.

I strapped on my saddle bags and the holster, filling them with all the supplies I’d gathered up until now, they all managed to fit snugly, too. I debated leaving the weapon here, but choosing not to take it in an unknown world to me would be a terrible decision, and I didn’t want to make any more of those.

My stomach suddenly growled. I was hungry. I looked back inside the locker I’d opened, this time looking for some food, I came to the top shelf of the storage unit, one I had forgot to check for anything useful. It was sadly empty. ‘’Hey Clear, where’s the food? I mean didn’t Stable-Tec think to add food as well?’’

The animated stallion didn’t flinch. ‘’All storage units are equipped with food.’’ That was a useless and contradicting answer. I thought back to the other side of the room and the crates of small packaging I forgot to check out. That must of been the food designated for the exiles. That was meant to be supplied to the Strong house didn’t have a chance to be correctly supplied before the bombs went off. That would also imply that the Strong house was also incomplete, which would explain the oxidation and poor condition the first room was in. I suppose I’ll just have to survive without food for now then.

Now I had to leave, or I’d risk starvation. I turned to the computer. ‘’Clear Use, is there any other way out of this place?’’

‘’There is only the one exit through the doors you came through originally.’’ Well…shit, last time I checked the room had been filling up with water from the storm, and the rusted door wouldn’t open even if there wasn’t water in the way of it.

Okay so here’s my plan. First get back through this door, then get back outside, then it struck me. ‘’How am I supposed to leave the island after I’ve gone outside?’’

‘’When this installation was built, this landmass was originally part of the mainland. Stable-Tec officials predicted the rise in the ocean and sea levels thus sinking the original route here. Stable-Tec then commissioned several storage tubes built part of the installation that would house well preserved and naturally buoyant jet skis so that all subjects may traverse the distance between here and the mainland.’’ It stated. That was pretty thoughtful of them to do; these Stable-Tec guys had my approval, although I had no clue what a jet ski was, but I figured it was some form of transportation.

‘’Then could you release it now?’’ I asked urgently. I needed to get on the move and quickly.

‘’Why yes certainly!’’ As soon as he said it; the sound of machinery was heard, straining harshly it eventually came to a stop and the sound of a loud pneumatic launch was heard, echoing through this room. ‘’The launch has been completed! You will find the Jet Ski on the surface tethered to a holding wire.’’ Well that solves that part of the plan.

The only problem that remains is to leave the room and be able to do so safely and not drown. Okay since I have no information let’s go with the worst possible scenario. The other room is filled with water, so if I open the door now, the water from that room will pour into this one. Since this room is about the same size as the other one then the result should be fifty to fifty. But there’s another problem once more room has been made, more water will start to fill in, causing both rooms to start to flood simultaneously. That certainly wasn’t a solution.

Let’s go over the resources at my command. The environment is two rooms with similar displacement, an elevator (although that will be of little use), and that outside which will be nothing but water for Luna knows how far and how high.

I have at my disposal, all the supplies I just acquired from the locker, as well as the mechanical arms of Clear Use, and if I can get into the first room, the resources there as well. This would include the hammock, pipes, wooden cases, their contents which were probably all empty packages of food, my stable utility barding, and pile of junk the survivor left. I remember clearly there was a very long cord of rope there in that pile which could be useful. Now the obstacles, the infinite amount of water, the rusted door, and the need to float to the surface to get to the jet ski which would be anchored with a tether. Also, time. The structural integrity could fail on this part of the building as well from the crushing amount of water.

It was a tough situation. Try as I might, I couldn’t find anything to link together to make a viable method of escape. I thought back to something Clear Use told me. ‘One of the subject’s damaged the elevator’…Wait, that was it. That was the key to my plan.

I explained my plan to Clear Use. He gave me a modest chance of 20% success, but that was better than the alternative, and I still didn’t trust his assessment. I told him his role in the play, and he agreed to do it even though he was aware of the potential damage he would be inflicted. I was about to put my plan in action.

Going towards the door, I was about to press the button. ‘’Subject six, please wait, I have one last thing to do before you embark on your mission.’’

I turned back to him it or whatever, I still couldn’t make up my mind. Screw it, I’m calling him he and him now. ‘’What’s that?’’

‘’I was programed with a plethora of useful information. If you’ll allow, I can copy my program onto your PipBuck and provide further assistance to you along your entire journey.’’ He said.
It seemed like a good idea, I mean he’s been nothing but helpful, even despite the contradictions. ‘’Sure, I guess. Why not?’’

‘’Good, all you have to do now is connect your PipBuck to this computer and I will copy my program onto it.’’ He said cheerily. I moved back to the computer and hooked up my PipBuck as I would normally. Within a few moments, Clear Use started to download himself (or a copy) onto my hoof device. The process wasn’t quick but it was easy. With a beep from my PipBuck, my vision blurred. It finally it cleared up, but this time a display was superimposed on my sight. Most interestingly, a few displays. Only one of them I could make out to be a compass.

‘’What's this?’’ I asked openly. I wasn’t sure if I approved of this.

This time his voice came through the PipBuck itself only. ‘’Subject, your PipBuck has been running sub-optimally. I decided it was in your best interests to reactivate several dormant protocols.’’ Oh that was nice...I think.

‘’Thanks, I guess.’’ I was too busy thinking about the plan then to give an AI a proper thanks. I looked back to the door and moved my way to the side of it, bracing my body against one of the locker just in range for one of my forelegs to hit the door opening button. ‘’Okay now!’’ I shouted, and hit the button to open the door to the first room. No turning back now.

The door slided open with some difficulty, now letting a strong current of water burst through the steel frame and start filling this room. I looked back to the elevator doors which were now open according to my plan. The water from the room rushed passed me on the floor, but from behind my cover, I wasn’t about to go drifting away.

The fantastic rush of water continued to spew into the locker room; bringing in small objects from the other room, wrappers, some scrap, other garbage, all along with the salt water. The water level stayed a modest knee level. My plan was working accordingly. Since I had Clear Use open the elevator doors, the water which was filling into this room was now rushing down the empty shaft of the elevator. I had deduced earlier that the doors back in the airlock had been torn aside by the kinetic force of an elevator falling at the speed of gravity, so the elevator shaft would be quite clear and allow most of the water to drain in there. Also, with the of the pumps in the airlock, some of that water would start draining from the elevator shaft, thus buying me tons of time to do what I needed to do.

I stood there, waiting for the water in the room to even out more, maybe get below knee level before I continued. I wouldn't have forever so I had to act fast. The rush of water died down much more, and I felt rather comfortable about proceeding. The current wasn’t near optimal, almost down to my knees, but I needed to start moving.

The current was powerful, making it far more difficult to press past the threshold then I thought, and as a result I was flipped back into the original room. Oh shit. I wasn’t stopping, I was being dragged along with the flow, towards the elevator shaft, I tried scrambling to my hooves, but was unable to get up. This would either kill me on impact with the water or I would drown if I survived it.

The steel robotic arms of Clear Use caught me as I was about to hit the point of no return of the elevator shaft. I felt my body being manipulated and I was gently put down in a part of the room that wasn’t directly in the path of the current. Clear made several objections and tried to convince me to stop. I neglected to respond to his annoying voice.

Okay, so I can’t ease my way past the door. I might need something more forceful. This time, I backed up to the end of the flooding room and readied myself. On a silent count to three, I put every ounce of force I could into plowing my way past the current. The sound of my hooves crashing against the water rippled against my ears as I jumped over the water level.

I cleared the doorway, but the water was up to my neck, and the current was as strong as I expected. If I lost my grip (whatever that was in this situation) I’d find myself slipping back into the second room.

Now over to where the rope was. Over in the far corner I saw the pile of wasteland junk just sitting there, all the heavier pieces of junk laying over the rope, keeping it pinned. I was afraid of moving any of my legs to try and force any of the scrap metal away that was between me and the rope I needed desperately for my play.

With no other option, I took a large breath before plunging my head underwater, my ears plugging up with aquatic liquid, and my eyes slamming shut. I felt around with my muzzle, trying to orient myself into a position to free the debris from the rope. Cold and rough, it was the large metal plate that was pinning my oh so important rope to the ground. I should be thankful, for without that heavy metal plate there might not have been any rope at all. Too bad, I moved the plate over and grabbed the rope with my teeth.

GASP. I spent a little too much time with my head in the water and the rope had almost fallen because I was so desperate for air again. But regardless I had the long cord in my possession. I opened my eyes (or just an eye to limit the pain), ignoring the salt that burned them so badly (although I confess that I might have started building a resistance. Unlikely though really).

My stable utility barding was still hanging from a pipe, absolutely soaked in seawater like when I put it on the pipe in the first place. Thankfully, the pipe was low enough for me to snag, again with my mouth. It hadn't occurred to me I should do something with the rope before-hoof and I would have lost it to the current, had I not ‘awesome reflexes’. I threw the wet barding into my saddlebags and proceeded to the next phase of my plan.

I tightened my grip, as expected the freed rope was running down into the second room, along with everything else. If I lost the rope now I might as well call it a day and give up to die. Because that’s the best plan, obviously.

I moved my way to the rusted door, using all of my strength just to slowly creep my way there under the strong pressure of the current. The source of the current was, in fact, the hole in the door, and the closer I got to it the more powerful it became. I placed myself aside the door-frame, just out of the way of the current. I propped myself up onto the wall, I wouldn't be able to tie a knot without the use of my fore-hooves, and thankfully I was able to keep my hoofing on the slippery ground.

I leaned my head in over the door handle, using my freed foreleg to help guide a generous portion of the rope around it. I struggled to tie a knot. Under normal circumstances the use of my two forelegs were the simplest way to do it. However, if I hadn't noticed, I wasn't in any ideal situation. I couldn’t afford any mistakes, I needed the knot to be strong, and tight for this to work.

Done. Throughout the struggling just to stay safe, and not float back into the second room and fly down the elevator shaft (should Clear Use not catch me) I was finally able to tie a knot strong enough not to pull itself apart. To test this theory and make sure It was as strong as I hoped; I gripped the rope with my hooves, and used it to return me safely back into the second room.

Fortunately, one of the wooden crates which was a part of my plan I’d nearly forgotten about was still here, braced between the door-frame to the second room. It was still sealed as well, so if all went according to plan I might have something to work with when all this was done. I relished that thought, because that meant I would succeed.

I carefully stepped over this last obstacle and found myself in the second room once more. It was less flooded then it had been at the time of start of this little operation, so it it was a welcome sight to not have water up to my now itching neckline.

‘’Is it done?’’ I called out to Clear Use.

His voice boomed in the room. ‘’Why yes of course-’’ I cut him off before he added anything.

‘’Then activate the elevator!’’ I demanded. The sound of cracking, the spinning of old pulleys, and tightening of wires overcame the sound of crashing water which had filled my ears for far too long.

The rope I’d tied to the door lifted above the water at an angle and direct line was made from the jammed door handle to the bottom part of the elevator’s frame. It was all about luck now.

The end of the rope, which I had left drift into the second room when I procured the thing, was tied to the elevator wire itself by Clear Use’s mechanical arms. How he did this I have no clue, but now the elevator wire was dragging the rope down further into the broken down shaft. Which meant, if the rope lasted for the duration, that the force put onto the door handle by both the rope and the outside water would finally cause the rather rusted door to fall apart at its rusted hinges.

This would allow me to safely and easily escape the entire building with the remainder of my plan. Let’s hope it works.

The rope snapped as tight as it possibly as it could, I could see the individual threads start to expand to account for the immense amount of stress. If this thing decided to break now, not only were my hopes of getting out much less likely, but I might suffer a very life threatening account of whiplash. In the other room the sound of whining metal (not too different from that of the stable door) was made itself apparent. I silently wished, hoped, and crossed my imaginary fingers( that mystical humans had) that I would be successful.

The metal door lost the intense match of tug of war, the screeching metal and subsequent WOOOSH of the water echoed in my ears (had they not been waterlogged). BANG...Oh damn, I didn't think about this. I got so excited that my plan would work, that I had an oversight. Truthfully it wasn’t too bad of an oversight. The metal door, yes the rusted metal door that had been bent off and broken off from its original location, was now lopsided against the second door frame, just above my lovely crate.

Problem easily solved, just let me cut the rope- another oversight, the water that now rushed in slammed that door in place, preventing it from moving even if I did cut the rope. I am not a clever pony.

The pressure was rising now. I had no way to get out of the second room and the water level was rising very quickly. Now it was up too my shoulder. ‘’Okay, Champ... what do we do.’’ Door was in the way...no method of dislodging it...resources...minimal...time...what’s that again? Okay panicking is not what we do Champagne...think of something quick...now...anytime...you’re an idiot you know that? Thank you for reminding me.

‘’Clear Use! Blast that door!’’ I cried. The water now was just below my jaw.

With a dramatic display of firepower, almost equaling that of the lightening storm I’d witnessed outside, bolts of neon green flung across the room, illuminating it better then my PipBuck could ever hope to imagine (assuming PipBucks could imagine things). The green bolts, which I had no clue what they were, struck the metal rust ridden door. It took several bolts before an immediate effect was seen. The damn thing melted into green goo that was quickly washed away, thankfully nowhere close to me. I have no idea what that kind of goo could cause to a pony without any protective gear.

The room, now with no ability to stall the water, was quickly flooded. I wasn’t even in the ideal position, due to that oversight. I’m a total idiot...I’ll accept the medal now, please.

Another failure due to this oversight, I was being flushed down the drain, I lost all feasibility over getting a grip on anything, in favor of a heart pounding slide towards the elevator shaft under water again. Celestia be damned I was going to drown again. Was there no end to this constant danger? Well, there was an end of my life and I was quite certain that would be happening first and foremost.

Two swift moving metal arms barricaded my way, effectively saving my life again. I owed this machine my life a few times now. How was I supposed to accomplish his task if I could hardly leave the building I got it in?

Right escape...that was my priority. Thankfully I was quickly back on my hooves, and started my version of ‘swimming’ towards the entrance. My head barely escaped the water at this point, and I was only making any progress due to the helpful mechanics of Clear Use pushing me towards that door.

I knew the elevator shaft, was beginning to even out with the water level up in this building, before long I’d have no breathable air. On the bright-side...wait there was none, I was consumed in almost perfect darkness, besides the drowned out light of my PipBuck.

The water pressure, had now lightened up to the point where I could freely trot in short hops to get air just beyond my reach. The wooden crate which was pivotal to my plan was floating now freely, unstuck from the door frame. I grabbed on to this wooden crate for dear life, and ‘paddled’ my way to the entrance.

I only had a few seconds to force the floating crate below the top of the door frame, before the water level would rise to the point where it was no longer easy to achieve. All I had to do now was pass through the now large hole where that rusted door had once been for the last hundred years or so.

I gasped, the largest amount of air I could possibly gather in my lungs, and went for the final plunge.

I forced myself passed the current with my forelegs wrapped around the crate, and wished for dear life that I would finally be free of this place...

Footnote: Level Up.

Skill notes:
Repair: 35
Science:40
Energy weapons:30

Thank you Sargecadet for your editing efforts (I’d be lost with you) and Anon3mous for your insight on mechanics and diving.

(A/N) sorry about the length and the time it took to write, but I really hope you all enjoy this chapter. Please leave a comment and rate up if you like. It would make me definitely want to focus on getting chapter 3 out.

Once again thanks.
p.s: go read FoE: Rules of engagement and Honest herds. For more awesomeness.

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Comments ( 11 )

Buck yeah. Great job on this chapter. I enjoyed reading and editing it :pinkiehappy:

new chapter yay cant wait for the next :twilightsmile:

812093

I hope you enjoyed it, lemme know what your favorite part was :D

Hell freaking yes. I'm so glad that I finally got the time to read this. Great job!

Nice chapter indeed, it was a good read. I'll keep an eye on you. :pinkiecrazy:

This is a bit of... Okay, so this review post was going to be longer than Celestia's horn (in 12pt font too), so I put it on a gdoc instead. I'll admit, I'm harsh. Most of this is negative, and it can be easy to lose track of the positive, so I'll post it here :D

You have great descriptions.
Some of your ideas are simply amazing, namely: how a pegasus would act in a stable, the underwater stable, use of water as a method of tension, and a very clear goal of returning to the stable (and method of doing so).
Please don't let my criticism stop you; instead, let it push you on to great achievements.

Good Luck,
Fillyosopher

CHAPTER 1 AND 2 REVIEW

Very well done. Are you planning to continue with this?

1866267

Quite sir, I'm going through processes to make the writing much better then it currently is. So the first two chapters will be fixed up and chapter three released at the same time, along with a cover I'm working on. ;D

1924805

That sounds excellent. I look forward to seeing the changes, in addition to new material!

To what extent are you attempting to change this? Is it merely cosmetic or superficial changes, or are you planning on a couple re-writes?

1927094

For now we're working mostly on fixing the shoddy writing, help with the pacing, flow of the story and as well as adding some things in to better the actual storytelling (foreshadowing especially) . Also since I've published chapter two, I've done a ton of reorganizing of the plot, so when it comes to writing the next chapters it will be much more planned and thought out. That's also not to say that I haven't been writing this entire time.

I have chapter 3-7 worked on to some extent (actual writing done) I'm just waiting for the new editors to catch up at this time. There's also a whole bunch of FOE art I have saved up so if your following the foe group you'll have a chance to see some of that too.

I can't promise that it'll be soon though as we just started and there's a ton of work to do. But I imagine once we get passed a couple hurdles and into working on chapter 2-3 were going to be picking up quite a bit of pace as my writing skill is also getting better and inherently less flawed.

And trust me for what I have planned in the future it'll all be worth the wait. :D

I still haven't started due to the lack of updates is this still going to go on if so I'll start but if not I don't want to start something that isn't going to be finished.:pinkiehappy:

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