• Published 20th May 2012
  • 1,202 Views, 20 Comments

Fallout Equestria: Dashed Hopes - Ironwolves21



In the ruins of stalliongrad, can love Truly survive?

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Into the deep!

Dashed Hopes
Chapter 5

Have gun, will travel.

“LIKE HELL I’M GOING IN THERE!!! FUCK THAT!” I dug my hooves into the dirt in a pathetic attempt to stay away from the pitch black drainage tunnel.

Riot and Saw where both trying to get me through the hole, Riot was saying something about it being the only way into Stalingrad that wouldn’t get us killed, and Match was busy laughing herself to death. I lifted my head to wail in protest, drawing the attention of a few locals.

“Darn it Dew! Of all the times you choose to go claustrophobic on me!” I swung a hoof to where the voice had come from, but only succeeded in smacking air and losing traction.

My back hooves slid through the loose dirt and gravel, and much to my chagrin, closer to the tunnel.

You see, when Riot and Saw had spoken to the locals about getting a ride into Stalingrad, I had foolishly assumed that they had meant an overland route. And look where that got us!!
As my hooves slid across the dirt and onto broken pavement, my brain flew into further frenzy.

“RIOT!! PLEASE DON’T MAKE ME GO IN THERE!!” I clenched my eyes closed as I pushed with all my strength against his grey chest. He didn’t even respond!

I could feel the pavement sloping slightly downwards, and not before long my hooves vibrated and bounced with a uniform tunkatunkatunka of the corrugated steel piping. With a scream my wings unfurled to try and brace against the pipe. It’s working!! He can’t move forward, I’m really doing it! I- wait, he’s really not moving is he?

There has got to be a better way to do this, I really don’t want to push you all the way to Stalingrad Dew.”

“I really don’t wanna to go down there Riot!” I used the time to push my wings against the pipe, clutching to anything and everything for dear life.

A few unfamiliar voices stifled laughter and lewd comments, but above those I heard Match call out. “Riot why don’t you just blindfold her, then carry her down on your back?”


I went to protest, knowing that it was basically the same thing. I would have protested if a band of fabric hadn’t wrapped around my eyes, causing me to yelp and flap my wings in panic. I felt a wave of warmth wash over my body, lifting me off the ground and onto someponies back. Grunting in disapproval and embarrassment, I let my hooves fall in defeat.


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

“Are we there yet?”
“No.”
“Crap.”

It’s strange how time seems to stretch and skew when you can’t see for shit. I had lost all feeling in my legs due to the rhythmic bounce and jostle I felt as I lay on Riots back, For all I knew, we were hundreds of miles from New Neighcarrion. We’re not that far you ditz, we’ve only been here for ten minutes at max.

Oh, well thank you conscious, thank you and go fuck yourself.

“Up ahead! Shit!” The jostle got faster as Riot broke into a fast trot. Not being able to see, I assumed the worst.

“The tunnels collapsed!” It was the voice of the guide, I could hear the others grumbling and moaning painfully as the news spread.

“Is there another way around?” Riots voice, At least he sounded calm.

“Yes, but It’ll take quite a bit longer than it would to go through here...”

It don’t matter none. Ain’t nopony getting through that, we go around.”

I could hear the shuffling of hooves and low whispers, but I couldn’t tell who they were coming from. A feeling of foreboding came over me as I lay there; hunched, blindfolded and defeated on Riots back.

“Alright, I can lead you through the lower tunnels, but my partner Ceramic has to go back and tell them about the collapse. I suggest you all check your gear and try to get that mare on her hooves.” I could hear the guide talking to his partner, then a set of hooves galloped away in the direction we had come in.

“Dew? You doin alright back there?” Matchsticks voice, actually sounding concerned. What was up with this mare? She was way too weird for my tastes.

“I’m... well, I’m blindfolded and stuck in a small tunnel, which has already collapsed! I’m just peachy.” I gave my best smile to drive the point home.

“What’s a peach?” Well fuck... what is a peach?

Shrugging my shoulders and wings the best I could, I shook my head.


“Ok folks, There’s a small maintenance shaft down that offshoot tunnel, We need to go down that, walk for about a half hour, then climb back up through another maintenance shaft. Both shafts are marked with bright yellow signs that say ‘Maintenance’. If you get lost, well, try and get unlost.”

There was a general agreement to the announcement, and with that, we were off again.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

“Hey Riot?” It was now that I cursed my claustrophobia, My legs had fallen asleep completely, and I think my ribs were starting to compact.

“What’s up Dew? You wanna take off the blindfold?”

YES! “Are we still in the tunnels?”

“Last I checked.” Dammit all.

“Watch your step folks! Don’t want to fall into that silo!”

“That’s a huge hole! I can’t even see the bottom!” Leave it to Matchstick to be interested in 200 year old architecture...

“Looks like there’s an opening down there, on the other side of the shaft.”

“Lets keep it-”

SKRIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIEEEEE

“WHAT THE FU-”

BRAKKABRAKKBRAKKABRAKKA
SKRIIIIIIIEEEEEEEE

SHIT FUCK SHIT OH GODDESS WHAT THE FUCK IS GOING ON- The shock from sudden impact sent me sailing from Riots back as he went over backwards. As I opened my mouth to scream, my ass slammed into a rotten wood plank. With a sickening crack, I was in free-fall.

As the hot, sticky air rushed past me, my blindfold ripped off. SHITPISSCOCK THAT’S A DEEP HOLE!! In a last ditch attempt to slow myself, I flared my wings in hopes of not dying!
The change in air surface was all I needed, for the second time in a matter of seconds, I slammed into rotten wood beams. With a thunderous crash I bounced through the beams and onto various amounts of junk and dust.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Opening my eyes slowly, I found myself face down in a pile of brittle white wood.

“Fuuuuck... OW OWowowowowow...” As I lurched back on to my hooves, I noticed a rather large pile of crumbling concrete and rotten wood blocking the hole I had smashed through staring back at me.

A plume of gray hair popped over the edge of the upper hole. Saw's neighvarro accent quickly followed it. "Looking good, Cloud!" His sentence was punctuated by a short burst of gun fire, and another loud screech.

I looked up at his before I stretched my wings to fly back up to their level. “Thanks Saw! I-”CRACK “



“SHIT!” Diving backwards with a frenzied flap of wings, I fell back into the brittle pile of wood that had broken my fall the first time. The hole had quickly been covered up, save a small sliver in which sickly light poured through, with smashed wooden beams and broken slabs of concrete. I heard Saw call out again, albeit worried and muffled.

"Cloud, can you hear me? Are you alright?" More gunfire, a low whoosh, and the smell of smoke filled my nostrils.

“Yea! Just a little shook up! I can't see a way through though!”

Riots voice called down the hole at me. “Dew! You're in an unexplored section of tunnels! You need to go north! We'll try and meet you before we board the cart!”

FUCK. “Okay! I'll try and-” I looked back at the dark tunnel stretching behind me and gulped. “Try to find another way!”

Turning away from the hole, the last voice I heard was to muffled to discern whom it had come from. "You'll be fine, Dew! I'll see you soon!"


The tunnel stretched far beyond what my eyes could see in the thick darkness. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw something BIG skitter past in a side tunnel. 'H-Hello? Is anypony there?” No answer. Fuck. Out came my laser pistol, luckily it hadn't fallen out of the broken holster during my plummet.

I made the mistake of stepping forward. There was a loud crunch



“Oooh...” Bitting my lower lip, I pulled my hoof out of the shattered ribcage. The pile seemed to implode as I did so. As I went to move forward, something caught my eye.

Deep in the pile, something was amiss. Settling my stomach, I reached into the pile and grippe something both metallic and plastic. A holotape! How dandy!

Stepping away from the pile, I pulled out my earblooms and plugged them into it. As the message crackled, I readied my pistol and began to slowly trot into the tunnel.


KERCH "It's the third day in these tunnels, we've lost four ponies to......something. We've been walking in circles. We don't tell the little ones, but we're sure this place will be our-" The speaker stops for a moment, as if he heard something. "What was that? Ripcord, go check it out." Hoofsteps gradually fade, and then there is a scream, with a burst of gunfire. "Ripcord!" More gunshots. "Stay down Ros-SKRIIIIIIIIIIIEEEEEEEEEEE-” The tape clacked to an end, but the screech didn't stop.

Something flitted to my left, high on the wall. Turning quickly, I pointed my pistol at the movement. “Shoooe yhour sheelf!!” I hollered through my pistol grip, but my call was left unanswered.

FUCK. WHAT THE FUCK.

Something moved behind me. A slippery sound, like soaked rope being pulled through a hole. It was accompanied by wet clicking and clacking. My eyes went wide as something brushed my flank. Turning around... very...very...slowly.... My breath caught in my throat as my terrified visage reflected back at me through eight compound eyes.

SSSKKKRRRRRIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!! PAKPAKPAKPAKPAK

The monstrous creature launched at me, barring its rows of razor teeth. It shrugged off the hits from my laser pistol as if they were a slight nuisance. Every shot glanced or smoldered against its natural armour as it bowled me over. Flying clear across the tunnel, I slammed into the wall. My breath rushed out of my lungs, leaving me gasping.

The spider-esque creature turned around, bringing it's rear into view. The bulb on the end shook slightly before discharging. The sticky white substance splattered into the wall just above my shoulder, yet pinned me down.

Tightening my grip on the pistol, I aimed for another shot. The creatures rear shook again.



The bright red lance of light scorched into the monsters rear, digging in deep. The thread roasted and caught fire as it spooled for another shot. The thing let out a horrendous screech like never before, and flipped up against the wall. The spider began to ram its rear into the wall, trying to extinguish the flames.

With all my might, I pulled away from the wall. The thread that held me down stressed then finally snapped. The creature let out another howl as it looked down the prism focus chamber of my pistol. PAKPAK. The rounds found purchase within its eyes, causing it to rear and howl once again as it began to break apart on a molecular level. Within a second, the creature lay in a crumpled ashen coffin of its former self.

I spat the pistol back into its leg holster, then turned around. “RAAAAUGH!!” My hind leg kicked through its ashen face, causing the rest of it to disintegrate into a dusty pile. “Suck my hoof you sick- er...” I tapped my chin for a moment. “Creeper? No... Slimer? Nah, to lame. Screw it, I'll just call you Ass Jockeys.” I smiled as I stared at the pile of ash, but then shuddered at the memory of the horrible creature.

“I gotta find the others, no way I'm staying here.” I had a sudden pout of clarity, taking out my pistol, I checked the charge.

“Shit. No ammo...” I looked up at the ceiling, anger and frustration breaking across my muzzle. “Fuck me, Right? It's not like I need to kill anything or fight for my life. That would be silly and unheard of!” I lowered my head and gave it a shake. My dark black hair fell before my eyes, and out of habit began to chew it.

As I sat on my rear, staring at the pile of ash, out of the corner of my eye, something moved. Actually, It was a lot of somethings. “Fuck. What now- FUCK.” The shadows began to crawl, and not in the good way. Jumping to my hooves, I lifted my pistol up and jammed my tongue into the trigger. The pistol let out a half hearted shot, then sputtered and died.

The mob reached the cusp of the shadows, and due to some idiotic nature of mine, I stuck around to see what the fuck was about to eat me inside out. Not that way you sick- FUCKING ASS JOCKEYS. LITTLE ASS JOCKEYS THE SIZE OF DINNER PLATES, AND THERES A FUCK TON OF THEM. RUN YOU DUMB BITCH, RUUUUUUUN!!!!!!!

My brain yelled and hollered for my body to move, yet every muscle froze In sheer terror. There was hundreds of them, skittering and clambering over each other to reach me. Suddenly, my hooves began to tread dirt and I was off, screaming like an idiot as they chittered after me.

“AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!”




Rounding a dark corner, I saw salvation in the distance! A whirling red emergency light! In the back of my mind, I wondered how that light had survived 200 years of constant work. The part of my mind that was focused on the chittering horde bearing down on my flank told that other part to shut up and hold on.

A set of razor teeth dug deep into my flank, causing me to stumble and look back.

NOPE. NOPE. NOPE .NOPE. NOPE. NOPE! ABANDON THREAD.

One of the little shits had vaulted from the others, and sunk its dirty teeth into my flank. Unfortunately, that was the least of my problems. The literal wall of skittering doom was. Fuck my life.

“AAAAAAAAAHHHHH!!!!” The light grew closer and closer, and with it, a large door that hung open seductively. Kicking my body into overdrive, I gained a slight lead over the crushing wave at my rear. Bounding through the open door, I span and slammed my hoof into the door panel.

The door slid closed, squashing several of the ass jockeys as they tried to jump at me. The door closed completely, even to the point of hissing as it finished a hermetical seal.

“HAHA! Fuck yo- AH! SHIT! OWOWOWOWOWOWOW!!!!!” Looking at my ass, the little hitch hiker was still clamped onto the cloud in my cutie mark. Scowling with the power of a thousand boiling suns, I slammed my flank into the ground, warranting a disgusting crunch and pathetic squeal. Smiling, I lifted my throbbing cheek up. It was matted with my blood and the jockeys guts. The smell alone made me gag as I tried to wipe a glob of it off with my hoof. The clump came off my flank, but not off my hoof.

Squealing pathetically, I waved my hoof around erratically, trying to dislodge to foul clump of toothy death that was currently attached to it . Suddenly, the world blurred considerably, and I stumbled on my hooves. I found myself bracing against the wall, eyes spinning in different directions as soft blabbering closed in.

Another child of the sky, come down from her asylum of madness...” A hoof gripped my shoulder as I plummeted into darkness, the needle still poking out of my rump.

____________________________________________________________________________________

It's been so long since I've had a proper guest, you'll have to... excuse, the mess.”

I was being carried. AGAIN. Seriously, My legs work, I can walk by mysel- Thump- Never mind.

Ah, it seems the tranquilizer is starting to wear off. Don't you worry, The Archotraninds won't harvest you while I'm here.”

Archo-whats? I don't know who this buck thinks he is, but unless he's got a really big gun, or- OOFF.

Thanks asshat, this ground sure is comfortable after being dropped on it! I decided to focus on breathing instead of swearing at him. I couldn't even see him, My eyes wouldn't open. It felt like they were a hundred pounds they were so heavy! I managed to mumble something, but was cut off as something was pushed under my head.

I felt the buck getting closer, sniffing at me like an animal. If I could do anything beyond fighting for consciousness, I would have done it. He drew closer, hovering above my neck. His hot breath matted my fur under the collar of my 'new' armour.

It's been too long since I smelled beautiful... Curiosity dictates I ask, why a maiden of the goddess would for-go her temple to grovel under the clouds like the rest of the sheep.”

I groaned as I tried to roll over, away from the insane buck who hovered over me. The buck shuffled away, dragging his hooves and mumbling to himself. I heard him rustling through something, then mumbling more as he got closer.

As the buck circled me, I felt a pang of panic set in as my eyes fluttered open.

Ah, hello.”

What. The. FUCK.

_______________________________________________________

I sat across from the buck, on a little floor mat. There was a beaten coffee table between me and him, but by his looks, it would do nothing for me.

“Why did you tranquilize me?”

You were about to become a snack for the Archtranids, they were practically on top of you.

I shook my head, trying to clear the cob-webs and not think about the skittering screaming little ass jockeys who had made the last hour of my life a living hell.

“I closed the door, I locked them out!” The buck chuckled. Wait, no. That's not right. You couldn't call him a buck, he definitely wasn't a pony. Not anymore.

They always find a way in. You only stopped the children for a moment. Did you think of the room itself? Did you think of the ventilation shafts leading in?” I baulked for a moment. I hadn't thought of that.

“Just... How many of these Ass Jockeys are there?” The buck placed his tea cup on the table and wiped his mouth with a hoof. He looked at me with those un-pony eyes,they threatened to rip my soul out my vagina....

Millions. You're in their nest.”

Fuck.”Dammit.” I looked at him, taking in his full appearance. It looked like he had killed a few of the Jockeys, then had torn off their armour and sewn it into his flesh.

“Why-”

Why do I look like them?” What is he? A mind reader!? The buck lifted his head and smiled at me. Shit.

“Yeah. It's kinda creepy dude, what gives?” The buck chuckled- I think it was a chuckle... It came out hoarse and wet, much like the Ass Jockeys that crawled through the halls. He looked up from his cup of tea, his eyes piercing mine.



“Because they will not fight their lord.” This can't be good. Not possible.

“I-I don't understand, Lord?”

I take care of princess, thus her brood is my thrall.” Alrighty! Creepy-as-fuck-o-meter going off the charts here!

“Who's princess?” The buck smiled, showing off rows of razor teeth. He glanced over at a massive door.

“I'm glad you asked little angel...” He stood up and threw the table to the side. I scrambled to get to my hooves, but I slipped on something wet. My ass hit the floor with a resounding thud, and the buck advanced on me.

“On second thought, I don't really want to find out!”

The buck cackled. “Princess needs her food...” His eyes roamed over my body hungrily. “But even a lord gets peckish every now and then.”

This just isn't my day.


The armoured buck launched forward, barring his teeth and aiming for my neck. I lashed out with a hind leg, catching him off balance. He rolled to the side, then launched again.

“FUCK YOU!” The buck howled in delight as I bounded to my hooves and began to run away from him. Unfortunately, The room was quite small, and all I accomplished in was putting distance between me and hi- THWACK


My eyes span and so did the world. The ground came rushing up to hug me tightly as the rifle floated in mid-air above me. The buck waltzed over, and soon was towering over top of me. He didn't speak as he leaned down. His breath matted my fur and sent my spine on edge. Blood flowed from my scalp from were he had cranked my with the rifle.

“ Fucking unicor-” THUMP After being slammed into my cheek, the rifle was tossed unceremoniously to the side and the buck leaned in close.

“An angel mustn’t have such a foul mouth. Don't worry, I'll fix that.” Grabbing my jaw with his hooves, he pressed his muzzle against mine. His tongue flicked against my teeth as I tried to scream. Then I realized I could just bite him.

“AAARGH!! YOU FUCKING WHORE!!!” He reared up, and slammed a hoof into my gut.

“I'll poke your frickin' eye out!!!” The buck opened his mouth, but could only bellow as my orange hooves slapped into his eyes.

A knife flashed before my face, and I felt my muzzle begin to bleed. The buck punched me across the cheek once again, then pressed the knife into my throat.

“I'M GOING TO EAT YOU, FROM YOUR ASS UP. WHEN I'M DONE WITH YOU, YOU'LL BEG FOR DEATH.” The buck grinned ear to ear, his focus was completely upon my immediate consumption and torture. He never saw the movement behind him.

A shock of purple popped around the corner, then waved to somepony. I couldn't see the ponies face, for it was covered with a strange rubber mask. A tall grey stallion slinked into the room at her signal, and began to advance on us.

“I-p-please, don't hurt me! I'll do anything!” My eyes filled with terror, which spurred him further.

“Ohh, I'm sure that I can find a use for such an insolent little mare, but she would have to-”

“BOO.” That glorious voice!!! I could drink it like booze!

The bucks eyes flared wide In surprise, but Riot was faster than he. Wrapping his forehoof around the monster-ponies neck, a long knife dug deep into the bucks gut. Howling in anger and pain, the stallion bucked, pushing Riot off. Turning in place, He charged at Riot, lowering his horn as a spear. The taller buck pivoted, and sank his own horn deep into the other bucks throat, then lifted upwards with all his considerable strength. The smaller buck sailed across the room, then slammed into the rolling metal door with a resounding thud.

Trotting over to me, a grey, then blue hoof appeared before me. Looking up, I was greeted by the grinning faces of Saw and Riot. Matchstick waved from the other side of the room as she began rummaging through the dead bucks possessions.

“We leave you alone for ten minutes, and you get yourself kidnapped and damn near eaten. You've got quite the track record there Dew.”

Good to see y'all ain't dead kiddo, would have been a cryin' shame!”

I laughed, and grabbed onto the two hooves. They pulled, and I was back on unsteady hooves. The buck in the corner stirred, slapping his hoof against the metal shutter.

I was pissed! This asshat put me through a lot of bulshit, now he wants to survive!? “Matchstick!” The mare glanced up at me, a glass bottle of clear liquid hanging from her teeth. “Torch that bug.” She grinned ear to ear, and the bottle dropped to the floor. Her flamer sparked up just as the buck called out.

“PrINCeesss! DIIiner TTTIIIIme!!” The gout of napalm roared into him, incinerating the fucker in an instant. He squealed and bucked on the ground, then slumped over defeated. Matchstick turned to me, smiling and picking the bottle back up in her teeth.

“Thanks Match! He was a real-”

SSSSSSSSKKKKKKKKKKRRRRRRRRRRRIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!



We all stopped dead in our tracks, and turned our gaze to the soot covered shutter. It shook back and forth, then burst open. A massive armoured appendage shot forward and impaled the bucks smoking carcass. The limb retracted, pulling the body with it. We all stood there, staring into the pitch black hole in the door. There was a sickly Crunch of bones and flesh, then the shadows began to move.

“Guys. Guys! WE NEED TO LEAVE!!!” My hooves treaded dirt, and like that, I was off galloping away as smaller Ass Jockeys spilled through the hole. I heard the clatter of hooves behind me and I risked a glance back. There were my friends! Then there was the skittering wave of doom scampering after us.

“FUCK.”
“Dew keep running! There's a ladder up ahead, just climb as fast as you can!!!”

I nodded slightly, the turned my head forward and ran for all my orange legs were worth!
_________________________________________________________________________________
There it is! My breath ran ragged through my throat and lungs, and my legs burned like Match's Flamer. But there it was, in all it's glory! The ladder!

“There it is! We made it!” Riot yelled something, but it was cut off by the chattering din the little creatures made. One of the bigger ones had tried to cut us off, but met a fast death at the barking barrels of Riots rifles.

Skidding to a halt just under the ladder, I could only wonder. How many calories have I burned off with all this running and near death experiences? I blinked, mulling it over in my mind.

Saw bounded past me, then came to a crashing halt. “The damn hatch is closed!! I'll try and open it!”

Riot and matchstick came up on us, despair written over one of their faces. “Get up that ladder and get the bloody thing open! We'll hold them off!”

Matchstick's Flamer let out a low whine as it sprayed the hall with smoking napalm and jellied gasoline. Riot turned to me, and tossed a small set of bags over at me. “ya lost em' when you tumbled, Figured you'd want some fresh mag's!”

My eyes shot open and a small grin hit me. I had purchased a whole wack of laser cartridges! FUCK!

My laser pistol came out of its holster, and my wing slipped a new crystal pack into the feed tray. The pistol hummed to life with renewed vigor. My triumph was short lived when Match called out over the screeching Ass Jockeys.

“I NEED TO RELOAD!! THEY'RE GOING TO PUSH THROUGH THE FLAMES!!” Well fuck me side-ways. We were-

“Toss me a lighter!” The mare tossed a small metal object at the buck, who swigged back at least half his flask. I heard Saw crack open the bottle on his hoof held torch. I hoped that what-ever Riot had planned would work.

One of the larger ones stepped over the flames, the collapsed ontop of them, effectively creating a bridge over the roaring napalm. The tide of little fuckers began to flow towards us. My laser pistol bucked in my mouth as I incinerated a select few in the group.

The tall grey stallion stepped into view, his cheeks were puffed out and the lighter levitated in front of him. As the first of the Jockeys crossed the morbid bridge, the buck sprayed.

Fire arched from his lips and into the group, I could hear their squelching cries as they reared back and fell from the bridge. Just as Riot emptied his cheeks, Match patted him on the shoulder as I fired past them. We both backed away, and the blue mare let loose.

SSSKKKRRRRRIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!! FUCK OFF!!!

A large Jockey bounded above the others, and bowled into Riot, knocking him to the ground. Match pointed a hoof as she kept the fiery stream on the wave, but I didn't need to be told what to do.

Galloping the short distance, I came to where the buck and the spider grappled on the ground. Riot dodged and blocked the spiders razor maw, but it was obvious he need help. Jamming my laser pistol into the small indent in the side of the Jockeys head, I fired on full auto. The creature spasmed, bucking violently as it swatted at its head. Riot pointed his head upwards and loosed a kinetic blast.

The spider was blown upwards and impaled on the numerous broken pipes that trailed the roof. Squealing loudly, it slid off the pipes and fell to the ground with a thud.

Riot glanced up as he wiped a bit of blood from a shallow bite. Giving me a thankful smile, he turned to Saw. “How are we lookin? I don't think we're welcome here anymore!”

The blue buck looked back as the hatch popped open. “We're right shiny, lets get the hell outa Dodge!”


The hatch closed with a loud Krump and was promptly welded to the panel with a small arc welder. We all sat down for a moment, catching our breaths and coughing up smoke.

Match slid her mask off, that funny permanent smile still permeating her lips. “That was fun! Can we go again?”

A muffled roar echoed through the tunnels, plumes of dust lifted up from the floor and fell from the roof.

“I think we're permanently banned from that ride kids...” We all laughed, until something slammed into the hatch with extreme force.

“Well y'all, as much fun as this vacations been, ah think it be about high time we all went back to work.”

Yea, I think park security's right pissed.”

“What the hell are you two going on about?”

The two bucks looked at each other. “Nothin.”

_____________________________________________________________
“There's the cart! Come on!” Riot cantered past the rest of us, whom were puffing and breathing heavily. We had been running and cantering almost the entire way, but with each step, that monstrosities murderous roars grew quieter and quieter.

My hoof braced against the metal cage of the cart, allowing me to catch my breath finally. Matchstick trotted past me, patting me on the shoulder as she past. “Doin' great! Just a few more steps!”

I nodded, waving my hoof. “I'll be right up...”

Saw clambered onto the cart, next to its driver. The other buck nodded over to him, then started the engine. Riot motioned at me from his place on the covered cart. “Up and at em' Ms. Cloud, don't want to keep that sister of yours waiting.”

I nodded again, then trotted up the short stairs. Sitting down across from the tall stallion, I lifted the leg of my barding and tried to lick my wounds.
Riot said something, then shifted over to my side of the bench. Taking my hoof in his, he opened up the metal canister he always had hanging from his gear.

“Let me take a look at ya, looks like you took a might bit o' a beatin'.”

I blushed into my hoof as he examined the other, I mumbled something as he turned it over to look at the underside.

“Just some nice bruise material on this hoof. I'll check your neck and chest for any other wounds then I'll move to your head.”

I nodded slightly, but then Matchstick spoke up. “I think her neck isn't the only thing she wants checked out Riot! “ She giggled loudly as I turned from orange to bright crimson. Riot let out a chuckle, then unfurled a roll of bandages.

'I'm going to wrap your neck, but your chest seems alright. Just a lot of bruises.”

I leaned back against the railing as the cart putted along the tracks. “Y-Yea, sure. I've gotten bruises before, no big deal.”

“Mhmm. Hold on, this cut on your heads pretty bad, I'll have to apply some potion directly to it or risk infection. Lean against me so I can get it in some proper light.”

OK! I'M FINE WITH THIS!!! My mind did little backflips, but I managed to lower myself so my face was against his chest. I winced as he hoofed at the cut gently. I pulled in a deep breath, and found my nose filled with his scent.

Sure, fine, I'll admit it wasn't much more than the burn of gunpowder death and napalm, but it had a certain musk to it that stiffened my wings. WHAT? DON'T LOOK AT ME LIKE THAT.

“He clocked you pretty good, but I think you'll be alright Dew.”

Before I could answer, Match piped up again. “Not the only clocking she's-”

“Match, one more innuendo and I'm shoving a sparkle cola bottle up your ass.” Thanks Riot. That's just a peachy image. Match baulked, shuffling her hooves in embarrassment and staring at the ground. Serves you right calling me out like that!!!

The driver called out as a shrill bell rang in the distance. “Five minutes to Horseshen! Thank you for choosing Carrion lines, Please, don't come again!”

____________________________________________________________________________________
Footnote: Lvl UP!!

New perk: Look! Distraction!: Enemies won't engage you right away when you're floored, giving your friends (Or you) a chance to murder them! This perk gives you a 10% bonus to combat when floored, and your allies the flanking strike perk if they don't already have it.

Quest Trait earned: Archophobia: Congratulations! You hate anything that skitters or crawls, giving you a plus 5% to damage in ranged combat, but a -10% to accuracy in close quarters.

As an added bonus, you've come to despise and loathe anypony who has weird eyes! Woo equality!

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