• Published 20th May 2016
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The Storyteller: Fallout Equestria - Dawn Flower

Join the Storyteller as he explains the lore of the Equestrian Wasteland.

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Power Armor Training

“I don’t know but I’ve been told. Cottage Cheese is mighty old.” The Storyteller chanted as he sprinted along, with Buck Shot at his side, and PINK-E following behind them. The three of them had managed to put some distance between them and the Ironshod factory before the Storyteller had spoken up again after finishing his last story. The area around them was silent and mostly empty, with only the ruined remains of half-buried trucks leading up to the factory, which had been blown away when the first megaspells hit. Now that Buck Shot was aware of it, he also noticed a couple of crudely dug holes littering the ground, which even he knew were associated with Hellhounds, putting him on edge. The Sun had almost completely gone down now, leaving the sky somewhere between the orange of late evening and the black of night.

“Do you…” Buck Shot, who was keeping pace alongside the Storyteller, wheezed. “…have to chant that as we run.”

“Like I said before; most ponies can only get around the wasteland on foot, so you have to be in peak physical condition if you want to survive out here.” The Storyteller responded as they continued sprinting along. “When there’s nothing around that could pose a threat, sprinting is a great way to get exercise, and it helps you reach your destination quicker. A good chant can also keep your mind focused and your breathing regular while you do so.” He explained, returning his full attention to his running. “I don’t know but it’s been said. Enclave Armor’s made of lead.” He continued chanting. “Sound off.”

PINK-E chirped behind him, as a sound off.

Letting out a sigh as he ran, Buck Shot decided to drop it, but he did pick up on something that the Storyteller had just said in his chant. “Isn’t Enclave power armor more advanced than Steel Ranger power armor? What with them having the means and technology to improve it since the war?”

“Well, Enclave armor is actually an improved version of pegasus power armor. That’s a completely separate model from what’s used in the Steel Rangers.” The Storyteller explained while they continued running. “You see, power armor was originally made with earth ponies in mind, as a way of bolstering their already impressive physical strength and endurance, in addition to granting increased protection from enemy gunfire. During the war, earth ponies made up the majority of the front line soldiers, with the pegasi acting as aerial reinforcements and reconnaissance, and unicorns as researchers and engineers working behind the scenes.

“The first power armor models were a lot more bulky than the ones you see today, and offered more protection as well. Rather than traditional armor that you equipped piece by piece, they were instead more like vehicles that you entered and exited, and piloted on the battlefield. The problem was that due to their large size and intricate design work, they required portable spark batteries to run the internal servos in order to operate and to allow movement. The same spark batteries that could run a factory generator for two hundred years could run a suit of power armor for about twenty minutes. Obviously this wasn’t ideal, as the whole reason that Equestria was fighting the war was because of energy needs; at least at first. The engineers needed a way to reduce the power requirements, while still keeping the defensive capabilities. The end result was power armor as it’s known today.

“Now rather than using expensive spark batteries, each individual armor piece was powered by the same spark packs used in energy weapons, linked together by a spell matrix. These new power armor’s weren’t all one big machine like the earlier models, but they were still interconnected nonetheless. They were slick enough to provide decent manoeuvrability, while also strong enough to resist enemy gunfire, and support large weapons like grenade launchers and miniguns.”

The Storyteller looked towards the sky as he continued sprinting. “They were certainly a sight to behold. The very sight of these soldiers on the battlefield was enough to have a rallying effect on the rest of the non-power armored soldiers, while also making the enemy worry. The moment these armor’s starting hitting the battlefield in large numbers was one of the major turning points during the war. The zebras had to start adjusting their strategies and tactics accordingly in order to keep up and stay in the game.”

“You mean it didn’t make them basically invincible?” Buck Shot inquired.

The Storyteller simply chuckled at that. “There’s no such thing as a perfect weapon. In fact, the stronger one is, the better the weapon the enemy has to come up with in order to counter it, and the zebras were certainly no exception in that regard. They developed something called a ‘Bypass Spell’: an enchantment, which when applied to something, allowed it to completely ignore whatever the bypass was made for, as if it wasn’t even there. They applied these bypass spells to special incinerator rounds, which burst into flames as soon as they made contact. Just imagine it: a flaming bullet comes flying at you, your power armor offering no protection, and as soon as it penetrates your skin, it bursts into flames; with no way for the flames to escape, it starts to cook you alive inside of your own armor.” He then stopped to imagine it. “A scary thought to say the least.” He said in a straight tone.

Buck Shot shivered at the thought. “Sounds like power armor wasn’t that useful, after all.”

The Storyteller merely chuckled again. “Not at all. First off, it was several years after power armor first made its battlefield debut that zebras had finalised their bypass spells, and even then, they took time to apply and set up properly. The years leading up to then were some of the best years of combat for Equestria during the war. Zebra’s speciality was stealth tactics, used for infiltration, so power armor gave ponies a major advantage on the front lines, allowing them to capture enemy positions and expand into zebra territory. The Shattered Hoof Ridge is the closest pony base established near the zebra homeland, and having their enemy so close by certainly didn’t help them sleep at night.

“Like I said, power armor was a major turning point for ponies during the war; so much so in fact, that when the pegasi saw how effective it was, they wanted power armor models of their very own. However, that wasn’t as easy as simply putting a pegasus into an existing suit. Pegasus power armor needed to be strong enough to protect the pony inside, but also light enough to still allow them manoeuvrability enough to fly. However, reducing the weight would also reduce the amount of protection the armor could offer, and of course the grenade launchers, missile launchers, and miniguns that came equipped with power armor would only weigh it down even more. Earth ponies fully encased in power armor don’t have that much mobility while weighed down with those big guns, so even the strongest pegasus couldn’t hope to fly like that, so the entire model had to be built again from the ground up.

“Pegasus power armor was actually a collaboration effort between the Ministry of Wartime Technology and the Ministry of Awesome. While earth pony models were big, rigid and made to increase their strength even further, pegasus power armor was slick, smooth and lightweight, keeping their occupant’s agility, while still offering increased protection. They even came equipped with a scorpion-like tail for quick, melee strikes, furthering adding to their versatility. Also, while earth pony suits came equipped with miniguns and grenade launchers for suppressive fire and area of effect, pegasus power armor came equipped with energy weapons for quick and accurate shots, making them superb for cover fire. The reduced weight did mean that they didn’t offer as much protection as earlier earth pony models, but the protection to agility ratio made them a force to be reckoned with nonetheless.”

Buck Shot suddenly got a smirk on his face. “So does that mean that if the Steel Rangers had to fight the Enclave, they would lose due to superior power armor models?”

The Storyteller simply chuckled derisively. “Of course not. Pegasus power armor was built with accuracy and agility in mind, but all the accuracy in the world is useless if you can’t damage your opponent. Earlier power armor models used by earth ponies, and later the Steel Rangers, were specifically built to resist heavy damage. If the two sides ever came to blows, the Steel Rangers superior defence would be more than enough to resist any energy weapon attacks thrown at them, while our high area explosives would quickly scatter any large groups, even in the air, and rapid fire miniguns would tear through their own armor like… well, like lead.” He added with a small smirk underneath his helmet.

“Sure, the pegasi during the war were a force to be reckoned with, and sure, the Enclave has been able to make improvements since then, but that was because zebra soldiers were lightly armored for stealth, so there was always a weak spot to exploit. Even their total air superiority would be little importance to the full might of the Steel Rangers.” He spoke with pride; Buck Shot merely rolled his eyes at that.

“Pegasus power armor – and hence, Enclave power armor – was also a lot more intimidating looking, with its black colour scheme and insectoid appearance, making them resemble changelings; whereas Steel Ranger armor is a cool grey, standing strong and tough, as the symbol of Equestrian protection that they were and still are. Intimidating to enemies, sure, but allies know that they’re there to help… so it’s no wonder why the two factions end up with such different reactions to their appearance.” His voice started to take on a sly tone. “You’ve got the old school, staunch protector of Equestria in the Steel Rangers, working to make Equestria great again, and the intimidating and villainous bunch in the Enclave, who only care about their own survival and isolationism, not caring about the surface at best, and actively hindering or destroying our progress down here at worst. These days, when you see a pony in power armor, all it takes is just a single glance at the model to know which side of the firing line you’re on.”

Buck Shot simply shook his head at that, knowing that a good bit of what the Storyteller had just said was just Steel Ranger propaganda. He did still learn a lot more about power armor, though there was still something that he didn’t know. “Okay, so you’ve talked, extensively,” he whispered under his breath, “about earth pony and pegasus power armor models, but what about unicorn power armor, like you’re wearing?” He asked.

Although Buck couldn’t see it, the Storyteller’s expression once again underneath his helmet. “Well, that’s where it gets a little tricky. Just like modifying a suit of power armor for a pegasus is a lot more complicated than simply putting a pegasus pony into an existing suit, making a unicorn model was a lot more than just installing horn slot in the helmet. Even if they did that, however, it still wouldn’t work. A part of what makes power armor so protective is that it completely seals in the pony inside, so that nothing short of a bypass enchantment can get in or out. Even if you did just install a horn slot on to a suit of power armor and put a unicorn inside it, they would still be able to use their magic, but it wouldn’t be able to penetrate the suit to actually work. The helmet is also what controls several of the power armor’s features, like the built in S.A.T.S. system, and the inventory sorter, without which, their effectiveness would be reduced. There are even some unicorns in the Steel Rangers who resort to cutting their own horns off – permanently crippling themselves – just so that they can wear power armor and be more useful. Now that’s true dedication to a cause.”

While the Storyteller seemed impressed at their dedication, Buck Shot visibly shivered at the thought of having his horn cut off.

“This was something that would require a lot research and resources to figure out,” the Storyteller continued. “Unfortunately, near the end of the war, unicorn power armor never saw production. There simply weren’t enough unicorns on the front line to warrant such an investment in time and resources to find a way around it, and by that point, the war was approaching its conclusion, and scientists had already started to move on to something even bigger than power armor; something which could win the war in one fell swoop.”

“Megaspells.” Buck Shot interjected.

“Bingo.” The Storyteller responded.

PINK-E chirped behind them.

“So then, what about you’re power armor? I’ve seen you using magic through your power armor.” Buck Shot asked, with an arched eyebrow, remembering him holding his laser rifle and Sparkle Cola with his magic.

“Well,” the Storyteller began again. “I never said that a workaround for unicorn power armor was never found; it’s just that the method of doing so is very esoteric and only known to a very select few,” he said, with obvious pride dripping from his voice, indicating himself. “My power armor is unique, in that it has a special starmetal finish lining the armor. Starmetal is a rare alloy that has the mysterious properties of not reacting with Equestrian magic, so I can still use my own magic whilst fully encased in it. As an aside, the effect of not reacting with magic means that it also offers an impressive resistance to energy weapons, making things even more difficult for any Enclave soldiers I happen to run across.”

Ignoring that last part, Buck Shot instead focused on the name of the alloy that he mentioned. “Starmetal?” He wondered. “I’ve never heard of that.”

“You wouldn’t have.” The Storyteller replied. “It’s a rare alloy that’s not found naturally on this planet. Like the name suggests, it comes from the stars.” The power armor encased unicorn then faced forward again, returning his full attention to his running. “But that is a story for another day…”

Buck Shot simply let out a sigh as they continued running along.