• 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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Starmetal Alloy

In the time that it took for the Storyteller to start talking again, the group had decided to make camp for the night. The Sun had now gone down completely, making the whole area around them almost pitch black, illuminated only by the campfire that the three of them were gathered around, which PINK-E had lit with her built-in laser rifle.

Buck Shot didn’t have any food on him, but the Storyteller had passed him a buck cake; it wasn’t much, but he was so hungry that he didn’t care. PINK-E, as a robot, didn’t need to eat, while the Storyteller simply wasn’t eating anything. Buck Shot didn’t know if it was because he didn’t have any more food on him – possible, since he only gave him the one buck cake – though it did make him wonder if he was ever going to see this pony’s face.

“So, the next topic that you were going to talk about was ‘Starmetal’?” Buck Shot spoke up, knowing that the Storyteller was going to start talking soon anyway, and wanted to get it over with, so that he could rest and get some sleep.

“That’s right,” the Storyteller began. “Like I said before, it’s an alloy that’s not found naturally on this planet of ours. This was first hypothesised following the first recorded appearance of these metals over twelve hundred years ago, after a meteor shower, and the pony who discovered it was none other than Princess Luna herself. History says that she was enamoured with the material immediately, as it was something that no pony had ever laid their eyes on before. She was so impressed by it, that she had it melted down and forged into a suit of armor for herself.”

Starmetal armor? That certainly sounded familiar. “You mean like yours?” Buck Shot asked.

“Not exactly,” the Storyteller responded. “My armor simply has a starmetal chrome finish, allowing me the use of my magic whilst encased in the stuff, along with an increased energy resistance. The amount of starmetal that I used in my armor also wouldn’t offer much protection on its own; I only had one small rock of it after all, and even that was ridiculous to obtain. Princess Luna was another story, however, and it’s not one for another day.”

Buck Shot couldn’t help but facehoof at that remark.

“Sure her armor wasn’t a body-encompassing suit like power armor, but it was still effective nonetheless, protecting her fiercely in battle. Though I’m sure that them not having firearms back then might have had something to do with it, but I digress.

“Legends say that Princess Luna was one of the mightiest warriors in all of pony history – if there are any who would think that she was merely a Princess and didn’t earn her place, then all they would have to do is look to history – and I’m sure that a majestic suit of armor like that was a part of it. After all, behind every great warrior is an exceptional suit of armor… although, technically I suppose it would be in front of them. Armor can’t protect you if it’s behind you, after all.”

Buck Shot facehooved again. Next to him, PINK-E turned and gave a quiet mechanical whinny, as if to do the robotic equivalent.

“The armor was certainly impressive, both to look at and in combat.” The Storyteller continued. “It’s just a shame that such a beautiful thing came to be associated with the evil of Nightmare Moon.”

“Nightmare Moon?” Buck Shot spoke up. “I remember that from a story my Mom used to read to me at night when I was a foal. That was the name Princess Luna used when she was corrupted by jealousy of her sister, right?”

“Well, a part of Princess Luna, perhaps.” The Storyteller clarified. “It’s not known whether or not Nightmare Moon was just a new name Princess Luna chose for herself after she rebelled, or if it was actually an outside force acting on her. I doubt anyone will ever know for sure.

“After Princess Luna returned from her banishment on the Moon over two hundred years ago and was purified by the Elements of Harmony, she had the starmetal armor locked away, hoping that it would never again see the light of day. For all I know, it could still be there where she locked it up. While there are records stating that Princess Luna did a bit of fighting in the early days of the war, they never mention her wearing her old armor. Maybe she thought that the starmetal in the armor had some sort of corrupting influence which made her Nightmare Moon in the first place, and she didn’t want to risk it. If that was the case, she certainly wouldn’t have been the only one.”

This certainly caught Buck Shot’s attention, and as usual, the Storyteller continued before he could ask. “In fact, in a roundabout way, starmetal may have been the reason that the Great War happened in the first place; or at least why it stumbled so far out of control.”

Okay, now Buck Shot was really interested and confused. “How could a space rock have been the reason for the War?” He asked.

“Well,” the Storyteller began. “The zebras have always been a superstitious folk, with many strange beliefs, and the stars were a big one for them. They believed that the stars were actually evil spirits that sought the destruction of our world. There have been several meteor showers every few centuries – the space rocks that fell down bringing with them more starmetal. The zebras thought that this was the spirits trying to invade our world, find a host to act upon and infect them with its poison.”

“Starmetal is poisonous?” Buck Shot wondered aloud, with an arched eyebrow.

“Well, not in the traditional sense. While you certainly wouldn’t want to put it inside your body, I wouldn’t say that it’s poisonous, exactly. It’s also likely that the zebras weren’t speaking in a literal sense. As something that fell from space, they believed that starmetal was an agent of the stars, which had corrupting properties that could control and influence people’s action, carrying out some greater will, and that the stars had found their agent in Princess Luna, who they couldn’t differentiate from Nightmare Moon. The zebras, as you can imagine, with their strange beliefs, didn’t take this too well at all. In fact, around the time when Princess Celestia stepped down and Princess Luna took the throne, was when the zebras started getting more and more extreme in their efforts to win the war. They believed that Equestria was now under complete control of Nightmare Moon and thus evil star spirits, and that if we had won the war, soon the entire world would follow.

“In the final days of the war, things were certainly in Equestria’s favour. Around that time, the Ministry of Arcane Sciences was finishing up work on their two most promising projects: the Impelled Metamorphosis Potion, which could turn ordinary ponies into near unstoppable alicorn soldiers, and country-wide protective shields which could have protected Equestria from any and all of the Zebra’s megaspells.

“In fact, some ponies think that if we had just had a couple more months, Equestria could have easily won the war. Of course, to the zebras, this meant death and subjugation at the hooves of Nightmare Moon, who they believed was an agent of the stars, and soon the entire world would follow suit. They were so desperate to prevent that from happening that they thought that death would have been preferable; for them and everyone else. They were only a few moves away from checkmate and they knew that they couldn’t win, so they did the only thing they could: they blew up the board.”

Buck Shot couldn’t believe what he was hearing. “You mean that all this,” he said, gesturing to the wasteland around them – which didn’t really have as much of an impact as he would have liked for what he was saying since it was pitch black. “…all of it… was all because of a… dumb rock?”

The Storyteller seemed to pause for a moment to consider how to say what he wanted to say next. “Well, when you say it like that, of course it sounds ridiculous. Like I said before, not much is definitively known about starmetal, since it can’t be found on our planet, and any events that could bring more are few and far between, so there haven’t been many opportunities to properly study it and find out more about it, either. Even my knowledge on the subject is limited.

“There have been several meteor showers over the centuries, though, each one bringing with them more traces of starmetal; though as far as I’m aware, none of them were used in any big ways like Princess Luna’s armor, and even then, those willing to study the stuff are few and far between. It would seem that ponies are almost as hesitant about learning more about the stars as the zebras are and both because of legends from long before their time. Perhaps when all’s said and done, ponies and zebras really aren’t all that different.

“Regardless, I have come across several sources in my travels saying that Princess Luna had some of her ponies studying a sample of starmetal during the war, trying to find out if there really was more to it than meets the eye. The results of that research were never known, however; at least not publicly, so if there was anything discovered about it, nopony, or very few learned of it. Perhaps it lies lost somewhere out in the wasteland, just waiting for somepony to dig it up – and honestly, I hope that that pony will be me.

“Starmetal isn’t the only interstellar material that we know of, however,” the Storyteller continued, moving on. “The other is moon rock.”

“Moon rock?” Buck Shot asked. “As in, rocks that come from the moon?”

“That’s right, and unlike starmetal, moon rocks don’t fall to Equus from space. We actually went to the moon and brought some back.”

Buck Shot seemed to snap to attention fully when he said that. “Wait, went to the moon? You mean, like when Princess Luna was banished?”

“Well, whenever anyone, of any species, thinks about leaving this planet, they automatically think of Princess Luna’s banishment, since such a thing sounds too outlandish otherwise. What few remember, however, is that Equestria had a space program before the war, and ponies actually went to the moon and returned in just a few days instead of a thousand years.”

Buck Shot stared back at the Storyteller wide eyed as he spoke. He had heard the power armored pony say a lot of weird things since they had met, and just things in general, but this just seemed a little too strange even for him.

Before Buck Shot could speak up again, however, the Storyteller cut him off. “I can guess from your face that you don’t believe what I’m telling you is true, but I swear on the Codex that it is. In the later days of Equestria, as technology improved, some of the things that seemed impossible before started to become more mundane, and even going to the moon was one of them.

“The reasons for why we went there are unknown, but the data that we received from it was astronomical, if not far known. We did learn of a completely new element, after all. One aspect of moon rock is that it’s incredibly brittle and could easily fall apart in your hooves and turn to dust if held improperly. Not surprising, since there’s low gravity on the moon, and thus wouldn’t hold up well in our atmosphere. Another aspect is that it’s incredibly poisonous to ponies and other creatures, and breathing it in could lead to complications and even death, so proper safety was needed when handling it.

“There is one other thing about moon rock, however, which changed how we looked at it and its connection to starmetal forever, and that was they’re incredibly volatile when around each other.”

“What do you mean by ‘volatile’?” Buck Shot asked.

“What I mean,” the Storyteller continued. “Is that whenever the two elements come into contact with each other, the results tend to be… explosive. Even two shards of each, the size of small pebbles could produce a reaction equal to a frag grenade, and the level of explosiveness increases quickly the more of each compound there is. This fact alone tells us that starmetal and moon rock are not the same things, but rather the antithesis of each other.

“I’ve come across some discrete notes in my travels that the Ministries were researching ways of weaponising this compound during the war, but I never found any evidence concrete enough to prove this, so I can’t say for certainty, and some Ministry projects were so discrete that they’ll likely never be found again. It does seem likely, though, as both resources were so scarce that the Ministries would be the only ones who would have enough to even attempt such research. Starmetal and moon rock are also so unstable that large quantities of them colliding would approach megaspell levels of power. For all I know, there could be a megaspell based on such, but I shudder to even think about it.”

Buck Shot visibly shivered in response to that, despite the fire in front of him. “Sounds like starmetal can be dangerous when combined with moon rock.”

“Not just then, but on its own, as well. There is one last thing about starmetal, which is perhaps the biggest mystery surrounding the already mysterious element. You see, of all the times when starmetal has fallen to our planet from space, it wasn’t always in shards, but sometimes… weapons.

“Weapons?” Buck Shot parroted. “…of starmetal?”

“That’s right,” the Storyteller answered. “Such weapons bear some similarities to our own energy weapons, but with some distinct differences. One is that the handle of a starmetal weapon is one that no pony would ever be able to hold, even in their mouth. Only a unicorn would be able to effectively wield it, with their levitation, or perhaps another type of pony could by constructing a handle and integrating it on to a suit of power armor. Another distinction is that it uses a unique type of battery for its ammunition that ponies have been unable to replicate, though they have developed a way of using said batteries to power other things, and the amount of energy they’re capable of producing is astonishing. That means that the only ammunition for these weapons is the ammo that’s already found inside of the weapon when it fell from the stars.

“There are perhaps only ever one or two of these weapons on our planet at any given time, which is probably a good thing, since it’s said that they’re so unbelievably powerful that just one shot from these ‘Star Blasters’ is powerful enough to vaporize a shielded alicorn in a single shot.”

“Wow,” Buck Shot said, in awe. “Sounds powerful.”

“And dangerous,” the Storyteller added. “It could certainly prove so if such a weapon fell into the wrong hooves.” He then seemed to stare contemplatingly into the fire. “Perhaps starmetal is a super intricate alloy used by some highly advanced alien species, or maybe what the zebras say is true and it really is made by evil star spirits who want to see us destroyed – but if you ask me, aside from some special properties that make it good armor, starmetal is just like you said: a dumb rock with nothing corrupting about it.”

Unless it makes ponies talk others to death. Buck Shot thought to himself, starting to calm down a bit. After a few seconds of silence, which he noticed he only got around this pony when he was moving on from one story to another, Buck Shot started to wonder if he was finished with this story and leading into another. “So… that’s it?” He asked.

“That’s it,” the Storyteller responded. “Like I said, there’s still a lot we don’t know for sure about starmetal. I’m sure that there is more information about it out there in the world somewhere, though, but I don’t have it… yet… hopefully.” At that, PINK-E turned and gave him a knowing look and a beep.

When Buck Shot didn’t hear him leading into another story and end with ‘But that is a story for another day’, he decided to speak up. “So, is that it? Are there no more stories?” He asked, hopefully not jinxing it.

“Well, there will always be more stories,” the Storyteller responded, as he started to roll over. “But those…” He yawned. “…are for another day.”

Buck Shot simply rolled his eyes at the way he used his catchphrase to say goodnight, but didn’t say anything himself. PINK-E then turned to him and gave a mechanical whinny in response.

“Hey, quiet down. I’m trying to sleep.” The Storyteller scolded.

Buck Shot simply facehooved at that.