• Published 20th May 2016
  • 1,734 Views, 30 Comments

The Storyteller: Fallout Equestria - Dawn Flower

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

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Slavery is Wrong

It is now morning, with the Sun’s rays coming through the wasteland’s perpetual cloud cover a bit brighter than usual today. Buck Shot, the Storyteller and PINK-E had woken up three hours ago so that they could get a fresh start… and the Storyteller has been talking non-stop since then.

About what you ask?

“…and in the summer of the final year of the war, they switched back from high fructose corn syrup and carob extract to cane sugar and cocoa powder. You see, Buck Cakes aren’t actually baked; they congeal at room temperature into a cake-like substance. I’ve bumped into more than a few of their billboards in my day. The slogan claims ‘A big delight in every bite’, and a blue label proudly announces to the world that these spongy snack cakes were Equestria’s favourite food.”

Buck Shot had his eyes and teeth clenched tightly in irritation. When the Storyteller seemed to have finally reached the end of his story, he couldn’t help but release a long, drawn-out sigh. “You’ve been talking for three hours straight, reciting the entire recipe for Buck Cakes, down to every last excruciating detail.” He deadpanned.

“Of course,” the Storyteller replied instantly, in his regular tone of voice. “If we want to continue to enjoy the delectable treats well into the future, we have to learn and preserve the recipe. We won’t be able to just scavenge from the Old World forever. We need to build our own future and carve our way forward.”

Buck Shot simply let out another sigh. “Are we out of Hellhound territory yet?” He asked abruptly, perhaps a bit too aggressively.

If the Storyteller minded, he didn’t let it show. “Actually, I think we passed the border of Hellhound territory about an hour ago.” He clarified. Buck Shot was about to release a sigh of relief, but without missing a beat, the power armored unicorn continued. “However, now we’re deep in slaver territory, so instead of having to worry about being ripped apart in seconds by razor sharp claws or disintegrated by energy weapons, we now get to trade it for worrying about having a slave collar wrapped around our necks and spending the rest of our lives as somepony else’s property. And honestly, I’m not sure which one is worse.”

Instead of breathing a sigh of relief, Buck Shot instead swallowed a lump in his throat. “Of course,” he deadpanned. It looks like he’d be sticking with the Storyteller and PINK-E for a little while longer.

“Are slavers much of a problem around here?” Buck Shot asked, speaking up again, his voice sounding somewhere between stoic and nervous.

“Well, not when you have a laser rifle, a suit of power armor, and a badass robot to help you fight them off,” the Storyteller announced proudly, which if Buck didn’t know any better, he was giving him a wry smirk from underneath his helmet.

PINK-E chirped pridefully from behind them.

“But for everypony else…” He continued. “Well, slavers are one of the scourges of the wasteland. While they aren’t as high in numbers as raiders, they’re by far more dangerous due to their virtue of being organised. Rather than simply getting high on chems and recklessly charging at anypony they see for whatever reason or no reason at all, slavers have an actual sense of self-preservation, and are smart enough to use proper tactics and much better kept armor and weapons to outsmart and overwhelm their opponents.

“Unlike raiders, who simply use the most brutal of treatments to keep each other in line, and barely manage to scrape by day by day, slavers are properly united together, with a hierarchy based on loyalty and charisma, and held together by a business-like appreciation for caps. They hold themselves to a certain standard of living, and they’re smart enough to realise that just killing anypony above you will only create more problems for you and makes things harder in the long run.

“Slavers are technically business ponies, after all – just trafficking in other pony’s lives instead of guns, food and Sparkle Cola.”

From behind them, PINK-E gave a loud, annoyed, mechanical whinny.

“I know, PINK-E, it’s deplorable, but there are ponies like that out there. Also unlike raiders, slaver outfits are generally harder to take out than just by killing the guy in charge, because there’s always someone next down on the list that can take their place. I doubt even killing Red Eye himself would end the slaver reign of terror in the Equestrian Wasteland.

“As long as there are ponies out there who think that they’re better than others simply by way of birth or lifestyle or just their own egos, who don’t like doing the hard work themselves, and have plenty of caps to throw around, slavery will always be a thing, and with the world we live in, there’s always someone brutal enough to oblige. Nowadays, slavery is widespread throughout the entire Equestrian Wasteland.

“While the heart of slavery in the Equestrian Wasteland is the once great city of Fillydelphia – where even the Steel Rangers are struggling to hold out – there are still several smaller slavery hubs dotting the landscape, all intricately connected. Perhaps the most famous – or infamous – of them is the town of Old Appleloosa; built on top of one of the finest examples of earth pony ingenuity from before the War, now it’s a den of some of the worst ponies to roam the wastes: a fine metaphor for the war and following wasteland if I ever heard one.

“The slaves there are typically kept in conditions just good enough to keep them alive and to let them work, while still poor enough to break their wills and keep them from resisting and dreaming of freedom. Once a slave has stopped trying or hoping that one day they’ll be free – when a pony no longer has the ability to choose for themselves, when their very rights are denied… and they simply accept it as the way the world works – that’s when they’re well and truly no longer ponies, but simply other’s property. Certainly a tragic fate to say the least.

“In the end, what separates a free pony from a slave? The answer: a pony chooses, a slave obeys.”

Buck Shot grit his teeth. “Man, that’s why I hate slavers.”

While the three of them had been running and talking, they seemed to have reached a burned-out woodland filled with the husks of dead trees that had been stripped of all of their green long ago when the first megaspells hit. By the time they had finished speaking, the three of them had reached an outcropping, overlooking the area beyond, with the tree graveyard behind them, and the wide open spaces of the wasteland before them.

“Wow,” Buck Shot said in awe as he took in the view, his rage simmering down a bit. “It’s like the edge of the world.”

“Indeed,” the Storyteller replied. “If there’s anything I’ve learned in my travels, it’s that the world is a lot bigger than you think it is.”

Suddenly, something far in the distance, near the horizon caught their attention. There was a group of about twelve ponies, all outfitted in combat armor and well-kept weapons, leading a wagon full of goods being pulled by other ponies, along a recently carved road, probably from about ten to twenty years ago based on how it looked. While the average pony would have seen this group of ponies as a simple trading caravan, somepony as seasoned and well-travelled as the Storyteller saw them for what they truly were.

“Slavers.” The powered armored unicorn spoke up.

Buck Shot grit his teeth at mere mention of the word, his earlier rage returning in earnest. “I hate slavers.” He then turned towards the Storyteller. “So are we gonna take them out?” He asked, turning towards his power armored companion. “And free those slaves?”

Turning to look at Buck Shot, the Storyteller took a moment to respond. “Something else that I’ve learned in the wasteland is that you shouldn’t start anything you’re not prepared to finish.” He then faced forward again. “That’s quite a large band of slavers, and honestly, I doubt that even I could take them all on – with or without your help – and walk away unscathed. Even if we did survive, we’d be battered and spent, vulnerable to the next threat that comes along, and we don’t have enough food or medical supplies to keep the slaves alive until we reached the next settlement, and we’d all likely be killed by the next threat that comes along, seeing us as easy prey.”

The Storyteller let out a sigh before continuing. “I don’t like saying it, but simply walking away and leaving them to it is likely the only way that those slaves will live past today.”

Buck Shot simply stared into the side of the Storyteller’s helmet and swallowed hard before also looking forward again, at the band of slavers in the distance who were getting away with their atrocities while there was nothing they could do to stop it. “I hate feeling so helpless.” He said in what was barely above a whisper.

“I know,” the Storyteller spoke up. “But that’s simply a harsh truth of life that you have to accept out here in the wasteland: that no matter how hard you try, you can’t save everyone, and sometimes the bad guys win.

“I doubt anypony short of a wasteland hero would not only consider taking those slavers on and free those slaves, but succeed as well. I’m good, but I’m not that good. With the state of the Equestrian Wasteland the way it is, we could certainly use a hero right now, but who knows when one of those will show up.”

With one last forlorn look at the slaver band and their captives in the distance, the Storyteller turned and started trotting away in the other direction, in an uncharacteristic silence, with PINK-E following close behind him. After a moment of hesitation, and one last look back himself, Buck Shot followed after them.

After they had left, there was a muffled sound coming from the ground beneath the spot where had been standing a moment ago: the whirring gears of a Stable door opening.