• Published 20th May 2016
  • 1,733 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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Ghouls! Ghouls! Ghouls!

The Storyteller, PINK-E, and Buck Shot all crouched together in silence behind a large boulder. They had recently entered a narrow ravine, which the group had to pass through in order to reach the settlement on the other side. Shortly after they had entered the ravine, however, PINK-E had detected several life signs up ahead, and the Storyteller had told them all to hide behind said boulder.

In the Equestrian Wasteland, it’s better to be safe than sorry.

On the other side of the boulder that the three of them were hiding behind, they could hear the shuffling of hooves moving back and forth in a seemingly random pattern.

Now, somebody who has travelled the wasteland for as long as the Storyteller had would recognise the cause of this kind of behaviour immediately.

Feral ghouls.

After taking a moment to formulate a plan of attack, and then taking another moment to explain the plan to the other two, the Storyteller then nodded towards PINK-E, which the spritebot immediately recognised. She then floated out from behind the safety of their boulder, within full view of the feral ghouls, and began blaring her siren, attracting the attention of the horde.

The feral ghouls all reacted instantly, turning towards the pink spritebot, and letting out a shriek in unison before charging straight towards her. PINK-E immediately began firing at them with her built-in laser rifle, managing to take one out.

After a couple of seconds, but before the ghouls had reached PINK-E, the Storyteller then gestured towards Buck Shot with his hoof. “Now!” The scavenger pony then leapt out of the opposite side of the boulder, and immediately fired his shotgun into the air, drawing the ghouls’ attention on to him.

The feral ghouls all suddenly halted in their gallop and turned towards Buck Shot, instinctively preferring live meat to metal. Now galloping towards Buck Shot, he then levelled his shotgun at the approaching horde, taking shots at them from the front, whilst PINK-E continued firing at them from behind, catching the horde in a pincer attack.

As soon as the horde had changed direction, the Storyteller then stepped out on to the scene as well, next to PINK-E, taking aim with his tri-beam laser rifle. Within just a couple of seconds, the ghouls had been reduced from a mighty horde down to just a single zombie pony, which Buck Shot then shot the forehooves off of with the spread from his shotgun, forcing it to faceplant into the dirt.

“Divide and conquer,” The Storyteller said, levitating his tri-beam laser rifle back into a relaxed position at his side. As he PINK-E moved over towards Buck Shot, he noticed the one remaining feral ghoul still alive. “You gonna get that or should I?”

Buck Shot looked down at the zombie pony in front of him, which still tried to inch itself towards the scavenger pony in front of it with its two front stubs, out of nothing but an animalistic need to consume flesh. Up close, he could see just how feral and mindless this thing really was. Despite its erratic movement and the drool that constantly spewed from its mouth, its eyes were cold, unfocused and completely blank and devoid of life. This thing had been a pony once, no different than him. Was the pony that had once been this thing even in their anymore? Was there anything left of him at all?

Taking just a moment to pity this poor creature, Buck Shot then levelled his shotgun right in its face and pulled the trigger, causing its head to explode into viscera. The rest of its body immediately went limp as it was finally put down for good.

Buck Shot let out a sigh as he looked down at the no-longer-a-walking corpse. “I always feel bad for the ferals; normal ghouls lose their minds and the only cure is high calibre bullets straight to the brain.”

“It certainly is a tragic fate,” the Storyteller responded. “Some people think that there are only a small number of ghouls still alive today who were alive before the war, but the truth is there are actually thousands – possibly even millions – of ghouls still alive today who were alive before the war: the feral ghouls.

“Feral ghouls may have lost their minds and become nothing more than wild animals, spending centuries just mindlessly shambling about, but they were at one point normal ponies, and those ponies are still technically alive.

“Just imagine it from this guy’s perspective,” the Storyteller said, gesturing to the ghoul corpse at Buck Shot’s hooves. “Having to endure who knows how much physical trauma from the initial Megaspell attacks, feeling everything from the balefire scorching the flesh and not being allowed the courtesy of a quick death, before his mind couldn’t take it anymore and just lost itself, but even then, for the last two hundred years he was still technically alive before being put down just now; being trapped in your own body for over two centuries, no longer possessing the mental capacity to truly feel anything, but still technically alive. It’s a fate I wouldn’t wish on anyone.”

Buck Shot shivered at the thought. “If I ever end up like that, then just kill me then and there so that I wouldn’t have to suffer.”

“Well, don’t worry. If you happen to become a ghoul, I’ll make sure to kill you right away.”

Buck Shot turned to face the Storyteller fully, with a raised eyebrow. “You mean if I become a feral ghoul, right?”

The Storyteller simply stared back at him silently for a few seconds before suddenly facing away again. “There is still some debate about what it is exactly that causes a ghoul to turn feral,” the Storyteller spoke up again as he continued walking along through the ravine, completely ignoring what Buck Shot just said. Buck Shot just rolled his eyes before following alongside him, along with PINK-E. “Some think that high levels of radiation is the culprit, while others think that it’s tied to a ghoul’s mental state and that isolation and no interaction with others eventually leads to the madness. If that’s the case, then it would mean that friendship is the key to avoiding a fate worse than death; very fitting in the land of Equestria.

“There are also those who think that there is no special trigger and that no matter what, all ghouls will inevitably lose their minds and go feral. Unfortunately, this theory is the most wildly believed in the Equestrian Wasteland, causing most ponies to have an instinctual distrust of ghouls; the fear that at any moment, a supposedly friendly neighbourhood ghoul could just snap and start attacking innocent civilians. This, combined with the appearance and smell of a rotting corpse, has lead to a lot of ponies to refer to ghouls as ‘Zombie Ponies’, though any non-feral ghouls tend to fire back by referring to non-ghouls as ‘Smoothskins’, showing that they can still give as good they get, and that deep down, they’re still ponies.”

“This attitude has lead to a lot racism and bigotry against ghouls, from certain individuals, and in some cases, entire settlements will even outright ban ghouls from living, entering, or even just bartering with the locals. If you ask me, this is a real shame, as one of the positive effects of becoming a ghoul is supposedly gaining immortality, or perhaps more accurately, agelessness. Ghouls have been around since the Great War ended and many have amassed quite a lot of living experience and would have access to knowledge found nowhere else in the wasteland. It would be a shame to have all that knowledge go to waste just because you’re afraid of what might possibly happen. It’s true that some ghouls have suddenly gone feral and started attacking everypony around them, but ask yourself; how many times have a normal ponies also suddenly started attacking people for no reason?”

While Buck Shot was mostly travelling with the Storyteller for protection until they reached a friendly settlement and just put up with all of his rambling, he was actually curious about one aspect of ghouls that the power armored unicorn had brought up just now. “I’ve actually always wondered; why do ghouls look like zombies? Are the actually undead?”

The Storyteller started grinning underneath his helmet, happy that Buck Shot was become enthusiastic about his stories. “Well, the answer to that question lies in an interesting topic and where all ghouls find their origins: Megaspells.

“You see, when most ponies hear Megaspells, they think of the balefire bombs that the zebras launched against Equestria, which turned our once beautiful land into the wasteland that it is today. However, the truth is much more than that. You see, Megaspells are exactly that: extremely powerful spells; spell matrixes that can be applied to any type of magic, to turn even a simple healing spell an enormous healing wave to affect multiple individuals. In fact, that’s what the very first Megaspell was.

“The zebras, however, applied their Megaspells to balefire bombs, which were a mixture of dragon fire and magic from the zebra’s own necromantic rituals. The day when hundreds of these balefire bombs fell from the sky, the dragon fire burned down the beautiful lands of Equestria, and the necromantic energy seeped into the land and the cells of every living thing, creating among a variety of new creatures, the very first ghouls.

“I’m sure that the zebras intended for the balefire bombs to simply kill off every pony in Equestria, as one of the side effects of ghoulification is halting the aging process and gaining immunity to magical radiation, and turning your enemies into immortal beings that were immune to your weapons certainly wouldn’t be of any help in a war. In fact, if the war hadn’t ended on the Final Day, I wonder how effective ghouls would have been in the fighting, but I digress.”

Buck Shot just rolled his eyes at the thought of him digressing.

“In this sense, maybe ghouls are undead, but that doesn’t change the fact that ghouls, both normal and feral are still very much alive, as I said earlier. However, like I also said earlier, balefire bombs are just one type of Megaspell. There are almost as many different types of Megaspells as there are normal spells, and every one of them that causes a physical change instead of, or in some cases, as well as, death in those affected by it creates a different type of ghoul.

“Sometimes the difference is minor. When the zebras launched their final attack on Canterlot at the end of the war, the city was protected by a powerful shield that was maintained by both Princess Celestia and Luna themselves, the zebras had to use extra powerful balefire bombs, which were laced by a deadly and corrosive pink cloud that was released on impact, which had a more damaging effect over time and quickly sapped the life of anything that got caught within it, and fused flesh to anything that it came into contact with for even a few seconds. This effect is so long lasing, that the Pink Cloud still lingers in Canterlot to this day. This slightly different Megaspell ended up creating a slightly different ghoul: Canterlot Ghouls.

“Canterlot Ghouls physically resemble normal ghouls in every way, to the point that you wouldn’t recognise a Canterlot Ghoul specifically just by meeting them. However, you would quickly discover if this was the case if you had the misfortune of having to fight one.”

Buck Shot quirked an eyebrow in response to that. “What do you mean by that?”

“Simple,” the Storyteller continued. “The longer lasting necromantic energies have seeped into their bodies and altered them even further than normal ghouls. While all ghouls carry a natural immunity to magical radiation as a side effect of their transformation, even being able to heal from the stuff, Canterlot Ghouls take this a step further, possessing an even more potent healing factor. You can riddle their bodies with bullets, but they’ll simply stand back up a moment later like nothing happened. The only sure fire way to kill a Canterlot Ghoul for good is to either chop off the head or completely disintegrate them.” He then smirked to himself underneath his helmet. “That’s not a problem for me and PINK-E, of course, but a Canterlot Ghoul could prove to be a dangerous adversary to your average wastelander, and may Celestia and Luna help you if you run into a horde of them.”

Buck Shot audibly gulped after hearing how powerful and dangerous Canterlot Ghouls could be.

The Storyteller could tell that he had made Buck Shot nervous, so he decided to continue to reassure him. “Don’t worry, though. The good news is that like the name suggests, the Megaspells that created these ghouls were only used in Canterlot, and since the old capital of Equestria is still pretty isolated to this day, thanks to the aforementioned Pink Cloud, you won’t have to worry about running into these types of ghouls unless you specifically go looking for them; and if you do, well, that’s why it’s so important to gather information: to pass it on to others so that they can be properly prepared and survive when they otherwise wouldn’t be due to a lack of crucial information.

“That’s the reason why I’m a Data Procurement Specialist: to save as many lives as possible through spreading crucial information through stories.” The Storyteller proclaimed, momentarily dropping his hammy delivery and speaking completely serious.

PINK-E also gave a mechanical whinny in agreement.

Buck Shot suddenly found himself lightly smiling, having a newfound respect for what the Storyteller did, even if he did still think he rambled a bit too much. “Yeah.” He agreed.

“However,” the power armored unicorn started up again. “As I said earlier, there are almost as many Megaspells as there normal spells, and each one could potential cause a different long term effect. The reason that normal ghouls resemble corpses is because the balefire bombs which created the vast majority of them were infused with zebra necromantic energy, so perhaps different types of Megaspells could produce different types of ghouls in anyone that could survive the initial effects.

“For example, one of Equestria’s own Megaspells used during the war utilised the power of the Sun itself and was capable of completely incinerating anything its path, permanently burning a creature’s shadow into the nearest surface. Although it’s difficult to verify, since this Megaspell was only used against the zebra homeland, half a continent away, there are stories of living shadows roaming the wasteland of the zebra lands. If these stories are true, perhaps these shadow zebras are simply another type of ghoul, just as common in the zebra lands as the ‘zombie ponies’ are in Equestria.

“In fact, Megaspells and ghouls could even predate the Great War by a large margin.” This got Buck Shot’s attention and he turned to face the Storyteller as they continued walking through the ravine. The Storyteller also turned to look Buck Shot in the eye. “Tell me, how familiar are you with the Crystal Empire?”

Buck Shot scrunched up his nose in thought. “Not very,” he responded after taking a moment to think. “Isn’t it a small country north of Equestria?”

“That’s right,” the Storyteller answered. “It’s also not surprising that you don’t know much about it. Over twelve hundred years ago, the entire Empire disappeared without a trace, only to reappear a thousand years later, along with all of its original inhabitants. However, during the war, the Empire was one of targets for the zebra’s balefire bombs, and now the location of the Empire is nothing but a smoking crater. Maybe it vanished in a similar manner to how it first disappeared, or perhaps it has been destroyed for good this time, but all that’s known for certain is that it’s not there now.

“Anyway, the Empire was located in the middle of a frozen wasteland, so the local ponies relied on a powerful artefact known as the Crystal Heart for protection against the elements. According to legends, the ponies utilised their life and love and combined it with the Crystal Heart’s power to create a powerful defensive barrier that allowed them to create a shining paradise in the middle of a frozen wasteland.

“Over time, these pony’s coats became luminous and sparkly, becoming what was known as ‘Crystal Ponies’.

“Sound familiar? Think about: a simple protection spell, amplified multiple times over by a powerful magical framework, which produced a long-lasting effect that physically altered the ponies that were caught within its range. Perhaps these Crystal Ponies were in fact the world’s first ghouls, just with coats that were shiny instead of rotting and falling off. If that’s true, then ghouls have been living alongside us since the start of pony history and we all got along just fine. I guess friendship really is magic.”

Buck Shot was now starting to smile more openly, as he felt rallied by what the Storyteller said. “Yeah,” he uttered. Facing forward again as they walked, he suddenly noticed that the walls on either side of the ravine they had been travelling through started to get closer to each other until they were only three or four pony bodies across at the end of the ravine, which was good since their group consisted of two ponies and a spritebot.

Stepping out of the ravine and once again out into the wide open space of the Equestrian Wasteland, the first thing that Buck Shot noticed was a collection of shacks about half a mile in the distance. “Is that a friendly settlement?” The scavenger pony asked the power armored unicorn next to him.

“If I know my wasteland topography right, and I do, that’s the settlement of New Appleloosa,” the Storyteller replied. “As to whether or not it’s friendly, aside from the fact that they willingly trade supplies with the slavers of Old Appleloosa, I’d say that it’s nice enough. I’ve stopped in there a few times on my own travels in the past, so you should be able to rest up well enough there, and maybe find some work as well. Of course, it also helps that it’s home to one of nicest ponies in the entire Equestrian Wasteland.”

Buck Shot was glad to hear that this was a friendly settlement, though he was also curious about that last thing that the Steel Ranger had said. “And who might that be?”

THUD

Hearing an impact to the other side of him, Buck Shot turned to see what it was, and it was, of all things, a ghoul. It was thankfully a normal, non-feral ghoul, and a mare judging from her rounded snout. Most of her mane and coat had fallen out by now, though there was still enough to see that they had originally been blonde and grey, respectively. Strangely, she was a pegasus, even though most ghouls in the Equestrian Wasteland were either unicorns, earth ponies, or zebras. Most peculiar about her, however, were her eyes, which seemed mismatched and looking in two different directions at the same time.

On Buck Shot’s other side, the Storyteller smiled underneath his power armor so much so that the scavenger was able to hear it. “Speak of the devil and she shall appear. How have you been doing, Ditzy?”

The pegasus mare smiled warmly in response. She then grabbed a chalkboard, which Buck Shot only now noticed hung around her neck, and used a piece of chalk to scribble a message on it. The message read, ‘Business is good’.

“That’s good to hear,” the Storyteller replied. “I’m still thankful for that spark battery that I picked up from you the last time I was here, and PINK-E is even more thankful.” Behind him, the pink spritebot beeped happily in response, which Ditzy replied to with another smile of her own.

The Storyteller then turned towards Buck Shot. “Allow me to introduce you; Buck Shot this is Ditzy Do: the very pony I was telling you about and the owner of Absolutely Everything! – the best delivery service in the Equestrian Wasteland. She got her tongue cut out a few decades ago, so she won’t be able to verbally respond to anything you say, but she hasn’t let something like that get her down. She’s still one of the friendliest ponies you’ll ever meet out here, and is one of the biggest redeemers for ghouls in the Wasteland.” He then turned towards Ditzy Do again. “No offense,” he apologised. “Buck Shot is currently travelling alongside me and PINK-E until we reach a safe settlement, where he will probably need to find some work to earn more caps and supplies. I was just telling him all about ghouls before you showed up. All good things, I assure you.”

Ditzy Do simply back at him once again in response, not taking offense in the slightest.

“Well then, shall we get going?” The Storyteller asked. After getting affirmative nods from Buck Shot, Ditzy Do and PINK-E, the four of them continued along towards New Appleloosa, crossing the half-mile of barren terrain in no time at all.

When they entered the town, Ditzy immediately began scribbling out another message on her chalkboard and showed it to the rest of the group. ‘I need to get back to my muffins shop’.

“Of course,” the Storyteller responded.

Ditzy Do smiled again in response. She then turned towards Buck Shot, and after a moment, she erased her message again and started writing out a new one. ‘There is a trade caravan leaving soon. You’ll probably be able to get some work with them. Talk to Calamity about signing up’.

Buck Shot read the message and then looked back up to look Ditzy in her mismatched eyes. “Thanks, Ditzy. I might just do that.”

Ditzy Do smiled in response one last time before turning around and flying off in the direction of her shop.

Now that it was just Buck Shot, the Storyteller and PINK-E once again, though now also with dozens of ponies as well as a couple of griffons in the background now that they had made it to some sort of civilisation, the scavenger turned towards the Steel Ranger and the spritebot to say his farewells.

“Listen… thanks. I know that I gave you some shit in our travels together, but I really do appreciate you and PINK-E helping me get back to civilisation safely.”

“Don’t mention it,” the Storyteller responded. “Although, I wouldn’t consider that bottle of Sparkle Cola that you sold me to be ‘shit’. It’s delicious,” he said, apparently confused by what Buck Shot meant by ‘giving him shit’.

Buck opened his mouth to respond, however, he stopped at the last moment, let it go, and laughed good-naturedly. “You know, I’m gonna miss this.” Next, he turned to face the pink spritebot. “PINK-E, I’m sorry for what I said about you when we first met. You’re alright.” He then smirked. “Now you be sure to take care of our friend here. I doubt he’ll make it far without you backing him up.”

PINK-E suddenly started blaring her siren loudly, as if doing the robotic equivalent of a laugh. A moment later, she shut off her siren and looked down at the ground, almost sombrely, and the next moment, simply floated over towards Buck Shot and leaned against him, as if she was trying to give him a hug but lacked the limbs to properly do so. Realising what she was trying to do, Buck Shot simply pat her on the top of her chassis with his hoof. She then floated back to her original position beside the Storyteller.

“So,” Buck Shot began again, facing the Storyteller once more. “I assume that you’re heading back out into the wasteland.”

“Of course. I still have my Steel Ranger duties as a Data Procurement Specialist. It’s my job to learn and categorise everything that there is to know about the wasteland, from the largest history defining event, to knowing the proper way to cook up grilled radroach meat. If there’s more to learn, I’ll be there to categorise it, and if there’s anything that I know for certain in this wasteland that we live in, is that there’s always more to learn.”

“You could always come along with me. Maybe some of the traders have interesting stories they could tell; and I’m sure that you would be of help to them as protection.”

“Steel Ranger protocol prevents me from travelling alongside outsiders in any sort of professional manner.” The Storyteller recited off from the Codex. “Besides, I doubt that I’ll find anything interesting or world changing following that trade caravan. No offense.” He quickly added.

“None taken,” Buck Shot replied with his trademark smirk. “Well, anyway, I guess this is goodbye.” With that, Buck Shot gave him one final salute before turning around and walking further into the town, whilst the Storyteller and PINK-E also turned around, walking back into the Equestrian Wasteland.

Buck Shot was only a few steps in when he suddenly realised something. “That reminds me,” he spoke up, stopping where he was and looking over his shoulder. “You never did tell me your name.”

The Storyteller also stopped and looked back, also only over his shoulder. After a short moment of silence, which was a rare thing where this power armored unicorn was concerned, he then finally spoke up again. “I’ll tell you what: the Wasteland is a big place, so I’m sure that we’ll cross paths once again. If we do, I’ll tell you my real name.”

“You really think I’ll see you and your stories again?”

“It’s always a possibility. There are so many stories out there, that it’s impossible to keep up with all of them, and some even go unfinished. However, the important thing to remember is that everyone’s got there own stories to tell, and even stories that do go unfinished are still there, ready to be passed on to whoever learns about them; what really matters is that we learn something from it regardless – and even if it’s not me, there will always be people out there to continue telling them.”

Then, unseen to everybody else, the Storyteller smiled underneath his power armor.

“But that is a story for another day…”

The End

Comments ( 6 )

Damn. It's already over. Good job.

Awww, I'm sad now. It's already the end.

Kinda forgot about this story, and I came back all excited. And then it ended. Oof. 😥

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I mentioned in a recent blog post that my interest in the Brony fandom has started to die down lately, as well as interest in writing these fanfictions. A lot of my other stories were just cancelled straight out, and for a few, I released a blog post containing some notes on where they were going. However, I really enjoyed writing this story, so I wanted to give it a proper ending.

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Understandable, I rarely check into here as well.

“It’s always a possibility. There are so many stories out there, that it’s impossible to keep up with all of them, and some even go unfinished. However, the important thing to remember is that everyone’s got there own stories to tell, and even stories that do go unfinished are still there, ready to be passed on to whoever learns about them; what really matters is that we learn something from it regardless – and even if it’s not me, there will always be people out there to continue telling them.”

So true

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