• Published 29th Jun 2012
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Fallout: Equestria - Wasteland Bouquet - Cascadejackal



There's a lot of stories in the Equestrian Wasteland, and they all need to be told.

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Chapter 0: Prologue

FALLOUT EQUESTRIA - WASTELAND BOUQUET

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War. War never changes.

When Equestria was burned to ashes in the maelstrom of balefire, it was just a footnote in the long, bloody war. A moment of brief, if widespread, suffering, followed by a false calm. Over time, ponykind crept out from the Stables, giant underground bunkers built to save the lucky few that made it in, only to find that the land had changed. When the bombs fell, the Pegasi had closed up the skies to protect themselves, cutting Equestria off from the sun and the moon.

The clouds hung low over the burned, barren landscape, and all the comfortable realities the Stable ponies had hoped to find were long since gone. In time, the hearts of ponykind grew hard, mirroring the world they now lived in. Maybe one day, things would be better, changed by ponies who would shine like beacons in the darkness.

But this isn't a story about heroes or grand adventures. This is about a normal mare, who just wanted to look after her friend.

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---PROLOGUE---
"You did that on purpose."

It's late afternoon, the setting sun casting a comfortable glow across the world, even through the everpresent cloud cover. A few small lamps light the inside of my home and business, but don't cast enough light to completely chase away the familiar shadows that dance in the corners and under tables. From time to time I can see townsponies outside, through the large windows placed perfectly to let in the afternoon light. They seem content, not rushing home before it gets too dark, often stopping to talk and laugh with each other, happy, enjoying the safety of our town.


I yawn and give the bar one last wipe, hang the rag from a hook by the till, and turn to the mirror on the wall. "You're looking good, Lily." One bright green eye winks back at me as I laugh and check myself out; I'm a gorgeous unicorn mare, cream coat with just a little dust on it, mane and tail full and luxurious, the gold streaks vivid against emerald green. "Best looking barmare in town, and don't you forget it."

A toss of my mane and I turn back to the large room before me, smiling and looking at the ramshackle collection of tables, stools and cushions that make up our home, the Wasteland Bouquet; some with passed-out occupants, most empty, and one overturned with a couple of empty whiskey bottles next to it. That's the one I make my way over to, crossing the worn wooden floor to glare at the old black & white griffon snoring her beak off behind it. "Magpie! Wake up!"

"Fuck off, Lily. Ah'm sleeping" comes her mumbled reply, then a green glow surrounds the mop bucket in the corner as I levitate it over.

"I said: WAKE! UP!"

The griffon squawks and leaps up as the bucket is upended, soaking her. "I'm up! I'm up!" She glares at me, and I look her right in the eye without blinking.

"It's your turn to mind the bar, Magpie."

"Fine, but you get to tell Rose why she's all wet." One talon points at where she was just laying, and the off-white unicorn she'd been using as a pillow. The very wet, and very awake, unicorn.

"Oh, Rose, I'm so sorry!" While I'm busy apologizing and shoving the complaining griffon across the tavern floor, the mare stands up slowly and shakes herself off.

"About what?" Her flat, precise voice is unreadable, as always, but I can tell she's grumpy from the way she eyes the now empty bucket.

"Don't you even think about it, Rose." Satisfied that Magpie is behind the bar and ready to work (using a towel to dry herself), I trot back over and stick my hoof in the white mare's face. "I just washed my mane this morning, so forget the bucket and help me clean up."


With the two of us, it doesn't take long to clean up and see the last customers off, so we seat ourselves at the bar, where Magpie has just finished drying herself off, still muttering about inconsiderate ponies. Unlike Rose, who doesn't care in the least that her coat and mane are still damp.

"Here." Magpie throws her towel up and I catch it with my magic. "Before she catches a cold, you know what she's like." A bottle of whiskey floats past the griffon's head, only to be plucked from the air, a teasing grin on her beak. "Rose, let Lily dry your mane first, and then you can have it." Rose pokes her tongue out at Magpie, the white glow from her horn fading, then turns to me.

"Well?"

I drop the towel on her head and start drying her blood-red mane, then move onto her off-white coat, having fun and being quite rough. Magpie laughs as Rose starts to coo with pleasure from the rub down, the mare's blue-grey eyes shut tight with happiness. "I think she's gonna fall off her seat if you keep that up!" I smirk and rub harder, paying special attention to her cutie mark, and sure enough.... THUMP.

"Ow."

Magpie and I burst out laughing, watching Rose lay on her back, twitching, lost in her little bliss filled world. Then it's just Magpie laughing, as Rose kicks my seat out from under me without even opening her eyes and I land next to her. "You two are just so damn funny!" The griffon gasps, clutching her chest with tears in her eyes as she looks down at us.

Rose just opens one eye and uses her magic to pull the bottle of whiskey down, wrapping her hooves around it and resting her head on my chest with a satisfied sigh, eyes closed again. Ignoring Magpie, I give Rose a kiss on her horn and stroke her mane, smiling, words coming to my lips, but: "I love you too, Lily." I still get surprised by how good Rose is at reading my emotions, even after all these years.

"Would you stop doing that?"

Even though I'm scolding her, she just looks up at me with a small smile, and I have to kiss her. "Aww! Get a room, you two!" We both look up at the smirking old griffon, then at each other.

"It's your shift anyway, so maybe we will." Saying that, I roll to my hooves and snap my tail against Rose's flank, before leading the way to the back of the building, and the stairs to our room. Rose nuzzles against me the whole way, the now open bottle of whiskey gripped in her mouth, and I think back on all our journeys, all the things we've been through together, and how everything started.

Author's Note:

Huge thanks to KKat for writing FO:E, one of the most amazing things I've ever read, and inspiring me to write my own fanfic. ^_^