• Published 29th Jun 2012
  • 3,403 Views, 375 Comments

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 1: Memories

---CHAPTER 1: Memories---
"Is she gonna be okay?"

Maybe I should start by introducing myself. I'm Caravan Lily. Grew up on the caravan trails with my parents, and that's how I got my name. Nobody calls me Caravan though, unless they want a hoof to the face. Good old dad always said I got my temper from mum, and she said I got my stubborn streak from him. It was a good life, travelling from town to town, meeting new ponies and going where the caps were. I loved feeling so free and trading with everypony we met, so it wasn't a surprise when my cutie mark turned out to be two caps and a feather. Rose was so jealous when she saw it.

Whiskey Rose... I still remember what she used to be like. A happy little filly, a year younger than me, she was always smiling and running everywhere, never content to just sit still, those bright blue eyes shining as we played in the big field outside her house. Our parents were old friends, since they used to travel together until Rose's parents fixed up an old house in the middle of nowhere and settled down to start their family.

We'd stop by once a month to catch up and trade. Her mother was a unicorn that loved painting flowers and her father was an earth pony who made the best whiskey in the wasteland, so you can see how she got her name...

At least, I used to think that's how she got her name. Then I learned the real story...

I always made sure to bring Rose something special, like a book or magazine, and she'd go nuts every time, like it was the greatest thing ever. We'd swap stories, too; I'd talk about all the places I'd been and she'd tell me how her father was teaching her how to shoot or hunt. Sometimes she was allowed to use her dad's old hunting rifle, and I learned pretty quickly that even though she looked silly using the gun like an earth pony would, especially since it was longer than her, she almost never missed.

Didn't like using her magic to aim, either.

Everypony thought she'd get her cutie mark for shooting, but her mother wanted Rose to be more "ladylike", and tried teaching her to be gentle, kind and most important, listen to others and how they feel. That's about the time Rose found her OTHER talent, the one that didn't involve putting holes in things: Rose could feel other ponies emotions. No matter how well you hid what you were feeling, she'd know.

Now, that would be impressive enough, but that little sensitivity of hers not only got better and more defined as we grew up, until she could feel someponies physical sensations as well if she was close enough, but it also affected her magic. One day, I'd cut my leg when we were playing, not bad, but it did bleed a lot. Rose was freaking out, helping me limp back to the house, when suddenly the pain dulled. Not gone, but not nearly as bad.

I looked at my leg, and realized Rose had her glowing horn pressed to it. She asked me if it felt better, and the little filly seemed so proud when I said it did. With my leg feeling so much better, we made our way into the house and I got patched up while Rose wandered off to find something to eat.

I remember asking her parents when they'd taught her the anaesthetic spell, and they said they hadn't, that she'd never been able to use medical magic well enough. That's when I realised she'd been limping after numbing my leg; She hadn't just numbed it or used a medical spell; she'd actually taken the pain herself to help me.

I told our parents, and they called Rose in to talk to her about it. The words she said still stick in my mind today: "Lily was hurt and I made her feel better. Helping ponies makes me happy." With a huge smile, she'd stuck her head back in the box of sugar apple bombs my mum had given her that morning, the happiest little pony in the world

That's the kind of fillies we were. Happy, laughing, the best of friends and closer than sisters. That would change, though.


Flash forward a couple of years. I'm not quite a filly anymore, and Rose can't wait to be grown-up like me.

It'd been a long trip that month, and we were looking forward to seeing our friends again, visions of the white buck in his old brown duster standing beside the pretty, maroon-maned unicorn with her everpresent saddlebags, and Rose bouncing around her parents in excitement filling my head.

we were still a good distance away, and I was reading the book I'd picked up for Rose; A big one, about zebra fighting techniques or something, when I heard my mum gasp. "Is that... Smoke?"

I poked my head out of the wagon, spotting the dark streak rising over the hills instantly, a dark streak against the everpresent low, thick clouds. My dad urged the brahmin on, and we raced down the road, only slowing when the house came into view. "Oh, no..." My mother sounded ready to cry, and I could feel my eyes tearing up as well.

The grand old house, once so strong and magnificent, like a castle in the wastes, was now nothing more than a few charred and smoking timbers, streamers of dark smoke winding their way into the sky. I leapt down from the wagon and took off, praying desperately to the goddesses that everypony was okay, that they'd gotten out in time. "LILY, WAIT!" Ignoring the cries for me to stop, I charged into the pile of still warm ash calling for somepony, anypony.

That's when I saw the little figure sitting where the living room used to be, wearing an old, battered coat that was much too big. "Rose!"

She didn't react and I started to panic, picking my way through the smouldering wreckage as fast as I could and grabbing her. "I found Rose!" I called to my parents, and they ran over to help me check her out. The little filly just sat there, eyes closed and wearing her father's duster, his battered old hunting rifle laying on her mother's saddlebags a few feet away, as we bandaged up the burns on her legs.

"Rose, Honey, what happened? Where are your parents? Where did this blood come from?" My mother was trying to wash spattered blood from Rose's face, while I was just trying to get my best friend to open her eyes.

"Bad ponies came."

Her voice was flat and dead, nothing like the filly I'd grown up with. "I told papa they were coming, and mama made me hide under my bed. There was lots of shooting. Some of the bad ponies were killed, but then papa got hurt, and they came inside." Rose opened her eyes, and my blood ran cold as I echoed my mothers horrified gasp.

Those bright, shining blue eyes had lost their light, turning into twin pools of ice.

"They came inside, and started hurting mama and papa." My mother hugged Rose tight to her breast as I collapsed, trembling, in shock at what she must have heard, only to realise that she wouldn't have just heard it all... "I could feel them. Mama and Papa were in so much pain, but I couldn't help them. Mama told me to stay hidden until the bad ponies left, and I was being a good pony. If you're a good pony, mama and papa will look after you. Right?" Rose looked at me and I felt sick, nodding that yes, she was a good pony...

"They won't look after me now, though, because I'm a bad pony. I couldn't help them, I couldn't help mama and papa." She moved one hoof, brushing some ashes aside to reveal...

"Oh, goddesses..." My voice was weak as I stumbled away and threw up. All that was left of her parents were a couple of badly burned bones, and she was stroking them gently, blaming herself because her parents were gone.

"Honey, it's okay, it's not your fault." My mother stroked Rose's mane, sobbing as she tried to comfort the broken, emotionless filly. My father finally pulled himself together, sitting in front of her and looking her in the eye.

"Rose, sweetheart, we'll stop the bad ponies from hurting anypony else. Did you see where they went?"

Rose nodded and pointed. "They went that way, after setting the house on fire. About an hour walk. When they left, I came out to try and help mama and papa, but I couldn't do anything, not even wake them up, and the fire was really scary... Papa always said I shouldn't go out alone at night, but there wasn't anypony to come with me, so I got his gun and coat. It was getting really hot, but I managed to find mama's saddlebags, too. The door was on fire, so I... I had to break a window to get out... I hope papa isn't mad at me, I didn't want to break it, but it was too hot to open."

Listening to my best friend describing everything in that flat, dead tone, worried about getting in trouble for breaking a window, I started to shake. My parents hugged her tight and my father whispered soothingly. "You won't get in trouble, I promise. Now, stay here with Lily and auntie, and I'll be back in a little while." Slowly, he pulled himself away from Rose and started walking in the direction she'd pointed, taking his shotgun from the wagon on his way.

"The bad ponies are all gone now," Rose mumbled, more to herself than us. "They won't hurt anypony ever again."

The little white filly with the ice-cold eyes and blood-red mane didn't say anything after that, as my mother and I carried her to the wagon, setting her down in the back where she'd be comfortable while we buried her parents remains and waited.


When my father returned, I was watching Rose read her new book, every motion passive, with no emotion or energy at all. She'd barely reacted when I gave it to her, just a flat, quiet "thank you" and not a word since. My mother told me to stay with Rose and ran over to meet my father.

We were too far away to hear what they said, but my mother sat down heavily, dazed, as my father came over to the wagon, putting one hoof on Rose's shoulder. "Honey, do you know what happened to the bad ponies?"

His voice was low, like he didn't want me to hear what was about to be said; Rose obviously didn't feel the same, because she just looked at him with those dead eyes and said, clear as day: "I hurt them all."

My father looked like he was about to pass out. "Does that make me a bad pony? I know I shouldn't hurt other ponies, but I took their pain away while they went to sleep, so I'm kinda good, right?" She cocked her head and looked first at my father, then my mother, and finally at me.

My father whispered to me: "She cut their throats. Every last one of them."

I started to cry, picturing this little filly, the one almost lost in an old coat that was made for a large stallion, slitting the throats of raiders and taking the pain of dying away, still trying to be a good pony even as she took their lives. To feel everything her parents went through, their deaths, and then the pain and deaths of the very raiders responsible as she killed them. I couldn't begin to imagine what that had done to her.

"I'm sorry, Lily. Please don't cry." Rose nuzzled me, then stood up. "It's okay; I know I'm a bad pony now, so I'll just stay here, with mama and papa." She picked up her mother's saddlebags and put them on, tucking the old rifle into the straps, and went to jump down from the wagon.

"NO!" I screamed and threw myself at her, pinning her so she couldn't leave. "You're a good pony, Rose! We'll look after you, I promise!" My parents grabbed her too, the three of us doing our best to convince her it was alright to stay with us, that we didn't think she was a bad pony. Eventually, she stopped trying to get away and just sat there quietly as my father coaxed the brahmin back towards the road.

"Are you okay, Rose?" I asked softly, brushing her mane away from her face.

"I'm okay." A troubled expression crossed her face, just for a moment. "Lily?"

"What is it, Rose?"

"Even if I'm a bad pony now, will you look after me? I promise I'll do whatever you say, and I'll never go away like mama and papa did."

I held her tightly, fighting back tears, unable to speak. "We'll take care of you, Rose. Don't worry."

My mother spoke up, looking back at us with a sad smile. "I'll look after you like you were my very own daughter. Now, it's getting late, so why don't you and Lily get some sleep?"

Rose nodded and squirmed out of her dad's old duster, laying it on the floor of the wagon like a blanket before curling up, using one of her mother's saddlebags as a pillow. "Hey, when did you get your cutie mark, Rose?" I poked her flank with one hoof, seeing, for the first time , a black heart-shape on her coat. She turned her head to look at it, expression blank and unreadable.

"Got it last night, I guess."

As she put her head back on the bag and went to sleep, my blood ran cold; The most traumatic night of her life, and she'd gotten her cutie mark from it...

New Perk: Cherchez La Filly -- +10% damage to the same sex and unique dialogue options with certain ponies.

Companion Gained: Whiskey Rose

Author's Note:

KKat is AWESOME! ^_^