• Published 29th Jun 2012
  • 3,206 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 3: A Sticky Situation

---CHAPTER 3: A Sticky Situation---
"Snips and Snails and Bubblegum Fails"


I was sitting in the back of the wagon, waiting for just the right moment to strike... NOW! Jabbing my hoof forwards, I hit my target dead on; Rose's massive bubble exploded, and her face was turned into a gooey pink mess.

"Lily!" My mother scolds me. "That wasn't very nice!"

"Oh, chill out, mum. I'm just having fun!" I smirked and did my best not to laugh, failing miserably as Rose started wiping the bubblegum off her face (and ears. Mane, too. That stuff went EVERYWHERE.), only to stick the ball of goo back in her mouth and start chewing again.

"See? Rose doesn't mind. Do you, Rose?" She blinked at me and blew another bubble as her answer; this one was even bigger than the last! Like a big, pink, bullseye...

Mum glared at me. "Don't you dare, Lily. Leave your sister alone."

I shrugged, said "Fine" and stretched out, resting my head on a dufflebag and watching Rose clean her face off again (Not my fault that time!).

It'd been a few years since Rose lost her parents, but it was still hard to make her open up or say more than a few words at a time. It wasn't that she refused to talk, she just didn't feel like it. She's still like that, actually; Only says what she needs to. Sure, I could always get my friend talking (or squealing. Tickling her was fun!), but that's because she trusted me.

Anypony else? Forget it. Please, Thank You, Yes and No were about all she'd say.

Heck, my parents were lucky to get more than one conversation with her in a whole day!

"Rose, come here!" Seeing the gooey mess from the latest bubble, my mother called the white mare up to the front (how Rose avoided tripping over any of our cargo with her face covered in goop, I have no idea), and scraped the gum off. "What a mess! How can you stand this stuff?" If you've ever tried getting gum out of your hair, you'd know how horrible it is. But when mum threw the ball of gunk onto the trail, Rose just watched it vanish into the distance longingly, while mum fussed with the red (and sticky) mess on her head in a futile attempt to make her presentable.

Sharp eyed as always, Rose had spotted a packet marked 'Super Radbuck Gum!' while shopping with me in the last town we'd stopped at, bought it on the spot (as well as a magazine on electronics. It was full of complicated words, so I got a headache just looking at it) and had been chewing almost non-stop for the last 3 hours, blowing bubbles and bursting them like a foal.

So, when my mum had finished grooming Rose and let her go, I stuck the last stick of gum between my lips and poked my friend's rump to get her attention. You should have seen her eyes light up! She tried biting it, but I sat up so she couldn't reach; Goddesses, how I loved being taller than her. Only a few inches, but it made teasing her like that so much more fun.

"Lily, that's mine." Rose grumbled and tried getting it again, but I kept it out of reach, grinning.

"ooz or agic!" Okay, so I couldn't speak clearly with a stick of gum between my teeth, but Rose got the idea.

"No." Instead of doing the normal unicorn thing and taking it from me with her magic, Rose stuck her front hooves on my chest and pushed me onto my back so she could take the gum her way.

I want you to picture two very pretty teenaged mares, in the back of a moving wagon, kissing. That's what it looked like. And, I'll admit, it was fun. We didn't actually kiss though, Rose just wanted her stick of gum.

"You two..." Mum scowled at us as we sat up (Rose was happily chewing again).

"Honey, they're just kids. Kids play around." My dad laughed at us; He wasn't too bothered with anything we got up to, as long as we were happy.

No, me and Rose weren't a couple back then. I was at the age where boys were interesting (and they were more than a little interested in me), while Rose couldn't have cared less either way as long as nopony tried touching her.

So, great friends, but we weren't lovers or anything.

"Lily, show some brains." Mum was really getting stuck into me. "You know what your sister is like, just look at her!" By this point, Rose was licking the remains of a bubble from her muzzle. Not too big a mess yet, but she'd get there eventually. "I swear, you must enjoy watching her get all messy."

"I do, actually." That earned me a glare that would have melted glass. It was true, though. Rose was enjoying the gum, mess and all, and I loved seeing her smile. Or stare blankly at the scenery, same thing with Rose.

I think we can skip the rest of the argument. What it amounted to was, I'd be held responsible if Rose got it in her mane again, and I'd be the one cleaning it for her.


Predictably, by the time we stopped to stretch our legs and give the brahmin a break, Rose had gotten the pink goop everywhere. Again. "Did you do this on purpose?" It took me almost half an hour to get that crap out of her mane, so when she nodded, I thumped her on the head with my hoof.

She responded by kicking me, and it wasn't long before we were rolling around in the dirt and giggling. Even back then Rose was surprisingly strong, but I put up a good fight. I still ended up being pinned, though, her chest pressed to mine so hard I could feel her heartbeat. She buried her face in my mane (just to mess it up) and climbed off, trotting off towards our caravan and calling out for my father.

"Uncle, passenger coach coming!" Rose had gotten so used to other ponies, she could tell traders from caravaneers, or gun merchants from ponies that sold barding, from a pretty impressive distance. Empaths. What can you do?

Sure enough, a passenger wagon rolled by a few minutes later. A big, fancy thing with a few families (That's how Rose knew it was a passenger coach) in it. Dad and me flagged them down and went to work. Ammo for their guards, food and water for the families, information on the road ahead for all of us and a pile of caps for me! I mean, for us. Um, anyway...

I waved goodbye and strolled back to the wagon. As social as ever, Rose had hidden herself underneath it, reading while we did all the hard work. She still wasn't big enough for her duster to fit properly, so she was laying on it as usual. Didn't stop her white coat from getting covered in dust, though.

"So, what're you reading?" Not that I was interested, but Rose loved to read. She'd talk my ears off, given half a chance.

"An article on Pipbucks. Like a radio on your leg, but it can keep track of all your stuff too. They have a map function, as well." See? She doesn't stop talking!

Sarcasm aside, I'd actually been intrigued by her description of the Pipbuck. They sounded useful, so imagine my disappointment when, after much (verbal) probing, Rose told me they weren't exactly common before the war, and I might never get my hooves on one.

I disagreed, saying that I'd almost definitely find a Pipbuck for myself one day, even if I had to go scavenging for it myself. Rose just looked at me like I was an idiot and pointed out that, no matter how good a trader I was, scavenging is completely different. We started bickering (I bickered. Rose just spoke normally, her voice flat, precise, and all the more infuriating because she was probably right), and we were still arguing when evening came and we set up camp.

"I think I'd be a great scavenger!"

"A radroach would eat you."

"Not if I have a gun, it wouldn't!"

"You're terrible with a gun."

"Am not!"

"You forgot to load your shotgun last week, when I was teaching you."

"Well, that... I mean... Not everypony is a gun freak like you!"

"Lily, there's a reason uncle pays me as a guard, and lets you handle the trading."

That shut me up. Dad had made good on his offer, and Rose had become our official guard a few months after she started travelling with us. Speaking of good old dad...

"Grub's up, girls!"

We ran over, only bumping each other a little (hey, I was hungry!) and slid to a graceful stop. Well, I slid to a stop, and Rose gracefully jumped over me. "Manners, girls." Mum was ladling soup into our bowls; I can't remember what was in it, just that it smelled great.

"Thanks, mum!"

"Thank you, auntie." I levitated my bowl over and stuck my muzzle in, savoring the delicious odor and slurping it up, while Rose was using magic (shocking, I know!) to stir her soup with a spoon.

"Lily, you eat too fast." Rose was dipping a hunk of bread into her bowl. "Can you even taste it?"

I raised my head, licking my lips. "Yep. Tastes better this way." Then, back into the bowl I went!

Dad chuckled, his mouth smeared with soup. "That's my girl."

"You are such a bad influence on our daughter." That was my mother, all right. Always picking on my manners. "Look at Rose, she's a proper lady."

Never laugh when you have your face in a bowl of soup. It's messy.

"A proper lady? Rose?" Wiping my mouth on my foreleg, I waved a hoof at her. "She's more like a... a... I dunno, but she's no lady!" Said the mare with food all over her face. Rose just sat there and ate in silence, not caring what we thought.

I'm gonna skip the part where I get told off again. Manners, be polite, act more like your sister, the usual. Don't bother pointing out that me and Rose aren't actually sisters, because I don't care. We're family, and that's all that matters. Back then, and even more so now.

Where was I again? Oh yeah, getting told off and eating dinner. Good times! Mum shook her head in exasperation. "I just don't know what went wrong. I did my best, but you're so... Argh!" She stomped, glaring at my dad. "It's your fault Lily is like this."

Dad laughed and gave her a soupy smooch. "Would you prefer a dainty daughter who refuses to get dirty?"

"Well, no, but..."

"Then don't worry, I'm sure Rose will rub off on her eventually."

If your mind ends up in the gutter one more time, I'm taking it away from you. I'm serious.

I guzzled the last few drops of soup, licked the bowl clean and put it down. "Done!" With a huge grin, I poked Rose's side. "C'mon, slowpoke. Finish eating so we can start my lessons again. I'll prove I'm as good a shot as you."

Pretty sure Rose took her time just to bug me. "I'm done." She set her bowl in mine and stood up. "Uncle, can we borrow your shotgun?" I was already at the wagon, said shotgun hovering beside me. Rose was always so polite. She got that from her mother.

"Alright, but be careful. Lily is the worst shot I've ever seen." Come on, dad! That wasn't fair!

"I'll stand in front of her, don't worry." Great, even Rose was cracking jokes about how bad I was!

"Are we doing this or not?" I stomped off; Rose would just have to catch up.


Oh, fuck me sideways.

Somepony, who shall remain nameless, but is very attractive and has lovely green eyes, may have stumbled into a bloatsprite nest. And that pony, who is still nameless, may have forgotten to load her shotgun. Again. In fact, she dropped the shotgun and ran away screaming.

The bloatsprite that was about to take my ear off exploded, covering me with gunk. The one that had hold of my tail met the same fate a moment later, then the third, which was stuck in my mane.

I ran, screaming, into our camp and ducked behind Rose; my saviour. She was standing on her hind legs, the stock of her old hunting rifle braced against her right shoulder, left hoof supporting the barrel, right hoof working the bolt.

The rifle had been made for use by a unicorn (bolt actions are hard to work without magic), but Rose used it just like an earth pony would; just like her father had. One ice-colored eye peered down the scope, tracking motion in the darkness, and she tongued the trigger again. I didn't need to see what she was aiming at to know her target was dead, Rose never missed. "Are you okay?" She put the rifle into its holster on her back and sat next to me, one foreleg around my shoulders.

"I hate bloatsprites." I shuddered and she hugged me. My parents came over to help pick bits out of my hair and comfort me as Rose nuzzled my neck, then stood up.

"You're not hurt, but stay here while I get the gun." Oh, right... I dropped my shotgun when I retreated... Okay, fine, when I screamed and ran.

So sue me, bloatsprites are creepy. Those huge eyes, the gross wings, the teeny tiny legs... Ugh... Taint, radiation and giant bugs, never a good mix.

It didn't take Rose long. She was back in about a minute, the gun clutched in her teeth (Seriously! That mare must forget she's a unicorn sometimes!). I was more or less bit-free by then, but my skin was still crawling. Ugh. Bugs suck.

"Next town, I'm buying you a revolver, and teaching you how to use it." She sat down beside me and started checking the shotgun out, fiddling with it. "It's going to take all night to fix this." It looked fine to me, and I said so. Dad smacked the back of my head.

"You've gotta be more careful, Lily. You can't just drop a gun and expect it to work when you pick it back up. Rose, show her what you're doing. And Lily, for Celestia's sake, pay attention."

And so began one of the most boring nights of my life. By the time I went to sleep, I knew more than I'd ever wanted to about how guns work, and how to keep them from falling apart. Well, I knew not to drop them in a panic or hit things with them, anyway.

New Perk: Travel Light -- While wearing light armor or no armor, you run 20% faster. All the better to avoid bugs!