• Published 24th Jul 2012
  • 1,070 Views, 7 Comments

Fallout Equestria: Bloodline - Asymptote



Waking up from a 200-year sleep with all her memories lost, what dark secrets about her life would this special pegasus rediscover?

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Chapter 1 - Amnesia

Chapter 1: Amnesia


"Is her face gonna stay that way?"


Pain. I felt pain.

"…activation error… emergency unlock…"

The muddled announcement and siren weren't helping.

"Force eject of… from stasis… motor offline…"

I tried to ease the pain with my hoof and cover my ears, but then I couldn't move any of my limbs. I couldn't even open my eyes! Confused and petrified, I could feel my heart starting to thrash in my ribcage.

"Injecting de-hibernation medication…"

Between the shock and fret, I could feel the dampness between my legs. Have I… wet myself? I couldn't breath, literally, and my chest was burning from the lack of oxygen. I was trapped in this unmoving body. I need to escape.

"Stasis fluid drainage failed… pod door unlock failed…”

I was going to suffocate, but Celestia have mercy, I could finally move my hooves again. Using my meager reserve of oxygen, I flung my hooves around frantically. I was dying to hit anything, anything at all. I hit at something hard and a blurred thump echoed into my ears. Water and glass…

"Warning: subject vital signs at critical. Medical assistance required immediately…"

My only thought now was to destroy this glass. I stomped at it with all my strength, but the glass wasn't breaking, at any rate. Oh poor Luna with her moon, I didn't want to die! I've exhausted my strength and I couldn't move my hooves. But I don't want to… yet my vision kept growing dimmer and dimmer, the glass feeling further and further away…

Crack.

I felt nothing but my wild bump onto the ground. The obnoxious fluid has splashed away, giving me the oxygen I've been dying for. I coughed out the liquid still inside my trachea and gaped in chunks of air like my life depended on it. Every part of my body ached, and it took me several minutes to get a hold of my breathing before I could examine my surroundings. Steadying myself, I stood up on my four hooves, preened the ruffled feathers on my wings, and surveyed the area.

The irritating siren was still there, just like my headache, but at least the announcer has stopped speaking. The room was circular, no larger than three hundred square hooves, with six empty, identical stasis pods spread evenly against the curved wall. At one end stood a large round hatch door, presumably the exit of this room. In the middle was a cloud console situated at the ground, linked by dozens of thick cables dangling from the ceiling towards somewhere behind the walls. One of the pods was open, likely the one that trapped me quite recently, and was still dripping the unknown liquid from the edge of the broken glass onto the floor. There was no lamp or any source of illumination in the room either, only the emergency light above the hatch door and the indicating lights on the machineries. Everything was tinted orange red and poorly lighted. The unpolished concrete floor still had a layer of the transparent, murderous fluid, making the already confined room more damped and slippery.

But why was I in a stasis pod? What happened?

My eyes followed the reflection of the light and were caught by the rippling outline at my feet. I stared at my reflection on the ground, I…

I stared at myself like I have found a long lost sister. The reflection felt… distant. I couldn't believe the image I was staring at was actually me! I gazed at her pair of tired, rose red eyes and her clueless and pathetic azure face. Her mane, of which the wet and messy fringes dangled between us, were light maya blue colored, with two midnight blue strips running the mane along the middle. I couldn't remember this face. In fact, I couldn't remember anything! I clenched my eyes and shook my head. Who was I? What happened? Everything about myself, my life, and what has happened to me was lost in a deep memory hole. A new, deep fear ran within my heart – not the primitive fear of death like just now, but the chilling horror of losing my own identity, and the confusion of recent events. I lifted my head up away the reflection and darted my eyes at the console. It must knew something about me.

The dim and fuzzy screen at the center of the panel struggled at displaying the words to me. Cloud computers were spared from rusting, but the spell matrices were still prone to decay and damages. The screen was flickering; the words were blurred. I squinted my eyes to read the display, and it took me long enough to finally make out the wordings.

| Injecting de-hibernation medication; cranial cortex motor area reenabled; starting wakeup sequence
| Stasis pod #004 unlock: failed, cannot recover
| Warning: subject vital signs at critical. Medical assistance required immediately
| Alert: Stasis pod #004 observation window damage. Require immediate assistance
| Stasis subject #004 missing. Please contact administrator
| Contacting administrator
| >>>>>>>>=======================================
| Operation timeout. Aborting…

I tried to type on the keyboard to look for something else, but what should I enter? My mind went blank as to operating this text console. In the name of Celestia, why couldn’t anypony come up with the idea of graphical user interfaces? Frustrated, I slammed my hoof on the screen, but the cloud just deformed and reformed in front of me. Anger flushed across my head, but fear and desperation were the more prominent feeling. Please tell me what happened! Tell me what to enter and let me be done with it!

The more I panicked and become desperate, the more my head hurt. Until it grew so acute that I clenched my head with my hooves while I stumbled onto the wet floor and screamed. Stop it! Stop! I felt like somepony was using a clasp to crush my skull. My head was going to implode; my vision was turning red; my nose was dripping blood. I kicked and yelled in agony as the pain tore me apart.

Until my body couldn't stand it.

My senses and consciousness went blank.

And then I passed out.

~~~ooO-Ooo~~~

"Ma'am, we proudly present you our latest model of cloud consoles! We have updated the kernel and the user interface, so it is 20% faster and easier to use."

The orange mare smiled confidently and looked at me, waiting eagerly for my response.

"So… what do you think?"

"Can I have a try?" I replied, looking at the console screen she presented me.

The purple-maned mare shifted the screen and faced it towards me. I got up from my chair and walked around my office desk, moving across the moderately sized room towards the computer. I looked at the lines on the monitor, landing my hooves on the keyboard just below, getting to know the machine.

"The commands look… quite different. Different from what we’ve been used to," I commented, without looking at whom I was talking to.

"Well, yes. We thought the old convention’s a bit too difficult to use. Besides, since we’ve updated the kernel, we had to rewrite the interface as well."

"So, is there a manual or something?"

"Yes, there is. But for now, let me just show you how to use it. You just need to enter…"

A pair of hooves reached over the keyboard and typed some commands on it. I looked at the screen. Interestingly, instead of lines of dialogues and prompts, I saw symbols, hacks, and blueprint schematics that I couldn't make sense of flashing across the monitor at an astonishing speed. I turned my head towards the mare, but found her no longer in the room. Confused, I returned my sight towards the screen.

Blood was sprayed all over it.

Horrified, I lifted my hooves up in a defensive position. Fresh, warm blood coated the limbs and dripped onto the floor. I examined my forehead with my hooves, and found my head was spilling blood like a fountain! I panicked and stumbled back, bumping into the desk and spilling the things on it onto the floor.
I flew towards the cabinets mounted on both sides of the room, flinging the doors open and swept everything to the ground as I searched through them. I needed medication, but I couldn't find any! I bashed at the exit of the room, twisting the door knob viciously, but it was locked. Blood was dripping across my face, some got into my eyes and dyed my vision red. I rubbed my sore eyes with my hooves, but that just irritated my eyes more. I squinted them tight in pain.

Then I felt something tapped my back.

I slowly, cautiously turned my head around.

The console screen smashed at my face with the most enormous force.

It was a puff of cloud, but weirdly it worked like a ton of lead and knocked me over. I dropped onto the floor with my hooves across my injured face, but the thing was still hitting me unrelentingly with the same amount of force. I screamed and attempted to block the onslaught, but the best I could do was injuring my hooves. My ears were ringing and my vision was blurred, but in the corner of my eye I could see the thing that was trying to kill me. She looked almost identical to the reflection, standing on two legs and gazing at me with a crooked sadistic smile. Her bloodshot psychotic eyes were staring into my soul, spilling evil directly into my mind. I couldn't look away; her stare was imprinted onto my vision.

Then she hit me again.

I was thrown onto on the floor, coughing out a mouthful of blood. I was starting to loose grip with my senses. She pummeled my head once again from the side and my vision blanked out for several seconds. I was not going to make it.

Then I heard through my ringing ears the console dropping on the ground. Before I had the strength to ponder what's happening, a gentle breathe brushed across my ear.

"I've owned you once. You'll also be mine this time."

Then she crushed my skull with her hoof.

~~~ooO-Ooo~~~

I sprang up from my coma, leaping into the air. What was that? Who was she? Oh Celestia… I darted my eyes around the room, fully alert for any signs of danger. Seeing myself alive and having my head still aching reminded me I was still alive. My nose were still bleeding though, but at least my reflection wasn't trying to crush my head.

I darted my eyes down for my reflection. Fortunately, it was just still a reflection: pathetic and clueless, most importantly harmless.

My mind was still fixated on that red evil eyes of that dream, but as long as I was safe, it didn't matter.

I returned to the console and re-examined it. I stared at the keyboard and made up phrases based on intuition, logical guesses and what I saw in the dream. I didn’t really know what I was doing, but nevertheless it worked.

> term all process; shutdown -r -l
| local system rebooting…

| ****************

| Welcome to Stable-Tec (TM) TermLink
| Establishing connection through MoA Virtual Network…
| Handshake complete.

> set terminal/inquire
| STCC-v3.0
> set file/protection=owner:rwed account.f
> set halt restart/maint
| Initializing Stable-Tec(TM) MF Boot Agent v.6.2.1
| MagicMatrix EFI
| SpellID 4.02.08.00 52EE5.E7.E8
| Copyright Luna year 10-18 Stable-Tec Ltd.
| Uppermem: 64 KB
| Operating Magical flux: 128kφ
| Root (5A8)
| Maintenance mode

> list services
| [stasis pod control]; [stasis chamber control]; [Military Data Access]
> stasis pod control
| !Warning! Stasis control system files corrupted, status read-only mode used.

> read status stasis 4
| Subject name: [noinput]
| Stasis Pod runtime: 199 years, 3 months and 4 days
| Scheduled release: 62 minutes ago
| Stasis pod seal issued by: EC-1008; verified
| Unlock command clearance: foreign input, unknown; allowance verified
| Note: System protocol was overridden by OpE.; acknowledged
|Subject medical status:
| Warning: Severe brain damage detected. Require immediate medical treatment
| Warning: De-hibernation process interrupted. Muscle tissues, multiple organs damaged
| Alert: Blood toxin level at alarming level. Detoxification treatment needed
| End of readout.

199 years? I have been asleep for 199 years? That was almost two centuries! What in Equestria has happened? In fact, why was I put in stasis in the first place? What happened to the others? What the hay was going on? I slept for two centuries for Celestia's sake!

Ouch…

Just thinking about it made my head swell again. I read through the command prompts, trying to grasp a sense of what had happened during my induced coma. Most of them were about how my body was hurt and damaged. But what were these names? EC-1008? OpE? I hadn’t the slightest idea. Sadly my name wasn’t in the database; at least I had to know my name. I typed again.

> exit; Military Data Access
| Connecting to MoA data hub…
| Database uplink not found. Using local cache.
| Please enter inquiry data:
> MoA
| Ministry of Awesome, Government bureau, led by Rainbow Dash, specialize in air force military support and foreign diplomats. This facility is a property of Ministry of Awesome.
> current location
| This facility is a property of Ministry of Awesome. Facility code: FO-712. Clearance code 17.
> EC-1008
| No relevant data is found.
> OpE
| No relevant data is found.
> stasis subject 004, sealed at t -199year
| Searching…
| No relevant data is found.

So without answering my questions, the terminal gave me more confusion. Dear Luna's tiara, why was I in this mess? I wanted to leave this room. I needed to get out of here, to find out what in Luna's horn has happened, and to get back my memories. I need to find help.

I panned around the room one more time, looking at the stasis pod I have slept in for two hundred years, ensuring no murderous pony was hiding in the corners. And then I typed.

> exit; stasis chamber control
| [chamber door unlock]; [warning system]; [electricity]; [stasis piping]
> chamber door unlock
| unlocking…

The hatch door in the room unlocked with a muted clang. After its lock mechanisms shifted into their new position, the door opened slightly with a loud hiss. Ajar but not unlatched, I swayed across the wet floor towards the door touched its metal surface, took a deep breathe, pushed open the door, and walked through the doorway.

* * *

My eyes adjusted to the new darkness. The glow behind me from the previous room casted a dark golden shade on the contour in front of me. It was a claustrophobic corridor. I could touch the walls on both sides just by unfolding my wings. The walls were paneled with steel painted white, with a blue line running along the walls at saddle height. Following the left edge of the ceiling was barred fluorescent lamps placed at intervals. They weren't working though, but I doubt it would be functional anyway after these centuries. I followed the blue lines and ventured forth.

At the end of the corridor, a steel door stood in front of me. The door however did not have external lock mechanisms, instead it had decorative emboss on the brushed steel panels: two wings, a cloud and a lightning bolt. It spanned across the two steel panels that made up the double door. By intuition, I assumed the cloud was part of the lock design, because there was no other ways to open the door. So I pushed against the cloud.

The cloud emboss sunk into place, bolts of blue light ran along the outlines from the cloud to the sides of the door. The emblem was glowing a distinct blue, casting new light at the area. Then suddenly the entire door sprung alive and split along the vertical line in the middle.

Beyond the doorframe revealed a small lift with cherrywood walls, dusted and worn mirrors, and rusted and deformed steel handles. A dim and strained spotlight at the middle of the lift ceiling illuminated its interior. The wooden work has rotten, and lines of brown residue dripped along the mirrors, rubbles and ashes covered the floor.

I cautiously pressed with one hoof on the lift. It bounced a little, but didn't seem to have a tendency to drop into the shaft. Still, slowly and carefully, I tiptoed into the space as a precaution. Up above, the cables and mechanisms groaned at my weight. I braced myself and prayed to Celestia, then pressed on the only button in the lift. The door closed with the swiftest motion, and the lift started to ascend.

It took at least a minute before the lift decelerate. How high did this reach? It could've been at least eighty floors. The lift came to a halt with its metal compartments motor screeching and screaming. With the same abrupt speed, the door split and opened, greeting me with a lit hallway. Barred floor lamps located at intervals on the lift wall shined the area with a dim, milky, hazy glow. Other than that, it looked and was designed not differently with the previous corridor. I walked out of the lift and moved along the passage, trying to explore the area. The lift door shut behind me, and, amazingly, it turned into a wall. The corridor looked like a dead end rather than a lift lobby now. Nothing, no slit, no embosses could be seen. Some pretty fancy magic must have been used for this camouflage…

Surveyed enough of the wall, I turned around and walked to the end of the corridor. The corridor split into a junction, left and right, both curving backwards relative to where I came from. Some signs were written on the walls though, however they were too scorched and worn off that I couldn’t recognize the text. I picked the leftward path according to my intuition, and walked for about sixty steps before meeting a hatch door on my left. Twisting the valve in the middle, the door unlatched with a clang, swinging inwards and reveal a new space.

The space lit up upon the opening of the door. Barred fluorescent lamps at the ceiling lighted the surroundings. The room was aisles and aisles of racks filled with boxes — eight rows of shelves occupying most of the room with metal cabinets stuck at the sides of the walls. This must be the storage. I couldn’t spot any hostilities here: no movements, no crazy mare with a psychotic stare. Trusting my eyesight and intuition, I relaxed myself and entered the room. Starting from the first aisle, I flipped open the boxes and crates and investigated the metal cabinets to see if there were anything I could use.

Amused wasn’t really the right word, disappointment didn’t coin it either. I didn’t set my hope high from start anyway, so I wasn’t let down too much by the fact that most of the boxes were empty. No guns, no ammunition, not even some Med-X that I could use to ease my really hurting brain. Call myself lucky or not, I found a 9mm pistol at near breaking condition. I picked it up and grabbed it with my muzzle. Three bullets. There're only three bullets in the magazine. But that was better than nothing. Still disappointed, I turned and headed to the door where I got in.

No, wait. Something's not right. My ear twitched as I stood in front of the hatch door. I turned around and observed the room. The feeling… it kept telling me to stay. There was something here that I have missed, but what was it? I scrutinized every inch of the room with my eyes: the boxes, the aisles, the ceiling and the floor, even the dark and haunting corners. Right before I shrug the twitch away, I spotted it. The metal cabinet, the one that I got the pistol. It was slightly wider than the others, and the way it was mounted just felt wrong to me. I armed the gun and held it in my mouth, slowly approaching the cabinet, and pushed against the metal framework with one of my spare hooves. Thats when I found out it wasn't mounted; it was built into the wall. This must be a passageway, which meant something must be behind this. I inspected the compartment with my hooves, searching for any visible cracks or buttons, from the corners to the sides, the metal panels, and then the back of the cabinet.

Right in the middle of the back panel, I accidentally pushed onto some sort of contraption. The entire metal sheet swiftly slid up. Snow white fluorescent tubes beamed the new area with eye-blinding illumination. I cringed and shield my eyes with my arm, cautiously inspecting the new place with the edge of my vision. For a place 200 years old, it was pretty well kept. The white smooth tiles on the floor were free from dust and rubbish, the white painted walls were clean from stains. The room was small, no larger than the storage room, but it was spacious. The only object sitting in the middle was an operating table with a set of mounted overhead robot arms. On the sides were some waxed maple cabinets, and at the opposite of the room was a work bench with a white porcelain sink, on which were some spilled syringes and empty potion vials. The room was bright and clean. I walked through the cabinet and into the lit area.

Leaning right beside the table was a black sniper rifle. It was a very lengthy, slim gun with a thin, extended barrel, and with a very aerodynamic design. The scope was a continuous streamline along the top of the gun, like the fin of a fish. On the side of the gun was a small plate, engraved with several serial numbers and words in tiny fonts. "Property of MoA Tech & Research Division; Project Analemma; Event Horizon Mk IV", and a barcode with the number #00158370098. But the best thing was the gun even came with a battle saddle.

I looted Event Horizon up with my hoof and… this… this was insanely light. It weighed less than five pages of Royal parchments. A sniper rifle, no, a gun could never weigh as light as this. Shifting it from side to side, I tried to know how to operate this fine piece of engineering. I fondled with the gun, and founded two small bulges on the sides above the magazine. It was kind of awkward to have such bulges and… Click. I popped out a transparent thing from the bulge. It looked like a bullet, but it has no case or primer. It hasn't got much mass either, and I swear my hoof went though the object several times while I touch it. Before I broke anything, I quickly shuffled it back into the bulge, it was weird, but at least the gun wasn't going to hit me.

Tightening the straps, I fastened the battle saddle onto my side. Whoever designed this must have pegasi in mind. It tucked so nicely under my wings I couldn't feel it was there, not to mention how weightless it was. I shuffled the 9 mm and the remaining loot into the saddle, glanced the room to check whether I missed something.

Only the metal arms was left untouched. I fiddled with the it, seeing if there was anything I could find. Since it wasn't powered, I focused my attention on the 12x12 repair window on its side. The screws were missing though, but still I tenderly peeled off the metal plate from its position, exposing the magical matrix of the machinery. But that didn’t catch my attention at first. What's this?

It looked like a hoofband with a huge screen. It had a midnight blue furnishing; it was glossy, streamlined, and flat. The design looked much, much futuristic than the terminals I've seen just now. The entire thing was a smooth thin curve, designed to fit on a pony's leg exactly like a hoof band. It was labeled with a logo: Stable-Tec. Beneath it was the logo similar to the one on the lift door, just without the wings. I held up the device and admired its design. What's this interesting gadget? A new voice murmured at the back of my head, nudging me to try it on. And without concerns of safety, I unstrapped the hoof band and refastened it onto my left hoof.

The screen turned into a blazing white, then it…

Oh crap… This thing has security installed. The screen now says with a single blue line, "Scanning with bypass spell…" Oh horseapples, I tapped the screen frantically tugged the straps. Dear Celestia get it off me! It was locked to my arm. I shouldn't have taken anything I could find! It was choking my hoof's blood flow and my hoof hurt like hell.

The lines on the screen then changed.

"Not matching with registered user"

Oh… ponyfeathers…

I slammed it at the operating table. Baam! My hoof just hurt more. I screeched it and yanked it and pray to have it off my hoof but the more I tucked, the tighter it got.

"Deploying security…"

Ouch! Two needles must have stabbed be from the underneath of the screen. Crap crap crap get it off get it off! I'm losing my hoof aren't I? I don't want to be amputated! Please Luna banish me to the moon, I wanted to keep my hoof! I was panicking. I frantically pulled at the straps and yanked. Please Celestia help your humble subjects…

"Blood scan complete. Identified. Changing active registered user."

Huh? What? How… the screen changed again, returning the familiar Pipbuck interface: health, inventories, statistics. Why did I pass the security check? Why did the blood scan work? Did I break it? Did something else happen? Oh thanks Celestia! But first things first, I needed to look for any useful information.

I just simply couldn't understand any of it. It should've made sense to its owner, but I just simply don't know what to do with it. On the screen was a line art rendition of a mare with a label "Error" underneath it, and on its right a small line of words "internal damage: cerebral cortex". There were a bunch more appreviation and labels, but I just couldn't tell what they meant. What I did know was only the thin status bar which spanned across the top. Since the middle of it said 22:45, I should be able to safely say it's the current time.

There wasn't much more I could do with this, nor with the room which I've toured most part of it. It wasn't at all Hearths Warming Eve, but I'd have to do with all I have. I glanced at the room again, checking those cabinets for any more loot, and walked away from the room and the storage.

Continuing on the circular path, I ended up at a flight of stairs on my right. Walking to the end of it, I arrived at a steel hatch door as wide as the staircase. I twisted the centerpiece of the hatch door, the locks unlatched from the doorframe with load hiss and clangs until the door slid upwards.

Revealed to my eyes was a dark, damp, poorly lit but large circular atrium. The air smelled of wet wood and must, and the rusty metal walls had a dank feeling to it. Not too far in front of me was a semi circular pool of yellowish-green water, lit by several flaxen lamps near the bottom edge of the underwater walls. This looked similar to some water-processing plant or some sort.

At the opposite of the room was a circular hatch door, which one might mistaken as a giant cog if it wasn't of the solid walls that fit the door in place. A small brownish-yellow panel was docked on a stand on the left of the cog.

I stood in front of the giant cog, awed by the size and the seemingly heavyweight of it. I hoof towards the yellow panel next to the door and fiddled with it.

The controls must have seen better days until the labels were scrapped off by time. Nevertheless, the controls were pretty straightforward as there was only one giant red button.

I bopped at the button, and every inches of the facility rang with a series of vexatious sirens. Every yellow warning lights now glowed a dazzling, strobing amber. The edge of the cog shot jets of boiling steam with a deafening hiss, then the cog pushed itself outward and rotated to the right into the compartment behind the wall. It was until now that I truly realize its thickness: three hooves worth of concrete and hard steel.

Cautiously and slowly, I walked to the front of the doorway and looked into the unknown. Outside was a dark rocky tunnel with a moderate wind breeze. I tugged the mouthpiece of my battle saddle, arming myself and the gun, and braced for anything beyond the darkness. Where would this lead to? Maybe death awaited me out there. Maybe cure for my aching body. Maybe the answers to who I was and what happened.

Maybe.

I lifted my right hoof, took a deep breath, and stepped outside of the cog door.

* * *

The muddy and uneven cave floor grew steeper and steeper as I progressed. It took me thirty seconds or less to reach the flat part of the tunnel, and the lack of lighting proved to be exceptionally difficult to navigate. But luckily I didn't injure myself during the process.

At the end of the tunnel was a metal gate. Snow was darting at lightning speed outside; wind was whistling loudly beyond the gate. There must be a snowstorm out there, but that's the only way I could go.

The whistles have become defeating roars and the air has become blazingly cold. I unlocked the gate and stood there, looking into the grayish world, pondering if it was a sane idea or not to leap into a snowstorm. There was no visibility at all, the wind could easily tip me over, but I couldn't stay either. I…

Why was there smell of iron?

Oh. My nose was bleeding again. Because of the cold and wind perhaps? But…

Oh dear…

I dropped to the snowy ground as I fainted for several seconds. My feet were wobbly and my body felt numb. Did I have low blood glucose level? Oh Luna what now… I tried to get up but I tripped over again. I couldn't lie here, so I gather all my strength and will to stand up like a pony should, and…

My vision went blank.

Arrhh!

I crashed onto some rocks or sort, rebounded away into the grey snowing void again. Smash! I hit the face of a rocky cliff, jouncing to the opposite way and into the void. How did I… where was I? Crack! A rock that has sticked out of another cliff jabbed directly at my rib. I unfolded my wings and tried to regain course, but the wind and the turbulence proved too much for me. Bang! I slammed sideways onto a ledge of possibly a mountain, bouncing off into the void next to it again. Wings weren't suppose to bend that way… I bit my teeth and fiercely flapped both my wings, no matter how agonizing it was, and aligned myself along the wind's direction. I was stalling, dropping, jolting left and right by the turbulence, but I started to gain course. Gradually I was flailing forward instead of falling downwards.

Left! I shifted my weight, banked my gliders, pushed with my hooves, and dodged the blade like wall of rock appeared from nowhere. Right! I rolled towards the side, flexing my hooves and wings for a split second as I went pass a two feet hole of a mountain cliff. My side and my wing was a multitude of pain. My hooves were numb, my face were chapped, my eyes were sore. My wings were half folded as my broken bones lost its shape. Eventually I was falling again.

Thump! I smashed into a puff of clouds. Puff! Another one. More and more clouds were vaporized as I fell through them. And poof! I fell into a thick layer of clouds, the world suddenly turned dark grey as I travel through the cloud layer at free fall velocity. How long would I…

I fell through the cloud layer. The turbulence and snowstorm was less harsh than the previous one, but still, since I was injured, navigation was difficult. I screamed as I use the last bit of milk-sucking strength to stretch my wings and wade through the snowstorm. Looking up, I could only see the murky grey cloud layer extending into the far horizon, sealing off the entire sky. I shifted and banked, slowly and deliberately stall myself for a landing. As crazy as this was, I have just survived a flight in a snowstorm. This must be some lucky sign, right?

A sudden line of blue words flashed across my eyes.

S. A. T. S. advanced initialized.
Scanning. Locating. Targeting.

A blue square appeared in my eyesight. It moved from left to right with a swift motion. Underneath it came a changing number, 200', 150', 130'. What the hay… I jumped to the opposite side, while keeping the square in my focus. 150', 140'. What was it? All I could see was endless of flying snow. I stooped and watched the blue box moved. 130', 120'. Who was it? What was it! Show yourself!

Baam!

My heart skipped a beat. A bolt of lightning just flashed through the space next to me. Great. A thunderstorm too. I primed the Event Horizon and held the saddle mouthpiece with my muzzle.

I pulled the aiming scope to my eye. Seriously I couldn't even see what I was shooting at. 90', 70'. I twisted my head, flipped my body, back facing the ground, trying hard to keep the crosshair in the middle of the box. Another bolt of lightning shot through the air with a deafening thunder. 70', 60'. I held my breath and cleared my mind. 60', 50'. Everything was in slow motion. Just me, the gun, and my heartbeat…

I lost myself again.

For the next couple of seconds I could hear nothing but my ears ringing. I was pushed several tens of feet to the back by the recoiling force. A clear contrail of heated air shot through the space. A distinct huge blue plasma exploded at the target. But the box disappeared.

At last, my wings have finally had enough and crumpled; my broken ribs collapsed. Every part of my body stopped working. Please just a little bit more… left, right… steady… last a bit longer… almost to landing…

Baam!

My limbs were pulled to its limits from my body. Every muscle was stiffened. My mind was cleared blank at that instant. The last thing I noticed was the loudest blast I have ever encountered, and the brightest blaze I have ever seen.

I fell unconscious.


LEVEL UP

Author's Note:

Edited at March 22, 2013, 13:48 GMT0.
- Trimmed a lot of junk.
- Tuned protagonist's level of memory.
- Edited minor details.
- Quicken up pace.
- Substantial edits on the overall content.