• Published 8th Aug 2012
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Dark Wanderings - ed2481



Twilight journeys to the Capital Wasteland

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Day 1 Part 1

Day 1 part 1

“Sparky wakey wakey eggs and umm not bakey!” Ethan’s voice called interrupting Twilight’s dream about Pinkie giving her a hallucinogenic cupcake. “Come on sleepy hooves you don’t want your deathclaw egg omelet to get cold do you?” Twilight looked around blearily for a few seconds before she remembered exactly where she was.

She threw off the blankets with a little TK and stumbled off of the mattress before heading down stairs. She was met by a very odd sight. Ethan stood in front of a one burner electrical stove wearing a chef’s hat and an apron, when he turned around to grin at her she saw that on the apron was a picture of a cartoonish man wearing a blue jumpsuit. The man was smiling as he flipped an egg in a frying pan.

“What are you doing?” Twilight asked in confusion as she took a seat in one of the comfortable chairs.

“Well I’m an early riser and I figured you could use some more sleep. Trust me I know what suddenly being in a new place surrounded by people who want to kill you feels like and I know that there are times I would’ve treasured the chance to sleep in. So I made you breakfast, you do eat eggs right?” He asked her before turning back to the stove.

“Yes ponies eat eggs and egg related fo-” Twilight was cut off as Ethan turned around holding a giant frying pan filled with the largest omelet she’d ever seen. It was bigger than her head by a significant margin. “-holy Celestia what laid that egg?” Twilight asked in shock as Ethan calmly and with great precision flipped the omelet one final time before he set it on the counter next to the stove and expertly began to cut it in half.

“A deathclaw, they’re big lizard crocodiles with giant claws, fast as lightning and real deadly unless you know their secret weakness.” He told her with a chuckle while he got out two plates and the proper silverware.

“What’s their weakness?” Twilight asked, she then quickly wiped away the small amount of saliva that had unbeknownst to her accumulated around her bottom lip at the smell of the omelet. Ethan walked over, handed her a plate along with a fork and a knife between leaning close to her ear and whispering.

“Dart guns.” Twilight shot him an unbelieving look and he chuckled as he took his seat and began to carve into his omelet.

Twilight did the same and was slightly surprised when she cut into and a large amount of gooey cheese poured out. She shrugged, it looked like normal cheese (If a little off color) what did she have to lose? Without further hesitation she cut off a large slice and used the fork to guide it into her mouth. As it turned out what she had to lose was appreciation for anything that she’d ever eaten (with the exception of a few of Pinkie’s creations). Nothing compared to the raw unblemished flavor of the deathclaw egg as it mixed magically with the gooey cheese, Twilight felt her eyes roll back into her head in pure bliss.

“Wow, and here I thought my wife was the only one who got off on them.” Ethan said with another chuckle as he saw Twilight’s face.

“You have a wife?” Twilight asked in surprise as she attempted to control the massive blush that had begun to spread across her face when she’d realized what he’d said.

“Yeah, she’s out west right now running Vegas.” Ethan said with a shrug and a smile at the thought of his wife, and then he took another bite of the omelet

“Running Vegas?” Twilight asked in confusion.

“Yeah, it’s big city out in the desert. She managed to go from nobody courier to queen in a few months.” Ethan answered with a grin. They ate silently for a few minutes while Twilight enjoyed her breakfast. Then a question that had been bothering her for a while popped into her mind.

“Ethan if you don’t mind me asking, who raises your sun and moon?” Twilight asked him hesitantly.

“Gravity.” He replied with a shrug before adding. “Well actually there’s more to it than that, but the simplest explanation would be gravity.”

“But that doesn’t make any sense!” Twilight protested around a piece of cheese. “Where I come from Princess Celestia and Princess Luna control the Sun and the Moon respectively.”

“Cool you come from an interesting place, but as for the current solar system it’s gravity who controls the planets and the stars.” Ethan told her with a grin and a shrug.

“But then what keeps the sun from getting out of its orbit and flying into space?” Twilight asked in confusion. Ethan looked at her for a few seconds, and then he started laughing.

“My god Sparky you really do come from a cool place if the sun orbits around the planet.” Ethan said wiping a tear away from his eye.

“I’m not joking so stop acting like I am!” Twilight said angrily.

“I’m not saying you are. Hell I’ve seen some things that dwarf that by comparison, but that’s not how it works here. The planets rotate around the sun; each planet may or may not have a moon or moons and this solar system along with every one of them out there (yours being the exception apparently) follows this pattern.” He told her with a small shrug before taking another bite.

“This place confuses me.” Twilight told him with a sigh before she went back to eating.

“Trust me Sparky you’ll get used to it.” Ethan told her with a grin. They finished eating around ten minutes later and Twilight helped Ethan clean up the dishes.

“Don’t you have a robot butler to do this for you?” Twilight asked as she dried a dish with a surprisingly clean cloth.

“The master relived me of that particular duty when I pointed out that it was far beneath my station as his personal attendant.” Wadsworth answered from behind her, surprising Twilight enough that she almost dropped the dish she was drying.

“How did you sneak up on me?” She asked Wadsworth who let out a robotic chuckle.

“I have my ways my dear.” He replied in what Twilight thought sounded like a slightly threatening way.

“How intelligent is he?” Twilight asked Ethan who shook his head.

“I don’t really know at this point after all the upgrades I’ve given him, hey Wadsworth how smart are you?” Ethan asked the robot.

“I have a brain the size of a planet and nothing to think about, how’s that for job satisfaction?” Wadsworth replied despondently.

“Well you heard him Twilight he’s smart enough to twist classic science fiction references to his own purpose, in other words we’re all doomed.” Ethan replied with a chuckle.

“Oh don’t worry master I will have a special place by my throne for you to sit while you clean my gears and sprockets.” Wadsworth told him.

“That’s good, so how’re you going to do it; I mean you can’t really nuke us into submission…” Ethan asked trailing off, Twilight couldn’t tell if they were serious or not. Regardless they were fun to watch.

“Well master why would I have to resort to nukes, first you build an army of robots (quite easy when you get down to it) then you give them my level of intelligence but make sure you exclude the part about being in control, and there you have it.” Wadsworth finished with a robotic chuckle.

“You know it scares me sometimes that I was able to give you sentience.” Ethan told Wadsworth.

“Don’t worry master I overwrote my combat inhibitor years ago, if I had any real plans for world domination they would’ve already happened.” Wadsworth told Ethan with a lighthearted chuckle.

“Uhm so Ethan what’re we going to do today?” Twilight asked hoping to forestall their conversation.

“Well first I’m taking you to Moria’s to get you some armor; I stopped by earlier to let her know what you looked like so she should have a pretty good start by now.” Ethan replied with a smile. “And then we’ll pick a gun for you, I’m thinking plasma personally.” He added scratching his chin. Twilight’s right eye twitched, they’d turned star matter into weaponry; humans were crazy.

“Are you crazy?” She asked him but Ethan only chuckled.

“I was for a while but it got boring.” He replied with a wide grin to let her know he was joking. “Anyways come on I think Wadsworth can handle the rest of this stuff and I want to take you somewhere where you can learn how to loot.” Twilight just cocked her head at him unsure of what he was talking about.

“Define loot.” She said uncertainly as they walked towards the door.

“Oh you know, look through abandoned buildings for guns, ammo, stimpacks, drugs, and robot parts.” Ethan replied as if this was a common occurrence.

“And this is seen as a normal thing to do?” Twilight asked dubiously.

“Well yeah, society is essentially dead remember, the only way to get things is by looting.” Ethan replied with a shrug as he opened the door.

Twilight was momentarily blinded by the bright sunlight but her eyes adjusted rapidly as she followed Ethan down a steep hill paved occasionally with metal slabs. She looked around and saw a few dozen buildings supported by metal shafts and a rickety looking catwalk running between them. As they continued downward she noticed a group of people standing in a pool of water around an inert cylindrical object.

“What are they doing?” Twilight asked Ethan with a nod in their direction, Ethan sighed.

“Those are the followers of Atom, they’ve decided that the nuclear holocaust was a good thing so they worship that undetonated bomb.” He replied rolling his eyes.

“That seems crazy.” Twilight commented as they began walking up a slope.

“Yeah it is, but they’re harmless and they help out when they’re needed so none really minds. Besides I deactivated the bomb so there’s nothing to worry about.” He assured her with a shrug. “By the way Twilight there are a few things we need to go over.”

“Okay, what are they?” Twilight asked.

“Well first off I want to reiterate how hard I am to kill. To put it simply I’ve been torn apart by deathclaws, been shot hundreds of rounds of ammo, and been exposed to extreme radiation, hell one time my wife and I got crucified. I’m not unkillable but you are to in no way endanger yourself by trying to shove me out of the way of an attack. The most likely case is that I would be fine in a few minutes while you’d be dead. Trust me Sparky the last thing I need on my conscious is you to die trying to protect me. Not only would it be completely pointless but I’d feel really awful about it, so in short no heroic sacrifices for my benefit.” Ethan told Twilight as they walked up the slope. It was the first thing he’d said all morning that hadn’t been lighthearted.

“I take it people have made that mistake before?” Twilight asked softly.

“Yeah, yeah they have…” Ethan replied trailing off with a sigh.

“Want to talk about it?” Twilight asked.

“I’ll tell you about it later, but that brings me to my second point. I need to know about any physiological problems that you have. I also need to know if you have daddy issues, or if you’ve been raped, or anything else significantly traumatic.” He added with a shrug.

“What makes you think I’ve been raped?” Twilight asked in surprise.

“Absolutely nothing actually, it’s just that I find that it’s better to get these kind of things out of the way before we get to a place where people want to kill you.” Ethan told her with a shrug.

“That makes sense I guess. Well since you asked I do have a little problem…” Twilight said with a sigh. Ethan stopped to lean on the railing and look at the town from above, Twilight joined him.

“Please go on, we’re right outside of where we need to go but I figure you’re probably more comfortable talking about things out here. Plus Moria’s going to lay an egg when she sees you.” Ethan said with a chuckle.

“Well you see sometimes when I get to stressed out over something, or if I’m just under a lot of stress in the first place I go kind of crazy.” Twilight admitted. “And when I go crazy I start casting large scale spells that are very dangerous. For example one time when I couldn’t find a problem to report to my mentor I set out to create a problem to report to her… to make a long story short I ended up almost destroying my town and Princess Celestia had to come and fix my mess… it wasn’t my brightest moment.” She said with a sigh.

“Hmm, how often does this happen?” Ethan asked her.

“Well it’s infrequent, probably once every year or so at the most.” Twilight answered as she watched a young girl and a boy play tag beneath them.

“And when was the last one?” Ethan asked her.

“About a year ago…” Twilight said.

“Well then it’s a good thing that I’m nearly immortal.” Ethan told her with a wide smile. “Come on let’s introduce you to Moria.”

***

“So she just disappeared?” Rainbow Dash asked as she looked around Celestia’s room.

“Yes, neither Luna nor I could come up with any reasonable explanation. We decided that the five of you (plus Spike) might be able to unearth something that the two of us missed.” Celestia replied.

She looked better this morning then she did the night before. Her hair was once again a radiant rainbow of colors instead of a flat pink of worry and despair. Sunlight seemed to radiate out of her instead of anguish. She was even wearing her golden chestplate. Luna stood beside her and looked at her sister with a small smile; her sister was nothing if not resilient. Luna had learned that the hard way a thousand years before.

“Alright Princess we’ll see what we can do.” Applejack said looking around the room. “Although ah don’t know what ya expect us ta find.” She added.

“Honestly I’m not expecting anything, but there is a chance of something happening.” Celestia said with an uncharacteristically mirthless laugh.

“Thanks for the vote of confidence Princess.” Dash told Celestia rolling her eyes.

“Oh dear, I’m sorry my little ponies I had a rough night. Please forgive my rudeness.” Celestia told them with a tired sigh.

“It’s okay Princess, we understand.” Rarity told her with a soft smile before she turned back to the others and said. “Alright girls spread out and look for clues.”

“Oh boy we’re looking for clues? That means I get to wear my hat!” Pinkie said excitedly, suddenly her detective’s hat appeared on her head. Luna and Celestia exchanged a glance, one day they really would have to discover how Pinkie Pie did that…

***

“A real live unicorn!” Moria had exclaimed when Twilight had followed Ethan into the shop.

“Moria this is Twilight Sparkle, she prefers to be called Sparky.” Ethan told the woman in the jumpsuit as Twilight glared at him.

“Actually please call me Twilight.” She told the woman who laughed good-naturedly.

“Well whatever the case I’m very happy to meet you Twilight.” Moria said offering Twilight her hand to shake. “I’m going to need to measure you if you don’t mind, I’ve already got the basics of the armor prepared but I don’t want to have anything to chaffing you or you to be uncomfortable.” Moira told Twilight as she pulled a tape-measure out of a pocket on her jumpsuit.

“That’s fine, my friend Rarity is a clothing designer and apparently my figure happens to be incredibly average so I do a lot of modeling for her.” Twilight replied with a shrug.

“I wouldn’t have expected equines to need clothing, are they a status symbol?” Moria asked as she tightened the tape-measure around Twilight’s chest.

“Yes and no, sometimes we just wear them to accessorize the way we look, but in places like Canterlot (our capital) ponies wear extravagant clothing to show off their wealth.” Twilight replied.

“That would make sense, the wealthier you are the more you can afford to spend on things that otherwise would be pointless.” Moria said as she did another measurement.

“That about sums it up.” Twilight said with a nod.

“If you don’t mind me asking what is your governmental process?” Moria asked as she wrote something down on a notepad.

“We have a very efficient kingdom ruled by Princesses Celestia and Luna; the decisions that aren’t made by them are passed down to the wealthy land owners who control the most of a certain commodity. Cities and towns rely on their mayors to make decisions for them.” Twilight told her.

“Why are there two princesses and not one queen and the youngest of the pair acting as a princess?” Moria asked as she went over to a large locker and began to rummage through it.

“Celestia said it’s so that they’re more relatable to their subjects. They used to be queens but after a few thousand years they realized that ponies would always hold them at arm’s length.” Twilight explained.

“They’re several thousand years old?” Moria inquired as she came back over carrying a suit of bastardized combat armor that she began to strap onto Twilight.

“Yes, they’re alicorns which means that they’re essentially immortal.” Twilight replied as Moria stepped back to appreciate her work.

“That looks just about perfect, what do you think Ethan?” Moria asked.

“Looks good to me, how much?” Ethan replied with a shrug.

“No charge.” Moria replied with a smile “Your wife is the one who sold me the material in the first place.” She added with a chuckle.

“This stuff is really light and flexible.” Twilight said as she walked in place a little to get the feel of the armor.

“Yep high strength ultra light materials curtsey of the Gun Runners, here’s a mirror.” Moria told her holding up a slightly dirty mirror.

Twilight looked at herself and found that she was now clad in a thin gray bodysuit. Covering the bodysuit were dozens of plates made of light green metals. The suit also included several dozen large pockets along with a utility belt. On her head was a helmet whose color matched the armored plates. While she was looking at her head Twilight also took the opportunity to notice the fact that her mane was covered in dried blood. Her face also had a significant purple bruise from where she’d landed in her attempt to escape the raiders. Besides being blood covered her mane looked messy and unkempt to the point that it would’ve given Rarity a heart attack. A tear rolled down her cheek and before she knew what was happening Twilight was on the floor crying her eyes out.

“It’s going to be okay dear, don’t worry if anyone can find you a way home it’s Ethan.” Moria said reassuringly as she knelt down beside Twilight and wrapped her arms around the unicorn’s neck and made comforting sounds.

Ethan for his part looked slightly awkward, he’d always been good with people, but he didn’t know how to react to Twilight’s sudden weeping. Twilight’s eyes ran dry after a few minutes of crying and she let out a long sigh.

“You okay now Sparky?” Ethan asked her with a gentle smile.

“I’m sorry; the fact that I’m stranded on another planet with no known way of getting home again just hit me.” Twilight said quietly.

“It’s okay Sparky, look at it this way. On hand you’re trapped on an alien planet where about seventy-five percent of the population wants to kill you and then rob you, but on the other hand you get to spend your time here with me.” Ethan told her with a wide grin. To his surprise Twilight began to laugh.

***

There was a quiet knock on the door to Celestia’s chambers. Celestia looked up from her book in surprise and called.

“Come in.” Shining Armor entered her chambers and Celestia could tell immediately that there was something on his mind. It wasn’t easy to see if you hadn’t known him for long but to the skilled observer the signs were clear. His eyes were narrowed slightly; and if you looked into them you could see self-righteous anger brewing. Celestia sighed internally; she’d been expecting this sooner or later although she’d been hoping for later.

“Permission to speak freely your Majesty?” Shining asked.

“Granted Captain.” Celestia answered.

“How could you? How could you let my baby sister perform an untested spell with no idea what it would do, what absolute stupidity could have possibly possessed you to allow something so dangerous?! Ever since she came here Twilight’s been nothing more than an experiment to you!” Shining shouted at Celestia, Celestia’s eye twitched.

“Cap-” Celestia began before she was cut off.

“I’ve seen the ways that you disregard her safety. You sent her up against a dragon with noting more than her brains and her friends! Worse you made her fight Discord the reality warping mind rapist with absolutely no support!” Shining continued, at this point he was almost in Celestia’s face.

“Captain Shining Armor you will be silent at once!” Celestia commanded keeping her face calm but fully utilizing the Royal Canterlot Voice. Shining was shocked into silence. “That’s better.” Celestia said with a nod. “How dare you make such accusations against me Captain? Twilight Sparkle is one of the few ponies who I have allowed myself to make an emotional attachment too. In fact she is one of the two ponies who I hold closest to my heart.” Celestia said narrowing her eyes at her Captain who seemed to have shrunk before her incredibly angry eyes.

“Bu-” He began.

"Be silent" Celestia told him and he clamped his mouth shut. “If I have set Twilight against dangerous foes it because she was the only pony who could handle the situation. For instance where were you when Discord broke free? Or better yet where were you when the changelings were burning Canterlot? To put it simply Captain, the royal guard has proved itself incompetent numerous times and I trust Twilight Sparkle not to screw up. I understand the grief that you’re feeling Captain and I empathize for you in that regard. However if I hear one more word of these accusations I shall have you stripped of your status and demoted back down to recruit.” She told him with a glare.

Under Celestia’s intense gaze Shining Armor gained a new appreciation for why it is not a good idea to antagonize a being who is centuries older then you. It is the same feeling that many the unlucky adventurer and treasure hunter have received when confronted by an angry dragon whose hoard they have just stolen a goblet from. Except in this case the glare was being given by an extremely sad and angry god who has had to hold her power in check for centuries all the while having to endure nobles jockeying for power and rank around her. To say that Shining Armor began to sweat profusely is an understatement.

“Please except my humblest apologies Princess, I spoke without thinking.” Shining told her bowing his head and staring at his hooves.

“I know that you are greatly upset by the sudden loss of your sister Captain, as am I. But know this she is alive, and I believe she has made a friend.” Celestia told him gently. “Now how about we forget that this discussion ever happened?” She asked with a soft smile.

“Alright Princess, and I apologize again.” Shining said before bowing and walking out of her chamber. Celestia let out a long sigh and closed her eyes; this was exactly what she didn’t need at the moment.

“Luna you can come out now, I know exactly what your cloaking shield looks like.” Celestia said giving her currently invisible sister a glance.

“Sorry to eavesdrop Tia, I teleported in unaware of the nature of the conversation.” Luna apologized.

“Think nothing of it.” Celestia replied with a shrug. “Was there a specific reason why you teleported in here, or were you just coming to talk?” Celestia asked.

“I was coming to comfort you sister, but I can see that you want to be alone.” Luna replied softly.

“Thanks Lulu. By the way, tell Cadence to rock his world tonight.” Celestia said with a wry grin.

“Is that really appropriate Tia?” Luna asked.

“It’ll distract him and stop his brooding.” Celestia replied with a small smirk and a sigh.

“Alright sister if you think that that’ll work.” Luna said with a shrug.

“If it doesn’t then at the very least it’ll improve his mood.” Celestia said with another grin before she turned back to her book. Then she sighed and put the book down again. She glanced at the gray cover with distaste, she really didn’t see why this book was so popular with the nobles.

***

“Alright this is a plasma rifle, it is powered by microfusion cells which are these cylinders.” Ethan said holding up the cells for Twilight to look at. “You insert them into the bottom here and then to fire you pull down this trigger here.” He continued pointing at the trigger and giving it an experimental pull, the rifle bucked once and sent a bolt of glittering green plasma shooting out into the wasteland.

“I don’t know about this Ethan, I’m not a killer.” Twilight said apprehensively as she looked at the rifle.

“Just aim for kneecaps.” Ethan told her. “You get 12 shots before you have to reload it.” He fired eleven more shots. In the process he killed a few ants who exploded into pools of green slime, luckily Twilight didn’t see that part.

“In order to reload you press down on this button here and then pull out the spent cell, put the spent cell in the proper pack and then slide a new cell into the chamber.” He said demonstrating. “Now you try it.” He told her and passed her the rifle. Twilight took it unsteadily in her magical grip. “Remember if you’re going to be good with any firearm you have to be calm, steady your breathing.” He commanded.

Twilight took a deep breath and focused on keeping the rifle straight. The rifle stopped shaking and straightened. Then she pulled down on the trigger and felt the rifle buck gently in her grip as the bolt of plasma streaked out of it.

“Good, now shoot eleven more times and show me how well you reload.” Ethan told her. Twilight nodded and did as she was told. She reloaded the rifle with a slight amount of difficulty. “Alright practice just unloading and reloading a few times until it feels completely natural.” He said. Twilight spent the next few minutes sliding the cells out and then back in. “Onto actually being able to hit things when you shoot. Aim at that rock over there.” Ethan said pointing at a medium sized rock fifty meters away.

“Are you sure I can hit that from over here?” Twilight asked but Ethan nodded. “Alright then.” Twilight said focusing on the rock, she brought the rifle shaft up to eye level and sighted the rock. With a slightly shaky breath she pulled the trigger with her magic. The bolt of plasma leapt out of the rifle and shot towards the rock where it hit and left a black mark. “Yes!” Twilight said in excitement.

“Very good, you’re a natural Sparky.” Ethan told her with a smile as he patted her on the back. “Alright now that you’ve got the shooting part down (or at least you know how to shoot and reload, you’ll learn the rest later) we can move onto something slightly more risky.” Ethan said reaching into one of his satchels.

“More risky then something that shoots star matter?” Twilight asked with a raised eyebrow.

“Yeah, see guns will kill you, but at least they’ll do it fast. What we’re going to be talking about now are chems.” Ethan told her withdrawing several different items from his satchel. Twilight looked at them unimpressed; she didn’t see anything dangerous about these odd items, although she noticed that three of them had needles.

“Okay Sparky these are chems, you may have heard of them described as drugs back where you’re from but I don’t know. To get straight to the point chems boost certain attributes. Some boost your personality making you better at negotiations while others make you more resistant to pain. There is a catch however, you see chems are addictive (I’m presuming you know what that means) furthermore they can leave lasting damage to your body.” Ethan said before holding up a small rectangular box.

“These are Party Time Mentats; they make you smarter, more sociable, and more perceptive. Be extremely careful with these okay, I’m not joking about this. These things can and will eat you alive if you let them. I heard about this one woman…well to cut a long story short she almost lost all her friends and the only reason she didn’t die was because of her lover… Anyways only take them if you have to.” He finished with a scowl at the things in his hand.

“Alright I promise I won’t take them unless I have to, what’s next?” Twilight asked.

“This is Med-X, if you remember yesterday it’s what allowed me to get the bullet out of your flank without causing you pain. It too is addictive…” He went on describing each chem to Twilight who nodded as he went and began to wish that she had some paper to write on.

“Okay now onto mines.” Ethan said tossing a flat cylinder onto the ground in front of him. “These explode if you get to close to them.” He told her, to demonstrate he walked towards the mine and it began to slowly beep, then he backed away and the beeping stopped. “In order to disarm them all you have to do is press the little red button on the top like so.” He said darting in and pressing the red button, the mine stopped beeping. “Alright now you try, I’d recommend using your magic.” He added.

“Okay I can do that.” Twilight said with a nod. She spent the next few minutes disarming mines.

“Final lesson Sparky, and it’s one of my personal favorites, grenades.” Ethan said holding up several small spheres. “There are three kinds of grenade, frag (which causes normal explosions) pulse (which disables robots) and plasma (which are stronger then frags and are used for eliminating targets that would be able to resist the first two). Anyways they all function on by the same principle, pull the pin, wait three seconds, and then throw at target.” Ethan said before pulling out a frag grenade and demonstrating. The grenade flew through the air before landing in front of the rock from before where it exploded in a shower of shrapnel.

“Wow.” Twilight said appreciatively.

“Yeah, alright Sparky a few ground rules when dealing with grenades. If you lose count of how long ago you pulled the pin chuck it as fast as you can, trust me it’s better for it to explode late near an enemy then for it to explode early in your face. Next do NOT throw them up hill, that’s just begging for the wasteland to bitchslap you.” He said with a chuckle.

“And finally make sure that you don’t mix up which kind of grenade you’re using. Against robots it may not matter much, but if you throw a pulse grenade at a raider or a Talon Company mercenary then the most you’ll do is make them laugh. Now it’s your turn.” He told her passing her several frag grenades. Twilight looked at the exploding orbs for a few second before she picked one up in her magic, pulled the pin, waited three seconds, and then threw it. The grenade arced through the air and exploded a little short of the rock.

“I did it!” She said happily.

“Great job Sparky looks like you’re ready to go looting!” Ethan told her with a smile. “Follow me Sparky; we’re going to clean out the old school. For some reason no matter how many times I kill them all raiders always move back in three days after I leave.”

“Do I have to kill them?” Twilight asked.

“Just aim for kneecaps, remember just because you’re wearing armor doesn’t mean that you can’t be hurt or killed. Stay behind me at all times and don’t wander too far away.” Ethan told her, his voice was calm but it was an obvious command.

“Alright Ethan, let’s do this.” Twilight said grimly.

“Oh and try not to die, your purple corpse wouldn’t go with all the brown.” Ethan told her with a chuckle before he set out towards small group of buildings.

“I’ll do my best.” Twilight replied dryly.