• Published 31st May 2019
  • 4,185 Views, 148 Comments

The Teacher - Flyingboat Boy



Houston has gone by many titles. The Star Player. The Courier. But to the ponies of Equestria he goes by a different name. The Teacher.

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Eels

As a member of the Griffin species, Natalya likes to believe that she's been really lucky with her life. She survived her hatchling years, lived in a crumbling birdhouse which hasn't collapsed yet, and even won a bronze medal at in aerial relay for Celestia's sake!

Granted it wasn't a gold medal. But when you're competing against literal speed demons such as the Wonderbolts, or even Rainbow Dash, even Griffins have to be lenient at times.

Natalya's luckiest moment, in her opinion at least, has to be when she found out that she had a half-sister named Giselle.

Griffins have this rather peculiar culture when it comes to mating. Ponies would tell their foals that babies would come when two ponies love each other very much. Griffins would instead redefine it to say hatchlings come when two griffins hate each other very much.

After a couple of hours of heated arguing, the two griffins would end up just rutting one another like wild beasts to settle whatever argument they were having. Due to this rather 'lax' mindset towards marriage and devotion, the two griffins would just leave one another after the deed was done. The female would drop off the egg at one of the many orphanages in Griffinstone while the male would just screw around until he inevitably starts another fight, and subsequently creates another orphan.

This is to blame for the Griffin's rapidly shrinking gene pool and the massive amount of orphans that make up the griffin population. Since so many griffin hatchlings were so closely related with one another, this led to intense rivalries and a spike in hate and resentment for one another.

So count Natalya lucky when she found a half-sister that didn't completely hate her guts. Granted she didn't exactly love her- more like tolerated her- but that still counts for something amongst the griffins.

Now she was hoping that whatever luck that was keeping her alive all this time, was still working as she, Giselle and their teammate Gaston flew for their lives.

After the Equestria Games, Natalya and her teammates returned to Griffinstone with their bronze medals in claws. Griffins being griffins, the team quickly pawned them over to the local blacksmith for some quick bits, of which they later used to get drunk together at the local bar. After a night of heavy drinking and bar quizzes, the three of them departed ways with each other with promises to meet up in a few months to start training for the next Equestria Games.

One year later, they finally met up with the appropriate bits needed to start their training regime, whether those bits had been obtained legally or illegally. Having just enough for a three week holiday, in which they would train, Natalya- being the team captain and all- decided that they would be staying in Ponyville. Mainly because it was so cheap and it was close to the Ghastly Gorges, the site of their intense three-week seminar. It would have been a glorious three weeks of endless conditioning and teambuilding exercises.

So why did it go wrong? Why is it that the three of them were currently flying as fast as they could as if their lives depended on it?

Because of buckin QUARRY EELS!!!

See Natalya had designated roles for each of them to fulfill in the days leading up to their trip. After much debating, of course, it was decided that she would be managing the team's finances. Giselle would handle the paperwork for their accommodations while Gaston was tasked with gathering local information pertaining to the gorge.

Course it seems the featherbrain had completely forgotten to warn the rest of the team about the nest of buckin QUARRY EELS the size of buildings living within the walls of the gorge.

"Gaston! To your right!"

The bulky griffin gaston squawked indignantly as a massive Quarry Eel erupted out the cliffside to his tight, its jaws wide open for a tasty bird snack. Had it not been for Giselle's warning, he most likely would have been gobbled up without a single trace of his existence.

"Screw you!!!" Gaston flipped what griffins passionately called 'the bird' at the retreating eel with his wings. He was subsequently slapped across the bad of his head by Giselle as she passed by him.

"Insult them later! Keep flying!" she called back as she caught up to her sister Natalya who was currently leading their small wing formation.

"Where now, sis?" Giselle yelled over the roar of the winds and the distant rumblings of Quarry Eels moving along the hidden tunnels embedded within the catacombs of the cliff walls.

"Anywhere but here!" replied Natalya as she screamed back to her sister, "Where in Celestia's arse is Gaston?!"

"I don't know" shrugged Giselle as she looked back, "He should be...ah there he is"

Sure enough, Gaston caught up to the two griffin sisters, looking slightly roughed up with his entire face coated in a fine layer of dust.

"Don't ask..." he said dangerously as Giselle raised a talon in question, "Hey Natalya? Why are we even bothering to stay in this Gorge? Could we just fly up and get out of here already?"

"Wind currents" replied Natalya briskly as she pointed up, "Fly up and you'll find yourself smashed against the cliff walls. Best we can do right now is to find a section of this pass where the winds are weaker to leave"

"What about the Eels?" asked Giselle, "I don't hear the rumblings anymore"

That was a good question, thought Natalya. True enough, the sounds that indicated the presence of Eels had slowly faded away into obscurity. Either the Eels had lost interest in the group of griffins, or either they were...

"Stay alert" commanded Natalya to her wingmates. These Eels were obviously much smarter than they had initially let on, and Natalya wasn't willing to take any more chances that may place them in harm's way.

The wing of three Griffins continued to fly in silence, constantly scanning the side of the cliffs in case of any unexpected ambushes. To Gaston and Giselle's relief, and Natalya's paranoia, there was nothing.

"Maybe they're gone," said Giselle optimistically to Gaston. Despite her teammates boost in morale at that thought, Natalya can't help but feel that this situation was too good to be true. One moment they were being chased by Eels and the next they weren't? Nah, something had to be up.

Eventually, the wing entered an area of the gorge with a considerable drop in wind. Not enough to fly directly out, but enough for them to slow down without fear of being blown away. Looking ahead, they could see that the source of this drop in the wind was due to a divide in the gorge, branching into two pathways.

"Left or right, boss?" called out Gaston.

"Either should be okay" replied Natalya as she pointed to the right entrance, "We'll go there-"

Before she could finish her sentence, however, a loud rumbling sound could be heard all around them. While her teammates went white in the face with fear, Natalya swore loudly as she realized the rumblings were-

"EELS!!" screamed Natalya to her teammates. Sure enough to her words, a massive Quarry Eel erupted out of the cliff walls. Snarling and drooling, the buckin thing just so happened to be conveniently placed right at the fork of the two entrances. Natalya's heart sunk as she realized what would happen should the three of them remain clumped together.

"Break! Break goddamnit!!"

In response to her orders, the wing broke apart just as the Eel lunged forward and took a huge bite at the air in which the three of them were previously flying on. Gaston and Giselle were lucky, able to avoid the Eel's frills and enter the path on the right. Natalya was much more unlucky, having to avoid the Eel's flopping body, which forced her into the left passage.

'If those two have any brains, they'll fly out straight away and wait for me' thought Natalya bitterly as more rumbling sounds could be heard all around her. 'Oh for Celestia's sake'

Soon Eel after Eel erupted from holes in the walls, their jaws wide open to take a bite out of her. Luckily for her, the creatures were slow and cumbersome, making easy to dodge with her skills. However, what they lacked in individual agility, they made up for in sheer numbers as Natalya soon felt extremely fatigued from having to dodge eel after eel.

She rounded a corner, in hopes of escaping from the endless valley of eels she had just gone through. But what she saw at the end of the corner just made her growl in frustration.

The area had weak winds, that was for sure. However, there were numerous spherical white objects sitting comfortably on a nest made of sticks, mud and the occasional bones of some poor animal. To top it all off, a larger than life Eel slithered around the nest, snarling viciously in her direction when it noticed her approaching.

'I'm so screwed' thought Natalya. She had flown straight into the middle of their nest.

The matriarch eel quickly lunged at her, moving in an unorthodox manner that made dodging it much more impressive when Natalya was able to do so. Dodging to the right and avoiding the matriarch's open jaws, Natalya finally found the sweet spot that in the gorge that would finally allow her to get out. Yet as she picked up speed and height, she flew a massive pain shoot through her right hind leg. Looking down, she realized that the queen eel had clamped its jaws around her foot, drawing blood as its razor sharp teeth dug deeper and deeper. Worst still was that Natalya realized she was losing height as the creature began to pull her down.

"No, no, no, no!!" Using whatever she had at her disposal; claws, legs, and beaks, Natalya scratched, kicked and bit the Quarry eel with as much desperation and ferocity as a fat chicken. Still, eventually, the beast let go of her leg after she delivered a devastating blow up the creature's nose.

With no way to bandage the wounds, Natalya did the most logical thing and quickly flew up with as much strength as she could. Luckily for her, the winds were slow so it made it easier for her to reach the edge of the cliff. However, a combination of the pain, blood loss, and fatigue made her smash the side of the walls numerous times until she was finally able to grab the cliff's edge and pull herself up.

"Arghh...buck's sake" groaned Natalya as she laid face-first on the soft, green grass. "That's going to hurt in the morning"

All across her body, she felt as if each muscle had been ripped straight out, seared with flames and then reattached back onto her. But nowhere did it hurt as much as it did on her legs and her-

"Wait...no!" Natalya shot up, despite protest from the rest of her body and tried to fan out her wings to get a better view of the extent of the damage. However, no matter how hard she tried to do it, her wings refused to open up. Only when she arched her head back, was she truly horrified with what she saw.

The sight was...tragic to say the least. Her wings, once described as glorious with perfectly groomed black feather, were a shadow of their former selves as they were twisted in a manner that was almost impossible to conceive. Most of the luscious black feather that once covered her wings were gone, exposing the raw red meat underneath to the elements. Luckily for her, there was no blood, just badly twisted limbs, so she won't bleed to death. But the possibility of never flying again quickly extinguished what thought she might have had about not bleeding to death.

'I'm so bucked' cried Natalya softly as she gently reached out and stroked her wings, hissing in pain when she touched them. Suddenly realizing her other wounds, she immediately began applying pressure to the wounds on her leg, seeing how they were still bleeding from the Quarry eel's jaws.

Her small moment of recuperation and morning was quickly shattered as the sounds of rumblings could be heard again, paralyzing her in fear. Turning around slowly, she was greeted with the sight of the matriarch eel. Nursing a small bleeding nose that was nowhere as brutal as Natalya's wounds, the eel once again opened its jaws to reveal its razor-sharp teeth to intimidate Natalya. The is started to slowly proceed to her by sliding on its front.

Basic instinct kicking in, Natalya immediately tried getting up, only to stumble when her still wounded leg forced her back onto the ground. With her leg preventing her from running away, and her wings out of commission, she did the next best thing. She began to crawl.

Granted she was barely getting anywhere, and it was only causing herself more pain as she dragged her broken carcass along the grounds of the cliffs. However as more and more of her energy sapped away, and as the matriarch eel got closer and closer to her to the point that she could feel its hot breath, Natalya gave up trying to flee and instead surrendered herself to her fate.

"Hope the others got out" muttered Natalya as she slowly closed her eyes, "Guess my luck ran out"

She chuckled softly to herself as the darkness swallowed her.


"Either Kansas got off scot's free, or we are not even in the Wasteland anymore"

A series of beeping and robotic grunts readily agreed with Houston as ED-E and A L P H A walked alongside Houston in the pine forest.

"Seriously, look at this" Houston pointed to a nearby pine tree, pretty much the same as every tree in the forest, with the butt of his Laser Rifle. "Not a trace of radiation on the Geiger Counter. What the hell is going on here?"

What the hell is going on is the perfect question to describe the situation that Houston found himself in. Never before, in all his travels as a courier, has he ever found himself in a world as crazy as this one. And he's been to some crazy places with some crazy characters

Fort Daggerpoint and the super mutant army.

The Sierra Madre and Elijah's insane heist.

The Big Empty and the Think Tank.

And finally the Great Divide and Ulysses.

But all of them were topped by the place he was currently standing in, ironic since its the closest thing to what Pre-war American forests might have looked like. But for someone who has lived in the Wastes and has only ever seen a forest this vibrant in picture books as a kid, the shock factor was really there.

"Come on, you stupid thing" Houston slapped his wrist-mounted Pip-boy a few times in hopes of getting its MAPS to function. Ever since his plane had crashed in the forest, he had been unable to create a rough map on his Pip-boy. This was weird, considering the fact that his Pip-boy had always been able to create a map, even when he was the Divide. This was why he was seriously considering that he might not even be on Earth anymore.

"God, I could do with some Dean Martin right now" lamented Houston as he examined the blades of grass at his feet. Seems they were coated in droplets of water that weren't irradiated. "Least I saved the songs on Holotapes, now that the radio's out too"

Speaking of holotapes, Houston really should go back and finish off the tapes stored in the box labeled "history'" in his wrecked plane. He remembered winning them off some mysterious stranger in power armor after a night of drinking and whiskey at Trudy's bar in Goodsprings.

Now that he thought about it, didn't the stranger have an eyebot like ED-E with him? Also...he distinctively remembered losing to the stranger, not winning, and despite his protests NOT to have the tapes, the weirdo still gave them to him anyway.

Huh. Weird.

He won't deny though, watching those history tapes were really enlightening. Who knew that the Brotherhood of Steel was currently kicking ass in the Capital Wasteland thanks to some hero called the Lone Wanderer. Or that West Virginia was no longer inhabitable because Vault 76's population had nuked one another with the hidden ICBMs.

He just wished that the narrator would stop jumping from one story to the other. Makes it really hard to keep up with everything.

Reaching up into a pine tree, Houston snapped off one of the pine cones and tucked it into one of the many pockets in his trench coat. "Might as well take some samples while I'm here"

As he reached up to pick some more, a loud beeping distracted him from doing so. Seems ED-E had picked up something as he quickly shot off into the distance, turned around to beep some more, and then continued on his journey,

"Uhh..." Houston stared at A L P H A, who just gave him a blank stare in response.

"Just follow him" Houston rolled his eyes as the massive robot lumbered off mindlessly to follow ED-E. Pocketing the last pine cones he could find off the forest floor, Houston reholstered his Laser Rifle and chased after his two robot companions.

Houston eventually found his two robot companions hiding behind a series of bushes. Sneaking up to the two and squeezing himself between the two, he quietly whispered to ED-E, "Right. So what do we have ED..."

Houston's voice trailed off as he spied perhaps the most beautiful creature he had ever seen in his entire life. It was a weird combination of two animals, the top half of an avian's and the lower half of a feline. Usually, Houston would be disgusted with such a combination, what with seeing Wasteland centaurs, yet he couldn't help but feel strangely mystified at how beautiful the creature's white feathers were, or the grey fur on its body.

The only sad thing about the creature was its wings, which based on its angle, was most likely broken. That and the small puddle of blood that currently laid in, cause of the wound on one of its legs causing it to bleed out. To Houston's surprise, the creature displayed significant signs of intelligence as it applied pressure to its leg in an attempt to staunch the wound.

Ed-E let out a frantic series of beeps, alerting Houston to the arrival of an imminent threat. Alerted, Houston looked around to identify the threat, seeing as how the wounded creature seemed to not be identified as the threat.

His answer so arrived as a massive red and purple creature appeared over the edge of the cliff in which the wounded creature was positioned. Dark red in color, purple frills, pink dots and serpentine yellow eyes that focused on the white creature underneath it. Massive in size, Houston couldn't help but feel slightly terrified at the new monster.

So to did the white creature as it began desperately crawling away from the massive beast above it. Houston didn't really feel pity for the wounded bird-lion, after all, all things live and die eventually in the Wasteland.

It's nothing new.

Except...Houston couldn't help but feel that he was making a mistake here. As he gazed at the creature's bright blue eyes, he saw many things. Fear, desperation, despair. Yet, there was something beyond those primal instincts, something that gave him a reason beyond just leaving it there to be eaten.

Something...akin to intelligence.

Sentience almost.

"Screw it" muttered Houston as he unholstered his Laser Rifle from his back, "ED-E, A L P H A, Cover me!!"

His two robot companions quickly did as he commanded, bursting out of the bush and covering his advance with successive bursts of red laser fire. The massive monster roared in pain and surprise, angered that it was distracted from its meal and diverting its attention to the tow new adversaries that dare interrupt its meal.

Houston snuck around, out of view of the creature and reached his target.

"Seems you blacked out" signed Houston as he gently stroked its feathery head. Keeping one hand on his gun, Houston used the other arm to hook it underneath its talons and attempted to pull it with him into the bush. Sadly his status as a nerd meant that he failed miserably in his endeavors, struggling to even move it just one bit.

"Really should exercise more" groaned Houston as he heaved and heaved to no avail. Before he could reholster his weapon and try again with both arms, he noticed something was off.

Very off.

Oh yeah, seems the sounds of laser fire had stooped for some reason.

Looking up slowly, Houston noticed the unimpressed looks from the serpentine monster above him. Seems it had lost interest in his robot friends and once again turned its attention to its meal, only to be angered when it seemed as if something else was taking its meal away.

"SHIT!!" Houston let off a few blasts of green laser fire but to his horror, the green bolts of light seemed to just reflect off of the creature's scales. It got even worse when the creature opened its massive jaws and lunged at Houston and the creature in his arms, intent on swallowing the both of them whole. Unable to react in time, Houston closed his eyes and waited for the end.

A loud clang could be heard all across the valley. Opening his eyes, Houston saw A L P H A had lunged forward and held the beast's jaws open with his bare hands. Yet despite being strong, Houston could see literal steam escape the robot as it struggled to maintain its hold of the beast's jaws. This moment of relief, however, gave Houston a good idea as to how to deal with the monster.

"A L P H A, hold its jaws open! ED-E, shoot its eyes when I say now!!"

Taking a moment to hear the confirmatory beeps from his various companions, Houston reached down to his belt and unhooked one of the Plasma grenades attached to it.

"ED-E, NOW!!"

Using what strength he did have, Houston pulled the pins from the grenade and tossed it straight down the creature's open mouth, the blinking green canister quickly disappearing down the darkness that is its throat. Just at that same moment, ED-E fired a laser straight into its left eye, causing it to loosen its jaw as it reeled back to roar in pain.

Using the creature's gravity against it, A L P H A snapped its jaws close and delivered a devastating punch straight to its throat, causing it to fall backward and into the gorge in which it came from.

The sound of bones snapping echoed from the gorge as the dreaded beast collided multiple times with the sharp rocks underneath. Finally, as the sound faded from existence, the all too familiar sound of a plasma grenade going off could be heard in the distance.

"Well, that solves that," said Houston as he dusted his hands. Walking over to the still unconscious body of the white creature, he reached down and pressed two fingers into its neck.

"Got a pulse...good. A L P H A, carry this thing, would you?"

"00000011111110000011000"

With one of his usual binary grunts, the robot lumbered forwards and easily picked up the wounded creature in a bridal-carry.

"Take it back to the plane. ED-E, follow and guard him" commanded Houston. The two robots quickly left the scene, carrying their precious cargo with them. "As for me..."

Houston turned around with his rifle at the ready, swearing that he saw movement amongst the bushes before. Yet, as he looked around and noticed that there was nothing out of place, he too mounted his gun and left to catch up with his robot companions, whistling a merry tune as he went.

He never noticed the pair of bronze colored eyes peeking out of the bush right next to him as he went along his way.