• Published 3rd Dec 2019
  • 634 Views, 52 Comments

Fallout Equestria: Our Will (rewrite) - AngryPenguin



Raised above the cloud curtain, Lietenant Sienna has been dropped in the wasteland thanks to a failed rescue mission. Now, she's in unfamiliar territory and being threatened by a mysterious villain. Can she help her new friends before it's too late?

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Chapter 20: Outskirts Boutique

"But, which one is the real Pinkie Pie?"

"Like hell you are!"

The voice came from my muzzle, but I didn't say it. I immediately thought back to when I had lost control a couple of hours before. An invisible force pushed me backwards, making me hit my head on the floor. Before I could get back up, my hoof contacted my face. Then, again. And again. Pepper's body was attacking itself! It might have been her body, but I was still feeling the pain.

"What the hell are you doing?!" Nico held the hoof back. "You're hurting yourself!"

My half of the eyes had swollen shut. "It wasn't... me." I breathed.

He struggled to hold the limb. "What are you talking about?"

My mouth opened on its own, but it sounded different from my voice. "It was me, you idiot! Get her out of my fucking body!"

Pepper.

I tried to stand, but was met with another punch from the other hoof. "First, you tried to kill me," Punch. "Now, you're trying to take over my body?!" Hit. "I'll kill you!"

Mixer took the other hoof and held it.

"Pepper, stop! You're injuring your body!" Nico yelled.

"I don't care! Get her out!" She squirmed. I could feel her in my mind, trying to force me out. It was similar to Blight taking over, except I could see and think clearly.

"Please, Pepper! I'm sorry! It really wasn't me that tried to kill you! I mean, at first I was really mad and I wanted to yell at you, but I swear attacking you was not me! I didn't want you to die just because of what happened..." I forced my own words through. She calmed her thrashing, slightly. "I'm sorry, Pepper. I swear, I'm so sorry..."

"You think you can just come down here and take anything you want, don't you? You come up with all these excuses to cover the fact that you got us all into this mess and then give a half-assed apology!" She argued.

"I didn't mean for any of this to happen. I wanted to just go back home the minute they sent me down here. Hope came from nowhere. Then, all of this was thrown at me. I even tried to do this all myself. I don't want anyone to die because of me..."

Not another word came from her. I couldn't tell what she was thinking. We shared physical control, but our emotions and thoughts were separate. It was kind of scary, actually. I wondered if she would do something to hurt us both when her legs were free. I felt breathless as I thought about it.

"I don't trust you." She finally said. "Or anypony for that matter." She looked at Nico when she said that.

I watched him slump. "I..."

"Don't play dumb, Nico. You were probably conspiring with these assholes to get rid of me." She narrowed her gaze at everypony. Including her own reflection. You didn't mind the Enclave taking me away. You just completely forgot about that, I'm sure."

"I didn't! I swear, I didn't Pepper... I thought y-you left me. There was a note and everything! You left..." He held her hoof.

She snatched it away. "I don't believe you."

He stayed quiet, keeping his gaze to the floor. I felt bad for both of them. There was so many things we could have straightened out if only I wasn't too stubborn to listen to that holotape while I still had a Pipbuck. "I'm sorry." I said. "If I would have just listened to that stupid tape... Pepper, please believe him. He truly thought you left, willingly."

"Just stop. The sooner we get you back in your body, the sooner I can get away from you all."

I didn't say anything else. If I was honest, I didn't want her to leave. My first impression was bad, but she deserved another chance. The guilt just kept gnawing at the back of my mind. "Maybe, we should head back to the hospital." I took control of her mouth. She didn't resist, staying dormant.

We had already grabbed our stuff and headed out. Mixer and Nico walked ahead of Pepper and me. The trip was silent, save for the occasional distant gunshot or rolling thunder. It was extremely difficult to keep my mind off of what had just transpired. After all, I was stuck in the same body as the mare I tried to murder with my bare hooves. Even if it wasn't really me. Like she had said, it was just an excuse. I was still responsible. It was my inability to control my anger. I was in charge of my actions that led up to it.

In an attempt to think of something else, I tried to figure out how this "sharing one body" thing would work. It seemed as though we shared equal control of her body. If I wasn't focused on moving a specific limb, Pepper was, and vice versa. Walking for a long distance was tolling, though. A couple of times, we nearly ended up on our face as we got confused. I finally gave up, letting her do the walking. It was her body, after all.

I tried to think about my family again, too. My grandparents. I wish I could have told them I had finally found my dad. I would have probably avoided telling them about the possibility that their daughter (my mother) was dead. Dad had said she left him. I didn't figure he would lie about something like that. She must have had a reason. Maybe it was a similar situation as Nico and Pepper. I wanted to believe anything that didn't include her leaving him out of spite.

Zangth's hospital came up in the distance. It had taken us a couple of hours to get there. We were late meeting the others, anyway, because of the... unforeseen circumstances. I hadn't noticed before, but the hospital was in fairly good shape on the outside. The one-story building showed off a cracked Ministry of Peace symbol on the face of the front wall. It would be nothing for them to worry about, though. The building would probably last a hundred more years or so if taken care of, properly. The walk-way was lined with claw-like, extinct hedges. I would never forget the poster of the yellow pegasus as we walked through the main entrance. Her eyes pleaded, "We must do better." It gave me chills.

Violet, Redd, Zangth, and Cherish were already waiting in the lobby when we dragged ourselves in. Violet, of course, was the first to speak up after she looked at each of us. "What the hell happened to you guys? Where is Sia?" She panicked.

"Here." I squeaked from the back of the group. The entire room stared at me.

"Who are you?" Redd stepped up, narrowing his eyes.

I had to explain the entire situation to everyone. And I had to explain it, again, after almost everyone didn't believe me.

"But, who is Pepper?" Violet asked. At least she believed me, now.

I swallowed, not wanting to say it.

Thankfully, I didn't have to. My lips were moving before I could think. "I'm Pepper. An acquaintance of Nico. Like it's any of your business."

My bestie backpedaled at the change of voice. That, or the attitude she was getting.

Redd rolled his eyes. "This is a joke. It's a joke, right?" He looked at Mixer, who sadly shook his head.

Realizing the seriousness, Redd's eyes widened. "What?!" He stepped in front of me/Pepper and examined us. "This is terrible! W-why did... What... How do we get you back?!"

Pepper narrowed our eyes, then smirked. "This is the one." She mouthed.

"What?" I asked, in a whisper.

"The one you had some fun with." She grinned, wider, checking him over. "He is pretty handsome. For a feather brain."

Our cheeks blushed. Because of me, of course. "Pepper, please shush."

"As much as I would love answers, as well, I also need to know if you managed to find any leads on the foal? It is quite urgent." Zangth tapped his hoof, sweating.

"No, we didn't." Nico said, looking away. "We didn't see them, but I think they may have caused the fire at Bean's Tavern."

"The tavern burned down?!" Violet exclaimed. "Oh, shit, I'm so sorry to hear that, Mixer."

Dad waved it off. "I'll survive. But, why would somepony want to destroy the tavern? I've never hurt anyone!"

"To distract you all, of course." Pepper said. She rolled our eyes. "I wasn't here and even I know how a villain thinks. You are a stupid bunch, aren't you?"

Violet huffed, red in the face. "Why don't you say that when you aren't sharing a body with my BFF?"

Pepper snickered. "Why don't you do something about it, now? Feather brain."

"You know, damn well, why I can't do that." Violet growled.

"Enough! We have more important matters at hoof!" Zangth stomped, echoing through the lobby.

I mentally breathed a sigh of relief. I didn't feel like getting my face pummeled, again.

"They're probably back at their hideout, by now." Redd sat down and crossed his hooves.

I listened to the bickering of my friends, trying to think of another plan. Out of the commotion, I heard my father mumbling something to himself. "-all that work on my hat collection. I even had to sneak past Ol' Silky to get my favorite hat..."

I forced our attention on him. "Did you say Silky?"

He looked at us, puzzled. "Yes. Do you know about her?"

I thought back to the card I found with the sewing machine. "Silky is Rarity's cousin. The pearls were supposed to be in the basement of her boutique."

Dad scratched the back of his neck. "Well, Ol' Silky is still there, but..."

My heart skipped a beat. I knew bad news was coming up.

He sighed. "During the battle of Shattered Hoof, a battalion of zebra wanted to use the boutique as a place to rest. Silky wouldn't let them, though. She told them to get out or they would 'hear from her lawyers'. The zebra just so happened to have some kind of grenade that blew the building up."

"I, too, have heard this story from my grandmother." Zangth said. "My great ancestors were developing a grenade-type explosive that was laced with necromancy magic and radiation. What better way to test it than to throw it in a building away from Luna's army and on one of their enemies? Only one was finished, but the zebra saw what it did to the mare who owned the boutique, so they abandoned the idea." His face soured. "The war tainted them, making them all yearn for blood."

"It wasn't your fault, Zangth, nor anyone's." Cherish said, softly. "It was before our time."

Zangth gave her a half smile. I felt terrible for my outburst towards him.

"Wouldn't the blast have attracted Celestia or Luna's attention?" I asked, curious.

Dad cleared his throat. "The shop was far enough away from Shattered Hoof that no one noticed. The blast that took the building down wasn't even megaspell-tier. It was more like a... a quiet implosion of the structure."

"How do you know that?" Violet asked.

Dad shrugged. "Old folks. Old ghouls. I hear all kinds of stories while bartending." He drooped. "Or rather... I used to."

I put a hoof on his shoulder. "It's alright, Dad. Maybe when this is over, we can rebuild the tavern."

He smiled.

I returned the smile. "Right now, we need you to show us where the boutique is."

And he frowned, again. "No. Absolutely not! Ol' Silky is not a normal ghoul. She's bigger. She spits acid balls the size of Redd's head-"

"Hey!"

"-and you can't kill her. She doesn't die! You can blast her to ashes and she would still regenerate!" He gnawed on his hooves.

I noticed my mouth was wide open, listening to his horrendous description. Pepper didn't try to close it, either. Shaking the look from my face, I gulped.

"That would be the necromantic magic. It makes her almost indestructible." Zangth added. "It's far too dangerous to attempt such a thing."

"You don't have to do this, Sia." Nico said. "There's got to be another way."

I tried to look away from him, but I couldn't. Pepper kept her gaze on him. If I couldn't get to those pearls, would Hope be able to get them? Could I afford to ignore the possibility of somepony getting to them in the future? I probably couldn't. Even Silky wouldn't be able to guard her shop, forever. I could have sworn I felt an anxiety attack.

"Can you stop panicking? You're making my heart race." I felt my mouth move.

"Sorry." I replied, sheepishly. "Some things are hard to control."

She rolled our eyes. "No wonder your body was so easily taken. You must be an emotional train wreck. It's not that hard to force your body out of panic. Just don't worry."

I felt that jab at a pretty deep level. Telling someone with anxiety to just "not worry" is like telling the sky not to be blue. I stayed quiet. I really didn't want to speak to her, after that. Even if I she probably didn't understand.

"I'm still going." I said to whoever would listen.

"You can't be serious." Redd said.

I wanted to cover my face, but Pepper stood, immobile.

I forced the words out. "I need to do this. There are lives at stake. Now, there is a foal's life on the line, too."

Then silence. I was, once again, in the spotlight. I hated it.

"I'll... do it myself." I said. "I don't mind. I know I'm weak. I know I'm just... a big chicken about everything. It's gotten in the way too many times, but I want to change that. I want to actually do some good. We are supposed to stand for what's right. To be there in times of need. It's what it's supposed to be." I trailed off. Then, I continued. "I've been so afraid of death that I hadn't realized it's all around me. I can't escape it, anyway. If I were to die, I don't want to die hiding in the corner. I would rather die trying to make the wasteland a better place." I choked up. "Even if I have to be alone to keep you all out of danger."

Nopony spoke. They just watched me with mixed emotions. Cherish wiped away a tear.

"No, you won't." Dad broke the silence. I was about to object, until he held his hoof up. "You won't be alone. I'll be with you."

"Me, too." Nico stood.

Violet grabbed Redd's shoulder. "Psh, you can't leave us behind!"

Redd saluted. "I'm here at your command." He winked.

I smiled. My friends had my back. I was starting to learn that friendship was actually important. Of course, back home I wouldn't have known. When you're thrown into the unknown, you quickly learn.

"I admire your nobility, however foolish." Zangth sighed. "But, I suppose I can give you a few more supplies for your journey. You will certainly need it." He rubbed his temple.

"Thank you, Zangth. We will get that foal back, I promise." I said.

He nickered as he walked towards the hall. "Promises are hard to keep if you are dead, Fear Fighter."

I backpedaled. "Fear Fighter?"

He ignored me. A few passerbys began whispered about the new nickname. They were probably laughing under their breath.

Nico snickered.

That is extremely weird. Pretty lame, too.

When he was out of sight, Cherish gave a sly grin. "Asshole." She joked, following him.

I sighed. This was going to be a long day.

Dad led us northwest of the hospital. It wasn't too far from where the Tavern stood. I could smell moisture with a hint of burnt wood in the air. I scanned over our group. A better term would probably be "herd". The six of us were definitely a misfit bunch. A bartender, a pegasus who looked like he just finished bootcamp, "Flashbang", a hardass wasteland expert, and a coward sharing a body with a semi-psycho. If Silky had any wits to her, she would probably laugh at us.

Two things I noticed once we stopped on the hill overlooking the location: For one, there was no sign of any ghoul on the premises. For two, the boutique was completely obliterated. The only thing we saw was large pile of brick and pieces of wood, surrounded by dead trees. Silky definitely had this place in the middle of nowhere. Good for hiding out; bad for business. I stepped forward, squinting my eyes. My pegasus eyes were better, but I still spotted the back wall that was still standing about half a pony's height. The floor was still intact, too. That basement had to be somewhere.

"Okay, nothing here. Let's try somewhere else." Redd began.

"Wait." I said. I tip-toed, slowly and quietly, towards the destruction. As I came closer, I saw that the large pile had a bright, pink, pulsating glow to it.

Shit.

Pepper's heart dropped to her stomach. I turned tail and trotted back just as silently as I came. I stopped in front of my father, who watched in fear.

"Dad... Tell me that's not Ol' Silky." I whispered.

He nodded. "I'm afraid so."

"That thing is as big as Redd's ego!" Violet hissed.

"Really getting tired of you making fun of-"

"How the hell are we supposed to beat that?! Especially, if it doesn't die!" She interrupted the red maned stallion.

I caught myself biting Pepper's hoof. It suddenly snatched it away. "Will you stop doing that? Ugh!" She shook the appendage, removing the saliva.

"Sorry! I-I'm a little nervous." I replied.

"For good reason." Dad stepped up next to us. "You shouldn't do this. I know you want to save everypony, but... you can't if you die before getting anything done." He put a wing on our shoulder. I felt Pepper tense. I forgot she hated pegasi.

I stepped away, so she would feel better.

"He's right." Redd spoke, eyeing the glowing pile. "Sia, think about it. What if the pearls aren't even here?"

I took a deep breath, calming our tightening chest. "I know they're here. They have to be."

"B-but what if something happens to you?" Violet gnawed on her wing tips.

I gave a moment of silence. Mostly for myself. "Something is going to happen to me, anyway, if I let Hope or... Blight take control of Equestria." I looked around our herd. Their faces all worried.

Except Nico. He watched the soft light under the rubble, lost in thought.

I moved next to him, sharing his gave.

"This is a terrible idea." He said, unmoving.

Hardass mode: Activated.

"I know, but I can't back down." I said.

"I'm not stopping you." He sighed. "As much as I want to, it's not my place." He finally looked at me. Well, my eye. "So, what do we do?"

I paused. I really had no idea. "I-I'm open to suggestions."

The only other sound I heard was his breathing. I flattened mine and Pepper's ears, waiting for a response. Any response.

Finally, he stood, taking his rifle off his back. I swallowed, flinching at the sight of it. He must not have noticed, because he shoved it to me. "Look through the scope, just behind that twisted clothes rack."

I tried to hold it in our hooves, but it was too heavy. It kept slipping from me. Our eyes rolled, again. Pepper's horn lit up, levitating the gun in her aura. The magic felt strange, even though I wasn't controlling it. It was like a small tingling in our forehead.

Through the scope, I could see parts of Silky under the debris. What was left of her hide was pale violet. I wasn't entirely focused on her, though. There, on the other side of a mangled rack, was a cellar door. I could clearly see a terminal next to it. It would probably be the only way to open it.

I faced the rest of the gang. "I see it! The basement is right on the other side!" I instantly deflated. "But I don't know how to hack into a terminal."

My mouth began to move, again. "You can't pick locks, you can't hack terminals. What can you do?"

I swallowed, wanting to stare at my hooves. I suppose I deserved that.

"I can hack terminals." Violet said. "I taught myself a lot, down here."

I cheered up, a little bit. "I can't possibly ask you to go down there, Vi."

"Why do you think they call me 'Flashbang'? I can be gone in a flash!"

I saw Redd wince. "That was painful."

I had to hide a giggle.

She rolled her eyes. "Remind me to get back to my catchphrase after we defeat our deadly enemies and save ponykind."

"I think I may have a plan, but only if you're sure you want to-"

"I told you already, silly: You are not going in alone. We're your friends. Your family! We will not abandon you!" Violet saluted, playfully.

"I would." Pepper spoke. "I'm not her friend or family. I'm barely an acquaintance. If you ask me, you're all dumb for following this nitwit." She scratched her ear with her hind hoof.

Nico interrupted before Violet could get her argument started. "Pepper, I've argued with Violet, before. It does not work out like you want."

Pepper scoffed. "Please. If I was going to argue with an oversized bird, I'd talk to a vulture. I'm just giving my opinion." She turned our head towards the pile of glowing ghoul. "And that will be easy. Look at her. She's covered in rocks. Odds are there is also dirt and gravel in her ears. She won't hear you unless you're stomping and singing next to her. Seriously, feather brains. Simple. Stuff."

Seconds passed. I couldn't believe what I'd heard. Pepper was helping me? I mean, she was as smart as she was crazy, but she was helping me? Violet huffed, crossing her hooves.

"What? Would you like me to prove it to you?" Pepper said. Yep. Crazy.

"No, no, no! We believe you!" I halted her first step towards the destroyed building, making us falter.

After gaining composure, I began with our half-assed plan, praying it would work. "So, I think Violet, Pepper and I could sneak down there and unlock the terminal. Meanwhile, the rest of you could stay up here and watch out for silky. If she starts to wake up, whistle or something. Maybe, we can get away before she really notices. Once we get in the basement, I'll signal for the rest of you to sneak past. I doubt she can fit through the basement door, so we'd be safer down there."

"What are we gonna do when we get to the basement?" Violet asked.

"I-I don't know. I'll have the pearls, so maybe I can keep them until I figure out how to get my body back." I told her.

"This plan sucks." Pepper said, flatly. "Boring."

"Only because you have to come with us." Violet snarked. "It's not like Sia can leave you on this hill."

Pepper squished Violet's snout with her own. "The only reason I'm allowing her to drag my body into this is so she can get the fuck out of it."

"Girls! Calm down, please!" Redd pushed himself between them. "Stay on track."

"He's right." I said, forcing Pepper's hooves backwards. It only took a little resistance. "Like I said, we get into the basement, and we can go from there."

I turned, taking several, long, deep breaths. That earned another eye roll from Pepper. She was honestly tiring my half of the eyes out. "Okay. Violet, let's get this over with. The sooner we get it done, the better." I motioned.

She saluted, again, flapping her wings.

I really wish I had my wings.

"Flying is so much quieter than walking." I sighed.

"I can be quiet, too. How do you think I got my cutie mark?" Pepper turned to gesture to her flank. The dots were not so obvious.

"I- uh..."

"It's pepper flakes."

I stayed quiet. I still didn't understand what pepper flakes had to do with silence.

She scoffed. "Have you ever heard pepper flakes make noise?"

It took me a few seconds, but I decided to just go with the absurd explanation. "Ahh, that makes sense." I lied. "So, you can get us down there?"

She nodded. I felt the strange tingle in our forehead, again, as her horn lit up. She forced the magic to move to the bottom of her hooves. Suddenly, I felt a familiar and comforting sensation. It was like I was standing on a cloud. A smile crept across our face. I couldn't tell if it was me or her. I stomped a hoof, but it made no sound. I jumped, skipped, and galloped around. It was incredible!

"This is awesome!" I squealed. I immediately covered our muzzle. Looking back, thankfully, Silky wasn't disturbed.

"Alright, let's go before you get too excited." Violet giggled.

I nodded and led the way to the terminal.

We inched closer to the cellar door. The piece of wall that was still standing had the computer hooked right up to the lock. I glanced towards Silky, occasionally making sure she was still sleeping. A rotting stench reached my nose. Instinctively, I covered our nose. The way Pepper's stomach turned told me I wasn't the only one who was suffering.

Violet glided down to the screen of the terminal. She went to work, typing and breaking through the security. I sat, impatiently waiting. I desperately hoped the clicking of the keys wouldn't be loud enough to wake the behemoth. Pepper dragged our attention over Violet's shoulder. I watched as several characters flashed across the screen as she typed away. Sweat formed on her brow.

"Violet, how long do you think this will take?" I hissed.

"I have to bypass the security wall. It's... kind of difficult, but I can do it. Just give me a few minutes." She licked her lips.

I swallowed. I could feel bile starting to creep its way up Pepper's esophagus. I really wanted to get out of there. Not only because of the ghastly odor, but because my anxiety was sending its symptoms through Pepper's body. I could tell it was making her uncomfortable. The clicking of the keys grew louder as the background silence dragged on.

A sudden tremor sent us scrambling to our hooves. Followed by a loud whistle.

Fuckshitdamnit!

The massive pile of brick and wood started crumble away, revealing the shifting body underneath. As she slowly stood, Silky groaned and growled. She was easily the size of a large shed. Her flesh was bloated in places, tearing her once-purple hide. The cysts were filled with pink, radiated fluid that I did not care to imagine the origins. Her mane only held a few strands of pink and gray hairs. Her tail was completely gone. She turned her neck, making the stiff joint literally creak. When she looked at us, we froze. Obviously, her eyes were blue at one point. I say this, because it looked like her iris was leaking. Like her Iris held a bucket of paint that was spilling over.

I know I was in full control of Pepper's body, because we were frozen in fear. My breath was lost. The way Silky looked directly at us made it even more terrifying. Pepper tried to pull us away.

"Move it!" Pepper shouted. I finally came to and let her take the reins.

The giant zombie lifted her lumpy hoof and brought it down with such force, it shook the ground. Radiated liquid splashed from wherever she had been laying. Pepper dodged the drops. We would have to drink a RadAway if we were hit by that gunk.

"If you could work a little faster on that thing, it would be nice!" Pepper faked a sing-song voice.

"I'm working as fast as I can! I think I've almost got it. I just need a couple of minutes." Violet said, as she swiftly tapped the keys. The others were already running towards us.

Silky let out a scream unlike anything I have ever heard. Pepper covered her ears as the gurgling shriek pierced the ozone. Celestia, herself, probably wouldn't be able to calm this thing. When the long scream finally ended, Ol' Silky did something I didn't think a feral ghoul could possibly do.

"S-S-Staaaaayyyyy... A-A...WWAAA-AAAAYYYYY!!!!"


*ERROR*
USER UNKNOWN!!


Author's Note:

Thanks to Kkat for this amazing world!

Thank you all so much for reading! As always, constructive criticism/ error spotting is welcome!
Stay safe, guys!

-AP