• Published 3rd Dec 2019
  • 618 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 22: Rainbow Pearls

"Don't get any ideas about my gem! I know where you live."

"-do anything."

As soon as the words left our mouth, I covered it. Pepper and I had said it at the same time, making everyone stare at us. That was strange. We looked back at the pearls. They were glowing a little brighter than before. I kept our eyes on them. The magic swirled in a circular motion, the colors never mixing together. Each color snaked around the other, keeping us hypnotized. How could Rarity destroy such beauty? Why would she want to?

The whispers. They're calling for me. They can help me. I hear them. I need them!

"Stop. Your eyes are changing color, again." Nico placed a hoof on our shoulder.

I shook our head. "Y-yeah. No looking directly at them. Got it."

I felt Pepper reluctantly look away, too. She had been just as mesmerized. I wondered if she heard the sweet whispers, too.

"What now?" She asked.

I paused. If I left the necklace there while still in Pepper's body, I doubted I'd be able to get my own back.

"I... don't know." I said, defeated.

A tense pause.

"You don't know?" Nico said.

I shifted our weight to the right side. "If I leave the necklace here, how will I get back in my body? I don't think Pepper wants to be stuck with me for the rest of her life."

Pepper shook her head so furiously, it made me dizzy.

I put a hoof up to our head to stop the room from spinning. "O-okay... See? I think we need to take them with us and find Blight."

"Great." Pepper said. "Another side-mission."

"Sia, I don't know if we can do this." Dad timidly spoke up. "Blight. She's..." He looked to Nico for a better description.

I saw the unicorn stallion tremor. "I don't know how we would beat her."

Everything quieted. I was, once again, lost. If even Nico was scared of Blight, I didn't know what was to happen if we faced her. I swallowed, the nausea finally dying down to a bothersome queasiness.

Violet stomped. "Come on!" Everyone looked at her. "We have come so far! Well, Sia has, anyway. She's come this far and we have followed her. What we've been through hasn't stopped us, so far!" She jabbed a hoof towards the basement entrance. "Sia defeated a giant, glowing, acid-spitting, ghoul, for Luna's sake! I'm pretty fucking sure she can take back her own body! We are going to get through this!"

"Pretty sure 'defeated' is an overstatement." Pepper smirked.

"My point is," Violet leered at us. "We've been in hopeless situations before. Now, stop sulking and grab those pearls!"

I grinned from ear to ear. "You always know what to say, Vi."

She puffed out her chest, flaring her wings. "I can't have my B.F.F giving up, already!"

Nico rolled his eyes, picking up the purple, cashmere bag that lay under the pedestal.

I started to remind him to not use magic, until I heard a loud clang and a hiss behind me. All of us turned around to see a gas canister spewing out a foggy substance around us. It smelled like a strong chemical. I tried to cover my nose, but it was too overpowering. Violet fanned the smog back the best she could with the help of my dad. Unfortunately, it did little to help.

"What the hell?!" Pepper coughed.

Four shadows stretched into the basement. The tightness in Pepper's chest let me know something bad was about to happen. She swallowed, trying to get rid of the feeling. That, mixed with the chemical had begun to make me dizzy.

The ponies that belonged to the shadows, finally cantered into view. They all wore cloaks and prewar gas masks. The leader of the group stepped past us, as though we didn't even exist and stood between us and the pearls.

The pony chuckled behind the mask. The voice was unmistakable.

"Hope..." I said, breathing heavily.

"Sienna. I didn't recognize you." She said. "New mane cut?" I could hear the smirk on her face.

I growled.

She sighed. "No sense of humor, I presume. In any case, I extend my thanks to you for finding my rainbow pearls."

I flattened our ears, when I remembered the hot iron on Hope's flank. "Gale..."

She threw her head in my direction, all the amusement fleeting. "You have some nerve saying that name. I'm guessing you saw the orb, then."

I nodded, trying to resist the urge to rub our watery eyes. Nico, Redd, and Violet had already passed out from the gas.

"I had hoped you would watch it, if only to get a better understanding of my grand renovation of the world."

I pleaded, "It doesn't have to... be this way, Gale... You can give the foal back to his mother... You c-could fix the wasteland another way. Please, it doesn't... have to be like this..."

"It does. It will always be this way. There will always be war and disharmony. You cannot simply take a weapon away from somepony and expect it to stop there. You win one battle, but then what happens? Another pony with 'ideas' will rise." She turned back to the pearls. "With these, we will never have to worry about that, again. The Enclave will finally be burned to the very ground that they fear. We will have no more enemies."

I knelt, coughing, trying to stay conscious. Between her speech and the memory orb, I didn't even know if she was just bad or good with bad intentions, anymore. She wanted to be one of the good guys, but was misguided.

"You could still join me, you know. We could stop all the evil that the wasteland brings. The Grand Pegasus Enclave betrayed and abandoned you, too. We could prevent them from ever hurting another pony, again." Ho- Gale never turned around. She just waited for my reply.

A part of me wanted to say yes. After all, if those rainbow colored orbs were as powerful as they said, it probably could bring peace to Equestria. The land would return to what it was before the war. It sounded too good to be true.

I never fall for anything that is too good to be true.

"N-no... It's not... right..." I whispered.

She didn't flinch, as if the response was expected. "You're a fool." I could hear her picking up something.

"Gale..." Dad said, wearily. I assumed it took a lot more of the gas to knock him out. "Why? I can't believe it's you..."

I fell onto my side. It was hard to stay awake. What did he mean? He knew her?

"I'm afraid I have no time to chat, Thunder Cloud." Glass shattered, raining onto the floor next to me. I opened my eyes, one last time to see Gale sweep the pearls in their purple, velvet sack.

"Why..." I heard my father ask before I lost consciousness.

Everything was dark. Again. You'd think I would get used to awakening in the dark, but the feeling was still uncomfortable. I lifted a hoof to my chest. The white hide brought me to attention, fast. I looked over the rest of me. I was back in my body! I flapped my wings a couple of times, savoring the breeze between my feathers. It felt so nice, but I was also deeply disappointed. She had them. Gale took one of the most dangerous weapons in the wasteland. I exhaled from my nostrils as I began to plan for a future where everything was destroyed.

"How are you holding up?" Rarity appeared in front of me.

I folded my wings back, lazily. "Well, Hope just knocked us out and took the pearls. I'm sure she will take over, now." I sat down, not even bothering to ask if I was dreaming.

"You can't give up that easily!" She said, flustered.

I sighed. "Rarity, she's probably already got them locked and loaded. By the time I wake up, she will be some kind of robo-alicorn-princess who thinks she is the reincarnate of Luna, herself, or something." I shook my head at the blasphemous thought. "I don't want to give up, but what choice would I have? What if I'm too late?"

She gave me a look. "How many pep talks must you need, dear? You are not too late. 'Too late', is not realizing what a mistake you've made until you're watching your entire world go up in balefire flames. 'Too late' is wanting to apologize to your friends after they've died or disappeared." She sniffed. I felt so awful, then.

I looked at my hooves in shame. "I-I'm sorry. I just... I don't have the authority or the weaponry or the skills to do this. I thought I could, but she took the pearls so easily." I stomped. "I practically hoofed them over to her on a silver platter. I'm not a hero like you, Twilight, Applejack, Fluttershy, Pinkie Pie, and even Rainbow Dash. You were the heroes that Equestria needed. I'm just a mare on a wild goose chase. That's all I've been doing: Chasing her."

She gazed up into the void and smiled, genuinely. "We didn't always see eye to eye, you know. Things weren't always sunshine and rainbows with us. I remember a lot of times, Twilight would doubt herself just like you do. She always questioned whether she was the right pony for the job. In the end, she always chose her love for her friends over her fears and doubts. Our time is long over, though. Equestria may have needed us a hundred years ago, but right now, it needs new friendships. Ponies like you and your friends." She looked back to me. "It's okay to ask questions. You just have to figure out the right answers."

I looked on into the distance. Was friendship really that important? I mean, I know it's important for social growth and the like, but for the sake of the world? Maybe in the sense that without friends, ponies would be in a constant state of anger and depression, causing some economic stunts in growth, but even that was a stretch. I guess I wouldn't know if I didn't try. I rubbed my foreleg. "You're right. I should at least try. I just hope my friends aren't hurt in the process." I hugged myself with my wings.

Rarity chuckled. "That means you are on the right track."

The void started to shrink as I felt myself waking up. I let the void close in as I smiled at the fading unicorn.

When I came to, I was lying on the basement floor. Nico, Violet, and my dad were already awake. Redd was still out. I'm guessing the blood loss mixed with the gas took a greater toll on him. Violet looked like she had just woken up as she felt her head. I stood, wobbling. "Whoa... Not so... fast." Pepper grunted.

"Sorry." I replied.

"She got away." Nico said, examining the broken case. The pillow where the pearls had once sat was now empty, replaced with shards of glass.

"Damn it." Violet snorted. "Cheap shot with that gas."

I grit my teeth as I looked back at the entrance. "We've got to find her."

"First, we need to get Redd to a doctor. And we need water and food." Nico mentioned.

I didn't argue. "Well, how far are we from Zangth?"

"Almost the same distance as Floater, surprisingly." Violet replied.

I perked our ears. "Floater is that close?"

"Well, sure. You guys didn't travel that far. You had to go around the thicker part of the Dead Woods to get to this side of Shattered Hoof. And if you go through the woods, it's a straight shot to Floater."

"That may be true, but it could be dangerous that way. There's no telling what we will come across." The tan unicorn countered. "Redd is in no condition to travel that wa-"

"I'm -nngh- fine." Everyone glanced in the direction of the stallion getting up. He held out his remaining wing for balance. "I will be fine. The sooner we get this mission over with, the sooner I can retire."

"Nico's right. You wouldn't be able to get away from any danger in that state." I said.

He furrowed his brow, avoiding eye contact. "I said, I'll be fine. Let's go." With that, he made his way back up the stairs, trying not to stumble every few steps.

I felt like I had been slapped in the face. Violet mimicked my reaction and shrugged when I gave her a questioning glance. Redd never acted hostile for no reason. Immediately, my mind went to, "He hates you because you made him lose his wing!" I shrunk back, feeling guilty as ever. Pepper's jaw clenched without me doing so, myself.

Suddenly, Pepper jolted forward. Her hooves stomping with each step. "Come on. We are going through those woods. If he thinks he can handle it, let him."

"Wait!" I heard the hoofsteps behind us. "We don't know how bad it is in there!"

"Oh, Nico, you sweet, sexy idiot. If anybody can protect us, it's you." Pepper said. I couldn't tell if she was being sarcastic or not. At the time, I just wanted to keep to myself, so I let her take full control of her body. I felt bad enough. Getting in the way was all I did, anyway.

Nico swallowed, and stopped talking. I think he was confused, too.

"Not stopping us, huh?" She said, speaking at a hushed tone. It was directed towards me.

"Why would I? I trust you guys." I said, half right. I did trust them, but I was going to be useless in a thicket of dead trees with no wings. I guess I deserved that, too. I took Redd's flight. I deserved to be grounded.

Redd waited for us at the top, refusing to look at any of us. Violet flew above, leading the way up the hill and into the woods. Nopony said anything for a good few minutes. I occasionally glanced back at my dad. He was awfully quiet, too. Almost distracted. I wanted, so badly to ask what was wrong. I figured it was about Gale. It was probably an old wound he didn't want to open back up.

Probably one of his wasteland flings. Every stallion has needs, after all.

I wanted to throw up at that thought. Gross. But, still. He knew something. I'd let it wait until we got to Floater. Dad probably needed time to process it all. The shock was all too genuine. It seemed like our herd was slowly falling apart, and it was all my doing.

The Dead Woods definitely lived up to its name. It felt so devoid of life, it was like a graveyard. Bare logs littered the ground, peppered with twigs and branches. I expected to see fallen leaves, but forgot there was no healthy vegetation and hadn't been for decades. The cloud curtain made it a little eerie and hard to see, especially with the light fog hanging in the air. If there was any sun, it would be a beautiful place. This definitely wasn't the Everfree Forest I had read about. They say that place was something out of a garish horror story, even blocking sunlight. This? It was just lifeless. Nothing, except the occasional "zom-bird", as I called them. The patchy, feathered creatures looked like they had soaked up enough radiation that would kill any normal animals. You could tell the wildlife had adapted to the environment. Fortunately, though, we hadn't come across any dangerous creatures like Nico had warned. He did say that they were probably waiting until nightfall. We only had a couple more hours of daylight, though. I constantly prayed to Celestia to keep the day going until we made it out.

The scenery did little to ease my anxiety. I tried to keep the physical symptoms at bay for Pepper's sake, but the occasional heart rate increase made it difficult. Thankfully, she didn't say anything about it. I wanted to hurry and get to Gale and her "Hope Coven", but Nico was right. We had to get it together, first. To top it off, I had no idea where she was. So far, my only plan was to get my body back, defeat Blight, and defeat Hope. Simple, simple, simple.

I need alcohol.

Pepper and Nico walked side by side. Redd was behind us and in front of Dad. It was better for him to be in the middle in case something jumped out at us. I was worried about his stumbling, but he was getting better at walking without the wing. The trees and thick, dead bushes made it difficult for him to navigate. Every once in a while, we'd hit a patch of briars. Very painful briars. At some point, we had stopped to untangle Nico's rifle from a few of them. As Pepper used her magic to break the vines, a rustle of twigs brought me out of my hazy thoughts.

"What was that?" Violet said, flapping slowly.

We perked our ears to listen, again. Nothing ever happened.

"It was probably just a breeze." Nico said, moving the last of the thorns from his shoulder strap.

"O-or that." Redd finally spoke.

I turned to where he was pointing to see the strangest animal I had ever seen. If it wasn't for Pepper tensing up, I would have screamed. The grayish-brown blob stuck out of the briars, staring at us. Well I say us, because its two, bulbous eyes were looking in opposite directions. Its body was bumpy, round, and probably could be mistaken for a muddy rock. I could barely see its stumpy, bloated legs under the flab hanging at its sides. Both of its tails were crooked and covered in the same, hard plating that covered its back and top of its head. The difference was that the plating on its back had overlapped, making it deformed and rugged. Two, long, deformed ears stuck out of the top of its head. I could tell its nose was the most normal looking. Long and slender, allowing for the animal to eat insects or smaller foods.

-hurk- -brrrrrrrrp-

The sound it made was horrid.

"W-Will it attack?" I asked.

"No. I believe it was called an 'armadillo' before the war. We call them 'jagged-backs', now. I've seen a few pass by the tavern." Dad spoke for the first time in a while. Unenthusiastic, but it was better than nothing. "It's harmless."

"Why does it look like that?" Violet said. She snorted a laugh. "It's so ugly!"

-huuuurk-

"Years of radiation, I guess. They aren't just ugly, they're pretty stupid, too."

I inspected the thing, careful not to get too close. It blinked one eye, slowly, then the other.

-hrk-

I grinned. "It doesn't seem that... bad."

The blob turned to Redd, blinked, and hobbled over to where he was standing. It was almost half as tall as Redd's forehoof. The poor thing rubbed against his hoof, affectionately.

"Ew, what the hell?! Get away!" The pegasus pushed the jagged-back away,

When it rolled to a stop, the animal blinked, looked back at Redd, and went to rub against him, again.

"Aw, he likes you!" Violet cooed.

Redd rolled his eyes. "Well, I don't like disgusting, radiated rodents."

"Actually, they aren't rodents."

"Whatever they are!" He snapped.

-hurrrk-

Nico, Violet, and Pepper snickered as the jagged-back kept trying to get Redd's attention, wagging both of its tails. The grumpy stallion stuck his nose up and continued onward through the trees. The little blob happily followed behind him, wobbling like an overweight puppy. Redd tried to get the mutated armadillo to stop following him, but it was determined to go with him. After several more attempts, my red-maned friend gave up and just let the thing be.

~~~~~~~~

It was already dark by the time we made it to the edge of the woods. Rocky (as dubbed by Violet) didn't want to stop there. I half expected him to go back to his jagged-back home, but he wouldn't leave Redd. Every time he fell behind, he would run as fast as his little legs would carry him, grunting and snorting. If Redd could fly, I'm sure Rocky would have been left behind some time ago.

When we were out in the open, I breathed a sigh of relief. We still had a few miles before we got to Floater, so we looked for a place to camp out. The only buildings near us were destroyed or about to fall in. Nico abhorred the idea of staying somewhere that could kill us while we slept. With some searching, though, we finally came upon a crashed sky carriage big enough to sleep in. It was a public transport from before the war. "SpeedTrav" was cleverly painted on the side of the old thing. We cleared out the old luggage, checking each one for something we could use on our journey.

The ponies of prewar times sure knew how to pack. Our little pile of treasure ended up containing a couple of small blankets, a box of bobby pins, a tin of crackers, a can of beans, a hat, some bandages, and a foal's rattle. Nico said the hat and rattle could be sold for a couple of caps since they were in good condition. I eyed the blankets, wearily. Specifically, the pink one. I thought back to the foals in Sky's memory, and the foal that was taken from the hospital. I didn't want to talk about the latter, right then, though.

"Don't like pink?" Pepper whispered.

"No, it's not that. I just..." I sighed. "You know, when the bombs dropped, everything was just destroyed or killed. Including foals." I swallowed back tears. "That blanket... It belonged to a foal that had no idea what was going to happen while she was traveling. She died w-without her blanket."

Pepper said nothing. Instead, she breathed and took the blanket, setting it in her saddle bag. "I'll keep it safe. I like pink."

I felt a smile come to our lips. It was a shared one.

I spotted Redd sitting behind the carriage while the others finished clearing out a spot to rest. Rocky sat next to him, eyes wandering in different directions. It was time to check on him.

I willed Pepper's hooves to move toward him. She tried to stop me at first, but I persisted.

"I hope you know what you're doing." She snarked.

I came to a stop next to him and sat down. He didn't look up.

Please, forgive me.

"Redd."

He didn't say anything.

"Redd, please. I-"

"Don't." He said, coldly. "I... want to be alone."

I winced. "O-okay. I'm sorry."

When I tried to move, Pepper's body stayed where it was. I tried, again, but no use. "Pepper, what are you doing?"

Redd glanced back, perturbed. "If you don't mind..."

I barely got a forehoof off the ground, before I felt our lips move and her voice escape. "Oh, I don't mind."

He rolled his eyes. "Of course. I forgot my friend is stuck in your body." The disgust in his voice was too obvious.

Pepper kept her cool, thankfully. "Act like you're above me if you want, but if you hadn't been balls deep in your 'friend' first, I'm sure you would want me." I felt the smirk. I let myself stay dormant. I would have had her blushing if I hadn't.

His pupils shrunk to the size of a pin prick as he stared in surprise.

"Now that I have your attention, tell me something, jackass. Why are you so pissed off at her? Is it because you lost your wing?" She stood directly in front of him so he would look at her. "Are you crying because you chose to save our lives?"

"I..."

"Nopony asked you to save us. We didn't make you fly in front of that killer spit ball, Casanova. You made that choice yourself. You probably love her, you probably love me-"

"Her."

"-BUT!!" She poked him. "That was still your choice. This entire time since you've been walking around wingless, Sienna has been wishing it were her. You wanna know how I know? Because she's in my body. You know why she's in my body? Because she's risking her flank saving this Goddess-forsaken wasteland. If it were me, I would say screw all of you and just let you sorry shit-heads die. Fortunately for you and aaalll these other losers, she's pushing you all from the direct line of a giant fucking acid ball."

Silence. His face was scarlet with anger and embarrassment. I felt bad for him. I wished I could have stopped her, but I couldn't. I was appalled. Too shocked to try to stop her, really.

"I-I'm not mad that I lost my wing." He avoided my half of the eyes, but drilled into hers. "I know the risks to save lives. I signed up for the Enclave because that's what I thought I'd be doing: Saving lives." He snorted, the air rushing out of his nostrils. "I'm frustrated because I hear you all trying to treat me like I'm helpless. Like I'm a cripple. That bastard, Nico, has already chastised me once about my new imbalance. He didn't even think I could get through that lame forest."

Pepper laughed, sarcastically. "Cripple? I don't see a cripple. I see a crybaby with an injury. If you don't want to be treated like a 'cripple' then don't fucking act like one. So you're missing a wing, big deal. At least you didn't lose your life. Would you rather be treated as a memory? I think I've mentioned already, Sienna lost her entire body. She's basically just a fucking shoulder angel with a little more control. You want to be angry at the ponies who are just trying to look after you. Why don't you stop being pissy and just tell them it bothers you that they give a shit? Be grateful you have friends who care about you. Some of us are not so lucky. Some of us would kill to have friends we care about enough to want to risk our lives for."

Harsh, Pepper.

Her tense muscles began to relax a little as she started to turn away. "And you know what else?" She stopped, facing him to let him have even more of her wrath. "I haven't known this bitch that long, but I'm starting to really wonder what she sees in you. She tried to kill me for talking about one of her friends. If she loves her friends that much..." She paused, frustrated. "Be. Fucking. Grateful."

Pepper retreated back, suddenly letting her body go limp, until I realized she was giving me the reins. I stumbled as I gained back the motor skills needed to stay upright. I shook my head, calming her racing heart. That was definitely her doing. I didn't say anything. I was so appalled that she stood up for me like that. I was thankful, but still shocked. If I was back in my body I would have hugged her.

"You're really something." He glared.

"I..." I quickly pinned our ears back and folded like a rusty card table.

He must have heard the change of voice. Redd quickly let his anger die and turn to remorse. "Sia... I'm sorry."

"No! You are not going to do that!" I hurriedly said.

He sighed, shaking a little from the dying anger. "Listen to me. She's right. That mare... She's right. I didn't have to act that way all day. I should have just talked to you guys about it. I'm sorry."

I wiped my eye. Tears were pouring from just that one side. "Redd, I didn't mean to cause you to lose your flight. I know how it feels to not be able to fly and I hate it. I could imagine how it feels for you. I-I would sacrifice anything of mine to give you that, back."

"Like she said, I made that choice. Not only because I... love you. I would have saved her, too. That's what we are supposed to do. It's our job. Our duty to Equestria."

I shivered. Hearing him speak like that would have probably made my body feel tingly. "Redd..."

"From now on, I'll talk to you if something is bothering me. Not Pepper. She kinda scares me." He smirked. "But I guess I should thank her for kicking my ass."

I giggled. "I'm glad." I kept a small, smile. "You know. Maybe, if it's okay with her, I could kiss-"

The sensation of suddenly changing voices almost made me choke on those words. "Hell. No. Wait until you get another body before you start fucking, again."

Redd blushed. "How did-"

"I knew it when we were back at that factory. Right before that demon princess took her over. I can tell when a mare has been happily had."

He cleared his throat. "Happily, huh?"

"Anyway, let's get some sleep." I quickly stood.

Redd followed after us, keeping a small grin on his face. Rocky followed closely behind him.

-huuuuurrrk-

The stallion rolled his eyes, again. "Please, go away."

I mentioned how difficult it was to get used to sharing a body. The real challenge was going to sleep without being gassed. I realized we hadn't actually slept since we left the factory. When I was about to doze off, Pepper would toss or turn, waking me up. When I was finally asleep, she would wake up. At one point, we must have woken Nico up from his spot on a passenger seat.

"Trouble sleeping?" He gave me a sympathetic smile.

I groaned. "Apparently, we can't be asleep at the same time unless it's chemically induced."

"Want me to stay up with you?" He yawned.

"No, no. I'm just gonna keep trying. Good night, Nico." I said, twisting our neck to pretend to doze off.

"Night, Sia." It didn't take him long to start snoring.

I exhaled, staring out of the carriage window. The cloud curtain was thick as ever.

Our ear swiveled to the ghastly snores of the jagged-back

-grrrrpppp- -hhhuuurrrkkkk- -grrrrpp-

This is going to be a long night...


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Author's Note:

Thanks to Kkat for this amazing world!

As always, constructive criticism/error spotting is always welcome! Thank you for reading!
Stay safe, everyone!

-AP