• 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 7: Seeing Redd

"This afternoon? As in this afternoon, this afternoon?"

Choices. There can be right and wrong ones, or two right ones. Even two wrong ones. Unfortunately, unfavorable decisions lurked behind my every move. I could destroy the pearls and risk an entire town, including my friends, get destroyed. On the other hoof, I give them to Hope and have her destroy everything else. I know I'm not the only one with difficult choices. The princesses had to make a hard decision when the Pink Cloud smothered Canterlot. The war, itself, was a catastrophic result of poor choices. Now, I didn't say they were easy to make. Ponies do make mistakes, even the princesses. Speaking on behalf of an entire nation is a big difference from choosing what you want for lunch. If I had chosen to just abort my mission before it started, what would have became of it? I wouldn't have met Nico or Fleece. But, would it have been the right choice?

Standing in the doorway, was a pegasus stallion, slightly taller than Nico. His coat was white, like mine, and his slicked back mane was fire red with a single white stripe trailing through it. His tail matched that. He wore a demeanor that matched only the most confident of athletes. The aquamarine barding and the huge energy rifles at the pony's sides gave it away. He was an Enclave soldier! That's not all, I knew this stallion. It would take a minute to remember. I couldn't see his eyes behind his aviator sunglasses.

"Lieutenant, get behind me. How long has this savage been holding you hostage?" The stallion trained his rifles on Nico, who growled, not backing down.

"Savage?" Nico repeated, unamused.

My memory instantly collided with my common sense as I clumsily hurried between them.

"Sergeant Redd! How nice of you to join us. Now, put those weapons away, immediately!" I ordered.

"Ma'am, I have orders to escort you back to base." He saluted. "You'll be quarantined for a few hours, but you'll be good as new."

His attention went to my wing and he suddenly edged for the trigger. "Your wing! This is an outrage!"

Nico snickered. I turned and slowly promised a slow death to him. He had to call them.

"Stand down, Redd. He's not the enemy. He rescued me, actually. Raiders did this." I gestured to the splint.

"B-but..."

"That's an order!" I barked. "Please, return to your post. I have unfinished business here." I could sense the grin on Nico's face.

"No can do, ma'am. I have to return in your company or not at all." He cautiously kicked off the rifles, glaring at Nico.

I sighed. At least they didn't send an entire team. Rounding on Nico, I hissed, "Of all the things... Ugh. You realize he won't leave without me, right?"

"I guess you weren't kidding about the whole 'commanding grown ass stallions' thing." He jeered.

"You are not going to insult my sergeant!" I poked his chest. He refused to back down, though.

"Or what?" He stood over me, smirking.

Redd stepped between us, putting his nose against Nico's. "Get away from her, heathen."

"Or what?" Nico repeated, pushing forward.

Redd pushed back. "You'd better watch your mouth, unicorn."

"Yeah, because you're a tough little pretty boy, right?" Nico countered.

"Just kiss, already." I mumbled as I squeezed between them. Nico may not have been scared of me, but Redd knew better than to test me. "Redd, this is Nico. He's my new friend." I pushed them apart. "Nico, this is Redd. He's one of my finest officers. We grew up together, too."

Both of them stared at me. "He's a jackass!" They yelled, simultaneously.

My hoof instinctively rubbed my chest. "Nico, go up there and open that attic door. Redd, behave yourself. Let's talk."

Nico rolled his eyes, but did as I said.

I noticed Redd staring at my wing, so I interrupted. "I promise, he didn't do it. I was injured during the rescue mission." Looking away, I mumbled, "Everyone else is dead."

"How?" He raised his sunglasses to reveal his red, fiery eyes.

I swallowed. What is up with these hot stallions, now?

"Raiders." I mentioned. "But, it's okay. Ignore everything we were taught about the surface. Not everything is bad. In fact there is a ghoul who-"

"Ghoul? As in, a zombie? Oh, you can forget your business here. You are coming back with me. I can't bring back a dead body or they will have my flank!" He picked me up and set me on his back, walking towards the door.

I tried to hit him, but my hits did nothing to faze him. "Put me down, you big dummy!"

"Hey! Leave her alone!" Nico rushed down the stairs and grabbed my hoof in his magic.

Redd grabbed my opposite forehoof. "Unhoof her! She'll be a lot safer back home, where she belongs!"

I was now the object of a tug-of-war. My face was burning with anger.

"Didn't you hear her say she doesn't want to go?" Nico yelled.

"I heard her, I just think she needs to go home and get her thoughts straight!" Redd countered.

Finally, I decided to interfere before they tore my legs off. "Stop!"

They paused, still holding my hooves. I snatched my legs away and stomped. "Stop this foalish behavior! I don't need either of you, as a matter of fact! I am a grown mare! I think I know what's best for myself! You're both ridiculous!" With a roll of my eyes, I stormed upstairs. The attic door was open and the ladder, extended down. I took a deep breath and climbed up. It was dark. Too dark to see anything. I slumped, my eyes turning to the Pipbuck. If they were anything like power armor, they would have lamps. There were a couple of switches that stood out. It took me a couple of times before I finally found the right one, but I was finally met with the soft green glow of illumination.

With the Pipbuck light leading my way, I ventured through the clutter mess of boxes and old furniture. Whatever I was supposed to be looking for was beyond me. I began my search in the boxes, first. I spent a few minutes digging, but only coming up with prewar documents and newspapers. None of them gave any sort of clue. I looked around at the mess and sighed. This was going to be a while.

"Sia?" I heard Nico call for me.

"Over here." I replied. As he trotted to where I was, I rubbed my temples. "I don't understand what I'm supposed to be looking for."

"I'll help you. We can work faster that way." He offered.

"Thanks. I already looked in this box. Nothing but useless junk. Have you not sorted through all of this?"

"Well, this place is just shelter to m- Ouch!" I saw him shaking his hoof in pain. "What the hell is this?" He pointed to a covered object.

I recognized it, immediately. "It's just an old sewing machine. I have one back home."

He removed the cover to reveal a violet colored machine with three diamonds decorating the sides. No doubt, it was the cutie mark of the Ministry of Image, herself.

I gasped. "Oh, my goddesses! It's... It's beautiful! Come to mama!" I wrapped my hooves around the new contraption. It seemed untouched by time.

He shook his head. "It's just junk."

"Its not just junk! It's a Weaver 300, complete with a two sided embroidery attachment." I rubbed the machine. Mine didn't have an embroidery attachment.

"Er, I don't know much about that." He shrugged.

I grinned. "It's a hobby. Oh, I wish I had this set up in my sewing space!" Touching the foot, I daydreamed about how it would look sitting on my desk.

"Well, I don't have any use for it. I would have just sold it for scrap." He said, picking up a card that was attached to the dust cover.

My face brightened. "You mean it?" A twinkle flashed through my eyes as he nodded. I tackled him and squeezed him. "Oh, thank you, thank you, thank you!" My face started to turn a little pink as I felt his jaw line on my forehead, again.

He blushed, trying to get out of my death grip. "You're welcome. Here, I think you should see this." The card, wrapped in his blue aura, hovered towards me. It was a birthday card.

For my dearest cousin, Rarity.
I'm sorry, I'm late getting your birthday present. I had this custom made for you. Isn't it fabulous? Anyway, send my regards to your friends. I wasn't able to make it to the party Pinkie threw for you because Auntie Gift Wrap has come down with a serious illness. I will keep you updated on her condition.
Silky.
P.S: The shipment of rainbow pearls you wanted are in my vault. In case I'm not there, the vault is in the basement of my boutique, south of Shattered Hoof. You know the one.

My heart leapt. I now had a possible location of the pearls and a brand new sewing machine! "This was for the Rarity?! This has got to be the best day of my life!" I squealed.

Nico held back a laugh. "You must be a fan."

"Are you kidding? She was the top fashion designer in her time! I have almost all of her catalogs with her amazing seasonal lines! I'd do anything to go back in time and meet her, just once." I hugged the card close to my heart.

We sat for a few moments, before Nico spoke up. "So, I guess we should get going."

I sighed, looking sadly to my new treasure. "Yeah."

"It'll be fine until we get back." He picked up a saddle bag. "Here. This was sitting by the attic entrance. It's empty, but it might come in handy on our trip."

I set it on my back and followed him out. Redd stood by the front door. "So, what, pray tell, is going on?"

"I have to find something before I can go home." I told him.

"Okay. Where are we going?" He asked.

"We? No, no, no." Nico objected.

I stood between them, again. "Stop. Maybe he can help us."

Nico snorted. "Just keep him away from me."

Redd agreed with obvious disdain. "I plan to do just that."

This was going to be a long trip. Before anything else started, I spoke up. "First things first, I need a weapon and decent barding. Not that ugly thing you made me wear." I said the last part to Nico.

He shrugged. "Well, we could buy it from Floater or we can check the crash site. There's got to be something that fits a pegasus. Maybe even a gun, too."

I cringed, but he had a point. I really didn't want to go back there, though.

"I-I..." I folded my ears back, looking at the floor. "Okay. I'll suck it up."

Nico opened the front door to the beginning of our journey. Redd took to the air, flying overhead. I supposed it was to keep an eye on everything, including Nico. I walked beside the unicorn as close as I could since I didn't have anything protecting my hide. He walked with confidence, almost expressionless.

"About last night..." I said, quietly.

"What happened last night?" He replied with a wink.

I was confused at first, then I figured out he was playing along. Smiling, I continued on. At least he didn't mind forgetting it. The thought that we almost... I grit my teeth, trying not to think about it. What would my grandparents think? What would anypony else think? Well, anypony above the clouds. That was my problem though. The Enclave pretty much controlled everything I did. Even some of my personality was molded by them. Without any guidelines here, I was pretty much at a loss with no direction. Here, I was truly on my own. Hopefully, I would grow as an individual.

About a mile away from Nico's house, I began hearing some unpleasant noises. Squealing and growling came from the side of us. Nico stopped me and motioned for me to get behind him. His ears perked towards the sounds as he readied his rifle. He aimed it at something I couldn't see.

"What is it?" I whispered.

He didn't answer right away, instead, he pulled the trigger. I jumped at the loud shot.

Redd landed beside him. "Are you crazy? You'll give away our location."

"I'm shooting a radhog." Nico said, not looking our way.

The ugly creature fell through the bushes landing at our hooves. I've seen pigs in books, but this was no pig. It was horribly mutated into a larger creature with sharp tusks. I stood back, unsure of what to think. Nico was right. The bloatsprites were cute compared to this thing!

Before Nico could secure his gun, another one of the beasts came from nowhere, snorting and growling. It went straight for Redd. The radhog pinned him under its deformed feet, snapping its jaws and trying to claw him with its hooves. Redd held the animal away from his face with his back legs so it couldn't reach him. We didn't even have time to react. Two more angry hogs ran, wildly, for Nico and me. I ran backwards, unable to do anything as one of them knocked Nico off his hooves. The other one dug its tusks into his hind leg, making him yell in pain.

Redd was able to buck off the one pinning him, but it stood right back up. He managed to hover just above the creature, aiming his energy rifles at it. With two zaps, it vaporized, damp ashes falling to the ground. "I have so many questions!" He flew towards me, helping me up and trying to aim at the other two.

I stared in horror at Nico's leg. The wound stretched from his hip, all the way to his fetlock. Blood poured out of it, but as painful as it seemed, he ignored the pain. His horn lit up and a blast of magic threw back the hogs onto their backs. He picked up his weapon and swiveled around, blasting the first radhog's nose off its face. Another shot broke through its skull, killing it.

Rubbing my chest, I witnessed this buck fight like his life depended on it. It did, but you know what I mean. He swung his gun back towards the other one, but it bit down on the barrel, attempting to snatch it away. The trigger pulled back, splattering blood all over his face and coat. The last radhog fell to the ground with a thud. Redd and I stood there staring as he panted and watched the thing twitch until it finally went still. Then, he collapsed onto the ground, breathing heavily.

"Nico!" I galloped to him as fast as I could.

His eyes looked to me as I placed my hoof on his neck. Weak pulse.

"He's losing blood." Redd stated.

The wound caught my eye. His hide was ripped, exposing the muscle, underneath.

"Redd, pick him up! We have to get him to Fleece!" I nudged Nico with my muzzle.

"I'm not-"

"Do it now, or I swear on my parents' graves I will geld you!" I screamed at him.

He stared in shock for a moment, but finally obeyed me. I helped put Nico on his back and galloped towards Floater with tears in my eyes. Redd ran beside me as not to risk Nico falling off his back. "Please, hold on, Nico." I said, more to myself. I slowed down a little to get next to the unicorn. He would open his eyes every once in a while, but didn't keep them open. Getting a better look at his leg, I saw it was already clotting and drying on his and Redd's coats.

Seeing the sign, I gave one more burst of energy, beating Redd to the clinic. "Fleece!" I screamed, still running to the building. I burst through the door, almost knocking the door off its hinges. "Fleece! Please, help Nico! He's badly hurt!"

A huge relief crossed over me when I saw her emerge from the hall. She walked beside a mare who looked to have a broken foreleg. "What's happened?" She rushed to me.

Redd ran in behind me, pausing when he saw Fleece. "What the-"

"Take him to the first room!" I boomed.

Redd hurriedly took him into the room on our right. Fleece picked him up with her magic and set him on the bed. She quickly lay him on the bed, getting to work. Her horn flared and she cast an aura around the large gash, instantly stopping the bleeding. "He's already lost too much blood. I'm going to fix the leg up, but I don't know how he will do without a transfusion." She turned to me and Redd. "You can both wait in the room next door, if you want." She floated over her tools. Redd obliged, but I stayed in the room. I was not leaving until I knew he would be okay.

"Take my blood!" I held my hoof out. "Just save him!"

She looked at me with uncertainty. "Let me see if you're the same blood type." Gently, she touched her horn to my foreleg as it lit up, again. It felt like a small burn, but I didn't care. She then did the same to Nico. "It's a match, but first I have to close the wound. Give me a few minutes to close the gash and find something to take your blood. Might want to go calm down your other friend. I don't think he's from here, either."

I nodded, sadly walking into the room where Redd sat, massaging his temples. He stood when he saw me.

I sobbed into my hooves. "This is my fault! All because of those stupid pearls."

Redd sat next to me. "Lieutenant, I don't have any clue what the hell that thing is or what the hell is going on, but are you okay?"

I picked my head up and looked at him. "He's been taking care of me since I've been here and this is what he's got to show for it. I couldn't do anything. I'm so useless... I was a fool to think I could keep Hope from destroying everything."

"Hope?" He asked.

I explained everything. I left out the "Princess Luna" part, but everything else flew from my muzzle in an attempt to hurry along. Redd sat for a few minutes, contemplating what to say. Finally, he sighed. "Lieutenant, these ponies aren't like us. The world isn't your responsibility. I'm sorry about... Nico... but you have to think of your safety, too."

I glared at him. "How can you say that, Redd? Our whole life we were taught there is nothing here but savages. Yet, here we are being proven wrong over and over. You can turn tail and run, if you want, but I am going to do what I can. I'm going to save lives or..." I swallowed. "Die trying."

He bit his lip, concerned. "Lieutenant-"

"Do not call me that, anymore. I'm not your C.O, here. Please, just call me Sia."

With a sigh, he put a hoof on my shoulder. "You're a good pony, Sia. I wish Thunderhead had more leaders like you." I looked away as he continued. "I always thought you were special. Even when we were foals." He paused. "That's why I'm going to help you."

I perked up. "Really?"

He nodded. "Yes. I don't know how well I can get used to things here, but I'll do my best."

With tears in my eyes, I embraced him. "Thank you, Redd. You were always such a good friend."

As he hugged me back, Fleece came in, holding a needle and some tubing in her red aura. "This ought to do it. Hold out your arm, hon." She tied a strap around the upper part of my leg. Then, with a small sting, she stuck the needle in. I looked away. My stomach was pretty weak when it came to medical procedures. I also didn't like needles. Brave, right?

With my head turned, I tensed. "H-how is he?"

"The surgery went well, but there is still a forty-five percent chance he will suffer organ failure from the lack of blood levels pumping oxygen to his brain. Right now, all we can do is distribute this blood and wait." She said, tying a torn piece of cloth where she stuck my arm.

I sniffed. "Can I go in with him?"

"Of course."

"I'll stay in here and rest. I've been flying all night." Redd spoke as he rotated his wing joints.

I nodded and followed the ghoul doctor into Nico's room. He slept, peacefully, with a mask over his face. The hose connected to a small tank beside the medical equipment. I watched her hook up an IV and put it in his foreleg as quickly and carefully as she could. Taping it down, she made sure everything was in working order before she turned on the machine. Blood flowed from the tubes and into his leg.

"Okay, now, we wait." She put her hoof around me and pulled me into a hug. "It'll be okay. Just come get me if anything changes."

I nodded, still watching my friend sleep.

She exited the room, leaving me with the soft sound of beeping. I rested my head on the bed beside him and prayed. "Luna, Celestia. Please, help him. Don't let him die." Opening my eyes, I saw he hadn't moved. I would stay by him until he woke up. No matter what.

Hours passed and I couldn't do anything but think about what had happened. Fleece had taken away the empty blood tubes. There was nothing else to do. A couple of times I asked if there was. Nothing. So I just fluffed his pillow. It made me feel a little needed. She brought me food, but I couldn't eat. I wondered if this was how Nico felt when I was in this room. He probably didn't feel as sad as I did. I tried to sleep on the cot, but that was out of the question.

Finally, I threw my hooves around him. I was giving up hope. "Please, wake up. I need you. I can't do this without you. Please, just... wake up."

When he didn't reply, I let go and stroked his cheek. If he wasn't going to wake up, I was staying with him until he left this retched world. So, I sat on the cot and closed my eyes, waiting for sleep. It finally came, dragging me into an abyss that wasn't comforting in the slightest. I could hear whispers. A stallion stood over me. I backed away until I could see who it was. Nico! Just as I was about to hug him, he stepped back, glaring at me with hate I had never seen on another pony. I stopped approaching him and frowned. "N-Nico?"

He snorted and walked off, leaving me surrounded by dust. The sky became dark and I became more frantic. I darted back and forth, trying to find him so I could apologize, but every time I found an escape, the dust only got thicker. Then, a light beamed from the sky, making the dust around me retreat. I ducked, covering my head in fright.

"Hush, now..." A voice sang
"Quiet, now..."

"Hello?" I squeaked.

The light began to fade, receding back into the cloudy night. I cried out for it, but my throat was clenched shut. I tried to loosen the invisible grip around my neck. Choking and gasping, I couldn't do anything but struggle. There was nothing to fight back! Finally, I gave up and let death take me. The environment around me turned to water. I kicked my hind legs, trying to find tread. There was no bottom. I screamed, only to have bubbles replace my voice. I couldn't swim!

I couldn't tell, but it felt like I was sinking. The water became darker and darker until it was finally pitch black. With a final kick, a light, similar to the first, exploded above me, forcing me to squeeze my eyes shut. Several minutes passed. I was unable to think or speak for those long minutes.

"It's time to lay your sleepy head..."

My eyes shot open as I gulped in air. Sweat drenched my coat and the cot below me. I surveyed the room. I was back. He wasn't in the same position he had been earlier, but on his side. Had he moved? Slowly getting to my hooves, I noticed I was shaking. I couldn't remember the last time I ate. Water, itself, isn't enough nourishment. Ignoring my growling stomach, I tiptoed to the bedside to check on him. I couldn't see his face. The only thing I heard was snoring. I moved my eyes down to his heavily bandaged leg. It was definitely going to be sore. My hoof gently grabbed his. Suddenly, he turned around, his eyes open. After I jumped back, a huge smile spread across my face. "Nico! You're okay!" I went to hug him, but stopped, remembering my dream.

He smiled. "Yeah, I guess I am."

"Fleece spoke like you wouldn't..." I avoided his gaze.

He spread his hooves. "Well, I'm here and alive. Princess."

I rolled my eyes. "You are impossible. How long have you been awake?"

"About an hour." He shrugged.

"You could have woke me up!"

"I know. Fleece said you've been by my side since I've been here. I figured you needed the rest. Especially after the blood transfusion." He blushed. "Thanks, by the way. Nopony has ever done anything like that for me. I really don't know what to say."

I hugged him, ignoring the thoughts of my dream. "I'm just glad you're okay."

"So, you missed me?"

I let go and sighed, shaking my head. "Yes, I missed your snarky comments."

"Good. My princess." He winked.

"Stop calling me that!" I commanded.

I turned to go back to bed. I heard grunting, so I spun back to see Nico standing with his back leg off the floor. I quickly ran to him.

"You need to get back into bed." I scolded.

"I have to take a leak." He murmured, trying to walk.

"At least let me help you." I let him lean into my side. I wrapped my unbandaged wing around him to keep him balanced. We made our way, slowly, outside. The sky had grown dark, signifying nightfall. We stopped behind the clinic where a tall plank was embedded in the ground. I figured it was where ponies did their business.

"Are you going to watch?" He asked, sarcastically.

"N-no!" I turned, stumbling.

Foalishly, I giggled when I heard the sound of fluid hitting the dirt. Luckily, he didn't hear me. Waiting for him to finish, I decided to see how my wing was healing. Carefully, I held it out with a hoof and slowly waved it up and down. It was a little stiff from being in the splint, but it didn't hurt. "Huh."

"What?" Nico asked, limping up behind me.

"My wing doesn't hurt, anymore." I said, showing him what I had been doing.

He tapped his chin and lit his horn so I could see. "Can you move it without using your hoof?"

I stared at the splint and bandage. Fleece would probably be angry if I try without her supervision. I didn't want to hurt it, again, either.

"Come on. You can't keep it wrapped forever. If Fleece asks, blame me." He said, carefully unwrapping it.

I got ready to cringe in case it hurt, but it never did.

"There. Now, flap." He threw the wrapping aside.

I looked at him with hope in my eyes. He nodded to my wing. Taking a big gulp, I flapped it slowly once, then twice, then three times. No pain! And it felt so good to stretch it! I beamed, ear to ear.

"Okay. Hover." He kept watching the joints as they worked.

I stared. "What if I fall?"

"You won't. If you do, you won't fall far." He assured.

It took a moment, but I flapped harder, closing my eyes. A few seconds later, I couldn't feel the ground anymore.

"You did it!" He said, cheerfully.

I opened my eyes and looked down. I was lifted about six inches off the ground. Giggling, madly, I looked back at my beautiful feathers. They were good as new! No longer able to wait, I took off into the air. I went slow at first, then picked up speed. Soaring through the air felt so good! The maneuvering and twisting made me feel like I was in a ballet. There was nothing like feeling the wind through my mane. My first time flying wasn't even this exciting!

Gaining altitude, I headed straight for the thick clouds. Then, before I went through them, I straightened my wingspan and leaned so my feathertips brushed the delicate, cool clouds. It was both thrilling and comforting to be in the air, again.

My stomach started growling again and I was getting weaker. Unwilling to land, I fought the urge to stay airborne. If I lost consciousness, it would be the end of me. I glided downwards towards where Nico leaned against a broken crate. Fluttering my wings, I landed next to him. "I'm so excited! I can fly, again!" I hopped around him, happily.

He chuckled. "That's great, but you'd better eat something. After all, I'm the one who is supposed to be looking after you, not the other way around."

I helped him back into the clinic. "Y-you still want to help me? Even though this was... my fault?"

"Your fault? This was not your fault. If anything, you saved me. Sia, that is such a rarity down here. You are trying your best to make a difference in this blasted place." He stopped walking and stood beside his bed, facing me. "I'm actually lucky to have you." After realizing what he said, he cleared his throat and turned towards his bed to get up.

I helped him, my face red. "Lucky to have me, huh?"

He sighed. "You know what? Yes. I am damn lucky to have you, Sia. Friends like you are precious." Then, he frowned. "But, I guess even the most precious of friends have to go back home, sooner or later."

I half-smiled. "I'll still be here for a while, though."

He returned it. "And I'm still helping you."

"No, you're too injured. You'll get even more hurt. It's best if you just stay and recover. Redd and I will-"

"I am going with you." He pressed.

I sighed. This stubborn fool. "Fine, but you are going to listen to me."

He smirked. "Deal."

Redd trotted in, still covered in blood. His barding was stained with both that and dirt. He watched Fleece pass by with a look of disgust on his face. I glared at him.

"Thanks for ruining my coat." Redd told Nico, oozing with sarcasm.

Nico rolled his eyes. "You'll live. It's not like I have a disease."

Redd scoffed. "How would I know that? This place is probably riddled with all kinds of pathogens." When he looked my way, he smiled at my wing. "I see you're able to fly, again. Excellent. The sooner we get this done, the sooner we can get away from these..."

I dared him to finish that sentence. He quickly shut up when he noticed the look I was giving him. I couldn't really blame him. My perspective was no different when I first arrived. Hopefully, he would actually start to believe the Enclave was corrupted. Really, I just wanted to believe that they didn't know any better.

"I think your handsome friend, here, needs a bath." Fleece walked in, carrying a towel. "How are you feeling, Nico?"

"Fine."

Redd backed away. "I need more than a bath. I need clarification." He mumbled.

"Fleece is one of the best ponies you will ever meet. Whatever you are thinking, you can keep it to yourself or I will personally kick your flank back to the clouds from which you came." I scolded him.

She gave a throaty chuckle. "It's okay, sweetie." She floated the towel to him. "Just follow me. I will see to it that you are taken care of. I'll even wash your barding for you." She trotted out into the hall.

Redd looked at me for help. I smiled and nodded towards the door.

He whispered, "How do I know she won't eat my-"

I cut him off with a growl. He sighed and followed her. When he disappeared, I grinned, proud of myself.

"Impressive. I almost believed the lieutenant thing to be a mistaken identity." Nico jeered.

"If you were in my squad, I would have you do one hundred wing-ups for that." I teased back.

I picked up a canteen and took a huge gulp of water. I had just realized how thirsty I was. After drinking almost half, I brought it to Nico. "Thanks." He said, grasping it in his magic. I watched the light blue aura around the canteen as he sipped. It was such a beautiful color. I wished I had fabric that color. I would have to try my hoof at fashion, and I knew what color my first attempt at a dress would be.

"What?"

Snapping out of my daze, I shrugged. "Just wondering what it's like to be a unicorn. There are a few unicorns who work in the towers, but they aren't really considered a part of the Enclave. I never really speak to them or even see. Truth be told, you're the only one I've ever really... observed."

"Observed? I'm not a biology specimen, princess. However, if you must know, we are just like everypony else. With the exception of a horn. Also, the various abilities that we are able to learn." He waved his hoof. "Okay, maybe we aren't just like everypony else."

I laughed. "Well, you sure know how to use your horn."

An awkward silence made me regret my choice of words. Nico covered his mouth as he tried to hide his laughter. I turned every shade of red on the color palette. His laughter grew until I tapped his sore leg. "Ouch!" He glared, then chuckled, again. "I'm sorry, I knew what you meant. You are just not very gifted with speech."

Asshole.

"Anyway, Shattered Hoof is a good distance from here. We should probably get a good start in the morning, since our start, today, was delayed. We should sleep." He said.

My stomach growled.

"And eat something, please." He added.

I stuck my tongue out at him and grabbed the jar of preserved peaches that Fleece had brought in. I scarfed it down in seconds, ignoring the fact that they had been expired for the past one hundred or so years. Nico raised his brow. I disregarded his expression and stretched out on the cot. After today, I was ready for a good night's sleep. The next morning I would hopefully be able to get my own barding and gun. I prayed the ship wouldn't be looted. That still meant I had to be at ground zero where my friends still lay... decomposing.

I sniffed at the thought. "I'm trying, guys. I'm really trying."


Unidentified Energy Detected
Unidentified Energy Undetected

Redd is now your companion

Author's Note:

Thanks to Kkat for this amazing world! Constructive criticism is always welcome! Also, if you see any errors feel free to let me know!

Thank you SOOO much for reading!
-AP