• Published 27th Jul 2021
  • 1,067 Views, 124 Comments

Suck it up, Buttercup - David Silver

He marched through the wastes. He was also bright yellow, and had a tail that did not sway much. He was also named Buttercup, not exactly a manly name, but it was his. His friend needed him. What is that? It looks like him, but also very not...

  • ...

10 - Click

"Pony located."

From the darkness, two sets of metal hooves emerged. Two new giddyups, both brightly painted yellow as if they had just come off the assembly line. Their eyes were locked on Skyline, at least until the one on the left noticed Buttercup. "Second pony found." They broke off from the other to close towards her, only to pause.

They had seen Stan and Giddyup, who was still nickering. That giddyup was quiet a moment, but broke it with a soft neigh.

This was an acceptable response to Giddyup, who echoed a similar sound. The two robots closed and bumped their foreheads together. The two deciding they were friends now? "It is good to meet you." Giddyup gestured back towards Stan. "This is my child."

The other giddyup pointed at Skyline. "This is my child."

"This is my child." The third pointed at Buttercup, claiming that pony without her consent.

A fact she was not comfortable with. "Yeah... I have a mom and a dad, and they aren't metal."

This only confused the claiming giddyup. "I am not your parent. I am your Giddyup Buttercup unit. It is my duty to help raise you, and to play with you."

Giddyup danced in place with raising cheer. "I was not aware that we had the programming required to accept horses as children."

"We do not." The first giddyup turned to Giddyup. "By default. We were created specifically for this vault; custom ordered by Vault-Tec."

"So..." Stan had a hand on his gun, but not that firmly. The two giddyups seemed far from hostile. "You two heard we brought ponies?"

The second giddyup nodded at Stan. "We were informed that we were again required."

"Power resumed," echoed the first, examining Skyline. "Your growth is within parameters."

Skyline thrust a finger at the giddyup. "What does that even mean? I'm an ancient but don't look, or feel, like one." He flexed his fingers. "And these! Why am I part metal? Tell me."

"Speakin' ah power." Stan twirled a finger upwards. "If you two are awake; how 'bout we get the lights on too, if ya can?"

The two giddyups shared a look before the first nodded. "That is not something we can do."

"Let us help." And soon all three giddyups had their eyes lit up. The hallway did not want for light. "Your child needs you."

The first giddyup startled. It was failing to see to the needs of its child. "I was not informed of the exact nature of how you were made, or why. It is my job to help raise you well. You are beyond the age I should have begun special instructions on your unique abilities. Shall we begin?"

Skyline smirked at that, tail brushing against the floor behind him in a wide sway. "Do you mean the seeing with sound thing? I just figured that out." He pointed to Giddyup. "He beat you to it."

The giddyup bowed towards Giddyup. "Thank you for assisting my child. Have you also gone over the others?"

Giddyup danced in place. "Others?"

Giddyup returned his attention to Skyline, accepting that as a 'no'. "There are other abilities you are overdue to gain proficiency with."

Buttercup poked the second giddyup. "Well, you're mine. What awesome powers do I have? Don't hold back!"

"You can neigh and trot," reported that giddyup. "Have you experienced any difficulties in performing either function?"

"No..." Buttercup did not well hide her disappointment at not being a chosen one. "You sure there isn't any other secret functions in there?"

With a loud thunk that echoed through the hallways, the area around them was flooded with light. The vault had returned to functioning. Stan grinned at the sight, even if it had startled him. "We are in business."

"Attention," spoke some new voice from speakers stashed all around. "The equine population of the vault has raised NaN%. It is now two. A Vault-Tec engineer is on the property. A new giddyup unit has arrived. That is all." The voice went quiet, the news given.

Stan relaxed a little. "Huh, guess that means we won't be mauled, or fired at today." He let his gun dangle on its strap. "And it means we can get on with explorin' this place. Miss Aunt did it."

Skyline moved to the side, his eyes on the giddyup that was watching him in kind. "What else did you have in mind?" He had only just learned to see with sound. That had to be about the biggest thing. "I can use these." He raised a hoof, finger pincers opening and closing in a display of his mastery of fingers.

"You are performing well," assured the giddyup in the tone of a proud parent. "You have a resistance to aging. Have you mastered that function?"

Skyline squinted at the robot. "I think I have that one under control."

"Excellent." Any additional subtext to the exchange, clearly missed. "Have you mastered the ability to neigh and trot?"

Buttercup burst into titters. "Pretty sure that means they're out of things to check." She trotted over towards Skyline, movements played for effect and ending in a nice loud neigh.

Skyline poked the incoming Buttercup on the snoot. "You're plenty fine at trotting and neighing."

"I'm very proud," noted the second giddyup.

Giddyup was staying by his child, Stan. "Shall we begin?"

"Let's." Stan powered down the hallway at an eager walk. He had a whole vault, waiting to be explored, maybe looted a little... or a lot... There were things to do!

But he did not expect Miss Aunt to power into view, emerging from a side hallway. "There you are. And Giddyup." Her eyes swiveled between Stan and Giddyup. "I really am surprised. I hear over 90% of human children rename their Giddyups. Oh, but I'm avoiding the point. I've told everyone. To be fair, I only told some of them, but enough. You heard the announcement?"

Stan nodded at the almost overwhelmingly pleased robot. "Yeah, loud and clear. That should have all the others relaxing, right?"

"Exactly so. I didn't think they'd turn things back on, but they did." She turned in place, hovering on her jet of flame. "That reminds me to ask, are you staying, or visiting? Our accommodations are specific to the ponies. Only the overseer's office is designed for a human, and that's mostly filled with computers." She paused a brief moment. "Technically the computer is the overseer."

Stan poked Miss Aunt, who did not try to dodge it. "Technically, so are you."

"A mobile one," she agreed. "You won't hold that against me, now will you dear?"

Giddyup advanced between Stan and Miss Aunt. "Since the subject has been raised, we would like to access the computers."

"The overseer's very picky about who can touch his keyboard, I'm afraid." Miss Aunt crossed her manipulators to make that clear. "Even a Vault-Tech engineer would need to know his override password. Do you have that?" She was looking at Stan specifically.

"Ya know what? I think you know what the answer to that is." Stan moved around both bots, finding a massive room to the left they he emerged onto the balcony overseeing. "The hell..." It was a huge open area with lines, grass (somewhat wilted) and paved areas. "You have a whole track and field down here."

Miss Aunt came floating up to Stan's side, one eye on the wide area. "It's been so long since we've used it. The ponies used to run so merrily. They'd race each other, dance, and just play. It was a lovely sight. Now that you've brought two of them back, perhaps they'll start again. That would be nice, wouldn't it." Her attention had slid to Giddyup.

Stan was busy watching a few other robots rolling into view down below. One of them looked harmless enough. Perhaps there to irrigate and care for the underground lawn. The others looked quite capable of making his life equally painful and short. "They know we're up here, right?"

"Hello," called Miss Aunt, removing any even faint hope of stealth. She waved at her co-robots. The farming robot even returned the gesture with one of its sharp farming implements, but it continued its assignment almost immediately after. The more armed machines did not respond to the event, instead moving to maximize their observance over the area the farmer was working.

Stan let out a strained half-laugh. "That answers that." Still, they hadn't opened fire. A good sign! "Now, we don't need to tap at your overseer direct-like. Got any littler computers that he won't get upset about?"

"Oh, yes, certainly." She began to lead the way back towards the main corridor. "This way. The library was constructed to be usable by ponies."

"I will assist." Giddyup trotted along at Aunt's side. "Stan is very talented, but he does not have hooves."

"Poor thing." She did not sound that worried about that lack. "Have you typed with a hoof keyboard before?"

"I have not." Giddyup inclined his head with a single click. "But I can interface directly."

"That's what I do too," laughed out Aunt. "It's nice to have that option. A pity we can't connect to humans or ponies, isn't it? We could get so much done if we could."

"That would be nice." Giddyup turned his head right around more than a horse normally could, viewing Stan with the rest of his body still trotting forward. "Would you allow me to interface with you."

"Now, see..." Stan's finger bobbed in the air. "A normal robot asked that, I'd be put right out. But you? Yeah, ah could probably deal with that. We ain't got many secrets from each other, but stop that." He reached for Giddyup's head, encouraging it to face the right way. Fortunately, Giddyup began to turn with the pressure, so nothing was hurt in the process. "Watch where yer walkin'."

Back down that same hallway, Skyline was starting forward. "Where did the others go? We have to keep an eye on them."

"Four of them," added Buttercup.

The first giddyup pointed a metal hoof down the hallway. "They went with Miss Aunt that way. Child, what is your name? You have a name?"

"Skyline." He raised a brow. "Didn't I already have that name?"

"You were not yet named when you left," informed the giddyup. "Would you care to name me, Skyline? You are my child; you have that permission."

"That is true for you as well," noted the second giddyup looking at Buttercup. "You may name me as you please. Be aware of a profanity filter."

"I am also equipped with that," noted the first giddyup. "What would you like my name to be?"

Both robots looked eager to be assigned a name, watching their children with unblinking robotic eyes.

Skyline tapped the metal snoot of the giddyup looking at him. "Were you named before we left?"

"I had many names."

"Many names," agreed the other giddyup. "Whenever our assigned child changed, our assigned name would become invalid."


"That's dumb." Buttercup crossed her arms. "I want you to have your favorite old name."

The second giddyup crashed to his hooves. "I have not considered this before," he noted with all the wonder of a man discovering he actually had three arms the whole time without noticing it. "Favorite. Favorite... Do you like the name Yellow Daddy?"

"Yellow," agreed Buttercup. "That's a nice name. Hey Yellow."

Yellow nodded firmly, accepting his name, but looking towards Skyline, joining his fellow. There remained a giddyup unnamed.

That giddyup nodded at Skyline. "Like that. Please assign a name."

Skyline smirked and thrust a finger at Buttercup. "Like that. Pick your favorite name."

And so it was turned right back on him. The other giddyup crashed much like its friend. "I was afraid you would say that. You gave me a name once."

Skyline's ears pricked up tall. "I did?!"

"You were very young, but you held my snout in your small hooves." The giddyup would have smiled, if that was physically possible. "You looked at me directly and said 'Fend'. I think you meant friend, but I will not correct you."

"Fend." Skyline nodded softly. "Yellow, and Fend. Nice to meet you both."

Author's Note:

The giddyups all have names! Even if one of them is still named Giddyup. Still, he's named that specifically, not just as a unit descriptor, so that counts, right? Stan is trying to get at a computer, but there may be typos in the way of that plan.

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