• 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...

  • ...

17 - Aftermath

The merchant Stan purchased from made it to the next town over. They weren't attacked by bandits for a record-setting three weeks. A pity about that third week, but at least they were well equipped to handle it, perhaps in part due to the caps he had gotten from that strange ghoul with the colorful horses.

The town of ponies, given the truth of their origin, didn't change immediately for that fact. Humans had created them, hoping for a better world in their stead, but there were still humans, and they remained dangerous. They honed their skills, but kept their heads down. Perhaps, in time, the human issue would resolve itself.

But that door was not entirely shut. Perhaps, one day, another friendly human would happen by, like Stan. They hoped for it quietly. To know another kind hearted human would be nice. The fact that the giddyups that helped raise them over generations were lost was a tragic fact that became a yearly day of remembrance. They had served well in life, and even in death to ensure that their beloved ponies got all they could give.

Buttercup returned to her people a changed mare. No longer a foal, she began taking things more seriously. She volunteered for dangerous excursions and was one of the first to react to incoming danger. From idealistic dreamer to pragmatic vanguard, she became a prized member of the community. Unsatisfied with being protected, she honed her skills with hoof to hoof combat and became deadly with a selection of tribal weapons.

She got her jaws on a pistol one day that she kept close-by, always loaded and ready, should its need become evident. The power of a loaded gun had been made clear to her.

Skyline returned to the elders, but refused to stand in eternal vigil over their small hut. What he had seen had left scars that would never leave him. Though his very being rebelled against the idea that he would ever lead, that did not mean he had to follow the orders of others either. He retired from his guard position and became a warrior, and not just of the town either.

He was the first pony many humans met, and often the last. Those that underestimated him learned the price often fatally. Fast with a sword or a gun, Skyline operated on the philosophy that most humans were dangerous by default, and only those that proved otherwise first were given a chance to betray him. Stan remained one of the few that ever earned that privilege.

A special hatred of super mutants burned in him. Destroyers of Fend and attempted slavers, Skyline took, perhaps, too much pleasure in the final pained cry he could extract from any super mutant he happened upon. The wastelands were a bit safer around him, if one felt safe from Skyline.

The robots of that lost pony vault were despondent. With a pony population of zero, they returned to slumber, awaiting the time that this somehow fixed itself. No other action came to them, and the vault went dark with no fanfare. What security remained still patrolled it, looking for what did not belong, and ready to give intruders a warm welcome, should one ever happen.

Stan refused to be buried in any grave while he was still breathing. Even as his tomb went still and dark, he and Giddyup refused to surrender. Taking supplies that none seemed to care for, they crafted an uncomfortable number of makeshift bombs at the collapsed tunnel. Though the odds were uncomfortably high that it could bring the whole of the vault down on them, they proceeded.

That they were able to later climb through the rubble back to the sweet taste of fresh air, a testament to how difficult it was to put down a courier.

"Are you going to join the ponies?" There was one robot that had declined the order to deactivate. Aunt was awake, her flames lighting the area.

"Nah." Stan waved it off. "I have a delivery that's already overdue."

"We are within the tolerable limits. Payment will be given," gladly reported Giddyup.

Stan left, not planning to interact with the ponies again, but he had two robots where he had only one before.

He decided, in the end, that counted as a reasonable payment for his efforts in getting the ponies to the vault, intact, and helping them escape.

Miss Aunt departed the vault alongside Stan. She did not go after the ponies, though that invitation had been given. With the Giddyups destroyed, she didn't feel her nanny-specific programming would be of much use to them. On the other hand, Giddyup seemed to need an extra set of graspers to keep his child healthy and well disciplined.

It was only logical that she followed them instead. She was designed to work alongside Giddyup units, and that was the only functioning one she was aware of.

The super mutant band that had been planning a vicious raid against a trading town simply failed to appear. Scouts had warned hotly that they were drawing closer, but one day, gone, as if by magic. No signs were detected of heavy munition use. There were no bodies. There were no discarded weapons. The supers had just... gone away. Had they changed their mind?

The settlers would never know, but they didn't bemoan their turn of good luck. As if to compound that, the courier they had been waiting on finally arrived, and with the vital computer chip that returned their defensive turrets to functioning order. The next time they would be attacked, they would be ready and well equipped.

Though dead and gone, one could argue the spirits of the scientists responsible for the ponies were satisfied. The ponies had grown and thrived in the future. They had stomped a new path forward, perhaps a better one, that didn't end in the wars of humanity.

They had not survived to see the fruits of what they had planted, but is it not the greatest gift any elder can give, to plant a tree, that their grandchildren might rest beneath it?

Long Stalk took a liking to the transformed Buttercup. Becoming her backup, he followed after her, at first simply serving as a pack mule and a second set of eyes, but his sharp mind and his increased eagerness soon had him fighting alongside her. They grew closer as they set their childhood behind and became two respected adults.

It came as a surprise to very few when they decided to take the next step after that and locked arms in marriage. They would unleash four ponies into the wasteland in their adventures, both in the wastes, but also in the company of each other. Eventually, the two would serve as elders for the town so many years later, passing on their wisdom to future ponies.

He never did take a liking to guns, or fighting any more than he had to with his hooves to keep himself and Buttercup safe. His mind was his weapon of choice.

Giddyup emerged from the vault, but not empty-hooved. Besides having his child, Stan, and a new assistant in watching over him in the form of Aunt, he had new files. Though Fend had been crushed beyond any chance of repair or meaningful salvage, Yellow had fallen where he had made his last stand to keep Buttercup safe.

His data files were not entirely lost. Though he could not consent to it, Giddyup took them, with Stan's help. He had more than doubled his available information on horse behavior, to say nothing on the proper methods of raising a pony, which was a specific kind of horse.

It was a grand gift, and one Giddyup was grateful for, labeling all those files as Yellow Files to show proper appreciation to who he had gotten them from. In his mechanical eyes, the two fallen giddyups were complete successes. They had protected their children and allowed them to neigh and trot.

His child was less willing to neigh or trot, but Giddyup was certain, with effort, he would get that out of Stan. A smile, a spirited jog, a cry of triumph and naked joy. One day, he was sure. One day he would get that from Stan. Until then, he and Aunt would watch over him and keep him safe. Children grew at different speeds. It was their job to wait patiently until it happened, and to help make sure nothing got in the way.

Giddyup was ready.

"Ain't doin' it."

Stan did not go for getting Giddyup a rifle attached to his side, no matter how often he was asked.

In this way, Giddyup would not be ready. Such was the fickle fate of the wastes.

The wastes overall took very little notice of this adventure. It was just another day. Just a few more bodies buried where nobody would trip over them. The ponies would surprise the locals when encountered, but they didn't alter the power balance in any appreciable way.

War didn't change, not that day.

"Human comms keep lighting up." A hoof came down on a large button. "Odds are now over 90%. We've located Stable 2."

The room filled with whickers of amazement. "Do you have a location?" asked a mare from a large chair, sitting forward. "Get me a map!"

"Only a rough estimate." The pony at comms grabbed a map and made a few quick slashes across it. "Somewhere in this region." He passed it to a pony that hurried it over to the mare that seemed to be in charge. "They've revealed themselves to the local humans."

"Fools," grunted the mare, examining the map critically. "Any idea how long?"

"Long enough." The stallion turned his chair to face their leader. "They're trading with them. The humans know about them."

"Harmony forfend." The mare set a hoof against her face. "Home in on them. I want to know exactly where they are. We can't leave them there. They'll get themselves, and us, cooked."

"As you command, Overseer." The stallion returned his attention to the comms, pressing buttons comically overlarge for any human operator. But they were not made for any human fingers. "We're also getting a ping."

"A ping?" She sat forward. "What from?"

"A giddyup unit." He tapped at the console. "The serial number doesn't match anything in the records, but it is a giddyup unit, and must have the software or it wouldn't be--"

"--pinging, right," finished the mare for him. "If you have a ping, then you have a specific location. Give me that. That's worth checking..."

Author's Note:

A proper fin, with a proper Fallout set of Epilogues, and a teaser should a sequel ever happen. Stan may have walked away from the ponies, but will the ponies leave Stan alone?

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Comments ( 12 )

The Wasteland is Still Alive.:twilightoops:

Appropriate music for this chapter, I believe.

"Though Fend has been crushed beyond any chance of"
"Though Fend had been crushed beyond any chance of"?

"Odds are not over 90%."
"Odds are now over 90%."?

...Well. Pony!Enclave? :D

Thank you for writing!

All fixed!
Thanks for coming along with us on this adventure.

That was as interesting as it was unexpected...

Good story!
I enjoyed reading it.

That was an amazing story, couldn't put it down! You're an amazing writer!

Glad you enjoyed it. A sequel is already planned, so watch out for that.

Fallout 1 in my mind is… oof.

uhm, but why does it stop here?
any chance of a sequel?
There needs to be more .. :raritydespair:

There is a sequel marked!

TClosing the Barn Door
Vault-Tec never runs one experiment when two would be better! The second prong of their pony experiment watches the world around it with large equine eyes. Perhaps it is time to move. It's too late to close the door, the ponies have already left.
David Silver · 62k words  ·  48  8 · 646 views

thank you, I just noticed this..
I'm there .. :twilightsmile:

Oh, there were only two units because there were literally only two units available and not simply the ones activated out of many. That's a bit more sad than anticipated.
Also a bit disappointing Stan didn't further investigate and bring back more data, but we suppose that there likely wouldn't be much more of practical worth.

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