• Published 1st Oct 2022
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Fallout Equestria: Influx - Under the Red Cloud - Lex the Pikachu



Fruity finds a solid lead to the whereabouts of Crystal's mother which leads them to the Sierra Maredre and into a fight for survival.

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Chapter 4: Old Ghosts

*Chapter currently unedited, will be updated in the future*

Fallout Equestria: Inflhx
Under the Red Cloud

Chapter 4: Old Ghosts

Salida del Sol North: Bell Tower, 2 Years ago

Archimedes stood with his forehooves propped onto the chest high wall surrounding the top of the old bell tower. He looked out through the deep red haze towards the brightly lit monolith on the cliff. The once pristine architecture marred by the still smoking burn scar and hole his Vertibuck left when it crashed into the top right corner of the tower.

"So, I trigger this Gala Event, and we'll be able to get inside?" The Enclave Pegasus asked his companion.

"That's right. Once the Gala is triggered, the security will shut down and then you'll be able to call for help." A green unicorn mare with crimson hair and eyes replied.

Archimedes hummed to himself for a moment. He had been trapped in the toxic Villa for the better part of six months. Living off the scraps he recovered from the parts of the Vertibuck wreckage that had fell into the Villa and using these Sierra Maredre chips in the numerous vending machines dotted about the place. The Villa was like a prison to him due to the numerous ponies he'd seen and encountered that wanted nothing more than to kill him or each other, but this mare was thankfully the first one he met that seemed remotely friendly.

"Alright. I'll help you get inside. You're welcome to whatever that place has in its vault. I only care about getting out of here." He declared as he dropped back down to all fours and turned to face the mare. "To recap, power switches need to be thrown, sound system needs to be connected, fuse breakers need to be checked and then the event itself needs to be triggered from here?"

The unicorn nodded. "That's right. As I found, one pony can't do it. But together I'm sure we can manage it,"

He nodded as he rubbed his chin with his wing thoughtfully. "Yes, yes… hmm. Ok. I should be able to handle the power switches and the sound system. Think you can check the breakers and trigger the event?"

"I can do that, but the power, sound and triggering the event have to happen at the same time,"

"Don't worry, one of my deceased guards wore our latested PX-03 Enclave Armour. I should be able to program its autopilot to follow a command when triggered. I'll get the suit to the power switches and program it to pull them when I radio you to trigger the event," Archimedes said as he indicated the makeshift headset he wore from salvaged parts from the crash.

The unicorn smiled as she tapped the earpiece of the one he had given her. "Ok. I guess we got a plan," She said almost excitedly.

Archimedes nodded as he prepared his makeshift energy rifle that he called the Holorifle. "Ok, let's move and be careful. There seems to be a lot more Ghosts milling about in the streets now."

The mare nodded as he took the lead but as he passed and had his back to her, she grinned a malevolent smile as her crimson eyes glowed. "Once the Maredre is open, you'll get your just reward, you old fool." She mentally said to herself.

XXXXX

Medical District, Present Day

I shook my head as I felt a sudden wave of nusea that ran through me but only lasted for a second.

"Ugh, what was that?" I asked out loud to no one in particular.

"I dunno but my head went all fuzzy for a moment there," Fruity answered.

I moaned as the sick feeling faded away completely. "I think this Cloud is starting to get to us,"

"Mph, yeah, I think you're right."

Suddenly there was a loud clunk from behind us that made me squeak in surprise. I spun around to see nothing but the large wooden gates we had just passed through. I blushed with embarrassment as I had totally forgotten we had just entered the Medical District.

We had entered onto a short street that ended at a wall with an iron gate. The wall to our left ran the length of the road and was largely plain and uninteresting. Off to our right was another sheltered path, the arches ran the length of the road until they reached the wall with the gate. It would seem the gate is our only way to progress, so we began down the road.

"Whoa! Looks like Saddle Rager blew through the wall." Fruity commented by the time we passed half way down the road.

I looked to the arches and gasped in surprise as I saw the large hole Fruity saw in the wall.

"I hope we don't have big monsters to fight,"

"Me too." Fruity agreed.

We reached the gate within just a few seconds. Through the decrotative iron bars we could see the street widen and turn to the right and directly ahead we could see our destination. Illuminated by a red neon light in the shape of a Red Cross was the Villa Clinic building. But as always with things in the wasteland, it isn't as simple as it seems.

"Well, cock!" Fruity grumbled as he examined the gate.

I quickly saw the object of his ire as the gate was blocked by a pile of rubble. It was difficult to notice until we were basically on top of it due to the ever present darkness. He leaned himself against the bars and with a grunt of effort heaved with all his might. The gate let out a stressed groan but the rubble on the other side didn't shift. After a couple of more tries he stepped back with a moan of pain and discomfort.

"Nope, not budging,"

I looked up as the thought of flying over the wall crossed my mind but that idea was quickly dashed as I saw the wall extend up to match the height of the walls around us. The top of the wall was obscured by the thick Red Cloud. It would be a bad idea to try going through that, especially if the wall kept going up.

"Flying over would be a bad idea, too," I added.

Fruity nodded his agreement and we backtracked to where we found the hole in the wall. The path under the shelter of the arches we found piles of debris that was consistent with something blowing open the wall from the inside. As we examined it further I noticed how the wall looked a bit thin for an exterior wall.

"I seriously doubt this wall met prewar building standards," Fruity muttered out loud, having noticed the same thing I did.

As we stood in front of the gaping hole I saw that there were more holes in the walls that seemed to make a tunnel through the Villa buildings.

"Wow," I breathed in astonishment. My ears twitched as I heard my husband take in a fearful breath. Concerned, I turned to see what had frightened him, but I found him staring at a small hole in the debris.

"What is it?"

"T-that's a power armour hoofprint," He pointed out. "A-and since our captor is Enclave, I bet what made this hole was an Enclave soldier in PX-02 or PX-03 Armour,"

I wrapped a wing around him and gave him a reassuring squeeze. "Hey, it'll be ok. Chances are if it was a power armoured pegasus that made this hole. I doubt his suit will have any more power. I don't think those vending machines were programmed to magic up Mana-Cores,"

My husband visibly relaxed a bit as his panicked breathing returned to normal. When news filtered into the Marejave about the Grand Pegasus Enclave's invasion of the main Equestrian Wasteland, he nearly had a heart-attack from how scared he got. He was constantly worrying about the Enclave coming into the Marejave, but he was more scared for our foals. To be fair, I was very scared for them too.

The mere thought of our foals upset and angered me. I glowered at nothing in particular as my thoughts drifted to our captor having left our foals without their parents. I miss them dearly and every second I spend here away from them makes my heart ache all the more.

"Hey, you ok?" Fruity asked as he gently shook me.

I blinked as I returned to the here and now. "Yeah, yeah I'm fine. Just thought of our kids being home alone,"

It was his turn to be supportive. He nuzzled my cheek affectionately as he said. "Hey, they have Nexus to look after them. Knowing him, when he realised we were missing he likely took them to the Alicorn Sanctuary where they'd be safe,"

"Yeah, you're right. But it still hurts to be away from them,"

"Yeah, I miss 'em too but there is nothing we can do about that right now," He said as he gestured to his collar.

I nodded grimly as I felt the collar around my own neck. "C'mon then, let's get a move on."

He nodded as we then walked through the hole in the wall and into what seemed to be another apartment. We cautiously walked through the holes as we made our way through the Villa. It would seem some of the apartments here were the homes of the medical staff for the clinic or the Maredre. We saw bit and pieces of personal effects such as lab coats and name badges hung up on wardrobes or laid out on beds or vanity desks.

Eventually we exited a hole that opened up onto another narrow street. To our left the road ended at a dead end and to our right the road looked to disappear. We approached the end of the road to our right and came to a large hexagonal shaped area. The road ended at a set of stairs going down into the hexagonal area. There was a large multi-story building in the centre. We could see another road going left across the space but unfortunately between it and us is a sea of the Red Cloud. The Cloud formed a thick blanket that reached up to the first step of the stairs.

"There is no way in tartarus I'm going down there," Fruity announced.

"Yeah, it would certainly be a bad idea." I agreed.

The building in the middle had a flat top and leading up to it was some scaffolding that formed a ramp. As I followed the ramp down with my eyes I then spotted a flimsy looking wood plank bridge connecting to the small shingled roof surrounding the first floor of the middle building. The other end of the bridge connected to another set of scaffolding just to our right a few feet away, but getting to that would require us to go into the Cloud and climb the ramp back out. Luckily for us we're both pegasi so we can just glide across.

"This red mist looks like its getting everywhere,"

I nodded while I looked out to the middle tier of the building and the roof just out of the Cloud.

"We gotta jump across," I said as I opened my wings and gave them a couple of flaps.

"Right."

We took a few steps back before running forward and jumped into the air. At the height of our jumps we snapped open our wings and glided across and landed on the shingles. Between the wall and the drop into the Cloud there wasn't a lot of room, so we had to tentatively walk around the middle tier until we came to the scaffolding ramp to the top.

As we crested the rim of the roof, we found that a short wall surrounded the roof. We stepped down onto the flat roof to find several crates and other bits and bobs of what used to be a camp. From what was left it was clear somepony used this space and left in a hurry.

"Hey, there's a holotape over here." Fruity gestured to a crate that still had a glowing lantern and a holotape beside it.

Curious I plucked the tape up with my left wing and sat on my hunches. I ejected the tape with Ekans's voice and then inserted the new tape and hit play. A voice not too dissimilar to the voice of our captor crackled out of my PipBuck's speakers.

"I'm alone now in this Celestia forsaken place.

Captain Steel Wing died yesterday… or was it night. Blast this eternal red darkness. The Captain had walked through a particularly thick concentration of this Red Cloud. When he came out his suit of PX-03 looked like it had aged by a century or two, but with his laboured breathing it was clear the suit's filtration system had failed and he had breathed in a lethal amount of the toxic cloud. Unfortunately I was not able to get him out of the suit to give him any first aid as his release system had corroded and seized shut and his medical injection system had also failed. He died soon after.

If this is found by GPE High Command, let it be known that Captain Steel Wing served with distinction up until the end."

There was a sound of some shuffling and then the sound of something wooden getting hit by something hard. Likely been struck by the pony talking.

"I still can't find Corporal Pinfeathers. How can you lose somepony in PX-02 stomping around?... I saw him land in the eastern region of this old world resort but I found no trace of him when I ventured over there while avoiding the crazies. This bloody place is a maze and whoever designed it needs to be dragged out onto the street and shot.

Radios are no good here either. Even though I know Corporal Pinfeathers is alive at the moment. I can't radio him or track him. Something in the air here, likely the Cloud, is jamming my signals back to Command and garbling up close range transmissions here.

I can't give up, lest I fall prey to the crazies or these Ghost Ponies or even the siren call of the Maredre. I won't die here and if I get out of this I'll make sure the GPE oblitorate this place.

Archimedes signing off."

"Archimedes?!" Fruity gasped in recognition. "He's behind this?!"

"You know him?"

"Not personally, but he was a controversial figure in the Enclave's science community,"

"What made him controversial?"

"He was one of the few pegasi pushing for us to return to the surface. Normally in the Enclave that could warrant being banished like other Dashites but he was top in his field in Arcane Radiology. He studied magical radiation and its effects which made him important enough that he was kept around,"

"Then what's he doing here?"

"Not got a scooby doo." He shrugged.

"Hmm, could it be him though? I mean he sounded a lot gruffer when he greeted us earlier than he did in this recording,"

"I dunno, never seen him or heard his voice till now. Hmm, don't those tape thingies have a time stamp on them?"

I checked the recording again and found it was dated almost two years ago which I voiced to my husband.

"Well considering the very air here seems to burn the throat. I'm not surprised he sounds like he swallowed some sandpaper,"

I had to agree, that did sound plausible and at least now we have a name to put to our captor.

"I suppose you're right. But let's get a move on. The sooner we get to that clinic the sooner we can find the other collared pony."

Fruity nodded his agreement and we jumped off the roof and glided down into the other street.

We followed the narrow cobblestone street until we came to a T-junction. On the corner there was a sign post and pointing down the road to our left was a sign for the clinic.

"It's just down here, great." I cheered.

"Why do I get the feeling we're about to have a bad day?"

I slowed my trot down to a more cautious pace as the feeling of foreboding filled me after hearing Fruity's words. While we slowly made our way down the road, I realised we hadn't run into or heard any Ghost Ponies here yet.

"I feel it too. It's too quiet here."

We came to another open area. This one circular and lined with arch covered sheltered walkways. On the opposite side we saw the road continue. Around the circumference of the open space we saw what used to be market or souvenir stalls in varied states of decay and their wares strewn over the floor. The most striking thing however, was the suit of rusty power armour standing in the middle of it all.

"Holy shit, that must be Captain Steel Wing,"

I nodded as we slowly got closer. According to the audio log, the Captain was wearing PX-03 power armour. It looked nothing like the armours worn by the Steel Rangers. It looked sleeker and less bulky and more advanced despite the rust. We got confirmation that it was the dead Captain as the chest and shoulder armour had the markings for the rank of Captain. The helmet looked more equine shaped and had two green glowing eye lenses that sent a chill down my endospine.

"Wait, is that smoke?" Fruity asked as he looked at the armour's head.

I focused on the snout and gasped when I noticed puffs of red mist coming out the armour's respirator. It was something we've seen on all Ghost Ponies so far which filled me with dread when I realised that he wasn't dead.

"He's still alive!" I exclaimed and stook a step back.

"Captain Steel Wing?" Fruity tentatively asked.

Suddenly the armoured head jerked up and turned to look at Fruity. He cried out in fright of the sudden movement and jumped back. The armour let out a muffled groan from the head and red mist began to seep out of all the joints.

My eyes widened in alarm as I realised what's happened. "Fruity, it's not him anymore, he's a Ghost Pony!"

"Regular Ghost Ponies are bad enough, but a power armoured one! That's just taking the mick."

The mutated pony let out a garbled moan through the helmet and began to sluggishly move. It was clear by the slow unresponsive movements that the suit was out of power, or so it seemed.

"It looks like he's out of juice." Fruity commented in relief as he walked backwards to stay out of its reach.

That sense of foreboding only grew after he said that and for good reason as a series of lights soon lit up around the armour suit's chest, shoulders and back.

"Oh no." I whimpered as my cybernetic senses picked up a Mana-Core power signature from the armour and it was slowly increasing. "Shit, Fruity, it still has power. He must have one of those Mana-Cores that recharges itself from the ambient magic around us,"

"If that's the case, we're fucked!" Fruity exclaimed fearfully. "We are so not equipped to deal with power armour,"

"C'mon Fruity, there has to something we can do,"

Fruity continued to keep his distance. "I don't think this Holorifle will affect PX-03 and our ballistic weapons won't make a dent. Unless… Whoa!" Fruity spread his wings and with a strong flap propelled himself to the other side of the market place as the armoured Ghost Pony lunged at him with surprising speed.

"What is it?" I shouted while I began to walk backwards to keep my distance from the mutant as it looked around to find a target.

"We destabilise the Mana-Core. It should activate a safety feature that'll eject the pilot or the core!"

"That's a very small target," I complained.

"Yeah I know, but thankfully you have SATS,"

"Ok," I conceded, he did have a point so I unslung my BAR.

"I'll distract him. When you have a clear shot, take it." Fruity flared his wings and grabbed his pistol by its mouth grip and took a shot. As expected the .357 round pinged harmlessly off the power armour. "Hey, asshole, over here!"

The power armoured Ghost Pony let out an angry moan as it turned to face him. It put its back to me and I could see the rusty release wheel on its back and just inside it I could see the top of the Mana-Core. That was one seriously small target to try and hit and there were plenty of things to get in the way as well.

"Yeah, that's right. Follow the pretty little pony." Fruity jerred to keep it focused on him.

I gulped nervously because if I didn't do this, that Ghost Pony could seriously hurt my husband or worse. With fear gripping my heart I slipped into SATS again and inwardly groaned as the chance to hit the core was less than fifteen percent. For the best chance to hit my target I toggled as many shots as my AP meter would allow and released the spell. As the magic of the Stable-Tec magical aid took effect I raised the BAR and fired two bursts of three rounds each. Sparks flew as the stronger rifle rounds pinged off the armour or struck the release wheel but none of them hit the intended target. However, this had the effect of changing the Ghost Pony's attention from Fruity to me.

"Eep!" I squeaked in alarm as the creature turned around to face me quickly. Fruity got batted aside by the armoured tail but thankfully was uninjured. The powered armoured mutant then reared up before it charged at me while flapping its decayed wings. With a scream I pumped my own wings and shot out of the way in a teal and golden orange blurr. What followed was a deafening crash that was then followed by the sound of splintering wood and crumbling masonry.

"Shit, are you alright?" Fruity panted out in concern after sprinting over to me.

"Yeah, yeah, I'm fine," I gasped while I tried to calm my racing heart. "I didn't expect him to zoom at me like that!"

"Yea I know, neither did I."

We turned to where the Ghost Pony had crashed and found he had plowed through the support column for two arches and crashed through the wall. A part of the floor and wall above where the column had been had also collapsed, forming a medium sized rubble pile. After ten years of living in the wasteland I have come to know how powerful power armour can be so I knew not to think the Ghost Pony was dead under that pile of rubble. Once that mutant recovered it would easily climb out and resume its attack.

"What I wouldn't give for a Bolo Grenade right about now," I heard Fruity mumble to himself.

"Or an AM Rifle with explosive rounds."

Fruity chuckled with a nod.

Our reprieve was short lived as the rubble shifted and the armoured Ghost Pony stood up like the debris wasn't even there.

Fruity sighed. "Here we go again." He pulled out his pistol again and fired a couple of rounds as he moved to put some distance between us. "Come get me you ugly budgie!"

I moved quickly behind a rotten market stall to get out of sight so as not to get its attention. "Please be careful, Fruity." I mumbled as I lifted my BAR to get ready.

Suddenly a cloud of dust burst from the rubble. Fruity swiftly dodged and fired another round that pinged off the armour.

"I got a dead grandmother that can move faster than you." He taunted.

The creature turned to face him, again putting its back to me while rearing up and spreading its wings. I took my chance and slipped into SATS. The percentage to hit the Mana-Core was marginally better in that position but it was still fairly low. Once I released the spell, the magic fired off another two bursts of three rounds. I cursed in irritation as again all six rounds missed their mark. Unfortunately however it immediately turned to face him while reared up and shot over to me. I gasped in shock as I was taken off guard by how fast it reacted and before I knew it, it was upon me and before I could mount any sort of defense it swung its armoured foreleg at me and struck me in the side. I cried out in pain as it launched me off my hooves and I then crashed into and through a support column.

I cried out in pain as my back smashed through the support column. I then crashed onto the paved floor, sliding on my left side before my back crashed into the wall behind me. I grunted from the impact as my whole body hurt. My HUD flashed red with a damage alert and highlighted my upper right foreleg and informed me of a slight bend to the endoskeleton and the hydraulic ram responsible for movement in my lower leg had been compromised and that movement in my leg had been reduced. It was a good thing I had my limbs upgraded during my recovery after my fight with Unit-1000 because that impact would have shattered my old plain steel leg. While I lay there withering in pain and my ears ringing I became aware of a wetness on my leg where I had been struck and something poking into my lower rib area. It would seem the hoof of the armoured Ghost Pony managed to connect with my armoured torso and bent the armour plate. It also left me with the feeling of bruised ribs despite not having any and the irritation of the bent plate poking into me. I groaned as I lifted my spinning head to assess the damage. Where I had been struck, the sleeve of my security armour was torn and a large gash had been ripped into my flesh that was slowly leaking blood, staining the yellow sleeve around the wound red. There was no rip or hole in my suit's abdomen where the hoof had hit me but I could see an indentation where the armoured plate had bent.

I soon became aware of the fight against the power armoured mutant still going on with the sounds of stomping hooves and frantic yells from my husband. With effort and blocking out my pain I rolled onto my stomach to get my hooves under me and pushed myself back up. I felt a twinge in my back from the impact with the wall and yelped with a fresh wave of pain and nearly collapsed back to the floor.

"Shit, this guy's getting faster!" Fruity yelped as he dodge the speedy creature.

I moaned in pain as I picked myself back up. As I stood I found that my right foreleg now refused to straighten out because of the damage. Thankfully my auto-repair system deemed it an emergency which overrode the limitation Archimedes put on me but it would still take a few hours to fix.

There was a sudden crash and the sound of more structural collapse.

"You may be fast but you're as thick as brahminn shit!"

Realising my husband wouldn't be able to handle this alone I looked around for my rifle. I found it half buried in the remains of the pillar I crashed through and pulled it free with my tail. Thankfully the weapon was undamage beit a little dusty now. My ears twitched as the ringing subsided and I heard the sound of shifting debris and Fruity's taunting. I groaned painfully as I limped my way over to a market stall that once sold souvenir snow globes that was beside the pillar but thankfully avoided being damaged. I sat behind it and rested the BAR on it to better steady the weapon while I tried to sight up a target.

Fruity briefly locked eyes with me and visibly brightened up with relief to know I was ok but the moment was short lived as the Ghost Pony flew out the hole it had just made. Fruity retreated to the far side of the marketplace, forcing the creature to ground to a halt in the centre. It turned to face him and immediately reared up in preparation to charge at him again. I took that moment to slide back into SATS and toggled one burst as my AP hadn't recovered enough for two.

"Fucking hit it." I grumbled as I released the spell. The BAR barked loudly as it fired the three round burst. The first round punched into the inner housing of the release wheel. The second round went wide and skimmed against the side armour, doing nothing. Just as I was about to fear all three rounds would miss again, the last and final bullet struck the Mana-Core dead centre.

"Hah, bullseye!" I cheered.

The effect was immediate as the armour locked up. Several plates shifted slightly but nothing else happened, then the Mana-Core, which began to hiss and glow brightly, rotated ninety degrees, then shuddered and didn't move after that.

"Warning, Ejection system malfunction… Warning, Core ejection malfunction!" I heard muffled from the armour.

"You did it!" Fruity cheered happily as he rushed over to me. He hugged me so tightly that it made me moan painfully. He released me with an apologetic smile before his face fell in thought. "Wait, we just destabilised a Mana-Core…" His eyes then went wide with realisation and panic. "Mana-Cores explode!"

"We need to run!"

"No, we need to fly, and fast. Can you still use your wings?!"

I groaned in pain but thankfully my wings had got through the ordeal undamaged apart from my left wing having lost a few feathers after being ground across the floor. I gave them a few test flaps and the movement didn't bring any discomfort so I pumped faster to lift off the floor. Fruity sighed with relief as he watched me rise to a hover.

"Thank hoofness, now FLY!" He yelled before zipping off down the road towards the clinic.

I shot off after him, my hair turning that two tone golden yellow and orange as I poured everything I had into catching up with him and to get away from the imminent danger. I was by his side within a few seconds. The streets were whizzing by at a blur as we raced to get as far from the destablisied Mana-Core as possible. Just as the clinic came into view after taking a left turn there was a brilliant flash followed by a tremendous boom from behind us.

We skidded to a halt as we closed in on the Clinic and turned around. A large mushroom cloud rose up from the market place we fled from. Moments later there was a heavy blast of wind from the shockwave which nearly pushed us into the wall behind us and then the rumbling of the ground. The sound of many structures could be heard collapsing in the distance.

"Phew, glad that's over." I sighed in relief as I sat on my haunches and sagged from the stress of it. Suddenly I was then wrapped up in a tight embrace again and two purple feathered wings closed around me. "Ack! Fruity?"

He buried his head into the crook of my neck and whimpered. "I thought I lost you for a moment back there," He sniffled.

I smiled lovingly as I raised my good foreleg and hugged him back while nuzzling him affectionately. "Hey, I'm a lot more durable than I used to be and besides, if I had died, you would have followed,"

Fruity cringed at the reminder but nodded as he pulled his head back to look at me. His eyes were wet with tears and his cheeks slightly matted. "I know, but seeing you get punted across the marketplace and through that pillar really scared the hell out of me, and it was made worse because that asshole wouldn't let me near you,"

I smiled with adoration. "Oh come here you big soft ass!" I said as I pulled him in for a passionate kiss. As our lips met he let out an appreciative moan and squeezed me tightly. After a few moments we pulled apart and thankfully, he looked miles better. "Better?"

"Better." He smiled and we untangled ourselves from our embrace.

With the immediate danger passed we could relax a little. I groaned in pain as I shifted my right foreleg as the damage to my endoskelton there made it feel almost like a broken leg.

"Is it bad?" Fruity asked full of concern again.

"It's not broken thankfully, but it's making me feel like I broke a bone,"

"That gash looks pretty nasty too," He pointed out as he began to rummage in his pockets for something.

I nodded. With a grunt of pain I lifted my damaged leg a little higher so I could use my wing to pop open the pouch containing the bent armour plate and pulled it out.

"I need to beat this panel back into shape so it's not poking me in the ribs." I mumbled out loud as I plonked the bent piece of armour on the floor. I then grabbed my BAR and held it vertically. I was about to use the butt of my gun to bash the panel and stopped myself. I quickly flicked on the safety before I began banging the stock against the armour.

"Hah, found it!" Fruity proclaimed.

"Found what?"

He smiled triumphantly as he held a roll of tape in his wing. "Gaffer Tape!"

My brow rose at that. "What's that for?"

He simply walked over to me and pulled the grey tape then stuck one end to my ripped sleeve and then used his wings to work the tape around my leg. I hissed with pain as he pulled it tight around the rip, pulling the flesh back into its proper place as well. After he did a couple of passes he then used his Lunarite Knife to cut it then put the tape back into his pocket.

"There, that should hold for now,"

"Thanks, though I'm sure you just cut off the circulation in my leg," I couldn't help but snark.

He laughed. "That means I did my job right," He stuck his tongue out with a cheeky grin. "Anyway, let's hurry and pick up those meds." He said as he nodded to the clinic's front door.

I checked my armour plate. It was more or less back to shape so I slipped it back into place and joined my husband by the door. With a nod we entered the clinic building.

We stepped into what used to be a typical waiting room/lobby. The wall to our left was covered in medical posters and notice boards. The right side of the room had multiple sets of chairs set out for ponies to sit on while they waited to be seen by a doctor. The far wall had a large wooden horseshoe shaped desk with a notice board and a large television screen mounted on the wall behind it.

I shuddered as memories of unpleasant times filled my head. Being here brought up a bad sense of nostalgia.

"Hey, you alright?" Fruity asked in concern as he draped a supportive wing over my shoulders.

I smiled and leaned against him softly, greatful for the support. "Yeah I'm ok. Just bad memories of all the times I've been in waiting rooms like this,"

"Ah, from your prewar life?"

I nodded.

He squeezed me softly and I basked in his warmth for a moment, letting his reassuring presence chase those memories away.

"Thank you for that honey, I feel better now,"

He smiled that goofy grin of his. "Heh, anytime love."

I didn't take one step into the clinic before there was an ear piercing screech from my PipBuck which made me jump with a frightened squark.

"Picking up multiple emitter frequencies at your location. Watch out for security holograms! Stay out of their line sight, you can't fight them. Destroy their emitters or turn them off at their source."

"Ah you did it again you fucktard," I growled in annoyance while I held a hoof to my chest to calm my racing heart.

"He scared the shit out of me too."

We took a moment to recover from our jump scare. In that time I took the chance to look around the lobby properly. I looked more closely at the public noticeboard and noticed a few posters for some of the acts that were to appear at the Maredre during the gala. Some of these included Sierra Domino, Equestria's greatest pegasus magician and Splendore D'oro, the classical singing Bitalian zebra.

"Oh wow," I proclaimed with some excitement. "I know those acts,"

"Hmm?"

I pointed to the posters.

"Oh, have you seen them before?"

I nodded as some fond memories arose and chasted my previous gloom away. "Yeah! I saw a show or two live when I was well enough. Sierra Domino was amazing with her magic acts, it was like she could literally do magic and Splendore D'oro had an amazingly sweet singing voice,"

"Wait, she's a zebra? How'd she even get a gig?"

"Err, I don't know. Perhaps being from Bitaly and having an amber coloured coat with cream stripes was enough of a difference to stop her getting associated with the Zebrican zebras,"

He shrugged. "Eh, I'll buy it."

Something else I noticed when I looked around was the lack of any sign of a panic. There were no personal belongings scattered about, the furniture was in its proper place and no signs of any damage that wasn't recent. I wonder if the Maredre had a fallout shelter built into it. It might explain why there isn't any scenes of a panicked stampede in here and come to think about, all around the Villa.

"Ok, where should we start?" Fruity asked as he stood by the reception desk and was looking back and forth between two wall plaques next to a door in both corners.

I approached him and looked at each plaque. The one by the door in the back wall to the left of the desk read "Offices and Consultation Rooms" and the plaque by the door on the wall to the right of the desk read "Surgery".

"Let's check the Offices first."

Fruity nodded and we made our way through the left side door. The door lead us to a staircase that lead up to the first floor and the offices. At the top of the stairs we found one of those wall mounted terminals with the foldout keyboard next to the door. Fruity opened the door and let out a surprised squeak and hid back behind the wall.

"What is it?"

"One of those glowing blue holograms but looks to be dressed in the armour we're wearing, complete with helmet too."

I slowly edged towards the door frame while Fruity moved behind me to give me room. I flattened myself against the wall and slowly peeked out enough to look with one eye. I saw a long corridor with multiple doors on either side. I saw some weird glowing thing on the wall half way down and walking down the corridor was the hologram that Fruity saw.

"Do you see it?"

"I see it."

The hologram reached the end of the corridor and stopped. It stayed there for a few seconds and then did a one eighty degree turn on the spot and began to walk back. While it was slowly walking up the corridor I looked at the nearest doors on either side. The closest door was on the right and it was open but I couldn't tell about the first door on the left from here. While I was checking out the doors I had subconsciously stuck my head out and it wasn't until I heard an electronic buzz that I looked at the hologram and realised it could see me. The hologram had gone from a peaceful blue to a warning amber colour and stood stock stiff, I also noticed a unicorn horn protruding out the top of the helmet. With a squeak I quickly retreated behind the wall.

"I think it saw me,"

"Ah shit, what are we supposed to do now?"

"Uh, Archimedes said we can't fight them. We have to disable their emitters or turn them off from their source,"

"Ok, what do the emitters look like?"

"Um, I don't know,"

"Ok, where's the source?"

"Um, I don't know, a security terminal somewhere, maybe?"

"Great." Fruity sighed. He then raised his head and cocked a brow in confusion. "If it saw you, then where is it?"

I understood my husband's confusion because I too was confused with how it hadn't come looking for me. I cautiously inched my head back around the doorframe to see it and it had turned back to blue and was walking back up the corridor.

"It's walking away,"

"It's walking away?"

"Yeah, um, perhaps it works on visual sight only and if it loses sight of you it disengages,"

"Well if that's the case, we can work with that."

I nodded. "Next time it passes, you run to the first door on the right. It's open so run straight in."

Fruity nodded his agreement. We gathered by the door and Fruity got ready to run. I leaned out ever so slightly to see the hologram. It was heading back down towards us.

"Ok Fruity, it's coming. Get ready."

He nodded and flared his wings in preparation. I ducked back into cover so it wouldn't detect me. I waited for a minute before I peeked back out. The hologram had just finished its turn to go back up the corridor.

"Ok Fruity…" I watched as it passed the glowing knobbly thing on the wall. "...Go!"

He beat his wings and rushed out into the corridor before he then threw himself into the first open door. The hologram buzzed and whirred as it spun around, scanning the hallway.

"Shit!" I cursed as I ducked back behind cover. "Ok, so it can hear as well." I muttered to myself. I kept and ear swiveled to the open door as I listened out for the hologram to make that buzzing sound again. It felt like an eternity before I heard the buzz and when I peeked back out the hologram had returned to its blue hue and resumed walking up the corridor. I let out a breath I didn't realise I was holding and sighed in relief. I waited until the hologram had made it to the other end before I sprinted for the open door on the right. I winced as my hooves heavily thumped the floor as I ran that echoed loudly down the quiet corridor. Curse my cybernetic weight. The hologram buzzed, turned amber and spun around. I looked directly at its blank visor covered face and I felt like we made eye contact. The hologram buzzed again and this time it turned a threatening red with the tip of its horn aglow. A moment after it turned red I barrelled through the door. "Hide!" I screeched as I dove behind a decorative oak desk. Fruity quickly hunkered down behind the desk as well.

"What happened?!"

"It saw me and turned red."

"Red's never good."

We made ourselves as small as possible as we hid behind the desk. We didn't want any part of us sticking out, so we snuggled up as close to each other as possible. Fruity slowly peeked over the top of the desk to see the door.

"Shit, there it is." Fruity whispered as he moved his head to the side so the computer monitor on the desk hid him from view. I noticed the red glow light up the room from my position. Neither of us dared to move or make a sound whatsoever in fear of alerting the hologram. It stayed in the doorway much longer than it did when it was amber but eventually it buzzed and shifted hues.

"Thank Faust," Fruity sighed with relief when it turned blue and walked away again.

"Ok, that was stressful," I whined.

"We should really find out what to do about those. There is likely going to be more we'll have to deal with later."

I nodded in agreement as I stood back up and looked around. We were in an office. It had a settee against the wall by the door, a large filing cabinet against another wall, a bookcase on another and finally the desk in the middle. There was clearly nothing of note in this office, it was just a simple office room with a couple of posters related to the Maredre on the walls. Fruity rooted around in the desk drawers while I woke up the computer while the coast was clear. The computer was thankfully not locked and reloaded the last thing the original user was working on before he left. It looked to be a report about a patient. I was about to dismiss it until I noticed who's name was on it.

"I had an unfortunate encounter with Sierra Domino today. She came in today complaining of a sore throat that she had been suffering from on and off for the past couple of weeks.

Ms Domino had come in brash as always. Got a little uppity with our receptionist when she asked what the problem was. I had just finished a check up with a patient suffering from that new disease, Rust Lung they call it, when Ms Domino stormed up to me. It was quite the intimidating experience having that giant of a pegasus storm up to me. I'm fairly tall for a unicorn but she stood a full head higher than me. Since I had just finished with a patient and was free, I offered to give Ms Domino a check up.

At first she seemed irritated as she said it was just a sore throat and all she needed was either a pack of Lockets or other throat soothers. I voiced my concern as I had overheard her complaining to our receptionist and knew she had suffered for a couple weeks with it and explained that there is a chance that it maybe more serious due to the time frame. She reluctantly agreed and I escorted her to my office.

Once situated in my office I asked the routine questions. Ms Domino rather irritably supplied her details and I was able to look up her medical file. It would seem that she had a history of throat problems in her adult life ever since she became a performer. It sounds like she overworked her voice again but due to how long she has had this sore throat, I felt it would be best to have a look, just to be safe.

Ms Domino initially refused an examination, again reiterating that all she needed was some throat soothers. I explained my concern to which afterwards she reluctantly agreed. Examination of her throat looked to be consistent with previous reports and thus I gave her a prescription for the usual medication she has had previously. (Side note: Make an opticians appointment because I thought I saw a forked tongue in her mouth upon first inspection.)

She snatched the predcription slip out of my magic and left without so much as a thank you.

Dr Summer Care

Addition: Three days after my encounter with Ms Domino I had a second run in with the pegasus mare. To my surprise she seemed like an entirely different pony because she was very considerate and polite to me and apologised in regards to her behaviour the other day. She explained she had been quite stressed out that day, what with working double time in preparation for her Gala Event show and suffering that sore throat before she was to perform. It had put her into a very bad mood. Well, to be fair, I think I would be a little grouchy myself if I was in her horseshoes. She even gave me a bottle of whiskey as part of her apology. I guess I know what I'm doing tonight…"

"Huh, guess the evacuation call came in there." I muttered to myself since Dr Summer Care's report ended mid sentence.

Fruity pulled his head back in from the door. "Hey Crys," He said, getting my attention.

"Yeah?"

"You can use your cybernetic eyes to see power signatures, yeah?"

I nodded and tilted my head slightly with a raised eyebrow, wondering what my husband was getting at.

"I mean, those hologram emitters must use a lot of power to project their holograms. Maybe you'd be able to see them."

I blinked in surprise at my husband's suggestion. "Huh, I would never have thought of that. Good idea, Fruity."

He smiled and puffed out his chest at the praise.

I blinked my eyes as I triggered my synthetic vision for detecting power signatures. When I opened my eyes again and looked around I gasped in surprise at what I could see.

"What is it?"

"Wow, the whole clinic is lit up like a Hearth's Warming Tree. I can see power lines still supplying power to the whole building, it's almost like there been no structural degeneration here at all, which is surprising considering the state of the rest of the Villa,"

"Huh, at least they had their priorities right when building the Clinic."

I nodded in agreement.

"Do you see anything that could be an emitter?"

I looked around for a bid, following glowing lines in the walls and floors. I could see a couple of things that were glowing brightly. One of them was that glowing knobbly thing we saw in the hallway, there was another one exactly the same downstairs and there was another thing, much larger than the other two things that was drawing in a lot of power as well but it was much too big to be an emitter.

"That knobbly thing outside in the hall is drawing a lot of power, it could be an emitter and there is another one downstairs,"

"Alright then, let's turn it off."

Fruity leaned out the door to check where the hologram was then rushed out the door.

"Fruity!" I yelled after him as I rushed to the door.

He ran up the glowing device on the wall and tapped his hoof on the glowing face of the device. The second his hoof touched it, the hologram buzzed, turned red immediately and spun around.

"Fruity, that must be the emitter with how the hologram reacted, now get back in here before it vapourises you!" I screamed fearfully.

"Whoa!" Fruity shrieked as a beam of destructive magic hit the wall near his head, making him duck his head instinctively. Acting quickly, he grabbed his Police Pistol by its barrel with a hoof and swung it with all his might. The mouthgrip smashed into the glowing surface of the knobbly wall device and it exploded in a shower of sparks. The hologram flashed a couple of times before it winked out of existence.

Seeing the hologram fade away I rushed out into the corridor and embraced my husband in a bone crushing hug. "You stupid, stupid stallion. Don't you ever do that again!" I cried.

"Ack, can't breathe." Fruity gasped.

Suddenly a red glow caught my attention coming from the stairwell at the far end of the hall. "Shit, another one!" I practically booted the office door open beside us and threw my husband inside before I slammed the door shut behind us. "Quick, hide behind the desk!"

We wasted no time in diving behind the desk for cover. I leaned out enough so I could see the door and gulped with nervousness as the red glow could be seen through the bottom of the door. We waited with baited breath as the red glow of the other hologram lingered by the door for what felt like an eternity before it turned to amber and then to blue before the glow retreated away. Seeing the glow fade away completely from under the door I let out a sigh of relief before I turned to my relieved husband and promptly gave him a slap upside the head with my wing.

"Ow! Ok, sorry. I won't do it again,"

"Please think before you leap again. We might not be so lucky next time." I warned.

After we looted the office for anything of value, which turned out to be just a hoofful of chips we opened the door cautiously and stuck our heads out to check if the coast was clear. Thankfully the corridor was empty apart from the broken sparking emitter. We remained cautious as we moved further up and into the other offices. All the offices were basically identical to each other apart from the ones used for consultations as those ones had several posters on the walls for various healthcare related things along with contact information for them. We didn't find much in terms of anything of use, just mostly Sierra Maredre Chips and some discarded miscellaneous items that would be of no use to us.

When we came to the end of the corridor with the second stairwell we decided to go back the way we came since the other hologram had come up those stairs earlier. As we passed into the first stairwell I noticed the terminal again and out of curiosity I pulled down the keyboard and pressed a key to wake it up.

"Hologram Security Terminal." Was the first thing that came up on the screen and I smacked my face into my hoof hard.

"You gotta be kidding me." Fruity groaned as he read the text on the screen

When the terminal finished loading it had two options. Hologram 1 and 2. Unsure which was which I selected Hologram 1 and was met with an error message.

"Error! Emitter not responding."

With that I then selected Hologram 2. Two more options appeared on the screen.

"1. Hologram Behaviour…
2. Hologram Patrol Routes…"

"Hmm, let's see."

I selected the patrol routes option. The screen flickered as it loaded another set of options.

"1. Set for 1sr Floor Patrol…
2. Set for Ground Floor Patrol… 'Active'"

"That's great. If we set the downstairs hologram to patrol upstairs. We'll be free to explore downstairs."

I nodded to my husband's statement and switched the hologram's patrol route. The 'Active' moved from the ground floor option to the first floor. We looked into the corridor we just left, just in time to see the hologram step out from the other stairwell. With a nod of satisfaction we descended the stairs and crossed the lobby and into the 'Surgery'.

As we now know what the emitters look like we immediately noticed it on the wall halfway up the corridor. Fruity wasted no time in whipping out his pistol and sending a round through its casing. Like the one upstairs, it exploded in a shower of sparks.

"Now we definitely don't have to worry about those old world ghosts,"

I smiled. "Yeah, good job honey."

The hallway was as long as the upstairs but had another corridor branch off on the left close to where we came in. The walls and floors in the surgery area felt more sterile and were tiled. There was a sign hanging from the ceiling before the other hallway that read "Autodoc Ward". I curiously looked down the other corridor and took note of three doors lining one wall before it branched off to the left where there were likely more rooms.

"Wow, there must have been some money sunk into this place. Autodocs were super expensive." I whistled. My ears twitched as I realised I could hear that same garbled noise from a radio. "Oh, not more radios." I whined. It thankfully didn't take long to find the source of the noise. On the far wall where the hallway turns left in the Autodoc ward I noticed a small white speaker. It sparked occasionally with a flickering light below the speaker.

"I got this." Fruity proclaimed as he aimed his pistol at the speaker and fired. The small speaker exploded and everything went quiet.

The first room we checked was the first door on our right after entering the Surgery. It must have been a recovery room of sorts as there were several beds on either side and the walls were painted a pleasant sky blue colour and there were multiple posters wishing ponies a 'speedy recovery', or 'get well soon' were dotted about. However it felt more like a morgue as most of the beds were occupied with headless corpses and long since dried stains of blood were everywhere.

"Uh, well, um, I guess he's not kidding about these collars?" I gulped fearfully.

Fruity felt at his neck with a worried look on his face. "Uh, yeah."

After the somber thought passed we walked deeper into the room. We found quite a few more chips and some drugs on some of the wheeled trolleys and on some of the corpses. The drugs were mainly things like Med-X and Rad-X, not very helpful things for us.

"What's this?" Fruity suddenly asked.

I turned around and found him beside an empty bed and unfolding a black armour suit of some kind on it. I walked over to have a look myself. It was mainly a black undersuit with black armour pieces on the chest and limbs. The most surprising thing is that my PipBuck labeled the armour as an "Assassin Suit".

"An Assassin Suit? Who could've worn this?"

"I'm guessing a merc." Fruity supplied before he turned to me. "Can you're PipBuck check this thing's durability?"

"Uh, I think so?" I held out my PipBuck and grabbed the suit with a wing. The device flashed and I scrolled to my apparel tab to find the suit added to my inventory. In its current condition it had a reasonably good durability but my PipBuck showed it couldn't be repaired with armour I'm currently wearing. It would seem my current armour would be better in the long run as it seemed various standard security and military armours had compatible components and here at the Maredre it was likely we'd find more suits of security armour to repair our own with.

"It's decent but if it got damaged here we wouldn't have the resources to repair it with,"

"Ah, ok then, best to leave it."

I nodded in agreement. We took another moment to see if we missed anything and once satisfied we left the makeshift morgue.

There were three more rooms to check. Two of them turned out to be standard for a local doctor's surgery and the last one was designed to give a pony near hospital levels of care with equipment and tools meant for some types of surgery.

"We could make a fortune selling some of this stuff," Fruity idly commented.

"I doubt we'll be able to take any of this stuff though,"

Fruity deflated slightly. "I guess you're right."

Out of the three rooms we only found two Stimpacks and considering how dangerous this place is, what with the Cloud and Ghost Ponies, we'd need a lot more.

There was only one door left in the corridor. It wasn't as big as a standard door, just as tall but half as wide. There was a plaque on the door that read as "Storage".

"Please be something in here." I muttered to myself.

I grasped the handle with my feathers and pulled. Instead of the door opening on a hinge, the whole thing pulled away from the frame attached to a white painted rack of shelves. The rack of shelves were stocked full of old medical drugs and thankfully, there was a nice stock of stims.

"Nice, ten Stimpacks." Fruity said as he counted them, then divided them up between us. I accepted the five he gave me with a grateful smile while I browsed what else sat on the shelves. I soon found a white cardboard box that wasn't marked. Upon opening it to check the contents I smiled with what I found.

"Here you go honey, we might need these'" I said as I hoofed over two packets of glowing orange Rad-Away while I pocketed two for myself.

"Great thanks."

We headed back towards the lobby now we were satisfied with our medical supplies, but stopped when we reached the hallway to the Autodoc Ward. Our ears twitched and swiveled about as a strange noise echoed up from the depths of the ward.

"Do you hear that?" I asked as I turned into the hallway with my ears both turned forward.

"Yeah, sounds like a dentist drill,"

Suddenly the sound of something thrashing about inside a confined space followed the drill.

"There's somepony down there!"

We both broke into a run. We followed the corridor as it took a left turn and skidded to a stop at the end by a door that had a big hole in it. The noise of the drill came again, much louder now, and I shoved the door open. Dominating the small room stood a huge cylindrical object. The base flashed with blue light while a terminal on the side beside what looked like a door flickered. To my surprise the door of the autodoc had the insignia of Starlight Industries on it.

"I didn't know Starlight Industries made autodocs." I said to myself out loud.

"Um, what do we do? Should we open it?"

I cringed at the sound of whoever was in there thrashing again. "I… I dunno. We might do more harm than good if we interrupt it mid operation,"

Fruity shuddered as he had a bad mental image pop into his head. "Yeah, good point."

As soon as Fruity finished speaking there was a ping like you'd hear from a microwave and the curved door of the autodoc slid open with a woosh. The door revealed a black striped zebra mare with numerous scars on her body and face. As the mechanical arms with various medical equipment retracted the mare opened her amber eyes and sprung out of the autodoc, slugging my husband in the face at the same time.

"Ow, fuck!" Fruity cried out as he staggered back.

The scarred zebra turned to look at us and then narrowed her eyes and dropped into a combative stance.

I sat on my hunches and waved my hooves disarmingly. "Woah hey, we're not your enemy,"

Fruity groaned as he rubbed his sore cheek. "Ow yeah, nice right hook by the way."

The mare's eyes seemed to look us up and down as she noticed our collars and she tilted her head in confusion.

"Let's just say we're in this against our will."

She opened her mouth and her lips moved like she was about to say something but cringed in pain. She tried again but had the same painful result and then brought a hoof up to her neck. She rubbed at her neck until her hoof touched and traced an angry red scar across her neck that looked very fresh. As she felt this scar her eyes widened considerably with shock and fear before her fearful eyes turned to look at the autodoc and she recoiled while pointing at it. Seeing that she couldn't speak and seeing how fresh that scar on her neck was I came to an assumption.

"It did something to your voice box?"

The zebra cringed as she attempted to speak again but gave up as it seemed to cause her great pain. She then nodded as for the moment, it was the only thing we had to go off. It was then that the zebra mare let out a silent gasp and pointed a hoof at me. I raised an eyebrow and turned to my husband in confusion. He simply shrugged. The mare then tapped the floor with her hoof to get our attention and once we were looking at her again she turned her head so we could see the left side of her face and gestured to the three long scars that ran from the top of her head and ear, down over her eye and to the bottom of her cheek.

"Holy shit!" Fruity gasped as realisation struck.

It was at that moment that I too recognised the mare in front of us. "Myrrah!?" I cried out in surprise. "What the fuck are you doing here?"

Myrrah shrugged her shoulders and shook her head, telling us she didn't know. Sounds familiar.

"Oh, Solaris is gonna be pissed when she finds out,"

I nodded in agreement to my husband's statement. "Yeah, you got that right."

Myrrah is one of three surviving members of the Illustrious Moon Tribe. She had become their leader after the previous chief was defeated and their aircraft carrier home burned down. She lead the survivours into the main Equestrian Wasteland for a new start but constantly ran into trouble. It wasn't until a couple of years ago when Solaris found what remained of the tribe in a losing battle against some of the wasteland's monsters and saved them. Ever since then Myrrah and the other survivours pledged their allegiance to Solaris. We met the surviving tribe members a couple of times during some visits to Sparkle World.

Myrrah pointed at us and then to the floor trying to ask us the same question.

"Good question, we wanted to come here, but not just yet, and not like this" I began.

"Yeah, we went to an abandoned bunker looking for some directions to the Maredre, but it was boobietrapped and gassed us. Next thing we know, we're here."

Myrrah's eyes grew wide with shock as she listened. She gestured something hitting her in the face by waving a hoof at her head and then pretending to fall over.

"Same shit happened to you?" Fruity asked with surprise. She nodded. "Well shit, guess we can't call that old guy from the bar a crackpot now huh?"

"If the same thing that happened to us, happened to Myrrah, then he might be right about anywhere that holds information on the Maredre being traps." I agreed. I then turned back to the other zebra. "Ok, so long story short. An Enclave Pegasus that we think is called Archimedes wants us to trigger the Maredre's opening event. We could use all the help we can get and hopefully after we do what he wants we can work together to get out of this mess. So will you help us?"

She nodded as she stood up.

"Ok, great and thank you,"

She smiled softly.

"Oh hey, there's a suit of armour in the other room that might be of good use to you."

She raised an eyebrow.

"Ok Fruity, why don't you go get it while I help her to the lobby."

He nodded as he got up and then left the room to fulfill his task.

"Are you ok to walk?"

Myrrah got up and trotted around in circles for a few seconds to which she nodded. Satisfied that she could walk unassisted, I lead her out of the autodoc room and through the corridors back into the lobby where Fruity was already waiting for us.

"Here you go," He said as he hoofed over the black Assassin Armour to Myrrah.

The mare held it up so it could unfold and got a good look at it. Her eyes shone with recognition as she took in the suit's details.

"Was this yours?"

She shook her head as she then began to slip into the suit. The suit fit her fairly well, if a smidge tight around the flank. Considering the name of the suit and its intended purpose, I suppose it had to be a little tight on the wearer. Myrrah smiled in satisfaction as she looked herself over and nodded.

"Ok, let's rejoin Ekans at the fountain. The sooner we do that, the sooner we can find the other collared pony and get out of this hell hole."

Author's Note:

I have an editor again but currently real life issues mean they can't do much for the moment. If anyone else is willing to edit my story I would greatly appreciate the help.

Bonus images.

Unarmoured Myrrah

Armoured Myrrah (Under the Red Cloud)

Comments ( 5 )

I focused on the snout and gasped when I noticed puffs of red mist coming out the armour's respirator. It was something we've seen on all Ghost Ponies so far which filled me with dread when I realised that he wasn't dead.

Well that's not good :twilightoops:

Ms Domino initially refused an examination, again reiterating that all she needed was some throat soothers. I explained my concern to which afterwards she reluctantly agreed. Examination of her throat looked to be consistent with previous reports and thus I gave her a prescription for the usual medication she has had previously. (Side note: Make an opticians appointment because I thought I saw a forked tongue in her mouth upon first inspection.)

Hmmm, a changeling in disguise..... wonder if that is who our mystery observer is :trixieshiftright:

The way the author beautifully describes Fruity's emotional journey as she reads those old letters is absolutely enchanting. You can feel her renewed sense of hope and determination to uncover the truth about her mother. It's incredibly atmospheric, reminiscent of the feelings I used to have while playing Fallout during those long evenings. Though now, I've shifted my focus to gambling with no deposit casino bonuses in Finland, which are easy to find at https://casino358.com/casino-bonukset/ilman-talletusta/. Still, reading this story made me want to experience those same emotions again and revisit Fallout. The intrigue and tension build up perfectly, leaving you eager to turn the page and find out what happens next. And the question of whether they can survive the dangers of Maredre or succumb to the allure of the Casino adds even more complexity to the plot.

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