• Published 18th Jan 2013
  • 1,123 Views, 36 Comments

Ponyville Bouquet - Cascadejackal

Experimental technology, repairs made under fire and a less-than-focused mare hitting the big red button. What could go wrong? Join the cast of Wasteland Bouquet as they find themselves, quite literally, living in the past.

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Chapter 2: A New World?



A slow, steady beeping woke me up, cutting through the fog in my head like an alarm. With a weak groan, I tried to get my lethargic, unresponsive body to move, only succeeding in turning my head towards the sound. "Shot-" I coughed; my mouth was drier than sun-baked sand and it tasted like I'd been eating rancid meat. "Shot Glass... Turn that damn thing off..." There was no answer, so I forced my eyes open, the splitting headache and the waves of nausea meaning I was in no mood to be woken up like this. Celestia, what a hangover...

"Isabella Shot Glass Greywing... What have I told you about-"

I had to blink a couple of times to make sure I wasn't seeing things. Instead of scolding my little sister for sneaking into my room again and forgetting to turn off the alarm on her pipbuck, I'd been hoarsly whispering at a beeping machine, little lights winking at me in response.

What the hell... Where am I? Where are the girls?

My head was throbbing, but I definitely remembered being with them before... before...

Before that light had damn-near blinded me, and I'd woken up... wherever this place was.

With a groan I tried to move, but my sweat-soaked body was too weak to respond, my gut twisting horribly, and I realised what was wrong with me.

Radiation sickness.

Coughing, I tried to reach my belt, desperately grasping for one of the packets of Rad-Away I always carried, but failed, my muscles limp and weak. Moments later, I heard a door open and a white mare stepped into my view, her eyes wide. My first thought was that it was Rose, but this was a pink maned earth pony with a little white hat, not my favorite unicorn.

She stared at me with wide eyes before turning back to where I assumed the door was, out of my limited view. "Doctor! He's awake!"

Another pony came in, this one a male unicorn in a white coat. I coughed and he came beside my bed, looking deeply concerned.

"Where-" Another coughing fit, and the foul taste grew stronger.

"Easy now." The doctor frowned. "You're in the hospital, but you're very sick, so try not to move.


"Hmm?" The doc leaned closer. My was voice too low and hoarse for him to hear me properly, I guess.

"My belt... Rad-away... in the pouches..." Talking was a real strain, and the room was starting to spin. "Hurry..."

The doctor turned back to the nurse and started to speak, but everything was muffled as the world faded to black.


The beeping was the first thing I was aware of... again.

This time, though, my first words weren't directed at the irritating machine. Instead, when I opened my eyes, I saw the doctor standing beside an IV stand, several pouches of the life-saving orange concoction hanging from it, all but one of them empty. The last was half-drained, a line leading from it to what I assumed was the spot of pain in my arm.

"Doc..." I coughed, but it wasn't as bad as the last time. I managed to work up some saliva, moistening my mouth as the doctor turned to me, looking surprised.

"You're... awake? But I thought... Your body, it was..."

"Failing? I know." I interrupted him, swallowing and giving my head a small shake as I gingerly sat up, the room spinning. Celestia, why couldn't I just have had the hangover from Tartatus? "You act like you've never seen a case of radiation poisoning before..."

"Radiation poisoning?" He looked confused.

Now it was my turn to be confused. "You're a doctor... How can you not-" A coughing fit cut me off, sharp pains tearing through my chest, and I waved my claw at the doctor urgently. "Belt! Now!"

Leaning away from my claws (maybe I shouldn't have waved them in his face), he levitated my belt from a chair in the corner and into my reach. I grabbed it, noticing that my knife was missing, and yanked out a healing potion, yanking the stopper out and downing the wonderful liquid, sighing with relief at the feeling of whatever was messed up in my chest patched itself together.

"Thanks..." I took a deep breath, holding it for a moment to make sure I wasn't going to start coughing again, and let it out slowly. The doctor was staring at the empty vial curiously, and I took the chance to look around the room, getting my first proper look at what was apparently the inside of a hospital in whatever town Lily's little brain had thought was safe.

The first thing I noticed was that it was clean, cleaner than anywhere I'd ever been. The usual grime was absent from the the walls, the lights seemed to be working perfectly and the floor looked like you could eat off of it.

The second thing I noticed was important enough for me to turn around and grab the doctor by the front of his coat, lifting him off the floor despite how worn out I was. I snapped my beak in front of his face, making sure I had his attention before speaking slowly and clearly. "Where. Are. My. Friends?"

"I-in another room!" He struggled, panicking. "T-they're in the same condition as you! We didn't know what had happened and-"

"And you thought it was a good idea to seperate us." Scowling, I dropped him and hopped from the bed to the floor, leaving the too-clean sheets in a tangled mess. The short drop made me stumble, still weak despite the Rad-Away and healing potion, but I straightened quickly before turning back to the doctor, flexing my wings and glaring at him. "Take me to them. Now." He nodded, terrified, and all but ran to the door. I hesitated just long enough buckle my belt on before following, less concerned with the now-frightened doctor than I was with making sure the girls were okay.

The growing pressure in my bladder could wait, as well. Rad-Away... what a pain.


"Damn... This was a close one..." I lowered my little sister's foreleg back onto her bed, having just checked her Pipbuck to get a handle on how much radiation we'd all been exposed to. It wasn't enough to kill us quickly; we'd have lasted a few more days without Rad-Away.

A quick check of my belt made me frown and look around the room, at the two mares and the filly that had been my family for so long, each with one of my remaining Rad-Away packets on an IV stand next to them, slowly purging their bodies. I didn't have enough packs of the orange stuff to do more than get them out of danger...

I'd need our supplies to get them up and moving again.

"Hey, doc." I turned around to look at the doctor, who was near the door, shaking. He flinched at the sound of my voice, and I gave a quiet sigh, regretting scaring him before. When I spoke again, I did my best to sound calm and friendly. "Doc... You got a family?"

He hesitated for a second, then nodded. I almost groaned at the look on his face; it was like he thought I was threatening him!

"Good to hear..." I waved my claw at the three passed-out ponies. "These girls... They're my family... Sorry I acted like that before, but, well... I thought they were in danger. You understand, right?"

The doctor swallowed and nodded, then managed to speak, his voice unsteady. "You... you were just worried about... your family?" I could hear the disbelief in his voice, and sighed.

"Wierd, I know. Griffin and pony family, not really normal, is it?" I let out a small chuckle, and stroked my little sister's mane. "Shot here's my baby sister. I'd do anything to keep her safe, y'know?" I managed a smile. The doctor still looked nervous, but he seemed to be settling down a little. "She's in a bad way, doc... I don't have enough Rad-Away on me to take care of her, but there's plenty in our bags... Think you could get our stuff? Rad poisoning is a bad way to go, and... just, help me, doc. Please?"

He hesitated for a moment before nodding. "O-okay... Just, wait here, will you?"

When he left the room, giving me one last, cautious look, I found myself breathing easier. This place may have been freakishly clean, and the ponies even more so, but most doctors were at least fairly trustworthy. I decided to have another look at Shot's Pipbuck to make sure she hadn't been injured in any other ways, but a glance at the date made me frown. The little numbers, glowing dimly on the battered screen, couldn't have been right... could they? I made a mental note to ask Shot about it, see if she'd been playing with it again. There was no way it was right.

It didn't take long before he was back with our bags and pouches, as well as a pair of nurses, including the mare from earlier. "We've got your things, mister...?"

"Ibis." I nodded and stepped away from Shot's bed, to help the doctor and nurses with the bags. "My name's Ibis." The nurses seemed skittish around me, not that I could blame them. Most ponies tend to react badly to having a predator so close, and I was a lot bigger than them... even if there was something about both them and the doctor that seemed off to me.

It was easy to find what I needed, long familiarity with my family and their quirks meaning I knew exactly where they kept everything. Shot Glass' saddle bags were neatly organized, thanks to the inventory management spells built into her Pipbuck. Just one feature of the little marvel, and one of many reasons she never took it off. Rose, my favorite unicorn, had the orange pouches strewn all through her bags, with no apparent rhyme or reason. As for Lily, my friend and one-time employer, her bags were the very picture of organized chaos. The pouches were jumbled in with the rest of her medical supplies, under a box of snack cakes.

"Three each. Two intravenous, tear one open and pour it down their throats. Gets it into their systems quicker." The nurses moved to follow my instructions with Lily and Rose, while I handled Shot myself. The doctor watched me, clearing his throat when I finished hooking the charcoal filly up to the pouches.

"This... Rad-Away... what is it, exactly?"

I frowned and turned to him, absently stroking Shot's mane. "Are you serious? You... you're not kidding are you?" When he shook his head, I let out a disbelieving laugh. "Where the hell are you from, doc? Rad-Away? Cleans you out, gets rid of radiation?"

"What, exactly, is radiation?"

His expression made it clear that he honestly didn't have a clue, and I shook my head, trying not to just start laughing. This was crazy... where the hell had Lily brought us?! "Radiation, doc! The whole damn wasteland's blanketed in the stuff! Shuts down your organs, turns you into a ghoul, makes you grow eye-tentacle-penises? Ringing a bell?"

The doc went pale, shaking his head and swallowing. "N-no..."

"By Luna's Flank! Where the hell are you from, doc?" This had to be a joke... how could a doctor not know about radiation?!

"W-we're in Ponyville... This is the Ponyville General Hospital... we've never had any patients from the Badlands before..."

"Bullshit." I glared at him. "Ponyville's a fucking raider nest. There's no way we're in Ponyville. Where are we, really? Tenpony? Some Steel Ranger base?"

"Mister Ibis, I'm telling you, we're in Ponyville!" The doctor insisted. By this point, the nurses were watching us argue.

"And I'm telling you, that's bullshit! Ponyville is-"

A sudden coughing and retching cut me off as Rose suddenly sat up in her bed, eyes snapping open as she looked around frantically. All four of us, myself, the doctor and the nurses, rushed to her side. The doctor got there first and recieved a hoof to the jaw for his trouble, the force of the blow sending him reeling. I grabbed Rose's hooves, trying to hold her still, and called over my shoulder, "Sorry! She doesn't like stallions!"

At Rose's continued attempts to lash out, I tightened my grip on her hooves and pushed her back against the bed, pinning her down. I ws glad she was weak from the rad sickness, or she'd probably have killed me. "Easy! Rose, it's me!"

"Ibis?" She stilled, her grey eyes locking on me before wandering around the room. "Ibis, where are we?"

Behind me, the doctor answered as the nurses helped him up. He looked quite cross, and I could already see a bruise forming where he'd been hit. "As I told your friend before, we're in Ponyville..." He started to approach again, but stayed out of Rose's reach. My pale mare blinked, then stared at him.

"Ponyville?" She turned to me. "Isn't Ponyville full of raiders?"

I nodded. "That's what I said. And Rose? You hit the doc."

"Oh. Sorry."

The doc rubbed his jaw, frowning. "I'd appreciate it if you don't do it again, miss...?"

"Whiskey Rose."

I slowly released my grip, letting Rose sit up again. The doctor and nurses kept their distance from her, none of them wanting a repeat of her accidental attack. "She really doesn't like strange stallions, doc, and she likes being touched even less. Isn't that right, Rose?" She nodded. "See? But she won't do it again, will you?" She shook her head this time, and the doctor took a tentative step closer, relaxing when he wasn't immediatly smacked upside the head.

"Listen, you two. Ponyville is perfectly safe. The is no radiation, whatever that is, and certainly no raiders, whatever they are. Just friendly ponies. Okay?"

Rose blinked at him and I tried not to smirk. That was the best answer he'd get out of her. At any rate, I had something much more pressing on my mind. "Rose, how are the others?"

She looked at Lily, the cream mare still laying there, unconcious, then at Shot, who was in the same condition. "They're not hurt, and they're getting better... Ibis, what happened? How did we get here?" Rose looked at me, cocking her head to the side.

I shrugged. "Ask Lily when she wakes up. She hit the button, we ended up in the hospital with rad poisoning."

"Oh... Ibis?"


"Where's my gun, and where's a bathroom?"


After Rose relieved herself, we managed to convince the doctor to let us have the rest of our stuff. I got the feeling he didn't know what a gun was, though. Just another thing that didn't make sense, along with Ponyville being peaceful or the doctor and nurses being freakishly clean... that was it! While we were waiting for Shot and Lily to wake up, I realised what was so strange about these ponies: They were clean.

Not just clean like they'd bathed recently, but like they bathed frequently. It was a little unsettling, seeing ponies so clean, so fat, so... so soft.

Eventually, though, the rest of our group regained consiousness, and I filled them in on what had happened, being extremely sure that Lily understood that, wherever we were, it was her fault. She claimed to have been thinking of Ponyville when the machine activated, and I had to check her for a concussion. It was a little irritating that she didn't have one, because that meant she wasn't delirious or brain-damaged.

At any rate, she was quickly drawn into a conversation with the doctor about where we were, how we got there and our bill. The doctor said something about Equestrian health-care being free, but I wasn't really listening. Shot Glass had the attention of both me and Rose.

"Two... hundred.. years..." I stared at the filly, who had her foreleg raised so Rose could check the pipbuck. "Rose, something's gotta be wrong with that thing. There's no way we're two hundred years in the past."

Rose shrugged, letting Shot put her hoof back on the bed. "That's what it says."

"But... how?"

She shrugged again. "Maybe the teleporter was broken."

I tried to come up with something, anything, to say, but a sudden pain and the unpleasent sensation of having my chest feathers ripped out made me squawk and look down, glaring at Shot Glass.

The filly spat her mouthful of feathers out, hopped up on her hind legs with her front hooves pressed against my chest and looked me in the eye, her expression as serious as could be. "Big bro, where's the toilet? Rad-Away goes through me-."

"-like a herd of rampaging brahmin, I know." I rolled my eyes. "Rose, take her, will you?"

Rose nodded and lead our baby sister out of the room, with one of the nurses close behind. Lily and the doctor were still in deep discussion, talking about who knows what. Probably the price of healing potions or something. I shook my head in disbelief, trying to process what I'd just heard. "Two hundred years... We're two hundred years in the past..."

I heard the door open and turned, not expecting my sister and marefriend to be back so soon, only to see a purprle unicorn mare sticking her head in. "Did I just hear you right?" Her eyes were shining with delight and curiosity, and I suddenly felt very nervous as she pushed the door open and came towards me. "You're from the future?"

Author's Note:

Dun-dun-duuuun! Who could this strange, purple unicorn be?

This chapter turned out a lot longer than I thought, unsurprisingly. Ah, well. There's only so much you can do when you write an entire chapter in a single day.

Feel free to comment! In fact, I strongly suggest it!