• Published 23rd Oct 2012
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Light Wanderings - ed2481



Ethan Smith The Lone Wanderer goes to Equestria, hilarity ensues

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Chapter 1

Light Wanderings

Chapter 1

“Are you sure about this, Twilight? I’m sure that you could bring Ethan here later; at a time when things weren’t so tense between Equestria, the hippogriffs, and the griffins.” Celestia told her marefriend as the two of them lay on the bed together while early morning light washed over them through the balcony window. Twilight Sparkle was leaning close to Celestia as her robotic blue eye surveyed the room, and her silvery steel metal leg curled underneath her purple fur.

“Tia, I want him here because things are so tense. Ethan could be a big help if negotiations break down.” Twilight replied.

“Very well then, I suppose I have wanted to meet the Crazy Son of a Bitch.” Celestia said with a chuckle at the odd title that the man named Ethan had picked up.

“Honestly, I’m not expecting negotiations to break down. We have Luna as our ambassador to the griffins and I can’t imagine anypony I trust more working that end, while Cadence is handling the hippogriffs so there shouldn’t be any problem there.” Twilight replied with a shrug.

“Those were my thoughts, so when do you think he’ll get the letter?” Celestia asked.

“He should’ve gotten it a few seconds after I sent it. The letter had a return function so he could attach a reply.” Twilight answered.

“Well, I await his reply with interest, you’ve certainly told me quite a bit about him.” Celestia said with a gentle smile.

“Yeah, I am too; Ethan’s going to get a real kick out of Equestria, that’s for sure.” Twilight said with a chuckle.

“What do you think he’s doing right now?” Celestia asked as she sent a thrill of warmth along Twilight’s side.

“Something crazy, definitely something crazy.”

***

“Why do I always let you talk me into doing crazy things like this?” Cassandra shouted as the blue vertibird swerved around another building, narrowly avoiding losing a propeller in the process.

“Because you’re as bored as I am.” Ethan replied with a grin.

Then he turned away from the controls long enough to give Cassandra a kiss on the cheek before pushing forward on the throttle and sending the vertibird screeching downward at the ground, only to pull back at the last second and unleashing a storm of 5mm shredder rounds into the group of stunned Fiends. Bodies and parts flew apart as the bullets easily tore holes through their chests, sending streaks of blood in all directions… along with several ram head helmets.

“You know what I’ve been wondering?” Ethan asked Cassandra as he sent the vertibird upwards.

“No, what?” Cassandra asked as she looked out the armor-plated window.

“Okay, so I’ve been with you when you occasionally go and clear out Fiend nests, but not once have I seen a living ram. Seriously, where the hell do they get all the ram skulls for their helmets?” Ethan asked, gesturing towards a group of Fiends who were running towards a nearby building before they were decimated by the main gun.

“You know, that’s actually a good question.” Cassandra said, scratching her chin as one of the aforementioned ram skulls hit the window, the decapitated head of the Fiend offered no answers as it glared at them.

“So did we do enough cleaning for today or do you want to do a little more?” Ethan asked as he took the Vertibird on a low sweep that kept the wheels barely above the ground.

“I think that that’s enough for today. Besides, I have a meeting with that NCR general Susan later. Something about cazadors or something.” Cassandra replied with a shrug.

“Allrighty then.” Ethan told her before turning the vertibird back towards the hidden safe house around ten miles away from the strip. The two passed the time in comfortable silence as the voice of Mister New Vegas recounted the day’s news.

There have been odd sightings around the town of Goodsprings lately; the reports are sketchy so far but whatever it is does not appear to be violent.

“That’s odd. There shouldn’t be anything unusual around there except for the excessive amount of radscorpions, and honestly that’s just bad luck. Hmm… I wonder if that’s what Susan’s coming to talk about?” Cassandra asked with a frown.

“When did you two get to first name basis?” Ethan asked curiously.

“A little while ago actually. She’s pleasant, respectful, and she actually knows what she’s doing unlike most of the NCR upper level staff.” Cassandra replied. “You know, I actually would’ve supported them if it wasn’t for the fact that the majority of their leaders are incompetent.” She added with a shrug.

“Tell me about it.” Ethan agreed with a slight scowl as he thought of his unsuccessful attempt to get to California, he’d been stopped a by a full squad of soldier demanding to see his passport (which of course he didn’t have) and been ordered to turn around or else they’d charge him twenty thousand caps for being an alien. “Bastards wouldn’t know an alien if it shoved a probe up their asses.” He muttered, causing Cassandra to chuckle lightly.

“Are you still angry about that?” She asked.

“Of course I am Cassie, the bastards called me an alien!” Ethan exclaimed as he brought the vertibird into the concealed landing bay built into the side of the cliff.

“Ethan, I’ve explained this before. The term means someone that isn’t a native, not everyone has had the experience of being abducted.” Cassandra told her husband, rolling her eyes.

“I still say that it’s misleading.” Ethan said as the vertibird touched down with a slight lurch.

“I really need to get you a dictionary.” Cassandra said as she shook her head at Ethan’s verbal antics.

“Do they still make those?” Ethan asked while he unstrapped from his place at the pilots seat and started down the short ladder that led to the floor.

Ethan was a tall man, easily six and a half feet tall. He was wearing a suit of elite riot gear, as was Cassandra. A cocky, almost youthful smile was currently making its way across his face and his blue eyes sparkled with laugher.

“No, but I’m sure that Arcade has one lying around somewhere.” Cassandra said with a dismissive shrug before joining him on the hanger floor.

“Are we really having this conversation?” Ethan asked.

“A good vocabulary is important Ethan.” Cassandra insisted with a glint of laughter in her green eyes as her red hair glinted in the sunlight that filtered down through one of the concealed windows above them.

“Okay you win; I’ll look it up once we get back.” Ethan told her with a shake of his head.

“Good, and then I’ll see what Susan wants. After we feed the twins of course.”

***

“Aww yeah, this is going to be awesome!” Dash exclaimed with a hoofpump as she hovered in front of Twilight. “I can’t believe that we finally get to meet this guy!”

The six friends were sitting around one of the rooms that Celestia had given them. Twilight was sitting at the main coffee table, a mug of tea at her right while Rarity lounged in a familiar red couch. Fluttershy and Applejack shared one of the couches, while Dash was busy flying around the room, and was currently occupying the airspace in front of Twilight who was smiling slightly at her friend’s attitude. Pinkie Pie was wiggling in an armchair with an energetic smile plastered on her face.

“Ah don’t know, ah’m still worried about it.” Applejack told Twilight while she scratched her chin.

“As am I darling, from what you’ve told us about him this Ethan doesn’t sound like the kind of character that should be welcome in Equestria.” Rarity put in; she’d come to accept the new Twilight, but the thought of the wasteland striding man made her distinctly nervous.

“I’m not that worried about it. I’ll just make sure that he understands that he can’t go around killing things for no reason. Not that he’d do that normally, but I have the oddest feeling that he’s going to need a little time to adjust to Equestria.” Twilight replied with a shrug. “Oh and Pinkie, DO NOT pull your party cannon out of nowhere and shoot him, he might kill you.” Twilight added as afterthought.

“Oh come on Twilight, I know how to act around people with loaded guns.” Pinkie said, rolling her eyes from where she sat.

“How would you?” Twilight asked in confusion.

“Well do you want the existential version or the metaphoric probability one?” Pinkie replied with a smirk.

“You know what, never mind.” Twilight said with a sigh.

“Umm, if it wouldn’t be too much trouble could I meet him last?” Fluttershy asked nervously from her seat beside Applejack.

“Don’t worry Fluttershy. We don’t know when he’s coming yet, but I’ll make sure that he knows not to scare you. Well, not to on purpose, at least.” Twilight answered with a smile as her robotic eye flashed once.

“Thank you.” The yellow pegasus said quietly before leaning back into the couch.

“Of course Fluttershy, all you had to do was ask. Alright, there are some ground rules for dealing with Ethan.” Twilight began as she entered lecture mode and sat a little straighter. “Firstly he might act like an idiot, he might even be an idiot on occasion, but he’s actually very smart. If you’re insulting him he’ll know, and he’ll probably find a way to even the score. Think Pinkie and Rainbow’s pranks but with more explosions and a lot more screaming. Secondly (and these are his words) he’s hard to kill so don’t try a heroic sacrifice if it looks like he’ll be killed. Trust me, I’ve seen him regrow vital organs along with a hole in the chest in under a minute. Lastly and most importantly he is deadly, he’s more than capable of killing anything short of a full grown dragon at any time.”

“The more I hear about this guy the more I want to meet him!” Dash said with a smile.

“What is it with you and your sick fascination dangerous killers?” Rarity asked with a shake of her head from her lounger.

“Gilda isn’t a killer.” Dash said in a low voice as she flew over towards Rarity.

“Her entire body can be used as a weapon.” Rarity shot back.

“That doesn’t make her a kill-”

“Girls we need to stay on topic here. Dash can fuck whoever or whatever she wants; she’s a grown mare and it’s her business not ours.” Twilight said, rolling her eyes at the way something so unimportant could cause her friends to argue for hours.

Her friends had slowly adjusted to Twilight’s ‘colorful’ vocabulary, but they’d finally gotten to the point where she could curse around them without surprised intakes of breath. Rarity snorted in ladylike disdain, and Dash gloated while she hovered in place.

“Anyways, Ethan is a pretty nice guy as long as you’re not fucking with him; oh and his sense of humor is a bit weird…” Twilight said, trailing off with a thoughtful look on her face.

“We can deal with Pinkie Pie, ah’m sure that he can’t be that bad.” Applejack replied casually.

“You say that now.” Twilight said with a shrug.

“Hey Twily, you in here?” A familiar voice called from the hallway.

“Come on in Shining.” Twilight called back without looking behind her.

Shining Armor, Captain of the Royal Equestrian Guard entered the room with a confident smile on his face. He was wearing his special golden armor instead of the typical blue that he normally wore because of all the diplomats who were currently threading their way around Canterlot. The armor was an improved version of the suit that Luna had given him when he went in search of Twilight, and as such had a large number of protective spells in place. His blue mane fell back across his neck handsomely. Blue eyes shined with an intelligence and determination that they’d lacked nine months ago. On the whole he looked almost completely different from the almost broken looking stallion who’d limped back home.

“So, how was your session with Cadence?” Twilight asked, giving her brother a smile and a hug as she got up from her spot at the table.

“It was great; goddesses, I’m a lucky stallion.” Shining replied with a chuckle as he released his sister from the embrace.

“I’d say that it’s the opposite, personally.” Cadence said as she followed Shining into the room.

The pink alicorn looked very happy, although her face was rather flushed. Then again, considering what the process of removing changeling magic from her husband was like that was no big surprise really.

“Well one thing’s for sure, and that that it’s working.” Twilight said, giving Cadence a smile. “Oh and Shining, I was just explaining to the others that Ethan might be visiting soon.” Twilight added.

“Good, I need to apologize for being a real jerk.” Shining replied with a shrug.

“Really, I thought you hated him?” Dash asked in confusion from where she’d finally sat down next to Fluttershy on the couch.

“Considering the state of my mind when I last talked to him I’m going assume that he isn’t as bad as I thought he was and give him the benefit of the doubt. On the other hoof, if he hurts you…” Shining said trailing off.

“It’s Ethan Shiny, I think he’d probably hurt himself worse then you ever could if I got hurt.” Twilight told her brother who shrugged.

“Either way it’ll be nice to have a fresh start with him.”

“Dear, have I mentioned how proud of you I am lately?” Cadence asked Shining as she playfully bumped her flank into his.

“Not nearly enough.” Shining said, bumping her right back and eliciting a giggle from Cadence.

“Don’t you two have negotiations to get to?” Twilight asked hoping to interrupt what looked as if it could turn into a makeout session.

“Oh right. We probably shouldn’t leave Ambassador Sharp waiting.” Shining said with a slight blush creeping over his white face.

“Yes, knowing him he would take it as a personal insult to his honor and then challenge me to a duel.” Cadence replied with a slight sigh.

“Have a good time you two; try not to start a war please.” Twilight shouted as they left the room.

“No promises Twily.” Shining shouted back with a chuckle.

“I still don’t know how you two can joke about something as awful as war.” Rarity said with a disapproving look.

“Rarity, something that I learned in the wasteland is that the more seriously you take something the more likely it is for the universe to bitchslap you with it. Well, except for the laws of physics (because gravity is a gigantic bitch), and radiation, because the more you ignore that the worse it gets, but that’s not important.” Twilight replied with another shrug.

“So do we know when Ethan’ll get the letter?” Applejack asked.

“It should be soon.” Twilight replied with a shrug. “All we can do now is wait for a reply.”

***

Ethan and Cassandra sat together in the dining room of Cassandra’s penthouse while they held their twins.

“You know, when you said you wanted kids I completely forgot about the fact that kids start out as babies.” Ethan said, wincing in pain as their son Ash tested out his lungs again while he rested in the Wanderer’s arms.

“Ethan.” Cassandra said warningly while she burped their daughter, Shade.

“Hey, I’m not complaining; I can’t wait to get to take them out shooting and stuff. But this is going to suck for a bit.” Ethan replied

“Do I need to give you another lecture on the importance of their formative years?” Cassandra asked.

“No, please god no, but look I’m just saying that children suck at first.” Ethan said with a shrug.

“Oh come on. I’ve seen you smile when you hold them.” Cassandra told Ethan chidingly.

“Yeah, they’re cute. But you have to remember that babies are essentially eating, screaming, and pooping machines.” Ethan replied with a smirk that got a chuckle out of Cassandra.

“You know, I can’t really fault you for that logic.” She said with a wan smile as she got up and headed towards the room with the cribs that had formally been taken up by an extra bedroom.

“Thank god we have Wadsworth to help, otherwise I think they’d have starved by now.” Ethan added (and artfully dodged her kick) as he followed her towards the room.

“Yes, sir, you should thank him. And have I mentioned how very happy I am to have been conscripted into doing this absolutely dreadful task? I may just kill you in your sleep and then enslave the human race.” Wadsworth said as he floated around the cradle room dutifully cleaning.

“Haven’t we already argued this to death?” Ethan asked, giving the robot an annoyed look.

“If we had then you’d be dead. Besides, I’ve been sending messages to the Sink and he thinks that he knows how to keep me going for around a thousand more years so my options are back on the table, so to speak.” Wadsworth replied, sounding surprisingly upbeat.

“Well you two have fun with that, and don’t pick on Mugs.” Cassandra said as she set Shade down in her crib. Ethan followed suit.

“I didn’t plan on it, although my interaction with the other sink AIs has been somewhat limited. The only one that I would destroy would have to be the Toaster.” Wadsworth told Cassandra while the two humans walked towards the door.

“Yeah, he’ll do that to you. Call us if you need anything.” Cassandra said over her shoulder as she and Ethan walked towards the door.

“Hmm… we killed some Fiends, the twins are asleep, and you’re going to a meeting. I have the oddest feeling that I’m going to be bored now.” Ethan said with a sigh.

“This meeting shouldn’t take too long, and then I’ll be back and we can find something to entertain ourselves.” Cassandra said with a sly smile.

“Well, that’s something to look forward-” Ethan began but he was interrupted by a small flash of purple light and the arrival of a letter in a sealed glass canister. Ethan caught it without thinking, and quickly pulled the letter out of it. “Holy shit it’s from Sparky!” Ethan exclaimed with a grin.

“Really?” Cassandra asked interestedly.

“Here, let me read it.

Dear Ethan.

I know that you haven’t heard from me (it’s Sparky) in nine months or so, at least I think that your time is the same as mine, but I wanted to tell you that I got home to Equestria safely and I’m now going out with, and fucking, Princess Celestia. Anyways, the main point of this letter is that I’ve discovered a way to easily transport things back and forth between our worlds. So I was wondering if you, and Cassandra if she’s available, although I’m sure she’s busier then you being a queen and all, would like to go on a vacation to Equestria.

Feel free to say no but I’d really like to see you. One because I enjoy your company, and two because we’re teetering on the edge of a three way race war and if shit hit’s the fan then I’d like you to be around to help me keep the ones I love safe. Like I said, this is completely voluntary on your part and is by no means required of you. That being said I’m bored as all hell and would love a chance to catch up.

To reply all you have to do is write something on a piece of paper, stick it in the glass tube, and press the sun on the side of the cylinder. Do not press the moon unless you’re ready to actually travel here, and I’d really like some notice before you come so please send me a reply first!

P.S. bring a nice suit so that my friend Rarity can have your measurements instead of having to make you something from scratch”

“Well, are you going to go?” Cassandra asked.

“Well she obviously needs me, and like I said I’m kind of bored here…” Ethan said trailing off. “…But I’ll stay if you need me.” He added.

“Ethan, I can deal with almost anything that the Wasteland can throw at me. Go have fun, just don’t forget to write.” Cassandra said before giving him a kiss on the lips. “You can borrow a few of my guns if you want; now I’ve got to go and meet with Susan.” She told him before walking towards the elevator and stepping inside. Ethan spent the next several minutes sifting through Cassandra’s considerable armory before heading back to the main room with a bag containing everything that he’d need slung over his shoulder.

“Hmm, I could do what Sparky says and tell her ahead of time, or I could just press the button and give her a hug… Is that supposed to be a real choice?” He asked no one in particular.

“If you’re going to go then go! If not, come in here and help me change these confounded diapers!” Wadsworth said loudly from the side room.

“It’s good to be the Wanderer!” Ethan shouted as he pressed the little moon symbol on the side of the cylinder and vanished in a flash of purple light.

***

“Slipspace rupture detected!” Pinkie shouted suddenly.

“What-” Twilight began but was interrupted by a bright flash of light. When her vision cleared she found Ethan looking around himself with a thoughtful grin.

“So Sparky, you called?”