• Published 24th Oct 2012
  • 1,069 Views, 6 Comments

Fallout: Equestria - Forgotten - CoolBreeze

Cpl. Aid wakes up after the balefire, finding that he must face his own demons as well as the wastes

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Chapter 3

Fallout: Equestria
Forgotten - Chapter 3

“The art of war”

“Medic!” somepony shouts over the cacophony of gunfire and explosions.

I dive out of cover and down a dirt slope, catching glimpses of ponies and zebras alike, laying beside sandbags, in ditches, on top of one another, dying or already dead. As I hit the ground, I begin crawling towards the pony calling out for help and show him my red-cross cutie mark.

“Corporal Aid, just sit still, I’ll patch you up.” I shout over the din, dropping my standard issue rifle onto the hard packed dirt and retrieving some bandages from my saddle bag.

The soldier holds still, showing me the bullet wound on his thigh, just below his cutie mark. I check and find the bullet went through cleanly, however he wouldn’t be charging headlong into battle if he couldn’t walk on all four legs. I disinfect the wound and bandage it before shouting, “There, that should keep it for a bit. Can you crawl? We need to move back behind the machine guns for cover!”

He nods and I lead the way, darting into cover behind hastily laid out sandbags, ignoring the sound of bullets whizzing over my head. Helmets didn’t do much if you got hit directly, I’ve seen the results of a perfectly placed shot, they went clean through.

I’m forced to push a corpse out of my way, ignoring the drying pool of blood where it had been, I don’t dare to stop lest my curiosity gets the better of me, better to leave it as a corpse than a friend.

I crane my neck around and see the buck dragging himself along behind me, We come to a section where the sandbags had been blown apart by an explosive and I curse under my breath before leaping into cover on the other side, I hear the bullets slamming into the dirt wall on my right, little dust clouds burst from the impacts as the zebra machine gun emplacements strafe after me.

Landing behind the sandbags, I turn around and motion for the buck to do the same, he shakes his head and I shout as guns roar overhead, “DO IT!”

He struggles up and leaps...

* * *

I wake up in a cold sweat, my breathing is heavy and I thrash my fore-hooves in a mild panic. Sweets shoots right up, revolver leveled as she scans the tree trunks for hostiles.

“What!?” she hisses around the bit of the revolver.

Taking a deep, shuddering breath I then exhale before responding, “Nightmare, is all.”

She splutters in frustration, spitting the revolver out onto the ground and rounding on me.

“You woke me up in the middle of the night because of a nightmare? You nearly scared me half to death, Aid! I thought Raiders had come to pull my eyes from their sockets!” She cries out, clearly frustrated.

I maintain her stare, not backing down. “I’ll remember to not have a nightmare next time.” I say smartly, a little harshly even.

Then there was the young soldier who I was trying to escort to safety... I had a sinking feeling about what happened next. Trying to take my mind off of the nightmare, I gaze up at the cloud layer that looms above, not even the night sky peeks through it in the slightest and I begin to wonder why it’s so thick when Sweets gets up.

“Can’t sleep?” She asks, her voice gruff.

I shake my head in response and continue to search for even the slightest gap in the layer of dark clouds.

“Neither can I. What’re you looking for, Aid?” she adds, rubbing her eyes with her hooves.

Turning my head to her, I click my tongue idly before answering, “The cloud layer’s been just as thick since yesterday morning.”

She snorts, “Yeah, somepony might think you’ve had your head in a stable your entire life, but since I know better... as the bombs went off, apparently the Pegasus Enclave closed up the sky, shrouding all of Equestria in this dark cloud cover. Haven’t seen hide nor tail of them since.”

As she finishes, she fishes out a bottle of dirt water from her packs and offers it to me. I shake my head, declining it and return to my musing as she begins talking once more, “You’ve got to drink, I know you aren’t used to drinking dirty water all the time but I’ve lived off the stuff my entire life, I’m fine.” She raises her fore legs up and shows me her chest as if it will prove her point.

I put it simply, “Not thirsty.”

Sweets tilts the bottle up, downing the entire contents. I click my tongue again, in distaste, but say nothing to keep from proving her right.
She finishes and places the empty bottle back in her saddle bag, wiping her mouth with her left hoof.

“So...” she pauses, seemingly unsure of how to continue.

Anticipating the question already I begin, “Dawn Bay, on the front lines just under the machine guns suppressing the defending Zebra forces... a young buck, barely of age to enlist calls for a medic. I leap over the sandbags and down into the cover to do my job. I patch the buck up and lead him along the sandbags, closer to our gunners, to safety where I can risk healing his wound instead of just wrapping it up.”

Sweets leans close, eyes wide.

“Guns roar overhead and below I can hear the report of our own soldiers firing at the Zebras. Bullets hit anything and everything, it’s a miracle I’d made it that far. I could hear ponies and zebras alike, dying further down the slope, my heart ached to help them, to stop the pain and wrap their wounds, give them rest... it was what I did, I helped ponies. The young buck and I dragged ourselves through dirt and blood, pushing past the already cold corpses of our comrades, brothers and sisters who died in the line of duty. We finally reach a section of bags that have been obliterated by some sort of explosive. I dive over the stretch, landing behind the bags on the other side, the Zebras strafe after me with their machine guns but can’t keep up, the rounds blowing hoof sized chunks out of the dirt wall. I turn to the buck, motion for him to do the same as our machine guns begin their volley to suppress the Zebras. He pushes himself up and leaps-”

I stop, choking on my own guilt. Looking up into those orange eyes, I somehow find the courage to press on.

“But the Zebra’s used our own guns against us, they ignore the suppressive fire and strafe the buck with their own guns. I-I watch as he’s hit with round after round, slicing right through him. He hits the dirt just in front of me. Somehow he’s still alive, there’s too much blood, too many bullets got through his barding. There isn’t enough time to patch him up again and I couldn’t risk any magic or the glow would give our position away and they’d just unload on us.”

I look out at the horizon through the trees, I can almost see the scene right there in front of me.

“I had to pick him up, throw him on my back and carry him back to cover where the others could help. I began scrambling up the slopes, toppling down behind bags and over cowering soldiers as I near the top. His blood runs in rivers down my sides and stains my armour, I could feel the fight leaving his body.”

I stomp a hoof, tears well up and blur my vision as emotional pain racks my body.

"He was just barely old enough to enlist... and I got him all shot up." I begin to sob.

Sweets reaches out and presses her hoof against my shoulder in an effort to calm me, comfort me even.

“Hey, how could you have known the Zebra’s would anticipate your next move? Even if you didn’t try and lead him back, he would have died some way or another, maybe he would have tried crawling back up himself and the same thing happening? Save the blame for when you do fuck up, Aid. Believe me.” She finishes with a pensive look.

I shake my head, the memory is still raw in my mind like a fresh wound. I have a feeling that there is something more to the memory and dream than the buck getting shot, something important that I can’t quite remember.

“I guess there is a silver lining in all of this though.” I say thoughtfully, turning to look at Sweets. She raises her eyebrows and I continue, “Atleast I know for sure that the ponies I’m fighting now are bad natured or started the fight first... the Zebras were mostly forced into the war despite their wishes. I can’t imagine a tyrannical leadership ordering me to my death.”

She nods slowly, thinking it over for a while. Of course I realise that Equestria is nothing like it used to be, it’s not a happy place, and definitely not a safe place to live. The bandits just the day before are a great indicator that ponies will do and do anything they can to survive, even at the expense of others. And despite that going against everything I know and believe in, it makes a sick kind of sense to me.

Sweets is rummaging through her packs and pulls out several items, mostly cooking utensils, I realise she wants to make an early breakfast and quickly drag the log over, smashing it up with my hooves so we have firewood.

Comments ( 4 )

Haha you're a smart-arse. I was kidding around, a lot of people like you nitpick, for instance I was once told by someone like you that I spelt colour wrong, I told them to open an English dictionary and read it, or that I was using s instead of z for things like realise.

There was no need for you to come around and do this by the way, but I find it cute.

Been reading and again reading this again. I wanna know if you are going to continue it? I mean it is really good soooo COME ON XD I mean it though it is a good read and i'm stilling waiting for the next chapter to follow. I just hope you are going to continue it.

I actually did some work on several chapters last night, lol.

Well, though the Fallout: Equestria atmosphere is a little gruesome and gritty for my taste, I believe you capture it well..though as a disclaimer, I haven't read it as of yet (I may read it if you recommend it to me though).
I can certainly feel the death permeating the air; the decay, of ponies, structures, and society; and the danger lurking around every corner. The first and second chapters really put that tension into perspective (well-paced, I felt), and you underscore the harsh reality of the wastes with the juxtaposition of a pre-war pony in the post-war ruins. I nearly cried along with Aid as he recalled that memory from his nightmare, when the poor pony bled out there :c
Though there are really only two main characters at this point, if I had to choose (and you know how much trouble I have choosing favourites), I would say Sweets is my favourite and Aid a close second (they're both great though :3). I hope to learn more about Aid's past and Sweets' goals as they wander the wastes. I get the feeling that Sweets isn't just going to leave poor Aid alone :twilightsmile:

Now, as for criticisms, I don't have too much to add. Most of it you'll see from my editing of your first chapter X3 I think there are just a few minor issues relating to grammar and word choice (or if you want to be fancy, 'diction'). Some words like 'pound' or 'slam' can describe an action better than just 'hit', for example. Also don't forget to be less wordy here and there and use fewer 'filler' words at times :raritywink: Hopefully you'll see that in my edits.
Oh, and remember to show a little more at times—the sights, the sounds (including those of Aid himself), the smells (eww), the feeling of the ground under Aid's hooves—and try to avoid "I hear" or "I can see" sort of constructions, as they're unnecessarily wordy and can be a distraction (usually). I tried to remove some of those in my edits, and just general repetitions of "I" phrases.
There's also some distracting repetition of words or phrases at times, though it can be used effectively sometimes (there's a time and place for everything ;P).
Some sentences are awkwardly long or need a few fewer commas and a few more periods :raritywink: Just remember that you can use the size and structure of a sentence to help convey pace and mood :3. (Don't worry, I'm probably not the best at this myself >.<)
As for the story itself, there isn't anything negative I can think of right now. Of course, it is only three chapters in, but it's open-ended, leaves me with a lot of questions and wanting more, and it keeps a steady pace. It feels like you already know where it will go (of course, I know that already from talking to you :P) and the story isn't wandering aimlessly. Everything feels like it happens for a reason. Of course, my feedback on consistency and how well it ties into FO:E itself is limited, since I haven't read it, but I know you're one to pay attention to detail and have an interest for lore and background so I'm not concerned about that.

Oh, and looking at the FIMFiction version of chapter 3, it ends abruptly, as compared to the more-updated Google Docs one you showed me. ^^;

Anyway, that's all for now! Off to more editing and reading, and hopefully soon, writing!

Oh, speaking of an1979's comment on capitol versus capital, I changed it in my edits >.> I suppose either works in this case, but 'capital' would be more correct, I think.

Tesh :heart:

Edit: As for story things, I do hope it will take some unexpected twists and turns. Does Sweets have anything of her own to hide? She hasn't spoken much of herself, unlike Aid. Maybe we'll get to learn more about Sweets' client, or will she play a larger role later? These are a few of the questions that have come up in my own mind.

Edit 2: I forgot to mention that I really like the little dream with the stars at the beginning. It sets up Aid to wake up, thrust from the pre-war 'innocence' into this apocalypse, but at the same time it feels like a small glimmer of hope. I know it's most likely nothing important, just made me smile a little, that little light in the darkness.

Edit 3: You should put the chapter titles on here so it'll look pretty! :raritystarry:

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