• Published 25th Jan 2012
  • 10,566 Views, 517 Comments

Fallout Equestria: Guise of Chaos - Fallingsnow



A story in post war Equestria following former raider Two Kick Ripple on a quest for vengeance.

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Chapter 1: Head Wounds

Chapter 1: Head Wounds

The rain came down, one of the few constants in life. Hardship, pain, killing. Rain. Always the rain. It hurt more today than usual and I lifted a hoof to my forehead. Thinking back, I didn't know where I was, what had happened, or what day it was.

Who I was.

My hoof came back covered in my own blood. I had the feeling that this was not a new occurrence, but no particular moments came to mind. I knew I'd been shot, stabbed, burned, run the gamut of injuries in the wasteland. I didn't know where, when or why.

Pulling myself shakily up, I stood and leaned against a burnt tree, dead and baked. Looking into a puddle at my feet, I saw a ragged and beaten stallion staring back at me with bright green eyes. White coat showing through blood soaked bandages and wrappings, a dark gray mane shot through with streaks of blue. The wrappings made me look like a monster I had read about long ago, in my innocent days in the Stable.

Stable 87.

Ah, I was from a Stable, at least if the voice in my head could be trusting. If I was, I wasn't some greenhorn fresh out of the safety of controlled shelter, naive to the world and full of good intentions. At least, I hadn't been. Checking myself over with a medical acumen that felt gained through years of struggle and fighting, removing bullets and treating burns, I ran through a checklist. All my limbs intact, check. Horn intact, check. Skin still there, mostly.

The one thing that seemed off was the rough burn starting at my muzzle and running up to my left ear. Bloody, burnt down to the skull in sections. It made me look horrifying, like someone had torn the middle out of a picture of my face. I grimaced and went back to my checklist.

Name. What was my name. Looking back, my cutie mark shone out from beneath a dirty bandage, rippling waves as if on water.

Ripple. Rip. Two Kick.

I think my name is Ripple. Ripple sounds right. The two kick part I wasn't sure about.

My barding was damaged, barely clinging to my beaten and bruised body. The armor plates on it were rusted and worn, covered in scratches and what I could only describe as battle damage. Holstered at my side was a lever action shotgun, a shiny piece of metal and wood in a field of cracked, bloodied leather.

Broken, my 12 gauge shotgun and closest friend.

My shotgun’s name was Broken and I hoped that it had gained this name in jest more than in practice. A tightness around my hind hooves drew my attention and I saw the two coverings there, each sporting a set of tubes. Plates covered my rear hooves, both for armor and function, in surprisingly good condition in comparison to everything else I wore. Reaching out with my telekinesis, I opened one of the tubes out of curiosity. A shotgun shell nestled within. Checking on the others, I only had the one shell. My mind wrapped around the workings of the twin weapons and I smiled. These fired a shell into anypony I kicked.

Nasty.

So much fun.

I was a fighter. Not some doctor traveling the wastes, helping ponies and bettering lives. Not some technically centered pony repairing junk across the land. I was built to hurt. Those were survival skills, just icing on the cake.

Now why was I lying in a puddle in the middle of a field with nothing but worn gear, a nasty head wound and no idea how I had gotten here?

Check your PipBuck, provided you haven't forgotten how.

Now I could feel that only one of my limbs was unencumbered, rear legs sporting the kicking weapons and a device on my front right leg. A worn device, but one that looked rather sturdy. Lifting the chunk of metal and rubber to where I could better see it, I nudged a switch on the side. Date. Time. Location. My notes section was.... disturbingly blank. Map just showed the area about me, no prior information. If I was indeed a tested and worn survivor, why did my PipBuck have all the information a foal would? Had it been tampered with?

Could anypony even do that? If they did, it was probably right after they shot me in the face.

But why?

Confident now that I could move without getting a face full of ground, I limped out of the field, heading towards a broken down sky carriage stop. Cover was better than an empty field, the light ticking I just realized I'd been hearing compounding that. The field was radioactive, probably due to the rain.

The rain's radioactive. The mountains above Neighwhere had been balefired in the war. Did you really forget all this?

Neighwhere? The war? I knew more than I knew, as much as that hurt to think about. The shot to the face had taken the page of an encyclopedia labeled 'Ripple' and shredded it to confetti. I was reading the scraps as they drifted by, a short flurry of memories and images. Also my shredded self could apparently make allusions like nopony's business.

As I reached the cover of the stop, a small flash of yellow and pink shone through a pile of trash. I picked at it with my horn, my telekinesis striking me as much weaker than my body was used to. Pushing aside 200 year old trash, I found a box adorned with triplet butterflies. Part of me knew what that meant and I reached out, hoping it was not locked.

Celestia was apparently smiling on me today. The box popped open, no lock or even resistance, as though it had wanted to open. Opening it fully, I rummaged through, looking for anything that would heal me. My face. My burn. My memory.

A bottle of purple fluid stood out to me. Healing potion. Pure ambrosia. Popping the top, I slammed the contents and sighed lightly, a feeling of wellness spreading through me. I could feel the bleeding from my face stemming, though the sharp pain remained.

I had weapons but no extra ammunition, no supplies, no idea. Putting the small bottle in a tattered pocket, I sat to take a few extra moments out of the rain. Though rejuvenated, I still felt beaten. Like my muscles themselves didn't feel like putting forth any effort. My body ached for something I didn't have, and I looked eagerly forward to when I could remember what that was.

Voices. At least three voices accompanied by the sound of hooves walking down the street. Instinctively, I took cover, putting the wall between them and myself.

“Hate said he'd be just laying there, easy pickings. Don't think anypony could survive a shot to the head like Hate said he'd done, not even Kick, but there's good caps in making sure.” Peeking at them through a hole, I saw three filthy ponies wielding two baseball bats and a shotgun, heading down the road towards the field. I had little doubt that they were after my supposed corpse.

Hate. Hate. Hate. Hate. Hate.

The name kept ringing in my head. I knew Hate, but I didn't know who he was. Now I had a name to attach to the hole in my head, though. These three were going to lead me back to Hate and I could return the favor of taking off his face. As the three grew closer, I crouched, ready to leap. I had one shotgun shell in one of my weapons, but still I felt that I would be able to take them down in close combat.

As the trio walked past the stop, I sprang, throwing myself into their midst. I aimed a kick with my rear legs at the pony wielding the shotgun, my hooves connecting with the side of his head. I'd taken care to not trigger the shell in its chamber, but the result was still impressive. The side of his head sort of caved in with a sickening crunch, dropping him like a sack of apples, blood leaking from his eyes and ear.

The other two began turning on me as I sent another kick into the side of the second, a mare. I could feel ribs give way, shredding organs as they went all the way through, punching out through the opposite side. I paused for just a second, apparently not knowing my own strength.

You're still weak. You need more strength.

This time, the voice wasn't mine and the added pause hurt. A baseball bat smacked into my spine, sending a lightning bolt of paining shooting through my body. I kicked out instinctively with a front hoof, hitting him in the leg and forcing it in a direction it didn't want to travel. He cried out in pain, dropping the baseball bat clenched in his teeth as he did so. I didn't know how he'd been talking so clearly with it in his mouth, but that didn't matter.

I slid the baseball bat away from him and lifted his fallen comrade's shotgun with a glow of steel gray magic. The barrel pressed into his ear, his eyes darting to focus on mine as tears streamed from them. His leg breaking had only been the start of a bad day for him.

“Where is Hate?”

I could have asked who Hate was. Could have asked who I was. Could have asked why I'd been shot. I just wanted to know where the fucker that capped me was so I could bring it back to him tenfold. The rage in my eyes told the broken buck he had better start talking or I'd keep breaking.

“He was passing through Neighwhere! I don't know where he was headed, he only stopped long enough to hire me and mine to deal with 'ya. Come on Two Kick, you know me, it was just money! Nothin' personal.”

I paused yet again. I knew him? My eyes darted to his flank. A baseball bat and a ball. I grunted and jammed the barrel in further. He cried out. “Come on! We grew up together! It was always just a game, playful competition! Nothing to kill your own over.” I.... could not remember this pony. Had I killed my family? Friends? Playful rivals?

“Yeah.... I'm drawing a blank. Remind me who you are.” Nice job. Play it up like he's just beneath my notice. Not like I couldn't even remember my whole name. Nope. He honestly looked hurt when I said that, but he was still a pony who had taken money to either make sure I was dead or finish the job. Not what I'd call a friend.

“It's me, Outfield. Come on, Two Kick, drop the gun. You already killed Homerun and Strike.” The similarly baseball themed mare and the mustard buck with a bowling pin mark. “Look, I'll just head on and forget this happened. I'll avoid ya whenever I sees ya. No harm, no foul.”

Outfield. Name was NOT ringing any bells, but still I played on the side of mercy and removed the ammunition from the weapon with a series of pumps on the action. He stood shakily as I placed the pilfered shells into Broken, the weapon accepting each almost hungrily. I tried to keep the weapon focused on him, but my magic was strained. I was exhausted. More so than it felt I should be.

I lowered the weapon and put it in its holster. Outfield visibly eased up and began looking around. He nodded shakily to me and limped off as quick as he could, leaving me with his fallen friends. My fallen friends? This was getting old fast and it had only been fifteen minutes, tops.

I began looting through the bodies, hoping to get it over with before I felt any guilt. They'd tried to kill me; taking what was theirs as reparation just seemed natural. Like I'd grown up with it. In Strike's bag I found twenty shells. 12 gauge. Beautiful. Another potion, something labeled 'Med-X' and a knife that looked like it was carved from a chunk of glass. The Med-X looked familiar and I found that it helped dull the pain in my face as I took the drug.

The second bag, that of the fallen Homerun, was caught on something until I realized that it was the broken ribs I had sent through her body. Part of me felt that it was an earth pony, not a unicorn like myself, that should be able to put out that much raw power. I shook the bag loose and opened it. My eyes immediately went to pair of needles with a crudely drawn red rabbit on each. I pulled out one and before I'd even thought about it I had injected it into my side.

Need it. Want it. Crave it.

The effect was immediate. The world slowed down a bit. I could count the rain drops. I could kick a hole in a mountain. I could be shot by the biggest gun in the world and keep going. Oh yeah. This is what I needed. I heard the cheering of a crowd, felt blood soaking my sides, felt the rush of victory. Holy shit was this stuff good. The ache was gone. I was a God, an Alicorn crammed into a unicorns body, a Dragon in pony flesh.

I was the baddest motherfucker in all of the Wasteland.

As blood lust’s luck would have it, Outfield had been a traitorous snake. He came at me from behind, limping badly and swinging a jagged shard of metal. The blade hit me in the neck, cutting deep but not hitting anything vital. His weapon stuck there as I grinned maniacally at him. His eyes opened wide and he saw the emptied needle. He managed to squeak out one word before I hit him in the throat, crushing his windpipe. My second blow went through his other leg, dropping him entirely. Then it was just stomping and kicking. A frenzy of blood and rage and bone.

My world went red as the drug really kicked in, going strong for several seconds before everything went black. As the lights went out, I thought of the word he'd said.

“Stampede.”

Awesome.

----

I woke for the second time that day staring up into the rain. Looking to my sides I found two corpses and a puddle of slowly diluting red filtering out of a nasty lump. I lifted myself, finding I was weaker than ever. The Stampede had been great, but I hadn't been strong enough to take it. I walked slowly to Homerun's body, wobbling slightly as I did so. I tried to lift the pack from her body but I was too weak magically, so I grabbed it in my mouth and threw it over my back.

I saw the second dose and picked it up gingerly before putting it in my new bag. I picked up what supplies of Strike's I had scattered about and put them in the bag before clearing what was left. Outfield's bag could only be barely made out in the pile I had left of him and I was sure anything of value had been destroyed in my attack. My brutality.

I had no idea where to go from here and decided that where the three had come from was as good a direction as any. Maybe I'd luck out. Find Neighwhere. Hate. Get revenge. Not like I had anything better to do. It felt that after I had taken the stampede, my driving burn for vengeance was lessened, if only slightly.

I started walking.

As I walked, I looked through the rest of Homerun's things. Several rolls of magical bandages looked rather alluring for some reason. I assumed that since I'd woken up swathed in the stuff I may have a bit of an issue with them, but I had to admit, the thought of myself wrapped all up was pretty cool. Mysterious and dangerous at the same time. A pony nopony would fuck with.

I'd wait for a break in the rain before I did any bandaging though, if my magic would even allow for it. I felt worse than before. All I needed was food, sleep and maybe a nice mare or two. Some more Stampede also would feel good. Neighwhere just felt like the place to find those things. I hoped again I was going in the right direction.

As I walked, I could only ask myself questions. Nothing new, just the classics. Who, why, what, where, when? I'd figured out how. Hate had shot me with an energy weapon or something. No bullet would do the damage done and as I passed broken windows, catching glances of myself in their reflection, I realized that the wound was probably permanent. It’d scar up rough, never heal.

Between bouts of question pondering and staring at my face, I would take Broken from its place at my side and fiddle with it. Considering the sorry condition that Homerun's shotgun had been in, I counted myself lucky to have a weapon free of rust with parts that moved without complaint. The weapon was seemingly too complicated for an earth pony anyways, I couldn't figure out how to hold it in my mouth and operate the lever in any way that would be conducive to not getting killed. It seemed custom built for the telekinetic prowess of my kind.

Once I had given the weapon a once, twice, and thrice over, I went back to my PipBuck every couple of minutes, mostly to take a breather. I was hurting and out of energy, but I couldn’t just lay down and wait for another group to stumble across me. In the PipBuck, most of the sections were still empty, but I found that it had taken account of everything I had looted. Various meds and the descriptors. Ammunition, 12 gauge and assorted small arms. About a dozen caps. Healing bandages. A map.

A map?

Wait.

I pulled open the bag and rummaged through, finding a crudely drawn map. On it were a few locations. Neighwhere, with 87 written crudely next to it. Maremack Airbase. Hornsmith. A small beep drew my attention back to the PipBuck. It had filled itself in. I was standing just east of the mark for Hornsmith, which must have been a decent town in its time. Now it was ruins. To the west lay Neighwhere.

“Good job. You're not just a weight on my leg, are you?” The PipBuck sat there. I shrugged and went back to messing with the various options and switches. A few pulled to me, like I should definitely get to know them. Old me would have used them, it seemed to say.

Eyes Forward Sparkle. Nothing happened. Stable-Tec Arcane Targeting Spell. The world slowed to a crawl, more than when I'd had the Stampede flowing through my veins, though I still wasn't sure if that was an expected part of the drug or just my overtaxed system reacting negatively to it. I could focus more when I had SATS running. I'd keep this in mind for my next shootout.

Turning north, I noticed a little red mark at the corner of my vision. Brain damage or was I bleeding again. I wiped at my eye to get whatever it was out, which probably saved my life and definitely saved my eye. My PipBuck threw off sparks as a pistol round ricocheted off of it, fired from my right. The red mark I now saw was corresponding with a blue mare aiming a pistol at me, yelling something at me. She was muffled and I realized that blood had crusted in my ear on that side.

I rolled as another shot rang out, putting a solid looking bench between me and her. I called out to her over the rain, ”Look lady. I'm not having a great day and I'm not at the top of my game. Can you stop shooting at me. I don't know if I want to kill another pony without checking something first.” As I said it I recalled that it was pretty much what Outfield had said a minute before he tried to saw off my head. Outfield, who might have been my friend or my brother.

A bullet lodged itself in the thick metal of the bench and I peeked up and over. She was ragged, almost as ragged as I must be. Blood streamed from cuts all over her, and it looked sort of like she'd been tied up recently, bloody rope marks around her legs and neck. She wore only a very thin piece of leather, a holster its only feature.

The pistol she held in her mouth was just clicking at this point, she'd run out of bullets. She dropped the pistol and took a step away from where I took cover. She switched from red to yellow in what I assumed was now Eyes Forward Sparkle and looked me straight in the eye. “Help.”

She hit the ground, passed out. For some reason, I didn't walk off. I approached her, looking for a trap. Perhaps it was the guilt finally hitting me. I had a feeling that the old me had been a bad pony, one that would have left her. Or done much, much worse. New, amnesiac me just didn't feel like indiscriminate slaughter, as much as that sounded like fun to some deep animal part of my mind. The part that was in control told me I should help her. Do something. Make up for what may have been a mistake.

I came to her and found that, wow, she was beautiful. Underneath all the cuts, bruises and burns, she was a knockout. I lifted her lightly and pulled out my last healing potion. Maybe this was karma giving me a chance to brighten my day. It couldn't get much worse, but with luck it could get better.

I popped the top off and put it to her mouth, draining it slowly, lifting her head so that she drank it. I watched the bleeding stop slowly and some of the color returned to her face. After a minute or so, her eyes fluttered open lightly.

Oh god those eyes. Blue and violet. Heterochromia. Big word I knew for some reason. She looked into my eyes, I looked into hers. She kicked me in my face wound. My world went white.

“Fuck! Ow fuck!” I recoiled, dropping her and grabbing at my face. When the current wave of blinding pain ebbed, I saw she had my shotgun aimed right into my face. “Okay, look gorgeous. Shoot me, okay. You gave me my answer. Helping somepony isn't gonna even things out, its just gonna get worse. Fuck it, I'm done.”

She faltered in her aim. She whispered lightly, so light I could barely hear it over the pain roaring through my head. “You... aren't here to take me?” I shook my head, spattering blood across the pavement. Great, I was bleeding again.

“Yeah. I thought I'd give the nice pony routine a shot. See how that worked.” I fell to a knee, the pain taking over. “Give you my last healing potion, see if we couldn't help each other out... not die.... get kicked in the eye... not gonna.... find...... Hate.”

Out I went. A running theme for the day.

----

No rain this time. Eyes. Her eyes. I wasn't dead, though I could only see from my right eye. I was on what felt like a mattress, a worried mare looming over me. Could be worse. Could be dead.

“Oh... you're awake. I'm sorry I hit you.”

I smiled up weakly at her. “No problem. I'm sure I had it coming.”

She moved backwards, giving me a little space, looking shyly at me. It was quite fetching. “I... I did what I could. You only had bandages, I used them on your eye.”

I looked to my side. A broken, filthy mirror on the wall showed me. She'd wrapped a wad of the stuff to my face with what was left of the bandages, making me look less like a mysterious and dangerous creature of legend and more like a walking advertisement for getting your flank handed to you. I propped myself up slightly and looked at her. She'd cleaned up a bit and wasn't pointing a gun in my face. Improvement.

“So...” I spoke, putting on what I felt was my most winning grin. “What's your name? I'm pretty sure mine's Ripple. Two Kick. Something.”

She drew back slightly. “Two Kick Rip? The gladiator?”

Yep. That was fear in her eyes. I was a bad pony. She looked ready to run for the door and leave me here. I held up a hoof. “Yeah. I think. Everything before earlier today is sort of... gone. Whoever I was, that's over. I don't want to be... whoever I was. The kind of pony who gets shot by his friends and abandoned in a puddle. The kind who scares beautiful mares.”

Getting shot in the face can change a lot.

She looked less like she was gonna bolt. “I'm...” She looked quickly around the room before her eyes settled back on me. “Shade.”

I narrowed my eye at her. “Did you just name the first thing you saw?” She looked hurt, but the hurt did not look sincere. So she didn't want to tell me her name. Made sense. I was probably a murdering rapist psychopath. I wouldn't push this.

“Never mind. Thanks for not shooting me Shade. It's a nice change.”

She smiled slightly before sitting down next to the bed. She reached over towards me and I eyed her suspiciously, causing her to flinch before commenting on what had clearly caused her to shoot in the first place. “You look like a raider. A mummy raider.”

I chuckled lightly. “I think I was going for an intimidation thing. Guess it worked.”

Seeing how she viewed me, I guess I had to ask. “What have you heard about me?”

She looked over at Broken, resting where she had placed it on the remains of what had once served as my armor. She hadn't removed my hoof shotgun thingies, but I felt that it was more that they were on there pretty good. She still looked terrified and I noted the pistol in its place at her side, ready to be drawn. “I've heard you're ruthless. You dose up and kill anypony who steps into a ring with you. Never takes more than two kicks. You're a monster. One of the worst things to ever step out of Stable 87. You, and Hate, and your gang.”

Gang? I was in a gang? Makes sense. Maybe Outfield was part of it. Had been part of it. I tried to remember.

Nope, nothing. Everything was blank prior to a few hours previous.

She stared at me, her eyes narrowed cautiously. “You... really don't know this, do you? You don't remember anything or anypony?”

I held up a hoof and flexed my leg lightly. Didn't hurt that bad. “I remember... how to hurt ponies. I remember stampede. I remember.... concepts. Ideas. Muscle memory. Nothing concrete. I only know Hate because somepony tipped me off.”

“So... what are you going to do?”

I'd noticed the waver in her voice after the first word of every sentence. She was holding herself back, not sure if she should be speaking to me or unloading a weapon into my face. I shrugged. “I was gonna head to Neighwhere. Kill Hate. Figure some stuff out.”

She shook her head. “You shouldn't do that. Neighwhere's not a good place right now... or ever really. You'll be shot on sight. Hate runs things there.”

I had no choice but to nod. She knew what was going on. I didn't know the difference between a good idea and a hole in the head. Well, I had an idea.

“So, Shade, what brings you out here? You seem to know Neighwhere, why were you bleeding in a road and shooting at random ponies passing by?” Legitimate question, I felt. Though now that I said it, it might have been a bad idea. The rope cuts couldn't have been anything good.

She sighed, staring at the ground. “I... got away. I ran. Neighwhere is not a good place.” Had she been a pleasure pony or something? What kind of place was Neighwhere? She could see my confusion I guess. “I was a slave. They were shipping us off up to Filly and Red Eye. Griffins were coming to get us. I got out of my ropes and ran. I got a gun. When I saw you walking up the street, I was sure you were coming to collect me.”

“So how do you know I'm not? You could have shot me and kept running. Taken my stuff, made it as far as you could and hidden.” She looked scared. But not of me this time.

“I.... couldn't kill anypony. Not again.” So she was complex. I could dig that. She didn't want to kill me. Another bonus.

“So. I can't go back to Neighwhere or I'll be killed. You can't go back or you'll be shipped off to be a slave for the rest of your life. In that case.... perhaps we should figure out where to go? Together I mean.” I could tell she was uncertain. “I know I can't really do anything to convince you I won't beat you to death in your sleep or sell you. From the sound of it I would be expected to do that. All I can really do you is tell you that now I've got a fresh start, I want to try something different. Something less.... downright evil.” I was being as sincere as I could. If what I had been doing had ended with me being shot in the face, a change of pace sounded pretty good.

Her voice kept wavering as she spoke. “I.... we.... where would we go? Maremack is a deathtrap, there's nothing here in Hornsmith but ruins and the nearest town not tied to Neighwhere is Blank.”

Again, confusion on my part. “Blank? That's a town.” Pulling out the map I saw that yes, it was there. I'd just thought it was a comment or something. My PipBuck backed up the claim that there was a town called Blank.

“It's a trader town. Not like Neighwhere. No slavers or... other bad ponies. We would be safe.... I would....” She was unsure. I knew from the small screen on my leg that it was at least a days walk. A whole day alone with a monster for her. A day to a town that if they'd heard of me they might open fire. I couldn't blame her for being wary.

I tried standing up before a wave of dizziness hit me and I fell back down. “Fine. I'll walk you to Blank. Once I can walk. We’ll head out in the morning.” Again with the eyes. If they weren't so suspicious, I could stare into them all day.

I held up my hooves. “You can keep the weapons for now. I just want some rest. You look like you could stand some as well. I'm in no condition to try anything as is. Hole in the head and all.” With that I forced myself to my hooves. I braced against a table when the dizziness came. “You can have the bed. I'll take the floor.”

I didn't know what it was. Likely that she looked more exhausted than I was, but she accepted my offer. It couldn't have been that I was charming and convincing. No, I was a bloodstained cyclops with weapons all but nailed to my hooves. A walking pile of scars, pain and bandages. I don't think I would have trusted me. But she did. She lay down, her eyes flickering once and she was out.

Good enough for me. I would try the good pony routine. See how that worked. I lay down on the cold floor, sliding all of the weapons away from me towards her sleeping form. A sign of trust. Because she had been kind enough to not shoot me.

As much as you deserve it.

Shut up voice.

Author's Note:

Thanks to Kkat for creating FoE, an amazing piece fiction as well as setting.

Anyways, ratings and comments are welcome and encouraged, so have fun with the story.