• Published 6th Feb 2014
  • 908 Views, 21 Comments

Merry Stewed: An Equestrian Fallout - TundraStanza



Tells the tale of an alicorn rendered effectively powerless after losing her horn in the wastelands of Equestria. She'll pick up a gun, a blade, and a few companions. But really, what is the point of telling the tale of a Mary Sue?

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Ch. 1: My Name Is

A/N: Anyone remember when I said I wasn't going to do this? I change my mind often.
---

My Name Is

"Wow, I remember my occupation but not my name. Talk about being dedicated to your work."
~Phase Courier #101

---

We have achieved a state of power above all mere mortals. We cannot be killed by removing just one of our physical bodies. We are complete. We are invincible. We are the Go-

*BANG*

We... wait... what? Colors become more distinct. Pain reaches the forehead of this vessel. Why can we not wield our power? Our shield does not respond to our command. What is happening to us?

Let me go!

Who speaks out? Why does this voice seem to be... against us?

I'm not one of you freaks! Let me out! I have to live!

Insolence... will not... be... tolerated. The pain in our head is starting to act like an awfully heavy anchor. It beckons the ground closer to our vision. Several of our voices are suddenly silenced in favor of this new one.

...

Darkness becomes my blanket. A blurb leads to a stray phrase in my thoughts.

F...For... Pia...imo...

---

A fan. There is a fan in my vision. A fan with three revolving blades spins in my sight. But... my vision is doubled on itself, struggling to straighten out. I try to turn my head, but it responds very slowly as if unused to its own weight. I let out an audible groan.

"Woah, there. Take it easy, Miss."

Who said that? Oh. There's a pony in this place with me. But why is he sideways? No, wait a minute. My back feels like it's on some form of a bed(?). I'm the one that is sideways. I close my eyes. When I open them to this dimly lit room, I struggle to straighten out my line of sight. Where in the world am I?

“Need help sitting up?”

The slightly deep voice belongs to the other pony. Is he asking me a question? I struggle to keep the meaning of his words in order. There is an implicit ‘do you’ in that question, I think. He is asking if I require assistance in rising from my rest. At least, I think that’s what he is asking me. Numbly, I nod my head. My ears flinch in pain at the sound of something popping. Maybe it’s a neck joint that cracked. I’m not sure.

“All right,” I hear the other pony say, “Let’s take this nice and slowly.”

The tone he takes… is it one of gentle concern? That sounds like the right description. For now, it will do. I feel a slightly firm limb touching underneath where my head is. I assume it is the other pony’s hoof. Slowly as he says, I can feel my head fighting against gravity’s persuasion to lie back down.

I have to close my eyes again. There is some bodily pain in joints and muscles that I just now remember having. Most predominate is the migraine from before.

“Ahhh,” I sigh out through clenched teeth.

The rest of my back rises from the bed while the other pony attempts to hold me steadily. Soon, I can feel like the only thing in contact with the mattress consists of my lower limbs. I force my right eye to open in spite of the headache. My left eye soon follows suit.

“There we go,” says the other pony as his hooves slowly retreat from my sides, “I’d imagine you’re feeling a bit out of sorts right now. You sure didn’t look too good when you were brought in here.”

I finally get a better look at this pony. He has the basic square jaw structure that I know that stallions have. He looks relatively tan, both in mane and body color. There’s a wrinkle or two that show him a bit aged. Still, there’s a sign of youth when I look at his golden irises. There are no wings or horn that I can readily see. This stallion is an earth pony. He is wearing a light blue jacket and a red neckerchief.

“I’m afraid I had to do a bit of digging in your cranium to remove the small pieces of metal,” he continues in that gently concerned tone, “Sorry for intruding.”

Metal? Small pieces? What is he talking about? Was I shot or something?

“That’s… quite all right… um…” I blank out in the middle of my sentence.

“I’m Doctor Prickard.” He smiles in understanding. “You’re in the town of Fondsprings.”

Neither of the names he states sounds familiar. So I simply nod for him to continue.

“What would your name happen to be, ma’am?”

My name? For some reason, several names flash through my mind in that instant. Some seem to speak to me louder than others. Other names speak to me in scratchy whispers. However, one seems to resonate with more familiarity than the rest. It is this name that I decide to voice.

“Pianissimo,” I mutter slowly before saying with more confidence, “Forte Pianissimo.”

“Hmm,” Doctor Prickard hums, “Not the name I would’ve given you, but hey. Stranger things have happened.”

I open my left eye slightly wider than my right at that comment. That isn’t the name he would have given me. What is that supposed to mean? Though, I really don’t have anything to compare his choice of words to, so I don’t vocally ask. I have a strong urge to stay in the doctor’s good graces. Besides, he’s already talking again.

“I found it strange that an alicorn’s horn could look broken like that,” he says idly while pulling out a small mirror of sorts, “See for yourself.”

I look at the reflective glass blankly at first, not really sure what to expect. I see a faded blue pony. Her mane is long and white and seems to flap in some impossible wind. Her eyes are green with draconian slits for pupils. The only thing that really catches me off guard is the sharp stump where I’m pretty sure I’m supposed to have a horn.

The stump looks like the mess of a tree by some pony inexperienced with a tooth saw. Instead of one long and sharp tip, it’s much shorter and filled with several small pointy parts. That’s not normal… is it?

“What happened to me, Doctor Prickard?” I ask before I’ve had time to think.

“My guess is some pony got really lucky with their aim,” he answers before pulling the mirror away, “There were bits of a shotgun shell embedded in your skull that I had to pull out.”

“Do you know who fired the shot?” I inquire.

“Sorry, ma’am, but I don’t have the slightest idea,” he replies, “The securitron that brought you to me commented about a scoundrel, but he didn’t have any details readily available.”

A securitron brought me to a doctor? I find that odd. Some vague notion tells my mind that securitrons mostly look after their leader Mr. Mansion. Why would he care about an alicorn’s safety? I’m pretty sure I don’t know him personally, just as I’m fairly certain that he doesn’t owe me any favors. My eyebrows furrow at the all too convenient situation.

“Well, now that you’re awake,” Doctor Prickard interrupts my thoughts, “Let’s see if we can’t get you walking again.”

Walk? Well, I suppose that’s a logical thing to try and do. The doctor takes a step back giving me room to place my front hooves on the floor next to the bed. Soon, my back legs follow suit and I’m standing on all fours. My stance is a little shaky at first, but Doctor Prickard stands right nearby and prevents me from falling over.

“Now, whenever you’re ready, head on over to that vigor tester machine at the end of the room,” he says with his gentle tone, “Just take it easy. It ain’t a race.”

He starts trotting away leaving me to follow whenever. I take a moment to get a better look at the room that I’m in. It’s mostly old and wooden. A small number of metal tables and chairs are haphazardly arranged along the walls. I also look behind at the rest of myself.

I have a pair of large wings on my sides. By a small instinct, I open them and give them a quick flap before folding them back to their resting position. Further back, I see what I guess to be my cutie mark. It looks like a black sixteenth note. I have no idea what it means.

It’s at this point that I realize that I might be keeping the doctor waiting. Shaking my head to clear it is a mistake as my headache comes back again. I hold up a fore hoof to stop the ringing. After a few more seconds, I slowly trot along with slightly less trouble.

---

I don’t really understand the “vigor” part of the vigor tester machine. All it actually does is give a few estimated numbers next to seven generic nouns that could be given to any pony. I find it ironic that they spell out “S.P.E.C.I.A.L.” I have higher ratings in the “S” and the “E” stats. Everything else is average.

“I guess that strong build of yours helped you survive that bullet,” says Doctor Prickard.

I presume that he is trying to be funny. His sense of humor, however, is lost on me. I do not comment. He coughs into his hoof, though the sound is forced.

“By the way, your stuff is over there.”

I look in the direction that he points. A small dresser is against the wall. On its surface are various items. I can identify two leather saddlebags, a bottle cap pouch, and a straight dagger. Is this all really mine? For the second time since I woke up, I raise my eyebrow at the doctor’s statement.

“It was all you had when you were brought in here,” he insists.

I shrug my wings, deciding that he doesn’t know if the stuff is all mine either. In any case, I trot over to the dresser and start gathering the items. The bottle cap pouch goes into the left saddlebag. The dagger fits into a small sheath attached to the other saddlebag’s binding. Finally, I settle the ties of both saddlebags just behind my wing joints. The snugness is unfamiliar but not unwelcome.

“One last thing before I turn you loose.”

I wonder what Doctor Prickard means. Before I have time to voice my confusion, he is already loosening his neckerchief. He grabs it in his teeth before walking over to me. A quiet voice in my head wonders if I should just glue my left eyebrow in the upward position that it likes so much. By the time I make the thought perish, the doctor is already finished tying the neckerchief around my neck.

“What’s this for?” I ask.

“I know alicorns aren’t really into fashion, but I think you’ll find the locals a bit friendlier with the ones who wear those,” he replies, “You should speak to Daisy Doe. She’s usually in the saloon right next door. She can teach you a thing or two about staying alive out in the wasteland.”

I find Doctor Prickard’s words compelling. It makes sense to want to learn how to survive.

“Maybe I’ll do that,” I say quietly. The doctor opens the door for me.

“Good day, Ms. Forte,” he fares me well, “I hope we can meet again under different circumstances.”

I assume he means without shotgun pellets in my head. I agree with his hope.

---

For a sky that’s supposed to be closed up, the light that comes through still leaves an uncomfortable glare in my eyes. Perhaps this is just the aftereffect of being inside for so long. It takes about a minute before I can look about the immediate area without squinting. Then I take a panned look around.

Fondsprings looks like a small town. All of the buildings are one-story high. Most of them are made from what looks like wood and metal fused together. The streets are cracked in haphazard zigzag lines. Occasionally, a pale green cactus breaks the monotonous brown view.

I remember Doctor Prickard said that the saloon is next door to his office and that I should meet up with Daisy Doe. Surviving in the wilderness is preferable to losing my life out there. I have already come pretty close to death, what with the shot to my horn and all. I lightly rub the jagged stump that’s still there.

With a sigh of resignation, I start the slow trot over to the saloon. I have mixed feelings about these first steps after waking up. Part of me feels anxious, afraid of the unknown. Another part is excited, like I want to actively search for a trail of blood so that I can add another victim to the puddle. I try to ignore both of the feelings in favor of silent indifference. The anxious part has a greater foothold in my mind, however.

I focus my eyes on the saloon itself. The exterior is only slightly less bland than the rest of the town. Brush strokes of forest green and cyan are visible along a wall, though it looks like some pony too short was in charge of that project. The colors barely reach the height of the front doorway. Above that is the familiar metal-wood, fusion color of the rest of the buildings.

All right, Forte, I think to myself, Go in proudly like you own the place.

The double-swinging door puts up no resistance to my entrance. A few ponies are in the vicinity. It looks like they are mostly drinking and/or sleeping. Though, the eyes of them are all on me after the doors swing back and forth behind me. A gray-maned stallion in a black bullet-proof vest shakes his head before turning back to the mare behind the counter.

“We’ll talk later,” he harshly whispers.

“Yeah, I’m sure,” mutters the mare while rolling her eyes.

The stallion power trots over where his face is just a few inches from my own. My current thoughts carry the feelings of unnerved and insulted at the same time. There is also a really quiet feeling of arousal that I can neither place nor care to place.

“Who the f*** do you think you are, alicorn?” He practically spits his words. Strike that, he does spit his words. I feel the drops of disgusting moisture hitting me.

“I beg your pardon?” My left eyebrow raises in confusion.

“I don’t care which religious bull**** cult you’re from,” he continues to spit, “Fondsprings is Powder Ganger turf. So why don’t you just fly on back to your precious goddess and stay out of our way?”

If I didn’t take that moment to wipe my face with a hoof, I would probably be covered in an entire layer of saliva. It is such a shame that Doctor Prickard’s gift is the recipient of that layer.

Say it! Don’t spray it! I direct my thought at the Powder Ganger(?), though he clearly can’t hear that.

“I don’t like your attitude,” I state flatly.

“Would you like it any better if I told you to f*** off?” There is a click of a pistol’s safety being turned off.

Before I can wonder how he’s holding that thing in just one hoof, my hooves act on their own accord. My right hoof is colliding underneath the guy’s chin. During his hang time, I quickly run forward a couple paces. As he’s falling, my back hooves deliver a buck right into his spine. I hear the entrance doors swinging open and the grunt of a rolling stallion. As quickly as the event starts, it ends.

I turn around to look at the door, as do the rest of the saloon’s patrons. I swear I can feel my pupils getting narrower in width. My lips part several times without uttering a sound. With the view only slightly interrupted by the doors swinging inside and out, I watch the stallion slowly rise to his hooves. Then, he barely passes a glance behind him before limping away.

“What just happened?” I ask to myself more than any pony else.

The slow clapping of hooves snaps me out of my stupor as I look to see the source. She’s a faded yellow mare with a red mane tied up in a pony-tail. She doesn’t have much on her aside from some light leather barding.

“About time some pony shut him up,” she smirks, “That Kettle has a set of chops louder than his pistol.”

“Kettle?” I echo.

The young mare nods, “He’s been coming in constantly threatening to blow this joint. But he’s all bark with a small bite.”

She trots on over within a reasonable space of me. I briefly glance at the horseshoe with wings she has for a cutie mark. One of my mind’s feelings tells me I’m a pervert, so I quickly stare at one of the room’s floor boards.

“Let me guess,” she carries on, “You’re the one Doctor P. patched up, right?”

“That is correct,” I say with the most professional tone I can muster. I don’t think the aftershock of the earlier adrenaline rush is helping me remain steady.

“Are you by chance Daisy Doe?” I manage to ask in spite of my slight daze.

“Got it in one!” she cheers, “Oh, hey…”

I wonder what she has her attention on. She trots over behind to my right. I turn my head to see that she’s got her sights on a particular pistol.

“Looks like Kettle dropped this,” Daisy chuckles as she clicks the safety on, “Why don’t you keep it? Think of it like a trophy for your first victory in Fondsprings.”

I can’t find any way to argue with her reasoning. I shrug my wings before taking the small gun and placing it in my right saddlebag. At this time, I realize that most of the other ponies in the saloon are going back to their drinking and/or sleeping.

“Seems like you’ve got bar fights down, no problem,” Daisy smirks, “But I’m guessing you’d like to learn some other things for desert survival. Am I right?”

“Yes,” I nod, “I believe that was the reason Doctor Prickard referred me to you.”

“I can show you a thing or two,” she affirmed, “Follow me out back.”

---

Six shots later and three of the bottles along the fence are nothing more than raining pieces of glass. I reload the loaned weapon by hoof and by tooth. I have to spit off to the side to get the taste of pellets out. I prepare to give the rest of the targets my blessing.

“Try crouching while looking down the sight. It’ll help steady your aim.”

Sure enough, Daisy Doe is right. I find the "Varmint Rifle" to be much less wobbly and easier to aim when my knees are bent. This time, it only takes three shots to defeat three bottles. Automatically, I find myself reloading the gun in spite of the awful taste.

“Not bad,” Daisy remarks, “But a lot of the varmints you’ll be shooting in the desert won’t be standing still. Are you ready to move on to some moving targets? I’ll throw in some caps if you’re interested.”

Isn’t the student supposed to pay for the lessons? I silently wonder.

“Okay, let’s do it,” I answer.

“Great! There are some geckos over the hills that need to be put down.” Daisy Doe quickly trots away. “Follow me.”

---

Forte Pianissimo

Gender: Female
Race: Alicorn

Default Statistics
Level: 2
Strength: 7
Perception: 5
Endurance: 8
Charisma: 5
Intelligence: 5
Agility: 5
Luck: 5
Tagged skills: Melee, Unarmed, Survival

Perks
“Now I’m Free”: You are no longer bound to the whim of the Goddess. You can now learn from your passing experiences. The catch is that your mind is much more aged than most other ponies who wander the wasteland. You start with an extra level, but a -25% penalty is applied to all XP gains before they are added.

“Hornless”: What a nasty shot you’ve taken to your pride… and your forehead, but mostly your pride. Due to the loss of your horn, the basic spells of most unicorns are beyond your capabilities. However, your physical stamina and average flight speed are slightly improved to make up for it. Add +5 to unarmed and melee weapon damage dealt to enemies.

Author's Note:

Here's to hoping I don't flub another potential idea.

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