• Published 24th Mar 2013
  • 2,744 Views, 120 Comments

Fallout: Equestria - False Dawn - Requiem Mori



Equestria has fallen, and the pieces are still being recovered. A mare wanders alone, cold and embittered. Perhaps she'll find friendship, even in these dark times... if such a thing is even possible.

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Intermission: Sins of Our Fathers

Intermission: Sins of Our Fathers

Fanaticism is a great motivational tool.

Relatively quiet today, not a lot to report. This journal has entries like that it seems... quiet ruminations. Things have changed a lot since... that day. He has changed, we have changed, Equestria has changed. Who would have thought that our particular skills would be useful now? Wanted now? Certainly not I. Especially myself. Odd, that. What was once reviled is now required. How the others in their ivory towers and extravagant dresses demand our presence now. If it were not for the sake of Equestria, I would let them burn... sweep the chaff away, return it to a pure system... but the alarms are sounding. We are almost there.
~ From the Journal of Nevermore

“Incoming, incoming! Get down, get down!” Private Lighthoof dives for the relative safety of the shallow trench as zebra artillery starts to rain down on their hill and the lines behind them, the shells erupting in alchemical fires as they detonate, enveloping the area with flickering green fire. It was not a good way to go, screaming and burning until naught but brittle bones and dust are left. Several of the rounds are intercepted on shimmering bubbles of various colors, unicorns doing their best to protect the vital areas of the camp. The command center, the ammunition... the hospital. He pulls his helmet down tighter, praying to Celestia, to Luna, to anypony that’s listening to him. The small outpost he’s deployed on, overlooking a ravine, had been calling for reinforcements for a bit, desperate in the face of the expected assault. They had scratched their position into the hard soil, erecting small walls as they could, hoping it’s enough. Praying it’s enough. “Stand to repel, stand to repel!” The radio crackles unattended, faint and broken static pouring from it as every pony is needed to defend the line.

The zebra skirmishers closed on the entrenched ponies under the cover of their artillery and sniper rounds. Ponies go down into crumbled heaps as they turn to address the attackers, several falling, but more raising their rifles. A series of rounds ripple out, tearing into the charging zebras, raising cries of pain and fear. Yet it’s not enough. The zebras continue past the volley, bringing themselves onto the outpost, engaging the few defenders in vicious hoof to hoof combat.

Private Lighthoof is fighting for his life, the Zebra attackers ferocious and deadly. His immediate opponent doesn’t seem like it should be a fair fight, but she is quick, and by the blood on her hooves, apparently quite deadly. He had heard about the Zebrican fighting, and how even their bare hooves were lethal. Hopefully, he wouldn't have to find out firsthoof how deadly they actually are. Lunging with his rifle, he screams with frustration and rage. He didn’t want this... didn’t want to be here, fighting, dying on this barren soil. Youth and innocence were burned out quickly, but only the love of Equestria kept him on the line.

The two begin a deadly dance, bayonet versus hooves. They are both young, painfully young. His rifle slips past the twisting zebra, scoring a slight scratch on her striped hide. Not enough, not nearly enough. Their lives are full ahead of them, or would be, if not for this war, this blight, this ending. They don't realize it here, but they are playing the prelude to the end of Equestria. Her hoof seems to be moving in slow motion, coming in for a killing blow that evades his guard. He can’t dodge it, can’t move, only watch his demise close on his exposed throat. Time snaps back to normal as a pair of daggers dig into her shoulder, causing the zebra to cry out in pain, recoiling back. Shoving her back with his rifle, he finally notices that the battle is changing, the tide turning. Reinforcements had finally arrived.

The young stallion’s savior drops from the sky, a beautiful mare with a charcoal coat. A tall hat was perched jauntily on her red mane, out of place amidst the carnage, out of place amid the blood. Yet... there was something in her eyes that made him stop, something that froze him in terror. There was no equinity in this mare's, this beautiful yet terrible pegasus. There is only hate and violence. This was no mare... this was a monster.

~~~~~~~~~~

I look into the scared eyes of the tan earth pony, my nose wrinkling with disgust. Reinforce the front, engage the raiders. Simple enough, I suppose. I look towards the zebra at my hooves. She struggles weakly, trying to pull the knives out from her shoulder. She’s young, oh so young. Her eyes don’t hold the hatred I’m used to seeing... just fear. Fear and sorrow. The earth pony I saved speaks up, even as the young zebra quivers on the floor. She knows what to expect... and his words only make her apprehension grow. “You’re one of them, aren’t you? One of the Skyrates?”

I don’t look back, keeping my attention on the zebra. “Yes. We heard your call... the Captain ordered us to eliminate the attackers.” I see her eyes go wider as she catches my tone. Maybe before, I would have hesitated, maybe before I would have stopped. That time is long gone... dead like some of my fellow crewmates, left to rot on a dozen battlefields. I drive the knife on my hoof into her throat, ending her feeble struggles. Wiping the blade on her coat, I watch as the survivors begin to flee from the aerial assault, their attack broken by the sudden winged onslaught. Even now, I feel like I am dead inside... things had changed so much. The Captain is not as he was... all that is left is a broken shell and hatred. So much hatred. The crew itself was changed. No longer boisterous and proud... just ruthless efficiency now. The war had changed a lot of us, the war had broken some, reforged others. My anger had been honed to an edge, focused on the zebras. Any aspirations I had for a normal life had withered and died... I had nearly accepted others into my life, let down my hatred and defenses... but this happened, this entire war. Now I rush to fortify it, making myself cold and hard. Allowing me to do what is necessary. Anything that is necessary, even if I were to consign my own soul to Tartarus in the process. I did worry for my Captain when able to brood with my thoughts, worried that we have lost him. Perhaps... perhaps he needs somepony to save him... to save him from himself.

The soldier looks at me horrified, my callous killing clearly shocking him. “You... you killed her? She wasn’t fighting any more... did you have to kill her?” The fires from the shells light the air around us, ash and smoke drifting. Flames dying just like the life I had just snuffed out, coldly, callously.

“What does it matter, one zebra?” My voice is rich, yet full of hate, anger. They had taken so much from them, and I will take it back. With interest. “Blood is the down payment for their crimes.” I look at the corpse at my hooves, a pool of crimson spreading out, an offering to the parched soil. “Crimes that they can never hope to atone for.”

~~~~~~~~~~

This mare... in a different time, in a different setting... she was beautiful. Well dressed, well maintained... but there is something wrong with her, something broken. There’s no mercy in her eyes, no joy, no forgiveness. There is only terrifying rage and coldness. Her civility a thin veneer containing the monster inside. The Skyrates were famous... or rather infamous, for different things. Some were noble, brave rescues and daring raids. A band of misfits, they bonded well, ever chosen for more and more dangerous assignments. Yet there was a darker tone... especially now. Especially after the incident... at the school. Villages disappearing, all zebras slain. Stallions, mares, foals... none spared from thirsty vengeance. The jokesters, the misfits, the charismatic champions... the terrors, the killers, the murderous pirates. And here was one in front of him, dressed in black, an avatar of death.

It was then that I realized what I was looking at... a living corpse, a vengeful spirit. Anything that had made her a pony before was lost and consumed in her anger. Love, joy, hope, friendship... all of that was sacrificed. Her face spoke of blood and death, her actions cold and mechanical. I shudder at the thought, praying to the Princesses to let the rest of us avoid such a fate. I watch as she raises her hoof to an ear, a voice crackling from her earpiece. “We need you back here, we have a new assignment.”

She nods slightly. “Just finishing up. No prisoners taken.”

The radio crackles slightly, as if hesitating before responding. “Of course... prepare for extraction. We have new targets, Nevermore.”

~~~~~~~~~~

War. War never changes.

What's this Nevermore? A dream or a memory? And you are quite the vicious one, aren't you.

Author's Note:

Hope you enjoyed this little intermission from the story. I'm gearing up for more chapters!

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