A story following Page Turner, a Hermit who learns that he cannot outrun life in this Fallout Equestria Inspired Story
Page Turner is a stallion who enjoys living by himself and his books. He has done so for a good long part of his life. Though, when he is finally persuaded to leave his home for a short amount of time, he is reminded of why he holed himself in there in the first place.
“The pen might be mightier than the sword, but I’ll bet a gun blows both of those out of the water.”
It is at night, especially when the moon is gibbous and waning, that I see the thing. I tried morphine; but the drug has given only transient surcease, and has drawn me into its clutches as a hopeless slave. So now I am to end it all, having written a full account for the information of the contemptuous amusement of my fellow-stallion. Often I ask myself if it could not have been a pure phantasm – a mere freak of fever as I lay sun stricken and raving in the open boat after my escape from the Germane mare-of-war. This I ask myself, but ever does there come before me a hideously vivid vision in reply. I cannot think of the deep sea without shuddering at the nameless things that may at this very moment be crawling and floundering on its slimy bed, worshipping their ancient stone idols and carving their own detestable likenesses on submarine obelisks of water-soaked granite. I dream of the day when they may rise about the water to sink their talons into the remnants of ponykind – of a day when the land shall sink and the dark ocean floor will then arise as the top power
The end is near. I hear a noise at the door, as if something is throwing its detestable slimy, slippery body at it. It shall not find me. Celestia, that hand! The window! The window!
I smiled gently as I closed the book in front of me. Dagon, one of my favorite short stories by a mistress of horror, Hanging Peril, was finished for what had to have been the hundredth time in my life. Oh how I wish Hanging Peril was still alive, to give me pointers and notes on how to write the suspense in such a style as if it were a journal. But alas, even before the world exploded she had passed away. Suicide, befitting considering how many of her protagonists had decided to end their lives. I looked about the old library I resided in, many of the books burnt and toasted, those ones organized onto the west shelves, as I had done with my time here. The usable and readable ones have occupied the east shelves, though I wish they occupied more than just half of them. I picked up the large book where I kept my favorite author’s collection of stories in and set it back into my saddle bags. The dusty smell of books preceded the smell of death and decay that this place held, though I chose to live here, so I suppose I can never truly complain about it.
As I picked up and set a few more books on my back, I trotted, despairingly, to the west shelves. My hoof steps were never as steady as to I could carry more than three or four books on my back at one time, as this showed to the dust and the air when the books fell from under me. I silently cursed as I bent down to pick them up, my glasses falling down off my face, into the pile of burnt and ruined texts beneath me. I could see fine without them, just not read fine. I quickly picked up the books and placed them in my bags as well, then moving to establish my glasses to their rightful place, my muzzle . My endeavor paid off as I set the books to their rightful places, the collection of the lost texts I preferred to refer to as a graveyard. Not just a graveyard to the books, but to the stories and information they once held. Every character, real or fictional within those pages had some form of life, and had been enjoyed by one person or another at one time, even if that time was centuries ago. I had to at least give them some form of rite, something that I think the books, if they could speak, would say thank you.
“Yo, Bookworm! You gonna come out and chat or you gonna stay in there and collect dust?” A familiar feminine voice said to me from out into the lobby of my bountiful home.
“Can’t I do both?” I chuckled quietly as I trotted my black and white scarf fluttering as I did so. I moved past the door and was immediately assaulted with a barrage of tickles. As my eyes teared up and my lungs ran out of air to laugh with I returned fire, attacking the leafy colored filly above me, her beige mane waving back and forth as she laughed.
“Hahaha! I-I give! Cut it- hahaha- out!” The filly said past her efforts to get off me. I stopped my tickling and she hopped off. “Geez Page, you’re not supposed to win against a filly! Didn’t your mother ever teach you manners?”
“Oh hush Fauna; you knew what you were getting into coming into my turf.” I smirked and rustled her mane. “So what’s up kid, didn't your dad tell you to stop coming here and annoying the weirdo hermit book stallion?” I ask, adjusting my glasses.
“Well yeah he did tell me that. He didn’t say anything about coming here and having fun with the weirdo hermit book stallion.” She stuck her tongue out at me, to which I bopped her on the head lightly.
“Listen to him sometimes, dummy.” I gave her a frown and then changed it to a smile after a second. “But I’m pretty glad you seem to rate me that high up there.” I say before hugging her softly. She returned the hug then moved over to the bags she must have brought with her for the trip. Between Fauna’s town and my library, it’s about a four hour trek through some pretty bad urban landscape, with raiders and manticores abound. My area is a bit hidden, and by that I mean in a hole. The library I reside in was something of a test by Stable Tech from before the war, just some basic testing of if they could make large areas inside of the ground, primitive stuff in comparison to Stables. But after they finished, the city bought up the land and used it to make their public library inside. Outside the entrance, there used to be a sign before I had arrived. After finding out about what was in here and being ridiculously amazed at the fact there were so many books down here, I setup my home and took down the sign. Then I put up my own sign, one that warns about rads, on the front door. It’s just to deter some ponies from coming in here to search for salvage and the like. Sometimes it doesn’t work and I have to defend my home, but that’s to be expected for someone who doesn’t live in normal society nowadays.
“I brought something for you!” She says, wiggling her flank a bit as she digs through her packs, her cutie mark of what appeared to be a potted fern moving in time with her flank. She arises and turns to show me what looks to be a book. The corners of my mouth tilt upwards in pleasure and happiness as I moved and grabbed the book softly from her. Reading the cover I couldn’t believe my eyes.
“The Sanwich Horror!” I was positively giddy as I jumped up and down. I moved and swept the filly up in a huge hug that must have been too tight seeing as had she squirmed in my grip. “Thank you thank you thank you!” I said to her. She weakly managed to get a hoof out from my grip and pat me on the back.
“No problem, can you let me go?” She asked as I blushed in embarrassment, letting her go.
“Like I said no problem. I found that on one of the town’s scavenging missions.” She smiled, but inwardly, my heart sank. “The answer is still no Fauna.” I said, my face turned from its previously happy state to a colder one.
“What?! But come on Page! You’d be a lot safer if you just came and joined the town! I’ve been trying and even my dad seems fine with letting you stay with us until we work out a job for you there!” She pleads as I take the book and set it on the front desk, a ruined husk of a terminal near it.
“I don’t want to go and live in your town Fauna, we’ve talked about this. I prefer living here, with the books.” I said, sitting down in the cut up chair behind the desk. The filly huffed a bit and shook her head, continuing an argument we’ve had for a long time now, at least a whole year, since she and her father found me.
“Page Turner! Do you know how crazy that sounds? They’re just books! We can make trips back and forth to bring all of them back to us! You could let the town read them!” She took on a tone that for a filly as young as she was, she shouldn’t be able to, the tone of a mother scolding their child.
“No! I’m happy here Fauna! I go out and barter with the traders every so often, scavenge off of what the manticores or raiders leave, I have a normal living here, I am just fine with where I am now!” I growl, starting to get mad as she had insulted the books. Nopony seems to care about them as much as I do. No one understands that they aren’t just books; they have a soul, a soul that can die as soon as you can no longer look at it.
“You might be happy here, but for how long Page? How long before you wind up staring down the barrel of a shotgun of a raider gang just stupid enough to come into a place that says it’s irradiated?” She points out. I cringe a bit and move to touch the missing chunk of flesh near my right ear, I had lost it in a firefight with pretty much what Fauna just described, a couple of idiot ponies who wanted to get some loot and didn’t care how glowing they became. I managed to kill them off and thankfully they were the only ones who knew that they were going there. I left the bodies out in the streets for the manticores to pick off what was left of them. “Yeah I see you touching that, Page. How long before the rest of your head is like that ear?”
“I-I… I don’t know. But I can defend myself! I’m a smart pony!”
“Smart ponies don’t cut themselves off from everything that can make them safe.” The filly moves closer to me as I sigh and hold my head.
“I just can’t Fauna; I just don’t feel comfortable around a lot of ponies at once.” I explain to her for what had to be the fifth time since she brought this up.
“Fifty. We have around fifty ponies in our town Page, and usually half of them are out scavenging or working. We could even find some sort of easy job for you, maybe a records keeper or a medical assistant.” She says to me. “I want you to be safe. I really care for you Page, You were a nice pony when we met, and you still are. My dad says it’s hard to find nice ponies in the world now, so we need to take all we can get.”
“Your father’s a wise stallion.” I smirk a bit and chuckle. “It’s a long trip back… I could rig up the security for a bit.” I say to Fauna, who slowly gains a smile.
“So you’re really-“
“One week. I’ll stay for a week. If you all find me a job I’m comfortable with doing, I’ll consider it more than what I’ve done before.” I rustle her mane again. “Let me just pack up some things and say my goodbyes.” I say to her, getting up and trotting towards the back again, Fauna in tow as she followed me.
“Oh yeah! Before I forget and we’re already too far away, Splint wanted to borrow the umm, what was the name? Medical, Ectopleadah?” She struggles over some words, making me wonder if this really is the same filly that just convinced me to come out of hermitage for a week.
“Medical Encyclopedia, I assume Splints wanted the one specifically about Ponies?” I ask her, moving to the East shelves and searching through the letters.
“Yup! We found a group of ponies a few days back. A family actually. All pegasi, Dashites, a few bumps and bruises, but it’s been awhile since Splints fixed up anypony with wings.”
I nodded as I selected the medical journal I had set, placed perfectly in alphabetical order, right next to the ones on Gryphons and then Minotaurs. “Alrighty, is that all?” I ask her, she nods happily. “Good. I’ll just get some food and we can-“ The words start to stick in my throat. “Go.” I managed to get out after a few moments, the reality of what was happening washing over me. I shook my head, trying to focus on other things, moving to collect up some food and water I had ready for scavenging missions. I threw it into my bags and looked to the filly, or perhaps I should say looked for the filly. I found her jumping up and down in the front lobby, waiting for me to come and join her on her way home.
As I joined her she bounded off up the stairs that led into my library, causing me to chuckle and run up as best as I could behind her. Beside me, hanging from a loop on my backs was a bronze sculpture of a pen, sharpen to a tip. I had found it long ago, and managed to keep it sharp and usable in a pinch. I liked to call it Inktip, but the only ink it ever saw would be blood.
As I trotted out and looked to the setting sun, then to the green filly I could call a friend, I thought for just one moment that everything would be alright.
“… And then one time Glimmer made a weird magic barrier and used it to play ball with us, but he launched the ball all the way onto a pony’s house. So they had me climb up there and take it down, I got yelled at for doing it later, but it was fun to play with the colts after that.” Fauna finished telling her twelfth story as we started to get out of the cityscape. We had a few close calls with some roving raiders and the occasional manticore, but we both knew how to keep our heads low and our voices quiet when we needed to.
The scenery started to change as we trotted, high rise crumbled buildings gave way to smaller ones, perhaps the highest being a hotel only 6 stories. I knew night was coming, but we needed to get to the town, as Fauna’s father would be so worried about his foal that he might try to go out and find her. Then maybe even kill me when he finds out she had spent all of her time trying to convince me to come for only a week.
“Hey Page?” Fauna began poking my flanks. “You haven’t spoken much! Why don’t you tell a story for once instead of me?” She smiled.
I gave a brief cough and a chuckle. “Well I’m not sure what to tell about.” I gave a small excuse, knowing full well I could make up a story on the spot for the filly.
“Well what about how you got your cutie mark?” She asks which makes me sigh overdramatically.
“I’ve told you that story before!” I said, smirking a bit, just the tiniest hint of a smile.
“Well I want to hear it again, but this time, with more feeling!” She giggles a bit, making me regret ever lending her that book 101 Plays To Perform.
“Ugh fine! Well, when I was a little colt, my parents took me out on their scavenging missions every so often. I usually stayed with one of them and hid when things got too dicey, so I didn’t explore much.” I paused my story as we passed by someplace I would have to visit sometime, a book store. “Okay so, this one special mission I was with my mom, and she had found a bunch of mole rats! She told me to go hide in a closet or something until she had killed all of them. So I did, but the was filled with a multitude of things. I might still be a blank flank it it weren’t for the-”
“Pens, Paper, and a little peek hole for you to look through!” Fauna exclaimed.
“Well since you know all about the story, I guess I don’t need to continue.” I give a brief chuckle and trot ahead of her, as she had stopped with her mouth open.
“Hey! No fair! I just wanted to get that part out of the way; you always make it too dramatic!”
“You’ve heard it a few times now anyways, I don’t want to bore you.” I said, turning to her and smirking . “Aw come on! I wanna hear the rest Page!” She said before stomping her hooves.
“Yeah, come on. Might be a nice story.” I heard the click of a gun behind my head as an unfamiliar voice said those words. “Probably the last story you’ll ever tell.”
--------------------------------------------------------------------- Tag Skills: Medicine, Science, Explosives
Traits: Four Eyes: You need something to help you see! +1 to PER when wearing Glasses, but -1 to PER when you are not Socially Inept: You’ve spent all your time by yourself, giving you more time to learn your skills better! +10 to your Tagged Skills, but -1 to CHA and -10 to Speech and Barter.
Author’s Notes: I would like to thank KKat for creating the Fallout Equestria universe, SwimmingEagle and InkSplash for inspiring me to write this. Thanks guys, your works are awesome
“Nothing quite like putting your pen down on some paper and seeing what comes out.”
As I started to consider the situation I was in, I felt the cold steel push harder on the back of my head. “Come on now, I said tell me the story. What’s wrong? Cat got your tongue?” The voice laughed, I realized at that point there was a feminine tone to it. I had thought it was a male at first with how low this pony had been speaking.
“N-no…” I said quietly, not wanting my brains to be out of their original and hopefully, only residence.
“Then do tell me what happens to be wrong? Are you not comfortable enough?”
“I-I would prefer I-if you move t-the g-gun bar-barrel away from m-me.” I said, scared for not only my life but for Fauna’s as well, the filly’s eyes wide with terror in front of me, not daring to make a single move. I felt the steel move from my head and I let out a sigh that I had been holding in for awhile, only to feel a hard crack and a sharp pain to the side of my head, sending me reeling to the ground.
“Is that better?” I looked up to the pony that had started this cruel act and fretted in what I did see. The mare had an orange coat, with a bright yellow mane on top of her head, in a Mohawk style, I knew in an instant from just those few features, this pony was a raider. My eyes quickly glanced down and noted her armor, scrap iron and such arranged in a manner that if she slammed into someone else, it would no doubt cut deep and maybe even impale someone on the makeshift spikes. Her horn glowed softly with a color of magic matching her coat. The gun she had just struck me with floating to in front of my face. “Now then, I’m bored. I don’t wanna hear the story you were just about to tell anymore; I wanna hear a new one, one where you fucking explain to me why you killed my gang members!” She flung the gun against my face once more, the raw taste of iron filling my mouth as I spat out some blood.
“I-I… what?” I asked. I had thought many of the gang members I killed were just by themselves, no big deal! I even flung the bodies out to the manticores, leaving their supplies still near them, so nopony could even think I took them out. How could somepony have figured me out?
“I bet you’re so fucking smart! Killing them and leaving the bodies out. You had me fooled for a bit. So I thought it was just some fucking manticores I had the bad luck to deal with. Went out and looked for a place to hide out in and scare the pack off with a few sniper bullets. After a few days of sniping off the odd manticore, I see who else but some pretentious fuck coming up from a place I had personally looked at! Hanging a Celestia damned sign on that gate had me fooled! I’ll give you that, that was smart.” I started to slowly back away in terror, to which she pushed the gun deeper against my forehead. “I said don’t fucking MOVE! Now where was I, oh yeah. You fucking came out of there and went on scavenging off the manticore I just killed. So I got to thinking when you went back in, ‘Huh, if somepony lives there, then my idiot gang might have tried to go in.’ then I put two and two together and what do you get? A FUCKING MURDERER!” She laughed crazily and pistol whipped me again, the now becoming familiar taste of blood filling my mouth again. “So now, I’m gonna get fucking revenge on you for taking out about half my gang.” She smiles as the hammer of the pistol pulled back. “Any last words fuckass?”
I took a deep breath as I looked between her legs. “Just three, duck and cover.” I smirked and quickly rolled on my back to my hooves, jumping towards a pile of rubble, landing on top then rolling down as I felt a shot hit right where I would have been a second ago. I then heard a large boom as blood and body parts flew high above me, landing only a few feet away. I looked over and saw what was left of the raider mare’s face, wearing an expression of ‘oh shit’ if I ever did see one.
I got up and trotted towards the blast zone, blackened by the explosion I looked towards a hardware store where I saw a little green hoof waving at me. “I think that was a pretty good throw.” Fauna says as she popped up, holding one of my favorite inventions. Not so much an invention as a throwback, I had looked at schematics for old timed explosives in many of my military texts and recreated them as best as I could. Timed grenades, something I gave to Fauna to use as distractions or as a weapon normally. I’ve tested them near raider camps, they would hear it, go and smirk, thinking somepony had pulled a dud grenade before exploding into tiny bits, much like that mare had done.
“I agree, pretty excellent, and nice work on the time, I had just long enough of a window to escape.” I smiled at her. I ruffled her mane, noticing then that she had gotten some blood in it; I decided to check my own body. I looked at my glasses, not anything notably different. My mane had a bit of blood in it as well, so I shook that out. Then my scarf, it had gotten quite a few blood spatters on it. I sighed as I started to rotate it, making it appear clean at first glance again.
“Umm yeah… I totally put the perfect time in it.” She giggled and started to trot. I got a bit flustered and angry.
“You mean after all those times I showed you how to, you still don’t remember?!” I said, after all, she didn’t kill me but well could have.
“So do you wanna finish that cutie mark story now? I mean since crazy lady is dead and gone.” She said, attempting to change the subject. I accepted her bait and sighed, deciding to scold her later I simply started to tell my story from the point I left off at.
“Well, after finding some paper and a pen, I looked through a peephole, seeing my mother fighting the mole rats. She was very elegant in a few ways, even when she smashed her shotgun into a rat’s side to keep it away from biting her. I couldn’t help myself to not try and describe all the actions, and before I knew it, my hoof was writing what I was thinking. As mother’s hoof came down and gave a satisfying crunch, I knew that she had defeated another one of the terrifying beasts.” I quoted, smiling a bit as we trotted down the road, away from what had just happened. “I was too focused on writing; I barely noticed the flash of light that filled up the cabinet I was in. My head span with delight as I kept writing down the battle my mother had participated in. My mother then came to the closet and opened it up, smiling as if she wasn’t covered in the blood of a horrible mutated beast. She gave a glance to my flank, then to the paper I was holding in my hooves and she smiled brighter, sweeping me up into a big hug. She was telling me how proud she was, and I didn’t know at all what she was speaking of. I asked her why right before she called my father into the room. She pointed at my young flank and I looked, seeing what you see now.” I smiled, shaking my rump with a bit of pride. “A blue notebook with a quill passing over it, and what is represents is my ability to write down almost any event, and add a special flare to it.” I ruffled Fauna’s mane for what had to have been the fourth time that day and chuckled. “And that my dear filly is how my cutie mark came to be.”
She sat down and gave a clap of her hooves. “That was better than the last time you told it Page! I liked how you quoted your first book, what was the name of it again?” She trotted again, thinking with a confused look on her face. “A Mare’s Triumph?” She asked, smiling.
I nodded my head yes as we exited the city. “Yup, that’s it!” I gave her a wide smile.
“That mare said something about the gang being hers right?” Fauna asked after we trotted in silence for a minute or so. “Yeah, I think she did. Perhaps she was the gang leader?” I said in an inquisitive tone, thinking back on what she had mentioned. “She said that I killed about half of her gang, I guess they might not have been too strong but, you never know, I might just have gotten lucky, perhaps the turrets took out a few of them as well.” I chuckled happily.
“About half?” Fauna inquired.
“That’s what she said before hitting me in the jaw a few times, which by the way, is still sore.” I reached up and rubbed it, cringing a bit in pain.
“What about the other half?”
“Other half?” I asked, tilting my head, as if it were such a weird thing to ask.
“Yeah, I mean, you killed one half, which means there’s another half.” Fauna chuckled and shook her head. “You know what, never mind, not like those raiders got half the brain in them to work without somepony smart in their lead.” She added.
I smiled and let out a happy sigh. “You’re right, I’ll bet as soon as that mare left, they started going crazy and ended up offing themselves with something stupid.”
“Yeah like a lead eating contest!”
“Or hot potato with a live grenade.” I added, laughing with the filly as we trotted.
After another hour, the darkness had started to set in. but luckily for us, we weren’t too far from Fauna’s town that we couldn’t make it, in fact the light from her home was within view of our location.
“There’s home! Come on Page!” Fauna giggled and started to run ahead of me.
“H-hey, Wait up!” I said a bit exasperated from all the walking we had done. “Where does she find the energy?” I asked myself under my breath as I started to chase after her. After a full minute of running, we arrived at the entrance of her town, ponies trotting by in what seemed to be some late night errands. As right as Fauna was about there not being too many ponies, I still felt a bit out of place as I followed behind the leafy colored filly.
“Fauna!” A loud gruff voice said to my left, a voice I had recognized a few times.
“Daddy!” Fauna moved and jumped into her father’s hooves. They hugged for a few moments and I smiled.
“Looks like you managed to get that dust bunny out of his hiding place.” The grey stallion said with a laugh, letting his daughter down. “So Page, how did she manage to get you out, a trail of candy?” He let out a bellowing laughter that shook me a bit.
“My sweet tooth isn’t as big as yours Granola.” I said, giving a small smile. “No she just, reminded me what might happen if I stayed there for too long.” I re adjusted my glasses. “But truth is I’m only staying for a week or so, I need to make sure not too many ponies get rid of my supplies and such.” I said.
“Well, we’ll welcome you here at my place so long as you ain’t too much of a nuisance, like the first time we met.” The stallion smirked and gave me a strong pat on the shoulder.
“Oof!” I said from the pat. “You got hit by worse Granola, from the stories you tell me you were hit with a super sledge and only broke two ribs. My Inktip couldn’t have done much.” I replied to him, rolling my eyes.”
“Heh, you remember what I said after you stabbed me with it?” The stallions leaned in; much like her had done that day. “The pen might be mightier than the sword-“
“But I’ll bet a gun blows both those out of the water.” I finished for him and we both laughed heartily. “Then I said, ‘Who’s that from, Mareietta Waltz?’ And you replied with-“
“’No, Granola Bar!’ Then I socked you right across the face with my gun.” Granola gave me a big hug. “You’re lucky my filly thought you were cute or else you wouldn’t be much more than a bloodstain on the floor.”
“Dad! I do not find him cute! He’s cool to hang out with but he isn’t cute at all!” Fauna vehemently denied my relative attractiveness, making me a slight bit annoyed with every word that she said.
“Well Gran, can we get some sleep? The walk here was pretty tiring and I know I need a good rest.” I said, looking around. I had never been to Fauna and Granola’s town, but it looked modest enough, shacks built from an assortment of wood and metal. A large one built of bricks marked, Town Hall. Nothing much more, a few signs explaining which was what store and such, but nothing that should catch my interest right of now.
“Sure kiddo, I’ve got a spare mattress I save for visitors if we trust them enough.” He pats my back. “And no offense but I think we can trust a pony who can barely skin a rabbit!” He laughed at my expense, bringing me to one of the shacks that must have been his own home. The shack wasn’t too large, surely enough to fit three ponies easily, but any more would get cramped. The inside was nice and homely, two sides to the place, a room in the back, which I assumed was the restroom. A stove and fridge were to my left as we walked in, so I assumed that area was the kitchen. Granola pulled out a mattress from under a bed and smiled. “You can sleep next to Fauna for right now; hopefully we can find a job for you tomorrow.” He said, patting the mattress.
I smiled and nodded my thanks before taking off my saddlebags, shoving them underneath Fauna’s bed I flopped down onto my own, slipping into a blissful sleep, away from all the stress of what had happened today.
Dreams plagued my peaceful rest, I wish I could recant them as I could when I would wake but alas, they seem lost to me. All I know was a figure stood in front of me, in all the changes of scenery, there was that shape, a pony definitely, however I could not tell if it was a mare or a stallion. The shape seemed to just stand and watch, watch as I stumbled through the trials of my rest.
My eyes fluttered as I awoke to the sound of something frying on the stove. My hooves moved to rub what of the night held left for me out of them. As I yawned and rose from my bedding I noticed a small filly standing on a stool.
“Moring Page! I’m making bacon, want some?” She asked, smiling back at me.
“Umm sure, did the town come across some radhogs not that long ago?” I asked, stretching as I rose, the satisfying pops and cracks of my joints sounding and feeling like music to my ears.
“Yeah they caught some about a week ago; everyone in the town got a share, so I thought that I would make your first morning here special.” She moves her attention back towards the sizzling pan. “Can you grab that plate by the counter? I can’t reach it.” She asked, pointing towards the two plates sitting not but a few feet away from her. I silently questioned her laziness but still grabbed them and hoofed it over to the Fauna. She put the bacon she was making on a spatula and then divided the pieces evenly onto our plates. “Eat up! After we do, we’ve got to get you to town hall; dad came in while you were sleeping and said there’s a job perfect for you. The new pegasi put it up, said something about unfinished business that they wanted someone to take care of. I don’t know why my dad would think you can do it, but you might as well check it out.” The filly gave me a smile. I returned it with a questioning look, gnawing on a piece of hot bacon as I burnt my tongue and dropped it, breathing on what of it was still in my mouth, eventually swallowing the piece.
“Hot!” I said, panting as Fauna giggled then hoofed me a glass of water, surely irradiated, but water was water. I gulped down a fair bit of it and smiled; looking to the plate I gave it a moment before attempting to eat it again. “So the pegasi want somepony to finish some business for them.”
“And your dad thinks I can help them?”
“That’s what I said dummy!” She reaches over and bops me on the head once. I gave her a small smile and then finished my meal.
“I’ll go ahead and check it out, hopefully he doesn’t intend to send me on some sort of escort mission, and I’m not the type for that.” I waved as I then picked up my saddle bags from under her bed, then trotted out her front door, and then looked around the town, spying the brick house with the sign above it that indicated it was indeed the town hall. My hooves made heavy steps as I trotted towards it. The town itself was pretty quiet; nopony was really out and about. My way towards the town hall seemed to take an eternity, which was odd; I knew in the back of my mind that I could just say no to the job if I honestly thought it was too much for me. Never the less I still knew that I was dreading this moment. I just wanted to run, return to my library and spend my time reading my books, scavenging every so often then re ordering the books with what I had found.
As I opened the door to the town hall I let out a breath of air I had been holding, not out of relief, but out of necessity. I spotted Granola and waved; he returned the gesture and trotted towards me. “Morning Page, got a job you might be good at. We need somepony smart with tech, you came to mind first.” He started to explain.
“What’s the job?” I asked the question that had been on my mind since Fauna told me about it.
“Well, Summer Drift, one of the pegasi we found not too long ago, said they had left an important piece of tech near the area that they had fallen from, maybe about a day’s trot north.”
“What’s the catch?” I asked, knowing full well if it were that easy they wouldn’t send me.
“Well, when they fell, a group of robots started attacking them. So they were lucky with what they got, so we need somepony who might know some way of stopping them to go up there and retrieve the tech.”
“Pulse grenades, alright great job, just find somepony who’s good enough to blow them robots up and I’ll be go-“ I had turned around to start to walk away.
“Whoa there, we don’t have any pulse grenades, and besides, I know you’re good at the robot thing. You damn told me that you once reprogrammed a whole lot of them to dance the samba from 100 feet away!”
“I did that because I had found a hacking device, which I traded about a month after that, for supplies for the next six months!” I sighed. “You know I’m not the combat kinda pony Gran, I understand what you’re trying to do, but please just give me a job with helping Splints. I’ve even got the book he wants.” I pleaded. Gran sighed and nodded. “Fine, I understand. Sorry for pushing you Page, I’ll sign you up for medic duty with Splints; we can send somepony who knows how to fight. You don’t know where we can get some of those pulse grenades, do you?” He asked. I gave a small smile and nodded, pulling out five grenades from my bags. He gave a small whistle. “Damn Page, you have been packing some serious boom.”
“Well I know how to make them from spare parts. But here are the ones that are the best against robots.” I pointed to the slightly blue tinged ones. “These are EMP grenades; they release an electric field that surrounds the grenade in roughly the same radius as a blast zone. They shut down electronics and magical matrices like no one’s business.” I smirked then points to the other two grenades, the red colored ones. “These are Pulse grenades, they release a strong shock wave that if it hits you, your brain stops working from shock. Similarly, it shocks a robot’s processing units into stopping as well, so they work perfectly on both.” I explained to Granola. “Just tell the pony you send that Red can hurt them, but Blue cannot. So use the Red ones when you are sure you won’t get hurt.” I finished my explanation. “So where’s Splints?”
“Hard to miss a tent labeled ‘Medic’” Gran smirked at me as I hoofed over the grenades.
“Very funny, good luck to the one they send out.” I said, leaving the town hall behind me, and that silly quest.
--------------------------------------- Footnote: Level Up
Jury Rigger: You know how to build some of the most dangerous things, out of the least useful stuff! If you have Schematics for an object, you can substitute certain items and still get the finished project!
Authors Note: Thanks to all who have started reading my story! I’m still very much inspired by KKat, SwimmingEagle, and InkSplash. Keep up the good work guys!
“The power of books is not to retell information, it’s to reteach it.”
As I trotted into the medical offices of the small town, I noticed a few things. One, this place was not really that medically safe, as there was rust all over the scrap metal of the shack. Two, the instruments they had were most definitely primitive, even for our technologically disabled times. Several items that were better suited as weapons than tools for saving lives were strewn across a table, near a bed side. And finally three, Splints was a damn stitched up mess. The unicorn had stiches across his face and down his chest, his white coat clashing with the black lace of the stiches. His robustly red mane swung a bit as he turned to see who had come in. “And, who might you be?” He asked, the voice having a slight accent that I could quite place. He set down a small clipboard and trotted to me, looking me up and down. “Young earth pony, similar in age to many scavengers I see. Hole in left ear left by most likely a .38 pistol, and wasn’t repaired in time by a healing potion. Eyesight might be addled, due to glasses, though this is just an assumption on the doctor’s part. Eyes filled with confusion on the doctor’s speech patterns most likely.” He smiled a bit as I stepped back, the last part ringing very much true. He spoke much like one would speak to a tape recorder on examining an animal or a book.
“Umm, my name is Page, Page Turner. I assume you are Splints?” I ask curiously, reaching into my saddle bags as he gives a nod.
“The one and only! So, Page… Name rings a bell.” He looks to his clipboard. “Not a patient, Doctor considers other options. If this Page is not a patient, and the Doctor is the only medic in this town, Mr. Turner must be from outside of the town.” He looks back at me. “Attire suggests a mildly intelligent stallion, perhaps a hacker, or a scavenger. Saddle bags seem filled with square or rectangular shapes. Unless Mr. Turner carries cases within his bags, these could be, perhaps books?” Splints gave a wide smile. “Ah, you must be the librarian hermit that Fauna is so fond of. I’m a bit embarrassed that I didn’t recognize the name!”
I pull the Medical Journal of Pony and Equine Species out. “I brought a book for you.” I set it down on the desk, chuckling. “But it’s fine, I’ve come to not expect ponies to recognize me; after all I am as you mentioned a hermit.” I feel a small ping of regret in my heart from admitting that fact.
“Ah yes! A readable medical journal, a rare sight nowadays, this will become useful for my practices.” Splints gave me a quick up and down look, his eyes squinting as if I was something on interest. “You didn’t come here to just deliver a book, did you?” He asks.
“Umm no, I came here because I’m staying in the town for a few days and wanted to help out in here, I have some mild skills in medicine, so I thought you might want an assistant.” I smiled at him that squinted look still never leaving the good doctors face.
“Negative, I’m fine here by myself. I don’t get overwhelmed often, unless a scavenge goes bad, which hasn’t happened in a month or so, so we’re all fine. Your services aren’t needed right now.” He moves to sit behind the desk he had set the clipboard on, adding to that with the book. “But I do thank you for the book, I will make sure to study it thoroughly.”
I sighed a bit, turning my back on Splints. “Alright, have a nice day then.” I said, waving my hoof. I left behind the Medical building without another word.
I felt disheartened as I explored the town, which didn’t take long considering how small it was. My eyesight gazed out into the wasteland, and to the far city that the tops of the buildings could just barely be seen by. My mind sank into a depression about my own usefulness. My thoughts clouded with darkness as I sat, leaning against what could be someone’s home. I continued my staring, thinking of how I wish I wasn’t as afraid as I always am. If I could have just made some sort of remark to that mare in the streets yesterday, then I wouldn’t have had to have Fauna risk her hide to save mine.
“What’s up Page?” I heard the small voice of the filly that had just plagued my thoughts, my head snapping up with my ears to see Fauna standing next to me. “You look really down, what happened with that job my dad tried to offer you?” She asked, sitting down.
I gave a long and tired sigh before smiling at her. “I told him it just wasn’t my kind of work. He wanted me to fight some robots.” I told her, feeling her lean against me.
“But didn’t you make those robots do th-“
“Mambo, yes. But I don’t have the device I used for it. That thing might belong to some junkie now.” I smiled and pet her mane lightly. “But I’m more down about the fact I can’t help out with anything.”
“What are you talking about? You’re really smart! I’m sure there’s something you can do!” The filly giggles.
“Well not for Splints. He took the book I had lent him and basically told me I could not help him. It just felt a bit useless to even bother asking. He just said thanks for the book and told me to leave.” I vented my anger.
“Well at least he enjoyed the book right? Won’t that help him a lot? I mean, it’s really rare to find books that you can read in the wasteland. You must be really lucky to find and have so many.” She pointed out to me.
“Well, I just have a passion I suppose” I gave what she said a few thoughts. “So, I gave Splints something to help him with his goal, to help ponies right?” I asked Fauna.
“Well yeah! Splints is a good doctor, but he can’t know everything right? In fact, I’m almost sure that if he reads that book for even a second, He’ll know a lot more and will be an even better doctor!” The filly gives me a hug. “You’re a good pony Page. You’re not a fighter, you’re a giver. You may hide in an underground library for most of your days, but when nice ponies need your help, you always give them more than they can take. Did you forget what you gave my dad and me after he knocked you out and almost killed you?” She asked, reaching into her saddles bags. “Books, Page, you gave us books. You even told me that I was a smart filly for hacking into your computers. You told me I could get smarter by reading, and that smart ponies become strong ponies.” She pulls out a book that I hadn’t seen in a long time, and one that made me a bit teary eyed. Terminals for the Terminally Dumb, a how to book on how to fix, or in some cases, hack into terminals, and the book I had given Fauna after our first meeting.
“You kept that old thing?” I asked, chuckling as I wiped some tears from my eyes.
“Still read it, I’ve finished it five times and somehow whenever I pick it up again, I still learn something new every time. Books teach Page, and I thought you would know that the most. They teach things that we don’t know.” Fauna gives me the books that I had given her oh so long ago. “I want you to know you do a lot, even when you think you don’t. “ She stands up and starts to trot away. “I’ll be making lunch, if you want some, go ahead and come back home.” She smiles and waves. “See you.”
I returned her wave with a lighter heart now, inspired a bit by Fauna. Inspiration is almost my life blood, I cannot write without it, or come up with some of my most creative ideas. I gave what she said a thought and nodded to myself, trotting around, the idea in my head forming at greater and greater heights. Finally after maybe 15 minutes of pacing and muttering to myself I smiled, I had the perfect plan.
“That is the most stupid plan I have ever heard of! Not to mention, reckless and dangerous!” Fauna began to scold me after I came to her with my idea. “Going around and showing ponies the knowledge of the old world? That’s the stupidest thing I have ever heard you say!” She sighed, looking at me, noticing what determination I had in my eyes.
“But Fauna, you told me I couldn’t stay trapped up in my library, and you were right! I have to get out, I can’t just stockpile all those books for some idiot to use them as toilet paper sometime later, I have to get out and show ponies how to use them to make themselves smarter! They need to learn so they can be stronger.” I explained my voice full of cheer and excite from my plan. “I need to go out, travel to places that aren’t doing so well, and show them that books could help them! The words of the old world can help save the ponies of the new one.”
“But the old world made this new one! And I don’t know about you, but I think this one sucks!” Fauna sighed.
“What’s wrong with you anyways? I tell you I want to go out and stop being a hermit, which is what you’ve been telling me to do for the last year. Then you blow up and act like I’m crazy!” I returned her sigh, mine filled with annoyance.
“Because it is Page! You’d be going out into the world that I’ve been taught is so dangerous, we have to send half the town out just to get supplies from! And you want to stroll up to towns just like that? You’re going to get yourself killed!”
“I won’t. I’m smart enough to hide when I see danger. I learn from all my mistakes.” I move my hoof to the hole in my ear. “I learned from this one not to get too cocky from my plans.” I moved it to point at my cheek. “And I learned from this one that I need to think out those plans more.”
“Then think out this one more! Just give it a second thought, you’ll be heading out into places filled with raiders, and manticores, and night stalkers, and-“
“Good ponies that need help and ponies that will help whenever they can.” I smile. “I might not have thought too long, but with this plan, you can’t think too long on it. Because I don’t know what’s going to happen.”
“Trust me Page; those ponies don’t need you to help them.” She gives a small humph before looking at me.
“Yes they do Fauna.” I simply replied.
“How do you know!?”
“Because, I used to be a pony that needed help, just like my parents did, but they didn’t get any, I did.” I give a small smile. “I got help to survive from a village, after…” I give it a thought and shake my head. “Never mind, the point is I can’t leave ponies that could need help without it! I wouldn’t be alive if someone else didn’t think like that, and they did, so I need to follow in their hoofsteps and help others. Even if it’s in as dumb as a way as giving knowledge of the old world is.”
Fauna gives a small look at me, all the anger or contempt from my decision erasing from her face after just those few words. She gave a small nod. “I don’t like it, but I can’t stop you can I?” She asks, to which I gave a small shake of my head. “Well then, where are you going to go?” She smiles.
“Back to my library, I’m going to pack some different books to take with me, just some random topics that may or may not come in handy to share. Then, I’ll set off for anywhere I can go, one of my traders that come along mentions a settlement to the west of my library. I think he called the town Stonebrook.” I said, looking to Fauna as I blinked, noticing a look in her eye.
“So then, when are we leaving?” She asks with a small smile. I shook my head as she said this, looking at her sternly.
“No, you’re not going to come along; it’ll be much too dangerous for a filly.” I said looking at her. “Oh yeah, too dangerous for the filly who saved you from a raider not what, a day ago?” She asked smirking at me. I frowned at her and sighed.
“That was different, you saved me, but what will happen when the situation is reversed? I don’t think… I might be able to save you. I’m not the bravest; I was almost pissing myself from the sight of the raider. You saved me, and I’m gonna say thanks for that, but you have no idea how bad it can be. Especially for a foal, it’s one of the reasons I went into my library after all. So no. I will not allow you to even think of coming with me while I travel.” I said looking her in the eyes with a look that said I was never more serious about anything else in my life.
Fauna gave a defeated look to me and I knew she had come around to my side of the argument. She looked down to her hooves in disappointment. “Sorry Page, I just. I enjoy being around you a lot. And this place is getting kinda boring, so maybe if I went with you it’d be more fun.” She gives me a weak smile and I lightly placed my hoof on her head, petting her mane.
“Don’t worry about it. But hey, how about this.” I smile wistfully at her. “I don’t really want to say good bye more than you do, so how about you come with me to my library for me stocking? I mean, at least we can spend a bit more time together.” I gave her a chuckle. “That sound good?”
Fauna gave a hopeful and joyful gasp at the suggestion and nodded, hugging me tightly, a bit too tightly as I started to struggle for breath. “Yesyesyesyesyes! It sound super-duper great!” She giggled as she started to let go of me. “I just gotta pack a bit of food for the short trip okay?” She rushes around the home to get packed as I smiled at her, nodding in agreement with her task before starting to trot out. Soon she was ready to go on out with me, I gave her a small smile before she jumped a bit, smiling widely, a smile only a foal can do right. “Ready!” She said joyfully. We then made our way out of her village and back towards my library.
Quiet. It was eerily so quiet once we arrived back at my home that I was on guard. I had never heard it this quiet before, usually I could hear gunshots in the far distance of the closer roar of a manticore. I moved towards the small area where I enter my library and noticed that the terminal was blown up. I looked back to Fauna. “Stay here, hide.” I told her, not waiting for an answer as I moved in and crouched low, moving through the familiar tunnels of my home. I moved in the shadows, the faint wind of the outside bristling my mane as I noticed the turrets I had set up to guard my home were exploded and all that was left was some scrap metal and their place holders. I let out a small, quiet sigh of anger. I keep moving, traversing the halls with a swiftness that could only come from knowing this place like the bottom of my hoof, which with how many times I turned the pages of a book, I knew very well.
As I heard a sound from behind me I turned, readying Inktip in my mouth as I pushed against the wall, hoping I wasn’t noticed by the invaders. Then I lets go of my weapon with a sigh as I saw Fauna, smiling at me. “You’re not very sneaky.” She said in a hushed whisper.
“What are you doing here?” I replied in an equally hushed tone. “I told you to stay back!” I raised my voice lightly at that, to which Fauna put her hoof up to her mouth and made a small shushing noise.
“I thought you could use back up.” She smiles at me, her eyes glinting in the dim lights of the hall. I knew she was trouble sometimes, but this might be getting a bit ridiculous. I sighed and nodded, moving to the wall and starting to trot on again, knowing full well there was no way I was going to rid myself of that filly.
The sound of voices put both me and Fauna back on edge as we hadn’t heard anything for a good few minutes. I trotted slowly to the corner in front of us, which would lead to the entrance of my library itself and listened to the conversation.
“So wow this fucking place! It’s like some weirdo retard decided to take all those fucking useless books and put them in one place.” A female gruff voice then laughed. “So then, why the fuck we come here again?”
“That’s the third time you’ve asked you fucking idiot.” A voice that was gravelly replied. It was male however as it was much much deeper than the females voice. “We’re here because Blastzone came around here like a week ago and hasn’t been back. Boss is getting pissed at her.”
“But I thought she was the boss?” Another male voice, this one with a certain hinge to it, the tone making it sound like the pony behind the voice could just go crazy at any moment. This was reinforced with a hyena like giggle after the question. “Hehehe, yeah fucking right. She was always a bitch. One I would have liked to cut right into!”
“Can it fucko. We have a job to do. Then when we find the bitch we can gut her and take turns fucking the entrails.” The gravelly voice replied, adding a laugh to the already laughter filled room of the raiders. I was more or less scared for my life… we had faced a raider not but a day ago right? Images of the raider’s bloody pulp from my grenade filled my mind and I balked lightly at the thought, struggling to stay quiet. I looked back from the cover as I heard movement. “Well, somepony was fucking living here, so Blastzone was right.” The mare said, whom I’ve barely gotten a look at, but from what I could tell she was wearing the normal raider décor and armor of spikes, blood, and gore. Her flank was adorned with a cutiemark, one of a skull being crushed by a rifle butt. Her fur around the mark was a bright, almost urine colored yellow. “I think the pony might have left. We still had to take fucking care of that stupid ass turret thing.” She adds on, a sound coming from her mouth that I had to assume was her hawking up a loogey. I inhaled deeply through my nose, trying to calm myself down and was assaulted with unfamiliar smells. The iron-like smell of blood in the air around them, even if they had no other victims here except for my turrets, the smell of sweat and unwashed was all over them, worse than if it had been on me. I don’t take showers often, as I don’t have access to them, but if I were to use one, I’d try to make sure I’d get everything. Otherwise, the rain does fine, but these raiders almost seem like they purposely ignore and avoid even the rain to stay dirty.
“Well, the others are looking around where Blastzone was hanging out. So they might find the whore.” The crazy voice started to say. “Hehehe, hopefully She’ll be dead~!” He sounded all too happy about one of his comrades possibly being dead, which she was. Did raiders consider each other comrades? My attention was snapped back by the next words, which made me shiver in terror.
“Let’s just look around here and then burn those stupid books back there. Who the hell can even read?” Gravel Voice laughed. This not only scared me, it enraged me. But I couldn’t take on 3 raiders by myself! I almost got killed from one with just a pistol! I don’t even know what weapons these ponies have. I want to save my books, but at the same time, I realize my life is more important. I was just about to decide to move back and leave the raiders, maybe ambush them outside, when I heard a click of plastic on metal. I then saw something sail through the air in front of me, a grenade. I turned my head over to Fauna, who had held a pin in her magical grip, the light green magic shining faintly in the dark as I then heard the aftermath of her brash and if I might say very stupid decision.
“What?” Crazy Voice said, and then the sounds of scrambling and terror filled the room the raiders were occupying. The sounds of diving for cover, shouts to get the fuck out and such had then been replaced by an awkward silence where normally the loud Boom of a grenade would have been. She had used one of my timed grenades again, and set it to a very bad time. I gave her a worried and exasperated look that explained my own dismay at this situation. She just gave me a scared and worried shrug back as we heard the raiders’ starting to leave their cover.
“It’s a dud.” Urine Mare said as she looked over the grenade I presumed, I was too busy trying to become one with the matter of the steel wall behind me. “WHO THE FUCK THREW THIS?!” She yelled down the hall. At that moment I felt like I should do one of three things, one, and piss myself. Two, piss myself and run. Three, Piss myself, run, and take Fauna with me. I almost elected the third when I heard the sounds of something that can only be called the sound of ripping death. I moved quickly to grab up Fauna, who was cowering beside me and start running down the tunnels, bullets starting to move past my flank and dive into the steel of the ground under me, bouncing off it and almost hitting me on the ricochet.
I panted as my mind started to slow the events around me so I could think better, which was very hard with deadly force being used on me and my friend. My mind came up with maps of the location I had researched when I had found so many years ago, and which way to run to allow me to double back and lose them. The map played like a chess game in my mind as I imagined all possibilities and did my best course of actions.
Left, left, right, upstairs, right, down a flight, then run through a small office area. The plan was working as I could barely hear the raiders behind me anymore, though, trouble struck once I found myself falling, and face first by tripping over a garbage can that had rolled its way from where I had put it almost a month ago. Come to think of it, on the way down, I had time to mull over my plan and I had forgot to include one detail, the raiders got here first. They must have scavenged and messed with many of my items before hoof. In retrospect, the trash that was in the other rooms should have tipped me off to this, but I was too worried on my own life and Fauna’s to care about minute details, but you know what they say, Discords in the Details.
My tumble sent a surprised Fauna off my back and into the hallway in front of me. As I felt pain spike up my front fore hooves from hitting the trashcan, I heard the raiders behind me, shouting my location out to each other, no doubt ready to kill me and use my body for party favors. I looked to Fauna who was sprawled out as well, but she could and did recover much faster than I did. I gave her a small shoo with my hoof and she went running. Alright, new plan time, and not a moment to waste. Before I could even get a good smell of the raiders, I moved my hind legs and bucked the trashcan down the straight shot to the doorway behind me, a great clattering sound as the remains of soda bottles and metal cans in the giant metal can went soaring back. As I started to run, not even bothering to look back, I heard the surprised yelp of one of them, I think Crazy, as I ran. No sooner had I turned a corner had I felt a gunshot blaze right through the hairs in my tail, singeing them from the heat and force of the bullet. Now without a filly to be around me, but still to worry about, I had to make a new plan. As is, it would be near impossible to get to Fauna and get to the exit without any major injuries. This left one option I really did not want to do. I let out a small sigh as I dug through my packs every short moment of rest I got, and uncovered my very own happy creations, more of the timed grenades, in multiple forms. But even better was a remote detonator I had rigged up for each type of grenade.
I ran down the halls, dropping flash bang grenades under my hooves as I felt bullets sting into my flanks, the hot searing pain of a piece of metal pushing and penetrating my skin felt well, obviously not good. I couldn’t keep this from stopping me, I needed some way to distract them and get close enough to use my Inktip. I looked back as I set the last flash bang, diving into a room as I saw what might have been a cowponies hat on the lead raider in front of the group. I shut my eyes and pressed the detonator with my teeth hard enough to where I heard a crack and a small thought of fright at perhaps breaking my shiny toy entered my mind. But this thought was pushed out as I heard the raiders scream in pain from the very bright light and loud sound of the flash bang, which actually while not blinding me, sent my ears ringing. I moved quickly and went back out, seeing the raiders in all their spiky and death filled glory. I moved with my Inktip out, smashing it quickly into the first raider’s temple, cursing as I saw it had gotten stuck. I had no choice but to leave it as I heard, although through muffled ears, what some of the raiders were saying. Now most of this was nonsense that I didn’t care about, but then something caught me enough to make the temporary deafness all bearable.
“That fucking village will burn!” Crazy had said, and I felt my bones shiver and shake, my own blood chilling. I backed away and went into one of the rooms I had gone in earlier and as the deaf nature of my ears left, I found the courage to yell back. “What Village?!” I said, earning a laugh, from Gravel. Before I registered what he spoke, the idea of a pony being able to take a dagger to the temple, survive, and then laugh at said pony who stuffed a dagger there, turned my bladder almost three sizes smaller.
“The one we saw hoof prints leading to. We know all the villages near this fucking part of the city. We’re going to burn it right now! We’ve been planning that attack for weeks!” He said. I felt something inside of me break and something else try to hold it together with duct tape. The something that broke was the dam I was welling my anger in, and the something else was my common sense and logic trying to stop me from doing something stupid. But unfortunately, it didn’t work out to well. I threw out several regular grenades to the group of three. I heard them curse and run, but one seemed to remain, Gravel. “Nice try Pon-“Was all he got out before hot shrapnel exploded in his face, tearing through the weak raider armor and pulling his muscle from his bone. When I went out there, I received a sense of déjà vu from the sight of the blood and viscera all over the hall, but I saw no sight of Inktip, which was lodged in this raider’s head last time I saw. I felt a bit of sadness from losing my weapon before I heard the other raiders coming back and suddenly, even with all the rage an idea popped into my head. All my timed grenades run on a similar frequency to my remote charges. If I was right, and I hoped to the Goddesses I was, and then the raiders might have picked up the ‘dud’ grenade they saw at first when Fauna threw it at them. As I saw Urine and Crazy turn to see me, clean in the otherwise filthy with blood hall where the remains of their comrade once stood, I smiled at them.
“Bye Bye.” I said as I gripped down on the trigger for my frag remote charges, and it seemed my luck paid off, as Crazy’s saddlebags exploded in a terrifying display of blood and bullets, some shots from the ammo in his back actually hitting me, but only grazing. I cringed in pain, but then in disgust as I saw the two raider’s bodies. Crazy’s was split in half from the explosion, hind legs near the wall behind him and his front half looking like it almost was trying to crawl away. Urine wasn’t as unlucky, but she was at least in the good grace to die. Her right flank was torn completely down to the bone, and it was a half miracle that it managed to stay attached, but it was still rather disgusting.
I looked around, quickly as I could to see if Fauna was around, and I was half relieved and half terrified to see that the filly wasn’t. I then rushed past the dead raiders, looking around. “Fauna!” I yelled, looking all about for her. “It’s safe!” I tried to assure the filly. Just when I had started to freak out, the filly moved up and tapped my flank, making my cringe from the grazing my hindquarters had received. I looked back and sighed with relief. “Oh thank the Goddesses.” I said, picking her up and pulling her into a hug.
“I’m fine Page… did you take care of those Raiders?” She asked, to which I nodded. “Yeah, we don’t have to worry about them.” I said, until a dark and unsettling fact surfaced its way back into my thoughts. “We need to go. Now!” I said, picking up the filly and rushing back out of my home.
Smoke, terrible smoke filled the air as I looked at the remainder of Fauna’s village, which was nothing but a pyre to the ponies that were killed there now. Foals, mares, stallions, It didn’t matter who was killed and who survived. My mind was blank as I looked down, seeing the tears of my filly companion drop to the dry ground. Numerous times I had to hold her back from just rushing in there, her yelling names of her loved ones, her father, and her friends. My eyes stung, whether it was from the smoke in the air, or from the terrible sight before me, I knew that I had to leave, and I was taking Fauna with me.
Footnote: Level Up
Lack Of Fucks: You gain the ability to ignore 10 points of penalties to skill rolls from a chosen source for a turn. For every rank of Lack of Fucks you take. Each use must be on a different turn. This perk has an unlimited number of ranks -- you can lack as many fucks as you want to spend perks on . Skill Note:
Author’s Notes: I am so sorry this took so long to write. I finally finished it though! Thanks to inspiration from many different ponies! See y’all for Chapter 4!
Also while I was gone I got a couple commissions, as you’ll see from the title card and this here.