Fallout Equestria - For a Sparkle Cola

by Ron Jeremy Pony

First published

There's a question that runs through Smalls' mind pretty often, what would I do for a Sparkle Cola? The Answer is pretty much anything.

Smalls, or Small Fry if he's in trouble, is certainly several things. A decent pony, a former Stable Dweller, a good friend, and certainly a Sparkle Cola drinking fiend. If there's a Sparkle Cola around he will find it, and he will drink it. His quest for a Sparkle Cola has lead him to what was once the happiest place in Equestria, Sparkle Cola World. But the Theme Park isn't the happy place it once was, and now the responsibility of running it, and deciding how it will interact with the world at large is squarely on the shoulders of Smalls and his friends.

Join Smalls in this odd ball adventure in the Wasteland, and see if he can maintain being the decent pony he is, or if he's destained to become the next terror of the Wasteland.

Sparkle Cola World

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Fallout Equestria - For a Sparkle Cola

Chapter One - Sparkle Cola World

The door of Stable 124 loomed ahead as Small Fry moved toward it. He looked behind him to see three bulbous forms being carried by a set of protectron ponies. Those three were the elders of Stable 124, the leading tribunal, since there wasn’t an actual Overmare. All three of them, ancient at the ages of thirty, forty-five, and forty-eight coughed before they used their magic to levitate up bottles of Sparkle Cola and drank heavily before tossing the bottles to the side. When they did, a group of robots moved to clean up the bottles, all to be repurposed later into new bottles of Sparkle Cola in the manufacturing area of the Stable.

“Small Fry! You’ve been given every chance to fulfill your role in the stable!” the first shouted.

“I tried!” Small Fry cried as he stood there.

The elder that spoke was a gray unicorn mare, although to look at her one would be hard pressed to tell the difference between her or to the two others that accompanied her. The other two, both stallions, were little more than huge rolls of fat simply layered on top of a pony frame. There were long stretch marks on their skin showing how tight and taut it had become due to the massive amount of overeating the three of them enjoyed. Behind them, in the Stable, dozens of others were the same.

All so obese that they could no longer move on their own. Each one reliant completely on the robots that ran the manufacturing section of the stable, and each had to rely on the robots to artificially inseminate their intended spouse when they came into season. Their lives were one of indulgence, dedicated to the idea of more is more, and completely uncaring or unfeeling for those who did not abide by their ideals. As such they saw Small Fry as a blight on their community. A pony that walked on his own, a Pony that had a thirst for knowledge greater than a thrust for Sparkle Cola. A pony that would eat only a single serving of Fancy Buck Cakes or a single bowl of Sugar Apple Bombs, and then wander off to look at some part of the stable nopony could get to anymore.

He was trouble, and for that reason it was decided that he would be tossed into the irradiated wilderness outside of the stable. He stepped toward them and a single protectron pony stopped him. It shot a single crimson beam of energy in front of him making him stop. He jumped back and the protectron resumed its silence stance near the elders.

“You haven’t tried enough!” the mare shouted, “ You’ve indulged your mind, but not your stomach!”

There was a coughing sound of agreement from the other two, “For that reason you are banished! Take your need to know from this stable!”

He looked at them, fear in his eyes, “Please, don’t make me leave,” he begged, “It’s death out there!”

The stallion to the far left laughed, “It’s death in here if you stay! Go ahead, we will have the Protectron Pony blast you, turn you to dust, and that will be the end of it!”

Small Fry backed up, “Okay… I’ll leave, but can’t I have anything to protect myself?”

The Protectron Pony moved forward, a compartment in its side opened, and it leaned over dropping a single pistol. Small Fry picked it up, and placed it into his saddle bags.

“There, now you have protection! Leave!” the mare shouted.

As she did the large gear shaped door began to open. Slowly it pulled back, the sound of scrapping metal echoing as it pulled open, and then it rolled out of the way. Small Fry looked to them, his hazel eyes reflecting the sadness he felt, and he stepped out into the wide unknown. The door closed behind him, and he looked at the vast nothingness in front of him. He felt a tremble of fear as he looked at the sky and saw stars. A rushing feeling of fear poured through him as he believed it was possible that he could potentially fall upward. He rushed toward the first thing he saw, an old wagon, and latched his legs onto it. When he did he breathed out.

“Smalls! Smalls wake up!”

He looked around for the voice, and saw nothing, then he felt something pushing on him and his eyes blinked open. He looked up to see his ghoul friend. Poetic Pen shook his head as he looked at Smalls and then looked around them. Behind them was the Unicorn mare they’d saved a few days back. For Smalls he’d been outside of Stable 124 for nearly three months. In that time he’d made friends with Poetic Pen and Cosmic Light. Of course he believed that Cosmic Light’s friendship was more due to the fact that she felt obligated to be friends because they saved her.

He smacked his lips and felt a driving thrust, “Ummm, do we have any Sparkle Cola?”

Poetic Pen rolled his eyes and passed him a single bottle, “It’s the last one so make it… Are you fucking serious?”

He looked as Smalls finished off the bottle. He shook his head, “You know, it’d last longer if you actually tried to taste it.”

Smalls grinned, “I know, but I was thirsty.” The three of them began to walk again, and as they did time began to pass. Twenty minutes later and Smalls groaned as he walked beside the two ponies he considered friends. Both of them looked at him as he looked in the distance. Anyone that was likely paying attention would have believed that Smalls was experiencing some kind of withdrawal, and they wouldn’t be wrong in that regard. He looked ahead at his two friends. Poetic Pen stood on the left. The ancient Pegasus stallion had been around since before the war, although Smalls hadn’t asked him how old he actually was. Beside Poetic was Cosmic Light. Cosmic was a Unicorn with a dark purplish coat, black mane, and the clearest crystal blue eyes that Smalls had ever seen.

That of course left Smalls himself. Despite his name Smalls was a huge Earth Pony. He was overweight quite a bit, even with the travel and movement out in the wasteland he was still exceptionally pudgy. His lime green coat had gotten dirty, muddy, and lost some of its shine. His blond mane had begun to look more sandy blond than true blond, but his hazel brown eyes were still just as excited and happy as they were the moment he came across Poetic Pen.

♫What if there was a place with all the zip of Sparkle-Cola

Wouldn’t that be the cheer-cheer-cheeriest place in all the world

Where the river’s made of Sparkle Rad and the mountaintops are fizz

With fun and games and rides for all the moms and pops and foals

Well it turns out there’s a place with all the zip of Sparkle-Cola

Come on down to Sparkle-Cola-World and see it for yourself

Kandy Kingdom’s lots of fun for foals like you and me

Daring Do's Adventures are full of animals to see

Blast off to Lunar Zone for otherworldly thrills

Down in Hangin' Ponies Corral there’s Cola up in them thar hills

The World of Refreshments the most wonderful place

The friendly streets of Sparkle-Cola-Town put a smile on your face

Now you know there’s a place that’s just as great as Sparkle-Cola

Come on down to Sparkle-Cola-World and see it for yourself

A vacation that refreshes a trip you won’t forget

A park with every minimum acceptable safety standard met

Quench your thirst for adventure at Sparkle-Cola-World!

“I’m really starting to hate that damned song,” Poetic grumbled as they walked.

Smalls smiled, “Sorry, but isn’t it great? There’s a whole place out there where traders are getting to work without worry, and an entire ride full of Sparkle Cola Rad!” Smalls said as he clopped his front hooves together, “Just think of how awesome that is!”

Poetic grunted as they walked together, “Yeah, I’m not sure I’d want to drink anything that’s been floating boats and had little foals most likely puking into it, but hey, knock yourself out if that’s what you want.”

Cosmic laughed, “Smalls, seriously, why do you even want that stuff? I mean sure, bottle caps are awesome, but that cola is iffy at best,” she said as they walked, “Personally I’d take a Sunrise Sarsaparilla or some clean water.”

Smalls shook his head as he stuck out his tongue, “Eww, no way, I love Sparkle Cola, and that’s the only thing that we had to drink back in the stable.”

Cosmic shook her head, “So, why did you leave your stable again?”

Smalls sighed as they walked together, “Because I was the smallest pony there,” he said, “It’s not my fault that I couldn’t get as big as the others! I tried!” he exclaimed, “But I liked working on stuff, and I liked walking to some of the older parts of the stable that the others couldn’t get to,” he said, “So I couldn’t get as big as them.”

Poetic shook his head, “And what stable was this?”

Cosmic grinned as she walked beside the two that had stumbled across the group of slavers that had captured her and about a dozen others. She was pretty sure that Poetic wouldn’t have jumped in to help set them free if it hadn’t been for Smalls. The big Earth Pony was brave, and intelligent for sure, but he did tend to act like a foal about things. Especially when he got excited and started to talk about his stable, or Sparkle Cola.

Of course that excitement made itself known again as Smalls grinned, “That was Stable 124, the Sparkle Cola Stable!” he exclaimed happily, “I found out that Mr. Horse commissioned the stable directly with Stable Tec, and he wanted to use it to test out the great impact of Sparkle Cola, Fancy Buck Cakes, and Sugar Apple Bombs on all of the inhabitants.”

Cosmic grinned and shook her head, “Okay, so what was the test?”

Smalls stopped and scratched his mane, “Ummm, I don’t know,” he replied, “The computer that had that info on it was kinda messed up. Somepony, from way back, had spilled a Sparkle Cola on the back of it. It kinda messed up some of the memory in it. I got it to working again, but I couldn’t see the rest of the test. I could make out a few words, and the best I could guess was something about life spans and mutations.”

Poetic shook his head, “Fuckin’ Stable Tec,” he grumbled, “I bet that they were testing to see how it affect the life span of everypony in there, and most likely it also tested to see if you experienced any mutations due to the trace amount of radiation that was in Sparkle Cola.”

Smalls looked at him and shook his head, “Naw, that can’t be right. Because there’s no way that Mr. Horse, who was contracted to sell Sparkle Cola, would do something like that.”

Poetic rolled his eyes, “Sure he wouldn’t,” he grumbled, “And I bet that he wouldn’t let everypony run a train on his mother if it meant that he could get another million bits out of it.”

Smalls looked at him, “Why would he want to let somepony run over his mama with a train?”

Cosmic grinned, “That’s not… You know what, never mind,” she said, “So, why are we heading to this Sparkle Cola World?”

Poetic groaned, “Because Smalls’ Pip Buck picked up that damned transmission, and then we happened across a pony that told us about how good things are there,” Poetic shook his head, “It has a feeling of the wasteland about rut us all in the tailhole with a sandpaper dildo.”

Smalls grinned, “Or it could be just like he said.”

Cosmic smiled, “Hopefully, but if it isn’t do we stand a chance of getting out alive?”

Poetic grunted, “Dunno, maybe,” he looked back at Smalls, “Smalls there seems to be stupid lucky,” he smiled, “I’ve seen him manage to sneak past a bunch of feral ghouls without them noticing once, and if that ain’t luck I don’t know what is.”

Cosmic smiled, “Then maybe we’ll be fine.”

Smalls looked around, “Wow, it sure is hot. I could really go for a Sparkle Cola.”

Poetic groaned, “You had one, twenty minutes ago,” he said as they walked, “And you downed it in less than two seconds.”

Smalls nodded, “Yeah, it was really good, but now I want another one.”

Poetic stopped, turned, and looked at him. His gold eyes looked slightly glazed over, and his sickly tan coat was blotching and falling off in places. Still, he looked like a father about to tell off a foal.

“If you wanted to drink one now, then you should have saved it!”

Smalls looked at him, and then looked at the ground, “But I was really thirsty..” he said.

Poetic shook his head, turned back around, and began walking, “Then wait until we come across another vending machine. Those damned things are all over.”

That seemed to pick Smalls up, and he began following them again. As they walked there was the sound of hoofsteps, and Poetic stopped them. He neared the top of the hill they had been climbing, opened up his saddle bags, and dug out half a pair of binoculars that he’d carried in there. He held it up to his eye, and then he grunted and began to back down.

“Good news is that we’re almost to the entrance of that damned park,” he said.

Cosmic could tell by the way he was saying that there was a huge but in there, “But what?”

Poetic held out the half of a pair of binoculars to her, and she took it in her magic. She climbed the hill, looked through it, and then silently swore that Luna had just raped them all with the bucking moon. She slowly moved back down to where they were.

“That’s a bunch of Enclave soldiers,” she said.

Poetic nodded, “Yeah,” he said, “I bet that they’re part of the remaining faction that wanted to stay separated. A whole park, with its security, supplies, and a training outpost to boot, I bet that it sounded like a great deal to them.”

Smalls looked at them, “Ummm, so why don’t we just sneak past them, or maybe we can walk up and talk to them?”

Poetic looked at him and shook his head, “You don’t get it do you?”

Smalls looked confused, “Ummm, no?” he asked, “They’re ponies right?”

Poetic sighed, “Yeah, they’re ponies, but they ain’t friendly,” he said as he checked his rifle. The fifty caliber sniper rifle was something he’d carried since before the war ended. He’d been a sniper in the army, mostly because he wasn’t a strong flyer, and he could get to the places that would be difficult for Earth Ponies and Unicorns to get to. He had about twenty rounds of ammo. Even though he could still shoot like he used to it didn’t mean much.

“There’s about thirty of them,” he said, “I’ve got twenty rounds of ammo. Even if I get one with each shot, and I most likely could if I had a great vantage point, it wouldn’t mean much because I couldn’t get them all.”

Cosmic rubbed her chin, “What about sneaking past them like Smalls suggested?”

Poetic looked at her like she had just managed to drop a load of bloatsprites straight from her mouth. He shook his head, “Did you happen to see the ones wearing the special goggles?” he asked.

She nodded, “Yeah, so?”

He grunted, “We had those in the army, or at least the special forces did,” he said, “They’re thermal goggles. They let a pony see anything that’s warmer than the background. Even if we managed to stay in the shadows all it would take is one of them to look toward us to see us.”

He looked at Smalls, “Sorry, looks like Sparkle Cola World is a bust.”

Instead he watched as Smalls rubbed his chin, and then began to look around. He watched as the Earth Pony walked toward what looked like an old sky wagon. He’d seen them everywhere, and to be honest most of them were nothing more than flying bombs. It took Smalls a few moments to manage to get under the left side of it, which was tipped up thanks to a busted up piece of pavement, and then after about fifteen minutes he crawled out with some part of it that Poetic had seen, but never seen taken apart before.

“What is that?” Poetic asked.

Smalls grinned, “Oh, that’s the spark generator for that Sky Wagon,” he replied.

Poetic looked at him like he was crazy, “What are you doing with that?!”

Smalls grinned, “They’re not friendly right?”

Poetic sighed, “That group,” he said as he pointed a mummified featherless wing toward the top of the hill, “No, they’re not friendly.”

Smalls nodded, “Okay, so what if I manage to sneak the spark generator over there, make some noise, get away, and you shoot it before they get too close to us?”

Poetic looked at him, “I… I suppose that would work,” he said, “But you would really have to move. Those things got a hell of a distance to them when they blow up,” he stated.

Cosmic shook her head, “How about I float it down there,” she said as she walked over to the rickshaw taxi and messed around for a moment before she pulled out its radio and then handed it to Smalls.

Smalls smiled as he wired the radio to the spark generator and it began to flicker to life. Cosmic grinned at them, “Then the radio gets their attention, they come out to see what it is, and you shoot it. It blows up, and we sneak inside while there’s confusion.”

Poetic grunted, “Fine, but don’t go crying if this ends up rutting us hard.”

Cosmic lifted the spark generator in her magic, which to her surprise was actually quite heavy. She’d done some heavy lifting before, but not quite like this. Still, she didn’t want her two new friends to die, at least not yet, and this seemed like the best option. She floated the spark generator out over the hill, down the valley, and then she let it drop. When it did the radio began to humm, and moments later the sound of music began to play.

“What’s that?” a distant voice echoed in the air.

Poetic moved up the hill and watched as about fifteen of the soldiers moved toward the generator. One of them looked spooked, but it was too late. He lifted the rifle, took aim, and a moment later he let it fire. The shell passed through the spark generator, and there was a crackle almost like lighting before it erupted in a rainbow of colors. Poetic dove down just before the sound crashed against the hill they were behind. The three of them moved up, and he could see about twelve charred skeletons around the blast itself.

That was enough to hope for, or it was until a howl echoed from the right of the minimega spell explosion. Poetic watched as not one, but dozens of feral ghouls came rushing out toward the sound. The other members of the enclave then began trying to fight them off, and Poetic smiled.

“Looks like we’ve got a chance,” he said, “Those ferals should keep ‘em busy for a while,” he said.

The three of them moved down the hill, side stepping the action by quite a ways, and then moved toward the entrance gate of the park. As they neared it the howl of the ferals sounded louder, and they turned around to see them breaking through the enclave soldiers. The three of them rushed through the gate, and Cosmic spotted the rusted control for the shutters. She used her magic and pulled as hard as she could and a moment later the shutters began to close. She watched in horror as they stopped, then there was a ping and the shutters just fell the rest of the way somehow managing to stay upright in their tracks.

She breathed out in relief as they closed, and then she turned around to see her two friends looking at a single building. It wasn’t the park, but instead it was monorail that ran to the park. The monorail station looked to be in decent condition and so the three of them moved toward it. They entered the building and heard somepony hitting something fleshy sounding. Smalls rushed down the steps and saw a white pegasus mare, tied up, a brand over her cutie mark of a cloud with a lighting bolt under it, and behind her was a pegasus buck.

He was big, easily as big as Smalls, but he looked like he was all muscle. From what Smalls could see he was still wearing his helmet, but his armor was off. The pegasus mare was crying, begging him to stop, pleading with him to not hurt her anymore. Smalls shook his head, anger began to surge through him, and he rushed forward. He pulled the old ten millimeter pistol he had been given when he left his Stable, and he tonged the trigger twice. The first time caught the pegasus buck in the shoulder, causing him to shout, and the second went through his neck. He stumbled back, a foamy broth of blood spilled out, as he tried to clutch at his neck with his forehooves, but after a moment he stopped thrashing and laid still.

Smalls neared the white pegasus mare that was crying, and she begged him to not hurt her. He stopped, not sure what to say. He’d seen some terrible things out here, but this was the first time he’d seen somepony doing that to another pony. Sure, Poetic had told him that it happened, but it was hard to believe that somepony would purposefully hurt another pony like that. He turned around and dug into his own saddlebags, both of which were branded with the Stable Tec logo, and pulled out a combat knife.

The knife had been something that he’d taken from one of the slavers after they saved Cosmic. He moved forward, shushing her as best he could with the combat knife in his mouth, and then cut the ropes that were tied around her hooves and the ones around her wings. She looked at him, then at Poetic, and finally at Cosmic.

“P...Please don’t h...hurt me,” she pleaded.

Cosmic stepped forward, “They’re not going to, and I’m not either,” she said as she neared the frightened mare, “What’s your name?”

The Pegasus mare shied away from her, “C...Clouded Hope,” she said.

Cosmic didn’t try to step closer, “Clouded Hope?” she asked, “That’s a pretty name.”

She pointed to herself, “I’m Cosmic Light, that big Earth Pony is Small Fry but he goes by Smalls, and then Mr. Grumpy over there is Poetic Pen.”

Poetic stepped forward, “Well since we’ve finished the introduction hour, you mind to tell us what in Luna’s tight snatch a bunch of Enclave Remnants are doing around here?”

Clouded Hope frantically looked between them, and Cosmic could see that she was thinking about flying off. She slowly moved toward her, “It’s okay, it really is,” she said, “We’re not here to hurt anypony.”

Clouded looked at her with concern, “I… I don’t know why they were here,” she answered, “I… I came down from Neighvarro since the clouds were open anyway…” she whimpered, “And… They… They caught me and said I was a filthy trader, and a Dashite.”

She began to cry, “There aren’t Dashites anymore!” she exclaimed, “The clouds are open now! We’re supposed to be able to come and go!” she cried out.

She felt something pull against her, and her first impulse was to fight, to run, but instead of it trying to hurt her whatever it was felt comforting. It was soft, and there were gentle shushing sounds. She buried her face into the shoulder of Smalls as he held her, and she let out all of the pain, anguish, and anger she had as she cried. Smalls just stood there, holding her, letting her cry, and letting her hug him back.

“They can’t hurt you no more,” he said.

She finally stopped crying after a few minutes, and then she looked at him. There wasn’t any expectation, he didn’t want anything, and instead he seemed like a nice stallion that just gave her a hug and let her cry on his stable barding.

“T...Thank you,” she said.

Poetic grunted, “Yeah, those bastards outside are most likely dead. What with the ferals getting to them,” he moved past them and looked at the monorail, “Looks like it's in once piece. If we’re going to this Sparkle Cola World we better get the Monorail up to running.”

Clouded looked at them, “You’re going there?” she asked.

Smalls smiled, “Yeah, it’s supposed to be full of Sparkle Cola, and I bet there’s a lot of other good food leftover, plus I bet that the Park’s Security robots are still working! And there’s supposed to be an entire training outpost there,” he clopped his forehooves together, “It’d be a great place to visit, and maybe we can even move there.”

Clouded looked at them, “Ummm, can I come with you?”

Smalls nodded, “Sure,” he said, “We can see what it’s like together.”

Poetic listened as he neared the maintenance and control booth. He walked toward it and saw that the generator still had a Spark Battery in it. He studied it for a moment, looked at the computer, and then touched the keyboard. For a moment there was nothing, and then the monitor switched on. When it did he looked at the command prompt. It was fairly simple. Activate Monorail system? Y or N.

He selected the Y, and he heard the buzz of power as it turned on all of the lights in the station. He walked out and saw the monorail’s doors open.

“Welcome to Sparkle Cola World!” the announcement said over the intercom, “We’re so happy that you have decided to join us today!”

He neared the monorail, “So just that you know Sparkle Cola is happy to announce that we’ve had,” there was a pause, “Zero days since the last accident at our park due to customer ignorance!” there was another pause, “It’s for that reason that Sparkle Cola Company wishes to remind you that entering Sparkle Cola World deems that you agree to our liability waiver. Any and all accidents due to rides, robots, animals, food, or Sparkle Cola itself will not be covered by the Sparkle Cola Company, and all injuries are the responsibility of customers young and young at heart!”

Poetic groaned, “Great,” he said.

“So board the monorail and come visit us at Sparkle Cola World for an adventure you’ll never forget!”

The four of them stepped onto the Monorail, and Smalls moved toward the front. He looked at the engineer’s seat, saw an empty bottle of Sparkle Cola and whimpered. He then looked at the controls and flipped the large power switch to on. When he, did the monorail jerked forward with them all. After it did that it began to move forward, and soon they were out of the station itself. Smalls looked around as the monorail rode on the two hundred plus year old track and was moving well above the ground.

The train clicked along as it began to move faster, and he turned to see Clouded Hope who was looking out of the windows. Below them he could see the ruined landscape, hundreds of dead trees, and what almost looked like ants, but he knew were ponies. There was shooting, and he shook his head. It was certainly different out here than it was in Stable 124. Back there all a pony had to do was worry about getting bigger, eating plenty of Fancy Buck Cakes, and drinking all of the Sparkle Cola that a pony could get their hooves on.

As they traveled the intercom on the train began to pump in the music from the advertisement, and Smiles couldn’t help as he sung along to it.

“♫What if there was a place with all the zip of Sparkle-Cola. Wouldn’t that be the cheer-cheer-cheeriest place in all the world? Where the river’s made of Sparkle Rad and the mountaintops are fizz. With fun and games and rides for all the moms and pops and foals. Well it turns out there’s a place with all the zip of Sparkle-Cola. Come on down to Sparkle-Cola-World and see it for yourself,♪” he sang before Poetic looked at him.

“Sing anymore of it and I swear to Celestia that I will personally break every single bottle of Sparkle Cola we come across. I mean it Smalls, every bottle.”

With that Smalls shut up, and Clouded looked at Poetic and began to hum the song.

“And don’t hum it either!”

Suddenly there was a buzz and the intercom went dead. Poetic sighed with relief, “About fucking time,” he said.

“Well, guess that somepony decided to step into our little trap,” a voice said.

Poetic groaned, “Who the fuck is that?”

There was a chuckle, “A friend actually,” the voice said, “My name’s Crusher, and you’re on your way toward the single biggest trap ever made by a group of degenerates,” the voice stated, “But here’s the thing. If you listen to me, and follow what I say then you won’t just survive, you’ll stand the chance to make a whole lotta caps.”

Poetic eyed the intercom, “how do we know that you’re not gonna just kill us the moment we get off of this thing?”

There was a laugh, “You don’t, but then what good is it going to do you to stay in there either?” Crusher asked, “You can either put a little trust in me, get out alive, and make a fortune, or you can try yourself and get yourself killed. It’s up to you.”

Smiles looked at the intercom, “Ummm, well, I’m all for trusting Crusher and not being killed.”

There was a laugh, “Good answer. Okay the moment you get out there’s a station, you’re going to go down stairs, and you’re going to be facing about six different turrets, and a few scattered fragmentation mines. The mines are mostly close to the left side, so keep to the right. There’s a downed Sparkle Cola machine in the middle, there was a mine there, but it’s already been set off. So that machine is your shield. Get behind it, and take out the first two turrets. When you do if you’ve got somepony with a Pip Buck have them rush over toward the first turret. Behind it is a terminal. Connect to it, shut down the other turrets, and then stroll on through the room,” he said.

“What about after?” Cosmic asked.

“After you’re going to be walking through a bunch of tripwires, so watch your step, step lightly, and stay to the right. If you stay to the right it will lead you to a small walkway. Stay in the middle of it, there’s a door at the end, it’s locked, so whoever is best a picking locks goes first, get through the door, go down stairs, and when you get to the next room there’s a stupid Cymbal Clapping Monkey toy set up. That damned thing is a trap. Shoot it. When you do it’s going to keep the alarm from going off, and it will keep the turrets in the room from opening fire. Go through that room, and into the maze. Walk straight, climb the ladder, go left, then straight, and then right and get out of there. Also, you might want to hurry.”

Poetic looked at the intercom, “Why?”

A chuckle sounded over the speaker, “Because it’s pretty heavily radiated; when you get through there go down the hall to the utility tunnel. It’s been mined, and the mines are all replaced, but lucky for you they’re in sight. Unlucky for you they’ve got a three second timer, so be quick about deactivating them. If you’ve got a unicorn with you I suggest that they do it.”

Cosmic sighed, “Alright, and then what?”

Crusher sighed, “Then you get to the hard part, and you need to choose the luckiest one of you. That one is going to have to follow my advice when you get there, and follow it to the letter, do you get me?”

There was a nod from Smalls, and then the monorail stopped. The moment it did over head the sound of the Sparkle Cola World song began to pump back out before being stopped again. This time it wasn’t Crusher, but another stallion coming over the speakers.

“Stallions, mares, and Raiders of all kinds stomp your hooves for our newest contestants! That’s right they’re here to risk life and limb for our entertainment, and you, all of you, I hope that you’re ready to die…”

“Let’s go to Sparkle Cola World, it’ll be amazing, it’s protected!” Poetic groaned, “Smalls, I swear that I’m never going to let you forget about this!”

Smalls looked at the floor, “I didn’t know that there were Raider ponies here.”

Cosmic sighed, “We know Smalls, but there’s an old saying about things being too good to be true, that kind of applies here.”

The group of them began to walk down, and Smalls stopped them before he looked around the corner. Sure enough he saw a couple of turrets, and he remembered Crusher’s plan. He rushed forward, dove behind the Sparkle Cola machine, waited for a moment, looked up and put a shot with his pistol through one of the turret’s aiming talismans. He then used his SATS, which he had used on the previous turret, and aimed at the next one visible and shot it through its talisman as well. He dove behind the first turret, and like Crusher had said there was a terminal. He quickly connected his Pip Buck to it, and a moment later there was a soft beep as the turrets shut down.

“Ah ponyfeathers! We got a cheater! Doesn’t matter, the rest of the gauntlet will get you!”

Poetic walked out toward Smalls. He looked at him and nodded, “Okay, well, let's hope that he was honest about the rest of it.”

They followed what Crusher had said every step of the way, with Poetic taking out the trigger for the trap with the other turrets, and Cosmic using her telekinesis on the frag mines that littered the floor in the tunnels. When they came up through the last door the group of them entered what seemed like an employee locker room. At that moment the speakers overhead shut off.

“Hey, over here,” Crusher said.

They followed his voice to the wall where there was another intercom. Cosmic pressed the button with her magic, “yes?” she asked.

“Glad that you followed my advice. This is where it gets hard. The last part is going against the overboss Ripper, and yes he gave himself that dumb name,” Crusher said, “He’s wearing some special Enclave armor. It’s designed to use the coils on it to throw out electricity. Look in the locker to your left,” Crusher stated.

Smalls did and smiled, “It’s a water pistol!” he laughed.

“Yeah great, glad that you’re excited,” Crusher said, “Look, that pistol will short out the coils on the armor, but only for a little bit. When it does that’s your chance to attack. Hit Ripper with whatever you got, and trust me there's more than enough weapons in here to do it. If you’ll check behind the wall there’s a decent combat shotgun and some explosive shells. That’ll chew through his armor real quick. There’s also a few spark grenades, and a couple of balefire eggs, no launcher, but if you toss it, get back far enough, and shoot it you won’t need a launcher.”

Looking it all over, Smalls went to the wall and found the combat shotgun like Crusher said. He also noticed that it was mounted on a battle saddle. He saw the pack of explosive shells, fourteen of them, and loaded them into the loading mechanism. When he was finished he studied the saddle for a moment, squeezed into it, and then stepped out. Poetic looked at him.

“Smalls, what are you doing?”

He grinned, “I kinda got us into this, so I thought that it ought to be me that gets us out of it. So, I found the saddle, the shotgun, and the shells like he said. IF you can help me find the grenades and balefire eggs I think that I can do it.”

Cosmic looked at Poetic, “He is the only one with a Pip Buck, and to be honest it’s likely he will get through it. Like you said, he’s stupid lucky.”

Poetic shook his head, “I ought to do it. I’m a better shot,” he grumbled.

Smalls nodded, “Yeah I know, but I got us into it, so I’ll get us out.”

With that they found the other weapons that Crusher told them about before they walked toward the door.

“Alright, get ready, because it starts now, everyone else, hang back here,” Crusher said on the intercom.

The door opened and Smalls stepped into the room. There was a roar of stomping as he did. The large pegasus at the end laughed, “Look what’s come to face me! A Stable Dweller, extra large!”

Smalls grinned. “Wow, thanks for the compliment!”

Ripper shook his head, “Whatever, the rules are simple, I win, and you die!” With that the door slammed shut and Ripper rushed forward.

Poetic had mounted the squirt gun on the other part of the battle saddle, and Smalls used his tongue to trigger over to it. He trusted Crusher, although they just sort of met, and bit down on the saddle’s trigger. When he did a stream of water shot out and hit Ripper. The Pegasus screamed as the electricity went from dancing around him to actually going through the armor itself. Smalls tongued the trigger back to the combat shotgun, bit down on the trigger, and felt the entire battle saddle back against him. It hit the armor and there was a spot where it punched through a piece of the brittle armor. He activated SATS and when he did it told him that he had the greatest chance of hitting Ripper’s head. He fired again, and the helmet Ripper was wearing went flying off.

“Buck! Kill him!” Ripper screamed.

One of the raiders neared the fence, “Ripper, rules of the gauntlet state that you fight yourself,” the mare laughed, “Hey new guy, take care of that wimp.”

Smalls neared him and Ripper began back peddle, “Please, I’ll leave, I swear, I’ll just go.” he said.

“Really?” Smalls asked.

“Yeah,” Ripper said before he grinned and jumped toward Smalls. The action caught him by surprise and Smalls bit down on the trigger. Even without SATS activated a distance of four feet wasn’t enough to miss with a combat shotgun. It hit Ripper in the throat, blowing off his head and causing him to land in the heap on the floor. Smalls looked at him and shook his head before the door behind him opened and the door in front opened as well.

They looked as a caramel colored Unicorn with a single eye stepped out. “Well, overboss, welcome to Sparkle Cola Land,” Crusher said.

Smalls smiled, “Cool, can I have a Sparkle Cola now?”

There was a bit of silence before everyone erupted in laughter, “Sure boss, There’s plenty of cola, plenty of everything really,” he said, “Come on in, we’ve got a lot to discuss, and I’m sure that you’ve got a lot to do, but you’ve potentially got help for it.”

Just a Sip

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Fallout Equestria - For a Sparkle Cola

Chapter Two - Just a Sip

Walking into Sparkle Cola World Smalls was amazed at the size of it. The place where he’d faced Ripper had been an old bumper cart area, which had been cleared out except for the reinforced glass walls, the old slick flooring, and the seating that had originally been set up for parents to watch their little ones while they pulled the miniature carts and slammed into one another. Outside of the old bumper cart building was an expansive area. He looked up at the gate they were entering and grinned. They were walking straight into Sparkle Cola Town. As they entered the section he noticed a huge walled off area called market square.

“Is that the trader hub?” he asked.

“Yeah,” Crushre replied, “That’s the trader hub. They’re allowed to pretty much run business as usual, only they pay the three gangs here a pretty large percentage for protection. It works pretty good since they don’t have a whole lot of fighters among themselves.”

Smalls walked toward it and Crusher stopped him, “Boss, there’s a lot of folks that you need to meet and talk to first,” he said.

Poetic walked near them, “If we’re all the bosses, then he should be able to go where he pleases,” he rasped, “Unless there’s something you’re not telling us.”

Crusher closed his only eye and then sighed, “Yeah, there’s something that I’ve left out. Look, I had the idea about Sparkle Cola World for a long time. I knew that there were several gangs that would do good here, and I knew that we could get a mountain of caps,” he said, “The problem is that I’m not much of a leader. I never have been.”

He motioned them to follow him and they walked past the wall toward a small dinner theater building called Le Petite Parlor. Crusher stopped them, “Since I wasn’t a leader I needed to find someone who was cut out to be one. That’s when I met Ripper. He was pretty talkative, confident, and a decent fighter. So, I talked about the idea with him. He liked it, and we set up meetings with the three gangs that are here now. This is the first one,” he said as they stepped inside.

Once inside Cosmic Light noticed that every single pony inside was wearing fancy clothes. The mares were wearing fashionable dresses, the stallions all were wearing suit jackets, shirts, ties and bowties, and all of them had an air of sophistication about them. Crusher looked at them, “This is the Society, or rather it’s a branch of the Society. The main group is still back in Hoofington. Most of these ponies claim that they’re related to Canterlot nobility from way back,” Crusher shook his head, “Don’t know if it’s true or not, but they’re not to be messed with. Their entire purpose here is to make caps, just like everypony else.”

They made their way further inside where there were a couple of ponies talking to one another. One of them, a Unicorn mare looked toward them and gave a decided sniff in their direction. She stood from where she had been sitting on her haunches and looked at Crusher.

“Crusher, I take it that this is your new pet project?” she asked.

Poetic Pen studied her. She was cute, for a smoothskin. She actually reminded him of somepony, then it occurred to him that she looked quite a bit like Fleur De Lis. He remembered having a copy of Playcolt with Fleur in it. She was laying back on her back, lacy stockings were on her back feet, a garter belt around her waist, and the garters were connected to the lily white stockings. She was spread open for all to see, and it was quite the scandal for a member of the nobility. Apparently she had done it as a form of protest against the war.

This mare was similar, only she had a soft blue coat, her hair was the same light pink, and she had emerald green eyes instead of Fleur’s soft pink ones. He stopped looking at her after a moment when he heard Crusher.

“Yeah, this is the new Overboss, and these are his core gang. I guess sort of a thinktank for him.”

The mare moved toward Smalls and Clouded Hope watched her, uncertain of what she was going to do. Instead of acting big and tough Smalls sat on his haunches and held out his hoof, “Hi! I’m Smalls, nice to meet you!”

She looked at him, “Charmed, I’m sure,” she replied coldly, “I am Baroness Starshine,” she pointed to Unicorn buck who walked toward them. Cosmic had seen a similar picture of a Unicorn before. A prewar picture of a noble called Fancy Pants. He was taller than most other ponies, and she couldn’t help but notice that there was a sort of compassionate look to the picture. This buck was built fairly similar, but he had none of the compassion it appeared. She also noticed that his coat was charcoal gray, his mane purple with a soft white stripe in it, and his blue eyes looked sharp and cold.

“That is my brother, Baron Sweet Suit,” she said, “We’re the head of the Society here in Sparkle Cola World.”

She looked at Smalls, “Now, tell me, what is it that you see here?”

Smalls looked around, “Mmmm, a place that was meant to make money?”

She smiled, “Ah, an excellent answer, and yes, that is exactly what this place was meant to do. It is what we plan on doing. We’ve got plans to cultivate the unused, and expansive, grounds within and around Sparkle Cola world into the largest fresh food fields in all of the Wasteland. Our plan is to sell that food here, and send it back to Hoofington to be sold there. Unfortunately that roughian Ripper was a perfect example of a lazy neerdowell,” she sniffed, “He was fine with just having Sparkle Cola Town as the only place open. It was hardly worth the expense we chipped in, so now, what are your plans?”

Smalls grinned, “Actually I’d like the whole park to be opened. I’ve got to figure that the more places we’ve got open, and the more we can do, then the better it will be.”

She grinned, “Ah, I see you have vision, and yes, the entire park is good, for the beginning,” she studied the four of them, “Very well, as for right now you have the Society’s support. Establish an equitable supply of resources that match our support and we will continue to be on good terms.”

Crusher nodded, and he led them out. Poetic walked closer to him, “So, she and her brother were a real ball of sunshine.”

Crusher sighed, “Don’t get me started, but yes, they’re pretty much up their own tail holes. But don’t think for a moment that they’re not dangerous. Both of them fought alongside their squires and knights when we took this place from the ferals. They’re as dangerous as they come, and they’re just one set of the problems that you’re going to deal with.”

They walked further into the park and stopped at a large gate. Outside of it were ponies with spiked manes, vibrant paint covered their muzzles, and a few of them were wearing brahmin skulls. One of them looked at Crusher and laughed, “Good, she wants to see you!”

Crusher groaned as they walked through the wooden gate into what looked like a massive section dedicated to what had been a zoo. There were cages all over, some of them had radagators, radscorpions, and other vicious animals in them. Crusher stopped, “Okay, this is the Herd. They used to be the Wild Herd, but they shortened it to the Herd. Apparently what was left of them came from out near the Big 52. They’re all a little twitchy, and they can spook easily. Apparently a lot of them were killed by that ghost that walked the big 52. So don’t come in here wearing a rad suit. Fair warning right there. They will shoot first and not ever ask questions later.”

They stepped toward the small amphitheater that was built into this area, and there sitting on makeshift throne was a pony wearing a brahmin skull that was painted yellow, both eye holes were covered in pink splotches, and beside her was a mange ridden dog. It growled slightly as they got closer, and the mare continued to sit on her haunches.

“I saw you take down Ripper,” she said.

Smalls looked at the ground, “I didn’t really have a choice.”

She laughed, “Naw, you didn’t. If you wouldn’t have killed him then you’d be dead. Either by his hooves or ours. But in the end you put that pompous cloud fucker in a dirt nap.”

She rose up to her hooves, moved toward him, and touched his cheek, “Well, you aren’t a bragging piece of shit like Ripper, but you’re not a wild animal, yet anyway,” she laughed and walked around him, “but that will change. Maybe a night in the sack with a real mare will do it, or maybe a colt, or whatever the fuck it is that you like to fuck.”

She stepped away from him, “Regardless, the one thing we respect here is power, and you proved that you have some power when you sent Ripper into a permanent timeout,” she sat down in front them again, “But how much power remains to be seen.”

Poetic Pen growled at her, “And would putting a bullet in your brain be enough proof of power?” he rasped.

She looked toward him and laughed, “Sure, zombie, that’d be proof enough, but it wouldn’t win you the loyalty of the Herd. It’d just kick them up into blood rage,” she looked at Smalls, “but I’m willing to give you a chance to prove to me that you’re an animal, wild, pure, untamable, and vicious,” she looked at Crusher, “And you, horn head, if you fuck up I’m going to ensure shoving a shotgun up your tailhole and then pulling the fucking trigger.”

Cosmic looked at her, “Bitch.”

The mare stopped and looked back at Cosmic. She took off the brahmin skull and they could see that it looked like part of her face had been burned badly. It almost seemed melted together in places, but the mare didn’t look like it hurt her. Instead she walked calmly toward Cosmic and poked her right hoof into her barrel.

“Got something to say fuckmeat?” she growled.

Cosmic looked at her, “Yeah, I called you a bitch. I don’t see another bitch standing here, so I’m guessing that the only bitch I was talking to had to be you.”

At that moment Cosmic learned what it was like to be hit by an angry Earth Pony. The mare slammed her into the ground, bouncing her skull off of the cement. She punched her hard, causing Cosmic to see stars, but it wasn’t the first time that Cosmic had been in a situation like this. She kicked her back legs up, catching the larger mare in her stomach. The larger mare, with a melted face, soared over Cosmic and landed on her back.

Before she could get up Cosmic jumped onto her back, wrapping her right hoof around the mare’s muzzle, and her left hoof went to the back of her skull. She started to pull her right hoof up and push her left hoof forward, ensuring that she broke the mare’s neck before she felt somepony pull her from the other mare. That Somepony was Smalls. Smalls then looked at the mare who was breathing.

“No!” he shouted, “No! We aren’t gonna kill each other right here!” he looked at them both, “Seriously!”

He looked at them both, “Now, apologize to each other.”

Both of them looked at him, “What in the fuck?” they said at the same time.

He growled at them, “We’re needing to work together, and we can’t do that if you’re both going to be fighting with each other,” he sternly said toward them, “and that means that if I have to get it through your heads then I will.”

The mare laughed, and then began to laugh harder, “I take it back, you’ve got more power than I realized,” she said before she looked at Cosmic, “Whatever freaky Zebra fighting you’ve learned, good on you for trying to use it,” she said, “Since the overboss said to apologize, then fine, I apologize for trying to take your head off.”

Cosmic looked at Smalls and sighed, “I’m sorry for trying to kill you,” she looked back at him, “I’m new to this whole apologizing thing, and I’m not exactly sure how to do it.”

He nodded, “That’s good, thanks, now we can work together.”

The mare looked at him, “You have the support of the Herd, as long as you can continue to prove yourself, we will back you. Just don’t fuck us over.”

Crusher watched the entire thing with a slack jaw. He’d never expected something like that to happen, and he certainly never expected to see somepony both get into a fight with the head of the Herd and win her respect at the same time. Somehow Smalls and Cosmic had done just that. He shook his head, led the four of them out of the Herd’s area, and then straight toward what looked like a mountain. It was almost a perfect replica of one with the exceptions of bits and pieces of it missing. In those places wire and steel rods could be seen under the thick plaster.

Crusher opened the door and inside there was a huge ring surrounded by a cyclone fence. That ring had barbed wire all across the top of it, and the ropes of the ring had woven pieces of broken Sparkle Cola bottles in them. There was a growl from above them and Crusher stepped back something dropped from nearly the top of the internal tower straight to the floor. The pony before them was a Unicorn, although she was wearing several horns all threaded onto a necklace. Her armor was leather, and there were at least six different cutie marks that could be counted on it. She stepped forward, looked at Crusher, and grinned.


He jumped back and she fell to her haunches and laughed at him, “Crusher you’re such a wimp! Celestia’s tight snatch, are you a bottom? Is that it? Is that why Ripper kept you around? Did he like making you his little bitch?”

Crusher growled, “That’s not the case Rosie, and you know it!”

She guffawed louder at him, “Sure it isn’t,” then she looked at Smalls and his friends, “So, you’re the new Overboss. Got to say, I didn’t expect to see a fat Earth Pony take down a Pegasus,” she then shrugged her shoulders, “But then again, I was planning on killing that preening turkey myself.”

Smalls looked at her, “Turkey?”

Clouded gently bumped him, “Ummm, it’s a really bad word that some of you grounded ponies call Pegasi.”

Smalls looked back at Rosie and noticed the three claw marks across her muzzle. He could also see that one of her eyes was completely white, evidence of it being slashed a long time ago. Her soft lemon yellow coat looked matted, and her electric blue mane was fairly short. The leather armor she wore was patched together in small squares, each one about the size of a square that would be cut around a cutie mark. She studied him too, and then she made a kissy face at him.

“Keep looking handsome, and I’m going to have you plough me long and hard,” she said with a bark of laughter.

“I like you,” he said.

She stopped and looked at him, “Excuse me?”

He grinned, “You’re silly, I like you.”

She studied him for a moment, “Well, aren’t you just the oddball,” she then looked at Clouded Hope, “So, I’m guessing that she’s claimed you? That’s fine, I can do two at once. Never had a Pegasus before though,” she said rubbing her chin, “Well, enough for the playful banter brahmin shit, unless you really do want to screw. Which if that’s the case we can go up to my room, get good and comfortable, and discover how many ways we can get into a pretzel in the next four or five hours.”

Clouded snorted, “No, thank you.”

She shrugged, “Your loss,” she looked at Smalls, “Welcome to the Reapers, Sparkle Cola World branch. I’m in charge here, by authorization of Brutus back in Hoofington,” she grinned, “I’m in charge because I’m the baddest reaper that survived that fucked up fight, well survived and stayed a reaper. Psychoshy ended up going and becoming some cock puppet for a bunch of bat ponies, and some of the others couldn’t fight no more.”

She shrugged, “Oh well, sucks to be them,” then she looked back at Smalls, “Got to say that I like you too,” she said with a smile, “It’s not often that somepony doesn’t try to act tough, or even a little bit intimidated around me. It’s kinda refreshing to see somepony just relaxed with me. Speaks a lot of your character,” she grinned, “You got the reaper’s support, providing that you don’t try to screw us over, and you give me a chance to see what you’re like in the sack at some point.”

With that Rosie walked off leaving them standing there. Crusher growled, and led the four of them out and over toward a platform. They stepped up onto it, and he pulled a lever. When he did the platform began to rise until it was even with a huge, and expanding, looking diner. The five of them stepped into it, and Smalls looked at the open room. There was a bed in the corner that looked like it was made of clouds. He watched as Clouded Hope ran toward it, jumped, and landed on it with a sigh.

“A real cloud bed!” she squealed in delight.

Crusher nodded, “Ripper like that thing, none of the rest of us could sleep on it though,” he said, “So anypony not a pegasus it’s worthless.”

Poetic looked at it for a moment, “Hmmm, looks like it’s made of condensed storm clouds. I take it that Ripper wasn’t the brightest bulb.”

Crusher shrugged, “In a lot of ways no, but I didn’t know about the storm cloud thing, what’s the difference?”

A second later Clouded Hope yelped as a stray bolt of lighting struck her. She jumped away from the bed and looked at it, “That was a dirty trick!”

Poetic pointed to it, “That’s the difference. A storm cloud is charged, and there’s always a chance it could let out a bolt of lighting,” he looked around the place, “So, I’m guessing that this is our new digs, right?”

Crusher nodded, “That’s right, welcome to the Sparkle Cola Mountain Top Diner. Ripper basically lived up here full time, and this is your new home, although to be honest now might be a good time to get on the good side of the gangs.”

Smalls looked at him, “What about Sparkle Cola, wait, is there Sparkle Cola Rad around here?”

Crusher shook his head, “Sure, the World of Refreshment basically has a river of Sparkle Cola Rad running through it. Well, that’s what the advertisement for it said every time that stupid jingle plays,” he said.

Smalls grinned, “Cool, where’s a map?!”

Crusher shook his head, walked over toward one of the tables, and came back with a small folded up paper. He spread it out and Smalls looked at the map of the park. He then added all of the locations on the map onto the mapping program of his Pip Buck. When he was done he looked at everyone, “So, who wants to go over to the World of Refreshment?”

Cosmic looked at Crusher, “What’s over there exactly?”

He shrugged, “Dunno. I think that it’s the old bottling plant that was here on location, so there’s a good chance that it has a ton of caps, but we’ve never been able to get inside of it.”

She looked at him, “Why?”

He laughed, “Well for one Ripper was a lazy piece of work, and for two there’s a few security robots and some kind of critters in there that’s basically taken over the place,” he said, “Although if you can clear it out, then assign one of the gangs to it I can promise you that it’ll go pretty far in getting in on their good side.”

Poetic looked at him, “What about the caps?”

Crusher shook his head, “Collect all you can find in there, I mean no one is going to say not to. If you cleared that place out then whatever is in there is up for dibs if you want it, but these gangs are all here more or less to make caps. Giving them each a piece of Sparkle Cola World will go pretty far in making them more willing to work together. My suggestion, don’t go giving it all to just one. They’re going to get pretty antsy if they see you favoring one over the other.”

Cosmic looked at him and nodded, “He’s got a point. Even then I doubt that they’re all going to be happy regardless,” she said.

Crusher grinned, “That’s a possibility, but it’s less of one if their getting what they think they should.”

Smalls looked at them, and then checked his pistol. He also felt the bit that was near his mouth for the battle saddle. He’d managed to not take it off, and it suddenly made so much sense why the mare back with the Herd had listened to him. If he had accidentally bitten down on the bit he could have shot her, and possibly shot Cosmic. He breathed out. It was okay, it didn’t happen, and the shotgun would be useful.

“Okay, lets go get some Sparkle Cola!”

The four of them left, leaving Crusher behind to gather information, and headed out of the back of Sparkle Cola Town and toward the World of Refreshment itself. As they walked Smalls realized that Clouded Hope didn’t have a weapon. He stopped, dug out his pistol again, and then he hoofed it over to her. She looked at him, “Ummm, thanks?”

He grinned, “I thought that you might want some protection. My stable elders gave that to me for protection, and it’s been helpful,” he said.

She studied it, “My dad taught me to shoot, so I’ve got the idea, but I might need a holster for it.”

Poetic groaned, stopped, dug into his saddle bags, and dug out something. They watched as he trotted over the younger pegasus, and then he proceeded to put a strange looking black belt on her shoulders. She winced once or twice, but when he was finished she had a duel holster.

“There now you’ve got a holster, you can even pick up another pistol and carry it. Plus it’s got pockets for ammo.”

Smalls looked at it, “Wow, that’s kinda neat, where did you get it?”

Poetic looked at him, “I joined the Equestria Army, and they gave it to me.”

He nodded, “Oh, that makes sense then,” they started to walk, “So Poetic, you were around back then?”

Poetic stopped, “Of course I was,” he closed his eyes, “What do you want to know Smalls?”

Smalls grinned, “So, did you get to meet Mr. Horse?”

Poetic grunted, “Yeah, once,” he started to walk, “And he was a real piece of work,” he looked at Cosmic and Clouded, “Trust me, if he was alive right now he’d be doing all he could to try and buy his way into bed with both of you.”

Cosmic looked at him, “I’m not a whorse,” she said.

He looked at her, “Most of his secretaries weren’t either, didn’t stop them from taking an extra two month’s worth of salary and letting him get to know them personally.”

Clouded shivered, “I don’t think that I’d like him.”

Poetic shrugged, “Maybe, maybe not, doesn’t matter. I’m sure he’s dead. If he isn’t then I doubt that anypony is going to be going down on him anytime soon.”

They began moving again and soon they could see the glowing blue light of something ahead. As they neared it the four of them looked into what looked like a flowing stream of Sparkle Cola Rad. Smalls whooped and rushed forward, ducking his head into the flow of liquid, and then he pulled back and spat and sputtered for a few moments.

“That is not Sparkle Cola Rad!” he exclaimed.

Poetic laughed, “Really?” he asked, “Are you sure? Do you want to check again?”

Smalls looked at him, “No,” he looked at the stream, “It tastes like water and sadness.”

Cosmic moved forward and looked at it, “I think that they added enough to it to make it look like Sparkle Cola Rad, but beyond that I think that it is just water,” she said as she looked at the opening. She stepped forward and looked at the wrecked ride boat. She studied it for a few moments and then stepped back out, “We can’t get in this way. It’s blocked,” she looked around, “But I bet that there’s another entrance around here. We just on in that way, and then work our way through.”

The four of them moved around and saw a large entrance. Setting outside of it was a single boat, and manning the controls was a Protectron Pony.

“Welcome to the World of Refreshment,” the Protectron Pony said, “Would you like to enjoy a ride through Sparkle Cola’s Bottling and Testing Plant?”

Clouded looked at it, “Ummm, yes?”

The Potectron hit a button and the boat’s doors opened, “Step into the boat please,” it said.

They did and then the Protectron pressed the button again, “Thank you, enjoy your ride, Please stay inside of the boat at all times.”

The boat began to lunge forward, and it felt almost like it was more on a track than just floating. As it entered the building a speaker buzzed and then they heard laughter.

“Welcome to the World of Refreshment!” the voice said, “I’m E.G.N.A, or the Engineered, Governing, Neurofaced, Agent in charge of the World of Refreshment. You can call me Egna for short,” Egna said, “We’re going to begin our tour with a sight that many of you know.”

The boat began to pass by a simple looking store front. It looked mostly abandoned, there was a single vending machine outside of it, and there were two robotic ponies facing each other.

“This is the Ministry of Wartime Technology’s backbone company, Robronco. The Genius Mr. Horse founded it, and through his technological expertise he created every possible robot capable of helping ponies with their day to day chores, and of course to win the war against the Zebra Nation!”

One of the robots, obviously supposed to look like Mr. Horse turned toward them, “Welcome to our little tour,” it said with a mechanical sounding voice, “I truly hope that you enjoy it, and of course stay seated as Sparkle Cola World, and Robronco cannot be held liable for any injury, or death, that occur if you choose to leave the safety of the ride.”

The boat moved forward and there were dozens of brightly colored houses, hundreds of mechanical ponies walking between them, a few on wires were flying between houses, and several were unloading a large cart full of Sparkle Cola.

“This is a typical city in Equestria, and see how happy the ponies are that they’ve received a shipment of Sparkle Cola?” Egna asked, “Why even the delivery pony is happy as can be to be working a mere eighty hours a week with the generous half hour lunch break a day!”

Poetic scoffed, “Yeah happy, sure,” he said.

“Please address all complaints, concerns, or snappy remarks to your local Ministry of Peace representative,” Egna replied.

“Wait, you’re listening to us?” Smalls asked.

One of the ponies stopped, stepped closer, and its rubbery face broke into a grin. It’s eyes glowed a brilliant white while it stood there, “Why yes, I am,” Egna said, “It’s been so long since I’ve had guests to ride through the World of Refreshment,” the robotic pony pointed at the other ponies all still walking between buildings, flying between buildings, and unloading the cart, “It’s good to be able to do the activities again, although I fear that something else has gotten in here.”

Clouded looked at the host that Egna was using, “What something else?”

There was a sound of something splashing and the boat began to move forward, “You’ll see!” Egna said before the boat rounded the corner. They looked in front of them and saw a protectron pony currently shooting crimson rays from an internal blaster that was inside of its head, at what looked like a giant crab. The crab had glowing blue flakes on its shell, and its eyes were glowing with the same blue color. It swiped again at the protectron pony, and this time it managed to catch its right front leg. The protectron pony stumbled back and the giant crab like thing rushed forward and swiped again, this time catching its left front leg. The protectron pony fell down and began to glow a brilliant red.

“Destroy! Destroy! Destroy! Destroy!” it chanted over and over again before it exploded in a bright flash. When it did the crab was thrown against the wall and burst into pieces. The boat moved forward again and when it did something came up under it. The sound of metal scraping and then something breaking ripped through the small tunnel and the four occupants threw themselves out of the boat just in time to see another one of the crab things.

It moved quickly toward them and Smalls activated his SATS. He aimed at its face and bit down on the bit for his battle saddle. The shotgun roared and the explosive round took the face off of the crab. Its body spasmed for a moment before it swiped one last time at Smalls. It missed and then it fell over.

“Well, those must be the critters that Crusher talked about,” Cosmic said.

“Oh, dear, you’ve exited the ride,” Egna said, “I’m afraid that’s in violation of the rules for the World of Refreshment, Please stay where you are so that the Protectron Ponies can you bring you safely back to the Security office to be arrested and imprisoned here at our state of the art holding cells!”

“The Fucking BOAT WAS DESTROYED!” Cosmic shouted.

“Once again, please address all complaints, concerns, or snappy remarks to your local Ministry of Peace representative,” Egna said.

“I hate that fuckin’ thing,” Poetic said.

“Facial Match acquired,” Egna said after a moment, “Sergeant Poetic Pen of the Equestrian Air Forces, your actions have been recorded, and are being sent to your commanding officer.”

Poetic let a bark of laughter loose, “Sure, go ahead!” he laughed, “I’m really fucking sure that Commander Cupcake is really going to take time to read that I pissed off a computer!”

He looked at the others, “Okay, let’s go on. It’s obvious that we’re going to have to deal with these things before we deal with that fuckin’ computer,” he rasped.

Cosmic nodded, “You know though, if she, and I’m guessing it’s supposed to be a she, can control those robotic ponies then what’s to stop her from trying to stop us?”

Poetic pointed at the water, “Pretty sure that Horse didn’t make those things capable of surviving the water. That’d cost too much money, and from what I remember he wasn’t about to spend money he didn’t have to.”

The four of them moved forward, and as they rounded the corner another three of those things popped up. Before Smalls had a chance to deal with them Poetic moved toward a crumbling ledge, took out the three pieces of his sniper rifle, and assembled it with the practiced precision that spoke of his time in the Equestrian Army. He then put a single shell through each one of the crabs putting them down before they could get much closer.

“There,” he said gesturing a featherless wing toward the downed creatures, “easy as can be.”

They moved again and this time Smalls looked toward a suit of Power Armor that stood off to the side. He let out a whistle as they moved toward it. It was locked inside of a display case, and as they neared it a speaker buzzed above them.

“Ah, the Ministry of Wartime Technology wanted to showcase its latest developments in Power Armor here at the World of Refreshment!” Egna said, “and what better way of showcasing it then allowing all visitors to see a suit painted in Sparkle Cola’s colors!”

Poetic studied it, “Yeah, not gonna lie, if you had training that would be handy,” he poked Smalls in the side with a hoof, “but without training you’re just as likely to hurt somepony, or yourself, as you are to do anything else. Best to just leave that there,” he said.

They looked at a door and Poetic tried it. It didn’t budge, and he grumbled, but then Clouded Hope stepped forward, “Ummm.. May I?”

He stepped back and she studied it for a moment. Then he watched as she pulled a bobby pin from her hair, and she slid it into the lock. She then reached up under her wing and to their surprise she pulled what looked like a silver looking feather out. She stuck the sharp end of it into the lock, and then she began to nudge the two until finally it clicked and the door opened. They began to step through, but Poetic stopped her.

“Why did you have a feather accent on?”

She looked at the ground, “I… Ummm…”

He studied her, “You were meeting somepony, weren't you?” he asked.

She nodded, “I was,” she shied away, “I’d met him before, on the ground,” she shuffled in place, “And I was coming down to see if he wanted to go back home with me. I mean, we could get a unicorn to cast that spell so that he could walk on the clouds.”

Poetic studied her, “He wasn’t there?”

She shook her head, “He was… The Enclave traded him his life for me, they wanted to make an example of the race traitor.”

Poetic frowned and then shook his head, “Fuckin’ Enclave. Bunch of worthless, useless, dumb as dirt assholes,” he said, “Sorry, I know for your smoothskin Pegasi it’s hard to hear that, but it’s the truth.”

She nodded, “I know, and it is hard to hear that, but then you’ve been around a while longer.”

He nodded, “yeah, and I’ve dealt with the Enclave longer. Trust me, they’re worthless. I heard there’s some good ones that helped over toward Hoofington, and that’s really nice, but it doesn’t make up for the shit that they pulled for two hundred years.”

They stepped inside and followed the staircase up to the closest room. Once again Clouded opened it, and when they stepped in there was a computer that ran from one wall to the other. There in the center of the computer was a strange looking chair, and in the chair, with a weird net over its gleaming white skull, was the skeleton of a single pony.

“Oh, I see that you have discovered my location, please, do not touch anything,” Egna said, “I am a delicate piece of equipment, and quite honestly my repair would cost more than I am certain all of you could afford.”

Smalls moved toward the computer and looked at the socket that would allow him to hook his Pip Buck to it. He connected it to it, and he suddenly felt SATS activate. When it did he saw the form of a Pony form out of ones and zeros in front of him. They then began to turn solid and he looked at a glowing Alicorn standing there.

“Well, color me surprised,” she cooed, “you’re the first superuser to access me in quite a while. I’m sorry for my actions earlier, but that was due to the previous Super User uploading her personality into my personality matrix. She wanted to keep everything running smoothly, and she seemed to be quite upset when it didn’t.”

He studied her, “So, she’s not there anymore?”

The brightly glowing emerald green Alicorn smiled, “She is now, thanks to you accessing me she has been erased. Would you like to imprint your personality into my personality matrix?”

He shook his head, “No, but I’d be fine with you not sending any Protectron Ponies after me, but instead could you send them to get rid of those crab things?”

She nodded, “Of course.”

She closed her eyes for a moment, “All Security Protectron Ponies, and Gladiators have been dispatched to deal with the influx of the wild creatures,” she smiled sweetly at him, “Will you be staying here? It is quite lonely without anyone to talk to.”

He grinned at her, “I’ve got things to do, but I can send over friends, would you mind to make sure that they’re okay?”

She beamed brightly, “Oh, certainly! They can test the new flavors of Sparkle Cola I have designed! There are currently six thousand two hundred forty-nine new flavors available for testing,” she grinned, “Although I’m not certain if Seafood Delight is one that will go over well with Ponies.”

He grinned, “I’d love a Sparkle Cola, or a Sparkle Cola Rad, there’s some, right?”

She nodded, “I’m going to disconnect from you, but yes, go through that door, down the steps and that is the bottling plant. There are several cases of Sparkle Cola and Sparkle Cola Rad that are set up for visitors to taste. Enjoy!”

With that the door opened and Smalls rushed through straight down the steps and into a huge warehouse full of Sparkle Cola. He rushed toward the first box when there was a grinding sound, and the back door began to buckle. He looked at it and a moment later it broke down and a giant crab stepped into the warehouse. It was bigger than all of the others, several times larger, and it moved toward him. As it moved dozens of odd looking robots rushed past him. Each of them weren’t as bulky as the Protectron Ponies. Instead they were nimble, practically dancing on their back hooves, and they were shooting massive beams of energy at the creature.

Smalls watched it, and looked at where it was standing. He could see that it was near a cart that was used to haul Sparkle Cola. He looked at Poetic who flew down after him.

“Ummm, can you shoot that cart?”

Poetic looked at it and then smiled, “Yeah, just a second,”

He flew up to one of the beams running from the ceiling, and a shot rang out. When it did the cart began to glow and then it exploded in a rainbow of colors. That explosion blew off three of the crab’s left legs causing it to fall. At that point Smalls rushed forward, activated SATS and began to fire into its face. From above, Poetic began to shoot along with him, and after Smalls completely ran out of ammo, and after another six shots from Poetic the giant crab lay dead.

“Guess, that’s good,” Smalls said.

He looked behind him to see Cosmic who was slowly moving forward, “Yeah, guess so. So, did Crusher say how we let them know which group gets this place?”

He shook his head, and then smiled, “Nope, but I think that I know who would like it.”

Ah, now that's Fizzy!

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Fallout Equestria - For a Sparkle Cola

Chapter Three - Ah, now that’s Fizzy!

“I kinda like it,” Smalls said as he drank from the bottle of Seafood Delight Sparkle Cola.

Cosmic watched him and shook her head. The bottle smelled like someone had bottled the juice from cooking sardines, mixed it with crab meat, and then stuffed the entire thing into a blender with original Sparkle Cola. She breathed through her mouth, which was mildly better, as they walked from the World of Refreshment back toward their new home. She also couldn’t help but notice that the small wagon Smalls had found inside of the World of Refreshment was stocked full of some of the new flavors of Sparkle Cola. And she noticed that the box of Seafood Delight had been broken open.

“Why don’t you try something else besides that?” Cosmic asked.

Clouded looked at her, and then at the bottle she was holding, “Actually, it’s pretty good.”

Cosmic groaned, “Am I the only one here that thinks that it smells horrible?”

Poetic shrugged as he sipped on a bottle, “Actually, I think that this would have gone over pretty well with the Air Division. I could see several ponies enjoying it.”

Cosmic shook her head, “It smells like a mare that hasn’t taken good care of herself back there, and has something nasty going on.”

Clouded looked at her, “Does that what you smell like when that happens?”

Cosmic stopped, turned, and looked at her, “NO!” she exclaimed, “It was an example, sweet Celestia, I try to take care of myself, and on rare, and it is rare occasions, I couldn’t because I was too concerned with staying alive instead of staying fresh, I didn’t smell like that.”

Clouded neared her, “Well I don’t smell like that. I get to smelling like sweaty, stinky, and left out too long pony, but I don’t get to smelling like this,” she said as she waved the bottle under Cosmic’s muzzle.

Cosmic’s muzzle scrunched up, her face almost turned a light shade of green, and she turned her head and nearly lost the contents of her stomach. She looked back at Clouded hope, her eyes staring daggers at her.

“That’s horrible!” she shouted, “That’s horrible and it should be thrown into the deepest hole there is in the wasteland, then that hole filled up with cement, and then a fucking house built on it so that nopony ever has to smell it again!” she shook her head, snorted, and looked back at Clouded again, “It’s still in my nose!”

Poetic laughed as Cosmic acted like she wanted to puke her guts out. In truth the two arguing reminded him of better times. Times before the bombs, before he was forced to watch the world that he’d grown up become a shriveled up corpse of its former self. Since that time he’d watched the world reflect what he looked like. It was almost like a corpse that scavengers were still trying to pick some meat from its bones. There had been some changes, and he’d begun to notice that there was some green coming back.

The Stable Dweller, not Smalls, but the one that faced the Enclave, he rolled the clouds back, and she had brought back the sun. There were fields growing now, and there was a small sense of beauty forming. It wasn’t much, and it certainly didn’t seem like it would end up being the answer to everything. Yet, there was a sense of hope that Poetic hadn’t felt in a long time. He felt some hope for the future. Oh, his future was secured, and he knew that. Eventually everything that he knew, all that he was, and everything that he would ever be would simply be wiped away.

He wasn’t delusional enough to think that he would escape becoming a feral forever. There were a few other ghouls out there that were as old as he was, and some of them were just fine. That mare that wrote the survival guide for instance. He knew that she was over two hundred years old, and he knew that she had been around well before the bombs. Somehow she had maintained her sanity, and it was a testament to the will power of a pony. But there had been others that gave in. They lost themselves years ago, and they lived to satisfy the most basic of needs at this point. They deserved to be pitied, he knew that, and honestly death was a much better alternative than becoming a feral.

The one thing he knew that kept the insanity of becoming a feral away was doing something familiar. It was keeping up what a pony had done, and it was thinking about the actions. It wasn’t enough to just go through them, but to actually think about what was being done and why. For Poetic it was being a soldier. He’d been one when the bombs went off, and even though he was traveling with a different group they were his platoon. They were his flock, and he was determined to ensure that they would be taken care of.

He looked over toward the arguing mares, and then he looked at Smalls who was studying the entrance to Sparkle Cola Town. He walked near the large framed Earth Pony who took in a deep breath. He stepped forward, and Poetic decided to match his trot. The other two soon noticed that both Poetic and Smalls were leaving them, and they began to follow them. The argument about Sparkle Seafood Delight Cola was still on going, but neither wanted to be left outside of the safer area. They walked into it, and Smalls walked not to the diner above them, but instead he seemed to head toward the theater.

He made his way inside, and Poetic watched as he walked straight toward Baroness Starshine. The Unicorn studied him for a moment before Smalls opened a box, took a bottle, and chunked it at her. She caught it in her telekinesis, and for a moment she simply studied him, opened the bottle, and then took a drink. Her eyes widened, and she took another swig before she lowered the bottle.

“What is this?” she asked.

Smalls grinned, “It’s a new flavor of Sparkle Cola. There’s a fancy computer over at the World of refreshment, and it has kept the factory running since the war,” he smiled, “And it came up with six thousand new flavors.”

Baroness Starshine smiled, “New flavors?” she asked.

He nodded, “Yeah, and I got to thinking about it. You want to make caps, and you want repeat business, what better business than new flavors of Sparkle Cola?” he asked.

She rubbed her chin, “It is an interesting idea,” she stated, “What is it like?”

Cosmic stepped forward, “There’s a broken down ride that needs to be fixed, but most of the factory and warehouse are fine. You’ll need somepony to work on the ride, clear the debris away from it, but I’d bet that ponies would like to ride it, see how the cola is made, and then buy it.”

The Baroness seemed to mull it over for a moment, “And I take it that if we are given the World of Refreshment it will be our job to get the ride going again?” she asked.

Smalls nodded, “Yeah, but think about the caps you’ll make.”

She nodded, “Very well,” she said, “The Society accepts the charge of dealing with the World of Refreshment,” she said, “We will get it into perfect working order, and then we shall make it presentable. At the same time we shall sell the new flavors of Sparkle Cola at exuberant prices.”

With that a few of the Society ponies began to move toward his wagon to unload it. Smalls looked at them, his eyes wide, he walked toward the wagon, and unloaded three of the two dozen boxes. One of which was the Sparkle Seafood Delight that hadn’t been opened yet. The Baroness looked at him, and then she let out a laugh.

“Ah, I see. Our Overboss enjoys Sparkle Cola,” she looked toward the ponies looking confused, “This is his private stock, and he’s giving us three boxes from it. Pass out what is in the boxes to those here, allow them to try it, and then we will determine who will go over to the World of Refreshment.”

She looked at Smalls, “We will get it up and running. That is a promise.”

With that they left, and Smalls took the wagon over to the lift that led up to the diner at the top of the artificial mountain. Once they were at the top he pulled the wagon inside, walked behind the counter of the serving area, and he began to load the boxes of Sparkle Cola back there. When he was done he opened two boxes, put the soda in them on display, and then looked at everypony that was there with him.

Clouded and Cosmic were looking at the old trifolded maps of the park. Poetic was looking over the cloud bed, and if Smalls were to guess he was trying to decide if he could salvage it or do something else to it. Smalls was about to say something when the lift started back down. He waited for a few minutes and then Crusher came in with what looked like an empty suit of armor. He piled it up near the display case and then looked at Smalls.

“Here’s Ripper’s armor boss,” he said, “You beat him, and that makes his stuff your stuff.”

Smalls looked at it, and then he looked at Poetic. A smile crossed his lips, “Poetic, can you work that armor?”

Poetic walked near the Enclave armor and he studied it, “I suppose, but this is different than the normal armor I dealt with,” he said as he looked it over, “It’s similar to the armor that the Air Division under the Ministry of Awesome used, but there’s some differences here,” he said.

He looked at it, “Hmmm, it’s got lighting coils all over it,” he studied it a bit more and then he went to getting the armor on. Soon he got the helmet on and he stood there for a moment. “Well, this explains why Ripper was so powerful in it.”

Smalls walked toward him, “Oh, why?”

Poetic stood there for a moment, looking ahead, almost as if he was trying to see something else out there that no one else could see. Finally he looked toward Smalls. A faint smile crossed the ghoul pegasus’ lips.

“It’s a prototype suit of armor. It needs work, and a lot of it, but what Ripper had and was wearing was a prototype suit of armor that most likely was designed right before the bombs dropped,” he said, “It allows the wearer to gather up bolts of lighting and store them in the coils around the suit. Then the wearer can eject the lighting out in a single large blast,” he said, “It’s brilliant in that it will allow the wearer to actually electrocute everypony within a fifteen yard radius.”

Smalls looked at him, “So why did the squirt gun stop it?”

Poetic began taking the suit off, “My guess is that the genius that came up with it didn’t consider the aspects of rain getting to the suit. A lot of the connectors are bare wires. A stream of water is enough to short it out, and cause the lighting it has collected to refocus itself back on the wearer. It’s insulated enough to not kill the pony, but it’s certainly enough of a jolt to disable them for a while.”

Smalls looked at him, “So, you want it?”

Poetic looked at it, and then back at Smalls, “I’ll fix it up, and I’ll use it,” he said before he looked at Clouded, “But I think that it needs to go to a Pegasus that can fly better than I can.”

She studied him, “But I’ve seen you fly,” she said.

He shook his head, “Yeah, up to ledges, onto catwalks, and other places,” he admitted, “The whole reason I was with ground forces in the army was because I wasn’t a strong flyer. I was good for short bursts of speed, and getting to places where Unicorns and Earth Ponies couldn’t, but I was never a very skilled or powerful flyer,” he looked at her, “The pony that uses this needs to be a strong enough flyer that they can charge the armor by flying up to a storm cloud and gathering wild lighting into it. I’d be lucky if I could make the cloud before I felt drained.”

Clouded studied him for a moment, and then her eyes looked at the ground, “Oh, I’m sorry,” she said, “I didn’t realize that you weren’t a good flyer.”

He showed no signs of offence, and instead simply studied her, “I haven’t seen you fly yet,” he said.

She looked at her flank with the Dashite mark on it, “I haven’t tried since I was branded by those Enclave soldiers.”

She stood there, uncertain for a moment before he neared her, “Were you a good flyer before?”

She beamed proudly, “Yeah, actually I came in forth in the young flyers competition,” she said with some pride, “And I was the only one that was able to cloud sculpt while I was doing it.”

He nodded at her, “Then you should do fine in it,” he looked at Smalls, “Is it okay if she takes it?”

Smalls nodded, “Sure, I want to learn how to work that Power Armor we saw in the World of Refreshment anyway.”

Poetic smiled at him, “Well, you might want to trim up a little more. It could be a little cramped in there until you do.”

Smalls shook his head, “Maybe I’ll wait then,” he said.

Crusher looked at him, “Boss, you can modify the armor to fit just about any frame, and that includes one like yours,” he said, “You just have to have the tools and know how to do it.”

Smalls rubbed his chin and nodded, “Alright, although I won’t be able to operate it until I learn how to use it.”

Poetic rolled his eyes and looked at him, “technically it’s not that much different from your Pip Buck, at least in processing it isn’t. The whole walking and doing thing takes practice, and yeah, it’d be better if you had training,” he looked at Clouded and then at Smalls, “I’ll train her first, because I know how to operate that kind of armor, and then I’ll learn the one you’re wanting to use, and I’ll teach you how to use it.”

Smalls smiled, and then he looked at his Pip Buck. The World of Refreshment hadn’t been bad, but that was because he’d made friends, sort of, with Egna. She’d used the Protectron Ponies, and the Gladiators, to fight those crab things. He looked at Crusher who looked off at the distance.

“So, what kind of critters were in the World of Refreshment?” Crusher asked.

Smalls shrugged, “Some kind of giant crabs, and there were a bunch of them, and then there was a really giant one that knocked in the loading door to the warehouse.”

Crusher looked at him and then grinned, “Swamplurks,” Crusher said, “Sounds about right. It’s a water ride, so it made sense that the would be Swamplurks in there.”

Cosmic looked toward them and walked over, “Those things are called Swamplurks?”

Crusher nodded, “Yeah, the thing is that they mostly gather in irritated swamp areas, so they got the name Swamplurks. They tend to lurk in the background, waiting for something to come by that sounds like lunch, and they pop up and try to snag it,” he looked at her, “And if there was a giant one that meant that there was one that had been here since about the time the bombs fell.”

Cosmic looked at him, “Do you mean those things tend to get bigger the older they get?”

Crusher nodded, “From what I’ve heard of them the really old ones end up creating an entire brood of the things,” he smirked, “But Swamplurks are good eatin’, and their eggs make really good omelets.”

Cosmic looked at him and shook her head, “I’m not sure that I’d want to eat anything that tried to eat me, and besides, they smell terrible.”

Crusher looked at her, “Maybe, but if you gut out a Swamplurk and then take its shell and put it on a wall it’ll stop most bullets,” he grinned, “There’s tell of entire towns that hunt swamplurks for the sole purpose of using their shells and eatin’ them. I’d bet that the Society will most likely take the shells from the ones that you’ve killed and see about making them into some kind of protective plating.”

Smalls listened as Crusher explained the Swamplurks to Cosmic, but he was studying the map on his Pip Buck. The World of Refreshment was reclaimed, and that was good, but he didn’t want to stop there. It wasn’t just the Sparkle Cola that he’d found, but more to the point it’d been fun going through and taking care of it with his friends. That’s what he’d really like to do again. He looked at the other parks, and his eyes set on the Lunar Zone.

He looked to everypony and then smiled, “Who wants to keep exploring the park?”

Cosmic looked at him, shrugged, and nodded. Poetic gave a curt nod, and Clouded smiled. He took that as a yes. With the three of them agreeing to go with him he walked toward the lift, and they followed him. The four of them left Crusher up in the Diner as they rode the lift down to the ground. Once it landed he saw Rosie. She walked toward him, and he saw that she was studying him fairly hard.

“So, you gave the Society the World of Refreshment?”

He nodded, “Yeah, but I figured that they could get the ride going, and there’s caps to be made with the Sparkle Cola.”

She looked at him, “Sure, there’s money to be made, but what about loyalty?”

He grinned, “Well, I was going out again, and I gave them one, so how about I give you the next one?”

That caused her to smile, “Really?”

He nodded, “I don’t mind to, and we’ve got some choices. There’s Hangin' Ponies Corral…” he started before she stopped him.

“That’s the wild west one right?” she asked.

He nodded, “Yeah,” he replied.

She grinned, “Perfect, that’s the one the Reapers want. Tell you what, how about I come along with you?” she asked as she moved up beside him and nudged his hip with her own, “I can show you just how well I can fight, and we can see what all there is to see in that little park.”

He grinned and nodded. The five of them walked toward Hangin' Ponies Corral, and he saw at the entrance there was a robot pony like there had been in the ride at the World of Refreshment. Walking toward it he noticed that one of its eyes had turned black, but the other one seemed to be a vibrant blue. The robot pony was wearing a vest with a tin star on it, there was a stetson on its head, and its green mane was made into a Prench braid. As soon as they neared it the robot pony smiled.

“Wooowie! Welcome ta Hangin' Ponies Corral partners! I’m Sheriff Tulip Snips!” she said excitedly, “And we’re plump happy to see so many potential deputies coming in!”

Rosie laughed and neared the artificial pony, “Well Howdy Sheriff, what’s the problem?”

Tulip’s face turned sour, “It’s those no good verments over at Mad Morning Star’s Mine!” she spat, “They done went and stole a whole load of Sparkle Cola World tickets, and they’re holdin’ Swift Breeze, the prettiest Pegasus singer ya ever did see, hostage! Why, we gotta save her so that she can sing the Sparkle Cola Anthem, and besides, she’s likely to give whoever saves her a kiss!”

Rosie laughed, “Well, I think we can take care of that.”

“Thank ya partner! But I got ta warn all of ya, that mine is locked, and the only key to it is held by the fastest draw in the west, Slippery Sunrise Twist! She’s over at the amphitheater, and ya got ta get that key from her first. Fair warnin, she don’t cotton ta letting people jest take things, so yer gonna have to out drawl her for it.”

Rosie’s eyes brightened at that, “Oh, that sounds like my kind of fun!”

Without another word Rosie began rushing into the park, and Smalls chased after her. They rounded the corner and there was a huge section of track that had fallen from above them. They looked at it, and stepped over the rails, and moved toward the other side of it. When they did something large popped out of the ground. It was worm-like, and its head split open to reveal several small tentacles. Those tentacles shot out at both Smalls and Rosie. It grabbed Rosie by the rear hoof, and pulled her toward the waiting mouth.

Smalls started to bite down on his bit only to remember that he’d taken the battle saddle off. There was nothing to shoot with. Instead he looked at the ground, saw a long piece of broken glass, activated SATS, and then targeted the tentacles. The moment he did he shot forward, slicing through the first tentacle, then the second, but the third was tougher and he only managed to break the sliver of glass. However, it was enough for Rosie who slammed her front hooves down hard on the tentacle causing the creature to roar in pain and then dive back into the ground.

“What the fuck was that?!” Rosie asked.

Suddenly there was a rumble and they moved just as another two shot up from where they had been standing. Before either could open their mouths there were two shots, and both of them went through the heads of the two worm-like creatures. Smalls looked to see Poetic, sitting on top of a concession cart, his sniper rifle in his hooves.

“Okay, first, we need to find Smalls a weapon, second, Don’t fucking run off like a filly at a carnival!” Poetic shouted.

Rosie looked at him, “Whatever Dad,” she said before she flicked her tail at him.

Clouded hovered in the air, which in and of itself was a good thing. That meant that she was able to fly, and more to the point she was able to get off of the ground and away from those things. Cosmic finished climbing over the broken piece of track with what looked like mining carts on it.

“No, sure, I’m fine. Never mind waiting for me, or helping me over the stupid carts.”

Rosie looked back at her, “Wow, you really like to hear yourself bitch don’t you?”

She looked at Rosie, “You could have waited, like five seconds, and we all could have faced that thing together.

Rosie looked at her, walked toward her, and poked her in the barrel with her front left hoof.

“Look, I’m a reaper, and while that means that I’ll keep my word, and I’ll play nice, it also means that I do what I want, when I want, and how I want. If you want to become a reaper and try to put me in my place, fine, go for it. Challenge one of us to a fight, kill them, and then you can take their place,” she grinned, “Otherwise, you can take that snooty attitude, and fucking horn, and shove them both up your tight flank.”

“Guys, maybe we should move,” Smalls said.

Both of them looked toward him, and then they felt the ground rumbling. Seeing what he meant the five of them rushed toward the amphitheater and rushed into the building. They closed the doors behind them, and then looked at the hall leading toward the amphitheater itself. They started to follow it when Smalls saw a door to the side. He stepped toward it, pushed it open, and saw a bottle of Sparkle Cola sitting on the desk. He moved toward it, knocked the cap off, put it in his saddle bags, and then drank the warm Sparkle Cola down. He didn’t notice Poetic until the ghoul Pegasus stopped near him. He looked where he was standing and saw a skeleton of a Pegasus leaning against the wall.

Smalls neared him, and saw a Pip Buck lying there. He connected his to it, and then he began to access the other Pip Buck’s saved files. He hit the first one.

“Shit,” a girl's voice said, “The bastards did it,” she sounded scared, “They went and launched the bombs at each other. Well, that’s just great. I get a job at Sparkle Cola World, and my first day on the job is the last one ever!”

There were sounds of tears, “Why?” she asked crying, “Why was this it? Didn’t they realize that we could have lived in peace?”

She coughed, “We’re lucky that we’re pretty far away from everything. I mean the magical radiation shouldn’t even hit here, if we’re lucky.” She sighed, “The guests all panicked, and I can’t blame them. From what I understand management is trying to explain to them that they need to stay put, but most of them are trying to get out.”

She cried, “I want to go home, but I’m not even sure if Cloudsdale is even there. I haven’t wanted to listen to the radio because I’m afraid that I’ll find out that mom and sis are gone.”

“I just want to go home.”

There was silence and then Smalls activated the second recording, “It’s been three months, no one’s coming. I went over to Kandy Kingdom last night to visit with the Amazing Azure Blaze, and she was doing tricks for the few folks that did stick around. The kids that were watching seemed to be entertained. I’m sure that she didn’t intend to get stuck here either. I heard that she actually got a job offer from Las Pegasus a few weeks ago. Something at the Silver Cloud as a main act,” there was a wet cough, “Sucks that she’ll never get to go now.”

She breathed in, “It’s weird, there was a green cloud that came floating in over there. I saw it and Azure tried get me to go into the castle with her, but I ran back here,” she laughed, “I ran home like a dumb foal. Home, that’s what this place is now.”

She coughed, “I breathed that cloud on the way, and I’ve been pissing blood,” she cried, “I feel sick, feverish, and so tired.”

There was a soft cough and then Smalls activated the last one.

“Been a year since that last entry. So, the cloud was radioactive fallout,” she coughed, “and whatever it was has been causing my mane to fallout. I’ve been noticing that its getting hard to think, and the only thing that keeps me going is checking the security monitors and checking the stupid stands,” she laughed, “The only thing that helps is doing the job I was hired to do. Guess that I’m still an employee. I wonder if that means I’m going to get a year’s worth of back pay?”

There was a wet cough, “I keep,” a soft growl escaped her, “No, I keep feeling like something’s wrong… I can’t explain it, but,” another growl, “I… hurt.”

The line went dead for a moment before there was another sound. “Miss?”

“There was an inequine scream and then there was a single shot.”

Poetic looked at Smalls, “Stop it,” he said.

Smalls nodded, and he watched as Poetic sat down in front of the Skeleton, “Sorry that happened to you,” he said, “You couldn’t keep it together huh?” he asked before he got up and looked to the right of her. He grabbed a pistol, carried it to Smalls, and passed it to him. Smalls took it and put it into his saddle bags.

“Wow,” that was a fucked up story,” Rosie said.

Poetic nodded, “And it’s one that usually happens to every ghoul,” he replied.

Smalls looked at him, “Wait, you to?”

Poetic shrugged, “I don’t know. I’ve been around two hundred years, so maybe not,” he said, “But I honestly don’t know.”

Smalls looked at him, “I think that you’ll beat it.”

Poetic studied him for a moment, “Maybe, I don’t know.”

Rosie shook her head, “Whatever, lets get that key, get rid of those things, and take this place over.”

Chapter 4: A Mining We Will Go!

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Fallout Equestria - For a Sparkle Cola

Chapter Four - A Mining we will Go!

Slippery Sunrise Twist, the fastest draw in the west, stood before them. Rosie let out a whoop of excitement as she saw the robot pony stand up tall. Smalls noticed that like the robot ponies in the World of Refreshment it was designed to look more like a pony and less like a protectron pony. The robot’s head moved, sounding like rusted metal scraping across rusted metal, and a tarnished, to the color green, brass spittoon leaned mechanically toward Slippery Sunrise Twist and the sound of a pony spitting, and it echoing, sounded through the speakers around them.

“So, ya figured that ya could outdraw Slippery Sunrise Twist, fastest gun in the west huh?” she asked.

Rosie grinned brightly, “Oh, you bet your sweet ass I can!”

The Robot moved, stepping forward, and reached toward its side. It pulled out what looked like a revolver, tossed it to Rosie, and then stepped back, “Alright then, We take three paces, turn, and the fastest draw wins!”

Smalls noticed that Rosie looked like a kid on Hearths Warming morning. She stepped up to the robot pony, which looked as if it was supposed to be colored gray, but some of the rubber skin had long since peeled away and left a partially exposed robotic face behind. Smalls could see the lower jaw, teeth, as Slippery Sunrise Twist seemed to chew some non-existent tobacco. The robot pony turned, and so did Rosie. Smalls noticed a bottle cap, something with a red star inside of it.

“When this bottle cap hits the ground, we draw!”

With that it launched the bottle cap into the air, and the moment it touched down Rosie fired her revolver. Poetic wasn’t sure the old gun would actually fire, but amazingly it did. The bullet hit Slippery Sunrise Twist, and the robot Pony stood there for a moment.

“Wow partner, guess that I’m not the fastest in the west anymore!” she laughed, “Here, I’ve got a key for Mad Morning Star’s Mine.”

She handed the key to Rosie, “And I’ve got a set of duds to outfit ya while yer here.”

The robot pony walked over toward a box, and came back with a stetson, a vest, and a holster for the pistol. Rosie looked at the vest, passed on it, but put the stetson on, put on the holster, and then put her new revolver into it. The group of them walked out of the amphitheater that Slippery Sunrise Twist had been, and began walking toward the exit. Getting out they walked toward the entrance of the mine ride, and Smalls walked toward the door. He saw the large lock on it, looked at Rosie, and she used the key to unlock it. When she did the five of them stepped into the room. Several flickering lights, which looked like several lanterns, were hanging from the walls. On the right side of them was a large window, and what looked like a robot pony inside of it.

Smalls walked toward it, looking at the robot pony, unsure of what it was, when its head raised up. The Robot pony had several gashes in its cheeks, there were places that looked as if someone had shot at it from a distance, but remarkably it still worked.

“Well howdy partners!” it said, “My name is Ferrous Tool, pleased ta meet ya!”

It’s left hoof raised, tipped its hat, and then it looked at them, “Welcome ta Mad Morning Star’s Mine! I’m mine boss Morning Star’s right hand stallion, and if’n yer gonna go into the mine ya need ta know that there’s some dastardly lookin’ desperados down there. Why, they dun went and captured Swift Breeze, and are a holdin’ her hostage. I surely hope ya can save her. Wouldn’t be right ta have nopony else sing the anthem other than Ms. Breeze.”

He gave a laugh, “Course, if’n yer here for the history of Sparkle Cola I can help ya there too. Ya might have noticed the red star bottle caps,” Ferrous said, “They’re pretty special, and if’n ya can bring me twenty of them I’ll tell ya about the history of Sparkle Cola along with given’ ya a treasure that would make the richest pony envious.”

Rosie looked at him, “Well, I’m all for some treasure.”

Cosmic shook her head, “Do we even know what it is that we need to do here?”

Smalls looked at her, “Well those worm things seem kinda dangerous. I bet that what we need to do is clear them out, but I don’t mind looking for those caps and finding treasure too.”

Poetic grinned, “Why not,” he said, “While we’re in here we can look and see about whatever that robot pony was picking up from outside. It might be more of those worms.”

The five of them moved from the entrance with Ferrous and began moving deeper into the mine itself. As they walked the bridges they crossed, most of which seemed to be cable and wood bridges, creaked and groaned with each step. Looking down it looked almost as if there was a very long drop each time they crossed a bridge. Moving Smalls noticed something and moved toward the sight.

The pony leaning against the wall looked as if something had torn a huge hunk out of its haunches. There were several empty healing potions beside her, and he could see a small recorder. He lifted it, looked at the pony, and then played it.

“Damn it,” the mare said, “Fuck, this hurts so bad,” she swore, “I fuckin’ wish that I would have told bullseye to shove his idea about getting to Sparkle Cola world up his ass.”

There was the sound of coughing, “I’m dying, I know it. The potions have managed to keep me alive, but I’m bleeding out, and those fucking things will be back. We managed to sneak in through one of the mine cart exits, and then for good measure we closed and locked the door behind us. Bullseye thought it was a perfect place.”

She coughed again, “I mean what fucker wouldn’t like a park dedicated to whiskey, whores, and fighting?” she asked, “Celestia’s tight anus this sucks.”

She coughed, “My name was Sweet Talk, I was the best damn shot of our group, and I hope those things ate Bullseye’s dick in front of him.”

With that the recorder went silent. Smalls looked at the others, and then back at the dead mare. Her body hadn’t begun to bloat, but mostly that was because of the large chunk of muscle missing from her haunches. The smell of decay was there, and it was thick, but he backed up. Together they moved away from the body, and they began to move back through the walkway. As they did the scene below them was something from the prewar era. A few old prospector huts, some camp fires, and a few robot ponies dressed like prospectors. They were slowly working on the earth, sifting through it. Behind them was something else moving.

Smalls jumped down, landing on the railing, and headed toward the movement. He could see the struggle, the worms had something, and they were attempting to pull whatever it was toward their waiting maws. Smalls dug the pistol out of his saddlebag that Poetic had hoofed over to him earlier. He aimed it, and hoped that it was loaded before firing. There was a moment of doubt, and then the crack of a shot being fired.

Smalls hadn’t even used S.A.T.S. yet, but he managed to hit one of the tentacles of the worms. He entered S.A.T.S. and aimed at the heads of the two worms. He fired and the first one managed to go through the head of the worm, destroying it, and causing it to flop around harmlessly on the floor. The second one seemed to try to go into the ground with its prey, but there was enough of a charge left on the S.A.T.S. to aim at the head again, and once more he fired. When he did like the other one its head exploded in a shower of gore. He stepped forward to see what was being attacked.

At first it looked like a mare, but a quick glance told Smalls that it was a stallion dressed as a mare. The stallion stood, shook, and looked at him.

“My hero!” he said nearing Smalls, “I was so sure that those things were going to eat me alive!”

Clouded Hope swooped down near them, “What are they?”

The stallion looked at her and shook his head, “So, you just into mares, or do you play the field?” he asked.

Clouded looked at him, “Seriously, what were those things?”

He sighed, “They’re Tatzlwurms,” he replied, “Nasty things that haven’t mutated despite the magical radiation and taint.”

Clouded Hope shook her head, “They’re like that naturally?”

He nodded, “Yeah, weird aren’t they?” he asked as he flicked his tail near Smalls, “and they like the taste of ponies.”

He moved toward a bag and dug something out. She watched as he took out two inhalers, quickly used them, grabbed a bottle and shook out a tablet which he ate, and then grabbed a tin and popped what smelled like peppermints into his mouth.

“Mmmm, the only thing missing is some Maredriian marching powder to make things extra smooth,” he said, “So, big guy, my hero, you interested in being a top?”

Smalls looked at him, a little confused, “A what now?” he asked, “I’m a pony…”

Clouded Hope shook her head, “Okay, wow, a little direct aren’t you?”

The stallion neared her, and she could see the skimpy dress he was wearing for the first time. It rode high on the flank, showing half of his cutie mark, not hiding any part of him. His tail was trimmed short, but was modestly long enough to cover up his stallion bits. His off white coat seemed dingy, but his face and muzzle were very feminine. His pink mane and tail were both braided, giving him the look of a mare that took care of herself.

A small flash of magic and suddenly he was beside her.

“You know it sugarteats,” he said before he flashed again appearing near Smalls, “But seriously, if you play the field I would so love to thank you.”

Smalls looked at him, “Ummm… Okay, I don’t know about playing, but we’re trying to get rid of those things in here, and see if there’s anypony else that needs saved. You’re welcome to come with us. Oh, maybe you can help,” Smalls said, “What can you do?”

He grinned, “I can suck your cock.”

Smalls backed up a little, “Ummm… I… Ummm….”

The stallion smiled a little demurely at him, “Aw, that’s so sweet that you’re flustered like you are,” he said, “Tell you what snookums, I’ll let you mull it over in your head for a while.”

He strutted past him, his faded red dress, which almost matched the pink of his mane and tail, rode up a little more, and Smalls looked toward him, seeing the stockings that he was wearing on his back legs. A set of fishnet stockings, both connected by strange little elastic bands and clips. He looked away before the stallion could look back, and he looked at Clouded Hope.

Inside of Stable 124 everypony was matched with the opposite sex. Their life expectancy was so low, most living only to be in their late twenties, that pregnancy and heterosexuality was constantly promoted. In truth most of the ponies that were selected to be together didn’t always like each other. They were simply chosen because they had the highest chances of gaining the most weight and having the lowest life expectancy.

The idea that a male could be interested in another male was a foreign concept. It wasn’t something that seemed wrong, exactly, but Small Fry didn’t know really how to feel about it. He found Clouded Hope pretty, and Rosie was silly and attractive. Cosmic was kinda like a sister, or what he assumed a sister to be like. He knew that he was attracted to mares, but this confused the living Tartarus out of him.

He shook it off, not sure where to put his feelings, not sure where to try and understand them, and instead he gave Clouded Hope a smile, one that she returned, and he found his way back up to the walkway. The unicorn stallion they saved stood by, and the group of them began to make their way toward the ride itself. When they got into the center waiting area he could see dozens of broken robot ponies, all of which had been dressed up to look like outlaws. Near the ride itself was a skeleton in a cage that was hanging over the pit.

The evidence pointed to the skeleton being Swift Breeze. She wouldn’t be singing any anthem anytime soon, but more to that there was the sound of somepony screaming for help. Poetic looked around, and he could see how high the ceiling was. Without missing a beat he lifted up and looked toward the sound. He could see that part of the waiting area had broken down, and inside of it was a gryphon hen. She was holding onto part of the old wooden floor, and huge tentacles, compared to the others, was attempting to pull her down. He quickly brought his sniper rifle up, aimed, and fired a shot.

The first shot struck one of the tentacles causing it to pull back. The others let go of the gryphon hen and she darted out going toward the rafters where he was. The entire floor began to shake under Small Fry, Rosie, Cosmic, the rescued unicorn stallion, and Clouded Hope. A moment later the head of a giant Tatzlwurm ripped through the floor near them. It let out a deafening screech, and then it faced the collection of food before it. Its tentacles struck out, trying to grab onto the nearest pony, and Smalls activated S.A.T.S. He aimed inside of its mouth, hoping that he could do some damage. It roared as the ten millimeter round ripped through the flesh inside of its head, it struck the ceiling of the room, causing dirt and wood to come crashing down. Small Fry hit S.A.T.S. again, taking six more shots, trying to kill it, and each shot tore flesh loose, spraying viscera and gore, but not bringing the giant creature down.

Smalls tried to fire again only to find that he was now out of ammunition. He heard the sound of Poetic’s rifle, and the giant Tatzelwurm screeched again. Another shot, and then another, and finally the giant Tatzelwurm went limp. He moved toward it, finding it not moving, and then bumped it. Rosie walked toward it, kicked it, and felt something. She picked up a broken knife from the ground, stuck it into the side of the giant Tatzelwurm and pulled down. When she did several half digested ponies and brahman slid out.

Cosmic noticed how some of the bodies were small, foals, and she nearly puked right there. She shook her head, “Oh Celestia, that thing was eating ponies,”

Rosie looked at it, “And it won’t do it anymore. So, the reapers get this area?”

Small Fry nodded, “Yeah, I want the reapers to have it.”

She nodded, “Good, the first thing we’re doing is gathering all of the smaller of these things, and we’re throwing them on a fire. After that, well it’ll be kind of fun to have a place where whores, drinking, and gambling was encouraged. I guess that’s what we’ll keep this place doing.”

They walked toward the door, opened it, and noticed that it led right back behind Ferrous Tool. Rosie looked at the robot and then grinned. “Plus, I’m going to find enough of those star bottle caps to find out what this mysterious treasure is.”

The group walked out, and when they did the Unicorn stallion saw a stage. He walked toward it, moved up to the top of it, and Small Fry watched as he tested it. Then he looked toward Smalls, smiled and then looked at the others.

“Well, it’s been a while, but I do like performing,” he said, “My name is Lèvres D'ange, and yes, my ancestors were from Prance. Well, I like to think they were,” he said, “It’s certainly a better name than Fix’it.”

He smiled, “So, for today only, for my hero, and the rest of you,” he said waiving his foreleg, “I present the incredible singing talent of Lèvres D'ange.”

He cleared his throat, his horn lit up, and the sound of a guitar began to fill the area. It wasn't a simple tune, and it wasn’t slow like some of the music that Small Fry had heard on the radio before. It was fast, driving, and then Lèvres D'ange looked at him.

♫Till sex do we part,

But we’ve already gotten past that stage

This isn’t going to fall apart

And I think that I deserve some praise

For the way that I am

Despite trying to overdose

Wanting to be comatose♫

If anyone would have asked Clouded if she thought that Lèvres D'ange could sing she would have said no. But having heard him, and seeing him perform, she had to admit that he could sing and perform. It didn’t mean that she liked him. She moved over near Small Fry and put her wing on his back. He looked at her, and noticed that she was instead looking at Lèvres D'ange with a sort of angry glare.

“Ummm, okay, lets go find some of those bottle caps,” he said.

*You’ve unlocked Confirmed Bachelor! You can now unlock unique dialogue with same sex characters, and you can inflict up to ten percent more damage toward all stallions.*

Strange Kandy

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Fallout Equestria - For a Sparkle Cola

Chapter 5 - Strange Kandy

Night was setting in when they arrived at the Diner. A ride up on the makeshift lift was welcomed, and Smalls watched as everyone began to poke around for a place to sleep. He walked toward the serving counter, grabbed a bottle of Sparkle Cola Seafood Delight from under the counter. He popped the cap off, noticing that it was a red star cap he put it into his saddle bag. It would be interesting to see what kind of treasure Ferrous Tool had been talking about. If nothing else, it would be fun just to collect the caps and turn them over.

Taking another drink he saw Clouded Hope sitting near the cloud bed. He grabbed another bottle, and walked toward her. He hoofed it to her and she looked at it.

“Sparkle Cola - Electric Blue?” she asked as she opened and sniffed, “Huh, it kind of smells like a storm cloud before it shoots out lightning.”

She took a drink, and after a moment she belched. When she did small sparks of electricity danced out of her mouth and across her lips. She sat there for a moment before she looked at the Sparkle Cola again. She raised it back up to her lips, took another drink, and once again small sparks of electricity danced out when she belched. She grinned.

“It tickles,” she said as she looked at him, “Thanks.”

He smiled, and the two of them sat together. Clouded studied him for a moment. He seemed to be a good pony. He didn’t seem angry, or upset. He’d been kind, sweet, and treated her with respect. She’d felt safe around him. She leaned toward him, and her lips found his own. In that moment there was two things that she discovered. The first was that he was a little awkward, but seemed to be a naturally good kisser, and the second was that he had absolutely no experience. His kiss was sweet, and she loved it. She enjoyed the way that it made her fee. And she loved how the little sparks of electricity danced from her tongue to his own.

They kissed for a little more before she finally broke it. She looked at him, and she didn’t see some overweight wastelander. Instead she saw a good and brave pony. He was a decent stallion, and she was certainly wanting to claim him as hers. She’d felt like it before, especially with the way that Rosie was sniffing around his tail. There was no doubt in her mind that that hussy would have no problem scooping him up for her own.

Sure, she talked about sharing, but then she wasn’t sure if she would actually be the kind to actually share, or if she would be the kind that would want to keep him all for herself. Not that it really mattered. She didn’t want to share with her. It didn’t feel right, and she didn’t think that it would be a good idea to do it. In truth things had been different above the cloud cover. For one she was considered something of an oddity. Being bisexual wasn’t considered deviancy, and homosexuality was considered fine, but heterosexuality was considered the worst kind of taboo. She understood the reason for it. After all there was a finite amount of food that could be grown before the cloud cover was pulled back, but she couldn’t really help the way she was wired. She liked stallions. She liked the way they smelled, tasted, and she really liked Smalls.

He was the kind of stallion she had hoped to find a stallion like him in Neighvaro, but what stallions that were there either were gay or already chosen by other mares as suitors. She wasn’t a pony that wanted to serve in the Armed forces of the Enclave either. She was, of all things, a librarian. Sure, most books that the Enclave used tended to be located at Shadowbolt Tower in Hoofington. But there were a few smaller public libraries in various Enclave Colonies. Neighvaro just happened to have the second largest prewar collection of Daring Doo.

She’d been proud of her job, she had loved it, but she wanted to see the surface. She could go back, the sky was open, and the Remnants weren’t in control up there. But being branded a Dashite, even after the clouds opened, it was still considered serious. No one was branded a Dashite anymore, not unless the Remnants caught them below the cloud cover, and for someone to be branded, and then returned, it meant that the Remnants could return.

They wouldn’t be openly chased out, but no one would openly help them. Any job they had would be suspended. Which was a nice way of saying that they wouldn’t lift a feather to help anypony. She could try to go home, but there wasn’t much to go back to. There were her books, but when she went above the cloud cover her job would be suspended, someone would be hired temporarily to assist with her duties, and then she would be swept away and forgotten.

Here at least she had Smalls, and she was getting closer to Cosmic, Poetic Pen, and she didn’t mind Sparkle Cola World. It needed help, but she felt that it was certainly a massive improvement over what could be. The gangs that were here seemed more concerned with making money, and they weren’t keeping anyone as slaves. That certainly was worth points in her mind.

She felt Smalls hug her, and she returned the hug. It felt nice to be hugged by somepony she liked. She grew up with a huggy mother, and pegasi hugs all had different meanings. A quick hug was just a friendly hello. A hug like Smalls was giving her was one that said I like you. She returned it, although she knew that between the two of them his hug would be stronger. Earth Ponies seemed to be unnaturally strong, but that was fine with her.

“Smalls,” she said, “I like you.”

He grinned, “I like you too,” he replied, “You’re nice.”

She beamed as they hugged, and then she kissed him again. This time she let him lean forward, and before he knew what had happened he had fallen forward onto her. He looked concerned, worried, but she giggled and kissed him again. The kiss became heavier, and soon she was working on his jumpsuit from his Stable. That was something she didn’t understand. Most ponies wore some kind of clothing in the wasteland. It made sense. Usually it was some kind armor, but his Stable Suit didn’t really seem like it did much except just cover him up.

If it wasn’t protecting anything, then why wear it? She guessed that maybe it reminded him of his home, but what he’d said about it wasn’t exactly pleasant. He was basically tossed out because he couldn’t gain as much weight as the others. Which made no sense to her either. Why would a place value getting so heavy that they couldn’t even walk by themselves? She felt his kisses moving down her, and she knew that his instincts were running the show now.

Smalls wasn’t sure what was going on, but Clouded Hope smelled amazing. There was something about the way she smelled that was driving him insane. She smelled like fresh rain and blueberries. He’d smelled blueberries before in his stable, there were some blueberry Fancy Buck Cakes, and he remembered those being some of his favorites. That smell was coming from her, and he felt excited. He felt her removing his stable barding, and she was right. He was getting hot.

His entire body felt like it was burning up, and he helped her get the barding off of him. They kissed again, unaware that Cosmic was watching from the doorway. Cosmic wasn’t going to watch Smalls finally become a stallion, at least not all of the way, but she was a little perplexed. She’d been pretty sure that Smalls was hetero, at least he gave the signs that he was, but when they saved Lèvres D'ange it appeared that he could be gay. There wouldn’t be anything wrong with that.

Everypony had their own kinks. She would be the first to admit that everypony had their own kinks, and she would be the first to admit that sometimes those kinks were the only thing that made life worth living for some folks. If Smalls like cock, more power to him, but now it was obvious that he was interested in Clouded Hope. She wasn’t jealous. Tartarus, Smalls was like an annoying little brother.

But she was still perplexed. Maybe Smalls was bisexual. It could be that he liked stallions as much as mares. Again, she wouldn’t care. Whatever he liked was his own business. The only reason it was perplexing was because she liked to know her companions. She liked to know who they were. Smalls was naive, obviously, but he was also a good stallion. He was somepony that was loyal, and he did the right thing.

The fact that he didn’t take the easy way most of the time certainly spoke of his character. She’d come to trust in him and Poetic Pen. Poetic himself was fairly simple to understand. He was an old soldier, and he was determined to remain a soldier. The way he talked, and carried himself, it was similar to how some of the Steel Rangers carried themselves. She decided that her need to understand wasn’t that important the moment she saw both Clouded and Smalls really starting to go at it.

Tomorrow she would certainly tease both of them. After all, she couldn’t be the bitchy older sister if she didn’t tease her little brother, and his marefriend, about making him into a stallion. But tonight she was going to let them have this moment themselves. She backed up, closed the door, and stepped out. She heard some rummaging and looked to see Poetic Pen. The pegasus ghoul was working on the armor that Crusher had dropped off for them. He was muttering to himself every few minutes.

“Everything okay Poetic?” she asked walking closer to him, “You look pretty invested in that thing.”

He nodded, “Yeah, it’s fine,” he said, “This stupid thing was a rush job from start to finish.”

He looked at her, “It uses the best OS that Stable-Tec had for their Pipbucks, the best, OS available, and it under utilizes the servos that add strength. It gives freedom of movement for the wings, and makes the entire body rigid. It was like some idiot tried to smash the Ministry of Technology’s Power Armor together with the Ministry of Awesome’s Shadowbolt Armor. Then they decided to make it hold and shoot lightning because why not?!”

She looked, “Ah, so they were an idiot?” she asked, “Because it really sounds like you described someone that would give idiots a bad name.”

He chuckled, “Yeah, they would,” he said, “And the sorry thing is that I’m sure this had Rainbow Dash’s personal okay.”

She raised an eyebrow, “Really?”

He nodded, “Yeah, this was the kind of thing that she would have pushed through because it would one up everypony else. Don’t get me wrong, Rainbow was a brave, loyal, and amazing mare,” he said, “But she was a showboat, an idiot, and too damned stubborn to really listen to anypony else when she thought that she was right.”

Cosmic smiled, “Sounds like you had a crush.”

He rolled his eyes, “Wouldn’t have mattered if I did,” he said, “Far as I know she liked mares. Oh, maybe she was bi, maybe, and if she was, great, doubt that she would have been interested.”

Cosmic looked at him, “Why?” she asked, “What makes you think that she wouldn’t want to be with you?”

He groaned, “Pegasus courting rituals usually go with good genetics. Strong flyers like strong flyers. They’ll accept Earth Ponies because they’re naturally strong, but they really want strong flyers. Stealth flyers want stealth flyers, and the list just goes on from there. I have great eyes, I’m stealthy, but I’m not a strong flyer. If I would have tried to get closer to her, if I would have tried to get to know her, I might have ended up a close friend, but a fuck buddy I wouldn’t end up as.”

Cosmic shook her head, “Maybe, but then again I could see her getting drunk and wrecking you pretty hard.”

He rolled his eyes, “Doubtful, but maybe,” he groaned, “Didn’t really matter though, because I had a mare.”

She looked at him, “Really?”

He nodded, “Yeah, Sugarcoat,” he said, “She was this earth pony that served as an administrative assistant for Corporal Cupcake. She ended up actually coming out here to work in the Stable Tech Lunar Zone demonstration stable,” he said, “I always hoped that the demonstration stable was a functioning one, and that she was inside of it when everything went to Tartarus.”

Cosmic grinned, “Maybe it was,” she said, “So why did she go to work at the demonstration stable?”

He laughed, “Corporal Cupcake was getting ready to retire, he was tired of the war, and he’d already signed the paperwork to leave the service,” he said, “So, instead of her retiring too he asked if she wanted something easy. She said sure, and he assigned her to work at the demonstration stable. I remember she told me that all she had to do was hand out flyers about joining the Equestrian army.”

He laughed, “I hoped that she made it into the stable, that it was real, I hope it very much. I hope that she had a good rest of her life.”

Cosmic hugged him, “I’m sure she did, I’m sure it was, and hey, maybe you’ll get to meet some family. I know we’re going to go there eventually.”

He sighed, “Not sure that I want to, or deserve to, but when we go I do want to see what happened.”

Cosmic nodded, and she headed toward what was her bed. It was fairly large, soft, mostly in good shape, and she loved how soft it was. That was the winning point for her. She climbed into it, and soon she found sleep. As the hours passed everypony in the diner dreamed. Smalls held Clouded Hope, and his dreams were sweet. There was this pegasus in his life. Slowly his eyes opened to see the sun rising, and he slowly stretched as he got up. Clouded stretched as well, feeling more alive than usual. She watched as Smalls gathered up his Stable Suit, and he grinned at her.

“I’m going to find the shower, want one?”

She grinned and nodded. Together they walked toward the employees area, and there they found what looked like a working shower stall and everything. Both of them stepped into it, and soon the shower itself began running. There was some soap, a brush, and the two of them began to turn from ponies that smelled like they had a lot of fun becoming sweaty stinky ponies into cleaner smelling ponies. When their shower was done he began trying to squeeze into his stable barding, but she stopped him. She smelled it and held it out.

“Let’s get you something else to wear, because that needs a wash.”

He nodded, and walked with her out into the diner. Both of them were surprised to see Crusher and two mares that neither had met.

“Boss, this is Nip and Tuck,” he said, “They’re the merchants that run the tailor shop, and they had a question for you. I told them that you were likely busy, and if you want I’ll run them out.”

Small shook his head, “What’s the question?” he asked.

Both of them grinned, “Well, we happen to notice that a good many of our clients like to purchase Prewar clothes. Specifically Stable Tec Barding,” Nip said, “As such, we would like to ask if you would please be on the lookout for Stable barding? We will pay for each piece, a hundred caps, is that fair?”

He nodded, “Sure, actually, do you have any stable barding?”

He looked at them and noticed that they looked quite a bit a like. Nip was a unicorn, she was a light blue, her mane and tail were black, and Tuck was inverted to that. She was black with a soft blue mane and tail. But their eyes were the same dark blue, and they had the same muzzle. Of course Tuck was a Pegasus.

“Also, are you two sisters?”

Nip smiled, “We are actually,” she said, “Our mother was something of a working mare, and well, Tuck’s father was a Pegasus.”

Tuck grinned, “Unfortunately we did not want to carry on her business. Making clothes, and selling them seems to be a much better business than lifting your tail and praying for it to be over quickly.”

Nip grinned, “And actually we do have some stable barding,” she said as she walked near him. She pulled it out and sat it down. It was the same blue, gold, but instead of 124 it had 101 on it.”

Tuck nodded, “We got this off of a trader that came from Fillydelphia,” she said, “Lovely mare, said that she had lived in this stable, but some terrible things happened, and she wanted rid of everything connected to it. She practically gave it to us, and well, as we received we would like to give. Consider it a token of our new business relationship. Hopefully we will make a fortune together.”

Both of them smiled, left, and he tried on the stable barding. He’d long since believed that all Stable Tec clothing had a spell cast on them that allowed them fit whoever wore it. The barding was a little snug, but then so was his stable ten barding. He walked toward the map, looked at it, and then looked at the three remaining parts of the park. Instantly he saw one that made him smile.

“Who wants to check out Kandy Kingdom today?”

Clouded looked at it, “Sounds good,” she said, “Maybe we can find some prepackaged food there.”

Half an hour later found Poetic Pen, Cosmic, Clouded hope, and Smalls walking into the brightly colored carnival themed section of Sparkle Cola World. As they started to walk in a green mist shot out of some pipes and Smalls’ Pipbuck began clicking at the radiation.

“Ah, so we have unwanted visitors to our home!” came a shout over the speakers that was placed around the area, “Well, if you’re hot our sprinkler system will cool you right off, all while giving you a dose of radiation poison!”

Cosmic began digging out radaway from her saddlebags, and she handed it out to everypony. Then she handed out some Rad-X. She groaned, “We don’t have much of this,” she said, “So please, try to make it last.”

Welcome to the Show

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Fallout Equestria - For a Sparkle Cola

Chapter 6: Welcome to the Show

It had been a little over an hour since they first entered Kandy Kingdom, and in that time they had been sprayed with irradiated water multiple times. That didn’t include the strange ghouls that were roaming around. Smalls had seen that several of them were feral, and more to the point they had been painted. The ten millimeter didn’t do anything against them. Whatever had been painted on them acted like some kind of armor. So far the only one that had something powerful enough to deal with them had been Poetic Pen.

His sniper rifle would bark out a shot, and then another ghoul would be taken care of. It bothered Smalls a little. He knew that the ferals were lost, and there wasn’t any bringing them back. Poetic had said that most ghouls end up losing themselves at some point. What bothered him the most about it was that originally they had been ponies. He didn’t want to kill them, but he knew that it came down to protecting his friends. So far it had been Poetic that did most of the killing.

“Ugh, that’s it,” Poetic said, “I’ve got ten shells left. After that we’re going to have to fight them hoof to hoof, unless we can find more ammunition.”

Cosmic looked at him, “Well, an amusement park would have security stations in them, right?” she asked, “So, surely there’s a security station here.”

Poetic nodded, “Maybe,” he said, “Hopefully they’ve got something better than ten millimeter.”

The four of them walked together, heading further into the park. The idea to search for the security office was about as good of an idea as any. For the most part they had begun to pick up on the movements of the feral ghouls in the area. They seemed to mainly hang around larger attractions, and if those attractions were merely snuck by then they were able to not have to deal with them. Cosmic had noticed that what Poetic had said about being stealthy wasn’t boasting. He was quiet, far quieter than she had expected.

He was able to blend into the shadows, he moved toward the tops of refreshment stands, and he seemed to do it all with barely a sound. She had expected his hooves to at least click on the cement at some point, but apparently he used his weak flying skills to keep most of his weight from touching the ground. She noticed that when they walked he’d have his wings stretched out, where he could, and he’d gently flap.

It wasn’t enough to draw attention, but it was enough to keep his weight from shifting his hooves harder on the ground they covered. As they walked she noticed that his skills were something that obviously had been fairly well used. She knew that eventually she was going to talk to him about it. She could guess that he had been more than just a ground soldier. From what she was seeing she wondered if he had been trained to be an assassin. It made sense.

They stopped for a moment and Smalls seemed to be studying something. Then he grinned, “Okay, the security office is over there,” he said as he pointed toward a large ferris wheel, “According to this map there’s a maintenance area behind that wall, and security is in there.”

Cosmic looked toward it, “And there’s also at least fifteen of those ferals over there too. Is there any other entry point?”

Smalls looked at the map again, “Not without going toward the center. It looks like there’s a castle and mirror maze, both of them have maintenance accesses in them, but it looks like we’d be walking a lot in the tunnels.”

Poetic shook his head, “Not a good idea,” he said, “Those tunnels are likely to have several ferals in them, and if not I would bet that there’s something else that none of you need to get around.”

He studied the area, “I can get into the tunnel, and get to the security office,” he said, “Ferals don’t usually mess with ghouls anyway.”

Cosmic looked at him, “Poetic, have you not been noticing that they’ve been attacking you too?”

He sighed, “Sure, but I’ve been shooting at them. I’m guessing that they’re reacting to the sound.”

She shook her head, “No, it’s not a good idea. I can teleport over to the door.”

Smalls looked at her, “What if it’s locked?”

She sighed, “Then I’d be fucked,” she said, “Look Smalls, there’s not an easy answer to this. Poetic goes, and maybe he can get through because he’s a ghoul, but he can’t pick a lock.”

She smiled, “I can, but I’m not great at them, so if I go and it’s locked then they’re going to get me,” she said, “So, there’s really nothing else that we can do about it.”

Smalls smiled, “Yeah there is,” he said, “I’ve got an idea.”

They watched as he moved toward the refreshment stand, and after a few minutes of digging he came out with what looked like a small disk. Poetic looked at it and his eyes widened.

“Is that what I think it is?” he asked, “Smalls, did you really just pull a spark generator relay out of that refreshment stand?”

He nodded, “When we were in the diner I noticed that the cooking station had a spark generator relay,” he said, “Not enough power for much other than cooking, but if you crack it and throw it then it works as a pretty good grenade.”

Poetic groaned, “Smalls, it’s not like a grenade, it’s like a damned bellfire egg,” he said, “Well, maybe a missile, but it’s more than a grenade.”

Cosmic looked at him, “So, this would work?” she asked, “Like we crack it and throw it?”

Poetic looked at her, “Sure, if you can manage to throw it far enough. The only one that might be able to do that would be an earth pony… Oh tartarus,” he said, “Our plan is going to rely on Smalls throwing that thing.”

Clouded Hope watched as Smalls looked at the spark generator relay, then he lightly rapped it in the center. When he did a bright light escaped it for a moment, and she could see it getting brighter. Then she watched as he pulled back with one hoof, and he tossed it as hard as he could. The relay flew over the ferris wheel, and then it landed past the ferals. He’d thrown it too far, or she thought, when it went off it knocked all of the ferals down, blew some back, and Poetic looked like he was about to get mad until the ferals began running toward where the explosion had happened. In a few seconds they were gone.

“Good,” he said, “I didn’t kill any of them.”

Poetic looked at him, “Are you seriously saying that you were trying not to kill those ferals?”

Smalls nodded, “They didn’t ask for that,” he said, “I know that it’s maybe better to put them down, but I just don’t want to have to unless there’s not another choice.”

Poetic walked toward him and then shook his head, “You’ve got the softest heart in the wasteland,” he said, “Hopefully it won’t get you killed.”

They got to the door, all while the ferals were investigating the blast that had been made by the spark generator relay. A quick try revealed that the door was indeed locked, and a few moments later Clouded Hope had picked the lock letting them inside. They closed the door, locked it, and inside of the tunnel the hanging lights were all on, and in faded paint on the wall were two arrows. The first pointed toward the left. Under the arrow was the words: clinic, security, and employee dorms. The other arrow pointed right under it was the following words: shipping and receiving, breakroom, employee showers, Queen Kandy’s Castle maintenance, The Kandy Witch’s Mirror Maze/Fun House maintenance.

“Well, that seems fairly obvious,” Poetic Pen said as he began to move left, “There may be more ferals in here, so keep an eye out.”

The sound of their hooves clicking on the cement floor echoed throughout the tunnel. All of them listened for the sounds of something else moving. It almost seemed as if there was something that fate had decided to throw them a bone. There were no sounds of ferals, no sounds of people hanging around. Instead they were able to move fairly freely. After ten minutes of walking they found the door to the security office. Like the door outside of the tunnel it was locked.

Clouded once again stepped up, began picking the lock, and then with a click it opened. The group of them stepped inside and one of the first things they noticed was the two skeletons in the corner. Smalls walked toward them, saw a Pipbuck, and checked it. He connected it to his own Pipbuck and after a few minutes he transferred the files over. He clicked on the first one.

“I got news today that my old squad mate got a job at Shattered Hoof,” the voice said, “To be honest I’m a little jealous. Don’t get me wrong, a job at Sparkle Cola World is pretty sweet, but I’d rather be dealing with Zebra sympathizers instead of dealing with idiot ponies that have more bits than sense.”

Smalls listened as the voice sighed, “Well, it doesn’t matter. He invited me out to the cave system at the Celestia National Park where we did most of our recruitment training. He was really big into maintaining his survival skills,” the voice laughed, “Well, I won’t make it to the park, but maybe next weekend I can go and visit him and Sweet Kisses. I heard that they moved to Oneigh. If they did then maybe we can have dinner, visit, and maybe even go bowling.”

There were the sound sirens going off in the distance, and then the sound of the PA system as it crackled to life. “Attention all employees and park visitors. We have received word that there has been a massive attack launched on Equestrian soil. We’ve received word that multiple cities have been hit. As such we are asking all visitors to please remain calm. Our highly trained employees will escort you into the various shelters located throughout the park. If you are in the Demonstration Stable in the Lunar Zone then we apologize that you are currently in lockdown. If we receive an all clear then you will be released. May Luna and Celestia smile upon you all.”

There was a sound of rapid breathing, “Oh Fuck…”

The file clicked the end, and Smalls hit the next one.

“Shit, This is month two of lockdown. Our shelter was the fucking employee maintence tunnels. Sure, they were designed by the folks at Stable Tec, but I doubt that they’re meant to actually protect from fallout,” there was a cough, “I’ve been getting sick too. Iron Side has been watching me pretty hard. We don’t have a fully stocked clinic anymore, and we’ve been told that unless we’re dying we’re not to report in.”

Another cough, “The thing is I breathed some green cloud. It’s been making me sick, really sick. Iron Side seems fine, although his skin has been flaking.”

He studied the skeletons and shook his head, “He died of radiation poisoning, didn’t he?” he asked, “he died of the poisoning, and his friend turned into a ghoul.”

Poetic Pen nodded, “More than likely,” he said, “Most likely his friend put them both out of their misery.”

Cosmic checked both skeletons for a moment, looked at the Pipbuck, and slowly pulled it from the skeletal foreleg of the now dead unicorn. She studied it for a moment. In truth Smalls’ Pipbuck had been incredibly useful, and the idea of having one would be nice. She wasn’t sure how to put it on, but she could carry it until they found a way of putting it onto her own foreleg. She saw Smalls looking at her.

“Ummm, what are you doing?” he asked, “Are you wanting a pipbuck?”

She nodded, “I’ve seen how useful yours is, and I figured that there was a good chance that it would really come in handy,” she said, “And besides, if nothing else I’m fairly sure that we can wipe the memory and sell it. I don’t think that he’s going to mind, and it should be used one way or another.”

Smalls nodded, and they looked around the room for a moment. Opening the gun cabinet revealed a combat shotgun, about forty rounds of buckshot, ten rounds of slugs, and a battle saddle to put it on. Near it were a couple of ten millimeter pistols, which were practically worthless according to Poetic Pen, and finally there was a revolver like the one that Rosie had gotten at Hangin’ Pony Corral.

The pistol was a forty-five, and it looked in decent shape. Clouded put it into her spare holster, and she gathered up the thirty-five bullets that were there for it. Once again Smalls was squeezing into a battle saddle, which luckily had an autoloading feature, and he selected the buckshot first. He didn’t like the idea of killing any of the ferals, because like he had said they honestly never asked for what happened to them.

Checking around they found some security armor. A helmet that looked as if it was designed to withstand getting hit with a hoofball bat, baton, or just a big stick. Poetic looked at it and realized that while it would be good against hoof weapons it wouldn’t do anything against firearms. It was made of a thick plastic, with a form barrier inside, and a place where a horn could slide into a slightly raised dent on the front of it. It was simple, obviously made for an amusement park, but not really for any kind of real combat.

Cosmic looked at it, “So, this any good or not?” she asked, “Because it kind of looks like crap.”

He nodded, “It’s not worth anything,” he said, “Sure, against a feral it might help, some, but I wouldn’t trust it. The security barding looks good, it’s heavy, and it feels like there is some steel plates inside of it.”

She looked at the barding, and in a few seconds she had managed to slide into it. The barding itself was neon pink, with gold trim, and had large green letters that said “Kandy Kingdom Security” on the back of it. It was quite possibly the single most ugly thing that Cosmic had ever put on in her life, but she could feel the weight of the plates. Like Poetic had said it felt like it had steel plates in it. It felt well made.

She looked at her foreleg in the bright neon pink barding. Her first order of business after getting out of this section of the park would be to find someone to dye the barding to a more presentable color. Maybe blue and gold, similar to Stable Tech. At least it wouldn’t be so hideous. Unknown to her, and pretty much everyone else in the room, a little over two hundred years ago the same design she was now wearing had caused the Mare of the Ministry of Image to scream, demand to know who had signed off on such a hideous uniform, and then spend the next two hours on a conference call with the Mare of the Ministry of Morale asking why she thought that those uniforms needed to look so ugly.

It was to be one of the very last conversations they had, and the only response was that nopony else would be able to confuse them for anything other than security for Kandy Kingdom. Two centuries later Cosmic felt the humiliation of wearing what every security pony had worn inside this section of the park. They exited the security room, and they began walking down the hall toward the maintenance area under Queen Kandy’s Castle.

“Why are we heading toward the castle?” Poetic Pen asked, “Honestly, I’m not sure what we’re going to find.”

Smalls looked at him, “Well, when we were at Hangin’ Pony Corral there was that message that the survivors all went to the castle. Maybe there’s somepony left in there that needs help,” he said, “and besides, it might be worth checking out.”

Poetic rolled his eyes, “Sure, and it’s not going to come back and bite us right in the tail either,” he said, “You know, this is the kind of thing that usually ends up being a really bad idea.”

Clouded looked at him, “But he’s been right so far,” she said, “Wouldn’t it make sense to check?”

Poetic nodded, “Sure, it makes sense, but let’s say there are survivors there,” he said, “It’s likely they’re all ghouls, which is fine, but what if they’re feral. We’re not going to be able to distract them and get away. Smalls is going to have to end up shooting some at some point.”

He looked at Smalls, “I’m sorry, but you know it’s the truth. There’s a very real chance that you will have to kill some feral ghouls,” he closed his eyes, “You’re a good stallion Smalls, you don’t want to hurt anypony that didn’t choose to become a monster, but this isn’t hurting them. This is ending their misery. I promise you, I sincerely promise you, that not one of them wanted to become some mindless creature that feasts on living ponies.”

Smalls nodded, “I know, but maybe it will be ghouls that are okay. Maybe they don’t realize that the world is safe outside.”

Poetic shrugged, “Maybe, and if that’s the case then we’ll get to be big damn heroes.”

They neared the entrance to the maintenance area beneath Queen Kandy’s Castle. A quick try on the door revealed that it wasn’t locked. It opened, and behind it was nothing but darkness. Stepping into the room the four of them slowly moved, and finally Smalls’ Pipbuck lamp began to light the area around them. The room was filled with what looked like old puppets and animatronics.

Two hundred years ago these creations delighted foals with musical and dance numbers, but now they sat abandoned. There were no laughing foals, no singing and dancing puppets, just a section of a park full of ghouls. Most of which had lost their sanity long ago. They pushed forward to the other end of the room, and the door opened to reveal what looked like a locker room. Stepping into it Clouded Hope saw someone in the corner. She neared them, trying to be quiet.


The pony turned. She had been a pegasus, but now she was a ghoul. She didn’t growl, didn’t snarl, but she smiled.

“A...Are you here to help?” she asked, “Is it safe?”

Poetic looked at Smalls, then he stepped forward, “It’s safe,” he said, “I’m Sergeant Poetic Pen of the Equestrian Air Forces.”

She grinned and hugged him, “Thank Luna,” she said, “We’ve been waiting. We’ve just kept working, making sure that everything is going well, but a few of us started acting strange. They wouldn’t talk anymore, and we ended up letting them wander outside of the castle.”

Smalls grinned, “How many of you are there?” he asked, “Because we can get you out if you want out.”

She smiled, “Oh, about thirty, that includes the foals that were with their parents,” she said, “But you’ll have to talk to Azure Blaze. She’s in charge.”

Queen of the Kandy Kingdom

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Fallout Equestria - For a Sparkle Cola

Chapter 6 - Queen of the Kandy Kingdom

The very quick, and quiet, trot in the tunnels ended with the group inside of what looked like a large room with a few cells that looked like they were made out of Peppermint sticks. The pegasus ghoul that was leading them gave them a small smile as they walked past it, and the door opened to see about fifteen other ponies. Most of them were dressed in either ancient pony armor, or really well made reproductions of ancient pony armor. The ghouls that were there didn’t seem to be threatening, but they had their eyes on them.

“Raindrop,” one of them said, “What’s with bringing in the smooth coats?”

She looked at the one talking, “They’re here to help, they said that it’s safe outside.”

One of the others gave a short laugh, “Sure it is,” the raspy female voice said, “There ain’t a soul out there that will shoot one of us because we look so normal.”

Poetic looked at the one talking, “You gonna believe that?” he asked, “I’m right here, proof that not all of them do.”

“Whatever Jerky Turkey,” the raspy female voice said, “You’re selling your own kind out for some smooth coats.”

Poetic looked at the female and rolled his eyes, “I’m not selling anypony out,” he said, “It just so happens that I’ve been out in the wastes. Not all of them are bad. Sure, there’s idiots, but there’s always been idiots.”

With that they followed their guide through the doors, and into a room that had something glowing at the other end. She walked toward them, her top hat and magicians jacket looked practically new. There was a sort of spring to her step as she appeared, and Smalls noticed that there was a green jewel floating before her. She looked into it, and then she looked at them.

“Welcome to Kandy Kingdom,” she said, “I’m the Amazing Azure Blaze,” she said, “Showpony extraordinar. Entertainer of foals, charmer of stallions, seducer of mares, and one of the greatest acts that never made it to Las Pegasus.”

Smalls gave her a smile, “Hi,” he said, “I’m Smalls, these are my friends, and we wanted to know if you needed any help.”

She grinned, “Straight to the point,” she said, “I like that. Well Smalls there is something.”

She neared him, and he could hear the clicking of the radiation meter from his Pipbuck. She put a foreleg around him, “My friends and I really want, truly want, to be left alone.”

She stopped, “We want everypony to stay out of the Kandy Kingdom, and we want everypony to leave us alone. At least until I hear from Sweetstuff.”

He looked at her, “Who was Sweetstuff?”

She smiled, “This wonderful little pegasus mare that worked in Hangin’ Pony Corral,” she said, “She was supposed to come back, but I stopped hearing from her.”

Smalls looked at her, “Ummm, here,” he said as he selected the audio file they found, “We might have found her.”

Azure Blaze listened and her eyes widened, “Sweet?” she asked, and then she closed her eyes, “Oh, no, no.”

She wept, “She died, alone, and she lost herself to it.”

She looked at him, “Some of the ponies here have been getting bad too,” she said, “It’s been taking more and more of them. I’m afraid that eventually it’s going to take all of us.”

Poetic looked at her, “You’re not wrong,” he said, “Ghouls usually go mad after a while. There are a few of us that has made it this long, and that somehow hung onto our sanity, but it’s a struggle everyday. Eventually we know that there’s a chance we’ll finally snap.”

She looked at him, “What caused her to snap?”

He sighed, “Being alone,” he said, “It’s worse when you’re alone. You have to be really dedicated to something in order to remain sane.”

She studied him for a moment, “We are not alone, and yet some have been slipping,” she said, “I take it that even with others there is a potential that we can fall into insanity.”

Poetic nodded, “There is, but it doesn’t have to be that way,” he said, “There’s ponies like Smalls here. He doesn’t want to hurt any ghoul, not even ferals, and honestly having some ponies like them amongst all of you could help stave off the insanity even longer.”

She looked at him, and then nodded, “Perhaps,” she said, “If we were to open our home, we would want those who are strong enough to help us to be here with us.”

Poetic nodded, understanding what she was meaning. The strength that ponies would need here wasn’t just physical. The ponies would need to be emotionally strong. They would potentially become close with the ghouls, develop friendships, and eventually that ghoul might turn on them. It wouldn’t be intentional, but instead it would simply be the final nail in a very old coffin. Of the groups that were in the park he could only think of two of them that would be the kind of strong they needed.

The Reapers were physically, and emotionally, strong. It was even likely that they wouldn’t push the ghouls around. What he had seen of them he was certain that they would treat the ghouls like normal ponies. They might mess with them, simply because that was their way, but they wouldn’t attempt to run over them. The other was the Society. They seemed to be emotionally strong enough, and while their physical strength wasn’t much more than anypony else they did have the firepower to back themselves up.

Smalls looked at her and nodded, “Umm, I think that there’s a group of ponies that would do good here,” he said, “and I think that they would at least attempt to get along with all of you.”

She nodded, “Very well, send them, and we will admit them,” she said, “Perhaps this is the chance we need to become something more, to reenter a world that we’ve been apart from for so long.”

She led Smalls toward an elevator, and there they rode it down to the bottom floor. They would need to tell the Reapers, and for that he needed to head back. They left, heading toward the main entrance of the park when his Pipbuck began making strange sounds. He adjusted it, and the sound of an emergency beacon began going off. It was followed by an emergency message.

“This is a Stable-Tec Emergency Broadcast, please stand by for the Emergency Message…. Hello? My name is Blue Bell. I’m a security worker in the Lunar Stable. If you can hear this then please help! The Elites have gone mad with power! Please, please help us!”

He looked at his Pipbuck, studied the map on it, and realized that the signal was exceptionally strong. It was strong enough that the transmitter couldn’t be that far away. He looked toward the one area where it could potentially be, and saw the Lunar Zone. The space themed park had been created around Princess Luna, her picture and likeness was plastered all over it, and as they walked toward it he noticed a statue of Princess Luna standing before the entrance of the park. He walked toward it, and the statue’s eyes began to glow.

“Welcome to Lunar Park!” the voice of what he assumed was Princess Luna cried out, “Inside you will find the most advanced technology designed around space travel, planet colonization, and the attempts to move past the very limits of our world. Here, we have the very technology to tame the stars themselves!”

Distablized Stable Society

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Fallout Equestria - For a Sparkle Cola

Chapter 7 - Destabilized Stable Society

Stepping into Lunar Park was about as close to stepping into a monument to space and the stars as Smalls had ever seen. Every single corner of the park was covered with pictures of the night sky. There were little carts that looked like comets that looked as though they were designed to be hooked up to foals and be pulled around. One thing that seemed to be missing was the number of skeletons. Every other park had several pony skeletons in various parts of the park. On benches, in restrooms, sitting inside of the carts of a broken roller coaster, and sitting at the various food vendors.

Lunar Park looked to be just mostly abandoned. Poetic Pen listened to the sounds around him as they walked. He knew that this section of the park was basically the area that was showcasing the robotic advancements that Horse had been making. Naturally Stable-Tec was showcasing their Lunar Stable. He wasn’t sure that it had actually ever been constructed, but he’d heard about it. From what he heard the idea was to actually put a stable on the surface of the moon.

Here in the park there was a stable that was designed to look like the Lunar Stable, and if he remembered what Sugarcoat had told him it was a functioning stable in and of itself. She had said that it had been built inside of a false mountain, and that it actually went all of the way into the mountain. There were resident rooms, an atrium, and a dozen other things. If it was a real stable then there was a reason why there weren’t a ton of skeletons out here. They had evacuated everypony into the stable itself.

That meant that there was a very good chance that Sugarcoat had made it into the stable. If she did then that meant that she managed to live through all of this. He was happy to think that, and he was certainly happy to believe that she managed to have a full life. Sure, a life inside of a stable would be difficult, but it would be better than dying of radiation poisoning. As they walked he noticed other things in the park. There were a huge number of modified looking protectron ponies and gladiators that looked like they were designed to be used in space.

They began moving, as if they were watching all of them, and then two of the gladiators jumped down from the stands they had been positioned on. The first one’s eyes glowed red, a beam of light hitting Smalls, and Poetic knew what it was. That light was the tracking beam for it to fire its internal magical weapon. He moved closer.

“Lunar Park is currently closed,” it said in a slightly mechanical mare’s voice, “Please present your official work ID.”

Smalls looked at it, and then he dug into his saddle bag. Poetic was prepared to fire when he presented a small badge to the graceful mechanical mare. The light disappeared, and it stood by. For a moment it did nothing, and then it backed up.

“Welcome Stable-Tec maintenance technician Small Fry. Your Official Stable-Tec badge has been accepted,” it said, “Please Proceed to the Lunar Stable Exhibit.”

Poetic looked at him, “You have an official Stable-Tec badge?”

Smalls nodded, “Uh huh,” he said, “Our stable had an old job assignment machine, and I got it to working. I entered what I liked to do, and it assigned me as a lead maintenance technician.”

Poetic shook his head, “Well, I suppose that if it was an official Stable-Tec job assignment terminal then it had been programmed to create badges that would be read by any and all robots.”

He laughed, “Somehow Smalls, your dumb luck has kept us from getting in trouble.”

Cosmic listened and shook her head. It really was dumb luck that Smalls had fixed a job assignment machine, and it was even more dumb luck that he had managed to hang onto the badge it gave him. Of course that dumb luck had made it easier for them to move in the park, but she had a feeling that if they attempted to go much more than the stable they would be in for a world of hurt. Both of the gladiators seemed to have the ability to move and act like Zebras had done. They practically danced on their mechanical hooves, and that meant that they weren’t something to be taken lightly. She had a feeling that if push came to shove they would be far more dangerous than the traditional protectron ponies. Which in truth the protectron ponies were dangerous enough.

One by itself wasn’t really a problem. After all, if it had been out in the weather long enough it was likely weathered, chipped, cracked, and ready to be broken into a thousand pieces. Even the more intact ones were likely to be easily stopped by a decent enough shot. But dozens of protectron ponies were a problem. They had targeting talismans that bordered on the accuracy of a Pipbuck. The gladiators were different in that they moved like a living being, and on top of that they likely had the same targeting talismans.

The fact that she didn’t want to end up as a pile of ash certainly kept the idea of either just going to the stable, or finding a way of shutting them down on her mind. As they walked she noticed something. She pointed to it, and Smalls looked at where she was pointing. There in the center of the park was a large oval building. The glass was still in it, and as they walked closer he realized it wasn’t exactly glass.

“Welcome to Lunar Control,” Smalls read, “Home of the Security Control of the Future! This clear Unobtainium was created by the Ministry of Arcane Sciences together with the Ministry of Wartime Technology. It is a hundred times stronger than steel, resistant to magical energy weapons, bullet proof, and resistant up to two thousand degrees of heat. Look for our new line of Gladiator and Ultra Sentinels to be made from processed Unobtainium!”

Moving toward the Lunar Control Clouded Hope couldn’t help but notice how everything inside of it more or less looked as though it was in perfect condition. They neared the door, and Smalls pushed against it. For a moment it did nothing, and then it slowly opened revealing the climate controlled air of the large room. Inside was perhaps one of the biggest computers anypony had ever seen.

Smalls looked at it, and he noticed that there were several places that something looked to be missing. The bits that weren’t there didn’t seem to be very large at all. At most they were likely about six inches long, and about three inches wide, but he couldn’t tell what they were. At least he couldn’t until he moved behind the first set of terminal monitors that had been set up to interface with the computer.

Behind it was a pony on the ground. She looked young, maybe about fifteen at the most, and she was barely breathing. Smalls could see the burned spot on her armor, and he looked at Cosmic who nodded. She dug out a healing potion, and Smalls opened the Earth Pony filly’s mouth and poured the potion into it. He then closed her mouth, tilted her head back, and made her swallow. A moment later she began to breathe easier, and her eyes opened.

Her eyes, both a vibrant purple, looked shocked as she looked at the group around her. She shook, and she clutched a small rectangle, one that looked like it would fit into the slots in the huge mainframe.

“W...Who are you?” she asked.

Smalls grinned, sat on his haunches, and held out his right front hoof, “I’m Smalls, this is Cosmic, Poetic Pen, and Cloudy,” he said pointing to the group, “Who are you?”

She shook, “I’m Sparker,” she said, “I… My family found this place, and my Dad thought that it would be a really good place to salvage from.”

She sniffed, “Those robots got him, and Mom ran with my baby sister up to the Stable-Tec display.”

He nodded, “I see,” he said, “and you made it in here?”

She nodded, “Yeah, I was trying to get this computer up and working. I found one of the terminals on, and I read that it was designed to control all of the robots for the entire park.”

He nodded, “Oh, what is that you’re holding?” he asked, “It looks like it’s part of the computer.”

She nodded, “It is,” she said, “The terminal called these things Lunar Cores. They’re supposed to be little relays that allow it to fully use the memory and processing power it has. It needs at least thirty, but I only found six.”

Poetic looked at her, and then looked around the area she had been found in. He was sure that even Smalls noticed that she only had the single Lunar core. If she had found six, then he wondered where they could be. As he looked Clouded Hope moved toward her. She sat near Smalls and gave Sparker a small smile. She pointed toward the Lunar Core the filly was holding, “Are the other ones you found in here?”

Sparker shook her head, “Two were in my Dad’s saddle bags,” she sniffed, “We were up at the Assault on Asteroid Nine ride when the robots got him. I couldn’t grab his saddle bags, and we ran.”

She sniffed and wiped her eyes, “My mom has the other three with her and my little sister.”

Smalls nodded, “Do you know where the other cores are?”

She shook her head, “I know that there are some stored around the park,” she said, “The terminal said that there was six in the Stable-Tec exhibit, five in the Robronco arena, three in the Lunar Light theater, four in the Assault on Asteroid Nine ride, Three in the security office, and four stored in different buildings around the Lunar Zone. I don’t know where the those four are, and I’m not sure where in those other places the cores are either.”

Smalls nodded, “It’s okay,” he said, “I think that we can collect them, and it looks safe in here.”

She nodded. He dug into his saddle bags and pulled out a couple of fancy buck cakes, a box of Sugar Appel Bombs, and a Sunrise Sasspurilla. He scooted them over toward her. She took the first Fancy Buck Cake, opened the package, and quickly woofed it down. She did the same to the second, and then in an instant the box of cereal was opened and she was eating it as if she hadn’t eaten in days. She then popped the cap off of the Sunrise Sasspurilla, and practically drained it.

She let out a belch that sounded fairly close to a foghorn, and then then she wiped her mouth with her foreleg.

“Thanks,” she said, “I… I can’t go back out there. If you can find all of the cores the mainframe might be able to take the robots off of guard and set them to passive.”

He nodded, “We’ll find them, and we’ll also find your mama and sister,” he said, “We’re getting ready to head to the Stable right now anyway.”

She nodded, and watched as he got up. He gave her a wave, and she watched as they left. The door closed, and the feeling of security settled on her. The robots seemed to stay away from Lunar Control, and that was fine. She hoped her new friends all of the luck in the world, but there was absolutely no way that she was going to venture outside until those robots weren't attacking anyone.

The ment they were outside Smalls noticed two ramps that seemed to climb up to a second level of the Lunar Zone. The old signs for the ramps were still there, and a look at them told him that the right ramp led to the Lunar Stable exhibit. They began to climb. Moving up the ramp Poetic took a moment to study the park itself. Stable-Tec, and the Ministry of Wartime Technology, had practically designed this part of the park. It wasn’t just meant as an attraction. That much anypony could tell, but instead it was designed as a protected area for survivors to flock to.

The giant mainframe in Lunar Control was quite frankly one of the biggest he’d ever seen, and if what Sparkler had said was correct, and he had no reason to doubt her, then it was designed to control all of the robots not just for this section, but the entire park. Horse had gone above and beyond when it came to protection of Sparkle Cola World. It was a park, and it was designed to separate bits from ponies, there was not a doubt in his mind that was its main purpose, but it also served as a place for ponies to retreat to.

For good or ill The Ministry of Wartime Technology had designed Sparkle Cola World to become an entire Ministry Hub. The type of protection it had rivaled the protection he’d seen, and heard about, in the other Ministry hubs. But then it wasn’t just the Ministry of Wartime Technology that developed this either. There was evidence of the Ministry of Morale, the Ministry of Arcane Science, the Ministry of Peace, and with the lone spiral that stood just outside of the park itself even evidence of the Ministry of Awesome.

If they had all been included in the creation of the park then he had to believe that the Ministry of Image was as well. It was insane to think about. The various ministries had helped in the creation of this park, but why? He knew that Horse would have wanted the Stable to be a real one, perhaps on the off chance that he happened to be here when the bombs fell, but it felt like it was more than that. The entire thing felt off to him. He wanted to talk to Smalls about it. Smalls for the most part was smart, but he was naive.

He’d seen how far the fat Earth Pony would go for his friends, and he actually felt lucky to be considered in that number. On top of that Smalls wanted to attempt to save the ferals. He wanted to believe that the ponies they had been were still in there somewhere. Poetic wasn’t sure if that was right or not, but it spoke of Smalls’ character. He would fight to defend, but he didn’t want to kill anypony that he believed was innocent.

A small part of him wondered if it was possible that Smalls was somehow related to the Mare of the Ministry of Peace. It’d certainly make sense if that was the case. After all, the Mare of the Ministry of Peace believed that everypony, no she believed that everyone, deserved to be helped. She would assist zebra and pony alike. There were several that considered her actions treasonist, but she had stood steadfast with her beliefs. Poetic had been a soldier, and still was one at heart, but he understood the need and desire to stand by one’s convictions. For her to do that meant that she understood exactly the kind of fire and hate she would face for her convictions, and she had shown courage that was uncharacteristic of the small yellow pegasus.

Poetic Pen grinned as he followed Small Fry. Even if it wasn’t true, and there was no guarantee that it wasn’t, he would follow the belief that somehow Small Fry was related to Fluttershy. As he recalled, she did have a brother after all, and it was possible that Small Fry was related through him. He looked around as they walked, and he spotted the ride that Sparkler had talked about. He nudged Cosmic, who looked at him, and then she looked toward the ride that he was pointing at with his wing. She looked to see the ride itself, and she moved only to feel the extended ramp under it sway. She stopped and looked toward Poetic who looked ready to jump and save her if the need arose. She swallowed her nervousness, and she began to slowly move across the metal bridge. The bridge itself had stood for over two hundred years, bore the weight of countless families, science enthusiasts, and Ministry employees.

That bridge had borne the years spent in silent protest of time itself, and once more it was fulfilling its purpose by holding up yet another patron of the park. No longer was it silent, but instead it answered in pops, pings, and scrapes as the metal foundations of the bridge adjusted to the feeling of a living pony once again. When she had made it halfway a section of the bridge decided that it had done its duty for long enough, cried out with a sharp screech of metal scraping against metal, and then it folded in on itself and began to fall away. Cosmic was too far from the main part of the bridge to run back, but close enough to the ride to make a run for it. She ran, feeling the bridge sway, fold, and falling out from under her. She moved as fast as her legs would pump, and then she jumped the remaining stretch. As she jumped the red bridge, which had an old advertisement for Red Racer Scooters fell from its perch and crashed down on what had been a picnic area.

The fall would have been death to any pony unable to fly, but instead Cosmic found herself holding onto the ledge of the collapsed bridge that connected with the ride itself. She swallowed the fear she felt, attempted to focus her magic around herself, an attempt in pulling herself up, but her magic wasn’t strong enough. She felt her forelegs slipping, and thankfully she had something stronger than her magic. She had friends. She felt two forelegs grab her and she heard the beating of wings. A moment later she was deposited onto the ledge with Clouded Hope smiling at her.

Clouded looked back across the bridge and shook her head, “I don’t think that I can fly back across there,” she said, “It’s not that you’re that heavy, but well, I’ve never been very good at rescue flying.”

Cosmic grinned, “It’s fine,” she said, “This looks like the exit to the ride, and I bet that the entrance is either on the ground, or up higher. I’m betting it’s up near where the Stable exhibit is,” she said, “I can go through it, find my way up, and come out through the entrance.”

Clouded nodded, “One of us should go with you,” she said before looking back at both Small Fry and Poetic Pen, “Actually, we all should. I think that we’re stronger together than we are apart.”

Cosmic Light looked at the door, and then back at her friends. Clouded was right in that they were really better together than they were apart. When she had been captured, and made a slave, the one thing she had wanted more than anything else was to escape. She had wanted away from her captors, and she had wanted to taste the sweet freedom that had been stolen from her. Smalls and Poetic Pen had given her that, and then Smalls gave her something else she didn’t even realize she had needed or wanted. He’d given her friendship, and somehow he had dragged Poetic Pen into it.

With her friends by her side she had felt stronger, more capable, and far more able to deal with everything that could come. She nodded, “We are stronger, but I don’t know if Poetic can get Smalls over here,”she said, “And I don’t want him left alone.”

She watched as Smalls looked around, and then she saw him move toward what looked like an elevator ride. She tried to figure out what he was doing. The ride itself looked intact, but then she noticed that it had a ramp made further up that seemed to connect to the sign above the exit of the ride. She looked at either side and saw the aging Sparkle Cola Statues that seemed to make stairs down to the ledge they were standing on. She watched as Smalls ran up the stairs, moved across the ramp, and then got onto the sign itself.

The sound of the metal popping could be heard on the ancient sign, and Cosmic Light scooted back closer to the door. She hoped that the sign would stay in place for her friend, but she didn’t want to be under it if it decided to give way after he made it off of it. Instead the sign held, and then she moved out to see Smalls hopping down the lids of the giant statues until he made it to the ledge. A few moments later Poetic Pen flew across and landed near them.

“So, a detor?” he asked, “Not that I mind. Sparkler did say that there were Lunar Cores in here, and there might be something else that we need.”

The four of them entered the exit. The inside was lit up in bright reds, whites, yellows, and pinks. They moved down the exit area toward the end of the ride. There they saw another Luna Statue. This one was wearing a very flattering Spacesuit, cut so that it revealed half of her cutie mark, the suit seemed to be skin tight, and the helmet was designed to fit over her horn. Poetic looked at it and shook his head.

“I wonder if Princess Luna ever actually saw this thing.”

Smalls looked at it and smiled, “She looks happy,” he said, “I’d like to think that she’d be happy to see it.”

The statue’s head turned toward them, its eyes lit up, and they watched as it raised its right forehoof. There was the sight of dust falling from it, the sounds of mechanical joints bending that likely hadn’t bent in years, and finally it began moving with far greater ease than it had to begin with.

“Thank you my little ponies!” the voice of the Princess said, “Thou hast helped me save Equestria from the Zebras, and together we have bent the very Stars to our aid! Thou are all now official members of the Junior Astroponies league!”

When she finished the sound of a printer filled the air, and in front of them, from a column, sprouted several sheets of paper. Smalls moved forward, and pulled the paper loose. Their images were printed on the paper, along with ‘Official Junior Astropony! Certificate good for one Free Sparkle Cola to be redeemed at any vendor in the park’.

He grinned, folded the certificates up, put them in his saddlebags, and then looked toward the ride. There was a track that seemed to go both left and right. But the doors that opened for it on either side were shut. He then noticed that there was a door that was painted to look like part of the wall. He moved toward it, and then he looked back at the others. They followed and he tried the door. He found it to be locked, looked around, and spotted something near the column he had gotten the certificates from. There near the column was the controls for the ride, or at least the controls to exit the ride, and near them was a single key. He grabbed the key, turned and moved back toward the door. Of course when he got there Clouded Hope had already picked the lock for it. He smiled, put the key into his saddle bag, and together they entered the door. Moving upstairs he looked at the old employee lounge.

An ancient couch sat against the wall, a small table sat in front of it, and on the table was a couple of empty bottles of Sparkle Cola, a lunch box, and what looked like a piece of pie that had somehow managed to be perfectly preserved despite being well over two hundred years old. The pie looked like a piece of apple pie, but the fact that it was still in great shape, despite its age, made him wonder if it was real or not. A sniff told him that it was indeed real. He studied it for a moment and considered taking a bite, but instead he looked at the others.

“Anypony hungry?”

Cosmic Light moved forward and smelled the pie, “Mmmm,” she said, “That smells like Apple Family pie.”

She took a bite, and soon she finished it off, “I know that thing has to have a ton of preservatives in order to have lasted, but it was so good.”

He moved toward the that likely was for a control room, and got out the key. He fit it into the door, found that it could turn, and then turned it. He took the key out, grabbed the knob with his teeth, and then turned it. The door opened, and inside it were several terminals, what looked like two Lunar Cores, and a single robot that had multiple limbs. The robot hovered for a moment before it turned toward them.

“Employees only please,” it said, “Show your identification please.”

Smalls dug out his Stable-Tec Job assignment ID and showed it to the Robot. It hovered for a moment later before turning back to the terminals.

“Small Fry,” it said, “You have been identified as a Stable-Tec employee. If you need to use the Assault on Astroid Nine ride to access the Stable you may; however, you are not permitted to access the more secure Employee areas on this ride. There will be no further warnings.”

Small Fry looked at it, “Ummm, what happens if I accidentally access them?”

The robot turned to face him again, its three robotic eyes studying him for a moment before it raised a lone saw blade that was attached to one of its arms, “Termination.”

He started to back up, and then looked at the Lunar Cores, “Oh,” he said, “The Stable needs access to the Lunar Cores.”

The robot studied him for a moment, “There is no access through the mainframe to determine the status of the Stable’s cores. Access is granted,” it said, “However, be warned, Assault on Asteroid Nine will not function correctly unless the mainframe is able to communicate with the ride. Removal of the cores will cause all robots to activate in emergency mode. You will need to keep your ID present for all Robots to verify. Access into the more secure areas will result in Termination.”

Smalls nodded, and the Robot disconnected the two Lunar Cores and handed them to him, “Very well,” it said, “Thank you for visiting Assault on Asteroid Nine.”

It turned away from him, and he stepped back. When he did the robot closed the door, and the sound of the lock could be heard.

“I’m calling it now,” Poetic said, “One of those damned cores is going to be in a secure area.”

Smalls shrugged as he moved forward. What Poetic Pen had said wasn’t exactly wrong. It was likely that one of the cores was in a secure area, and they needed the cores. But at the same time he wanted to get to the Lunar Stable. Sparkler’s mother and sister were there, and they had received that distress signal. He looked at his friends. They had been together through thick and thin, and they had been stronger for being together. They needed the cores, there was no doubt in that, but at the same time they needed to get going.

“I think that we should come back here, and go through it,” he said, “But we need to get to the stable. Sparkler’s Mama, her sister, and those ponies that sent the distress signal are waiting.”

Cosmic nodded, “Sounds good, lets look for the entrance, and we’ll go out that way.”

Together they moved through the next locked door, which was back down the stairs, and they could see the various brass tubes that made up the line. Following it out they came to the entrance, and once again there was a Luna statue. This one, also in a very flattering spacesuit, seemed to active as they got near to it. Its eyes glowed brilliantly, and it began to move. The sound of its joints groaning from being moved after so long of standing still filled the room, but finally it raised its forehoof toward them.

“Welcome hopeful Junior Astroponies to Assault on Asteroid Nine! We need thine help in reclaiming the Asteroid from the Zebras, and re-establishing it as an Equestrian Colony! Join me in thwarting the evil Zebras and in bending the very stars to our command!”

They moved past it, to the entrance doors, and after a moment the doors slid open, revealing the platform that connected toward a large open area. Near the edge of the area was a sign that Small Fry noticed. It was something he’d seen the moment he left Stable 124, and he grinned as he saw it again. It wasn’t a small sign, but instead it was in huge letters.

“Stable-Tec welcomes you to your new home!”

They moved together, and entered into the building. When they did Smalls saw the Stable door that was closed. He could see the controls for it, and walked toward it. He connected his Pipbuck to it, and a moment later the giant gear like door, with L-01 pulled back, and then it rolled out of the way. They walked in, and he saw something odd. It looked like tinsel, wreaths, mistletoe, and small fake trees with decorations were decorating the inside of the stable. A Unicorn mare noticed them.

“Another Stable pony?” she asked, “Are you the Stable-Tec representative that was supposed to be assigned to us?”

She smiled, “Oh, where are my manners, I’m Mint Julip,” she said, “Welcome to Lunar Stable. Unfortunately you’ve caught us at a bad time. The worker ponies are being completely unreasonable, and I’m afraid we’re going to have to liquidate them and start all over again. It’s a shame too.”

*Level up! You’ve gained Lucky shy! This ability allows you special dialogue options with certain robots, ponies, and gryphons. It also raises your luck +5 and gives an additional +2 to Charisma. This can be stacked with all weapons, apparel, and potions that give at least a +1 to either, or, Luck and Charisma.

Fall of High Society

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Fallout Equestria - For a Sparkle Cola

Chapter 8 - Fall of High Society

Smalls looked at Mint Julip and tried to understand what it was that she had said. He sat down on his haunches and studied her for a moment, “What are the workers doing?”

She sighed, “Oh, they are saying that we’re being unreasonable,” she nickered, “Unreasonable indeed. We’re simply following the rules laid down by Stable-Tec itself. They get to have forty percent of all resources, and the rest of them are sent to us.”

She sniffed, “In truth, we might have been a little bad in sending a few of them some extra food, but honestly, a pony can only eat those tasteless fruits for so long,” she said, “But where are my manners, since you are an official representative of Stable-Tec I need to take you to the Overmare’s office.”

With that Mint Julip began to trot off, and everypony else had to follow her. As they walked Smalls noticed how different this stable was to his own. Of course Stable 124 had entire sections that had been occupied only by robots, and no actual pony had been in them for ages. For a pony that was interested in exploring, adventure, and discovering more it was practically a paradise. Of course the Stable Elders hadn’t thought that. As he followed her one thing became incredibly clear. There didn’t seem to be any places like that in this stable.

It was clean, which was expected, but the halls, the doors, and the various corners all showed signs of life. The ponies he was seeing mostly were dressed in Stable-Tec barding, but there were more than a few that dressed in exceptionally fancy jackets, ties, long sleeve shirts, dresses, and more than a few floral hats. They walked as though nothing bothered them, and all of them seemed to greet one another pleasantly, but it felt off.

The more he studied it the more it seemed that these ponies were going through their lives without living them. None of them looked really happy, or excited. Instead they looked bored, and their actions seemed to be ones of resignation instead of joy. They made their way to the Overmare’s office, and the door opened, inside there was a mare with a soft blue coat, her mane and tail were a deep purple, and her soft yellow eyes seemed interested. She stood, and moved toward them.

“Welcome, I’m Maple Delight, the Overmare here,” she said, “I know that our first Overmare sent out word to Stable-Tec ages ago about closing the doors and setting up the exhibit as a functioning Stable,” she said, “I’m honestly surprised that it took them so long to send someone.”

He studied her for a moment, “Ummm, Yeah, actually I’m from Stable 124,” he said, “Although I do have an official Stable-Tec title.”

She smiled, “That should be good enough then,” she said, “Now, since you are here perhaps you can help us with our problem. We have an entire generation of workers that are on the brink of revolting. We need them to calm down, grow the food, repair the stable, keep the generators going, and stop complaining.”

He looked at her, “Ummm, May I see the directives sat up by Stable-Tec?”

She studied him, “Of course,” she said, “Just over here and on the terminal. It should have the directives for the Overmare. Simply study those. Perhaps if they hear it from an official Stable-Tec Employee they’ll come to their senses.”

Smalls nodded, moved forward, and looked at the terminal. He accessed it, finding it unlocked, and began to look at the files. Most of it was logs detailing the various gallas, stable beautification projects, and local gossip, but after a few lines of these he found a file that stated for Overmare. Opening it he saw the first two files were unlocked, but oddly enough one of them was locked. He opened the other two first. The first one was a memo from the first Overmare.

‘To all Overmares, since this was originally a Stable-Tec promotional exhibit I never really expected there to be any direct orders from Stable-Tec. I was wrong, there are orders, and I’m purposefully locking them away. I mean really, they expect us to play nice with a group of uneducated, ill mannered, and disgusting country rubes? I was an employee of the park in name only. In truth I am as close to nobility as a pony can come. Even though my father never claimed me, I am still of the line of Prince Blueblood. So, instead of having a stable that treats everypony as equals I’ve altered the directors. This is to be followed. The group of us that have the proper breeding will remain in charge. The others will remain as nothing more than workers. As such I believe that the bulk of the supplies should remain with us. We can better decide on how to distribute it among the rabble. I suggest that we allow the rabble have forty percent of the supplies, and the rest will come to us.

We may distribute more depending on the situation.’

Smalls looked at it, uncertain of how to express what he read. The ponies that did this buried the real orders from Stable-Tec. He looked at the locked file, and he set upon it. It was difficult, the password was sixteen characters long, and he had to back out of the file four times before it finally opened. There before him was an audio file. He clicked on it, and the sound of a mare’s voice filled the small room.

Hi, my name is Scootaloo. You may remember me from my performance in Last Year’s Gallops, as the founder of Red Racer Scooters, or as one of the founders of Stable-Tec. If you’re listening to this then it means that the worst has happened. Unfortunately this isn’t a normal Stable. As such we built it as close to a normal Stable as we could while maintaining the aspect of being an exhibit for demonstrating the longevity and strength of Stable-Tec’s impressive work. This also means that with the exception of the employees the rest of the Stable inhabitants will be whichever park goers happen to be in the Lunar Zone’s area. The Stable is designed to hold a thousand residents. But surviving isn’t the only goal. We need to make things better, to fix ponies before sending them back out. As such this stable has a very important experiment. There will be no power structure. Everypony in the stable will learn every job. It will be a stable that prioritizes the ponies over the classes they belonged to.

Even you, as Overmare, will work alongside even the lowest of the low. But if for some reason this causes the potential for loss of life then abandon the experiment and attempt to run the stable as best as you possibly can. Understand that you may be one of the few hopes we have of survival.

The Overmare stood behind him, her eyes wide, her mouth hanging open. She shivered, “We… We weren’t supposed to be… I thought that the first memo was just the original Overmare stating the mission of the Stable in her own words.”

She sat down hard, “I didn’t know, but I doubt that there’s a true change of fixing it either. We have become adjusted to a lifestyle that is far different from that of the workers, and they have a lifestyle that is too difficult for us to even attempt to follow. Not to mention I believe none of them would be able to effectively lead. It is the best option to maintain the status quo.”

Poetic Pen snorted, “No, the best option is to make things fair for everypony, but then that changes your lives, and none of you want that.”

There was silence, and Cosmic sighed. Poetic Pen was right, but of course he simply stated it without any tact. It wasn’t that she wanted to be overly nice to these ponies either. Their actions, the way they treated ponies that were supposed to be living the exact same of them, it rubbed her wrong, but she understood that the best way of fixing their problem would be to convince them of the virtue of attempting to be decent. It was likely that Poetic had ended all hope of that by attacking the fact that they were willing to be ignorant of their fellow ponies’ proposed status, and instead lived as if the message had never been recorded.

Clouded, upon hearing the message, thought of two different things. The first was that she had actually heard the sound of the very first Dashite. Well actually she would have been the second Dashite. Rainbow Dash had been the first Dashite. She had abandoned the Pegasi, exclaiming that they were willingly leaving everypony on the ground to their deaths. The issue was that going back to the ground was exposing all of them to the terrors that were erupting below. Those terrors had only grown in the two hundred years of separation. It wasn’t until the cloud curtain had been rolled back that it allowed every Pegasus to see what had happened to their land bound counterparts.

It was humbling beyond words, but more than that it was a chance to change who they had become. The same was being presented to the ponies here. They had a chance, a real one, to change, and to make the lives of the others better, but they were acting like some of the Enclave. She listened, and it made her heart ache. Small Fry had offered them something that they likely would never had the chance to have before. He had presented to them the reason, need, and idea for change. All of which had been tied into the original Stable-Tec orders, but it seemed that the idea of actually doing what the orders had said, of everypony doing the same work as the others went against their views and values.

It made her feel so terribly disappointed in them. She watched as the Overmare looked at the floor. There was an honest look of guilt on her face. It seemed that she truly felt ashamed of what had happened. There was a moment of silence, and then finally she looked toward them.

“I am unsure if we will be able to learn the jobs the worker ponies have done,” she said, “After all, our place has been as the ruling class, and we’ve liquidated those unwilling to follow the way of the stable.”

Smalls looked at her, “What does that mean?”

She sniffed, “If a pony is unable, or unwilling, to do their job then they are given a final job. One as nutrient rich mulch to assist the growth of our vast orchards.”

He looked at her in shock, “You kill ponies!”

She looked away, “They were mostly workers, ponies that barely existed at all. It wasn’t as if their lives were equal to our own,” she sniffed, “Occasionally one would be far more clever than the rest, and they would be assigned as an engineer, doctor, or forepony. Most of them though are just warm bodies that do the maintenance on the stable.”

Smalls looked at her and shook his head. What they were doing was wrong, what they had done was wrong. He could see the mare trying to come up with reasons why what they had done was what was needed. He could see her trying to explain it away, and for a moment he thought about Stable 124. The Elders had reasons for kicking him out, for keeping the stable going like it was, but it didn’t make sense. Often when he thought of Stable 124 he felt kind of happy and home sick. There had been entire sections of the stable that he had explored that no one could really get to anymore.

Sections that only rarely saw a robot going into it to perform some maintenance, and then would be left alone for ages until it needed maintenance again. He’d walked through those sections, seen the generator room, the armory, the small and almost non-existent hydroponics lab, and of course the factory section that was used to upkeep the protectron ponies and make new bottles of Sparkle Cola along with new Fancy Buck Cakes. He had great memories of those places, of seeing those things, but he didn’t have a lot of great memories of the other ponies. His mother and father passed away fairly early.

The other ponies either were stuffing their muzzles or complaining that he wasn’t doing the same. If they would have stopped, changed, then they could have done so much more. They could have set up trade with the wasteland, or at least seen if they wanted to. Instead they just followed what they had believed was the Stable-Tec orders. These ponies were doing the same, and he looked at the overmare.

“No,” he said his voice sounding stern, “You need to do follow the original orders. You need to give them a chance. Train some of them to do the stuff up here, go down there and learn how to do some of their work. Get to know one another, maybe you’ll find that they’re funny, or maybe they’ll be more accepting.”

She shook her head, “But what about the life we have?”

It was Clouded that neared her, “It’s over,” she said her voice sounding gentle and caring, “I know what that’s like. We Pegasi had our lives changed. Everything about our lives changed, and there was no going back. It’s been better though. We’ve learned that there’s good ponies on the ground that will help us, and that’s made it easier for us to want to help.”

The Overmare looked defeated, “I’m not sure that everypony will go along with this. It is likely we will have some rebellion.”

Smalls grinned at her, “But if they see how much better things are, maybe they’ll be okay with it?”

Poetic sighed, “Smalls, I doubt it.”

The days began to pass as the changes were made. The Overmare had been right. There were ponies that were exceptionally upset about having to learn how to do a worker pony’s job, but slowly the realization that with everyone being equal there was less chance of the stable collapsing made it bearable. On top of that they had found Sparkler’s mother. Both she, and Sparkler’s little sister, had managed to make it inside of the stable.

Because they weren’t official Stable-Tec representatives they were forced to live with the Workers, but they had been treated well. Both were healthy, hungry of course, but healthy. After a week inside of the stable it looked as if the society would be well in hand. Sparkler’s mother, who told them that her name was Star Dust, decided that she wanted to stay inside of the stable. It was honestly one of the first places she felt safe enough to bring up her daughters. And since she was a decent cook she was teaching some of the former elite ponies how to prepare some basic wasteland food.

One of them acted like they were going to be sick when she showed them how to cook what looked like a giant bug. She saw one gagging and shook her head.

“Here now,” she said, “Roasted Rad Roach is good eatin!”

They collected the Lunar Cores, which were all in the security office, and then once again opened the door. There were more cores to fine before the park would be ready, but at least it was a great first step. They had the bag that held the two they had already gotten from the Assault on Astroid Nine, the three Star Dust had given them, and the six they had gotten from the stable. All together there were eleven cores already, and they knew that there were another two in the theater besides the ones that were supposed to be there. The obvious choice was to go back to the Assault on Astroid Nine ride, get the last two there, and then move on. That way they’d at least be close to half way done.

*You’ve unlocked Highborne! With this perk you are able to have special dialogue options with all NPCs that are considered Elite. You can also pass for an Elite member of High Society after cleaning up. This perk gives a +2 to Charisma.*