Fallout Equestria: Starsong, Chapter 4

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    Warning! This series contains strong language, strong sexual themes and extreme gore, it is not for filly's or colt's eyes!  It also may contain spoilers to Fallout: Eqestria! If you are are young or uncomfortable with these things turn back FOREVER (or until you are 18)


    Chapter 4: Dark Thoughts

    "We all have nightmares."

    Reck Lass felt her eyes momentarily darting over the aged griffon with the bloodied and bound sunset coated and white and red streaked maned mare over his shoulder as she loaded the last bits of the raiders shoddy equipment onto the makeshift sled of rusted sheet metal. She smiled to herself as she stared at the pile of crude weapons and armor, topped off by the worn light machine gun that seemed to practically shine with potential bottlecaps to the mare.

    "Are you quite sure all of this is needed Ms. Lass?" Wools asked with confusion and even slight concern evident in his metallic voice as he approached the smiling mare, who rapidly turned around at his voice, drawing a groan from her, a small spot of red to beginning appear on the fresh and thick magical bandages wrapping her foreleg. 

    "Of course it's necessary Wools! Just think of all the caps!" Reck Lass protested, somewhat defensively positing herself in front of the pile that gleamed with metal armor and weapons.

    The med-bot hovered back slightly with a small bust of propulsion, not exactly sure what bottlecaps were, quickly lowing his eyestalks up and then down as if apologizing.

    "Ah, I see ma'am...do carry on." He stammered, forcing his orange eyes to look at Angar, the stern faced griffon approaching the odd pair with the mare still slung over his shoulder, mismatched goggles the only thing on the bloodied raider.

    The griffon stopped, his aged blue slowly examining Reck Lass and Wools' as a hellhound examines a brahmin, searching for any signs of weakness. He stopped brushing pieces thick dust and red gore from his black chestplate, sending them flying to the cracked ground with the sound of a rotten apple being crushed.

    "You helped with the raiders and the capture of Kill Streak. I suppose you deserve a reward for that." Angar grumbled, despite him offering a reward no compassion or thankfulness found itself in his deep voice.

    Reck Lass's defensive look faded away at those grumbled words, though she fought hard to keep the grin off her face. Your current job it going to set you up for life a little voice in her head said, though she quickly shoved that thought down to the back of his mind.

    "Well, I suppose a reward would be nice..." Reck Lass trailed off, his eyes darting to her crude sled of the worn raider weapons and armor.

    Despite initially offering a reward, Angar let out a deep sigh, momentarily closing his eyes and twisting his freakishly flexible aged griffon neck for a moment.

    "I guess Adel could spare some caps for you. Stingy as the NCR is when it comes to resources, he always seems to have some to spare." Angar stated, a smile momentarily on his scarred face as he mentioned Adel.

    Reck Lass slightly deflated at the mention of NCR, now scrutinizing the battle worn griffon for any signs of association with the faction.

    Angar let out a mirthless chuckle as Reck Lass studied him, obviously knowing what the mare was looking for.

    "Don't worry, I'm not NCR," He explained, beginning to fish out a yellowed packet of cigarettes from his battle tested leather belt pouches. "When the Talons switched over, I refused to join. Never liked regulations, though they still pay well. And I still consider them my brothers and sisters." He asserted, putting a half smashed cigarette to his beak, taking a long drag and turning his gaze out to the dark wasteland.

    Reck Lass noisily cleared her throat, rubbing the back of her sweaty and bloody neck with the odd realization that her social awkwardness was surfacing.

    "S-so, uh, how far a-away is Adel? And were exactly is he?" Reck Lass asked after a few moments of awkward silence that made her want to hunch her shoulders and uncomfortably laugh. 

    Angar said nothing, merely taking another drag and slowly turning his head to regard the nervous mare, his expression still steel.

    "Only a few hours fly from here, an NCR Outpost named Ranger Station Cheerilee. Place actually managed to become a small town, populated with everything from former Enclave to Hellhound refugees. A melting pot I guess," Angar deadpanned as if commenting on the whether, his eyes meeting Reck Lass's. "Though I suspect it's a longer walk."

     Reck Lass nodded in silence, examining the mangled corpses around, attempting to ignore the horrible stench of entrails and burnt pony flesh. This does not seem like so good of a place to camp now, she thought, curiously rubbing her chin as she looked out at the wasteland with Angar, the night calm and quiet.

    She let herself examine Angar out of the edge of her vision, trying to prevent suspicion from crossing her calm expression. Though he did save her, he was still a mercenary, and a Talon at that. She felt herself go slightly cold at the thought of Talons. True, the founders of the NCR, as regulating and stingy about what happens to artifacts rightfully found in their territory as they were, were in fact Talons. Though, she thought with a slight shudder not brought on by the chill night air, the brutal slavers of Stern were also Talons. 

    "We should get moving, make as much progress as possible tonight. We don't want to be here when the radhogs come to scavenge." Angar stated, throwing his cigarette to the dark Wasteland ground, already slowly walking forward.

    Reck Lass's thoughts were shattered by the deep voice, her slight jump causing every set of crude armor and worn weapons on the shoddy sled tied to her to create a symphony of clashing metal. The mare pushed forward, ignoring Wools' whirs and disapproving eye adjustments out of the corner of her eye.

    "I just need the damn caps, that's all..." Reck Lass whispered to herself, not completely sure of her actions herself.

    **    **   **

    The odd trio walked, and hovered, over the cracked and destroyed ground of the wasteland. Exhaustion was evident on Reck Lass's face as she trudged forward, small lines of red around were the crude sled she dragged behind her was tied to her brown body.

    The mare stopped for a moment, her breathing heavy and her bright red hair matted and sticky with sweat. She let her gaze dart around her two companions, Wools' glowing orange eyes one of the only sources of illumination in the cold night.

    "I think...we...we...should make...a camp." The mare breathed, looking, with some desperation, to Angar.

    If the griffon cared about the exhausted mare's situation, he did not show it. Angar let his gaze linger on Reck Lass for several moments, his expression cold as he scratched his damaged beak. 

    "Very well." He simply stated after a few moments, his steely gaze gradually shifting from Reck Lass to something far from the mare. Without a word, the age griffon slowly started walking to Reck Lass's right, wresting around the mare over his shoulder and slowly pulling an aged pair of silver binoculars from his things as he advanced.

    "What...What do you see?" Reck Lass asked, his breath slightly returning after her brief rest.

    "I see a fire. We may be able to camp there." He deadpanned, the worn binoculars now pressed against his old eyes.

    The griffon sat, motionless, until he began to nod his old head, ruffling his faded white feathers.

    "Are there any...unsavory characters residing there Angar sir?" Wools politely asked, his eyestalks directed at the small flickering flame in the distance in a hopeless attempt to examine it.

    "Nah, it's just on of those creepy 'Children of the Smile' outposts. Looks abandoned." Angar stated, putting the silver binocular's forward and shoving Kill Streak further up his aged shoulder as the raider almost dropped to the hard, cracked ground.

    Reck Lass sighed as Wools and Angar moved towards the small light in the distance, forcing her to drag the crude sled behind her, screeching and rattling every step. Suddenly, Reck Lass's expression of exaggeration and pain gave way to an expression more commonly seen of the mare's face, curiosity. 

    "Children of the Smile?" The mare asked, her green eyes locked on Angar and filled with gleaming curiosity.

    As he walked, Reck Lass swore she saw the tough griffon shudder with the words, though he dispelled it in less than a seconded.

    "Creepy sons of bitches. They worship some pre-war pink earth pony, claiming 'She will return and spread happiness around the Wasteland'," Angar said the last part in a mocking tone, even slightly shaking his aged head. "Though they are usually harmless. Just print up their posters and paste them everywhere, preaching to anyone that'll listen to their rants." He finished, stopping suddenly, the flickering orange flame now right in front of the trio. 

    The former building only consisted of three rotting wooden walls and a barrel in the middle, though every inch of the old walls were covered in newly printed posters. All of the posters varied slightly some reading 'Pinkie Pie is watching you forever' wile others simply read 'Smile', but they all shared something in common. A pink earth pony mare with a mane like cotton candy, a slightly disconcerting smile pasted across her face.

    Reck Felt herself shudder slightly, causing the many items on her sled to crash together in a symphony of metal yet again. This was creepy. Sweet dreams, her mind mused as she detached the crude sled, scanning the abandoned post for anything useful, though the mare suddenly perked up as her gaze rested on the dying fire.

    "Somepony was here recently." She observed, nearly collapsing from exhaustion, the marks from the sled practically glowing red. 

    Angar sighed at the obvious comment, shaking his head and opening his battered beak for a probably curt response.

    "Of course Ms. Lass! I will see to it that if they come back you and Sir Angar are warned swiftly!" Wools suddenly interjected, happily raising his eyestalks.

    Angar turned his head to the med-bot, his expression showing obvious suspicion at the robot's happy demeanor. Despite this, Angar simply laid Kill Streak on the hard ground, retrieving another old cigarette and lighting it without a word.

    Reck Lass smiled at Wools, appreciating the med-bot looking after her. Her expression changed as she laid on the wasteland ground, desperately attempting to find comfort.

    She had met this med-bot barely a day ago, and he had saved her life multiple times, and he continued to that. She grunted as a small rock painfully lodged itself against her back leg, pulling it back quickly as she filled with a sharp pain. I'm going to feel great in the morning, her thoughts deadpanned as she slowly drifted into the realm of sleep. 

    **    **   **

    Blood coated everything. The sterile white walls shone with red blood, caked with torn entrails and organs. Green, glowing goo coated everything as well, adding to the horrible smell of the room. She felt herself screaming, unable to move from the blood and plasma stained ground. 

    Suddenly a pink form rushed past her, muttering under it's breath as if it had forgotten to turn it's oven off. 

    "Nonononono not good, not good at all!" The form muttered in it's high pitched voice, and she felt hooves around her, and saw pink blobs at the bottom of her bloodied vision.

    "It can't end like this! Things were supposed to end in sunshine and rainbows!"

    Then the shooting began.

    **    **   **

    "Whoa bitch! Weapons and armor get you fuckin' wet or somthin'? Celestia's clit!" Kill Streak yelled, her mouth filled with broken and yellow teeth slightly agape at the sight of Reck Lass's makeshift sled.

    The mare moaned as she felt the horror from the nightmare ebb away, replaced with an aching pain all over her brown, dust covered body. She rubbed the sleep from her eyes with one hoof, bringing the now conscious raider unicorn into focus.

    The sunset mare was still bound, and pressed against one of the many poster covered walls, her cutie mark of two grey assault rifles clips and a apple-grenade now visible in the faint morning light. She had several new fist inflicted wounds adorning her coat and oozing dark blood, no doubt put there by Angar when the unicorn woke up, and without a doubt, tried to escape. 

    "Shut up." Angar grumbled, the griffon's already deep voice slightly hoarse as if he had been yelling.

    "Get raped by an alicorn and shoot yourself ya' old prick!" Kill Streak sneered in response, testing her tight rope binding yet again. 

    Angar visibly trembled, putting his aged talon on the hilt of his saw off shotgun, though the old griffon soon took a deep breath and slowly lowered his talon to the ground. 

    "Watch what you say filly. Your head will pay at least half of the entire thing, even it it's detached." Angar threatened, his voice low and his expression stern.

    Kill Streak went quite, her deep red eyes rapidly shifting between Angar, Reck Lass and Wools' with undiluted hatred. Angar stomped over the the mare with small, almost angry looking clouds of dust, dragging the mare behind him by her bindings. 

    "Gawddamn children..." Reck Lass heard the mercenary use the now popular griffon swear, frantically attaching her sled to herself and dashing after the angry griffon, throwing many pieces of paper and rocks in the air as she ran.

    "We're...off then?" Reck Lass heard a confused Wools call from behind her, followed by the now familiar sound of propulsion engines. 

    **    **   **

    The sun brutally beat down on the brown earth pony, sighing under her breath as it only added to her growing discomfort. She growled she rubbed her aching ears with her dust covered hooves, desperately attempting make Kill Streak's ranting less annoying, though it was to no avail. She turned her head from the ground to the horizon, her green eyes running over the simple town of Cheerilee. 

    The buildings varied as much as the inhabitant's apparently did in the outpost turned settlement. On the edge of the town were shacks made of the torn remains of sheet metal and wood from the black husks that passed for trees in the wasteland, though she noticed that the center of settlement was home to several green tents, looking like shining gems among piles of dull flint in the town.

    "This ain't my fuckin' fault dicklick! I left Body Count and her sluts years ago! I'm off the goddess damn hook! Off the fuckin' hook!" Kill Streak screamed, thrashing around on the strong shoulder of Angar, who was merely growling under his breath at the raider.

    Despite her ranting, the unicorn did not attempt to kick the disgruntled mercenary again, her swollen eye still red and the fresh scratch marks on her belly still bleeding from her last attempt. 

    The raider stopped screaming, her expression going oddly soft as she saw Cheerilee out of the corner of her diseased, red eyes. Reck Lass gritted her teeth slightly as she heard Kill Streak begin to softly sob, a realization obviously dawning on the raider.

    "Aw fuck dude, I don't wanna' hang!," She pitifully wailed, throwing her white hair from side to side as she shook her head. "I still have contacts dude, I can fuckin' set you up! I don't wanna' die!" 

    The aged griffon stopped, his eyes turning to his armored shoulder to meet the tear streaked face and eyes of Kill Streak, simmering with rage.

    "A Talon always finishes the job," Angar coolly said, his voice slightly intimidating Reck Lass even though it was directed at the trembling raider and not her. ",And please. Go out with a little dignity, not like some filly wailing for mother. Though I bet you know plenty about fillies wailing for their mothers." The griffon finished, his words cutting the raider like a combat knife. 

    The trio walked on for several quite moments, Kill Streak's wretched sobbing the only sound over the slight wasteland breeze.

    "Oh dear...hanging," Wools commented, his voice a mixture of surprise and confusion. "Can she not be sent off to a correctional facility?"

    "She was in the inner circle of a mare dominated slaving gang. And a murderer and rapist to boot. So, no." Angar curtly responded, momentarily looking back at Wools, his face still a mask of hate.

    The med-bot shrunk back slightly, his eyestalks pitifully lowering to the ground.

    "Of...course...Angar sir." The robot responded, his metallic voice low.

    As she saw the tears running down the raiders face, Reck Lass felt a pang of pity for Kill Streak, though she knew she shouldn't. The mare had enslaved others, killed more and forced herself onto somepony. She was disgusting, and the wasteland would probably be better off without her. 

    Despite this, Reck Lass could not help but wince at the sights of the sobbing raider, about to be dragged in front of a crowd of NCR, and swung by a rope. She straightened up, her expression pity filled turning slightly as she realized something.

    A few years ago, she would be volunteering to build the gallows and provide the rope. She felt a pained smile find it's way onto her face as she thought of her previous self. Back then she was barely a mare, still an idealistic filly too adventurous for her own good that had ran away from home, in all honesty.

    Despite how she felt Reck Lass quietly chuckled, drawing a curious look from the med-bot hovering next to her.

    She gave a reminiscent sigh, the world seeming to slowly slip away around her as it commonly did when she thought. I was so different back then, she thought, it was more about the adventure, less about the caps. More about making the world a better place, she mused, curling her lip slightly. 

    Improve the wasteland, because that was going to happen. She remembered Kill Steak and her tear stained face, bring back another memory, one that made her question herself to this day. It was just one shot...she didn't know. She couldn't have known. For all she knew it could've been the right thing to do, but she always felt an aching her her chest that screamed no.

    Suddenly the world rushed back, wasteland dust stinging her eyes and the sun brutalizing her yet again, though now she saw a new lean form in front of her, neither robot or griffon.

    The veteran NCR ranger removed his blue eyed helmet as he approached reveling his grey eyes, his dark brown trench coat and riot gear covered in as much dust as Reck Lass. His pale blue coat and magenta mane made him look like an earth pony at first, though the mare felt her eyes go wide as she spotted the wings of a pegasus at his sides, partially covered by his worn anti-materiel rifle battle saddle.

    Angar's annoyed expression melted, a grin splayed across the mercenaries face as he walked forward.

    "Angar, and I see you've brought me a present."  

    Footnote: Level Up.

    Quest Perk: Dark Dreams--Odd dreams come from odd places, tinged with pink.