Fallout Equestria: Starsong, Chapter 5

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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 5: Smiles and Slaves

    "Smile, smile smile!" 

    "I...I don't have enough caps for all of this." The open mouthed cyan coated merchant gasped, his blue eyes wide as he stared at the worn weapons and armor on Reck Lass's sled.

    The mare sighed, his lower lip pouting as she felt her body throb were the sled was attached to her not even a half an hour ago.

    "Well, I sure as hell didn't drag it all this way for nothing! You have to have something you can give me instead of caps." Reck Lass stated, stamping her hoof down with an uncharacteristic tone of anger creeping into her tired voice.

    The merchant muttered something to himself under his breath, and with a shake of short mint mane, trotted over to a small pale grey steel crate in the corner of his old shop. After a brief moment of digging, the merchant pulled his head out of the box, a gleaming silver item clenched in his teeth.

    The magical energy pistol looked of exquisite quality, practically shining in the dull lighting of the shop. It bore several scratches from the years, though the insignia of a blue shield with a purple star standard and the etching "Shine" on the silver handle seemed unscathed.

    The weapon almost seemed to bang like a gunshot as the merchant dropped it on the worn counter in front of Reck Lass, his hooves moving below his old counter produce a small brown bag that clicked with the tell-tale sound of bottlecaps; The bag also seemed to slam to the worn counter with a weight that indicated magical energy cells. 

    "Well, I do have this old thing," The merchant explained with what seemed to almost be relief in his voice. "I have been trying to sell it forever but...ponies seem a little frightened of it."

    What little anger had built up inside the adventurous mare immediately dissipated as she leaned forward and her eyes locked on the old pistol, the pre-war treasure seeming to practically shine with value to Reck Lass.

    "Afraid, why would anypony ever be afraid of an artifact?" Reck Lass asked, his words almost wistful and her green eyes greedily locked on the old weapon.

    The merchant gave a nervous chuckle, a fake smile plastered on his face as he examined Reck Lass, obviously disconcerted by the mare's fascination with the weapon.

    "It was, uh, found in the ruins of Canterlot about a year ago. Right after the Enclave tore it off the mountain," The stallion started, slowly adding the worn items of Reck Lass's crude sled to his own stock. ",Some ponies are superstitious, that's all. Bad luck and all that hubbub." The cyan stallion finished, his stock now filled with worn metal armor and a old light machine gun proudly displayed on a shelf

    Before he had even finished though, the cap filled bag was gone, and Shine bounced around Reck Lass's reliable leather satchel with barely a sound as she trotted out the door with happiness.

    The obviously frequently opened door to the shop slide open, reveling oddly busy town of Cheerilee. Despite the fact that she needed to meet with Wools and Angar at Adel's tent, she couldn't help but to stop and marvel at the diverse town.

    Several ponies haggled in the impromptu market place of rotted wood and tattered curtains in front of the mare. A green earth pony viciously haggled with a grey furred hellhound over some scrap as Reck Lass passed, truly making an effort to avoid locking onto any of the preserved or crafted items that covered all of the crude stalls.

    As the mare pushed through the small crown, she spotted a magenta unicorn mare at a rusted stall, her merchandise consisting of pre-war finery and rough brahimin skin outfits desperately attempting to compare to the sea of class next to them. 

    "Finery from before the bombs; The finest skins and hardest armor!" The unicorn cried in what seemed to be a poor interpenetration of a Canterlot accent, brushing her combed gold mane out of her cool black eyes as she gazed out at Reck Lass.

    Despite her urgency to meet with Angar and Wools, Reck Lass felt her eyes running over the clothing and armor, stopping at a small, almost colt or filly sized, pre-war top hat. A small sliver of paper reading "10 caps" was attached to the brim by a frayed string. The adventerous mare's thoughts immediately switched to Wools, and she felt slight grin creep on her face as she thought of the sight of a med-bot in a top hat.

    "Are you interested in purchasing that fine hat madam?" The unicorn eagerly asked in her fake accent, subtly pushing the black hat towards Reck Lass.

    Reck Lass merely nodded her head, fishing out a hoofful of bottlecaps from her leather satchel and putting them of the rusted metal counter of the stall.The magenta unicorn gave a appreciative smile, displaying her overly white teeth, placing the red caps underneath her rusted stall.  

    "Enjoy your hat ma'am! I'm sure you'll look cute in it!" The merchant called as Reck Lass trotted off, and the adventurous mare momentarily stuttered at the word "cute ".

    The mare felt herself reddening slightly, calling off an awkward "Thank you", and sending the merchant a red glance, lingering a few moments longer than it should've. With new found haste, Reck Lass half trot, half ran in the direction of Adel's tent, accidentally shoving several townies out of her way in the process.

    These kind of things had happened before. As she began to slow down and calmly trot around a NCR tent of green canvas, Reck Lass felt herself sigh. She had always been..."confused" as her mother called it. Her sigh quickly turned from into a slight sneer, "confused" was not the right word, it was completely normal too...she stopped in her tracks, drawing odd glances from several NCR armored ponies and griffons. In all honesty, Reck Lass had never been sure if she liked stallions, mares or both. She looked to the ground, tracing her eyes over her dusty hooves as if they would stop the thoughts. Her mother had seen to it that she force her to become "normal", especially after she found her with a 'Wingboner magazine: Extra Wet Filly Fooler Edition' that she had found while adventuring, under her old cot . 

    The mare suddenly felt herself blushing again, pushing herself forward into a trot towards Adel's tent, which she could make out right in front of her, a obviously enthusiastic floating metal form and scarred griffon impatiently waiting there.

    "Hello Ms. Lass! Have you completed your shopping?" Wools asked as the mare approached, her face slowly returning to it's original color.

    The mare's expression changed into a sly grin as she reached her hoof into her reliable satchel, brushing the hard metal of shine before it run over the soft silk of a top hat.

    "Eeyup, and I got you something" The mare answered, placing the soft hat on the med-bot's hard, yellow chassis.

    The robot's eyestalks beamed upwards, awkwardly moving to accommodating the black hat.  

    "Thank you ma'am! What a marvelous gift, you have my gratitude!" Wools' said, his orange eyes seeming to glow brighter than usual.

    Reck Lass felt her grin die on her lips as her green eyes locked on Angar, his annoyed expression slowly shifting between the happy med-bot and the red maned mare.

    "I want my caps, and Adel said he might have something else for us." The mercenary sighed, putting his talon on the worn canvas flap as he spoke.

    Reck Lass felt herself go slight stiff as the words "Something else" escaped the aged griffon's battle scarred beak. 

    "S-something else? I already have another contract, a well paying one too. I wasn't aware..." The mare stumbled over her words, nervously running her hoof across her neck.

    The Talon's expression did not change, and his blue eyes bore into Reck Lass like an auto-axe, making the mare shrink back a step.

    "Another contract was part of the reward." Angar stated, his expression still even. ",And now that you have a contract, you have to get it done."

    The mare bit her lower lip, moving her shoulder as the computer chip seemed to weigh as much a vertibuck in her satchel.

    "Ok, I suppose extra caps are never bad." Reck Lass said after a few moments, jumping slightly as she realized that Angar had already entered the green tent. She dashed forward, keeping the worn flap open as Wools' floated though, lest his propulsion engine set fire to the tent and the entire town.

    Adel's tent was simple, and efficient. A aged steel dask sat in the middle of the room, covered in layers and papers and a old snow globe, along with an aged blue cot tucked in the corner.

    The blue pegasus raised his head from his messy mound of paperwork as the trio entered, a small smile splaying across the ranger's face.

    "Hello, glad to see you. Heh, glad to see anything other than paperwork." The ranger chuckled as Angar approached his desk, though he gave a quick nod to Reck Lass and Wools.

    "It is quite the pleasure to see you again Adel sir!" Wools politely answered as Angar approached the aged desk without a word and Reck Lass fumbled a "Hi".

    Adel's desk groaned as the pegasus pulled open one of the worn grey drawers, depositing  two bags that clinked with the sound of caps on it's grey surface. Angar wasted no time in placing the bag on his old belt, tossing the remaining bag to Reck Lass, who promptly caught it with her face.

    "Oh dear, are you alright Ms. Lass?" Wools asked, floating towards Reck Lass and examining her red face.

    "Yeah Wools, I'm fine." The mare answered, placing the old bag in her worn satchel and trotting next to Angar, her eyes locked on the veteran ranger.

    "Hello, both, uh, all three of you.  Hope Cherliee has been accommodating," Adel spoke after a few still moments, slowly nodding his head as he arranged his papers. "But as I promised, I have a contract for you, I trust Angar told you I had another job?"

    With a slight grimace, Reck Lass slowly nodded her head, her green eyes darting to Angar every few moments. The griffon ran his talon over his aging head feathers, slowly turning his neck as if he were about to enter a boxing match.

    "I'm ready now, give me, uh, us the information." The old mercenary flatly stated, his battle scarred face taking on a determined expression.

    Adel's smiling face seemed to even out as he retrieved a piece of newly printed paper, slowly sliding it towards to trio.

    "I trust you know of  the 42? Our lovely Kill Streak used to be a member, but you may know them by the...unofficial named given by our soldiers. The Cunts." The veteran ranger stated, moving his light blue hoof aside to reveling a picture of a psychotic looking mare, with the name "Body Count" written underneath her ugly visage.

    "Uh, that is a...interesting nickname." Wools commented' his eyes flickering with surprise as Adel mentioned the unofficial name.

    Reck Lass slightly tilted her head, sending her red mess of hair flopping to the side, recalling the name Body Count and not quite familiar with the 42.

    "The Cu- the 42?" Reck Lass asked, moving her still red face closer to the new wanted poster, her eyes running over the mares many cuts and gouges, accentuated by the two spikes that functioned as her hair.

    "The 42 are a vicious band of mare dominated slavers," Angar sneered, roughly taking from the aged desk with a screech from his battle tested talons, staring at the brutal slaver on the poster with hate. "They are known for castrating male slaves and...completely dominating mares they capture." The aged griffon fished with an uncharacteristic wince, rolling up the poster and placing it on his weathered belt.

    Reck Lass felt her expression fill with concern, nervously tracing her eyes over the yellow med-bot, and letting them rest back on Adel.

    "'Dominating' captured mares?" Reck Lass asked, her scared expression already showing that she knew the predictable answer.

    The pegasus's gaze momentarily dropped to the floor, and he let out a prolonged sigh, his eyes grey eyes rising to meet Reck Lass's.

    "The 42 have an odd belief in...domination. Completely taking over your slaves lives, and, well, breaking them. To do this with mares they..." The strong ranger seemed to falter, quickly blinking away a small, glistening tear. "...They rape mares. Repeatedly. They do it to break them, hurt them until there is nothing fuc- Until there is nothing left."Adel finished, practically spitting the final words before he took a deep breath, forcing his muscles to relax and his body to stop shaking.

    Angar loudly cleared his throat, instinctively rubbing his talon over the worn handle of his sawed off shotgun.

    "So, we're after Body Count? Isn't she one of Chains' right hoof mares?" The mercenary asked, keeping any pity or concern for the blue pegasus out of his deep voice.

    Reck Lass felt herself tense up, and her vision briefly dart to her old satchel, and her thoughts to the chip inside. This was not going to be a simple job, she thought. Not only was she being sent after a brutal band of raping slavers when she could be making 25,000 caps from a delivery, but being sent after a high ranking mare in said band of raping slavers.

    Adel merely nodded his head, his eyes clouded in the mist only a pony thinking of the past could have in their eyes. 

    "She is part of her inner circle, just like Kill Streak was," The veteran rander said, his eyes snapping back to the present. ", But she does more than Kill Streak ever did. She's not a simple hitmare, but the head of slave transportation." 

    With a flap of his blue wings the pegasus slightly flew upwards, suddenly placing himself in front of a unnerved Reck Lass and a unflinching Angar.

    "Outside of regular New Canterlot Republic protocol, I am prepared to offer youe 10,000 caps to split between you."

    Reck Lass's jaw nearly hit the dusty tent floor.

    **    **   **

    Reck Lass felt like jumping around the dusty motel room Angar had rented for her like a little filly. 25,000 caps! If she delivered this chip to Manehatten, and split the reward of this contract, she would have 25,000 caps! The mare stopped pacing in-between the old wooden dresser and her worn red bed, slightly puckering her lips and swerving her head. You'll never make it out there! Her mother scolded in her thoughts, You'll die in some old ruin alone and all my work to give you a better life will be wasted!

    "Wasted?" She said aloud, slipping into her habit of self-speech. ",25,000 caps is more than I would have made in my life if I stayed in your damn shack!" She triumphantly finished, attempting to strike a dramatic pose but merely succeeding in nearly painfully ramming her flank into the drawer behind her.

    The mare suddenly felt an odd sensation, not drawn from the pain. Her tail was twitching. She turned her head to look at the red mass of hair, though she suddenly groaned as the orange lamp that sat on the worn drawer came crashing on her head, nearly knocking her to the ground.

    The mare felt her shoulders hunch, and her face turn bright red.

    "Perhaps it is time to get some rest." The mare suggested to the empty room, rubbing her acheing head as she slumped onto the first actual bed she had laid in for at least a month.

    Reck Lass took a deep breath and quickly forgot her tail twitching, and felt her expression slowly change from glee to guilt. She was celebrating the opportunity to bring justice to a raping slaver, not because she was improving the wasteland, but because she was getting paid.

    The mare rolled over, pressing her face into the old, but still soft, pillow.

    All she needed to do was deliver Body Count to justice with Angar and Wools help, get paid, and go to Manehatten. She didn't need to debate why she was happy about somthing, she just needed to enjoy her happiness while it lasted. Just get the jobs done, and get paid.

    How hard could it be?

    **    **   **

    The bloatsprite fell to the hard, unforgiving ground in a wreath of flames, Shine's tip still humming with energy after the tainted creature had died. Reck Lass felt herself grin through the weapon, and heard Wools' give a metallic squeal of delight.

    "Marvelous! Just splendid! What a great weapon you have acquired Ms. Lass, it will surely help us on our journey!" Wools cheered, his rapidly adjusting eyestalks nearly hitting the stoic mercenary next to him.

    "Yeah, nice gun." Angar grumbled, his blue eyes still scanning the barren countryside that stretched out in front of the trio. 

    "We should start seeing slavers soon," Angar lowly stated, his talons clicking as they nervously tapped his shotgun. "They used to prey on the rock farmers around here, before most of them were slaughtered by the raiders that is."

    Reck Lass felt her expression screw up, and she holstered Shine, her face still a mask of confusion.

    "Rock farmers? As in...farming...rocks?" The adventurous mare asked, her head slightly cocked.

    Angar merely sighed, shaking his head for not the first time after one of her many questions.

    "I don't know why the hell they did it, and I really don't care. What I do care about is finding Body Count." The aged griffion curtly responded, already walking forwards, his expression showing evident frustration.

    "Well, if you care to know Angar sir, there are many theories that suggest magical gemstones grow in rocks! Thus, rock farms were established to farm them." Wools informed the griffon, who merely rolled his eyes.

    Wools' history lesson was interrupted by the crack of a rifle.

    The bullet rushed under Reck Lass's legs, causing the mare's green eyes to bulge and a shrill shriek to escaped her lips as she readied Shine.

    As she wildly fired a purple beam of magical energy, Reck Lass spotted three figures. Two of them were earth pony mares outfitted in crude metal armor, though the figure in front of them was a unicorn stallion in a bright yellow robe that almost made Reck Lass squint.

    The stallion was being pursued, and several lines of dark red blood ran across his  light pink coat, and streaked his hot pink mane.

    Reck Lass almost raised her brow, the stallion's coat and mane looked...out of place in the brown wasteland that surrounded him.

    Reck Lass's expression turned to confusion as she felt somthing odd, her tail twitching. Hadn't this happened in the hotel room? The mare's thoughts stopped as she suddenly looked up, and saw a crude iron throwing knife sailing through the air towards her. The adventurous mare threw herself into a rough roll as a round passed her head with the sound of thunder, her greens eyes barely catching Angar draw his worn shotgun and take flight.

    Reck Lass took in a deep breath as she propped herself up from the hard wasteland ground, aligning Shine with the mangy coated slaver. Shine's purple ray cut through the stale air like a lightning bolt, resting on the mare holding the steel pistol in her mouth with a resounding crack.

    The slaver released a shrill scream that seemed to unnaturally drag on as she scrambled back, her body slowly crumpling to a pile of blue and purple ash.

    The adventurous mare's expression became as dumbfounded as the rifle wielding raider. That was awesome! She thought, though she felt a stab of guilt calling a pony's death 'awesome' a moment later. 

    Reck Lass was nearly thrown back to the hard ground as the robed stallion barreled past her, a rifle round from the seemingly constant stream nearly disemboweling him.

    Reck Lass turned her head to the remaining slaver, just in time to see her head reduced to a splatter of bloody skull fragments and pink flesh, splashing over Angar and his outstretched shotgun. The griffion stood there for a moment, and Reck Lass felt a churning in her gut as her eyes rested on his gore coated face. Not burning rage, not pity or regret, but cold anger was splayed across his battle worn features, slowly dispersing into it's regular blankness.

    "Oh calm down fine sir, we are here to assist in the battle against these scoundrels!" Wools comforted the trembling robed stallion, attempting to use the med-bot as a impromptu shield.

    The pink unicorn slowly forced himself to a standing position, golden eyes tracing over the three, his body slightly trembling.

    Reck Lass took a few hoofsteps forward, forcing a comforting smile on her face.

    "Hey there..we...uh are here looking for...somepony. We wer-"

    Angar raised his still gore coated shotgun and nearly decapitated the stallion as he wrapped Reck Lass in a deep hug, practically hopping with joy.

    "Happy day! Happy day!" The unicorn screamed in glee as he released Reck Lass, his face now dominated by a toothy smile. "Thank The Pink One and her eternal smile you saved me!" The stallion gushed, not noticing the interest that bloomed on the adventurous mare's face, and the frown that stretched across aged griffon's.

    The Child of the Smile gleefully skipped in-between the trio, seeming to have all but forgotten the terror he held mere moments ago.

    "Pinkie Pie bless you!" The unicorn beamed, vigorously shaking Reck Lass's hoof, Wools' grasper and Angar's talon in what seemed to be less than a second. 

    "Always...pleased to serve." Wools nervously stated, his emtallic voice toned as if talking to a child as he examined the odd stallion.

    "Uh, yeah...I guess." The mare awkwardly managed after Wools' statement, nervously laughing as the unicorn turned his gaze to the brown earth pony.

    "Yes! It is always great to help others, to make them laugh and smile! Just as Pinkie Pie would!" He beamed after a moment, his gleeful face coming strangely close to Reck Lass's. "I am Pinkie Feather, and I am a devout Child of the Smile!"

    If Angar was as unnerved as Wools and Reck lass, the mercenary did a horrible job at displaying it. With a deep sigh, the griffon pulled a surprisingly intact cigarette from one of the mangled and bloody corpses of the slavers, wiping the blood off it as he light it with his silver lighter.

    "We are bounty hunters, and as my partner attempted to say, we are looking for sompony." Angar began, taking a drag and walking to face Pinkie Feather, wiping the slaver's bloody chucks to the ground off him as he walked. "Her name is Body Count. She is in affiliation with Chains and the 42. The slavers that were just chasing you, if you weren't aware."

    The smiling stallion seemed to falter, his white wall of teeth dispersing into a flash of concern for a moment before he could summon it again. Pinkie Feather suddenly gave an excited hop, bounding with purpose.

    "Follow me! Mother Crow must speak with you! All of you!" 

    Footnote: Level Up.

    New Perk: Sense (1) --For some reason you feel odd sensations, sensations that seem to be able to predict events