Fallout: Equestria

by Kkat

Chapter 48: Epilogue

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Epilogue: Of Forgiveness and Fallout

Two weeks!

It’s been two weeks since the afternoon that Wastelanders everywhere have come t’ call the day of sunshine an’ rainbows. The day that massive surges of rainbow light an’ sound -- sonic rainbooms -- burst from twenty-three of the great towers, clearin’ away the blanket of clouds that had covered the skies above for all our lives, an’ the lives of everyone an’ everything born after the great war.

For me, there’s a memory that will forever symbolize that day: I looked up, watchin’ those expanding rings of fantastic rainbow light burst the clouds, sending showers down on the Wasteland. And as I turned my face towards the sun for the very first time, I saw how the misty rainfall sparkled. And then, I spotted a balefire phoenix, her coat a majestic, iridescent emerald an’ gold, dancin’ an’ cavortin’ amongst the ephemeral rainbows forming all across the sun-drenched sky.

It was the single most beautiful sight I had seen in my long life.

Thank you, Littlepip. From all of us.

Now children, as you know, the sonic rainbooms also tore most of the remaining Enclave Raptors out o’ the sky. The few that remain have returned t’ the sides of the Enclave’s remaining Thunderheads… and turned their firepower on the pegasus ponies who have risen up t’ throw off the Enclave’s tyranny.

The war is over, but it would appear that the war was just the prologue t’ another bloody chapter in Equestrian history. Civil war tears apart the sky; and here below, the remnants of Red Eye’s armies have divided into war camps, each determined t’ carve out a swath of the Wasteland as their own little empire, the ground soaked in violence an’ the blood of anypony who challenges them.

But this time is different, children. Because this time, we have hope. Hope that the Equestria of tomorrow will actually be a better place than the Equestria of today. And that we may actually know peace in our childrens’ lifetime.

Hope brought t’ us by our Lightbringer, yes. And more importantly, hope brought t’ us by ourselves. By our embrace of our nobler nature. Over the last few weeks, the actions of so many of you have shown more brilliantly than the sun itself, so much that it’s made this ol’ DJ cry. Children, ol’ DJ Pon3 ain’t never been prouder of ya.

Now listen up, children. Ol’ DJ Pon3’s got a message for all you faithful listeners, an’ this one’s important. The word of the day is “forgiveness”.

We’ve all suffered at the hooves of the Enclave. And I know just how easy it would be t’ direct all our hate towards every pony out there with wings. But the Enclave ain’t every pegasus. An’ even a great many of those in the Enclave weren’t keen on what their leaders were doing. Many stood up against them, an’ many were murdered for it. We need t’ embrace our pegasi sisters an’ brothers, welcome them. Things are gonna be hard for them. Hell, hard for all of us. We need t’ show love, tolerance an’ acceptance. We need t’ be the sort of ponies the Stable Dweller trusted an’ believed we could be. The sort of ponies you’ve proven you can be.

Same message goes for the alicorns. They ain’t the monsters they used t’ be. They’re ponies, hurt ones at that. Yes, there are several poisonous apples out there -- some o’ them just don’t seem t’ know any other way. But most of those alicorns are just lost. They’re trying t’ figure out who they are, t’ reckon their place in this world. (Not unlike a certain little unicorn who stepped hoof out of a Stable less than three months ago.) And there are some, more than just a few, who have chosen t’ side with the heroes of the Wasteland. So if you see an alicorn, keep your weapon loaded, but try talking first. You just might find a friend.

Remember, children, it’s the one great truth of the Wasteland: we’ve all done somethin’ that we regret. We all need a little forgiveness. And that’s the truth of the matter.

And with that said, I’ve got a special treat for all of you faithful listeners. I have here in the studio Velvet Remedy, here for a rare interview with yours truly. I know I usually farm out interviews t’ my number one assistant, but this is a special case. And Homage has been rather busy.

But first, some news!

The fires of Everfree Forest have finally died. Bizarrely, a lot of the forest, the trees at least, seems unharmed. Given time, the undergrowth is likely t’ grow back. However, I have it on good authority that the Applejack’s Rangers have taken up a project t’ convert much of the forest’s area t’ farmland, pending negotiations with the Children of the Cathedral, a relatively non-hostile band of Red Eye remnants who have made their home in the wreckage of the Thunderhead Overcast.

In related news, hostilities between the Steel Rangers an’ their heroic offshoot, the Applejack’s Rangers, seem t’ have ceased, save for a few localized pockets of fighting. Apparently, the threat of genocide from above has helped put their conflict into perspective.

Fierce battles continue throughout the ruins of Fillydelphia, most notably between Talon mercenaries and the emerging Red Eye remnants’ warlords. Unless your checklist of things you need t’ do by the end of the day includes violence an’ bloody dismemberment, I strongly advise you t’ avoid Fillydelphia for the foreseeable future. If you are amongst those civilians still trapped inside the ruins, seek out the nearest Talon not engaged in active hostilities. If at all possible, the griffin will do her or his best t’ get you out of the warzone.

Now, as many of you know from my first return broadcast, all those mysterious towers turn out t’ be part of a pre-war weather-control system called the Single Pegasus Project. And that Littlepip, the mare I formerly referred t’ only as the Stable Dweller (and other titles), is currently in an induced coma, hooked into that system. Additionally, Celestia Herself is bound, in mind an’ soul, into the S.P.P.’s security system. So, I guess everypony who believed that Celestia was up there somewhere looking down on us was right.

And that brings us t’ a bit o’ good news… and a bit o’ bad news.

Y’see, Littlepip was willing t’ sacrifice everything she had for all of us. Her friends honor that… but they’re doing all they can t’ mitigate the price. Cuz that’s what friends do. They help each other, best they can.

Despite the best o’ efforts, it doesn’t appear control o’ the Single Pegasus Project’s security an’ weather-control systems can be integrated. Turns out, even if we had the technology, attempting t’ install it would require a full shutdown and tearing ‘part several components of the Crusader Maneframe. And… that ain’t an option.

The good news, however, is that they’ve rigged up enhanced communication between the disparate systems. Not only does this mean that Littlepip and Celestia will be able t’ share time together, but that both will be able t’ periodically converse with us down here as well.

Sunlight and Celestia Herself have been returned t’ the Wasteland. Words… they just ain’t able t’ express the magnitude o’ that.

And in further good news… the first message from Littlepip t’ all of us has been received. Now, it’s a bit of a mess due t’ the way it was mentally transcribed, but the Twilight Society’s expert in memory magic -- a pony who I will add is a trusted friend -- has taken it upon himself t’ sort an’ edit the memory dump; an’ we expect t’ have that message available for everyone livin’ in the Wasteland within another two weeks.

(And before you ask, my friend has assured me that the editing being performed will not diminish the message in any way, that it ain’t gonna be a short message by any stretch, but that nopony needs t’ know about every time Littlepip ate or had a bowel movement. To my friend, I can only say: I applaud your sacrifice.)

Finally, a bit of personal news: I, your voice in the Wasteland, am going away again. Hopefully, it will not be for as long as my last “vacation”, an’ it is definitely under better circumstances. You see, children, now that the war is over an’ the sky has opened, I’ve got a quest of my own t’ undertake. A role in the Good Fight that demands my personal attention. I’ll report in whenever circumstances allow, but this may be the last bit of news you hear for a little while.

Now, I hear some of you faithful listeners askin’: hey, DJ Pon3, does this mean Littlepip is up there keepin’ an eye on us all the time too, like a new, benevolent Goddess?

Well, I can tell you she wouldn’t much care for the comparison, an’ the last thing she wants is t’ be prayed to. That’s not a role she seeks for herself. Plus, I have it on good authority that she’ll be gettin’ some long an’ well-earned rest.

On the other hoof, even though I know she ain’t that kinda pony, I’d still hesitate t’ throw ‘round the ol’ “may lightning strike me if” phrase quite so casually now. And I, for one, am already buildin’ up my stockpile of colorful Littlepip swears!

An’ on that note, I introduce Velvet Remedy! Hello, medical pony! May I call you Velvet?

Of course you may. We’re going to be traveling together for a while. Familiarity is expected.

Heh, yes. As it turns out, faithful listeners, Velvet here will be accompanying me on my little sojourn. As will her husband, Calamity: hero of the Battle of Dragon Mountain. How is Calamity doing after his surgery, VR? Can I call you VR?

No. And he’s recovering nicely. The implants are compensating for the permanent muscle damage, and I believe that he will regain his full flying capabilities with sufficient exercise and nagging.

Ah yes. The nagging, I suspect, is the most crucial element to recovery.

Did I hear you say “enhanced” communication? Well, that explains it. I thought I heard Homage saying something about the towers, spare parts from Stable Twenty-Nine and… a threesome?

Hey, is it my fault the mare’s a perv?

Not touching that one. And you know why.

Ha! Anyway, let me first say how joyous it was t’ hear your broadcast that morning two weeks ago. Ol’ DJ Pon3 ain’t never been so happy t’ be upstaged.

W-what? I didn’t! You weren’t even…

Whoa. Just a joke. But it’s no joke that your voice was a blessin’ in a pretty dark hour.

Oh! Thank you. I just did what I could.

And from what I hear, you got a little quest of your own that you’re rearin’ t’ take on before we all begin our little adventure. Why don’t you tell us about that?

Yes. We’re going to try to save Fluttershy.

Fluttershy was one of Equestria’s greatest heroes, and eventually became one of the Ministry Mares: the Mare of the Ministry of Peace. She was the gentlest healer and the kindest soul that Equestria has ever known.

Yes, she made mistakes, errors in judgement, that played a role in the apocalypse. But her mistakes were borne of kindness and a genuine effort to save lives. The portal to hell is opened with the incantation of good intentions. And what she has suffered in the last two centuries has been beyond the pale. The punishment has far exceeded any crime.

Tragically, a Wasteland specialty. Fluttershy sounds like the sort of pony the Equestrian Wasteland really needs. What happened? And how can she be saved?

Two centuries ago, she was brutally transformed by killing joke. It may be possible to reverse that cruel magic and save her. For the last week, Xenith has been working on a brew -- a modification of an old recipe to relieve the transformations caused by poison joke -- and it is finally ready.

Morning Frost has volunteered to fly us out. (I don’t want Calamity pulling a sky chariot until he has fully recovered.) The fires of Everfree Forest should have cleansed the area of killing joke, but we’re not taking any unnecessary chances.

Now Velvet, I hate to bring this up, but it has been two hundred years. What is the chance that this will even work? And even if it does, she might not survive the transformation. She might die of old age the moment she is restored.

We… I know. But Fluttershy deserves our efforts to try. And even in the worst case, she deserves peace. After two hundred years of undeserved torment…

Sorry... please... give me a moment.

Take your time.


Thank you. I’m alright.

Hey, no problem. This is understandably emotional. You were saying?

I was… about to say: just in case, we’ve created a recording that we are going to play for her before we attempt this. The recording is from all of us… I believe your assistant Homage took part in making it and helped Littlepip and Celestia add their voices as well.

The recording lets Fluttershy know that we love her. And, perhaps more importantly, that for the mistakes she made, she is forgiven.

We’re going to play this for her before we try the brew. And afterwards, if we are not successful in saving her, the recording will be integrated into a gravestone marker, set to play once a week, at sunrise, for the next ten years.

That’s… kinda beautiful. Of course, I really hope that it isn’t necessary.

Again, thank you.

No, VR. For all you’ve done, and all you’re going to do, from all of us in the Equestrian Wasteland: thank you!

Everyone deserves thanks. We all did our part.

And, if I may ask, how are you doing in the wake of it all? I know that, since your return, you’ve seemed a little… melancholy.

Really? Well…

A lot happened. To me. To you. To Equestria. Can’t go through all that and come out the same pony. But that’s just… life. Life always changes.

Aaaaand… I’m afraid that’s all the time we have today, faithful listeners. Ol’ DJ Pon3’s got some packin’ t’ do, an’ I need t’ program a good week or three o’ music before I go. One final announcement: earlier, I was able t’ spend some time with Velvet here in my recording studio; and startin’ today, Velvet Remedy’s Equestrian Anthem will be part of our musical rotation.

Knew you’d enjoy hearin’ that!

But for now, I leave you with this song, an ol’ favorite. I dedicate this one to Strawberry Lemonade, Amber Waves, and every other pony who gave their lives at the Battle of Dragon Mountain. You stood fast, defending valiantly without even knowing what you were dying to protect. Only trusting that your sacrifice was for the good of all Equestria. Your bravery and loyalty are unparalleled. And I promise you this: you didn’t die in vain. Someday very soon… as soon as my little quest is complete… everyone will understand your sacrifice. And history will remember your names with reverence.

Thanks for listening, chiiiiildren!

“I want to calm the storm, but the war is in your eyes.
How can I shield you from the horror and the lies?
When all that once held meaning is shattered, ruined, bleeding
And the whispers in the darkness tell me we won’t survive?”

“All things will end in time, this coming storm won’t linger
Why should we live as if there’s nothing more?
So hold me ‘neath the thunderclouds, my heart held in your hooves,
Our love will keep the monsters from our door.”

“For I know tomorrow will be a better day.
Yes, I believe tomorrow can be a better day…”

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