Stable 88, a control Stable constructed by Stable-Tec over two hundred years ago to protect over five hundred ponies from a Mega Spell Disaster. It did its job, it saved those who made it into the Stable when the call came out, but it also sealed the fate of them all too. When the bombs fell and the giant steel door rolled into place and was driven in by the mechanical arm, it broke. No pony had ever found out what happened but they say that the vibrations from the bombs damaged a vital internal component that jammed the steel door's locking system in place, permanently sealing the Stable from the outside world.
For two hundred or so years the huge Stable continued life, everypony lived and died as the years passed. The Stable was supposed to house six hundred but when the door closed, only five hundred and fifty two made it in. Despite this, the Stable was said to house enough genetic diversity to allow the populace to live in the Stable for at least a thousand years. As the years passed, that number began to drop. The math was sound, but nopony really expected to live their entire existence in a giant underground bunker. This caused problems.
Ponies never believed they'd be locked in the Stable for that long, but as the years went by ponies began to panic. Within the first ten years at least a hundred ponies died, many of them being the elderly. It wouldn't of been odd if not for the sheer number of them so quickly. The doctors and nurses diagnosed their deaths to be related to the panic attacks that ponies had been having frequently. Granted it wasn't the panic attacks themselves that killed the ponies but it was the heart attacks and strokes brought on by the panic attacks that did so they classed their deaths as Panic Attack victims.
At least two hundred years later, the Stable's populace had more or less stabilised around about four hundred and sixty ponies. Being born in the Stable and only knowing the Stable was what it took to stop the panic attacks.
My family had always run this Stable, from the day Stable-Tec put my ancestor in charge as the Overmare. It seemed the daughter of the Overmare would inherit their mother's position as Overmare. I was a bit mythed to why nopony tried to change that but I guess my family did a good job at running the place.
I was born premature by a couple of weeks that didn't seem bad but my birth was the most unusual thing that ever happened in Stable 88. When I was born, everpony didn't expect me, not because I was born a Unicorn, not because I am a girl, but because I was totally white. I was so damn white I almost light up the room. The doctors and nurses did tests on me to see if I was ok and the only thing they found was that I was born an Albino. Nopony knew what that meant apart from the eggheads of the Stable, including the doctors and nurses so to most other ponies I was like an alien to them.
My mother, spent hours reading up on what an Albino is. Ugh, I am just a totally brilliant white unicorn with pale skin and to top it off, bright red eyes. My mother also had trouble trying to name me too. A tradition with my family was that we were usually named after a desert or a sweet. My mother was called Blueberry Muffin because she was a dark blue Earth Pony with soft brown eyes and a brown mane and tail. She struggled trying to name me because I so white. In the end she just named me the first sweet thing that came into her mind and that was Appletart.
With my name and my condition, you can say I didn't have much of a good childhood. I was the centre of attention…for bullies. First off, me being an Albino didn't help, I was teased constantly about my brilliant whiteness and my bright red eyes. Name calling was constant, twenty four seven. I couldn't escape it, there was nowhere to hide in the damn Stable. I was commonly known as Ghosty for my total whiteness but the name that hurt the most was "Tart" or "Slapper".
It turns out the first couple of Overmares had a bit of an over active sexual life style. They said to care more about sex than running the place and it was no surprise that one of them had the largest number of children born by a single mare. The fillies and colts of my age group were quick to learn this about my family and used it against me. Making me feel like I was just like my ancestors. Hell, I was a damn kid, so were they so why the fuck would they go on about my ancestors' sexual life styles?
After many years of this abuse I learned to ignore it but it still didn't stop the tossers. I couldn't care anymore until these bullies picked up on something else. And that would be that I was the oldest filly in my age group to not have her cutie mark. Even when I was older than the average age when a cutie mark appears I was still blank. Again my accursed white coat made it damn easy to see I was bare. Being a blank flank hurt more than being made out to be a sex mad loony. I was pushed out of ever social event my age group took part it, I was being isolated.
My mother was the only friend I had in the Stable. Even she was concerned about me still not having a cutie mark at my age. She tried to teach me everything she knew, even starting my Overmare training earlier than expected to see if that could help my cutie mark appear. Unfortunately not even that seemed to bring it out, even me learning to make apple tarts didn't do it, even when I seemed to be able to make them so damn well too. It was looking like I'd be blank forever.
Well, things were gonna get a shit load worse before they got better. One day while my mother was teaching me about running a community meeting the emergency alarms started blaring. We were already in my mother's office and on the many monitors on the back wall we saw a large group of horribly dressed ponies outside the Stable door. Several of them carried a huge device which to our horror was cutting through the door. Once the ponies had cut through the door and pulled out the thick cylinder they had cut free the Stable's automated defences activated to repel the invaders. Unfortunately they did fuck all, as these ponies were armed to the teeth, literally.
Seeing how the defences were failing to repel the bastards my mother hit the panic button in her office. This opened a secret room in the office, she dragged me inside and then ran out to help the stable. I was locked inside the room, it was designed to seal itself until the threat had passed. I cried for my mother to come back, to stay with me. But she was locked outside, I could hear the gun fire and the screams, oh dear sweet Celestria, the screams. I was stuck in that room for two days, within the first twelve hours the screams had stopped, I guessed the Raiders had finished slaughtering everypony. The panic room didn't open until thirty six hours after the attack when everypony was dead and the bastards responsible were long gone. I emerged to the most horrific sight I had ever seen.
I walked down the corridors of the Stable, my Eyes-Forward-Sparkle active as I moved. I was horrified to see that my EFS was showing nothing. No red marks, no white marks no nothing. Everypony was dead. Everywhere I went the floors, walls and even ceiling had blood splattered all over it. As I cried seeing how everypony I had ever known lay dead, my fear and sorrow started to give way to an anger I didn't think I had. I looked through out my Stable for my mother, to find her, to make sure she was ok even though I knew she was dead like everypony else. I stopped and sat on my hunches as I came to the door that lead to the Stable Door. Closing my eyes I stood up again and used my magic to push the door control to open it and with a soft whir of the motors the door slip open and laying in a pool of blood by the stairs leading to the hole in the door of the Stable entrance was my mother.
My mother was laying flat on her belly, her legs spread out from her sides and her head on the floor with a pool of blood around her. I noticed her rear was badly scratched and bruised and lot of dull white liquid coming out of her private area. I suddenly saw red, my anger boiling over as I realised what had happened to my mother. The fuckers raped my mother, repeatedly, before they killed her. Using my telekinetic magic I picked up my mother's limp body and floated her behind me as I did the long trek to the lower maintenance levels of the Stable. I came to the furnace room where most waste was incinerated. I opened one of them and pushed my mother's body into it and activated the furnace to cremate my mother, giving her a decent send off. Looking through the door at my mother as her lifeless body burned, tears running down my cheeks I cried out loud "I love you".
After I watched my mother's body turn to ash in the fire, the feeling of rage came flooding back and I stomped all the way into my mother's office and stopped and sat looking at the wall with the huge circular glass window over looking the atrium. On the wall to the right of the window was a display case that had a magical lock that could only be opened by magic. Inside the case was a black shiny lever action repeater rifle with a custom attached scope. The weapon is a family possession passed down to generation to generation. I reached out to the display case, letting its magical lock get a feel for my magic and with a soft click it unlocked itself as it recognised me as part of the family.
Inside the box the rifle sat on a stand and behind it in the corner were two boxes of ammunition. I held the weapon in my magic and my PipBuck beeped as it added the weapon to my inventory labelling the weapon as "Overmare's Fury". I was amazed that my wrist mounted device knew its name when I did not and the fact it could tell the weapon was loaded with seven rounds of .357 Magnum Rounds. I slung the weapon onto my back on top of my saddlebags and picked out the two boxes of ammunition. My PipBuck even knew what they were as it added forty rounds to the .357 Magnum Round count in my ammo tab.
I spend a little while packing my saddlebags with essentials like food and water before I headed to the Stable Door. I stood at the huge hole cut into the three foot thick hole in the door, looking out into the dark stony cave like corridor leading away from my old home. Closing my eyes and with a deep sigh I left, my life officially over as Appletart the Stable Blank Flank.
I pushed open the wooden door that lead to the outside world, I was immediately hit by the foul smell of the dead land and before I could take it all in I saw two red marks appear on my EFS. I became more focused on them that I missed the four white marks moving slowly towards me on my right. The two red marks were directly ahead of me. I had to climb up onto a rock to see where they were. I could make out two ponies down the hill a good distance away that I couldn't quite tell who they were. I reached behind me with my magic and pulled Overmare's Fury off my back and levitated it so it was pointing out towards the marks, resting the butt of my gun against my shoulder and peered down the scope to get a better look of the ponies and I saw red again. I recognised the ponies I was seeing, they were part of the Raiders who attacked and killed my Stable.
I seemed to go into auto-pilot as before I knew what I was doing was aiming the weapon at the first pony I saw, the red dot of the cross hairs floating up onto the head. While I was busy getting my aim I failed to notice the four white marks were getting closer to me. I was totally unaware of four large armoured ponies heading towards me. The lead pony had seen me, hard not to too when you stick out like a sore hoof amidst the gloom of the dead world around me. They must of noticed me holding a weapon and pointing it at somepony and they watched while still moving towards me.
I fired and my shot struck the first pony in the eye which exploding on impact and showering the other Raider in gory mess. The four armoured ponies stopped for a moment as they must have seen my shot. The second Raider turned his head to my direction as I focused on him and fired again. My second shot struck the Raider in between the eyes and blowing his brains out over his back before he crumpled to the floor in a twitching heap. "Eat that you fuckers" I said out loud to myself as I slung my rifle. Sighing with some satisfaction I turned and was nose to nose with one of the armoured ponies and like a real girl I screamed.
"That was some impressive shooting girl" One of the armoured ponies said with a deep gruff but feminine voice.
I sat and blinked at them, I was feeling scared of them but when one started talking to me I didn't know how to react. As I looked at the four armoured ponies I soon began to recognise them, I had learned during school about armoured ponies the Ministry of Wartime Technology created, the Steel Rangers. I also noticed that one of them, the one who spoke had three V shaped stripes on her shoulder armour which told me she was a sergeant.
"Where did you come from?" a much deeper, male voice rung out from one of the other Steel Rangers which made me cringe and wince.
Shakily I pointed to the open wooden door which one of them quickly trotted over too and peeked inside before calling back to his comrades "Stable 88 ma'am".
If I could see the Sergeant's face I would of thought she had a look of amazement on her face as she looked from me to the two raiders I had took down. "two minutes out of the stable and already killed two Raiders with a bullet each to the head, impressive" she said as she looked at me and noticed my blank flank "And a god damn filly at that…..very interesting. I think you may have some potential"
Before long I was walking between the four Rangers heading towards their base of operations which as it started to come into view looked like an old abandoned Sky Chariot Port. The place was surrounded by rows of high chain link face and razor wire all over the top of it. The building had seen better days as it looked like somepony had been bashing it with a sledge hammer for years. It was covered in cracks and crumbling concrete and bricks.
I was presented to this group's elder who didn't seem impressed nor happy that his Rangers brought a sniffling scared filly into his base. The sergeant explained what she saw back out in the wasteland and in detail explained how I put a bullet into the heads of the two Raiders. The Elder looked at me with a raised brow and looked back to the sergeant before looking back at me. The sergeant requested I be trained, saying my skills would be very handy for the Rangers. It took a little convincing but finally the Elder agreed to have me trained unless I could prove myself which meant me being dragged down to the shooting range that was built into the Sky Port's many large underground rooms that used to be for sorting luggage.
The tests were simple, shoot the target. I did exactly as I was told, to hit the targets at various distances. When I was looking down the scope, all my fear and nervousness disappeared as I entered tunnel vision as all I could see was what the scope could see and shot after shot on the targets that appeared my .357 rounds struck the head of the dummies each time. I felt slightly proud of myself with my good aim but the Elder wasn't convinced yet. I was later dragged outside to do one last shot.
Outside almost all the base's Steel Rangers had gathered to watch. The mid ranged scope on my Overmare's Fury made it hard to get a good view of my target as the red dot in the middle of the cross hairs was larger than the head of the target I was aiming for. I was told to take all the time I needed, I wasn't being rushed so I relaxed the best I could as I stared down the scope. After ten minutes of aiming I finally pulled the trigger. I let out a squeal of relief and excitement as I saw the head of the target dummy explode in a shower of fabric and wool.
As soon as that target dummy's head exploded, there was a flash that consumed my flanks and I finally had my cutie mark. My mark resembled the cross hairs of my Overmare's Fury. The Elder was finally convinced of my worth and agreed that I should be trained. It seemed I was destined to be a sniper.
Indeed it was as the years passed and I fulfilled my training in power armour and being a Steel Ranger, I was trained in various long ranged weapons and I had little difficulty in using them but none of those were suitable for the Battle Saddle I received. My battle saddle was a rare one, it had ports for interchangeable weapons with ammo feeders on the top that rested against my armoured back. I asked the quarter master if there was any sniper rifles designed for this battle saddle that I could use but unfortunately he didn't have any. However he did tell me he had a special weapon that could be used as a sniper but it wasn't working and so made me a deal. If I could fix it I could keep it.
Over the years I realised I loved guns, I think it was the kick they had when they fired of the sound they made when you pulled the trigger but when I saw the weapon the quarter master had in the back of his armoury I nearly wet myself with glee. Sitting on a table was a huge 50 Caliber Anti-Machine Sniper Rifle. It was one of ten, well, four. The other six were not finished before the bombs dropped and their components were lost over time from ponies stealing them or that they had not finished making them all.
I went to work, my telekinetic magic peeling the gun apart as I found its fault, strangely without reading the manual on this thing. It turned out that the firing mechanism was damaged and it was a simple fix, again I didn't read the manual but I was able to fix it as if I've always known how. Before long I had a huge weapon mounted to one side of my battle saddle which has a gun barrel sticking three feet in front of me. I guess I made some Steel Rangers jealous of my weapon as many kept staring at me as I trotted by.
This weapon was so damn powerful I couldn't believe it. I tested it greatly, nearly having an orgasm from its roar and kick and the sheer joy of using it. The weapon had the power to punch through anything solid that I fired it at, even old Steel Ranger armour. It seems nothing solid like armour or material like stone or concrete could stop a bullet from it. Its recoil would send me flying onto my back if I wasn't wearing my armour and its roar of a boom would deafen an unprotected pony as it was that damn loud. I even tested firing it next to an intact pane of glass that shattered as soon as it fired. Even with this beast I was still hitting my mark on my targets. By the time I had finished my training I was known as the best sniper pony in this regiment of the Steel Rangers and I received the title of "Longshot".
During the celebration for completing my training I was still getting those looks from ponies at my brilliant white body like back in 88. Being a mare old enough to make my own choices I decided to do something about this and visited the resident barber pony who had cut my mane and tail short into a buzz cut. I got her to dye my mane and tail the same bright red as my eyes to make myself look more normal and it worked.
A few years later when I started going out on missions I was finally happy to be doing something but that happiness soon faded at the things we did, at what I did. I killed ponies along with the other Rangers when we went on missions. Taking technology or exterminating locals because they sat on something the Rangers wanted. At first I did it to fallow my orders and didn't think much about it but as time passed I began to see this was wrong. I continued to follow my orders despite it tearing me apart as more innocents died from my shots or theirs for things that seemed unimportant. I tried to tell them we should be helping them rather than killing them for shit. But they wouldn't listen.
I was on patrol one day with the sergeant who found me outside Stable 88. I had already lost my faith in the Rangers for the things they did. I didn't know what to do about it until then. We heard a scream from a mare and I thanked Celestria that we could finally do some good. We found a Raider raping a mare no older than me. The mare saw us and screamed for help and my sergeant opened fire, shooting a dual rifle shot from her battle saddle and killing the Raider before he could run. The mare shakily got up and started to trot towards us, crying in happiness as she screamed thank you to us and then she dropped to a twin rifle shot to the head as my sergeant shot her too. As I watched her body fall, I filled with the anger and the fury I felt after my Stable has been destroyed by the Raiders and the fact they killed my mother. That was it, I had enough of the shit. As my sergeant turned around she found herself looking down the barrel of my 50cal.
If I could see her face I would of seen a look of sheer terror behind that visor and helmet. I didn't say a word, in fact I basically just pushed the barrel further against her armoured snout. "Appletart, wait" she bellowed before I fired, the boom from the muzzle of my gun was swiftly followed by the explosion of her head as it blew up in a shower of blood, bone and shrapnel as the powerful 50cal tore its target apart.
"NO MORE, NO FUCKING MORE" I screamed in pain and fury.
The Steel Rangers would have noticed that the sergeant's power armour signal had disappeared which usually means the ranger in that armour had died and immediately called me.
"What the hell is going on out there Longshot? What happened to Sergeant Nightingale?" Came the voice of the Elder.
"I killed her"
"I killed her asshole….No more will the Steel Rangers kill innocent ponies for your own gain. I have had it. I will kill every Steel Ranger I see doing bad, anypony hurting the innocent. This world has seen enough of that shit" I told him before I severed my link with the Steel Rangers, my signal to them died. They wouldn't be able to contact me or track me now. They would likely want to kill me now but they would have to find me first.
I looked down at my dead sergeant and shock me head "I'm sorry Nightingale, I really am" I said to her headless body before I began to run, getting away from the area before any other Steel Rangers came in search of me.
I decided I would dedicate myself to helping anypony who needs it, something the Steel Rangers should have done to begin with. As far as I'm concerned now, they are nothing more than more organised and armoured Raiders.
Now I start a new life, a rogue Steel Ranger.
For the hell of it found a stone wall that was virtually blank and using my armoured hoof I started to scratch onto the wall.
"I am Appletart Longshot, wrong doers will face the wrath of my 50cal Anti-Machine Rifle"
I found a tallish building that looked fairly intact and after checking my EFS for any contacts and luckily there was nothing inside. I stepped inside and closed its door. The building had been long since been looted leaving nothing useable and the walls and floors were a mess with all sorts of crap and deteriorating furniture and decorations. I climbed up to the highest room of the building, there were two windows and a door that lead onto a balcony that gave me a good vantage point.
Looking around I found an old bed. Using my magic I started to disconnect my armour. Stepping out of my open armour I cringed at the rotten smell of the old room. I sighed softly to myself as I lay down onto the bed and laid my head down onto my fore hooves and soon drifted off to sleep.