Cover art I've drawn for Shaun's fanfiction. And I shall post the prologue here! I will be drawing more scenes from the fanfiction soonish, with the actual fanfic in the description. Razz has put a lot of effort into this and took him a while to pick his hobby back up, so feedback is greatly appreciated!
- - - Prologue - - -
Equestria; in the past it was a land full of companionship, love and magic. The world was peaceful, until the Great War started. Ponies turned on Zebras and vice versa, a war full of the blood of ponies and zebras alike, families lost and friendships died. Once the megaspells came; ponies, zebras and griffons across Equestria fled to Stables. These stables kept everyone safe from the deadly megaspells and balefire bombs that zebras dropped across Equestria. After a couple decades passed and the tainted land cleaned up, ponies emptied from the stables and thus started the Equestrian wasteland. It only took a few years after the first stables opened their doors, small communities and towns began to appear across Equestria in the ruins of the past, a hundred years after and these small communities had developed trading routes between other towns and groups of militarised political groups surfaced to the light of day. Life seemed to have found a way and society had started to rebuild.
On mainland Equestria, to the west, there was a relatively widespread altercation amongst the ponies there, but one mare and her friends helped bring about amity and, almost ten years later, ponies lived in relative peace again. In the Griffish Wasteland, in the east of Equestria, however, life isn’t so peaceful. War broke out between The Zebra Legion and the New Trottinghamshire Commission regularly. The NTC currently stand above The Zebra Legion and they recently removed the local chapter of The Steel Legion whom cared not for the lives of ponies they took to procure weapons of the past.
Who are the New Trottinghamshire Commission? They’re one of those militarised political groups that I mentioned. They hold democracy as a base of their ideology. They were well organised and the towns that fell under their jurisdiction became prosperous and adopted basic laws to uphold. The Zebra Legion on the other hoof were the opposite. They were an autocratic totalitarian society of Zebras (and any pony who was unlucky enough to fall under their jurisdiction). Crime was punishable by death in anyway the emperor deemed best, any pony who spoke against the legion were sent to work to death and any captives of war were enslaved, as were the mares who weren’t Zebras. I won’t even try to hide my disdain of the Zebra Legion.
My name’s Express and I’m a courier, an over-glorified word for a mailmare if you ask me, but the caps are good. My parents called me Express, in their words, because I was always quick. I was fast as a yearling, a quick learner as a filly and I was a quick thinker as a teen, better than having a name like “Smart Ass” if you ask me. My ancestors were among the ponies who came from the first stables to open in the east and over the generations my family have always passed down their pipbucks and Stable-Tec supplies, recently my mother passed away and so I inherited her pipbuck and shortly after my mother passed away my father was found dead in the wasteland whilst he was scavenging for food I inherited his 9mm Pistol and his Stable-Tec Stable 83 cannister. My pipbuck is handy at keeping track of my jobs and it has been a great help in the rare occasions I’ve had to use force during my deliveries, and the water cannister keeps me hydrated and the gun keeps me alive. Pretty basic stuff.
Now, for the sake of this story I should probably explain what a pipbuck is and what it does. First off, a pipbuck is what ponies receive in the stables when they come of age and earn their cutie mark, it’s essentially a computer for your foreleg. One hundred percent portable and it was one of the greatest feats of technology that the ponies of the past achieved. On its interface there’s a compass that uses a detection spell that marks friends in blue and enemies in red. It also notes all locations, I visit, on a map; it’s called the Eyes Forward Sparkle, also known as the EFS. Alongside that there’s an arcane targeting spell named the Stable-Tec Arcane Targeting Spell, or SATS for short. The Pipbuck display also features small things like a geiger counter, real-time tracking of the wearer’s inventory and the wearer’s general health. On my last delivery, however, it was useless to help me fight against a pony who had it out for me.
This is where my story starts. Tied up, a gun pointed at my head and a shallow grave behind me. Some would think that this is where my story would end but they’d be wrong.
My eyes opened and the sky had been bleached of light as the sun barely sunk below the horizon, painting the sand red. I struggled to get the restraints off my hooves but I had no luck. My pipbuck was flashing as it displayed 3 enemies around me, I could make out the silhouettes of 2 Draconequus off to the left of the pony in front of me. My pipbuck also said that my head was slightly injured, though I didn’t need a piece of tech to feel the contusion on the back of my head from the gun butt they used to knock me out. I looked up at my killer, he was smoking and wearing a tweed jacket. The smell of the smoke burned my throat as he blew the smoke into my face, his eyes were those of a madpony hellbent on controlling everypony around him, it made me sick thinking that he was possibly getting off to my restrained position beneath his hooves.
“Good evening sweetheart” he spoke with a dumb smirk on his face and a gun strapped to his hoof. Of course he was wearing a gun saddle, how else would an earth pony be confident enough to use a gun, all he needs to do is bite that bridle and that gun strapped to his combat-saddle, with the aid of the small intricate wires and mechanisms, would orchestrate my demise in less time it takes for my heart to beat, making sure, with no prejudice, that my heart shall not beat again. I couldn’t help but allow a panic to take over me, I wasn’t quite ready to die, I only just turned twenty-one, by tartarus; I hadn’t even kissed a mare yet! He aimed the gun at my head and spoke once more, I clenched my eyes shut and tensed up every muscle in my body.
“It’s just business sunshine” the last words I heard before his gun fired twice. No matter how much I had wanted this to be a nightmare, it turned out that this shallow grave would be my tomb and the tobacco scented sociopath and his sycophant companions were my undertakers.
Except that it wasn’t and they weren’t. I’ve said enough, anything more and I would be spoiling you. So, now you’re all caught up, it’s time for the story to begin.
Art by: Me
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