This is a project of mine that I've been slowly creating since the beginning of FiM Season 2. I was never really big into MLP fanfiction until I read a few good ones, mostly crossovers.
One of my most beloved video game series is S.T.A.L.K.E.R., a trilogy of open-world first person shooters. These games are some of the most memorable and atmospheric games of all time, and I've wanted to make a crossover for quite a while now.
This is the result, so enjoy.
I do not own anything from My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic, except for original characters.
T.R.O.T.T.E.R. Shadow of Cheernobyl
Death comes easily here. Death above, death below, death in the air, death in the soil and the water. You can catch a bullet for speaking out of turn, stepping on the wrong patch of grass, or possessing anything of value. You may share bread with a pony, and be forced to kill him the next day. You face peril in every place and at every hour, from the bored bandits who decide whether their victims live or die, to the mutant horrors lurking in every shadow. You may go out for a day and never come back, vanishing in woods filled with gnawed corpses. Or you may simply rot in a muddy hole, magic radiation melting away your body. You will die and you will not understand what happened, except that your end was not quick enough.
But if you survive, good for you. If you succeed, well done. If you make it out, past the death behind you, never look back.
Such is life in the Zone.
The big-bellied earth pony shifted in his wheelchair, taking another bite out of a piece of bread. He tried to get the radio in his bunker working, to very little effect. Fiddling with the dials as best he could, loud static was all he got in response from the outside world.
Nothing seemed to work.
"Faust damnit..." He turned the dials more in a vain attempt to boost the signal.
Three hours wasted on this piece of junk. It had to be the military blocking the magic signals somehow. Or maybe the freak atmospheric conditions. He didn't really know or care at the moment.
What mattered was that he had no contact with the outside world. And without finding sources of clean food and water, starvation would set in before the ponies trapped in the Cheernobyl exclusion zone would even see it coming.
Needless to say, the earth pony knew that their survival was up to him keeping the holes in the Quarantine open for as long as possible. How was he supposed to do that with no radio to contact his scouts?
The small blast door in front of his stall suddenly opened, and in came another pony; a light-green unicorn, garbed in worn fatigues. Sid noted that she looked more like a filly playing soldier than a well-known pioneer of this new world.
"Snake Eater, vhat have ya got now?" Sid asked to the unexpected guest.
"... A body, from a military truck." She stated. "And he's got a mark."
Sid propelled his wheelchair over to the counter so he could take a peek. The tiny colt looked no more than a few years old at the most. His skin was a deep jet-black, almost like it was scorched in a fire. His mane looked gray and sickly, a wilting mess of hair covering his head. Scars and lacerations crisscrossed his body.
"Huh." The obese earth pony shrugged. "He's probably dead anyvay. Just leave him in..."
The mare interrupted. "He's alive."
Sid recoiled in his chair. "Dragon shit, you're lying!" He spat.
"The Zone take me if I am, Sid." The mare retorted. "He's malnourished and dehydrated. One of his legs looks broken too. Not sure if it was from torture or from the crash."
"Let me see!"
As carefully as she could, the mare maneuvered the colt on the stall counter. He had to see this for himself.
Sure enough, investigating the broken colt, Sid noticed the letters "T.R.O.T.T.E.R." cut into the back of his hind leg. The colt began stirring, almost like he was dreaming.
"I'll be damned... A living Survivor." That was the third one they found yet - and the first living one. Guess they were getting desperate for information if they were roughing up a little kid this badly, he thought. "Vhat's his name?"
"No clue." The mare replied. "He's pretty much out cold."
"Vell... If I were you, I'd put a bullet in his head and be done with it," Sid suggested, "I'm having enough problems trying to get the supply trains through that damned military blockade." As much as he detested suggesting the death of an innocent child, one close look told him very fast that the kid probably wouldn't survive his injuries.
Her voice turned deadly serious, "I'm not going to do that, Sid."
The earth pony snorted. "Oh, so you vant to be his mommy now. I'm telling you now, he's probably not gonna make it."
Snake Eater paused, "What other chance does he have? If it comes down to it... then I'll gladly take care of him by myself."
Sid could see the "look" in her eye, that motherly twinkle that denoted a mare's willingness to do anything for a pony she cared for. He had seen it many times before; he knew that there would probably be no convincing her to stop.
"Vell, you can do vhat you vant, Snake Eater. None of my business." He nodded slowly, "If you think you can save him... then I'll believe you. Ve need all the help ve can get anyvay."
A soft cry droned from the new arrival's mouth. The little colt shifted slightly, eyes fluttering open, his mouth agape in a silent scream.
"Must... run... please... no... no..." His leg twitched, and he groaned. Then he was still once more.
"I don't have any meds left." The green mare fastened her gas mask firmly onto her face using her magic. "I have to go find some more. Could you..."
The fat pony held up a hoof. "I'll help him as much as I can, but no guarantees." Sid offered, earning himself a grateful nod from the adventurer. "Good hunting, trotter."
Snake Eater saw herself out the door, pulling it shut behind her.