Metropony City! Mighty skyscrapers towering over the millions of ponies going about their lives on the streets below! Working, playing or just taking in the weather, Metropony bustles as only the big city can. But! All is not well in this equine metropolis! Below the streets lies a threat - a threat to the happiness and friendship of good ponies everywhere! And the name of that threat is Luna, the exiled Princess who has returned with vengeance in her eyes! With the aid of Her villainous helper Trixie and her army of terrible Lunatrons, She will stop at nothing to destroy the pony way of life! Standing against her, however, are two heroic mares, known only to the citizens of Metropony as...
HARPFLANK AND SWEETS: EPISODE 19 - UNDER SIEGE UNDER THE SEA
“You want me to go where?”
Trixie stared at her mistress, not sure if she’d heard correctly. The Princess Luna, seated atop Her mighty throne, sighed in exasperation.
“YOU HAVE EARS, DO YOU NOT? WE WISH YOU TO TRAVEL TO AQUASTRIA AND ENSLAVE THE SEA PONIES.”
Trixie was silent for a few moments before very, very carefully voicing her main concern with Luna’s latest plan to usurp Her sister’s rule.
“My Lady... Aquastria is underwater.”
The Princess was looking down at her dangerously, and Trixie fought to find the most respectful way of pointing out that this was something of a silly plan. She settled on,
“There are, um... difficulties that will present. Of course, The Great and Powerful Trixie can overcome any obstacle, but-”
“EXCELLENT! THEN THERE IS TO BE NO DELAY!”
Trixie opened her mouth to speak again, then gave up. There was no doubt some ingenious scheme behind the Princess’ lunacy, though Trixie certainly couldn’t see it. Trusting in her mistress despite the long list of problems she would have to solve before this plan became even remotely possible, Trixie bowed and turned to leave.
There was one benefit to this odd mission. Aquastria was miles away, and deep below the ocean’s surface. The accursed Harpflank and Sweets would be unable to interfere. Trixie smiled contentedly as she trotted towards her lab. Perhaps this would be a good week after all.
“You want us to go where?”
Derpy winced at the volume of Lyra’s eager response. Pressing the switch for the screen on the back wall of her office, the Commander continued her brief to the backdrop of a vast underwater city. Bon-Bon eyed her partner as Lyra gazed open-mouthed at the vista onscreen.
“We’ve received a message from Aquastria, capital city of the sea pony kingdoms. They have reason to believe that Luna has Her eyes on-”
Lyra interrupted, practically bouncing with excitement.
“Seriously though, Aquastria? How did they get the message to you? Do we actually get to go there? Will we get to meet the sea ponies? Oh, man, I can’t believe we’re gonna get to meet the... sea...”
She trailed off as Bon-Bon and Derpy stared at her, Derpy with her hoof still half-pointed at the screen. Bon-Bon stifled a laugh.
“Reminds me of the day we met. You wouldn’t stop talking about them.”
Lyra coughed and seemed to calm down, muttering to herself nonetheless.
“Just because I got hobbies...”
The picture onscreen changed to that of a refined-looking sea pony. Bon-Bon, whose only experiences with the fourth pony sub-species had been extensive lectures at the obsessive hooves of Lyra, took the opportunity to study one in detail.
The head and mane were like any other pony’s, but there the similarities ended. Where a land-based pony’s legs would be the sea pony had nothing, its body tapering down into a strong tail that curled in on itself to form a tight loop. Two wide fins extended from its midriff, as if the wings of a pegasus had been moved closer to the belly. It also, Bon-Bon was surprised to notice, did not have a cutie mark. Whether this was unique to the pony onscreen or a feature of the species as a whole, she didn’t know. The overall effect was mildly unsettling, the similarities to land ponies just great enough for the differences to jar.
Derpy, meanwhile, had continued.
“As I was saying, we’ve received a message from their leader, Typhoon. He believes Luna has Her eyes on Aquastria, and he wants our help.”
Bon-Bon nodded, already running through potential issues in her head. Most of the practical concerns could be solved with ExTech’s expertise, but there were political considerations to factor in.
“The sea ponies have always been staunchly independent. Why contact us now?”
Derpy smiled, pleased at Bon-Bon’s mental acuity.
“They may be independent, but they’ve been watching. They know what the Empire can do. There are still opponents to outside help, which is why this message didn’t come through official channels.”
The Commander’s eyes uncrossed, a sure sign that she was serious.
“Typhoon is willing to overturn thousands of years of tradition based on your results, so you’d better deliver, girls. Remember, you’re ambassadors as well as reinforcements. You have to show the sea ponies that we can stand together against Luna’s machinations.”
Bon-Bon saluted, and Lyra followed suit after a surreptitious prod brought her out of her sulk. She grinned, mood as changeable as ever.
“We won’t let you down, Commander. This is gonna be awesome.”
“Well, this sucks.”
The rain lashed down. Great sheets of water drenched every inch of the two ponies huddled on the large jetty extending from the shore. The ocean before them churned as the storm raged with the ferocity that only those at sea could.
As the M.A.R.E-commandeered train had carried Lyra and Bon-Bon further and further from Metropony the weather had gotten worse and worse, and their spirits with it. Even Lyra’s enthusiasm had been no match for the constant drumming of the rain and the last few hours of the journey had been spent in silence, Bon-Bon poring over her notes and Lyra staring at the passing countryside sullenly. At last they had, led by a shifty-looking fisherpony who had spoken almost entirely in “Arr”s and demanded an exorbitant bribe before even acknowledging that such a thing as a jetty could even exist, arrived at this run-down and crumbling mess of planks sticking out over the heaving waves.
Lyra tapped her hoof impatiently, every impact sending water splashing up into Bon-Bon’s face, who irritably told her to cut it out.
“But this is so boring. We spent all that time travelling to this Celestia-forsaken hole, and now we’re standing in the rain waiting for... I don’t even know! Not even sea ponies are worth this.”
Bon-Bon shrugged, unable to find much merit in their situation either. A hint of worry nagged at her. Though they had left immediately to prevent such a thing, had Luna already made her move? Perhaps they had received the message too late, and Trixie was even now laying waste to Aquastria while they stood above the waves, unable to help? Though Vinyl Scratch had insisted that their costumes new built-in rebreathers and anti-pressure systems would keep them safe and breathing at even the most crushing depths, the distances involved were simply too great. By the time they could swim to the underwater city, which they did not even know the location of, any crisis would long since be over.
Her thought process was interrupted by a yelp from Lyra as the water at the foot of the jetty began to seethe, furiously bubbling and frothing the waves around it.
“What is it, Lyra?”
“I don’t know, but it’s big!”
They readied themselves for battle, settling into combat stances with practised ease.
Their fears were soon assuaged, however, as the bubbling ceased and was replaced by a strange sight. A giant clam large enough to hold several ponies broke the surface, bumping against the wooden supports of the jetty. As Lyra and Bon-Bon exchanged glances, the clam opened to reveal the pink flesh within, which upon closer inspection seemed suspiciously shaped like...
“A sofa? A clam sofa? Okay, this was worth it.”
Lyra, it seemed, had regained her enthusiasm, and hopped from the wooden platform to the soft interior of the clam before Bon-Bon could stop her. She bounced a few times, testing the surface.
“Aww, this is so cool. You have to get in here, BB.”
Eyeing the biological transport with a hint of revulsion, Bon-Bon carefully jumped down, shuddering at the touch of the living floor beneath her hooves. She fastened her mask in place and flicked the air supply on, motioning Lyra to do the same. According to the briefing, they wouldn’t need the rebreathers once they reached Aquastria proper thanks to unspecified sea pony magic, but in the open sea they were by themselves. She looked around, pondering their next move.
“So... how do we move it?”
At her words, the clam jerked into motion, sinking under the waves before Bon-Bon could squeak in surprise. As the cold waters enveloped them, the sound of the rain ceased abruptly and soon all the heroes could see before them was the endless darkness of the deep sea.
The journey was possibly the most terrifying of Bon-Bon’s life. The darkness around them was absolute, pierced only by the thin beams of the waterproof torches in their packs. Lyra gazed around her with great interest, gasping in wonder at every spindly creature that undulated past them. The clam had not closed, but the flesh they stood on exerted tiny amounts of pressure on their hooves, holding them in place against the occasional strong current. Bon-Bon couldn’t for the life of her work out why the sea ponies had insisted on a view when there was nothing to see. Perhaps they had strongly developed night vision? It would make sense at the depths they lived at.
“Hey, BB, how come we haven’t seen anything of the city yet? Surely there’s, like, lights and stuff.”
“I’m not sure. Maybe it’s... just a long way down?”
Lyra shrugged, dismissing her own question and continuing her piecemeal examination of their surroundings. Suddenly, her horn began to glow faintly. She crossed her eyes in an effort to look at her own forehead in surprise.
“Whoa! Never had that happen before.”
Bon-Bon looked at her partner in worry.
“Why is your horn glowing by itself? I’ve never heard of that.”
Lyra waved a hoof to calm her down and answered thoughtfully.
“I’m not sure. Vinyl once told me that once or twice that when she was dealing with major magic in experiments and stuff, her own magic kinda reacted. I guess that’s what’s happening now.”
“But... what are you reacting to?”
“No idea. Could be-”
Before Lyra could speculate any further, they were suddenly blanketed with a wonderful warmth that swept away the chill that had seeped into them from the ocean waters. At the same time, Aquastria appeared below them.
As if a curtain had been swept aside, Lyra and Bon-Bon could now see the city stretched across the ocean floor. In a moment of whimsy, Bon-Bon was reminded of a huge sheet of bubble wrap. Huge clear domes, filled with undersea greenery, dotted a huge expanse of coral that grew in thick veins across the surface of the ‘bubbles’. Inside and out, groups of sea ponies swam gracefully about their duties. Outside, hundreds tended to the coral garden that formed the foundation of their home, and guards wielding spears and harpoon guns patrolled the outskirts. Within, blurred forms could be seen playing, training and relaxing.
At the very centre of the collection of buildings was a dome larger than the rest, and the coral surrounding it carved into huge living statues of what Bon-Bon assumed were ancient sea pony heroes performing deeds of legend, battling giant sharks, mighty octopuses and, in some cases, other sea ponies. Lyra let out a low trembling whistle, barely able to contain herself.
“This is the best mission ever. Fact.”
Bon-Bon caught herself before she nodded in agreement. The city was beautiful, a beacon of light in the black ocean around them, but now was not the time to be taking in the sights. They had an alliance to form.
The clam was nearing the border of the city now, drawing level with the top of the palace-like structure in the centre, and suddenly a beam of light shone from an opening in the surface of the bubble. The two ponies had to cover their eyes briefly, blinking their vision back as the light faded and revealed a group of sea ponies at least twenty strong. Bon-Bon whispered to Lyra out of the corner of her mouth.
“I don’t know, BB. They don’t look friendly.”
“Better brace ourselves for a f-”
Without warning, the sea ponies developed huge smiles and Bon-Bon was interrupted by the sound of their unified voices, somehow clear as a bell through the water, ringing out in... tune?
“SHOOP BEE DOO, SHOOP SHOOP BE-”
Due to overwhelming fan demand, the following 1:15 has been cut from this broadcast.
“-GNAL SOS, OH YES!”
The music ceased and the sea ponies held their final positions, fins making jazz-hooves motions. Lyra and Bon-Bon stared, mouths hanging open. They looked at each other, then at the still-posing sea ponies, then back to each other. Lyra began to speak, then stopped. Bon-Bon moved to reply, but couldn’t find the words. There was a silence deeper than the ocean they stood within.
Finally, Lyra managed to dredge up the word,
“Yes. Wow. That was... amazing.”
Lyra also nodded, head bobbing furiously as if to shake the words free.
“I... that... wow.”
At their apparently positive response, the sea ponies all clapped their fins together and celebrated, giving each other “yay”s of encouragement and somersaulting in the water. The lead vocalist, a dark blue mare with her pink mane tied with a bow, swam up to the clam and spread her fins wide.
“Welcome to Aquastria! I’m Seawinkle, and I’ve been appointed to be your guide to our wonderful city! Isn’t that great?”
Lyra and Bon-Bon continued to nod, unable to do anything but plaster a smile to their faces before Seawinkle’s unbridled enthusiasm. With artificial brightness, dreading what was to come with all her heart, Bon-Bon agreed.
“Lead the way!”
The tour was surprisingly interesting, even filtered through Seawinkle’s suffocating friendliness. First they were led to the great vats where the mulch that seemed to be the sea pony’s only source of nourishment was grown, large pipes pumping in Celestia-knew-what from the ocean outside to feed the pulsing green masses in the clear tubes. Then they had moved to the residential areas, where the sea ponies apparently lived in caves bored into the ocean floor. Seawinkle had insisted on showing them the inside of one of these caves, and they had been amazed to discover a room within almost the mirror of a Metropony apartment.
After a brief foray into the beautiful gardens that were the apparent centre of sea pony recreation, Seawinkle turned to them and eagerly questioned them.
“So, what do you think of Aquastria? Isn’t it great?”
Bon-Bon nodded, unable to deny the underwater city’s charms despite her misgivings about the whole situation.
“You’ve certainly got something amazing down here. That only makes it more important that we complete our mission. Can we meet Typhoon yet?”
At the mention of Typhoon, Seawinkle’s smile faded slightly.
“Ah, well, that’s where we’re going next, but...”
Lyra, who had been torn between her delight at being at the centre of sea pony culture and how intensely annoying she found Seawinkle, cut in.
“But what? Your place is sweet, but we’re here for a reason. Why the delay?”
Seawinkle fidgeted, obviously uncomfortable with Lyra’s confrontational tone.
“Well, Commander Typhoon is a bit... a bit... unpopular.”
She spoke as if even suggesting as such was high treason. Lyra gave her a flat look.
Seawinkle nodded sadly.
“Very. He keeps saying how we need to have more contact with you land ponies, and not everyone is very happy about that.”
Bon-Bon raised an eyebrow.
“And what do you think?”
Their guide blushed and waved her fins placatingly.
“Oh, I’m behind Commander Typhoon all the way! I love meeting new ponies, and if we open our borders, think how many new friends we can make!”
A chorus of gasps interrupted her, followed by a male voice, cracked with age but with a strength that belied years of hardship.
“That’s enough, Seawinkle. Let us not discuss matters of state in a public park, hmm?”
They turned to face the newcomer, and were greeted by an impressive sight.
The sea pony leader was taller than anypony they had yet met in the city, and dressed in ceremonial armour that gleamed in the bright light of the glowing garden. His coat was the same colour as Seawinkle’s, though his mane was a much deeper shade of pink, almost crimson. Seawinkle herself hung her head.
Lyra and Bon-Bon blinked at this turn of events. Before they could say anything, Typhoon had turned from his daughter and addressed them.
“You must be Lyra and Bon-Bon. Or is it Harpflank and Sweets? Please, follow me. We have much to discuss.”
He turned and began to swim in the direction of the palace. Glancing at each other, the two ponies followed suit, Seawinkle trailing behind them with a strange look on her face. It seemed there was more to the situation than their briefing had made clear.
Typhoon led them to a room near the top of the palace in which more coral statues of presumably famous sea ponies adorned the clear walls, looking out across the underwater metropolis. He began to swim back and forth in a manner reminiscent of an earth pony pacing, and Lyra and Bon-Bon settled into the chairs that had obviously been hastily carved for them. Whatever ambient magic had kept them anchored to the floor so far seemed to work on everything, as if they were already prepared to allow other ponies into their haven. At last, Typhoon spoke.
“It’s important for you to realise what an event your presence here is. No creature from above the waves has entered Aquastria in recorded history. We have maintained complete autonomy and neither affected nor been affected by the surface. Until now.”
He moved to an alcove in the wall and pulled out a slip of paper with his tail, wrapped in the same soft clear material that formed the walls of the city’s domes to protect it from the water. He handed it to Bon-Bon, who read the message aloud, ignoring the fact that every word was fully capitalised.
“The Princess Luna, rightful ruler of Equestria and all attendant territories, hereby demands that you acquiesce all dominion to Her and implement the following changes to your government to suit The Luna Empire’s needs, to be ensured by the impending arrival of Her most loyal servant, The Great and Powerful Trixie:”
A long and slightly eclectic list followed, with plans for industrialisation and militarisation alongside the banning of Casual Fridays and cessation of all singing. Bon-Bon secretly agreed with the last. She looked up at Typhoon, who was watching them with an unreadable expression.
“So, you received this message and contacted us. Don’t take this the wrong way, we’re happy to help, but can’t you defend yourselves?”
Typhoon sighed and moved to the wall, gazing out at the city he ruled.
“Seclusion has its disadvantages. We have remained safe, but we have also... weakened. We live in harmony with the creatures of the sea, and have had no contact with the surface in thousands of years. Almost everypony here barely knows the meaning of the word 'danger'. Even the guards outside only have what training I can give them. I myself was raised outside the city, for... various reasons. The ocean beyond is a cold and unforgiving place and if things continue as they are now, my people will no longer be in a position to deal with the inevitable. Something will go wrong, maybe already has, and I want us to be ready. So, Harpflank and Sweets.”
He turned to face them again and bent double, bowing respectfully before drawing himself back up to his full height.
“I officially open relations between our two kingdoms. You may ask of us what you wish, with our only demand being protection from the Empire.”
There was a heavy silence as Typhoon finished his momentous proclamation. Lyra and Bon-Bon looked at each other, then Lyra spoke.
Typhoon blinked, uncertain of what to make of her blunt response.
“I beg your pardon?”
“Sounds like a plan. Like Seawinkle said, more ponies means more friends. Sure, you live all the way under the sea and are way, way too happy, but we’ve got everything we need up top. So let’s just be friends, Equestria and Aquastria.”
“We’ll keep you safe, teach you how to defend yourselves.”
Typhoon smiled warmly, the first sign of true emotion they had seen him show.
“Thank goodness. I had feared that the stories of fierce, marauding land ponies were true. Your Luna’s message only reinforced my worries.”
“Ah, the Empire’s no big deal. Beat down whatever Trixie throws at you this week and you’re go-”
The sound of an explosion, muffled by the water, shook the room. Typhoon span around to face the city again, Lyra and Bon-Bon racing to his side to discover the source of the noise. Below them, a garden dome mercifully free of ponies was crumbling, the winding coral cracking and falling apart as the bubble within collapsed. Above the destroyed city segment was a large metal shape, floating in the blackness menacingly with searchlights beaming from its beady eyes and roaming across the city. A familiar voice boomed out across Aquastria.
“Sea ponies! Surrender immediately to The Great and Powerful Trixie and you will not be harmed!”
Lyra and Bon-Bon met each other’s eyes, nodded, and ran for the exit. Bon-Bon called over her shoulder to the sea pony leader, still gaping at the destruction that had come to his city.
“Typhoon! Get your people somewhere safe, we’ll handle this!”
And then they were outside, swimming through the opening in the palace’s bubble that had allowed them entry. Closer to, Trixie’s latest creation was fully discernible. Two claws extended from a long, segmented body with spindly legs curled beneath it. Lyra made an exasperated noise through her mask.
“A Lobstertron?! It’s always robots with you!”
At the sound of her voice, the sea pony magic carrying it to the metal lobster clearly, it turned to face them as Trixie exclaimed in surprise.
“Harpflank and Sweets?! What are you doing here?!”
The two heroes reached back to their packs and flicked a switch. The packs began to whir as the surface peeled back to reveal twin propeller cylinders. Bon-Bon nodded to her partner.
“Same thing we do every week, Trixie! Trying to protect the world!”
With a whoosh, the two ponies shot through the water as their underwater jetpacks span into life. The Lobstertron clacked its claws aggressively, the clang of metal on metal dull and tinny in the deep ocean. As the two heroes neared the machine, it swung at them, trying to enclose them in its pincers. But the two ponies were too fast, their weaving paths leaving a white streak of bubbles behind them, drawing patterns in the water around the enemy. The mechanical lobster span clumsily in the water, unable to keep up with the speeding heroes. Trixie grunted with exertion as she worked the controls, frustration clear in her voice.
“Can I not escape your meddling under the blasted ocean?! I will end this once and for all!”
The lobster ceased its attack, and Lyra and Bon-Bon swooped in for the kill, hooves held forward to crush the robot’s head in a pincer attack. Without warning, the Lobstertron shot backwards in a flurry of bubbles, and the heroes collided, knocking the wind out of them. Blue light shone from the robot’s head and, while Lyra and Bon-Bon were still gasping, a bright beam pierced the water. Without thinking, Lyra threw Bon-Bon out of the way with all her might. The beam enveloped her, and Bon-Bon screamed.
Trixie’s laughter washed over her as Bon-Bon watched in horror.
“At last! My victory is complete! With Harpflank’s defeat, I can... hang on.”
Trixie cut herself off as the beam faded and, rather than the drifting ash that she had expected, a green shape could be seen. Both Bon-Bon and Trixie stared at the shape as it straightened out of the protective huddle it had curled into. Lyra turned to face Bon-Bon urgently.
“Thought I was a goner! Quick, BB, let’s... what are you looking at?”
She looked at the robot, which was hanging in the water, clawed limbs limp as if mirroring Trixie’s confusion.
At last, she finally looked down at herself.
Where her back legs had been was a long tail, her coat giving way to scales as her body tapered to a point. She tried to throw her forelegs up in confusion and slapped herself in the face with her fins.
Panicking, she began to spin on the spot, unable to right herself as she struggled with her new anatomy.
“Why am I a sea pony?!”
Trixie collected herself, voice triumphant again.
“Um, yes! Cower in fear! You are powerless before my Death... uh... Transform-O-Ray!”
Bon-Bon’s gaze flicked between the robot readying itself for battle and her transmogrified comrade. Before she could make a decision, a deep voice rang out through the water.
“Sea ponies! Attack!”
“Oh, what now?”
Rising from the ocean floor was an army. A small army, but an army nonetheless. Almost two hundred sea ponies swarmed upwards, with Typhoon at their head. It seemed he had gathered every guard in the city and rallied them while Lyra and Bon-Bon battled Trixie.
And apparently mounted them on sharks.
Each and every armoured sea pony had their tail wrapped around the body of a great white predator, guiding their movements with subtle twists and pressures. Bon-Bon whooshed out of the path of the oncoming horde, and Lyra managed to flail herself out of the way. Trixie began to fire her Death... Transform-O-Ray wildly and several sea ponies found themselves floating in the water with four more legs than they were used to, but still the mounted charge raced upwards.
The force collided with the Lobstertron, enveloping it in a cloud of teeth and spears. The robot swung desperately, trying to dislodge the mass of shark-riding sea ponies that surrounded it, but there were just too many. For every attacker she knocked away, another took its place and continued gnashing and stabbing, trying to find some chink in its armour. Very slowly, the Lobstertron began to come apart at the seams, the constant assault taking advantage of every tiny gap in its defenses. Trixie screamed in frustration.
Crackling antennae emerged along the length of the Lobstertron, and Bon-Bon came to a terrible realisation.
“Everyone! Get back!”
Hearing her, Typhoon followed suit, calling his ponies away from the robot’s vicinity, but it was too late.
With a terrible fizzing sound, the water around the Lobstertron was charged with electricity and the ponies who hadn’t backed away gasped in pain. Both the sea ponies and their mounts were pushed back by the electrical force field that now surrounded the Lobstertron to the sound of Trixie’s relieved laughter.
“You must try harder if you wish to defeat The Great and Powerful Trixie! Now, Commander Typhoon. Surrender!”
Typhoon glared up at the machine, then glanced around the battlefield. All around were sea ponies wincing in pain, nursing burns and trying to calm the sharks thrashing in the aftermath of Trixie’s electrical defense. He bowed his head, and opened his mouth to speak. Before he could say a word, however, Lyra called out.
“Commander Typhoon, we have one demand in return for your protection!”
Typhoon looked up in surprise at Lyra, who was still upside-down as she struggled with her unfamiliar form. She continued, everypony present hanging on her every word.
“Prove you can deal with the inevitable!”
She grinned, her upside-down smile filled with reassurance.
“You wouldn’t want us to go back to Metropony and tell everyone you’re dead weight, right?”
Typhoon looked taken aback, then smiled back. For just a moment, the old and tired warhorse within showed in his creased face. Someday, they would have to ask just what had happened to him in his youth. He squared up to the Lobstertron and gave his reply.
“The sea ponies reject your offer. Our alliance lies with Metropony City.”
Trixie sighed theatrically.
“Very well. I suppose I shall just have to destroy your city.”
The Lobstertron clacked its claws again and began to move towards Aquastria, batting sea ponies and sharks aside and zapping any that got close. Typhoon drew himself to his full height, threw his head back, and began to chant. His deep voice boomed across the city and the other sea ponies, upon hearing his words, joined in, a chorus of thousands. Lyra and Bon-Bon floated nervously, unsure of what to make of the situation. The Lobstertron halted its advance, Trixie’s inability to deal with sudden developments once again making it self clear.
The chant continued and one by one the sea ponies began to glow, a sea of stars beneath the waves. The land ponies could only just make out the words in the mass of voices. Bon-Bon muttered along under her breath as she was caught in the moment.
“Call upon the... Kraken?”
Aquastria began to shake. The coral foundation creaked and groaned as vibrations tore at it, but held strong. And then the city rose.
The ground beneath the coral splintered and cracked, the cloying sludge of the ocean floor parting to make way for the immense form that emerged. Far beyond the city borders, great tentacles burst from the mud and reached towards the sky far above. As the dirt and rock slid from the mass that was lifting the city, Trixie said, very quietly,
Carrying the city atop its long body was an enormous squid, thousands of feet long, its undulating limbs reaching far into the distance. The sea ponies ceased their chant, and Typhoon somersaulted exultantly.
“Behold! Aquastria’s ancient guardian and closest friend... The Kraken!”
Lyra and Bon-Bon stared.
“And they need our protection?”
The Lobstertron had swiftly retreated, jetting away to the sound of Trixie’s cries of “Next time! Next time!” The Kraken lazily extended one massive tentacle, which intercepted the fleeing robot and wrapped around it, ignoring or perhaps not even noticing the sizzling as it came into contact with the electrical field. Trixie shrieked in fear and, as the Kraken squeezed and reduced the Lobstertron to scrap in a single crunching motion, an escape pod rocketed upwards, far too fast to catch.
Its job done, the Kraken settled back into the ground, to slumber until it was needed once more. Within minutes it had vanished beneath the ocean floor, Aquastria back in its rightful place. Safe.
A few hours later Lyra and Bon-Bon were back in Typhoon’s office, the old sea pony beaming as they detailed how the alliance would work. The wounded impromptu army were being treated as they spoke, the sea pony populace having greeted their return with cheers and, yes, songs.
As Bon-Bon wrapped up her explanation, Typhoon sighed happily.
“I owe you both a great debt, Harpflank and... Lyra and Bon-Bon. You have saved our city.”
Lyra raised an eyebrow and swished her tail. She was finally getting used to her new body and had been assured that she would face no problems beyond locomotion once she reached land, though she had repeatedly expressed the notion that Vinyl Scratch was going to regret every moment of both their existences if she couldn’t find a way to change her back.
“I think you’ll find the squid did most of the work.”
“Indeed. But you gave us the courage to stand up for ourselves. Had my guards not seen you battling Trixie with such valour, they would have sat back and watched as she waltzed in and took control. Thank you, ponies of the land. Now, I suppose you wish to get back home and deliver your report.”
The two heroes nodded and saluted him, Lyra realising only halfway through her attempt that she didn’t have a leg to salute with.
Seawinkle met them as they left, falling in alongside them and babbling excitedly.
“Oh my goodness I can’t believe you fought that monster wasn’t it scary how do you like being a sea pony Lyra so are you going to send more land ponies down here now or oh my gosh will we get to go up there I can’t-”
Lyra held up a fin and gave her a flat look. Seawinkle stopped, then giggled.
“I’m sorry, this is all just so exciting. I’m so happy thinking of all the new ponies we’ll get to meet! I can’t wait for them to hear my new son-”
Lyra cut her off again.
“One word of advice, Seawinkle. You’ve been great, and I’m glad for you all. But... you might want to tone down the singing before you meet any more land ponies.”
Seawinkle tilted her head in confusion. Lyra laughed.
“Just trust me on this.”
They moved on, leaving Seawinkle to her duties. Eventually they reached the odd clam transport that would take them back to the surface. They turned to face Aquastria one more time. They looked out over the bustling underwater city, Metropony’s new ally against the predations of the Empire. It might take a while, but the sea ponies were coming out of their shell, ready to join the world in friendship. Lyra breathed a sigh of relief.
“It’s gonna be nice to be back on land. I swear, the sea pony stallions keep looking at me.”
“It figures that you’d have to be turned into a sea pony before you could pick up any guys.”
Lyra moved to give Bon-Bon a friendly kick but ended up just waving her tail. She sighed in mock exasperation.
Bon-Bon poked Lyra playfully.
“So, still obsessed with the sea ponies?”
Lyra thought for a moment, looking down at her fins and tail and out at the city preparing to meet the world for the first time. She smiled.
“They’re not bad.”
[ Credits roll.
NEXT WEEK ON HARPFLANK AND SWEETS:
“You have no idea how much I missed legs.”
“RELEASE THE MANTICORES!”
“Have I got an invention for you guys!”
“You ate all of them?!”
“It’s some kind of radiation!”
TUNE IN FOR THE NEXT EXCITING EPISODE OF... HARPFLANK AND SWEETS ]
The bedraggled Trixie shook herself furiously, spraying water all about the throne room. She opened her mouth to speak, but sneezed before she could say anything. Luna rolled Her eyes as Her servant sniffled and replied.
“I am dreadfully sorry, My Lady, but the sea ponies have power greater than we ever suspected.”
“WHAT TROUBLE COULD SEA PONIES POSSIBLY CAUSE YOU?”
Deep inside, Trixie was screaming, “You should’ve seen that thing!” but her self-preservation instincts kept herself in check.
“I will need to return with greater firepower. My Death Ray malfunctioned, but with time I can-”
“DO NOT BOTHER. WE HAVE OTHER PLANS.”
Trixie gritted her teeth, grateful for the throne room’s dim light. Next time, she would make sure the blasted thing was calibrated correctly. Harpflank and Sweets would rue the day they made a fool of The Great and Powerful Trixie. Again.
Coming soon: Episode 36 - A Night At The Fair!