The Voyage of the Mareitania

by Harms Way

Chapter Five

The light from Luna's moon filled the sky as Steel appeared on the boat deck. The smell of the fresh air made him breathe a calming sigh as he looked around. Even though his new ship was beautiful in the daytime, it was just as beautiful in the night. Many lights illuminated the four red and black funnels, making them stand out in the darkness and the deck was lit up in a warm glow as he started making his way toward the bridge.

As he walked, the sound of somepony throwing up caught his attention. Looking behind him in the direction of the sound, he found Pinkie Pie slumped over the railing with the rest of her friends around her. Her loud sounds made him feel uneasy as he continued on.

"I still don't know why this is happening." He thought to himself before he reached the staircase leading up to the bridge wing. "Her cake was perfectly fine. Nothing at all was wrong with it." As he started to climb though, the sounds of his hooves on the metal steps alerted the pony on the wing to his presence.

"Hey Cap." Port said as he turned in time to see him get up the steps. "How was dinner?"

"Eh. It was alright until it was time for dessert." He replied. This response surprisingly made Port chuckle for a moment.

"I bet." He said before pointing at Steel's uniform. "Looks like you got in a fight with some cake and lost."

"Huh?" Steel asked before looking down to find chocolate stains on his white uniform. He then groaned while lightly smacking his muzzle. "Not really the reason why though."

"Well what happened?" Port asked as Steel propped himself up on the railing.

"You know Princess Sparkle's friend, Pinkie Pie. Right?"

"Who doesn't?"

"And you know she likes cake."

"I'd say more love than like." Port replied as the two stared out at the open ocean in front of them. "Why?" Steel simply replied by pointing his hoof back toward the deck. Port looked back to find Pinkie Pie still vomiting as her body was halfway over the railing with Twilight and Princess Celestia patting her back with their hooves. "What's her problem?" He asked as he kept looking.

"Beats me." Steel replied. "Her cake had nothing wrong with it. I tried it myself. And you don't see me vomiting my dinner overboard."

"Weird." He said. "Maybe she's seasick or something."

"It's possible."

"Anything else happen?"

"Chef Michelin and Dotted got into an argument after Dotted accused him of trying to poison everypony. I kinda got caught in the crossfire."

"Ah. So that explains the stains on your uniform."

"Yep." He said before he yawned heavily. "Well. I guess it's getting to be that time."

"Gonna head for bed?" Port asked as Steel yawned again.

"Yeah." He replied. "Gonna have to be up early for the day watch." After saying that, he turned and started walking toward the bridge. "Good night, Port. See you in the morning."

"Good night, Cap." Port replied as Steel walked inside the bridge toward his cabin. Once inside, he looked at North who was still at the helm.

"Good night, North." He said, making the pony look at him. "Your relief should be here soon."

"Yes sir." He replied. "And good night to you too." After hearing that, Steel made his way into his cabin before closing the door behind him. When he heard the latch click shut, he let out a sigh of relief before undoing the strap that kept his sword strapped to his body. He then looked at the scabbard for a bit before he levitated it up to the mounting hooks above the door. He was glad to have some time before the voyage to install them himself. Once the sword was placed, he removed his uniform before bringing the white jacket up to his face. As he did this, he could see the chocolate stains that Port had mentioned.

"Good thing I have more than one of these." Steel said in his mind before he looked at his dresser. He then tossed the dirty uniform into a hamper before he walked over to his bed. After a long day, he eagerly looked forward to getting some sleep. As he got closer, a long yawn escaped from him before he hopped up and laid down onto the comfy mattress. Once his head hit the pillow, his eyes drifted closed as he used his magic to pull the blanket over him. "Good night, Mareitania." He said in a soft tone before yawning again. With the gentle rolling of the ship from side to side with the waves, he soon found himself on the path to his dreams.

The next morning, Steel awoke to a beautiful sunrise on the horizon. The clear sky and calm sea made him grow confident that this was going to be a good day. After rolling himself to the edge of his bed, he sat up and stretched out his forehooves before getting out of bed and going to his personal bathroom. Just as he closed his door behind him, he heard three knocks coming from the door leading into his cabin.

"Who is it?" He called out.

"It's Port, Cap. Just checking to make sure you were up. You got some visitors here that want to speak with you."

Steel rolled his eyes after hearing that as he looked in the mirror above the sink. After last night's incident, socializing with the passengers was the last thing he wanted to do. He then sighed quietly to himself, realizing that turning passengers away when they wanted to speak with him wouldn't look good either.

"Fine." He replied. "Just give me a few minutes."

"Understood." Port replied.

After a minute in the bathroom, Steel emerged from it and quickly put on a clean uniform before walking over to the door that led onto the bridge. Just before opening it though, he gave himself a quick check to make sure he was presentable. Nodding to himself afterwards, he proceeded to open the door to find Princess Celestia, Princess Twilight, and Pinkie Pie standing in front of him.

"Ah. Good morning to you all." He said before bowing. "Is there anything that you need from me?"

"Not at the moment." Celestia replied. "Though I'm sure Pinkie Pie here has something that she'd like to say." She then looked down at the pink mare, who looked up at her with an odd expression. One that a filly would give their parent if they were told to do something that they didn't want to do. "Isn't that right? Pinkie?"

Pinkie's eyes then shifted over to Twilight.

"Well don't look at me!" The purple alicorn said, surprising Steel as he never thought he'd hear the Princess of Friendship say something like that. "You're the one that got sick and made a scene." The stallion's eyes went back and forth between Twilight and Pinkie before she sighed and turned to look at him.

"I'm... sorry that I ruined dinner last night." She said while looking down and rubbing one of her forelegs with the other. "Can you... forgive me?"

"Sure... I guess." Steel replied, unsure of how to properly respond to what was going on. "Just uhh.... try not to do it again."

"Oh you don't have to worry about that." Celestia said, making Steel look up at her. "I'll be sure to watch what she eats from now til the end of this voyage. And do excuse the way my student is behaving. She's never really been in this position before. I'll be sure to talk to her about this in private once we're done here." Twilight's eyes shot open after hearing that before she turned and looked at Celestia with a frightened expression.

"Very uh.. well then. Is there... anything else you need?" Steel asked.

"No. That is all that we came here to accomplish." Celestia replied. "We'll be on our way now. Have a good day, Captain Blade."

"Thank you. Same to you as well." He said before the three of them walked away. Steel followed them outside and watched them until they disappeared inside. "Well..." He thought before turning to walk back onto the bridge. "That was... interesting."

As Steel began to take charge of the bridge, Dotted Line walked through a corridor in the First Class section of the ship. A few beads of sweat could be seen on his forehead as he moved along.

"I hope everything is alright." He said to himself as he looked down at a paper in his magical grasp. It was a passenger manifest containing the names of all the passengers on board and which room they were staying in. As he walked, he glanced between the paper and the numbers on each door he passed until he stopped in front of a door. "Room A5: Princess Celestia + 8." He said in his mind before putting the list back and knocking on the door.

He could hear a few whispers behind the door before he heard hoofsteps approaching from the other side.

"Password?" A mare asked on the other side.

"Password?" Dotted asked. "I'm sorry. I don't have time for games. I am Dotted Line, Chairpony of the Red Apple Line and owner of this liner. I wish to come in and speak with Princess Celestia." A few more whispers could be heard before he heard somepony undoing the lock before opening it. In the doorway stood a light purple colored unicorn mare with a purple and cyan streaked mane.

"Sorry." She said. "But uh... Princess Celestia isn't here at the moment. I'm sure she'll be back in a bit though."

"Oh." Dotted replied as he looked at the mare, who seemed nervous as she stood in front of him. "Well. Would you mind if I come in and wait for her then? It's important that I speak with her."

"Uhh.... sure. I guess." She replied before stepping aside and allowing him to enter. Once inside, Dotted heard the mare close and lock the door behind him. "Right this way." She said as she walked in front of him down a small hallway. "Uhh... girls? We have a visitor so make sure you're presentable!" A few more whispers could be heard as the two of them stopped in front of a closed door that Dotted knew led into the parlour room of the large cabin.

"So how long will it be before Princess Celestia returns?" He asked.

"Shouldn't be too long." She replied before opening the door. "I think they just went to go speak with the Captain." Dotted nodded as he walked inside to find Rainbow Dash, Fluttershy, Rarity, and Applejack lounging around on the various chairs and couches in the room.

"Uh... Starlight? What's he doing here?" Rainbow asked as she looked at the mare. Dotted recognized that name from the various newspapers he read before looking at the mare.

"He's just gonna wait here until Princess Celestia returns. Apparently he needs to speak with her."

"Oh. Uh... alright then."

"So..." Dotted said as he took a seat next to Fluttershy on the couch she was on. The butter yellow pegasus quickly scooted to the far side of the couch in response. "Are you all enjoying the voyage so far?"

"Oh I'd say it is wonderful so far, darling." Rarity replied. "Except for what happened last night."

"Yeah." Applejack added. "I uh... didn't expect Pinkie Pie to throw up her meal."

"I don't think anypony did." Dotted replied. "How is she by the way?"

"She's doing alright, I suppose." Starlight said. "She's with Celestia and Twilight." After she said that, the room fell into an awkward silence as each of the mares kept glancing between the lone stallion and each other. Dotted himself was growing a bit uncomfortable by this. But he needed to stay and speak with Celestia.

As he opened his mouth to speak again though, the sound of the door leading into the room opening cut him off.

"Oh Chrysalis!" An unexpected voice said. "This pony food is not sitting well for me." Each of the mares immediately looked at the door with frightened expressions as the door swung open far enough for Dotted to find a changeling standing in it. His eyes shrank in horror as Starlight hit the changeling in his head with her hoof.

"Scythe! You idiot!" She called out.

"What'd I do?" He asked as he rubbed his head before looking at Dotted. "Oh..."

"Ch-ch-changeling!" Dotted cried out in horror before he was suddenly tackled to the floor by Fluttershy. Dotted struggled as she stood over him, trying to get up. But she had the leverage to keep him down. "What... in Equestria is going on here?" He grunted while still trying to get up.

"Well... So much for keeping a low profile." He heard Starlight say before seeing green magical flames engulfing each mare in the room, revealing a room full of changelings. Dotted looked on in horror as they all circled around him before one of them spat some green gunk on his horn. He tried using his magic, but found that whatever that stuff on his horn was, it nullified his magic. "Help! Somepony help me! Changelings!" He cried out at the top of his lungs, hoping somepony nearby would come to his rescue.

"Scream all you want, pony. No one can hear you." The one holding down his limbs said. "Our brilliant Queen has soundproofed this room."

"Wh- what are you doing here? What do you want?"

"We'll let our Queen answer that." Another one replied before they lifted him onto the couch. Once done, one of them continued sitting on him to make sure he wasn't able to escape. Dotted continued struggling to get up, but the weight of the changeling on him proved too much to overcome. Eventually, he stopped struggling and just silently observed as the various changelings conversed with each other about what to do with him.

After a few minutes, he heard three knocks on the door leading into the cabin. The changelings all looked at each other before one of them transformed into Starlight Glimmer and left to go answer it. Each changeling froze in place, some visibly shaking while others gulped audibly as the sound of the door closing could be heard.

"What do you mean we have a problem?" A loud voice called out before the changeling disguised as Starlight got thrown into the room. Soon after that, Dotted's eyes grew wide as he watched Chrysalis, former supreme leader of the changelings, enter the room.

"I'm sorry!" He said in her voice as he quickly crawled before groveling in front of her. "It just sort of happened and I didn't know what to do."

"Drop the disguise." Chrysalis bluntly ordered. "I can't take you seriously in that."

"Yes! Of course!" He replied in Starlight's voice before shifting back to his true form, still trembling in front of her as two other changelings flanked her sides.

"And you two..." She growled before hurling both of them to the ground beside the trembling one. "I should've known better than to have you two come with me to speak with the Captain. Especially you!" She continued before pointing at one of them, who just curled up into a trembling ball. "You better hope that he doesn't know Twilight that well. Otherwise this whole plan could be ruined!" She then looked up at the others who were shaking before narrowing her gaze at Dotted. "And who was it that created this whole mess?"

"Scythe!" The one who was on top of Dotted replied. "He's the one that came in here without being in disguise."

"Aw, come on! I didn't hear that he was here. And you all know I don't like having to pretend to be that little dragon!" Scythe protested before a growl from Chrysalis silenced him. Chrysalis then approached him while the others made sure to be away from him.

"Well then. How about I stuff a rag down your throat, tie a rope around your wings and hooves, and throw you overboard in the middle of the night! Would you like that?"

"N-no!" He stuttered.

"Then prove to me that you deserve another chance."

"H-how can I do that?"

"Simple..." She replied before pointing toward Dotted. "By taking his place."


"And you'd better make sure not to draw any suspicion and blow your cover again. Because if you do, I will personally give you a beating like you've never experienced before!"

"Y-yes, my Queen!" He quickly replied before transforming into an exact duplicate of Dotted.

"Now get out of here before somepony notices that he's gone."

"Of course!" Scythe replied in Dotted's voice before racing out of the room.

Chrysalis chuckled softly, amused at how quickly he rushed out before turning her attention to her new prisoner. She proceeded to walk over and sit down beside the couch before gently running a hoof through his mane. This made him shiver with fear, which brought a smirk to her face.

"And what am I to do with you?" She asked rhetorically. "You're not the pony I'm here for. But I can't let you leave this room now that you know our little secret."

"Wh-why are you here then?" Dotted asked. "Who are you here for?"

"Well..." She replied. "I suppose there's no harm in telling you the plan. Especially since you're not going anywhere." She then cleared her throat. "I'm sure you're aware of what happened at the hive, right?"

"You getting your kingdom taken from you by Starlight and her friends? Yeah. I heard about that." This response made Chrysalis growl and glare at him.

"Yes." She said through gritted teeth. "My number of loyal followers decreased dramatically after that. To where I hardly have any competent soldiers left." This made each changeling shiver in fear. "So in order for me to reclaim my throne and exact revenge on Starlight Glimmer and the rest of those ponies she calls friends, I need an army. Not one like I had before. No. A much better army. And somepony to rule beside me as King of the changelings. Somepony who, with the right amount of training and guidance from me, could make a most feared and ruthless leader."

"And... wh-who are you after?" This made Chrysalis chuckle for a moment before looking Dotted right in his eyes.

"I'm here... for your Captain."

"Steel?!" Dotted exclaimed in surprise. "Forget it! He'd never join you!" After hearing his response, Chrysalis merely smirked before patting the restrained stallion on his head before getting up and going over to the window, looking out at the calm waters.

"Oh. I'm sure I can persuade him to join me." She replied before turning back to look at him. "After all. It'd be such a shame to see this ship that he loves so much being sent to the bottom of the Equestrian Ocean." This only made Dotted's pupils twitch in fear as Chrysalis began to laugh in a maniacal fashion.