It was the next day. It was time.
The pirate ship was covered in a thick veil of clouds as it traversed the skies of Equestria.Rainbow Dash and Fluttershy were flying around in the back, making sure the cloud cover was thick enough to completely conceal the ship from view.
Rarity and Twilight were using their magic to create a magical screen from the left side of the ship. It allowed everyone a one way viewing through the clouds without anyone from the outside able to peek in.
What everyone saw was horrible. Some places were on fire, others plundered. Even as you pass Ponyville, you could see a lot of it had been ransacked.
“Darn that Storm King! Ransacking our farm! Grr…” Applejack looked pissed as she saw apple trees torn down and rotten apples littering the ground. “Makes me wanna try usin’ the horn for myself. Give that King a whuppin’ and a buck for each member of the Apple familt. Mnn….” She then looked down, feeling an intense feeling of worry for her family members. “Sure hope Applebloom, Granny Smith, and Big Mac are ok. Ah swear, I ain’t gonna rest til they and the rest of Equestria is free again.”
“Indeed, and poor Sweetie Belle!” Rarity then looks to everyone with a determined look “I’m sorry to say everypony, but I’ll have to leave my manners at the door. Those ruffians are going to feel the unbridled wrath of RARITY. It’s going to take me weeks to get my coat back to a glistening form, but it will be worth it!”
“Don’t get too anxious everyone. We’re a crew. And that means we all have to stick together. Running off to pick a fight isn’t going to win us this fight.” Celaeno says as she looks over the screen “Twilight, Rarity. Can you both adjust the screen to our current heading?”
They nod, and the screen shifts to the front, revealing Canterlot. It still stood. But you could see that even from this distance that it was currently a shell of its former self. Pillaged, Storm Creatures everywhere, and ponies upon ponies in cages.
Pinkie suddenly got angry as she cocked her hooves like they were guns “Oohhhh! That really gets my blood boiling! They better watch out! Because Pinkie is ready to bring the party to them! And I’m talking birthday party levels of smashing,bashing, and cannon blasting!”
For Pinkie, that must be like….Doomguy levels of bloody rage...Or something like that.
Tempest walked over to the cannons, inspecting the ammunition as she plots in her head. “Two bowling balls per cannon. Not a lot. But if we target the largest groups, then we should still be able to lower their numbers by a significant amount.” Tempest then looked to everyone as she made an announcement “Listen up everyone! We’ll be in combat range in a few minutes. Say what you want to say to each other now and get to your cannon. Remember, everyone only has two shots, so remember to aim for the largest groups. Make sure you account for wind and angle as well, we need to make every shot count. After that, get in your groups and get ready to slide down. We only have one shot at this, so don’t mess it up!”
“Right!” Everyone, including you said as you all made your way to the cannons. Some of the pirates, Skystar, and Applejack going below deck to fire the cannons from there.
As you made your way to your designated cannon, Tempest holds out her hoof to stop you. She looks at you with a serious expression. “Anon…”
“Tempest?” You look up at her, wondering what she had to say. “What’s up?”
“Look…” She sighs, she was concerned. Even with what she knew of you, she felt you going in alone was very risky. Not just for success, but for your safety. “Twilight’s right. If you’re going to seal him, fine. But don’t get arrogant. One of the Storm King’s tactics is to get talky with his opponent before pulling off something underhanded. Just go in, and get the job done.” She passes you a jug of water “Are you sure you can sneak into the castle through this portal door of yours?”
You nod “Totally, if they are all focused on you guys then they won’t even notice me. Trust me on this, It’s not the first time I’ve broken into a castle...not even the second time...or third.”
“A-are you being serious?” Tempest couldn’t tell, she couldn’t think of a reason that someone like you would break into any castles.
You nod as you lean in and nudge her, smirking about it all “Yeah, you could say that during all those times, that I wished the princess was in another castle. Eh? Ehhhh?”
Tempest looked uncomfortable as she looked to her right, then back at you “Are...you being random again?”
….Right...she wouldn’t get that. Dammit, good job, you made yourself look foolish. “Er...uhh...just….never mind..”
Tempest could see you were feeling uneasy, and mistook it as you being nervous. She suddenly looked at you with care and confidence as she put her hoof gently on your shoulder. “Anon, don’t be nervous. Everyone here believes in you. And considering that I used to work under him? I can safely say that I know you can do it.”
While you didn’t intend for her to give you a word of confidence, you still appreciated it. You looked up at her, determined, and gave her a nod. “Right, ok...Thanks Tempest.”
With that, you went to the cannons above deck, and chose the one next to Spike as Celaeno steered the ship over Canterlot. You could see through the magical screen an overhead of Canterlot as if the clouds weren’t covering the ship at all. “Alright Everyone.” Celaeno hopped off the helm and walked to the side of her ship as she pointed towards the screen with her sword “Aim at your targets and fire! Show no mercy! Bring down as many as you can!”
Aim and fire, right. You can do that! This is gonna be easy.
In fact, as you load one of the two bowling balls you had. You start to hatch a bit of an idea in your head. You smirk, then look over to Spike. “Yo Spike”
“Wha?” Spike looks over to you, getting a little upset at your call out “Anon, come on! We’re attacking already. This isn’t the time to talk.”
You look towards the screen. You could see storm creatures gathered in rows. They were patrolling the city and bugging the caged ponies. They haven’t noticed at all the rain of heavy balls that would soon come upon them. “Yeah, I know. But, uhhh...You remember that bowling session we never got to?”
“Uhh...Yeah…” Spike raises an eyebrow at you, this seemed rather unimportant “Why are you bringing that up now?”
You point to your spare ball, then at the city streets before giving Spike a smarmy look.
Spike’s demeanor changes as he realized what you were getting at. He nods with a confident smirk of his own as he goes back to aiming his cannon. “....Winner gets a free dinner from the loser. That ok with you?”
“Just remember to keep those hayburgers coming, bro” You snicker as you aim your cannon. “Best first shot is the winner.”
“Best first shot, huh?” Spike snickered as he finalized his aim “alright, just don’t complain about it not being two out of three later”
“Whatever….” You roll your eyes and then look for a target to blast. But before you could, everyone else started firing off their shots. Dammit! The Storm Creatures are already starting to get obliterated as the unharmed ones spread like bugs.
Aha! Wait. There’s two rows of them side by side rushing down a street, trying to find the source of the attack. You aim there and pull the rope on the cannon, firing it. “Here we go baby! And Str-WHAT?!”
While you do manage to strike the row, the ball deflects off one of the back row’s creature’s shield. In essence, you made a pseudo 7 - 10 split.
“Ohhhh, tough luck there, Anon. Hehe...My turn!” Spike, who had been spending some time perfecting his aim, fired his cannon. His bowling ball collides with a frantic cluster of creatures who were holding shields to all sides but up. The ball itself smashes into the center creature and sends the others flying about. “Haha! That’s a strike! Hope that horn is good at gem hunting,Anon. Because you’re gonna be doing a lot of that to fill this belly and..Woah! Look at that!”
Spike points to a bowling ball that was aimed in such a way to not initially hit anyone; at an angle that would let it roll at maximum speed. It crashes into multiple legions of creatures, sending them flying as it flips them upwards from smashing through their legs.
“Woah...Who got that shot? That was Tempest right?” That shot was way too accurate. Only someone like her could have done that.
“No way! That’s gotta be Twilight. She’s the only pony I know who could get a shot like that. The math for it has to be like, super radical to be that precise. It totally has to be her!” Spike was sure of this.
“Actually” Said a familiar voice “It was totally me. Wow, it’s almost like Tempest’s best bud didn’t use his perks for free bowling games or something.”
You both look to the next cannon. Grubber was leaning against it as he gave you both the most arrogant smile he can muster. After you both look over at him, he hops up and starts walking towards the both of you to take your spare cannon balls. “Yep, that’s how it goes. Anyway, I want a huge cake from the both of you. And you!” He points to Spike “ No gems! That’s totally a dragon thing.”
“Uh...Uh…” Spike gulped as he suddenly realized what was going on “I...uh…”
Grubber put the cannonballs down to give Spike a pat “Yeah, I know, I’m super cool”
Suddenly, you feel a snap in your mind. He beat you? HE BEAT YOU?! THE RETARD?!
No, fuck that! You knew he was good now. But fucking hell! He shouldn’t have been able to smash both you and Spike that easily! He must have cheated! “Hey!” You call out to Grubber.
Grubber stops and turns to you, but he didn’t seem confused, instead he seemed to be...waiting for what you had to say “Yeah?”
“Nobody’s that good! You can’t just-” But then suddenly, he raises his hand at you to stop you.
And then he points at you as he gives you scolding stare “Yo, Anon! Is that really important right now? Ok, you stink at bowling, that ain’t a reason to be acting dumb! And like the dragon said, don’t go looking for a two out of three either. I’m taking these bowling balls because that’s how I can be useful to my friend, Tempest. You? You already have something super important to do and everyone, including her, are counting on you, got it?! I know you think I’m dumb, a lot of dudes think I’m dumb. But we’re all good at something and we all gotta do our part. So get going already, will ya?”
You stop. You weren’t expecting that out of him. He was right, it may have been some sudden realization, but he was right nonetheless. You calm down and look over to Spike as you pull out the flask Tempest gave you. “Spike, you think we can add this guy to the team when we finally do go bowling?”
Spike nods “You know it! How about it Grubber, you wanna be part of our bowling team?”
Grubber shrugs “Not really, not when Tempest and I can form our own team, kick both your butts, and get even more cake. It’d be really easy to beat you two every week.”
You just narrow your eyes at him as you speak in an intimidating tone “What happened to ‘friends’ and ‘doing your part’?”
Grubber shrugs “I mean, us kicking your butt AFTER this is over doesn’t have to do with what we’re doing now, right?”
You groan, you point your hoof at him, but really, it was hard to say anything after that display with his shot. So you lower your hoof and grumble lowly as you make the puddle and toss in your map. “...stupid mothergrubbing...hedghog...dooki...whodoeshethinkheis...bastard...imgoodatbowlin...muggrabrgabba…” Was all you could mutter out as you dive into the portal.
“And remember! I want the cake to be really huge!” Grubber calls out as you jump into the portal.