Among the many...

by Sexy Frog

Chapter 1 - Set Sail

The sea is no place for me…’ was the last thing that rang through her mind as she stared onto her disappearing home being swallowed up by the horizon like a predator gobbling its prey. The light of Celestia’s royal sun bathing the perpetual waves of blue leaving a mesmerizing streak of gold as if it were a phantom walk way. Despite the poetic beauty of the scene, Pepper Spice felt a piece of her heart break off at the thought of leaving Trottingham. Her family had come to see her off moments before; their eyes welled up with tears as they knew they may not see her for quite some time; maybe never again. She had made herself a personal promise not to cry. The robust wooden ship dubbed ‘Dawn Legionnaire’ sliced through the amber dyed waves of the early morn as the crew went about their routines of barking orders, heavy lifting, and various other nautical chores.

Pepper walked from the back of the ship, eyes glossy but holding back the tears as her hooves thudded on the aged wood of the sea faring vessel. As she continued she was abruptly stopped by a shabbily dressed male crew member who’s mane had been bleached a chalky white no doubt from many years at sea, his voice rather deep and raspy though holding back none of his sailors accent. “Oi, Miss Spice! The Cap’in be waitin’ for you in his private quarters. He be wishin’ to discuss yer tasks aboard the Dawn Legionnaire.” To which Pepper retorted, her higher pitched voice trembling hesitantly and sounding much more professional than the salty colt. “Umm…very well then,” she stopped for a moment as she looked about obviously lost. “And the Captains quarters would be…?”

The sailor pointed a hoof to the rear of the ship to a door underneath the steering wheel and then turned to leave her once being shouted at by a crew man near the mast. Pepper Spice turned to the door, taking a small nervous breath as her black and white blotched sides rose and fell almost as fast as her racing heart beat. Wondering what she would encounter in there was making her edgy. She knew her basic job already; she was to be a cook aboard the vessel for the crew though other than that she was clueless. Pepper began to look off towards the sea as a rumination began to dawn over her of the days she first considered being signed aboard the Dawn Legionnaire. Her life in Trottingham had become rather bland as the barmaid in the middle classed section of town but she didn’t really know what to do about it.

She wanted a bit of adventure, an air of change to spice things up though she wouldn’t have thought the sea would be where fate would bring her. She had just gotten out of work and was walking along the cobbled path to her home in the standard barmaid’s outfit she always wore, her lavender hair tied into pig tails which gave her a rather flirty appearance mainly to get better tips from googly-eyed colts or the occasional mare. As she walked contemplating her day of lustful glares and overly groped flank from the bars usual band of vulgar ponies she had begun to wander off course, her eyes dulled from being lost in thought as what seemed to be the wind began to guide her. Soon she was snapped out of it by the shrill laughter and squeals of fowls playing in a nearby yard of a well known noble mare named Opal Shine. The house just beyond the children seemed almost a relic of a more Victorian era, its pristine moldings and complimenting grape vines draping the manor in a gentle hug. As Pepper Spice watched them play with an air of contempt, one of them spotted her in her skimpy uniform, calling to the others.

Soon the presence of the stranger was known by all the children and they stopped, eyeing her warily. The mood became awkward as they simply stared, Pepper felt her stance become sheepish only to notice that the day had sunk into a tantalizing scarlet with the setting sun. She was about to turn to go on her way when the door to the illustrious domain creaked open as a hot-blooded and assertive command reverberated from inside. “Young colts and fillies, get inside this instant or-“The shout was cut short as the crystal blue eyes of a mare met with Pepper Spice’s dull chartreuse ones. She was a noble, this much was obvious since her periwinkle mane was so elegantly prepared even at this hour and her voluptuous figure was wrapped in a regal rose pink dress with blue frills about it. The mystery mare raised an eyebrow asking in a sophisticated and polite manner. “Who have we here, dears?” One filly in particular simply shrugged answering with half the high class accent that the noble spoke with. “We dunno, miss. She right out came from nowhere…” Pepper figured it was about time for her to speak up. “Oh, I was on my way home that’s all, but…” She paused as she looked about where she had wandered and then flattened her ears timidly. “I seem to have gotten a bit lost.”

The noble raised a hoof to her mouth in an over dramatic silent gasp and squeaked. “Oh you poor thing, you simply must come inside. You will catch a cold out there!” Pepper’s brow furrowed a bit as she thought it over. She wasn’t a pony to trust others all willy nilly.

“Umm, that’s okay I’m fine. I’m sure I’ll find my way…”

“That simply will not do, I insist you stay at least until the morning!”

“Oh you really don’t-” To which Pepper Spice was cut off.

“Ah ah, I will hear no more of it! You are staying here and that is final. It is the very least I may do.” The mare pressed on as she strode through the yard, stopping behind Pepper and began butting her rump with her head to push her inside.

‘Thank Celestia she isn’t a unicorn…’ Thought Pepper as she was shoved through the yard to the door. Even she who wasn’t the most easily trusting pony couldn’t say no to hospitality; especially the forced kind.

“Miss Spice? Ahem…Miss Spice? Oi, Pepper!” shouted a familiar masculine voice as she shook her black and white furred head to snap out of her dream state. The same rugged colt sailor from before was in front of her as she starred at him with her eyes searching his worried face. “You okay?” Once Pepper finally recovered she answered. “Y-yes, I was just thinking that’s all. Terribly sorry, I’ll go see the Captain now.” The sea savvy pony nodded, though still with an expression of worry and left her to continue his duties. As Pepper turned, she trudged over to the wondrously carved door of the Captain’s quarters, the carvings seeming to be etched into the wood during a near antediluvian era. She smacked a hoof against the door lightly before a high pitched voice rang from inside sounding familiarly proper but particularly irritated...