• Published 26th Jun 2013
  • 3,807 Views, 60 Comments

Sky Pirates of Equestria: Phoenix Flight - Aquaman



In a world where magical airship travel has directed and defined life in Equestria for centuries, the RES Corona is the most dangerous ship in the Equestrian Navy. A cocksure band of six unlikely pirates begs to differ. AU, technically post-S3.

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Part 2

For a long time, Princess Celestia didn’t speak, instead preferring to watch in passive silence the reaction of the stallion in front of her throne, whose back was hunched and whose eyes never quite rose all the way up to meet hers. She was sure he’d rather be anywhere else in the world right now, and truth be told, she couldn’t blame him: if what he were reporting was true, his position as a mere messenger far from guaranteed him safe passage out of the room. Despite all her efforts to the contrary, she’d never been able to shake off the air of polite, reverential terror that came hoof-in-hoof with the terrific power she held. In her experience, it seemed to just be something that came naturally with being a monarch. She made a mental note to ask Cadance how she dealt with it so effectively.

“You’re sure about this?” she finally asked.

“Y-yes, your Highness,” the stallion said, one hoof tapping against the ground as he mashed the necessary response together in his mouth. “I-I came here as soon I knew.”

Celestia nodded, then snuck a glance outside towards the dusky landscape laid out beneath her castle. It was a gorgeous summer evening, and all she could feel of it in here was the fleeting kiss of a breeze across her cheek from the window she’d propped open that afternoon. Perhaps she could start fielding visits out in the courtyard every so often. It might make her seem more approachable. At the very least, it’d take a bit of the edge off situations like this.

“Then thank you very much for the information,” she said, her eyes still on the countryside. “You may go.”

“You, uh...” the stallion started to say, but evidently he thought better of it and cut himself off with a bow and a hoof over his muzzle. “Yes, your Highness.”

She acknowledged him with a glance and another nod before returning her gaze to the window again, half-listening to the messenger’s receding hoofsteps until the booming report of the door closing behind him cut them off. Before adopting her royal persona again, she allowed herself a moment to roll her shoulders and sigh. A ruler could—and should—be many things, but not among them was visibly agitated. Concerned though she was, she couldn’t allow this to degrade her composure.

Mostly because even though the stallion from the portmaster’s office had left, she wasn’t quite alone just yet.

“You know, Sunset, most ponies would fear banishment for eavesdropping on a princess,” she called out. She didn’t turn to look at the cauldron of mystical, everlasting fire burning by her side, because she knew without seeing that the mare inside it would prefer to arrive on the scene unnoticed. Sure enough, it wasn’t but a moment before the flames distorted and split down the middle, leaving a space for an orange-coated unicorn to delicately step out, leaving streaks of black soot behind her as she moved around to Celestia’s front and gave her a dubious look.

“Well, most ponies don’t know you well enough to be your most trusted advisor,” she said, brushing back a red-and-yellow striped curl that seemed to crackle and glow even after she’d parted from her trademark hiding place. “And to be perfectly honest about it, most ponies aren’t me.”

“That they aren’t,” Celestia agreed. “What do you think?”

Sunset shrugged. “About the message? Pretty straightforward, isn’t it? Distress call from the Eastern Sea. Pirate attack. Third time this month, and we’re not even two weeks in.”

“I meant about the target.”

Again, Sunset shrugged, though this time with a noticeable hesitance and a curious look up at Celestia’s narrowed eyes. “It’s a bold move,” she said. “Captain Salt’s the best skysailor in the Navy, and the Corona’s loaded for bear and got half an army on board to boot. Whatever pirate’s trying to tangle with him’s gonna have their work cut out for them.”

Sunset’s brow twitched, and her dubious expression returned. “And I’m getting the strangest feeling you already know who they might be.”

Once again, Celestia was silent, but the gesture was moot. Sunset Shimmer had known her far too long to need words to help her gauge the Princess’s reaction.

“Look, your Highness, I don’t want to be... insensitive or anything,” Sunset said, “but you can’t keep blaming yourself for what happened with her. There’s always a bad apple in every orchard, and just because this one happened to be a student of yours... well, don’t take it personally, is all I’m saying. Hell, I turned out all right, didn’t I?”

Sunset chuckled and tried to nudge Celestia along into joining her, but the Princess was having none of it. Sunset bit her lip and, for a moment, almost looked like she was scowling, but by the time Celestia turned her head, her face was clear and charming once more.

“Well, whatever happens, there should be another vessel close by that could respond to the call,” she said. “What with how quickly they sent out that distress call, they might even make it there before the battle’s over.”

“Keep me informed,” Celestia replied.

Sunset nodded and stood biting her lip again for a few moments, then sucked in a breath and let it out once she was on her way to the door. Once she was gone, Celestia stood up from her throne and made her way over to the window. Stretching out a shaking hoof, she pushed it open as far it would go, then sat down on the floor and leaned against the sill, her forelegs folded and her chin resting precariously on top of them. With only a thin stripe of orange light on the horizon separating day from night, she knew it was only a matter of time before she had another visitor. Thankfully, this one she could afford to be a little more forward with.

Celestia heard no hoofsteps or fluttering wings that should’ve announced the arrival of her sister, but Luna’s sudden appearance by her side didn’t surprise her. She had a tendency to just slip into places like that, particularly when she sensed that her fellow ruler was feeling ill at ease. Perhaps it was a gift that came with the shadows Luna liked to inhabit. Then again, perhaps being the regent of sunlight herself just hadn’t left Celestia with much of a flair for subtlety.

“You’re still worried about her.”

Celestia sighed, and the inflation of her chest pushed her chin out of place atop her hooves. She lifted her head and considered Luna’s matter-of-fact expression, then let her eyebrows rise and her legs pull her back up off the ground. Her sister’s words may have seemed blunt, but in truth it was exactly what Celestia needed to hear someone tell her. That didn’t mean it made her feel much better, though.

“You should talk,” she said as she made her way back towards her throne. “This whole thing was your idea.”

“My idea. Their choice.”

At the last second, Celestia veered away from the pedestal she usually occupied and ducked through an archway carved out of the stone wall behind it. Luna followed suit, and found herself in a small, colorless room furnished with only an overhead oil lamp, a few cushions, and a table covered in a massive map of the known world, contoured and molded to make a geographically accurate scale model of the entire Equestrian continent. Dozens of tiny blocks of wood hovered overtop the terrain, each one representing a ship in the Royal Equestrian Navy and inching ever so slightly across the map as its larger counterpart made its way along its respective trade route.

When Luna entered the room, Celestia’s eyes were already on a pair of blocks locked together over the Eastern Sea, about a hundred and fifty scale miles from shore. A third block floated about twenty miles away, its pointed bow aimed at the two ships already at a standstill nearby. Celestia watched the third ship creep ever closer to its targets for a minute or two, then glanced up and waited for Luna to continue trying to ease her concern.

“She’s smarter than you give her credit for,” Luna said.

Another mental note: remind Luna of the specifics of how ponies usually went about comforting their loved ones. “I always gave her credit!” Celestia said, indignantly stamping her hoof even though she tried at the last second to hold it back.

“And yet still, you stand here and gaze at your models, wondering which one of them made the rasher decision.”

Celestia set her jaw and stared at the three blocks again, and Luna sidled around the table to stand by her side. “Let them be rash,” she said quietly, gently tugging Celestia’s forehoof back down to the ground. Celestia blinked in surprise. She hadn’t even noticed it beginning to rise, slowly stretching out towards the two boats right in front of her that were a thousand miles away. “Salt O’Thearth and Twilight Sparkle are the brightest minds that sail these skies. They couldn’t wound each other any more than you and I could.”

“You really think Salt couldn’t do anything to hurt her?”

Luna cocked her head to the side a bit and jerked her shoulders up. It took Celestia a few moments to realize she’d meant that to be a shrug. “I’m certain he tried,” she said.

Celestia started as if she’d been shocked. “What do you mean, tried? They’re still...”

The look in Luna’s eyes was immense. That was always the best word Celestia had been able to come up with for that expression of hers: the one that spoke both to the virtually limitless knowledge of what ponies dreamed and how their minds worked, and to her faith and compassion for her sister. The one she got whenever she knew something wonderful that Celestia didn’t. Before Celestia could piece together what had inspired that look this time, Luna decided to show her. She placed a hoof on Celestia’s chin and gently steered her head back towards the table, which told Celestia absolutely nothing about whatever Luna was getting all excited about.

“Your blocks?” Luna intoned after a few seconds had passed.

Normally, she would’ve glared at her sister for being so sarcastic about the matter, but once she picked out what she’d been referring to, she had to give all of her attention just to holding back a gasp. The two bonded ships she’d been watching before had split apart, one staying put and the other—the one with a minuscule, almost invisible star etched into it—had peeled off to the left, retreating from its stagnant partner at twice the speed the third ship was approaching it.

“Interesting, isn’t it?” Luna said. She began to move away from Celestia herself and slowly round the table as she spoke, her eyes darting back and forth between the map by her side and the empty doorway behind it. “Captain O’Thearth isn’t known for giving mercy to pirates, so we must assume he was not victorious over this one. Yet his ship still flies as well, so we must assume the pirate was not victorious either. By the usual rules of aeronautical combat, it seems that there could be no possible winner given the circumstances.”

Luna stopped a quarter of the way around the table, and thoughtfully stroked her chin. “Unless, of course, the winning move was not to play by those rules...” she wondered aloud. A moment later, her hoof dropped to the ground, and her shoulders jerked up again. “Regardless of the outcome, the fact that an attack was orchestrated in the first place will not be received well by the public. The populace will fear for their safety, and the High Council will almost certainly motion for more funds to strengthen our military presence in Canterlot and in the skies.”

She stopped again at the corner, and a rough, heavy sigh rattled out of her throat. Celestia was inclined to believe that was a chuckle. “Given the rise in aerotime attacks and the ever-present threats from within our borders, I can hardly blame them. And given that this is a constitutional diarchy, they’ll almost certainly get their wish. Which of course will leave far less in the coffers for that public park you wanted to build. And the subsidies for those Appleloosan farmers struggling after the drought last month. And lest we forget, that orphanage you promised to renovate for all the homeless foals in Canterlot with no place else to go.”

When she finally reached the table’s opposite side, Luna tilted her head back towards Celestia. The immense look had returned to her eyes. “It certainly is a shame,” she said. “All those gemstones, all that silver and gold in Captain O’Thearth’s hold... gone. Vanished into thin air. We could put tracing spells on it, certainly, but Twilight would only deactivate them. For intents and purposes, that money might as well not even exist. It could be spent on anything, anywhere, at any time, and nopony in Equestria would have any way of knowing where it had really come from.”

Her eyes flicked away from Celestia, towards a spot on the wall that she stared at with a wide-eyed look of perplexion. “Come to think of it... not even the High Council.”

Luna kept on examining the spot on the wall for a second or two, then stood herself up straight and sighed. “Well, it’s a pickle,” she said airily, giving a curt nod to Celestia before turning on her heel and heading out. “Sleep well, dear sister. Good luck with the orphanage.”

Celestia gave herself until Luna had departed back to her tower for the night for her heartache to melt away, but that moment came and passed without her feeling any different. One way or another, she had to know for sure.

She pressed her hoof against a knot in the wood, and a hidden drawer popped out from underneath the table. In it were stacked several sheets of parchment embossed with Celestia’s official seal, as well as two bottles of ink and a sturdy pink quill. She pulled out a page to write on and readied the quill overtop of it, but still some barrier over the parchment kept it from descending, kept her mind from accepting the finality of what she was about to do. After several deep breaths, her heart rate fell down to a manageable pace, and she quickly scribbled down just one short sentence:

I hope you knew what you were doing.

She threw the pen aside and rolled the letter up as soon as she’d dotted the end of the line, and with a flash of her horn the paper disappeared in a burst of green fire. For almost a full minute, she stood motionless behind the table, staring at the little starred block as it moved farther and farther away from the standard trade routes and into open air. Focused as she was, she might not have even noticed the green flame blossom back into existence again had it not happened right in front of her eyes.

She caught the scroll that materialized from it before it could even start to fall, and tore it open without a moment’s hesitation. At first, her heart leapt into her throat: why such a short response? Once she read it, though, the weight in her chest lightened, then lifted up and floated off with her stomach in tow. For the first time in days, a giddy, foalish smile broke out across Celestia’s lips, and in the time it took her magic to fold the letter in half and stuff it back in the drawer with her quill, her body had already navigated around the table and back into the throne room.

“Whoa, hey, Celestia, uh... what were you talking about in th—”

“Not now, Sunset,” Celestia interrupted, biting hard on her lip to keep from dissolving into fits of giggles in front of her eavesdropping advisor. “Follow me!”

“Wha... where are you go—”

“You’ll see, just come on!”

Celestia knew Sunset would have enough questions to last a week without taking a breath once she got a chance to stop and think the situation over, but she also knew that the unicorn could never resist the chance to get in on a secret. Celestia trotted through the castle with Sunset hot on her heels, her pace only tempered by the knowledge that it would be unseemly of her to sprint. In just a few minutes time, they had arrived at an enormous golden door decorated with jewels and surrounded by a dozen protective wards.

Stepping through all of them without a hair turned out of place, Celestia lowered her head and inserted her horn into a hole in the door, right in the center of a stylized etching of the sun on her flank. The door shuddered and glowed blue as her magic worked its way through its internal locks and additional wards, and then with a final flash of the six gray circles patterned on either side of the central sun, it split down the middle and swung open.

And as the light obscuring what lay beyond it faded away and Sunset’s jaw dropped open, Celestia was able to do exactly what the letter she’d received had said, in neat and organized writing she’d seen in so many letters and friendship reports before:

See for yourself.

The Canterlot Tower safe room, once meant as the home for the Elements of Harmony, was now packed to the ceiling with a collection of treasure that would put a dragon’s hoard to shame. Silver and gold bars were stacked taller than Celestia herself, and flawless gemstones littered the ground and piled up on top of the other riches on display. There even seemed to be a few daggers and cutlasses scattered here and there, their polished gleam paling in comparison to the rest of the haul surrounding them.

And in the center of the heap, on top of a small concrete pedestal left over from the safe room’s prior purpose, a string of pink pearls lay encircling six stray golden bits, its rareness and pristine construction more than enough to make it worth a veritable fortune. One that, for all intents and purposes, might as well have not existed at all.

“What in the...” Sunset said, only catching enough of her breath to get halfway through her question. “Where did you get all this?”

Celestia bit her lip again, and returned Sunset’s dumbfounded look with one of perfect innocence. “Inheritance,” she said with a shrug. Before Sunset could think to ask what family member of Celestia’s was actually capable of dying, the princess cut her off.

“Send a letter to the Canterlot Alliance for Orphaned Foals. Tell them I have good news.”

Sunset opened her mouth as if to protest, but ultimately said nothing. Her hoofsteps galloping down the hall were like music to Celestia’s ears, and this wonderful, impossible gift in front of her was the soaring chorus. As her advisor rounded the corner and the doors to the safe room swung shut behind her, Celestia stepped forward and waded through a sea of emeralds and sapphires until she was standing over the pearl necklace. She could see the bits more clearly now, enough to pick out the curious symbols stamped onto them: an apple, a lightning bolt, a diamond, a butterfly, a party balloon, and a six-pointed star. She gazed at the coins, at the necklace, at all the wealth and prosperity that was hers alone to control, and she drank in the sight and the lingering essence of the six mares who had made it possible.

And then, alone in the saferoom and up to her ankles in jewels, she started to sing.

“Yo ho, yo ho, a pirate’s life for me...”

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Comments ( 45 )

Sweet concept for a story. I will definately read it when I get back from Fiesta Equestria.

*bookmarked*

Edit: Congrats on EQD post.

WOOT! Thumbs up for airships! I'm writing a story sort of similar to this right now. You, sir, get a favorite.
BTW How'd you get your story on to EQD so quickly?

Comment posted by MortuusSum deleted Jun 27th, 2013

See? I *told* you there's no such thing as too many pirates!

ARRR!! :rainbowdetermined2:

Dang how did this get on equestria daily so fast!?

Nice cover art. It looks rather familiar. http://starbat.deviantart.com/art/Pony-Skull-reference-327128834

A link or an honorable mention would have been nice.

Haven't read the fic yet, but it sounds good.

Wait what? At first I just wanted the mane six to die, cuz fuck pirates and fuck traitors, (unless they actually are somewhat-good guys, like ol' Jackie Sparrow.) but now I'm confused :unsuresweetie:

DAMN that was really fucking awesome :pinkiegasp: !

There needs to be more of this.

More, I say!

MORE!

Edit—You know what? I literaly just this afternoon came up with this idea, only it was going to be Sci-fi instead. Thing is, you've pulled this idea off better than I ever could :twilightangry2:

I'm still going to demand more.

...
Why does this story seem familiar...
I feel like I've read it somewhere...
The end does, at least...

Woah.

Like, WOAH.

That was AWESOME.

Kudos to you, Aquaman. I've got to say, this story was nothing short of incredible! Keep it up, and consider yourself watched for future stories! :heart:

Your Benevolent Dictator,
TwilitLightning

I desperately hope by the subtitle this story has, sequels are planned. In any case, however, fantastic read once again

my only complaint was that in ended. as there is far to much potential for this story to continue to simply leave it as it is would be a crime against pony based literature. and seriously i think the good captain is due a shot at twilight.

This is absolutely amazing. At one point I actually shouted that out in person. Because it is.
The buildup, the execution, the resolution... All of it was perfect. Not to mention, extremely cool.
The six coins... and the wings... and the Pinkie... and the everything Twilight says... and the reason for them being pirates in the first place... All of it was awesome.
This deserves way more attention than it has.

I first came to this through EqD thinking someone did a Skies of Arcadia / MLP crossover, I was starting to get giddy. Started to get let down that it wasn't :fluttercry:

BUT! Im still going to read! Im sure its great based on some of these other comments! :twilightblush:

2789877

What, What, WHAT???
I didn't even bother reading the Tags, i assumed these are just the first 2 chapters of a story that's gonna become a tale of epic proportions.
Now i've read your comment and realized this story is over...
Why?

This had so much potential.

I love it. I hope there will be something like a sequel to this story.

That awkward moment when the Mane Six as skypirates in the completely legitimate criminal sense and it could practically be canon?
Yes!

This was a great story; watching Salt fall to pieces and Twilight's plan unroll itself upon him was a fantastically intriguing experience.

I must admit, I would very much like to see more of the Harmony and her crew, as well as the sequence of events that led up to the Mane Six becoming pirates.

I've seen very few stories that deserve a continuation as much as this one. It's a beautiful tapestry, and stands all by itself as a wonderful piece of literature. That said, I will be absolutely crushed if we don't get a sequel with some Salt.

well, in a major sense, just considering the additional information in the second chapter, you can put together all the motives easily from the first. Bravo. Many are clamoring for continuation, but it's well wrapped as it is, so in all ultimate sense, the choice is yours.

I absolutely loved this story. Great work, and please keep it up! The decision to make more of this story or more set in the same universe is ultimately yours, but I would be absolutely thrilled to have more of it to read. Keep being awesome!

Come to think of it, this is actually the first story of yours that I've read. It's a shame you plan on leaving; this was an awesome story and, judging from the great things I've heard about some of your other stories, I can guess writing of this quality is not a rarity for you.

Anyways, all the best to you and your future endeavors.

You've played "Overlord", haven't you?
Will read later.

Pirate Celestia, now that's a first.
I award you, the pirate song of all pirate songs.

It's a oneshot? NNNOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO

She caught the scroll that materialized from it before it could even start to fall, and tore it open without a moment’s hesitation.

Same thing here. You don't need the comma.

I was all ready to rant and rave about how this chapter was a total waste of the reader's time, how it explained things that should have been obvious, but then... dat Schemelestia. Fucking beautiful, Aqua.

Fucking beautiful.

PresentPerfect
Author Interviewer

Hey buddahball, you had any ideas about this?

4284470
I remember it happening a long time ago. I think it was one of those things I meant to blog about and completely forgot to in the end. Sounds pretty good, though.

How was it thanks to the mane 6, when those things were already well on their way to her safes?

4366904
Because that's how magical money laundering works.

The Corona wasn't carrying Celestia's personal fortune, because while it's all technically her property since she rules the country, she doesn't fully control what it's used for. Most of what Luna says in Part 2 explains this: by virtue of how the Equestrian government is set up, both the Princesses are beholden to the High Council, who are beholden to their constituents who democratically elected them. They're the ones who control the allocation of the majority of royal funds, so for Celestia to be able to allocate the funds to what she considers more noble causes, she has to essentially steal it from herself. Because the public thinks Twilight and her crew stole the assets abroad the Corona (which aren't even liquid money, so given an assumption of a faith-based economy, there's little inflation or deflation to worry about either), they're now outside of the High Council's control. So once Twilight warps them from the Corona into Celestia's personal saferoom, she's reverse-laundered her own property into something she has complete freedom to spend as she sees fit. In other words, it's an extralegal answer to a bureaucratic problem.

4367349 Oh. Okay, my bad. I kinda phased out when Luna explained that. Now it makes sense, of course.

Yeah, figures that there was a larger story going on around the events of the first chapter.

Very nice. Have you thought of starting a sky pirate group and opening up the world for other writers? Just by glancing down the comments, I'd think you'd get a full bandwagon...:applejackunsure:

Wow! fascinating! Wonderful! :heart:

Government agents that are really pirates that work for the government, and hijack treasury shipments to give it back to the government to bypass bureaucracy... Genius.

Celestia is a genius... That's all I'll say of the matter.

Oh, look at that. This was written by Aquaman. I knew there was a reason i liked it.

So they took the gold... to give it back.

WHAT WAS THE POINT OF ANYTHING?!

6577629
The point was that Twilight Sparkle and her crew are no ordinary pirates.

And also this: 4367349

That was an impressive tale.

:rainbowlaugh: So the mane six are actually privateers eh? :rainbowdetermined2:
Very nice story, would love to see more like it, well done. :twilightsmile:

You know I never was able to finish the pirate arc in the IDW comics; I was never able to get over how stupid it was to see the mane 6 as pirates.

I guess they just didn't put enough effort into it. :trollestia:

I really enjoyed reading the first chapter. It was a simple, kinda' silly but very enjoyable heist story with airship pirates. I don't really have much more to say beyond that it brought me tears of joy. Captain Salt was a pretty bland character but proved a worthy sparing partner for this story's badass of a Pretty Pirate Pony Princess. I loved Twilight's character, she was just such an adorkable, smug, cunning madmare of a buccaneer; almost like what the cannon character would fantasize herself as in some bazar discussion starting at Daring Do with Rainbow. Pinkamina Didly Diany Barely Apple Pie!!! :pinkiehappy: "There's a party in hell and your all invited to it" :rainbowlaugh: There wasn't enough of her in this story, nor enough Remane 5 in general :twilightangry2: The banter between all of them was hilarious and I really would have liked to see more of them.

The biggest problem I had with the first chapter was I spent most of the time wondering what the hell happened that Twi and co. threw in and became sky pirates after being national heroes. What would happen to drive them to this. And how did Twilight come to be a paragon of Friendship and be an inspiration to countless criminals. Then I read part 2. :trollestia: Celestia, Princess of Equestria, Regent of the Sun, The Shinning Diarch, Light Upon All Good In the World, and Mother F*cking Queen of Buccaneers :trollestia: Just tied everything together so well.

Cool story bro :coolphoto: Would (and probably will) read again.

I have to say this story is so much fun. Sky pirates and the high seas. I've loved pirates ever since I read Treasure Island. How did Twilight get such a ship? How compelling was the argument to make the main six set sail with a ship of their own and a star to steer them by? What's the story with Sunset coming back?

I'm a huge fan of world building and pirates are just icing on the cake. So many questions, so many way this story can go or has gone in the past before Salt's untimely visit with a charming rouge. I downloaded Goombasa's audiobook and listened to it whenever I was in the mood for some good ol' fashioned pillaging. I wholeheartedly endorse finding out what happens to the buccaneers after this story.

This was a fun story. Though I feel sorry for the Captain. Poor guy was led around, deceived, teased, list his treasure and who knows what it'll do to his reputation. And I can only imagine the inner turmoil he'll be feeling after this. :pinkiesad2:

Hi I was wondering if I could make a continuation of this fic with my own pirate captain oc an his crew being the relatives/lovers of the main six? I have a few ideas rolling around in my head but I wanted to get your approval before I start writing.

4367349
As interesting a story as this was, the idea that celestia couldn't find a less outlandish way to fund her personal projects is a bit odd. Rather than piracy, particularly that of the most dangerous sort where fanatics like captian salt could have been just a bit less merciful or willing to trade their own life for theirs, why not legitimate business or charity? Why not playing the political game and win over the support of her constituents? Measures like this imply she is little more than a figurehead at this point and has given up on gaining true political power or that she is so out manuvered that it's possibly criminal. This is basically a desperate band-aid tactic that does nothing to solve the root of the problems that hold her back.

I kinda wish celestia was evil or otherwise appathetic and that Twilight had a better justification than money laundering

Oooooh, so the Mane 6 are PRIVATEERS rather than pirates!! That makes a LOT more sense! Too bad this story seems to have been discontinued. I would've LOVED to have seen what other shenanigans the girls could've gotten up to!!

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