• Published 14th Sep 2013
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Equestria's first warp drive - CCC



The Enterprise pays a visit to Equestria. Luna decides to go and see what this new thing in the night sky is.

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Pursuit, Part IV

“I must say,” said Flam, as their little group of escapees hurried along a corridor, “this place is a lot bigger than I'd imagined.”

“There's no windows.” said Dawn. “No doors. I think we're underground.”

“Ah don' think so.” said Applebloom. “The air's too fresh. It tends ta get a touch stale in caves, 'cos y'all can't get good venti- vento- whaddya call it when you mean the way air moves?”

“Wind?” asked Scootaloo.

“Ventilation.” said Sweetie Belle.

“Yeah,” said Applebloom, “venta... vento... what Sweetie Belle said. Y'all can't get good ventithingy in caves. Ah think we're in a giant airship.”

“Can't be.” said Flam. “Airships sway somewhat with the wind, like seaships. I think we're in an ordinary building that's not moving anywhere.”

“So...” said Spike, cautiously, “...Frem lied about us moving?”

“For obvious reasons,” said Flam, drily, “I don't trust Frem half an inch.”

“Did you hear that?” asked Dawn.

There was a sudden silence.

“Ah didn' hear anythin'.” said Applebloom, after a moment.

“Comeon,” said Dawn, opening the nearest door. “Let's get out of the open for a bit.”

“Capital idea.” agreed Flam, following Dawn into the cargo hold. “Come on, girls. And dragon. We need to consider the next phase of our escape.”

* * *

“Well,” said Pog, looking at the grating that was supposed to cover the service tunnel next to the lift, “I think it's pretty clear that they went this way.”

“Yeah,” said Frem, “but... up or down?”

There was a long silence.

“We could actually go and look more closely at the ladder.” said Pog, after a while. “See if there's some sort of tracks or something.

“Yeah, and if they're waiting in the shaft and they've found weapons somewhere and they shoot at us?” asked Frem.

“Let me put it this way,” said Pog, “you can go and look more closely at the ladder.”

“But, if they shoot at me -”

“Then I'll know whether they went up or down.” said Pog, firmly. “Now, go and take a look, or I'll have to charge you a fine.”

Frem gulped, nervously.

* * *

“That's a lot of seeds.” said Applebloom, looking over the hold.

“Ah, yes.” said Flam. “Pog purchased these from us before he kidnapped me. It includes representatives of most commonly available Equestrian species, and a few highly uncommon ones. You would not believe how much trouble we had securing -”

“Hey! Zap apple seeds!” said Applebloom, holding a hoofful of small, rainbow-striped seeds.

“You recognise them?” asked Flam.

“Sure, we grow them on th' farm.” said Applebloom, putting the seeds in her mane. “These'll come in mighty useful if Ah kin jus' get hold o' some soil.”

Flam sighed. “Spike,” he said.

“Yes?”

Flam kicked the wooden box holding the seeds, shattering one side of it and spilling seeds all over the cargo bay floor. He tossed one of the scraps of wood to Spike. “Can you do that flame thing with this wood?” he asked.

“Send it to Celestia? Why?”

“Because it messes with this place.” said Flam. “Or at least with whatever keeps making the floor vibrate.”

Spike shrugged. “Okay.” he said, wrapping the scrap of wood in flame.

* * *

Just as Frem cautiously leaned over the service shaft, the entire ship shuddered. Frem screamed as he fell down the shaft. He caught himself quickly on the ladder, but the stun rifle slipped from his grip, clattering to the bottom of the shaft, far below.

There were a few moments of silence, then Pog leaned very cautiously over the shaft.

Frem grinned nervously up at him.

“If you've damaged my stun rifle,” said Pog, “then I am going to have to charge you for repairs. Now go down there and get it.”

“But what if -”

“They're not waiting for you down there, you idiot.” said Pog. “There's only one place they can possibly be right now.”

Frem thought for a moment, and then asked “Where?”

“Engineering, you lunkhead!” snapped Pog, angrily. “They're messing with the warp drive! Now get that stun rifle and get back up here. We need to get to the bridge and shut the drive off before those idiots blow up the ship.”

* * *

“So,” asked Captain Anderson, “you're seriously just going to stay there? For how long?”

“That depends.” said Twilight. “How long would it take us to get to Orion?”

“At this rate?” said Anderson. “About four days.”

“Then,” said Twilight calmly, “if it's all the same to you, we'd rather like to just stay here for about four days.”

“I thought we were going faster than these guys!” objected Rainbow Dash.

“We are, Rainbow.” said Twilight. “But not that much faster. And remember, they've got a three-day lead on us. The only way we're going to be able to catch up to them before they reach Orion is if they stop for some reason or another.”

“Oh, dear.” said Rarity, softly. “So... there's a chance that our sisters may get sent off in different directions before we can reach them?”

There was a long,uncomfortable silence as six ponies all quietly considered the question – if the kidnap victims were to do that, which pony – or dragon – would they go after first?

Applejack was the first to break the silence. “Ah sure hope they don't do that.” she said. “Ah wouldn't want ta not go after mah little sister first, and Ah'm sure Rarity feels the same way 'bout her little sister.”

“We'd have to split up.” said Twilight. “Applejack would go after Applebloom; Rarity after Sweetie Belle; Dash would follow up on Scootaloo; I'd go looking for Spike; that leaves Pinkie and Fluttershy, to track down Flam and Red Dawn.”

“I may not be as accomplished as you ladies,” said Flim, “but I would certainly prefer to put my efforts towards tracking down my brother.”

“Oh.” said Fluttershy. “Then I guess I'd go after Red Dawn. I don't think she has anyone else to look out for her. Um... if she is a 'her', I mean. I don't really know anything about her.”

“Then,” said Pinkie, “I guess it'll be my job to just help out wherever I can!”

“It would help to know exactly what we're getting into.” said Twilight. “Captain, could you tell us all you know about Orion?”

Captain Anderson shrugged. “It's a wretched hive of scum and villainy.” he began...