• Published 14th Sep 2013
  • 6,710 Views, 493 Comments

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.

  • ...

Home II

Fifteen minutes after arrival at Equestria

It had taken only a few minutes to get everyone to the bridge, for transport down to the surface. Even the two Ferengi stood there, silent and morose, fully aware of the fact that Var'aQ was standing right behind them and, worse, had dared them to “try something and see what happens”. The greatest delay had been waiting for Fluttershy to get back with a menagerie of dangerous creatures, who she assured everyone would just get lonely left up there by themselves.

It took less than a second for Princess Luna to teleport all the people down to Canterlot Palace, where they met two humans and an alicorn.

“Captain Anderson!” said Pinkie, leaping towards the nearest human and giving him a hug. “I'm so glad you're okay! We would have stopped to look for your shuttlecraft on the way back, but the Admiral said you'd already been picked up.”

“Yeah, kid.” said Anderson, awkwardly patting Pinkie on the head. “Met the ship that was supposed to pick you up. Incidentally,” he glanced up at Twilight, “what did you lot do with my ship?”

“Um.” said Twilight, hesitantly. “We, um...”

Captain Anderson raised an eyebrow. “Go on.” he said.

“We... lost it?”

“To the Borg?”

Twilight shook her head. “No,” she said, “not to my knowledge. We just... teleported out of it once we got close enough to the Ferengi ship. It's... probably still going?”

“You just ripped a functioning warp-core-equivalent out of the network?” asked Jorge.

“Um... is that bad?” asked Twilight, nervously.

“Our ship,” said Jorge, drily, “is either a cloud of radioactive dust and gamma rays, or else it's lost, just travelling at warp until its fuel runs out. Either way, I don't think we're getting it back.”

Celestia cleared her throat. “I do believe I can help with that.” she said. “The Ferengi ship currently in orbit was used in the committing of a crime on Equestrian territory, to whit, a kidnapping; the miscreants were then captured by designated Equestrian wielders of Harmony. I do believe I could make a strong case that the ship can be confiscated by the legal authorities of Equestria, to whit, myself?”

She raised an eyebrow at a nearby screen, from which Admiral James frowned at her. “The Prime Directive takes precedence,” he said, firmly. “In no circumstances may Federation, or equivalent, technology be reverse-engineered by any race which does not meet the requirements; specifically, stable planetary political unity.”

“That only applies if I try to use the ship,” replied Celestia. “I have no intention of doing so. On the contrary, I plan to give it, in its present condition, as a gift to Captain Anderson, over and above the agreed payment for the use of his ship.” Celestia smiled slightly. “Since Captain Anderson's race does meet the relevant requirements, the Prime Directive does not apply.”

The Admiral nodded. “The Federation would have no objection to that.” he said.

“Excellent.” said Celestia. She nodded at Captain Anderson. “I realise it's not a complete replacement for a ship that no doubt retains many pleasant memories; but perhaps it will suffice to get you to a place where a ship more to your liking can be purchased, and serve as a down payment on same?”

“Thank you, Princess,” said Captain Anderson. “That is... very generous of you.”

“Let me know when you wish to leave,” said Celestia, “and my sister will provide you with transport up to the ship, along with the artworks that were the agreed payment. Until then, however, you are most welcome to stay in Canterlot, and enjoy the hospitality of ponies.”

She raised her head, and turned to look over at the other representatives of the Federation; humans, Klingons, Vulcans. “And to all of you, citizens of the Federation,” she continued, “I extend this invitation; the Federation will be opening an embassy on Equestrian soil. To you, in gratitude for the part you played in returning some of my ponies to their homes, I offer the opportunity to join that embassy. Federation technology will be permitted on the grounds of the Embassy only, with the exception of universal translators and other personal items, which may be carried by Federation personnel, and scientific instruments, which must be sealed and clearly marked as such.”

“I, for one, will accept this posting.” said Sunek, immediately.

Celestia smiled, again. “You do not have to decide immediately.” she said. “You may stay as long as you like; or leave, returning to the Federation, before you decide. In the meantime, the Embassy building has been completed, and Federation staff from the U.S.S. Nemesis are busy outfitting it as they see fit.”

“If it's all the same to you,” said Captain Anderson drily, “I would rather get back to my old life of trading between planets, as quickly as possible. All this politics and messing with the Borg isn't something I enjoy.”

“Certainly.” said Celestia, with a nod. She looked down slightly. “Pinkie? You can stop hugging him now.”

* * *

Three hours after landing on Equestria

The Bearers of the Elements (along with the Crusaders and Spike) had soon left to catch their train; the Federation people had left, either to see Canterlot (Celestia had nominated one of the palace guards to act as guide), or to look over the new embassy, or to go to one of the two ships in orbit (and thence on to the Federation). Even the Ferengi had been sent back to the Federation ship, though in their case under guard (and they were promptly confined in the brig, to face Federation justice for their crimes).

But Flim and Flam had stubbornly refused to go, insisting that they had something important to say, and that it had to be said to Celestia alone. And it was only once Luna had left (taking with her a selection of dangerous creatures, for distribution back to their natural habitats) that they said anything about why.

“Princess Celestia,” said Flam, “you've heard the whole story; you know that I was captured by strange aliens, that bent my personality and encased me in otherworldly armour, and then freed by the Elements of Harmony?”

Celestia nodded, and waited for Flam to continue.

“These – Borg – are strange creatures.” said Flam. “Once they – assimilate – a being, you find yourself awash in a sea of strange minds, a billion voices shouting, drowning out your one. The Elements removed even the memory of that time, but... well, we're travelling sales-stallions, Princess. We have to be cautious, to ensure that we are not – taken advantage of, by, among other things, unicorns with memory erasure spells. So, when we realised that some of my memories were missing...”

“I immediately cast Mnemosyne's Memory Restorer on my brother.” said Flim, firmly.

“And I told him to stop,” said Flam, “as soon as I realised what was actually in the memories that were being restored. But – while I was part of the Borg – I knew everything that any part of the Borg knew. And – I've forgotten virtually all of it – but Red Dawn was also a part of the Borg at the time. So I knew all that she knew; though now I can only recall the vaguest outlines of it.”

“It would be helpful if we could contact her family,” acknowledged Celestia.

“Red Dawn is a false name,” continued Flam, “made up on the spot, on the ship. She's not even a buffalo; she was in – some sort of magical disguise. Her real name – I don't know it, the Borg consider names useless. But that's not all – she was kidnapped from near Canterlot, not from Manehatten; and she was there as part of a plot to capture the city, and somehow imprison you and your sister.”

Flam took a deep breath.

“I – don't remember the specifics. And the memories were deleted some time ago – they can't be restored any further. But I do know this much – that there is a plot against Canterlot, that you and your sister are among the targets, and that Dawn herself considered her part inconsequential – that the plot will continue without her.”

“I see.” said Celestia. “That would explain why we could find no sign of her anywhere – these plotters would make every effort to ensure that there wasn't any sort of official attention being paid to them. Is there anything else you remember about this plot?”

“No, your highness,” said Flam, “that's all.”

“I see.” said Celestia. “Well, it is very concerning. I shall have somepony look into it. Will you be staying in Canterlot?”

“No, your majesty,” said Flim, promptly. “We wouldn't feel safe here; we're planning on moving on and plying our trade in other cities for a while.”

“I quite understand.” Celestia nodded. “And thank you again for the warning.”

* * *

Four hours after arrival at Equestria

“You wanted to see me, Auntie?” asked Queen Chysalis. Her external form was that of Princess Cadance, a disguise that not even an alicorn could penetrate.

“Yes, Cadance, and Shining Armour.” said Celestia, nodding at the other pony in the room. “There has been a threat made against Canterlot; Cadance, I would like you to head up the investigation of this threat; and Shining, I would like you to prepare the defense. I recommend that you put one of your shields over the city, and prepare the Royal Guard for a major offensive.”

“Does this have anything to do with those Federation aliens?” asked Chrysalis, hoping to divert suspicion.

“It is entirely an Equestrian threat,” replied Celestia. “Thus, I expect the Federation will remain completely neutral.”

“I see.” The pink alicorn nodded. “I'll look into it, Auntie. Oh, and we do have other news for you!”

“You do?” Celestia raised an eyebrow.

“Yes! Shining just asked me to marry him!”

Celestia smiled, widely. “Congratulations, to both of you.”

“Thank you, Auntie.” said Chrysalis.

“Under the circumstances,” continued Celestia, “would you like me to give this investigation to somepony else to handle, while you take care of the wedding preparations?”

“Oh, no,” said Chrysalis, “I don't mind taking on this investigation as well. If there is a threat against Canterlot, I promise you, I'll know what it is before it strikes.”

“Wonderful.” said Celestia. “I'll leave it in your hooves, then.”