• Published 14th Sep 2013
  • 7,454 Views, 498 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.

  • ...

The Admiral

The device in Celestia's tower, in a small antechamber near to her bedroom, looked like a large metal trunk with a window in it. There was nothing to be seen through the window; it was just dark. There were a number of switches and toggles below it, including one particularly large green one.

Celestia reached out with one hoof, and pressed the large green button. There was a crackling noise from the device, and then a ping.

“Ooooooooooh.” said Pinkie, peering closely at the window. Then, suddenly, it cleared; showing a strange creature sitting at a desk. It had smooth, dark brown skin on its hands and face, with possibly a light coating of fur (the rest of its skin was either behind the desk or covered in clothes); it had tightly curled black hair; it had very small eyes, placed near the front of its face, and a tiny little nose. The ears were low on the head, towards the sides. Two limbs were visible; they reminded Fluttershy of Iron Will's arms, though they were not as muscular. With a squeak, she dived and hid behind Rainbow Dash.

“Good morning.” said Celestia, who had evidently been expecting this creature. “May I speak to the Admiral? It is a matter of some urgency.”

The creature glanced down at the desk, tapped something twice, and then looked up at Celestia again. “You may indeed.” he said. “I shall transfer your call immediately.”

The screen flickered, and suddenly another, very similar creature behind a rather more ornate desk was visible. This one's skin was paler, and its hair was a sort of reddish-orange; but the shape was similar to the earlier creature.

“Admiral,” said Celestia, “I would like to ask for your help. One of my citizens has been kidnapped.”

The Admiral frowned. “We really can't interfere in the internal affairs of an independent -” he began.

“The prime suspects fled in a warp-capable ship.” continued Celestia. “The same ship in which they had come to the planet, claiming to be merely traders.”

“Ah.” said the Admiral. “I see. Then it's not exactly an internal matter anymore.” He looked down at his desk, and tapped on something several times. Then he looked up at Celestia again. “What sort of aid would you request?” he asked.

“My aim is to get anyone who may have been kidnapped rescued, and safely returned to their friends and family.” said Celestia. “I do not know what resources you can bend to this task; whatever resources are available, I urge you to use them. They would have left the solar system within the last fifteen minutes; we do not know in which direction.”

“Left the solar system?” asked Twilight, horrified. Celestia extended one wing over her faithful student in a quick hug.

A dark mist suddenly rose from the floor, solidifying into Princess Luna.

The Admiral tapped at his desk a few more times, and then said “The nearest ship we have can't get to you any sooner than three days from now. By that time, the warp trail will have faded beyond our ability to follow it. However, if you can give a bit more of a description of the suspects, perhaps we can track them down and find the victims?”

“There were but two of them on the ship.” said Luna. “They gave to themselves the names Pog and Frem, and claimed to be of the Ferengi. I had assumed that to be some sort of tribe, or clan...”

“It's a race.” said the Admiral. “A very... mercantile people. They judge everything in terms of profit and loss. Not warriors, on the whole. I don't suppose you have a picture?”

“Nay,” said Luna, “but there is a unicorn downstairs who has met with Pog recently. He will likely be able to draw for thee a picture. Furthermore, thy warp drive does leave a very distinctive trail; I can craft a spell that can be used to follow it, e'en after three days.”

“You ponies are just full of surprises.” said the Admiral, calmly.

“Then if you could be so good as to lend us a ship, and a crew to fly it,” said Celestia, “then we can provide navigators, and a rescue team, and hopefully retrieve any victims safely.”

* * *

“Okay.” said Spike, wrapping up the scroll and drinking the last of the orange juice. “I think that's everything we need to say.” He took a deep breath and blew at it, letting the scroll catch alight and sending it to Celestia.

The room immediately lurched.

* * *

“What was that?” asked Pog, as the entire ship suddenly lurched.

“I don't know!” said Frem. “A sudden instability in the warp bubble of some kind!”

“Of what kind?”

“I don't know!”

The ship lurched again.

“Either there's some sort of subspace disturbance on the inside trying to get out,” said Frem, “or all our focusing arrays are out of focus!”

“Shut the drive down.” said Pog. “They can't follow us without a warp-capable ship in any case, and we can certainly afford to take twenty minutes to refocus the focusing chambers before the entire ship blows apart.”

“Shutting down.” said Frem.

* * *

“Did ya feel that?” asked Applebloom. “It's stopped.”

“What's stopped?” asked Scootaloo.

“Dunno, but whatever it was, it was makin' the floor vibrate jus' a little.”

“I suspect,” said Flam, “that it had to do with whatever mode of transport we are in. I think we've stopped.”

“Why?” asked Sweetie Belle.

“Did my letter make us stop?” asked Spike.

“The timing does seem to suggest it.” said Flam. “I have no idea why, but... perhaps we should include that in a future letter?

* * *

Finally released from the warp bubble that had held it in, the subspace distortion that carried Spike's letter flew rapidly to Celestia. It appeared in front of her, in a puff of greenish smoke.

“Ah,” she said, “a letter from Spike.” To the Admiral, she added “He's the one who was kidnapped.”

The Admiral raised an eyebrow at that.

Celestia proceeded to read the letter aloud:

Dear Princess Celestia

I have been kidnapped, along with all three of the Cutie Mark Crusaders.

“MY SISTER!” yelled Rarity. “I'LL RIP THEM APART!”

“Eeeeeasy there, sugarcube.” said Applejack, laying a hoof on her shoulder. “Gotta find 'em, first.”

There's also a unicorn called Flam and somepony called Red Dawn from Manehatten. We're all in one cell, except Red Dawn for some reason, who's in the cell nextdoor. Dawn says she's been here for about a week. There's also a timberwolf across the corridor. The cells don't have bars, it looks like you can just walk out but when I tried there was this invisible wall that shocked me.

“Forcefield.” said the Admiral.

It doesn't seem to block unicorn magic,

“Really?” said the Admiral. “That's... interesting.”

but the only thing outside the cell that can be moved around is the timberwolf, and it's in the cell opposite. It keeps throwing itself against the invisible wall, and then collapsing and re-forming.

“Re-forming?” asked the Admiral.

“Timber wolves can pull themselves together if they get injured.” said Applejack. She had one foreleg laid comfortingly over Rarity's shoulders, but her face was set in a way that promised trouble for a certain crew of Ferengi should she ever catch up to them.

They said something about selling us to a slaving ring in Orion,

“Orion's a big place,” said the Admiral, “but I can certainly have people there before the Ferengi can get there.”

and so they're keeping us all fed. The visible walls are all metal and very hard; I can't dig through them (I tried). Tell Twilight we're all okay. Applebloom and Sweetie Belle say they miss their big sisters,

Rarity grabbed Applejack with both forelegs, and just hugged her.

and Scootaloo says Dash will come and save us, even if Frem says she can't.

Rainbow Dash was sitting very still, wings half-unfurled, head slightly lowered, eyes narrowed. She didn't say a word, but she seemed almost to be vibrating on the spot.

Flam says he doesn't think you'll find his brother (but when I told him you were the Princess he said maybe you would, so I don't know). Red Dawn says she doesn't have anything to say. Could you tell Twilight that I didn't get a chance to reshelve the reference section yesterday? I was going to do it this afternoon, but now I can't, so I thought I should apologise.

Your faithful dragon,